Hunting Hellhounds was never fun.
First, the human eye can’t see them so Dean and Sam were already at a disadvantage. Second, they were abnormally strong and loved to tear their food apart. And third, apparently they can also hurt angel wings.
That last tidbit of information was completely new to the Winchesters. It wasn’t until the demon mutt decided to use Cas’s wings as a chew toy and the angel’s cry in response that they knew something was wrong. Dean managed to taunt the beast into chasing him away from his injured friend while Sam ran over to Cas.
“Cas! What happened?” Sam asked. Jack, who was told to hide in the closet, tentatively came out when the rabid snarls had ceased.
“I’ll be fine.” Cas managed to say. Sam gave him one of his best bitch faces and carefully maneuvered his friend so he could examine his back.
Sam had expected to see tears in the beige trench coat or some sign that the Hellhound had latched onto Cas’s back but he saw nothing. The tallest of the Winchesters furrowed his eyebrows, confused as to what was causing his friend pain.
“That makes no sense. It tackled you from behind!” Jack’s eyes widened in shock and concern. Cas sent the poor kid a reassuring smile, hopefully conveying that he was fine, before turning to Sam.
“It-” A loud crash sound from outside the door. Within a few seconds, Dean barged back into the room, slamming the door behind him. The door was pounded against from the outside, barks of protest and anger coming from the other side.
“I ran to our bags but I only managed to find one pair.” Dean pulled out a pair of glasses. Cas and Jack eyed the glasses in confusion.
“How are a pair of glasses supposed to help us?” Jack asked. Dean grinned at the hunter-in-training.
“Instead of helping us see things from a distance, these glasses help us see demonic fleabags.” Dean explained. Cas glanced from both Sam and Dean.
“How did you acquire those.” The banging against the door became more erratic as the Hellhound got more impatient.
“That explanation might have to wait, Cas.” Dean said. Sam moved over to man the door while Dean pulled out his angel blade before shoving the glasses onto his face. He motioned for Jack to hide back in the closet. Normally, they were all for the kid learning the job hands on but it was difficult when he can’t see what’s trying to kill him. He nodded in Sam’s direction once Jack was securely out of the Hellhounds near sight.
Sam opened the door. Dean had almost forgotten how ugly Hellhounds looked. Shadows like mangled fur whirring around them. Glowing red eyes and black foaming mouths as it bared its teeth and growled something more meanicing than any doberman.
“Come at me, fido.” The beast growled, turning its head to glance between Dean and Cas as if it didn’t know who to go for. At Dean’s comment, however, it seemed to have made its choice and bolted towards the hunter.
Dean wasn’t sure what happened. One moment he had his full attention on the Hellhound and the next moment, a piece of black came from the corner of his eye. He knows he should’ve kept his attention on the monster charging at him, but something within him became infatuated with the strange object.
His eyes widened when he realized it was a feather, connected to a huge bird-like wing surrounding his entire backside. Dean was frozen in shock; unable to hear his brother calling out. From what he could tell by his five second glance: they were beautiful. Sure, they were a bit roughed up but nonetheless they held themselves. The only thing that diminished their beauty was the small trace of blood dripping from them.
The hunter was unable to see the injury due to the strong arms wrapping around his waist, sharply pulling him out of the way as the Hellhound slid against the wood right where Dean had been. Seeing the beast before him got his mind reeling again. This time, he was prepared when the Hellhound lunged at him. There was no fight to the arms he quickly pulled out of. Dean forced to keep his eyes on the task at hand, not the obvious linger of wings that had decided to half-heartedly cocoon.
The Hellhound growled and sank down low, ready to lunge again. Unlike last time, Dean responded in stabbing the mangy beast. Blood trickled down Dean’s arm from a previous wound the hound had inflicted. It didn’t concern the older Winchester, however, and he turned around to give his brother and Cas a victorious grin. The grin didn’t last long, quickly molding into shock as his brain connected the dots.
Wings. What has big fluffy wings?
An Angel .
“Holy shit.” Dean breathed. Behind Cas were two enormous black wings. One was scrunched up, hanging from Cas’s side.
“Dean, what is it?” Cas asked, wings bristling. The action caused Cas to grit his teeth and his wings instantly went back to a less painful position.
Dean opened his mouth to reply, words catching in his throat. He didn’t know where to start. “You’re hurt.” He finally managed after a good three minutes of just staring behind Cas.
Sam was about to exclaim “ I knew it ”, before his previous confusion came back to him. “As far as I can tell he’s not bleeding.”
“He is bleeding, it’s just…” Dean gestured lamely. Cas squinted at Dean. To help him out, the older Winchester pointedly moved his eyes from Cas’s to a spot behind the angel.
Sam tried to follow Dean’s hints but he still wasn’t sure what he was looking for. Jack came out of the closet once again.
“What’s going on?” He asked, glancing at them all innocently.
“Cas’s wings are hurt.” Dean answered without giving anyone time to react. “Well, wing. At least, from here the other one looks a-okay.” Jack turned to Cas worriedly.
Un-subconsciously, Cas’s wings folded in to show his embarrassment from the sudden attention. It went unnoticed by everyone but Dean.
“You can see Cas’s wings?” Sam asked, bewilderment in his eyes.
“I- yeah.” No matter how hard Cas tried to hide them, Dean still couldn’t help but stare.
“Is it possible the glasses don’t just work on Hellhounds?” Sam wondered.
“Seems like it.” Dean said. Cas shifted uncomfortably as the eldest Winchester continued to stare. “Cas, why are you trying to hide them? Maybe I could help you in some way.”
Cas gave him a forced smile. “Thank you, Dean but I’m sure I’ll be able to handle it on my own.” Though he didn’t voice it, Cas deeply hoped Dean would take the glasses off now. He was fascinated by them to begin with but now they were becoming a nuisance.
“Really? ‘Cause, I hate to break it to you buddy but their dripping blood all over the floor.” Dean pointed out. Cas glared back at him. Dean sighed. “Please, Cas. We can all tell you’re in pain.”
“There’s nothing you can do for them, Dean.” Cas’s voice was laced with annoyance. “They’re already damaged, it’s not like there’s any point in trying to fix what’s already broken past the line of healing. Compared to what they used to be, they’re horrid, demolished. Even if there was some way for you to help I wouldn’t let you.” Cas bit the inside of his cheek. “There’s no point in raising concern for them.”
“Cas… I may not be able to see them but I doubt that’s true.” Sam said. Cas gave him a look and he quickly added, “I understand that they’re broken but they’re still apart of you.”
“I’m not going to lie to you, Cas.” Dean stated. “I saw the silhouette of them back at the barn, remember?” He took a step forward. “I gotta admit, they were unrealistically perfect. They were just like the shadow of every other angel that tried to flaunt their wings as a sign of power. That they were some being that could intimidate me into doing something against my free will.” Cautiously, the hunter took another step.
“Now… they may be broken Cas but they’re far more…” Dean paused, trying to find a word without sounding repetitive. “Mesmerising? Than they ever were. They tell their own story instead of the routine, “we do whatever our father tells us”.” Dean gave Cas a sorry look. “When I look at them now, I can’t help but feel a fault for their current state but I’m not sorry. Guilty but I can’t picture anything else I’d want them to look like.”
Dean was standing close to Cas now. He took it as a good sign that the Angel hadn’t stepped away. “I’m not a man of many words, Cas. I really hope that what I just said didn’t make me seem like some enormous prick.” He pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose, a motion he was unfamiliar to. Dean turned around to fix Sam with a look. “Shut up for a minute.”
Turning back to Cas, he fixed the Angel with a genuine smile engraved with nerves. “Cas, I love you no matter what your wings look like. You’re still the best Angel I’ve ever known. Damaged wings or not. Hell, you could be human and you’d still be an Angel in my book no matter how much sass you throw my way.” Cas couldn’t help the small chuckle that escaped him.
Jack looked at Sam with an intoxicating smile. Sam, in return, gave him a thumbs up and watched his brother and Cas expectantly.
Dean’s words echoed in Cas’s head as he took in everything the hunter just told him. Before, Cas had said ‘I love you’ with no answer in return. He was convinced that it was only one sided; that the Winchesters only saw him as an expendable friend. Then, Dean and Sam had done what they could to free him from Lucifer, and Cas figured it just wasn’t in them to say the words out loud. Dean rarely ever says ‘I love you’ to anyone, even Sam.
The words caught him off guard. Three words that had the same impact as the ‘I need you’ Dean has told him countless times.
After all these years, Dean had been saying them in his own way that completely flew over Cas’s head.
Without thinking, his brain too lost within his own thoughts, Cas acted. He grabbed Dean by the shirt and quickly connected their lips. The kiss ended as quickly as Cas had initiated it. Dean’s incredible green eyes stared at Cas, shocked. Cas was scared that he’d done the wrong thing- almost sure of it. He was about to pull away from the hunter when Dean grabbed him by the tie and forced their lips back together.
Sam and Jack high fived one another, both looking like they’d just received the best present for Christmas.
Dean wasn’t used to the amount of care and feeling Cas was pouring into the kiss. He tried his best to do the same but was careful due to the presence of both his brother and Jack in the same room.
Once they pulled apart, Cas gave one of his rare smiles that caused Dean’s insides to melt.
“I say we all head back to the bunker and celebrate by watching movies and letting Cas rest.” Sam said. They all agreed, heading back to the impala. Jack walked besides Dean and Cas, happy that his Dad’s finally worked everything out.