Castiel turning human was a lot of things. Unpractical often, and tiring at times. And in Castiel’s opinion, very, very annoying. He had to do things like eat and sleep and urinate. And his wounds took so goddamn long to heal, at first he thought they’d never heal. (Both Sam and Dean needed to comfort and assure him about it.)
Needless to say, the Ex-Angel wasn’t too fond of his sudden humanness.
Dean on the other hand found it to be - occasionally - extremely entertaining.
One thing that the older Winchester brother especially loved to make fun of was the fact that Castiel could not (for the life of him!) handle any liquor whatsoever . They’d tried it once when he was an Angel and he downed about six shots in twenty seconds pretty much without effect. Now, however, he couldn’t handle shit. Two beers and the guy was staggering on his feet.
And so it came that one night after a particularly exhausting, but satisfyingly successful hunt, Dean grinned broadly as he said, “We should celebrate this! Like old times. There’s a bar, like, literally across the street from here. We grab some beers, sit back, relax, y’know?”
Sam ran a hand over his face and groaned from where he was sitting on a chair. “Dude, I’m done. I need sleep, I can’t go out now.”
“Oh, come on, Sammy! Don’t be a fun killer.” He cuffed Sam’s arm.
“No, man, I’m serious, I can barely keep my eyes open.” He stood up wearily and crossed the main room of the dusty motel apartment to get to his bedroom. “I’m goin’ to bed. And there ain’t no stopping me.”
“Fine,” Dean said, “Just Cas and I, then.”
“Yeah, right,” Sam laughed, “Whatever. Good night.” And the door closed behind him with a click.
“Dean,” came Cas’s voice from the sofa. His hands were folded in his lap - the only neat thing about him. Otherwise, he looked disheveled; his Trenchcoat was partially ripped from the fight earlier, his tie was loosened, his shirt wrinkled and his hair was messy and dark and practically begging for a pair of hands to run through it. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to take me out for alcohol consumption?”
Dean swallowed whatever he had been thinking about Cas’s hair and frowned at his friend’s weird phrasing, even though he should have been used to it by now.
He shrugged. “I’ll be there. And I can handle my liquor. Besides, a bit of fun wouldn’t hurt you, buddy.”
Cas frowned at him. “Last time I had a... what do you call it? Hungover? It was... very uncomfortable. Not fun.”
Dean snorted. “Come on, Cas!” He grabbed his jacket and shrugged into it. “You don’t have to drink,” he groaned, “I just wanna have a good time! For once. We did a really good job on that case and we’ve deserved it.”
A sigh escaped the ex-Angel. “Fine.” He pushed himself up and walked over to the door. “I still don’t see the point in alcohol consumption.”
Dean rolled his eyes.
More instinctively than on purpose, his hands rose up to Cas’s collar. He smoothed down the fabric and straightened the tie and tugged the Trenchcoat into place and it was only as he looked up and met the piercing blue eyes that he realized their proximity.
He swallowed around a lump in his throat, quickly pulling his hands back to himself. This was totally normal. Nothing unusual or erotic about accidentally, instinctively touching your best friend. “Um,” he cleared his throat, “Let’s go.”
Two hours later, it should have been around midnight, they were sitting in a booth in the diner and bar across the street of the motel. Well, sitting would have been an exaggeration. Castiel was cross-legged on the bench, and more than once he would slightly lean to one side and his shoulder would press against the window next to him or the backrest behind him.
And Dean? Well, Dean was half draped over the table, maybe even drunker than Castiel (which was an impressive achievement, really).
Dean’s vision was blurry. But his drunken brain figured that as long as he could still make out Cas’s face, he’d be good. He was giggling. And he could in fact still make out Cas’s face through the haze of alcohol. And Cas was laughing.
The grin was bright and breathtaking and for a moment Dean caught himself dubbing it ‘angelic’ which he found ridiculously funny in his state of intoxication.
“Ah,” Dean wheezed as he had finally caught his breath again, “We should really head home.”
Very suddenly, there was a grasp on his arm, Cas’s fingers curled around his wrist. “Dean,” he rumbled, quite meaningfully as though he had just remembered something important.
“Hm?” Dean blinked through the alcohol, trying to think. It was very hard to think about anything that wasn’t the warmth of Castiel’s hand through his shirt.
“If bees dance to communicate,” Cas started, “Do you think that’s what humans did in the beginning of evolution?”
Dean frowned, actually considered it for a moment, and then quickly discarded his train of thought. “Dude, we’re drunk .”
It’s a wonder Dean managed to pay for their drinks. And it’s a miracle they managed to stagger over the street to the motel (arm in arm, slurring and giggling) without causing a car crash.
Somehow, they stumbled up the stairs to the room. Castiel loudly proclaimed something about how he preferred insects to Angels, his shoulder brushing Dean’s. Dean shushed him and turned the key in the lock.
“Why are you shhhh -ing me?” Cas frowned and tilted his head and it looked cute and Dean pretended he didn’t just think that.
The door closed behind them, Dean pushing it shut with his shoulder.
“Because you’re,” he giggled, “You’re supposed to shhhhhhh ut up.”
Dean was still amused by his own joke when he suddenly found Cas all up in his space. Cas had stumbled against him, pushing him backwards. It was warm, he registered. And Cas’s eyes were mesmerizing, but his lips were absolutely distracting. He was trapped between the door and Cas’s body, pinned by his hips. There was a warmth creeping into his loins. He tried not to think about it, because he wasn’t nearly drunk enough to deal with it.
“You shut up,” Cas growled and his voice was rough and husky and something inside Dean’s stomach did a backflip.
And then lips crashed into his, soft and warm and bitter with the taste of beer. A hand pulled at the roots of his hair and Dean, in his alcohol-hazy state, let it happen for a moment. He allowed himself to sink against Cas, hands clawing into the familiar Trenchcoat. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t had dreams that had started like this.
Cas’s mouth was warm and wet and Dean’s knees weakened. Their noses pushed against each other and they stumbled and staggered and swayed.
A wave of cruel, cold soberness overcame Dean suddenly and he broke away, gasping.
“Cas...” His voice quivered. He swallowed with closed eyes, letting his head fall against the door in his back. And he didn’t dare open his eyes and look at Cas. This couldn’t be happening.
Cas’s hands slid away from where they had sunken into Dean’s hair.
“Dean, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have- this is a new, human thing, I don’t know how…”
The mere sound of Cas’s voice so close to his face, the brush of his breath, the smell of alcohol and his own car on Cas’s overcoat - it was enough to churn him all over.
With panic, he felt his arousal, the excitement in his stomach, the racing of his own heart.
He wished he could bring himself to open his eyes and look at Cas and tell him, tell him that he wanted him, needed him. He wished he could square it with his pride and his own stupid sense of self to reach out and pull Cas impossibly closer and kiss him and fuck, he wished he were sober, or at least a little more drunk. Dean wished he could peel his own hands from Cas’s coat and place them in his dark, messy hair instead, or on his neck, or the side of his face, but they were clenched into the fabric and his vision was blurry and his knees were weak - whether it was from the alcohol or the kiss, he couldn’t tell - and he couldn’t bring himself to function.
All he could manage was a slight forward movement of his head and a deep, pleading, soul-wrenching, “Cas.”
And it was enough. Because Dean Winchester had always been enough for Castiel.
It was enough for Cas to kiss him again, and to push him up against the wall. Dean‘s stomach fluttered. He vaguely registered Cas’s hands on his hips and smiled sloppily.
And then Cas pulled away, forehead creased. He cleared his throat. “I’m... I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never...”
“Yeah,” Dean croaked, and grinned, “Me neither. But whatever you’re doing, it’s working, okay? And right now, I’m drunk enough to enjoy it, so just... shut up and kiss me again.”
“The alcohol is influencing your judgement,” Cas slurred, very much influenced as well, “I don’t wanna do anything you wouldn’t do sober…”
“ Cas ,” Dean growled, fingers curling tightly around the beige Trenchcoat. It was a simple demand. Kiss me.
And Castiel did.
A warm hand splayed out over Dean’s chest and he felt himself relaxing, easing into the kiss. He cupped Cas’s face with his hands. And then, for a moment, it felt normal and right and simple. As though they’d been doing it for years, as though he were familiar with Cas’s tongue and teeth and fingers.
All those dreams and lingering looks and unbearable hugs and horrible goodbyes and heartbreaking hellos and all of that goddamn frustrating tension - it all slotted into place now. As though their bodies just... fit.
And then there was a thigh between Dean’s legs and he moaned.
“I think we should,” he drew a sharp breath and his hands curled into fists around Cas’s hair, “move to the bedroom.”
“Do I look like I care?” In a wave of unexpected confidence, caused by sexual frustration, Dean pulled at Cas’s coat and pushed him towards the bedroom door.
Eager hands tore at layers of fabric. Cas’s coat and jacket fell to the ground with a soft thud. Cas whispered something into Dean’s ear as he pulled Dean’s shirt off. It was a low rumble and maybe it was Enochian, but Dean didn’t care to understand, because all he needed to know was that it made his heartbeat fasten.
And then skin collided and their breath caught in each other’s throat. They staggered and tripped and landed in the sheets.
Dean brushed a strand of black hair out of Cas’s face and wished he were soberer.
It was rushed and desperate and at first neither of them really knew where to put their limbs and hands and mouths and it was messy and hopelessly awkward. Their noses bumped into each other and elbows hit places they shouldn’t. But they were too drunk and too giggly to care. And soon they were all stubbles scraping against soft skin and salty sweat and laboured breaths and body heat.
They found their way eventually, some kind of rhythm. And Cas groaned and Dean swore under his breath and it was good, it was too good. Despite the alcohol and his therefore hazy judgement, Dean knew that it was too good to be something purely sexual. But he couldn’t care. He didn’t have the time to care. Because he had a whole body to explore, skin to graze with his teeth, soft hair to run his fingers through hollows to lick, thighs to seize and blue eyes to get lost in.
They both tasted and reeked of alcohol and it was hasty and sloppy and gross.
But it was real.
And they fell asleep naked, Dean’s hands tangled in Castiel’s hair and Castiel’s arms loosely wrapped around his bare waist, Dean’s body half covering Castiel’s. Dean’s breath went steady and calm as it ghosted over Cas’s chest and for the first time in a long time, he wasn’t haunted by nightmares.
The next morning was absolutely brutal and Dean noticed immediately.
He blinked and took note of a list of things in rapid succession.
Number one: He was currently draped over a sleeping Cas and they were both butt naked.
Number two: He had a terrible headache.
Number three: He, the sheets, and Cas, all smelled like a disgusting mixture of beer, sex, and sweat.
Number four: He might have to throw up.
Number five: He really had had sex with his best friend.
Number six: He was panicking.
Quickly, he rolled away, off of Cas, and stared at the ceiling. Shit .
He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and was awfully aware of the weight of his own body and the soft rise and fall of Cas’s naked chest, and the panicked heat in his guts and the throbbing pain in his head.
He could blame it all on the booze. That’s what he kept telling himself. It was the alcohol.
And yes. They’d both been drunk. But he swallowed and there was a lump in his throat and it felt like he’d choke to death on it. Because he couldn’t blame it all on the booze. Because he still remembered the way it felt. And it shouldn’t have felt so good.
The memory of the feeling of Cas’s skin sliding against his shouldn’t make him hot all over. The memories of the husky “Dean”s and gravely moans shouldn’t make him shudder. The thought of Castiel’s hands, the dip of his hip, the soft skin stretching over his collar bones, the line of dark hair reaching down from his abdomen past the tattoo, the flex of his muscles, the scrape of his stubble… it all shouldn’t have felt so fucking breathtakingly amazing.
Dean cursed and ran a trembling hand through his sweaty hair.
He took a moment to think that maybe it was because Cas was an Angel. But then he remembered that Cas was in fact not an Angel anymore and it all made it quite terrible.
“Okay,” he said to himself, quietly as to not wake Cas, “It’s no reason to panic. I mean it… happened. We were drunk. That’s it. No more to it.” He clenched his jaw.
“Fuck,” he gagged and threw himself out of the bed, stormed out of the room, burst into the dim bathroom, and vomited.
“Shit,” he said, because apparently his vocabulary had reduced to expletives. Then, he threw up again, and then, he felt positively empty and very, very unwell.
He looked up from the disgusting sink at his own, disheveled picture in the mirror.
He was naked, he was shaking, his hair resembled a hedgehog, his eyes were bloodshot and a bit of greenish stomach content clung to the corner of his lips.
“Ugh.” He wiped it away with his wrist.
The sound of the water was too loud as he turned on the tab. But he screwed his eyes shut and splashed some cold water onto his face and he felt a little cleaner. But not any less panicked.
The thing was, he wasn’t gay. He knew he wasn’t gay, because he liked women. He liked kissing women and touching women. He liked having sex with women, too. And he liked the way it felt, it was pleasing, satisfying.
So he couldn’t be gay. He knew for sure.
But there had been times… when he checked out other dudes, when he thought about it in the back of his head, or even dreamt about it. But he avoided thinking about his dreams whenever possible. And he never seriously considered… doing it.
He sighed and let his head hang. Fuck, how did he get himself into this?
Dean tried to go back in time, think of how it all started and somehow his train of thought ended up in High School.
He remembered a brunette guy - he hadn’t the faintest clue what his name might have been - who had hung out with him quite a few times. And one time, after PE, when the others had already left the dressing room, the guy had approached him and gently pushed him against one of the lockers and Dean remembered wanting to push him off, but then the guy had kissed him and somehow 17-year-old Dean had kissed back and their hands had gone south all the way.
In High School, a brunette guy had given him a handjob in a deserted dressing room and they’d kissed and then Dean and Sam and John Winchester moved again and Dean never saw the guy again.
Dean rarely thought about it (Why the hell should he?) and when he did, he justified it with ‘I was young, dumb, horny and wanted to piss off society in any possible way.’
Now, however, things had changed. Now he was drowsy and hungover and had just slept with his male best friend and it had felt good and, looking back, maybe he hadn’t just been ‘young, dumb and horny’.
The realization dawned on him and it wasn’t pleasant. All those little pieces slotted into place - his Dr. Sexy obsession, his lingering glances that occasionally landed on a girl’s boyfriend instead of the girl, his inability to function when flirted at by a man - it all made sense now and it felt just like last night when Cas had pushed him up against the door and kissed him.
Oh, fuck .
He was cold. He was butt naked in a barely lit and scarcely heated bathroom after all.
With a shaky breath, he collected himself (as far as that was possible) and peeked around the corner of the door. The corridor was still dark and the doors to Sam’s and Castiel’s rooms were still closed. Which meant two things:
One: Sam was thankfully still asleep.
Two: Dean had drunkenly pushed Cas into Dean’s room last night.
Dean took a deep breath and prepared himself for the worst. He needed to get his clothes from his room and encounter a meanwhile potentially very awake Ex-Angel of the Lord in his own sheets. Who was by the way just as naked as he was. He swallowed. Whatever. They’d had sex, it was no use being ashamed now! But despite that, Dean felt the heat rise into his cheeks and he felt so utterly exposed it was horrible. One reason more to go in there and get it over with to finally pull on some clothes.
Dean spent the whole way from the bathroom to the bedroom, trying to convince himself that what Cas and him did was purely sexual and had nothing romantical to it whatsoever. He wasn’t bisexual like that. He couldn’t be with a guy ! Then again, he’d never really been with a woman, either. He wasn’t the type for relationships. He’d never let himself have one - because of his life, because of his commitment issues, because he put everyone connected to him in danger and he could never put down hunting. He had never let himself settle for a normal life, and he wouldn’t.
But it could be different with Cas. A life with Cas didn’t involve putting down hunting.
But what was he thinking?! He didn’t have feelings for Cas! Last night was… nothing serious.
He opened the door and there he was.
Castiel’s upper body lay exposed, the sheet tangled around his waist and legs. Pale sunlight fell in stripes through the blinds like in a goddamn movie and Cas was all softly illuminated skin, and messy sex hair, and perfect lips, and closed eyes, and calm breathing. So there he lay asleep. In Dean’s bed. While Dean was having a mental breakdown. And Cas really had the audacity to look like fucking Sleeping Beauty herself.
All efforts Dean had made to convince himself he didn’t have feelings for Cas seemed completely irrelevant, ridiculous and useless at once. It was a scary feeling and Dean’s rib cage seemed to tighten around his lungs for a second.
Whatever. Dean forced his gaze away from the quite literally angelic sight and hastily tiptoed to his duffle bag where he kept his clothes. He grabbed the first items he saw and struggled into them as quickly as possible.
He was relieved to notice that in jeans and t-shirt, the feeling of being utterly exposed vanished and was replaced by some warmth.
And then there it was.
It was deep and hoarse and sleepy and hot and it made Dean’s blood run cold. He slowly turned around, swallowed, watched Cas shift under the covers.
Cas blinked at him. He was very calm, but there was a hint of something else in his eyes that might just be nervousness. (But maybe Dean was projecting.)
Dean cleared his throat. “Mornin’, sleepyhead.”
Cas tried to sit up, but immediately groaned with pain and pressed a hand against his temple. It took him a moment until he’d sat up and responded, “I don’t… ever want to consume alcohol again.”
“Yeah. Well.” Dean swallowed and felt his own head throbbing as well. “I’m sorry?”, he offered.
Cas frowned at him. It was intense and uncomfortable and Dean shifted his weight.
“What should you be sorry for?”, Cas asked.
Dean swallowed again, clenched his jaw, shrugged. “I don’t know. I was the one who took you… out.” It came out very, very wrong. Luckily, Cas wasn’t one to notice such things. He just nodded.
For a moment, Dean considered that maybe Cas had been so drunk, he forgot what had happened.
“I’m gonna, uh,” he looked down, scratched the back of his head, “take an aspirin and um, shower. You should probably do the same.”
He throws a last glance at Cas and tries to flee.
But before his hand could close around the door handle, Cas spoke up.
“What we did yesterday, I…” Cas broke off. “You don’t want to talk about it, right?”
Dean’s heart seemed to sink within his chest. So, Cas hadn’t forgotten. Of course not. Dean tried to compose himself.
“No,” he said. And then he reconsidered. “Look, we were drunk, man. Like, fucking wasted. We don’t… Let’s just not make a big deal out of it.”
“Yes.” Cas nodded. Dean nodded back. At least it was almost a nod. Then, he fled the room.
The water enclosed Dean and he let out a long sigh. He stayed in the shower for a little longer than necessary before he found the will to turn off the hot stream and rub himself dry and slip into his clothes. He tried not to think about how Cas had touched that very skin that he had dried off with the towel.
When he opened the door to the main room of the little hotel apartment, he didn’t expect to see Sam sitting there, typing away at his laptop.
“Morning, Sammy,” Dean said and flinched at the volume of his own voice. At once, his eyes nervously darted to the door of his room. It was closed. And Cas was nowhere to be seen, so he was probably still in Dean’s room. He had seemed pretty weary, maybe he had fallen asleep again. Dean ignored the way his tummy grew warm at the thought of Cas sleeping in his bed, and a plan started to take shape in his head.
If he could get Sam out of the room before Cas could come out of his room, nothing would seem suspicious. He just had to be smooth…
Sam looked up, raised an eyebrow at Dean and gave a tiny nod. “Man you must be hungover.”
“Yeah,” Dean swallowed, “well.”
Dean tried to carelessly walk over to his brother. “So? Um, any news? What are you researching?” He looked over Sam’s shoulder.
A frown appeared on Sam’s face. “Looking for our next case? We should get going, by the way, where’s Cas?”
Dean almost tripped over thin air. Not as smooth as he had thought he’d be about this.
“He’s uh… asleep, I guess. In his room. Yeah, we were up late yesterday.”
“Sure,” he said very slowly and then there was a pause. The silence stretched endlessly, and the only sound to be heard was the clacking of Sam’s keyboard.
Dean had the horrible feeling that somehow Sam knew .
Dean wasn’t sure whether he was worried. Whether he wanted Sam to know. Whether he wanted to think about what Sam might be thinking. What he might be thinking about Dean if he knew…
With a jerking movement, Sam closed the laptop. “OK, what the fuck is wrong?” He turned around to look over the backrest of the couch at Dean.
“What? Nothing’s wrong!” Dean forced a laugh. “I’m normal, what’s wrong with you?”
Sam gave him a fabulous bitch face which only Sam Winchester could pull off. “Dude. You’ve been staring at the screen, not moving, for like five seconds as if it were the most interesting thing.”
“So what?! Maybe I’m interested!”
“It’s you we’re talking about! You never do research. You don’t stop to read over my shoulder. And you haven’t even had coffee yet, but you’re… awake!?” He let his hand fall onto the backrest sort of helplessly. “What the hell, Dean?”
The dusty room lay silent for a moment. Dean opened his mouth.
And then there was a sound. The click of a door and then a soft creak and both the Winchester brothers’ heads snapped around.
“What in...,” Sam said.
“Fuck,” Dean said.
There was nothing he could do. Cas came out of Dean’s room and he was naked except for a pair of gray boxers and on his head he wore the definition of sex hair, all mussy and spiky and soft. His eyes were hooded with sleep, his hand wearily reaching up to run through the earlier mentioned hair and he yawned and it was truly amusing considering that he was technically a celestial being.
So Cas came out of Dean’s room and to put it shortly, he couldn’t have been any more obvious .
“Hello,” he rumbled to the brothers who were both frozen - Dean by panic and Sam by surprise.
Dean’s jaw clenched. His head couldn’t produce a single helpful thought. Sam opened his mouth and closed it again. Oh , he thought. Oh.
Cas noticed their state and tilted his head. “Is something wrong?”
Sam was the first one to break out of his trance. He gave a breathless chuckle. “You…”, he lowered his head and looked at Cas, “Uh… heh.” He looked at the door to Dean’s room, then back at Cas.
Cas narrowed his eyes. Cleared his throat. “Dean and I,” he started.
But Dean cut him off loudly, “We swapped rooms. Yeah. He, um, liked… mine… better.”
A pause. Dean shot a glare at Cas and then an explanatory smile at Sam. Cas was confused. Sam’s eyes swayed from Cas to his brother and then back again.
And then, slicing through the quiet, Sam broke out into laughter. He chuckled and wheezed and had to put down his laptop so as to not drop it as he curled on the couch, trying to catch his breath.
Dean and Cas exchanged a confused look. Dean shrugged. Cas was just as clueless.
“Oh, God ,” Sam laughed and got to his feet. His hand came to rest on Dean’s shoulder. “You swapped rooms? Seriously? You really thought I would fall for that?” He shook his head in amusement. “Look,” his tone turned a little more serious, “You don’t have to lie to me, Dean.”
“Uh-uh,” Sam cut him off, making eye contact, “Next time you tryna cover it up, do it better, yeah? I don’t need to know about your sex life.”
Laughingly, he headed for his room, passing Cas. “Well, now that we’re all awake, we can get going and pack up.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa - hold up,” Dean stopped him, “You’re not… like, freaked out or something? You don’t wanna…” he gestured at the room and at Cas and at himself, “you know?”
“No?” Sam blinked. “I mean, if you wanna know, I… I always kinda knew. That boy in High School? And Dr. Sexy ?” He looked at both of them. “Y’all ain’t subtle.”
“Wha-“ Dean started, but his brother had already vanished in his room.
He closed his mouth, nodded, huffed. “Fucking great!” He let his hands fall. “My brother thinks I’m gay.”
“No, don’t ‘Dean’ me!”, he snapped and jabbed a finger at Cas who was still standing on the other side of the room, still with knitted brows and still shirtless and still annoyingly attractive. Cas looked at him and shut up.
Dean swallowed. Angrily, he grabbed his shirt that hung over the backrest of the couch and said, “Put something on. Pack up. And hurry your feathery ass up.”
He shrugged into the shirt and rushed past Cas, not giving him another glance and then he was in his room and he closed the door behind him and he was alone. He let out a breath.
“ Fuck .”
As he leant against the door, there was something tugging on his heart. That something knew that Cas was right outside that door and it told him to open it and talk to Cas and tell him… Dean screwed his eyes shut and tugged at his own hair, still damp from the shower. He was too hungover to deal with this.
He collected his clothes from the floor, pointedly ignoring that Cas’s clothes were scattered there as well. He shoved the worn items into an extra department in his duffle bag and started making the bed.
There was a soft knock on the door.
Dean inhaled, closed his eyes, exhaled, opened his eyes, closed his fist around the sheet he was holding and said, “Yeah?”
The door was opened and Cas stepped in. “Dean,” he started, but he broke off as soon as he noticed how he was being ignored. Dean dumbly continued making the bed.
Cas sighed. He was dressed in a thin, blue sweatshirt that looked worn out, the colour faded at the rims, and a pair of black pants.
Dean had no idea where the sweatshirt came from, but he knew that it looked good on Cas and that it aggravated him and that’s all he needed to know. The Ex-Angel silently picked up his clothes from the floor, shrugging into the Trenchcoat, slipping into his shoes and gathering the other items of clothing in his arms.
When he was done, he stood silently for a moment, watching Dean as he made the bed.
His hands ran over the whiteish sheets over and over again, smoothing it down, as if he could erase their nightly deeds by erasing the creases in the fabric.
Finally, Dean lost his nerve. He stopped and stood and bluntly looked at Cas. “What?”
Cas let out a breath. Silence.
“Say something!”, Dean’s voice was raised, “Get it out!”
Cas looked at him, seemed to look right through him, and said nothing. He just stood there with his stupid hair, in his stupid sweatshirt that complemented his stupid eyes in a stupidly beautiful way and it made Dean so angry he wanted to tear the sweatshirt off.
But Castiel’s iceberg eyes were so intense, so deep and restless and calm that Dean stared back and wanted to just scream.
He swallowed, tore his gaze away. “Look, man. I didn’t mean for it to happen.” At least not like that, Dean thought, but didn’t add it.
Cas narrowed his eyes a little, still looking at him, never afraid to just look at him, see him like that. It made Dean feel warm and good and welcome, but also strange and uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Cas said, “You mean you didn’t want to do it?”
Dean swallowed, opened his mouth to say No, but nothing came out. It was like his vocal cords had just vanished, betraying him.
He tried again. “I…” The rest got stuck in his throat.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you,” Cas said suddenly. It was earnest and groundshakingly true.
A beat. Dean frowned, his lips parted. Cas’s eyes softened.
And then, Dean broke. He tried to hide it, tried to choke it down and turn away and overplay it. But tears poured out of his eyes and he felt himself beginning to tremble and he didn’t want to, his body shouldn’t feel like that, he didn’t give it permission!
“I can’t do this, Cas,” he said and his voice was thick with water. “I can’t be that kinda person.”
“NO, DON’T TOUCH ME! I- Please don’t touch me.” He swallowed hard. “I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never been one to talk about- feelings. Emotions. All my life, all I’ve done is push them down. That’s all I know. And if I… I might break, Cas. And I can’t… I know I’m broken, but I gotta keep it together, okay? And I will, I will keep it together. For Sam. For,” his voice broke, “You.”
There was a silence and Cas shook his head slowly, softly, empathic.
Dean choked on a sob. “ Shit .” He looked away, tried to pull himself together. “Forget it,” he said.
“No,” said Cas. It was kind. “No, Dean. I will not forget it. I’m sorry, Dean. I’m sorry we… I urged you to do something you didn’t want to do.”
Dean cleared his throat. “Ey, man, no chick flick moments.” He forced a chuckle.
Cas’s expression turned a little annoyed. “The whole hiding-your-emotions-beneath-humour ploy doesn’t work on me, Dean.”
“Worth a try.”
The green of Dean’s eyes glittered in the light as he made eye contact. He let out a breath. “You didn’t hurt me, Cas.”
Cas nodded. “That’s all I needed to know.”
Dean thought he might cry from how kind Cas was to him. He didn’t deserve this, he thought and he was the luckiest person on earth to have Cas and his breath hitched at the thought that Cas willingly gave himself - every inch of his skin - to Dean’s hands, only hours ago.
Dean bit his lip, looked away, closed his red eyes, looked back up at Cas again.
And then, he took a step and pulled Cas into a hug, tight and warm. It was like the whole air sizzled with electricity. Cas smelled of the hotel shampoo and a hint of alcohol and a hint of Impala and something else, something that was through and through Cas .
“Thank you, Cas,” Dean said next to his ear and he felt two hands on his back.
Then, they broke apart and looked at each other.
“Can we… talk about it?”, Cas asked and in that moment he was so incredibly human, Dean almost forgot he was the being that dragged him out of hell all those years ago.
Dean swallowed. “Some other time.” And it was a promise.
Cas nodded. “I’ll leave you now.” He turned around and reached for the door handle.
“Cas?”, Dean made him turn around. There was something else he wanted to say to Cas. Something important. He opened his mouth. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m not… I can’t…”
He fumbled for words. I’m sorry I can’t be the person you need me to be , he thought. I’m sorry I can’t help you get back your grace and I’m sorry I’m not worthy of your love. I’m sorry I’m a broken shell of a man and I can’t hold you or help you or be with you. Because that’s not who I am.
Cas took one look at him and knew.
“Dean,” he said, “What you’ve given me. Your company. Your friendship. It’s all I ever needed. It’s all I ever wanted. You do not have to give more.”
And then he left. And Dean was baffled. Because he’d never had someone tell him he was enough. And it was a wonderful feeling. And it broke him a little inside. But in a good way.
And he thought that, maybe, one day, he’d be strong enough to be with Cas. To hold him. And kiss him. And not feel embarrassed. And not feel afraid.
Maybe one day he could love Cas the way Cas loved him. Because deep down Dean knew that Cas loved him and that he loved him with a love only Angels could muster. Maybe that’s why it was so strange and difficult and meaningful.
Dean swallowed and put all those big thoughts and feelings aside. He had a bag to pack and a little brother waiting for him by his car.
“Jesus, our lives are fucked up,” he muttered and shouldered his duffle bag.
He was in love with a fallen Angel. Isn’t that something?