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Remember Me, Honeybee

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Two hours into the farmers market, and Dean’s had enough. Even the gorgeous day outside, sunlight streaming down from a cloudless sky, does nothing for him. 

Next to him in their produce stall, Sam rearranges their vegetable display with all the intensity of Bobby Fischer facing off against the Soviets. He adjusts an eggplant a few inches to the left, eyes it critically, and moves it back where it was.

Yesterday, Dean got sunburned from too many hours in the sun harvesting. But before he could even think about a shower, a visitor pounded on their door because some neighbor ratted them out to local Fish and Wildlife. So on top of dealing with a peeling forehead and an aching back, Dean had to take care of Ms. Rosen nearly breaking and entering to get at Sam or his watercress - she wasn’t really clear on which was her priority. 

Sam, the cowardly sasquatch, bolted the moment her car tires pulled up to their farm.

It took an hour to get Ms. Rosen to leave. First, Dean had to show her Sam’s pet watercress plants at the edge of their property. According to Ms. Rosen, they’re an invasive species, which Sam could’ve mentioned to Dean at some point. Then, Ms. Rosen explained the $150 fine - all the while heavily implying she could dock a few bucks if left alone in a room with Sam.

Dean forked over the money. Sam’s virtue got to live to see another day.

At least Becky gave Dean plenty of blackmail material. If Sam pisses him off one more time, guess who’s getting Sam’s phone number faxed straight to her field office?

Dean was looking forward to sharing the whole story with Cas when they pulled up to the farmer’s market that morning. But his favorite beekeeper, potter, and candlestick maker is notably absent again.

As Hannah steps away from her stall to replenish her display, Dean seizes his chance. “Be right back,” he calls to Sam as he darts out behind their table. 

When she catches sight of him, Hannah turns her back to lift a crate of soaps that would’ve left Dean sore for days. Goddamn angel strength. 

“I may be a dumb human,” Dean starts, “but even I know that angels don’t get sick.” His voice drips with disdain. “Where’s Cas? The real reason, this time. Not that BS you fed me last week.”

Hannah sighs, her normally refined tawny wings fluttering in barely-concealed agitation. “He’s… indisposed.”

Dean folds his arms over his chest. “Cas has been here, rain or shine, every market for two whole friggin’ years. Is he,” he forces out the words, dread trickling down his spine, “dying or something?”

“No.” Hannah shakes her head. “He’s not mortally ill. He’s just indisposed.”

Dean gawks at her. “What the hell does that mean?”

“You have customers,” Hannah says shortly.

Dean waves off a soccer mom armed with a bushel of kale and a hungry leer. “Sam’s handling the orders.” He points at the line in front of Sam, and the lady walks off in a huff.

“Is that right?” Hannah asks innocently once Dean’s attention darts back to her.

“Cut the crap,” Dean says sharply. “Why hasn’t Cas shown for the past two weeks? The real reason. None of that indisposed bullshit.”

Hannah sighs. “You’re keeping me from my own customers.”

Dean raises his eyebrows. “So you’d better talk fast.”

Hannah makes a face like she smelled Sam’s post-Chipotle farts. “Castiel was cursed.”

“What?”

“Keep it down,” Hannah hisses, leaning in. “He - well, it’s a long story. Our cousin, an archangel, cursed him.”

“For fuck’s sake, why?”

Hannah’s lips purse. “Gabriel has been very hard to contact for the details. He apparently thought Castiel was moping too loudly or too frequently for his taste. ”

“Moping?” Dean echoes, his brow furrowing. “Cas always seemed fine to me.”

Hannah shrugs. “Me too. Ask Gabriel. Now, if you don’t mind,” she lifts her nose into the air, wings straightening, “I have customers.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Dean retreats to his vegetable stand, his head swimming.

Dean never saw himself as a farmer until his health nut little brother decided to ditch his high-paying (and stressful) lawyer job to play Green Acres, and Dean, naturally, followed since there was no goddamn way Sam knew his way around a tractor. Sam was more likely to mow down his own gigantor foot than move a clod of dirt. Luckily, to Dean, an engine’s an engine.

At the farmers market, Sam’s booth was placed next to Cas’s. On their first day, Cas walked over with a complimentary jar of honey. He was stilted and awkward, sure, but he was also the first one to welcome them into the fold.

Lost in thoughts and worries about Cas, Dean almost gives a customer a twenty dollar bill instead of a one, blanks on when their summer squash will be in season, and accidentally rings up asparagus as broccoli.

“Look,” Sam says after apologizing for Dean’s latest mistake, “why don’t you head back and check on the tomatoes? It’s winding down here.”

Dean dubiously eyes the hubbub of people browsing vegetables.

Sam gives him a light shove towards their truck. “Just go. I know you don’t want to be here, anyway.”

Dean grimaces. “It’s that obvious?”

“To everyone and their grandmother,” Sam says under his breath.

Asparagus Man at the front of the line nods gravely.

“Thanks,” Dean says sourly to both of them.

“Go check on Cas,” Sam says as he gestures for the next customer to step up to the register. “I’ll be fine here. Just swing by and pick me up in a few hours.”

 


 

At the foot of the unpaved driveway up to Cas’s house, Dean cuts the engine. He taps his fingers on the steering wheel, debating with himself. Cas might not want visitors.

But Dean brought pie.

Homemade, of course. And if it was supposed to celebrate Sam’s birthday in two days, what Cas doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Sam likes cake better, anyway, because he’s a freak.

Dean grabs the pie, shoves open the door, and strides up the dirt road to Cas’s house before he can talk himself out of it for good.

This is what you do for sick friends, anyway. Charlie drove all the way up to the city with chicken noodle soup, Settlers of Catan, and prime gossip on Benny’s on-and-off-again thing with Andrea when Dean had the flu a few years ago.

Dean is just being a good friend. It’s not weird. 

He knocks on Cas’s cobalt blue door, his heart beating double-time behind his ribs as the seconds wear on with no answer.

Dean dawdles on Cas’s welcome mat. He tries again. Cas’s house isn’t exactly small, with its pottery studio in the basement and wax room in the back. Cas might be in his nest, on the can, or in his garden by the hives. Hell, with this mysterious curse, Cas might not be home at all - but stuck in some angel hospital being poked and prodded by docs. He probably should have squeezed Hannah for more details. 

The door opens as Dean contemplates, for the hundredth time, bailing with his tail between his legs.

“Hello?” Cas says, peering curiously at Dean.

“Cas,” Dean says, relieved. From one cursory look, Cas seems normal. His hair’s fucked up, of course. His dark wings are equally unkempt, feathers sticking out every which way. All typical Cas.

Cas blinks. His mouth opens, closes, and opens again. But no sound comes out.

“You’re up,” Dean says stupidly. Of course Cas is up, or he wouldn’t have been able to answer the damn door. Dean shifts his weight to his other foot. “Hannah mentioned you’d, uh, been cursed,” he says awkwardly.

Cas relaxes a fraction. “Ah, yes, I was.”

Dean gives Cas another once-over. “I just found out this morning, so I thought I’d stop by. Bring pie." He holds up the pie as evidence. "See how you are. But you look good.”

Cas squints at him, his head tilting. “Thank you?” he asks like he had a half-dozen responses in his head and chose that one at random.

“No prob.”

Cas’s gaze darts down to the pie in Dean’s hands for the first time. “Would you like to come in?”

Dean grins. “Yeah,” he says, stepping inside. “I’ll take this to the kitchen. I’m starving. Do you wanna eat it now?”

Cas gestures him forward. “This way.”

Dean throws him a funny look but follows him to the kitchen he’s been in about a hundred times before - for Cas’s annual Spring Equinox party, for a handful of dinners with other farmers in the area, for water breaks in between weeding Cas’s bee-friendly wild garden.

Afternoon sunlight from the beautiful day outside streams through the large windows that overlook the back porch and garden. It illuminates the kitchen table, absolutely covered with what looks like all of Cas’s beekeeping books. 

Dean clears enough space for pie and strides over to the drawer for the baking utensils, saying over his shoulder, “I hope you’re hungry.”

When Cas doesn’t answer, Dean hastily turns back around - only to find himself practically nose-to-nose with Cas.

Dean takes an instinctive step backwards, his ass smacking the drawer closed again. “Dude,” he says in a strangled voice. His heart pounds in his chest at the close proximity and intense look in Cas’s eye. “We talked about this. Personal space.”

Cas retreats, his brow furrowing. “My apologies,” he mumbles. “I must have misread the situation.”

“I - yeah - I guess,” Dean stutters as he grabs plates and stacks two forks on top.

Cas falls heavily into a seat at the kitchen table. Silently, he moves enough books around for them to sit and eat.

Dean eyes the haphazard piles as he takes his own seat. “D’you have a problem with one of the hives or something?”

Cas shakes his head. “I don’t think so,” he says, his brow furrowing. “But it’s hard to tell.”

Dean snorts as he cuts them both slices. “I thought you knew everything about bees.”

Cas shoots him a dour look. “I did,” he says pointedly.

“Did?” 

Cas fusses with a pamphlet on colony collapse. “I’m trying to catch up, but there is a lot of information to learn.”

Dean frowns. “Catch up to what?”

“To where I was,” Cas says, head tilting.

Dean sets the pie server down to focus on Cas, since he’s not making any goddamn sense. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Cas looks at him like Dean’s the one who lost his mind. “I don’t remember how to take care of them.” After a beat, he clarifies, “The bees. I’ve spent the better part of two weeks relearning how to maintain the hives, harvest honey, check if there is enough honey to harvest...” he drifts off, looking more than a little lost.

Dean blinks. “That’s the curse?” He grimaces as he forks off a generous corner of pie. “Dick move on Gabriel’s part. That’s your goddamn livelihood.”

Cas tilts his head, eyes narrowing. “He didn’t just make me forget the bees.”

Dean chews at Cas thoughtfully. “What else? Please tell me you forgot that time with the goat and a hooker.”

Cas stares at him. “I don’t remember anything.”

Dean’s next bite of pie freezes halfway to his mouth. “What do you mean anything?” he demands.

“I didn’t think it needed explaining,” Cas says waspishly, as all the pieces finally fall into place for Dean. “I thought Hannah told you about it.” His feathers rustle against the back of his chair.

“Hannah only said you were cursed!” Dean flails, “Not that you have goddamned amnesia. Do you know what pie is? Do you know who I am?”

Cas blinks, a little taken aback by Dean’s reaction. “I retain my general knowledge. I know what pie is,” he says. “I don’t remember eating it, but I know it is meat or fruit wrapped in pastry.”

“Oh my god.”

Cas’s gaze falls to the uneaten pie in front of him. “And, no, I don’t know who you are.”

Dean blinks, all the blood draining from his face. He forces out, “You’re serious.”

“I’d hardly joke with a stranger,” Cas says frankly.

Dean lets his fork drop back to the plate with a clatter. 

Cas peers at him curiously. “The curse erased all my personal memories, but I was assuming we were friends, is this right? You know your way around my house, and Hannah wouldn’t have divulged my condition to just anyone.”

“Yeah,” Dean says gruffly, “we’re friends. I - my brother and me, we have a stand next to yours at the farmer’s market.”

“Oh,” Cas says. “Work colleagues, then.”

Dean snorts. “A little more than that.”

Cas bites his lip. “But you told me to respect your personal space. If we were -”

“Woah!” Dean cuts in before Memento can come up with any more bright ideas, “We’re close friends, alright?” he says before Cas can get another word out, “But not… like that.”

Dean doesn’t even know if Cas goes for humans. Most angels don’t. Cas never mentioned any romantic partners, and Dean never pressed. Better to keep that box locked up tight. Cas never shied away from giving his opinion to Dean or anyone else. He’s the most blunt, sincere person Dean knows - angel or human.

If he felt anything for Dean - the barest speck of more-than-friendly feelings, he’d have said something.

“Oh,” Cas says, and, behind him, his wings droop the smallest fraction.

Dean scans the table and pushes Cas’s worn copy of The How-To-Do-It Book of Bee-Keeping by Richard Taylor his way. “Test me.”

“What?”

Dean shovels more pie into his mouth. “As’ me anyfin’,” he mumbles.

Bemused, Cas opens the book to a random page. “How do you use a bee escape?” he reads aloud.

“Do you know what they are?” At Cas’s headshake, Dean holds his fingers about three inches apart, “They’re little plastic doodads with little bee-sized holes in the middle. You slide ‘em in the hive right before you’re about to harvest. Once they’re fitted, you smoke out the bees, one comb at a time. Once they’re out of the way, you can scrape off the honey.”

Cas’s eyes narrow. “Do you also keep bees?”

Dean can’t help his loud laugh. “God no,” he says as he closes his mouth around another bite of pie. “I’m just a farmer. But I’ve helped you out a few times.”

At least twice a month since Dean moved to this corner of semi-rural America, but who’s counting. Honey is only harvested once a year, but Cas can always use an extra set of hands in his garden. Or around the house. Dean’s worked off more than one argument with Sam by kneading clay in Cas’s pottery studio basement. 

“So you know all this from me,” Cas says dubiously.

“Sure do,” Dean says, smacking his lips as he debates another slice of Cas’s get-well-soon pie. “You’re a good teacher, and once you get on a roll about the bees, it’s kinda hard to shut you up.”

“Sorry?”

“Don’t be,” Dean says as he cuts himself another (smallish) slice. “I look hot in a beekeeper suit, anyway.”

Cas frowns, confused. “Do most humans find baggy coveralls and heavy veils sexually appealing?”

Dean snorts. “That was a joke.”

Dean doesn’t mention that he finds the beekeeper getup hot as hell as long as it’s Cas wearing it. 

It’s just - Cas doesn’t usually bother with the veil since he likes to have a full range of vision when caring for his bees. Dean once let a whole comb drop on his foot at the sight of Cas bent over, wholly concentrated on the hive, a barely-there smile hidden in the corners of his mouth. His blue eyes were luminous in the bright sunlight, and every few seconds he would lick his lips, probably to wipe away the beads of sweat gathering on his upper lip. 

“Oh,” Cas says, a faint blush touching his cheeks. His gaze drops to his plate, and his wings sag behind him.

Dean mentally kicks himself. Cas might still have all a whole encyclopedia shoved in his brain, but jokes will fly right over his head like so many of Cas’s precious bees. Since Dean started hanging around, he had been getting better with the jokes and references, but Total Recall Cas got that goddamn factory reset, so Dean has to cool it for now. 

“Forget it,” he tells Cas. “I’m an asshole.”

Cas squints across the table at him. “You are not.”

“Huh?”

Cas carefully spears off a bit of pie. “You came by to check on me, offer me food,” he slips his fork into his mouth, eyes closing as he savors the tart cherries and buttery pastry, “stay and talk.”

“I, mean, yeah,” Dean says, wrongfooted, “we’re friends. ‘S the least I could do.”

Cas has another bite. “This is really good.”

“Thanks,” Dean says before he crams the rest of his slice into his mouth. He studies Cas as they both eat, an uncomfortable foreboding settling deep in his stomach. Now he sees it, how Cas doesn’t look at him with any familiarity. It’s more like, to Cas, Dean is some fucked up jigsaw puzzle slash zoo animal. Eventually, Dean has to ask, “Are you going to get your memories back?”

Cas shakes his head, his expression hardening. “I’m not sure.”

Dean’s mouth falls open. “Are you serious?” He braces both elbows on the table. “But you were cursed - there’s gotta be a way to break it. That’s how curses work, right?”

Cas exhales a slow sigh. “Gabriel did say there was a way to break it.”

“And you haven’t yet?” Dean demands, almost offended on Cas’s - his Cas’s - behalf. “You’re okay forgetting your whole life?”

Cas’s eyes narrow. “Are you insane?” he hisses, his feathers puffing up like an angry cat. “Of course I am not ‘okay,’” he says, air quotes and all, which Dean hasn’t seen since he told Cas they were lame. (He felt bad about it for a week afterward and gave Cas a free apology pumpkin. First of the season.)

“I am able to navigate the outside world as well as a human toddler,” Cas continues heatedly. “What do you think I’ve been trying to do for the past two weeks?”

Dean huffs an impatient breath. “What have you tried so far?”

Cas grimaces. “Gabriel said it could be broken like all curses could be broken.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“I have no clue,” Cas says frankly. “I spent a week in Heaven’s archives and libraries. The most common way to break curses is by consuming a stone taken from the stomach of a goat -”

Dean makes a gagging noise.

“-or bathing in the blood of a virgin at the new moon.”

“Not any less gross,” Dean says emphatically. “Where the hell are you going to get virgin blood? Are they talking about, like, a whole virgin? Or does born again count?”

Cas shakes his head. “The new moon was four days ago.”

Dean frowns. “Did you have to do the blood thing?”

From the look on Cas’s face, Dean isn’t going to make him watch Carrie anytime soon. 

“So I went to more obscure magic,” Cas continues. “I tried bathing in a natural source of water. And then I ran a bath and filled it with salt, since salt repels evil.”

“All I’m hearing is lots of bathing so far.”

Cas rolls his eyes. “I lit sage in every room and burned three types of wood. I wore an evil eye bracelet. I sprinkled consecrated water blended with honey over the threshold.”

“No dice?”

Cas throws him a baleful look. “I have ants now.”

Dean snorts. “Well that sucks,” he says, since what else can you say when your best friend swaps all his memories for a Bug's Life?

Cas sighs. “From my notes and research, I can’t leave the hives completely unattended, so I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out how not to kill them,” he says, gesturing to the rest of the kitchen table. “Once I’ve determined if the bees will survive on their own, I can look back into the curse.”

Dean purses his lips. “Have you prayed to Gabriel? Tried to convince him to take it back?”

“Every day since it happened,” Cas says, his face somber.

“Alright,” Dean says, grabbing Cas’s empty plate, “I can’t help with the curse stuff since I save the teen witch adventures for Sabrina. I can help with the bees, though, if you want.” He gets to his feet and dumps the plates in the sink. 

Once his back is turned, he frowns as he thinks his words over. Who knows if this Cas actually wants him around? This Cas doesn’t know him from Adam.

To the dishes Dean says, “The next beekeeper is a few towns over. I could give him a call for you, if you’d rather have him. Cain’s mostly retired, so he’d probably have the time to show you the ropes.”

“Is Cain an angel?”

Dean laughs over the splashing water. “No, he’s a crotchety old bastard who would rather live with bees than people. You get along.” He sets the rinsed plates out to dry and faces Cas. “I’m sure you have his number in your phone too, come to think of it.”

Cas meets Dean’s cautious gaze with his usual soul-searing stare. “I wouldn’t mind if you helped me. Maybe I could call Cain if there are any advanced problems we can’t figure out together.”

Dean smiles. “Sounds like a plan.” He jerks his head towards the backyard. “You wanna get suited up?”

“Now?” Cas asks, alarmed.

“No time like the present,” Dean says as he walks out of the kitchen without waiting for Cas to follow. “Come on, we’re wasting daylight.”

 


 

Cas stares at his beekeeper suit, hanging in its usual place on his screened back porch, next to his gardening gloves.

“You okay?” Dean asks. “You’ve got a spare in your shed, so I’ll grab it on the way.”

Cas picks up the suit like it’s about to bite him. 

“’S a good thing I’m here,” Dean says as Cas slowly unzips the front. “It’s always a bitch to get your wings covered.”

Cas’s wings slump. “I have a feeling this is going to be more trouble than it’s worth.”

“Hey,” Dean says, taking a step forward, “no, it’s your bees. You love them.”

Cas frowns. “But I don’t remember how.”

Dean grins. “Then you’re a lucky son of a bitch who gets to fall in love with something all over again.” He sighs wistfully. “What I wouldn’t give to erase Star Wars from my brain and watch it again for the first time.”

“What is Star Wars?”

“A trilogy of movies from the 70s and 80s,” Dean says, his smile widening.

Cas nods. “I’ll have to rewatch them, then.”

“Damn right,” Dean says. “I gave you the DVDs for my birthday last year, so they should be around here somewhere.”

“For your birthday?” Cas asks, eyebrows rising. “Isn’t gift-giving normally the other way around?”

Dean shrugs. “But I’d been bugging you to watch ‘em with me for years. Trust me, it was an awesome birthday.”

Cas opens his mouth like he’s not sure where to poke holes in Dean’s story first, so Dean reaches for the wing covers. “I think we should do the hard part first.”

“You’re currently the expert,” Cas says as he sets the suit aside.

Dean frowns as he takes in Cas’s black wings, reflecting muted tones of magenta, purple, cobalt, and green. Normally, Cas rocks the sex wing look - a few feathers askew here and there like someone raked their fingers through them - but now his wings look more like Cas stuck his alulas in an electrical socket.

Without thinking, Dean says, “It’s gonna be hard to get them in the wing covers. They’re a little messed up, dude.” As Cas’s face falls, Dean adds quickly, “Nothing a little grooming can’t fix.”

Cas flushes. “I haven’t been able to reach my whole wingspan on my own. Hannah offered-” he breaks off, his gaze skittering around to settle just over Dean’s left shoulder. “But I don’t know her, not really, so I was uncomfortable accepting.”

Dean takes a step back. “I mean, you don’t need to do it. I’ll have to touch a couple feathers to get these on you, if you’re okay with that.”

Cas swallows. “No, you’re right. My wings are a mess.”

Dean’s fingers practically tingle with the urge to reach out and smooth down the closest feathers, but he shoves his free hand deep into his pocket instead. 

“Can you help me?” Cas asks.

Dean quietly dies inside.

Cas’s wings flutter in anticipation, and Dean is so, so weak.

“Yeah,” Dean says gruffly as he drops the wing cover and approaches Cas’s back. “You sure, man? I - I’ve never done this before.”

Cas turns his head. “Never?”

Dean clenches his hands into fists. Don’t touch. Not until he says so. Dean can keep his goddamn hands to himself. Cas deserves that much.

“Do you want me to walk you through it?” Cas asks softly. “I know how, since it’s only personal memories about my life that seem to have been affected.”

“Ah,” Dean hesitates, a hundred and one wing kink porn videos flashing through his head like popup ads. “No,” he coughs, “I know the mechanics.”

Cas’s eyes narrow. “Are you sure?”

Dean fidgets in place. “‘S like picking beans, right? Don’t pull on them too hard. They’ll come off if they want to come off. Make sure nothing is sticking out at weird angles.”

Cas makes a face. “Did you just compare my wings to legumes?”

“Maybe?” Dean says defensively. “Look, I know vegetables, and I know what your wings are supposed to look like. What else do you want from me?”

Cas’s mouth opens, but no words come out. With a sigh, he faces forward, presenting his wings for Dean.

Dean inhales a deep breath. Christ, his hands are goddamn shaking. Get a fucking grip, Winchester. He lightly touches the base of Cas’s left wing.

Cas shivers, the feathers rippling. 

Dean yanks his hand back.

“Sorry,” Cas says sheepishly. “You took me by surprise. Please continue.”

Gently, Dean grazes the base of the wing again. The feathers rustle like under a moderate breeze, but Cas doesn’t tell him to stop, so Dean keeps going. He feels along the surface of Cas’s wings, most of the feathers slipping, glossy smooth, under his fingertips - until he catches the first snag. Nerves rocketing up to eleven, Dean tugs lightly on the first feather out of place.

Cas sucks in a breath. 

It comes loose, and Dean has a fleeting, stupid thought to steal it for himself. But he lets it flutter to the floor.

Dean soldiers on, biting his lip as he tries to keep himself from grabbing handfuls of feathers and burying his face in Cas’s wings. Meticulously, painstakingly, he combs through the mess. As he moves closer to the second joint, Cas’s feathers, which had been subtly shifting the whole time, stiffen. 

“You okay?” Dean asks.

Cas nods, stilted. “Please continue,” he says, his voice rough.

Dean frowns. If Cas is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to tell him, Dean’s not going to be the asshole who turns a blind eye to the signs. He withdraws his hands, and Cas’s wings -

They flare out, seeking Dean’s touch.

Without thinking, Dean blurts an astounded, “Dude.”

“Apologies,” Cas says, and, from this angle, Dean has primetime viewing of the back of Cas’s traffic light-red neck. His wings retreat to fold stiff as a board behind Cas’s back.

“Hey, no,” Dean says as he lays a hand along Cas’s wing, petting it gently. “I just wanted to check in with you.” He grins lopsidedly, not that Cas can see him. “Communication is important.”

Cas coughs. “Indeed,” he says, and his voice still sounds off. “Please continue. I,” he breaks off, turning a little in place so Dean can see half of his face, “I was enjoying it.”

“Good,” Dean says with a little too much enthusiasm. “I - uh, me too.”

Cas blinks. “You were?” He frowns. “Grooming is… boring. A chore.”

“Not for humans,” Dean says as he picks up where he left off. “We don’t have big fancy wings to lug around everywhere. They’re-”

“What?” Cas waits, clearly expecting an answer.

Dean sighs. “Cool,” he supplies lamely. “Your wings are cool.”

Dean can’t see Cas’s face with his back turned, but his wings fluff up ever so slightly, so Dean counts it as a win. “I’m glad you think so,” Cas says quietly.

“’Course,” Dean says, easy as pie. He pulls on another feather, and, when it doesn’t come out, tucks it back into its proper place, “I’ve never seen an angel with wings like yours. Malachi’s got dark grey ones, and I thought they were your shade of black, but they’re not. Plus, he’s an asshole.”

Cas chuckles. “I don’t see how him being an asshole has anything to do with his wing color.”

“No, but, if you ever run into him - an angel with dark grey wings - now you know.”

“So you’re only looking out for me.”

“You don’t know this yet,” Dean tells him, leaning in conspiratorially, “but I’m awesome.”

“Yes, I’m beginning to see that for myself.”

Thank god Cas can’t see Dean’s face. Equally embarrassed and pleased, Dean rambles, “You should also watch out for Metatron - the white-winged dude who runs the thrift shop down the road. He’s been angling to set up shop at the farmers market for fucking ever even though he has a storefront for all his crap. Whoever said white wings meant purity was full of shit because Metatron’s a douche.”

Cas laughs, and Dean nearly slumps over in relief. 

He can still make Cas laugh.

“Hannah, she’s okay,” Dean continues as he combs through the rest of Cas’s secondaries and coverts before he gets to the primaries, large and built for flight, and completely within Cas’s reach to groom himself. “But her partner, Duma, hates you for some reason, so I’d steer clear of her.”

Cas’s wings dip a few inches. “It doesn’t sound like I’m on good terms with many angels.”

Dean lightly runs his palm over Cas’s flight feathers - while he’s back here, he might as well. “I guess not,” he admits because Cas is right, “but they’ve all got massive sticks up their asses, so you’re better off.”

“They’re family.”

“They’re dicks,” Dean corrects. “Come on, you’re goddamn cursed with amnesia , and not one is here helping you out? Dick move for dick angels,” he finishes.

“Hannah visited.”

“Like I said, Hannah’s okay,” Dean says, straightens up.

“At least you’re here,” Cas points out.

“Yeah,” Dean says bitterly as he brushes out bits of fluffy down near the base of Cas other wing, “After two weeks.”

“You said you didn’t know.”

“I should’ve.”

“How?” Cas asks, sounding baffled.

Dean scoffs as he cards his fingers through the shorter feathers near the bone of Cas’s wing, “You didn’t show at the farmers market. You always show.”

“But-”

Dean shakes his head. “I should’ve known something was up.” He yanks a little too hard on a feather, and the brittle shaft breaks between his thumb and pointer finger. Dean lets it fall to the floor in disgust. “But Hannah said you were sick, and I didn’t know if you were the type who wanted company or everyone to stay the hell away. And then I talked to Sammy, and he said angels don’t really get sick like we do.” He exhales a slow breath, consciously holding himself back from tearing any more feathers out. Cas doesn’t deserve that, especially after all the shit he’s dealing with.

“We do get sick,” Cas says, his voice breaking through Dean’s morose reminiscing of the past week, “But never with the type of illnesses that can be treated outside of Heaven.”

“That’s what Sammy told me,” Dean says heavily.

“You were worried?”

Dean pokes him in the muscular part of the wing. “Of course I was worried.”

Cas’s head tilts, but not enough that Dean can make out his expression. “Because we’re friends.”

Dean swallows. “Yeah,” he says quietly, “because we’re friends.” He tugs on a few more feathers, and one comes loose. He holds it between his fingers for a beat, rubbing his thumb along the vane. With a sigh, he moves onto Cas’s other flight feathers. He gives them a few long strokes, unable to help his smile as he feels at the power, the potential, all hidden in Cas’s wings. But, eventually, he has to straighten up. 

“All done,” he says with forced cheer as Cas turns around to face him.

Cas blinks a few times like he’s coming out of a trance. “Thank you,” he says gruffly. 

He spreads his wings.

Dean’s breath catches in his chest, and his awe must show all over face, judging by Cas’s barely-there smirk. But, dammit, Dean’s going to enjoy the sight. Cas never puts himself on display like this, preferring to play the nerdy beekeeper in a trench coat rather than an almighty Angel of the Lord. 

Cas turns his head to inspect Dean’s work. He gives an experimental flap, sweeping all the old feathers littering the floor up into the air. “Thank you, Dean,” he says sincerely. He folds his wings back, and Dean’s heart aches for something he never had in the first place.

“Don’t - don’t mention it,” Dean chokes out.

A fluffy piece of down drifts down to settle on Cas’s nose. He goes cross-eyed to keep it in view.

Dean cracks up. Grinning, he reaches up to brush away the offending bit of down.

Cas catches his arm in an iron grip, his own face oddly intense.

“Cas?”

But before Dean can finish his sentence, Cas pulls him closer and seals their mouths together.

Dean lets out a muffled (completely manly) noise of surprise against Cas’s lips before muscle memory takes over. As Dean kisses back, Cas makes a light soothing rumble in the back of his throat, his touch gentle and warm. Dean’s other hand grasps desperately at Cas’s shirt, anchoring him in place. An electric, bubbly feeling is exploding in his chest, a wild kind of joy Dean normally would tamp down, tell himself, watch out for the other shoe to drop.

Other shoes like Cas’s missing memory.

Dean freezes, and it takes him a long moment to realize Cas isn’t moving either. His grip on Dean’s arm has gone slack. Dean opens his eyes to find Cas’s eyes wide open and glowing with an electric blue light.

Fuck.

Dean’s watched his fair share of angel-on-angel porn and more than his fair share of angel-on-human porn, and kissing’s not supposed to do that.

Dean takes a stumbling step back. “Cas?” he tries.

But Cas doesn’t move. He doesn’t give any sign he heard Dean at all.

Dean falls forward, tripping over his feet. He grips Cas, hard, by the shoulders. With his heart in his throat, he gives Cas a small shake. “Cas?” he tries again, and his voice sounds alien to his own ears, loud and breathy with his panic. He shakes him harder. “Cas!”

Several agonizing seconds pass, and the light slowly dims from behind Cas’s eyes, leaving behind his normal blue.

“Dean?” 

Dean’s knees nearly give out with relief. “Hey,” he says weakly, “Nice to have you back, buddy.”

Cas blinks a few times. He swallows, a strange expression coming over his face.

“You okay?” Dean demands. “What the fuck was that?”

Cas stares at him. “That was the curse breaking.”

 


 

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” Dean howls. “That’s what broke it?”

Cas, to his credit, looks just as confused as Dean wishes he were. “A kiss?” he asks, touching his lips distractedly.

Dean throws his hands in the air. “I thought it was some stupid angel magic. But no - Gabriel has a sick sense of humor.”

“Why?” Cas asks, adding before Dean can answer, “I know he does, in general. But why with this curse?”

“Because,” Dean sneers, poking Cas, hard, in the chest, “he tied your soap opera amnesia to the oldest story in the goddamned book.”

According to Cas’s face, that doesn’t clear up anything at all. He protests, “But I looked at nearly all the curse books in Heaven’s-”

“Not in the angel books, numbnuts,” Dean cuts him off, “the human ones. If I ever meet Gabriel, I’m going to punch him in the goddamn fa-”

“You’d break your whole arm.” 

“-saddling you with a human cure,” Dean continues heatedly, “You, the one angel who doesn’t know the difference between Tickle Me Elmo and St. Elmo’s Fire.”

Cas frowns. “I didn’t know humans had a history of solving magical curses.”

“Fairy tale humans only,” Dean says sourly as he strides away from Cas, towards the other end of the porch because he can’t stand in one place right now. “Wake up Sleeping Beauty with true love’s kiss.” He ticks up one finger. “Turn the frog into a prince with true love’s kiss. Bring Snow White back to life with true love’s kiss.” 

“True love?” Cas’s voice echoes behind him.

Dean whirls around. “Wait-”

“You love me?”

Dean scowls fiercely. “Hold on there, cowboy,” he says, marching back and right into Cas’s space. “I never said that.”

“But...” Cas peters off, his blue eyes narrowing as they rake over Dean’s face, “to break the curse, you said it requires true love.”

Dean crosses his arms over his chest. “And all the signs tell me Gabriel’s a crafty son of a bitch. Did you kiss anyone else? Since you got whammied?”

Cas actually recoils in disgust. “Of course not.”

“There you go!” Dean says, gesturing emphatically. “It could’ve been any old kiss that did it for you.”

Cas frowns, and Dean knows what he’s about to say before he opens his mouth. Sure enough: “In these fairy tales, does it work if one party is love but the other isn’t?”

Dean grits his teeth. If he ever runs into this Gabriel, he’s a dead man - angel - dead angelman. “No, but there’s a first time for everything.” He stomps past Cas. “I’m gonna get a drink.”

Cas is quick to follow on his heels, and Dean can practically feel the frown Cas is directing at the back of his head. But, since he is Dean’s best friend, he waits until Dean’s fetched a beer out of the fridge (Dean’s favorite brand because Cas doesn’t drink, so he only keeps one kind). Dean, as usual, offers one to Cas in a silent offer, and Cas shakes his head. Dean shuts the fridge door, waiting with bated breath and a stomach twisting in knots.

Finally, Cas says, “If that’s the case, I’m sorry for kissing you.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Dean grunts as he twists off the cap and takes a long pull.

Cas bites his lip. “I didn’t know our history. If I had, I obviously wouldn’t have-”

“Forget it.”

Cas runs a weary hand down his face. “I’m afraid I can’t.”

Dean’s mouth goes dry. He tips more beer back, and it does nothing to help. 

Behind him, Cas’s wings flare ever so slightly, drawing Dean’s gaze. “I don’t want this to be a point of contention between us,” he says, a hint of steel in his words.

“That’s what the whole forgetting it is for.”

Cas leans against the doorframe of the kitchen, his arms folding across his chest. “This can’t be something you bring up when you’re drinking,” his face darkens, “or joking.”

Dean mimes crossing his heart.

Cas’s scowl deepens. “Like that.”

“Hey!”

Feathers ruffling, Cas says stiffly, “That’s why I want to talk about it.”

Dean scowls down at the rim of his bottle. “What’s there to talk about?” He blanches. “It wasn’t your first kiss, was it?”

Cas rolls his eyes. “Of course not.”

“Then what’s got your panties in a twist?” Dean demands, eyebrows rising. “It’s not like I popped your cherry.”

Cas pinches the bridge of his nose. “Regardless, whether it was my first kiss or not, it meant something to me. And having you… belittle it because it makes you uncomfortable is not something I’d like to witness.”

Dean carefully sets his half-empty bottle down on the counter. “It meant something to you?”

Cas’s face darkens. “I kissed you, Dean,” he says shortly, “Not the other way around.”

“Yeah, but you were all,” Dean mimes a bright flash of light, “neuralyzed.”

“You were kind to me,” Cas says, his voice incredulous. “You visited me, fed me, tried to help me.”

“’Cause you had goddamn amnesia.”

“And how is any of that any different than how you treat me normally?” Cas asks, exasperated.

Dean goggles at him. “But-”

“I understand,” Cas says in a horribly patient voice, “that Gabriel might have bent the rules for this particular curse. We aren’t in love, so he picked the next best thing.”

“Best friends?” Dean tries weakly.

Cas’s wings shift, agitated, behind his back, his face turning stony. “The last time Gabriel was here, I suspect I mentioned you one too many times.” He walks over to the kitchen table and starts stacking the semi-organized chaos of beekeeping books. 

“So?” Dean shrugs, “I’m adorable.”

“He said I was getting unbearable and I needed a divine intervention to get a ‘fucking move on,’” Cas says flatly to the cover of The How-To-Do-It Book of Beekeeping. He sets it on top of the pile. “I assume he thought a kiss would put an end to my feelings for you, but I don’t think he was right.”

Dean’s mouth falls open.

Cas hefts the largest stack of books in his arms and turns to go.

Dean hurries after him. “Hey!” he huffs, more out of breath from shock than anything else. First, Cas didn’t remember him. Then, Cas kissed him. Then, Cas got his memory back. And Cas apparently loves him?

“Not now, Dean,” Cas says as he marches out of the kitchen, Dean hot on his heels. “You said you didn’t want to talk about it. I said my piece, so now we can start not talking about it.”

Dean growls, “Put down the damn books, Cas.”

“No,” Cas says without looking at him. Standing before the giant bookshelf in the living room, he mutters, “this is such a mess. I don’t know what I was think-”

“Put down the damn books so I can kiss you for real,” Dean says loudly.

Cas’s head whips around to stare at him, his blue eyes wide and full of disbelief. “Excuse me?”

Dean takes the books from Cas, grunting as he sets them down on the floor. “Why did you tell a goddamn archangel before me?”

“I didn’t tell Gabriel anything,” Cas protests. “He inferred. Based on…” he gestures to himself hopelessly, “everything about me.” 

Dean presses his lips together. “I didn’t see it.”

Cas face turns wary. “Yes, that was the goal.”

“You can be such a dumbass,” Dean whispers, stepping closer.

“So it’s been said before,” Cas says, his breath coming a little quicker as Dean gets right up into his personal space. “So you’ve told me before.”

“You were trying to sell a three-hundred dollar, four-foot-tall bee sculpture to a bunch of stupid hicks who couldn’t see something beautiful when it was literally sitting in front of them,” Dean says, rolling his eyes.

“And yet, you bought it anyway,” Cas hums.

“I never said I wasn’t a dumbass.”

Cas laughs lightly, and Dean grins in return.

“This is like a whole new level of dumbass, though, even for you,” Dean says as he lays a tentative hand on Cas’s waist.

“I think you mean even for us,” Cas corrects.

Dean makes a face. Cas is right, but there’s no fucking way in hell Dean’s going to give him the satisfaction. 

He kisses him instead.

As their mouths meet again, Cas makes the noise of a starving man at a banquet. Hungry, greedy fingers grip Dean with angel strength, bringing their bodies flush together. 

Dean reaches around, to finally tangle his fingers in the base of Cas’s wings. Cas startles, but he doesn’t break the kiss, so Dean keeps going. He buries his fingers deeper, revelling in the silken slip of feathers past his fingertips.

“Like that?” Dean murmurs as he dips his head to kiss at the smooth area of skin behind Cas’s ear. He scratches lightly, and Cas shudders, feathers rippling deliciously. “Whaddya say to gettin’ horizontal?” he asks, waggling his eyebrows and jerking his head in the direction of the couch in the far corner of the room.

“Dean, I won’t fit on the sofa,” Cas says frankly.

Dean pulls back slightly, grimacing. “Your dick can’t be that big.”

Cas unfolds his wings. Fully extended, his wingspan stretches nearly six feet on either side.

“Son of a bitch,” Dean breathes, his mouth going dry. “I - I see what you mean.”

Cas snorts. As Dean doesn’t do anything but stare, Cas adds pointedly, “My nest is big enough, however.”

“Huh?” Dean blinks. “Right, right!” He claps his hands. “Bedroom.”

Chuckling, Cas follows him out the living room and up the stairs. Dean would never call himself a patient man, so he barely has one foot in the door before the top two buttons of his flannel get undone. He makes quick work of the rest, watching out of the corner of his eye as Cas does the same and reaches behind himself to flick open the clasps keeping the back flaps of his shirt closed.

“Now we’re talking,” Dean murmurs as he lays both hands on Cas’s gloriously bare torso. Cas has an Enochian tattoo on his left side, just below his ribs, which Dean is definitely going to ask about later, but right now he has to lick every square inch of Cas’s skin.

When he finally lifts his eyes, all his blood rushes south at the look on Cas’s face. Blue irises swallowed by black pupils. Lips spit-slick from Dean’s kisses. Hair fucked six ways to Sunday.

Dean tugs him closer so he can unzip Cas’s fly himself. “You good?” he asks hoarsely as Cas pushes him gently into the nest of blankets and oddly shaped pillows to pull off Dean’s jeans.

“I’m better than I’ve been in a vast number of years,” Cas says, his eyes dark. He crawls over Dean, his wings flaring up to bracket them in a canopy of feathers.

Dean stares up at them. Swallowing, he reaches up to trace one long flight feather.

“Do you like my wings?” Cas asks, amused.

“Uh, yeah,” Dean stumbles, and Cas seems to read all the rest of what Dean can’t bring himself to say because he captures Dean’s mouth in a fierce kiss. 

Dean’s hands gravitate like magnets to Cas’s back. He cards his fingers through the feathers, grinning against Cas’s mouth as Cas gives a full-body shiver. Cas goes lax on top of him, letting Dean take more of his weight.

“Like that?” Dean murmurs in his ear as he shimmies underneath Cas so his mouth is positioned right by his ear and his wandering hands can reach more of Cas’s wings.

“I do,” Cas rumbles above him, his breathing harsh as Dean tugs on a few feathers experimentally. He bucks his hips as Dean gives a particularly hard pull, pressing his hard cock against Dean’s pelvis.

“Christ,” Dean says in a strangled voice. “Okay, big guy, I get it.”

“Get wha - Dean!”

Dean chuckles as he pulls his hand back from the small bump hidden just inside the crack of Cas’s ass. He’s not dripping yet, but he is wet, and Dean has watched too many wing kink videos to fuck this up. He rubs his index finger against his thumb, testing the slide. Slippery. Nice.

“Dean,” Cas growls, “What are you doing?”

“Uh,” Dean falters as he catches sight of Cas’s guarded face, “Oil? For lube?”

So maybe porn didn’t exactly prepare Dean for sex with a real live angel.

Cas pushes himself off Dean. “You know about that?” 

Luckily Dean’s too keyed up with panic to laugh. “Yeah,” he says, his words coming a little too quickly, “I know about the oil glands. Was I not supposed to? It’s not, like, a secret.”

Cas’s wings droop behind him. His expression serious, he asks, “Have you slept with another angel before?”

Dean does laugh. “Fuck no,” he says. Before Cas’s wings can sag any lower, he adds, “but I watch porn.”

Cas blinks. “Porn with angels?”

Reddening, Dean mutters, “Angel on angel, angel on human, I’m not picky.”

“Oh,” Cas says, and Dean has no idea what to make of that. But Cas isn’t done. “If you just wanted to sleep with an angel, I don’t know if I’m the best candidate. I’m not a virgin, but I don’t have a lot of-”

“Woah,” Dean says as his brain scrambles to make sense of the crap coming out of Cas’s mouth. “That’s not why I want to sleep with you.”

Cas’s brow furrows. “It’s not?”

“Come on,” Dean says impatiently, “I don’t hang out with any other angels but you.”

“Yes, because they’re ‘dicks,’” Cas says, trying and failing to mimic the way Dean says the word.

Dean’s eyebrows raise. “And you were such a standup, easygoing dude when we first met?”

“I complained that you weren’t complying with the rules of the Farmers Market,” Cas relays cautiously, watching Dean’s reaction, “and got you banned for one weekend.”

“Yeah you did.” Dean chuckles. “But once I told you why, you listened. You didn’t complain again - unlike Malachi.”

“You tried to bribe me with pie.”

Dean smirks. “You say that like it’s a crime.”

“Just because it works on you,” Cas deadpans, “doesn’t mean it’s a valuable negotiation strategy.”

Dean laughs. “Sure it does. You let me in today ’cause I brought pie.”

Cas tilts his head. “I let you in because you seemed to know me, and you’re very attractive.” Over Dean’s very attractive, open-mouthed gaping, Cas continues placidly, “When we spoke, I found you were a loving, caring soul - like I have always known.”

Face heating uncomfortably, Dean starts, “That’s what I’m talking about. You’re different, Cas.” He reaches out to touch the back of Cas’s hand. “No other angel would’ve given me the time of day.”

Cas frowns. “You’re welcome?”

Dean sighs, and, he has to fucking say it because Cas is a dumbass who needs everything spelled out for him. “Look,” he starts, “When you said the love thing only applied to one of us,” he waits for Cas to nod his understanding because Dean’s sure as shit not saying this again, “I thought you were talking about me.”

“I don’t understand,” Cas says, and he’s such a fucking liar, based on the way his eyes widen and wings puff up, all pleased and crap. Dean would kick him if it wouldn’t break his foot. 

“Out of all the other angels out there,” Dean says through gritted teeth, “I’d rather have you. Cursed or not.”

“Oh.” A brilliant smile comes over Cas’s face.

“Yeah, oh,” Dean mocks as he reaches for Cas. “We good?”

“We’re good,” Cas says as he leans forward for a kiss.

“Hey,” Dean says, breaking apart, “What do you say to a little grooming foreplay?”

Cas swallows. “What does that mean?”

“It means you’d lie face down in the nest while I groom your wings - for real this time - and get myself all slicked up for you.”

In a flurry of limbs, Cas faceplants into the nest, nearly braining Dean with a stray wing.

Chuckling, Dean maneuvers over Cas so he’s straddling one thigh, giving him ample room to work with. At the first touch to Cas’s oil gland, his feathers rustle. “I’m going to start slow,” Dean says soothingly.

He bends down to press a kiss at the tender patch of skin between Cas’s wings. Cas’s wings fidget, and for the first time (and hopefully not the last) Dean gets to feel feathers brushing against his cheeks, smell Cas absolutely everywhere, and breathe him in deep. Dean’s so fucking gone on this angel, and they haven’t even gotten to the fucking yet. Jesus Christ.

Biting his lip, Dean rubs Cas’s oil gland, getting his fingers nice and slick. “Relax,” he murmurs as he repeats the process with his other hand. Gently, he cards his fingers through Cas’s feathers, starting at the base of his wings. 

Cas lets out a little sigh and wiggles in place, burrowing further into his nest.

“That’s it,” Dean says in a low voice as he keeps preening.

“You’re very good at this,” Cas rumbles as Dean rubs more oil between his feathers. 

“I’ve watched a lot of videos,” Dean says dismissively, working along the muscle where the feathers more or less lay flat, massaging a little as he goes.

Cas lets out a groan.

Dean shifts his weight so his cock doesn’t leak on Cas too much.

Evidently he doesn’t move fast enough, as Cas says knowingly, “So this really isn’t a boring chore for you.” Dean can hear the smile in his voice.

Dean snorts. “Not by a long shot.” With one hand stroking down Cas’s other wing, he gives himself a few quick tugs, his breath hissing out between his teeth. Christ, he’s hard enough to knock a man out cold (hopefully Cas).

Cas twists a little beneath him, rising on his elbows. “Is everything al-” he asks as he turns around. His face goes slack, his words dying off.

Dean smirks at him. “Like what you see?” To emphasize his point, he drags his fingers through Cas’s feathers in time with one more pull on his cock.

“You’re going to be the death of me,” Cas snaps, twisting up and manhandling Dean, no longer smirking, onto his back. Wings flared wide above them, Cas looms over him, his face half shadowed. 

“Cas?” Dean asks, stunned, turned on, and a little terrified all at once.

Cas licks his lips. Silently, he reaches behind himself, and Dean’s overloaded brain doesn’t catch on to what Cas is doing until well-oiled fingers slide between his thighs.

“Shit,” Dean mutters as he hastily spreads his legs. He stares up at Cas, his jaw going slack at the look of utter devotion and concentration on his face. “Uh,” he coughs, “Not to spoil the mood or anything, but do you want to get a condom or something?”

Cas circles Dean’s hole a few times, spreading his oil around every nook and cranny without actually dipping inside. He lets Dean squirm on his finger before saying, “I don’t think we need one. I’m clean. And you don’t have any sexually transmitted infections.”

Dean wrinkles his nose. “How the hell do you know that?”

“You smell healthy.”

“Gross, man.”

Cas chuckles under his breath. “You made fun of me for weeks after I told that customer I smelled his untreated bladder infection. You said I should, I quote, ‘keep that shit to myself.’”

“Are you seriously telling me I told you so, now?” Dean demands.

Cas pushes the tip of his finger past Dean’s rim, and Dean’s surprised gasp cuts off his own retort. “You petty fucker.”

“I try,” Cas says, his voice dry as stale toast. He pushes in deeper, up to the first knuckle. “How does that feel?”

“Good,” Dean says hoarsely. The stretch burns a little, but the good kind of burn, not the painful kind. “Keep going.”

Cas adds another finger as Dean eagerly bears down, meeting him thrust for thrust. With his other hand, Cas reaches behind himself for more oil.

“Hey,” Dean pants, grabbing at Cas’s wrist. “Can I?”

Cas lets his confusion show all over his face, but lets Dean guide his free hand towards Dean’s mouth rather than his ass. His eyes widen in understanding as Dean slips two fingers into his mouth. The taste of Cas explodes over his tongue: musky, earthy, and bright all at once. Dean sucks, and Cas’s face morphs into naked lust.

Hoarsely, Cas asks, “Are you sufficiently prepared?”

Dean nods, letting Cas’s fingers fall from his lips. “I always wondered what that’d taste like.”

Cas pauses in lining himself up with Dean’s hole. “Did it live up to your expectations?”

“Sure did,” Dean says, groaning as Cas’s cock enters him, “You taste great.”

“Thank you?” Cas grunts distractedly as he pushes himself in further. His feathers flutter like leaves in a light breeze as his hips meet Dean’s ass. He stays fully seated inside Dean for a moment, biting his lip.

“You okay?” Dean asks wryly as he looks up at Cas through lowered lashes. “Not going to come in two minutes, are you?” His eyes widen. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But, y’know, I’d like it if this first time lasts a little longer.”

“So do I,” Cas says fervently as he starts to pull out.

Dean’s legs shake from the long, slow slide of Cas’s cock moving inside him. “Fuck,” he swears as Cas pushes back in. He wraps his arms around Cas, once again burying his hands in the feathers now slick with oil.

Cas leans down, touching his lips briefly to Dean’s, before drawing away to drive his cock deeper. Dean clutches at him harder, whining as Cas thrusts his hips forward, faster and faster. Toes curling, Dean can’t help arching his back so Cas reaches that good spot inside him.

He moans as Cas brushes against his prostate, zings of heat and anticipation leaping down his whole body. “Touch me,” he begs Cas in between ragged breaths. “I’m close.” His neglected cock has smeared precome all over his abdomen.

But Cas slows instead, and Dean barely holds back a whine as he stops altogether. Cas says, his voice rough, “I thought you wanted this to last.”

“I-” Dean can’t complete his thought. He bucks his hips, but Cas is like granite against him. No give at all. He clenches the muscles in his ass, gratified as Cas’s face spasms, but he doesn’t pick up again from where he left Dean high and not-all-that-dry.

“You wanted this to last,” Cas reminds him. “And I’m glad we have a moment now.” He lays a reverent hand on Dean’s chest. “You are beautiful, Dean Winchester. You, opening yourself up to me-”

Dean purses his lips. “Pretty sure you did the opening up, buddy.”

Cas breaks off, rolling his eyes. He pinches Dean’s nipple in punishment. Laughing, Dean tries to wiggle out of the way, but, of course, Cas has him good and pinned. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

“Sure, sure,” Dean says, his face heating uncomfortably under Cas’s continued scrutiny. 

“I never thought I’d get to have you like this,” Cas says quietly as he cups Dean’s cheek with one hand.

Dean coughs. But Cas just keeps staring, and Dean really should’ve known breaking the tension between him and Cas would take bigger guns than that. He licks his lips, one corner of his mouth ticking up as Cas’s gaze drops down to follow the movement of his tongue. Eventually, he mutters, “Me neither.”

Cas’s returning smile is nearly blinding. He braces himself with both hands next to Dean’s shoulders. “May I try something?” he asks.

“Sure?”

“Tell me if this too much,” and that’s all the warning Dean has before Cas beats his wings.

Cas doesn’t use their full power, but the small, controlled flaps still force Cas deeper than Dean had thought possible. Each thrust drives the breath from Dean’s lungs, leaving him gasping and holding on for dear life to the backs of Cas’s wings themselves as an anchor.

The powerful muscles flex and tense beneath his fingers, and it doesn’t even look like Cas can tell Dean is squeezing his wings in a death grip. Cas’s eyes are screwed shut, but his mouth is lax and open. Rapturous, is the only word that comes to Dean’s mind before Cas’s cock grinds against his prostate and all thoughts are wiped from his head other than, more, more, holy fuck, give me more.

His orgasm rushes over him in a whole-body shudder. 

He opens his eyes to see Cas staring at him at point-blank range.

Cas raises his eyebrows, the pleased son of a bitch. “So it wasn’t too much, then?”

Dean gives him a weary thumbs up as he falls back onto the nest, his whole body completely relaxed. Cas’s hard cock shifts inside him, and Dean twitches like a livewire from the aftershocks.

“Do you mind if I keep going?” Cas asks in a strained voice.

Dean smiles up at him. “Knock yourself out, big guy.”

All it takes is a couple slow drags - Cas keeps the wings folded, or else Dean would shake apart from the oversensitivity - and Cas falls over the edge. He comes breathing Dean’s name.

 


 

Dean wakes up alone. From the dim light filtering in from the window, it’s early evening. Confused more than anything, Dean pulls on his jeans - helpfully folded at the side of Cas’s nest. He grabs his flannel but doesn’t bother buttoning it up as he takes the stairs two at a time. 

No Cas on the first floor either.

A quick peek out the window tells Dean Cas hasn’t left the property - his fugly, practical truck sits in its usual spot in the driveway.

Dean finds him with the bees, because of course he does. Cas is not wearing the full bee suit, only a long-sleeved denim jacket and worn linen pants with the hems tucked into his boots.

“Would’ve been nice to wake up with you!” Dean calls as he hastily does up the buttons of his flannel since getting a dozen stings would be the kicker after the best sex of his life.

Cas carefully slides the comb back into place. “I’m sorry I couldn’t stay,” he says, and he does sound regretful. “I was worried about the bees. I’m almost done now, though.”

“I figured,” Dean says, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Next time, though, I’ll drag your ass back to the nest. This is your first warning.”

Cas noticeably brightens at the mention of next time. “I’ll remember, Dean,” he says solemnly.

Dean raises his eyebrows. “Will you?” he asks as he takes a few slow steps closer. As long as he doesn’t swat at any of the bees or make any sudden movements, he should be safe as far as bee stings go. “You didn’t remember how to clear a honeycomb a few hours ago.”

“I remember now,” Cas says, his eyes narrowing with suspicion at the gleeful expression on Dean’s face.

“You sure?” Dean asks innocently. “’Cause I could always give you a few pointers. Y’know. Since you’re so new at this.”

“You’re unbelievable,” Cas mutters as he walks away from the hives.

“I could show you how to use a bee escape. Extract a super. Requeen a colony,” Dean says as he falls into step with Cas.

“How am I simultaneously impressed that you remember what I’ve taught you and annoyed that you’re using it to mock me?”

Dean shrugs. “I’m just that awesome.”

Cas casts him a long, considering look as they approach the back porch. “Or you’re just that much of an ass.”

Dean clears his throat. “Looks like you’ll have to stick around to find out which.” He holds open the screen door for Cas.

“I think I already know,” Cas says with a sincere smile. “I've always known, since that first time you begged me to watch Star Wars with you.”

But, because Cas the true ass out of the pair of them, he ends that sappy sentiment by patting Dean condescending on the head with the tip of his wing as he strides into the main house.

Dean scrambles in after him to kiss the undoubtedly smug look off Cas’s face.