Title: Touched

Author: Aima D. Duragon

Rating: PG-13 for language and innuendo

Spoilers: up to episode 5.5 (though I tried to keep everything vague)

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by the CW

A/N: Please review if you like it! I tried really hard to keep everyone in character! (Also note that this story is also on my livejournal *nods*). PS. I just recently re-updated this chapter! There were some minor errors and little changes to be made. Hope you enjoy! :)


Chuck was writing again.

Not that Dean gave two flips about that. After all, the guy was a prophet of God, and this so called "Winchester Gospel" had to be written by someone. Dean thought he had taken that whole gospel blow rather well. He was creeped out to hell by it, but he had come to terms with it nevertheless (with the aide of a few bottles of whiskey of course).

No, the writing wasn't the problem exactly. The problem was…Chuck was getting published again. And apparently the series was going over much better this time around.

Dean's eyes were currently glued to Sam's computer screen as he scrolled through the Google results he'd found. He'd been through five pages so far, and that had been more than enough to ignite his short temper. He remembered Sam mentioning slash once before but—Dean growled deep in the back of his throat.

He turned back towards Sam, who was currently busy cleaning the rifles on the motel bed. Feeling his older brother's stare, Sam turned.

"What?" Sam asked with a furrowed brow.

"Man, people these days are some kind of sick."

Curiosity perked, Sam put down his rag and rifle, and walked over the table where Dean sat. He leaned over his brother's shoulder and his lips immediately broke out in a wide grin.

Dean frowned up at him, "What are you so happy-go-lucky about? You don't find this disturbing?"

Sam straightened and his grin rose into a laugh as he walked back over to the bed. It reminded Dean of the way Sam used to be, and he felt a sharp pang of loss in the pit of his stomach.

"Hey you should be happy," Sam said, plopping back down on the old dusty mattress.

"Happy?"

"Yeah, that it's not—you know—you and me anymore."

Dean scowled and turned back towards the computer screen. "Yeah maybe…but me and Cas? I mean come on!"

"I don't know," Sam shrugged, "you guys do kind of have that whole lost soul/guardian angel thing goin' on. I mean, you have the guy's hand branded on your shoulder."

Dean rolled up his short sleeve and stared thoughtfully down at the burn. "What's that got to do with anything? And for the record, Cas is NOT my guardian angel. The prick's gotten me into way more trouble than he's gotten me out of."

"Dean, you would still be six feet under in the middle of nowhere if it weren't for him."

Dean snorted but didn't attempt to argue, which was apparently a bad idea since Sam was starting to look encouraged.

"And as for the mark, aren't brands kind of like a sign of ownership?" Sam asked, in his 'I'm smart 'cause I went to college' sort of way.

At that Dean merely grimaced and rolled his sleeve back down.

Sam smirked, "Guardian angel or not, Cas seems to be far more attached to you than anybody else."

"So that makes us gay?" Dean rebutted gruffly.

The younger brother shrugged once more, making sure to look intent on his cleaning. "Aren't angels sexless?"

"Sam…Cas is possessing a man."

"But does that make him a man?" Now Sam did stop and he looked up at his older brother with those strange grey eyes that seemed to always burn these days. "Castiel is Castiel, and I don't think you can call him anything more or less."

For some reason Dean's pulse was flying, and he was overly aware of how his racing blood was making his body throb. He got up suddenly, nearly knocking his chair to the floor in the process. Grabbing his jacket he quickly retreated towards the door, trying desperately to ignore the way Sam was looking at him.

"Where are you going?"

Dean grabbed for the brass knob and pulled the door open, "For a drink." The door slammed soundly behind him.

He paused just outside the door, sighing heavily and throwing on his jacket. The evening air was crisp and cool and refreshing to his over excited nerves. Muttering irately to himself for getting so worked up, he crossed the parking lot to where the Impala sat parked. He opened the door, sat, put the key in the ignition and made the engine roar to life. Dean sighed again, though this time with tranquil relief. There was something very calming about the rumble of an engine. Now he could just—

"Dean?"

Dean started so violently that he hit his head on the roof. He glared over to see Castiel sitting in the passenger seat, looking annoyingly serious as usual.

"Holy shit, Cas! How many times do I have to tell you, you can't just pop in on people like that?" Dean threw the car into drive and punched it out of the parking lot. This was not what he needed right now—not with the Google results still frolicking around in his head.

"Did I startle you?"

"Yes, Cas! Yes you startled me!" Dean snapped hotly.

"That was not my intention." Castiel replied earnestly.

"That doesn't change the fact that you did!" Dean didn't know why he was yelling. He yelled a lot these days.

Castiel was staring at him now in the way that made the burn on Dean's shoulder prickle strangely. "You seem upset."

"Do I?" Dean replied sparsely, refusing to admit to Castiel what he wouldn't even admit to himself.

"Is it because I startled you?"

Dean glanced over at the angel, his brow knotted and his boiling blood too stubborn to settle. "What're you doing here, Cas?"

At that, Castiel turned his piercing gaze to the road. When he didn't answer immediately Dean simply snorted and turned his attention back to the road as well, attempting to forget himself in the mindless hum.

The angel took a deep staggering breath, "I did not know where else to go."

Dean's lips quirked. "What do you mean?"

"I mean…that I am no longer welcome everywhere I once was. There is talk of me being stripped."

"Your grace?" Dean burst out before he could help it.

Castiel nodded gravely. "Yes."

There was a pregnant pause. "I won't let them do that to you, Cas," Dean huffed. "It's not right."

"If it is the will of the Lord—"

"Don't you give me that shit, Cas! Not after what we've been through."

Castiel stayed his tongue, but the damage had already been done. Dean was practically shaking now. Then, like a beacon of hope, a neon sign flashed up ahead. Dean gave the wheel a hard torque to the right and screeched into the parking lot of a bar by the name of "Dirty Dick's"—just his kind of place. It was a maneuver Sam would've thoroughly berated him for, but Castiel merely leaned forward to get a better view of the building. Speed, Dean imagined, wasn't anything new to the angel.

"What are we doing here?"

Dean threw open the door and stepped out onto the wet pavement. "Getting a drink."

Castiel mirrored the action and the two closed their doors in unison. "I don't need to drink."

"Maybe not to survive, but to live you do."

Castiel blinked blankly at him and with an annoyed snort, Dean turned and made his way to the entrance, noticing that the angel kept close at his heals. Just another thing Cas hadn't seemed to pick up on in terms of personal space.

As they neared the steps that led up to the door they came upon the lovely sight of a man spilling his guts all over the pavement. If Dean could help it, that would be him in a couple hours. Yeah puking sucked, but when you were that gone everything bad in life just didn't seem so bad anymore.

"That man should not be out when he's so sick," Castiel remarked timidly.

The hunter snorted, "Trust me, he's having a good time." Dean threw open the door and weaved his way through the crowd to the dimly lit bar. He didn't even check to see if Castiel had kept up. He didn't have to—he could practically feel the guy breathing down the back of his neck.

Temper bowing, Dean waved the bartender over and tried not to think about anything concerning the "slash" business the internet had been so keen to enlighten him on. He didn't know why it bothered him so much really. It had been just a brush off the shoulder when it had been about him and Sam. Creepy maybe, but simply too ridiculous to entertain. It should be the same with him and Cas. But the way Sam had explained it to him…the way Sam had looked at him after…the whole thing gave him an odd sort of chill. The problem was, it was plausible. Impossible, but plausible nevertheless. He and Sam had the safety net of being brothers, but he and Cas…he didn't know what they had exactly. He looked over at the angel, who was currently worrying over a loose string on the sleeve of his trench coat.

They weren't on any certain terms friends—you didn't exactly make friends living the kind of horrors they lived—but they had an understanding between them, and a mutual level of respect. Castiel was his only link to this fate that had been thrust upon him, and he knew the angel had sacrificed more than Dean deserved.

Castiel looked over at him suddenly, and Dean flushed as he realized he'd been staring.

Castiel's brow furrowed.

"Is something wrong?"

"Er," Dean began dumbly before the bartender interrupted.

"What'll it be?" she asked. The bartender was a tall slender brunette, anointed with the same sort of beautiful face he only ever seemed to find in small towns. She was just his type, and judging by the way she was smiling at him, he was hers too. How long had it been since he'd had a girl? Was Anna his last? He couldn't remember. That meant that it had been longer than too long.

Castiel's eyes were still on him, and his burn prickled more than ever.

"I'll have a Jack and Coke, and he'll have," Dean glanced over at the angel, "a Tequila Sunrise I think."

The bartender's smile changed slightly before she nodded and retreated to her stash of liquor. Dean frowned and scrunched his nose confusedly. Had he not showered today? He sniffed his underarm experimentally.

Not a minute later she returned with their drinks and took his credit card mechanically. He signed his receipt and she walked off with her copy without another word. Taking his drink he turned, puzzled, and nodded at Cas to follow him.

Conveniently enough they found an unoccupied booth. Dean slid fluidly onto the cushioned vinyl seat with a contented sigh, while Castiel maneuvered silently into the seat across. The lights were dim and the smell of smoke and perfume hung heavily in the air, but overall Dean was satisfied with the place. There were plenty of people to watch here, all smiling and laughing—so oblivious to the calamity that existed around them. But he liked them being oblivious. It was certainly better than the alternative—and it made them nicer to watch. After all, this was probably the closest he would ever get to having that sort of happiness.

"Do you wish you were them?"

Dean looked back at Castiel. The angel's eyes were hard and focused, and they looked at him as if there was nothing else to look at. Dean cleared his throat pointedly and took a large gulp of his drink, relishing in the burn that seared down his throat.

"I don't know. Sometimes? Don't you?"

Castiel lifted his glass, seemingly examining its contents. "I may not have much of a choice in the matter. We are alike in that way."

Dean scowled. "I've always had a choice, Cas, and I'd rather them be happy than me. So if there's any chance I can make their lives any less screwed up than mine, I'll take it. Killing monsters just happens to be the way to do it."

"You may choose to do your work, but your work choose you as well. Don't forget your fate, Dean."

"I don't want to talk about my fate, Cas," Dean huffed, draining the rest of his glass in one go. "I don't want to talk about anything like that tonight."

"Is there anything you do want to talk about?"

Dean raised a brow, "How about why you're not drinking that nice Sunrise I bought you."

Castiel traced a finger around the rim of his glass, and Dean trailed the motion like a cat eyeing a mouse.

"It seems to me," he said, glancing around the bar, "that alcohol has a way of clouding good judgment."

"No," Dean combated, "stupidity is what clouds good judgment."

"Well stupidity seems to be running rampant here."

Unexpectedly, Dean laughed then—actually laughed. He hadn't laughed in a long time, and maybe it was the result of the pre-buzz from the whiskey but it felt light and free and it didn't matter why. Castiel merely stared at him, expressionless. Dean quickly sobered and allowed the blanket of his heavy mood to settle over him once more.

Dean hummed thoughtfully, the ghost of a smile still pulling at his lips. "Did Jimmy ever drink?"

Castiel paused, "Occasionally. Wine mostly."

"And is drinking a sin?"

"Well of course the ingestion of any sort of alcohol is not a sin but—"

"What's the problem then?" Dean was smirking now, and he pounded his palms on the table and rose to his feet. "I'm going to get us another round, and I expect that Sunrise to be gone when I get back." Dean went to leave but hesitated, thinking. "But none of that turning alcohol into water business," he pointed at the angel, "that's cheating."

Five minutes later, Dean returned with four more drinks in hand (he figured he might as well save time). To his pleasant surprise he found Castiel's glass quite Sunrise-less. The angel looked up at him, then at his handful of drinks, then back again.

"I see we are going to be here a while."

Dean slid into the booth, not quite as fluidly this time. "You bet your ass."

"What about Sam?"

Dean looked down, his expression turning sour, "He's cleaning the guns." He slid two more Sunrises Castiel's way, not bothering to mention they were both double-shots.

The angel took one and sipped from it idly while Dean drained half of his.

"Has Sam shown any sign of wavering? Any more hints of withdrawal?"

"Not that I can tell," Dean replied, "and by the way you can add this to the list of shit I don't want to talk about."

"Forgive me," Castiel lowered his gaze.

They sat like that for a short while, drinking in strained silence.

"You know," Dean began slowly; hardly realizing he was speaking aloud, "I don't know him anymore like I used to. You can't go back you know? And he keeps trying to bring shit up but…" he trailed off, staring down into his glass distantly.

"But you are scared of what it will do to your relationship with him."

Dean looked up at him then, and there was something different in his expression Dean had never seen there before. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, but there was a softened gleam in the angel's eyes, and the way the dim light shadowed his face made him look…sad somehow.

"He's all I got, Cas. You know that." So much for not talking about it.

"I do." Castiel took another drink, darkness creeping into his features. "Sam is lucky. I wish I had a brother like you."

"They're not going to take your grace."

"We shall see."

There was another round of uncomfortable silence, and while they finished up their second drinks, Castiel busied himself by watching the crowd while Dean cast him steeled glances laced with curiosity. Cas had only stayed with him this long a handful of times, and they'd certainly never been together this long without one of them getting into trouble of some sort. The angel only ever seemed to show himself when certain business needed tending it to, and most of it was hasty business at that. Being with Castiel here, like this, made him more real and ironically enough…more human.

"I think if I became human," Castiel began suddenly, trailing off of Dean's thoughts "that it would be nice to have a family.

Dean gave a scoffing bark of laughter. "You think we'll live that long?"

The angel looked back at him. His cheeks were already becoming flush. "I do not see how the Lord could allow such a wonderful place to be destroyed. What would be the point?"

Dean shrugged, "There's a lot of bad shit in the world, Cas. Hell you've seen it. These days it seems to be more of a miracle there's any real good at all. The evil—a lot of people do it to themselves you know—they let it in. Why try to save something like that?"

"You do," Castiel said, his mouth set in a hard thin line. "You still save them."

"Just shows what a sorry sap I am huh?" His smile didn't quite reach his eyes. "But I'm just one guy."

"And it is written: blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."

Dean blinked, "You were one of those kids who had to recite bible verses in school weren't you. I can tell." He smirked and grabbed for his third glass.

"Every angel knows God's word by heart. I never had to learn it."

"Must be a dull read by now then, huh, Chuckles?"

Castiel stared at him, brow knitted. He then looked down at his glass and seemed perplexed upon finding it empty. "I feel very," his brow grew tighter, "odd."

Dean grinned impishly, "Welcome to the wonderful land of tipsy."

"I should make the feeling go away."

"You can do that?"

"If I want." Castiel nodded, "But, it is…sort of nice—warm. What do you call the drink?"

"Yours," Dean said, taking his sweet time with his third glass, "is a Tequila Sunrise."

"And how did you know I would like it?"

"I didn't. But you seem like a Sunrise kind of guy. Figures that an angel would like a chick drink."

Castiel leaned forward, looking suddenly bright-eyed and intrigued and overall very un-Castiel. "You distinguish between drinks for males and females?"

Dean, who was taken aback by Castiel's abrupt shift of demeanor, found his tongue quelled for a long moment. He didn't know why but it suddenly felt like his heart was pounding very hard. "Uh, well, yeah I guess."

"How so?"

Dean coughed uncomfortably and settled back into his seat, decidedly ignoring this odd feeling that had his stomach fluttering. Shouldn't have eaten that second double-bacon cheeseburger for dinner.

"Well," he found his voice oddly stiff, "chicks typically dig sugary fruity shit, while guys like something with a bit more bite." Somewhere in the middle his mouth and gone dry, and he was half sure he'd slurred some of the words together.

Castiel eyes only brightened and the hummed thoughtfully, "Perhaps I should have found a female to possess then."

Like a shock of electricity Sam's words rushed back to him, and it was coupled with a borderline disturbing thought—the thought that had brought him here in the first place. Only now there was more. If Chuck was writing again, what if he was writing about them now? This very conversation? What if it was published? If the fans were rampant now, what would they make of him and Cas getting drunk together? What if they—

"Dean?"

Dean blinked, snapping out of his reverie and feeling as if he'd just sprinted a mile.

"You seem preoccupied. Is something wrong?"

"No," Dean replied too quickly, "just need another drink. He chugged the rest of his double and without another word, got up, and weaved his way to the bar.

He returned shortly with two more drinks in hand (both doubles again), but when he made to give one to the angel, he paused. It was Castiel's expression that made him do it. He had this blank sort of forlorn look on his face, like he was lost in some dark thought that he couldn't escape.

Nevertheless Dean plopped down into the booth and slid the Sunrise across the table. Castiel caught it without even looking.

"Dean," he began solemnly, "do you find me offensive?"

Dean choked mid-swallow. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "What do you mean?"

"I sometimes find that I do not think before I speak. I suppose I never had to before and now, with you, I often find myself…indelicate."

"With me?"

"Yes. You are the only human I talk to."

For some reason Dean felt himself flush. "Well," he cleared his throat, "you're not nearly the dick that all those other angels are if that makes you feel any better. You're a good guy, I think."

Then something else strange happened. The corners of Castiel's mouth lifted and the darkness in his features lit up as bright as the sun. Castiel was smiling. But there was something else far stranger. Dean felt a sudden tenderness rise and swell in his chest, and it settled over him like a warm glow. And he couldn't help but smile back as he was filled with such sudden rapturous joy.

Castiel's lips puckered in his attempt to straighten his face, "Forgive me. I did not mean to touch you so."

And then the warmth was gone as swiftly as snuffing out a candle.

Dean frowned and swallowed against the lump that had grown in his throat, "That some sort of angel mumbo jumbo?"

"You could call it that," Castiel said, as the alcohol bubbled up his throat and made him chuckle. "We can make people feel certain ways when we are feeling particularly strongly about something. I never quite perfected the craft so it slips from me sometimes."

Inordinately fascinated, Dean nodded.

"I will do my best to keep from doing it again."

"It's fine." Dean bit his lip, "Hey Cas?"

"Hm?"

"Did you know that Chuck is writing again?" Why was he bringing this up? He shouldn't be bringing this up.

"He is a prophet of the Lord. Writing is what he is meant to do."

"No, I mean," Dean rubbed his eyes, now wishing he hadn't made all those drinks doubles, "did you know he's getting published again?"

"I was made aware, yes."

"Did you know that you're in them now—in the books?"

Castiel shrugged, "That would make sense."

"You have fans too."

"Fans?"

"People who like you."

The angel smiled again—his cheeks were quite red now that he was on his fourth glass, and he sat much less straight in his seat.

"There are also fans…who like us."

"Who like us?"

Dean sighed and rolled his bottom lip under his teeth, "Yeah. Sam told me about it a while ago. Apparently it's called slash. As in me slash you."

"I am afraid I do not follow."

"As in you and me, together…like…intimately." Just saying it sent a strange shiver down his spine.

"Thou shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination," Castiel replied, almost robotically.

Dean didn't say anything—he didn't know what there was to be said. And he had so many thoughts whirling around all at once it was a miracle even one had made it out. He suddenly wished it had not been that thought.

Castiel blinked, looking vexed, "That is what is written."

"So…that means it's a sin right?"

"I do not know."

"You don't know?"

"It is not my place to interpret the word of the Lord."

Dean's jaw clenched and he took another drink. "Well what do you think, Cas? You were given a brain weren't you? Or is it really all just fluffy clouds and harps up there?"

"There is nothing I should think about it. It is what is written."

"Damnit, Cas—" but Dean stayed his tongue. With a snort of frustration he leaned back in his seat and turned his attention away from the angel.

This was just how it always was. Just when Dean thought Cas was over all this hierarchal bullshit—just when he thought Cas might actually give a shit about something more… he would pull something like this, and then it was always back to square one again. Maybe Dean was expecting too much from him; expecting too much human. But there had to be something, because, the eyes that bore into him now were not so unlike his own.

And Dean had no choice but to hope he was right. He was so alone, and he could feel it all pressing in on him till he could scarcely breathe. Who did he have? Who could he trust? Not Sam anymore…not after all that had happened. You couldn't just go back after something like that. Of course there was Bobby, but Bobby was having his fair share of issues these days, and he couldn't talk to Bobby about all the things he used to talk to Sam about. So he held it in…all of it, pushing it down and down and farther still. He could feel something in him ready to snap—he could feel it as real as the cold wet glass under his fingers. And he didn't know what would happen when he finally went off…he didn't want to know.

And then Cas had appeared; back from the dead. Dean didn't know why—maybe it was because Cas had saved him, or maybe it was because Cas seemed to be the only proof that the guy upstairs was actually on his side—but he had come to have a grudging dependence on the angel.

He always seemed to be around these days, and always not quite long enough. If Castiel didn't want to be around him—if he had so much to hide, then why did he keep coming back?

"I think that," Castiel said in a hurried hushed voice, "the human ability to love is one of its most precious gifts and…I cannot believe that God would condemn it."

Dean cast the angel a sidelong glance, "You think love is a gift?"

"Why else would angels envy man?"

Dean held himself very still, aware that his intrigue made him want to turn. "You can't love?"

Castiel shook his head solemnly and leaned over the table towards him. "Not in the same way. For instance, I love you—"

Dean did turn then, his heart giving a violent skip.

"—but I could never be in love with you. I love you as I love all of mankind: as I love God. I could not even begin to imagine what being in love feels like. That is why I envy you."

Dean cleared his throat gruffly, suddenly finding his jacket overly hot and restraining. He put his drink down and began working on shedding his coat, all the while laughing awkwardly. "We sound like a couple of chicks."

Castiel tilted his head like a confused puppy and succeeded in looking just about as cute as one. "Is that a bad thing?"

But of course Dean didn't think Castiel ever looked cute. Only girls thought things were cute. So if he were a girl, maybe he would've thought the angel was kinda cute. Maybe. Luckily Dean wasn't a girl so he didn't have to deal with that problem. He picked back up his drink and took a long swig. Nope.

"Dean?"

"What?"

"You look flushed."

Castiel was leaning forward again, examining him with dark blue eyes, the color of the ocean at night. Dean could only stare back, wishing his mouth hadn't suddenly gone dry, and wishing his shoulder would stop its incessant tingling.

Just then two beer mugs slammed down on the table, causing both men to start. Dean blinked over irately at the intruder.

She was tall, buxom, blue-eyed and blonde—just the type that on most nights would've made Dean's little hunter raise his pistol. Maybe if she had been looking at him it still would've happened that way, but, as it was, she was not looking at him. She was looking at Cas, and Dean had seen that look a thousand times.

"Hello," she said, stretching herself languidly across the table, her blood red lips smiling, "looked like you two boys needed refills."

Castiel smiled back at her, and the way the girl's eyes brightened in return made something under Dean's skin crawl.

"Thank you. That was kind," he replied genuinely, though he cast Dean a dubious sidelong glance.

The girl leaned forward even more, making sure gravity made a point of her best asset. "My name's Cherry."

Dean gave a snort of laughter, "Sorry babe, we're not looking for any hookers tonight."

The blonde turned on him with a nasty glare. Dean grinned smugly in return, liking how her face was much less pretty when it was scrunched up.

"Forgive my friend," Castiel chimed, "he is drunk."

"Not as drunk as you," Dean replied petulantly.

"Hardly."

"Your cheeks are all red."

"So are yours."

"That's just because I have a rosy disposition."

"The color of your skin is not governed by your personality."

"Is too!"

Cherry cleared her throat loudly, calling back the boys attention. Looking at Castiel, this time with purpose, she asked, "Would you like to dance with me?"

Dean had to forcibly down the rest of his drink to keep his temper from flaring. Who did this chick think she was—barging in on them like this? And then asking Cas instead of him! It was one thing for a girl to hit on Sam; Sam needed to get laid every once in a while to loosen the stick lodged in his ass. But Cas? Cas was an angel, and besides that, the guy looked like a complete virgin nerd for Christ's sake! Sure Dean had tried to get him laid once, but after seeing him in the future…well he sure as hell would never try that again. And he certainly wasn't going to let some bar whore ruin him either.

"I have never danced before."

Good boy, Cas, Dean nodded, find an excuse. Excuses are the best way to deal with sluts.

"Never?" Cherry laughed. Dean thought she had an annoying laugh. "Well I'll teach you then. I'm a great teacher."

Dean rolled his eyes. No way would Cas ever fall for than line.

"All right."

If it had been possible, Dean was sure his jaw would've fallen to the table. He watched, wide-eyed, as the angel rose and took Cherry's offered hand.

"You won't need that coat, love."

Love? Dean bristled.

Castiel removed his trenchcoat and set it back in the booth and, after throwing a cheerful smile at Dean, was led to the dance floor on the other side of the bar. Cherry bent over the jute-box in the far corner, her daisy dukes leaving little to the imagination and her hand still tightly clutching Cas'. Moments later, Finger Eleven's "Paralyzer" screamed out of the old speakers. Cherry turned back towards Castiel with the eyes of a predator as she took the angel by the waist and pulled him towards her. Then suddenly a crowd of people rushed over to the dance-floor and Dean lost them in the mass.

It was then that Dean realized that he no longer wanted mixed drinks, and he certainly didn't want the beers the blonde hoebag had brought over. It was most definitely shot time. Making sure his gaze steered clear of the dance-floor, Dean abandoned the booth and ambled his way up to the bar. By now the bartender was more than familiar with him and without even bothering to ask she went to making his Jack and Coke.

"Whoa hey!" Dean waved her off, "Just give me the straight."

She looked up at him, then at the dance-floor, and then back again, her eyes narrowing. A smirk slowly curled on her lips and after pouring a generous shot she slithered up to the counter. She set the glass down and slid it towards him slowly.

"I see Cherry found your friend."

Dean grimaced and picked up his drink, "She has a reputation around here I'm guessing?"

"Oh yes," the bartender's smile was feral. "She'll pounce on anything that moves, so long as it's pretty."

The first chorus round blared through the bar, and damned it all if the hunter didn't find himself thoroughly pissed all over again. This was all Chuck's fault. He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the damn prophet—well no…it was the fans that really turned everything upside down. Dean looked at the bartender. People like her, who pretended to live normal lives while who knows what ran rampant through their heads. He was trapped by them—made into a spectacle by some book.

Dean drained the shot and slammed it down on the bar. "Another." The bartender grabbed the bottle from behind her and poured. They repeated this ordeal two more times.

"Is he not with you?" she asked, pouring again.

"Hm?" Dean's brain admittedly wasn't running on all cylinders.

She tossed her long hair behind her shoulders, "I think you know what I mean."

Glaring, Dean sipped off his fourth shot, "Is it in your job description to be so nosy?"

"Is it in yours to be so stubborn?"

"As a matter of fact," he leaned over the bar and winked, "it is."

"So you're not going to answer my question then?"

"Guess not."

"Oh, I get it" she winked back, "you haven't come out of the closet yet huh?"

Dean sputtered, whiskey spilling unattractively over his lips, "What? No! I mean—I'm not gay! What is up with the world? You people see a gofer hole and make it into a god damn mountain!"

But the bartender wasn't paying attention to him anymore. She was looking over at the dance-floor. Dean hadn't noticed the music had stopped.

"So does that mean you won't mind that Cherry's taking him into the ladies room?"

"What!" Dean's temper flared wildly; he no longer had the sense to hold it back. He spun, his eyes searching frantically and his mind focused on one betraying thought: my angel. Without thinking about how crazy this was—without thinking about what anybody would see, or think, or write, or read, and without thinking about what this meant for him—Dean raced towards Castiel.

They got through the door just before he reached them. He heard the door lock but he slammed through it as if it were paper.

"What the hell?" Cherry screamed, gawking, "Get the fuck out!" She made to push him but Dean didn't budge.

His eyes were trained on Castiel, who looked in an utter stupor. His collar was loose and crooked, falling open to expose the tanned skin of his collarbone. His hair was disheveled and his cheeks were flushed, and overall Dean thought he looked a complete mess. He also thought he looked perfect, but he fought hard to keep that thought below the Busty Asian Beauties defense mechanism.

It didn't work, but moreover, at the moment he didn't care.

"Get out!" Cherry yelled again.

"No," Dean replied, his voice low and rumbling. His eyes never left Cas.

Castiel smiled then, and something inside Dean snapped; something that had been waiting for a very long time. It swept through him like a tornado, and it was all Dean could do just to hold on. And suddenly he was moving forward, and grabbing Cas by the shoulders, and crushing their lips together.

He'd never kissed an angel before, nor had he ever heard of anyone who had. Maybe that was because they'd never lived to tell the tale. There was a sudden surge of adrenaline through his system and his heart began beating so hard against his chest he thought it might burst through. And then, in a sharp flash, that feeling was multiplied by infinity and taken into the depths of forever. It was every feeling he'd ever had, crashing together all at once. Waves of electric shivers rushed through him and his skin felt suddenly hot and alive. And then Castiel kissed him back, and Dean knew he had never known the true feeling of being free until now.

Then, unexpectedly, a firm hand was pressed against his chest, pushing him back. Their kiss broke and Dean opened his eyes, not even realizing he had closed them. Cas was staring up at him, looking confused and strangely pained. Heart still racing, Dean cleared his throat and staggered back as reality crashed over him. Their silence seemed to press in.

What the hell had just happened?

"We're leaving, Cas." Without waiting for a reply, Dean grabbed the angel's forearm and dragged him out of the restroom. He could feel Cherry's eyes following them as they left.

Dean moved quickly, somehow hoping that if he moved fast enough he could outrun what had just happened. Dean was good at running—he'd never been given the option not to be good at it. The problem was, his messes had never been able to follow him before. But now—he couldn't just leave Cas. He wouldn't leave Cas. He refused to. But that meant…that meant he would have to…

They were outside now, and Dean's labored breath came out in heavy clouds of mist. He was still holding onto Cas' arm, and for some reason he couldn't make himself let go.

"Dean?"

Well screw it! Screw Chuck and screw his fans! Screw what they read or wrote or thought! Who were they to sway him? They didn't even know he was real! Well he was done caring about them. After all, look where caring had gotten him.

"Dean?" Castiel started again, tentatively, "Was that a kiss? You kissed me right?"

Dean turned, confused and not knowing where to begin. The problem with not being able to run was that he was going to have to clean this mess up. Only, he was pretty sure that this was so far beyond the fucked-up scale that there was no making it right.

All he could say was, "I'm sorry," and, "I didn't mean to," because that's what he was supposed to say.

He didn't miss the flash of hurt that crossed Castiel's face before he lowered his gaze to the ground. The angel pulled his arm from Dean's grasp.

"You did not mean to. Of course."

Now Dean could honestly consider himself thoroughly confused. This had been a weird night, even for him, but the look on Castiel's face threw him over the edge. He'd seen that look hundreds of times before, on the face of every girl he'd ever kissed goodbye, but seeing it now, on the angel's face, rattled him. And he didn't understand it—why Castiel was looking at him that way, and why it made his chest hurt.

Frankly, he didn't want to understand it. It scared him. It had been so long since he'd felt something—anything. The void in him was dark, empty, and broken. He had long ago given up hope on ever filling it again. It was easier to stay broken. Yet, there was something that held him now; a soft whispering promise that held him captivated.

"Dean," Castiel moved forward suddenly, so close Dean could feel the heat of his breath on his lips, "if I were human…do you think…" Castiel cut off and stepped back abruptly.

Dean released the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.

"Forgive me." With a wave of his hand, Castiel's cheeks lost their flush and his clothing straightened into its usual pristine arrangement.

"Cas," Dean breathed, unable to think of anything else to say.

"You are in no condition to drive back to the motel. I will send you back myself."

"Cas, listen, about in there—"

"Don't worry," Castiel's eyes were hard, "you will not remember any of it."

There was a beat of silence, "What?"

"It should not have happened."

"So I screw up and we just forget about it? Cas, you can't just—"

"Is that not what you do? With Sam? With anything?"

Dean said nothing. There were so many things to say—so many things he knew he should say. Like how maybe he didn't want to forget. Like, however messed up it was, when he was with Cas he didn't feel quite so alone anymore. Like how maybe his soul was lost, and maybe he did need someone—an angel—to help him find it again.

But he kept his mouth shut.

He couldn't say it.

"I'll see you soon, Dean."

"Wait, Cas, please," but it was too late; Castiel had already touched him.


Yay! I really loved writing this! It came so easily to me and of course Dean and Cas are just too much fun!

Please Review! It's what keeps me going!