IT TAKES TWO.
The bar was full of people, knocking and jostling each other.
Sam sat in a corner booth watching his brother at the pool table in the back. They’d been sent by Bobby to track down a Siren who was preying on the locals, and so far they’d drawn a blank on the creature’s cover identity.
The whole Siren issue didn’t sit well with him – he could remember all too clearly what had happened the last time they’d run into one of these creatures; and he was desperate to avoid a repeat – he and Dean were finally getting back on track, and trusting each other – if either of them slipped up and got poisoned and turned on the other again, that fragile bond could shatter beyond repair.
A wave of fresh air rolled through the bar as the door opened, and a group of giggling young women entered. Sam studied each of them as he’d done all the women who’d come into the place – they knew from looking at the files of the previous victims that the Siren hunted here – went after lonely single men and drained the life from them, now they just needed to find and gank the bitch.
“Sammy,” Dean strode over and plopped a fresh beer in front of him, “Anything look promising?”
“Not yet,” he sighed and took a long drag of the cold liquid, “Maybe it’s too early in the evening – I don’t know.”
“Maybe,” Dean shrugged, “I’ve got another game lined up.”
The elder Winchester strode back to the pool table and grinned at his opponent. There was something about the man that seemed a little familiar, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was.
“You ready to go again?” the man returned his smile and tugged his navy blue tie loose, “I’m pretty sure I can beat you this time.”
“We’ll see,” Dean stepped back and allowed the man to break, his eyes trailing down to the firm suit clad ass presented to him as his opponent bent over to take the shot. It wasn’t often that a man caught his eye, but when one did – he operated on a strict look but don’t touch policy if Sam was around, and if he wasn’t? Well, then all bets were off.
The game continued for a good half an hour and the hunter found himself smiling and laughing with the man, relaxed in a way he hadn’t been in a good long while. Popping his beer down on the side, he examined the table for his next shot.
Sam was getting bored, and as the night dragged on – he wasn’t sure their target was even going to show. Looking across at his brother, he found himself frowning – Dean was relaxed and happy, but not paying any attention to anything other than the game and the man he was playing with. It struck him as odd that if not for the slightly longer hair and broader shoulders, the man could almost have been a clone of Castiel.
When he saw the guy take Dean’s drink and sip from it before returning it surreptitiously to its spot on the side, the situation suddenly became clear. The last time they’d run into a Siren, it had appeared to Dean as a man – and it administered its poison through saliva. He’d forgotten that, they both had – and had only been looking at the women in the bar.
Getting up from his seat, he murmured a quick prayer, grabbed his coat and strode across to the tables, “Dean – a word?” he took the beer bottle and tried to step out of the way.
“What is it Sammy? I’m busy?” Dean snatched his drink back and took a long swig, “Scotty and I are playing double or nothin’.”
“Dean – it’s important,” Sam’s blood ran cold; “We need to talk now.”
“Aww Sammy,” Scotty stepped up behind Dean and wrapped a possessive arm about his brother’s waist, “Surely it can wait.”
“No, it can’t,” he wasn’t sure what to do – he was positive that this was the creature, and that its venom was now coursing through Dean’s veins, but they were in the middle of a crowded bar – he couldn’t kill it here, but if he let it go, it’d change forms and likely move on to kill more innocent people in another town.
His dilemma was solved when a familiar shock of wild black hair appeared behind the creature’s shoulder, and then both it and Scotty vanished.
Grabbing Dean by the arm, he led his brother out of the bar and out to the car – glad that the pool table had been towards the back of the room, and the drunken patrons hadn’t seen the Siren literally disappear.
Dean felt his blood running hot as he was man handled into his own car, and bitter nasty thoughts flooded his mind – who the hell did Sam think he was, barging in like that and ruining what had been a perfectly good evening, he opened his mouth to say something – and scowled angrily as Sam deftly twisted the knob of the radio on and up to full volume.
Sam drove as fast as he dared , all he needed to do was get back to the motel – he could lock Dean in the room and let the poison work its way out of his system. Last time it had only taken a few hours, and he was hoping it would be the same now. He knew that his brother was itching to let loose with a vicious diatribe, and the only way he knew he’d be able to keep himself from responding was if he couldn’t see Dean’s face as he clawed open old wounds.
They made it back to the motel without incident, and Sam all but pushed his brother into the room, locking the door behind him. Slumping down against the frame, he stared up at the sky and prayed to Castiel – letting him know that Dean was safely out of the way.
Dean stared at the back of the door, his face growing darker as he tried the handle and found it locked. Stomping into the small room, he flopped down on the ratty couch and curled his hands into fists.
It was always the way, whenever he was having fun, whenever he was doing something for himself – someone, usually Sam, ruined it for him. It seemed like he couldn’t have anything for himself.
He’d been enjoying the flirtatious attentions of Scotty; the man had a cool dry wit and had made Dean feel desirable. In the back of his mind, tucked away from the venom, his subconscious was beginning to put together the pieces, and slowly admitting that Scotty, whilst attractive and fun, had been all the more appealing because of his similarities to a certain Angel of the Lord.
That thought filtered through, and he clenched his fists harder – he didn’t want to think of Castiel. The Angel only ever appeared when he wanted something, and treated Dean like a working dog – issuing commands and trying to exert control over him.
Muttering under his breath about Angels and brothers and just shit in general, he tried the door again – shouting and screaming obscenities when it refused to budge and left him over-heated with the lust coursing through his veins and the anger it highlighted along the way.
The next morning, Dean awoke with a bitter taste in the back of his mouth, and a headache that blurred his vision. With a low groan, he levered himself up from where he’d fallen asleep against the door, and shuffled across to the kitchenette to make some coffee.
By the time the rich smell was invading the room, he was beginning to feel more human and he considered what had happened the night before, cursing himself soundly when he realised that once again he’d been taken in by a monster.
Slipping his phone out of his pocket, he shot off a text to Sam – informing him that he was awake, and alright. Pouring two cups of coffee, he sat back and waited for the Moose to arrive.
“Dean?” Sam opened the door and peered into the room, he was cautiously optimistic that the venom had cleared his brother’s system and it would be safe to return.
Spotting his brother on the sofa, he padded in, graciously accepting the proffered mug, and sat down, “How… how are you feeling?”
“Like I got whammied again,” Dean scowled into his drink, “What the fuck Sammy, I mean seriously – this thing goes for women over and over, then we get here and it fucking goes for me? What the hell!”
Shrugging, Sam took a sip of his drink and tried to consider his words carefully, “I don’t know man – half the monsters out there know who we are, or at least who hunters are – maybe it was fucking with you.”
“Yeah maybe,” Dean grunted, in his mind though he could see ‘Scotty’. The first Siren had appeared to him as a friend, wanting to be a better little brother – this one, this one had taken on the traits of Castiel and he wasn’t sure what to make of that – or if he even wanted to consider what that meant.
Deep down he knew that he and Cas were close, but he’d always tried to see his friend as more like a brother – but shit like this kept cropping up and it made him uncomfortable.
He had no problem with one night stands with men – but Cas, he wasn’t some random hook-up; he couldn’t be touched without there being serious consequences, ones that would change everything.
If he wanted to be honest (which he really, really didn’t), he knew that the Angel liked him – a lot, and virginity nerves aside, probably would be quite receptive to being allowed closer. But the crux of the matter was Dean himself, everything he touched turned to shit – everything he loved was eventually ruined, and doing that to Cas? That was unacceptable.
As if summoned by his thoughts, the sound of wing beats echoed across the room, and a bedraggled Castiel appeared in front of them.
“Hey Cas,” Sam greeted their friend, “How’d it go?”
“The Siren is disposed of,” Castiel looked at his two friends, “He attempted to poison me when we fought – he was most unrepentant when it came to his victims, and believed that he could appeal to my baser instincts.”
Dean rolled his eyes, but a shock of anxiety turned his blood cold – he wanted to ask what the Siren had offered him, what Scotty had tried to become for him – but he was too scared to hear the answer.
“Well I’m glad you’re alright,” Sam finished his drink and strode across to the kitchenette to drop his mug into the sink, “What’re your plans? We’ve not got anything lined up at the moment – so we’re probably going to head back to Bobby’s.”
“If I am not needed, I will continue my search for God,” Cas shifted and pulled his coat straight, “I found information that suggests he may have recently been in Spain, I will investigate the matter.”
Dean stood and grabbed his duffle bag from the bed, “Well good luck with that,” as he moved closer, he could feel an embarrassed flush filling his cheeks, he wasn’t sure why – only that the Angel smelled good –and he wanted to be closer.
“Dean?” Cas looked at the elder Winchester, his head tilted to one side, “You are still possessed of the creature’s venom.”
Sam froze and looked at the tense set of his brother’s shoulders, “Dean?”
“I’m fine,” he growled out, forcing himself to move away, “It’s nearly gone.”
“Let me rid you of it,” Castiel stepped closer and put his fingers out.
Dean tensed, his senses flooded with the scent and heat of the Angel standing so close to him. It took all his willpower not to grab his friend and kiss him.
The cool rush of mojo took the edge of the desire away, but it had been awakened in him – and was forcing him to realise, this thing he felt – it wasn’t part of any magic and wasn’t likely to go away anytime soon – for better or worse, he wanted Castiel. When the fingers dropped away, he forced himself to look into blue eyes and cocked a crooked grin, “Thanks Cas.”
Sam felt the tension rush out of his body as the Angel worked his mojo, and he began gathering up his belongings – ignoring the way the two were still standing close and just staring at each other … again.
It was pretty obvious, to him at least, that Dean was carrying some hard-core feelings for their friend – and was trying to repress them as far and fast as possible.
It saddened him to watch, Dean had been through so much shit – more than any sane person could be expected to deal with – and yet he wouldn’t take the happiness that was offered to him; didn’t believe himself worthy. He wished he could just tell his brother that it was alright, that he knew – and that he should just go for it, but with Dean being Dean – anything he said would just make things worse and cause his brother to push Castiel away.
Slipping out of the room, he opened up the Impala and stuffed his pack inside.
The trip to Bobby’s was thankfully uneventful, it seemed with the Apocalypse hanging over head, the small fry hunts had dried up – the monsters steering clear of the Demons and the extra vigilance they’d bought down on them from the hunters.
The entire time, Dean was struggling, the more he tried to lock his feelings away, the harder they pulled and he was being forced to admit that he wanted Castiel in a way he’d barely considered with anyone else.
He knew with his track record that it would be a terrible idea – but a tiny optimistic part of his brain kept speaking up, telling him it wasn’t like with Cassie or Lisa, Castiel knew exactly who he was and what he was capable of – he didn’t have to hide anything from the Angel. But that, frankly, terrified him all the more – if he fucked it up, or was rejected –he’d have nothing to hide behind, it would be entirely because of who he was.
The grizzled old hunter was pleased to see them both when they arrived, and after settling down with a few beers and a few episodes of Doctor Sexy, Dean found himself beginning to relax.
His feelings were a moot point he decided, there was no way Cas would want him – the dude had freaked out over Chastity, there was no way he’d want a relationship.
With this idea settled in his mind, he headed up the stairs to his room and turned in for the night.
The bar was empty, the stools turned upside down on the tables and the only sound could be heard from the clock on the back wall.
In the store room, Dean found himself pushed back against the shelves, his breath coming in short, hot pants as his lips were ravaged and his shirts pushed up his chest.
“Cas,” the single syllable escaped as a low moan in between wet kisses, “Cas.”
“Dean,” the Angel pushed his hips forwards, their crotches grinding together and sending sparks through his veins, “I want more Dean.”
“Yeah, more is good,” he reached forward with trembling fingers to unbuckle Castiel’s belt, the heat from their bodies almost scorching.
He managed to get the tough leather to relinquish its grip, and it was a quick flick of the wrist and pull to undo the button and flies of the plain suit trousers that stood between him and his prize.
“Dean,” Cas groaned against his ear, “Tell me what you want…”
He woke with a start, his boxers tented and his skin slick with sweat. Throwing a hand over his eyes, Dean cursed and sat up. The events of the last few days had been playing on his mind so much, that they now seemed to be infecting his dreams, “Fuck,” he dropped his other hand under the blankets and palmed the hard lump of his cock, “Cas...”
Worming his fingers under the fabric, he tugged a few times and bit back a cry as he came across his fingers. Feeling sticky and irritable, he wiped the worst of it off on the fabric and rolled out of bed – intending to go shower, and instead, coming face to face with a rather wide-eyed Castiel.
“C…Cas!” Dean stumbled back and goggled at the figure before him, shock stealing his words for a long moment.
“Dean,” the Angel turned his gaze away first, red to the tips of his ears, “Sam instructed that I wake you…”
“That means you knock and wait!” embarrassed anger filled Dean’s veins, “It doesn’t mean you sneak in here and get your rocks off perving on me!”
“I apologise Dean, I … did not intend to interrupt your … you.”
“Personal space Cas, it doesn’t just apply to standing too close – a locked door, a locked BEDROOM door, it’s… it’s sacred man!” standing back up, he scowled as the Angel refused to meet his eyes.
“Again, I apologise… I will tell Sam that you are awake,” the sound of wing-beats filled the room and Castiel vanished.
Swearing loudly again, Dean grabbed up some clean-ish looking clothes and, unlocking the door, headed across to the shower.
Things were awkward over breakfast, and Dean couldn’t help feeling relief as the Angel disappeared off, back to his (useless) search for God.
The events of the morning kept cropping up at different moments during the day, each replay giving him more and more detail that he’d missed the first time round – like the way Castiel’s hair had been wilder than normal, that he bit his lip when he was flustered, and that the Angel had been hard in his slacks as he’d watched him.
The last observation saw him drop a spanner on his foot and curse loudly and fluidly, giving Bobby reason to stick his head out the window and yell at him.
Dismissing the older man with a wave of his hand, he abandoned the tools and stomped across to the shed and the warming beers he’d stashed on the work table.
He wasn’t entirely sure if his brain was playing tricks on him (it wouldn’t be the first time), or if the Angel had actually reacted to seeing him. He was also beginning to wonder just how long Cas had been standing there, and if he’d … if he’d heard him call out.
“Fuck,” the word didn’t cover it alone, but he wasn’t sure what would.
If Castiel had seen and heard everything, there was a good chance that he’d bring it up later and want to talk about it – something he desperately wanted to avoid. His feelings for Castiel weren’t up for discussion, not even with the Angel himself.
Castiel was sat atop a mountain, staring down at the pristine white world that surrounded it – but he saw none of the beauty; his mind was consumed with Dean, and what had happened between them that morning. He loved his charge, he had no hesitations in his feelings – he’d died for him, he’d fallen for him – he’d do anything for him.
And this was the problem.
It seemed like the hunter didn’t want Castiel’s love, didn’t want to admit that the profound bond between them had, somewhere along the line, expanded from the spiritual and tied them together on a much more human, physical level. If he wanted to make Dean happy for the moment, then the logical answer was to strike the events from his mind and continue on as if he were oblivious.
But, and here was the twist, Dean had called out his name during his self-pleasuring, and his soul sparked with light when they were together – if he confronted the man and they managed to get past their issues together; then Dean could be happy in the long run.
It was a quandary that had him spitting out one of the Winchester’s favourite epithets, “Son of a bitch.
Dean was freaking out – silently and internally, but still – freaking out. It had been three weeks since the ‘incident’, and Cas had been a total no show for the entire time. He was beginning to worry that something had happened to the Angel, especially when his phone calls went to voice mail, and his increasingly agitated prayers went unanswered.
Sam watched his brother from the corner of his eye, Dean had been getting progressively moodier and moodier the longer a certain Angel was missing from their sides.
He really wanted to say something, but he knew that it would not go well – the pent up worry would manifest as irritation, and if pushed – rage, and he’d be on the receiving end of a fully blown Winchester tantrum.
Slipping out of their current motel room, he shuffled across the tiny parking lot and stuffed a handful of quarters into the loudly clunking vending machine. Selecting the lesser of fatty evils, he waited for his purchase to spiral out of its holder and drop.
He nearly leapt a foot in the air when his name was spoken from behind him. Spinning round, clutching at his heart, he grit out, “Jesus Cas – don’t do that.”
“My apologies.” The Angel was looking tired, his clothes more dishevelled than normal, and his hair a wild mess.
“Where have you been? We’ve missed you man,” Sam smiled and clapped Castiel on the shoulder, his heart rate returning to somewhere near normal, “Dean will be pleased to see you.”
It was a job not to raise an eyebrow when the Angel’s eyes skipped away from his, “I am not here to see Dean, I wished to ask you a question.”
“Sure,” Sam agreed readily, “But really – you should pop in to see Dean, he’s been worried about you.”
“I will consider it,” Castiel looked at the taller man before him, he could appreciate now that he’d been hasty and unfair in his original assessment of the younger Winchester, despite the taint and the darkness that marred his soul; Sam was a good man and could be trusted, “In any case, if you had the opportunity to ensure someone’s contentment for the short term with no consequence – or risk upsetting the balance to bring a long lasting happiness; which path would you chose?”
“Hmm,” Sam was instantly on guard, he had a feeling that something was going down with his brother and the Angel, and his answer would play an important part in that, “It depends – if, theoretically, the contentment led to guaranteed happiness in the end; then I’d leave it be. But if not? Well, I don’t know about you – but me, and Dean, we’d go balls to the wall to get that happiness – it’s not something either of us see a lot of, not in this line of work.”
“Thank you Sam, I will think upon your advice,” Cas nodded and took off before the younger man could say anything else.
“Hello Dean,” Castiel materialised in the motel room and looked at his friend, who was coughing up a large mouthful of beer at his sudden appearance.
“Cas,” Dean put down his drink, stood and strode over, “Where’ve you been man? Is everything alright?”
“I am fine,” Cas felt a warmth building inside of him as Dean’s soul reacted to him, and the concern in the man’s voice gave away his emotions, “I have been searching in the Far East – it is very, tranquil in places. I may have indulged a little in the serenity offered.”
“And that stopped you from phoning?” Dean was glad that the Angel was back, but he could feel his worry and concern tipping over into an anger that his friend didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of.
“I am sorry,” Cas dipped his head, genuinely feeling shame for ignoring the man before him, but he had given his thoughts a lot of consideration and after speaking with Sam, he was determined to see them through, “I wish to speak with you … about what happened last time we spoke.”
“Fuck,” the hunter changed directions and flopped down on the end of his ratty bed, “I…we…”
“I care for you a great deal, more than any Angel should.” Cas cut him off before he could dictate the flow of the conversation and kill any chance of his confession happening, “I wish to be closer to you.”
Dean was a little gobsmacked, but really, he thought, he should know by now that Castiel never minced his words and was blunt to the point of rudeness, “Jesus, Cas…”
He could feel his heartbeat increase as he stared at the Angel, he was being offered a chance to be close to the one person aside from Sam that had truly earned a space in his heart, and he was terrified of fucking it up. He needed space, he needed to push him away far and fast before he could get hurt; but as he opened his mouth – his gut clenched, his mind whirling with the feelings these last three weeks of separation had caused within him – if he lashed out now, things wouldn’t be the same, and he could lose Cas for good, “I…”
“Dean,” Castiel stepped closer and knelt in front of the man, placing his hands on his knees, “If you do not feel the same, then don’t feel obligated to respond – I just wanted you to know.”
Looking into those deep blue eyes, Dean could see what it had cost his friend to give him that out. Deciding to stop pussying around, he reached forward with a groan and drew the Angel in for a deep wet kiss – words could wait for later.
Sam finished his snack and threw the rubbish away. Trudging back to the room he let out a heavy sigh – if Dean found out the Angel had been to visit him, he’d be insufferable in his angst. Opening the door, he stopped and blinked in surprise – there were articles of clothes strewn all over the room, and two figures entwined on the bed, shedding the last of them.
Covering his eyes, he gingerly inched into the room and grabbed his wallet from the table – the pair on the bed taking no notice of his presence. Placing his room keys down on the table, he hurried back out – shutting the door as quietly as he could.
Now that he was away from the brain-bleach inspiring scene, he allowed himself a large grin. It seemed, that just for once – things would be going their way.
Whistling a happy tune, he hurried over to the front desk and booked himself another room.