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Quiet, isolated. Off the grid, honestly, away from everyone and everything. Good location for a cabin; Dean wondered how Cas had found it. The middle of the woods in Bumfuck, Massachusetts would be difficult as hell for just about anybody to find.

Unless you were a frickin’ Knight of Hell, and you had a boatload of demons to send scurrying around the country looking for information.

The night-quiet sheltered the cabin, but he could still see the flicker of dying Grace through the thick walls. Low pulses, steady; meant Feathers was probably asleep. A smile like a cut spread Dean’s lips; good. This would be easy. Easier.

He dropped his bundle of supplies for Cas on the ground, without an ounce of care for the human skin and wild eyes the supplies were wearing right now. Turned out not all angels had gone back up to heaven when Cas opened a way. Turned out chains tempered in holy oil and etched with Enochian sigils could hold an angel, and a rag soaked in the old Jerusalem stand-by could keep one quiet. Who knew, right?

A set of bindings identical to the ones holding his angelic cargo waited in Dean’s jacket pocket; he had no illusions about how this little trip was gonna go.

The door unlocked to his pick set, easy. Leaving his cargo outside on the ground, Dean quietly shut the door behind him. Skirted the rug on the floor, just too obvious a place for a devil’s trap. Slunk carefully across the gray darkness inside the cabin, night-lit to his new eyesight, and crouched by the only bed in the cabin’s sole room.

Cas looked fuckin’ beat.

Dean tilted his head, green briefly flicking over the black in his eyes, but he didn’t have time to waste, here. The work of a moment had one wrist shackled to the bed post, and in another Dean was latching the cuff around Cas’s left wrist and chaining that to the far post as the angel coughed and struggled awake. He didn’t look at the blue eyes as they flickered open, tried not to hear the hack in Cas’s chest as he struggled up, only to realize that his hands were bound. “What – Dean,” a brash demand and then that breathy word, but not like normal.

Yeah, guess that was gone. Cas didn’t usually say his name lined with fear.

“Sit tight, Cas,” he muttered, because it was easier than explaining. Dean ignored the barrage of words that followed him as he went back to the cabin door.

Ignored the “Dean, no,” that greeted him when he came back through the door with a bundle of possessed angel vessel over his shoulder.

“Don’t argue.” He pointed the Blade at Cas and glared as he sat on the side of the bed, half-expecting a kick that didn’t come. He should have bound Cas’s ankles, too, but Dean… didn’t want to. Didn’t want to think about it either. “Now. You were able to eat some nice Grace before, get yourself all angel-fied and fixed up. So why don’t you go ahead and tell me what to do to get the shiny stuff out of him and into you.”

No, Dean.” Dark blue eyes, wide, horror sketched into the lines of Cas’s skin. He struggled again, yanking at the chains. “I won’t. I don’t want my brothers to die for me to live.”

Dean shrugged, lifted both eyebrows at his… angel. “Or I can just experiment. There’s a lotta angels, Cas, and I got plenty of time.”

“Why are you doing this.” The words were flat, exhausted; Cas wouldn’t look at him, now.

Dean ignored the question. Was a stupid question, anyway.


The body of the other angel’s vessel got dumped on the floor, throat slit; turned out an angel-to-angel Grace transfer wasn’t all that difficult to figure out. Dean hummed in contentment as he watched the dying, sick Grace inside Cas get a shot of life, become sharp and bright and enormous again. There were cuts, damage, sure; this Grace wasn’t Cas and it wouldn’t ever fit him right. It would wear out, just like the other had, but that was okay.

Like Dean had said. There were a lot of angels.

“Look at you, all shiny again,” he purred in approval, and the tired, pained look in Cas’s eyes shouldn’t hurt him but it felt like Ruby’s knife going into his heart sideways. Cas had killed thousands of his siblings for Dean. Wasn’t fucking fair that Dean wasn’t allowed to return the favor.

He shouldn’t kiss him, chained to the bed and furious and hurt, but Dean’s whole life lately had been doing things he shouldn’t, and he’d gotten freedom from shit like morality and responsibility in the bargain. So when Cas pursed his lips and looked away, Dean leaned in and melded their mouths together. One short, rough kiss, a hard wet press and pulling off before Cas could bite at him.

“Keys are here,” he dropped the keys to the cuffs on the floor, pointed to them. “I’ll give Sasquatch a call, let him know where you are so he can come let you out. Sorry, Cas, but I’m not juicin’ you up just so you can smite me.” Dean grinned. Sort of. It felt more like a grimace.

He walked to the door, because he had manners unlike some people had when they used to teleport, and. “Dean.”

He shouldn’t stop. He knew it. He did anyway. Turned to look back over his shoulder. “Cas.”

Determination on those well-known features, steady. Implacable. “I will save you, too.”

Dean laughed, mirthlessly, and lifted his eyebrows at the angel before stepping outside. “Save it for someone who needs it.”