With the women, Cas’s record was about fifty-fifty. They could have just about anyone they wanted in the camp, gender ratios and male libidos being what they were, so he didn’t always rate on their to-do lists. But he was attentive and easy and tragic, each of which attracted a different sort of attention, and his orgies had a small but dedicated following.
A certain subsection of Chitaquan women never availed themselves of his services, which was why finding Risa, Dean’s second in command and current bedmate, waiting in his cabin startled him into halting in his own doorway. He’d made his share of offers to Dean’s lovers and confidantes both, but as soon as Risa had taken over both positions he’d given up on that. If anything, she hated him even more than Dean did.
His speechlessness only lasted for a moment, though. “Get lost, sweetheart?” he asked as he pulled off his jacket and hung it on the rack. He didn’t need to bother with niceties when it came to Risa. Whatever she wanted, she had to be desperate to seek it out from him.
She scowled at the endearment, but proved him right by not calling him on it. “Dean’s birthday is in two days.”
Back when Cas was Castiel, he’d fought his way through Hell and pulled Dean’s soul from the pit, rebuilt his body cell by cell and bone by bone. He’d watched him sleep and walked in his dreams and relived his memories. He’d followed him, rebelled for him, fallen and kept going for him. He’d watched him die again, a new kind of death when Lucifer claimed Sam as his vessel, stood by the man he’d become since.
He knew when the fuck Dean’s birthday was.
But he said, “Is it? What a shame, I’m all out of balloons.”
“You’re going to arrange a...” She grimaced, then forced out, “A party for him. Your kind of party.”
This time, the surprise burst out of him in a hitching laugh. It lasted so long that it left him breathless (though maybe that was the amphetamines; his pulse was pounding) and earned him an even darker look from his visitor. That barely registered over his delight at what Risa’s request revealed.
“Our fearless leader is getting tired of you,” he said once he’d gathered himself enough to speak again. “And you think giving him an orgy will scratch that itch enough to keep him in your bed. Damn, that’s pathetic.”
Even in the warm, soft light that Cas cultivated in the cabin, the glint of Risa’s eyes was harsh. “You don’t get to call me pathetic. You’re so desperate for attention that you spread your legs for the whole camp.”
Cas wandered to his bed. She was in his path, but recoiled out of the way when he got near, so that was fine. He sat on the corner of the mattress and unlaced his boots, sliding them off and setting them next to his footlocker. He could feel Risa’s wary gaze on him, but didn’t look up until he’d settled cross-legged on the bed.
“It’s very hypocritical of you to disparage my work. You may have a narrower scope than I do, but in the end we’re both whoring ourselves out for the sake of morale.”
“I’m not whoring myself out,” Risa snapped. “Dean and I have a connection—”
Cas snorted. “The kind of connection that brings you begging to a man you hate, trying to make fucking other women seem like your idea so that maybe he doesn’t get bored of you quite so soon.”
Risa’s mouth clicked shut, her jaw clenching visibly. Generously, he gave her time to find a retort by letting himself fall backwards on the bed and rolling onto his side, seeking out the pharmacy arrayed on his crate of a bedside table. He was tired of racing thoughts and reactive senses. A benzo, something fast-acting—that’s what he needed. He almost coughed out the pills mid-swallow when he turned back over and found Risa sneering at him from beside the bed, instead of the middle of the cabin where he’d left her.
“Bitter is a good look on you. Whatever happens with me and Dean? I had him. You never will, and we both know that just kills you.”
Cas didn’t feel unbalanced very often. He put a lot of effort into avoiding feelings in general, unless they were the pleasant, euphoric feelings of psychoactive drugs or orgasms. But he hadn’t expected Risa to use that particular truth against him, not when Dean himself refused to acknowledge it. It hit like a punch to the gut he hadn’t been able to brace for and he felt himself crack open from it.
He needed to get rid of Risa before he lost all of his emotional invulnerability. He couldn’t tell if the breakdown or the benzos would hit first, but either way he was done. He’d give her this win.
“Fine,” he said with as much detachment as he could muster, but it rang defensive in his own ears. "Women for the saviour’s birthday. Got it.”
Risa looked him over again, gaze narrow and assessing, and saw her victory there. “Good.” She spun away and Cas let his eyes slip closed, relaxing his tense muscles one by one.
That might’ve been the end of it, except that he let his guard down too quickly. Before he knew he wanted to say it, the words, “It won’t work, though,” were falling from his lips.
A reluctant glance confirmed that Risa had in fact heard and was storming back to him. “You don’t know that.”
Her eyes were bright and he could see a crack in her diamond-hard shell for the first time. She was breaking. It shifted the balance of his life again; Risa was supposed to be an opponent, not a kindred spirit.
“I know Dean.” He said it quietly, which was enough for Risa to deflate. Despite their rocky relationship—based up to that point entirely on jealousy and mutual hatred—he wasn’t lying about this and she knew it. “He won’t thank you. He’ll send them away and he’ll resent you for it.”
“So what am I supposed to do?”
Cas shrugged. It was really a rhetorical question anyway, so he let her reach her own conclusion, which was:
“I take what I can get until it’s over.”
“Well, shit.” She sat on an open stretch of the bed with a jaded huff of laughter that Cas easily recognized.
Feeling more magnanimous towards her now, at least temporarily, Cas waved a hand vaguely towards his stash of bottles and asked, “Can I get you anything?”
“God, no.” Risa looked down at him again, more thoughtful than disgusted this time as she asked, “This doesn’t make us friends now, does it? A bitter ex-whatever support group?”
The easy, floating feeling slipping through Cas and calming his jangled nerves kept him from laughing too hysterically, but it still took a few deep breaths before he could say, “You’re not an ex yet, and I’m pretty sure we still hate each other. What, you want to stay up late and trade salacious gossip of our conquests?”
“No,” Risa answered vehemently even as she scooted back to rest her back against the wall and get comfortable. “Your sex stories would probably be more interesting than mine, anyway.”
Sitting up fast enough that he got dizzy from it, but not minding the sensation in the least, Cas turned so he was facing her. “On the contrary, I’d be delighted to finally hear all about our inimitable leader’s bedroom prowess.”
“Like you haven’t heard all about him from the others already.”
He met her skeptical expression with one of his own. “Dean doesn’t like to share, especially with me. You’re the closest anyone’s gotten to my bed after visiting his.”
Risa looked down, as though registering for the first time that she was actually in Cas’s bed. Then she set her jaw and met his eyes again. “I take it back. I’ll take whatever shitty rotgut you have.”
Grinning, he swung off the bed and grabbed a half-empty bottle of gin for her. He’d picked it up on some supply run or another ages ago, but hated the taste enough that he had to be out of his mind on something else to stand drinking it. But it was good enough for Risa, because she’d swallowed two good mouthfuls before he was even settled back into a comfortable position opposite her.
After a few more deep, silent drinks, she asked, “Would you really want to know?”
“What Dean’s like in bed. He’s never going to fuck you,” she said with drunken bluntness, “so why does it matter?”
“Oh, I’d say it’s equal parts self-destructive masochism, morbid curiosity, and masturbatory fantasy.”
“You really are pathetic.”
Cas shrugged again. It was a favorite among the non-verbal expressions he’d picked up from humanity, costing little and meaning less. He reached for the bottle and Risa let him take it. He wasn’t yet fucked up enough to like gin, it turned out.
“Gentle.” Risa reclaimed the bottle but stared at its open mouth instead of taking another swig. “He wants to be rough because he thinks he should be, thinks there’s no room left in him for tenderness, but it’s like he can’t help himself. He’ll push you to the bed—well, not you,” she added. It would have been needless, but it returned the cruel smirk to her face and maybe that was enough reason for it. “But once you’re there, when he actually gets his hands on you, it’s like being worshipped.”
Draining the gin with one last swallow, she tossed the bottle over the side of the bed. It clattered, first against the floor then the wall as it slid, but didn’t shatter.
“The best is when you’ve just gotten back from something dangerous. He’ll run his hands over every inch of you. His lips, too.” Her own fingers started to trail over her neck, almost subconsciously, and her eyes drifted shut as she remembered. “He likes reassuring himself that you’re still alive.
“Then he’ll start on your breasts.” Her hand dipped beneath the neck of her shirt, rubbing light circles, then she began squeezing and pinching. “He’ll kiss and lick and suck—he loves tits. I think they’re his favorite part.”
She slanted one eye open to score another point about Cas’s inadequacies, but stopped when her gaze caught on the tent in his pants. Though the pants were loose, the way he sat with his legs crossed pulled them tight against his crotch. He hadn’t actually been aware of his erection, but on reflection it wasn’t completely surprising. The mix of intoxicants might stop him from coming if he tried to do anything about it, but it would take a lot to overcome his body’s instinctive response to thinking sexually about Dean.
It was why he tried to avoid it except at his lowest, loneliest points.
But Risa leaned in towards him, giving up on fondling herself to ask, “Would you fuck me?”
“Is that a hypothetical or a request?” Either way, that road could only lead to trouble. More trouble than most other roads that ran through Camp Chitaqua, even, which was a veritable clusterfuck of disasters waiting to happen.
“You said it yourself, I’m the closest you’ll ever get to Dean. Fuck me, it’s like fucking him by proxy. So, do you want to?”
A lot of things factored into Cas admitting, “Probably,” even though it physically hurt to do so. Want, though, had very little to do with it. At least, not want for Risa. “Why, do you want me to fuck you?”
“Not the slightest chance.” Her answer came so quickly and laughingly that Cas assumed that was the end of it; she’d achieved her goal, won against him again, and that would be that.
Except that she followed it up a moment later by saying, “I think I’d like to fuck you, though.” Cas had no immediate response to that, but he didn’t actually need one. She kept going. “That’s what he would do, you know, if he ever actually did it. Fuck you, not the other way around. He won’t. But I will, and that’s the best chance you’ll ever get. I can even fuck you the way he’d do it. God knows I have enough experience.”
“Since I don’t think either of us would enjoy you ‘worshipping’ me, why—”
“Not that part.” She shuddered as much as he did at the thought. “I don’t actually want to touch you anymore than Dean does. But I’m willing to make enough of a sacrifice to see for myself just how miserably desperate you are.”
It would make her feel better about herself. Sex with a therapeutic purpose; wasn’t that his sacred duty? And if it was finally enough to break him apart into pieces so small that no mash of pills and booze could glue together again, well, it was only a matter of time before that happened anyway. He might as well get something out of it.
While he tried to muster the right words to accept her offer without admitting to the weaknesses it displayed prominently in him—his tongue was thick with the drugs that weren’t numbing him nearly as much as he pretended they did—Risa failed to notice he’d already given in. So sure he’d be unable to refuse what she was offering, she pushed at the bruise until it bled out under his skin.
“I’m talking about the part after, when he’s got you so wet he can just slide right in... Well, you know.” She gave him another condescending once-over. “Those of us with the right parts for it, anyway. If you had a chance, which you don’t, you’d have to get your own asshole ready. He ain’t touching that more than he has to.”
Then she stopped, watching him expectantly. Waiting. His grin felt like a hospital door cracking open; rusted and creaky, just as likely to let loose a flood of croats as untouched medical supplies. Speaking of, his petroleum jelly was hardly untouched, but it lasted longer than he was gonna live and was thick enough to stand up to the rougher fucks; for all Risa’s talk of Dean’s tenderness, he doubted that was what he was about to get.
He reached for the vat and popped off the top, eyes never leaving hers. Despite her professed disgust, she didn’t look away when he pulled down his pants and gave himself a stroke, just to feel the thrum of his pulse and take the edge off his raw nerves. She licked her lips and he could taste her hunger. Sadism and cruelty born of her own heartache, not lust, but it wasn’t like it made a difference to him. He wasn’t stupid or stoned enough to expect it to be a good experience.
When he had his fingers slathered up and slipping inside himself, she bounced off the bed and wandered around the cabin. “You do that before you show up,” she said, spilling out the fantasy in her head. He wondered if she knew how much she was giving away; with how much she hated him, it would be uncharacteristic to show that kind of vulnerability. But maybe he’d taken himself out of the running for archnemesis by revealing too much weakness of his own.
Kneeling up, he worked in three fingers, then four. Didn’t take much to get himself open, not like the pain of when he was freshly fallen, virginal and uptight and heartbroken. Now that all of him was broken, he could hardly even tell what sort of state his heart was in. That was the lie he told himself, and no one called him on it.
Risa kept circling, picking up candles and figurines, weighing them in her hands, putting them down again. “Man’s got a dick the size of—well, I’m sure you know. Let’s not pretend you haven’t drooled over him in the wash house. Everyone’s seen it. But I think... Yeah, this’ll do.”
She’d stopped in front of the gong in the corner of the room and lifted its mallet off the hook, turning to Cas with a vindictive smirk. Intimately familiar with Dean’s body in all the ways except actual intimacy, Cas knew it to be an exaggeration, meant to hurt. He’d taken worse. He pulled his hand free and lay back, but Risa stopped him.
“No. On your hands and knees.” Aside from a bit of added gruffness, she wasn’t talking any differently than usual; no mediocre impersonation attempts. But she’d clearly gone from narrating to taking on the role of Dean in their little assignation.
Her version of Dean was nothing like the gentle lover she’d extolled. When he obeyed, rolling to his front and pushing his ass into the air, she crossed to him and struck him across the thighs with the heavy stick. There was force behind it, enough to send him falling forward, catching himself on his forearms and cursing her with more passion than he felt. Wasn’t hard, since passion had been one of the many things that left him along with his wings.
“Shhh,” she soothed. One hand stroked the bruise that would undoubtedly form while the other set first the mallet then the Vaseline beside his arm. “Go on, slick it up.”
It was an awkward maneuver; he tried to rise up to his knees so his arms would be unencumbered, but Risa guided him back down with a hand on his back. So he managed it, propped up on his elbows, coating the unwrapped end in a thick layer of jelly while she ran gentle fingers over his skin. The touch ignited his nerves, primed as they were by the artificially stimulated hormones flooding his system. Pleasure and connection; it didn’t matter who was on the other end.
Not when it would never be the one person who did matter.
One point of contact abandoned him as the mallet was extracted from his fingers, but a stream of words took its place, soft and curling around him like a thousand more caresses: “That’s it, shit, take it, so good.”
Risa’s voice grew distant, lost in the memories she was reenacting on him. Maybe he was getting an accurate experience after all. He tried not to think about it, with approximately the same amount of success as all the other times he tried not to think about Dean.
Then the knob pushed against him, round enough not to tear but big, bigger than it had looked, too big to slide in painlessly. But the dull ache of the stretch barely registered. It very nearly felt good, enough to make him groan and rock back. His head fell forward as he took in the widest part, chin tucked against his chest and teeth sunk into his lip until he finished easing down to where the bulb narrowed.
“Fuck yeah. That’s good, baby, just like that.”
Through the frame of his own legs, he could see Risa behind him; could see her other hand go to her jeans button when it left his back. His dick obstructed the view a bit, thick and greedy, but behind her was the rest of his cabin, and the door. She shoved her hand down her unzipped pants and her tendons flexed and released as she fingered herself. More than likely her arousal was fueled by recall and bittersweet longing than by Cas, but he put on a show regardless.
He moaned, fucked himself on the mallet, loosed the only prayers he had left in him in the form of “please,” and “harder,” and “Dean.”
The man standing in the doorway, frozen since he’d walked through and taken in the scene, tensed with fists clenched. But it wasn’t until Risa responded with a low cry that drowned out the wet squelching of their lewd movements, said, “Right here, babe, I got you,” that Dean turned on his heel and stormed away without a word.
Cas had to shove back too hard, too fast to strangle the laugh that wanted to rip straight out of his chest. It still wasn’t enough to draw down the smile shattering his face, so he smothered that in his forearms and let Risa use him as a prop for her masturbatory fantasy. No different from his usual duties. The handle was barely moving inside him anymore, its wielder too focused on her own pleasure, but orgasm was likely beyond his current capabilities, anyway.
When Risa came with a whimper as loud as a shout and a shudder he could feel shaking into him through the wooden stick up his ass, she also came to her senses. She pulled both her hands free—jostling the mallet inside Cas, leaving it to hang loose and drag uncomfortably down at his rim as it tried to fall—and backed away.
“This didn’t happen,” she said firmly. “You don’t tell anyone.”
Rolling over onto his back stopped gravity from trying to pull the mallet out through some of his most vulnerable areas in a vulnerable, mortal body. Through giggles he could no longer contain, he promised, “Seal of the confessional. I won’t tell a soul.”
She fixed her pants, wincing at the rough denim closing over her sensitized and commando flesh, and sneered at him. He sprawled languidly on the bed, still erect and penetrated. He didn’t give a shit about her judgment; never had, but satisfaction crawled insect-like through his veins with the knowledge he had over her. He just smiled, beatific, and she spun away in disgust.
That night, Cas sat out on the steps with a joint and a grin, watching Dean follow Jane into her cabin.