AN: This was written for a prompt at the deancaskink meme LJ ( doesn't ever like my links T_T) – the premise and key points of this story aren't mine at all. Credit for the awesome prompt goes to sweetsyren LJ. I own nothing, really. :D

Dean's humming a good Zeppelin tune, energized by Bobby's new lead on a hunt for them, and going to relay the info to Sam, who's holed up in the motel room for the morning and probably chatting with creeps on the internet because he's lonely and weird and spends way too much time on his computer.

It's his brother, they've seen everything, so he doesn't think twice about blowing through the door and –

Cas is seated, cross-legged in jeans, of all things, at the foot of the bed. Shirtless. Sam is sitting (clothed) behind him, close enough to braid the guy's hair, with his arms under and over... under and over...

The wind is well and truly knocked out of Dean's lungs when he sees them. Apparently, they're more than just a shadow. They're... they're wings. Sam's hunched over Castiel's wings, with his elbows mere inches from where the massive appendages sprout from Castiel's bare back. The sight of where not-quite-tan-not-quite-pale skin gives way to massive, raven-black feathers makes Dean's mouth go dry.

"Um." In a shaky rush, Sam pulls back and away from Cas, who's wearing an utterly blank expression and looking at Dean. They're both looking at Dean. Dean, who is staring.

"Hello, Dean."

Dean rips his eyes off of them, of this, of it, then spins on his heels to face back out the doorway. He thinks his neck is trying to become one with his shoulders, so he tries to straighten up and look normal. "Sorry for interrupting!" He aims for singsong, but it comes out strained and choked.

There's rustling, a huge thump. Sam must have jumped off of the mattress. "Hey, wait–"

Dean throws his hands up in the air, yanks the door shut behind him, and stomps down the grungy hallway with the full intent of getting back to his car and driving until his mind goes mercifully blank.

They're driving to the local library that afternoon – research, always research – when Sam broaches the subject. "So, um, Dean, about –"

"I get it!"

"... you do?"

"Yeah. Yeah, totally." Dean can feel Sam looking at the steering wheel, so he forces his grip to loosen. Just a little. His knuckles are still white, though. "No chick flick moments," he grinds out.

Sam looks nine kinds of relieved as he sits back a little further in the passenger seat, so that he's not doing as fabulous a wood plank impression. "No chick flick moments," his big-little brother agrees. "Look, I'm just really happy that –"

"No chick flick moments." It's something worth repeating, because shit, he doesn't want to hear... There's still that weird heaviness in Dean's stomach – like a freaking gorilla hanging out in there and messing everything up, because gorillas are jerkfaces and would totally do that – and it's flopping around like a beached whale. Apparently, he has a shapeshifter inside of him, and it's not as kinky as it sounds.

Sam huffs, but lets the subject drop.

Dean isn't hiding.

He's just... being respectful.

Yes. He's being respectful. Of their space.

There's a knock, then Sam's asking for him, voice muffled behind the door. "Dean?"

"Yeah?" He's just kinda sitting here, while standing up. Quietly. Like it's his last night on earth and he's never had occasion.

"Are you okay?"


"You've been in there a while."


"Like, forty minutes."

"What's it to you?" It was Sam's – and Castiel's – privacy that he was honoring, here!

"Gross, Dean." Dean can practically see the shudder through the door. "You're in the bathroom of Denny's. Your food's pretty much sponge by now, you know. People are getting impatient."

Dean shrugs.

"Did you just shrug?"


"You did. You totally did. Get out here, Dean, we're gonna get kicked out. I paid for the food you didn't bother eating, but that doesn't cover the cost of you holing up in the restroom."


Dean sighs, then opens the door and breezes past Sam, ignoring all the weird looks he's getting.

"Where's Cas?"

Sam gives a helpless shrug. "How would I know?" Sam snorts. "He probably went looking for you, since he didn't believe me when I said you were just in the bathroom."

"Why would –" Dean frowns. "How wouldn't you know? He's – uh." He looks at Sam in an attempt to convey, without words: your boyfriend?

"What's wrong with your face, jerk?"

"Nothing, bitch." Dean scowls and heads for the Impala, so totally done. "We're going back to Bobby's," he declares, sick of motels. It's not like Bobby's place isn't close to where this hunt is, anyway.

Okay, so, maybe not completely done.

Sam's long since given up trying to figure out why Dean is staring at him constantly, and Dean's past the point of trying to hide the fact he's scrutinizing Sam's every move as they walk through the supermarket. Sam has had to settle for the occasional glare and frequent pained sigh, while Dean's not remotely concerned about being mistaken for a creepy stalker at this point.

Bobby wanted them to stop for groceries. Which means beer as far as Dean's concerned, but Sam said he was willing to bet Bobby meant food, too, and Sam must be feeling awfully confident since he's boning an angel – Dean flinches – because that was that.

The thing is, that it's not even that different. Sam's just... Sam. The only different thing is Dean, and he's not the one involved. He's just... They're... Sam isn't any different. Usually, Sam's all skippy and upbeat and prancing around and a nervous wreck when he's in a relationship, so this total nonchalance is... is...

It means it's different from the others. Cas is different from the others. For Sam. This... them... it doesn't freaking define him. Oh, man.

Sam brushes past him to go for a bag of chips, bumps against his shoulder. That shoulder. The one with Castiel's handprint burned into it. Just fucking great. His brother's boyfriend branded him, even if he wasn't Sam's boyfriend at the time. This is kind of awkward.

Irritably, Dean defaults to poking fun. He points at some sausage links. "Never would've guessed, Sammy. Wait, no, I could have." No, he couldn't have, but he can totally say he could have and be believed because he's Sam's brother and is supposed to know this shit, thanks.

"Ooookay, Dean." Sam's not really paying attention and flounces off toward the bread aisle.

Dean stands there, for a good three seconds, before following mutedly.

It just figures, you know, that Sam's completely and utterly fine with his own sexuality, while Dean's spending every second trying not to freak out over his maybe-totally-not-a-but-is-sort-of-yes-perhaps-he-isn't-really-sure-but-it-might-be... it might be...

Oh, my God. He can't even think it.


Dean's brain is having a severe malfunction in front of the canned goods aisle. Now he totally understands how his laptop must feel whenever a program freezes up. He'll be much more sympathetic to it next time it happens, he promises fervently in his head, like a dying man deciding to repent at the last possible second. I'm so sorry, laptop, I'm so sorry. I never knew what it was like, I swear!

"Dean, are you okay?"

Sam puts what might be a reassuring hand on his shoulder, but it feels like - burning through his shirt and he nearly jumps out of his skin, jerks back a step and stares at his brother with wild eyes. Oh God, Sammy. His mouth's hanging open. He snaps it shut, because it – everything unspoken – is like a caged bird throwing a fit and demanding it get let out right this second or it's going to eat Mexican like it's going out of style and shit all over each and every one of its perches, double-time. He would really like that bird to stay put. The last thing Dean needs to do right now is shout, at the top of his lungs, that I HAVE A CRUSH ON MY BROTHER'S BOYFRIEND and oh my fucking God, he just thought it, shitshitshitshit, he's a terrible person and this is so fucking –

"Dean, you're making a scene." Sam hisses that like it's through his teeth, which is probably exactly what he's doing. Dean thinks that Sam's probably smiling reassuringly at some gawking family – ("My brother has suffered a great trauma, think he's 'bout due for his meds, heh. Don't mind him, he's harmless.") – but he doesn't feel like looking to see and would instead opts to stare off into space as his mind short-circuits. A second later, Sam punches him on the shoulder, dammit. "You're scaring the children."

Children? All the blood drains out of his face as a thought hits him. It's too much, it's too much! Dean sinks to his knees with a wail he will deny making forever, but he's not really thinking about that yet because he's too busy mashing his face into his palms and shaking his head.

"Dean! What the–"

When Sam kneels down and puts that damned hand on that shoulder again – he's just rubbing salt right now – Dean shrinks back, pins him with a look that better express the depths of agony he feels in this very moment. Dean voices this new despair out loud: "I'm never going to be an uncle!" And he'd be such an awesome one, too! He'd be a better uncle than Sam would ever be. Kids like him! So, it's him who should be the one who's all –

"You're never– what– De– seriously?" All of the concern drops from Sam's face like a flavor-of-the-last-week, replaced with his Dean-you-are-being-mean-and-you-ate-the-last-of-the-Cheerios brand of bitchface. "Really? Way to be a fucking drama queen. You're not gonna get an Emmy, if that's what you're hoping." Dean stares at him mournfully, all the fight and flight knocked out of him. "I know you think you're funny, but you're not. What do I need to have..." Sam draws up short, glares. "You never know, Dean."

The gorilla-whale is an aspiring contortionist. Dean thinks he might hurl. You never know. Castiel is an angel of the Lord. Oh, my fucking God. His brother might have freaky mutant angel-babies. With Cas. He may or may not have whimpered (no one will ever know for sure, if Dean has anything to do with it).

Sam scoffs and stands back up, then: hauls Dean to his feet by his weightless wrists, drags him to the checkout, drags him through the checkout, drags him into the parking lot, throws him into the passenger seat of the Impala, and resolutely plays frou-frou dance music the whole otherwise-silent way back to Bobby's – all without further discussion and in impressive time.

When Dean surfaces for a trip to the kitchen, Bobby's seated in the recliner with a beer.

"Sam 'n' Cas are out back on the porch," Dean freezes two feet from the fridge.

"That's... great." He really doesn't need to know when they're together, where they're together – Jesus, they're together.

Dean doesn't think he really wants a bite to eat anymore, but he'll gladly take that bottle of vodka, and he studiously ignores Bobby's prying squinty-eyes as he slinks back to his room.

He doesn't even drink it.

A fallen angel, a fallen angel's boyfriend, and the fallen angel's boyfriend's brother walk into a bar.

Dean's still waiting for the punchline. Maybe he'll know it when he sees it.

So, him – the fallen angel's boyfriend's brother – and Cas – the fallen angel – are seated at a booth, courtesy of Sam (who might be fucking with Dean at this point, 'cause right now he's resentful enough to be able to think anything is responsible for his misery). It's not too weird, really, that Sam would offer to go get their drinks – he's such a golden boy, you know, that good guy – but it's the smile. It was all encouraging and megawatt and "run along, dearies, be friends!" Like he probably wasn't the one to pick Cas's clothes, because Castiel is wearing a normal-looking jacket and jeans – the latter of which sends the gorilla-whale sinking like the fatty is probably is. Cas in jeans just worries Dean, now.

So, maybe Dean's a little attached to the trench coat. Maybe.

Dean rolls his eyes to himself, letting his palm and his face get reacquainted for a long moment. Are they really doing this? Does Sam think he needs Dean's approval to date Cas? It's not like he didn't meet Cas first, so clearly Sam doesn't need to worry about him not getting along with him. And it's not like he hadn't walked in on them without making a stink and if he was going to object he would have fucking done it.

Cas is in on it, too, apparently, sitting across from him all prim and freaking proper – they're perfect for each other, really, all weird and polite and totally not like Dean at all – and asking about inane things, like Dean's hobbies – "I like ripping the heads off of vampires." – or what his favorite color is – he blurts "blue" before he can think better of it, flushes, and prattles off some coarse joke or something-or-other to change the subject – and, really, there aren't many worse ways to die.

"Where are our drinks?" Dean asks gruffly, keeping his elbows braced against the table in a pretty terrible attempt at casual posture, because Castiel's voice is just... is just. He would really like to get wasted, around yesterday. Maybe pick up a hot chick, work through it. He hopes there's a nice brunette around here somewhere... shorter than him... with too many clothes on, and gravity-defying hair, and blue eyes. And, no, he's not going to think too hard about that. Nope, nope, nope.

"Would you like me to go and get some?" Castiel asks, by way of reply, serenely.

"Isn't that what Sam went to go for?" Wait... Dean snorts, narrows his eyes at the wall. "Pfft, yeah, I'll bet you wanna." "Get some." Terrific.

"Perhaps he is distracted," awww isn't he just the perfect concerned boyfriend? There's a decidedly confused pause, like Cas isn't sure if he wants to ask something or not, before he seems to shrug it off. "If you wish me to, I would go and see."

Dean sighs, sick of this game. He's too understanding for his own good, you know. If there's a Winchester gospel, he better be remembered as a saint. But, like, a whole new breed of saint. Comparable to Batman. He looks at Cas solemnly. "Dude. I get it." Cas blinks, and Dean knows that's his questioning blink, as opposed to his uncomprehending blink, or his unamused blink, or his normal blink-blink, and that's exactly why it's so unfair. "You don't need my permission or anything, man." He continues, because the questioning blinks only get more questioning, even as they get further and further apart, and he really wishes Sam would have come back with those drinks. He needs a beer. Now. "I'm cool with it. It's the twenty-first century, Cas, we're accepting of all kinds of weird shit and there's no need to be all old-school to compensate for it."

Okay... so, this blink is kind of new. It's... Dean frowns. For whatever reason, he thinks about when Cas had told them about the archangel being tied to Chuck, that sideways look and hinthint. Which is totally weird, because there's nothing he'd be hinting at now except, maybe, gratitude that Dean's a cool brother and accepting of – Dean really frowns now – their wonderful wing-love. Okay, so maybe not so accepting of their wonderful wing-love, since said hinthint-blink is really kind of too nice to see, and now the gorilla-whale has sprouted fluffy wings of its own and is prancing around like a pony. So, it's a pegasus now?

"So..." Dean's all eloquence as he sneaks a glance back toward the bar to see – "Seriously?" Sam's talking animatedly to some dark-haired chick, grinning and laughing and totally broadcasting I LIKE YOU CAN WE BE FRIENDS FIRST THEN EXCHANGE PROMISE RINGS AND MAKE GOOGLY EYES AT EACH OTHER TOMORROW BECAUSE MY BEDTIME IS EIGHT PM? to the whole fucking world – because Sam Winchester cries his way through sex and is such a girl – when his badass angel boyfriend is totally in plain sight, over here, and –


"Uhhhh..." Shit. Dean looks at Cas, looks down at the table, rubs at the back of his neck with an absent hand and tries really hard about what he needs to do here. "I'm going to kill my brother." He declares, fighting back a cough on the surge of red-hot anger that goes singing through his veins. He's going to kick Sam's ass. There's no other option.

"You're going to kill Sam?" Of course Cas would be concerned, because he still thinks Sam is his wonderful wing-lover. Fuck Dean Winchester's life. The gorilla-whale-pegasus is fussy again.

"Yeah, Cas, I'm sorry, but –" Dean furrows his brow and looks back up at Castiel, who looks perplexed. "Are you seeing this?" He asks, because he's insensitive, because he's going to beat the shit out of his brother (or act like he's going to, just to make his point, because it's Sam), and he's enough of a bastard to want Cas to see.

"Seeing what?"

Dean tries to look apologetic, but he just scowls and jerks a nod over to where Sam is with his lady friend.

"He is seeking the romantic attentions of a woman."

"..." Dean stares.

"What is he doing that would warrant –"

"You're not mad?"

"I am not," Castiel looks affronted, like he's not sure why he's the one being questioned here.

Dean sputters. Oh, my God. They're really secure. Too secure. They're... Suddenly, he gets it, and man, even Dean's never been that adventurous with someone he's committed to. Not that he's been committed more than once, of course, but still. He whistles reflexively. "Damn."


He coughs into his sleeve, can't look Cas in the eye. Even the gorilla-whale-pegasus has keeled over, totally done. There are some things he really, really didn't want to know; things he never in a million years wanted to know; and things he never needed to know. There's a difference between the three. This is in a class all its own. "Soooo didn't need to know that, alright? I mean, it wasn't so bad," it's really bad, "being dragged along as your guys' third wheel, you know, but this? Dude. Keep your kinky shit outta my line of sight, alright?"


Dean sits back and drums his fingers restlessly on the laminate-wood table. He doesn't look back over there, doesn't want to see, doesn't want to think about what that all means and I'm a spectator to my brother and his boyfriend's freaky sex game. Fuck my life. "I need a drink." He doesn't move. He doesn't want to go over there, and he's not sure he really wants to send Cas, either.


Still avoiding the angel's eye, he lets his gaze dart over to Castiel's shoulder before letting it sit on the back of the opposite seat. "Yeah." He doesn't even make it appropriately questioning, just kind of grunts.

"Dean, what are you talking about?"

"I said all I'm willing to say, man. Keep it in the bedroom. A separate bedroom. This morning was awkward, alright? I'm cool with you guys, right, but... yeah, no. We're gonna need separate –"

"This is about this morning?" Cas perks up.

Dean just talks over him. "– rooms from now on. Better for everyone. You guys have yours on one side of the building, I have one on –"

"But you've stated, repeatedly, to both Sam and I –"

"– the other, 'cause, you know." Dean looks a little green. "Ugh." The gorilla-whale-pegasus has reanimated as a zombie and it wants his intestines for a bow-tie.

"... Oh." There's a lot of something in that little "Oh," but Dean isn't really sure what it is. Disturbed, he looks at him, finally, expectant.

He gets nothing, just Cas staring at him with this... vaguely pleased expression? "'Oh?'" He prompts.

Castiel leans forward, lays a hand very lightly on Dean's forearm, which prompts Dean's brain to be on the verge of a BSOD again. "I think I see, now."

"Come again?"

"It's the twenty-first century, Dean."

"... Yeah?" Dean kind of really can't get over Cas's hand, which is touching him. For no apparent reason. And he's not going to look, he's not. Because uh, it's nothing. The gorilla-whale-pegasus is docile, for the moment. He thinks it's just biding its time.

"Because we are..." Castiel pauses, but only just briefly, "accepting, there's no need to be 'old-school' to compensate."

"You know I just said that, right?" He totally skipped over a few words, too! Dean's kind of offended. Cas probably has thousands' of years worth of boring quotes to rip from!

"We are leaving," Castiel announces.

Baffled, "We are?"

"Yes." He's leaving no quarter for argument as he (oddly enough: gently) pulls Dean by his arm out and up from the booth, then leads him to the door and out to the parking lot. Cas is all polite and calm and if Dean didn't know better, possibly smug. Possibly suspicious, too, because Dean doesn't hesitate in following for a second, which is just weird upon weird because he's not a guy you just cart around. Okay, so, yeah, earlier, Sam got the drop on him with that... The gorilla-whale-pegasus deflates at this line of thought.

Castiel looks at him with this enigmatic sort-of-maybe smile, like it's kind of there, but it's kind of not, and it's doing funny things to Dean's insides all over again. God, he thinks despairingly, I'm such a chick. Dean stills. Well, he isn't sure that he's been moving, or anything, probably just standing there with a dumb look on his face because Cas is there and – "Uh... wait, why are we here?" Because he's Sam's –

"Dean." Cas's hinthint blink is kind of devastating when paired with that could-have-been-a-smile-in-another-life and Dean isn't thinking good thoughts, really, because – "I am not... we, Sam and I, are not in such a relationship that would make you the 'third wheel.'"

Do angels know how to say anything straight-up? "What?" He asks dumbly.

"It is traditional, for angels, to seek the approval of an angel's closest before courtship." Castiel says this quietly, and Dean hopes that the guy picked a secluded section of the parking lot to drag him of to because this is turning out to be a weird-as-hell conversation. "Sam's your brother, therefore he suits this role, of closest family, for you."

Dean's reeeeally not sure about where this is going, doesn't really want to have a reaction yet, because... "What?"

"Wings are representations of our grace. They show if an angel is strong, if an angel is weak. If an angel is worthy. Minor conflicts between us can usually be resolved with a display, for it is easy enough to gauge your own odds without risking actual violence." Cool story, bro. Dean's really lost. "In order to gain one's intended's closest's," really? "approval, it is customary to have one's wings inspected – groomed – by the intended's closest. This is what I asked of Sam this morning." Castiel hesitates. "Last night," he amends, "he felt it would be 'awkward.' So we waited."

Dean's inclined to agree. "Wait... what? You're..."

He's not sure that Cas is really listening to his sputtered questions, because he continues smoothly enough, like his pauses are mere courtesy. "It wasn't what you think," he says, point-blank, and Dean wants to thank him for that mercy when Castiel advances a step forward. Which, given Cas's generously small definition of personal space, means they are... Dean's breath catches, stutters, and stops for a second. Or two. Very close. "My interest is in you, Dean Winchester."

What do you say to that? After everything? "Cool."

Castiel smiles for real, and then he's somehow getting closer, like, really fast, and he's thinking they're going to bump heads and that'll be embarrassing, but the ground falls out from beneath him and the gorilla-whale-pegasus puts those wings to use and aims for his throat.

"SON OF A BITCH!" Dean hollers while stumbling back on trembling legs, until his calves hit the edge of the motel room's bed, so he jerks forward in an effort to stabilize himself. "Next time, warn a gu– mmph~"

So, Dean's kind of shameless about a lot of things, and he's definitely not complaining about a surprise make-out session, especially one he's kind-of-maybe-yeah-totally been wanting for a long time. Cas is all heat and hunger – Dean swears he can taste that part the most – and Dean just soaks it up, gives back with a throaty groan and lets his hands find their way to the angel's hair.

Somehow, Castiel's the only thing holding Dean up, and neither of them bother pausing while somehow managing to convey the point that that isn't remotely necessary. Instead, Cas just lets go of most of the embrace, to grab onto the collar of Dean's shirt as the hunter falls back onto the bed. Cas falls with him, over him, and lets his knees land snugly alongside Dean's hips as he straddles the hunter. Dean realizes that the angel is trembling all over, so he smoothes a hand along Castiel's back, but that's a herculean effort between open-mouthed kisses, especially as he tries to summon the willpower to open his eyes.

"Dean," Castiel rasps, pulling away from his mouth to brush his lips against Dean's jaw instead, hearing the greediness of the man's breaths and the need for a reprieve. Cas is practically vibrating – Dean'd be lying if he didn't admit that it wasn't really so bad, that – but it... it's weird.

"Hey," he murmurs, shuddering at the sound of his own voice (and how conceited is that?), at how freakin' desperate he sounds, breathy and too-far-gone for this early in the game – and Dean Winchester doesn't do desperation. He doesn't do guys, either, but Cas is Cas. "You alright?"

It's sappy as hell, but Dean's kind of glad the bathroom light got left on accidentally earlier – is still on and has bathed the room in orangey light – because the eyes above him are the definition of eyes you get lost in. Smoldering, he thinks, like he's some lame-ass poet, blue fire. "D-Dean," Cas repeats, and now Dean's getting worried, "I... you... you need to..."

"I need to...?" It's kind of scary, because Cas could totally tell him to do just about anything, and he'd do it.

"Accept me."

Wait, what? He's been fighting to say "no" to Michael, so forgive him if that sounds kind of weird. This better not be some kind of freaky angel vess–

"My wings." Castiel nods, once, dives down for the most chaste of kisses, manages to make that something heady and sense-whirling, like he's remembering, stealing something real quick. Then, Cas whips his shirt off, over his head like a pro, and Dean's just lying their dumbly, like what? There's a rustling, ruffling sound – like he's about to fly off, and Dean's pulse goes skittering at the idea, except he doesn't, he's still there, staring at Dean something feral, something different. Dean hopes the guy hasn't been slipped roofies, because that would just be his luck.

Then, he sees. "Your wings." They're really big up close. Each and every feather is quivering, blocking out most of the light now. Their span is impressive, looming above them both in a way that should be ominous, but it actually... Dean swears they're curved invitingly, arched as though in an embrace. He wonders what they feel like, kind of (really) hates that Sam touched them first.

"It is ingrained in me," Castiel gravels out, "it is... tradition. Instinct." Dean can't resist anymore; he traces a fingertip across the silky edge of the nearest feather. A ragged breath shudders from the angel, his elbows give just slightly, as though he might fall down against Dean just from that tiny bit of contact. That's not a bad prospect in the slightest. "I thought... for you... but I need."

Huskily, "What do you need?"

Something visceral flashes in Castiel's eyes, smoky and intense. "I need you," he leans down, presses his face against Dean's neck, eyelashes tickling the hunter's skin, "I need you to accept them, accept me, because if you don't... if you don't, then I am no better than a..." He breathes deeply, no, sniffs, relaxes – like Dean's something steadying, and it's way hotter than it should be.

Okay, he thinks. I can do that. "I–"

"No." Cas growls, crazed, before gentling and draping his wings closer as though in apology, in offering. "You need to learn them, truly accept... I need you to–"

"Groom them?" Dean reaches out, again, lets his hand remain against the wing-tip, revels in the whoosh of answering breath against his throat.

"Feel," Cas corrects, like that should make more sense. "It will not be, is not, the same between us... as it was..."

It's kind of funny, really, how fast they've switched gears. "It's funny," Dean murmurs, "going from 'I'm not sleeping with your brother, trust me' to us jumping each other's b–"

"Dean." Cas says his name like a plea.

"I'm just saying."

The angel relents, a little, but he sounds cranky, like he's not interested in pillow talk until after – not that Dean would argue that, really, but you know. "By angel standards... we are progressing quickly."

"By human standards –"

"Dean." Cas says his name like a threat.

Dean sighs, like this is some big chore (well, it might be: Dean doesn't know what to expect). "Can't have you too bossy," he decides, then grins for a second, then flips them over fast enough that Cas actually looks surprised. "I think I like this better," Dean muses, looking down at the wide-eyed angel appreciatively.

"Don't get used to it," Cas warns without any heat.

The hunter slides his knees back, as though he's about to flatten himself down and against and – he doesn't, but yep, Dean can see the angel's thoughts slide to a total halt. "You were saying?"

Dignity thrown out the window, Castiel's wings flail, and the action is so petulant and desperate that it's enough to make Dean bite back a smirk. They beat against the air around them, before flopping down against the blanket to curl dejectedly off the sides of the bed and down toward the floor. Okay, so maybe Dean feels guilty, but Cas doesn't need to know that.

"What? You throwing a temper tantrum? Really, Cas, I would have ex–"

Next thing Dean knows: he's got a face-ful of feathers, is pushed back into a sturdier sitting position, Castiel's somehow wrangled himself onto his belly, so the angel's back is to him, and Dean doesn't remember how to breathe. The wings flutter briefly, insistently, around Dean.

Mesmerized by the sight of them, fanned out on either side of Cas – by extension, Dean, since the hunter's pretty much sitting on top of him – curved down the entire length of the bed, Dean isn't sure where to start. "So, I just–"

"Feel." Cas really is awfully bossy, but Dean feels kind of weirdly giddy right now, so he doesn't really care.

He starts at the base of Cas's left one, moves his hand along the muscles as though to memorize every nuance, every slight bump and ridge as he follows it out down the rest of the wing. As a hunter, he can do fine at a stakeout, but sitting still on top of an angel – who isn't his brother's boyfriend! – and feeling up said angel's wings – today's a weird day – isn't really a recipe for quiet and patient Dean. "So..."

Castiel doesn't reply.

Dean tries again. "So, I'm just kinda confused here–"

"Dean. Just f–"

"No, no, not this." He rubs a finger in a small circle, which is more effective at quieting Cas for a second. "Well, yes, this. I mean: aren't angels all... you know..." When Cas still doesn't make any conversational effort – which is just rude, you know, and it figures that now that Dean wants to talk, Cas doesn't, and it's not Dean's problem if the angel can't multitask. "I mean, you're an angel."

Castiel just buries his face into the pillow. If he thinks that'll keep Dean quiet, then he's totally wrong.

He's not sure what he's supposed to be looking for on Cas's wings. What, is there like a password tattooed somewhere? Is there a time limit? It's pretty much the most fun challenge ever. "It just doesn't strike me as very angelic – and I'm not complaining, man, really, trust me – to... uh..." Dean coughs awkwardly, spans his fingers further down into the feathers in the meantime. Okay, so maybe he's not entirely sure what he's asking.

"Your face," Cas says it like an accusation, having turned his head a little to be heard.

"My face."


Dean nods to himself, as if he totally gets what Cas is saying, even though what? "My face," he repeats.

There's a pause. "Your eyes."


The wings shiver and, bizarrely, Dean thinks it's kind of cute. He's not sure why. There's just something... about it. "Your soul."

"My soul?" Okay, now they're into miraculously weirder territory. "What about my soul?" The damned thing – literally – has been through enough, so yeah, he's suspicious. "Cas." He pokes the base of a feather, not sure if it's a warning or not. "What about my soul?" He's not about to tell him that he's got cancer of the spirit or anything, right?

Cas grumbles into the pillow.

"Cas." Dean leans forward a bit to peer over the angel's shoulder, totally ignoring the way his jeans are currently tented because this might be remotely serious even if his mind isn't exactly keeping with the program.

"They – your... face, eyes, soul – are..." Dean waits, staring very intently at Castiel's mop of hair, because (apparently) the angel is too shy to look at him. And that is... not normal. "...great."

"Are they?" He asks, mildly skeptical, because that sounds like the kind of thing someone says to mask –

"Yes." Castiel sounds resentful about it, which gives Dean pause.

"Thanks." The hunter huffs. "I think."

One of the wings flaps, almost smacking him in the face. "Dean."

He resumes the... he wouldn't call it grooming, because that sounds weird. He's not a monkey. And it's not like there's any real purpose, he's just... groping is too creepy a word, no, it's more like petting a dog. Except... no, that's just as (if not more) creepy. Egh. Massage. He'll go with amateur massage. That sounds socially acceptable.

There's nothing socially acceptable about the sounds Cas is making, though, which is really kind of awesome and kind of terrible, because Dean's not sure how much longer this is supposed to take and he's not a patient guy when it comes to this shit, you know.

Dean takes a breath, getting ready to say something, but Castiel... he's not sure how to describe it. It's something between a growl and a whine, all back-talk for its lack of actual word. "Are you sassing me?"

Cas rumbles something indecipherable.

Dean frowns down at him. "Wait, are these mine?" He gestures to the jeans that the angel is wearing, mouth dry.

Cas doesn't even have the good grace to look sheepish and just shrugs, more human than angel for the moment. "I liberated them from your duffel."

Dean goes from indignant – those are mine! – to disturbed – before he remembers (dur) that Cas actually isn't involved with Sam – to... to... Dean sort-of-totally leers. "Hey."

No reply.

"Hey. Look at me."

Castiel pretty much glares at him around his shoulder, barely visible over the edge of one of his wings.

"Your wings are badass, dude." Cas blinks. "They are..." Dean pauses, and it's very dramatic, especially since Cas looks like he might smite him. Dean's not really worried. "Great."

He's pretty sure the angel has, basically, melted. Awesome.


Because Cas is a freak of nature, he's able to pounce from underneath him. Not that Dean's complaining.

He's not complaining at all.

When the door to the room bursts open, bringing with it the garish lighting from in the hall, Dean finds that Castiel's wings, evidently, double as shields. The angel draws them up and around their naked bodies in a heartbeat – there's only a small line of light peeking between two feathers across both Cas and Dean's faces, illuminating their dual stares – while the rest of them are covered in darkness.

"Um." Dean stays put, locks up, wonders if this is real life.

"Hello, Sam." Castiel blinks, and it's just that: a blink. It's really bright. Dean wouldn't mind it if Cas would just draw that left wing up just a hair, so that maybe –

Sam spins on his heel, straightens his shoulders, and squeaks: "Sorry for interrupting!"

"Damn straight," Dean mumbles, and Castiel gives his I-agree blink before adding a shall-we-continue blink. "Yeah, Cas," they shall.