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a collection of dismantled almosts

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"Let her pray, and sleep, and dream / Alone with her good angels,"

— John Keats, from The Complete Poems; “The Eve of St. Agnes,”

“Please,” Sam says. His shoulders are tucked between Castiel’s knees, feeling the flex of muscles, the sturdy material of Castiel’s slacks through his flannel and henley. Castiel looks down at him, eyebrows furrowing together even as he raises a hand, curls it around Sam’s chin, tender. “Please.”

Sam shudders, feeling the warmth of Castiel’s calloused palm, a shiver working it’s way down his spine, into his ribs. Castiel has always been infinitely gentle with him, tender and sweet, at the way he is at the moment is such a sheer contrast to how he usually is, even when Castiel isn’t bathed in neon gracelight glows, or they’re forced to stay quiet as they catch moments in hollowed out motel rooms with Dean only  few feet away, sleeping beneath the flickering neon lights of NO VACANCIES.

This is something he and Castiel do, if not regularly, but at least enough that Sam knows and trusts Castiel to know what he’s doing. He trusts Castiel impeccably, would never allow Castiel to do this if he didn’t.

“I will,” Castiel says softly, and he lets his fingers, strangely calloused and strong, to run to the edge of Sam’s jaw, feeling the jut of the bone where it connects to his head, where it connects up to his ear. It’s a barely there touch that has Sam’s eyes fluttering, mouth trembling. “I will do everything you ask of me, you know this, Samuel.”

Sam closes his eyes, mouth open and trembling. The scent of ozone, peppermint is sweet on his tongue, it drowns out the taste of sulphurous ash, how ice coats the back of his throat.

“I know, Castiel.” He says. Castiel has shown him that, from coming when Sam has called, to spreading his wingshadows wide and protecting Sam from Lucifer. Castiel has shown him that, more than enough times. He opens his eyes, feeling the way Castiel is stroking the arch of his cheekbone.

“Tap my leg twice when you need to release, as always, please,” Castiel commands quietly, and he’s brought his other hand up, enough that he’s able to cup Sam’s face, framing it chin to temple, pushing his hair away from his face, behind his ears. His thumbs are still smearing beneath the delicate, bruise-brushed skin of Sam’s eyes. Castiel’s face is illuminated in stark neon violet, shoulders drawn wide. His eyes are aglow from within, silverlit. “I will keep a thought out for your prayers, but still do not neglect your release sign, Samuel, otherwise I will be very cross.”

Sam pants, feeling the way his trembling mouth falls open even more. He slicks his tongue over the front of his top teeth, feeling how it sticks to the roof of his mouth. He presses closer against Castiel’s thighs, huddling himself into the broad safety that the angel has always afforded him. It has been so long since Sam has felt safe.

“I understand, Castiel.” He says, watches how Castiel’s face, shrouded in shadow apart from the illumination of his eyes, the neon glow of violet falling across his face, seems to break open with relief, with something that Sam doesn’t dare put name to.

Good boy, Samuel.” Castiel murmurs quietly, and Sam trembles, on his knees within the hands of a Seraph.

“Ready?” Castiel asks, as he always does. He is close enough that Sam can see the individual of his lashes, the pockmarks of his cheeks, the askew hair of his brow. Sam nods, mouth dry. His hands shake slightly as he places them on Castiel’s knees, the material of the slacks are warm and worn, especially as Sam slowly slips his hands further up to Castiel’s inner thighs, grounding himself.

This is very rarely sexual, most times just that push pull, power break of Sam needing to let go in a way that didn’t require the addictiveness of demon blood in his mouth, of chasing the thrill of research, or even the adrenaline high of constant hunting. No, here beneath the vague glow of the neon loom, Dean’s snoring only inches away, and the strange wingshadows that Castiel casts upon the motel’s lopsided walls, this is all he needs often. For a moment, for just one long moment, Castiel simply looks at him, and something in his eyes is almost shattered, gleaming in the light coming from the barely open window opposite them and then -

Castiel takes a labouring and unneeded breath. He looks at Sam for another long moment, and Sam’s mouth parts, for only a second, and then Castiel’s hands are moving, still those softly stroking movements as he winds his hands down from Sam’s temples, rubbing his knuckles over the jut of Sam’s jaw to the tender of the very underside of it, to the slender expanse of Sam’s throat, his nervous swallowing making his adam’s apple bob compulsively as Castiel’s palm, huge and warm and strangely calloused, rests against it.

It’s a five point brand that makes Sam’s stomach drop.

“Know that He and I are both looking after you, Samuel,” Castiel murmurs, and he leans in closer. Sam gasps, caught between the broad of Castiel’s shoulders, and feeling the heavy pressure of Castiel’s palms tightening, just a barely there movement. Sam looks up, eyes on Castiel’s face; he sees the brights of Castiel’s eyes, the whites of them inhumanly immaculate. Something curls beneath them, like smoke, inhuman, incomparable, tender. “You have always been my - Our - most faithful.”

His hands are getting tighter, fingers overlocking, and Sam can feel the twitch of his own palms, feeling how his own fingers are curling slowly, digging into Castiel’s thighs, but his eyes aren’t working fully, half lidded as he feels the rush of pink slowly rolling up from his throat, to his cheeks. Castiel is staring at him, eyes gracelit and piercing. Sam cannot look away.

Beneath Castiel’s palms, the world is dripping away, melting from Sam’s very view and he swallows; finds he can’t as Castiel palms tighten, pressing down on the very front of his throat. His chest is shuddering, heaving, burning; he can’t get enough breath to breathe, and Castiel is swimming in his vision, blurry with tears and shivering with lack of air, mirage smoke on the horizon.

“My good boy, Samuel.” He hears Castiel from far away. His ears are popping, and Castiel moves his hands, purposefully makes Sam’s head tip up, jaw resting on the cliff of Castiel’s palms, and maybe Castiel thinks it should probably give Sam more room to the breathe, bt it only makes him gasp, mouth falling open. He can feel his bottom lip trembling as he stares at Castiel, eyes heavy with lack of air, and that strange pressure welling up from the bottom of his belly. He is no longer his own, he has given himself over to Castiel, unthinking, unrepentant. He has no need for his body, his only need is Castiel. “Such a good boy for us."

Castiel leans closer, close enough that Sam can feel the warm of his skin, the skitter of Castiel’s unneeded breath and how it brushes against his slowly numbing cheek, he can feel the pressure of how Castiel’s knees are pressing harder against Sam’s shoulders, grounding; any port in the storm, an anchor that Sam longs for but has never been able to find before now.

Yes, beloved,” Castiel says, and his eyes flutter. Those strong palms shift for only a moment, and he can feel the vague sensation of calloused thumbs pressing against the jut of his jaw, slowly tipping his head back further. “I have always know that this is what you wanted. You take confession but it does not properly cleanse you, does it? You ache for it, for the Father to take you into His arms, to be made worthy, to be made pure. But let me tell you this, boy; I can smell your purity, Samuel, and it’s distracting.”

The world is slowly tipping sideways, blurry, incomprehensible, unneeded. He is hard in his jeans, but it’s a secondary emotion. His body has been frayed, he has no need of it, has only need of the words Castiel is saying and the feeling he gains from being held in the hands of a seraph.  

“You think you are impure, Samuel,” Castiel murmurs. His voice is distant, far away, wavering as though Sam is underwater. He leans into those palms, swaying. He has given himself unto the Lord. “You think you are unworthy, but Samuel, never have I met a more beautiful soul. Remember when I made you recite Psalms 116:2? Remember, Samuel.”

I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and supplications, because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long I love, it lies heavy in his mind, even as Castiel gazes at him, heavy lidded, angelic, celestial.

His heart is pounding, a thunderous drum beat in his chest that he is sure Castiel can feel in his throat, a tattoo against his palms, scripture that he wonders will be imprinted around the circumference of his own throat as he leans further into those palms. He never wants this to end.

“This is to be your new altar, is it not, boy ? A new way for you to get what you need, to break those messianic shoulders down. A new way for you to get closer to me , to get closer to Heaven , to get closer to Him, is it not?”

Those palms tighten once more, the world dripping from view and it is only Castiel’s hands upon his throat, the piercing burn of his gracelight eyes that hold Sam aloft, knees barely felt against the rough carpet of the motel room, his fingers vaguely feeling the flinch startle of Castiel’s thighs, violet neon flickering, gracelit silver in the oncoming shadows.

“You do yourself such a disservice, Samuel,” Castiel murmurs, and the rumble of his voice has Sam trembling, there are stars in front of his gaze, he can hear the barely there rustle of wingshadows, stretched high and wide in the neon gloom and shadows. The is a band of light around Castiel’s crown. “You are stronger than you think, and you are no monster. We angels have known monsters, Samuel.You are not one of them.”

He leans forward, mouth open, trembling. He can feel the bruises he’ll have there, he wants to feel the burning ache of them, wants to trace the collar they’ll leave for days on end, for Castiel to fit his palm upon them and tip his head back with only a touch. He wants to feel the imprint of Castiel’s words on his brain, wants to think they are traced upon his flesh also.

“Let go, beloved,” Castiel murmurs. “Let go, offer yourself into the hands of Christ and The Father. Let go, Samuel.”

Sam looks to him, gracelight and neon bright. He has no need of taste, no need of sight, no need of hearing, no need of touch. He has given himself over to Castiel. He has no need of his body, his only need is that of Castiel. Those palms tighten and Sam closes his eyes, mouth trembling. Beneath his closed eyelids, the neon flickering of the sign changes to VACANCIES in the midnight gloom.

Let go, Samuel.” Castiel commands quietly; not for the first time, Sam falls and Castiel catches him.

I want to fill my mouth with your name.

Pablo Neruda , Twenty Love Poems and Song of Despair