I find us. In the space between.
Dean doesn't like when I stand too close. I learn that quickly and because I want him to be comfortable, I try to remember it.
Sometimes, I forget. Once, Heaven’s orders were fresh and confusing and I went to him. Too close. He was sleeping and I was pressed against him.
Those moments. When he didn't realize I was there. Those were the hardest moments.
Because I knew--I know--that I should slide away.
Dean wouldn't want this, if he knew.
But there is always that fragile eternity, that heartbeat that hung still and shining for a moment, before I slid away. The moment when I don't. When I revel in his nearness.
When he's awake, and I appear to him, too close, his eyes go lazy and content, happy, for a heartbeat before he stumbles a step back.
Cas! Personal space, man.
And I duck my head and mumble an apology.
And try not to wonder why he hates it so much.
Angels are tactile.
Angels were tactile. Once. Before the Fall, and God left. Even then, we were, but it shifted. A little. It became more necessity than comfort and company. Some angels remained what we once were, but as the eons passed, it was less and less.
Management molded us into unthinking soldiers. And soldiers didn't seek comfort or companions. They merely followed orders.
Balthazar never let me hide behind that. He was the most annoying angel in the garrison, my brother, but he kept me from becoming too cold.
He pressed against me when we fought, a fierce line of promise that said I wasn't alone. Even if I died in battle, I wasn't alone.
His fingers, later, as he groomed my wings, soothing the aching pinions in place, silent as I let go all the tension that seethed in me.
In Heaven. Awaiting orders. Balthazar leaning his head on my shoulder as he half slept in a garden of my choosing.
In Hell, a promise of defense, pressing against me as we fought the hordes of Hell.
Angels don't know the meaning of personal space.
We stand close and pressed against each other and allow our grace to mingle.
Sometimes. I wonder why Dean doesn't want that.
He was twisted with me. As close as I had been, to my brothers. As often as our grace mingled.
Nothing could prepare me for the soul of the Righteous Man.
Forty years in hell, and still.
His soul was as bright as the brightest star in all of Father’s creation. And it is wrapped around my grace, shaking and trembling, terrified as I slip around him, pull the blade from his hands, and lift him from the Pit with a clarion cry of triumph and challenge.
Dean Winchester is saved.
He doesn't stop shaking for what feels like years. I hide with him, grace and soul merging. Soothing where he is shaking. Easing where he is tense. Whispering comfort where he is screaming fear.
Heaven rejoices, beyond this bubble where we rest, and readies for the coming war.
I am a soldier. I should be there, fighting with my garrison.
I feel them, calling for me.
But I can't leave him.
Time passes differently.
I spend a lifetime or a moment. An eternity or a heartbeat, wrapped in him.
He shines like a star, but I see the fault lines. The utterly broken soul that makes up this man.
I want to fix him.
Letting his soul slip away, to uncurl from my grace and slide into his body--the body I prepared and remade for him--is the hardest thing I've done in my long eons of life.
Watch him. Guide him.
Being a guardian is an insult for an angel such as me. Balthazar is offended on my behalf. Rachel is outraged, as much as any of us are capable of being outraged.
But I am content.
I want to be close to him. I want , a foreign concept for an angel and yet.
I cannot forget the feeling of Dean Winchester’s shaking soul, and how he had gone still and silent and almost peaceful, wrapped in my grace.
He tries to kill me.
He cannot see my true form. He cannot hear my true voice.
He doesn't trust me.
But he wants to.
God, he wants to.
There is something. A flicker of remembering, buried deep, that knows me.
That reaches for me, even when he doesn't want to, or knows why he is.
It isn't fair of me. To reach for that spark of remembering.
But I do.
I find us in the spaces between.
I slip into his dreams. He’s happier there. He doesn’t push me away, there. There, he smile, and sometimes, he allows me to sit close. Pressed against his leg as the sun warms a dock and he fishes.
Once, his fingers brushed through my hair, and it felt so much like when his soul twist through my grace that for moment, I cannot breath or move, my heartbeat frozen under his touch.
Then the line goes tight, and he laughs, a noise of delight, and his fingers move away.
But not really.
It is after Alistair. After he has learned his part in the looming apocalypse. After he watches his brother drink blood, after Heaven tried to reclaim me.
After Lucifer is free and I have died, and come back.
Facing death, and being put back together. It is a sobering experience, even for one such as I.
But even as I am torn to pieces by the angel Raphael--part of me clings.
The part of me that never quite left Dean after I pulled him from the Pit.
The part of me that, even now, calls to him, and recognizes him, the faults and broken pieces, the sarcastic laughter and fear that he hides behind bravado.
It clings, stubbornly.
It refuses to let him go.
It refuses to die because to die would be to leave him alone and unprotected.
He finds me, in the spaces between.
After, I will realize that he doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know that he is what pulls me back.
The aching loss he feels, when he hears of my death. It pulls at that speck of grace that is his.
That will always be his.
He’s alone, when I come to him.
I am alone, having forsaken my family, for him.
And we find each other, together.
His green eyes bright, when I come to him. Too close. He will tell me now, that i am too close.
But he doesn’t. He sighs into my throat, as I press against him. Melts into my touch, when I gather the nerves and stroke his arm. He shudders, when I let my fingers graze the mark that I left, on his shoulder.
But his voice is a whisper, a plea, when I continue merely touching him. He growls, when I touch him, so softly, until he snarls, and pushes me on my back, and he kisses me.
Wet and open mouthed, his tongue flicking over my throat as I arch into him, and purr.
He finds me. We find each other.
Here, pressed together, pleasure a living thing between us.
There is no space.
There is no him. No me. No angel and man. No Rescuer and Righteous Man.
There is only us, pressed together, twisted in pleasure and love, until I scream, a garbled noise of Enochian that is pure, worship, adoration, Dean . And he shudders, and whispers, Castiel , as he comes, against my stomach.
I stay there, for a long time, while he sleeps, curled against my side, and I am pressed to him.
Still pressed inside him.
He wakes, when I slip free, and murmurs my name, sleep and hunger filling his voice before he smiles, and it’s as bright as the shining star I see when his soul shines out.
He doesn’t complain, now.
He smiles, soft, when I appear from nothing, and stand, too close.
When I press against his back, while he researches, my lips brushing his skin before I correct a spell he is putting together.
Now, his fingers brush through my hair. And it feels like his soul, twisting with my grace. And it’s not a dream.
He doesn’t push me away from him. Doesn’t ask for space.
We find each other, in the spaces between.
Between his smile and my lips. His fingers and my skin. His soul and my grace.
That is where we exist.
And where I am home.