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that which is mine to give

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“Just,” Castiel says, touching two fingertips to the soft hollow of Dean’s throat, “focus on me. This should be good.”

“Should be,” Dean says. He’s tired—Castiel can see it in the heaviness of his eyelids and feel it in the malaise that’s crept into the intangible bond between the two of them. Castiel would save this experiment for later, but there’s never a later. There are only hasty road trips, uncomfortable meetings with Rowena, and collapsing into motel mattresses late at night, vacating them before the sun rises. He forgets every time how exhausting it is to be human and faced with the endless hydra of a to-do list.

They have this afternoon, early June crisp sunlight spilling around the edges of Room 401’s shades while Sam and Charlie consult with the local librarian. And Castiel aches for Dean.

Oh, he has Dean in more ways than he could ever have hoped. He has Dean’s arms firm around him in the middle of the night, the rhythmic whistle of Dean’s snore against the side of his neck. That small, awed gasp that punches out of Dean’s lungs just before he orgasms, every time. Dean’s soul, older than its body and aged to loveliness like fine wine, reaching for Castiel’s tentative newborn soul, younger than its body and younger still than the creature to whom it cleaves.

It’s selfish, of course. The way he yearns for more. But Castiel has always been plagued with curiosity, with desires that are unseemly for a soldier of God.

“Will be good,” Castiel amends. He slides the pad of his thumb against the line of Dean’s jaw, stubble prickling at his growing calluses. “It’s just between the two of us.”

Dean ducks his head, one of his many endearing habits. “That kinda used to freak me out, that idea. Always meant something bad was happening. Or about to happen, I guess.”

Castiel chuckles. He sets his hands to the task of undoing the buttons of Dean’s topmost shirt. Small, dexterous activities are good practice for settling into the reality of his vessel. “I’ve always liked being alone with you,” he says truthfully, “but I see your point.”

Since their marriage, Dean and Castiel have embodied the stereotypical franticness of newlyweds. Between hunts, they kiss and kiss and kiss some more. Need is a strong word, Castiel knows, but he wants so, so badly, and the delicious friction of their souls learning one another only makes it worse or perhaps better, heightens the desire.

Castiel knows a few tricks. He was an angel, riding high on the power of his grace and all its abilities. He knows how wide a soul can open, how much of another being it can accept when it’s ready and willing.

Dean is watching him, eyes half-lidded and eyelashes dark against his cheeks. Castiel kisses the spray of freckles curving along the arch of his cheekbone.

“I trust you,” Dean says. It’s a gift after all the reasons Castiel has given Dean to feel the opposite.

“Thank you.” Castiel feels it: Dean’s trust like the petals of a blooming flower, vulnerable and open to him. A faint glow of midday sun turns the prickles of Dean’s stubble into sparks of fiery color, highlights the auburn of his eyelashes. “Tell me if this gets too overwhelming or you need me to stop.”

Dean laughs lowly. “What is this, a root canal? That doesn’t sound sexy to me.”

“No.” Castiel exhales, a huff of air against Dean’s neck. “No. I just—how does it feel between us, to you?”

“Good,” Dean answers without hesitation. “I dunno how to describe it, exactly. I like knowing how you’re doing without having to ask. I like that I can be sure you’re safe all the time.” He laughs again, his gaze fixed on his own hands folded over each other in his lap. “Feels good to know, uh, you know. That things are cool between us.”

“That I love you,” Castiel fills in for him, quiet.

The tips of Dean’s ears are going lightly pink. He nods.

“I like it too,” Castiel says. He covers Dean’s hands with one of his own, fingertips filling in the spaces between Dean’s knuckles. “I want more, that’s all. Our souls touch. They entwine. I believe we can go further than that.”

Dean sucks in a breath. He wants, too.

Castiel leans in, fitting his mouth to the waiting swell of Dean’s lips. Coffee, maple syrup, warm and human. Dean sighs and kisses him back, every part of him leaning toward Castiel and the fluttering desires of both their souls.

For the past few months, Castiel has been content to leave it like that. It’s beautiful and comforting as it is, the thrum of connection that fills his awareness when he and Dean curl around each other this way.

Now, he pushes. With Dean’s permission and blessing, with the shallow but steady in and out of Dean’s lungs ringing in his ears, he asks for, then demands entrance to the inner workings of Dean’s soul, that diaphanous work of art that captivated him in the bowels of Hell years ago.

Dean murmurs something, some inaudible endearment, into Castiel’s mouth—and opens for him.

“Fuck,” Dean gasps.

“Yeah.” Castiel’s shaking a little, his forehead pressed to Dean’s and his eyes shut tightly. It’s the uneven patter of Dean’s heart beating, the way his own is echoing the skittering rhythm, the way their heartbeats are becoming one and the same.

Whatever it is that’s sprung up, Castiel’s fledgling soul, green and tentative in the spring of his humanity, it shudders. It yearns, it throbs, and it pulls the burnt umber luminescence of Dean’s soul into itself, greedy and awed and loving so fiercely it nearly hurts.

“Fuck,” Dean says again.

“I’d be interested,” Castiel murmurs. The weight and heat of his own palm, cupping Dean’s hands, ricochets through the back of his awareness. Dean, thrilled and comforted by Castiel’s presence.

Dean laughs, but the kick of arousal that spikes through the both of them can’t be masked. It feeds on itself, Castiel grasping at the fire of how Dean wants him and wanting him more in return.

“Come here.”

There’s a tangle of limbs. Castiel can’t keep track and he suspects that Dean can’t either, throaty laughs and knocking knees and ill-placed elbows until he’s stretched out on top of Dean, mouthing at the fresh sweat collecting in the swooping lines of Dean’s clavicles. Dean likes it, the solidity of Castiel atop him, and so Castiel likes it too, presses a long series of kisses up the side of Dean’s neck.

When his teeth scrape and tug at Dean’s earlobe, they both make a stuttering whine.

“God.” Dean hides a chuckle in Castiel’s temple. The humid gust of his breath is enough to get Castiel’s cock throbbing in his jeans. Or maybe that’s Dean’s. It’s all a mess of sensation between them, and Castiel shivers once more, arches down against the thickness of Dean’s erection.

“I know.” Castiel kisses him. Long, slow, drugging, the kind of kiss that Dean has taught him to love. He tastes Dean and himself at once, breathes in the white-hot goodness of the two of them bleeding into each other without reservation. Dean’s worked his hands up under Castiel’s hand-me-down T-shirt and every place his fingers touch lights up, singing with fondness that bounces back and forth between them until Castiel’s heart is full and swollen in his chest.

God.” Dean moans into Castiel’s ear. His palms make broad sweeps along the sides of Castiel’s spine, fingertips glancing between each of Castiel’s vertebrae. “Jesus, babe. Dunno if I’m gonna make it to fuckin’.”

“I know.” Castiel kisses Dean’s chin.

“I’m serious.”

“No, Dean,” Castiel says, taking Dean’s lower lip between his teeth and tugging as a gentle reminder, “I know. I can feel everything you—oh.” His eyes roll back in his head as Dean’s hips rock up, an objectively unobtrusive brush of erection against erection that, like this, sends lightning unfurling through every vein in his circulatory system.

“Hey.” Gentle, Dean requesting his attention.

“Hi.” Castiel answers Dean by sliding his hands into Dean’s, lacing their fingers together. One last point of connection.

They haven’t made it out of their clothes beyond Castiel’s shirt rucked up to the small of his back and Dean’s jeans unzipped under the impatient question of Castiel’s hands, but it’s more than enough. They’re flayed open, drawing the breath from each other’s lungs with breath after breath. Dean should be afraid, Castiel knows—can sense Dean’s trepidation over the absence of his fear, the empty space that fills up with arousal and love instead.

Still, Castiel feels everything. Not just the light of Dean’s soul but the minute reactions of his body. The twitch and swell of his cock pressing against his fly, the relief and rush of uncomplicated pleasure as the heel of Castiel’s hand presses to the arch of his erection where it throbs for attention. And oh, it nearly seems like cheating, because when Castiel curls his fingers around Dean’s cock and strokes, slow and luxurious, his own cock stiffens and leaks into the worn-soft boxers he stole weeks ago from the top drawer in Dean’s bunker bedroom.

It’s too easy, but they can’t bring themselves to stop. Castiel’s half-aware as Dean’s mind flicks through previous counters: truck stop bathrooms, high school awkwardness, all the way back to his tenderly doomed first kiss with Robin at the boy’s home—concluding that no, no, nothing has ever felt quite as good and as much as this.

“Next time,” Dean promises in a slur of breathlessness through the spit-slick slide of one more kiss, the tenth or maybe the twentieth or even the hundredth, “next time you get your dick in me. Or, god, I get mine in you, or just—wanna feel full like that.”

“Yes.”

“Promise,” Dean says.

Castiel smiles into Dean’s lopsided grin. “Promise.”

“You,” Dean says, and Castiel can tell it’s a spur-of-the-moment choice from the laughter that lights up Dean’s consciousness, “get a reward for that.”

Suddenly sinuous and determined, Dean slinks his way down Castiel’s body. He breathes out curious breath against the denim that’s trapping Castiel’s cock where it strains toward the brightness of Dean’s affection.

“Come here,” Dean says.

“I’m here,” Castiel answers. “Right here.”

“I know.” Dean looks up and flashes him a smile, soft around the edges despite the sharp white glint of his canines. “Mr. Winchester.”

Dean swallows him down in a smooth, hungry slide. His throat is velvet-soft and blood-hot and he’s smiling around his mouthful, and Castiel tastes himself in the back of his own throat. Oh, he thinks one more time as Dean’s jaw works, and then orgasm shoots up his spine, jerks his hips forward, blanks his mind and makes his soul tremble.

“Ah, shit,” Dean manages. His body bows toward Castiel and he sinks down over him again just in time to swallow the long pulses of come, to savor the salt and humanity of the taste.

The aftershocks of it go on much longer than the event, their shared orgasm itself. Castiel’s legs shake and Dean’s heart thumps loud and unsteady against the precious ivory of his ribcage and they reach for each other again, Castiel tugging until Dean’s mouth is open at the hinge of his jaw again.

“Cas,” Dean pants. “Cas, that was—I can’t, I gotta—just lemme go for a sec.”

Reluctant and just as overcome, Castiel does. He pulls back, lets the grasping of his own soul recede until it’s only them again. Connected, irrevocably, but separate beings with separate heartbeats, each with a separate consciousness.

“I wanna,” Dean says, “do that again, about a million times. Or maybe never. Shit.”

Their laugh, at least, is shared. Castiel pushes his fingers through the spikiness of Dean’s sex-damp hair. “I liked that, Dean.”

“Yeah.” Dean’s been fussing with the fly of his jeans, but he stops to push the bridge of his nose to Castiel’s cheekbone. An easy gesture, affectionate. “I loved it. Don’t get me wrong.”

Castiel hears the implication there. The I love you, I’m just still scared sometimes. He smiles, drained, still human.

“You got me, Cas.” Dean squeezes their still-joined hands. “You know that.”

Castiel does know it. Dean’s devotion is obvious, a tangible thing that settles in the base of his spine and spreads through his abdomen up to his heart anytime he doubts it. “Yeah,” he says, “I know. Trust me.”

“Still do.”