Title: Ridin' Dirty
Author: HigherMagic
Pairings: Dean/Castiel
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~9,500
Spoilers: None. This is AU.
Warnings: Moments of asshole!Cas towards Gabriel, random personality changes…
Summary: Castiel went to Winchester ranch looking for a pony for his niece's thirteenth birthday (because he's that kind of guy), and ended up getting the cowboy instead.
Notes: Prompt from earth_heart - with dog breeder!Dean (which turned into horses with some coaxing on my part). Dean hears Castiel talk and (yeah I know cliché) is all like "Holyfuckingshitthisguys'VOICE". When Castiel shows up Dean is, well, Dean, and flirts with him shamelessly but Castiel just kind of stares at him and is basically Castiel. A few weeks pass and Dean calls to see how he's doing, and they end up getting together because Castiel needs Dean's help. And sex happens somewhere?
Hope you like it, Benny :D This grew into a BEAST, but for you it's worth it! RANDOM STORY IS RANDOM.
Unbeta'd. All mistakes are my own.

"Alison wants a pony for her birthday."

Castiel blinked, raising his head from his morning cup of coffee and paper, to regard his brother with a raised eyebrow. Gabriel had just waltzed in and sat down opposite him – typical behavior for the older Novak, but it still irked Castiel a little.

"Good morning to you too," he said, but with a little amusement as Gabriel's expression was one he could find amusement in. The older brother's mouth was twisted as though he'd just eaten a sour lemon, and he was drumming his fingers on the tabletop of the café Castiel had been sitting in.

He sighed, sitting back, and methodically folded the paper into halves, then quarters, prepared to give his brother his full attention. "Is a pony an unlikely thing for her to get?" he asked, cocking his head to one side, regarding his brother. Since Gabriel had gotten the little girl in his divorce he'd been hell-bent on spoiling the child rotten. It wasn't that he didn't have money or love enough to give to her, but -.

"I just don't have time," he said, sighing and rubbing his forehead. "I mean, I have meetings all this week and her birthday's on Thursday. I was wondering…you know, since you don't really have a job right now…"

"Fine," Castiel replied brusquely, sitting up a little straighter. He had been looking for work – it had been why he'd been scouring the paper so closely, but in this economy no one was hiring for things he was qualified to do, and frankly he couldn't live on a MacDonald's' salary, and he wasn't that desperate yet. "I'll go get her a pony." He loved his niece, really he did, but that girl got it too good sometimes. Gabriel was determined to give her everything he hadn't had as a kid and Castiel was worried that his intense need to please his daughter would end him up in the poorhouse soon enough. "Breed? Color? Gender? Do you even have a place where I could look?"

Gabriel bit his lip, shaking his head. "Dude, when I say I don't have time, I -."

"Right, I get it," Castiel interrupted, waving his brother away. He knew he was being rude, but today hadn't set him in the best of moods. His unemployment was really starting to get to him, and he found it annoying that he literally had nothing better to do than to buy a pony for his overspoilt niece. "I'll figure something out."

"Thanks, Cas," Gabriel said, grinning as he got up and pulling his reluctant brother into a hug. "I owe you one."

"You can pay me back by letting go," Castiel muttered darkly, but the corner of his mouth were quirking up in a smile as his brother released him. Gabriel grinned, saluting him, and then turned around, sauntering back out of the coffee shop as quickly as he had entered.

"Sam! Turn that crap down!" Dean yelled, shoving off his hat as he stepped into the main barn on the Winchester Ranch. Sam was washing down Bill, an old cart horse who had seen better days and, despite being clipped only recently for the new winter, had an uncanny ability to get his coat more matted and dirty than all the other horses combined. Sam had an old, busted up transistor radio blasting 'Walking on Sunshine' at full volume, and, grinning, Sam surfaced from the behind the drenched gelding, obediently turning down the music, though not off.

"Come on, Dean, lighten up," he said, throwing a sponge in Dean's direction, which the horseman gracefully dodged, rolling his eyes. "It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, for once your She-devil isn't kickin' up a storm…What's wrong with a little music?"

"I'd be fine if it wasn't killin' my poor baby's ears," Dean replied, snorting and grinning at Sam's mention of the 'She-devil', Dean's pride and joy – a big black mare named Chevy, ironically named because, before a Chevrolet had almost killed her, running her over and snapping her foreleg in three places, she'd been a prize rodeo horse. Dean had taken her in after being told she would be put down otherwise, unable to see such a spirited, beautiful animal go to waste. Five years later and it was as though the accident had never happened – Chevy was larger than life and Dean loved her like nothing else.

Hearing Dean's voice, almost on cue, the mare on the end stall snorted loudly, kicking at the door impatiently. Dean jogged over to her, unlatching the door and stepping inside. "Hey there, baby," he murmured when the mare snorted, her large nostrils flaring and tossing her head, ears flattening to her skull. "Hey, none of that. I know Sammy's music's crappy but you don't need to take it out on me." Dean grinned again when he heard Sam snort, turning the music up again almost as if to prove a point, and Dean sighed, shaking his head, and ran his fingers through the mare's thick mane. He tutted. "Gonna have to cut it if you keep messing up all my hard work."

The mare rolled her eye at him, snorting once. "Yeah, or maybe not." He smiled indulgently, cupping and rubbing her muzzle gently and letting her lip at his fingers. "Spoiled brat." He scratched her withers, enjoying the little rumble she gave him in return, and was startled out of his little peaceful moment by the raucous sound of the phone ringing from the house. He sighed. "Sam? Can you get that?"

"Wet hands, Dean," came Sam's reply.

"Bitch," Dean muttered, scratching his mare between the ears and leaning his forehead against her warm cheek. She whickered at him again. "Be right back, sweetheart," he said, smiling, and then quickly slid out the door, latching it again and ran over to the house to answer the phone.

"Winchester Ranch, what can I do ya for?" he asked, picking it up, sounding a little breathless from the run.

"Hello," came the stiff, awkward-sounding reply, and holy crap, "my brother has tasked me with buying a horse for his daughter, and I saw your ad in the papers."

It took a moment for Dean to come up with a reply. Stilted and awkward speech aside, Dean had to wonder if he was talking to a long-time smoker, or possibly someone who liked to eat gravel for breakfast. Because holy. Shit. That was the kind of voice that whispered into your ear in the middle of the night, who shoved you against a wall and pinned you there with a strong body. It was the kind of voice that belonged to someone who liked to bite, and claw, and hold you down and fuck you six ways from Sunday.

Dean cleared his throat, hoping to try and sound like he was keeping his cool. "Um…well, you've called the right place," he replied, straightening up even though there was no one there to watch him, and thank God otherwise Sam would never let him hear the end of it – he could feel his cheeks turning red. "We've got all sorts of breeds and sizes – I'm sure I can give you what you need."

There was another pause, then; "I'm sure you can." Dean's eyes widened, realizing exactly what he'd said, and he clamped a hand over his mouth, rolling his eyes at himself – idiot. Not that he'd been received badly, but still.

Keep your cool, man. Dean rubbed his hand through his hair, taking a deep breath. In his defense, no one should have a voice that low – Dean's mind was conjuring up the sort of tall, dark handsome strangers that are named things like Fabio and have more muscles than a T-Rex. Not that the image wasn't a nice one, but still, inappropriate.

Dean closed his eyes, swallowing again because his mouth had gone curiously dry. "You seem like the kinda guy who needs to like what he sees, though," Dean continued, not even really sure what was coming out of his mouth – all he could think was get this guy here, seriously, why isn't he here yet? "Any idea what you're looking for?"

"…No," replied the voice, sounding apologetic.

"No big," Dean replied, a little more confident now – horses, he knew. He could talk about horses until he died. "Look, we're pretty much open all the time, so if you just give me your name and I'll give you an address and you can just come on up whenever and I'll see what I can do for you."

"That would be appreciated, thank you."

"No problem," Dean replied, smiling despite himself. "Alright, so…" He stood up, rifling around for a pen and some paper. "Name?"

"Castiel," the low voice replied, and Dean paused again. A novel name – one that Dean wouldn't forget easily, nope. Especially with that voice attached to it. Suddenly Dean's little Fabio image became a Castiel one and, yep, that was still a damn pretty picture. "I'll come by tomorrow afternoon, if that's alright…?"

"Yeah, sounds good. Just ask for Dean," Dean replied, though there were only two of them here on the ranch and Adam who came in on the weekends, which tomorrow wasn't, so it wasn't like there would be much confusion on that part. He rattled off the address to Castiel, who hummed a little at the end and it gave Dean the impression that he was nodding very solemnly, committing everything Dean said to memory. It was a weird but nice image. "See ya tomorrow, Cas."

"And you, Dean," Castiel replied, and hung up. Dean carefully set the phone down, taking another deep breath, and rubbed his hands through his hair, again trying to get control of himself. It was no use, though – he knew he would have that voice in his head all freaking day.

"Damn it," he muttered, rolling his eyes at himself again, unable to believe what he'd inadvertently said to Castiel over the phone. Well, at least it hadn't gone any worse.

And thank God Sam was too lazy to pick up the phone.


"Any luck?"

"Yes," Castiel replied, fidgeting briefly, looking down at his fingers in his lap. Gabriel's eyes widened. "I found a ranch, and I'm going there tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be bringing back a horse for Alison later, but would you rather I just picked it up on Thursday and brought it down in time for the party?"

Gabriel regarded his brother with narrowed eyes, and Castiel tensed under the scrutiny. "What?" he demanded.

"Something happened," Gabriel said, nodding to himself. He pressed his lips together and then his grin widened when Castiel blushed a little and continued to avert his gaze. "What? What? Tell me," he said, reaching forward and making a grab for Castiel's hand. "C'mon, Cassy -."

"Don't call me that," Castiel snapped, eyes flashing. "It's just…You know what? It's nothing. Aren't you meant to be busy or something?" he asked, standing up and heading for the door.

"Aww, come on bro, don't be like that. I just wanna know," Gabriel muttered, following and grabbing hold of Castiel's arm. The younger brother bit his lip, looking down again while Gabriel studied his face closely. Then, his eyes widened. "You met someone."

"We haven't…technically met yet," Castiel replied slowly.

"…Wait…is it the rancher guy?" Gabriel asked again, his eyes widening further until Castiel felt the irrational but strong urge to try and push them back into his skull for fear of them falling out. Then, he grinned. "Tryin' to get a nice cowboy to ride?" he asked with a leer.

Castiel blushed deeper. Damn it. "This is why I didn't want to tell you," he said, trying to shrug Gabriel's hold off so that he could leave. "And Dean and I have never met. Stop being so assuming."

"Cas, you only get this defensive when I'm right and you don't like it," Gabriel said, preening at having guessed right – his grin was so wide that Castiel wondered if his face would just fall into two halves. "And you've only talked to him on the phone?" He laughed when Castiel's eyes narrowed. "Well, for your sake, I hope that his looks measure up to his voice." He clapped his hand on Castiel's shoulder, winking, and Castiel barely stifled a growl. "Easy tiger, save it for your cowboy."

"He's not a cowboy!" Castiel retorted to Gabriel's back, following him out because it was actually Gabriel's apartment so they both had to leave – Gabriel for work, Castiel because he didn't live there.

"How do you know?" Gabriel replied with a shrug.

"I…" Castiel paused, biting his lip, and tried to conjure up a man to the voice he'd heard – a deep, drawling kind of voice that was reminiscent of smoky taverns and gun fights and Texas Hold 'Em, of whiskey and smoke and…yeah, cowboys. Damn it. "Now I can't get the image out of my head."

"You're welcome!" Gabriel called as he walked through the sliding doors into the pleasantly cool outside. Castiel narrowed his eyes again, flipping him the bird to his back, and went the other way, because apparently he had nothing better to do now for the rest of the day except imagine a dark Western stranger.

Damn Gabriel. Damn him to Hell and back.

Since they hadn't actually decided, Castiel made the decision for his brother – he wasn't going to bring the horse back until Thursday because, now that he thought about it, he didn't have a place to put it, or a way to transport it even if he did. So, climbing into his beaten-up, on-its-last-legs Ford Taurus, he drove towards Winchester Ranch which was a good five miles from the outskirts of his town. It was a pleasant drive, though – Castiel enjoyed watching the city melt to suburbia melt to green fields and pastureland. In the distance, getting larger, Castiel recognized a giant barn which dwarfed the two-story house sitting next to it, and Castiel checked his directions again, sure that this was the place. Even if he hadn't followed the directions, he would have known by the sign, which hung down from a wooden archway, which was stuck in at the end of the long driveway that led up to the barn.

As Castiel drove up to the large building, painted a myriad of different browns over the years and patchily, but still looking in good condition, he looked around the place. There were a few horses dotted in the large pastures that neighbored the driveway, all of them large breeds, from the looks of it, and they barely gave a flick of their tails as Castiel drove in.

The driveway ended in a large oval of gravel and sand, one end opening directly into the barn, with a small path to the house branching off the right side of it. Castiel pulled to one side, against one of the white fences that kept the horses in their pastures, and stepped out of the car.

The place looked deserted – aside from the occasional whicker of a horse, there didn't seem to be a sign of life around the place. Castiel frowned, feeling a little uneasy (when unemployed, one had a lot of time to watch 'The Twilight Zone') and took another look around. There was a gentle breeze stirring the grasses, bringing the sweet smell of hay along with the distinct tang of horses.

After a moment, Castiel became aware of a sound. It was the jangle of metal pieces clinking together. Curious, he straightened up, and followed it. The barn was open on both ends, and the sounds were coming from the other side. He walked through, still seeing no one, all of the lean-tos were unoccupied, the horses out to graze in the pleasant weather.

The back end of the barn was laid out much like the front – there was an oval patch of gravel and sand, this one a little larger, bordered with pasture, but it was occupied by possibly the largest black horse Castiel had ever seen. It looked wild – sweat matted its coat, staining it even darker in places, its nostrils flared impossibly widely, and when it whinnied the sound shocked Castiel.

"Shh, baby, come on." The gentle encouragement came from the man riding her. He was wearing only jeans and a t-shirt, which similarly clung to him from damp sweat – it was clear that the two had been working out here for a while before Castiel came along.

He sat the horse well as it bucked, circling around itself as though spooked at something, its strong legs flying out and kicking up large clouds of dust and gravel, sending the tiny stones scattering. The man pressed his lips together, leaning back and did something with the reins – Castiel wasn't sure what, had no idea how to ride a horse and had never seen it done – and the horse tossed its head, whinnying again, and circled the other way. The man grinned, and said; "Good girl."

He sounded breathless, panting almost as hard as the wild mare was, as she dipped her head and began to back up, the reins pulled taut at her mouth. She was champing on the bit, tossing her head, her legs quivering slightly as she stopped her wild bucking, and it took Castiel a moment, seeing the man smile, to realize that all that show before had been exactly that – a show. The mare had been obeying the horseman's every command.

It took skill to make a horse look that wild, and Castiel relaxed a little, feeling a little better about choosing this ranch, as it wasn't the most well known and certainly not the most popular (but that could be because of its relative anonymity). Watching the mare slowly come down from her wild exercise, Castiel paid more attention to the man riding her.

Even the most Goliath-like of men would have seemed small on that mare, but the two of them seemed to complement each other – the man's skin was tanned from hours in the sun, his face flushed a little from exercise, sweat matting his dirty blonde (more dirty than blonde) hair to his forehead. His arms were bare because of the t-shirt and, though they didn't ripple with muscle, they were most certainly there, his hands large and faultless, guiding the mare's head the way he desired it.

His focus was completely on the mare, on guiding her movements. Castiel got the feeling that there wasn't a hoof in any place that was not put there through the man's direction. Though the mare was obviously tired, her flanks heaving from exercise, her coat shining with sweat, she still held her head high for her rider, her steps light and dainty when he wanted them, her body fluid and full of untapped energy, drawn out only because of the skilled man riding her.

It was enthralling to watch. Castiel found himself simply staring at the two of them, so lost in the show that he didn't notice when a shadow fell across him.

"Can I help you with anything?"

Castiel, though he wasn't proud to admit this, jumped at the voice, spinning around, eyes wide as though he had been caught doing something wrong. "Um," he said, clearing his throat, and then straightened. "My name is Castiel. I called yesterday about buying a pony for my niece."

He looked up (and up and up) into the face of a man about seven years' younger than himself, towering over him. The guy was huge, but he looked friendly enough, especially when he smiled, showing dimples that made him look even younger.

"Oh, right," he said, tossing some of long hair back, muddy and greasy from working in the yard. Castiel nodded and tried his hand at a smile. "Then you'll want Dean. I'll just go get him."

"Thank you," Castiel replied, expecting maybe for the man to walk back towards the barn or the house to retrieve Dean, and was therefore surprised to see him head towards the rider. Castiel's eyes widened, unable to believe….Shit. How was it fair that that voice and that man should ever be combined? How was he going to be able to look at the man, let alone talk to him?

Castiel swallowed, tempted to tell the other man that that wasn't necessary, that he was sure the tall man could help him, but it was too late, and he was already approaching Dean on his wild mare.

"Dean! Castiel's here!" the man called, loud enough to get Dean's attention but not so loud as to startle the mare, though Castiel thought it would take a tank to even make her bat an eye – she looked like the 'take all prisoners' kind of horse. He also thought it a little weird the way the man said it, as though Castiel had been coming here for years, as though they already were best friends or something. The thought made a warm feeling settle low in his stomach, and it wasn't unpleasant at all.

Immediately the mare stilled, standing on point while Dean turned his head. His eyes flashed immediately to Castiel, and he blinked. They both did. Dean had the most intense green eyes Castiel had ever seen, as green as the pastures around them, and he had striking features – a strong jaw balanced by full, almost feminine lips, with high cheekbones that gave him an air that one might be able to call him 'pretty'.

As Castiel watched, Dean pressed his lips together, looking him up and down, and then snapped his gaze back to the other man, breaking Castiel of his trance.

"'Kay, Sammy," Dean replied gruffly, lightly twitching the reins in his hand, and the mare's ears spun forward, alert and attentive to Dean's control. "Gimme a minute." He dug his inner heel into the mare's flank, turning her gently around his leg, and began to trot towards Castiel. The man sucked in a breath, and Dean slowed her down in time to come level with Castiel, and then he dismounted, grinning easily in greeting. "Heya, I'm Dean," he said, a little superfluously, Castiel thought, but he still nodded and smiled. "If ya just come with me, I'll get her settled and then see what I can do for you. Sound good?"

"Yes, Dean, thank you," Castiel replied politely, and Dean swallowed, licking his lips, before he grabbed one of the mare's loose reins and gently clicked his tongue at her. She whickered gently and walked along behind him, and Castiel hurried to catch us so that they were walking level.

"Find the place okay?" Dean asked as they entered the barn. Because of the way it was built, a sort of air current built up through it, cooling both rider and horse as they entered, and Dean led the way to the end stall.

Castiel nodded. "Yes. Your instructions were very helpful," he said. He couldn't take his eyes off of Dean – the man was a little taller than him, and a little broader. His jeans clung to his legs, and Castiel knew they must be strong from riding horses so well, so easily – only a man who was that good could make it look that easy. Then his mind went from that to Gabriel's words and all he could think about was giving Dean a different kind of ride and it made him blush so he swallowed and forced the thoughts to go away.

It wasn't easy, though – Castiel hung back to let Dean lead his mare into her stall and he could make out the slight outward curve of Dean's bow-legs, which of course just gave him all sorts of other dirty thoughts. He swallowed, thinking about those strong legs wrapping around him, of those full, lush lips around his cock or sucking on his neck, baring perfectly white teeth as they sank down and –

"So have you thought more about the kind of horse you're looking for?" Dean asked, interrupting Castiel's thoughts process (thank God – they were about to get a lot higher than PG-13) as he untacked the mare, first removing her saddle and throwing it over the door, then her bridle, which he placed over it. The mare worked her jaws, grateful for the freedom, and pressed insistently at Dean's pocket, lipping at his jeans. "Spoiled brat," Dean muttered affectionately, scratching her between the ears, but obediently reached into his pocket and pulled out a polo mint, which he fed to her, still petting her.

"No, but I like what I have been seeing so far," Castiel replied, still staring at Dean – sweat was cooling on him, the man flushing more as he cooled down, shirt sticking to his body and giving Castiel a very vivid idea of what lay underneath.

Dean's eyes flashed up to him, and those perfect lips curled up in a wicked smirk. "'S that so?" he asked, tilting his head to one side, still petting down his mare's neck. Castiel's eyes widened, realizing what he'd said. "Well, what're you in the mood for? Mare, gelding, stallion?" He paused, eyes roving up and down Castiel in a way that made the older man shiver. "We've got something for everyone here."

"Um." Castiel swallowed. It suddenly felt like the barn was a thousand degrees, and nothing had even happened. He swallowed again, clearing his throat. "What would you recommend for a thirteen-year-old girl?"

Dean blinked, pursing his lips as he thought. "Does she ride?"

"She's been learning for a few years, yes."

"About how big is she?" he asked. Castiel cocked his head to one side, thinking, and then raised his hand to about shoulder height. "She likely to get much taller?" Castiel smirked, thinking of his brother's own short stature, and shook his head. "I might have something for her, then."

"Good," Castiel said, smiling in relief. Truth be told, even if Dean hadn't had anything for him, he might have stayed and looked just to remain in the man's company. He was just so open and friendly, even if a little forward, but Castiel liked that. It was entertaining, even if it did give Castiel the weird feeling that Dean was testing him out, seeing his reactions and guiding him just as easily as though he were the reined mare.

"Just let me brush her down and then we'll be on our way. I would show you around first but…well, she's my baby," Dean said, grinning and stepping out of the stall, just briefly. Castiel, because it wasn't in his brain processes to move out of the way, got to experience Dean up close, his body giving out heat like a furnace, smelling of horses and sweat and outside air. They brushed close enough that Castiel could feel the hint of muscle underneath Dean's clothes, and he felt the embarrassing urge to bury his face in Dean's neck and inhale his unique, outdoorsy scent, and he sucked in a breath, backing away a fraction of a second too late.

Dean, though, didn't seem to notice his obvious…problem, and moved to the other side of the barn where there were shelves piled high with grooming brushes and spare bits of tack. He took out a tack box and headed back to the stall, still grinning at Castiel, and again they brushed together as Dean opened the door, this time back-to-chest, and Castiel had to bite his lip to stop himself making a sound.

"How long have you had her for?" he asked, clearing his throat because his voice came out dry and raspy. Dean's small shudder went unnoticed.

"Over five years," he said, smiling as he approached the horse with a sweat scraper, which he gently laid against the mare's sweaty flanks, dragging it along her coat and shaking off the excess onto the hay while she drank deeply from a bucket of water. "Watch it, greedy," he snapped, gently slapping her neck and she flicked her tail at him. Dean shook his head, smiling indulgently, and went back to grooming her. "She used to be a rodeo horse and some jackass got her with his truck. I took her in – it was either that or shoot her, and I just couldn't let that happen."

"Did you ride in the rodeo?" Castiel asked, eager to know more about this strange, enthralling man.

Dean smiled. "Yeah. My daddy was the best in the state 'til a bronco got him. I tried it for a few years but then I started up this place with my brother – it was makin' better money and Sammy's fiancée said it was either her or the rodeo." He paused, looking down for a moment. "Guess it wasn't that hard a decision for him."

"Do you regret it?" Castiel asked again.

Dean shrugged. "I'll admit, it's nicer to be able to work with one horse for a long time, you know?" He looked over to Castiel, who nodded, and Dean shrugged again, smiling, in a lighter mood once more. "So, what about you, stranger? What's your story?"

"My story?" Castiel asked, blinking.

Dean gestured vaguely. "You know; your reason why you are where you are."

Castiel cocked his head to one side, frowning a little. "I used to work as an executive in a medical malpractice firm," he said, pressing his lips together, "and I was often on the wrong side of the courtroom, if you know what I mean. I just didn't believe in suing honest doctors who had made honest mistakes, and there were too few who deserved what they got. So I quit. And no one's hiring. I've been unemployed for the last six months."

"Dude, that sucks," Dean said emphatically, fixing Dean with a sympathetic gaze. "I'm sorry."

Castiel shrugged. "It has given me opportunities I never thought I'd have," he replied simply, looking down and away from Dean. Like this one.

Dean smiled. "Yeah, there's that."

There was a long pause, which was only broken by the occasional noise from the big black mare, before Castiel spoke again; "Do you still ride professionally?" he asked.

Dean shook his head. "No. Why?"

"Because I think it would be a marvelous experience for anyone to see you ride," he said emphatically, and he meant it – Dean had held him in awe, watching the man control and guide his horse so effortlessly, so easily, so in control.

There was another pause, and then the horseman smirked. "Maybe sometime I'll give you a private show," he said, grinning and winking at Castiel from under the mare's head, and the older man blushed slightly, biting his lower lip and averting his gaze. "Alright, I think she can wait on me for now. Let's see about getting you an animal."

He stepped out under the mare, grinning when she nudged at his butt impatiently, rolling her eyes, and he gently tugged on an ear before leaving, darting out of the way of her bite of retaliation. He dusted off his hands, wiping them on his dirty shirt, and grimaced. "One more sec," he said apologetically, and headed to an empty stall on the opposite side of the barn. Castiel followed him, not realizing what he was doing, and Dean quickly stripped his t-shirt off, revealing bare muscle and skin and Castiel averted his eyes again, but not before he managed to catch a flash of black ink on Dean's torso. A tattoo.

He really, really wanted to see it in detail.

The younger man pulled on another, cleaner t-shirt, yanking it over his head, and tugged it down as he stepped back out of the stall. "Alright, all set," he said, clapping his hands together, and then he smiled, throwing an arm around Castiel's shoulders, all camaraderie and smiles, and led him out of the barn again. "Lemme show you somethin' I think you'll enjoy."

Castiel nodded, blushing a little, and tried not to think about how nice the feeling of Dean's arms around him was, or how warm his body was, or how nice he smelled, despite Castiel having thought all his life that horses were on the list of the most unpleasant-smelling animals, Dean wore it easily, like it was a part of him, and made it good. Made it sweet and foreign and Castiel once again had to stifle the embarrassing urge to bury his face in Dean's neck and inhale the sweet scent to memorize it.

Dean led him to a small field enclosed behind the house. In it were three horses – well, significantly smaller. Ponies, really. One of them was incredibly fluffy, and Castiel knew enough to maybe call it a Shetland, possibly something else. It had a light coat with white socks and tufts of white in the mane, and looked stocky. The second horse was a lot more graceful and slender, with splotches of brown and white along its body and through its mane. Its mane and tail was plaited in several uneven braids that made it look weird and mischievous, if a horse could look that way. The third was plain and black, the smallest of the three, and was grazing in the farthest corner.

"The palomino over there is female," Dean said, pointing to the lighter, fluffy horse. "We call her Jo, she's about seven years old so far as I can tell. She's quiet and friendly enough, and predominantly a Halflinger, but I think there's some Fell in there too. She'll be easy enough to train but she's not much of a riding horse – more beasts of burden than anything else, and everyone that works here's too big to ride her." Castiel nodded, taking it in, and Dean gestured to the black in the far corner. "That's Ruby, and she's a right bitch, to be honest, but with a strong enough hand you'll be able to handle her."

Castiel nodded again, biting his lip. "What about that one?" he asked, gesturing to the paint.

Dean smiled. "That's one of our geldings, Max. He's a total sweetheart, but he's still pretty young. He hasn't even been broken yet, but if your niece is willing to take him on, or let me train him with her, I'm positive I could make a wonder out of him." He looked over at Castiel for a moment, eyeing him carefully. "Was going to make him my next project, but I'm sure he'll be in good hands with you."

Castiel smiled at the compliment. "Thank you, Dean," he said sincerely, recognizing that the man truly cared for the animals in his charge, and that he trusted Castiel with a young horse like that meant something, and Castiel understood that. He looked back out to the three horses. "Is there any chance I might be able to interact with him a little? Get a feel for him?"

Dean smiled, and gently clicked his tongue, standing up on the fence and leaning over it. At once all three ponies lifted their heads, nostrils flaring, and Jo whinnied when she saw Dean, trotting over to him quickly, her fuzzy Mohawk of a mane waving from side to side. Dean grinned, scratching her muzzle, and then shoved her away. She snorted and obediently left, understanding that he didn't mean for her to come, and made way for Max.

The gelding's ears were up and forward, his eyes on Dean, and Castiel saw that one was blue, where the white covered his eye, but the other was brown in the middle of the brown patch. It made him look exotic and a little quirky, and Castiel couldn't help smile as the paint pressed his soft muzzle into Dean's waiting hand, snorting noisily.

"Oh, nice, Max," Dean muttered, grimacing at the sound, and the horse made another soft noise, shifting his weight, tail flicking lazily at the flies circling his rump. "Come here, Cas," he said, jerking his head, and the man came forward. Dean gestured for him to hold his hand out and Castiel did, mimicking Dean's position, and Dean gently guided Max's muzzle to Castiel's hand, letting the gelding rest there instead. "There we go."

Castiel stared at the horse, which looked right on back at him, ears flickering slightly, and he snorted again, nostrils flaring as he snuffled at Castiel's hand. The paint's muzzle was incredibly soft, almost like velvet, and his breath was warm on Castiel's arm. Carefully, mindful that the horse could be skittish, Castiel raised his other hand, laying it across Max's cheek. The gelding accepted the touch, blinking his long eyelashes over his mismatched eyes, and Castiel smiled, feeling the soft coat under his fingers.

"He's nice, isn't he?" Dean asked, breaking the silence, and Castiel smiled.

"He's beautiful," he said in reply. "I'll take him."

As they walked back towards the house for Castiel to sign all the paperwork that would put Max in his ownership, Dean's mind was racing. He had to think of a way to get tall, dark and sexy back here, somehow. He didn't know how, and he didn't know where it was going to lead, but he knew without a doubt that he didn't want this to be the last time he would see Castiel. The weird, awkward man had caught Dean's attention and, quite frankly, he wanted to know more about him.

He wanted to know if there was a Fabio under there and, if so, if Dean could persuade him to come out and go for a ride.

As Castiel dotted the last of the 'I's and crossed the 'T's, it struck him. "Come work for me," he blurted out, out of nowhere.

Castiel blinked, and looked up. "What?" he asked slowly.

"You need a job, right?" Dean asked, and Castiel nodded. "Well, I need an extra pair of hands around here. Sam and I can't be here all the time and I would feel better if there was a third set of eyes and hands out there with us. So…come work for me."

Castiel cocked his head to one side, eyes narrowing in thought. "I don't know anything about horses."

"You'll learn."

"You don't know anything about me. I could be a serial killer, or a psychopath, or a drug addict."

"Well," Dean said, hesitating. "Are you?"

Castiel blinked again. "No."

"Well then, that's settled, isn't it?" Dean straightened up, gathering all the paperwork. "Look, just think about it – this is an open offer, so just sleep on it or something. But I think you'd fit right in here." His eyes flashed towards Castiel's, to those deep, dark blue eyes, and he swallowed. "The, uh…well, the horses seem to like you, anyway," he said, shaking his head a little.

"…It is a very kind offer, Dean," Castiel said. "Thank you."


"I'll be back on Thursday to pick Max up. I'll let you know what I have decided then."

"Yeah," Dean repeated, still not looking up.

"Goodbye, Dean."

"Bye, Cas," Dean replied. He still didn't look up, so he didn't notice how Castiel paused at the doorway, his brow furrowing at the nickname, and then shook his head and kept walking out of the door.

"Oh, you got it bad, bro," Gabriel declared by way of greeting as he set eyes on his brother.

Castiel wouldn't admit it, but he was moping. Stupid sexy, sweet horsemen. Damn them all. It was stupid, but he missed Dean. He actually missed the man and he'd only met him for, like, two hours yesterday. It was stupid. More than that, it was illogical.

"He offered me a job," Castiel replied, looking up at his brother, who stopped, eyes widening. "Working on the ranch. I'm thinking about taking it."

"So that you can have a roll in the hay?" Gabriel asked, smirking.

"No, so that I can get some fucking money, Gabe," Castiel snapped back, a little too defensively. It gave him away.

"Man, if you like him that much, go for it. Your aching libido is showing." Gabriel rolled his eyes at Castiel's glare. "Seriously, the longer you spend not getting laid, the more of a whiney bitch you get. Just throw your cowboy down and mount him and go to town. Or get mounted, if you swing that way."

"Your graphic imagination into my love life is disturbing, Gabriel," Castiel snapped, straightening up a little, but he didn't deny that that wouldn't be a bad thing – to have Dean, those perfectly shaped legs wrapped around him, those lips on his, parted and flushed and gasping his name in that rough, lazy drawl. "But that's not the worst part – I think he might actually be a nice guy," Castiel added.

"Oh no, what are you going to do?" Gabriel asked, pressing a hand to his heart, and then rolled his eyes. "Seriously? So are you."

"Yeah, but what if he's, like, a nice guy? Who won't do anything if I work under him?" Gabriel smirked at the wording and Castiel rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean."

Gabriel sighed. "Okay, I've had enough of you being a tiny girl bitch," he announced, standing up straight, and held up his hands. "Despite how incest-y this is going to sound, I'm gonna come out and say it. You're…well, Cas, you got all the good genetics in the family, okay? Even with your weird awkward robot mind and inability to comprehend the simplest joke or cultural reference, you still have gorgeous eyes, perfect hair and a body that won't quit, so if you make an offer, I doubt this guy will say 'No', you get me?"

Castiel blinked, and nodded. "Good, now I'm going to wash what I just said off of me. I can feel it crawling all over me," Gabriel said dramatically, and went and sealed himself in Castiel's bathroom. The younger brother rolled his eyes. Really, one of these days he was going to have to invest in Gabriel-proofing his apartment.

He drove back on Thursday morning to Winchester Ranch to pick up Max. He had discussed it with Dean and had arranged to borrow one of the horse trailers, and then return it later that night. Again, he wasn't going to admit it, but he might have dressed for the occasion of meeting Dean. His t-shirt was a little tighter than the size-too-big ones he usually wore and clung to his body in a flattering way, and was a light blue to show off his eyes, and he had worn blue jeans instead of his usual slacks, and had an open black button down over that, sleeves rolled up so that his pale arms might get some sun.

When he pulled up into the oval-shaped entrance Sam was there to greet him, holding a nervous-looking Max by a halter rope. He waved as Castiel got out of his car.

"Where's Dean?" Castiel asked, trying to sound innocuous.

"Bill lost a shoe so Dean took him to the Farrier's to get another done," Sam replied, smiling and petting down Max's neck. The horse whickered gently on seeing Castiel, obviously recognizing him, and pressed his soft muzzle into Castiel's hand. "Shall we get loaded up?"

Castiel nodded, and they left Max tied to a fence post as they got a saddle for him, and bridle, and other pieces of spare tack and a grooming kit, which Castiel had paid for in advance, and loaded it into the back of the Taurus. Then they attached the horse trailer and led Max inside, the gelding docilely padding into the trailer and standing perfectly happily inside while it was closed behind him. He was such a well-mannered horse and Castiel was glad he had chosen Max. He briefly toyed with the idea of getting his own horse, but maybe that would have to wait until he'd learned a few things, and gotten enough money for it.

That reminded him. "Sam, I was wondering if you could pass on a message for me," he said as he climbed into his car.

"Yeah, what is it?" Sam asked, smiling as though he already knew.

Castiel bit his lip, looking up at the younger Winchester for a moment, and then swallowed, decision made. "Tell Dean I accept his offer," he said resolutely, and Sam smiled. "And that I'll see him tonight."

Sam's smile got, if possible, even wider. "I'll pass on the message," he said, grinning from ear to ear, and stepped away so that Castiel could pull out and go back down the driveway. Castiel swallowed, feeling like his heart was in his throat, but he knew he had made the right choice, and when he came back to return the trailer, he would see if Dean had made the same choice too.

The party went off without a hitch. Alison loved her pony, as Castiel had known she would. She spent the entire afternoon petting him and combing his mane and braiding and rebraiding his mane and tail, speaking to him in her animated tweenage chatter.

Gabriel had hugged him, thanking him on the choice and the favor. Castiel had smiled and said it was his pleasure. He couldn't focus on the party – it passed in a blur. All he could think about was after, when he would drive back to the Ranch and return it, and what might happen after. Every time he thought about it, he flushed hot, heart beating fast and loud in excitement, until finally he couldn't take it anymore – yes, he was nervous, but he also just had to know.

It was getting dark by the time he reached the ranch, pulling up outside the barn, and as his headlights swept across the entrance they highlighted a man leaning against the side of the barn. When Castiel stepped out of the car, closing the door behind him, the motion-sensitive light flickered on, revealing Dean, watching him. His posture was relaxed, leaning against the barn wall with one leg propped up, arms folded across his chest, but his eyes were dark, his jaw tense, fingers flexing in the muscle of his arms.

"I got your message," Dean said, breaking the silence first and standing up straight. He took a step towards Castiel, who mirrored it. "Are you sure?"

"Honestly?" Castiel replied, smirking a little. "No, but I'm sure it'll be worth it."

Dean's lips quirked up in a smile, and then suddenly they were on each other, Castiel slamming Dean against the barn wall hard enough to make the wood groan. Dean mewled, wrapping his arms around Castiel's shoulders as the older man met him in a kiss. It was dirty and rough, teeth and tongues clacking together as they fought for dominance in each other's mouths. Castiel slotted a leg between Dean's thighs, pressing forward and up, and the younger man jolted, his entire body tensing at the wonderful pressure between his legs, and he mewled again, moving his hands to fist in Castiel's hair.

Castiel growled when Dean tugged on his hair, loving the little spike of pain that the action brought, and nipped at Dean's full, soft lower lip, urging him to open up to Castiel's tongue, which slid inside at the first weakness, completely taking control. Dean's surrender was so sweet, so unbelievably sweet, that it made Castiel shudder and press Dean harder against the wall.

"Mm, fuck yeah, Cas," Dean moaned, throwing his head back when Castiel rolled their hips together, letting Dean ride his thigh, and he was right – Dean's legs were strong, his thighs clamping down around Castiel's and holding him there, guiding him for Dean's pleasure.

That thought – the thought that Dean was controlling, was letting Castiel buck and go wild but all with control, with a careful guidance under Dean's hands – made Castiel's pulse race, pounding in his ears, the air between them growing too hot but Castiel couldn't give a damn. He leaned down, mouthing at Dean's neck and licking at the first beginnings of sweat, smelling horse and hay and outside air on the man. He moved his hands down, finding Dean's thighs, and pulled back so he could haul the man up and Dean immediately wrapped his legs around Castiel's waist, bracing himself back against the wall.

The feeling of Dean's heat wrapping around him made Castiel groan, jerking his hips forward against Dean's, forcing himself as close to the man as he could get, to get the friction he needed. Dean trembled in his arms, combing desperate hands through his hair and muffling soft, needy sounds against his lips and jaw, pressing open-mouthed kisses against the stubble on Castiel's skin, the scruff scraping against Dean's own, and Castiel growled, finally giving into his urge and burying his nose in Dean's racing pulse, inhaling the memorizing that man's addictive, alluring scent.

"So fucking sexy, Cas, God," Dean growled, ripping at the man's open button-down and shoving it down his arms, forcing Castiel to remove his hands from Dean and put him down, keeping his hands by his side, effectively restrained by the shirt. "From the moment I heard your voice, the things I wanted to do to you…"

Castiel snarled, and Dean chuckled. "That's right, baby," he muttered, and, in a move that must have been taken right out of a porno, he pulled Castiel's t-shirt over his head, but not his arms, shoving it down behind his back so that Castiel was doubly restrained. He shoved at Castiel, forcing the man to the ground, and straddled his hips. Dean's thighs fell on either side of Castiel, gripping tightly, easily keeping his seat when Castiel bucked underneath him. Dean laughed. "Shh, Cas," he coaxed, petting up the man's bare chest, before he leaned down, fisting his hands in Castiel's hair, and kissed him again. This time, it was slower, and Castiel was the one to make a soft sound of pleasure. The gravel and sand was digging into his back and his shoulders ached from the position his arms were in, but he didn't care. The night was cold on his bare skin but Dean was warming him up very nicely.

Dean's lips were perfectly soft, molding and submitting to the press of Castiel's own, his tongue sliding in dirtily, curling around Castiel's and drawing it out to suck on it. It was Castiel's turn to jolt at that, making a sound between pleasure and pain, a sharp pang of desire stabbing low in his gut as he bucked up against Dean again.

"Come on, Dean," Castiel demanded, throwing his head back when Dean just rolled his hips, smirking at Castiel's lust-glazed, desperate expression. "Come on."

"Patience, baby," Dean replied, leaning down once more, sliding a little further back on Castiel, his thighs gripping tightly, so that their hard cocks fell in line with each other. Castiel gasped and pressed his lips together to stifle a whimper. "Can't bring a yearling to the championships – gotta build up time first, and experience, before we get to where the big boys play." Castiel wasn't sure if he was insulted at Dean calling him a 'yearling', or if he was excited over the idea of making this last for a really, really long time, of building it up and learning each other and -. "We'll start slow," Dean whispered, leaning close to Castiel, their eyes locked, their lips almost touching as Dean spoke, bracing his hands on the hard gravel and sand, "and then, when the times comes, I'll ride you so fucking hard you won't be able to think for days afterwards."

Castiel groaned, throwing his head back again. "Fuck, Dean," he whispered, swallowing and moaning again when Dean's dark chuckle curled around his mind like smoke and whiskey, and Dean leaned down, biting lightly at Castiel's Adam's apple, and the man shuddered.

"You like that idea, Cas?" he whispered. "Like the idea of goin' for a ride with me?"

Oh fuck yes, Castiel thought. He would have said it if all his brain cells weren't currently in his dick, thank you very much. Instead, he just nodded and whined.

"Hmm, I like that idea too," Dean continued, and it was totally unfair how Castiel couldn't even speak and yet Dean was saying all these dirty promises, whispering in his ear like the most tempting of sirens. "Like the idea of you fucking me so hard I can't walk straight for days, can't sit down for weeks."

"Fuck, Dean," Castiel growled, his back arching, finally fighting free of his shirts so his arms were free, and he rolled Dean over, pressing him into the ground harshly, and thrust between Dean's legs, earning a low gasp and moan from the younger man, who trembled underneath him, staring up at Castiel with wide, dark green eyes. "You have no idea," he murmured, leaning down, ghosting his lips over Dean's own, which parted in preparation for another clash of lips and teeth, but Castiel denied him, licking lightly at the corner of Dean's mouth instead. "No idea what I'm gonna do to you."

"Mm," Dean moaned, arching up slightly, rubbing his body against Castiel's like a cat in heat. His nails dug into Castiel's back, digging in slightly, and Castiel hissed, arching and thrusting between Dean's legs to avoid getting clawed. "Tell me," the younger man demanded, and Castiel couldn't say no to that hypnotic green gaze.

"First," Castiel whispered, leaning down and pressing a soft kiss to the sensitive skin under Dean's ear. "I'm going to bite you. Not sure where yet, but it'll be public, and obvious – staking my claim." Dean shivered at that, tilting his head to one side to bare more of his throat to Castiel, but Castiel ignored it, trailing his nose down towards Dean's chest. "And slowly, I'll unravel you, unwrap you like my own personal pretty package. I'll find all the secrets you're hiding – the old rodeo injuries and that tattoo that I caught a glimpse of on your chest, and I'll find where your sensitive spots are and touch, and kiss, and taste each and every one of them until you're quivering and begging for me to stop."

"Cas," Dean whispered, thighs trembling around Castiel's waist. He reached up, making to grab for Castiel but Castiel caught his hands and pressed them into the ground by Dean's hips, holding him down.

"Then, when I'm good and ready, I'll slide down here, between your legs," he whispered, lowering his voice even further, and Dean bit his lips, hips bucking instinctively when Castiel lowers his mouth, his breath ghosting along Dean's erection in his jeans. "I'll make you hold yourself nice and open for me, and then I'll take you into my mouth." Dean shivered. "I'll suck and lick you until you're writhing underneath me, and I'll keep going until you come. Then, I'll lick you open and get you ready for me, and I'll make you come again, just from my mouth and my fingers."

"Cas," Dean repeated, a little gone except for that one, desperate syllable.

"And then," Castiel whispered, leaning up again and resting his weight between Dean's legs, letting the man rut against him, whining like an animal in heat, and he leaned down once more, pressing a chaste kiss to Dean's lips. "When you're loose and relaxed and dazed, unable to move, too fucked out to do anything but whisper my name, I'll fuck you," he growled, biting out the word 'fuck' and rocking his hips down against Dean's for emphasis, earning a startled gasp from the younger man. "I'll fuck you until you can't think anything except my name, and I'll make you come one more time, just from my cock in your ass, and when you're all limp and pliant underneath me, I'll make you suck me off and then I'll come all over this pretty face, those pretty lips."

Dean's body stilled, his legs and shoulders tensing, body locking up. The image of Castiel using him like that, of just fucking him until he literally couldn't do anything more than just take what the older man had to offer turned him on like nothing else, and he found himself coming in his pants, his orgasm ripped out of him, and he tried curling up on himself, the release so intense that it felt like he was dying, but Castiel was still holding him down, watching him, memorizing his facial expressions as he came down from his orgasm.

Castiel smirked. "Like the thought of that, Dean?" he asked, petting through the younger man's hair.

Dean blinked lazily, smirking, his accent coming out more in a drawl when he replied; "Fuck yeah, Cas." And he chuckled, leaning back, shifting a little so Castiel was resting more comfortably between his legs. And then he frowned, realizing Castiel hadn't come yet. He sat up, smirk growing. "Want me to help you take care of that?" he asked.

Castiel cocked his head to one side, smirking slightly. "I thought you'd never ask, cowboy."