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In falling, Castiel experiences shame. It is a pungent, stabbing sensation somewhere in his chest; it is the urge to hide his face. He sometimes longs to compress himself into as small a ball as possible, to roll into a dark corner out of sight from judgmental eyes. Sometimes, he wishes to go unseen.

He supposes, in rational moments, that this is something that all humans experience and learn to manage. But he is not human, and he cannot manage the unruly pulses of want and anger and despair that roil like electrical currents through his body. He is afraid to speak them aloud, afraid that the naming might give them power. He daily pushes them away, but they cling to him like crying, needy children. Their poor manners are shocking.

Castiel assumed that sex with Dean would be easy. In affairs of the flesh Dean is master, Castiel novice––he believed that Dean would take control, would play him like an instrument, tuning Castiel’s body to a minor key. He knows better, now––knows that Dean is desperately attentive, always asking what Castiel wants, what he likes, if it’s good. And if Castiel gasps, Please, please... Dean will answer, “Please what?”

Dean wants Castiel to speak his shame into the darkness around their bed. He wants Castiel to name his desires, those horrible, shadowy things that even Castiel cannot––dare not––grasp. But when Castiel thinks of them, he cannot look into Dean’s eyes––wants only to turn away, to bury his face in the pillow, to beat a fist against his own chest until his vessel’s treacherous heart calms itself.

It is too much to bear, this being human.

Dean lies beside him, heat pouring off his body, breath gradually slowing in the aftermath of climax. He watches Castiel with narrowed eyes, his arm arcing in a V over his chest so that he can twist his fingers through Castiel’s hair. “You didn’t come,” he says, voice raw from shouting ecstasy or some secret wound throbbing on his heart.

“I am satisfied,” Castiel replies, but he cannot look at Dean, lies on his back and stares at the crumbling bits of the ceiling, a thread of spider web, a snared fly.

Dean grunts and withdraws his hand, tucking it under his own head. “You’re lying.”

Castiel bites down on his lip, turns onto his side, into Dean, presses his face into his lover’s armpit. “I would not deceive you,” he mumbles, lips grazing warm, sweat-damp skin, making Dean squirm.

“Seems to me you’re trying awfully hard.” Now Dean twists, pushing himself up onto one elbow. He grasps Castiel’s chin, turns the angel’s face toward his, forces his clear blue gaze. “I’m really trying here, Cas,” he says, searching, “but I can’t keep doing this, not if you won’t let yourself feel it.”

It should not matter, what Castiel feels, because Castiel should not feel.

“Fine,” Dean says to Castiel’s silence––slides away, back turned, the space between them deep and cold and empty.

There’s a hollow ache in Castiel’s chest. He follows after Dean, curls against his back, hand closing tight on his biceps. “Dean,” he breathes, “please––” He closes his eyes, hides his face in the slope between his lover’s shoulders. He will have to speak, knows that he must admit his weakness, that Dean will not tolerate further evasion. He bites down on the inside of his lip, furrows his brow, physically urging the words to form on his lips. “I am unaccustomed to want,” he at last admits. “I should be able to exercise some control over it, but I cannot.”

Dean sucks in a breath and exhales the truth. “You’re ashamed.”

Castiel clings to him tighter, hears the beginnings of hurt in Dean’s voice. “Not of you, or what we do, or how you make me feel,” he rushes to clarify.

But it doesn’t seem to help. Dean jerks away from his touch, sits up and hunches forward, elbows on his knees, fingers pulling at his hair. “Then of what?” he bristles, demanding. He glances back over his shoulder, the one eye Castiel can see first flashing anger, then softening, remorseful. “Help me out, Cas...help me understand.”

“I can’t.” Castiel stays where he lies, feels suddenly too weak to push himself up and match Dean’s gaze. “I don’t understand it myself.”

He feels the shift in the mattress, and then Dean is grasping his shoulders, maneuvering him onto his back. He settles on top of Castiel, the length of his body pressing the angel into the bedding, Castiel’s legs opening instinctively to allow Dean to lie between them.

And Dean’s face is warm and open, his chest expanding with each breath, the swell of his ribcage pushing down on Castiel’s, forcing the air out of his lungs. Like that they find a rhythm, bodies giving and taking like the slow swing of a pendulum, Castiel breathing in as Dean breathes out, out as Dean breathes in.

Dean cups his hands to Castiel’s cheeks, swipes a thumb beneath his eye. “Hey,” he says, low and a little rough. “There’s no crying in baseball.”

There’s this awful knot in Castiel’s throat, and he chokes a little, sniffles. “I don’t see what baseball has to do with––”

Dean kisses him, and whatever he intended to say ceases to matter.

“I’ve felt like this before,” Castiel murmurs on the parting of their lips. “In the Green Room, before I rebelled...I knew what I intended to do was right, I was aware of the rightness like a physical aspect of my being, pushing me toward you, but at the same time...”

“It’s hard to go against your family.” Dean lifts his chin, lays a kiss on Castiel’s brow. “Thank you, for that.”

Castiel is trembling, his whole body tense and shivering like something’s trying to break free. “I know that I made the right choice,” he says, and his voice is shaky, too. “I know it and I believe it and the rightness is still there like the sun in my chest...”

“But you still feel guilty about it.” Dean angles his head, presses kisses along Castiel’s cheekbone to his ear, breath a tickling gust through the coils of cartilage, lips plunging lower as Dean nuzzles Castiel’s neck. “What if it weren’t your choice?”

Dean wraps his hands around Castiel’s biceps, suddenly thrusts their hips together with enough force to slam the headboard against the wall. Castiel gasps, tries to reach for his lover but Dean holds him pinned, hips rubbing slow, burning circles against Castiel’s, pressing their groins together.

“You shouldn’t feel guilty about something that was forced on you,” Dean mumbles against Castiel’s collarbone, warm and moist, teeth nipping just hard enough to tease over-sensitized flesh. He pushes himself up on his hands, elbows locked, to look down at Castiel’s face, to seek out his gaze as their bodies slide together.

Dean is suddenly heavy on top of the angel, crushing weight squeezing the breath out of Castiel’s lungs, pressing down harder with each exhale. Castiel cannot draw in fresh air, at least not enough to satisfy these human needs. He grasps at Dean’s shoulders, tries to push the larger man away.

Except he doesn’t try, not really.

And Dean watches him with cold understanding in his eyes, lingering ice of hell frosting the edges of a green iris as he pins and rubs against Castiel, feels the angel’s cock swelling hot and eager. “I think you want someone to take that choice away from you,” he whispers, simultaneously smooth and rough like old gravel ground into a muddy road. “You don’t want to be in control.”

Castiel begins to protest, but Dean lays a rough hand over his mouth, fingers sealing his lips shut, silencing him.

And Dean turns Castiel’s head so easily to the side, baring his throat––bends to lick a stripe along the angel’s racing pulse, breathes hot and damp in his ear. “What you want,” he smiles, “is deniability.”

Castiel closes his eyes, moans helplessly into Dean’s hand, hips jerking beneath his lover’s weight.

“Yeah,” Dean grins, “that’s what I thought.”

He gives one more torturous roll of his hips before he pulls away, his hand dropping from Castiel’s mouth. “Dean––” the angel gasps, arching up, trying to follow the heat pouring off his lover’s body.

But Dean just gives him a firm look, a quiet, “Stay,” before he slides off the bed and moves to where his duffel lies open on the table.

Castiel has spent eons in obedient devotion to his Father and the will of Heaven. It is easy now, to obey such a simple command. He watches, silent, as Dean digs through his bag, questions churning uneasy in his gut, cock twitching in anticipation.

And when Dean turns back to him, when he sees the roll of duct tape in Dean’s hand and the arousal between his legs, Castiel groans. He scoots up the bed, up against the pillows, pressing himself backwards as though desperate to escape Dean’s advance.

Only he’s not. He wants this, even as he’s shaking his head and flinching away from Dean’s touch––wants it when Dean rips off the first strip of duct tape and ignores Castiel’s whispered, No––moans and trembles with need as Dean tapes his mouth shut tight.

He could stop it with a thought, but he doesn’t––lets himself believe, for now, that he can’t. His breath comes short and desperate, nostrils flaring as he struggles to draw enough oxygen into his lungs––and then he’s struggling against Dean, twisting and squirming as the hunter grabs his wrists in one hand and jerks them up above his head. Castiel makes a vague attempt to break free, but Dean gives him a warning slap, hard enough that Castiel can feel it, the first sting and then the deep ache and he whimpers, goes still and pliant as the hunter binds his wrists together.

Dean tugs Castiel’s arms up, the tape making a shallow ripping sound as he peels more off the roll and loops it around a slat in the headboard.

Castiel’s shoulders tense and he pulls, but only with the strength of his vessel, human and weak. The duct tape holds fast, holds him bound, spread out and vulnerable as Dean settles back on his heels and studies him like a particularly tricky knot. Wondering where to begin taking him apart.

Dean pushes Castiel’s legs up, his hands on Castiel’s knees, spreading them wide. “You should see yourself, Cas,” he says, voice low and breathless. Dean turns his head, mouths at Castiel’s ankle, teeth dragging over the bone, enough to make the angel squirm. “All spread out and helpless for me,” he murmurs, broad stretch of hand sliding down Castiel’s thigh to cup the curve of his ass. “I can do anything I want to you, right now.” Fingers slide to Castiel’s hole, still stretched, still wet with lubricant and cum––plunge in deep, heedless of the little resistance they still meet. “All you can do is lie there and take it.”

And as though to prove his point, Dean twists his fingers, sends a spasm of warm and good pulsing through Castiel’s body, makes the angel fuck down onto Dean’s hand. Perfect, liquid heat swells up inside, so close to overflowing, makes him arch his back and cry out behind his gag, and all he can think is that Dean wants this, wants to make him thrash and scream. What Castiel wants doesn’t matter.

“You can’t fight me, Cas,” Dean murmurs, and his voice is so close to Castiel’s ear, his face right there as he leans on one elbow, leans down over his angel while his fingers flick faster inside. “I’ll take what I want, and you’ll take what I give.” He bows his head, angles himself to mouth at Castiel’s neck, to mumble against sensitive flesh, “You’re mine.”

Then Dean crooks his fingers, beckoning, and Castiel comes like an obedient slave.