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29 March 2014 @ 12:03 am
Fic: That's Me in the Corner (Supernatural)  
Title: That’s Me in the Corner
Characters/pairing: Dean/Cas
Rating: NC-17
Warnings/contains: Light bondage, biting, scratching.
Summary: Missing scene from 9.06. After Cas's disastrous evening, Dean tries to give him a little encouragement. He ends up giving much more than he planned.
Notes: Thanks again to brightly_lit for beta-ing. Any remaining mistakes are, of course, my own.
Needless to say (I hope), Dean’s opinions on Nora and on customer service work are not my own.


Cas brings the damn blue vest in with him.

He buttons his shirt up to the neck one-handed on the drive back to Dean’s motel, picks the vest off the floor by his feet, and looks at it like he doesn’t know whether to put it back on or not. He doesn’t, but he doesn’t put it down, either, and he ends up sitting on the edge of Dean’s bed, not talking, still fussing with the ‘Steve’ nametag with his good hand.

When Dean grabs the first aid kit to bandage up his wrist, Cas stops and holds his arm out obediently—but then he picks the fucking thing back up again, twisting it in his hands like he doesn’t know what else to do with them.

It’s setting Dean’s teeth on edge, the way he clings to it, like it’s really his. Like sleeping in the back room of a convenience store, smiling for indifferent customers, taking orders from some oblivious dumbshit who can’t see a good thing when it’s right under her nose, is the only remnant of identity he has left. Like it’s in any way worthy of him. That sweet, open smile from earlier, when he thought he had a chance with Nora—when he thought someone actually wanted him—is nowhere to be seen. The fight’s all gone out of him. He’s just sitting there, miserable as shit and not doing a thing about it.

Cas might have said he wanted to live, but he doesn’t exactly look thrilled about being alive right now. He just looks lost. Downtrodden; defeated.

It’s screwed up, probably, how that makes Dean miss the Cas who scared the crap out of him when they first met. The way the sound of his wings felt like thunder out on the horizon. The presence of him, the way it filled the room, made every hair on Dean’s body stand on end. How he was always materialising just a shade too close, and yeah, okay, it was only because he didn’t understand human shit like personal space, but sometimes it still felt like he was saying you’re mine.

The thrill halfway to dread Dean used to feel when he took a private moment in the shower and found himself thinking about Cas. Cas pinning him down and teasing him until he was a shaking, begging mess. Cas telling him to get on his knees, running fingers through his hair with a static-crackle of latent power. Cas just shoving him up against a wall and taking everything from him, no fuss, no preludes, just force, primal as a howling wind or a raging sea.

Those thoughts used to freak Dean the hell out, but he got used to them eventually, once he figured out they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. He’s been used to them a good long time now. He’s been screwed up about Cas for years.

Okay, those fantasies don’t fit anymore, but he’s still screwed up real good, still feels more than he’s ever been able to admit to Cas. He still wants to punch a hole in the damn wall because of Cas trying so hard to fit in somewhere where he isn’t Dean’s.

He can’t keep thinking about it, though, because then he’ll have to remember exactly who he has to thank for that, exactly why Cas is clinging on so hard to this crappy little life that doesn’t fit him. Why he watches Dean so warily, like he can’t be sure Dean won’t turn around and kick him out on his ass again.

Cas is still fiddling with the vest in his hands, not saying anything. Dean swallows down the impulse to yell at him to quit it, though, because Cas has taken just about enough shit for one day. And because, Jesus, he wants Cas to stop looking at him like that.

He looks away. Gets up and snags two beers out the fridge instead of yelling, sits down next to Cas on the bed and nudges him with his shoulder.

“Here,” he says, holding one out.

“Thank you.”

It’s the first thing Cas has said to him since he got in the car. Dean nods, doesn’t push him.

Cas takes the sweating beer bottle and his fingers slip on the glass, slide over Dean’s own. Cas’s eyes widen, and he snatches the bottle away a little too hard so that beer slops out over the neck, runs down his fingers. He curls in on himself protectively, hunched over, swipes condensation off the glass with his thumb and doesn’t drink.

Dean watches him out of the corner of his eye. “That bad, huh?” he says.

Cas ducks his head, doesn’t look at him. “It’s—different,” he admits, after a moment, to his hands. “Not worse, I don’t mean—but—everything’s right here.”

He says that last part with quiet vehemence, looks at Dean as though for confirmation, and it takes Dean a second to get it. He’d thought he was just asking about Cas’s shitty evening, but Cas is telling him about being human.

“Yeah,” Dean says, at last. “Yeah, it sucks.”

I’m sorry, he wants to say. I’m sorry, I thought maybe it wouldn’t suck so bad for you. I didn’t want it to. I woulda made it better if I could.

He keeps his trap shut. Cas doesn’t need to hear it.

“Your lives are so short,” Cas says, and then he stops short, finally takes a swig from his beer. “Our lives are so short.” He raises his eyes ceilingward, flicks them back down. Frowns. “But there’s so much time to think about everything.” He sounds so honestly perplexed about that that Dean can’t help a tired little smile.

“You ask me, thinking‘s overrated,” he says.

Cas gives no sign of having heard. “I’ve done so many terrible things,” he goes on. “Experienced so many. But I don’t think about them. I think about things that shouldn’t matter.” He’s frowning. “An angel tried to kill me tonight, but it seems just as important that I misunderstood things. With Nora. How many more times do I have to do that before I—fit?” He looks helplessly at Dean, then, like he’s actually expecting an answer.

Jesus F. Christ. After everything, somehow he’s still Cas’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to Humanity, isn’t he? Even if he doubts there’s anyone out there less qualified for the job.

But at that guileless, troubled look, Dean can’t help but try.

He bumps Cas with his elbow. “Yeah, well,” he says. “You put yourself out there. Let yourself hope and you got shot down.” He shrugs. “Doesn’t mean you gotta stop hoping.”

Man, he is the hypocritical douchebag to end them all.

He tips his head back so he doesn’t have to meet Cas’s eyes, puts away a good half of his beer. But when he straightens up and sets it down, Cas is still looking at him, unsatisfied.

“Maybe,” Cas says, slowly. “But it’s tiring. Trying to make this life mean something.” His shoulders sag as he says it, like the last drop of energy helping him keep up the charade has finally drained away.

Yeah, Dean knew it. Human dignity, his ass. Wiping counters and stacking shelves and summoning up a sincere smile for every asshole who comes in bitching about the thirty seconds it takes for his coffee to be ready? Of course it’s driving Cas nuts.

His I told you so moment doesn’t last, though. Cas sighs and looks down at the barely-touched beer in his hands and murmurs, with this hopeless little attempt at a smile fixed on his face, “Maybe it’s just easier to…”

“Bury yourself,” Dean finishes for him, hearing the echo of another life and feeling a twinge of sickness in his gut.

Because of course he’s seen this look before. He’s seen it on Cas before. Okay, it’s not women and decadence this time around, it’s the daily routine of a crappy job, but. Same deal. He’s always known that it wasn’t danger or defeat that sent that future-Cas over the edge, not really. It was loss.

The angels Cas had called family for who-knew-how-many centuries were nowhere to be seen, had given up on whatever pathetic remnant of humanity was still clinging to the surface of the planet and split. Sam was lost to Lucifer, and Dean—well, in that world, he was lost, too. Turned into that other self who was hard and pitiless and had stopped giving a shit about saving people, ready to send the whole crew on a kamikaze ride to nowhere if it meant he got his shot.

Cas looks at him sideways. “Not exactly what I was going to say.” His expression turns meditative, then. “But I’m beginning to understand why people do it. Go through the motions.”

He doesn’t get it. He never went to that future that didn’t happen, never met that other version of himself, so of course he doesn’t know why seeing him like this freaks Dean out so bad. Cas doesn’t know it, but this is how it starts—and Dean isn’t gonna let it, no way in hell.

He turns and meets Cas’s gaze with a scowl, says, “Well don’t, man. Fucking don’t. Find something that makes you happy, Jesus. Don’t just—cling onto what you’re doing like you got no other choice. You’re better’n that, Cas.”

“Better than doing what you do?” This little crease appears between Cas’s eyebrows, and Dean can’t tell if what he hears in Cas’s voice is puzzlement, or an actual dig at him.

He doesn’t think so. Cas doesn’t really work that way, doesn’t try to make himself feel better by making other people feel worse. Not that Dean would have any right to complain if Cas wanted to take a couple hundred swipes—but he’s about to protest anyway, point out that he really has no other choice, and that anyway, there’s no comparison. He and Sammy may not be jumping out of bed high on life every morning, but they save lives, they put down evil. That isn’t close to going through the motions, and Cas knows it.

The complaint doesn’t make it out of his mouth, though, because that’s not what this is about, is it?

It’s about misery. It’s about the fact Cas is talking like they’re the same in that. He’s so damn new at being human. It shouldn’t hurt him, shouldn’t make him want to hide from the inside of his own skull with pretending to be some smiling drone, the way Dean hides with booze and tunnel vision. Not yet. Not ever.

So Dean lets the scowl drop off of his face and looks Cas right in the eyes and says, “Yeah. You are.”

Cas looks unconvinced. Which, yeah. His first time getting shot down? Gonna take more than a lame-ass pep-talk from the friend who couldn’t even give him a place to crash to pick him up from that.

Dean hesitates, worries at the label on his beer bottle. “You know your boss is a fucking moron, right?”

At that, Cas gives a barely-there puff of laughter. Humourless; not bitter.

“I know what you’re doing, Dean,” he says. “But Nora’s a kind woman. I misunderstood things. That’s all.”

“No way, man.” Dean shakes his head. “She’s crazy. You’re—you’re awesome.”

It sounds weak as shit, doesn’t come close to saying any of the stuff that he really means. Like, that Cas is better than he knows, earnest and kind even when he’s surrounded by assholes, loyal even when Heaven was trying to Room 101 it out of him, amazing in the way he actually, sincerely still gives a fuck after all of the horrors they’ve gone through.

That he shouldn’t be trying to be Steve, shouldn’t be trying to belong here. He should be Dean’s, and Dean should be his.

Would be, if Cas would just ask for it.

Dean can’t tell Cas to come on home, but every scrap of self he has left over, the few tattered little pieces that actually belong to him—Cas could have all of them, if he wanted.

If he wanted.

It’s not like Dean hasn’t wondered. That searchlight gaze Cas can turn on him; how exposed it’s always made him feel. Cas watching him sleep. When he used to pop up right in Dean’s space, close enough that Dean could feel power humming on the surface of his skin, Dean sometimes thought about stepping forward and closing that gap, just was always too chickenshit to try it. But now Cas is sitting next to him, tired and human and touchable, he can’t help wondering what might have happened if he had. If things would be different now.

But there’s that hopeless little smile again, and yeah, why should Cas listen to a word he says? Far as he knows, Dean is the guy who kicked him out right into this crappy customer-service existence and wouldn’t say why. How the hell is Dean supposed to convince Cas he means what he’s saying?

Except maybe he knows the answer to that question, and his brain stumbles over the thought and he swallows hard, his heartbeat accelerating, a trip of apprehension he’d half-thought he must be immune to feeling by now. He tips back the rest of his beer for something to do while the part of his brain dedicated to self-preservation tries to convince the rest that this is the dumbest idea he’s had in a long time. Whether or not Cas believes him shouldn’t matter this much. It shouldn’t be enough to make him think like this.

Problem is, that part of his brain has never exactly been good at its job.

Dean gets up and grabs another beer from the fridge. Twists the top off and holds the bottle between his palms for a minute, then realises he’s mirroring Cas’s earlier gesture and sets it down on the nightstand.

Cas watches him with a sad little smile. Dean is really starting to hate that look.

He sits back down on the bed, next to Cas. Nudges him and says, “Cas, Cas, hey,” until Cas is looking at him and that resigned expression has turned to a questioning one.

Dean squeezes his eyes shut, opens them again. Does his best to ignore the flip-flop that his insides are doing, and leans in toward Cas and kisses him. Gentle, a closed-mouthed press of lips to lips, not demanding anything.

Cas makes this soft, startled noise, but just for a moment he doesn’t move, he lets it happen. Dean is on the verge of thinking, yes, letting his eyes close again, only this time with relief.

Then Cas does pull away, holding his beer defensively in front of his chest, and when Dean manages to focus in on his face, he’s glowering.

“Don’t,” he says. “Dean. I don’t want pity from you.” He sounds wretched, like feeling sorry for him is the worst thing Dean could possibly do to him, worse than kicking him out of the bunker and leaving him to navigate his way out of shit creek without a paddle, a map, or a goddamn boat.

Fuck.

But, yeah, of course Cas thinks this is about pity. Dean should’ve known that was how it would go. Can’t say he wouldn’t feel the same, in Cas’s shoes. Going from the kind of power Cas once had to this kind of helplessness, and your only friends in the world offering you everything but a place to belong? It’d be hard to see anything but pathetic in the mirror.

So Dean isn’t just a hypocritical douchebag, he’s an apocalyptically dumb one, too.

His heart sinks. And Cas is still looking at him like he just ran over a puppy.

“Cas,” Dean says, desperately. “That’s not—look. You had a crappy night. We’ve both had plenty of crappier ones. I ain’t dumb enough to feel sorry for you.” Which isn’t exactly true, but isn’t as much of a lie as it could be, either. How he feels about Cas is about a hundred times more complicated than that. He can’t give Cas a home like he should be able to, but he wants to give Cas something, wants it so much he knows it’s about more than his guilt or the fact that Cas’s life sucks monumentally right now. He scrubs a hand over his face. “I just—I always—”

He stumbles over his words, comes to a halt and swallows the rest of them before a confession he never intended to make can come spilling out of him. The only other thing he wants to say is, I miss you, and that’s one truth he isn’t enough of an asshole to tell right now, so he just falls silent and stares helplessly at Cas.

Cas. Who isn’t scowling any more. He looks more like—like he’s trying to figure something out.

“Always?” he says, slow, something new in it.

All Dean can do is whisper, “Yeah,” and inch closer again, brush his lips over Cas’s.

Cas lets him. Is still for a moment.

Then he kisses back like he’s responding to a challenge.

It isn’t tentative, like Dean was half-expecting. It feels like Cas has made up his mind and is damn well sticking with it; it’s all stubble and teeth and Cas’s tongue parting his lips, pushing into him. It makes something in Dean’s brain short-circuit, and all he can think for a moment is fuck, yes, finally.

Cas gathers handfuls of his shirt to keep him close, and then Dean’s arms are around Cas’s waist and Cas is on him, practically in his lap. It’s like something breaking: the bubble of distance that’s been there between them all day, the pane of glass through which it feels like they’ve been communicating. Suddenly Cas is a solid weight straddling his hips, and the smell of coffee and cheap laundromat soap and sharp human sweat is in his lungs, and the brush of Cas’s cheek against his own is like the final connection in a circuit, a shudder of bright heat. For a moment, everything he feels is Cas.

Dean’s brain clamours at him, half of it protesting that this is too much, too soon, the other half that it’s too little, far too late.

He doesn’t listen. Either way, this feels unstoppable, something long held in check suddenly cut loose, carrying the both of them forward with body-blow momentum.

Cas pulls back from him, after a moment. Dean can feel his reluctance, the effort it takes. He doesn’t want to stop, either, doesn’t want to think, because if he does, the whole what the hell are we doing trip is gonna kick in, and he can’t deal with that. He knows it’s selfish and it’s dumb, but he wants to just let this happen, let it sweep the guilt and the worry and the image of Cas standing behind that Gas ‘N’ Sip counter right out of his mind for a few minutes.

Still, Cas presses his forehead to Dean’s and just holds them both there, his breathing ragged, his eyes searching Dean’s face. Dean can feel that his mouth is already swollen from kissing, and he has to blink hard to focus before he meets Cas’s gaze, and yeah, okay, maybe he’s looking a little unhinged right now.

But whatever Cas is searching for, he seems to find it, because then he’s leaning into Dean and kissing him again. Slower and deeper this time, cupping his face with both hands, like he’s been lost in the desert and Dean is water.

It feels like a reprieve.

Dean finds his eyes closing of their own accord, gives himself up to it, pulling Cas hard against him and kissing him back just as desperately, like he needs Cas more than he needs air or sustenance. And then somehow he’s on his back with Cas’s hands in his hair and Cas’s weight pressing him into the mattress, already half-hard in his jeans and gasping against Cas’s mouth. His head spins. He started this, but somehow it feels like it’s happening to him, inevitable. He doesn’t exactly know when he stopped being in control of this, he thinks maybe he never was, and the fucked-up thing is he isn’t sure he even cares.

Cas’s fingers in Dean’s hair find purchase, tug his head back so Cas can trail kisses down the side of his neck. It stings, little needles of pain that turn into something else as they burrow into his scalp, send tiny shocks of that something else down his spine. Dean makes a low, needy sound, hears it before he realises it’s coming from him, and Cas lifts his head, frowning.

“Did that hurt?” he asks. His voice is hesitant, like he’s afraid to make this real by talking about, afraid his words will unbalance the moment, bring it crashing down around them.

Or, okay, maybe that’s just Dean projecting.

He doesn’t know how to answer. Inside his head, both options sound like the wrong one. Only, Cas keeps right on looking at him, waiting for an answer, so in the end he just half-closes his eyes and instead of yes or no he says, “’S okay.”

Cas holds his frown for a second. Then it drops off his face, is replaced by something Dean can’t quite read. “You don’t mind,” he says, softly. He tilts his head. “You liked that.”

Dean can’t tell whether it’s meant as an observation or a question, except that Cas’s eyes are on him, expectant. There’s nothing judgemental or weirded-out in the look, just honest curiosity.

That doesn’t make confessing that the idea of Cas getting rough with him has occupied its very own vault in Dean’s spank bank for more than a couple years now a comfortable prospect. But the question has put it out there already, and denying it—yeah, not gonna work. Apparently being human hasn’t affected Cas’s ability make Dean feel like the messiest, most screwed-up parts of his soul are on display, not so much stripped naked as dissected. Dean gets that Cas is trying not to make him feel weird about this, but that gaze still feels like a searchlight, and he still wants to hide from it.

He turns his face to the side before answering.

“Yeah, maybe,” he admits to the nightstand.

Cas doesn’t say anything for a minute, and Dean is halfway to hoping for another psycho angel to show up just so the silence can be over.

But then Cas breathes out a low, “Oh,” that sounds soft and wondering and—

And, well, fuck. It takes Dean a couple seconds to figure it out, because even with Cas on his motel bed, kissing him, a part of his brain can’t make sense of Cas and sex together, not out here in the real world. But, yeah, Cas sounds like he thinks that’s the hottest thing in the whole damn universe.

Not exactly what he expected—or what he would’ve expected, if he’d ever let himself consider this for real before. It gives him the courage to turn his head and meet Cas’s eyes, though; to decide that, with all the other crap he’s keeping from Cas right now, he can at least grow a pair and be honest about this.

Cas’s eyes are dark, intent on Dean’s face.

“Yeah,” Dean says, again, looking into them. “Right time.” He swallows, holds eye contact. “Right person.”

“You’d trust me,” Cas says, like he’s just realising it now. Like he’s surprised—which he shouldn’t be, only of course he is, because how the hell is he supposed to know it isn’t Dean who thinks he’s too much of a danger to them all to keep around?

The thought makes Dean’s chest hurt, and he hears himself saying, “Yeah. Yeah, Cas, I trust you,” and it’s a struggle to make himself stop there.

He wants to tell Cas that yeah, of course he does, even after Metatron and Naomi and all of the crap that came before, and this is why. Cas has every reason to be righteously pissed at Dean for sending him away without so much as an explanation, and instead of getting mad or giving him the silent treatment, he’s looking at Dean like he’s just done something unbelievably right.

Cas should know all of that. He should know that Dean would give just about anything to jump in the car with him and take him home right now. The thought of it is a flare of longing. It aches, not being able to say it.

Then Cas is tugging at his hair again, the little needles of pain are back, and for the moment that it lasts, all of the other stuff—all of the misery-making crap—fades away.

It’s such a little thing, but Dean can feel how he might get lost in it, take a wrong fork somewhere between pain and pleasure and end up out of his head, lost. If he was being sensible, listening to the instincts that keep telling him he should hold back, he’d treat that like a warning sign. Getting lost isn’t a thing he can afford to do. There’s more than one reason he keeps this stuff for fantasies and one-night hook-ups. It fucks with your defences, weakens you—and now that it’s real, now that it’s on the verge of happening, it seems about a hundred times more overwhelming than he ever imagined.

Cas lets go, then, runs gentle fingers over his scalp, nuzzling at the side of his face.

Dean’s breath catches in his throat, because that’s why. That’s why it feels like so much.

That’s what’s been missing, all the times Dean has played this out inside his head. That kindness. Scary-as-Hell Heavenly warrior might have been the first Dean saw of Cas, but it was never all of him, or even most of him. He’s gentle and earnest and full of open wonder about the weirdest shit, and even at rock bottom he seems to be pathologically incapable of not caring. All of that is right there, right here, in the touch of his hands.

That’s what makes this real. That’s what would make it something to seriously freak out over, if Dean pretended to be a functional adult for a couple minutes and stopped and thought about it.

He wills himself not to. He can’t tell Cas the truth, can’t do much of anything to fix all the other stuff that’s hanging over their heads. About the most he can do for Cas right now is trust him.

Trust him enough to get lost in him.

Cas’s fingers slip under Dean’s shirt, over the waistband of his jeans, hesitating over his skin. It takes Dean a second to clear his head and register that Cas is waiting for permission.

He exhales, a little shakily. Then he hoists himself up on his elbows and presses his lips against Cas’s mouth, parts them when Cas starts kissing him back. That seems to be all the yes Cas needs, thank Christ, because then he’s pulling away, peeling Dean’s t-shirt off over his head. He holds it in his hands for a second, and Dean could swear he actually sees Cas consider folding it up.

The last thing Dean needs is another moment to stop and think, and he almost growls at Cas to not even fucking think about it. Cas catches his look, though, and tosses the shirt in a corner, leans back into Dean and just touches him. Palms spread flat on his skin for a moment, beneath his collarbone, the warmth of Cas’s hands enough to snag his awareness and hold it.

Then Cas cocks his head and gives him this assessing look, and drags his fingernails right down the centre of Dean’s chest.

It doesn’t even hurt that much, and that look Cas gives him tells him something is about to happen, giving him time to object. But it feels sudden. Cuts right through him and makes him draw in a sharp breath and sink back onto the mattress, his hands clenching into fists, his eyes squeezing shut. Then there’s a tingle, a good hurt, working its way out from the place Cas scratched him.

Dean opens his eyes to Cas’s uncertain expression, his hands held up and hovering uncertainly.

Cas bites his lip. “Was that—”

Good,” Dean cuts in for him, before he can start looking any more like he thinks he’s done something wrong. “Real good, Cas.”

His voice comes out rougher than he expected, low and desperate. But apparently that just goes to show that he means what he’s saying, because the uncertainty on Cas’s face melts away. He brushes fingertips over Dean’s chest, caressing the place he just scratched—and then he does it again.

Dean shuts his eyes, lets the burn of it be the only thing he thinks about for a moment. The way it builds up, just that little bit more intense each time, until he feels like his chest is on fire. The heat of it spreading out through him, turning into an ache, making him need this, need more than this. The repetition is hypnotic, sends him drifting until he doesn’t exactly know how long he’s been lying here, how long Cas has been doing this to him.

Cas stops, eventually, and Dean feels a protest try to force its way out of him. It dies in his throat as Cas manoeuvres himself over Dean, propping himself up on his elbows to spare his bandaged wrist. Dean watches his face, his dark eyes and parted lips. He can feel body heat through Cas’s shirt; would reach up to touch him, only he’s paralysed with anticipation, afraid of breaking Cas’s concentration and ruining the mood.

Cas lowers himself, then, and mouths at Dean’s neck with bared teeth. Dean shivers at the touch of them, straining up to meet him. Cas takes his time, though, is gentle and careful until Dean lets out a frustrated groan and angles his head away in invitation. He gets the hint then, nips at the skin there with his teeth.

It’s a tiny, pulsing spot of pain and it’s a shot straight to Dean’s cock, and he finds himself thrusting up against Cas’s leg through their clothes, the friction making him dizzy though it’s nowhere near what he needs, hearing himself say, “Fuck, Cas, please,” in a broken voice.

Cas lifts his head, and for a second Dean imagines he’s about to ask please what? and doesn’t know what he’s gonna say to that, what he’s even really asking for. But Cas doesn’t say anything. He just stares. Dean shifts on the mattress under his gaze. He can feel himself flushing, doesn’t even want to imagine what he looks like right now. He feels strung-out and needy in a way he hasn’t for years—maybe ever—and Cas must be able to read it in his face. Only, Cas is kind of a sight to behold himself right now, breathing hard with his mouth red from kissing. He looks like—like he’s really into this, like maybe he wants it just as much as Dean does.

The thought unfurls something new inside of Dean, something that isn’t so much urgency or need as maybe—well.

Hope.

Ain’t that an unfamiliar thing?

It’s selfish of him, to be happy at the idea Cas is maybe as big of a fuck-up as he is. He knows that.

He doesn’t stop feeling it.

This time, when Cas is done staring, he doesn’t ask if Dean wants him to stop, just dips his head and finds a spot just below Dean’s collarbone and nips again.

He works his way over Dean’s chest, alternating soft kisses and these tiny bites, bright pinpricks that feel like little stars burning through the skin, the fabric of his shirt rubbing over the scratches he left earlier. It’s more discomfort than pain, that part. Such small stuff, all of it, but together Dean finds it taking hold of him, taking him over. It’s everywhere in him, this fuzzy burn that throbs in time with the pulse hammering in his neck and his cock, all the other crap inside of his head gone quiet for the moment. He’s right here, feeling everything, and at the same time he’s miles away, lost enough that he doesn’t register that Cas is making his way south until he feels fingers working open the button of his jeans.

Dean finally gets up the brainpower to move, at that. It hits him again that this is real, there’s no taking it back, and his heart jackhammers in his chest. He tangles his fingers in Cas’s hair—not hard, just enough to raise his head up gently. Cas meets his eyes with this questioning look and Dean swallows and doesn’t know what to say.

Cas puts his head on one side. “Dean?”

He swallows again. His throat has gone dry. But he manages to get out, “You sure about this?”

Because he doesn’t exactly know what he was expecting when he first kissed Cas, but this is real, and it’s fucking intense, and they’re both kind of flying blind here. Dean’s experience with guys is limited to a couple never-discussed, mostly-clothed high school fumbles, and he’s pretty sure the number of notches on Cas’s bedpost still stands at a grand total of one. Okay, so Cas doesn’t seem anything other than enthusiastic right now, but still. Dean would rather be stuck with an all-night case of blue balls than have Cas do anything just because he feels like it’s expected. He can’t fuck this up.

But Cas is peering worriedly at him. “Would you… prefer I didn’t?” he asks. He does this little scrunched-up frowny face, like he thinks maybe he’s the one who’s gotten something wrong, and fuck, no. Dean doesn’t want Cas getting stressed out, second-guessing everything, any more than he wants Cas doing anything he isn’t sure about. No; he wants Cas riled-up and insistent again, taking whatever the hell he wants.

Dean will give it to him. Christ, all he wants right now is to give Cas something.

He exhales hard. “No,” he says, “No, seriously, Cas, I’d prefer it if you did.”

Cas nods, and—thank whatever gods are left out there—the frown vanishes off of his face. It’s replaced by something more focused. Something darker.

“Good,” Cas says, mildly. Then he takes hold of Dean’s hands where they’re still clutching at his hair, untangles them and surges up to kiss Dean, pinning his wrists hard to the mattress on either side of his head. Cas winces, briefly, as he puts weight on his bad side, but he just scowls with determination and pulls Dean’s wrists up above his head, holding them both there with his good hand.

It does something to Dean—that steely look in Cas’s eyes, the feeling of being trapped beneath it. It makes his breath catch in his throat and his cock jump in his pants. At the sound he makes, Cas pauses in kissing him, looks down like he’s seeing right into Dean, seeing exactly how wrecked he already feels. How much he wants—fuck, he doesn’t even know what, really. He just knows he’ll let Cas do just about anything to him, right now, if Cas keeps on wanting him like this, keeps on making him feel like this.

Cas smiles at him, then. It’s not his thanks-for-shopping-with-us, have-a-nice-day smile. It’s like a switch being flipped, a light going on. He looks so genuinely proud of this new thing he’s discovered, and Dean might laugh if he wasn’t so damn desperate right now.

Then Cas’s eyes flick off to the side, land on something on the other side of the room.

Dean’s fed suit, hanging on the back of the chair by the window. The tie he wore with it is draped over the top. A tiny crease forms between Cas’s eyebrows as he looks at it, his expression speculative.

Dean doesn’t need to ask what he’s thinking.

Cas glances back at him, another wordless request for permission, his grip on Dean’s wrists softening as their eyes meet. Dean’s heart beats double-time and his throat is dry, and yeah, his cock twitches, enthusiastically on board with this idea.

He squeezes his eyes shut for a second, tries to keep his voice steady when he nods and says, “Okay.”

It doesn’t work. It sounds like please.

Cas gets to his feet, makes it across the room and grabs the tie. His hard-on tents the front of his trousers, and he almost stumbles over his feet in his haste to get back on the bed, back to Dean. Dean gets it. It’s like something creeps in through the space between them and chills him to his bones every second Cas isn’t touching him, and from the way Cas hurries, he’s feeling it too.

It’s human and needy, and Dean has to look away to keep from thinking too hard about what it might mean.

But Cas is back on him, then, crowding in close and kissing him deeply before he guides Dean’s wrists up above his head, holds them there for a second and then loops the tie around them and knots it carefully. It isn’t tight enough to hurt or to cut off the circulation, and Dean could get out of it easy, if he wanted. But that doesn’t matter, really. He doesn’t want—and anyway, that’s not what this is about.

It’s about the feeling he gets, holding still for Cas to tie his wrists, like all of him is raw and open, like even the brush of fabric against his skin might be enough to make him bleed.

It’s about the way Cas watches his face as he does it, somewhere between hunger and tenderness and amazement.

It’s a look that says, I don’t want to let you go. Dean can’t handle that look. He knows there’s no way he deserves to have Cas, of all people, look at him like that. Cas bites his lip, and Dean thinks that maybe he’s about to say something and feels his heart stutter. It’s pathetic, how grateful he is when Cas keeps quiet, leans back down and kisses him dizzy, nipping at his lower lip until he squirms.

Then, when Dean’s head is spinning and his brain is out of commission again, Cas makes his way back down. He gets Dean’s jeans open, shoves them and his boxers down to his knees in one unceremonious movement, leaving him near-enough naked while Cas still has all his clothes on. Cas’s eyes on him are too much and he can’t look; he squeezes his own shut as Cas nuzzles at his thigh, his breath the ghost of a touch on the sensitive underside of Dean’s cock.

Dean makes a pleading noise, thrusts his hips up, and Cas pushes him down and holds him still.

Then he puts his mouth on the head of Dean’s cock and sucks gently at it.

It’s slow at first, experimental, delicate, cat-like flicks of Cas’s tongue as he tests things out. Little flicks that send little sparks of pleasure shooting up through Dean, and Dean finds himself shaking with the effort of holding still until Cas finally makes up his mind to go for it and swallows him down. And, oh. Oh, fuck.

Okay, so maybe it’s not the most skilful blowjob he’s ever gotten, but it’s a warm, wet, enthusiastic mouth around his cock, and more importantly it’s Cas. Just the sight of that dark head bobbing up and down between his legs is almost enough to push him over the edge like he’s seventeen again, has him clutching at nothing with his bound hands, fingernails digging into his palms.

And underneath it all, it does something to his heart, that Cas can have him tied up and desperate and willing to do anything, and choose to give pleasure instead of taking it. It makes something inside him break loose, flood through every part of him, until the only thought he has left is Cas, Cas, Cas. He doesn’t even realise he’s saying it out loud, saying it over and over, until Cas stops what he’s doing and pulls his mouth off of Dean’s cock, looks up at him with wet lips and wide eyes.

That look, like Cas can still see his soul, see right through to the ache at the centre of it. It makes him feel like—like Cas knows, doesn’t he, without Dean saying anything? He has to. So maybe it would be okay if Dean just surrendered, said, yeah, here you go, I’m yours, might as well admit it.

If he could just spit it out, so it wouldn’t keep swirling around inside of his head, aching in his chest, threatening to break him apart and spill through the cracks. Part of him wants to just say it and screw the consequences. But the rest of him knows he can’t, not with the way things are right now.

He can’t have that. He can have this, maybe, just for tonight—but that’s all.

It’s the sensible part that wins out, has him glancing away from Cas’s eyes, jerking his chin to indicate his neglected hard-on and forcing out, “Dude, that’s just cruel and unusual,” past the break in his voice.

Cas seems to get it. He doesn’t push, doesn’t try to turn things serious. He just raises an eyebrow and says, “I was under the impression you didn’t mind that,” easy, like it’s no kind of revelation. Then he goes right back to trying to suck Dean’s brain out through his cock.

He gives no quarter, this time. His mouth is hot and merciless, and the fingers of his good hand curl into Dean’s hip hard enough to hurt. That does it. Dean doesn’t manage an answer, but he does come hard enough that light surges behind his eyelids as Cas swallows around him, as Cas’s fingernails press half-moons into his skin. He thinks he might still be saying Cas’s name—though, whatever’s coming out of his mouth right now, he doubts it makes much sense—but he can’t even manage to care.

The next thing he knows is Cas crawling up the bed to kiss him again, slow and deep and dirty. Dean is tasting his own come on Cas’s tongue, he’s pinned under Cas’s weight, and he’s floating free, he’s in the stratosphere, he’s a tetherless wreck drifting through space.

He’s not exactly sure how long they stay like that, before Cas breaks the kiss and the moment. Dean thinks kind of vaguely that he should probably do something, because payment in kind is pretty much the done thing when somebody gives you a mind-blowing orgasm, but he’s still dislocated, here but not-here, and he doesn’t want to come down. Then Cas is straddling his waist, and somewhere along the line he’s gotten his flies open and his cock is out, rock-hard and leaking precome. He has his hand wrapped round it, moving in long, slow strokes. He’s looking at Dean like he doesn’t know if he wants to kiss him again or eat him for dinner, and apparently even in the midst of a post-orgasmic haze, seeing how much Cas wants him is enough to cut the power to Dean’s brain. It feels like a blessing, like hope, like if he can just give Cas enough of himself he’ll be able to make everything okay again.

“You can fuck me,” he hears himself saying. “If—if you want.”

Cas stares at him, eyes going wide with surprise and with so much yes I want that for a second Dean thinks he might really go for it.

But then he shakes his head. “We don’t have—protection.”

“I’m clean and you’ve fucked one other person, Cas, what are the odds?” It’s out before Dean’s brain can catch up with his mouth, and he wants to take it back the second he says it. He knows better than to pull this kind of crap—hell, he’s the one who gave Cas the lecture. He oughta be smarter than this, for both of them, and still there’s something needy and selfish inside of him half-hoping for Cas to take what he’s offering at face value.

But, “Don’t,” Cas says. He doesn’t sound pissed, he sounds anguished. “Don’t trust me and then ask me to take stupid risks.”

It tears at Dean, that helpless note in Cas’s voice. Here Cas is, being the sensible one because Dean’s being a selfish dumbshit, when Dean should be the one doing the right thing, setting the right example, taking care of him.

This was supposed to be about making Cas feel better, not piling yet more crap on him.

“I’m sorry,” Dean blurts. “I’m a fucking asshole, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He turns his head to the side.

Cas grasps his chin and makes him turn back, holds Dean there until he meets Cas’s eyes. The look in them is nothing Dean can read, sad and fierce and tender all at once.

“Don’t,” Cas bites out. “Don’t.” He kisses Dean hard, then, and Dean gets the hint and shuts up and lets it happen. Lies there and lets Cas tug at his hair again, wrench his head back hard enough that he hisses in pain. Watches Cas jerk himself off hard and fast, his cock flushed and straining in his hand, dark-eyed and desperate, all of the soul-killing resignation wrung out of him. He’s the only thing Dean can see, and he’s fucking gorgeous. Just for a moment, he’s everything.

Cas squeezes his eyes shut for a second, and then his cock jerks and his come is splattering warm on Dean’s belly. He makes this little noise, kind of a gasp, like he’s still surprised by feeling this good.

Somewhere in among the mess of his thoughts, Dean feels like—like something in him has just slotted into its right place. Like he did something right tonight.

For a long moment, Cas is still. Dean can feel the shudder of his breathing where their bodies are pressed together, the thud of his heartbeat as it slows. Then Cas levers himself off of Dean, arranges himself along Dean’s side and reaches up to untie his wrists.

Dean’s fingers feel thick with pins and needles. He hadn’t even noticed until now.

Cas plants a kiss on his forehead as he leans over. His lips linger there, just barely brushing the skin.

It’s weird. Dean didn’t think they’d fuck and then go right back to beer and smalltalk—or at least, he doesn’t think he thought that. But this is intimate, a gesture that seems to say a lot more than hey, thanks for the sex, you’re a real pal.

He should brush it off, probably. Later he’ll tell himself it’s only for Cas’s sake that he doesn’t. But he figures it means he’s forgiven for at least some of his stupidity, and that’s—well. It’s worth holding on to.

His fingers are still numb. Weird, the way he feels like he’s just coming back into his body, even though a few minutes ago he was coming so hard he thought his brain was gonna melt. Dean rubs his hands together, trying to bring back the circulation, and when Cas sees what he’s doing he takes them, one by one, between both of his own and does it himself. He’s nestled in close along Dean’s side now, his mouth somewhere in the vicinity of Dean’s temple, his warm breath tickling the skin there.

When he’s done, Cas kicks his pants the rest of the way off, pulls himself up off the mattress, away from Dean, and heads for the bathroom. The space he’s vacated feels colder than the rest of the room.

Cas still has his socks on.

He used to be an Angel of the Lord, and now he’s a half-naked guy in socks.

He looks absurd.

Well, yeah. The whole situation is absurd. Dean knows that. Him and Cas. And Cas—still-figuring-out-this-whole-humanity-thing, just-barely-turned-in-his-V-card Cas—being able to wreck him so completely. It’s too ridiculous to be real.

It isn’t gonna be real much longer. It’s gonna be over, and what’s gonna be left? Just the fact that Dean’s life has a great gaping Cas-shaped hole in it and no place for Cas.

He has to close his eyes, then, because suddenly he can’t stand to look at Cas’s retreating back. He’s gonna do something stupid, like beg Cas to just come back in here and hold onto him because maybe then they won’t ever have to move. He curls onto his side, his back to the bathroom door, doesn’t move.

“Dean?” he hears, then. “Where are the towels?” He rolls back over and sees Cas peering around the bathroom door, gesturing at the smear of come on his belly. “We’re… messy.”

He just about manages a laugh at that. “Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, no shit.” He swallows. “Should be hung up behind the door.”

“Okay.” But Cas is still looking at him. He opens his mouth, and Dean watches him hesitate before biting the bullet. “Dean. Are you—”

“I’m good,” Dean insists, before Cas can get any further. They can’t have this conversation. It won’t do anything but hurt them both. He plasters on a grin. “Why the hell wouldn’t I be?”

There, he sounds a little more like his usual self. A little more like the dick who threw Cas out the bunker.

Cas gives him a faint, troubled smile, but disappears back into the bathroom. When he comes back out he plants another kiss on Dean’s lips before towelling the come off him, and he doesn’t say anything. He tastes of spearmint toothpaste.

“Dude, you used my toothbrush? That’s kinda gross,” Dean objects, more to break the silence than because he really gives a shit.

“My things are at the store,” Cas says, mildly. He balls up the towel and tosses it on the floor, where his pants and the stupid blue vest are lying in a heap tangled up with Dean’s jeans and shirt. Then he grabs the first-aid kit from the bedside table where Dean left it earlier, pokes around in there, and comes out with a packet of antiseptic wipes. He leans back in with them, and Dean doesn’t quite register what he’s doing until he feels the sting of the antiseptic in the scratches on his chest. He sucks in a sharp breath, and Cas stops and lays a hand on his shoulder while Dean forces himself to relax.

Cas’s eyes are intent on what he’s doing. He’s not looking at Dean’s face, now.

Dean swallows. “Cas,” he says. “You know I still can’t ask you to come with me.”

It’s a moment until Cas looks at him. “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”

The resignation is back, even if it’s softened around the edges a little, and Dean has nothing to say that could make it go away.

“I’m sorry,” is all he can manage.

There’s so much he can’t say. He just has to hope Cas can hear it.

Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. Either way, he finishes what he’s doing, scrunches up the antiseptic wipe and aims it at the trashcan on the other side of the room with his good arm. When he misses, he doesn’t get up, just curls back into Dean’s side and tugs the blanket up over them. Dean keeps very still.

Cas sighs, then. “Can we just…” He doesn’t finish. He doesn’t need to.

Dean should say no. He should get up, pretend he isn’t sleepy and let Cas have his bed for the night, grab another beer or just screw around on the internet until morning and not act like this can be anything more than what it is.

“Yeah,” he agrees. “Yeah, let’s. Just.”

Cas gives him one last mint-flavoured kiss before he closes his eyes, and Dean is selfish enough to lean into it and let it happen.

He won’t let himself think of it as anything more than a kiss. It isn’t a promise. It just is.

For now, it has to be enough.
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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
brightly_litbrightly_lit on March 29th, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
Yaaaay, I was hoping you would post this today so I could rec it at the Bunker!! :-D SO. GOOD!!
tiamaria: casanactoria on March 29th, 2014 12:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! (And thank you for the rec! ♥ ♥) Still so glad you like this.
frozen_delight: rift to bridgefrozen_delight on March 29th, 2014 08:18 am (UTC)
You really manage to amaze me every time. Quite often the description of your stories is something that would just make me scroll further down because it really doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but because it's you, I still give the story a try - and I'm never disappointed. This one was again marvellous.

I simply loved how well you explored Cas's humanity in a layered way that the show didn't. There were so many fine lines and observations. Such as:

“Your lives are so short,” Cas says, and then he stops short, finally takes a swig from his beer. “Our lives are so short.” He raises his eyes ceilingward, flicks them back down. Frowns. “But there’s so much time to think about everything.”

He used to be an Angel of the Lord, and now he’s a half-naked guy in socks.
He looks absurd.


Dean's somewhat broken point of view, so full of guilt and longing was also really well done and I must say I giggled a bit at the way you introduced his desire for Castiel at the beginning of the story:
The presence of him, the way it filled the room, made every hair on Dean’s body stand on end. How he was always materialising just a shade too close, and yeah, okay, it was only because he didn’t understand human shit like personal space, but sometimes it still felt like he was saying you’re mine.
The melancholic irony behind this is wonderful, how Dean is so turned on by the power difference between them - and then when he actually gets Cas, it's gone. And yet he still gets what he needs, sort of.

Which brings me to praise the very long sex scene. Because I don't enjoy reading sex scenes much, they're usually all so similar and are used as a superficial means of fixing everything. I loved that the whole early Season 9 Cas/Dean situation couldn't simply be resolved like that here, but remained complex, and I simply adored your beautiful narration throughout, making it a completely unique read. Especially with details like these:

That seems to be all the yes Cas needs, thank Christ, because then he’s pulling away, peeling Dean’s t-shirt off over his head. He holds it in his hands for a second, and Dean could swear he actually sees Cas consider folding it up.

Cas briefly considering if he should fold up Dean's t-shirt is seriously one of the most intriguing details I've ever come across in fanfic. So kudos for that alone.

And kudos for everything else! Please write more.
tiamaria: casanactoria on March 29th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
Have I mentioned how much I love getting comments from you? Because I do. They're always so thoughtful and kind. ♥

I don't enjoy reading sex scenes much, they're usually all so similar and are used as a superficial means of fixing everything.

I do agree that sex scenes can often be used that way, and I think that's a real shame. Because sex -- like almost everything else people do -- can be a form of communication, and it shows the characters in a situation we're unlikely to see onscreen, and there's absolutely no need for it to be formulaic. But there are some writers out there who are absolutely brilliant at bringing all that out. So... well, I'm glad this worked for you, is what I'm trying to say. :)

Cas briefly considering if he should fold up Dean's t-shirt is seriously one of the most intriguing details I've ever come across in fanfic.

Human!Cas is conscientious, he's trying so hard, and this just seemed like something he would do.

There might be more in this 'verse. If I ever manage to finish my current WIPs...
brinnypoo: ducknationbrinnypoo on March 29th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
THIS! wow..I just loved everything about this story. You captured everything I hope Dean and Cas were actually thinking, and still thinking in some aspects...I really miss the love between them this season, but I'm so glad you can spot it and elaborate on it. I was sucked in right from the first paragraph and held my breath to the end. I really hope you write more stories in this verse..or even pick out other moments in this season to write about. Just absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much.
tiamaria: casanactoria on March 30th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading, and for leaving such a lovely comment! ♥ I'm really glad you liked it. :)

I really miss the love between them this season

Oh, indeed. I hope we see Cas playing more of a part in Sam and Dean's story again soon. He's been quite understanding and supportive to both of them in different ways, and I think they could use a bit of that right now.
septembers_codaseptembers_coda on March 31st, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful, and SO HOT. Great job! What strikes me most about this fic is its believability. When I first entered SPN fandom, I had never read or written fanfic before, and I was very interested in slash, but wasn't convinced these characters actually WOULD sleep together, and I spent my first few Sassy-writing months trying to figure out how to make it REAL. I feel like if Dean and Cas were going to sleep together, this is exactly how it would happen. Great characterization, and the angst of Dean's feelings for Cas and about pain... it just went straight to my heart. Loved it. <3
tiamaria: casanactoria on March 31st, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! I'm glad you like it -- and that you found it believable. :)

When I first entered SPN fandom, I had never read or written fanfic before, and I was very interested in slash, but wasn't convinced these characters actually WOULD sleep together, and I spent my first few Sassy-writing months trying to figure out how to make it REAL.

I think that's true of all non-canon pairings, really, not just slash ones -- first-time and getting-together fics can definitely be tricky to get the balance right with. It's retaining the dynamics of the existing relationship while adding something new to it, I guess. Anyway, I'm so pleased you thought it worked on that level. Thanks again! ♥
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )