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If it makes you less sad, I will die by your hand
Hope you find out what you are; already know what I am
And if it makes you less sad, we'll start talking again
You can tell me how vile I already know that I am
I'll grow old, start acting my age
It'll be a brand new day in a life that you hate
A crown of gold, a heart that's harder than stone
And it hurts to hold on, but it's missed when it's gone

- The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot – Brand New

 

Heat. That’s all Castiel can feel. Thick, heavy, wet heat. It’s enveloped the area. Midsummer rains and 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures have left the world sweltering.

Castiel can hardly stand it. He would choke on the thickness of the air if he wasn’t so out of it.

He’s sprawled out, spread eagle on his bed in the cabin he and Dean shared, stripped of any clothing he’d had on during the night. Dean would scold him when he returned to find Castiel this way, as he always did, but Castiel didn’t care. It was too hot and Dean couldn’t make him do anything, even put on clothes. Castiel had made that very clear from the moment he started to become human. Dean would just be upset with him for a moment, then stew in silent annoyance for however long he pleased when Castiel wouldn’t budge in his resolve.

It was too hot. The amphetamines he took didn’t help.

The world is vile and putrid and Castiel is on the cusp of diving right into the thick of the filth. His body reacts and he suddenly feels feverish, sweat beading up out of his pores. He let out a shallow breath, his eyelids fluttering closed. His fingers, splayed out over the scratchy fabric of a blanket atop his bed, curled into the thick fabric, white-knuckled. His head spins with the sudden rush, his body tingling with the sensation of the drug pumping through his veins.

He’s flying.

He can feel the phantom twitch of his wings at his back, his muscles rippling around them as they move. It sends shivers up his spine and he grins, suddenly overjoyed. He can fly again. He’s flying. His heart is hammering against his chest, wind is streaming past his feathers and he is airborne, in the sky above the camp, above the trees, and high above the clouds. He is so far gone that not even the birds can catch him. He is above the earth, so near Heaven he can almost taste it.

And then he is burning. Smoke and charred flesh and feathers fill his lungs. He is burning. He’s flown to high, too far. He was never meant to fly so high. And he falls, his stomach leaping as the air is taken from beneath his wings, which are turning to ash on either side of him. His whole body is in flames. He’s burning. He’s dead, surely. He’s going to die, if not from the fire, but from the impact of the fall.

This is the end.

Cas!

His name. Or at least, the one given to him. Not his true name, but the one that can be spoken on lesser tongues. He hears it through the rush of wind past his ears, the roar of the fire all around him. He can hear it.

Castiel!”

A hand pulling sharply at his hair starts him from the hallucination. He is still in bed, still too hot to even allow for movement, but he is drenched in sweat from thrashing violently. He blinks his eyes open, suddenly acutely aware of the person standing over him. His vision is sharp and focused and Dean is staring at him with wide eyes. Castiel can almost detect a hint of worry in them, but it’s so subtle, he wonders if Dean even notices that he’s showing it.

“Cas, what the hell?”

The hand leaves his hair and the pain in his scalp eases. Castiel pushes himself up onto his elbows and looks around, blinking.

“Did you take those fuckin’ pills again, Cas?” Dean grates, anger suddenly whiting out any trace of worry Dean had been offering just moments ago.

Castiel rolled his eyes, reaching a hand up to push his too-long hair from his sticky forehead. “Why do you always insist on yelling, Dean?”

The absolute fury that flashes across Dean’s face at his words might have made anyone else flinch back, but Casiel knows Dean well enough by now that when it comes to him, Dean can’t stay angry. Castiel has seen Dean at worse times, and Castiel can hold his own against Dean any day, high or not. They are equals in that respect. So Castiel just sits there and stares at Dean, tilting his head lazily and raising a brow.

Dean shakes his head and looks away after a moment. He walks way and snatches something up off the floor. Castiel doesn’t have time to register what it is before it hits him in the face.

“Put your fucking clothes on, Cas,” Dean grumbles, walking over to the table and hefting a heavy bag on top of it.

Castiel pulls the boxers from his face and scowls at them before tossing them away. “I’m not putting clothes on, Dean. It’s too hot for clothes. Animals don’t wear clothes.”

“You’re not a fucking animal. You’re human.”

“Humans are animals, Dean.”

Dean stopped what he was doing and turns to look at Castiel again. “Hate to break it to ya, Cas, but you joined the club a while ago. So I guess that makes you an animal to.”

Castiel wrinkled up his nose at him.

“And us animals wear clothes. So fucking put them on. I don’t wanna see your junk,” Dean continued.

“Then don’t look. No one is asking you to look at my genitals, Dean. It’s your own problem if you can’t stop looking that them,” Castiel says slowly, matter-of-fact.

Dean rolled his eyes and went back to rummaging through his bag. “You’re such a god damned child.”

Castiel rolled his eyes and lay back on the bed, taking a deep breath of the hot air surrounding him. He stared up at the ceiling again, eyes going unfocused, the wood grain blurring out of focus as he let his annoyance and fatigue drain away.

~

He didn’t know how long he’d been out of it when he finally came back to himself, but it was dark beyond the windows and Dean was sitting at their shabby little table, maps spread out in front of him in the dim light of an oil lamp.

Castiel pushed himself up into a sitting position slowly, rubbing at his eyes tiredly. He swung his feet over the edge of the bed, curling his toes until the cracked. He pulled at his arms, then stretched them over his head, letting his back pop in several places. He got to his feet and pulled on a pair of baggy pants, no longer too hot for clothing. The night had brought with it relief from the heat.

Castiel padded over to the table slowly and looked over the maps, his hand coming up to scratch at his chin.

“Another Colt lead?” he asked, his fingers dropping to a map to pull it toward him to get a closer look, but dean snatched it away before he could bring it too close. Castiel’s brows pulled together in confusion.

“Yeah,” was all Dean said, his words clipped and voice tight.

“Let me take a look. I can help. I was one of the best strategists—“

“When you were an Angel. Go back to sleep, Cas.”

Castiel narrowed his eyes at Dean and watched him. “I think I can still figure out a good plan of action. I had several millennia of practice.”

“Forgive me if I don’t trust your judgment when you’re not even here most of the time,” Dean snapped.

Castiel straightened up. “You don’t trust me? Because of the drugs?”

Dean looked up at him, his eyes devoid of any kind of emotion. He just looked tired.

Castiel wrinkled up his nose. “Dean, I am perfectly capable—“

“You’re only capable of getting fucked up off your ass, Cas. I’m not trusting you with mission plans when you can’t even take care of yourself.”

Castiel just stared at him for a few moments, not looking away even after Dean sighed and looked back down at the maps.

“Just go back to sleep or something, Cas. I’m too tired to do this with you right now.”

Castiel swallowed thickly around a painful lump in his throat, looking up toward the ceiling. He turned, shaking his head, and walked back over to his bed slowly. He stood, staring blankly at his pile of blankets before picking up a bag and shoving his things into it. He found his stash of pot, his carton of cigarettes, his shoebox full of pill bottles, a couple bottles of alcohol. He threw them all into his duffle along with his couple changes of clothes. He shouldered the bag after pulling on a shirt and his boots, and he walked out of his room. He snagged his jacket from the chair by the door hurriedly.

“Cas.”

“I’ll see you later, Dean.”

Cas.

Dean was behind him already when Castiel made his way out the door.

“Cas, what the hell?”

“Just get back to your business, Dean. I’ll try not to be too big an inconvenience. To you and the others here.”

“Cas, come back inside. Come on, just—“ Dean’s hand had wrapped itself around Cas’ upper arm and Castiel pulled away quickly, glaring back at Dean coolly. Dean stopped and stared at him, and for a moment Castiel could see a softness in his expression. He was scared, worried, sorry. Castiel’s resolve suddenly waivered.

But a moment later the look was gone, replaced by the cold expression Castiel had grew accustomed to. Dean took a step back and raised his hands.

“Whatever, Cas,” Dean muttered as he turned back toward the cabin. “Do what you want. Like you always do.”

Castiel watched him go, quiet and cold, before walking off to Marla and Jen’s cabin. They’d let him in. They always did.

~

Summer had drifted, giving way to yellowing leaves and rains that chilled deep to the bone. Howling winds rattled the fragile skeletons of the cabins and threatened to put out any and all sources of light and heat.

Castiel was rarely physically cold, though. Most of his days and nights were spent huddled with warm, slick, writhing bodies. They were full of pills and alcohol and each other, heads spinning, never knowing where one person began and another ended. Castiel was pliant beneath mouths and fingers, sated within the wet, warm confines of women’s, and sometimes men’s, bodies.

The days blurred together like a whirlwind. It was the end of days and he was undoubtedly going to Hell when his time was up. He was going to be as debauched as his body would allow.

He’d only seen Dean in passing and at meetings. Castiel wasn’t even asked to go with on missions now. He didn’t know anymore how close Dean was to finding the Colt or killing Lucifer. He didn’t know any more than what he needed to know to get by, and it seemed that Dean was keeping it that way. Dean paid him no mind, choosing to ignore what happened and ultimately Castiel in general, which tugged at something in him that he chose to ignore as well.

Castiel was lying in bed, drowning in one of the rare moments he had truly to himself. He was always alone, but he was alone with other people around him, on him, in him. But today he was truly alone, with his own thoughts and all of the things he could feel. All that coursed through his veins today was a little bit of the absinth he kept tucked under his bed.  He hated times like these, because he could remember everything and feel everything and it was such an excruciating ache… the only thing keeping him from blowing his own brains out was the thought that he might be leaving something, or someone, behind.

The tarp over his doorway rustled, then the beads beyond them. He hadn’t planned for anyone to stop by today. Not that he didn’t like spontaneity, he just preferred it if he knew beforehand that he was going to be out of it for the next several hours.

He took a deep breath and started undoing his pants, stretching out lazily over his bed. The footsteps he heard from the other room were heavy, like a man’s, and he thought for a moment that it might be Carter. The man pretended to be straight as an arrow, but apparently Castiel’s mouth and ass were an exception.

He didn’t say anything, just pushed himself up onto his elbows as the footsteps slowed by his door. Castiel’s sweater was hiked up slightly under his chest and his pants were loose and low, the outline of his half-hard cock showing through the thin material.

Carter wasn’t the one to step into his doorway, though.

Dean stood there, coat off, probably shucked right when he entered onto the rack beside the front door. Despite the cold, Dean only had on two thin layers of clothing and they were tight enough to show off his form, unlike much of the clothing Castiel can remember Dean wearing back before the apocalypse. The sight of him sent a jolt up Castiel’s spine. He was startled and confused and suspiciously aroused, all at once.

But the anger he suddenly felt did well to quell the other feelings.

Castiel pulled his shirt down and sat up, adjusting his legs and pulling at his pants to try and hide his obviously interested erection.

“What are you doing here?” Castiel snapped, crossing his arms over his chest.

Dean sighed and just leaned against the doorway, crossing his own arms loosely. Something was different about him, Castiel noted, and it worried him more than anything. Dean was relaxed and his face was soft, his eyes downcast, unseeing.

Castiel swallowed hard and shifted uncomfortably where he sat. “Is there something that you want? Not sure there’s anything here that might interest you. Wouldn’t want our fearless leader out of his head.”

He watched as Dean’s Adam’s Apple bobbed in his throat and his tongue wetted his lips. He heard a small huff of breath leave Dean’s nose before Dean finally looked up at him.

“Came to tell you we got the Colt today,” Dean said quietly.       

Castiel just watched him for a moment before raising his eyebrows. “And?”

“And, we’re heading out tomorrow.”

“To kill Lucifer.”

Dean gave a small nod.

“Are you even sure that the Colt will kill him?” Castiel asked, for about the thousandth time since Dean had started out on in insane task of killing the Devil with the Colt.

Dean watched him for a moment, not speaking, something flickering in his eyes that Cas couldn’t remember seeing for some time. It made him nervous.

Instead of answering the question, Dean pushed up off of the door frame slowly, chewing his lower lip. “I just… You’re coming, right?”

Castiel frowned deeply, his forehead creasing with confusion. “You want me to come with you? Isn’t this an important mission?”

“That’s why I want you with.”

Castiel stared at him. “I thought I couldn’t be trusted with important tasks.”

Dean sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. “Cas—“

“No, Dean. Why should I go with you? Tell me. The last time you spoke to me, I gathered that I wasn’t good enough for this quest of yours. You told me flat out that you couldn’t trust me with the lives of the people in this camp—“

Cas.”

Castiel’s mouth snapped shut and he stared up at Dean’ his eyes bright with anger that was threatening to topple under the look Dean was giving him now.

Dean’s expression was pained, his eyes averted, refusing to look at Castiel. Castiel’s resolve crumbled and something in his stomach twisted.

“Cas, I have to kill my brother tomorrow.”

And there it went, everything inside Castiel that had told him he had to be angry, to hold his ground, it crumbled underneath the weight of Dean’s words.

Cas swallowed and shook his head. “Dean—You don’t know that he’s still in there. He could be at peace now.”

Dean shook his head. “Something tells me the Devil ain’t that nice.”

Dean would never apologize out loud; no form of “sorry” would ever leave his lips. But Castiel could feel it hanging in the air around them, then. Dean came back to him because it’s the end, and all he and Dean have left are each other.

Castiel moved to his knees and walked to the edge of his bed, staring up at Dean. He held out his hand to him. “Dean, come here.”

“Cas—“

“Come here.”

He watched Dean hesitate for a moment. He watched his hands shake as they fell from where they were crossed in his arms. He watched Dean swallow thickly around tears that threatened to fall from his already red eyes. He watched Dean shuffle forward slowly until he met Castiel at the edge of the bed.

“Cas.”

“I know, Dean.”

Dean closed his eyes.

Castiel balled his fist into the front of Dean’s sweater and pulled him down to the bed slowly. Dean complied easily, crawling over Castiel when he leaned back on his elbows.

“Cas, I—“

“It’s okay, Dean. I know. Last night on Earth and whatnot.”

Dean huffed out a breath that might have been some form of laugh had the situation not felt so overwhelmingly dark. Dean shook his head. “Don’t steal my lines.”

Castiel reached up and hooked his hand around the back of Dean’s neck.

Dean swallowed hard. “I just—I wish this wasn’t the first time we were going to do this,” he said quietly.

Because it will also be the last, Castiel thought. “I know.”

Dean sighed shakily and leaned his forehead down against Castiel’s. “Will you come tomorrow?”

Castiel nodded, closing his eyes. “Of course.”

His hands drifted downward, hooking under Dean’s shirts and pulling up. Dean complied, lifting his arms, allowing the pieces of clothing to be pulled off and discarded over the edge of the bed. Castiel pushed at Dean’s chest and Dean complied again. He was on his back, and Castiel realized Dean was giving him control. Dean was putting his trust in him.

Castiel pulled off his own shirt and leaned back over Dean, pressing his lips to Dean’s neck, soft and wet against his skin. Dean tipped his head back and slightly to the side and Castiel could feel the goose bumps that rose beneath his fingers. Castiel kissed slowly down Dean’s body, bruising the flesh and letting Dean whimper and writhe beneath him. Castiel’s heart raced in his chest, each and every sound and movement sending shocks through his system.

He discovered quickly that Dean’s nipples were particularly sensitive. He lavished them with his tongue, teased them with his teeth, until Dean was a complete mess beneath him. Dean was gasping, pleading, whispering Castiel’s name over and over. Cas. Cas. Castiel!

Castiel unbuckled Dean’s belt and unbuttoned his jeans. He flicked the zipper down before pulling the jeans off carefully, one leg at a time.

“Cas—“ Dean breathed, staring up at Castiel with dark eyes.

Castiel still had Dean’s leg up and he watched Dean for a moment before turning his head and pressing a kiss to his ankle. He felt Dean shudder under the affection, and Cas reveled in it, kissing up along the inside of his leg slowly, lips blush and wet against Dean’s soft skin.

Dean’s body was alight, burning from within, as the flush in his ears spread down through his face and chest. Castiel watched him with fascination as he mouthed a bruise into the fleshy inner part of Dean’s thigh.

“Please—Castiel—“

Castiel’s insides burned with the use of his full name. The way it rolled off of Dean’s tongue was like no one else had ever spoken it. Dean said it with such ease and conviction. Dean said it like a prayer.

Castiel rolled down the top of Dean’s underwear slowly before pulling them off the same as he had with Dean’s pants, one leg at a time. Dean’s cock was hard and full and flushed, a heavy weight against Dean’s stomach, already leaking from the tip. Castiel took it into his hand gently, his fingers wrapping around slowly as he watched Dean curiously. Dean shook, breath catching in his throat. Castiel gave one slow stroke, his fist tightening slightly around the base on the wave back down and Dean bucked, gasping.

Castiel watched him for a few more strokes before leaning in and mouthing at the head gently.

Cas.”

He pressed his tongue flat against the underside of Dean’s cock, near the base, and dragged slowly upward. A low moan escaped Dean as Castiel’s lips finally wrapped around him and slipped down.

Castiel worked, closing his eyes and relaxing around Dean, taking him in full. He felt Dean’s fingers, tentative and gentle, slide into his hair and hook around a few loose strands. Dean was wound up, panting, chest heaving. Castiel wrapped his fingers around the base of Dean’s cock to keep him from coming too soon.

He pulled up and off after a short while with a soft, wet sound, taking a deep breath. He looked up at Dean, who’d whimpered at the loss of Castiel’s swollen lips. Castiel moved slowly, crawling over Dean and licking his lips at the sight of what he’d done. Castiel straightened up for a moment to shuck his pants over the side of the bed before leaning back over Dean. He set one of his hands to Dean’s shoulder, squeezing tightly.

His free hand came up to Dean’s face, his fingertips grazing over Dean’s parted lips. Dean’s tongue darted out briefly, and Castiel watched as Dean flushed even redder than he was. Castiel just shook his head and dipped his fingers into dean’s mouth slowly, watching him. Dean looked momentarily nervous before closing his lips around Castiel’s fingers. Dean sucked, tongue sliding around and between Castiel’s fingers slowly, and Castiel’s entire body shuddered at the feeling.

He pulled his fingers from Dean’s mouth and reached back beneath him, using them to work himself open. He looked at Dean, and Dean looked back up at him, his eyes wide and mouth still hanging open.

Dean,” Castiel whispered, voice shaking.

Dean reached up, hooking his hand around the back of Castiel’s neck and pulling him down to meet him in the middle, crushing their lips together. Dean’s lips were soft and hot against his own. They moved, swallowing down the sounds Castiel made as he crooked his fingers up inside himself.

He pulled them out when he was open and ready. He reached back and stroked Dean a few times before sitting up. He maneuvered himself over Dean’s cock and lowered himself down onto him, biting his lip against the slight burn he always felt when doing this. The heat was incredible and the slick-slide of it as he bottomed out made him shudder.

Fuck, Cas,” Dean groaned out, voice strained.

Castiel licked his lips and rolled his hips around slightly, reveling in the fullness. He felt fingers on him and he looked down to see Dean clutching desperately for something to hold onto. So Castiel took his hand, sliding his fingers between Dean’s locking them together.

They moved together, holding onto each other desperately, both in need of each other’s touch and heat. They worked out a rhythm quickly, matching thrusts and pressures without a word. The only things uttered were their names, Cas’ and Dean’s, and soft breaths of profanities when just the right spot was hit or just the right move was applied.

Castiel leaned in again, kissing Dean as deeply as he could, frantic for the breath and the taste of Dean. Heat pooled in his belly, sending sparks up his spine. He was so close, so so close. Dean’s thrusts became more erratic and Castiel could feel his thighs shaking. Castiel rested his forehead against Dean’s, rolling his hips back to fuck himself harder onto Dean’s cock.

Dean looked up at him, eyes black save the thin circles of bright green, shining to bright like Dean’s sould had once been to him. Castiel felt Dean’s breath stuttered on his face.

“Castiel—“ Dean moaned, gripping Castiel’s hip hard enough to leave finger-shaped bruises. Dean’s hips snapped up a few more times as warmth filled Castiel.

Dean panted, coming down from the aftermath of his orgasm. He reached down and took Castiels cock in his hand.

“C’mon, Cas…” He whispered, stroking his hand quickly over Castiel’s leaking cock. He was so close, so dangerously close, Castiel’s entire body was shaking with the buildup.

“Come for me, Castiel.”

Castiel gripped Dean’s hand tightly, knuckles white, as his orgasm hit. His vision went white for a moment and his ears rang with the force of it, spurting hot over Dean’s fist as he pulled Castiel through the aftershocks.

Castiel finally relaxed, body going limp over Dean’s chest. He looked up at Dean, who was looking up at the ceiling, and watched as tears well up in Dean’s eyes.

“Dean?” Cas asked, unsure.

Dean looked at him, then wiped at his eyes quickly, and he shook his head. He remained quiet and he rolled onto his side and curled into Castiel, Dean’s face in his chest.

Castiel closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around him slowly. An old clock ticked off in another room, and the wind had picked up outside, causing the drizzle to turn on its side, beating against the thin walls of the cabin. Castiel found it peaceful then, calm and that peace held still through the night, even after he’d drifted off to sleep to the quiet sound of Dean’s steady breaths.

Castiel would die tomorrow. He knew as much. He was not stupid. But he would go anyway. He would follow Dean, his human, his charge; the Righteous Man. All he and Dean had left was each other, and Castiel would follow him into the dark, until the very end.