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A Need So Pure

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It was bloody, messy…Thirty-one flavors of bottom-dwelling nasties… But there was something about being there. It felt pure…” - Dean Winchester

 

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Castiel sat at the table by the window in the hotel as Sam and Dean were conversing over their arsenal bag, checking and packing weapons. The angel acted as if he could not hear, or at least wasn’t listening, but he of course was. The subject was not something he could ignore.

“So…what are you so worried about, Dean? He’s back…we should be happy.” Sam spoke low, glancing up at his brother now and again.

Dean avoided eye contact, though, as he shook his head. “I already told you why, Sam. I barely made it out. He made it apparent to me, it was a risk for him to even try to make it through, more so than me, so how the HELL did he make it out?” Dean wasn’t doing as good a job of keeping the conversation perfectly private with his tone. “Until we find out what happened with him, why he...stopped fighting just to find another way out…” he hesitated, then cocked a gun, checking it with a rather stern look, “…I can’t let myself be completely happy.”

“Stopped fighting? Are you ever gonna tell me what happened there?” Sam asked.

Dean shoved the gun in his bag. “It’s a bloody, tiring blur, Sam, I… We fought our way out, got some answers with some help, Castiel just didn’t seem willing to fight and he… He didn’t make it when I went through. It was fighting, it was bloody, it was foggy nights that I can barely remember mixed with nightmares, blank spaces, and just not sleeping at all. Okay? It’s not an experience I want to write a memoir about. Let’s just get going.”

Castiel’s attention was briefly drawn by the mention of the blank spaces, but his gaze fell as the two Winchester’s headed for the door.

“…Cas, you comin’?” Sam asked, and the angel sat there for a moment.

With a shake of his head, he responded without looking to them. “No, I…I think I need time to…recover, recharge my batteries. If that’s alright.” He glanced to them.

Sam nodded. “Sure. Yeah, of course. We’ll call if we need anything, you do the same.” He advised, Dean having gone ahead of the younger Winchester.

Castiel just nodded, and Sam exited, locking the door behind them and leaving the angel in his solitude.

Sitting forward on the table, he pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing to himself. He still had no idea how he’d gotten out, and he knew he needed to find the answer, somewhere in him, he knew, but something about the whole situation left him not feeling the dire nature of that need. Was it some calm source-less knowing that perhaps, again, his Father was choosing to give him another chance? Was it something to fear? He had a strong desire to believe the former, which strengthened when he tried to consider the latter.

But he started forcing the consideration of the latter. Dean wouldn’t trust him, trust his presence, until they had answers. So he shut his eyes, and thought…and thought…of his last moments he remembered of Purgatory before he found himself topside and reaching out. Running. He was still running.

He was running from countless monsters, those with vendettas and most with just bloodlust. Then there were those with both, the Leviathans. There was never a moment they WEREN’T hunting him. He thought and thought, and found his head was actually beginning to ache with the attempt. Despite the warning that sent him, he kept thinking, kept pushing. It got harder to make out, like the darkening of footage before a scene fades out. It faded very slowly, but even so, it was fading.

The last moment… Castiel groaned, pinching his nose more, brows knit tight as he winced. He audibly gasped as he heard a whirling sound and then a screeching sound, a familiar screeching at that, it reminded him of ‘home’. But no, that moment…there it was. He’d tread into the water, as it seemed most every fanged, clawed, and dark beast had him surrounded, ready to pounce. He waded into the water, arms wide, as they all began advancing on him.

Dropping his head, arms open wide, he remembered waiting. It was getting darker, the details harder to make out, but he was there…darkness around him getting closer, masses of it surrounding him, growling and hissing and yelling.

With a sigh, Castiel remembered as it went black. He had given up. Or perhaps he had just given in. He was there for penance; he knew that, that was how it was meant to be. And he had decided to truly pay. With Dean gone, he could.

Complete darkness in his mind, he heard the roars and the tears and his own yells and screams before they were overshadowed by that familiar screech.

Castiel fell out of the chair, onto his knees, clutching his head. He let go of the memory, but the screeching was still screaming in his head, it wouldn’t stop!

Until suddenly it did, and his eyes shot open.

He was in a white room, a room that was not the hotel he’d just been in. On his knees, he looked around until he found a desk at the far center of the room, with a woman leaning upon it, watching him expectantly.

Furrowing his brows, he moved slowly to stand, glancing around the room, then back to her.

“Where…who are… What just happened to me?” he questioned, the screech still ringing in his ears, but the cause slowly fading from his mind like the fading of that memory to darkness.

“We’ve been here already, Castiel.” The woman spoke, firmly and with calm authority. “And you should be able to recognize home when you see it…”

He glanced around again at the implication. This was Heaven, or at least some part of it, though he wasn’t familiar with it. And she was an angel. She must have been the cause of the screeching in the hotel room. “Why am I here?”

“Because, Castiel. Among other things I needed to fix and still will, we have more work to do. I let you find your Winchester’s. Now, we need to work on a few things.” She said, pushing off the desk and taking a step towards him.

Faintly quirking his head, he asked, “..Let me—are you the one…who-”

“Stop. That’s not what you’re here for.” She interrupted him, almost with a tone of impatience, but she kept it mostly unnoticed, taking another step or so forward.

“Then what AM I here for?” he demanded to know in a testy tone. He didn’t like this; a situation where he held little answers and too many questions, especially while being torn back to heaven without his knowing or consent.

“You’re here….for those unsightly blank spaces the Winchester mentioned. I hadn’t had the chance to clear them before…and now, I will.” She informed him, a lick of disgust in her voice.

That caused Castiel to take a step back. “How do you know…? You keep away from me…!”

But the next moment, before he could turn to look for an escape, he’d backed into something, something he fell into. Once fallen, he looked and noticed it was some sort of operation chair. One that began locking him in. He struggled, but it was strong—it restrained his strength and his power… It was made specifically to restrain angels, but for what? He wondered as he looked to her.

The last restraint, she did herself, strapping down his head to where all he could do was look with his eyes, not even a turn of his head. Panicking by now, he couldn’t find the threats, the warnings, the questions, or anything to say to prevent this; he didn’t even know what was coming, but he feared it.

“We’ll work out those scraps and dents in that body of yours, Castiel. It will just take time. And this is just another scrap…and unsightly one…and I’m going to wipe it away for you.” She told him, pulling forth a drill-like tool.

Castiel’s eyes widened, at the tool and as he put together what she meant. He tried to shake his head but couldn’t. “No.” his voice was gruff and thick. “Don’t.”

“He’s tainted you too much, Castiel. We have to fix it before he destroys you completely.” She informed him, the drill buzzing to life and nearing Castiel with each second, panic clear in his breathing and his brief panicked ‘please’ until it made contact, and then he was screaming.

 

 

Finally, Dean had fallen asleep and Castiel could tell Benny was preoccupied with his watch in a general direction. Having left them both assuming he was either sleeping against a tree or in deep meditation, which Dean said was practically the same thing for Cas, he knew this was the time.

Standing and moving ever so carefully, the angel slipped through the trees, keeping wary watching around him for enemies, behind him for the human or vampire, and around him for anything that might give off his receding presence. So far, though, so good. Castiel had just neared the water they had veered away from, a good few minutes from their resting sight, when he heard it.

The crunch of a branch, and he was on alert. Ready to fight, he didn’t turn right away, he just listened, waiting for a moment. He hoped it was a monster, a predator seeking out his blood or his head.

No such luck.

And just where do you think you’re going?” came the hunters voice and Castiel sighed.

Slowly he turned, only his side facing Dean. He said nothing to explain himself or deter Dean just yet, doubting if there was much point in words. Action, however, like running again. That might just work.

You think I’m stupid?” Dean questioned, his voice getting closer, but Castiel still didn’t look to him. “Like, do you REALLY think I’d fall for that? That I’d expect you to just suddenly decide to stay and only argue? From someone who could seriously ignore every call, every PRAYER I sent his way, you think I’d trust you to stick around?

Castiel sighed and faced him. “Dean. I told you, why I had to. You may be a hunter and something disgusting in their eyes, for all the monsters you’ve slain, but I… I’m a monster to THEM, I’m something to fear and to kill, something that seems to them perhaps more wrong than you. That puts a deadly price on my head, I had to keep my distance.

And I still don’t care. You remember what I told you?” the hunter asked, nearing him with a testy look. By now, Castiel could assess Dean probably hadn’t even attempted to sleep (he had been questioning if he even could these days).

Castiel just looked confused. He’d told him many things, Castiel couldn’t currently fathom to which statement he was referring.

Dean straightened up, crossing his arms over his chest as he watched Castiel—dirt, blood, scruff and all, he was a mess and yet still far more put together than anything or anyone else here. “I told you before, I’d rather have you. Cursed or not. I meant that then, and it still applies now. I don’t care who’s after you, I don’t care what hell is following you. I’m used to hell by now, I’ll take it, I’ll take it all. What I won’t take, is leaving you behind. You are staying with us, and you are going through with me, you understand?” he raised a stern finger at Castiel.

Castiel just shook his head, looking off across the water. “Dean, it’s not that simple, and you KNOW it.

It actually is that simple, so stop bitching and came back. SOMEONE should at least be able to be resting right now and Benny sure can’t do that without someone keeping watch for him.” Dean stated, using his tactic of pushing the matter as if it were already decided and set in an attempt to force it to be so. Sometimes it could work, and he always expected it to work, or perhaps was more determined for it to work.

Castiel wouldn’t budge, though. “No, Dean.

Dean took a breath through his nose, and sighed. The look on his face was tired, briefly, before it was once again determined, and a bit defiant.

He all-but closed the space between them, leaving only a step of space between them, Castiel facing Dean completely as if taking a stand for his decision. They both watched each other in silence for a moment. Castiel wore his own determination, as well as guilt and a burning need for Dean to just understand and except this fate. Dean wore his determination hand in hand with his annoyance and defiance of Castiel’s decision, and his own need for Castiel to understand he couldn’t let him leave. Not again.

Cas. Please. I need you with me. I can’t do this without you.” Dean pushed in a tired tone.

Castiel shook his head. “Yes, you can.

Yeah, well, I don’t want to.” Dean told him, dropping his arms to his sides, fists balled. “So I won’t.

Shaking his head, Castiel knew Dean’s stubbornness could last for some time. Words won’t do a thing to make his resolve budge, so he had to take action. So, ever so abruptly, he turned from Dean, and began marching away, towards a break of trees with the intent of putting distance as soon as possible.

Hey! We ain’t finished here!” Dean called.

Yes, we are.” Castiel told him, only to feel a hand grasp his shoulder, and yank him to turn around, only managing to half turn him. Castiel kept trying to walk away, ignoring each touch, each grasp to keep him there.

Damn it, Cas!

Suddenly, the grasp was unshakable. Dean had taken hold of the front of his shirt and trench coat just to stop him, making the angel face him as he held tight.

I’m not letting you go!

Yes, you are.” Castiel took Dean’s wrists, yanking his hold abruptly from him, tearing the hospital shirt, but barely. He kept going, only to be shoved into a tree by Dean who took hold again, standing before him with angry determination.

Castiel couldn’t let this happen, he knew it. Dean would be dead before he found his exit, if it were even real. He grabbed Dean by the shoulders and spun him, shoving him into the tree he’d just been against, causing Dean to grunt in brief pain, but Dean didn’t let go, much to the angels displeasure. He didn’t want to have to resort to harsh tactics to turn Dean away by his own choice, but if he had to…

I’m not letting you go.” Dean repeated again, with softer determination that sounded more like a promise.

You have to, Dean… You have to.” Castiel told him tiredly.

I don’t have to do shit.” Dean denied, gripping tighter, and Castiel shoved him harder against the tree, causing the hunter to wince, shutting his eyes but still keeping hold.

Damn it, Dean..!” Castiel wanted to spew his stupidities at him, how this was foolish and a waste of his time and reckless and a death sentence. Instead, he shoved Dean up to tree, nearing him with intense defiance. “You are going to DIE, if you can’t learn to let go…”

“Well, I was never one for learning in school.” Dean responded with sarcasm, and then suddenly he wrapped an arm around the angels shoulder, grasping the back of his trench-coat. Then his legs wound themselves around the angel, too, almost like a child clinging as one leg wrapped around the back of one of Castiel’s, the other around the angels hip. “I’ll repeat myself for the last time, I ain’t letting you go.

Castiel shook his head, his annoyance and defiance and stand making him irritable enough to fight his human, and Dean seemed prepared to do the same—it was natural, here. Your reactions were less restrained, or needs and your fight or flight instincts, your wants were more important and anything would be done to get them. Like risking three lives for a small sliver of hope, or risking two lives to find another. Or risking the wrath of an angel or the possibility of an ambush, just to keep the angel with him.

With an almost snarl on his lips, Castiel shoved Dean again, with his whole body this time, not considering how this new position would result from that. His waist and Dean’s in semi perfect alignment, the shove gave an unexpected, at least unintended reaction that even briefly affected the angel with a sudden alertness, and he saw that in Dean’s eyes as well as his lids widened then briefly lowered, before his brows tightened with consideration.

Castiel tried to ignore the brief distraction, averting eyes and taking a few breaths to give himself a moment, looking back to Dean. “Dean…

No.” Dean growls, and suddenly grasps Castiel closer in defiance as well as experimentation, the shove of their waists brought again and this time the angel’s reaction was less restrained, pulling a shuddered grunt and causing the angel to lean against Dean.

Dean’s mouth hung open, eyes searching the angels face with further hooded consideration and purely primal thoughts before suddenly the hand grasping the back of Castiel’s trench coat was on the back of his neck, and Dean’s lips meshed suddenly and deeply with Castiel’s. Dean driven by determination and Castiel taken aback, there was only a moment of frozen lip contact before it was a hungry back and forth, Dean grasping Castiel tighter and the angel beginning to do the same.

But he tore his lips away with a gasp, pulling away from Dean despite the man’s hold on him. “D-Dean.” The name was a defiant growl from the angel, as he shoved and pulled way, tearing from Dean then, only for the hunter to come at him again before he could even get more than a step away.

Dean grasped Castiel’s collar, pulling him close and taking the angel’s lips intensely, in a way he never really thought he had with any other. It felt as if he was saying much with the movement of his lips, but he wasn’t sure what all it was. The only thing he was sure of, was it was keeping Castiel here, for the moment. It was throwing him off, distracting him.

It does a good job, until Castiel pulls from him again, this time taking Dean by his jacket collar and throwing him to the ground, considering putting up a fight with Dean or taking the moment to run, but Dean only rolled onto his knees and hand, marching back at Castiel, who met him, grasping the hunter by his chin and jaw to prevent his actions.

He shook his head, anger and confliction in those blue eyes that seem to burn in contrast to the lifelessness of this land. “No…Dean… Enough…” he warned him, though his tone was shaky.

Dean just grasping his forearm, staring Castiel down. “You’re going to have to make me stop, Cas…if that’s what you really want…” Dean told him, yanking his head away from Castiel’s hold, and suddenly sending a punch to the angels gut.

Castiel leaned forward faintly, just enough that Dean got a hold on him again, pulling the angel to him, holding him, only for Castiel to shove him, sending a smack across the hunters face, marching at him as the hunter put his arms up to prepare to throw punches if need be.

Do you want to die here?!” the angel questioned. “Can you honestly tell me, that you’d be willing to let it all END here, for a lost cause!?” He shoved Dean then, the human catching his arm and pulling close until he grasped either side of the angels face.

Eyes wild and intent, he kept his hold as Castiel grasped his jacket sleeves. “Can you honestly tell me, that you don’t want to stay?” he questioned, and Castiel’s grip stayed, but his pulling stalled for a moment. With that chance, Dean yanked and they rolled down onto the ground, Castiel’s back slamming down and Dean falling on top of him, hands on the angel’s shoulders as he straddled him to the ground.

Dean.” Castiel voice was a warning as he huffed, hands moving to Dean’s hips, preparing to shove him off.

The man lowered over him, hovering, looking the angel over with a gaze he never had before and it took Castiel off guard, making him far more aware of their position as Dean was considering him, with a primal longing…he could feel the longing, could feel it growing as much as he could see it in Dean eyes. And it was every meaning of the word longing….physical, mental, emotional. He needed Castiel, he wanted him, and he had to have him. As his eyes settled on Castiel, he could see, he was set in his determination.

The angel was about to speak warning again, but Dean curled over him, lips moving to Castiel’s ear as the curl of Dean’s body caused his hips to roll closely against the angels. Dropping his head back, Castiel heard Dean’s voice in his ear, rough and knowing.

You can’t tell me that you don’t want this…want me, Cas…” He said, lips moving to Castiel jaw, nipping greedily there.

Swallowing, one hand pushing Dean’s hip and the other gripping the side of his jacket, Castiel shuddered and said, “You’re right…I c-can’t say… Because I do, Dean…but I care more about your SAFETY than INTIMACY—uhgnn.

Dean didn’t give him the courtesy of listening intently. Instead, he sucked upon Castiel’s neck as he gave another movement of his hips, slow and lingering. His lips moved back to below Castiel’s ear. “Fuck. That. Cas, I want you.” He moved again, causing his self to moan, burying his face in Castiel’s neck briefly before continuing. “I want you…to stay. Cas, I need you. I need you to stay.

Castiel’s eyes shut, brows knitted, one hand kneading into Dean’s hip, wanting to shove him off and run, but it was becoming increasingly harder to do so.

Come on, Cas…” Dean coaxed in his ear, hand falling to the angel’s white-clad thigh as the leg was raised behind him. “Say you want this…” he coaxed and urged, lips moving from his neck to his slightly exposed shoulder, giving a bite and a kiss, causing the angel to moan.

Dean…” this time it was a moan of his name, the angels hold on Dean’s jacket pulling him closer.

The water splashed in the background close by, but neither of them really registered it, attention wrapped around each other. “Cas, say you want to stay.

I want to, Dean, but I—

No.” Dean denied him, his voice almost sounded weak as his lips connected with Castiel again, their movement slower than before, and intense in other ways. He lay his forehead on Castiel’s, speaking as he pulled his lips away, Castiel’s following briefly before the angel stopped and shut his eyes, swallowing. “We’ll be alright, Cas. Be better than alright…” one of his hands on Castiel’s shoulder ran down the angel’s chest and torso, down under that hospital shirt, slipping under and running nails over the tight muscle and flesh. “I’ll make sure we’re alright, I’ll—angel, I’ll make you feel so good, if you just stay.

Castiel shook his head, huffing, giving one last attempt to move Dean off, who half pushed against him, grasping him, and yet half allowed the push. The look on Dean’s face was torn, and Castiel could feel in his touch and in his longing that the hunter was clinging to him with all he was and all he could.

He stopped all together. He shoved Dean off, only to roll on top of him. The hunter was surprised, but only put on alert by the act, raising himself up as Castiel leaned down to meet his lips, Dean’s legs still around Castiel’s thighs, though one slipped between those legs as his hand grasped the back of Castiel’s neck.

Dean groaned in satisfaction of it all, simply feeling and realizing Castiel had given in and knowing he wasn’t leaving, and perhaps in satisfaction of what was to come, as it had been long overdue and long overly confined.

 

With a painful sensation, like a rope around your brain pulling so suddenly and leaving you with horrible whiplash, Castiel found himself torn from the dim forest edge and tossed back into the brightly lit room, wincing from the brightness as well as other things, feeling the pain throughout him, radiating in his cranium for the moment.

Huffing, he looked around, his mind aching and feeling fuzzy as he looked to the woman. He remembered her faintly, but the memories he knew he just felt and had gone through seemed to becoming less and less. No, they already were. He couldn’t…entirely remember the memories he just went through. What had just happened!?

“W-what did you do to me!?”

The woman walked around him where he was strapped, a look of disgust on her face. “I cleaned filth from you. At least what I can with the tools I’m provided. Don’t get excited, we’re not finished yet.”

“I can’t…can’t remember. Why can’t—”

“I erased those memories, Castiel. You have no need of them, and they muck up an already tainted reputation. If you are to repent for your sins, you will…as the humans see it, be new-baptized. About time, too. Last time, I didn’t have so much to fix in you.” It was obvious from her tone, she held distaste, disgust, disappointment, and perhaps pure hatred for the angel.

Struggling against his restraints, Castiel grunted and fought, wanting to be free despite knowing it was all-but futile. “Let me GO! Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done to me in the past, I won’t let you continue!”

“You are only free to pay for your sins, Castiel!” she spat at him. “That’s what you wanted! And that’s what you’re here for!”

“What sin did I not already pay for in purgatory!?”

“DEAN WINCHESTER. He is your greatest sin, and I WILL wipe you CLEAN of him!”

Chapter Text

"Huh. Man, that's crap. You always have a choice. You can either roll over and die or you can keep fightin'. No matter what." - Dean Winchester

 

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“N-no..!! Leave me alone!” Castiel growled out in fear and defiance, the whizzing so near, and with the sound of clenching teeth from the woman, he heard the angelic screech of power coming from this other angel—this angel who left him feeling an ominous dread from just attempting to figure her out or remember her, much less from her acts.

And she wasn’t stopping. No matter how he struggled, or defied her, or screamed. Not even when he tried to close off the memories she was going for, and he tried. He tried his hardest to throw up walls, and lock away the experience she was trying to destroy from him mind. He locked it, and clung to it, wrapping it up. But with a buzzing screech, she tore through. He could feel the piercing through the front of his head, his jaw aching as his screamed.

“NO!!!”

 

Nnn-nnn, Dean.” Castiel moaned a warning, but it was futile. There was nothing stopping them now. Not the worry for Benny back at the camp, nor the threat of monsters around them in every crevice of the trees, nor Castiel’s endless desire to get away to keep Dean safe. Nothing was tearing either of them away from this, not now.

Dean had risen from his previously topped position, shoving Castiel who found his back colliding against a small boulder, which Dean kept him against as he moved into the angel. His knees slipped under Castiel’s thighs, making the angel straddle him as his hands flew to grasp the angels jawline, bringing his mouth to Dean’s where he positively ravished Castiel’s lips.

Dean grasped his jaw, his lips moving deep and hungry with a renewed desire, one he hadn’t had chance to experience here in Purgatory and one that he was realizing, with each passing second, had been far too confined for far too long. Moaning at the pure thought of what he had planned, nothing was going to stop him, he wanted it too much. He needed it. And Castiel wasn’t stopping him. No, Castiel was shaking and moaning into the actions by the time Dean finished the assault on his lips. Dean sucked on Castiel’s upper lip, before biting and pulling on both and pulling back, catching the angels gaze.

Castiel just watched Dean, and the hunter saw the same look, the same desire and lustful need growing in the divine being below him as he leaned over and upon him. There was a look of hesitance, though. Castiel, with his inexperience, was feeling flooded with needs and wants and intentions of actions he had no idea if they were right. Pent up. That’s what the angel was feeling.

Dean suddenly tore off his leather jacket and button shirt, tossing them to the dirt and taking Castiel’s hands and planting them on his chest and his hip, to give the angel a start as he did the same, leaning down over Castiel and burying his face into Castiel’s neck and shoulder, sucking and biting, moving his hips then with a moan into Castiel’s flesh.

Shuddering, Castiel’s hands grasped Dean’s hip, nails scrapping into the shirt as they ran around his back and clawing back around through the tattered and dirty cloth. Castiel moved his legs, one resting against Dean’s leg as the other moved to situate himself better against Dean and it ended up wounding around the man’s hip as he felt one of Dean’s hands gliding under his shirt. Dean’s fingers pressed into his flesh, into the muscle of his stomach, his side, and up over his chest, only for his nails to rake back down and Castiel rose into the touch. In doing so, he felt the other hand that was over his stomach and gliding down, until it slipped into the white pants and cupped him.

Castiel bucked his hips in reaction, eyes wide and on Dean, who watched him with a cheeky grin and lidded gaze. Dean rubbed him, slow and close, and Castiel dropped his head back with a groan, his own hand grasping at Dean’s shirt, pulling at the collar, pushing the bottom up before just wrapping a hand around the man’s back.

I said I’m gonna make you feel so good….” Dean repeated to him as he leaned down to kiss and bite at Castiel’s chest, causing his breath to hitch. Dean’s hand wrapped around the angel through the boxers, rubbing and giving a tug that pulled a surprising and gratifying moan from Castiel. “..and I’m gonna. Still haven’t had a chance for cloud-seeding, right?

Castiel almost glared at how amusedly Dean asked that, but his eyes rolled as he felt the warmth of Dean’s tongue between his chest, running up and up, reaching his throat and not stopping there. The man’s tongue ran a long trail up his throat, over his Adam’s apple which he left a hickey on, leaving the flesh warm and wet with a nice little pop. Pink lips sucked and kissed up to Castiel’s chin, and the angel couldn’t take it anymore as he leaned down to catch Dean’s lips. He moved against him, with his lips and his body, sucking the hunter’s lush lower lip with a few deep breaths through his nose.

Dean huffed, taking back Castiel’s lips and biting his upper lip as he cupped Castiel again, his fingers shamelessly knowing just where to play, how to grasp and tug, though he released Castiel who moaned a sigh that was either of relief or disappointment. It didn’t last long, as Dean’s fingers rose to the waist band of the underwear and started slipping under.

Castiel was ever more alert then; his breath caught and he grasped Dean’s hand, stopping him as he suddenly shoved his chest against Dean’s. The hunter was surprised, until he realized the angel was removing his trench coat, tossing it back across the boulder. He grasped at his shirt and all but tore it off over his head, leaving his torso bare and putting the firm and defined muscle on full display, as it was usually so covered in the suit-armor of his. Dean admired it for a moment, until Castiel’s hand were on him, tugging at his own shirt, and he helped, their hands impatient and fumbling until it caught around his shoulders and Castiel yanked it the rest of the way for Dean.

Stop playing.” Castiel growled, reaching to grasp around Dean’s back with both hands, a hand on his lower back and the other grasping the shoulder blade as the angel moved against Dean. “I’m going to be sorely pissed if any of the abominations here even ATTEMPT to interrupt this before it gets started. So get started.” He admitted, leaned to kiss faintly, then nip harshly at Dean’s jaw, down the side of the man’s neck, to his shoulder blade. His hands were grasping, urging Dean’s bare upper form, in all its warrior-strengthened glory, against him—Castiel wanted Dean’s warmth, every part of him he could feel or experience. Too many wandering thoughts, and too much restraint preventing those thoughts from becoming experiences before. It ended here. Or perhaps, more, it began here.

Dean, of course, complied, tugging at Castiel’s pants as he reached to take the angels lips against, roughly, sucking quite hard once he finally tugged the pants to at least hang off one leg, Castiel assisting by adjusting and raised his legs to allow the removal of one leg of the pants. Dean suddenly took Castiel’s arms, locking them behind him, around the boulder as he lay into Cas, lips assaulting Castiel’s skin, despite the angels obvious want for Dean’s lips on his. He bit, he sucked, and he licked at the dirt and sweat covered flesh, and some of the cleaner spots that had been sheltered by clothing, like over Castiel’s nipple.

Dean…!” Castiel groaned and it was a strange mix of irritation, warning, and pleasure.

Dean ran his mouth fleetingly back up the angel’s chest and neck, lips hovering until they were face to face again, and his lips inches from Castiel’s, the angel inched forward needily, glaring when Dean didn’t comply. Dean, holding back a smirk, eyed Castiel’s lips before catching his gaze. “…Ssssshhhh….we gotta stay quiet out here, don’t we…?” he warned.

Castiel shuddered, head dropping back slightly, waiting, and Dean finally complied. He gave of his lips, but he didn’t stop there. No, with Castiel practically half curled back over the boulder, Dean rose slightly on his knees, settling their waists in perfect position as he suddenly ground his hips slowly into Castiel. He felt the breath Castiel took, felt the breath sucked from himself through their connected lips from Castiel’s intake before the angel moaned out in such beautifully erotic nature, his hips bucking after Dean’s when his hips pulled away.

Dean was just locking his fingers with Castiel’s as he gave a few more slow grinds into Castiel, slower each time, which seemed to drive him crazy. It was a bit torturous for Dean, but he was enjoying the torturous nature to Castiel too much for the moment. It didn’t last, of course. Huffing, Castiel tore his hands from Dean’s then, his hands finding Dean’s chest, and pawing it briefly, Castiel shoved Dean back into the soaked dirt by the water.

Leaning off the rock as Dean moved up to his elbows and then up, Castiel took that moment and rolled his shoulders. Dean could barely notice, at least really truly understand what the act brought of course and he stalled, having sat up by now. Behind Castiel, and extending around their area between Dean and the boulder behind Castiel, it was as if everything beyond them was becoming hazy, a blurred wall around them, sprouting from behind Castiel. What he didn’t realize, was Castiel was extending his wings in one of their partially tangible forms to wrap and protect them. Then reach of his wings and the length of his feathers provided both a blurred shielding act—blurring sight, and sound to a degree, as well as offering guard; if any beast were to advance on them, they would be deterred well enough and long enough for Castiel to act. He wasn’t allowing this moment to be interrupted, to have their moment or them be threatened here. It was already a ridiculous risk to be out here, exposed, doing THIS. But they were past the point of no return, even now.

Castiel crawled the space between him and Dean, Dean moving to meet him. One hand took Castiel’s jaw and lips took lips as the angel wrapped his hold around Dean’s torso once more, and Dean’s other hand wrapped around the back of Cas as well. Castiel’s hands ran over the now damp and slightly muddied back as Dean’s hand on Castiel’s back ran swiftly to grasp the angel’s thigh, progressing Castiel position of straddling back to where it was before. His nails racked up and down his mostly exposed leg, running up to catch Castiel’s waist band, slipping his fingers around it to the back and pulling it straight down off his rear to begin pulling under Castiel’s legs.

The angel stalled for a moment, a hitch in his breath from Dean’s progressing actions. It occurred to Dean, not only may this have been the angels first time being this bare and exposed in this vessel (as much as it was just a vessel, it had still become him to a degree), but all of this was a first, being so bare WITH someone, and in such an open place.

Dean watched Castiel, and just as Cas was about to adjust the allow Dean’s actions, he kissed his chin and up to his lips, the kiss somewhat softer and different than it had been. It was slow, and Dean turned his head to deepen it, and Castiel was briefly lost in the comfort of it until he felt the shiver across his skin as Dean glided the underwear the rest of the way off, as much as he could until Castiel adjusted to allow it completely removed.

The ground was left more and more littered with their clothing as Castiel was completely bare. He shuddered, and it seemed different than the thrilled shudders thus far. Dean, lips catching here and there, couldn’t help noticing a slight discomfort that the angel was trying to bury. And he was trying VERY hard to bury it, as he racked his fingers down Dean’s back, his lips sucking upon the hunters shoulder. Dean, with an almost (but not really) annoyed grunt, grasped Castiel and pushed him off slightly.

Castiel’s brows furrowed, eyes seemed glazed with his desire despite the confusion on his face.

Coat.” Dean said plainly, and when Castiel looked even more confused, Dean nodded towards the abandoned trench coat. Castiel glanced back to it, then to Dean, who nodded again, somewhat indicatively, and Castiel gave a raise of his hand, the coat sliding to him slowly but surely until it made it into his hand. Dean took it from Castiel’s hand and proceeded to put it back on Castiel, wrapping it around him and letting him slip his arms back in.

Dean, what are…

Nothing and no one else needs to see you.” He stated shortly, and as Castiel watched him with brief consideration, Dean took the moment to start shedding the rest of his own clothes. He had little to no shame anymore, at least here, so he couldn’t give much of a fuck about what would be watching and what they’d see of him. He wasn’t going to have Castiel exposed, though, if it threw him off. Plus, as he thought about it, he preferred it with Castiel only exposed to him. First time in a while that he really, REALLY desired a bedroom for its privacy and not its comfort and safety.

Pants removed and tossed among the other clothes, Dean was just starting on his boxers when Castiel’s hands joined his, pulling and yanking, the coats sleeve grazing Dean’s member sending a surprising shiver through the hunter. He eyed Castiel, and stopped the removal of his underwear once they were just below his knees, as he was very much consumed with impatience then.

He pulled Castiel close by the trench coat, finding it strangely comforting when the coat grazed over his knees. He didn’t think about that long, though, as Castiel returned to his straddling position and it left them both briefly moaning as his hips rolled in the act against Dean’s. Erect members rubbed unintentionally, until Dean’s arms wrapped around the back of the trench coat, grasping at it and shoving Castiel against him as he thrust against him.

Hnnn..!” the angel all-but growled, head dropping, thrusting back, hands running up Dean’s arms that held him, one arm grasping Dean’s shoulder as he thrust again, bringing a moan. His fingers clawed down Dean’s chest and around to his back where he continued to grasped and claw as Dean was picking up a bucking and thrusting rhythm. His right hand rest on Dean’s left shoulder though, before it wrapped around his shoulders to his back and he leaned to graze Dean’s lips, resting his face against the side of Dean’s, moaning into the man’s ear.

Ugghnn…D-Dean….” He muttered, huffing, and he felt Dean moving. He thrust against Cas again, causing Cas’ head to drop as Dean reached a hand to rub into the angels chest, reaching up his throat, grasping around it briefly and Castiel stay there, arched back slightly with Dean grasping his throat, arm around his back, thrusting against him. Dean felt Castiel’s moaned vibrate against his throat.

Dean…” his growl sounding more demanding now. “Get…to it…please…” the word would sound like a plea, if it were not rasped out so demandingly.

Dean’s hand around Castiel’s throat moved to his lips, fingers playing with the plump and chapped flesh, before slipping his fingers into Cas’ mouth. Dean moved to bite and suck on Castiel’s jaw, muttering into his ear, “Suck’em.

Castiel began doing as Dean said, focused on that before he huffed around Dean’s fingers, a jolt shooting through his stomach and body and all his heat rushing down as he felt Dean’s other hand wrap around his twitching member. His hold on Dean tightened, moving his hips into the touch as he sucked hard on Dean’s fingers, soon catching on to the reason why as Dean’s fingers faintly swirled and spread in his mouth, and he lapped his tongue around those fingers. He moaned around them as Dean’s hand faintly tightened, then lightened, fingers grazing the shaft before grasping and when he began pumping, Castiel removed his mouth from Dean’s fingers, moving his hips into Dean’s hand.

Dean released Castiel and shoved him on his back, only to move over him again, keeping the angels legs around his waist as his slick fingers fell between Castiel’s legs and slipped slowly into his entrance at first, Dean giving a slow pump of his member as he slipped them in. Castiel writhed and gasped upon the ground, trying to keep conscious of his wings, which had shook and wavered, but he kept them around himself and Dean as protectively as he could manage. The whole experience WAS distracting to his concentration, but he still handled it well enough. As well as he could, with Dean’s slow and tight pumping, and his fingers moving in and out of him slowly.

You feeling good, angel…?” Dean asked with a particular tug of Castiel’s member. The hunter curled over him and kissing and sucking at the skin of his side and his chest, lips making their way to his nipple he’d neglected earlier, sucking upon it before catching it in his teeth carefully, tugging.

Hahh…yehhsss…” Castiel gasped a moan, hands digging into Dean’s shoulder blades, one hand moving to grasp his neck, run through Dean’s dirtied and matted hair, grasping the strands when Dean nipped at his chest.

Dean finger’s played and pushed, slowly and carefully for now. First, it was just his slick fingers, in and out, Castiel’s chest rising and falling with each push, shuddering now and again when Dean’s hold on his member sent the tingling flames through his stomach. But then Dean started spreading his fingers, curling them now and again, and Castiel winced and groaned, writhing again.

Dean was focused on almost every reaction, his want and need growing every time the angel writhed and moaned, and holding back was getting harder and harder. He pushed a bit deeper, spreading his fingers, and Castiel yelled in surprise.

Shhhhhh.” Dean scolded, and Castiel’s fist went to his mouth, biting against it as he tried to contain himself. “Still good…?” he asked. As strong as their needs were, this wasn’t something to be forced any more than what they both needed, and there was no way he was going to do anything Castiel didn’t want. Dean wanted to keep him with him, not push him away. He wanted Castiel to want to stay, to have no more reason as to why he should leave, as they were all stupid and pointless in his opinion.

Castiel hesitated to answers, eyes shut tight. But he took a shuddering breath, and with a buck of his hips and a moan, he nodded an answer. He removed his hand and huffed, “Yes… Stop..being carefulnnn, just…do it… I can feel your want…your longing… Just fuck me already.” Castiel stated, though not exactly angrily, there was impatience. One couldn’t blame him, though. Not only did he feel his OWN longings, he felt Dean’s, even if in a different way. And Dean wasn’t getting near as much attention as he was giving, and he knew the man wouldn’t last much longer.

But his last demand was etched with just enough need and plea that Dean’s restraint began crumbling. His fingers quickened inside him, pushing, spreading, curling, leaving Castiel gasping from mix of pain and pleasure, writhing a bit with his head curled back in the dirt. Dean’s hand left Castiel’s cock, replacing the hand with his mouth as his lips gave attention to the head, Dean’s hand reaching down to begin pumping himself. He moaned, it vibrating around Castiel’s head, leaving the angel with a shudder. He rubbed his knee against Dean’s shoulder, trying not to move his hips against Dean’s mouth, though his hand in Dean’s hair couldn’t resist a few tugs and pushes as the angel bit his lip.

Dean huffed and moaned around Castiel’s tip as he got himself ready, curling and pushing his fingers deeper inside Castiel, the angel moving his fist to his mouth again and keeping it there as Dean’s fingers slipped out. The hand and arm wrapped around the Cas’ leg that had rubbed against him, leaving the leg resting just shy of his shoulder as he gave a dip of his head, mouth, taking in the full tip of Castiel’s cock and sucking it. Castiel moaned into his hand before Dean’s mouth left with a pop, and his lips sucking and kissed up the angel’s stomach and chest, higher and higher until he was at his chest.

There, he rested his forehead, huffing hot breath upon Castiel’s skin. Castiel ran his hands through Dean’s hair, and over the man’s back, as Dean positioned himself. Settling himself at Castiel’s entrance, Dean pumping himself a few more times, huffing until he moved the head of his cock to rest against Cas. The angel tensed, as did he, in anticipation. Dean’s breath hitched, not even moving yet, and he felt Castiel’s grasping touch soften briefly as it ran down his back. It felt like him saying it was alright, until he felt Castiel fingers dig into his lower back, and he groaned, taking that as an urging of action and he took it. Moving finally, he slipped in carefully to start, shuddering from the warmth already.

Cas….” He huffed, looking to him. Castiel’s lips were swollen and red from bites, but he watched him expectantly, giving a slow nod, eyes hooded with want. He leaned up to take those swollen lips again, and move his hips slowly against Castiel. Castiel rose into him, Dean feeling the weight of the leg his arm was hooked under before it lessened. Moving his hips back, they moved forward again, just a bit deeper. He sucked on Castiel lip, feeling Castiel fingers tightened in his hair as he moved deeper. He moaned, pulling out and moving deeper again. Castiel writhed from the feeling, and he saw the wince. The hunter’s hand fell between them again, fingers wrapping, rubbing, and twisting as he began pumping in a delayed rhythm to his own hips, though the rhythm of his hand slowed at times. Like when Castiel moaned loudly into his throat, where he was left to bury his mouth as his hands were grasping hold.

Soon, Dean’s pace had picked up, and he was grinding Castiel into the ground, the angel gasping and moaning into his skin when Dean wasn’t taking his lips, trying to silence his own moans, even growls as he moved deeper. This was everything the hunter had imagined and more, the angel strong yet writhing under him, clinging possessively, so tight and warm. His lips were more delicious than Dean could have thought. Castiel was just trying not to be overwhelmed by it all, every second and inch of it new, thrilling, and intoxicating. The pain mingled with the pleasure, and the need and want seemed to heighten with each particularly perfect thrust or pump. Castiel had never felt his vessel, his body, feel so alive with feeling and pleasure, it was like every inch of him was reacting and reaching for Dean, as if it wanted to meld with him. It burned, it twisted and popped like fireworks. Rolling his eyes back, Castiel thrust onto Dean.

Hah, fuck..!” Castiel yelled out, muttering Enochian under his breath, and that just made Dean shudder and thrust deeper as he wrapped his arms suddenly under Castiel. He raised the angel off his back, and settled him into Dean’s lap as the hunter moved to sit on his knees. He gasped a moan as Castiel settled, his cock sliding deeper than before, and he grasped Castiel to him, reaching to catching Castiel’s lip between his teeth as he thrust up into him with greedy need.

Hah…ah…f-fuck, Dean, ah..!

Ssshhnnnn, Cas…huh…” Dean warned, but wasn’t really abiding by the warning anyways. His hand returned to Castiel’s cock, pumping him to the same rhythm as he thrust into him.

Fuh….huh…ah…Dean.” Castiel gasped and moaned, head rolling when his lips weren’t trying to find Dean’s or some part of his skin he could reach that he hadn’t given attention to before.

Fuckin’ you so good…you won’tnnnn,n-ever want to leave again… Ha..! Cas, ssshit!” Dean moaned, grasping Castiel tighter, pulling from Castiel restrained Enochian utterances that sounded strangely and erotically like profanity of some sort. Castiel curled his head out of sight from Dean’s words, grasping the back of his neck as he kissed and sucked upon Dean’s shoulder.

Dean’s thrusts were becoming erratic as the seconds drew on, and he drew closer, his hand around Cas becoming sloppy. Castiel noticed, he could feel it, and he thrust down on him with every movement away, riding Dean. Huffing and biting into Dean’s shoulder, he basked in every gasp, every curse, every moan that he could feel in Dean’s chest against his. He could feel himself growing closer, too, and the feeling of it was both thrilling and terrifying. He could feel it building, twisting in him more and more, and his eyes shut as he moved down on Dean, and into the man’s hand.

Dean had reduced into huffs and grunts as he grasped onto Castiel, hand neglecting Castiel for the moment, but the angel didn’t entirely mind. Hissing and moaning, he rode him out, thrusting down on him, rolling his neck back as he felt Dean’s lips on his neck. Dean moaned his name upon his skin, groaned it. Castiel thought he heard an order, or perhaps a plea, of ‘stay’ as well. Whether Dean uttered it or not, Castiel chose to ignore it, as well as the ache it caused in his chest could allow as he thrust down harder upon Dean, unable to contain the guttural noise that tore through his throat, and the mix of pain and pleasure from the act left him immobile on Dean, the man riding it out the rest of the way, holding tight to Castiel, almost there. He could feel it.

And Dean was fumbling to bring Castiel off him, but Castiel just held tight and didn’t allow it. Curled over Dean, he started again to moved his hips onto Dean as Dean moved into him, and they just held to one another as Dean moaned louder, and huffed harder for breath, a shuddering gasp finally over taking him as a double thrust from him and Cas finally pushed him over the edge and Castiel felt the hot warmth fill him, feeling is slick inside and slowly dripping out. Dean’s mouth was slack, forehead upon Castiel’s chest before the angel cupped his face in his hands, raising Dean’s head so he could see his face.

And it brought back the ache. The knitting of Dean’s brows, the utter euphoria and adoration in his eyes, his mouth slack and breath being gasped in and out…it hurt to keep watching, it hurt how it turned Castiel stomach further, and wrapped his chest in something both warm and constricting. He shut his eyes and took Dean’s lips, letting them part only enough for Dean to catch breath as the hunter rode out the rest of his orgasm.

Still inside Cas, though, Dean’s hips slowed to a stop and his hand took Castiel once again. He was soon back to the original rhythm with his hand, and he parted lips from Castiel, seeming determined to watch him as his eyes never left Castiel’s face and his lips barely reacted to Cas’. His other hand reached to fondle the angel as the other twisted and pumped.

….Feel so good…” Dean breathed the promise, giving a brief and light kiss to Castiel’s lips as the angel, moaned and gasped. He thumbed his finger around Castiel’s tip, over the slit, which left Castiel shuddering. His fingers drummed and caressed over Castiel’s shaft before wrapping again and starting a slow rhythm that picked up, faster and faster, and Dean could tell from his breath, Castiel was nearly there. He didn’t let up, pumping faster and tighter as he gave little twists now and again.

He watched with satisfaction as Castiel was curling forward more and more, his stomach pulled in and he almost seemed to be holding his breath, or had simply just stopped breathing much. He was right there, and Dean moved his forehead to Castiel’s, nudging the angel and raising his head enough to see his face. Dean’s hand quickened, leaving only the noise of his breath, Castiel’s little spurts of release of breath, and the slick noise of his pumping until, he suddenly slowed, his hand moving so slow.

Castiel almost physically ached as his body gave a jerked twitch from the change of pace, and he gasped out loudly, “Dea-! Huh…Dean..!” until Dean returned to the previous pace and his whole body seemed to jolt as he finally came between them, body falling slack into Dean as Dean just caught the eyes-tight-shut face of pleasure of the angel. He pumped until Castiel was finished, before wrapping his arms around him, holding Castiel as he gasped and moaned and shuddered.

Dean faintly noticed the haze around them fell, and was thankful to notice no creatures or monsters around them. He wrapped one arm around Castiel’s back, his touch running up and down soothingly. The other hand moved to Castiel’s jaw, bringing him to look at him.

They watched one another for a time, Castiel with a wrecked look of both bliss and weariness that Dean simply equated to just being that they’d just had a good fuck. And as Dean watched him, a pleased grin spread across his lips before he took Castiel lips again, soft and deep, and above all, loving.

 

The whip-lash was less of a whip, this time. More so, it felt like being dragged back against all resistance. But soon enough, Castiel was back in the white room, quivering both from the pain in his head, and the experience of the memories he’d just gone through. He could feel a wetness streaked down his cheek, and he looked around the room wearily, almost confusedly. “Where…” his voice was hoarse, like a croak, “…where am I…?”

Naomi had backed off for the moment, her back to Castiel as she seemed to be cleaning or tending to her tool. She shuddered and rolled her shoulders, and looked back to Castiel with disdain.

Brows knitting, he tried to piece together what he was feeling, what he remembered, once again, of his surroundings. Her…she wasn’t good, she was taking something from him, SHE was hurting him. But what did she take? He couldn’t remember. All he knew was that his body felt like it held an endless shiver and his chest ached with the loss of whatever she had taken.

“What are you doing to me?” he asked, voice sounding so small with the question.

She shook her head, a disgust in her very body language, but the look on her face was all but saying, ‘You poor, screwed up thing’. “Shh, Castiel. We’re getting there…not just yet, though…”

“Stop it. What you’re doing…it’s wrong—” he spoke, the beginning sounding like begging, before he pulled strength into his voice again as best he could.

“I’m getting rid of the wrong. Now enough.” She shut him down, and moved in once more, quicker than before, less hesitance in her hand as it and the tool surged forward and Castiel closed his eyes again.

 

A brief wash in the water they’d fucked by, and the hunter and the angel dressed once more and headed back to the camp area. Castiel was a bit slow in the tread back. Sure, being an angel, he could handle pain better than humans, but that didn’t change the off step in his walk, and Dean just kept his pace, keeping close by him, even running a hand over the angels back now and again when not smiling faintly or goofily to himself.

When they returned, Dean and Benny exchanged a look, a nod, and there was no need for words. Benny settled down to rest as Castiel found his tree again and lay against it, his position far more lax and spread out than it had been before. Dean kept watch, and he would catch Castiel looking to him now and again, to which he would smile at him.

Dean could smile, in a place like this. It was remarkable, to Castiel, and as he knew the reason why he could smile, it both warmed him and burned him. The reason he smiled now, the angel knew, was because of him. He was forcing himself not to think of what they’d just experienced, but it worked its way into his thoughts anyways. Castiel had never felt that before, had never thought he would, and now that he had, he wanted to both cling to it and toss it away. Being with Dean, like that…it had been one of the single greatest experiences of his, but he knew…despite what Dean thought now, he’d have to leave. He still had to leave. Even more reason now than simply under-the-surface emotions for Dean, Dean had now torn them out of the ground Castiel had buried them underneath, and he just COULDN’T risk Dean’s life. He couldn’t, not for acts like that, not for the closeness no matter how he craved it.

He knew what he had to do. Wanting to avoid any further pain to Dean than what leaving before would have caused…Castiel would wipe Dean’s memory of what had transpired. He just needed the chance.

And so he waited for it. They didn’t trust Castiel before, nor now, to keep watch, so eventually Dean opted out sooner than he professed he would. His reason was just a not so subtle explanation, saying he just suddenly felt really tired, that he must have worked himself out over the past few days with their last few fights more than he’d thought he had.

Benny didn’t argue much, though, and took his watch once again. Dean, again none-too-subtle, found a nice comfy patch of dirt right next to Cas, removing his jacket to use it as a pillow only a few inches from Castiel’s hip. Castiel was sure he’d caught a glance and a smirk from Benny, and a shake of his head, but he didn’t address it. He didn’t care for the vampires opinion about the two of them.

When an hour drew on, and Dean’s snores began, Castiel’s gaze fell to the hunter and they did not leave for some time. He was thinking over what he was going to do. He knew he had to do it, he just found himself somewhat reluctant.

Dean shifted, shivering briefly where he lay. Without much thought, Castiel began removing his trench coat, and he draped it over Dean like a blanket. It stopped the shivering, and Castiel returned to watching him with consideration.

Dean could use Castiel’s help. Dean wanted it. Dean wanted him. He needed him. He would be hurt, angry, perhaps even abandoned with Castiel gone. Castiel knew this…but every time he thought of the possible alternative (staying with Dean every step of the way, more and more leviathan’s catching up until they’re overrun), he knew it didn’t matter. He’d rather Dean hurt and find his way out, than to die here where he did not belong. No matter how well he thrived here, Dean didn’t belong here.

Leaning over Dean then as he had rolled to face Castiel, the angel put his fore and middle finger together, and brought it down towards Dean’s head.

An’ just what’re you doing there, hot wings?

Castiel stopped, his gaze shooting to Benny who he found was watching him. He almost glared the vampire down…an audience to this action, somehow, made it harder to do, but he was still determined. He considered ignoring him and just continuing, though the vampire may just wake Dean before he could even erase it all…

You deaf, angel?

No, I am not deaf.

Then I ask again, just what’d’you think you’re doin’?

Castiel looked Benny in the eyes in silence for a few seconds, before resigning to answering. “…Erasing memories of what transpired earlier…when we had…left camp…

Benny raised a brow, crossing his arms and facing Castiel completely from where he stood. “…Well, damn, man…

What?” Castiel asked impatiently, annoyed by the tone.

Well, I mean…I know you’re divine and everythin’, but from what I could hear….that shit didn’t really SOUND as if it were THAT bad.

Castiel rolled his eyes at what Benny was getting at, his hand lowering, and his gaze falling to Dean and then away as Benny went on.

Kinda low to toss away the whole experience just because you weren’t satisfied.

Ignoring the fact that Benny had even heard them, Castiel shook his head and then glared at Benny. Defensiveness in his somewhat strained voice, he said, “This has nothing to do with my satisfaction.

Then what does it have to do with?” Benny raised a brow.

Castiel swallowed. “…Protection.

Narrowing his eyes, Benny considered that answer, long enough for a minute to pass with just the two of them watching one another, before he spoke up again. “…Whatever the reason…Dean’o don’t seem like the type to…well, the give of himself like that…to go hunting someone down like he did with you, fa’nothin’. If you ask me, it seems harsh and cruel to be making choices like that for him.

Well, I didn’t ask you.” Castiel told him, and Benny threw up his hands defensively. Castiel considered him longer. Either Benny would stop him now, or he might inform Dean later, or simply conspire against Castiel’s intentions if he didn’t change the vampire’s mind. And then it came to him. “You want out of this place, don’t you?

Benny was silent, but eventually nodded.

It would be hard to get out without your ride, wouldn’t it? And if I stay with Dean….you know this, you’ve said it yourself; we won’t make it out of here. I’m a beacon. My presence may very well be your downfall.

Benny took in the words and sighed, shaking his head. He watched Castiel a moment longer, with judgment, but he turned away, and Castiel took that as him resigning to allow what Castiel was doing.

Castiel returned to Dean, watching him for a moment, and considering his actions for a last time. But he felt he had no choice. Placing his fingers to Dean’s head, he surged his power into Dean’s mind, to his memories, and he took away each and every second, up until when Dean lay on the ground, before Castiel had left and he’d went after him. All of it, completely wiped from Dean’s memories within seconds. He removed his hand, finding his throat was strangely dry as he lay back against the tree.

Castiel, in his silence, became very aware of the fact that Dean would never remember that experience, while he would remember it until his end, however soon or far off that may be. Something inside him, despite the ache in his chest and the twist in his stomach, told him this was right; that this was how it was supposed to be. Castiel may never recover or move on from what he has gone through with Dean, and perhaps he wasn’t meant to. But Dean could. Because he should. He should return home, live a life again, whether it be a better one or continuing what had become his life’s work. Dean was meant to be out there making a difference.

Castiel, however, was not. No, Castiel’s place was here, righting his wrongs, and fighting like the angel he was. No longer a joke, a broken useless tool, a failure of a friend, nothing.

It was better this way.

Dean would be better without him.

Chapter Text

 

"I'm not good luck, Dean." - Castiel

"Yeah, well, you know what? Bottom of the ninth, and you're the only guy left on the bench? Sorry, but I'd rather have you. Cursed or not. And any way, nut up, alright? We're all cursed. Do I seem like good luck to you?" - Dean Winchester

 

#

 

“Dean, they’re coming.” Castiel warned, and there was an underlying tone of ‘I told you so’, which Dean promptly ignored.

Yeah, well, we’re ready.” The man readied his weapon, mind already running through the initial attack tactics before he’d go for the decapitation. He heard the faint hiss of Benny’s fangs barring, and he glanced to the angel at his left as the vampire, angel, and human made a three part formation. As long as they stayed together, they could handle this.

He heard it ahead, the rushing sound of something free falling. He made his stance, legs parted, weapon ready, fist clenched as the black oozing mass made impact to his left, and he twirled his weapon, giving the leviathan a smirk as the black ooze finished solidifying into a form finally, taking the look of a greying by tough looking son of a bitch in a suit. He glared at Dean, but his gaze fell on the angel and he began to advance as Dean heard a crash behind him and Benny growling.

Soon, the fighting started. He heard Benny throwing punches behind him as he went after the Leviathan going for Castiel. The Levi paid him no attention until the last moment, as it had been so near to reaching Castiel before Dean took a carve at its arm and then it proceeded to backhand him across the ground.

Dean quickly stood, taking up his weapon that thankfully hadn’t fallen far, and he saw the Levi coming at him now, and slicing across its face, he went for a punch to the gut and a kick to the ground. As the Leviathan began to stand, baring its ugly, wide-mouth snarl, Castiel gripped it’s head and Dean took a slice, beheading the beast in one clean, sure move. As its head fell, Dean saw it. Benny just taking down the other Leviathan, the head rolling and his mouth blackened, but his attention was ahead just like Dean’s.

There was a decent group of monsters in the distance, all seeming determined and gathered. They all seem intent on the three of them.

Oh, that’s just peachy.” Dean grumbled, gathering back in formation with the other two.

I never was good with parties.” Benny responded simply, like an explanation, as he stretched his fingers, then clinched them into fists.

Castiel just stared on, looking just tired but determined at the thought of fighting this dozen or more monsters, though his attention did flit to and fro now and again before the growls and yells and roars of the monsters ahead began to sound, and the three of them began marching their way forth, ready to slay each and every beast that lay a hand or claw on them.

The vampires came for Benny, mostly; Dean wasn’t sure if that was out of judgment, principal, or stupidity, but no matter—the vampire had it handled, Dean could trust him to—after how he’d helped Cas in one of their last run ins, how could he not? At least more than he’d been trusting him thus far, anyways. The guy may be a monster, but so was everything else here, in some way. Benny was definitely better than the freaks coming their way now.

The werewolves came straight at Dean, and though he lacked the traditional weapons to put them down, purgatory did allow some useful differences; you cut up a beast enough, and you kill them, or at least impede them for a time. And he was ready for the sons of bitches.

Wendigo, ghouls, and few others made their way for Castiel, and the angel was prepared, even without a weapon. Dean had seen enough to know the angel could still smite a good deal, even if it wasn’t as powerful as on earth, and didn’t always work so awesomely on heavier hitters like the Levi’s.

No matter, of course. Soon the woods were filled with the screams and roars and hisses of beasts and the tearing and pounding of flesh, the cries of fallen beasts as they were taken down. Castiel smote the Wendigo after a few punches were thrown, favoring his smiting more often. Dean and Benny found themselves trading beasts now and again, due to the monsters changing targets, and the two of them worked together to get rid of the claws and fangs together, turning to Castiel only to find ghouls running straight for them.

Dean carved through them as fast as he could, as they heard the impending crash of about three more leviathans, and he felt his heart pounding. With a near growl, he tore down his ghoul and watched as the Leviathan’s paid them no head, and were tailing the retreating angel.

Hey!!” he growled and raced after them, Benny calling after him only to follow, despite how much it pissed him off as this was just losing them time and travel on their trek to that escape hatch.

The Leviathan were fast, in their rage and determination. But so was Dean Winchester, who had practically become Purgatory’s monster in the shadows. He was closing in sooner than they’d like, the Leviathan sure he’d be at one of their throats soon. They were all willing to sacrifice themselves, anyone one of them, so the others could get Castiel, though. They were prepared.

At least they thought they were, as in their race after the running angel, they took notice that they no longer had a hunter on their tail. They were just nearing the break in the trees, and Castiel had turned to go deeper in, a very drastic turn that, had they anticipated it, could have cut them some distance and won them their angel, but he was quick.

And the Winchester happened to be so, too, in that moment. He hadn’t stop chasing them, no, he’d made the turn just in time to catch up with Castiel. Castiel spotted his jacket through the trees, and veered, cursing, but Dean was already too close, and soon Dean and Benny were hand to hand with the Leviathan’s.

It took only a few quick and fierce tackles, punches and slices before together, Benny and Dean had taken down and beheaded one Leviathan, and Benny tore the next one’s head off with his teeth. The vampire spit the black muck from his mouth and turned on the last Levi, but Dean already had it shoved against a tree, his blade pierced through the scrawny male Leviathan’s shoulder just right, curving with the handle angling up so that it pierced him to the tree in a way where he couldn’t attempt to shove through and off the blade.

The Levi struggled, but to no avail and Dean just smirked, even laughed.

Well…what are you waiting for, Winchester?” he growled, staring Dean down with disgust. “Kill me.

Dean laughed a bit more, but then just smiled and came right in the creature’s face, shoving his other shoulder against the tree with one hand, the other hand assuring the blade would not budge. “I dunno…I’m feeling a little chatty…how about you?

The Levi stared him down, laughed and just shook his head, muttering, “This is pointless.” as Dean beckoned Benny over, and the vampire obliged.

Mind keeping an eye out for me while me and shark-tooth here talk?” he asked without looking at him.

Benny nodded. “Can do, Dean’o.

I mean…really keep an eye out.” Dean said, with more of a suggestion in his tone, and he side-glanced Benny to get his point across.

Benny watched him a moment. Obviously, he got the point, and he wasn’t happy with it. He glanced to Castiel who was glancing around; for what reason, he couldn’t tell. “You know…this IS Purgatory…baby-sitting just doesn’t seem to fit with the atmosphere, y’know?

That was the vampire’s only complaint, but he still wandered his way back over near the angel where Castiel stood away from the Leviathan, and he kept his eye out, for anymore monster ambushes as well as eyes on the angel fidgeting at his side as Dean started in on the Leviathan.

So, where’s the fam, huh? They waiting on us somewhere, or are they regrouping to try and finally get the jump on us?” Dean asked, moving away only to take up Benny’s weapon that had been dropped, coming back over to the Levi, looking at the weapon as if thoughts were running through his mind about just what he could do with it.

Probably sharing war stories about being inside your angels melon; it’s a train-wreck up there, did you know that? All shining lights, stupid references, and ‘how did I fail this time’, I swear it was a self-righteous, holy pity party in there.” The Levi told him, and laughed, shaking his head, only to be back-handed by the hunter in front of him. That just made him laugh more as Dean put the blades of Benny’s weapon to his throat, and got in close with that classic Dean-Threat-Face they’d all come to both hate, humor, and fear.

Benny leaned against one of the tree’s, drawing his eyes away from the hunter to land on Castiel, seeing the angel eyes flitting upward, and he followed his gaze.

What’cha looking for?” he asked.

More.” Castiel stated shortly, but it was explanation enough.

Well, those nasties only seem to come out of the woodwork in small numbers or in groups like they did this time. They just chose bigger groups this time around.” Benny began, about to suggest that maybe they would be regrouping like he faintly heard Dean ask, but Castiel didn’t let him finish.

They chose a distraction for you and Dean, and a way to split us up. And it worked.” Castiel informed him.

Well, not for long.” Benny pointed out.

It doesn’t matter. It seems like they’re trying anything and everything now.” Castiel rubbed his mouth, rubbing over the ‘peach fuzz’ in a way almost reminiscent of how Benny noticed Dean would rub around his own mouth, though the hunter usually did it in the middle of arguing or making a point or in his frustration. Castiel seemed to do it as an act of his distress. “They’re getting craftier. Sooner or later, they’ll either get me, or worse, they’ll—”

You know, for some ‘holy being’, you seem to have the worst time trying to see the ‘brighter sides’ of things.” Benny assessed, and looked to the angel to see him glaring at him.

Believe me… I have good reason.

Sure you do.” The vampire responded. Castiel couldn’t assess if that was belief or sarcasm in his tone. “But, if ya ask me, and of course ya didn’t,” he added the last part as if he knew Castiel would point that out, “being in a place and situation like this…and havin’ a friend like Dean is to you, or whatever he is to you,” Benny ignored the more intense glare that earned him from Castiel, mainly because it almost put fear in the vampire (it made him wonder if it were possible for an angel to smite something just by staring hard enough), “I’d think that should give you some sort of damn hope, or at least spark a fight in ya.

Castiel didn’t say anything, for some time. More so because he felt a strong attempt to be in denial of the fact that certain recent events nearly had left him with a spark, but he snuffed it out as best he could. His eyes wandered, to Dean where he scrapped up the laughing yet pained Levaithan and they seemed to be taunting one another back and forth.

He looked back to Benny. “WHY do you CARE?

Benny gave him a look, but Castiel kept going.

You are a blood-drinking, blood-draining creature, allying with a human for the sole need to be free of this war-zone.” The angel stepped closer, and Benny really got the chance to experience what Dean had humorously told him was the angels problem with personal space. “All your concern should be on is keeping that human safe, so he can pull you out. For your own sake, you should stop wasting your breath and efforts lecturing me.

Yeah, you’re probably right,” Benny began to agree, but her rolled his shoulders in a show of annoyance, folding his arms and standing his ground against the angel. He was making sure his tone was low, though, with their talk. No point in distracting Dean’s work. “’Cept that guy over there,” he pointed to Dean, “ain’t gonna walk the line unless you’re walkin’ with him so, I have my reasons for caring about this whole messed up situation you got going on; erasing a man’s memory after he just gave ya something I suspect you’ve NEVER had,” Castiel’s nostrils flared and he turned away, as Benny’s tone was stabbing, “and then you tear it away from him because you’re too scared to stick with him, to stay by his side regardless, because you’re too hopeless to do anything but RUN-

Castiel’s glare was back on Benny, and the vampire did drop his arms almost defensively, moving a step back. Castiel’s mouth twitched before he finally spoke. “If you think that my power has been drawing them in before, then just imagine what are stronger-willed energy would do. Or me choosing to exert power to make my point clear right here and now—all you are, is a beast who doesn’t want to be a beast, and you want out and BELIEVE ME,” there was almost a growl in his voice, “your chances to be free will be long gone, so I suggest you stop lying to yourself about actually caring for Dean’s emotional and mental stability beyond him being healthy enough to give you your way out…much less you actually caring about the angel he’s intent on keeping around. You’re not willing to risk your freedom for me, so I suggest you stop trying to deter me.

Benny stared at him for a time, before just laughing and shaking his head. He folded his arms again, turning away from the angel and returning his gaze to watching about for anything or anyone that may be a threat. He did put in one last comment, before silence fell between them. “Damn, Heaven must be more Hell than I thought…or you must’ve really been through it… Cause that’s some twisted concept of how to handle emotions and survival, buddy. Wouldn’t take angel’s for being cruel with their own emotions, if they had any.”

You call them all off, jackass, or I WILL destroy you ALL.” Dean warned the Leviathan, practically promised, and the Levi only laughed it off, even with the scars across his chest, cutting through the suit he’d been adorned in, scars across his arms and face. “You think I’m playing?!

I think you’re a joke!! We’ll never stop coming, and that worthless scrap from Heaven WILL MEET his END!!

There was the sound of the blades of Benny’s weapons slicing and then piercing into the tree, and then the thud of the Leviathan’s head as it hit the ground. Dean stared in anger and faint satisfaction, but it didn’t last as he heard a sigh behind him.

Hey, Chief?

Dean dropped his head back, and turned to look to find Benny standing with his arm crossed, seeming very relaxed. And very alone. He nodded in the direction just east of where’d they’d been traveling before the ambush, and Dean glared.

You didn’t stop him!?

Hey,” Benny raised his hands up, “You’re the one with profound immunity from smiting, I’m not. He won’t get far if you get your tail moving. I’ll meet you two back on the trail?

Dean shook his head and sighed, but that was enough of a yes even so as he tossed Benny his weapon and began his race after the escaping angel.

And the angel really could have gotten further away. He could have zapped at least a decent distance, enough that perhaps it would take them more of a day to find him, and then maybe that day could leave Dean to feel hurt or angered enough to give it up. But Castiel couldn’t trust that to happen. He couldn’t trust anything, not even himself as hoped Dean would give up while he simultaneously hoped he never would.

He kept running.

 

Cas. What the hell, man?

 

He was…running?

 

Sam’s been calling, why won’t you pick up?

 

He was confused. Castiel, he remembered, he’d been running, but now he found himself feeling almost nonexistent, though he knew better. Feeling as if he were floating, or perhaps more free falling, the lifeless woods gave way to the blur of blinding white, and a gray form before him, and the howling wind and hissing creatures gave way to the whizzing of a machine. His head ached.

It’s bad enough you can’t freakin’ give me a straight answer on how you got out, I don’t…I don’t need this to get bad again. I don’t need you getting bad again, so get your ass in gear and ANSWER ME!

With a gasp at the familiar sound of that echoing voice and the ache in his head, Castiel’s eyes shot open. He felt something warm trickling from the corner of his eye, and its sting was strange. He swore red was staining the corner of his vision.

Blood trickling from the corner of his eyes, Castiel looked around, feeling that familiar act as his blurred vision began to clear. He realized his cheeks feel strange, streaks of something having marked them, what he didn’t realize yet must have been tears.

Damn it, Cas, please…I don’t need you bad, I need you alright. Just tell me you’re alright.

“Dean…” Castiel moaned out, vision finally clearing and he was met with the judgmental stare of the woman he was finally consistently realizing was the one who brought him here. Her name escaped him, he couldn’t even remember if she’d given it, he just knew she was hurting him, but she was an angel and believed it was needed. That he was tainted. And he just wanted to escape.

Dean was praying to him. He needed him. He was scared he was going bad again, WHY must she hold him back? He wanted to do everything to keep Dean from fearing that happening again.

“Your human is safe, Castiel, settle down.” She informed him.

“He…he needs… I need to answer him. Let me GO. Enough of this!” he felt that defiance again, and struggled, but he feared it was only a spark of energy that would die out soon. He felt so worn and weak and wounded, yet he could feel no outward wounds. Whatever she was doing, what memories she was taking…their absence hurt. He tried to remember what she’d taken, but he couldn’t. He could barely remember the last moment, and he wondered if that was due to Dean’s prayers interrupting her focus inside his mind. He’d been running through Purgatory….his memories in Purgatory; that was what she was after.

He remembered her mentioning memories, he knew, she was getting inside him, but he wanted to tear this place apart in his panic and rage. Because for all he thought he knew, or that he vaguely did or remembered, there was so much missing and all of his instincts pointed to her being the cause, and he hated this. He was so helpless, so useless, and he felt damn-near broken.

“Please…”

“Stop it, Castiel.” She sighed and shook her head. “You were a SOLDIER, and an angel of the Lord. Can you at least try not to disgrace yourself further?”

“You’re torturing me…!” he accused.

She just shook her head again. “You don’t understand my work, Castiel. You never did; so few of you ever did.”

Cas…?

It was so desperate this time, Castiel felt an ache in his chest and he shut his eyes, huffing Dean’s name as if he wished he could will it to be possible for him to pray back and be heard by the human.

Not looking to the angel strapped down, Naomi walked around the chair Castiel was strapped to, pacing around it slowly. “For all your failings, and for all the damage it has caused being as you are, Castiel, I cannot deny the profound effect you’ve had on the Winchester’s, especially Dean.” Castiel wondered why she was even wasting time talking, and from her tone, he suspected she was trying to calm herself.

But he huffed, almost hissed as she used that word, profound; his chest ached as it sounded so wrong from her mouth. He fidgeted as best he could, which wasn’t much. But he tried twisting his arms and wrists in their restraints, but he couldn’t move much at all. The best he could do was turn his wrist, or if he were willing, break his wrist. It was a thought, but a desperate one that he felt was very human.

“It’s very unbelievable… You see, because even though you took the memories from Dean Winchester, of your…intimacies together, he still acts like a scorned lover towards you, even now.” She remarked, side-glancing Castiel who just glared at her, his lips in an angry pout as he breathed through his nose. She went on, hands falling into her pockets as she paced. “Your effect is more than either of you seem to have expected or realized or wanted. It would have been so much easier, had it not come of your interactions.” She sighed. “It does leave me curious how your interactions may go, now that I’ve taken your memories of your time with him as well.”

He remembered. At least twice being with Dean, as conflicting as it was because his memories of such had blank spots themselves, from what he assumed she’d already taken. He wanted to remember, but he feared he couldn’t and so he wanted to cling to what he had left. He struggled again, though it was futile. “Stop this!! You CAN’T take that from me!!”

“Yes, I can.”

“I WON’T lose those memories!!” he snapped, voice breaking.

“Why would you want to keep them?” she asked then, stopping at his side and looking down at him, unable to understand it seemed from the furrow of her brows. “The pain it would cause you to keep them, as in the nature of remembering it, it can only ever be one-sided thanks to your choices. Dean may never know what transpired ever again.”

Castiel shut his eyes, taking a breath that felt painful on the intake, his chest aching, cold from the breath.

“Why would you want to keep that?”

“Because they are MINE.” His voice broke with both defiance and plea. “And you can’t take them. They are my burden to bear.”

She continued walking after making a face, and he saw her fingers curl as her arms were folded behind her. “Did you ever consider…the influence Purgatory had upon your human? Perhaps the man’s primal need for intimacy, never sated over that year, was what truly drove Dean for sex with you. It stands to reason, as he hasn’t taken the step again since your return to Earth. Perhaps that’s all it ever was, and Purgatory’s heightening influence led him to settle with you?”

The suggestion was like a stab into his stomach that twisted the more and more she suggested it, but he still shook his head, at least all he could shake of it, with it still strapped down. Huffing, he growled, “You….shut your MOUTH…you…BITCH!!”

That was enough. Her face twitched with rage, and she took the tool up once more, and Castiel only had a moment to take a breath before she pierced back into what was not hers.

 

There was a break in the trees, a great few clumped together, and he thought it best to pass through those, as they lead on to harder treks, more confined, and perhaps less obvious ones. At least he had hoped. But the damned trench-coat decided to get itself stuck in a stray piece of bark and its trunk, and if it were not for it being the only thing left of Castiel’s former ‘armor suit’, and the fact that it could have been lost if not for the hunter now calling his name, he would have torn out of it.

But he didn’t. And just as he got free, Dean was leaping through the trees and cutting him off, rage in his face.

What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Dean demanded to know right off the bat.

Castiel started pushing past him, trying not to take notice of how the human kept his pace as he walked and answered. “I don’t think that really requires an answer at this point, does it?

Well, you pick a helluva time, Cas—we just get ambushed, and a particularly well-planned ambush at that, and the moment we’re in the clear, you decide to book it?!

Castiel didn’t waste time responding, he just picked up his pace, which Dean continued to match until, as before, he grasped Castiel’s arm and yanked him to turn. Castiel shoved against the yank and continued though, holding on to his determination. He had to remind himself, the Leviathan were getting angrier, more desperate, and more determined themselves to seek Castiel out. They were lucky they’d handled those beasts AND the Levi’s, lucky there weren’t more of the ancient monsters. Who knew what would come next? The Levi’s could hold off, for days, and come in masses, and they wouldn’t be able to fight them off.

Dean could die. Would die. Castiel couldn’t let Dean die here, not fighting for his life, not dirty and bloody and alone. If Dean were to die, he was to die an old life, or that of a hunter, going down fighting the good fight, fighting for those innocents who deserved it, with his brother at his side.

God DAMN it, Cas, stop!” Dean demanded. “I mean, I expected this to come—no one agrees so quickly after running and ignoring their best friend like you did.

Castiel actually stopped at that, looking as if he almost tripped before he continued his former pace. He just ignored how that sounded much like one of his statements from last time he tried to run.

That is, if you even think of me as your friend.

Castiel turned then, stopping completely, and he found the look on Dean’s face. He KNEW those words would cause this reaction, but Castiel still fell for it. “You ARE my friend, Dean. How could you suggest…?” but he didn’t bother finishing the question.

You should have thought better of me, man. Should have really admitted to yourself that you can’t get away that easy.” Dean stated, taking a few more steps.

Castiel took a step back. “I still have the power to escape you, Dean. My transporting is not non-existent here.

Don’t I know it. I still remember you zapping off and leaving me in the dark with those monsters after Dick.” He stated, his tone somehow both nonchalant and accusing at the same time. And then he faintly smirked. “And yet you’re not using that nifty power right now, are you?

Castiel could. So easily. Just a single thought, a choice of distance, and assessment of his surroundings.

My guess is, you’re losing your fight with yourself. It’s getting harder and harder to tell yourself to leave because…you don’t actually WANT to leave.” Dean offered, and Castiel turned away and began walking again, Dean coming after him still.

The man grasped the angels arm again, but this time Castiel shoved him off, to the ground, and he sprinted off, heart racing. He couldn’t let this happen again. He couldn’t fall again, he had to end this, didn’t he?

All he heard, for a time, was the billowing of his trench-coat behind him and his foot falls—not even the sound of Dean calling him, or extra footsteps. Castiel let himself hope for a moment, before he heard a hiss ahead of him. He stopped short, finding a vampire coming straight for him. He didn’t back down, closing the space and catching it by its forehead before it could even get a hold upon him. With a burning light, and the smell and sight of burning flesh, he smote the vampire and dropped it to the ground.

He started to continue on, only to find himself suddenly rammed into a collection of rocks he’d been passing. With a grunt, he shoved at whatever it was, but the hold to his coat and neck told him who before he could hope against it being him.

Dean was only staking his hold upon the angel once more so far, and Castiel’s chest ached at the déjà vu. He struggled, shaking and shoving Dean urgently, fearing the same efforts and how he might react this time.

Cas. Cas!” Dean spoke urgently as if to get his attention, get him to focus on him, yet there was a plea. “Cas…” It was softer, a gruff attempt at soothing as Castiel shoved again, muttering for him to let go. “Cas, it’s okay… It’s okay!

No!” Castiel argued. “Dean, it’s NOT okay!” he denied, voice wavering, and he stared pointedly at Dean. “How can you even say that, in a place like this..?!

Because as long as I’m fighting, and I have the people I care about at my side, I will MAKE it okay!

Or you’ll die!” Castiel stated, both reluctant and yet determined to make that point known, and in his eyes one could see that was his fear. “Why can’t you understand… I CANNOT stand for that, Dean! I will not allow you to die here… You deserve to be home, I want you to be home and to be happy, not HERE.

Hey.” He started firmly to interrupt and get Castiel’s attention out of the whirling emotional flurry it was in, but he spoke softer. “Hey… We’ll get there, I promise…” he said, taking Castiel’s face in his hands suddenly, both his hands cupping the angel’s cheek or jaw. Dean observed his own actions for a moment, as if surprised by how simple and easy it felt to do so, before returning to his point as he moved closer (which did nothing to help the angel, who almost wanted to shut his eyes and ignore it because he knew what would come soon if he let himself dwell on the feeling of Dean’s presence, and he could almost silently accuse Dean of that being his intent if he didn’t remember he’d wiped Dean’s memory of the knowledge that would have him know that could be a weapon). “We’ll both get home, I promise.

Castiel shook his head in Dean’s hands, almost laughed but kept his lips tight as he shoved at Dean as he said, “I don’t HAVE a home, Dean…not anymore…” And yet, even with the intent behind the shove, and the urge to do it again, Castiel had found his hands grasping at Dean’s jacket instead of just letting him go after the shove.

Dean surely noticed, and acted upon it, moving closer again and taking Castiel’s face firmly in his grasp, trapping Castiel with his body and briefly assessing how Castiel avoided his gaze, how he fidgeted as if he wanted to get away, and yet still didn’t try hard enough…as if he didn’t want to run as much as he tried to show he did. Dean wasn’t a fool. Sometimes it might take him a time to catch up on some things, but others, he had a honed sense of. This, in this moment, he understood well, and he was taking the chance it was giving him, completely unaware mentally of how he’d done it before.

He leaned forward, and his lips just barely there, he saw Castiel’s eyes fall shut tight without him moving or turning away, and he spoke against those chapped lips with confidence and reassurance. “…You DO, have a home, Castiel…

Castiel whimpered when Dean’s lips made contact with his own again, and his body was already alight with anticipation. He hated it. He hated that he loved it, he hated that he wanted it, he hated how human this man had made him, to make him want this and crave it and need it, so much so that it blinded him or distracted him from what was truly important. Dean’s safety, his survival, his happiness, and Castiel’s repentance for all his failings was what was important, and yet the soft warmth against his lips was intoxicating and blinding him.

He can’t help, can’t control how his lips begin to move, move with knowledge of those lips. He can’t help but find satisfaction and sadness at how it surprises Dean, how much he knows about how to move with the man’s lips. He can’t help but want to welcome the hand reaching around his neck to the hairs at the nape of it.

It isn’t until Dean parted his lips briefly for a breath, and a small satisfied smile and chuckle, that Castiel got a moment to recover himself. He couldn’t allow this to happen, not again. Shaking his head, he inwardly cursed himself for even ALLOWING Dean’s lips, knowing it would only encourage the man, and even himself.

Cas…?” Dean questioned faintly, and Castiel’s hold on his jacket became more of a grip and he shook and shoved Dean, who was taken off guard by the sudden change but kept close. “Cas, come on…please…

Damn you, Dean..!” Castiel muttered, hitting and shoving Dean’s chest out of frustration, though not with his full strength, and Dean catches Castiel’s hand, grasping it and Castiel heard a shhh’ing. “Why can’t…why can’t you just….just understand..!

I do understand..!” Dean muttered so urgently, yet in such a whisper, it made Castiel feel as if it were just them here, amongst the rocks and the trees. Dean’s had his hands on Castiel’s face again, and Castiel grasped one hand, the other going to Dean’s neck in a faint grasp to push him off. Each hold he had on Dean, Castiel could so easily use against the man. The hold on his neck could choke him, the grasp on his wrist could snap it. But he didn’t. “Cas, I understand, fucking believe me..!

No, you don’t.” Castiel’s voice was thick. “Or you would leave me be, you would let me go.

YES, I DO. I understand risking your life, giving of it, to keep someone you care about alive! Don’t TELL me I don’t understand that!” Dean shook Castiel against the rocks, bringing the angel’s attention fully to him. The anger, the emotion in his eyes was evident, the green seeming to burn against the dirt and grime marring his skin. Castiel couldn’t even say a thing against it—he had seen, and repaired the damage caused by Dean’s ‘experiences’ of sacrificing himself to save someone else. “I know what that’s like, and I also know how it feels…what it looks like…what it FEELS like,” his voice shook when he spoke of feeling, “…to not want to go on without….without that person at your side. Cas, I’ve felt it too much, damn it! I’ve had to know…what it felt like to go on without my mother, without my father, without so many of my friends and people I considered family, and then my BROTHER before…before you brought him back to me…” his thumb faintly caressed Castiel’s cheek. He looked the angel over, and his shining eyes lingered on Castiel’s, brows furrowed. “…DON’T…make me experience being without you. Not again, Cas…I can’t…I can’t take it. And neither can you.

Castiel had an intake of breath at that, and he shook his head, pushing at Dean, almost getting them off the rocks, but then Dean’s lips were on his again, and Castiel felt a wetness on his face, or Dean’s, or perhaps both, and the warmth and movement of Dean’s lips weakened the effort in his arms. He found his back colliding with the rock once more. The hand on Dean’s wrist fell to his upper arm, grasping where a familiar mark lay underneath, and Dean wrapped that arm to grasp the back of the trench-coat, as if he were trying to get every hold he could of Castiel now, wrapping himself against and around him. The grasp on Dean’s neck tightened in a faint, last threat. But Dean pushed against it, as if daring Castiel, and the angels grip wavered and instead his fingers found themselves in Dean’s hair, grasping it.

He’d been a warrior, a soldier before; he’d suffered so many wounds and yet still found the strength to fight on and on for endless hours, days even. But Dean Winchester gave of himself so purely and achingly, and the angel could only muster enough strength to keep standing and holding on.

Castiel…where are you..you son of a bitch…

Dean Winchester was Castiel’s redemption, it almost felt like.

And yet all he’d been before, all he’d known before the man had shown him what feeling was like, what right and wrong truly was in the world…everything before was trying to tell him, that Dean Winchester was his punishment. In every way imaginable. And that’s what Castiel feared most.

Chapter Text

 

"We're making it up as we go." - Castiel

 

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Naomi’s work on Castiel left the angel in an aching limbo in his mind. Castiel, thus far, had found that he could faintly pull away from the process of her work, said process like reliving all she took while losing it. But any time he pulled away, the whizzing sounded in his ears and he found himself pulled back to the memories. That is, when he even tried to pull away, or found himself pulled away, like when he’d heard Dean’s prayers.

But floating in that limbo was lonely, and painful, and he preferred the burning emotions of his memories to the nothingness and the fear and sense of a threat that he felt in the limbo.

So the angel delved into raging emotions of his memories and the raw nature of the world around him as he was remembering the touch of Dean, the sound and smell of the world around them, and all the feelings and emotions twisting up inside him.

 

 

It shouldn’t be this good, Castiel knew, but it was. The warmth of Dean’s body and touch, the strength and presence of him, their bodies moving and fumbling and lips claiming in a confusing but needy manner.

Dean’s hold on the angel was sure, even if it ran along the angel’s body at an unsure pace. Castiel was still faintly stubborn and stalled his own hands in their fidgety need to touch Dean. He just kept them in place, one at Dean’s neck and the other on his arm as he felt Dean grasp his hip, pulling Castiel against him in such a way that Castiel moved his hips in reaction after the initial pull, eliciting a shaky breath from himself and a pleased grunted moan from Dean.

Dean’s hands wandering a bit more, though his lips stayed mostly to Castiel’s, if not, they did not stray far. As his lips trailed Castiel’s cheek, jaw, and neck, his hands mirrored one another as they ran down the angels sides, just running down and faintly digging into the fabric and skin before gliding back up, bringing the scrub shirt briefly up before it fell back.

Castiel was expecting the clawing, the grasping, the intense need that they’d had last time and did his best not to show his expectation (lest he hint at what he had made sure Dean would not remember). But it didn’t matter. Dean’s hands were slower, and though some touches were still somewhat strong, they were more explorative than before, and it caught Castiel off guard. The angel had been preparing, hoping that, since he couldn’t stop this, he could at least handle it and endure it to where it would not deter him later as he feared a second time so intimate would. He’d experienced it once, he thought he knew what to expect. There was no way he could prepare for how Dean’s lips met his collar bone, kissing into the muscle and protruding flesh with such appreciation. There was no way to prepare how one hand fell around his hip, fingers spread wide and running across and feeling the small of his back, massaging up his spine and pushing him more into the man. He could barely prepare for the hand gliding up his side, his chest, grazing his nipple before grasping his throat as he once had. Castiel bit his lips, trying not to think of last time, how Dean had held his throat with the angel moving his hips against the man’s. There was no helping it, though, as at the memory, Castiel’s hips gave a slight jerk and he tried to contain himself.

Dean just smiled against the angel’s neck before kissing there as the hand on his throat fell down to Castiel’s hip and slid down his thigh, cupping behind his knee and raising the angels leg enough that he could really settle his waist against Castiel’s. In doing so, he settled heavily against Castiel, feeling the angels growing erection as the angel felt his own. He moved and rolled his hips against Cas’ minimally, acutely, but enough to eventually make Castiel shudder.

Finally, Castiel’s hands could not stay still, and they found their places, one grasping on to Dean’s back under his jacket as the other wandered over the man’s shirt and up to his jaw possessively, bringing Dean’s lips back to his own. Dean was eager to comply, and pleasantly surprised by Castiel’s own eagerness. Castiel’s lips moved with need, and a rough aggravation that was quickly dying out to make way for the intense want returning to his body. Every inch of him was coming alive again, and it almost made him wonder how he kept on going in this destitute place when he realized he NEVER felt this alive, this full of energy and need and purpose and want and REASON, unless he was with Dean, and this close with Dean. He had to judge if sex was really this influential on beings, but he knew deep down, it wasn’t the sex (sex was no absolute language of affection, it never was, it was just a flavor, and to some, an intoxicating one); it wasn’t the physical need and gratification, it was the emotional gratification and unspoken recognition had here with Dean that gave him this.

He would curse him for that, too. Once this was over, and Dean no longer remembered, and in ways Dean would never hear, he would curse him. And he would forgive him.

Dean faintly and attentively sucked on Castiel’s lip, only to find that encouraged the angel to return the act, giving a nip of his lush lower lip that pulled a pleased moan from the man. He moved his hips against Castiel again, slow and close, causing the angel to tear his lips away and moan.

Dean took that moment, taking a few breaths and watching the angel, looking over their state and getting a better hold to keep it. “Cas… You need to know… You need to understand that I need you… HOW I need you…

I-I know, Dean.” Castiel stated before he could stop himself. But how could he help it? What words or actions would Dean use to paint the picture for him, and what crippling damage would that do to the angel? He had to stop him from doing that, didn’t he? But how could he?

No, Cas…” Dean shook his head and sighed, laying his forehead to the angels and Castiel shut his eyes, faintly nuzzling the man’s face as Dean went on. “This…this is more…I need you to know there’s more.” Dean sighed, and groaned at his own inability to articulate what he wanted to express, and for a moment he distracted himself with Castiel’s warm exposed neck and the noises he elicited from the angel as he kissed open-mouthed upon it, sucking and nipping until his lips reached Castiel’s jaw.

He took a shaky breath in, and let it out as he spoke. “Let me show you how much more there is. You stay, you come with me, and I can show you.

Castiel was silent. How many promises could he make, not knowing if he’d keep them? Or worse, how could he make them without knowing how those words might bind him and prevent him from breaking them? Castiel never thought he’d have to fathom whether it was worse to keep a promise or break it, but here it was. He turned his head away, avoiding looking at Dean.

….Or am I just fooling myself…?” Dean asked, and Castiel could hear that doubt, and the more Dean spoke it, the more it provoked Castiel’s self-learned need to ease it. Dean actually started to faintly pull away. “Are you…is this not real? Am I just fooling myself to think…” he shook his head, laughing a self-deprecating laugh as he removed himself more and more from Castiel. The angel could so easily escape now. As the words kept falling from Dean’s mouth, Castiel knew what he could do with this doubt, and the chance it could give him. “…to think an angel would actually… No. It’s the humanity of me, not me, right…? It’s just…humanity. That’s what it is, that’s all it’s ever been. Wow…

Dean had completely removed himself, stepping back and turning his back on Castiel. The angel could run and leave the man to wallow, wallow further with his absence. It would be so easy.

Dean ran a hand over his mouth, shaking his head. “Why I actually let myself think someone could actual want that with… Aha ha…man, I’m an IDIOT, I… And you’re a freakin’ ANGEL, why would you even—

Castiel reached his right hand to grasp Dean’s left shoulder, turning him around, and Dean looked so small in his doubt and so old in his anger.

Castiel could break him just enough to let the angel go, to return home, to his usual ways with women and with the life, the hunt, his brother, and eventually, he’d recover. It would be so easy. Except it couldn’t be. Not when too much of Castiel needed Dean to know the truth.

But Castiel couldn’t put it into words. It would be a promise that HE could not recover from, much less Dean, if he would even be left with reason or memory to recover from. Castiel grasped Dean’s jacket and yanked him forward, turning and the man collided into the rock where Castiel had been. And then Castiel was on him as Dean had been. Reminiscent almost of the time when Dean had tried to give over to his Yes to Michael, when Castiel had found him and beat into him his disappointment. Except Castiel didn’t express his emotions with his fists now, he did it with his touch and his lips and his presence.

He wound his arms around Dean’s back, under and over his jacket and his touch possessive, yet turning soft the longer that touch lingered.  The hand clutching at the cloth of Dean’s shirt slid underneath and massaged into his lower back and his hip, running up the man’s side. His hands followed a secret path across Dean’s torso as he slipped the shirt only half off him, bringing the front to hook behind Dean’s head to leave his chest exposed. The path followed across Dean’s stomach and chest, even his shoulders faintly, one hand falling along Dean’s leg, which caused the man who had been utterly watching in confused and vulnerable awe to groan and bite his lip. Dean didn’t understand the path, that Castiel was reminding himself of the damage that had been repaired, the effort he’d put into this man. The attention to detail, the intimate knowledge he’d had to witness and gain.

Castiel’s brows furrowed, and he buried his emotions in a kiss as his lips met Dean’s again, the man having been reaching needily for it.

Cas,” Dean sighed against Castiel’s lips, and Castiel tried not to shudder at how it sounded like praise.

He sucked upon each of Dean’s lips, moving to kiss at the corner of Dean’s mouth. Dean sighed and took Castiel’s lips directly again, moving his hands to grasp the angels hips, pulling him to him and they both moaned at the collision. But Dean’s lips were gone again, forehead resting and Castiel worried what would pass the man’s lips this time.

C-Cas, I need to know,” Dean began, his voice wavering, and Castiel reacted without thought, answering before Dean could plead any more clearly.

Humanity is a mission; a purpose to be protected. Who do you think made me realize what made it so important? So beautiful? So worthy?” Castiel stated in his usual gruff tone, but there was a softness in his point, a softness he hoped against the ache in his chest that Dean would understand spoke of him. “Who do you think is the greatest, purest source for how I love humanity?

Cas..” his voice is so thick as he says the angels name, and Castiel claims his lips again, slow, deep, and loving, bringing a hand to Dean’s jaw to cradle it.

Dean seemed to begin melting into the action, as if his body had been stiff against the rock, but now he settle more against it, body slumping and pulling Castiel more against him until he turned them, planting Castiel back against the rock as he moved his hips slow but excitedly, hand slipping down to the angels hip once again. That hand traveled between them as Dean’s waist stopped in its movements and Castiel’s followed only to find Dean’s grasp cupping him between his thighs and his body was alight with surprise and excited expectation. Dean didn’t waste time in his touch, rubbing, cupping Castiel in a way that made his knees almost week.

Dean..” he’d huffed.

I’m gonna make you feel good, Cas…” the man promises against his lips. And suddenly, it’s only Dean’s lips upon him, chest just inches from resting on his. Castiel almost wanted to see where his hands had gone to but found his answer in the sound of Dean’s zipper, the shuffling noise of his pants, the slide and snap of what Castiel could imagine was Dean’s underwear.

And then his touch was back, setting Castiel’s skin on fire as his fingertips slid under the scrub shirt, up his abdomen, then back down, falling to the curves of his hip bones, before his thumbs slipped into the band of both Castiel’s pants and his underwear and began pushing both down Castiel’s rear and thighs, just low enough that as he felt Dean’s warm exposed chest rest against his still covered one, it was like their body’s met in a wave, chest to chest then stomach to stomach, until he felt Dean’s hardened membered resting against his own, causing it to twitch and him to moan.

Castiel rolled his head back, feeling Dean’s lips on his neck, moving his hips against Castiel and moaning into the angels neck as Castiel gasped a moan into the air. Faintly remembering their need for silence the first time, he didn’t know if that would even be attempted this time as they’d failed before. But Castiel had enough clear thought beyond the heat and electricity to bring out his wings as he had before, brushing out from between himself and the rocks, to wrap them enough to offer protection.

Dean’s minimal thrusts were growing a rhythm, and Castiel’s rear kept brushing and pushing against the rock, but he could barely even mind it, though he wondered if he would once Dean entered him. This rock offered stability, but it may be unforgiving as they progressed, given the motions that were involved.

But Dean kept up the thrust, sending waves between them both from their rubbing cocks alone, his touch sliding under Castiel’s shirt, around his back and surprisingly between his shoulder blades and he suddenly felt Dean massaging right between where Castiel’s wings sprouted, causing him to shudder and moan, knees becoming weaker than before, and Dean suddenly knocked roughly into him.

Dean looked confused, panicked as he looked behind them and found nothing, but Castiel knew. It had been his wings reacting to the touch, and he flushed pinker than he already had begun from their activities.

W-what?” Dean gasped.

Wings. Sorry.” was Castiel’s short and embarrassed response, only for Dean to look at him with confusion and then curiosity, a pleased smile growing on his lips. He dropped his gaze in consideration as he began rubbing as he had before and Castiel shuddered again.

He controlled his wings a bit better this time, but they still moved in closer. He saw Dean faintly look to his arm, where a few feathers brushed, and Dean chuckled as Castiel wondered…could he sense them…?

Smiling as if he had never been happier, a smile similar to when they’d stumbled hilariously out of the brothel, Dean lips returned to Castiel’s. He continued the massage, allowing it to wander faintly until Castiel’s knees honestly nearly gave out, and he returned to settling in the middle, lower than where he originally gave attention. He was giving Castiel a reprieve, but kept his touch present to return to it when he felt like it.

Castiel nipped at Dean’s lip in punishment, but his hips moved acutely against Dean’s, rolling his hips in want and need, pleased with the moan he felt against his lips from Dean. It seemed that Dean was determined to make the angels body give out, though. As, as soon as he’d fully recovered from the attention between his shoulders, he felt Dean’s other hand grip both their members between them and his body gave a shudder and he squirmed briefly, moving into Dean’s hand and against the man’s cock.

Castiel found himself wrapping an arm to grasp hold around Dean’s shoulders for SOME sort of extra stability, the other falling to Dean’s hip, massaging the hip bone there with an appreciative touch as Dean began to pump them between his thumb, index, and middle finger. The other fingers had a mind of their own, whenever they had chance to move and touch at all.

Castiel’s touch on Dean’s hip moved to his back, rubbing and grasping, that grasp sliding to Dean’s mostly exposed rear, grasping and pulling him to him. Dean’s breath stuttered, from a strangled but pleasing combination of a laugh and a moan. Castiel’s grasp was firm and deep, and he liked the way it made Dean move, how it spurred him.

Dean’s lips left Castiel’s and rested and played near his ear as the angel felt the man’s hand gliding back to that spot between his shoulder blades.

Dean.” Castiel gasped in a mix of warning and expectation, back arching from the glide until he felt Dean’s fingers expertly press and rub, causing him to writhe and move his body against Dean’s, his member almost sliding out of Dean’s touch, only to move into it and against Dean’s own once again, a few times actually. Dean gave another laughed moan, and Castiel almost wanted to scold him somehow for the laughter. But it was too beautiful, and it felt too fucking good, what it caused.

Damn, Cas, this…hnn..” Dean moaned, his hand beginning to pick up a pace, moving his hips into it now and again, unable to help himself, each time groaning with the movement.

I-I know.” Castiel gasped.

Dean pumped decently slow for a moment as he nipped at Castiel’s earlobe, kissing the skin below it, nose brushing into the short dark strands as his touch upon them both became agonizingly slow and his grip was weakening Castiel’s knees.

De…Dean…” Castiel moaned in warning and need, thrusting against Dean and the man’s hand began moving again, Dean shuddering and thrusting into it briefly.

Hm-mmmm, Cas….Cas, Cas…” Dean found himself moaning the angels name into his skin as his hand was greatly quickening, the both of them jerking their hips after his touch now and again, like chasing the flame it pooled into both their stomachs, twisting and sparking.

His other hand still rubbed between Castiel’s shoulder now and again, and Castiel’s hold on his ass became faintly rough, pulling Dean against himself as an act of punishment which it really couldn’t have been even if Castiel tried.

Keep…that up…and I’ll be done for.” Castiel warned in huffs, thinking that would make Dean stop.

It had the opposite effect, and Castiel was mixed with faint annoyance and too much pleasure as Dean’s grasp upon them really quickened, him thrusting now and again when Castiel couldn’t do more than jerk his hips in reaction as Dean was massaging into all the right spots upon his back and Castiel was becoming more and more of a quivering mess.

Dean nipped at Castiel’s jaw, coming to speak just beside his mouth, a cocky smirk on his lips when it didn’t falter from his own huffs and moans. “I love the idea of this…Hmm, the reality of this…

What?” Castiel moaned.

Me….making you come better than you ever would…no one’s made you come, like I’ll make you. And I fuckin’ love it.” Dean spoke huskily at the edge of Castiel’s mouth, kissing at it, but never keeping his lips consistent, as Castiel was gasping far more than he was moaning.

His wings shuddered, Dean’s touch rendering them nearly useless, and Castiel felt his body aching, his need burning and near-bursting. He’d felt the edge before (and he tried to ignore how Dean’s words reminded him of that fact, or how he mentally corrected Dean, as if he would let him know this wouldn’t be his first time to come but he was right to say no one else has ever made him). He knew he wasn’t fully there, but he was very damn close.

Castiel traded attention of his hands, the one that had been upon Dean’s rear moved to wrap around Dean’s shoulders, and the other fell between them, to offer Dean his own extra pleasure both in retaliation and consideration at the same time. It was a clumsy act, as his first few attempts meddled with Dean’s. It amused the man, Castiel could feel from the brief rumble in his chest, but Castiel found a grasp, more upon Dean’s member than his owns, a decent portion of Dean’s shaft being neglected in the mans work, and he made up for it with fingers wrapping and gliding.

Dean’s body shuddered similarly, and it was satisfying, but it was nothing compared to what Dean caused in Castiel. It didn’t help that Castiel’s focus kept being compromised by each deep press of Dean’s fingers or each perfect tug of his cock.

Castiel made a guttural noise, spewing obscenities it sounded like, though it was in Enochian, so Dean couldn’t be sure for himself. All he knew was he loved the noise.

Try and keep quiet…” Dean advised against Castiel’s jaw, and the angel felt the curve of Dean’s lips against his skin as he added, “…if you can…

Castiel grunted a very poor attempt at scolding that was too obviously a lie. “Your cockiness…is not an attractive attri-Fuh-FUCK!”

Dean moaned a sigh against Castiel’s throat, moving his hips against Castiel’s and pumping faster just from the angels exclamation, as it was too delicious. If not for being in such a place like this, Dean would love to cause those words; that wrecked sound from Castiel over and over, it was beautiful. He ran his fingers on Castiel’s back across his shoulder blades, running along the curve of the blades, and Castiel’s hold on him tightened.

Dean’s hand had quickened as much as it could, only to suddenly release the two of them. Castiel gasped from the loss of the friction and warmth, though he was still just trying to keep a hold of himself from the touch to his back, until he felt Dean’s hand wrap him entirely and his eyes fell on Dean, hooded and confused.

Mouth opened and slack with a question that got lost in huffs and gasps and gritted-teeth moans, Castiel realized Dean was focusing all the attention on Castiel, on making him come first and he tried to return the favor with his touch on Dean’s cock, twisting and pumping.

Dean shuddered a moan, but then took Castiel’s wrist and guided his touch away.

Dean…” Castiel shook the name past his lips, only to have Dean’s meet his own, taking them for a  moment, tongue slip to tease and play before he pulled his lips away again, Castiel’s following.

Just hold on, Castiel.” He stated, and Castiel could hear in his tone he meant to literally hold on. The hand that had tried to give attention to his partner moved to Dean’s back instead, grasping at the jacket. Dean kissed him a last, brief time before he buried his face in Castiel’s neck and shoulder and picked up the pace of his hand once more, Castiel’s legs quivering. When the touch on his back began again, his whole body gave in to shudders now and again, wings fluttering and causing faint wind, bumping Dean now and again and a few times, causing the man to move into him.

Dea-Dean….I!…Too…so much… Ha…huh, hnnn, Dean..!” Castiel couldn’t contain himself, Dean made it impossible as he gave him pleasure endless, in two very overwhelming places and Castiel felt it in every inch of his skin. Gasping and reaching the hand around Dean’s shoulders to grasp at the man’s hair, he just tried to breath, biting his lip to keep the moans and exclamations back. They tried to slip past his teeth, and some did, but he did his best.

And Dean was loving it; every noise, every feeling of Castiel’s body, jerking and shaking and moving, so warm, clinging to him. His aching need would be all the more fulfilled once he heard Castiel’s wrecked bliss and saw it on his face. And he was determined to earn it.

His pace wavered for a moment, only a moment, giving heavy attention to the spot on Castiel’s back, leaving the angel arching against him, head rolled back as he huffed, eyes shut tight. What he didn’t expect was the rush of wind, nor for Castiel’s eyes to shoot open with a faint glimmer of that light of his grace in his blue eyes, but when he saw it, Castiel’s mouth nearly curved in that perfect ‘O’, his pace upon Castiel’s cock continued, pumping and twisting until Castiel was a shuddering mess between him and the rocks. Castiel’s strength in his body was weakening, he could feel it, and he kept close, his hold around the back of him holding him up as he slow pumped the rest of the way, only giving a last few quick jerks before Castiel finally came between them, gasping as if he’d been holding his breath.

And he had. It had been almost too much, an overload as Dean’s attention around his shoulders and wings had gotten so deep, so attentive, so present, Castiel could honestly feel it in his wings. When Dean returned to pumping him, he was done for. At a loss for control, Castiel found himself muttering, gasping Dean’s name, all-but praising him as he slumped between the man and the rock. His fists balled in their grasps before he just wrapped his arms tightly, clinging. He leaned to bury his face in Dean’s shoulder. That had been so much. Too much.

How was Castiel supposed to erase this, too? How was he supposed to hold this, too, and be the only one to know the experience?

It’s alright, Cas…I got you… It’s alright…just breath…” the man soothed, kissing into his hair and holding him, not even trying to do anything for his still-obvious erection.

Castiel pushed down the negative thoughts, and reached between them as he moved his lips to Dean’s shoulder, kissing that sensitive spot between the neck and shoulder as he took Dean into his grasp and began pumping. He started slow, but his pace quickened, fast.

Dean moaned, just riding with it at first, but as the rhythm and pace picked up, he was curling more over Castiel, more into him. Castiel found his lips moving to Dean’s jaw and kissing there, more gingerly than he initially meant to, but it softened the more they lay present on Dean’s skin, the more he heard Dean’s shuddering breath, felt his grasping hold on Castiel’s trench-coat at his back and side.

Castiel felt his lips wanting to form specific words against Dean’s skin, but he couldn’t allow it and let them simply kiss, taken now and again by Dean’s own lips. But the man couldn’t keep the kiss as he gave a shuddering moan, and was huffing stronger and stronger, the quicker Castiel’s hand moved.

His hand slowed, only for his fingers to give strange and enticing attention to Dean’s shaft. Castiel’s finger tips glided and thrummed along his shaft, Dean’s head curling into his shoulder as he sighed a moan, giving a grunted complaint that Castiel didn’t bother deciphering. He slipped his hand to cup Dean, fingers fondling briefly and nearly causing Dean’s knees to weaken just as much as the man had his, before he took Dean’s cock in his grasp again and continued pumping.

Dean leaned into him, stuttering breath and bliss into Castiel’s shoulder and neck as his pace quickened, grasp tightening and untightening. He considered mimicking Dean’s cruelty of slowing, but instead just kept a steady and decently quick pace until he felt Dean’s body going rigid, heard the hitch in his breath, and he pumping harder and faster until the man was coming with a loud moan muffled into his neck. Even though it was muffled, he could still make out his name coming from Dean. Or maybe it was echoed in prayer.

Dean was breathing Castiel in as he tried to find a grip on himself again. Part of the angel wanted to move Dean from his shoulder to see that face, but he wasn’t sure he could take it. Instead, he moved his other hand into Dean’s hair, caressing through it soothingly as Dean lay into him, faintly crushing him between his weight and the rock. But Castiel didn’t mind.

When Dean raised his face finally, still taking deep breaths to regulate breathing, he was smiling. It was an open smile, one that showed his joy. A joy that didn’t always have chances to make appearances. Castiel swallowed down the lump in his throat, breathing deeply through his nose as he released Dean’s cock, his other hand still caressing through his hair as he watched him. He tried to hide the ache in his eyes, in his very core, and he hoped with all he had that Dean could not see it. Perhaps what he saw was the glazed look to the angels eyes, because his smile softened until those curving lips came to meet his so softly and so slowly.

He felt Dean’s hand slip into his hair, caressing through it much like his own did with Dean’s. Dean sighed through his nose and hummed against the angel’s lips before pulling back.

Guess this is one good thing about this damned place…” he muttered, the hand it Castiel’s hair moving to cup his cheek, running over the scruff and his jaw.

Castiel’s brows furrowed as he looked them up and down, but before he could question it, Dean went on.

No, this…I mean… I mean us. Fucked up as this…place is, and fucked up as being here is…and as fucked up as things were before we got here, I…I get the chance to do what I’ve been too distracted or too…scared to do before. Everything on Earth, it makes it hard to focus on something like this, but…now I have the chance…” he explained, starting to ramble, and he stopped himself, as he hated doing that, especially when it was something even remotely vulnerable.

…You get the chance to what..?” Castiel asked, feeling like he would regret asking.

And he did.

The chance to love you.”

Castiel swallowed, lowering his gaze and shutting his eyes. He should have run. The high of pleasure was coming down way too fast, and the regret was coming on like a flood.

…To love you, Cas, like…like it’s been too hard and confusing and impossible for me to realize I’ve wanted to. I haven’t had a lot of experience with it, but here… Fighting and searching, it… I realized how important what we had was. How different.” He tried to explain, moving off of Castiel, but still holding the angel, who could mostly stand on his own. He chuckled as he worked the angel’s underwear and pants back up. “…How profound.

Castiel looked at Dean again, brows furrowed with what he knew Dean had to see was some level of pain.

He seemed to notice, but he didn’t understand. “It’s alright. Nothing else matters, especially now.” He told him, leaning to kiss away the frown lines between his brows. “We’ve got each other. Like we always will. Alright?

Castiel didn’t answer, he just lay his head on Dean’s shoulder, pulling the man’s underwear and pants up, doing them up again. He looked at Dean eventually, Dean watching him with a worried but loving gaze as Castiel moved to bring the shirt back over Dean’s chest from where it had been hooked behind his neck. He brushed it back down flat upon Dean.

…Alright?” Dean asked again, a little firmer, but his eyes still wore his worry, his arms claiming Castiel so simply but completely.

Castiel didn’t answer verbally. It didn’t mean a promise, if he avoided using words to bind himself. So he nodded. A nod was unspecific enough. And it brought a comforted smile to Dean’s face. It was small, but it was warm. And that was enough for now.

 

 

They make their way back, following the path Castiel had retreated upon, back to where the beheaded Leviathan still lay, though Dean was sure its head looked closer to its body than when he’d left it (which led Dean to kick it across the forest), and from there they made their way after Benny.

Castiel had been dragging himself after Dean, who was both tired and energized. One moment he’d be in tow with Castiel’s pace, and the next he’d have some pep in his step. When Dean asked if Castiel was alright, he lied and said he was simply tired from their exertions, which Dean believed decently well, as it gave him an ego boost.

Once they heard the familiar hiss and growl ahead, and some Cajun-accented curse, Dean knew they’d caught up, and with a smile on his face, he wrapped an arm around Castiel’s shoulders. Castiel felt the weight of it more than just the physical, but he said nothing against it, only gave Dean a look, glancing from the hunter to the vampire whose back was still to them while he glanced. When Dean made a face and shrugged, Castiel knew Dean was making a statement, one which he didn’t care if it received judgment.

And what little judgment it did receive when Benny noticed, Dean didn’t actually see, nor would he understand. Castiel saw it, as it was directed at him, and he promptly ignored it as they continued on, Dean’s act of staking claim or announcing claim wearing off eventually; he’d made his point, and walking was a little more awkward in that position.

As they traveled, Castiel took guard. Or at least that’s what he called it, when Dean questioned how he wouldn’t stop looking around. He could hear the worry in Dean’s voice, and to assure him that he wasn’t looking for an escape, he told him he was just watching for another ambush, being antsy after both monsters and Leviathan’s decided to attack. He made sure to look into Dean’s eyes when he promised him he wasn’t looking for an out. That promise, he didn’t have to feel guilty about. It was true enough. He wasn’t currently looking for an out. He just couldn’t keep his attention on Dean as they traveled.

Because when he did, he could see how different Dean looked. Again, he noticed the effect of what they’d done had, except it was more prolonged seeing as how they weren’t yet settling down for the night, and it gave Castiel chance to witness this preview of the after-effects of loving… He could see how satisfied, how cocky, how happy Dean was. It was satisfaction and pleasure, but it was more than physical. It was emotional. And it made Castiel want to allow himself to feel it, too, because damned if Dean didn’t wear it beautifully.

But Castiel couldn’t let himself. So he tried his best not to witness it. Because he couldn’t want it, especially because it would only make erasing the cause later, all that much worse.

Their travel was a tense one, as they were all keeping watch, and the simple fact that as the daylight crossed through the trees, there was no sign of trouble…it had them all on edge, as the three of them knew better by now. Castiel wouldn’t even attempt meditation, much less feigned rest or sleep, which both the vampire and human knew he couldn’t do. Dean and Benny sounded just as reluctant, but Benny agreed to staying up with the angel if Dean clocked out.

The only trouble they found turned out to be fortunate, which distracted Dean for the meant time. They’d crossed a small pack of beasts (ones which none of the three men seemed to know the name of, though Castiel had a few vague ideas, saying they were lesser and ancient and were probably all here because they went extinct so quickly). Dean and Benny killed at least two, the rest abandoning the fallen ones; they weren’t a strong pack, apparently.

Dean surveyed the two dead ones with growing consideration, before looking around. There were a few fallen trees ahead, which he went to check out, telling Benny and Castiel to stay with the two dead beasts. The angel and vampire looked to each other curiously and waited.

Castiel watched for Dean as the human climbed over one of the fallen trees, checking out whatever was beyond it apparently. Then Castiel heard Benny clear his throat, and he sighed, strongly resisting the urge to look to the vampire. The silence was feeling more and more awkward and uncomfortable as Dean was still moving around over there, and Castiel felt the oncoming attempt at conversation, which he was sure would turn into an interrogation.

Don’t.” he warned, and it was stern and strong and obviously the end to a discussion that hadn’t even begun.

Dean returned moments later, clapping his hands together as if he were brushing them off, and he wore an accomplished look on his face. “Yup, just like I thought—a few trees fallen, it’ll make it hard for anyone to sneak up on us, provides us with a little cover. Plus the place it wide and open, so we can be in the center and be good to escape because those asshats won’t be able to get to us fast enough.

Benny nodded, giving a look as if he were impressed. “Sounds perfect. Shall we?” he stated, making a step for their camp for the night, but Dean held up a hand and he halted.

Gotta grab my dinner and breakfast first.” Dean stated, heading back to the dead bodies of the beasts as he began picking one up, which Castiel proceeded to help him carry. Benny assumed Castiel could carry it easily on his own, but he let Dean do part of the work.

Benny grabbed the other and they hauled the bodies over the wall of trees, dragging them to the center, and Dean proceeded to gather twigs and branches and so on needed for a fire. Benny let him, as Castiel helped, looking for what Dean told him he needed.

“Is that really smart right now?” Benny questioned calmly. “Or even worth the effort? You really think you can cook a proper meal from those sacks of extinct meat?”

Dean, having gathered everything to the center with Castiel, dragged one of the bodies over and took out one of the smaller weapons he’d acquired (looking as if it were a blade carved from bone or a great beasts tooth). He looked to Benny with a confident smile. “Oh, I think I can. You’re free to taste test once I’m done, blood sucker.”

Benny just chuckled and shook his head. “Naw. I’d sooner drink Dead Man’s blood.”

Dean made a face of feigned offense, before he began skinning the beast, taking his time as the beast’s anatomy was something to get used to. Castiel helped, observing and pointing out how he thought a limb or so worked (it had a slender body, thick chest, short but thick legs, and long arms, a tail and a threatening muzzle—it was as if a lizard and wolf had spawned a child, very disgusting, but enough meat for Dean to feast on (something he didn’t always need to do as much as he would on Earth, for some reason, but he still required sustenance)).

Once the beast was properly skinned and limbs separated (and Castiel had assured the mean contained nothing too dangerous before Dean shoed his worries), he began heating them. For all his bravado of how he could prepare a meal, he obviously couldn’t do anything but cook the meat. Purgatory didn’t exactly offer any spice gardens.

But it was good enough for him, once the few limbs he’d chosen were finished and he was chowing down like a man starved. Benny could wonder if that’s how Dean felt, but Castiel knew better; that’s just how Dean tended to eat.

He was half finished with what was the leg of the beast when he offered it to the both of them, lingering it in Castiel’s direction. “Want some?” he asked through the meat in his mouth, mouth a bit covered in black and red which he now and again tried to wipe away.

Benny just laughed, and Castiel shook his head.

Come one—it tastes just like a burger.” Dean stated, wearing his amused smirk.

I highly doubt that.” Castiel stated, and damn it, he couldn’t help the faint smile that pulled at his lips because—well, just because of Dean.

Suit yourselves~. Missing out on some of the wonders of humanity.” He continued joking. He didn’t notice the almost similar shifts from both the vampire and the angel.

The fire had been put out once the cooking had been finished, but Dean kept close to the burnt wood, and once he’d had his fill of food, he tossed it all aside in a pile on the other side of the firewood, and moved to stretch and walk a bit, looking over where Benny was scouting and giving the guy a good-natured pat on the shoulder, before moving off to where Castiel stood, being sure to keep his own look out as he went.

He stood by Castiel once he reached him, though, and smiled to himself, mouth free of the remains of his food. He looked please, strangely at ease, as he watched with Castiel.

Sometimes you think I could’ve just saved us time?” he suddenly asked, confusing Castiel and causing the angel to turn his head. His lips tugged up in a smirk as he laughed, lowering his head before looking back to Castiel, and the out around them again. “I tried to get you laid once. Remember?”

He remembered that well. It was even more embarrassingly to look back on, now, than it had been to experience it then. He wasn’t sure if that was just the knowledge gained with his experiences thus far, or if it was due to more emotions than he previously had. Either way, he shook his head. “Yes. That was…very awkward.

Dean laughed, the sound reminiscent of that day. Almost exactly like it. Castiel remembered the sound too well. “You’re telling me. Just thought you should have a proper lay before you risked sacrificing yourself… Damn, you were so reckless back then.”

Castiel narrowed his gaze with a mix of accusation and fondness. “That…is very rich, coming from the mouth of Dean Winchester.

Dean just smirked more at that, as if it were something to be proud of, before turning his judgmental tone on Castiel. “No, but really, man… You didn’t care, so long as you could possibly maybe get some sort of answers? Or do some little good before you went out. I mean…you’ve gotten kinda better since, but…still…” he shook his head.

I just assume my life is a payment worth it, in the end.” Castiel commented.

Dean looked at him seriously then, studying the angel who wasn’t looking at him anymore. He swallowed and faced him completely. “…I need you to promise me something, Cas.”

Castiel took a breath and sighed, trying to make the sound quiet. Don’t make me, Dean—I don’t know what this promise is, I just know I will break it, Castiel thought as he shut his eyes, before opening them and looking to Dean. “…What?

Don’t do that shit anymore.

Castiel knew what he meant, but squinted and quirked his head as if to act like he didn’t.

Don’t give me that, Cas. You know what I mean. Nothing’s worth loosing you, okay? I won’t have any more of you just…throwing your life around as if it’s nothing.” Dean told him, his tone almost faintly scolding as he stepped closer.

A tad hypocritical, don’t you think?” Castiel remarked, but there was no malice or annoyance in his voice, just an accurate comment, to avoid giving the promise.

I don’t care.

Still reluctant to promise that, but knowing what suspicion would keep Dean up tonight if he didn’t and prevent Castiel from being able to wipe his mind, he knew he’d have to. But he delayed it a moment longer. “A wise, if not perhaps reckless man, once told showed me…taught me what was worth dying for.

Dean faintly winced, lowering his gaze and shaking his head. “…Yeah, well…that man was in a panic, and for all his good points and rightness in that moment…there’s some things you shouldn’t take so literally. Not anymore. Not now, Cas….. Please.”

Castiel watched him a moment longer, before he nodded. “…I promise you, Dean.

Dean stepped closer, closing nearly all the space between the two of them, staring deeply into Castiel’s eyes in a way Castiel wasn’t entirely used to, and he couldn’t find it in himself to look away, as much as he wished to. “You’ll stop sacrificing yourself for whatever new, stupid reason comes up…? Stop trying to…to fix everyone’s little problem with your life…?

Again, Castiel wished to criticize Dean on his hypocrisy, or remind him again who Castiel learned it from, but he just nodded, then vocalized his eventually-to-be-empty promise. “I promise you, Dean.”

Dean watched him, considering him and his honestly, and eventually, he found something in Castiel’s look or in his eyes to trust, because he smiled again, one of those faint and soft smiles. And suddenly, after a nod, his hands were on Castiel’s face, bringing the angels lips to his.

Castiel was of course taken off guard. The only times they’d kissed thus far was before, during, and after intimacy, in their (as much as they could have it) privacy. But Dean just blatantly did it, right here, with Benny as a witness. Castiel had no embarrassment, but he surely didn’t want to give the vampire more to judge him on.

He found his lips kissing back too late, but he still returned some affection before Dean pulled away.

Come on.” He stated, taking Castiel’s hand to tug him along.

What is it, Dean?

Just shut up and come over here.”

Dean returned by the fire, plopping down on the ground and removing his jacket, folding it up like he was going to use it like a pillow. He motioned for Castiel to sit down as well, and after a moment’s hesitation, Castiel complied.

He settled, legs folded as they tended to be, and suddenly Dean’s folded jacket was plopped against his thigh. He looked at it, and then Dean with a questioning look, only for Dean to lay his head down against his jacket and Castiel. His head was fully rested on Castiel’s thigh, neck faintly lying back against Castiel’s hip, and his hand resting on the angels knee as he got as comfortable as he could in the dirt.

Castiel’s eyes flitted to Benny, who’s arms were crossed and who’s gaze was suspiciously very averted. Castiel sighed to himself.

…This okay…?” Dean eventually asked, a little too late as he’d been lying there long enough to have seemed as if he’d already claimed Castiel as his pillow and comfort. The angel would almost have taken it as a joke or challenge, but he could hear the faint hesitance in Dean’s voice. He didn’t do this, he wasn’t like this with anyone. It wasn’t something he was used to, or ever often comfortable with allowing of himself. But he obviously wanted it, and Castiel made it feel okay to want it.

Castiel didn’t want to ruin it. At least not while Dean still held the memories that offered the emotions that led him to be okay enough to do this. So he nodded. “Of course, Dean…

Dean relaxed, slowly but surely, and nodded, his body eventually becoming more and more lax until it was limp with slumber. His only firm action was his touch on Castiel’s knee. Beyond that, he was snoring away. It was only ten minutes into Dean’s slumber that he gave to shivers now and again, and Castiel began removing his trench coat, draping it over Dean with little thought beyond his worry and consideration for the man. The shivers mostly stopped, Dean seeming more relaxed.

He watched him. Probably more than he should have, but he couldn’t help but stare at the slumbering face. The peace there. He was going to have to erase the cause, but perhaps it might still stay, and not be too threatening to the man. He hoped so. What was almost harder than the thought of erasing something again, that he’d be cursed to remember alone, was how much this seemed to be almost…good for Dean. Dean was…different. He was so much more open. It would be barely noticeable to others, but ones who knew Dean well could see. He didn’t sleep on others like this. He didn’t have enough trust and comfort for that. He didn’t cling to love like this; he’s either afraid of it, in denial, or too scared to ruin what he loves.

But he was so willing. It was the thoughtless willingness, the comfort Dean allowed between them. It was a punch to the gut, as he felt Dean’s hand on his knee, and witnessed the other one slip up and curl over and grasp at the trench coat.

Castiel sighed, looking almost visibly pained as he was preparing to do it again. He raised a hand to caress over Dean’s face, through his hair. He was hesitating. This wasn’t good.

…If it’s so damn hard to do…” Benny began, but didn’t go further.

Shut up… Just…shut…up.” Castiel demanded, though it almost turned into begging.

Castiel just sucked it up as best he could, telling himself to just get used to the ache, it was going to be a part of him from now on. He lay his hand against Dean’s cheek, resting it there for a moment, and then a moment longer, and then another before he swallowed and slipped his middle and forefinger to Dean’s temple.

He surged his power, his intent to remove the memories, into Dean’s mind, starting with Dean chasing him, and from there, erasing every word and action that followed. Every admittance, every touch, every feeling, every cry. Every promise.

He found himself struggling to breath for a second as he pulled his hand away. He took a few breaths, before calming himself, shaking his head, and continuing, taking away what he could. It was complicated taking away the memories but leaving certain events, like the killing of the beast, or part of their trek back. When he was satisfied, seeing Dean would have little to no indication of what had transpired, and zero memories of the actual time together alone, he removed his fingers again.

And then he carefully removed himself from Dean. Putting a careful hand over the back of Dean’s, he lifted it from his knee, then worked his fingers under Dean’s jacket, cradling his head enough to slip his leg away and slowly lower Dean’s head to the ground. Dean shifted and sighed, interrupting his snores, but he settled and started up again.

Castiel stood and kept watch with Benny then, arms crossed as he stood in the hospital scrubs. He could feel the vampires eyes too often, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t care.

And he tried his best not to.

But the damned vampire made it very impossible, if not very irritating the next day.

Dean woke, complaining about losing a few hours, saying maybe he was more tired than he realized the other day, and ate on some night-old meat before deciding to leave the other carcass and continue on without it, because who would want to carry that.

But he was prepared for the march ahead of them, and anything Purgatory and its bastard beasts could throw at him.

What he wasn’t prepared for was the bickering.

“You know, it’d be nice if Big Wings could pick up more of the kill-slack when we’re battlin’; angels’ s’pose to be warriors, right?” Benny remarked as he pulled his weapon out of a werewolf’s cleaved skull.

“My energy is more complicated to work and withstand in this place; I do what I can to preserve it. And yes, angels are the original warriors of existence—we’ve honed not only our skills, but our tact and intellect during battle. Something perhaps YOU lack.” Castiel returned back, kicking aside the vampire he and Dean had just killed together.

“Oh, ya think so?” Benny asked, all testy like.

Dean sighed, turning and spotting a young werewolf in the distance, and when he caught his gaze, he saw the fear in his eyes and turned tail and ran.

“I can’t expect you to understand something beyond your perception.”

Benny just laughed, which seemed to irk Castiel further, and Dean turned back with a grunt.

“Alright, enough, children. Jeez.” He stated, looking between the two of them. “Would it save us time if you two just whip it out here and now?” he asked, looking between them, waiting for an answer.

Castiel looked confused, though. “…Whip what…out?”

Benny laughed again. “NOW who’s beyond perceivin’?”

Castiel made a step forward, as did Benny as he smirked at the other, and Dean moved between the two of them, shoving their chest to back them up.

“Enough! Jeez, should we go LOOKING for some nasties so you two can let off steam?” he accused, and turned continuing further without another look back at either of them. “It’s like traveling with children…”

The two shared a last few moments glaring before they followed after the human. It didn’t stop there, of course. But Dean could only give a comment or two, or roll his eyes, because he really wasn’t up for playing mediator to two grown men (more or less) bickering.

I swear, you’re like two kindergarten crushes bickering.” Dean eventually commented as they were arguing over the good and bad of either of their races.

Castiel, of course, gawked at such a comment. “That is ridiculous assessment.”

Yeah, Dean-o; blue eyes here’s already got a crush he’s hung up on, and it ain’t me.” Benny remarked, and he felt BOTH looks of anger from both the human and angel, and he obviously didn’t give a shit. Obviously, no one stated anything, because what could Dean even say, with no memories to back up evidence of what Benny’s comment could imply?

Castiel, however, truly resisted smiting the vampire then. He was annoyed enough with him in general, but he knew Benny had said that out of spite or to really screw with Castiel in a way that he could do NOTHING about.

To Dean’s surprise, that brought an end to the bickering, and did lead him to wonder WHY it shut them up. But his train of thought was perfectly interrupted by a decently vengeful pack of skin walkers.

They rid their selves of that problem rather quickly, of course. Castiel made a point to smite half the pack, leaving the rest for Dean and Benny to half up, and Benny could only smirk or chuckle a bit once they were finished.

Was that better for you?” Castiel asked him as Dean lazily cleaned his blade, and then laughed at the very snarky tone to Castiel’s question.

Benny made a face of ‘yeah, okay’ approval and nodded. “Better, yeah.

You should see the shit he did up top, man.” Dean remarked, and his tone was a balance of praise and fondness as he went on. “He can be a bit of a nerd, but give him an angel blade or, hell, get him angry (by maybe pulling a dick move and blasting him away), and he will scare the living crap outta you.

Castiel didn’t exactly smile, per say, but he surely wasn’t frowning and didn’t have too much of a problem with the praise.

Yeah, I bet. Blasted him away?” Benny asked curiously as they turned on their trail, slipping through a few trees.

Dean nodded. “Yeeaah… I was the vessel for Michael, my brother for Lucifer, really crazy shit up there. Got to a point where, I just…I was stupid and thought we wouldn’t find a way out, so I was gonna say yes and just give over to all the crap. They had me on lock down, I used this angel stuff to, uh…sneak attack Cas and blast him away so I could make a break for it. Kinda shitty.

Just kinda.” Castiel added, and Dean faintly chuckled and nodded.

Yeah, well…you got me back for it. I go to find a way to contact the big guys upstairs? This guy over here,” Dean jabbed his thumb in Castiel’s direction, wearing a half smirk that was strangely prideful for the content coming out of his mouth, “tracked me down before any of the other angels could, dragged me into an alley and he WAILED on me, called me out on my shit and dragged me right back before I could do anything.

Benny nodded, taking a moment to let it all sink in as he glanced between the two. “So you wanted to just…give up, and he wouldn’t let you?

Nope. Good thing he didn’t, of course, things would have went so many other ways.” Dean remarked, completely missing the glance Benny shot Castiel, raising his brow, and Castiel regrettably caught before trying to ignore it.

Silence fell between them, and for as much of a headache as Dean had gotten from the previous bickering, he decided he didn’t like the silence right now for some reason and spoke up.

Alright, let’s hear it—most BADASS kill or battle you’ve ever been through. Go.

Benny laughed and shook his head. “You really wantin’ to do this?

You’re damn right I am. Go.

Alright.” Benny nodded, taking a moment, before mustering up a decent enough one. “Shipwreck. Me and my, uh, coven, we… Well, I see now we weren’t on the right side, per say, but from that side then it felt right of course. So all your moral critiques can be stowed right up your asses, agreed?” he stated so calmly, almost politely.

Dean nodded. “Duly noted.

Castiel just gave a short nod, and Benny went on.

Well, we’d been trying to escape some problems we left behind. Part of our problem followed us on the boat; some hunters. They were intent on killing us, o’course, so we weren’t goin’ to stand by and allow that. Besides, we were just looking for freedom this time, and they were intent on preventing that. Well, altercations led to our captain losing control. The wreckage itself was intense, but it didn’t stop any of us. There was blood, there were blades, fangs. I remember fightin’ one of the bigger ones over a splitting break in the boat, the two o’us leaping back and forth trying to get a kill blow. Plenty’o moments I thought I was a goner.”

Dean nodded, seeming impressed, and mostly undisturbed by the content, knowing fellow hunters must have died and perhaps might have had reason for their attempt at killing the coven. He looked to Benny. “And who won?

Benny looked back to Dean with an almost sad smile, his only answer, “…Who ever really wins when it comes to battles like that?”

Dean could only shrug and nod as he walked on.

And you, big boy?

Dean chuckled, and took a moment himself, with a soft ‘aaaah’ of thought or humor or something of the sort. There were quite a few, some too emotional to really make him want to share for the intensity, but then again, he could skim over the emotion.

In the end, he found himself listing a few stories and describing them, not being someone who could just pick ONE. First was his killing Azazel. The intensity was of course the experiencing of facing the Hell Gate and its need to be closed, as well as finally killing the man who had ruined his family, and the badass being able to shoot the bastard dead, finally. Then he went on more and more, some more humorous and badass than intense, and he found himself more getting into bragging.

Which only led Benny to bring up some of his own more badass moments, and the two seemed to come to a battle of one-upping each other, ending it on Benny taking down five werewolves on his own, not having fed in days and avenging a fallen brother of his. And Dean’s final story wound up being their defeat of Dick, which he was quite proud of, despite it being the cause for them being there. Which brought the attention to Castiel.

I…really have no opinion on the battles I’ve been through.” He commented in attempt to opt out.

Come on. You got how many years on the BOTH of us, you’ve had to have been in way more tussles, and you won’t spill a single one?” Benny questioned.

Castiel sighed and shook his head. It felt as if some of his most intense battles before being blasted here had been due to the civil war in heaven, and he never enjoyed reliving any of that experience. He just swallowed and shook his head again. “I’m…not a good judge on these things.” He excused.

Alright, fine…if you wanna opt out, then Dean?” he looked to the man before watching his footing as he trekked over a hill littered with rocks.

Yeah?

Best time you ever had in bed.” He offered with a wide smirk, and Dean chuckled at the subject.

Aha, I have a few of those stories, too.” He chuckled.

Yeah, but I ain’t lookin’ for no list again. I’m talking the best…in whatever way best is to you.” He stated.

Castiel picked up his pace.

Well…man, I don’t know.” Dean began, sighing. “How would you even DEFINE best?

Well, I guess what’s more important to ya. Wild, satisfying, left you feeling like you just ran a marathon, felt really fulfilling…really felt like the one…” he sounded almost thoughtful with his last statement, and though it hurt Castiel with how it could imply towards him, he had enough sense to hear it implied something personal for Benny. He still kept his distance, of course.

Dean took his time, still, before settling. “…Fulfilling, from what I’ve experienced so far…woman named Lisa. Wasn’t right for her, of course, I couldn’t be, but she felt right…in the moment, you know?

Mmmhm, I get it.

But she had to move on. And she was able to, thanks to some help.” He stated, and it didn’t pass Castiel’s notice. Nor did it prevent him from remembering how THAT memory removal had felt to endure, as he had to witness every memory he took. It had been nearly too much, which was why he didn’t turn away from it; he felt, even then, perhaps he deserved it—even though at that time, Castiel felt justified in most of his actions and intentions, he still felt guilt for how it was turning out at that point. The uncomfortable nature of peering into so many private moments, the discomfort of how it all irked him. The strange experience of seeing a Dean he’d never met, in a few of her earlier memories of Dean; the Dean unscarred by hell, far brighter than he’d ever seen him, and how it made Castiel yearn.

You?” Dean asked of Benny, pulling Castiel out of his thoughts thankfully.

Andrea.” He stated simply, almost as if that was all that needed be said. And he left it there, not wanting to describe anything more, almost reluctant of the fact that he’d just spoke her name here. Dean noticed him getting lost in memories, and let him be to it for a time, before Benny made his way back to reality as they’d topped the little hill. “Guessing your lil angel’s got some stories to make himself?

Castiel sighed somewhat noticeably, surveying their previous path from the height of the hill top to assess if they were being followed, acting as if he were ignoring the entire conversation now. Which he couldn’t, of course, but especially when Dean laughed and started up again.

Oh he almost had it a few times. Took him to a brothel to try and get laid, but he just emotionally tormented the girl too much and we got kicked out.” Dean remarked, smirking greatly.

I did not torment her. Not on purpose.” Castiel corrected, but Dean didn’t respond to his defense with anything but a laugh as he said to Benny, “You should’ve seen it.

Benny raised brow, chuckling. “Almost wish I had. But that was it, a brothel? Disappointing.

Well, there was the time when he watched porn and took inspiration from that to kiss a demon (she initiated, but still, kinda counts).” He added, glancing to Castiel, noticing how much he was avoiding the conversation and Dean rolled his eyes, looking back to Benny and using his hands a bit to describe the rest. “Had her against the wall, grabbing her hair, everything. She didn’t seem disappointed, either. Too bad we planned on killing her and she ran.

Gotta say, didn’t expect THAT.” Benny remarked, sounding impressed, which caused Castiel to bring his attention to the other two. “You really never had a chance for a good lay, angel?

Castiel narrowed his gaze with heavy threats in his blue eyes. “No.

Benny just nodded, glancing to Dean, then to Castiel, and then away. “Too bad for you, I guess.

Hey, when we get back, I’ll make SURE he gets his chance; from what I saw, I think he could manage to make plenty of ladies or lads’ nethers quiver, so it shouldn’t be too hard.” Dean remarked, and Benny laughed again, amusing by the last statement. The fact that, even without memories, Dean was still aware enough about certain things apparently amused the vampire.

What’s funny?” Dean asked, to which Benny just shook his head and sighed, still faintly smirking as he said, “Nothin’.

Castiel was done with this conversation, though, and began to walk on, the other two following after him.

It was later in that day when they finally stopped again. Dean was getting tired, and with that, he felt he surely needed to make sure he was rested. They were getting farther, and with less monster attacks. So either the inhabitants were getting scared by their reputation and finally leaving them be, apart from the Leviathan’s, or they’ve lost interest and know Dean’s not meant to be here, or…they’re waiting for the right moment to get them really off guard.

Dean assumed the latter was the most probable, and the other two weren’t arguing. They weren’t able to find as good a place as before, but it was still easy enough to guard one another here. A collection of trees that one couldn’t get past, and small boulders scattered to make it difficult for a straight beeline at them.

Dean had sought out water with Castiel in tow close by, and as he returned, he sighed, removing his jacket.

Hey Cas…can I ask you something?

Of course.” The angel nodded to Dean as the man threw his jacket over one of the rocks and sat down against it.

He crossed his arms over his chest, watching off in the distance for a moment before he finally spoke again. “…Before, when you were running…you could hear my prayers.

It didn’t sound like a question, but Castiel still nodded, taking a breath. “Yes…

Have you heard any prayers from elsewhere?”

Castiel look confused, so Dean spoke more clearly.

From Earth. Sam…have you… Can you get prayers from there? From him?” he asked, brows furrowed with faint worry.

Castiel was silent for a moment. He wished he had a clear or good answer, but he didn’t. “I honestly don’t know, Dean… If I can receive prayer from there, I haven’t so far. But it could be that I can’t receive any. I’m sorry.

Dean sighed and nodded. “Of course. Its fine, just…” he shrugged.

You’re worried about him.” Castiel assessed.

Dean laughed. “…Always.

You’ll find him soon, Dean.” Castiel stated, sounding confident. “As soon as you’re back, I’m sure you’ll find him, and he’ll be alright, surviving as always.

Dean nodded, seeming grateful for the confident reassurance. But he looked Castiel in the eyes, brows beginning to furrow as he realized how Castiel had phrased it. “…As soon as we’re back, you mean.

Castiel swallowed, but nodded. “Yes. Of course.

Dean stared him down, his stare firm. “It better be of course. I will kick your ass otherwise.”

There was the faintest, practically unnoticeable smile trying to tug at his lips, and the affection that flickered in his chest was annoying. The man was certainly a hard one to fight and argue with. Perhaps it wasn’t so much hard, as it was a battle of stubborn.

As Dean sighed and shut his eyes, laying his head back on the leather-covered rock, Castiel took the chance to steal uninterrupted looks that he thought wouldn’t risk much, as Dean’s eyes were not looking back at him and filling him with guilt, or painful reminders, or anything of the like.

What he didn’t realize was he was memorizing Dean’s features more than he already had, and it was somehow becoming more in between memorizing what he knew he’d have to let go…or attaching himself to something he never wanted to.

He didn’t realize it was inching towards being the latter, as the hours of watching him fall into slumber dragged on and on. He didn’t realize how tired he was getting, of this whole struggle, and how deep down he was considering just following through with this crazy plan.

Because he’d done such like it before, following crazy plans that could result in death or failure, and there had been good times to follow, had there not? He’d screwed up along the way, but perhaps…perhaps he could have another chance. Perhaps he’d already paid enough, and he was screwing up his chance at, well, another chance.

 

 

“Perhaps you’re a miracle of a tool, Castiel… A miracle of how you could possibly function as an angel, for so long…when you are so ridiculously…human.”

Castiel didn’t bother opening his eyes to look at Naomi when she spoke and began backing off. He heard the voice of some other angel, a male, who was drawing her away from her work. He heard her setting down her tool, the two other angels retreating to a corner. He didn’t bother listening in on what the conversation was about.

All he knew was he was clinging to thoughts and ideals and feelings whose source was fading away due to Naomi’s work and with that source, so were they. He just wanted this to be over. Faintly opening his eyes, he glanced around the room with a blurry gaze.

That’s when he spotted it. The drill on the table, set so much closer to his place of torment. It was out of reach, due to being bound to this chair. But only due to that.

Castiel shut his eyes again, groaning and he heard Naomi sigh. He balled his fists, a last defiant bubble of determination building deep down. He wouldn’t last much longer through this.

He would not allow any more of this.

Chapter Text

 

"They taught me how to stand up...what to stand for...and what generally happens to you, when you do." - Castiel

 

#

 

“Stop your complaining, Castiel.” The woman spoke, with some effort to make her tone level. She only half succeeded. Castiel didn’t need to open his eyes to know she was back at his side. He picked up the sound of the tool being taken up again, and he could only hope that when she lay it back down, she was fool enough to lay it in the same place. “We’re nearly finished. A single tainted experience left, and then you’re back to work.”

“What…work?” Castiel shifted uncomfortably, eyes squinting open faintly.

Naomi smiled. “Whatever Heaven deems of you. Did you really think your ridiculous attempt of self-harm through allowing yourself to endure Purgatory…that that was really your punishment? Your penance?”

Castiel glared, shutting his eyes tight as he took a breath in and out. His lips trembled with words of defiance, but he held them back, held it all back as the whizzing began again. As foolish as it was to do it, he tried to retreat back within his mind, with his memories, what few he still possessed of Purgatory, with him.

But the invading pain was soon after him, and caught up to the memories in no time.

 

 

 

All the questions of the night before were bubbling in Castiel’s chest, swimming in his mind when they made off on a much lazier trek the next morning, Dean accusing Benny of losing the trail and Benny neither confirming nor entirely denying such an accusation other than replying to it with, ‘Bite me, Hunter’.

Castiel found himself unnervingly distracted. Sure, he had had occasion to be distracted by thoughts before, on Earth and surely here in Purgatory. But he’d been able to maintain some underlying level of focus, been able to keep hold of it when it was needed.

His focus was so off, now, that he found himself fumbling so foolishly and ridiculously by nearly tripping over a log. Thankfully, he was far enough behind the hunter and vampire that they hadn’t witnessed it. He kept his gaze ahead, watching for anything else in his path, and trying to ignore the thoughts and emotions that had been plaguing him ever since he finally managed to tear away from watching Dean in his sleep.

It really wasn’t working. Because his mind was supplying scenarios, imagining for himself the three of them finding the escape hatch, and the three of them making it out. He found himself wondering what the world would be like, how it might’ve changed, once they made it out. He wondered how he and Dean would have changed, if it would all be left behind in Purgatory, or if Purgatory (even despite the removed memories) had pulled something out from deep down in Dean that could not be removed. Castiel surely felt he would never forget or be able to lessen what Purgatory had put him through with Dean.

He was imagining being free, and he was imagining a second chance, and worst of all? He was imagining he actually deserved it.

Hope was a dangerous thing, and it felt like a warm yet icy grip around his throat, around his heart. Castiel’s gaze shot to Dean, as he thought he faintly heard the man say his name, among other words (something about ‘blanks’ and Purgatory and ‘screwing with him’), yet he couldn’t make out clearly what was said.

Panic set in, and once more he nearly tripped, this time Dean witnessing it and he stopped as the angel steadied himself and kept his gaze down.

Cas…what’s up with you, man…?” he asked with faint worry, slowly making his way over.

The angel looked up and took a step back, and with the step, he saw the warning fire off in Dean’s mind just by the look of his eyes. Dean could see at least part of what was running through Castiel’s mind, and the man gave a short shake of his head, raising his hand. Castiel took another step back.

“Don’t.” Dean stated in warning, but Castiel didn’t heed it. He turned, and took off.

He ignored Dean’s curse, and Benny pointing out that the ‘winged thing’ is still on foot. He ignored the footsteps after him, and he ignored the point Benny made that was screaming back at Castiel; he could fly off, he could get SO much further away than his vessels feet were taking him. But the same fluttering, unnerving panic in his chest making him run was also conflictingly keeping him from taking that advantage over the human hunter.

Because as much as he wanted to get away, he wanted to get caught just as much. And he absolutely hated it.

He ran, not even seeking a proper hiding place or trail to deter Dean, but just running. He felt foolish the longer he ran, but he felt just as foolish the moment he tried to let those thoughts and possibilities return to him. It was becoming too much, and he was so tired of it.

He stopped abruptly among the trees, near a small ditch of sorts. He was huffing, actually huffing for breath, as he heard the oncoming presence getting closer and closer until finally, a hand grasped the back of his trench and yanked him back, making the angel briefly stumble before righting himself.

The HELL was that, Cas?!” Dean demanded with a bark, and Castiel said nothing, avoiding his gaze. Dean took the collar of his coat and shook him a bit. “Huh? What was that?!”

Castiel shook his head, still huffing.

“What is wrong with you!?” the human demanded to know, and somehow his voice was a not so perfect mix of anger and worry. Castiel noticed Dean was huffing a bit himself.

“I can’t…” Castiel stated shortly, and when he didn’t say anymore, Dean released his collar with a shove.

“Can’t what, huh? Can’t what!? Can’t keep going, can’t keep trying? Can’t find a reason?! Well tough, Cas, because I’ve been there, a hundred times. You..you FIND something, I don’t care WHAT it is, and you keep going! I’ll say it a last damn time, I ain’t leaving here without you.”

Castiel’s tongue betrayed him, his hearts hold on his actions too tight and no matter how he had did his damndest not to allow this of him thus far, he lost all control as he admitted, “I have found..something..Dean.”

Dean looked a little surprised at that, his brows furrowing. “Yeah, and why the hell are you having such a problem? It must be a really shitty, half ass something, half ass reason.”

Castiel looked at Dean then, more emotion in his eyes than he was sure Dean had ever seen. “My reason for any want to fight, to keep hoping, is the same one that had me running off on my own in this God forsaken place.”

Dean eyes widened, as he quickly put that together. Castiel’s chest ached, and in an act of panic, he’d vanished from where he stood in front of Dean, zapping off. He could run now, again, if he wanted. He’d done it before, when they arrived here.

But in only a matter of seconds, he’d zapped back in front of Dean once more. The man had barely moved a panicked inch, and the moment he saw Castiel before him again, he took hold of him.

“Don’t you fucking do that.” Dean’s voice shook as he grasped harder. “Don’t you fucking run on me again, Cas, don’t you leave me!”

“Dean-” Castiel began, but he didn’t even know what he could manage to say, and Dean didn’t give him a chance to figure it out.

“Damn it, what do I have to say to you, huh?! What can I say, what can I do to make you believe we’re gonna make it out of this!? Because we’re gonna, Cas! You have no damn frame of reference of whether this is impossible, no more than I do that it’s possible, so screw it, I’m deciding to have faith!!”

Castiel’s throat tightened, a vision of when he’d first laid eyes upon Dean, spoken with him, witnessed and wondered over him and all the complicated, intricate little pieces of him and his humanity and he remembering accusing Dean of lacking faith.

“I’m deciding to! ME, Cas! So why the HELL can’t you!?” Dean demanded to know, shaking Castiel, who couldn’t manage to find the words, unsure if he even fully knew the answer. When had he lost so much of his faith, and what had he ever even believed in before, all his centuries of existence, that could be so easily let go of, doubted, crushed, and forgotten?

Castiel’s gaze fell again, and Dean shook him once more.

“Look at me!” Dean’s voice so perfectly echoed the determination it had held in the ‘beautiful room’, but this was different. Then, Dean had been convincing Castiel to rebel, to help save his brother and stop nearly literal hell from happening. Now…now, he was attempting to convince an angel to have faith.

Castiel obeyed slowly and looked at him, lids heavy as he did so.

Dean’s brows furrowed and his grip untightened and tightened once again. “What is it with you, Cas, you…this can’t just be…about keeping me safe. Or else you NEVER would have said yes. You never would have come at all, if you believe it was so dangerous.”

Castiel said nothing, but he felt Dean’s words constricting him.

Dean shook his head, and Castiel was watching Dean piece the pieces together for both of them, unwilling to even try to do it himself. “This isn’t…about just my safety, you…you don’t want to make it out.” Castiel once again felt Dean’s grip loosen, only to tighten again, as if he almost intended to back off, but the fear of Castiel leaving was too strong to let him completely go. “You don’t wanna make it out because you don’t think…” Dean hesitated to go further, and Castiel’s gaze was hardening. Dean swallowed, staring him back just as sternly as the angel stared him down. “You don’t think you deserve it, do you?”

In an attempt to deny answering Dean, he instead asked, “Deserve what…?”

Dean’s grip moved from Castiel’s shoulders to the back of his neck, grasping it as he stared him down with aching sympathy, anger, and worry. “Any of it, Cas… Being free, walking that world again, Earth or heaven… Me, you don’t… You don’t think you deserve to be saved, from any of this.”

Castiel’s eyes fell shut, a very human sting in his eyes that he fought back with all his might. He didn’t answer, but the tightness in his throat and chest told him that Dean was right. It wasn’t only about Dean’s safety, or Castiel would have at least managed to outrun the Leviathan while still managing to check in on Dean when he could, because the Leviathan weren’t the only monsters here. It was beyond just that, though that was an important enough reason. It was knowing that if he got out, he’d be free of all this, and he wasn’t sure that was right. To be free. To return to what was good, better. To have anything good.

He had devastated Heaven and Earth, ruined the trust of the Winchester’s and their surrogate father, something he had once prized holding, and all…for the right thing? He could barely remember, through the blood, the screams, the death, the scorched wings, what was right or wrong anymore.

So why should he be saved?

“Hey!” Dean shook him again, hand tightening on the back of Castiel’s neck, making the angel open his eyes once more to look at him. He was met with a startling green gaze, full of determination and stubbornness and an unadulterated care that Castiel could almost feel physically collide into him like a tidal wave. “You listen to me right now, damn it, Cas, if YOU don’t deserve to be saved, then I sure as hell didn’t!”

“That was different, Dean, and you know it.” Castiel pointed out, ashamed of how heavy his voice was.

“You’re damn right it’s different!” Dean stated, and risked letting go as he paced for a second, then faced Castiel again, his gaze alone holding Castiel firmly in place more assuredly than his hold had been. “What I did in hell was different. What I did was cut and slice and mutilate and…and scar so many fucking innocents, Cas, that didn’t deserve it. And for no other reason than to be free of that pain myself. Even…even to fucking dish it out for once... What YOU did, as shitty as a lot of it fucking was, you were doing it to stop the freaking apocalypse 2.-fucking-0! Something me, you, Sam, Bobby—we stopped that TOGETHER, and then you…you went and tried to fucking fight it yourself, on your own, a second time!?”

Castiel's gaze fell once more, but he still felt Dean’s gaze just as firmly, and could only feel thankful the man didn’t order or force him to keep eye contact. Because he didn’t think he could manage right at this moment.

“You did shitty things, sure, but you handled and cleaned up a lot of shitty things, too, Cas. Some of it was extreme, and I really…back then, I honestly couldn’t decide whether to hate or support you.” He admitted, his words making the angel look to him once again. “Because as extreme as the shit you did was, and how out of hand it got, you…I could still see, I still KNEW why you did it… I still knew, you were just trying to seek out the wrong, and right it. Been out of your families influence and dad’s orders for what, two years? And you were still that fucking soldier, Cas. You were TRYING to do right, I know that now. So how the hell does that make you unworthy of being saved?”

Castiel shook his head. “You speak as if you weren’t coerced into what YOU did, Dean. You were practically forced, and all I did, the blood I shed—that was all MY doing, my CHOICE.”

“So was me picking up that blade, Cas!! I didn’t just do it to stop the pain, I did it to inflict it because damn it, I’d had enough and I WANTED to!!”

“I fought through that hell to get to you, Dean, I KNOW what you were facing, and so many weaker men couldn’t last for even an INCH of your time!! As much choice as you thought you had, it was far more devious than that.”

“Did you enjoy what you did, Cas?” Dean tried to challenge and Castiel made a step further as he answered.

“Yes, I did! That deep…angry part of me reveled in doing unto others I thought were in the wrong, what I felt should have been done unto them by my Father! Those I wronged, they deserved justice, but they did not deserve what I did!”

“Then HOW does that fucking make you ANY different from me, Cas!?” Dean pointed out, and Castiel just shook his head, avoiding Dean’s gaze. Dean sighed, running a hand roughly over his face and then through his hair as he paced a bit more. “You may be an angel. You may have been fucking juiced up in your actions, you’re damned sins… You may have bigger people to answer to, I don’t know and I don’t care, Cas. You’re no different than me. And if I deserve to get out of this place, then so the hell do you.”

Castiel knew he couldn’t manage a decent argument back to that, that would have any standing against Dean’s words. And he wasn’t sure he even wanted to manage an argument, because Dean made him want to believe he was right. He honestly was beginning to make Castiel believe, and that was a dangerous knife in the angels stomach.

“What can I say or do, Cas? Cause at this point, I’m willing to do fucking anything.” Dean spoke once more, and it was a bit softer this time. He raised his arms out to his sides, then let them drop. “You can question me, you can call me stupid, but I cannot…I can’t leave this place without you. I don’t know where I’ll be, out there, if I have to leave you behind. You forced me to let you go when I left you in that water, and I had to let you go again when you took on Sam’s Lucifer crap. I’m done, okay. I’m DONE letting you go. So either we’re both staying, or we’re both going, so what else do I have to do before you just realize that and hop on this damn ride, keeping your legs and feet in the whole damn time.” his laughter at his last statement was a little force, as his words were so heavy as he neared the angel again, and when Castiel looked into Dean’s eyes, the man’s eyes were begging.

And Castiel just couldn’t take it. Stupidity, learned humanity; however you wanted to label it, it took over once more and his mouth spilled honesty. “…I’m…I’m conflicted, Dean. I have been since the moment you found me by the water. Because I feel I have no right to be at your side, while that’s simultaneously the only place I want to be. And my need to run and my need to stay are in too equal a measure for me to function, Dean, I can’t… I want to hope, and that…I haven’t been able to honesty feel that in so long, it terrifies me to even think of trying. And I almost want to hate you for how much you make me want to.”

Dean’s brows furrowed both with confusion and some level of understanding, nodding slowly. He waited a moment, and when Castiel stuttered and couldn’t manage more words right away, he let him off the hook and tried his own hand at speaking, to try and understand. “…Cas…that makes you human, okay? And as much as you might..think us ridiculous at times, and as shitty as we can be, it…it’s not entirely a bad thing, just… Please, just give into it. Any of it, just…let yourself, because you’re just going the fuck yourself up more and more if you keep this crap in.”

“Like you do?” Castiel accused too fondly, and the smile it tugged at the corner of Dean’s mouth spurred that hope on.

Dean shrugged. “I ain’t the best teacher…but I can teach you whatever I have to offer. You’ve been following me this far, right? That’s at least gotta be part of the reason..?” his smile was faintly teasing, but his gaze was questioning.

Castiel just swallowed the lump in his throat. “Part, yes…”

“…And the rest?” Dean dared to ask, closing even more space as his gaze practically scanned the angel as only he ever did.

Castiel caught his eyes, taking a shaky breath. “…Benny’s teasing should be indication enough of the rest.” He said, unwilling to so blatantly say it. He might find himself doing so, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it now.

It took Dean a second to remember what he was referring to, and once he remembered, there was a brief look of disbelief before it just slowly and smoothly clicked. He didn’t act on this knowledge just yet, though, and Castiel was anticipating what was to come warily. Would he even attempt to tell Dean, what had transpired thus far, what he had taken from him? He could imagine the rage that would bring from Dean, and he stowed that possibility away for consideration.

But then Dean’s hand was on his neck, thumb brushing the scruff of Castiel’s jaw. “…Can I make you stay?” he asked, and Castiel was silent as he opened his mouth to attempt an answer.

 

This ain’t Purgatory anymore, Cas, so why the HELL are you ignoring me?!

 

Dean’s face before him, hopeful and desperate, seemed to waver and warp, and Castiel felt a familiar emptiness coming from him, as if it were pulling him from behind, away from what was before him.

 

Give me a damn sign, or pop in now, or so help me, I’m going to assume you’re dead.

 

The desperation in his face…no, in Dean’s voice, it ached something in his chest, his heart pounding as the whizzing sounded and then died out and he felt himself rushing right back into the blindingly white room with the angry angel staring back at him impatiently, as if it were his fault for even receiving prayer.

“Enough of this. I’m tired of the interruptions; you’re being sent back to sate their impatience.” She barked, slamming her tool down angrily, and Castiel’s eyes lazily and weakly flitted to see it rested just as it had before. Closer now, actually, on the table. His eyes were back to her as she rolled up her sleeves. “I suggest you keep up a convincing act and throw them off from asking questions, or I’ll have two human problems to deal with. We’ll finish our work more efficiently over our next session.”

She reached a hand, two fingers extended, and Castiel started struggling.

“NO!!!”

There was a sudden pain to the side of his face, as she had slapped him in her rage and need to beat down his defiance. “You are NOT in control here, Castiel!” she told him fiercely, trying to holding him still in the chair as he writhed and struggled against her and the restraints. “You will never be in control AGAIN. Keep fighting all you want, you insubordinate screw up!!” She elbowed him in the stomach, making him wheeze and wince and waver in his struggle. “I will send you back, with no more recollection than what is needed to face those two hunters! The rest of your sin, and your knowledge of this place will be locked away until the fragile humans can be eased enough to allow you back without interruption…”

She shoved him down, and Castiel stopped briefly, huffing angrily.

“You will DO your JOB, and keep the Winchester’s in line and as unsuspicious of this meeting as possible.” She informed him, leaning over him, and he could feel the heavy presence of her wings, just faintly tangible and visual, there to keep him as still as possible as she reached her palm to his forehead. He could just feel the surge of her energy, feeling it invade him as he knew , could still faintly remember he had invaded Dean’s own mind. Then he heard some of the latches release as he felt her clutches reaching as his memories tried to recede from her. “There’s no point fighting me.”

Castiel huffed, and huffed, before opening his eyes and looking to her as the latch on his head released. He leaned up at her and snarled, “There always is.”

There was a sudden sickening crack, and Castiel winced and made a noise of pain which he only pushed through as he had broken his wrist in the restrain, only to mend it back into place once it was loose and go for the tool before Naomi could even react to stop him.

He tore free of the last restrain as he suddenly stabbed the tool, whizzing off, into her shoulder to let it dig there and she cried out in surprise and pain, drawing back, but not after a surge of her power shoved Castiel out of the chair, blasting him with all the original intent she had had with her power before his attack, but confused and warped.

Because now, he was falling, the memories of what had just transpired still in place, and that last memory with Dean at the forefront of his mind, overtaking him mind as fatigue from his endeavor overtook him. He could just barely manage an attempt at aiming trajectory towards that longing that was Dean’s prayer and emotions.

And as he was falling for Dean, the mans face was once again becoming vivid in his mind, no longer tainted by underlying fear or the whizzing of that tool. Just him, and that pure memory of what they had had left in purgatory before Dean escaped.