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Forever Yours, Forever Mine

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“You need not worry, Dean. Castiel has the most nurturing, soft-hearted Grace I’ve ever seen. You might be the dominant personality type between you two, but in the caretaker roll, I believe Castiel is dominant when it comes to mating rituals and the like. Especially if you factor in his raising you from perdition. Your rolls will still be the same personality wise, don’t fret.” Dean grunts in affirmation, processing this information. He wasn’t sure how he felt about being submissive, but if Castiel is surely dominant in the aspects Samandriel addressed...who was Dean to go against nature? Samandriel offers him a warm smile. “Are there any other questions you have about angel culture regarding this topic, or even in general?” Dean furrows his eyebrows, in deep thought.
“I don’t think so. So do you know when he’s gonna ask me? I feel like I should get him flowers or some shit,” Dean says, focusing on not blushing. Samandriel chuckles.
“As much as he’d appreciate that, I think he intends to surprise you, similar to proposing for traditional matrimony here on earth. Be patient, Dean. Everything will be good,” Samandriel assures him.
“I have the ring at least,” Dean says plowing a hand through his sandy hair. Samandriel smiles, then stands up.
“You are all set. Well, I must be off. Wish Castiel congratulations for me when the time comes,” Samandriel says, then disappears with the faint beating of wings. Dean slumps back against the couch in one of the rooms of the Men of Letters bunker, exhaling a gusty breath as his brain still sifts through the hefty amount of information Samandriel had given him in the three hour lesson on angel culture and mating rituals.

Dean had said he wanted to propose to Castiel in the earthly tradition of marriage, but now he’s glad he’s waiting until Castiel follows through on his plans to cement their bond the heavenly way, the one that is much more concrete, serious, and profound. Despite the initial unease at such commitment and his role as submissive in it, Dean had warmed up once he realized how much he wanted to be as close to Castiel as possible. How he wanted Castiel all for himself, wanted to show the entire universe his love for the angel. Dean climbs off the couch and heads down to his room, dropping to his knees and reaching underneath the bed for the little silver box he’s hidden beneath a dufflebag of silver knives. Sinking back so he’s sitting on his heels, Dean opens the jewelry box to inspect the ring inside once again, making sure it is still perfect for his angel. A silver band rests amid a plush layer of black velvet, still gleaming in the limited light. Dean snaps the box shut and returns it to its hiding place. Soon he will be able to slide it onto the angel's finger, the angel of whom he loves. Dean feels a thrill of anticipation at the thought, and smiles.

Sam bursts into the room, slamming the door open, making Dean jump. “Dean! Get your ass out here! Castiel said he wants you to meet him at this address he gave me, like, now!”
“Dammit Sam, can you not barrel in here like a moose all the time?” Dean snaps, feeling stupid for being startled by his brother. Sam rolls his eyes and shoots Dean one of his signature bitch faces.
“You’re looking at that damn ring again, aren’t you,” Sam says, raising an eyebrow in a silent dare for him to claim differently.
“That’s none of your damn business,” Dean grumbles, reaching underneath the bed and pulling it out. Now’s as good a time as any to propose to his angel, and based on the way Castiel instructed Sam to tell Dean to drive and meet him somewhere, Castiel also has plans. Samandriel probably hurried to squeeze in the angel mating talk just before Castiel jumped on it. Dean shakes his head, allowing a tolerant smile to surface. This is happening. It’s really, really happening. His heart leaps in his chest; he never thought he’d get some apple pie romantic movie ending, but here it is, one of his deepest desires about to be all his. Fighting to keep the emotion off his face, he grabs the ring box and stands, ignoring his waiting brother as he slips on his green cargo jacket and tucks the ring box into the inside pocket. “Let’s go, Sammy,” Dean declares, and heads out to load up the Impala. Sammy smiles, his own heart swelling with pride and endearment. His brother is finally truly happy, finally deeply, madly, irrevocably in love. Sam has never seen him so happy and fulfilled- this is all he’s ever wanted for his brother: for him to be honestly happy and feeling loved, because he is. Sam knows full well what Castiel is up to, and is grinning hugely, because Dean is surely not going to be expecting it. Dean was right in calling Sam a sap- Sam does have those tendencies, occasionally.

Dean folds himself into the seat behind the wheel of his baby, starting the engine as Sam sits shotgun. Nervous excitement has Dean’s leg bouncing up and down as he waits for Sam to buckle and adjusts his mirrors. “Get on with it, jerk,” Sam sasses, turning on the radio. Dean starts backing up, glancing into the rearview mirror briefly to spike up the front of his hair. Sam is full on laughing now, and Dean glares at him playfully.
“Shut up, bitch. I’m gonna need some directions here,” Dean hints and Sam holds up the sticky tab where he wrote down the address. Recognition sparks in Dean’s mind. This is the same place where Castiel and Dean shared their first piece of pie. Damn Cas, hopeless romantic that he is. Dean is already blushing, his heart brimming with affection. All he wants to do is sweep his angel into his arms and kiss him senseless. Dean drives a little over the speed limit, eager to see Cas, and Sam is smiling hugely, his eyes on Dean, just enjoying seeing his brother so happy and lost in love. The brothers arrive within fifteen minutes, pulling up outside the little cafe. Dean cuts the engine, then swings out of the Impala, followed by Sam while he pushes open the doors and strides into the cafe. He’s not sure what to expect, but when he sees Cas sitting by himself at a booth table, obviously waiting for Dean, he breaks into a breathtaking smile that showcases all of his teeth.

“Cas,” Dean greets him, sliding into the seat next to the blue-eyed angel. Castiel smiles at Dean, his eyes brightening.
“Beloved,” Castiel answers, and leans in for Dean to kiss him. Dean captures his lips into a kiss, both of them closing their eyes as they forget about everything about to happen and just revel in the soft, warm rise and dip of the other’s lips. Dean breaks away for air, cheeks flushed, something Castiel will never get tired of seeing. The pink color beneath the dusting of freckles scattered along Dean’s cheekbones never fails to coax a smile from him. “Would you like to get some coffee? I already ordered some of your favorite pie,” Castiel asks Dean, nodding in gratitude at Sam for bringing Dean here. Sam takes a seat across from them, just basking in the perfection of what is coming. Sam can’t wait for Cas to get to the good stuff. Oh man, Dean has no idea what is coming.
“Just the pie is good, thanks Cas,” Dean answers, kissing his forehead and taking his hand beneath the table, lacing their fingers together and resting their entwined hands on his thigh. As if on cue, the waitress shows up, setting down three plates of cherry pie crowned with a mound of whipped cream and topped with a cherry. The three dig in, appreciative moans escaping Dean’s mouth as he takes the first bite, remembering the sugary-tart taste from that day when him and Castiel went on their first official date. He swears the pie is even better now, but it might just be the wonderfulness of the moment and eagerness for what is to come.

They’re finishing up their pie when Sam orders an apple one to go, then winks at Cas. Castiel smiles and nods at Sam, the unspoken message between the two of them confusing Dean, who doesn’t choose to comment. “Well, I’m gonna head on home. See you later, Cas...Dean,” Sam announces. The waitress hands him the boxed pie, and with a quick wave, Sam disappears from sight as he exits the cafe. Castiel turns so he is facing Dean, cupping the hunter’s face in his hands and kissing Dean in an unbearably sweet way. Dean feels like his heart is melting. He can’t believe this perfect creature is all his.
“There’s somewhere I would like to take you, Dean,” Castiel notes, tracing the curve of Dean’s cheekbone with his thumb in a caress. Dean nods.
“Let’s go.” Castiel presses his index and middle finger to Dean’s forehead and takes his hand, and before time can pass, the two find themselves standing in the powder-fine sand of a beach. Dean’s eyes widen in awe as he takes his surroundings in, turning in a circle to survey everything all around him. Castiel is content just to watch Dean’s face, amazement written all over his features. Castiel ropes one arm around Dean’s waist, pulling him in against him, and rests his head on Dean’s shoulder. Dean’s arms automatically wrap around him, but he is still astounded and left without words as the immense beauty of the beach incapacitates him.

“We are at the Sea of Stars, my Beloved. In Vaahdoo Island, in the Maldives. I used to come here to think about you and rest when you were asleep; this is one of my favorite places on earth.” Castiel says softly, running his fingers through Dean’s hair. Dean finally finds words.
“Oh Cas. It’s beautiful.” Castiel luxuriates in the feel of Dean holding him, allowing the hunter to adjust to his new surroundings. It’s evening here, the sun just having sank below the line where calm sea melts into indigo sky. The water gently laps at the shore, glowing an ethereal blue, the surface appearing to be be tossed with diamonds that resemble the luminescent stars dappling the sky above. It looks like the water is swirling with fallen stars that still shine, like orbs of silver light, following the crest of water pushing and pulling them at the shore. The water itself is a crystalline blue, peacefully rippling with the slight breeze. The moon is low in the sky, a sliver of a crescent, but in no way takes away from the breathtaking stars spilling across the sky. Dean has never seen so many of them, nor so bright. He’s mesmerized by the way the water rearranges the water-stars pooling at the waterline, how they move in and out, brilliant and breathtaking.

“Your soul looks like all of these stars, bathed in gold light, beaming and boasting the goodness of your very being, Dean Winchester. When I get the privilege to truly see your soul, this place does not even compare to the dazzling radiance that is you. I love you, Dean. You are the most beautiful, glorious creature- inside and out. I am honored to be able to call you mine.” Castiel whispers, his voice gravelly with affection. Dean is choking up with emotion, struggling to swallow it down so he can actually speak. Dean knows what he needs to do, feels it tugging at his heart, and knows that there is nothing he wants more than Castiel, forever. For as long as time exists, he wants Castiel, and also to belong to Castiel. He is in love, inconceivable, all-consuming love. Dean reaches into his pocket and pulls out the ring box, dropping onto one knee before Castiel, and opens it up, displaying the ring to his angel.
“Castiel. Will you be mine?” Dean asks, his eyes locking with Castiel’s stunning blue ones, ones that rival the sky and sea for their beauty. Castiel’s eyes soften even more, and Dean watches passion and desire, possession and protection, ageless love in all its purity and strength surface in those oceanic eyes.
“Dean Winchester. I have loved you forever. I left my mark on your soul, filled in the damaged pieces of your soul with my Grace. I have watched over you, protected, desired, unfathomably loved you with all I am for so long. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, in the entire universe that could compare to how much I love you. I am yours, Dean. You have always had me. My Grace, my body, my love- is all yours.” Castiel declares, and Dean, hands shaking with emotion, slides the silver band onto Castiel’s ring finger, feeling tears well in his eyes.
“I promise to love, protect, and cherish you forever, Castiel. I am yours and you are mine, and I will go to the ends of the earth to always keep it that way. I will love you forever.” Dean chokes out.

Castiel pulls Dean to his feet, and Dean ducks Castiel back, leaning over him as their lips fit together, like two puzzle pieces. Their kiss is intense, slow-burning with its passion, love so confident in itself it takes its time. Dean kisses Castiel like he is memorizing every shape and line of him, every texture and scent. They kiss each other like soul and Grace wish to escape themselves and become two parts of the same whole. When they finally pull away, the two straighten up, and Castiel holds out his hand, displaying the ring resting in his palm.
“Will you be my mate, Dean Winchester?” Castiel asks, delving deep into the green, hazel-flecked depths of his hunter’s eyes. Dean, thinking back to the talk he had with Samandriel, knows the full intensity and meaning behind such a seemingly simple phrase. He knows what it entails, how it promises monogamy, endless love, a bond so strong neither Heaven nor Hell or anything in between can break it. And Dean knows that is what his entire being yearns for.
“Yes,” Is all Dean can manage, his voice tight from holding back tears. Castiel gently pushes the ring onto Dean’s ring finger, and Dean examines it. It too is silver, but is engraved with Enochian symbols he will ask Cas the meaning of later, when he can actually talk. His heart is about to explode from the fulfillment he feels, so he does the only thing he can: he tilts Castiel’s chin back and kisses him like his life depends on it.

A while later, the two pull back and sit down in the warm sand, Dean reclining back on his elbows and stretching his body out, while Cas curls up against him, his back and head propped up against Dean’s chest. Dean kisses the top of his head amid the dark, disheveled curls, and gazes up at the gorgeous patterns of stars above them, getting lost in euphoria. The weight of the band around his finger is satisfying and sends a possessive thrill through him. This is the equivalent of engagement, Dean believes, for angels. He has a vague idea of what comes after the commitment statements, and he is excited to solidify and strengthen the bond between the lovers. A hunter and his angel; finally able to bond themselves in every way possible for human and angel. Dean can’t wait, and by the blissed out look on Cas’ face, neither can he.

“We can stay here as long as you’d like, My Adored,” Castiel whispers, twisting against Dean so he can place his ear over Dean’s heart and listen to its strong and steady rhythm. Dean kisses a trail down the angel’s neck, thinking to the honeymoon part of the ritual that takes place in heaven that will follow. He’s longed to have sex with Castiel for quite awhile, but in sticking to tradition and not wanting to mess up the angelic mating ritual, he has refrained. Both Dean and Cas can’t wait to finally indulge in each other in that way. Dean is looking forward to every part of the ritual, and life with Cas following. Castiel is his, all his, and he belongs to his angel as well. Dean can’t comprehend how lucky he is. His eyes traverse the pristine beach, where the two are alone, following the jungle of palm trees behind them. This place really is beautiful- he always knew Cas was a romantic, and he always impresses Dean with how far he goes with it. Dean releases a contented sigh. He’s finally getting everything he wants, and it feels so good.

Chapter Text

Castiel and Dean soak up the serenity of the beach for awhile, time seeming to have no meaning as the two of them essentially cuddle on the cooling sand. Dean feels he could watch the light the stars in the sky and glowing orbs in the water play on Cas' face forever, but soon enough, his stomach growls, making his human needs known. Castiel chuckles, sitting up with Dean. "Maybe we should get you some food? Then travel to Heaven," Castiel suggests. Dean nods, kissing him briefly while Cas manifests a spread of food before them: two perfectly cooked steaks on plates, covered in sauteed onions, two tall glasses of burgundy wine, and baked potatoes piled high with butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon. All this has been manifested on top of a blanket Cas also pulled into existence beneath them, the proper cutlery resting beside each plate. Though he doesn't require eating or sleeping, Castiel still often chooses to do so when with Dean, this beach-picnic-dinner an example of that.

Dean cuts into his steak, lifting a piece of perfectly grill-seared meat into his mouth, and makes sure to comment on how ‘friggin’ perfect’ the texture is. Castiel grins, sawing off a piece and trying it for himself. The food is especially good for manifestations of Grace. Cas wills a collection of candles into existence so that they can see their food, the breeze making the little orange flames dance and flicker. The two eat in comfortable silence, soaking up the gorgeous land and seascape surrounding them, and enjoying the genial presence of each other. Dean finishes his food before Castiel, sitting back and patting his slightly distended stomach, looking satisfied and full. He tips back the remainder of his wine, eyeing the glass indulgently. “That was delicious, Cas. You gotta try my cooking sometime,” Dean hints, waggling his eyebrows. Castiel laughs, kissing away the slight crimson color the wine left on Dean’s welcoming lips.
“Can I take you home now, Dean?” Castiel asks, his voice soft as melting honey and saturated with affection. Dean’s sunlight-through-jade eyes engage Castiel’s glacier-in-the-ocean-blue eyes, and he feels warmth flood through him, setting both his heart and eyes on fire with desire of all kinds, Castiel the center of them all.
“Yeah, please do, Angel.”

The hunter and his angel stand up, Cas cleaning up their dinner still spread out on the blankets beneath them with just a thought. The beach is returned to its unmarred, undisturbed state of beauty, and both of them take one last look around to admire it before they head off. Dean assumes to Heaven, but he won’t ask to confirm. He knows Castiel likes to surprise him; he always has. Cas holds out his arms, and Dean leans into them, wrapping his arms around Castiel’s waist and resting his chin on Cas’ shoulder. Cas cups the back of Dean’s neck with a hand and splays the other palm to the small of his back, staring forward as he prepares to let his wings unfurl from his back.

“Close your eyes, Dean. It will be a longer flight than usual. We must pass through all Eight Circles to reach the Ninth, which is where we are headed.” Dean nods, allowing his eyes to slip shut. He feels the wind of displaced matter, along with the resonant thump
of an angel pumping his wings swiftly and taking off for flight. The sensation of lightness and absence of reality is like a stone pitched into Dean’s throat from his stomach, but it disappears instantly once he feels solid ground beneath the soles of his combat boots. He opens his eyes, finding the ethereal blue of Castiel’s just inches away, and gives Cas a tight squeeze before pulling back to take in his first view of Heaven.

They’re standing in the midst of a luscious, massive garden. Dean inhales deeply the syrupy floral scent the air is laden with while his eyes roam over the flourishing plants and fauna. The garden extends for quite awhile, enclosed with lines of huge trees that look archaic but alive as ever, their branches twisting up towards the cerulean cloud stained sky. A small brook runs in a serpentine route through the garden, the quiet sound of water trickling over rocks music to Dean’s ears. Beneath his feet is a carpet of thick, plush green grass that he feels the strange urge to run his fingers through. Swirling designs of exotic, blossoming flowers pattern the grass, colors vivid and unlike Dean has ever seen before. They change color with the different angles at which the light hits the blossoms, which sway softly in the mild breeze.

Rosy buds also drape down from trees, entwined with ropey green vines protruding from the wealth of leaves. Some trees bear fruit Dean has never seen before, tantalizing scents and fuchsia colors making him long to try some. A mosaic stone pathway leads to the brook and then veers off to tour the rest of the garden. Dean’s having some embarrassingly sickeningly sweet fantasies of taking off his shoes and running, just running through the grass, letting the wind play in his hair, running alongside his lover, their hands interlaced. He’s imagining himself picking flowers and giving them to Cas, seeing his blush as Castiel tucks one behind his ear, calling him beautiful and kissing him chastely on his lips.
He’s more entranced than disturbed in finding himself wishing to live out these fantasies. Man, look how love has turned him into the very thing he accuses Sam of being whenever they would have their ‘chick flick moments’. Castiel chuckles, looking fascinated in the expressions playing out across Dean’s face. He takes Dean’s hand in his, and gestures to the past.
“Come, let’s explore,” Castiel suggests, kissing Dean on the cheek.

Dean is suddenly unable to look away from his angel’s face. He looks impossibly more breathtaking here, in Heaven. His skin is the creamy pale shade of the inside of a seashell, his lips red as a result of Dean’s kisses. His eyelashes are a thick black fringe framing eyes that almost radiate ethereal blue, a color like melted sapphire poured over ice. He’s never seen anything as beautiful as Castiel. His dark curls are perfectly tousled by the wind, and a light pink dusts his cheeks. The color of life in them is lovely. The faint stubble along Castiel’s strong jawline only adds to the enticing contrast. When Castiel bares his teeth in a smile, Dean’s heart skips a beat. His angel is awe-inspiring in his allure, and Dean is overcome with the amazement that this majestic, celestial creature is his. “Dean, we talked about this. No staring,” Castiel jokes, referencing Dean from awhile back. Dean shakes his head and laughs. Even Cas’ voice sounds richer, like the afterburn of whiskey, rough and deep, like the ocean churning during a storm.
“Sorry Cas. It’s just….You look so damn good here. Like, even better than on earth, and I didn’t even think that was possible.” Dean grapples with explaining such a concept as Castiel chuckles, sweeping his fingertips along Dean’s jaw and up his temple, carding them through his hair.
“You should see yourself, Dean. Absolutely stunning,” Castiel counters.

The two start walking down the stone path, Dean marveling at the garden and the little animals resembling squirrels and chipmunks scampering up trees or nesting in the foliage. They reach the brooke, and Dean kneels to skim his fingertips over the undulating surface. His fingers dip into the crystal clear water, dragging his fingers over a few polished stones lining the bottom of the stream bed. The water makes his skin feel alive and refreshed. Dean is awed at the intensity and extra layers of beauty that come with being in Heaven. Dean is just about to stand up when a gravelly voice from behind him- not his lover’s- sounds, startling him and making him flinch. On instinct he reaches for his thigh, but there is no dagger strapped to it. He looks up to see a swarthy-skinned man standing in front of Castiel, a few inches taller and quite a bit heavier. Castiel looks more lithe and sinewy and narrow than this bulky angel. “Castiel. The Nephilim are trying to break the barriers we have posted at the East Gate, in the Seventh Circle.”

“We need your assistance in defense, or Creed’s forces might try to make an advancement,” the larger angel explains, ignoring Dean, who has risen into a standing position. Castiel stiffens beside Dean, a look of concentration on his face. Dean recognizes it as the face of a leader making decisions with only a moment’s notice.
“Very well, Micah. I will be there shortly. Please alert the others I am on my way,” Castiel says, then nods dismissively. The larger angel- apparently Micah- appears to be about to leave, but then his dark eyes settle on Dean. Castiel adjusts his position so he is standing in front of Dean, his posture, though slight, speaks volumes of protection and possessiveness. With a muted brushing sound, a pair of wings has sprouted from Micah’s back, also a very dark brown color that matches his eyes for tone. They’re huge, an eagle-like curve to them, with a variety of feathers of shapes and sizes. He crouches in preparation of flight.
“Is this your charge?” Micah inquires, his eyes sparking with interest. Dean can’t help but jut his chin up defiantly. He doesn’t like the way Micah is sizing him up, and feels the urge to not look so insignificant in comparison to the angel’s mighty wings.

“The Righteous Man is most importantly my mate, Lieutenant. Now, I have given you orders to return to the East Gate. Orders.” Castiel over-enunciates the last word, a hint of venom dripping from the last syllable. In correspondence, Castiel’s own wings unfold from his back, and they are much, much more impressive. Castiel’s wings are at least three times larger than Micah’s, a raven black with deep blue undertones, the graceful arch and curvature of them looking both beautiful and lethal. He arches them, the tips extended to the sky, outer feathers almost bristled, a loud snap sounding as he spreads them out to display their full size. He then proceeds to curl them slightly around Dean, creating a partial shield between the larger angel and hunter. Micah drops onto one knee before Castiel, his wings flattening into a submissive, surrendering position, one of which you are to assume when addressed by your superior.

“Of course, Castiel.” Micah says, and then vanishes with the sound of rustling feathers. Castiel lowers his wings, then turns around to face Dean and draws them behind his back. His eyes have lost the hard, authoritative stare he has when talking to Micah, and he draws Dean forward to gaze deeply into his eyes.
“I am sorry, Dean. Micah would not have dared harm you, despite his demeanor. He is second in command of my garrison, and in the middle of a fight. He was curious as to who you were and probably why you were here, but he has no right to question his superior like that or stray from the tasks at hand in anyway.” Castiel explains. Dean nods, voicing the next question he has.
“Why are your wings so...so much bigger?” Dean asks, unable to keep his eyes off the lethal grace Cas’ wings represent.
“I am a seraph, second to only archangels. Therefore the wings of the seraphim are second in size to that of archangels, and all other types of angels below us will have smaller wings. Not only that, but functionality also depends on angel type. As you might have guessed, it too increases with angel rank.” Dean nods in awe. Castiel is so humble and gentle; Dean would never have guessed he could be the powerful commander of a garrison of angel warriors. He couldn't have pictured Castiel sounding so in charge and all mighty, his wings as intimidating as they are exquisite. Dean isn’t going to lie: the dominant Castiel he sees now is just as great as him on earth. Another side of Dean’s lover that he can cherish in different ways.

Castiel sighs, looking disappointed. His wings shift restlessly behind him, appearing flighty with tension and anticipation. “I must go, Dean, but I swear I will only be gone long enough to carry out my duty. I should be back in no time, and I am so, so sorry for this interruption.” Castiel steps forward and kisses Dean. “I will leave you in the care of Daniel for the short time while I am gone. He will watch over you.” Castiel looks disgusted with himself for having to leave his hunter in the hands of another angel, even if it is for a brief amount of time. He’s incredibly reluctant to leave Dean, but tries not to show it for Dean’s benefit.
“Hey, it’s cool, Cas. Don’t get your feathers in a twist. I’ll just hang here and eat some of that fruit over there and pretend it’s a pie or something,” Dean says, offering a disarming smile. Castiel smiles back, but still looks hesitant to go. He summons Daniel, who appears a little ways down the trail, tucking his wings away as Castiel leans in to give Dean a goodbye kiss. Hell, even kissing Cas here is better than on earth; the taste, the feel, the scent- just everything is so much more vivid, intense. “Bye, Cas! Good luck,” Dean wishes as Castiel spreads his wings.
“Goodbye, my Beloved. I will return soon,” Castiel disappears with that, and Dean is left alone with Daniel.

“Hey, so, is that fruit edible?” Dean asks, the corner of his mouth quirking up in a smile.

Chapter Text

Castiel has a distinct feeling of unease when he flies off, leaving his precious Dean behind. He can’t pinpoint why when he runs over all the possibilities. Heaven, despite being under minor attack from the Nephilim, is the safest place he can think of. There are no beings here who can hurt Dean besides his brothers and sisters, who wouldn’t dare do such a thing, for a variety of reasons. Dean's is soul is very recognizable as that of the Righteous Man, so he is somewhat respected among the lower ranks of angels in Heaven at least.

Not only that, but Castiel is one of the best commanders of Heaven; one of the most noble, valiant and revered seraphim there are. Knowing Dean belongs to Castiel, that Castiel has taken him as his mate, well, any angel would have to be suicidal to even touch a hair on Dean’s head. Even though Castiel has not officiated the mating and bonding ritual yet, (that is why they are in Heaven in the first place) all the angels should be able to tell what Castiel has claimed as his. Dean already bears one mark of Cas on his shoulder, the pink scarred tissue of his handprint when he raised Dean from Hell. Castiel can be quite vengeful when he has desire to be. He knows that nothing would incite that violent nature in him like someone trying to harm or take what is his. So why is Cas feeling a dark sense of foreboding leaving Dean behind?
It would be ridiculous to take Dean with him, to the only place where danger actually might occur, so why does Castiel feel like he should’ve? Dean is under the watch of Daniel, a member of Cas’ garrison, who is still recovering from a major injury from the last attack, which is why Castiel had chosen to let him sit this defensive attack out and watch over Castiel’s mate. Cas feels a rush of warmth blossom in his chest at the title he now has the privilege to call the green-eyed hunter. Mate. Dean is all his for all eternity, he gets to cherish and protect and love Dean until the ends of time. He realizes he’s grinning stupidly, feelings of euphoria making him want to climb every mountain and proclaim the declaration that Dean is his and he is Dean’s. He wants all of Heaven to bask in the fulfillment Castiel has in being Dean’s mate, he wants the air to ring with declarations of his love for the hunter.

There is nothing in the whole universe Castiel would rather have, and he is still triumphant with overpowering joy that he gets to be Dean’s mate. Dean, the most beautifully broken, selfless, loving, chivalrous man Castiel has ever known to exist, is his Dean. A possessive thrill shoots through Castiel, and his whole being ache to love and keep Dean safe with all he has. It is his sole purpose in life, and he intends to love Dean with all he has and more. Getting back on track to worrying about Dean, Cas decides nothing can go wrong, and tries to placate himself with thoughts of ‘I’ll be back soon’ and ‘everything is fine’. It does little to settle the festering concern in Cas’ gut.

Castiel arrives at the East Gate, where his brothers and sisters are hidden behind one of the temporary defensive walls built to offer better protection from Nephilim attacks. The situation with them came out of nowhere, but is not nearly as dire as some of the ones they’ve had to face in the past. According to Castiel’s understanding of the plight, the Nephilim are trying to invade Heaven in order to overthrow the rule of the high ranking archangels, who had originally cast them out of Heaven for good, stating their kind may never return. They are an evil race, born of fallen angels and humans, and are forbidden to taint the goodness of Heaven with their unholy beings. An army of them has been assembled over the decades, and they have evidently chosen now to try and exact their revenge on the archangels for essentially kicking them out. Though the army is not sizable, and also lacks tactic and technology, the angels must put some effort into defending Heaven from them.

As soon as Castiel lands, angels cluster around him, seeking directives and informing Castiel of what is going on. Castiel goes into commander mode, dealing out orders and assessing what areas need more protection, analyzing the enemy for weakness in their own defenses and utilizing them for an attack. His wings change, bringing out his war plumage, which is infinitely more intimidating and useful for what he intends to do next than his normal wings are. They transform into six wings, three on each side, and grow in size. The structure alters to accommodate the weight of steel-esque feathers, the tips of which are sharp as the diamond blade so many of his comrades wield. When flattened, these battle feathers act as a bulletproof shield, only capable of being injured through the use of an angel blade. They are a deep, inky black color. With all the orders given out, all that is left is for Castiel to assist in fighting himself. He flexes his wings, crouching, muscles coiled to spring, and then takes off to join in the battle.

 

Dean is both bored and fascinated, waiting in the garden for Castiel to come back. He tries not to let the disappointment at the interruption of Nephilim war get to him, and instead focus on what it feels like to be basking in the sun, in one of Heaven’s gardens. Daniel is annoying him though. He just sits cross legged in the grass, his gaze trained intently on Dean. He feels the stare burn into his back, and is having trouble ignoring it. Dean just wants to explore in peace, without the ever present eyes of the angel following his every move. He’s not going to just dismiss the fact he wishes Cas was here right now, so the lovers could be enjoying their first day in Heaven together. Dean sighs, climbing up a collection of boulders so he can reach the low-hanging fruit on one of the more sweet-smelling trees. He plucks a fist-sized silver fruit from a clump of leaves, smirking at its almost heart shape, and holds it up to his mouth, then takes a bite.

Cool, sugary juice and a luscious chunk of fruit fill his mouth, and he closes his eyes and groans at the overwhelming deliciousness of it. He’d never think of himself as one to eat fruit, but here he is, more than willing to eat this one food for the rest of his life. It is easily the best thing he has ever tasted, the flavor syrupy sweet and refreshing on whole new levels than what he has experienced on earth. He sinks his teeth into it again, eating the fruit way to fast. Dean reaches up to grab another, when he feels an unexpected hand slam into his spine, hitting his back right between his shoulder blades. “Shit!” Dean yells, losing his footing on the mist-slick rocks and stumbling back, feet tangling and sending him toppling down over the boulders. He grunts as points of pain register on his ribcage and the back of his head, causing black fuzz to eat up the edges of his vision. With a hollow thud, his body hits the ground, the impact of the fall beating the air from his lungs, causing Dean to gasp for breath.
He’s bruised up in some places and he’s pretty sure the hit to the back of his head will give him a shitty headache later, but otherwise, Dean’s fine. He’s been thrown through plenty walls during hunts; this is nothing compared to picking yourself up with broken ribs and brushing the shards of glass out of your flesh. As soon as Dean regains his breath, he pushes himself onto his hands and knees, then straightens up into a standing position, shaking his head as if in attempt to dislodge any after effects the fall might’ve had on him. Daniel is standing calmly right in front of him, arms crossed over his chest. He’s shorter than Dean, though not by much, but is about the same in build and body structure. He looks passive as Dean sputters indignantly, wiping crushed petals from off his jeans. “What the hell was that?” Dean demands, glaring accusingly at the angel.

The angel curls his lip, revealing the top row of his teeth in a snarl. “You are going to kneel down on the ground with your hands where I can see them, and then you’re going to shut the fuck up and do exactly as I tell you,” Daniel growls. Dean’s eyes widen in shock, but as always, he quickly adapts to the situation.
“Who the fuck do you think you are dealing with? I will have your angel ass skewered on an angel blade in ten seconds, no time,” Dean threatens, becoming painfully conscious of his lack of weaponry and of the erratic throbbing hammering at the back of his head. Daniel barks out a laugh, though his eyes are tight and full of bitterness.
“I am no angel, you pitiful human. I am Nephilim, and I am going to use you to let my people in through the gates of Heaven,” he declares, eyes flashing. Dean’s taken aback, and between his shock and still being dizzy from the fall, Daniel picks him up by the collar of his shirt and throws him against the rocks. Dean’s head bashes into them and he falls in a limp heap to the ground, unmoving. The hit was so hard black washes out his vision, stunning him. He can’t even see Daniel as he grabs Dean’s wrists and chains them together, then ties the chain around something Dean can’t see, but he knows it is restricting him from moving even if he could.

When Dean finally pulls into a more stable state of consciousness, Daniel is crouching before him, his eyes focused on Dean’s. Dean spits out a thick mouthful of blood, then swallows the revolting remnants clotting his throat so he can speak. “I’m gonna kill you, you sonovabitch,” Dean works to sound threatening, but his voice sounds more feeble than he’d like it to. Daniel scoffs.
“Assuming you have some way to communicate with Castiel, I want you to tell him that the leader of the Nephilim army they are fighting right now has the Righteous Man and will rip his soul from his body and decimate this Circle of Heaven if he does not contend with my orders.” Daniel says. Dean just waits, disoriented and trying to gather his wits. Daniel continues.
“I have possessed the body of this angel, and will also not hesitate to dispose of it once I am through using it. If Castiel believes I am leading him on, he is wrong. I have discovered several rituals straight from the Pit of Hell that I am going to use and have used already. One allows me to possess angels, the other allows me to take a human’s soul from their body and release it in its raw form.” Daniel says, fixing a burning stare on Dean. “Tell your angel that, Righteous Man.”

If the Nephil in Daniel’s body is telling the truth, then shit is about to get very serious. Dean feels a lump in his throat; he knows the situation has just become life-or-death, and many more lives hang in the balance depending on what could happen next. All this information is new to him; he had no idea rituals like this existed. The Nephilim have obviously carefully calculated everything. This is a well thought-out plan, with seemingly no holes. Well, as a hunter, Dean knows it is his job to find a hole and then use it to gank the sonovabitch. Anger flares through him as he wrestles with his thoughts, trying to get them in order and think of a way out of this. He’s unable to physically fight back- the chains around him restrict him from breaking free and strangling the Nephil. Dean didn’t know his soul is powerful enough to blow apart a Circle of Heaven. He supposes it makes sense, since he is the Righteous Man.

The Nephil is getting impatient, pulling a huge blade from the inside of his suit jacket and brandishing it clearly for Dean to see. The blade emanates a sickly dark green light that has Dean’s nerves on end. “Tell the seraph I am beginning the soul-removing ritual right now. Tell him to hurry the hell up, because I am not waiting for him to try and think of a way to save everyone.” The Nephil says, and presses the tip of the blade against the back of Dean’s neck.
“Okay, let me focus or I can’t do shit,” Dean snaps, glaring daggers. The Nephil over estimated the telepathic bond between hunter and angel; Dean is unable to just talk to him via a connection of their minds, soul and Grace. Well, not yet anyway, if that is something he will be able to do later as Castiel’s mate. Still, Dean pretends to be reaching out to Cas and relaying the message. A plan suddenly comes into Dean’s mind: maybe there is something he can do to derail the fulfillment of the Nephil leader’s plans. Dean fixes him with a steady gaze, keeping on his best poker face. Hell, Dean has had a lot of practice with lying. Pulling off this one shouldn’t be a problem.

“He wants to know what you mean by going along with what you want.” Dean says, internally crossing his fingers that this conversation leads to the right place. It’s his only hope.

Chapter Text

The attack is petering out exceptionally fast with Castiel on the war front. The Nephilim are being cut fast, having no chance against Castiel’s well-trained garrison. They fight together like a well-oiled machine, all different parts working in perfect harmony together for a common purpose. Cas’ garrison is so well trained, each slice of angel blade is clean, calculated and deadly accurate. The cunning skills and technique, combined with incredible strength and the use of Grace and wings, makes for viciously, perfectly lethal angel warriors. Castiel is proud of his garrison, takes pride in their effortless teamwork and nobility. He himself kills Nephilim quick and painlessly, fighting like the valiant, revered seraph commander he is.

His wings fold and duck and bend to shield him from attacks and cut through the flesh of his enemies. His hands spin and thrust and swing the angel blade so deftly he never misses, not even once. Castiel is a creature of unmatched devastating grace in everything he does, whether it be fighting, flying, or kissing Dean. His lean, muscular body is fit as a soldier fresh out of boot camp, muscles flexing and bunching as he dives through the air and plunges his angel blade through a Nephilim heart. If not for his Grace keeping him clean and his clothes intact, he’d be drenched in Nephilim blood. He has not received any injuries- his defense is flawless. Castiel spins on his heels, pulling his arm back, ready to cleave through the chest of another onrushing Nephil, when he feels a distinct sort of pain tug at the bond he has with Dean. Castiel freezes, eyes going wide as he zeroes in on that bond, giving it his full attention after killing the Nephil.

Dean isn’t nearly as aware of the bond as Castiel is, because the bond is forged mostly through angelic Grace, at least before the mating ritual has taken place. The bond ties them together, though it is feeble and lacks the nourishment a mating ritual (something that indicates true love and monogamy, fulfillment from finding the person created for you) would be able to enrich it with. Castiel feels a deep ache of longing for the bond to grow to its fullest potential. So close. He is so close to getting everything he’s ever wanted, or more simply put, Dean. Castiel focuses on the bond, furrowing his eyebrows as he searches for the signal relaying whatever message Dean was unconsciously sending, but it isn’t there. Right as Cas is mulling over the possibilities of what could be going on, the bond suddenly writhes and shrieks with pain that makes Castiel’s pupils blow wide. Dean is in trouble. Dean is in pain. His Dean is hurting.

Dean needs Castiel.

That’s all Castiel needs to feel. Just a split second of distress from Dean’s side of the bond, and he’s flying, faster than he’s ever flown before.

 

“Fuck!” Dean yells through gritted teeth as the Nephil traces the blade around Dean’s neck, the tip of the blade biting into his skin as the Nephil draws it down over Dean’s collarbone and straight over his left pectoral muscle. He thrashes and struggles against the chains binding him to no avail, clenching his jaw and spitting profanity at an impervious Nephilim leader. The Nephil just smirks slightly, appearing concentrative and determined as he settles the blade over Dean’s heart. Dean feels his heart slamming an unsteady rhythm against his ribs, his breathing too shallow and fast, chest heaving to keep up with the frantic pace at which his lungs draw in air.
“One more chance, Righteous Man. Tell Castiel he has five seconds. No more. He knows my demands. Open the Gates of Heaven and let my people in, or have your soul ripped out and used to blow through this Circle of Heaven, killing you and all his other angel friends. I’m counting. Five, four-”
“If you fucking touch me I’m going to gut you and skip rope with your entrails, you sonovabitch!” Dean threatens, his voice loud and cutting. The Nephil leader raises an eyebrow mockingly.
“You are in no position to make threats.” He states simply, and then slowly, carefully, begins to carve an unknown sigil into the flesh right over Dean’s heart.

The pain is unlike anything Dean has ever experienced before. The lacerating sensation coming from the knife cutting into his skin is unearthly. If he were to try and describe it, he’d say it felt like having acid poured into a bone-deep burn, then raked over with the sharpest razor blades known to man. It both burns and cuts, two kinds of pain in one, and his chest is emanating the green light from the blade. Something deep and visceral inside of him bucks in pain that seems to translate to something greater, over something Dean was only vaguely aware of but can now feel in startling clarity. His vision is the green glow, his mind is full of no thoughts, just the sickly green glow, and it seems to be enveloping him. He imagines it working its way into him, breaking him open to expose the most vulnerable parts of his essence, given access to his soul.

Dean blacks out fighting the all-consuming light vying to wrench his soul out of him.

 

Castiel is standing in the garden he had left Dean with Daniel in within seconds of leaving the war front. He’s instantly by Dean’s side, taking in his broken mate. Dean is chained to a rock formation by his wrists, ankles, and waist, and is horribly mutilated. Blood mats the hair at the back of his head, but that is nothing compared to the crimson stream gushing from the demonic symbol that has been engraved into his chest. Castiel’s heart feels like it is simultaneously breaking for his hunter and igniting with the righteous, celestial fury that can only be acquired from millennia of waiting for Dean, finally having him, only to have some insignificant, worthless, disgusting excuse for a being try and take him away. Castiel feels flames behind his eyes and the entire world on fire within his very core. Nothing will ever take Dean away from him, and he will completely obliterate anything that dare try.

Castiel kneels beside Dean, who is unconscious from blood loss, pain, and most likely his body shutting down in a futile defense mechanism against the ritual trying to gut him of his soul. Castiel is softhearted and forcing down tears because of it. How could he have let this happen to Dean? Pushing those thoughts out of the way to focus on the task at hand, Castiel cups Dean’s face in his hands and kisses him, tilting his chin back so his jaw falls open. This is the most direct way for Castiel’s Grace to enter Dean’s body and seek out his soul, which must be under attack. He feels his Grace pass through Dean’s lips and down his throat, crossing the plane into that of the celestial, and encircles Dean’s soul with his Grace, creating a barrier between it and the prying green of a ritual of demonic origin.

The bond between hunter and angel is alight with connection; Castiel feels Dean’s soul rejoice at having even this small union of Grace and soul. Castiel’s Grace soothes it, as if reassuring it and demonstrating how it will protect Dean’s soul. Dean’s soul eagerly ruts against Cas’ Grace, wanting more, wanting to entwine the two, and Castiel feels sick having to deny it. Not now, he tries to tell it, worry not, the opportunity is coming soon, he comforts. Cas decimates all the green light of the ritual from Dean’s body entirely without effort. Cas comes back to his self on the physical plane, and smoothes his hands over Dean’s skull and sides, healing the wounds and bruised ribs. He rests his hand flat over Dean’s heart, his palm pressed to the sigil that is no longer glowing green, and heals the cuts until all that remains is flawlessly smooth, lightly freckled skin.

With a thought, Castiel breaks the chains binding Dean and wills them away, and Dean starts to come to groggily, his body and mind and soul coming together once again into consciousness. Cas exhales a sigh of relief, and is about to pull Dean into his arms, when two hands grab the lapels of his trenchcoat and whip him around to face their owner. Castiel jerks to his feet and finds himself staring into the eyes of Daniel, only his Grace is repelled by the foreign force that has filled his brother and cast aside Daniel’s Grace. This is not Daniel; no. This is the Nephilim leader, who brutalized Dean and tried to take his soul. White, blinding, instantaneous rage ignites Castiel’s bones, and his eyes narrow as he manifests his angel blade into his hand. He wishes he could take his time in making the Nephil die a slow, agonizing death, over and over again, but he has Dean to attend to, and frankly, every cell of Castiel’s being is yearning to see the Nephilim leader sprawled out dead at his feet.

“I knew you’d come eventually, Castiel. Have you opened the Gates for me yet? Or must I kill you and continue with my ritual?” The Nephil asks, arrogant and snarky, hollow eyes flashing. Castiel feels like he has never understood what malevolence and murder felt like until now, with it surging through his veins, making his hands twitch with the urge to kill. He raises his hands with the angel blade and brings it down with all his force to bear. Unexpectedly, Castiel finds himself frozen, stuck with his blade halfway to the Nephil’s heart, his entire body unable to move even a fraction of an inch. His vessel has been rendered immobile- but how?

The Nephil sports a shit-eating grin as he gestures to a cut in his hand, which is dripping blood into the ground, right onto a series of Enochian symbols and other foreign sigils that have been gouged into the dirt. “That’s right, Castiel. I was prepared for you to come find me. Which is why I’ve made things in perfect order to kill you. You’re unable to move, and I-” The Nephilim leader pauses as he grabs the angel blade from out of Castiel’s frozen hand- “have exactly what I need to kill you. Tell me how to open the Gates and I will let your Righteous Man live, otherwise, I will just kill you and finish the ritual myself.” The Nephilim leader raises the angel blade back over his shoulder, ready to drive it into Castiel’s heart.

“Or you can go fuck yourself in Hell.” Comes Dean’s voice from behind the Nephil at the same time he tears the angel blade out of the Nephil’s grasp, then thrusts the blade straight through the Nephilim leader’s heart.

Chapter Text

The Nephil’s eyes widen in shock and horror as the angel blade cleaves through his heart, the tip of the blade emerging from out of his thin back. His knees give out and he collapses, and Dean grunts as he plants a foot on the Nephil’s sternum and draws the blade out, breathing heavily. Castiel knows when the Nephilim leader dies, because it’s at that moment he can move again, whatever mysterious force that was keeping him forcibly motionless gone. Dean’s swaying on his feet, staring down out the Nephil with a look of disgust. He presses his hand over his heart, feeling his healed chest, and glares down at the Nephil. “When you get to Hell, say hi to Adam for me.” Dean rasps, then looks up at Castiel. Castiel’s heart squeezes with emotion.
“Dean,” he breathes, his voice rough and gravelly with sentimentality. Dean takes a few steps forward and then collapses against Castiel’s chest, a lump in his throat. Both sets of their arms wind tightly around each other, as if they need physical reassurance of the other being okay, alive, safe. Castiel’s body, rigid with tension, relaxes as Dean relaxes, the two of them finally dropping their guard in the other’s embrace. For a long moment they just stand there in each other’s arms, realizing how close they came to losing the other, but here they are, just reveling in the other with renewed passion.

“Cas,” Dean replies, and twists his head to lock Castiel’s lips with his. Castiel moves his lips back up to kiss Dean tenderly, his lips gentle yet passionate even in a purely loving kiss like this one. A loud sigh escapes through Dean’s lips as the euphoria takes over, and Dean opens his eyes to see him, this angel who he loves and who loves him. Castiel’s eyes are open too, and he’s looking at Dean like nothing in the universe is worth looking at but him. Castiel’s eyes are alluringly azure, conveying how completely lost in love he is. The kiss naturally breaks for them to breathe, and Cas cups the back of Dean’s head in his palm, his thumb brushing back and forth over Dean’s cheekbone in an affectionate caress. Dean kisses the top of his head right where Dean’s cheek rests against it, and in response, Cas’ arms tighten even more possessively around him. “I love you, Dean.” He murmurs, his cool breath washing over Dean’s skin.
“Love you too, Cas,” Dean whispers back breathily. Cas reaches up and plants a kiss on the underside of Dean’s jaw, cradling his face adoringly with both hands.
“Let me take you home.”

Castiel flies Dean to the Tenth Circle of Heaven, and seconds later after they take off, Dean finds himself standing at the base of a cliff, looking up. It’s like a rainforest, but somewhere more lush and tropical and overwhelmingly, surreally beautiful. It’s not overly humid and buggy, and Dean’s eyes are torn away from the abundance of flora and vegetation spilling from trees, growing along the ground, in canopies overhead, just everywhere, because of what he sees built amid all of it. He sees a three story house that appears built of the same rich, mahogany-red wood the tree trunks are made of on the roof, the rest if it painted a dark green that matches a some of the leaves on the trees. It’s not huge, but it is tall. It looks like it just somehow grew there, in perfect harmony with the plants and trees growing near and around it, as if nature had intended it to be there right from the beginning. This is Heaven- Dean supposes that is in fact what happened.
“How about a closer look, my Beloved?” Castiel suggests, smiling that signature crooked half smile of his that somehow brings out the ethereal blue of his eyes even more. Dean nods, speechless, and before he can even blink, is standing on the porch of it. There’s no discernable way for anyone who can’t fly to get up and down the jungly ridge it is built on, but Dean isn’t worried. The porch is constructed of dark brown stones and more of that ruddy wood, a half wrap-around porch that has multiple tiers to it, a short path of steps leading up the middle of them to the door. Big white Chinese-style paper lanterns hang from the porch roofing, little gold lights emitting warm light from inside. The three tiers overflow with exotic flowers and ferns, which cascade down over the stones in some places. The colors of the flowers are vibrant and the scent of them is intoxicating; it’s like a more untouched version of the garden they were in earlier. Dean climbs up the steps, eager to see what is inside, his hand entwined with Cas’, and Castiel smiles warmly at him as he steps forward and opens the front door.

“Welcome to our home, Dean,” Castiel says affectionately, and leads him inside by his hand. They step into the living room, and Cas shuts the door behind them, allowing Dean to take the interior of the house in. Cas is the slightest bit nervous about what Dean will think of it; since Dean never really has a had a house of his own, Cas tried his best to design one he thought Dean would like as well as himself. Dean’s jaw falls open as he turns in a slow circle, absorbing the livingroom and its fittings. The floor is made of the same wood the roof is made of, and the ceiling is high and vaulted, wooden support beams supporting a black circular chandelier filled with white candles as the source of light. The chandelier is suspended over a massive couch that stretches fifteen feet across, the back of it facing the door, and two other couches as part of it extend on the left and right sides, probably ten feet each. They’re made of a light gray material.

Framed by the couches is an ornate crystal coffee table, set with a few more white candles and a potted orchid-type flower. The expansive couch faces a wall painted the same forest green as the outside of the house, and a big fireplace is at the center bottom of it. Several logs rest unlit inside, and a shelf above it holds a few ancient-looking books and more potted exotic plants. Mounted above the shelf is a 70-inch plasma flat screen TV. Cas smiles at Dean’s excited smile when he sees it. “I added a few earthly fittings into this house to make it feel more like home for you. A TV seemed like something you would appreciate,” Castiel explains, and Dean twists around to give him a lingering kiss in reply.

Dean spends a moment looking through one wall which is entirely made of glass, gazing out at the spectacular view of more gorgeous rainforest. He can see for miles from up here, the sheer beauty of it taking his breath away. Cas leads Dean into the kitchen, which is also vast and open, equipped with high-tech and modern looking appliances, all in chrome. The counters are black granite threaded with silver flecks; Dean can’t help but run his hands over the counters, marvelling at the feel. There’s a fully equipped mini bar in one corner as well.

An island counter is in the center of the kitchen along with three black bar stools behind it, a vase of freshly picked flowers at the center. Dean thinks the kitchen is masculine and classy- he really likes the black and silver accents. He goes to the fridge and opens it, finding it stocked with expensive cuts of steak, beer, pies of all kinds, among many other things. The freezer has frozen hamburger patties in it and bags of fries, ice cream, and much more. It’s fully stocked with all of Dean’s favorite foods. The fact Cas paid attention even to these small details makes a warm fluttering sensation spread through him. He again pulls Cas in for a deep kiss, feeling the angel return it with full passion. Their lips dip and rise with a new fervency and freedom, as if aware that they can finally have all of the other, forever.

“Would you like to see the rest?” Cas asks as Dean pulls back for breath.
“Is that even a question?” Dean responds playfully, making Cas chuckle. Dean has never seen his angel look more carefree and happy, easy going but excited to show Dean their new home. He loves it. He wants to do everything to keep that cheerful, joyous smile on Cas’ face. Castiel and Dean walk back out to the living room and head up a spiral staircase constructed of more red wood and glass sides. Once they reach the second level, Cas takes Dean on a tour of the slightly smaller floor. A hallway leads to the left and right, and they go left force. Cas opens the first door, which leads to a bathroom. Just like the kitchen, the appliances, such as the shower and sink, towel rack and bath faucets are all chrome. The countertops are also black granite with silver. It’s a big bathroom, clean and nice. They continue on, opening up the door at the end of the hallway.

It leads to a half indoor-half outdoor room, the floors wooden, matching the wooden frames of the chairs and couches and wooden-framed crystal coffee tables. White pillows cushions complete the couches and chairs. The open wall shows off another grand view of the tropical forest, and if Dean wanted, he could lean over the wood-and glass railing to pick a piece of fruit off a nearby tree. He’s astounded by the view again, loves how the sunlight penetrates through the canopy the trees create and lights up the room. He can imagine sitting out here with Cas in the mornings, the two of them tucked up against one another on the couch, drinking coffee and watching the birds flit from tree to tree. He can’t wait to come out here and just relax with his angel, drinking in the beauty of Heaven.

Castiel leads him back inside and down to the hall on the right of the staircase. Two doors lead to a linen closet, and miniature library. The library is small but cozy, a floor-to ceiling window sports a huge window seat with white cushions and fluffy white blankets to complete it. They head out to the room at the end of the hallway, and Cas looks really eager to show Dean this one. He opens the door and finds himself in another half inside half outside room, only this one has a huge wooden-floored balcony that connects into a little loft built into the side of a another cliff, so you could just walk over to the explore what’s on the other cliff without having to go far. The indoor part of the room has two white loveseats and a small closet holding tons of fluffy white towels. Flowers grow down wooden trellises on the left and right of the balcony-porch, leaving the far side open to explore the forest of the neighboring cliff. built into the ground on the outside part of the room is a big, circular hot tub with stones lining the edges. It looks as if it grew from the ground, it belongs so much.

Twinkly golden lights have been strung overhead from the tops of the trellises, and Dean can’t wait to see what this place looks like at night. He wishes it was already evening, so him and Cas could sit in the hot tub together and look up at the starry sky. “There’s one more room, Dean. I-I want to show you our nest.” Castiel declares.
“Let’s go,” Dean says, excited to see it. He knows this nest is the most intimate space an angel and his mate share, so Cas must’ve spent tons of time in making it perfect for the two of them. They head inside back to the staircase and follow the rest of it up to the last floor. The staircase stops at a door, not leading to a hall or anything.
“This floor is the smallest. It’s basically just a very big loft,” Cas explains, anticipation written all over his features. “After you, My Adored,” Cas encourages, and Dean reaches forward to open the door to their nest, to see what his angel has built for them.

The first thing that catches Dean’s attention is the California King bed dominating most of the room. It is mounted on a wooden bed frame, the bed itself has fluffy white comforters from where Dean can see, and lots of white pillows stacked against the headboard. A canopy of sheer white gauzy material hangs down, draping over the edges of the bed and surrounding it from a canopy fastened to the loft-style ceiling, creating a sort of luxuriously private space inside. That’s their nest. Castiel guides Dean over to the bed, the two of them ducking under the flowing white material and rolling onto the bed. Dean was correct in assuming there are comforters and pillows, but there is even more now that he’s inside their little intimate fortress. A few of Dean’s shirts are draped over the head board and strewn over the neatly made comforters, and there are a few thick, large black feathers as well. It smells of Cas, like rain and mint and sky.

Dean lays down on the bed, which feels like the softest, most lavish, warm, and purely comfortable thing in the entire universe. The mattress seems to cradle his weary bones, the pillows down and plush under his head. He draws a hand underneath the thick comforters to feel the sheets, which are no doubt satin or silk. He marvels at the luscious, smooth texture of it and releases a sigh of relaxation as his back sinks into the mattress. He had no idea how exhausted he was until he laid down. Castiel lays beside him, his eyes traversing every feature on Dean’s face. He loves the look in Dean’s jade-colored eyes, loves how they gleam with contentment. Cas touches his lips to Dean’s temple, drawing them down and along his sharp jawline, caressing the stubbly skin there. He plants kisses to the sensitive underside of Dean’s jaw and then trails more light ones down his neck. Cas brushes his lips gently over Dean’s collarbones, then stops to press a lingering kiss to the space right between them.

When he looks up, Dean’s eyes are rolled slightly back into his head, his lips parted, looking blissed out. Every one of his muscles has relaxed underneath his angel’s touch. Cas brings his mouth up to Dean’s, kissing Dean back when Dean parts his lover’s lips with his own. “Do you like it?” Castiel mouths against Dean’s full lips, their eyes, blue and green fire, settled on the other. His voice is soft and dreamy, and Dean wants to stay right here, in this moment, forever. He never wants to leave this nest Castiel has built for them, wants to stay underneath the comforters, his body entwined with his angel’s, wants to sleep and kiss and make love and just bask in Cas’ presence, forever.
“I love it, Cas,” Dean replies, his voice husky with meaning. Castiel beams at him, his eyes alight, jubilant. They lay there in appreciative silence for awhile, before Cas rolls over onto his hands and knees, smiling down at Dean, his eyes crinkling at the corners, so very blue against the white of their nest.

“Let’s get you cleaned up, Dean. Before we start the mating ritual, my mate needs to be clean and fed. I’m going to take care of you, Dean. You’ve spent your whole life always watching out for everyone else, always taking care of them. I’m here to take care of you, my Beloved. I will be the best a dominant can be for you, I promise you that. You’re all I’ve ever wanted and will ever want, and I intend to give everything I have and am to you. I’m going to start with an excessive amount of care and affection. Will you let me take care of you, Dean?” Castiel asks, his crystalline ice blue eyes passionate and radiating his love for his hunter. Dean’s heart is about to explode; he’s never really been taken care of before, isn’t sure exactly what this will look like, but is more than willing to give up any defenses or walls he had for Cas, and let the angel cosset him. He trusts only Castiel to know exactly what he needs and give it to him.

Dean agrees, and him and Castiel get out of their nest and pad through the rest of their expansive room, Dean looking around to see what else he missed when he was too busy being enraptured by the nest itself. The room is big, like a glorified loft. On one side it opens up to another balcony overlooking the rainforest, this one complete with a jacuzzi right on the edge. A hammock is strung up between two trees that tower up from the ground, the tops just above the roof of the house. A collection of pillows rest inside the hammock, a few folded blankets at the foot of it. The view is even more breathtaking than all of the others; Dean can see rivers, gardens, buildings, beaches- just everything in the distance. He feels like he’s high up among the canopies of the trees, and it is kind of wonderful.

Cas shows him their walk in closet, with rows of flannels on hangers, to ties, suits, jackets, shorts, swim trunks, jeans, pajamas...just everything. Dressers contain socks, belts, and boxers. Dress shoes and combat boots of all kinds are lined up along the walls. Dean has to laugh when he sees the bulk of the clothes Castiel got for him are flannels. He does know the Winchesters, down to their pie and flannel preferences. The two, hand in hand, enter the master bathroom, which makes the other one look far less impressive. This bathroom is huge, with heated tiles that warm up your feet when turned on, long black granite and silver counters with two chrome sinks, a full body mirror. The shower is big enough for two easily, and is modern and sophisticated in design. The bathtub is also big enough for two, with little water jets on the inside. Shaving cream and an electric razor sit on the counter with a few other toiletries. A towel rack is warming up to large fluffy white towels. Castiel sheds his trench coat and kneels by the tub, turning the faucet on. The sound of water fills the room as it streams into the tub.

Cas places his hand under it to check, the temperature, then steps back and walks over to where Dean is looking through the bath salts in one of the cupboards. Castiel winds his arms around Dean’s waist, resting his chin on Dean’s shoulder and kissing his neck. “You haven’t been very talkative, my Adored.” he comments, and continues kissing.
“I’m just in awe, Cas, don’t worry. This place is amazing. I can’t believe it’s ours. And I’m absolutely ecstatic I get to share it with you.” Dean struggles to put all the feelings he has into words, never having felt so euphoric and in love in his life before. “I love you, Angel.” Castiel’s breath is warm on his ear.
“I love you too.” Dean looks up and around, and sees the skylights in the ceiling take up most of it, so he can see the cerulean blue of the sky, dappled with white clouds. There are potted plants with long veins around the room, some curving to follow the line of where the ceiling meets the walls, adding a perfect touch of green to the room.

Dean faces Castiel now, the two of them so close their faces almost touch, and the moment is incredibly intimate. Neither of them say anything as they stare into each other’s eyes deeply, as if Cas can see the depths of Dean’s soul and loves what he sees. They start kissing slowly, but with a slow-burning passion that is all consuming, fervent and visceral. Dean’s hands go up around Castiel’s neck, cupping the back of his hands and tipping his head back to deepen the kiss. Dean’s tongue traces the curve of Cas’ bottom lip, eliciting a breathy sigh from Cas. Their tongues explore the others’ mouth, taking their time, movements holding nothing back, just letting the purity of their love come through which each twist and lap and slide.

Castiel runs his hands through Dean’s hair, fingers knotting in the roots as he pulls their faces together more securely. Dean’s hands start to undo Cas’ tie, easily undoing the knot and pulling it free. They unbutton their lover’s shirts, Castiel getting through all the buttons on Dean’s flannel and Dean hurrying through the ones on Castiel’s dress shirt. Castiel shrugs the shirt off his shoulders, letting it fall to the ground, and Dean is unable to stop himself from splaying his hand to Cas’ stomach, moving his hand up over the hard, flat muscles there. He shudders in pleasure beneath his hunter’s touch, removing Dean’s shirt, his own hands memorizing each line of well defined muscle in Dean’s abs. Dean is more muscular than Castiel, but Cas is still fit, lithe, and strong. Dean’s arms, ropey with muscle, coil around Cas’ waist, drawing him closer as they kiss.

Castiel fluidly unbuttons Dean’s jeans, pulling them down over his thighs. Dean steps out of them and does the same with Cas’ dress pants. The two of them are now standing in their boxers, kissing zealously, hands traversing the other’s body, learning every curve and line, ridge and bend. Dean’s skin is rough but warm, and gives off the heady scent Castiel smells on all his clothes, only stronger. It’s heavy and sweet, but also distinctly masculine. Castiel places his hands on Dean’s hips and lifts him so he is sitting on the counter, and Dean wraps his legs around Cas’ waist, neither of them breaking the kiss. Castiel’s fingers hook around the waistband of Dean’s boxers and tugs them down over Dean’s thighs, the hunter lifting his legs so Castiel can pull them off the rest of the way and toss them to join the pile of their clothes on the floor. Dean isn’t hard, and neither is Cas- right now, there is no lust. Just pure, unadulterated love. They’re exploring each other, stripping away any layers in between them, wanting just skin.

Dean stands up and pulls down Cas’ boxers in one fluid motion, the angel stepping out of them as he guides Dean over to the bath, turning off the water. The two separate as Dean steps into the warm water, and then they just pause, their eyes traveling over their lover’s body. Castiel has already seen all of Dean, how he remade him from when he has been torn to pieces in Hell, but now, everything is different. He has knitted each cell back together, rechiseled each bone, etched every line of muscle back into Dean, formed the curve of his lips and healed everyone of his injuries. He counted every freckle scattered over his cheekbones, enriched each nerve ending so that his body would be able to feel the pleasure he would worship it when they got to this point, as Cas always prayed they would. He remade Dean, his beautiful hunter, made him better than new. He knows him inside out, and loves each and every part of him, perfections and flaws.

Dean thinks Castiel is breathtaking. His angel is a few inches shorter than him, with a narrower stature. He has a creamy pale complexion, the oceanic blue of his eyes standing out vividly against it, and dark curly hair that is always perfectly disheveled. He’s thinner and fit, lithe and sinewy, and Dean can’t find anything about him he doesn’t adore. Castiel steps into the bath beside Dean, and the two of them sink down into the warm water. Cas rests his back against the side of the tub, spreading his arms and legs in a welcoming gesture for Dean to sit in his lap. Dean scoots up against him, so his back is against Castiel’s chest. He leans his head back against the angel’s collarbone, and almost moans when Castiel hands, dripping with hot water, push through his hair, gently untangling all the knots and pieces matted with blood. Castiel’s fingers scratch and massage his scalp, and it feels like heaven.

Castiel takes his time carefully massaging body soap into the muscles at the base of Dean’s neck, over his shoulders, down his arms and along his sides. He pushes and presses, smoothes out all the knots in the muscles in Dean’s back, his touch strong but sensitive. Dean melts into Castiel, his muscles thawing out and going weak under Castiel’s talented touches, rendered weak and vulnerable in the best ways. A golden warmth like spilling sunshine pools beneath the surface of Dean’s skin all over his body. Castiel’s massaging hands coupled with the warm water make Dean’s joints feel pleasantly unhinged, his body pliant under Cas’ hands. Castiel pours soap into his palm and then begins to scrub the soap into Dean’s hair, lathering it up, his fingertips making Dean’s scalp tingle. Dean can’t help it; he moans at the how Cas is turning his body to mush. He’s never felt so relaxed in his life. Castiel scrubs behind Dean’s ears, detangling and smoothing out, and then he rinses away the suds, leaving Dean’s hair soft and clean. Dean has to say that being taken care of by Castiel is one of the most lovely feelings in the world.

Chapter Text

Dean feels something he has never felt before, for as long as he can remember. Castiel’s strong hands pushing and pressing, massaging and smoothing out his tired muscles creates a sort of fog of contentment and comfort that wraps around Dean in a snug and warm blanket. He sighs in pleasure, leaning back against Cas, and Castiel hums softly under his breath in approval, his fingers kneading at the muscle where Dean’s hips and lower back meet. Dean actually feels safe, for once in his life, and cared for utterly and completely; feelings he has rarely got to experience. Castiel seems so happy and cheerful doing this for Dean, and Dean just has to ask. “Cas, I know I’m not deserving of being taken care of-” Castiel stops washing his hunter and the look in his eyes, along with a raised hand as a gesture for quiet, make Dean fall silent. An all too familiar stream of worthlessness, unworthiness, and a lifetime of insecurities in his flaws and faults starts to overpower the happiness he was feeling just moments ago.

“My Adored. Listen to what I say very carefully, Dean Winchester, because I will not stand to hear you say anything more like this. Do you understand what it does to me to have to see your soul bearing all this weight of self-hate and such? It pains me greatly, Dean. Your soul is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, but all those ugly feelings of unworthiness and worthlessness make my heart break, Dean. If only you could see how astoundingly perfect you are, if only I could prove and show to you that all those things are not worth you feeling, because they are not true. You are the most selfless, righteous, kind-hearted, loving, and dedicated being this universe has ever seen.

“You deserved to be saved, and most importantly, you deserve to be loved fully and completely, forever. You deserve every touch, every kiss, every stolen glance, every time I tell you I love you. You deserve me, Dean. I am not the most noble angel out there, but I know for fact, you are more than deserving of my eternal and unswerving love and loyalty.” Castiel says, his eyes burning into Dean’s with fevered passion.

“Cas-” Dean starts, his voice cracking, tears in his eyes. Castiel isn’t about to stop. He’s had this on his chest for way too long, and he is not going to let his mate think these abusive thoughts of himself for any longer.
“You sold your own soul to save your brother, Dean. That is just one examples of hundreds that demonstrate your love, dedication, and selflessness to those you love. You risk your life everyday hunting down creatures to save people you don’t even know. You have stood by my side even when I betrayed you and didn’t deserve to even ask for forgiveness. You love me without holds barred, with all you are. How could I not look at your soul and see the depths of those actions and feelings? See the beauty in them? In how you’d give anything for Sam or I, in how truly you love us with the whole of your being?

“There are many reasons I love you to pieces, Dean, and your selflessness, righteousness, and dedication to your family are just a few of so many examples of why you are deserving of everything I can give you and more.” Castiel’s voice is rough, crashing in on itself like the ocean during a storm, raw with emotion. Dean is speechless, and for the first time in forever, he feels something stirring deep within him, a flicker of hope. As well as something pulling at the edge of his mind, saying maybe you’re wrong. Maybe Castiel does understand more about you than you do.

Dean has no response but to stare back into the burning azure of Castiel’s eyes, lost for words. “Believe me, Dean, when I say you are deserving of all my love and more. I love you.” Castiel finishes, his voice soft. All Dean can do is lean forward, his lips parting Cas’, and kiss him with all he has, closed eyes leaking tears. With gentle, slender fingers, Cas wipes the tears away, coaxing Dean into a more peaceful state. The two get out of the tub and dry off with the heated towels, then head back out and crawl under the cover of their nest. Dean lays down on his back, palms up, hands open, and closes his eyes, breathing steadily in and out.

He struggles to grasp the weight of the truth Castiel has shared with him just minutes ago. naturally, every fiber of his being rejects acknowledging those words as true; the product of a lifetime of mistakes and insecurities. But a part of him that seems centered on his heart aches to embrace those truths. Cas- his angel- is doing the impossible, and planting a seed of reassurance among all that self-hate. Tentatively, he allows it to blossom and expand, but is distracted from his inner thoughts when he feels the feather-light touch of Castiel’s fingertips skimming over his bare chest, his thoughts thoroughly derailed.

Dean opens his eyes to see Castiel’s slowly traversing the contours of his body, his hand grazing over the etched muscles of his stomach. Dean shivers under his hands, surprised by how intense such a simple, light touch can be. Castiel touches him as if he might break- fragile, reverent. Dean reaches up to cup Cas’ face between his palms, the sensation of stubble on skin intimately gratifying. His eyes bore into his lovers’, and their gazes don’t waver even as Cas starts tracing patterns over Dean’s collarbone with his lips. Dean is infatuated at the silken feel of it. Castiel’s voice is deeper and husky when he speaks, mouthing the words against Dean’s chest.

“Before we begin, I want you to know an angelic mating ritual has never been done before between a human and angel. My Grace might be overpowering, but I’m completely sure your soul is strong enough to handle it. Everything should go smoothly," Cas amends, conviction in his voice. Dean id undeterred by any possibility of harm coming their way.
“It’ll be fine, Cas. Let’s get this show on the road!” Cas blinks slowly at that and cocks his head to the side in that charming way of his, missing the reference. Dean chuckles, mussing up his hair up affectionately, earning a smile in turn.
“Alright, my Beloved. We’re going to start with Marking. It’s how an angel essentially ‘claims’ his mate; the dominant marks the submissive, at least physically. On the metaphysical level, you will have marked me too when we get to the soul-bonding stage of the ritual,” Castiel explains, smoothing a kiss over the wrinkle furrowing Dean’s brow in concentration.
“What exactly do you mean by ‘Marking’? What does that mean you’re gonna do to me?” Dean wonders, his thoughts catching up as Cas goes into it.
“I’m going to sear Enochian symbols into your flesh and bones using my Grace. Despite what will be happening, it won’t hurt. The only mark I have on you is the only one that caused pain, and is also the most important; the one I left on your soul when I raised you from perdition. No other marks will hurt you. I won’t let them,” Castiel declares, caressing Dean’s hip bones with his hands.

Dean swallows noisily, batting away the lust rising up in him. He needs to focus on the Marking part of the ritual, the sex part will come later. He just has to be patient. “I trust you, Cas. I’m all yours,” Dean notes, then closes his eyes and tenses his muscles, his body still bracing itself for pain even though his mind is confident Castiel will remain true to his word throughout the whole process. Castiel straddles Dean, sitting on Dean’s thighs, and lowers himself over his hunter, bracing his forearms on Dean’s chest as he peppers his face with open-mouthed kisses.
“Relax, my Adored. I’ve got you,” Castiel hums, voice cloyingly sweet and heavy. Before Dean can reply, his angel’s mouth is on his, kissing him deeply. Castiel uses a few inventive tricks with his tongue, tracing the sensitive inner curve of Dean’s top lip, gently biting and sucking at his lower one. Dean can’t help but moan into the kiss; never before has he been so enraptured in anyone’s touch. It’s like a rush of pure ecstasy, thrilling through his body, urging sighs and moans to pass through his lips and against Cas’.

Castiel flips Dean over onto his stomach and swings off of him all in one deft maneuver, then kisses the back of his neck and along the broad lines of his freckled shoulders. He places his hands on the ridge of Dean’s spine, then closes his eyes, and before Dean knows it, a column of Enochian symbols have been engraved into the bone- symbols of protection, ownership, and possession. Within milliseconds of them being burned into the bone, Castiel floods the areas with Grace, cooling them and healing them but leaving the symbols intact. Dean is still pliant and calm under his hands- so his Grace has obviously done its job. "The first one is done. How are you feeling?" Cas asks. "Pretty good, actually. Like almost refreshed," Dean says, sounding slightly surprised at the absence of pain. "My Grace is taking care of any pain you might feel and healing your body as I go. They might hurt a little tomorrow and will require aftercare, but I'll take the best care of you, Dean, you can be sure of that," Castiel promises. Dean smiles at him. "Keep going, I like it." Cas continues with the Marking, moving his hands so he has one splayed to either side of Dean’s ribcage. He inscribes his Enochian signature, as well as more protection and ownership sigils into the bone of Dean’s ribs. Dean should be in tremendous pain, but Castiel is being excruciatingly careful, making sure to chase away any pain with his Grace before it can surface.
Castiel brands Dean’s flesh with the symbols bearing his name and boasting of his possession of the Righteous Man as his one true love, his mate for all eternity. They scar beautifully where he has them branded between Dean’s hipbones, encircling his wrists and ankles, on the insides of his elbows and one at the back of his neck. Despite all his focus not to, Cas is getting quite a bit aroused seeing his name written all over Dean’s skin, imprinted on his bones and permanently on his soul. They practically scream of Castiel’s joy to call Dean his own, and with an equally vehement threat that if you dare even touch what Castiel has clearly laid claim to, he will ensure it that you do not live much longer. A possessive thrill, incredibly satisfying with its potency, consumes Cas’ heart. Dean is his, all his.

As soon as he finishes the first stage of the Mating Ritual, Castiel worships every inch of Dean’s newly claimed body with his lips. Dean moans unrepentantly loud as Castiel skims his lips over the symbols burned, healed, and finally scarred into Dean’s flesh. He traces the contours of the ones by Dean’s hipbones with the tip of his tongue, causing Dean to cry out Cas’s name and buck his hips up in pleasure. Dean is getting hard almost as quick as Castiel, and the angel feels a fierce burning deep in his belly for something he’s never wanted before outside of in the binds of the Ritual, with his Dean. Lust. It makes the color of his blue eyes muddier, makes his heart pound and his whole body ache for Dean. Lust swirls through the seraph, teasing his nerve endings and making him want all kinds of erotic things.

Cas has already explained how angels are demisexual and monogamous, and Dean has been surprisingly understanding. Now that they are here, exactly where fate has led them to be, Castiel intends to take what is his with all the passion that only such an emotional angel as himself can have. Castiel continues to lap at the symbols, his tongue laving each curve and line, while his hands busy themselves by sliding over the muscles of Dean’s perfectly-chiseled chest, chiseled by Castiel himself. Dean’s hands are knotting in Castiel’s dark curls, and Dean has wrapped his legs around Castiel’s waist, as if securing their bodies closer. At this point, both of them have rock-hard erections, and there is nothing either of them want more than to let the sexual tension that has been mounting for years finally reach one of many climaxes.

“Cas. Need you. I need you, love.” Dean begs, his voice raspy and seductive. The words send a jolt straight to Castiel’s growing erection, a flood of heat pooling below the belt. Never have words made Castiel feel so aroused in his life. He knows exactly what Dean means, using those words in this context, and his body, mind, and Grace all long to take his Beloved, but before they can do that, they must complete the soul bond, or sex on the metaphysical level. However, his will is blown to pieces when Dean’s fingers glide along the angel’s length, and Castiel gasps involuntarily at the sensual shock that follows. He wants Dean, oh holy shit, he needs Dean more than he needs air to breathe.

Castiel thinks of their bond, how it was pleading for him to nourish it when he called upon it earlier for help with Dean’s situation, and his Grace lurches into action before his mind can squash it down. Castiel uses his Grace to make them both soft, though the lust is still very much there, and bends over Dean, cradling his face in Cas’ hands. “My Adored, we have to soul bond first. Sex later,” Cas breathes, and reaches out over their profound link to stroke it, channeling a small portion of his Grace into it so as not to overwhelm Dean. Dean sucks in his breath, pupils blowing wide, and both of them are instantly lusting away for something other than physical sex- they want to cement their bond now, forever, to literally escape themselves and become parts of the same whole. They were made for eachother; now it is time to fulfill the need.

“Let’s do this,” Dean agrees, green eyes heavenly in their eagerness.

Chapter Text

Dean sits upright, his face inches from Cas’, and his angel leans forward to seal their lips. A sultry moan of desire parts Castiel’s lips and Dean responds by ducking his head and dipping his tongue into the angel’s mouth. Dean marvels at the feel of Castiel’s lips shaping and molding his, the taste of him- clean, refreshing, soothing and familiar, like mint drenched in rain- flooding Dean’s sense of smell. Castiel’s tongue battles his for dominance, and when Dean submits, a thrill sings through his blood. Something about dominant, righteous, seraph of Heaven Castiel owning Dean like this makes Dean feel warmth coiling low in his belly. Castiel bites at Dean’s bottom lip, then sucks it into his mouth to nurse any amount of pain. Both of their moans are muffled by the other’s fervently-working lips.

Dean gets lost in Castiel. His arms around his hunter feel stronger than every bone in Dean’s body, yet his touch reduced him to melting against the angel’s figure. There is nothing like falling to pieces in Cas’ arms, undone at his touch, and knowing that the blue-eyed seraph, Dean’s seraph, will hold him together. Nothing feels more right than it does when Dean is in Cas’ arms, for either of them. Dean feels liberated by the knowledge that he can be exactly who he is right here, right now, and Castiel still loves him to pieces. Dean opens his eyes to find Cas’ are already open, the azure ablaze with flames of love and lust.

Without breaking the kiss, Castiel leans forward and touches their foreheads together. An electric jolt of both pleasure and something entirely, deliciously new rocks through them both, and only intensifies when Castiel raises his hand and places it over the handprint on Dean’s shoulder, his fingers overlapping perfectly with the scar. Dean cries out Cas’ name into his mouth as a monumental wave of pleasure pours through them both at the intensity of the connection; all-consuming, earth-shattering. They both throw back their heads, gasping their lover’s name. Dean’s not fully aware of what is going on but he does not want it to stop. Castiel’s tongue is exploring his mouth and all Dean feels is what feels like millions stars of pleasure exploding all throughout his body. Something in his mind is practically screaming in triumph and eagerness, pulsating and throbbing joyously, sending more pleasure spiking through a part of him he couldn’t feel until now; his soul.

“I’m going to soul bond with you now, my Beloved,” Castiel pants against Dean’s lips. Dean nods brokenly, overwhelmed by the prospect of such a feeling, unable to fathom how it could get even better. As soon as their lips meet again, several things happen all at once. Dean feels what must be Cas’ Grace pouring through the bond and into his soul, finalizing the bond by encircling it with a layer of his Grace. It provides the perfect pathway to Dean’s soul, and Castiel is unable to slowly let his Grace in. In his ecstasy, the Grace floods Dean’s soul with all its force to bear, the bond like a live wire sparking with the potency of their love. Unimaginable bliss is igniting every fiber of Cas’ Grace, and all he can do is embrace it.

Dean’s soul, on the other hand, wasn’t ready for the full magnitude of all of Castiel’s Grace entering him at once. The result is simultaneously mind-bending pleasure and pain. Bright, white light sears through Dean’s head behind his closed eyelids and he gasps, body seizing and then sagging limply into Castiel. Cas, barely aware of what is happening on the physical level he is so enraptured with what is going on with the bond, pulls Dean into his arms and guides him gently down to lay on his back in the nest, still keeping their lips together. Castiel’s Grace is running through Dean’s soul, exploring it, twisting and spreading out, enveloping it, learning every pattern and swirl of light. The effect on Dean is agonizing; his body can not endure the power behind it. Dean’s back arches off the duvet and Castiel is pulled onto the physical plane when he senses Dean is in pain.

Through the veil of pain, Dean is suddenly aware of silky-soft feathered wings wrapping around him protectively, thick bands of muscle and bone beneath satiny feathers. Cas’ wings. Dean wishes he could see them, but the blinding white is still streaking his vision. He feels Castiel’s tongue moving inside his mouth as his angel chants Enochian into Dean’s mouth, and the pain he feels recedes quickly, soothed away by whatever Cas spoke into him. The pain is replaced by comfort, and Dean curls into Castiel’s wings, embracing the touch. Castiel has gotten his Grace under control- Dean will feel no more pain during the ritual, Cas guarantees it. All of Castiel’s Grace has joined Dean’s soul, the bond wrapped around it, and Castiel gently reaches out over the bond and strokes Dean’s Grace, which is so unbelievably beautiful, radiating gorgeous swirls of golden light twisting in and out of the ethereal blue that is Cas’ Grace.

Dean’s soul bucks up in pleasure, the bond practically singing its approval and glowing with affection and happiness. Dean’s soul reaches back for Cas’ Grace, lacing themselves together, and it is like a billion stars exploding as the two become one. All the holes in Dean’s soul, left from Hell, are filled in with Castiel’s Grace, and Dean’s soul sears a mark upon it, proudly displaying the Righteous Man is Castiel’s mate. Dean feels a spark of delicious, heavenly heat that is alive, distinctly Castiel, inside of him, inside his soul. It’s swelling, growing, glowing, encompassing them in all its splendor and enormity. The two become halves of the same whole, and everything that they are, all of their very essence, is poured into the other. Dean’s soul eagerly receives Cas’ Grace, cradling it as it releases everything, every part of who Castiel is.

Dean knows every piece of Castiel now. He knows every feeling he has ever had, can see in full depth all of Castiel’s fears, ambitions, all his love and see what holds meaning to him. He feels everything Castiel feels and has felt, but most spectacularly, Dean sees how Castiel sees him. Castiel thinks Dean is absolutely stunning. Dean sees his soul through Castiel’s Grace, sees how brilliant and bright it is, and feels an all-consuming, zealous, visceral and passionately fierce love for it, which is also Cas’. Dean is positively blown away by the admiration, the care, the protection, pride and adoration he feels for Dean. The eons-old being with a great, incredible depth and capacity for emotion and true love feels all of it, every single bit, for Dean.

Dean can see how Castiel would give up everything in the universe for Dean. How Castiel would not be Castiel without him. How he needs Dean in every way, how nothing in the world means more to him. He feels the abundance of pure, unadulterated love just spilling through his soul and Cas’ Grace combined, and it shatters everything with the pleasure, fulfillment, and compassion it brings. He finally realizes something so profound he wants to scream it from every mountain top for the rest of his life: what true love is, what it feels like to find completion in the mate who is simply the other piece of you. Dean feels and understands everything about Castiel, down to the most insignificant thing, sees the fullness of his love, and Dean is truly, deeply, eternally completed by this love.

Dean also feels Castiel’s Grace embracing every part of his soul, sees what Castiel sees. He sees all his vices and virtues come flooding into Castiel’s awareness. The self-hate, the bitterness, the desire he has to protect, his selflessness, his guilt. Castiel is torn to pieces by how breathtakingly beautiful and meaningful Dean’s love for his brother and Castiel is. He sees how Dean wrestles with himself and his inner demons every day, but can take refuge in the love and completion he finds in Sam and Castiel. All of Dean’s secrets, things he hid even from himself are exposed, but Dean is not afraid. He wants all of him to be Cas’, and giving himself up feels as natural and right as breathing. Castiel’s Grace accepts them all with zealousness, taking all of Dean’s insecurities and showing Dean a wash of understanding, want, love so perfect and endless it encompassess all wrongs and flaws, and Dean is utterly wrecked by how Castiel loves and wants him despite seeing the very depths of his broken soul.

Dean feels Castiel in him and all around him, feels the concrete promise that Castiel will never leave him or stop loving him as fervently as he does. He feels the burning light of his soul cradled in the unfathomable depths of Cas’ Grace. Every sense of his receives the same message from Castiel: ‘I am with you, I will never leave you. I will take every part of you and I want all of itl, I love it all with all I am. I love you with all of me, and nothing in the universe will take you away from me.’ The promise is so profound and awe inspiring, Dean utilizes every force of his soul to return the sentiment, meaning it from the depths of his very being and with all he has. He feels an answering rush of euphoria, ecstasy, love blinding in its brilliance and potency in return from Cas, pure joy that makes Dean’s heart melt. Dean’s metaphysical being- his soul- is wrapped in warmth, feels cosseted and snug, tucked into Castiel’s Grace. The feeling is one even Dean can’t put a name to, but for the first time in his life, he feels truly complete and truly loved.

Dean feels what Castiel feels. From Castiel’s end of the bond, Castiel is alight with ecstasy and euphoria as well, possessive and protective, content and fulfilled, and so many other things that boast of being beyond joy and love, to something so deep there is no word or explanation for it outside of this realm. It’s a sense only Dean and Cas can feel on the metaphysical level, wrapped up in each other, entwined forever, a part of the other. Everything that was Cas’ is now Dean’s, and vice-versa. Now that the high of joining Grace and soul has been completed, Castiel decides it’s time to show Dean what it feels like to commune metaphysically. He runs his Grace through Dean’s soul, and sparks of color and heat, dazzling in their display, shine through Dean’s soul, which is eager to accept the pleasure Cas gives it.

Dean’s soul is bucking and keening as Castiel’s Grace spirals in and out through it, teasing and stroking, pressing in key places that cause Dean’s soul to sob out Cas’ name in pleasure. Castiel instinctively knows when to pull and when to press, where to swirl his Grace in and coil around Dean’s soul. Dean’s soul is reduced to a writhing, over-pleasured and aroused mess within the protective walls of Cas’ Grace, and Castiel swears he has ever seen anything more gorgeous than his Righteous Man’s soul giving into the love and pleasure Cas’ Grace envelopes him with. Dean’s side of the bond is crying out at the sensations a thousand times more powerful, enjoyable, and meaningful than sex on the physical plane, and Castiel whispers to the bond: ‘I will keep you like this for all eternity, because you are mine, all mine, and I love you like nothing has or will ever love anything before. To hear your pleasured cries, to see you give into me, to watch you come undone at even my gentle touches, it is gorgeous, Dean Winchester.’

Castiel, with one last twist, climaxes perfectly in time with Dean, both their Grace and soul screaming in the combined and shared ecstasy tearing through them. Dean’s soul looks like stars rupturing into showers of lovely warm color and light. Dean feels, for once in his life, he actually, honestly feels like he deserves this. Castiel has shown him that Dean does deserve this, because the whole of his Grace believes it like nothing else. They ride out their climaxes together, luxuriating in the feel, celestial in its power and perfection. Moments later, Dean comes to on the physical plane, Cas right behind. It takes a moment for the disorientation of coming down and back from the soul bond to dissipate. Dean finds himself lying on his back beneath Castiel, who gains consciousness just seconds after his hunter does.

“My Adored,” Castiel chokes out, his voice thick with emotion. He rolls off Dean to lie beside him, facing him, their noses almost touching. The absolute admiration Dean sees in Cas’ eyes- as well as tears welling up- brings moisture brimming over Dean’s waterline.
“I love you,” Dean manages as Castiel wraps an arm around his waist and pulls him against his chest. Dean curls up against his angel, tucked into his side, and Castiel fans his wings out over them, sheltering them with the massive, magnificent appendages. Dean is aware of Castiel inside him still, can feel him through their bond. Though it isn’t near as intimate as the soul bond was, he still likes it, like a piece of Castiel is always with him. He can tell what Castiel feels and if Castiel wants to send him a message through the bond he can; right now, he communicates just how much he has wanted this for as long as he’s existed.
“I love you too, my Beloved,” Castiel replies, kissing away the tears streaking down Dean’s cheeks. Dean is a man who would rather cut out his own tongue than cry over emotions, but here he is, barely restraining himself from sobbing, overcome with everything he just experienced. Dean’s body trembles as he suppresses them, and Castiel just cocoons them even tighter in his wings, kissing Dean softly, the taste of salt flavoring the kiss.
“It’s okay, I’ve got you, I will not leave you,” Castiel comforts his hunter, holding him protectively. Dean gives in to the waves of emotion pulling at him, and Castiel just holds him all through it, devout as ever. When it finally subsides, Dean finds his body is exhausted, as if the metaphysical sex also spent him of his physical energy. The brands on his flesh are starting to burn; the ones on his bones ache, and he feels like he just came down from the most intense, celestial orgasm of his life. His muscles are weary, joints feeling as if they’ve been turned to sponge, and he has to say, it is the most satisfying physical feeling he’s felt thus far. Even more satisfying is the knowledge that he gets to have this for the rest of his life, all thanks to the angel wrapped around him, the one he gets to call his own.

“How are you feeling, Dean?” Castiel asks, feeling Dean’s end of the bond is in slight bodily discomfort, but mostly just very tired.
“M’ amazing, Cas,” Dean murmurs drowsily back, eyes slipping closed.
“Let me take care of you for once. You always take care of everyone else; now I am here to take care of you, my Beloved,” Castiel nuzzles against Dean’s neck, and Dean’s body completely relaxes against Castiel, forming to the hard planes of his chest. The warmth and softness radiating from the canopy Castiel’s wings have forged around them makes Dean feel blissfully cozy. He feels like he could sleep in Castiel’s embrace forever, and that is a great way to spend eternity to both of them. He wants to see and run his hands through Cas’ wings, since he has never witnessed their physical manifestation before, but Castiel soothes his desire through the bond, telling him he will be able to explore not just his wings but all of Cas when he wakes up. Sounds good enough to Dean.

Cas is humming some beautiful but unfamiliar melody to Dean, and Dean conks out within minutes, never in his life having felt so loved, content, and safe.

Chapter Text

Castiel feels warmth enveloping every bone in his body, gazing upon his Dean right now. Cas could sleep if he so chooses to, but tonight won’t be the night he lives out his fantasies of sleeping with Dean huddled up against him. He wants to be awake for their first true night together as a mated, bonded pair, so he can witness every euphoric minute of it. Dean is cradled in his arms, facing him, the hunter’s head on Cas’ shoulder, their legs entwined.

Castiel’s arms are wrapped around Dean’s waist, tucking him into the angel’s side, and his wings are curled around them. The massive appendages he has always wanted to manifest in physical form for Dean- now he can. He hopes Dean will like them. Though Dean saw them briefly in the garden, now he is bearing a different manifestation, a truer, more vulnerable one, to Dean. Dean is in a deep, contented sleep against Cas, whose wings are the plushest, silkiest version of themselves, covering Dean’s naked form entirely.

The space beneath Cas’ wings is warm, intimate, and Castiel would feel blessed to spend eternity exactly as they are in this moment. There is something deeply satisfying on a visceral level to the seraph, seeing Dean wrapped up in Castiel’s wings, being coddled by Castiel, tucked in warm and safe in Castiel’s nest. Everything about it screams ‘mine’ to Cas, and he indulges in the sin of pride that flood through him at the prospect.

Castiel feels possessiveness as intensely as he feels love right now; he can’t believe it, but here they are, after so damn much, and Dean is completely his, as he is Dean’s. Ever since Cas had raised Dean from perdition, he has wanted Dean. Over time their bond and his love for the hunter had only solidified, until it became the realest thing in his life. Dean was his one true desire, and despite both Heaven and Hell trying to keep them apart, here they lay, in love and bonded forever.

Nothing could make this more perfect.

Cas loves holding Dean. Dean is precious to him.

Castiel’s lips are pulled up at the corners in a soft smile. He cards his fingers through Dean’s hair, sifting through the fine strands, marveling at the feel of them slipping between his fingers. Delicately, he traces the curve of Dean’s cheekbone with his thumb in an affectionate caress, then skims his fingers along the underside of Dean’s prominent, strong jaw. He wants to memorize every inch of Dean’s body with his lips, wants to taste each dip, curve, or line of skin. Castiel grazes a few of the sigils burned into his lover’s flesh with gentle fingers, seeking out the texture so he can try and guess how Dean’s body is handling them.

While on the topic of how Dean’s body is handling the mating ritual, Cas thinks back to when his Grace finally got to mesh with Dean’s soul through their bond. Cas had been unable to restrain the out pour of his Grace; it was too eager to join Dean, and of course, Dean’s soul was all too accepting. The bond had been even stronger than Cas had thought; it didn’t diminish the flow and joining of the two at all. The bond didn’t restrain how fast and energetically the process of bonding occurred. Castiel had felt Dean’s soul, all too enthusiastic to welcome Castiel’s Grace into it, start to seize up with pain and overstimulation, in time with Dean’s body.
Castiel had felt a bolt of disgust with himself, along with terror and overprotectiveness strike through him- he was hurting Dean. Dean’s soul hadn’t even tried to recoil; it had just fully given itself up to Cas, and that was the most humbling thing the seraph has ever experienced. It was awe inspiring, how someone could have so much profound trust in him, even when he was the source of pain. Castiel had panicked and taken control of the situation as dominant angel. He had coaxed Dean to lay down on their nest, trying to ease his bodily pain, meanwhile tonguing Enochian into Dean’s mouth, the perfect words to take away Dean’s pain.

Everything had gone smoothly after Grace and soul had finally become perfectly entwined, in a ritual as old as time, yet distinctly new with only one celestial partner and one human. Castiel hadn’t feared anything would go wrong; Dean was designed for him. Their love was, as cliche as it sounded, meant to be- nature’s way. It is the intent of all of Heaven for Castiel to have his Dean, and for Dean to have his Castiel.

Dean stirs beside Castiel, the quiet rhythm of breathing and light snoring interrupted by a muffled groan. Castiel is instantly concerned, reaching out to cosset Dean. “What’s wrong, my Beloved?” Castiel asks against Dean’s neck. Dean burrows closer to Castiel, seeking refuge against Cas’ lithe form. Cas folds his wings even closer over the two of them, feathers skimming over Dean’s skin in an act of comfort and reassurance. Dean tucks his head under Cas’ chin, sighing as his body stops its slight writhing and goes slack.

“‘M brands, Cas. They burn,” Dean sighs, tensing his muscles against the burning sensation making each Enochian symbol ache. Sympathy pulls at Cas’ heart as his side of the bond receives Dean’s pain, the sensation of discomfort coupled with several other things. Dean is so beautifully vulnerable like this, curled into Castiel, his protector. Castiel wants, no needs, to care for Dean. He drags his fingers over the ones along Dean’s spine and at the back of his neck, flooding them with cool, relieving Grace. Dean sighs again, almost instantly pulled back to sleep. His snoring resumes as Castiel cools the rest of them, kissing Dean’s cheeks when he finishes. The relief offered by the angel’s Grace makes Dean sink back into the deep sleep he was just in. Castiel hums with satisfaction, tracing the outline of one symbol on Dean’s back with his index fingertip as the night slips by.

 

***

 

Dean wakes slowly, his mind a hazy cloud of pure, euphoric bliss. All around him he is enveloped in silkiness and warmth, and the gentle rise and fall of Cas’ chest, breathing in time with him lets him know the angel is awake as well. Dean opens his eyes and finds himself staring into the oceanic depths of Castiel’s; the azure alight with devotion and love, and maybe even a little pride or something like it. “Mornin’, Angel,” Dean greets him with a sleepy, wide grin, stretching in Cas’ grip. The symbols all over his body are a little sore, but as soon as Castiel feels Dean’s discomfort, he erases the pain with a few Enochian words. Dean realizes Cas’ wings are blanketing them, keeping them caged in an intimate fortress that protects them from the sunlight surely streaming through the windows.

“Good morning, Human,” Castiel replies, not getting the nickname Dean used but still smiling fondly at his hunter. Dean laughs freely at that, reaching forward to close the small distance between their lips and engage Cas in a passionate kiss. The slip and slide of tongues against each other is a great way to get Dean’s mind out of the last clinging trindles of sleep. Dean’s fingers knot in Castiel’s hair, and Castiel cups Dean’s face between his palms, the two of them getting lost in the high sensitivity and love communicated through the kiss.

When Dean has to pull back for breath, Castiel smiles down at him, trailing lingering kisses down Dean’s neck, then brushing his lips over the hunter’s collarbones, stopping to plant one opened mouth kiss between them. Dean’s biting his tongue to keep from voicing the pleasure it gives him, and Castiel’s side of the bond laughs, sensing how Dean is trying to restrain it. Cas finds it adorable, though he’d never tell Dean that.

Dean doesn’t like to be called adorable, despite how immensely true it is, but he figures that he has a better argument for why Cas takes the cake with that one. Dean feels his own sense of pride and adoration, gazing at Castiel, all scruffy from sleep. The angel’s hair is fucked to hell, a wild disarray of messed up curls sticking in every direction, and his eyes are an ethereal blue, the edges softer and less alert from drowsiness. Castiel’s jaw is covered in dark stubble that just accentuates his eyes. So beautiful, and yes, definitely more adorable than Dean, or at least the hunter likes to think so.

“Your wings are...lovely, Cas,” Dean comments, turning onto his back so he can look at them arched in a canopy around them. He seems to grapple with finding the right word, not used to using cushy, sentimental words like that, but hey, there is no other way to go about this. “Really damn stunning, love,” Dean continues, reaching up tentatively to run his fingers through the smaller, more sensitive and soft feathers on the undersides of the great wings. Castiel is about to encourage him to go ahead and touch them (finding it amusing how Dean thought he needed permission), but his breath is stolen away by the moan tumbling through his lips, the response to the unexpected wave of pleasure crashing over him, from the one stroke alone.

“T-thank you, Dean,” Castiel manages, his breathing speeding up as Dean grins slyly and runs both hands through the feathers, his fingers cleverly twisting lightly in all the right places. Cas’ wings rise and fall in a reflexive beat from the pleasure, and he gasps out Dean’s name, making a shot of arousal spike through his hunter at how wrecked Cas’ voice sounds. Castiel unfolds his wings from above them, then spreads them out, curling one underneath Dean, and bearing the tender underside of the other to his mate. The movement created a mighty gust, blowing the feathers stuck around the nest and making them flutter. “Please, Dean,” Cas chokes, struck by how overcome he is with the need to have his wings touched by his beloved.
“Oh, I will,” Dean answers, looking both awed and also aroused. His side of the bond was attacked by both Cas’ pleasure and his, and the combined force of the two were damn near earth-shattering in their wonderful intensity. Dean could get used to feeling both his and Cas’ pleasure at the same time, and by the look on Cas’ face, his angel is already keening for the chance to take full advantage of this. Dean gets onto his knees, squinting against the sunlight flooding in and filling the room, which had previously been blocked by Castiel’s wings, and buries his hands and fingers into Cas’ feathers, earning cries from the both of them. Dean is about to continue, when the silence, filled with their heavy breathing, is interrupted by the loud growl of Dean’s stomach.

Castiel chuckles, the sound making him get a grip on himself. He was surprised at how fast he came undone, with Dean touching his wings, but the hunger pangs coming from Dean’s side of the bond pulled him back into reality. “Hold that thought. I definitely will ravage your gorgeous wings, right after I eat a half ton of food,” Dean amends, smiling at Cas’ answering laughter.
“Ah, yes, I almost forgot. I am sorry, my Adored. I will make you breakfast. I’ve gotten quite good at cooking, just for you,” Cas says, as Dean dips forward to kiss the tip of Cas’ nose.
“Awesome! We can get back to this right after,” Dean comments, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Castiel’s eyes wrinkle as he smiles again, both rows of his straight, white teeth on display. Dean would sell his soul to always be able to see Castiel smile that big. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have to.

The two climb out of their nest with some effort; neither of them want to get out of the comforting, satiny warmth, but Dean is hungry and Castiel is itching to show off his acquired cooking skills to his hunter. The two pad off, hand in hand, down the hall and staircase to the kitchen; at which point Cas releases Dean’s hand and opens up the fridge, pulling ingredients out. Dean’s eyes take in his slim yet masculine figure, traversing each line of muscle in his back, admiring the narrow yet strong set to his shoulders, before dropping lower to admire his angel’s butt. Mine, Dean thinks proudly, smiling to himself before Cas turns around, his arms full of ingredients, which he dumps on the island counter.

The seraph keeps his wings tucked in close to his back, as small and close to him as possible to avoid them knocking into things. Something about it is comical to Dean, and the hunter strides over to give Cas a hand. Castiel pauses to kiss Dean deeply, long enough for both of them to forget everything and become mesmerized in the others’ touch. When Cas pulls back, he kisses the corners of Dean’s mouth into a smile, Dean chuckling and mussing Cas’ hair up. “Coffee will be ready in a moment, Dean. Don’t you dare try to help- this meal is one of many things I want to give to you. I want to give you everything,” Castiel says, his voice earnest and almost reverent at the end.
“You’ve already given me everything I could ever want and ever hope to have, just by giving me yourself, Cas. I love you.” Dean finds the last sentence is as easy to say as breathing, now that the words are more profound and true than any others he could utter. Cas looks touched, but Dean’s stomach growls again, getting him back on track.

Watching naked Cas cooking is something Dean will never, ever get tired of seeing. Castiel cooks with efficiency, and before they know it, the air is thick with the scent of food. Dean perches on the edge of the counter, sitting on the corner and kicking his legs back and forth as he watches, humming Metallica cheerily, and Castiel turns around to hand him a mug of steaming coffee, with just the right amount of sugar and cream. Dean never told him; Cas just knows. “Here you go. The food will be done in a few minutes,” Castiel says as Dean’s hands come up to wrap around the warm mug. Dean takes a drink and all but moans in pleasure at the wonderfully sugary taste, contrasted deliciously with strong, rich coffee. It’s the best cup of coffee he’s ever had, and he gets the feeling that everything he has here will be the best.

Dean takes a seat at the kitchen table for two already set with forks and knives and plates. He drinks his coffee, watching how Castiel gracefully plates an omelette that smells of bacon and cheese. Dean’s mouth waters. Cas sets the bacon-cheddar omelette in front of him, along with a plate of perfectly cooked sausage, chocolate chip muffins (the chocolate chips still gooey), crispy hash browns, and hand-squeezed orange juice. “You made all my favorites,” Dean beams at Cas, and Cas swoops down to kiss the top of his head, then drops down in the seat across from him, letting his wings fan out.

“Tomorrow I’ll have to bring you breakfast in bed,” Castiel notes as Dean digs into the food. Castiel enjoys the moans and exclamations of
“Holy fuck I think my mouth just had a baby,” Dean groans, forking in another mouthful of hash browns. His cheeks are bulging with the food he has stuffed into them, and Castiel is positively howling with laughter. Dean ignores him, too entranced by the food to be self conscious of the food falling out of his mouth. Dean clears every plate, must to Cas’ astonishment, then leans back in his chair, his belly slightly distended.
“Good?” Cas asks teasingly as Dean looks almost comatose from the abundance of heavenly food. Dean groans, fixing him with a lustful stare.
“It’s a good thing we’re already married, or I’d ask you to marry me. Again.” Dean replies, standing up and stretching. Cas stands too, and Dean walks around to behind his lover, wrapping his arms around Cas’ waist and kissing his neck so seductively it should be illegal.
“What do you say I continue exploring your wings now? Along with that perfect body of yours.” Dean asks, kissing with an open mouth at Cas’ pulse point. Castiel sighs fitfully, turning around to face Dean.
“What took you so long to ask?” Castiel growls playfully, nipping at Dean’s earlobe.

Apparently human speed is too slow for Cas’ lust’s patience. He spreads his wings and flies both him and Dean right back to their nest, and the two begin.

Chapter Text

Castiel gives one final thrust, riding out the combination of both his and Dean’s orgasms to the fullest, both of them blazing with the strength and intensity of pleasure and completion. The other’s orgasmic high coupled with their own makes it literally the best thing either has ever experienced, aside from that of metaphysical sex. Castiel collapses on top of Dean’s chest, both of them seeing stars, bodies thrumming with life, energy, inexplicable pleasure, and love. Castiel hums deeply in the back of his throat, kissing Dean’s chest with an open mouth, content to worship his beloved’s body with his lips to the ends of eternity.

Dean makes a loud sound that is part sigh and part moan, and the bond sings of his completion, his pure, euphoric pleasure, and his eternal love for the angel.

Dean runs his hands through his angel’s wings, content to lie here in post-orgasmic bliss forever, fingers scratching gloriously at Cas’ scalp. Castiel mouths a hot kiss at the base of Dean’s neck, while blanketing the two of them in his wings. They curl underneath Dean, cradling Cas’ treasured hunter, and both of them, in all of their lives, have never felt so entirely, wonderfully sated and in love as they do now.

“I love you, my Adored. You are my treasure, my heart, my everything,” Castiel kisses the words against Dean’s muscular chest, wings softly tightening around them as Dean’s hands stroke and massage them.
“I love you too, Cas. More than I’ll ever be able to get out, coherently.” Dean replies, his voice fragile and reverent in the depth of the statement. Cas’ heart feels like it may explode at that, and he pulls himself up a little ways so he can bring their lips together in a deep, lingering kiss, love so confident in itself that it takes its time. It’s slow and passionate and it doesn’t take long for them to both become lost in it, enraptured by how perfect everything feels.

Castiel mojos the cooling come from their skin, and Dean sighs in contentment as the sticky wetness disappears in favor of pleasant warmth.

“I remade you, Dean. When I rescued you from Hell, I cradled your soul in the protection of my Grace, and then I used my Grace to completely rebuild your ravaged body from ruins back to the gloriousness that is you.” Cas says softly, the tip of one wing tracing patterns on Dean’s back. The angel smiles affectionately at his sleepy human, watching as the lovely verdant green of Dean’s eyes becomes visible when he blinks drowsily up at his love, eyes warm and cherishing.
“Your body was in shreds, Dean, but I rebuilt it from each and every cell up. Each bone, I reconstructed, chiseled from nothing and made smooth. I perfected each structure, strengthened the marrow in your bones, memorized every ridge and curve and took painstaking detail in getting them just perfect, perfectly my Dean.”

Castiel sweeps his wings over Dean’s spine, closing his eyes and feeling each vertebrae.
“I knitted back together each fiber of your spinal cord, my Beloved. Some of the edges of the disks had been turned to dust from the abuse you had suffered, but I spent ages perfectly reshaping them, using the pads of my fingers to sculpt each millimeter of curved bone, just so each disk would fit perfectly together to make up your spine. Each little part of you, I took indescribable amounts of time and care to make just perfect, so every part would take on my mark and boast of the attention I had given it, just so each small detail would be just right in building my Dean.”

Dean is wide awake now, entranced by Castiel’s husky, sexy, rough voice; deep like the beauty in the power of storms and just as awe inspiring. Dean’s eyes are alight with captivation as Castiel continues.

“I took the longest amount of time and the most tedious care on your face, my beloved Dean. I threaded each strand of golden hazel coloring through your jade eyes, crafted each strand of keratin in your hair to be the perfect balance of thickness and color. I molded the structure of your jaw, sharpening your prominent jawline and making sure to get the angle just right. I smoothed new skin over each bone, scattered your freckles in exactly the right places. I know each one and where it rests, exactly. I painted color into your cheeks, rose against your tan complexion, knowing in the future how I could cherish seeing the color deepen when I would tell you how I adored you.”

Castiel’s lips move against Dean’s in an almost reverent way, breathing words against Dean’s mouth, words that are sacred in the fullness of their meaning.

“Every arch and curve, every soft, plush cell of your lips, I took deliberate care in creating. I learned the bow and curvature through ages in getting them just right, infusing the balance of color and sensitivity in the way that is only distinctly yours, just so that I could press my own into you, and relearn them again with the tip of my tongue. You are mine, Dean, all mine, forever and always, and you will never forget to whom you rightfully belong, who has recreated you and loved you with a fervency that rivals all those the world has to offer and more.” The raw, deep possessiveness in Castiel’s voice strikes something at Dean’s core, and he suddenly finds himself craving it like nothing else.

“Only I, who have conceived such beauty in my human, will take the ultimate pleasure in unraveling you, nerve by re-sensitized nerve, worshipping every part of you that I have crafted with all I am. I have and will continue into eternity to claim you, Dean. You are my human, my love, my mate, truly and in every sense my everything. I am the only one who can take what is rightfully mine and will do so with zealous love, touching, feeling, tasting, re-memorizing and forever luxuriating in how I made you you again, the Righteous Man Dean Winchester; Castiel, Angel of Thursday’s one true love and partner.

“Everything you feel is because I made it so. I took great pleasure in fashioning each nerve ending into perfection with the utmost sensitivity, so you would feel every touch, caress, lick, and kiss with the stunning level of depth I intended you to feel as I unraveled my creation, piece by beautiful piece. I have loved you forever, Dean Winchester, and I will never cease to. I intend to take my time in reclaiming you in every way possible.”

Dean moans, his whole being burning with his craving for Castiel. Oh, holy shit, how he takes refuge in being Castiel’s.

“I’m all yours,” Dean manages to push past his kiss-swollen lips, completely awed and humbled at how he is righteously, undoubtedly Castiel’s. This is right, more right than anything has ever been, and their love is the product of the universe declaring Cas’ Grace and Dean’s soul are no less than of the utmost perfection for each other alone. Castiel kisses Dean deeply, his heart, Grace, and their connection thrumming, alive and awake, with how complete they both are in the other.

“No words can express what you mean to me, my Adored.” Castiel replies, his wings flattening around Dean protectively as he curls into Cas, kissing along his angel’s jawline, in awe of how this glorious celestial being is his own.

The profound silence that follows communicates much more than words ever could from either of them. They cuddle as Dean drifts in and out of conciousness, and Castiel just holds him and kisses the top of his head, reveling in how this beautifully broken creature is his. He will never stop finding possessive satisfaction in how small and vulnerable Dean looks, tucked into Cas’ side beneath the protective, intimate cocoon of the seraph’s wings. He could keep his Dean like this forever and never tire of the sight.

When Dean fully awakens an hour or so later, he blinks his eyes open and smiles widely at his angel, who reaches down to kiss his forehead, running his hand along Dean’s thigh.

“Good morning,” Cas greets him.

Dean kisses Cas full on the mouth, mumbling a sleepy “Mornin’” in response.

“I was thinking I could show you around Heaven, if you’d like.” Castiel says as Dean sits up, carding his fingers through Castiel’s messy feathers in an attempt to right them. The fixation Dean has taken up with them is very endearing to Cas; Dean seems to always be taking care of the angel’s feathers, making sure they’re not too ruffled and that they are straight and pointing in the right direction. Cas hums happily as Dean sifts his fingers through the warm, soft, dark feathers, trying to tame them from the mess both sex and sleep have mussed them up into.

“That would be cool.” Dean agrees, curiosity and excitement jumping into his eyes. Castiel smiles, his wings leaning into Dean’s touch, and smoothes down the erratic spikes of Dean’s bedhead in return. “I really like your wings, by the way,” Dean comments as an after thought, as if Cas couldn’t tell how the hunter obviously loves keeping them neat and always pleasuring them.

The two get out of the warmth of their nest and head into the expansive shower together. Castiel folds his wings inside with some effort, and Dean is laughing at how cramped it becomes when the twenty foot wing span is squished together, trying to fit in a relatively small space. To do so, the wings encircle the two as they wash together, Cas lathering Dean’s shoulders and lightly flushed chest with exotic smelling soap, while Dean gently massages soap into the muscle beneath the feathers of Cas’ wings.

“Your sex hair is friggin’ adorable, love,” Dean comments, running a hand through the scruffed-to-hell curls. “I think tomorrow we should leave it like that. Your sex bedhead is something I could get used to.” Dean remarks. Cas kisses Dean and cups his face with both palms, gazing into his hunter’s eyes.

“Then we shouldn’t shower after, because I appreciate how you smell like me afterwards. It’s unbelievably enticing.” Cas notes, grazing over the muscle where Dean’s shoulder meet his neck with a scrape of his teeth.

“Well it can be arranged.” Dean replies, waggling his eyebrows seductively in a way that makes Castiel laugh. The seraph is so beautiful like this, carefree, open, in love.

They finish showering off and then step out, drying off and putting on clothes. Castiel wears his usual outfit, while Dean starts weeding through the crazy amount of clothing Cas has stocked their closet with. He finally decides on jeans and a black crewneck shirt; it’s much too hot for anything more. Dean sighs upon seeing Cas fully clothed.
“I like you having your clothes off, Cas. You look damn good without them. When we get home-” Dean tugs at Cas’ tie, planting a kiss to the angel’s chin, “- these are all coming off.” A spark of lust tints the blue of Cas’ eyes a shade darker.

“Then we’d better not take too long touring Heaven.” Cas replies, desire plain in his voice.

“I’ll drink to that.” Dean jokingly comments, and the two laugh as Cas flies them to the center of life in the Eighth Circle of Heaven, the lovers hand in hand. Dean blinks, taking in his new surroundings, and Cas squeezes his hand reassuringly, rubbing small circles on the back of it with his thumb.

“This is the Garden of the Spires of Creation. This is where everyone comes to meet with each other, and in their free time, socialize and enjoy Heaven.” Cas explains, pulling Dean along. It is much like a garden, accept this one has more terraces, spires, and little cabana type things with what look like food, drink, and various object on them. Not only that, but there are angels lying and sitting in the grass and flowers, their wings spread out, sunning themselves. Others talk and walk among the various sculptures depicting Biblical figures and happenings, while some sing in groups or play instruments Dean has never seen before, but that sound absolutely breathtaking.

Several angels are kneeling and feeding small animals that scamper through the taller flowers, and there are angels who groom each other’s wings. Dean recognizes them as mated pairs, and Cas follows his gaze, seeing the couples pulling loose feathers from their partner’s wings.

“Ah, the mated couples are grooming each other’s wings. It is an intimate act usually saved for the nest, where you are to put the feathers after they fall out, but a few of them do a less intimate version out here. It’s like kissing in public; some prefer to do it where others can’t see, but it’s never the full version, much as you wouldn’t copulate in front of hundreds of people.” Castiel explains, and Dean nods, gazing at Cas’ wings.

“When do I get to groom your wings?” Dean questions, his voice containing a note of sultriness. Castiel’s pupils widen and he licks his lips- oh man, if only he knew what that motion did to Dean- and answers with his voice an octave lower,

“Whenever you’d like, my Beloved. I believe we are more of a… private couple, and I would most likely get carried away, so we should most likely wait until we are back at home.” Castiel says, though the desire coloring his eyes and cheeks and the twitching of his wings tells Dean otherwise.

Dean does, however, understand. He wouldn’t want anyone to see him pleasure his angel. It’s definetly a private thing for them.

“Well I’ll be sure to soon.” Dean murmurs in Cas’ ear, kissing his temple. Cas just nods, not trusting his voice to conceal his desire. Cas leads them over to a cabana with various fruits cut up, and other little dishes containing things like pastries, or at least that is what they appear like to Dean. Cas picks one up and offers it to his hunter.

“Try some. It’s like honey and flakey pastry. I think it will be something you like,” Cas says, picking up some for his self. Dean takes a bite and involuntarily moans at the taste; it is sugary sweet, crispy and syrupy, and he doesn’t hesitate to cram the rest into his mouth. Cas chuckles, his left wing coming up to wrap around Dean, curling slightly at his waist, in a gesture of affection. Dean tries more of the fruit available, marveling at the texture and flavor, and then tries a beverage made of juice and something else that has to be the best thing he’s ever drank. When they’re finished with their angel-culture breakfast, Cas brings Dean to another cabana, where an angel is sitting crosslegged in the grass, fashioning something small and gold in his hands. When he sees Cas approach, the angel lowers his light brown wings in what Dean is quickly recognizing as an act of respect, the tips of the angel’s wings flattening to the ground.

“Greetings, Castiel. I have the item finished, I was just polishing it.” the angel says, a male who looks to be in his fifties. Cas smiles and thanks him, closing his hand around the object, then drops to one knee in front of Dean, taking the hunter’s left hand in his own, and slipping a ring onto his ring finger.

“For you, my Beloved. Now the ritual is complete, that you bear a ring, just as I do. I picked the precious substance that is the exact color of your soul, only yours is so much more beautiful and lively- positively astounding. The inside of the band has my signature in Enochian engraved into it. I wanted you to have a ring just as I have yours; you are as bound to me the human way as I am bound to you the celestial way.” Castiel announces, kissing each of his hunter’s fingers before finally kissing the ring that is now Dean’s. Dean lifts his hand to examine it, and the gold is unlike anything he’s ever seen on earth. The color seems alive, shimmering and glittering, like sunshine infused with gold and honey. He feels his eyes grow moist at the sentiment, and Cas brushes the tip of his wing down Dean’s back in another gesture of endearment.

“I love it, Cas, thank you…. So much.” are the only words Dean can find. He shifts his hand so the rays of the sun fall on it, and it looks like it is aflame with that golden color. Dean kisses Cas deeply and unabashedly, feeling the cold ridge of the ring on Cas’ finger as the angel knots his hands in Dean’s hair, and a shudder of euphoria goes through his body at how right it all feels. They walk over to a patch of grass where there aren’t any angels, sitting down among the wildflowers, and Cas stretches his wings out, lying back with them splayed out on either side of them. Like this, Dean can see how huge they are, with all different shapes and sizes of feathers, the colors dark on the outsides and tips, but the insides, where it is more sensitive as Dean has come to learn are lighter, bluer than the dark, charcoal color of the others. Cas tugs Dean to lie beside him, the wing Dean is lying on like a pillowy mattress. The sun, warm and inviting, beats down on them, warming Cas’ feathers and Dean’s skin. Their faces are turned up towards the golden light, soaking it in.

Dean really likes how his angel looks sunning himself. His face is completely at ease, peaceful and blissfully happy, his wings eagerly absorbing the warmth offered by both the sun and his mate. Cas looks more innocent like this, less like a commander of one of Heaven’s greatest garrisons, and it makes Dean feel a rush of affection for him. A being so mighty, ethereal in power, responsibility, and knowledge, unfolded like this out in the sun, basking in the golden rays, makes Dean’s heart warm, makes him smile widely. This is his angel, so beautiful and pure.

Later they keep exploring the Garden of the Spires of Creation, Dean fascinated by the angel culture. Everyone looks happy and kind, enjoying their time off. Some paint beautiful pictures on rocks with colors Dean has never even seen before, others watch children with small wings play by the rocks along a pond, singing and talking and laughing. Birds flit from tree to tree, chirping, and the wind gently rustles the leaves on the trees, creating a beautiful background sound. Everything about it is peaceful and pleasant; everything gets along together in harmony. Having been a hunter his whole life, something about this is distinctly appealing. It’s like a refuge away from all the pain and horrors he witnesses on earth.

Everything is going wonderful until Cas freezes mid stride, his eyes going wide and unfocused, like he is listening to voices Dean can’t hear. Dean is suddenly urgent, frantically trying to shake Cas out of his trance.

“Cas! What is it?” Dean asks, worry in his voice. Cas’ voice is strained, and he appears to be listening to both Dean and something else at the same time.

“It’s your brother. He’s praying to me. He’s in trouble, Dean. He needs our help right away.”

Chapter Text

“What?! Fuck! What happened?” Dean demands, his voice loud and urgent. Castiel’s eyes narrow as he strives to pick up the connection which, to his dismay, is faltering. Never before has he had any trouble hearing prayers any less than crystal-clear. Now it sounds like he’s talking to Sam on a cellphone with bad signal.
“He’s asking for my help, your help, our help, but he is not giving any specifics. We must go now, Dean.” Cas answers, his voice solemn and tinged with alarm.
“Then let’s go! Come on!” Dean orders. Cas wastes no time in touching two fingers to Dean’s forehead, flying them through Heaven to earth, following the weak signal to Sam’s location- his prayers alerting Cas of the younger Winchester’s whereabouts. Dean opens his eyes seconds later and finds himself standing outside an obviously abandoned house. It looks on the verge of collapse; the roof is caving in at the middle, wooden shingles rotted away, and pale strips of once-green paint are peeling off the side of the house from harsh weathering and age. The windows have been all but shattered, and what little glass remains is too dirty to see through. A few holes litter the porch, and Dean avoids them while running up it to the door.

Dean is just about to kick the door down when he feels Cas’ hand on his shoulder. The hunter turns his head, meeting eyes of blazing azure.
“Dean, we need to think of a plan-” Cas begins, but all Dean hears hs his own blood rushing in his ears. Like hell they need a plan- Dean’s brother is in there, with who knows what, and he needs their help. Dean’s armed enough with his all-powerful angel equipped with angel blade and his own two fists. He doesn’t care it might not be the wisest move, he just needs to get to his brother.
“Let’s just go in there, guns blazing, and kill the sonovabitch who has my brother!” Dean decides impatiently. Castiel’s whole body is tense, his features contorted into a look that somehow manages to portray protectiveness, vigilance, hesitance, and confusion, all at once.
“I can’t go in there, Dean. The place has been warded against angels, which is why hearing Sam’s prayers was more difficult than it should have been. And there is no way in Heaven or Hell I am going to let you go in there alone. It’s obviously a trap; and they must not know who they are dealing with if they think I will let you walk right into it.” Cas argues. The warding part brings Dean up short.

“Shit. Fuck, Cas. I have to go in there, I can’t leave Sam. What do we do?” Dean growls in frustration, pissed. Castiel is concentrating hard, trying to think of something that will work for them, when an all too familiar bloodcurdling scream pierces both his and Dean’s thoughts, thinly masked by the walls of the house. That’s all it takes. Dean kicks down the door, adrenaline surging through his veins, and runs inside.
“Dean! No!” Castiel is shouting, panicked. Dean grits his teeth in pain; he can feel Cas’ side of the bond scream in terror and urgency, clawing desperately and protectively at him, communicating all the hysteria Cas feels because of Dean’s recklessness. The hunter hates making Cas feel like this, but he has to save his brother; Cas would do the same for him.

The seraph throws himself at the door, but an unseen but powerful force propels him back, forcing him to stay outside. Cas is nearly unhinged in his worry and panic, his whole being needing to follow Dean. Sam, who Cas also loves like a brother- is in harm’s way, and not only that, but his mate has just thrown himself right into the trap set by whoever has the younger Winchester. But worst of all Cas is unable to follow. His family is in trouble, and Cas is standing on the porch, unable to do anything but yell for Dean to come back. He has to protect Dean, has to save Sam….the angel has never been more enraged at his inability to do anything. He has to think of something, some way, any way to get in there.

The sound of his brother’s cry of pain drives Dean to act without thinking, following pure instinct that solely exists to protect his brother at all costs. He’s sprinting into the abandoned house, into the living room, and finding it empty, his mind ignoring details but for the angel warding symbols on the walls. There are so many it would take hours to cancel them all out, and Dean feels each second wasting away like a bomb about to go off while he’s searching for Sam. Another strangled cry sounds from a closed door on the right, and Dean can identify it as where he needs to go not only by the heavier angel warding sigils drawn on the door, but by Sam’s tortured groans. Dean doesn’t even bother trying to see if the door is locked; he pulls his leg back and lets it snap forward with all his force to bear, his heel colliding with the wood so forcefully the door is torn off its ancient, rusted hinges.

With a loud, hollow bang, the door slams flat to the ground, and Dean runs into the room. He finds himself in a bedroom that has been fashioned into a makeshift prison of torture. In the center of the room, strapped to a metal chair by his wrists, ankles, and chest, is his baby brother, who is in a horrible physical state. A cut that spans the length of his hairline trickles blood into his swollen, blackened eyes; his bottom lip is split and leaking blood down his chin and neck. A series of incisions have been made to his chest and arms; the worst one is where his tricep meets his bicep, and it is gushing blood, the red substance pooling in a puddle at his feet. Sam is slumped over, and Dean has no doubt he’s been beaten into unconsciousness, more than once at least. Rage, an all-consuming wrath tears through him, igniting each of his bones with fire. His little brother, whom he has protected his whole life, who it is his duty to protect, who’d give his life to protect him, is on the verge of unconsciousness, bleeding out, and Dean wasn’t here to stop it from happening.

Standing around Sam are five men, all of whom are uncharacteristically tall, revealing them as Nephilim. Dean’s deciding which one to kill first- he goes with the one holding the machete slick with Sam’s blood- when someone appears behind him suddenly, mashing a rag over his mouth and nose. Dean’s eyes widen and he sucks in a surprised breath before he can stop himself; the sickeningly sweet scent of chloroform fills his lungs and brain, and before he can form a coherent thought to yank away, to punch the person smashing the drugged cloth into his face, his brain is shutting down, allowing him to breathe in more of the toxic substance. Dean’s eyes roll back into his head and his legs give out, just as blackness rises up from behind his eyes and swallows him whole. The hunter collapses in a heap on the ground, unconscious.

***

When Dean awakes, he is strapped to a chair, facing his brother, who is staring at him with pain, concern, and urgency in his hazel eyes. The fog of chloroform-induced sleepiness addled his brain, clinging to it, muddling his thoughts, but one thing does penetrate through- Cas’ side of the bond, crying out in anguish with the desire to protect what he can’t reach. Cas’ fear and anger is acute, Dean’s awareness of the bond helping form a sense of clarity. It only intensifies when Cas receives whatever Dean’s end of the bond is feeling. Outrage from Cas at Dean’s pain spirals through the bond. Dean fights to stay awake, to process what is going on, to get a hold of his seemingly distant body.

A sudden pang of worry for Sam jolts him into a slightly more stable form of consciousness, and with this, Dean is clawing through the chloroform haze, fighting to focus. Sam is gagged, still blinking rapidly against the steady stream of blood coursing into his eyes from the deep cut on his forehead, and that in itself sends a rush of hatred and malevolence through Dean strong enough to get him the rest of the way into a full state of awareness. “Sammy, I’m here, it’s going to be okay,” Dean reassures his brother, locking eyes with him. Sam nods, and Dean feels his heart heave at the sight of tears welling up in Sam’s eyes.

Dean looks around them for the men he saw earlier, but he is alone with his brother in the room.

“Show your fucking faces, you sonsovbitches! I’m going to fucking rip you limb from limb!” Dean roars, his voice raised so that anyone in the house would be able to hear it. He waits, knowing that they’re here somewhere. Dean’s blood boils with fury; he is more than eager to take what he learned about torturing people in Hell and use every scrap of knowledge from it on the five fuckers who were stupid enough to harm even a hair on his brother’s head. Dean’s heart aches for his baby brother, who is mutilated and probably scared, but the rest of Dean is yearning fiercely for revenge.

“You’re awake. Splendid,” a deep, gravelly voice acknowledges, and Dean twists his head as far as he can to see behind him, attempting to make out the source of the voice. The five Nephilim Dean remembers from earlier enter the room one by one, filing in to stand in front of him, appearing infuriatingly at ease. Dean’s hands ball into fists and he clenches his jaw, eyes blazing with bloodlust. He wants to kill them, all of them, for daring to hurt his little brother.

“Who the fuck do you think you are, and what the fuck do you want?” Dean growls, voice dripping acid. A Nephil who looks weary and ragged steps forward. He looks like he got in a fight with a lion and only just somehow managed to escape; but something about his demeanor, with his chin jutted up defiantly, his shoulders squared, back ramrod-straight, gives off an air of superiority. Dean takes it he is the leader.

“I am the co-leader of the Nephilim army, and what do I want? You, actually. Torturing Sam there was just the most effective way I could think of to get you here,” the leader says, shrugging blithely, voice careless. Fury makes Dean see red, his pulse jackhammering through his veins with livid anger.

“Yeah, well you just guaranteed I’m going to kill you, all of you, after brutally beating the shit out of you. You can be sure I’ll use every tactic I learned in Hell to make you wish you were dead,” Dean spits, casting a glance over at his brother, who is seeming to dip in and out of consciousness. Dean winces; he wants to get him out of here and patch him up. The blood loss must be making him fade in and out, or maybe it’s the pain- possibly a combination of both. Dean’s got to get them both out of here. So he does the only thing he can; he keeps talking, trying to derive information that could help him out.

“What do you mean you want me? Besides the obvious reason- I’m alarmingly attractive,” Dean can’t help but flavor his words with heavy cockiness and sass. The Nephil leader snorts, unamused, and takes up a casual stance beside Sam, removing a dagger with a cruel, curved blade. Dean tenses up seeing it so close to his wounded brother, gritting his teeth to repress the threats he wants to start screaming at the Nephilim.

“You may find taking this seriously will be in your best interest, if you want your brother’s eyes to stay in his head,” the Nephil says nonchalantly, circling one of Sam’s closed eyes with the tip of the blade. Sam’s out, but that doesn’t stop overprotectiveness and the urge Dean feels to savagely kill this creature from filling Dean to the brim.

“Anyways,” the Nephil continues, “as you can see, my body is quite a bit beat up from fighting in the war on Heaven. I know you are aware from earlier experience that my people have acquired the ability to possess humans,” the Nephil begins. Something cold sings through Dean’s blood. He has a sickening feeling about where this could be going.

“This body is going to die very quickly, and is weak. I need a strong body with a strong soul I can exploit for power, and you know whose is strongest?” The Nephil asks teasingly, grinning sadistically at Dean, whose stomach feels filled with shards of ice. “That’s right, you guessed it! The one and only Righteous Man.”

“No way in hell, asshat. There’s no way you’re ever going to convince me to give my consent to be used as a vessel. Been there, done that, man. And trust me, if an archangel can’t get me to agree, neither can some weak, spineless douchebag Nephil.” Dean’s voice is snarky and over confident, covering up the fear he feels. He knows they will use Sam to get their way, and he’s scared to see how far they will go. Plus, they might also have Cas, and Dean can’t bear to have them use his brother, let alone his angel. Fuck, Cas! Dean is suddenly wracked with nervous panic and worry. Where is his angel? Is he okay? Do the Nephilim have him? All Dean wants at this very moment is for Cas to be here, just so he knows that the seraph is okay. He feels sick being apart from his mate.

Dean sends all these things over the bond to Cas, and gets in reply a tsunami of concern, worry, angst, rage, and even comfort, like Cas is trying to reassure Dean that everything is going to be okay. The angel warding is preventing Dean from sending telepathic messages across; nothing clearer than emotions is making it through the bond with the sigils between them. The Nephil leader raises an eyebrow, then his expression melts into something sinister; a wide smile boasting of malice.

“I don’t need your consent, Dean. I’m not an angel. I take what I want, and you are powerless to stop me.”

Dean’s stomach drops into his heels at the revelation. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck! Before Dean’s control can spiral into full blown hysterical panic, the Nephil is already acting, gesturing from the other four of his men to Dean.

“Begin the ritual,” the leader declares, voice triumphant, eyes hateful and arrogant. Dean’s insides are twisted in horror; Sam is unconscious and bleeding out, Cas is unable to get in here and Dean has no idea if he is okay or not, and the Nephil is going to possess Dean. How the hell is he supposed to stop all of this and fix it? How is he supposed to save the day when he is essentially powerless to do so?

The Nephilim leader’s men surge forward and around Dean, drawing knives from their pockets. They begin to cut away his clothes, while the leader starts to spray paint an unfamiliar sigil on the ground, setting candles up around it and lighting them. Dean thrashes against his restraints, swearing, punching, kicking, completely unhinged in his desperation at the situation’s new direction. His struggles do close to nothing; they only succeed in rubbing his wrists raw. The Nephilim cut through Dean’s jacket, flannel, and shirt, then rip the tattered cloth away so Dean is bare chested. One of them positions the blade of his knife over Dean’s heart, and Dean knows exactly where this is heading. They’re going to gouge another damn symbol into his chest, and this time, it’s going to allow the Nephil leader to possess him.

“Wait. What the fuck are those brands?” One of the Nephilim ask, confused. Dean watches as the four of them scan his chest, taking in the brands and symbols Castiel had burned and engraved into Dean’s flesh and bones. “They’re all over his body,” the Nephil adds, walking around Dean in a circle, eyes catching the brands at the back of his neck and all down his spine.

“What’s the hold up for? I gave you orders, dammit!” The leader bellows, agitation showing through the calm facade he has put up to this point.

“Sir, there are brands all over his body. We suspect they might be-” the Nephil is cut off when the leader pushes them all out of the way in order to get a better view of Dean’s body. His scornful eyes rake over Dean’s naked chest, taking in each mark of possession, ownership, protection, each one bearing Castiel’s name, inscribed all over the hunter’s body. The Nephilim leader hooks his fingers under the waistband of Dean’s jeans and tugs them down, just enough so he can the two prominent brands seared between Dean’s hipbones. A low growl rumbles from the back of the leader’s throat.

“They’re fucking ownership sigils! He and Castiel completed the angelic mating ritual, and Castiel has laid his claim over Dean’s body and soul, the brand's a physical testament of that. They’re unbreakable; Castiel’s Grace, as well as a covenant and pact with the very power of Heaven forged through the ritual, secure them. This body, this soul, all of it belongs to Castiel. I am physically and metaphysically unable to possess him, with these damn brands and ritualistic claims set over him!” The Nephilim leader is absolutely pissed. Dean curls his lip into a snarl.

“Oh yeah, that’s right! Good luck trying to use me as a Nephil condom now, assholes!” Dean growls, glaring up at the surrounding ring of Nephilim. Suddenly, all the rage on the leader’s face is swept away, replaced with calm calculation.

“Then we have to kill Castiel. The only way to break all of these, and the ritual, will be to kill the seraph.” The Nephil leader states, as if the fact is the simplest in the world. A second shot of adrenaline and fear hit Dean like a punch in the gut. The leader orders his men to seek out the angel and kill him, and Dean does all he can do in the moment: he prays. He reaches out for Cas desperately over the bond, searching for him, but to his alarm, Cas’ Grace is unresponsive. What could they have already done? What will they do?

Nothing. They can’t. They won’t. Dean will not lose Castiel.

He can’t.

Chapter Text

The Nephilim men, all but the leader, file out of the room quickly, shutting the door behind them, leaving just an unconscious Sam; a bound, heavily pissed-off, and worried Dean; and the Nephilim co-leader himself. Dean supposes the Nephil must’ve graduated ranks now that the previous leader has been killed, by none other than Castiel himself. Dean glares daggers at him, the Nephil’s annoyance still evident on his face, but he relaxes and gets right back into the swing of things just moments later.

“Alright, Righteous Man,” the Nephil sneered, “this is how things are going to go from here on out. Since you and your brother have a nasty history of always escaping when imprisoned, I’m going to take some extra precautions surrounding that area of concern.
“First off, I’m going to separate you two. Makes things a hell of a lot more difficult when the codependent hunter brothers are apart, right? Since Sam is as good as dead bleeding out like he is now, I’ll leave him to my men, tied up as he is. But with you, I’m going to take every detail into account. We’re going on a trip, Righteous Man. Far away from here, to a room warded against angels, where we will wait things out. Once Castiel is killed, I will be able to possess you, and then you don’t really matter from there on out. Now, you do have an option. I can either drug you again, or you can come willingly, and spare your brother the extra stab wounds. The choice is yours.”

Fury writhes like a living creature inside of Dean, and despite his better judgement, he lashes out.
“I’m going to fucking kill you! You touch my angel or my brother and you’re going to die the worst fucking death I can deliver!” Dean roars, straining violently against his bonds. Anger, fear, desperation, and wrath are making him wildly impulsive and reckless. All he can think of is how every damn thing is going as wrong as possible, and the two people he loves most in the universe are going to die because of him if he can’t get his shit together and do something. Dean Winchester has been in incredibly tight and hopeless situations before, but this one directly threatens his brother and angel. That’s more than enough to send him over the edge.

The Nephil looks like a disappointed parent, shaking his head in mock pity as he saunters over to the table lined with torture devices.
“Alright, the hard way it is, then. I’m not one for cliches, so I’m not going to offer you any last words.” the Nephil says, dousing the torn rag in his hand with chloroform from a brown and white bottle. Dean’s bellowing hate and abuse at him, but his words are quickly muffled when the Nephil thrusts the rag into his mouth and over his nose. Dean holds his breath, still twisting and pulling at his restraints with all he has in him, summoning every scrap of strength he has in his body and putting it to use. Seconds in and each movement is sluggish and increasingly weaker, the oxygen cut off from his brain sapping the strength and energy he urgently needs. Impatient, the Nephil slams his fist into the side of Dean’s head, forcing Dean to gasp in a breath of drugged air, and that’s all it takes. Consciousness bleeds from Dean’s grasp and he is pulled reluctantly into blackness.

 

***

Sam doesn’t know how much time has passed, but when he wakes up, there is a variety of indicators he was out when some important things took place. The biggest one, the one that lodges a stone of cold worry in his gut, is the fact that Dean is no longer in the chair next to him. In fact, Sam is alone in the makeshift prison room. He feels sicker and weaker than he’s felt in quite a long time; his head pounds in time with his too fast and too shallow heartbeat, his vision is spotty and black threatens to creep in at the edges, he feels incredibly light-headed and like he is going to pass out if he does so much as turn his head. Not only that, but each incision, each stab wound, each broken bone or swelling bruise seems to reverberate with pain, agony a lacerating sensation shooting through his body, the origin each injury he is suffering from. All of which are Nephilim inflicted, of course.
Sam knows better than to call out his brother’s name; right now, the only advantage he has is that no one knows he is awake, and that no one is keeping an eye on him, well, at least none that he can see. Sam can hardly form coherent thoughts; his entire body seems to protest being alive, shying away from the relentless pain ripping through each nerve ending, over and over again. He longs to pass out, but the desire is stifled by the more pressing one he feels to find his brother and Cas, and to get the hell out of here. The younger Winchester can worry about his injuries once he knows Dean and Cas are safe and that they have a way to get out of here. Sam forces his vision to sharpen, pulling into focus the room beyond the open door, and such a simple action seems to take a monumental amount of effort. There’s a hollow yet shrill ringing in Sam’s ears, but he’s managing to pick up the voices of Nephilim men talking to each other in a language Sam’s abused brain doesn’t understand.

He sees them. The four Nephilim men are each armed with a can of spray paint, and are stationed across the living room, spraying canceling lines through the angel warding painted onto every visible inch of wall and intact window. Sam blinks his eyes rapidly, as if to clear his vision. This doesn’t make sense. Why would they be canceling out the angel warding? Don’t they know what will happen to them if Cas makes it in? The image before him doesn’t change. The Nephilim talk amongst themselves, taking their time in slashing through each sigil with a line of paint. Sam vaguely notices the way that they are walking and orienting themselves is a bit odd; they seem to be gingerly and carefully stepping over something on the ground, and Sam lowers his eyes, almost fainting in his strain to see, and realizes what exactly it is they’re trying not to walk on.

Around the circumference of the room, a thick trail of holy oil has been poured out, creating a circle that encompasses the entire living room’s floor. Several empty jugs of holy oil have been kicked aimlessly into the shadowy corners, lousily hidden from view, and Sam suddenly understands in a sickening burst of clarity. They’re creating a trap for Castiel. They’re crossing out all the angel warding so he’ll come flying in as soon as he is able, right smack into the circle of holy oil they no doubt intend to light once they’re ready. They’re forgetting one key detail though; Cas would fly right to where Sam is, not in the living room just for the hell of it. So if he follows the exact location, which Sam sees no reason why he wouldn’t, then he won’t fly right into the trap. He’ll have a fighting chance against the four Nephilim, which is much better than being rendered powerless and trapped in a circle of holy oil.

Sam coughs, something hot, sticky, and distinctly tasting of salt and rust starting to climb up his throat. Before he can attempt to hack and cough until it comes out, a crushing way of vertigo hits him, and his delicate state of consciousness is ripped right out from under him.

 

***

When Dean comes to in a heavily drugged and groggy state, the first thing he can make out through the blurs masking his vision are an abundance of angel warding symbols hastily spray painted on white walls. He grits his teeth against the pain in his head, mashing his eyes shut to ward off a massive headache he feels coming on. His stomach clenches, insides roiling, and for a second he thinks he’s going to be violently ill. He’s inhaled too much chloroform and passed out too many times. His body feels feebler than he’s comfortable with, not to mention the effort it takes to not puke up his guts is more than he can exert in this kind of a state. He needs to get his crap together and figure out what’s going on, and what the hell he can do to stop it.

Dean flexes his muscles slowly, one by one, checking to see if he’s hurt anywhere, and is relieved to find that aside from some soreness and maybe a few bruises, his body is fine. The drug-induced haze in his brain is slowly dissipating as Dean struggles to remain coherent, forcing himself to focus and look around. The green-eyed hunter finds himself tied to another chair, the ropes in the same places. Really, at this point he should be used to them. He clenches his hands into fists, glaring at the angel warding on the walls. He’s receiving absolutely nothing from his and Cas’ bond, no indicator of how Cas is doing, and no way to tell the angel he loves him and what’s going on, or even to find out if he’s okay. Dean finds this both immensely frustrating and worrying, and he growls under his breath, cursing every Nephil to ever exist and whoever the asshat was who invented chloroform.

Minutes seem to turn into hours as the hunter waits for the drugs to wear off. He’s taking careful inventory of the room, and he finds himself in what looks eerily like a long-ago shutdown kindergarten room. Rows of tables and short plastic chairs are scattered throughout the room, a thick layer of dirt and dust atop each surface. The smells of musk and mildew take turns assaulting Dean’s nose as he turns his head and looks at the walls and at what is behind him. Paintings; faded and curling around the edges from age, adorn the walls, along with a chalkboard hung on the wall behind him, a fine film of chalk dust still on it. The most foreboding part is that this place obviously wasn’t abandoned intentionally; it looks exactly as it should, as if tomorrow morning there would be a bunch of kids coming in here ready to learn. However; the only indicator anyone has been in here in the past decade is Dean himself, along with the angel warding symbols painted across the expanse of wall.

“Can whoever the fuck is here show his face? I have a few choice words for the sonovabitch who wants to use me as a Nephil condom and wants to kill my badass motherfucking angel husband in the process.” Dean shouts, taking care to only portray irritation and how pissed-off he is in his tone. He carefully folds up all the angst and fear he feels for Castiel and stuffs it back down inside himself, his soul still reaching across the bond, crying out for Castiel, searching for the seraph. The door to the classroom creaks open, an infuriatingly familiar figure pushing his way into the room and shutting the door behind him.

“You rang?” the leader asks, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms over his chest, posture practically dripping of arrogance and nonchalance. Dean debates how wise it would be to be snarky over negotiating. The green-eyed man must face the facts. He’s trapped in here, in this room warded against angels, a Nephil wants to possess him, and has set his men out to kill his Cas. His panic is escalating as each second passes with him unable to escape or contact/feel Castiel through the bond. Dean is painfully aware of how dire circumstances have become, and how he seems to be nearly useless in doing anything about them.

“You’re never going to find or kill Cas. He’s not a dumbass, like you. I think you’re forgetting the fact he’s garrison commander of Heaven’s most badass army, and he’s like, a shit ton more powerful than you.” Dean rambles, letting bland threats push past his lips as his mind races to find something, anything, to give him any sort of of advantage or fighting chance. The Nephil swaggers up to Dean, shoulders cocked, eyes looking down at the hunter, before he crouches beside him, removing an angel blade from the inside of his jacket. He holds the tip right to Dean’s throat, tracing lazy circles around the base of his neck, then following the pulsing outline of Dean’s juglar. Dean’s heart is pounding inside him, a cold sweat dewing on the back of his neck and down his spine. He tries to reassure himself the Nephil wouldn’t stab his vessel, but Dean isn’t going to put anything past him.

“Cas? Your lover-seraph, Castiel? You’re a little behind on current events, Righteous Man. You missed a lot, unconscious as you were for so long. We have Castiel. This is his angel blade, we stole right from him. He’s begging for your life in a circle of burning holy oil at the moment, pleading that we might kill him instead of take you. Little does he know that we intend to do both.” The Nephil smiles a tight, malevolent smile at Dean and raises up into a standing position. Dean’s heart plunges into his heels, then seems to stop beating completely. Dean wants to believe he’s lying, oh holy shit, he needs the Nephilim leader to be lying, but the creature is waving Cas’ blade in his face, flaunting it, and Dean is going to be sick with the hatred ripping through him.

“You son of a bitch. Cas is gonna kick your asses! He’s been there, done that, and you know what? He had no trouble smiting the asshole who put him there. And when he knows you’re keeping me here, he’ll blow this place to hell and skewer your ass on the angel blade you stole from him. Even better yet? I will be the one to hold you down while he does it. You can’t capture Cas. He’s too fucking powerful for you and your gang of half-breeds. Just wait.” Dean gives a scoffing laugh, sitting back against his chair like it’s his own personal throne, body buzzing like a live wire with the amount of wrath he feels coursing through his veins. The Nephil clenches his fist into a ball, jaw snapping shut, and looks like he is restraining himself from punching Dean for being so defiant and disrespectful.
“Wouldn’t wanna hurt your new meatsuit, would you?.” Dean teases, the glare the Nephil shoots him feeding the fire he feels in his bones.
The Nephilim leader is back in control of his emotions almost instantly, like flipping a switch. Once again he is cool and confident, tucking the blade back into his jacket.
“You say that, but what do you have besides a too-big mouth? I have his blade. I have him in a circle of lit holy oil. I have you strapped to a chair, your connection with him severed due to the warding and traps you’re both distanced by. Try that on for size, Righteous Man.” He retorts.

“Bite me,” Dean taunts. They stare at each other for a long moment before the Nephil pulls out his phone.

“Just gonna step outside and make a call. Don’t go anywhere.” he jokes, then exits the room. Dean is once again alone, his mind reeling. He doesn’t know fact from fiction when it comes from the Nephil’s mouth.

“Cas,” Dean breathes quietly, his heart aching for his angel, the bond writhing in pain without Cas’ Grace present, filling it, waiting for him on the other end. “I need you to be okay man. I love you. I love you so damn much. I need you to stay alive for me. Please.” Dean whispers, dropping his head, bowing his shoulders in a rare display of vulnerability. Dean might be the best hunter out there, but it all means nothing without having his angel to fight for.

 

***

 

Sam comes to when his body begins to shake and tremble. He feels freezing cold, despite the temperate weather, but the shivering seems to come from his very core. It reminds the younger Winchester of that one time him and Dean were on a hunt, stranded out in some forlorn forest, and he hadn’t eaten all day. He had started shaking and trembling, and he’d figured out it was the result of his blood sugar getting so low. Right now, Sam is willing to bet he’s shaking not from a low blood sugar, but from blood loss. There isn’t enough of the life-giving substance pumping through his veins, going to his brain and supplying his organs with much needed oxygen. If it hasn’t already, one fifth of his blood volume will drain away, thus sending him into a coma that only a blood transfusion will take him out of. Sam’s already teetering precariously on the brink of consciousness, just holding on by fingernails.

His vision, swimming in purpley-black blurs, comes into focus, and he mashes his lips together to suppress a groan at the sensation of being completely weak and sick, not to mention injured and in amounts of pain he hasn’t experienced for years. Somehow, Sam still manages to focus in on the living room, and at the Nephilim just finishing up crossing out the angel warding symbols with red spray paint slashes. He has no idea how much time has passed, and his brain is too oxygen starved to recall what secret advantage he had on his side. He curses his blood loss for leaving him too weak and dazed to try and prepare for whatever is going to come next. Sam doesn’t even have a chance to grab desperately at his fragmented thoughts before he hears a triumphant crow from one of the Nephilim in the living room, just having finished canceling out all the angel warding. Muttered phrases of ‘get ready!’ and ‘he’s coming any minute.’ register in his ears, but the words snap in two and float away. Sam fears he may be hallucinating when suddenly Cas is right in front of him, their faces inches apart.
Cas looks quite a bit worse for wear. Lines of anxiety, worry, and exhaustion have etched themselves into his face. Sam, even in his muddled state, recognizes the concern amid many other things festering in the seraph’s blue eyes. Sam feels himself slipping off into unconsciousness, no amount of effort stopping his descent. He’s only able to blink blearily up at the angel, wondering if the shimmering image of his face and hand stretching out is some trippy blood loss hallucination or what. Two warm fingers press against Sam’s chilly, sweat-laden forehead, and a rush of celestial warmth and power envelopes him, warming him from the inside out with a pleasant, renewing, healing force. Cas is working as fast as he can, coaxing his Grace to fix Sam, trying to be as quiet but efficient as possible. Thirty seconds have passed, and Cas figures he’s racing time trying to heal Sam before they notice that Cas flew straight to Sam, avoiding the holy oil circle trap completely.

“He missed the trap!” One Nephil shouts, and Cas urges his Grace to hurry and refill Sam’s veins with the blood they’ve lost, panic flitting through him as he scrambles to heal Sam of all his fatal injuries. The Nephilim are running into the room and Cas is exerting his all into healing Sam, waiting until the last possible second with the healing process to destroy the bonds anchoring Sam to his chair. His Grace has just decimated the ankle restraints, leaving him no time to check and see if Sam has been healed all the way, when the sharp tip of a blade pierces his back, right between the seraph’s shoulder blades.

Chapter Text

As soon as the door shuts behind the Nephil, Dean is instantly searching for a way out of his restraints. The rope is thick and rough, already having rubbed raw rings around his wrists and ankles as a result of his earlier struggling, and the knots seem expertly done. A low growl of frustration climbs up the hunter’s throat. If he’s not going to be able to use physical force to untie the ropes and get out of here, he’s going to have to try something else. Dean can’t reason with the Nephil and plead for him to let Dean out; for one, the Nephil isn’t stupid enough to let Dean freaking Winchester out of the ropes, and two, Dean’s not sure his pride would allow him to plead and beg. Even acting like he’s given up is more than he can handle. He is the one who survived Hell, who helped stop the apocalypse, who resisted being Michael’s vessel. Dean Winchester is not one to resort to sniveling and acting like he’s given up to get out of a situation.

He’s not about to start now.

Thinking fast, Dean decides that since the Nephilim leader must’ve stripped him of all his hidden weapons while the older Winchester was unconscious, he’ll have to get creative. His hands and feet are bound, he’s tied to a chair, and he’s got no knives or guns, but he does have his actual body. Dean thinks back to a remark he made...’Wouldn’t wanna hurt your new meat suit, would you?’ An idea springs into the hunter’s head, and a surge of hope flows through him. He clings to it like a lifeline, praying to Cas that this works. Speaking of Cas, Cas will kill him for this later, but if it alone gives the angel the chance to do so, it’s more than Dean could ask for. Twisting his head to the side and angling it down as far as he can, and bites down on the skin at the top of his shoulder. Clenching his jaw and tensing his body, Dean digs his teeth into the meat there and then jerks his head to the side and up, ripping off a piece of skin and flesh.

A loud groan of pain follows as Dean spits the gory chunk of his shoulder out onto the ground, wincing at the salty-warm taste of blood, and then peers down sideways at his shoulder. Blood is already welling up and starting to flow freely from the wound, and though it burns like hell, it’s sure to accomplish what he needs. Dean grits his teeth and then reaches over to the other shoulder, finding it harder to harm himself and repeat the process this time, with his body rejecting the thought of causing himself more pain. Still, the hunter braces himself and copies the motion, once again gouging a chunk from his shoulder and spitting it onto the ground. He must’ve bit deeper with this one, because blood is gushing at a much faster pace from this injury, nerve endings almost fried from pain. Yeah, Cas is going to be absolutely pissed about this later, but Dean is in too much pain and too caught up in his hopeful plan to care at the moment. Just the thought of getting back to Cas fills him with a deep-burning determination.

Dean’s considering trying the same tactic with his chest, but doesn’t get the chance to try before the door swings open and the Nephil is entering. The half-angel-half-man’s eyes fall on the blood pouring from Dean’s shoulders, at the blood on Dean’s teeth when the hunter bears them in a defiant snarl, and the leader is rushing over.

“What the fuck are you doing?” He shouts, eyes darting around the room as he tries to figure out what to do.

“It’s my body, asshat. I do what I want. Not yours, you hear me? My body. Also Cas’. These marks prove it, and as long as it’s ours, you’re not going to even think about taking it,” Dean replies flatly, staring daggers into the Nephil’s eyes. The Nephilim leader ignores him, concerned about his soon-to-be vessel, desperate to keep it in as good a shape as possible so he’ll be fit to fight right after the possession. Swearing under his breath, the Nephil starts to cut through the ropes binding Dean, then pauses, realizing he’s being too hasty with his actions and not thinking straight. Not a single mistake can be made. The Nephil goes over to his bag and removes the rag, drenching it in chloroform, and brings it over to Dean, planning to knock Dean out, untie him, then get fixed up. After that, he’ll keep Dean unconscious until it’s time for the possession. If he does not, surely Dean will exploit this new found weapon and continue to injure himself. The Nephilim leader will not be having that. He’s putting a stop to all of Dean’s shit, right here, right now.

“You gonna knock me out, like the coward you are-” Dean begins to rant, fury in his voice, but the Nephilim leader quiets him by jamming the chloroform rag against his mouth and nose. Dean snaps his mouth shut and holds his breath, holding the half breath of air in his lungs on reserve, and acts as fast as possible. He lashes out, hand closing around the angel blade still clutched in the Nephil’s grip, and takes advantage of the leader’s distraction of trying to get him to pass out. Dean yanks the blade free with the one hand the leader had freed just a minute ago, then twirls it around as nimbly as he is able, slicing through the rope around his other hand. His lungs are burning for air, his head pounding painfully in time with his heartbeat, organs crying out for an intake of oxygen, and Dean knows he doesn’t have long before his body surrenders to the drugs.

The Nephilim leader cries out in surprise, moving to rip the blade from Dean’s hands before he can do any further damage, leaning over the hunter and grasping frantically for the weapon. In his hectic scramble to do so, he abandons holding the rag in front of Dean’s face in favor of having both hands to secure the blade, which is his biggest concern at the moment. Dean sucks in a deep breath, gasping wildly to replenish his body with oxygen, and pulls his elbow back, fingers tightening around the blade until his knuckles are bone white, and snaps his arm forward with as much force to bear. The Nephil’s position over Dean’s body is ideal; the blade spears him right through the heart, the angle perfect and allowing all of Dean’s muscular momentum to impale the Nephilim leader all the way through with the angel blade buried to its hilt. An exerted grunt pierces the air at the same time a choked up scream rips through the Nephil’s mouth, quickly stopped by the razor point cleaving through flesh, muscle, and bone until it can skewer the creature’s heart.

Flashes of that eerie, grayish not-Grace light electrify the eye sockets of the Nephilim leader, his whole body convulsing with the almost electrical shocks tearing through it. Dean yanks the blade back out before the body can crumple to the floor, spattering both his front and the ground with crimson blood. The blade gleams in the limited light slick with more of the red substance, and Dean hurries to use it to slice through the remaining ropes around his ankles and middle. In just seconds he’s free, breathing heavily, chest rising and falling rapidly to accommodate his fast contracting and expanding lungs, and his jackhammering heartbeat. Dean blinks blood out of his eyes, ignoring the specks in his eyelashes, and gazes down at the Nephil’s body, which is now still and harmless on the ground. The eye sockets are empty and smoking, tendrils of white rising up and curling in the air, mouth agape and also releasing smoke from the burned-out insides of the half-breed. A ragged, gaping hole has stopped pumping blood right over the Nephilim leader’s heart, the dead organ no longer forcing blood to circulate through its veins. The Nephilim leader is dead. Dean crouches down beside it, eyes boring into the smoking holes that once held its eyes.

“And that, that right there, is why you don’t fuck with Dean Winchester, much less his angel.” Dean says to the corpse, rising up into a standing position and wiping the gore-smeared blade onto his already bloodied jeans.

***

Sam is fully coherent at the exact second the tip of a blade emerges from Cas’ chest, and for one bewildering second Sam doesn’t understand what he sees. His thoughts come together all at once and he realizes Castiel has just been stabbed through the heart, all the way through his chest, so far that the blade is coming out the other side, tip puzzlingly clean. Sam gasps, yelling Cas’ name, ready to catch the angel when he falls, but Cas looks unperturbed by the blade in his chest. He spins on his heels to face the descending Nephilim, reaching behind him and grabbing the hilt of the blade. Sam has a sickeningly close-up view of Cas wrapping a hand around the blade and drawing it out of his back, giving it a disdainful glance, before handing it back to Sam. Sam watches, wide-eyed, before it hits him: Cas was stabbed with a normal knife, not an angel blade, so he is perfectly fine.

Relief washes over the younger Winchester as he jumps to his feet, pressing his back against Cas’ blissfully uninjured one, and rushes right into action against fighting the Nephilim. They’re outnumbered, two on four, but Cas and Sam are cool and confident. Cas conjures up two angel blades, handing one to Sam and keeping one for himself. Sam discards the other blade, which will be useless in killing the Nephils since it obviously didn’t harm Cas, and wields the angelic weapon. Cas must’ve healed him completely, because Sam feels no pain, only an abundance of energy and a desire to kill all the Nephilim who hurt him and his brother and tried to kill Cas. That’s exactly what he and the seraph do. The Nephilim are all armed with angel blades, but Cas and Sam are seasoned warriors, lethal fighting machines when it comes down to it.

The two guard each other’s backs as they battle the Nephilim. Sam ducks out of the way of one swing of a blade, slashing his own weapon into the Nephil’s throat, then kicks the half-breed's legs out from under him. The Nephil crashes to the ground, momentarily stunned by not only the impact from the fall, but the blood streaming from his slit throat, and Sam takes advantage of the moment to bury the angel blade into his chest, right through his heart. The Nephil starts spasming with electricity, not unlike when Sam had watched an angel get stabbed by one of these things, and the hunter plants a foot on the creature’s sternum, using it to hold the body steady as he rips the blade free, just in time to avoid a stab at Sam’s heart. Sam wards off the attack with a block from his knife, then catches the Nephil’s hand in a locking position and twists it backwards, forcing the Nephil to drop his blade. Cas lunges forward, sinking his weapon cleanly into the Nephil’s heart while Sam keeps it pinned by its hands.

The pair take down the remaining two Nephilim with ease, Cas decapitating the last one at the same time Sam skewers it through the heart with one last thrust of his borrowed angel blade. The Nephil’s body writhes as it dies, and the hunter and angel step back, Sam gulping down air and wiping blood off his face with the back of his hand, surveying the fallen Nephilim, while Cas’ eyes are narrowed and he’s staring off into space, like he’s concentrating on seeing something that Sam can’t. Sam glances over at him, confused and about to ask what he’s doing and where Dean is, when Cas’ blade falls to the ground, his arms wrapping around his stomach suddenly, the seraph doubling over.

“Cas! Shit, Cas, what’s happening?” Sam yells, rushing over to Cas’ side and examining what he can see of the angel for any injury. Sam sees none, but Cas is cringing and folding in on himself, eyes bright with pain, making agonized grunts.

Cas sinks to his knees, head thrown back, tendons in his neck straining at the unseen source of pain, and Sam dives onto his own knees to help him. It’s no use; Cas crumples into a broken ball on the ground, body starting to seize, muscles trembling. Sam’s crying out, trying to help, hands flying around uselessly as he searches for something alleviate Cas’ pain, but finds nothing. Cas’ back arches off the ground in pure suffering, and he gasps out Dean’s name tersely, sounding like he is holding his breath. All at once his body goes slack, Sam still shouting his name, fearing the angel must’ve passed out. Sam is wrong. Cas’s eyes are slits, and he squints up at the hunter.

“Cas! Fuck! What’s happening? What’s wrong? Tell me what hurts!” Sam demands, feeling for the angel’s pulse.

“Withdrawal,” Cas chokes, wincing in pain, as if the words are knives in his throat, “is beginning.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell? Withdrawal?” Sam prompts, bracing Cas’ shoulders with his hands in an attempt to steady him. The angel is positively gasping for air, his chest rising and falling rapidly, all the blood drained from his face. His pupils are already blown wide, but quickly disappear as he mashes his eyes shut and gnashes his teeth, warding off a cry of pain. He struggles to stay upright on his knees, though the sensation of razor blades tearing through his body makes him want to keel over. Sam’s eyebrows are pinched in concern, and he pats Cas’ shoulder, unsure what to do and not understanding what is wrong with the angel.

“Withdrawal. I had thought it wasn’t so serious or real when we had learned about it in Heaven, when I was just a fledgling. After so many eons I had thought it a myth…. I’ve never seen it actually happen….” Cas’ body seizes up and then shudders so violently it borders on a convulsion, and Sam has to hold his body steady. It reminds the younger hunter of seeing somebody have a seizure, and he needs Cas to get down to the important part, because whatever is happening, Sam has a feeling it’s really, really bad.

“But what is it? What’s happening to you?” Sam prompts urgently, helping Cas stand on shaky legs, the angel looking like a human who has just finished a marathon with a bullet wound in his knee. Cas leans heavily on Sam, unable to support his own weight, still bent over and clutching his middle as the pain spasms through him, each wave of it taking it up a degree.

“Withdrawal is what happens when a mated pair is too far away from each other too close to the time they bonded. It’s incredibly lethal from what I remember- without the support of my mate’s Grace- or soul, in our case- I will start to die, as will Dean. We are codependent now upon each other’s soul and Grace, something we solidified during our bondage by essentially swapping half of my Grace for half of his soul, and now, being distanced like this when we both still need each other’s complete being- physical presence included- we are unable to function properly. Dean is probably experiencing the same thing I am right now- the symptoms of withdrawal are increased bouts of pain due to your being shutting down without it’s other half to keep it going and sustain it.
“Simply put, Dean and I need each other to live so intensely that if we aren’t together, especially so close to when the mating ritual and bondage was completed, that we will die.” Cas pants, squeezing his eyes shut as he fights to remain conscious. The talking took a lot out of him- more than he expected- and his head feels light and dizzy, vision tunneling erratically as his heart slams out a violent rhythm against his ribs. For a second he fears he may pass out, desperately clinging to his Grace, which is writhing in the agony of withdrawal and crying out for Dean, grabbing frantically at the place where Dean’s soul should be curled up inside the enormity of Cas’ Grace. Cas feels sick without it to protect inside of him, and a possessive ferocity claws at him, pining for Dean with a different level of intensity that matches the protective one for potency. All of it is so strong, so overwhelming, Cas is approaching blacking out just from sheer need for Dean. He literally can not live without Dean in his arms, can’t live without his precious Righteous Man.

“Well holy shit, Cas! We gotta find Dean! As soon as possible! Where is he?” Sam asks, helping Cas walk to where Dean’s Impala is parked a few hundred feet away. Cas shakes his head, trying to focus through the pain, which right now feels like he swallowed a fistful of broken glass shards.

“I thought he was with you, in the house, but when I went in, I only found you. Do you remember him leaving anywhere? Anyone taking him some place? The leader must have him, because he is the only one I didn’t kill who was here before,” Cas supplies, raking his mind for any idea on where the Nephilim leader could’ve possibly taken the older Winchester.

“Fuck,” Sam mutters, clenching his fist and resisting the urge to hit something. If only he’d been awake, then maybe he would’ve been able to help Dean, or at least see what happened to him. Sam tries to shove away his emotions so he can see everything through a logical, practical lense. If the Nephilim leader took Dean, where could he have taken him, and why?

“Cas, you wouldn’t happen to be able to use that angel GPS thing to locate him, would you? Or some mate tracking thing?” Sam asks as he opens the passenger door for Cas and helps him slide in. Cas drops onto the seat, leaning his head against the window as Sam slams the door shut, then jogs around to get behind the wheel. Dean has the keys still on him, but thankfully, he always keeps a spare for Sam. Sam turns the car on, listening to the roar of the engine, ready to find her favorite driver.
“Cas?” Sam prompts, voice slightly gentler, seeing the angel obviously in such misery. Half of it looks like it’s from pain, but the other half looks purely emotional, like the seraph really can’t stand to be away from Dean, both physically, metaphysically, and emotionally.

“I’ve tried, but the connection is too weak with all the angel warding he must be surrounded by, and by just distance alone. I have no way to locate him unless he prays to me, but I have high suspicions that the Nephilim must be using some sort of warding that doesn’t allow prayer to pass through.” Cas sounds like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and the only one who can make him feel better is Dean. Sam’s heart breaks for the seraph; for the first time, he can see the immeasurable depth of Cas’ feelings for his brother. It hurts the younger Winchester to see Cas so broken because of what the Nephilim are doing to his Dean. Sam finds a rock-solid resolve in just seconds following that thought: he will reunite them, even if it’s the last thing he ever does.

“Let’s see if he has his phone on him. If he does, I can use the GPS chip to track it down to his location,” Sam suggests hopefully, knowing that the Nephilim probably already thought of this and took his phone away from him, but the hazel-eyed man just can’t quell his hope. Cas perks up at the mention, his eyes brightening through the veil of pain, and he tries to sit up a little bit straighter in his seat as Sam starts to type in the serial number of Dean’s phone - a number which he has memorized after so many years- and waits with his whole body tense in anticipation for it to show up. Sam’s heart drops into his heels when his phone beeps and tells him his brother’s phone is in the car with them, probably in Dean’s duffle bag in the back seat.

“Fuck. We’re going to have to find another way,” Sam says tenaciously, unwilling to let this break his determination in reuniting the mated pair. Cas nods, teeth clamping down on his bottom lip as another wave of pain rips through him, like a ravenous wolf tearing at his organs from the inside. Sam pats Cas’ shoulder, unsure of what he can do to ease the angel’s pain, and realizing that his best chance is just to find his brother, as soon as humanly possible. Sam has a feeling Cas won’t be able to fly them to wherever Dean is in the state he’s in now, so they’ll have to drive. This wouldn’t be that big of a problem if Sam could just figure out where the hell they’re holding Dean hostage. He’d be concerned for his brother’s well being if not for his belief that they wouldn’t hurt Dean, because he is the only leverage they have at the moment.

Suddenly Cas straightens up, back ramrod straight, and stares into the distance with wide, alert eyes. Sam flinches in surprise, but doesn’t ask what’s going on for fear of breaking Cas out of whatever trance he’s in. An entire minute passes by painstakingly slow, each second laden with nerve-wracking anticipation, until Cas finally speaks, his gaze snapping back to Sam, vigilant as ever.

“I got a message from Samandriel over ‘angel radio’. I did not think my Grace could still receive messages in my weakened state, but despite the connection being feeble, I was able to. He said a Nephil summoned him into a circle of burning holy oil, and that they’re keeping him prisoner near where they have Dean. I have the location of Samandriel, but Dean must be in a place near by that is warded against angels, because I still can’t find him.” Castiel informs Sam, eyes vigilant and fierce with the desire to get to them.

“Is there any chance you can fly us there?” Sam asks, his hand poised on the keys he has inserted into the ignition. Cas cocks his head to the side, considering and analyzing his ability to do so.

“It causes me an even greater amount of pain to utilize my Grace, and I can only imagine exerting it by flying would weaken me much further. But the longer I am away from Dean, the more I will start to die out. Weighing the odds, I think we have a better chance flying than driving for a three hours as my state decays. It will be risky though, Sam, and it might not work. If it does not-” Sam cuts him off, holding his hand up in a silent gesture of ‘stop’.

“We’re not going to have the ‘just in case’ talk. We’re going to fly over there, find Dean, and beat the living shit out of the leader and whatever asshole Nephilim are with him.” Sam declares strongly, locking eyes with Cas and hoping that his confidence will fuel Cas’. The angel nods, unsure but determined, and reaches out to press two fingers to Sam’s forehead. Sam closes his eyes and prepares for flight.

***

 

Dean is catching his breath and staring at the Nephilim’s corpse a few feet away, willing his heart to slow down and stop pumping blood out of the wounds on his shoulder. He crouches down by Nephil leader’s body and rips two strips of cloth from the bottom of his shirt, then awkwardly attempts to tie them around the tops of his shoulders and staunch the blood flow from them. He has to use the opposite hand and his teeth to pull the knots tight, and even then, the makeshift bandage is sloppy, but still better than nothing.

“Now I just need to figure out where in the actual hell you’ve brought me,” Dean says, turning in a slow circle to survey the room. It is in fact a kindergarten classroom, abandoned probably many years ago, and Dean decides that it would be a good idea to get out of the classroom and out of the school. That’s a legitimate first step.

Ever resourceful, Dean pats down the fallen leader’s body for any weapons, finding another angel blade and a dagger with razor teeth. He tucks the knife into his boot and the angel blades into the waistband of his pants, keeping all his weapons hidden, just as he always has. He carefully examines the handles of each blade, searching for the little deformity- a dent in the metal right by the hilt- but finds none. Triumph and relief swell up and run through him with enough force to bring him to his knees almost. Cas’ blade has that deformity, and none of these do, therefore, Cas must be alive and okay. Dean refuses to believe anything but that.

“I’m going to find you, Cas. I’m coming. And I will disembowel anyone who dares stand in my way. Dean Winchester is done playing fucking games.” Dean promises, wishing Cas could hear him. Dean’s still terrified at the absence of Cas’ Grace inside him, and at his core, he knows something is deeply wrong because of it. As if that thought spurs it, a sudden and gut-wrenching, mind-numbing blast of pain tears through Dean’s body, making the hunter cry out in agony and crumple to his knees, back arched and head thrown back as his body seizes up. This pain rivals some of what Dean had experienced in Hell, and his mind is so obliterated and all consumed by the agony that he can’t even try to describe it or compare it. The pain isn’t just in his body, but it’s also wreaking havoc on his soul, exploiting every hole that should be filled with Grace and creating desolation.

Dean is contorted into a heap on the ground, in unimaginable pain that claims every piece of him, when the door to the classroom suddenly slams open and a huge hoard of Nephilim rush in, all of them barking orders at each other and rushing towards Dean. The hunter is helpless to do anything to defend himself or arm himself against them, but that isn’t his most pressing problem at the moment. Another onslaught of pain bears down on him with all its force to bear, and Dean thinks maybe he cries out before his consciousness is ripped out from under him and he’s falling down, down into a world of darkness, still riddled with pain.

***

One minute Samandriel was securing the gates to the Artillery Quadrant, enjoying the gentle, warm breeze rustling the feathers on his light brown wings, and the next, he felt the molecules of his vessel contorting as they’re pulled through space, leaving him blinking in disorientation. Samandriel finds himself standing in the center of a circle composed of lit holy oil, staring into the far too bright light flooding his surroundings. He’s immediately tense, realizing whoever summoned him has him trapped, and knowing that his captors obviously have malicious intentions in doing so. He’s standing in a vacant parking lot outside of what looks like an abandoned school if he had to guess based on the playground a small ways away, and the dilapidated state of the building. There are four cars in sight, all of them black, new Audi A8s.

“Who has summoned me, and for what purpose?” Samandriel demands, looking around him in search of people.

One lone man- a Nephil, Samandriel realizes, lip curling in disgust- stands a few feet away, a book of Enochian rituals held in his hands. He sneers at the angel, the two of them staring at each other as a long moment passes with tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. “I summoned you, and you will see why very soon, if you just remain patient.” The Nephil replies shortly, looking Samandriel up and down casually. Samandriel tucks his wings back in, deciding somewhere in his subconscious that this is a good idea, and glares at the Nephil.

“I demand an explanation right now, or I will call down the armies of Heaven upon you.” Samandriel commands, authority in his voice. The Nephil is unperturbed.

“Try anything, and I will know. If you defy me, I will drag you into that building, which is warded against angels. They will not hear you, nor be able to get to you. And if you want the Righteous Man to live, I suggest you do exactly as I say.” The Nephil gestures with a jerk of his head to a window on the building, and when Samandiriel looks in, he sees Dean, Castiel’s mate, sprawled unconscious on the ground, surrounded by Nephilim whom are all wielding weapons.

Samandriel is quiet. He waits, trying to understand what is going on and how to stop it. His patience is rewarded with the Nephil speaks. “You are allowed, however, to tell Castiel to get over here. Tell him we have a negotiation to make. I will not harm his mate, or you, who I know he is close to, in exchange for his garrison fighting on the Nephilim’s side against Heaven. With them, we will surely win, and Heaven will be ours. Now, you have a choice. You can either tell Castiel to come here, or I will lock you in the angel warded school and torture you until you decide to obey. What will it be?”

Samandriel swallows around the lump in his throat, and sends Castiel a telepathic message.

Chapter Text

“I sent him the message, as you said,” Samandriel announces, straightening his back and squaring his shoulders in effort to appear powerful and demanding of respect. The Nephil- a man with an olive-toned complexion, curly black hair, and hazel eyes- still towers over the angel trapped in the circle of lit holy oil, a good six inches taller than Samandriel’s short and slender figure. Not only that, but he’s much larger, bulky with both muscle and fat. Samandriel knows that bodies and vessel do not illustrate the true power, so this is not what daunts him. It’s the fact that the Nephilim, despite having two of their leaders killed, are still organized enough to have a well thought out and seemingly flawless plan for getting what they want: control of Heaven. The Nephil smiles, a thin curve of his lips that somehow looks purely malicious and spiteful.

The creature takes out a cell phone from his jeans pocket and dials a number, then holds the phone up to his ear and speaks:

“He sent the warning. Yes. Yes. Bring him out now.” There is a long silence, and Samandriel can hear the faint sound of another voice on the other end of the line, speaking quickly. The Nephil screws up his face in a look of irritation. “I don’t care, I still want him bound. No. Bring him now.” The Nephil cuts the call, then tucks his phone back away into his pocket, fixing Samandriel with a critical stare. “I heard a rumor that you are close to this garrison commander, Castiel, correct?” Samandriel says nothing. “You see, I may not be a leader, and I may not have always had the power. But you know who will be worshipping their rightful leader, once I have taken control over everyone, defeated the angels and seized control of Heaven? All of the Nephilim race. Those other ‘leaders’ were weak. I, on the other hand, know exactly what must be done to get what I want. And I will not screw up as they did in getting it.”

Samandriel stares coldly into the soulless pits of the Nephil’s eyes. One reason the Nephilim are considered such an abomination in Heaven, a forbidden, evil race, is because they have neither Grace nor soul. It comes through most prominently now, where Samandriel sees only cunning ruthlessness in the Nephil. He does not care who dies or lives, what sacrifices must be made so he can come to power, because they aren’t truly sacrifices when you value nothing but power and revenge. Disgust comes over the angel, and for once, he truly does understand why Heaven wants the Nephilim race extinguished.

“You will fail, just as every other member of your race has. Heaven has existed since the universe was spoken into existence, despite every trial we have faced. Your attempts to conquer us are futile at best.” Samandriel declares.

The Nephil doesn’t reply, though the little speech has clearly infuriated him. It’s evident in the clenching of his fists, in the hard set of his jaw, the blazing of anger in his eyes. Just then, the doors to the school building open, and two Nephilim are dragging Dean Winchester by his wrists, which are tied tightly with a thick length of rope. The Righteous Man’s body drags limply across the pavement as they tow him over to where Samandriel and the hazel-eyed Nephil are standing. He’s unconscious, and a quick assessment of his state tells Samandriel he is injured, based on the blood seeping out of the ragged and poorly-tied fabric strips on his shoulders. Not only can Samandriel see the physical damage, but he can also sense the much more lethal Withdrawal beneath it, coming from Dean’s crippled soul. The angel can almost feel the Righteous Man’s pain by peering at his soul. It is normally so bright and vivid, colors dancing and shimmering gold, but now the colors are monochrome gray and shifting lethargically, light dull and dim. It hurts Samandriel in a way he will never understand; to suffer from the deadly Withdrawal of being apart from your mate, Grace and soul torn apart from each other.

Compassion and sympathy surge through the captured angel, and he wishes he could reach out and do something to ease the pain. But even if he was able to do so without the hinderance of the holy oil trap, he’d be useless. What the Righteous Man needs is Castiel, and only Castiel will cure him of this horrendous illness. Samandriel can see all too clearly exactly what the Withdrawal is doing to Dean, how it has ripped ragged, gaping holes in his soul where Castiel’s Grace had earlier found its home. The sight is enough to make any angel feel sick; mated angels especially. This kind of damage done to something so profound is akin to a human viewing a dead infant; even when it is not theirs, it still pains them greatly to see.

The two Nephilim hand Dean’s bound wrists over to the hazel-eyed Nephil, who tugs at the ropes, as if testing them, then releases his grip, watching with detachment as Castiel’s mate falls the rest of the way to the ground, his head making a sickening hollow sound as it hits. Samandriel winces on his behalf, feeling fury coil through him at what is being done to this undeserving human. The fact that this is Castiel’s mate, and the Righteous Man, only feeds the flames. Samandriel vows to call down the wrath of Heaven on this God-forsaken race as soon as he is able.

“To take power with our old, undeserving leaders out of the picture, all I really had to do was know a few key things and have the audacity to take what is mine. Listening in on certain telepathic angel broadcasts gave me the right information I was looking for: Castiel leads the biggest, strongest garrison in Heaven. Castiel’s mate is the Righteous Man. The two are separated. Bring those three factors into my capable hands, and I will make things happen, unlike the last two leaders. I will prove my worthiness of being leader by staking claim over Heaven for my people.”

The hazel-eyed Nephil finishes his monologue, then turns to his followers. “Bring me the ritual ingredients,” he demands, dismissing the two Nephilim.

“Yes, Creed,” they say simultaneously, then head back into the school. The Nephil looks down at the Righteous Man with condescending, scornful eyes, using the toe of his boot to nudge Dean’s right leg. The silence that follows is permeated with tension, Samandriel wanting to smite the Nephil on the spot, but knowing he is unable to do so. The two Nephilim return in two minutes, their arms laden with a collection of objects. They get to work setting them down and start to spray paint a sigil onto the pavement outside the holy oil circle, one Samandriel has never seen before, but it makes his Grace recoil in revulsion.

“What is this?” Samandriel asks, authority in his voice. The hazel-eyed Nephil -Creed, apparently- scoffs.

“You’ll see in just a moment.” He helps the others pour some unlucky creature’s blood over the spray painted lines, scatters a handful of some crushed herb over the whole thing and sets every point with three chunks of ancient bone. Samandriel feels a growing sense of unease and disgust as they continue to create whatever it is they’re making, and the angel has a creeping suspicion that they’re building something that will use demonic magic to get what they want.

“That should suffice,” Creed finishes, raising up into a standing position to survey his work. His gaze goes to Samandriel, who has become restless and distraught with the advancements they’ve made. With a flick of his head, Creed gestures to Samandriel. “Get his blood.” The two Nephilim reach over the dancing flames and slice a blade over Samandriel’s side, drawing blood that slicks the razor teeth of the blade. They pull back before Samandriel can do anything with them partially in the trap, then hand over the knife to Creed. Creed stands at the side of the sigil, then begins to chant in some foreign tongue that isn’t one Samandriel recognizes. The lines of blood painting the sigil spontaneously catch on fire, and Creed chants louder, taking the knife and cutting a line along his forearm. Samandriel’s blood mingles with the Nephil’s, and starts to drip over his forearm from where he holds it out over the sigil. The first drop falls and lands dead center of the sigil, in a pool of some whitish substance, and it sparks as Creed chants. He shouts the last line with vehemence, and then a blinding flash of light commences.

Both Creed and Samandriel’s bodies start to convulse with the magic and use of an ancient, evil spell, the ritual taking hold and beginning. Their heads snap back, jaws parted, at the same time, and Samandriel’s vessel is practically spasming as his Grace detaches from his body and begins to climb out through his mouth. It is a brilliant, writhing blue substance that takes shape in the air, arcing and then diving into the back of Creed’s throat to disappear into his body. It funnels inside of the Nephil with surprising speed and grace, twisting as it spirals into his body. The whole process is over in less than a minute. The last trindle of Samandriel’s Grace is gone, his body crumpling uselessly to the ground, now just an empty, broken vessel lying in a circle of still burning holy oil. Creed’s body gives one final convulse before it goes still, and then he opens his eyes.

They shine with a sickly, distinctly evil glow of Grace being controlled by whatever life force controls the Nephil. He grins sardonically, madly, insanely at his two followers, who are gaping in shock at what they’ve just witnessed. Creed rolls his shoulders back, cracking his neck and flexing his fingers, eyes radiating black light. He smiles wickedly down at Dean, holding a hand out, then clenches it into a fist. At once, Dean’s forearms and femurs snap in half, but even then, it isn’t enough to bring the comatose Righteous Man out from his state of Withdrawal. The gut-wrenching crunching sounds that result from the action are music to Creed’s ears, and he begins to laugh, ecstatic.

“Take notes, comrades. The Nephilim are the supreme race. We need neither soul nor Grace; we take what we want, from a human or angel, and we will rule all of Heaven because of it. Angels, demons, all of creation will bow to us! For we are the ultimate species, the only one that can rip Grace from an angel and use it to bend the universe itself to our will!” Creed bellows in triumph.

The two Nephilim look at each other with a lust for power in their eyes -a lust for angelic Grace to steal and utilize as their own- and stare up in reverence at their new leader, who is literally glowing with power. Creed kicks one of Dean’s broken legs carelessly, watching it twist at an unnatural angle at the knee joint, the broken human at their mercy, just as the entire universe will be within hours.

“Now we will get our revenge and take what is ours, once and for all!”

 

***

When Sam opens his eyes next, he finds himself surrounded by trees and forest on all sides. Castiel is doubled over on his knees right next to Sam, chest heaving with the force of his breathing, retching and vomiting a fountain of blood all over the dirt and twigs beneath them. “Whoa, fuck! Cas!” Sam shouts, shocked and terrified, crouching down beside the angel and bracing his shoulders steady with two hands while the seraph’s body seizes and he coughs up another mouthful of blood. He continues to retch and convulse with the strength of his body trying to clear his lungs of the fluid for a good few minutes before he collapses on his back, staring up at Sam with tortured eyes. His skin is peeling from his face and the tops of his hands, like his vessel is having trouble containing him, just as Lucifer’s did before he had tried to get Sam to give consent.

Sam gasps as Cas curls in on himself and starts to cough again, blood erupting from his mouth and splattering their clothes, his heart and breathing racing each other, as if to see which will give out first.

“Cas!” Sam is yelling, holding the angel’s shoulders, but Cas is unable to do anything but cough and hack violently. Blood starts to well up in his eye sockets and overflow from his waterline, dribbling down his face, the same happening to his nose and ears. The longer and harder he coughs, the thicker the flow of blood becomes, and the more holes are opening up in Cas’ skin. Cas’ wings are still out from the flight, and they too are convulsing, arching at painful angles and thumping weakly, sending debris flying all around them.

“Cas, Cas, can you hear me?” Sam asks anxiously, supporting Cas’ weight as he trembles, seizures ebbing away, his wings still contorting in all the wrong ways from pain. Cas nods feebly, spluttering as he tries to clear his throat of the blood in it. He rolls onto his knees with a great amount of effort, one hand clutching Sam’s bicep with a white-knuckled grip, the bone starting to become evident where the flesh is peeling off over each knuckle. Sam’s stomach pitches but he stares into Cas’ eyes, willing him to stay conscious, to hold on. “Cas!”
“I-I have Dean’s location. I think I have enough Grace left to g-get us there. If I-I can’t-” Sam stops him right there, because Cas’ vocal cords sound wracked just trying to get those words out.
“Fly us there, Castiel. You can do this. I believe in you. Dean believes in you. He needs you, man, and you need him,” Sam urges, knowing that this is the only way for either of them to even attempt to fix things. Sam will not let Cas die here, he will not let his brother die, he will not let anyone die. He won’t. He needs to reunite his brother with his angel, needs the Withdrawal to go away, needs to see this through, because right now, the entire world is falling to pieces and the only people who can hold it together are being torn apart.

Castiel nods weakly, his wings lifting and curving over his body, and he grabs a tighter hold on Sam, before squeezing his eyes shut. Everything goes black.

***

When Sam opens his eyes just seconds later, chaos has erupted around him before he was even aware they’ve landed in an alternate location. The hunter sees Cas running on legs that look mangled and broken, feet pointed at odd angles, strides heavy and uneven. Sam sees his brother in a barely conscious tangle of limbs on the pavement, lifting his head at the sight of Cas, and holy fuck, the gleam of raw hope and love in Dean’s eyes upon seeing Castiel running to him rips something at Sam’s core to shreds. Castiel makes it over to Dean, his wings lifting and fanning out, spreading to their full size, and throws himself over Dean, pulling his wings in close and drawing them around the two of them, creating an impenetrable fortress of feathers and bone.

The feathers ripple with unseen Grace, turning denser and hard, the edges uniform razor, Cas bringing out his battle plumage to strengthen the protective shelter over head. Cas feels Dean under him, feels the weak, mangled body of his beloved hunter, and feels sorrow tear through his chest.

“Dean, Dean, Dean, oh Dean," Cas is chanting, curling his body protectively around Dean’s. The litany of words is just as comforting to the hunter as the familiar form of Cas’ body wrapped around his, the downy feathers under which they are huddled. Dean cries out in pure, acute need and love, burrowing into Cas, seeking refuge in his angel’s dying body as the seraph’s arms coil around him with possessive over protectiveness. Castiel is going to keep Dean here, keep him in the fortress of his wings, where he’ll be able to keep out the world and just hold his beloved, hold his broken bones together and cradle him against his body.

The way they have suffered in the worst of ways without the other is nothing compared to the euphoria at being together again. Dean wants to escape himself and become a part of Castiel, and his mind is consumed with the angel, his mate bombarding each of his sensesl. The feel, the scent, the sound of his voice, even garbled by the blood in his throat, it’s all Dean has ever needed, all he has ever wanted.

The two are clinging to each other with all they have, every ounce of strength left in them used to hold the other. They are safe, if just for a mere moment, under the shelter of Cas’ wings, in each other’s embrace. Dean can’t believe Castiel is here, holding him, still protecting him to the very end, and Dean just wants to sob. He has his Castiel. He finally has the part of himself he could never bear to be without, finally has him right here, and Dean loves him so damn much, his entire being is in pieces at the ferocity of it.

“I love you. I love you, Dean Winchester, I love you my Beloved, my Adored,” Castiel whispers, tears in his eyes, voice breaking from emotion. Dean reaches over, lips seeking, until they find the angel’s and Cas secures his lips in a passionate kiss, knowing what must be done, knowing their brief moment of fulfillment in each other has to come to an end if Castiel is to get Dean to live.

Castiel closes his eyes and summons the remaining scraps of his Grace, then releases it in a sudden outpour into his Dean through both the bond and the kiss, both physically and metaphysically filling Dean with all of his lover’s Grace he’s been deprived of. Dean’s soul is writhing and screaming in pleasure at the abundance of love and fulfillment, in cloying joy at having Castiel back inside him, at filling all of those holes in his soul with Grace. Castiel is going right back where he belongs, nourishing the bond with a torrent of Grace and affection, cradling Dean’s soul once again in the safety of his Grace.

The Withdrawal is abolished completely within seconds of this, and Dean eagerly returns the gesture with waves and waves of sentimental want, love and restaking what is rightfully theirs once again by once again meshing his soul with Cas’ Grace. He’s shocked and bewildered when he encounters a wall, preventing him from flooding Castiel with the light and being of his soul, in reviving Cas’ dying Grace with the part of Dean he needs, the part that is distinctly his. Dean wants to break the kiss, to stop whatever is happening with the barrier between them preventing it, but Castiel doesn’t allow it. He kisses Dean even harder, propels his Grace faster, pouring every single ounce of it into Dean and not allowing any of it, nor Dean’s soul, to remain in Castiel’s body. Dean’s soul is crying out in anguish and confusion, trying to force some of the Grace and some of his soul back in, but it is already too late to change what has been done.

The last piece of Grace is inside of Dean, the hunter’s entire body filled with far too much Grace for him to contain and handle. He has two beings worth of power in just himself, and it scares the living shit out of him that half of them as a collective whole is not in Castiel. Dean no longer feels Castiel’s conscious inside him anymore; it’s like Castiel transferred his entire Grace over to Dean to become part of Dean’s soul, an angelic extension, like the two of them are cooped up inside of Dean’s body together. Dean is terrified; he doesn’t understand why Castiel did this, what is happening, and he sure as hell doesn’t want it to stay like this. He needs to revive Castiel, needs to give him his half of them back, but there is no longer a way for him to do so. Dean’s pulled back to the physical plane, just as Cas’ vacant body on top of him, still under the cover of Cas’ wings, trembles with stifled inertia, just like something has struck it and-

Castiel’s body slumps off of Dean, his blue eyes empty and glassy, staring at nothing. His chest does not rise and fall. His heart is not beating. The ethereal light of Grace behind his eyes is no longer there. Castiel, in front of him, is an empty body, a grotesquely mutilated one at that, with blood all over his face, vessels ruptured in his eyes and under the melting away skin. Dean finally understands what happened to make Cas tremble with staunch force like that and fall off of him- an angel blade is buried in his back all the way up to the hilt, a hand still wrapped around it. Dean looks up and locks eyes with the thing that stabbed him, and finds himself staring into eyes glowing blacklight.

Something inside of Dean is triggered by the sight of a Nephil, jacked up on whatever the fuck it is, with his angel blade skewered through Castiel’s now empty body. Like dropping a lit box of matches into a salted, gasoline-soaked grave: everything inside of Dean ignites at once, explodes in flames of unearthly rage and wrath. Dean feels the huge excess of Grace come alive in him, an extension of what is going on with his soul, and obliterate any other thing inside of him but for the murderous need to kill, to rip apart and annihilate what has done this to his Castiel. His angel. His true love- his everything. His everything.

He understands now, that Castiel had poured all of his Grace into Dean so that Dean could live, so Dean could have the power to extinguish the Nephil who did this to them. Dean is not going to let Castiel’s last wish be for nothing. He is going to carry it out with all he has, fuck everyone and everything in between because nothing will stop Dean from doing this one last thing. If his Castiel is really gone….there will be hell for the entire universe to pay.

Dean will bring wrath like no one has seen before down on every Nephilim out there, starting with the one whose hand is ripping the angel blade out of Castiel’s back.

The Grace inside of Dean is combining perfectly with Dean’s soul, in a way that can only be because of Castiel and Dean having been made for each other. The two forces are becoming one, and the rush of exhilarating, raw power is fire consuming Dean’s very being. Sam, who is being restrained by a hoard of Nephilim, gasps when he sees his brother’s eyes glowing with celestial light, just like Cas’ did with his Grace, only green this time, because Dean’s soul is utilizing all of this Grace. Dean’s entire being feels alive with so much power he feels he could reduce entire planets to just ashes with a snap of his fingers. He feels it seeping from every pore, feels it wrapping around each torn cell, each broken bone in his body and mending it like it’s nothing at all. Dean is new; made new by Cas’ Grace inside him, at the combined, unfathomable power rippling through him.

The soul of the Righteous Man has been reunited with Castiel’s Grace, and now there will be hell to pay for everyone who had a part in taking the two apart in the first place. As if they ever could.

Dean feels his eyes are literally alight with stunning green light shining from his soul and Grace, and he sees the flicker of fear in the Nephil’s luminescent black eyes.

“You son of a bitch,” Dean breathes, his voice mighty and strong, like all the forces of natures are rising up and demanding submission at such a show of power and authority. "You killed my angel. You destroyed what was mine.” Dean’s voice is lethal, unearthly strong and dominant. The Nephil wields the angel blade defensively now, and the sight of Castiel’s blood all over the blade sends Dean over the edge, the final push he needed. With a single thought, Dean dissolves the angel blade into dust that is carried away on the wind whipping around them. The Nephil looks alarmed and taken aback, but he uses it to solidify his resolve.

The Nephil manifests a new blade, this one a wicked, curved machete glowing with that black light, and swings it at Dean’s neck with all his stolen force to bear. Dean stops the blade from connecting with his throat without even lifting a finger, light streaming from his eyes. The hunter raises a hand, fingers splayed, and plunges it through the Nephil’s chest, closing his fist around the warm, slippery wetness of the creature’s fast beating heart. Dean stares into its eyes, green fire versus black, as the Nephil starts to choke and cough, body clenching in shock and horror at the penetration. Dean floods the cavern of the Nephil’s chest with the power of his soul and Castiel’s Grace, incinerating the Nephil from the inside out. The creature cries out in terror before it chokes off into a sick, gargling howl, Dean’s power obliterating the Nephil’s insides into char before the power finishes off the body by torching the flesh and skin and bone. Dean intensifies the degree of power until the Nephil explodes into a cloud of ash and light, raining down all around them, save for a writhing bright blue ball of Grace that quickly funnels down Samandriel’s throat.

Dean tastes the ash on his lips, chunks of it still falling down around him as he turns to the Nephilim restraining his thrashing little brother. Sam looks aghast as he watches Dean focus his eyes on the Nephilim surrounding Sam, and then Dean sends them all imploding, crushed by the invisible yet unstoppable force of soul and Grace. The whole group of them- twenty or so- are nothing but heaps of ash within just seconds of Dean sending the thought. Sam stumbles forward, gains his footing, and runs over to the circle of burning holy oil, Dean already one step ahead of him and extinguishing it. Sam helps Samandriel up, his Grace back inside his vessel, but Dean doesn’t have any interest in them right now.

Right now, the only thing in the entire universe that he cares about is his dead angel, lying at his feet. His wings are lying limply on either side of him, and blood still trickles from the gaping wound in his back. Dean feels tears stream down his face as he drops to his knees beside Castiel, pulling his head into the hunter’s lap and gazing down at him. “Cas,” Dean sobs, but he is not going to lament until he has tried everything. The hunter leans over, cradling Cas’ head in his palms, and captures Castiel’s lips with his own in a kiss. Dean uses his tongue to part Cas’ lips, then closes his eyes and channels all his focus into doing something that is his only hope. Dean calls upon his Grace and soul, the two intertwined, and ejects the half he feels inside him as Castiel back through the bond metaphysically and through the kiss physically. He’s giving everything he has, every last hope, every ounce of strength and will into it.

Castiel’s body arches in Dean’s arms as his part of his Grace and Dean’s soul fills him, reviving him, restoring life into him. Dean keeps kissing, keeps pushing, until fe feels Castiel’s side of the bond fire up again, feels Castiel as a separate entity, not two locked up both inside of Dean. He feels Castiel’s body come back to life with the Grace inside of him, feels his Grace and body become healed as Dean’s soul replenishes it of everything it was missing. The two are in balance now, and Dean no longer has control over Castiel’s side of things, which gives him an overwhelming feeling of relief. That means he has restored Castiel to how he was right after him and Dean bonded- everything is how it should be, Grace and soul one whole divided up into two beings.

“Cas?” Dean breathes, pulling back from the kiss having felt everything become complete. He holds his breath in anticipation, staring at Cas’ face, which is now smooth and free of abrasions, a slight flush in his cheeks. Beautiful, stunning, ethereal, oceanic blue eyes open up and find Dean’s like a lifeline, and Dean sobs in relief, bending down and kissing Cas with all the passion in the world. Cas kisses him back with just as much intensity, and when they break away for breath, Castiel reaches up to cup Dean’s face in his hands, eyes roving all over Dean’s face, taking in every beautiful line and cherishing the striking, human green of his eyes.

“My Beloved,” Castiel gaps, pulling Dean’s face back to his and kissing him eagerly and without restraint, because the only thing that matters right now is this. Their love. Two parts of the same whole being reunited for once and for all.

The angel and his hunter; forever.

Chapter Text

“Holy shit, is this for real? You guys actually have your own pool-side bar?” Sam shouts, running his hands over the marble counter of it. Dean chuckles, quirking an eyebrow.

“You bet we do. Want a drink? I could go for one of those weird fruity ones Cas makes.” Dean says, then ducks his head to kiss Cas’s smiling lips.

‘Uh, yes, please! Man, I gotta get a place up here. I want my own minibar.” Sam muses, tilting his face back to let the sunshine fall on his skin.

“Can you show us how to make them?” Dean asks his angel, holding up their entwined hands to brush kisses along Cas’ knuckles.

“Of course, Dean.” Cas responds, smiling contentedly. Dean releases his hold on the seraph so Cas is free to move about, grabbing three glasses from an overhead cabinet and setting them down on the table. Dean hands him the flavorings and such as he asks for them, and Sam, well Sam is too busy rolling his jeans up to his knees to dangle his feet into the crystal clear pool water, kicking his long legs back and forth in obvious enjoyment. The sight brings a smile to Dean’s face; if he could, he’d always keep that smile on his baby brother’s face.

For a terrifying moment, Dean had been scared he’d never get to see it again. Never get to see Sam at all, or his beautiful angel mate. It had been a week since then, a week since Dean has breathed Cas’ Grace back into him, a week since the balance between soul and Grace had reached equilibrium and the mated pair became healthy and inseparable once and for all. Since then, Dean, Cas, and Sam had been lounging around in the bunker, just recovering some semblance of normal once more, one that doesn’t include near death situations daily. The looming threat the Nephilim composed has dissolved thanks to the three of them, and now, everyone was able to go home. Samandriel flew back to Heaven, and despite Cas having an overwhelming urge to fly Dean back there as well, to hide out in their nest in the safety and intimacy there with just each other and forget the world for awhile, he held off. The angel could see Dean needed to be with Sam at the moment, and Sam needed to be with Dean. Cas was happy to oblige.

So the three of them had stayed in the bunker immediately after for a week, watching marathons of Sam’s favorite show -Game of Thrones- and eating enough take out to feed a small army. Dean and Cas slept in Dean’s bed, then they’d get up early together and make breakfast, taking care to make Sam’s favorite blueberry pancakes. The three of them recuperated together, and for the first time in too long, they felt free and happy. No more worrying- for the time being, their biggest worry was from what Chinese place they would order their sweet and sour chicken. As soon as the end of the week had approached, however, Sam demanded they take him to see their home in Heaven, and that they stay up there for a bit and give Sam a chance to not see them kissing when he comes around every corner.

Cas had smiled and Dean had laughed, and Cas flew them to where they are now. The bonded couple is holding hands, showing Sam around their home, grinning and chuckling at Sam’s amazed reactions. Dean enjoyed seeing his little brother so intrigued and awed, and Sam was nearly gushing with his joy at what his brother has. Something he’s always deserved, but just now gotten: Cas. Sam had seen the attraction right off the bat, and had watched it grow and develop and become deep and intimate as the time passed. Seeing Dean so happy, fulfilled, in love- it gives Sam life. Both his brother and Cas were infinitely happier together, and that in itself was all Sam wanted for them, plus so much more. He noticed how they both took quiet refuge in each other, in the form of leaning into one another while standing or sitting down, in stolen glances meant to reassure, in those silent ‘I love you’s’ they always communicated with just short glances at each other. Sam didn’t see much physical affection- seeing as it wasn’t their style- but he could see the impossibly deep level of intimacy existing between the two clear as day.

Now Sam is wishing he had his own angel, because damn, he really wants to lounge in the sun in these huge, comfy, pool-side couch chair things. Cas comes over and hands Sam his drink, which is a deep magenta color and tastes like berries and honey, sugary-sweet and refreshingly icy. It’s non-alcoholic, keeping his head clear when he downs the whole thing. They continue on their grand tour, and it takes more than a little prying to get Sam out of the library, but somehow they manage. The last room- the master bedroom with their nest- is where they stop.

“Is this where your nest is?” Sam asks, eyes seeming to sparkle with curiosity. Dean nods and Cas looks over at how proud Dean looks, fondness in his blue eyes.

“Yup. Maybe one day you’ll get to see it...but today is not the day.” Dean says playfully, and Sam understands. Their nest is intimate and private, and Sam is sure he’d feel uncomfortable intruding on something like that.

“I will fly you back to the bunker Sam, and we have a little gift for you.” Cas announces, perking Sam up.

Cas turns to Dean, kissing him briefly but deeply, with distinctive bedroom eyes intent on Dean’s.

“Go wait in our nest, my Beloved,” Cas whispers. “I’ll be back in a couple minutes.” Cas kisses Dean again and then caresses the length of his mate’s cheekbone and jaw line with his hand softly, adoringly. Dean melts at the touch, nodding eagerly. He winks at Cas before the seraph touches two fingers to Sam’s forehead and they disappear, leaving Dean to scramble into their room, strip out of his clothes, and burrow underneath the blankets of their nest. He breathes in the heady scent of them combined, waiting patiently for Cas, playing with one of his angel’s stray feathers as he waits.

 

Sam opens his eyes seconds later and finds himself standing with Castiel in the dining room of the bunker. On the table sits a neatly wrapped box.

“Open it up,” Cas urges, a smile on his face. “It’s from Dean and I.” Sam deftly unwraps it, and pleasant surprise overcomes him when he sees the white box with the gray Apple logo front and center.

“Holy shit! You guys got me a Macbook Pro?” Sam gasps joyfully, fumbling with the box in his race to open it as fast as possible. Castiel chuckles as Sam pulls the sleek, silver laptop out and lets out a low whistle of awe.

“This is awesome! Thank you so much!”

“We figured you’d want something to do for when Dean and I are gone, and Dean suggested getting you a laptop you can program and such. He said your old one was falling apart and that you’d had it since Stanford. So we got you a new one,” Cas finishes. Sam is already turning it on, looking like a little kid set loose in a candy shop.

“Thanks again! I know you want to get back to Dean, so don’t wait up,” Sam says good naturedly, already enraptured with his new computer. Cas bids him farewell and then flies back to Dean.

The angel finds his hunter sprawled out in their nest, his clothes strewn across the floor, fiddling with one of Cas’ shed flight feathers. Endearment makes his heart swell in his chest; Dean always seems to warm him to the core, even with the smallest of gestures, like how fascinated he is with Cas’ feather, waiting patiently for his angel to return. Cas mojos his clothes off, leaving his wings still visibly extending from the back of his naked form, and climbs into the nest next to Dean, He opens his arms and wings up and Dean slides into the safety they provide, releasing a heavy sigh as his angel’s arms wrap around his waist and his wings blanket them in a soft, warm fortress. It’s like a weight is removed from Dean’s chest the second he is home in Cas’ arms, held cozily in his wings.

The hunter reaches up to run his fingers through the angel’s feathers, then secures his lips to Cas’.

Castiel kisses him back eagerly, moaning and sighing wetly into the wonderfully invasive heat of Dean’s mouth and tongue. Dean kisses ‘my love’ and ‘my angel’ and ‘my Cas’ against Cas’ mouth, cupping the seraph’s face in both hands and kissing him with passion that goes unmatched by any other person in the world. It’s Dean’s way of communicating how much he needs Cas, how beyond grateful he is to have him back, for once and for all. Again, Dean is reminded another number of countless times how much he truly treasures, adores, and loves his angel. Dean truly can not live without Cas, and will fight against every force the universe has to throw at them to keep him alive. The two are breathlessly kissing each other, Dean pinning Cas to the mattress and making sure to press in all the key places.

“I love you, my Beloved.” Cas kisses adoringly against Dean’s lips, staring into those beautiful green eyes. Dean kisses him back, an entire universe of devotion and affection inside of him.

“I love you too.” Dean replies with all the meaning it is possible to inject into four words, and the two entangle themselves in the other. “You're mine, forever."

"And I am forever yours, just as you are mine," Cas responds with another kiss.

 

And that is exactly to whom they belong; for no force of Heaven, Hell, or earth will ever be able to claim differently.