This is set after 5.03 and its got a little bit of love going on so if you don't like it I wouldn't read

Castiel's face was stuck in the same frown it had been in for the last hour as he stared at the sleeping form of his charge. Though, if he were to be honest with himself, the term no longer applied. His disobedience left him no longer affiliated with home in any way and therefore, his job to watch over the Winchester boy was technically void. It didn't explain why he still had the urge to protect, to save this young man before him.

That however, was not the reason why he was here feeling remarkably human as he stood brooding. Try as he might to find peace in prayer or solitude he could not. The night had been…eventful to say the very least. While Raphael and the fact that he was currently looking for him to quit literally shred him into tiny pieces (again) should have been the most i it was not on the forefront of his mind as it should have been.

'Bert and Ernie are gay and you are not gonna to die a virgin.'

Brows furrowing deeply the troubled ex-angel circled the bed in which the man was sleeping. He was sprawled beneath the covers, his shirt and pants half on the bed as if he had barely had the energy to strip before falling into bed. He looked small like this, the lines of stress and pain smoothed from his face making him look…vulnerable. Silently he sat across from the prone form of the one who would hopefully save them all. Absently Castiel noted that the habit of the human getting a set of double beds and not the single only he would use had apparently not faded. Dean Winchester could speak all he wanted about not needing his brother, about his supposed freedom from responsibility. He may have convinced himself but Castiel knew it was a lie. Sam Winchester was the other side of the coin that Dean would never be able to live without. He was just too stubborn to see it. A quality that managed to both annoy and please the angel at the same time.

'Bert and Ernie….' Castiel sighed a breath he didn't need and fought the urge to rub his hands over his face. It was a habit that he had picked up from the young man who, if the timeline proved true would begin struggling with inner demons soon. Those demons, Castiel noted, sometimes were worse than the physical ones. Sighing again Castiel looked at the face beginning to scrunch in pain. He did not know who these Bert and Ernie were but he had learned how to speak the Winchester language and there got the drift as Dean would say.


Sexual orientation had never truly occurred to the now not so holy angel. At least not until Dean had brought it up. In his true form he was considered neither male nor female, though most did have a preference on Earth. His vessel had just happened to be a man, and the form had suited Castiel so naturally he had stuck with it. Truthfully though it had been so long since he'd walked the Earth he couldn't truly remember ever taking another form other than a man. Did that make him a man then?

Stuck in his thoughts, he spared a glance at Dean who tossed to his side to face the angel in his sleep. A wave of tenderness, a stronger emotion now that he was cut off from Heaven, passed through him and he resisted the urge to reach out and touch this creation of his father. While he knew that not every man was created equally it was undeniable that every single one was special, unique and wondrous. Which naturally had brought him to his next problem.

Women were beautiful creatures that was certainly true and it was true that they elicited a certain response from this body that made the angel blush with what blood left he had in his head. Those feelings were rational as well, after all intercourse was meant for procreation however….

Dean whimpered in his sleep his body jerking as his hands fisted into the covers that lay atop of him. His legs had already managed to tangle the sheets by his waist effectively cutting off the movement of his lower half. He made a noise remarkably like a scream, his back arching off the bed as his struggled. Castiel moved as silently as he had come, going to a crouch next to his… frowning again he struggled internally on how to define Dean Winchester. They had been through too much, defied the powers of the almighty together and the boy was technically no longer his to protect. Which made him nothing except perhaps a…. friend. That though wasn't quite right either, the word friend didn't nearly cover what they'd been through. Regardless of how he was labeled he was important and the sight of him in pain made a spot in Castiels chest tighten in a way he didn't understand.

"PLEASE!" It came out as a begging sob and Castiel flinched despite himself reaching out to him and feeling guilty that his own thoughts had caused his…friend (no that word was still not right though it did make a pleasant feeling in his stomach when he thought it )more pain. As gently as he could he touched his mind first to let him know without knowing that it was an ally waking him. Then, still unsure with his own feeling on the matter he reaching out and lightly resting a hand on the struggling man's shoulder.

"Dean, wake up." Castiel put as much strength into the command as he could. The poor mentally fragile human struggled for another moment, another cry, another heart wrenching moment for Castiel before wide hazel eyes blinked at him. Despite his attempts at easing him out of the dream, terror still lurked behind eyes that should have been too young to understand something so horrible. Not for the first time Castiel mourned the loss of some of his abilities, especially the power to make Dean forget these horrible nightmares.

"Cas?" It came out as yet another plea and Castiel wished to turn back time so he could kill Alistair a thousand times over. Yet another emotion he was still trying to figure out.

"It is me." Castiel assured him his hand giving a gentle and what he hoped was a reassuring squeeze. Dean took a breath swallowed once and then sat up abruptly as he ran his hands over his face much as Castiel had done minutes ago. He was trembling ever so slightly, Castiel noted pulling his hand back and resting it in his lap as he slowly sat on the bed beside the boy. Dean shuddered again, then physically put up a wall just as Castiel had seen him do a hundred times before. One second it was a trembling boy who had seen far too much for his short lifespan and the next he was a battle hardened warrior. The jokes would come soon Castiel thought, as soon as the original panic subsided.

" So what's up Cas?" The voice was still gravely from sleep which matched the dark circles under his eyes somehow. Castiel watched him as he leaned back against the worn and faded headboard. The nickname had long since lost its annoyance and now had become something he honestly looked forward to.

"What do you dream about Dean?" The question came out before the angel could stop it. He knew what the human's reaction would be (yet another feeling of warmth spread through him as he realized he knew truly knew what Dean would do) and yet the question had popped up yesterday. Of course Dean dreamed of his time in Hell but it was one of many times that Castiel hadn't just simply looked. He hadn't felt …right… about it. He wasn't aware why.

Predictably Dean tensed the muscles around his jaw clenching as terror flickered behind his eyes once again. Soon he could make the also predictable escape and pace routine which would be capped with a beer. Without making the decision consciously Castiel's hand shot out to grab his friends arm and hold him back to the bed. He succeeded only because Dean's feet were still tangled from struggling. When Dean shot a glare his way he opened his vessels mouth to say something, anything that would explain what he had meant but the angel froze mid motion as his hand slid over marred skin. Frowning he ignored the protests and tugged him closer until they were nearly eye to eye.

"Dude what the hell?!" Dean growled out trying valiantly to shrug off the angel that was definitely invading personal space. Castiel ignored him and instead flattened his palm against Dean's Cold and clammy bare skin. Castiel's ever present frown deepened as he ran his fingers over the upraised skin that matched his palm perfectly. Cocking his head to the side he raised his eyes to Dean's.

"I did this?" he questioned, running his finger across the brand on his shoulder and watching as goose bumps raised in its wake. Dean shrugged still giving Castiel an odd look as he hiked the blanket closer to him.

"Yeah apparently getting drug out of hell leaves a bit of a mark." Ah there was the dry humor he knew so well. A worry he hadn't worried known was on his shoulders lifted ever so slightly. Dean would be alright so long as the jokes kept coming. But still guilt rumbled in his head as he saw the vicious looking palm print.

"I am sorry." Castiel said softly removing his hand but still eyeing the scar. Dean gave a small shrug eyes downcast.

"Don't worry, it sure as hell beats the alternative." He muttered as he untangled himself and snagged what looked to Castiel like a week old shirt from the floor. Shrugging it on, he made his way to the mini bar and rummaged for a suitable drink as Castiel watched. He popped open a beer and regarded Castiel in a way that made him want to squirm for no good reason.

"You want to tell me why you're here Cas?" Dean asked tilting the bottle back. Castiel gave a mental frown at that. It really was not a good coping mechanism for a human. If the stubborn human would just talk.

"Who are Bert and Ernie?" Dean spluttered and then choked on the liquid that hadn't gone down his throat. Castiel watched worry running through him until Dean's face came into view and the angel realized he was laughing as he struggled to breath. Humans really were so strange. Still though, the smile was something rare and Castiel knew it was special. He would cherish it.

"Seriously? Bert and Ernie Sesame street. Really?" He laughed again setting the beer down and leaning against the wall as he regarded the angel. It changed his face so much it was startling.

"Is there something wrong with them?" Dean stopped moving the smile very slowly going from his face. Castiel expected to see anger or confusion but the assessing look his former charge was throwing his way revealed that under all the sarcasm there was an intelligent mind.

"That depends on who you ask I guess." Dean said slowly, "I would think you would be one of the ones to know that." Castiel frowned for the thousand time in one night noting that Dean Winchester if nothing else would never be simple. He raised his eyes to the enigma that was Dean Winchester, and simply stared at him. The clock in the room ticked away as Dean held his eyes something lurking just behind them that Castiel could not decipher. Finally he looked down and took another swig of beer. Castiel felt his own smile beginning against his will. The emotions of the human world were so remarkable.

He stood slowly smoothing his coat. Dean watched him out of the corner of his eye as he approached him. They were very nearly the same height so looking him in the eyes wouldn't be hard. Catching his eye however, seemed to be a problem. Standing close enough that he knew it would bother his 'personal space' problem he seemed to have Castiel waited patiently. Finally with a sigh the young man looked at him.

"The dreams Dean," Castiel started already prepared for the flinch and the hurt he knew would be lurking behind those hazel eyes. Dean it seemed, was always waiting for someone to hurt him. Before he could look away, before he could retreat into his own world, Castiel reached up and grabbed his chin forcing him to look him in the eye. From here he could smell the sharp taste of the beer he was drinking. "I am always here for you. No matter what. When you need to talk I will be here." Dean swallowed so hard Castiel could hear it. So young and already so old. It truly wasn't fair and not for the first time Castiel was struck with the unfairness of it all. Dean did not deserve this burden. Finally the young man nodded once curtly pulling his face out of Castiel's grip. He didn't move back more than step his eyes still downcast as he took another swig of beer. Castiel regarded him for a second and then sighed. "You Dean, are an unsolvable puzzle."

Then before Dean could do more than blink in astonishment Castiel brought his lips to his. He tasted like beer but underneath it he was sweet, like the candy he had peddled off on the angel after Halloween. For a moment it felt like he was in a freefall his stomach twisting in wonderful ways. It was…. Nice. It was quick and basically chaste and it was nothing like Castiel thought it would be.

It was better.

Taking a step back Castiel raked his eyes over the man before him who was currently gaping at him like he'd just sprouted well….


"I-What?-why?" he, always so vocal was at a loss for words. For the first time all night, maybe all week, Castiel let a smile break over his face and he laughed. Dean was still staring at him the beer he held spilling onto the carpet. He didn't seem to notice and Castiel didn't enlighten him just enjoying the sight.

"Humans truly are a work of art." And before Dean could get himself together he popped out of sight laughing all the way.