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Some Kind of Courtship

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The first time they meet, it’s in Alastair’s house. Castiel is crouched over the body of Alastair himself, trying to find a pulse, when he feels the press of a blade against his neck.

Maybe it’s because Castiel is careless, or maybe it’s because Dean is just that good. Not many people can get a jump on Castiel, even if it has been a long day and he’s had to take down half a dozen of Alastair’s goons to get this far only to find that someone beat him to the job. Whatever the case, Castiel turns his head cautiously.

Castiel will only learn Dean’s name later. For now all he knows is that there is a man in Alastair’s house, a broken chain dangling from one of his ankles, flecks of dried blood the only clothing on his skin. Dean cocks his head, grinning, and flicks the blade meaningfully against Castiel’s neck.

“Did you do this?” Castiel asks. It’s hard to tell if Dean can hear a thing in his current state, pupils almost down to dots in the wild green of his eyes. “Are you one of Alastair’s?”

Dean doesn’t answer. He bends down, uncaring of his nakedness, and presses his nose close to Castiel’s. His grin is maniacal.

Castiel wonders if Dean is one of Alastair’s rumored pet projects. It’s not Castiel’s place to wonder and his contract only stipulates that he take out Alastair, but no one can blame him for being curious. Especially not when faced with a man who looks like he’d like to rip out Castiel’s throat with his teeth. And eat his tongue for dessert.

“Would you like me to take that off?” Castiel moves his hand slowly down to shackle around Dean’s left ankle.

The touch sets Dean off. He becomes an animal, slashing the blade wildly in the air, and it’s only due to Castiel’s excellent reflexes that he isn’t shredded into ribbons. A backhand has the knife going wide, a kick has Dean flat on the floor, and an elbow has Dean choking for air, confidence disappearing when Castiel leans in warningly.

“I have a better idea.” Careful to keep elbow and knees on Dean’s pressure points, Castiel reaches down to the shackles, twists it free, and tosses it aside.

Dean frowns, confused.

Castiel goes quiet and contemplative, intrigued enough to study the man underneath him. He is a startlingly beautiful, true, yet there is a sense that that isn’t all there is to him. What was he like before, Castiel finds himself wondering. What will he be like after?

“It is a pleasure.” Castiel can’t help himself. He leans down, close enough that Dean’s puffs of exhalation land warm on Castiel’s lips. Dean’s eyes track the movement, his entire body taut with expectation.

A kiss, dropped right at the corner of Dean’s mouth, is all Castiel gives him. Dean responds by snarling and baring his teeth, ready for a fight.

“No.” Castiel leans back, brushing a gloved hand over Dean’s blood-streaked hair. “Not today.” He moves off Dean swiftly, too fast for Dean to react, and stands up. There are keys in Castiel’s pocket – he’d gotten them off Meg before he slit her throat, and now he drops them to the floor. “If you’re cognizant enough to make your escape with those, then you are deserving of it.”

Castiel starts running for his own exit route. He glances back once, just before he leaps up the stairs, but Dean is already gone.

 


 

That was their first meeting. Castiel remembers it fondly, and has turned the memory over and over in his head so many times that it’s a wonder it hasn’t turned grey and worn. In the time since then Castiel’s thought often of Dean’s smile, Dean’s eyes, Dean’s raw power in turning his entire body into a weapon.

But as far as Dean is concerned, the first time they meet is a few years later, at a slave auction.

Castiel is on the stage and keeping his eyes lowered, but he knows exactly where Dean is. He’s standing near the wall with his brother, Sam, where both Winchesters are dressed to the nines, smart in their suits and ties. For now, at least, they are completely silent as they observe the proceedings.

Zachariah is auctioneer today. “Lot 12-41!” He gestures for his people to bring Castiel forward.

It could go wrong today, of course. There’s always the possibility of that, even if Castiel has done his research, covered his bases, made sure that none of the other slaves up for grabs today are remotely as interesting as he is. Castiel has also cut his hair, adjusted his body language, torn his tunic at specific points to emphasize his wrists, his neck and the lithe body he has underneath.

“Four thousand,” Dean drawls lazily.

Or it could go so very right.

Bidding is cheerful and not too enthusiastic. There is a couple that seems determined to get Castiel but Dean wins easily, nodding with satisfaction when Zachariah’s mallet comes down.

Castiel does not react in any way when Dean comes to collect him later in the winner’s room. He remains docile when Dean grabs his jaw, opens his mouth, turns his face from one side to the other in inspection. Dean’s pupils are normal, no longer pinpricks the way they are in Castiel's technicolor memory. He’s clean-shaven, neat, poised and perfectly composed, as though the precious memory of a man half-mad was just a fevered dream.

Dean scowls suddenly, and Castiel realizes that he’s been looking directly at Dean. He drops his eyes.

“You’re one of those, huh?” Dean leans in and right there, that is the grin Castiel remembers, every inch as beautiful as it’d been years before.  He comes forward, forcing Castiel to back up until he hits the wall and has nowhere else to go.

“Sorry, sir,” Castiel says. He’s worked on his voice one, too, found the right tone halfway between obedient and challenging. It had driven Zachariah to wit’s end.

“You will be,” Dean promises.

Castiel jumps at the touch between his legs, unexpectedly quick. Dean’s hand moves with proprietary confidence, cupping Castiel’s soft cock through his pants and then sliding into the juncture between his thighs. Dean’s fingers trace a firm, exploratory line from Castiel’s balls and further back, stopping where Dean guesses his hole is.

“What’s your name?” Dean sounds friendly, even jovial, which is at odds with the way he rolls his fingers against Castiel’s entrance. “Do you have one?”

“Castiel.” He does his best to stay calm. It wouldn’t do to get hard, even if Dean’s simple presence is making his skin tingle. “Sir.”

“Cas-tee-yel.” Dean toys with the name, tongue flicking against his teeth thoughtfully. “Quite a mouthful.”

Dean won’t fuck him here. Not in the auction house, and not with Zachariah arguing with Sam over the terms of payment just outside the room. Castiel has a few hours, probably, to figure out how to play this right and make their first coupling one they’ll both remember. Castiel knows he is not as attractive nor as experienced as Dean’s other lovers, so he must have some other quality to make himself memorable.

He just needs to figure out what Dean wants.

“Ready to go?” Sam ducks his head into the room. “I got the warranty so we’re – oh for crying out loud, Dean, he’s a blue collar!”

Dean shrugs and pulls away. “Could’ve fooled me with that mouth.”

“Shut up, you jerk.” Sam comes forward, grabbing the leash around Castiel’s wrists and tugging firmly. “This one’s mine and he’s going to help around the place and so help me if you ruin him—”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Dean shoves his hands into his pockets and saunters out. Sam shakes his head, hand fluttering in a frustrated why me gesture before pulling at the leash for Castiel to follow. Castiel does, obediently, because he is a slave now.

Castiel also makes sure to drop his eyes sheepishly every time Dean glances back at him.

 


 

The Winchesters have a long and illustrious history. In retrospect it’s embarrassing that Castiel didn’t recognize Dean that night at Alastair’s, but until then he’d only ever heard of the Winchesters through the grapevine, having been denied the chance to meet them in person.

John Winchester, the patriarch, died not too long ago. Sam and Dean are unusual in that there was no bloodletting between them when that happened. According to Castiel’s research, aside from the occasional spat neither brother wants to edge the other out of the Winchester empire (small as it is, in comparison with other families Castiel has known). Sam and Dean are content to share, to live in the same house and, to the consternation of everyone who knows them, refuse to say which brother is really in charge.

Such a form of symbiosis would be fascinating to observe up close, Castiel thinks. Though that’s just a bonus to Castiel’s true reason for being here.

“Home sweet home,” Sam says when their car arrives. His smile at Castiel is genuine, as though he wishes to comfort the new addition to his household. Dean just rolls his eyes and steps out of the car.

The Winchester house is a grand thing. It had a previous life as a courthouse before getting facelift, and a coat of arms hangs above the doorway: an Impala, gun and flame of fire, which welcome Castiel’s arrival through the main doors.

“Jo,” Sam calls out. “Take care of this one, would you?”

A young woman with fair hair nods and takes Castiel’s leash. Castiel follows her silently, memorizing the route they take through the house. Castiel would have come here earlier for recon, but the security is tight as to be near impossible to not leave tracks, and there are cameras everywhere. Right now all he can do is observe as much as quickly as he can, noting the layout, possible exits, secret rooms, and anything else of interest.

There are other slaves wandering around, tattoos marking them for what they are. Their names are Ruby and Brady, both of whom work for Sam most of the time. There’s also a third one, Elisworth, but he spends most of his time at the boys’ other place in town. Luckily, there is enough space here for all three house slaves to have their own rooms in the lower ground level.

Jo takes Castiel to his room, where she finally breaches the silence with, “You stay here until someone comes to fetch you.” She undoes Castiel’s leash, but doesn’t bother to reattach it to the bed. She must have confidence in the house’s security system. “Tattoo goes on tomorrow. Sleep well.”

“Thank you.” The room is simple. Castiel likes its clean walls and lack of distraction. He’s known less welcoming prison cells, and this one doesn’t compare.

Castiel sits on his bed and contemplates. 

 


 

Dean doesn’t come to him the first night. Nor in the second night, after Castiel’s gotten the Winchester marks inked into the space between his shoulders blades. By the third night he is tense and disappointed. He would almost welcome Sam in the room, except all Sam seems to be interested in are Castiel’s skill with numbers and efficiency with filing.

Castiel does see Dean around the house in daytime, usually talking on the phone or eating in the opulent dining room with Sam and their comrade Bobby Singer. Castiel has no reason to linger around in those moments because Ruby’s the one who waits on them, always hovering nearby and ready to fetch food or drink as requested. Most of Castiel’s time is spent in the library, where barely anyone goes.

The only highlights are the few moments that they do cross paths, where Castiel sometimes catches Dean watching him. Whenever that happens Dean appears to be regarding Castiel contemplatively, as though guessing the angles of which he can bend Castiel’s body. And every time Castiel notices this he tries to slow down his steps, move his head in a way that subtly shows his neck, but Dean never takes it. It’s frustrating.

A knock at the door jars Castiel out of his thoughts. It’s only Brady, who comes in and sits on Castiel’s bed.

“Bored,” Brady says. “Ruby’s gone to Sam, I got no one to play with.”

Castiel rolls over, curious. Ruby and Brady only speak to him when necessary, which until now hasn’t been often. “What do you play?”

“Poker, usually. Or any other card games. You good with that?”

“No.”

Brady sighs. “Sucks.”

Castiel can see that Brady is attractive, with chiseled good looks that a lot people find alluring. Ruby is similarly enticing. “Does Sam…” Castiel makes a gesture. “With you?”

“Oh, yeah.” Brady chews on a nail. “Sometimes.”

Castiel has to ask. “How about Dean?”

“He gets his own.” Brady talks about how Dean brings men and women from outside the house: colleagues, friends, casual pick-ups, others. Sam is busier, Brady theorizes, and usually can’t be bothered to make the effort to find people, which is why he uses Ruby and him. Dean, however, likes the thrill of searching beyond the Winchester walls. “You’re probably safe,” Brady suggests.

Then what was that in the auction house, Castiel wonders. Dean had fondled him and praised his mouth, which surely was a sign of interest. At the very least Dean would want to mark his property, even if Sam claimed that Castiel belongs to him. What Dean wants, Dean will have, that much is clear. Castiel does not have enough other information to proceed.

Brady stays only until they hear footsteps outside: Ruby returning from duty. Once he is gone Castiel gets up from the bed and does push-ups until he’s finally tired enough to go to sleep.

Above his head, the CCTV camera beeps quietly.

 


 

Day four, Castiel decides to start poking around the house. He completes the tasks that Sam gives him, but as soon as that’s done, he wanders out, going through hallways and past rooms he’s never been invited into.

Sam’s rooms are on the first floor, near the library. Dean’s are upstairs, where Castiel has never had reason to go and which is where he goes now now. It’s quiet as he creeps up the stairs; Jo is in the kitchen with Ellen, Brady is in the garden, Ruby is where Sam is, and Dean is outside.

Castiel is reasonably certain that the door at the end of the hallway leads to Dean’s main room. He’d studied the house’s blueprints before coming in, and although there are undeclared changes all over the place, there are some rooms that just make sense to serve certain functions. Castiel approaches that door, finds it unlocked, and goes in.

It is a bedroom, for given value of “bed” and “room”. More accurately it is a place for exhibition and entertainment, with chains, turned-off spotlights and small raised daises near the wall. There is a table of implements, lovingly arranged in aesthetic order. There is also a bed, but it’s far too small for even a pair of human beings to roll around in. More likely it is a place where a single man may relax and observe. Dean doesn’t sleep here.

Castiel approaches one of the chains that dangle from the ceiling, his whole body taut with curiosity. Is this something Alastair left on him, or is this inherently Dean? How much of Dean’s current poise is a mask? Does he only let go within this room, or does he wear another mask for the sake of those he plays with?

More importantly, though, is that Castiel is being watched.

He knows this because his instincts are rarely wrong, though there is no discernible shift in the air, no sudden sounds. It is reasonable to assume that Dean is the one watching him, even though Castiel had observed Dean leaving the house in his car that morning, saying he’d only be back for dinner.

It’s best to act stunned and alarmed. Castiel backs away from the chain, almost tripping over his own feet, and flees from the room. He closes the door calmly, takes a deep breath, and starts walking.

Dean grabs him before he makes it to the landing.

Castiel sees it before it happens so he deliberately relaxes, going limp and shocked when Dean slams him into the wall. Castiel chants to himself: hands down, head down, eyes down, eyes down.

Dean crowds Castiel easily, a looming presence that demands every ounce of Castiel’s attention. Castiel would not deny him that.

“What are we going to do with you?” Dean sounds amused. He runs a hand over Castiel’s face, part petting him, part getting acquainted with the shape of him. “They didn’t train you very well, did they? Blue collar, my ass. On your knees, right now.”

Castiel lowers himself without protest. Despite this being an improvement over the past few days he can’t help the pit of disappointment in his stomach. He doesn’t care much for blowjobs, finding them more tiring and unfulfilling than anything else. Still, he pulls Dean’s pants open obediently, blinking with surprise when he sees that Dean is soft.

“Get me hard.” Dean pushes fingers into Castiel’s hair, getting a good grip. “That mouth of yours must be good for something.”

The disappointment in Castiel’s gut turns sour. Dean’s been watching him and thinking of this and he isn’t even at half-mast. Castiel takes a deep breath to calm unexpected anger, and then opens his mouth.

Gabriel taught Castiel how to suck cock ages ago, when they were still working together. Castiel didn’t like it then, he still doesn’t like it now, but he knows the usual tricks. He flicks his tongue against the glans, suckles teasingly on the head, then waits until for a response before bobbing his head up and down. Dean is still and watchful throughout, humming with approval when he starts to harden. It’s almost like following a script, and just as boring.

The last straw is when Dean’s hand gentles in Castiel’s hair. His touch gentles, as though Castiel needs to be rewarded.

So Castiel brings in a hint of teeth.

“The fuck!” Dean jerks his cock free and backhands Castiel, sending him sideways and falling on his shoulder. Castiel’s hands come up defensively, and just in time, too, because Dean is on him, snarling and grabbing at him wildly.

Castiel closes his eyes, because it’s easier to not fight back when he can’t see his target. He flails his hands and legs as much as he can, and then gasps when Dean gets an excellent hold on both his wrists, pinning them above his head.

Dean’s going to fuck him right here, Castiel realizes. Right here, in the hallway, just a couple of feet away from the staircase. He does his absolute best not to arch into Dean’s touch.

“You brought this on yourself, you know,” Dean says conversationally. He uses his free hand to cut Castiel’s pants open – two neat lines near Castiel’s crotch is all he needs. Castiel isn’t surprised that Dean carries a knife around. “Don’t think I haven’t seen you watching me.”

Castiel opens his eyes, but keeps them lowered, docile. “Sorry, sir.”

“Oh, that’s rich.” Dean sticks two fingers in his mouth, and then those fingers are pushing into Castiel.

It hurts. It hurts like hell, so Castiel forgets himself and immediately looks into Dean’s eyes. The other man’s expression is captivating; Dean is a force of nature, intent and unwavering in pursuit of his goal. To be the focus of such attention so glorious that, for a moment, Castiel forgets to resist at all.

“Please,” Castiel says. Dean’s fingers have plunged in deep. “Please, Mr. Winchester.”

“Dean.” There’s a flash of teeth in something not quite a smile. “Since I’m going to come in your ass I think you can call me Dean.”

That makes no sense. Names imply familiarity and intimacy, which have no place in this. Castiel’s confusion is not faked, so he uses that in struggling against Dean’s hold, twisting this way and that in attempts to get free.

Dean proves his strength, though. Castiel’s heard stories of what Dean can do with his bare hands (though nothing’s made the official police reports), and he witnesses a part of that now when Dean lifts up Castiel’s hips to the necessary angle. His cock, finally and gratifyingly hard, nudges against Castiel’s opening.

“Please,” Castiel tries again. “I promise—”

Dean covers Castiel’s mouth.

A few things happen in quick succession. Dean’s cock pushes in, Castiel’s legs jerk at the shock of penetration, and Dean’s other hand joins its companion on Castiel’s mouth, doubling the strength that’s holding him down.

It takes Castiel a moment to realize that his hands are freed. By then Dean is already moving inside him, a steady and demanding pressure that threatens to silence all of Castiel’s other senses. It is both exactly and completely unlike what Castiel had imagined. He’d expected it to be good, and for Dean to be relentless, but he didn’t think he’d overwhelmed by it.

Castiel claws at Dean’s hands but they are like iron, clamping firm around his face. Dean’s only response is to smirk, his body never pausing in its rocking against Castiel’s.

God, that cock. It wasn’t that big in Castiel’s mouth but now it feels monstrous, a pounding intrusion that is ruthless in claiming Castiel’s body. It’s too much, Castiel feels like he’s on fire, his years of training can’t stop him from getting hard. When that cock finds his prostate Castiel’s whole body lights up and he cries out behind Dean’s hands.

Dean’s disbelieving chuckle reminds Castiel to fight. He digs his fingers into Dean’s arms. He squeezes down on Dean’s dick, trying to expel him. He knocks his ankles at Dean’s back, trying to dislodge him.

Dean’s having none of that, though. He leans in, perfectly in control, and slyly moves one hand down to Castiel’s throat.

Oh.

Castiel’s eyes go wide and imploring, but Dean’s hands stay firm. Castiel’s body is a temple and he has spent a lifetime mastering its quirks, but even he can’t control it when his air supply is cut off. His dick throbs, his vision whites out, and right now, faster than he’d ever expected, he is going to come.

It’s like Dean rips the orgasm out of him. It’s too sharp and too painful, and Castiel is forced to scream into Dean’s palm. It’s like flat-lining, like being stripped free of his layers of control, like being scrubbed raw and bleeding. Castiel is a mindless instrument that has no thought of its own, no feelings to be hurt; Dean plays him to perfection.

It’s a life-changing experience.

So, naturally, Castiel stirs back to full consciousness to the sound of Dean’s laughter. For Dean is laughing hysterically even as he pounds away, until he finally stiffens, gasps, and comes hotly in Castiel.

Castiel drags his eyes open because it would be a shame to miss Dean’s delight. He can breathe now, too, which is a plus. Dean’s eyes are closed, his mouth slightly open in a smile. Castiel finds himself randomly thinking about an old children’s song, never smile at a crocodile, or something else similarly inane. His brain is probably fried.

“You.” Dean’s eyes are bright with pleasure and satisfaction. He is practically glowing. “You are such a slut, Cas.”

Castiel starts when Dean lowers his face, tongue darting out to lap the tears on Castiel’s cheeks. Castiel hadn’t even realized he’d shed them.

“You’ve been waiting for a good fuck, haven’t you?” Dean whispers. There’s a brush of teeth when he nips at Castiel’s jaw. “You were just starving for it.”

True words, actually. Castiel had wanted that, with a ferocity that winded him. He needs to stop, regroup, figure out the next course of action. Castiel closes his eyes – let Dean see shame in the movement instead of wonder – and tries to pull away. That sets Dean off with another peal of laughter.

“Get up.” Dean slips out of him and smacks his thigh. “You need to get cleaned, Sam’s gonna kill me.”

Castiel nods mutely.

Mother of all that’s holy, it’s a struggle to stand. Castiel can’t remember the last time he felt battered like this, muscles seemingly ground down to their thinnest. The real bone-deep pain will set in later, though, and Castiel would like to be in the relative privacy of his room when that happens.

Every step downstairs is torture. Castiel can hear Dean sniggering somewhere behind him but he ignores that, determined to savor every part of this.

Jo finds him walking past the kitchens. She double-takes at the sight of him, which calls forth an unexpected jolt in Castiel’s stomach. He immediately wonders what she sees when she looks at him. Does she see weariness and defeat? Is she imagining how Dean had taken him? Does she feel sorry?

Castiel lowers his gaze demurely.

“Go to your room,” Jo says. “I’ll… I’ll get the doctor.”

 


 

The lower half of Castiel’s face is a beautiful red-purple color. His neck has streaks of it, too, along with neat outlines of fingers underneath his chin. Castiel cocks his head one way and then the other, studying his new battlescars in the bathroom mirror.

The door creaks open and Ruby darts in. “What did you do?” she hisses.

“I didn’t do anything.” Castiel runs a finger over the bruise covering his mouth. “I’d think that was obvious.”

Ruby curses under her breath. “You’re new, aren’t you? Ugh, newbies are the worst. You’ve got to know how to deal with your masters.”

“Deal with?” Castiel turns to her. This is the first interesting thing she’s said to him. “What do you mean, deal with?

“I’m just saying,” Ruby says cagily. “Look, Sam’s decent because he thinks of us as people, most of the time. But the fact is that Dean doesn’t. We – we’re less than things to him. You want to protect things, want to take care of them as long as they’re useful. Dean doesn’t think of us like that, and there’s a reason Sam doesn’t let him have any slaves of his own.”

Castiel chooses not to mention that it’s likely that this conversation is being observed and recorded. If she doesn’t know, that’s her own fault. “What reason is that?”

Ruby gives him a disbelieving look. “Uh, that he’s two bristles short of a broomstick? He’s fucking insane, that’s what.” She clasps Castiel’s shoulders and shakes her head imploringly. “Castiel, honey, baby, sweetie. You’re going to be dead if you don’t watch yourself.”

“Ah.” Castiel does appreciate her comments, and her insight may be useful despite its obvious bias. “Do you think I should offer myself to Sam? I am not trained for sexual pleasure, but if I am his, would that prevent Dean’s interest?”

“Could work. Yeah, give it a go, it can’t hurt.” Ruby sighs, but there is a curious frown between her elegant eyebrows when she looks at Castiel. “There hasn’t been… Dean doesn’t do that. It’s one of the rules.”

That’s part of the symbiotic relationship with Sam, Castiel knows. Sam and Dean complement each other, look out for each other, keep each other in check. In this case, it means that Dean channels his instincts at work, but within the boundaries Sam sets for him. They don’t do anything that can’t be erased, and they definitely don’t get caught.

“I can take care of myself.” Castiel gives her a reassuring smile. “I’ll just… try to remember not to fight next time.”

Ruby throws her hands in the air. “You think?”

 


 

Castiel gets a brief talking to by Sam. (“You stick to what I tell you to do. I should punish you for going where you’re not supposed to but… let’s just waive that this one time, okay?”) It doesn’t seem the right time to suggest Sam take him to bed, so Castiel doesn’t bring it up.

Presumably Sam and Dean have a talk as well, because that night the whole house can hear Dean’s melodramatic stomping around the first floor, and no one gets good night’s sleep because of Metallica blaring at top volume.

Two days after Dean fucked him, they happen to pass each other outside the house. Castiel is sending the garbage out and Dean is doing whatever it is he does, and suddenly there they are, together on the driveway. Castiel drops the garbage bag, ducks his head and goes still.

Dean has gone still, too, but for different reasons. His breathing has changed, now slow and quiet as he stares at Castiel.

Castiel knows that he’s studying his handiwork: the mottled bruises Castiel currently wears as a necklace. They’re still beautiful, and Castiel loves showing them off. Bobby had the best reaction, practically blowing a gasket and yelling Get your ass down here, Dean when he’d seen Castiel earlier that day.

But what Dean thinks of it, Castiel doesn’t know for sure. Dean’s picking at the defensive wounds on his forearms – Castiel’s own gift to Dean – but that doesn’t have to mean anything. Dean could be pleased and turned on. Or he could be angry, reminded of Sam’s instructions not to spoil their property. Or he could be bored, having already lost interest in a body that’s yesterday’s news.

“Get out of my face,” Dean snaps. Castiel practically runs out of there.

 


 

This whole thing may have started that night in Alastair’s house, but it only become a thing when Balthazar caught Castiel reading a newspaper article on the Winchester. That was quite some time back, before the recon, before the research, before the watching of Dean going out to his favorite coffee spots on late working nights.

“Ugh, don’t tell me you got a contract on them,” Balthazar had said. “That’s the worst. I got my agent to turn those down flat out.”

“No,” Castiel had said. “Nothing like that, no. Just, this one. His has an interesting history. Did you know that they say that Dean Winchester walked in and out of the Walker ranch, taking out everyone in one night? No one can figure out how he did it.”

“You could figure it out,” Balthazar had replied. “You’re aces at that kind of thing, I’ll bet you could. And hey, everyone’s got to have their hobbies, yea?”

The comment startled Castiel. He’d never had a hobby before. Proper hobbies involved collecting things, and being really knowledgeable about things, and doing all of the above for no payment save the joy of it.

The article didn’t have a picture of Dean, but Castiel remembered his face. He tried to match the details of the story (it was business ventures, nothing obviously shady) to that face and found that he couldn’t quite to do it. He wondered if having enough information would enable him to paint a better picture of Dean and, if so, what that picture would look like.

Castiel decided right then that it couldn’t hurt to have a hobby.

 


 

For the longest time, Castiel thought that he was not wired for sex. It wasn’t a great loss, because he couldn’t miss something he didn’t care about. He still had sex once in a while, usually egged on by Gabriel and Balthazar, but he’d also eat hamburgers every once in a while and that didn’t mean a damn thing.

With Dean, though, Castiel is learning new things about himself. He has learned about desire, the low simmer in his veins that comes with being patient, and the little jolting thrill he gets whenever he catches some new quirk of Dean’s personality. Castiel wonders what else Dean will teach him.

It’s been a few weeks and Dean’s not touched him since their encounter outside his bedroom, but Castiel finds that he doesn’t mind. It’s not as if he any other pressing matters at the moment. He uses this time to let his body heal and for the burn between his legs to ease into a dull ache. It’s also time enough for Castiel to settle into the routine of the house and let everyone get used to him, since it’s better for all if their guard is down.

Castiel is a good, obedient slave. Castiel follows orders without complaint. Castiel made a mistake that one time but he’s learned his lesson. Castiel doesn’t want to cause trouble, really he doesn’t.

Mostly they keep him downstairs in the kitchens and laundry, and sometimes out in the gardens to clean. He still does things for Sam in the library, but he doesn’t wander off anymore. He always stays exactly where he’s supposed to be, only moving when instructed to. It works.

Almost three weeks after Dean took him, Ellen comes by Castiel while he’s washing dishes in the kitchen. “The caterers will be coming soon,” she says. “Let them in through the back, do whatever they tell you.”

Castiel nods. “Yes, Ellen.”

Sam’s out for the night. There’s a case he has to handle, and Dean is taking the opportunity to invite some friends over. Castiel knows this to mean that he’s called escorts for company, hence the catering.

When the escorts do arrive, Castiel isn’t surprised by their appearances. There are three women and two men, all of them beautiful, dolled up, and fitting the description of Dean’s usual interests. They are greeted by Jo in the foyer and immediately sent upstairs. Castiel watches this from the safety of the dining room, daring only peer out through a crack in the door. Once they’ve disappeared he retreats to the kitchen, thoughtful.

The timing feels suspicious. Dean need not have waited until Sam was out of the house, surely? The fact that Dean’s rooms are on the second floor and Sam’s are on the first means that the brothers have negotiated their spaces.

Castiel is proven right when, maybe an hour after the escorts arrive, two of them practically fall into the kitchen, giggling.

Jo is with them immediately, politely asking if they need anything, if the food and drink is acceptable. They laugh, clearly drunk, and shake their heads.

“We want that one,” one of the ladies say, pointing at Castiel. “We need an extra pair of hands.”

“He’s busy,” Jo says. “I’ll go.”

They laugh again. “Only if you have a dick.” One of them steps towards Castiel, hand out. Her name’s Chastity, she says, and she’d really appreciate his help, if he doesn’t mind. It’s the funniest joke ever, apparently, because they burst into laughter.

“I’ll go,” Castiel says quietly. He nods reassuringly at Jo, who looks ready to bolt. Who would she go to, though – Ellen? Bobby? They’d probably say that she’s overreacting, that Dean’s proven over the past few weeks that that was a one-time event not to be repeated. And after all, tonight Dean has a whole bunch of willing people that he can use, so why would he bother with Castiel?

Truth be told, Castiel would like to see what goes on up there.

Chastity takes his hand and pulls him upstairs while the other girl, Honor, brings up the rear as though to prevent him from escaping. Inside Dean’s room a party is in full swing, the two men up on a dais and grinding against each other, while the other lady is on the floor doing something with a flogger that looks terribly uncomfortable.

Dean is on the narrow bed, legs out in front of him with the ankles crossed. So Castiel was right, then. That is where he sits to observe his playthings. The lighting, music, and smell of alcohol makes the place feel like the private room in a nightclub. Gabriel would’ve loved it, though Castiel doesn’t see the point. Where is the tray of Dean’s instruments?

“You were right,” Chastity tells Dean. “He’s perfect! Get the wings, get them!”

They strip him. Castiel lets them, obediently lifting his arms and legs when they tell him to. His clothes are tossed aside, leaving his body full on display – which is doubly interesting because he’s the only one who’s completely naked in the room. One of the men, a blonde thing with abs that you could grate cheese with, runs over with a pair of glittery white wings. They set them on to his back and, based on their reactions, this is apparently the other funniest thing in the world.

Dean doesn’t say a word throughout.

Castiel remains pliant under their hands, bemused and curious. He doesn’t react when Honor gropes his ass, or when Chastity grabs one of the chains that hangs from the ceiling and locks the cuffs around his wrists. Someone throws a switch that pulls the chain upward, forcing Castiel to raise his arms above his head, securing him in position.

A normal person would be embarrassed by this, Castiel guesses. Especially if they weren’t asked beforehand whether they’d be interested in such a thing. Castiel wonders if Dean is trying to teach him a lesson. If he is, then so far it’s a boring lesson and Castiel would’ve been better off finishing up the laundry downstairs.

“You look pretty like this,” Honor says, sliding her hands over his sides. Chastity draws up behind her, nuzzling the back of Honor’s neck. “Like what you see?”

These people are uninteresting, but from an intellectual standpoint Castiel can admit that they have beauty and some sexual allure. Castiel has none of those things, and the contrast between him and them is made more obvious when his simple body is displayed like this. Perhaps that is the comparison Dean wishes to make here. Humiliation?

The two men step down from the dais. One crouches in front of Castiel, smooth hands settling on Castiel’s ankles. He glances at Dean for instructions and at a nod, starts nuzzling Castiel’s calf.

No, thank you. Castiel kicks him.

There’s a yelp and a shriek. Honor screams, “He’s supposed to be docile!”

In the flurry of movement Castiel thinks quickly. Dean was told not to spoil Castiel, so perhaps he thinks he can use these people to do the spoiling for him?

“He is,” Dean’s voice comes close to Castiel’s ear. He’s moved to stand right behind Castiel, one finger tracing the tattoo between the fake wings. “Or he tries to be, the little fucker.”

Castiel moves his wrists, checking the give of the cuffs. They are clearly cosmetic, and easily breakable. “You can’t,” Castiel says. “Sam said. Sam said you can’t.”

Sam?” Dean comes round into Castiel’s view, scowling. “You think just ‘cause Sam told you something that means you’re untouchable?”

“He’s a good master.” Castiel drops his gaze. “He takes care of us and he keeps his promises.”

“Look at me.” Dean grabs Castiel’s face, thumb pressing painfully against his cheekbone. Dean is an artist and Castiel wants to be his canvas, but there is no chance of Castiel making it easy for him. Dean has to earn it. “This is who you really are, isn’t it? None of that coy act, ooh, master, I’m so scared I can’t even look you in the eye.

“What?” Startled, Castiel meets Dean’s eyes.

“See?” Dean leans in, the cloth of his pants brushing the inside of Castiel’s thighs. “You’ve got all this anger in you. I knew you were faking it. You know how I knew?” Castiel doesn’t answer, so Dean says, “You’re perfect. Always so quiet, so obedient. I’ve never even seen you roll your eyes. No one’s that emotionless.”

It’s a thrill to be able to look directly at Dean like this. Castiel has to focus all his energy on remaining perfectly still, willing his dick to remain uninterested.

“Especially not after crying like a little bitch,” Dean adds. “What, you think I’ve forgotten that? No one walks away from something like that unchanged. Yet look at you.” His other hand rests on Castiel’s hip, thumb moving in teasing little circles. “Christ, you’re gorgeous when you’re angry.”

So that’s what Dean wants.

“You won’t do anything,” Castiel says. “Sam will—”

Dean’s fingers dig into Castiel’s side, making him hiss. “Don’t you talk about my brother. You, Castiel, are a liar and a sneak, you’ve been looking for an escape the moment you got here. It’s obvious you weren’t born into this, so how did it happen, Cas? Did someone sell you? Did your family rack up a debt they couldn't handle?”

“Shut up.” Castiel tries to twist away. “Shut up, shut up.”

“Was it someone close to you who betrayed you?” Dean is breathing heavily now, pupils subtly dilated. “Jesus, Cas, had you ever even been fucked before I got my hands on you?”

“You think—” Castiel pauses, catching a quick breath that Dean will read as panic, “You think you’re so tough. You act like a, like a hotshot, a cowboy. But I see now, this whole room – all these people, all these things – they’re just for show. None of it’s real, none of it’s what you want. But it’s all you’re allowed to have because you’re clipped.”

“Clipped?” Dean is taken aback. “Allowed?”

“I bet,” Castiel says, “you can’t even get hard without hurting someone.”

Dean punches him.

Castiel’s head snaps back under the blow, while his mind screams a fervent, yes. It was an educated guess, and hitting the mark sends a rush of satisfied pleasure through him. It makes sense. When Dean brushed up against him just moments ago, Castiel noticed that he wasn’t hard, just like he hadn’t been hard when he’d attacked Castiel the last time. But that’s unusual, isn’t it? With all these people performing for him, he should be aroused.

“I’m property,” Castiel says, ignoring the sting in his upper lip. “You paid for me, you shouldn’t—” He gasps when he’s slapped.

The picture settles into place in Castiel’s head: Dean can’t use his hands, so he’d decided to use words and other people’s hands. Dean has his limits, though, and Castiel saunters through them now.

“Does that make you feel tough?” Castiel spits. “You’re nothing, you’re a coward.”

Dean snaps the buttons of his pants open. He pulls out his dick, the head of it red and swollen when it peeks out through his fist. “I can’t get hard without hurting someone?” Dean says with a laugh. “Says the one who can’t come without his pussy stuffed with cock. Hold him.”

Castiel jumps at the touch of foreign hands on him. The escorts crowd in close, one of the men wrapping an arm around Castiel’s upper torso and the other holding his waist. Castiel resists, moving his body away and snapping his teeth at fingers that approach his face.

“Maybe I should thank Zachariah,” Dean says. “Guy gypped us, but hey, I get to break you myself.”

Castiel doesn’t turn away this time. He keeps his eyes open, looking up into Dean’s defiantly.

There’s minimal prep, one finger shoved in for a couple of seconds while one of the girls fetches lubricant. After that Dean slicks himself up, tucks his hands under Castiel’s hamstrings, and lifts him up.

“His legs, get his legs,” Dean says. Honor and Chastity flank him, each girl taking one of Castiel’s calves to hold him up and open. Dean lets out a slightly hysterical laugh, practically shaking with excitement as he pushes his dick into Castiel. “Oh god, oh yes, take it, take it you son of a bitch.”

Castiel has no leverage like this. He feels like a piece of meat, arms straining where they’re hanging from the chain and cuffs, his legs and body moving only wherever Dean wants. He breathes with it, savoring how Dean forces him to give way.

“Don’t let him hurt himself,” Dean tells the others. “Minimize the evidence, keep him still.” He gives Castiel a mocking smile. “You’re not the only one who can be good.”

Heavens above, Dean is beautiful like this. Castiel doesn’t even need to come, for he is content to be able to watch Dean’s face as he takes what he wants. Beyond the power and pride and confidence are other secret things that Dean’s kept leashed. It’s only here, like this, that Castiel is able to selfishly snatch glimpses of that part for himself.

“You there, Cas?” Dean’s panting now, building up a rhythm that causes Castiel’s body to bounce with every snap upwards. “You with me?”

“Go to hell,” Castiel says.

Dean laughs again. “Been there, baby.” One of his hands moves down between Castiel’s legs, and then there’s new pressure against Castiel’s opening.

“What?” Castiel wiggles against his captors. “What is...?”

“Come on, you’re begging for it,” Dean teases. “Just giving what you want.” Fingers push into Castiel alongside Dean’s cock.

Castiel snarls, the new pain a distraction he cannot ignore. But the more he struggles the more ruthless Dean moves, getting two fingers – maybe three – up to the first knuckle and forcing Castiel open wider than he’s ever been.

“Yeah, how’s that working out?” Dean laughs breathlessly. “Not so stoic now, are ya? You with your stupid face, your stupid mouth, your please, sir and glad to help, sir. This is what you’re made for, oh Jesus I could put my hand up here and you’d just swallow it all, wouldn’t you.”

Castiel can’t ignore the fullness now. Dean’s knuckles catch at the rim but he forces his way deeper and it’s too much, it’s not enough, Castiel’s body mixed up pleasure and pain a long time ago and Dean’s playing that line like an expert.

“Please, no,” Castiel gasps. Please, no mercy. Dean mustn’t hold back, he must give Castiel everything, Castiel wants everything.

The shift is startling. Castiel is losing focus just like their first time, trembling in Dean’s hands – though that’s also because of his muscles being strained unnaturally, blood not flowing where it should. He whimpers, gasps, whines in the back of his throat, and goes blind to everything but Dean’s cock and hand pumping in and out of him.

“Fuck yeah,” Dean whispers, “I knew it. Masochistic bastard.”

Sweat drips down Castiel’s back, making the others’ holds on him slip a little. Castiel’s too lost to care, though, heading straight for an orgasm that was worth waiting for. His only concession to the role is that he doesn’t make a sound when he comes. No scream this time, just teeth bared to the air and wetness spilled against his stomach.

It’s fantastic.

The world is a far away blur. Castiel feels Dean pull out of him, and then his legs are lowered to the ground. He sways when all the hands disappear, leaving him to cling on to the chain to hold himself upright, legs too weak to support him.

He opens his eyes dazedly. Dean is jerking off, hand flying furiously on his cock. His eyes never leave Castiel’s face, not even when he exhales sharply and comes all over his hand. Dean takes a moment to sigh in satisfaction, and then that wet hand rises up, slapping his come on to Castiel’s face.

“You’re not going anywhere, Cas,” Dean declares, wiping the wetness across Castiel’s brows and down his nose. “You are mine to do whatever I want.” Dean Winchester, the conquering hero, stands over his prize smugly. Castiel wants to take a snapshot of this moment. Deans turns to the others, saying, “Let’s get some fresh air, guys.”

They leave him like that, arms upraised and fake wings drooping sadly.

Castiel figures that he’ll give it fifteen, maybe twenty minutes before he’ll start shouting for Jo. His arms may be tired but it’s nowhere near critical yet, so he might as well let Dean have his punishment. What more important, though, is that Dean marked him. Castiel’s not just a body anymore, he’s a person, and Dean wants him.

Castiel hides his face in his shoulder and tries not to laugh.

 


 

Sam comes back home close to sunrise. Ellen calls him downstairs, insisting that he come to the shared bathroom where Brady is tending to Castiel. Sam comes into the room, heaves a long, dramatic sigh when he sees Castiel, and then shoos everyone out.

“Do we need to call the doctor again?” Sam’s eyes are red from the long drive, but he’s determined to have this conversation before retiring. “Tell me, it’s okay.”

Castiel stops massaging his wrists. “I don’t think that’s necessary, sir. I still have… from the last time. I can take care of myself. I won’t be lax with my duties, I promise.”

“Good.” Sam starts to leave, but is stopped when Castiel quietly asks for permission to speak. Sam nods. “Go ahead.”

“Have I done something wrong, sir?” Castiel looks up at Sam through his eyelashes. “I wish to serve both you and your brother, I do, but I must have done something to make Master Dean displeased with me.”

Sam winces. “Dean isn’t displeased with you.”

“But there was must be something, sir. The other time was my fault, I know I deserved it, but… oh.” Castiel makes a face of realization. “Is this normal, sir? Is this to be part of my duties now?”

Sam face goes carefully blank. “How ‘bout I get back to you on that?”

“If this is the case, would it be presumptuous to ask that you take me?” Castiel swallows nervously. “I can ask Ruby and Brady to teach me. I – I know that’s not what I’m meant for, but I can be pleasing to you. I do my best to learn quickly, sir.”

“Yes, you learn very quickly.” Sam’s face softens, his smile genuine. “You’ve been one of the easiest to manage in this house, and I’m not just saying that. You’ve been a tremendous help, even Ellen and Bobby say so.”

Castiel quivers under the praise, head bowed. “Thank you, sir.”

“You get some rest,” Sam says kindly. “I’ll talk to Dean, we’ll get all this figured out, okay?”

“Thank you, sir, I hope you have a good rest, too. I’ll go my room now, shall I?”

When Castiel steps out of the bathroom, he is not at all surprised to see Dean leaning against the wall just beside the door. His body language is lax but his expression is thunderous. Castiel shoots a quick smile at him – gotcha – and walks off.

Dean narrows his eyes.

 


 

Castiel’s never taken a holiday before. But as Balthazar says, there’s a first time for everything.

 


 

In the aftermath, a cold war settles in the Winchester house. Castiel has his battle lines, Dean has his.

Castiel has been given some of Ruby’s regular tasks, i.e. waiting on Sam in his office and doing menial things for him whenever he wants. Ruby insists she doesn’t mind, telling Castiel, “I could use a little change of scenery, actually.”

Dean doesn’t actually say anything about Castiel’s spending more time at Sam’s side, but that in itself speaks volumes. Dean’s usually talkative, always having some comment, or order, or wry observation to share, but now he’s gone quiet and watchful. Castiel’s well versed with Dean’s skill set out in field, but it’s different to be a target himself.

On the surface it seems that Sam doesn’t notice any of this. He treats Castiel as he always has: like a model slave that is to be praised and trusted (inasmuch as a slave can be trusted). But it’s foolish to assume that’s how deep it goes, for Sam and Dean are thick as thieves, wrapped up in each other in a way that Castiel admires, even if he cannot imagine allowing another person so deep into his own skin. It’s more likely that Sam has noticed and has decided to let them to their affairs.

So Castiel continues to bow his head and avert his eyes. The only times he doesn’t are for Dean’s benefit, for Dean has seen the side of Castiel that bites and spits, and he knows that Castiel’s submissiveness is a deliberate smokescreen. He doesn’t know the reasons for it, but his assumptions are so perfect in their inaccuracy that Castiel can’t help but play with them.

Such as today: Sam is eating lunch in the dining room, with Castiel at his feet and ready to attend to any desire. Dean comes in about halfway through, asking about some project they’re working on. Their conversation floats over Castiel, uninteresting and irrelevant, and Castiel waits until he’s sure Dean is looking at him. When those eyes settle on him, Castiel casually lifts up a hand and rests it on Sam’s knee.

Dean’s poker face is masterful, but not perfect.

After Dean leaves, Sam says, “You don’t need to do that.”

Castiel looks up. “Sir?”

“I’m just saying.” Sam takes a sip of water, smiling a little. “You don’t need to do that.” It’s hard to get a read on him, though that’s Castiel’s own fault for being hyperfocused on his brother. Some strange sense of loyalty towards his brother also seems to be preventing Sam from fucking Castiel, but that’s tangential to the issue at hand.

“Apologies, sir.” Castiel moves his hand away.

“I can see why – never mind.” Sam shakes his head. “Can you get Ellen for me? We need to start planning for the dinner party. I’m going to be busy later so we should at get some decisions made by today.”

“Yes, sir. Of course.”

Castiel doesn’t make two steps out of the room before Dean is right in his face. Castiel backs away in a concession to Dean’s authority, but keeps his chin up.

Dean crowds him against the wall regardless. He makes sure not to come close enough to touch, though, leaving a sliver of air between their bodies. Castiel still feels some sort of pressure holding him in place – purely psychological, of course – and tries to silence the yearning low in his stomach.

“Hello,” Castiel says calmly. “Did you want something, Dean?”

Dean doesn’t let himself look surprised by the use of his name. He just keeps Castiel pinned down with a gaze, and then insolently sweeps his eyes down Castiel’s body. They’re daring each other at this point; Dean’s searching for an excuse to attack, and Castiel keeps denying him. (After all, Castiel gave him an excuse twice, it’s only fair that the next one be of Dean’s own initiative.)

“I need to fetch Mistress Ellen,” Castiel says. “If not Sam will be angry.”

Dean pulls away. He taps a finger to his eyebrow, and then points at Castiel. I’m watching you.

(Castiel had caught a snatch of the brothers’ conversation the other day, pressing an ear to the door of Sam’s study to hear Dean’s, “That little asswipe is planning something. Don’t let him walk all over you.” Sam had just replied calmly, “Dean, have I ever let anyone walk all over me? Over us? I can handle him, and I mean that. I can handle him. You obviously can’t think straight.” “Fuck you, Sasquatch.”)

Castiel nods solemnly. “Of course, Dean. May I go now?”

“Dean!” Sam yells out from the dining room. “Don’t be an ass!”

Dean shoves his hands in his pockets and marches off, wheels no doubt turning in his head.

For what it’s worth, Dean’s strategy is working. Castiel is so constantly on edge it’s hard to resist shoving Dean flat on his back and mounting him every time Dean smolders.

But resist, he does.

 


 

“You’re really weird, you know that?” Ruby says. She, Brady and Castiel are on the floor of her room, sharing a late night snack of fries Ruby snagged from who knows where. Normally Castiel wouldn’t bother, but the smell of unhealthy food had been  tempting.

“Are you referring to me?” Castiel asks.

“Obviously.” Ruby flicks salt at him. “You seem… well, content. Don’t get me wrong, I know you put on a face for ‘em like the rest of us, but… I get the feeling that with you, either there’s nothing going on at all, or there’s a hell of a lot going on.”

“I don’t understand what that means.”

“Turn the page, I’m done,” Brady says, nudging at Castiel’s elbow. “At least get to the sports section, this is all boring.”

“That’s last week’s paper, you know,” Ruby says.

“So?” Brady says. “Would it hurt for you to be less bitchy now that you don’t have to wait on Sam hand and foot?”

Castiel glances between them. “Are you angry with each other?”

“Brady’s just antsy.” Ruby kicks at Brady’s shin.  “He’s always like that before one of their parties. Where was I? Oh, right. You. You’re a strange one.” She reaches out and presses a finger to his nose.

No one’s ever described Castiel as content before. Uptight, certainly; tense and strange, all the time. But to be content would imply a host of other emotions that Castiel’s reasonably certain he’s never invited into himself. Castiel is a knife, or a hammer. Knives and hammers cannot be content.

Dean said to him that no one could be that emotionless. He was partially right in that Castiel isn’t emotionless, but he figured out a long time ago that he doesn’t feel the way normal people do.

Perhaps this is as close to content as someone like him can be.

“I enjoy my work,” Castiel says. “It comes easy to me. I know that looks foolish from your side, but there it is.”

Brady laughs. “Hey, Cassy!”

Castiel starts. “Excuse me?”

“Sorry, it’s just.” Brady pushes the newspaper towards him, the page open to the personal ads. A message says: “Dear darling Cassy, you’re deeply missed. Come home soon? Lots of love, B.” Brady’s grin wavers at Castiel’s non-plussed look. “It’s funny, okay.”

“Yes,” Castiel says. “Nobody has ever made fun of my name ever before. You are a literary genius.”

Ruby bursts into laughter and tackles Brady to the floor, leaving Castiel to turn the page and hide the message. What a coincidence to get a message from Balthazar now, when he’d been the most vocal in complaining about Castiel’s leave of absence. Castiel wonders what he’d think if he saw Castiel like this, wasting his days away and eating french fries and not doing a single useful thing in – what is it now, a month? He’d say that Castiel is being positively slothful.

Regardless, Balthazar can wait. Castiel wants at least one more good fuck from Dean before he hits the road.

 


 

The Winchester’s party is in full swing and so far nothing interesting has happened.

It’s a relatively small affair, all the guests fitting easily in the converted foyer and living area. Food and alcohol are free-flowing, and the music is just loud enough to mask the sounds of sex and business. According to Jo, Sam and Dean have these affairs every few months or so to catch up with friends and learn of news that cannot be found in papers.

Ruby, Brady and Castiel are dressed up, moving around the rooms with other slaves rented or borrowed for the night. Castiel has tray duty, taking orders and passing out drinks in between avoiding gropes from handsy guests. He weaves easily among the laughing, chatting bodies, careful to keep an ear out for requests, and is generally on his best behavior.

Another person who’s on his best behavior is Dean.

While Castiel works, he keeps an eye on Dean – but of course he does – and he’s surprised by the change he now observes. Dean’s holding court on one side of the room, a master in his element with men and women (friends and associates, probably) flanking him. The conversation there is apparently scintillating enough that Dean’s animated and laughing; Castiel has trouble reconciling it with the stonewall treatment he’s been on the receiving end lately. To say that a happy Dean is breathlessly handsome would be an understatement.

“You,” Bobby calls out. “Castiel, yeah, c’mere.”

“Yes, sir.” Castiel weaves towards Bobby and lowers his tray. “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

“I’ll say,” says the woman sitting next to Bobby. Castiel freezes. “Who’s this?”

“The boys’ new one,” Bobby says. “You haven’t had him. Though I wouldn’t advise for it, you don’t know where he’s been.”

“Oooh, that’s interesting.” She smiles at him. “You want to sit with me, honey?”

“I’m on duty tonight, ma’am,” Castiel says calmly, though his mind is blaring an alarm. He can handle gropes, he can wile away from unwanted overtures, but this is another class altogether.

This woman’s name is Pamela Barnes and her wearing dark glasses indoors at night is not a fashion statement.

Castiel knows this because he rarely leaves witnesses alive, and those he has, he remembers. This one has blast eye damage; she’d been on protective duty for one of Castiel’s targets, had gotten in the way, abd Castiel had been in too much of a rush to finish the job.

Pamela pouts. “Aww, can’t give me five minutes?”

“Excuse me,” Castiel says, pitching his tone slightly higher. The chances she’d recognize his voice are low, but Castiel fucked up enough already to take that for granted. “I need to refill my tray, I will be right back.”

Once he’s in the kitchen, Castiel curses himself. He could’ve handled that better, defected Pamela smoothly and continued on his tasks as though nothing had happened. Instead he’d practically beelined out of there like an amateur. The idea that he’s gotten complacent is unthinkable. He knew the risks coming in, he’d reviewed them all and found them workable. The next course of action is clear.

“Get back out there,” Ellen says sharply. “Castiel, you heard me?”

Castiel has to move quickly. “May I have a moment? Please, just… five minutes, for air?”

There are other slaves milling around the kitchen, Ellen supervising them. One rolls their eyes at Castiel, and it is indeed odd to ask for a break, but Ellen likes that Castiel’s efficient and reliable, and surely she’d let this just once?

“Fine,” Ellen says gruffly. “Five minutes and not a second more.”

“Thank you.” Castiel moves past her to the glass doors that lead out to the garden. They are unlocked, and Castiel carefully opens one to take a step outside. The night air is cool, and Castiel takes a deep, calming breath.

This is not a big deal. The wall is not that high, Castiel can scale it easily. The alarms will be on low mode because of the guests, and with everyone busy their reaction time will be delayed. Castiel scans the gardens swiftly; the dogs are not out either.

Someone grabs Castiel’s hair.

Castiel grunts in pain, surprised that someone managed to sneak up on him. “What the—”

“Where you going, Cas?” Dean says. He pulls harder, prinpicks of pain erupting all over Castiel’s skull. “Sightseeing?” A second hand grabs Castiel’s collar, and before Castiel can recover his thoughts, he is thrown right through the glass doors.

Castiel lands on the kitchen floor, wind knocked out of him. No, his mind screams, because Dean is marching towards him, broken glass cracking under his shoes. Castiel makes the mistake of looking up when he approaches: Dean is pissed, eyes blazing and face flushed like everything Castiel never knew he wanted.

“Not now,” Castiel breathes.

Dean grabs him anyway, shoving him against a cabinet. Castiel kicks and flails but he’s less uncoordinated like this and, to his shame, unable to think clearly. Why does Dean have to act now – why couldn’t he have done this earlier, when they’d had plenty of opportunities for this? Castiel practically sobs his frustration while Dean flings him around – against a table, against the wall, then finally back against the cabinet where Dean slams him still.

“I’ve just been waiting for you to slip. I know about Zach, Cas.” Dean pushes a hand under Castiel’s chin, choking him. “He squealed like a pig. Might be good for you if you just tell me straight up.”

Castiel shakes his head rapidly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Your paperwork has some holes in it.” Dean’s voice has gone low and silky, making Castiel’s toes curl. Dean’s erection presses into Castiel’s inseam, a counterbalance to the way Castiel’s heart beats as a staccato of keep me, keep me, make me stay, even though such things are impossible and only a figment of his fevered mind.

“What?” Castiel gasps. “What are you—”

“Hey, I’m asking the questions,” Dean snaps. “What are your orders, Cas? To distract me? I know you tampered with our servers. Looking for intel, huh. Who sent you? Who sent you?

“No one!” Castiel exclaims. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Such a liar,” Dean says, rubbing up against Castiel. “I’m gonna have so much fun—”

Castiel strikes. Just the heel of his palm up to Dean’s nose – Dean shouts a curse – and then he’s slipping away. A set of knives has fallen nearby, and in just a few feet Castiel is able grab the nearest one, fingers tightening around the handle. He turns back to face Dean—

And pauses.

Dean is holding a hand to his bloodied nose. Castiel can see his jugular clearly. He knows exactly the angle and force with which to end this.

But that would be… sad. The world would be a poorer place.

“You gonna use that on me, Cas?” Dean grins, blood trickling over his upper lip. “You got what it takes? I can see your hand shaking from here.”

“It is not,” Castiel says.

“Dean.” That’s Sam’s voice.

Castiel blinks. He’d forgotten the rest of the world but he registers it now: Ellen’s standing off to one side with a hand over her mouth, while the other slaves are against the wall, shocked and scared. Standing close to Dean, and talking very calmly, is Sam.

“Dean, can you hear me?” Sam says.

“I got it from Zachariah,” Dean spits, not taking his eyes off Castiel. “Fucker’s in on it. Just let me get my hands on him, you should’ve let me break him—”

“Dean, look at Cas,” Sam says. “He’s in shock.”

“He is not in shock!” Dean yells.

“There’s a party outside.” Sam talks in such a way that this has to be something they’ve done before. “We’ve got guests.”

“Fuck the guests.”

“You don’t mean that.” Sam sidesteps Dean, coming towards Castiel and taking hold of his arm. There’s nothing gentle in the touch; Sam’s hand is a vice. “I’ll handle this, okay? Come on, he’s just a slave, he isn’t worth getting upset over, right?”

Dean’s mouth thins.

Right?” Sam says.

Castiel is enthralled. He hadn’t thought there was anything left in him worth breaking, but apparently Dean thinks otherwise. What would Dean do to him if he had the chance, Castiel wonders. There is nothing in the world like being under Dean’s focus, and if only there were more time, Castiel could learn how to keep it all for himself.

“Whatever,” Dean mutters, stomping out of the kitchen.

Before Castiel can react, Sam starts dragging him away. “If what he says is right,” he says in a low voice, “Dean won’t have the chance to get at you, because I’ll have slit your throat first. You got that, Cas? I hope you think about that.”

“I – yes.” Castiel lets himself be dragged back to his room, and doesn’t say a word when Sam locks the door.

 


 

Just one more time, Castiel thinks. Just one more time and he will be content, never to ask for anything else. Just one more time with Dean and the memory of it will surely be enough to tide him over for the rest of his life.

This is what Castiel chants to himself over and over as he lies on his bed, hands steepled on his chest and eyes closed. Above his head noises of the party are dying down, so it’s possible that Sam’s retribution will be coming soon. Castiel doesn’t have as clear a strategy for handling Sam, though some part of him hopes that Dean will intercede.

Hoping doesn’t have much point, though.

So Castiel waits on his bed patiently, ears open. He hears noises of people clearing up the house, and eventually there footsteps and a door opening – Brady, judging from the gait. After that, there’s nothing.

As the time inches closer to morning, Castiel thinks that maybe nothing’s going to happen tonight. There a dozen reasonable reasons why. Sam and Dean have plenty of time, but Castiel doesn’t.

Some instinct has Castiel opening his eyes and looking up. The little red light on the CCTV camera is off. Curious.

Castiel rummages under the mattress of his bed, finding the cutlery he’d sequestered away. He uses them to make quick work picking the lock and opening the door, revealing the darkened walkway outside. The house beyond is quiet. He can see another camera nearby, that one not working either.

Castiel’s mission is clear. He creeps out of the room, mindful of every creak and whisper as he moves through the house. There is no one around. The lights are all darkened, remnants of the party almost entirely cleared.

On the upper floor, there are faint noises coming from Sam’s room. Castiel ignores it and heads upward.

The top floor is quiet. Castiel knows where Dean’s proper bedroom is but for now, he slips into Dean’s private study. If this is his last chance to learn Dean, then he will make the most of it. He browses the bookshelves, skims the titles of his DVDs, peeks and prods at the furniture until he finds a grand stainless steel chest hidden underneath the desk.

Here are Dean’s real implements. The ones that he’s only allowed to use under specific situations, all of them cleaned and polished into gleaming beauty. Castiel brushes his fingers over them, imagining where Dean might have touched these stainless steel friends, brought them to life and used them to their greatest potential. How Castiel envies them.

Castiel sheds his clothes. His hand is shaking when he picks up one instrument, an elegant curved thing that is cool to the touch. He slides the instrument over his stomach, tracing a trail over his skin and teasing his nipples. Heat stirs in his groin, and he bites his lip to prevent a moan from breaking loose. He could fuck himself with the handle, pretend that Dean’s the one doing it.

What is he talking about? Dean is right next door.

Castiel puts the instrument back carefully. He doesn’t know what most of these are for, sadly, so he has to leave them behind. There are two sets of proper handcuffs, though, which he can use.

In the grand bedroom, Dean is fast asleep. He’s above the covers, strangely enough, and Castiel is certain that there is at least one weapon under his pillow. A man like Dean can never truly relax. Perhaps he can never even truly be himself.

As Castiel stands over the bed watching Dean sleep, an odd sort of melancholy fills his chest.

Castiel is used to not wanting anything – work is simple, and his life even more so – but now he finds himself struck with an intense, sudden yearning. And what he wants is for Dean to be happy. Oh, Dean has his brother, his distractions, and his career, but how far does that all go? Sam is Dean’s anchor, and Castiel appreciates the necessity of it in a world as ruthless as theirs, but there should be a pocket of nowhere where Dean can let it all go and just be.

Dean stirs.

Castiel shoves those thoughts aside. He moves quickly, jumping on the bed and grabbing Dean in a chokehold. Dean’s eyes fly open but there’s a few seconds of mental sluggishness that Castiel uses to his advantage. One handcuff to Dean’s wrist, lock that to the headboard; other handcuff to the other wrist, lock that as well; one sock (clean) shoved hard into Dean’s mouth to silence him.

Then Castiel sits back and observes his handiwork.

Dean’s body is long and golden, ripe for the taking. His eyes are wide with confusion, unable to understand what he sees: Castiel’s presence in his room, Castiel’s nudity, the knife in Castiel’s hand.

“Hello.” Castiel presses the tip of the knife against the soft curve of Dean’s throat. Dean tries to kick at him but Castiel grabs his kneecap, digging in his fingers just enough to show that he knows what he’s doing. Dean stops moving and Castiel shakes his head ruefully. “I just thought I’d… Though I suppose it doesn’t matter.”

Dean frowns at Castiel, assessing swiftly.

Just one more, right? Castiel lowers his head, taking the head of Dean’s cock into his mouth. Dean jerks, clearly not expecting that, but he hardens surprisingly fast. Castiel’s nice enough to not use his teeth since Dean doesn’t like that, so he restricts himself to suckling gently and laving his tongue against the head. In no time Dean’s dick is stiff and jutting up proudly, ready for use. A handful of lube slicks him down nicely.

“There we go.” Castiel smiles at Dean. He swings a leg over Dean’s body, careful to keep the knife on Dean’s chest, and reaches back to find Dean’s cock. The plum head presses at Castiel’s entrance, and with just a little push, it’s inside.

Castiel moans at the burn when he slowly sinks down. It’s not as good as when Dean forces it into him, but Castiel can work within these limitations. He presses down, each inch punctuated with a series of broken gasps, until he’s finally seated, stretched and blissfully filled.

He could weep with relief, he really could.

Normally Castiel restricts himself when they do this, but now there is nothing to hold him back. He rocks back and forth, testing the give of his body around Dean’s. He can imagine that they were made for precisely this.

“Dean,” Castiel breathes. “Dean, this is...” His eyesight is a little blurry but he makes himself focus, watching the rising shock and arousal on Dean’s face. Dean himself isn’t doing anything to aid or hinder Castiel’s riding him, but there are guttural sounds rising from deep in his throat every time Castiel slams down.

“Oh god, Dean.” Castiel whimpers when he gets the angle right, knocking his prostate. “Dean, you’re amazing.”

Castiel is selfish, he wants everything Dean’s can give and will take everything he can get his hands on. He will remember all of this – Dean’s grunts around the sock in his mouth, the slap their bodies make whenever Castiel shoves down, the filthy slick between Castiel’s legs that marks where they’re joined together. Castiel’s thighs are starting to burn from his bouncing on to Dean’s lap, but that makes it better, giving him something else to focus on now that his hole has loosened up.

“Going to—” Castiel grabs his dick, squeezing quickly. “Can’t – can’t hold back – oh, Dean.” He comes with a shudder, wailing some incoherent word into the quiet room.

Castiel has to take a moment to regain his breath. He reaches up to brush the hair away from his face, and along the way finds his cheeks damp. He looks at Dean, whose eyes are tracking his fingers, the other man apparently equally enamored of Castiel’s tears.

“For you,” Castiel whispers. The knife had fallen by the wayside but he picks it up now, cutting a thin line across his chest. Nowhere near a major artery, but enough to paint his fingertips red. He leans forward, careful not to dislodge Dean’s dick where it’s still firm inside him, and removes the sock from Dean’s mouth.

Though his mouth is freed, Dean doesn’t say anything. Awareness and curiosity has replaced his surprise, wheels turning in his head as he waits for Castiel’s next move.

Castiel feels like he can do anything. He feels as solid and strong, as though he’d never been truly real until this moment. And it’s a miracle that Dean’s here to share this with him, when Castiel had been content to only view him from afar, thinking that the real man would never be as good as the ideal in his head.

“I was wrong about that,” Castiel says. He traces a blood-stained finger along Dean’s lower lip, laughing softly when Dean opens his mouth, tongue darting out. Castiel cautiously traces the shape of Dean’s tongue, then his teeth, marveling at the stains left in the wake of his touch.

Castiel can’t help himself. He kisses Dean, soft and hesitant, and then sighs when Dean allows him to share the copper taste of his mouth. Dean’s kisses are coy and controlled, for even bound, he is an expert at this. He uses lips and teeth to make Castiel gasp in pleasure, licking deep into Castiel’s mouth and then biting hard on his lip.

“Oh god,” Castiel chokes. A weak drop or two spills on to his chin but he doesn’t move, letting Dean cling on to him. It’s Dean’s turn, so of course he can have this. Castiel braces his hands on either side of Dean’s head, pressing his forehead against Dean’s while Dean thrusts upwards.

“You,” Dean says. It’s hard to get a read on the emotion behind the word. “Cas.” The handcuffs clink where they’re locked to the headboard, Dean wraps his hands around the headboard as his thrusts grow stronger, threatening to buck Castiel off. Castiel holds on, though, takes everything Dean gives him, and keeps kissing his mouth as Dean nears orgasm.

“Take it, take it, take it.” Castiel rocks his hips furiously against Dean’s. “Please.”

“Oh Jesus, fuck.” Dean archs his back and comes, the entire bed groaning with the force of Dean pulling at the headboard.

Can there be anything more perfect than this? That is a rhetorical question, of course, because every orgasm they’ve shared – limited in number though they are – has been perfect in its own way. Castiel nuzzles Dean’s face, dropping one more soft kiss before pulling back. Dean’s eyes are lucid and clear, looking up into Castiel’s like he is something… like he is something.

At that moment Castiel realizes that he’s naked. Well, yes, he’s unclothed, but he’s also naked, laid bare before another living person. Dean can see him for what he really is. Castiel doesn’t know what to do with this.

“Excuse me,” Castiel says. He slides off Dean, dropping his feet down to the floor. Wetness trickles between his thighs when he walks towards the door, half in a daze. Behind him Dean rolls his lower body up and starts kicking at the headboard. He’ll break free in no time.

Castiel steps out of the room. Just a few minutes ago he’d been so sure of himself, now he has no idea what he’s doing. Or where he’s going.

Footsteps make Castiel glance up.

“There you are!” Balthazar is at the top of the stairs, whispering fiercely. “Aren’t you supposed to be in your room?” He looks Castiel up and down. “Well, someone had a good time.”

“What are you doing…” Castiel trails off. Some parts of his brain are still able to function. “You enabled this. You encouraged me to take some time off, gave me the paperwork to make this happen. You planted me here under pretenses of helping me.”

“Look, Cassy.” Balthazar grabs Castiel’s arm, trying to pull him forward. He sighs when Castiel refuses to budge. “You’ve been talking about this Dean guy for… well, for forever, so I figured the best thing to do would be to get it out of your system. Didn’t it work?”

“But what’s this?” Castiel pulls away from him. “Are you after the Winchesters?”

“Just some bigger picture,” Balthazar says flippantly. “The real important part is that you got what you want, and now we can go. Didn’t you get my message that I was coming for you? Ruby was to make sure you saw it.”

“Ruby?” Castiel thinks back. “You planted Ruby here as well, to work on Sam. But you couldn’t figure out how to keep Dean busy so you thought you’d try me.”

“Well, it wasn’t my idea,” Balthazar admits, “But I told the others you could do it. Your obsession with the elder Winchester is kinda legendary.”

“Now you’re going to destroy them.”

Balthazar shrugs. “Officially, just the house, but you know how it goes. We’ve got what we wanted, so we’d better get the hell out of here. You’ve already ruined our timing, so Ruby’s keeping Sam busy until we’re in the clear.”

Castiel nods. “Okay.” Then he reaches up and snaps Balthazar’s neck. Balthazar falls in an ungainly heap, and Castiel takes a step back to get out of the way.

It’s Balthazar own fault for not seeing that coming, really. Castiel knows the others regard him as a loose cannon not to be trusted with bigger plans, but using him as a pawn is just plain rude.

“Hey,” Dean says. Castiel turns around to see Dean standing in the doorway to his room. He’s pulled on some boxers, one set of handcuffs still dangling from a hand. His expression is strange, not quite calm, not quite angry, not quite anything. Dean glances at Balthazar. “Friend of yours?”

“I believe he’s sabotaged your house,” Castiel says. “His MO is usually explosives, but it’s just as likely that he’d have started a fire downstairs. You might want to grab Sam and run. Did you hear that part about Ruby?”

“Yeah, okay, Ruby, but wait.”

Dean seems to have to struggle to meet Castiel’s gaze head-on. It is so different and unexpected, but Castiel can’t bring himself to care because it’s all over.

“Have we met?” Dean asks. “I mean, before this, before I bought you. Did we meet somewhere?”

These past were weeks have been the most perfect of detours one could hope for in an otherwise monotonous, uneventful life. Castiel is glad to have had the chance for it, no matter what happens afterward. He smiles. “Goodbye, Dean. Don’t forget to…” He sniffs the air. “Ah, fire.”

Dean looks he wants to protest, and then he smells it, too. His entire demeanor changes and he’s back to being the Dean that Castiel is familiar with, large and in charge. He shouts, “Sam!” and runs past Castiel to find his brother.

Castiel watches him go and then starts his own descent down the stairs.

It’s been a good few weeks.

 


 

Epilogue

Castiel tucks the scarf around his mouth. It’s a cold night and his eyes are starting to sting from spending hours sitting in wait, but the marks are finally close. Taking out two at the same time is rarely a good idea, but Walt and Roy are rarely apart and Castiel can’t afford to waste more days waiting for them to separate for his convenience.

The city is relatively quiet tonight. A police siren screams somewhere in the distance but that is inconsequential. Castiel is a statue on the floor of an 28th storey apartment (borrowed for the night), eye set to the rifle scope as he watches the brothers putter around their penthouse. Castiel doesn’t remember the name of this building, or even what city he’s in, but that’s what happens when one contract blurs into another.

Walt says something to Roy. A goodnight, maybe. Walt has the bedroom with the window, Roy does not. Castiel makes two clean shots: one for Walt in bed, one for Roy as he’s getting a nightcap.

Clearing up is quick. The only evidence Castiel leaves behind are the holes cut into the window, though they’ll be useful if anyone comes poking around. This is exactly the service Castiel is known for, the more so now that he’s become an independent contractor. No one could prove he’d had anything to do with Balthazar and Zachariah’s demise ages ago, but he’d figured it was better for everyone if he made his own way. It’s served him well since then.

On the way back to his hotel, Castiel sends a text to Rachel to confirm the execution and thanking her for the contract.

Rachel’s reply comes quickly enough: Good. Don’t work too hard.

Castiel huffs under his breath in amusement. It’s just like Rachel to worry about him despite his getting pickier and only taking every other contract depending on his mood. People are willing to pay through the nose for him now, which has the double-edged sword of having to maintain standards at every outing.

He can almost hear Uriel’s voice in his ear accusing him of being lackadaisical and complacent. To which Castiel would reply that he may be taking a laidback approach to life now, but that doesn’t make him complacent.

After all, if Castiel were complacent, he wouldn’t have noticed that someone has broken into his hotel room.

Castiel pauses in front of the door and glares at the doorknob. He’d been specific at the front desk that housekeeping shouldn’t enter his room, and the Do Not Disturb sign is still hanging where it should be. But there are definitely noises coming from within, and the carpeting underneath the door has moved. Castiel isn’t foolish to leave things lying around that could give away what he does, but he really dislikes people touching his toiletries.

He unlocks the door and opens it.

The noise is coming from the television that’s been set to an obnoxious action movie. Castiel puts his bag down by the door, ready to abandon it if a quick escape is necessary.

A careful sweep of the room doesn’t reveal any intruders. Bed and bathroom and all corners are checked thoroughly but, aside from the television, everything is as he left it. Castiel stands back to observe the entire room, hoping to spot a clue.

Behind Castiel, the door slams shut.

Ah, of course, Castiel thinks, the intruder was waiting outside. He hears movement approaching and turns sharply, hands up to catch his attacker’s fist.

Dean grins at him. “Hey, Cas.”

It’s a testament to the years of Castiel’s experience that shock barely bleeds into what he does next. Castiel is immediately on the offensive as Dean rushes him, no holds barred. Bodies are slammed into walls, a mirror breaks, Dean laughs, Castiel gets a knee in the kidneys, the side table is smashed when Dean is thrown into it, that sort of thing.

Castiel’s shock – of course he’s shocked – floats above all of this. Castiel’s body is on autopilot, dealing with a threat while his mind tries to wrap itself around this. Dean is here, Dean found him, how did Dean find him?

“You made the contract on Walt and Roy,” Castiel says. He ducks and rolls when Dean throws a chair at him.

“Of course,” Dean says cheerfully. He’s bouncing from one foot to another, excited and so wretchedly handsome that Castiel wants to knock his face in. “I’ve got to hand it to you, it took a hell of a long time to get this far, you cover your tracks really well.”

Anger burns hot in Castiel’s stomach.

How dare Dean do this, how dare he barge back into Castiel’s life like he belongs here, like Dean is more than a few weeks’ worth of diversion. And that’s really all Dean’s good for, nothing more than a brief interlude in Castiel’s history that’s been relegated to the back of his mind never to be thought of again. (Except for when Castiel tries to masturbate to the memory only to find his dick stubbornly soft, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“What do you want?” Castiel asks. “Revenge? Well, you planned poorly, Dean. You have no idea what I’m capable of.”

Dean’s grin widens.

Castiel has to kill Dean. That’ll teach him. Castiel could rip Dean’s chest open and squeeze his heart until Dean’s eyes turn dull and grey. Then Castiel would lie with Dean’s body, oh so patient, and wait until everything that is Dean fades out from the world. That’ll surely be enough to exorcize Dean from Castiel’s body and leave him free.

No more dreams, no more wanting. (It’s easy to not want anything when you don’t know any better. It’s hard to stop once you’ve had a taste.)

“Oh, baby,” Dean says as they circle each other in the narrow space of the room. “I missed you, too.”

Dean stops laughing when Castiel crashes into him. Dean is built tougher but Castiel is fast, some say too fast to be completely human. Castiel strikes him again and again, watching Dean’s confident smile harden. If Dean thinks that Castiel is like one his playthings, easily malleable and shattered, then he is foolish.

Castiel cries out as he shoves an elbow into Dean’s stomach. Dean falls to his knees, gasping for breath, while Castiel stands over him. Disappointment rushes through Castiel at the cold realization that Dean isn’t strong enough to stop him. Dean had never been strong enough or clever enough to break Castiel to pieces the way he’d dreamed.

“I’m sorry, Dean,” Castiel says quietly. Maybe this is the only way to clean his body of Dean’s infection. “You’re only a man.”

Dean rises up and slams his hand onto Castiel’s chest.

Pain lances through Castiel’s torso, and he takes a shocked step backward. Dean hadn’t been holding a weapon, Castiel hadn’t seen any weapon, Castiel’s sure there hadn’t been had any weapons.

Castiel looks down. There’s a syringe sticking out of his chest. Dean is standing a safe distance away, eyes intense and his whole body crouched low, a lion waiting for a bison to fall.

“Oh.” Castiel pulls the syringe out, studying it curiously. Pins and needles rush through his limbs, and then his body is soft and crumpling to the floor. “Oh,” he says again. Oh, thank goodness.

Some sort of poison, Castiel thinks. Part tranquilizer, perhaps, though Castiel is not an expert in such things. Rachel might know, if Castiel lives long enough to ask her about it.

Castiel breathes into the carpet. He is drowning on air, every coherent though a struggle. Consciousness slips in and out of his grasp, though he’s vaguely aware of hands on him, moving him, touching him. There’s the faint clink of metal.

When the fog in Castiel’s head eases a little, he realizes that he’s naked. His face is still pressed against the beige carpet, but he hasn’t choked on his own drool yet. His limbs are useless, and his arms are trapped in strange configuration thanks to what feels like stainless steel. His fingers don’t respond, and neither do his legs. Castiel tries to speak, but what comes out is a thick, wordless sound.

“Yeah, Cas, I know,” Dean says from somewhere. There are hands on Castiel’s ass, kneading the cheeks and pulling them apart. “Couldn’t take my time with this before, but…”

Whatever poison Dean put in him, it doesn’t much dull the sensation of a tongue probing his entrance. Castiel would move away or protest, but Dean had foreseen the lie and stopped Castiel before he could make it. As it is, Castiel can only stay where he is, breathless and dizzy, as Dean rims him open.

“Whuh,” Castiel says.

Dean licks a lewd stripe up Castiel’s ass. “Hey, I know you’re mad ‘cause you’re frustrated,” he says, breath hot against Castiel’s damp skin. “I was like that, too. I knew something was off about you but I couldn’t figure out what it was and it drove me fucking nuts, no lie.”

Castiel grunts when something is pushed into him. The object is narrow and hard, with inorganic angles that drag harshly against Castiel’s inner walls when it plunges in deep. Dean twists it, rocking it back and forth in forcing it deeper. A slight adjustment and the object presses firmly against Castiel’s prostate. It’s a little difficult to breathe.

“But what the hell is up with you removing my tattoo?” Dean slaps the space between Castiel’s shoulder blades. The motion makes the toy shift in Castiel, pleasure breaking through the fog in Castiel’s head. “Alley-oop!”

Castiel yells when Dean flips him over. When his ass hits the floor that infernal thing slams against his prostate, and Castiel gulps for breath, unable to expel or move the obscene invader. It’s just there, a relentless pressure that doesn’t let up, and Castiel can’t help but curse how unfair it is that these few touches from Dean already has his dick hardening.

Now that he’s on his back, Castiel can see the metal contraption binding his arms and torso. One arm is drawn tight one way, the other in the opposite, keeping his hands separate and pressed in angles that will leave echoes in his body for weeks.

It’s a real trap, cruel and strong. Sharp points dig into various places on Castiel’s body. Castiel wonders if he could break free  if he were at full strength.

“Made it myself!” Dean says proudly. He’s as naked as Castiel, erection swinging heavy between his legs when he climbs on top of Castiel and sits on his stomach. “The Winchester straitjacket, patent pending. I wanted to include a thing to choke you, but I like it when you talk.” He holds up a fine blade, checks the edge, and then starts to work on Castiel’s chest.

“Tharr.” Castiel swallows, licks his dry lips, and tries again. “That will heal.”

“Duh.” Dean smiles without looking up, focused on his task. “Then I get to do it again.” Lines and curves are inscribed into Castiel’s skin, some pattern that makes Dean’s cock get harder as it’s drawn into existence.

“You think this means something?” Castiel says, ignoring the burdensome weight between his legs as his cock swells. “You never had me, Dean. Not once, not for real.”

Dean drops his face on to Castiel’s chest and laughs. He laughs and laughs and then bites a nipple before pulling back to meet Castiel’s gaze. It is possible that he has never been as handsome as he is at this moment.

“You hunted me,” Dean says. “You read up on me, watched me, learned everything you could about me, and when that wasn’t enough you came into my house so you could see me up close.” He shakes his head, still grinning. “Cas, you were mine from the very beginning.”

Castiel swallows air. It’s true, something in him whispers. It’s true, and you didn’t realize it until you left. His body would tremble if it weren’t tipsy with drugs.

“You’ve ruined me,” Castiel whispers.

Dean doesn’t hear. He’s pulled away, settling between Castiel’s legs and frowning at the exposed juncture there. Then there’s new pressure at Castiel’s entrance, the head Dean’s cock nudging at him and trying to find the right angle.

“It won’t—” Castiel gasps when Dean breaches him. He goes agonizingly slow, but not because he’s being kind. He’s being careful because he’s sliding alongside the other object already inside, stretching Castiel wide, wide too wide. The further he goes the more the thing moves, and the sudden blunt pressure against Castiel’s prostate is fucking agony.

Dean strokes a finger down Castiel’s tongue. Castiel hadn’t realized his mouth was open.

Castiel blinks up dazedly at Dean. They stare at each other like that for a moment, Castiel disbelieving and Dean determined.

Then Dean grabs Castiel’s hips and starts fucking him in earnest, snapping hard against Castiel as though trying to claw out a place for himself inside his body. Castiel shudders, barely able to breathe with Dean’s cock and the toy working him at the same time. The fullness is exquisite and the friction burn makes Castiel’s teeth chatter, but at the same time he has the suspicion that the drugs are dulling some of the pain, which is such a fucking cheat that he could scream.

“I thought I dreamt you.” Dean isn’t smiling anymore. He pinches Castiel’s nipples, digging fingernails into the nubs. “I thought there’s no way you could be real.”

Castiel does cry out then. He can feel the sting of something tearing but he can’t tell where because his whole body is one burning mass of sensation. Dean pounding into him, pinching the head of his cock, scratching into the cuts on his chest, and it’s too much, it’s too much, Castiel is going to choke and die on his own bliss.

Dean lifts his head suddenly. “We’re fucking in here!” he yells at the door. Castiel realizes that someone’s knocking. Management, probably, they’ve been making quite a racket. “Go away!”

“If you stop I’ll kill you,” Castiel snarls. “I will kill you, I will cut off your penis and have it stuffed and carry it with me always and oh god, yes.”

Dean shoves his hand into Castiel’s mouth. It doesn’t fit but it’s enough for Castiel to choke, eyes watering. That’s enough to break the barrier and Castiel’s coming, pleasure rocketing up his useless legs, through his spine, tightening like a fist around his heart. Castiel is reduced to a blubbering mess, coming all over his stomach and sobbing around Dean’s fingers.

It’s raw and terrible and wonderful. Castiel is dazed from his own orgasm but he forces himself to watch Dean, refusing to miss anything. Dean has both hands under Castiel knees, holding him open and still as he forces the final powerful thrusts into Castiel’s body.

Behold the lovely Dean Winchester, who tosses his head back and breathes out one smooth exhale when he comes. Dean, who uses tricks and words and metal to tame Castiel, giving him such freedom that he’d never thought could exist.

Dean opens his eyes and wipes the sweat away from his brow. After a long moment where they do nothing but breathe, he says, “You used your real name. Back then.” He smirks. “Like, way to be subtle, Cas.”

Castiel rolls his eyes.

Dean pulls out of him and sits back, clearly gloating over his accomplishments of the day. Castiel wonders, not for the first time, what Dean sees. Castiel’s just a pale body streaked with various fluids, limbs manipulated, ass leaking come to the floor – but Dean must see more than that, if the expression on his face is any indication. 

“Here’s how it’ll go.” Dean rummages around a bag, pulling out a key. He tosses it aside, where it falls near the wall. “The juice’ll wear off soon. That key’s for one of the locks, though you’ve probably figured out there’s more than one, heh. Oh, and you’ve got 24 hours.”

“You just said it’ll wear off soon,” Castiel croaks. His voice sounds alien to his ears. “How does that translate to twenty-four?”

“Twenty-four is your head start.” Dean slaps Castiel’s hip, making the toy jab at the oversensitive spot inside him. The world briefly goes white, Castiel’s throat clogging with the shock of it. When his vision clears, Dean’s already on his feet and getting dressed. Dean is smiling so hard it’s as though he has lockjaw.

“See you soon, Cas.” He drops back down to the floor next to Castiel, planting a quick kiss to the corner of his mouth. Dean cards his fingers through Castiel’s hair. “Next time I’m going to ruin your hole, watch me.”

“I suppose,” Castiel says, sounding bored. “You’ll probably cheat again.”

“Potato po-tah-to.” Dean salutes him and then saunters out of the room, locking the door as he goes.

Castiel’s body is a warzone, but his mind is calm. It’s as though he’s been sharpened under Dean’s hands, all his senses and thoughts and body honed to a goal where previously he’d been tetherless. Castiel should be frightened at his being stripped like this, at how his center of gravity has been forcefully adjusted to follow another human being. But then again, fear has never been his strong suit.

A 24-hour head start? Hah. In 24 hours Dean will be the one screaming.

Castiel lies there quietly, waiting for the drugs to wear off. As he waits, he plans.