Prompt 1: Inhale

Dean stretched out in the still warm bed. Cas had been gone for hours already, but somehow, his side of the bed was still warm. He turned into the pillow Cas had used and inhaled deeply.

Castiel had a very unique scent. A strange mixture of ozone and fresh grass, or that's what it seemed like to Dean. He imagined Cas smelled like an empty field, fresh after a spring rainstorm. He took another whiff of Cas's pillow and let his mind slip away, searching for his mate. The bond pulsed, new and wonderful and he followed the pull, finding Cas easily enough. His angel seemed perturbed, annoyed. It worried Dean. Cas also seemed... unsure, almost scared. Dean sent a rush of reassurancetrustfaith through their bond. Whatever was upsetting his mate, they'd figure it out. They always did. Hell, they'd taken on the devil himself, averted the apocalypse.

He felt Cas's surprise through their link and a rush of joyrelieflove come from the angel. Wait, love? Dean swallowed and gently closed the connection. Love? He can't say he's completely surprised, but... love? Did he love Cas? He cared about him. They shared a bond and now... a physical, tangible bond. They were mates, were quite possibly about to be parents. Did that mean he loved Cas? He had to, right?

Dean buried his face back in Castiel's pillow and inhaled the comforting scent, shutting off his mind for now. He could think more on that later.

Prompt 29: Command

Castiel landed next to his brother. The Archangel was quiet, but then, since his resurrection and ascension into the head angel in charge of the Host, it was far from unusual to find Gabriel introspective rather than his previous flamboyant self. It saddened Castiel, in a way, to see his brother weighted down by the burden of commanding Heaven's ranks, a job that had always belonged to Michael. There were very few traces of the Trickster left.

"Castiel. How are the Winchesters? As annoying as ever?" Gabriel asked, turning to face the Seraph. Cas cocked his head to the side.

"You could see for yourself, if you would only show yourself to them. You were an integral part to Lucifer's defeat, they would be relieved to know of your survival."

Gabriel clenched his jaw and turned his face away.

"Or they'd stick me in a ring of holy fire. No thanks, bro, I think I'll stick to the shadows."

"I don't know why you aren't honest with him," Cas started, wondering if this would end in an argument as always. Gabriel's eyes flashed as he whipped his head around to glare at Castiel.

"I think I've told you before, Castiel, to mind your own business."

"You are the only angel left who hasn't chosen a mate. You might be powerful, Gabriel, you might be able to withstand it for now, but you will eventually crack."

"Aha! So, I take it that means you and Deano finally sealed the deal?" Gabriel asked, forcing the subject away from himself, ignoring Castiel's words as if he had never spoken them.

Cas sighed. He worried about his brother, about the toll his leadership was taking. He wished, so desperately, for the laughing, joking Trickster-angel. He knew what would make Gabriel happy, what his brother longed for, but felt so unworthy of. If only the Archangel could be honest with himself, if only he could find the courage to go after what he wanted.

Though, Cas had to admit, from past experience, Gabriel was never the bravest of the Host. Yes, he had found his courage in the end and faced his brother, but... Gabriel tended to run from problems rather than face them. He was getting better, he had to if he was going to command the Armies of the Lord, but when it came to personal issues, he had quite a ways to go.

"What is between Dean and I is not your business, but... he is my mate, we have bonded, if you wish to know."

"You know, taking a human for a mate, probably not the smartest idea," Gabriel warned. Cas stiffened. A wave of nervousness and fear rolling along his spine.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Castiel, humans... they're weak. Their lives, they're so short." Cas ground his teeth, forcing his anger down when a burst of reassurancetrustfaith flooded over him from his bond with Dean. Castiel's grace flared in joy at the touch of his mate's soul. He gave Gabriel a smile, certain that he had made the right decision and sent Dean back a rush of joyrelieflove.

"Perhaps they are, but they are also our Father's greatest creations, full of life and beauty and love. To love a human should be one of our greatest gifts, our most prized triumphs. Not something to fear."

Gabriel's smirk slid off his face and was replaced by a small, gentle smile.

"I'm happy for you, Castiel. Really, kiddo, good job." With that, Gabriel stretched out his wings, much wider and longer than Cas's own and a deep gold rather than soft white, and took flight.