Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, or the Winchester boys, though I do think I have a collar that would fit Dean nicely ; ). I make no money from this.

A/N: This will be a series of one-shots, chronicling the progression of Dean and Castiel's relationship. I'm a slash virgin, so please be gentle!

A/N/N: Also, I know that I previously had a story here entitled "Bloody Sunday". Yes, I have deleted it. Why, you may ask? Honestly, as I wrote more chapters, I began to greatly dislike my OC. Further proof, if I needed any, that my stories evolve independent of me. And if I didn't like my OC, how could I possibly expect Dean to? Right? Then, I began re-watching the fourth season, and realized that there were innumerable possible slash scenes between Dean and Castiel. I decided to explore these by inserting them into the episodes. Of course, this may sometimes require me to alter canon, so if there are any changes in dialogue from the episodes, I probably did it on purpose. I hope I don't screw up too badly. Loves, Jane

4 - 02: Are You There God, It's Me Dean Winchester

Dean lay on the floor in Bobby's study, reeling from the days events. He'd been a hunter for as long as he could remember. And of course, he'd never liked losing people. You can't save everyone; that's a cold, hard fact, one Dean faced everyday.

But seeing their faces, hearing their accusing voices, filled with such raw anger... he'd never really wondered what it felt like to not be saved.

Granted, Sam hadn't saved him from Hell. But that was different. In allowing himself to get dragged into the pit, Dean was actually saving Sam, saving him from succumbing to the dark forces inside him, to the pull of the other side. So he'd never been angry with Sam. How could he? He'd practically ordered the poor boy to watch him die. In fact, if Dean felt anything about his death, it was guilt over making Sam witness it.

Guilt was something Dean was utterly familiar with. It was washing over him in waves now, as Henrikson's and Ronald's faces rolled over his vision. He'd really liked them. He'd liked Ronald immediately, could appreciate the fervor with which the awkward man had approached his "man-droid" hunt. If he'd had the time, if Ronald had survived, Dean would have seriously considered training him to be a hunter.

It was the same with Henrikson. He'd adamantly denied the existence of the supernatural; had called Dean and Sam crazy, made a few remarks about their father that had Dean seeing red, yet after all that, when Hell stared him in the face, his only question was "How do we fight?" Dean had admired that about him. It's good to be practical sometimes. And Dean had subconsciously begun planning training sessions with the agent, even as they fought off thirty demons, hoping that when it was all over, they may have another ally in the never-ending war.

But Meg... Meg there was no excuse for.

Dean didn't kill Ronald. He didn't kill Henrikson. But he did kill Meg. He had her thrown out a window, then had knowingly and deliberately exorcised the demon from her, knowing she would die. And seeing her as she was before, seeing how innocent and sweet she'd been before Azazel's spawn had gotten to her, it made Dean sick. And hearing about her sister... Dean wondered, not for the first time, if he was truly destined for Hell. Sure, he'd helped a few people. But he'd also done terrible things, he was sin on two legs, and he couldn't help the nagging thought that, with or without a demon deal, Dean Winchester was headed for the pit.

Without warning, his hunter's instincts flared up, and Dean felt a quiet rush of air, and a presence in the next room. He knew, instantly, without really knowing how he knew, that it was Castiel, that damned angel.

Dean stood, saw Castiel's silhouetted against the window above the sink. He was leaning against it, hands on the counter, as if were the most normal thing in the world. As Dean took a few steps forward, he heard the angel say in the odd, low voice of his, "Good job with the witnesses."

That pissed Dean off. Nothing about his job had been good. "You were hip to all this?" he demanded, keeping his voice low.

"I was - made aware."

"Oh. Well, thanks for the heavenly assistance. You know, I almost got my heart ripped outta my chest." Dean gestured angrily to his chest, where his heart lay under his black tank top.

"But you didn't."

Castiel's calm tone only served to infuriate Dean more. Though, intellectually, Dean knew that wasn't really the problem. He was tired, in pain - both emotional and physical - and thoroughly unsettled by the angel's presence. He smelled fresh and cold, like if frozen pine needles had a smell, and it rolled off him in waves, making the air around him cooler. As Dean moved closer, he could feel it tingling across his skin, the power that Castiel exuded. All of this only made Dean angrier.

"You know," he began, voice rough, "I thought angels were supposed to be guardians. Fluffy wings, halos - Michael Landon. Not dicks."

There was a tiny pause, and for an instant Dean thought maybe he'd offended the angel. Then, Castiel said, "Read the Bible. Angels are warriors of God. I'm a soldier."

"Yeah? Then why didn't you fight?" It incensed Dean, how easily they could have won if they'd had an angel on their side.

"I'm not here to perch on your shoulder, Dean." As he spoke Castiel reached out, and his fingertips brushed Dean's collar bone. Dean shuddered away from the touch, disturbed by the aura of cool power the angel wore. Castiel withdrew and continued, "We had larger concerns."

"Concerns?" Dean took a step forward. "There are people getting torn to shreds down here! And by the way, while all this is going on, where the Hell is your boss? If there is a God."

Castiel head dipped lower, his blue eyes boring into Dean's. "There's a God," he said, the weight in his words the only hint that Dean had offended him.

"I'm not convinced," Dean said, felling a smirk threatening to roll over his lips. Jesus, he was actually enjoying baiting an angel. He was definitely Hell-bound, contract or none. He knew he should stop, that this creature was powerful and unknown, and could kill him with a thought, but dammit, it felt to good to get it off his chest. "If there is a God, what is he waiting for, huh? Genocide, monsters roaming the earth, the frickin' apocalypse?" It was everything he'd been thinking since discovering that divine intervention lay behind his miraculous return, and he couldn't shut it off. "At what point does he lift a damn finger and help the poor bastards stuck down here?!"

"The lord works - "

"If you say mysterious ways, so help me I will kick your ass." Dean breathed heavily, watched the angel lift his hands, then drop them again, a strangely human gesture of capitulation, made completely unnerving by the lack of emotion behind it. Castiel's eyes met his, and Dean was awed by the frankness of their lack of care. Dean felt a desperate need to break the silence. "So Bobby was right? About the witnesses? This is some - sign of the apocalypse?"

Castiel sighed, and Dean felt stupid. It annoyed him how the angel could do little, and make him feel so much. "That's why we're here. There are big things afoot."

Well, that was ominous. "Do I wanna know what kinda things?"

"I sincerely doubt it, but you need to know."

And then Castiel was telling him about the seals, about the 66 seals, locks on some mystical door. And when Dean asks where that door leads, what happens when it's opened, Castiel's answer shocks him to stillness.

Lucifer.

"There's no such thing," Dean replied after a moment, his voice hoarse, throat dry. It just wasn't fair. No way is there fairness in a world where Lucifer can exist.

"Three days ago, you thought there was no such thing as me." Castiel's voice was even, low, but Dean could swear he heard the slightest edge of humor in it. As if Castiel was laughing at him, laughing at his human frailties and fear.

They were talking again, Dean swept up in this tide of news he never wanted. He barely registered the accusing words he threw at Castiel, didn't hear Castiel until the angel moved forward, invading Dean's personal space. "Our numbers are not unlimited," he said, his breath on Dean's face, smelling like peppermint, and licorice, and something else that Dean couldn't name, something far less sweet, and far more terrifying. "Six of my brothers died in the field this week. You think the armies of Heaven should just follow you around? There's a bigger picture here."

Dean leaned back slightly, desperately trying to gain control, trying not to let the nearness of the angel affect him so much. He didn't even know what was happening, just that he was trembling, and his knees had gone weak. Then, without warning, Castiel placed his hand squarely over the scar on Dean's arm, his hand settling into the grooves of the burn as if it were made for it. Which, of course, it was.

Dean bit his lip to keep from crying out as power tingled from Castiel's hand, biting along his skin like electricity. His knees began to give out and he slumped back against the counter, his other hand gripping the edge until his knuckles were white.

As Dean was panting against the onslaught of sensation, Castiel leaned his face directly into the human's and said, his voice low and dangerous, "You should show me some respect. I dragged you out of Hell. And I can throw you back in."

Castiel's hand convulsed, and then Dean did cry out as an unnamed, but overwhelming sensation ripped violently through his body. He sank to the floor, his eyes closed, trying to regulate his breathing. His body trembled with exhaustion, his skin tingling and overly sensitive. As his blood pressure began to drop back to normal, Dean realized the inside of his pants felt sticky and warm. The realization hit him with a mix of horror, revulsion, and awe.

Castiel had brought him to orgasm with nothing but a hand on his arm and a harsh word in his ear.

Cautiously, Dean opened his eyes. The angel was gone.

Dean stumbled to his feet, careful not to tread on Sammy who was sound asleep on the floor in the living room, and made his way to the bathroom. He climbed into the shower, letting the water pour over him, washing away the last of the sensations.

For the first time, the scope of what he'd been dragged into hit him, fully and completely.

And he had to wonder, how was this any better than Hell?