By the way, don't forget to check out my new novel – there are links in my profile, and I'd love to sell a few more
Sorry for some of the spelling/typos – I just don't have the time to proof like I used to.
Dean walks with Castiel back through the forest. Because the other man is currently in the form of a large black horse, there is no chance of conversation, awkward or otherwise, and for this, Dean is glad.
Castiel trots along beside him, companionable, but distant, and so Dean is left to have his crisis in peace.
He'd had sex, with a guy.
And it had been...good. Great even.
Possibly the best sex he'd ever had.
Which was saying a lot.
But...with a guy.
And around and around the thoughts went.
Shit, what did this make him? It was easy to say that he'd only done it to save Sam, that he wasn't gay, just doing a job. But, walking around with unicorn-ass-glitter on his dick felt pretty fucking gay.
He looks sideways at Castiel, then reaches out and pets his mane awkwardly.
"You know I'm freaking out, don't you?"
The horse snorts and nods it's head up and down.
Dean scratches him behind his ears.
"How come you're so easy to talk to, hey?" He rubs harder and Castiel turns his head to bump his soft, pony nose against Dean's face.
"You did not just horse-kiss me.' Dean frowns, but can't feel mad. "You must have some of that unicorn mojo left, because otherwise, I'd be mad at you."
Castiel neighs softly and trots off.
They reach the tent in good time, and Dean shakes it gently, calling out to Sam, who is still fast asleep.
His brother emerges, blinking and frowning into the light, and Dean almost laughs at the expression on his face when Sam sees Castiel.
"Dean...that's just a horse."
"No, it's a sullied unicorn."
Castiel makes a sound which could be described as a shamed sigh, and lies down on the leafy ground, wiffling his nose over half a poptart.
"...huh?" Sam says.
"Not important." Dean holds out the unicorn-mallow. "Eat this, I guess."
"Fresh unicorn horn."
Sam blinks at him.
"You got it?"
"Seriously? You doubted me? Need I remind you who I am?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "You're going to say 'Dean Moherfucking Winchester' aren't you?"
Dean reaches out a ruffles Sam's hair, leaving him looking annoyed and kind of like a surly cat.
"I'm you're big brother, jerkface."
Sam raises a tiny, genuine smile. And Dean is suddenly so relieved that he found Castiel, that he came through for Sam.
That his brother is going to get better.
Sam eats the mallow-horn dubiously, as well he might, and Dean sits down heavily next to Castiel, breaks open a fresh box of pop tarts and scratches Castiel's ears as the horse munches happily on sprinkle covered icing.
"Thanks." He mutters, too quiet for Sam to hear, from where he's standing, saying that unicorn horn tastes like birthday cake.
Castiel whickers, and Dean strokes the white spot on his forehead.
"So...that's a unicorn?" Sam asks eventually.
"A were-horse." Dean tells him. "It's like being a were-wolf, only, some of them get a special mutation, and they turn into unicorns."
"How'd you catch it?"
"It came right up to me – that virgin stuff? It's a load of crap." Dean says, scratching his shoulder awkwardly. "Turned back into a regular guy, and I told him about you...and he said he'd help."
"Oh...well, thanks." Sam says to Castiel, clearly feeling guilty that they'd come here to kill him. He holds out his hand without thinking, and Dean is very surprised when the horse head in his lap, changes back into Castiel's human face, and he raises his hand to shake Sam's amiably.
Sam very pointedly does not look at the naked man lying next to his brother.
Dean passes Castiel a blanket from the tangled mess of them poking out of the tent.
"So, you're not a unicorn anymore?" Sam asks, still looking guilty as a puppy next to a pair of eviscerated slippers.
"No." Castiel says, looking neither regretful nor pleased. "When I ceased to be a virgin, I lost the purity that warrants unicorn status."
Dean actually feels his skin shrink in horror.
Sam looks at him, and then at Castiel, and then back at him.
"The important thing to hold onto is – I didn't have to kill a unicorn." Dean points out. "And that we never have to talk about it again."
Sam opens and closes his mouth several times.
Castiel frowns. "You didn't want him to know."
"That's ok – you can't help being a freak." Dean pats him on the shoulder sympathetically.
"Just like you can't help being insensitive." Castiel mutters, patting him back.
"You ok?" Sam asks.
"My shoulder hurts." Dean glares sideways at Castiel. "Thanks for that by the way."
Castiel turns a very impressive shade of powder-green.
Sam looks away, neck burning red in embarrassment.
"Dean..." Castiel says, warningly. "I think...and I'm sorry...that I may have bitten you..."
"I know you did genius, that's why my shoulder hurts."
Sam looks up at that, and turns a greenish shade to rival Castiel's in terms of nerves. "He bit you?"
"Yes." Dean mutters.
"The were-horse, bit you?"
"Yes..." Dean looks up and his eyes clear in sudden, horrified, understanding. "...oh you sonofabitch."
"Sorry." Castiel says, quietly.
They sit in a tiny tableaux of awkward silence for a good long time. Finally, it is Dean who gets to his feet and claps his hands together.
"Right, well...that's about all the crazy I can handle today. Breakfast. Then research. Then drinking." He glares at Castiel. "Lots of drinking."
Castiel stands too, holding the blanket around himself.
"I should return to my..."
"Don't even think it." Dean cuts in. "Until we find out about were-horses, and how to cure them, you're the only info we have."
There's no way he's admitting that the instant Castiel stood up to go, he'd felt like a kid being left at college for the first time.
"There was a place a few miles back...I could go get us breakfast." Sam says, stiltedly.
"You sure?" Dean looks at him, and notices that Sam looks a lot less haggard, the pain that's been tensing his frame for weeks slipping away from him over the past few minutes.
"Yeah...I feel ok." Sam shrugs, but his eyes are so relived, so happy, that Dean grins at him.
Finally, something has gone right.
It almost makes it worth it, when, exactly a month later, he wakes up to find that he's shifted into a stunted, shaggy, brown pony with stumpy, crooked little legs and a barrel body.
Sam thinks it's hilarious.
Castiel, having long since grown out of his monthly transformations, spends the night rubbing Dean's coarse brown belly, and feeding him poptarts and apples.
In retrospect, Dean has to admit that keeping Castiel around was a good idea, and so what if breakfast had turned into lunch, then a three bed hotel room. Breakfast again. Clothes shopping. A two bed hotel room and a single, breakfast without Sam, and then a very awkward brotherly brunch.
It was nothing to freak out about.
He was a frigging were-horse.
Getting worked up about any other labels he'd acquired just seemed petty after that.