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The Way of the Buffalo

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“C'mon, girl, a little faster.”

The horse shook her head, her neck thick with sweat. Flecks of foam hung on the corners of her mouth, forming where the bit met her lips.

“Please,” the man astride the horse begged. She rolled her eyes and pushed forward that much harder; she was a good horse.

Dean thought little of this in that moment, nor of his own physical discomfort. Dirt caked him completely. Only the breaks from the fine lines around his eyes and mouth revealing him as a rough white man of the saddle rather than a red Indian—he paid this no mind. His duster had a long gash splitting it down the back--Dean didn't know or care how it got there. The canteen strapped to the horse's pack had dribbled out the last traces of water hours ago.

Instead of lingering on any of these things Dean recalled the last moments he'd seen Father Castiel. The purplish welts down his neck and across his bare, narrow shoulders and chest, the drying spunk he hadn't bothered to completely wipe away clinging to the corner of his mouth. The fervently detached expression in his glossy eyes.

“Cas, this isn't you,” Dean had insisted, horror curdling his gut. Normally Father Castiel met Dean's familiarities with a pissy reprimand, but the priest had only blinked, long and slow, before going right back to that challengingly blank stare.

“What isn't?” Castiel asked.

“This...” Dean had been at a loss for words. There were so many things wrong with the situation he hadn't known where to begin. “This,” he said lamely. “It's wrong, Cas, you've gotta know that.”

“Wrong?” The priest had said the word as though it were foreign on his tongue. “You were wrong, Dean.” The other men that'd been in the room—the ones that had held Castiel down, had marked him, tainted him—guffawed loudly. At least six orbited the nearly naked man, dirty grubby hands stroking down pale bruised skin, stained and yellowed teeth grinning as Dean struggled against three others that had held him back, prevented him from reaching Father Castiel. The fallen priest continued calmly, “I protected you.”

“These fellas—they're not going to help us, Father Castiel,” Dean tried to beg. The Purgatory Gang wasn't exactly known for keeping up their ends of bargains.

“We already have,” the one Dean privately dubbed the leader of the gang—a short, mean looking fellow with long stringy hair and a scar across his chin—had said gloatingly. He gripped Father Castiel's unresisting jaw and pulled him into a kiss. The priest's mouth had fallen open automatically, returning the outlaw's attentions in a perfunctory manner. A second man had stepped up from behind them, his trousers already pushed open. Grabbing one of Castiel's hands, he'd placed it on his prick, moaning lewdly as the priest's fingers closed around his stiffness.

The men holding Dean back laughed anew as his struggles increased. The leader of the gang—who Dean now called Long-Hair in his mind-- pulled away from Castiel's mouth with a satisfied smirk. “Raph and his boys are already dead and gone, Winchester. The price was simply being able to ride this sweet piece of flesh whenever I want.”

“Lawrence is safe,” Castiel confirmed, his hand still moving over the second man's prick, face blank like the action didn't mean anything. Like it was just the same as turning a page in the big gilt book Dean'd brought back for him when he'd visited his brother Sammy in New York. “You were wrong, Deputy Winchester,” Castiel repeated. “Raphael and his followers were too numerous for you and Sheriff Singer. I saved Lawrence.” For the first time since entering the saloon, Dean had seen a flicker of the true Father Castiel as he continued with, “I saved you.”

“That's...that's great, Cas,” Dean said, even as he pulled at the arms holding him back. He tried not to think about how he'd left Bobby, nursing a lump on his skull from where he'd said the priest had struck him when the Sheriff had tried to stop him, or Eleanor, Bobby's wife, with tear tracks on her cheeks and her arm held at a sickening angle. One of the men had let out a muffled curse as Dean's elbow connected, but just when he'd thought he'd be able to slip out of their grasp two more moved from the shadows, taking their winded compatriot's place.

“Now, Dean,” the leader had said, features pinched in glee, “Whatever could be the matter? Don't you like seeing your precious Father Castiel like this? Isn't this exactly what you wanted him to be? On his knees?” Snapping his fingers, the leader motioned to the piece of trash that Castiel had his fingers around. Grunting, the man moved Castiel's hand off his painfully swollen prick and, none too gently, shoved the priest off the low stool he was seated on. Castiel went to his knees, easily.

Dean growled, low and long in his throat. The sound had bubbled up against his own conscious thought.

“Ah, don't be that way, Deputy Winchester! We're all friends here, aren't we? All you have to do is join our gang, and you can have yourself a piece of the padre, too. And just between you and me...” the leader had stepped closer, pitching his voice lower as though revealing a grave secret, “for being a supposed man of God, the good Father here sucks fantastic cock.” He laughed as Dean thrashed against the arms holding him, had laughed as he howled in rage.

“I suppose,” he continued, raising his voice to be heard over the sounds of struggle, “if you go to your knees for one thing, it's easy enough to go for another. A whore is a whore is a whore, after all. Hold him steady!” Long-Hair snapped suddenly to his men. “Hold that fucker. I want him to watch.” Stepping closer, he hissed, “I want Winchester to see exactly what he stands to gain by joining us. Just what he'll miss out on if he tells us no. Just what him beggin' the town padre for help with things last year has resulted in.”

Rolling his shoulders, the leader had waved his hand in a manner completely contrasting with the hissed menace of the words he'd just uttered. “Go for it, Howie,” he said to the man still standing in front of Castiel, cock jutting obscenely from his trousers.

“Thanks, Phil,” Howie grunted, lewd smile curling his lips, and any pleasure Dean might have had in finally having names to go with faces—names he'd need if he was going to be successful in hunting down and killing these sons of bitches—had vanished as their intent became clear. The other men in the taproom began cheering them on and laughing as Howie grasped Castiel's shoulders, as he positioned them so Dean would be forced to watch from the best angle for viewing possible.

“Cas, no!” Dean cried out, uncaring of how desperate he must have sounded. “You don't have to do this. Fight them!”

“Why would I do that, Dean?” Castiel had asked, as if he were really curious as to the answer. “I am no longer a priest. I have made a bargain with these men. I am theirs now.” As if in agreement with this ascertation, Howie impatiently nudged his leaking prick against the former priest's chin. With merely a small grunt of what Dean labeled discomfort, Castiel took the man's flesh into his mouth.

“Cas!” Dean wasn't ashamed to recall the thickness of his voice, the despair it'd held as tears had choked him. A third man—neither Phil, who was lounging up against the bar as though enjoying the show, nor Howie, who began thrusting in and out of Castiel's mouth in earnest—stepped forward, a question in his eyes thrown Phil's way. When the leader nodded, he'd pushed down his trousers, gone to his knees and crawled up behind Castiel. With a quick tug, the loose woven pants they'd dressed the priest in were pulled down, and Dean was forced to watch as his cheeks were spread, as he was roughly penetrated from behind. The thrust from behind had caused Castiel to gag around the prick nudging the back of his throat, but he didn't pull away, didn't try to fight them off.

Snarling, Dean had bucked and thrashed under the weight of those who held him. There was no way he'd been able to stand there and watch as his priest—no, fuck that, Castiel hadn't been just his priest in a long time—was handled and used in such a way, by unclean hands and blackened hearts, demented hell-bound souls who'd demand a man of God's body in payment for protecting innocent lives.

The deputy broke free, somehow, miraculously he'd say if he still believed in God or miracles. He hadn't given a damn if Castiel thought he'd agreed to what was happening, if he owed these men these liberties for doing something that they should have done because it was the decent thing to do. It was sick, and wrong, and a total violation of the man Dean thought he'd known.

Before he could reach the sons of bitches who'd been...who'd been mounting Castiel, the men who'd been laughing and jeering from the sidelines had sprung into action. A sharp crack followed was followed by a blinding flare of pain. Dean stumbled to the ground. The sound of spit sliding across flesh and the slap of flesh on flesh had been punctuated by the smell of sex underneath the beer-and-piss scent of the taproom as Phil stepped into Dean's line of vision.

“Guess this means you're not keen on joining up. Didn't think you would be. Pity, though. Coulda used a fella like you. And I got a feeling the padre would have been a real enthusiastic cocksucker for ya, if you'd wanted.” Before Dean had been able to retort to that with the sort of answer it deserved, Phil's booted foot had flown out and struck Dean clean across the face.

When he'd awoken from the blackness that'd enveloped him, sore and light-sensitive on the empty taproom's floor, he'd lost a full day's time. The Purgatory Gang was gone. Father Castiel, the oblivious townspeople told him, had gone with them. But they were a large company of men, Dean told himself, who'd move slower than a single rider on horseback could. He'd stopped in at Bobby's to assure the Sheriff of his own welfare, check and see how he and Eleanor were, and to tell him that he was going after the errant priest.

“Be careful, son,” Bobby'd told him, but he hadn't ordered him not to go, for which Dean was grateful. He'd gotten on his horse and began riding her as hard and fast as he dared, following the trail of dusty hoof prints and bent scrub brush. The deputy was unraveling around the edges, but he was still upright in the saddle, so he figured that counted for something. Dean broke the top of the ridge he'd been urging the horse up and there, maybe a few hundred feet ahead in the valley laid out below him, was the Purgatory Gang, setting up camp for the evening. He easily picked out the priest's dark hair among them, even dirty with trail dust as it was. Castiel was holding his shoulders stiffly, his face the same blank mask Dean last saw in the tavern in Lawrence. There were several men surrounding him, and many more who walked by, throwing salacious glances or dropping casual touches. None of them seemed to notice the fine tremble to the priest's shoulders, the tension in his bearing that screamed he was close to breaking. Taking a deep breath, the deputy's resolve to free Castiel, even if he had to kill every single one of those sons of bitches, renewed itself.

“Hang on, Cas,” Dean whispered. “I'm coming.” Pulling his gun from its sling, Dean held it upright and, with a dig of his heels into the horses flanks and a sharp cry, thundered down the ridge.