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Castiel stared at the demon with fiery hatred. Another alpha.

Another two years of humiliation, beatings and most probably, sexual abuse.

Just like the two years before that. And the two years before that. And so on and so forth.

He had had four masters leading up to this point; four masters since his species had lost the everlasting war and had been forced into slavery by the cruel demons with eyes as black as smoke and horns as sharp as knives.

One of the alpha guards who had shackled him sneered at him; a filthy smirk that crawled across his face, exposing two vampire-like canines Castiel was no stranger to.

He had lost count of how many demons had seen fit to mark him, privately and publicly. He was a canvas of various bite wounds that had never properly healed, and as he had no rights anymore, no protection, there was no use in seeking medical care.

Not that he was allowed to.

Angels were no longer treated as people. Their leaders had been dominated, in every sense of the word and their followers were used and abused whenever a demon saw fit.

Betas were kept like animals, forced to perform menial tasks or unsafe jobs that no self-respecting (or intelligent) demon would ever consider. Then, after a full day’s work with barely enough food and water to keep them alive, their masters would shove them into cages or into chains and do as they pleased with them.

Omegas were used as pleasure toys; objects for demons to relieve themselves with or to be used as breeding cattle to produce more slaves. The luckiest ones resided in brothels, whereas the unlucky were thrown into breeding camps where they never saw the light of day.

Alphas however, were punching bags for demons. They were hit and spat on and laughed at in public, shackled with their wings clipped and it was a regular occurrence for alpha angels to be bent over in the middle of the street and knotted or marked by sadistic alpha demons.

Castiel had found that out during his first month of his new life.

After eight years of all this, it was easy to see why angels had lost hope; why some chose to end it all themselves rather than suffer any more of what the demons had in store for them.

Even the fearless archangels had broken eventually after all the torture and shaming, and that had been enough to make Castiel give up. The archangels were practically his brothers; he had been the best agent they’d had at one time and they had treated him like family. To see the omegas so defeated made him realise that the angels had no chance at escaping their new fates.

Still, life continued, no matter how hellish it had become, and Castiel found himself kneeling before Dean Winchester; at one time his equivalent rank and (besides his brother) long-time most-wanted enemy of the archangels and their people.

As with the rest of his species, Dean had a sort-of reptilian-looking tail, like how they painted dragons’ tails in children’s books, and it was sandy, to match his stubby horns. His eyes were currently a stunning green, but Castiel knew they could switch to black at any moment.

Although he had come to accept his pain-filled life, Castiel made sure to let every demon he came into contact with know that he despised their entire existence.

He didn’t want to get whipped by the guards though, so he kept his eyes lowered.

“Castiel Novak,” one of the guards announced smugly, as if saying this would achieve him some reward. “I believe you’re quite familiar with this one, Sir.”

Dean glanced at the subdued angel before flicking his gaze over to the guards.

“Leave,” he ordered quietly and both guards hesitated for a second, confused at the cold tone before Dean’s narrowed glare sent them back from where they came, but not before they passed Dean a small key.

Castiel remained on the floor, gaze lowered and battered body unmoving.

“Your wings are clipped?” Asked Dean, voice unusually soft for a demon.

Castiel frowned. “Yes, Master.”

Dean was silent for a moment.

“On your feet, Castiel.”

The angel did as he was told, his alpha barely protesting anymore at being subservient to another alpha’s wishes.

He did not look at Dean.

“Look at me, Castiel.”

Castiel did as ordered, his eyes full of spite and disgust for the creature before him.

Dean seemed to stare at Castiel, as if he was reading his soul. Then the demon paced forwards and Castiel braced for a punishment.

Surprisingly, the demon produced the key he had received and used it to undo Castiel’s chains. They fell to the floor with a heavy thunk.

“Did they harm you? Violate you in any way?”

Castiel frowned at the odd questions. His whole life held the purpose of being violated; beaten and raped. Just like every other angel.

“Yes, Master.”

Dean scowled. “What did they do?”

“Whipping, Master.”

The demon’s scowl deepened and he clenched his fists. Castiel couldn’t help but flinch at the possibility of another punishment.

However, Dean closed his eyes to calm himself. “Show me.”

Surprised and confused, Castiel turned so his back was facing the demon. He spread his damaged wings as far as they would allow him in their clipped state and displayed the deep red gashes either side of his spine.

Dean growled and Castiel held his breath. It was in Dean’s prerogative as his owner to push him onto the floor and knot him or beat him some more for his initial defiance. Now Castiel had turned his back to him, he wouldn’t even be able to see when the demon pounced.

Shockingly, Dean stalked into another room without a word.

Castiel hadn’t been told to move, so he stood there, waiting.

Soon, Dean returned with a first aid kit. He pulled out a chair and told Castiel to sit on it. The angel did as asked.

He hissed as the needle pierced his skin.

“Sorry,” mumbled Dean. “It’s too wide for a plaster. Gotta suture it so it doesn’t get infected.”

Castiel blinked. What was going on?

They sat in silence for a few minutes and Castiel remained perfectly still.

“Don’t call me ‘Master’,” said Dean after a while. “I don’t like it.”

Castiel paused, a sense of dread overtaking him. These kind of demons were always the worst types…

“Apologies, Alpha.

Dean grimaced. “Don’t call me that either.”

Castiel frowned, puzzled.

“Just… call me ‘Dean’.

Now Castiel was really confused. Why would the demon want him to address him by his first name? He was just a slave.

“As you wish… Dean.”

Dean quirked a smile and continued to work on the angel’s wound.

Castiel grew suspicious. What was this demon playing at? Only time would tell and he would have plenty of time to find out, even if he could do nothing about it.

He closed his eyes. Let the torture begin.

 

* * *

 

Dean was odd.

Castiel had come to that conclusion approximately two months into his stay with the demon. Dean had never once beaten him or humiliated him in front of his friends and co-workers. In a couple of occasions, he had even rebuffed his colleagues for mocking Castiel. It was strange.

He hadn’t even knotted him.

Every alpha Castiel had served had knotted him. It was painful and usually used as way to punish or shame, yet he had lost count of how many alphas had claimed him.

They used him at parties or times when they were in a rut; even when Castiel himself was in a rut and they would pretend his cries of agony and strained protests were groans of want and desire from a needy omega.

Mind you, some didn’t. Some wanted to hear another alpha’s pain.

But Dean hadn’t touched him. He’d even go so far as to say that the demon had been kind to him.

Demon’s didn’t do ‘kind’. Especially not ones of Dean’s rank.

Yet the other alpha had cooked proper meals for him, offered him a comfy bed (in a spare room) and given him sources of entertainment.

He had even bought Castiel a few books he’d noticed the angel’s interest in.

The chains had remained off and had been dumped within the first week and the demon had even done his best to heal some of the damage to Castiel’s body and wings.

Castiel didn’t trust it one bit.

It was as if Dean was treating him as a guest.

“If you stare at me any harder, I might burst into flames.”

Castiel blinked, then narrowed his gaze.

“Wishful thinking,” he said and then his eyes widened in horror and he covered his mouth, his constantly-aching wings shaking in fear of what was to come for his mistake.

Dean hesitated, honest surprise written all over his face, before he sighed and relaxed into the couch, holding his hands up in surrender.

“Alright, let it out.”

Castiel froze, unsure as to what Dean meant.

Dean sighed again.

“You have every right to hate me and my kind. At another time you would have fought me as an equal opponent. You have so far had that fairness taken away from you, but I’m giving it you back.”

He stood and Castiel shrunk in on himself a little. Dean dropped his hands.

“I’m not going to tell anybody. This is between you and me. You’re not going to get punished for this. Kick, scream, shout, punch, bite; I don’t care. Let your anger out on me. I know you’ve wanted to ever since you arrived here.”

Castiel blinked. He stayed where he was.

Dean shook his head. “It’s okay. You’re not going to get whipped or anything. You’ve not said all that much in your time here, but I know there’s still a spark of defiance in you. I know you’re just dying to do to me what’s been done to you.”

Dean winced as Castiel’s eyes blew even wider in alarm.

“Okay, maybe not everything.

When Castiel remained rooted to the spot, Dean’s shoulders slumped.

“Do something.”

The angel didn’t.

Dean sighed and retreated to the kitchen.

Castiel frowned. Dean was odd.

 

* * *

 

“On your knees, angel,” snarled a slimy voice and Castiel did as commanded, head bowing at the familiar scenario.

“Present to your alpha,” mocked the voice as its friends laughed and once again, Castiel dared not refuse. Not when there was so many in such a public area.

People walked by as his assaulter undid his fly and ripped Castiel’s trousers down. Other angels refused to look at him, too terrified in case they ended up suffering the same fate, whilst demons turned away or leered at him with predatory intent.

A hand gripped his midnight wing and tugged on it harshly, prompting a small whimper from Castiel’s lips.

Another hand clawed at his hips, leaving faint scratches over the already marked flesh.

“Can’t wait to sink my knot into you,” growled the voice and Castiel held back a sigh.

He shuddered as a hand belonging to one of the demon’s friends forced his head up in line with his crotch, where the sick alpha quickly unzipped his jeans.

“You have pretty lips,” the new alpha teased and Castiel felt his wings begin to quiver in hopelessness.

Suddenly, there was a low, threatening snarl.

“Back off,” growled Dean, eyes a deep black and the other demons glanced at him in bewilderment.

“Sorry, Sir,” one of the young assaulters finally said before tucking himself in and moving his gang on.

Dean eyed them warningly until they were out of sight. He turned to offer his hand to the still-kneeling Castiel.

Castiel cautiously took it.

Dean glanced at him, realised he had no pants on and averted his gaze.

Castiel pulled his trousers back on.

“You okay?” Dean asked, sounding strangely sincere and Castiel nodded slowly.

“Yes, Master.” Dean may have allowed him to call him by his birth name at home, but he hadn’t given any instruction on what to do when they were in public.

Dean pulled a face. “Dean,” he corrected again before his gaze turned concerned. “Did they touch you?”

Castiel shook his head.

Dean let out a weary sigh. “I was only gone five minutes,” he mumbled to himself. “I don’t care what the Post Office says, next time you’re coming in with me,” he grouched as he gestured for the angel to follow him.

Castiel did, but he kept his eyes low, as was expected of slaves.

Why had Dean saved him? Maybe he didn’t want anyone claiming Castiel other than him; he’d had an owner like that before.

He failed to notice Dean’s sympathetic glance.

 

* * *

 

Three months in and Castiel found himself at a hospital, Dean by his side as the demon ranted at a beta doctor who held no interest whatsoever in Castiel.

“What do you mean you ‘can’t fix them’? Are you a surgeon or aren’t you?” Growled Dean, tail thumping the floor in irritation.

“I don’t do wings,” said the doctor with distaste. He turned back to his clipboard. “Besides, I don’t understand why you’re so bothered about him. If you don’t like how he looks, get rid of him and find one with functioning wings.”

Dean clenched his fists and Castiel was surprised at his hostility.

“He’s not an object to be thrown away. I want you to fix the limbs that are causing him pain and restore them back to how they’re supposed to be.”

The doctor gave him a look of annoyance.

“I’ve never studied wings. And since nobody has ever asked me to fix their slave before, I don’t see a use in learning how to remove the clips. If they’re bothering you so much, have his wings cut off.”

Dean’s eyes were like fire as he rumbled at the doctor and the beta actually took a small step backwards in the face of his rage. However, Dean merely grabbed Castiel’s arm and headed towards the door.

“Don’t listen to him,” huffed Dean when they made it out of the room and were halfway down the corridor. “Nobody’s gonna chop your wings off. I wouldn’t mind taking a knife to his tail though and seeing how he likes it. Bet he’d never suggest it again,” muttered Dean, tail flicking irritably.

Castiel raised a curious eyebrow but didn’t say anything. It wasn’t his place to speak unless spoken to anyway. He’d learned that through various punishments over the years.

When they were back in the Impala, Dean sighed, alpha fury draining from him as he turned to Castiel.

“You can speak, you know. I’m not going to punish you for talking.”

The angel glanced at him and Dean shook his head.

“You never say anything. Sure, you answer when I ask a question, but you must have your own opinions; your own emotions.” He frowned. “Don’t your wings hurt? You never talk about them, or any of your other wounds.”

Castiel stared at him warily for a few seconds before nodding cautiously.

“My wings cause me a great deal of pain, but complaining usually warrants them a beating.”

Dean’s shoulders slumped before anger sparked in his eyes once more. Castiel braced.

“How can anyone be so cruel?” He snarled as he shoved the key into the ignition. He toned his temper down upon spotting Castiel’s posture.

“Hey,” he said with a scowl, prompting the angel to gingerly glance over to him. “I’ll never hurt you, Cas, understand? As long as you’re with me, no one will lay a finger on you, okay?”

Castiel hesitated at the nickname.

Cas.

He liked the way Dean said it.

It was friendly. Personal yet not demeaning. It wasn’t an insult meant to humiliate him like ‘angel’ or ‘slave’. It wasn’t sexual either, like how some demons whispered ‘feathers’ or ‘baby’. It was just a shortened version of his name.

It almost made him believe Dean was telling the truth about not hurting him.

 

* * *

 

“You can’t bring him in here without a chain.”

Dean ignored the scowling woman behind the till.

“He ain’t a dog, lady,” he threw over his shoulder as he browsed the various albums of Deep Purple and Def Leppard.

Castiel spared the furious omega a glance as she whispered to her alpha co-worker. He shuffled closer to Dean.

The tough-looking alpha with a default setting of ‘I hate everyone around me’ making up his face stalked over to Dean, sneering at Castiel with the expression of a man who religiously thought up ways to maim people.

“Didn’t you hear my girlfriend? She said get a chain for your pet, or get lost,” he rumbled with a voice like thunder as he towered over Dean.

Dean moved on to Foreigner.

“Like I told your girlfriend; Cas ain’t my dog.” He straightened up and faced the other alpha. “I’m a paying customer like everyone else; can’t I enjoy browsing in peace?”

The alpha glared at him before nodding to Castiel.

“He ain’t a paying customer. He might steal something. Put him on a leash or get out.”

Dean shrugged casually. “Don’t own a leash.”

The other man stared at him in disbelief. “You don’t own a chain for your slave?”

Dean half-shrugged again and turned back to the music stand.

Oooo… Guns ‘n’ Roses.

“Cas isn’t my slave,” said Dean matter-of-factly, but he subtly gestured for Cas to stay close.

The large alpha frowned, red horns glinting dangerously under the shoddy lighting of the media store.

“I don’t care what you want to call him. If he don’t have a chain or some form of rope wrapped around his neck, then he don’t come in.”

The muscular demon made a grab for Cas’ wings, but just before he managed to snatch them, Dean caught his wrist.

“Don’t touch him,” he murmured lowly. “You’ll be sorry if you do.”

The alpha blinked in surprise before glaring at him and Cas had to wonder what Dean was playing at. Why was he so intent on defending a mere slave?

“He’s nothing but a punching bag for guys like us. Why do you care whether I touch him or not? He’s damaged goods anyway.”

At Dean’s narrowed gaze, the alpha raised an eyebrow.

“Afraid I’ll take your knotting toy away from you? I bet he’s a screamer.”

Cas felt himself take a step back. This was the type of talk he was more familiar with. Would Dean let this alpha have a ride on him? Maybe the girlfriend would join in.

Dean’s tail smacked the floor hard in warning.

“Speak of him like that again, and I’ll break your arm.”

The larger alpha laughed condescendingly. “I’d like to see you try. Hand over your little toy; me and the girl would love to have a go at him. We’ll even let you have a try with ours; cute little omega with white wings. You’d love filling her with your knot."

There was a sickening crack and the burly demon screamed out in agony, elbow twisted at a funny angle.

Dean calmly turned back to the rows of albums. He was now on Hot Chocolate.

Cas was reminded why Dean had been such a great opponent during the war and why his rank in the agency was so high.

Dean gently touched his back, guiding him a little nearer to his side. Cas had to admit he was grateful.

“You ever listened to Iron Maiden?” Dean asked quietly and Cas shook his head. The demon grinned. “ACDC?”

Once again, the angel shook his head and Dean chuckled softly. “We need to get you up-to-date.”

Castiel glanced over to the large alpha as his girlfriend ran over to him, assessing the damage.

“I do have a fondness for Kansas,” admitted Castiel after weighing up the pros and cons of speaking his opinion and Dean beamed.

“Soft rock fan, huh?”

Cas nodded with a small smile and Dean seemed impressed.

“I can work with that.”

The large alpha from before was groaning in pain as his girlfriend muttered something about an ambulance.

“Will you get in trouble for that?” Asked Cas after a moment and Dean spared a glance at the dramatic scene before shaking his head.

“He tried to grab you so technically I could say he was stealing from me.”

Cas lifted an eyebrow. “But they said I’m not allowed in here without a chain. So aren’t you at fault?” He hoped Dean wouldn’t get too irritated with his questions, but the demon had just saved him from certain humiliation, amongst... other things, so he couldn’t help but be a little concerned for the other man’s welfare.

Dean snorted amusedly.

“Actually, there’s nothing in the law that states you have to be on a chain whilst I’m accompanying you in a shop like this. Those guys just really hate angels.”

Didn’t every demon?

Cas frowned at that thought. Dean didn’t seem to actively hate him.

Huh.

"Oh," said Castiel after a moment and Dean winked at him before grabbing a Kansas album from the stand. He nabbed the nearest ACDC album as well, just in case.

"You want anything else?" Dean asked. "Any other music you like, DVDs, games?"

Cas blinked, surprised, but Dean seemed sincere in his offer. He would be a fool not to take advantage of Dean's obvious good mood. Besides, he would probably never get another opportunity to choose something for himself again

"...I wouldn't mind some Debussy." He lowered his gaze in embarrassment at Dean's amused quirk of his lips.

"I listened to classical music quite regularly before..." The angel trailed off, unwilling to discuss the time when the demons had taken over.

Dean's expression dimmed.

"Classical albums are pretty cheap," he said. "Pick a few. Four or five. It'll take you a bit of time to get through them and it couldn't hurt for me to broaden my repertoire," he finished with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.

Castiel risked a glance at him. He never expected one of his owners to take an interest in his interests, never mind offer to buy him things he liked.

"Thank you, Dean," he murmured gratefully and the demon's smile did reach his eyes this time.

"No problem." He looked over to the alpha and omega awkwardly limping out of the shop together.

"Come on, before someone else needs me to break a limb."

Cas quirked a smile.

 

* * *

 

Dean didn't treat him like a slave, or even a mild inconvenience. He didn't feel like an enemy, either.

Slaves were often forced to wear humiliating outfits; some were painful or uncomfortable; some revealed too much, allowing demons to leer or shame the angels whilst at the same time giving them 'easy access'.

Other clothing included rags or chain-woven items; sometimes angels weren't allowed to wear anything at all if their masters saw fit.

Dean however, bought Castiel comfortable, respectable clothing. He bought him hats and gloves for the cold weather and trousers and jeans to cover up the scars on his legs, making him feel less self-conscious at the same time as deterring demons from forcing him to pleasure them in the middle of the street.

Not that Dean even let any psychotic, sex-minded demons near Castiel.

He had plenty of clothes too, and they all fit perfectly as Dean made him try them on before he bought them (to the disgust of the shopkeeper).

His favourite piece of clothing however, had to be the trenchcoat Dean had bought him. Not because he thought it looked good, or even because it fit well (in fact, it was a size too big and the belt trailed along the floor as the manufacturer had made it a little too long).

It was his favourite because it was comfortable and warm and Dean had bought it for him on his way home from work because he 'thought it would suit him'.

Nobody had bought him a present for eight years (not without wanting something out of it), yet Dean had seen it by chance and decided to bring it home with him.

It wasn't expensive or beautifully designed, but it reached down to his knees and had long sleeves, and despite the illogicality, it made him feel safe and gave him hope that Dean was being sincere in his promise that he wouldn't hurt or touch Cas as long as they shared the same roof.

Cas had been so grateful for the small gift that he had cleaned the apartment and cooked the dinner for when Dean returned home from the office, as well as prepared his lunch for the following day.

As expected, Dean had frowned.

"You don't have to do any of that stuff, Cas. You're not my slave," he had said, but as the clock struck eleven pm and Dean felt his eyelids droop in exhaustion from working overtime, he had settled into the dining chair appreciatively and enjoyed a wonderful meal Cas had spent all day cooking.

At Dean's pornographic groans of approval, the angel had lost his apprehension and his battered wings had tried their best to flutter in pride at making Dean happy.

The demon had chuckled when he spotted the reaction and told Cas to pull up a chair and eat with him; the demon never expected him to eat after him like his other owners had. He treated him like he would any guest.

Or friend.

For the next four weeks, Cas made sure to cook Dean's meal for when he came in after work and he filled part of his day with chores around the house that the demon barely had time for.

Dean had been so grateful that every Saturday, he would take Cas out for a meal to a new (or favourite) restaurant, despite the shocked and disbelieving stares he would receive.

On a Sunday, they would cook together and Cas was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to relax around the other alpha. They would play a game after dinner, or watch a movie together (Dean had taken it upon himself to educate Cas with every great film he had missed) and Cas couldn't believe how different this life with Dean was from his previous years with other alpha (and one sadistic omega) masters.

He began to realise he didn't want to leave Dean's home. He wasn't sure he'd be able to cope with two years of being treated so kindly and then be forced back into a world of taking knots, filthy conditions and beatings.

He was just beginning to hope again.

 

* * *

 

Cas' fists clenched in anger as the alpha demon bent his victim over.

The victim was wearing a very provocative outfit with black leather straps that bared a lot of skin and left little to the imagination. Cas knew the angel was an omega and as the bronze-winged man shook with fear, the demon snorted and shoved his face into the unforgiving pavement.

Castiel growled.

Dean raised an eyebrow in surprise, fork halfway in his mouth and a piece of steak still attached to it.

"What's up?" He asked quietly, tail flicking in concern.

Castiel nodded through the window into the streetlamp-lit road.

"I know that angel." He felt comfortable with talking to Dean; the demon encouraged him to speak his mind and tell him when something was upsetting him or if he particularly liked a certain thing. Dean always tried to help if he was in distress and he would share in whatever amused him or made him content, remembering these emotions for the future. Dean treated him like any friend.

"Which one?" The demon asked, leaning forward and squinting into the darkness.

"The one on the floor."

Dean scowled in distaste. Cas knew it wasn't for his friend.

"His name's Balthazar."

Dean glanced back to the midnight-winged angel. He knew Balthazar; not only as an agent of Castiel's rank, but as a close friend of Castiel's.

Dean and Cas often entertained one another with stories of their past, their families, or their friends (once Cas realised he could open up in front of Dean without being taken advantage of).

Balthazar had featured quite heavily in a number of Castiel's stories, as apparently the omega had been Cas' closest friend since childhood. He had taken Cas in when the alpha's parents had been killed in an attack when he was only fourteen and the omega had been there for Cas whenever his darker thoughts got the better of him.

Despite never actually forming a romantic relationship, the two had helped one another through puberty when unexpected and agonising heats had hit or when unplanned and unbearable ruts had taken over and once their hormones began to calm down, Castiel became very protective of the omega; warning off any alphas that just wanted a quick ride on Balthazar.

In return, Balthazar had introduced Cas to the agency (it was Balthazar's family who were agents, not Cas') and the two had risen through the ranks together, supporting each other through thick and thin.

Castiel had been devastated when he'd been dragged away from Balthazar, never to see him again. Finally finding the angel after eight years, bent over and being forced to take an alpha's knot was not the way he'd wanted to be reunited with his friend.

It was enough to make his blood boil. He had half a mind to run out there and fight the other alpha to save his friend.

Unfortunately, it was in the master's prerogative to do as they pleased with their slave and that included exhibitionism. Dean hadn't wanted to put him on a chain and he couldn't put the demon in any awkward positions.

Not after all he'd done for Cas.

However, Dean's eyes slid to black as he watched the scene outside unfold and Cas recoiled instinctively.

Dean didn't notice.

"C'mon," he said lowly as he threw a few bills on the table and stalked out of the restaurant, tail swishing dangerously.

As they neared the abhorrent scene, Dean's tail movements suddenly turned aroused and he muttered into Cas' ear.

"Play along."

Cas raised an eyebrow and was about to question him when Dean tugged him tight to his side, eyes a lusting black as he smirked at the other demon alpha.

"How much?"

The black-tailed demon glanced up at him, hands leaving imprints either side of Balthazar's hips and knot poised just above the omega.

Up close Cas could see the alpha wasn't all that well-off. His clothes were dirty and frayed and his hair was scruffy and unkempt. He smelled like he'd gone out of date two years ago.

Beneath him, Balthazar whimpered and the alpha growled and clawed at his already bloodied wings.

"Get lost," the alpha snorted and Dean lifted an eyebrow.

"How much?" He asked again, placing his hand on Castiel's shoulder. "This one needs to be shown how a real alpha treats an omega. I'm gonna tie him up as I knot one in front of him. See how he likes it. Maybe I'll knot him afterwards, when he's all hot and bothered." Dean smirked and Castiel played the obedient slave by dropping his gaze.

Balthazar whined, frightened.

The other demon seemed to consider this. "How long?"

Dean looked as though he was mulling it over.

"How much you charging for keeps?"

"An omega angel with unclipped wings? Four hundred."

Four hundred dollars for a life. It was an insult.

Dean pulled a face. "Three hundred," he haggled, like he'd seen other demons do. He had to make it believable.

The other alpha narrowed his eyes. "Three fifty."

"Done."

Truthfully, he'd have paid any amount (well, anything he could afford). This was Cas' best friend.

Besides, no one should be treated like these angels were.

The omega let out a sob as he was yanked onto his feet by his wings and shoved towards Dean as the sandy-tailed demon paid the stranger.

They waited for the stranger to disappear around a corner before Cas placed his trench over his friend's shivering body.

Balthazar refused to look up.

"Balth?" Cas asked softly and it was only then did the angel open his eyes and cautiously glance up at the familiar voice.

"Cassie?" He asked brokenly, disbelievingly and the taller angel nodded, a tiny, sad smile on his face.

The bronze-winged angel looked as though he wanted to leap into Castiel's arms, but he refrained from doing so due to his fear of displeasing his new master.

Dean looked pained.

"Hey," he said softly and the omega tensed, terrified. Dean took a step back.

"I know what I said before, but I don't intend on doing any of that stuff," he reassured. "I had to make it convincing to get him away from you."

Balthazar kept his gaze trained on the floor.

Cas cupped his cheek gently and forced him to look up.

"He's telling the truth. I've been with Dean for eight months now; he hasn't done anything I'm uncomfortable with. He's not like the others; he really does care," he said quietly and Balthazar stared at him for a moment before risking a glance at the demon.

"Thank you," he gulped, voice barely above a whisper and Dean nodded with a sincere smile.

"Lets get you cleaned up," he said as he and Cas manoeuvred him between them.

"You'll be safe, I promise," murmured Cas and both saw the omega's shoulders relax marginally as he leaned into his friend.

For the first time ever, Cas noticed a strange expression on Dean's face that he wasn't familiar with. It happened when the demon turned to gaze at him, and the look made Cas feel warm and protected despite it originating from another alpha.

It was nice.

 

* * *

 

Balthazar stayed with them for two months. Dean made sure to give he and Cas their privacy when they needed it and Cas ensured he thanked Dean profusely when Balthazar couldn't hear them.

The omega was in no better state than Cas. His body was scarred and bruised, wings torn and personality initially distrusting. The only difference between Balthazar and Cas was that Balthazar's spirit was broken.

When he first arrived, Cas was spiteful of Dean yet submitted to him defeatedly because he thought he had no other choice.

Balthazar was just plain terrified.

He would whimper when Dean came too close, curling into himself as much as possible as if trying to cover himself up, and he would shuffle closer to Cas whenever the demon was in the same room.

It took six weeks of gentle reassurance and encouragement from Cas and lots of friendly chatter and thoughtful gestures from Dean to make Balthazar come out of his shell and eventually trust the demon alpha.

It probably hadn't helped that Balthazar had suffered an unexpected heat from all the stress in his life merely two weeks into his stay with Dean.

As soon as Cas had smelled it, he had stood in front of Balthazar and growled warningly at Dean, who had just begun to get a whiff of the inviting flowery scent.

Dean had been mildly surprised at the blatant show of defiance; the other alpha would never have dreamed of threatening Dean when he first arrived; believing he would be severely punished for pretty much everything, but now the angel seemed to be gaining back some of his old character.

His obvious desire to protect his friend, for one.

Despite the strengthening scent of the omega's arousing heat, Dean had held his hands up in surrender and lowered his gaze.

Castiel felt a brief spark of guilt at thinking Dean would hurt Balthazar after proving on so many occasions that he wasn't like that. But then the omega had trembled in fear and Cas had whisked him away into a spare room to look after him where he felt safe.

Eight weeks in, Balthazar felt comfortable with the knowledge that Dean really was trying to help him and when the demon had mentioned something about his friend, Jo, having to go back to 'The Rehoming Centre' (a slave distribution plant) after her angel had committed suicide despite her best efforts to stop her, Balthazar had immediately volunteered to stay with her.

She was a beta and Dean had informed him she was like him and hated the maltreatment of angels after they had once been such fierce opponents. They should be respected, not ridiculed.

Balthazar had jumped at the opportunity, saying he didn't want to intrude on Castiel and Dean any longer than necessary and the pair had already done so much for him; he didn't want to get in the way.

Which, when they thought about it, was a rather odd thing to say.

Still, Jo was legally expected to keep a slave just like every other demon, and Balthazar had volunteered willingly despite previously being so terrified of demons.

It may have been better for him to stay with a beta than two alphas anyway.

Dean and Jo promised their angels they would get to see each other again for as long as they were in their care, and Castiel hadn't stopped thanking Dean for the following week.

Dean promised they could visit Jo every week and Castiel couldn't believe his luck. No demon had ever shown him so much consideration before and he quickly came to like Jo. She was witty and intelligent, yet kind and he knew Balthazar, once out of his shell, would get along with her extremely well.

His respect for Dean rocketed up a few notches.

 

* * *

 

Eleven months into his stay with Dean, Castiel realised something.

Dean had never had a rut.

A rut usually lasted around four days and occurred every three months, just like an omega's heat, but not once had Castiel seen Dean experience a rut.

He himself hadn't been in rut during his stay with Dean as his body and mind had been under so much stress these past eight years, between beatings and forced knottings, that his hormones had become very unpredictable and it could be twelve months between his ruts.

Dean wasn't under (that much) stress though, so his cycles should have been normal.

It was a touchy subject; one that brought back horrendous memories for Cas, but he was curious and he knew he could trust Dean.

"Dean?"

"Hm?" Came the answering call from the kitchen.

Cas joined him. "Why have you never experienced a rut?"

Dean looked surprised but amused.

"I've experienced plenty of ruts. Just ask my brother," he winked and Cas quirked a smile at the thought of how many times Sam had mistakenly walked in on Dean mid-rut when they were younger.

The smile faded.

"Why have I never seen you in a rut?"

Dean tilted his head as he continued to stir the spaghetti.

"'Cause I take pills so you don't get uncomfortable."

Castiel blinked in shock.

"What?"

Dean smiled reassuringly at him. "I didn't want you to feel worried for your safety when I entered a rut and I know how other alphas treat angels in those times so I thought it would be wise for me to take rut-suppressing pills." He pulled a troubled face. "Didn't want you reliving any bad memories."

Castiel contemplated this information silently and as he did so, he experienced a warm feeling in his chest; safe and comforting in a world that only seemed to want to hurt him. The feeling intensified as he glanced at Dean and he frowned at the foreignness of it.

"I don't know what to say," he confessed softly and Dean grinned at him as if he wasn't altering his body's chemistry regularly for the angel; altering it in ways that could have unknown side effects on him.

"You don't have to say anything. You didn't ask for me to do it."

Castiel shook his head in no small amount of awe.

"Thank you, Dean. Truly."

Dean beamed at him and the feelings in Castiel's chest flared once more. He vaguely mused about how much he liked Dean's smile and the way his eyes lit up when he was happy.

He failed to realise how odd this was.

He felt his wings attempt to flutter in response and Dean's tail flicked joyously back at him.

He moved to one of the cupboards to pull out some plates for their meal.

 

* * *

 

Castiel groaned in agony as he writhed on the couch. The rut had hit him suddenly and its overwhelming intensity made it so he couldn't even retreat to his room to relieve himself.

It was incredibly painful.

He had never experienced a rut this intense in all of his life; everything throbbed and ached to the point that it was almost unbearable and his senses had all been heightened tenfold.

He felt hot tears sliding down his cheeks as he attempted to force his alpha instincts back into dormancy, but ultimately, his efforts failed and he remained a contorting, groaning mess on the couch.

Then Dean returned from his grocery run and he almost dropped the bags in mortification at Cas' state.

He dumped the food on the floor, locked the front door and ran to Castiel's aid only to hesitate when he caught a whiff of the strong alpha scent radiating from the angel.

Castiel, who had barely realised Dean had even entered the room, recognised a rival alpha's scent, becoming more pungent the longer he stayed in Cas' presence, and he growled threateningly as memories of being forcefully knotted by other rutting alphas flashed through his mind.

Dean bit back the responding growl trying to escape past his lips and he closed his eyes and cleared his mind.

It did nothing to hide Castiel's scent though, and he felt his own scent strengthening in preparation of competition despite there being no suitable mates present.

His thoughts once again gave way to his instincts, and irritated with his own inability to help the poor angel in front of him due to said base instincts, he slapped his tail against the floor in annoyance.

It was enough to push Castiel over the edge.

He leapt at Dean, instincts screaming at him that this was a rival alpha threatening him when he was in such a vulnerable state and Dean's eyes blew wide with shock as his back hit the floor.

Upon spotting Castiel's eyes, glowing blue in a mixture of fury and desire to rut against something, Dean was unable to prevent own eyes from sliding to black in challenge.

Castiel snarled at him, sharpened canines bared as he straddled Dean and pinned his shoulders to the floor.

If it were any other alpha threatening him, Dean would have torn into them and a bloody fight would have ensued, but deep down, he knew Castiel was facing burning agony due to his abnormal rut, and the wounds he'd already sustained during the previous years under demon masters couldn't be helping matters any.

Stamping down on his instincts as best he could, he shoved at Castiel's chest to push the angel off his body, but Castiel held fast and tightened his grip.

Dean felt a warning growl rumble low in his throat and Castiel's wings attempted to span wide to make himself look more intimidating.

The movement had to have hurt because it was pulling on the clips in his wings, but Castiel refused to show any weakness in front of his rival as he narrowed his eyes at Dean.

Mind foggy from his natural instincts, Dean bared his teeth defensively as his tail swished agitatedly between the angel's legs.

"Castiel, get off," rumbled Dean lowly, still somewhat in control of the situation, but either Cas was in too much pain to understand or his instincts were insisting Dean was threatening him because the angel growled and forced Dean's arms above his head when the demon attempted to push him away again.

It was the final straw for Dean as he felt his own rut kick in and he threw the angel off him.

Castiel was back on his feet immediately as memories of being raped and tortured raced through his mind, and as he took in Dean's pitch black eyes and bared canines, he felt a surge of anger fly through his systems that so many demons had used and abused him in such horrific ways.

He wouldn't let it happen again.

As he squared up to Dean, his thoughts were of revenge and justice for all that had been done unto him and his rut gave him the confidence he needed to break his usually placid and obedient behaviour, and he snarled once more at the demon before him.

They lunged for one another and there was a struggle as each attempted to pin the other.

Castiel managed to back Dean into a wall as they fought and when he'd forced him into the position he wanted, he clawed at Dean's chest, prompting a hiss from the demon and Dean retaliated with a sharp yank to the angel's already damaged wings.

However, upon hearing Castiel's pained yelp, something inside Dean froze and the rut-induced fog in the demon's mind cleared, just a little, to allow him to review what he was doing.

He paused, horrified at his own actions and quickly caught Castiel's fist as it aimed a heavy blow to his stomach.

"Cas, stop!" He shouted and the nickname coupled with Dean's panicked tone was enough to make the angel pause.

Black eyes stared desperately into bright blue ones and Castiel was hit with the epiphany of who this particular demon was and all he'd done for Cas in the past year.

His rut battered at his mind, clouding his judgement once more and Dean quickly grabbed his shoulders to steady him, despite his urges screeching at him to attack the angel.

Castiel's mind warred with itself as he and Dean continued to stare at each other and confused, in pain, and distressed at fighting Dean, Castiel did something completely unexpected.

He smashed his lips against Dean's.

At first, Dean's alpha instincts told him he was under attack, but then they hesitated as Castiel placed his hand on the demon's hip and continued to mouth at his lips, needy and desperate.

Then Dean's instincts did a complete U-turn and told him, through the mingled stench of both their ruts, that Castiel was who he'd been fighting for and that he should make the other man his.

He kissed back fiercely.

Castiel pawed at his chest in a mixture of approval and want and the demon tugged the other alpha flush against his body as they lapped inside one another's mouths.

Cas began to rut against Dean's pelvis and the demon's alpha perked up in interest at the foreign sensation.

He palmed Castiel's rump in an effort to get closer to the angel and Cas rewarded him with a particularly harsh roll of his hips.

Dean growled softly in enthusiasm and nuzzled the angel's neck in a silent beg for more.

Pleased at Dean's eagerness, Castiel nipped gently at the demon's jaw, the only thought in his mind now being that Dean was a suitable candidate to get rid of his urges on. He knew he would be safe with this demon and that he wouldn't get hurt like in his past ruts with other demons.

A tail curled around Castiel's leg and caressed the inside of his thigh, and Cas gasped quietly as his rut demanded he claim Dean now.

He ground their crotches together slow and hard in order to get his message across.

Dean suddenly found Castiel's scent arousing rather than threatening.

He briefly wondered what it felt like to be knotted by another alpha.

He trailed a gentle hand through Cas' wing and the angel whimpered softly, letting his head fall on Dean's shoulder as his tattered wings gained some much-needed attention.

Still, his rut demanded his immediate focus and he quickly undid the demon's belt as Dean stroked his wings.

Eager, Dean began to rid Cas of his clothes, an intense surge of protectiveness overcoming him when he saw the number of scars littering Cas' body.

He smoothed a hand over a particularly nasty scar across the angel's chest, growling quietly at the thought that someone could intentionally cause such harm to his friend and Castiel glanced sharply up at him, wariness shining in his eyes.

Dean's gaze softened and he captured Cas' lips possessively, reassuringly and the angel relaxed marginally as he sucked on Dean's bottom lip.

Dean couldn't help but wrap his tail back around Castiel's thigh, teasing the sensitive skin with its tip and stroking the aching areas of the angel's crotch with meticulous attention.

Castiel froze, fear in his gaze as thoughts of past demons taking him cut through the haze of his rut, and when Dean noticed, he nuzzled at the angel's cheek.

"Not gonna hurt you," he whispered as he peppered kisses over Cas' face and the other alpha let out a relieved sob into Dean's neck.

Dean held him close and continued to caress his wings.

"Bedroom, now," urged Dean as his rut piped up again and he gave Cas more access to his neck as the angel scented him deeply.

"You smell really good," murmured Cas as he rubbed their pelvises together once more.

It sounded odd for an alpha to say that to another alpha, but Dean couldn't help but admit he understood where Cas was coming from. At first, he had found Cas' forest-like scent irritating, like he was invading his territory, but it had only taken a few minutes for him to find it inviting. Maybe it was the wrongness of being with another alpha that made the whole thing seem more arousing.

The friction between their bodies was driving Dean crazy and he wondered if maybe it would be easier for them to go at it where they were, against the living room wall.

Then again, he didn't want Cas to be reminded of any similar, non-consensual times where he had been pinned against a wall, and he claimed the angel's lips again.

Castiel mouthed back filthily, heatedly exploring any part of Dean's tongue he could.

"Please, Cas," gasped Dean before diving for the angel's mouth again. This was the hottest thing he'd ever experienced. "Bedroom," he pleaded.

Cas' chest rumbled in approval as Dean's tail continued to do wonderful things to the burning lower parts of his body.

He rolled his hips sharply and Dean groaned into his mouth.

"Knot me," the demon begged through another guttural moan as Cas ground into him again and the angel smirked as he moved to lick at the other alpha's nipple.

Dean whined loudly as his confused instincts where overwhelmed by Castiel's scent. He knew it was wrong to want to be knotted considering he himself was an alpha, but as the angel's hands and tongue roamed over his body, hitting all his hotspots mercilessly, Dean didn't care.

He just wanted Castiel.

Satisfied, the angel led them into his room, both of them stumbling slightly as they continued to explore one another, never once breaking apart, and Dean's back hit the mattress with a soft thud.

He arched upwards as Cas straddled him and continued to nip and tease at his chest.

Then he found the oil gland in Castiel's wing.

The angel howled in pleasure as two fingers slipped into his gland and Dean used his other hand to press their crotches together once more.

As Dean began to stretch the gland, massaging it and stroking it Cas wasted no time in claiming Dean.

The demon moaned deeply as he became victim to Cas' unusually overpowering rut and he wrapped his legs around the angel's hips as Cas took him. His tail curled around the angel's leg and Cas snarled possessively as Dean's free hand scrabbled at his back in a desperate attempt to show his encouragement.

After a few moments where Cas kissed the breath out of Dean in the most erotic manner Dean had ever had the pleasure of experiencing, the demon couldn't help but throw his head back in ecstasy.

"Don't stop," he begged as he felt Cas' rhythm even out and the other alpha nosed at his throat.

"Can I knot you?" He panted in a surprising show of concern considering his rut-driven mind, and Dean nodded frantically as he plunged a third finger into Cas' oil gland.

The angel whined as his wing leaned into the touch as best it could. He quickly allowed his knot to bind Dean and himself together more securely and the demon cried out his pleasure.

Instincts taking over as he gazed at the groaning demon beneath him, Cas leaned down and sunk his canines into the soft flesh between Dean's neck and shoulder, staking his claim on the other alpha, and Dean threw his head back with a lustful keen, baring his throat for Castiel.

The angel scraped his canines down Dean's exposed throat, relishing Dean's whimper, before he pressed his lips sweetly to the other alpha's collar bone in a display that proved he wasn't going to hurt Dean despite his vulnerability in his current position.

Dean hurried to capture Cas' lips and as the angel continued with his thrusts, drawing breathy gasps from the demon, the two found their movements becoming more clumsy and frantic, until finally, pleasure washed over them both.

After a few minutes, Cas found himself curled around Dean protectively, knot still holding them close as the other alpha snuggled into his chest.

His rut had diminished a great deal along with the agony that had accompanied it (although, there was still a faint ache in his groin, suggesting the insufferable thing still needed attention), so Castiel was content to hold Dean for a few more moments as they recovered from their post-coital bliss.

Minutes ticked by before Dean cautiously nuzzled at Cas' jaw.

"You okay now?" He asked quietly as he glanced guiltily at the wing he had tugged earlier.

Cas blinked as his brain began to reboot and he nodded tiredly as he pulled Dean a little closer.

Then he spotted the bite mark on Dean's skin and he pushed away from the demon, horrified.

"I knotted you," he panicked, eyes blowing wide as he realised what they'd just done. He'd knotted another alpha. Not only that, he had knotted a demon alpha despite all the torture and suffering he'd been put through at other demon alphas' hands. He'd just done something to Dean that he'd been furious about having done to him.

He'd even bitten a mating mark into Dean's flesh, in a place the demon couldn't hide it.

He'd taken his rut out on Dean; all his fury, all his misgivings, all his shame and humiliation... and he'd just used Dean as an outlet.

The one demon who had taken care of him, healed his wounds and earned both his respect and trust. The demon who had defended him despite how it made others think of him; the alpha who had only wanted to help...

And now he'd taken advantage of him.

He felt sick.

"Cas? Cas! Calm down. It's okay," soothed Dean as he pulled the trembling angel into his arms. "I'll never hurt you, remember? You're not going to get punished."

Castiel's shaking only worsened.

"I hurt you," he mumbled, closing his eyes as tears threatened to roll down his face and Dean startled, before cupping Cas' cheek and forcing him to look up.

"You never hurt me. I'm okay, see? I asked you to knot me, didn't I?"

Cas' shaking lessened slightly as he traced gentle fingers against Dean's new mating mark.

"I tried to..." he trailed off, ashamed and Dean caught his wrist.

"It's okay, Cas. It was a rough heat. After what you've been through these past few years, I'm surprised you didn't kill me."

The demon frowned thoughtfully.

"Actually, you wanting to knot me was the complete opposite of what I thought was going to happen." He grinned suddenly. "Not that I'm complaining. That rut was intense in more ways than one."

Castiel paused, surprised at Dean's easy-going attitude after what had just happened to him. Shouldn't Dean be angry with him? Spiteful and accusing at having an alpha humiliate him in such a way?

Cas furrowed his brow. He hadn't felt like he was trying to humiliate Dean. Not like how those other alphas had whispered cruel, disgusting things into his ear as they'd knotted and beat him.

All he could remember feeling was the need to be close to someone.

That and how much of a relief it was when he first let his knot sink into Dean.

"But... you're an alpha," said Castiel slowly and Dean raised an eyebrow.

"Correct."

"You're not angry at me? For using you? Taking advantage of you? Abusing you?"

Dean sighed wearily as he loosened his grip on the angel. Castiel suddenly felt very cold.

"Somehow, I don't think your intentions were to 'abuse' me, or humiliate me, or anything else like that." He shrugged. "You were in agony, Cas. The rut was abnormal and you just went along with whatever your instincts told you to do."

He chuckled. "Although I am kinda surprised you tried to mate me." He rubbed at the mark on his neck. "'S gonna be hard to hide that and I don't think it'll fade all that quickly."

"I'm so sorry, Dean," murmured Cas miserably and the other alpha shook his head.

"Don't be. I think that was the best sex I've ever had."

Castiel's head shot up at that only to find Dean grinning amusedly at him.

"You... you enjoyed it?"

Dean snorted. "You set off my rut. You know how many times an alpha usually sets off another alpha's rut? Like I said, intense in more ways than one."

Cas blinked in surprise and mulled this over.

"You said I smelled good," hummed Dean quietly, a fond smile lighting his face and the angel glanced up at him.

"...You bared your throat for me," replied Cas. "It was a dangerous thing to do. I could have killed you."

Dean smirked lopsidedly. "I think murder was the last thing on both our minds."

Castiel's gaze caught on the few scratches engraved in Dean's chest and he winced.

Dean followed his gaze and frowned.

"Hey now," he murmured. "I know you wouldn't have done it normally. It was the rut. Don't blame yourself for it."

Castiel scowled petulantly, though secretly it was because he had no idea how to handle Dean's forgiveness.

"Then don't feel guilty for pulling my wing. You were only defending yourself," he huffed and Dean scratched the back of his neck embarrassedly.

There were a few moments of silence as the pair wondered where to go from there.

"...You have a crush on me," stated the angel quietly and Dean startled before his expression turned guilty.

"I guess it became a little obvious today," he agreed and Cas closed his eyes.

"This is wrong."

Dean shrunk in on himself at the comment and he made to get off the bed. He had been worried about anyone finding out he had a crush on another alpha, and an angel at that. To think that the angel in question knew and had outright rejected him (even if a relationship like that was taboo) hurt deeply.

"Don't shut me out," pleaded Cas and Dean paused.

"We can still be friends and I'll never ask you for favours or anything like that. We could go on as we had before," said Dean, refusing to meet the other alpha's gaze. "We can just pretend today never happened."

Cas caught his shoulder and turned him around.

"I never said I didn't want this."

Dean's eyes widened, hope filling his heart as Cas fidgeted nervously.

"I don't think it was instinct alone that made me mark you," the angel explained carefully. "I feel safe around you, protected. You always keep your promises and you have proven on many occasions your value as a friend. Despite what it does to your reputation, you continue to defend me and care for me. You have also attempted to heal the injuries I have previously sustained even though we were once equally-ranked enemies.

"You are kind and generous and at first, I thought I only saw that in you because I'd never had anyone treat me with such consideration, but over time, I have come to realise it is part of your personality."

He shifted uncomfortably, as if he felt vulnerable admitting all this.

"More recently, I have noticed the subtle glances you send me; ones filled with affection and sympathy and desire to make me comfortable. I've also noticed that I've begun to respond to these gestures. I feel warm when you're around and I know I can trust you when I have a problem. I've even noticed myself beginning to reciprocate these subtle glances whenever I'm around you."

Dean looked bewildered as if he couldn't understand why he had never noticed Cas' responses.

"I know a relationship between us wouldn't be conventional," Cas began cautiously, as if afraid of offending Dean. "...but I... I can't help but wonder what it would be like to feel... wanted. Needed." He glanced away. "Treated as though I'm an actual person."

And if that didn't break Dean's heart.

He was tired of the careful approach and he quickly tugged Cas into his arms.

The angel froze at first, but soon relaxed and settled into the demon more comfortably.

"It would only be for a year and then you could carry on with your life," reasoned Cas as though he expected Dean to turn him away in disgust, despite the fact they were naked on the bed and cuddling up to one another.

"You could still date whomever you wanted and you could drop me whenever you got bored or didn't want me anymore," continued Cas, oblivious to Dean's frowning.

"You could even just use me when you're in a rut, if you'd like."

Dean scowled and turned the angel's head to face him.

"Don't do that. Don't pretend you're worthless. You're beautiful and intelligent and fearless and your life means something. Don't pass yourself off as a burden or an object to be dealt with."

Cas' eyes widened and began to glow a dim, awed blue.

"I want you, Cas, and that's not either of our ruts talking. There's just something about you that keeps me coming back. You had a spark of defiance in you even after all those years of torture and abuse and although you acted obedient in front of me, you never once submitted totally. You kept hoping and striving to help your friends and there's not many people in this world who would do that, demon or angel.

"I like you. I like your taste in music; I like the way you get so lost in whatever book you're reading; I like the way your wings lift slightly whenever a breeze blows through them; I like the way you pout sometimes when you're thinking and I like the way your eyes show your emotions even when your face doesn't."

Cas gasped softly, humbled yet hopeful.

"I wouldn't call it love yet, but I do know I don't want to lose you." Dean's face contorted into a mixture of hurt and sorrow and Cas didn't think twice as he leaned over and pressed their lips together.

As they pulled apart, Dean chuckled.

"That's the second time you've caught me off-guard with the same move."

Cas allowed a small smile to flit across his face and he leaned further into Dean.

The demon carded his fingers through black feathers and Cas closed his eyes and relaxed into the soothing touch.

After a few moments of peaceful silence, Dean nosed Cas's hair.

"Your rut over or is the pain still there?"

He couldn't be sure if Cas' rut would last the full four days or if its unusual intensity had burned itself out in one run.

Castiel trailed his fingers down Dean's chest, enjoying the sensations of another body beside him; one that didn't want to mutilate him.

"It aches a little, but I can cope."

Dean frowned as he continued to soothe the tattered wings.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help, Cas. If you need something to knot, all you have to do is tell me. I don't want you to suffer."

Cas bowed his head shyly.

"Thank you, Dean."

The demon pressed a sweet kiss to his hair.

"We can take this as slow as you want. I won't do anything you aren't comfortable with."

He turned Cas around until they were facing one another and he cupped the angel's cheek tenderly

"Let me take care of you. Let me treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I don't want you to be afraid of me, of being touched." He shook his head sadly. "You don't deserve what's been done to you."

Cas felt tears brimming in his eyes. Whether they were out of relief or shame for everything he'd been through, he wasn't sure, but as Dean timidly pressed their lips together once more, Cas realised he didn't have to hide anything from the demon.

He buried his face into Dean's neck, breathing in the comforting scent of whisky and leather and Dean wrapped his arms tightly around him, holding him to his chest as he wrapped a tail around his waist.

"I won't let anyone hurt you," Dean promised quietly and Castiel felt his wings twitch in hopefulness despite knowing he only had another year with Dean as his 'master'.

Chapter Text

Two months later saw Cas on the couch, wings spread as far as they could stretch without causing him pain as Dean groomed him.

The demon had quickly learned which touches were pleasurable and which weren't for the angel and Cas often found himself going boneless under Dean's clever fingers.

His wings hadn't been looked after properly for nine years. Abused and damaged (like most other angels' wings), Castiel had long ago given up trying to make them look presentable.

However, since learning of Dean's interest in him and surprising himself with the revelation that he reciprocated, the demon had been determined to pay some much needed attention to the battered appendages.

Cas groaned huskily as Dean massaged all the aches and pains out of his left wing and the demon chuckled behind him as he rubbed over a particularly sore spot.

Cas arched into the touch, eyes glowing blue as Dean carefully removed a few broken feathers that were causing discomfort.

"You have wonderful hands," moaned the angel as Dean combed through his feathers, shifting them into the correct position.

Dean's smirked before sliding his hand over the top of the wing and accidentally brushing the sensitive oil gland.

Cas threw his head back in a throaty groan.

Dean grinned and caught the gland again and this time, a steady trickle of oil leaked from it.

Castiel flopped back against Dean, closing his eyes in pure bliss at having someone take care of his mauled wings.

Dean chuckled and scented at the other alpha's neck, the oil making his forest-y odour twice as strong. Dean had quickly grown addicted to that smell.

Cas bared his neck a little further for Dean and the demon grinned, awed at the fact the other alpha trusted him enough to expose such a vulnerable area.

Dean pressed a kiss to the soft skin.

Then he got this calculating gleam in his eyes as he abruptly pushed his hand into the golden oil.

Cas gasped as Dean rubbed the oil meticulously into the inside of his wing, all the while keeping his free hand curled firmly around the angel's middle, and the smaller alpha made quiet whimpers of pleasure as Dean took care of him.

When Dean finally moved onto the right wing, after an hour of attention, Cas' left wing was trembling in bliss.

For angels, it was an intimate practice to let another groom their wings, just as demons rarely let anyone other than a mate or love interest touch their tails, and usually, angelic mates would groom each other with their own oil as a show of devotion and protection to one another.

Since Dean had no oil to mark his lover with, he had to settle with grooming Castiel with the angel's own oil, however, that didn't mean they couldn't have their own quirky ways of being intimate with one another.

As Dean slipped his tail in the right wing's gland, Castiel smirked and grabbed for the sandy appendage, rubbing his oil down its length in a show of claiming and Dean huffed in amusement as he continued to massage the midnight wing.

"Possessive much?" He growled softly, just to rile the angel a little more and Cas responded with a narrowed gaze before sucking lightly at the tip of his tail.

Dean gasped and a shiver wracked his frame as Cas' alpha canines scraped over the sensitive area of his tail.

"You're gonna pay for that, angel," he purred and instead of feeling threatened like he had done on countless occasions when other demons had uttered those words, Cas snuggled back against Dean's chest, feeling safe and wanted.

Then Dean flipped them over, pinned him to the couch and slid his tongue into his oil gland, and all Cas could think about was knotting Dean until the other alpha was nothing but a whimpering, writhing heap beneath him.

But as Dean sucked torturously at the gland, Cas began to wonder if it would be so bad if Dean knotted him for a change.

Dean had never tried to claim him as it was obvious that Castiel's fear in that field was too great to just overcome by a few heart-felt words.

Dean didn't push and he was immensely grateful just to have the other alpha as his lover - after all, two alphas in a loving, sexual relationship was unheard of; practically unspeakable when there were no dominating overtones involved.

Yet in the past two months, Dean had proved his affections for Cas were sincere and, although it was taboo for them to want to be with one another for more than just a chance to prove who was the stronger alpha, Cas wouldn't give up his affair with Dean for anything (even if he knew it would only last a year at most, before he got carted off to another master, as was the law).

So now, Cas was beginning to question whether it would be such a horrible thing if Dean were to claim him for once. The other alpha obviously had no intentions of hurting him, so Cas wasn't really sure why he was so averse to the demon knotting him.

He knew it wasn't natural for an alpha to be knotted, but honestly, he was curious as to what Dean felt like.

And maybe it would erase some of the nightmarish memories he had retained if Dean could show him that not all knottings had to be painful.

By now, the demon had begun to massage the oil back into his wing and Cas glanced up at him through half-lidded eyes as the aches in his right wing were tended to.

Who cared about his other masters? Castiel wanted Dean now.

"Knot me," he breathed and Dean's eyes widened.

"What?" He whispered, shocked and Cas leaned up to suck on Dean's bottom lip.

"Knot me," he repeated trailing his nails lightly over Dean's back in a way he knew would draw the demon's alpha side out.

Dean held his instincts at bay.

"Are you sure, Cas?" He panted, though his tail was already beginning to wrap around Cas' thigh.

Unable to resist flustering his lover further, Castiel growled in challenge, nipping Dean's bottom lip and scraping his prominent canines over it erotically.

"I said: knot me, alpha," murmured Cas in a voice that was all alpha challenge and he smirked when he saw something shift behind Dean's eyes; something feral and primitive.

Before Cas knew it, his shirt and belt were ripped from him as Dean rumbled low in his throat.

Wanting to keep their little game up, Cas tore Dean's shirts from his chest (the other man wore too many layers in his opinion) as he growled back defiantly, staring Dean straight in the eye.

His own eyes reflected the amusement shining in Dean's.

However, just because Cas found their game amusing didn't mean he wasn't incredibly turned on, and if Dean's hungry gaze was anything to go by, the demon was just as aroused at having another alpha touch him so intimately as he was.

He half expected Dean to be rough with him (he probably deserved it after all his teasing) and he found himself not minding the prospect of being manhandled by Dean, but once again, the demon caught him by surprise.

Despite his riled state, Dean pressed his lips to Cas' collar bone, nosing at his neck lovingly as he inhaled his scent.

Cas' gaze immediately warmed as he stroked Dean's hair tenderly.

Then Dean peppered kisses down his chest, mouthing gently at every ugly scar he passed over.

Cas felt his heart melt.

"And here's me thinking you were going to go all alpha on me," he chuckled and Dean moved to claim his lips.

"I am going all alpha on you," he breathed. "How an alpha should treat his lover."

Cas chased his lips desperately.

Then Dean returned to the angel's chest, kissing each and every scar that rested there, before slowly and sensually sliding Cas' trousers down as he began to give the same treatment to the scars that resided underneath.

Cas placed a possessive hand between Dean's shoulder blades, where the bases of his wings would lie if he had any, as he let his head fall back against the arm of the couch.

Dean nuzzled at the inside of the other alpha's thigh, before licking it experimentally.

Cas groaned quietly and Dean smirked as he nipped at the tender flesh.

Cas' head shot up, eyes glowing a dim blue as he gasped and gazed at the demon between his legs.

Then Dean caught his gaze as he trailed his tongue slowly but firmly right between both thighs.

Cas released a delicious moan as he arched off the bed.

"Dean..."

"You sure you don't want me to just keep doing this all afternoon?" Dean purred as he licked at the erogenous area once more.

Cas whimpered and Dean chuckled.

"'Cause I'm quite happy tasting you from here."

"Tease," panted Cas after another filthy lick.

Dean grinned as Cas' nails dug a little deeper into his back, gorgeous moans tumbling from his lips the longer Dean tended to his pelvic region.

He could see deep, jagged scars and damaged skin resting there, where Cas had been forced to submit against his will and had been punished for no other reason than he was an angel, and the thought that Cas had been through such horror was enough to make Dean's blood boil.

He continued to lick at the wounds, sucking at them every so often or kissing them and Cas' groans seemed to become less like groans and more like choked sobs as Dean treated him so gently; more tender than he had been treated in nine years.

The sounds broke Dean's heart, but he didn't let up. He wanted Cas to feel cherished and desired as more than just an alpha's knotting toy, and the angel felt tears begin to roll down his cheeks in memory of all that had been done to him.

"Dean," he choked and immediately the demon was claiming his lips, shielding his body from the cruel world with his own, as his hand smoothed over dozens and dozens of old scars on his chest, stomach and hip.

"I promise I won't let anyone hurt you again," snarled Dean, eyes sliding to black as he scraped his canines over Cas' throat.

The angel whimpered. It was a nice thought; being under Dean's protection for the rest of his life, but he knew it was just a fantasy. In ten months, he would be back to the hellish life he'd known before Dean.

For now though, he could have this; could pretend that Dean would protect him and that he and the demon would share a long, wonderful life together.

He spread his legs beneath Dean and bared his throat in offering for the other alpha.

Dean rumbled appreciatively and nuzzled Cas' throat, before stealing another kiss as he lined their pelvises together.

Cas quickly removed Dean's jeans and underwear and allowed himself to relax as he wrapped his arms around Dean's back.

His tattered wings attempted to fluff up in a move usually performed by omegas who wanted to make themselves look more inviting to their potential mates, and Dean recognised the gesture and began to chuckle.

He captured Cas' lips once more.

"You're already beautiful, darlin'," he breathed and Cas' heart did back flips.

"You sure you want this?" The demon asked, concerned and Castiel nodded pleadingly.

"Don't make me beg," he whispered and Dean shook his head as he placed another kiss on Cas' lips.

"Trust me?" He asked wanting to make sure Castiel had no doubts about someone knotting him again.

"Always."

Dean smiled and peppered tiny kisses down his chest as he prepared to claim the other alpha.

As Dean spread Cas' legs a little wider, the angel's pleasured expression dimmed slightly.

A slither of uncertainness flashed behind his eyes, but it was gone before Dean could notice it.

Castiel shook his head and relaxed back into the couch. This was Dean; he would take care of Cas properly.

As Dean took him, their rhythm starting out slow, another flicker of doubt crossed his mind and the smile slipped from his face as Dean continued to pepper kisses down his chest and stomach.

Cas shifted slightly, trying to rid himself of the phantom pains in his groin.

"You okay?" Dean asked as he nuzzled at Cas' stomach and the angel managed a nod and a quiet "Yes".

He forced his overactive mind to relax and enjoy the sensations.

Dean's pace quickened marginally and Cas shifted again, feeling his heart rate beginning to pick up as a terrible memory wormed its way into his mind.

 

"I wonder how long it'll take for me to tear you open, angel?" A dirty voice growled into his ear, breath stinking of alcohol and smoke.

Cas cried out, agony flaring through his body as a knot slammed him repeatedly into a wall.

A chuckle. "I can feel the blood already."

Cas tried to knee the other alpha in the groin but his efforts were rewarded with another fist to his already bruised jaw.

 

Cas stamped down on the memory, attempting to gain control of his pulse rate.

Dean wasn't like that. He was kind and considerate; he would never hurt Castiel.

Dean took hold of his hips, stroking his thumbs tenderly over the marked skin as he mouthed at Cas' stomach.

He manoeuvred Cas into a more comfortable position in which to claim him.

Cas closed his eyes as another memory hit him.

 

"Present to your master, you filthy animal." A different voice and a different place, but no less cruel.

He fought the hands attempting to force him to bend over. He was already on the floor and his wings hurt from where they'd been whipped; trails of blood streaking down his black feathers, staining them brown and sticky.

He hadn't been allowed much clothing, and the revealing leather outfit was ripped from him as his face was smashed onto the hard pavement.

He considered calling out for help; there were plenty of people walking by, but he knew it would only gain him another whipping.

He gave in to the hands clawing at his body.

 

Dean was teasing at his nipple, licking at it and nuzzling it in an attempt to draw a groan from the angel.

Cas gasped, but it was for an entirely different reason.

Dean had picked up the pace and Cas was struggling to keep his breathing under control.

 

Searing agony raced through his body as a knot pummelled him relentlessly, hands mauling his wings furiously.

Two more demons were stood in front of him, laughing as they kicked and beat him with a metal pipe.

He sobbed unabashedly as he waited for the torture to end. All three alphas were in rut and they wouldn't be finished with him until they had all 'had a ride' on him.

He had already been stuck in this dark alley way for two hours.

He wondered how easy it would be to grab a sharp piece of glass from the dumpster beside him and slit his wrists.

 

When Dean's knot finally showed signs of waking to tie both he and Castiel together, the angel's body went rigid.

Frowning in confusion, Dean glanced up at the other alpha's face and his heart stopped at the expression resting there.

Cas' eyes were wide and glowing a bright, fearful blue and his wings were trembling, terrified. He wasn't even looking at Dean and the way his pupils seemed unfocused, Dean could tell the angel had gone into shock.

Mortified, Dean leapt off Cas, despite his instincts protesting vehemently to take what was his.

"Cas?" Dean panicked, cupping the angel's cheek when he got no response.

"Cas!" He tried again, tail swishing worriedly behind him.

"Cas, please," the demon begged desperately, his own hands beginning to shake as he realised that he had caused this somehow.

Then Castiel suddenly snapped out of it and his terrified gaze landed on Dean, who was now kneeling beside him.

For a few moments they just stared at each other, calming their heart rates, before Cas scrunched his nose up and flung his arms around Dean as he sobbed into his neck.

It was the first time Dean had seen Cas break down like this; usually the angel was all sass and quiet confidence. Even when he had first arrived at Dean's house, the angel had displayed defiance and fire in his gaze.

But Dean had never seen the other alpha so despairing as he was now.

"I'm sorry," the angel kept muttering, as if he had disappointed Dean, and the demon felt a surge of protectiveness wash over him.

He yanked the angel into his arms and they both stumbled to the floor, Cas in Dean's lap as he pressed into the demon.

Dean wrapped his arms and tail protectively around the angel as he whispered murmurs of affection and soothing into his hair.

He wanted to ask Cas what had happened; what had caused the angel to freeze up like that, but as he listened carefully to what the angel had started to whimper, he felt his alpha perk up in rage.

"Sorry, alpha," repeated Cas like a mantra as he began to nuzzle submissively at Dean's throat, wings pinned to his back in the picture of subservience, and Dean grew furious.

Other demons had caused this; had caused Cas so much pain and suffering and had tortured him and used him like he was just a toy.

He was going to trace Castiel's owner file and murder every single one of them.

"Shh, no, Cas. You don't have to do that. You're not my slave, remember?" Cooed Dean and Cas buried his head back into Dean's neck with a whimper.

"Please don't hurt me, alpha," begged Cas and Dean had to bite back the snarl threatening to escape his throat.

He smoothed his hand over a ruffled wing.

"I'd never hurt you. Never."

"I'm sorry," murmured Cas again. "I should've let you..." he trailed off as a quiet sob interrupted.

"No," growled Dean softly and Cas whimpered again. "You're not ready. You've been hurt too many times and you need time to heal."

Another sob and Dean was holding the angel tighter to his body.

"It's okay, Cas. Let it out. That's what I'm here for."

"I'm so sorry, alpha," whined Cas again and Dean frowned.

"I'm not your alpha, darlin'. You don't have to keep calling me that. Nor do you have to call me 'master' or anything else. I'm just... Dean."

Cas contemplated that for a few moments before nuzzling Dean's neck once more.

"I want you to be my alpha," he admitted quietly and Dean forced his instincts down again.

"I'm honoured," he replied softly, "but for now, let's focus on taking care of you, yeah?"

Castiel's breathing was beginning to even out as he snuggled further into Dean.

"What happened?" Dean asked cautiously. "Tell me what caused you to freeze up, and maybe we can talk about it together?"

Cas' grip around Dean tightened as he nodded.

Dean was safe. Dean would protect him even in his most vulnerable state. It irritated him that he couldn't give himself completely to the other alpha because of what other demons had done to him in the past, but Dean was willing to listen to him and help him through his fears. He could trust Dean and he knew the other alpha was sincere in his intentions.

Besides, maybe he did need to talk about what had been done to him. It couldn't be healthy to keep all that trauma to himself.

So they sat and talked for three hours (after sheepishly tugging on their clothes, mind you) and not once did Dean seem angry that Castiel hadn't let him knot him.

In fact, when their eyes were beginning to droop and their thoughts slowed down, Dean guided Cas into his bedroom and made sure to keep his underpants on as they crawled into bed, so as not to make the angel feel uncomfortable.

Then, as the clock struck four, the pair dosed off, Cas' head tucked neatly under Dean's chin as the demon's arm slumped protectively over the angel, his hand resting between the bases of his wings.

For the first time in a long time, Cas had no nightmares.

 

* * *

 

Months passed and Castiel began to notice a change in himself.

He and Dean had refrained from having sex after his little break down, but their bond only grew stronger.

They still shared kisses, but their gazes became warmer and fonder as they glanced at each other; their touches more supportive and reassuring.

They didn't feel that same pooling of lust and desire in their guts when they were near one another, instead it was replaced by affection and protectiveness.

Dean was more inclined to hold Castiel whenever it looked like the memories were plaguing him, and Cas was always there to soothe Dean's concerns away whenever he'd had a hard day at work. They often talked about what Cas had been through and it helped to keep the nightmares at bay.

They never slept apart anymore (even though they did switch beds frequently), and they both found comfort in one another's scents, despite the fact it should have seemed invasive for another alpha to be in their space.

Castiel liked to read and he could often be found on Dean's bed when the demon came home from work, immersed in a thick novel whilst surrounded by Dean's leathery scent.

On those days, Dean would smile amusedly and slide onto the bed beside him, wrapping his arms around the angel as he nuzzled his cheek or peppered kisses to his hair, never once demanding attention from the other alpha; content to be close to him.

Other days, Dean would be exhausted from work and the crude people who worked there, and he would plop onto the couch, turn on the TV and quietly seethe about the horrific world they lived in, and Castiel would frown at the creases in his forehead before presenting him with a beautifully-cooked meal.

Then if Dean still looked angry, the angel would tug them back to the couch and pull Dean into his lap as he massaged the stress out of his shoulders, and Dean would sigh and kiss him lovingly and tell the angel he didn't deserve someone as amazing as Cas.

Eventually, Cas found himself walking a little straighter, holding his head a little higher, and lifting his wings a little prouder wherever he went all because of Dean's gentle praise and encouragement.

Dean also noticed and his smiles grew wider and his gaze shone with pride when the angel started to show traces of his old character back when the demons hadn't taken over.

Other demons would sneer at the angel, mock him and attempt to intimidate him, but one day, Cas refused to cower to them and had growled right back, baring his teeth threateningly. The other demons had been stunned; blatant shows of defiance like that never occurred anymore, not with the angels so broken-spirited and helpless, and especially not in public.

Yet Dean had merely smirked and not intervened as Castiel took a swing at one demon who stepped forwards to put him in his place, and the cocky demon had staggered backwards, holding his bloody nose and staring shocked at Castiel.

The other two demons stepped forwards in fury, intending to make Castiel pay, but Cas had been a fantastic agent in his day (one of the best) and he finally had the confidence he needed to fend both alphas off.

Dean had also changed. Where before he would have quietly fumed at the world but not acted too publicly because of his rank and wish to not cause a scene, he had now grown tired of the way his peers treated angels (especially after learning all that had happened to Cas), and he now had no problem with defending not only Cas, but other angels who were being abused publicly.

So as the two alphas stepped forwards to harm Cas, Dean's instincts screeched at him to protect his lover and although Cas did a pretty good job of defending himself despite all his old wounds, Dean couldn't help but land a heavy blow to one of the other men's stomachs.

To be fair, the demon had wrapped his tail around Cas' wing and yanked on it, prompting a small, pained cry from the angel.

Cas snarled as they stumbled backwards with wide eyes and with no small amount of blood trickling down their faces.

"We will never back down," he hissed at them and all three attackers' angels lifted their heads in awe. Two of them were omegas and the other was a beta and all three looked battered.

They gazed at Castiel in wonder; an experienced agent who still had enough fight in him to take on three alphas even though he had to be in pain with all those scars and clipped wings. He wasn't bound by chains or a collar and lead, and he had enough courage to bare his teeth at three alpha demons in public, in the presence of his own master.

Dean watched on with pride and soon, other angels began to look at Castiel with respect.

He never submitted anymore when demons tried to humiliate him and he even started answering back to those who thought they could bully him.

And through it all, Dean was by his side, supporting him. He would rebuff any demons who attempted to really hurt his lover (although it was funny to watch Castiel best them with the training he was starting to utilise again) and he would snap at the demons who turned to him and ordered him to 'control his pet'.

They didn't start fights, but they sure finished them.

Dean and Cas fell a little more in love with each other with every passing day.

Even if they hadn't admitted it yet.

 

* * *

 

Castiel bit back the growl threatening to escape his throat.

Dean was glancing at him uncertainly.

Alistair was smirking at him.

He remembered Alistair; how could he not? The alpha demon had been his 'master' for two years. He'd been the one to clip his wings and inflict most of the scars Castiel now held.

Dean didn't know and Castiel had never told him because he knew his lover worked with the man and he didn't want Dean being thrown into prison for murder.

Apparently Dean needed to discuss a certain report found in the military archives; nothing too important but something needed to be clarified, and Alistair had been insistent on discussing it at Dean's home.

Cas didn't like the way Alistair was eying him; like he was a piece of meat or still his to own.

He puffed his wings out slightly to make himself look bigger.

Alistair chuckled and Dean frowned, edging closer to his lover.

He could tell Cas despised this demon more than any of the others who had attempted to hurt him. The bitter scent radiating from him during the past hour was enough to tell him that.

"Word on the street is you've become quite the little fighter, angel," smirked Alistair, changing subject from what he and Dean were in the middle of discussing.

Castiel kept his mouth shut. Dean still had a job to do and even though he hated this alpha, he had to let Dean work.

"The hospital case?" Dean reminded with a frown, trying to get them back on track.

Alistair ignored him.

"Wouldn't mind testing what other areas you've become a fighter," sneered the grey-tailed demon, and Cas stiffened as Dean narrowed his eyes.

"Alistair, I did not bring you here to ridicule Castiel. Please refrain from doing so otherwise you will find yourself on the other side of my front door."

Alistair glanced at him.

"Apologies, Dean. He just looks so inviting. Maybe you'd be willing to let me have a go on him again?"

Dean froze at the last word before his tail thumped the floor dangerously.

"What do you mean: 'again'?" He sent Cas a brief glance.

Alistair smiled pervertedly.

"Castiel knows, don't you, Feathers?"

The angel didn't take the bait and instead glared directly into Alistair's eyes.

"I don't take orders from you any more. I'll never take orders from you again."

Alistair bared his canines.

"You don't know how much I want to mark you again, mutt. Break that fiery spirit of yours again as you sob beneath my thick knot."

Dean's scent suddenly turned threatening and his tail swished agitatedly as he realised why his lover was so hateful of this other demon.

"I think you better leave," he rumbled lowly and Alistair chuckled.

"We still have business to discuss. Unless you want this little escapade getting back to Crowley? Your slave couldn't take a few bad words so you got all riled up and refused to do your job?"

Dean's muscles tensed and he slipped his tail around Castiel's waist pointedly.

"Fine. But keep your eyes off my lover."

Dean caught the slip too late and Alistair's eyebrow shot to his hairline.

"Lover? Fancy way of saying 'knot hole'."

Dean growled as Castiel narrowed his gaze.

"He ain't an object to pleasure me," hissed Dean and Alistair's tail flicked in challenge.

"Maybe not, but he used to be mine."

Dean saw red as Castiel's wings flared as far as they were able without causing too much pain.

"Leave," Dean commanded and Alistair leaned forward.

"No. I'm going to get what I want whether you like it or not. You may have gone soft on him, but I'm going to remind him what it's like to live in the real world."

Dean bared his teeth and Alistair snarled at him.

"Tell me, Dean. What's it like sinking your knot into him when he's so defiant? He quickly lost his fight with me. Didn't want to earn another punishment after I knotted him until he was raw and bloody. Used to do it every day to him. Break a bone in his wing, then I'd whip him a few times, just to make sure he'd stay down, and then I'd force him to present. For an alpha, he's really good at taking a knot. Sometimes two at the same time, when my buddy Azazel dropped by."

Dean's scent had changed from 'protect' to 'murder'.

Castiel sneered. "I was good at taking your knots because there wasn't all that much to take."

Alistair's eyes widened in offence as Dean smirked proudly, tugging Cas to his side.

"You insolent little brat," spat Alistair as he stood from his chair, eyes sliding to black in a display of alpha intimidation.

Castiel remained calmly seated as Dean sprang to his feet, his eyes mirroring Alistair's as his tail thumped the floor warningly.

"Get out of our house," hissed Dean, emphasising the word 'our' just to let Alistair know Cas was no longer his to abuse.

"Don't threaten me, Winchester," growled the other alpha. "I've got friends that could make you suffer the same way as your lover."

That booted Cas' own instincts up and his eyes glowed a fiery blue as he stood; a mantra of protectprotectprotect raging through his mind.

"You will not touch Dean."

Alistair seemed shocked at the angel's determination and he glanced warily between the two.

"Wait, so you two aren't just..." He trailed off before a look of repulsion crossed his features.

"Two alphas? That's disgusting!" He turned to Dean. "Why on Earth would you desire that abomination inside you? How can you want anything more than a quick go on him? He's an alpha! A broken one at that."

He turned his nose up and both Dean and Cas narrowed their gazes, thinking the unwelcome alpha would finally leave.

But then, Alistair did something completely unexpected.

He grabbed the heavy glass lamp from the side table and smashed it against the side of Dean's head, instantly knocking him to the floor as blood trickled from wounds where the lamp had shattered against his skull, and Cas didn't have time to think before he was being thrown on the floor, face crushed into the carpet as Alistair kneeled on his wings.

"You think you can get away with so much defiance and not be punished?" Snarled Alistair as he grabbed a shard of glass from the broken lamp and tore through Castiel's wing.

The angel screamed in agony, fighting desperately against Alistair's grip, all the while panicking that Dean was lying unmoving on the other side of the room.

Alistair smirked and dug the shard deeper into his wing, forcefully dragging it through the appendage until it collided with the clips keeping him grounded, and another desperate wail was ripped from Cas' throat as it pulled on the already painful clip.

By now, his right wing was drenched in blood and he was sobbing, nearly unconscious from the pain as he frantically attempted to throw Alistair off him.

Dean groaned as his brain fired up again and he shook his head to rid himself of the dull throbbing of his skull.

He was snapped back to reality when he heard Castiel's distress, and he staggered towards the pair, his vision unfocused.

Alistair grinned sadistically at Dean as the other demon's sight began to clear and panic then burning fury flashed behind his eyes, and he gripped Castiel's hair and yanked his head to the side sharply, exposing his neck.

Dean's eyes widened in realisation and he stumbled closer, his motor control not fully functioning from the heavy blow to his skull.

Then, just to taunt Dean and make the angel suffer, Alistair bent over and sunk his canines into Castiel's neck; a painful mating mark made to humiliate.

Cas screamed as blood trickled from the wound; Alistair's teeth had pushed too deep and Cas was paying the price.

Then, Alistair pulled away and began tugging at the angel's trousers.

However, he didn't get very far before Dean was ploughing into him like an enraged bull and the atmosphere reeked of pheromones; fury and challenge and pain and protect all rolling into one around the trio.

Instincts reigning free, Dean and Alistair tore at each other, clawing and biting and punching and kicking in order to subdue their rival.

There were snarls coming from the pair and as Castiel was hit by their combined scents, he could smell that Dean wasn't only fighting Alistair because he was in his territory and had threatened both Cas and him.

Dean was treating Castiel as though he were his mate.

The scents radiating from Dean were ones that usually only appeared when an alpha's mate was attacked, yet Dean was in full alpha defence mode as he battled with Alistair.

The layers upon layers of complex scents, coupled with a pained yelp from Dean as Alistair kicked his stomach, was enough to invoke Castiel's own protective instincts as his brain fooled itself into believing his mate was hurt.

Despite the flaring agony in his wing and neck, Cas charged towards Alistair and joined the fight.

The intruding demon had no chance against two alphas who were protecting one another as though they were mates and after a few minutes he was forced to limp out of the house, face bloodied, arm sprained and tail broken.

Dean's alpha instincts were controlling his mind a lot more than Castiel's were and the angel backed up a little, hoping Dean wouldn't turn on him next due to his pungent scent, heightened from the fight.

The demon turned to stare at him, eyes a vicious black and Castiel had enough wits about him to lower his throbbing wings to show he wasn't a threat.

He was caught off-guard when Dean strode towards him and pulled him flush against his chest, scenting his neck deeply as he did so.

Relief washed over Cas, accompanied by a feeling of safety and possessiveness towards Dean, and the angel couldn't help but bury his own nose into his lover's neck.

"You need a hospital," Dean murmured against his skin as Cas' familiar scent calmed him, regardless of it being definitively alpha.

"So do you," whispered Cas as he frowned at two deep puncture points on the demon's shoulder, where Alistair had obviously stabbed him with his lethal horns.

Neither moved for a few moments as they held each other, basking in each other's warm bodies and quietly beating hearts.

"Thank you, Cas. I think you just saved my life," muttered Dean as he tugged the angel a little closer. "He was out to kill me."

"Repaying the favour," hummed Cas as he nuzzled at Dean's throat.

Dean scowled as he glanced at the blood-soaked wing.

"I need to clean you up before you get to the hospital."

It was hard to pull away from who his brain was still insisting was his mate, especially when Cas whined softly in protest, but he was back rather quickly with a bowl of warm water and a cloth as he ushered the angel onto the couch and began cleaning the wing.

When he moved on to the inside of the appendage, after apologising for making the angel hiss in discomfort, Castiel wriggled closer to the demon and lay on him, and Dean automatically wound a protective arm around him as he worked.

Cas' mind was adamant that it was his mate who was taking care of him and he began to nuzzle at Dean's chest, prompting a pleased huff from his lover.

When the wing was as clean as it would get whilst the wound was still open, Dean led Castiel out of the house, keeping a possessive arm wrapped around his middle at all times.

He growled softly at the mockery of a mating mark on Cas' neck and the angel must have read his mind because as they got into the car, he pressed into Dean's side, calming the other alpha's murderous thoughts.

When they arrived at the hospital, Dean had to stamp down on the urge to start a brawl with the doctors and nurses as they looked upon Cas with disgust and sometimes, glee, at the angel's battered state.

When they finally saw a doctor, the beta immediately focused her attention on Dean's wounds, wholly ignoring Cas.

Dean pushed her away.

"Fix him first," he demanded and the woman frowned.

"Your wounds are cause for concern. They need treatment."

"He needs it more," insisted Dean and the beta scowled.

"He's a slave."

"He's a person," corrected Dean. "His wing needs attention. So does his neck. He was attacked by an alpha and I want you to take his pain away."

The doctor didn't look too pleased.

"It is not my job to fix him," she dismissed as she tried to tend to Dean once more.

He pinned her to the wall, eyes sliding to black, and Cas jumped at the thud.

"I'm really not in the mood for another fight," he hissed. "Fix him."

Stunned and slightly fearful, the beta nodded and did as ordered, informing Dean she could treat everything except the clips in his wings. Dean nodded but fumed silently as he watched, scrutinising her every move.

When she was finished and only then, did Dean let her see to him.

 

* * *

 

Dean and his brother had been pouring over law books for months, trying to find ways to keep their respective angels housed with them for more than the allotted two years.

With only one month left, their search had proved fruitless.

Cas tried to reassure Dean, to thank him for trying, but both were devastated. They'd grown so reliant on one another, their bond strengthening with every passing day, that Dean realised he was willing to live a life on the run from the law if it meant being able to have the angel just a little longer.

He curled around Cas every night, as if it would somehow protect him from the years to come and the angel was grateful for every moment.

They would use any excuse to touch each other, to trade kisses and tender nuzzles of affection. Dean spent more time grooming Castiel and the angel would toy with his tail, rubbing his oil into it and claim Dean as his own.

Cas had asked Dean to come off his rut suppressants after the brawl with Alistair, as he knew Dean could never hurt him and he didn't want Dean's biology undergoing any unwanted side effects.

When Dean's first rut hit, Castiel attempted to offer himself to the demon, and with an awe-inspiring amount of self control through a haze of hormones, Dean had restrained himself to ensure that Castiel was sure he was ready.

The angel had nodded, truly believing he was, but as Dean took him and his knot began to swell inside Cas, the angel had been overcome by another memory and Dean had forced himself to pull away from the angel, despite the intense burning from his rut.

Cas had apologised profusely over the next week, but Dean had waved him off and said he had toys to deal with the problem anyway. Besides, he didn't expect Cas to overcome his fears so quickly.

It irked the angel that he couldn't give himself to Dean when he trusted him so completely.

However, Dean was already in love with Cas just as the angel loved his demon (even though they hadn't admitted it yet) and the main priority for Dean was to make sure Cas never had to face another day with a demon who wanted to abuse him.

When Dean came home from work (having spent most of his time trying to find loopholes in the law that would allow him to keep Cas, whilst hiding his project from his boss, Crowley), he made a beeline for his lover, who was cooking something spicy.

Cas smiled as a pair of arms slid around his stomach and a face burrowed into his neck.

"Hello, Dean."

Dean didn't respond, too disheartened by the fact he couldn't find anything that would allow him to keep Cas.

The angel's smile dimmed.

"It's okay, Dean. All good things must come to an end at some point. And I've had an amazing couple of years with you."

Dean scowled, nuzzling at the faint bite mark left behind from Alistair.

"This isn't fair. You can't just go back to how you were before you came." He growled at the thought. "If the government wants to take you away, then they're gonna have to fight me for you."

Cas sighed softly. "You don't know how much I wish to stay with you." He turned in Dean's grip. "But you can't risk your rank, your life for me. At the end of the day, I am just a slave."

Dean's tail flicked in irritation.

"No. You're part of a species that lost a stupid war. And now you're all being punished for what our ancestors started centuries ago. Why can't anyone see that you're just people? You've got families and dreams and emotions just like the rest of us."

Cas' gaze softened.

"Maybe one day they will. Just not yet."

Dean looked heart-broken and he tugged the other alpha to his chest, taking comfort in his scent.

Cas relaxed and tucked his head under Dean's chin.

"It's gonna break me to see you go," whispered Dean, a small hitch in his voice.

Cas smiled bitterly.

"It's going to kill me to leave you."

Dean hugged him tighter.

"Don't go," he whispered, a single tear rolling down his cheek and Cas felt a few tears of his own slide down his face.

"I love you, Dean," he murmured after a few moments and his heart shattered at Dean's choked sob.

"I love you too," the demon whimpered, fingers buried in Castiel's wing as if the hold would keep him there forever.

Castiel closed his eyes and allowed himself to enjoy what little time he had left with Dean.

 

* * *

 

"There's only one way," sighed Dean looking devastated as he slammed the latest law book shut and Cas glanced at him, trying not to let too much hope flood his heart.

Tomorrow, Cas would be carted off to another master, arms and legs chained, ready to start his new life with a sadistic owner who would probably take great pleasure in destroying all the traits and confidence Dean had worked so hard to fix.

"Oh? You found something?" He asked, grimacing at the desperation in his own voice.

Dean closed his eyes. "Sam found a way that could work for him. I doubt it'll do any good for us."

"You might be surprised," said Cas softly, wings quivering in anticipation.

Dean caught his gaze for a second before his tail flopped helplessly.

"Mates can't be separated by law," he stated defeatedly and Cas felt his shoulders slump.

It's not that he didn't want to mate Dean; he would mate the demon in a heartbeat. The problem was they were both alphas.

Two alphas never formed a healthy relationship, let alone mated one another. Nobody knew if it was even possible as it just never happened.

Dean and Cas had the wrong parts to mate one another; they'd known that since being small children in school, back when the war was the furthest thing from their minds.

Sure, they could go through the motions, like marking and claiming and acting as though they were mates, but the truth was, they would never share that everlasting bond that mates had.

It was their last shot at staying together and it seemed an impossible dream.

"Cas, I'm so sorry," whimpered Dean, eyes tired from long nights reading law books and face drawn from nightmares of Cas being tortured and humiliated.

The angel's condition was no better. His feathers were ruffled from anxiousness and dark rings circled his eyes from his own research.

Castiel shook his head as he gently pulled Dean to his feet so they could embrace one another.

They focused on each other's breathing for a few minutes, mourning all they were about to lose, before Cas brushed his lips against Dean's jaw.

The other alpha's gaze softened and he nuzzled his lover's cheek sweetly as they moulded into one another.

Then Cas pressed his lips to Dean's, slowly and tenderly, almost regretfully as if he were trying to make the moment last a lifetime.

Dean cupped the other alpha's cheek, drawing them closer together as if it would make it so they never had to let go.

"I want you to knot me, Dean," murmured Cas against his lover's lips. "Before I leave. I want you to knot me just one time before I have to face the real world again."

Dean frowned and looked ready to protest before Cas silenced him with another kiss.

"Please, Dean. I... I want to pretend I'm yours. Just for this last night. I... I need you to show me that it doesn't... that it doesn't have to hurt." He gazed pleadingly into Dean's emerald eyes. "I need you."

The demon's eyes widened, tears brimming in them before he was guiding Cas to his bedroom and pushing the angel onto the mattress, ridding them both of clothes as he straddled the other alpha.

"I love you, Cas," he whispered fiercely and Cas grabbed at him frantically.

"I love every part of you," Dean continued as he kissed down Cas' chest. "All your scars and wounds."

He placed his lips against the angel's stomach.

"I love your wings and your eyes, your body and your lips."

Cas whimpered as he pulled Dean up for another heated kiss.

"I can't stop thinking about you," murmured Dean, claiming Cas' mouth as his tail curled around his waist possessively. "The way you walk and talk; your dry wit and your loyalty."

He sucked at Cas' throat as the other alpha bared it for him.

"I love your determination and your protectiveness; your gentleness and your tender heart."

Castiel moaned softly as Dean scraped his teeth over his exposed throat.

"I want you, Cas. All of you. I want you to be mine just as much as I want to be yours. I want to take care of you and hold you when you're upset; kiss you and laugh with you when you're happy."

He ran his hand over the other alpha's chest and stomach until it came to rest on his hip.

"I'd mate you right now if I could," he hissed and Cas smashed their lips together, lapping at his mouth until their tongues met and danced with each other.

"I'd make sure everyone knew you were mine," murmured Dean determinedly as they chased each other's lips.

"I want to mate you so badly," he whispered bitterly and Cas' wings fluffed up in an attempt to make himself more appealing.

Dean leaned down to nuzzle one.

"I want you to mate me," Cas replied, stroking Dean's hair. "I want to be yours forever. To know you're mine until the end of time."

Dean saw his own tears drip into the angel's wings and he glanced up to see droplets of water rolling down Cas' cheeks.

He kissed them away tenderly as he shifted into a better position to take the angel.

Cas spread his legs in offering as he brushed Dean's own tears away with his thumb.

"I love you so much, Dean," he choked and the demon's face crumpled.

"I love you too," Dean breathed as his cheeks grew damp.

Cas' legs wrapped around Dean's body in an attempt to get closer as the other alpha finally claimed him.

The angel buried his face into Dean's neck despairingly as Dean wept into his hair.

He didn't even notice when Dean's knot sunk into him.

"I'm scared," said Cas, voice small and vulnerable and Dean gripped him tighter.

"I know, darlin'," he murmured brokenly as they held one another.

Castiel finally took notice of Dean's knot, the way it made him feel safe and secure; how it grounded him and let him know Dean was protecting him from the cruel world.

He would never feel this way again.

He sobbed openly into Dean's neck and the demon cried with him.

"You're so strong, Cas," whispered Dean. "So brave and intelligent. Don't let anyone take that away. Keep fighting. Keep rebelling."

Cas captured Dean's lips desperately, needing to make the moment last.

Dean rolled his hips faster and Cas tangled his fingers in the other alpha's hair.

"I'll never forget you," mumbled Cas in a shaky voice and Dean kissed him harder as his picked up the pace.

After a few moments, the thick, emotional scents surrounding them coupled with Dean's frenzied thrusts were enough to make Cas arch into the other alpha with a needy moan.

"I've got you," murmured Dean as Cas fisted at his back.

"Dean..." groaned Cas and the demon ground deeper into him, knot locking them together.

"You're mine," growled Dean beside Cas' ear and the angel felt his heart ache longingly as he wished these sensations weren't only temporary.

"Good," he mouthed against Dean's ear, wanting to pretend it was all true.

Dean didn't let up his grinding and Cas closed his eyes, lips parted in bliss as he focused on the feeling of Dean's knot.

Suddenly, after a particularly deep thrust, Cas was overwhelmed by colour. Vaguely, he heard Dean cry out in pleasure and he had the urge to be closer to the demon, so he arched into the other alpha and threw his head back as Dean dug his hands into his wings.

"Cas!" Dean panted and the angel inhaled sharply as his whole nervous system set alight. Fire raced up his body and his eyes flashed an intense blue as a moan of pleasure was ripped from his throat.

He must have blacked out because the next thing he knew, he was tucked under Dean's chin as the demon curled around him, knot still buried deep inside him.

He relaxed against the other alpha, basking in Dean's warmth and affection as he lightly stroked the demon's side.

Dean's eyes fluttered open and when he noticed Cas was awake, he tugged the other alpha into his chest.

They lay in solemn silence for a few minutes, their minds musing how they would never feel this again; would never lay beside one another or touch each other's bodies again after the next day.

Cas shifted slightly and he nosed at Dean's throat as they waited for the knot to go down.

'I wish we could stay like this forever.'

Dean pressed his lips to Cas'.

'You don't know how happy that would make me.'

Castiel froze. How had Dean said that without moving his lips?

He pulled away slightly, frowning at Dean's confused gaze.

'...Can you hear me?'

Dean's eyes widened as he heard Cas' voice, yet the angel's mouth hadn't formed any words.

'...Cas?'

In unison, they realised what had happened and very slowly, smiles crept across their faces as their hearts lifted and warmed.

Suddenly, their futures looked a little brighter.

Dean pinned Cas to the mattress and the angel laughed freely as his lover peppered sloppy kisses to his face and neck.

"My." Kiss. "Gorgeous." Kiss. "Mate," huffed Dean joyfully, followed by a messy, wet kiss to the angel's lips.

Cas grinned and trailed his thumbs down the other alpha's cheeks.

"I'm yours," Cas breathed, awed, and Dean nodded with a fond smile.

"And I'm yours," he replied as he nuzzled Cas' palm.

"How?" Asked Cas, breathlessly and Dean shook his head as he swiped at a relieved tear with the back of his hand.

"I don't know and I don't care. All I know is nobody's taking you away from me."

Cas' heart backflipped.

"You're my mate," he said, struggling to believe it and Dean smirked.

"Why don't you prove it?" He whispered as he bared his throat for Cas and the angel felt his alpha instincts boot up.

He didn't need to ask if Dean was sure because he could already feel his mate's desire leaking through their new bond, and he yanked Dean down until he could sink his canines into the soft flesh of his neck.

Dean closed his eyes, sighing after the initial sting wore off and he rolled his hips slightly as a teasing reminder that his knot was still holding them both together.

Cas growled in approval before baring his own neck for Dean, and without a single hesitation, Dean physically marked his mate with a possessive bite.

When they were satisfied with each other's little bruises, they curled back around one another, smiles lighting their faces.

"No one will ever touch you again," rumbled Dean as he closed his eyes and Cas stroked his tail as they began to dose off.

 

* * *

 

The next morning Dean fired off a text to his brother.

 

Plan worked
Apparently two alphas can mate
Hope Gabe's ok :)

 

Then he kissed Cas hard and possessive, just because he could, and the angel beamed at him, wings fluttering happily behind him.

As they pulled apart, a heavy banging sounded on his door.

"Mr. Winchester? We've come for your slave. It's time for the switch, Sir."

Dean winked at his mate.

"Ready to cause a scene?"

Castiel grinned.

"I'm looking forward to it."

Dean flung the door open and narrowed his eyes at the two muscular alphas waiting on the other side, chains and whips dangling from their grips.

"Sorry boys. No slaves here," said Dean.

The other alphas raised their eyebrows as they glanced at the smirking Castiel.

One of them rolled his eyes and attempted to sidestep Dean, but Dean stood his ground and blocked his path.

"Let me rephrase that. Leave," he growled threateningly and both alphas immediately went into high alert, eyes sliding to black.

"We will as soon as we chain your slave," replied one alpha lowly, starting towards Cas once more.

Dean's tail thumped the ground warningly as Cas' wings puffed up defensively.

"Stay away from my mate," hissed Dean and both intruders paused in confusion.

"Mate?" One echoed and Cas turned his head slightly to show them the mating mark engraved into his neck.

The unwanted alphas hesitated. A mark didn't necessarily mean the pair were mated. Lots of masters liked to humiliate their slaves with bites.

One guard scented the air and scrunched his nose up.

"You're both alphas. You're not mated," he scoffed before shoving Dean out of the way and heading for Castiel.

Cas snarled, eyes flashing blue in fury.

"Don't touch my mate," he said lowly as he stalked towards the guards, wings high and dangerous.

The guard was about to snap at him, but as the angel neared him, he scented the air and paused.

There were definitely two separate scents radiating from Castiel. The same two scents that were wafting over from Dean.

Both guards' eyes blew wide in realisation.

Dean grinned as Cas slid over to and claimed his mouth roughly in a show of possessiveness.

The angel's scent turned protective.

"Like I said; keep away from my mate," growled Dean as his tail coiled around Cas' waist.

The guards glanced bewilderedly at one another. They'd never faced this situation before and now they didn't know what to do. Their orders were clear; grab any angels, shackle them and pass them on to their new owner... but they couldn't do that if the slave and master were mated. It would be too agonising for the pair to be torn apart and they couldn't let a fellow demon suffer; he could take his own life.

This particular demon was especially important due to his rank and status as one of Crowley's best agents.

Dean snarled. "Get out!" He roared, eyes black and teeth bared, shocking the intruding alphas into action.

They scrambled to leave; they weren't partial to fighting two mated alphas whose primal instincts were to protect one another.

As the door slammed shut Dean laughed delightedly as he crushed his mate into a hug, and Castiel grinned with him, lavishing kisses over his collar bone and neck.

Dean's gaze warmed as he felt the angel nuzzle at the mating mark on his neck, kissing it sweetly as if to remind himself that this was all real; that he truly was going to stay with Dean from now on until the end of time.

Dean cupped his cheek and rubbed their noses together.

"Mine," he huffed softly and Cas smiled as he stole a kiss.

"Can't believe I get to stay here, with you," murmured Cas in disbelief and Dean practically preened.

"You don't know how much I want to show you off," he whispered lovingly. "Show the world how lucky I am to have you."

Cas averted his gaze, humbled.

Dean chuckled. "If it's gonna get me that reaction, I am definitely showing you off."

He sobered as he tilted his mate's chin up.

"We're gonna help you're friends, okay? Me and Sammy have vowed to do something for you guys. We're not gonna rest until you have rights, just like the rest of us."

Cas' mouth fell open slightly in wonder.

"Dean... you... you can't. You'll be shunned by your people, looked down upon. Mocked and ridiculed; don't give up your rank for me."

Dean shook his head. "I want you to live the life you deserve. The war is over. It's time we acted like it. Angels shouldn't be treated like animals or objects; you guys are just as intelligent, just as creative and emotional as demons. You shouldn't have to live in fear all the time," he said determinedly and Cas' heart melted.

"You don't know how much that means..." whispered Cas, awed and Dean gently stroked a dark wing.

"I know it's not going to change overnight." He frowned at the clip glinting beneath Cas' feathers. "But maybe in generations to come, angels and demons will live in harmony, as equals."

Cas slipped his arms around Dean's waist, nuzzling his jaw gratefully.

"It's a nice thought."

"We could get the ball rolling," stated Dean. "Find a way to make people doubt the treatment of angels. I've got friends who I know'd be on board. So's Sammy. It would certainly make the news if we rallied against the state. Get people to think about your cause."

Castiel had the urge to steal a frantic kiss from Dean's lips, so he did.

Dean kissed back just as passionately.

They settled back down into one another's hold as they thought of ways to end the maltreatment of angels.

"You said Sam mated his angel?" Cas asked after a few moments. "Anyone I might know?"

Dean chuckled. "You might."

Now Cas was curious.

"Oh?"

Dean grinned. "Gabriel."

Cas froze. "The archangel Gabriel?"

"The one and only."

Cas claimed Dean's mouth again joyfully.

It seemed not all their leaders had lost their spirits. Out of the four archangel brothers, at least one of them had landed in a good home. Not all hope was lost.

"The archangels were like brothers to me when I climbed the ranks. They took me under their wings and supported me when they realised I had no family," said Cas wistfully.

Dean raised an eyebrow. He had known Cas admired the archangels, but he hadn't known they were so close.

"We can visit him sometime. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to see you and know that you're okay."

Cas nodded excitedly and Dean felt his alpha perk up in pride at pleasing his mate. He laced their fingers together and squeezed the other alpha's hand reassuringly as he grinned.

"For now though, we have some calls to make."