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Castiel drifts up the stairs from the basement, Sam’s choked off screams following after him. It will take days for the blood he’s consumed to work out of his system. Time they don’t actually have, but will need to take since Castiel couldn’t do the job Dean had given him. Famine overwhelmed him and any thought about obtaining the ring had been driven from his mind, replaced with an emptiness he couldn’t fill.

He suspects Dean blames him for this.

“The last time we tried this detox thing,” he turns toward the voice and sees Bobby in his chair at the desk in the library, the old hunter looking firmly into a glass of whiskey, “I was pretty sure we were killing him.”

“It might have if he were weaker. This won’t,” Castiel assures, certain of Sam’s worth. He looks at the front door and considers walking out to where Dean is. He doesn’t know what he can say, his supply of comforting words has already been used and rebuffed.

“There anything at all you think could make this easier, I’m all ears. Spells. Incantations.”

Castiel thinks. There’s no precedent for this level of addiction in his memory. Most humans would have died or been consumed by the blood and turned into demons themselves.

“It took the power of God to cleanse him.”

It’s a non-answer, but the only one he can give while he’s still trying to think over the problem. Bobby snorts and drinks the entire glass of whiskey.

“Yeah well, last time he was neck deep in the stuff. This time he’s had a couple sips.”

Dean is praying. It draws Castiel’s attention instinctively and he has to resist the pull to his side. This prayer isn’t intended for him. But he can answer it. Try to save Sam. His grace won’t heal Sam directly, even if he were still connected to Heaven, but perhaps…

An idea takes shape in his mind, born from desperation. If his grace were filtered through something Sam’s body won’t reject outright then it might be able to burn out the demon blood. The consequences to Castiel would be negligible. Sam’s risk, however.

“I don’t know…” he says and the uncertainty bleeds into his words.

“But?” Bobby prompts and there’s something—desperation, hope, love for a son—that Castiel can feel on the edge of his awareness. He draws his shoulders up and sets himself to this task.

“Keep Dean away from the basement.”

Hesitation wrinkles Bobby’s forehead and draws his eyebrows down. Castiel can see him debating over whether or not to trust him or perhaps wondering if he even still has the power to do this now that he’s cut off from Heaven. Eventually, his face settles into something that looks like resignation and he nods.

“How long?”

Castiel turns back toward the stairs.

“Until I’m done.”

His descent back into the basement seems easier now that he has the sketchy outline of a plan before him. He has only to convince Sam of it. Drawing up to the door, Castiel pauses and listens. Sam’s quiet except for his breathing.


He speaks barely above a whisper when he asks, “Cas?”

“I’m going to come in.”

The door swings open under his command and Castiel walks into the panic room. Sam is sitting on the cot in the middle of the room, wrist handcuffed to the sides. He twists his torso slightly, metal jangling, to look at Castiel. Surprise widens his eyes and makes him rear backwards. The restraints hold tight and prevent him from moving.

Castiel holds up his hands, palms forward, and Sam snaps his mouth shut and swallows, looking warily between him and the door.

“I’m not here to release you. Or harm you,” Castiel answers. Sam nods, focusing fully on Castiel now. “I have a theory that may hasten the process of removing the demon blood from your body.”

“Why didn’t you have this idea last time?”

Castiel glares at him and Sam looks away, towards the floor.

“Helping you then would have been tantamount to blasphemy. Heaven wouldn’t have just punished me, they would have killed me.”

“So what’s different now?”

Answering that would take longer than they have, so Castiel settles for, “Heaven already wants me dead.”

Sam seems to consider and accept his answer. He nods.

“Okay, so what’s the plan?” he asks and the implicit trust in Castiel’s intentions soothes his irritation. He can always count on the boy with the demon blood for his dogged stubborn desire to believe angels are intrinsically good.

Which is why he feels a pang of guilt when he drops his angel blade into his hand and says, “You’re going to drink my blood.”

Sam sputters and seems unable to settle on a response, fluctuating wildly for a moment before settling for awkwardly staring at Castiel’s arm like it might attack him.

“What the hell, Cas?” he manages to croak out. “What would drink—doing that accomplish?”

Castiel tries not to look at him like he’s an idiot, but it’s very difficult.

“The blood in my vessel contains parts of my grace.”

“I thought you couldn’t heal me.”

“I can’t.”

Sam stares at him blankly and Castiel finds himself mimicking Dean, forcing air out of his mouth and gesturing with his empty hand between them.

“Your body is already used to the consumption of blood. Ingesting it should allow my grace to attack the demon blood in your system and destroy it.”



“And if it doesn’t work?” Sam presses.

“You won’t die.”

“But you don’t know for sure.”

Castiel doesn’t answer. He has no desire to lie and nothing he’d say would be reassuring. This is Sam’s decision.

“How—” Sam wobbles and then tenses in pain. He hunches forward, knees pulling up nearly to his chest. Castiel watches him until it passes. “How fast will it work?”

“As long as it takes for the demon blood to activate when you drink it.”

“It won’t… I mean, Cas, I’ve had this stuff in me since I was a baby. It gave me my powers.”

There’s no time for Castiel to correct Sam’s assumptions about his abilities. The blood is just a focus, something that ties Sam to the demons, tainting his soul and body for Lucifer’s use. The powers are his own.

“What would you like me to say?” he asks, tilting his head and staring until Sam makes an abortive motion with his arms, like he wants to move them, and then slumps back down.

“Okay. If you—this is…” Sam struggles for words, eyes suddenly wet when they meet his. “Thank you, Castiel.”

The use of his name settles something in him even as his fingers itch with the urge to reach out and burn the corruption from him. He settles for stripping his coat and suit jacket off. He drops them to the floor and rolls up the sleeve on his left arm to the elbow, the hilt of his blade tucked into his palm carefully while he folds the fabric.

Sam watches him when he flips the blade in his hand and cuts deep into the flesh of his vessel’s arm until blood pours freely. There’s pain, sharp and deep, from using his own weapon. Even cut off from the Host, his senses haven’t fully tuned to this dimension, but heavenly weapons will always hurt.

He drops the blade to the floor and looks at Sam, stepping close until he’s right against his shoulder.

“Sam,” he says quietly and Sam looks up immediately and doesn’t flinch when Castiel reaches for him. His hair is tangled and damp with sweat, catching on Castiel’s fingers as he pushes his fingers through the strands to cup the back of his head. “I have you.”

Tuning into Sam’s being is difficult. Most humans he can look upon them and know them as they truly are. The bond created between him and Dean in Hell makes him known so completely to Castiel even when he’s not looking upon him, and he not only knows Dean Winchester, he wants to be known by him.

With Sam, Castiel struggles, he does not want to see this soul, especially with the demon blood still staining it. Does not want to know it. He forces his grace and body to curl protectively over him. His wings hover unseen or felt, quivering with the profanity of doing this for someone so thoroughly defiled. Heaven has denounced Sam, but Castiel will not. He folds his wings around Sam’s back and over his legs and brings his arm to Sam’s waiting mouth. His grace burns with the proximity.

Castiel looks upon Sam Winchester as his mouth twists and puckers again his skin at the first taste of Castiel’s blood, the taste too light for a mouth used to blood heavy with sulfur. Castiel murmurs a reassurance and Sam latches onto him, sucking hard enough that a cold empty feeling spreads down Castiel’s arm and to his fingers.

He drifts for a moment, reaching out to check on the rest of the house. Bobby is still in the library, alert and waiting over another glass of whiskey, and Dean’s retreated to his car, exhaustion pulling him into sleep. It’s easy to step out of himself and slip into Dean’s mind and see that he’s dreaming of the lake again. Castiel lingers, out of view, and watches him.

His grace hums and pulses and the painful burn along his edges start to fade. It’s started working. Metal clatters distantly in the room where his vessel is still with Sam and a hand grabs him by the wrist and pulls.

He gasps, pain dragging him fully into his vessel and slamming him into sharp awareness of his physical form. Sam’s teeth bite into his flesh and the sinking numbness in his arm makes his vision spot. Heat crawls up his neck and jaw and settles low on his back and between his legs. Sam’s soul flares bright with stolen power and the lights in the room crackle and shatter above them.

Sam’s devotion sparks through him and Castiel sees. Knows him and everything he wants and desires from the fallen angel who has been saved by God and offers him communion and healing.

He digs his finger into Sam’s hair, tight enough that the strands pull at his scalp, uncertain if he’s trying to drag him off or push him closer. The hand on his wrist tightens and Sam hooks his other hand around the back of Castiel’s thigh and hauls his knee up onto the cot by Sam’s hip.

The move tears his arm from Sam’s mouth and he stumbles, wings sending static arching through the air. He catches himself with Sam’s shoulder and swings his other leg up and over his lap. The metal springs squeal in protest at their combined weight and press into Castiel’s knees where he kneels in the narrow space between Sam’s hips and the edge of the cot.

Castiel can give him this as well. This physical, human, comfort.

Sam pants into the space between Castiel’s neck and collarbone and it sends a confusing shiver of signals through him and downward and oh, it hadn’t felt like this when Chastity had tried to touch him. He pets Sam's hair and tries to find his vessel’s voice.

“Castiel,” Sam groans his name out and he sighs. His name sounds like worship on Sam’s tongue. A prayer in the dark only for him to hear. His thoughts are so loud now, awe at the power Castiel’s shared with him.

Sam turns his face away from Castiel’s neck and licks the blood from his arm. He drags his wings through the room and lightning crawls up the salt covered walls, lighting up the shadows of them against the wall. Castiel looks down and Sam lifts his head to stare at them, enraptured with the sight before the room fades back into darkness again.

He repeats Castiel’s name and Castiel leans to press his lips to his hairline. He feels the sob crawl out of Sam’s throat, tears spilling down his face and he slides the hand still on Castiel’s thigh over his ass, up his back, and to his neck. Castiel presses his mouth to Sam’s eyebrows, his eyelids, and then down to lick tears from his cheek and the corner of his mouth, trying to reassure him. He tastes his own blood there.

Sam prays for Castiel to touch him and plead for something, anything, to prove he’s worthy of being in the presence of one of God’s angels.

“I don’t—” he tries, speaking into Sam’s ear and feeling him shuddering beneath him. Sam sweeps both of his hands down over Castiel’s shoulders and settle warm and heavy there, unknowingly resting where his wings burst unseen from his vessel. The boldness of the move and the sweet supplication of Sam’s longing makes Castiel tremble and he wants .

Angels have fallen for wanting. Castiel is already fallen, already dead—if not today, then soon—and Sam’s reverence is intoxicating. He wants to fill him with light and make him something Lucifer can’t ever claim.

He feel so much pride at his success healing Sam’s body with his blood and thinks of Dean. Thinks of rebuilding him from bones and dust and cradling him in ice burnt hands and wrapping him in sulfur tinged wings. Is it like this with all humans or just something intrinsically unique to the Winchesters?

Sam finds his voice, hoarse and wet with tears, and dares to ask, “You don’t what, Cas?”

Castiel pulls out of his introspection and slides his hand down between their bodies, touching the heat of Sam’s erection through his jeans with the tips of his fingers.

“Show me how to touch you.”

Sam reaches down and curls Castiel’s fingers around him through the denim and ruts up against him. He tilts his head to catch Castiel’s lips with his own, licking at the seam of his lips. Castiel opens his mouth and lets Sam press his tongue inside. It’s wet and strange, but it’s easy to follow the slide of Sam’s tongue.

He tightens his fingers and presses the heel of his palm over the hard flesh on a downward stroke and Sam moans into his mouth.

He draws back from the kiss and licks the taste of blood from his lips.

“I’m not sure I like kissing,” he mutters into Sam’s hair, pulling his hand away from his crotch and rocking his hips down against him instead and the friction makes him want to crawl out of his vessel and burst into a million fractals of light.

“Ok, uh, that’s fine,” Sam assures him breathlessly and it feels like it should be strange to talk during this. Castiel tries to remember what he’s observed of humanity in these moments, but he rarely peers so close to know what words might be passing between them. “Can I?”

Sam’s reached for his tie.

“I’ve already allowed you to take so many liberties. What’s one more?”

Sam ducks his head down and Castiel breathes in the smell of sweat and fading traces of sulfur. He tugs at Castiel’s tie and collar, biting at his throat and shoulders hard enough that it would break skin if he were a human. He wants more.

Castiel shoves him down by his shoulder and the glass upstairs vibrates, a crack crawling across a pane in the kitchen. The cot protests, but ultimately holds. He pushes Sam’s arm until his hand is back on his shoulder and leans over him to grip his hair and pull his head back to expose his throat.

His blood tastes of Castiel’s grace and iron when it spills over his tongue. Sam shouts, one leg jerking up and rocking Castiel forward. He snaps his wings to keep seated and closes his eyes at the wet heat that soaks the front of Sam’s jeans.

There’s static between Sam’s fingers when he grips Castiel’s back and nudges him to keep moving with his thigh and Castiel ruts down against him until it’s too much. Not enough. He presses his hand over Sam’s eyes and bursts free from himself, filling the room with light, pleasure rolling through his physical body and leaving him gasping and trembling.

The window in the kitchen shatters.

When full awareness of his vessel returns, he realizes that Sam is petting his hands down his back, leaving a tingling trail of electricity that makes his shiver.

“The power should fade soon,” Castiel says and he pushes himself up to sit across Sam’s thighs, pulling Sam up into a sitting position with him.

“Is your arm okay?”

“Nothing I can’t heal,” he answers and realizes Sam is clean enough that Castiel can press his fingers to Sam’s throat and heal the mark where his teeth broke the skin. A smug, pleased hum escapes him and he knows what his brothers and sister would think of what he’s done here.

He cleans them both of the blood and sweat and the uncomfortable wetness in their clothes from ejaculating and presses his lips to Sam’s forehead chastely.

Sam Winchester is saved.

Sam lets out a shaky breath and drops his forehead to Castiel’s shoulder.

“I hope that wasn’t—” Sam stumbles over the words, reaching up to rub at his nose. “Ruby and I would have, uh, sorry, this should be weird, right? Is this weird? Are you—you’re not really supposed to do that, are you? Angels, I mean.”

“No.” He doesn’t clarify which question he’s answering.

“Then what made you? I thought if any—”

Castiel makes a sound he’s heard Sam make before to signal irritation—usually at Dean—when someone is being deliberately obtuse.

“I could feel your desire.” He feels the humiliation rise up and runs his hand over Sam’s hair again. “I wanted. Healing you was my pleasure.”

“Thanks, Cas.”

He nods and then pushes himself up to stand, offering his hand out for Sam to take, so he can lead him up from the basement.