XIII

A/N: I have a lot of excuses for why it took me so long to update, but excuses, excuses!

Remember, this is rated M for Mature! Children beware!


Castiel pulled back, his eyes looking away from Dean. Dean could sense Castiel's apprehension, but before he could tell the angel to wait, Castiel was gone. Dean stood frozen, the warmth that had been comforting and intoxicating before, was leaving almost as quickly as its source.

Bailey whined slightly and it was enough to snap Dean out of his stupor. He swallowed and looked around the dim hotel room. He felt sick, like he was going to vomit, and he reached for the small trashcan and sat on the edge of his bed. With his eyes closed, he tried to reassure himself. He felt like his brain was tearing itself apart as he thought of a million different thoughts at once. There were so many things he needed to say to Castiel, so many things he didn't know how to say.

And then there were questions. Questions he needed to ask himself and questions that he had for Castiel.

Dean tried to slow down his racing thoughts. He tried to think of them slowly, rationally. The first question that comes to mind isn't about his sexual orientation, or why he did what he did, or if he liked it.

It's why did Castiel kiss back?

Hell, why did Castiel even allow it in the first place? It's not like the angel couldn't stop him and it's not as though the angel didn't see it coming. What with the first kiss being a warning and all. Dean figured that the first kiss probably surprised Castiel, so much so that he didn't know what to do. Hell, it sure shocked Dean. The second one though, it seemed to drag on for minutes. It wasn't as though Castiel was surprised into putting his hands on Dean, pushing his lips back.

Dean wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand, and then pushed it messily through his hair. Maybe he had just imagined Castiel's response; maybe it was all in his head.

Although it's pretty damn hard to mistake pulling away, as Castiel should have done, with kissing back, which is what Dean is sure he did. If it had just been the barest of kisses, like Dean had intended, then maybe he could make himself forget it. When Castiel grabbed his hips, turned his head, and kissed Dean's bottom lip it was seared into Dean's brain. Dean doubted he could forget the way Castiel's nose grazed his cheek when he pulled back, let alone the entire kiss.

It wasn't the best kiss Dean had ever received, not by a long shot. It was chaste and not at all sultry. While it had seemed like time crept by slowly during the kiss, he realized now that it could only have been a few seconds, moments. Not nearly enough time for sparks to fly. Hell, barely enough time to make it memorable at all. Except that it was his first gay kiss.

He protests the thought while he reaches for the trashcan again. It's not really a gay kiss when you're not gay, and Castiel isn't a man so much as a genderless being in a male vessel.

He's able to push those thoughts away because they're too stupid to think about now. He should be more concerned with the fact that he kissed a brother, a partner in crime, a friend.

It's the worry that maybe he's lost one of his only friends that makes him feel the sickest.

He thinks he must be hallucinating when his biceps grow warm. There is no way that Castiel left so quickly, only to return. That wasn't the way Castiel operated. Dean looked up, shocked, as the angel appeared in front of him.

"You're back?"

Castiel's lips are pursed and his eyebrows are drawn. Combined with the wide blue eyes and the stiff shoulders, he couldn't have looked more defensive if he tried. "I can't figure this out on my own."

Dean stands up and the trashcan tips over. He tries to say he didn't mean it, that it was an accident, but he knows Castiel isn't that naïve. He stands still, and while he considers moving around to take the edge off. He's a little afraid that Castiel will read too much into his body language and he's very afraid that he'll miss something if he takes his eyes off the angel's face for even a second.

"Why did you do it?" Castiel's eyes dart away quickly and then back.

"Do what?" Dean asks. He knows damn well what, and Castiel knows he knows it too. His voice shakes slightly as he asks.

"Why did you kiss me?"

Dean takes a deep breath and looks away. "Look, Cas," for the first time the nickname sounds foreign to him, and he wonders if Castiel thinks it means something, "Sam is going to be back any second, so maybe we shouldn't do this now." Maybe they shouldn't do it at all.

Castiel ignores him. "Not once, but twice. Why?"

"You wanted something honest didn't you?" Dean flinches after he yells, wishing he hadn't raised his voice. The volume surprises him almost as much as his choice of words does. That was not what he wanted to say.

"I thought you hated me."

Dean shakes his head. Castiel isn't the fuckup, Dean is. "It didn't mean anything."

The silence should be unbearable, but it doesn't really feel any different than when they are talking. Dean would prefer the silence if it wasn't for Castiel analyzing him. The blue eyes were still wide and flickered around quickly.

"It's different now," the angel says.

Dean looks up at him. His eyes are downcast and he looks away quickly. "Nothing has changed. We're still the same—"

"No we aren't." Castiel's eyes are wet, and if it wasn't impossible Dean would think the angel was going to cry. "The way you look at me is different. The way you feel about me has changed."

Dean knows he should argue, but he can't. He squeezes his eyes shut and turns away. He runs both his hands through his hair and keeps them there like he's prepared to plug his ears if he hears something he doesn't want to. Oh god, when did it change? Why did it change?

"I've changed." Castiel takes a step towards Dean. Dean throws his hands down and walks farther away. He doesn't usually back down from a confrontation, it isn't macho, but in these circumstances running away seems like a reasonable option.

"I feel like I'm falling. I don't know what I am anymore."

Dean knows Castiel doesn't mean 'falling' as in 'falling in love.' He means 'falling' as in 'falling from heaven,' as in clipping his wings and becoming human. When Dean turns around the angel is looking away, and it's not a sign of deceit but one of shame. Shame is a very human emotion. It's one that Dean is quite familiar with.

"Sometimes, I don't even recognize myself," whispers Dean.


James clicked his tongue slightly as he turned a page in his book. His eyes glanced quickly over the page, not reading every word, but remembering most of them. He turned another page, and then another. He closed his eyes briefly.

His cellphone rang. He frowned at the blocked number before answering. "Hello?"

"You said it was important," a woman's voice said.

"Marika?" James reached for a piece of paper and a pen. "I'm surprised you called me back."

"I'm surprised you called me in the first place… I thought if we never spoke again it would be too soon."

"Yes well, I'm in a bit of a bind and you're the only succubus that owes me a favor so…" Favor was a bit of an understatement, but James wasn't about to piss her off.

"A bind, eh? That wouldn't be the two hunters in your backyard would it?"

James ignored the pleased tone in her voice and froze at the statement. His mouth parted slightly and his forehead wrinkled. He looked around, and swallowed. "Do you know where I am?" He stood up quickly, his office chair tipping backwards and crashing on the floor. "Answer me!"

"You're in New Hampshire," Marika's voice was dead, the pitch carefully controlled.

"How do you know that? Who told you?" James ran from his office, not bothering to lock it. He flipped light switches as he went, his steps echoing throughout the library.

"Byron told me."

"Who told him?" James punched in the code to turn on the security system. He flung open the door and stepped outside, locking the doors quickly as he went.

"I don't know. Why? Is Byron not supposed to know?" Odd really, how her voice could be so flat even while asking a question.

"Nobody knows. I didn't tell anyone." James ran to his car, looking around nervously as he went.

"You must have told someone."

James' mind was racing. He had a new home, a new name, a new face… He sat in his car, his eyes wide. "I told no one. No one at all."

There was silence for a moment. It was the kind of silence that screams loudly and echoes throughout your head.

"James, someone has eyes on you. Byron is in France, it can't be him."

And then James remembered the first time the hunters and the angel had crossed paths with him. Not by accident, no, they had come to the library for answers. Sam had looked at him, eyes narrowed, and told him that Claire had been murdered. She had been a patron of the library, and James had met her, once, briefly, but still, he knew her.

For a terrifying moment James considered that maybe the rogue incubus knew this. Maybe he had targeted her in part because James knew her.

James peeled out of the parking lot. Anyone who was watching him would know where he lived. They would know about his girlfriend, and it would be easy, so easy, for an incubus to change forms and imitate him. And she, she would never know the difference, simply lulled into…

He blew through a red light with no one around to see it. "What's Byron's number?"

"I don't know."

"Marika!" James gripped the steering wheel with one hand until his knuckles turned white.

"I honestly don't know. He calls every other decade, when he wants to rehash the good old days. He mentioned you, but I just assumed you were talking. He always calls from a different number, a throwaway phone. He's paranoid, you know that."

James could hear a muffled noise in the background, a man speaking.

"I have to go James," Marika sighed softly.

James sneered and hung up on her. He had intended to ask her about violent incubi, about incubi who were killing or close to it. He had learned more in the past ten minutes than he and the hunters had learned in the days that they had been looking.

He swerved into his driveway, slamming on the brakes, and just barely stopping before the garage. He ran from his car to the steps of his house and threw open the door. It disturbed him to find that the door was unlocked.

"Babe, is something wrong?"

James stopped in the doorway, his heart pounding. He looked to where the voice was coming from. He looked at the only woman that called him babe, and could finally feel the panic leaving his body.

"Is everything okay?" She asked again.

He crossed the room, wrapped his arms around her, and buried his face in her shoulder.


A/N: This is shorter than most chapters, but I already have the rough draft done for the next one. I'm sorry I don't update for months at a time, but I appreciate every comment, fav, and watch I get.

If you are still hanging in there, thanks. You guys rock.

I miss Castiel.