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Through the budding hours of the morning, Castiel watches Dean sleep on in the darkness of their bedroom. Castiel’s inner clock ticks with each passing second that accumulates, until he knows but doesn’t want to acknowledge just how long he’s been observing. Dean will wake any minute now, Castiel thinks, but he is fascinated by every untraceable flutter of Dean’s eyelashes and he cannot get himself to look away.

Like this, Dean is all smooth lines and parted lips. There is no crease between his brows and the dimples that appear above his chin when he frowns are nonexistent. It’s almost impossible to imagine the traces of violence Castiel has seen on this face before.

He is pressed against Dean’s side, and yet he wants to crawl closer. He wants to peer down at Dean with so little space between them that when Castiel exhales, Dean’s eyelashes move with it. Maybe the only way he would ever truly be close enough is if he were nestled among Dean’s freckles.

And Dean’s soul shifts this soft gold, almost cream, that only rears its head when Dean sleeps. Castiel thinks that perhaps the Pearly Gates are not even as magnificent.

Seeing him relaxed, the way that he deserves, is a precious thing. So rare that it turns the air fragile, and something about it… Castiel blinks.

He watches Dean snuffle a sleepy noise while his lips come together before parting, this innocuous movement, and there it is again. The easiness of Dean’s expression stirs something in Castiel’s stomach. It warms in rings that blossom and confuse him further. Even with his infinite knowledge, his millennia of living, he doesn’t understand his own reaction to the stimuli.

It is the same arousal he feels when he sees Dean bent over the open hood of the Impala, or catches a glimpse of the veins standing out in Dean’s forearms when he’s straining to carry something.

But those moments have a certain physicality tied to them. A pattern of body and action and sweat that makes Castiel lick his lips. This is not that. Dean’s slack face is a gateway to his heavy limbs and rippling soul that Castiel wants to- to- his cheeks flush in a very human sort of embarrassment, and he cannot even finish the thought. He feels himself harden slightly, and that is embarrassing, too.

His roiling guilt is distraction enough to make him miss the moment that Dean’s eyes peel open.

“Mmm,” Dean hums, his voice rough and warmer for it. That makes Castiel even harder. It makes him hungry, a certain sort of sedated need to consume. He wants to grind against the soft skin stretched over Dean’s hipbone and come up his side, let it drip and cause a mess in their bed. See the way his semen marks Dean’s skin and know Dean is happy to see it there, too. “Morning,” Dean adds, cutting through Castiel’s fantasy.

Castiel tries not to flinch in surprise. “Good morning, Dean.”

A beat of silence passes between them while Dean rubs at his eyes with the backs of his hands. “You watchin’ me sleep again?”

Oh, it’s awful how it all collides head-on: the heat and the shame rubbing up against each other in friction that makes Castiel want to put distance between himself and Dean.

“I-” Castiel begins before he decides it might be better to just not say anything.

Dean huffs a single tired chuckle. “That’s what I thought. Can’t say that I get it, man, but you do you.”

That guilt twists its fingers in him. “I’ll stop if it bothers you.”

“That’s not what I said.” Dean’s eyebrows draw up and together. He looks at Castiel fully now. “Just ‘cause I don’t get it doesn’t mean it bothers me. Well, not now that we’re shacking up, anyway.”

Castiel bites at the inside of his bottom lip, a nervous sort of habit that he picked up when he was human and that he hasn’t figured out how to get rid of. Because it feels… wrong. There is something wrong with him. Grimy. Perverted. To gaze upon Dean like that when the man has no way of knowing or defending himself. To find the idea of him being so lax and vulnerable arousing. The morning erection Castiel can still feel leaves him queasy.

Dean stares at him, and when the silence between them stretches too long, he says suspiciously, “Should it bother me?”

“I don’t know,” Castiel admits.

That makes Dean pause. He narrows his eyes at Castiel. “What? Does watching me snore get your rocks off or something?”

Dean’s tone borders on joking, but the words burn uncomfortably in Castiel’s ears. He can feel where the whole line of his body tenses. He needs to leave, needs to escape and wrap all of his rotten fantasies up in a tight little box and throw them away where they will never see the light of day again. Castiel swallows, jolts as his eyes dart around and refuse to meet Dean’s.

“Wait.” Dean sounds disbelieving. Castiel wants to disappear. “Wait, seriously, Cas?”

Castiel stares pointedly at the dark bedroom wall directly across from him. “I won’t do it again.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold your horses, pal. It sorta feels like we’re having two different conversations here. What are- Cas, look at me.” Dean shoves at Castiel’s shoulder and the sudden force actually startles him enough to follow Dean’s order. His face is all tight confusion and he’s frowning. “What are you talking about?”

But Castiel doesn’t know how to answer that. He doesn’t even know if there is an answer.

“I don’t know,” he repeats, except this time it comes out upset.

Dean studies Castiel with his eyebrows still furrowed and pushes his lips out in thought. His eyes look back and forth between Castiel’s. “You like watching me sleep,” Dean finally says. “I mean, like it like it.” Castiel doesn’t know how to respond to that either, but Dean takes his silence as confirmation. “So, what, do you jerk off while I’m out?”

No,” Castiel puffs up, stares at Dean in shock. “I’ve never- I wouldn’t do something like that. I wouldn’t- not without your knowledge or while you weren’t able to- to say no.”

That makes Dean relax minutely beside him. He exhales long and slow. “But it does something for you.”

Even though it’s not really a question, Castiel finds himself mumbling a meek, “Yes.”

“And you don’t know why.”

Well, does he? In a way, if he truly dissects his thoughts. He knows there is something about seeing Dean so at ease. The man who was always fighting and never had a moment to rest now sleeping calmly in a bed next to Castiel. But the heat… the heat comes from the vulnerability, he thinks. To be asleep, to be immobile, is to trust. Aroused at the idea that Dean trusts Castiel enough to willingly lay unconscious and helpless in front of him, and the way that trust mixes with his melted body that would take so well, Castiel just knows it. Where there is no need for doubt or fear, just slow pleasure and limbs that are too heavy to deny it.

Castiel opens his mouth and does not know how to voice a single one of these thoughts.

Dean watches him struggle. “C’mon, man, you gotta work with me a little bit here.”

“It’s… difficult for me to find the right words.”

That makes Dean’s eyes narrow again. “Or are you just embarrassed?”

Why, why, for the sake of everything Holy, and Castiel truly means that, did he fall in love with a human who can seemingly read his mind without any special abilities? Castiel huffs.

“There is that, too. Maybe.”

And Dean has the audacity to laugh at him.

“I am having a moral struggle here,” Castiel says with a glare.

“Alright, alright,” Dean relents. “Listen, as a man who’s been into all types of different- ah- situations, I know exactly what this calls for.” With no further explanation, Dean flops over onto his other side so that his back is to Castiel, a position that also hides his face.

“I may be inexperienced, but tell me, exactly, how this is supposed to help.”

Dean shimmies around in place as if he’s getting comfortable. “The worst part of admitting something embarrassing to someone is having to look at them while you do it. So I’ll lay this way so you can do your thing. Pretend you’re just talkin’ to yourself.”

Castiel doesn’t know how to tell Dean that no matter what position he’s in, Castiel can still see his soul, which is inherently much more expressive and, therefore, much more terrifying than confessing to a human face could be.

But, in the same breath, it does seem a little less daunting not having to look into Dean’s eyes while Castiel tries to figure out whatever is happening in his muddled brain.

“Right,” Castiel finds himself saying slowly, sounding skeptical even in his own ears.

A long pause.

“You like watching my sleep,” Dean prompts with this smug little tone that makes Castiel want to hide all of his socks.

“Yes,” Castiel grits out and rolls his eyes at the back of Dean’s head.

Maybe Dean takes pity on him because he reaches back in an awkward angle of shoulder and arm and flounders around until he grabs a hold of Castiel’s hand. He squeezes it in his. “Cas,” Dean says quietly, like maybe he’s a little bit nervous, too. “Talk to me, man.”

Castiel feels something loosen in his chest at the tone. He rubs his thumb over the back of Dean’s hand, watches the movement.

“This is new, the- the desire. Or maybe it’s always been there and I only just noticed it now.” He frowns and tries to work himself up to the daunting task of continuing to speak. “I was thinking about how peaceful you looked while I was watching you. I liked the idea of you being well-rested, the way that you deserve, and that you… I know the difficulty you have with sleeping. And I was struck by how fortunate I am that you trust me enough to sleep while I’m here. Especially knowing that I won’t be sleeping alongside you, that I’m conscious the whole time you’re not. Suddenly… I- I just wanted.”

He stops to worry his bottom lip between his teeth while he wars with the still slimy feeling in his stomach, whether he should elaborate further.

But if there’s anyone that Castiel can talk to about this, it’s Dean. Just Dean. Just the man that Castiel trusts more than anyone else. He shuffles his body closer until his chest is to Dean’s back and they’re spooning.

“Dean,” he whispers near the man’s ear, a hesitant sort of inquiring.

“Yeah, Cas?” Dean whispers back just as softly.

Castiel exhales. “When you- Have you ever seen something that… arouses you-” he almost expects Dean to snicker like a teenager, but Dean continues to listen quietly- “even though there’s no logical explanation for it? Something that has no deeper psychological roots that you can see, and that has no bearing on the human biology of what would constitute a good mate. It makes no sense, but it- it warms you when you observe it.”

Dean is still for a moment before he sighs. Castiel can feel where his chest parts from Dean’s back with the movement.

“Yeah,” he murmurs, “I have. I think most people have, to be honest. I mean, there’s some pretty specific and, uh, not technically necessary shit out there, Cas. I’m talking people who dress up like horses and people who’re into feet and people who wanna be electrocuted. I mean… the subcategories have subcategories. And most of them don’t play into the biology of procreation, I’ll tell you that.” He sighs again, heavier. “Sex isn’t some puzzle to solve. Sometimes, ya know, it’s probably healthy to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, but at the end of the day, your dick is gonna get hard when it sees something it likes. And that’s it.”

Castiel lets Dean’s words sink in. They are comforting at the same time that he doesn’t like them at all. There is no control in puzzles that do not have a formula or solution. If it were as simple as a psychological hiccup, Castiel could cure it or at least determine if he wants to keep it. Now, it feels like some untamable beast that watches him from a distance, inside of his own existence.

“Oh,” he finally says. “I see.”

Dean takes Castiel following silence as an invitation to continue.

“And, uh, sometimes you like the idea of something more than you actually wanna do it.” Dean squirms around as if he’s slightly embarrassed to be talking about this at all, but his voice stays thoughtful. “Sometimes things are just fantasies for fun and it’s not any deeper than that. You know, something to think about in the shower but that you wouldn’t really want to act on. That’s okay, too.”

That actually makes Castiel pause. Does he want to act on it? Is there even anything to act on? Certainly, the separate components of why Castiel wants, as confusing as they are, are there. But maybe they are just that: components. Maybe they are puzzle pieces to an idea that never becomes assembled. Maybe they sit in their box and collect dust.

But Castiel imagines holding Dean like this, chest to back, while the man sleeps, and maybe… maybe Castiel is inside of him. His gut tugs so sharply he has to bite back a breath.

“I think… this is something that I would like to execute,” he says more unsteadily than he wants.

Dean hums in response, and the sound is so neutral that Castiel doesn’t know how to feel about it. “What does executing it look like, exactly?”

I don’t know, he wants to say, even as he does. Still, still, Castiel is a trench flooded from both ends by his own disdain and Dean’s seeming lack of disgust, until he’s not sure which one is winning out or why.

“There is- What I want… it feels like I shouldn’t want it. It’s more than just the- the trust.”

Dean squeezes Castiel’s hand at the sound of his anxious voice

“Tell me, Cas.” It’s a command at the same time that it’s a request, dying and gentle embers from Dean’s lips.

Castiel swallows and closes his eyes.

“When you sleep… you look so helpless.” His gut rolls and shrivels and shudders. “I look at you laying there and I want to do things to you while you’re still relaxed and too tired to resist. Or- or- where you can’t resist at all. I imagine parting your lips with my fingers and pressing in- and you let me. And you like it. You let me handle you when you’re vulnerable, because you know that I would never hurt you, and every part of you is ready for me. I could do anything I wanted, and you’d let me.”

Dean has tensed alongside him, growing more still with each sentence. The silence between them feels like four feet of snow weighing them to the bed, filling up Castiel’s ears. Finally, Dean exhales slowly.

“Uh-huh…” he says, sounding strained. Before Castiel can panic, which is pretty much exactly what he wants to do right now, Dean continues, “So what I’m hearing is that you wanna do dirty things to me while I sleep.”

Castiel stares at the back of Dean’s head with what he assumes are comically wide eyes. “Yes, I guess that’s what I’m saying.”

Dean clears his throat. He wiggles under the blanket.

“Well- uh, I’m not exactly opposed. Or opposed at all, um, really. That sounds… anyway. I don’t know how easy it’ll be. You already know what a light sleeper I am, no way you stick your dick up my ass and I just don’t wake up.” His head tilts as if in thought. “And in that case, you could probably just use your Angelic Anesthesia on me, but then I would be out for the whole thing. And if we’re doing this, I wanna be able to feel it.”

“You,” Castiel says slowly, “want to…” The world has dropped from underneath him. Because it sounds like Dean is saying that he wants to figure out how to turn this desire into a reality. That Castiel’s rapid uptick in arousal at the idea of a sleep-warm Dean Winchester might gain traction.

The hand still holding his squeezes again, tighter than before.

“Dude,” Dean sighs. “First off, it seems like something you wanna take a shot at. Second off, you never ask for anything in the bedroom. Like, anything. I was actually kinda waiting to see if you had any secret fetishes in that holy noggin of yours. Third, it sounds fucking hot. A little unconventional, I guess, but considering the fact that you're an angel and I’m into tentacle porn, I think we can handle this one.”

Castiel blinks. “Oh.”

Oh? Just Oh?

“Well, I wasn’t expecting to tell you, let alone have something come from it. I felt guilty about finding it arousing in the first place, so I was just going to… ignore it.”

At Castiel’s words, Dean suddenly flips back over again, leaving their faces only inches apart. Castiel jolts in surprise. Dean watches him with that unhappy crease between his eyebrows.

“Ignore it? Something that you wanted, and you just weren’t gonna mention it to me? Because you felt guilty about… what exactly?”

Castiel frowns and looks down at Dean’s neck to avoid meeting his eyes. “I suppose I was worried it would make you uncomfortable.”

A beat of silence. “Cas,” Dean says, and Castiel looks back up at him. His face has softened even though there’s something stern underneath. It’s an expression that he used to wear around Castiel often. His lips are pursed out with it. “You don’t have to walk on eggshells around me,” he states with finality, like he realized that is the root of the problem. Castiel thinks he’s right. “Look, I get it, man. I get why you feel that way. Hell, it’s mostly my fault. And, Cas, I’ll say right now that I’m sorry. But that Dean that I used to be,” Dean pokes at Castiel’s chest, “and that Cas you used to be, neither of us are them anymore. And good riddance for that. Because the Dean I am now thinks you’re pretty fucking awesome and wants to hear all about whatever sick, twisted fantasies get your feathers ruffled.”

And suddenly, whatever is still left of the tension between them eases. Castiel can’t resist leaning in for a warm kiss. It lingers in its stillness where they breathe down each other’s cheeks before they finally part.

“Alright,” Castiel whispers. “I’ll remember that for the next time I find something you do even more inexplicably arousing than usual.”

Dean smiles cockily and sticks his tongue between the set of his teeth. “But that’s next time. Now, how are we gonna do this thing?”

They’re in Dean’s room on his bed, and the door is locked.

Not that it really needs to be, considering they specifically waited to execute their plan later in the week when they knew Sam would be visiting Eileen overnight. A fact that earned Sam a knowing eyebrow wiggle and a “Use protection” from Dean.

Still, this feels like an occasion that requires a locked door.

Dean is naked where he lays supine, his arms relaxed to either side of him, his head propped up on his pillow. Between his legs, he’s still soft. Castiel thinks he is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, like something that would be carved in marble at The Louvre. All achingly long lines and soft angles. He looks decadent.

Castiel kneels beside him, his clothed knees perpendicular to Dean’s fleshy stomach. He’s wearing pants but he’s not wearing a shirt, because Dean had said he’d felt too weird about being fully naked if Cas was fully dressed. Castiel’s not entirely sure how long the pants will last, anyway.

He peers down at Dean. “Are you ready?”

Dean nods, smacks his lips together, and gives Castiel a winning grin that’s all teeth. It’s an interesting expression when paired with his nudity. “As I’ll ever be, SandMan.”

But Castiel can read the nervousness underneath without needing to peek at Dean’s soul.

“Remember, even though you won’t be able to talk, I can still interpret your emotions. If there’s any point in which you’re uncomfortable or want me to stop, I’ll be able to tell.”

“Right,” Dean huffs and deflates into something more serious, more genuine. “But I trust you, dude. That’s the point of all of this, right?” And he is looking up at Castiel with big eyes that betray every terrible thing that Dean Winchester has seen in his life. It makes Castiel’s grace swoop and burn brighter like some protective omen. Nothing, he vows, will happen to this man if Castiel has something to say about it.

He tilts his head to the side and pretends he’s considering Dean’s words. “Yes, part of the point. The other point is orgasms,” he says plainly even as he knows he’s teasing.

And sure enough, Dean laughs, some of his unease melting away. There’s a mischievous glint in his eye now. “I guess I can live with that.”

With a soft smile of his own, Castiel places two fingertips on Dean’s forehead.

“Are you ready?” he asks again.

Dean takes in a sharp breath through his nose and says, “Ready.”

Castiel lets his grace unfurl where it reaches effortlessly into Dean’s body, easing him into a sedated state that Castiel imagines resembles the sensation of falling asleep. It snips the wires connecting Dean’s brain to his limbs, to his muscles, and lays Dean out bare.

He watches the way that Dean’s arms and legs relax down into the bed, twitching until they find their final resting place and remain unmoving there. Dean’s head grows heavier against the pillow as a long exhale leaves his chest. Castiel is fascinated by the way Dean’s eyelids droop, while fogginess seeps into the green eyes they cover. His jaw, too, drops lax, leaving his pink lips parted.

And then it’s over. Dean lies prone on his back and not a muscle moves.

“There,” Castiel murmurs reassuringly. “It’s done. I’m right here, Dean.” He removes his fingers from Dean’s forehead and passes his hand through Dean’s hair.

It’s entirely bizarre to see him like this. So bizarre that the first emotion that Castiel registers is anxiety at the sight. Dean Winchester is never defenseless by choice, he is only rendered as such, usually by some entity that wishes to harm him. The image of him now is such a thin line between incapacitated and- Castiel doesn’t let the sickening train of thought continue. Instead, he watches the still steady rise and fall of Dean’s chest, which is slow and calm the way it is when he sleeps. It reminds Castiel of a stream through a forest.

Because this isn’t some fearful thing, a hair from danger. It’s the exact opposite. At this moment, Dean is defenseless by choice, and Castiel himself is the one who administered the medicine. That is the most important part. That is part of the trust.

Castiel is allowed to- to look at Dean like this and warm from it. Dean had told him so, had let him do this for that exact reason.

He observes the quiet pulsing of Dean’s soul. It’s mint green, a blending of curiosity and apprehension and excitement. Castiel continues to rub his head.

“It seems as though you’re feeling alright. I’m sure this is a strange sensation. But don’t worry, I know you’re still in there.” He smiles when Dean’s soul turns a buttery yellow. “And that you were excited for this as well, so try to enjoy it. I think the best way to do that is to yield to your body. It’s easy to want to resist when something impedes you. I swear, it becomes a challenge to you Winchesters. But this time it’s not about resistance, quite the opposite.”

He runs the pad of his thumb across the fine hairs of Dean’s right eyebrow.

“Just trust me, and let yourself enjoy it. That’s why we’re here.”

At Castiel’s calming words, Dean’s soul circles before it settles, like a dog finding the perfect spot to nap. And with it, Castiel watches with wonder as Dean’s eyes grow even hazier, blanker, as if he has truly given up the urge to fight and sunk back into the cloud that is his body.

Castiel swallows. “Now, let me look at you.”

It’s difficult for Castiel to wrap his head around the fact that he is getting exactly what he wanted. That the hot spark in his stomach that had felt so wrong only a week ago is now something that he can actively indulge in.

Dean’s expression is placid and lovely. Castiel leans in closer so that his face is hovering over Dean’s. The highlight off of his eyes, the way the lamp filters through the lens of his irises and embosses them from the inside out, makes Castiel feel like crawling. They look right through him where they are as flat and matte as newsprint paper. Smooth and swallowed in pupil. It sends a strange wanting into Castiel’s bloodstream.

He trails a finger across Dean’s temple and over the peak of his cheekbone. Down below his eye, up the bridge of his nose. Dean’s eyelashes stand out proudly like tawny feathers. Castiel wants to feel them.

“I’m going to touch near your eye,” he cautions. “Just trust me. Just trust me. I know you won’t be able to pull away, but I don’t want to startle you.”

Drawing his finger up to the outer corner of Dean’s eye, Castiel watches Dean’s soul carefully for signs of distress. When none come, he moves his finger even closer, right to the edge of Dean’s lash line.

“I won’t hurt you. I wouldn’t hurt you.”

Slowly and delicately, Castiel drags the pad of his pointer finger across the spider web silk of Dean’s eyelashes, following its easy curve.

They don’t flutter, they don’t flinch, statuesque under Castiel’s touch. He wonders what it feels like to Dean, to have something that close to such a fragile organ and knowing that you have lost the ability to defend yourself. But that’s the trust. It hits Castiel’s chest with weight.

“You trust me, don’t you?” he whispers. “You know that I won’t harm you. That I could touch you like this,” Castiel moves his finger across the soft lashes again, “where you are vulnerable and more susceptible to pain, where the human body's first instinct is the recoil, and you let me get close. Because you know I’m not going to hurt you. Your trust is one of the greatest things I have experienced in my life.”

He moves his hand to cradle Dean’s cheek and releases the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Oh, Dean.” He lets his love eat him alive. “My Dean.”

Dean’s soul pulses with sweet glee and reaches out as though trying to hold Castiel in return.

“Yes, I can feel you,” Castiel smiles down at Dean’s fuzzy eyes, “I know.”

That seems to make Dean even happier, and Castiel can almost imagine his soul is grinning some sedated thing.

“You look wonderful like this. Perhaps that sounds odd. As odd as my wanting to see it in the first place. But you do. So peaceful, Dean, open and waiting for me. You deserve that peace.”

Castiel’s jaw clenches at the pooling heat in him. He looks down at Dean’s naked body, and the length of uninterrupted tanned skin is inviting like a picnic.

“You have relinquished your control to me,” he says, “and it suits you beautifully. Here like a present that I get to take pleasure from and give pleasure to. I can already feel it. I’m already becoming aroused and I’ve barely touched you. The sight alone is enough to bring me to hardness.”

His words inspire a low-pitched hum in the back of Dean’s throat. From the corner of his eye, Castiel sees Dean’s cock move between his thighs. That pleases Castiel endlessly at the same time that it irons away the last of his doubts, his worries that Dean won’t enjoy this.

He drags the thumb of his hand still caressing Dean’s cheek across the man’s plush bottom lip.

“This mouth is so lovely, Dean. Pink and inviting.” His gut tugs. “Hot… and damp.” His breath shakes. “You can’t close it. You can’t keep me out. You wouldn’t wish to keep me out, even if you could. It becomes irresistible.” Castiel grows harder and he hasn’t done anything yet, but even the thought of what he will do next-

Drawing his hand down across Dean’s stubble until his palm hovers in the air above Dean’s chin, Castiel replaces the spot his thumb had just occupied with his pointer finger. The skin here is air dry.

“Do you remember what I told you I wanted to do to you?”

He doesn’t wait for the response that he knows he won’t get, and that is somehow erotic, too.

“I said that I was going to part your lips,” he uses the finger on Dean’s lip to open his mouth farther where the lax muscles allow it easily, “and I was going to push into your mouth.” He applies pressure with his finger until it slips past Dean’s lips and over the wet bump of his tongue. In, in, to the second knuckle.

Castiel moans.

When he draws his finger out, it’s shiny with saliva.

On the next press, he lines his middle digit up with his index and moves both of them together into Dean’s mouth. It’s so heated. It’s so intimate. Knowing that Dean cannot do anything but lie there and take it. Castiel pulls out, pushes back in, again, until the rhythm resembles intercourse more than anything else.

Dean,” he breathes overwhelmed. He presses his left palm into his lap against where his erection twitches. Dean’s mouth is hot, saturated. Castiel has had his cock there before, and yet this almost feels more carnal. “This beautiful mouth. I could sit here pressing my fingers into it for as long as I pleased. Over and over.”

This noise Dean makes vibrates through Castiel’s fingers. His soul is peeled clementine rinds.

Castiel grips his own erection harder. “Oh, Dean,” he gasps. “I think I could come just from this.”

But he doesn’t, he can’t. There’s still so much to do. This is just the beginning. He calls on his grace to help kettle his arousal and takes a deep inhale. He forces his heart rate to slow as he removes the hand from his lap at the same time he fully pulls his fingers from Dean’s mouth.

For a stretch of time, the only sound in the room is Dean’s even breathing.

“Thank you for letting me do that,” Castiel finally murmurs. He takes another calming inhale. “It was even more fulfilling than I thought it’d be.”

Dean’s soul stretches into strands that vibrate.

“You enjoyed it, didn’t you?”

A plucking melody like guitar strings. Dean always did have an oral fixation.

Castiel smiles knowingly. “Then I’m glad we both got what we wanted. Because I’m already beginning to see that my enjoyment of this is going to come more from your gratification than my own. I think that part of the appeal of you being in this state is that it allows you to let go so that I can ‘take the reins’. You get so caught up in taking care of me that you don’t focus on yourself. Now, it’s my turn to take care of you. And I’m going to find plenty of pleasure in that. Especially because you can’t stop me.”

When he looks down at Dean’s cock, it’s halfway erect against his thigh. Castiel eyes it up rather obviously, even though he doesn’t think Dean can see it from the angle his head is at.

He gazes back up to Dean’s placid face, then to his broad chest where Castiel places a hand. “I’m going to take care of you,” he promises.

Dean’s sternum rises and falls underneath Castiel’s palm. Life, mortality, has never looked as wonderful on anyone as it looks on Dean Winchester. For a moment, Castiel sits in the peace of knowing that Dean is safe and alive beside him. Watches where Dean’s soul cools to a periwinkle.

It grows richer when Castiel draws his fingers across Dean’s right pec and circles his nipple. He sweeps his thumb across it, back and forth, until it slowly begins to harden. When he’s satisfied, he reaches to do the same to the left. Strangely, Castiel finds them endearing when they’re soft.

This time, Castiel catches the nipple between his thumb and index finger to pluck at it gently. He massages the area with fingertips before holding the nipple again with just enough pressure to pull it upwards. Castiel lets go in favor of running soothing fingers across it. Dean’s growing erection twitches.

“Very sensitive, I know,” he comforts quietly. “Even more so, I would guess, with the knowledge that you are vulnerable to my touch. Does that excite you?” Castiel returns to Dean’s right nipple and rubs across it more firmly. “So unassuming, but you get harder when I handle them just right.”

A frothy, “Ahh-hh,” rustles from Dean. There is no force to move it where it leaks from his throat and into the air through an open mouth.

Castiel’s hand leaves Dean’s chest to find a new home in his soft and unstyled hair. He scratches his scalp. “I see you like this, Dean, and I see all of the lovely things that make you who you are. All of the gentleness, all of the kindness. A man more worthy than any other of being touched by loving hands. Of feeling safe… Of being brought to pleasure.”

With his free hand, Castiel finally reaches down the length of Dean’s body to cradle his cock.

“You see,” Castiel pets Dean’s head. The tranquility of his expression makes Castiel’s stomach heat. “In every way, you were made to experience pleasure like this.”

Castiel works Dean’s erection where it is hardening fully under the careful grip. Usually, Dean would be twitching his hips up to get more of the sensation, or tugging at Castiel’s earlobe with his teeth as he goads him into stroking faster. But in the quiet of Dean’s sleepy bedroom, the man is melted wax under Castiel’s fingers. Still and silent and smooth where there isn’t a single muscle tensed. He cannot fight back, Castiel has made sure of this. He cannot escape the sensation at all. There is nothing to fight. There is nothing to escape.

“It’s not easy by accident, or by some flaw of design. These sensations come to you easily for a reason. You’re safe here, and that is why you’re calm. Underneath me, my grace, you are safe. You are able to let go. That’s why you’ve allowed me to do this. You are…” Castiel takes in a shaking breath, “so beautiful like this. It’s extraordinary to see the way you are at ease. It makes me- It makes me hard,” he admits with a swallow of the saliva collecting in his mouth.

Castiel strokes with a steady pace, predictable where it ebbs and flows, at the same time that his other hand rasps fingernails against Dean’s scalp.

“You don’t need to work for this feeling, do you understand? It comes naturally to you because it’s already within you. You don’t have to do anything to deserve it, because you deserve it inherently, Dean. This pleasure is easy. It comes to you and asks for nothing in return.”

The skin stretched taut across Dean’s hardness is blushing pink, and it almost looks unassuming where it slides warm against Castiel’s palm.

“I know that it’s difficult, sometimes, to accept this. You believe that you have done too much harm to be able to feel good again, in this life. It’s not even always a conscious decision. But you reject the way that a simple touch could light you on the inside. Because at every turn there’s some pressing matter or some new anxiety set on keeping you from peace. But those times are over, and I’m telling you now that every sensitive nerve ending you have was made so that you could experience this. Pleasure is not inherently sinful, nor is it something to be earned.”

Dean’s breathing is slow and calm. Castiel watches the way that his bare chest expands, falls again. Castiel can’t understand why he finds that arousing as well. A sweet sort of heat like fresh honey and the tea you mix it into. He observes every lazing breath and he grows harder.

Here, where Castiel can stare and Dean cannot flee.

“You’re doing wonderfully. And it feels good, doesn’t it? It’s all within you already, and you are more than allowed to feel it. Even if it’s just for now, I want you to indulge in it. You see, it’s not difficult at all. If you think you need permission, then I’m here to give it to you. Feel good for me, Dean.”

On the top of his next stroke, Castiel stills his wrist and rubs his thumb in soothing circles across the head of Dean’s erection. Slow and tight, the pad of his finger catching on the slit and pushing against it. He lingers here where Dean can not resist or struggle. Around and around.

Dean’s chest puffs before a moan breaks free towards the ceiling. It’s liquid that spills from him where it is earthy like mahogany trees. It’s followed by another, by a steady stream that Dean no longer has the ability to stop.

And Castiel can’t help but add in a groan of his own with the way his gut flares at the sound.

“I’m incredibly aroused watching you. I’m so hard, Dean. I can’t explain it, but your eyes… they are exposed like this. They are glossy and unfocused, but I know you can hear my voice. You are absorbing everything I say and you are helpless to do anything but let me touch you, let me speak to you lovingly.” He moans softly to himself, “Yes.”

Dean mewls on and on. Now that he’s started there is no end in sight. The hand that Castiel has in Dean’s hair twitches around with his overwhelming emotions.

The rosy skin of Dean’s erection looks so inviting, and suddenly Castiel wants nothing more than to linger on it, be closer to it. He pulls back both of his hands and is somehow still surprised when Dean doesn’t try to follow or complain. His moaning pitters out with the lack of sensation, but there is no other response, not a finger twitched or an eyelid batted from the change of touch.

Castiel shuffles on his knees further down the bed. He grips onto Dean’s shin and uses his leverage to push Dean’s legs apart far enough that Castiel has space to crawl between them. They move so easily under Castiel’s coaxing, without any muscles to tense and impede his progress. After some rearranging, Castiel curls himself up with Dean’s knees on either side of him.

He looks up the line of Dean’s body where the man continues to gaze at the ceiling blankly. There’s glory to it, in it, the way the lamplight wraps across his features and nests him. There is nothing about him to acknowledge that he even realizes that Castiel has moved. But he does realize, and Castiel can see where Dean’s soul writhes.

And Dean’s cock is right there, right in front of Castiel’s face. It’s hard but it’s not desperate where it strains upward. Castiel has seen the way it can grow red, almost purple, when Dean needs so badly he can barely form words after Castiel has touched him everywhere but the exact place Dean wants. Now, it is almost… pretty. Pink and full and wet at the head.

Castiel passes a flat hand over it carefully. He pushes it down like petting, gently, until it lays pinned between Castiel’s palm and the softness of Dean’s stomach. The only tension in Dean’s body is where the blood-hardened shaft tries to right itself, but it is minuscule compared to the easy pressure Castiel presses it down with.

“I could stay here,” Castiel voices his own realization out loud as he has it. “I could stay here with you underneath my hand for as long as I’d like.”

He gazes at the underside of Dean’s chin, the tip of his nose. “You can’t even move to get more. Maybe that means it would be easier to tease you, but that’s not what I want. I don’t want to tease you. This isn’t a punishment or an endurance test, it should feel wonderful.”

Now Castiel really does pet Dean’s cock. Up and over, from root to tip, a rhythm that leaves Dean’s erection to bounce back between each broad stroke until Castiel presses it down again. It slips silkily under Castiel's palm. From above him, a whining sort of noise slips from Dean’s lips.

“Shhh,” Castiel finds himself soothing almost unconsciously, the way that he has seen people be comforted in the movies Dean makes him watch. “Shhh, that’s it. It feels so good to touch you without rush. This is exactly what I wanted. You’re sensitive here. What should just be the movement of a hand becomes a catalyst for pleasure. And pleasure suits this body so well, Dean.”

He cups his hand just barely around the crown of Dean’s erection and pushes it to lie flat against Dean’s stomach again. This time Castiel bends his back to lean in close enough that his breath fans over the taut, ruddy skin. Then, he presses his lips to it tenderly, halfway down the shaft.

“Mmm,” Castiel finds himself humming in his throat as his eyes slip closed. He kisses Dean’s cock again. Dean can’t distract him or hurry him on. It is just Castiel and the intimacy of hidden skin. Another kiss, down closer to the base with a closed mouth. It’s all fluttering and calm.

“Yes,” he pulls back to sigh then, in a daze of his own. “All of you, your entirety, is awe-inspiring… but there is something about you here.”

Castiel kisses the shaft again.

“Your hard cock,” there’s an overwhelmed, reverent note in his tone that he can’t stomp out, “knowing it’s for me. It’s so pretty, Dean. Yes, pretty.” Castiel nuzzles his nose right up against the side of Dean’s erection. “Your hot… hard… pretty cock.”

The noise that blooms from Dean’s throat makes the hair on the back of Castiel’s neck stand on end. It’s this open, wild release that catches halfway through and thins to a velvet keen that stretches on and on.

It prompts Castiel into action. He moves his cupped hand from the crown down to hold Dean’s erection at its base, to steady it upright as he puts his lips against the slit. He parts them just enough to let his tongue pass through, and he laps softly at the precome gathering in the divot.

Ahhh,” Dean moans sweetly, “ahh- ahhhh.”

When Castiel peers up at him, Dean’s soul is shifting like kneaded dough, as though it is trying to invert itself. It’s bronze in color, the way that it gets when Dean finds something extremely satisfying.

“Yes, that’s it. Just like that. Let me hear, Dean, how good you feel. You’re so lovely. I’m leaking in my boxers just listening to the noises you make. You can’t understand how satisfied I am knowing that you feel good.”

He wiggles the tip of his tongue into the slit, causing Dean to exhale another syrupy sound that makes Castiel’s hardness twitch. He pulls away again.

“I want-” Castiel gulps, “I want to spoil you. I want every cell in your body to recognize me on the most unconscious of levels, and know that my presence means something wonderful is going to happen. Something that makes you feel good in one way or another.”

Castiel watches in amazement where goosebumps form along Dean’s thighs and up to his heavy arms.

“Look at the way you respond to me, Dean.” He has to press a hand down into his lap with how he aches with arousal. He trips on a breathy moan. “I’m touching myself. You can’t see, but right now I’m touching myself.”

Dean’s soul flares wildly, so bright that it almost loses color.

“Do you enjoy that?” Castiel finds himself saying and he doesn’t know where the words come from. “Do you like knowing that I’m touching myself while I think about you, while I look at you?” He whimpers when he gets the pressure on his own clothed erections just right. “Or is it-” he stutters, “Or is it knowing that I’m touching myself and you can’t do anything about it? Helpless and unable to move.”

There’s a clicking that sounds from deep in Dean’s throat like he’s trying to swallow, trying to contract the muscles where he can’t and it reminds Castiel of the chirping of a house cat.

“You do like it,” Castiel confirms for him breathlessly. “I like it, too, Dean. I like it very much.”

Castiel pries his fingers from his own lap and places his hands on both of Dean’s knees to either side of him. He massages the joints reassuringly and sighs, “You are- captivating. All of the time and now. I love you.”

He leans in to press one last lingering kiss to Dean’s erection.

“There’s something I want to give you.” Castiel’s hands spread broadly with extended fingers where he pushes them up over Dean’s thighs against the grain of the dusty hair there. “To make you feel good, Dean. There isn’t anyone who deserves it more than you do.”

He condenses his grace and prompts it forward into his fingertips. It tingles a little bit. With a thought, he pushes it into Dean’s skin. “There you are.”

Dean’s soul squirms hungrily at the intrusion while he coos at the ceiling. And Castiel can feel it, that easy, chilled sort of pleasure that transfers between him and Dean in a feedback loop. It’s light like a spring breeze, but so much deeper, so much more satisfying where it shivers and fills every pore with heady affection that makes Dean’s erection twitch.

The sensation moves with his hands, a trapped constellation in the area of each finger pad that burns on and on. Upwards, to the hinge where Dean’s femur meets its socket, and then in, closer, closer to trimmed wiry hair.

If Dean could move, Castiel knows that he would be bucking around and trying to get Castiel’s hand around him. Now, he is unable to do anything but make magenta noises while his breathing grows more rapid.

“Beautiful and waiting,” Castiel says softly. “To me, you are a feast. When you’re still like this, it makes it easier to consume you. Your body accepts my grace so readily, Dean, like you were made for it.” He uses his right pointer finger to draw circular patterns in Dean’s pubic hair, pushes more pleasure through it. Dean’s erection bobs and a single drop of precome runs lazily down the side of his shaft. “You’re very close.”

Castiel finally brings his finger, lit from the inside, down to the base of Dean’s cock, where he catches the bead of precome and traces the path it had made back up Dean’s length to the head where it came from. He draws his fingertip back and forth there, just skimming pressure, and lets his grace do the work.

Dean’s coos have turned to quiet catching calls, a rhythm of gradient “Ahh, ahh, ahh,”'s with every pass of Castiel’s finger. It takes all of Castiel’s willpower not to reach into his own lap to continue touching himself.

“Very, very close,” he confirms again. He leans in to look at Dean’s hardness even nearer, rests his stubbled cheek on Dean’s thigh, drags it across the skin in the scratchy way that he knows Dean likes.

His hand falls to the middle of Dean’s shaft, and he presses his power-ridden palm against it before he wraps each finger around it individually until he holds Dean in a loose fist.

Dean’s mouth leaks keens like a faucet. His soul is the burning fire under a rocket right before it is forced into the atmosphere.

“You are so docile for me, letting me take and give whatever I please. But you have no choice. You have no choice but to feel good. And you do. Feeling good is not a chore. Pleasure is without flaw, without draw-back, and there is no reason to fight it.” Castiel licks his lips. “I’m going to make you come now, Dean.”

It only takes two tightened pumps of his fist full of ecstatic grace to have Dean’s cock pulsing.

The orgasm is the tearing of fabric, wreckage, pulling at Dean from all angles. And Dean cries at the ceiling, these high sobs that set chills up and down Castiel’s body. But still, Dean doesn’t move, not even his jaw, just the molten glass noises that ooze out of him hot enough to burn.

“Good boy,” Castiel breathes appraisingly, as though it’s something he says all the time and not stemming from some inexplicable urge to reassure Dean at this exact moment. But to Castiel’s shock, Dean’s soul blares like it’s shredding itself to pieces while it turns a ruby red so intense that it refracts. Physically, another sharp pulse of come spills up Dean’s stomach.

And Dean wails out shrill where he is unable to stop it. Castiel’s eyes widen.

Intrigued, boiling, Castiel moves his hand faster where he would normally slow. He sends even more potent pulses of grace through his palm and fingertips.

“Oh, good boy, Dean,” he emphasizes with pride in his voice. “Good boy.”

Dean keeps adding to the mess he’s created and his soul becomes a supernova. His sounds of ecstasy turn broken.

“You’re good for me, aren’t you, Dean? Look at this mess you're making. All of this come to show me how well I’ve pleasured you. Give me more. Give me more, I know you can. I know you have more for me.”

Dean’s cock jumps in Castiel’s grip where he is still coming, and perhaps Castiel is using his grace in a way that’s ‘unkosher’ by increasing Dean’s stamina. He can’t find it in himself to care with the noises Dean is making.

“Oh, what a beautiful mess on your stomach. Such a good boy, Dean, working so hard to please me in return. Very good,” Castiel murmurs. “That’s it.” He slows his moving fist. “Thaaaats’s it, Dean. Shhhh.”

All of the frenzied energy of the moment seeps gradually out and dissipates like fog as Castiel slows his hand further. Dean’s cock is now soft and sticky in his fingers. After a few lingering seconds, Castiel releases it carefully and presses a dry kiss to Dean’s thigh.

He crawls back up over Dean’s body so that he can look the prone man in the eyes. They’re still unfocused, unmoving, but Castiel swears there is a spark of recognition in them at the sight of his face.

“I’m right here, Dean,” he reassures, and the spark lights up brighter. He strokes a miraculously cleaned hand through Dean’s sweaty hair. “You did wonderfully. I know, it was intense, wasn’t it? We can be done. We can be done. That was exactly what I wanted. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Thank you, Dean. Just let me restore your movement.” He kisses Dean’s forehead, and while he does, catches the stray end of an odd sensation.

Castiel’s brow furrows.

There’s still something straining. Yes, there, right on his periphery, and he’s positive it’s not just his own arousal. He leans back a few inches and stares puzzled at Dean’s blank face.

Because it’s Dean’s desire. Now, when Castiel focuses, there is no mistaking it for anything else. But desire for what, when the man just came?

It doesn’t let up, this insistence, and it reminds Castiel of the way children tug on the hem of their parent’s pants impatiently when they need something.

“You want more,” Castiel finally says softly, with fascination.

Dean, of course, does not respond in any physical way. His expression stays stuck with the same flat openness while his soul does twisting flips.

Castiel nods to both Dean and himself.

“We can be done,” he repeats, then licks his lips and hesitates, “or we could continue…”

Dean’s soul turns into a chartreuse hue of greedy curiosity.

“I could use my grace to shorten your refractory period. I could- fuck you like this.”

That seems to be the correct answer to Dean’s probing because his soul sparks like a lighter and a hum comes from deep in his throat.

Castiel shakes his head incredulously. “You are insatiable, do you know that? Only Dean Winchester. I’d assume most people would have fallen asleep by now, but not the Righteous Man, not the most stubborn being on planet Earth.”

Dean’s soul smirks at him. Castiel narrows his eyes.

“I wonder why…” Castiel says slowly, “you aren’t satisfied. Is it that you enjoy being helpless even more than I thought?”

He leans in close again, places his mouth against Dean’s ear. Before Castiel speaks, his tongue darts out against the shell. He whispers, “Maybe, that is partially correct. But I wouldn’t want to minimize you, Dean. I think you like to be taken care of. I think you like it when I force you to let me take care of you.” He breathes damply against Dean’s ear. “Do you like it when I make you feel small? When I make you feel held?”

Beneath him, the coyness has dropped right off of Dean’s soul, replaced by bashful arousal that looks like strawberry milk.

“You are small, Dean. You are held.” Castiel has the oddest urge to bare his teeth. “I’m holding you.” His hand trails down blindly until he finds Dean’s sensitive and soft cock, which he grips. Dean whimpers beside his ear and the arousal in Castiel’s gut returns tenfold.

Castiel pushes his grace through his hand and forces Dean back to hardness. With a thought, he cleans the cooling come from Dean’s stomach.

He pulls away entirely and takes the opportunity to palm his straining erection through the frustratingly thick fabric of his pants. “You have to know how close I am, even now. The only thing holding me back is my grace. If I were not commanding my body to be patient, I think this would have been over before we even started.”

Castiel needs out of his clothing. Needs to feel the divine heat of Dean’s skin against his.

With a grunt, he shuffles on his knees to the edge of the bed before he steps off to stand fully.

“Listen. Do you hear the sounds of me undressing?” Castiel undoes the buckle of his belt with exaggeration, letting it clack against itself before he drops it to the ground with a clang. Next, he draws the zipper of his pants down slowly enough that each snick of metallic teeth is audible. “I’m preparing myself for you.”

Dean’s soul is stained glass on the brightest day of the year.

“For you, Dean,” Castiel confirms as he pushes both his pants and his underwear down in one wrinkled swoop. Their fabric is bunched together when Castiel kicks them off of his ankles and is finally, finally made bare.

He wraps a hand around his leaking erection with a low noise and crawls back onto the bed still holding it. Then, Castiel looks down at Dean’s lax body, and breathes, and breathes, until the want in him isn’t sharp anymore. There is no room for violent things here.

Castiel has sat and watched the entire life cycle of a star. He has been far more patient for far less than Dean Winchester.

“Now that I’m prepared, you need to be prepared, too.”

After grabbing the bottle of lube from Dean’s bedside table, Castiel moves to reposition himself between Dean’s legs as he had done before. This time, he spreads them even wider.

“Show me,” he murmurs. “Here. This intimate part of you that only I see. That only I touch. A gateway to the warmth of your body.” Castiel squeezes the lube onto the fingers of his right hand and then settles lower, braces his left on Dean’s left thigh as he brings his lubed digits to Dean’s hole. He presses one in.

Dean moans at the intrusion, and Castiel is struck by how easy it becomes to push deeper, where Dean has no option but to stay relaxed. There is no clamping down or uncomfortable tensing. It feels like the most innate act in the world, where Dean was always meant to be filled. Where Dean is made whole, like a form of sacrament.

“What if I told you that you were holy? That, to me, this is as consecrated as ceremony?” Castiel pauses, then breathes, “That the inside of this body becomes a place for unity? Here.” He presses his finger all the way in before drawing it out with little effort. “Right here. Where you become a vessel not through lineage, and not through coercion, but through the desire for us to be closer.”

Dean’s soul turns bronze in satisfaction as he breathes a quiet noise. Almost as if to say, Closer, even closer.

“Soon,” Castiel promises. “Your body yields easily like this, it won’t take long at all.”

This time, he pushes two fingers in, and they enter just as readily as one had. Ten more thrusts. He can already add a third. It hasn’t been long since they did this last, anyway, just the other night. Dean is so relaxed. Another minute, and then Castiel’s pulling his fingers out carefully.

He wipes the slickness that’s left over on his erection, getting more from the bottle and lubing himself up fully before cleaning his fingers on Dean’s comforter and throwing the bottle to the floor. Then, Castiel moves back up the length of Dean’s body until he overlaps him, lining himself up to Dean’s hole with one hand, the other holding his weight next to Dean’s head. “May I?”

Dean’s soul responds by licking its lips.

Castiel pushes into Dean’s heat, and his whole body tenses against his need to come. He’s so close, has been so close, from the moment they started, and he has to shut his eyes as he settles himself. He lets out a long, slow breath, and then pushes in further as he watches for any signals of discomfort from Dean. None come, and then Castiel is all the way inside of him.

It feels so wonderful to be here. It always does. A little bit like curling up in a warm bed in a way that has nothing to do with the sex at all, and everything to do with the intimacy.

“Yes,” Castiel sighs. He kisses Dean’s slack mouth, little pecks.

His thrusts start off slow, for both his and Dean’s sake. They build to a loving pace, the rhythm of a tap dripping water into the basin of a sink.

But it’s as if Dean’s soul is encouraging him in some oddly specific way. Go on, it prompts in that same buttery yellow as before, I want you to.

To do what? Go faster? There isn’t much more to do when he’s already moving into Dean like this. Castiel’s eyebrows furrow and he stares down into Dean’s absent eyes as if they’ll give him some sort of answer.

You’re still holding out on me, Dean’s soul seems to respond in ripples.

And it reaches out farther until it turns into a familiar but precious soft creamy gold that’s-

Just like I’m asleep.

Castiel’s gut lurches until it feels like it will force out of him.

“You want me to…” he starts weakly, but can’t find the words to finish. He stares at the steady thrum of Dean’s seemingly sleeping soul. He feels the weight of Dean’s easy encouragement.

Reaching an unsure hand upwards to hover above Dean’s face, Castiel murmurs, “I’m going to shut your eyes,” and it almost comes out like a question even though he doesn’t mean it to.

The only answer he receives is an approving golden hum.

With barely a nudge of grace, Dean’s eyelids fall closed. He lays there underneath Castiel and looks like a fantasy come to life. Castiel can’t resist running his free hand through Dean’s hair and lets it settle on the crown of his head.

All of the peace that fills Dean’s expression when he sleeps is present on his face now. All of that laxness that makes Castiel feel like he can’t get close enough, that makes him hungry in a way he’s never felt before. Castiel’s jaw clenches and his own eyes flutter shut for a moment with how overwhelmed he feels. He’s dazed even further when he pulls his hips back cautiously, just to push in at the same sluggish pace. It feels indulgent and thick, like molasses. He gulps.

“I have to go slowly,” he tries the words on his tongue and feels a little bit foolish. This pretend situation that both he and Dean know is false. But perhaps the point is to pretend. “I have to be very careful… I wouldn’t want to wake you.”

Dean’s soul shudders furiously, and the whine that falls from his lips is more like a cry.

Oh God,” Castiel chokes. His own sentiment is simple, yet it tears through him.

He presses his lips together and tries to collect himself. Focuses on the feel of Dean’s soft hair between his fingers. “Shhh,” he hushes even as his own voice shakes and his own hands tremble. “Sh-shhh, Dean. It’s just me. It’s Castiel. There’s no reason to worry at all. Go- go back to sleep now.”

When Castiel fucks back into Dean just as achingly slow, a whine gets caught on the inside of his teeth. He clenches his jaw. That same wild thing from all those nights ago raises its head. It’s too much, too much, the heat.

“R-rest, now,” Castiel whispers, and has to inhale through his nose at the way his chest feels torn open. His hips hitch without his permission. “You never get enough rest. And I-I would find myself guilty if I interrupted your sleep. There’s no-” He whimpers in his throat. “There’s no need for you to rouse. You’re safe, here. D-don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything. I’ll be very gentle.”

The gold of Dean’s soul churns like whipping cream, where it tries to reach closer to Castiel until Castiel swears he can feel Dean’s contentment under his own skin. Like a magnet drawing him in, Castiel can’t resist brushing his parted lips against Dean’s in a kiss that’s not a kiss at all. Castiel’s tongue flicks out and catches the inside of the corner of Dean’s mouth.

“Are you having… sweet dreams?”

Dean’s soul purrs.

The drag of Dean’s body relaxed and sleep-warm around Castiel’s cock is silk on his fried nerves until he is so near to the edge he can barely stand it. Castiel’s breathing is heavy now, even heavier because he’s trying to quiet it and he doesn’t think he’s succeeding.

Each thrust is deep and lazy, to the point that Castiel is inside of Dean for longer than he’s not. He pulls away just enough that he can take in all of Dean’s face at once. And that sweet face. The crescent line of Dean’s fleece eyelashes. All that vulnerability that he is choosing to let Castiel see, that no one else will ever see. Not only does Castiel get to see him like this, but he gets to have him like this.

“I’ll only take what I need, you don’t have to do anything.” Castiel’s voice is so strained, even at its low volume, that he barely recognizes it. “Allow me. I’ll only take what I need. Please. J-just relax, Dean. Shhhh, it’s alright. I know you're t-tired.”

In the oddest way, Castiel has the urge to cry.

“I wouldn’t want-” he dry-sobs a trembling noise, his hand clenches in Dean’s hair- “to w-wake you.” A moan tears out of Castiel, too loud in the pretend-quiet he’s created. “Oh, Dean. Oh. Oh-

It builds. It pulls him tight until it’s inescapable.

Haaaahh,” Dean keens upwards.

“Dean, may I- I- I’m going to-”

Dean’s soul clutches at him ravenously.

Castiel weeps as he comes inside of Dean’s body. His hips jerk through it, minute movements that barely even jostle Dean, because Castiel refuses to pull out, pull away. He’s trembling all over. Each of his exhales has a strung-out cry on them. He pulses and feels his own release become slick within Dean.

“Thank you,” Castiel slurs around his thick tongue, “thank you.”

He seats himself all of the way inside, as deep as he can, as the last of the tremors run through him. Breathes. His hand is still clenched around Dean’s hair, and he loosens his stiff fingers to card through it instead. For a lazy stretch of time, they just exist together.

Eventually, Castiel finds the will to move and leans in to kiss at each of Dean’s closed eyelids. When he pulls back, Dean’s eyes are open again. They remain empty and blown.

“Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’m still hard.”

Because he is, still in Dean and wet with come, erect as if he had never orgasmed in the first place.

He rolls his hips and relishes the way Dean’s breathing stutters. “I am nothing if not adamant. And you, Dean Winchester,” Castiel rocks in again, “have yet to be satiated.” Once again, he leans in near Dean’s ear. “But what will it take? For the man who is insatiable.”

Dean’s soul could almost be mistaken for chastised if it weren’t so eager.

“Just the right melody played, maybe.” Castiel looks down the valley of their bodies to where Dean’s erection is very nearly touching his stomach. “We’ve already made measurable progress, it seems.”

Castiel lowers his hand from Dean’s hair to Dean’s hip and grips it as he pulls out almost all of the way. Come escapes with the movement, and both of them moan.

“Like this, Dean. Where I’m leaking out of you onto the bed. Where I’ve spent myself inside of you. Small. Held. And mine.”

He thrusts back in with a wet noise. Dean’s soul blooms, blooms, until its delicate stamen is revealed. And suddenly it all feels fragile again. Castiel will hold him.

“Helpless in the way that you crave, where you allow someone else to shoulder your responsibilities. And to speak kindly to you. For me, that is the easiest request to fill.”

The urge to soothe is so deep. It’s always been about the soothing, the protecting, the taking care of Dean and knowing that Dean craves that care in return. Because even though the man is hesitant to admit it, it is never lost on Castiel the way he moans when spoken sweetly to.

“Insatiable, perhaps. But caring and gentle as well. Worthy of being satiated in the first place.”

He rubs his thumb over Dean’s hip bone soothingly as he continues to rock into him.

“In,” Castiel breathes in tandem with his next long thrust, “and out. You’re full of me.” A hushed, reassuring articulation. The stating of simple facts becoming its own security.

And, again, on the drag of their bodies. “In… and out. Here, where we join. In… and out.”

After all of this time, it is only now that Castiel sees the soft underbelly of Dean’s soul. Even more exposed than when he sleeps, as if even resting Dean was curled up into a tight, protective ball that he’s just decided to unfurl from. Showing that still innocent piece of him that he knows Castiel will handle with care. It stares at him with wide, green eyes and it is so invaluable, so darling, that Castiel is almost afraid to look back.

“I have you,” he whispers to it, to Dean, because that’s what it is. He moves his hands from beside Dean’s head and on Dean’s hip to under his back so that he can hold him. The position traps Dean’s erection between their stomachs, and it rubs with each of Castiel’s thrusts. He rests his forehead against Dean’s and closes his eyes. “I have you. I have you. It’s alright.”

He moves to kiss Dean’s cheek, his lips pressed and held there.

“How lovely, truly. You’re lovely, Dean. Whatever you need. I’m here. I have you. You can rest on me now. You can rest.”

And then there is dampness on the bow of Castiel’s top lip, that drips into his mouth and tastes of lysozyme. There is no doubt what the substance is, and Castiel kisses at it even as more of it comes.

The tears leak readily from the corners of Dean’s open eyes and over the bumps of his cheekbones, the indent of his temples, without obstacle. Flowing in little streams to his hair where they catch.

He kisses Dean’s cheek again and whispers, “Would you like to stop?”

Dean’s soul reaches out slowly to him and wraps itself around Castiel’s finger. Holding him near. Castiel smiles against the fading grain of Dean’s stubble. “Yes, alright.” He pushes in a little faster, a little harder. “Then let’s satiate you, shall we?”

They don’t stop again, even as Dean continues to cry. The outpouring is almost at odds with his soul, which has been gradually returning to bronze, then redder, redder. Castiel’s pace grows until there is a noise with every thrust, and his mouth opens and drags wetly against Dean’s cheek.

Castiel moans while Dean chirps for him.

“So hot inside. Made to take me, Dean. Made to take me. Oh, take me.”

He knows he’s hitting Dean’s prostate when Dean’s soul splashes out boiling ore. The sound Dean makes is longer, louder, and Castiel can feel the pulse of his hardness between them. Castiel isn’t in much better shape.

“I’m close,” he grits. “I’m going to fill you up again. Make you a mess. My pretty, little, messy… good boy. Yes- yes- oh- D-Dean-” Castiel comes with a long growl, his toes curling.

And that seems to be all the encouragement Dean needs, Castiel’s come fresh and wet inside him, because he cries out a second afterward as he comes from just the friction of their stomachs. The noise carries into a groan before it pitters off into an audibly shuddering breath.

This time, Castiel is careful not to drop his weight down onto Dean. He props himself up with arms to either side of Dean’s head and leans down to kiss him one last time. “You’re safe,” he says with surety. “Just breathe. Deep breaths. You’re alright. I’m going to pull out now, and then I’m going to return your movement.”

Castiel removes himself as gently as he can, grimacing to himself at the mess of come that gets created. It can wait for a moment, however, until Dean’s body is back in working order.

He cups Dean’s face in his hands and extracts the grace that had rendered him immobile. It takes a few seconds, gradual so that the sudden shift doesn’t shock Dean, but then it’s over as innocuously as it started.

Dean’s eyes aren't blank anymore, just bare. Slowly, they blink. Then again.

“Dean,” Castiel rumbles with warmth. “Are you alright?”

Dean doesn’t respond, doesn’t so much as move, just continues to blink up at him with eyelashes still damp and clumped together. But his soul is that buttery yellow, maybe even more pastel, so Castiel holds off on panicking.

“You don’t need to answer out loud. I understand. Take as long as you need. That was, perhaps, more intense than we intended it to be. It may be a few minutes before you become accustomed to the movement of your muscles again. I’ll keep watching. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m just going to clean you off.”

With a thought, Castiel removes the sweat and come from his body, leaving him bare and new. Then, the filthy comforter of the bed. Next, he produces a wet washrag from the bathroom down the hall into his hand and uses it to clean the sweat from Dean’s skin. He knows that he could use his grace to freshen them both in an instant, but Dean does not need instantaneous things right now. He needs loving hands.

And so first the face, the most sensitive part of Dean’s body. Castiel wipes the cloth across his sweaty forehead, under his eyes where the tears have already turned to salt flats, across his dry lips, then the saliva at the corners of his mouth.

Down his neck, taking care to go up behind Dean’s ears because Dean always purrs happily when he does it. Over the cusp of one shoulder, across collar bones to the other. Down the length of each arm.

He skips the come of Dean’s chest in favor of shuffling down the bed to Dean’s ankles. He starts with the left leg first, works all the way up to the edge of his hip, before starting on the other hip and working his way back towards the right ankle.

It becomes a categorization of all of Dean’s softness, of every scar, where Dean is somehow, impossibly, still whole. And he remains unmoving, even under Castiel’s ministrations. He just breathes on evenly and blinks every few seconds. But Dean’s soul is melted without a trace of its usual scaliness, so Castiel continues his task.

Back up Dean’s body, where Castiel holds Dean’s elbow and prompts it away from his torso so that he can wipe gently at the sensitive skin of his armpit. He repeats the process on the other side.

Finally, to the come smeared across Dean’s front. Castiel uses his grace to refresh the washrag, and passes it gingerly across Dean’s stomach, up to where some of the come has reached the center of Dean’s chest. For a moment, Castiel just lets his hand rest there over Dean’s heart.

He looks to Dean’s face and almost startles at the fact that Dean is watching him back. For a long moment, they look at each other in the quiet and the weight of their gaze holds an understanding.

Castiel pats his hand against Dean’s chest once. “What an incredibly resilient muscle the human heart is,” he finds himself saying.

Dean blinks at him, and it’s warm.

However, Dean still doesn’t seem inclined to do much more than observe, so Castiel continues his washing. Moving the rag down from Dean’s chest in a line to his pubic hair, before wrapping delicately around his soft cock. It only takes one pass of the cloth to remove the come, and then Castiel is moving equally as cautiously against his perineum and tender hole. But there’s only so much he can do with what’s still inside, so he finally uses his grace to clear away the rest.

Both of them now free of grime, Castiel kisses up Dean’s body, stopping every few inches, until he hits Dean’s jaw. He kisses the underside of that, too, and then hovers over Dean’s face and looks at him fully.

“You were wonderful,” Castiel says finally.

Dean’s eyes spark. He opens his mouth, but when nothing comes out, his brow furrows. He licks his lips and tries again. “Me?” he croaks.

Castiel miracles a glass of water and hands it to him. It makes Dean’s eyes widen, and he mutters, “Damn angels,” but he still takes the glass in a weakly raised hand and gulps half of it, anyway. Castiel has given up on trying to tell him to drink it slowly.

It seems to help, because Dean clears his throat and says, “I was wonderful? Jesus, Cas. Laid me out like a fucking carp on Fish-For-Free Day. I think I blacked out both times I blew my load.”

Dean’s smirking, but the weight of the moments just before seem to hang heavy over both of them. For a stretch, there’s silence.

“It was certainly a lot,” Castiel says, and looks at Dean with attentive eyes. “You were obviously experiencing heightened emotions. I felt that I was reading your wants correctly, though. I didn’t misinterpret anything, did I?”

No,” Dean sounds startled, and he reaches out a hand to clutch at Castiel’s shoulder. “It was- it was good, Cas. Fucking- a little like getting taken for a ride at some points, but even that was kinda hot. And- and, yeah, maybe I got a little weepy there in the middle,” Dean looks away from Castiel’s eyes down at his own hand, where it touches Castiel’s skin, “but that was okay, too. Ya know, I always thought people were full of shit when they talked about crying ‘cause they were happy, but…” He sniffles the way he does when he’s trying to sound indifferent. “Anyway, it was nice to give up some of it, ya know? Like what you were saying. I guess I was just happy ‘cause I knew that…” Dean looks back up, and whatever he sees on Castiel’s face makes his tense expression melt slightly. “I knew that you’d take care of me.”

If even half of how pleased Castiel feels in that moment were to show on his face, he knows that Dean would be embarrassed by it. So he settles for grabbing Dean’s wrist and squeezing. “I’m glad that you know that, because I always will.”

Dean stares at him with something unreadable and astonished in his eyes. He pushes up, and places an almost solemn kiss to Castiel’s lips.

Then he flops back down into the mattress with a huff. “I’m beat.” He paws at the edge of the comforter he’s laying on until he gets a hand under it, and then pushes it down far enough that he can slip his legs underneath. “Budge up,” he mumbles to Castiel.

Castiel moves to stand off of the side of Dean’s bed as he watches the man get comfortable. When he seems thoroughly tucked in, Dean moves to lay on his side so that his back is to Castiel. Dean peers over his shoulder as he holds up the edge of the comforter like an invitation. “Get in here. I call little spoon.”

It’s certainly a call that Castiel can’t, and doesn’t want, to argue with. He reaches over to turn off Dean’s bedside lamp, throwing the room into darkness, before he crawls into bed behind him.

He wraps his arms around Dean’s waist, pressing in as close as he can until he feels something deep settle in him. He lets out a breath he doesn’t need.

“Was it…” Dean murmurs, “Was it what you wanted?”

“Even more so than you could imagine,” Castiel answers sincerely.

Dean sighs with relief like this is the best news he’s ever heard. “Oh, good. ‘Cause- uh- it was pretty awesome on my end, too.”

“I would have never guessed,” Castiel says flatly, and smiles when it earns him a half-hearted elbow to the ribs. Again, the air between them is quiet.

“Best boyfriend ever,” Dean mumbles blurrily, and Castiel glows pink with it. Then, “Hey, Cas?”

“Yes, Dean?”

“I love you.”

Castiel could erupt into tiny little colored bits like the pyrotechnic display Dean took him to last year. Maybe, one of these days, he will go outside and set himself off into a light show for Dean. Now, he kisses the back of his head and holds onto him even tighter.

“I love you, too. With everything I have.”

Not even a minute has passed before Dean begins to snore softly. Castiel shakes his head and presses another kiss into Dean’s hair.

He watches Dean’s soul cool into a creamy gold, and thinks that perhaps the Pearly Gates are not even as magnificent.

Castiel closes his eyes.