Setting: Season 4. Prequel to: To Lay With Angels.

Warning: Ok, John, in this fic, is abusive dick. I love him, I love how JDM played him, but, this is an AU, so…changing it up a little.

Warning: Things may get a bit graphic later, language, violence and sex wise… This is a slash fic. If you do not wish to read a slash fic, I invite you to leave now. Flammers will be shot…survivors will be shot again… ;)

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, Bobby, Castiel, or John. If I did, they'd be naked and getting a lot more action…

As always, visit my profile to see my Supernatural line of Jewelry!!

Apt To Fall

Chapter 1: All I Ever Wanted

Dean Winchester took pleasure in the simple things in life. He took pleasure in a good meal, a good piece of pie, letting the experience of it wash over him and through him and letting the flavors and warmth and images seep into him for later remembrance. He took pleasure in working on his Baby, driving her, washing her, looking after her because to him, she was a thing of beauty. 40 years old and still in pristine condition, even after a lifetime of hard use and an painfully horrific and wretchedly memorable crash in which a semi had damn near done her in. He took pleasure in good old school rock played at brain-damaging levels, and of course Sammy's bitchfacing because of said music and loudness. He took pleasure in the beauty of a sunset or of a long stretch of road dolling out in front of him with his little brother at his side and his Baby's engine thrumming out loud and steady, like the throb of his own heart, though the chick-flickness of those things kept him from admitting it out loud, of course...

Dean also took great pleasure in wrapping himself in the arms of a lover, whether it be for a single night or a little longer. Mostly women, beautiful and soft in all the right places, though he had to admit to a few beer-goggled choices in his past…Sometimes, he took a man home to his bed or went home with them, and depending on the level of comfort he felt with the person, he'd allow them to make love to him, but those times were few and far between because he rarely ever felt comfortable enough to let go of his control, even for a brief period of time. He was pretty sure Sammy didn't know about his ambiguity of sexual partners, but his brother was very perceptive, more so now than ever now that he had developed a sixth sense. It wasn't that he was ashamed, it was just that he was a very private person and he didn't share everything of himself with anyone, not even Sammy. They other piece of that complicated puzzle was that he could help but think of what his baby brother WOULD say if he knew…What if he was disgusted? What if he was like their father and couldn't accept it? That thought always took Dean back to when John had first found out. It wasn't a pleasant memory and yet he could recall every detail, playing it like a film in his mind.

John had walked in on Dean and another boy when he was 17. Josh and him had been kissing, their hands fumbling in touches and petting, no real finesse, just seeking the stimulation the right touch could bring out…John had come back earlier than expected, 2 full days earlier, actually and Sammy had been at his friend's house working on their science fair project, the poor little geek… and so Dean had thought he might have this one little chance to indulge and maybe go further then just kissing a boy, as he had already conquered several of the fairer sex by then…John's eyes widened in shock and then, as Dean watched, they hardened, subtle flashes of hatred and disgust and fear had slashed their way over his father features before he could catch them. Dean had slumped in sadness, seeing that his father looking at him like that…again…His eyes had slipped to the floor and he couldn't bring himself to look up again for the longest time.

"Dean, I think it's time for your…friend…to go, don't you?" he'd said, the hard bitter edge to his voice unmistakable.

Dean had swallowed hard, nodding and mumbling 'Yes sir' as he got to his feet and led Josh to the door. He stepped outside and whispered an apology to the boy, the look of fear and sadness shinning back to him from Josh's eyes had burned itself in his memory forever. He shuffled quietly back into the room and closed the door behind him, looking at his father's tense back, watching John try and rein in his emotions. Just as his father started to turn, Dean's cell had wrung. He'd dug it out of his pocket and answered it. It was Sammy and he was ready to be picked up. John glared at him and waited for him to hang up before he spoke.

"Who was it?" he'd said with a growl rumbling through his voice.

"Sammy…he's ready to be picked up from Steven's house. They got most of the project done, so they're finished for the night." He'd replied quietly.

"Fine…let's go get your brother. Where is he?" John had said, his tone brooking no argument.

"Yes sir…"

Dean gave him the address. They'd climbed into the Impala, Dean's now since John had given it to him when he'd turned sixteen and they needed to be able to accommodate Sammy, so John's beast of a truck would have been a poor choice anyways. John snatched the keys from his hand. He slumped further in defeat, feeling almost as low as he had when he'd screwed up and Sammy had almost been killed by the Striga…

Dean slipped into the passenger seat, hunched against the door. His father stared the car, but didn't slip her into gear. He just sat there, clenching the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip, his jaw clenched tight and his teeth grinding harshly. Dean risked a glance at him and at that moment, his father lashed out at him. He struck him hard and quick, landing punches to his face, gut, side, back, thigh…basically wherever John could land a punch on him as he tried to make himself a smaller target. The sheer hostility and unexpectedness of it, if not the blows themselves, was enough to knock the breath out of him. Dean was panting by the time his father stopped, unsure of how many times he'd been hit. He felt dizzy, his body and head were on fire as the throbbing started making itself known on an unbelievable level. He held his eyes shut tight, refusing to give in to the urge to cry. He felt blood trickle down his face from several spots, but he had no energy or inclination to wipe it away. His father was panting, too, his furious burst of energy now expelled. Dean cracked his eyes open to look at him. He saw regret and sadness over what he'd done flicker briefly over John's features before the anger and disgust settled into hard lines on his face once again. It was a long time before John could or would speak to him.

"No son of mine is gonna be a faggot…" John had said, turning his burning gaze to look at his eldest son.

Dean cringed back even more, pressing himself into the door panel even harder.

"Do you understand me? I will not tolerate that disgusting perversion." He'd growled.

Dean's eyes slid closed as the tears and sobs threatened to break free from his control against his will.

"Dean!!! Answer me, boy!" He'd all but screamed.

Dean's eyes jerked open and he willed himself to push the pain behind his ever-present walls. He sucked in a hitched breath, noting the harsh twinges from multiple locations in his ribs as he did so.

"Yes sir." He'd replied meekly.

"Good." John growled, then slipped the car in gear and guided her out of the parking space, out of the lot and down the street. Dean pulled out his handkerchief and with a shaky hand, pulled down the passenger mirror. The sight in the small piece of glass was terrible. He was a mess. John had really done a number on him. Sammy couldn't see him like that. He licked the edge of the cloth and started dragging it over the bloodied place on his face, swallowing his winces down, not wanting to provoke his father any further. He'd gotten the blood off as best he could, still dabbing at the weeping wounds that hadn't clotted yet. They were mostly slowed or stopped completely by the time they pulled up at Steven's house. Dean buttoned his dark shirt up, hiding the evidence of the blood on his t-shirt then slid out of the car and climbed in the back as his father honked impatiently for his brother to come out.

The curtain shifted and then a few moments later, Sammy came bounding out and bounced into he car. He gave a quirked brow as he looked at his father then Dean, who had his head down, not looking at either of them. Sam's smile faltered then fell off altogether. A deep frown took up residence on his face.

"Hey, how come you're in back, Dean? How come you're not driving?" Sam had asked.

Dean hadn't answer, he just tucked his head down further. John growled.

"Shut the damn door Sammy and mind your own business."

Sam's bright hazel eyes had grown impossibly wide and he'd looked like he wanted to cry, but then, anger had spilled onto his features as he looked back at Dean again, then their father. He'd opened his mouth to argue, something he'd been doing with increased frequency as of late as he slipped closer to his impending 14th birthday.

"I said shut the fucking door!" John bellowed.

Sam's mouth had snapped shut. He shut the door, then turned in his seat and snapped his seat belt into place as he settled sullenly into the leather bench. He'd never heard his father this angry. Well, no, that wasn't true. He was angry at Dean a lot, not that Dean actually ever did much to cause the anger because he ALWAYS followed John's orders, even going out of his way to try and do everything perfect. Well, and now that he himself had a hard time biting his tongue when the older man pissed him off. Sam hadn't been sure what Dean had apparently "done" this time but whatever it was, it had incited their father's anger to an entirely new level. He'd apparently made a mental note to talk to his brother in private later that evening, but had kept his mouth shut for the time being, lest he provoke their dad to lash out further. John almost never hit his little brother, and if he looked like he was gonna, Dean stepped in, attempting to appease him, or taking on the punishment himself if he couldn't appease him. Dean always put himself in the path of any and every danger out there, whether it was something supernatural or not, always making sure Sammy was spared. He knew of the sadness that throbbed inside his baby brother because of his self-sacrificing. Sammy had told him so on more than one occasion. As they grew ever bigger as they grew older and Sam had started being included in the hunts, it had only escalated.

Dean had been hurt and/or nearly died so many times because of Sam. Dean knew that Sammy had both hated him for it and loved him for it, but he would have done the same irregardless of Sammy feelings on the matter becasue it was his job...his purpose in life to take care of his baby brother. Dean always felt proud of that fact because, I mean really, how many people could ACTUALLY say they had someone that loved them so much they'd DIE for them? It was a constant sore point for his younger brother, though.

Dean hadn't said a word all night. He followed every one of their father's barked orders, not an ounce of resistance. When Sam had confronted him about it later, noting the bruising already appearing on his face and the cuts and abrasions glaring out red and obvious from his pale skin, he'd been terribly quiet.

"It was nothing Sammy…I'm ok." He'd said.

Sam had shaken his head. It wasn't ok. Dean wasn't ok. He'd opened his mouth to press him further, but the look in his big brother's eyes had stopped him cold, apparently. Sammy had nearly choked as his breath caught in his throat. Dean slumped down even further, shuffling away to their tiny bathroom and closing the door.

Dean had locked the door tight, fearing Sam would burst in and see the extent of his injuries. As he tenderly pealed off his clothes, he took stock of the damage. At least 3 bruised ribs, 2 fractured ribs, another shifted under his touch, he bit his lip hard to hold in the scream that wanted to escape. Definitely broken, then…bruises were already blooming over his chest, back, outer thigh, hip and face. His entire left side throbbed hard as it had taken the brunt of the damage. Dean's eyes had slid closed, overwhelmed by how much proof he had of his father's disgust, wounds to carry on the outside that mirrored how he felt on the inside. He'd felt the sobs rising in his chest and had known he couldn't hold it in much longer. He shifted gingerly into the dingy shower stall and cranked on the sputtering water, ignoring the mind-numbing cold of the initial spray as it warmed up. He only flicked on the other faucet when the blistering heat on his skin caused his muscles to spasm so hard he almost lost his balance. Once a somewhat more agreeable temperature had been found he'd allowed himself to sink to the ground. Finally, he'd let himself give into the racking sobs. The water was nearly cold by the time he'd gotten control of himself. He'd scrubbed his hands roughly over his face, wincing as they caught on his various injuries. He's worked fast to wash himself and clean his hair, finishing just as the water flicked over to freezing. He'd dried off and slipped his worn pajama bottoms and long-sleeved shirt on and then had taken one last moment to brace himself before slipping out of the bathroom and into the room he shared with his little brother, sliding silently into bed.

Sammy had come into their room, asking if he wanted any dinner, he'd told him no. Sam had reluctantly gone again and he had slipped into a deep sleep, forcing himself to put everything out of his mind. Luckily, it had been Friday, so he'd been spared the questions and murmurs for a couple of days, and by the time Monday had rolled around, his father was gone on another hunt and he was ready, his usual sarcastic mask was firmly back in place.

After that night, John had never spoken of it again. He'd watched him like a hawk, looking for any signs of weakness or "perversion". Dean had worked harder than ever before, never giving any resistance, and only ever giving attention to the fairer sex. John had seemed satisfied that he'd beaten the "sickness" out of him and he'd let up on his scrutiny a little after that.

Looking back now, Dean still felt every single blow, every single cutting comment, his father berating, calling him every gay bashing name under the sun when he thought Dean was being weak and when neither Sammy nor anyone else was around to hear it. Dean had just accepted it, letting his father see him take girl home to bed or go home with them. He hadn't done anything with a guy for a very long time, not until his father had started sending him on hunts alone. Even then he was very discreet, just in case someone his father knew saw him and it got back to John. When John had died, he'd been a complete mess. He both fiercely loved and hated his father. He had found it hard to keep control for a very long time after. All the confusion and pain had been like walking around through quick sand. He never knew when the bottom would drop out from beneath his feet and thus he had become ticking time bomb, ready to explode and fall apart at any given time. Somehow, he'd held it together, though. He'd started to work through it, he really had. Then, Cold Oak had happened. Sam's death had been well beyond the final straw. If he hadn't been able to make a deal, he would have followed his beloved baby brother to the grave. Bobby, the poor soul who loved them as fiercely as he would have if they had been his own sons, Bobby would have been stuck burying the last of the Winchester line all by himself. But, a deal was struck. Sammy came back, and then things fell the fuck apart faster than they ever had before. His deal came due and down, down, down he went. Down to where all of Hell waited with baited breath as he gave into his weakness and did what they had wanted all along.

When he'd been saved…raised from perdition, as it were, he'd tried to do what he used to do. Take in simple pleasures, and even those with a debilitating level of guilt tainting them, because, as far as he was concerned, he deserved nothing but pain. He had become what he used to kill. He'd become worse…so much worse then that even. He didn't deserve to be alive, but he was damn sure gonna use the opportunity to try to start atoning for his evil ways.

Dean never felt he ever would or could have love. The love of a mother, snatched away when he'd barely even tasted it's all-encompassing warmth. The love of a father, snatched away when his mother had died and never seen again in the man his father had become thereafter. The love of his brother, raising the mop-haired little snot, loving him as a brother, a son, a best friend, that too had been snatched away, by his brother himself. Sammy had taken all the good Dean had ever really found with him when he'd walked out that door. After that, Dean was little more then a hollow shell, walking around, going through the motions of living and all that….Cassie had briefly made him feel again. She'd coaxed the tiny piece of his heart he'd had left out and when he'd told her the truth, she'd thrown it to the ground at his feet and left him reeling from the horror of it all. He'd retrieved his brother not long after that, and found that his now gargantuan "little" brother had moved on for good. He'd found someone wonderful to be his wife and it turned out he'd be leaving Dean behind forever. Don't get him wrong, Jess dying had been horrible, knowing how much his brother had cared for her and how much he was now leaving behind to rejoin the hunt, Dean was heartbroken for him. Sammy was giving up on his dreams, but still, a tiny part of Dean was almost glad his brother was back with him. Everything that happened after was like watching a horrendous car crash in super slow motion. Sammy coming and going, mostly by his own choice, their dad doing the same, it was all just more of the same to heap upon his battered heart. Though he craved their love and even a love for himself, he never thought he was worthy of it and thus he never found it.

Being back now, after Hell…well, let's just say love was the LAST thing on his mind. He stilled sought solace in the little pleasures in life, sure that he deserved no better and in all actuality, he deserved MUCH less. The little pleasures were his own escape from reality, though. It was a reality in which he'd only ever be atoning for his many sordid mistakes. Love never entered the equation at all. That was, until that night. The night he and Bobby cast out their net for Castiel. Cas had come strolling in, all badass with a rudimentary fireworks show and an impenetrable, impervious body. Dean had been freaked to hell. Who was this strange being, so curious and hard to read? There was something about him that was alien... He was too bright, almost too much to bear for Dean... Of course, he was Dean Winchester and he remembered his father's lessons well. He reined in his fear, bringing to bear his snarkiest self to combat the overwhelmingly striking being before him. Cas, for his part, had been unbelievably clueless in some instances and FAR too perceptive in others. All of it just left Dean feeling on the verge of collapse. Being told God commanded his rescue and that angels were real and all of it just wore him the fuck out.

That night, as Dean drifted off to sleep, he couldn't help but think of the man…the Angel of the Lord…The "vessel" as he'd called it, was beautiful, but it was more than that, because the being beneath resonated with him on a much deeper level. Dean was terrified of what that could mean. I'm mean shit…a fucking Angel? Could he really be attracted to an angel? There was also a fear that what if his attraction sent him back to Hell?…Could angels even feel? Were they allowed to consort with humans? Would Castiel even WANT to consort with someone like him? A sinner…A monster…God, his brain was going a mile a minute, running through a million questions and finding he had none of the answers. What the hell was he gonna do now?

Dean sighed. 'I have no fucking idea…' he thought, 'no fucking idea at all…' It was all the thinking he could muster as he drifted off into a terrorized, Hell-filled sleep.

A/N: Okie Dokie!!! New story for y'all!!

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Also, I have updated the links to my Supernatural line of jewelry I have for sale on eBay, including replicas of the Mary Winchester Hunter's Protection bracelet (as seen in the episode 'In the Beginning') and the Dean Winchester Skull bracelet (worn from season 2 to present), and other Supernatural-themed bracelets!!!

My newest piece is the Castiel-themed "Have A Little Faith In Me" charm bracelet. Please, check out the link and tell me what ya think!!!

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