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Blind Devotion

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Hey guys! So, it's my first posted Supernatural fic here on AO3. I'd love it if you would take the time to leave a comment/review!

A/N: Um, yeah, I know nothing about poker games, so please ignore any mistakes or confusion. It's just a means to get on to the Destiel stuff!^^

Dean stared down at his hand of cards as a bead of sweat meandered its way down his cheek. The stuffy, smoky backroom he was playing in had no A/C and only a tiny breeze from the open window kept it from being completely suffocating. It did not, however, dispel much of the rancid smell of too many men and too much booze

He clamped his teeth down on a toothpick, wishing at the moment that he hadn't given up smoking years ago because if ever there was a time when he needed a good relaxing puff, it was now. He was three hands down and the next two months worth of rent money was on the table before him. He would have cursed gambling as his vice, but the truth was, he was full of them. He drank—though rarely to excess—, he slept around, he ate pie and cheeseburgers like they were going out of style, and he subscribed to so many porn sights he'd had to buy another computer just for work as the first had become one big virus. The only things he really loved were his Baby (a'67 Chevy Impala in pristine condition—just about the only thing in his life that was) and his kid brother, Sam.

A few months ago, Sam had gone off to Stanford on a full ride to become a lawyer, and he lived on Dean's monthly checks. Dean remained in Lawrence, KS in their small rent-controlled apartment that their daddy had left a 17-year-old Dean when he was killed on the job as a bounty hunter. Dean hadn't realized quite how much he depended on Sammy until he had left, taking just about all Dean's happiness with him. Now he filled his loneliness with days at his uncle Bobby's salvage yard and repair shop and his nights drinking or hustling pool at the Roadhouse, a local bar. He knew he was headed down a bad path, but damned if he couldn't hit the brakes.

"Draw or fold?" demanded the dealer of the back-room poker game. He and his buddy—Dean's opponent—were waiting on Dean to make a move. Dean struggled to think clearly though the haze of alcohol already in his system—he usually didn't drink while he played but he'd gotten a call from Sammy earlier and his loneliness was spiraling out of control.

He glanced again at the hand before him and decided. "Draw," he said, slapping a pair of worn cards down in the middle of the rickety table. The burly dealer swiped them up and handed Dean two slightly damp cards in return. He tried not to let his surprise show on his face when they turned out to be not too bad. Pretty good, in fact, as long as the other man's were fairly crappy.

The man also asked for two and looked at his hand a long moment before upping the ante by another $100. He had been a bit of a high-roller all evening, betting much more than anyone else and usually winning it back—until now. Everyone else had gone home, but Dean stuck it out, hoping to make a few extra bucks before slinking back to his flat.

Dean clenched his jaw, biting through the toothpick. He spat it out on the ground and stared at his cards, willing them to magically turn better. Nothing happened and he sighed. What the hell? he thought, and tossed in four hundreds—the last of his money and all his winnings. May as well try the intimidation tactic and see if the man was bluffing—it wasn't like he could get by on $500 anyways. Besides, the pot was over $1000; so much for a casual game, but it looked like Dean's opponent hated to loose almost as much as Dean did.

The man growled and clenched his cards in his fist before slumping in defeat. "Ralph," he said over his shoulder. He had a bit of an entourage, three men—the dealer and another— both of which looked like mob muscle. The third was a spindly little guy with a mousy face.

"Yeah, Mikey?" he asked readily. Looked like he was only here to do the man's bidding.

"Bring it to me," Mikey told him gruffly.

"Really?" Ralph protested. "But you could loose—"

"Better it than more money! It's useless anyways now. Should have drowned it a year ago and just got a new one."

Dean winced at the man's harsh tone. He didn't know what "it" was—he was assuming a dog or some other pet by the way the man was talking about it—but clearly it was no good. "I only play for cash," he said evenly. He didn't want to win some guy's run-down animal.

Mickey gave him a filthy grin. "Trust me, it's worth more than what's on the table. Or was, when it was fresh. Still worth a lot but I'm tired of it."

Dean would have protested again, but there was a scuffle at the back door and he looked up to see that Ralph had returned with another man in tow. Dean stared for a moment, too shocked to get what was happening. The man was not tall and stood maybe a few inches below Dean's 5'8" frame. He wore a tattered tan trench coat, cinched tightly around his slim waist. His legs were bare underneath, leading Dean to assume that he was otherwise naked. His skin (what Dean could see of it under a layer of grime) was pale and looked smooth with little hair.

The coat was tight enough that Dean could tell the man was too thin for his size and his long fingers clutched at the sleeves that came down to his wrists, as though wanting to cover himself more but afraid to. His hair was black and disheveled but Dean suspected that even clean, he would still have permanent bed head. His face was shockingly handsome—or, had been at one point. There were dark lines under his eyes and his full lips were pale and chapped. He kept his eyes closed tight, so Dean couldn't see what color they were, but Dean suspected something light to match his pale skin.

"Get over here," Mickey ordered and immediately the small man's head flew up at the sound of his voice. He inched forward until he got within reach of Mickey, who grabbed him roughly and shoved him down to his knees. The man didn't make a sound, but knelt there, head down.

"What the hell—?" Dean demanded, his shoulders tense with distaste. What kind of sick fuck was he playing with, to treat another man like that? He certainly didn't want to win another guy's slave or whatever!

"Don't get your panties in a twist, Winchester," Mikely said, "Castiel here isn't human. He can take a lot worse than what I've given him."

The strange, lyrical name would have given away the slim man's identity, if the "not human" part didn't. There was only one being on Earth who looked so deceptively human with inhuman good looks and a name from the history books.

"An angel?" Dean breathed, even as he knew the truth. He had never seen on in person, just a few on TV once in a while. They were all bonded to humans, but none that he'd seen had been treated quite this badly. Sure, he'd heard of angels being sold as slaves, but mostly they just tagged along with their human partners. It was commonplace these days, even if there were only a few hundred thousand in the world.

Mikey grinned at Dean's reaction—not many people still acted as reverent to the creatures anymore. It had been twenty years since they had been cast out of Heaven and had sought refuge on Earth, sharing their Father's planet with his other creations.

"It's all yours if you win. It's a bit worn out, but I'm sure for a man of your…means…it would be more than enough. It may be a male, but he sucks cock as good as any girl, and takes it like a pro."

"Look, I don't want a slave…" Dean said. He glanced again at—what was it, Cas-something?—and took in his pitiful condition. What the hell would he do with that? All he'd wanted was some extra cash for food and beer, not an ex-Heavenly angel sex-slave.

Mikey sighed. "Fine, have it your way. Ralph, take it back to the car. We'll see what we can get for it on eBay."

Only because Dean was still staring at the angel out of the corner of his eye did he notice the sudden minute slump to the being's shoulders, the tightness of his jaw. His hands clenched in the fabric of his trench coat, but still he did not make a sound.

Dean's throat constricted. He'd seen a dog once with the same look. He had been passing by an alley when he heard a pathetic whimper followed by children's laughter. He'd gone to investigate and found a pack of boys torturing a small beagle that was lying in a heap of garbage. After he'd chased the kids away with curses, the dog had gazed up at him so sadly, the look in its warm brown eyes woefully broken. He'd taken the dog to Bobby, but nothing either man did could heal the dog. It died two days later.

"Wait," Dean ground out when he saw Ralph approach the wretched angel. "Leave him. I'll play."

Mikey motioned Ralph away and Dean thought he saw the angel shudder a little in relief. "Fine, then, the ante's set. What have you got?" He sounded more confident again and Dean wondered if this had all been one big bluff to throw him off. He hoped not—angel or not, he needed to eat this month…

He laid down his five cards with false bravado. A straight. A fair hand, but easily beaten.

The way Mikey tossed his cards angrily onto the table and stormed up out of his seat indicated that Dean had just won. He sat there in awkward wonderment as the larger man grabbed the angel by the throat and yanked him to his feet. It was then that he saw the outline of the angel's wings hidden underneath the trench coat. The tips of them just brushed his lower calves, but in the dim light, Dean couldn't see what colour they were.

"This is all your fault! Get your mark off me, you filthy little bitch," Mikey yelled, " I don't ever want to see your face again!" The angel raised a shaking hand to the man's chest and placed it over his heart. There was a flash of light and Mickey winced. As soon as the light vanished, he threw the broken angel back to the ground and stalked out of the room, flashing a murderous look at Dean on his way to the door. The two muscle men followed, but Ralph paused to look at Dean.

"Fix him, ok?" he asked quietly. "He's worth it." Then he was gone too, ducking out of the door behind his employer.

Chapter Text

Yay, here somes some sweet Destiel!^^

It took Dean another few moments to recover his senses after the quick turn of events that had just transpired. He blinked when he heard a light coughing from the floor. He leaned over to see the angel clutching at his throat, gasping in breaths past his bruised airway. Dean grabbed the money from the table and shoved it into his pockets before stooping near Castiel.

"Are you ok?" he asked before he realized how utterly stupid that question was. He reached out to maybe help the angel up, but Castiel's left hand snapped out and grabbed Dean's left wrist, holding it in place. Dean froze, not sure what was going on. Then the angel lifted his right hand and slapped it to Dean's left bicep. He gripped the human tight and before Dean could pull away there was another flash of bright white light and he felt a staggering flair of pain where Castiel touched him. He struggled against the pain, but the angel's hold on his wrist was too strong. He was distracted from it momentarily by a strange feeling in his chest. The inside felt suddenly too tight and full, as though he had just grown another organ—one made out of a supernova. He gasped at the pain-but-not-pain that threatened to engulf him from the inside out.

Then, as suddenly as it had started, the feeling vanished and Castiel let go. Dean yanked himself away and fell back onto his ass, staring at the angel with shock. "What the hell did you do?!" he demanded, reaching up to rub his sore left arm. His fingers brushed over eerily smooth, raised skin and he glanced down to see a shiny pink scar in the shape of the angel's handprint.

Castiel shrank away from his angry tone, bowing his head to the floor. His large wings flared out from beneath the coat and fell to his sides submissively as well. The dull grey feathers flew out along the dusty tile floor, collecting more dirt into their folds.

Seeing the angel's pathetic display, like a kicked puppy, made Dean wince. "Look," he said less loudly, "I'm sorry I yelled, but you can't just go burning your handprint into people, ok? At least not without giving them a heads up first." He rubbed at his arm again, but the soreness was already dissipating, and, with it, his anger. It was hard to be pissed at something that looked so wrecked.

The loud crack of a pool game being broken just outside the door spurred Dean into action. He didn't want anyone coming back here to see him and the angel and he certainly didn't want Mikey returning to reclaim his property. He had to get home, and from there he could figure out what to do. "Hey, uh, Cas?" he said, trying to get the angel's attention.

Castiel lifted his head slightly and canted it towards Dean, listening for the sound of his voice. It suddenly occurred to Dean that he hadn't yet seen the angel open his eyes. "Cas? Look at me," he ordered gently. The angel turned his head away and if Dean had been his master, he'd be annoyed by the angel's direct disobedience. As he wasn't, Dean was merely curious.

"Castiel," he said again, more firmly this time. The angel's wings drooped farther and with great reluctance he swung his head back around to face Dean. He sat still more a long moment, and then his eyelids slowly fluttered open.

Dean leaned forward to look. The angel's wide eyes were a bright beautiful blue, but were marred by a thin milky film that lay across them. They were focused somewhere over Dean's head, and that confirmed the man's suspicion: his angel was blind.

After much gentle (and then frustrated) coaxing, Dean got the angel out the back door and into his black Impala. He strapped Castiel in and drove them back to his shabby apartment a few blocks away towards the outskirts of town. He lived in the loft above a three-story building, which had at one time been a firehouse. The first floor was still a garage, where he kept his Baby along with a few other cars he detailed for people in his free time.

On the second floor lived his neighbor, a guy named Gabriel. He was a comedian and worked at a fairly well-to-do club in the next town over. He was rarely at home, preferring to spend his days partying and getting into all sorts of trouble. Dean liked him ok and considered the man a friend, but that was mostly because he didn't have many others.

Dean's flat was on the third floor and was quite spacious for the amount of money he paid for it. It was run-down but serviceable and it suited his personality. When he let the angel in, Castiel simply stood inside the doorway, looking lost, but his head was again canted with a vague curiosity. Dean got the impression that, had he been able to see, the angel would have prowled around the space like a cat, exploring everything in his new domain, sniffing out all the hidden corners and peeking in all the rooms.

"Couch is over here," Dean said, lightly tugging on Castiel's elbow and leading him in the direction of the old, comfy sofa. The angel sat primly with his legs together, hands on his knees. His head followed the sounds of Dean's movement as he went to the bedroom to change out of his smoky, bar-smelling clothes and into a worn T-shirt and house pants. It gave him a little time to himself to think about this new situation.

It never occurred to Dean that he could avoid all this new anxiety if he simply got rid of the angel in his living room. He was sure there were plenty of people on the black market who would pay good money for a captive angel, even one so sorry as the one he found himself with. He could also just let the thing go. Yes, Castiel had laid his mark upon Dean's arm, but as far as he knew, it was easily removed if the angel wished it. Then Cas would be free to choose someone he actually wanted to be with. Dean was still not 100% sure why the angel chose to bind himself to Dean in the first place.

The man guessed it was a moment of panic. Angels were not generally hunted or shunned, but they were not considered true citizens unless bonded to a human. After their Expulsion from Heaven, their power was greatly diminished. They still had their power as angels—it was intrinsic to what they were and it would never change—but the greater extent of their abilities was limited.

However, when they joined their Grace to a human soul, it gave them a huge power boost, so most preferred to have a human companion. As far as Dean knew, it was not always an equal partnership and there were many different types of bonds (friends, blood brothers, lovers, etc). It was a two-step process. There was the initial bond—like he now had with Cas. This was something the angel could do on his own. The second step was much stronger and had to be consensual. Dean was not sure what it entailed, but he was not concerned about it at the moment.

Either way, the angel had chosen him. Dean knew he certainly didn't deserve to be bound to something so pure, considering the sorry state of his own soul, but he wasn't going to question it yet. This poor creature had cried out to him for help, much like the dog in the alley, and, sucker that he was, he could not resist at least trying to render assistance. It would upset his life, yes, but when he thought about it, he didn't really have that much of a life to disrupt. The angel needed someone, and, if Dean could admit it to himself, so did he.

Normally, Dean would have opted to get the angel clean first, as he obviously needed a good scrub, but the poor thing was so thin and lost-looking, Dean decided to calm him with some warm food first. After briefly checking on Castiel, who still sat rigidly on the couch, Dean went to make some soup in the kitchen. All he had was instant, so he made a mental note to get something better next time he went to the supermarket. Thanks to the poker game, he had a little extra money to splurge with, but he knew he'd have to conserve most of it if he was going to be housing two from now on.

The man coughed awkwardly as he made his way back to the sofa with the steaming bowl from the microwave. "I made you some soup," he said, "thought it would be easier to swallow while your throat still hurts." (The marks from Mikey's hand had turned into blue bruises and Dean assumed that the angel couldn't speak around them.)

The angel canted his head at Dean and lifted his face curiously towards the smell of the food. Dean sat across from him on the coffee table and held out the yummy-smelling bowl, wrapped in a hot pad. "Here," he said to get Castiel's attention. The angel shrank back, unsure. His wings folded in behind him, making him look smaller, less of a target.

"It's for you," Dean insisted. "You should eat it while it's still hot." After a moment's pause, the angel reached out to him. Dean let his fingertips brush the side of the bowl, showing him where it was. Castiel brought his other hand up to cup the bowl. Dean saw the raw skin around his wrists a split second before the angel hissed in pain and nearly dropped the soup. The man made a grab for it, safely placing the bowl back on the table.

"Let me see that," he ordered, wanting to get a good look at the angel's injuries, but Castiel whimpered and clutched his hands close to his body, his wings puffing out a little in defense. Dean sighed—maybe he'd try again later. They weren't bleeding, so there probably wasn't much he could do about it now anyways.

"Fine, let's just get you fed, then," he said, letting the angel know that he wasn't going to press the issue. Castiel's feathers flattened again and he relaxed marginally. "Look, since you can't hold or see the bowl, I guess I'll go ahead and feed you, ok?" Rather than see this as an inconvenience, Dean secretly liked being able to take care of something again. It was nice to be needed, and he was the kind of man who needed to be needed. He had taken care of Sammy since he was 17, with only Bobby for backup. Now that Sam was grown, Dean felt a little lost.

The angel remained silent, so Dean took that as assent. He set the bowl carefully on his knees and scooped up a mouthful on the spoon. He held it up to Castiel's face and, when the angel didn't respond, bumped it lightly against his chapped lips. The angel shied back at the touch and Dean tried to hold in another frustrated sigh. Gently, but firmly, he gripped the angel's chin, holding his head in place as he again introduced the spoon to his mouth. The angel trembled under his touch, but obediently opened his mouth. He made a little noise of surprised delight when he tasted the chicken soup. It only occurred then to Dean why the angel may have been hesitant to open his mouth to him—hadn't Mickey said that Castiel had sucked him off?

He immediately felt sick at forcing the angel. He used his thumb to softly stroke Castiel's cheek, soothing him. "I'm sorry, Cas. I didn't mean to frighten you. All we're doing is dinner, ok?" He scooped up some more soup and again brought it to the angel's mouth, using his hand on his jaw to guide him gently. The angel allowed Dean to fed him the rest of the soup without complaint.

When he was done, Dean pressed a piece of buttered bread into Castiel's hand. "Here, chase it down with this. You should at least try something solid. I'm going to go run you a bath." The angel gingerly lifted the bread to his nose and sniffed it a little before giving the crust a tentative nibble. He seemed to like it, as he continued to bite off and chew tiny pieces, giving him the impression of a cute overgrown chipmunk. Dean smiled for the first time that night and trod off towards the bathroom.

Chapter Text

It occurred to Dean immediately that Castiel’s wings could not be washed in the small shower he had. Luckily, however, his top-floor loft was originally the firemen’s bunkhouse. Therefore, the bathroom was built to accommodate several men at once. It had been renovated a little to add a large enclosed shower stall and an oversized bathtub, but still held a line of shower nozzles and urinals on opposite sides. Fortunately the floor had drains all along the large middle area, in case of overflow from the team-sized line of showers. Dean figured that he could wash the angel’s outstretched wings in the open space using a shower wand and then let the angel soak in a bath. He started the water and added some soap, letting it begin fill the huge tub.

“Ok, bath time,” Dean said to Castiel when he returned to the living room. He carefully helped the angel to his feet and led him slowly to the bathroom, pointing out various landmarks like his bedroom and a linen closet on their way. He grabbed a couple of towels and a step stool for the angel to sit on and directed him to the middle of the bathroom while he told Castiel his bathing plan.
Then came the awkward moment when Dean had to ask, “Um, can you clean your wings by yourself?”
Castiel shook his head.

“Of course not,” Dean confirmed with a hint of sarcasm—nothing was ever easy for him. “Fine, I’ll help. Can you get the rest?” The angel nodded, and Dean sighed in relief. He felt that he should at least buy the angel a real dinner before ‘molesting’ him with a washcloth. He would have been uncomfortable in the shower room with a naked guy, but did the same rules of modesty and such apply to angels? Either way, Dean wanted this embarrassing situation over as soon as possible.

Castiel took a deep breath before slowly loosening the tie of his trench coat. He winced as he let the sleeves slide down his shoulders and Dean could see why immediately. His entire body was nicked with small cuts and bruises, most in the shape of finger marks around his neither regions and arms. His back and rear held signs of angry red whip marks and Dean clenched his jaw in anger. He was not usually prone to violent thoughts, but seeing what had been done to the angel—his angel—made him want to hunt down and kill Mikey and his followers.

Dean refrained from commenting for fear of embarrassing the angel, who was already hunched over to hide as much as possible of his shamed body. Instead, Dean handed him the soap and a washcloth, then proceeded to gingerly hose him down, careful to shield the angel’s face with his palm, like he would for a child.

While Castiel started on the human part of his body, Dean started on the angelic part. When he asked Cas if he should use soap on the wings, the angel shook his head ‘no’, so Dean settled for gently power washing them with the shower wand. He took equal care with each feather, tenderly spraying it with the water and running his hand over it to clear it of dust and dirt. It was a long process, as Castiel’s wings turned out to span over 8 feet from tip to tip, but Dean took his time, getting to know the feel of his angel.

When everything was as clean as possible, Dean rinsed Castiel off, and then helped him into the full bathtub. The angel hissed as the hot water touched his injuries, but he settled in anyways with a moan of gratitude. Dean got up to give the angel some privacy, but stopped at the little furtive sound Castiel made when he heard Dean walk away.

“Suit yourself,” Dean said with a shrug, but he was secretly glad that the angel seemed to trust him enough already to want him to stay. Instead of leaving, Dean took a quick shower, covered as he was in the dust from Cas’ wings, then went to sit beside the angel as he soaked.

On a whim, he reached out to touch the end of one of the wings that was hanging over the side of the tub. He had been so focused on getting them clean before that he hadn’t taken the opportunity to simply marvel at them. The angel shuddered and Dean pulled away, afraid that he had passed over a hidden injury. A moment later, the wing was pressed back into his hand, a clear invitation. Dean stroked the soft feathers a bit wonderingly. This creature, no matter how broken, was truly a work of art, celestial in design. Each feather was minutely detailed and when he looked close, Dean could see small patterns of loops and swirls over each one. The lines were very faint in the dull grey wings, but they were nonetheless beautiful. The more he touched the wings, the more the angel relaxed until he was nearly asleep, dozing with his head just above water. Finally, Dean decided it was time to dry off before he couldn’t rouse the angel for bed.

“C’mon, Cas, time to get out,” he said. Castiel blinked his blue eyes open at the sound of Dean’s voice, before he forcibly shut them again and turned away. Dean couldn’t help feeling sorry for the poor thing, so ashamed of his defects. Dean wondered what had happened to cause the angel to go blind—as far as he knew, the beings were pretty resilient, and what injury they couldn’t avoid, they usually healed quickly. He resolved to find out, to see if there was something he could do.

Dean wrapped a large fluffy towel around Castiel and helped the angel dry off. Then he sat him back on the stool and went for the first aid kit. By the time he was done bandaging the worst of the angel’s injuries, Castiel was nodding off again. Dean helped his charge back to the living room and quickly made up the bed in the couch. He wasn’t trying to be callous by not offering the angel Sammy’s bed, but he hadn’t opened the door to his little brother’s room since Sam had left and it was too painful to think of doing now. He didn’t want to open the Pandora’s box of memories he’d been trying to keep locked up; any time he thought of Sam, his loneliness hit him over and over like an angry bull, goring him until he couldn’t breathe.

“Good-night, Cas,” he said, turning off the floor lamp in the corner. “If you get up before me, help yourself to whatever you want in the kitchen. I showed you my room, so if you need me, uh, that’s where I’ll be, ok?” He got a tiny murmur of assent from the darkness, then left to get himself ready for bed.

The next morning, Dean woke feeling unusually toasty. In the warm months, he only wore a pair of boxers and slept on top of the sheets to save on cooling, but at the moment he felt like he was wearing a comforter. When he blinked open his green eyes, it took him a moment to realize what he was seeing in the dim light of his bedroom.

His side and legs were covered with one enormous grey wing. A look over the side of the bed confirmed Castiel’s presence. The angel was curled up in a nest of blankets on the rug next to the bed. One wing was tucked close to his body, but the top one was unfurled, arching up over the bedside and blanketing Dean’s long form.

So much for the couch idea, Dean thought as he gingerly sat up, trying not to displace the wing. He should have known the angel would feel too scared and lonely if Dean left him out there, but neither did he want the angel to feel uncomfortable sleeping in his room. He knew what the angel had been used for, and he didn’t want any misunderstandings, which might crop up if he had offered to share his large bed. As usual, nothing ever went smoothly in his life.

With a yawn, Dean crawled out of bed and made his way to the kitchen, leaving Castiel to continue sleeping. He put on a pot of coffee and started defrosting some bacon in the microwave. Then he went to do what he had wanted to do the night before: call his Uncle Bobby.

“Hey, Bobby,” he said when the elder man picked up the office phone. It was still early, but he always opened the yard when the sun rose.

“What are you calling so early for, boy? Can’t it wait until you get here?” the man grumped. He must not have had his coffee yet.

“Listen, Bobby, I don’t think I can come in today,” Dean hedged. He really didn’t want to miss work, but he also couldn’t leave a blind strange angel on his own all day.

Blunt as ever, his uncle said, “You sound like shit, boy. Have a rough night?”

Dean sighed. “You could say that. What do you know about angels?”

“What t’hell you wanna know about angels for and what’s that got to do with you not comin’ in?” Leave it to Bobby to go straight to the truth. Dean sighed again and filled his uncle in on what had happened last night. When he finished, Bobby whistled appreciatively.

“Christ, Dean, something like this could only happen to you.” Dean was a little annoyed to hear that Bobby sounded amused by the whole thing.

“So, what do you know about angels? I know you like to read those weird old history and occult books.”

Bobby shrugged. “Man’s gotta have a hobby.” There was some noise in the background, then a moment of static before Bobby was back. “Listen, Dean, I gotta get some things done around here; I’ll look into the angel thing and call you later. Why don’t you take the week off—paid vacation?”

Dean gaped. “Bobby—!”

“Can it, boy. Don’t think that I don’t know most of your paycheck goes to Sammy anyway. Take a week and I’ll see you next Monday.” He hung up so Dean couldn’t offer any more protests.

Dean shook his head bemusedly and went to put the bacon into the skillet on the stove and started some scrambled eggs. When he turned around, he saw Castiel shuffling down the hallway. The sleepy-looking angel was wrapped awkwardly in a sheet, probably unable to find the dirty trench coat he’d worn yesterday. Dean made a mental note to find Castiel some clothes pronto.

“Kitchen’s in here, Cas!” he called, guiding the angel with his voice. Castiel changed course and went to meet Dean at the small table near the fridge. Dean sat him down, helping him arrange his wings around the chair. “I’ve got bacon and eggs for breakfast, what do you want to drink?”

To his surprise, the angel actually answered, “Whatever you are having.” His voice sounded like he’d been gargling gravel, then went on a smoking binge. Dean assumed it was from a mixture of sleep, the throat injury, and disuse—Mikey didn’t seem like the kind of guy who liked being talked back to. It didn’t help either that the voice caused things low in Dean’s body to tighten just a little. He shook off the feeling violently.

“Well, I was gonna have coffee, but you should probably have something more healthy, like orange juice.”

“Orange juice, then,” said the angel compliantly. Dean frowned. He hadn’t meant to sound like he was ordering Castiel around. He might have argued, but, as orange juice was the best choice, he let it go.
Breakfast was a silent but amusing affair. Castiel acted like he had never eaten such food before and he poked and sniffed at both the bacon and scrambled egg before tasting them delicately. Dean was happy to note that his wrist injuries didn’t seem to be bothering him as he handled his knife and fork with easy daintiness.

“So, I was thinking,” Dean said as he rinsed their breakfast dishes in the sink, “We should probably get you some clothes. I know there are, like, angel specialty shops that sell stuff like that. I doubt there are any in Lawrence, but there might be in Kansas City. Think you would be up for that?”

Castiel nodded, but again Dean wasn’t sure if he was agreeing to please Dean or because he actually wanted to go.

“I don’t want to make you go out if you don’t want to, but it’s not like any of my clothes will fit you. Unless, can’t angels, like, pull in their wings?”

Cas winced and looked away again. Dean clenched his fists at his sides, wondering how hard it would be to hunt down Mickey and feed the bastard his own dick. He tried to focus instead on what Castiel needed.
“Ok, no problem. I’ll go check on the angel stores. You wanna clean up in the bathroom while I look?” The angel nodded again and slunk away from the table, carefully navigating across the living room and down the hall. Dean sighed. Cas didn’t seem too thrilled about their little shopping excursion (neither was he really—shopping? Ew…) but it needed to be done.

Luckily, Dean was able to locate an angel-themed boutique at the Crown Center in Kansas City. It professed to have large lines of angel wear as well as other things they supposedly enjoyed. Dean gave the angel a pair of his smaller jeans to wear in the meantime, as well as a bulky windbreaker that fit over his wings and covered his chest and all the cuts and bruises.

“C’mon, Cas,” he said, trying to sound chipper as they went down the back stairs to the garage. “Road trips are supposed to be fun. At least it’s a nice day out, right?”

The angel followed him, his face upturned towards the warm sun. “Yes. It is nice to be outside,” he agreed quietly.

“That’s the spirit!” Dean couldn’t help but smile at hearing the angel’s voice again. At least he was getting verbal responses now. It took the man a minute to realize that he hadn’t felt this good in a long time. Just one sentence from the angel and he was grinning like a fool. He really had been alone too long… He helped Cas into his Impala, cranked up the radio, rolled down the windows, and headed out for Kansas City.

Castiel’s tense mood from the morning seemed to lighten as they drove down the highway. The wind from the open windows blew through his dark hair, leaving it permanently tousled, but Dean decided that the look suited the disheveled angel. Dean’s choice of music didn’t seem to bother him either. Once the angel inquired about a certain song, “Carry On My Wayward Son,” but he didn’t whine and complain about the loud classic rock like Sammy always did, so the driver considered it a win. He let the warm air and music fill the interior of the car, proving there was little need for actual conversation.

By the time they reached downtown KCMO, Dean was in a pretty good mood. He parked in Halls and whistled a little to himself as he led Cas across the square. It wasn’t until after they’d passed the large crosswalk that Dean noticed he had taken the angel’s hand to lead him safely across. He dropped Castiel’s hand as soon as they were inside, but stuck close to him as they made their way up two escalators and to the top floor where the boutique—Angelic Angles—was located.

Chapter Text

Dean had winced at the over-the-top name when he read it online, but he was relived to find out that the store itself was fairly innocuous. It was still brightly colored and had more pink than any store had a right to outside of Victoria’s Secret, but from what he could see, the men’s section wasn’t that bad. He guided Cas inside (a little glad that the angel couldn’t see the frou-frou get-up in the front windows) and they were met by a perky saleswoman.

“Hi, I’m Becky! Welcome to Angelic Angles. Is there anything I can help you find?” The woman, in her late twenties, was somewhat short with long blonde hair and a large smile. Dean shied back a little from her exuberant greeting, but mustered up a smile for her.

“Uh, yeah. My friend, Castiel, here needs some clothes that fit over his wings,” Dean said, not really sure what he had to choose from.

Becky grinned, peeking over Dean’s shoulder at the shy angel who hovered behind him. “Ok, well, what kind of style are you boys looking for?”

Dean shuffled nervously—he hated shopping for clothes and he was at a loss as to what Cas might like to wear. If Castiel was another guy, maybe Dean could help, but an angel? From what he knew they wore robes and played harps while sitting on clouds. “Something simple, I guess. We just need the basics to get us started. We, uh, we’ve only known each other a little while and he…can’t see very well.”

“Sure,” Becky said comfortingly. It was clear that neither of the men were going to be forthcoming in what type of clothes they wanted, but judging by what they were already wearing, she made some informed decisions. “No problem. Why don’t we get Castiel settled in a changing room and I’ll bring in some selections for him to choose from?” Dean agreed and led the angel to the small dressing room at the back of the men’s section. He helped Cas remove the jacket and patted him companionably on the shoulder.

“The colors don’t really matter, so I guess just pick what’s comfortable,” he advised.

“How many am I allowed?” Castiel wanted to know.

Dean paused. “Just, I don’t know, as many as you need. How about one for each day of the week? Don’t worry about the price, ok? I actually made off pretty well at that poker game—present company included.”

The angel simply nodded. Dean knew they would have to work on their communication later.
Becky returned with her arms full of an assortment of shirts for Castiel to choose from. “I got a bunch of over-the-wing shirts for you. I know that lots of angels prefer to keep their wings out, so we have plenty of styles suited for that. I picked mostly earth tones; nothing too flashy.” She set the hangers on a hook next to the full-length mirror and turned to the angel. “Most of these you should be able to get on by yourself—that’s what they’re designed for.”

“Do you need help, Cas?” Dean asked, though it was clear he would prefer to wait outside. When Castiel shook his head, Dean followed Becky out into the lobby area to give the angel his privacy.

“So,” Becky hedged once they were out of earshot, “You guys haven’t known each other very long?”

Dean wasn’t very good at making conversation, but the girl had been nice so far, so he answered. “No. We just kind of got stuck together. He…was in pretty bad shape when I found him.” Becky hadn’t commented on Castiel’s numerous injuries, but she had probably assumed they had come from other angels. They were warriors of Heaven, after all, and some preferred to keep their skills sharp by fighting one another for sport.

“Well, for a newly bonded pair, you seem to get along well together.”

Dean didn’t know what to say to that. Luckily, Becky was quite talkative and didn’t notice his awkward pause.

“So, I guess you don’t know much about angels, then?” she asked. Dean replied that he didn’t and Becky leaned in closer, as though sharing a secret. “Well, I wasn’t going to mention it, ‘cause I know it’s none of my business, but your angel’s wings look really dry. When’s the last time you oiled them?”

“Oiled?” Dean repeated, clearly clueless on the matter.

Becky sighed. “You have to work a special oil into them a couple times a week so they don’t dry out. It keeps them clean and healthy. It’s ok,” she said kindly, “I didn’t know about it either at first. Come over here.” The saleswoman led Dean to a display of several sizes of pink-labeled bottles. “This is synthetic angel wing oil,” she said, holding up one of the larger ones. “Don’t let the fancy label fool you—this is good stuff. My angel, Balthazar, loves it.”

“You have an angel?” Dean asked curiously. It seemed like this girl could be a good source of information.

“Yup,” she confirmed happily.

“And, you’re bonded?” He still wasn’t really sure what the whole bonding thing entailed. He knew that he and Cas had completed the first stage when Cas burned his handprint into Dean’s arm, but the second stage was much more complicated and permanent.

Becky grinned. “Uh-huh. We’ve been together for twelve years now. When I was 16, he saved me from a mugger. When I asked how I could repay him, he said could he come live with me and would I consider bonding with him? I was in a bad place in my life and he was like this knight in shining armor. I said yes, and I’ve never regretted it.”

Dean smiled. It sounded like his and Castiel’s relationship, only reversed. “So, are you two…together?” he asked bluntly. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the second bond. From what he’d heard, it sounded rather…intimate.

The woman laughed. “No, I have a boyfriend. Balthazar is like…a big brother and best friend all rolled into one. And, between you and me, he’s a bit of a player.” She said it fondly, as she would for a family member, like she could see no wrong in her angel despite his shortcomings.

“But, you still oil his wings?” Dean wanted to know. That seemed like something a lover would do.

“Sure,” Becky said readily. “He loves it, the big softie. Angel’s wings are very sensitive, so it’s like a massage. They used to do it for each other in Heaven, you know, since angels can’t reach their own wings. It was a social thing, between close friends and family. And lovers too, of course. Like birds, angels do make their own wing oil, but it’s usually just easier to buy it—it comes out of clothes and upholstery a lot easier!”

It sounded like she spoke from experience. Dean decided to get a couple of bottles because, as Becky had pointed out, Castiel’s wings looked anything but healthy. The water from the shower last night had probably dried them out even more.

“These should get you started—just a few times a week—and, you can always get some online or in specialty stores,” Becky was saying as she led Dean back to the front counter, “But, like I said, Balthazar likes this kind especially. It smells really good and some of the other styles have glitter and stuff—he likes to show off for the ladies,” she added with a wink. Dean laughed; this Balthazar guy sounded like a real character.

Castiel spent another fifteen minutes trying on new shirts, plus a few pairs of pants that Becky recommended. (“They’re great for flying and exercising in, plus they look great!”) He emerged with a few shirts and pairs of jeans, but Dean surreptitiously added a couple more choices to the pile, knowing that Cas was too polite and shy to get more. This included a bright blue top that matched the blue of the angel’s eyes. Cas might not appreciate it, but even Dean, who had little fashion sense, could tell it would look good on him. By the time they left, each of them had a full bag of merchandise.

Cas, at Dean’s insistence, was wearing one of the outfits already. The shirt was shaped a bit like a scuba vest with two holes in the back that fit over his wings. Underneath each was a thin zipper that held the shirt on. It was mostly black, which matched his hair and had a few blue highlights over the shoulders and seams. Over it he wore a long-sleeved open shirt, this one closing with snaps in the back. The denims he wore were dark pre-washed blue and Dean couldn’t help but notice that they were quite well-fitting, hugging the angel’s subtle curves without being too tight. He knew Cas probably had no idea how good he looked in the clothes, but it gave him a warm sort of pride to know that he had provided so well for his angel. He wouldn’t admit that the warmth was also perhaps caused by deeper, more hidden feelings.

They ate lunch at the mall food court (a slice of pizza and pie each from D’Bronx), then headed back to Lawrence. Dean stopped at Kohl’s to finish off Castiel’s wardrobe with socks and undergarments, plus two pairs of shoes. They were both beat by the time they made it back to the apartment. Dean drew another bath for Cas, who had quietly admitted that he would like another, and went to see about ordering Chinese for dinner. He already had the phone in hand, ready to dial Chang’s Delivery, when it rang. The caller ID came up with Bobby’s number.

“Please tell me you found something,” Dean said by way of greeting.

“Nice to hear from you, too,” Bobby grumbled, but Dean could hear book pages shuffling on the other end. “Well, I scoured my collection first, then went on to the Internet—which, by the way, you are fully capable of doing.”

“Bobby,” Dean groaned.

The older man sighed. “Fine, do you want the old stuff or the new?”

Dean shrugged. “Whatever will help me learn how to help Cas. I guess the background first might help.”

“Ok, then. Well, it says here—and, mind, this is all human speculation. It’s not like angels ever wrote down any of their history—that while they are God’s warriors and very powerful, they are trained to always be obedient and follow orders—either God’s or their garrison leader. Lucifer being cast from Heaven for disobeying sent a pretty powerful message to the rest to keep in line and not question things.

“Bottom line is, Dean: they may be smarter and faster and, well, more holy than us, but they are naturally submissive to stronger personalities. That may explain how your angel got tied up with that Grade-A asshole. He saw someone who professed to be strong enough to take care of him, to help him navigate the new world he found himself in after the Fall, and let the man be in charge. Clearly, the dick took advantage of Castiel’s trust.”

Dean thought about it. “Ok, so that explains why Cas hooked up with him, and maybe why he didn’t try to get away. Or, maybe he did try but he was too weak…Did the Fall really drain them of that much of their power, where they couldn’t fight back against a human?” he wondered.
Bobby hrummed on the other side of the line. “Well, that may tie into what I was reading online, about the double bonding thing they do with humans.”

“Yeah, what’s that all about?” Dean interjected. “It’s not that I mind—except for the huge handprint. Actually, I don’t really feel any different.” Dean reached up to rub the scar, which hadn’t hurt since just after Castiel created it. Frankly, he had expected something a bit more…magical to occur, but nothing out of the ordinary had happened after he brought the angel home.

“Well,” Bobby said slowly, reading as he talked, “From what I can tell, the initial bond is mainly on the angel’s side—that’s why he didn’t need your consent to create it. It’s infused with a tiny part of his Grace that lets other angels know that you two have some kind of relationship. You should be more in tune to each other now.”

“What’s a ‘Grace,’ and what do you mean by ‘in tune’?” Dean demanded. Bobby was practically speaking Greek to him. Apparently, he knew even less than he’d thought about angels. Good thing he had someone to do the research for him.

Bobby’s annoyed sigh was loud and clear. “Boy, don’t you read anything?” he grumbled. “An angel’s Grace is the source of their power—it’s what makes them an angel. It is what heals them when they’re injured, helps them fly—all that angel-y stuff. The human equivalent would be a soul, but we don’t use ours quite the same way. Now, as I was saying, it seems that once you two are first bonded, you are connected in small ways. Like, you can sense each other’s moods, anticipate needs, things like that. Things that people who have known each other years can do naturally; the bond just helps it along faster.”

“So far so good,” Dean said. He supposed that could explain why he felt such a strong need to protect and provide for his angel, but the man suspected that he would have been that way even without the bond linking them together. “So, then, what were you saying about the Fall?”

“I was getting to that,” the mechanic said testily. “From what I understand, the second stage of the bonding involves binding the angel’s Grace the human’s soul. The two energies are compatible insofar as they make a powerful link—like instant soul mates in every sense of the word. Making that second bond gives the angel a big power boost, almost to that of what they had in Heaven. It also gives the human stuff like near invincibility, immunity to viruses, stuff like that.” Dean could hear Bobby clicking through web pages on his desktop. There was a long pause, then the man continued.

“If I was to make a guess, I’d say that the reason Castiel can’t heal himself or fly or whatever else angels do is because his powers are too weak. In other words, his Grace is in really bad condition. Castiel’s Grace is corrupt because he bound himself to a corrupt man. That jerkwad sucked all the…the angel juice outta Cas to make himself stronger, and left your angel weak as a newborn kitten. He needs his Grace to heal himself, but it has been sullied and drained.”

The old man jumped when Dean spoke again.

“Dammit Bobby!” he cursed, slamming his fist down on the kitchen table. “What the hell was he thinking?!”

“What the hell was who thinking?” Bobby demanded. “What’s got your panties in a twist?”

“Cas!” Dean shouted. “How could he do that?”

“Boy, quit shoutin’ or I’m gonna come over there and tan yer hide,” Bobby warned. “What are you on about?”

Dean took deep breaths around the anger suddenly constricting his chest. “Don’t you see it? He’s done the same thing again! I don’t know why he bound himself to Mikey, but now he’s done the same thing with me. My soul is just about as corrupt as that evil son of a bitch’s. How’s he ever supposed to get better if he’s hitched to my crappy-ass soul?”

Bobby’s voice was quiet when he said, “Son, listen,”

“No,” Dean cut him off. “I’m not letting him do it again. Thanks for the intel, Bobby,” he said, then hung up. Forgetting all about dinner, he marched off towards the bathroom—he had a bond to break and an angel to save.

Chapter Text

“What the hell were you thinking?” Dean shouted as he stalked into the bathroom.

Castiel, who had been dozing comfortably as he soaked in the warm water, jumped at the sound of the man’s angry voice. Water sloshed over the side of the tub and Dean swerved to avoid it as he advanced on his charge.

“What?” said the angel in his gravelly voice. He turned his head this way and that, trying to get a lock on his savior. His dry wings flared out protectively behind him, automatically making him look bigger than he was when he felt threatened.

“That mark!” Dean declared, hovering angrily over the tub. “You have to take it off me! Now!”

The angel shrank back in fear, scrunching himself into the cool porcelain side of the pool. “Dean, what are you saying?”
Dean paused briefly when he saw how frightened the poor thing looked and he tried to ignore the shiver of warmth he felt when he hear the angel say his name for the first time. But then he remembered why he had to do this—it was for Castiel’s own good!

“I’m saying you have to break the bond you put on us. Here,” he growled, kneeling and grabbing the angel’s wrist. He brought it up to touch the handprint on his shoulder. “Take it off.”

Castiel tried to pull his hand away. “Stop, Dean, please! You’re not making any sense!” His voice rose in pitch, getting higher and more strained.

“You’re the one who doesn’t make sense,” Dean countered. “First you get bonded to that asshole and let him suck on your Grace till there’s nothing left. Then, the fucking second you’re free of him, you do the same thing with me! Well, forget it! I’m not letting you!” Dean yanked on Castiel’s arm in frustration, causing the angel to cry out in pain—the man had forgotten about the injuries on his angel’s wrists.

Dean dropped Castiel’s hand like he’d touched a hot iron and backed away, horrified that he’d hurt the angel more. He looked down to see that Cas was sobbing, arms wrapped protectively around himself, wings drooping to the floor. Tears leaked from his closed eyes and his face was flushed with emotion.

He was a wreck, and it was all Dean’s fault.

The man swallowed harshly and tried to calm himself, not wanting to distress his angel more. He crouched down next to the tub and spoke, willing Castiel to understand. “Cas, listen. You have to do it. It’s for your own good,” he pleaded.

“I don’t understand,” the angel whispered between labored breaths. “You didn’t seem to mind it until now.”

Dean sighed, running a hand through his hair in agitation. “I don’t mind, Cas. I…it was nice having someone around. But, we can’t do this. I’m no good for you.”

The angel raised his head, looking almost directly at him. Dean nearly gasped—God, those were the bluest eyes he’d ever seen.

“You keep saying that,” Castiel said, tilting his head slightly in confusion. “Why would it be ‘good’ for me to break the bond I have with the only human who has ever cared about me?”

“Cas—“

“No,” said the angel, a bit more assertively. “You claim that you are no better than Michael: I did not believe that until you came in just now, acting as he did when he lost me in a game of chance and demanded I break our bond. Do you understand how much that hurts, to hear those words again from someone I trusted, when I never thought I would trust again?” Another tear slid down his cheek and he turned away, hiding his face from Dean.

The man sat there, speechless for a moment. Castiel was right. How could Dean have not seen what he was doing? Mikey had thrown Cas away like a piece of trash that night, demanding that he take his mark off of him, and now Dean had had come in and done the exact same thing. He really was no better than that evil bastard. Still, he had to make Cas see why he had done it.

“I’m sorry,” he said more softly. “I didn’t mean for it to come out like that. I was just worried about you.” He dipped his hand in the tepid water, wanting to touch Cas and reassure him, but afraid that he would spook the angel. “I did some research, and I found out why you’re not healing like you’re supposed to. It’s because you bound your Grace to Mikey’s corrupt soul. The thing is, Cas, mine ain’t much shinier. In order for you to get better, you have to find someone else, someone with a pure soul.”

The angel snorted wetly. “No one’s soul is wholly pure,” he pointed out.

“Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure mine’s still pretty low on the totem pole,” Dean argued.

The angel took a deep, wavering breath and slowly loosened his arms, letting them relax back into the water. “So, you are trying to communicate that you wish to break our bond not because you want to, but because you believe yourself unworthy?”

Dean frowned. “Isn’t that that I’ve been saying for the last five minutes?”

“Badly,” the angel confirmed wryly. He sighed then. “Dean, I learned from my last mistake. I would not have bonded with you had I not felt that you were a good man.”

“You did it with Mikey,” he muttered. How had this turned into him being upbraided by the angel he’d been trying to save?

“That is not of import,” Castiel stated primly. “Your soul may have the small nicks and stains of a man with many vices—“
Dean winced— “But they are eclipsed almost entirely by your better qualities. It was those that I felt even in my despair, and when you played the game for me simply to save me from Michael, you convinced me you are a good and righteous man. I could have chosen no better human companion.”

“…Well, when you put it that way,” Dean said, a little in awe of Castiel’s speech. The angel made him sound more like a saint—which he certainly was not.

Castiel could tell that the man was not convinced. “If you need more solid proof, Doubting Thomas, allow me to show you.” He held out his delicate hand to Dean who hesitated before taking it. “Now, watch that cut just above my elbow,” the angel suggested. Dean focused his attention on a particularly nasty scratch while the angel let out a long breath, concentrating on the wound.

At first, nothing happened. Dean was about to ask what he was supposed to be looking for, but then he noticed that the cut had gotten marginally smaller. Dean gasped as he felt a surge of sensation travel from his hand to Castiel’s. It wasn’t pleasurable, but nor was it particularly bad. Simply intense. With wide green eyes, the human watched as, slowly yet surely, the scratch began to pull itself together, the skin knitting neatly, until it the flesh was made completely whole again, not even leaving a scar to mark its presence. Cas let Dean’s hand slide from his and he slumped against the side of the bath, clearly exhausted. As soon as they lost touch, Dean, too, suddenly felt a little drained, like he’d just spent a long day at work.

“What was that?” he wanted to know, reaching out to run his rough fingers over the perfectly healed skin on the angel’s pale arm.

“That,” Castiel ground out, “Is the true power of your soul, and an angel bond.” His words were a little slurred with weariness and his wings now lay limply along his back. “It tires us when we force it, but as long as we remain in reasonably close proximity, we will both gain power from our joining. Simply being close to you will allow me to heal. Granted,” he added bluntly, “Your soul is not in prime condition, so it will take longer, but over time, it will work.”

“Gee, thanks,” Dean intoned, but the angel could hear relief in the human’s voice. Dean sat up, putting a warm hand on
Castiel’s bare shoulder. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, Cas. I really was trying to look out for you.”

The angel nodded. “I know. I would appreciate it in the future, though, if you got your angel information directly from the source, to save you from running around with half-cocked notions.”

Dean chuckled. “But, didn’t you know? ‘Half-cocked’ is my middle name. Oh, wait…” he added, realizing he’d made a bad joke at his own expense.

Castiel just canted his head at him. “Why on Earth would your parents give you such a name?”

This time, Dean let out a full-on laugh. “Never mind. Listen, how about I make this up to you? Becky sold me some oil to use on your wings; wanna try it out?”

The angel nodded. “I’d like that,” he said quietly. Dean patted his shoulder once more and left Castiel to dry and clothe himself while he went back out into the living area.

The man’s first order of business was to finally put in the call to the Chinese take-away place, ordering them enough food to make leftovers for tomorrow. Then he straightened the couch-bed, putting on an extra sheet in case he dripped oil on the upholstery. It wasn’t a nice couch, but he had paid retail for it and didn’t care to have it stained with whatever the hell was in the bottle. By the time Cas wondered back out of the bathroom, wearing a pair of Dean’s sleep pants and an angel-T-shirt, dinner had arrived. Rather than sit at the table, Dean carried the take-out cartons and some drinks out to the living room and sat cross-legged on the bed opposite the angel.

“I got sweet-and-sour chicken, so do you want fried rice or chow-mein with it?” Dean asked, though at this point he should have known better. At the blank look the angel gave him, he sighed and put a little of each onto a place before carefully handing it to the angel along with a fork. Cas seemed to like the chow mein better, and, even blind, it turned out that he could navigate eating it much better than Dean.

Once they had each eaten their fill, Dean cleared away the dishes, took a seat behind the angel, and pulled out one of the pink angel-oil bottles he’d bought at Angelic Angles. “You wanna test this before I go slathering it all over your wings?” he suggested, pressing the bottle into Castiel’s hand from over his shoulder. The angel opened it and sniffed at it curiously. He poured a tiny bit into his palm, tasted it before Dean could stop him, and then rubbed it experimentally between his fingers.

“This concoction very closely resembles angel’s natural wing oil,” was his final analysis.

Dean took the bottle back from him. “Ok, then. Any special way I should do this? Anything I need to know, Mr. Angel-Expert?” He wasn’t sure if it was too early to joke with the broken angel, but Cas just seemed to bring out his more carefree side, just like Sammy had before he left.

Castiel, of course, completely missed the sarcasm. “I do not believe so. Simply do it as you had before when you washed them. Just…” he trailed off, and Dean picked up on the unease in his voice.

“I promise I’ll be careful, Cas. Even I know that angels’ wings are really sensitive and you usually don’t let people touch them. If you need me to stop, or if I hurt you, let me know,” Dean said firmly. From what he had heard, angels guarded their wings more closely than any other part of themselves, save their Grace. Their wings were a physical extension of that inner power, and as such very fragile. Having them out all the time made the angel vulnerable and they only let those they trusted most near them. It said a lot to Dean that Cas was willing to allow him that close. Yes, he had cleaned his wings the other night, but that was out of necessity and Castiel hadn’t been sure he could tell Dean ‘no’ if he needed.

Now, Dean was doing it as a favor, but both knew that such an intimate activity would help solidify their first bond. Beyond talking or time, touching in this way would assist them in getting to know one another more deeply. Castiel’s Grace flowed through those wings (as dry and dull as they were) and Dean touching them with Castiel’s full consent, performing this private task, was as good as him touching the angel’s soul. It was kind of the point of no return in their bonded relationship—after this, Dean knew he wouldn’t be able to change his mind. Cas would be his permanently. Not that he wanted rid of the angel—he just acknowledged that this was a big step, and he surprised himself at how much he wanted to take it.

Acting more confident than he felt, Dean squirted a large dollop of the viscous, slightly pink oil onto his palm, rubbed it a moment to warm it, then reached out and tentatively touched one of Castiel’s primary feathers. The wing jerked under his hand, but immediately stilled. Dean ran his wet fingers over the grey feather, until it was thoroughly coated with a thin layer of the oil. “Ok?” he asked before going on. When he got a short nod from the angel, he continued, moving to the next primary, then the next.

As he worked, Dean noticed that Castiel’s wing was vibrating ever so slightly, but he took it as a sign of nerves, and just went slowly, easing the angel into the sensation of Dean rubbing his hands over his sensitive feathers. Again, the human marveled at the feel of the material under his fingers. Even dry and unhealthy as they were, Castiel’s wings were the softest things Dean had ever felt. He quickly grew to enjoy the experience, but it wasn’t until he moved on to the second wing that he realized the angel was as well.

This time, instead of starting with the primaries, Dean chose to touch his oil-slick hand to the fluffy down that gathered where Castiel’s wings sprouted from his back. The angel gasped and flinched away and Dean froze. “Cas?” he asked, afraid that he had hurt the angel, possibly run over a hidden injury.

Castiel let out a full-body shudder, running from his legs, up his spine to the tips of his wings and arms. Then he sighed and visibly tried to relax again. “It doesn’t hurt,” was all he offered by way of explanation. When the angel didn’t elaborate, Dean tentatively continued his ministrations, moving as carefully as possible. Still, he noticed that Castiel had begun to tremble more, his feathers rustling together as he shook. The man, confused at the angel’s reaction, placed a warm, oil-slick hand between Castiel’s wing bones on his back, rubbing it to sooth him. The angel groaned at the touch, arching back into it a little, and Dean blinked in sudden comprehension: Cas liked this. Dean had never been with a man, but he’d bedded a lot of women and that guttural noise of arousal was unmistakable in either sex.

Dean’s shoulders grew tense, wondering if he should continue or back away. He hadn’t meant for this activity to become sensual in any way, and he felt like he was taking advantage of Castiel if he went on, knowing full well now what it was doing to him. On the other hand, the task needed to be done. He was about ¾ of the way finished, so shouldn’t he just keep going?
In the end, Castiel decided for him. The angel stopped moving after the moan, as though realizing what Dean might make of it. He scrambled off the side of the bed-couch, standing awkwardly. His usually pale cheeks were flushed and his eyes were opened wide, probably in fright. “Pardon me,” he said hastily, and stumbled down the hallway. After a moment, Dean heard the door to his room close softly.

The man sighed, running a wet hand through his hair. Things had been going so well tonight—well, after his earlier freak-out. He guessed it was about time for another, but he wished there would come a point where he would quit screwing up. Cas had been through enough without putting up with Dean’s inability to take care of him properly. Dejected, Dean went to go wash the dishes in the kitchen, giving his angel some time to himself.

Chapter Text

After cleaning up the kitchen, Dean decided to go check on Castiel. He still felt terrible for causing the angel discomfort, but he needed to make sure Cas was ok before he went to bed. He opened the door to his bedroom quietly, not wanting to wake the angel in case he’d gone to sleep. Once his eyes adjusted to the darkened room, Dean sighed. Cas was once again curled up on the rug beside his bed, body wound in a tight knot with his wings tucked close, the sensitive underside hidden against his back and flanks.

The man quietly got himself ready for bed, then bent and gently gathered the sleeping angel up into his arms. Castiel flinched and moaned in his sleep, fighting against Dean a little as the man lifted him from the floor. Dean shushed him and climbed onto the large bed, lying Castiel in the middle. The wings slid closer around him, creating a protective cocoon with the carpal bones tucked under his chin. He wriggled a little, body not used to the comfortable mattress, and then he settled, falling back into a deeper sleep.

Relieved, Dean took his place on the edge of the bed, not wanting to invade the angel’s space.
It took the man a long while to fall asleep, even after his long, eventful day. His thoughts kept inevitably sliding back to his angel, and particularly the time he had spent grooming his wings. Dean’s fingers clenched involuntarily into the sheets as he remembered the oh-so-soft feeling of the angel’s feathers running over his rough hands. He had enjoyed the activity probably more than he should have and he secretly looked forward to doing it again in a couple of days when Castiel needed the oil reapplied.

Still, he wondered at the angel’s reaction. He certainly hadn’t meant to stimulate Cas the way that his grooming obviously had. Dean knew that angel’s wings were sensitive, but no one had mentioned that they were also erogenous zones. He had noticed that Castiel reacted particularly strongly to any touch around the area where wing met flesh, especially the downy feathers right at the base of his wings.

Maybe, if Dean avoided that place next time, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Really, the man rationalized, there had to be a way around it, because how awkward would it be if the angel in question always popped a boner when a friend or family member was grooming him? He knew that angels approached sex differently than humans, but that had to still be weird, right?

The next morning, Dean awoke with a loud series of sneezes that wracked his body hard enough to jolt him from his dream. “Goddammit,” he growled, raising an arm to rub his nose with the back of his hand. To his surprise, a fluffy grey feather fell from his cheek to rest in the hollow of his throat. So that’s the culprit, he thought, picking up the feather and holding it before his eyes to see it more clearly. It was one of Castiel’s secondaries, about as long as his palm. He played with it for a moment, letting it catch the faint sunlight from the curtained window and shimmer a little before dropping it back onto the bed.

When he sat up, Dean was surprised to see that he was almost covered in the small feathers. They blanketed his legs and chest and when he slid off the bed, there was a Dean-shaped hollow that was lined with more of the feathers. He looked up when he heard the rustle of a wing and saw that Castiel, who had slept all night beside him, was lifting the top wing away from his body. The movement displaced the feathers already on the bed and Dean briefly thought to himself that this must be what owning a shedding dog was like. He’d have to invest in a bigger vacuum cleaner if this kept up. He sneezed again as one flew past his nose.

“God bless you,” Castiel said in his scratchy always-just-woken-up voice. Dean was beginning to think it was just normal for the angel and not a product of his injured throat.

“Thanks,” the man said, rubbing his nose again violently. “I must have pulled out some of your feathers, ‘cause you shed like crazy during the night. The bed is covered in them.”

The angel ducked his head, his wing moving closer to his side again defensively. “My apologies,” he whispered.

Dean stopped running his toes over the pile of feathers on the floor and looked up at Cas. “Dude, it’s fine. No big deal. But, is it ok for you to lose so many?”

“Losing a few is normal after grooming,” Castiel intoned. “Besides, it’s not as though I am using them anyway,” he added in a quiet undertone.

The man sat down again and reached out to touch the edge of Cas’ wing. “You’ll fly again once you heal,” Dean said, but his assurance sounded more like a plea for the angel to agree with him.

“Yes,” Castiel said, but he still sounded off, like he was only speaking to appease Dean. The man frowned; something wasn’t right.

“Cas, what’s wrong? Is this about my soul not being clean enough to heal you right away? Because I was thinking—“

The angel shook his head. “No, Dean, it is not you. It is I who am at fault.” He retracted both of his wings, pulling them in tightly against his back and out of Dean’s reach.

Dean tried to contain his chuckle at the thought of an angel of the lord giving him the “It’s not you—it’s me” speech. “Cas, trust me, you haven’t done wrong.”

“But I have. You were being so kind to me last night, and I panicked and ran away from you. I don’t know how I got on your bed but I—“ His voice shook with emotion, as did the top feathers of his great wings.
This time Dean cut Castiel off. “Cas, I told you to stop me if you got uncomfortable. I really did not mean to make you feel that way. I mean, yeah, you should have told me what was going on instead of running off, but I don’t blame you and I’m not mad. I don’t expect you to be perfect—you’re allowed to freak out once in a while, just like I am.

“I just wish you’d tell me that I’m being a stupid human instead of letting me keep messing things up.” Dean grinned in triumph when he saw the angel quirk the corner of his lips up in a tiny smile.
“Agreed,” Castiel said, and his wings unfurled a little as his body relaxed.

“Good. Now, come help me defrost some waffles.”

After breakfast, Dean spent the morning clearing some space for Castiel in his bedroom and angel-proofing the rest of the flat. He cleared the top two shelves of his dresser out for Cas’ socks and stuff and gave him half the closet. After a painfully awkward conversation at the breakfast table, it was decided that they both felt more comfortable sharing Dean’s bed—Castiel didn’t like being alone and vulnerable in the living room when he couldn’t see and Dean liked having the angel close-by where he could keep an eye on him.

It turned out that the apartment was a hazard trap for a blind person, especially one with an 8-foot wingspan. Castiel was incredibly graceful despite his disability, but his knees could only take so much abuse after repeatedly running into Dean’s non-fung-shei furniture. Dean cleared all his accumulated junk into the corners of his place, making easy paths for the angel to follow. He then carefully and methodically took Castiel all through the apartment and the yard outside, helping the angel map their territory in his mind. Castiel only tripped once, going back up the stairs, and Dean was right there to catch him, keeping his arm around Cas until they made it back inside.

By that time, it was getting close to 5:00 in the evening and Dean decided that he should probably go get something from the grocery store for dinner before they both starved. For a bachelor, he had become a decent cook, having to learn to keep Sammy fed because fast food was too expensive for their budget.
“So,” he said to the angel sitting quietly on his couch, “Do you wanna tag along or wait for me here?”
Castiel flexed his wings nervously, letting them unfurl before bringing them down again to touch his back.

“I…would prefer to stay with you,” he said. Dean knew the angel didn’t like going out among people, but neither did he like being alone. It made him perversely happy that Cas chose him over the safety of the flat, trusting that Dean would protect him. They trooped down to the Impala and Dean headed out for the store.

It was like a bad joke without a punch line. “A blind, former sex-slave angel and his weak-souled, bowlegged human walk into a grocery store…” Dean knew they must have been drawing attention to themselves: Cas, with his huge grey wings, clinging to the tail of the human’s shirt as he wheeled a buggy up and down the frozen food aisle. He tried to involve the angel in the food-decision-making process, but Castiel just agreed demurely with all of his suggestions.

Instead of letting his frustration show, Dean merely filled up the cart with healthy things. He was used to years of forcing Sammy to eat right, so now having to take care of an underfed angel didn’t seem all that different. He did try to sneak in some more dessert than usual, looking forward to showing Cas all the good things humans were capable of—like pie.

Dean was so busy meal-planning that at first he didn’t notice that he hadn’t felt the familiar tug on his shirt in a while. He turned, thinking maybe Castiel had wandered off a little. A glance down the aisle showed it to be empty but for him. The man forced himself not to panic yet, but wheeled the buggy into the main aisle and went systematically past each row, looking for his wayward angel. When a thorough search of the store yielded no results, he proceeded to freak out. Where the hell was Cas? What if he had been kid—er—angel-napped? What if he had gotten lost and made his way out of the store? He could have walked into the street…

Dean abandoned his cart and rushed out of the supermarket. He hurried into the car park, which was lit only by the overhead streetlights, as the sun had set while they were shopping. He looked this way and that, trying desperately to spot his angel’s large grey wings. He ran to the Impala, thinking maybe Cas had made his way back to the car, but no luck. After a few frantic minutes of searching, Dean headed back towards the store, ready to call security. He was almost to the entrance when he heard Castiel’s gravelly voice off to the side of the building. He skipped the doors and rounded the corner, pausing with relief when he saw his angel.

Then he growled in anger: Castiel wasn’t the only angel in the shadow of the store and the other one was advancing on him, forcing the blind angel to press back against the brick wall in fear. The new angel had the form of a tall, lanky man with dark skin and cruel brown eyes—Dean could see the feral malice in them even from where he stood. Six massive white wings (the sign of an archangel) sprouted from his bare back, held high in a clear display of dominance. They were eye-smartingly bright and tinged with ocean blue. Tiny steaks of lightening crackled over them, lending to his already ominous appearance (which, Dean amusedly noted later on, was lost on a blind angel). He was speaking to Castiel in a low, rumbling voice that sounded like mountains moving, and it was not pleasant like Cas’ gruff timbre.

Dean only caught part of what the angry archangel was saying until he moved closer. It was hard to hear over the cyclone of wind and dirt kicked up by his power show.

“—are a disgrace, Castiel. If God were still alive, He would smite you for what you have lowered yourself to become.”

Castiel’s dull wings were flat against the wall, but he still tried to raise them proudly even though they shook with the effort. “I did it to save Michael!” he protested, and Dean ground his teeth upon hearing the name of the man who had so abused the angel. “I felt that there was still some good in him. I thought that if I shared my Grace with him, it would help him become a better person.”

The archangel sneered as though his brother were something nasty he’d spied on the bottom of his shoe. “And how can you still pretend to love humans after acting like their bitch since the Fall? You go from one corrupt man to another, cowering to them like the animal you are.”

“No, Raphael!” Cas rasped, his voice faltering under the strain. “Dean is different! I was wrong about Michael, but—“

Raphael ignored him, flaring his wings to cut viciously though the air. Castiel couldn’t see the gesture, but he shivered nonetheless. “You have condemned yourself in Heaven’s eyes and the eyes of your brothers and it is my duty to rid our kind of such a filthy ignominy.” He raised a hand to do God-knew-what, but Dean wasn’t about to let him lay a finger on his angel.

“Back off, dickwad!” he yelled, covering the last bit of distance between them and going to Cas’ side. He put a comforting arm around the angel’s waist and let him lean against him. Castiel slumped into his hold, strength spent. “There will be no ‘smiting’ of Castiel. You got a beef; you take it up with me. Or, better yet, go take it out on the bastard who did this to him!”

“That human has already been dealt with. As soon as Castiel broke their bond, my brother Zachariah was free to take care of the filthy mud-monkey,” Raphael said haughtily. Dean rolled his eyes—this angel was so full of himself.

“Remind me to send Zachy a fruit basket to say ‘thanks’. Now, what’s this about ‘ridding your kind’ of my angel?” He could maybe deal with Raphael, but he needed to know if there was some hit out on Cas.
The archangel glowered at him, his body tense, ready to strike at any moment. “We could not touch Michael while he was under Castiel’s protection, but now Castiel is weak—too weak to protect himself and another witless savage.”

Dean hadn’t learned to bluff at poker for nothing. “Oh yeah? Are you really sure you wanna try our bond? You think that just because Cas is weak I won’t personally kick your feathery ass back to whatever hole you crawled out of?”

“Dean…” whispered Castiel urgently.

Raphael’s wings erupted with more streaks of lightening, growing with the power of his anger. “I will not stand here and be insulted by a lower being!” he asserted.

“Good, then go stand somewhere else. Preferably another planet.”

“Dean!” Cas said, this time pulling on his arm. Dean shushed him, keeping his eyes on the bigger angel. He didn’t know how he was going to defend himself and Cas, but he wouldn’t let the bully come anywhere near his angel.

“Vermin!” Raphael shouted and started towards them. A slim, deadly-looking silver knife appeared in his hand. He raised it, ready to strike, when a frightened voice called from the front of the store.

“Raphael?!” It was followed by a small, disheveled man who ran up to the archangel, clutching a bagful of groceries. The man’s short, dark hair was a mass of curls and his face held several days’ worth of scruff. His expression was a mixture of shock and resignation like he was surprised by Raphael’s behavior, but knew that he shouldn’t be.

“Leave me, Chuck,” Raphael demanded, but his tone was much lighter when he spoke to the human.

“Castiel and this man must be punished.”

“You promised you wouldn’t do this any more,” Chuck protested, hugging the bag to his chest. Several bottles clicked together suspiciously. Dean supposed that if he had to deal with Raphael, he’d drink a lot too.

Raphael rounded on the man. “You are not my master! I do not have to do as you tell me!”

“Major control issues,” Dean muttered to Cas, who was trembling behind him.

Chuck sighed. “Of course I’m not, Raphael. But I’m asking you to please leave these guys alone. You can’t go around killing everyone you dislike—there wouldn’t be anyone left in Kansas,” he said reasonably.

“You mean to tell me Mister I-Hate-All-Humans is bonded to you?” Dean had to ask. Raphael was the last angel he thought would lower himself to be tied to a human.

“It wasn’t his choice,” Chuck explained wearily. “We were bonded before the Fall. I was a prophet and he was my archangel—my protector. We’re…still learning to deal with each other in a more…permanent capacity.”

“Well, good luck,” Dean said heartily. He saw their chance to escape while Raphael was busy arguing morality with his human, and Dean took it. He hefted Cas up as best he could and helped his angel back around to the well-lit front of the building.

“Are you ok? Did he hurt you?” he demanded, looking the angel over now he could see better. Castiel shook his head negatively and Dean breathed a sigh of relief. “You want me to take you home now? I can come back and get the groceries later.” Again the angel shook his head timidly, drawing his tired wings protectively around his body. Clearly he’d rather stick close to Dean after his traumatic experience, even if it meant braving the supermarket. Dean took the angel’s hand and led him back inside and to their cart, not letting go of his warm fingers until they got back to the Impala with their supplies.

The drive home was silent, as was dinner and the clean up afterwards. Both were a little shaken up after their encounter with Raphael. Dean was getting ready for bed when Castiel came to him, leaning hesitantly against the doorjamb. “Would...you mind grooming my wings again? I can feel dirt between the feathers from Raphael’s windstorm…”

Dean wished Cas could see the smile that flashed across his face when the angel asked. He knew it was a big step for Castiel to begin expressing his needs, especially one so intimate as this, and he was pleased that the angel turned to him for help. “Of course, Cas. Why don’t you got get comfortable on the couch?”

The angel nodded and shuffled back down the hallway. When Dean came out into the living room, he saw that Castiel had pulled the bed portion out of the couch and was lying across it on his stomach, head pillowed on his arms. He had removed the angel-shirt, leaving only a pair of the form-fitting jeans. Dean still thought it was odd to see an angel in denims, but as it would have been equally weird to see Castiel in a robe or skirt or whatever angels typically wore in Heaven, he didn’t complain.

The man grabbed the bottle of wing oil and scooted up on the bed next to Cas. “Tell me if you need to stop this time,” he said gently. “It’s ok if it feels good—just relax and let me do this for you, all right?”

Castiel murmured his assent and let his wings fall open to Dean, stretching them out flat over the couch so the man could easily reach them. Dean stifled a gasp at the sight of the beautiful feathers—he didn’t think he’d ever lose his sense of wonder at seeing his angel’s wings. He touched one reverently, carefully massaging the oil into the feathers and clearing them of dirt and grit.

As he carded his fingers though the feathers, a few more came off in his hand. After now many Cas had lost last night, he was kind of beginning to worry. “Cas, you’re still losing feathers, man. Are you sure you’re ok?” he asked, wiping his hand off on the top sheet so he didn’t transfer the dust back onto the clean portion of the wing.

“It is normal, Dean,” the angel said. “Though if I am losing as many as you say I am, then I suspect I am molting.”

Dean, unfamiliar with the term, was unsuccessful at hiding his disdain “Gross. Uh, I mean, that doesn’t sound good.”

Castiel’s rumble of a laugh made Dean smile, even if the laugh was probably at his expense. “On the contrary; it is a good sign. It means that I am continuing to heal. My wings are greatly damaged, so I will molt all the old feathers and grow healthy new ones.”

“Oh. Well. Ok, then,” the man said, relieved that there wasn’t something wrong. He was definitely going to have to pick up a new vacuum, though.

“It is nothing you are doing wrong, Dean,” Castiel assured him. “When Michael bothered to groom my wings, he was much rougher than you are being. With you it feels, nice.” Dean removed his fingers from Cas’s wing before he clenched his hand in anger at the mention of the dead man. Trying to lighten the mood, he smirked, and reached for the smaller wings closer to the carpel bone.

“Rough, like…this?” he asked, softly ruffling the feathers there, getting them out of place. Castiel’s reaction was just as he’d hoped for. The angel squirmed and let out a surprised giggle at the unexpected attack. Dean’s grin widened, pleased to learn that his angel was definitely ticklish. He dragged both hands through the feathers, intentionally messing them up. Castiel laughed again and twisted his wing in a half-hearted attempt to get away, rolling his body over. Doing so exposed the more sensitive underside of his great wings, and Dean took full advantage, digging his hands into the dirty feathers and smearing them with the oil as he gently tickled. The angel’s body arched up and his other wing flapped uselessly, unable to evade Dean’s searching fingers. Curious, the man abruptly switched his attack to Castiel’s flesh, scrabbling his fingers up and down the angel’s sides. This time Cas kicked out, an involuntary reaction that caught Dean unaware. He swore as the angel’s knee connected with his stomach, and sat back, gasping a little at the pain and exertion.

Castiel sat up too, concern all over his expressive face. “I’m so sorry, Dean!” he cried, reaching out to cover Dean’s hand on his belly.

“I was asking for it,” the man wheezed. “Besides, it was worth it to hear you laugh.”

The angel blinked bright blue eyes at him, canting his head at his statement. He let it go with a little shrug. “Well, I very much doubt you will feel the same way upon waking to find a large bruise on your abdomen. Here,” he added, pushing Dean’s hand away. He laid both of his smaller ones over his human’s stomach and bowed his head, concentrating. A moment later, there was a flash of cool sensation and the ache that was beginning to form in Dean’s belly abruptly vanished.

“What the hell?” he asked in wonder.

Castiel removed his hands, letting them fall to rest on Dean’s leg. “I told you the healing goes both ways. You will be fine now.” He lay back down and flapped his wings at Dean cutely, a sure sign to get back to work. Dean chuckled, and did was he was directed.

Chapter Text

Sure enough, the next morning Dean woke to a faceful of loose feathers, with more covering the bed and floor. Upon further inspection of the wing that was carelessly draped over most of his torso, the man could see that in the semi-bare patch that was missing several secondary feathers, a few new ones were beginning to peek out. He noted with surprise that the fresh feathers were not grey like the old ones, but a soft matte white. He ran the end of his finger over the tips, entranced with this new color. It suited Cas, who was still so pure and innocent even after everything he’d been through.

Taking one of the longer shed feathers, Dean carefully leaned over the angel and proceeded to wave it lightly under Castiel’s nose. The angel snuffled a little, wrinkling his nose at the feeling. His human persisted, tickling the end of Cas’ nose with his own feather. It took a couple of tries, but eventually Dean was rewarded with an adorable little sneeze from the angel who had been attempting to sleep despite Dean’s best efforts.

“Payback for yesterday’s wake-up call,” Dean laughed, dumping a handful of feathers over Cas’ already tousled hair. The angel’s completely disheveled look when he sat up in confusion was priceless. His blue eyes blinked repeatedly in shock.

“I…don’t understand…” he replied, looking around as if he could figure out what was going on and why he had been awakened so rudely.

“It’s a prank,” Dean explained, still chuckling to himself. “I used to pull that kind of thing on Sammy all the time. This one summer, he put Nair in my shampoo bottle, so to get him back I snuck into his room and put his hand in a bowl of warm water. It was classic!”

At Castiel’s blank look, Dean sighed. “It made him pee himself,” he elaborated dryly.

The angel frowned a little, canting his head curiously. “That seems mean…”

“It’s all in good fun,” Dean assured him. “We never took it too far and we never hurt each other or anything. It’s just for laughs. We got cabin fever staying in the apartment a lot while Dad was out working, so we had to find ways to amuse ourselves. Aw, man, there was this one time when I got some itching powder at a joke shop. Dad had to finally ask Sammy if there was something wrong with his balls he kept scratching them so much!” Dean cracked up, remembering the good old days with his little brother.

Castiel was again confused. He reached out to gently trace his companion’s lips, and Dean froze mid-laugh. “You do not make sense when you speak of your brother,” he said, palming Dean’s face. “Your voice is sad but you are smiling. I can feel that you are in pain, but you speak of amusement.”

Dean took Cas’ hand, pulling it down to hold it lightly in his lap. “It’s complicated,” he told the angel. “Sammy and me…” He started to say something more, but then he changed his mind. “I-I’m gonna go start breakfast,” he said, pulling away abruptly and jumping out of bed. He hauled ass to the kitchen as though the hounds of hell were tailing him, leaving a light dusting of feathers on the floor in his wake.

As soon as he got there, Dean immediately felt bad about leaving Cas so suddenly. He hated that he had probably hurt the
poor clueless angel’s feelings, but he was having trouble keeping control of his own. He hadn’t thought about it since he’d met Castiel, but he had just been reminded that Sam hadn’t called in over a week. Usually they tried to talk at least every few days—Dean knew his kid brother was busy with school, but he needed to make sure Sam was ok like he needed oxygen to breathe. He knew his dependence on Sam was most definitely unhealthy, but he didn’t care. And now, to think that he hadn’t noticed Sammy’s lack of communication—what kind of brother did that make him?

Dean shuffled some pots and pans around angrily, more for the soothing noise than because he was looking for any one particular cooking utensil. He started some pancakes, whipping the batter harder than strictly necessary and making a mess he’d be annoyed to find later. Finally, when he could stand it no longer, he grabbed his cell phone from the arm of the couch and dialed Sam’s number.

To his surprise, Sam picked up on the second ring—usually he had to leave a number of increasingly snippy messages before he heard back from his brother.

“Hey Dean!” he said, much too chipper for this early in the morning.

“Hey Sammy,” Dean replied, struggling to remain calm. His brother was alive—take deep breaths. “How ya been?”
“Great! Sorry I haven’t called in a while. I’ve got this paper that’s kicking my ass and Jen’s best friend has been staying over because of some family drama. It’s been pretty intense.”

“Oh, no worries,” Dean said quickly, pretending that he hadn’t been near a panic attack simply because they hadn’t spoken in seven-plus days. “So, everything’s good?”

“Yup. Just got an ‘A’ on my Philosophy test, so I’m set. How about you? Anything exciting back in Lawrence?” Sammy seemed truly interested, probably because he knew his brother was at a loss without him. He had known Dean all his life and he could tell when his brother was upset.

Dean realized that it really had been a while since they talked and, for once, he had some pretty big news to report. “Well, I uh, got a new housemate,” he hedged. He honestly wasn’t sure how to classify his relationship with Cas, but they were technically sharing living quarters, so that’s all his brother needed to know.

“What? Dean, do you need help with the rent? Because I—“

“No, Sammy, Jesus!” Dean interrupted. The last thing he wanted was for his brother to feel bad taking all Dean’s money. Sammy was the one with the bright future—he deserved everything Dean could give him. “As a matter of fact, I recently came into some money. I just…inherited an angel along with it.” Sam’s confused exclamation prompted Dean to give his brother an abbreviated version of the story. Predictably, Sam was over the moon about the fact that his brother knew an actual angel.

“Oh my God, Dean—uh, I mean, gosh—that is so awesome!! I want to meet him! Do you know what an honor it is to be bound to an angel? Are you going to go through with the second stage? What’s he like? What—?”

Dean laughed at his brother’s enthusiasm, having forgotten a little what it felt like when his little brother geeked out over something. “Hit the breaks there, Sammy. He’s not a new puppy, you know.”

“Hey, wait,” Sam was still talking, “Can’t angels fly, like, anywhere? Maybe when he’s better, you and Cas can fly out here to Stanford.”

Dean shuddered and almost gagged—he hated air travel. He had only been on a plane once as a kid, when his Dad took him and Sammy to visit relatives in Florida, and he had…not travelled well. Three hours of him puking his guts up in a paper bag, with Sammy giggling about it the whole time, turned him off flying for life. Celestial being or not, no way was he letting Castiel fly him all the way to California.

Sam could clearly picture his brother’s expression, even if he couldn’t see it. “Dude, you know how hilarious this is, right? My non-religious, afraid-of-heights brother is bonded to a winged angel!” Dean grumbled as his brother had a nice laugh over this fact.

Finally, Dean cut in. “Don’t you have a lecture to attend, Bitch?” he asked petulantly.

“Jerk,” Sam replied automatically. “And, yes, I should probably get going. Look, I promise to call more often, ok? Say ‘hi’ to Castiel for me!”

“Yeah, yeah, go be smart,” Dean said, and hung up.

He returned to the kitchen in much lighter spirits. He was greeted by the sight of Castiel hovering nervously over the stove, poking at the now-charred pancakes with a spoon. He turned when he heard Dean enter and gave him a pathetic look.

“I am sorry, Dean, but it appears as though this food is inedible. I tried to rescue it, but was unable to do so in a timely fashion, it seems.”

Dean burst out laughing again at the expression of woe on his nerd angel’s face. He flicked off the stove and slung an arm around Castiel’s shoulders. “Forget pancakes, Cas, let’s go out for breakfast,” he said, and steered the angel towards the front door.

Castiel at a diner was a scene Dean never wanted to forget and he played it over and over in his head the rest of the morning after they had returned to the firehouse. He chuckled as he started a load of laundry, seeing Cas trying to decide between the needlessly huge amount of breakfast combos and specials. Even more amusing was the waitress who seemed to dote on the angel, especially after she discovered he was blind and liked to try new foods. Dean was pretty sure that, by the time they left,

Cas had sampled half the menu and had doggie bags of the other half.
They might have stayed longer so the angel could just start on lunch, but Dean had begun to feel strangely antsy after witnessing the large amount of attention the waitress paid his angel. At first it was cute, but then he started to feel a little annoyed. Even knowing that Castiel couldn’t see, the woman had sure been flashing a lot of cleavage and leaned over the angel more than was necessary. Normally, he was the one the ladies paid attention to. Towards the end of the meal, Dean realized that what he was feeling was jealousy. And, was if that wasn’t confusing enough, it wasn’t directed at Cas, but at the waitress who was trying to tempt his angel. Dean knew the feeling was irrational because, it wasn’t like he and Cas were lovers or anything…

With a violent shove to get the last of the towels in the washer, Dean cut off the line of thought. He went back towards the living room where Castiel was napping on the couch. They had started watching a movie an hour ago, but five minutes in, Cas was out like a light. Dean had been hesitant to suggest the pastime at first, but the angel assured him that he would enjoy listening to the dialogue and Dean could fill in the gaps. Dean knew it wasn’t The Mummy that had put the angel to sleep, so he assumed it was from the loss of energy due to regenerating his feathers.

When he heard the doorbell ring, Dean deviated from his course to the couch and veered in the direction of the front door instead. He assumed that it was Bobby, whom he hadn’t heard much from after telling him about Cas. Maybe the man had dug up some more info on angels.

After expecting his uncle, Dean was very surprised to see his neighbor, Gabriel, lounging against the doorjamb. The short man was wearing a smug expression and held a plateful of brownies.

“Hey, there, Dean-o!” he greeted the man. “I heard through the grapevine you had a new flat mate and I just couldn’t wait to meet him!” He pressed the plate of brownies into Dean’s hand. “Consider this a welcome gift.”
Dean took the plate on impulse, but looked down at the little man in alarm. “Uh, I don’t—“

“You don’t like brownies?” Gabriel asked, intentionally misinterpreting what his neighbor was trying to say. “How sad for you. Well, how about some chocolate chip cookies, then?” he asked and waved his hand at the food. To Dean’s astonishment, the baked goods he held actually changed from one to the other, leaving him with a dozen cookies. The man almost dropped them in shock.

“What the hell is going on?” he demanded. Dean had thought Gabriel was an ok guy—a little weird and even more hedonistic than himself, but fairly stable. This rambunctious, fast-talking man was unexpected and a little bit scary. That, and how did he know about Castiel? He had only just moved in a couple of days ago…

“Oh, don’t trouble yourself,” Gabriel was saying, “I’ll just make myself at home.” He slid past Dean and into the apartment. It was a step too far and Dean immediately maneuvered around so that he was between Gabriel and the entrance to the living room where Cas slept. He growled a little, eyeing the man suspiciously. No one, not even the man he had thought of as a friend, was going near Cas without his approval. He’d already had to defend his angel against Raphael, and the encounter had put him on edge, waiting for the next attack.

Gabriel merely laughed at Dean’s display. “Oh, calm down, you big lug. It’s so cute that you’re all protective and everything, but I would never hurt my baby brother.”

“Baby…?” Dean repeated, thoroughly confused. Then he heard soft footsteps behind him, signaling that Cas had woken up. He was about to order the angel back into the living room, when Castiel spoke.

“Gabriel? I-Is that you?”

Dean glanced between Cas and his neighbor. Wait, they knew each other? Cas took a tentative step forward, his wings lifted hopefully, trailing loose feathers. Dean shifted, still keeping himself between him and Gabriel.

“Yup, it’s me little bro. I was in Morocco when I heard that Raphy got into it with another angel. Word on the street was it was you, so I came back to see. Imagine my surprise when I found you right upstairs.” Gabriel’s smile was genuine at seeing Castiel, and Dean relaxed a fraction. Then it hit him. How would this guy have heard about an angel show-down halfway across the world? Wait, Gabriel…it was popular on Earth, but hadn’t it started as an angel name…?

“Back off, Dean,” Gabriel said, shooing the human back with a dismissive wave of his hand. Dean stumbled away to stand next to Castiel, giving the archangel the space to release his wings as proof of his divinity. Six huge light brown wings sprouted from his back, casting the apartment in a faint glow until they were fully materialized. He stretched them out, taking up most of the space in the foyer.

Dean’s reaction surprised them both. Rather than surprise or even anger, he went with sarcastic exasperation. “What is it with friggin angels all of a sudden? I take in one and now it’s all Angel-palozza in Lawrence!”
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Stop being such a Drama-Dean. You’re gonna realize this fast, but when you bond with an angel, you inherit a huge, seriously messed up family as well.” He sighed when Dean just gave him an annoyed look. “Humans’ sibling rivalry and daddy issues have got nothing on angels’. Raphael is a great big bag of dicks with a superiority complex and when I heard that he was out for our Castiel, I came to make sure he was ok. Now, would you kindly move aside so I can say ‘hello’ to my little brother?”

Dean gritted his teeth. The last time they met an archangel, it hadn’t gone so well, but Gabriel did seem nice enough, if kind of irritating. He looked to the black-haired angel at his side. “Cas?” he asked, leaving it up to him whether or not he attempted to evict Gabriel from his apartment.

Castiel nodded. “His intentions are true, Dean. Gabriel always looked out for me in Heaven, even though we weren’t in the same garrison. It is good to see him again.” He went to go greet his big brother with a hug, which Gabriel spoiled by sticking out his tongue at Dean over Cas’ shoulder. Dean glared at the archangel, but didn’t try to stop him and risk upsetting Castiel.
When Cas excused himself to go get everyone some coffee to go with Gabriel’s cookies, the bigger angel turned to Dean with an unusually serious look. “As much as I hate to admit it, I must thank you for taking care of my baby brother,” he said. “I should have been watching out for him, but I got distracted and lost track of him after the Fall.”

Dean frowned. “Damn right you should have. Do you know what happened to him? What he’s had to go through?”
Gabriel looked away. “I heard. I never meant for that to happen. But you have to know, once an angel bonds with a human, another angel can’t break that bond. We don’t have much power left, but that one is still strong.”

That made Dean think of something. “But, he’s not with Mikey any more, so can’t you just heal him?”

“No-can-dos-ville, Babydoll,” the archangel said. “His power is linked to you now—I can’t get in the middle of that.” With the next beat, the archangel brightened and smiled over at his human neighbor. “Besides, that’s all water under the bridge now. He’s got you and, I have to say, you’ve been going a pretty good job taking care of him; your pissing contest with Raphael notwithstanding.”

“Well, what the hell was I supposed to do?” Dean demanded. “He was gonna kill Cas!”

“You do whatever you have to.” Gabriel lowered his tone and motioned for Dean to step closer. Dean did, warily. He watched as Gabriel twitched his wrist, producing a gleaming silver weapon from under his sleeve. “I shouldn’t be doing this, but with our Father out of the picture for the moment, I guess there’s no one to put me in a corner for bad behavior.” The archangel handed it to Dean, and he realized it was the same kind of knife-thing that Raphael had threatened him and Castiel with the night before. “This is my angel blade. It can kill just about anything, including archangels. You keep this one and defend yourselves with it until Cas is strong enough to make his own. If anything, it should deter any of the others from following in Raphy’s footsteps.”

A little in awe at the loner angel sword, Dean thanked Gabriel and slid the sword through his belt at the small of his back. Castiel’s safety handled, he went on to more pressing matters. “What’s up with all the angels coming around anyways? There aren’t that many of you guys, so what are you all doing here? And how did I not know you were one of them?”

Gabriel accepted a warm mug of coffee from Castiel when the other angel returned from the kitchen, and made himself comfy on the sofa. “If you must know, Lawrence is built upon the center of a mystical convergence point. There are several all over the world. It’s nothing that humans can sense, but it lends a big power boost to supernatural beings. Since we all lost a lot of power after the Fall, angels like to live in places like this, where they can use the natural power around them like a battery.”
Dean gave Castiel the corner of the couch to curl up in, seating himself between the two angels. Cas sat up with his knees to his chin, his wings over the armrest. He wriggled his toes under Dean’s warm thigh to keep them toasty and the man pretended not to notice.

“So, that explains Cas and Raphael, but you’ve been here more than 10 years—you were here when we moved in when I was 5.”
The archangel shrugged. “I was down here long before the Fall. Unlike most angels—other than Cassie—I enjoy the company of humans and all the…pleasures they provide.” He said the last with a lusty smile that Dean figured it was probably better that Cas not see. “It’s just more fun down here than it was up there, so I left and took up permanent residence on Earth. I’ve been here for hundreds of years. Just came to Lawrence for the burgers. And the hippies. Have you ever had an orgy with twelve girls at once?”

Dean decided that he would never understand angels, much less one like Gabriel. After another half hour of conversation, he gave up and went to start an early dinner, leaving Castiel and his brother to catch up. After stuffing his face with a full two helpings of lasagna and most of the cookies, Gabriel finally went back to his own place—or, wherever he’d come from.
“I guess Gabriel doesn’t seem like as much of a douchbag as your other brother,” Dean confessed as he and Castiel stood side by side brushing their teeth in the bathroom before bed.

The angel spat daintily into the sink and smiled up at Dean. “It was good to catch up with him. I feared that after Raphael, my entire family despised me. It is nice to know that is not the case.”
Dean laughed, amused as usual by his nerd angel’s take on things. “Well, even if they did all hate you, you’d always have me,” he said, without really thinking about it. It took his brain a moment to catch up with his mouth, and then he gulped nervously. What had gotten into him?

Castiel paused in wiping his mouth and turned his bright blue eyes on Dean—well, Dean’s shoulder. “Do you really mean that?” he asked softly, biting his full bottom lip. Dean found himself wetting his own lips with his tongue as he stared at Cas’. All the breath seemed to have left his body when Cas spoke and he found himself unable to move.

“Yeah, I do,” he whispered. And he did. Even though he hadn’t had a choice when Castiel put the first bond on him, Dean didn’t regret it. If he was honest with himself, he would have acted no differently, bond or no. Cas was his responsibility and he liked taking care of the angel. Castiel had filled the hole Sammy left in his life and Dean wasn’t going to give him up easily.

It may be selfish, but he never wanted to let the angel go now that he had him.

Castiel leaned the slightest bit closer, gravitating to his human’s warm body. “Thank you, Dean. You are more than I could ever have asked for.”

“Cas,” Dean breathed, then before he could stop himself, he closed the last bit of distance between them, pressing his lips to Castiel’s in a gentle but passionate kiss. His hands went up around the smaller figure, burying the tips of his fingers in the downy feathers on Cas’ back.

The angel struggled for a moment, frightened by the sudden rush of motion and sensation, but then he surrendered to Dean with a little moan, letting his body go limp against the larger man. Dean let his emotions drive him, kissing Castiel with gusto and trying not to think too much about small details, like the fact that he wasn’t gay and only cared for Cas as a friend. The sound that the angel made only spurred him on. He grabbed Cas’ thighs and heaved him up onto the countertop, thrusting himself in-between the angel’s open legs. Cas grabbed at his short hair to steady himself and mewled at the feeling of Dean so close.

It wasn’t until the man lunged forward, mashing their lower regions together that Castiel was suddenly reminded of his time with Mikey. His blue eyes flew open in panic and he pushed at Dean’s shoulders to make him break their kiss. “Stop, please,” he said brokenly. His wings fluttered behind him, making a useless attempt at flight and instead sweeping everything from the counter off onto the floor.

The sound of clattering bathroom supplies brought Dean back to his senses more than anything else. He gasped in shock, realizing what he’d done. He stumbled back, putting yards of space between himself and the frightened angel. “Oh, God, Cas, I’m sorry!” he said, running a hand over his jaw. “I didn’t mean to—!”

Castiel put his head into his hands, sobbing. “It’s not you, Dean,” he cried. “I’m just so…defective. Raphael was right…”
Dean couldn’t bear to see his angel hurt, and went back to stand near him, putting a hesitant hand on his knee. “Of course you’re not defective. Don’t listen to anything that dickwad said. It’s only been a few days—it’s gonna take time to deal with everything that happened with Michael. It’s my fault for pushing you. I don’t even know what I…” Dean trailed off, out of words to say. He couldn’t even explain it to himself what had just transpired between them. He, too, was going to need time to work out this new development.

Castiel just continued to sob, short little breaths wracking his already too-thin body. Dean put aside his personal issues and just hugged the angel to him, letting Cas blubber against his chest. He picked his angel up carefully and carried him to their room, lying Cas down and getting into bed beside him, holding the angel until he eventually lapsed into sleep.

Chapter Text

The next couple of days were relatively uneventful (if one called having a blind angel living in one's home uneventful). Then the week was out and it was time for Dean to return to work. He knew better than to ask Bobby for an extension on his impromptu vacation. Besides—he could really use the money if he had another mouth to feed. Not that he minded providing for Cas too. At this point even Dean would admit (if only to himself) that he would do anything for his angel, and happily. Still, he felt that it was too soon to leave Castiel in the apartment on his own, especially with Raphael on the loose. That left Dean only one option and he was none too thrilled about taking it.

“I do not require Gabriel to treat me like a child's seat,” Castiel said after an early breakfast, his tone as close to a whine as Dean had ever heard. He thought it was kind of cute, really.

He gave the angel a questioning look. “Treat you like—? Oh, you mean baby sit!” He couldn't help laughing at Castiel's disgruntled expression. “Look, don't think of it as ‘babysitting’. More like hanging out. Hell, just nap the whole time and ignore him of you want, but until you at least get your vision back, I don’t want you here alone.”

"Don't worry, mom,” Gabriel said as he zapped into the apartment without bothering to knock this time. Dean rolled his eyes—angels... “I'll take good care of widdle Cassy and make sure he dwinks his milk and is in his beddy-by at 7.” Castiel tied to protest but the archangel stuffed a large lollipop into his unsuspecting brother’s open mouth, using it like a pacifier.

The man sighed and handed over the angel blade to Gabriel before he called ‘good-bye’ to Cas, grabbed his go-cup of coffee, and headed out the door.

Dean could honestly say he was happy to be back at work. Bobby’s salvage yard and mechanic shop was one of the few places that Dean felt he truly belonged. He knew he did good work and was proud of it, as well as being able to support himself and his family. He liked feeling needed and important and he loved working with cars, so it was the perfect gig. Normally, it would take a lot to distract him from his careful repair of an old ’65 Mustang for a client, but today his concentration was shot. Every few minutes, he itched to call home and check on Castiel and as soon as Bobby told him to take his lunch hour, Dean few to the office and dialed his flat.

Castiel answered the phone with his usual monotone ‘Hello.’

“Hey, Cas, it’s me. Are you doing ok?” Dean said in a rush.

The angel nodded, and then realized that Dean could not see the motion through the phone. “I am well, Dean,” he said without elaborating.

Dean fidgeted impatiently. “Is Gabriel still there? Did he feed you?”

He heard Castiel give a tiny sigh and winced a little. “I am not a pet to coddle and feed at regular intervals,” he said. Dean could only smile at the angel’s peeved tone—at least he was expressing himself more now. He could deal with a sassy Cas, as long as the angel felt comfortable with being himself, rather then acting how he thought Dean might expect him to act.

“Sorry,” Dean said. “I just worry about you, man.”

Castiel sounded contrite when he replied, “I understand and I am grateful for your protection. Yes, Gabriel fed me. He flew to a country called Japan and brought us back something called ‘sushi’.”

The man flailed dramatically in shock and outrage. “What?! Is he trying to kill you? Cas, do you know what’s in that stuff? Raw fish!!”

There was a pause on the line then Castiel’s low, gravelly plea “But, I like it…” Even if Dean couldn’t physically see the angel’s bright blue eyes, he knew Cas was giving him puppy eyes. He had almost gotten as good at that as Sam was. Dean groaned—like he could deny the sweet little angel anything.

“Fine, whatever. I guess, as long as you like it…At least angels probably don’t get food poisoning…” Dean flinched when he heard a loud CLUNK, then he heard a new voice on the phone.

“Oh my Father, Winchester! Give it a rest already,” said Gabriel, who had grabbed the handset from his brother. “Let the poor guy eat what he wants.”

“You!” Dean hissed, “You only gave him something weird because you knew it would piss me of.”

“Well, that is my ultimate goal in life,” the archangel mused. “Now, get back to work and quit worrying. Someone has to bring home the bacon!” With that, Gabriel hung up on him. Dean contemplated trying to call again, but figured it probably wouldn’t be wise to mess with another archangel. After all, even if he was enjoying it all too much, Gabriel was doing Dean a favor by protecting Castiel in his absence. The man hurried through his lunch then went back to work, trying to keep his mind on the Mustang’s new paint job and not on his angel.

As soon as Dean opened his apartment door around 7:00 that night, he was greeted by Gabriel, who ushered him in and told him to make himself at home. “I live here, bitch,” he reminded the archangel.

“Are you staying for dinner?” He really wanted a meal with just Cas and himself, but it didn’t pay to be rude.

“As much as I would love to share in your Bucket-o-Chicken,” Gabriel said, giving the food Dean had picked up on the way home a severely disdainful look, “I have a party to attend in Brazil. Have you seen the women down there? Grrowl, if yanno what I mean.” He purred and wriggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Dean didn’t, but he went along with Gabe anyways. “Sure. Well, thanks for staying with Cas and everything.” Dean secretly enjoyed his banter with the archangel, but he didn’t want to seem ungrateful.
Gabriel gave him a softer smile. “It was truly my pleasure. Castiel was always one of my favorite brothers. It was nice catching up with him.” He patted Dean on the shoulder and sauntered towards the door.

“Cassy’s napping now, but I groomed his wings and helped him bathe before he went to sleep. Have a lovely night, you two!” He vanished with a distant flutter of wings.

Dean set the table and served the chicken and mashed potatoes before going to wake the slumbering angel in his bedroom. When he got there, Dean stood in the doorway a moment, simply watching Castiel sleep. His wing feathers were coming in nicely, most of one wing and a third of the other. The soft white feathers gleamed in the light from the hallway, still covered in a thin sheen of wing oil. Cas had informed Dean that in another week or so, he would be able to fly again. They wouldn’t be visiting Africa or anything soon, but at least he would be able to move around freely and get himself to safety if need be.

Plus, Dean wouldn’t miss the dull grey feathers—the matte white fit Castiel much better.
He sat on the side of the bed and ran a gentle hand along the top wingbone, smoothing the tiny feathers there. “Hey, sleepy-head. Time for dinner.”

Castiel’s wings fluttered a little as he woke, then stretched out to their full length around Dean, working the lax muscles. The angel flopped over on the coverlet, reaching out to touch his fingers to Dean’s leg.

“You’re back. Was the time spent at your job favorable?” he asked innocently.

Dean chuckled. “As much as any time at work can be, I guess. I got to work on a ’65 Mustang today. It’s an old muscle car, like my Baby,” he explained at the angel’s blank look. “Of course, it didn’t hold a candle to her, but still.” Castiel nodded his understanding—Dean spoke more about his beloved car than just about anything else, beside his brother. Cas didn’t care much for humans’ vehicles, but he could tell how much Dean adored his car, and so Cas loved it too, for giving comfort to the man with whom he was bonded.

They ate dinner quietly, Cas still a bit groggy from his nap. Afterwards, the curled up on the sofa and Dean put in Pirates of the Caribbean. Castiel stretched out on his stomach so his wings wouldn’t be cramped, but his body didn’t quite fit. Dean grabbed a pillow and put it over his leg, gently maneuvering the angel so that his head rested against him, his legs curled so that all of him fit comfortably. Castiel murmured pleasantly and they rested like that for most of the movie.

After a while, without even really thinking about the action, Dean’s hand gravitated to Cas’ permanent bed head. He began to run his fingers through the almost-black hair, soothing both himself and his angel. The more he touched Castiel, the more he focused on the angel rather than the movie, despite the loud gunshots and zombie pirates. Cas looked so exquisitely serene and beautiful lying there with his head in Dean’s lap. Dean had never found males attractive before, but, then, he’d never seen one as perfect as Castiel. Maybe it was the angel thing, maybe it was his sculpted cheekbones or his soft full lips or his innocent way of speaking or those damn piercing blue eyes, Dean wasn’t sure, but he was coming to realize that he was harboring feelings for the angel that were far from platonic. He hadn’t meant to feel this way and it scared him a bit that he did, but there was certainly no denying it.

All these thoughts conspired to make Dean grow rather hard despite his best efforts, and he shifted a little uncomfortably. He tried to relieve a bit of the pressure on his rising dick without bothering Castiel, but the angel must have sensed his distress, for he woke and lifted his head. He sniffed a little, scenting the air around him, and then canted his head curiously. Oh fucking great, Dean thought, It figures that damn angels can smell arousal.

Castiel sat up and turned his blind eyes to his human’s face. “Would you like me to take care of your erection for you, Dean?” he asked quietly.

Dean nearly choked at the words that had just come out of his angel’s pretty mouth. “W-what?!” he managed to gasp.

The angel slithered lithely off the side of the couch and positioned himself between Dean’s open legs. He reached up to fumble with the man’s belt.

“Cas! Stop!” Dean practically yelped in shock. He tried to catch Cas’ hands as they worked at his jeans.

“I was told that I am quite good at sucking cock,” the angel said matter-of-factly, trying to evade Dean’s hands. “I…I’m not good at much, and you’ve been so kind to me, so if I can give you anything—“

Dean grabbed the angel’s wrists, hauling him back away from his crotch. His body growled at him for denying it, but his mind screamed to stop Castiel before he did something they might both regret.

“Cas, man, it doesn’t work like that—at least, not with me. I don’t want anything in return for helping you out; I like having you here. You don’t have to repay me, and definitely not like this!” He unintentionally growled the last bit, trying to keep a reign on himself. It would be so easy to give in to the sudden burst of lust he felt for the innocent angel, but Dean wasn’t going to force Cas, or let him do this out of a false need to repay the man who had saved him. That would make Dean no better than Mikey, even if Castiel was offering.

The angel tucked his wings back and shrank away from Dean’s unusually harsh tone. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

It took all Dean’s willpower to tramp down on his warring emotions of panic and desire; he didn’t want to distress Castiel further. “It’s ok, Cas. I’m not angry,” he assured the angel. “You just caught be by surprise. Look, why don’t you just come back up here and let’s finish the movie?” He was determined not to let things get awkward between them—it was a small apartment, so avoiding one another out of embarrassment could get very uncomfortable very quickly.

Castiel did as he was told, but the tension in his body made it clear that he still felt something was wrong. Dean doggedly put his hand back in Cas’ hair when he returned his head to Dean’s lap, stroking him to calm him. After a few minutes, Castiel spoke softly. “Dean, I can tell you were aroused, so why wouldn’t
you let me—?”

The man cut him off, keeping his eyes firmly on the screen to keep from seeing the hurt expression on his angel’s face. “Cas, just forget about it, ok? You never need to repay me for anything. I won’t ever make you do anything you don’t want to.” He heard the angel sigh, letting the topic drop. A moment later, he felt the Castiel’s wing stretch out and brush gently against the back of his neck, stroking him as he was doing to Cas’ hair. They stayed that way for the rest of the movie, each reassuring the other that he was all right.

It was three days later when Dean was awoken by a flash of bright light and a sudden urgent shaking of his arm. He blinked sleepily, trying to figure out what the hell was going on so early. His alarm for work hadn’t gone off yet, so it must be before six in the morning.

“Dean, Dean, please awaken!” Castiel was growling in his gruff voice. The gravelly sound usually made the man smile, but at this hour he found it rather grating.

“Cas, the goddamn apartment better be on goddamn fire if you’re getting me us this early—“

“I can see!”

Dean’s own eyes shot open at the angel’s exuberant outburst and he sat up quickly, sending the angel tumbling to the side of the bed in a whuff! of feathers. “For real, Cas?!” Dean asked, all trace of sleep gone upon hearing Castiel’s gleeful declaration.

The angel righted himself and without any care for personal space, crawled right up over Dean’s legs and crowded into his face until their noses were mere centimeters apart. His blue eyes were bright and wide and they shone in the sunlight from the shade he’d pulled back from the window. This close, Dean could see that most of the milky film had dissipated, leaving Castiel’s eyes mostly clear, if still a little unfocused. Dean reached up and cupped the angel’s chin in his hand, gently tilting his head so he could examine his eyes more easily.

“Yes, Dean,” Castiel confirmed, staring at him intensely without blinking. “I can only see colors and a few shapes at the moment, but it is an indication that my injury is healing. It is happening much more rapidly than I could have hoped for, since my new feathers are still coming in.”

Dean laughed, his face breaking out into a smile at wide at the angel’s. He smoothed his thumb along Castiel’s jawbone, touching him lightly. “Well, at least now you’ll be able to see where you’re going when you can finally fly,” he quipped. When Castiel remained in his close position still longer, Dean dropped his hand to poke gently at the angel’s shoulder. “Mind backing up there, chuckles? I’ve got morning breath.”

Castiel tilted his head, still staring at Dean. “I’m trying to see your face. It is the one thing I truly wanted to see,” he said plainly. Dean was thankful the angel still probably couldn’t see him blush at that.

“Yeah, well, it’ll still be here tomorrow. Now let me up, you big ball of feathers. I may as well shower since I’m awake now.” He made as if to rise, but was halted when he found himself with an armful of timid angel.

“Thank you, Dean,” Castiel said against his neck as he hugged the taller human, “You are the one who healed me. Your grace and your goodness. Without you I would be…”

Dean awkwardly patted Cas’ back. “Ok, ok, angelface. Not that I did much, but you’re welcome. Now, if you really wanna say ‘thanks,’ go make me some coffee, seeing as how you got me up at the ass-crack of dawn.”

Castiel flapped his wings happily and finally pulled away from Dean, hurrying into the kitchen to brew some coffee for his human. When Dean finished with his shower, he padded into the kitchen to see that, in addition to coffee, Castiel was attempting to make pancakes. He had forbidden the angel from using the stove to cook while he was blind, but today Cas had found the frying pan—making a mess of the kitchen in the process—and was dabbing bits of batter onto the hot surface. He was squinting, his nose far too close to the stove, and he had the most adorable frown of concentration on his face while he carefully manipulated the hotcakes into perfect circles. Dean could smell that they were already burning on the unprepared surface.

“That’s going to work better if you oil the bottom of the pan first, Cas,” Dean commented as he walked up behind the angel-turned-chef.

“Oh,” said Castiel, looking crestfallen.

Dean used his hands on the angel’s thin hips to move him back away from the hot surface. “No big deal. Here, I’ll get it down for you and you can start over.” He reached above the angel’s head and into the cupboard, pressing his body flush against Castiel’s back, mashing his feathers in-between them. He felt the angel tremble and quickly backed away, setting the vegetable oil on the counter. He scrapped the first batch and watched as Castiel began his second attempt, keeping his sharp eyes on the angel and ready to pull him back at the first sign of trouble. It reminded him of his first time teaching Sammy to cook scrambled eggs. He had been deathly afraid of letting the smaller boy get too close to the stove, but his brother had bitched and moaned to be allowed to do it himself, so Dean stood by and watched like a hawk as his brother started the eggs. He held the same apprehension now, even knowing that Castiel could easily heal himself if he did happen to get burned.

Castiel’s second batch was much better, but he ran into difficulty when he tried to flip them with the spatula. The first one cracked and he frowned at it, as though the power of his displeasure would mend it again. Dean laughed and pressed up against his back once more, putting his hand over the angel’s on the handle of the skillet.

“You have to flip them in the pan, like this,” he said, demonstrating the easy motion with a jerk of his arm.

“You are quite skilled at this,” Castiel observed as he tried it himself, only to end up flipping the pancake right out of the pan and onto the back wall.

Dean peeled it off gingerly and blew on it before transferring the unfortunate circle to his plate. “It’s one of my many talents,” he bragged good-naturedly.

“Show me again?” Cas pleaded, turning the full force of those blue eyes on his human. Dean’s treacherous body was only too happy to comply, pleased to have an excuse to be so close to Castiel. He helped the angel practice flipping pancakes until they had a sizable pile and they sat down to devour them before Dean had to leave for work.

As they lay together in bed that night, Cas turned to Dean, who was just drifting off to sleep. “Dean, would you take me out tomorrow?” he asked shyly.

Dean woke right back up—did Castiel want him to take him on a date?! “What?” he said groggily.

“You do not have to work tomorrow, right? Will you take me somewhere I can see the sky? Please? Now that my sight has returned somewhat, I miss looking at the beauty of my Father’s creation.”

The man relaxed marginally. “Oh, sure, Cas. We’ll go to the South Park. It’s a couple of blocks away off Mass. Street. Sound good?”

The angel replied by flinging a heavy white wing over his human and snuggling in close.

Chapter Text

Castiel let Dean sleep in marginally later the next morning, but his excitement at the prospect of going outside was much like that of little Sammy’s on Christmas morning. He sat quietly on the edge of the bed, creepily watching Dean sleep, but his wings fluttered excitedly behind him, causing the bed to vibrate so much that Dean woke up thinking he had spent the night in a motel bed with Magic Fingers.

“I don’t suppose you’ll let me shower?” he asked the angel doubtfully, dragging a hand down his stubbled jaw.

“Why?” Castiel asked, canting his head at the sleepy human. “You are still clean. You smell good.”

Dean’s freckled cheeks flushed—he seemed to be blushing a lot lately. “Uh, ok, Cas, you really need to stop smelling me.” He ruffled his tousled hair. “Go get ready and I’ll meet you in the living room. We’ll just get breakfast out.”

Castiel gave Dean a radiant smile and left Dean to dress. The man dragged himself slowly out of bed and shuffled to his closet. He reached out to grab his usual array of a T-shirt and button-down, but hesitated before touching them. Previously, he had never really cared what he wore around Cas, because it wasn’t like the angel was going to judge his taste in clothing. But today would be Cas’ first official day of full sight. His vision had still been blurry yesterday, but Castiel had said it should be nearly healed by the morning. The moment Dean stepped out of his dark bedroom, the angel would be able to see him fully. Dean was suddenly apprehensive at the prospect.

On a whim, he by-passed his casual gear and pawed his shirts out of the way so he could poke his head into the back of his closet. Near the end of the rack he found a soft, jade green Henley that Sam had given him for his birthday a few years back. It fit snugly and was only a shade or two darker than his eyes. Dean finished off his ensemble with clean, dark stonewashed jeans that were just a little too small and clung to his slightly bowed legs. The outfit was still informal, but he knew he looked good in it. He gelled his hair to perfection in the bathroom and checked his appearance critically in the mirror.

“Jesus, I’m acting like such a girl!” he berated his reflection before shaking his head at his antics and going out to join Cas in the living room.

Castiel blinked several times when he saw Dean and walked right up to him, inspecting his human closely now that he could see clearly.

Dean shifted uncomfortably. “Uh, like what you see?” he joked, scuffing the toe of his boot on the carpet. As usual, Castiel was super-close, but somehow it was different when the angel could see him.

“You are very pretty, Dean,” the angel confirmed without hesitation.

The human gulped, suddenly finding it hard to breathe. “I think the word you’re looking for is ‘handsome’. And, uh, thanks.”

“That as well.” Castiel ran his piercing blue eyes up and down Dean’s body and the man backed up a little, coughing to hide his embarrassment.

“We better get going. It’s a few blocks to Mass Street,” he told the angel. “Do you wanna take Baby or do you wanna walk?”

“May we walk, please?” Castiel begged, giving the human wide, pleading eyes.

Dean shrugged—at least it wasn’t too hot this early. He let them out of the apartment and directed the angel which way to walk, letting him eagerly take the lead. Dean hung back, simply watching Cas walk and look around himself with avid curiosity at his surroundings. The angel had already gone over the apartment again with great interest, seeking out all the things that had been hidden to him when he couldn’t see. He was like a newborn, excited about every little thing he saw.

Dean focused his attention on the angel, and grinned when he noticed what Cas was wearing. He didn’t know if Castiel had consciously dressed up as well or if he simply liked the color, but he was sporting the deep blue shirt that Dean had picked out for him at Angelic Angles. The man noticed that the jeans encasing the angel’s slim body were his own; the too-small pair he had given Cas when he first came to live with Dean. Dean hadn’t noticed it much before, but it occurred to him now that he liked seeing Castiel wear his clothes. It was like the ultimate sign that the angel was his to provide for, literally giving him the clothes off his back, and the thought appealed to Dean in a caveman-like way.

He tried to quell any thoughts of that nature as they hit Massachusetts and Dean pulled Cas into Einstein Brothers for breakfast. They both got a bagel (Cas chose Chocolate Chip while Dean went with Everything) and ate them as they continued on to the South Park. The gardens that dotted the 6-block park were all in full bloom and even Dean had to admit that the place looked magical, like something out of a fairy tale. He walked beside Cas as the angel shuffled slowly along the trails in the flowers, stopped every so often to touch or smell them. A few early joggers gave the two strange looks, but Dean ignored them, simply enjoying watching Castiel rediscover the joys of nature.

He was shocked out of his reverie when Castiel produced a slender finger right under Dean’s nose. He jumped when he saw the honeybee on the end of it. “What the hell, Cas?” he demanded, backing up. Like many people, he had been stung once as a child and since then had harbored a severe dislike of the insects.

Castiel turned his blue eyes to the bee, tilting his head as he watched it crawl up over the tip of his finger and back down the other side. He was completely fearless and obviously fascinated by the small creature.

“I like watching the bees, Dean,” he said dreamily. “Each one has a job and a purpose and they all work together as a team for the good of the hive. Every one of them knows that his efforts are going to help his family and he does his job without fail, going from flower to flower, picking the best nectar to bring back to the rest.” He lifted his head as the bee took flight again, going back to the roses Cas had found him among.

“Uh, I never really thought about them that way,” Dean hedged. Was it just him, or did it sound like Cas was describing him for a moment there?

“Animals are so straightforward. I like that about them. There are no secrets and no deceit…” Cas grew quiet and Dean knew he was talking about his experience with Mikey. It surprised him a little when that knowledge came not from his own imagination, but from the celestial bond he shared with Cas. The sharp pang of hurt and doubt he felt in the back of his mind was not his either, but Castiel’s. Instantly Dean reacted, sensing what his angel needed. He reached out and took Cas’ hand, tugging lightly.

“C’mon, I wanna show you the best part of the park.” Castiel sent him a grateful look and let Dean led him another few blocks before he could clearly see where Dean was headed.

“It’s beautiful!” the angel breathed, detaching himself from the human and hurrying ahead. Before them loomed the great Bandstand of South Park. Its peaked blue roof stood out against the darker blue of the sky and the red brick foundation made a dramatic contrast. Perfect white pillars circled the outside and a short ramp of black wrought iron stairs led to the inside. When he noticed that Dean was not behind him, Cas ran back and took Dean’s arm, dragging him faster towards the stunning landmark so they could explore it. Dean chuckled and followed his angel into the gazebo, and across the center to look out at the other side of the gardens. He could feel Castiel’s wonder and excitement pulsing across the bond, growing stronger they longer they stayed in contact.

Drawn to his angel’s strong emotions like a moth to flame, Dean came up behind Cas and leaned against his back and wings, bracing his arms on the railing on either side of him. Castiel rubbed back against his human, distracted by the beauty that surrounded them. It occurred to Dean that this would be the perfect spot for a kiss, but he held himself back, not wanting to ruin the moment. Cas could do better than him, even if they were bonded, and after what the angel had been through, Dean doubted very much that he was in the mood for any advances on his part. He contented himself, then, with small shows of affection, nothing much more than friends might share.

He hoped it would be enough, even as he suspected that he was slowly falling in love with his angel. A few weeks ago, that thought would have disturbed him, but a lot had changed in his quiet, single life recently. It was just so easy to love Cas, with his innocent demeanor and his sweet, caring personality; even that bit of dry humor that occasionally surfaced made Dean grin. Not to mention that the angel was incredibly beautiful—“pretty” more described him than Dean and Dean couldn’t help the desire that rose in him every time he was close to Cas these days. The man supposed it figured that once he finally found someone he loved, he couldn’t have him. Fate was a bitch like that. There was no way Castiel would want him, with his bad attitude and worse habits. Dean was hardly boyfriend material, especially not for a perfect, celestial being like Cas.

“Dean, is something wrong?” Castiel asked, noticing that the man behind him had gone very quiet.

Dean shook himself, clearing his head of more unwanted thoughts. He hoped that his emotions hadn’t carried across the bond to Cas—the last thing he wanted to do was upset the angel with his forbidden feelings. “No, just lost in thought. So, what do you want to see next? There’s the Roosevelt Fountain, and the Butterfly Garden on the other end of the park…”

“Those sound good, but first I want to try flying up to the roof so that I may get a better view.” Castiel pulled lightly away from Dean and headed out of the bandstand and around the side. It took Dean a moment to realize what Cas had meant.

“Wait,” he said, doing a comic double take. “Fly as in fly?! But your wings aren’t fully healed yet.” He followed quickly after the angel.

“I am only going up a few feet,” Castiel pointed out. He flexed his wings a few times, and then opened them wide, feeling for the direction of the wind. Most of his new feathers were fully grown, but there were still a few bare patches and some grey primaries that needed replacing.

Dean crossed his arms stubbornly, eyeing the roof with misgiving. “I don’t think this is a good idea. Why don’t we just come back when your wings are all healed? Don’t you need to, like, exercise them and rebuild muscles?”

The angel ignored Dean’s protests and gave a few experimental flaps, kicking up a cloud of loose grass and dirt. Dean watched as Cas was lifted a few inches off the ground, then touched back down. Looking pleased with his progress, Castiel bent his knees, flapped his great wings with more power this time, and with a last big wave, propelled himself up into the air. It only took him a couple pumps to get himself to the blue roof, where he perched, looking like an angelic gargoyle.

Dean caught himself staring in awe at his angel’s flight. He had known in theory that Castiel’s wings were meant to carry him through the sky, but actually seeing Cas fly was something else. The big powerful wings lifted him easily and Dean could glimpse the potential for great strength in the small angel. It was something he kept hidden away usually, but was perfectly obvious in flight. It reminded Dean that, despite his innocence and weakness upon their first meeting, Castiel had been a warrior of God, with immense power and ability at his disposal. Just because he acted sweet and demure, didn’t mean he wasn’t fully capable of taking care of himself once he healed. It hit Dean then, would Cas even want to stick around once he got all his strength back? After that, what need did had he of Dean?

The man sighed—his emotions seemed to be all over the place today. “Stop being such a chick!” he muttered to himself. He cringed as he watched Castiel stand up and walk tentatively across the roof. Cas may be powerful, but that didn’t mean Dean would stop worrying about him.

“Yeah, ok, you’ve seen the sights. Now get your feathery ass down here before you break something!” he called. He felt like a parent coaxing a child out of a high tree.

“Dean, I appreciate your worry but—“ Castiel was interrupted as a Frisbee suddenly whizzed through the air past his nose. He flailed, losing his balance on the shiny tiles. He beat his wings frantically, trying to right himself, but only managed to push himself off the edge of the roof. He fell for but a moment before he felt a pair of strong arms catch him and hold him close. He squinted up at Dean, still a bit far-sighted.

“Goddammit, Cas!” Dean growled, green eyes flashing with panic and anger. “Don’t you ever do that again!”

“You know, you shouldn’t take the Lord’s name in vain,” the angel commented calmly, wriggling a little.

“Shut up, Cas,” Dean snapped and he bent and pressed a kiss into the angel’s untidy hair. Then he pulled away to check his angel for signs of injury. Castiel lay stunned and still in Dean’s hold, breathing quickly; he was more shocked by Dean’s angry show of affection than his fall off the gazebo rooftop. He wobbled a bit when Dean set him down and stiffened when the human began running his hands carefully over his wings, making sure they hadn’t been damaged.

“I’m fine, Dean,” Castiel said, although he submitted quietly to Dean’s ministrations.

“You know, for an angel you’re not very graceful,” the man grumbled, running his hands over the carpal bone in Cas’ wing. His heart was beginning to slow from its frantic pumping a minute ago, but his body was covered in a cold sweat of fear. He was pretty sure he was never letting Cas fly again, even if he had to chain his angel’s ass to the radiator to keep him from trying it. Dean couldn’t survive another near heart attack like he’d gotten today.

“It was not my fault that that…thing came out of nowhere,” Castiel said primly. Ok, so he couldn’t fly perfectly at the moment, but he shouldn’t be blamed for his reaction when a large piece of plastic came flying at his face.

Dean sighed and grabbed Cas’ hand. “Whatever—let’s just get as far away from the bandstand as possible. And if I find the punk responsible for that Frisbee I’ll kick him in the balls!”

The pair toured the rest of the park, walking more or less aimlessly for the next couple of hours. By the time noon rolled around, Dean was hungry, so he took Castiel to one of his favorite restaurants in Lawrence: the Free State Brewing Company. Once they were seated, Dean ordered an appetizer of onion rings for them to share. He couldn’t wait for Cas to taste one of his own favorite foods.

“Would you like to try a beer with that?” their hostess asked politely, eyeing Dean favorably.

The man grinned back, in a good mood now that he was about to be fed. “Sure, I’ll have the Wheat State Golden on tap.”

The hostess then turned her cheery smile on Castiel. “What about you, hon? What are you thirsty for?”

The angel shifted uncomfortably, eyeing the girl with wide nervous eyes. He looked at Dean for help, begging silently for him to make a decision.

Dean came to this rescue as usual. “He’ll have a Coke and a couple of waters when you get a sec.” Not that Dean thought sugar and caffeine was good for his angel, but the thought of Cas drinking beer was just wrong. The girl nodded and went off to fulfill their order. She returned a few minutes later while the two were perusing the menu. Dean already knew what he wanted, but he pretended to look, giving Castiel the time he needed. The angel was examining each item thoroughly with a solemn frown, as though his choice of entrée was a life or death decision. It occurred to Dean that perhaps Castiel had never been in a real restaurant outside a diner before and he found it endlessly adorable when Cas tried new things.

Dean felt their waitress set a mug down by his elbow and thanked her, reaching out to grab his beverage and take a swig. It wasn’t until the alcohol hit his tongue that Dean realized something. “You know, since we met, I haven’t had a single drink. Come to think of it,” he mused, looking at the angel over the top of his menu, “I haven’t had a smoke or picked up a girl either. I know I’ve been busy and all, but that’s like unheard of for me…” His suspicion grew when Castiel peeked up at him, then immediately turned his eyes back to the pretty food pictures.

“Cas? What’s going on?” Dean asked. “Did you have something to do with my sudden dry spell?” As much as he drank and had sex, Dean thought he would have at least missed such things, his body going into withdrawal, but he hadn’t felt a thing. Not that he wanted to, but urges like that didn’t just vanish overnight…

The angel flicked his wings nervously, rubbing the bottom ends together so they made a soft silky sound.

“It’s not my fault,” he said, gravelly voice low and fearful.

Dean sighed patiently. “I’m not mad, Cas. I just don’t like being messed with. Do you know that’s going on?”

“It’s part of the bonding,” Castiel admitted. “Just as it has been healing me, it has healed you, too. Your body was not well, Dean. Your lungs and kidneys would have eventually failed. You should be almost whole again now…”

“And the lack of cravings? I mean, I’m not like a sex addict or alcoholic, but I should be feeling something.”

“That’s part of the healing. The bond doesn’t just heal our bodies—it has been repairing my Grace and your soul. Those things that are tainted, that weigh our celestial selves down, it heals those as well, though much more slowly. Your addictions and my scars from Michael—eventually they will mend as long as we are together.”

Dean nodded his understanding and took another drink. He didn’t feel any different physically, but he trusted that what Cas said was true. He had always known that his sins had consequences, but to be faced with them, then have them abruptly vanish…it was all a little surreal.

“Are you upset?” Castiel asked, hiding behind his menu again.

The man stared at his mug for a long moment before he looked back up at his angel. “No, Cas. That would be pretty ungrateful, right? I’m just a bit confused, I guess. I mean, not like it was a good thing, but those vices were a part of me. To have them taken away just like that? How am I supposed to feel?”
Castiel shook his head firmly. “Dean, you are wrong. Your bad habits are not a part of you, just something you clung to for your own reasons. They did not define you.”

“Well, at least it’s good news for you. If my soul’s on the mend, you should get better faster too."

“Dean,” Cas gasped, realized how this all sounded, like he had engineered the absence of Dean’s vices for purely selfish reasons to help the recovery of his Grace. “I didn’t—“

Dean held up a hand. “No, I know that, Cas. I’m pretty sure you don’t have a devious bone in your body. What I meant was, I would have done it anyways—give up all that stuff for you. I was even gonna mention it the other night. It’s just…I wish it had been my choice to give it up for you. Seems…I dunno…more noble that way.”

The angel’s face broke out into a wide smile and he raised his wings like an extension of his grin. “That means a lot to me Dean, thank you. I believe in this instance that it is the thought that counts.”

“All right, no need to get mushy,” Dean said and pulled up his menu once more.

Luckily, their waitress showed up a moment later to take their orders. Castiel liked the picture of the Artichoke Tomato Tortellini, so he ordered that, and Dean went with his usual, the Fish and Chips. They had a good time, eating and discussing their day at the park. When the meal was over and the check paid, Dean flashed a winning smile at his angel.

“Do you wanna go home, or do one last thing?” He didn’t want to tire Cas out, but there was one final thing that would make their not-a-date complete.

Castiel canted his head curiously. “What is the last thing?”

“Nope, it’s a surprise. Take it or leave it,” Dean teased.

His angel blinked, considering. “I believe I would like the surprise, please,” he decided. Dean chuckled and led him out of the restaurant. They hurried back to the firehouse, but Dean by-passed the steps to the apartment and instead opened the garage.

“Get in,” he said, indicating his Impala. “It’s a bit of a drive.”

They rode in silence, Castiel with his head practically out the window, watching the scenery flash by as they sped along the pavement.

“Do you trust me?” Dean asked as they neared their destination.

Cas smiled over at him. “Of course,” he said easily, as though the fact should be perfectly obvious.
Dean tried no to let on how pleased he was by the angel’s response. “Ok, then, I’m gonna ask you to do something a little weird, but trust me when I say it will be worth it.” Castiel nodded his assent, so Dean went on as he turned a corner. “Cas, close your eyes and don’t open them until I tell you.”

The angel gave Dean his frowny face, eyes wide with confusion. “But Dean, I just got my sight back, why would you—?”

“You don’t have to, Cas, but the surprise will be so much more fun if you don’t see it until the last moment.” He certainly wouldn’t make Castiel do anything the angel was uncomfortable with, but Dean hoped he went along with this. He couldn’t wait to see the look on the angel’s face when he realized where they were.

Castiel took a long breath then turned away, closing his eyes but clearly unhappy about it. Dean placed a gentle hand on his knee.

“It’s nothing bad, I promise. Just let me led you and we’ll be there in a few, ok?” Cas gave a faint nod and Dean turned off the road, pulling into a car park. He went around and opened the passenger door, helping Cas out. The angel’s wings were plastered to his back (a sure sign of unease) but he willingly let Dean direct him. The man took his hand to lead the angel up a few steps and into a building. He told the angel to remain at a bench and went off, returning a few minutes later and pulling Cas further in. A myriad of strange and enticing smells assaulted the angel’s sensitive nose as they went deeper into the building, but Dean didn’t stop until they entered a room with loud music playing. Castiel was led up a long flight of stairs, then directed to sit. He was distracted from the comfort of the plush chair when he felt something touch his nose and settle behind his ears. Finally, the stage was set.

“Ok, Cas, you can open your eyes now,” Dean said. He trained his own eyes on his angel, anticipating his reaction.

Castiel’s blue eyes fluttered open and he looked around himself with a moment of fear, then great interest. His wings slowly unfurled behind him as he took in the sights from their seats. He was in a very large room with dozens of red chairs lined up in ever-higher rows. They were all the way at the top in the middle, facing a huge screen. Upon the screen was a movie of singing food—a concession commercial.
“Is this a movie theatre?” Cas asked with wonder. When Dean nodded, he looked around again. “I’ve heard of them, but never been in one. And this is where movies come from?”

“Well, this is where they play them first, so people can see them on the big screen. Makes it seem more real, I guess,” Dean explained.

“And, what is this?” the angel wanted to know, plucking the foreign object off of his face. He toyed with the black-framed spectacles until Dean took them from him and perched them back on Cas’ nose.

The man smiled at his childlike naïveté. “They’re 3D glasses. You have to wear them to get the full effect of the movie. I figured you’d never been before, and what better way to celebrate being able to see again than use your eyes to the fullest and see a 3D movie?”

Castiel nodded like he understood, then inquired what film they were going to watch.

The previews had started, so Dean lowered his voice to answer, “Finding Nemo. It’s about fish.”

“Oh. I like fish,” Cas commented.

“I thought you might, dude.” Dean rolled his eyes amusedly, but Castiel couldn’t see it as the lights had already dimmed.

Needless to say, Castiel watching the movie was much more fun than the movie itself. Dean laughed every time the poor angel couldn’t control himself and reached out in an attempt to touch one of the fish or bubbles that seemed right in front of his face. Cas was on the edge of his seat for the full 100 minutes, completely entranced by both the plot and the wonders of modern cinematography. When the lights came back up and the credits rolled, Dean was horrified to see that the angel was crying.

“Cas, are you ok?!” he demanded, turning to him and whipping off the 3D glasses.

Castiel merely smiled. “The ending made me very happy. I am greatly relieved that Nemo and Marlin were reunited and that Dory was able to become a part of their family.”

Dean chuckled in relief. “Oh, Cas,” he sighed and reached up to cup the angel’s face in his hands, using his thumbs to rub away the salty tears that had left trails down Castiel’s cheeks. He found himself leaning in and Castiel was staring at him intensely, but the moment was broken when one of the theatre attendants barged in to begin cleaning the seating area before the next show. On their way out, Castiel inquired about the concession stand, so Dean thought What the hell?, and bought Cas a blue raspberry Slushie for the drive home.

When they returned, Dean offered to groom the angel’s wings, seeing as they had been outside most of the day. Castiel assumed his regular position, lying facedown on the sofa-bed, wings fluttering in weary anticipation. He murmured sleepily as Dean began to drag oil-slick hands through his feathers and relaxed into the mattress, simply enjoying the feeling of Dean touching his wings. He was asleep long before Dean was done and once he had finished, the man carefully picked up the limp noodle of an angel and carried him to bed. Getting in next to Cas briefly roused him, long enough to whisper “Thank you for today, Dean,” in an even deeper version of his already gravelly voice.

“You’re welcome, Angel,” Dean whispered back, and he placed the lightest of kisses onto Castiel’s blue-tinged lips before settling down to sleep.

Chapter Text

Castiel woke up early the next morning, about the usual time Dean got up to go to his job. After yesterday’s events, he was too excited to sleep and had too many interesting and distracting thoughts running through his mind. All night long he had savored the touch of Dean’s lips upon his own from a stolen kiss when Dean thought that the angel was asleep. He had begun to wonder before yesterday if Dean felt the same way about him as Castiel did for his human, but his actions seemed to have confirmed it.

The lost angel had been hesitant before now to let his true feelings be known in case his love was one-sided, but he had enough evidence now to assume that Dean felt the same way. The man’s fierce protection, his willingness to do what Cas asked of him, the kiss when he had fallen off the gazebo, and the secret movie all added up to terms of deep affection to Cas.

Yesterday had been so perfect, easily his best day on Earth since the Fall, and Castiel wanted to reciprocate. He had been batting around the idea for a while, but now he was certain: he wanted to share his love with Dean and finally give himself to the man who had given him everything.

Castiel could pinpoint the very moment that he fell in love with his bonded human, and he replayed the memories as he lay staring at Dean’s peaceful face. When Dean had run up and courageously defended him against Raphael, Cas suspected that he felt more than affection for the man, but later, when Dean groomed his wings for a second time, the angel knew that it was love. Dean had been so thoughtful and careful, making sure that Castiel knew that he was in control and Dean would always stop when he asked. When Dean tickled him, getting him to laugh again for the first time in years, the angel had no doubt that he wanted Dean Winchester by his side forever.

Castiel used the very tips of his fingers to lightly stoke Dean’s stubbled cheek. It had taken him a while to heal from his time with Michael, and longer still for him to learn to trust another person with not just his body, but his heart. Dean was that person. At first Castiel had not been ready to let Dean in, even though he lusted after Dean from the first moment he touched the man and felt to the depths of his scarred but beautiful soul. He had been reluctant to act upon such feelings, after what had happened the last time he felt this way. He ran when Dean’s touch on his sensitive wings had aroused him and had been unable to follow through when they shared a passionate kiss in the restroom.

He had changed since then, grown to love Dean more each passing hour, and now he felt that he was ready to give himself completely to the man he adored. He realized that it may not seem like much time to a human, but for a being who was immortal, time was relative and it was one’s feelings that mattered. He continued his soft cases down Dean’s arm, brushing over their first bonding mark.

The only problem now was that he didn’t know how to go about confessing his love or expressing his desires to Dean. The few times he had tried, it had backfired. So, Castiel decided to seek advice from the most worldly angel he knew. Leaving Dean to sleep on for once, the angel gave his bonded one last furtive glance then clothed himself and padded out of their room. With a quick movement of his almost-fully-healed wings, he flew himself down to Gabriel’s apartment. He knocked on the door and waited patiently while his brother appeared from wherever in the world he was that morning. After a few minutes, the door opened and an exuberant Gabriel ushered him inside.

“Well, little brother, I didn’t expect to see you again so soon. Dean-o’s had you under lock and key so long I was beginning to wonder if he’d ever let you go.” The archangel offered Castiel his choice from an assortment of lollipops in a huge bowl and, to be polite, Cas chose cherry and unwrapped it carefully.

“You know he was only concerned about my safety because I couldn’t see or defend myself,” he reminded the shorter angel. He would have fled long before this had he suspected that Dean’s clinginess was anything more than simple protectiveness.

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Yes, and that’s the only reason I didn’t try to bust you out. Dean means well, even if he is a little paranoid.” He popped a sour apple sucker between his lips and lapped at it appreciatively for a moment before continuing. “So, to what do I owe the pleasure? Trouble in paradise? Need me to play a few pranks on your handsome beau to get him to lighten up?”

“I…need your advice on something,” Castiel hedged. Now that he was with Gabriel, he wasn’t sure that his outgoing, zany brother was the correct person to ask about such a delicate matter. Unfortunately, other than Dean, he didn’t have anyone to ask. “It’s about Dean,” Castiel confessed slowly. “I love him and I want to be with him, but I am not sure how to make my intentions known. The few times I have tried, it has not worked.”

Gabriel pondered this as he unwrapped another lollipop and shoved it in beside the other one. “Well, it’s not unrequited love, that’s for sure. Anyone can see that stupid ape loves you just from the way he looks at you.”

Castiel smiled at that as he glanced down shyly at his hands. He had only been able to physically see Dean for a couple of days, so he trusted that his big brother had detected more than he had when looking at Dean.

“Ok, well, let’s start with the basics. What have you tried?” Gabriel asked.

The white-winged angel blushed a little; he had feared that this would come up, but he knew that if he wanted to be with Dean, he would have to surrender his pride. “I offered to orally stimulate his manhood a few days ago, but he refused me.” What Castiel wouldn’t admit was how hurt he had been by the rejection. He may not be good at a lot of things in the human world, but he was good at bringing pleasure to his partner. If anything good could be gained from his time with Michael, Castiel wanted to use his skills to prove to Dean how much he cared for him.

Gabriel spit both his suckers out in shock. “Dean, conqueror of a thousand women, refused a blowjob??”
Castiel looked down again, staring bashfully at his lap. He didn’t particularly appreciate the reminder that Dean had been quite promiscuous before they met. He liked to take it as a good sign that Dean had stopped such fornications in favor of spending time with him.

He answered Gabriel’s question haltingly. “I could tell that Dean was aroused, but he said he would never make me do anything I didn’t want to. I tried to tell him that I would enjoy physically bringing pleasure to him, but he would not hear it.”

“I bet he thought you were just trying to thank in the way that Michael-bastard taught you. He’s probably trying to be a gentleman, worried that if he initiates any kind of sexy stuff with you, you’ll blow a gasket.”

Cas canted his head at that; he only understood about half of what Gabriel said, but he got the point. “I may have been upset about his advances towards the beginning of our acquaintance, but now I know that Dean would never hurt me like that. I’m not afraid of…sexual relations with him. I appreciate his consideration, but at this point it is unnecessary.” It wasn’t that sex was Castiel’s main goal, but he had been taught that sex as used as a way to get closer to people (he suspected this was why the lonely man Dean had been craved it so much) and, in the right relationship, as a sign of affection. Maybe, if he showed Dean how good he was at it, the man would keep him around, and not just out of pity.

“And, you’re afraid that if you just tell him that, he won’t believe you,” the archangel finished. His little brother nodded. “Well, then, it seems like it’s time to bring out the big guns. He’s off work tonight, right? Good. We’ll just have to make it a night he’ll never forget. I’ve got a plan, so listen up…”

After memorizing Gabriel’s plot to seduce Dean, Castiel flew to the first place his brother had directed him. He appeared at the doorstep of Angelic Angles and walked inside, praying that this was all going to work. Becky, the perky saleswoman from before, spotted Castiel and hurried over to him, her infectious smile spread wide across her face.

“Hello again! Castiel, right?” When the angel nodded in recognition, she went on. “Wow, you look so much better than before! Your wings are so pretty! Are you still with Dean?

“I am,” Cas said regally, politely ignoring her other tactless comments. “We have grown quite close since we first met.” He didn’t dislike Becky, but he was still uncomfortable around most humans, especially exuberant ones.

Becky squeed, clapping her hands excitedly. “Aww, I knew you two would work out. You are so cute together!” She took a deep breath, calming herself marginally. “So, what can I help you find today? Did your other clothes work out ok?”

“They did, and thank you for your assistance. This time, I am looking for something in particular. I need vestments that will indicate to Dean that I wish to be more…intimate with him.”
The woman’s cheeks flushed and she danced in place a little, her smile growing even wider. Cas took a timid step back, not sure what her reaction might mean. Becky waved a hand in front of her face to cool herself. “OMG, I knew it! You two are perfect for each other!! I’m sure we can find something that will work.” She hopped closer, but paused when a couple more people walked into the shop. Becky sighed, seeing that they obviously needed help.

“Tell you what. I’ll get Balthy to help you pick something out. He’s got great taste and he wears ‘sexy’ like a suit. I’m sure he’ll find an outfit that will let Dean know how much you want him!” She finished the last sentence with a saucy wink, and then looked up towards the ceiling, as though in prayer. “Hey, Balthazar! Castiel is here and he needs some help! He should be here any minute,” she added and then went to help the other customers.

Right on cue, the angel Balthazar appeared directly in front of Cas. Castiel didn’t start as a human might have—he could hear his brother’s flight and followed it into the shop. Balthazar was a tall, rangy-looking angel with short blonde hair and a charming smile. His wings were hidden so he could fit into a slim, V-necked T-shirt with a blazer. His tight jeans were dark and artfully ripped, denoting his good taste and choice of clothing.

His bright eyes lit when they saw Castiel. “Why, if it isn’t Cassy! I haven’t seen you for ages!” He jumped forward to hug his little brother, mussing Cas’ already untidy hair before pulling back again. “And what brings you to Angelic Angles? Becks said you need some help?”

“I do,” Castile confirmed, smiling at his brother. It was good to know that not all of the host hated him as Raphael did. Even if it was just Gabriel and Balthazar who still liked him, it was enough to satisfy him. He quickly explained his bonding with Dean and his current feelings, as well as the conversation he’d had with Gabriel where he’d asked the Trickster’s advice.

Balthazar rubbed his sparse facial hair as he considered Castiel’s request. “Well, Gabe is right. Looking the part is a huge step towards letting your little bird know you fancy him. Someday, you should really let me take you to London or Paris for clothes-shopping, but lucky for you we’ve got a small romantic section in the back here. Let’s see what we can find to show off that hot little body for Dean, shall we?” The angel bent his arm, indicating that Cas should precede him to the back of the store. Blushing at his brother’s crass appraisal, Castiel went, wondering yet again if it had been such a good idea to get his playful brothers involved.

At the far end of the shop, Balthazar directed the other angel around a red curtain and into a smaller, closed-off area. Here the lighting was dim and the quiet air made the place seem very confining and…elicit. Covering the walls was all manner of black, mostly leather, gear. Some of it Cas recognized from his time with Michael, but others he could not begin to guess the uses of.

“As you can see,” his elder brother said, “we stock a small selection of angel bondage gear, like wing restraints and celestial cuffs. Nothing like the big retailers, but we’ve had the odd couple interested in something a little less vanilla. For you though, let’s start off small. Something with a bit of ‘come-hither’ without being full-on slutty?”

“Uh, yes?” Castiel said, not sure what Balthazar was talking about, but trying to sound helpful.
Balthazar laughed, seeing how out of his depth the other angel was. For a former sex slave, Castiel was still pretty naïve when it came to things like this. The bigger angel went to the clothing racks and thumbed through them, picking out an armful each of tops and pants. “Can you hide your wings or do you want something that will fit over them?” he wanted to know.

Castiel considered this. “I can retract my wings now. I thought maybe I would wear something under my coat with my wings hidden, then surprise Dean when I took it off and opened my wings?” He said it like a question, not sure if his idea was good enough.

His brother quirked an eyebrow at Cas. “Quite the tease, I see,” he said with a wolfish grin. “That plan sounds brilliant. Your Dean won’t know what hit him.” He thrust his armfuls of outfits at Castiel, who took them with wide eyes. “Go try these on in the changing rooms. I want you to show me each one before you take it off so I can choose the best.” Cas resigned himself to a long afternoon and disappeared into the dressing room to try on his first outfit. He sure hoped that his brothers were right and new clothes would entice Dean.

A long while later, Balthazar had finally approved an ensemble. Cas ended up with two tops and a pair of pants, as well as a mysterious item that Balthazar wouldn’t explain but said Dean would know what to do with it. As Castiel was on his way to the front register to pay for his items, his brother stopped him by a display of pink bottles.

“Did Becky tell you about this stuff? It’s gorgeous!”

“Yes,” Castiel confirmed. “Dean bought some the first time we were here. It does closely resemble natural angel wing oil.”

“Did you buy the kind that shimmers?” Balthazar wanted to know. Castiel shook his head. His brother grabbed one of the smaller bottles and held it up to him. “Tell you what, you come in the back and I’ll groom your wings with this for you. I always have Becks do it for me before a big date—the ladies love it!” Cas innocently agreed (what did he have to lose?), leaving his clothes with Becky and following Balthazar to the small break room. He sat patiently as Balthazar rubbed the oil over his wings; he didn’t do a full grooming, just enough to spread out the sparkling liquid.

Castiel was grateful for the treatment, and not just because it would help him show Dean how much he loved him. His brother touching his wings calmed him, helping Cas to settle the nervous feelings that had been building inside of him all day. He tried not to think about what would happen between himself and Dean if this plan didn’t work, but worries kept popping up in his head. What if, instead of bringing Dean closer, he drove the man away? Castiel was almost certain of Dean’s affections, but he had been wrong before, with disastrous results. It did not occur to him to hide his feelings or not declare them to Dean—he knew that he had to be honest with his bonded, even if it mean the possibility of failure.

When Balthazar was through, he led Cas back to the front of the shop. Castiel produced a small rectangle of plastic that he had seen Dean use to pay for things at the grocery store, and had borrowed from the man’s wallet. When he expressed his concern to Gabriel about using Dean’s money, the angel had assured him that Dean would agree that it was well worth the expense.

“Thank you both for your assistance again,” Castiel said when Becky handed him his loaded shopping bag.
Balthazar clapped his shoulder jovially. “It was my pleasure, Cassy. Just be sure and invite us over soon. I need to come make sure that this Dean is good enough for you.”

“He is,” Castiel assured him confidently, then turned to fly off so he could meet back up with Gabriel. They went out to lunch together, further discussing their plan, then Cas made one more stop before he went back to the firehouse.

When he returned to the apartment, Dean was starting dinner. Castiel had left a note, telling Dean that he was going to be out for the day, but he hoped the man hadn’t worried too much. As soon as he appeared, Dean stopped seasoning the roast he was preparing and came to greet him.

“Hey Cas, how was your trip? Gabriel stopped by earlier to say you went to Angelic Angles to see a brother and then had lunch with him.” Dean’s concern was coming off of him in heavy waves, but Castiel noticed that he was trying to hide his panic and play it cool.

“My outing went very well,” Castile informed him. “I saw Balthazar at the shop and he helped me to pick out some new clothes.”

Dean looked curiously at the bags his angel was holding. “Oh, yeah? What’s the occasion?” he teased. He didn’t seem to suspect anything; rather he simply assumed that Castiel was exercising his independence with his newly healed wings and visiting his family.

Castiel clutched the parcels to himself, not letting Dean see what they contained. “I would like to show you later. There is something I want to talk to you about then as well.”

The man’s face fell a little, his grin replaced by a worried expression. “Oh. Ok, Cas…”

“It pertains to something I believe is positive,” the angel offered, hoping to put his human at ease. He hated to see Dean look sad and he certainly didn’t want him coming to the wrong conclusion. He had learned rather quickly that his bonded had severe abandonment issues and he was always quick to reassure Dean that he had no intention of leaving if Dean didn’t want him to. He thought it might still be a while before Dean truly believed that, but it was something they would have to work on. With any luck, Castiel’s declaration would help ease that worry somewhat.

Dean breathed a relieved sigh. “All right, then. You wanna help me chop these veggies?” Castiel blinked into Dean’s room to hide his purchases, then appeared back behind the man in the kitchen. Dean jumped, and then turned around to give Cas a smile. “Looks like your wings are all better, huh? You sure are fast. I can’t even see you move.”

Castiel nodded as he went to take a sharp knife from the block. “Humans are unable to perceive angel flight unless we go very slowly. I must admit, it is nice to be able to move freely again.”

“Does that mean you’ll keep your wings hidden now, too?” Dean wanted to know. Castiel may be socially inept, but even he could tell that Dean sounded disappointed. He hid a smile as he began cutting up some carrots to put in with the roast Dean had prepared.

“Not all the time. I have gotten quite used to having them out and, while it does make me feel more vulnerable, I find that I prefer the feeling of having them loose. At least here, where it is safe to do so.” He was rewarded with another grin from Dean, then went back to chopping up celery with renewed cheer. They watched TV while they waited for the food to cook and Dean introduced Castiel to a show called “Dr. Sexy, MD” which he found confusing but mildly entertaining.

Dinner was a quiet meal. Castiel spent the whole time worrying over his plans for the evening and Dean spent the whole time fidgeting, trying to work out what Cas was up to. Their bond only served to exacerbate the situation, sending each person the other’s anxieties, adding to his own until they were both pretty worked up. Finally, they were finished eating and Dean rose to begin clearing the dishes.

“Would you like your dessert now?” Castiel asked him.

Dean blinked. “Dessert? Did you pick up something while you were out?”

“Just a moment,” Castiel said and he flew to Dean’s room to retrieve one of the bags he had brought home. From it, he produced a bakery box, which he set on the table in Dean’s place. Curious, Dean shuffled over to lift the lid. His eyes widened when he saw that there was a large cherry pie waiting for him.

“I made it from scratch, with Gabriel’s direction,” the angel informed him. “I picked the cherries from a farm and used fresh eggs. I’m sorry I did not have the time to thresh and grind the wheat for the crust, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting.”

Dean chuckled. “Um, no, that’s ok, dude. Most people just use what’s in the store. This is awesome, though!” He grabbed a pair of forks and handed one to Castiel before digging in. He didn’t bother with a plate, instead sampling the pie straight from the tin. He moaned when he took the first bite, eyes fluttering shut as his lips closed over the fork. “Oh my God, Cas. This is the best pie ever!”

“I’m glad you like it, Dean.” Castiel set his fork aside and inched away from the table. “While you enjoy your dessert, I have something to take care of in the bedroom. I will be back shortly.”

The man looked up, confused. “Aren’t you going to have any?”

Castiel smiled warmly. “No, I made the pie for you.”

Dean shrugged and let Cas leave while he went back to savoring the delicious confection. The angel retreated to the bedroom and found the Angelic Angles bag, rooting through it for his outfit. He pulled the clothes on, checked his appearance in the small mirror above the dresser, and then reached into his side of the closet for his coat. He had laundered the trench coat and cared for it, whereas Dean had told him to just throw it out. Castiel couldn’t bring himself to part with it though—he had met Dean in that coat and it now held sentimental value, reminding how far he had come since bonding with his human. He slid the coat on and secured the tie around his waist so that his outfit could not be seen underneath. Finished, he straightened up the bedroom and lit some candles from Gabriel, making sure everything was perfect for the night ahead. When there was nothing more to do, the angel took a deep calming breath and went back out into the flat.

Dean frowned when he looked up from his pie. “What’s with the trench coat, Cas? Pretty sure it’s not raining inside the apartment.” His voice shook a little but the angel was not sure why.

Castiel stood stiffly in the entrance to the kitchen, gathering his courage for what he was about to do. He had run through a number of scenarios in his head and with his brothers about how to inform Dean of his intentions, but now that the moment was here, the angel was at a loss of what to say.

Unfortunately, his silence was the opposite of comforting for Dean. It hadn’t occurred to Castiel what sort of message his wearing the trench coat might send to his human, but suddenly Dean’s nervous level spiked to near panic through the bond and Castiel nearly staggered with the sudden weight of the man’s emotions as well as his own. He looked between himself and Dean, trying to figure out what was going on.

Dean interrupted the silence, standing and lifting sad green eyes to the angel. “Cas…are you leaving? Is that what you wanted to talk about?” His gruff voice was low and he sounded positively broken.
It took Castiel but a second to work out the association between Dean and the coat and when he did, he gasped in shock. Without thinking past his human’s defeated look, he rushed forward and enveloped Dean in his arms. The man’s arms instantly flew around him and squeezed him closer.

“No, Dean!” he whispered fiercely against the man’s neck. “The day you don’t want me is the day I leave. Until then, I’m not going anywhere.” He stroked Dean’s back, trying to calm the rush of confused emotions raging inside of the man. When he brought his hand up to drag it meaningfully over their bonding mark, Dean shuddered against him.

“I want you always, Cas. Please, don’t leave,” he begged. The angel couldn’t help but feel a thrill of joy upon hearing those words. He was loath to cause Dean any sort of pain, but he was pleased to hear that the man wanted him to stay.

Castiel breathed in the warm smell of Dean’s skin, letting it soothe him along with the man’s plea. “I won’t,” he promised firmly. “My apologies, Dean. I did not intend to make you think I was leaving.”
Dean pulled back a little from the hug so he could look into Castiel’s blue eyes. He kept his hold on the angel though, probably not even realizing he was maintaining a death grip on the trench coat. “Then why are you wearing that old thing?” he wanted to know.

“I wanted to surprise you with what I am wearing, but it seems that once again my lack of human social graces has given you the wrong impression.”

Dean shook his head. “No, Cas, that freak-out was my bad. Sorry I’m such a girl sometimes. Go ahead and do whatever you were gonna do. Does it have something to do with what you wanted to talk about?”
Castiel nodded and let his arms drop from around Dean, putting some distance between them so he could reach the tie of his coat. “There is something I would like to tell you, and I was assured that the pie and my new outfit would help you to understand.”

“Ok…” Dean said, sounding completely confused but interested.

The angel steeled his nerves and removed the covering, letting it fall off his hare shoulders and down to the kitchen floor. Once the coat was gone, he released his wings, holding them high with shaky confidence when all he wanted to do was cover himself with them. With Michael, he had stayed naked most of the time, but angels generally weren’t bothered with body shyness. The clothes Balthazar had picked out were something different. These clothes were meant to display his body, highlighting certain parts while keeping others partially hidden, and Castiel was not altogether comfortable having so much attention drawn to his figure, even if it was only Dean who was looking at him.

For his part, Dean was starting at the angel with a rather endearing shell-shocked expression. His jaw was hanging open and his eyes were slightly bugged as he took in what the normally conservative angel was wearing. Over his torso Cas sported a slim tank top made of shiny black leather. It zipped in the front and dipped low in the back so he had room to loose his wings. The contrast with the white feathers and the angel’s pale skin against the black of the top was quite striking, showing that Balthazar really did know what he was doing. The “shirt” ended just below Cas’ belly, showing off his jutting hipbones. Low-slung black jeans completed the angel’s look, clinging tightly to his calves and thighs and leaving nothing to the imagination up front. He had chosen to go barefoot but Dean didn’t seem to mind as his eyes were glued to the angel’s upper body.

“Am I to take it that you like what you see?” Castiel asked after a few minutes of silence. Dean was sending so many different emotions at him through the bond that it was hard to tell which one was prevalent.

Dean attempted to speak, choked a little, then tried again. “Cas, you look fucking amazing,” he said with complete honesty. He wet dry lips unconsciously. “Why are you dressed like that? Are—are you going out or something? I mean, not that I don’t…uh…” He stuttered to a stop and went back to staring openly.
The angel canted his head at Dean with a little frown. Why would the man ask him that? Wasn’t his clothing supposed to tell Dean that he wanted him? He had been assured that this would work!

“I dressed this way for you.”

“Um…thank you?” Dean guessed.

This was clearly not working the way Castiel had pictured it. With a sigh, he bent to pick up his trench coat. “I should never have trusted Gabriel when he said this would work…”

There was a gasp and then he heard the man say, “No, wait!”

He looked up to see Dean holding out a hand. He got the coat but did not put it on yet. His human looked flustered and Dean ran a hand through his short hair before scratching the back of his neck.

“Just…say what you wanted to say. If Gabriel was involved in this, I think I just figured out what’s going on, but I don’t want to assume anything.”

Castiel nodded. Maybe there was still hope if he simply told Dean how he felt rather than rely on human symbols. “Very well. What I have been trying to communicate is that I love you and I want to be intimate with you, should you return my feelings.”

Chapter Text

Dean sagged a little, suddenly giddy with relief upon hearing the reason for the angel’s odd behavior. Was it terrible of him that his first reaction to Castiel’s declaration of love was amusement at his blunt delivery? Dean laughed inwardly—he supposed that was just one of the many things he loved about his nerd angel. Now everything made sense. The lunch with Gabriel, during which Cas had probably asked the worldly angel’s advice about how to tell Dean that he loved him, the new clothes, the handmade pie, and, was it just him or was Cas wearing some of that shiny wing oil stuff? Poor Castiel! His brothers had probably meant well, but forcing the angel to adhere to human conventions of love had just backfired.

As soon as Dean’s momentary entertainment as Cas’ awkwardness faded, the true sentiment behind his actions sunk in. Cas loved him? Not only that, but—if Dean had understood him correctly—he wanted them to have sex?? Not that Dean was complaining. Despite his earlier reticence in admitting it, he was clearly hot for Cas. Even if he’d never liked guys before, he liked Cas and he had a hard time holding himself back from jumping the little angel every time he saw him. And then, on their not-a-date yesterday, Dean had finally accepted that his feelings for the angel ran much deeper than lust. He loved Cas, but he had never imagined that Castiel would love him back, much less want to sleep with him. He didn’t want to look a gift angel in the mouth, but his inferiority complex kicked in and Dean just had to poke at this new development in their relationship.

“Cas, are you sure about this?” he asked quietly. He was unable to keep from eyeing the scantily-clad angel with poorly-disguised interest, but he tried to keep his attention on Castiel’s face.

The angel nodded, relaxing his wings a little. They still glistened with the special oil, the iridescent white casting a faint glow under the kitchen lights. It was quite alluring and Den just wanted to reach out and run his hands through those silky-looking wings. “Yes, Dean. I am very certain about this. I have tried to show you for the past week, thinking that actions spoke louder than words, but you did not seem to understand my hints.”

Dean scuffed his boot against the linoleum floor. “Sorry, dude; I’m kinda thick. Sometimes you just have to spell things out for me. I guess I thought that you were just…I don’t know…doing what Michael taught you.” He winced at how awful that sounded, but Castiel seemed to appreciate his honesty.

“That is what Gabriel surmised as well,” he agreed. The angel set his coat on a chair and stepped closer to
Dean, stopping right in front of him. “I must assure you, Dean, that any decisions I make are my own. You taught me not to be afraid to do things for myself and to express my wants and needs. I want you and I need you to love me back.” The last was said as a gravelly whisper as Castiel reached up and set a delicate hand gently over Dean’s heart.

Dean reflexively covered Cas’ hand with his larger one. His other hand came up to lightly run through the angel’s hair before cupping the back of his neck. The man leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on Castiel’s lips before pulling back. “I love you too, Cas. Sorry I was an idiot about it.”

Castiel smiled sweetly and snuggled in to Dean’s chest, pressing their bodies together. “There is nothing to apologize for, Dean,” he murmured happily.

He felt Dean chuckle before the sound made its way to the man’s mouth. Dean said, “You know how you told me to leave angel stuff to you? Well, maybe you should leave the human stuff to me. Apparently we both suck at trying to guess what the other needs.”

“Over time, the bond will help with that,” the angel commented. “But, you are right. We should probably rely more on verbal communication so we do not confuse one another with incorrect assumptions.”

Dean laughed and kissed the top of his head. “I love my little nerd angel.”

Cas’ wings perked up a little as he realized something. He raised his face to look at Dean. “So, does that mean you are amenable to engaging in sexual intercourse with me?”

“Uh, if you mean ‘do I wanna have sex’, then duh,” Dean said with a grin. Then he gave the angel a serious look. “But, are you sure you’re ready for that, Cas?”

“I am with you, Dean. I know you won’t hurt me or simply use our relationship to gain power. I desire you greatly, both carnally and romantically.”

“Heh, way to make a guy feel wanted,” Dean teased, reaching back to ruffle the angel’s wing playfully.

“Well, there’s no way I’m gonna say ‘no’, but let’s take it slow at first, ok? Just, kinda get to know each other better.” Dean mentally kicked himself for the chick-flick dialogue, but he felt that it applied, so he didn’t knock it. There was no way he was going to push Cas into something the angel wasn’t ready for, but at this point he thought it might almost be as damaging if he kept rejecting the angel’s advances.

They’d have sex, just not all at once.

Castiel agreed with Dean’s suggestion. “Should we retire to the bedroom, then?” he wanted to know.

Dean grinned. “Lead the way, Angel.” He sounded gallant, but really he just wanted to watch the sway of

Castiel’s slim hips in his new pants as he retreated down the hallway. Dean followed quickly, eager to explore this new facet of their relationship. To say he wasn’t entirely excited about the sex would be a lie, but Dean of all people knew that much could be revealed about someone during the act, and he was looking forward to learning everything he could about Cas. He hated the fact that Cas had apparently only bad experiences with sex, and he wasn’t too proud of his own past, but at least they didn’t have to worry about virgin awkwardness and maybe they could use their previous experience to some advantage…

When Dean entered the bedroom, the man’s eyes widened when he saw the work Castiel had gone to in order to make this night special. There were small tea light candles on the dresser and end tables, framing the pristine bed that until now hadn’t been made the whole time Cas had been living in the apartment. Dean almost expected there to be rose petals on the floor, but in their absence were a few pearly-white feathers, probably knocked loose during Balthazar’s grooming earlier. The sight definitely brought home for Dean that he was about to have sex with a real live angel, and not just any angel, but his Cas. He found himself grinning a goofy grin and rubbed the back of his head bashfully.

“So, how should we do this?” the man wanted to know. Far be it for him to be nervous about a sexual encounter, but he had never done it with someone he cared so much about, and certainly not with a former sex-slave angel. He knew Cas said he was fine now, and he trusted the angel’s judgment, but Dean didn’t want to do anything to spook him. When Castiel didn’t answer, simply canted his head curiously at Dean, the man took it upon himself to get things started.

“Ok, well, let’s do this one step at a time.” He peeled off his T-shirt then lay out on the bed, back against the headboard and arms crossed lazily behind his neck. “I’m all yours, Cas. You’re in control, so you can do whatever you want to me.” He figured that if he gave Cas the reins, the angel would feel confident enough to do what he felt comfortable with, letting Dean gauge how far they could go at first.

Castiel climbed up on the bed and knelt beside Dean. His wings arranged themselves over the side of the bed, tight against the angel’s back, worried and guarded. “You are really willing to let me have my way with you?” Castiel inquired wonderingly.

Dean blinked, a bit surprised by Cas’ wording. Still, he had told Cas he could do what he wanted and he wasn’t going to back down, even if it turned out that the angel wanted to take him. He kinda hoped not for their first time, though—that was something he would need time to wrap his head around first. He took a deep, calming breath and said, “Yup, it’s all you, Cas. You said you wanted to show me that you want me: now’s your chance. Just, don’t push yourself, ok? We’ve got plenty of time to try everything.”

The angel smiled and leaned in to kiss Dean softly before pulling back again. “If that is the case, then there is something I have been wanting to do.”

“Oh, yeah?” Dean asked with a sultry grin and eyebrow raise.

“Yes,” Castiel confirmed. “When I tried to perform oral sex on you the other night, you made me stop. I
would have liked to do so—it brings me pleasure as well. May I try again or are you adverse to it?”
Dean choked out a laugh. “Uh, no. I mean, no I don’t not like blowjobs. Yeah, knock yourself out if you really want to. This is your show.”

The angel fluttered his wings happily as he crawled down the bed, lying down over Dean’s legs and fitting himself snugly between his thighs. The man had but a moment to bask in the knowledge that he had somehow managed to snag an angel boyfriend who apparently liked giving head as much as Dean liked getting it, before Castiel went for his pants. The angel didn’t mess around, as blunt in his lovemaking as he was in his speech. He simply undid Dean’s denims and peeled them back with his underwear so he could get at the man’s dick. He stared down at Dean’s manhood for a moment, taking in the sight. Dean was already hard in anticipation. His cock seemed to have no problem that its owner was about to sleep with another guy. Precum beaded at its tip and the head was already red with need. Castiel gently wrapped his fingers around the substantial length, then glanced up at Dean before lowering his head to lightly kiss the top. He swiped his tongue over his lips, spreading the taste of Dean over his mouth.

Dean couldn’t help the moan he made at the sight. “God, Cas,” he growled, his cock straining in the angel’s grip. Castiel gave it an experimental tug, watching with pleasure as his human’s hips bucked up against his hand.

“Would you like me to take you into my mouth now?” the angel asked with what seemed like innocence, but the effect was marred by the twinkle of mischief in his blue eyes.

The man laughed even as his belly tightened in anticipation at Cas’ question. “You’re a tease, you know that Angel?”

Castiel smiled at the new pet name Dean had adopted and twisted his wrist, sliding his hand up and down his lover’s dick. “I don’t think the definition of that word would apply to me, as I fully intend on carrying out my offer.” Before Dean could come up with a witty rejoinder, the angel bent and proved his statement true by parting his lips and lowering his mouth onto the man’s straining cock.

Dean gasped through clenched teeth at the sudden wet, warm feeling of Castiel’s mouth closing over his erection. Before he could stop himself, his hand went for Cas’ hair, ready to bury itself in the dark strands. Castiel jerked and pulled away in fear when he saw Dean’s hand out of the corner of his eye. Dean immediately pulled it back and apologized.

“Sorry, Cas! I wasn’t gonna—damn, I knew this was too soon!” He started to move away, but Castiel surged forward and pressed his hands down on Dean’s hips, pinning the man to his bed with a touch of his angelic power.

“No,” he said firmly, eyes bright and fierce. “You simply caught me by surprise. I know you won’t hurt me.”

Before Dean could respond, Castiel smashed his mouth down over Dean’s cock, sucking the full length into his mouth determinedly. His human cried out below him, his back bowing with the sudden burst of sensation. Castiel released his hold on Dean and blindly grabbed the man’s hand, bringing it back to his head as he continued to devour Dean’s erection. The man gripped Castiel’s thick hair reflexively and the angel moaned around the cock in his mouth as Dean pulled it a little; it was just enough to provide extra stimulation without hurting. He bobbed his head up and down, using the best of his skills to bring Dean as much pleasure as possible.

Dean was so lost in the feeling of Castiel’s mouth assaulting his cock that it took him a while to realize that Cas was getting off on this too. The angel was undulating his hips, creating friction between his groin and the mattress. Dean decided to help move things along. He splayed his legs even wider to give himself room, and then maneuvered one knee up between Castiel’s thighs. The angel gave a satisfying grunt; the suction on Dean’s dick increased. Dean panted as he felt himself getting close, increasing pressure on Cas’ groin as he felt his own balls draw tightly up against him. When the tip of his cock hit the back of the angel’s mouth, that was it for him. With a hiss of the angel’s name, Dean came hard, his eyes rolling back as he emptied himself straight down Castiel’s throat.

As soon as Dean had recovered his senses after a few moment’s rest, he used his grip on Cas’ hair to lightly pull him up his body until they were face to face. He immediately gave the angel a savage kiss, all teeth and tongue. They had kissed a few times before, but never with this level of intensity. Dean couldn’t get over how incredible and responsive his angel was. Even with the most skilled of girls he’d slept with, none had ever made him come so fast or make his orgasm so amazing. It was pure Cas and he loved it; the kiss was his way of thanking the angel without words for what he had just done.

“You’re pleased, then?” Castiel asked when they broke for air. Rather than seeming tired after their first around, he looked energized with his pale cheeks flushed, eyes dancing.

“That was awesome and you know it,” Dean replied, grabbing the angel’s denim-clad ass and squeezing appreciatively. “Did you get off too?” he wanted to know. Cas had seemed pretty into it, but Dean had lost all sense of reason after he came. Castiel’s nod confirmed his suspicions and Dean grinned. “Good; now I can take my time.” Without further explanation, he kissed the angel again and held him tight as (with care for Cas’ wings) he rolled their bodies so that he ended up on top this time. It had only been a couple of minutes, but he was ready to go again—there was definitely something to be said for the healing power of their bond.

He broke the kiss and slid his lips lightly across Castiel’s jaw, tasting the soft skin of his neck as he worked his way down. Dean licked and bit at the angel’s delicate collarbone, chasing it under the strap of his tank top. When he ran out of skin, he went back the other way, stopping in the middle. Castiel swallowed, trembling slightly in excitement at the touch of his human’s mouth on his body. Distracted by the motion, Dean raised his head to briefly snap at his lover’s Adam’s apple before continuing. With a trick he’d learned from years of practice, Dean carefully took the zip of the angel’s top in his teeth and, eyes locked on Cas, pulled it slowly down to reveal more of Castiel’s milky skin.

He stopped when the shirt was halfway undone. Nosing one of the flaps aside like an overeager puppy, Dean rooted around until his lips ran over Castiel’s nipple. The angel gasped when Dean touched it with his tongue, then moaned as the man laved at it slowly, warming the nub with his saliva, then blowing on it so the cool air made his skin pebble and his chest jerk with sensation. He felt Dean’s wicked smile against his flesh and knew that he was in for much more teasing before the night was out.

While Dean moved on to his angel’s other nipple to give it equal attention, he reached up and unzipped the rest of the top, pushing the sides fully open. He sat back as he straddled Cas’ calves, looking down at all the pale skin he had revealed, framed by the black leather on both sides. He ran his hands up and down the angel’s torso, learning it by feel as well as sight. When Castiel made an abortive attempt to cover his naked chest with his wings, Dean gently elbowed them away. He grabbed the long bones at the tops of the appendages and leaned forward to pin them to the bed.

“No hiding, Cas. If you wanna stop, we stop, but otherwise you’re all mine to look at, understand?” Dean’s voice was tender but firm, accepting no argument. Castiel’s blue eyes widened and he nodded quickly, letting his wings go lax against the coverlet. Dean smiled approvingly. “That’s my Angel,” he said, and then scooted farther down his lover’s body. He traced Castiel’s jutting left hipbone with the pad of one finger. “I love these, you know that? I should get you all shirts that show them off, but then I bet we’d never leave the apartment.” He bent and licked into the hollow, tasting the baby-soft skin there before scraping his top teeth excruciatingly slowly over the bone. He used his tongue to worship the angel’s hips for several minutes, taking his fill of playing with them and forced Cas to make a litany of interesting noises.

Finally, he let his hand come to rest over the bulge in Castiel’s tight black jeans. Warmth radiated up against his palm and he could feel the slight dampness from the angel’s earlier release. The thought that Cas had been lying there in his own cum while Dean worked him over was undeniably hot, and the man shivered at the dirty thought. Dean had entertained the lingering fear that when he got to this part he might freak out a little, never having been with a man before. He was pleased to find that this was not the case. He felt completely confident when he reached up with both hands to undo the row of four buttons, sliding them slowly one by one from the holes. Done teasing, he hooked his fingers into the angel’s denims and underwear, dragging them both down his legs and off, leaving him completely exposed.

Dean readjusted himself atop Castiel, staring down at his naked arousal. The shaft was pale white, the head flushed pink with the need to come again. It was already wet with his slick and glistened invitingly in the candlelight. Running a hand lightly through the black curls at the base of Cas’ cock, Dean inhaled the angel’s aroused scent. He breathed in the smell of Cas and leather, and it drove him wild, making his dick begin to fill once more. He associated warm leather with the interior of his Baby, and therefore just about every good memory he had. Throw Cas’ angel scent in the mix and Dean had found perfection.

He blew out the breath he’d taken, fanning warm air over Castiel’s erection. The angel groaned loudly and writhed against the covers. His wings flexed, feathers spreading, offering himself to his lover.

“Please, Dean,” he grated, gyrating his hips to get the man’s attention.

The human grinned, flashing white teeth up at him. “Not gonna let me savor my first blowjob, huh?” he joked. He took hold of Cas’ shaft and gave it an experimental pump, watching the angel’s reaction. Castiel’s skin was incredibly soft there, even more so than his hips. It felt like wet silk and wonderful against Dean’s rough mechanic’s hands. He let himself enjoy jerking his angel off, taking in Castiel’s panting breaths and moans of delight.

When he was ready, Dean gripped Cas’ length and angled it up so he could take it into his mouth. A mixture of salty sweetness exploded onto his tongue and Dean quickly started sucking in earnest, trying to get more of that taste. If he had to describe it in terms of food, Dean thought that it was something like dipping French fries into a milkshake. He knew what cum was supposed to taste like, but he’d never imagined that an angel’s would be different. He couldn’t get enough of it.

“God, Cas, you taste awesome,” Dean said when he pulled back a moment for some air. He was breathing heavily and sweat trickled down his temples; Castiel didn’t think he’d ever seen anything more beautiful.

Castiel had barely restrained himself from coming as soon as his cock touched Dean’s mouth. Michael had done this to him several times, but it had never felt like this. Dean’s movements were smooth and intense, born from a sincere passion for his lover, not just the pleasure his body could provide. He nearly lost it again when the felt the man’s other hand begin to wander, caressing his thighs before delving between them to explore the more intimate things beneath. His fingers fondled Castiel’s sac almost reverently, being overly gentle in their investigation, before they moved on to the smooth skin behind them. Cas was close—he just needed that extra little touch to send him over the edge.

“Dean, touch my wings,” he pleaded, moving the appendages fitfully.

The man glanced up, his green eyes shining with orneriness. He had already found out that touching Castiel’s wings got him hot, and he could see the endless source of sexual pleasure and experimentation that awaited him. Mouth still firmly locked around Cas’ dick, he reached out and dragged his hand roughly through the feathers he could reach, ruffling them out of place. Then he grabbed a handful and tugged. Castiel let out a celestial screech as he came, shooting for a second time that night. Dean pulled back and stroked the angel through it, making sure Cas was done before he stopped.

Bending one of the wings out of his way, Dean heaved himself back up to lie beside his lover. He draped an arm over the angel’s body, his fingertips just brushing Cas’ groin lazily. Castiel was looking sleepy now and didn’t protest the man’s proprietary touch.

“I think that was worth being played by your brothers, don’t you?” Dean asked happily. He was still half-hard, but he figured that they could always play again later.

The angel gave a tired murmur, lids drooping over blown blue eyes.

Dean chuckled and leaned in to kiss Cas’ cheek before settling against the pillows and drifting off to sleep.

 

The next morning Castiel awoke to find Dean sitting cross-legged next to him on the bed, staring at him as he ate his leftover pie directly from the tin. The man was naked as the day he had been born, but he looked like he had showered. There was no fork in sight; rather, he was using his fingers like a scoop to catch the gooey cherry filling and bring it his waiting mouth.

Castiel yawned and stretched gracefully. “We’re going to have to have a talk about your bedroom manners,” he said sternly. Dean was surrounded by crumbs and if the sheets weren’t already covered in the signs of their lovemaking last night, it would probably be gross.

Dean just smiled deviously and raised his red fingers. Pointing one at Cas, he moved it forward until it bumped the angel’s nose. “Boop,” he said.

Castiel wrinkled his nose; the feeling of the goo covering his skin was most unpleasant. “I have never seen you act so playful before, Dean,” he commented, sitting up to look at his human.

The man shrugged and swallowed another mouthful of pie. “I just feel good is all. Happy. It’s been a while since I felt so…at peace, I guess.” He winked at the angel. “Last night was amazing, Cas. It’s never been that way for me before, and we didn’t even go all the way.”

“It was that way for me as well,” Castiel admitted. “It was very special, Dean. Thank you for sharing it with me.”

Dean laughed. “No sweat, man.” He ate another bite of the dessert.

“Shouldn’t you eat a proper breakfast before you go to your job today?” Castiel wanted to know. “I could fly somewhere and get you more healthy sustenance.”

“Naa, I don’t have time. I slept later than I meant to—you musta wore me out.” Dean paused and canted his head at Cas, using the angel’s patented motion of intense scrutiny. After a moment’s study, he reached out and deliberately ran a sticky hand down the angel’s chest. Castiel was too shocked to stop Dean, but followed through a moment later by buffeting the human over the head with his wing.

“Why on earth would you do such a thing?” he wanted to know. He looked down at himself in horror.

“It brings out the blue in your eyes,” Dean joked. It wasn’t until he abandoned his pie and leaned forward to lick the mess off of Castiel that the angel realized why Dean had painted him with pie. He let Dean bear him back down to the bed, moaning as the human licked and sucked at his chest to get all the flavor off. His hand disappeared for a moment then was back, smearing red sugar all over Castiel’s lips. Dean gave him a wet, messy kiss and ate at the angel’s mouth until it was all gone. The next time Dean ran a gummy hand over his stomach, Castiel did not protest. His lover lapped that away too. It took three more applications of matter for them to finish off the dessert, then Dean settled for simply running his tongue all over Cas, making sure he hadn’t missed any.

Finally, the angel squirmed, trying to dislodge his mischievous lover. “I regret to inform you, Dean, that if you do not leave soon, you will be late for work.”

Dean sighed dramatically and wrenched himself away from the angel’s tantalizing body. “Yeah, fine. We’ll play later when I get home.” As he went to go find something to wear, Castiel followed him.

“Dean, may I accompany you to your job?” he asked.

The man paused in sniffing his button-up. “You wanna come to work with me? Why?”

The angel curled a wing forward and ran his hand over the feathers nervously. “I do not like staying here by myself. I miss you during the day. Now that I am healed, I would like to be of some use to you.”

Dean thought about that. The angel did have valid reasons. He did kind of feel back for locking the angel
in the flat all day like a housedog. The poor guy probably did need a change of scenery. He missed Cas too and, he reasoned, he would be better able to protect the angel if they were together. “Ok, sure, why not?”

“Thank you, Dean,” Castiel said gladly, then hurried off to shower so they could get going.

 

Bobby took one look at Dean and Castiel as they exited the Impala and rolled his eyes. “What is this, ‘Bring Your Angel to Work Day’?” he asked. Frankly, he had been waiting for this. He had spent the last couple of weeks watching Dean stare into space, thinking about his new guest. It was clear that his nephew was in love and it didn’t take a genius to guess it was his angel. From the looks of things, the angel had finally returned his affection. At least maybe he could get some actual work done now that the object of his daydreams was nearby. Bobby only hoped that didn’t backfire.

“So what if it is?” Dean countered good-naturedly. He pulled Cas up with him and waved at his uncle.

“Cas, this is Bobby. Bobby, Cas.”

Always well mannered, the angel extended a delicate hand to the head mechanic. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Bobby,” he said congenially.

Bobby swiped his grease-covered hand over his coveralls before grasping Castiel’s. “Nice to meet you too, Cas.” He then cut his sharp but amused eyes to Dean. “Just you see to it you get your ass working on that carburetor you’ve been meaning to fix and don’t spend all day making moon-eyes at your angel.”

“No promises,” Dean told him, then grabbed Castiel’s hand and headed for the garage.

Chapter Text

When the pair reached Dean’s assigned garage stall, the man stopped to look at Cas. Today his wings were bound and he was wearing one of Dean’s T-shirts and a pair of loose jeans, as he didn’t want to get his feathers dirty or caught in any of the machinery. Dean couldn’t help grinning every time he saw the angel in his clothes. Before, it had simply amused him, but now it had the added effect of making his cock harden when he thought about removing them later.

He coughed, trying to focus on his job. “So, I should probably do as Bobby says before he kicks my ass…”

As much as he wanted to hang out with his angel all day, making way more than “moon-eyes”, he didn’t want to piss his uncle off any more than he already had.

Castiel smiled indulgently. “You do as you must, Dean. I am fully capable of amusing myself while you work.”

The man chuckled. Cas’ message was clear—stop treating me like a child or an invalid. “Ok, fine, then. You do what you want and if you need anything, you know where to find me.” He hooked an arm around the angel’s neck and yanked him forward for a quick kiss before he sighed and went about looking for his tools.

It was noon before Dean knew it. Occasionally he checked on Cas throughout the day, making sure nothing had happened to his quiet angel. Most of the time Cas was nearby, picking through the junkyard or simply staring at Dean while he tinkered. The man had been working under his client’s car for over an hour before he reemerged again. The part he was trying to switch out had given him a hard time and by now he was covered in grease and dirt. Ready for a break, the man rolled himself out from under the car and automatically looked around for his angel. He found Castiel perched on top of the car’s hood, fiddling with something in his lap.

The mechanic stared up at his angel from his lower vantage point, watching Cas work. He was wearing his frowny face, as though by glaring at the thing in his lap he could get it to cooperate. Dean loved that expression and found it endlessly amusing. He sat up and reached for the handkerchief in his back pocket, wiping the sweat and car grime from his face.

“Whatcha up to, Cas?” he asked, craning to get a better look at what Castiel was playing with.

The angel looked over at his lover, his face smoothing out when he caught Dean’s green eyes. He held up a lump of dull silver metal roughly about the size and shape of a hotdog. “I am attempting to forge a new angel blade for myself, so you do not have to keep borrowing Gabriel’s.”

Dean had the decency to blush over that fact that Cas had found out the lengths he had gone to in order to protect him. “Oh. Uh, cool.” He took a seat beside Castiel and peered more closely at the hunk of untempered celestial steel. “So, what do you have to do? And what is an angel blade? All Gabby said was that it could defend against angels.”

“That is true. All angels have their own blade, personal to them. It is infused with the angel’s Grace, and therefore very powerful—or, it was until the Fall. The blade is also capable of dispatching lesser demons and most supernatural creatures. The more powerful the angel—like an archangel—, the more effective their weapon.”

Dean nodded his understanding. Again he was glad for Gabriel’s loaner and he didn’t regret keeping it from Cas in order to protect the weaker angel.

“I lost mine to Michael but I have been unable to create a new one until now. I thought it prudent to do so as soon as possible in case Raphael decides to continue his vendetta.” Dean muttered something profane about the archangel’s male anatomy, which Castiel ignored. “The creation process is fairly easy, if time-consuming. In simple terms, I must maintain contact with the steel and infuse it with my power. No mortal or immortal tool is strong enough to bend celestial steel, so we temper the metal with our Graces.”

“So…basically, you just stare at the thing until it’s in the shape you want,” Dean guessed. Hence the frowny face.

Castiel smiled. “Yes. It will take me several days to complete, so I will work on it when there is nothing else to do.”

“Well, in that case, how about a break for lunch? I know I’m starving and you didn’t have breakfast.”

The angel set aside his soon-to-be-blade and asked Dean if he should go out to get them all something to eat.

“Ooo, I could really go for a cheeseburger!” Dean said enthusiastically, sliding back off the hood of the car.

Castiel’s indulgent smile said that he was not at all surprised by his human’s lunch request. Dean, instead of walking, yelled to the garage next door if Bobby wanted Cas to get burgers for lunch. The older man ambled over to Dean’s side. “Don’t you have any manners at all, boy?” Bobby grumbled. He reached into his wallet for a $20, which he handed to Cas. “Pickles, no mayo,” he ordered, “And get whatever you boys want.” The angel nodded gravely and popped out of existence. The man blinked, startled by the angel’s abrupt departure.

“So, I guess he’s all healed up, then,” he said, settling his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
Dean stared at the spot Cas had been, then cut his gaze to Bobby. “Yeah, all his new feathers are in and he can see better than I can. There are still a few deep scars, but they’re fading. Mine are too,” he added, pulling up the side of his shirt to expose his hip to Bobby. “Remember that gash I got when Sam pushed me out of that tree?” His uncle leaned forward to examine the perfectly smooth skin where previously his nephew had worn an impressive scar. He whistled appreciatively.

“That’s some trick, boy,” he admitted.

“You don’t seem too excited,” Dean observed. Bobby was standing stiffly, as though he was about to impart some bad news. That look had always made Dean nervous since he was a kid.

Bobby grimaced. “I don’t mean to rain on your parade. You two seem like you have something special going on—I’ve never seen you look at someone the way you look at that angel. But, boy, that’s the point.” He shuffled his feet, clearly uncomfortable talking about his nephew’s love life. “Just…don’t you go screwing this up, ya idjit. I know you and I know you’ll find some way to sabotage yourself—if something’s working well, ya just go and poke at it till it don’t cause you think you don’t deserve it. Well, quit it. He’s good for you, so don’t you hurt him.”

Dean stared at the man, eyes wide with what he was hearing. “Bobby—“

The man held up a hand to ward off any protests. “Naa, I said my two cents. Call me when lunch gets here.” He hurried back to his garage, effectively avoiding any further talk of feelings.
Dean watched him go, his mind whirring with what Bobby had said. First of all, the fact that Bobby condoned any sort of romantic relationship for Dean, especially one with a male angel was a bit of a surprise to him. Though, as soon as he thought that, Dean realized it wasn’t fair. Bobby was a good guy and Dean knew that all his uncle wanted was for him to be happy—if Cas made him happy, Bobby would gladly accept it. Not much frazzled the old man these days. He usually tried to stay out of Dean’s love life, so if he spoke up now, he must see something very different.

And, Cas was different. Dean knew it was still early—they had only just confessed their mutual feelings for one another last night—but he could see himself spending the rest of his life with Cas. Until the angel came into his life, nothing had made him smile since Sam left. If Dean was being really honest, even before that he had never felt happy, simply content with his place in the world. Now, he smiled every day and he had the constant feeling of butterflies in his stomach whenever he looked at or even thought about Cas. The shy angel had changed things for him and filled a spot in Dean’s existence that the man hadn’t even known was empty.

Still, Bobby had a point. Castiel had already learned the hard way that Dean had a hell of an inferiority complex coupled with severe abandonment issues. His mother died when he was young, his father when he was seventeen. After that, Dean had never been able to hold a stable relationship. He had tried a few times at first, but the girls always left him in the end. After that, he found a way to not get hurt. Instead of seeking out women to love, he found ones he could leave after only a night to spare himself the heartache of an eventual breakup. If it was his choice to leave, if he had no attachments other than a night of sex, he would be ok. He couldn’t give up the sex completely, though—it was the only way he could make a human connection, something he still sought even though he knew it caused him nothing but pain in the past.

After Sam left (even though Dean knew it was coming), he fell harder into his vices. He slept with a new girl nearly every night and drank to forget that his life was again one person short. Even when Cas had come to live with him, it had only taken a few hours before Dean tried to break their bond under the false impression that he wasn’t good enough for the broken angel. Castiel’s blind devotion to Dean then and over the past few weeks had done much to soften the man’s issues with intimacy, but he was not completely over them. Bobby’s worry was valid and Dean knew he would have to watch himself so he didn’t hurt Cas any more than he already had with his misunderstandings.

“Dean?”

Castiel’s voice behind him startled Dean into dropping the wrench he had been playing with. It fell with a loud CLANG into a pile of tools on the worktable. Dean winced, but immediately brightened when he saw the Whitecastle bag his angel was holding out to him—Cas and cheeseburgers solved everything, in his opinion.

“Thanks Cas!” he said, grabbing the bag and sticking his nose inside. Thinking deep thoughts made a guy hungry. “Let’s got get Bobby and head inside to the A/C.” They did just that and a few minutes later everyone was crowded around Bobby’s two-seater table in the kitchen. Bobby ate in silence, taking the occasional swig from his bottle of beer. Dean had looked at it longingly when Bobby offered him a cold one from the fridge, but settled for sharing sips of Cas’ Coke instead.
The rest of the day went by at an even pace. Dean worked to fix the backlog of cars waiting repair in the lot. Castiel spent his time between wandering the yard and curiously inspecting the salvage and working on his angel blade. When 6:00 rolled around, Dean was ready to call it a day. The pair said ‘good-bye’ to Bobby and headed back to the firehouse.

As soon as they got in the door, Dean had Castiel’s back up against it. He shoved his body hard against the angel’s and kissed him solidly. He had kept his eyes to himself at work as he had promised Bobby, and Dean felt that he deserved a reward for his good behaviour. Cas instantly melted into Dean’s rough hold, eagerly kissing the man back. Dean ran his dirty hands down Cas’ arms, leaving small grease stains. In some small way, it make him feel as if he was marking Castiel with his fingerprints, the same way the angel had marked him with his hand. He took the angel’s fingers in his own and twined them together before raising his arms and pinning Castiel’s hands above his head. Cas moaned into his mouth and canted his hips up, trying to get more friction between them. Dean bit his full bottom and pulled back, denying the angel what he wanted.

When he spoke, his voice was a growl low enough to rival Cas’ normal tone. “Let’s go shower. I wanna see you wet.”

Castiel nodded and before Dean could move, they were transported to the bathroom. Dean stumbled a little against Cas, his body shocked by the sudden movement through space. “Are you all right, Dean?” the angel asked. He knew flying could be disorienting for a human but he hadn’t wanted to waste any time in walking to the restroom.

The man took a few deep breaths to steady himself then shook it off. “Yeah, just surprised. I’m not sure I’m a fan of flying, though. Never did like planes and that was way worse.”

Cas rubbed his back sympathetically. “Soon I will take you flying for real. You will like it. I would never let you fall.” He kissed Dean softly then hugged his human to him.

Dean’s belly tightened when he felt the rasp of Cas’ scruffy cheek against his own. God, why was that so sexy? He hugged Castiel back but it only took a moment for him to make it dirty. He dipped his hands to grab Castiel’s ass and ground his pelvis against Cas’. They both hissed in a pleasured breath when their hot groins met. Dean turned his head and bit at the angel’s ear.

“Less talk, less clothes,” he suggested. Castiel’s warm chuckle of assent was all Dean needed before he reached down blindly and started undoing the angel’s jeans. The material sagged around his slim hips when Dean pulled apart the button and once he had the fly unzipped, the pants slid slowly down until Cas was able to step out of them. Dean hungrily mouthed the angel’s neck as Cas returned the favor. He found the task rather difficult, as Dean could not stay still long enough. He cupped the man’s erection in one hand, rubbing it gently while he used the other to divest him of his pants and briefs.

“Mmm, keep that up and we won’t even make it to the shower,” Dean warned. He kicked off his pants while he pulled his T-shirt over his head, then grabbed the hem of Cas’ and yanked it up as well. He dragged his hands back down the angel’s torso, taking in the sight of so much smooth, creamy skin. They had made love by candlelight last night, so now was his first good chance at seeing his angel fully naked. Cas stood still and let Dean look his fill, blue eyes fixed on the human’s own body. The man’s eyes raked up and down, a lecherous smile slowly forming on his lips. When he got back to Cas’ face, he laughed. Sticking his thumb in his mouth, he stepped forward to swipe it across the angel’s cheek, removing a smudge of car oil.

“We really need to shower,” he remarked. The angel agreed and went to regulate the water. Dean stepped into the oversized stall after him and closed the door, shutting them in with the warm heat. He washed his body quickly while Castiel shampooed his hair. When they switched places, Dean took the soap bar from the angel and motioned for him to turn around. With a curious expression, Cas did as he was told, then gasped when he felt Dean’s warm, soapy hands on him. Dean’s touch started out as a sensual massage, caressing Castiel’s neck and fingering the area where his wings normally sprouted from his wingbones. It was still highly sensitive and Cas clutched at the shower bar and moaned wantonly as Dean paid special attention to his back.

His front got equal care, Dean starting out sensual and moving towards dirty as he fumbled with the angel’s nipples and reached down to bury his fingers in the hair above his groin. The man’s touching leaned more towards outright groping as he got farther down the angel’s body. Finally, he pushed Cas into the shower spray and let him rinse off the soap.

Thinking they were done afterwards, Castiel went for the door but was pulled back by the man’s firm grip on his cock. He turned to see Dean on his knees, waiting for Cas. He grabbed the angel’s hips and situated him with his back to the water, shielding Dean as he went down on his lover. Cas gasped at the unexpected feeling of Dean’s mouth covering his dick, warmer and much better than the water.

Dean sucked at Cas with much more confidence after his trial run last night. He experimented with his technique now, learning what things caused Castiel to make the best noises. He found that the angel’s sac was a particularly tender area and so he exploited the knowledge, caressing his testicles in a wet, soapy hand. His mouth worked up and down the angel’s slick shaft, Dean simply doing to Cas what he liked done to him, testing what got the best reactions. He used his tongue to slide around the head when he came up, then flattened it on the way back down so the slightly rough surface followed the large throbbing vein down the underside.

When he heard the angel’s breathing start to quicken and felt his balls tense up, Dean wickedly slid his other hand between his lover’s legs. He searched with a finger until he found the angel’s entrance, brushing lightly over the surface. Castiel keened loudly and Dean in turn prodded at the small pucker, wrenching more high-pitched cries from the angel. Then, with a last squeeze of Dean’s hand on his sac, Castiel came with a shout.

When his release hit him, the angel involuntarily released his wings in the small space. One white appendage whipped out to knock off the shower door and the other, without anywhere to go, punched a large hole in the tile. Dust and tiny white ceramic shards rained down on them, coating his left and Dean’s right side.

“Dean!” Castiel gasped, looking around in horror at what he had done in a moment of unrestrained passion. “Please accept my apologies! I didn’t know that it would feel so good. I seem to have lost control of myself…”

The man pulled off of the angel’s soft cock and stood, swiping the back of his hand over his mouth where some of the cum had leaked out. He surveyed the damage with a critical eye. “Well, I guess that’s the excuse I needed to re-grout the shower. Don’t tell Sammy I did it for you, though—he’s been after me to do that for years and he’ll be pissed if he finds out I did it now.”

Castiel gave him a startled look. “You mean you’re not angry with me?”

Dean laughed and bent to let the water rinse off the powder on his skin. “Of course not. A man likes to know he’s doing things right, and breaking stuff is a sure sign. I was with this girl once—a long time ago—and I was so into it I knocked a lamp off her nightstand. She said she’d take it as a compliment.” It was the truth, and the knowledge that he could affect Cas like that was a heady feeling. He kissed the angel’s cheek and ran a hand down one of his wings. “Just, next time, let’s save the wings for the bedroom.”

They ate leftover roast for dinner, then it was decided they would watch a movie before bed. Dean, who had seen them all, told Cas he could pick while he made some popcorn. When he wandered back into the living room, he nearly dropped the bowl he carried when he saw the DVD cases the angel was examining.

Surrounding Castiel in a circle on the floor was Dean’s entire movie collection. Cas had delved all the way to the deep back of the shelf in order to see everything it had to offer—which turned out to be Dean’s porn collection. Shit, he’d meant to get rid of them before Cas saw, but hadn’t had the time!

“What is Casa Erotica 13 about?” Cas asked innocently as he examined the cover. Upon it was a mustached Hungarian doing something unspeakable to a busty blonde woman.

“Uh, nothing. Let’s watch Die Hard 2 or something…” Dean begged. He hoped that would be the end of it.

It wasn’t. “This couple appears to be engaging in sexual intercourse.” Castiel commented. He flipped the case over and began to read the description on the back.

His human sighed and flopped down miserably on the couch. “It’s porn, Cas,” he explained. “It’s not really a movie. There’s no plot—it’s just people having sex.”

“I see...Why would you watch it if that is the only thing that happens? Is not a film supposed to have a story line that is fulfilled at the end of the movie?”

Dean really wished a great big hole would appear and swallow him up. It was bad enough when he had to have The Talk with Sammy several years back, but this was beyond his experience. He rested his forehead on his palm, not looking at the angel. “It’s to jerk off to, Cas. Guys watch it when they want to get in the mood. It’s…it gets them hot.”

The next words out of the angel’s mouth were the last the man expected to hear. “Oh. Should we watch some, then?”

Dean’s head shot back up and he stared at Cas with bugged green eyes. “What? No! Guys don’t watch porn with other guys!” he cried defensively. How could Cas even ask that?

The angel ignored his outburst; he was already busy sifting through the other choices. After quickly scrutinizing the other cases, he came to a puzzling conclusion. “All of these porn seem to feature heterosexual couples.” He tilted his head as he looked up at Dean with concern. “I know you were exclusively with women before we met. Does it bother you that my form is male?”

The man exhaled a noisy breath. Why, oh why couldn’t he have just stuck to digital porn? “You know, Cas, strangely it doesn’t,” he said honestly. “I was never really interested in being with another dude, but I guess love’s just funny that way. Now will you please pick something without ‘Erotica’ in the title?”
Castiel held up a DVD. “This one is called Doctor Sexy, Home Visit,” he offered. Dean groaned and the angel sighed in confusion. “I don’t understand your reluctance to watch sexual movies with me. If they arouse you, would it not be good foreplay?”

“Fine,” Dean said, giving up. “If you really want to watch some porn, at least find some with guys in it. I don’t think I could live through the embarrassment watching one with a chick.” He got his laptop and brought it back in to the living room. He situated them on the couch so that he was lying lengthwise, back against one of the arms, and Castiel was settled in between his legs, propped up against his chest. Dean set the computer over the angel’s thighs and, after picking a generic porn site and logging into his account, he let Castiel surf through the pay-per-view movies. He tried to remain impartial, just letting his angel have some fun, but after a few minutes of Cas squirming in his lap while looking at photos of hot men having even hotter sex, Dean had to admit that the idea was beginning to grow on him—as was his erection.

Finally, Castiel selected a film called Kiss My Angel. The cover featured a pretty blonde twink’s rear end with a clipart pair of lips stamped onto one smooth cheek. A pair of digital wings had been placed on his back and a larger man stood over him, one big hand gripping a wing, the other raised as if to spank the younger man. Dean rolled his eyes, feigning coolness, but he eagerly watched over Castiel’s shoulder as the movie began to play—after all, porn was porn and he hadn’t gotten off earlier in the shower with Cas. He grabbed a handful of popcorn from the bowl on the coffee table and let himself relax, listening to the familiar crappy background music as things got going.

Castiel watched in quiet fascination for a few minutes as the two men made out on screen. He surveyed the scene with a critical eye, seeming to be studying the film with great interest. After a while, he tilted his head back to look at Dean.

“Are you feeling aroused yet?” he asked, trying to gauge his bonded’s reaction to the movie.

“I’m working on it,” Dean said gruffly. “Just watch.” The truth was, just watching the two guys kissing on screen was inexplicably hot, especially when he imagined it was he and his angel instead. His cock was already hard and pressing rather painfully against his zipper, but he couldn’t think of a good way to ease his discomfort without alerting Cas to what he was doing. As far as he knew, it was fairly rude to jerk off behind another guy’s back.

The scene began to intensify, the two men gradually moving from kissing to a 69 position. The twink especially seemed into it and Castiel was watching his motions closely.

“We should try that position, Dean,” he suggested, pointing to the screen. When he moved, his ass pressed back against his lover’s erection and Dean’s hips involuntarily surged forward, seeking out the nearby heat and friction.

“Yeah, maybe later. Listen, do you think you can use your angel mojo to get rid of our clothes?” Fuck modesty; Dean was hard as a rock and he had a pretty angel ready and willing to go another round. His question was answered a moment later when both he and Castiel were suddenly sans clothes. “That’s better,” he murmured in the angel’s ear, gripping around his middle and thrusting against his backside properly. Castiel made a soft grunt and pushed back, feeling Dean’s cock just barely dip into his crease.

Dean put both hands on the angel’s sides and yanked him back as he moved forward, setting a slow, steady pace.

A glance over Cas’ shoulder showed the two pornstars had moved into a position ready for full-on sex with the man behind the smaller guy, who was on his hands and knees. The man slapped his ass a few times, then grabbed one cheek in each hand, roughly pulling them apart to reveal the twink’s small dark hole. Dean groaned at the sight and his cock twitched against Cas, begging for something more.

The angel groaned and leaned his head back to rest on Dean’s shoulder, blue eyes still transfixed on the computer. “I am finding that this video greatly affects me sexually,” he growled, voice low and rougher than usual.

“Touch yourself, Cas,” Dean demanded. He reached one hand up to spit in his palm before using the saliva to coat his dick. Angling his hips just right, he slid in-between the angel’s smooth buttocks, rubbing against him with rapidly faster movements. He heard another smack and a moan from the young man on the screen.

Following Dean’s order, one of Castiel’s hands moved down to grip his arousal, tugging at it fitfully as he watched the twink being fucked by the larger man. Dean’s grip on his sides was strong and commanding and his movements fluid, letting know that Cas was well taken care of.

When the guy in the movie cried out his orgasm, he set off a chain reaction in the pair watching him.

Castiel wailed as his own release hit him, coming so hard a string of his semen hit the screen. The combined noise and motion quickly caused Dean to follow and he bit into the angel’s shoulder as he shot his load up against his back, painting his pale with the pearly liquid. He then collapsed back onto the arm of the couch and Cas came with him, his body a solid, comforting weight as Dean’s breathing slowly began to even out once more.

“I have to admit Angel,” he whispered in Cas’ ear, “that was pretty hot. You get to pick the movies from now on.

Chapter Text

The next day, Castiel again accompanied Dean to work. Bobby had gotten a commission from a guy who wanted a custom paint job on his Mustang, so he handed the job along to Dean, who loved doing that sort of thing. As much as he enjoyed fixing the inner parts of a car, making them purr with renewed vigor, Dean’s favorite part was fixing up the outside. He had repaired his Baby more than once (especially during the days he’d taught Sammy how to drive) and he liked painting and refinishing, bringing the vehicles back to their original splendor.

Most of the day Dean was fully focused on his work, only stopping to eat when Cas brought them all Thai take-away. He did a double take when he saw his angel walk up with a mangy calico cat perched on his shoulders. The cat was one Dean had seen around the yard before and occasionally threw scraps to when he had some to spare. Not many cats stayed around with Bobby’s two German Shepherds roaming the property to deter thieves, but this one was braver than most. She had been in her fair share of tumbles, if the half-missing tail and shabby patches of fur were any indication. She had never let Dean or Bobby get close and yowled when they came near, so the men left her to it.

“You make a new friend?” Dean asked, nodding his head to Castiel’s new accessory. The cat had her sharp claws dug into the angel’s shirt to keep her balance, but he didn’t seem to mind.

“Yes, Dean. I met Fight while I was looking around this establishment yesterday. I healed a large cut she had and she was most grateful. I told her that I would bring her food when next we met.”

The mechanic made a face. “Why am I not surprised you can talk to cats?” he asked. He reached up tentatively to pet the animal and she growled but let him scratch behind her ears. Clearly, she trusted Cas, but was still a little wary of his associates.

“I speak many different languages, but animals are always more easy to understand than people.” Castiel handed Dean his order and they went to find Bobby. The cat stayed outside while they ate, munching on the canned cat food Castiel had provided. Over lunch, the angel related his new relationship with the cat who said her name was Fight.

“Seems you’re handy to have around the yard, Cas,” Bobby commented. Like his nephew, the man had always had a soft spot for strays, both animals and humans. “Don’t suppose you know how to fix a car?”

The angel shook his head. “I am afraid that I do not possess much knowledge of modern things. I visited Earth very infrequently when I lived in Heaven and I did not go out much when I was with Michael. Dean has taught me some interesting things, but moving vehicles still seem very intimidating.”

Bobby shrugged. “Ah, well, having one Winchester on the payroll is probably trouble enough.”

Dean groaned and kicked his uncle under the table. It wasn’t like he and Cas were married or anything—why did everyone always have to poke fun at him just because he had fallen for an angel? When he looked back to Cas, he noticed that his lover seemed rather pensive. “What’s up, Cas?” he asked, setting down his bite of curry chicken.

Castiel played with his fork, nervous. “Bobby mentioned me working, and it is something I have been thinking about. I would like to assist you by being employed as well, but I do not seem to have many marketable human talents.”

Dean had been afraid this conversation would come up, and this still felt like it was too soon. “You don’t have to work, Cas. Sammy and I got by just fine with my paycheck—we can too.”

“But I want to help,” Castiel protested. “You have done so much for me; I need to contribute. Isn’t that what people normally do in an equal relationship? Division of labor? Besides, I don’t want to get in your way here, but neither do I feel comfortable in the apartment by myself.” He cringed a little, as though expecting Dean to berate him for his weakness.

Bobby stepped in after taking a swig of beer. “Cas is right, Dean. Let the boy do his own thing. You can’t keep dragging him to the yard and he needs something that’s his.”

Dean sighed; he knew his uncle was right. As much as he hated to admit it, they couldn’t spend all their time together or nothing would ever get done. Castiel, now that he was healed, was fully capable of doing things on his own. After being imprisoned by Michael, he probably needed to exert his independence. It would probably be good for him to get a job on his own and be able to buy his own things without feeling guilty about spending someone else’s money. It would help him gain back his confidence, and who was Dean to stand in the way of that? He tried not to take it personally. He knew now that Cas would always come back to him no matter how far he wandered.

“Yeah, Cas, if you want to get a job, you should do it. If you want to help out money-wise, maybe we can move some things around in the apartment; you can decorate it how you want since it’s your place too. And, uh, we could re-do the bathroom, give it the works.” He blushed at the memory of their love-making last night and hoped that Bobby didn’t catch on.

Bobby gave the man an approving nod, then turned to the angel. “What kind of job do you think you are qualified for, son?”

Castiel canted his head, thinking it over. “I am not sure…” he admitted.

“Well, what do you like to do?” As much as Dean didn’t always appreciate his family members meddling in his business, he was really grateful for Bobby right now. He was relieved that he seemed to like Cas and was sincere in helping him navigate Dean’s life. Dean could handle a little teasing if it meant Cas could bond with Bobby.

“I enjoy watching nature,” Castiel mused, thinking about the older man’s question. “I like watching videos with Dean. I am told I am a passable cook…”

Dean frowned. “Well, he’s not working in fast food. Maybe a movie rental place or a theater? No. I don’t want him working somewhere too skeezy.”

Bobby pondered that. He was about to say something when he was interrupted by one of the dogs outside, barking.

“Brutus is in pursuit of a squirrel,” Castiel said, saving the man the trouble of getting up to see what the fuss was about.

“Idjit dog…” Bobby muttered. He looked away from the window, then suddenly shot his gaze back to the angel. “That’s it, Cas. You’re good with animals from what I hear. Why not work for a vet or something?”

Dean grinned at the suggestion and eagerly agreed. What trouble could his angel get into when surrounded by animals that adored him like Fight seemed to? If anything, he would probably be safer there than alone in the apartment.

Castiel pursed his lips. “I cannot use my power to heal animals very frequently. It still tires me to use too much at once. I merely did Fight a favor.”

“No,” Dean agreed, “But you can talk to them. Maybe you can, like, tell the vet what’s wrong since the animals can’t do it for themselves? Or, you could train them, tell them not to wet the carpet or whatever in a way they’d understand. People’d pay a fortune for that.”

Bobby also suggested an animal shelter—he bet anyone would adopt a dog trained and/or recommended by an angel.

By the end of the conversation, Castiel was pretty excited about the prospect of getting a job. They had all decided that an animal shelter would probably be his best bet. In a college town, there were plenty of pets that were sadly thrown out when kids moved back home and, as someone who had been abandoned twice by both his father and former lover, Castiel knew what they were experiencing and desperately wanted to help.

“May I go now and seek employment?” he wanted to know.

Dean grinned and gripped the back of his neck fondly. “Yeah, go play with the puppies. Just, be careful and I don’t want you actually starting there until you finish your angel blade, ok?” He kissed the angel soundly to make his point (Bobby groaned in the background). Castiel agreed then vanished, flying off to the Lawrence Humane
Society.

He returned again a few hours later, just as Dean was cleaning up to head home. Dean would be lying if he said he hadn’t started to worry, and vowed that he would take Cas out on Saturday and get them both cell phones so they could stay in contact if need be. He knew that he was probably overreacting, but he wasn’t sorry. There was still a homicidal angel (or more) out there, plus people like or worse than Michael, who would be not think twice about kidnapping an angel and selling him on the black-market. He knew Cas was fully capable of defending himself, but Dean had just gotten the angel in his life—he didn’t want to think about losing him so soon.

“Hey, Cas, how’d the job-hunt go?” he asked, wiping the worst of the paint and grease off his hands on a shop cloth.

“Very well, Dean. The Humane Society was very interested in having me work there. They were unable to promise me a full time salary at the moment but they said several of their employees were graduating from the university in the winter and then I would be promoted.”

“Aw, man, that sounds great. Congrats on becoming a working stiff like me.” Dean hugged Cas to him, mouthing at his neck. He wrinkled his nose and pulled back. “You smell like wet dog.”

“I do not officially start work until next Monday, but the shelter was short-staffed today so I volunteered to assist in bathing some of the larger dogs they had trouble controlling.” The angel frowned thoughtfully. “Dean, I am very glad that I went to work there. Many of the animals need my help. The humans often do not understand what the dogs are trying to tell them, misinterpreting their pain or fear as bad behavior.”

Dean felt pride well up for his lover. Even after everything Cas had gone through, the angel was so giving, so willing to take on other’s pain in order to help them. He knew this first-hand and he hoped the staff at the shelter understood just how lucky they were to have Cas working for them. He kissed his angel and suggested they get some take-out and go home to celebrate. Castiel readily followed him to the Impala, looking forward to returning home to be with Dean after missing him while he had been out finding a job.

The two shared a selection of Chinese take-away for dinner, then showered together again. Dean kept their play light, saving the good stuff for later (and wanting to preserve what was left of his shower). As much fun as they had together in and out of bed the past two days, Dean really wanted to try going further tonight. He had held off so far to make sure that Cas was truly ready, but from what he could tell, the angel didn’t have any problems as far as sex as concerned. He always seemed eager to participate and please Dean as well as himself. Hopefully tonight, Dean could persuade him into hitting third base—it would be the perfect way to celebrate his accomplishment, the man reasoned.

Dean sent Cas, wrapped in a fluffy white towel, into the living room while he finished drying off and quickly neatened the bedroom (just in case he got lucky). He grabbed the wing oil from Cas’ side of the dresser and brought it out with him. He found the angel lying on the couch, his wings fanned up above him, waving lazily. The towel was still covering his modesty, but it only hit the tops of his thighs, leaving his long legs bare. Dean swallowed roughly at the enticing sight. He took a seat on the coffee table and held out the bottle.

“Want me to groom your wings? It’s been a couple days.”

Castiel arched an eyebrow at him playfully. “If you think you can keep your eyes on my wings and not the rest of my naked body,” he quipped. That was fine for the angel to say, as he was already raking his cool eyes over his lover’s nude form. He wet his lips, staring at Dean’s groin.

Dean laughed and reached out to lightly slap the back of Cas’ thigh. “Like I told Bobby, Cas, ‘no promises’. You know me—I have no control over my sex drive.” Castiel huffed at the smack and stood, pushing Dean off the coffee table. The man rolled his eyes at him and shooed him out of the way so he could pull out the couch into a bed, giving them more room to work. He scooped up the angel and threw him over his shoulder, wings and all. Cas flew through the air and landed in the middle of the bed with a flutter of feathers, too shocked by the playfully rough treatment to even think about using his wings. He came up looking quite disheveled with his black hair wind-blown and his feathers mussed out of place. God, Dean loved his sex-hair and that dreamy yet slightly surprised look in his blue eyes.

“Manhandling me is not the way to get what you want,” the angel pointed out, but he allowed Dean to manipulate his body, spread out on his stomach with his wings lying flat on the bed.

“And here I thought that was exactly the way to get what I want,” Dean replied. He liked joking-Cas. The angel had come a long way in a few short weeks and Dean couldn’t be happier.

After retrieving the bottle of oil, Dean joined Castiel on the bed. He took a seat directly over the angel’s ass, with only the towel between them. Cas wriggled underneath him and Dean ground his hips down, both teasing the angel and keeping him in place. He was already half-hard from thinking about what they might do later and he hoped to get Cas in the mood as well with a wing massage. He remembered the first night he had groomed the angel’s wings, then later when Castiel admitted that they were sensitive and, depending on the situation and person, a prime erogenous zone. Dean fully intended to exploit that knowledge and he was eager to see just how hot he could make Castiel by touching only his wings. Maybe sometime he’d see if he could get the angel off on that alone…

Castiel lightly thwapped Dean upside the head with the side of his wing, knocking the human out of his daydream. “Yeah, yeah,” Dean grumbled, “Don’t get your feathers in a bunch.” He squirted a sizable amount of the oil into his palm and began the long task of grooming the angel’s large white wings. He started on the outside of the one to his left, thoroughly coating the larger primary flight feathers before moving inwards to the secondaries.

“You have become very efficient at this,” Castiel commented into the comfortable silence. He hissed a little and his body arched when Dean dug his fingers in a little too far to get at the feathers beneath the coverts on the upper part of the wing. When the man froze, Castiel forced himself to relax. “It’s nothing, Dean, you just hit a pin feather. There are a few that are still growing in and the new ones are most sensitive. It did not hurt, but it caught me off guard.”

Dean, who had read up a little on angels in Bobby’s library during his breaks, knew that the pin feathers were also called “blood feathers”, meaning at this stage they were still growing and connected more closely to the angel’s body with tiny blood vessels. When fully grown, the feather would be stronger, but less sensitive. He shifted above Castiel, then Cas felt Dean run his slick hands more gently over the hidden pin feathers, caressing them with his rough fingers. This time Cas moaned at the sensual touch. His wing pressed up against Dean’s hand, silently asking for more.

“I love how you sound right now,” Dean rumbled, leaning down to speak in Castiel’s ear. “The noises you make are so pretty, you make me want to take you right here.”

“Dean…” Castiel ground out, the combination of words and touch stimulating his senses more than usual.

“That’s right, Angel. Moan for me.” Dean moved on to the right wing, purposefully leaving the center where the wings grew from flesh untouched for now. He gave the second wing the same treatment, caressing each feather individually with single-minded purpose before taking his time to play a little. Cas always bucked and sighed when Dean gently mussed the feathers deliberately—the feeling of the oil-slick feathers rasping together and the slight tugs of Dean’s fingers was unbelievably erotic. He lost himself in sensation, mind drifting happily as his lover tended to him.

Dean was nearing the center of Castiel’s back again, finished with wing number two, when he noticed something odd. Was it just him or was there more oil on the angel’s back than he remembered putting there? Curious, he reached out to swipe his index finger through the slick substance, bringing it closer for a better look. He frowned when he saw that this was not the same oil he had been using. The stuff from the bottle was crystal-clear; what he had picked up had a golden sheen. Worry immediately wracked him. Was the hell was this stuff? Was Castiel injured in some way—was this like angel blood?

“Cas?,” he whispered, voice wavering in fear, “You’re…leaking.”

Confused, the angel craned his head around to look at Dean. “I do not understand that reference…” he told the man.

Dean shook his head. “No, Cas, I mean, you’ve got this gold stuff all over your back. I didn’t notice it until I was done with the wing…” He put his hand palm-down in the stuff and held it up, showing Cas the odd liquid. Castiel canted his head at it, then smiled shyly. “Cas?” Dean asked, wondering what the angel wasn’t telling him. Castiel looked down, his cheeks flushing.

“It’s my natural wing oil, Dean. There is no reason to be alarmed. I haven’t been able to make my own until now it seems…” He paused, his wings closing in a little with embarrassment, locking Dean in-between them. “Angels usually produce a little while grooming, but we only generate an amount such as this when we are greatly aroused.”

The man breathed a sigh of relief. He swore Castiel was going to give him a coronary one of these days. “Jeeze, Cas. A little heads-up would have been nice.” He wasn’t angry, just miffed that he had again embarrassed himself by overreacting to something angel-y.

Castiel relaxed his wings a little, but not without rubbing them over Dean’s body, smearing his skin with oil as he let them drift back down to the bed. “My apologies, Dean. I knew that my wings could be an erogenous zone, but I was unaware how much I would be affected by your touch. If it makes you feel better, you may take that as a compliment.”

Dean chuckled at his angel’s sense of humor. “All right, then. Let’s see what the real thing can do.” He moved in and ran both hands through the oil that was running down the angel’s curved back. He waiting until they were both soaking before he slid them up between Castiel’s wings and over his shoulders. Just like he had with the angel’s feathers, Dean massaged his lover’s pale skin. He used more force now, kneading the firm muscles expertly. He wanted Cas as relaxed as possible for what he wanted to try next. He took his time rubbing the oil all over Cas’ shoulders and the back of his neck, before leaning forward and running wet fingers down his arms, which were bent under the angel’s head. He went so far as to massage the oil through Castiel’s fingers, treating each one like a delicate feather.

Eventually, he made his way back to Cas’ spine. Everything was so wet back here now, the small fluffy feathers at the base of his wings matted together close to the bone. Dean explored the area, looking for the source of the precious, sweet-smelling oil. He prodded around with his slick fingers until he found two little nubs the size of marbles on the underside of each wing bone, about an inch above where feather met flesh. When he touched one, Castiel gave a high-pitched little wail and his body bucked up against him. He very lightly pinched it in-between his fingers and watched as the pent-up oil oozed from beneath the wing. Castiel thrashed involuntarily, panting heavily now. Dean moved his other hand up to milk the twin node until he had a nice little lake of oil gathered in the small of the angel’s back, right where it dipped before the soft swell of his buttocks.

Dean dabbed both hands in the oil, getting them good and wet, then smacked them down lightly but loudly over Castiel’s lower cheeks. The angel cried out, throwing his head back with a strangled sound. Dean grinned at his reaction then used his hands to grip the warm globes and spread them apart, revealing the angel’s small pink starburst. He had never thought much about the beauty of the male asshole but Dean was pretty sure he could get used to liking Cas’ real quick. He was no newbie when it came to anal sex—he’d tried it with a couple of girls so he knew the basics, but he had never enjoyed it as much as he was anticipating liking it now.

He ran one slick hand straight down the angel’s crease, spreading the gold-tinged oil all over the area. Castiel wriggled when Dean brushed over his hole and the man was reminded of how he had reacted when he touched it in the shower last night. He reached up to quickly get a large glob of oil on his thumb then brought the digit down to tease at the angel’s entrance. Castiel hissed and pressed back against Dean’s finger and the man slowly eased it in. He used his other hand to gently rub the angel’s back, calming him, keeping him relaxed.

“Dean,” Cas moaned, canting his hips up and clenching his inner muscles sharply around his lover’s thumb. Dean pumped it in and out a few times, enjoying the sight as the angel’s tight ring expanded and contracted around his thick knuckle.

“You ready for more, Angel?” he asked, ticking Cas’ dangling sac. Castiel nodded quickly and Dean used an arm around the angel’s middle to pull him up slightly, letting Cas get his knees under him, his upper body still lying flat on the bed. His wings were raised a bit, hanging in the air as though waiting for something to happen. Dean obliged him by pulling out his thumb and replacing it with three dripping fingers. Castiel huffed and arched up a little at the larger intrusion, but he didn’t protest and all three slid in without resistance. The angel jerked a little when he felt the cold silver of Dean’s ring touch his sensitive hole as the man stuffed his fingers in as deep as they could go. He sawed them back and forth, getting Cas good and ready for what was coming next.

“Cas, I wanna fuck you so bad right now. Tell me you’re ready for this, man. I don’t wanna hurt you, but, God, I can’t hold back much longer. I need you.” Dean would stop if Castiel said no, but he was praying that the angel was on board with this. He didn’t want to push him, but so far Cas had always been eager to step up their love-making.

“Dean, please, yes,” the angel panted. He rocked his hips back, begging with his body for more of Dean’s. His head was down between his arms, shaky elbows barely holding him up, and this was before they got to the good stuff. He let out an agonized groan when Dean removed his fingers. The man put a steady arm around him, holding him up.

“C’mon, Cas, turn over for me,” he said, gently moving the angel. He flipped Castiel over to see wide blue eyes. Cas immediately opened his legs for Dean, inviting the man closer, freely giving him everything he had to offer.

“I like that I can see your face,” he said meekly, looking up at Dean from under his black fringe. Dean’s heart nearly melted at that and he bent to kiss his angel, resting his bigger body fully on top of him, connecting their flesh in as many places as possible. Castiel hummed and rutted up against him, their erections meeting and rubbing together with delicious friction.

Dean bit the angel’s plump bottom lip and pulled back to look at him. “Let’s get this show on the road, huh?” With his green eyes fixed on Castiel’s wide blue, Dean reached down to position himself at the angel’s fluttering entrance. A slight cant of his hips, and he was slowly sinking inside warm silky heat. He let out a very uncool stuttering moan and didn’t stop until he was firmly seated all the way inside Castiel. For a moment, Dean was sure he saw the lights flicker out of the corner of his eye when he first breached Cas, but he shook it off as his imagination.

He stilled as soon as he felt his balls hit flesh and bit the inside of his mouth to keep from coming too early. He couldn’t believe he was finally having full-on sex with Cas. He would never have believed he would be here in this moment, making love to a male angel that he had saved, and who had saved him in return. It was intense, everything from the situation to the feeling of Castiel underneath him, panting heavily. The angel’s muscles gripped him tightly and Dean hoped he wasn’t hurting Cas, but all he could see on the angel’s face was bliss. He was frowning, the adorable creases crossing his forehead and down between his eyes, but it was more a look of concentration than pain.

“You good, Cas?” Dean asked, just to be sure.

“ ‘Good’ hardly covers the emotions and sensations I am feeling at his moment, Dean.”

The man chuckled and bent down to kiss him again. “You are such a nerd,” he said fondly. He tried an experimental thrust into his angel, pulling almost all the way out before shoving himself back in with a snap of his hips. Ok, that time Dean was sure the lamp in the corner sputtered a little, as though the light came from a candle rather than a stable bulb. He ignored the odd light problem and focused on the noise Cas made when he thrust again, dragging his cock along the angel’s inner walls. He had barely started, and already Dean knew this was the best sex of his life. Everything was so bright and new, each sensation heightened a hundred times until just the lightest touch or the tiniest breath was almost enough to make him lose himself.

“Cas, damn, it’s so fucking good,” he growled, beginning to pick up his pace. Castiel rumbled in agreement and his hand slid up to rub Dean’s, playing over the light blonde hairs. When Dean leaned in to bottom out again inside the angel, Cas’ hand slid up to trace the shiny mark on his bicep. Dean gasped when he felt a pleasurable thrill akin to an electric shock shoot through him. Castiel hissed like he felt it too, and he slapped his hand completely over the mark, matching up his fingers and holding on tightly. The feeling continued to course through Dean and he sped up again, now pounding into Cas’ body with almost bone-jarring force. The angel didn’t seem to mind, moaning and writhing as he moved his hips with Dean, forcing the man in deeper.

Dean took Cas’ other hand and brought it down between them to where their bodies joined. He put his fingers over top of Cas’ slimmer ones and made them both touch his slick cock where it drove in and out of the angel. This time all the lights in the apartment flickered and the TV switched on and off quickly, filling the room with the sound of static. Castiel moved his wings restlessly, beating them against the mattress before lifting them to encircle Dean’s body, pressing against him, urging him on.

“Dean,” Castiel mewled, “Please! So close…” His blue eyes were shut tight, his whole body trembling, on the verge.

“I got you, Angel,” Dean said, and he moved one hand up to grip Cas’ cock. He stroked it roughly, trying to get the angel off. All it took were a few wet tugs before Castiel screamed his orgasm. The flat was abruptly plunged into complete darkness as every bulb in the place blew, sending shattered glass everywhere in a blast of light. The sound of Cas’ celestial voice combined with his insides contracting around Dean threw the man over with him and Dean called the angel’s name as he let go, filling him with his sticky release. The angel’s body continued to pump Dean’s dick, draining him of cum as he collapsed down on top of Cas. The angel lay beneath him, unmoving except for the heavy breaths that were beginning to slow.

After several minutes of black silence, Dean opened his eyes to find that there was still some light in the room. It was coming from his angel. Castiel’s skin was giving off a faint golden glow and little sparks of light trickled down his wings like tiny lightning bolts. Dean reached out to stroke one glistening wing and enjoyed the play of electricity over his fingers. When he got his wind back, he sat up a little to look down at the angel. Cas looked completely fucked out with his hair and wings wet and matted, his pearly cum splashed up over his stomach. His eyes, when they opened, drooped tiredly, making him look incredibly sexy.

“Sorry about the lights, Dean,” he said quietly.

Dean lay back down beside him, putting an arm around Cas and drawing him against Dean’s chest. “That was the most awesome sex ever, Cas. I don’t care about the fucking lights.” He kissed just behind Cas’ ear and draped a wobbly leg over one of the angel’s. “Love you,” he murmured tiredly, already succumbing to sleep after their explosive love-making.

“And I, you,” Castiel replied, before falling to sleep as well, wrapped in the arms of his lover.

TBC

Chapter Text

When Dean awoke to the alarm in the morning, he was extremely disoriented. He could feel his hair sticking up in every direction, and matted on the side he had slept on. His belly itched where there were still a few flakes of dried cum stubbornly stuck on and his skin gleamed gold in places from the excess wing oil. The mattress supporting him was not his own, and the quality of light was completely different. It took the man a moment to realize that he and Cas had fallen asleep on the sofa-bed and the sunlight was coming from the window in the kitchen, which faced the same direction as the bedroom.

With a groan, Dean started to get up so he could go turn off the alarm in the other room, but he stopped when he felt a warm hand on his arm. Castiel sat up beside him and silenced the alarm with a glance towards the hallway.

The man sighed in relief and let himself fall back onto the bed. He stretched his body lengthwise, feeling kinks in tired muscles and grinning in satisfaction as he remembered how he’d used them last night. It had been a while since he’d had the opportunity to fully show off his skills and his body still tingled with the memory.
Speaking of which…Dean grabbed Cas and pulled the angel down next to him. Castiel immediately snuggled into him with a contented sigh, turning so their bodies were flush up against one another. God, why did Cas’ skin feel so good against him? He had never been so sensitive to another person’s proximity before, and Dean suspected it was the bond that made everything seem so much more intense. Originally, when Cas brought up the bond, Dean had been afraid that he wouldn’t like being that close to someone else, but now he couldn’t imagine living without Cas’ warm presence under his skin.

The angel hitched his hips forward, nudging Dean’s thigh with his morning wood and distracting the man from his musings. Dean chuckled and reached down to grab Cas’ ass, yanking him closer and smearing his lover’s precum down his leg. “Ready to go again, Angel?” he teased. Not that he wasn’t horny himself, but he loved that Castiel seemed to be as well. Anyone else, and Dean might have been worried that they couldn’t keep up with his sex drive, but after last night, he had no doubt Cas could handle it—and maybe even give him a run for his money.

“We have exactly forty-four minutes to have sex, shower, and eat a well-balanced breakfast before we leave for your job,” the angel answered. His blue eyes were bright with longing and Dean flopped over onto his side so he could thread his hand into the angel’s hair and pull him forward for a long, wet kiss.

“Quick and dirty it is, then,” Dean agreed. That was fine with him. As much as he loved slowly taking Cas like he had last night, he also liked it when his lovers got frisky. He nipped the angel’s bottom lip, his chin, then his throat before pulling away and rolling onto his back, taking Cas with him. Castiel yelped at the sudden change of position when he ended up sprawled over his lover’s hard body, feeling Dean’s cock press insistently against his flat belly.

“Spread your wings and ride me, Cas,” Dean directed. If there was one thing Dean knew he would never tire of, it was seeing and playing with Cas’ beautiful white wings during sex. He was beginning to think that he had a fetish for them, but he supposed there were worse things.

Castiel, eager to please, quickly sat up and unbound his wings. (He’d pulled them in last night after he’d found that Dean had a tendency to toss and turn after sex). A dark shadow fell over Dean as Castiel’s wing blocked out the sunlight from the kitchen. The man rather liked it—he felt safe and warm with the angel’s strong wings hovering over him, shielding him from everything outside and allowing him to focus solely on the vision above him. Castiel wriggled over his belly, the light hair between his legs brushing against Dean’s sensitive skin and making him begin to pant with need.

Dean spit in his hand and brought it to his cock, stroking himself and spreading his own slick down his length to make it easier for Cas. The angel informed him that he was still sufficiently loose from last night, and that the seed Dean had deposited inside of him would be enough to ease the way.

“Goddamn, Cas, that’s so hot, you know that?” Dean growled, gripping the angel’s hips to help him get into position. He had never really been a possessive lover before, but now that he was with Castiel, Dean loved the thought that part of him was still inside the angel, marking him as Dean’s. The idea flashed through his mind that maybe there were other ways to make sure that Cas kept his cum inside and he remembered Cas’ description of the Angelic Angles back room. Maybe it was time he paid the store another visit…

“I like it too,” Castiel admitted. He bit his lip as he reached behind himself, concentrating on opening his body for Dean with both hands. Dean found the sight incredibly erotic, watching Cas bear his hole to him in such a pretty invitation. The man held still with great effort, allowing Cas to rise up, then carefully position his entrance over Dean’s stiff erection. He hissed through his teeth as their skin made contact and Dean couldn’t help the tiny jerk of his hips, dying to be back inside that perfect heat. The angel sank down slowly, his hands stretching himself wide to accommodate Dean’s substantial size without prep.

Inch by excruciating inch his ass swallowed Dean’s cock, gripping him tightly. Dean could feel his cum still inside, slick against Cas’ inner walls, and he quickly started to like the wet slide. After a few very long minutes, Castiel’s lower cheeks met Dean’s thighs, indicating he had taken as much of his lover’s cock as he could. His eyes were wide and Dean knew that the angle was different from this new position, allowing him to go deeper, gravity keeping him firmly seated. The man rubbed his hands up and down the angel’s trembling legs, soothing the tense muscles that protested holding such a position without movement.

When Castiel did finally begin to ride Dean, the man groaned at the feeling, green eyes rolling back inside his head. Like this, Castiel was incredibly tight and it was an effort for Dean to hold himself back long enough for the angel to create some kind of steady rhythm with those pretty hips. Cas worked himself up and down on Dean’s dick and eventually he started to use his wings as well, flapping in time with his ascents, giving his body the momentum and force it needed to keep shoving his lover’s cock into his passage that ached to be filled. Sweat began to drip down his temples, making his skin glisten.

In a matter of minutes, both bonded were close to coming. “Please, faster, Dean,” Castiel begged, and his lover was only too happy to oblige. Dean thrust his body up to meet Cas, slamming into him as quickly as he could, trying to push them over the edge. As strong as Cas was, the position made it difficult for him to keep an even pace, so Dean helped out as much as possible, snapping his hips in tandem with Castiel’s wing flaps, driving them both closer. Castiel finally cried out above him as he spurted his pearly seed all over Dean’s stomach. As his body bowed, his wings flew straight up, the tips brushing the ceiling and raining down loose feathers. They stayed high for a moment, quivering, then collapsed, falling down to drape over the bed. Dean’s orgasm immediately followed when he felt Cas close tight around him, milking his release out of him and leaving him dry. He was fairly certain he had never come so hard in his life, but it was hard to tell when he felt like his mind had shattered in pleasure. When Castiel slumped down on top of him, Dean managed to sling a heavy arm over his back, hugging him close as they breathed as one.
The pair showered separately while they alternately dressed and ate breakfast. They knew that seeing each other naked again would only lead to a repeat performance of morning sex and they sadly didn’t have time before they had to leave.

At the garage, Dean spent the day finishing up the Mustang’s paint job while Castiel divided his time between working on his angel blade and running errands for Dean and Bobby in an effort to rebuild the muscles in his long-disused wings.

The next few days passed similarly and both Dean and Cas were excited when the weekend finally rolled around. Castiel would officially start his job at the Humane Society on Monday, but until then they had two full days to themselves. Over dinner, they discussed possible plans.

“As much as I’d love to just spend the next 48 hours in bed with the hottest angel on Earth, we should probably get some work done in the apartment,” Dean was saying as he spooned some more sauce onto his plate of spaghetti.

Castiel ducked his head and blushed at the compliment. “Surely even you must rest at some point,” he said. Over the last few days, Dean had proved to his angel that he had quite an astounding amount of stamina and it was only Castiel’s supernatural strength that allowed him to keep up with Dean’s hormones.

“Yeah, yeah. So, I was thinking, we should start work on remodeling the bathroom. We could go to the hardware tomorrow and look at tile. Did you have anything in mind color-wise?”

Dean managed to keep his tone casual, but inside he squirmed uncomfortably. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to re-do the bathroom or let Castiel make decisions—he was actually looking forward to some quality home improvement with his angel. He was simply doing exactly as Bobby predicted: bulking at the idea of long-term commitment. On one hand, he couldn’t imagine another day without Cas in his life and the way things were going, they were becoming a permanent couple with quiet ease. And, despite his earlier misgivings, he loved it.

On the other hand, Dean was scared to death of doing something that would fuck up everything they were working to build. He just couldn’t leave well enough alone and he would probably always be a little insecure. He just prayed that, like Bobby predicted, he didn’t try to sabotage himself just to keep from being hurt later on down the road.

Castiel looked up from poking curiously at a meatball, unsure of the round lump of beef. “You—you want my input?” he asked, blue eyes wide with surprise.

Dean smiled. “Of course, Cas. Like I said, you’re gonna be living here too, and contributing, right? You should have a say in how the place looks. It’s been a bachelor-pad for so long, it doesn’t know how to be a home again.”

“I think it feels like a perfect home,” the angel said softly, looking right at Dean. The man melted a little and reached his leg out under the table to run his bare foot up Cas’ leg.

“That may be true, but since we have to fix the shower anyways, we may as well go all out. I’ll draw up some plans tonight and you can help me decide, ok?” The angel nodded happily, opening his legs for Dean to rest his foot between them on his chair. All thoughts of paint colors and meatballs were forgotten when the man began to rub his heel gently against Cas’ groin, teasing his half-hard cock. “Speaking of plans, there are a couple things we should try out in the bedroom right now,” Dean added with a wicked grin.

Half an hour later, Dean was lying on his stomach on the bed, his nude body modestly covered by a sheet that dipped down low on his back. Perched against the pillows along the headboard was his laptop and a sketchbook, in which he had been trying to plan a few ideas for the bathroom. Castiel was being no help at all. At first the angel had seemed interested in discussing tile choices after their round of post-dinner sex, but then he had gotten easily distracted by the naked expanse of Dean’s back. He had proceeded to map the smooth, lightly freckled skin with his tongue. Currently, he was focused on the dimples that lay just north of the swell of Dean’s ass, licking them languidly and scratching the surrounding flesh with his day’s worth of stubble.

Dean gnawed on his pencil’s eraser, trying to ignore the sweet little wet noises Cas was making with his mouth and the warm breaths of air that puffed over his skin. It was proving to be difficult.

“I—ahh! I think—ughn—that blue would be grrrreeaatt. God!” He couldn’t control his body’s actions as he wriggled into Castiel’s touch despite his resolve to get some work done on the remodel. He’d been trying for ten minutes down, but all he was left with was an empty page and a hard cock. When he felt Cas dip a finger into the cleft of his ass, Dean decided he had had enough.

“Castiel!” he admonished, reaching down to grab one of the angel’s wings that lay on the bed. He used his grip to pull his lover up beside him, then gently rolled over on the wing, pinning it under his stomach. He knew by now just how strong Cas’ feathers were and that he couldn’t hurt Cas like this. The angel shifted uncomfortably, turning pouty lips and eyes to Dean. Dean, however, was immune. “No way, don’t try the puppy face on me. Sam perfected that years ago and since then I’ve built up immunity. Now, if you can sit still long enough for me to get this done, I promise I’ll make it worth your while later.”

“I’ll hold you to your promise, Dean,” the angel grumbled. Just like a puppy, he didn’t like having his plaything taken away.

Dean leaned in and kissed his temple. “Fair enough. Now, what do you think: chrome finishings or brushed nickel?” True to this bargain, Castiel did manage to pay attention this time, assisting Dean in research for their bathroom. They decided to install a jacuzzi tub, as Cas liked taking warm baths, but this time one that would be able to fit both of them. The shower area would be re-expanded to allow room for Cas’ wings, but still nicer than the original several nozzles and stalls. Dean also designed new set of showerheads for the ceiling so cleaning the angel’s wings would be much easier. For himself, the man added a full wall-length mirror on the opposite wall in front of a comfortable sitting area where he could groom Cas’ wings without getting oil all over the apartment.

“You are very good at this planning, Dean,” Castiel commented as he watched the man sketch out a plan, adding approximate dimensions and other small notes. “I may not understand much about human currency, but will a place this luxurious not be expensive?”

Dean shrugged. “It all depends on how much work you’re willing to put in. I can do most of the plumbing and tile myself, as well as installing the mirror. The only thing we might have to wait on is the tub. We’ll hit the ReStore place first—they’ve got a bunch of surplus building materials that we can pick through. Bobby can probably help with everything else. It may take a while and there may be a few cold showers, but I think it’s all pretty do-able.”

Castiel smiled softly and leaned his head against Dean’s. “You sound happy,” was his observation.

Dean rolled a little and put his arms around Cas. “I am. I mean, I’ll always love working on cars first, but doing stuff around the house…it makes me feel independent and self-sufficient. I like that I don’t have to rely on outsiders to fix things or make our place the way we want it. It’ll be fun—I can show you how to grout tile and reroute pipes. We’ll take turns playing contractor.”

Cas had to think about that a minute. Then, he leaned in and said gruffly into Dean’s ear, “You mean, as if I were to say, ‘Sir, I believe you are inserting that pipe incorrectly.’”

“I’d say ‘I’ll show you how to insert a pipe!’” Dean laughed and hugged his angel closer so he could kiss him properly. Clearly them continuing to watch porn on occasion was a success. “You’re a kinky bastard, Cas. I like where this is going. I can see it now—you with a tool belt and nothing else.” As Cas’ reward for good behavior, Dean proceeded to show him just how creative he could be with a little imagination.

Saturday morning, the two headed out to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Connecticut. Amazingly, they found a cheap hot tub shoved into a back corner. It was shaped like a seashell and painted an odd shade of green, but they figured that beggars can’t be choosers and, anyways, they would be too busy doing other things in the tub to worry about the color. Castiel continued to shop while Dean took his Impala to Bobby’s and exchanged it for a pick-up so he could haul their prize home. Castiel easily picked up the huge tub and set it in the truck while Dean looked on with a mixture of shock and pride. Afterwards, it was decided that Dean would finish scouring the ReStore for anything else they needed and Cas would return to the apartment to start lunch.

When Dean returned an hour later with a truck full of salvage, he found that they had a guest. Gabriel was sitting at the kitchen table, picking his way through a bowl of extra marshmallows left over from the sweet potato pie Castiel had in the oven. The angel had begged Dean to teach him how to cook, so the man had left out an easy recipe book that Cas could follow on his own. Dean grabbed a marshmallow and stuck it in his mouth before going over to kiss his lover ‘hello’.

“Did you find anything else?” Castiel wanted to know, dividing his attention between Dean and the cooked chicken he was cubing for a salad.

“Yeah, I got almost all the panels I needed for the mirror, plus some tools I’ll use to do the plumbing.”

“Are you having trouble with your plumbing, Dean?” Gabriel asked innocently.

The man shot their neighbor a dirty look. “Very funny, Short Round,” he retorted.

Castiel stepping in before the two could start a fight. “I met Gabriel in the hall and invited him for lunch. I was just telling him about our plans to remodel the bathroom.”
Gabriel grinned. “And about why it needs to be remodeled at this particular time.” Dean threw a kitchen towel at the angel, who ducked it easily. “Now, Dean,” he cautioned, “Is that any way to treat your landlord? I do have the final say in apartment improvements, you know. And, by the way, you have forfeited your security deposit by smashing in the shower.”

Dean gaped and exchanged a look with Castiel, whose face said that this was news to him as well. “Bullshit,” Dean said, “When I pay rent, it always goes to that guy Benny who runs the liquor store downtown. I met him when Dad died and I signed the new lease.”

The archangel scoffed. “Benny’s just a front. Well, ok, technically he’s the landlord, who oversees maintenance and rent, but I’ve owned this land and building since 1969, when it was a firehouse.”

“I keep forgetting that you’re so old,” Dean grumbled.

“Anyways,” Gabriel continued, ignoring his tenant’s griping, “When Cassy told me about your plans, I got to thinking. Since you’ll be improving the apartment, I’ve decided to forgo your rent. And then I thought, well, why stop with just the bathroom? If you want, I’ll pay you to do the rest of the building.”

Dean choked on a marshmallow. “Are you serious?”

“As an ice cream sundae.”

The man’s mind immediately began whirling around the possibilities that Gabriel was opening up to him. Without paying rent, he could afford to do the bathroom—hell, the whole apartment—they way he really wanted. He could stop scrimping on every little thing. He could take Cas out more often, buy his angel anything he wanted. New furniture, an electric stove, a hairdryer….

“But, but I work for Bobby…” he remembered. He loved his job at the garage and he’d never let his uncle down.

“Oh, this will be on your own time,” Gabriel assured his neighbor. “No rush—it’s not like I’m going anywhere. Well, figuratively, that is.”

“Why would you do this for me?” Dean wanted to know. He didn’t take charity, and this felt a little too good to be true.

Gabriel sighed, waving a hand negligently at Dean’s protest. “Because you’re family now. Because I think you’d do a good job. Because I get off on home improvement. Take your pick. Now, go help your boyfriend finish the chicken salad, ‘cause I’m starving.”

The rest of Saturday and into Sunday, Dean and Castiel broke ground on their remodel, getting as much done as they could before they both went back to work. With Gabriel as a patron, they used his VISA card (which had suspiciously unlimited credit) and got the rest of the materials they would need to do the job right. Between rolls in the sheets, they managed to tear out the tile in the shower and one other wall as well as most of the floor. Originally Dean had settled on plain white flagstones for the new floor, but now he really wanted to try a mural.

Monday eventually dawned on the couple and they tumbled out of bed, both reluctant and eager to start the new week. They left a bit early and Dean dropped Cas off at the Humane Society. He felt like a father, leaving his kid to the mercy of his preschool teacher for the first time and he didn’t like it, but he tried to hide his anxiety because Castiel seemed so excited. They agreed to meet for lunch outside the shelter and Dean finally managed to tear himself away from his angel, letting him hurry over to the puppies.

The day seemed long to Dean as he changed the oil on a line of cars, then rotated a few rounds of tires. He missed the Mustang, which had been picked up over the weekend, but he would take what work he could get. When he told Bobby about Gabriel’s offer, the old man seemed happy for him, and maybe a little proud. He ambled out to Dean’s garage at one point with a handful of books on home improvement. Dean accepted them, though he knew he’d probably never read them himself—he’d give them to his nerd angel to peruse.

At the crack of noon, Dean was in the Impala and on the road, speeding towards the animal shelter as fast as he could without getting pulled over. When he didn’t see Cas out front, he parked and went in. A girl at the reception counter told him that the angel was in the back where there was a small nursery for pregnant and nursing animals. Dean followed a line of spray-painted paw prints and let himself into the tiny room.

Inside, Dean found Castiel sitting beside a pet bed, talking to a very pregnant-looking Australian Shepherd. The dog had long fur with smatterings of brown, black, and white in her coat, and she was whimpering softly. The angel looked up when he felt Dean was near and gave him an apologetic smile.

“I’m sorry, Dean, but Riot is about to give birth any moment. She was hit by a car last week and is not completely healed. I am afraid to leave her alone.” His blue eyes were only a shade or two darker than the dog’s and both pairs looked pitifully at Dean. The man sighed and leaned over to kiss the top of Castiel’s head. He was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to have a private meal with his boyfriend after being without him all day, but he could deal.

“No problem, Angel. I’ll run across to Sonic and get us some lunch.”

“I love you,” Castiel replied, reaching up to curl one hand around Dean’s thigh before letting go.

Dean’s mood immediately improved and he whistled to himself as he went to order them some food. He returned with it ten minutes later and spread out his spoils on the cool linoleum floor, making an impromptu picnic. He gorged himself on chicken strips while he listened to Castiel explain the puppy birthing process. He had gone on to talk about weaning just as they were finishing their meal, but was interrupted when Riot began to whine with greater urgency.

“The contractions have fully begun,” the angel announced. He cleared their picnic with a glance (Dean dove forward to save the last of his French fries) and hurried to the cupboard to retrieve several clean white towels. He handed the pile to Dean, then paused. “Do you have to get back to the garage?” He didn’t sound particularly happy with the idea.

Dean shrugged. “I called Bobby from Sonic and told him I’d stay here and help you. He didn’t sound too thrilled and I owe him a Saturday, but I suppose it’s worth it.”

“Thank you, Dean,” Cas said, sounding relieved as he sat next to the man. “I know this is a natural process, but I am still nervous. Riot is still healing and I don’t want her to suffer.”

“I’m sure she’ll be fine now that you’re here,” Dean said. “Now, what do you want me to do?”

The angel took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts. “I’ll help Riot as she gives birth and check the puppies’ health. You stand by and receive the puppies when I hand them to you. Clean them as best you can with the towel and set them by Riot’s head—but not too close. She’ll want to see and wash them, but she must concentrate on giving birth first.”

Dean nodded his understanding and positioned himself so he was ready for the task he had been assigned. He tried not to let on how nervous he suddenly felt. What did he know about dogs giving birth? Nothing, that’s what. What if something went wrong? The best he knew how to do was call ‘911’, but he doubted they would send paramedics for a dog. What if he dropped one of the puppies? He had never been known for his coordination, especially under pressure. How the heck could Cas be so calm at a time like this??

“Dean?”

“Yes!” he said, jerking abruptly out of his thoughts. He saw that the angel was holding out a tiny ball of bloody fur. The man quickly reached out with the towel to take the little squirming thing, cradling it to his chest until he got a good hold on it. The puppy’s soft pink nose quivered as it scented the air of the nursery and it whined as Dean used the utmost care to clean it up with a corner of the towel. Dean looked down at the puppy a little in awe—he’d never seen anything so small before but he could feel how strong the dog was already, its little heart beating hard and fast against his palm. He found that he didn’t want to set the little guy down, but then Castiel handed him another puppy and Dean had to part with the first one to make room for the second.

Soon it was surrounded by four brothers and one sister, all making the cutest little yelping sounds as they rooted around their mother’s belly, searching for milk. Riot spared them each a few weary licks and they raised their heads towards hers, searching for her blindly. They reminded Dean of Cas when the angel had first come to live with him. The angel had seemed so helpless and depended on Dean for just about everything in his blindness. As sad as Dean had been for Cas’ condition, he couldn’t deny that he had enjoyed leading the angel around and assisting him when he needed it. He thrived when he had something to protect and look after.

Now, Cas was fully capable of fending for himself and Dean admittedly felt a little lost. He loved the relationship they had now, but sometimes he was unsure of what to expect, never having had a long-term, live-in lover. If Cas didn’t need him to watch over him, then what was Dean supposed to do with himself? Maybe they should get a dog? Dean had always liked animals and looked after strays when he could, but he knew that an apartment was no place for a pet. It was too small for anything bigger than a terrier or such, and he and Cas would be at work all day. The only other alternative he could think of would be a child, but Dean immediately balked at the thought. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to have a kid with Cas, but that discussion was way farther down the road.

“Is that the last of them?” Dean asked. There had been a lull of several minutes now after the sixth puppy had been born, but Cas still sat vigilantly with his eye locked on Riot.

“I thought I heard seven heartbeats yesterday beyond the mother’s, but perhaps I was mistaken. There do not appear to be any more puppies.”

Dean had to smile every time his angel said the word “puppies” in his deep gravelly voice. “Well, that’s a pretty good haul, I’d say. Six is a nice, even number.” He reached out to gently scratch Riot behind the ears, praising her for a job well done.

“I suppose…” Cas said, and scooted over so that his knee bumped Dean’s. He surveyed the litter, checking on each pup, looking them over more carefully now that they were clean. Dean was about to suggest they go wash up, when Riot gave a sharp whine and wriggled uncomfortably.

“I though you said you didn’t hear any more heartbeats,” Dean said.

The angel glanced over at him mournfully. “I can’t.” A few moments later, he bent and retrieved Riot’s final puppy, which did not appear to be moving. Tears sparkled in the corners of his eyes when he looked at Dean.

“Give it here,” the man said quietly, holding out a fresh towel. Castiel placed the still puppy in his lover’s hands. Dean looked it over as he felt his heart constrict painfully. Why did this have to happen? Cas had worked so hard caring for Riot and her litter; why did something that should have been a joyful event have to end like this? Dean tried to think of something, anything he could do to help, but only one memory from his childhood stuck in his mind. He wrapped the puppy in the towel and began to rub it vigorously, using as much force as he dared.

“What are you doing?” Castiel wanted to know. His cheeks were now wet with tears and he pet Riot absently, although whether he was trying to console himself or the dam Dean wasn’t sure.

“I saw this in a movie once, and I figure, what the hell, right? It’s not like you can kill a dead puppy, so why not try?” He kept on rubbing, pausing every so often to check on the puppy but no longer, even when his arms began to cramp with the effort. The seconds ticked by, but Dean couldn’t let himself give up. He couldn’t disappoint Cas and he certainly couldn’t let this tiny life flicker out before it had even begun. He’d had enough people leave him when he had no say, and he’d had enough of it. He was going to being this puppy back if he had to sit here all night.

“Perhaps it has fluid in its airway?” Castiel suggested. He had been inching closer to Dean as he worked, fascinated by the effort the human was putting into trying to save the pup. Castiel knew that death was a part of life and though the thought made him sad, he knew better than to protest it. It seemed that his lover had not gotten that memo, because he was fighting with every fiber of his being trying to bring back that which Castiel assumed was lost. The man’s drive fascinated him and the angel couldn’t look away from those strong arms gently forcing life back into the puppy’s tiny body.

“Maybe,” Dean agreed. He scrambled to his feet and cradled the pup in his large hands, supporting its head. He brought his arms up and let them drop in a firm downward sweep, using gravity to hopefully dislodge whatever was blocking the dog’s air. When there was no response, he tried again. This time, he felt the smallest bit of movement in his hands. Dean ripped back the towel to see that the puppy was moving lethargically, wheezing in breath after tiny breath. “Well, fuck me,” he breathed in awe, staring at the brown and black mottled fur.

Castiel bounced up and rushed over to look, then laughed the musical laugh that Dean had only heard a precious few times. The angel looked up at him with shining blue eyes, a wide grin on his face. “You did it, Dean! You saved him!” he cried. He grabbed the man’s face between his hands and gave him a passionate kiss. Dean wrapped one arm around his exuberant angel, carefully keeping the puppy out of their celebration hug. When it was over, he set the little female down with the others and Riot immediately began to bathe it.

“Looks like it’s lucky seven after all,” Dean commented, rubbing his lover’s back as they stood and watched the new family get acquainted.

“Lucky,” Castiel murmured, looking down at the last puppy. “I think that should be her name.”

Dean chucked. “Well, at least there aren’t one hundred and one of them.”