It's done, all done and dusted and the rating went up and everything, just like I promised. This week has been a horrible week for work and I've been writing as a release for it. I think it's worked out relatively well all said and done.

Also, in the words of Chuck: Endings are hard!

oOo

Castiel's lips are dry against Dean's, an impossible thing that he has no right to experience and no right to take but for the fact that in this moment the agony of the incomplete bond is pushed to the back of his mind. He half expects the angel to push him away, to tell him that this is not what Joshua meant for them to do, is surprised when Cas makes a low noise and parts his lips to deepen the kiss.

The hand that is still clinging to his friend's wrist relinquishes it's grasp to slide up the angel's arm and around the back of his neck, pulling him impossible closer as Dean shuffles into a more comfortable position. In the back of his mind he can hear a little voice shrieking a litany of confusion: You're kissing an angel. You're kissing Cas. You're not gay. He resolutely stamps it down, he accepted not long after he first met Cas that he had the hots for the angel, just as he had once accepted that nothing would ever come of it. He can have his big gay freak out later, if need be, right now all that he can focus on is the feel of Castiel's lips and the short hairs at the nape of his neck. All he wants to feel is the slip slide of the angel's tongue against his own and the gentle press of grace against his soul. He does not care about the bond, or the way that Raphael's actions have forced them into this, because all he can feel right now is Cas and all he can hear is the sharp gasps of an angel and his own thundering heart.

"Cas," the angel's name is a gasp of light and salvation as they break apart for only a moment.

"Dean," Castiel responds, grasping at the fabric of the hunter's shirt like he is torn between wanting to take it off and needing to keep it on. As Dean brushes his lips against the angel's stubble roughened jaw he does not pause to think about how far this should go, it does not occur to him to ask again what needs to be done to cement the bond so that he will be free to live his life. He simply needs and wants.

He wants this and for the first time he is not going to allow himself to settle for second best. For the first time he is not going to settle for a fantasy.

Castiel is pliable beneath his hands, only the faintest hint of the steel of an archangel can be detected under his skin as his breaths grow shallower. Trembling fingers set a path for the lips and teeth of the hunter, fingers that fumble with the blue tie and slide over too small buttons. Everything is happening too fast and not slow enough, too many clothes and too much unknown.

Dean wants Cas, does not know how to put into words quite how much he wants the angel and has for a long time, but he cannot know for certain whether this is what the angel wants or if it is the bond pushing them even harder to finish what Raphael started.

Castiel hisses his name again, shoves the shirt from the hunters shoulders and shreds the ruined t-shirt. The angel's hands are soft but firm, there is an uncertainty to his movements that Dean can still find endearing even in the state of pure want that his mind has fallen into. His name is falling from Castiel's lips with increasing frequency now as he swirls his tongue around one nipple, relishing in the reactions the way that it hardens under his ministrations. Already he can feel the angel's erection pressing into his thigh, his own jeans far too tight and he needs more than this.

He only spares a moment to feel guilty that Castiel's first time is going to be in a drafty, iron clad room.

"Stop thinking," Castiel whispers, "stop doubting, Dean." Then the angel pulls him into another kiss that leaves Dean gasping and desperate, hands clawing at soft skin and eyes blindly turned up to the ceiling as chapped lips assault his neck and shoulders.

There is little thought after this, little time to consider the meaning behind their actions or the way that it will affect their future. There is only skin and lips, tongue and teeth. It is simply them, there is no need to think about the outside world and the reactions of others. Their hands explore and learn, mapping the plains of one another's bodies and Dean cannot stop, does not want to stop, does not think that he will ever be able to. He has been denied this for too long.

It is Dean who presses Castiel against the sheets, Dean who unbuckles the angel's belt and unzips him. It is the hunter who reaches under worn black fabric and soft cotton boxers to take Cas's erection in his hand. Dean who watches as lust falls to one side and pleasure covers the face of a friend who has long been something more. It is Dean who helps the angel remove the last of his clothing, who brings Cas to the edge of orgasm so many times before easing away again. He wants this to last, he wants it to be over. He wants to savour this time because he does not know if it can ever happen again.

Dean touches and tastes, savours the salt on Castiel's skin, learns the gasps that mean good things. He continues until he has Cas writhing on the old sheets, his voice nothing more than gasps of a language that Dean cannot hope to understand and the blue of his eyes obliterated by black pupils blown by desire. It is enough for the hunter, enough to push him to shuck his jeans and boots. He shifts until he is nestled between Castiel's legs, until their erections bump together and he can capture Cas's lips in a kiss.

A groan is torn from Dean's lips when he shifts, feeling Castiel move with him to create a friction that is the perfect movement of sweat soaked skin and sends shudders through both of them. Their kisses become frantic, the rocking of their bodies increasing in pace, the hunter's arms braced to either side of the angel and Cas's hands clinging to his back. There is another sensation, however, that of feathers that run light caresses up his thighs, feathers that explore everywhere that Cas has so far been unable to touch. It is the gentle strokes of the angel's wings that finally tip Dean over the edge, that fills his vision with nothing but light and drives the air from his lungs.

Dimly he is aware of Castiel also reaching this same moment of completion, aware of the way that the angel's voice is one and many at the same time. Within him everything swirls and rolls, lifts him higher than he has ever been and makes him shudder as he slides back to reality.

oOo

This is not what Castiel had expected the completion of the bond to feel like. He had not expected this level of contentment and it is almost like something that he did not know was shattered has been healed. There will be a lot to adapt to in this, he knows, a lot to clarify with Dean and not least the fact that this is something that Castiel wants. It is not something that the hunter has forced him into and yet he can still feel that fear rolling through Dean's soul as the man rests. He pulls his wings tight about them, covering his hunter with the light feathers and revelling in his ability to do so.

"Why can I see them?" Dean mutters sleepily and Castiel lets himself chuckle softly at the question. It is a fond moment where he can allow himself to be gentle and understanding. A moment where he does not have to be the powerful angel fighting a war he cannot truly hope to win. "It's the bond, isn't it?"

Dean pushes until he is hovering over the angel, letting Castiel look at his eyes for the first time since everything was completed between them. The green of them is more brilliant now, it seems to glow with the part of Castiel's grace that has merged fully with Dean's soul. There will be no pain from this bond for the hunter, no agony of separation and no fear of abandonment. From now on Dean will never be alone, not even when Castiel is forced to return to Heaven.

"Yes," the angel admits, touching the hunter's cheek when he tries to turn away, "but this is a good thing."

"Really?" There is little hope in Dean's voice, only anger. They have both been manipulated into this. Give time Castiel now believes that he could have gradually brought the hunter around to the idea of them bonding more fully. Given time he thinks that he could have cemented their link in a time and place of his own choosing. He regrets the way that this happened, but he cannot regret that it has happened at all.

"It means that you have opened yourself to accepting the bond, it means that I have done the same." He pulls the hunter into another kiss, feels him fight for a moment before responding. Castiel keeps it simple this time, no heat and no passion, just regard and respect. He suspects there is even a hint of love to it, but resolves to take it all one step at a time.

"And now you're going back upstairs again," the bitterness in Dean swirls through their link, chilling the core of the angel with the bleakness and the despair that is it's foundation.

"I would sooner spend a thousand years here with you, Dean, than a single moment in Heaven without you."

The hunter huffs, embarrassed by Castiel's words but the angel does not allow that to deter him. For too long Dean has been ignorant of his own worth, ignorant of his own merits and the angel intends to change that. He means for Dean to see just how special he is. He means for Dean to understand that he has the greatest worth of any human that Castiel has ever met.

"I will not be gone long," he promises, "and I will return as soon as I am able. I suspect that you will have had more than your fill of me before long."

Dean smirks and looks him up and down, pressing their lips together in a kiss that is heated but lacks the lust that brought them to this specific position.

"I intend to," he mumbles.

It gives Castiel hope to hear him say that.

The road they have ahead of them is long, this bond is still new. It will take a while for them to learn exactly what changes it has made to them. The war in Heaven is far from over, with one leader dead another will soon step in to take his place and this bond has painted a much bigger target on Dean's back. Joshua's motives are at least clear in all of this. For the first time in years Castiel does not struggle to keep his distance from the hunter, for the first time in years the angel can display to the others that follow him that he can be a soldier and love a human soul completely. For the first time Castiel is not alone and he has hope.

Hope, he realises, is almost as powerful a tool as love.

Fin.