Summary: Dean Winchester doesn't talk, not unless he's a little self-medicated. And tonight, he's a lot self-medicated. Dean/Castiel pre-slash if you're wearing your slash goggles! One-shot.
A/N: I had a religious crisis recently. Long story short, I don't want to go to Hell for writing fanfics. This story was plotted in a completely gen way that turned a bit pre-slash in the end, making me think that God might not mind. Or that He just has bigger things to worry about than what the Superfans are up to.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nothing, I tell you! Please don't sue me!
"You must be an angel, because I have an erection." Dean blinked, shaking his head as the busty blonde rolled her eyes and turned to walk away. "Wait, wait. Lemme… lemme do it again. That wasn't right."
She stalked off through the crowd and his shoulders slumped. Perfect. Just great. That had probably been his last chance of the night to get laid and it was walking off through the crowded bar.
He felt a heavy hand on his shoulder and turned, smiling. "Now you're an angel." Piercing eyes traveled from his face to his chest to… a place that he definitely didn't want them to be. "Wait… that came out wrong…"
Castiel looked back up and fixed him with what Dean assumed was meant to be a disapproving stare. With the angel, though, it was hard to tell. Every expression looked the same on the guy's face. "You're drunk."
"And you're a stalker."
The angel looped an arm around Dean's shoulders. "Let's get you home."
"I don't have a home."
"To the motel, then."
Dean nodded and let himself get led through the bar and toward the door. They passed the blonde from before and he sent her a wink, which she responded to with a thoroughly cold shoulder. He shrugged as the door was pushed open and he was hit with a blast of cold air. "Her loss."
Castiel seemed to ignore him. "Is Sam in your room?"
"What were you doing in there?"
"Just told you," Dean slurred, "Sam's gone."
"He's with the demon?"
"So you went to a bar?"
"Gotta get some comp'ny."
"Why not find your brother?"
Dean turned to look at the other man, squinting through the darkness and streetlights to see him. "He's not with Ruby. He's with Bobby. Doin' research. Findin' out more about those Seals you're so hard on." He smirked.
"I see. Why don't you go to him?"
"Got a case o' my own, Cas. Salt 'n' burn. Easy shit, really."
"Is it done?"
Dean nodded. "Yep."
"Then you could leave. You could be in South Dakota by morning."
"Or I could leave Sammy alone for a while and get totally wasted. My choice."
"Why would you make that choice?"
"Dunno. He just… he's diff'rent. He's meaner. Sometimes it's like he doesn't want me around." He looked up at the sky, at the few stars he could make out between the gray clouds, at the small puffs of his breath, and wondered when he'd started sobering up and why it hurt so much.
"You can't run away from your problems."
"Like Hell I can't." He stopped, almost pulling the angel down as he halted in the street, and laughed long and loud and hard. "Man, that was a bad choice o' words."
Castiel sighed. "Dean." The was exasperation and warning in his voice, but the hunter didn't really care. They started walking again, Dean forcing his feet to move along the sidewalk, streetlights illuminating their path.
"I just need time, Cas."
"That's not my name."
"Should be. It's easier. More human, too. Brings you down a peg, to my level."
"I don't live on your level."
Dean grinned. "Oh, you should try it some time. It's fun."
The hunter shuddered. "Yeah. Well, get used to it." He glanced up from the sidewalk to see where they were and was surprised to find that they'd arrived at the motel. There was no way they'd made it there that fast unless he'd passed out along the way, and he was almost positive he'd stayed conscious the entire time. Almost. "Cas?"
The angel reached out and grabbed the doorknob. "Relax. We're here."
"Gonna need a key." The door opened easily. "Oh. Well, aren't you better than a Swiss Army Knife?"
Again, he was fixed with what was probably meant to be a disapproving stare, and ushered into the room. The lights flipped on by themselves, buzzing to dim life and doing little to brighten the dark room or his mood.
Dean struggled out of Castiel's grip and flopped onto the closest bed, arms flung out at either side of his body, eyes drooping shut.
"There are two beds."
"But Sam is not here."
The bed dipped as the angel sat down beside him. "You already said that."
"'m tired." He sighed. "And that was another brilliant observation, Cas."
"What did I tell you about respecting me?"
Dean cracked his eyes open to look at the other man. "You know, I read about you."
"Really? I was not aware I'd been written about." The angel cocked his head to one side, turning his body slightly to get a better look at the sprawled hunter.
"Well, not you specifically. You're one hard mofo to track. I got nothin' on you. But you," he waved one hand around over his head, "like, collectively. Angels. And something just don't add up."
"And what's that?"
Dean struggled to push himself up until he was sitting, using the headboard as a backrest, watching the angel with hazy eyes. "See, everything I read says that you guys are, like, made of love or something."
"And that's wrong."
He searched the passive face for signs of a joke. "No?"
"The books are correct."
"They can't be."
Castiel shifted, turning farther on the bed and leaning back until they were side-to-side against the headboard. "And why not?"
"They just can't be. You're not the fluffy lovey-dovey type. All right? You threatened to send me back to Hell."
The angel nodded. "Let me ask you something. You are a soldier, correct?"
"You fight battles? You kill things? You salt and burn, as you say?"
"Uh-huh. Still not seeing a point here."
"You also love your brother?"
The response was automatic. "More than anything."
"And the rest of your family?"
Dean nodded. "Well, yeah."
"And those people you save?"
"I don't hate 'em…"
"Then you see how it can be possible to be both a being of love and a warrior at the same time."
Dean shook his head. "No. You don't… you don't get it. The way these things talked it was all happiness and peace and warmth. Like, you love everything, no matter what, forever."
His companion nodded. "That's true. I love all of God's creature's, large and small, without condition."
"Even…" He paused. He wasn't drunk enough for this. Wasn't drunk enough for any of it. Angels and demons and Apocalypses. Unconditional love. All God's creatures. His stomach twisted into knots and by the look on Castiel's face he knew the angel must have felt something, freaky mind-stalker that he was.
There wasn't enough booze in the world.
"Even the demons?" Dean finished quickly.
That familiar tilt of the head was back, along with the wide-eyed default expression. "Even the demons. It just translates differently. But that isn't what you were going to say."
"Have you heard half the stuff coming outta my mouth tonight? Does it really matter?"
"It matters to me if it matters to you."
Dean blinked. "Well… it doesn't."
"You think you don't deserve it."
The it in question didn't even need to be identified. It was understood. Stupid angel with his stupid soul-searching blue eyes that could stupidly reach into his mind pull out every stupid thought. Stupid.
"I don't. I never did." He slumped back down against the headboard, his back bent at an uncomfortable angle. "My mom used to tell me there were angels watching over me. You believe that? Freakin' angels."
"She was right," Castiel reminded him.
"You think? She used to tell me that if I was a good boy and said my prayers every night, I'd get what I wanted. Nothin' bad would happen. You believe that?"
"I believe you misinterpreted."
"I said my prayers till I was twelve years old. I believed. I fought for what I had and I took care of Sam and dad and I saved people. Ev'ry night I asked for the same thing." Dean sighed and looked toward the door, which had closed somehow since they'd entered the room. He didn't remember pushing it shut, didn't remember hearing it close, didn't-
He jumped, startled. "How'd you know?"
Cas shrugged, and it was maybe the most human thing Dean had ever seen him do. "I just do."
He looked back at the door. It was an interesting door. It could shut by itself. "I never got it."
"You asked for an angel."
He still didn't look back. "No one else wanted me. Thought maybe you might." He sighed. "Collective you."
"And because God didn't grant your wish, you stopped believing." There was a smug tone in the angel's voice, and Dean wasn't so sure he liked it. The fact that the creature thought it knew more about his life than he did irked him somehow.
"No. I stopped because I heard Sam pray. He wanted to go to school. He got what he wanted." He paused, trying to slow his brain down, but the next sentence slipped out of his mouth before he could stop it. "He was good enough to get it."
Slight tilt of the head, narrowing of the eyes. Confusion. Good. "I don't understand." Victory. At least his misstep had worked to his advantage.
"Only good little boys get what they pray for." He finally managed to look back at the angel. "So, I guess saving him was good, right?"
That look was still on Castiel's face, as if it was stuck there now, a permanent feature for the vessel to deal with in the aftermath of the holy war. "Explain."
"You're here for me." He blinked, gulped back fear. "Right? Saving him, it was good, so you came, right?" Too late to back down now, and he wasn't sure he wanted to. He was tired and drunk and cold and alone. Might as well make conversation. Might as well stop trying to fight it, clear up some doubt. "I saved him, I brought him back, and that was good, and you came to help me."
"You didn't believe in me."
Dean shrugged. "It took a while. I believe now. I'm right, though, right? I did good? I'm good?"
Castiel stared at him, that deep, soul-searching gaze that usually made him squirm. He was so numb now that he didn't mind, just waited for a response. There was always a response with this guy, and he like that. Honesty. Nothing to hide. No secrets. Just the truth.
There was no reply. Just a stare. Silence stretched on, and Dean finally started to squirm. No response was bad. Really bad. Like, subject-change bad.
"I always wanted a dog," he said. "You know, 'cause they'll love you no matter what. I heard stories from people about these puppies that got beat-up real bad… like, kicked and stuff… and they got back up and went back to the person that kicked 'em."
"You would kick a puppy?"
"No. But that kinda loyalty? I'd kill for that. For something that would just come back." He looked at the angel. "You keep coming back." He smiled. "Like a puppy."
"I need to go." Castiel sat up, wincing as his vessel's spine popped, and scooted to the edge of the bed.
Dean was sitting up in an instant, hand wrapped around the worn fabric of the tan trench coat, fingers digging in. "Wait. You can't leave."
"I'm needed elsewhere."
"More important than me?" He was surprised to see the angel's face actually soften, the creases in his borrowed forehead smoothing out as he stared at the hunter, eyes losing their usual intensity. "Just until I fall asleep?" Dean added, hoping to persuade him.
"I've never seen you like this before," Castiel observed.
"Need to come drinking with me more often." He didn't relax his grip. "Please? I don't wanna be alone."
"That was your own choice." The angel settled back on the bed. "But I suppose I could stay."
Dean finally let go of his arm and laid back down. "Cool. That's cool."
He was surprised when Cas laid out beside him, wrapping an arm around him and pulling him close. "You're cold."
"Blankets work, too, dude." He yawned and curled into the warmth of the other body. He wouldn't admit to it in the morning, not with what he knew would be a horrible hang-over, but it was nice. He hadn't been that close to anyone in a long time.
Dean settled his head on the angel's chest and sighed. The soft rhythm of a heartbeat began to lull him to sleep, and he closed his eyes. Everything faded slowly away, from the room outside to the cold and imposing night sky to the memories that he'd been trying to hide from in the bottom of a bottle.
Something grazed the top of his head, and his hazy mind barely registered them as lips. "Even you, Dean" Castiel whispered before he finally drifted off to sleep.
Dean woke up without a hangover. He was warm and comfortable and his head was as bright and clear as the morning sky outside. He wasn't alone in the room.
The hunter sat up and ran a hand over his face, gazing steadily at the angel sitting on the other bed. "You came back?"
"I never left."
Dean shook his head. "You're such a dog, Cas." He stood and yawned, stretching his arms over his head and walked to the window. He pushed the thin curtains back to let the bright sunlight stream in, warming his face.
"I believe you would compare me to a puppy, actually."
He couldn't help but smile, despite the fact that the previous night was clearer to him than it had any right to be. Even him. Unconditional really was unconditional, then.
Dean turned, expecting to find himself alone in the room. He wasn't.
A/N2: Kudos for the first line go to my roommate Lara, who totally suggested it. I got her hooked on Super our first day in the dorm, and she's awesome for putting up with my unhealthy love of this paring.
Thanks for reading!