Dean's kneeling in the mud, cold and shivering, water sluicing down his hunched shoulders, when Castiel rescues him – just a feathery flutter and a warm hand on his arm and suddenly Dean's in his hotel room. The blast of hot air from the room's heater is almost as disorienting as the hands that are suddenly unbuttoning his shirt and shoving it off his quaking shoulders.
"W-w-what are you doing?" Dean manages to ask through chattering teeth.
"Your body temperature is dangerously low. I am seeing that you are warmed up," Castiel explained, brisk in tone and action.
Dean feels like a hunched up old man, quivering and weak, but he can't seem to help himself. He didn't counted on the rain being quite so cold and the angry spirit taking quite so long to go down, and then getting lost on the way back to the Impala hadn't helped matters any either. Honestly, he was starting to worry a little when he slipped and skid into the mud puddle and getting up wasn't as easy as he thought it should be. Since he and Sam separated things are different. He has to be more careful hunting on his own.
When Castiel reaches for his belt and begins unbuckling it, Dean draws back with a, "Whoa, pardner! No one gets near the goods unless he's a she. Or, you know, me." He plucks at his sodden jeans with his jerking fingers, but he can't make his clumsy, wooden fingers work the buttons for the life of him.
"Your virtue is safe with me," Castiel says dryly and smacks Dean's hands away. Deftly, he unbuttons Dean's jeans and slides them and his briefs down his thighs in one rough motion.
When he bends to untie Dean's muddy boots, Dean finds himself looking down at the angel's head, hair glistening with silver raindrops from the brief time he spent in the elements.
"How did you know I was in trouble?" Dean asks, genuinely curious.
Castiel looks up, seeming to gauge whether to tell him the truth or not.
"What?" Dean demands. "Tell me!"
"I was able to feel your distress. When it seemed apparent that you were in trouble, I came to you."
"You were able to feel my distress? Does that mean you read my mind all the time?" The thought has never occurred to Dean, and he happens to find it quite alarming. Because, dude, he's pretty sure he thinks about a lot of stuff that angels shouldn't even know about.
"More or less," Castiel says, looking a bit sheepish at the admission.
"But there have been plenty of times when I've gotten beat up and thrown into walls and stabbed with pens and shit and you haven't shown up. What happened then? Were you just too busy to help me out?"
Castiel finishes undoing Dean's boots then, takes them off, and pulls Dean's pants off completely. Dean is finding it rather difficult to be outraged while standing pale and naked under Castiel's stony eye. It's even more difficult when Castiel grabs a fluffy comforter from one of the beds and drapes it around Dean's shoulders, bundling him up nice and toasty. Like a three-year-old.
"Yes, sometimes I was too busy battling the legions of darkness, if you must know. Other times I was not aware of the gravity of your situation. This time was different."
Dean sits on the bed, grateful that the shivering is starting to subside. And even more grateful that his twig and berries are no longer exposed for any old angel to cast a gander at. "How so?"
"This time my focus was on you very clearly. That happens when someone is being prayed for as Sam has been praying for your safety."
Dean is stunned. He sits for a moment, feeling a blush creep up his neck. "Sam's been praying for me?"
Castiel sits on the bed opposite Dean. "Yes, most diligently. Ever since the two of you parted ways."
"I … wow. I wasn't expecting that. I didn't know he still does that. Prays."
"He does. Frequently, these days. Though I am cut off from heaven I can still hear him when he calls on me."
"Oh," Dean says, then falls silent. After a moment, he clears his throat and says, "Thanks for saving me and bringing me here and … stuff."
Castiel smiles. "You're welcome for saving you and … stuff."
Then, in a swirl of wings he's gone. Dean is left with the silence and stillness of his room. Now, though, he feels something unusual. It takes him a moment to puzzle out what that is. He feels well-cared for.