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Submersion

Chapter Text


”You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” - Edwin Louis Cole

---

Dean liked the atmosphere on East Broadway. He could slide into any one of the five bars and find a willing dealer. Pocketing the coke, he spun on his heel and headed back for the exit of the joint. The throngs of bodies dancing to music from half-blown speakers and sweating alcohol from their pores was not the kind of environment he wanted to get high in.

Walking the busy street, he caught the city bus right as it pulled up to the curb and dropped a couple dollars in for fare before finding a seat in the back. In his usual apparel of ripped up jeans and worn out hoodie, no one ever seemed to bother him. That day was no different, and he tweaked nervously at his wire frame glasses as he watched the city pass by outside.

He had just enough time to get back to his studio apartment and snort a line before getting dressed for his ‘job interview’. Hopefully in the haze of an upper giving him a high, he could land the job.

Rent was due on Tuesday.

Dean had just spent his last two dollars on a bus ticket.

---

“Do you know what we do here, Mr. Winchester?”

Dean’s left hand twitched nervously and out of habit he wrapped his forefinger and thumb around his right wrist. The women sitting on the opposite side of the oak desk had auburn hair and a pretty smile. She looked to be in her mid-thirties and didn’t fit in with what his brain had supplied for ‘runs a prostitution ring’.

“Supply prostitutes for high-paying customers that like things kinky?” When her perfectly manicured eyebrow quirked up, he added quickly, “Miss McKenna.”

“We supply a specific type of escort to meet our clients’ needs. Our escorts are submissive in every aspect of their role and enjoy playing the part.” Her brown eyes danced up and down his body, sizing him up in seconds. “You don’t fit the aesthetic of what I usually hire for my submissives. To be quite honest, Mr. Winchester, you don’t seem like you’ve followed a direct order once in your life.”

“To be fair,” Dean shrugged, “you don’t fit the… aesthetic for running a company like this.”

She didn’t respond right away, and suddenly Dean worried that he had blown the whole thing… until a ruby red lip quirked up slightly and showed the smallest hint of a smirk.

“Not all of my clients are women,” Miss McKenna continued. “Will this be a problem?”

“I have no preference one way or the other. Male, female, doesn’t really matter when they pay the bills.”

She nodded. “Good. On Saturday one of my regular clients will be in town on business. He owes me a favor, so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind testing your will in a trial run. Talk to my receptionist on the way out and she will provide you with a dress code form, our safety and liability handbook, and a location for your first meeting. As I’m sure you’re aware — promptness is one of the aspects of our business that we pride ourselves on. As is appearance and hygiene. If I hear from my client that you failed in anyway on these points, your employment will not be continued.”

---

Dean left the lobby of the Marriott by the airport feeling more than a little unease in his stomach. His ass hurt and he simultaneously felt like crying and throwing up on the sidewalk, but he had survived Miss McKenna’s first client.

Walking slowly, he made his way across the hotel’s carport area and felt a little better when he spotted a familiar scratched up Jetta sitting in the parking lot. He opened the passenger side door and ducked his head down to see the driver — not quite ready to place his sore ass on the torn up seat.

“You got a smoke?” He asked over the sound of Metallica playing on the car’s radio. A small hand held out a package of Camel’s and a Bic lighter with Yoda on the side of it. “Thanks.”

Dean stood back up, pulling a cigarette from the package before tossing it back into the car. As he lit up, his eyes tracked along the six story hotel building and he tried to pinpoint which room his ass had been whipped in. After a couple of quick puffs, he finally figured it out and used the cigarette to point top left-hand corner. “That one.”

The radio was turned down by a few notches and a voice called out from in the car, “You talking to yourself again, dipshit?”

He finished the smoke and tossed it to the ground, quickly stomping out the flame with his shoe. Carefully, he climbed into the small car. Just as he had expected — his ass hurt like hell as soon as he sat. He fought back a grimace and turned to his best friend. “You’re lucky I love you, Charlene.”

“Nobody is lucky you love them, doofus.” She started the car and held out her hand — waiting until he had given back her precious Yoda lighter before shifting into reverse. “So… screwing for money now?”

“One hundred and thirty dollars an hour, my dear.”

Charlie nodded in approval and he watched her red hair bounce one side of her head — the other side had been shaven just a few days prior.

The Jetta headed towards his apartment in the Hollywood District. Halfway, stopped at a light on Fremont, Charlie looked over at him. “So Lisa decided to throw a bitch-fit again. My shit’s in the trunk — is it cool if I crash with you for a couple weeks?”

The up and down and sideways adventures that were ‘Charlie’s love life’ was a story that Dean knew well. They had been friends for almost three years, and Dean had long since adopted the spunky punk rock lesbian as his little sister. Despite the size of his apartment, he knew that it wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last time that they shared a bed. “Just don’t hog the comforter this time, okay?”

“Sure thing, snugglepuss.” She grinned. “I stole Lisa’s pot stash. We can get high and you can tell me what that guy did to your ass for a hundred and thirty dollars.”

“Pretty sure I blacked out after the spanking.”

“Ohhh kinky shit. We might need popcorn.”

---

Dean missed seeing the world outside. It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise that ‘hell’ didn’t have windows, but that didn’t keep him from dreaming about blue skies and green grass.

“Food,” the voice called.

Dean looked up to the solid concrete door that sealed of their prison and watched the six inch by twelve inch slot on the bottom slide up. A tray of food was shoved inside the room, followed by two bottles of water.

He waited for the slot to close back, before moving across the room to sit down next to the tray. Sammy followed a couple moments later. His pace was slower thanks to the bruising running along his rib cage.

Examining the tray, Dean quickly set out to separate the sandwich into two equal servings, parted the stale chips into two identical piles, and set the apple aside to be savored last as a special snack.

Dean held out the half of a sandwich that looked slightly larger to Sam. “Eat up, Sammy.”

Sam shoved his messy brown hair behind his ears and took a tentative bite of the ham-on-plain-bread sandwich. “Dean,” he whispered.

The topic that was about to be brought up was one that Dean had already heard a dozen times. He quickly shook his head and took a bite of one of his chips. “No, Sam.”

“He told us how to end this.”

Dean shook his head. There was no way he was going to take their kidnapper for his word. “Sam, someone will come for us.”

“It’s been two months, Dean.”

“I’m not doing it, Sam.”

---

On Monday morning Dean stepped into the non-descript office space that held Miss McKenna’s prostitution… ahem, escort, company and nodded as the receptionist waved for him to go in. His new boss sat behind the solid desk and finished a phone call before looking up at Dean.

“Mr. Winchester… have a seat.”

After everything that had happened Saturday night, there was no way he was going to be intimidated by the woman before him. Not unless she pulled out a whip collection.

He sat down in the chair across from her and found the nerve to ask, “Was the client happy?”

“He was. He said you lacked the technique and skill of a well-polished sub, but you took direction well and did everything he asked. I’m curious — how was your experience?”

Dean remembered the way his ass had burned the next morning once the drugs wore off. There was no way he was divulging that information. “It was a job.”

“Very good.” She nodded approvingly before opening a draw and bringing a file out to lay on top of her desk. “On occasion, Mr. Winchester, I partner my clients with a sub on a permanent regular basis. It just so happens that I have a new client that would like the services of a submissive escort that lacks prior training — like yourself. The way this arrangement will work is that you agree on a set day each week that you meet with the same client. On top of that, I will also have various jobs that arise for you to do on your free days. Sound doable?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Miss McKenna smiled and nodded her head. “Good. Our client has offered his own instructions for the sub and requested a specific wardrobe be worn at each meeting. You are not to bring drugs or alcohol of any kind onto his property. You will wear a three piece tailored suit, undershirt, and a pair of silk panties — the color of which does not matter.”

Dean immediately frowned. The suit he could manage but… “Panties? Is this some degradation bs?”

She pursed her lips and stared him down. “Do you think it’s degrading to be a woman, Mr. Winchester?”

“I, uh…” Dean quickly shook his head. “No, ma’am.”

“Do you have a problem wearing silk panties to meet your client?”

“No, ma’am,” he repeated as he ducked his head. “Of course not.”

“I should hope not. Stop at the receptionist’s desk on the way out. She has your paperwork on the new client and an advancement check to help cover the costs of your new attire. Anything else?” He shook his head once more and stood to leave. Miss McKenna’s voice stopped him before he could leave the office. “If you have any issues with this client, Mr. Winchester, please don’t hesitate to let me know.”

Outside of the office the receptionist handed him a thick manila envelope and a smaller envelope that held his check. As he stepped back out onto the busy street, his curiosity got the better of him and he opened the top of the client folder.

Clipped to the top piece of paper was a smiling photograph of the man that would be dominating his life — quite literally. He stared at the piercing blue gaze and wondered why a guy like that couldn’t just date normally without having to pay.

Maybe it was because he had a panty fetish…

Dean walked towards the nearby bus stop with the client’s name on repeat in his mind.

Castiel Novak… Castiel Novak… Casti…

He had no idea how to pronounce ‘Castiel’ and prayed that he didn’t make a fool of himself immediately.

Pulling his phone free from his pocket, he opened up a new text message to Charlie.

Take a shower.gotta buy new panties.

The response was almost immediate. Do I wanna know?

Chapter Text


”Two drowning people can’t save each other. All they can do is drag each other down.” - Carsten Jensen

---

Charlie let out a sharp whistle as she leaned forward and stared at the tall condo building before them. “I’ve never met anyone that could afford one of these places.”

Before them sat twenty-five stories of steel and glass that made up one of five high-rise condominium buildings on the riverfront. Dean nodded to agree with Charlie — none of his usual ‘crowd’ could afford a studio on the east side, let alone a waterfront condo. “I’m done at one a.m., be here to pick me up?”

One? God, Chewie, sometimes I wonder why I put up with you.”

Dean rubbed anxiously at his right wrist and raised an eyebrow at his best friend. “Don’t act like you won’t be up. You just said a few minutes ago that you were going to hang at that club.”

“I am.” Charlie grinned and the street light caught the glint of silver from her lip piercing. “Gonna find me some wet pussy.”

“Enjoy it for me.” Dean checked the clock and sighed. It was ten minutes before ten and if he wasn’t punctual he would lose the client on the first day. “See you in three hours. Please be here — I don’t want to call a cab and the buses won’t be running.”

“I’ll be here.” She shoved at his arm. “Go on. Embrace that high and get your ass nice and fucked by a rich guy for money.”

“You make my life sound so glamorous.” Dean climbed out of the Jetta and smoothed his hand over his new three-piece suit as he turned to face the entrance to the condo building.

Before he could shut the car door behind him, Charlie called out one last time, “Your ass looks amazing in those pants. So jealous right now.”

The night watchman sitting behind the front desk took Dean’s driver’s license and cleared him on a list of ‘acceptable guests’ before pointing him in the direction of the elevator. The suit suddenly made sense. If he had walked into the place wearing his normal jeans and hoodie, they would have called the police immediately without asking any questions. He stepped onto the elevator car, ran his thumb nervously over the veins on his right wrist, and tried to act like he belonged.

Like he wasn’t a coked-out prostitute on his way to get his ass fucked.

The elevator deposited him on the fourteenth floor and followed the direction of the sign on the wall that said ‘1433’ would be to his left. By the time he knocked on the polished veneer door, he had one minute to spare before he was due to arrive.

The door pulled open a few seconds later to reveal Castiel Novak — blue eyes as intense as his photograph, and definitely more handsome in person. He was also wearing a suit, minus the jacket, and with his shirt untucked. The man looked Dean up and down for a moment, before offering his hand and opening the door wider. “Dean Winchester?”

Dean shook the guy's hand and stepped into the trendy condo. He probably couldn’t even afford the table lamp… “Yeah. Mr. Novak, correct?” He turned to watch his new client shutting and locking the door. “Your first name was in the file but I would probably butcher it…”

“Castiel,” he offered. “No worries. When you are here I prefer that you use only ‘sir’ or ‘master’ when addressing me."

Glancing around nervously, Dean rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. “Yeah. Right. Of course.” Castiel’s eyebrow raised and he waited a few beats — it took longer than it should for Dean to realize what the man was waiting for. “Yes, sir.”

“These bamboo floors scuff easily so I would ask that you remove your shoes and leave them at the door on our nights together.” He pointed to a shoe rack and waited again.

Dean fumbled, trying to gracefully remove his brand new dress shoes while also ignoring the slide of satin over his dick.

Once Dean was finished, Castiel motioned for him to follow and moved into a large open plan living room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Willamette. “I believe in safe and consensual play between all parties, Mr. Winchester, despite the fact that I’m paying for your services.” He stopped in the middle of a plush rug and turned to face Dean. “I will ask you before every scene if you approve and consent — you always have the right to say ‘no’ without punishment. If you say do say ‘no’, I will offer a new suggestion until we reach an agreement. Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” he answered without hesitation.

“I also require that you have a safeword and use it whenever a scene pushes you beyond your limits. Again, this is without punishment or judgement and not a risk to your job. If you’re unable to speak for the purposes of the scene, you will have a bell within reach to ring as a substitute. In the event that you safeword out, all play will stop for the evening, understood?” Dean nodded and continued to stand awkwardly on the edge of the rug as Castiel moved to sit down on the sofa. “What is your safeword, Mr. Winchester?”

Dean replied easily. “Topeka.”

“Very well. Since it’s our first night together, I would like to take things easy while we’re growing acquainted. I also want to test how well you follow instructions. So for tonight, you’re going to kneel in front of me and bring yourself to orgasm.”

---

Dean was beginning to hate the light. Light meant that their captor was there, opening the door and ready to separate them.

He always tried to put up a fight. Even with the malnourishment and weakness he still tried to fight. Because he was the only one there to protect Sam — and he would take a million beatings just to prevent his brother from receiving one.

When he collapsed back onto the floor of their ‘prison’ after another beating, he heard the door slide shut moments before Sam’s arms wrapped around him.

“Dean? Are you okay?”

The dark voice of their captor sounded through the closed door. “Two more days, and I will decide for you. Either you fuck him, or I will.”

---

“So… you don’t want to fuck me?” Dean’s uncertainty came through in his voice.

“Not tonight,” Castiel replied. “And you’re being awfully mouthy,” he added. “I don’t like mouthy subs.” Castiel sat down on the sofa, his icy blue stare never leaving Dean’s face.

“Uh, sorry.” Dean cast his eyes to the floor. That’s what submissives were supposed to do, right?

Sir.

Shit. “Uh, yes. Sir. Sorry, sir.”

Castiel didn’t react to Dean’s fluster. “Here’s what’s going to happen tonight, Dean. I want to see what I’ve purchased. I want to see your body and I want to see you get off, but you’re going to follow my instructions exactly. You won’t do anything that I don’t tell you to do. Do you understand?”

That’s all? Dean thought. That’s an easy paycheck.

“I said, ‘Do you understand?’

“Y-yes. Yes, sir.”

“Do you consent?”

“Yes.”

“Good. And what’s your safeword?”

Again? Haven’t we already been over this? “Topeka.”

“Good.” Castiel shifted in his seat and let his eyes travel over Dean’s body. “I like that suit on you. Turn around.”

Dean did as he was told, returning to face Castiel again.

“And did you follow every item of the dress code that I sent to you?”

“Yes, sir.” Dean licked his lips in nervous anticipation of how Castiel would react to the panties.

“Take off your jacket, and lay it over the back of that chair.”

The suit was nicer than anything Dean had ever worn, and cost more than what he would have willingly spent on it had the choice been entirely his. At least Castiel didn’t want it crumpled on the floor. He took the slate grey jacket off, folded it once, and lay it on the chair as told. He looked to Castiel again.

“Unbutton the vest, and take it off.”

Dean began to do so, his eyes on his hands, and then on the floor, his feet.

“Look at me,” Castiel said. “If you don’t need to see what your hands are doing, I want you to look at me. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.” Dean finished with the buttons on his vest, and shrugged off the garment.

“Put it with the jacket. You can put all your clothes on that chair.”

Dean did so.

“Take off your tie, then your socks, then unbutton and take off your shirt.”

Dean tried to keep his hands from shaking as he followed the instructions. At least he had something to focus on. He was almost certain that had he been told to sit still, hands at his side, that his jittering and fidgeting would give him away. Dean kept his eyes on Castiel like he’d been told to. The man never stopped staring at him, and Dean knew that had he come into this completely sober he wouldn’t have been able to maintain the eye contact. The carpet was soft and plush under his feet. He wiggled his toes in it, relishing a movement that was unbidden, yet unnoticed.

“Unbuckle your belt and slide it out of your pants before you take them off.” Castiel nodded as Dean slowly followed the command, then continued, “Now the pants. Slowly. Once they reach your ankles — turn to face the window.”

Under Castiel’s scrutinizing gaze, Dean couldn’t tell if the older man was enjoying the show or not. It was like stripping for a granite wall. He slowly unbuttoned his pants and held onto the waistband as he shimmied them down his body and over his hips. Once they reached his knees, he did as instructed and turned around. As he bent forward to pull the pants off, he was highly aware of the fact that Castiel was staring at his ass and the emerald green silk panties that barely covered it.

He felt naked as he began folding the pants and neatly set them on the chair.

When he turned back to look at Castiel, the man pointed to a spot on the rug a few feet in front of him. “Kneel in that spot and put your hands behind your back. I need to get a glass of water and use the restroom. When I return in ten minutes I expect you to be in the same spot, understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“If you feel the need to safeword at any time, call out loudly and I will return.”

”Yes, sir.”

---

Picking at his torn sweatpants, Sam sat on the mattress they had been sharing for two months and took a deep breath. “Dean, he isn’t going to stop and he isn’t going to give us another option.”

Sitting on the floor a couple feet away, Dean savored the last bites of their apple and shook his head. “I’m not fucking my own brother, Sam. I don’t even think my dick would cooperate long enough to try.”

He could hear a soft sniffle coming from the direction of his younger brother. Sam would never cry so openly if there wasn’t darkness around them masking the teardrops. Sam hiccuped. “So you’re going to sit back and let some nasty bastard do it? I’ve never even—”

Dean frowned, throwing the apple core across the room. “Never even what?”

“Kissed a girl.”

“Sam, he’s not going to let us go just because we do this. Why would he keep us for months and then just randomly let us go? He’s a monster and monsters don’t act rationally, or keep promises.”

“All I’m saying is…” Sam’s voice was barely above a whisper. “I would trust you to protect me. I know that you would never hurt me, Dean. And we’d be together.”

“Shut up and go to sleep.”

Chapter Text


”He who is drowning is not troubled by rain.” - Persian Proverb

---

It had been nearly forty-five minutes since the bump of coke Dean had done before he left his apartment and the effects were wearing off. He wanted desperately to take more, just another little hit, but even if he were permitted to move from his spot kneeling on the carpet, he hadn’t brought any more of the drug with him. His contract with Castiel strictly prohibited his bringing any illegal substances to their appointments — but had said nothing about enjoying their use beforehand.

Dean snapped back to attention when Castiel walked back into the room. Dean had done as he was asked and sat kneeling, hands clasped behind his back, on the carpet in the middle of the room, and wearing nothing but the green silk panties he’d been instructed to wear.

Castiel settled back into his spot on the sofa and set the glass of water he’d brought back onto the side table. Dean could not tell if it was approval or arousal that lit the spark in his eyes. “You can follow directions,” he said. “Good.”

Since he was unaware if the ‘look me in the eyes’ rule still stood, Dean held his head steady and kept his gaze on the floor by Castiel’s feet. His fingers were twitching badly, one hand rubbing imperceptibly over the other wrist.

“Now,” Castiel slowly swirled his index finger around the rim of his water glass. “I want you to push the front of the panties down far enough to free your cock and balls.” When Dean did as instructed, Castiel nodded approvingly. “Dean, are you right-handed or left-handed?”

“Right-handed. Sir.”

“Okay. Touch your dick with your right hand. Leave your other hand on your knee for now. I want you to get yourself hard, and I want you to tell me exactly what you think of. Be honest.”

Dean closed his eyes briefly and thought back to his first drug dealer. He may have been a hairy Cajun but damn if he hadn’t had the best weed in Sacramento. They’d never fucked — Dean wasn’t sure what one messy handjob while high out of his mind counted for — but would have jumped on that so fast if he’d been given the chance. “A guy I used to know,” Dean began, “big, tall, kind of a bear. Like to think about him picking me up and fucking me against a wall.”

“Did you?” Castiel asked. “Ever fuck him, I mean.”

“No, sir. Wanted to, though.” Right on cue Dean’s dick began to twitch into life.

“What else? Anything you want him to do to you before he fucks you?”

Dean shrugged. “He can blow me.” He wasn’t lying — who would turn down a blowjob — but how personal was he expected to get?

“Tell me, Dean. What do you want him to do.”

Dean closed his hand around his dick. It was still only about half-hard. “I’d… I want him to throw me on the bed and eat my ass out.”

Castiel took a sip of water and placed the glass down again. “Do you like that, Dean? Getting your tight asshole fucked by a tongue?”

Being dirty-talked at by a handsome near-stranger was apparently another of Dean’s kinks — even if he couldn’t gauge Castiel’s arousal. “Y-yes, sir.” He was hard now but unsure of where to go next. He didn’t have to wonder for too long.

“Jerk yourself off, Dean. Think about that man fucking you into the mattress. Don’t come yet. You can use your other hand to squeeze your balls, but only once, then put your hand back on your knee.”

Dean did so. It felt good, and he half-wished he could keep playing with his balls. He could feel some precome leaking out of his cockhead.

“Jerk yourself faster, Dean,” Castiel said, “and look at me while you do it. Think about him fucking you into that wall.”

Dean raised his head again to meet Castiel’s gaze. He knew Castiel’s eyes hadn’t left him once. He could feel it. He let his hand fly faster over his cock and started to feel the familiar warmth build up low in his gut.

The fantasy continued to play out in his mind, but the longer he stared into piercing blue eyes, the faster the person in his imagination began to change. Suddenly it was Castiel slamming him up against the wall — pounding into him relentlessly against the wall. He never imagined that it would be so fucking intense to jerk off while staring at another person.

His stomach muscles began to twitch and his balls started to ache as they searched for the relief that only release would allow them. He wanted — no, needed — to come, but he knew that he couldn’t do so until Castiel approved.

Blue eyes flicked down to look at his cock and watched for a long moment before finally stating the words Dean needed to hear. “You may come, but do not get anything on my floor. Catch every single drop, Dean.”

Since Castiel hadn’t given him permission to move his left hand, he shoved his right hand to the head of his cock and held it in a cup shape, catching as much as he could. He could only hope he’d get everything.

After he’d finished Castiel stood with no comment. He walked into the kitchen with his empty glass and returned with a hand towel which he held out to Dean. “Clean yourself off and get dressed. There’s a laundry basket in the guest bathroom by the front door, you can leave the towel in there.”

Dean took the cloth, but frowned. As he wiped his hand clean he wondered how Castiel had managed to not be incredibly turned on — was he not attracted to Dean? Had Dean done something wrong? He brushed the thoughts out of his head — his comedown was starting to hit him hard and he felt too much like shit to give it any more thought. A glance at the clock on the wall told him he still had about an hour and a half left.

When he was satisfactorily jizz-free, Dean dressed to his waistcoat and walked the dirty towel into the bathroom near the apartment’s entrance. Dropping the cloth into the wicker basket he walked back into the entryway to find Castiel waiting for him. He held Dean’s jacket out to him.

“We’re done for the night,” Castiel said.

“Oh.” Dean took his jacket but didn’t put it on yet. “But you’ve got me for another hour and half…”

“I booked you for three hours, but you can go now.”

“Al-alright.” Dean slipped on the jacket and stepped towards the door that Castiel now held open. “Um… have a good night.”

“You as well,” Castiel said as Dean turned to go. “And Mr. Winchester?”

Dean spun on his spot, already out the door. “Yeah?”

“Never come to my home high again.”

The door closed in Dean’s face.

Shit.

---

When he stepped back outside, a slight drizzle was falling from the sky. “Fucking Portland,” he mumbled. He would now be out half of his night’s pay just because the damn cocaine had worn off early. He fidgeted uncomfortably in his way-too-expensive suit and walked towards the main road in hopes of finding a bus that was still running.

There was no way Charlie would get his message if he called and asked her to come pick him up early. And by the time she got there he would be a babbling mess on the ground in front of his newest client’s condo building — if he was even still a client any more. Whereas a quick check of the map on his phone suggested that he could get to the club where Charlie was in just under forty minutes thanks to public transportation.

He caught a bus to the next Max station and let the train take him the rest of the way downtown. When he finally made it to the club, he was jonesing enough to be twitching. He slipped inside, eyes automatically scanning the half-lit room and searching for Charlie. When he spotted short red hair sticking up in a faux-hawk on one side, he knew he’d found her.

Dean made his way through the crowd and wrapped his right arm around Charlie’s bare waist, interrupting her current dance with a pretty brunette in a mini-skirt. Charlie looked up at him, obviously confused by his arrival.

Above the sound of metal music and screaming, he leaned down to speak directly in her ear. “I’m fucked up and need a hit. No cash though. Who can I talk to?”

It was Charlie’s scene — her people, her crowd. She nodded once at Dean before looking around the room. When she focused back on him, she pointed towards the bar. “Tall blonde guy on the third stool. Offer to blow him.”

“Thanks, doll. Don’t leave without me.” He leaned forward to kiss her cheek before leaving Charlie to her latest conquest and going for the bar.

The blonde was handsome, but not Dean’s usual type. Even still — he didn’t have many options when it came to getting a quick hit. And he’d much rather continue the high instead of going home to ride out the drop.

He slid into the space next to the blonde and glanced at the bar for only a moment before turning to the other man. “My friend says you can help me out,” he spoke over the music.

“I don’t help many people,” the guy replied. “Who’s your friend?”

“Charlie. Charlie Bradbury.”

At the sound of her name, the guy turned around to look out over the crowds, seeking out Charlie’s location. As he watched her dance, the man asked Dean, “What is it that you need?”

“Coke. Just a hit.” Dean fidgeted, wishing he had stashed an extra pair of clothes in Charlie’s car. If something got on the goddamn suit he was wearing, he’d have to waste another check buying a new one.

“I can do that. You got cash?”

If he did, life would have been ten times easier. But no, he didn’t have cash… he had a suit. “I have services. Been told I’m pretty good with my mouth.”

Ten minutes later Dean sat on the edge of a booth in the darkest corner of the club and rubbed his hand along the blonde’s growing erection. When the guy had suggested Dean dropping to his knees, he’d had an instant vision of who-knew-how-many bodily fluids getting on his suit pants and staining. His solution was to sit while the other man stood before him.

As he untucked a worn leather belt and started undoing the guy’s jeans, he glanced up. “What’s your name?”

The guy looked unsure about answering at first, but finally offered, “Eddie.”

Eddie wasn’t wearing underwear, so Dean easily shoved the jeans down far enough to free Eddie’s dick. It was on the smaller side of average and uncut — something that Dean equally hated and loved depending on whether or not the guy bathed thoroughly.

“Come on, bitch,” Eddie demanded, “you gonna suck me off or not? Coke ain’t cheap.”

He was right, of course, and considering all Dean had at home was the rest of Lisa’s pot and half a pack of cigarettes — he knew that he had to make it good.

Easily and without much effort at all, Dean swallowed the guy’s dick down and began expertly working him over. It was more than a little disappointing that he could fit the guy’s entire cock in his mouth without an issue — sometimes he liked the burn of a cock brushing the back of his throat and making him want to gag…

Eddie gripped Dean’s hair a little too tight and began rutting his hips — fucking in and out of Dean’s mouth. Dean swirled his tongue and applied as much suction as he could manage, hoping that he was doing a good enough job. When Eddie leaned forward, Dean looked up into his blue-gray eyes and wondered briefly about the size of Castiel’s cock.

Maybe it would be large enough to make his eyes water while Castiel fucked his mouth.

“Swallow and I’ll send an extra hit home with you,” Eddie stated over the thumping beat of the music.

A couple minutes later, Dean did just that as the blonde stranger unloaded onto his tongue. He swallowed the bitter flavor without hesitation and then smirked as he opened his mouth to show Eddie that he had swallowed.

“What a good little bitch you are.”

It was meaningless praise from a worthless drug dealer, but it still kept the smile on Dean’s face.

That and the bag of cocaine that Eddie pulled out of his back pocket.

Chapter Text


”Words don’t have the power to hurt you, unless that person meant more to you than you’re willing to confess.” - Shannon L. Adler

--- Five Years Earlier ---

“But, Mom!” Sam rolled his eyes in protest as he dragged out the one-syllable word as long as possible. “I’m fourteen. You and Dad are only gonna be gone for two days — Dean doesn’t need to hang around to look after me.”

Mary gave Sam an affectionate squeeze as she passed through the kitchen, carrying her overnight bag. “And how do you know I don’t need you to keep an eye on him?” She winked at him, a gleam of mischief in her eye.

“I heard that!” an indignant voice called out from the living room. Dean sat parked on the sofa in front of the television, an array of textbooks and papers spread around him. “This chem midterm is gonna kick my ass if I don’t get some peace and quiet this weekend. So you’d —” Dean pointed a finger at Sam as he came into the room, “— better stay out of my hair, you capiche?”

“Yes Dean, I capiche I get it, you’re a senior.” Sam was getting a lot of practice at rolling his eyes. He made to retreat up the stairs to his room, but had to step out of the way to make room for John carrying his own bulky duffle bag down the stairs.

“Make sure you mind your brother, Sammy —” John began.

“It’s ‘Sam,’” Sam interjected.

“— and maybe don’t spend the entire weekend cooped up in your room, huh? Get some fresh air.”

“Sure, Dad,” Sam said, and ducked around his father.

“So he rolls his eyes at me, but with you it’s ‘Sure, Dad’?” Mary playfully teased her husband. “Well, I guess we’re good to go!” Sam was still at the bottom of the stairs and Mary put her bag on the floor as she pulled her youngest son in for a hug and kissed the top of his head. “We’ll be back Sunday night, you take care of your brother, okay?”

“I can still hear you!”

Mary crossed the room and gave Dean a kiss over the back of the couch and lowered her voice so that only he could hear. “Don’t study too hard, okay? And maybe spend some time with your brother. He looks up to you, you know.”

Dean laid his book down on his lap. “Sure thing, Mom. Have a good trip.”

John now had his bag on one shoulder and Mary’s on the other. “Alright boys, don’t burn the house down, and don’t murder each other. Your mother and I will see you Sunday.” John leaned into the door handle with his hip and used his foot to push the door open.

“Bye Dad,” came the chorus from the stairs and the living room.

“John! I can take my own bag — give me that!” And Mary disappeared out the front door wrestling her bag from off her husband’s shoulder.

“Bye Mom!”

The door closed behind Mary and the house was quiet.

Sam waited until he heard the car rolling down the driveway before moving into the living room and sitting down in the recliner across from his brother. “What’s for dinner?”

“Um…” Dean glanced at the clock. “We can order a pizza if you want. You can get whatever you want as long there’s no olives this time. Fuckin’ weird black salty things.”

Sam bolted out of the chair and made for the kitchen where the family’s favorite pizza menu was stuck to the fridge. “Okay, but I’m getting mushrooms and you can’t stop me!”

The large supreme-but-no-olives pizza arrived forty-five minutes later. They were already halfway through it when Sam heard the sound of a car in the driveway. There was a knock at the door a minute later and Dean left the kitchen to answer the door. Gulping down more of his cola Sam recognised the new voice at the door to belong to one of Dad’s co-workers at the garage.

“Hey Sam, how’s it going, buddy?” the man greeted as he followed Dean into the kitchen.

“Hi Alan,” Sam replied. “Pretty good, how are you?”

“Uh good. I’m real good.” The older man seemed nervous, and jumpy.

“Alan’s just gotta grab something Dad left for him, right?” Dean looked at Alan, who nodded. “Well if it’s in the garage then you can go have a look.” He pointed towards the door on the far side of the kitchen that opened up to their garage, and returned to his kitchen stool next to Sam. They both grabbed another slice of pizza.

“That sure smells good,” Alan said, walking back into a kitchen a few minutes later. He was empty-handed.

“You hungry?” Dean offered, pushing the open box across the counter towards the other man. “Help yourself. We don’t need Sam getting fat — ow!”

Sam had landed an expertly aimed thwap to the back of Dean’s head and both boys were laughing, their mouths full of pizza crust and melted cheese.

“That’s awfully generous of you, Dean, thank you.” Alan took a paper plate from the open package next to the pizza box, helped himself to a slice, and sat down at the counter with them, before standing again. “Hey let me get you boys some more soda,” he said, picking up their partially empty cups and crossing the kitchen. “There’s more in the fridge?”

“Uh, yeah,” Dean answered. “Thanks.”

Sam watched as Alan placed the two cups on the counter next to the fridge before opening it and pulling out a large bottle of cola. He paid him no more mind. “So are you almost done studying?”

“For the weekend? Not for a long shot. But I guess I can be done for the night.”

“Good,” Sam said, stuffing the last of his pizza in his mouth. “Because you’re boring when you’re reading.”

Alan sat down again and put two full cups of soda in front of each boy. Sam downed half his in one gulp.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” Dean asked.

“Not yet,” Alan replied. “John said it might be under a stack of boxes. I’ll find it eventually, and get out of your hair.”

“What are you looking for?” said Sam.

“Oh, just some old fishing lures your dad said I could borrow.”

“Yeah, those might be pretty buried,” Dean said, “Dad hasn’t been fishing in years. You want any help?”

“No, you boys finish your dinner. Thanks for the slice.” Alan finished his food and rose again and returned to the garage. “I’ll be gone soon, I promise!”

Nearly an hour later Alan was still in their garage. Sam and Dean were sprawled on the living room sofa watching a bad SyFy movie.

“Jesus,” Dean said under his breath, “What, is the guy reorganiz-reorg-rorg — moving around our whole garage? Go check on ‘im.”

“You go check on him. Dude, I’m fucking exhausted.” Sam’s eyelids felt heavier than they ever had. All he wanted to do was let go and fall asleep — and his brain decided that was a fabulous idea. The last thing he remembered was being lifted from the couch, catching a bleary look at Alan, and hearing a soft 'thud' as Dean fell forward off the couch and onto the floor.

--- Present Day ---

Thirty-six hours after his eventful night with Castiel and then at Charlie’s favorite club, Dean woke up in his apartment feeling somewhat normal. With the extra coke from Eddie, he had successfully come down without suffering much harm. He’d be looking for more in a day or so, but he had at least twenty hours before the need got overwhelming.

The bedroom area of his studio apartment was curtained off to give an air of separation between that space and the living room/kitchen/dining room. Dean scratched at his messy bed hair as he stepped past the curtain wearing only a pair of black boxer-briefs. “Smells like coffee,” he mumbled.

Standing against the kitchen counter, Charlie held a mug of coffee close to her face and seemed to be breathing in more than she was drinking. She did that a lot.

Dean poured himself a cup of coffee and stood back to take a long drink of it. While the liquid settled into his empty stomach, he let his eyes drift over his best friend. She had dyed her hair bright purple the day before, and it stood out in all different directions on her head — probably unintentionally. Since she slept in nothing but panties and couldn’t function to think without coffee, she was still mostly naked as she stood there in the kitchen.

His eyes skimmed right over naked breasts to focus on Charlie’s panties. They were yellow with small bumble bees all over them. “Are those new? Haven’t seen them before.”

Charlie spread her arms out and looked down at her own body, letting out a soft ‘hmm’ when she noticed the panties. “Lisa’s.”

“Stole her drugs and her underwear?”

She shrugged, taking another drink of coffee and toying with her belly button ring. “Not my fault she was needy and demanding. And I swear she wasn’t a real lesbian. Her giving to receiving ratio was worse than a guy’s.”

“Speaking of giving,” Dean moved to the small fridge to search for food. “That Eddie guy? Smallest dick in town.”

“Not surprising. He gets good stuff though. Bet he tasted like shit — did he make you swallow?” When Dean nodded, Charlie scrunched up her nose. “Disgusting. I’ll take pussy over that shit any day.”

“Same.” Dean held out the eggs to her and continued searching, hoping to find bacon or sausage. “So you ever going to answer Lisa’s calls?”

“No need. Sent her a picture of that girl at the club the other night eating me out. Told her she lost her chance.”

When he stood back up, triumphantly holding a half-gone package of sausage links, he gave Charlie a look and shook his head. “You’re a stone cold bitch sometimes. Remind me not to get on your bad side.” As he brushed past her to get to the stove, he tweaked the nipple ring on her left breast like he always did when he didn’t approve of her antics. “Heartless little womanizer.”

“Says the male prostitute.” Charlie laughed slapping his ass and walking out of the kitchen. “Make me some, Chewie, I’m hungry and poor.”

“You should just marry me now and stop fooling around with this lesbian nonsense!” he called after her, teasingly.

“You wish.

Once Charlie was shut inside the bathroom and the shower began to run, Dean set to work making breakfast. He was just beginning to dish up the food when his cellphone rang. Reaching around to the counter where the phone was plugged in, he answered despite the fact that he didn’t know the number. “‘Ello?”

“Hello, Mr. Winchester.” Miss McKenna.

“Uh, yeah, hi, ma’am.” His stomach started to sink as he realized she was probably calling to reprimand him after the other night with Castiel. He didn’t know how to handle losing his job…

“I am calling to inform you that Mr. Novak has sent in his payment and we have your check waiting. He said that everything was acceptable on your night together and you’ve scheduled to meet again next Friday, is this correct?”

Acceptable... He didn’t rat me out? Dean felt a wave of relief hit him. “Yes, of course. I’m due to meet him Friday night at ten for another three hour session.”

He could practically hear Miss McKenna nodding and smiling her approval. “Good. I’ve got two other clients I would like you to take care of this week. Ruby will have the information at the front desk when you pick up your check. Call me if you have any problems, Mr. Winchester.”

“Yes, ma—” He heard the unmistakable sound of the dial tone in his ear. Feeling a rush of excitement, he set the phone back on the counter and called out for Charlie to hear, “Charlie, my love, we’re eating steak tonight!”

“Woohoo!”

Chapter Text


”I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. Anything else is just… in between.” - Jim Morrison

---

After the scare of almost losing his very new, very lucrative source of income, Dean realized he needed to get his shit together. As much as a prostitute deciding to take their job seriously counts for getting one’s shit together, Dean thought, unsure of whether to laugh or cry.

Instead, Dean walked over to the pile of assorted papers threatening to take over the kitchen table and shuffled through it until he found what he wanted. ‘Escort Code of Conduct’ read the front of the glossy cover. “I wonder how much of this I’ve fucked up already,” he said aloud, bringing the booklet over to the couch and sitting down.

Thumbing through the pages, most of it seemed pretty par for the course. Be nice to your client, put on a show, give them what they want. Establish safewords for the kinky shit, don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with, be safe.

It was when he turned the page again that he saw something that gave him pause.

Escorts are responsible for getting themselves tested monthly for all common STI’s, and must submit monthly test results from a licensed healthcare provider.

Well, shit.

He’d been clean when he’d started the job, even if his papers hadn’t been as current as they could have been. And he’d played safe with every client he’d seen so far…

There was just the matter of Eddie.

Fuck.

If Dean was ever going to catch anything, it would probably be from that nasty fucker.

…’must submit monthly test results from a licensed healthcare provider.

Dean slammed the book down on the couch beside him, rose, put on his boots and jacket, and headed out the door to the free clinic.

---

“Relieved” didn’t even begin to describe how Dean felt when he phoned in for his test results two days later. All negative. It kind of shocked him, honestly — the kind of shit he’d gotten into the last few years definitely fell into the category of a “high risk lifestyle.” He’d started to assume that he would just live fast and hard until it killed him. Most diseases were a vague and far-off threat. But losing his job — that was something tangible.

When he left his apartment and hopped the bus to go to his next client, he was glad that he knew the results of the test. His conscience might have had him calling Miss McKenna to cancel the appointment without knowing for sure.

He stepped off of the bus feeling more excited than nervous, which had to be a good sign that he was getting used to the job. Of course, Dean’s third client was more than a little bit unexpected. When he showed up at the address provided dressed in a lower quality suit — since the new client wasn’t as picky as Castiel Novak — he expected another eccentric rich guy.

The woman that opened the door was well into her sixties, with white-gray hair pulled up into a modest bun and a simple housecoat wrapped around her body. She smiled affectionately at him, reminding him a little too much of his grandmother, and held out her hand. “You must be Dean.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied. Instead of shaking her head, at the last second he made the decision to bring it to his lips and gently kiss the top of it.

As expected, she grinned. “You may call me Helen or ‘ma’am’, whichever you prefer.” She stepped out of the doorway and motioned him inside.

Once inside the house, he glanced around for a moment before smiling at Helen. “Would you like me to remove my shoes, ma’am?”

“Actually, if you want to follow me,” she moved a few steps down the main hallway until she stopped at the entrance to a plain bedroom. “You can leave your things in here on the bed so they don’t wrinkle. Go ahead and strip out of everything except your boxers, okay?” Dean nodded and stepped inside the bedroom. “I’ll just wait right out here,” Helen said softly as she pulled the door shut.

As Dean started to undress, he realized that he probably should have paid better attention to the client profile he had received on Miss Helen. If he had to get hard and perform for a woman old enough to be his grandmother — it probably would have helped to have some Viagra or Cialis in his system. He had no idea how he was going to force an erection and play with wrinkly skin…

Shaking off that thought, he stripped quickly and laid out his clothes, before straightening his boxer-briefs on his ass and turning back to the door. He pulled it open and smiled at the woman waiting patiently for him.

Her eyes danced along his naked skin for a long moment, before she nodded and smiled approvingly. “Very nice.” She tucked her hand around his elbow and guided him towards a large living room area. “You see, Dean, my sweet Johnny died about two years ago, and since he and I never had children… I have times where I get very lonely. It’s nice to have a companion sharing the same space, wouldn’t you agree?”

Dean nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

Helen moved to sit down on a white suede sofa and motioned to the pillow by her feet. Dean knew well enough to know that the pillow was for him — and quickly knelt down on the cushion, letting his ass rest on his feet.

“My friends,” Helen continued, “they keep suggesting I buy a dog. Filthy, time consuming things — how am I supposed to travel when I have a needy pet always demanding my attention?” She reached out, beginning to run her fingers gently through his hair. “But the idea was a good one, and I found that I could pay for a few hours with a better behaved pet — one that is specifically trained to keep me company on lonely nights. So if it’s alright with you, Dean, I’m going to watch some television and you can rest your head right here on my knee. If you need to use the restroom, or feel uncomfortable at any time, go ahead and speak up — but otherwise, I’d like to just relax together in the quiet.”

The concept was completely foreign to Dean — this woman was literally paying for him to sit there and do nothing, but since he wouldn’t need to force an erection to do as she asked, there was no way he was going to complain. He settled his head gently on her knee and sighed softly as she continued rubbing his head. “Yes, ma’am,” he whispered.

---

“You seriously have to be like the luckiest prostitute in history.” Charlie shook her head as she pushed the shopping cart through the Safeway that had been on their way home from Dean’s latest appointment. “Two clients in a row where all you do is sit around on your ass? I mean seriously — who pays over a hundred dollars to have someone play board games with them.”

“Lonely old rich women apparently.” Dean slowed his pace, eyes scanning the various displays in front of the bakery. “Charlie, I want pie. Can I have pie?”

“I’m not your mother, Chewie.”

Dean pouted. “No, but you’re the closest thing I have to a wife. So can I have pie or not? You know I’m not old enough to make such important decisions.”

“You may have a slice of pie, but not the whole thing.” She pointed to the other side of the case where the individual slices were sold. “Can’t have that ass getting any squishier — it’s our money-maker.”

Dean let Charlie continue teasing him as they made their way through the store stocking up on grocery essentials. When Charlie mentioned the need for bath products that didn’t smell like Dean, he followed her patiently to the health and beauty section. Halfway down the aisle, he noticed a man standing in front of the display of condoms and lubricant and frowned.

“Castiel?” The name left his mouth without hesitation, and it was only after he spoke that it dawned on Dean that addressing clients outside of the dom/sub environment might not be appropriate. He was just shocked to see the other man.

Castiel looked up, glancing briefly between Dean and Charlie, before slipping a large box of condoms into the handbasket he held. “Hello, Dean. How is your evening going?”

Distracted by the fact that Castiel was wearing jeans, it took Dean a moment to realize he’d been asked a question. He looked back up to Castiel’s face and forced a smile. “Good. Just… shopping.”

Blue eyes focused back on Charlie. “Is this your girlfriend, Dean?” Castiel seemed a bit worried about asking such a question. It was clearly towing an invisible line between client and paid escort.

Dean looked back at Charlie — who was obviously trying really hard to pretend she was worried about the shampoo bottle in her hand and wasn’t eavesdropping. “No, no. That’s Charlie. She’s my roommate-slash-best friend. Also a raging lesbian.”

He didn’t fail to catch the ease of tension from Castiel’s shoulders. “Good. That’s… good.” Castiel looked more than a little out of his element with the current conversation. He waited another awkward moment before forcing a smile. “I should go. I have a um… meeting.”

“Right.” Dean watched the man rush away without even saying a goodbye and shook his head. He felt the the cart pushing into his leg and turned to see Charlie standing there with wide eyes.

“He’s hot.”

“He’s a client,” Dean replied.

“A really fucking hot client. God, those eyes were almost enough to make me straight. I wish I could find a chick with eyes like that.”

Dean noticed the empty spaces on the condom shelf and wondered what size Castiel had bought. “He thought you were my girlfriend. I don’t think he was prepared to handle having an… escort with a girlfriend at home.”

“Yeah,” Charlie steered the cart towards the next aisle. “That would probably fuck with anyone’s head. Finding out that you’re paying all that money when someone else is getting it for free?” Charlie frowned suddenly, turning around to stare at Dean. Her next question was probably not the most appropriate for the middle of the produce section, but Charlie never was one to really know the word ‘filter’. “Have you ever had a real boyfriend or girlfriend? I mean I know you’ve had a couple fuck buddies since we met, but…”

A sick feeling settled into the pit of his stomach. He didn’t even want to dwell on why one particular face popped up in his mind. “You think I have time for that shit, Charlie?” Dean shook his head. “Emotional bullcrap and dudes stealing my shit when I don’t give them enough time? No, thank you.”

---

After his run-in with Castiel at the grocery store, Dean had a good idea what to expect during their next appointment. He’d been wondering what Castiel was hiding under those well-pressed, expensive slacks of his and it looked like he’d finally get his answer.

But, more importantly, Dean felt that this would be an opportunity to redeem himself in Castiel’s eyes. Showing up high had been stupid, but he’d been scared. It still wasn’t the easiest job in the world, but the prospect of being pushed around possibly a little too hard was still so much better than the thought of having no job at all.

So when Charlie dropped him off at the fancy apartment complex at five minutes to ten on Friday night, he was ready to get fucked.

Chapter Text


”Thou art to me a delicious torment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

---

Dean paused in the hallway outside Castiel’s door. This would be the first time meeting the man in a professional setting while completely sober. Dean didn’t know what it was, but there was something about his other clients thus far that seemed… easier. Like there was less to lose, but also far more at stake. Which was a ridiculous thought — all of Dean’s clients paid the agency the same rate for variations of the same service.

But with Castiel, Dean had already fucked up once. He’d shown up to their first appointment high on cocaine (Only a little, Dean reasoned) after he’d been specifically instructed to not have any narcotics on him.

So why had Castiel given him a second chance? Dean had sure gotten shit on by other people far worse in the past for far less.

The door to Castiel’s apartment opened before Dean even had a chance to knock.

“Good evening, Dean,” Castiel said, his hand still on the door. Dean didn’t understand how the guy could still stand to be in work clothes so late — even if his dress shirt was unbuttoned at the top and looking more than a little rumpled. His hair was even sticking up on one side, but Castiel was quick to smooth it down.

“Uh, hey Cas.” Dean kicked himself mentally as soon as he’d said it. Shit, that’s way too casual, he’s gonna be pissed off.

But Castiel didn’t even blink at the impromptu nickname. “Please, come in.”

Dean walked through the door, his hands in his pockets. “So, uh, I need to apologize for last time.” He looked at the floor. “That — that was stupid of me, and, uh… I won’t do it again.”

“You’re right, it was stupid.” Castiel looked him straight in the eyes. “But I accept your apology.”

“I really appreciate that, and you not telling my boss—”

“As long as it never happens again, it’s in the past. Now,” Castiel let his eyes drag over Dean’s body from head to toe, “aren’t you on the clock?”

“Yes, sir.” Dean stood up straight, ready for inspection. He wore the same grey suit he had last time, but had at least managed to spring for a new tie. It was candy apple red — Charlie had insisted it contrasted wickedly against his eyes. He also noticed it had somehow come crooked, but before he could correct it, Castiel was already on the job. His hands felt warm, even through several layers of fabric. It felt nice, if unexpected, to have the older man so close in Dean’s personal space. It was calming, and Dean felt grounded.

“The agency forwarded me your test results from your doctor,” Castiel said, his tone businesslike. “I sent in mine as well — did you get them?”

“I did, yeah.”

“Good. So are you comfortable with giving or receiving oral sex without a condom, or other barriers?”

Images of Castiel with his lips stretched around Dean’s cock flashed unbidden through his mind. That’s not what you’re here for, not unless that’s what’s gonna get him off. “I am,” he said, fighting to keep his voice even.

“Good.” Dean noticed what looked to be desire flash through those impossible blue eyes. “Now,” Castiel continued, his hands on Dean’s lapels, “as good as this looks on you, I would like you to go into the guest bedroom, and strip. Are you wearing your panties again?”

“Yes sir,” Dean said, taking pride in the effect he apparently had on the other man as he noticed Castiel’s breathing quicken. It was almost imperceptible, but it was there.

“Strip to those, and wait on the bed, on your knees for me. I would like to touch you tonight. Is that acceptable?”

Dean swallowed a lump in his throat that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. “Yes, sir.”

“And what’s your safeword?”

“Topeka.”

“Good.” Castiel’s eyes were searching Dean’s, threatening to betray the stony facade his face was carrying on. “Second door on your left. I’ll be in shortly.”

Dean removed his shoes, remembering Castiel’s rule from last time, and padded down the hall. When he entered the second door on the left, he couldn’t help but look around and admire the modest decor. He had a feeling that Castiel bought his condo completely furnished — because he did not seem like the interior decorating type.

As he began undressing, his eyes landed on the one thing in the room that stood out — a small leather paddle that was laying on the wooden dresser. Measuring just over a foot in length, the paddle seemed equal parts intimidating and non-threatening. Nothing else in the room appeared to be out of place — it had to have been left there on purpose.

Dean brushed the paddle from his mind and untucked his shirt, unbuttoning it all the way and sliding it down his shoulders. He folded his clothes as carefully as he had last time, and placed them on a chair in the corner of the room.

Once he was wearing only the red and black panties —newly purchased for the occasion — he climbed slowly onto the middle of the bed. Castiel’s only instruction had been ‘on your knees,’ so Dean faced the headboard resting on his knees and palms. The disconcerting part about that particular position, was his lack of view — if Castiel was quiet, Dean would have no idea when he entered the room.

Dean didn’t have to wait for very long.

He heard Castiel’s footsteps within a few minutes, although he was quiet and the building was too new to have very squeaky floors. He entered the room without saying a word and left the door open.

Castiel approached the bed, and Dean shivered when Castiel ran one hand down Dean’s spine. He hooked one finger under the elastic over Dean’s hip, pulling it away from Dean’s skin and letting it snap back softly. “You look so pretty in your panties, Dean. Do you like wearing panties for me?”

“Yes, sir,” Dean replied, anticipation making the palms of his hands itch. He didn’t dare move his head to look around — Castiel hadn’t yet laid down all the rules and Dean didn’t want to fuck up again. Dean heard Castiel walk towards the dresser where he’d seen the paddle, pick up the object, and walk back. He felt the rough slide of leather over his ass cheeks as Castiel ran the paddle over his skin.

Oh, boy.

“I’ll be frank, Dean. I’m going to spank your ass raw, but I’m also going to make it worth your while.” There was a tone of command in his voice that wasn’t there when he’d greeted Dean at the door. “If you can be quiet — and I mean not one sound — I will eat your ass out until you come so hard you can’t remember your own name.”

Holy shit.

“Do you consent?” This time his voice was casual; he didn’t sound unsure of himself, but he wasn’t giving an order either.

“Y-yes, sir.”

“What’s your safeword?”

“Topeka.”

“Good. Use it if you need to. But otherwise — no noise.”

Dean nodded, assuming the game was beginning. He was right.

Castiel smoothed one hand over his ass. While not exactly modest, the new panties did cover his ass a little. Castiel pushed the fabric on both sides up, wedging the garment into Dean’s crack to expose as much of his skin as possible while still wearing them. The paddle tapped gently against his skin once, before it recoiled and hit Dean square on the ass hard enough to send him forward just a little.

Thwack.

Another hit, harder.

Thwack.

Dean clenched his hands in the blanket below him, and tried to keep his breath even. After a few more hits his skin started to sting but Castiel showed no signs of relenting. Dean couldn’t decide what was the bigger motivation: the promise of what would probably be a hell of a rimjob, or the thought of successfully doing what Castiel asked of him.

Dean let the heat spreading over his skin distract him as he bit into his bottom lip to keep from crying out. Despite the pain and the strict concentration and focus he had on not making a noise, Dean’s cock was still hard as a rock — pressing up against his panties and trying to break free beyond the elastic.

“You’re being so good for me, Dean.” Castiel’s voice was low and rough over the higher-pitched smacks of leather on bare skin. “You’re not going to make any noise unless I ask, are you?”

Dean shook his head, uncertain of whether or not the question was rhetorical, but not wanting to break his silence.

“Maybe this is too easy for you,” Castiel mused, pausing in his strikes.

Dean tried his best not to flinch when Cas’ hand touched his raw and stinging skin, trailing a path between his legs to squeeze his erection through the smooth material of his panties. The pressure felt delicious but it was far too fleeting. Dean had no idea entirely what was in store for him that night, but somehow he trusted this man who seemed more than able and willing to take Dean apart piece by piece.

It was all he could do to hope that he’d be put back together again.

“Maybe I need to make this harder for you.” Dean braced himself for a stronger impact but Castiel waited long enough that Dean was still caught off guard.

Smack.

“It’s too bad you can’t see how red your pretty ass is, Dean.”

Smack.

His skin was practically screaming now, all his nerve endings laid raw — but he’d be lying if he didn’t admit that every slap didn’t also send a shiver of pleasure through his groin. Dean desperately wished he had something to bite down on, but he was pretty sure that if he dared take the pillow or blanket underneath him between his teeth, he’d tear through them. So he was good.

As he entered an almost calm state of mind, he gradually became aware of the strikes to his ass slowing. They stopped entirely with one last hit that felt harder than all the others, and Dean wondered just how many muscles Castiel was hiding under his wrinkled dress shirt.

“You were so good, Dean, so good.” There was an unmistakable note of pride in Castiel’s voice and Dean found himself wondering both where it was coming from, and why it made Dean feel so damn good.

Dean heard Castiel place the paddle back on the dresser and felt him kneel on the bed behind him. The strong hands that smoothed over his raw and angry skin were not entirely unwelcome, but his flesh was definitely very sensitive. “You look amazing all marked up like this for me, Dean.” Castiel leaned closer and placed a kiss at the base of Dean’s spine. It was surprisingly tender. “I think you’ve more than earned your reward, Dean. Would you like me to eat your ass out?”

Dean couldn’t nod enthusiastically enough.

“You have to do one thing for me though,” Castiel said, an edge of mischief in his voice. “I want you to be loud for me now.” He punctuated his statement by digging his fingernails just slightly into the abused, red flesh of Dean’s ass. “I want to hear you whimper, and moan, and scream for me while I split you open on my tongue. Do it now, Dean. Make noise for me.”

Castiel clenched his fingers deeper into Dean’s skin, and Dean let out a broken, breathy moan. “Yes, yes sir, please.

Castiel wrenched the panties out of where they were practically lodged in Dean’s crack and pulled them down to about halfway down his thighs. Spreading Dean’s knees further apart, he leaned in to pepper kisses to the stinging skin before licking a stripe from the base of Dean’s balls to his hole. Placing a hand on either cheek he brought his face in close, dragging the flat of his tongue over Dean’s skin.

This time Dean let every keening moan he needed to make tumble out of his throat. If Castiel wanted loud, he could do loud. Dean was pleased, for more than one reason, to hear nearly every noise he made echoed in a low hum from the man who had his face buried in Dean’s ass.

Castiel fell into a rhythm that alternated between probing his tongue inside Dean’s hole and obscenely slurping around that and everything else. Dean didn’t know where Castiel had stashed the lube, or when he had even opened some, but when the older man slid a finger into him, alongside his tongue, it was a smooth and welcome burn. Dean had no idea where this guy had learned to eat ass, but he felt compelled to find out and send them a damn muffin basket.

Dean must have been noisy enough, and sufficiently giving himself away, because soon after Castiel slipped a second finger inside him, he raised his head long enough to say, “I want you to be a good boy and come for me, Dean. Mark up those pretty panties of yours for me. Come for me now.” Castiel’s fingertips found Dean’s prostate with a practiced ease and it was all over. Dean came with a garbled cry, and even as he was coming his brains out with Castiel still tongue-deep in his ass he found himself wondering how he was going to get the come stains out of his underwear. Because he was certain there was a fucking ton of it.

As he breathed through the end of his orgasm Dean became aware of Castiel speaking. He had withdrawn his tongue and fingers, and Dean heard the distinct sound of a belt buckle and zipper being undone. “I want to come on your ass, Dean. May I?”

“Yes. Please, sir.” Dean barely managed to get his reply out, still breathing heavily. He was still facing forward, obediently on his hands and knees.

“Fuck, Dean, the things you do to me,” Castiel said, and it was so low that Dean wasn’t sure it had been meant to have been said out loud.

Despite not having been touched at all during their session, it was barely more than a minute before Castiel was striping Dean’s still stinging red ass with his own come. Job well done, Dean thought smugly to himself.

When Castiel’s breathing returned to a steady pace, Dean felt his weight move off the bed. He left the room, and Dean heard a tap run for a few moments somewhere, and then Castiel was back. “Here,” he said, “let me clean you off.” He ran a cool wet cloth over the mess Dean didn’t doubt he’d left there. “You can sit up now.” He folded the half-dirty towel and handed it to Dean. “This side’s clean,” he said, nodding to where Dean would need to clean up himself. “I’m sorry if those are ruined, but I’m very grateful you wore them for me.” He was relaxed again, the authority mostly gone from his voice, and almost seemed a little shy.

Dean stood to reach inside his panties and wipe the come away and winced as the elastic rubbed against the sore part of his skin.

“Are you alright?” The concern in Castiel’s voice was palpable.

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine,” Dean said. “It’ll smart for a while but it… it was good.” He looked down to hide the blush spreading over his face. He glanced at the watch he was still wearing and frowned. “It’s not even midnight yet, though. I can get ready to go again in a bit?”

“No, that’s quite alright. That must have taken a fair bit out of you. You’ve been an excellent submissive, and now it’s my turn to fulfil my role.”

Dean was confused. Castiel had already played the part of the dom, hadn’t he?

Cas crossed the room and brought over a wicker laundry basket, identical to the one in his guest bathroom, and held it in front of Dean for the come-covered towel. “We’ve got just over an hour and I would be a terrible dominant to send you out now after what I just put you though.” Dean dropped the cloth in the hamper and Castiel returned the receptacle to its place against the wall. “Take those off, and I can either throw them in the wash or just give you a pair of shorts to wear home.”

“Uh, sure. Either would be fine, I guess.” Dean bent over to slip the soiled garment off, and couldn’t hide the grimace from sliding over his face as he moved far too much for his punished ass to tolerate.

“I think you may have overstated how ‘fine’ you are,” Castiel said with a wink. “So I’m going to give you my last order of the night: you’re going to lay face down on the bed, and I’ll be back with some water, cheese and crackers, and aloe lotion for your skin.” He turned to leave, but paused at the door. “If that’s alright with you?”

Dean was already lowering himself gingerly onto the bed, not even caring that he was completely naked and could barely move. “That,” he said, “sounds wonderful.”

Chapter Text


”Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” - Dan Brown

---

”What’s your safeword?” He asked, reaching up to secure the metal handcuffs around the top bar of the bed’s headboard.

“Canyon.”

Click.

“Good.” Castiel’s blue eyes danced along his lover’s bare skin. There were beads of sweat running down the tanned, muscled back. One hand closed around the collar Paul wore on his neck and gave it a tug, pulling the taller man’s head back. The moan the gesture elicited from the man currently on his knees and handcuffed to the bed went straight to Castiel’s already-hard dick. “And whose are you?” Castiel growled as he reached down to remove the butt plug Paul had been wearing for some time. “Whose little slut are you?”

“Yours,” Paul gasped, his voice thick and heavy with need.

“You’re a greedy little whore, is what you are.” Castiel smeared a generous layer of lube to Paul’s stretched and puffy asshole, and on himself, and slid right in. He swallowed a groan as the other man clenched around him. Part of the game was to not let on how much this affected him. He slid out almost entirely before slamming back in. Paul cried out, the metal cuffs clanking as he pulled against them.

How rough Paul liked it had only concerned Castiel at first — and before he realised just how much he loved making it rough. There was something absolutely intoxicating about dominating someone bigger and stronger than you. And he trusted Paul to safeword out if he needed to — although he never had.

Castiel fucked Paul relentlessly, the bed squeaking and squealing every time he slammed forward into him. He kept one hand on the leather collar, tugging on it enough that Paul would feel it, but not enough to do any damage. Cas doubted that Paul would come this time as he had three times that day already — there was nothing Castiel loved more than milking it out of him, leaving the other man soft and pliant and fucked out — but he knew he wasn’t going to last too long. Not with how worked up their earlier play had gotten him.

Castiel pulled out of Paul when he felt himself about to tip over the edge and came hot white stripes all over the prone man’s back.

“Fuuuuuuck,” Castiel moaned, only just catching his breath. “That was so good, baby. Thank you so much.” He slid off the bed and stood slowly, grabbing the towel he’d kept nearby. He wiped the come off Paul’s back tenderly but quickly, not wanting to leave his boyfriend handcuffed to the bed any longer than necessary. He unbuckled Paul’s collar, signaling the end of playtime, before planting a kiss to the side of Paul’s head and grabbing the key from the top of the nightstand. “How are you doing?”

Paul swallowed once before answering. “Fine. Looking forward to getting out of these, though.” He huffed a laugh, perhaps to lighten the tone, but it was quite humorless.

“Of course. You were amazing, though.” Castiel sat near the head of the bed, took Paul’s wrists in his hands, and frowned. The metal cuffs looked distinctly tighter than they had been only a few minutes before, the skin underneath them red and raw.

Castiel had to swallow back a rising tide of panic. “Your wrists.”

“What about them?” Paul’s voice was thin, tired.

“They’re rubbed raw. You didn’t tell me they were too tight!” Paul flinched at the edge Castiel’s concern brought to his tone and he regretted it immediately.

“I thought they were supposed to be tight. I thought that was the point.”

“No, my love. Hurting you is never the point.” He leaned in close and planted a kiss to Paul’s temple. The sweat from their earlier exertions had started to turn cold and his skin was clammy. “Let’s get you out of these.”

Paul said nothing, but closed his eyes and exhaled slowly.

Castiel fiddled with the key, thrusting it into the first cuff. Rushing to free Paul he perhaps exerted a little too much force on the key because, instead of the sharp, satisfying click of the lock springing free, he heard a much more worrying dull snap.

“Oh.”

“What? What’s ’Oh’?”

Castiel said nothing right away, but examined the predicament in his hand. The key had indeed snapped off in its hole, broken flush to the surface. He hadn’t even known handcuff keys could do that. “Don’t panic,” Castiel began, knowing full well that those were not the two best words to start any sentence with but unable to think of any alternatives, “but the key broke.”

“That’s not funny, Castiel. The game’s over.”

“I’m not joking, Paul. It snapped clean off in the lock. Here... ” he tilted the bracelet as far over as it would go and gave the other side a sharp smack. The broken part of the key popped right out. He held it up for Paul to inspect. “At least it’s not jammed in there.” He laid both pieces of key on the table next to the bed.

Paul looked up at Castiel, his eyes widening. “Get me out of these, Cas. Now.

It hadn’t even been a minute and Castiel felt terrible. They’d been sceneing for the better part of the day, and were both physically and emotionally exhausted. He needed to be taking care of Paul, feeding him, running a bath, patching up his wrists. “You’re fine, Paul. It’s fine. Where’s the second key?”

The color drained out of Paul’s face like water down a bath drain. “Shit,” he said. “Shit, shit shit.”

Castiel sat closer to him, smoothing a hand over his sweat-damp hair. “Paul?” Castiel kept his words slow and deliberate, hoping he could portray far more calm than he felt. “Where. Is. The. Key.” As the submissive they had both decided ages ago that Paul should be the one to be in charge of things like that. Of keys for restraints and handcuffs and the like. They’d used such toys before — they’d just never actually had a need for a Plan B before.

“Fuck, I — I don’t know, Cas.”

“What do you mean you don’t know? You’ve always had the second key.”

“When I said I didn’t fucking know I meant I didn’t fucking know, okay?” He rattled against the bars uselessly, and Castiel noticed he was breathing hard.

“Just calm down, Paul. Take a deep breathe.” He tried placing a hand on the back of Paul’s shoulder but the man flinched hard and Castiel drew back.

“F-fuck, Cas! We’re not in a scene right now, you don’t get to fucking tell me what to do right now!”

“I’m not trying to. Here, why don’t you get comfortable. Can you sit?” He tried offering a guiding hand but Paul jerked out of the way as much as he could.

“I can sit on my goddamned own, just get me out of these fucking things.” Paul crawled forward along the bed, bracing himself against the headboard, and sat crosslegged at the head of the bed, leaning awkwardly to one side.

“I’m working on that, Paul. But you need to tell me where you’ve put the second key.”

“I-I don’t know,” he admitted, and he sounded defeated. “I put it in a drawer at my place weeks ago—”

Weeks ago. Castiel had always been under the very clear impression that Paul always had the second key with him when they played. “Do you remember which drawer?”

Paul was shaky, his breathing still rapid. “I’m not sure.” His eyes were squeezed shut, and his head shook back and forth a little. “My bedroom. I think it’s in my room. Under my socks.”

“Paul, look at me.” Paul complied but Castiel could tell he was on the verge of tears. “Paul,” he began, “I can get the key, but I’ll need to leave you here while I go to your apartment—”

“No! Cas, you can’t leave me—”

“I’ll have to if you want me to go and get the key.”

“Some — something’s wrong. You have to get me out of these right away.”

Castiel’s eyebrows furrowed. “What do you mean something’s wrong?”

“My hands. I can’t feel them. They’re numb. Oh god, I can’t feel my hands, Cas!”

Castiel squeezed the fingers on one of Paul's hands, and then the other. "Can you feel that?"

"Yeah."

"Paul, you're having a panic attack. Do you understand?"

Paul nodded frantically, taking a deep breath. "I feel like my heart's going to explode." His voice was suddenly very small.

"Listen to me, Paul. You're going to be alright. Your heart's not going to explode." He pulled the small throw blanket from the end of the bed and draped it around Paul's shoulders, pulling it closed around his chest the best he could. He slid down to the floor beside the bed and laid his forehead on one of Paul's knees, the man still shaking above him. "I'm sorry, Paul. I'm so sorry..."

---

Castiel was exhausted. Apparently pushing himself those extra two miles wasn’t a good idea. He used the back of his arm to wipe the sweat from his brow as the elevator dinged and he stepped off on the correct floor of his condo building. As he drew closer to his door, he noticed a lone figure standing against it and frowned.

He never got visitors. Other than Dean — but there was no reason for Dean to be at his condo at 10 a.m. on a Sunday.

Then the figure moved and Castiel finally noticed the dark gray fedora in his guest’s hand. “Henry.” Stepping up to his best friend, he reached out to pull the other man into a hug — before stopping short when he realized he was still in his running gear and covered in sweat. “Sorry.”

Henry seemed more than a little amused. “I would say ‘no sweat’ but there seems to be more than a little.”

“Come on in, Grandpa.” The nickname was a term of endearment that also seemed incredibly fitting for Henry Wesson, who was old fashioned to a ‘t.’ Castiel had never seen the man wearing anything less than a suit and tie. His trademark 40’s era style was equal parts impressive and jaw-dropping. One day Castiel vowed to see inside the closet that held so many well-tailored pieces of clothing.

Henry’s polished black shoes made a soft click-clack on the wood floors as he stepped inside the condo. “We haven’t had a chance to catch up in a while and I know how you love Sundays off, so I took a gamble on finding you here. Like an anti-social bumblebee.”

“You’re one to talk.” Castiel bypassed the kitchen and living room and moved towards the hallway. “I’m going to shower. Make yourself at home.”

Fifteen minutes later when Castiel stepped back out of his bedroom dressed in dark wash jeans and a gray polo shirt, Henry sat at the kitchen island sipping from a tall glass of iced tea and reading over the newspaper. Castiel moved to get his own glass of tea, happily grabbing a slice of lemon to drop in the glass as well. “How is life, Henry?”

“Amazing. My new students seem excited and ready to fully immerse themselves in Historical Human Cultures.” As he spoke, his eyes stayed on the paper, scanning over what looked like the ‘local events’ section from Castiel’s vantage point.

“Really?”

“Of course not. They’re a bunch of miserable runts just like the last group. Why do I even bother teaching, Castiel? Freshman college students have no appreciation for history or culture. I could be writing and traveling the world but instead I show up everyday and get mocked for having a sense of style.”

He had heard much of the same complaints from Henry before. The man was miserable, but stayed attached to his job and home in Portland because of a self-imposed responsibility to take care of his friend Josie and her two-year-old son, Ryan. A lesser man would have moved on long ago instead of standing by and taking care of a family that wasn’t truly his, but Henry was the epitome of a great man.

“You know I’ve offered my spare bedroom if you ever need time away, Henry.” Castiel leaned his back against the counter and sipped at his drink while watching his friend. “No one would blame you for needing a break.”

“I would blame myself. It isn’t like Josie gets a break.” Henry folded the newspaper shut and slid it away before looking up to meet Castiel’s gaze. “How are things with you? You seem refreshed and in good spirits. Meet someone new?”

Dean’s image flashed in his mind — followed by the very vivid image of Dean on his hands and knees on the spare bed, completely naked except for those damn panties. Castiel had never expected to like seeing a man in panties as much as he did. At first adding that little tidbit into his sub’s requirements had seemed like the extra cherry on top — just a little bonus that he would get to experience every time the sub undressed.

Dean magically turned that extra cherry into a whole fucking sundae.

“I’m going to take the awkward silence and hint of a hard-on as a yes,” Henry mused.

Fuck. Castiel shoved his hand down against the front of his jeans before quickly adjusting his position. “It’s not what you’re thinking.”

Henry nodded, looking up at the ceiling and pondering for a moment. “So not a 20-something twink with a penchant for being spanked?”

Okay maybe it was what Henry was expecting. His best friend knew what he liked, and knew it well. But Dean was different — hell, the entire situation was different. “We aren’t dating.”

“I see. Friends with weird benefits?”

Castiel shook his head, wondering if he should really admit to the circumstances behind his relationship with Dean. “I, um… I may be paying for his services.”

A frown appeared on Henry’s face as he stared long and hard at Castiel. “Excuse me? Did you just… I must not have heard you correctly. Did you just say that you’re paying some bloke to be submissive?”

He sighed. “Yeah.”

“Oh Castiel.”

Henry was his only friend that knew the full story behind his break-up with Paul. The in’s and out’s of how things went so terribly wrong and scarred Castiel to his very core. He pushed the pad of his thumb through the condensation on his glass and avoided Henry’s knowing eyes.

He knew that paying for sex wasn’t a good alternative to facing his problems. He had spent weeks contemplating that very fact while trying to decide whether or not to even contact the agency. It all boiled down to the hard truth that any one night stand he had after Paul had been empty and unsatisfying — he still needed the dom/sub dynamic to really enjoy sexual activities. The rest of his life was so out of control that being in control in the bedroom was incredibly fulfilling.

Unfortunately, he had no desire to get emotionally attached to another sub. He never wanted to put himself in another position like he had with Paul — open to the hurt and pain when things went wrong.

Paying for Dean’s services had been the only option.

“Forgive me for not knowing much about the BDSM lifestyle,” Henry began, “but isn’t it a bit unhealthy for you to be paying whoever this guy is to be submissive? Ultimately, you’ve created a situation where he could be afraid to opt-out of a suggestion based on the fact that you’ll forgo his payment.”

It dawned on Castiel immediately that Henry was completely correct. If Dean didn’t want to participate in a scene, he might be afraid to safeword. Castiel had made it clear that if Dean did use his safeword, all play would be done for the rest of that session. In that case, Dean’s time and payment would be cut short. “Shit. I’ll need to make it clear that if he uses his safeword, he’ll still get paid for the entire evening.”

“Meaning he holds the role of power, not you, Castiel.”

Grabbing at a nearby paper towel that he had used for his breakfast, Castiel rolled it into a ball and threw it at Henry’s head. “Stop accentuating the flaws in my plans, Henry.”

Henry chuckled, picking up the wad of paper towel and tossing it towards the end of the counter where the trashcan sat. “I’m simply hoping you think this through completely, Castiel. Maybe write yourself up a timeline… how long you’ll indulge in this pay-for-sex nonsense before you take a chance at a real relationship again.”

After the pain and heartache of ending his relationship with Paul… Castiel wasn’t sure he’d ever be willing to try another “real” relationship.

Chapter Text


”Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” - Bob Dylan

---

Three weeks into his ‘fancy’ new job, Dean felt like he was getting used to the routine. And he finally had enough money in his pocket that they could pay rent and eat more than ramen noodles.

They still didn’t have that much, and it wasn’t like they would be upgrading to a fancier apartment anytime soon, but they had enough cash for a new bag of weed and a bottle of purple nail polish.

“Stop twitching! This is hard enough to do without your foot moving constantly,” Dean grumbled, trying to keep Charlie’s right foot steady while holding the tiny nail polish brush in his hand.

Charlie let out a huff. “Stop tickling then!”

“I am literally just holding your foot.” He brushed another swipe of purple onto one of her toenails and rolled his eyes when she twitched again. “Why did I even agree to do this? Your damned wiggling ruins my artistic skill.”

“Shut up the show is back on.”

Dean half focused on the tattoo parlor reality show while finishing with Charlie’s right foot and moving onto her left. He wasn’t a fan of reality television, but Charlie liked watching the hot tattooed chicks bossing people around, so he dealt with it to appease her.

When he finished painting her toenails, he shoved her foot off his lap and capped the polish once more. “There you go, squirt.”

“Sweet. Can I paint yours now?” Charlie smirked, knowing exactly why that was a bad idea.

“I’m sure my clients would just love that.”

“Sassy Cassie would, you and I both know it. No one has a fetish for silky panties without enjoying pretty nail polish as well.”

---

Dean was starting to look forward to his weekly appointments with Castiel. His nerves danced under his skin like an electric current jumping between the ends of a live wire. There was something about the man that excited Dean; something he couldn’t put his finger on. They hadn’t fucked yet, but that couldn’t be it — Dean didn’t even have sex with every single client. He shrugged off the thought, telling himself it was just because Cas was attractive, and knocked on the door.

Castiel answered the door almost immediately. Had he been waiting?

“Good evening, Dean. Please, come in.” He smiled at Dean, but it seemed almost apprehensive, his eyes darting over Dean’s shoulder.

“Evening, boss.” Dean let the smirk slip through his lips unguarded as he bowed his head and ducked through the entryway past the other man. He hadn’t even looked at any coke in almost a week, but his skin felt like it was buzzing all the same. He toed his shoes off and stood there, just inside the door, looking at Castiel expectantly. Waiting for him to call the shots.

Castiel cleared his throat. “Before we, um, get started tonight,” he began, “why don’t you come and have a drink with me?”

A drink? Dean was mildly surprised. Doesn’t that go against the whole ‘no drugs’ rule? He didn’t dare voice his confusion but, rounding the corner into the living room, he saw a tray with two glasses, a bottle of sparkling mineral water, and a small dish of lime wedges.

“Please, have a seat.” Castiel gestured to the couch — the very one Castiel had watched Dean from during their first meeting — and sat down next to Dean. “Lime?” Castiel asked as he poured half the bottle into one glass.

“Uh, sure.”

Castiel passed Dean his drink and fixed his own. “So…”

Here we go, Dean thought. How freaky is this request gonna be?

“It’s occurred to me that there’s something inherently… problematic about my paying you for the specific services that you provide.”

Dean took a sip of his soda water. It was kind of gross — he never understood the concept of adding bubbles to plain old boring water. “Hey man, I’m the last one to judge what you’re into. I know it’s my job, but I’ve been having fun with you.” He flashed Castiel his winning smile, the one that got him free pills at bars.

Castiel sat forward in his seat. “It’s not that. It’s — Dean, I need you to understand that if you need to safeword out of anything we do —”

“‘All play ends for the evening,’” Dean recited back at him.

“Yes,” Castiel swirled his drink in his hand before looking up again and holding Dean’s gaze, “but you’ll still get paid for the remainder of your time.”

That took him aback. “How is that fair to you, though? I mean, I know this ain’t cheap—”

“That doesn’t matter.”

“But if I can’t do the job that I’m being paid to do, you shouldn’t have to be the one to pick up the slack.” Part of Dean was screaming at him to shut up — he’d just been given a way to practically earn free money, if used wisely. Why was he protesting?

“You can’t think of it like that. Dean, I sincerely enjoy the dominant role. But to engage in that with you without being certain that you feel safe enough to put a stop to things should you need to is not only irresponsible, but immoral as well.”

Damn. “You know, you’re the first client of mine to have this conversation with me,” Dean said.

“Really.”

“Yeah.” Something flat in Castiel’s tone told Dean that it may have been a stupid move on his part to mention other clients. You idiot. He may want you to feel ‘empowered,’ or whatever the hell it is, but he’s still paying for a fantasy. Make him feel special. Dean put his drink down on the glass table, before tugging on the end of one sleeve nervously. “I think I know what you’re saying. That despite our… ‘professional relationship,’ you want to be sure that I’m into whatever it is we’re doing?”

“Yes. And specifically if and when things get intense.”

Dean swallowed hard. He’d seen intense. But he wasn’t so sure he’d seen it yet with Castiel. “I can do that,” he said. He added, “Thank you,” and the smile he gave Castiel was genuine.

Castiel’s face showed a hint of sincere emotion before suddenly shifting back to normal. “Good. Now that we’ve taken care of that, I have a few ideas for this evening.” He put his own glass back on the coffee table before turning to Dean. “What is your experience and knowledge of being a cock warmer?”

He frowned. It was a term he had heard before — but not something he’d ever done. “Very minimal.”

“That’s alright. You will learn.” Castiel stood and pointed to the far side of the living room area where a computer desk sat. On the floor next to the leather executive chair, was the pillow that Dean had knelt on his first night there. “I’m going to put our drinks away. I’d like you to take your jacket off, but otherwise remain clothed, and go kneel on the pillow.”

“Yes, sir.” Dean waited until Castiel left the living room, and did as he had been told. He folded his jacket and laid it over the back of a chair he didn’t think they were going to use, and took his spot on his knees next to the desk.

When Castiel made it back into the room, he went straight to the leather chair and sat down, smiling softly at Dean. “I have a little bit of paperwork to finish, while I work on them, I would like you to hold my cock in your mouth without the intention of getting it hard or giving me a blowjob. Understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

Castiel reached down to undo his pants and pulled his flaccid cock free. He didn’t stroke himself, just held his cock in one hand as he stared down at Dean. “If at any time you feel the need to safeword, you are allowed to pull free and do so. Otherwise, you are to keep my cock in your mouth for the duration — failure to do so will result in a punishment. Is that clear?” When Dean nodded his head, Castiel continued, “What is your safeword?”

It was beginning to make sense, now. Why Castiel asked him the same damn question over and over. He was being thoughtful. “Topeka.”

“Very good. You may begin — but no hands. A cock warmer’s role is to find pleasure in simply having their master’s cock against their tongue. I hope you won’t disappoint me, pet.” He dropped his hold on his own cock and waited patiently for Dean to do as instructed.

Dean shuffled forward, keeping his hands on his knees, and brought his face to Castiel’s lap. As Castiel had said, he wasn’t hard, or showing any signs of becoming so. Dean used his lips to pick up the soft member, taking care to not lick or suck against its length like he normally would. Once he had it comfortably laying against his tongue he took a deep breath in through his nostrils — both to make sure that he could, and to ground himself. He breathed in Castiel and the dark hairs that curled around the base of his cock tickled Dean’s nose. Most people would have showered without much thought for playtime — but it was like Castiel had thoroughly planned on having Dean’s nose buried in his pubic hair. He smelled distinctly of high-end soap (like a forest after a rainshower) but there was also an underlying musk of man that made Dean’s mouth water.

With his current position, there was no way for Dean to see what Castiel was doing. He had to rely on sound to track the other movements — following the distinct shuffling of papers in his mind for a few moments before zoning out and focusing solely on the cock resting in his mouth.

Suddenly soft fingers brushed gently through his short hair. “Good, pet. Very good.”

Dean wanted to moan at how good that felt, but he hadn’t been told he could make noise so he kept quiet. Compared to most of the physical contact he typically had, the touch felt startlingly intimate. He let his eyes flutter shut, losing himself in the sensations around him.

Time passed easily, and Castiel’s fingers danced through his hair more often than not until finally they were tugging, signaling for Dean to pull back. “Alright, pet, that’s enough. It’s been thirty minutes and you’ve been amazing. Would you like a reward?”

Thirty minutes. Dean almost couldn’t believe it, but he saw no reason why Castiel would lie about such a thing. He cleared his throat and swallowed, allowing the saliva to coat his mouth again. He looked up at Castiel from his place at his feet. “Please, sir.”

Castiel’s fingers traced down Dean’s face, moving to hold his chin as his thumb brushed along Dean’s swollen bottom lip. “You need to stretch your legs. Go ahead and make your way back to the room we were in before. Stretch out any kinks, but don’t take your clothes off. I’m going to get you a bottle of water.”

Dean stood slowly, steadying himself on the desk. Cas was right — it took him a few paces to get the feeling back in his legs totally, and stretching them once he got to the guest bedroom did help. He reached his hands up to the ceiling before reaching down to his toes and standing straight again. He felt good.

“Here.” Castiel stepped into the room and flicked the light switch for the overhead light to come on. He held out a water bottle for Dean to take and didn’t give another instruction until Dean had swallowed a large portion of the liquid. He took the bottle back and set it on the dresser, before resting his backside against the same piece of furniture and staring at Dean. “Every time you show up at my door, Dean, I wonder what kind of panties you have on. Why don’t you go ahead and strip out of those clothes and show me?”

Dean wished that Castiel hadn’t turned the overhead light on — or that it had to be so damn bright — but there was no going back now. He slowly unbuttoned his vest, and laid it on the chair in the corner of the room. He loosened his tie before undoing it completely and sliding it off. Castiel’s eyes were fixed on every movement, every gesture. He lost his belt before unbuttoning his shirt, and losing that too.

Once the shirt was gone, the marks were there in plain sight — discolored bruises around his wrists and when he turned to place the shirt over the chair, he knew Castiel could see the lines on his back from the whip. He stepped back to the spot beside the bed and began working to undo his pants, when a hand reached out to grasp his own.

Pulling Dean’s hand closer, Castiel held onto Dean’s fingers and turning his arm face up and face down a couple of times as he examined the bruising. “Who did this?” he questioned, his voice deep and dark.

“I—” Dean was conflicted. He felt compelled to tell Castiel what he asked — to do what he asked — but mentioning his other clients would break that fantasy again. And even to Dean, it felt tacky.

Castiel circled Dean’s body, tracing a finger over the lines on his back. “Did another dom do this to you? Tell me.” His anger was starting to seep through his words.

“Y-yes.” Dean hung his head, staring at the floor. He hadn’t done anything wrong — what he did with his other clients on their time had nothing to do with Castiel. With him and Castiel. But he felt guilty anyway. He found himself wishing for something decidedly stronger than soda water.

A growl left Castiel’s throat as he stepped forward, pressing the line of his body against Dean’s back. “How fucking dare they.” He brushed a soft kiss along the back of Dean’s shoulder blade. “Dean — I’m about to lose control and fuck you senseless,” his voice sounded strained — angry, possessive, and controlled all at the same time. It was like Castiel was fighting a monster inside him, trying to remain calm for safety’s sake. “Tell me right now what is your safeword?”

“T-topeka.” It felt like every cell in Dean’s body was electrified.

“Again.”

“Topeka.”

As soon as the word left his mouth smooth and with no stutter Castiel pushed him forward against the dresser. The force sent the water bottle tumbling to the ground, but it was capped, and they both ignored it. He pushed Dean’s hands flat on top of the wood and growled next to his ear, “Keep your hands right there.” Dean’s head bobbed, acknowledging the command, but Castiel had already moved on — his hands finding the front closure of Dean’s pants and making quick work to undo them. The dress pants hit the floor and as soon as the white lace panties covering Dean’s ass were exposed, Castiel moaned and shifted forward — rubbing his hard cock, still covered in too many layers, against the crease of Dean’s ass. “Oh fuck, I think these are my favorite pair yet.”

The sheer need in Castiel’s voice went straight to Dean’s dick, rubbing hard against the dresser in front of him. Castiel slammed a condom and lube on top of the high dresser in front of Dean — he must have had them in his pocket — before Dean heard Castiel’s zipper lower as well.

Castiel grabbed onto Dean’s, hips, pulling him back so that he was bent forward more. A second later, he reached around for the lube and Dean heard the tell-tale sound of the bottle opening behind him. Castiel’s hand pushed beneath the elastic band of the panties and immediately after Dean felt slick fingers brushing over his hole.

“Tell me, pet,” Castiel growled, “tell me how badly you want me to fuck you.”

“F-fuck,” Dean stammered as one finger breached inside him. “I need you so bad — nngh.” Two fingers. Even as turned on as he was, being prepped this fast was a bit of a shock. But considering the state Castiel was currently in he supposed he was lucky he was getting that much at all.

The fingers scissored a bit, before a third brushed around his rim. “Do you need to use your safeword?” Castiel asked, kissing and nipping at the skin on Dean’s left shoulder.

There was no way Dean wanted to stop now — but he felt oddly comforted that he could. “No. No, I’m good.”

The third finger pressed inside and Castiel growled again, “Then tell me how badly you need me to fuck you. Tell me how badly you wish it was me, when you’re with someone else.”

“I need your cock, Cas, please. Every other guy who fucks me — all I can think about is you. And how much I want your cock buried deep in my ass.” Castiel’s fingers pushed inside him until one hit his prostate and it was all he could do to cling to the dresser, to stay upright. “Oh, f-fuck!”

At those words, Castiel pulled away. He reached around for the condom and Dean listened to the sounds of the foil wrapper being opened and discarded. When Castiel’s latex-covered cock pushed up against his ass, he realized that he hadn’t heard the other man drop his pants. He’d been too busy focusing on the fingers deep inside him.

Rough hands grabbed onto the lace of his panties and he gasped at the sound of the sheer garment being ripped down the middle. He had no time to worry about things like the high cost of nice underwear, though. Not when Castiel was shoving his cock hard into Dean’s ass, hitting home in one fluid motion.

“Fuck,” Castiel groaned, not giving Dean a chance to recover as he found a hard but steady rhythm. “Your ass feels amazing, pet.”

“Yes, Cas, yes!” Dean’s hands scrambled to find purchase against the slick wooden surface of the dresser he was still clinging too. The entire unit thump-thumped against the wall. Castiel pulled out of Dean and slammed into him hard, sending Dean’s hand shooting out, sending an innocent lamp hurtling to its doom. “Shit!” Dean exclaimed.

Castiel’s lips landed on Dean’s back, kissing a pattern along the marks there. “Are you going to come in your pretty panties for me, pet?”

“Fuck! Yes, you fuck me so good. Fuck, fuck me harder—” And as little attention as Castiel was probably paying to actual words at that moment, he did just that, and Dean came all over his pretty little panties.

The feel of Dean’s ass squeezing tight around Castiel’s cock was apparently too much for him to handle. He gripped Dean’s hips hard and slammed forward one last time before crying out as he came, his whole body shaking in the aftermath. “Fuck.

Dean was convinced that he would not be able to stand unassisted were it not for the debauched piece of furniture currently supporting him. As his breathing slowed he became aware of Castiel pulling out of him, removing his condom, and disposing of it.

When Castiel moved back to Dean, he laid a calm hand on the center of his back and another on his chest. “Come on, let me help you over to the bed to stretch out, then I’ll grab a towel to clean you up.”

Dean let the other man guide him to the bed, perching gingerly on the edge. His ass was going to be sore in the morning — but fuck was it worth it. When Castiel passed him a hand towel he made quick work of the sticky mess between his ass cheeks and on his cock. He peeled the torn and stained panties off, holding them out at length like one might a dead animal. “Well, I’d say these are fucked,” he said, laughing at his own joke.

A frown appeared on Castiel’s face as he reached out to grab the panties. “That’s disappointing. I liked those ones. Before you leave I want you to write down your size. I’ll get you some new pairs to replace the ones I’ve damaged.” His eyebrow quirked as he dropped the panties in the trash can and turned back to Dean. “What are your thoughts on tights and stockings?”

Chapter Text


”The worst memories stick with us, while the nice ones always seem to slip through our fingers.” - Rachel Vincent

---

The following Monday Dean received a voicemail message from Miss McKenna. ’From this point forward, Mr. Novak will be your only client.’ He replayed it three times (once on speaker so Charlie could hear) before the words started to sink in. When he went to the office on Tuesday to get his check, he had a new schedule of times to meet with Castiel. On top of their usual Friday nights, they would also be meeting Sunday night for three hours and Wednesday night for two hours.

He couldn’t stop himself from leaning over the counter, getting a little closer to the receptionist and whispering, “Is this normal?”

She looked him up and down with uncaring eyes before shaking her head. “No, sir. Have a good day.”

---

Since their Wednesday appointments were only two hours long, their first Wednesday together was fairly simple. Castiel had Dean show him again what a good cockwarmer he could be — for close to an hour this time — and then let Dean blow him. They didn’t talk about Dean’s new, exclusive contract. All in all it had been a fairly uneventful evening, but even two days before their next schedule meeting Dean could practically smell the anticipation on Castiel.

In addition to buying out Dean’s time from the agency, Castiel had also sent along a “wardrobe stipend” with instructions for Dean to get himself one or two new suits, and a handful of new shirts and ties. Dean had never realised a person could even spend so much money on clothes at once, but he couldn’t deny how damned good he looked.

So he’d saved his favourite of his new outfits for that Friday, anticipating Castiel seeing him in his black suit, with a black dress shirt, and black tie. He was not disappointed.

When Castiel opened his door a few minutes before ten o’clock Dean thought he’d have to scrape poor Castiel’s jaw off the floor. “You like?” Dean asked, holding his arms out from his body and gesturing to his clothes.

Castiel licked his lips before speaking, his eyes taking in all of Dean. “I — yes. I like.”

---

Dean felt a pool of anguish and undigested sandwich settling in the pit of his stomach as he sat next to Sam on the worn out mattress. Sam’s hand was clutching his so hard it was almost painful — and there was no disguising the tremble that ran through the younger boy’s body.

They had given their captor an answer. Now all Dean could do was pray that the guy would at least provide them with lubricant. He didn’t know much — but he knew that Sam wouldn’t survive that. Turning his head, he kissed Sammy’s matted hair. “I won’t hurt you, Sammy. I promise. I’m going to protect you no matter what.”

“I’m so scared, Dean.”

“I know, Sam. I know.”

Footsteps sounded outside the large door and Dean had to bite his tongue to keep from throwing up.

---

Dean had felt a sense of pride at how affected Castiel was by only his clothes and wondered what his dominant had planned for them that evening. He followed Castiel to the couch and sat down beside him while Castiel poured him a mineral water.

“Tell me, Dean,” Castiel began, his blue eyes burning bright in open living space of the condo, most of the light coming from the city lights outside tall windows. “Are you familiar with the term, ‘topping from the bottom?’”

Dean nodded, “Yeah.”

“What I have in mind is sort of like that, but not quite. I fully intend to remain in the dominant role, and you will follow each of my directions, as you have been doing in our time together. Except I want you to penetrate me tonight.”

Castiel’s eyes were full of expectation. And Dean wanted to fill those expectations. He didn’t even know this man very well — they certainly weren’t in a relationship — but he wanted to do everything that Castiel asked of him.

“Do you consent?”

---

Alan had them strip and leave their clothes in the small space of their prison, before leading them down the hallway to a second room that Dean had been in before. He continued to clutch his brother’s small hand and wished he had the strength to fight. If his meals for the past two months hadn’t consisted of shared sandwiches and small pieces of fruit, he might have the muscle power to fight their captor.

But, for now, he was stuck following the path to his and Sam’s doom.

The door opened and Alan shoved them inside the bright room. In the center was a padded table that looked like a doctor’s exam table.

Dean swallowed hard.

---

The only thing Dean could do was to rub his wrist and answer, “Yes.”

“Good. Finish your drink and follow me.”

Castiel put his drink down and rose. Dean did the same, never caring much for the carbonated water Castiel always wanted to serve him. Castiel held out his hand, and Dean took it, his heart beating faster than he wanted it to. The older man led him down the hallway but, instead of turning left into the familiar guest bedroom, they followed the hall to its end. Castiel pushed the door open and they stepped into an elegant but understated master bedroom. The space was open and clean, decorated with maplewood furniture, the bed bearing smooth slate-blue blankets and sheets. The curtains were open on the floor-to-ceiling windows, with a full view of the Willamette river.

“Nice room,” Dean said, the awe in his voice genuine.

“Thank you,” Castiel said. “I know we normally use the other room, but I’m comfortable here.”

Dean shrugged. “It’s alright by me.”

Castiel turned to face him, his eyes hungry. He stripped his shirt off and continued staring at Dean. “I’ve already prepared myself. I… tend to get a bit impatient when I’m on the bottom.”

---

”Five minutes,” Alan growled. “If he’s not ready in five minutes, you’re starting anyways.”

It was more than Dean could have ever hoped for. Unfortunately it still meant he had to prep his own brother for sex. His hands shook as he grabbed the tiny container of lube. It was greasy, and almost empty. If he hadn’t been almost one hundred percent sure that Alan had slipped something into their last meal Dean would have been absolutely horrified at the reaction both their bodies were displaying.

Sam’s hazel eyes looked panicked, staring straight at Dean. “Dean?”

---

Dean watched Castiel begin to undo his pants, and felt panic rising up in his throat. “I need a, um… I need a minute in the bathroom. Too much soda water.” He smiled awkwardly. “Is that alright?”

With a nod, Castiel motioned towards the master bath. “Come back naked.”

Dean entered the room and quickly shut himself inside. The door behind him, Dean took a deep breath. He crossed to the sink and looked at himself in the mirror before turning the tap on cold and splashing some water on his face. He stood up straight. He could do this, he could. If only I had something on me. What he wouldn’t give for a stiff drink, or… it hit him. Turning the tap back on for noise, he reached out to the corner of the mirror and pulled the cabinet open.

As expected, there was a decent assortment of plastic orange and white pill bottles on the narrow shelves, next to the more innocuous dental floss and band-aids. He scanned the labels until he found something he could work with.

Bingo.

Dean picked up a bottle that had the word ‘Hydrocodone’ written on it. He popped the lid, shook out two pills, and swallowed them dry. He returned the container to its place, and shut the cupboard. He stripped, folding his clothes and laying them on the counter. If he’d had the choice to put things off until the pills kicked in then he would have. But he was on the clock.

Castiel’s eyes snapped to Dean as he re-entered the bedroom. He was laying on his back, slowly pushing a slim toy in and out of his hole. Dean thought it looked like a vibrator, but it wasn’t turned on.

That’s not big enough, Dean thought as Castiel pulled the toy out of himself and set it aside. I’m going to hurt him, I can’t —

---

“I can’t do this!”

“Sammy, we have to.”

“I feel like I’m going to throw up, Dean.”

“It’s okay, squirt. I’m here. It’ll be okay. Deep breaths.”

---

“I’m ready for you, pet. Come here.”

Dean followed his direction and came to stand at the side of the bed. Castiel got to his knees on the edge of the bed, and placed his hands on Dean’s hips. He looked up at Dean. “What’s your safeword?” His voice was rough and already a little wrecked.

“Topeka.” It came out easy now, after so much practice. It was easier to make it sound smooth than he would have expected.

“Good,” Castiel purred. “You’re going to be a good pet for me, aren’t you?”

Dean swallowed, hoping it wasn’t noticeable since Castiel’s eyes were cast downward. “Yes, sir.” His hands were starting to itch.

“You need to get hard for me, pet.” Castiel began nosing low on Dean’s abdomen. “Put your cock in my mouth and get hard for me.”

A blowjob. I can do that. I can get a blowjob.

Castiel opened his mouth against Dean’s soft cock and Dean laid himself on Castiel’s tongue. The debauched man started licking and sucking at Dean and, obediently, his dick began to stiffen. Castiel bobbed his head up and down Dean’s length, hollowing his cheeks, and running his tongue around the head alternately.

Dean wasn’t sure if he’d been permitted to move, so he didn’t. But he enjoyed the attention, tried to focus on it, let it ground him. It almost worked, until Castiel pulled off and settled back on the bed, pulling Dean towards him by the wrist.

Castiel nodded at the condom and lubricant that had been set out on the bedside table. “Put the condom on, and some lube. Don’t touch yourself any more than you need to.”

They were motions at least that Dean was familiar with, and he let himself go through them. Rip the package. Slip the condom out. Roll it on. Click the lube cap open. Smear enough on. Dean was so focused with what his hands were doing that he almost didn’t hear what Castiel was saying at all.

“— love prostate orgasms. So you’re going to give me one before you can come. Is that understood?”

“Yes sir.” Dean allowed himself to be directed between Castiel’s arched knees.

“Position yourself, but don’t push in yet.”

Dean did as he was told, and guided his cock to Castiel’s hole. As he laid his cockhead against Castiel’s entrance, the older man reached up and grabbed a fistful of his hair, tilting his head upward, exposing his neck. Yes, Dean thought. Push me around. Please.

“Alright, Dean. I want you inside me now. You’re going to push inside and slide in all the way one movement.” Castiel kept his grip on Dean’s hair.

Dean kept one hand on his dick, and pushed through the tight and slick ring of muscle. Dean didn’t know what kind of prepping Cas had done to himself — he still felt incredibly tight. As he bottomed out like he’d been told to do, Castiel’s brows furrowed in an expression Dean could only read as pained. Suddenly his heart began to beat faster, turning over in his chest. His hands felt cold.

Castiel closed his eyes for a moment, letting his head fall back on the pillow. Dean felt Castiel clench around him. “Okay, pet. Move for me. Out and then in again.”

Dean took a breath, trying to lose himself in his role, hide in being passive. It’s okay, Dean tried to reassure himself. This is nothing like that time. Nothing. He pulled most of the way out, vaguely aware that the pressure around his dick felt good. Should feel good.

“Shit, Dean.”

The words bounced around the inside of Dean’s skull. Sam’s words.

---

“Shit, Dean.” Sam’s face contorted in a way he’d never expected — or wanted — to see. He wasn’t even sure it was entirely pain.

---

Dean’s hands started to shake harder, his breath catching in his throat. The room spun violently around him, and when he put his hand out to steady himself it landed on Castiel’s chest.

Castiel noticed something was wrong immediately. “Dean? What’s—”

“I, I can’t—” Dean felt nauseous and exhausted and wired all at the same time. He felt like he was going to die. “Topeka.”

Chapter Text


”Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” - Dorothy M. Neddermeyer

---

“Topeka.”

It took less than a beat for the meaning of the word to register in Castiel’s mind, and even less time for him to spring into action. “Dean?” He raised his hand to cup Dean’s face, to try and bring the younger man back to him. “Dean, look at me. Pull out.”

Dean managed that, at least, and pulled the condom off his rapidly softening cock. But when he met Castiel’s eyes he looked nothing short of haunted.

There was a soft throw blanket folded on a nearby chair and Castiel stepped off the bed, grabbed it, and draped it around Dean’s shoulders. “Dean, are you okay?”

The plush weight of the throw seemed to bring Dean back to the present. “Fuck, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Dean buried his face in his hands. “I’m so sorry.

Castiel initially assumed that the apology was directed at him, but after a few repetitions he wasn’t so sure anymore. He sat in front of Dean, ducking down to try and establish eye contact without touching the younger man. “Dean—”

Dean sat up suddenly, the blanket slipping from his shoulders, and clutched at his chest. “I can't — I can’t breathe.”

“Dean, listen to me.” Castiel made his voice as authoritative as he did when playing his dominant role in bed. “You’re having a panic attack. You’re going to be alright.”

Dean’s breathing didn’t slow, and his body was no less shaky, but he nodded. “I can—” He swallowed, obviously trying to compose himself. “I — I can go again.” He accepted the bottle of water Castiel had grabbed from the bedside table and took a drink. “I’ll be fine in a few—”

No.

Dean looked up at him from his water.

“You’re done.”

“But—”

You’re done. Tell me what you need from me.”

Dean had pulled the blanket back up over his shoulders, and he looked so small hunched underneath it. “Just… stay?”

“Of course.”

And that was apparently all it took to open the floodgates, because that was when the beautiful, sexy, young man whose company Castiel had so been enjoying began sobbing into his hands. And Castiel’s heart broke.

Again.

It was obvious how much he had garnered control over his own emotions and fears when he took control of the situation without panicking at the memories of Paul. He could deal with his own baggage later — just then he needed to make sure Dean was alright. Or as alright as he could be.

Castiel pulled Dean into his arms and the younger man crumpled onto him with no resistance. There were a thousand different things he wanted to do for him — who seemed little more than a boy presently — including bring him water, food, clothes. But Dean was clinging to Castiel, and he knew, from experience, that the only real way to deal with a panic attack was to ride it out. He lifted one hand to lay it reassuringly on Dean’s head, and hesitated. Sure, Dean was all over him now, but their aftercare had thus far comprised of very little physical intimacy.

So much for boundaries now, Castiel thought. He smoothed his hand through Dean’s hair, and took to rubbing circles into Dean’s back with his other hand. Eventually the shaking stilled, the sobs calmed, and when Castiel finally glanced down at the younger man Dean’s eyes had slipped closed and his breathing had evened out.

“Dean?” He kept his voice low, just in case. And, sure enough, when he bent down to look at Dean’s face, he was asleep.

Castiel let out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding. He looked over at the clock radio next to the bed. 11:16. He looked back at Dean, the anguish all but gone from his sleeping face. Castiel frowned. Castiel knew the comedown after an adrenaline rush could be nothing short of unforgiving, but Dean had still passed out awfully quickly. It seemed unlikely that he would rouse by 1:00 am. Castiel half-considered letting himself fall asleep under Dean but the harsh reality of the situation came crashing down around him.

Dean wasn’t his boyfriend.

He wasn’t even really a friend.

Deciding it was best to remove himself from the situation, Castiel arranged Dean more comfortably on the bed and tucked the blankets around his naked body, before glancing down at his own nudity and moving to don a pair of sweatpants. Once he had the pants on, he quietly left his bedroom, leaving the door ajar, in case Dean woke.

He had no idea what to do with himself now that his plans for the night were shot. Dean may have been out like a light, but Castiel could tell he was still hours from sleep — his frayed nerves would make sure of that. When he found himself in the kitchen, he fixed a snack of crackers and hummus before grabbing a Deschutes Brewery beer and heading into the living room. Some crappy late-night television would hopefully settle his mind down.

If anything, he was thankful that Dean had found the strength to safeword out without causing them both more pain than it was worth.

Because despite the fact that he had remained calm during Dean’s safewording and subsequent panic attack, Castiel was now battling memories of two faces struggling with the pain of a good scene gone bad. He had never wanted to be in that situation again and yet, here he was.

Castiel must have finally dozed off somewhere between House Hunters and House Hunters: International because it was nearly 1:30 when he was startled by an angry pounding on his door. He bolted from his seat, upending the uneaten crackers onto the floor.

“Dean! Dean! You have thirty seconds to respond before I assume you’re dead and call the police!” a female voice shouted through the door.

Castiel crossed the space quickly. He wasn’t sure if the noise would wake Dean, but he was sure it would wake at least a few of his neighbors. When he swung the door open Charlie was in mid-knock, one tattooed hand hovering in mid-air. She’d dyed the ends of her hair blue since Castiel had seen her last and she was wearing a dark jacket with so many hand-sewn patches that he could hardly tell where the garment even started.

“Where is he?” Charlie stepped forward, making to move into the doorway. Despite her diminutive stature, the young woman had an impressive amount of physical presence. But Castiel was not one to be intimidated.

“He’s sleeping.” Castiel kept his body blocking the doorway.

“Yeah? Well, playtime’s over. He’s off the clock. Time for fun-boy to come home.”

“I’m aware of that, I just — I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Charlie crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Castiel. “Listen here, either you let me talk to Dean right now, or I call the cops and blow the lid off this whole illegal prostitution bullshit.”

Castiel looked around the hallway behind his would-be intruder. No angry neighbours. Yet. “I think it’s best you come inside.”

“So you can kill me too?” She pulled her phone from her pocket, thumb hovering over the call button - 911 already typed on the screen. “I’m warning you, dude, one false move and I’m hitting the button. Show me where Dean is!”

The resignation clear on his face, Castiel stepped aside. As Charlie walked in after him — Castiel doing his best to not think about the damage her massive boots would probably do to his floor — he turned to lead her to the master bedroom. He pushed the door wide enough to allow the light from the hallway to illuminate the sleeping Dean. “I assure you, he’s fine.”

Charlie stared at Dean for a long time — eyes trained on the spot where his chest rose and fell steadily. Finally she turned back to Castiel and tucked her phone in her pocket. “Tell me what happened.”

Castiel was not one to readily share any details of his personal life with someone he barely knew, but he could read the concern in Charlie’s eyes and it was both genuine and abundant. “Something must have triggered him during our… time together. He gave me no indication of feeling uncomfortable while I discussed my intentions, but mid-play he safeworded out and had a panic attack. I sat with him until he fell asleep, and that was over two hours ago. I thought it best to leave him — I didn’t know you were supposed to pick him up.”

“This isn’t healthy for him,” Charlie mumbled. “I don’t care if the money is good — he’s already in a fragile place in life and now this?” She shook her head, a hint of anger and frustration in her eyes. “I’m staying with him. He’s going to need support that you can’t offer when he wakes up.”

What she was saying was absolutely true, but that didn’t make it sting any less. It reminded Castiel even more that what he and Dean had was strictly of a professional nature, and an illegal one at that. He narrowed his eyes at her. “How did you even get in here? How did you know which apartment was mine?

She snorted and rolled her eyes. “Please, even if your building security guard wasn’t asleep I could have bypassed the system. And what kind of responsible adult would send Dean up here alone to a weirdo’s condo without knowing which number he was going to be in? It’s called the buddy system, Castiel.”

Castiel pinched the bridge of his nose, still not quite believing that he was having an argument with his gay prostitute’s tiny punk bodyguard. “Fine. Make yourself comfortable. The guest room is already made up—”

“I’ll sleep in with Dean,” Charlie quickly answered.

Now Castiel was going to have two relative strangers sleeping in his room. He sighed. “If you insist. But I, uh, I must warn you. He’s still… naked.”

“Well if he wasn’t, I’d strip him. That boy does not like sleeping in clothes.” She pushed the bedroom door back open, before stopping and looking back at Castiel. “By the way, do you have any snacks up in this joint? I’ve been sitting in the car for an hour with the munchies.”

“How do you feel about hummus?”

Charlie grinned. “I would go straight for hummus.”

Castiel couldn’t help but laugh at that. “You know, it goes surprisingly well with beer.”

“If you say you also have rerun episodes of Andy Griffith, I might marry you.”

“I’m afraid it’s a ‘no’ to Andy Griffith, but The Twilight Zone is on Netflix. Would that suffice?”

She glanced once more into the bedroom at where Dean laid, before looking back at Castiel. “Deal. Got a t-shirt or something I can change into?” Her eyes looked down at her own body and the tight shirt, mini skirt, and chunky black boots that she wore.

“I do. I’ll be right back. Make yourself at home.”

---

Charlie — wearing one of Castiel’s t-shirts that fell to her knees — and Castiel sat up for another hour, eating crackers and hummus and drinking a couple of beers while they watched black and white tv shows. They barely communicated unless it was absolutely necessary — neither one wanting to broach the topic that they had in common: Dean.

When Charlie noticed Castiel yawning, she thanked him for the forced hospitality and made her way back to his bedroom. When she shut the bedroom door, she made sure the lock was set in place. Even if she liked Castiel a little more than she had at the beginning of the night… she didn’t necessarily trust him.

Dean was still passed out, snoring softly on the right side of the bed, so Charlie quickly stripped the t-shirt off and climbed into bed next to her best friend. She snuggled up close to his side and kissed the corner of his lips, hoping that he would be okay when he woke.

“Love you, Dean,” she whispered softly before falling asleep.

Chapter Text


”Be the flame, not the moth.” - Giacomo Casanova

---

When Dean woke Saturday morning, he was in familiar arms — but an unfamiliar bed. Charlie was curled around his side and in the daylight it took Dean a few minutes of looking around the room to remember it was Castiel’s condo. Dean’s head felt heavy like he’d had too much sleep. He tried to speak and his mouth was so dry no sound came out. To his immense relief there was a jug of water and two glasses on the bedside table. By the time he downed an entire glass, Charlie was starting to stir next to him.

“Hey sleepy head,” she whispered, stifling a yawn as she stretched her arms above her head. “You okay?”

Dean filled the glass again and passed it to his friend. He rubbed at his eyes, which felt like they’d been glued shut most of the night. “I… think so? Why are you here?”

“Because I sat in my car downstairs for thirty minutes before I realized that something was wrong.” She reached over and punched his arm. “Don’t ever worry me like that again. I thought you’d been murdered.”

“Shit, Charlie, I — I must have passed out. I don’t, I don’t remember much from last night.”

Her hand landed on his shoulder and she brushed her fingers gently along his skin. “Dean, tell me the truth: are you or are you not okay?”

Charlie passed him back the glass without having drunk much of it and he replaced it on its tray. “I’m lying naked in the bed of a man who’s been paying me to have rough, kinky sex and the last thing I remember is crying so hard I couldn’t breathe — does that sound like ‘okay’ to you?”

“Dean, Castiel told me you safeworded last night. Do you remember that?”

“I—” Dean frowned a moment, and it all came flooding back. He was certain there was nothing in his stomach to throw up, but his body was telling him it would sure like to try. “Oh, holy shit.” He doubled over, his head landing near to where his feet were crossed under the blanket. “Charlie, I fucked up,” came the muffled lament.

Concern immediately crossed her face as she moved closer and laid her hand on his back. She rubbed soft circles on his skin. “Tell me what happened, Dean. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.” After a moment, she froze. “Shit. This has only happened once before. This is about…” she lowered her voice and whispered the name, “Sam, isn’t it?”

Dean said nothing for a few moments; when he did finally speak, his voice was very small. “Nothing I do makes it go away Charlie. What I did… what am I gonna do?”

She leaned forward and kissed the side of his head. “No one expects it to go away. You just… we’ve talked about this. You have to learn to accept that it wasn’t your fault, Dean.”

Dean turned his face and pressed a kiss to her cheek, before wrapping his arms around her shoulders and giving her a squeeze. “I have to learn to accept that Cas might not want a naked hooker and his naked best friend hanging around his place long enough to have coffee. C’mon,” he swung his legs over the side of the bed, ignoring how much his head was pounding. “Time to face the music.”

“Whatever you say, Snickerdoodle.” She shook her head and sorted her hair with her fingers for a moment, before climbing out of bed and picking up her clothes from a nearby chair. As she got dressed, Charlie looked towards Dean doing the same. “Did he like the suit?”

And how. Let’s just hope that was enough for him to not fire my ass for all of this.”

“If he likes your ass enough, he won’t fire it.” To punctuate her sentence, she reached over to slap his ass. “It is very nice. Especially in those panties he bought you.”

“Oh, shut up,” Dean said, throwing his balled-up tie at her head.

Dean laughed as he watched Charlie take the tie and tie it around her head like a ten-year-old would. Even in his darkest hour she was there to make him smile. They finished getting dressed and finally stepped out of Castiel’s bedroom. Charlie gripped Dean’s hand tight in her own as they entered the kitchen to see Castiel sitting and eating an omelette at the breakfast bar.

“Uh, morning.” Dean nervously flicked his thumb and forefinger on the hand Charlie wasn’t holding. “Sorry about… last night.”

Castiel set his fork down on his plate and wiped his mouth with a napkin before looking towards Charlie and Dean. “It’s perfectly alright, Dean. You did the right thing by using your safeword to stop play. I feel like you deserve some time to heal from last night—”

“I agree,” Charlie interjected.

Castiel smiled briefly at Charlie, before meeting Dean’s gaze. “I’m going to still pay for the time that you should be here, but I want you to take our next two sessions off. Hopefully by next Friday, you will be feeling more like yourself.”

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, maybe that’s a good idea.” Dean felt Charlie give his hand a squeeze. “I guess, I guess I’ll see you next Friday. Thanks for letting us crash.”

“Of course.” Castiel nodded and stood, showing them both to the front door. Dean stepped out of the condo first, and as Charlie passed, Castiel brushed his hand over her arm. When he caught her gaze, he motioned towards Dean with his head. “Take care of him, Charlie.”

Charlie’s smile lit up her face. “Always.”

---

The first night of Charlie’s Take Care of Dean program had involved a lot of Star Wars and very little weed. He had woken up Sunday afternoon feeling almost refreshed. But with nowhere to be, and his paycheck still rolling in, Dean was twenty shades of restless.

So as he braced himself against the sink in the Starbucks’ men’s bathroom while Derrick the barista (or was it Devin? Daniel?) fucked into him, he found himself feeling grateful that he was at least out of the apartment. Dean bit back a grunt as the guy thrust in just a little too hard to feel good. He hadn’t prepped himself very well at all — the second bump of coke he’d done after lunch had left him feeling rushed and impatient. Besides, who didn’t deserve a little pain now and then?

Darryl came with a final hard pump and very little noise at all. Dean supposed this wasn’t the first time he’d fucked someone at work on his break. Dean hadn’t gotten much harder than a semi but that was gone now, and he didn’t really care.

The guy peeled off the used condom, tossing it in the trash. “Thanks for that,” he said. “I can make you a macchiato if you want. On the house."

“Uh, no thanks.” Dean pulled his pants back up and attempted to straighten the awkward mess his clothes had become. “Caffeine makes me jumpy.”

“Whatever, man. Take it easy.”

Dean tried to catch his breath after he found himself alone in the bathroom but he couldn’t seem to. When he reentered the café, Charlie was waiting for him at a table in the corner.

She took a sip out of an obscenely large cup and looked out at him from behind a large pair of tacky sunglasses. “You get yours, buttercup? We good to go?”

Dean shrugged. “I got enough. Let’s get out of here.”

Charlie held up the newspaper that had been laying on the table in front of her and waved it in Dean’s face. “I’ve circled five downtown apartments to check out. All within our budget.”

“Sweet. Good job, kiddo. Lead the way.”

Charlie lead Dean out of the downtown Starbucks location and towards the nearby MAX train stop. He followed, easily grabbing onto her hand when she outstretched it towards him. Charlie, despite all of her womanizing ways, did not like to get hit on while she was out and about. She always put Dean into the role of pseudo boyfriend when they went anywhere that wasn’t a bar or club. He didn’t mind — it made him more than a little aggravated when annoying douchebags hit on his best friend.

As they hopped onto the train, Charlie held onto one of the poles and Dean wrapped his arms around Charlie’s waist to keep her steady while they moved. “Check out that hot brunette in the front,” he whispered into her ear. He motioned to the woman sitting ahead of them. “Think she likes pussy or dick?”

“Hmm… I’m gonna go with pussy.”

Dean considers this. “Sure that’s not just wishful thinking?”

Charlie’s head leaned back against his shoulder. “It usually is.”

Dean ruffled a hand through Charlie’s hair. “Don’t worry, we’ll find you a partner-in-dykery soon.”

---

They spent an afternoon apartment hunting and found a few good options but didn’t make a decision that day. For the rest of the week they sent to various parts of the city looking for the best apartment for them. Every time they walked into a two bedroom, Charlie would ‘hmm’ and Dean knew she was contemplating the fact that she would probably still sleep in Dean’s bed. They didn’t really need two bedrooms.

The comings and goings and touring and traveling left Dean so busy for the next couple of days, that he didn’t have time to dwell on the upcoming appointment with Castiel.

But then, suddenly, it was Friday and panic set in. Despite Charlie’s reassurance that he could simply call Castiel and say he needed another couple days to recoup, nerves had Dean’s stomach in knots and he knew that he couldn’t ask for Castiel to pay him for another missed night. So he had to man up.

Which was a nice thought… in theory.

By nine p.m. Friday night, Dean found himself in an unfamiliar club downtown Portland, taking another hit of coke and fighting to quiet the inner voice that said if he didn’t leave soon he wouldn’t make it to Castiel’s on time. Just as he had convinced himself to get up and leave, take a train and a bus to the high-rise condos on the riverfront — a tall, dark haired man stepped up to his table.

The guy had shaggy hair and leaned down close to Dean, talking over the sound of the music. “I’ve been watching you since you walked in and I have to know: are you into guys? Because I’d love to get inside that ass.”

Dean’s eyes roved over the man’s body and his coked-out mind noted the similarities to his past. The hazel eyes of the stranger were reminding him of a lanky teenager he hadn’t seen in years. “You got anything to make it worth my while?”

The stranger smirked, one hand resting on the back of Dean’s chair as the other crept from Dean’s knee up to his crotch. His breath tickled Dean’s ear as he answered, “A nine inch dick and a bag of E at my apartment.”

“I got somewhere to be in… a while. Where’re you at?”

“Over off Barbur. Got a car — I’m happy to drop you off where you need to be afterwards.”

Jackpot. That was only ten minutes from Castiel’s — the tough thing would be to act sober once he got there, but a quick fuck might just be the thing he needed. “Let’s get outta here.”

---

Dean was unaware of the clock striking ten. His ass was being pounded by the best cock he had ever had in Portland.

At eleven, he was laying on an unfamiliar bed feeling the effects of mixing two types of recreational drugs.

By twelve, he was getting a blowjob and pulling shaggy brown hair, whispering the name ‘Sam’ under his breath.

And somewhere around one — he passed out, unable to even remember who Castiel was.

Chapter Text


”Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing.” - Oscar Wilde

---

Hypothetically speaking, how long should I wait before panicking that my ‘friend’ isn’t here?

HenryWesson: It’s after midnight, Castiel. A small child will be waking me up soon, why are you texting me relationship problems?

It’s not a relationship.

HenryWesson: Semantics. Have you called your ‘friend’ to ask where he is?

Don’t have his number. He’s two and a half hours late.

HenryWesson: Was there a misunderstanding that would lead him to believe he didn’t need to be there?

Maybe. Our last time together was a bit… problematic.

HenryWesson: Castiel, I warned you this ‘relationship’ would not work out for long.

---

Sometimes using one’s best friend as a voice of reason wasn’t a good idea. Castiel threw his phone back onto the sofa cushion next to him. He had barely moved from that spot since ten when Dean was supposed to be there but didn’t show up.

Okay… not entirely true. He had spent almost an hour pacing back and forth wondering if he had fucked up a good thing by pushing Dean farther than he should have. It was the product of their relationship — they simply didn’t know enough about each other’s pasts to know what would trigger a safeword situation.

--- Twelve Hours Earlier ---

”What do you mean, if you go?” Charlie stood staring at Dean, hands on her hips. Without her customary boots on she was even shorter than usual, but no less intimidating.

Dean snaked around her to take a piece of cold pizza out of the box left on the counter. “I just said I might not make it to Cas’ tonight,” he said between bites. “It’s no big deal.”

“Does Castiel know you might not make it tonight?”

Dean’s answer was a shrug.

“What are you so afraid of, Dean?”

Dean finished his pizza and wiped his hands on the back of his jeans. “I’m not—”

“Dean.” Charlie stepped closer and laid a hand on his arm. “I love you and you’re gonna cut the bullshit.”

“What if… what if he asks me to top again? It’s such a stupid thing to freak out over, but I can’t… I can’t not see him.

“Dean if something upsets you enough to trigger a fucking panic attack then it’s not stupid to put that activity on your blacklist.”

Dean shook Charlie’s arm off and stepped back from her. “Look, as long as he doesn’t want to start pissing on me I don’t need to have a ‘blacklist.’ I can do my damn job.” He turned to leave the kitchen.

“Maybe you can’t.”

He stopped mid-step and turned to look at her. “Maybe I can’t what?”

Do this job. If you can’t discuss your personal boundaries with the person you’re getting paid to fuck then maybe this isn’t the most ideal career path for you, Dean!”

“That’s just it, Charlie. I’m getting paid to fuck him. I don’t get to have ‘boundaries.’”

“Yes you do, Dean! When are you going to fucking realise that? You’re still dealing with a trauma, with what that sicko made you do to Sam—”

In a flash Dean had invaded Charlie’s space, had her practically backed up against the counter. “No. You don’t get to bring that up! Just because I got loaded one night and word-vomited my whole sad-sack history to you—” He clenched and unclenched his fists. “And where exactly would you go if I stopped bringing in money, huh? Sure is nice that you don’t have to work, isn’t it?”

Charlie said nothing, just stared up at Dean, her eyes rimmed with red.

Dean backed off, hands raised in defeat. “Whatever. I’m going out.” In two strides he was at the door, and halfway through it even as he pulled his jacket off the peg beside it. The sound of the door slamming reverberated down the empty hallway.

---

When the clock turned over to one a.m., Castiel knew that Dean had obviously not shown up on purpose. He still felt like shit for having caused all of the pain Dean was going through — and in all honesty, wished that he had the opportunity to explain how sorry he was.

He set aside his book that he had been trying to read for an hour and got up to go to bed. His shoulders sagged more than a little with disappointment. If the situation with Dean was over and ruined, he wasn’t sure that he could call up Bree McKenna and ask for another sub. What was the point if he was obviously just going to ruin that as well?

It meant stepping back into the world of mundane relationships and boring sex. Either that or become a monk.

Castiel had just finished turning off all the lights in the apartment and was on his way down the hall to his bedroom, when a familiar banging on the door caught his attention. He turned to go back in that direction, rolling his eyes when the sound of an angry female voice could be heard. Charlie.

“I know he’s in there, Castiel! I don’t care if he’s avoiding me. Let me in!”

He opened the door and stared at Charlie. Unlike the last time she’d showed up unannounced, she looked more than a little disheveled. Her hair laid flat against her head — seeming almost normal aside from the faded blue color — and her outfit consisted of a worn-out concert t-shirt and jeans. No boots in sight. She looked small, panicked, and like she had shed more than a few tears recently.

Castiel hated to be the bearer of bad news. “He isn’t here, Charlie.”

Not surprisingly, she shoved her way inside his condo and began looking around anyways. “What do you mean he isn’t here? Don’t bullshit me, Castiel. If he’s in here throwing a fit then he needs to get the fuck over himself.” Her voice raised with the second half of her sentence, obviously in an effort to make sure Dean could hear her.

“Dean never showed up for our appointment. I sat around waiting for three hours and was just about to go to bed.”

Her face fell in an instant and she stared at him like he had just killed her puppy. He couldn’t help but notice the way her hands shook as she pulled her phone from her pocket. Charlie messed with the phone for a few beats, before holding it up to her ear. As she listened to the endless ringing, Castiel watched her biting nervously at her bottom lip.

In the quiet of the condo, he could barely make out Dean’s voice on the pre-recorded voicemail message.

Charlie’s voice stuttered a bit as she spoke, “Please don’t do this, Dean. Not again. You’ve come so far — please don’t do this to me!”

She started to cry as she pulled the phone away and hit end, staring somberly at the screen. Castiel didn’t know her well — and he felt like a fish out of water in the midst of the scene — but instinct had him stepping forward to wrap his arms around Charlie in a hug. “Charlie, what is going on? What do you mean by ‘not again’? What has Dean done?”

“I think last week has sent him spiraling back into the depression he was dealing with three years ago.” She hiccuped and wiped her eyes, steeling herself as she stepped back from Castiel. “Dean wasn’t in a good spot when we met. In fact that’s how we met. We were both in the psyche ward at a local hospital after our own separate attempts at…” she frowned, lowering her voice to a whisper, “suicide.”

Castiel didn’t know how to reply to that, aside from a soft, “Oh.”

“Shit.” Charlie shook her head and took a few steps away, obviously trying to reel in her emotions. “This is probably way more than you want to know about Dean. I’ll shut up now.”

She was right. It was more than he should want to know. He could hear Henry’s voice in the back of his mind as he realized that it didn’t make a difference. He cared about Dean’s well-being enough to be worried. On top of that — if Dean took his own life after Castiel’s stupid attempts at a scene… how would he ever be able to forgive himself?

He moved through the foyer to the spot where his coat was thrown over a chair and pulled it on before quickly grabbing his wallet and keys. “Let’s go find him. I’ll drive. Where should we look first?”

---

They had just finished checking the third club downtown, when Charlie’s phone began to ring. She pulled it from her pocket in a rush and answered with a quick, “Dean?”

Castiel sat beside her in his car and waited through the phone call, listening to one side of the conversation and trying desperately not to assume the worst. Judging by the matter-of-fact tone that Charlie had begun to use, and the way the sadness seeped back into her voice — he had a feeling it wasn’t good news.

When she ended the call and placed the phone in her lap, Castiel hesitated to ask, “Where to?”

“OHSU,” she whispered. “They just brought him in with some frantic dude saying he had started to seizure after sex. They think he’s OD’d.”

Fuck. Castiel felt like lead had settled into the pit of his stomach. He turned onto the interstate and drove towards the hospital without saying another word. He wanted to ask if the nurses had mentioned Dean’s current condition - but he knew the pitfalls of an overdose.

They made it up the hill to the large hospital within minutes, and Castiel didn’t hesitate to pull his car into the staff parking lot. Charlie seemed too worried to notice, so he kept quiet. After he shut the car off, he reached over to the rearview mirror and unwrapped the chain connected to his hospital badge. Badge in hand, he hopped out of the car and moved around to help Charlie. She was shaking like a leaf, and clung to his hand immediately when he offered it.

He lead her through the halls until they arrived at the nurses’ station right outside Emergency. He had purposefully avoided going in through the ER doors and dealing with the mess of people that would be waiting for help.

The nurse at the station looked up, surprised to see Castiel standing there — badge around his neck, wearing street clothes and clinging to the hand of a punk-rock queen.

The nurse — Maggie, if he remembered correctly — looked from Castiel to Charlie. “Dr. Novak, I’m surprised to see you here this late. I didn’t know you were on rotation tonight.”

“I’m not.” He kept his tone steady and made sure Maggie could hear the power in his voice. “I need to know which room a Dean—” He stopped, realizing suddenly that he had no idea what Dean’s last name was.

“Winchester,” Charlie offered.

“Right. Which room is Dean Winchester in?”

She hesitated, obviously more than a little confused and worried about providing information when she shouldn’t. But the fact remained that Castiel was Chief of Surgery — the lead surgeon in the entire hospital — and he had authority over her. Still, Maggie looked to Charlie and said quickly, “He isn’t allowed visitors.”

Before Charlie could speak up, Castiel replied, “This is his sister. You called her. Which room, Miss Barnes?”

She looked down, quickly consulting the chart in front of her. “It looks like he’s been moved to 108.”

“Which MD is in charge of his chart?”

“Milton.”

“Put my name down as the secondary.” He held his free hand out, waiting for a copy of Dean’s chart to be passed over. When he had it in hand, he glanced back to Maggie. “Anything else?”

She shook her head. “No. I believe they have him stabilized. I’ve contacted the family members he had listed in his wallet, and the gentleman that brought him in is waiting in the lobby.”

“Very good.” Castiel turned to leave, ready to move down the hall towards Dean’s room.

Charlie didn’t budge though. She held on tight to Castiel’s hand, as she stared at the nurse. “You said family members as in plural. Who else did you call?” Maggie frowned, looking back to Castiel for instructions. Charlie repeated, “Who else did you call?”

“There were two names, ma’am. Charlie Bradbury…” Charlie nodded and the nurse continued. “And Sam Winchester.”

Chapter Text


“I told her I'd wait forever for her, but that was before I found somebody else who'd give me a ride home.” - Jaord Kintz

---

Castiel draped his jacket over a sleeping Charlie, who was petite enough to curl up in a hospital room chair at least semi-comfortably. She’d pulled the seat right next to Dean’s bed, and had finally fallen asleep some time before dawn with one hand wrapped around his.

It turned out that Castiel’s earlier fib had been unnecessary — Dean actually had listed Charlie as his sister under his emergency contacts. Apparently the hospital hadn’t been able to get ahold of the brother.

When he heard the doctor approach the room he ushered her outside before Charlie could be disturbed. He closed the door most of the way.

“Dr. Milton,” Castiel said. “How is he?”

If the red-haired woman thought it odd that her colleague and acquaintance of seven years was addressing her by her professional title, she made no show of it. She referred to the clipboard she was holding as she spoke. “Patient was brought in unresponsive. We found moderate to high amounts of cocaine and MDMA in his system. His vitals were all over the place for a while but it doesn’t appear that there will be any lasting damage. He’s stable now — just sleeping. But he was lucky.”

“That’s good news, thank you.”

“I was surprised to see you on his file,” Anna said, her tone switching to more conversational. “A twenty-something club kid overdosing on party drugs is not a case you would expect to need a surgeon on.”

“Dean is… a friend.”

It was clear by her single raised eyebrow that she didn’t believe him in the slightest. “Sure he is.”

Castiel ignored her sarcastic tone. “Someone told me that the person who brought him in was in the waiting room — is he still there?”

Anna shrugged. “As far as I know. No one’s talked to him since he first came in. I figured I’d fill you in first.”

“Thank you. I’m going to go find him now—”

Castiel was stopped by her hand on his arm. “Castiel…”

“Anna.”

“Whatever you get up to in your personal life is none of anyone’s business.”

“That it is not. What’s your point?”

“Just that it’s a small world in here. People talk.”

“As people tend to do.” Castiel shook off her arm. “Thank you, Dr. Milton. I’ll find you if I have any further concerns regarding the patient.” He stalked off down the hallway and through a set of double doors without waiting for any sort of reply and composed himself as he rode the elevator down to the ground floor.

Dean’s ‘friend’ wasn’t hard to spot. The waiting room was nearly empty and Castiel was fairly confident Dean hadn’t been partying with any sixty year-old women. If anything, Castiel was surprised the guy was still there.

He was staring at his hands and picking grime out from under his fingernails. One knee was bouncing up and down. He looked up through stringy brown hair as Castiel approached him.

“You brought Dean Winchester in?”

The guy leapt to his feet. “Yeah, I did, is he—”

“He’s going to be fine,” Castiel supplied.

The young man was visibly relieved. “Thank God. So… I can go?”

“We weren’t keeping you here.”

“Oh.”

Castiel ignored the man’s stupidity. “Are you aware that he overdosed on a combination of drugs that could have killed him?”

The guy shrugged. “I mean, he offered me some coke, I didn’t know he’d already taken some. It’s not my fault he can’t handle his blow.”

Castiel almost couldn’t believe his ears. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Hey man, he’s just some guy I picked up at the bar. I don’t know his deal. I just wanted to make sure he was alright, okay? I’ve done my good deed for the day.”

Castiel had his hand fisted in the collar of the guy’s shirt before he even realised it, drawing him in close. “That young man in there could have died tonight, and it would have been on your head.”

The guy’s eyes were wide and his skin had gone pale. “H-hey, man—”

“If I ever see you around Dean Winchester again you will regret it. Severely. You have twenty seconds to leave before I call the police.” He released the bunch of fabric in his hand and the guy staggered backwards.

“Y-you’re pretty intense for a doctor,” the man stammered, backing away.

“And you’re very mouthy for a piece of shit. Get out.

The guy finally didn’t have to be told twice. He practically ran out the main doors, muttering insults under his breath.

“Dr. Novak, is everything—”

“It’s fine, Maggie,” Castiel called towards the nurses’ station.

“Do you want me to tell security about that man?”

“It’s alright,” he said. “He won’t be back.”

---

The sun was beginning to rise, so even though neither Castiel nor Charlie had slept hardly at all during the night, he felt it was more or less an appropriate time for coffee. When he stepped off the elevator and back onto Dean’s floor he saw a frantic-looking Charlie emerge from Dean’s room and look around. He frowned, rushing to her side. “Charlie, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Dean— he hasn’t woken up.”

Castiel kept his face still, his movements swift but controlled as he swept into Dean’s room, passing both hot paper cups to the young woman. There were no alarms on any of the machines, and a cursory check told him Dean’s vitals remained unchanged and healthy. “He’s fine, Charlie.”

“Really?”

“Really. He had a rough night — he’s still sleeping it off. He might sleep most of the day.”

“Shit, yeah.” She placed their coffee on the bedside table and ran a tattooed hand through her faded hair. At first glance Castiel thought she was wearing a small hoard of jewelry, but it was all ink. “That makes sense.” She crawled back into her chair beside the bed, but this time leaned forward so her chin was on the edge of the mattress.

Castiel pulled the other chair near to hers and passed her one of the coffees, nudging her arm with the back of his hand. “Here.”

She took the cup without hesitation but, instead of drinking the liquid, she stared into the swirling coffee and cream. “Is he going to be okay, Cas?”

“In all honesty,” he began, “we won’t know for sure until he wakes up.” Charlie looked panicked the second the words left his lips so he continued on. “But his vitals are strong now. It’s very reassuring.”

“It’s my fault, you know.” Her words were soft, and after a moment she finally brought the cup to her lips and took a drink of coffee. When she had settled the cup back down, she looked towards Dean’s face. “We got in an argument yesterday. I said shit I shouldn’t have. Pushed him farther than I needed to.”

“Charlie,” Castiel made to lay a hand on hers but withdrew before she noticed. “I don’t know either of you very well, but it’s glaringly obvious that he thinks the world of you. He has you listed as his next of kin — that’s not the sort of bond you lose after one argument.”

“Cas,” she turned her head to stare at him. “Family can cut you deeper than friends. They know where to strike to make you hurt the most. I’ve known Dean for three years now — he’s my best friend, the only family I have, and I knew exactly what to say to bring him pain. I should have stopped… I just, he drives me insane sometimes!”

He chuckled. “Just like family?”

Charlie sighed, turning back to Dean. “Yeah, I suppose.”

Castiel took a deep drink of the coffee. It had come out of a machine — and tasted like it — but it was hot. The warmth down his throat was comforting. It could act as a substitute for sleep for the time being. “So... Dean has a brother?”

“Yeah.” She looked over at him, obviously wondering where he was going with his new line of questioning. “Why?”

“I just wondered why he wasn’t listed as Dean’s next of kin, and why his parents weren’t called? I’m sorry, it’s none of my business.”

“Dean doesn’t talk to his parents,” she answered after a moment. “From what I understand… they kicked him out and disowned him, and he hasn’t felt the need to reach out to them since. And Sam…” She sighed, putting her cup on the nearby table and leaning forward to grasp Dean’s hand. “Dean hasn’t spoken to him in years. They have a very… complicated… relationship.”

“How do you think Dean would react if his brother were to show up at the hospital?”

“Shit.” Charlie glanced over to Castiel nervously. “He isn’t here, is he?”

Worry creased Castiel’s brow. “No one has told me as such — would that be a problem?”

“It certainly wouldn’t be good.” She worried at her bottom lip with her teeth for a moment, before shaking her head. “Hopefully he doesn’t show up. I’m not sure Dean is ready for that reunion. Especially not after last week’s episode at your house.”

That was not a connection Castiel had expected Charlie to make. “What does that have to do with Dean’s brother?”

She frowned. “I told you. His relationship with Sam is complicated. Their past is complicated. Those memories—” She stopped, shaking her head. “I shouldn’t say more. It’s not my story to tell. Just believe me: it wouldn’t be a good thing for Sam to show up.”

Castiel wondered why Dean would even have bothered including Sam on his emergency list, until the reason hit him. If he didn’t have any contact with his parents, and even if he didn’t talk to his brother, he’d still want him to know if he died. “Do you want me to inform the nurses’ station to let you know first if his brother does show up?”

“I—” She pondered that idea for a moment before nodding. “Yeah, that might be best. Then at least I’ll have a chance to prepare Dean before Sam just bursts back into his life.” Charlie stared at Castiel. “You know, Cas, I wasn’t sure about you at first. I’m starting to get the feeling that you really care about Dean, though.”

“I know my involvement with Dean isn’t… conventional, to say the least.” Charlie snorted at that, and Castiel smiled. “But I do care about him.”

“Well I feel it is my ‘sisterly,’” she raised her hands to make air quotes, “duty to ask you about your intentions with Dean. So spill, Mr. Chief-of-Surgery.”

“I—” Castiel sighed, and placed his coffee cup on the table. It had cooled too much to be palatable. “I’m afraid I don’t know anymore.”

“That’s not an answer, Cas. Do you intend to keep paying Dean for sex or not?”

“If he’ll—” have me, Castiel had to stop himself from finishing the sentence. “If he’s still interested in our arrangement. I enjoy his company. But the drug use worries me — especially now.”

“Yeah,” Charlie nodded, “About that. I was thinking that… since you’re a doctor you might be able to help him out with his problem. He likes you, and before last week I know that he liked your time together. He might actually listen to you.”

Castiel frowned, and looked at his hands. “I don’t know that blurring the boundaries of our relationship like that would be healthy. And addiction isn’t my area of expertise. I could refer him to someone, though.”

She frowned, turning back to stare at Dean without saying another word. It was apparent his answer didn’t please her.

“But I can talk to him. If you think it would make a difference.”

It was too little, too late. Charlie shook her head, clutching Dean’s hand between her own and pulling it close as she leaned against the mattress of his hospital bed. “It’s fine, Castiel. We’ll be fine.”

Chapter Text


“Love is never supposed to hurt. Love is supposed to heal, to be your haven from misery, to make living fucking worthwhile.” - Mia Asher

---

Charlie kept a constant vigil beside Dean’s bed for twenty-four hours. Finally, her hands were shaking from the overload of caffeine and the lack of sleep, so Castiel called for a cot to be brought in and all but forced her to take a nap. He promised her — three times — that he would remain by Dean’s side the entire time while she slept and would wake her immediately if Dean regained consciousness.

Of course, when Dean started to show signs of waking three hours later, Castiel went back on his promise. Charlie needed to sleep a little while longer — it was three in the morning, and he had already told himself he wouldn’t wake her until the sun was back up.

He quietly moved his chair closer to Dean’s bed, and hesitated for only a moment before taking Dean’s hand into his own and giving it a gentle squeeze.

Green eyes blinked rapidly and tried to focus — tried to understand the room, his surroundings, and obviously Castiel’s presence. “Easy, Dean,” Castiel whispered. “You’re in the hospital.”

Dean opened his mouth to speak but could do nothing more than cough weakly. Slipping into his doctor mode, Castiel stood and grabbed a nearby cup of water — helping Dean to sit up and drink some of the liquid.

Once he had swallowed half the glass, he reached up to push Castiel’s hand away. “Hospital?” he whispered.

“Yes. You overdosed on cocaine and MDMA. Taxed your heart pretty badly. What were you thinking, Dean?”

Dean dropped his head back onto his pillow and closed his eyes. “About nightmares.” He waited a couple beats before asking, “Why are you here? How did you find out?”

“Charlie showed up at my condo. She was worried when you didn’t come downstairs to her car.” Castiel stepped out of the way and motioned across the room to the cot where Charlie was sleeping. “She hasn’t left your side. Thinks you’re angry with her.”

“We had a fight.”

“Is that why you didn’t show up for our appointment?” Castiel placed the water cup back on the table and sat down in the nearby chair. He tried to remind himself that he wasn’t hurt, if Dean didn’t want to show up for their appointments then it was Dean’s decision and not a reflection on Castiel or their time together. Dean obviously had a lot that he was dealing with. If he wasn’t prepared for a relationship like the one they had developed, then Castiel had to be ready to walk away. “I’m not upset, Dean. I just wish you had called to let me know our time together had to end.”

“It’s not that, Cas,” Dean managed. “I just — fuck, I was so overwhelmed after last week.”

Castiel nodded, figuring as much. “I understand. Which is why, if you decide to continue our relationship, I would like to meet with you to discuss dos and don’ts. I’ll come up with a list and you can decide what you’re okay with.” He sighed. “I just… you’re a great person, Dean. And I would hate to see that destroyed because of narcotics.”

Before Dean could reply, there was a soft knock on the hospital room door and one of the nurses poked her head in. “Dr. Novak?” she asked quietly. “Surgery just called down for you, apparently they’re having an issue and require your assistance.”

He nodded at the woman. “Thank you. Let Dr. Milton know her patient is awake, please. I’ll be right there.” When the nurse shut the door back, Castiel stood and moved over to Charlie. “I’m going to wake Charlie. She said I wasn’t allowed to leave you alone.”

Dean frowned. “Doctor Novak? You’re a doctor?

He knelt down to gently shake Charlie’s shoulder. “Surgeon, actually.”

Charlie’s eyes flew open in an instant and she stared at Castiel in panic. “Is something wrong? Is Dean okay?” Castiel motioned to the bed and Charlie turned to see Dean lifting his hand and waving. “Dean!”

Castiel watched her scramble to get up and over to the bed, not hesitating to hold out a steadying hand when she almost tripped on the blanket she’d been using. She practically threw her small frame onto the bed in order to get her arms around Dean and pull him close — causing a wide array of alarms and buzzers to start going off. “Charlie. Charlie! You can’t do that — you’re messing up the monitors.” He laughed and shook his head, because no amount of prodding was going to convince her to let Dean go. “Alright then. The nurses are going to come running in a panic — I’ll let you two handle that and be back as soon as I can.”

---

Back before the kidnapping — before things in his family got really fucked up — Dean could remember moments when he’d get in trouble and his mother would read him the riot act.

That is what he compared Charlie to, when she finally let go and started talking a mile a minute about how they were going to both go through steps to give up drugs and she was not going to lose him no matter how serious he thought his problems were. She kept lecturing long past the nurses coming in to check on his vitals and the doctor stopping by to check on him as well.

According to Dr. Milton, him regaining consciousness was the best step possible towards his recovery. He would have another twenty-four to thirty-six hours in the hospital while they monitored to make sure there wasn’t irreparable damage to his heart, and then they would release him — with a pile of pamphlets on recovery addiction, thanks to Charlie’s insistence.

He waited until the lecture was over, before scooting to the left side of the hospital bed. He made as much room as possible, and patted his hand against the extra space. “Come here, babydoll, you look exhausted and I need a nap.”

She carefully climbed onto the bed, making sure to arrange his arm around her shoulders and duck beneath the wires of his IV. Once she was settled against him, Charlie laid her head directly against his chest — right above his heart — and he felt a few wet teardrops soaking through his thin hospital gown. “I can’t lose you, Dean. You’re the only family I have. I love you so much — please don’t ever leave me. Don’t do that again”

Dean kissed the top of her head and pulled her closer. “Never, Charlie. I will never leave you.”

---

When he woke up again, Charlie was still sleeping against him, making soft snoring sounds. His eyes tracked across the room and he noticed a whiteboard bearing the names of his doctor and the nurse on duty.

It also held a note.

Dean —

Went home to shower and take a quick nap. Be back by lunch.

— Castiel.

He wasn’t sure how he felt about Castiel being so involved in his current issues. It didn’t seem right for real world and Castiel world to blend together the way that they were.

His eyes drifted shut once more. He could worry about it later.

---

When he woke next, Charlie was sitting in the chair next to his bed. He watched her for a moment, trying to figure out what she was doing, before it finally dawned on him. He couldn’t see the paper or the pencil, but the way her right arm was moving rapidly could only mean one thing.

“You’re drawing.”

She looked up to him with a smile. “Yeah. I’ve decided to take on some jobs so that you don’t have to work as much. A couple of local bands want me to design posters for their gigs — it’ll provide enough extra cash to cover the cost of rent at our new place.”

Dean moved in a hurry, causing the alarms on his monitors to go off once more, as he slid off the bed and pulled her into a hug. “That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I’m so proud of you.”

Charlie’s relationship with art was more than a little complicated. She loved to draw, but depression would lead her to rip up the work and seriously question her ability. It was usually what sent her looking for a quick high. Dean had watched the struggle for years, and hadn’t seen her pick up a sketchpad in close to ten months.

He was proud of her.

A blonde nurse stepped into the room and shook her head at Dean. “Why don’t I just unplug you from everything so we stop having this problem?”

“Sounds like a plan.” He winked at the woman. “‘Cause I’d really like to piss on my own.”

---

After Dean and Charlie ate lunch, Castiel showed up. He asked how Dean was feeling, before looking to Charlie and asking to speak with her in the hall. Dean found that peculiar and waited only a moment before pushing up out of his chair and moving to the crack in the door so he could listen in on their conversation.

He didn’t feel bad about eavesdropping. After all, they had to be talking about him, right? They had nothing else in common.

“...we can’t, Cas!” Charlie stated, her voice sounding more than a little upset. “His answer will be ‘no’ — so why bother asking? It’ll just set him back.”

Dean could hear Castiel let out a soft sigh. “Charlie, he deserves to know. This is his life, and we can’t make decisions for him. Plus — maybe this will help, rather than hurt him. I don’t know the whole story, but maybe it’ll provide closure.”

“Closure?” He could imagine Charlie shaking her head. “Seeing his brother will not provide Dean with any kind of closure.”

His brother?

Sam? Sam was there? Dean felt his heart begin to race in his chest. He rubbed his suddenly sweaty hands down along the jeans that he had put on earlier.

“He’s already here, Charlie. And from what he’s told the nurses, he took a seventeen hour bus ride to get here. You want me to walk out there and tell the poor kid his brother doesn’t want to see him, when I don’t even know that for sure?”

Seventeen hours? Dean frowned. If it had only taken Sam seventeen hours to get there, then he had traveled from somewhere closer than Kansas. And if he took a bus, instead of a plane, it was a good bet that he was alone — no parents around.

It had been four years since he saw his brother, and Dean knew he wasn’t prepared for it. But he also couldn’t handle the thought of Sam being sent away without answers. He moved away from the door and walked over to where his tennis shoes were resting on the floor. He slipped them on, but didn’t bother tying them. Instead, he headed back for the door and pulled it open.

Castiel and Charlie turned, obviously stunned to see Dean standing there. Dean looked from them, to either side of the hallway. “Where is he?” he asked. “Where is my brother? I want to see Sam.”

“Dean,” Charlie started, “I’m not so sure this is a good idea…”

“Where. Is. My. Brother?”

She waited another blink, before turning and pointing down the right hallway. “Go to the end and take a left. Through a set of double doors is a waiting room. That’s where Sam is.”

Dean turned and started walking that direction. When he heard footsteps following him, he stopped and turned around. “It’s okay, Charlie. I can handle this alone.” He looked up, catching Castiel’s gaze and nodding towards Charlie. Castiel caught the look and wrapped his arms around her small shoulders, leading her back to Dean’s room.

He spun back around and ignored the pounding in his chest and his ears as he walked the length of the hall.

Five times he wanted to turn back.

Five times he almost did.

When he finally pushed through the double doors, he scanned the small waiting room area and his eyes landed on a skinny dude sitting in the corner, bent forward and resting his head in his hands.

His face was covered by long shaggy hair but Dean knew.

“Sammy.”

Chapter Text


”Being his real brother I could feel I live in his shadows, but I never have and I do not now. I live in his glow.” - Michael Morpurgo

---

Sammy.

Dean watched as his brother slowly raised his head. Sam pushed a shaking hand through his hair to brush it away from his face, and met Dean’s gaze with his hazel eyes. It didn’t take much for Dean to make out the unshed tears. He could only imagine what Sam had been told by hospital staff about Dean’s condition before he was left there to wait alone.

A war waged inside Dean. Part of him wanted to erase the space between them and pull his baby brother into his arms. The other part wanted to turn and flee.

In the end, the answer was made for him. Sam stood — tall, and skinny as a weed — and moved across the floor in three steps.

Dean flinched, not quite sure what to expect. A punch? A hug? A slap to the face?

Sam’s large hands grabbed Dean’s face and for a long moment they just stared at each other. Until suddenly looking wasn’t enough for Sam and he pulled Dean in, their lips meeting in a hard, rough kiss.

The gesture caught him more than a little off guard. That was exactly what he would tell himself later when he realized just how long it had taken him to reach up and push his brother’s shoulders back and break the kiss. “Jesus, Sam.” He caught the flash of hurt that passed over Sam’s face and shook his head. “When was the last time you brushed your teeth? Gross.”

“You look good, Dean.” Sam kept one hand on Dean’s shoulder.

Dean huffed a humourless laugh. “I haven’t looked in a mirror in a while, but I’m pretty sure I look like shit.”

Sam shrugged his shoulders. “Considering I’ve spent the last hour thinking you were dead, I’d say you look amazing.” His free hand, the one not touching Dean, moved up to rub beneath his hair at the back of his neck. “They wouldn’t tell me anything. Some nurse just brought me here and told me to wait. Said someone would come talk to me soon.”

“Well, I’m here now, and they’re letting me go home this evening. So there’s not really anything to tell.”

“Oh.” Sam frowned, dropping his hand away from Dean and taking a step back. He found an interesting spot on the floor and his eyes were glued to it. “I suppose I shouldn’t have come then.”

“Sam…” When his brother didn’t respond right away Dean reached out and tipped Sam’s chin up until their eyes met. “Don’t be like that. I just meant there’s no need for you to talk to any doctor. They’re all pretty sure I’m gonna live.” He smiled, and something in Sam’s expression softened.

Sam blinked, his eyes starting to water again. “I can’t… I can’t believe you’re here.”

Of all the emotions swirling around in Dean’s head, competing for attention, he knew that seeing his brother cry was something he wouldn’t be able to deal with. Not again, and not now. He pulled Sam in towards him in a crushing hug, tucking his chin behind Sam’s shoulder. “I am Sammy, I am.”

“I spent so much time—” Sam shook his head. “So much time searching for you, Dean.” His arms wrapped around Dean and held on tight.

And I was running away. “And you found me.”

The set of double doors that Dean had walked through a few minutes before suddenly pushed open and Castiel peered out. “Dean?” When both brothers looked up, Castiel motioned back down the hallway behind them. “Dr. Milton needs one more round of vitals and scans of your heart, so she can work on the discharge papers.” His eyes went to Sam. “Your brother can come back, if you’d like.”

Sam’s face fell once more, and he closed back up like he had earlier. “I’ll just wait here,” he answered, when Dean hesitated to give an answer on whether or not Sam should go with him to his room. “Should probably find a phone book and try to get a hotel room or something…”

“Yeah, that’s probably for the best.” Seeing the hurt expression on his brother’s face, Dean elaborated. “I mean, you could stay with me, but it’s already the two of us in a shitty, tiny studio, and I know your sasquatch ass wouldn’t fit on the couch.”

“Right.” Sam turned, moving back over to where his duffel bag sat in one of the chairs. He rifled around inside of it for a moment, before pulling out his bus ticket, the Dickens book, and a pen. When he walked back over to Dean, he had the ticket laying face down on the book, exposing the side that was blank, and held out that as well as the pen. “Will you… at least write your phone number down? I mean,” Sam took a deep breath. “You don’t even have to see me again. It’s fine. I just… would like to have the number.”

It had nearly killed Dean — both metaphorically and not — to put all the distance between him and Sam that he had over the last four years. But it was what he had had to do. And now it was gone. Sam was there, and he couldn’t push him away. Couldn’t run anymore. “Yeah, of course.” Dean took the proffered pen and bus ticket, and scrawled his number on it. “You go get settled somewhere nearby and then call me. You got the cash for a room?”

Sam bit his bottom lip and nodded. “Yeah. I’ll make it work.” He pulled the book and paper back to him, staring at it instead of looking back up at his brother. “Thanks.”

While Sam moved back to stuff the items in his bag, Dean realized that he had just been lied to. Despite the years that had passed, Dean still knew his brother. He didn’t know what to do, though, to keep Sam from doing something stupid like sleeping under a bridge because he didn’t have enough money for a motel.

Looking to his left, Dean spotted Castiel, still waiting patiently for Dean to return back to his room. “Cas.” He moved over, making sure Sam couldn’t hear him. “Cas, will you do me a favor?”

Castiel’s face remained impassive and Dean couldn’t read him at all. “What do you need?”

He looked back at Sam and lowered his voice. “I don’t think he has enough money for a room. Can you just… drive him to a semi-decent motel and pay for a couple days for him? You know I’ve got the cash — I’ll pay you back.”

“Of course. It’s no problem. I’ll take care of that now. And listen to Dr. Milton, and Charlie. I know they’re both terrifying, but they do have your best interests at heart.”

Dean nodded. “They really are. And I promise. Just… take care of Sam.” When Castiel nodded as well, Dean moved back to his brother. “Hey Sam, my buddy Cas is going to drive you to a motel, okay? He’ll make sure you don’t end up in a bad part of town.”

“He doesn’t have to—”

“Well too bad, because he’s going to. He’s a good guy. You might even convince him to get you a burger on the way.”

---

Sam sat in the passenger side of a Mercedes and frowned. His duffel sat on his lap — Castiel had offered to put it in the trunk but Sam couldn’t help but think about how dirty he would make the expensive car interior. He tapped his fingers nervously along the fabric of his bag as Castiel steered down the hill towards the highway. “You don’t… you don’t have to take me anywhere. You can drop me at a bus stop and I can find my own way.”

“It’s really no trouble at all.” Castiel kept his eyes on the road. “And I promised Dean that I would.”

“About that,” Sam frowned. “I thought you were his doctor. What kind of doctor drives their patient’s brother around?” A thought dawned on him. “Are you and Dean dating?”

“No,” the older man said quickly. “I just know him from the hospital.”

“Right.” Sam nodded. He knew exactly what that meant. “You’re his therapist, aren’t you?”

The man frowned slightly, but corrected it. “I can’t discuss that.”

He rolled his eyes.”Ugh, therapy bullshit.”

“Have you had a negative experience with therapy in the past, Sam?”

They pulled out onto the freeway and were suddenly in traffic, stuck on a ramp that lead to a bridge. Sam stared out the window at the river below. “Three years’ worth.”

Castiel opened his mouth to say something before closing it again. “Ah,” he finally said. “Well,” he continued as the car began to inch forward again, “I hope you were able to get something positive out of it.”

Sam snorted. Positive. Right. “As long as Dean’s getting a positive experience,” he mumbled.

“I do what I can.”

After waiting a moment, Sam looked back to Castiel. “Well… since you’re a therapist, do you mind giving me an opinion on something?”

“I can try.”

He sighed. “I’m sure Dean has explained our history. I don’t need to know his specific feelings. I just need to know — should I leave before I make things worse for him?”

Traffic began to pick up again, and they finally cleared the bridge. “I really can’t speak to any of the issues between you and your brother. You should talk to him about that.”

Sam shook his head. Fucking typical. “Right. Heaven forbid you — a shrink — actually gives anyone good advice.” Castiel turned off the freeway and Sam took a deep breath. He could see quite a few motels in the near vicinity. He pointed to a nearby gas station. “Just drop me off over there. I can find my way from here.”

Castiel kept driving. “It’s hard to tell which motels are good or not, but I’ll take you to one that my brother enjoyed the last time he was in town.” He pulled into a medium-sized clean-looking motel and parked in front. After he shut the engine off, he unbuckled his seatbelt, and made to get out of the car.

Sam frowned, hurrying to climb out of the car as well. “What are you doing?” He threw the strap of his bag over his shoulder and stared at Castiel going towards the lobby. He had to admit — he probably only had enough money for one night at the place, but that didn’t mean he was going to let this stranger pay for him. “Get back in the car. I don’t need your charity, Doctor.

“It’s not my money, it’s Dean’s. And I told him I would get you checked in somewhere so that’s what I’m going to do.” He held the door open for Sam, and showed no sign of moving until the younger man walked through it.

He opened his mouth to continue arguing, but stopped suddenly. If Dean was offering to pay for his motel room, then he must, on some level, want Sam to be there. He stepped into the hotel lobby and motioned for Castiel to go ahead. “They probably wouldn’t rent it to someone under twenty-one anyways.”

“It might be more complicated. Go have a seat.” He nodded towards the overstuffed green armchairs in the lobby. “Do you prefer ground floor or higher?”

“Doesn’t matter,” he answered. He carried his bag over to the chairs and sat down with a soft huff. A few minutes later when Castiel moved over to him and held out a room key, Sam reached out and quickly took it. “Thanks. And thanks for the ride.”

“It’s nothing. You’re paid up for a week, by the way. How much money do you have for food?”

Sam reached into his pocket and pulled out the money he had stashed in there after the last time he had bought a snack — eight hours before. He looked down at the cash, and what he had hoped would be forty or fifty dollars… was twenty-three. He stuffed it back in his pocket, hoping that Castiel hadn’t seen. “Enough. I’ll be fine.”

“Of course you will.” But Castiel pulled his wallet out anyway, pulling out a single bill and pressing it into Sam’s hand. “For food and the bus.”

He looked down, opening his hand and staring at the folded bill. One hundred dollars. Shit. “I would be fine without this. I’ve survived off of less.”

“And now you don’t have to.” Castiel glanced at a very expensive-looking watch. “Sam, it’s been nice meeting you, but I really should be getting back to the hospital.”

“Yeah.” Sam tucked the money away and carried his bag and his keycard out of the lobby. He looked down to check the number written on the card holder, before giving Castiel a half wave. “Thanks for the ride.”

Chapter Text


”The only real conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others, but with yourself.” - Shannon L. Alder

---

The prospect of meeting Castiel intentionally outside of their regular playtime seemed strange to Dean — but Castiel had insisted. Something about ‘establishing boundaries’ in a ‘neutral setting.’ Dean didn’t really care what the conversation was about, he just wanted to get back into his routine.

Castiel was already waiting at a table in the back when Dean walked into the Rock Bottom Brewery on Monday afternoon. Dean made his way across the dining room. It was a nice place — almost too nice for someone like Dean to be. It was obvious Castiel had chosen a table far enough from the other patrons to give them a little privacy. Whatever they were going to be talking about probably wasn’t fit for polite company.

Castiel looked up from the menu when Dean approached the table and he smiled. “Hello, Dean. I’m glad you could make it.”

“Uh, yeah. Hey.” Dean stood in his spot awkwardly for a moment before taking a seat in the chair Castiel was gesturing to. “How’s it going?”

“I’m good. How are you feeling?”

“Oh, you know.” Dean ran a hand through his hair. “Pretty good, considering.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” He pushed the other menu across the table. “I hear they do an excellent baked macaroni and cheese.”

Dean picked up the menu and had only a moment to glance at it before the waitress was walking over to ask if Dean would like something to drink. He spotted Castiel’s glass of iced tea and looked up at the woman with a smile. “Seven-up, please.” When she walked away, Dean looked back down to the menu. “Are you going to fire me?” he asked, fearful of looking up.

The surprise in Castiel’s voice was obvious. “Is that what you think this is?”

“Well you said no more drugs. And on top of overdosing, I also skipped out on you without reason.” Dean shrugged. “I’m fairly certain that’s what this is. Niceties at the hospital notwithstanding.”

“You’re right, I did say that. But, in light of… recent events… I understand that you’ve been dealing with some issues lately. I’m no expert, but the optimist in me wants to think this was enough of a wake up call for you. If this is something you still want, I’m still willing to employ you.”

“I do,” Dean nodded, answering maybe a little too quickly. “Charlie signed me up with a counselor. She said if I don’t go, she’ll throw me into rehab.” He shuddered at the thought and cut off his words as the waitress walked back over to take their order. Once she had left, Dean finally caught Castiel’s gaze. “To be honest, Cas, our sessions were the kind of structure I’ve needed in my life. Up until that… last time, I was happy. I think I even kinda miss it.”

Castiel looked at Dean like that was the last thing he had expected to hear, but a second later his face was nearly expressionless again. “I’m very happy to hear that, Dean. I know that this is essentially a professional arrangement, but,” a mischievous glint lit up his eyes as he swirled the ice around in his glass, “it really is so much better if everyone involved can enjoy themselves.”

The conversation steered into normal territory while they ate — discussions about how Charlie and Sam were doing, and Dean asking questions in regards to Castiel’s job. Once their plates had been cleared and their drinks refilled, Castiel pulled a folded paper from his pocket and slid it across the table to Dean, before placing a pen on top of it.

“What’s this?” he asked.

Castiel tapped his finger on the edge of the paper. “In an effort to avoid a similar incident to the last time we were together, I took the time to write down some of my ideas for scenes. I’d like for you to look over it and cross out ones you aren’t a fan of.”

“Now?”

The older man nodded and stood. “While you do that, I’m going to go pay our bill. I’ll be right back.”

Dean waited until Castiel walked away, before unfolding the paper and looking down at the list. Castiel’s hand writing was a bit of a mess — probably best attributed to his life as a doctor — but he could still make out the words.

He started to slowly scan the list. When he got to the third thing written, he stopped. Orgasm denial/edging. He shivered slightly at the thought of that. Castiel bringing him to the edge over and over but never letting him come until Castiel was ready.

His cock started to harden in his pants as he continued reading. Cross dressing. If the way his body loved silk panties was any indication — Dean would like that one too.

Bondage and rope play. He shuddered. Butt plugs and extended penetration.

“Shit,” Dean mumbled under his breath. He sat the paper down and grabbed for his glass, taking a long drink to try and cool the flush that was running over his body.

“Are you alright, Dean?” a deep voice questioned. Dean jumped slightly, spilling drops of his drink down the front of his shirt as Castiel sat back down across from him. “What do you think of my list?”

“I, uh…” He set his glass back down and stared at the list. “There’s definitely some things we can work with.” Only a couple of items were jumping out at him as things he would be uncomfortable doing. Role play seemed like something he would spend too much time laughing at, and the idea of having wax poured over his body seemed ridiculous. And messy.

Sensory deprivation with blindfolds and other items. Dean groaned as his eyes caught sight of even more kinks and scene ideas. His cock was hard as a rock, and when he looked up he noticed the flash of desire in Castiel’s eyes.

Apparently his issues were obvious.

“I’m having a bit of a problem,” he managed, shifting in his seat.

“I can see that,” Castiel said, his voice even — although just barely. He leaned down to whisper in Dean’s ear. “Is it something you require assistance with?”

Shit. That voice in his ear made it even worse. “Please,” he whimpered.

Castiel straightened. “Meet me in the men’s bathroom in two minutes,” he said, and walked away.

The control was back — just the slightest hint of domination that had Dean tucking the paper into his pocket and following Castiel, after he’d disappeared around the corner, without thinking twice about the fact that they were in a very popular restaurant in the middle of the lunch hour. The door to the bathroom was closed, but not locked. Dean walked inside, and Castiel was waiting for him, leaning against the sink. Dean closed the door behind him, and they were alone in the small, single-toilet room.

When the click of the lock reverberated through the space, Castiel reached out and pulled Dean to him by his shirt.

Dean went happily, not quite sure what to expect. And then, as soon as his body was pressed against Castiel’s, the other man dug his fingers through Dean’s short hair and tilted his head back.

In the next second, Castiel was kissing him and Dean felt sparks of electricity ignite within him. Despite all that they had done in Castiel’s space — they had never kissed. Dean fell into it, chasing the flavor of smokey cheese, sugary tea, and Castiel. He opened his mouth to the other man, letting Castiel’s tongue lick into him, letting his hands push and pull him around.

His back hit the empty wall space beside the door, and he groaned into Castiel’s mouth as he tried to get a hand between them. His brain was going wild and he had to know if Castiel was just as turned on as he was. When his hand found the hard outline of Castiel’s cock beneath his dress slacks, Dean almost lost control. He broke the kiss to mumble a needy, “Please fuck me.”

The growl that sounded in Castiel’s throat was the best answer that Dean could remember getting in recent memory. “Turn around,” he said. “Hands on the wall.”

It had to be a bad sign that Dean was turned on by obeying Castiel outside of their roles as dom and sub. He knew better than to say no, though, and quickly spun around to face the wall, planting his hands firmly and jutting his ass back towards the other man. “Please,” he begged once more.

Castiel slowed his pace, then, and it was so torturous Dean thought he was going to go out of his mind. Castiel pressed himself against Dean’s back, his face at the base of Dean’s neck, inhaling deeply. He wrapped his arms around Dean, spreading his palms flat against his chest, and smoothing down his stomach, reaching under his shirt to skate his nails against the hot flesh. His hands didn’t linger there long, instead moving to unzip Dean’s blue jeans and wrap strong fingers around his aching cock.

Dean knew that moving probably wasn’t allowed, but he couldn’t stop himself from shifting forward against Castiel’s touch and back against his cock. It was a wicked combination. He could remember the list shoved in his pocket — all of the things written on it that turned Castiel on. That Castiel wanted to do to Dean. Dean had a few additions that he wished he could make to the list. Like getting the opportunity to feel Castiel sucking him off, breaking away from his dominance long enough to let Dean control the pace of his cock sliding between those pretty pink lips.

He shuddered. He wanted that a lot more than he realized.

“Fuck, Cas, I need—”

“What, Dean?” he said into the skin of Dean’s neck, nipping at the flesh there. “Tell me what you need.”

Dean moaned. He wasn’t sure if he had the nerve to ask. But at the same time - he wasn’t being paid to be there. He was there on his own terms, which meant he could ask for what he wanted. “Will you suck me off?”

There was a long silence, and he half expected Castiel to leave. Instead, the man gave a soft ‘hmm’ and spoke between kisses to Dean’s hairline. “I’ll make you a deal. I’m going to fuck you. If you can make it through being fucked without letting go — you can come in my mouth.”

“Fuck, Cas. You’re on.” The hand around his cock squeezed once before letting go and reaching up to yank his pants down to his thighs.

“Spread your legs.”

Dean did as he was told, letting more of his weight rest against the wall. He heard rustling behind him and felt a cold, slick finger slide between his cheeks as Castiel’s other hand dug into the flesh of his ass.

He couldn’t help but snort at the sensation. “Leave it to the doctor to carry lube around,” he mumbled.

“It pays to be prepared,” he circled his finger around Dean’s hole, pressing against the entrance before easing his fingertip in, “—wouldn’t you agree?”

“Mmm, yes.” Dean hung his head between his arms, catching sight of his cock bobbing slightly and leaking precome. With his weight against his hands, he wasn’t tempted to reach down and touch himself. “Cas?”

Castiel slid his first finger inside Dean all the way, easing it in and out once before replying. “Yes, Dean?”

“Would you, uh..” He felt a blush creeping up his face and was thankful Castiel couldn’t see it. “Will you maybe… spankmewhileyoufuckme?” the words came out in a rush, jumbled into one.

“Is that what you want, Dean?” Castiel continued to fuck Dean’s ass with a single finger. “That wouldn’t make you come, would it?”

“Yes,” he gasped. “Yes it’s what I want. I promise… I promise I won’t come.” He rocked back onto Castiel’s finger. “Please?”

“Alright. Don’t come… and don’t scream. I do want to be able to continue patronizing this establishment. Can you take another finger?”

Dean snorted. “I could take three.

He felt a huff of breath on his neck before Castiel said, “Ask and ye shall receive.”

Dean gasped at the quick burn he felt, and realised that there suddenly were two more fingers inside him. Castiel held them still for a moment, letting Dean’s body adjust around them. When he began moving them again, slowly scissoring them apart, he latched his mouth onto Dean’s neck, kissing and sucking gently. “You can—” Dean’s words got cut off by a gasp as one fingertip ghosted over his prostate. “Fuck. You can bite me, I don’t mind.”

Castiel lifted his face again. “You want me to leave marks on you?”

Dean groaned, hoping that communicated what he wanted enough. He didn’t go so far as to admit that he wanted people to know that he was Castiel’s, but the thought was there.

Castiel’s finger brushed over Dean’s prostate once more, as he nipped at the flesh of his neck. “You’re so needy. Want people to know that you belong to me, don’t you? Have enough marks on your skin that everyone in the restaurant knows you’d do anything for my cock?”

Shit. “Please.”

“Maybe I should get you a collar, Dean.” The fingers disappeared and a moment later, Dean could feel the hot press of Castiel’s latex-covered cock inside him. “Would you like that? Wearing a collar that says you’re mine?”

Dean paused. That was something he had never really thought about — admittedly, it wasn’t even something he knew much about. But he liked the sound of it. “Please,” he begged, his voice heavy and breathy, “please fuck me, Cas.”

In one move, Castiel’s hips surged forward, bottoming out inside Dean. He didn’t give any opportunity for adjustment, though, before he was gripping Dean’s hips and fucking him relentlessly against the wall. After a moment, one hand swept away, before landing back down on Dean’s bare asscheek.

He bit his lip to keep from screaming out, hard enough to taste the familiar metallic flavor of blood. He probably hadn’t even needed to ask — Castiel knew exactly what Dean needed to be pleased. Dean braced himself against the wall, pushing back against Castiel when the other man thrust deep inside him. Almost as soon as Castiel established a steady pace, his cock began to hit Dean’s prostate on almost every push. It felt so fucking good — but Dean knew if they continued on like that for much longer that he wouldn’t be able to hang on.

He was just about to voice his worries, when another slap landed on his ass — followed quickly by two more. It was too much. Too much. “I can’t hold on, sir,” he gasped.

“It’s okay, Dean,” Castiel said, and his tone was gentle. “You’ve been so good — let go. Come for me.”

On the next thrust, Dean felt the brush over his prostate and went with it, letting the sensation take over as his cock began to come. He forced himself to look back down, groaning as he watched his cock twitch and leak without even being touched. “Fuck.”

“Holy shit, Dean,” Castiel growled as he continued to pound mercilessly into Dean, sending his feet shuffling over the tiled floor beneath them. His movements became stuttered and erratic and he bit down into the meat of Dean’s shoulder as he came, grunting into Dean’s skin.

Both men stayed like that, tangled up in each other, for a few moments until Castiel pulled himself out. He disposed of the condom and tucked himself back into his pants. Returning to Dean, he spun the still-breathless man around to face him.

Dean, however, had a hard time meeting the older man’s gaze. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hang on. I couldn’t do what you wanted.”

Castiel tipped Dean’s chin up towards him, looking into his eyes. “Don’t be sorry.” He pulled Dean close, and kissed him hard. “I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. But I’m afraid you’ve made a mess.” He gestured to the still-warm come coating some of Dean’s dick.

Dean snorted. “Not to mention on the wall.”

“I don’t care about the wall,” Castiel said, and sank to his knees in front of Dean. Taking Dean’s softening cock in one hand he leaned forward to lick him clean.

“Oh shit, Cas,” Dean moaned. He watched in fascination and astonishment as Castiel cleaned his cock. “Fuck… that’s so hot. You’re so hot.”

Castiel leaned back to look up at him and winked. “I have good inspiration.” His job done, Castiel returned to his feet and walked over to the sink, washing and drying his hands. As he made his way to the door he turned to Dean once more. “If it’s not already glaringly obvious that I just ravaged you in here then it would be even more so if we were to exit at the same time.” He put his hand on the doorknob. “Do you need a ride home?”

Dean pulled up his pants, and couldn’t help but notice that his dick was still wet with Castiel’s saliva. “No, I’m meeting Charlie over at Powell’s.”

“Very well, then. Thank you for meeting me. I’ll see you Wednesday?”

A shiver ran down Dean’s spine. “Definitely.”

Chapter Text


”The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

---

The motel where Sam was staying wasn’t far from a large shopping mall and a grocery store. By Monday afternoon he was more than a little bored and began walking around to explore the area. On the other side of the mall was a train stop, and he splurged on Tuesday and rode the train for a while. He wound up at the airport, sitting in just before security and sipping from a cup of coffee as he watched the happy reunions between travelers and their loved ones.

No one had ever in his life been that excited to see him. Even after the kidnapping, when they were finally discovered in that lone cabin in the woods, his parents had looked at him like they didn’t know how to handle him anymore.

It wasn’t his fault that he had craved his brother’s touch for days, weeks, and months after that moment.

His eyes flicked back down to the seat next to him at the mere thought of Dean. On the worn out fabric sat his cellphone. He hadn’t been farther than two feet from the small device since Sunday afternoon when Dean had promised he would call.

The only time the phone rang was when Brady tried once more to get him to pick up. The messages had gone from ‘Please baby, where are you, I’m worried,’ to ‘Get your ass back here now or I’ll kill you.’

“Are you waiting for someone?”

Sam looked up at the sound of a nearby voice and noticed an older woman sitting across from him and staring. He glanced around, just to make sure that she was indeed talking to him, before shaking his head. “No. Just wanted to get out around people.”

The woman nodded, her hands clinging tightly to a worn teddy bear. “I used to do that when I was young. Back before the kids came. My youngest is flying in today.” She motioned to the bear. “This was his.”

“It looks very well loved.”

“He’s coming back from Afghanistan. A soldier, just like his dad.”

Sam didn’t know what to say to that. He was sure a normal person would tell the woman to thank her son for his service — Sam was too distracted by the thought of war, death, and suffering. He let the conversation drop off as he picked up his cellphone and checked the time.

It was almost dinner time. He had no idea what he was going to eat. In his efforts to save money he had been living off of ramen noodles and McDonalds. He didn’t want either one at that moment, but any other option at the airport was out of his budget. He said goodbye to the woman, awkwardly offering her his condolences. He got back on the train, and by the time he was walking back into his room he was considering just forgoing dinner completely.

---

He hurt. It was all that his brain could seem to comprehend. Every muscle was sore from pulling taut against restraints that had held him down for too long.

Sam laid on the dirty floor and tried not to move. Through the darkness he could almost make out the water stains on the ceiling. He wanted to close his eyes and imagine he was laying in an open field staring up at the stairs. Unfortunately every time he closed his eyes all he could see was the blinding white pain of the night before.

“Sammy?” Dean whispered from the mattress.

“I don’t wanna talk.”

“Will you at least come up here? With me?”

“No.”

Silence settled down over the room again, until all Sam could hear was the beating of his own heart in his ears. How could his heart beat so loudly when Sam felt so dead inside?

Dean shuffled on the mattress and suddenly his voice was closer than before, “Do you hate me?”

He wanted to say ‘yes’ and scream at Dean. How could you do this to me? How could you rape me, Dean? I thought you loved me! I’m your brother. You promised to protect me. ”No,” he breathed. He rolled and shuffled until he was laying on the mattress next to Dean.

He hesitated for only a moment, before laying his head on Dean’s chest and pulling his brother’s arms around his waist. Sam could never hate his brother. Dean was all he had.

---

“What’s your safeword?”

Dean took a deep breath as he continued to kneel on the soft pillow. “Topeka.”

“Good. Turn around, hands on the floor as well.”

He did as he was told without hesitation. Castiel had explained his plans for the night when Dean arrived fifteen minutes before, and then asked Dean to strip and kneel to wait while Castiel retrieved his supplies from the bedroom.

Dean had caught sight of what had been brought back into the room, and he was ready. So ready that his cock was already half-hard and a shiver kept making it’s way down his spine.

Warm slick fingers brushed against his asshole, and his head dropped forward as he bit his lip. He wanted to moan — but the rules had been explicit. No moaning. No coming.

“Do you own a butt plug, Dean?” Castiel asked, slipping one finger inside Dean as he slowly started to work him open.

His voice shook as he answered, “No. No, sir.”

“Have you ever used one before?” The finger barely grazed over his prostate, and Dean found it hard to answer the question. He shook his head, hoping it would be enough. “Words, my pet. Use your words or you’ll be punished.”

“N-no, sir.”

Castiel continued to meticulously work him open until suddenly the fingers disappeared. Dean wanted to look, but remained still and waiting. The blunt tip of the butt plug beginning to press inside of him was a sensation he couldn’t explain if he had to. It was weird but in a good way. Castiel kept wiggling the plug and pushing it further and further until finally the largest part breached his entrance and the toy was securely settled inside his body.

Shit. It was like a hard cock just sitting there waiting and not moving.

“Alright, pet,” Castiel said. “I have a load of laundry waiting on the laundry room floor. I want you to sort the lights from the darks and start the first load on a spin cycle. The plug is to remain firmly in place the entire time — you will not touch it or your cock, understood?”

Dean nodded his head, but after a moment followed it with a soft, “Yes, sir.”

“After the laundry is done, I want you to make your way back to the pillow by my desk and wait patiently. When I’m finished with my paperwork, you can suck my cock. After I’ve come, we will remove the plug.”

“Yes, sir.” Castiel slapped his bare ass and told him to get on with it, and Dean quickly pulled himself to his feet and headed for the laundry room. Just as he had expected - every step made the butt plug brush and nudge against his prostate.

He had no idea how he was going to follow the rules and finish the chores with so much excitement brewing under his skin.

---

Sam wasn’t old enough to be there. He wasn’t even sure how he’d found the nerve to try. Thankfully the bouncer at the door took one look at him and just waved him on through.

He’d never been in a nightclub before. He moved the the drunken bodies swaying to too-loud music and tried to figure out what he was doing. Just because the bouncer had assumed he was twenty-one, that didn’t mean the bartender would. And it wasn’t like he had the extra cash to spend on alcohol anyways.

He found an empty barstool towards the end of the bar and sat down facing the crowd. Like with the airport earlier that day, he was really just looking to be around people instead of stuck in an empty motel room. The club had been the only place nearby that was still open at midnight.

Sam sat on the barstool for ten minutes before another body pressed up in the space next to his. He heard a sweet voice ordering two beers from the bartender, and turned to see blonde hair framing a pale-skinned face. He really shouldn’t have stared, but even in the dark club atmosphere he could make out freckles on the girl’s cheeks and he couldn’t help thinking she looked like the female version of Dean.

Two beers were placed on the bartop and the girl turned to give Sam a wink and a smile, before sliding one of the drinks towards him. “You look like you need that.”

“Thanks but I’m—” he cut himself off from saying ‘not old enough’ and watched her eyebrows quirk up. He forced a smile and picked up the beer, motioning in her direction with the top of the bottle. “Thanks. You didn’t have to.”

“Don’t mention it.” They both drank down half of their bottles, and if Sam expected her to walk away he was wrong. She stayed by his side, and even seemed to be moving closer. When he placed an empty bottle down on the counter, she leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Wanna dance?”

Sam didn’t even need one hand to count out the experiences he had had with women. There were none. There was only Dean and Brady. As he let the blonde pull him out onto the dance floor, he couldn’t help but feel like he was jumping into the deep end without knowing how to swim.

She danced like there was no tomorrow, her ass pressed back against the front of his jeans as she grabbed his arms and moved them around to her stomach. He was more than a little nervous, but he gave in to the beat of the music and the alcohol warming his veins. It didn’t take long before he was actually starting to have fun. The girl was only interested in him, it seemed, and she stayed pressed up against him for dance after dance — driving his cock insane.

When last call was finally announced nearly two hours later, She grasped his hand and pulled him towards the exit. “My place is about twenty minutes from here by cab.” She pulled his face down closer to hers and kissed him, as her hand brushed over the front of his jeans. “Wanna come over and fuck?”

“Twenty minutes?” He shifted against her hand as he looked up and across the street. “I’ve got a motel room right there.”

She squealed a little in delight and started to drag him across the street towards the motel. He stumbled a little up the stairs, but managed to right himself and lead her to his room.

He didn’t know what he was doing. He was literally a virgin when it came to fucking rather than being fucked. As he watched her walk into the room and begin stripping, he wondered if she would be willing to ride his cock instead so he didn’t mess up something.

She threw a bright pink thong towards his face and finally asked, “Hey, what’s your name?”

Sam locked the door and stripped out of his shirt. “Sam. What’s yours?”

The blonde fell onto the bed with a soft bounce and giggled. “Joanna. But, you can call me Jo.”

Chapter Text


”No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” - Gautama Buddha

---

Sam knew the second he woke that his bed wasn’t empty. Jo, for her small frame, seemed to fill the space she was in a few times over. And, despite the activities he was fairly sure they’d gotten up to the night before, he wasn’t entirely sure how much of that space he was welcome in.

Jo’s back was to him, but she still appeared to be asleep. Sam rolled away from her, and reached down to the floor to retrieve his phone from his pants. The battery had died during the night, and he needed to pee, so he rolled out of bed as gently as he could manage. After visiting the bathroom he brought his phone over to where his charger was and plugged it in and, after letting the battery charge for a few moments, hit the button to turn it back on.

He sat down in the chair at the desk there and looked back at his bed, where his very naked and very female guest was beginning to stir. Sam felt more nervous than he had when he’d brought her back to his room. He’d never done this before — what was the etiquette called for in this situation? Was he supposed to buy her breakfast? Make small talk over coffee?

He was brought out of his daze when his phone buzzed and beeped back to life behind him. And buzzed. And buzzed. And buzzed. All of the notifications that couldn’t be delivered while his phone had been off were coming through. He turned the screen on to see seven new messages and four missed calls — Sam didn’t have to check to know who they were from.

As he considered deleting them without looking at them, again, his phone began vibrating rhythmically once more. It was ringing.

Jo was obviously starting to wake, leaving him with two choices: face the woman he’d slept with the night before, or answer the phone and deal with Brady. Sam took the cowardly option, slipping on his jeans and grabbing the keycard as he stepped outside and hit answer on his phone screen. Now that the call was connected, though, he didn’t know what to say.

“Sam? Are you there?” Brady’s voice came over the line.

Sam’s first words got caught in his throat and he had to clear them out as a dry cough. “Uh, yeah, I’m here.”

“Oh thank God! I’ve been so worried. What happened? Where are you?” There was panic seeping through his words.

It sounded like Brady really cared and Sam felt a pang of guilt shoot through his chest. Sure he could be difficult, but at least he cared enough to keep calling. Dean hadn’t even called once since Sam had been in Portland. “I had a family thing. My brother was in the hospital. I panicked.”

“Oh shit, Sam.” Brady took a deep breath. “Why didn’t you tell me, love? I would have gone with you! Are you alright? Is your brother alright? Tell me where you are so I can come help.”

Sam didn’t know what to say to Brady, and he didn’t know how long he could stall. “Yeah, he’s fine now. It’s just been really busy here.”

“Listen, Sam…” there was a brief pause before Brady continued, “I love you and I’m so sorry I got angry that last night. You know how I get when I’m frustrated with finals and worried about things.”

“Yeah, I do know.” He kept his tone short, annoyed.

Brady sighed. “I called your boss, Sam. I explained what happened — that it was my fault you had to cancel that night. I asked him to give you your job back. He said you’re welcome back as soon as you’re back in town.”

Sam had just about come to terms with cutting ties in San Francisco — but that’s when he’d thought he’d lost his job, too. He shook his head. It wasn’t a terribly great job, he could get one of those anywhere. “Yeah, about that. I’m not sure how long I’ll be needed here.”

“Sam, please. Please let me come help you. I just want one more chance to make it up to you. I’ll do anything you ask — just don’t give up on me. I never gave up on you.”

There was a wad of gum on the pavement next to Sam’s foot. He nudged it with his toe, and it didn’t give. “I’m not — I’m not giving up on you, Brady. I just need a little time. Please.”

“Where are you staying? Do you have enough money for food, Sam?”

“I’m fine, everything’s taken care of.” Sam tried not to think about how little money he had left. He’d tried to make the one hundred dollars from Castiel last, and he’d done pretty well, but he didn’t have anything to fall back on once it was gone.

“Sure, yeah, of course. I’m just worried about you. I miss you. It’s so lonely here without you. My parents are coming to town and invited us to dinner and I didn’t know what to say.” His voice broke, showing the emotions. “I didn’t want to admit that you might be gone forever. I don’t know if I can survive that, Sam.”

Sam was quiet for a few moments, and the dead air on the phone line felt heavy. It was obvious to Sam then how much Brady loved him. “I’m not gone forever.”

Brady sniffled over the phone line. “Just answer one question for me, Sam. That’s all I ask. Do you… do you still love me?”

“I do.” He looked up at the sky, shielding his eyes from the piercing morning sunlight. “I’m… I’m in Portland.”

---

Sam stepped back into the motel room after ending the phone call and was surprised to see Jo sitting on the edge of the bed, completely dressed, pulling on her shoes. After the conversation with Brady, he wasn’t sure how to react around the woman he’d just had a one-night-stand with.

She glanced up at him as she moved onto putting her other shoe on. “So, I heard a bit of that. Boyfriend? ‘Cause that would explain a lot.”

Sam ran a hand through his hair. “Um, yeah. He is. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

She held up a hand to cut him off. “Look it’s cool. We all experiment every once in a while.” She stood, grabbing her purse and moving over to him. After a moment of staring, she leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Sweetheart, I appreciate the lay, but I think you and I both know that I’m not of the gender you prefer.”

“Shit… was it that obvious?” Sam let his embarrassment turn into a laugh.

“Pretty much, yeah. But listen, I’m gonna go… it sounds like you and your boyfriend have plenty to discuss. You take care of yourself, Sam.” She patted him on the arm once before slipping around him and through the door.

---

Thursday turned into Friday without Sam even noticing the time passing. He was too worried about what Brady would do with the information of where he was. By Friday afternoon, he was down to his last twenty dollars as he walked back from the nearby grocery store with that evening’s dinner.

Twenty bucks and two more nights paid at the motel. After that — Sam had no idea what he was going to do. If Brady showed up he would automatically jump in to cover expenses… as long as Sam went back to being his pet. If Brady didn’t show up, Sam would have to find a homeless shelter to stay in.

Or he could hitchhike back to California.

Once he was back in his room with a lukewarm container of ramen noodles, he pulled out his phone and swirled it around on the table a few times.

He had been in the same city as Dean for a whole week and had only spoken to his brother once. If that wasn’t rejection then he didn’t know what was. It was time to give in and give up. Flipping the phone back to the right direction, he picked it up and found Dean’s number before hitting the call button.

Dean picked up after the fifth ring. “Hello?”

He was shocked that his brother actually answered. So shocked that it took him a moment to pull himself together and answer him. “Hi Dean.”

“Sammy. Uh, how’s it going?”

Terrible. “Fine. I, um… how are you feeling?”

“Well, you know. Not amazing, but I’m back on my feet. Been enjoying Portland?”

The words made him angry. He hadn’t came all that way just to enjoy Portland. He wasn’t there to see the fucking sights! “No. I’m leaving Sunday morning. I’m going… home.”

“Oh. Shit, Sam, I’m sorry.” Dean breathed a heavy sigh. “This week has been such a shit show — do you wanna get together before you go back?”

He could hear it in his brother’s voice. That slight inflection that took him back to days when Dean would lie to him about why their parents were arguing downstairs. Dean was lying about how busy he had been. He was probably also mentioning the idea of a meeting to appease Sam. It wasn’t something he wanted. Why would it be? Dean hadn’t hesitated to throw him out of the hospital, why would now be different? He hadn’t hesitated to walk away when Sam needed him most in the aftermath of their abduction.

It was suddenly clear, like a revelation that a boy only understood once he became a man. Dean would never again be the strong supportive brother that Sam longed for.

“I think,” he managed, “that you and I both know you don’t want that. So it’s fine, Dean. I’ll be fine. Whatever I was expecting out of coming up here — it’s obviously not going to happen.”

“Damn it, Sam. It’s been four years, and you came all the way here.” Dean sounded defeated. “At least let me buy you lunch or something.”

“I’m free tonight.”

“Tonight? Shit, Sam, I can’t.”

Of course. “Why not?”

“I gotta work.”

“You can’t get out of it?”

“I really can’t.”

“Big surprise there.”

“Look, Sam, I would if I could—”

“No, Dean. I don’t think you would.” His brother tried to interrupt but Sam kept talking over him. “You don’t have to worry about me anymore, okay? I’ve made it this long without you, I can keep going just fine.”

Sam didn’t wait to hear Dean’s reaction before he lifted the phone away from his ear and ended the call.

---

Despite the fact that Dean was in the middle of a fairly intense scene he couldn’t make himself focus. His arms were bound with leather bracelet handcuffs that hung from a hook in the ceiling, and Castiel was walking around him slowly, hitting key spots with a small whip. The sting would cause his body to jump in reflex, but he hadn’t let out a single sound of agony. His cock was also completely unresponsive.

Finally, after two more slaps against his ass, Castiel stepped in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest. “Dean, what’s your safeword?”

“Wichita,” he answered without hesitation, his head hanging forward between his arms.

“Are you feeling dizzy? Do you need to stop?”

“No, m’fine,” Dean mumbled.

“We’re stopping.” Castiel laid down his whip and reached up to release Dean from the cuffs.

“What?” He looked up, frowning at the other man. “No. I’m fine. It’s fine. I would have used my safeword if it wasn’t.”

“Something’s on your mind. You’ve enjoyed this whip before. Am I doing something you don’t like?”

“No, of course not. I’ll enjoy it once you get going.” He noticed Castiel’s arched eyebrow before following the man’s gaze and looking down at his own body. It was covered with red marks from the whip, but Dean couldn’t even remember the thing hitting him. “Oh.”

“I rest my case.” He unfastened the clip keeping the cuffs on the hook and gently lowered Dean’s arms down in front of him. He loosened the cuffs and slid them off Dean’s wrists. “There’s a robe in the closet,” Castiel nodded to one corner of the guest bedroom they’d been playing in. “Why don’t you put that on and then join me in the living room?”

“But I’m still—”

“On the clock, I know,” Castiel finished for him. “You can pour me a drink and rub my feet, but we’re going to leave any more ‘vigorous’ activities for now.”

Dean nodded and Castiel left the room. He rubbed at his wrists absentmindedly as he moved over to the closet and pulled out the robe mentioned before. It was soft and comforting against his skin. He shut the bedroom light off and went back to the main room. Castiel was seated at his favorite spot on the sofa, with a pillow and a bottle of lotion by his feet. Instead of moving to kneel down right away, Dean walked to the small bar cabinet set up on one side of the room and mixed Castiel a bourbon on the rocks like he usually requested.

He presented the drink, before kneeling down on the pillow and beginning to warm some of the lotion in his hands.

Castiel waited until Dean put his hands to Castiel’s skin before he spoke. “How’s your brother doing?”

Dean froze, staring at Castiel’s foot. “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you ‘don’t know’? He’s been in town all week.”

Fuck. Dean hung his head and felt the guilt creeping over him again. “I put off calling him. I just — I didn’t know what to say! For some reason ‘Hey sorry I abandoned you after I was forced to rape you’ just doesn’t fucking seem like enough, you know? So I ignored the idea that he was in town. Then today he calls me and tells me he’s leaving on Sunday. When I offered to get together he called my bluff and hung up on me. Now I don’t know what to fucking do.”

It took Dean a moment to realize that Castiel had suddenly gotten very still. Dean stood in a rush and shook his head. “Fuck, fuck. I didn’t mean to say that, fuck.”

“Dean… what do you mean? What happened between you and your brother?”

“Nothing. Nothing.” He looked around the room, feeling completely lost. Any other time and he’d just make a run for it — but he couldn’t risk his job. Not again. “I think I have to use the restroom—”

“Dean—” Castiel stood and reached out, his hand closing around Dean’s wrist before the younger man could make his thinly-veiled escape. “Talk to me. There’s no judgement here.”

He couldn’t meet Castiel’s gaze. He knew that there was no way out. He either came clean or gave up the best job he could find. “I… Sam and I were kidnapped, when we were teenagers. Held hostage for over two months in some sick bastard’s hunting cabin. He was a real piece of work, the shit he put us through. The creepy shit he’d say, and the way he looked at Sam. But he never really touched either of us, side from knocking us around some. Until one day.” He bit at his lip for a moment before continuing, “One day the guy gave us an ultimatum. Either I raped Sam or he would.”

“So ... you made the only choice you could.”

Dean shook his head. “No. No! I could have fought back. Waited. We were rescued two days after that. If I had just fought the bastard for two fucking days, Sam would be fine!”

Castiel released his hold on Dean’s wrist only to lay a hand on each of his shoulders. “You’re right, you could have risked your life and Sam’s life by trying to fight back. What if the kidnapper had killed you? What if you fought back and he’d won? No one would have been there to protect Sam when the kidnapper went after him. No one would have stopped the man from raping Sam — or quite possibly worse. Would that have been better?” Castiel moved a hand to Dean’s face, guiding it so that he would look up. “You had no idea that it was only going to be two days. All you knew was that you had to protect your brother the best way you could. And you did that.

Dean felt full to bursting and dead empty all at the same time. “Tell me this, Cas. If I did ’the right thing’ then why do I feel so fucking horrible about it every single second of every single day?” His voice was threatening to break but he kept going. “When is this going to stop hanging over my head?”

“Dean,” Castiel stated, his hands moving to hold the back of Dean’s neck and keep him from looking away again. “The only way this is going to go away, is if you face it head on. You have to stop avoiding Sam and talk to him. Apologize. Scream it out. Whatever it takes. You just have to stop hiding.”

Dean’s eyes were burning, and he could feel the tears ready to spill out. “I’ve been hiding for so long, Cas. I don’t know how to stop.”

“Shh. It’s okay.” Castiel pulled him close and held onto him as Dean’s shoulders began to shake. “Sam doesn’t hate you. Sam was only worried you hated him. He asked me that first day if he should leave to avoid causing you pain. It’s obvious that you both love each other, you’re just struggling to get past the trauma.”

Dean let Castiel wrap him in his arms and he hooked his own arms behind Castiel’s back. They stood there like that for a few long minutes, holding each other, before Dean started laughing. “Shit,” he said, stepping back and wiping his face dry. “I really didn’t mean to word vomit like that on you.”

“It’s fine. I could tell something was bothering you.” Castiel glanced at the clock on the wall, before looking back to Dean. “We have forty-five more minutes. If you’d like, we can lay down on the spare bed and relax? I took a term of massage therapy in medical school…”

“Is that your way of saying I give terrible foot massages?”

“Not at all,” Castiel replied, a smirk playing across his lips. “But there’s still a thing or two I can show you.”

Chapter Text


”There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” - Mark Twain

---

From the moment they arrived in the spare bedroom, Dean became quiet — except for protesting the idea that Castiel would be giving the massage. His argument of ‘I’m supposed to be the one making you feel good’ was ignored.

“Dean, part of the appeal for playing the role of ‘dom’ is being able to take care of my submissive’s needs. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is what you need right now, and it would make me very happy to give it to you.”

Dean acquiesced, stretching face down on the bed. He had to fight back a moan as soon as Castiel’s hands touched his skin.

After a few minutes, Castiel broke the silence. “I’m curious, is Sam the reason behind your panic at the idea of topping?”

Dean was so relaxed that the once-taboo topic seemed less threatening. “I guess so? I don’t know, I just — ungh!” His words were cut off by a grunt as Castiel’s fingers ground into a particularly tense knot of muscle. “I don’t want to be in charge of anybody. Not like that.”

“I understand,” Castiel said, softly. He worked on the same spot for a moment longer before moving down to Dean’s lower back. “I’m proud of you for learning your limits.”

Dean huffed a laugh. “Yeah, it’s about time, isn’t it?” Castiel’s hands were hot and heavy and Dean could feel himself beginning to melt under them.

Castiel leaned closer and brushed his lips along Dean’s shoulder. “You don’t give yourself enough credit, Dean.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Dean said into the pillow. “But I do know your hands are amazing.”

“Yeah?” One hand continued lower, as the other moved away. A moment later a plastic lid was being opened and warming oil was poured over Dean’s back. “Feel free to give location suggestions.” Both hands back on Dean’s skin, Castiel worked one lower and along the crack of Dean’s ass.

Dean couldn’t help but roll his ass back and up into Castiel’s touch. Castiel kept his caress infuriatingly slow, skimming his fingers between Dean’s cheeks but not dipping any lower. “Fuck, Cas.”

“Is this alright?”

“It’s almost fucking perfect.”

“Almost?”

Dean turned his head over his shoulder in time to see the frown crease Castiel’s brow. “I’m just a little uncomfortable.” He turned over onto his back then, freeing his cock from where it had been digging into the mattress.

“Oh fuck, Dean,” Castiel groaned. He moved to grasp Dean’s cock with his oiled hand, but froze at the sound of an alarm going off across the room. Castiel pulled back and looked over to where a small clock sat on the dresser. “It’s a quarter to one, Dean. We don’t have time…” When Dean let out a frustrated sigh, Castiel continued, “Unless you want to stay?”

“Fuck, I really do, but… is it okay? With the ‘rules’ and shit?”

“I think if we both agree, then we are adult enough to accept the consequences.” Castiel leaned forward, kissing a strip of skin along Dean’s chest. “I’ll pay you, for your time. I would just… I would enjoy having you stay, Dean. Please.

“Would it be unprofessional of me if I said I really wanted to stay, too?”

“Of course not.” Castiel smiled. “I just have one request—”

“What’s that?”

“You call your bulldog and let her know you won’t need a ride until morning.”

Dean sat up just enough to press a kiss into the crook of Castiel’s neck, one hand sliding down to cup his hardening cock. “Pass me my phone.”

---

Sam opened the door without thinking and stared at his boyfriend on the other side of the doorway. He wasn’t particularly surprised; he knew as soon as he said the word ‘Portland’ that Brady would somehow find him and show up. Of course, he also may have texted with the motel he was staying at. “Hi Brady.”

“Sam.” Brady’s face was all emotion and remorse, and it was everything Sam thought he wanted.

Sam fell into his boyfriend’s arms with no resistance, wrapping his arms around the other man’s shoulders. It was all he could to stop from sobbing. He was so embarrassed for what he’d done — running towards someone who didn’t want him and away from someone who clearly did. “Brady, I’m so sorry.”

Brady pulled him into the room and shut the door behind him. “It’s okay, Sam, I forgive you. I’m just so glad you’re alright. I was so worried.”

Sam let out a heavy breath. “Yeah… yeah, I’m alright.” He took Brady’s bag without being asked and set it on one of the chairs. “Did you just fly in?”

“I did. Arrived about an hour ago, took a bit of time to get a rental car.” Brady stepped forward, brushing his hand beneath Sam’s shirt. “I love you, Sam. You look so sad. What can I do to make you feel better?”

“You being here is enough.” He let Brady lean in for a kiss. “Coming here was a mistake — I can’t wait to go home.”

“Jesus Sam,” Brady’s voice took on just the slightest edge. “I just got off a plane and you expect me to get on another one? I don’t get to rest at all, do I?”

“No, of course you do! Look, I’m paid here for another night, why don’t we just… why don’t we just take it easy tonight?”

Brady waited another moment before nodding. “Sounds like a good idea.” He pulled his t-shirt off and kicked his shoes across the room, before laying down on the bed. “You know, Sam, I would love to lay back and watch that tight ass sliding along my cock. You up for a ride?”

Sam stripped off his own shirt and jeans and walked over to join Brady on the bed. It felt so good to be wanted. “You have no idea how amazing that sounds to me right now.”

---

To say that Saturday had been a clusterfuck for Dean would have been an understatement. He and Charlie were almost moved into their new apartment, but it nearly hadn’t happened half a dozen times. Between not being told ahead of time that they’d been quoted the wrong amount on the deposit and still needed to pay more before they’d get their keys, and the two out of order ATM’s they encountered on their mad dash to get the money on time — Dean figured it was a miracle they got into the place at all. They still had a pile of stuff in the old place to deal with before they handed over those keys, but that was a headache for another day.

Dean had barely had two minutes to rub together the entire day. He had called Sam once in the afternoon, but his brother hadn’t answered, and then the moving chaos had resumed in full force.

On Sunday morning, Dean made an effort to wake up early so that he could catch the bus to where Sam’s motel was and see his brother before he checked out and left for good. He walked the three blocks to the motel, thankful that Castiel had given him the room information the day before. He walked up the steps and down the walkway until he came to the right door and knocked. He just prayed that Sam hadn’t left early.

When the door opened, Dean was surprised to see an unfamiliar face. The man was around Dean’s age, blonde, and fairly good-looking. “Oh shit, I’m sorry. I must have the wrong room. I was looking for Sam?”

The other man crossed his arms over his chest. “Sam’s in the shower. I’m afraid we’re in a bit of a rush to get to the airport for our flight.”

“‘We?’ I’m sorry, who the hell are you?”

“I’m Sam’s boyfriend, Brady. I take it you’re the ailing brother that hasn’t had the nerve to communicate with him even though he dropped everything to rush up here. You don’t look very sick.” Brady shook his head. “Like I said, Sam doesn’t have time to talk to you.”

There was definitely something about this guy that rubbed Dean the wrong way. “Yeah, well I don’t think that’s up to you. Why don’t you tell Sam I’m here and he can make his own decision?” Dean made to step forward into the doorway.

“Dean?” Sam suddenly appeared in the room behind Brady, his hair wet and his clothes clinging a bit to his not-quite-dry skin.

“Sam—” Dean had an apology and half a dozen explanations on his lips but they died the instant he saw Sam.

And the ugly black eye that was coloring Sam’s face.

Brady moved to close the door. “Yes, yes, nice chat. We have a flight to pack for. Thanks for stopping by.”

Dean shoved his way into the room, disregarding Brady entirely. “Sam, what the hell happened? Are you okay?”

Sam’s eyes flicked to Brady for a flash, before looking back at Dean. “I’m fine. I slipped last night when the pavement was wet from the rain.”

“Oh, that’s pure bullshit and we both know it.” He rounded on Brady. “Did you do this? Did you hurt Sam?”

“I would never hurt Sam,” Brady growled back. “Unlike you, I love Sam. I have for eleven months now. We live together. I flew up here immediately when I found out he was hurting, thanks to you.”

“That doesn’t explain his shiner, or why he’s obviously fucking terrified of you.” Dean stepped closer to Brady, invading the other man’s space. “Well guess what, buddy. I’m not afraid of you.”

“Sam,” Brady demanded, “Tell your brother that I didn’t hit you and to back the fuck off.”

Sam’s voice came quiet but clear. “I can’t.”

“Why the fuck not, Sam? Come on, tell your brother to leave me alone.”

“Because you did hit me.”

Dean heard the crack of Brady’s nose breaking under his fist before his brain even registered that he’d thrown the punch. As Brady held his nose and cried out in pain, Dean turned to his little brother. “Get your things, Sam. You can stay with Charlie and I. I’m not letting you go anywhere with this bastard.”

“Uh, yeah.” Sam sounded shocked but Dean didn’t trust Brady enough to take his eyes off him for more than a second. “Yeah, of course.” He disappeared into the bathroom and emerged a moment later, piling a handful of items into his bag.

Brady tried to push past Dean but Dean stopped him with a hard shove against his chest. “No fuckin’ way. You’re not going anywhere, and if you ever go near my brother again I’ll fucking kill you.”

Brady laughed, blood dripping into his mouth. “I’d like to see you try. I can charge you for assault, you know.”

“And we could do the same to you. You just about ready, Sam?” Dean called over his shoulder.

The zipper sounded on his bag and Sam stepped up to where Dean was. “I’m ready. I was already mostly packed.”

“Good,” Dean said, still in Brady’s face. “Lead the way.”

They walked to the MAX station in silence, and once they were on the train sitting towards the back, Sam looked over at Dean. “Thanks.”

“It’s nothing,” Dean said, looking straight ahead. “How are you holding up?”

Sam leaned his head on his duffel bag with a sigh. “I’m fine. He’s just another person in a long line of ones that have betrayed me.”

Dean had no idea what to say to that. An apology seemed pointless after so long. Why would Sam suddenly start believing him? “You have mom and dad, though.”

Sam sat up straight and looked his brother in the eye. “You have no idea, do you?”

“Idea about what?” Dean frowned, suddenly getting a sick feeling in his stomach. “Did something happen to mom and dad?”

“No idea,” Sam said, picking at a loose thread on the seam of his bag. “I haven’t talked to either of them for more than two years.”

“What?” He remembered back to the moments after they were rescued — the way their parents had swarmed Sam and kept him wrapped in a protective cocoon. They had shunned Dean, of course, because how could Dean do what he had? But Sam was their precious baby that needed their comfort. “I’m sorry that… that’s really shocking.” He noticed the pain in his little brother’s eyes and knew there was more to the story. “What… what did they do to you?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. Not here.”

Dean nodded, understanding. “Okay, yeah. Okay. When… if, you ever want to, I’m here, alright?” He hesitated a moment before reaching over and squeezing Sam’s hand. “I won’t leave you again, Sam.”

Chapter Text


”No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” - Alice Walker

---

Sunday afternoon involved a lot of moving and unpacking the rest of Dean and Charlie’s things into their new apartment downtown. Sam did his best to make himself useful although Dean would have preferred he take it easy. He carried just as many boxes and pieces of furniture as either of them, and barely took any breaks. It wouldn’t have been obvious to anyone who didn’t know Sam that anything was amiss. To any regular bystander the three of them would just look like three normal people moving into a new apartment. Two roommates and a houseguest helping out. It was true that it had been a long time since Dean had been around Sam very much.

But he could still tell.

And it wasn’t just the way that Sam avoided looking Dean in the eye — Dean expected that had a fair bit to do with the shiner he was still sporting over one eye. No, it was the way Sam shrank his shoulders, how he went out of his way to stay out of anyone’s path. There was nothing Dean could do until they got the U-Haul unloaded and returned to the lot. After a busy afternoon Dean volunteered to bring dinner from the deli on the corner.

Walking into the apartment he found only Charlie in the living room, enjoying the newly-installed cable, but he could see Sam sitting by himself on the balcony. Dean shot Charlie a questioning look as he handed her a grilled meat-lover’s panini but she replied only with a shrug. Dean crossed the space to the sliding glass door that led outside, his and Sam’s food in his hand.

Sam looked up from his phone when Dean slid the door open.

“Hey,” Dean said, holding up the brown paper bag with Sam’s order. “Dinner’s ready.”

“Thanks,” Sam mumbled. He tucked his phone away before taking the sandwich that Dean held out.

“Mind if I join you? Charlie’s watching some weird history documentary about Victorian mummies or something and it’s creepy.” Dean asked, motioning to the second chair sitting a few feet away.

With a soft laugh, Sam nodded and motioned to the chair. “Whatever, man, it’s your house.”

Dean pulled the seat next to Sam and dug into his own food, peeling the paper away from his sandwich as he spoke. “So you wanna tell me why you’re hiding out here? I thought you liked documentaries and stuff.”

“I’m pretty sure Charlie doesn’t like me,” he answered, staring down at his own sandwich that was still wrapped.

“Sam, you’ve known her for what — five hours? Give her a little time. She just… she doesn’t know how to act around you. That’s all.”

“Shit.” Sam’s face fell. “You told her, didn’t you? No wonder she doesn’t like me.”

“I didn’t mean to. I got shit-faced once, years ago, and it slipped out. And besides, it’s not like I really thought you two would ever meet.”

Sam frowned, growing quiet once more as he focused on unwrapping his sandwich and taking small bites of it.

“It’s not like I go around telling people, Sam. Come on. She’s my best friend.”

“I didn’t expect that you did, Dean. I just… also wasn’t expecting that you had every plan to never see me again.” His voice broke a bit and he set the sandwich on the small patio table next to him.

“Dammit Sam, that’s not what I meant. I just… thought it was best I wasn’t around to fuck things up any more than I already had.” He scoffed. “If that’s even possible,” he added under his breath.

Sam shook his head. “Coming here was a stupid idea. I should have never made the decision to come to Portland. I was just so excited when I finally found out where you were after looking for so long.”

Dean put his food down and stared at his brother. “You were looking for me?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “For about a year. Started as soon as I got out.”

“Got out?” Dean frowned. “Got out from where?”

“Nowhere.” Picking his sandwich back up, Sam tried to brush off the subject. “It’s not important.”

“Bullshit. What, you get in trouble for stealing skin mags and they throw you in juvie or something?”

Sam turned to Dean, his face filled with anger and frustration. “No. Mom and Dad checked me into a mental hospital as soon as you left, Dean. I was there for three years until finally I turned eighteen and was old enough to check out.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket and thrust it towards his brother. “Check the messages. They call me every day trying to get me to go back. They think I’m still crazy!”

Dean didn’t accept the phone that was offered to him. The bite of food he had just taken tasted like wet pavement. He put the rest of his sandwich down. “Fuck, Sam. I didn’t — I didn’t know.”

Sam shook his head and stood, looking out at the city lights around them. “Everyone left, Dean.”

“Everyone? What about Mom and Dad? They cared enough to get you help, didn’t they?”

“They never visited, Dean. They dropped me off and wiped their hands of me.”

“No. They wouldn’t do that. They cared — they made it pretty fucking clear that you were the priority between the two of us, I’ll tell you that much.”

Sam took a deep breath and turned to face Dean again. “I needed you, Dean. At home. I wanted you. I couldn’t sleep without you there — the nightmares were terrible. Mom and Dad reacted the only way they knew how, I guess. They took the abomination that was their youngest child and they shipped him off to Texas to play with the other crazies.”

The skin of Dean’s hands began to prickle and he spoke quietly. “You mean the nightmares weren’t about me… hurting you?”

Sam slumped back into his chair. “No. In the nightmares, he killed you. Made me watch. I’d wake up screaming for you.”

Dean stood up so quickly he knocked his chair over. He wrapped his arms around Sam’s shoulders, pulling him into a crushing hug. “Well, he didn’t, okay? I’m fine.” He ignored the sting of tears at the corners of his eyes but was grateful his brother couldn’t see him. “I’m fine and I’m here.

---

After the extended time together on Friday night (and knowing that Dean needed to spend time with his brother), Castiel offered to give Dean Sunday night off. Of course, that left him with free time that he wasn’t expecting to have, so he took the opportunity to call Henry and suggest grabbing dinner and a beer.

He was already sitting at a table in the restaurant when he saw his best friend walk inside and take off his hat. Castiel held up a couple fingers to gain Henry’s attention and stood to give the other man a hug once he was close. “Henry. Dashing as ever.”

“Hardly,” Henry said with a warm grin. “I’m afraid I’ve come straight from watching Ryan. If this suit were any lighter I’m sure you’d be able to see everything he wouldn’t let me feed him today.”

As they both sat back down, a waitress walked over with the bottle of red wine Castiel had requested. “I know I said dinner and beer, but I also know not every restaurant carries your favorite vintage. So when I saw it on the wine list, I went for it.”

“An ‘88 merlot?” Henry asked, inspecting the bottle. “You spoil me, Castiel.” Henry straightened his tie while he watched the wine be poured. “If you weren’t seeing someone—”

“I’m not,” Castiel interjected.

If you weren’t seeing someone,” Henry repeated, “I’d almost think you were putting the moves on me,” he finished with a wink.

“Even if you weren’t straight as an arrow, I would never risk losing you as a friend.” Castiel raised his glass in a toast and Henry mirrored the gesture. “Actually paying for therapy on top of everything else might just bankrupt me.”

Henry huffed a small laugh, swirling the wine in his glass a little before taking a sip. “But really. What’s the occasion?”

“Occasion?” Castiel rolled his eyes. “Since when do we need an occasion to get together?”

Henry shrugged. “We don’t. It’s just been a while, I suppose. Is the person you’re not seeing keeping you busy?”

He coughed on a mouthful of wine, thinking about all of the extra time he had spent with Dean recently. Time that he really shouldn’t have. “Yes, yes he has. What about you? Things going okay in Wesson land? How is Josie?”

Henry raised an eyebrow at his friend but didn’t otherwise mention the abrupt change of subject. “Her work’s keeping her busy, but not quite busy enough to make daycare affordable. I help out when I can.”

“That’s good.” The waitress walked back over then to take their order, and once she had walked away, Castiel took a deep breath before coming clean. “I might be getting attached.”

“Well, at least you’re finally admitting it. So, what are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing.” He shook his head and took a long swallow of his wine before carefully setting the glass back down. “I can’t do anything about it.”

“What do you mean? If you’re developing feelings for this man, shouldn’t you consider telling him?”

“I—” he lowered his voice, “I pay Dean for his services. Why would he want to give that up for the same thing without pay?”

Henry set his wine glass down and folded his hands together on the table before continuing. “It takes two to tango, Castiel. Have you not stopped to consider that if you’re ‘getting attached’ that he may be, too?”

“I hardly believe he’d be attached enough to give up that kind of income, Henry.” He shook his head. “I have to go back to making this a professional relationship. I’m just not sure how.”

“I must say,” Henry mused, “it’s not exactly the type of pickle I’ve ever found myself in. How does one make sex ‘more professional’?”

Castiel groaned. “I have absolutely no idea.”

Henry drummed his fingers on the table. “I went out with a woman once who wasn’t terribly big on kissing, and I found that rather impersonal.” He leveled a look at his friend. “Is there much kissing involved between the two of you?”

Castiel frowned and shook his head. “We didn’t for the first few weeks. But then… we met to agree on some terms and conditions and may have messed up that whole… construct.”

“Dare I ask?”

“Well, there might be a restaurant downtown that I won’t go back into for a couple months. If not more,” Castiel replied.

“What, because you were kissing another man in public? Because if that’s their problem then they don’t deserve your business.”

“Oh,” he laughed, moving his hands away from the table as the waitress set down their plates of food. Once she had walked away again, he leaned closer and lowered his voice. “We did more than kiss, Henry.”

“Oh,” he said, picking up his knife and fork before freezing. “Oh,” he said again, realization dawning over his face. “I see.” He wound a helping of pasta onto his fork, and took his time eating before speaking again. “But… if you were meeting to discuss things in a restaurant, was he on paid time?”

Castiel sighed. “No.”

“Well, I hate to say it, but I think that might be your second problem.” Henry speared a meatball and popped it in his mouth.

He’d known that before he sat down for dinner, but unfortunately having it thrown in his face by his best friend seemed to make it worse. “I’m in trouble, Henry, aren’t I?”

Henry put down his fork and reached across the table to give Castiel’s arm an affectionate squeeze. “Looks that way, kiddo.”

Chapter Text


”Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.” - Ransom Riggs

---

”This is your fault, you know. If you had been better, I wouldn’t need to do this.”

Sam stared at his captor and pulled tighter on the chains holding him down. “Please, no!” He watched with tears streaking down his face as the man moved over Dean’s body. Sam could just barely make out the fear in Dean’s muted green gaze.

The knife was raised above Dean’s heart. “I’m gonna carve your brother up real pretty. And then you’ll learn your lesson, Sam.”

“No!” He watched the knife cut through the air. His own scream matched the one leaving Dean’s lips as the blade penetrated his brother’s heart. “No. God, no! Dean!” He thrashed harder, fighting the chains and struggling to get to his brother before he took his last breath. “Dean. Dean!”

Sam felt a jolt through his whole body as the image in front of him faded to black. He blinked his eyes open to see Dean’s very concerned — and very real — face. He felt disoriented — the chains were gone, and so was the man. Sam was on the floor beside the couch, his blanket tangled between his legs. “Dean?”

“Yeah, Sammy,” Dean answered quietly. His fingers brushed the sweat-drenched hair out of Sam’s face and he knelt next to where Sam had fallen. “You were screaming. Nightmare?”

With a full body shudder, Sam nodded his head. He felt mentally and physically drained after watching his brother die yet again. It was always the same — the same hollow gaze staring back at him when the blade finally sunk home. He ached to reach out to Dean, to pull him close, but he wasn’t sure what would be too much. What would make Dean push him away.

“Come on, big guy,” Dean said. He hooked Sam’s arm over his shoulders and helped him back onto the large sofa. He stood in front of where Sam sat, looking from his hands to the floor and back again. “You want to talk?”

Sam had no idea how to explain the sheer terror that washed over him every time he saw Dean die in his dreams. He shook his head quickly and focused instead on straightening the blanket. “I’ll be okay. Nothing I haven’t… been through before.” His fingers fiddled with the strings on the end of the blanket, itching to touch and have more. Sam was tired of losing Dean — he wanted to once and for all have him back.

Dean seemed to sense Sam’s unease. “You gonna be able to sleep? I’d make you some warm milk, but I’m pretty sure what we got is sour.”

Sam knew from experience that the answer was a resounding ‘no’, but he couldn’t make himself tell Dean that. “Yeah. Might watch some tv for a bit.” He raised his hand to grab the remote and noticed the shaking. Shit. He tucked it back in his lap.

Dean snorted. “You’re a dirty liar. You, uh… you want me to stay?”

He waited a moment, before squeezing his hand into a fist. He wanted to say yes. But not if Dean didn’t want to be there. The thought of rejection was too intense to give into what he wanted. “I’m fine.”

“Yeah, I can see that. Sam,” he said, pausing to run his hand through his hair, “you need your sleep and so do I.” He turned to leave the living room, and looked over his shoulder when Sam didn’t move. “You coming?”

Sam wasn’t quite sure he’d heard what he thought he had. “What?”

“When you had nightmares when you were a kid, you could never fall asleep again on your own. And this couch isn’t big enough for the both of us.”

He remembered those moments and almost felt tears hitting his face. He stood on shaky feet and followed Dean back towards the main bedroom. Once he was standing on the threshold, he stopped, watching his brother move over to the side of the bed with disrupted sheets. Sam didn’t know what to do.

“Sam,” Dean said, snapping his brother out of his reverie. “It’s okay. Just get in the damn bed.”

He hesitated only a moment longer before closing the door behind him and moving to the opposite side of the bed from where Dean stood. He pulled the sheets back and sat down, putting his feet up on the bed but not moving to lay down. “You know,” he whispered, “a small part of me had come to accept that I would never see you again.”

Dean settled back into his spot, pulling his pillow into place under his head. “Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. I’m right here.”

Sam laid back on the bed and slowly pulled the covers up over his body. He stared at the ceiling, his eyes finding patterns in the design in the soft light of the lamp beside Dean. “Did you ever… miss me?”

“Shit, Sam. Of course I did.”

“But you never called. Not even on my birthday.” He bit his bottom lip, fighting back emotions. “Why?”

Dean shifted towards Sam, one arm tucked under his pillow. “Mom and Dad made it pretty clear that I was the last thing you needed — it was pretty easy to believe them.”

He shook his head at the thought of his parents. He rolled over to face Dean, smiling sadly at the sight of Dean’s green eyes staring back at him. They were so full of life, that he couldn’t help but remember when they weren’t in his dreams. He shuddered and squeezed his eyes shut as the tears finally started to fall.

Not one beat after the first tear fell did Sam feel Dean pull him close into him. Sam kept his body tense only for a moment, relaxing as he pressed his face into Dean’s chest. After the first sob tore itself from Sam’s body there was no holding the rest of them back.

---

Sam woke up late Wednesday morning in Dean’s bed, his arm still draped over his brother’s stomach. Since Dean was still asleep, he couldn’t stop himself from snuggling closer and enjoying just a few more moments of bliss.

Of course that was interrupted a moment later when Dean’s bedroom door flew open and Charlie practically stormed into the room. Sam shifted, turning to look at Dean’s roommate and frowning. She was only wearing a pair of blue and yellow striped panties, her hair sticking up in various directions, and a frown on her face. He pulled away from Dean — who was just starting to wake — and continued to stare at Charlie.

Granted it had only been a couple days since he settled into Dean and Charlie’s world, but it didn’t seem to make sense in his mind that she would walk around practically naked without even caring. “Uh, morning Charlie,” Sam croaked, his voice still thick with sleep.

Charlie crossed her arms, but the gesture did no good to cover her breasts. “What the hell are you doing in here?”

He turned to see Dean burrowing back into his pillow, looking back to Charlie, he answered simply, “I had a nightmare. Dean woke up and told me to come in here.”

Charlie leveled a stern gaze at Sam before offering him only a curt, “Fine.” Then, turning to Dean, “I’m using your shower, Chewie. You can pee in the other bathroom.”

Dean grunted his assent, seemingly unaware of any awkwardness between his friend and his brother.

With one last glance at Sam, Charlie moved into the bathroom and shut the door behind her. Sam frowned as he sat up — he couldn’t figure out why Charlie seemed to hate him. “I’m gonna go start some coffee,” Sam mumbled, in case his brother was listening.

---

Wednesday evening after a late dinner, Dean said goodbye and left for work. The only answer Sam had gotten as far as what type of work Dean did, was that he worked at a bar. Once his brother was gone, Sam was left with Charlie and a whole bundle of awkward. Without his own room to escape to, Sam was stuck on the sofa watching the television program that Charlie had started.

It only took forty-five minutes for her calm reserve to snap. “You know you shouldn’t do that shit to Dean. Last night — you should keep better boundaries.”

Sam frowned at her aggravated tone. He understood that Charlie was protective of Dean, but that shouldn’t result in complete hatred for Sam. “Dean asked me to go in there.”

“Dean thinks he’s protecting you. He’ll do what he has to to make his little brother happy, without any regard for himself. You need to realize that your history is too fucked up to do that kind of shit. Dean deserves better than that.”

Sam felt his skin prickle and his face flush. “Our history is none of your business. He’s my brother — not yours.”

“I’m the only one here that’s looking out for Dean, okay? And I refuse to sit back and let you hurt him.”

Sam couldn’t look at Charlie. “I’m not going to hurt him.”

“You won’t intend to — but you will. I just want you to keep a healthy distance and not make your relationship any weirder than it already is, okay?” Charlie crossed her arms over her chest and sent a glare in his direction. “Otherwise you’ll have me to answer to.”

Charlie was the one who walked around practically naked in front of her friend and his brother and he was the weird one? Sam rolled his eyes at the tv but knew she was watching him like a hawk. “You weren’t there,” was all he said, quietly.

“You’re right, I wasn’t. But I’ve been here ever since. And I’ve seen the pain that Dean has struggled through. Who was the one holding his hand while he went through drug addiction and finding the strength to be with someone romantically again? I was. So don’t give me your bullshit, Sam. I don’t know what you were expecting when you went in there with him last night, but if it happens again I’m going to put the seed in Dean’s brain that you’re using him. And after all this time, I guarantee he listens to me first.”

Each of her words hit him like a slap. He felt barraged by them, and didn’t know what to say. He rose from the couch without a word and left the living room with only the intention of escape. He didn’t mean to end up in Dean’s room — didn’t even really realise where he was until the door closed behind him. He hoped that being in there didn’t count as the “manipulation” Charlie had promised retaliation against. Sam felt sick to his stomach.

He needed… something to take the edge off of his anger and hurt, but he didn’t know what. Glancing around the room and half unpacked boxes, he wondered if Dean still kept a ‘stash’ in his room. He went for the dresser first, shoving around clean underwear and bundles of socks until he finally came up lucky. He found a prescription bottle for a high dose of Ibuprofen — probably what they’d sent Dean home with from the hospital — alongside a half empty bottle of Jack. Taking three pills from the small container, he threw them into his mouth before uncapping the whiskey and washing the pills down with a long swig.

Grimacing against the slow burn of the whiskey, Sam went to return the pill bottle to its hiding place when what he saw underneath it gave him pause. A glossy magazine cover was protruding out from under some rolled up boxer shorts. There was a half-naked and well-muscled man on the cover, and Sam picked up the periodical almost as soon as he spotted it. Flipping through the issue revealed similar-looking men in an assortment of sexual positions with each other. At first Sam couldn’t believe it: his brother read gay porn.

His cock twitched in his jeans and he pressed his palm down against the growing erection as he carried the magazine and the bottle of Jack over to Dean’s bed. He had nothing better to do in order to kill time — so what was the harm in a little self appreciation?

Giving the magazine closer attention he had to conclude that Dean had pretty good taste. He laid back on the bed and tried not to think about how the idea of Dean jerking off to the same magazine was turning him on maybe just as much as the pictures themselves. He chased the thought away with more whiskey, sipping steadily as he flipped through the glossy pages. He relished the rush the liquor brought to his head and unzipped his pants, shoving just enough material away. Taking himself in hand he made quick work of his hard-on, and cleaned up using a nearby box of tissues.

Sam’s eyes felt heavy, the whiskey, stress of dealing with Charlie, and orgasm all doing their part. He drifted off within minutes.

Chapter Text


”The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss.” - Jarod Kintz

---

Charlie was in a mood when she picked Dean up from Castiel’s condo building. She said simply that she was going out to find a party and probably wouldn’t be back until morning, before she dropped him off back at their apartment. Dean moved slowly up the stairs to their floor, his back stinging under his shirt despite the ointment Castiel had put on the welts. It had been an intense session that he hadn’t been entirely prepared for, but the orgasm had been good at least.

He put his key in the lock and opened the door, glancing around at the darkened interior in confusion. “Sam?” He knew it was late, but his brother was normally a night owl — stretched out on the couch and watching stupid shit as late as possible.

But he wasn’t. The couch was empty, and so was the bathroom. Dean pushed open the door to his room slowly, and his suspicions were confirmed without even needing to turn on the light. Dean recognised the dark shape in his bed immediately — nothing could change how Sam sprawled across a bed when he slept. Dean kicked off his shoes and pants, and gingerly slid off his shirt, wincing at the fabric against his stinging skin. Hiding the panties he’d worn for Castiel, Dean quietly pulled open a drawer to retrieve a pair of boxer briefs and worn pajama pants. He couldn’t bring himself to put another shirt on — even a soft one — but trusted the darkness to hide any unwanted evidence of what he’d really been up to that night.

The shape on the bed began to shuffle and move, before suddenly the bedside lamp was being flicked on. Dean squinted at the sudden brightness, almost missing the weird shuffle that Sam made as he quickly tucked his limp cock into his underwear. Dean frowned, taking note of Sam’s stunned expression and the discarded porn magazine. “You jerked off in my bed, didn’t you?”

“Wh-what? No, dude. I just fell asleep. The couch sucks.” Sam rubbed a hand over his sleep-heavy eyes.

“Uh huh.” Dean crossed his arms over his chest, barely wincing at the way the motion pulled his back muscles taut. “That explains the come stains on your pants and discarded porno.”

“Shut up,” Sam said, pulling himself into a sitting position. “I got bored.”

“Whatever floats your boat, Sammy.” He took a deep breath and moved to his side of the bed, sitting down on the edge. “I just need to get some sleep. You can stay in here if you want.”

“If you don’t mind—” Sam’s voice cut off and Dean felt a tentative hand brush his shoulder. “Dean? What the fuck happened to your back? Were you in a fight?”

’I want to try a flogger tonight, Dean, are you alright with that?’ Castiel’s voice rang in his head. Dean had nodded without hesitation. ’Good, pet. What’s your safeword?’

Dean flinched at the feeling of Sam’s fingers lightly brushing over his skin. “I’m fine, Sam. It was nothing.”

’You’re my little slut, aren’t you?’ Smack. ‘Love it when I push you around, don’t you?’ Smack. ‘Bet you can’t wait for my cock in your ass.’ Smack.

“It’s really fucking not, Dean!” Sam’s voice was starting to shake. “Who did this to you? What’s going on?”

Dean twisted around to face his brother and the worry in Sam’s eyes just about broke Dean’s heart. Again. “It’s --” He frowned, wondering if he could really tell the truth. What would Sam think of him then? “Part of my job.”

“What kind of bartender gets beaten like that? It looks like someone whipped you!” Sam looked absolutely outraged.

Dean let out a heavy sigh. He had to come clean.“Sam… I’m not a bartender. I’m… I’m an escort.”

“An escort?” Sam’s brow furrowed. “Like a prostitute? Someone pays you to beat you?”

“It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds,” Dean said. “But yeah. Basically.” He picked up a mostly full water bottle from beside his bed and uncapped it, swallowing most of it down in one pull. His hands were starting to shake as he screwed the cap back on. Shaking his head, he put the bottle back on the table by his bed. “Some people are more into the spanking and the tying up than others. Sometimes there’s sex, sometimes there’s not.”

Sam’s touch still skimmed his skin, moving from his back to his right shoulder blade. “You let these people fuck you?” He sounded more than a little hurt at that prospect.

Dean rubbed one hand with the other as he spoke, focusing on them instead of looking Sam in the eye. “Yeah,” he said, “but I mostly just see the one client these days. Kind of an exclusive contract sort of thing.”

After a moment of silence, Sam climbed off of the bed and moved into the adjoining bathroom. He was gone for a minute and when he came back, he carried the bottle of ointment Dean had kept in the medicine cabinet. He tucked in behind Dean on the bed without asking permission, and a moment later Dean flinched as he felt the cold touch of the ointment on his skin.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” Dean said quietly, a few moments later. “It’s just, kind of a weird thing to bring up, you know?”

Sam’s lips fluttered over his shoulder. “Is it… do you do it because of… that?”

It took everything Dean had to not pull away. “Jesus Sam, I don’t know. The money’s good and, I mean, I like fucking anyway.”

“Ahh.” Sam’s hands dropped away at Dean’s words. “Makes sense, I guess.”

Dean shrugged. “I mean, it’s not for everybody. But it’s work, you know?”

---

Sam stared at the greasy ointment on his fingers, before looking back up to Dean’s red splotched back. ’I like fucking anyway.’ It seemed like such a foreign concept to Sam. He had never really looked at sex as enjoyable unless he was jerking himself off. But even that was usually just quick and dirty. He tried to imagine Dean willingly putting himself in such a vulnerable situation, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

“This… this person that you see… I mean, I know you probably don’t want to talk about it, but...”

“But what, Sammy? Spit it out.”

“Is it… is it a man?”

Dean didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Yeah. Been with a few female clients but…” Dean’s shoulders raised and fell in a shrug. “Always did prefer guys.”

Sam felt a surge of relief but wasn’t exactly sure where it was coming from. “Me too,” he said quietly. When he looked back over to his brother, he noticed a tense shudder running along his back. He heard a stuttered breath and frowned. “Are you okay? Dean?”

Dean didn’t reply right away. He lay down on his side, back still towards Sam. He drew his knees up towards his chest and pulled them in tight. “Shit,” he said under his breath.

“What’s going on?” He felt his stomach starting to tighten in knots as he leaned over Dean and tried to get a good view of his face. “What’s wrong? Does your back hurt? Do you need medicine?” Panic was starting to rise in his throat. He wasn’t prepared for handling bad situations when it came to Dean. Dean was supposed to be the strong one.

“I’ll… I’ll be fine,” Dean managed. He rolled over, groaning, to face Sam. “I’m just glad that my couch is such a piece of shit, for once.” He inched closer to Sam, tucking his face downward, and it hit Sam that he might be trying to hide tears.

“Dean,” Sam reached out and Dean let himself be pulled easily into a hug. “I know you said it’s just a job for you, but are you sure it’s not too much?”

Dean half-shrugged. “It’s not. This is just part of it, sometimes. Used to try and cover up the pain with drugs. Fuck. I’d give anything for a little coke right now.”

Sam didn’t know how to react to that either, so he just squeezed his brother tighter. “Well I’m not a drug, but I’m here,” Sam whispered. His lips brushed over the side of Dean’s face. When he felt wet tears hit his skin, he tilted Dean’s face and nuzzled against his stubbly chin. “I love you, Dean.”

Dean was shaking when he replied. “I’m sorry, Sammy, I’m so sorry for everything. I fucked it up, I fucked it all up so much—”

He obviously wasn’t doing a very good job of raising Dean’s spirits. For a split second he thought about his next option, before he closed the distance between them and captured Dean’s lips in a kiss. Sometimes the only way to shut up Dean’s mind was to distract him…

And, to Sam’s surprise, Dean didn’t pull away.

Dean stilled, and his lips were soft against Sam’s. He returned another kiss, as chaste as the first, before breaking away. Sam frowned, worried he’d scared Dean off, but Dean had only sat up to pull the blankets around them before leaning across Sam to switch off the bedside lamp. The room bathed in darkness once more, Dean settled against Sam’s chest.

“My back still hurts like a mother fucker,” Dean said, and his breath was hot, even through the fabric of Sam’s shirt, “so be careful.”

“Of course, Dean.” Sam pressed a kiss into the top of Dean’s head as he tucked him under his chin. He felt Dean’s lips brushing along his neck and shivered. He wanted so many things — so many moments with Dean that he knew couldn’t possibly come true. But Sam could dream.

He could imagine Dean taking the initiative to show Sam just how pleasurable sex could be. When he felt his dick twitching slightly at the feel of Dean’s soft kisses, he imagined Dean reaching down beneath the blankets, shoving Sam’s boxers aside and stroking his cock gently.

He closed his eyes and contemplated relieving some of Dean’s stress by blowing him in the moonlight. The soft tension that Dean would put in Sam’s shaggy hair. The urging. The flavor. The bliss.

“Sammy?”

He shook away his thoughts and kissed the side of Dean’s lips. “Tired. Goodnight, Dean.”

“Goodnight, Sammy.”

As he felt Dean’s breathes evening out in sleep, Sam wondered about the man that paid Dean for sex. He wondered if he was older or younger, and if Dean was attracted to him — Sam had to chase that particular thought away.

Was he good to Dean? Did he fuck Dean, or did Dean fuck him?

Sam frowned up at the dark ceiling and remembered all the times he woke up imagining having Dean’s cock back inside him. His hand skimmed slowly down Dean’s back to the top curve of his brother’s ass.

He wanted to touch — he really did…

But even with their skin touching and Dean’s weight pressed against him, Sam could sense the miles stretching between them.

Chapter Text


”I guess this was what it felt like to love someone and feel like you had lost them. Even when you were still holding them in your arms.” - Margaret Stohl

---

On Friday night Dean went to Castiel’s feeling slightly better than normal. He’d left Sam in good spirits with the apartment and a pile of DVD’s to himself for the evening. Charlie had gone out to dinner with friends and likely wouldn’t be back until morning, and Dean had assured her he could spring for a taxi home at least once.

As he greeted the doorman and rode the elevator up to Castiel’s floor, his thoughts drifted back to Sam. The kid seemed to be doing well, but Dean didn’t want to get his hopes up — or let his guard down. He didn’t know what Sam’s plans for the future were, and if Dean accidentally left the newspaper on the kitchen open to the local want ads, well, these things happened.

Ever since he’d started seeing Castiel on a regular basis Dean had started to put together a decent wardrobe. He no longer wore a three piece suit to every appointment, but he didn’t dress like a slob either. Castiel liked it when looked nice, and Dean enjoyed pleasing Castiel. That particular night, he wore a toned down suit in a shade of navy blue, minus the tie. His crisp button up cotton shirt was off-white, and the silk panties beneath — again, Castiel’s influence — matched the blue of his suit. As he got to Castiel’s door, he knocked twice and tapped his fingers against his hip while waiting for an answer.

When the door opened, Dean was surprised to see Castiel standing there looking more than a little haggard. His black hair was standing in various directions, he had bags under his sullen blue eyes, and his shoulders were sagging. Instead of being dressed like he normally was, Castiel had a black college t-shirt on and gray sweatpants.

“Uh… hey, Cas,” Dean began. “Did I get the day wrong?”

Castiel scratched at his face and shook his head. “No. Come on in. I just — I don’t know.”

“Don’t know what?” Dean kicked his shoes off at the entrance without even giving it a second thought, and followed Castiel to the couch.

The tangled blanket and indented throw pillows made it clear that the older man had been laying there for some time. Castiel sat down heavily, and Dean cleaved to his side. “I lost a patient today.”

“Shit.”

“You could say that.”

“I’m sorry, Cas.” Dean took one of Castiel’s hands in both his own, smoothing a thumb over the back of Castiel’s hand. “Do you… want to talk about it?”

After a moment, Castiel leaned over and laid his head on Dean’s shoulder. “She was fourteen, Dean.”

“Fuck.” An empathetic shiver ran over Dean’s skin. “What happened?”

“She was in a car accident a week ago and her doctors didn’t notice some internal bleeding from her initial injuries. By the time we got her into surgery it was too late.” He ran a tired hand over his face. “I hate losing people. But kids worst of all.”

“Of course you do.” Dean pulled Castiel tighter into him. “But you do a lot of good too. Don’t ever forget that.”

They both fell silent for a while, leaning against each other in the soft light of Castiel’s living room. Finally, Castiel laid his hand on Dean’s thigh and sighed. “I’m sorry, Dean. I knew earlier that I should have texted you and canceled, but I…” he frowned, “I really wanted to see you.”

“I’m glad you didn’t cancel.” Dean squeezed the hand covering his leg. “We can do whatever you want, you know. Even just this. But…” Dean hesitated.

“But what?”

“I feel weird charging you for it. For just hanging out. Because I would. With you. Anytime.” Dean could feel his face start to heat up, and he took special attention to Castiel’s knuckles.

Castiel tilted his head and his lips ghosted over the skin beneath Dean’s ear. “I feel the same. It’s one of the reasons why I didn’t cancel. I’ve gotten used to having your company on these nights.” Another gentle kiss and Castiel pulled back, standing up and holding his hand out to Dean. “I have… some ideas of things I would like to do. But it’s up to you how we handle this. If this isn’t a paid evening, I’d ask you to trust me and know that I don’t have any of our… normal sorts of activities planned. If you want to be on the clock, I’ll explain my ideas and you can decide if you’re on board.” He paused, his face open and waiting.

Dean took Castiel’s offered hand and let himself be pulled to his feet. He was intrigued. “Well,” he said with a grin, “based on my past experiences, you have some of the best fucking ideas I’ve ever heard. Lay it on me.”

With a nod, Castiel lead Dean through the condo and back towards the bedrooms. He bypassed the ‘playroom’ and went straight for the master suite. “By the way,” he said softly, “I like the navy suit.” Dean smiled at the compliment and Castiel stepped up to him, gently sliding the suit jacket off Dean’s shoulders as he kissed at his jaw. “I was kind of hoping you’d join me for a shower…”

Dean had to clutch at Castiel’s shoulders to keep his knees from giving out from under him. “That,” Dean said, pressing his body against Castiel’s, “is an excellent idea.”

The older man began working on the buttons of Dean’s shirt as he claimed Dean’s lips in a searing kiss. It was hot and needy but unrushed as Castiel’s tongue dueled with Dean’s. Once the shirt was unbuttoned, hanging open to show Dean’s bare chest but still tucked into his pants, Castiel moved down, nipping and sucking at spots along the length of Dean’s neck as his fingers tweaked at Dean’s nipples.

Dean sucked in a sharp breath as each sensation went straight to his dick. He felt himself harden in his pants. He began to grind against Castiel without particularly meaning to — even counting their liaison in the restaurant bathroom, this was one of the first times Dean felt on equal footing with Castiel. He felt like there was space for him to take initiative, and the thought both excited and terrified him.

With a half step backwards, Castiel groaned. “If I don’t slow down we’ll never make it to the shower.” He pointed at Dean’s clothes. “How about we take our own clothes off to prevent getting overly excited?”

Dean grinned. “You realize I’m just going to take that as a challenge, right?” He untucked his shirt before sliding it off and letting it land on the floor at his feet. Unbuckling and removing his belt he held steady eye contact with Castiel, enjoying the hungry look that threatened to overtake the other man.

Castiel’s hands stopped halfway through pushing his sweatpants down his legs. His shirt had already been tossed aside, but apparently the sight of Dean in dark blue satin underwear was too much for him to handle. He kicked the rest of his clothes away in a rush and surged forward, kissing Dean again as his hand palmed Dean through the panties. “Fuck you’re so hot,” he growled against Dean’s lips.

Dean opened his mouth to Castiel once again, pushing his tongue inside and reveling in the taste of everything Cas. He let his hands roam wildly over tanned skin, grabbing and squeezing wherever he willed. Leaning forward, he shoved Castiel’s pants down the rest of the way. “Shit,” he said when he realized Castiel hadn’t been wearing any underwear underneath them. It took Dean a moment to find any words at all. “I think you said something about the shower?”

Pressing closer one more time, Castiel rubbed his hard cock along the outline of Dean’s in the panties, his hands reaching around to squeeze Dean’s ass. “Yes. Fuck. Go, before I devour you.”

“What if I want you to devour me?” Dean said as cheekily as he could manage.

Go.” Castiel slapped Dean’s ass gently and turned him towards the bathroom door.

It took only a couple minutes for the water to heat up in the large walk-in shower. Castiel growled when Dean bent forward to slide the panties down his body. When they were both inside the glass shower walls, Castiel pushed Dean beneath the spray of the hot water and began chasing droplets down Dean’s neck.

Dean let his hands wander down Castiel’s body. He’d had enough — although he enjoyed it — of things being done to him. He needed to touch. Castiel’s cock was rock-hard when Dean closed his hand around it. He thrust into Dean’s fist immediately, and Dean thought he might die from the noise Castiel made.

With a slightly wicked grin, Castiel pulled away from Dean. He didn’t say a word as he dropped down to his knees in front of Dean and quickly wrapped his lips around Dean’s cock. “Mmm.”

“Oh Jesus Christ, Cas, your mouth.

Castiel played his tongue around the head of Dean’s cock before taking his length down his throat in one smooth movement.

Dean shifted his legs apart as Castiel’s fingers danced up in the inside of his thigh to cup his balls, and squeeze his ass from underneath. Castiel was a hell of a blowjob giver, and Dean could already feel himself getting close. “Cas,” he gasped, pulling at the man’s hair to get him to look up. “Stop.”

Castiel pulled off with a slick pop and a concerned look that would have made Dean feel bad were it not for the single line of spit still connecting Castiel’s lips to the tip of Dean’s cock. “Dean, what’s—”

“No, this is good. So fucking good. I just want—” and the next words tumbled out of Dean like they were the most natural thing in the world, “—I want to fuck you.”

A visible shiver ran down Castiel’s spine as he stood. “Dean,” he gasped, concern etched on his face, “are you sure?”

“I am,” Dean said, cupping a hand behind Castiel’s head. “I trust you.”

“I would… really like that, Dean.” He kissed Dean’s neck. “Bed?”

Dean nodded, and they barely bothered with toweling off as they shut the water off and went back into the bedroom. Not a word was said about the fact that no soap or shampoo had actually been employed. Castiel moved to his bedside table, pulling out a bottle of lube and a condom, before turning to hold them out to Dean. The easy smile on Dean’s face felt miles away from the nerves he’d had the last time they’d tried this.

They fell onto the bed and Dean focused his attention on kissing all along Castiel’s body as he popped the lid of the lube and slicked his fingers. Castiel relaxed on his back and spread his legs, giving Dean more room. Brushing his thumb along the sensitive skin just beyond Castiel’s balls, Dean sucked a spot on the older man’s hip as one slick finger circled his rim before slowly pushing inside.

It was maybe just the slightest hint of uncertainty that had him spending more time than necessary prepping Castiel. But if there was any pain on his lover’s face, he knew that the demons would be back to haunt him.

The first moment of his condom and slick-covered dick pressing inside the warm heat was utterly overwhelming. His head landed with a soft thud on Castiel’s shoulder as he sank all the way inside. “Shit, you're so fucking tight.”

Castiel moaned, dull nails scratching over Dean’s back. “You feel amazing,” he said reassuringly. “You’re doing amazing.”

They moved together like it was second nature. Dean hooked Castiel’s legs over his shoulders and wasn’t surprised at all to realize how flexible the other man was. He started to move harder, faster, as the feelings became everything he could focus on. Castiel moved a hand between their bodies to wrap around his own cock and stroked at the same pace that Dean was moving at.

The edge took Dean by surprise. One minute it was toogoodtootight and the next Castiel was coming beneath him and Dean couldn’t stop himself from letting go as well. He filled the condom and collapsed forward onto Castiel.

In the face of being with someone he was genuinely starting to care for — Dean hadn’t thought about Sam or his past once.

And it felt good.

Chapter Text


”The sea is endless when you are in a rowboat.” - Adolfo Bioy Casares

---

The next morning, Dean left Castiel’s condo glowing. He couldn’t believe that things were going as well as they were. Sex with Cas the night before had felt, not for the first time, like something a little more. As soon as he stepped out of the building and began to cross the parking lot, he was flanked by two burly men in suit jackets.

“Can I help you?” he asked, voice shaking a little.

“Miss McKenna would like to see you,” the man on his right said, motioning to a nearby car.

“What?” Dean said, startled. He took a step back. Something didn’t feel right. “Look, I just got off my shift, I can come by this afternoon—”

A firm grip landed on his arm and pushed him towards the car. “Yeah, this meeting ain’t optional, sweetheart.”

“Alright, alright,” Dean said, following their lead. He was by no means a small guy, but he knew he certainly couldn’t take on these two. Not alone. “Just watch the merchandise, okay?” The dread twisted cold and hard in his gut.

The drive to Bree McKenna’s office took forty-five minutes in Saturday morning traffic. Forty-five long minutes of stewing in his own worry. When they finally pulled up outside of the non-descript office building, Dean was lead inside and deposited in the chair across from Bree’s desk. The woman herself swaggered into the office a few minutes later, looking well-polished and self-assured. She excused the two goons and sat down behind her desk, bright eyes looking Dean up and down.

In the face of that kind of intimidating glare, he couldn’t help but wriggle nervously in his seat.

Finally she spoke, breaking the silence with her voice’s cool and demanding tone. “I don’t like being played for a fool, Mr. Winchester.”

“That’s not—”

“I’m a busy woman and I don’t have time for your bullshit. If you’re not going to own up to your mistakes, then let me refresh your memory.” She placed her hands on top of her desk, laced her fingers together, and leaned forward. “You’ve spent two nights in Dr. Novak’s company without charging for the full night, and have also met up with him at a restaurant downtown for what I can only assume was a date that you did not charge for. Am I wrong?”

“No,” Dean said quietly, looking down at his hands.

“I do not run a dating service, Mr. Winchester. Are you in a relationship with this man?”

“No.”

“So how do you explain seeing him for free on company time?”

Dean opened his mouth to speak and closed it again, his mind running furiously. What was his excuse?

The woman in front of him continued. “Clearly you understand that you’ve breached your contract and put me in a difficult position.”

Dean had no idea how to answer her. He should have realized that he was playing a dangerous game with Castiel — but at that point he had only worried about what felt good, and being with Cas felt amazing. “Listen, Miss McKenna—”

“I’m sorry, Dean, but I don’t have time for your excuses. Any other time and I would fire the escort and refuse future services to the client. However, your clients before Dr. Novak always spoke very highly of you. I disappointed a lot of people when I made your contract with him exclusive. But, at the time, it was the best business decision. Because of what you’ve done, however, this is no longer the case.” She paused, looking Dean straight in the eyes before continuing. “I’m cancelling your contract with Dr. Novak entirely and moving you back into the normal roster. You will take on every client I send your way at two-thirds the normal rate until I feel that you’ve redeemed yourself. Is that clear?”

Two-thirds the normal rate? He looked up, ready to argue, “But—”

“You will also cease all contact with Dr. Novak, starting right now. We will inform him about the breach in contract and subsequent cancellation of services. If I find out that you’ve spoken to him or met with him on your own free time the consequences will be immediate.” She leaned forward across the desk, venom in her words. “I’m sure you’re aware of how it would look to Dr. Novak’s employers if they found out he was paying for illegal sex.”

That was it, then. Even if he didn’t care what happened to himself — and that was nothing new — he couldn’t throw Cas under the bus. Whatever Dean thought they might have possibly had wasn’t worth Cas’ career, or his reputation.

“Is that it? Can I go?”

“Be ready for an appointment tonight. Russell will pick you up at your apartment at quarter to eight, wait outside for the duration, and take you home again.”

Dean rose, the dismissal in her voice easy to read.

As he stepped out of the office, he felt the emotions bubbling up inside of him. On the one hand he wanted to destroy something in anger… on the other, he wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

He also felt a strong desire to call Castiel, even though he knew that he no longer could.

---

When Sam didn’t hear from Dean at all again on Friday night, he had to fight back the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach and move on from it. He had to find some way of making money and moving on.

It was weird, after having searched for so long to find his brother, but Portland seemed too restricting. Whatever he had expected when Dean stepped back into his life was obviously not going to play out the way he wanted — so he was more inclined to listen to the small voice in his head telling him to run.

“Do you have any experience?”

He tapped his thumb gently on the tabletop and looked up to meet the steady gaze of the woman in front of him. He had seen a sign for ‘open interviews’ at a small café downtown and had stepped inside without even realizing what he was doing. A job would get him away from Dean.

Money could take him anywhere. If only he knew where to go.

“I worked at a coffee shop in San Francisco.” As he spoke about his qualifications, his gaze was drawn to the back of a man sitting just beyond the woman’s left shoulder.

He stared, captivated by golden brown hair. Gabriel? His heart squeezed tight in his chest and he fought back the regret and tears as he stumbled his way through the rest of the interview.

Once he stepped back outside, he found a nearby light post and stood to watch the entrance of the cafe. Waiting.

The man that exited with wavy golden brown hair… had gray-blue eyes. Sam turned away, sick to his stomach, and continued walking.

Gabe was dead.

What was he really expecting?

---

Dean wasn’t sure how to act when he got home. He knew that any sign of depression would send Sam spiraling backwards, so he tried to paste on a happy smile and act like nothing was wrong. Of course when he stepped into the kitchen and Charlie saw the look on his face, she immediately knew something was up.

She set down her coffee cup on the counter and planted herself firmly in his path. “Okay, Chewie. Spill.”

He glanced around behind him, trying to figure out if they were alone in the apartment. “Is Sam here?”

“He went out. What’s wrong, Dean? Things with Castiel get out of hand?”

Dean brushed his hand over the back of his neck. “I spent the night over there. It was… good. But then I woke up this morning to some of Miss McKenna’s bodyguards. The demanded I go with them to her office.” He sighed. “Somehow she knew about all the extra time with Cas. So… she cancelled the contract, docked my pay, and I’m not allowed to see Castiel again.”

What?She can’t do that!”

“Actually she can, she will, and she has.” Dean moved over and snagged Charlie’s coffee, taking a long sip of the hot liquid. “And I have a feeling she’s going to overwork me with other clients now because of this.”

“So quit! I know the money’s been good, but Dean, with all this bullshit, it’s just not worth it. You’ll find something else. And then if you’re not working for her, you’d be free to just see Cas on your own, right?”

Dean shook his head, remembering Bree’s threats. “She’ll tell the hospital about what Cas does in his free time, Charlie. And if it comes out that the head of surgery pays for sex — and gay, kinky sex at that — I’m guessing he’ll lose a little more than his job.” He liked Cas too much to put him through that. “I’ll just play her games until this blows over.”

“Dean, are you sure that it will?”

---

Miss McKenna’s “driver” picked Dean up at exactly a quarter to eight that evening. Dean didn’t pay particular attention to where he was going. When he stepped out of the car, they were parked in front of a house on the banks of Lake Oswego. Dean glanced at the water sparkling in the moonlight, before walking up the front steps and knocking on the door.

The ‘client’ turned out to be a fifty-something lawyer with a penchant for young ass. He tied Dean down to the bed and barely prepped him at all before fucking him the first time. Despite the burn of his ass getting fucked dry, the whole thing seemed a bit… boring. He had a difficult time staying in the proper mindset and not letting his brain drift off and think about how nice it was to be with Castiel instead.

But the man must not have noticed how distracted Dean was, because he couldn’t keep his hands off him for the remainder of their three hours together.

At the end of the evening, he plastered on a smile and thanked the guy (like Miss McKenna had requested) for their time together before escaping back out to the waiting car. The client seemed more than a little impressed with Dean’s skills and had assured him that he would see him again soon.

The ride back to his apartment was long and annoying. He kept staring down at his phone, finger hovering over Castiel’s number. He couldn’t help but wonder what Cas thought about the whole mess. Was he as irritated as Dean? Or had he moved on and considered it a good thing that someone had broken off the contract for him? It wasn’t like someone in Castiel’s position of power would actually want a drugged up prostitute like Dean.

Fuck.

He wished there was still a stash of something at home that would turn his brain off. He just needed to sleep instead of worrying about how Bree McKenna was going to continue to fuck up his life.

Charlie had cleared out all his good stuff after the hospital trip, though. And after paying off their bills a couple days before, he didn’t have the cash to try and score something on the street.

As he climbed the stairs to his apartment, he remembered the bottle of Jack shoved in one of his drawers. At least it was something that could take the edge off.

He ignored Charlie on the couch and dropped his coat and keys on the kitchen counter before walking down the hallway to his bedroom. When he pushed the bedroom door open, he was surprised to see his brother curled up on one side of the mattress.

Dean locked the bedroom door and began stripping out of his clothes as he moved towards the hidden bottle of whiskey.

He knew the perfect way to forget Castiel Novak.

Chapter Text


”Because brothers don’t let each other wander in the dark alone.” - Jolene Perry

---

Dean had half a rather large bottle of whiskey. He was two long swigs in before the bed rustled and Sam sat up, looking across the room to Dean in confusion. Dean shrugged and held up the bottle. “Long night,” he offered in explanation.

Sam rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “You wanna talk about it?” he said, his words slow and heavy.

He kicked off his shoes and set the bottle on the dresser so he could strip down to his boxers. Once he had, he picked the bottle back up and sat down his side of the bed. “It’s work… stuff.” He unscrewed the lid and took another deep swig. “I don’t think it’s anything you want to hear.”

Sam reached across for the bottle. “Try me.”

Dean considered Sam’s outstretched hand as thoughts of ’not twenty-one’ and ‘fuck it, there’s a lot worse he could get into’ flitted through his head. “You remember me telling you about that ‘exclusive client’?”

Sam nodded, his eyes locked on Dean’s.

“Well, long story short, he and I… ‘spent some time together’ without me charging for it. Off the clock. My boss found out and Lost. Her. Shit.” Dean watched Sam drink from the bottle, before accepting it back and taking another drink. “Probably should have gotten fired, but instead she cancelled the contract with him and I have to work with other clients for nearly half the damn pay. So now I’m not just a slut — I’m a cheap slut.”

“Shit,” Sam half-whispered. “You… you liked this guy, didn’t you?”

Dean shrugged. “Doesn’t matter anymore. Not gonna see him again.” The alcohol was starting to settle in his veins, taking some of the anxiety away. Dean leaned his head on Sam’s shoulder. “Not everyone will try to find me again, the way you did.”

He felt Sam still against him, at his touch, at his words. He sighed. He was tired of Sam trying to be so guarded around him. He just wanted his brother to relax, to let his guard down. He waved the whiskey bottle somewhere in the general vicinity of Sam’s face — careful to not smack him with it — and let go when he felt the weight lift from his hands.

Sam stared into the bottle in his hands. “I don’t think you realize…” His words cut off suddenly and Sam shook his head. “Nevermind.”

Dean sat up, and his head spun a little. “No, what? I don’t realize what?” he insisted.

“HowIfeelaboutyou,” he said quickly.

“Sammy—” he began, but Sam cut him off.

“I don’t, I don’t want things to get weird. I just… I can’t help how I feel, okay? I know it’s fucked up. But it also just is.

In the mottled gold-green of Sam’s eyes, Dean could see that Sam was speaking the truth. All the fucked up shit they had dealt with in their past had lead to them to that very moment. “I’m sorry, Sam,” he whispered. “I’m sorry that life fucked us both over.”

“It’s not your fault, Dean. But thanks.” Sam took another drink from the bottle, frowning at its dwindling contents. “I think you’re almost out of whiskey.”

“Probably a good thing,” he answered with a soft laugh. Dean snuggled closer to his brother. “You smell good, Sammy, did you buy a new bath wash? Doesn’t smell like my usual shit.”

“Um, well…” Sam shifted uncomfortably. “I sort of finished the stuff you had, and when I went to buy more they didn’t have the same one you’d had.”

He nuzzled his nose in Sam’s hair, his inhibitions starting to float away. “‘S nice. I like.”

“Did you want the rest of this?” Sam asked, indicating the bottle.

“Naw, issall you.”

Sam threw back the last quarter-inch of brown liquid and let the empty bottle slip to the floor beside the bed. He brought his arm around Dean and pulled his brother in closer. Dean shifted sideways so he was facing into Sam, drawing his knees up to press against Sam’s thigh.

When sober, Dean would have never gone so far — never shown so much affection. Not with Sam, not with anyone. Until Castiel. But Dean quickly chased the thought from his head. Better not to think of blue eyes. Not when there was a pair of bright hazel ones that looked at Dean like he’d hung the moon.

Sam reached towards Dean’s face and hiis thumb brushed along Dean’s bottom lip as his eyes darkened. “Dean,” he whispered, “you should tell me to leave.” His words and actions weren’t nearly as slurred as his brother's — and it looked as though Sam was fighting a losing battle with his desires.

With too much whiskey on his brain, Dean couldn’t find a reason to help Sam fight. “Why would I do that?”

"Because I really like being close to you like this and I don't want you to do something stupid. Something you’ll regret."

“Pfft.” Dean winked and sucked the tip of Sam’s thumb into his mouth. He was too far gone to care what Sam said. He didn’t want to contemplate right and wrong — stupid and really-fucking-life-ruining — he just wanted to feel good, and to help Sam feel good, too. He wanted to feel needed. His hand brushed along Sam’s thigh, sliding higher with every breath.

Sam let out a heavy breath, biting his lip and slipping his thumb just a little farther into Dean’s mouth. Dean slid his hand into Sam’s lap, and applied pressure to the bulge that was growing there. He canted his hips up into Dean’s touch and withdrew his hand, instead cupping the back of Dean’s head. “Dean…”

Twisting his body slightly, Dean let his own erection press against Sam’s thigh — making it known that Sam wasn’t the only one feeling things. He leaned forward, brushing his lips along the side of Sam’s neck. “Stop thinkin’, Sammy.”

Sam angled his body into Dean’s, pulling his brother’s hips close against his own. He leaned back against the pillows, opening up the line of his throat to Dean in the process.

Dean deepened the kisses he was pressing into Sam’s skin, alternating the soft touches with the occasional scrape of teeth. The pajama pants that Sam was wearing were loose enough that Dean could close his fingers around Sam’s erection with relative ease.

“Shit,” Sam growled, shifting his hips up into Dean’s touch. He only enjoyed the touch for a moment before he was moving, pushing Dean onto his back and hovering over him as he leaned down for a hot, wet kiss. As the kiss deepened, Sam’s hand slipped beneath the waistband of Dean’s boxers and wrapped around his cock. He nibbled at his brother’s swollen bottom lip before asking, “You want me to suck you off? People seem to think I’m good at it.”

“I’m sure you are,” Dean said, kissing Sam again. “But I need — I wanna make you feel good.” He sat up in a fluid movement — ignoring the rush it brought to his head — to guide Sam against the bed once more. He pushed Sam’s t-shirt — one of his old ones, Dean noted absently — up to his chest and began kissing a trail down along the exposed skin. “Let me do this for you,” he said in between licks. “Besides, when was the last time you got a professional-grade blowjob?”

“Never,” Sam whispered quickly. As Dean began kissing along the edge of Sam’s pants, Sam started to panic and the fear in his eyes became palpable. “Don’t, please. You really don’t have to do that!”

Dean was confused. “I’m sorry, shit. I thought you wanted—”

“No, I did, Dean. I do... I just haven’t ever… you know.”

Had Dean been sober it might have clicked sooner. But he got there eventually. “Wait, you mean you’ve never had a blowjob?”

Sam scratched nervously at the back of his arm. “No? Brady said…” He frowned, looking down as his voice got softer. “Brady said I was disgusting for thinking I deserved that.”

Dean felt like he’d swallowed a handful of ball bearings and he found himself wishing he could punch the snot out of Brady all over again. “Sam,” he said, brushing his thumb along Sam’s cheek, “you forget everything that piece of shit ever told you, you got me? You deserve everything.

He nodded, even though it looked like he was struggling to believe the words. He worried at his bottom lip for another moment before speaking again, “You still don’t… have to. I’d probably fuck up somehow. Just like that one time I tried to top. The disappointment on the poor girl’s face—”

“Sam.”

“What?”

“Do you trust me?”

“O-of course I do.”

“Do you want this?”

Sam swallowed. “More than anything.”

“Then let me make you feel good. Please.”

Sam nodded and let out a deep breath, finally relaxing against the pillows.

Dean returned his attention to the waistband of Sam’s pants. “Lift your hips.” Sam complied readily, and Dean pullled the pants down to halfway down Sam’s thighs. He nuzzled his face into the hair at the base of Sam’s cock, mouthing at the skin there, steadying a hand on either of Sam’s hips. He dipped his head down and ghosted a breath on the underside of Sam’s cock, pressing kisses into the crook of his thigh before coming up again.

He let the heavy, hot weight of Sam’s cock lay against his cheek for a moment before pulling back and touching the flat of his tongue to the underside of his brother’s length.

“Oh, f-fuck, Dean…”

Dean grinned to himself. He hasn’t seen anything yet. Dean wrapped his lips around the head of Sam’s cock, tongue running around the tip to gather the taste of pre-come. With his brother’s flavor on his tongue, he closed his eyes and moved his mouth down, swallowing every inch with a slow and tantalizing pace.

If not for the hands holding Sam’s hips in place, it was obvious that he would have been surging off the bed at the sensations. As it was, he dug his hands into Dean’s hair and pulled just a little too hard for comfort. The feeling barely phased Dean — thanks to the whiskey in his system — and he just kept going, sliding up and down, cheeks hollowed out as he sucked down Sam’s cock like it was going out of style.

Sam made a soft keening noise with every movement of Dean’s, until after only a few minutes he was gasping, “Dean, I can’t — I’m gonna—” and shooting hot and bitter into Dean’s mouth.

As soon as Dean had swallowed every drop and was pulling away, Sam seemed to come back to himself and start to panic. He pushed Dean away and pulled his pants up in a rush. “Shit, I’m sorry. I told you… I told you I would fuck it up.” He pushed a worried hand through his hair and curled into a tight ball on the bed, flinching when Dean reached out to touch him — obviously expecting a punishment from a different man.

The gesture just about broke Dean’s heart — and that wasn’t what this was supposed to be about at all. “Look, I know you might not have a lot of experience in this area but that? You coming your brains out? That was sort of the point.”

Sam frowned, “But Brady says—”

“No,” Dean cut him off. “I told you to stop thinking about that dipshit.” He pulled Sam’s hands away from his face and kissed his knuckles. “Dean says that when you enjoy something, then you can’t possibly be doing something wrong.”

“And did you… did you enjoy that?”

“Immensely. Did you?”

Sam’s shoulders relaxed. “I really fucking did. Holy… holy shit.”

“Thanks,” Dean said with a lazy smile and a wink. “Told ya that shit was professional grade.”

His brother spread out again, hand landing on Dean’s thigh. “What about you? I wanna do something for you.”

Even through his buzz Dean’s ass was still sore from the lack of prep earlier in the evening. But being so close to Sam had gotten him hard. Dean reached down and lazily palmed at his erection through his boxers. “I’ve had too much whiskey and too long of a day to be very useful,” he said. “Think I just need to get off and pass out.”

“Can I…” Sam frowned, fingers tapping lightly on Dean’s bare skin. “Can I jerk you off?”

“Um, yeah. You want to?”

With a nod, Sam pushed the boxers down far enough to free Dean’s cock. He brought his hand back up to his mouth and licked his palm, before reaching back down and wrapping his hand around his brother’s dick. As he began stroking — he leaned over to kiss Dean again, chasing the taste of whiskey and his own come.

Dean kissed back, licking along Sam’s tongue and the inside of his mouth. He arched into Sam’s touch, relishing the overwhelming presence of someone who knew him intimately and still wanted him.

Sam twisted his wrist and applied the perfect amount of pressure on the base of Dean’s cock, as he bit gently on Dean’s lip. “Gonna come for me, De?”

Dean felt his orgasm build deep in his gut, curling closer and closer. “Shit Sam, fu—ck!” He buried his face in the crook of Sam’s neck, vaguely aware of the stripes of hot come spurting onto Sam’s hand and over his own stomach. He rested his head against Sam’s collarbone while he came down, his breathing slowing gradually.

It was Sam who retrieved a tissue from the bedside table and cleaned them both off. He stood to dispose of the tissues. Dean pulled his boxers back up and collapsed heavily onto the bed. His eyes feeling heavier than ever, but he could still sense Sam’s indecision as he hovered at the edge of the bed. “Oh, come here,” he said.

Sam crawled onto the bed and let Dean pull him close, throwing the covers over both of them. “That… that wasn’t weird?”

“Prob’ly,” Dean said, tucking Sam’s head against his chest, not unlike how he’d done when they were young and Sam had had nightmares. “But it felt too fuckin’ good and I’m too fuckin’ tired to care.” He kissed the top of Sam’s head. “G’night, Sammy.”

“Goodnight,” Sam whispered, and Dean wasn’t quite drunk enough or far enough into dreamland to miss the way his brother’s tone seemed to be lighter. Like he was finally starting to relax.

Chapter Text


”I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.” - Joe Abercrombie

---

“I’m beginning to think you’re avoiding me.”

Damn it. Castiel dropped his head as he unlocked his front door and held it open for his guest. “What gave you that impression?”

Henry stepped into the condo and placed his hat on the coat rack. “Oh, probably just the ten missed calls and the way you’ve avoided answering the door all week.”

Carrying the bag of groceries into the kitchen, Castiel placed them on the counter and began putting things away. Henry was, of course, completely correct. After hearing from Bree McKenna that his contract with Dean had been cancelled because of ‘inappropriate behavior’, Castiel had hid himself away and avoided all of his friends and most of his regular responsibilities.

Sure, he’d made it into work each day, but he had a pile of papers to take care of on his desk, and couldn’t seem to make himself focus on the words whenever he sat down.

He just kept thinking about the implication of ‘inappropriate behavior’ and wondering if he had done something to push Dean away. There had been no indication that anything was wrong, but what if Dean hadn’t wanted to spend the night? He’d shown before that he wasn’t the best at communicating his boundaries — what if he had felt pressured to perform and fuck Castiel that last time they were together? Had he gone back to Bree and complained?

Any calls made to the agency went unanswered, and Castiel hadn’t grown the balls to call Dean’s phone directly.

Henry, obviously fully aware of how Castiel had drifted from the conversation back into his own mind, reached across the counter and grabbed one of the beers sitting there. “I take it you’re having boyfriend problems.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Castiel answered by instinct. A moment later he added, “He’s not my anything, anymore.”

“You ended the relationship?”

“I got a call that the contract had been ended because of ‘inappropriate behavior,’ but there was no further explanation.” Castiel picked up his own bottle of beer and opened a nearby drawer to pull out the bottle opener. “I don’t even fucking know what I did wrong, Henry.”

“Have you called him to ask?”

“No.” Before Henry could give him a speech about his own stupidity, Castiel quickly interjected, “If it was his choice to break it off — what right do I have to call him out on the decision? It was a business relationship. Would you call a business partner asking why they decided to quit?”

Henry took the opener from Castiel’s hand and opened both their beers. “I would if the decision was unwarranted and sudden. As this appears to be.”

Castiel stared down at his open bottle, hands shaking slightly from nerves. “Our last night together — he did something that he had previously safeworded out of. I can’t help thinking that I somehow pushed him beyond his own limits without realizing it. It’s all my fault and what if he’s dealing with a serious emotional fall out because of it?” He ran his hand through his hair, “Fuck!”

“Cas,” Henry said, ducking down in front of his friend and looking him straight in the eyes to get his attention. “Cas, buddy. Normally I wouldn’t be one to advocate the application of alcohol in such a situation but, please, have a drink.”

He did as he was told. Once the beer bottle was half-empty he placed it back on the counter and stared at Henry. “I think I’m in love with Dean.”

---

Sam was still a nerd. So when Dean suggested they take a bus up Burnside and tour the Pittock mansion, Sam jumped at the idea.

“Nerd,” Dean whispered under his breath as he watched his brother read every information sign that the place offered. He hadn’t ever been there before — old shit creeped him out on a good day — but it was raining and there weren’t many other options for sight-seeing. He stared at a creepy 19th century doll laying on an old metal bed and shuddered.

Should have braved the rain and went to the zoo instead.

It’d been three days since their late night drunken escapades but, beyond the headache from his hangover, Dean hadn’t felt much remorse the next morning.

Sam was safe. A warm body to lay next to him at night and listen when Dean needed to talk about all the shit he was dealing with at work. And the kid hadn’t been lying — he could give a helluva good blowjob.

So they were… something. It was when he started to classify and describe what they were doing that he started to feel weird. The big bad word liked to drift in and out of his mind on occasion and he always shut it up by singing a little random AC/DC.

Incest was bad.

Being with Sam was good.

After their creepy-old-mansion tour, they took the bus back to the city and dropped off at Powell’s so that the ‘nerd’ could grab a couple of new books on Dean’s dime. Then it was dinner across the street at Sizzle Pie, and finally a ride on the streetcar back to the apartment.

Sam took one look at the anger on Charlie’s face before making an excuse about needing a shower and rushing off to Dean’s bedroom with his pile of books.

Dean wasn’t nearly as lucky.

“Dean, are you fucking your brother?”

Fuck. “Hey Charlie, I’m fine, thanks for asking. How are you?” He smiled a tight-lipped smile but refused to meet her eyes as he hung his coat by the door.

“Oh, hey Dean.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m worried about my best friend, that’s how I am. I’m worried because these are destructive actions and I don’t want to see you spiraling backwards. Remember the bridge, Dean? Remember how torn up you were then? Because of Sam, because of your past.”

“Well that was then, okay? There was stuff I didn’t know then. Stuff that we’ve worked out. It’s okay.”

“Are you sure?” Charlie whispered, voice soft and concerned. “I just want you to be safe, Dean. I love you, and I’m worried about you.”

“I know you do,” he said. “But whatever you might think about anything I do, you’ve gotta go easy on Sam, okay? You think I haven’t picked up on the fact that he’s practically terrified of you? I would have mentioned it earlier, but I’ve barely seen you lately.”

“Yeah.” She hung her head, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t going to tell you until I was sure I could keep up with it…” A shy smile crossed her face. “I’ve started taking some night classes.”

“Really? Charlie, that’s awesome!”

His roommate beamed at him from across the short distance.

“And I wanna hear all about it,” Dean continued, leaning against the kitchen counter and crossing his arms, “but after you tell me why Sam’s been avoiding you like a tax audit.”

She sighed, regret in her eyes. “I may have yelled at him to stay away from you, because I was worried about you.”

“What?” He leaned forward, not believing his ears. “You did what? Well guess what, I love you too but being my best friend doesn’t give you that right, Charlie! You have no idea what he’s — what we’ve been through.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I overreacted. It’s just — he shows up one day and then you started acting different. And I was worried he would step back into your life and then leave suddenly, and I’d be left to pick up the pieces. Forced back onto that bridge to pull you back from the edge.” When she looked back up at him, she had tears streaming down her face. “I can’t lose you too, Dean. You’re the only family I have.”

Dean walked to her and wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on the top of her head. “You’re not gonna lose me. But just… to say things with Sam are complicated is probably the biggest fucking understatement ever.” He pulled back, looking at her red and splotchy face. Shaking the sleeve of his sweater down over his hand, he wiped the tears and snot away from her eyes and nose. “I know they’re fucked up, I do. And… all this shit with my job. I promise I’m keeping it together, okay? You’ve gotta trust me.”

Charlie sniffed. “I do.”

“Because you can get up in my shit all you want — you’ve earned that. But Sam’s off limits.”

---

“So, I know you’re going through a big major life crisis over there,” Henry mused, “but I actually came here for your help.”

They had, at some point, moved into the living room with their second beers. And stayed there with their thirds. Castiel sat on the sofa staring at a pillow across the floor and trying not to imagine Dean knelt down on the cushion. Perfect little cockwarmer. He shook his head and focused back on his friend. “What’s that?”

“Remember a few weeks back when we were talking about my uncle? The asshole in Chicago that deserved every ounce of illness that he had suddenly been afflicted with?” When Castiel nodded in answer, Henry continued. “He died last week. Such a tragedy—” the tone of Henry’s voice showed that it indeed was not a tragedy. “Anyway, the only part of the whole mess that worries me is his son. The boy’s had a lot of issues in the past with depression and anxiety, and now he’s stuck on his own in Chicago with no friends or family. So I’ve talked to the university and worked it out to get him enrolled this fall.”

“Henry, that’s fantastic.” Castiel knew very little of Henry’s family — mainly because members of the Wesson clan were few and far between. “I’m sure he’ll appreciate your help.”

“And yours.”

“Mine?” Castiel frowned.

“I can’t get him settled into school housing until August and I have absolutely no where for him to stay until then. At first I thought it would be alright for him to remain in Chicago, but then word cycled through that my uncle was embezzling money from his company. His entire estate will go back to the company to pay off his debts. The boy will be homeless in a week.”

“Shit, that’s terrible. I still don’t quite see—” It suddenly hit him what kind of favor Henry was asking for. “You want him to stay here?”

“With Josie and Ryan, there isn’t enough extra space at my place. Please, Cas. He’s a good kid. He just needs a leg up in life.”

Fostering an orphan for the summer was not in Castiel’s plans. In fact, most of his current plans involved working as much as possible until he forgot the name Dean. But maybe having another body in the condo would help in that regards too. Someone to distract him. Instead of being the ‘playroom’ — the spare bedroom could become Henry’s cousin’s room.

Plus, the truth was, he owed Henry such a favor. Possibly several. And Henry would easily step up and do the same thing if their roles were reversed.

“Yes,” he finally answered, “of course he can stay here. I’d be happy to have him.”

“Excellent.” Henry held up his beer bottle in a ‘cheers’ and smiled. “You’re truly a great friend, Castiel. I’m sure you and Gabriel will get along splendidly.”

Chapter Text


”Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” - Søren Kierkegaard

---

Castiel quietly drummed his fingers along the tabletop as he watched the entrance of the restaurant and waited. A small part of him still believed that he wouldn’t show up. Castiel had stared at the number in his phone for four days before finally finding the nerve to hit the call button.

He wasn’t sure what to expect from the conversation — maybe not even anything good — but he had to make an effort. He had to make an effort for one more second chance.

After nine minutes of waiting, Castiel decided to distract himself with the wine list. His plan worked so well that he hardly even saw the other man until he was taking a seat in front of him.

"Paul! You came," he said, smiling through his nerves.

Paul’s face lit up as he leaned across the table and kissed Castiel’s cheek. “It’s good to see you, Cas. You’re looking as handsome as ever.”

"Thank you," he said, fairly confident he wasn't blushing. "You look good, too. Really good." And it was true — Paul was wearing a black button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows with a pair of crisp black jeans. His sandy blonde hair was cropped short and his gray eyes shone bright against the dark clothes.

The waitress walked over to take their drink order and they both requested a glass of wine. Once she had stepped away from the table again, Paul reached a hand out to hold Castiel’s. “I have to admit I was a bit surprised by your phone call.”

"I have to admit I was a little surprised that you answered." Castiel gave the hand in his a squeeze. "But grateful."

“So how have things been going? How is work?”

The waitress came back with their wine and Castiel took a sip before answering. "More or less the same. It's busy, it's stressful, and the hours are long, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. How about you? Are you still working at the same place?"

“I’m not, no. I actually just got back into town about three months ago. I went back to spend some time with my family after… everything.” Paul shrugged and sipped at his wine. “It was nice until I remembered why I left in the first place.”

"I'm sorry," Castiel placed his hand on Paul's once again, "If you don't want to talk about it—"

Paul shook his head. “It’s fine. Just unsupportive family bullshit. My mom is still holding out hope that I’ll show up at home one day ready to marry a good girl.”

"So nothing's changed, then?"

“Not really, no. So now I’m back here.” Paul squeezed Castiel’s hand. “Why did you call, Cas?”

Because I'm desperate to prove to myself that not everything I touch falls apart. "I felt there were things between us that were left... unresolved. And I missed you."

Paul’s eyes crinkled as he smiled. He brought Castiel’s hand up and kissed his knuckles. “I’ve missed you as well.”

Castiel cleared his throat, the gesture catching him off guard. "You seem well, though. What are you doing for work these days?"

"Ah, it's kind of hard to explain." He smiled, looking down at his glass. "But I guess you could sort of say it's like public relations?"

"But it's something you enjoy?"

"It really, really is."

---

’Your next client has requested two subs, so you will have another person joining you for this appointment.’

Dean sat tied down to a barely cushioned chair and watched the other escort that Bree had sent for their client. He was probably five or six years older than Dean, and tall, with a tight, well-muscled frame. He had short, dusky brown hair, and his handsome but serious face was framed with a strong, clean-shaven jaw. Dean sure wouldn't have pegged him for the submissive type — until he'd stepped into the client's home.

In the car ride over, the older man had mumbled one word… nothing more than a simple introduction and a nod of the head. ”Paul.” His voice was dark and smooth and accented from somewhere Dean had never been and couldn’t name.

A strong vibration sound erupted in the room and Dean remembered suddenly what he was trying not to think about. They had been there for forty-five minutes so far and the entire name of the game had been ‘bring Dean as close to the edge without letting him come’. It started with Paul’s slick hand stroking his cock — the perfect pace to drive Dean absolutely wild. Their dom had given very specific instructions: every time Dean felt his orgasm nearing, he had to quickly say, ‘Sir, please.’ If he didn’t, and came, he would be punished.

It seemed so simple. Except for the fact that on the brink of orgasm it was damn near impossible to remember how to speak, let alone tell the person touching him to stop touching.

After the third pull back from the edge, Paul was handed a long wand vibrator with a silicone attachment at the tip. It was a sleeve that fit perfectly over his hard cock, sending the vibrations all over Dean’s highly sensitized body. After the last ’fucksirplease’, the vibrator had been pulled away for a long moment while his body tried to settle back into normal.

Now Paul was sliding the silicone back down his shaft and it was toomuch and notenough all at the same time. His hips jumped off the chair and his hands dug into the wood of the armrests as he cried out and tried to hold on. He lasted thirty seconds before he was screaming again, “Sir! Sir, please! Fuck, please!”

The vibrator was pulled away, but it was too late. His cock began to shoot come all over his bare stomach and thighs, and even with the release he couldn’t seem to find pleasure.

Paul gripped the base of his dick suddenly, sending a wave of pain shooting up Dean’s spine and causing the orgasm to cease quickly.

Dean shuddered, drawing in quick uneven breaths. When their master for the night stepped closer, he couldn’t help but flinch in anticipation of the punishment that would now be unleashed.

Instead, the man crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, eyes landing back on Paul. “Again,” he demanded.

Again? Dean’s eyes went from the client over to Paul and then back again. Paul’s slick hand that was still gripping the base of his dick — started to slowly stroke. Shit.

“No, please,” Dean begged. He was exhausted. Pushed to the edge and over his limits. There was no way he could handle anything more.

The dom smirked as Dean’s dick began to stiffen again. As soon as it reached its full length, the silicone was settled back in place and the vibrator was turned on.

If he thought it was bad before he came, that was nothing compared to how it felt after. His cock was sensitive and sore, not ready to produce the results being asked of it, but that didn’t stop Paul from trying.

It was a strange mixture of pain and pleasure that was running through Dean's body. The skin of his cock felt raw and overused, but the erection was still there, responding to the stimulation. He tried to shift his hips back to ease of the pressure of the toy, but Paul caught on immediately and followed Dean's movements to compensate.

There was no way he could survive much more. Exhaustion was starting to set in and after the next cry of ‘please, sir!’ he let his head fall back against the chair. He was too out of it to notice a signal between Paul and the client. But the toy was pulled away and replaced by Paul’s hand.

“You may come, pet,” the client said.

It was a relief to finally reach the end of the torture. He forced himself to lift his head and watch as Paul helped him come once more. Again, despite the relief of finally orgasming — Dean couldn’t find pleasure in it.

After a quick clean-up and Paul loosening his ties, Dean was left sitting there as the client dragged Paul to the nearby bed and fucked him senseless. Even though Dean wanted to close his eyes and take a nap, he was mesmerized by the sight of Paul being fucked. From his point of view, he could see the older man’s puffy hole wrapping tight around the client’s cock. It was like live-action porn and remarkably made his dick twitch. There was no way Dean's body had another orgasm in it, but he settled back and enjoyed the show anyway.

Their client was a fairly average-looking but not-unattractive man, of medium height. And boy, was he ever giving it to Paul. With every thrust the man sent Paul scooting along the bed until his face was practically up against the wall. The client finally came with a shudder and a low moan. When he pulled back, he slapped Paul lightly on the ass, and from across the room Dean could hear the man telling Paul to let Dean finish him off.

A few moments later Paul was standing before him with a swollen, leaking cock. Dean reached forward and wrapped his hand around it, looking up in time to catch Paul’s gray eyes as he jerked him off.

It didn’t take long for him to come with a shudder, his come landing in strips along Dean’s chest and even a few spots on his face.

There was gratitude and fondness in the gaze staring down at him. With a small twitch of his lips into a small and an over exaggerated wink, Paul turned to find the towel set aside for clean-up.

---

The client’s house had been over the water in Vancouver, making the drive back to Dean’s apartment downtown a lot longer. Paul sat on the other side of the towncar’s backseat, his fingers tapping lightly on his skin-tight jeans.

After such an intense session, Dean needed more than silence. “How long have you worked for Miss McKenna?”

“Three months, this go around. I knew her back when I was in college, though. Actually went to university with her.” He gave Dean another quick wink. “Bet you didn’t assume she was a business grad.”

“I, uh…” He frowned. “I guess I never really thought about how she started out. It’s weird to think about how people decide to get into this line of work.”

“That it is. I have to say though, kid, you’re pretty damn good at it.”

Was he being complemented by a more experienced prostitute? Weird. “Uh, thanks, I think.”

Paul slid an iPhone out of his pocket and focused on the screen. “Had any bad ones, yet? Those are the worst.”

“One or two. Had a regular client for a few weeks, until…” Dean shook his head — there was no way he was telling that story. “Yeah. So now I’m back in the rotation, I guess.”

“Been there, done that,” Paul answered.

“Done what?”

“Fallen for a client.”

“I didn’t—”

“You did. I can hear it in your voice.” Paul tucked his phone away again and turned to face Dean. “Brianna McKenna knows one thing about this business: love doesn’t equal money. You fall for the client, one thing leads to another and suddenly you quit and Bree is left one escort short. So don’t take it the wrong way, kiddo, she’s just looking out for the bottom line.”

Dean barely had the strength to pout. He wasn’t a kid, despite Paul’s chosen nickname for him, but he still felt like stomping the floor and demanding better answers. “I still want to see him.”

“Well that’d be the worst fucking idea you’d ever have.” Paul pointed to the front seat, where Bree’s two burly bodyguards sat. “Think Dumb and Dumber are here for your security? Because they’re not. They’re here to keep you in line. Even when you’re on your time, they’re still lurking, I guarantee it.”

“Are you trying to tell me that Miss McKenna has people following me?”

“I’m trying to tell you to use that brain of yours and act smart, kid. I doubt you’d like the alternative.”

Chapter Text


”Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” - Andre Malraux

---


Kidnapped Brothers Found Safe After Two Months

TOPEKA -- The two-month search for two brothers kidnapped from their home in Lawrence, Kansas is over and a man is in custody facing criminal charges. The boys, age 14 and 17, were found safe in a hunting cabin on the outskirts of Topeka Monday morning.

Alan Williams, 47, also from Lawrence, was arrested at his home Monday afternoon. Reports confirm that Williams held the two boys in the cabin for the entire eight weeks, until his wife became suspicious and searched the location. She found the boys locked inside one of the cabin’s small rooms.

A spokesperson for the police department was unable to comment on details of the case but said “the family is thrilled to be reunited and is asking that the public respect their privacy during this time.”

Williams will be arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence.

---

It was coincidence. That’s the story he would continue to stick to. Sheer coincidence.

Dean wandered through the grocery store aimlessly. It was the same location where he and Charlie had ran into Castiel before. Finally, after two tours around the store, he decided that he was alone. Whoever was tailing him hadn’t followed him into the store.

He scoped out the perfect candidate and walked up to a kind-looking old woman. “Excuse me, Ma’am, I wonder if I could borrow your phone for a moment? My partner sent me here with a list of what to get, and I left it on the bus. I just need to call him real quick and ask him what we need.”

As expected, the woman smiled approvingly and pulled her outdated flip phone from her handbag. He stayed in the same place, weary that the woman would suspect him of stealing if he stepped too far away. He dialed Castiel’s number — the one he had forced himself to memorize before he stepped into the store.

After two rings, the other man picked up. “Hello?”

He sounded worn down and Dean hated how nice it was to hear the other man’s voice. “It’s me,” he replied. “Dean. I’m at the store. That one over on Barbur? I left my list on the bus. Could you meet me here so I don’t forget anything?”

To say that Castiel was confused was definitely an understatement. His voice showed his concern. “Dean? What’s going on? I thought… I thought you didn’t want to see me anymore.”

“Please, Cas. Some friends of Bree’s are hanging around outside and I just want to get the groceries and go home. Five minutes.”

The words seemed to drive the point home. “Five minutes. I’ll be there.”

Dean finally felt himself relax as he hung up the phone and handed it back to the kind woman. “Thank you so much.” He glanced over his shoulder. “Some friends of my ex keep following me, wanting trouble. And I really don’t like being alone. But my boyfriend will be here soon.”

“Oh, you poor child!” The old woman looked beyond him, down the length of the aisle towards the front of the store. “What do they look like? Tell me, and when I leave, I’ll distract them for you.”

He chuckled at her sincerity and described the two burly bodyguards and the dark towncar they would be sitting in.

She patted his arm and pushed her cart past him to go to the checkout. “Don’t you worry dear, I’ll handle it!” she called back to him.

Dean watched her go before moving a couple aisles over to where the condoms and lubricant were located. It was the spot where he had ran into Castiel before, and it seemed like the perfect place to wait. Right on cue, five minutes later, a familiar figure rounded the corner of the aisle and headed in Dean’s direction.

Unlike his normal attire of a nice suit or high-end jeans and polo shirt, Castiel was wearing a pair of white hospital scrubs covered by a tan trenchcoat. His dark hair was a scattered mess and he had more than the beginnings of a beard on his face.

He looked… fucking hot.

As soon as he was close, Dean grabbed the lapels of the trenchcoat and pulled Castiel forward for a hard kiss. The sensation of scratchy hair tickling his face was new, but the intensity of the kiss was just like he remembered.

“Dean,” Castiel said, when he finally pulled away, his hand still lingering on Dean’s arm. “What’s going on?”

Before Dean answered, he grabbed Castiel’s hand and pulled him towards the back of the store. He had also scoped out the bathrooms before he called for Castiel to meet him. He found the men’s room and pulled Castiel inside, quickly locking the door behind them. “Bree McKenna found out about us… having fun without charging. She freaked, cancelled your contract, and told me I wasn’t allowed to speak to you or see you.”

Castiel stared at Dean, the disbelief painted clearly all over his face. “So… it wasn’t anything that I did?”

“No! Of course not!” Dean wanted to touch and kiss and fuck he was in love. “And now she’s got her goons following me.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yeah. Everywhere I go, two guys follow me. That’s why I called you from a stranger’s phone and asked you to meet me here. I didn’t know what else to do, Cas.”

Castiel had a hand on either of Dean’s elbows, holding him steady as concerned eyes searched Dean’s face. “Do you owe her money?”

“No,” Dean quickly shook his head. “If anything, she owes me. She’s cut my pay in half, but doubled the workload.” He hated himself for it, but he felt tears forming at the corners of his eyes. “I miss you.”

“I miss you, too,” Castiel said. He reached up to rub away the beginnings of a tear from Dean’s cheek but otherwise stayed at arm’s length. “Dean, if you’re not beholden to her, then why don’t you just quit?”

“You think I should?”

“If this were any other line of work you’d be able to file a complaint against her. But unfortunately we live in a place where the basic rights of sex workers are horrifically undervalued.”

“Yeah, no shit.”

“And Portland’s not exactly a small town — there has to be at least three other escort agencies that would hire you in a heartbeat and treat you like a human being. We could take our relationship there and carry on like we were before.”

Dean felt the stab to his heart immediately. Like we were before. Whatever feelings he had been contemplating were dashed out like a used cigarette. “Yeah. I’ll… I’ll think about it.” He glanced down at his watch. “I gotta… I gotta go. If I’m in here any longer, they’re gonna get suspicious and come looking for me.”

“Oh. Um.” Castiel backed away, allowing Dean to move to the door. “Do you want me to contact you? I can do it from another phone.”

“No,” Dean said, suddenly. He shook his head and unlocked the door. “I’ll call you.” Without waiting for another word, he slipped out of the bathroom and quickly disappeared into the store.

By the time the sun hit his face outside, the tears had started and didn’t want to cease.

---

Sam never heard back from the coffee shop he’d applied to. At first it didn’t matter — things had settled down with Dean and a glimpse of peace had begun to appear.

Then Dean showed up at home one afternoon and things changed. His happiness disappeared, replaced by a sudden dark depression that was so crippling it sent Sam running from the apartment just to be able to breath.

Dean would no longer touch him. He’d even gone so far as to ask Sam to return to the couch at night. One step forward, two steps back.

He sat down on a wooden bench in the middle of a downtown park and could barely feel the rain hitting his skin. The night before, Dean and Charlie had gone out to a local club. When Dean had arrived home around three a.m. he’d reeked of liquor, his hands shaking so badly he couldn’t get his key in the lock and had to knock for Sam to open the door. One look at his brother sent a chill down Sam’s spine. He didn’t know much about drugs or what their effects looked like, but he suspected that was the culprit.

“Are you high?” he had asked, guiding Dean towards his bedroom.

“As a fucking kite.” The bedroom door slammed in Sam’s face.

Sam was too worried about his brother to go far, so he sat down with his back to the bedroom door and listened. It didn’t take long for the loud thumps against the wall to sound. Followed immediately after by Dean screaming broken proclamations of love for someone he didn’t name.

The blade was buried so deep in Sam’s heart that he could barely breath. Whatever he had hoped for, whatever he had desired to happen with Dean — would never come to be because Dean was in love with someone else. There were no feelings for Sam. The whole experience had probably been fueled by nothing more than pity.

“You’re going to catch a cold,” a honey-smooth voice said from behind him.

Sam turned his head, frowning when the pretty auburn-haired woman sat down next him. She held her umbrella to shield them both from the rain. “I don’t care,” he mumbled.

“That’s not a very good attitude to have. You’ve got to take care of yourself. How are you going to work if you get sick?”

What the hell was this lady’s deal? “I don’t have a job.”

“Would you like one?”

Sam frowned, shaking his head. “No offense, lady, but I’m smart enough to know not to accept offers like that from strangers.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said. “Your brother has certainly benefitted from working for my company.”

Sam looked at her carefully. “You’re — you’re Dean’s boss.”

The woman smiled. “Brianna McKenna,” she said, holding out her hand.

He was tentative, but after a moment, reached out to shake her hand. “Sam. But I’m guessing you already know that.”

“I do,” she conceded. “So I take it you know what I do?”

Sam glanced around the deserted park. “High-end prostitution.”

She giggled. “Well, you just cut straight to the point, don’t you Sam?”

“I appreciate the interest, ma’am, but I’m not exactly good at…” He frowned. “Sex.

“But it’s work you’d consider doing, otherwise? Would you be comfortable serving male clients?”

“Well, that’s not a problem, I guess, but my only job experience is as a barista in a coffee shop.” Sam quirked an eyebrow. “So I suppose it isn’t much of a stretch to go into the sex industry after that.”

“You’re funny, too,” she said, smiling. “A sense of humor is more important in this field than you’d think.” She tugged the hem of her pencil skirt to cover her knees. “You didn’t know how to operate an espresso machine when you first became a barista, did you?”

“Nope.”

“So why do you think they hired you?”

“Probably for the same reason you want to hire me.” Sam turned to her and winked. “My ass is amazing.”

“That definitely doesn’t hurt. But it’s not just about that. I think you’d be a good fit, Sam. You could make a lot of money working for me.”

Turning serious, Sam scratched at the back of his neck. “I’m really not sure I’d be any good at it. My brother has had far more sexual partners and experience than I’ve had. I mean… I can count the number of people I’ve been with on one hand.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about that. We can train you to do things you’d like to learn how to do, just like any job. In fact I have a special opportunity for you. I’m sure Dean told you how he had a permanent client for a while; a situation where he only saw that one person on a regular basis. I have a similar situation available now, and I think you’re the perfect candidate. And it’s not all sexual, Sam. Sometimes our clients just want someone nearby while they sit and watch the evening news.”

A frown appeared on Sam’s face. “Dean told me about that situation and how it ended badly. He’s been in a funk ever since. I don’t… I don’t think I can handle that happening to me.”

For a moment, the pleasant smile wiped away and Bree settled a stern gaze on Sam. “The way to combat that is simple. Just remember that this is a job and for it to work successfully everyone involved needs to remain neutral. The cash flow continues, your heart stays right there in that pretty chest, and everyone remains happy.”

Sam considered her words. He’d had plenty of experience disconnecting from sex, and the money was tempting. “How much would I be making?”

“One hundred and twenty-five dollars an hour.” Bree smiled. “After six satisfactory months, I’ll raise it to one-fifty.”

“Woah.”

Miss McKenna smiled, slow and easy, her white teeth just visible through her red lips. “Sam, let me give you my card.”

Chapter Text


”Choices made, whether bad or good, follow you forever and affect everyone in their path one way or another.” - J.E.B. Spredemann

---

Sam went to Bree’s office two days later to sign paperwork. She’d sent him home with an employee handbook and the promise that “your brother doesn’t need to know.”

He’d studied the spiral-bound notebook cover to cover. The job didn’t even seem like that big of a deal to Sam. He’d had plenty of experience having sex he wasn’t interested in having — and at least now he’d get paid. If Dean didn’t want Sam around, didn’t want to be close to him, then he’d need to support himself. And conventional jobs looked to be thin on the ground.

Bree had assured Sam that she’d arrange it so he and Dean were never at the office at the same time.

“In fact,” she’d said, “come to my other office, over on Hawthorne. Dean’s never even been there. Can you come by on Thursday? You can drop off your paperwork, and do some training. Get rid of those first day jitters.”

Sam bussed over to the Laurelhurst district not knowing what to expect.

He checked the address twice when he walked up to it. The non-descript office that he was expecting was actually a quaint two story house. Sam shrugged and walked up on the front porch. As he knocked, he wondered for a moment if he was being duped. Maybe the person that answered would actually be a little old lady that had no idea who he was.

The door swung open a minute later to reveal a bald man nearly as wide as he was tall.

Guess I’ve got the right place after all. “Um, I’m here to see Ms. McKenna?”

The man looked Sam over once, and said nothing, but stepped aside to let him pass. It wasn’t a house converted into an office. No, it was just… a house. Sofa, loveseat, bookshelves… dining room table. It was so typical.

Sitting at the kitchen table sipping from a coffee cup was Bree McKenna. She looked svelte and put together… despite the fact that she was only wearing a silk robe.

Sam cleared his throat. “Am I… early?”

“No, you’re right on time. Coffee?”

He looked around anxiously, wondering whether or not to sit. “To be honest, ma’am, I’m already pretty jittery. Coffee is probably a bad idea.”

“You’re probably right. Hector!” she called into the hallway, and the large man from before appeared — quieter than Sam would have thought possible. “A cup of tea for Sam. Chamomile.” She smiled sweetly.

Steaming hot water was produced from an electric kettle and placed in front of Sam before he could protest. He took the slightest sip from the boiling tea, even though it burnt his tongue. “Thanks.”

Bree indicated to the chair across from her. “Please, have a seat.”

He sat down in the offered chair, placing his tea down gently on the cherry wood table, before setting his packet of paperwork down next to it. “I brought everything you asked for.”

“Thank you,” she said, not sparing a glance to the papers at all. “I’ll have HR look it over and let you know if we need anything else.” She took a sip of her coffee. “So. Feel ready for your first client?”

Sam glanced around the well decorated home. “I suppose. Is this the client’s home?”

Bree laughed at that, and Sam couldn’t help but feel there was some sort of joke he wasn’t being let in on. “No, Sam. You think I’d be lounging around in my dressing gown in a client’s home?”

“I, uh…”

“This is my home.”

“Your… home?”

“Well, one of them. It’s mostly an office. But sometimes it’s easier to stay here.”

“Oh,” he nodded like he understood. Considering the lower-middle-class lifestyle that he had lived most of his life, it was hard to grasp the concept of owning multiple homes. He could barely grasp the concept of owning one home.

Before Bree could say anything else, another man stepped into the dining room area. Sam looked up to see a tall man with ash blonde hair and gray blue eyes standing there — wearing nothing more than a pair of blue striped boxers. Bree glanced up at the man with a smile, before looking back to Sam.

“Sam, I’d like to introduce you to one of the other escorts. This is Paul. I’ve asked him here to help us with your training.” She adjusted the rim of her glasses on her nose and looked at Sam like a cat eyeing its prey. “I like to give my employees the proper idea of what I expect in terms of conduct before I send them off with a real client. So, for today, I will be playing the role of your client, or master, and any sexual acts will be performed with Paul.”

Sam looked at the other man with a frown. Again, he felt like he was missing a punchline. “I hate to ask, but… if you’re the client, why isn’t the sex with you?”

Bree smirked, as Paul moved to stand protectively behind her right shoulder. “That would be so much simpler, Sam, wouldn’t it?” She nodded to herself and chuckled. “I like you, you’re very smart. However, what you don’t know is that I’m asexual — I have absolutely no desire to have sex with anyone.”

“Oh.” He continued to stare at Paul. “Did my brother go through this training as well?”

“Now, love, you know I can’t discuss other employees with you. I highly doubt you’d want me telling Dean all of your secrets.” When Sam quickly shook his head, Bree motioned to Paul. “Be a good little boy and let Paul show you to the dressing room so you can change. You have five minutes, and then I expect you on my bed ready to be fucked.”

---

Castiel paced his kitchen anxiously. He had half a mind to make some food just so he would have something to clean up. But he wasn’t hungry.

He seriously doubted he could keep anything down.

It had been two weeks since Bree had cancelled his contract with Dean — and a week since he’d seen Dean in the grocery store.

Castiel had begun to wonder if he should ever try to make contact with any human being ever again. But Bree had called up Castiel and offered him — in a show of good faith, apparently — someone who would take his mind off his troubles. Someone new.

She’d also offered a one month discount. ’One month, Castiel. If this new sub doesn’t take your mind off of… other things, then we can reevaluate the situation once more.’ So, against all better judgement, he agreed.

He could handle a month.

But he wasn’t sure he could handle looking at someone else and not seeing Dean’s face.

Even the handful of phone calls he had attempted to Dean’s cellphone from his office at the hospital had gone unanswered. He had to move on.

Unfortunately, the concept of ‘moving on’ seemed to be a hilarious joke in Bree McKenna’s eyes. He opened his front door at eleven p.m. and felt like he was being made a fool of. Before him stood the six-foot-something lanky form of Sam. Winchester.

“Shit,” Castiel stated. His client instructions remained the same, of course, so Sam stood in a high-end suit — but the too-short sleeves and pant cuffs told Castiel that it was probably one of Dean’s. “Shit!

Sam looked like a trapped animal. His eyes were as wide as saucers and his whole body seemed to be shaking. Whatever he had prepared himself for the idea of sleeping with someone he knew, was obviously not in the plan.

Cas?

“Shit,” he said again. He sighed. “Sam, what the hell are you — there’s been a mistake. Please, just come inside and we’ll get this sorted out—”

Sam shifted uncomfortably on his feet. Castiel couldn’t help but picture the other permanent instruction for his escorts. He shook away the thoughts and stepped out of the doorway to let Sam have room to pass.

The younger man stayed frozen in the hallway. He looked down at a torn piece of notebook paper in his shaking hand. “Maybe I have the wrong address,” he whispered.

“Doubtful.”

“I’m going to go bury my head in sand and act like this never happened.”

Castiel reached out a hand to grab Sam’s sleeve before he could turn and walk away. “Please. Five minutes inside. I promise our clothes will remain intact and no inappropriate behavior will transpire.”

Sam looked inside the condo for a moment before nodding. “Can I have a minute in the bathroom first?”

“Of course. Please.”

---

Sam ducked inside the bathroom and shut the door behind him. So much for my first night going well.

He crossed over to the sink and bent to splash water on his face as he tried to put together what was going on. It seemed a strange coincidence that in a city as large as Portland he’d get sent to see his brother’s therapist—

Sam Winchester, you colossal fucking idiot.

Castiel wasn’t Dean’s therapist. He was him. The client that Dean had fallen in love with and been banned from seeing.

The wave of nausea hit Sam suddenly and he was vomiting into the expensive-looking sink before he even knew what hit him.

Thank God for small miracles. He had been so nervous about the first night on his new ‘job’ that he had only managed to eat a few bites of toast and drink half a glass of milk. Once his stomach was done tossing around like a tilt-a-whirl, Sam washed his face once more and stepped away from the sink.

He peeled off the suit jacket — because what was the fucking point, he wasn’t going to sleep with his brother’s ex — and stripped off the suit pants and fancy shoes long enough to ditch the silk panties he had been wearing. He got a sudden vision of his brother wearing a similar outfit (no wonder he owns so many suits) and threw the damn panties in the trash can.

Sam was disgusted and had to bite his tongue to keep from throwing up again. He pulled his pants back on and stepped into the shoes, but carried the jacket instead of putting it back on. Out in the foyer of the condo, he practically ran into Castiel — who was holding a bottle of water and looking more than a little ashamed.

“Sam, let me call you a cab—”

Sam looked down at the water. “Did you and Bree plan this? Some twisted shit to fuck up my brother and I even more?”

“I assure you, Sam, I had no idea. But that… that woman. I wouldn’t put it past her. I can’t believe I ever patronized her ‘business.’”

“That doesn’t make you less of a pervert.” Sam shook his head and turned to leave, but stopped with his hand on the door knob. He turned to look back at Castiel. “He’s doing drugs again. Because of you. Dean is doing drugs because whatever the fuck happened between you and him is fucking with his head.” Despite his desire to be strong and keep a tight hold on his emotions, Sam felt a couple stray tears slip out of the corners of his eyes. “I finally had him back, but it was all a joke. He never wanted me. He wanted a replacement you.” He opened the door slowly and stared out into the hallway. “Stay the fuck away from my brother, Castiel.”

Chapter Text


”Children betrayed their parents by becoming their own people.” - Leslye Walton

---

Dean was tired of all of it. He was tired of life being one up and down followed by another. There had to be a smooth highway somewhere out there. He stared at the money in his ‘stash’ and contemplated his options. A large part of him wanted to go crazy and buy a few nice hits of coke.

But that was just another hill waiting for him to slide down. He couldn’t keep spiraling.

“Whoa.”

He looked up to see Charlie standing in the doorway staring at the pile of money in shock.

“What is all of that?” she asked him.

“Extra I’ve been saving.”

“For what, gold-plating the toilet?”

He shoved a pile to the side. “For rehab.”

There was a blur of purple hair and black clothes and suddenly Charlie had wrapped herself around him. “Dean!” she squealed. “I’m so happy for you.”

He squeezed her back. “You’re not mad? That I won’t be partying with you anymore?”

“Well that would be a stupid thing to be mad about.” She settled onto the bed next to him and shook her head. “To be honest, I haven’t partied in months. I’ve been going to a counselor and trying to keep myself on the straight and narrow — on top of my classes.”

“You’ve been seeing a counselor? Like a therapist? How long’s that been going on?”

“She’s a community therapist that works with abuse victims. A… friend, recommended her.”

“And she’s good?”

“She’s really good.” Charlie put her hand on Dean’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze.

Dean looked at the money in front of him. It was more than he’d ever saved up before, but it was still a finite amount. “Must be expensive.”

“Actually,” Charlie answered, “since it’s a community outreach program — she works for free.”

“Huh.”

“You want her number?”

“Yeah, I think I do.”

---

After the ‘mishap’ at Castiel’s condo… Sam did everything he could to avoid going back and facing Dean. He had somehow killed twenty-four hours when he needed a shower and clean clothes and dragged his ass back towards the apartment. It was probably the lack of sleep that had him missing the rental car waiting outside.

But he couldn’t miss the shout of his name being called. “Samuel!”

Sam froze. There was only one person in the world who called him ‘Samuel’ just like that. He considered bolting, but knew that if they’d tracked him down this far it would be pointless. He turned towards the voice. “Dad.”

John stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Sam. “It’s good to see you, boy.” He motioned back to the car. “Your mom and I are staying at a hotel a few blocks from here. She’s getting our things settled right now. Why don’t you come with me and we’ll get you a nice shower and some food?”

Sam was torn between wanting to accept the comfort his father seemed to be offering him, and panicking at being caught off guard. Please don’t try to make me go back. “Um, I got a place, actually. Well, staying with friends. What are you guys doing here?”

“A friend of yours called us. He was worried about you after your brother beat him up.”

Brady.

Before Sam could explain, John continued, “We’re not here to take you back, Sammy.” John’s hand continued to rest on Sam’s shoulder. “We just miss you and love you. Your mother has been worried sick about you — especially when you stopped answering her text messages. Just give us a couple of days, son. You can catch us up on what’s been happening and we’ll help you decide on what your future plans are.”

Sam put his hands in his pockets and stared at his feet. “Have you talked to Dean?”

“No,” John shook his head. “You know your brother wants nothing to do with us. We’re here for you. We flew in just to see you. Now come on,” he guided Sam slowly towards the rental car. “Lets go get some breakfast. You look like you haven’t slept or eaten well in days.”

Sam drew back from his father as gently as he could. “Breakfast sounds amazing, but all my stuff’s in the apartment. Can I shower and change and meet you guys there?”

John glanced up at the building behind them for a moment, before turning his attention back to Sam. “Why don’t I wait out here for you to grab some things? You can shower in our room.”

Sam sighed heavily. He felt weary down to the marrow of his bones. “Fine,” he said finally. “Give me ten minutes.”

“Your mother is going to be so excited to see you, Sammy boy.” John smiled as he patted Sam on the shoulder before moving to the car. “I’ll be right here waiting.”

---

When they got to John and Mary’s hotel, his mother pulled Sam into a tight hug as she began to cry. “My sweet baby, I’ve missed you so much.”

Sam was a boiling pool of unknown emotions. On one hand, he wanted to shove his parents away and yell at them for all the trouble they had caused in his life; for abandoning him when he needed them most. On the other hand… he wanted to snuggle closer to his mother and embrace the love she was providing. He had experienced a horrible twenty-four hours and at that point he just needed love.

And since it had been established that Dean didn’t love him so much as use him, Sam had to go with what was provided right in front of him.

John ordered food from the restaurant downstairs and left a few minutes later to pick up the order. While he was gone, Mary pulled Sam over to the room’s sofa and sat down next to him, asking him questions about the last year and how he had been taking care of himself.

He didn’t know what to talk about and what to leave out, so he decided on just providing basic details. His journey from Texas to California. His job at the coffee shop in San Francisco. Getting word that Dean was in the hospital and jumping on the first bus up to Portland.

Mary tensed as soon as Sam mentioned Dean and how he had been staying with him. The worry was rolling off her in droves. “I just… I want you to be happy, Sam, but I don’t think you can be happy with him around. You’re just settling back in the past. You're not moving on.”

“Mom,” he took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. “Being forced to stay away from my brother wasn’t the answer. I know you and Dad tried the best you could, but sending me away and kicking Dean out wasn’t the ideal way of handling the entire situation.”

His mother pulled back, still looking tense as her facial expressions began to change into something a little less loving. “Sam, after… what happened, your father and I were worried that being around Dean too much wasn't good for you — for either of you. I saw the way you looked at him after you two came back home, and it wasn't... it wasn't healthy, Sam." The tears were streaming down her face freely now. "There was no other way.”

“For two months he was all I had and then you just took him away from me! That wasn’t healthy.” Sam stood up, his utter exhaustion making the anger and frustration spill over. “And then to leave me in that place like you couldn’t stand the thought of me?”

Apparently in his yelling fit, he had missed the sound of the door opening and closing behind him. John stepped into the room and set their food down on the table. “Don’t talk to your mother with that tone, Samuel.”

"Well do you want me to talk or not, Dad? Because between not sleeping since yesterday and being ambushed this morning, this is the only tone I've got."

Mary stood, moving over to the table to arrange their food. “Come on, let’s just eat so that you can lay down and rest. We’ll talk about all of this tomorrow.”

He held his father’s gaze for a long time, wondering if he agreed with the idea of letting the subject drop. When he nodded, Sam took a deep breath and moved over to one of the chairs.

To assume that they would eat in peace, though, was going too far. Mary waited until they were halfway through their meal before saying, casually, “So, I talked to your boyfriend on the phone. What’s his name? Brady? He sounds like such a nice boy.”

"He's not my boyfriend," Sam said flatly, spearing a piece of fruit with a plastic fork.

"Oh, I just thought—"

"Not anymore."

“That’s a shame,” she whispered. “He seemed so worried about you. He called us practically begging for us to come up here and see you. He said Dean had been abusive and angry when they met and he didn’t feel safe leaving you here for long.”

Sam began to laugh so hard he had to put his fork down. "Do you want to know why Dean was angry? Why he punched Brady?"

"Sam, that's not—"

Sam carried on, speaking over his mother. "Because when Dean came to see me that last morning I had a black eye. From Brady. And it wasn't the first time. Guy's a piece of shit." He went back to his fruit salad.

“Oh.” Her face fell at that. “But he seemed so nice. Are you sure?”

“Am I sure that he was an abusive asshole? I think I know what abuse looks like, Mom.”

She pouted. “We only ever wanted the best for you, Sammy.”

“Yeah, well.” He kept his gaze on his food but let the anger seep into his words. “Too bad your best wasn’t good enough.”

"And yours was?" He'd pushed her beyond being soft and gentle, that much was clear. "You sit here and tell us that you 'know what abuse looks like' but you're the one that ended up in the situation! Sam, you're so young." Her voice threatened to break. "I'm just scared for you, okay? I'm scared. And I don't know what to do, but I'm not going to give up trying."

John placed a steady, work-callused hand over Mary's quivering one. "Sam," he said with a heavy sigh. "You should know that we're prepared to petition the state for conservatorship."

A chill ran through Sam’s blood. Of course that’s why they were there. If he had expected anything more he was an idiot. “I can’t go back there. You can’t petition to be in charge of me just to send me back to that fucking hospital! I’m not crazy. I never was. I was kidnapped and raped — that doesn’t automatically make me insane.”

“Oh honey,” Mary whispered, her tone changing once more. “We don’t want to send you back there. In fact… we’ve discussed this and decided that all we really want is for you to be healthy and safe. However, we don’t think either of those things can happen if you’re around Dean.”

“So we’ll buy you a ticket,” John filled in. “We’ll get you set up in an apartment wherever you want to be. We’ll help you find a job and support you until you can support yourself. The only stipulation is that you can’t stay here.”

So they would continue to control every aspect of his life, and he would continue to be forced away from his brother. The only difference from before was that he wouldn’t be stuck in a locked ward.

Sam wasn’t sure what they were offering was any better.

Chapter Text


”I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

---

’The client has requested that you be blindfolded and tied up naked to a bench you’ll find in his house. You are to please anyone that comes within reach — whether that be with your mouth or ass. I don’t want to hear any reports tomorrow about how you were a bad sub, Dean.’

Dean read the note that one of Miss McKenna’s goons had handed to him as he was ushered into the car. Despite everything bad about her — there was no denying that Bree McKenna had a way with words. There weren’t many people in the world that could describe a gangbang so casually.

Dean shifted in the back seat of the car, trying to sit in a way so that he’d feel the butt plug he was wearing as little as possible. He’d learned quickly, ever since his ‘pay cut’, that this new set of clients weren’t generally so worried about seeing him properly prepped. Wearing a plug — even a small one — to his appointments was inconvenient, and uncomfortable, but very worth it.

The car pulled up outside of a large home in Beaverton and Dean shook his head. The richest clients were the worst ones.

“See ya on the other side, boys,” he growled at the bodyguards as he climbed through the door. As he walked up the sidewalk to the front door, he was already sliding into the dark recesses of his mind so that he wouldn’t be fully aware of what was happening.

If he didn’t, he would count the number of cocks by instinct, and that would just send him running back to the comfort of a drug-induced high.

---

He wanted to say no to them. He wanted to tell his parents to shove their ‘deal’ directly where the sun didn’t shine.

But he couldn’t do that alone. And five calls over the course of one night to Dean’s phone had yielded him nothing but voicemail. Either his brother was too busy dealing with his own shit, or he had just flat-out decided that Sam was the problem holding him down and he had to let go.

It was hard to say no without someone else there backing him up. Someone to tell John and Mary that Sam was perfectly capable of taking care of himself and it wasn’t a bad thing that he was around Dean.

It was his last ditch effort. Sam forced their hand, saying that if he was going to go with them, he would need help collecting his things from Dean’s apartment. Surely if he forced a confrontation, Dean would have his back.

John followed Sam up the stairs to Charlie and Dean’s apartment, and waited patiently as Sam unlocked the door with shaking hands.

No one was home. He called out for them, even as John urged him to hurry up and get his things. Charlie was almost always home — why wasn’t she there? They hadn’t always seen eye-to-eye, but she’d been coming around recently. Where was Dean? He worked nights — he should be at home sleeping or watching crap TV.

“Come on, Sammy, let’s get your stuff. Your mom says she’s booked you a flight to Denver because you always did like the snow.”

Sam stood in the middle of the kitchen, not knowing what to do. He could text Charlie, but she wouldn’t reply in time, would she?

Sam,” John repeated, his tone warning.

His head fell in defeat. “Gimme a minute, I’ll… I’ll go get my bag.”

It wasn’t much — he hadn’t been there long enough to settle. Hadn’t been asked to settle. As he packed his things in Dean’s room, he picked up an old envelope and scribbled down a quick note.

Mom and dad showed up. Couldn’t stop them from taking me away again. Denver this time. Goodbye Dean.

He wanted to write save me and please but a large part of him knew it was useless. He placed the note on Dean’s dresser and carried his bag back out into the living room. “Okay,” he whispered, “I’m ready.”

---

His parents were on a flight scheduled for the next day, so they walked him to the security line with his bag and his boarding pass, and then waved goodbye. It was the first time he had ever gone through security and actually hoped to be detained.

He did not want to go to Denver. He wasn’t sure anyone wanted to go to Denver.

After clearing the TSA line, he walked slowly through the terminal towards gate D5 where his plane was scheduled to take off in two and a half hours. Sam was so focused on his thoughts, focused on staring at the damn ticket in his hands, that he ran straight into another person, knocking the other man onto the ground.

“Way to go, gigantor,” a voice growled in frustration.

It wasn’t Sam’s fault he was so big — if anything, it should make other people be more aware of him.

Sam froze. Golden eyes were finally staring up at him as the person stood. Sam felt like he’d seen a ghost.

Gabriel?

“Holy shit. Sam?” The shorter man pulled Sam into a welcome, rib-crushing hug.

Sam flashed back to the hospital. To the empty room and hearing the words ‘Gabriel’s gone.’ He had spent years believing that Gabe was dead, and now he was standing right there in the airport terminal? “What the fuck! I thought you ki—” he cut the words off quickly and shook his head, “I thought you were dead!”

“What?” Gabriel scrunched up his face in confusion. “Why the — fuck would you think that?”

Sam ran a hand through his hair, pretending not to notice that it was shaking. Gabriel was alive, and he was right there. “It doesn’t matter. It’s — it’s really good to see you.”

“You too, Samsquatch.”

It was strange — seeing Gabriel again, it was like they’d just seen each other the day before. Like it hadn’t been two years. All the memories from that time came flooding back but, oddly enough, only the good ones. “Uh, you got a flight to catch?”

“Just got off one.”

“No chance you have time for a coffee, is there?”

“Well,” Gabriel checked his watch, “my cousin’s waiting for me. But he can wait for a little longer.” Gabriel smiled up at him, and his grin lit up his whole face.

They walked a few yards away to a Starbucks and even after ordering his coffee, Sam’s hands were still unsteady. Gabriel. Of all the people to run into. He carried his caramel macchiato over to an empty table and waited for the other man to join him. Two years hadn’t changed Gabe much — he still looked like the cheeky teenager from the institution. The only difference seemed to lie in his eyes and the way he held himself. He looked healthier, more confident. He looked like he was doing well.

Sam was not going to cry. He fucking wasn’t. “I can’t believe you’re here.”

Gabriel reached across the table and gave Sam’s hand a squeeze, winking. “In the flesh.”

Shit. He was going to cry. Sam hung his head as the weight of his whole world pressed down on his shoulders. Gabriel was there and he was just supposed to walk away and get on a plane to Denver?

“Shit.” In one movement Gabriel was out of his seat, had rounded the small table, and had his arms around Sam’s shoulders. “Tell me what’s going on.” When Sam sniffled in response, Gabriel added, “You’d really better tell me now or you might not get another chance for two years.”

Sam laughed at the bad joke and raised his head, wiping his face with the back of his hand. The words came in a rush as he laid his forehead against Gabe’s shoulder. “I checked out at eighteen, like we planned. Ran away. Avoided my parents for over a year. They found me two days ago. Found out that I was living with my brother. They said if I don’t move away from here they’ll petition the state for conservatorship.” He added quietly as Gabriel took his seat again, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Hmm,” Gabriel hummed, like he’d been presented with a particularly tricky algebra problem. Sam found the nonchalance remarkably comforting. “What time does your flight leave?”

“I’ve got almost two and a half hours.”

“Okay. Here’s what we’re gonna do. We gotta get you out of here, that much is pretty fucking obvious. I’m living proof that well-meaning parents don’t always know how to do what’s best for their kids. But my cousin, he’s a good guy. Fuckin’ smart, too. How would you feel about asking him for help?”

“Why would he want to help me?” Sam shook his head. “No one ever wants to fucking help me.”

Gabe smiled softly and brushed the hair from Sam’s face. “Well, he offered to help me get moved out here, and set me up with a place to stay, so he obviously has a soft spot for slightly-insane nineteen-year-olds.”

“Really?”

“Only one way to find out. And if it doesn’t work, we move on to Plan B. Whaddaya say?”

Sam looked down at his boarding pass laying on the table and laughed. “I say… I wonder if I can get a refund on this thing.”

---

Just as Gabriel had promised, Henry Wesson was one of the nicest people Sam had ever met. He dressed conservatively, but sharply, and gave off a ‘cool Grandpa’ vibe despite the fact that he couldn’t be much older than thirty-five. Sam sat quietly through introductions, still eying the airport nervously. A part of him expected John and Mary to show up and force him back through security. Gabe’s hand hadn’t left his though, and it was a solid comfort that he appreciated having.

It was so weird that after a terrible misunderstanding and two years of thinking Gabriel was dead — he was now there… ready to take on the role of Sam’s best friend again. No questions asked.

“So, let me get this straight,” Henry started as they sat at one of the airport restaurants on the other side of security. “Your parents dropped you off in a mental institution for four years just because they didn’t know how to handle your kidnapping and assault? And now they want to continue controlling your life even though you’re a capable adult?”

Sam nodded. “Pretty much. I even had work and a stable income when I was living in California. Unfortunately, the abusive boyfriend ruined that.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, Sam. No one should be treated like that.” The sympathy in Henry’s eyes looked as genuine as Sam had ever seen.

“I don’t—” Sam shook his head. “I’m not looking for a handout. I just need advice, and a little guidance.” He pulled out his cell phone. “I want to get rid of this thing, so my parents can’t track me anymore. And I want to have a job and a home of my own so that if they do fight for control, I can prove that I take care of myself. I think that would be enough to keep them off my back, legally.”

“Well, that’s one thing,” Gabriel plucked the cell phone out of Sam’s hand, “that I can take care of.” He rose from their table, crossing the small seating area to where a custodian’s cart was parked outside a restroom. He dropped the phone inside the garbage compartment without anyone around him noticing, and rejoined Sam and Henry at their seats.

Sam smiled his thanks at Gabriel, before dropping his gaze back to the table. “I was staying with my brother here in Portland. I can’t… I can’t go back there. He’s going through his own shit and I can’t be around it right now. I don’t want to force him out of my life again, but I can’t stay with him.”

“Fair enough,” Henry said. He sat back in his seat, considering. “Sam, I don’t know you, but I trust Gabe’s judgement. The poor boy’s been through more than enough of his share of pain, and if he says you have too, then I believe him.”

“So you’ll help me?” Sam couldn’t believe it — his luck was finally turning.

“As much as I can.”

Chapter Text


”You’re just another story I can’t tell anyone.” - pleasefindthis

---

“So your brother just left? There was no note?”

Mom and dad showed up. Couldn’t stop them from taking me away again. Denver this time. Goodbye Dean.

“No note.” Dean sighed and stared down at his hands. “But his shit is gone. I guess this was bound to happen.”

“Why? Why do you think this was bound to happen, Dean?”

“Because Sam deserves more than I can give him.”

---

It had to be the irony of all ironies. Sam’s back stiffened as soon as Henry parked his car in the garage of the tall buildings. Even the thought of staying in the same building as Castiel had his stomach churning… but then Henry announced,

“I had previously secured a room for Gabe with my friend Castiel. I’m sure he won’t mind you staying for a few weeks, Sam. At least until we can find some suitable employment for you.”

Sam began scrubbing at his face, unsure of whether he should laugh, or cry, or run screaming from the car. His thoughts were interrupted when he felt a warm hand on his back. Gabriel.

“Sam? You okay?”

He watched Henry shut the car off and climb out to go around to the trunk. Once they were alone in the car, he turned to Gabe. “I was just here a few days ago. Apparently this Castiel guy gets around, because he had a sordid affair with my brother. Dean is a, um… prostitute.

A frown creased Gabriel’s brow. “Why were you here?”

“Dean’s boss offered me a job. I think she was using me to get back at Dean. She seemed like a real bitch.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah.” Silence hung between them for a moment.

“So… did you…?”

Sam shook his head. “No. As soon as I realized what was going on, I was out of there. It’s not really this Castiel’s fault, but the night before I heard my brother get drunk and cry over the dude. I wasn’t going to get into the middle of that mess.” He brushed a hand through his hair. “Is it really this small of a fucking world? That the one person who brings you back into my life is connected to this weirdo that has kinky sex with my brother?”

“Kind of feels like someone up there’s playing a joke on us, doesn’t it?” Gabriel’s tone was sympathetic rather than mocking. He reached across the space between them and squeezed Sam’s hand. “So we gonna find somewhere else to crash? I can maybe manage a motel for a couple nights, see if Henry has any other charitable friends—”

It seemed like the best idea. Avoid all measure of awkward confrontation and just go somewhere else. At the same time, it also seemed like the coward’s way out. Sam was tired of running from confrontation. He looked to Gabe and smiled. “If you promise to stay by my side through the shit storm, then I think I can manage here for now. Who knows, maybe there’s more to the story.”

“Alright, kiddo. Whatever you want, I’m with you.”

They were interrupted by a gentle rapping on the window. “Whenever you’re ready, boys,” came Henry’s voice. “Castiel is expecting us soon.”

They didn’t tell Henry about Sam’s connection to Castiel, although both knew it wouldn’t stay a secret for long. Instead, they grabbed their bags and followed the older man to the elevator and then on up to Cas’ condo. Henry was the one that knocked on the door, waiting for his friend to answer, before pulling Castiel in for a quick hug.

They entered the condo as introductions were made. Henry turned and motioned towards Gabriel and Sam. “Cas, this is my cousin Gabe and his friend—”

“Sam,” Castiel supplied, his skin white like he’d seen a ghost. “What are you doing here?”

He gave a small wave. “Surprise.”

Henry stopped in mid-step, clearly confused. “Wait, how do you you two know each other?”

Sam took a deep breath, stuffing both hands in his pockets. “Dean—” It was impossible to miss the meaningful glance that passed between Henry and Castiel. Sam’s gamble was correct. Henry knows about Dean. “—is my brother.”

Henry threw his hands into the air before pointing at Castiel. “You owe me a drink. And a rather good explanation of all this mess.”

---

After all was said and done, there was no way Castiel would have the nerve to turn Sam away. He showed Gabriel and Sam to the spare bedroom and said that they would have to be okay with sharing the room, unless someone wanted to sleep on the couch. They made no argument against that arrangement and Sam followed Gabe into the room as Castiel went to get ready for bed.

Sam set his bag down on the dresser, before awkwardly turning to stare at the queen-sized bed.

Gabriel launched himself backwards onto the mattress, giggling as the frame squeaked and groaned in protest. “Bouncy,” he said, waggling an eyebrow at his new roommate.

One of Sam’s eyebrows quirked up. “I wonder if Cas fucked my brother here, or in his room.”

“Do you want my honest answer, or do you want me to tactfully steer you away to a different topic of conversation?”

With a woeful look in his eyes, Sam stared at the bed. He remembered back to a few weeks before and couldn’t help but blurt out, “I slept with him again.”

He wasn’t sure what he was expecting. Anger and disgust, maybe? He definitely wasn’t expecting Gabe to sit up and cross his arms over his chest as he gave Sam a serious look. “Did it bring you any closure? Were you coerced or did you choose to make that move?”

Sam busied himself with his bag, opening a pocket he didn’t necessarily need into. “It was me.”

“And?” Gabe pressed. “How about now? Do you still… do you still want him?”

“I… I don’t know. I thought I did.”

“Until?”

Sam motioned to the door. “Until I realized that I was just a placeholder for him. I was there because he couldn’t have Cas.”

“Ouch. You know, that’s a really good reason to get over someone.”

Sam snorted. “Even if that someone is your brother and it was incredibly fucked up to want him in the first place?”

“Even if.” Gabriel smiled. “Sam, after everything you’ve gone through — you have to realize that normal right and wrong doesn’t pertain to everyone. If it had been right, if you and Dean had decided that you were the only thing each other needed, then I think that would have been a perfectly valid relationship.”

“Christ, where were you when I was getting my head shrunk?”

“Right down the hall. How do you think I know all of this shit?” Gabe winked at Sam, before standing up and moving to where his bag sat by the door. He dug around inside of it for a few moments, until he triumphantly pulled out a pair of shorts and a worn out t-shirt. He didn’t hesitate before starting to change into his pajamas.

Sam turned around, not sure if he should give Gabriel privacy or not, but figuring that he could turn back to his bag without being obvious. He found his own comfy clothes for sleeping, and proceeded to change into them on the spot, quickly.

When he turned back around, Gabe was sitting on the bed again and picking at a string on the duvet. “Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“Being back with you is… overwhelming. In a good way, but still.” For once, Gabriel seemed unsure of himself, his voice small and shaky. “But I can’t help thinking about the last time we were around each other. Those feelings haven’t gone away, but I need to know where you stand. I need… to know if I should protect myself from the pain.”

“Gabe…” Sam approached the bed but didn’t know if he should sit down or not. He knew he’d have to eventually. “When I did that… I’m so fucking sorry. I was an asshole. I shouldn’t have said I didn’t like guys — obviously you know that’s not true.”

Gabriel wouldn’t meet Sam’s eyes. “So it was just me, huh?”

“The opposite, actually. You were the first person to make me realize I could have feelings for someone, beyond what happened with Dean. And… I wasn’t prepared for how much that fucked me up.” Sam sat down next to Gabe and leaned against his shoulder. “Can we start over? Without the element of a hospital and doctors and all that shit looming over our heads?”

“See? I always knew you were the smart one.”

“So this whole ‘sharing a bed’ thing isn’t going to be awkward, right?”

Gabriel shrugged, and stepped off the bed to pull back the blankets before crawling back in. “Depends how awkward you think sleeping with random boners poking you in the hip is.”

Sam couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Maybe we should establish a pillow barrier. I’m not sure my self-control is that strong.”

---

Dean first went into therapy thinking ‘I’ll find my answers here.’ Unfortunately, as his counsellor liked to remind him, it was more like ‘I’ll talk until my answers are obvious.

Every week she reminded him that healing wasn’t based on a set schedule. It wasn’t like a head cold where the gestation period could be estimated and he could plan on a date when he would be ‘better’. The way she talked, there was no such thing as cured... he would just learn to evolve beyond his problems.

Sometimes, when Dean was in a bad mood, he thought it was all a load of bullshit. He would tell himself that the next session was going to be his last — and then he’d walk out the next time and actually feel like something had been accomplished.

That didn’t stop him from wanting the answers to the biggest issue plaguing him. Bree McKenna.

Though she continued to dock his pay, his employer had finally started to trust him again, and he was able to find his own way to client appointments without Goon #1 and Goon #2 accompanying him. And though he didn’t put it past her to continue monitoring his whereabouts at any given moment, he had stopped worrying about it.

Which was probably how he found himself sitting in the lobby of a very familiar condo building on the riverfront and wondering why the fuck he thought it was a good idea to be there.

He wasn’t convinced that it was — so he hadn’t made an effort to ride the elevator up to Castiel’s floor. Because he wanted to see the other man — he really fucking did — but he was also still aggravated about the things Castiel had said the last time they met.

He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t face that again.

Shaking his head, Dean turned around to leave — and ran directly into a solid form standing a couple feet away. “Shit, hey man, I’m sorry—”

The well-dressed man frowned, and a look of recognition washed over his face.

Shit. If this was another one of Bree’s tails, Dean didn’t know what he’d do. Although this one wasn’t so big, maybe Dean could take him…

“You’re Dean.”

“Yeah,” he confirmed after a pause. If Bree had sent this guy to keep tabs on him, he’d know who he was. “And you are…?”

“My name’s Henry — I’m a friend of Castiel’s. And you and I need to talk.”

Chapter Text


”As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” - Criss Jami

---

It was probably a moot point to start following the ‘don’t get in cars with strangers’ rule. When ‘Henry’ had suggested they talk, Dean knew that it probably wasn’t a conversation that should be held in one of the trendiest condominium buildings in Portland. So he shrugged and told the man that was fine, as long as Henry didn’t mind giving Dean a ride home while they chatted.

“After you,” Henry said. “I’m parked out front.”

“Okay.” Dean led the way through the lobby, out the front door, and to the sedan that Henry indicated. He got in the passenger door and gave Henry the necessary directions.

“I don’t know if you know this,” the older man began, “but Castiel is in love with you. He may not be entirely aware of this fact either, but that doesn’t make it less true.”

“Jesus, you really like cutting to the chase, don’t you?”

“When I’m watching my best friend suffer like this, then yes, I don’t see any point in beating around the bush.” Henry cut off his words as he approached downtown traffic, but when he slowed to a stop at a light, he glanced briefly in Dean’s direction. “I know about your ‘arrangement’ — I also know that you both wish there weren’t a third party playing the part of puppet-master. What I don’t understand, is why you two aren’t just getting over yourselves and getting together already.”

“It’s… complicated.”

“But why? Why does it have to be complicated?”

“Because!” Dean felt like a child whose parents kept asking him to use his words and explain his feelings. “I tried, okay? I tried to make that happen. Despite the bodyguards watching my every move, and the wicked witch of Portland keeping half of my pay, I called Castiel to try and explain what I wanted.” Dean could feel the pain from the words, even weeks later. “I don’t know how you can sit there and claim that he loves me when his fucking solution was for me to join another agency. He loves the sex, not me.”

“Castiel, when it comes to medicine, and surgeries, and procedures, is a very intelligent man. One might even say a genius. When it comes to people? And relationships? Pardon my French, but he’s a fucking idiot.”

“If you say so,” Dean mumbled. The entire idea of Castiel actually wanting him seemed like a fairy tale destined to never come true.

“Dean, why are you so convinced that there’s no way he can have feelings for you? What is it going to take for me to persuade you? The man’s been a mess without you, I promise.”

The car slid up to a parking spot in front of his apartment building and Dean stared out the window at the brick exterior. “Nothing good like that happens in my life, Henry. I mean… I’m a fucking prostitute and this isn’t exactly Pretty Woman.”

“Just because this isn’t a movie doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy, Dean. You and your brother both.”

Wait, what? “How do you know about my brother?”

Henry stared at the steering wheel for a moment, before turning and motioning towards the building outside. “You got some coffee up there? I don’t think our conversation is anywhere near being over.”

“Looks like I’m gonna have to find some.”

They exited the car and rode the elevator up to Dean’s floor in silence. Dean began to busy himself in the kitchen as soon as they got in the door.

“Do you live alone?” Henry asked.

“No,” Dean said, trying to judge how much water they’d need for two cups, and then just deciding to make the entire pot. “And my roommate won’t be out for much longer, so keep talkin’.” He started scooping grounds into the coffee maker and turned on the machine. “What’s this you were saying about Sam?”

Henry leaned against the kitchen counter, since there weren’t any stools to sit on, and watched Dean make the coffee. “I met your brother a couple days ago. Apparently, he’s close friends with my young cousin, who’s just moved here. They ran into each other at the airport when your parents were trying to force Sam to move away from here.”

“‘Trying to’... What do you mean? Sam left.”

“Sam is still in Portland. When he ran into my cousin, he broke down and confided in him all that was going on. Gabriel, my cousin, assured him that if Sam wanted to stay, Gabe would help him out. So he decided to break away from your parents’ control.”

“He… he did?” Dean stood at the counter, facing away from Henry. He watched the coffee drip down into the carafe. Sam had never been able to stand up to their parents before. If this was true… maybe it was a sign that Sam was going to be okay.

“Are you aware of your employer's attempts at recruiting Sam to work for her?”

That got Dean’s attention. He turned on his spot to look at Henry directly. “What did you just say?”

“I said that Bree McKenna contacted Sam and offered him a job. Even got so far as to assign him a long term client…” he paused for a moment, before snorting a humorless laugh. “She sent him to Castiel.”

“Fuck.” His stomach felt as though he’d have to pick it up from off the floor. “But they didn’t... “

“No, nothing happened. To be honest, I don’t think Castiel would have wanted to see anyone that wasn’t you, but he agreed to the appointment in a fit of loneliness.”

“I should never have let Sam stay in Portland — Bree’s been having me followed. That must be how she got to Sam.” Dean laughed bitterly. “And I thought I couldn’t fuck the poor kid’s life up any more than I already had.”

“He’s not working for her, Dean. I don’t think he ever really did.”

“But she’s got her claws in him.” Dean shook his head and glanced around his apartment nervously. “It’s like once she knows you exist, you’re screwed for life.” He scratched at the back of his neck, before turning and focusing on pouring the coffee. “That’s another thing. How could I ever actually be with Cas? Bree would never allow it.”

Henry accepted the mug Dean passed him. “Do you owe her any money?”

“No,” Dean shook his head. He was about to say more, when the sound of the door opening garnered his attention. He looked up and watched over Henry’s shoulder as Charlie entered the apartment while humming an old Distillers’ tune. When she looked up and noticed another person in the apartment, she immediately frowned. Dean forced a smile and motioned to the older man leaning against their bar. “Charlie, this is Henry. He’s a friend of Castiel’s. Henry… this is my roommate, Charlie.”

“Cas’ friend?” She looked between the two of them before settling on Dean. “Does that mean you’re finally getting your head out of your ass?”

Henry turned his attention to Charlie and nodded his head in a gesture of respect. “Pleasure. And I’m glad to see I’m not the only one of the opinion that Castiel and Dean need to sort this out.”

“Right? That’s what I’ve been trying to tell this idiot for weeks!” She slipped her bag off her shoulder and laid it on a chair near the door. “You would know what’s going on with Cas more than I do, but I’d guess he’s been about as miserable as this guy over here.” She pointed her thumb at Dean.

A grin tugged at Henry’s lips. “Like you wouldn’t believe. He’s constantly moping and barely focuses on anything other than work.”

She kicked her boots off and moved fully into the kitchen. “Does he do this thing where he forgets to eat, and then gets mad at you when you remind him that he needs more sustenance than two pieces of toast and four Tic Tacs over a period of twelve hours?”

“It’s more like three cups of coffee and two scrambled eggs,” Henry said with a laugh. He looked up to Dean and motioned to Charlie. “I like your roommate. Her and I are going to lock you two in a room until you sort this mess out.”

“Like ‘The Parent Trap,’ except gay and kinky. I can get behind that.”

---

“I’m pretty sure we aren’t supposed to be up here.”

“I’m pretty sure that you’re a weenie and you’d better get that hot ass through the door before I do inappropriate things to it.”

Sam rolled his eyes as he stepped through the shorter-than-average door and out onto the roof of Castiel’s condo building. As soon as he had moved beyond the HVAC units and could actually see the city, he gasped. “Holy shit.”

“Now, do I come up with really good ideas, or do I come up with really good ideas?”

“I gotta admit, this was a pretty brilliant idea.” He helped Gabe lay out the blanket he had brought before settling down on it and holding out his hand for the package of Oreo cookies and the thermos of milk. “Come on, don’t be stingy.”

“Hmm, I don’t know… what’s in it for me?”

Sam scrunched up his nose as he contemplated this. “Hmm. One kiss per cookie?”

“That sounds reasonable. You know it’s a ten cookie minimum, right?”

“Do I get bonus points for eating the entire package?”

“Well, no. I want some cookies too.” Gabriel sat down beside Sam, shuffling close enough so their knees were touching.

After pouring some of the milk from the thermos into its lid, Sam carefully held it between them and motioned for Gabe to open the cookies. “Do I kiss you before or after the cookie is delivered?”

Gabriel shrugged. “Buyer’s choice.”

Reaching over, he pulled out a cookie and bit into half of it without bothering with the milk. Once he had swallowed the bits, he leaned forward to kiss Gabriel. Instead of keeping the kiss chaste, though, he deepened it immediately — letting Gabe taste the chocolate on his tongue. “Is that sweet enough for you?”

Gabriel stared at Sam, his expression both dazed and awestruck. “You have no idea.”

---

On the concrete roof of Castiel’s building sat an empty package of Oreo cookies and a tipped over thermos that used to hold milk. Sam laid stretched out on the blanket with his head in Gabriel’s lap and stared up at the stars above. “Can we both agree,” he whispered, “that this whole ‘taking it slow’ business is a pain in the ass?”

Gabriel laughed as he continued to brush his fingers through Sam’s hair. “Are you thinking you’d rather have something else in your ass?”

Sam could hear the hesitation behind the joke. He frowned, feeling a tug on his heart. He was beginning to think that the hesitation meant a lack of desire. Despite Gabriel’s initial warning that Sam might wake up with morning wood poking at him — it had never happened. In fact, most mornings Gabe got up, showered, and dressed while Sam was still asleep. “Would that be so bad?”

“Sam…”

“It’s just, what are we doing? Don’t you want me?”

“Why does everything have to center around a sexual relationship?”

Sam opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He didn’t have an answer for that. “I… I don’t know,” he finally answered. “Isn’t that just how it works?”

Gabriel sighed and pushed Sam’s head until Sam finally sat up. Once they were sitting staring at each other, Gabriel reached over and grasped Sam’s hand into his own. “Do you think that’s all that is needed for to people to love each other? That they be sexually compatible?”

Sam frowned, and focused on Gabriel’s hand. “Well, when you say it like that… I guess I never really thought about it. With Brady, I slept with him before I knew him well at all. But I knew Dean pretty well.” He shrugged. “So I don’t know.”

“Sam,” Gabe pulled Sam’s fingers up to his lips and kissed his knuckles. “Did you love Brady?”

He closed his eyes at the feel of Gabriel’s lips, wanting to sink into the sensation. “I feel like I was supposed to.”

“No,” Gabriel shook his head. “That isn’t how love works. It’s not about obligation. It’s about did you or did you not.”

“Then… Shit. I guess I didn’t.”

“Love and sex aren’t an exclusive pair. If they were — asexuals would never have romantic relationships. Love is about finding someone that you are compatible with and that you want to spend all of your free time with.” Another gentle kiss. “Sex is just another way of showing that love.”

“Is that… is that what it is with you? When you have sex?”

With a frown, Gabriel dropped Sam’s hands and started absently putting the mug back on the thermos. “I don’t have an answer for that, Sammy. I haven’t ever…”

“You’re… a virgin?”

“Yeah. I am.”

“You must think I’m some kind of slut.”

“Are you serious?” Gabriel shook his head and closed the space between them again, snuggling against Sam’s side. “Why would I ever think something so negative about you? Did you not just hear my whole grand speech on love, Sam?”

“Do you think that’s what… do you think we could have that? I mean, I’m pretty fucked up.”

“And I’m not?” He laughed. “Sam, I’m not saying I have past experiences even close to the trauma that you went through, but I am no angel. I’ve been through — and caused — my share of shit.”

Sam snorted a small laugh. “I guess we all have.” He turned his head to where Gabriel was fitted snug against his shoulder and tilted Gabe’s face upward with a finger under his chin. The kiss was tender, and soft, and patient.

When they broke apart, Gabe stayed close to Sam so that their breaths were still mixing. “We are on no one’s schedule but our own. So, please don’t read into my desire to take things slow and assume that I don’t want you like crazy.”

Chapter Text


”Saving a worthy relationship is easier than trying to start a new one.” - Dennis E. Adonis

---

Dean wasn’t sure how it happened. One moment he was in his apartment having a perfectly good conversation with Henry — the next he was getting shoved into a car by his best friend and Henry Wesson, and transported back to Castiel’s apartment. Every time he tried to speak, Charlie closed her fingers against her thumb and said, “Hush.”

When they got to the condominium, they dragged him to the elevator and on to Castiel’s floor. Charlie stood off to the side of the door with Dean, while Henry knocked. She kept one hand on his elbow — probably to make sure he didn’t bolt out of there.

“I don’t know what you think this is going to accomplish,” Dean grumbled, staring at the floor with his hands shoved in his pockets.

“Dean Michael Winchester!”

“What?” He winced. He knew Charlie well enough by now to be able to sense a scolding when it was coming on. Especially when she used his middle name.

“Dean. Do you trust me?” The soft tone of her voice caught him off guard.

“‘Course I do.”

“Then man the fuck up and do what you’re told, Winchester!”

Dean didn’t have time to respond before Castiel opened the door. Henry politely asked Castiel if he was alone… and quickly shoved him back into his home when the answer was affirmative.

Cas barely even had time to realize Dean was there, too, before they were both shoved into the master bedroom. Charlie and Henry stood in the doorway with their arms crossed over their chests. It was Henry that spoke up.

“You realise that you two aren’t leaving this room until you figure this out.”

“What are you—” Dean made a step towards the door before it slammed shut in his face. He heard the lock click closed from the other side.

“Until you figure this shit out, Dean!” Charlie’s voice echoed from the other side of the door.

“This isn’t funny, Charlie!” The doorknob rattled uselessly in his hand.

“Work it out, Dean,” she sing-songed. “And yes it is!” Her voice grew faint as she moved down the hallway, Henry’s footsteps echoing behind hers, and he knew it was useless to try and argue any more. He turned around, letting his back sink against the door. Castiel stood in the middle of the bedroom, looking just about as stricken as Dean. “Uh… hey. Cas.”

“Hello, Dean.”

Dean waited a moment, eyes looking everywhere but at Castiel or the bed where he had fucked Cas. He shoved away from the door and headed for the bathroom. “Think I’m gonna just… hide in here until they come to their senses.”

“If you think that’s for the best.” Castiel sat on the edge of the bed that Dean was definitely not looking at.

He got halfway to the bathroom before he stopped and turned back to Castiel. “You know, this would go a lot faster if you would just tell that friend of yours the truth.”

“The truth?”

Yeah. You know… how you only want this to be a business relationship.”

“Dean…” Castiel looked shocked.

Castiel wasn’t supposed to look shocked.

“Are you saying…” Castiel looked from his hands back up to Dean. “Are you saying you’d be open to it being otherwise?”

Dean rolled his eyes and threw his hands into the air. “Really, Cas? Really? I fucking risked my life to see you. Even though Bree McKenna made it explicitly clear that I wasn’t to go anywhere near you.” He stepped closer, pointing at Cas. “Do you really think I would have done that if I didn’t want you?”

“Dean, look at it from my point of view.” Castiel reached his arm out like he wanted to touch Dean before quickly drawing it back. “I’ve only ever known this relationship for what it was — a mutually beneficial working relationship. God knows I wanted you outside of it… but who was I to assume that you would want to give up the money just because you want to be with me?”

“Well, I’m telling you now, okay? Maybe it makes me desperate, or unprofessional, or whatever.” He ran a hand through his hair. “But I don’t fuckin’ care anymore. I miss you, and everything sucks without you. I don’t care about the stupid money.”

Castiel was off the bed in a flash, grabbing onto Dean and forcing him back against the wall behind him. Castiel’s eyes went dark as he raised his thumb up to Dean’s bottom lip. “God, you have no idea how much those words mean to me. I can’t function without you here, Dean.”

“I’m here now,” he said, before surging forward and capturing Castiel’s mouth underneath his own. In that moment he didn’t care if he was being too aggressive, too forward. If he was throwing off their ‘dynamic’ or what-the-fuck-ever it was. All he wanted — all he needed — was Cas.

The kiss was messy, and sloppy, and there was too much teeth clacking and knocking together for it to be even that enjoyable. But it was everything that Dean needed.

---

“Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.”

Henry looked over towards Charlie and smiled gently. “We both know that this is the best thing for them. They need to face their issues.”

She picked mindlessly at a thread of lace on her stockings. “I just expected to hear more wall banging. Whether that be from sex or fighting.”

“They’ll do what they need to. I think they love each other too much to argue for long, though.” He stood and held out a hand to her. “How about we go get some frozen yogurt? My treat.”

Charlie furrowed her brows and frowned at the closed door. “You really think they’ll be okay?”

“I really think they’ll be okay.”

They both jumped then, because that was the moment a very dull but very loud thump resonated from the wall of the room where they’d left their friends.

“Oooookay,” Charlie said to Henry, her eyes wide, “and they’re fucking.” She took Henry’s outstretched hand and began to lead him to the front door.

---

“I have never seen a six-foot-plus guy go down a waterslide.” Gabriel shook his head, floating in the water and watching Sam swim towards him. “I swear that splash hit the ceiling!”

Sam rolled his eyes, pushing his wet hair out of his face as he swam up against Gabe and wrapped an arm around the smaller man’s waist. “I knew you’d be a size queen.”

Gabe smiled and planted a kiss on Sam’s cheek. “So what if I am? Pretty sure that’s the right kink for my present company.”

Sam bit back a groan at Gabe’s words, flashing back to that morning when he woke up with his hard dick pressed against Gabriel’s ass. He had panicked, scrambling out of bed as quickly as possible so that Gabe didn’t wake up to that. When he’d made it into the bathroom in a rush, he had spent the next ten minutes masturbating to the idea of Gabriel on his knees…

He shook his head and pulled away. Even the cold public pool water wasn’t helping to diminish his arousal. “I think I’m going to swim in the wave pool a bit.”

Gabriel grinned. The little shit knew exactly what he was doing to Sam’s composure. But he let Sam go all the same.

An hour later when they were both worn out and tired of dealing with the young kids in the pool, they climbed out and walked towards the changing rooms. Before they could get to the men’s room, though, Gabriel was gripping Sam’s arm and pulling him towards a separate hallway with ‘family’ changing rooms — large bathrooms with their own shower and locking door.

Privacy.

Once they were locked in the room with their bags of dry clothes and towels, Sam frowned and shifted uncomfortably on his feet. “I don’t know that sharing a changing room is a good idea, Gabe.”

“What are you talking about?” Gabriel said, looking up at his boyfriend. “I think this might be just about the best idea I’ve ever had.” He stepped closer, placing his hands on Sam’s hips before letting his fingers slide down, hooking into the waistband of Sam’s swim trunks. “I think we’d best get you out of these wet clothes,” he said softly, his eyes raking over Sam’s body.

A shudder ran down Sam’s spine, and his cock stiffened beneath the wet trunks. “Shit, Gabe.” He shook his head. “I thought we were waiting? I thought we didn’t need sex to prove anything?”

“We don’t,” Gabriel replied, smoothing one hand over Sam’s back. “I know you know how I feel about you… and it doesn’t mean I don’t want you desperately.”

“Good,” Sam replied, bringing his face down to Gabriel’s and mouthing at his earlobe. “Because the feeling’s really fucking mutual.”

“I can tell.” His eyes roamed down Sam’s body, landing on the hard outline in his swim trunks. He pulled his bottom lip between his teeth and worried at it. “I just want to touch you, Sam. But if you tell me to stop… I will.”

Sam nodded his consent before his brain was able to make his mouth catch up. “Y-yeah, please. I want that.”

Gabriel’s hands moved again, thumbs tucked under the waistband of Sam’s wet shorts as he moved his hands to the front and slowly began peeling them down. The pace was torture and it seemed like forever before finally Sam’s cock was slipping free of the material.

“Oh God, Sam,” Gabe moaned, wrapping his right hand around the base of Sam’s cock. “For this, I will happily be a size queen.”

The rest of Sam’s skin was shivering from being wet in the chill air, but Gabe’s hand felt hot on his dick. He canted his hips forward into his boyfriend’s grasp. “F-fuck, Gabe.”

“Shh,” Gabriel soothed, planting a gentle kiss on Sam’s collarbone. “I got you, kiddo.”

“I, I want to touch you, too,” Sam whispered, his breath hitching as Gabriel jerked him slowly.

Please.

Gabriel didn’t have to beg. Sam moved his hand down, undoing the tie on Gabriel’s bathing suit and pushing the trunks down his legs. His cock was just as hard as Sam’s, and Sam groaned as he wrapped his hand around it and stroked. At the same time, his lips latched onto Gabriel’s neck.

He relished the feeling of the smooth skin of Gabriel’s cock under his hand just as much as he did being touched. But it was nothing compared to when Gabriel lifted his hand from Sam’s erection — eliciting a small whine of protest — to take them both in his hand.

Shit, it felt better than he ever expected. His hips shifted, forcing his cock closer to Gabriel’s. Sam moved his lips up the other man’s and nibbled gently at his earlobe. “I can’t wait for you to fuck me, Gabe.”

“Fuck, Sam,” Gabe’s breath ghosted hot and wet against Sam’s skin as his hips stuttered and he almost lost his grip on their cocks. “You keep talking like that and you might just kill me.”

Later, Sam would probably second-guess himself for coming so easily and quickly, but with Gabriel’s hand on his hot skin, and voice tickling his ears, he couldn’t do much more than pull Gabe forward and moan as his cock erupted over Gabe’s hand. “Oh fuck.”

Gabriel was only a half-dozen furious tugs behind him before he was adding to the mess between them and whimpered swear words in the small, humid changing room. As his body came down from the high, Gabe leaned heavily against Sam. “When we go all the way, Sammy, it’s going to be perfect.

Chapter Text


”A true love story has no endings.” - M.F. Moonzajer

---

It was almost three in the morning when Sam snuck out of Castiel’s guest bedroom — now his and Gabriel’s bedroom — to find a snack in the kitchen. It was turning into a rare happenstance, but he still had nightmares every once and a while, and that night was one such occasion. He hoped some graham crackers and milk would help his stomach settle back down so he could go back to sleep.

Sam was so focused on pouring himself a glass of milk that he didn’t notice another body entering the kitchen behind him.

“I used to do that for you, when you couldn’t sleep. Do you remember?”

Sam shivered, staring down at the milk. His nightmare had to be playing tricks on his mind. There was no way Dean was there. He and Cas were still not a thing, right? He waited a moment, before turning to see that his brother was indeed standing at the edge of the kitchen. He remembered back to waking up as a young boy and going across the hall to Dean’s room. He would wake his brother up and beg him for some crackers and milk.

“I remember.”

“It used to be so easy,” Dean said, and it sounded like he was thinking aloud, that Sam’s presence was just a coincidence. “Making your nightmares go away, I mean. I’m sorry it got harder to make your nightmares go away, Sam.”

Sam looked at his brother in the half-light coming from the city beyond the large curtain-less windows in the main room of the condo. He’d heard that before, but this time something else hung unsaid in the space between them. He remained silent, letting Dean continue.

“But… I know now, what I’m starting to know now, is that I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop everything. I did what I could at the time, and we were kids, Sam, and that bastard took that away from us. And I did my goddamn best, and that’s all I’ve been trying to do ever since, and sometimes I fucked it up pretty bad, and sometimes I fucked it up even worse than that, but I’m still trying.”

Dean’s voice broke on his last word, his hands balled into fists, and Sam was at his side immediately. There was no hesitation as he pulled his brother in tight. “It’s okay, Dean. He can’t hurt us anymore. Alan’s dead, remember?” Sam pulled back, leaning his forehead against Dean’s. “For years we’ve been hunting this ghost. The ghost of the man that ruined us. But it’s time we both let go and move on, right?”

His brother snorted a humorless laugh. “Funny. I’m pretty sure my therapist keeps saying the same shit.”

“Therapist?”

Dean smacked Sam’s arm and pulled away, moving across the kitchen to pull down a cup of his own. “Don’t say shit, man.”

“Okay.” Sam leaned against the granite countertop. “Can I ask about Cas?”

Dean shrugged. “What do you want to know?”

“What happened? Are you two still doing this through Miss McKenna?”

“No fuckin’ way. I’m never going back there again — the money can fuck itself. Any other job is better. And Cas isn’t worried about her, so I’m trusting him on this one.” Dean ran his hands through his hair. “Cas and I… we’re going to figure us out on our own.”

“Well… good luck with that.” Sam couldn’t imagine basing a real relationship off of how Cas and Dean started out. But then again, apparently it was a legit enough lifestyle that they weren’t the first couple in history to go there. Sam slowly dipped a cookie in his glass of milk, trying not to think about the lingering inappropriate feelings that he had for his brother. Despite Gabriel saying that it was okay if it was ‘their’ normal… Sam knew that it would never be right. Never could have been right.

“I’m not going anywhere, Sam. Not again.”

“Of course not.” Sam frowned, glancing at Dean out of the corner of his eye. “But you’ll never be mine again, either.”

“Like that? No. But can you look me in the eye and say that would have been a good direction for our lives? You’re right, Sam. Everything that happened in the past was this big monster we were trying for years to get the best of. We thought the answer meant being apart, and then we thought it meant being together.” Dean stepped closer, laying a hand on Sam’s shoulder. “It’s okay to harbor those feelings. It’s not like I don’t feel the same way. But we have to accept where we are right now. Accept that the best thing for us to be is brothers.

Shit. Sam couldn’t argue with that. “I’d…” Sam swallowed, cleared his throat before continuing, “I’d really like that, Dean.”

“Good.” Dean squeezed Sam’s shoulder before stepping back. “Now… about this Gabriel character…”

“He’s a good guy, Dean. He… makes me happy. More than I thought anyone could.”

They carried their milk and graham crackers into the living room and spent the next two hours discussing Sam and Gabriel’s past, and the time Sam spent in the asylum. Sam was laying with his head on Dean’s thigh, staring up at the tall ceiling, when he found the courage to ask, “If they come back… will you help me? With mom and dad?”

“Of course I fuckin’ will. They’ve gotta learn that just because they’re our parents doesn’t mean they automatically know what’s best for us. We can handle them, Sammy. Together. I mean, we’ve made it this far. And if I’m workin’, and you’re workin’, and we both got a steady roof over our heads, there ain’t much they can do.”

Sam smiled. His brother was correct. They were stronger together, than apart. They had survived a lifetime of tragedy and were still young — but they had survived only because they stood side by side. “I’m glad you’re here, Dean. And I’m glad you were there too.”

Dean leaned down and pressed a dry kiss to the side of Sam’s head. “Me too, Sammy. Me too.”

---

Castiel’s hands shook a bit as he secured the handcuffs. He paused, making sure to ask once more, “Where is the secondary key?”

“Hanging inside the door of the bathroom cabinet,” came the steady reply.

Cas nodded, but it didn’t help ease the tension in his spine. He wasn’t sure how he was going to get into the ‘scene’ when he was so nervous about something going wrong. His cock hadn’t twitched once.

But this was Dean’s idea. After their reunion — and after Henry and Charlie had finally unlocked them from the bedroom — they had spent hours discussing important moments from each other’s past.

Including one from Castiel’s that refused to stop haunting him.

He had broken down and told Dean about the scene-gone-wrong, when Paul had gotten stuck in the cuffs without the spare key nearby. He had explained how that moment had caused him to try and ignore the BDSM lifestyle for a long time, just because he was worried about it happening again. It was the whole reason behind him making sure Dean knew his safe word and repeated it constantly.

Dean had listened intently before suggesting that they recreate the scene, and show Castiel’s brain that it wouldn’t go wrong every time.

Easier said than done.

“We can stop any time you need to, Cas,” Dean said reassuringly, “We don’t have to do this. But I trust you. Completely.”

That meant a lot more than he would ever admit. Castiel nodded and clicked the final handcuff shut, locking Dean’s hands in place. He was on his back, which a pillow positioned beneath his hips so that Cas would have access for the next part of Dean’s ‘idea.’

It had been more of a teasing statement on Dean’s part, but when Castiel had heard ’you could handcuff me to the bed and force me to have a prostate orgasm’ — he knew that was exactly what he was going to do. He started with a slow trail of kisses that lead down the gorgeous planes of Dean’s body.

The beauty of their new relationship was that they didn’t have a time limit. Castiel could pleasure Dean for as long as the younger man could stand it.

An hour full of slow touches and fingernails raked over sensitive skin later later, Dean was almost as much of a quivering mess as Castiel wanted him to be.

“You look so pretty spread out for me like this, Dean,” Castiel said, working his second finger in and out of Dean’s lube-sloppy hole. “I should get a pair of those panties I bought for you. We could start all over again with you dressed up for me.”

The handcuffs rattled against the bedframe as Dean shifted and tried to push himself closer to Castiel. “Please, sir,” he begged. “Please fuck me. I need your cock so bad.”

Desire and lust mixed with something warm in Castiel’s chest. Dean wanted him, that much was clear, from his flushed skin and the way his throbbing cock was leaking precome onto his stomach. But there was also something glinting and mischievous in Dean’s eyes, something that Castiel never could tame nor would he ever want to — Dean was enjoying this scene. Immensely.

“You’ll get it,” he whispered, tweaking his fingers just right and watching Dean’s hips jump off the bed. “After you come for me.”

The moan that elicited from Dean had Castiel thinking at first that Dean was coming right then and there, but he hung on.

“I — I c-can’t,” Dean panted, a tear squeezing out of the corner of one closed eye. “I need—”

“Shh,” Castiel smoothed his hand over Dean’s chest and stomach, his other still buried inside Dean’s ass. “I know what you need. Do you trust me?”

Dean’s nod was frantic.

Castiel slipped a third finger inside his lover, who looked like he was about to explode from pure need. Once the third finger brushed along Dean’s prostate, Castiel leaned forward to lick a small trail of skin just to the left of Dean’s needy cock. The illusion worked, and Dean cried out and thrashed against the bed as he came all over his bare stomach.

Knowing that Dean would be extra sensitive at that moment, Castiel bit back a wicked smirk and wrapped his lips around Dean’s cock once he was done coming. Dean cursed and the handcuffs rattled as he fought to pull Castiel’s head away even though he couldn’t. “Stop. Please. Oh fuck it hurts but it feels so good. Fuck.

Castiel grinned around Dean’s spent cock before humming against it once and slowly releasing it from his mouth. “I need you so badly Dean, you have no idea.” He crawled up to the head of the bed, reaching for the key to release Dean from the handcuffs.

“No,” Dean said, pulling away from Castiel’s hands ever so slightly. “Leave them on while you fuck me. Please.

He growled at the sound of those words, and quickly reached for the spot on the bed where he had laid out a condom beside the bottle of lube. Castiel covered his cock with the latex and a generous amount of lubricant, before he gripped Dean’s legs and positioned his ankles on his shoulders. It lined his cock up perfectly and he forced his own eyes to stay open and watch the look of pure joy rush over Dean’s face with the first deep thrust.

There was so much he wanted to say to Dean in that moment — You look so hot like this. Thank you for being so good for me. Thank you for coming back to me. I love you — but Dean knew. Castiel made sure that Dean knew all of that every single day.

Castiel knew at that particular moment that he wouldn’t last very long. He ducked his head in shame, wishing he had the stamina to fuck Dean all night. It was too late to change fate, though, so he continued moving — giving it everything he had until he watched happily as Dean’s cock began to twitch again.

He wrapped his hand around Dean’s cock and met those life-changing green eyes. “Will you come again for me, Dean?”

Dean groaned. “Jesus, Cas, you’re gonna kill me.”

“Is that a no?”

The cuffs around Dean’s wrists rattled as he strained against them to reach Cas’ lips. “It most certainly is not.”

---

It was weird to go from ‘out of this world, tied to a bed’ sex… to watching the eleven o’clock evening news. Dean was finding, though, that one of his favorite parts about his newly developed relationship with Castiel, was the mundane time spent together. The simple tasks that they did with each other that made it seem like a real, legitimate, relationship.

Like snuggling in bed and watching TV.

He was just about to doze off, when he heard the reporter for KATU discussing a ‘late breaking’ story.

“... suspect, thirty-six year-old Breanna McKenna, has allegedly been arrested on multiple counts of extortion, coercion, human trafficking, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Local police raided the Hollywood District building early Tuesday…”

Dean sat straight up in bed, suddenly awake. “Holy fucking shit.”

Castiel laid a hand on Dean’s back and rubbed gently. “I told you that I took care of her, Dean.”

His gaze shot a look back and forth between the man beside him and the television screen. Her face was covered by an expensive handbag, but it was unmistakeable: Bree McKenna had been hauled away by the cops.

“How did you—”

Castiel shrugged, sat up, turned his pillow over and lay back down. “I may or may not have certain… connections.”

“Damn.” He frowned, laying back down and resting his head on Cas’ shoulder. “What if she sends her henchmen after you? She must have people.”

“Nothing can be tied back to me.” He leaned in and planted a kiss on the top of Dean’s head. “Or you. I made sure of it. We’re free.”

Needing to be closer and needing to touch, Dean brushed his hand slowly up and down Castiel’s stomach, watching his fingers brush over dark hairs in the light of the TV. “If I was ever going to fall in love with someone, it would be you.”

“If?”

He shrugged a shoulder, not daring to look up at Castiel. “I’ve had a fucked up life. I’m not even sure I know what love is.”

“I think… what most people think love is is overrated. Or rather, how they define it is. You, Dean Winchester, are terribly important to me, and I suspect you may feel somewhat the same. I think that counts, don’t you?”

That made him smile, and he tilted his head back to catch Castiel’s gaze. “I like that. And I agree.”

---

It was a celebration of sorts. And… mostly Charlie’s idea. After catching Dean in their apartment one Saturday afternoon — two weeks after he and Cas officially became something — Charlie suggested everyone go out to eat and get to know each other.

So that’s how they ended up at a downtown Italian restaurant crowded around a table for six, laughing and joking like people who hadn’t all been through some hell or another. Laughing and joking like people who were getting better.

“Where do you even put all that food?” Sam gaped at Gabriel as his boyfriend started in on his third full plate of pasta.

“I take ‘all you can eat’ very seriously,” he replied, around another forkfull.

Dean watched the exchange with a soft smile, loving the way that his brother and Gabriel acted like two cheesy nerds in love. It was what Sam deserved. He felt an arm rest against the back of his chair, and knew that Castiel was leaned closer than necessary. Dean didn’t mind.

His gaze drifted to the other end of the table, where Charlie and Henry were chatting politely. Dean fought a cringe — as the only two non-coupled people present, they had sort of gotten stuck together. He just hoped it wasn’t as awkward as the two of them looked.

As soon as his gaze turned away from his best friend, Dean heard a loud snort from that side of the table. He looked up to see Charlie holding a napkin to her face as Henry grabbed the glass of water from her hand and set it back down. She was laughing so hard she had apparently shot water out of her nose.

What in the world were they talking about?

“There’s no way you’ve seen that,” Henry said around his own laugh. “That is the most foreign and obscure movie to ever be created!”

The whole table seemed to be focused on Charlie — making sure that she was okay as she tried to calm down. “That was the best usage of that reference… I just… I barely know you but I’m so proud.”

“What is going on?” Dean whispered to Castiel, watching as Charlie and Henry continued to quote a movie that he had never even heard of.

Castiel snorted, leaning closer to provide an answer. “This is Henry flirting. It’s an art.”

Dean nearly choked on his wine. He swallowed down a larger mouthful instead, and turned to look Cas in the eye. “Does he not realise he’s sorta really barking up the wrong tree?” Dean shook his head. “Poor guy… but if he’s really that dense…”

Castiel opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by Henry asking a question loud enough for the whole table to hear.

“Charlie, sweetheart… would you like to have dinner with me sometime?”

Dean could no longer hold back his laughter, as he leaned forward and slapped the table top lightly. “Oh my God. That’s precious.” Dean shook his head. “Let him down easy, Charlie.”

Charlie looked around the table, seemingly aware that each of their friends were listening quite intently, even if they were mostly pretending not to. She looked back at Henry, who certainly seemed quite clueless to the fact that they were suddenly everyone’s focus. The look on Charlie’s face bordered on a smile, but was wholly quite unreadable.

The smile slipped from Dean’s face.

“You know what, Henry?” Charlie said, smiling openly now as she placed a black-nailed and tattooed hand on top of Henry’s. “I would love to.”

Dean was going to pass out. “Are pigs flying?” he mumbled.

“I’m… not… sure,” was all Castiel could manage. He looked just as confused as Dean.

“I think they’re cute,” Sam interjected from his spot on the other side of Dean. “And I don’t think anyone sitting at this table can give an argument against unusual relationships without being a hypocrite.”

That was true. His little brother definitely had a point.

But still… Charlie and Henry? Charlie, the punk-rock ‘eat ‘em and leave ‘em’ queen, with Henry — everyone’s favorite 30-year-old grandpa?

Dean gave it one date, tops.

“Oh shit,” Cas growled under his breath. Raising an eyebrow, Dean turned to Cas and tried to figure out why his lover-turned-something was looking worriedly across the restaurant. Castiel cowered a bit. “My ex-boyfriend just walked in.”

He said it loud enough for the whole table to hear and turn to look.

But it was two very distinct voices on his left that simultaneously asked, “You know Paul?”

And then looked back at each other in shock.

--- The End ---