Title: Feathers and forests.

Author:darkwolf5

Rating: Pg-13

Spoilers: Everything aired to be safe. Definite spoilers for episode 5.22!

Pairings/characters: Dean/Cas (mild mentions of Dean/Lisa and mentions Ben)

Wordcount: 1112-ish

Summary: Cas and Dean meet up in a forest. Involves wings and hugs and angst.

A/N: Sorry for the terrible summary, I just don't want to accidentally spoil anyone; anyway this is my idea of what could happen after 5.22 because I figure we all need a little Dean/Cas romance right? You have NO idea how close you were to getting PWP here, but unfortunately not, my brain is being a b*tch.

Feathers and forests.

Dean has been relatively happy for a while now. He and Lisa make a good pair, and then there's Ben of course, and the three of them make a pretty damn good family. It's not what Dean wants but it is what he promised, so yes, he is happy, considering the circumstances. It's cold and frosty the night Castiel returns, Dean is out walking to clear his head because even in his happiest moments he can get depressed, and he doesn't like to be around Ben and Lisa when he's like that, barely holding it together, itching to get in the impala and drive away to save Sammy and to start hunting again. He was never the settling down type, and so far he thinks he's managed pretty well, but he has a feeling it won't last.

He is a long way from what he now calls home ,in some random forest that caught his eye, when it happens. There is an ache in his chest, it's been there since the day he locked up Lucifer, locked up Sammy... He lost too many precious things that day for him to ever really be complete again. Or at least he thought he had anyway, but then Cas was always kind of contradictory, the feathered idiot never stopped surprising Dean, tonight, it seems, is no exception. The dead leaves that are strewn on the ground like a thin blanket take flight rustling and crunching into one another in their rush to get away from the source of the wind, scuttling across the floor like panicked animals. It's only odd to Dean because only this part of the forest seems to be affected by the gust of air, and it's accompanied by a sound like wings beating against the air, the flutter of feathers.

He wonders whether he should ignore it and keep walking, he see's ghosts a lot now, see's old friends where there aren't any, but a weak hope forces him to turn to what he expects will be an empty space like it always is. It isn't empty and that, Dean thinks, either means he's finally lost it or Castiel is actually there. He hopes to god it's the second option.

"Cas?" He hears his own voice break slightly with emotion that bubbles to the surface raw and angry and boiling, howling to be let out. He doesn't know whether to be angry, or happy, or to just break down because Cas won't judge him, or at least he doesn't think Cas will judge him. Things changed a lot in the last slot of time leading up to the apocalypse though...he supposes Cas will be the same as before now, angelic and unfeeling, and yet he also gets the faintest feeling that that is not the case.

"Hello Dean." The angel smiles his blue eyes focused entirely on Dean and it makes the hunter shiver, and some part of his mind realises that as much as it freaks him out sometimes, he's really missed that stare.

"Where the hell have you been?" He aims for uncaring but it comes out angry and accusing.

"Keeping things in place." And that doesn't really tell Dean anything but he can tell Cas isn't going to say anymore. Stupid cryptic ,secretive, beautiful angel. He has to do a double take before he realises what he just thought. "I'm sorry I couldn't return sooner."

"Yeah well that's just wonderful...." Dean growls. "I take it you were too busy to bother telling me you were coming back, now you're following orders like a obedient little puppy again."

Castiel tenses slightly a cold glint in his eyes where before there was warmth and for a second Dean is terrified he's just going to leave, then Cas just sighs and looks at the floor, because maybe he realises now that Dean is never very good with saying what he wants to say.

"It's different now, in heaven , my father has changed things, not much, but enough." Castiel steps forwards till he's right in Dean's personal space. "If I had not been up there fighting for new rules, I would not be here at all. "

Dean is thrown slightly at that, it's not what he was expecting, he was bracing himself for a 'my orders are very, very important, blind faith, blah blah blah' speech. He opens his mouth and closes it a few times looking for an adequately annoyed response, before something breaks inside of him and he gives up trying to ignore his feelings. The angel finds himself with an armful of Dean as the hunter clings to him, arms wrapped round the smaller form in a tight hug. The angel looks shocked, like he was expecting more of a fight, but it seems it's not just Castiel who's full of surprises tonight.

It takes a few seconds for Castiel to respond, but then he's hugging back just as tightly, and Dean hears the rush of something being released and he's suddenly engulfed in a blanket of feathers, which is weird but hell he can put up with it, he's pretty damn sure he's seen (felt?) weirder things.

"I thought you weren't coming back!" Dean mumbles pressing his face into the hollow of Castiel's neck. "I thought you'd just fucked of and left me. Do you have any goddamn idea how much that hurt?"

"I truly am sorry Dean." Castiel sounds it too.

"Yeah, I know." Dean pulls back slightly and looks directly at Castiel meeting the intense stare, their faces only centimetres apart. "Why did you come back?"

"Do you really think I would have fallen for you, just to abandon you when I got my 'mojo' back?" Castiel says quietly. "You haven't learnt anything have you?"

"Wha-" Deans question is cut of when Cas's lips press softly against his own, a warm hand reaching up to cup his jaw, it's chaste and lasts barely a couple of seconds but it's enough for realisation to dawn on Dean, and he wonders how he could've been so blind, how he didn't see it. He also realises that this is what he wants, and he thinks back to Ben and Lisa, heart awash with conflicting emotions, even though he knows he can never truly be happy there, not like he can be with Cas, or at least as happy as he can be without his brother.

Cas tilts his head questioningly, asking for permission, and he makes up his mind and returns the kiss. It's longer this time, more heated and Dean thinks that, considering the circumstances, maybe life isn't so bad after all.

End.

Disclaimer: I own nothing recognisable, someone else does.