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Calm in the Storm

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Dean stands on the sidewalk outside the café, staring at the building like he’s never seen a place to eat before. To give himself some credit, though, this place isn’t exactly just a restaurant. It’s some sort of art gallery too. He let Castiel pick it out, figuring he’d know better since he spent most of the past two years in Seattle. Leave it to Castiel to pick some fancy place when all Dean would want is a damn burger.

 

He frowns to himself as he realizes Castiel might not even know that Dean likes burgers. Did they ever talk about that? Dean can’t remember.

 

Part of him is wondering if this was a good idea. He told Castiel he wanted to drive separately, something he promised himself he would do. Dean has made himself a lot of promises regarding this new… well, whatever it is they’re going to try. The main one is he won’t be with Castiel alone unless it’s in public. That’s why he had picked a busy beach. That’s why he said he didn’t want to drive with him to the restaurant, even though that meant Dean had to get an Uber.

 

All of that freedom is fine and dandy, but now Dean feels frozen on the sidewalk, unable to take that first step. He could really use Castiel beside him right now. A strong hand on the small of his back to guide him. His soft voice whispering to Dean about this or that, taking his mind off the anxiety he feels as he watches all the people – So. Many. People. – swirl around in the chaos of the city. 

 

After a few more minutes of giving himself a pep talk, Dean rocks on his feet and sends himself moving forward. The feeling of being overwhelmed comes right back to him the second he’s inside. A pretty girl with a bright smile asks him if he wants a booth or a table, and Dean just stares at her. He’s meeting someone. That’s what he’s supposed to say. But then she’ll ask what the person’s name is, and Dean’s not sure if Castiel would have given his last name, or his first name, or maybe Castiel has a fake identity too just like Dean.

 

“Sir?”

 

Dean blinks, refocusing on her. “Not sir. Don’t – not sir.”

 

She gives him a strange look but then pastes her smile back on. “Okay. Well, can I help you?”

 

“Meeting someone,” Dean mumbles, eyes scanning the place. He sees that crazy mop of hair in the far corner and smiles. He can’t make up this shit. The second Dean sets eyes on that man, his world softens. 

 

It makes sense

 

He’s at peace.

 

“He’s over there,” Dean tells her, already walking away.

 

When Castiel sees him, he stands up. Dean’s eyes rake over him. He’s changed a lot these past two years. First of all, he’s not in a suit. Instead, he’s dressed in dark wash jeans that hug his legs just tight enough to look damn good without making him look like a hipster, and a simple heather-gray t-shirt that hugs his chest and arms while hanging slightly loose on his stomach. His hair is more wild than usual, too. He probably doesn’t have to cut it as much anymore, considering he’s not meeting with some of the most important people in the world on a weekly basis. He’s tan. Must spend more time outdoors now, instead of locked away in an underground compound.

 

How is it that Dean just saw him less than an hour ago, but missed him so much already? It’s like he spent the last 47 minutes unable to breathe properly.

 

“Dean?” Castiel asks softly, reaching a hand out toward him before quickly dropping it. “Are you okay?”

 

Dean lifts his chin to meet Castiel’s eyes and nods. “Yeah. Good. Sorry.”

 

That smile Dean’s gone far too long without pulls at Castiel’s lips. “Why don’t you sit down before I do something cheesy like pull out the chair for you?”

 

“What if I want my chair pulled out for me?”

 

“I – do you?” Castiel’s eyebrows pull in, his gaze flicking over to the chair next to Dean. He puffs up a little as if preparing for a challenge. “I can do that.”

 

Dean laughs, which makes Castiel’s entire face light up. “I don’t want you to pull my chair out, Cas. But thanks for offering.”

 

The two sit down across from each other, and the waiter comes over just seconds later with menus. He goes through the drink specials and a few other things that Dean could care less about because he sees beer listed on the menu, and the person at a table near them is eating a burger. Those are the two things Dean wants. No menu needed. 

 

When Dean’s asked what he’d like to drink, Dean smiles confidently. “I’ll take whatever your seasonal draft is, please.”

 

He feels Castiel’s eyes settle on him. They don’t leave when the waiter asks Castiel what he’d like. After a much longer pause than necessary, Castiel says, “I’ll have an iced tea with lemon.”

 

“Yes, sir,” the waiter says in response, and Dean finds it curious that the man chose to call Castiel sir and not Dean. Maybe the lady in the front told him how Dean had reacted. Or maybe he could sense the power dynamic that will never leave the two of them, no matter how their labels and situation shifts. 

 

That doesn’t bother Dean. He doesn’t need to be a sir. In fact, he wouldn’t like it at all. Castiel can take that responsibility. Dean’s so fucked up, Castiel’s going to have his hands full. 

 

Dean would hate to be him. 

 

“And we’ll both take waters,” Castiel adds, pulling Dean from his thoughts. 

 

“Of course, sir.”

 

Dean waits for the waiter to walk away before leveling Castiel with a smirk. Castiel darts his eyes down to his menu and asks, “What?”

 

“You let me order beer.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“It’s against your rules, though. Non-negotiable.”

 

Castiel tilts his head to the side as he examines Dean. “I meant it, Dean. No more rules.”

 

“Couldn’t stop yourself from ordering that water, though, hey?” Dean asks with a wink, trying to lighten the mood so Castiel can’t tell how he’s about to cry at the reassurance that Castiel really is taking him back with no strings attached.

 

“Water is good for you.” Castiel gives him a fake glare. “If you’d like to be stubborn, as I know you enjoy being, I’ll drink both glasses.”

 

Dean sticks his tongue out at Castiel, which takes the man completely by surprise and leaves him a little flustered. He ends up just looking down at the menu again to avoid eye contact with Dean which, if you ask Dean, is fucking adorable. 

 

“How hungry are you? We could get something to start?”

 

“I’m not that hungry, actually,” Dean admits.

 

“Had a big breakfast?”

 

Dean bites the inside of his cheek. He has to remind himself that Castiel doesn’t have a say in what he does. There aren’t any rules anymore. He can’t get in trouble. “No. I just had a slice of toast.”

 

Casually, Castiel turns his wrist and glances at his Rolex. When he looks up at Dean again, Dean’s pleasantly surprised by how calm Castiel looks, his eyes soft and lips curved in a patient smile. “It’s been a stressful day. And you had to fly here. I understand that your appetite probably isn’t the best.”

 

In the spirit of full honesty, Dean informs him, “I don’t really eat much anyway. Lucky if I have a full meal a day.”

 

Castiel’s lips part, but they’re interrupted by the waiter before he can say anything. The drinks are placed on the table and the waiter asks if they’re ready to order. Castiel looks to Dean, which makes Dean feel very independent and respected. It’s such a silly thing, but he doesn’t care.

 

“I’ll have the smoky bacon bleu burger with fries, please.” Dean glances over at Castiel before continuing. He knows he doesn’t have to order anything else, but for some reason, just knowing it would please Castiel makes Dean hungrier than he’s been in a long time. “I’d also like a cup of the soup special, please.”

 

“Absolutely. And you, sir?”

 

“I’ll have the agnolotti with shrimp.”

 

The waiter nods, then takes their menus. When he’s out of earshot, Castiel says in a low voice, “You don’t have to eat the soup, Dean.”

 

“I know.” Dean takes a sip of his beer, letting the bubbly liquid sit on his tongue for a second or two. Once he swallows, he adds, “I’ll eat until I’m full.”

 

“Can I ask why you haven’t been eating lately?”

 

Dean fiddles with the label on his beer bottle. “The meds they have me on, I think. They keep trying to mix ‘em around to get rid of all these side effects, but the more they do that, the crazier I feel, so I just lied and said I’m fine.”

 

There’s a pause long enough for Dean to peek up at Castiel through his lashes. The man is staring very intently at Dean’s hand that’s resting beside his silverware. Dean almost offers it to him but decides to let things play out. He’s curious how long Castiel can really go before touching him without explicit permission.

 

Eyes remaining on Dean’s hand, Castiel asks, “Are you at least feeling better in other aspects?”

 

“I guess.”

 

Blue eyes flick up at him, eyebrows pulling in as Castiel frowns. “I know you well enough to know that’s a no, Dean.”

 

“But I don’t have to tell you,” Dean reminds him. Not because he doesn’t want to tell Castiel, he knows he will, but because it feels good to bring up his freedom again. It feels like it did when he first got his safe word. All he wants to do is flaunt it. Enjoy it.

 

“No, Dean. You don’t have to tell me. I’d like to know, because I care about you, but we can change topics if you’d like.”

 

Dean smiles softly, feeling butterflies in his stomach. What a silly thing to get so worked up about. Not that he cares. He just cares that he’s finally with Castiel again. He can finally breathe. He has this possibility in his hands that he could be free but still be happy.

 

“It helps with the depression. I think. Honestly, though, that probably has more to do with me making my decision about you.”

 

Castiel shakes his head. “The decision about me? Didn’t you make it yesterday?”

 

“I decided to follow through with it yesterday, but I came to terms with the fact that I was going to come back to you a few months ago. Right after I moved back home, actually.”

 

“Oh? You moved back home?”

 

“Yeah. My uncle and dad needed help in the auto shop. Or, that’s what they claimed. I think they were fine and just wanted to check up on me. But I’ve been helping out anyway. Been working after hours. Don’t really like working during the day much. I’m too jumpy.”

 

“Well, that’s good, though, Dean. I’m glad you were able to go back and enjoy that with them.”

 

Dean takes another drink of his beer as he mulls over what to say next. “I think a lot of the weight lifted after I decided I’d go back to you. All that emotional chaos, that back and forth fighting between logic and my heart, between what I want and what everyone else was telling me I had to do, it got a lot easier. Dad never brought you up again, which helped too. Before I left the first time, he spent nearly every day trying to reason with me about you.”

 

Castiel nods. “I’m assuming I won’t be meeting him any time soon.”

 

Dean nearly snorts at the idea of his father meeting Castiel. “No way in hell. He’d kill you, Cas.”

 

“Might be for the best.”

 

“Hey,” Dean says quickly, sitting forward and ducking his head to look Castiel in the eyes. All humor is gone now. “No one decides what’s for the best when it comes to me anymore, understood? Not you, and certainly not my father.”

 

“You’re right. I’m sorry, Dean.” Castiel releases a deep sigh and scrubs a hand over his face. “Are you sleeping better, at least?”

 

“No. Not really.”

 

Castiel laughs, but it’s soft and exasperated. “So, what are the pills helping with then?”

 

Dean stares at the table as he considers that. He laughs under his breath when he realizes they aren’t helping with a damn thing. “Guess they don’t do much of anything. Think it just makes everyone else feel better to know I’m on them.”

 

“Everyone else doesn’t matter. Didn’t we just establish that? You put yourself first, Dean. Stick to that.”

 

“I’ll talk to my doctor and see. I think one of them he said I have to quit slowly, so I don’t get withdrawals or something.”

 

“Yes. Please, talk with your doctor. I can’t – I don’t want you sick.”

 

The waiter returns with Dean’s soup and tells them the rest of the food will be out shortly. Dean welcomes the interruption, giving the man a smile in relief. He takes his time breaking crackers and pouring the crumbs over his soup, drawing out the quiet for as long as possible. He even blows on the spoon much longer than necessary before placing it in his mouth.

 

Pretty soon, they’ll have to talk about the real issues. Dean’s terrified for that moment.

 

So terrified that, when Castiel clears his throat and opens his mouth, Dean spills what’s on his spoon. 

 

Here it is. The rug is about to be yanked from under him.

 

Instead, Castiel asks with a smile, “How’s the soup?”

 

 

----

 

 

Dean’s on his second beer, and Castiel is on his hundredth mental reminder that he doesn’t get a say in that. After a long pull that makes his throat bob enticingly, Dean sits back and says, “You know, at that first check-up, they found my chip. I wouldn’t explain it to them, didn’t tell them a single thing about you or the compound. I told them I was with an abusive guy because I knew I’d get in trouble if they knew I had information on the compound and organization and all that but was keeping it from them. They respect your privacy and right not to report when it’s just you, but if they found out it was a damn international slave trade, they probably would have had an issue.”

 

When Castiel says nothing, Dean lifts his gaze, looking Castiel directly in the eye. “They still had the chip analyzed in case I wanted to report you someday. Know what they found?”

 

“What?”

 

“It wasn’t turned on. And not just that, it had been completely deactivated. As in, there was no button or code out there, no possible way, for my chip to get turned back on again.”

 

Castiel nods. “Yeah.”

 

“Yeah?” Castiel can hear the very thin line between Dean’s anger and confusion starting to crack. “That’s it? Yeah?

 

Castiel frowns. “Dean, I set you free. Why in the world would I keep you chipped? I would have had it removed myself. In fact, I had been planning on it already when we discussed you being able to leave me at the beach house if you wanted, but I just never had the time for our doc to come over.”

 

He scoffs before taking another sip of beer. Dean darts his eyes away and shakes his head before scoffing again, the sound sort of morphing into a laugh of disbelief.

 

“What?” Castiel asks.

 

“Nothing.” Dean takes a much longer pull from his beer this time. He doesn’t put the bottle down, instead keeping it gripped tight in his hand. “I cried myself to sleep that night.”

 

“What night?”

 

“When they told me that you deactivated it. My dad looked at me like I was fucking crazy when I broke down in the check-up room. The doctor told him it was probably relief.” Castiel, knowing where this is headed, says nothing. It takes Dean a minute of staring at the beer bottle, but he eventually finishes the thought. “I was devastated. You really wanted me gone. Gave me this fake ID, money, deactivated the chip permanently, all of it. You didn’t care if I fell off the face of the Earth. If you could never find me.”

 

Castiel sits up straight. “Dean, no. That’s not-”

 

“It’s okay, Cas. It’s why I called you the very first time. Figured if you still cared, you’d keep your promise and answer it. You answered, and it was like I could suddenly breathe.” He laughs again. “But then it made shit even more confusing, because I needed you to be the bad guy, ya know? Everyone was telling me you were the bad guy.”

 

“I know.”

 

“You wanna know what I’ve decided, though?”

 

Feeling slight panic in his chest, Castiel asks, “What?”

 

“Who the fuck cares? Maybe you are the bad guy. You most definitely were in that story. But this one is just starting. You haven’t had a chance to be the hero or the villain.”

 

Castiel sits back in his seat and tries to breathe despite the overwhelming hope blooming in his chest. “Does that mean we’re going to have another story, Dean?”

 

Dean pauses just before taking a drink, the rim of his beer bottle less than an inch from his lips. Bright green eyes bore into Castiel from across the table as they become suspended in the moment. A moment that feels important. Definite.

 

“Yeah, Cas,” Dean breathes after a few more seconds tick by. “We’re gonna have a story. And if I have anything to say about it, this one’s gonna be happy.”

Chapter Text

Dean doesn’t even know how it starts, to be completely honest. One second they’re ditching the restaurant and breathlessly laughing as they look for the nearest hotel. The next second, Castiel has him pinned to the wall of an elevator, one hand masterfully pinning Dean’s arms above his head, the other exploring every available inch of Dean it can reach as they kiss each other breathless. 

 

When the doors open, they hear a soft gasp. Castiel turns his head and looks at the numbers. He sees it’s not their floor and goes straight back to devouring Dean. Whoever gasped doesn’t get on the elevator. Dean hears the doors close a few seconds later, then feels the box lurch as they begin to climb again.

 

The next time the doors open, it’s their floor. Dean expects them to separate so they can walk. 

 

Silly Dean. He’s apparently been away from the caveman for too long.

 

Castiel just hikes Dean over his shoulder, making the boy laugh breathlessly as he dangles upside down. He pinches Castiel’s ass, unable to stop himself, and yelps when it earns him a swift swat to his own.

 

“Watch yourself, pet,” he growls, making Dean melt to the point where he accidentally coos under his breath.

 

Of course, his master hears it.

 

Master always hears him. 

 

He always knows.

 

Castiel chuckles softly as he slides the key card through the scanner and pushes open the door. “Someone’s pretty damn hard.”

 

“Not me,” Dean lies.

 

“No? You’re not hard?” Castiel walks straight to the king-sized bed and dumps him on his back. Dean barely has the time to stop bouncing before Castiel is crawling over him, dragging a thigh against his cock that is very clearly hard. “Feel pretty hard to me, baby.”

 

Dean’s eyes flutter shut.

 

“Fuck, I love you, Cas.” Dean’s eyes snap open, his cheeks turning pink. He stares up at Castiel in a slight panic. “Didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

 

“Glad you did.” Castiel pauses, the air around them coming to a standstill as the frantic charge defuses. His large hand comes up to cup Dean’s face and god he’s missed that. Dean’s missed that so fucking much. A tear slips down Dean’s cheek as he turns his face into Castiel’s palm, nuzzling it. “I love you, too, Dean. That won’t ever change.”

 

“Promise?” Dean asks, only slightly embarrassed by the way his voice trembles in fear. 

 

“I swear.” Castiel gives him a soothing smile, his thumb stroking Dean’s cheekbone. “Is this okay, Dean? Are we moving too fast? Was I - was I too rough?”

 

Dean has never seen Castiel look so vulnerable before. He doesn’t like it at all.

 

“This is good. Perfect. You're perfect. I kinda ruined the moment, though. Sorry.”

 

“You saying you love me can never possibly ruin the moment, Dean Winchester.”

 

Feeling a little unsure, Dean just closes his eyes and soaks in the warmth of Castiel on his skin. With each breath, his body calms. Steadies. He forgot how fucking happy he feels with this man. 

 

Another tear falls.

 

“Oh, baby…” Castiel whispers, heart break and guilt in his voice. 

 

Dean feels Castiel’s breath on his face as the man carefully lowers himself but refuses to look at him. In fact, he just buries his face harder into his palm. Castiel smells the same.

 

Exactly the same.

 

His man.

 

His home.

 

“Cas?” Dean whispers, finally getting the courage to look back at the man again. He locks onto the man’s beautiful blue eyes and gives him a watery smile. “I wanna feel like yours again. Can you – I just don’t feel – I feel untethered. I hate it. I want – can I be yours again?”

 

The expression on Castiel’s face is unexplainable. “I would love nothing more, Dean.”

 

“Make me yours, then, Cas. Take me.”

 

“Mine,” Castiel says on an exhale. He rubs the tip of his nose against Dean’s, the two of them smiling at the action. “Finally.” 

 

Then the soft, loving moment is gone, replaced with a desperate urgency. Castiel sits back and grabs Dean’s shirt, not even hesitating before literally ripping it off of him. The boy beneath him gasps and blushes. He’s not innocent, though. His trembling fingers are working frantically at Castiel’s belt while Castiel sucks and bites marks into Dean’s neck, marking Dean as his.

 

All his.

 

When Dean manages to access Castiel’s cock, his warm hand wrapping around it and squeezing experimentally, Castiel’s final threads of control tear apart. He rolls to the side of the bed, stands up, grabs Dean, and drags him over until he’s lying on his back with his ass against the edge and his feet on the floor.

 

Only breaking eye contact when fabric gets in the way, Castiel rids himself of his shirt and pants, then reaches down and tugs Dean’s jeans down his legs. They kick off their shoes at the same time, eyes raking over the other’s body to appreciate for a second. Then Dean tries to sit up, intending to get rid of the scraps of fabric around his torso and arms. Castiel stops him with a wicked grin. Before Dean can try to analyze what that grin could mean, Dean’s being rolled onto his stomach and the fabric is being put to quick use as bindings, wrapped and knotted tight around his wrists.

 

Dean groans into the mattress and bucks his hips. He never in a million years thought he’d miss being bound, but he did. He missed all of it.

 

At least, all of what happened at the end. With the good Castiel. The real Castiel.

 

And now Dean gets Castiel whenever he wants. Free

 

In restaurants. 

 

In hotels. 

 

In houses. 

 

Anywhere he fucking wants.

 

And, more importantly, he can always leave

 

Castiel drags his fingertips from Dean’s shoulder blades to the dips above his ass. “You’ve gained weight.”

 

Feeling self-conscious, Dean mumbles, “Not a lot.”

 

“No, you’re right. Not nearly enough. But damn, you look good, Dean. Healthy.” Castiel pauses, his right hand ghosting over Dean’s rib cage that still slightly shows beneath his skin. “Healthier,” he corrects.

 

“Cas, please. I need-” Dean doesn’t finish, but he doesn’t have to either. Castiel knows. He always knows.

 

Dean’s legs are pulled apart, then pushed forward until he’s on his face and left shoulder, looking at the abstract painting on the wall as his ass is presented in the air. 

 

He shivers as calloused fingers skim along his bare ass cheeks. As a thumb presses against his dry hole. As a sudden brush of lips falls on the center of his back. “Beautiful.”

 

Dean feels goosebumps erupt on his skin as he smiles into the mattress. “Thank you, Master.”

 

“Sir,” Castiel says quietly, hands coming down to rest on his hips. “Please, can you – I’d like you to call me sir, if you’re willing.”

 

“Okay.” Dean nods, immediately liking that. Master was the man Castiel’s father raised. Castiel isn’t Master. Not at all. It feels right that he’s no longer called that. “Then... sir?”

 

Dean can sense the way the weight lifts off of Castiel, even though he can’t see him. “Yes, pet?”

 

“Fuck me. Please. Make me yours again.”

 

He can’t see Castiel’s face, but he can imagine the man’s wicked grin. “My fucking pleasure.”

 

With a smile, Dean lifts his head to ask Castiel if he has lube. They’ll make it work if they don’t have any; obviously Dean can take a cock with nothing but spit, but lube would be prefer-

 

“Oooooh, shit,” Dean hisses through gritted teeth. He collapses on the bed and allows his body to turn to jelly as Castiel’s tongue does sinful things to his very neglected, very, very lonely hole.

 

Every time Castiel switches his technique, going from kitten licks to lapping at him, or going from teasing pokes to full-on tongue fucking him, Dean’s cock does a harsh bounce and fills more. By the time Castiel’s nipping at his ass cheek, the tip of his finger circling Dean’s hole in a teasing motion, Dean’s not sure how it’s humanly possible to be this hard without combusting.

 

“Fuck - please.”

 

“Please what?” Castiel asks with a sharp swat to Dean’s right ass cheek. 

 

“Sir!” Dean shouts. “Please, sir!” 

 

He can hear the grin in Castiel’s voice when the man growls, “That’s my good boy.” 

 

Dean parts his lips with the intent to… well, he doesn’t even know. Thank him, maybe. Or beg for more. Beg to be fucked. Whatever words were there a second ago though are gone. Evaporated. Shoved out of the way by Castiel’s long, thick cock pushing into him. He doesn’t know when Castiel lubed himself up, but Dean appreciates it. Not that he can voice that. He can’t voice anything at the moment. He’s almost positive he’s swallowed his tongue. 

 

“Pet?” Castiel asks, and by the tone of his voice Dean thinks maybe he’s asked it more than once. When he speaks again, there’s a tinge of panic in his voice. “Dean?”

 

“Yeah?” Dean gasps.

 

“Are you okay? Is this okay?”

 

Dean laughs into the mattress. “I haven’t felt this okay in two years, Cas.” 

 

He feels the man behind him relax, all of the tension in him dissipating with the reassurance. Castiel’s big hands splay across his ass cheeks before moving to hold his hips. The dull throb of fingertips pushing into his skin makes Dean shiver. 

 

“So beautiful, pet,” Castiel whispers breathlessly. 

 

“Thank you, sir.”

 

“Do you remember your safeword?”

 

Dean startles. He hadn’t expected that. For some reason, even though he knew things were different between them, he just… he guesses he didn’t expect that. Dean supposes he should have. 

 

Things really have changed. 

 

Castiel is really willing to do this with him. Meet him halfway. Hell, more than halfway if Dean’s being honest. Castiel gave up his entire world for Dean. Even offered for a completely vanilla relationship even though Dean knows every fiber of Castiel’s being desires control and dominance. 

 

Tears burn Dean’s eyes as he smiles. “Ocean.”

 

“Say it again.”

 

“Ocean.” Dean does his best to look over his shoulder, shivering when his eyes meet Castiel’s. “Ocean, sir. And I don’t wanna use it. I’m so fuckin’ far away from needing that. I’m like… in the desert.” 

 

This makes Castiel laugh unexpectedly. The movement sends vibrations through his body and into Dean, his cock getting jostled inside him. Dean’s stomach flutters at the pure happiness and ease between them in the moment - they’re laughing, during sex! Castiel Novak is fucking laughing with him, in a hotel room, cock buried deep inside of him, being gentle and talking about safewords. 

 

“Cas?”

 

Castiel stills, eyes narrowing in concern. “Yeah, baby?”

 

“I love you.”

 

All worry leaves Castiel’s face as he nods enthusiastically. “I love you too.”

 

“Good.” Dean relaxes against the mattress and wiggles his hips, chuckling softly when he hears Castiel groan behind him. 

 

“Oh, you think that’s funny?”

 

“Sure d- ooooooooooh, fuck,” Dean’s toes curl, and his body tenses in the best possible way as Castiel unleashes on him. His rhythm is punishing, each snap of his hips brutal, and Dean's body can't do anything but take it because of the grip on his hips. He should be jolting forward, but instead, he's trapped, forced to take the pleasure. 

 

And oh god, is there pleasure. 

 

So much pleasure.

 

Blushing, Dean admits on a gasp, "Gotta come. So - so close. Close. Si - sir, fuck, please!"

 

"Hold it."

 

"Can't!"

 

"Oh, yes, you can." Castiel uses the hands already on his body to pull him up so his back is against Castiel's chest. He wraps one hand around Dean's throat in a possessive grip and uses the other to slap Dean's genitals. Dean gasps and tries to pull forward but is stopped by Castiel's tightening fingers on his throat. "Come before permission and the second we get home, I'll cage you."

 

Dean releases his first sob, frustrated-overwhelmed-pleasured-relieved tears beginning to fall down his cheeks. He senses the shift in Castiel immediately. The way his thrusts shorten and his hand relaxes. Before he can ask Dean if he's okay, Dean assures him. "So good. So good, Cas. Sir. Fuck me. Make me come. Please. Please let me come, sir. Please."

 

With a growl, Castiel shoves Dean back down and holds his head against the mattress with one hand, the other pressing bruises into Dean's hip. "Such a needy fucking slut. I shouldn't even let you come. It doesn't matter if you get pleasure. Isn't that right, pet?"

 

"Yes, sir!" Dean half-yells, half-whines. He's thankful his body still naturally obeys Castiel because he has no fucking idea how he hasn't come yet. 

 

"What are you good for, pet?"

 

"Just holes. Give pleasure."

 

"You exist for what?" 

 

"Mast - your pleasure, Cas. Your pleasure."

 

The name must unravel Castiel's final shred of restraint because he breathes out like he's been punched and gasps, "Come for me," as his cock spurts inside Dean. 

 

Dean's cock listens to the order, not giving a shit what Dean's opinion is. Not that Dean isn't on board. Dean is so on board. 

 

The two of them collapse against the bed, Castiel still buried inside of him so that they're turned on their sides spooning. When they've caught their breath, Castiel presses a tender kiss to the crook of Dean's neck and asks, "You okay, beautiful?"

 

Dean nods, but it's slow and lazy. He's ready to fall asleep. 

 

Castiel chuckles. "Get some rest. I'll be here when you wake up."

 

And with a sigh of relief, Dean obeys. 

 

----

 

"Cas?!" Castiel runs out of the bathroom, the wet rag in his hand dripping since he didn't get a chance to wring it out. "Cas!?"

 

"Shhh, baby. I'm here. I'm right here."

 

Dean turns a tear-soaked face toward him and whispers in a broken, terrified voice, "I thought you left me again."

 

Again.

 

Castiel doesn't know how he finds the strength not to fall to his knees. His body must understand that he can't break right now. Castiel needs to be strong. For Dean. For them.

 

"I'm never leaving you again. I promise." He shows Dean the rag, wringing it out as he walks without caring that the floor gets wet. "Everything was starting to dry. Just wanted to clean you up so you woke up more comfortable." 

 

Dean sniffles and wipes his cheeks. "Oh. S - sorry."

 

"No apologies. You were scared. I would have been too."

 

"Really?"

 

"Of course." Castiel's heart races just thinking about it. "My biggest fear is you realizing you can't do this. Can't be with me. I'm terrified I'll lose you." 

 

Dean shakes his head and firmly says, "I'm not going anywhere."

 

"Okay." Castiel brings the rag to Dean's stomach where his cum dried. His hand trembles. "But you can. Always. Don't ever forget that, Dean."

 

Dean's hand covers his. "I know."

 

Together, they clean themselves up. Castiel removes the top blanket from the bed and tosses it on the floor. He turns the light off and climbs in beside Dean, the room illuminated in a soft glow from where sun filters in through the curtains. 

 

Dean presses his cheek against Castiel’s chest, one leg thrown over his legs and one arm wrapped tight around his torso. His fingertips dig into Castiel’s rib cage like he’s afraid Castiel might try to leave.

 

Castiel isn’t going anywhere. 

 

At all. 

 

Ever.

 

Castiel bends his arm so he can start to play with Dean’s sweaty hair. It curls slightly around his ears and falls in short strands along his forehead. As it slips through his fingers, Castiel points out, “It’s long.”

 

“Mmm.” Dean shifts but doesn’t open his eyes. “Cut it when I first got home. Didn’t – it wasn’t me anymore. Like it better like this.”

 

Not sure what to say, Castiel just hums under his breath and continues playing with the sweaty locks. 

 

Now it's Dean's turn to ask about a change. "You got a tattoo."

 

Castiel tenses as he feels Dean's fingers dust across his ribcage where the letters are etched forever in his skin. "Yes."

 

"It's a Metallica song. Two actually," Dean says, as if he's the one who got the tattoo. As if Castiel wouldn’t know. "Is that what inspired it?"

 

"Partly."

 

“Both of them? Or just one?”

 

“Both.”

 

Dean hums under his breath. "They're sad songs."

 

"Yes and no." Castiel’s eyes flick down to the black ink against Dean’s fingertips. “They’re both broken but together their pieces fit. It doesn’t matter the hell they’ve been through. It’s… unlonely, I guess? I don’t think that’s a word but that’s how it made me feel. Hope that one day I wouldn’t be alone. Maybe I’ll never be forgiven, but we could still move forward.”

 

Castiel laughs sardonically. “The other part of me just saw it as a reminder to myself. You have scars on your body from me. I knew you would, and you do. I figured it was only fair I was marked by what happened too.” 

 

One of Dean's fingertips starts to trace the slightly raised outlines of the letters. Castiel holds his breath, unsure of what to say or do. Unsure if he should explain himself further, or apologize, or stay silent. Unsure if Dean likes it or hates it. 

 

It takes Castiel a second to process when Dean's low voice begins to fill the air.

 

"Lay beside me and tell me what they've done

And speak the words I wanna hear to make my demons run

The door is locked now but it's open if you're true

If you can understand the me then I can understand the you

Lay beside me, under wicked sky

Through black of day, dark of night, we share this, paralyzed

The door cracks open but there's no sun shining through

Black heart scarring darker still but there's no sun shining through

No there's no sun shining through, no there's no sun shining

What I've felt, what I've known

Turn the pages, turn the stone

Behind the door, should I open it for you?

Yeah, what I've felt, what I've known

Sick and tired, I stand alone

Could you be there

'Cause I'm the one who waits for you

Or are you unforgiven too?"

 

The quiet is almost painful. Castiel swallows around a mass in his throat and blinks away tears. "That was beautiful."

 

Even in the dim lighting, Castiel can see Dean blush furiously. "You've always wanted me to sing for you."

 

"Yes," Castiel whispers, remembering that day all those years ago, the two of them standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Two men who were about to flip each other's worlds. "Thank you, Dean."

 

"You're not unforgiven, Cas."

 

Castiel's eyes slide closed. "But I'm not forgiven either, am I?" 

 

The following silence isn't so much painful as it is heavy and… important. 

 

So very important. 

 

Instead of answering, Dean pushes up on his elbow and presses his lips to Castiel's in a slow, deliberate kiss. When they part, the silence is finally peaceful. 

 

Castiel doesn't stay quiet for long. He can't. There’s so much he wants to ask. He only got eight phone calls over the course of nearly two years. Dean’s been living a life during all of that. He had mentioned moving for a while. New friends at Christmas. Castiel wants to know about every adventure - good or bad. He wants to know about the people he met and the things he did. Every time he smiled. Every time he felt happy. 

 

After placing a kiss to Dean’s forehead, Castiel ventures out and asks, “When you moved last year, where did you go?”

 

“When?”

 

“Was there more than one time?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Castiel looks up at the ceiling with a slight smile. “All of them. Every time. If you don’t mind.”

 

This time when Dean shifts, his eyes do open. He looks at Castiel’s chest and begins to draw random shapes right over his heartbeat. It takes him a minute to speak again, but Castiel doesn’t mind. 

 

He’d wait forever for Dean Winchester.

 

“After being home for a while, it just got too much. That first year, Cas… to say it was hard is such a fucking understatement, you know? I was trying so damn hard to be who they all needed me to be. I went to that fucking therapist. Cut my hair. Tried to get back in my normal routine. Worked at the shop. Went to Sammy’s games. But it was like I was trying to crawl out of my skin. Or, maybe more accurately, trying to shove myself back into my skin? I dunno. It wasn’t right.” He draws a heart once. Twice. “I woke up one morning and just knew I had to get out. If I was ever going to survive, I had to get away from the town and the people who knew me before.”

 

“Where’d you go?”

 

“Oh boy. A few places, to be honest. Drove until it felt right to stop. Spent a few nights in Las Vegas. Got so drunk off my ass, I don’t remember much. Actually, I’m a bit surprised I never called you. When I sobered up, first thing I did was check my call log for your name. After that-”

 

“Well, now, wait a minute. I need more than that. What was Vegas like? What did you do? Other than drink, I mean. Did it help at all? Did you meet anyone?”

 

Dean pauses, his fingertips resting just beside one of Castiel’s nipples. “Are you asking if I met a guy there? Like if I had sex?”

 

“No.” Castiel tightens his grip on Dean and looks down at him, meeting those beautiful green eyes so he can show him how serious he is. “No, Dean. I don’t care about any of that. Not unless you want to share it with me. Okay? I just – I just want to know everything you’re willing to tell me about these past two years. You’re a new person. Not the old Dean, but not the Dean I knew either. I’d like to get to know this Dean. If he’s willing.”

 

Even though he ducks his head, Castiel definitely still catches Dean’s smile. 

 

“Vegas was good for getting shit out of my system, I guess. No one was looking at me. No one gave two shits what little ol’ me was up to on that strip. It was fair game.”

 

“What did you get out of your system?” Castiel asks carefully.

 

“Drinking.” Dean pauses. Breathes. “Men.”

 

“Men,” Castiel repeats.

 

“Yeah. Tried like hell to hook up there. Figured if I couldn’t get laid in fucking Vegas, I was hopeless.”

 

Castiel makes a noise in the back of his throat. “Well, now, you most definitely are not hopeless.”

 

Dean shrugs a shoulder. “I was with everyone else.”

 

“Can’t say I’m terribly upset about that, as selfish as it is.”

 

“I’m not that worked up about it either. Honestly, after Vegas, I started to let go of that obsessive need to have sex with someone. Who the fuck cared? My life had been defined by sex with you. Even at the beach house, that’s what we were. Master and slave. Sex slave. Willing or not, that’s who I was. Once I let go of that, it was like I was free to figure out what else I was about now.”

 

“What’d you figure out?”

 

Dean smiles brightly. “A lot. It was good for me, I think. I mean, it wasn’t boom magic right after Vegas. But it started then. Baby steps. I settled down in Austin, Texas. Place was full of color and life and art and music. I found someone who put an ad out for needing a roommate. She was nice, funny, a little crazy but in a good way. She was a she, which was pretty important to me for obvious reasons. And she got it. Didn’t push me on things. When I started sobbing after she dropped a pot in the kitchen once, she just brought me a mug of tea and sat beside me. Didn’t ask questions or try to make me talk about it. She realized quick I was afraid of loud noises, so she made sure to never slam doors or bang around or anything. If she wanted my attention, she made sure to walk toward me from the front and not the back. She never tapped me on the shoulder or snuck up on me. Never raised her voice. She never grilled me on my past or my family or anything. Her whole friend group was made up of misfits, so I sort of just fit in, which was nice.”

 

This makes Castiel smile again. “Good, Dean. I’m glad you had that. Do you mind if I ask why you decided to go back to Kansas then?”

 

“Guess I just felt like I needed to. Like it was time. I sort of, kind of, not really, but sort of, figured out who I was. Or at least who I wanted to be. Thought maybe it’d be good to do that back home. I don’t fucking know.” Dean absentmindedly tangles his fingers together against Castiel’s chest. Immediately, Castiel lifts his arm and slots their hands together, holding onto Dean with a very purposeful grasp. When Dean closes his eyes, a tear slips down his cheek, and his lips pull up into a sad smile. “It was stupid. Going back. For a bit, there, I regressed completely. I’m sure you remember the phone call that came after that.”

 

Castiel tries to smile but fails miserably. Instead, he ends up just notching his head in a slight nod. “I remember.”

 

“Yeah…”

 

“But then you apologized and sort of disappeared for a while. Until yesterday.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Are you willing to tell me where you went?”

 

Dean squeezes his hand, not saying yes but not saying no, either. He drags his thumb along the soft skin of Castiel’s pointer finger in the meantime. Not sure if Dean is even going to answer him, Castiel relaxes into the mattress and lets his eyes fall shut. When he inhales, his senses are filled with Dean

 

It’s the calmest he’s felt in two years.

 

“Italy,” Dean whispers a few minutes later.

 

Not wanting to scare him off, Castiel tries to think of a non-intrusive question. The best he can come up with is, “Did you enjoy yourself?”

 

After a pause, Dean chuckles and rolls so his chin is resting on Castiel’s chest. He looks up at Castiel with a goofy smile. “Did I enjoy myself? It was Italy. Of course I did.”

 

“You never know. I took one trip to Germany that turned into a nightmare. Couldn’t get out of that country fast enough.”

 

“What happened?”

 

“Well, it was just after my father’s death, and suddenly I was expected to go out in the real world and interact with people. Imagine my surprise when people want you to be polite and kind, instead of bark orders and make threats.” Castiel laughs softly, able to see it as amusing now that he’s in the headspace he’s in. “I was there to do business, thank god, so the guy I met up with understood. He told me I had to treat everyone ‘normal’ as I would a fellow Master. It blew my mind.”

 

“You just expected people to do whatever you said?”

 

Castiel blushes. “Well – kind of? I mean, my father had told me that the outside world wasn’t like ours. I knew what we did was illegal. What we did was a secret. It’s not like I ordered the man at baggage claim to get on his knees and present for me. But I figured people would be more efficient. More respectful. If you couldn’t tell when we met, I felt extremely entitled.”

 

With a sad, understanding smile, Dean says, “That must have been really hard for you.”

 

“Yes. Poor little rich boy rapist, confused at the airport.” Castiel grinds his teeth before scoffing. “Don’t feel bad for me, Dean.”

 

“Cas, you couldn’t control who you were raised to be. You were basically raised in a box where your father was law.”

 

“He’s been dead seven years, Dean.” Castiel meets Dean’s gaze, his blue eyes drowning in self-hatred. “What was my excuse for those first five years?”

 

Dean goes quiet, softly trailing the pad of his finger along Castiel’s chest. Down his side. Around each letter of his tattoo. That's where his hand comes to rest, his thumb right against the U. 

 

“I learned to cook," Dean says quietly. 

 

“Hmm?” Castiel looks down at him, coming back to the moment.

 

“In Italy. I went to a six-week culinary school there. Afterward, I went with two friends I made to this little town outside of Venice, where one of the friend’s had a grandmother who owned this cool little restaurant. I stayed for another week, learning from her too.”

 

Unable to stop the emotion that suddenly slams into him, Castiel barely croaks out, “That’s great, Dean.”

 

Dean squints at him, eyebrows pulled in. “What’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m just happy for you.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Of course.” Castiel turns their bodies so Dean is half-way beneath him. As he starts to trace the outline of Dean’s face, a smile Castiel can’t contain splits his face open. “I can just see you there. Cooking. Making friends. Being safe and happy and inspired. It means – Dean, that means the world to me. That you finally found that.”

 

Dean squirms, clearly trying to hide his face, but Castiel holds his chin in a tight grip to keep him on display. It just makes Dean’s blush ten times worse. Castiel kisses each red cheek, then rubs the tip of his nose against Dean’s. “I’ve missed that blush of yours.”

 

“Go away,” Dean grumbles, gently pushing a hand at Castiel’s face. “I hate you.”

 

“No you don’t.”

 

“Mmm.” Dean drops his hand and grins up at him. “You’re right. I love you.”

 

Castiel’s heart skips. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to that. “I love you, too, Dean.”

 

This time, when Dean buries his face in Castiel’s chest to hide his blush, Castiel lets him. It’s the perfect opportunity to hold the boy tightly against him. To savor the feel of their bodies fitting together. Castiel can’t help but notice it’s the first time he’s felt whole in two very long years.

 

“Do you think you’d cook for me some time?”

 

Castiel feels Dean nod against his chest. “I’d like to do that, yeah.”

 

“Yeah?” Castiel asks, his heart pounding at the confirmation that he’ll see Dean at least one more time.

 

“Mhhm.” Dean pulls away until he can see Castiel’s face. “Rain check, though? I have to leave in the morning.”

 

Throat feeling raw and constricted, Castiel rasps a shaky, “Oh?”

 

“I booked a round trip.” Dean looks off to the side. “Flight leaves at 8:20 from SEA-Tac.”

 

“I’ll buy you a new ticket.”

 

“No, Cas. I - I should go home.”

 

Castiel has trouble taking in his next breath. “What did I do wrong? How - how can I fix this? Tell me how to fix this.”

 

“Woah, hey, calm down.” Dean cups the side of his face, giving him a soft smile. “There’s nothing to fix. I wanted to see you, and I really liked seeing you, but this isn’t where I live.”

 

“It could be.”

 

Dean’s smile turns sad and distant. “Not yet.”

 

“Yet?” Castiel tightens his grip on Dean’s body, fingers digging into his sides in a possessive but non-harmful way. “Promise it’s a yet?”

 

“I mean, I can’t promise we’ll settle down here specifically, Cas. But if we’re gonna make this work? Yeah. Probably should live in the same zip code. Hell, the same time zone.”

 

“I can move to Lawrence.”

 

This makes Dean chuckle darkly. “My dad would have you dead within 24 hours. Plus, you have a house on the beach, right?”

 

“Correct.”

 

“Yeah, I ain’t passing that up. My view in Lawrence is of a wrecking yard.”

 

“Okay.” Castiel drags his fingertips along Dean’s spine, smiling when he shivers. “How long until I see you again?”

 

“Not long, Cas. Promise.”

 

“Okay.” Castiel nods, releasing a deep breath. Trust. This relationship has to be built on trust. If Dean promises, Castiel believes him. “Okay.”

 

Dean rests his cheek against Castiel’s chest, caught between being really horny and being exhausted. They only have a handful of hours until his flight. Should that really be wasted sleeping?

 

A low chuckle lets him know that Castiel is fully aware of this dilemma, feeling Dean’s erection as it grows. Dean joins him with a soft laugh of his own as he grinds his heavy cock against Castiel’s thigh. The growl that escapes Castiel is sexy enough to give Dean a head rush, and he’s dizzy with lust when Castiel flips him over and roughly pulls his arms above his head. 

 

Before Dean can even process what’s happening, Castiel has grabbed the scraps of fabric he used before and wrapped them expertly around Dean’s wrists. The binding is nice and tight, digging in just enough to remind Dean it’s there without causing harm. Dean’s breathing slows, and his heart rate evens out as he slips into the safety of the moment. 

 

“Safeword, pet?”

 

“Ocean, sir.” 

 

“Good boy.” Castiel grins at him. “Such a good boy for me.” 

 

Dean’s stomach flutters from the praise. He watches with hooded eyes as Castiel begins to kiss his way down his body. Then he’s throwing his head back and floating away in a moment of bliss as Castiel’s lips expertly wrap around his cock like the man’s been sucking it all his life. 

 

“Fuck, I love you,” Dean whispers into the air. 

 

Castiel pulls off of him, large hand gripping his cock so it’s not lonely while he speaks. “I love you too, pet. Now be quiet. Don’t want the staff to hear how much of a slut you are.”

Chapter Text

Dean presses his forehead against the cool glass of the airplane window, staring down at Kansas as it comes into view. He used to be petrified of flying. It used to give him awful attacks that usually kept him from being able to travel that way at all. Now, though, Dean’s not bothered by it. It’s the ultimate freedom. A plane has the power to bring him anywhere. 

 

A plane brought him home. 

 

A plane brought him to Italy.

 

A plane brought him back to Castiel. 

 

Once the plane lands, Dean goes through the motions required to get home. Everything is a blur. Just a ton of people and noises. His mind is too distracted to take it all in, occupied by thoughts of Castiel. 

 

It isn’t until Dean’s behind the wheel of Baby that he even realizes he’s retrieved his luggage, purchased a water bottle - which he at some point drank ¾ of - taken the tram, and put his bag in his trunk. 

 

All he remembers clearly is the dull ache of longing and regret. 

 

The moment he gets home, his brain explodes. He takes out a notebook and a pen and begins to plan. 

 

Seattle is an expensive place to live, Dean learns quickly. In Lawrence, his one bedroom apartment is only 350 a month, which includes utilities. In Seattle, a studio apartment is over a grand. Dean spends the first two hours after getting home staring at two things; apartments.com, and his bank account. 

 

He spends his entire day in bed, not dragging himself out of it until he knows the auto shop is closed for business, the sun setting in the sky. Knowing he has a lot of decisions to make, he brings a bottle of Jack Daniels with him.

 

At least with a wrench in his hand, whiskey on his tongue, and motor oil in the air, Dean can think clearer. 

 

Dean still has money left over from Castiel - plenty of money - but he doesn’t want to use it. The idea of being reliant on Castiel financially doesn’t sit right with Dean. Plus, it’d be nice to keep it for emergencies. 

 

That leaves Dean with just over a month’s worth of rent in his account. Factor in the cost of groceries, utilities, gas, and other random expenses, and he’ll be in debt before the first month is even over. 

 

Basically, if he’s not willing to involve Castiel somehow in his financial plan, he’s fucked. 

 

All of this is weighing on Dean’s mind when he’s still in the shop at 3 in the morning, working on a 1991 Chevy Silverado in the dim lighting. He sings along with The Outfield’s Your Love from under the hood, which is why he doesn’t notice when he’s no longer alone. 

 

When he notices, he jumps a foot, his panic kicking in as he wacks his head off of the hood. 

 

“Fuck!” Dean stumbles back, one hand grabbing his head, the other going out in the air like he’s going to hit the person. His breathing escalates and his mind starts flashing faces. Men. So many men. All leering. All laughing. All there to hurt him. 

 

When Dean’s vision finally clears and he realizes who is standing there, he sucks in a breath of relief. “Dammit, dad. Warn a guy.” 

 

“Sorry, boy. I thought ya heard the door.” 

 

“No. I - no.” Dean rubs his chest, the panic attack that almost took over still looming beneath the surface, just waiting for an excuse to burst. He hopes his father can’t notice that his hand is trembling. 

 

John stares at him for a long, drawn-out moment that makes Dean’s anxiety worsen. The sigh he releases is loaded and familiar. Dean knows that sound well, having learned and memorized it over the past two years. 

 

“It makes me sick that you went to see him, Dean,” John says, stating the obvious. 

 

“Yeah.” Dean scratches the back of his head. “I know.”

 

Out of nowhere, John takes Dean’s elbow and pulls him, sending Dean stumbling so John can get a better look at him. Dean closes his eyes when he feels his father’s calloused thumb brush across his wrist, knowing what the problem is. “He restrained you.”

 

“W - with my consent.”

 

“You’re such a fucking idiot! You let him fucking restrain you?” Dean flinches, stepping back the second his father drops his arm. He watches through his eyelashes as his father begins to pace the auto shop floor. “What would you have done, Dean? Huh? What if he had taken you again?”

 

Dean squeezes his eyes shut, not wanting to see his father as he admits, “Maybe part of me woulda been relieved.”

 

“Dean-”

 

“I know.”

 

“This isn’t fucking healthy.”

 

“I’m aware.” Dean finally gets the strength to open his eyes, tilting his chin up to look his father head-on. “Dad, I - I can’t stop. I love him.”

 

“Jesus, Dean.” John turns, dragging his hand along a tool bench and sending the tools flying across the room. Dean flinches, his mind flickering to the sound of a whip in the air, a jar of oil thunking against the floor making the same noise as the second after a whip hits, when the crack echoes in the empty room of his cell. 

 

John turns back to him, panting. “You didn’t even tell me you were fucking leaving! Just disappeared!”

 

“I left a note,” Dean manages to whisper, staring off at that jar of oil.

 

“Yeah.” John huffs a laugh. “A fucking note, Dean. I wasn’t sure if you were ever gonna come back. Wasn’t sure why you left in the first place. Wasn’t even sure if it was really a note from you!”

 

“It was my handwriting, dad.” Dean turns back to the vehicle he was working on and pretends to continue. In reality, he just keeps his hand inside of the engine, hiding it as it violently trembles around the wrench he’s holding in a death grip. He stares without blinking, feeling like he might cry. 

 

The song on the radio switches to Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion

 

“I’m sure that bastard could make you write a fucking note.” 

 

“I would’ve put Poughkeepsie in the note if that were the case, dad. Just because I’m some weak, pathetic idiot that fell in love with his captor doesn’t mean I forgot everything you taught me.” Dean shoves off of the vehicle, facing his father again. The sudden rush of anger is helping him forget about the anxiety and sadness, giving him a false sense of security. “I’m still a Winchester. I’m still your son.”

 

John’s upper lip curls in a snarl. “No son of mine would have fallen in love with a monster.”

 

The breath in Dean’s lungs burns, making him wish it wasn’t there at all. Making him wish he never had to breathe again. “D - dad.”

 

“Don’t.” John sticks a finger in Dean’s face. “You make a decision, Dean. Your family, or that sadistic monster.”

 

“Dad-”

 

“Enough!” John reaches out, striking Dean across the face. Dean brings a shaking hand up to his cheek as his first tear falls. The laugh from his father turns his stomach. “Did you cry for him too when he hurt you, or do you like it as long as his cock is involved?”

 

The sob Dean’s been trying very hard to contain finally bubbles past his lips. He hunches his shoulders in and continues to cry, knowing there’s no way in hell he’s going to be able to stop at this point. He just settles for burying his face in his hands, hoping to muffle the embarrassing sounds. 

 

In the distance, Dean hears the door to the shop open. Then, in a loud voice, so Dean can hear over his own cries, John says, “You have a choice to make. Me and Sam, or him.”

 

Dean whips his head up and half-shouts/half-sobs, “You don’t get to decide for Sam!” 

 

“Oh, but I do.” John’s eyes scan Dean’s body as if he’s searching for something. When he settles his cold gaze on Dean’s face again, he says, “Is he worth it, Dean? Ask yourself that before you fuck up the rest of your life. Is he fucking worth it?”

 

When John slams the door, Dean curls in on himself and begins to gently rock back and forth. His lungs refuse to allow any air in, no matter how many times he tries to coax them. He ends up in the small bathroom of the shop, spilling his guts into the toilet. The violent heaves of his body only worsen after that. 

 

He yanks his phone out of his pocket and collapses to the ground. His eyes are too blurry to look at the screen, but Dean’s fingers somehow manage to dial the number he has memorized. Castiel answers almost immediately. 

 

“Dean?”

 

Wiping his hand across his nose, Dean tries to take in a breath and steady himself. “Hey.”

 

“Dean, what’s wrong? What’s going on, baby?”

 

“I just-” Dean hangs his head, moving the phone away from his mouth for a moment as he continues to force air into his lungs. He sniffles again, fresh tears falling down his cheeks. “Maybe this was a mistake.”

 

This.” Castiel goes quiet after the one word, probably hoping Dean will clarify. When Dean doesn’t, Castiel guesses. “Us getting back together, you mean.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“What changed your mind?”

 

“Winchesters don’t fall in love with monsters,” Dean whispers, his father’s voice echoing in his mind, the burn of his father’s hand still lingering on his cheek. 

 

“That sounds like something John Winchester said. Not Dean.”

 

Dean laughs softly, feeling a little better just from the fact that Castiel can pick up on something like that. It doesn’t fix anything, though. Not in the slightest. “The world is against us, Cas.”

 

“Fuck the world, then.”

 

“It’s not that simple!”

 

“Says who?” Dean can practically hear Castiel’s cocky smirk. “I might be this new guy that’s a total sap who cries at The Notebook, but don’t fool yourself, Dean Winchester. I’ll burn this world down for you. For us. I dare it to try and stop me.”

 

Dean picks at a non-existent thread on his flannel. A weak smile pulls at his lips. "You cried watching The Notebook?" 

 

"Shut up," Castiel says with no real emotion behind it. 

 

The smile slips as Dean remembers the past few minutes. "He hit me.”

 

Who?” The malice in just that one short word makes Dean shiver, his cock filling. It does something crazy to Dean’s mind to hear Castiel turn into the monster from before over Dean’s protection and care. Don’t get him wrong, he’s terrified of the darkness inside of the man he loves, but when it’s not directed at him or being used as a catalyst for rape, Dean finds it particularly sexy. 

 

“John.”

 

“I’ll fucking-”

 

“Please, don’t finish that,” Dean says with a desperation in his voice that makes him sick. “It doesn’t matter what you do, anyway. None of it matters. If it’s not him that ruins us, it’s Sam. Or Bobby. Or anyone in this whole fucking town, since they all despise you from what they’ve heard in the rumor mill.”

 

“Dean, none of that matters.”

 

“Sam matters,” Dean growls. “Bobby matters.”

 

He hears Castiel suck in a sharp breath. “You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry, Dean. I know they are. They are very important. I just meant the rumors and opinions. I mean, John clearly won’t support you, but what about Sam or Bobby?”

 

“I doubt it.” Dean squeezes his eyes shut. “John said he won’t let Sammy near me if I don’t choose them over you.”

 

“He asked you to choose?”

 

“Yeah.” Dean releases another one of those airy laughs that’s not fully of humor in the least. “Right after hitting me and asking if I cried for you like I cried for him, or if it was different with you since you’d fuck me after.”

 

Dean hears some movement on the other end of the phone. “It’s not fair. For him to make you choose, I mean. That’s not fair, Dean.”

 

“Yeah. I know.”

 

“Are you sure you have to choose? Between me and Sam, or me and Bobby? Maybe those two are willing to keep trying to rebuild a relationship with you despite what’s happening between the two of us.”

 

When Dean says nothing for a very long time, Castiel whispers, “Dean, I love you. I love you so much. Please give me a chance. Give us a chance.”

 

“I love you, too.” 

 

“Then try. Come to Seattle. Come be with me. We’ll try. We’ll make things work. There’s still time for your family to come around, Dean. They love you, and they’ll see how much I love you too. How much you love them and me. How it doesn’t have to be one or the other.”

 

Knowing Castiel could possibly be right, Dean admits to the one thing he’s terrified of. The one question in his mind that’s been poking and shaking and screaming and hitting for the past two years. “Maybe love isn’t enough, Cas.”

 

“Dean-”

 

Dean hangs up before Castiel can say anything more. He pushes up to his feet on shaking legs and walks back to the vehicle he was working on, ducking his head beneath the hood again. He shuts his mind off and works. 

 

No. That’s a lie. 

 

Dean tries to shut his mind off. 

 

But he can’t. He’s never been able to on his own. 

 

He needs Castiel. 

 

Dean needs Castiel, but he needs his family too, and he’s not sure what to do with that. 

 

Stumbling over to his bottle of Jack, Dean washes down the taste of bile and slumps to the floor. He pulls out his phone. 

 

He dials a new number. 

 

Dean's heart races, the beat of it so intense it clogs the bottom of his throat. He takes another swig of Jack Daniels as the phone continues ringing. It's late. Sam's probably sleeping. Or out having fun like a typical college kid. He could be -

 

"Hello?"

 

Dean nearly drops the phone. "S - Sammy?" 

 

"Dean. Hey. Wow, it's… 3 in the morning."

 

"I know. I'm sorry. Did I wake you?" 

 

"You're fine, man. I've missed hearing from you. How ya been?"

 

"I've been better." Dean chuckles darkly. "Been much, much worse."

 

Sam laughs along with him, and it feels good that he can do that now. That the two of them can look back at that dark time two years ago and see it as something manageable. Put it in perspective. 

 

Maybe Castiel was right. 

 

"I went to visit Cas," he says softly, deciding to test the waters. 

 

There's a pause, but it's much briefer than he expected, and when Sam speaks, there's the ghost of a smile in his voice. "Was it good?"

 

"Yeah, Sammy. Fuck. It was… it was what I needed. Exactly what I needed."

 

"You sound happy."

 

"I am." Dean closes his eyes. "I was."

 

"What happened?" he asks in concern. Then he growls, "What did he do?"

 

"Nothing! Nothing, Sammy. He's- god, I know you hate him, I do, but he's so good. He's the man I always knew existed inside of him. He's getting therapy and working his shit out. He's not angry or bossy or commanding, and it's not a fight for him. I mean, I see moments, when he wants to step in, like when I'm doing something he doesn't think is good for me, but a lot of the time, it feels natural. He even kisses differently. It's still -"

 

"Eww, no. Stop right there. Not necessary."

 

Dean laughs, slapping his forehead. "Okay, yeah, sorry. Got carried away there."

 

"You need a friend you can talk about that nasty shit to." Dean can hear Sam's smile. "I'll be here for anything that does not involve the bedroom."

 

Dean's heart stutters, his throat closing. "You'll be here?"

 

"Of course, Dean. I hate him, I do, and I'm not sure I'll ever stop, but if he's the one who can make you smile again? Make you want to wake up in the morning? Then I'm on board, Dean. I'm here."

 

Without meaning to, Dean falls apart. 

Chapter Text

The time between the first and second phone call from Dean is only 17 minutes. 

 

It's the longest 17 minutes in existence. 

 

Castiel answers with an unsure, "Hello?" 

 

"Hey…" 

 

"Dean. Hello. Hey."

 

Dean laughs softly. "Hey, dork." 

 

"You sound happier."

 

"Yeah… I'm sorry. I shoulda calmed down before calling you. My head was just spinning and I'm… a mess." 

 

"You should call me when that's happening, baby. That's what I'm here for."

 

"I know…" Dean clears his throat and sniffles. "I talked to Sammy."

 

Castiel's chest unfurls and he can breathe again. He talked to Sam. From what Castiel has heard, Sam would never treat Dean the way John did. Add in Dean's change in mood and it's clear the call went well. "What'd he have to say?" 

 

"He said I don't have to pick." 

 

Castiel grins so fast and hard his cheeks ache. "Dean, that's… wow. That's great." 

 

"Yeah. Yeah, it is." There's a stretch of silence while Castiel soaks in his relief. Then Dean whispers a confession like it's dirty and evil. "I woulda picked you."

 

"Yeah?" 

 

"Yes. In a heartbeat." Dean laughs sardonically, and Castiel can just picture him sitting there with his head hung, shaking it angrily at himself. "What kind of brother does that make me? What kind of person?"

 

"It makes you human."

 

Dean doesn't say anything, which Castiel takes as a win. The two of them sit in silence for a much longer period of time. Minutes pass as they just enjoy the sound of the other breathing.

 

At some point, Castiel hears a car door shut and he asks, "Where are you?"

 

"Just got back to my place." Dean heaves a sigh. "I… uh… I probably shouldn't have driven."

 

Castiel's stomach twists. "Why is that?"

 

"I was drinking tonight." Castiel stays silent, gritting his teeth to keep from bursting in anger. His rapid heartbeat makes him nearly miss Dean's soft, "I don't know why I just told you that."

 

"Because I'm your dominant and boyfriend, and you know I'm in charge of making you safe and happy and cared for." It isn't until the words are out of his mouth that Castiel realizes he had no right to say any of them. "Sorry, that's not - I know I'm not-"

 

"No," Dean says loudly, cutting him off. "You are. I want that. God, Cas, I want that so bad." 

 

Castiel's eyes close in relief. "Good. That's good."

 

"Good."

 

"But that means you need to be punished, Dean." 

 

He swears he can hear Dean wince, even though it's not possible. "But we didn't set rules yet."

 

"Fine. I'll give you that." Castiel relaxes back in his bed, smirking to himself. "We could compromise."

 

"Oh?"

 

"Do you trust me?"

 

There's no hesitation. "Always." 

 

"Go to your room, strip completely, grab your favorite toy - and don't pretend you don't have any because I know my little slut wouldn't be able to survive without things to shove up his needy hole - and lay back on your bed."

 

The shuddery breath that fills Castiel's ear makes him grin. He pulls himself free of his underwear and begins to casually stroke himself as he listens to the sounds of Dean obeying him. 

 

After a minute or so, Dean asks in a trembling voice, "Now what, sir?" 

 

"What toy do you have?"

 

"A prostate massager." 

 

"Perfect." Castiel swipes his thumb over his leaking slit and spreads it around the crown of his cock. "Get yourself ready and put it in. Do not turn it on. Tell me when it's inserted." 

 

"Yes, sir." There's the distant click of a lube bottle opening, then a few gasps and moans. The massager must be relatively small, or Dean must be in a hurry, because he's quickly telling Castiel it's in. 

 

"Good." 

 

The silence makes him chuckle. He can just see Dean lying there on the bed. Confused. Waiting for him to say something. To give an order. 

 

His sub makes it about 90 seconds before he's asking, "What next, sir?"

 

"Nothing. Lay there." 

 

"J - just lay here?"

 

"Yup. Hands above your head. Legs spread. Ass full." 

 

A tiny whine escapes Dean's lips, but he doesn't argue. After the shuffling stops and Castiel assumes Dean is in the new position, Castiel purrs, "Good boy."

 

"Thank you, sir."

 

Castiel pours lube on his cock. Lots of it. He wants his handjob to be nice and loud. If the gasps and sounds of fidgeting against bedsheets are any indication, Dean can hear every slick movement of Castiel's hand. 

 

He lasts longer than Castiel thought he would. He'll give him that. 

 

But then, "Sir?"

 

"Yes?"

 

"Are you touching yourself?"

 

"Mmmm." Castiel bucks his hips and moans for Dean. "Sure am."

 

"C-can I touch myself?"

 

"No." Castiel speeds up his hand, the filthy sounds echoing in the room. "You can turn on your massager, though."

 

There's a sigh of relief, which is hilarious considering what Castiel has planned, but he makes sure not to laugh so he doesn't give himself away. "Thank you, sir."

 

When Castiel hears the soft buzzing, he begins. "You're lucky I'm not there, pet. Your ass would be red already."

 

"Sorry, sir," Dean whispers. He sounds it too. Very sorry. 

 

Castiel doesn't care.

 

"Could have hurt someone. Or gotten yourself hurt. Or killed." Castiel growls, speeding up his hand. "I could whip your ass for hours. Make you choke on my cock until you're crying. Fuck you hard with your useless, needy cock in a cage."

 

"Please!" Dean moans. "Please."

 

"Please what, slut? Are you begging me to hurt you like that? To use you like you're just a toy?"

 

The sound Dean makes is caught somewhere between a whine and a groan. "No, sir. Please - please let me touch."

 

"No."

 

"Ple-"

 

"Enough!" Castiel snaps, his voice sharp and angry. "Stuff your mouth with your underwear."

 

"Sir-"

 

"Now! Take it out if you need to safeword, and only to safeword."

 

There's a sniffle. Then, "Yes, sir."

 

Castiel softens. "What's your safeword, Dean."

 

"Ocean."

 

"You need to use it?"

 

"No, sir."

 

"Okay. Do as you're told then."

 

"Yes, sir." 

 

Castiel begins jacking himself again. He's already close, but he wants to draw it out a bit. Make Dean's punishment last. If they were together, the boy would be in for at least an hour or two of torment, but since Castiel won't be there to care for him after, he's luckily getting off with this. He'll have to listen to his master - dominant Castiel corrects himself, the title somehow feeling more right than master ever did - get off, then go to bed horny. Not bad in the grand scheme of things. Not bad at all. 

 

Of course, since he's losing his touch and becoming a damn softie, Castiel has to remind himself of this multiple times as he fucks his fist and scolds and teases Dean. It's hard not to hate every sob or whimper that makes it through the underwear and into the speaker of Dean's phone. 

 

They really need to figure this distance thing out because Castiel can already feel weird and disconnected knowing he won't be there for Dean after this. 

 

Aftercare, Castiel suddenly remembers. He's read so damn much on aftercare. Castiel will figure out a way to do it over the phone. It'll make both of them feel better. 

 

Most importantly, it'll make Dean feel better.

 

"So close, baby," Castiel growls into the phone, his orgasm barreling forward now that his concern about aftercare is dealt with. "So fucking close."

 

Dean shouts into his underwear, but Castiel has absolutely no idea what he's saying. Not that it matters. 

 

"Do you like listening to your dom get himself off, slut?"

 

There's a needy whine but then a very clear, "Mmmhhhmmm!"

 

"Yeah. I know you do. Such a good boy for me. Remembers my pleasure is what matters. You're lucky I'm even letting you be here for this. Be a part of it. This is nice of me, isn't it?" 

 

A sob. Then, "Mhhhm."

 

Castiel hisses through his teeth, eyes squeezing shut. "Gonna come. If only you weren't so bad tonight. Then you could be coming with me."

 

The next sob is quieter. 

 

Sad. 

 

Castiel releases a puff of air and spills all over his hand and stomach. He allows himself five seconds after the last spurt of cum to enjoy his bliss. Then he snaps into focus. 

 

"Such a good boy for me. So fucking good, baby. Turn your massager off and remove it. Carefully. Can you take your underwear out for me? Let me hear you? Let me hear that pretty voice of yours."

 

The hitched sobs become louder as the underwear is removed. "S - sor - so so sorry - 'm sorry sir. So sorry. Never do it again. Sor - sorry! Please, so sorry. Don't wanna be bad!"

 

"Shhh, now. You're not bad. You're good. So very good for me, Dean. You just did one bad thing and now it's over, remember? It's all over now. No more worrying about it."

 

"O - okay," Dean cries. 

 

"Can you tell me why you were punished, baby?"

 

Dean whimpers. "Because I broke a rule."

 

"Partly. Though, as you said, we haven't established rules yet."

 

"Then… what?"

 

"You put yourself in danger. That's rule number one, always. You promised me two years ago you would stay strong and survive, and tonight I could have lost you."

 

"Oh."

 

Castiel closes his eyes, pretending Dean is in bed beside him instead of 1,864 miles away. "I'm not angry, Dean. I was afraid. I can't ever lose you. Not like that. If you leave me, I'll survive, but I wouldn't survive you dying. Understood?"

 

"Yeah, Cas. I'm really fucking sorry."

 

Castiel smiles. There's his Dean again. He had missed him. As much as he loves the boy his boyfriend becomes when he slips into his submissive side fully, Castiel will forever be in love with this part of him. This was the part, after all, that changed Castiel completely. 

 

"Promise you'll be more careful? Please?"

 

"Promise."

 

"Good boy." Castiel rolls off the bed and walks to his bathroom. As he begins to clean himself up, he asks, "Are you okay?"

 

The pause is too long for his liking. "Yeah."

 

"Please be honest, Dean."

 

"I just… can you stay on the phone with me while I fall asleep? I really miss you."

 

Castiel's body buzzes ten times more than when he orgasmed earlier. "Absolutely. Come on. Let's tuck each other in and get some rest." 

Chapter Text

Dean moves to Seattle 52 hours later. He left almost everything behind, only packing a medium-sized suitcase. The stuff that belonged to the old Dean doesn't matter to him much anymore. All that's left from that time in his life are a few pictures, his favorite flannel, and his Walkman with all the tapes to go with. He packed his blue blanket as well as the rest of the contents of his backpack from Castiel. He packed his cookbook from his class in Italy, as well as the one he's slowly filling out as his own. He packed three outfits. 

 

They have their first fight 24 minutes after Dean's feet hit the Seattle sidewalk outside of the airport. Castiel is driving, and Dean is fiddling nervously with his phone. He was trying to work up the courage to ask where they were headed, knowing at some point he'd have to be honest to Castiel about a decision Dean made before coming.

 

Fortunately, Castiel answers his unasked question.

 

Unfortunately, that means Dean has to fess up. 

 

"So I figured we'll just head home and stay in for the night. I want to show you around the house and let you get comfortable."

 

"Yeah…" Dean mumbles, staring out the window at the trees they're passing. "I sort of - I didn't - so… I don't think we should - should live together. I found a place."

 

The only sounds in the car are the fuzzy radio as they get too far away from the current station and the rub of skin against leather as Castiel's grip tightens on the steering wheel. 

 

"A place?" Castiel asks after a very long, tense pause. His tone is impossible to place, his expression blank.

 

Dean takes a deep breath to steady himself. "An apartment. If you can even really call it that. Just a small little studio above a coffee shop downtown. It's only-"

 

"Absolutely not."

 

Dean stiffens. "I wasn't asking permission, Cas."

 

"I wasn't offering it." 

 

"Cas-"

 

"No. You're living with me."

 

"I want to take things slow, and-"

 

"We are! We talked almost constantly the last 2 days about this. About going slow and starting fresh and building something different than what we had before. How do you expect to do that with you downtown, nearly an hour away from the house?"

 

Dean shakes his head. "Normal people live apart at first. They - they go on dates and they-"

 

"We are so fucking far from normal, Dean. Let's be realistic here," Castiel says in exasperation, one hand flying out through the air. It's not aimed at Dean, but Dean flinches all the same.

 

Suddenly, the car feels small. Confining. 

 

Not at all different to a cell. 

 

"Pull over."

 

"What? No. We're only-"

 

"Pull over!" Dean yells, yanking at the door handle even though he knows it'll do nothing. He slaps a hand against the window. "Pull over, pull over, pull over!"

 

"Okay, okay. Shhhh. We're pulled over, Dean. We're-" Dean lurches out of the car just as he feels Castiel's fingers brush his shoulder. His knees hit the ground and he immediately vomits. 

 

He hears a car door slam and begins to sob. He pissed Castiel off. He ruined this. He made Castiel wait two fucking years, he tried so damn hard to move on, and now that Dean finally gave in, finally admitted this is what he needs - what he wants - he fucking ruined it. 

 

Castiel kneels beside him and carefully wipes Dean’s chin with the sleeve of his sweater. Then he scoops Dean up and sits down on the ground so he can hold him. As they begin to rock, Castiel whispers, "I'm so so sorry, Dean. Please. Please give me another chance. I didn't mean to ruin it."

 

Dean hiccups, his frantic heart beginning to calm. "I thought maybe I ruined it."

 

The two of them laugh softly in relief. Castiel speaks first afterwards, though it takes him a few minutes of just sitting in silence with Dean in his arms. "If it's what you truly want to do, I'll respect it. But I have to be honest, I don't think it'll be good for us. The more we try to act normal, the more we're going to feel like we're not. And I need to be with you. For scenes… or whatever our version of that would be called. I can't let you leave after something like that, and I certainly won't leave you." 

 

When Dean says nothing, Castiel continues trying to reason with him. "Don't you want to wake up together and be lazy in bed? Don't you want to cook me breakfast and read the newspaper and do a fucking crossword while we drink coffee? Don't you want to live somewhere secure and safe? Don't you want to have the ocean at your fingertips?"

 

"Using the ocean against me is so not fair," Dean grumbles. 

 

He swears he can hear Castiel smile. "For you, I'm pulling out all the stops."

 

Dean nods. He gets it. It all makes sense. It does. But he just needs that slice of freedom. He needs a part of himself to remain separate. 

 

"Cas," he starts, but shakes his head right after, unable to finish. 

 

"What do you need from me, baby?" Castiel asks in desperation.

 

"I don't even know." 

 

"Can you explain why you want to live on your own so badly?"

 

Dean shrugs, feeling stupid. "I just wanted something to be mine, I guess. A place to go. A bit of freedom. It's dumb… but I just… I dunno. It's stupid. Just forget it."

 

"No. It's not stupid, Dean. Not at all." 

 

The two of them go quiet again. A car passes after a while. The first Dean's seen since they pulled over. He wonders how deserted it is out here where Castiel lives. He wonders if that's more or less dangerous, as far as the whole new identity thing goes. He wonders if Gabriel lives nearby.

 

Enough time passes for the sun to begin to set. Castiel releases a deep sigh, but it's not angry or impatient. It's like letting go of a breath you've been holding in for too long. 

 

"Keep the apartment. Use it whenever you need it. But please, when you're feeling okay about it… just please stay with me. It can be your safe space, ya know? A place to clear your head or just get some distance when things get overwhelming. It can be yours. I don't need a key. I don't even need to know where exactly it is." Castiel tightens his hold on him, as if he's afraid Dean will leave. "But please give me a chance. Live with me. I want it all with you, Dean. I don't want you for just the sex - god, I hope you see that by now. I want the quiet moments. The domestic shit. The bickering and the giggling and all that stuff you see on TV and movies."

 

Dean smiles softly and nods. "You'd really be okay with that? Not even knowing where the place is?"

 

Castiel hesitates, and Dean sags in disappointment. But Castiel surprises him. "Yes. Of course. But can you maybe tell Sam the address? Just in case there's some sort of emergency? If I'm worried about your safety or something. I need him to know." 

 

"That's definitely fair."

 

"Thank you." Castiel chuckles, but it's dark. "I'm sorry I'm so fucked up, Dean." 

 

"We both are. I'm over it."

 

"Are you? Really?" 

 

Dean turns in Castiel's arms and gives him a genuine smile that Dean can see immediately puts Castiel at ease. He can see why. Just looking into those blue eyes again is making Dean's heart nearly burst, and he's sure his grin reflects that. "Really. I wouldn't want it any other way. But don't tell my shrink that."

 

After a second, Castiel bursts out laughing. The sound is loud and unusual, and the best thing Dean's heard in ages. When he calms, he looks at Dean with watery blue eyes and nods. "The therapists never have to know." 

Chapter Text

The house is different than Dean imagined. Smaller. Well, small as far as a man like Castiel would be concerned. It's two stories, but they must have vaulted ceilings because the entire structure is tall. Both stories have full porches wrapping around them. Dean catches a glimpse of a large hammock hanging from one spot overlooking the ocean. There are even a few chairs here and there. And a porch swing. A fucking white porch swing. It's the definition of domestic. Dean wonders if the inside is the same. 

 

"So?" Castiel prompts. The nerves in his voice are clear, and when Dean glances at him he's shifting his weight back and forth from his left foot to his right. 

 

Dean smiles. "I like it. It's…"

 

"It's?"

 

"Better watch yourself there, Cas. I'd almost think you're nervous."

 

"I am." Castiel turns to look at Dean straight on. His eyes are narrowed, his face calm and serious. "I bought this house for us. Stood right here staring up at it, heart in my throat, wondering what it'd be like to one day bring you here. Show it to you. Ask you to stay. So, yes, I'm really fucking nervous." 

 

Dean starts to grin but it never makes it past a soft, loving smile. He's glad he came. It's the best decision he's ever made.

 

"It's perfect, Cas." He slides his hand into Castiel's and squeezes once. "Show me inside?" 

 

Castiel guides him up the set of stairs leading up to the front door, black railings running up each side of them. He takes a deep breath as if to prepare himself before opening the door and gesturing for Dean to walk in first. 

 

The first impression Dean gets - the first word that comes to mind - is home

 

It feels like home. 

 

The color palette is soft and inviting. It's mostly white, but not in a sterile way. In the pure sort of way like you just took in a breath of fresh air. The accents are all shades of blue and grey. Any paintings are of nature, bringing vibrant pops of color from rain-soaked forests and sunsets. 

 

"This is the foyer," Castiel says anxiously. He points to their right where a winding staircase begins. There are no walls in the way, allowing Dean's eyes to crawl up the staircase and across the second floor. There's a matching staircase that does the same to their left. "Wanna see the upstairs first? Work our way down?" 

 

"Sure."

 

Still holding his hand, Castiel pulls Dean up the stairs and to the farthest side of the second floor. He opens the first door down there and steps aside. "This is my office."

 

Dean is suddenly struck by the memory of him finding the security footage on Castiel's computer when he had been in his office back at the compound. An onslaught of images flutter through his mind, all of the broken bodies and tear-soaked faces. 

 

"Nice," Dean manages to choke out before turning to the next door. He opens it himself. Why shouldn't he, right? Castiel says it's their house. 

 

Surprisingly, Castiel doesn't comment. He just watches Dean walk into the small room and says, "Gabe stayed here for a while so I guess I consider this his room. Or just a spare room now. He has his own place." 

 

Dean nods. Just like the memories of the compound, Gabriel is another thing he'd rather not think about right now. 

 

They move on. Dean's shown the spare bathroom, which is all black and white marble with a huge clawfoot tub and a shower big enough for three. Then he's shown a room full of bookcases. They're all set up in a way to seem almost like a miniature library. Across the way is a window seat with padding so you can read overlooking the ocean. When Dean tells Castiel how much he loves it, and how he can't wait to curl up there with a good book. Castiel looks a breath away from fainting in joy. 

 

The man quickly turns nervous again when they reach the final door on this side of the second floor. He looks at Dean before quickly looking away. When he opens the door, it's in a way that reminds Dean of ripping a band-aid off. 

 

Dean doesn't understand why at first, but as he stands in the center of what first seems like a spare bedroom he starts to piece it together. 

 

The bright red throw pillow in the center of the black and grey bedding with the Stanford logo on it. A bookcase full of law books stands beside a large study desk. A gorgeous black and white picture of a guy mid-shot on an outdoor basketball court stretched above the bed. 

 

Castiel clears his throat as Dean walks over to the fancy looking globe that stands beside the study desk. "Wishful thinking… I mean, I didn't even know if you'd ever come here… still don't know if you'll stay, but I just thought - I mean, he always brought you so much happiness and he - he's your safe place. If he ever wanted to visit you here, I wanted him to feel welcome." 

 

When Dean says nothing, his throat clogged up by an overwhelming swirl of emotions, he hears Castiel mumbles under his breath, "Probably stupid."

 

"No, Cas. I - you have no idea what this means to me. You - I can't-" Dean shakes his head and turns to look at the man he loves. A tear slips down his cheek as he grins. "I love you." 

 

Castiel relaxes, an easy smile pulling at his lips. "I love you too, green eyes."

 

Then his smile turns mischievous and he tilts his head toward the other side of the second floor. "Come on. Let me show you our wing." 

 

"Our wing," Dean says in a sing-song voice. "I like the sound of that. 

 

"Yeah." Castiel pulls him in for a quick kiss before pulling him out of Sam's room and down the hall. "I like it too." 

 

----

 

Their wing has four doors. One on the left, two on the right, and one in the center at the very end of the long hall. When Dean reaches for the first door to the right, he peeks over at Castiel as if to ask for permission. Castiel gives him a small nod. It relaxes Dean enough for the man to smile softly as he enters the room. 

 

His expression is priceless as he stares at the blank walls and empty floor. He walks to the center and does a 360 before staring at Castiel like Castiel has lost his shit. 

 

"Don't like this room or what?" 

 

Castiel shrugs. "It's a perfectly fine room."

 

"Then… why is it untouched?"

 

"Because it's yours."

 

"Oh…" Dean walks over to the window, looking out. His eyebrows are pulled in. Castiel doesn't understand why. Not until Dean mumbles, "Guess I thought we'd be sleeping together."

 

The unexpectedness of his worry makes Castiel huff a laugh. He shakes his head. "Oh, we are. This isn't your bedroom. I mean, it could be. But that wasn't the plan. I just - I wanted you to have your own space here. To do with however you want." 

 

"Oh." This time Dean sounds very pleased. He grins at Castiel, eyes darting around as if he's picturing everything he wants to do to the area. 

 

"You can obviously have more room than this. Hell, you can re-do the whole house if ya want, but I just thought it'd be nice if this room was yours. I know it doesn't mean as much, because you'll have that apartment downtown now, but… it's still yours."

 

"I can't believe you knew I'd want something like this." Dean laughs softly and rolls his eyes. "That's a lie. I can believe it. You always seem to just… know."

 

Castiel lifts a corner of his mouth in a tentative smile. "Trust me, I don't. But you have no idea what it means to me that you think that. Means I must be doing something right."

 

"You do a lot more right than wrong these days, Cas."

 

"I've been trying."

 

"I know." Dean slides his fingers into the gaps between Castiel's and squeezes his hand once. "Thank you for the room, Cas. I love it."

 

Castiel can't help but beam at Dean. He's never been so happy to make another person happy, and the fact that it's just a simple thing - the fact that it's not a sexual thing - makes it that much better. 

 

Dean doesn't hesitate at the next door on the right. He just swings it open and strolls in. When he processes what's in there, he looks at Castiel with wide eyes. 

 

"Holy shit."

 

"You like it?" Castiel asks, as if he doesn't know. 

 

"Who wouldn't?" Dean steps forward so he's standing in front of the four-step staircase that leads to a large basin that could easily fit ten people in it. It's about the size of a small jacuzzi. The walls are a light blue color that looks almost white at certain angles, ever so slightly contrasting the two white window-doors that open up to the best view the house has to offer. 

 

As Dean climbs into the bath and opens the windows, Castiel explains more about the room. “So, it’s heated like a hot tub would be. That way we don’t have to worry about our bath water getting cold. Water pours in from all of those spouts, as well as from the ceiling, so it fills quickly. There’s jets too. That panel over there lets you adjust them. You can adjust the temperature there too. It’s all hooked up to an app on my phone even. So if we’re somewhere else I can start filling it for us.”

 

Dean leans on the windowsill and takes in a deep breath, eyes closing as the salty air fills his senses. “It’s perfect.” 

 

“I got the TV, too. The dude that installed it said he and his wife have one, and I know how much you love movies, so… yeah. The TV there works. Has my Netflix and all that shit on it.”

 

“Watching movies in the bath with you will be great.” Dean closes the windows again and turns to look at him. The smile on his face is infectious. Castiel can’t help but match it. “This is… amazing, Cas.”

 

“Yeah? Good. That’s good.” Castiel rubs at the back of his neck nervously. “I sort of noticed that your favorite type of aftercare is taking baths, and I really liked doing that with you too, so… yeah. I - yeah. Thought maybe you’d like this, I guess.”

 

Quickly climbing out of the tub, Dean wraps his arms around Castiel and pulls him into a tight hug that would probably make Castiel wince if he wasn’t in such desperate need of one. “It’s perfect,” Dean says again. “You’re perfect. This house is perfect. Our life together… well, that shit won’t be perfect, but I can feel it, Cas. Can you feel it? It’s gonna be good. I know it.” 

 

Castiel closes his eyes and grips Dean tighter, terrified Dean will change his mind when he sees the next room. There’s no stopping it, though. That becomes abundantly clear when Dean’s slipping out of his arms and heading to the next door. Dean’s grinning, probably still riding his high from the reveal of the bathing room. It’s clear that he barely even registers what he’s doing as he pushes open the door. He’s distracted. 

 

It takes Dean a moment to enter the room after the door is open. Castiel doesn't know how to take that. He bites the tip of his tongue to keep from interrupting Dean's thoughts. He has to let Dean do this in his own way, on his own time. It’s the only way this can be done. 

 

Castiel can do nothing but stand back and wait. 

 

That’s one thing he can say has changed these past two years. Dean Winchester has made him a very patient man. He’d wait forever for him. 

 

Castiel thinks, maybe, he had been waiting for Dean all his life. The man that would one day fight Castiel’s monsters with him. The man that would see him for who he could be, not who he was supposed to be. The man that would show him what love means. 

 

Kindness. 

 

Honesty. 

 

Communication. 

 

Home. 

 

Safety. 

 

Patience. 

 

“You comin’?” Dean asks softly, not looking away from whatever it is he’s staring at in the room. 

 

Castiel shakes his head despite Dean being unable to see it. “You go on. I’ll be here when you’re ready.”

 

----

 

Dean knew. 

 

He knew. 

 

Castiel was a master all his life. He’s a dominant down to his bones. In every cell. It’s a part of him that Dean both fears and loves. A part of him Dean would never dream of asking him to lock away. 

 

The two sexual encounters they’ve had so far have been of a bdsm nature. The sexual encounters - the many, many, many hot, sexy, mind-blowing sexual encounters - Dean plans on them having in the future will be the same way. 

 

So he knew. 

 

He did. 

 

Dean knew. 

 

Knowing is much different than standing in front of it. 

 

“You comin’?” Dean asks softly, his eyes locked onto the bed across the way. 

 

There’s a slight shifting sound behind him before Castiel says, “You go on. I’ll be here when you’re ready.” 

 

Of course. Mr. Kind & Patient is going to give Dean his space. Dean would roll his eyes if he wasn’t so in love with the asshole. 

 

The first step into the room feels monumental. Dean pauses, turning his head from left to right so he can take in every detail. A moment ago he had felt like he wanted to run like hell away from this room. Now, he can’t decide where he wants to go first. 

 

He ends up standing at the spanking bench. 

 

It always came to the spanking bench with them, didn’t it? 

 

This one is much better than the one in the compound. It’s elegant - as elegant as bdsm furniture can be. The base of it is wood, stained a dark walnut color. The padding for the torso, arms, and legs is burgundy. Dean puts his hand out to touch it, holding his breath like he’s about to be burned. Instead of burning, his fingertips skid across smooth, almost silky leather that’s cool to the touch. When he adds pressure, he sees that the padding isn’t thin. It’s thick and comfortable. The leather restraints are just as nice. 

 

Dean believed he’d never want to be put over a spanking bench again. He was raped on one. Beat on one. Tortured and taunted and tamed on one. 

 

He’s still not entirely sure how he feels about the piece of equipment, but his opinion has definitely shifted toward the positive side of things. 

 

Though they may shift back in the other direction when he turns to find himself standing right in front of a rack of whips, canes, and floggers beside the bench. 

 

No thanks. 

 

Dean turns away from them, not caring how elegant they may be. Perhaps he’ll give the floggers a look at some other time. Right now, they’re not up for discussion. 

 

There’s a bondage chair that he checks out next. It’s a lot different than the one in the testing room but still close enough to the one in the black room at the compound that Dean turns away from it too. He had enough time to notice it was the same dark walnut finish and burgundy padding as the bench. 

 

He finally finds a piece of furniture that doesn’t make him want to cringe away. In fact, he finds himself sporting a dirty smile at a certain memory he has of him and Castiel using one. The St. Andrew’s Cross matches the dark coloring of the other furniture in the room - Dean’s starting to think the whole room is going to be in that color palette. He’s surprised it’s not blue. Not disappointed. Just surprised. 

 

Dean touches a row of gags of different sizes and shapes. He opens a heavy wooden chest that comes up and out, presenting him with three wooden shelves. One displays dildos and vibrators. Another displays anal hooks and beads. The third displays a variety of plugs. 

 

Bile rises in Dean’s throat as he stares at the third. He’s not sure if he’ll ever want to wear one again. He had hated them from the start, of course. They kept his rapists cum in him. They were usually used as punishments, him getting left plugged and caged without an orgasm if he wasn’t a good slut. 

 

But then Jimmy Novak came on the scene, and that… Dean… 

 

Dean can’t. 

 

He turns away from the chest without closing it, unable to look at it another second. His eyes dart around. They take in a row of paddles hanging on hooks against the wall. They take in a rack of different colored and textured bondage rope. Take in another rack of bondage cuffs and chains. Take in a portable fucking machine. Another spanking bench, this one thinner and not padded, a steel ring coming up to collar the neck in place and a fucking machine built into the back of it. Nipple clamps. Spreader bars. A medieval dark walnut stock. A seven-foot table with a wooden base and a padded top, all of which match the same colors as the other furniture of course. Two different humblers - both of which Dean glares at with hatred. 

 

They take in things he doesn’t recognize, which says a lot from how many tools and furniture he came in contact with back in the compound. One of them reminds Dean of a small drink cart - the kind you’d see at a cocktail party full of drinks. It has wheels that lock in place if needed. It has four steel bars going up to a wooden platform that has four large holes in the center of it, almost like the wooden stocks from earlier. There’s a small pad at the bottom, as if someone is meant to kneel in that spot, head tucked beneath that top wooden platform. It can’t possibly be comfortable. 

 

There’s a burgundy leather box-like thing. It has metal hooks on the outsides, a headrest like you’d see on a massage chair, and a hole in it about the size of a fist. 

 

There’s another piece of furniture that’s unfamiliar. It looks to be a stool of sorts, once again with a dark walnut finish, with a slit down the middle of it. The slit is thin. Not big enough for a cock to go through. Dean pictures himself sitting on it, his ankles and wrists cuffed to the four legs, his ass crack lined up with the crack in the wood. He can’t imagine what it could be for. 

 

Beside the stool is a straight pole of wood with a set of stocks at the spot where Dean’s hips would be. He thinks he would stand against it with his hands being held behind his back in the stocks, but he can’t be sure. 

 

Then there are the… toys? No. Toys imply fun. 

 

The tools - instruments - that he doesn’t recognize. One looks like a cock cage, but it has extra metal and straps and Dean really hopes it’s not meant to go anywhere near his cock or balls. Another looks like the thing at the dentist’s office that squirts water into your mouth, but a much longer spout that curves slightly. 

 

Then there’s a fucking power drill looking thing that has a dildo attached to the end of it. Dean takes one look at it, shakes his head, and walks the fuck away. 

 

A whole shelf on the wall has … fuzzy things. Feathery, soft things that Dean doesn’t trust. He fucking hates being tickled, and he has a bad feeling that’s what those are for. 

 

When he reaches the small table that has spiked shit all over it, Dean walks to the door. He grips the doorframe tight enough to make his hand tingle and forces himself to meet Castiel’s eye. The man is trembling. His hair is a mess, and his eyes red. 

 

It nearly breaks Dean’s heart. 

 

“So…” Castiel clears his throat, eyes darting over Dean’s shoulder before landing back on Dean. “What do you think?”

 

Dean bites his bottom lip. 

 

This is a defining moment for them. A moment where - hopefully - they can meet halfway. 

 

“Will you come in with me?”

 

This seems to surprise Castiel, but then he takes the hand Dean offers to him and walks into the room by his side. 

 

Dean brings him first to the bed. He takes a deep, shaky breath and asks the mattress instead of Castiel, “Can I pick and choose what stays and what goes?”

 

“Yes. Absolutely.” Castiel gently squeezes his hand. “And anything you’re not sure about can either stay in the room or can go in storage until you’re ready to maybe explore it.” 

 

“Okay. That’s - yeah. Okay. Cool.” 

 

“Is it?”

 

“Yes.” Dean finally looks at Castiel again, giving him a mischievous grin. “Let’s begin.”

 

----

 

Castiel listens as Dean points out the way he likes the dark walnut and the burgundy. Dean doesn’t ask why nothing is blue, and Castiel doesn’t offer an explanation. Honestly, he’s relieved. He’s not sure how Dean would feel about Castiel wanting to keep blue something outside of this room. The only thing he wants to be blue is Dean’s collar as far as kink is concerned. He made the bathing room blue. He made the bedroom blue. He made the entire house white with blue and gray accents. But this room. This room isn’t blue. Castiel knew that going into this. What happens in this room, the things Dean will give to him, the sacrifices Dean will make, it’s not blue for them. Blue comes after. Blue is where Dean is Dean

 

It’s probably fucking idiotic. 

 

It sounds idiotic as Castiel thinks it. 

 

He loses the train of thought when Dean tugs him along until they’re standing in front of the spanking bench Castiel had custom made. Well, to be fair, every single thing in here is custom made. 

 

“Not yet,” Dean whispers. Two words. More than enough. 

 

Castiel nods. “Okay.”

 

Next is the rack of pain instruments. He can tell by Dean’s face what his thoughts are on that. “Gone.”

 

“Not gone,” Castiel says softly. “We - we can cut back.”

 

“Gone.”

 

“You like a little pain with your pleasure, Dean.” Dean just frowns, staring down at the floor instead of the rack. Castiel tilts his head in curiosity. “Dean, have you looked at them closer?”

 

“No.”

 

“Will you maybe look at them with me?”

 

Dean continues staring at the floor, the tips of his ears turning red. “Not yet.” 

 

“Okay.”

 

Dean points at the bondage chair, eyes not lifting from the floor. “Not yet.”

 

Castiel swallows hard, images of Dean on the screen of his compound computer fluttering across his mind. It took seventeen hours for Dean’s testing to be done. Seventeen hours of him strapped to that chair. 

 

He hadn’t even blinked when he decided to purchase it. 

 

“You know what,” Castiel starts softly, resting a gentle hand on Dean’s right shoulder. “That’s going to go.”

 

“You sure?”

 

“Absolutely.” 

 

Dean nods quickly, finally raising his chin so he can look at Castiel. “Thank you.”

 

“Of course.” Castiel gives him a smile that he hopes is comforting, and loving, and understanding, and all of the other things he wants to be for Dean. “Dean, we never even have to use this room if you’d like. We can take things out of here from time to time if there’s certain things you like and bring them to the bedroom. Or we can buy new things just for the bedroom. Or we can be completely vanilla, it’s-” the loud snort Dean gives him in response cuts him off mid-sentence. 

 

When Castiel looks over at Dean, he finds him smiling. “Let’s not get boring here, babe. There’s plenty I plan on keeping. We just started off rough. Come here.” 

 

Castiel allows himself to be pulled toward the St. Andrews Cross. When he sees that Dean’s smile has only widened, Castiel’s stomach flips. 

 

“You want to keep this?” Castiel asks in surprise.

 

“Yeah.” Dean looks back at him. “It may have ended with a panic attack, but the sex we had on this at the compound was fucking hot leading up to it.”

 

“Well now, I can fully agree with that.” 

 

“The gags can stay, too,” Dean adds, pointing to the row of them nearby. Then he laughs softly when they turn. Castiel isn’t sure why at first until he sees what Dean’s looking at. The large chest of toys was left open, all three shelves on display. “Row one and two are good to go - though I do want to go on record and say that that damn thing ain’t gonna fit up my ass no matter how dedicated you are.” 

 

Castiel tilts his head back in an easy laugh. “Wanna bet?”

 

“Maybe.” Dean winks at him. “We’ll see what you have to offer as a wager someday.”

 

“Good to know. I’ll have to think up a few good ideas.”

 

Dean sticks his tongue out at him, something Castiel still hasn’t gotten used to yet. He likes the sassy brat inside of Dean but it’s just so damn different than what he’s been used to all of his life. 

 

Feeling awkward as all hell, Castiel sticks his tongue out back. He can feel his cheeks turning pink as he does it. It gets worse when Dean smirks at him. 

 

“Did you just stick your tongue out at me, Cas?”

 

“Maybe…”

 

Dean licks his lips before collapsing back into a smirk again. “God, you’re so fucking cute.”

 

With a roll of his eyes, Castiel grumbles, “Not exactly what the dominant wants to be seen as, but sure… let’s go with cute.”

 

“Don’t be pouty.” Dean hip checks him, making him laugh in surprise. Then the brat capitalizes on the light mood by looking Castiel directly in the eye and stating, “The third shelves gotta go.”

 

Castiel’s smile falls as he looks at what’s on the third shelf. “The - the plugs?”

 

“Yes.” 

 

“But-” Castiel looks over at Dean, ready to plead the case - because who doesn’t love the idea of plugging their sub up to keep them nice and full of their cum? - but stops short when he sees the expression on Dean’s face, and the way Dean can’t even manage to look at the chest. 

 

Then it hits him. 

 

Dean, kneeling on the floor and shaking violently as Castiel tried to remove the plug his own brother had shoved into him. The slight tearing. The blood. 

 

“Plugs are gone. No problem.” Castiel slides his hand in Dean’s and squeezes once to reassure him that he’s there, guilt crawling up his throat until he feels ready to choke. “Next?”

 

He can practically see the weight fall from Dean’s shoulders when he exhales. 

 

“Okay.” He pulls Castiel along, pointing things out as they systematically work through the room. “The paddles can stay, and all the bondage stuff. The fucking machine… it’s - can we maybe talk about rules with it before ever using it?”

 

Castiel nods. “Absolutely.”

 

“Okay.” Dean gives him a giddy little smile. It’s clear he was worried about doing this with Castiel. About going through this room, a room Castiel clearly put a lot of thought and effort into, and picking it apart. 

 

Castiel’s just fucking glad Dean stepped into the room in the first place. Everything after that has been a fantastic surprise. 

 

“Can I - what is this, exactly?” Dean asks, pointing to the crude spanking bench Castiel bought on a whim. 

 

“That’s for punishments only. The collar holds most of your weight, though your knees resting there helps a bit. It chokes you but not fully. Not enough to make you pass out. Just enough to keep you floating and dizzy. And the fucking machine built into it there, it’s made specifically for this piece of furniture. For safety reasons, it’d be quite the gamble to use a regular machine. This one can only go so hard and so fast. It’s also attached to the sensors in the collar that keeps track of your pulse. It stops fucking you and an obnoxious beeper goes off if your pulse gets too low or too high.”

 

Dean arches an eyebrow. “That’s… elaborate.”

 

“It is.” Castiel stares at the thing, trying to figure out why he bought it. At the time he had loved the thought of using it for Dean. Now he hates himself for it. “Don’t worry, we won’t - it can go.”

 

“No. I - it can stay.” Dean tilts his head, still looking at it. “I’m intrigued. We can test it out some time.”

 

Castiel is taken aback, only managing to nod in agreement. 

 

Dean moves on. 

 

“Nipple clamps are fine. Spreader bars good. The stock is interesting - I don’t remember using one ever at the compound, at least not that I can remember. We can try it out. And the table is fine.” Dean sneers at the two humblers, which makes Castiel laugh so hard Dean jumps in surprise. 

 

“Sorry.” Castiel puts up a hand, still chuckling. “Sorry. Just - your face. Priceless.” 

 

“Your ass is priceless.”

 

“Well, thank you. I appreciate the compliment.”

 

Dean rolls his eyes and sighs dramatically. “You’re a pain in my ass - and don’t! Do not start. No dirty comment about you wanting to be a pain in my ass.”

 

Castiel puts his hands up in surrender. “As you were, then. Sorry for the interruption.”

 

With a very dirty look, Dean says, “You can keep one. And I want to go on record that I hate it. I hate it a lot. And I will hate you whenever you use it on me.” 

 

Castiel smirks. “Noted.”

 

“Now, what the hell is this?” Dean asks, pointing to another one of the things Castiel wasn’t sure if he should buy. 

 

“Alright now, give me a chance here because the name of it is a bit alarming.” 

 

“Okay…”

 

“It’s a torture tower.” When Dean snorts, Castiel puts his hand up and hurries to continue. “You lay on your back there on the pad - which can be moved up and down these poles so you can be brought closer and further away. Your ankles go in these two outer circles. Your wrists in the two inner ones.”

 

Dean stares at the thing with wide eyes. “That sounds awful.”

 

“For you? Oh yeah.” 

 

“Not for you?”

 

Castiel takes a breath. “It exposes your ass better than almost any other piece of furniture or bondage pattern. Uninterrupted spanking, whipping, toying around. It’s quite uncomfortable to try and fuck you in it, but that’s not the point anyway.”

 

“So, it’s for punishment.”

 

“Sometimes, yes.” Castiel steadies himself. Prays Dean doesn’t leave. “They’re my favorite at play parties. I know that’s not what I should call them, but the closest equivalent of what we did at the compound as far as parties went was what the bdsm community would refer to as a play party. I’d be able to wheel you around and let anyone I want play with you or spank you.”

 

Dean’s entire face goes red. “That’d be humiliating as fuck.”

 

“Watch out. You’re forgetting that I know how much you love being humiliated.” By the way Dean shifts, Castiel learns some new information regarding their current situation. “You’re fucking hard right now, aren’t you?”

 

“N-no.”

 

“Don’t lie to me.” 

 

Dean shifts again before sheepishly nodding. “It’s not - it’s like in theory though, okay? I’m not ready for that. Not - maybe - I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that.” 

 

“Okay. I can respect that.” Castiel forces himself not to tease anymore about the erection Dean’s sporting. If he pushes too far, he’ll fuck up how truly amazing this experience here has been. “How do you feel about the two of us using it?” 

 

“It’s a tentative yes.” 

 

Castiel smiles. “You trust me with that?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“With a torture tower?”

 

Dean rolls his eyes and turns to look at him head-on. “Do you want me to change my mind, asshole?”

 

“No. Definitely not.”

 

“Then shut it. Moving on.” Dean playfully tugs him to the kneeling box. “And what would we call this fine contraption?”

 

“Few names. Kneeling box. Bondage box. Isolation box. Deprivation box.”

 

“I’m not liking any of these names.”

 

“Fair enough.” Castiel reaches down and opens the top of the box so Dean can see it in its entirety. “These attachments on the sides are for cuffs, ropes, other restraints. This head hole is also a restraint of its own, where you can kneel here on the pad and stick your head in the hole. Then I would close this around your neck, and your head would be stuck inside while your ass is in the air for me. You can also be put curled up inside of it with your head coming out from the inside, meaning only your head would be visible. Then, for those that prefer to use it this way, it can be closed off completely with just the small breathing holes in the corners, making it so you’re basically boxed up.”

 

From the violent shiver that goes through Dean’s body, Castiel is expecting a big, loud FUCK NO. 

 

Shocking him - in typical Dean Winchester fashion - Dean nods slowly and says, “We’ll try it out.”

 

It takes a second for Castiel to recover. He’s learning quickly that this one is going to keep him on his toes. 

 

The thought makes him smile. 

 

“What’s this?” Dean asks again, pointing at the vibrator stool. 

 

“That, I’m sorry to say, doesn’t have any cool or intimidating name. I call it a vibrator stool, but I don’t think that’s very official.” Castiel goes to the small dresser nearby and opens the top drawer, pulling out his favorite vibrating wand. He brings it over to the stool and kneels. When he slides the vibrator’s handle through the slit that cuts halfway through the stool from the edge to the center, Dean’s breath hitches. Even though Castiel thinks Dean’s already figured it out, he explains the rest. “You’ll be strapped down here with this against you. Forced to take the pleasure. It can be used with many vibrators, not just wands but ones that will be inserted into you as well.” 

 

“Doesn’t sound too bad.” 

 

Castiel smiles. “It’s not. I think you’ll enjoy it. I plan to use it a lot for edging you. If my memory serves, you enjoy that quite a lot.”

 

Dean pouts at him. “I wouldn’t say I enjoy it.”

 

“You enjoy the aftermath.”

 

“Well… yeah. It’s worth it.” Dean sighs dramatically like he just can’t believe Castiel made him admit such a thing. “I suppose it can stay.” 

 

Castiel doesn’t even hide his smirk. “Great.”

 

“This weird pole thingy can stay too. It doesn’t seem all that intimidating.”

 

“I can do some very evil things to you in this, Dean Winchester,” Castiel says with a raised eyebrow. “Might just be a wooden stand with some stocks to keep your arms behind your back, but you’ll be surprised just how vulnerable that makes you. Especially your needy cock.”

 

The slight choking sound Dean makes is both adorable and sexy. If they were just a little further along in this brand-new relationship, Castiel would be strapping him in and exploring it right this second. 

 

There’s that patience coming up again. 

 

Castiel is starting to hate the concept of patience.

 

“I kind of stopped there,” Dean admits. “Not that there’s a ton left?” 

 

Since he asked that like a question, Castiel answers it by standing in place and pointing the rest of the things he finds important out. “That tucked in the corner over there is a cage used for puppy play. The chest beside it has other accessories and tools for it.” 

 

“Not yet.”

 

“Okay, that’s fine. In this dresser over here, where I took the wand out to show you the stool, there’s some things for electric play and a few things for cock and ball torture.”

 

“Fuck that.” Dean laughs softly. “To the torture shit. Leave my poor boys alone. Electric play is fine, though.”

 

Castiel laughs softly. “I’d like to go through some of it with you at some point. There are a few things that technically fall under that category that I think you’d actually be open to. For example, there are a few cock cages I’d like to show you.”

 

Dean glares at him. “Cock cages suck.”

 

“Yes, well, that’s the point, right? They’d only be as punishment.”

 

Surprisingly - or maybe not so surprising considering how well this has been going - Dean nods. “Okay. We can do that. Talk about it, I mean. I’m not agreeing to anything.” 

 

“Thank you, Dean.” Castiel smiles softly. “Over here on this shelf - they all look a little intimidating.”

 

“Yeah,” Dean scoffs. “I saw those. Why in the fuck are they spiked?”

 

“Most of them are dull spikes. It’s actually a lot more to do with sensation, not pain. They all have different textures. Different weights. I know how much you hate blindfolds, but if you ever wanted to try some sensory deprivation, those would be something I’d like to try with you.”

 

“Oh.” Dean tilts his head in curiosity. “I - yeah. Let’s check that out some time, then.”

 

He says it so casually that Castiel laughs. It’s as if Dean just agreed that they should check out a new movie on Netflix or a new dish at a restaurant. 

 

“Are you laughing at me, asshole?”

 

“Maybe.” Castiel smirks, knowing Dean can’t see. It’s a good thing because he’s pretty sure the smirk is extremely cocky. “I’m just having a really great time, and I had been worried that today wasn’t going to be like that. I was worried this room was going to ruin everything. But… this is nice. Isn’t it?”

 

Dean nods. “Yeah. Yes. It really is.”

 

Castiel allows himself to sit in the moment and appreciate it before moving on. It’s almost over. Then he can show Dean their bedroom and bring him downstairs for a quick tour and a meal in the kitchen. 

 

“The area nearby, where the drain is? Do you see it?” Dean nods. “That’s for enemas. There’s a spanking bench that can be wheeled ar-”

 

“No,” Dean says with a whisper.

 

Castiel nods in patient understanding. “No for which part, baby?”

 

“Wheeled spanking benches.” Dean closes his eyes, clearly fighting memories. He whispers so quietly that Castiel barely hears it. “Enemas. Just - no.”

 

“Okay. That will all be removed.”

 

“Promise?”

 

“Yeah, baby. I promise.” Castiel steps up behind Dean and wraps his arms around him. It takes a second longer than he’d like, but then Dean sinks back against him and rests his cheek on Castiel’s bicep. Keeping him safely in place, Castiel lowers his voice and finishes the verbal tour. “The ceiling has a series of pulleys and restraints. You can be restrained by chains or by rope, as well as suspension. The system on the ceiling can’t be taken down - I mean, it can, but it’d be a lot of work - but all attachments can be taken away if you’d like.”

 

With a shaky exhale, Dean says, “Not yet.” 

 

Castiel smiles. “Not yet, then.”

 

“What about the bed?”

 

“The bed. How could I forget the bed?” Castiel teases. “I don’t know how much time we’ll spend in it but it felt incomplete without one. Actually, to be honest, it felt too much like a dungeon… too much like the compound without one. There’s hoops on the bed posts for bondage, but I’m hoping one day we’re able to bring some of the lighter things into our bedroom. Like we had up in the suite back… then. No rush.”

 

“No, I’d like that, Cas. I’d like that a lot.” Dean smiles. “But the bed in here is nice to have, too.” 

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah. You never know when we’ll want a bed without having to-”

 

“No, Dean. I mean - really, are you okay with that? Would you really like that?” 

 

Dean turns in his arms and cups the side of Castiel’s face with his right hand. It’s so strange to have Dean doing that to him. A good strange, though. “Cas, when I chose to come back to you, I chose to come back to all of you. I chose to come back to this. Yes, it’s going to be work. There will be triggers. Kinks to work out - no pun intended. But I want this. All of this. All of you. Okay?”

 

There isn’t a way to describe how Castiel feels in this moment. Three words come to mind, but they’re not enough. Not nearly enough. He tries to calm his racing heart, but it’s not cooperating. Even with the deep breaths and the urgent reminders that he needs to keep cool, that he can’t go scaring Dean off, his body isn’t listening. Hell, Castiel’s over the moon right now. He’s vapor. All Dean would have to do is gently blow, and Castiel would be a goner.

 

“I love you,” Castiel manages to whisper.

 

Dean presses their foreheads together and gives him a gentle, reassuring kiss. “I love you too.”  

Chapter Text

Dean’s exhausted by the time they exit the playroom. He’s also starving. 

 

“Cas?” 

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Can we eat? I’m assuming this is our bedroom, and I’m fucking starving, and - and I’m also exhausted. I’m worried if I go in that bedroom I’m going to collapse on the bed and sleep, and then I’ll wither away and die of starvation.”

 

The snorting-scoffing sound that comes from Castiel makes Dean’s heart sing. “I think that’s a little dramatic, but yes, we can eat first. The bedroom isn’t going anywhere.” 

 

Dean winks at him. “Good.”

 

He begins to walk away but stops when he realizes Castiel is still standing there looking at him. Dean shifts nervously, feeling himself blush. “What?”

 

“Please tell me I’m going to be inside you tonight.”

 

Dean laughs, the sound full and happy. “Yeah, Cas. Food. Bed. Sex. Sleep. We can do all the rest tomorrow.” 

 

“Food. Bed. Sex. Sleep. Those are my new four favorite words.” 

 

“Agreed. We should make t-shirts.” Dean grabs his hand and tugs him towards the nearest staircase, walking as if he knows where the hell he’s going. Castiel doesn’t stop him. He doesn’t ask Dean if he wants help finding the kitchen. Dean will find it eventually. Until then, it seems that Castiel is happy to just be along for the ride. 

 

Dean stops in his tracks when he finds the kitchen. He sees it across the open concept first floor and ignores everything other than the kitchen at the end, bee-lining it there. It’s fucking gorgeous. 

 

All of it. 

 

Every inch. 

 

Gorgeous here and there and everywhere. 

 

It’s the Dr. Seuss of gorgeous kitchens. 

 

Dean approaches the room like you would a newborn baby. He caresses the curved black and white granite island in the center as his eyes roam over everything else. It’s all state of the art. There are two stoves plus a pizza oven. The fridge and freezer are massive. There’s a wine fridge as well, rows of wine meant to be warm in the shelves beneath it. It’s something Dean raises an eyebrow at, but he decides not to bring it up. Not yet. 

 

The cabinets are all white, the countertops matching the island. The walls are a light gray, and the appliances are stainless steel. The chairs at the island are a light blue that reminds Dean of the ocean on a sunny day. 

 

Speaking of the ocean - the kitchen’s outer wall is shared with the outer wall of the dining area and living room as well, and the portion of it that’s in the kitchen is made up of four large, white panels of floor to ceiling windows that are framed by white linen curtains. It’s a perfect view of the ocean. Almost as good as the bathing room upstairs. 

 

Dean leaves the kitchen and walks to the windows, wanting to see it up close. Castiel cuts him off and does something that takes Dean’s breath away. The two windows on the left are actually one sliding door, while the two windows on the right are another one. When Castiel slides them apart, Dean’s left with nothing between him and the ocean. 

 

He has to catch his breath for a moment before he takes the first step outside onto the deck. He walks slowly, taking it all in. There are white Adirondack chairs to the right and the left, and an oversized hammock stretched between the corners of the house and the roof of the deck, hanging in the air. And straight ahead, after taking a staircase that consists of six steps, Dean’s feet are in the sand. 

 

“Holy shit.” 

 

Castiel settles beside him, their shoulders pressing together. 

 

Dean’s reminded of all of the times they’ve stood just like this. 

 

“It’s beautiful.”

 

“You deserve it,” Castiel whispers. “I wish I could give you more.” 

 

“It’s enough. It’s everything.” Dean looks at Castiel, shaking his head in disbelief. “You’re everything.”

 

The compliment clearly makes Castiel uncomfortable because he looks away, flustered and awkwardly shifting on his feet. Dean’s about to come up with some sort of joke to lighten the mood when Castiel nods his head toward the water and asks, “Wanna take a swim?” 

 

Dean’s eyebrows fly up. “Now?”

 

“Yeah, why not?” 

 

“It’s freezing.”

 

“Then we’ll take a bath.”

 

“Woah.” Dean puts his hands up as if surrendering. “Are you tellin’ me I can have ocean, bath, food, bed, sex, AND sleep tonight?” 

 

Castiel moves his head side to side like he’s debating. Then he counters. “Ocean, food in the bath, bed, sex, then sleep.”

 

Dean gasps, scandalized. “Food in the bath?”

 

“We’ve done dirtier things in the bath.”

 

“Fair enough.” Dean starts walking down the stairs, knowing Castiel will follow. “First step: ocean.” 

 

----

 

They last four minutes in the ocean, which is impressive considering the cool autumn temperatures. Then they scurry up the beach, ass-naked and laughing so hard they can barely breathe, back to the deck. They use their shirts to haphazardly dry off enough to enter the house again before shutting and locking the doors. Dean looks at the ocean longingly through the glass, but then his stomach growls, and he's back on track. 

 

Castiel turns the bath on with his fancy phone app, then helps Dean prepare the food. It's really a shame they're in a hurry because Dean has lots of plans for the gorgeous kitchen. It's disappointing to use it for the very first time only to make pb&j sandwiches and cut up fruit in a tupperware container.

 

He'll make it up to the kitchen in the morning with a huge breakfast for an apology. 

 

"Wine or beer?" Castiel asks as Dean packs up the food to carry upstairs. 

 

"You'll let me drink?" Dean asks, followed very quickly by, "Wait, you have beer?!"

 

Castiel shrugs a shoulder and gives him a half-smile. "We haven't established rules yet. And yes, it's the beer you had at the restaurant. You seemed to have liked it."

 

Trying to hide his amazement, Dean nods. "Yes, beer please. Thank you." 

 

Surprising him again, Castiel takes not one but two bottles from the fridge. Dean wonders if Castiel has ever even had beer. He never saw him drink any back at the compound. None of the other trainers seemed to either. It was all expensive stuff - mostly scotch. 

 

When they get up to the bathing room, Castiel pours some oils into the nearly full bath while Dean sets up the food and beer. By the time they've both climbed in and settled on the bench inside the tub, the water is ready to be shut off. 

 

"Wanna watch some Netflix?" Castiel asks as he hands Dean his beer from its spot on the other side of him. 

 

Dean hides a smile by taking a sip before pointing out, "There's no way we can stay awake for a whole movie."

 

"Then let's start a show. Couples do that. They watch shows together because they have so much time. Ya know. We watched movies because… well, you know why." If Dean was a nicer person, he'd save Castiel from his nervous rambles. He's not that nice of a person though. "But now we're in this for the long haul, right? And couples do that. They watch shows. Together. Like all of the episodes. Together. I read it online. It's a thing. So we could do that. If you want?"

 

Dean finally releases the laugh he was holding, making sure it's soft and fond instead of mocking. He doesn't want to discourage Castiel from going out on a limb about things like this,  even if he is always adorably awkward about them.  

 

"I'd love that, Cas. Let's find something."

 

It takes a bit for them to agree on something since they wanted it to be a show neither of them had seen before. They watch at least a dozen trailers, adding a few shows to their watchlist but deciding they aren't in the mood for them right now. They finally decide on a show after a few minutes, though. Schitt’s Creek. Dean had heard Sam talk about it before, and the trailer looked decent, so they gave it a shot. 

 

Two hours later, after bingeing the first six episodes, drinking their beer and eating every last crumb of food, and turning pruney despite the bath keeping the water warm, they finally get out of the tub and pathetically stumble to the bedroom as they try their best to hurry and dry off. 

 

As Dean finishes drying his hair, he stands a few steps inside the room and takes it all in. It’s different than he imagined - though he shouldn’t be surprised. The whole house has been different than expected with its open concept and light colors and windows everywhere. Even the playroom was different than anything Dean ever saw at the compound. Castiel did a good job at carving out a place for them that was like a breath of fresh air. The bedroom is no different. 

 

The floor is the same light-colored hardwood that covers most of the floors in the house, the walls the same light blue that looks white unless you catch it at the perfect angle in the right lighting. Not that there’s much as far as the walls go. Three of the four sides are made up of floor to ceiling windows, the only thing to be painted the thin strips of trim in between each panel. There’s even a panel in the ceiling, just above where the bed is. Dean tilts his head and sees what looks to be the night sky, the view obstructed by the lights Castiel has turned on in the bedroom. 

 

It’s not long before Dean has forgotten all about the windows and the ceiling, his focus honing in on the bed. It’s large. Even larger than the one Castiel had in his suite above the compound. It’s covered in a fluffy white comforter that looks like a damn cloud, the pillows all varying shades of gray and blue. One of those oversized chunky-knitted blankets is folded lazily at the end of it. The blanket is the exact same shade of blue as Dean’s blanket from the compound. 

 

“Wanna try it out?” Castiel whispers in his ear, pressing his chest to Dean’s back as he does so. 

 

Dean shivers. “Definitely.” 

 

“I’d like to bring a few things in from the playroom. Would that be okay?”

 

“What are they?”

 

“I’d rather they be a surprise, but I promise it will all be things you okay-ed earlier today, and you have your safe word.”

 

Knowing they were going to have to take this step eventually, Dean decides it’s best to do it now. Rip off the band-aid and give in. They still have plenty to establish between them. Rules and boundaries. Limits. When he’ll be Dean and when he’ll be Castiel’s sub. All of that can wait, though. 

 

For now, Dean relishes the thought of handing over control to Castiel and letting the man he loves - the man he trusts - take care of everything. 

 

“Okay. Surprise is fine,” Dean says softly, raising his chin to meet Castiel’s eyes. 

 

To say Castiel looks pleased is a fucking understatement. It makes Dean’s whole body glow in a pleasure of its own. He forgot how much he loved making his mas - his dominant - happy. 

 

He can’t wait to do it for the rest of his life. 

 

----

 

When Castiel walks back into the bedroom, his finest rope in one hand and a pinwheel in the other, he nearly trips over himself from how quickly he stops. 

 

Dean isn't where Castiel left him. He's where Castiel would have wanted him if they were back in the suite or at Castiel's old home; naked and kneeling at the foot of Castiel's bed. His hands are resting on his thighs, palms facing the ceiling. His head is hung low, eyes on the floor. His breathing is even. Calm. 

 

The towel he had been using is neatly folded and placed on the floor beside the dresser, exactly where Castiel would have him fold any clothing he had been wearing back when they were together… before

 

As Castiel slowly approaches him, Dean's body doesn't so much as twitch in acknowledgement. His breathing remains the same, keeping his muscles relaxed and in place. 

 

"Good boy," Castiel rasps, still slightly shaken by this turn in events. He hadn't expected pure submission like this yet. Not before they spent hours arguing over every single rule like they had back - Castiel shakes his head, stopping himself. He can't keep comparing now to back then. The past needs to stay in the past, because the present is beautiful and he’s not willing to waste a second of it. 

 

Castiel places the rope and wartenberg wheel on the mattress before getting down on one knee beside Dean. With firm but gentle hands, he begins to move him into the new position Castiel has settled on. The one he never had a slave take before. The one that will always be just theirs. 

 

"From now on, I want your arms like this," Castiel explains as he takes Dean's hands and guides them to the small of his back so his arms around pulled behind him. "Clasp your left wrist with your right hand. There you go. Good boy."

 

Dean shivers at the praise but stays straight faced and relaxed as Castiel continues repositioning him. He lets Castiel straighten his back and tilt his chin. Lets him shift his weight so Dean is more up on his knees instead of back on his heels.

 

"There you go. My good boy." Castiel places a kiss to Dean's shoulder blade before standing up and stepping back. "Rise to your feet but keep your arms in place. Eyes on the floor. Good." 

 

Castiel walks to the edge of the bed, pretending he's not even paying attention to Dean as he fiddles with the rope, unwinding it out of the resting loop he had knotted it in. "On your knees. Show me what you learned."

 

Slowly, gracefully, Dean sinks back down to the position he was just taught. His arms never leave their place and his eyes never dart away from the spot on the floor a foot or so in front of him. "Such a good boy for me. Good boys get rewards, don't they, pet?" 

 

Dean's head ticks up just an inch before the boy remembers he's not allowed to raise his head. "If mast - if sir, says so, then yes, sir." 

 

Castiel's gut twists painfully at the slip. Even if Dean had caught himself, it's proof that a part of Dean is still ingrained with the lessons he was taught at the compound. A part of his sweet, perfect boy is still living in fear of the master Castiel used to be. He knows it's wishful thinking to hope one day Dean can forget about the monster who held that title, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear the reminder of that. 

 

But Dean corrected himself. And Dean answered properly. So Dean deserves even more of a reward. 

 

Castiel's self-hate spiral can fucking wait.

 

"Stand up for me again, pet." Dean silently follows the order. Castiel walks around him so he's standing in front of Dean. Dean's eyes settle on Castiel's bare feet and remain there. He can tell by the way his freckled nose keeps twitching though that Dean's actively fighting the urge to look up at him.

 

Always such a good boy.

 

"Look at me." Dean releases a breath of relief and lifts his chin until his gaze meets Castiel's. When Castiel gives him an encouraging smile, Dean matches it. He even puffs up a bit with pride and confidence, probably able to see in the way Castiel is looking at him that Castiel is extremely pleased. "Thank you for submitting to me, Dean. I hadn't expected you to kneel for me tonight. You doing so makes me feel very honored. I want you to know I understand how big this is for you and I appreciate your trust in me. You are such a good, sweet boy for me. More perfect than I can express. Thank you for your control."

 

Dean's cheeks flame red, but he says nothing. There's still a flash of uncertainty in his pretty green eyes, though. It's too close to regret for Castiel's liking.

 

“I’m making you a promise, Dean. Even though you're pet right now and I'm sir, even though you knelt for me, tomorrow morning, when we wake up, I swear to you that we will be us again. That I'll hand you this power back." Castiel cradles his cheek, but Dean doesn't react to the touch as he continues to stare wide-eyed at Castiel. "When the sun comes up, you'll be Dean and I'll be Cas, okay? We'll take it one day at a time. Together."

 

"Together," Dean echoes, finally leaning into Castiel’s touch as he closes his eyes. He smiles. "One day at a time."

 

How Castiel got so lucky, he will truly never understand.

 

"What's your safe word, pet?" 

 

A corner of Dean's lips quirks up. "Ocean, sir."

 

"Good boy." Castiel shows Dean the rope in his hand, enjoying the way the boy's pupils dilate and his cock semi-hard cock twitches. "I'd like to restrain you. It will be more than I've ever done before. A shibari pattern that will immobilize you without me needing to tie you to any furniture." 

 

Dean swallows hard, eyes glued to the rope as Castiel caresses it. "Safe word, pet?"

 

"Ocean, sir," Dean whispers. 

 

"Good." Castiel takes the tip of the rope and begins to delicately trace Dean's collarbone with it. The boy gasps, then shivers. His body erupts in goosebumps. "I want to play with sensory deprivation and sensation play. As I know how you feel about blindfolds, I plan on trusting you to keep your eyes closed. Are you going to be able to do that for me, pet? Are you going to be able to keep your eyes closed for your dom?"

 

Dean whines when the tip of rope is circled around his navel. "Y-yes, sir."

 

"You'll have headphones in. Noise-canceling headphones." Castiel drags the rope to the root of Dean's cock, smirking when the boy sucks in a breath and holds it. Dean completely deflates in frustration when Castiel quickly moves away without actually touching his cock with the material. "You will not come until the playlist is over. I am not gagging you, because I very much so enjoy the pretty noises you make for me and I also want you to be able to safe word. Feel free to beg. Moan. Cry. Scream. I don't much care what words fall out of your mouth. Unless they're 'ocean' you will not come until that playlist is over. Understood?"

 

Dean licks his lips, looking at Castiel through heavy lidded eyes. "No, sir… am I allowed to come right when the playlist stops, or are you saying you'll give me permission at some point after that?" 

 

"You will wait-" Castiel pauses, running the tip of the rope along Dean's full bottom lip. "I'll remove your headphones and tell you. Don't worry."

 

"Okay. Thank you, sir."

 

"You're welcome. Good boy asking questions instead of just trying to guess." Castiel leans in and gives Dean a quick kiss as a reward. the boy chases it but only for a second before remembering he shouldn't do such things and relaxing back into his standing position. "Sir likes how dedicated you are to making him happy." 

 

Dean's skin blooms with pink as he soaks in the praise.

 

"Climb on the bed and get into your kneeling position in the center of it." As Dean does as told, Castiel places the wheel on the side table and dims the lights. He'd prefer them off completely, but shibari requires too much attention for that. He's not willing to risk causing harm to Dean just so the sensory deprivation is slightly more intense. 

 

Castiel settles behind Dean and begins to wind the rope around his wrists, staring from the and working his way up and around him. 

 

"I'll put the headphones on you once I'm finished here," Castiel explains. "It's important I can speak with you during this process to make sure everything is okay. Is anything pinching?" 

 

"No, sir."

 

"Any numbness or cold sensations?"

 

"No, sir."

 

Castiel hums his approval and continues binding his beautiful submissive. He checks in with him from time to time and quickly notices that he's losing him. Each response takes longer than the one before, the words growing more distant and slurred. 

 

It's normal. A good thing. 

 

Of course, Castiel didn't tell Dean that. 

 

For some reason, the idiot thought Dean would just know. But Castiel has been spending time at actual kink clubs with men and women who treat BDSM with respect. He's learned from the best. Everything from safe words to subspace - which is what's pulling Dean under right now. 

 

He doesn't realize his mistake until Dean whimpers a panicked, "Cas?" when Castiel secures the final larks head. 

 

Castiel's hands freeze where they grip the rope. Dean calling him by his name is only a step or two lower than safe wording. He had to swallow the heart in his throat before managing to ask, "What's wrong, baby?"

 

"Jus' - jus' fuzzy." Dean shakes his head, clearly fighting the feeling. 

 

"Shhh, let it take over. It's supposed to feel like that." 

 

"Didn' like it before. Scary."

 

Castiel closes his eyes in grief. Before

 

"That wasn't the same, baby. That was your mind escaping out of fear and necessity. This is your mind escaping for pleasure and release. It's called subspace and I promise you I won't let anything happen to you while you're there." Castiel kisses Dean’s temple before whispering in his ear, "Let go, pet. Let it all go. Put everything on me for a while. Let yourself forget." 

 

Dean whimpers. "Gonna be bad. Gonna mess up."

 

Castiel places a hand on Dean's shoulder and begins stroking him there. It grounds the boy just as he hoped it would. "The only possible way to mess up is to come before the songs are over. Let yourself float, baby. Let your mind shut off. Your sole focus is to abstain from coming until the last song is over. I know you can do that, even floating. I know you can because you're my good strong boy. You'll be so good for me, won't you, Dean? Because you always are. So so good for me."

 

Dean sinks into his touch, his eyes falling closed as he hums in agreement. 

 

"What's your safe word?" Castiel asks quietly, not wanting to yank Dean out of the bubble he's starting to float away in. 

 

"O-shhhin," the boy slurs with a goofy grin dripping from his lips. 

 

Castiel can't help but chuckle. "Anything pulling or uncomfortable? Any tingling or cold?"

 

"Nhhmmmh. Goo - so good."

 

Deciding to let the fact that Dean is forgetting to address him properly go, Castiel gently arranges the boy on his back in a way that won't hurt any of his bound limbs. He reaches over to the side table and grabs the wheel, then his phone and headphones where they were lying beside it. He puts the headphones on himself to adjust the volume before placing them on Dean and starting the playlist from the beginning. They're high enough quality where Castiel can faintly hear the song too, keeping him on the same exact page as Dean so he can work him up to the ultimate crescendo just as the music does the same. 

 

He spends the entirety of Black Acres only touching Dean with his fingertips. The boy squirms and hums a lot at the sensation but mostly stays relaxed as he drifts to the music. The only time he makes a true sound is when Castiel spends time stroking his cock and balls with feather-light touches. 

 

When the final chords of Black Acres fade into Desire Castiel replaces his fingers with his tongue, starting his exploration right at the crest of Dean's leaking cock. Dean bucks up the best he can with the way his body is restrained, jumbled words falling from his lips. 

 

"Ooooh, please s - sir, sir, s -"

 

Castiel takes Dean into his mouth and swallows him to the hilt. The beautiful submissive beneath him shudders in his restraints. A low, pleased hum drags out of his mouth, ending in a slow and drawn out, "Ssshhhhhiiiiitttttt." 

 

The jerking movements and slurring words only get worse when Castiel's tongue makes its way to Dean's hole just as the song reaches its height. 

 

"I - oh - p - pleeeasse - holy-s-fuckin'shhiiittt, sir. Ho - holy - oh shhhhit." 

 

"Such a naughty mouth," Castiel tsks to himself before pulling away to gently blow on Dean's slick skin.

 

Unaware of Castiel's musings, Dean just continues swearing and gasping and begging. 

 

Castiel pulls away just as Tainted Love begins to play, sitting back to watch his boy. He stays calm for a few seconds before whimpering from the neglect. It's not long at all before he's bouncing the best he can in place, desperately humping the air above. 

 

Before his frustration can turn into fear that Castiel abandoned him, Castiel picks up the pinwheel and begins drawing patterns with it along Dean's skin. He applies just enough pressure to color the skin along his thigh and Dean gasps, his head thrown back as he absorbs the dull pain. Castiel moves the wheel along Dean's groin, just missing his cock and balls by an inch, at the same time as he takes Dean's right nipple into his mouth. 

 

"Ahhh!" Dean tries to buck forward and pull back at the same time, his body unsure of what it even wants. "I - ngh - j - ffff."

 

Castiel chuckles and does it again, this time with the opposite side of the groin and the opposite nipple. Then he has some real fun. He pulls away and blows cool air on the damp nipples until their buds are elongated and hard. Then he drags the wheel horizontally across Dean's chest, making sure the bumps pass straight over the over sensitive nipples. 

 

From the way Dean screams, his entire body shuddering violently, Castiel thinks he's going to come. He removes the wheel from his boy's body and stares at his cock. After holding his breath for ten full seconds, he decides it's safe to continue.

 

He also decides Dean doesn't have much longer.

 

He decides not to prep Dean any more than just slathering his cock with lube. It'll just be another layer of pain and pleasure to add to the rest. 

 

Waiting until Tainted Love sinks into Meet your Master, Castiel lines up his cock and gently nudges in. He smirks when Dean's eyes flash open for a second as he gasps. The boy behaves, though, screwing his eyes shut again once the shock has cleared. 

 

Then his mouth starts running again. "Fuck - fuck, sir. Fuck please. Please. Can't - more. More. Fuck me. Harder. Fuck me."

 

Since Dean's still impossibly tight around him, Castiel grabs two fistfuls of rope and uses them as leverage as he begins rocking into him. It's adorably sexy how Dean tries to buck and squirm as he's penetrated, clearly impatient for more. Castiel can see angry red lines appearing on Dean's skin where he's desperately fighting the rope. Castiel chuckles darkly at the sight. 

 

After his cock is buried inside Dean's hole, Castiel pulls out all the stops. He grips his throat with one hand and shifts his weight forward. It’s not enough to choke him out, but enough to make his breaths and words rasp and break. His boyfriend - holy fuck does Castiel love that - stubbornly continues trying to beg despite his lack of air. Castiel starts to fuck him harder to shut him up, grinning when he starts to hear the man's teeth clacking from the power of his thrusts. 

 

Just as the final song begins to crest, Castiel finds the perfect angle. He mercilessly pounds Dean's prostate until he has him screaming. 

 

Until he has him sobbing

 

Fat tears run down Dean's cheeks as he thrashes his head. "No no no no no-"

 

Castiel takes the bottom of Dean's cock in a punishing grip to stave off the orgasm he's clearly struggling to fight. The boy sobs something, though it doesn't resemble enough of any sort of word that Castiel can really interpret it. 

 

It doesn't sound like ocean, which is all that matters. 

 

The idea that it could be a safe word though freaks Castiel out a bit. Enough for him to pull the headphones off with at least 15 seconds still remaining of the final song. He doubts Dean would care they ended earlier. The boy probably wouldn't be able to tell him what song was just playing in his ear for the life of him. 

 

Dean gasps at the sudden loss of music right as Castiel growls, "Look at me." 

 

The moment he's rewarded with those beautiful green eyes, Castiel removes his hand from Dean's cock and smiles fondly at him. "My good boy - come for me, sweetheart." 

 

Eyes locked onto Castiel, unblinking, Dean does as told. 

 

He unravels beautifully. 

 

----

 

The first thing to register in Dean's mind when he awakens is the smell that's wrapped around him. It's exactly the same. The heady scent of Castiel’s natural musk mixed with woodsy soap that has a hint of rum in it. Dean sinks back against Castiel's chest and inhales deeply, unable to stop a giddy smile. 

 

He had forgotten how much he loved waking up to Castiel's smell. 

 

"Hey, you." Dean hums at the sound of Castiel's soft greeting, turning in his arms to face him. With a soft bop of his nose against the tip of Dean's, Castiel asks, "How are you?"

 

Dean parts his lips to say he's good, but no sound comes out. It'd make him panic if he wasn't so sleepy and happy. He can tell that Castiel is slightly concerned by his silence, though. He tries to swim through what feels like a fog - a fog made of laughing gas apparently because he can't stop grinning. 

 

At least Castiel's concerned frown quickly turns to a grin as well. "I'm hoping this means you're good."

 

"Mmmmm." Dean buries his face in Castiel's neck and smiles again. He even giggles a little. He doesn't know how to explain this feeling. It's like nothing he's felt before. Castiel has made him fly before, always leaving him sated and dreamy, but this is… 

 

Dean will think of a word later. 

 

His brain has decided it doesn't want to right now. 

 

Soft fingers trace up and down his spine, making him shiver before giggling again. A much deeper laugh vibrates through the chest that he's lying against. "So you get giggly in subspace. I think I like that."

 

This makes Dean laugh some more, but his eyes are getting too heavy and his mind is fogging once more. He thinks he'd really like to sleep. 

 

"Oh no you don't." Castiel adjusts him so Dean's propped up against the pillows. 

 

Unimpressed with this development, Dean keeps his eyes closed and grumbles, "G' sleep."

 

"Drink," Castiel orders in response as what feels like a straw is placed between Dean's lips. 

 

Dean obeys, but as he starts to slurp the water down, he thinks of sucking Castiel's cock and starts laughing. He chokes on water and some comes out of his nose as he laughs. 

 

Castiel joins him. "I don't know what's so funny but I'm glad you're enjoying yourself because now I'm soaked." 

 

When Dean cracks an eye open to see that Castiel is truly wet now, he falls into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. It's not until his face is covered in tears and his stomach is cramping that he finally manages to catch his breath and stop. 

 

He looks up to find Castiel staring at him in awe. When he notices Dean's gaze, Castiel gives him a sad smile and shakes his head. "I missed that laugh of yours so damn much. You never laughed enough before."

 

Dean doesn't feel like laughing this time. Not as he thinks of before. 

 

Instead, he pushes forward and wraps his body around Castiel's, using him as a body pillow. He's exhausted again. Laughing is hard work. "Don't care 'bout b'fore. Laughin' now."

 

"Good, Dean." Castiel holds him tight and kisses his forehead. "I promise the laughter won't ever stop with us."

 

"Mmm." When he slowly blinks his eyes open, planning to say goodnight as he looks Castiel in the eye, Dean sees something else instead. The ocean, through the large glass doors of the bedroom, is in his line of sight, the moon reflecting off it. 

 

Dean gives into a giddy smile. 

 

On a sleepy, content sigh, Dean whispers, "Happy." 

 

He feels Castiel nod against him as he closes his eyes again and allows himself to finally drift off. Castiel's voice becomes background music as Dean slips blissfully into a dreamless sleep. 

 

"I'll keep you happy until my dying day, Dean Winchester. I promise." 

 

Chapter Text

When Castiel stirs awake the following morning, he instinctively reaches for Dean. His heart lurches into his throat as he realizes there's nothing beside him but cold sheets. He sits up with a jolt and turns his head to see for himself, squinting in the morning light at the empty spot where he knows Dean had been just a few hours before. 

 

"Dean?" Castiel calls in a thick voice. He waits a moment to see if Dean will answer before climbing out of bed and tugging some shorts on. "Dean?" 

 

He checks the bathroom, the playroom, the bathing room, Dean's empty room. 

 

"Dean?"

 

He checks the guest bedrooms, the library, the office.

 

"Dean?" 

 

He checks the downstairs.

 

The kitchen. 

 

That's when the panic hits. And it hits hard

 

What had he done? Was last night too much? Did he take things too far? Dean had seemed to love it. He hadn't safeworded, and even though things were intense, there shouldn't have been much pain. He was in subspace. The real one. 

 

Did he drop? If he did, why wouldn't he wake Castiel? Ask for help? 

 

Castiel closes his eyes and growls at himself. If Dean didn't know about subspace, he isn't going to know about sub drop. He probably woke up panicked or maybe sick. Sad. Feeling worthless or - or it doesn't matter. 

 

Castiel has to find him. 

 

He has to. 

 

He can't lose him again. Not after last night. Not after the ocean and the food and the Netflix and the bath. Not after Dean knelt for him. Not after the promise they made to do this together, one day at a time. Not after Dean's bubbling laughter and goofy smile as he lay on Castiel's chest. 

 

"Fuck," Castiel gasps. He opens his eyes and looks around himself in a hazy panic. 

 

Just as he's feeling tears prick his eyes, Castiel catches something red out of the corner of his eye and turns to see what it is. His panic ebbs with the distraction. He sucks in a relieved breath as he registers that the light is from the coffee pot, there to let him know the thing is turned on and the liquid is hot. 

 

Surely Dean wouldn't make coffee before leaving him, right? If he took the time to brew a pot of coffee, then he must still be here. Castiel just has to figure out where. 

 

The answer to that question is so obvious that Castiel is disgusted with himself for not figuring it out sooner. It should have been one of the first places he checked. He would have saved himself from the panicked spiral he spent the morning in if he had just opened the glass doors in the kitchen and stepped out onto the porch sooner. Then he would have seen the man he loves standing with his feet in the surf as the sun brightens the sky above. 

 

Castiel leaves the doors open, allowing the ocean breeze to fill the house as he hurries down the steps and across the sand. He must make too much noise because Dean turns to look at him about halfway through Castiel's relieved jog. His smile is brilliant. "Good morning, sleepyhead." 

 

Unable to stop himself from smiling, Castiel shakes his head in frustration and pulls Dean into a heated kiss. He kisses the boy breathless before resting his forehead against Dean's and admitting, "I thought you left me." 

 

Dean's muscles go slack against him. "Oh, babe. No. I'm sorry! I should've left a note or something. I wasn't thinking. I'm just not used to the time difference yet, so I woke up wide awake, and you looked so warm and cute all cuddled up in the blankets sleeping so I snuck away. I'm sorry." 

 

"It's not your fault. I just have to trust that you're not gonna leave."

 

"Is that something you've been paranoid about?" When Castiel says nothing, just shrugging a shoulder as a response, Dean sighs. "I wish you would have told me that."

 

"It's not fair for me to."

 

Dean pulls away to look him in the eye. "Cas, I'll give you a goodbye if I ever decide to leave. After everything the two of us have been through, I think we deserve a proper goodbye if this doesn't work out." 

 

"Promise?" Castiel tightens his grip on Dean, feeling like a desperate fool but unable to care. "Promise me that no matter what, you'll give me a goodbye."

 

"I promise you, Castiel." Dean gives him a slow, lingering kiss before pulling away. "Now go get me more coffee because you spilled mine. Get yourself some too. Come sit with me." 

 

Castiel doesn't think he's ever heard of a better idea. He heads inside to do as told, smiling to himself as it sinks in that he's actually obeying an order from Dean. At the last minute, he drapes a flannel blanket over his shoulder before heading back out with the coffees. 

 

Dean's now sitting further up the beach, safe in the sand where the surf can't reach them. He takes his cup from Castiel and sets it down in the sand, making a divot so it'll stay in place, then helps him spread the blanket out so they can wrap it around themselves once Castiel sits. They lean against each other, Dean's head on Castiel's shoulder, and for the second time this morning, Castiel finds himself with tears in his eyes. 

 

These ones aren't from panic or devastation. 

 

They're relieved. 

 

They're happy. 

 

"You okay this morning?" he asks Dean softly, remembering how important it is to check in.

 

"I'm amazing this morning." Dean makes a noise in his throat that Castiel knows is accompanied by a smile even if he can't see it. "That was… it was more than I could've ever imagined, Cas. I thought it'd be the same as last time, and I was okay with that, but it wasn't. I mean it was, but it was also so much more. I'm not making any sense, am I?" 

 

Castiel chuckles. "It's okay. I know what you mean. I'm relieved."

 

"How so?"

 

"Well, I've tried my best to learn as much as possible about real BDSM. If you were ever going to come back to me and we were going to try to do this again, I knew I didn't want to do it as the guy you knew before. Even at the end there - I was in love with you, but I wasn't a good dominant. So I rebuilt myself. But that doesn't matter.” Castiel waves that off, upset with himself for getting distracted. “The point I'm trying to get at is that I've learned a great deal and what happened last night, you reaching subspace, that only happens when you feel safe enough with me to let go. You have to fully trust me. Not just say you do on the surface, you have to mean it. Otherwise, your mind won't let you into that space. And that's what was so different for you. Before, when we would be together, you would disassociate. It was a coping mechanism. But last night, you went into subspace, and that's not to cope or escape what's happening. It's just meant to heighten everything." Castiel laughs under his breath. "Now I'm the one probably not making any sense." 

 

"No, it actually makes perfect sense."

 

"Good." 

 

"I think I need to learn a lot more about this stuff too. I know the basics of BDSM, like how everything is about consensual interactions and safety, but I never really learned about the details. Hell, before the compound I never even considered myself part of that community, let alone as a submissive." Dean's voice quiets as he tilts his head to look out at the ocean. "And then after… I don't know. I guess I avoided it. Avoided admitting to it. I didn't want to be fucked up like everyone said I was. But last night wasn't fucked up. This morning isn't fucked up. We aren't fucked up. We're just messy. Now I see the difference." 

 

"I like that. Messy. It's a good description."

 

Dean peeks up at him with a mischievous grin. "And what's life without a little mess, right?"

 

"Right." 

 

They share a soft kiss as if to solidify the moment. Then Dean places his head back on Castiel's shoulder and they go back to watching the waves crash on the shore. 

 

After a few minutes pass, Dean makes a sound that's caught between laughing and snorting. "Speaking of messes...did I spit on you last night, or was that a dream?"

 

A laugh burst through Castiel's lips at the memory. "No dream. You couldn't stop laughing and blew water everywhere. Mind telling me what was so funny?" 

 

"I honestly don't remember if there was even a reason. You'll have to ask subspace Dean. Take it up with him. Real Dean doesn't spit at people." 

 

"I think I'll leave subspace Dean be. He's happy." 

 

Dean shifts his head like he's going to lift it but ends up settling it back in place. "Real Dean is happy too," he whispers in a small voice. 

 

"I know. But your happiness is still weighed down. Last night, as him, you were weightless. Free." Castiel shifts so he can look Dean in the eye. "It's not a bad thing. You have to deal with real life. You have to deal with the mess. He gets off easy."

 

"I guess that's okay, then. It was nice being him. At first I was afraid to let go like that, but once I did, you're right… I was weightless." 

 

"Good."

 

"I'd like to do it again." Dean looks at him shyly. "Scenes, I mean. I know we said one day at a time, and that's how I want it to be, but I just thought I should put that out there."

 

Castiel's heart picks up speed at the confirmation. He had hoped. As he fell asleep last night, holding Dean as he slept peacefully in his arms, Castiel had hoped. It had felt amazing to be together in that way. And the power you get when being a dom? There's nothing like it. It'll never compare to the way he felt with slaves at the compound. Being with them was like a toxic form of adrenaline pumping through your veins. Being with Dean felt like flying. Just the sight of Dean in subspace alone had made Castiel feel on top of the world. And every time he laughed last night, even when he spit water out at him, Castiel had felt weights lift off his shoulders. 

 

As a true dom, Castiel could give Dean the world. He could take care of him. Praise him. Love him. Castiel truly believes he can be the kind of man that’s worthy of Dean Winchester. He’s determined to be. 

 

Castiel hasn't heard his father's voice in months. 

 

He hopes to never hear it again. 

Chapter Text

"We should go to the store," Dean suggests, like that’s such a normal fucking thing to do. 

 

Castiel pauses. 

 

A grocery store. Yes. That… makes sense. 

 

Dean had mentioned earlier that he had wanted to cook them a meal for their first full day together in the house. Castiel’s shopper wouldn’t have known what Dean wanted to cook. Therefore, Castiel’s fridge isn’t adequately stocked. 

 

Still, the kitchen is stocked. Fully stocked. 

 

Surely something could be made without leaving here. 

 

“You could just pick from my kitchen? I have many ingredients.”

 

“No thanks. I have a specific recipe in mind. Something I learned in Italy.” Dean beams at him, clearly proud and excited to show off. “It’s no big deal, Cas. Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Is there a store nearby?”

 

“Yes?”

 

Dean smirks, one eyebrow lifting. “So, let’s go.”

 

"Okay. The store. We can do that. Yes. The store." He looks off in the distance as he thinks. "I think there's a grocery store on the main road. About 20 miles south."

 

“You think?” Dean laughs. “Just bring me wherever you usually go, Cas.”

 

Castiel fiddles with the coffee mug he’s in the middle of washing, unable to look Dean in the eye. “I don’t really have a place. But I’m almost positive there’s one 20 miles south.”

 

“Cas, why are you acting so weird about grabbing some groceries?”

 

Feeling like an idiot, he admits, “I’ve never done it.”

 

“Done what?” Dean asks. When Castiel puts the mug down and turns around, drying his hands off with a dish towel, Dean realizes what he means. He gapes at Castiel. “Wait - you’re saying you’ve never gone grocery shopping?”

 

“I’ve never needed to.”

 

“What have you been doing the last two years? Living off of takeout? Who stocked your fridge and cabinets?”

 

Castiel shrugs. “The person I hired to do so. She cleans twice a week as well.” 

 

After staring Castiel down for almost a full minute, Dean turns his back to Castiel and spins a finger in the air. “Come on. Let’s go!”

 

“But-”

 

“Nope! Nope, this is happening. We are grocery shopping. I need to witness this immediately.”

 

Not exactly enjoying the pure pleasure Dean’s finding in his situation, Castiel grabs his wallet and keys and follows his bossy boyfriend out the front door. He makes a mental note to get higher security now that Dean’s here. A top-tier system. Only the best to protect his boy. 

 

Castiel gets in the car beside Dean, giving him another dirty look. His boyfriend just grins wider at him. With a trembling hand that’s absolutely ridiculous and makes Castiel roll his eyes at himself - he’s negotiated prices with terrorists and KGB and world leaders for fucks sake, surely Castiel can handle grocery shopping - Castiel starts the car. He strangles the life out of his steering wheel as his mind runs through overdramatic scenarios. 

 

Dean takes his mind off of things by turning the radio on. He finds the classic rock station and starts singing along, clearly in a great mood. It helps ease the anxiety in Castiel’s chest. He even cracks a smile when Dean starts to serenade him with a Queen song. 

 

Then they pull into the parking lot of the small grocery store by Castiel’s barber shop, and Castiel’s snapped straight back to his panic spiral. He’s been to a few places in public, of course. In the beginning, right after taking over the compound, Castiel had been able to spread his wings a little. He found the kink club he and Gabriel liked to hang out at. He found a sex toy shop he loved to explore. He found a great little cigar shop. All other needs were taken care of. Even the sex toys and the cigars could have been taken care of if Castiel hadn’t enjoyed the simple act of walking around to look at the items so much. Someone cut his hair. Someone bought and tailored all of his clothing. Someone cleaned. Someone grocery shopped. Someone cooked. Someone drove him everywhere, so cars and gas weren’t an issue. 

 

These past two years were harder than he thought they’d be but he had managed to stay out of the public as much as he could. He found a barber shop with a crabby old man who doesn’t like small talk to cut his hair. He found a gas station where he can pay at the pump without interacting with a soul. He checked out a few places with Gabriel - including the kink club they found in the city. He found a counselor he surprisingly doesn’t hate. Then he hired for the rest. Cooking. Cleaning. Grocery shopping. 

 

Castiel hasn’t ever been to a grocery store. He feels itchy and suffocated. 

 

How the fuck do grocery stores even work?

 

This is going to be worse than the airport in Germany. 

 

Worse than his first time going to his counseling appointment. 

 

Worse than - this is fucking ridiculous. It’s grocery shopping.

 

Grocery shopping. 

 

Get your shit together, Novak. 

 

It’s literally buying food. With Dean. The love of your life. 

 

With a deep breath and a new attitude, Castiel turns the engine off and looks over at Dean. He smiles. “Well, shall we?”

 

-----

 

Dean has never seen something so immensely entertaining. He knew Castiel would be in over his head, but this is just… fantastic. The man has barely entered the store and he’s already looking around like a deer caught in headlights. 

 

“What’s that?” Castiel asks when they first get inside, pointing at the cart corral Dean’s leading him towards. 

 

“What’s what?” Dean asks. “The carts?”

 

“Cart?”

 

Fighting to keep himself from laughing, Dean says, “It’s a cart, Cas. A shopping cart.”

 

“And we - we put the groceries in this cart?” Castiel tilts his head in confusion, looking far too adorable for a man so sexy and dominant. “Yes, okay. That makes sense. Okay. Yeah. A cart. Great!”

 

Dean hides a smile behind his hand and reminds himself that Castiel is probably having a really hard time, even if it is funny from the outside, and he should be nice. Once he has himself under control, he guides Castiel to a cart like he’s introducing him to a dangerous wild animal. Once Castiel’s hands are curled around the metal bar of the cart, Dean steps back and encourages, “Go ahead and push it. Try to pay attention so you don’t run into people, okay?”

 

Castiel manages to run into three people before they even get to the produce section. 

 

“Why don’t they have a cart?” Castiel grumbles, waving a hand towards a couple in exasperation. 

 

“They have a basket.”

 

“How do you know which one to use?”

 

“Um, well…” Dean scratches his head, unsure how to even explain something like that. He’s always just sort of known. “I mean, if you’re only getting a few items, you can get a basket because it’s easier to go through the store since you don’t have to push the huge ass cart. But if you’re getting too many things - or if the few things you’re getting are too heavy - then you need to get a cart, since they’re bigger and it’s easier to push heavy things than carry them.”

 

“Oh.” Castiel does the head tilt thing again. “Fascinating.”

 

A thought occurs to Dean and he asks, “Cas?”

 

“Yes?” Castiel asks with his eyebrows raised, looking over at Dean like he’s a puppy waiting for a treat or praise. 

 

“How can you afford to have the personal shoppers and cleaners and all of that? Now that you’re not at the compound?”

 

Guilt floods Castiel’s expression. The sight of it makes Dean’s stomach twist painfully. “I kept all of the money I had, which was more than enough to live off of. I’m just no longer getting any new income from the business.”

 

The business. 

 

They’re about to buy groceries with money from the business. They’re living in a house bought with money from the business. 

 

“No more,” Dean states firmly. 

 

“No more what?”

 

“Shoppers and cleaners and all that shit. It’s excessive. If we’re going to be using that money, we’re going to be using it to survive. Not to act like spoiled brats.”

 

Castiel’s eyebrows shoot up before he nods slowly. “Wow, Dean, tell me how you really feel.”

 

After glancing around quickly to make sure no one is eavesdropping, Dean leans forward and whispers, “That money is dirty, Cas. Please. I don’t wanna fight about it. I don’t wanna talk about the past. I get that that’s where your money is coming from, and I’m not saying I think you should get a job or something like that, but just… I need normal. I don’t want to be secluded. I don’t want to have to choose between living in your bubble or living in the real world. I want to do this with you, but it has to be all in. Grocery shopping. Going to the mall. Spending Sundays with the radio on while we clean. Folding laundry while we watch a movie. Eat dinner that we cooked together - well, that I’ll cook for you, but you can keep me company while I do so. I want normal with you. I - I need normal, Cas.”

 

There’s a long pause that terrifies Dean. Finally, Castiel looks him in the eyes and asks in a shaky voice, “Will you teach me? I - I’m not good at normal. I don’t know how but I - I’d like to try with you, Dean. I’d like to be normal with you. Our version, at least.”

 

“I’ll teach you.” Dean smiles softly, but something’s still picking at the back of his mind. “This money that you have, Cas?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Can we just try to be respectful with it? It makes me sick knowing what had to happen in order for that money to be used by us. I’m not naive. I know we can’t stop using it - especially right now, cold turkey. Maybe over time. But just… can we just be respectful about it? Nothing frivolous and unnecessary?”

 

Understanding flashes in Castiel’s blue eyes as he nods. “Yes. Absolutely, Dean.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“But, full disclosure-” a small smirk pulls at Castiel’s lips. “You’ll have to do the laundry. I can handle dishes and sweeping or whatever, but laundry… I still haven’t mastered the laundry.”

 

Dean laughs, relief blooming in his chest at how quickly they’ve eased back into how they were before the compound came up. “Okay, laundry will be mine. No problem.”

 

Dean starts to walk forward, but Castiel stops him with a gentle hand on his elbow. “Dean?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I love you.”

 

Heart lurching in his throat, Dean pushes Castiel against the shelves of flour and kisses him like their lives depend on it. Castiel grunts in surprise before quickly wrapping his strong arms around Dean and holding him tight, deepening the kiss. 

 

“I love you too,” Dean breathes against Castiel’s lips. Tears prick his eyes. “I love you so fucking much, Cas.”

 

Castiel hums happily before locking their lips together again. The next time Dean needs to pull away for a breath, he realizes they’ve knocked over a bag of flour that’s spilled all over the floor, and a store worker is looking at them unimpressed. 

 

“Sorry!” Dean squeaks, blushing hard. “We got carried away. We can pay for the flour.”

 

The guy just shrugs, face impassive. “I hate the fucker that owns the store. Just go kiss somewhere else. In aisle eight. My ex works aisle eight.”

 

Dean and Castiel exchange a look, trying hard not to burst into a fit of childish giggles. They start to push the cart again, Dean giving one last, “Sorry!” over his shoulder to the worker. 

 

“I suppose we should actually shop now, hey?” Dean says on a breathy laugh once they’ve rounded the corner.

 

Castiel makes a face, but it’s clear he’s fighting a smile. “I mean, that sounds much more boring than what we were just doing, but if you insist.”

 

“I insist but don’t worry. We have the rest of our lives to do the fun stuff.”

 

The smile on Castiel’s face spreads so wide it must hurt. “Sounds perfect.”

 

----

 

Dean tosses a box of rice into the shopping cart before announcing that they now need to find chicken broth. Wanting to be helpful, Castiel jumps right in. “Chicken broth. Yes. That’s probably… um… this way?”

 

“That way. but close.” Dean gestures for Castiel to steer the cart in the opposite direction of where Castiel had pointed, laughing under his breath. 

 

Just as Castiel’s about to say something sarcastic, they round another corner, and Castiel slams into something that cries out on impact. 

 

Startled, Castiel looks down with wide eyes to find a little boy flat on his butt, a miniature version of the thing Dean calls a cart lying on its side beside him. The boy is crying as he takes in the spilled contents of his mini-cart. The package of Oreos has torn open and the little carton of milk is in a puddle. 

 

Before Castiel can figure out what to do in such a high stakes crisis, Dean swoops in. He goes down on one knee, his arms flying in the air as his eyes widen. “Woah! You went KABOOM!”

 

The boy looks at Dean in curiosity, his tears stopping as he sniffles. 

 

Dean offers him a hand and smiles wide. “That was so cool! Are you hurt?”

 

After looking around like he’s checking to see, the little boy shakes his head. 

 

“See! Then that’s even cooler! You were like a hot wheel crashing into my friend!” The boy peeks up at Castiel, a tiny giggle escaping him. “And we made a big mess! Like super big! Woah!”

 

“Super big,” the boy agrees with a dramatic nod, giggling some more. 

 

“Should I still eat the cookies? Do you think they’re good?” Dean asks, lowering his face as if he’s about to eat off of the floor. 

 

“No!” the boy shouts before falling into a fit of laughter. “Germs, mister!”

 

Dean deflates. “Ugh, you’re right. Germs. Silly me.”

 

“I could show you where the cookies are?” the boy offers. 

 

Dean glances up, and Castiel notices then that the boy’s mother is standing nearby with a smile. The woman and Dean seem to share some sort of silent communication, which includes the woman nodding. Then Dean takes the little boy’s hand and helps him to his feet. 

 

They start walking away, the woman following. The same worker who cleaned up the flour earlier starts to clean up the mess they left behind. 

 

He gives a look to Castiel that Castiel thinks the KGB would be proud of. 

 

Utterly confused why his boyfriend just walked off with a strange little boy, Castiel cautiously follows them while pushing the cart. They all come to a stop in the cookie aisle. 

 

The little boy gets up on his tip-toes and grabs two packages of cookies. He places one in his mom’s cart, then hands Dean the other one.

 

“They’re my favorite,” the boy informs him.

 

Then, with a very cautious and skeptical glimpse at Castiel, the boy says quietly, “Sorry for hittin’ you, mister.”

 

Feeling like he might have a heart attack, Castiel gapes at the boy, then at Dean, then at the boy again. He has no idea how to interact with this creature. None at all. 

 

It’s even worse when Dean elbows him, clearly trying to get Castiel to say something. 

 

After clearing his throat twice, Castiel awkwardly says, “It is alright… tiny… human.”

 

Dean chokes on a laugh next to him, making Castiel blush - which he’d like to go on record by saying he never used to do before, and Dean Winchester has ruined him. 

 

Thankfully, the mom and the boy start walking away after a small thank you to Dean for helping out. 

 

Except… things get worse. 

 

God, they get so much worse. 

 

The mom looks over her shoulder at Dean and smiles brightly. “If you’re not a dad yet, you should know you’ll be a good one.”

 

And then worse. 

 

Castiel didn’t think it was possible, but it gets fucking worse

 

Because Dean beams and says, “I hope so.”

 

Chapter Text

Dean peeks over at Castiel as he chops a carrot with such intense concentration you would think he was trying to figure out how to launch a rocket. He can’t help but smile to himself. When Castiel had first suggested helping Dean cook, Dean wanted to shut him down. He’s glad he didn’t. Even if the dish isn’t perfect, Dean wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. 

 

“What?” Castiel asks with a shy smile, not looking up from his carrot. “What are you staring at?”

 

“Nothing. Just enjoying the view.”

 

“Ah, yes. The view. I must look so sexy chopping this carrot.”

 

Wincing as he looks down to find the poor carrot cut into very uneven pieces, a few of which have been smashed somehow, Dean tells the truth before following up with a lie. “You look very sexy chopping the carrot. You’re doing great.”

 

Thankfully Castiel sees right through him. He scoffs and puts the knife down. “I’m destroying this thing. Is there something else I can do maybe?”

 

“No, no, no. We aren’t quitters.” Dean stands slightly behind Castiel so he can rest his chin on Castiel’s shoulder. He winds his arms around Castiel’s waist and brings a hand up to cover Castiel’s hand on the knife. Castiel shivers at his touch. 

 

After sweeping the old carrot pieces away and placing a new carrot in front of them, Dean guides Castiel’s hand and explains, “You want to go slowly until you get the hang of it. Nice and even. The trick is to kind of roll it just like this. See how it cuts so much smoother?” 

 

“Yeah,” Castiel whispers, his voice strained with arousal. “Where’d you learn this?”

 

“Cooking shows mostly. And MasterChef. I love watching that show.” Dean scoops the carrots up and puts them in the measuring cup. Then he places another carrot and steps back. “We need two more to fill the cup up. You got it?”

 

Castiel looks at him in fear. “I… think so?”

 

“You’ll be fine. They don’t have to be perfect.”

 

“If you say so.” Castiel frowns down at the carrot, eyebrows pulling in as he examines it. 

 

"I have faith in you."

 

Before returning to his own prep work, Dean turns the speaker on that Castiel showed him earlier, plugging his phone in and playing music. As a Led Zeppelin song fills the kitchen, he returns to his onion and finishes chopping it. 

 

"That little boy at the store was cute, hey?" Castiel asks out of nowhere. 

 

Dean looks over at him in surprise. He’s not sure if he’s ever heard the word ‘cute’ come out of Castiel’s mouth, and he most certainly didn’t expect it to be about a child. Castiel had looked at the boy as if the small child was going to attack him at the store. 

 

"Yeah,” Dean says after a moment. “He was." 

 

"I'm awful with kids."

 

"No, really? I had no idea," Dean teases.

 

Castiel doesn't smile. Instead, he just continues staring intently at his carrot. His hands tremble as he scoops up the last of the pieces to finish filling the measuring cup. 

 

"I'm not upset that you were awkward with him," Dean says carefully. It's the only reason he can think of that Castiel would have brought it up and act so weird. "Plenty of people aren't good with kids." 

 

"Okay." 

 

The mood shifts. Dean knows Castiel feels it because as Dean begins to sauté the onion, carrot, and bay leaves, Castiel pours them each a glass of wine. Dean doesn't touch his glass as he continues to cook in tense silence. He's not sure what's suddenly brewing between them, but he doesn't want to be tipsy or drunk when it explodes. 

 

Apparently, Castiel doesn't have the same fear because when Dean glances over a few minutes later, he sees that Castiel's glass is already almost empty. 

 

Dean puts a pot of water on to boil and sets the sauce to simmer, then takes his glass and sits beside Castiel at the island. Their elbows brush and it looks as if it causes Castiel pain, the man closing his eyes and tensing. 

 

"Cas-"

 

"Do you want kids?" he asks suddenly, cutting Dean off as he snaps his eyes open to look at him. 

 

Dean doesn't think. He's too off guard. "Yes." 

 

When Castiel's eyes slide shut again, Dean knows that was the wrong answer. 

 

"You don't want kids?" Dean asks after a few seconds pass in silence.

 

"No. I do not."

 

"Oh."

 

Castiel turns to look at Dean, shaking his head in confusion. "How are you surprised by that?" 

 

"I don't know. I figured you planned on having them."

 

"Why?"

 

"Well, for an heir. For the compound. The company. Whatever you wanna call it. That's why your dad and Gabe's dad had you guys, right? Wasn't your plan to eventually do the same?" 

 

Something dark passes over Castiel before he looks away from Dean. "Yes, but that was before."

 

"Before what?"

 

"Before you."

 

Dean flinches. "You don't want a kid anymore because of me?"

 

"No. That came out wrong.” Castiel rubs the back of his neck, looking frustrated. He still hasn’t met Dean’s eye. “I never wanted a child. It was a necessity. Just another thing I was taught to do. But you came along, and I started realizing the things my father taught me were very wrong. That’s why I left. I mean, yes, I left for you too, but I had no idea if you’d ever come back to me. Either way, I knew I needed to be done with that business. I’d never be able to look at it the same again - which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But that meant that all of the expectations I had for my future went out the window. Including having a child. It became a blank slate.”

 

“Blank slates are fine, Cas. But eventually you have to put things on them. Plans. Hopes. Dreams. Something.”

 

“I already have plenty on it.”

 

“Like what?”

 

Finally, Castiel looks at Dean again. His eyes are distant and his jaw is set. A long lost feeling of unease fills Dean’s veins, pumping him full of panic. Castiel looks very close to detaching, and when Castiel detaches, Castiel becomes the monster. 

 

Dean holds his breath.

 

Castiel doesn’t seem to notice. “You're on it, Dean. It's all I need." 

 

"What about what I need?" Dean whispers. 

 

The way Castiel's gaze darkens should send Dean running for the hills. Instead he stands his ground. He trusts Castiel. He won't give in to the monster. 

 

“The kids - having them," Castiel pauses, his eyes sliding shut. When he speaks again, his voice isn't how Dean expected it to be. It's not cold or distant. It's not teetering on the edge. Castiel sounds devastated. He sounds afraid. Vulnerable. "Is that a deal-breaker for you, Dean?”

 

Dean has no idea. He never questioned it. In the back of his mind, even as a kid himself, he knew he wanted kids. He knew he wanted a family. It never really occurred to him that he’d wind up with someone who didn’t want the same. 

 

Is that a sacrifice Dean’s willing to make? 

 

After everything Castiel has stolen from him, will Dean let him take that too?

 

"I don't know," he admits in a whisper. "I - I'd have to think about it." 

 

Then, because he can't help himself, because he needs to know, Dean asks, "Is it a deal-breaker for you?"

 

Castiel's laugh is self-deprecating. "I don't think deal breakers exist when it comes to you, Dean. I'd give you the world." 

 

"But you wouldn't want the kids. If we had them." Dean reaches over, placing a hand over Castiel's. He slowly unfurls the man's tight fist. When he sees that Castiel had been digging his nails in hard enough to draw blood, guilt crawls up his throat. His next words are choked as he slips his fingers into the spaces between Castiel's. "You'd just be doing it for me?"

 

Castiel places his other hand on top of Dean's, sandwiching him. Tears are pooled in his eyes when he opens them. He looks directly at Dean, and though Dean still sees the monster in the background, trying to claw its way forward, he sees so much more. Fear. Love. Confusion. Despair. 

 

"Dean, I have no business bringing children into this world. I'm a monster. It's in my blood."

 

The words pull a pissed off growl from Dean's chest. "Don't you ever call yourself that again. You aren't a monster. It's not in your blood. You were taught from birth to be that person, but look how far you've come. If it was really in your blood, how would we be here right now?"

 

"He's still here, Dean. I try - fuck, I try, but I’m afraid he’ll never be gone."

 

Dean doesn’t have to ask who Castiel is referring to. It’s his father. Always his father. "I know."

 

This seems to take Castiel by surprise. "You know?"

 

"I see him sometimes. I see him now. In your eyes." 

 

Castiel opens and closes his mouth a few times before shaking his head and looking away. "How does that not terrify you? Because it fucking terrifies me."

 

"The difference between bad people and good people is that bad people act on their thoughts instead of fighting or correcting them. You can't fight instinct. You can't keep the things ingrained in you from popping into your head. But what makes you different, what makes you good, is your choice to shove those thoughts back and do the right thing instead." Dean takes Castiel's cheek in his hand and slowly pulls until he can hold his gaze again. "I trust you. I believe in you. If I ever thought you'd let the monster out to play again, I wouldn't be here, Cas. I knew even when I called you that he was going to still be somewhere inside of you. But he doesn't matter. And he won't exist in our kids because the good part of you is what you were born with. The monster was what you were taught, and I know you would never teach our children the same way."

 

"Dean-"

 

"You'd be a great father, Cas. I know it. But if you’re paranoid about it, the surrogate can use my sperm. Or we can adopt.” Dean finds himself smiling. “There are so many kids out there to adopt, Cas. It’s harder for couples like us but-”

 

Castiel pulls his hands from Dean and stands up. The rest of Dean’s words tumble down his throat. He feels like he might choke on them. 

 

Dean watches as Castiel walks over to the stove and starts pouring rice into the boiling water. He tells the rice, not Dean, "I can't talk about this anymore. Not yet."

 

Not yet.

 

The same words Dean had used as they walked through the playroom. 

 

It's then that Dean realizes that Castiel is going through the same thing as Dean. At the compound, it was different. Castiel was sitting in his safe place and holding all of the power. 

 

Dean had to work on trusting Castiel in the BDSM aspect of their relationship. He needs to work through triggers and fears. He needs to make himself feel more comfortable out in the world again. He needs to allow himself to see him and Castiel as equals. 

 

But Castiel has work too. Castiel needs to grocery shop. He needs to stop giving orders. He needs to hand over the control that he spent nearly 3 decades ingrained in him. He needs to rebuild his life. His future. 

 

"Okay," Dean says as he walks up behind Castiel and wraps his arms around his waist. He presses a kiss to the back of Castiel’s neck. "Not yet." 

 

-----

 

By the time dinner is made, Dean and Castiel have returned to the same ease they had mastered before the ‘having children’ topic came up. Dean serves Castiel a slice of Sartu Di Riso on a plate before pausing. Castiel studies him, unsure what Dean’s doing as the man awkwardly stands beside the pan without picking up the second plate. 

 

Just as Castiel is about to ask Dean if he needs help, Dean clears his throat and asks in a subdued voice, “Would you like something to drink, sir?”

 

Sir

 

The word goes straight to Castiel’s heart. 

 

Then his cock. 

 

“That’d be lovely, Dean. Could you bring me some water?” 

 

“Yes, sir.” 

 

Castiel watches Dean’s every move as he fills a glass with ice and water before bringing it to Castiel. He places it on the table beside Castiel’s plate, blushing when Castiel thanks him. 

 

Sensing the desire Dean has to submit, but also sensing that Dean’s too afraid to take the first step, Castiel helps the boy by stepping in. “Get yourself a glass of ice water and a plate, Dean.”

 

Relief softens Dean’s shoulders as he nods. “Yes, sir.”

 

As Dean does as told, Castiel thinks about their day. About their sort-of fight earlier. They’ve been okay. Even laughed while continuing to cook. It seems as if Dean’s still having a hard time getting over it, though. Or, at least, he’s having trouble shutting his mind off. 

 

He needs to be able to let go. 

 

He needs Castiel to lift the weight for him. 

 

When Dean puts the plate and glass on the setting beside Castiel’s, Castiel reaches out and stops him from sitting down. The moment his hand touches Dean’s skin, the boy freezes. Castiel parts his lips intending to ask Dean if he’d like to be hand-fed but he’s stopped when Dean presses in closer to him and kneels beside Castiel’s chair. 

 

Castiel holds his breath, waiting for Dean to peek up at him. “Is this okay, Cas?”

 

“If it’s what you want, Dean. I’ll enjoy our meal no matter what.”

 

“I wanna be pet for a little bit. Is that - is that okay?”

 

“Yes, baby. More than okay.” Pushing to his feet, Castiel looks down at his boy and gives him a comforting smile. “I’ll be right back. You stay put, pet.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

Unable to stop himself, Castiel leans down and presses a quick kiss to Dean’s forehead. Then he hurries to the living room to grab one of the throw pillows from the couch. He picks the bluest one. 

 

Dean watches him carefully, something Castiel’s well aware of, but when Castiel turns to walk back to the table, Dean quickly looks at the floor. His shoulders hunch as he prepares himself to be yelled at. A tremor of fear ripples through his body, the sight of it making Castiel’s stomach turn. 

 

“You may look at me, pet. Only two rules right now, okay?” Castiel goes down on a knee and gently taps Dean’s thigh to get him to move. As he places the pillow in the place Dean had been kneeling, he explains, “You are to address me as ‘sir,’ and you are to stay kneeling until given permission otherwise. Okay?”

 

“Yes, sir. Thank you.”

 

“You’re very welcome, pet.” Castiel retakes his seat and places a gentle hand on the crown of Dean’s head. He gently runs his fingers through his pet’s hair, smiling when the boy’s eyes slide closed in relief. “Is my pet overwhelmed tonight?”

 

Dean peeks up at Castiel through his lashes, cheeks turning pink. “I’m sorry. I just… a lot is happening and - and-”

 

“Hush now, pet.” Castiel drags his thumb along Dean’s bottom lip to quiet him. “Shut it all off. Empty your mind. Your only concern, your only thoughts, should be how to please me. Understood?”

 

“Yes, sir.” Dean presses closer to Castiel and lays his head on his thigh. The sigh he releases is one of pure relief. “Thank you, sir.”

 

“Such a sweet, good boy for me.” 

 

Castiel begins to arrange his food into small, bite-sized piles. It’s a messy meal to feed this way but Castiel doesn’t care. He scoops some up and places it in his mouth, humming when flavor explodes on his tongue. When he looks down to tell Dean how amazing it is, he catches the boy nervously watching him eat. 

 

He swallows before saying, “This is delicious, pet. It means very much to me that you cooked for us tonight.” 

 

Dean blushes. “Thank you, sir.” 

 

“Open,” Castiel orders as he scoops up more food with his fork. He places his hand beneath it as he lowers it to Dean in case anything falls. Dean tilts his chin up and parts his pretty pink lips in expectation. Once the fork is in his mouth, he closes around it and pulls back, leaving Castiel with a clean fork sitting in the open air. “Good boy.”

 

Since his mouth is full, Dean just smiles up at him as he chews. 

 

They go on like this for the rest of dinner, Castiel feeding Dean and giving him sips of water, and Dean humming in pleasure and thanking him. By the time both plates are empty, Dean's half-asleep against Castiel's thigh. Between the public outing, the tense discussion regarding kids, and the time change, his boy is wiped out. 

 

"What do you say we watch a movie and then call it an early night, hmmm?"

 

Dean shakes his head slowly. "Dishes. Gotta do 'em."

 

"We will worry about them later." 

 

"They'll get all gross overnight." 

 

Castiel smiles. "You won't be able to sleep until those are clean, will you pet?"

 

"No, sir." Dean blushes. "Sorry."

 

"Don't be sorry. You're just such a good boy. Always wanting to take care of everything. Always needing to please." Castiel guides Dean's face away from his thigh and tilts the boy’s chin so they're looking at each other. "Your existence pleases me, Dean. If I ever ask you to do the dishes or any other task that I may need you to do, you will obey, and that will please me even more. But if I haven't told you to do the dishes and you're my pet, do you think I want you worrying about the dishes?" 

 

Dean hesitates, clearly torn on his answer. He gives a tentative, "No, sir?"

 

"Exactly. Your job is to worry about Sir. Nothing else. Let Sir handle the dishes. Let Sir tell you what's best." Castiel leans down so their foreheads are touching. "Do you trust me?"

 

There's no hesitation this time. 

 

"Yes, sir." 

 

"Then take your pillow and go into the living room. I want you to kneel to the right of the coffee table. In the position I taught you." 

 

Dean is clearly conflicted, but he doesn't argue. Castiel watches him walk across the open floor plan, not looking away until Dean is kneeling like he was told. 

 

Then Castiel turns to look at the kitchen. He assesses the damages. Catalogues the leftovers. Systematically organizes the chaos. 

 

Once all of the garbage and scraps are in the trash, and the leftovers are put away, his gaze falls on the sink. 

 

"Okay," he whispers under his breath as he approaches the wide basin full of plates and pans. "Dishes. Can't be too hard." 

 

Ten minutes later, Castiel Novak has learned some valuable lessons regarding the topic of washing dishes. 

 

  1. If you don't scrape all the excess out of the pans and plates into the garbage      first, you clog the drain.
  2. Don't try using the garbage disposal button to unclog the drain while a fork is      nearby.
  3. Dish soap should be used in small quantities. 
  4. Make sure that the nozzle thing is pointed in the right direction before      squeezing the trigger. 

 

Shirt soaked, hands wrinkled, and forehead sweaty, Castiel wipes down the counters and floor - because they were not safe from the nozzle thing either - and decides to head upstairs to change. It only takes him three steps on the staircase to realize his mistake. He’s abandoning Dean without explaining where he’s headed. He turns around and heads to the living room, his heart breaking when he sees that Dean was craning his neck looking for him. 

 

The panic in his pet’s eyes fades almost instantly. Clearly fighting a smile, Dean asks, “Have trouble washing dishes, sir?”

 

Castiel raises an eyebrow. “Was that sass, pet? Did you just tease me?”

 

Dean’s cheeks turn pink as he gives into a smirk. “Maybe…”

 

“Bratty boy.” Castiel shakes his head and tsks. “What should I do about that?”

 

Dean opens his mouth, probably to give a suggestion - an interesting one, too, if his mischievous smile has anything to say about it - but Castiel stops him with a finger in the air. He allows his eyes to darken, letting the monster peek out ever so slightly. Dean’s breath hitches as his pupils dilate. Castiel chuckles darkly as he watches him gulp. 

 

“Stand and undress. Pets don’t need to wear clothes, do they?”

 

“No, sir.”

 

When Dean doesn’t move, Castiel raises an eyebrow and moves his hand through the air as if to say get on with it. Dean starts to scramble to his feet before remembering to be slow and graceful. Just as he reaches for his shirt, Castiel changes his mind. 

 

“Stop. I’ve decided I want you to stand just like that. Don’t move.”

 

Dean wavers slightly on his feet. “Sir?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Does that mean you’d like me to remain clothed, sir?”

 

“Yes. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Can you be a good boy and stay just like this for me?” 

 

There’s the slightest hesitation before Dean nods tentatively. “Yes, sir.”

 

“Good boy.” Castiel pulls his cell phone out, then walks over to the kitchen where Dean’s is plugged in so they could play music. He calls himself from Dean’s phone and places them both on speaker. Dean watches him carefully as Castiel places Dean’s cell phone on the coffee table. “My phone is on speaker, as is yours. If you need to safeword, I’ll be here to listen. I’ll come down immediately while talking you through whatever it is you’re upset about, okay?”

 

Dean’s shivers, a giddy smile pulling at his beautiful pink lips. “Yes, sir. Thank you.”

 

“Anything for my sweet pet.” Castiel presses a kiss to Dean’s temple. “Be good for me and you’ll get a reward.”

 

His grip tight on his phone in case Dean needs him, Castiel heads upstairs and changes into a comfortable pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. He pauses outside the playroom door and puts a hand out towards it. Dean wanted to play. He’s the one who asked to be pet for a while. 

 

And he has his safeword. 

 

Taking a chance that Castiel worries will never stop terrifying him, Castiel steps into the room and chooses three items. He nearly runs out of the room after before he can change his mind, taking the stairs two at a time. 

 

He hangs up when he has Dean in view, placing his phone on the breakfast bar and leaving it behind. He slips two of the items in the pocket of his sweatpants and keeps one in his hands. Dean’s well aware that he’s returned. He’s standing ramrod straight now, body shaking as his muscles fight his orders to behave and stay still. 

 

“Eyes facing forward, mouth shut, strip for me.” 

 

Castiel takes a seat on the couch and leans back so he can watch his boy obey orders. He studies every movement, committing them to memory. The way Dean picks up his shirt from the bottom and lifts instead of reaching back and removing it from the collar. The way his arms move as he flutters the shirt in the air so he can fold it neatly on the table without wrinkles. The way his stomach twists when he bends over and stands again. The way his gorgeous hips sway as he shimmies out of his jeans and underwear. The way his ass just screams to be colored pink. 

 

“Good boy,” Castiel murmurs. “Come here, pet. Kneel for me.”

 

The desire in Dean’s green eyes when they fall on Castiel is enough to make Castiel’s breath catch in his throat. He doesn’t bother to adjust his erection as it begins to push against the fabric of his sweatpants, instead enjoying the way that Dean stares at it like he wants nothing more in his life than Castiel’s cock. 

 

Once Dean’s settled between Castiel’s knees on the floor, eyes still trained on his crotch, Castiel presents his first object from the playroom. He places it in the palms of his hands and rests them on his lap so it’s in Dean’s line of sight. Dean’s breath hitches. Castiel watches for a second. Then another. One more. 

 

“Exhale, pet.”

 

After a slight shudder, Dean does as told. The air comes out in one big gust. Dean immediately takes in more, this time the breath even. Calm. 

 

Castiel relaxes. The collar had caught his pet by surprise, but it hadn’t bothered him. He just needed a moment to register. 

 

“I bought this for you the day you flew back home after coming here to visit.” Castiel runs his thumb along the seam of the leather collar. “It’s handcrafted specifically for you.”

 

Dean raises a hand before quickly dropping it. His eyes flicker to Castiel before back down at the collar. 

 

“Go ahead, pet. You may touch. It’s yours.”

 

“Okay.” Dean shuffles slightly forward and tentatively runs the tip of his forefinger along the white threading. It’s bright against the deep blue. 

 

A light in the dark. 

 

“Do you like it?”

 

An easy smile pulls at Dean’s lips. “Very much, sir.” 

 

“Take it, then. Feel it fully.”

 

Doing as told, Dean gently cradles the collar in his hands. He takes his time to explore it. Touching. Bending. Turning. He tugs at the silver ring that hangs from the small knob at the front of the collar. Presses his thumb against the latch on the back. 

 

Gasps when he sees the three small words engraved on the inside of the front. 

 

Sir’s Good Boy

 

“It can be removed,” Castiel says softly, unsure of himself. At the time, he had thought that it was a great idea. It had made him grin like an idiot as he filled out the form with the craftsman. 

 

Now, he’s rethinking everything. 

 

Dean saves him from worrying too much. He looks up from the collar and firmly says, “No. I want it just the way it is.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yes, sir.” Dean looks back down at the color, his eyes locked on the words. 

 

“I’d like you to wear this when you’re my pet, Dean.” Castiel leans forward, placing a hand beneath Dean’s chin and raising his head so they’re looking into each other’s eyes. “We will agree on a special place to keep it. Somewhere we can both easily access. When I or when you want to play, we can take the collar and present it to each other. You can always say no to me, just as I can always say no to you. It’s an on and off switch. It creates a clear line for when you’re Dean, and when you’re pet. The hope is it will help things be less confusing. At least at the start, while we figure out our dynamic.”

 

Dean’s already nodding rapidly before Castiel can finish. “Yes. Yes, sir. Cas. I want that.”

 

“Good.” Relief floods Castiel’s system. “May I, then?”

 

“Yes, please.” Dean bows his head so it can be secured at the back of his neck, holding perfectly still for him. When it’s fully locked into place, he lifts his head again to look at Castiel. His fingers start to come up to touch it, but Castiel catches his wrist and squeezes once. 

 

“Not yours to touch anymore, pet. You and everything on you now belong to me. Only when you safeword will you be able to put your hands on that.”

 

The beautiful red of Dean’s cheeks makes Castiel lightheaded. His boy likes the idea of that a lot. More than Castiel expected. 

 

God, figuring this out with Dean is going to be even better than he could have ever imagined. 

 

“Now stand for me.” Dean uses Castiel’s knees to heave himself to his feet. He situates his arms behind his back and looks at Castiel for his next instructions. 

 

Castiel says nothing. He just sits back on the couch, bringing his arms up to rest on the back of it and spreading his legs more so they’re comfortable. 

 

“S-sir?” Dean asks after what Castiel is sure was a very long minute. 

 

“Hush.” Castiel gives him a stern look. “I don’t need to hear that voice of yours right now. Unless you need to safeword, you will not speak. No matter what. If I ask a question, you can nod or shake your head. There’s no reason for a pet to talk. Just stand there and look pretty for me.”

 

The flush on Dean’s face spreads down his neck and along his chest. Castiel tilts his head, allowing himself to enjoy his view. He flicks his gaze down and smirks when he sees that his pet’s cock is quickly hardening. 

 

“Do you like sir looking at you like this?”

 

Dean’s lips part before he remembers his rule. He ducks his head and sheepishly nods instead. 

 

With a smirk, Castiel takes out the second object from his pocket. He crooks a finger for Dean to come to him since he doesn’t feel much like moving at the moment. His pet’s eyes widen when he sees the object, but he still obeys, not stopping again until his knees are pressed against the couch. 

 

Castiel takes Dean’s cock in his mouth without preamble, smiling around it when his pet cries out. He makes sure it’s dripping wet before pulling back. 

 

Dean must have forgotten all about the cock ring Castiel had pulled out because he startles when Castiel slides it on him, his green eyes snapping wide open. He whines under his breath and shifts his hips. Clearly, he’s not impressed. 

 

After a quick lick to Dean’s slit to collect any remaining pre-cum, Castiel looks up at his pet and says in a low, almost taunting voice, “You’re in trouble, remember?”

 

“B-” Dean stops himself just in time, swallowing the noise. If Castiel hadn’t seen the way his lips had smacked he probably wouldn’t have noticed it. 

 

“You were a brat to me, don’t you remember?”

 

Dean’s shoulders droop and he nods sadly. 

 

“So we’re going to keep that greedy cock of yours restrained until I decide otherwise. Perhaps, next time, you’ll think before being sassy toward sir, hmmm? Remember to be a good boy?”

 

Dean nods again, this time with much more enthusiasm. It’s clearly a promise. An assurance that yes, Dean can be a good boy, a very good boy. 

 

Castiel reaches over and grabs the TV remote. He turns it on, ignoring Dean standing there with his cock hard and leaking. There’s not much on, but that doesn’t matter. Castiel doesn’t exactly plan on paying much attention. 

 

After settling on a documentary about honey bees - Castiel has realized in the past two years he finds nature quite fascinating - he puts the remote down. 

 

“Go fetch me a scotch on the rocks, pet. Two fingers.” 

 

Dean immediately heads straight to the kitchen, no hesitation. While he’s gone, Castiel makes the final preparations for his pet’s punishment. He’s grinning ear to ear when the boy returns. 

 

----

 

Legs shaking in anticipation, Dean hurries back into the living room to deliver sir’s drink. He almost stumbles to the ground when he sees what’s waiting for him. His sir’s cock is standing free and proud, sir gently stroking it as his eyes stay focused on the bee documentary. Dean’s so thrown off that he has to try twice to put the glass of scotch down without spilling. 

 

He begins to ask what he should do next before once again remembering he can’t speak. 

 

Thankfully, sir doesn’t make him wait long. “Lay down on your back, head on that pillow, feet here.”

 

Dean hurries to obey. When he has himself in place, his toes tucking themselves beneath sir’s right thigh and his head resting on the couch’s arm that’s the opposite side of where sir is sitting, he waits patiently again. 

 

Sir tosses a bottle of lube at him. Dean doesn’t catch it in time, but it lands softly on his stomach and he manages to get it before it rolls off. 

 

“Prep yourself,” sir says without bothering to even look over at him. 

 

It’s the most degraded Dean’s felt in two years. 

 

He thinks he might come even with the damn cock ring on. 

 

Dean focuses his eyes on sir’s cock and begins teasing his hole with one lubed finger. He wonders if sir will fuck him tonight. Surely that’s the plan, right? Otherwise why would he want Dean to prep himself? 

 

The better question is probably whether Dean will be allowed to come tonight. Considering the cock ring, and the fact that he’s being punished, Dean has a bad feeling about it. 

 

“That’s enough,” sir says after who knows how long. Dean realizes he now has three fingers in his hole. He’s slightly thrown off by the fact that he doesn’t even remember pushing the first one in. He doesn’t have time to dwell on it, though. Not when sir, still not looking at him, orders, “Come warm my cock now, pet.”

 

Biting his lip to keep quiet, Dean scrambles across the couch and straddles sir. 

 

“Ah, ah, ah.” Sir stops him before he can sink down, gripping his hips tight. “Turn around. Wouldn’t want to miss the show, would you?”

 

It takes Dean a moment to adjust, but then he slowly turns around so he’s facing the TV. 

 

Sir never used to let him watch before when he was warming his cock. Slaves didn’t need to watch. 

 

Pets, however, must get that privilege. 

 

This tingling sensation begins in Dean’s fingertips and travels its way through his body until it’s firmly wrapped around his heart. He’s thankful he’s not allowed to talk right now because he’s certain he’d begin to cry. 

 

He shivers when a kiss is pressed to the spot between his shoulder blades. “My cock is cold, pet. Do your job.”

 

More than happy to please, Dean shifts his hips and lowers himself onto sir’s cock. Sir is kind enough to help him. He grips the base of it and holds it steady so Dean can sink straight down. Dean can’t help but throw his head back and moan at the feeling. Even though it was just last night that they were together, it felt like days. Weeks. Months. Years

 

That’s why Dean makes the mistake of moving. It just feels so damn good. He forgets that his job is to be a warmer. That his pleasure isn’t important. For just a second, Dean’s a normal guy riding his boyfriend’s cock. 

 

A slap to the inside of his thigh quickly reminds him of his place. He slumps down and whimpers, wishing he could speak so he could apologize. 

 

His sir must understand because he leans forward, wraps his arms around Dean’s waist, and whispers in his ear, “It’s okay, pet. I bet my cock feels pretty good in that poor, empty hole of yours, hmmm?”

 

Dean nods rapidly. 

 

“Just relax then, pet. We can help each other. You keep me nice and warm, and I'll keep you stuffed full." 

 

The moan that falls from Dean's lips is embarrassingly wanton and he couldn't care less. He already feels as if he's tangled in a thousand strings, all of them pulled tight and waiting to snap. He's not sure how long he'll survive this. It's so much harder to endure now than it was before. The presence of his safe word, the power to remove his own collar, makes disobeying so damn tempting. Every second, Dean is making a choice. 

 

A choice to stay. To listen. To be good. 

 

A choice to torture himself to make sir happy. To cry tears. To whine in frustration. 

 

A choice to give up all power when he doesn't have to. To trust. To let everything go. 

 

Just the thought of all of those choices is enough to make Dean clench around sir and moan again. Sir's chuckle is dark when it fills Dean's ear, making him shiver in both fear and lust. 

 

"What's got my little slut so worked up? I've barely touched you." Sir nips at his ear lobe, chuckling again when Dean whimpers. "Answer me, slut."

 

Dean feels his face heat up but he can't get himself to care. Not now. Not when he's already so desperate. "Need to be fucked. Need - need to be used, sir. Please. Please use me, sir."

 

"I am using you." 

 

"Fuck me. Please fuck me. Please, sir, please. Need it."

 

Sir scoffs. "Jesus, you're pathetic. Look at you falling apart and begging already. Are you that needy, slut?"

 

"Yes, sir," Dean cries, moving his hips ever so slightly to test his boundaries. 

 

His sir immediately clamps his two big hands down on Dean's hips, fingers pressing bruises into his skin as he's held firmly in place. "Every time you disobey from this point forward, you'll earn an hour."

 

"An hour of what, sir?" 

 

"An hour where you don't get to come." 

 

A whole hour? Each time he disobeys?

 

Anxiety catches in Dean’s throat. “Sir?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Can you please remind me of my current rules, sir?” Dean asks quietly, hoping he’s not going to get in trouble for forgetting so soon into a scene. 

 

Judging by the smile sir presses against Dean’s throat, he’s in the clear. “Once we are done speaking, you will not talk anymore unless you need to use your safeword. You will not fuck yourself. You will not move more than necessary. You will not touch your cock. You will not whine or make noises that distract me from my show. Understood?”

 

“Understood, sir.”

 

“Good.” Sir wraps his large hand around Dean’s cock and pulls it once, twice, three times. He chuckles darkly when Dean’s body shudders. He’s trying to force Dean into misbehaving. 

 

That bastard. 

 

Determined to win the game, Dean grits his teeth and fixes his stare on the TV. There’s a beekeeper speaking on the screen. Something about keeping a hive in his backyard. Dean’s not quite sure. It’s a bit hard to concentrate as sir begins to slowly trail his fingertips along his thighs and hips, the sensation making Dean shiver and tingle. 

 

"Hand me my drink," Sir orders.

 

Wanting to show how good he can be, Dean doesn't hesitate. He leans forward and reaches a hand out for- oh, fuck. 

 

Dean hangs his head, his body coming to a full stop as sir's cock presses perfectly against his prostate.

 

“Something wrong, pet?”

 

Dean almost breaks the rule by speaking but remembers last minute and shakes his head no instead. 

 

“Mmm. If you say so.” Sir chuckles. It's dark and knowing, and Dean feels a sob bubble in his throat. This is torture. Pure, beautiful torture. "Get me my drink, pet. Don't make me repeat myself again." 

 

Gritting his teeth, Dean lifts his head and leans the rest of the way forward. His breath catches at the increased pressure on his prostate but he swallows the gasp. The moment his hand is on the glass of scotch, he's quickly sitting up straight and handing it to sir's waiting hand. A sigh of relief slips through his lips as he settles back in sir's lap. 

 

That wasn't so bad. 

 

Except sir makes him do this again.

 

And again.

 

And again.

 

"Put my drink back now, pet."

 

"Grab my drink, pet." 

 

"Put my drink back, pet."

 

"You know, I changed my mind. I'm still thirsty. Fetch me my drink again, pet." 

 

"Go on, now. Put it back on the table, pet." 

 

The brutal teasing doesn't stop until the bee documentary is over. Then sir is thankfully distracted by finding something else to watch. 

 

Or maybe not so thankfully. 

 

Sir orders porn. He takes his damn time doing it too - hmming and hawing as he scrolls through the choices. There are some vanilla ones. Some kinkier ones with blindfolds or handcuffs. Some real freaky ones like the kind of stuff they get up to. Dean doesn’t even realize he’s holding his breath in anticipation until sir chooses a video. His heavy exhale is incredibly loud as the video silently loads. 

 

“That was a big sigh,” sir muses with a tone very close to taunting. 

 

Dean says nothing. He won’t break. He refuses. He’s going to draw on every stubborn cell of his body and do so damn good that sir won’t be able to even make him wait another hour. That’ll teach sir to mess with him!

 

The video opens with a submissive tied up in an intricate web of loops and lines spanning from his neck to his ankles. He’s utterly helpless, positioned on his spread knees with his face against the floor. Both arms are stretched behind his back, a thick knot between his two shoulder blades leading into twists and turns of pretty red against pale skin until nearly every available inch of his arms and wrists are touching each other. The end of that rope is attached to a hook on the ceiling, making it impossible for the sub to sit up. Making it impossible for the sub to even move. Especially once the bindings on his legs are taken into account, red rope wrapped around each thigh and calf, not allowing his legs to be straightened. 

 

The dominant enters the scene after a few more seconds of the camera showing the trapped boy at various angles. His thick black boots are loud in the silence of his dungeon. 

 

Dean shivers when those boots stop in front of the sub’s face, the toes less than an inch from the man’s forehead. The sub tries to look up at his dom but it pulls too tight on his arms and he cries out. His dom laughs. 

 

Dean moans. 

 

“That’s one.”

 

Dean straightens, anger flashing white-hot in his chest. “But-”

 

“That’s two.”

 

Tears well up in Dean’s eyes as he sinks back down on his sir’s cock and forces himself to go quiet. Arguing will do nothing but earn him more time. 

 

He tries to force himself to focus. The sub is licking his dom’s boots now. It’s hot, but it doesn’t drive Dean wild. He’s never been big into that kind of stuff. In fact, it reminds him a bit of when he was forced to lick the floors back at the compound. 

 

Dean doesn’t want to think about the compound, and he doesn’t want to watch the video because he’s pretty damn sure he’ll mess up more if he does, so Dean fixes his gaze on the fireplace beneath the TV and lets his mind drift. 

 

Sir knows, though. 

 

Sir always knows.

 

“Is my show boring you, pet?”

 

Dean bites his tongue.

 

“Answer me.”

 

“No, sir.”

 

“Then why don’t you want to watch it? Wasn’t it so nice of me to put it on for you?” When Dean doesn’t say anything, sir chuckles. “I know how much you loved being tied up the other night. Do you want me to try that position on you? I bet you’d look real pretty like that in my playroom. All trussed up. Helpless.”

 

Dean whimpers. It’s small, barely a breath. His sir is kind enough to overlook it. 

 

“If you aren’t going to watch the show I so generously put on for you, I might as well just blindfold you.”

 

The threat is evident. It lingers in the air and wraps itself around Dean’s throat. He gently shakes his head, not wanting to talk in case it’d earn him more of a punishment. 

 

“Then watch,” sir growls in his ear. There’s a pause that Dean can sense in sir’s demeanor. It shows when he cups his cheek and turns Dean’s head so they’re looking into each other’s eyes. “Safeword?”

 

“Ocean, sir.”

 

Sir looks incredibly pleased. “Do you need to use it?”

 

“No, sir.”

 

“Good boy. Watch the show. Once this is over, your hours can begin. Maybe you’ll even get to come before night time if you behave well enough. Would you like that?”

 

Dean nods vigorously and focuses his eyes on the TV to show his sir that he can be a good boy. The sub has been freed from the ring on the ceiling and moved to a bed. He’s settled on the mattress in the same position as before, only this time his arms are able to rest against his back. The dom slips his cock into the sub’s mouth and starts to languidly fuck his throat. His large hands wrap around the sub’s shoulders as he kneads the muscles. The sub moans in pleasure and relief before beginning to suck his dom with gratitude. 

 

“He’s such a good boy, isn’t he?” sir whispers in his ear, fingertips dragging along Dean’s stomach. Dean twitches slightly before nodding. “Not as good as my boy, though. Not possible. Mine’s the best, isn’t he?”

 

Feeling his face turn red, Dean says nothing. 

 

Sir brings his hands up so his fingers can fiddle with Dean’s nipples. Dean shouts before thinking. He’s already sinking down in defeat before sir can say, “That’s three.”

 

Dean squeezes his eyes shut, hating himself. 

 

“Wanna know how you can get back to two?” Dean nods. “Tell me how good of a boy you are.”

 

Well, fuck. That’s just not fair. Sir knows how much Dean hates complimenting himself. 

 

“That one hour could be the difference before coming tonight and having to wait until morning, pet. Might want to take the opportunity to get rid of it.”

 

Dean knows he’s right. Depending on how long this lasts, how many hours he racks up, Dean could either fall asleep before his time is up, or he could still be working off the hours when morning comes. 

 

“I’m a good boy, sir,” Dean mumbles under his breath. The sub on the TV is up on his knees, his cock getting milked by a machine while his ass is stuffed with a large dildo. He’s begging so fast and hard Dean can’t understand what he’s saying. 

 

“You can do better than that, pet.”

 

“I - I’m a good boy, sir,” Dean says louder. “A very good boy.”

 

“Mmm… why?”

 

Dean hesitates. “Why, sir?”

 

“Why are you a good boy? Give me examples.”

 

“I - uh…” Dean takes a deep, shuddery breath. That’s not fair. It wasn’t the damn deal. He agreed to say that he was a good boy. He did not agree to providing examples. 

 

“Here, sir will go first. You’re a good boy because you always want to make sir happy.” Sir runs a very gentle fingertip along the curve of Dean’s hard cock. It’s a feather-light touch, but it’s practically excruciating. “Your turn, pet.”

 

The sub on the TV is removed from the milking machine just seconds before coming. He sobs at the loss, wordlessly begging for his dom to take mercy on him. His dom is slicking up his cock with lube, preparing to fuck him bareback. 

 

“Or I could just add an hour,” sir threatens. 

 

“I’m a good boy!” Dean shouts. “I’m - I’m a good boy because - because I - ummm… shit - I do my best to make you happy, sir!”

 

It’s quite similar to the example sir used but it seems like sir’s fine with it. All he demands is, “More.”

 

“I don’t - I’m not-” Dean hangs his head, tears catching on his eyelashes. “I’m sorry, sir. I wanna be good. I wanna do this. I just can’t - I can’t think of things. I’m sorry.”

 

The sob Dean releases is echoed by a sob on the TV. He doesn’t look up. He doesn’t care about the sub anymore. Dean’s letting his dom down right now while the sub on the screen isn’t, and that’s scraping his insides raw. 

 

“Such a sweet boy. Look at you, tearing yourself apart to please me.” Sir presses a kiss to the back of Dean’s neck before nuzzling the spot. “You’re such a good boy because you care, pet. You care so much that it hurts when you disappoint me.”

 

“Hate it,” Dean admits, his voice teetering on the edge of another sob. “Wanna be good for you, sir.”

 

“I know. I know you do. Tell me, pet, when you cooked me dinner tonight, what were some ways you were a good boy for me?”

 

That’s easier. That, Dean can do. He did a lot of stuff that would count as being good, even if they weren’t dom and sub at the moment. “I was good because I - I picked out a meal I thought you’d really like, and I tried - I tried to teach you how to cook, and I sort of made everything because you were awful-”

 

Sir laughs. “Yes. Yes, I was very awful. I appreciated that you pretended otherwise, though.”

 

Dean giggles, a thousand pounds of pain and anxiety lifting off of his chest. “Didn’t wanna hurt your feelings, sir.”

 

“See? Just another reason you’re such a good boy for me.” Sir kisses Dean’s cheek, his lips wiping a stray tear away. “What about since then? How were you good for me while we ate?" 

 

Dean smiles to himself at the recent memory. "I was a good boy because I was very patient. I didn't beg or - or complain. And I drank all my water."

 

"That right there should win you some sort of award," sir teases. "I know how much you love drinking all of your water." 

 

Since he knows sir can't see him, Dean rolls his eyes. 

 

"I was good just now, too," Dean realizes out loud, confidence building. "I undressed like you said and waited patiently for you to come back. I got you your drink and I - I prepped myself for you and… well… I messed up and didn't behave when I moved on you but - but it was just a second, right, sir?" 

 

When he looks over his shoulder, sir is giving him a smile that drips in fondness. "Absolutely, sweet boy. Just a second. I'd like to point out how good of a boy you are for me by being so brave. Coming back here - coming back to me. Going through the playroom as you did and standing up for yourself in regards to your limits and fears. Kneeling and submitting to me last night when you didn't have to, and doing so again tonight. You were brave enough to realize you needed to be pet, and not only were you brave enough to ask me to help you be pet, but you were also brave enough to be him. To let go." 

 

"Wow," Dean whispers, more to himself than to sir. He looks up at the TV. The sub is getting fucked from behind, his dom pulling him back by a fist in his hair to growl dirty things into his ear. "I am a good boy…" 

 

The revelation makes his head spin. 

 

"You sure are. And good boys get rewards, don't they pet?" 

 

Dean nods rapidly, eyes fixed on the sub as the guy's eyes roll into his head. "Yes, sir." 

 

"You're back to two hours, and to be extra nice to you, you may fuck yourself on my cock until the video is over." Sir grabs a fistful of Dean's hair and pulls him back just like the dom from the TV. He growls in his ear the same, too. "If you can come by the time the video is over without touching your cock, then go ahead. No penalties." 

 

You know how a bull is locked in one of those small boxes right before its rider gets on, and it keeps trying to run and buck but it can't because it's too restrained? You know how a bull runs out of that thing bucking wild the second the doors open? That's Dean. That's Dean right now. Shamelessly bucking on sir's cock as fast as humanly possible. 

 

The sub is being held with his back to his dom's front, secured in place by his dom's possessive hand wrapped around his throat. His face is turning red and no sound escapes from his wide-open, useless mouth. 

 

Sir yanks Dean back and mirrors the couple on the screen, nipping at Dean's earlobe while choking him out. The TV goes fuzzy, and his ears ring. 

 

Close.

 

So close.

 

It's right fucking there. 

 

He hears the dom on the TV yell, "Come for me, slut. Come on my cock." 

 

And then sir is pressing his lips right against the opening of Dean's ear, whispering in a hauntingly calm voice, "Come for me, slut. Come on my cock." 

 

The sub makes a high pitched whining sound that's choked and pathetic. Dean can't even see anymore, but he knows the dom is still holding him by his throat. He also knows the sub is coming. 

 

"Gonna fill you up," the dom announces, his voice strangled. Dean flicks his eyes up in time to see the dom drop the sub, letting him lay limp against the mattress, arms and legs still bound like they were in the beginning. Dean's legs shake and his stomach quivers as he watches the helpless sub get fucked. 

 

"Gonna fill you up," his own dom says in his ear. 

 

The two doms come in unison.

 

Both subs are filled. 

 

The video ends. 

 

Dean releases a sobbed, "No!" 

 

He shakes his head furiously. 

 

Fucks himself harder. 

 

Faster.

 

Right there. Right there. So close. 

 

Two iron-clad hands grip Dean's hips and hold him still, sir using enough force to make Dean hiss in pain.

 

"Time's up." 

 

----

 

"Please, sir," Dean sobs, his face bright red and dripping with tears. He tugs against the leather cuffs keeping his ankles and wrists in place. Bucks against the chair he's forced to sit on. Squirms away from the relentless vibrator beneath him. "Please, sir. Please, please, need, oh, please, help - le’ me, please, please, sir, sir, sir-"

 

Castiel flicks his thumb against the top button of the remote in his hand and watches Dean deflate forward in relief. The sub's entire body is trembling hard enough to raise concern, especially with him slumped the way he is, so Castiel walks forward and kneels behind him. 

 

"Sir?" Dean asks in hazy confusion.

 

"Shh." Castiel hugs Dean close, bringing the sub's back to his chest. He cradles Dean's cheek and presses his head against Castiel's shoulder. "You're doing so well for me, pet. So well."

 

Dean sobs again, though this time the sound is basked in relieved pleasure instead of frustrated pain. 

 

A quick glance at the clock has Castiel smiling. "You're 3 minutes away from coming. Are you excited?" 

 

"Yes, sir!" A new wave of energy surges through his sub, Dean coming alive as he realizes how close he is to being done. 

 

"You've taken your punishment so beautifully. Would you like a reward?" 

 

With a whimper, Dean nods. His words are slurred as he says, "Plee', sir, 'd like that." 

 

"How about I let you come on my cock instead of this toy?" 

 

"Ooooh, yes. Please. Please, sir. Wanna come with you inside me."

 

Castiel grins but quickly shoves the expression away, not wanting Dean to see. He stands up and walks around so he's facing his sub. The boy is positively wrecked. There's drool and snot and tears on his face and chest. His cock is bright red, purple at the tip, and leaking a steady stream of pre-cum. His cheeks are blotchy and flushed, his eyes red-rimmed and wide. 

 

"Come here. Rest your weight against me," Castiel instructs as he kneels once again, this time in front of Dean. Once the sub has his head on Castiel's shoulder and his body leaning mostly on him, Castiel slowly releases the buckles on his leather cuffs. They hang loose at the sides of the chair he brought in from the playroom - they had made a deal that Dean only had to wait one hour instead of two if Castiel was allowed to bring something from the playroom downstairs to help edge him. Without being told, Dean is wrapping himself around Castiel the moment all four appendages are free. 

 

Castiel can't help but notice the sub seems to be holding onto him for dear life. 

 

He wonders if perhaps he pushed Dean too far, too fast. 

 

Then soft pink lips brush against his adams apple and Dean's raspy voice confesses, "I love you so much, Cas. Love you so much."

 

Castiel has to pause halfway through walking to the kitchen, closing his eyes as he breathes through the dizzying relief. "I love you too, Dean. So so much. You're the best thing to ever happen to me, you know that?" 

 

Dean hums happily. "Ditto." 

 

That can't be true. Not at all. Castiel ruined everything for Dean. He - "You make me feel whole," Dean adds, cutting off Castiel's swirl of thoughts. "Even 'fore compound… always felt part'a me was missin'. Needed this. Needed you. Just didn't know yet."

 

"I needed you, too." 

 

"Hmmm." Dean giggles breathlessly. "Damn right ya needed me. Don' even know how'ta wash dishes." 

 

"Careful, now. You got yourself into this whole mess teasing me on that subject. Wouldn’t want me adding hours when you’re so close to being done, would you?"

 

Dean's muscles tense. Castiel thinks nothing of it as he heads to the fridge to grab a powerade and go-gurt for Dean, knowing the sub will need it after this last part of their scene. 

 

It's not until Dean whispers, "Lake," that Castiel realizes something might not be right.  

 

"Lake?" he asks cautiously as he carries Dean upstairs. 

 

"Like yellow. Ocean 's red. Lake 's yellow." 

 

Castiel's stomach drops. The only reason he keeps walking forward is because his brain kicks into autopilot. "You're- you're saying you want to use it? Right now? You're saying - you're saying yellow? Or - or lake? You're saying lake?"

 

Dean tightens his grip on Castiel's arm and nods against his shoulder. "No more, sir. Don't think I can tonight… lake." 

 

It takes Castiel a moment to even realize what could have set Dean off. Then he remembers. They had been joking - Castiel had meant the comment as a joke - but their lines are so blurred Dean probably couldn't tell. 

 

Shit.

 

"No more tonight, baby. I promise." Castiel kisses the crown of Dean's head. "You'll get your reward and come on my cock, and then we'll go to sleep, okay?" 

 

"Okay, sir." 

 

"Good boy." Castiel lays Dean on their bed before tossing the drink and food on the floor. He arranges the boy so he's settled with his head on their pillows and his body stretched straight down the center of the mattress. Castiel quickly strips and lays himself over Dean, trying his best to cover every possible inch of the boy with his own body. 

 

With a gentle but firm hand, Castiel hikes Dean's left leg up and coaxes it to wrap around his waist. Then he runs the crown of his cock around Dean's wet rim once before slowly dipping inside. Dean shivers and pulls Castiel tighter against his chest. 

 

"I've got you, Dean," he whispers in his boyfriend's ear. With every slow, sure movement, with every careful thrust, with every drawn-out swirl of his hips, Castiel pours every ounce of his love into the beautiful man beneath him. 

 

"I love you," Castiel says in the crook of Dean's neck. 

 

"I love you," he groans as he rocks forward until he's balls deep. 

 

"I love you."

 

He kisses Dean's lips. 

 

"I love you."

 

He holds Dean's idle hands in his, pressing them against the mattress above Dean's head, their fingers tangled in a web of trust and security. 

 

"I love you." 

 

He sucks on Dean's earlobe.

 

"I love you." 

 

He rocks forward, pressing against Dean's prostate.

 

"I love you." 

 

He brings one set of their joined hands down between them, unwilling to let go.

 

"I love you."

 

He wraps Dean's hand around Dean's cock, covering it with his own hand as he gently guides the boy through slow, steady strokes. 

 

"I love you." 

 

He pulls his head back so he can look down into Dean's brilliant green eyes. 

 

"I love you."

 

"Cas-" Dean gasps, love and need and pleasure and trust all sparking in his eyes. "Oh, Cas-"

 

"I love you." He presses his forehead to Dean's. "Come for me." 

 

And Dean does. He unravels completely, his body going slack as his mind flies far, far away. 

 

Castiel holds him through his orgasm. Through the aftershocks. Through the recovery. He coaxes him into two sips of powerade and a decent slurp of yogurt. Gets him to let Castiel slip out of his hole - fails at getting him to let Castiel leave the bed. Cleans them both up with a dry tissue from the nightstand and calls it good. 

 

When Dean giggles after a long while, Castiel's lips curve into a smile. "Welcome back."

 

Dean giggles again. "Lake."

 

This time, Castiel is on board, laughing along with him. "Yeah. Gotta say, that was creative, babe." 

 

"Just came to me." Dean laughs harder. Castiel rolls his eyes fondly, preparing himself for another night of silly Dean in subspace. "Came. Ha-ha. Get it? Came?"

 

Even though it's not remotely funny, Dean is funny, and Castiel is so god damn relieved that Dean is here, in his bed, laughing, so Castiel laughs again too. "Yes, Dean. I 'get it.’"

 

Dean snorts. Then he deflates against Castiel, releasing a deep sigh. “I love you too, ya know. Love you so much, Cas.”

 

Grinning like crazy, Castiel pulls Dean in close and plants a soft kiss on his forehead. “Good. Now, get some sleep, babe.”

 

He waits for a second. When Dean says nothing, he pulls back to look at him. He’s fast asleep, lips slightly parted, face relaxed. 

 

“Oh.” Castiel chuckles softly to himself as he stares down at the man he loves. “Well, then. Sweet dreams, my love.”

Chapter Text

The little boy has bright green eyes and freckles on his nose. His dark hair consists of massive curls, a messy pile atop his head. He giggles as he runs through a field of grass. It’s carefree. Innocent. 

 

"Daddy!" He runs toward Castiel, arms out. "Daddy, daddy, save me!"

 

Dean's trailing behind, purposely going slow, making monster noises as he chases the boy around. 

 

Not just a boy. 

 

Their son. 

 

This is their son. 

 

Castiel smiles as their little boy comes within arms reach. He giggles and squeals, jumping into Castiel's arms. "Run, daddy! The monster'll gets us!" 

 

Mid-laugh, Castiel looks over his shoulder to smile fondly at his husband. But Dean isn’t there anymore. 

 

He's gone. 

 

The grass is gone. The sunny sky. The breeze in his hair. 

 

Castiel looks down at his arms. His son is still there, but he's crying. 

 

"Daddy, I don'ts wanna be da monster." 

 

"Not a monster, son," Castiel clarifies, his voice sounding exactly like his father's once did. "You're a god."

 

"But he's my-"

 

"He's nothing. He's not even human. Be a good boy. Make me proud, son." 

 

A steely determination crosses over his son's features, one Castiel recognizes from his own youth. His son turns to look at the non-human in question. The thing is strapped down to a spanking bench, naked, collared, plugged, and gagged. 

 

"Start with the whip," Castiel advises. "Warm its body up before you fuck it."

 

"Yes, sir." His son reaches for the nastiest whip on the table, grinning as he steps up behind the slave. "Can I take the gag out? I wanna hear it scream." 

 

Castiel's chest fills with pride. "Allow me." 

 

He walks to the front of the slave, hand reaching out for the gag. The slave looks up at him. Its eyes are bright green and oh so familiar. When Castiel looks past the slave at his son, he sees the exact same eyes. 

 

"Wait, son!" he chokes in a panic. 

 

His son looks at him in confusion. "Why?"

 

"This is - this is your daddy."

 

"No. You said it was a means to an end. Not even human." His son sneers at Dean before raising his whip. "Now it's my toy."

 

The whip is raised and Castiel watches as the love of his life deflates against the bench, body going slack and eyes going lifeless. Castiel blinks, and it's him whipping Dean. Him fucking Dean. Raping him. It's their first time again. Back in the black room. He can see the welts from the clothes pins. Can see the tears that have dried on Dean's cheeks. 

 

"Daddy! Daddy stop it!" His son sobs from across the room, watching in horror as Castiel rapes Dean. "Stop it daddy! Daddy stop it! You’re hurtin’ him! You’re hurtin’ my daddy!"

 

Castiel looks down to find the spanking bench empty. He snaps his head up in confusion, searching the room. There’s movement off in the corner, where a patch of grass is being lit by a beam of sunlight. Dean is standing there now. He has their son in his arms, holding him to his chest so his face is hidden. 

 

So he can't see Castiel. 

 

Dean is still naked. Still bleeding. Cum is leaking down his left leg. 

 

"Daddy, the monster! Don'ts lets the monster gets us, daddy!" their son cries. 

 

"I won't, sweetheart," Dean assures the boy, eyes lifeless as they stare at Castiel from across the room. "I won't ever let the monster touch you." 

 

Castiel jolts awake, a scream - no… no, a sob - caught in his chest. He takes one look at Dean, curled up beside him, sleeping peacefully, and has to launch himself off the bed. He barely makes it to the bathroom, his mouth already full of vomit, his body slick with sweat, his muscles trembling. He hits his knees and empties himself into the toilet. 

 

When his stomach is empty, all that’s left to be released are sobs. 

 

So many sobs.

 

---- 

 

Dean wakes with a gasp, his heart already pounding as if it’s aware of a situation Dean’s mind hasn’t figured out yet. He reaches out to Castiel’s side of the bed. It’s still warm, but it’s empty. Just as he’s about to call out for him, Dean hears what sounds like a sob coming from their bathroom. He sits still, holding his breath as he listens. When Dean hears it again, he launches off the bed and hurries to the source of the distressed sounds. 

 

“Oh, Cas.” Dean deflates in the doorway of the bathroom, crushed by the sight of the man he loves. Castiel is sitting on the bathroom floor, his back resting against the side of the bathtub. He has his knees drawn up, his elbows resting on them. He’s cradling his face in his hands. Each sob seems to rip its way from his body, making him shudder and moan.

 

Walking slowly as if he’s approaching a wild animal, Dean asks quietly, “Cas, babe, what’s going on?”

 

Castiel takes one look at him and starts crying harder. He shakes his head and shifts away when Dean kneels down beside him, but when Dean wraps him up in a tight hug, Castiel stops fighting. He just falls into Dean’s grasp and clings to him, fingers digging deep into Dean’s back as if he might try to leave. 

 

“I’m so sorry,” Castiel sobs. “I’m so fucking sorry.”

 

“For what, Cas?” Dean asks incredulously. 

 

Castiel buries his face in Dean’s neck, just crying harder. Understanding that Castiel probably won’t be talking any time soon, Dean just continues holding onto him, rocking them back and forth as he rubs small circles between Castiel’s shoulder blades. 

 

“You’re okay, baby,” he coos to Castiel, trying to sound confident. Usually it’s Castiel doing this to Dean, not the other way around. Castiel is the expert at handling breakdowns. Dean feels clumsy and useless right now. He knows this is what Castiel would be doing, though - holding him and promising him that everything’s okay. So, that’s what Dean keeps doing. “I’ve got you. You’re okay, Cas. I’m right here.”

 

“You shouldn’t be,” Castiel says in a thick voice, the cries fading into nothing but hitched breaths. “God, Dean, why the fuck are you here?”

 

Dean tries not to feel like he’s been slapped but it’s hard. That… hurt. “I’m here because I wanna be with you… don’t - don’t you wanna be with me? You said-”

 

“Of course I want to be with you!” he says in exasperation, clinging to Dean tighter as if he’s not the one trying to convince Dean to leave. “But you shouldn’t be with me! I’m - fuck, Dean. The - the things - the things I’ve done - done to you - I - fuck, I’m a - I’m a - I’m a fucking monster! I-”

 

“Stop,” Dean growls. “Just - god, Cas, stop. Stop it.”

 

“I’ll hurt you again.”

 

To anyone who doesn’t know Castiel, that would sound like a threat. It’s not, though. Dean can see that as clear as day. 

 

“You won’t hurt me, Cas.” Dean tries to pull back from Castiel, having to fight him a little first because of his tight grip. When Castiel realizes he’s not trying to leave, just trying to move away enough to look him in the eye, Castiel loosens his hold on him. Dean carefully wipes away each tear on Castiel’s face, whispering assurances as he goes. 

 

It takes a long time for Castiel to calm down. Even then, he’s not his usual self. He seems empty. Lost. Every time he tries to look at Dean, his eyes quickly skate off to the side right after. 

 

“What happened?” Dean finally asks. 

 

Castiel scrubs a hand down his face before pausing with it covering his eyes. He laughs softly, the sound void of any humor. “Fucking nightmare.”

 

“You have nightmares?” 

 

“Mmm. Yeah.” Castiel laughs again. “I’ve had ‘em for a while now. Few years.”

 

“Since me,” Dean says quietly.

 

“Since you. Yes.” Castiel runs a finger along Dean’s cheek. “My therapist wants you to come to a session.”

 

This catches Dean by surprise, his muscles tensing. “What? Why?”

 

“I had one the day before you moved here and he suggested it. Said it could be sort of like couples therapy? I dunno. It’s stupid.”

 

Dean watches Castiel awkwardly pick at something on his knee that doesn’t see to actually exist, his fingers trembling as they move. He can tell Castiel didn’t think it was stupid. It’s clear that Castiel wants to try it. “Make an appointment, then. We’ll go.” 

 

Castiel’s head snaps up, his eyes widening. “Are you sure? He - he knows everything. He’ll want to talk about our past.”

 

“I’m sure.” Dean shrugs, trying to hide his nerves. “I think it’d be good for us.”

 

“Yeah. Me too.”

 

“Then it’s settled.” Dean takes Castiel’s hand in his and starts to tug. “Let’s get some rest, okay? You can call your therapist in the morning.” 

 

Looking exhausted but happy, Castiel smiles and nods. He lets Dean guide him to the bed before taking back the control, wrapping Dean up in his arms and holding him close. They fall asleep within seconds, both of them sleeping the rest of the night nightmare free. 

Chapter Text

Castiel's therapy office is nothing like Dean had expected. It's not cold or clinical. It's not professional. It's homey. Comfortable. The waiting room has a comfortable couch, as well as a few stuffed chairs. There's a water jug with disposable cups, as well as a keurig station. A large canvas painting of a tree is centered on the large, otherwise empty wall across from the couch. The painting has a smoky, nearly all black background, with the tree being made of thousands of tiny, neon colored dots. It's beautiful. 

 

The receptionist, an elderly black woman with funky pink glasses and a Nirvana t-shirt, gives Castiel a warm smile when they approach her desk. There's a Donald Trump bobble head by the sign-in sheet. A little sign beside it says: Flick the idiot. It helps! 

 

Dean smirks before reaching out and flicking Trump in the face. The note was right. It's therapeutic. 

 

"Castiel!" the receptionist practically coos, pulling Dean's focus back to the present. "How are you, sweetie? You canceled your last appointment." She tsks, shaking a finger like he's a naughty child. 

 

Castiel looks sheepish, something Dean finds highly amusing. "I'm good, Missouri. Got distracted is all."

 

Missouri purses her lips and tsks some more before offering Dean her hand. "And you must be Dean?"

 

Dean startles, staring at the hand. He had expected the therapist to know about him, obviously that was going to happen, but even the receptionist knows? 

 

Before Dean can decide what to do, Castiel casually eases his mind by mentioning, "I mentioned I'd be bringing my boyfriend Dean in today, but I suppose I should formally introduce you two, hey? Dean, this is Missouri. Missouri, this is my boyfriend Dean."

 

Relaxing, Dean takes Missouri's hand. "Nice to meet you."

 

"And you! Maybe this one won't be so grumpy all the time now."

 

"I am not grumpy," Castiel argues. He pouts when both Dean and Missouri laugh. 

 

"That pout right there is grumpy, babe," Dean teases. 

 

Castiel rolls his eyes, parting his lips to respond. He stops, though, his gaze catching on something over Dean's shoulder. Dean turns to see what he's looking at, finding himself face to face with the man he can only assume is the therapist they're here to see. As the man smiles down at him, his eyes kind but also full of concern, Dean starts to think this might have been an awful idea. 

 

When he looks back and sees the anxiety and fear already making its way into Castiel's expression, his thought solidifies. This was a mistake. Talking about the past together is going to ruin them. 

 

What the hell were they thinking?

 

----

 

Castiel tries to act like he's not on the verge of throwing up as Dr. Edlund has him and Dean sit down on the large couch across from his chair. He can't help but notice that Dean puts almost an entire couch cushion between them when he sits. That can't be a good sign at all.

 

Shit.

 

"Castiel, would you like to start?" Dr. Edlund asks in that cool, calm voice that always means that wasn't actually a question.

 

Fighting the urge to look over at Dean, Castiel admits, "I don't know where to start."

 

"Maybe you could tell Dean what we've been working on together these past 2 years?" Same tone as before. Not a question. 

 

"Okay. Yeah. Sure." Castiel swallows hard before forcing himself to turn a little and look at Dean. At least Dean looks back at him. That's a start. It's enough to give Castiel the confidence to say, "We've spent a lot of time talking about my father. About my childhood. My upbringing. The things I saw. The things I was taught. We talk a lot about the man I became… and the man I want to become now." 

 

"And who is that man, Castiel?" Dr. Edlund asks. 

 

Without looking away from Dean's beautiful green eyes, Castiel admits, "The man that deserves to be loved by you." 

 

Dean's face contorts as if the words cause him pain. "Cas, you already deserve that." 

 

"I don't."

 

"Cas-"

 

"Dean, I hurt you so much!" Castiel blurts, all of his fear and pain and grief and guilt suddenly slamming into him. "How could I ever deserve you when I did what I did to you? I destroyed you. I ruined your fucking life!"

 

"Cas, please-"

 

"I don't deserve-"

 

"Castiel," Dr. Edlund says in a clipped, angry voice. Castiel goes quiet instantly, turning to look at the man. He knows he fucked up. They talked about how this should go if Dean were to ever be willing to come. Cas was supposed to stay calm. He was supposed to let Dean speak his truth. He wasn't supposed to let himself backslide on everything they had worked so hard to build. He wasn't supposed to bring up the things he did to Dean as ammunition. He wasn't supposed to be self-deprecating. 

 

The look he exchanges with the doctor is all that needs to be said. Castiel looks back at Dean. Dean’s no longer looking at him. And he’s crying. “Dean, I’m sorry. Fuck, babe. I’m sorry.”

 

Dean gives Castiel a tight smile. “It’s okay.”

 

“Is it, Dean?” Dr. Edlund asks softly. When Dean just shrugs, Dr. Edlund nods. “How often do you do that, Dean? Say things are okay when they aren’t?”

 

Dean shrugs again, looking down at the rug between them and the doctor. Castiel has spent a lot of time staring at that rug too. “Like, how often with Cas, or period?”

 

Dr. Edlund gives him an encouraging smile. “Both.”

 

“A lot.”

 

“Do the other people in your life recognize that it’s not actually okay?”

 

Dean picks at a nail, and Castiel has to ball his hands into fists to keep from reaching out and taking his hand. “My brother Sam can usually see through it. My dad probably could too, but he never really cared if I was okay or not…”

 

“When you say you’re okay and you don’t mean it, do you hope for someone to see through it?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Are you saying it’s okay with the hope that the issue will be dropped? Or do you say it’s okay because you feel like that’s what you should say when really you’d like to keep talking about it?”

 

It takes Dean a minute to answer this time. “Sometimes I want it dropped, like when it’s something that really is okay, something small. But most of the time… I’d like to talk about it more.”

 

Dr. Edlund nods before looking over at Castiel again. "Dean, Castiel isn't going to be very good at picking up on that. The two of you need to practice very open, honest communication. Passive aggressive comments or shutdown statements aren't things Castiel recognizes, because he's never had to. He didn't care about the slaves enough to listen to them, and he was in charge of everyone else so if they had an issue they needed to respectfully bring it up or let it go. Even his father, or Gabe. Those relationships were straight and to the point. Castiel's world was black and white before you Dean. Now it's shades of gray. If you want your relationship to work, you need to help him navigate that." 

 

Dean looks over at Castiel and gives him a soft smile. It instantly makes Castiel feel a hundred times better. He's practically in heaven when Dean scoots a little closer and takes one of his hands. "I can try my best to do that."

 

"I'll try my best too," Castiel promises. "I'm trying my best now. It probably doesn't feel like it, but I am."

 

"It feels like it. Don't worry."

 

"Dean," Dr. Edlund starts, interrupting their moment of happiness. Castiel mentally curses him. He doesn't stop looking at Dean, even when Dean turns to face the doctor. He doesn't let go of his hand either. "If you feel comfortable, I think it'd be good for you to voice your feelings on what just happened with Castiel a minute ago. Because it wasn't okay, was it?"

 

"No… it wasn't." 

 

When Dean hesitates to say anything more, the doctor looks at Castiel and says, "This is a safe place, Dean. You don't ever have to feel guilty about what you say or feel, as long as they're honest and intended to help. Right, Castiel?"

 

"Absolutely." Castiel squeezes Dean's hand and gives him what he hopes is a reassuring smile. "After what we've been through? I think we can handle some harsh truths."

 

Nodding, Dean looks down at the carpet and begins. "It really fucking hurts when you say those things, like how I shouldn't be with you and I should leave you and all that… when you throw in my face how much you've hurt me-"

 

"I-"

 

"Castiel," Dr. Edlund says in warning. 

 

Sinking into himself, Castiel whispers an apology to Dean and goes quiet. After a few seconds of hesitation, Dean continues. "It just feels like I'm listening to my dad all over again. Telling me I'm stupid for being with you. Like I don’t know what you did to me. Like I could ever forget it. You don’t have to keep throwing it in my face. It - it hurts. I know you're not trying to hurt me. I know it's just how you feel. But… but it really hurts, and-" Dean's voice cracks and he pauses. Castiel watches as his chest rises and falls quickly. As his bottom lip wobbles. As his left knee bounces. He's close to an attack. 

 

"Hey. Hey, it's okay green eyes," Castiel says softly, scooting closer to Dean. He presses a kiss to Dean's temple before resting his forehead against it. "Safe space, I promise. Please tell me."

 

Dean's lips twitch into a smile for a moment. Then it falls. Castiel waits for Dean to push him away, but he doesn't. The relief is dizzying. 

 

"I guess I just hate when you do it because it - it kinda feels like you're taking my power from me. Like you're saying I shouldn't be able to choose. Like I'm an idiot or something for being with you." Dean pulls away enough to look Castiel in the eye. "When you say those things, I feel like I'm right back on my dad's front lawn, you abandoning me all over again.” 

 

A tear falls down Dean's cheek but he quickly wipes it away. Then he sniffles and turns his face so Castiel can barely see it. 

 

Speechless and panicking a little, Castiel looks over at Dr. Edlund with wide eyes. Thankfully, the doctor doesn't decide to be a dick and go silent like he sometimes does when he wants Castiel to work something out on his own. 

 

"You're referring to the day Castiel set you free, right Dean? The day he brought you home?" Dean just nods. By the way his throat works to swallow, Castiel thinks maybe he doesn't trust his voice. "Let's talk about that day. Castiel and I have spent a great deal of time talking about that day, as well as the days leading up to it, and the thoughts he had, but I'd like to hear about that day from you." 

 

"Okay…" Dean let's go of Castiel's hand to run his own through his hair. It feels like there's suddenly an ocean of space between them, and Castiel is drowning in it. "What hurt most was him dropping me off there, I think. He broke so many promises that day, and he took my choices away again. I - I safe worded, and he didn’t care. He just decided what was best for me and then left. He just… he just fucking left.”

 

Castiel looks down at his favorite swirl in the rug and tries to breathe. He can feel that tightness in his throat that comes when he’s about to cry. It strangles him. 

 

“It’s interesting that you mention the safe word, Dean,” Dr. Edlund says quietly. “A safe word is very important in a relationship of your kind. Is that something in particular that sticks out to you that day? Specifically the safe word being ignored?”

 

“Yeah.” Dean glances over at Castiel quickly before hurrying to look at the floor again. “He promises me he’ll always listen to it. And then I use it, and he doesn’t…” 

 

“Do you trust the safe word now, Dean?”

 

Castiel snaps his eyes up at the doctor, surprised that he’d ask that. Then he quickly looks over at Dean in a slight panic. Does he trust it? Have they scened with Dean not fully trusting it? 

 

“I trust it,” Dean says without hesitation, making it so Castiel can breathe again. “I trust him. I’m just saying that it’s what hurt the most.” Dean turns to look at Castiel now. His green eyes are sad and full of tears, but he’s giving Castiel a genuine smile. “You said on the beach 2 years ago that I could leave, but that you wanted me to stay. To give you a chance. To give us a chance. And I made that decision, in that moment, to stay. To willingly be with you. And then you just… took that from me. You promised no running. You promised. And - and we said we loved each other and I said I trusted you and - and you just… you broke the hand holding rule, even!” 

 

“The hand holding rule?” Dr. Edlund asks quietly. 

 

“He-” Castiel looks away from Dean, unable to look at him as he explains this. “When we - when I hurt him, he’d do this thing, with his fingers. It - he told me later he was pretending someone was holding his hand. I made a promise that I’d always hold his hand, if he asked. No matter what.”

 

“It sounds like that was very important to you, Dean. Pretending someone was holding your hand while Castiel and his men hurt you - that seemed to help you, then?”

 

Dean shrugs a shoulder. “A little, yeah.”

 

Dr. Edlund nods. “It must have meant quite a lot to you when Castiel made that promise, then.”

 

“Yeah… it did.”

 

“So he broke a lot of promises that day.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“But you still trust him?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Dr. Edlund tilts his head and leans back a bit. “Have you forgiven him, Dean?”

 

After a small glance towards Castiel, Dean whispers, “No.”

 

“For all of it? Or just for that day?”

 

“Just for that day.” Dean looks over at Castiel again. This time, though, he keeps his gaze focused on him. He stays quiet until Castiel forces himself to look back at him. When their eyes lock, Dean says, “Everything you did before that was the old Cas. The bad Cas. The Cas your father made you into. I forgave you a long time ago for being him. But the Cas that left me that day? That broke those promises and abandoned me? That Cas was my Cas. That Cas was the man I love. That’s why it hurt so fucking bad. And that’s why I hate the things you say about how I shouldn’t be with you and all that. Like last night, after your nightmare. You’re so fixated on what happened before. About the compound and the abuse. I don’t care about any of that anymore, Cas. Can’t you see that? It’s the abandoning me, and the pushing me away. Even now. Last night. Always pushing me away…” 

 

Chest aching, Castiel nods to show that he understands. Then he decides to admit his own truth. “I think I’m sort of convinced you’re gonna wake up one day and leave me. Realize this is… I dunno - fake? Like the Stockholm syndrome shit or whatever. What if one day you just fucking wake up and realize you need to leave?”

 

“I think everyone in a relationship worries their partner will one day leave them… I think that’s just normal, Cas.”

 

Castiel frowns, then looks at Dr. Edlund for help. “Is it?” 

 

“Very, Castiel.” When Castiel and Dean both go quiet, Dr. Edlund pushes the conversation by asking, “You mentioned a nightmare last night, Dean. Castiel, did you have a nightmare last night?”

 

Dean nods at the same time Castiel mumbles, “Yeah.” 

 

“How old were you in it?” he asks, because that’s usually how he can tell what the nightmare is about. The doctor knows Castiel’s nightmares well. It took a while to pry all the details from him, since Castiel isn’t particularly talkative – especially when they first started – but he knows now. He knows that when Castiel is young – eight or nine – that the nightmare is watching his father use Dean as a personal slave. He knows when Castiel is thirteen or fourteen, that the nightmare is Castiel being trained, Dean as the practice dummy. He knows that when Castiel is older – eighteen or nineteen – it’s him using Dean to assert his authority to the others, since he just inherited the company. Him using Dean for… demonstrations

 

But last night wasn’t one of those dreams. 

 

Last night was worse.

 

Last night was so much fucking worse. 

 

“I was, uh - it was the future, I guess.”

 

Dr. Edlund’s eyebrows raise. “Oh?”

 

“I was-” Castiel pauses, looking down at his favorite swirl on the paisley rug. He can feel his throat tightening again. “Dean and I were married. I was a - a father. We were fathers.”

 

A small sound comes from Dean, but Castiel ignores it. He has to. He just keeps staring at that one spot on the rug and forces himself to tell the doctor, to tell the man he loves, his biggest fear. His absolute worst nightmare, out of all of them. 

 

“He was beautiful. Maybe - maybe 4 years old? I dunno. I’m not good at kid ages… but he had Dean’s eyes and freckles, and my hair, which I know isn’t even biologically possible, but - but he looked like us, and he was beautiful. He was happy. We were all playing outside. Dean was chasing him, pretending to be a monster, and he was giggling and running towards me.” Castiel closes his eyes. He swears he can feel the breeze. Feel the sun. Feel the laughter in his chest. “He called me daddy. Wanted me to save him from the monster.”

 

Both Dean and the doctor stay quiet, so Castiel clears his throat and continues. “Then he was in my arms and he was crying and he - he was begging me to not make him - I was - he didn’t want to - fuck.” Castiel buries his face in his hands and tries to breathe. When a gentle hand rests on his shoulder, he cries for the first time. His palms don’t do much to muffle it. 

 

“It’s okay, babe,” Dean whispers. “It’s okay.”

 

“It’s not!” Castiel pulls his hands away and looks right at Dean, not caring about the tears running down his cheeks. “I forced him to - to hurt you. He was sobbing. He was fucking begging me. And I was just like my fucking father, Dean. I had you strapped down on a spanking bench, naked, collared, plugged, gagged, and I was trying to force our fucking son - our beautiful fucking son - to hurt you, Dean. To - to rape you. And he fucking - he did. I helped him. Taught him. We - I - he -” Castiel pushes off the couch and walks toward the window. He watches as Dean stands up, only for the doctor to coax him into sitting back down. 

 

It’s a little easier standing here, looking out at the city with his hands stuffed in his pockets. It makes him feel better. More powerful. Like he used to be. “I realized what was going on about halfway through. Figured out who Dean was. I tried getting our son to stop, I tried explaining to him, but he - he didn’t fucking care. Looked at me like I was crazy. And then suddenly I was fucking Dean. I was raping Dean. It was our - his - it was the first time I… did that to him. And our son was standing off to the side just screaming at me. Fucking begging me to stop hurting his daddy. He was so fucking sad. Confused. He just - he wanted me to stop hurting his daddy!”

 

Castiel puts his hands on the windowsill and hunches over, hanging his head between his shoulders. “And then Dean got away, and was holding him to his chest and comforting him. He was hiding his face so he didn’t have to look at me. Our son was crying. Calling me a monster. Begging Dean to keep him safe from the fucking monster, and Dean promised. He promised to never let the monster touch him.”

 

Going quiet, Castiel lifts his head just enough to look down at the city again. He doesn’t feel powerful anymore. He feels like a monster. Like fucking Godzilla about to terrorize the innocent people below. 

 

After a very long time, Dr. Edlund comes to stand beside him. Castiel isn’t sure where Dean is. Perhaps he left. 

 

Perhaps that’d be for the best. 

 

“What made you dream about having children, Castiel? You’ve never let yourself even consider such a thing.”

 

Castiel clears his throat twice before feeling steady enough to speak. His voice still comes out raw and scratchy. “Dean wants kids.” 

 

“Mmmm.” 

 

Castiel laughs humorlessly, shaking his head. “You know I can’t fucking stand when you do that, doc.”

 

The doctor chuckles. “I know. I apologize.”

 

When Castiel says nothing, the doctor sighs heavily and turns towards the couch where Castiel assumes Dean is still sitting. Castiel expects Dean to say something, or for the doctor to say something to Dean. Instead, the doctor turns back to look out the window with Castiel and says, “I think you’d make an excellent father, Castiel.”

 

“What?” Castiel turns to look at Dr. Edlund incredulously. “Are you fucking kidding me? What about our time together has ever fucking indicated that I’d make a good father?”

 

“What about your time since giving up your old life and leaving the compound has ever indicated that you wouldn’t make a good father?”

 

“How about the fact that I can’t do my own laundry? I can’t fucking cook or clean. I can’t do the dishes. I tried grocery shopping? I was a fucking mess. Oh, and I knocked a kid down and made him cry, so there was that, too.”

 

“You went grocery shopping?”

 

Castiel huffs. Of course that’s what the doctor would latch onto. “Yes.”

 

“How did that go?”

 

“I told you. Not good.”

 

“No, you said you were a mess, and you said you knocked a kid down and made him cry - something I’m assuming was just an accident, which happens to everyone. You did not, however, say how it went.” Castiel just shrugs, not sure why it even fucking matters. Dr. Edlund turns again. In a slightly louder voice, he asks Dean, “Dean, how do you think grocery shopping went?”

 

Dean barely even hesitates. “It went surprisingly good. I found it entertaining, which probably makes me a dick… but he was just cute, trying to figure things out.”

 

“Did he hurt anybody?”

 

“Of course not.”

 

“Not the kid?”

 

“That was an accident, and he only cried because his cookies and milk were ruined. I brought him to get new ones.”

 

“Did Castiel hurt you?”

 

“What? No!”

 

“So, Castiel was uncomfortable, and he needed to learn how to do things, but that didn’t make him dangerous or a bad person, correct?”

 

Castiel can hear the smile in Dean’s voice when he says, “Correct.”

 

“And doing dishes. When did you try that, Castiel? Last night?” 

 

“Yes,” Castiel grumbles, unimpressed with the two of them. He should have known they’d gang up on him. 

 

“Dean, anyone hurt when he did that?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Any danger or sign of him being a bad person?”

 

“Nope. Just a kitchen full of water and his clothes getting soaked.” 

 

Dr. Edlund chuckles. When Castiel turns to glare at him, he laughs even harder. He puts a hand up and says breathlessly. “I apologize. That was unprofessional. I was just picturing it for a moment.”

 

Dean laughs. “It was great.”

 

“You watch it, brat,” Castiel warns, turning to point a finger at Dean. “We already had this conversation.”

 

In response to Castiel’s warning - which is supposed to be at least a little threatening, considering he’s Dean’s goddamn dominant - Dean sticks his tongue out at him. It makes Castiel grin ear to ear. He stares at the man on the couch with so much admiration and love, his knees go a little weak. 

 

“I love you, Dean.”

 

Dean smiles. “I love you too, Cas.”

 

“You know, Castiel,” Dr. Edlund says conversationally. “A lot of first time parents have no idea what they’re doing. They get pissed on trying to change diapers. They become sleep-deprived zombies. They put onesies on backwards. They accidentally bring the baby out missing a sock. They show up to work covered in spit-up. They call their pediatrician 10 times a week, concerned that the baby sneezed or cried funny or looked at them in a strange way. Parents have no fucking idea what they’re doing the first time around. What makes a parent a good parent is that they accept that, and they try to learn. They care. They love their children. That’s what matters. That they love them. And I’ve seen these last 2 years, and this last hour, that you are a man very capable of love.”

 

“I just - I can’t yet, okay? I already told Dean this, but I can’t. Not yet. I - maybe one day. Maybe soon I’ll be able to talk about it, think about it, but I can’t, doc. I’m already doing too fucking much to try and hold myself and our relationship together. I can’t add more right now.”

 

“That’s perfectly fine. I just wanted you to understand so when you have a nightmare like that again, you can tell the thoughts to go fuck themselves.”

 

Castiel finds himself smiling. “Okay.” 

 

“Now, I have homework for you two. Something you’re not going to like,” he says, looking at Castiel. 

 

“Great. Sounds fun.”

 

“It’ll be fun for Dean - I’m hoping.” Dr. Edlund turns to look at Dean, giving him a smile. “I think it’d be a good idea if you both switch roles at some point in the next week or two. Before our next appointment.”

 

Dean’s eyebrows pull in, his eyes flicking over to Castiel in confusion. “Switch roles?”

 

“For one night, one scene, I think it’d be a good idea for you to be the dominant in the bedroom - or the playroom. It would build trust between you. Strengthen your relationship.” 

 

“I - but - what?” Dean shakes his head. Then he huffs out a laugh. “No way! I’d suck at it!”

 

“Who cares?”

 

“He’d never let me do that.”

 

“Castiel?” Dr. Edlund asks, turning to look at him. His arched eyebrow is all Castiel needs to know what’s expected of him before he even asks in that tone that means it isn’t a question, “Would you let Dean do that?”

 

He waits for his father to return. To tell him how pathetic he would be. To tell him how weak it would make him. To call him disgusting. To tear him apart. 

 

But his father doesn’t do that anymore. Castiel doesn’t let him. 

 

And Castiel has been trying really fucking hard not to let himself do it either. Tearing himself apart won’t do anything to fix things. Tearing himself apart does him no good. Tearing himself apart does Dean no good. 

 

What will do good is this. These sessions. Dr. Edlund, Castiel, and Dean. He can already feel it. He can already tell. 

 

So, “Yeah. Yes. We could do a scene with you in control, Dean.”

 

Dean’s jaw literally drops. Then he gets a mischievous grin on his face that makes Castiel groan. 

 

What did he just get himself into?