The Thorn on the Rose


After an hour of trying to force his dislocated shoulder back into the socket, Dean had to admit defeat. Usually he had Sam around to help with injuries like this, but now he had two choices: either go to a hospital and deal with the expense and the questions, or drive the two days to Bobby’s and get him to help.

Or he had a third, he realized as he picked up his phone. He pressed Castiel’s speed dial number, and Castiel answered after just two rings. “Yes?”

“Hi. It’s me.”


“Yeah. Are you busy?”

There was a silence. “Do you wish to … chat, Dean?”

“No,” Dean said with a dry laugh. “I’m kind of in a jam and I need some help. Your help. Please.”

“Where are you?”

Dean gave him the motel’s address and the line went dead. Castiel was not skilled in phone etiquette yet, but Dean didn’t mind for once since it meant Castiel was in the hotel room with him right away.

“Dean,” he said and inspected him a moment. “You look horrible.”

“I had a run-in with a werewolf and fell down some stairs. I dislocated my shoulder. I need your help getting it back into place.”

Castiel frowned. “You know I can’t heal you.”

“I know. I just need you to shove.”

“Shove,” Castiel repeated. “That will hurt you.”

“Yes,” Dean said as patiently as he could, “but it’ll only hurt like hell for a minute or two, as opposed to the last couple hours where it’s hurt like hell with no end in sight. Please, Cas,” he said as Castiel’s expression didn’t change from doubtful and concerned. “Help me.”

“What do I do?” He stepped closer to where Dean was sitting at the end of the bed.

Dean took Castiel’s hand and placed it on his shoulder. “Do you feel that? Where the bone is sticking out?”

“Yes,” Castiel said, his fingers gently probing.

“Hold my back steady and push the bone back into place, as hard as you can. It should pop right back in.” He hissed when Castiel’s exploration prodded the sensitive outcropping of bone.

“I’m sorry,” Castiel whispered. “Dean, I’m not certain I can do this.”

“I need you to, Cas,” Dean said, looking up at him, and Castiel swallowed and nodded. “Okay. Count of three. One, two — shit!” he shouted when Castiel shoved the joint back into place with a dry, hollow click. Spots swam in Dean’s vision and he had to put his head between his knees while he steadied himself.

Castiel patted his back uncertainly. “Did it work? Does it still hurt?”

“It worked,” Dean said. He picked up the beer bottle he’d opened earlier to cope with the pain and had a swig, then offered it to Castiel. The angel shook his head, still watching Dean with concern. Dean shrugged and had another drink, emptying the bottle.

He flopped back on the bed and looked at Castiel. “Do you want to stay a while?”

“Yes.” Castiel hesitated, then removed his raincoat, followed by his jacket. He lay on the bed at Dean’s side. “I’m sorry that you were hurt.”

“Part of the job.” Dean rubbed his eyes.

“Did you kill the werewolf?”

“Yeah,” Dean muttered. “Yeah, I did. You know what sucks about killing werewolves?”


“They’re just people. They’re unfortunate sons of bitches who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You still have to kill ’em because they’re killing people, but it still sucks.” He sighed, and then closed his eyes when Castiel laid a hand on his chest.

“Would you … like to make love tonight?” Castiel said in a soft, uncertain voice.

Dean smiled despite himself. “I don’t know,” he said honestly. “I’m not sure I’m in the mood. I’d like you to stay, though, even if we don’t.”

Castiel nodded, and then gently pulled Dean to him, fitting Dean’s back against his chest. Dean exhaled and relaxed against him, comforted by his heat and the scent of him, clean and salty like the ocean. He grunted as Castiel began to massage his sore shoulder, and Castiel’s hand paused. “I am hurting you.”

“Don’t stop. It’s a good hurt.”

Castiel resumed massaging him with strong fingers. “I don’t like to hurt you.”

Dean whispered, “I know,” and closed his eyes when Castiel kissed the back of his neck. “God, you feel good.”

“Relax, Dean.”

“Yeah,” Dean muttered, “doing that …” He rolled his shoulders as Castiel’s hand moved slowly down his back. Castiel pushed him forward so Dean lay on his stomach, and Dean moaned as Castiel’s hands dug deeply into the sore places in his back. “You’re gonna put me to sleep.”

“Would that be terrible?”

“No,” Dean said with a huff. “It’d be a change. Usually you keep me awake.” He opened an eye to look at Castiel over his shoulder.

“I could do that too.” He flicked the tip of Dean’s nose.

Dean moved onto his back and pulled Castiel to him. He traced his fingers over Castiel’s cheekbones, smiling when Castiel smiled. “Thanks for coming when I asked.”

“You needed me. Of course I came.” He leaned over, hesitated as his gaze swept over Dean’s face, then kissed Dean’s mouth. It was a gentle kiss, slow, as soothing as his hands had been moments before, and Dean pushed a hand into his hair and kissed him back.

They parted, and Dean whispered, “Stick around, please,” as he gripped Castiel’s shirt.

“Yes.” Castiel slid his hand down Dean’s side to massage the small of his back. Dean closed his eyes and couldn’t keep back the moan that rose in his chest.

“How’d you learn to do this?”

“I’m learning as I go,” Castiel said and kissed him again, his hand pausing.

“You pick it up fast.” Dean arched his back and Castiel’s hand pressed against the base of his spine. His fingers gently scratched and Dean shivered.

“Sit up,” Castiel said and Dean pushed himself up, groaning a little. He quietly laughed as Castiel helped him take off his flannel shirt and the t-shirt underneath. Castiel frowned, the concerned expression coming back. “You have bruises.”

“From falling down the stairs.”

“You should have called me before you started the hunt.”

“Next time I will. So is there a reason why you were taking off my clothes?”

“I thought I might put you to bed.”

“And then what?” He touched his upper lip with the tip of his tongue and smiled.

Castiel shrugged, looking innocent. “And then I might watch you sleep. Maybe stroke your hair when you have bad dreams.”

“Oh, yeah? Do you do that a lot?”

“Perhaps once or twice.” He touched the side of Dean’s face. “Or three times.”

Dean pulled open Castiel’s tie and unbuttoned his collar, concentrating on getting each button one by one. Castiel watched his hands and then looked up at him through his lashes. “Stop that,” Dean muttered. “You know how pretty you are.”

“I know nothing of the kind.” He pulled off his shirt when Dean undid the last button, and Dean paused to look at him, enchanted with his skin and the fine path of dark hair down his chest.

“You,” Dean said as he drew his hand along Castiel’s shoulder, “are gorgeous. You’re beautiful. I look at you and I want to do things to you that would make Michael’s eyes pop out of his head.”

“He would not like the things I do to his vessel,” Castiel said, his skin starting to flush as Dean touched him.

“Hey.” Dean poked his shoulder. “I am not his vessel. I’m nobody’s vessel.”

“No,” Castiel said softly, “you are no one’s vessel. You are entirely your own.” He got onto his knees and crawled up Dean’s body, making Dean lie back. Dean looped his arms around Castiel’s neck and watched his face as Castiel lay on top of him. “But is there, maybe, a small part for me?”

“Yeah,” Dean murmured, tilting up his face. “There’s a place you fit just perfect.” He kissed Castiel and rolled him onto his back, arms around his neck. Castiel undid Dean’s jeans as they kissed, and reached inside to touch his stomach and slide his fingers along Dean’s hip.

“Do you feel strong enough?”Castiel whispered, his fingers stroking though the hair on Dean’s lower belly. “Do you need to rest?”

“I need to fuck you,” Dean said and kissed him hard. Castiel groaned and his hand shook so hard he had to press it to Dean’s back to get it to stop.

“Yes, I need that,” Castiel whispered as Dean kissed along his shoulders. “I need you.”

Castiel’s hands stroked Dean’s shoulders and slid into his hair, and Dean looked up for a moment to watch his face. Castiel looked more relaxed than Dean had ever seen, his lips parted and his eyes closed, as if he anticipated only pleasure, only good things. Dean moved up his body and kissed him, holding Castiel’s jaw.

“Trust me?” he whispered.

“Always,” said Castiel and his eyes opened to look up at Dean with so much warmth and tenderness that Dean’s eyes stung. He kissed Castiel harder.

It hurt his sore shoulder to lean on his arms, so when Castiel wrapped himself around him and pulled him down Dean let him, let Castiel roll him into his side and start exploring him with his mouth. It was so much slower than last time — or the few times since, even, when they hadn’t talked about it but had only fallen onto each other desperately and eagerly. This was deliberate, this was slow, as if Castiel couldn’t be gentle enough with him.

And Dean had to admit, as much as he liked it rough and hungry, this slow thing wasn’t bad. It let him stretch out and offer his body to Castiel, let Castiel kiss his hands and up his arms, slide his hands down Dean’s legs and kiss his feet, let Castiel comb his hands through Dean’s hair and kiss between his brows. And it let him touch Castiel, explore the compact, sleek muscles in his arms and back and legs, let him taste Castiel’s body like he’d been wanting to since the first time they kissed.

Castiel pushed him onto his back and straddled him, his eyes wide and dark. “Let me? Can I?”

Dean held his hips. “Can you what?”

“On top of you,” Castiel said and brought one of Dean’s hands to his mouth to kiss his palm. “Is that possible?”

“You want to ride me?’

“Yes. I think so.” He kissed Dean’s hand again and looked at him through his lashes. “I want you to — fuck me. From below.”

“God, yeah, we can do that.” He pushed himself up and Castiel leaned down and they kissed. Castiel reached over him to pick up Dean’s jeans and take his wallet from the back pocket. Dean leaned back and closed his eyes, and gasped as Castiel carefully unrolled the condom onto his dick.

“Tell me what to do,” Castiel said softly, his hand still wrapped around Dean.

“Just, um, lift yourself up, and I —” He put his hand on top of Castiel’s and held him by the hip with the other, and they both groaned as Dean slid into Castiel’s body. Castiel let go of him and grasped the headboard, making soft sounds in his chest as Dean opened him. He bit down hard on his lower lip, and Dean whispered, “Let it out, babe. It’s okay.”

Castiel groaned, his eyes squeezed shut. The muscles in his thighs fluttered with effort as he rode Dean’s cock, and he nearly sobbed, “Oh, Dean,” as his body allowed Dean to push into him deep.

Dean kept the rhythm slow and steady, rocking his hips and gently stroking Castiel’s legs and hips. He touched Castiel’s face and Castiel sucked his thumb into his mouth. “God,” Dean breathed as Castiel’s tongue licked him and his hot, tight body trembled around him.

Dean didn’t mean to come so soon — he wanted to draw it out, finish this as slowly and carefully as it had begun, but he came hard with his thumb in Castiel’s mouth and his fingers digging into Castiel’s hip. Castiel stooped over him, watching him and smiling as Dean’s body shook and his cries died down. He took Dean’s hand from his mouth and wrapped it around his cock. He breathed harder and thrust his hand into Dean’s hair as Dean stroked him, hard and fast until he came, a look of wonder in his eyes.

He always looked like he couldn’t quite believe it when he came. Dean didn’t know why.

He pulled off Dean and lay on his back, limbs sprawling, and took Dean’s hand. Dean held it and closed his eyes, aware that they were breathing in time.

Eventually he rolled onto his side and leaned his head on his arm. Castiel’s eyes were closed, his thumb moving absently over the veins in Dean’s wrist. “Hey. Still here?”

“I am here,” Castiel said softly. “I think.” He blinked slowly and Dean had to kiss him.

“Tell me something,” Dean said as he lay back and pulled up the blankets against the night chill. “Do you sleep, Cas? Do you dream?”

“I do,” Castiel said, settling against his side. “I rest sometimes. I close my eyes and I dream.”

“Yeah?” He kissed Castiel’s forehead and curled his fingers into Castiel’s hair. “What do you dream about?”

Castiel was quiet a while. “Impossible things.”

“Impossible things like what?”

Castiel said softly, “I … dream about a life of my own, mostly. Or home. I dream a lot about home.”

“You must miss it.”

“So much.” He sighed. “It doesn’t matter.”

Dean looked at him. “What do you mean, it doesn’t matter?”

Castiel looked up at the ceiling. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t know if I’m going to see it again. I must do other things than miss it.”

“You’re breakin’ my heart,” Dean muttered and rolled over to kiss him. “You’ll get home. You’ll get back to all those clouds and rainbows and unicorns …”

“There are no unicorns in Heaven,” Castiel said, looking up at him. “I’m thirsty.”

“Yeah? You expect me to do something about that?”

“Yes,” Castiel said mildly, “I do. Please.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “I’ll be right back.” He rolled off the bed and pulled on his jeans, found the ice bucket and peered out the door, up and down the hallway. All the other doors were closed, so he scurried down the hall to the ice machine that hummed in a little alcove next to a glowing Coke machine. He filled the bucket and hurried back, wincing at the feel of the hard-packed carpet under his bare feet. He unlocked the door and said, “Honey, I’m home,” when he let himself in.

He paused and looked at Castiel, who lay naked on the bed, long and slender and beautiful. Castiel turned over to look at him. “Such a good provider,” Castiel said softly.

Dean let out a breath. “Do you want a Coke or anything? I think I have enough quarters. Unless you’d rather use them on the magic fingers.” He waggled his eyebrows and Castiel shook his head.

“I only want water, please,” he said, sitting up, and Dean nodded as he unwrapped the paper from the two glasses that had been in the bucket. He dumped a few cubes of ice into each glass and filled both of them from the faucet in the little kitchen attached to the room.

“Your water,” he said formally when he brought Castiel his glass. Castiel took the glass, had a sip and leaned back against the pillows. He was unselfconscious naked, which Dean hadn’t expected — he’d thought Castiel would be shy about his borrowed body. He lay on the bed beside Castiel and sipped his water, and watched Castiel watch him until he started laughing. “Oh, Cas, this is crazy.”

“Perhaps. I have no complaints.”

The way he was looking at Dean, his eyes so warm and hopeful, made Dean roll closer to him and lay an arm over his chest. “So when you dream about this life of your own, am I there?”

“Oh,” Castiel said, and his eyes searched Dean’s face before he smiled. “Oh, yes.”


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