The Thorn on the Rose


The investigation required them to be FBI agents again, and Dean had added handcuffs to his outfit just to help them seem more authentic. Castiel was fascinated with them, and ran his fingers around the inner circle over and over as they drove back to the hotel. Dean glanced at him throughout the drive, and finally said, “Dude, put your toys away.”

“They are not toys,” Castiel said gravely. “They are an instrument of law enforcement.”

“Quit fondling them. It’s weird.”

Castiel put the handcuffs in his pocket, then glanced at Dean and slipped his hand into his pocket as surreptitiously as possible. Dean chuckled despite himself.

“Where do you want to eat?” he said, hoping to distract Castiel from the cuffs.

“I’m not hungry.”

“You’ve got to eat sometimes, Cas. Do you want pizza?

“I think we should go to a grocery store.”

Dean glanced at him again. Castiel looked as innocent as ever, but his hand was still slowly moving in his coat pocket. “You want something we can’t get at a diner?”

“Yes. Diners are not bad, but sometimes I just want something I can sink my teeth into.”

Dean managed not to moan out loud at the images Castiel’s statement brought to mind, barely. He cleared his throat and muttered, “Okay,” and wondered what he’d just agreed to.

He found a little market a few blocks from the motel and followed Castiel with a basket as Castiel sniffed strawberries and inspected packages of cheese. Castiel also chose his favorite brand of beer, and they smiled at each other.

It was a simple little meal, nothing that needed to be cooked, everything that could be eaten by hand, right down to the package of chocolate chip cookies. He said when they were back in the car, “It’s late at night for a picnic.”

“I don’t plan to eat.”

Dean huffed. “I just spent twenty bucks on food you don’t even want?”

“I want to feed you,” Castiel said, gazing at him.

Dean’s mouth went completely dry. “Feed me, huh?” he said gruffly. “And why won’t I be feeding myself?”

His expression completely deadpan, Castiel held up the handcuffs.

“Oh,” Dean said faintly and drove to the motel as fast as he dared. Castiel walked serenely up the stairs, the paper bag from the market dangling from his fingers, as Dean took the stairs two at a time and waited, foot tapping impatiently, for him at the top.

“Impatient,” Castiel chided him softly when he finally reached the landing.

“Horny,” said Dean and put his hand on the small of Castiel’s back to shepherd him into the room. He unlocked the door and all but pushed Castiel inside. He locked the door and leaned against it, and watched Castiel with a hungry gaze as Castiel unpacked the food in their little kitchen. He was meticulous: he washed the berries, unwrapped cheese, and opened the package of cookies before he even looked at Dean, who could only prowl around the little room, waiting for whatever Castiel planned to begin.

“So,” Dean said finally. “Are you hungry after all?”

“All in good time.” Castiel arranged crackers on one of the plastic plates he’d chosen. “Why don’t you get comfortable?”

“Should I get undressed?” Dean tugged open his tie.

Castiel finally looked at him. “Not yet.” He surveyed the spread and then brought the food to the bed and patted the coverlet. “Join me.”

Dean sat beside him and took off his shoes, socks and jacket. Castiel watched him, and then took his face in one hand and kissed Dean sweetly, keeping his body away from Dean’s hands.

Dean swallowed hard. “Seems like forever since we’ve had some time together.”

“It has been six days, eight hours and thirteen minutes.” He held a strawberry to Dean’s lips. Dean looked at him a moment, then ate it from his hand and smiled before chewing and swallowing. Castiel watched him with that familiar, curious tilt of his head, much closer than usual. “Have I ever told you,” Castiel said as he fed Dean another bite, “that I am very fond of your mouth?”

Dean shook his head. “No.”

“I am.” He touched Dean’s lips slowly with his thumb. “It is yours and I love it.” His hand slid around to hold Dean’s face, thumb still caressing Dean’s lips.

“Cas,” Dean said softly. He closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against Castiel’s palm, and then opened his eyes when Castiel removed his hand.

“Take off the rest of your clothes,” Castiel said and pulled off his tie.

Dean did so, feeling unbalanced but eager and unsure of what to do with his hands. He was rarely naked in front of other men — his former encounters with men had tended to be rushed and fumbling, with little more than an exchange of names before they got down to business. Castiel didn’t allow for him to be shy, though: he made no secret of the fact that he liked Dean’s body, that he liked it dressed and that he liked it better naked and under his mouth.

Castiel watched him undress with the same curiosity Dean had seen him use with books he hadn’t read, eyes traveling up the length of Dean’s body, lingering over his groin. For a fleeting moment there was a non-angelic smirk on his lips. “You are already hard.”

Dean rolled his eyes and positioned himself in front of Castiel. “I want you.”

Castiel looked up at him, innocent except for a glint in his eyes. “You need to be touched.”

“God, yes,” Dean groaned and closed his eyes, shaking with anticipation, but no touch was forthcoming and he opened them again. Castiel was still looking at him, brows furrowed as if his cock were a particularly puzzling sentence in need of translation. “Cas.”

“Trust me,” Castiel said softly and placed a hand on Dean’s hip. “I won’t let you suffer, but you must trust me.”

“I do, you know I do.” He held Castiel’s shoulder. “But please, blow me or something, it’ll be so hot if you’re dressed and I’m naked.”

“The ‘please’ is nice,” Castiel murmured and gently pushed Dean away from the bed so he had room to stand. Dean made a frustrated growl, and narrowed his eyes at Castiel when that brought another fleeting smile. Castiel picked up his tie and spun a finger. “Turn around.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Blindfold you before I handcuff you to the bed,” Castiel said, and Dean realized if he thought he’d been aroused before, that was miniscule in comparison to the rush he felt now. He turned, shivering, and closed his eyes as Castiel wound the tie around his head to cover his eyes. He knotted it at the back of Dean’s head, not too tight, just enough to completely block out the already faint light in the little room.

Dean nearly shouted at the first touch of Castiel’s tongue, just soft between his shoulder blades. His legs trembled and he had to part his lips to breathe, as Castiel’s tongue slowly dragged over the outline of his dorsal muscles and the bones of his spine. “I love your freckles,” Castiel murmured and Dean felt Castiel’s hand slide around his ribs to hold him steady.

“Thanks,” Dean muttered and cleared his throat. “I’ve got ’em everywhere. Please don’t stop.”

“I like it when you say please,” Castiel murmured, right in his ear, and Dean felt his tongue trace the whorls. “I love that you have freckles here.” His hand moved down to scratch at Dean’s lower belly, making Dean’s knees to shake. He reached out for something to keep his balance and Castiel guided his hand to the bedstead. “Don’t fall.”

“Won’t,” Dean whispered. “Hold me up. Won’t fall.”

“Always,” Castiel whispered and kissed the back of his neck. “You know what I’ve only just realized, Dean? You don’t know how well I know your body.”

“What?” Dean said and had to clear his throat again.

“I put you back together,” Castiel said, both of his hands on Dean’s belly now, rubbing him in small, slow circles. “Every muscle and bone, every tissue and vein. It … I think the expression ‘broke my heart’ suits. It broke my heart.”

“Why?” Dean said, turning his head back towards the sound of Castiel’s voice. His lips pulsed with the need to be kissed.

“Because I have watched you,” Castiel said, his lips against Dean’s cheek. “I watched you from the moment you were born until the Hell Hound ripped the life from you. I knew what was in store when I rebuilt you, and I feared for you. Of course,” and Dean shivered at the small chuckle Castiel let brush against his skin, “as well as I thought I knew you then, I didn’t know the force of your will.”

“Too stubborn to die,” Dean whispered.

“Too stubborn to stay dead long. This,” he brushed a palm over Dean’s back and Dean clung to the bed frame to keep from wrapping a hand around his cock, “has always been familiar territory. This lovely back, your shoulders, your chest, your feet …”

“What I really want to know,” Dean said and cleared his throat one more time, “is where you learned how to do this.”

“I watched,” Castiel said and his hand finally wrapped around Dean’s cock. Dean groaned and leaned back against him, letting his head fall against Castiel’s neck. “Will you let go for me, Dean?”

“Yes,” Dean whispered. Castiel kissed his cheek and stroked his cock slowly, gathering moisture from the head with his fingertips before stroking him tight down the shaft. Dean let his body rock into Castiel’s grip, only Castiel’s arm around his waist and Castiel’s body behind his to keep him upright. He gasped Castiel’s name and reached back to grip his hair, and ran his fingers through it a few times, enchanted with its softness.

“I erased every scar,” Castiel whispered. “I put back your fingerprints. I left your tattoo, since it wasn’t a reminder of pain.” His other hand traveled across Dean’s shoulder to grip his bicep, over the handprint he had left when he pulled Dean out of the pit, and Dean groaned. “I could not help this.”

“It’s okay, I don’t care, it’s okay,” Dean babbled. He finally let go of the bedstead so he could hold Castiel’s hip, and groaned again, louder, when he felt Castiel hard against his ass. “Cas —”

“Let go,” Castiel whispered, his hand tight and fast around Dean’s prick. “Let go for me, Dean.”

“Cas,” Dean groaned and his hips bucked, and his orgasm trembled through him, leaving him breathless.

Castiel laid him down gently on the bed, kissed his lips and removed the tie from his eyes. Dean watched him with sleepy eyes as Castiel licked the come off his hand. He wrinkled his nose. “You have been drinking too much coffee,” he remarked.

“Yeah,” Dean muttered and pulled on Castiel’s shoulder to coax him down beside him. “Give me a minute and I can do — whatever —”

Castiel leaned on his elbow and looked down at him. “We have all night.”

“I don’t know if I can keep this up all night.” He touched Castiel’s face, fascinated with the rasp of his stubble and the heat of his skin.

Castiel kissed his palm and then brushed his lips over Dean’s forehead. “I’m sure you could, given the proper inspiration.”

“Oh, you’re inspirational, all right.” Dean blinked at him slowly. “I always wonder why you keep coming back.”

Castiel chuckled. “Because I like to be with you.”

“And I’m all you’ve got,” Dean added softly.

“Yes. But I am all right with that.”

“Are you, really?” Dean said and leaned his head on his hand. “You don’t plan to fuck me into saying yes to Michael?”

Castiel blinked a few times and tilted his head. “I do not want to lose you,” he said and slid his hand up Dean’s ribcage. “I do not want to lose you to being Michael’s vessel. If you said yes, you would no longer be Dean.” He dipped his head and kissed Dean’s chest. “Besides,” he added in an even lower voice, “Michael would not appreciate the things I have done to you.”

“Good,” Dean said vehemently. “Keep doing ’em.” Castiel chuckled and kissed his chest a few times more. He traced shapes and symbols onto Dean’s skin, and Dean shivered at the sweetness of it, at the tenderness. He whispered, “You know I don’t really think —”

“I know,” Castiel said and kissed Dean’s mouth, then sat up and unbuttoned his cuffs. Dean sat up as well and wrapped a leg around Castiel’s hips, and slowly unbuttoned Castiel’s shirt. Castiel dropped his hands and leaned back on them. The fabric of his shirt felt soft, as only to be expected at something that had been worn for the better part of a year.

They didn’t speak as Dean parted the shirt and brushed his fingertips over Castiel’s chest. He rubbed his fingers over Castiel’s heartbeat and looked into Castiel’s eyes. “I’m ready.”

“Are you certain?” Castiel breathed slowly, his chest rising and falling under Dean’s hand.

“Oh, yeah. Yeah, Cas. I’m certain.”

Castiel got onto his knees and kissed Dean, and turned him so that he lay back against the thin motel pillows. Dean swallowed hard as Castiel raised his arms over his head, and he couldn’t hold back his gasp when Castiel clicked the cuffs shut around his wrists.

“What would you like first?” Castiel said, and Dean swallowed hard again.

“A drink.”

Castiel opened a bottle of beer and held it to Dean’s mouth, tipping it a little. Dean lapped at the bottle greedily, eyes on Castiel, and felt triumphant when Castiel’s eyes grew darker and his face flushed. “That’s enough,” Castiel said and took the bottle away, and Dean let out a very un-manly whimper. Castiel picked up a strawberry and held it to Dean’s lips. “Eat?”

Dean bit off the tip and chewed it, and then smiled at Castiel. “I’ve got to know what you’ve been watching to learn about shit like this.”

“People,” Castiel said, “for millions of years.” He ate some of the strawberry himself, and nodded, looking impressed. “Modern people think they invented sex, it seems to me. But it really hasn’t changed much.”

“Yeah?” Dean said, more interested in the way Castiel’s mouth moved than in what he was saying.

“Perhaps some of the technology has advanced.” He picked up a cracker and put a little cheese on it. “But the basics remain the same.” He held the cracker to Dean’s mouth.

Dean ate it and licked his lips. “Another drink?”

“Yes.” Castiel let him drink a few more swallows and then took the bottle away again. He went on feeding Dean slowly, cracker by cracker and a few bites of strawberry, alternating with some sips of beer, and Dean’s hands clenched in the cuffs and his toes curled.

He was not at all surprised when Castiel idly traced his nipples with the tip of a strawberry, and moaned aloud when Castiel bent his head and started kissing his chest. “Cas,” he breathed, and Castiel looked up at him with a small smile.

“All of this time, we have done many things together.”

“Great things. Hot things.”

“I have enjoyed them as well.”

“Good,” Dean said and his hips shifted. “You’re supposed to.”

“There is one thing we have not done.” Castiel drew a long swirl over Dean’s belly. “You have not let me have you.”

“Oh,” Dean said, ignoring the way his cock jumped at the suggestion. “Yeah, that’s because I’ve never, um.”

“You have had sex with other men before me,” Castiel pointed out.

“There haven’t been that many,” Dean mumbled. “And I’ve never let anybody fuck me.”

“And I’m on par with anybody?”

“No, of course not. It’s just not something I’m ready to do, okay?” Castiel sat cross-legged and looked — not disappointed, exactly, Dean thought, but saddened — and Dean said, “I will do anything else you want. Anything.”

Castiel looked at him a moment, then knelt over Dean’s body and unzipped his trousers. “Suck me,” he said and Dean parted his lips. Castiel’s cock was hard and wet at the head already, and he eased slowly into Dean’s mouth, his hand in Dean’s hair, until he was buried in Dean’s mouth. He followed Dean’s lead well, really, moving his hips slowly until Dean’s throat relaxed, and then he threw back his head and fucked Dean’s mouth. He groaned loudly as Dean sucked him until Dean thought someone might come to check that he wasn’t being murdered.

Dean looked up to watch Castiel’s face, and smiled around Castiel’s cock when Castiel looked down at his face. “Dean,” Castiel gasped, “Dean!” and his eyes rolled back as he came, hot and thick, into Dean’s throat. Dean closed his eyes and swallowed, and licked his lips when Castiel pulled away and fell heavily at Dean’s side. He passed his hand over the handcuffs and they clicked open, and Castiel fell back with an exhausted groan.

Dean rolled onto him and kissed him, squeezing the muscles in his chest. He reached off the bed and grabbed another bottle, twisted it open and had a drink, and Castiel watched him through half-closed eyes and stroked his back. “Thirsty?” Dean whispered, and when Castiel nodded Dean held the bottle to his lips and poured some beer into his mouth. Castiel swallowed and then coughed, and Dean got off him so he could sit up. “Sorry, sweetheart. You breathing?”

“I’m all right,” Castiel said and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m breathing.”

“Good. I prefer it when you’re breathing.” He patted Castiel’s back, then added quietly, “When I thought you were dead, I … I felt …”

“You missed me,” Castiel said and touched his cheek. “It’s all right, Dean.”

“C’mere,” Dean said gruffly and pulled Castiel to him. It was so much easier to kiss him than to talk about chick stuff like feelings and whatever. However inexperienced Castiel might be, he was a very good kisser.

When they stopped making out Castiel lay his head on Dean’s chest with a contented sigh. Dean played with Castiel’s ear and felt Castiel smile against his skin, and said softly, “When I thought you were dead —” Castiel opened his mouth as if to speak, and Dean said, “Please. I have to say this. When I thought you were dead,” he went on, his voice starting to tremble, “I want to grieve you and I couldn’t. I wanted to sit down somewhere and just … mourn you, and I couldn’t.” He inhaled. “I had to look after Sam and take care of Bobby and deal with this whole end-of-the-world thing … but all I could think was you were dead and there was nothing I could do about it.” Castiel looked up at him, his thumb brushing slowly over Dean’s chest. Dean said, “So don’t do that again. Don’t die. It’s kind of awful when you do and I’d really like you to stick around.”

“Very well, Dean,” Castiel said softly. He pushed Dean gently onto his back and started kissing his chest. Dean thrust a hand into his hair and closed his eyes.

“Cas?” he whispered as Castiel’s tongue traced the muscles in his abdomen. “Fuck me.” He swallowed hard.

Castiel stopped and looked up. “I thought you didn’t allow anybody to do that.”

“You’re right. You’re not anybody.” He tried to smile, and found he could do it easily when Castiel beamed at him. Castiel kissed him and rolled him onto his back, and Dean wrapped his legs around Castiel’s hips until Castiel slid down his body and kissed his legs to his feet. He kissed the bottom of Dean’s foot, and then sucked on his fingers to wet them.

“Are you ready, Dean?” he said and in response Dean spread his legs and raised his hips. He groaned when he felt Castiel’s fingers open him and tugged Castiel to him for another deep kiss.

“You’re the only one I trust this much,” he said and nipped at Castiel’s lip, breathing deeply as Castiel stroked inside him. “You’re the only one I trust at all.”

“I love you,” Castiel replied and kissed Dean. He withdrew his fingers and got onto his knees between Dean’s thighs. “Do you have another condom?” he said quietly, and Dean could hear the struggle he was having to keep his voice calm and steady.

“Yeah. Hold on a sec.” He rolled onto his side and picked up his trousers from the floor, got the condom, and gave it to Castiel, who looked at it as if he wasn’t quite sure what to do next. “Do you want me to put it on you?”

Castiel nodded, swallowing, and shivered as Dean rolled the condom onto his cock. He took his cock into one hand and grasped Dean’s hip with the other, and Dean raised his ass to meet him.

“Slow,” Dean said and Castiel nodded, already trembling. He pushed into Dean slowly, swallowing hard enough that Dean could see his adam’s apple bob, and Dean put his hand over Castiel’s. “That’s good,” he breathed. “That’s just right. God, you feel good, Cas.”

Castiel smiled at him, uncertain and sweet at once. He leaned on his hand, and brushed his lips over Dean’s forehead and the bridge of his nose and the dip under his lips. Castiel’s hips moved slowly as Dean’s body adjusted to him inch by inch. Dean pushed back, his breath hissing through his teeth, and they both gasped as Dean’s body relaxed and Castiel slid deep into him.

“Oh. Oh, Dean,” Castiel whispered and swallowed hard, “I understand.”

“Understand what?” Dean flicked his tongue at Castiel’s mouth.

“Why you love this.” He closed his eyes and leaned their foreheads together. The muscles of his back bunched and smoothed under Dean’s hands as he slowly began to rock his body. “Why people — oh, Dean — love this.”

Dean reached back to grab a pillow. “Yeah?”

“Oh, yes. Yes.” He bent his head to kiss Dean’s chest. “It feels — it feels like —”

“Hot,” Dean breathed. “Slick.”

“Yes. Hot. But more.” He twisted his hips and Dean groaned, his legs shaking. “It’s just, I’m inside you.” He touched Dean’s belly. “I’m inside you.”

Dean put his hand on top of Castiel’s. “It’s weird, isn’t it?”

“It’s miraculous,” Castiel whispered, his eyes wide with wonder and dark with lust. “Two beings,” he rubbed their mouths together, breathing through parted lips, “existing in the same place at once.”

Dean moved his leg up over Castiel’s shoulder. “Yeah,” he said again and touched Castiel’s face, from the angle of his cheekbone down to his lips. Castiel watched him, still moving slowly and carefully as if he was afraid to do more, and Dean rocked his body until Castiel gasped. “You can do it harder,” he said, cupping the back of Castiel’s neck with both hands. “It’s okay. It’s okay now.”

Castil kissed the inside of Dean’s arm and started thrusting harder, his eyes closing. “Oh, Dean,” he breathed again. “Oh, Dean.”

“That’s it, baby,” Dean said, caught between moaning and laughing. He grabbed Castiel’s hand and wrapped it around his dick. Castiel got the idea fast and started jacking him hard, his hand slick with sweat. Dean pushed into his hand, his fingers in Castiel’s hair, and muttered, “Yeah, Cas, this feels so good, you’re doing it just right.” He kissed Castiel and hooked his legs over Castiel’s hips, and Castiel’s rhythm became desperate, erratic, his kisses with more teeth. “Come on,” Dean whispered, “come on!” and Castiel threw back his head and snapped his hips and fell onto him.

Dean held him with his arms and legs. He rubbed his lips agasint Castiel’s damp hair. His cock was trapped between them, still hard and aching, but for the moment he just wanted to feel Castiel’s weight warming him.

After a moment or two Castiel pushed himself up and kissed his mouth, pulled off the condom and then slid down Dean’s body and onto the floor, his tongue dragging along the lines of Dean’s muscles. Dean grabbed the nearest pillow and said, “Cas,” as Castiel kissed his hip.

“You taste so human, Dean,” he whispered and licked Dean’s cock into his mouth.

Dean groaned and gripped Castiel’s shoulder, and then Castiel’s hand as it slid up his chest. Castiel clung to his hand as he sucked him, his fingers trembling. Dean moaned, struggling to keep his voice low, and his hand tightened around Castiel’s as his neck arched and he came.

Castiel pulled back and wiped his mouth. He smiled at Dean and climbed back onto the bed, chuckling softly when Dean draped himself over his hip and shoulder.

Dean dozed, shivering, and smiled when he felt Castiel pull a blanket over him. He opened his eyes just enough to see Castiel watching him, that faint smile in his eyes. Dean stroked his hair with a heavy hand. “What did I do to deserve you?” he whispered, and Castiel took his hand to kiss his palm.

“Nothing,” Castiel said. “Everything.” He played with Dean’s fingers, his expression contemplative. “Dean. Why do you think love is something to be earned?”

Dean blinked a few times. “What?”

“You think I’m with you because of something you did, like I’m a reward for good behavior.”

“You of all people know my behavior isn’t very good,” Dean said and tried to smile.

“Your behavior isn’t who you are. I mean,” he said at Dean’s scoff, “you always think of the questionable things that you do as if they define you, and they don’t.”

“So what does define me?” Dean said gruffly. “My good deeds?”

“The real you defines you,” Castiel said mildly. “I know the real you. I’ve held your heart in my hands.”

“Oh,” Dean said and swallowed. “Then you of all people should know I’m not — you know. Perfect. Or even all that good. So that’s why I ask, you know?”

Castiel sighed and reached for Dean’s hand. He ran his fingers over Dean’s palm and between his fingers, his touch particularly tender over half-healed cuts and swollen knuckles. “I love this hand,” he said softly. “This is a good hand. I healed this hand, all the scars and crooked fingers. And now look at it. It’s just as worn as it was before.”

“I’ll fire my manicurist,” Dean said.

Castiel glanced up at him with a faint smile. “This hand only wants to do good. I have seen it strong and I have seen it gentle, and I know what it’s capable of.”

“Yeah,” Dean said and reached over to run his knuckles along Castiel’s jaw. Castiel pressed Dean’s hand to his lips.

“This is a beautiful hand to me. I think I’ll keep it.”

“What?” Dean said with a laugh.

“It’s mine. I want it.”

“Oh, okay,” Dean said and rolled his eyes. “You want my hand. Okay.”

“Yes,” Castiel said solemnly, and held Dean’s hand between both of his own. “It is mine now. I claim it.”

“What if I need it?” Dean said, playing along.

“I may lend it back.” He kissed Dean’s thumb. “On the condition that you take better care of it from now on.”

Dean said softly, “Okay. I’ll take better care of it.”

Castiel smiled and bent over Dean’s hand again, caressing him with his long slender fingers. “Does your heart belong to me?” he said and looked up at Dean.

Dean nodded and swallowed hard. “Yeah.”

He picked up Dean’s other hand. “And this? May I also have it?”

“Yeah,” Dean whispered and started to smile. “It’s yours.”

“And your mouth,” Castiel said. “I would like that as well.”

“Dude, it’s yours,” Dean said and tugged Castiel to him for a good long kiss. “You want me, you’ve got every part of me.”

Castiel rested their foreheads together. “I will take good care of them.”

“I know,” Dean whispered, and then said in a more teasing tone, “Guess this is how you finally get my obedience, huh? Claim my body and bend me to your will.”

Castiel said in an amused tone, “You are not very good at obedience, Dean.”

“Part of my charm.”

“Yes,” Castiel said. “It’s part of your charm.” He lay at Dean’s side and leaned his head on Dean’s shoulder. Dean kissed his forehead. “You want to know why you have me,” Castiel said softly. “Because the sun rises and sets, Dean. Because I breathe in and out. Because you exist. That’s all.”

Dean couldn’t speak for a moment. He traced Castiel’s shoulder. “I don’t know what we’re doing, Cas, but I’m —” He swallowed and Castiel watched him, the mild expression back. “Thanks,” Dean finished lamely. Castiel gazed at him, warmth in his eyes, and Dean had to kiss him for a while.


Dean woke in a bed full of crumbs and crumpled paper plates and empty beer bottles rattling against each other. He felt sore and slightly hungover, and annoyed that Castiel had left before he woke.

There was a note on the pillow beside him, written on a piece of motel stationary. Even written in ballpoint pen, Castiel’s handwriting was like something of centuries past, more decorative than legible. It took a few minutes of squinting at it for Dean to decipher what it said.


Take good care of my property.


“Presumptuous son of a bitch,” Dean muttered, folding it up, but instead of tossing it into the garbage can he put the note in his father’s journal. He wished there was some way to answer Castiel without distracting him from whatever his mission was today — some way to tell him, And you’d better take care of mine.


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