Beneath the Sheets of Paper (2/2)

Title: Beneath the Sheets of Paper
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Castiel/Dean Winchester
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: None.
Spoilers: Set sometime after 5.04, “The End.”
Word Count: 10,200
Notes/Prompt(s): Title is from “Samson” by Regina Spektor. This story started as a late response to the “first date” prompt for the quickfire challenge, but then it took on a life of its own. Thank you to for beta.
Summary: Castiel never asks for anything for himself. Dean finds this frustrating.

(Continued from part 1.)


The town was small and the army surplus store was on the other side of it from the department store. It was a metal building like a half-dome, and Castiel supposed it was like something the military would build in the field. The walls were lined with shelves, carrying everything from aviator sunglasses to duffel bags.

Sam went to do his own shopping while Dean took Castiel to the boot aisle. “What’s your shoe size?”

Castiel looked at his feet. “Large?” he said doubtfully.

“Give me your shoe,” Dean said, holding out his hand, so Castiel took one off and gave it to him. Dean peered inside and shook his head. “The size is worn off. We’ll have to eyeball it.” He began to walk the aisle, comparing Castiel’s shoe to boots, and tucked a few under his arm.

Castiel watched him, Sam’s questions on his mind. What did they get from each other? In Dean he had a lover, but he had existed for millennia without one. Lovers were not vital to him. Dean had his choice of women, like the pretty waitress at the diner or the blushing clerk at the department store, but had instead chosen him, an angel in a male form, someone innocent in ways Dean could never really understand—and possessing knowledge Dean would never comprehend.

If Dean did not love him, there was no explanation.

“What?” Dean said, looking up at him. He was kneeling on the floor, still hunting for the right boots. “Is something wrong?”

“No.” Castiel sat on the floor beside Dean and wrapped his arms around his knees.

“Here. Try these.” He gave Castiel a pair of work boots. “They shouldn’t pinch your toes and your feet shouldn’t slide around when you walk.”

Castiel nodded and took off his other shoe, and put the boots on. He laced them up and tied them tight, and took a few steps down the aisle. “They don’t pinch,” he told Dean.

“Are they too loose? If we’re going to be walking a lot you need shoes that fit right. I mean, since you’re stuck with us and all.”

“I don’t feel stuck,” Castiel said. Dean leaned back against the shelf, his hands hanging loosely from his knees, and Castiel walked back to him and sat cross-legged beside him. “I think they fit.” He regarded his feet. The work boots were heavier than Jimmy’s shoes and he could hardly flex his feet.

“I mean your mojo. Since you can’t—” Dean made flit his hand in the air like a bird in flight. Castiel leaned his head against Dean’s shoulder. “I’m not saying I want you to leave,” Dean added softly and turned his head towards Castiel’s. It was not a kiss but it felt like one, and Castiel closed his eyes, letting the happiness that came from this small gesture fill and warm him.

This, he thought. This was what he found in Dean.

He cupped Dean’s cheek in his palm a moment, then pulled off the boots. “Let’s get these.”

“You want them?”

“They fit. And they’re sturdy.” He gave them to Dean.

“I guess that’s as close as you get to wanting something, huh?” Dean said in a wry tone and put them in the box where he’d found them. “They do what they’re supposed to do and that’s enough for you.”

Castiel took Jimmy’s shoes back and put them on. They felt weightless after the boots. “You don’t do what you’re supposed to, but I want you nonetheless.”

“Castiel, that’s almost romantic,” said Dean as he got to his feet, and he held out a hand to help Castiel stand. Castiel grasped it and pulled himself up, using Dean’s arm as a counterbalance.

“I’ll work on it,” he said and that made Dean smile a moment.

“You need a coat. A better coat. Come on.” He pulled Castiel to another part of the store.

The first coat that caught Castiel’s eye was khaki green and zipped up the front, but when he took it off the rack Dean winced. Castiel did not ask why, but he put it back and went to another rack. He found a wool coat that reminded him of Jimmy’s trench coat, and when he showed it to Dean there was no wincing.


After lunch they were on their way to the next job in Denver. Travelers were disappearing from the highways that wound through the mountains outside the city, their cars abandoned, no bodies found. Sam thought it was a woman in white, taking her revenge.

There were prairies to cross first, under a vast open sky the color of iron, and the mountains were so far away they hid behind the curve of the earth. Castiel leaned his head against the window in the back seat, letting Dean’s music drive away his thoughts. Sam read, sometimes sharing information he found about the creature they expected to find once they reached the west, but mostly he was quiet.

As was Dean, and it seemed to Castiel that whenever he looked at him, Dean was watching him in the rear view mirror. Each time Castiel saw him looking, Dean winked at him and smiled. Castiel remembered to smile in return and gazed out the window again.

His new clothes felt strange on his body, as if he wore nothing except on his feet. The t-shirt was snug but not binding as the business shirt and tie had been, and the jeans were loose around his waist. When he had come out of the bathroom in the diner after they ate, Jimmy’s suit folded under his arm, Dean had given him a look that was openly lustful, and Castiel knew if Sam weren’t with them they would pull off into the first empty field Dean saw to show his appreciation of Castiel’s new look.

Castiel wiggled his toes. The boots were heavy. He liked the thick wool socks, though. There was something substantial about them that pleased him.

The highway seemed like a grey ribbon stretching to the sky, shrinking until it disappeared.


The creature haunting the highways that looped around Denver was not a woman in white but a gwyllion, a spirit that lured travelers off the road like a will o’the wisp. It was her cry that gave her away, and all it took to kill her was a metal knife. The demon-killing knife did the job admirably.

Castiel cleaned the boys up after the fight: Sam got badly scraped rolling down an embankment and Dean had been dragged some distance on the pavement before he managed to stab the gwyllion. The spirit had recognized something in Castiel, and her shrieks had taken on a new terrified tone as Castiel wrestled her to the ground.

“I haven’t had that good of a fight since Jacob,” he said afterward, more exuberant than he’d been in weeks, and both Sam and Dean looked at him as if they couldn’t understand where this joy was coming from.

Sam had the shower first so he could wash off gravel and dust. Castiel gently dabbed the scrapes on Dean’s hands with watered-down whiskey. It hurt his heart to see Dean’s hands like this, bleeding and sore, but he supposed he had seen them whole only once. Dean’s life did not allow for smooth skin and unbroken fingernails.

Besides, they were beautiful to him, no matter how much they bled.

He lifted one hand to his mouth and kissed the palm, and Dean quietly laughed. “What’re you doin’,” he said in a voice that was low and filled with affection.

“I wish I could heal you with a touch right now,” Castiel said. “Just pass my fingers over and leave new skin behind.”

Dean was quiet a moment. “Does it scare you? Your power … fading?”

Castiel looked up at him and gave a short nod, then picked up a clean cotton ball and resumed washing Dean’s wounds.

“I’m sorry,” Dean whispered. “I’m sorry, Cas. I never meant for this to happen, not any of it.”

Castiel kissed him. “Lie down. You’re sore and tired.” Dean sighed and shifted so he could lie with his head on Castiel’s thigh, and Castiel stroked his hair until Dean relaxed.


“Yes, Dean.”

“When you’re looking for God, what do you do? Where do you?”

Castiel stroked Dean’s hair, letting the short fine strands fall from his fingertips. “I go to where I think he might be and I walk among the people, looking for him. He could be anyone.”

“But where do you go?” He twisted his head to look up at Castiel.

“Holy places. Soup kitchens. Everything in between.”

“And if he’s not there?”

“Then I will try other places.” He rubbed the back of Dean’s head, at the top of his spine, which he knew Dean found particularly soothing. Dean moaned with pleasure and made himself more comfortable, nudging Castiel until he was stretched out as well and Dean could lay his head on Castiel belly.

“I know this is important and everything,” he muttered, his words slurring together with exhaustion, “but I’m glad you’re here. Miss you when you’re gone, babe.”

“I will always come back to you,” Castiel whispered, smiling down at him. “Do you want a shower before your sleep? It might help with your muscles.”

“Yeah … in a minutes …”

Castiel resumed stroking his hair, and was not at all surprised when Dean began to snore.

Sam came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, smelling of soap and looking half-asleep, and his face did a strange regretful twist when he saw them. “Is he asleep?”

“Yes.” Castiel went on slowly stroking Dean’s hair.

Sam nodded and pulled back the covers on his bed, got under them and spent a few moments getting comfortable, punching pillows, fluffing sheets. He said, when he was finally still, “Is he okay?”

“He is tired. He needs sleep. You both do,” he added, glancing at Sam, who made a wry sound.

“Point taken.” Sam reached over and turned out the light above his bed.


They left Denver and headed north. They stopped about four hours into the journey, at a highway rest stop where people could buy candy and soda from a machine or use the restrooms. There were stone picnic tables and a plastic playground as well, and the bark under the playground was scattered with patches of frozen snow.

When Castiel came out of the restroom—eating necessitated things such as this—Dean was standing at the guard rail beyond the playground, watching the gorge that ran alongside the highway. “Hey, Cas,” Dean called to him. “Come look at this.”

Castiel joined him and looked at where he was pointing, and gasped. An eagle soared above them and floated on the wind currents. “That’s beautiful,” Castiel whispered. Dean smiled and put a hand on his back, and they watched the eagle fly until it was out of sight.

When they turned back to return to the car, Sam was leaning against it, waiting for them. He smiled and got into the back seat.

“It’s all right,” Castiel said when they reached the car. “I don’t mind sitting in the back.”

“We can take turns,” Sam said. “Sometime Dean may even let you drive.”

“Don’t count on it,” Dean said, and drove the next few hours with his hand on Castiel’s knee.


The door to their motel room was rattling as if a furious ghost was trying to break in. The boys were sound asleep, safe with their protective tattoos and wards, but still Castiel rose from the bed and went to the door. He passed his hand over it, frowning when he felt nothing but it continued rattling. He looked out the window and understood—it was storming so hard the rain was like a filmy sheet, each drop sending up another cascade of water, and the wind blew as if in a rage.

He felt his mouth drop open at the sheer power of it, and jumped when thunder crashed and lightning flared in once. He blinked, blinded by the brilliance of the lightning, and went back to the bed to wake Dean.

“Dean,” he whispered and poked his shoulder. “Dean, wake up.”

Dean inhaled and blinked at him, frowning. “Is something wrong?”

“It’s raining. Come watch it with me.”

“I know what rain looks like,” Dean muttered and turned onto his side.

“This is different. It’s beautiful. I want you to see it.”

“Fine, fine.” Dean threw back the sheets and went to the window. He opened the blinds enough to peer out. “Okay, it’s raining.” After a moment he added, “Whoa. That’s one hell of a storm.”

Castiel pulled a blanket off the bed and wrapped the blanket around himself and Dean. Dean slipped his arms around him, quiet in the face of the storm, and Castiel held him closer and pressed his lips to Dean’s shoulder.

Dean turned so they were hip to hip and looked at Castiel, his eyes wide in the dark. He kissed Castiel slowly, as his hands moved to the small of Castiel’s back. “Glad we’re not out in that.”

“So am I,” Castiel whispered, focusing on Dean’s lips. “I need you, Dean.”

“We’ll have to sneak off so we can get some alone-time.” His skin goosepimpled under Castiel’s palms, and Castiel kissed his shoulder and breathed against his neck. He was not surprised when Dean pressed himself closer. “Maybe now’s a good time. Out in the car.”

Castiel nodded and picked up his coat, slipped his bare feet into his boots and waited for Dean to follow suit. A key to their room in his jeans pocket, Dean grabbed the keys to the Impala and they both ran out through the rain.

Dean laughed as he dove into the back seat and held out his arms to Castiel. Castiel threw himself on top of Dean and shook the rain from his hair before he bent to kiss him. “I love you,” Castiel whispered as he grasped the back of Dean’s head, and Dean grunted as he shoved his tongue into Castiel’s mouth.

They yanked off their clothes between kisses, coat and boots thrown into the front seat, and Dean lifted his hips to get out lube and condoms from his jeans pocket. Castiel leaned back on Dean’s thighs and watched him as Dean pushed his jeans down to his thighs. “Nude up,” he said gruffly.

Castiel kept their gazes locked as he worked off his boxer shorts, and then wrapped his hand around Dean and stroked him. “Baby,” Dean groaned, eyes closing, and he rocked into Castiel’s hand. He groped for Castiel and gripped him, making Castiel gasp, and the smile Dean gave him was dirty and happy.

Dean pushed himself up and cradled Castiel against his hips. Castiel reached between them to prepare them, rolling on the condom carefully, pushing a little lubricant into himself, and Dean licked his lower lip and breathed harder as he watched. “This is practically a quickie.”

“I don’t care,” Castiel whispered, kissing Dean as he knelt up. “I just want you in me.”

“Yeah,” Dean groaned and caught Castiel’s lip in his teeth as he slowly pushed inside.

Castiel rocked his hips, gasping through the burn. He held Dean by the back of his neck and muttered, “Don’t stop, don’t stop,” as Dean opened him, until Dean chuckled darkly and growled, “Not gonna,” and kissed him. His mouth slid down Castiel’s neck and Castiel dug his fingers into Dean’s scalp and tilted back his head.

“Dean,” he whispered, “oh, Dean.”

Dean kissed his chest and shoulders, licked his neck and surged up again to take his mouth. They both whimpered, muffled by kisses, as their bodies moved and the windows fogged.

Dean pulled back to watch Castiel’s face. He rubbed his thumb over Castiel’s lips and Castiel sucked it into his mouth. Dean chuckled and brushed his hand down Castiel’s neck, to the leather cord that hung around his throat. He traced the cord down the amulet that lay against Castiel’s chest.

“Do you want it back?” Castiel whispered, his hands on Dean’s shoulders.

Dean shook his head. “You still need it.” He tilted back his head and closed his eyes. Castiel pushed him down gently so that he lay flat, still holding his shoulders, and straightened his body so he could move more easily. Dean wrapped one hand around Castiel and cupped the back of Castiel’s neck with the other, his hips rolling, his legs tense.

Castiel turned his head to kiss Dean’s wrist, and then bent to watch Dean’s face. “You are beautiful,” Castiel whispered and bent to brush his mouth over Dean’s. “You are so beautiful.”

Dean licked at Castiel’s mouth and Castiel touched their tongues together. He grasped Dean’s head and deepened the kiss, and then planted his hand flat on the seat and watched Dean’s eyes, the flush in his cheeks, as he ground his body onto Dean’s. Dean’s eyes were enormous and his breath hitched in his chest, before he threw back his head and cried out, the cords tight in his neck and his lips wet.

Castiel leaned their foreheads together. He moaned as his body shuddered and he fell onto Dean. Dean wrapped his arms around him and kissed his hair.

He gasped, “It does get better every time. I never thought it was true.” Castiel kissed Dean’s chest and settled his head comfortably where he could hear Dean’s heart beating.

The rain pounded on the car’s roof. Castiel closed his eyes.


Dean was spooning him. It was morning, the heater in the motel room was rattling like someone was shaking a can full of pebbles, and Dean was spooning him. His hand was on Castiel’s chest, covering the amulet under his t-shirt.

Castiel reached back to touch Dean’s hair. Dean snuffed against his neck. Castiel kept his eyes closed, so warm and comfortable and happy he didn’t want to leave this moment. He wanted to capture it and freeze it somehow, so that he could hold it in his hand.

But the day would begin as it always did. There would be driving and music, greasy diner food, Dean’s odd jokes, Sam’s books. Their life had a rhythm. It was easy, in its way. There were monsters to fight, of course, spirits to send on their journey, but afterward there was this, Dean’s big hand on Castiel’s chest and his breath rustling the hair at the back of Castiel’s neck.

Castiel lay still for a few minutes longer, then slipped out of the bed and put on jeans and boots, picked up one of the room keys and put on his wool coat. There was free coffee in the motel office, so he filled three cups and brought them back to their room.

“Well, look at that,” Dean said when the smell of fresh coffee woke him and Sam blinked awake and grinned his thanks as he took his cup. “Practically like room service.”

Castiel kicked off his boots and leaned back against the headboard. He held his cup more for its heat than because he wanted the coffee, but the smell was nice. Dean sipped his and traced shapes on Castiel’s side.

“Thanks,” Dean said softly. “It’s a nice way to wake up.”

“I thought you’d like it.” Castiel nudged his toes against Dean’s.

“Hey, I was thinking,” Sam said, and they both looked at him. “If you two ever, um, want some time alone? Just tell me to go see a movie or something. I’ll get out of your hair for a couple hours. You might even want to go out yourselves sometime.”

“I don’t think we’ll need that,” Dean said. “We do okay.” He nudged Castiel’s toes right back and grinned.

“Dean,” Sam said, “couples need to date.”

“Why? We already know each other.”

“God, you really need to have some normal relationships,” Sam said. “Even married couples go on dates. It keeps the relationship healthy.”

Castiel played with Dean’s fingers. “I …” he began, and then drank some coffee. It was bitter on his tongue and burned in his throat.

Dean said, “You want this, Cas?”

“Yes, Dean,” Castiel said quietly.

Dean sighed heavily as if it were a great sacrifice. “Thanks, Sam, we’d love to go on a date sometime.” He leaned close and whispered into Castiel’s ear, “And then I’m taking you back to our motel room and fucking your brains out, got that?”

“Yes, Dean,” Castiel said, with a small shiver of anticipation.


They were on the road again when Dean said, “We should wait until we get to a big city.”

“Why is that?”

Dean sighed. “I don’t want to be hassled,” he said bluntly. “There’s a lot less chance of being hassled in a bit city than a small town. I mean, it may still happen in a big city, but one with a—a sizable, um—oh, hell. A gay scene. It’ll be less likely. I hope.” He turned up the radio.

Castiel turned it down again. “You don’t want to be labeled.”

“I’m not gay.” He glanced at Castiel . “I’m just—” There was something naked in his eyes and almost frightened, and Castiel took his hand as he looked back at the road.

“I think the term you want is ‘bisexual,'” said Sam and turned a page.

“Sure, whatever,” Dean muttered. He took back his hand and hunched over the wheel. “I am getting far too worked up about this.”

“Yes, you are,” Castiel said and reached over to rub the back of Dean’s neck. Dean made his frustrated noise but finally leaned back into Castiel’s hand.


It was already late when they reached Seattle. They found a motel and Sam went inside to check them in. Dean reached over to hold Castiel’s hand, and Castiel rubbed the back with his thumb.

“We are in Seattle,” Castiel remarked.

“So we are.”

“It’s a big city.”

“Yes, it is.”

“With an active and vocal gay population.”

“Wow, you’re bad at being subtle.”

“I will work on it.”

“Cas,” Dean said. “You really want to do this date thing? It won’t be fancy by any means. Dinner and a movie, at most. I’m not original when it comes to this kind of shit.”

“I like the sound of dinner and movie.”

Dean looked at him. He inhaled as if he were going to speak, but closed his mouth and blinked hard, his eyes shining a bit in the fluorescent lights of the parking lot. He growled, “I really fucking love you, you know that, right?”

Castiel looked at him, puzzled but pleased. “I know it now.”

“Okay. Good. ‘Cause I’m not good at this kind of shit either.” He looked at Castiel and then looked away. “I just … you deserve some happiness.”

“I love you too, Dean,” Castiel said and squeezed his hand.

Sam opened the rear passenger seat and got in. He leaned over the front seat to give them a key. “I got us adjoining rooms,” he said. “You guys get some privacy for the next couple nights.”

“Thank you,” Castiel said as he took the key.

“We’re ’round back.” Dean didn’t move, and Sam prodded, “Dean.”

“Yeah. ‘Round back.” He started up the car and drove to their room.

Dean threw himself onto the bed the moment he was inside, and folded his hands behind his head. Castiel took off his coat and hung it over a chair, and lay beside him.

Sam opened the adjoining door, grinned at them, and said, “Good night, guys,” and shut it again.

“Good night, Sam,” Dean said and then looked at Castiel. Castiel put his hand on Dean’s forehead so he could comb his fingers through Dean’s hair. “Cas,” Dean murmured. “Can’t we just fuck?”

“Tonight we can,” Castiel said. “Tomorrow night you’re taking me to dinner and a movie. You promised.”

“I know. It’s not that I don’t want to …” He rolled onto his side and leaned his head on his hand. Castiel folded his hands on his chest. “It’s just, who are kidding? A vessel and an angel, two guys trying to be … I don’t even know, man. Something we’re not.”

“So we’re not normal,” Castiel said. “And so we’re not going to have a normal life. But sometimes, can’t we just pretend?”

Dean inhaled and kissed him, thrusting his hand into Castiel’s hair. “Really fuckin’ love you,” he muttered to Castiel’s lips, and Castiel moaned softly in response and rolled onto his back, pulling Dean on top of him.

Uriel used to say that human love was just an excuse to copulate. The biological imperative of reproduction made humans do all sorts of humiliating and debasing things, just for the promise of a few minutes of physical pleasure. Human love was, at best, a pale imitation of divine love, at worst—and Uriel’s expression, when they talked about such things, said most cases were the worst—a pretty lie.

Castiel suspected Uriel had never loved anyone.

He had wondered at the connection of the emotion to the act himself until Dean, but now he believed he understood. Love left alone would diminish, but fed with tenderness and passion it could only thrive. To touch a body that contained a mind, a soul, that one adored, to show appreciation and call one’s beloved beautiful, to give pleasure and receive pleasure in return—Castiel thought it was as close as most mortals could come to touching the divine.

He did not share this theory with Dean, though. It would only make Dean blush and laugh and make a joke, and Castiel didn’t want to make him uncomfortable.

Besides, it was better to drowse at Dean’s side and inhale the scent of them, to feel his muscles and skin buzz with the slowly-fading pleasure and welcome soreness. He felt well-used, well-loved, well-fucked, and he liked the feeling enormously.

Dean raked his fingers through Castiel’s hair for a few minutes, then said, “I gotta confess something, Cas.” Castiel raised his head to look at him.”I, um, I swore to myself if you ever asked me for anything I’d give it to you.” Castiel started to touch the amulet, and Dean said, “Not like that. I mean, something for yourself. You never ask for anything for yourself. I don’t know what you like. You eat what I tell you is good, you wear what you think I want to see you in, you hate my music but you’d never ask me to put in another tape—I just want to give you something you really want.”

“I like you,” Castiel said, frowning. “I want you.”

Dean looked away, biting back a smile. “Aside from me. You’ve got me. What else do you like? What do you want?”

“Pie,” Castiel said. “Thick socks. When the wind is cold but the sun is out. When it rains hard and we’re safe inside.” He paused, frowning. “I’m sure there are others. I don’t know, Dean.” He stretched out and lay his head on his favorite place on Dean’s chest, just over his heart. “I’m not used to wanting things. Desire is so human.”

“But you do want this date.”


Dean sighed, his hand combing lazily through Castiel’s hair. “Okay. But I’m not a flowers and poetry kind of guy so if you want romantic you’re just going to be disappointed.”

“I don’t care about flowers or poetry.”

“I only know one poem and it’s not romantic at all.”

“What’s the poem?” He brushed his thumb over Dean’s ribcage.

There was a pause. “‘Jabberwocky.’ It’s a kid’s poem but it’s funny, and it’s about killing a monster so I relate. And it’s fun to say.”

“‘Jabberwocky,'” Castiel murmured. He liked the word.

“And no flowers.”

“No flowers,” Castiel murmured and kissed Dean’s chest.

Dean settled under him comfortably. “Maybe flowers occasionally.”

“I don’t need flowers, Dean,” Castiel said and closed his eyes.


Castiel stared at the ceiling. He felt different—different than he had felt for the last week or so, anyway.

He felt like himself again.

If he willed himself anywhere, he knew he would get there. He would probably even get back.

He sat up slowly and looked at Dean, who slept on his side, one arm hanging off the bed, his other hand curled as if he were still holding Castiel’s. Castiel slipped his hand back into Dean’s and wondered if he should wake him, or just go. He had research to do, leads to follow, his Father to find.

And a date tonight.

He sighed. It would have to wait.

Castiel went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. He rubbed his nose along his arm, breathing in the scent of Dean one more time before he had to wash it all away. Dean liked to tell him he smelled like good things—it was different every time, sometimes it was pie and sometimes it was leather and once it was licorice all-sorts, whatever those were—but he had no idea how to catalog the scent of Dean. To him, Dean smelled like peace and happiness and love.

When he had showered he put on Jimmy’s suit—dry-cleaned somewhere in Montana—and then went to the door between their rooms and knocked on it softly. Sam opened it, blinking sleepily. “Cas? Is something wrong?”

Castiel hugged him. “Thank you,” he said quietly.

“Uh, sure,” Sam said and then hugged him back. “Sure, Cas. Anytime.”

“I have to go,” Castiel said.

“Are you … better?”

“I think so. Sam,” Castiel said, “promise me you will look after him.”

Sam nodded slowly and smiled a little. “I will. Of course I will. Is there anything you want me to tell him?”

“No, I will say goodbye. But I wanted to say goodbye to you, too.”

“Thanks. I’ll, um, leave you two alone.” He shut the door with a quiet snick.

Castiel sat on the edge of the bed and touched Dean’s cheek. Dean snorted and blinked, then squinted at him. “Cas? Is it morning?”

“Yes. I am leaving.”

“Oh,” Dean said, and shook his head vigorously. “Got your mojo back, I guess.”

“Yes.” Castiel folded his hands together. “I will return as soon as I can.”

“You’d better,” Dean said and looked away. “In one piece, too.”

“Yes, Dean,” Castiel said, gazing at him fondly.

Dean roughly wiped his eyes. “God, you’re turning me into a chick. Stop looking at me like that.”

“How am I looking at you?”

“Like—like—just stop it.”

“I can’t help it,” Castiel said. “I love you and I will miss you.”

“Love you too,” Dean muttered and dropped his head, and when he squinted back at Castiel he looked far too tired and worn for the burden he had to bear. Castiel took Dean’s chin in his hand and kissed him, and let Dean pull him along as he lay back. “Don’t go.”

“Dean,” Castiel said gently and stroked his cheek with his thumb. “Nothing short of death will keep me away from you.”

Dean studied his face. “Okay.” Castiel kissed him again and got off the bed, and Dean added hastily, “Guess we’re taking a rain check on that date, huh?”

“Yes. It’s all right. I believe we will find the time.” The strange part was, he truly did.

“Okay. Cas,” he said and Castiel paused again. Dean inhaled. “Look. Um. I do want to give you what you want, you know. You let me know as soon as you figure it out, okay?”

Castiel smiled at him. “I have everything I want,” he said and left.


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