The first time it happens, Castiel is keeping watch.
He shouldn’t be. He knows he shouldn’t–his duties were done when the Righeous Man was restored. But.
He can’t quite leave. It baffles him as much as it annoys the Host.
But he stays, close.
There’s something about the way Dean, so strong and fierce and untouchable, goes soft and vulnerable, almost boyish, when he sleeps that draws the angel’s gaze.
The voice is a whimper, husky. Broken. A nightmare. Castiel moves closer, but doesn’t quite touch him. Until he sees the tension the way his hands are tight in the pillow the furrows and lines in his face, and then Castiel brushes a finger over his head.
The reaction is so sudden it almost knocks Castiel on his ass.
The tension drains out of him so quickly it’s almost dizzying and he shifts, nuzzling into his pillow and breathing out a muffled word.
Castiel should move away. But he can’t. Not while he’s trying to understand.
The second time, the angel is in heaven. Talking to Uriel about the Seals. It hits him like a bullet, punching through painless, and tugging him toward somewhere else.
He cocks his head, and then a smile twists his lips and he’s gone, while Uriel is still talking.
Sam is sitting at the table, when Castiel appears in the hotel room, staring at Dean asleep on the bed. He blinks, startled, at the angel, and something haunted fills his eyes.
“Cas?” he says, softly.
And it occurs to him that he doesn’t have a reason to be here. He forces his eyes away from Dean’s pretty pink lips and to Sam. “I was. I was checking on—” he pauses. Blinks. And flies away, his vessel’s stomach twisting at what he saw in Sam’s eyes and the lush sweetness of Dean sleeping.
The third time, Castiel is sitting on a car outside Bobby Singer’s home. The tug jerks at him and he looks at the house, and sighs. Blinks into the room Dean and Sam shared, growing up. Sam and Bobby are downstairs, reading and sleeping.
Dean is laying on the bed, and the sight of him makes the angel freeze.
His face is tipped back, and his body is arched against the hand pressed to his erection.
Castiel shouldn’t be here.
Not when Dean is sleeping and painted with want.
Dean hisses, and it’s barely legiable, but he steps closer.
The board creaks and Dean’s eyes open, bright bright green and Castiel almost leaves. He should leave.
For a long moment, Dean is still, taking in the situation. Then he strokes himself once, and rolls to his knees.
He’s too close. Dean doesn’t like him this close. He complains about it. But—Castiel sways closer, and Dean murmurs, “Whatchya doin’, Cas?”
Castiel can feel the hunter’s gaze on his lips, and he licks them, nervous, and the tip of his tongue brushes Dean’s lower lip.
His knees tremble, and for a heartbeat he can’t remember the question.
Dean repeats it. Soft. The words brushing against Castiel’s lips.
“You called me,” Castiel whispers. “While you were sleeping.”
Dean smiles, a small cocky thing. “Bout time you came when I called.” He says, and Cas whimpers when Dean kisses him.
When he whispers Castiel again, it’s into his mouth, and his throat, and the skin on the angel’s back as he settles into him.
The fourth time. Castiel twists in the bed, and kisses Dean free of the cobwebs of sleep, and the hunter purrs into his lips, as the angel soothes him and lures him free of tension with soft touches and the feather light touch of his lips.
Dean still calls the angel, in his dreams. In his sleep.
But now, Castiel is always at his side.