Author: sangre antigua.

Rating; Title; Pairing: M; Forgiven; Dean/Castiel.

Summary: After "On the Head of a Pin", Castiel makes things right with Dean. DEAN/CASTIEL

Warning/Disclaimer: Do not own Supernatural. Slash. If you don't like it, don't read it.

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The wounds on his skin had healed and faded, his skin gradually turning all shades of the rainbow until it looked normal again. Whereas the damages to the flesh were things of the past, you know that wounds on his soul still wept violently, and it kills you in the worst way to see him like that. You watch over your charge with a gray cloud at your side, watch him drive down nameless highways while his brother sleeps effortlessly in his own little world, unbeknownst to the hellfire roaring around his brother's. Somehow, without interruption, you watch him whisper to himself and choke back the tears he never seems to allow out. The urge to just appear in the Impala is so great at times that you look away.

You're the last person Dean wants to see, you're sure of it. After all, you made him do that. You bit your tongue and watched, unknowingly, as Uriel tried to kill your charge, both physically and emotionally. Your Dean. You listened to Alistair groan and cry out, you listen to Dean's cold monotone and you wrung your hands, chanting your God forsaken mantra about the Divine. The Divine this, the Divine that; the Divine purpose behind this ghastly act that you had imposed on him. But there was nothing Divine in that warehouse, not after you broke Dean.

Not even your Grace.

If you appeared in front of Dean, a number of situations could occur. He could chew you out again, he could hit you until your whole body went numb, or he could just give you that cold, dead stare and ignore you. Each option results in a giant chunk of your armor clamoring to the floor, the sound it makes both the quietest and most deafening thing you have ever come across. Which would be better, though? You can take harsh words. You have been yelled at over the ages, and though Dean's words cut into you more than any other's—spare your Father—you reckon you can deal. You can take a beating, God and Lucifer and everyone—everything—in between knows that. If he needed to throw you through a wall and hit you until your eyes refused to open, then so be it.

But could you really take Dean not speaking to you?

Could you take the words from his hospital bed ringing in your ears until he decided to grace your presence with something new? Could you take the wait, wondering what he will say to you when he finally breaks the silence? If it does not compose of his nickname for you and a distinctly Dean statement, a perverted joke or a jab to your Father, you fear that you will temporarily lose it; you fear transporting yourself to somewhere vast and empty, somewhere your vessel can lie while your true form soars about, your true voice screaming and pleading loudly enough for the sky to ripple and crackle in pain.

You fight with yourself for hours, wrestling with each option like your very life depended on it. In the end, though, you are unsure with which route to choose and you desperately wish to receive a sign from your Father telling you what to do. You snicker maliciously at yourself as Anna's words sound through your mind. You must think for yourself and act on your own accord, but you don't know how. Though you talk her down, Anna is much stronger than you in every way, and you secretly revel in jealously at her ability to choose for herself.

As the sun begins to go down and Sam wanders off to meet with Ruby, you find yourself on the doorstep of some forgettable motel. Appearing inside seems too informal, so you instead to knock, though the human act is utterly absurd to you, a being who has no use for doors. But, perhaps taking this path is smarter than just showing up. It shows Dean that you wish to be invited in, rather than intrude. He doesn't have to tell you to leave, rather he can close the door in your face or simply drive away.

Besides, you have no plan. What you do from this point on is you "winging it", a phrase you do not understand in the metaphysical sense but in its construction and literal usage, as you have heard Dean use, and explain, it several times. You will let Dean lead this dance and try your best to appease his every whim, as well as put Anna's words on the back burner. Coming here was your choice—a decision not ordered by your superiors, but by your—what is the word...conscience—but ultimately, it is up to Dean as to what happens tonight.

And, truthfully, you are glad that he holds the cards, because it almost scares you to be in complete control.

You hear him walking around, hear his soft mumbling and the quiet rustling of his duffel bag. If he is going out, to a bar you presume—or with a grimace, a brothel—you will not interrupt him, though you do not agree on his quest for numbness. It never helps him, anyway. The pain always stays in his eyes.

After a while of standing stoically on the doormat and watch the doorknob, willing it to both turn and to not move at all, you decide to rap on the door. But as you're leaning forward to knock, the door swings open and you're face-to-face with your charge; with Dean.

His face is still but his pupils widen in surprise, an effect that your presence still has at him as times. The muscles in his jaw set, and you just stand there in silence for a moment before his low, gruff voice utters, "Cas?"

The nickname births an odd sensation in your belly, one unknown but not entirely unpleasant. It's a very human phenomenon, this feeling. You are unsure if you like it or not—but now is not the time to dwell. He's speaking to you, and you need to respond, while somehow managing not to crash into his crossed arms.

"Dean," you begin, only to see his leather jacket in hand, "are you...going out?"

He shifts his weight from one foot to the other before giving you an indifferent shrug. "Sammy left, y'know how that is, and I'm just...not looking to spend my night alone in a shitty motel room."

You nod and mumble, "I see." This time, you shift, unable to fight off the awkwardness that is advancing on your conversation. "Then I will leave you to your night," you say, slightly defeated, and turn on your heel.

"Cas, wait—why are you here?" he questions, and his voice is hard. With his free arm he props himself up in the doorway. "You angels don't just appear to say 'hi' and then dip. Is something wrong?" A shadow plays upon his face as a woman passes behind you, and when she and the shadow are gone, so is Dean's indifferent expression. It is now corrupt, eroded into a jagged frown. "Do I have to do some P.O.S. job for you guys?"

Your expression stays the same, but your flinch is felt in your fingers and toes. He's still mad. Hurt, even. Hurt, most likely. After all, you were his friend in an off-brand sort of way. You resolve to give him the choice for whether you stay or go. "I am just checking on you. If you wish for me to leave, I will."

For a moment, he is silent and thoughtful, overly indulgent as to make you squirm. But finally he shrugs his shoulders and steps from the doorway, towards the Impala. His decision is nameless, though it cuts into you as if he had cursed violently. Your head hangs and your chest contracts, but you can't stop your masochistic eyes from following him. He's at the trunk, fishing through weapons and God knows what else, and then he's back at your side with an unopened bottle of Jack and a liter of Coke. "If I don't have to waste gas, it's fine by me," he says as he walks back into the motel room.

On the bathroom counter there are several individually wrapped plastic cups for the brushing of teeth, but Dean grabs them with a shrug of his shoulder and returns to the main part of the motel room. He looks at you from where he's standing to you, still in the doorway, and cocks a brow. "You coming in or what?" he asks.

You waste no time in scurrying in and closing the door.

You did not expect this; did not expect a single sour look and a few darkened words and then this level of comfort. Something in you is alarmed at how easy this re-institution was, but you push past it and sit on one of the two beds in the room. Dean is making drinks, one half Coke and half Jack, and the other straight Jack, and you watch with a dark fascination as he downs his cup in one mouthful. He hands you yours carelessly, the liquid lapping around the rim of the cup as it jostles, and you down yours as eagerly as he downed his own. He even smirks at you.

"So, 'checking on me', why do I need to be checked on?" He pours another round, and this time yours has less Coke and more Jack in it. The punch to the liquor is powerful, but you can stick it out, if not for your ego's sake but for Dean's. You know he loves a good drinking buddy. You can be a "good sport" for him.

The alcohol radiates out of your cup in waves, but you throw it down as if it were nothing. You hiss a little this time as the burn. Dean smirks even more. "I just...wanted to make sure you were okay. Dean, I'm s—"

He cuts you off by snapping his fingers and snatching your cup. Another round, this time both plain Jack. "No chick-flick moments, Cas," he insists. You nod, and together you say cheers as you gulp down this round. Your hissing is louder, but it's less from the burn and more for the warmth. You always forget how warm alcohol makes you, how it sets your blood ablaze and puts a nice golden glow around everything.

"What are you hunting now?" you question. Casual conversation is not your strong point, nor is it Dean's, but if it keeps him talking to you, you'd do anything.

"Don't know yet. Just got here. Think it's just a haunting, though." You both fall silent for a small stretch of time. Dean moves to refill the cups a few times, and eventually you tell him no more for you. Your body is humming and everything is warm.

"I mean it, though. I am extremely sorry for...you know...and I wish that I could take it back." Dean's still taking shots as you speak, his eyes adverted elsewhere until your mouth closes. He nods in recognition to your words, but does nothing else but throw back a cup full of Jack. "I thought those were our orders, from Him. But they were not. I would do anything to change that, be it then or now."

Something that you said was funny, as Dean began laughing and laughed for a good while. When he finally stops, he looks at you with such sincerity that you're mildly startled. "Would you clip your wings? If that made it right in my book?"

Would you give up your Grace for Dean? You've thought about it before, wrestled with the damnation of it all. Though Dean means so much to you, more than you ever intended for anyone to mean, you're unsure. Could you take the plunge for him? Rip out your wings and fall from your holy seat?

He laughs at you and claps his hand against your back, rubbing one, two, three circles into your back before taking another mouthful of Jack. "I'm kidding, you can keep your wings." And with that, he sets down his cup and leans back on the bed, arms crossed over his chest. "What's done is done. Hell...if I were still in Hell, that's what I would be doing."

"But that does not make it right, Dean," you say, your voice full of righteousness indignation. "You shouldn't have had to do that. Torturing...it is not God's will, but I missed that. I was blindly following orders. I will not make that mistake twice."

He props himself up with his arms, strong muscles bearing themselves to hold up his weight. He makes a nameless face at you, but slowly it turns to a simple smirk as he mumbles, "Anna."

You feel a heat in your cheeks and wrinkle your nose. "Is it that noticeable?"

"It doesn't seem like there's a stick up your ass all the time, so, yeah."

You lean back beside Dean, staring at both the ceiling and nothing at all. This...content, happy feeling buzzing about inside of you is pleasant, and you very much enjoy talking to Dean again. "The other angels—"

Suddenly, there's a finger over your lips, and you fight down a flinch of surprise. Dean shushes you and then leans back all the way, his shoulder to your shoulder, his hand on top of yours. "No more talk of 'work', Cas. I get enough of it outside of this motel," he whispers, and he wiggles back into the bed, his body even closer to your own.

The actions that follow blindside you. You have no idea where they came from, but you roll with the punches and block out all thoughts of "wrong", and focus on the good and the right. Dean's hands are calloused from working, but they are dry and warm and birth goosebumps on your skin as they pull you in for a kiss. The taste of Jack is strong, almost overpowering, but there's that distinct Dean taste, and you revel in its flavor. You have never kissed another being before, and the action leaves your lips tingling and craving more.

From there, everything moves quickly. Dean is removing article after article of clothing, all the while keeping his lips to yours. You never realized how strong and skillful he was until he managed to pull you on top of him without much effort at all.

You kiss and touch and map his body with your hands, your fingertips ghosting over the skin of his quivering neck and the sensitive tissue of his nipples. This will lead to sex—a carnal act—but it doesn't faze you at all. You are lost in Dean's mouth, in the heat of his hands against your skin, and you intend to milk this experience for all its worth.

You make love for the first time, and it is beautiful. Dean directs everything and you follow effortlessly, glad to fall in line with his thrusts and kisses. You never imagined something like this—something so beautiful and raw and passionate—could be shunned by whole societies. Naivety, you deem it, as something so beautiful, so right, should never be shunned.

He climaxes with your name on his lips, and you do the same for him. The sheets beneath you are wet with sweat, and you have no idea how you wound up on your side. Dean is a whirlwind; a hurricane. You now understand how he beds women nightly.

The moment is ended as Dean whispers, "Sam will be back any time now." You both rise, Dean tugging his boxers back on as you corral all of your items together. He stops you from putting on your pants and your shirt with a kiss. "Keep the clothes near you, but lay in bed with me until Sam comes in." You don't need to say anything in return. You comply and he turns out the lights before crawling in beside you.

You kiss for a while, some gentle and sweet and other's so fiery that teeth are catching on lips left and right.

And as the doorknob turns and you begin to disappear, you hear Dean whisper, "I forgive you."

As you reappear outside the motel room, fully clothed, you can't help but to smile and rest your hand against the door, knowing Dean can feel your touch.