He'd told Dean Winchester once it was like being chained to a comet and never did find a better description. Most of the time it was all he could do to hold on without burning in Castiel's light; occasional flashes broke through, traumatic moments, more desperate fights than he cared to think about, and sometimes when he was very lucky moments of such beauty and transcendence it almost hurt his soul to have them end. Those flashes were very few and far between, usually coming when Castiel was distracted or hurting or just so taken with what was in front of him that he let cracks appear in the wall between them. Most of the time the angel was careful to keep him safely asleep, pushed down deep enough to be past any awareness.
So Jimmy knew it had to be an incredibly bad sign that he was fully awake now.
Castiel? Castiel, what's going on? He'd woken to chaos, to confusion and scrambling and above all to pain. He looked through the angel's (his, dammit) eyes and caught a flash of a stunningly beautiful, dark-haired woman holding a bloodied sword; he felt something wet running down his side and realized with a lurch that he'd (they'd?) been stabbed. For a second he thought it had finally happened, that someone had landed that lucky shot and he and Castiel were seconds away from exploding into nothingness.
But something was wrong. The wound was too low, in-and-out through his side, not his chest or throat or some other lethal spot; Jimmy knew exactly what kind of damage Castiel could put his body through and this wound should have barely registered. It took a moment to realize it, but the pain wasn't coming from the wound. It was coming from Castiel.
He could feel the angel's spirit, his Grace, whatever the light was suffused through his body convulsing from pain. He felt the whoosh of wings unfurling and then they were somewhere else, but not where Castiel had intended; he tried again and Jimmy felt his surge of panic and frustration when this jump fell even shorter of the mark. The third try wasn't any more successful and ended with Castiel slamming hard to the ground like a shot bird.
This time he didn't get back up. The pain came in spasms, stronger and stronger by the second; Jimmy felt his body curl up as Castiel tried to understand what was happening. Before either of them could catch their breath Jimmy felt a thrum at the back of his head. He felt his muscles stiffen, felt Castiel smother down another flash of panic and Jimmy realized what it meant: the angels had found them. They were coming.
Dean, Jimmy suggested. Call Dean. And he could tell that Castiel desperately wanted to call Dean but when he tried to move his hand pain twisted him up until Jimmy could feel him shaking.
"I can't," he whispered, the words thick with horror. He tried again and pain spiraled through him, like someone had put a corkscrew in his Grace and started turning. Castiel curled up tighter against the pain and Jimmy fought down his own surge of panic. Losing his head now wouldn't help anyone.
He remembered being fourteen and trapped in the backseat of a car careening down the freeway; one night his best friend had the brilliant idea that they should all go joy riding in one of his neighbor's prized classic cars (that had been an Impala too, now that he thought about it); Jimmy didn't know why he'd gone along with it but did he ever regret it the second they pulled out into traffic. They'd just hit 90 mph when the driver (someone's brother, Jimmy had never even met the guy and never saw him again) started wheezing. They'd almost side-swiped a tractor trailer as he tried to fumble out an inhaler but the attack just got worse; Jimmy remembered feeling keen, sharp terror run through him as everyone started to panic.
It felt a lot like now. He'd been raised in the church but that was the first time he'd really prayed. He'd always credited that prayer for giving him the sense to lean forward into the front seat and grab the wheel; he'd prayed every second that God would just let him get the car to the shoulder and still didn't know how he'd managed it.
Of course, years later he would wonder if he'd had an angel on his shoulder even then. Still, what had worked once might work again; he focused on that memory and reached.
For a second he thought it wasn't going to work; Jimmy didn't pray anymore but he couldn't stop himself from one desperate, helpless please. He felt something shift and suddenly he could see through his own eyes, not just feel his body move but actually move it. He felt Castiel let out a weak, surprised Hey but he didn't have time to worry about an angel's sense of propriety. He fumbled the phone out of his pocket and and flipped it open; there was no handy contact list so he just hit send on the most recent call.
When he heard Dean Winchester's voice he didn't think he'd ever felt so relieved in his life. "Cas? Shit, you still have your phone? I thought that exploded."
Jimmy didn't even want to know what that meant. "Dean, I don't have time. Where are you?"
"I...Hampton Inn in Clackamas, Oregon. Rm 312." Dean sounded suspicious. Suspicious and worried. "Cas, you okay? You sound weird."
"I'll explain when I get there." He ended the call before Dean could ask any questions. "Did you get that?"
He'd felt Castiel react to Dean's voice, a quick shiver running through his Grace. Yes. Jimmy could tell Castiel was just barely aware, pain still hitting him in crippling spasms. A map unfolded in his mind, like an angelic GPS. "Good. Any chance you could get us there?"
The light inside him coiled tighter. "Okay. Okay, you keep that location up and I'll do the heavy lifting." The thrum of the other angels' approach was louder now and Jimmy knew they were out of time. He tried as hard as he could to make the wings move, like trying to operate heavy machinery he'd only seen work on TV.
He heard a flutter of wings; he opened his eyes and saw angels circled around them, the female angel who'd wounded him at their head. Her sword was still bloody. Rahmiel, he heard Castiel whisper, confusion and pain infusing the word. Not Raphael's...I don't understand...
"Are you awake?" she said, her brows rising in concern that to Jimmy's eyes actually looked genuine. "I'm so sorry. I didn't intend for you to feel any of this." She trailed her fingers through his hair and Jimmy felt Castiel curl up in agony just from the touch. "Don't fear. This will be over very soon."
Her eyes were kind but there was something buried there, something deep and wild, and every instinct in Jimmy told him to get away as fast as he can. Get them both away. She reached for him again and he closed his eyes, concentrating as hard as he could on those wings, those wings and the safety represented by Dean Winchester. Maybe it was pure adrenaline, but when he felt her fingers back on his forehead he made the wings flap once, like controlling a hurricane. He felt her hand jerk back in surprise, then he squeezed his eyes shut and focused on that location glowing in his mind like a beacon. The wings flapped again and it was like he could see the creases in reality, hidden doorways all around him. He didn't have time to marvel; he flapped the wings one more time and took a step forward.
He touched down hard, but there was carpeting under his feet, not ground; he staggered backward and felt a wall at his back, albeit a flimsy enough one that he felt it start to give under his weight. He doubled over, trying to catch his breath, and opened his eyes to see Dean Winchester staring down at him. "Hey, Dean," he said, relief washing through him to the point he shook. "Man, am I glad that worked."
Jimmy didn't know what made him feel worse, the pain radiating from his chest or the horror on Dean's face. "Jimmy? That you?"
Jimmy nodded. "Been a while. Good to see you too, Dean."
"Where's Cas? Is he...?"
"Still in here," Jimmy said, tapping his hand against his chest.
Dean nodded, relief clear on his face. "What the hell happened? Why're you in charge?"
Jimmy shook his head. "I don't know. I think he...we, whatever, got ambushed and..." He groaned, moving his hand down to his side. "Look, Dean, no offense, but can we go over this when I'm not bleeding?"
"Right, right, sorry," Dean said, helping him over to one of the beds. He opened Jimmy's shirt and then stepped back, sucking in a quick breath. "Dude. That is just freaky."
Jimmy looked down and watched as the wound slowly closed, muscle and skin growing over the puncture, not even leaving a scar. It didn't change anything, he could still feel the pain radiating out from Castiel; being away from the other angels didn't seem to have lessened it at all. He pushed himself up from the bed, rubbing his chest again. "We're in a lot of trouble here, Dean."
"What the hell happened?"
Jimmy just let out a long sigh. "I don't know. I woke up and I was bleeding and he was in so much pain I had to take over just to call you." He tried to piece together the scattered impressions of what had happened. "Rahmiel. He said her name was Rahmiel." He remembered those oddly kind eyes staring into him. "She seemed surprised that I was awake. She actually said she was sorry. Anyway, she's not one of Raphael's."
"Just some new bullshit," Dean said, shaking his head.
Likes humans, Castiel whispered to him. Jimmy wanted to tell him to shut up and rest; it reminded him of how he could never keep Claire in bed when she was sick. Wouldn't join either side. That's why...don't...Jimmy felt him convulse again and dug his fingers into the mattress to ride it out. "Look, I get you want to help, but you've gotta relax."
"Are you talking to Cas? You can hear him?"
Jimmy nodded. "It would be pretty hard to say yes to anything if I couldn't."
There was a quick flash of emotion in Dean's eyes that he quickly buried. "Can he hear me?"
"Yeah. Actually think that helps, a little."
"Cas! We're gonna figure this out, okay?" Dean said, loudly enough that Jimmy flinched.
"You don't have to shout, Dean. I'm not a bad phone line."
Dean winced, flushing with embarrassment. "Sorry. This is just weird."
"How do think I feel?" He felt a surge of irritation rise up and couldn't help grinning. "I think he wants us to stop talking like he's not here."
Dean grinned at that too. Jimmy saw Dean's hand twitch toward him, like he'd been about to touch him but stopped himself; instead he raked one hand through his hair and started pacing the room. "So what did he say?"
"Just that Rahmiel likes humans and she's not on either side."
Dean tapped his fingers against the dresser. "Maybe that's it." Jimmy looked up at him and Dean explained, "The liking humans thing. Maybe she figured out a way to take out the angel without having to screw the vessel, too. Like...I don't know. A poison, maybe. Or a spell."
He felt Castiel shiver. "He thinks you might be on to something."
"Yeah, fat lot of good that does us."
Jimmy never heard Dean finish that sentence; he doubled over as he felt that thrum at the back of his head. "Dean," he forced out. "Dean, we're about to have company." He concentrated on Castiel's sword and fortunately the angel seemed to understand what he was trying to do; he felt a tingle of warm energy on his palm and an eyeblink later that strange sword was in his hand. He felt a flutter of guilt at how much that had cost Castiel. "I won't ask something like that again, I promise." He grabbed Dean's arm and put the sword in his hand. "Here. You'll do better with this than I will."
Dean stared down at the sword, testing the balance. "I'll keep this safe, Cas, you know I will." Then there wasn't time for anything else; the room was fullof angels. Dean grabbed Jimmy by his coat and shoved him against the wall as he stepped forward between him and the angels.
He felt dread drift up from Castiel as they watched Dean prepare to take them on alone and really, Jimmy wasn't too thrilled about this either. "What can we do?" he asked as Dean squared off against the first. "He can't win this."
Castiel sent a sigil to the front of Jimmy's mind, a complex one drawn in red blood. Before he could lose his nerve he grabbed a letter opener from the desk and slashed his palm. He held his breath as he drew on the wall, not sure he was even getting this right but there was no time for second chances. Press your hand against it. Jimmy nodded and followed the direction, shielding his eyes as the angels screamed and disappeared in flashes of light.
Dean turned around, letting out a long breath. "Thanks for the save."
"Don't mention it."
Dean rushed forward, tipping Jimmy's chin up. "Dude. Your eyes."
He maneuvered Jimmy in front of the mirror and he saw what Dean meant: his eyes were glowing, bright white light circling his irises. He closed his eyes; before he could think too hard about what he was doing he pictured himself grabbing Castiel by the collar and pulling him back. "Stop that," he spit out.
Dying. Making you both targets.
"And that's different from every other day how?" Jimmy squeezed his hands into fists as he poured all his energy into forcing Castiel to stay in. "And we don't know you're dying. We don't know anything." He opened his eyes just in time to see Dean wince at the word "dying." "And you're freaking Dean out. You don't want to do that, right?" Jimmy felt a wave of helplessness drift up from Castiel. "Say you won't do that again." Jimmy realized he was using his Dad Voice, and the absurdity of him scolding an angel was almost overwhelming.
It was working, though. Jimmy had a feeling that Castiel was hurt enough to be flying on instinct and was just relieved that someone was there to tell him what to do. I won't, he said, and Jimmy didn't think he'd ever heard anyone sound so contrite.
"I will fucking kick your ass if you try to bail again, Cas."
"I think he got the message." He took a deep breath. "What the hell do we do now, Dean?"
"We need to figure out what's going on and we need to keep you away from angels. Only one place I can think of for that." He threw on his coat and put his phone to his ear. "Sam, can you talk? Good, an emergency came up, Cas got jumped and we've gotta make a bee-line to Bobby's. Can you finish things up here on your own?" Jimmy saw him nod. "Good, let me know if anything comes up, otherwise we'll call you when we get there." Another pause, and Dean grinned. "Thanks. We could use all the luck we can get." He ended the call and turned back to Jimmy. "You ever been to South Dakota?"
Jimmy shifted around in the back seat, trying to find a position that was even in the same neighborhood as comfortable. He felt Castiel curl into an ever tighter ball of pain each time Dean hit a bump but there was nothing to be done about it; they'd all agreed that speed had to win over comfort. Lying down made things bearable, at least; every so often Dean called back to him to make sure he was still breathing, and if Dean had slipped up and called him "Cas" a couple of time Jimmy couldn't hold it against him.
He heard Dean say they'd just crossed into Montana and cracked his eyes open. "Dean. Dean, stop the car."
Dean swerved to the shoulder with a painful lurch and Jimmy winced; he dragged himself out of the car, leaning against the door to catch his breath as Dean came around from the other side. "What's wrong? You two okay?" Dean said, the words coming out clipped as he tried – badly – to conceal the fear behind them.
Jimmy shook his head. "It's not like that." He lifted his face to the night sky. "Hey," he said, not talking to Dean anymore. "Wake up. Take a look at this." He felt Castiel grumble; it reminded him so much of trying to get Claire out of bed on Sunday mornings that he chuckled. "C'mon. Take a look." Castiel slowly unfurled himself and Jimmy felt that presence move up behind his eyes. A moment later Jimmy felt warmth flood under his skin, warmth and joy, emotion suddenly a tangible, solid thing. Oh. That's...The angel's words fell away into overwhelmed silence and Jimmy grinned. "Told you."
The cloudless night sky spread above them, the entire expanse lit up with the most brilliant stars Jimmy had ever seen. He could feel Castiel drinking in the beauty, the pain retreating for a few precious seconds.
Even Dean seemed impressed. "Okay," he said. "Guess that's worth a quick stop." He opened the door and reached under the passenger seat, coming up with a six-pack of beer. "Want one?"
"Warm and probably skunked."
"My favorite." Dean tossed him the can and while yes, the beer was pretty bad it had been so long since Jimmy'd had a beer he couldn't bring himself to care.
Dean settled himself on the hood and looked up the stars with him. "Been forever since I took the time to do this. Sam went though a big nerd phase about stars when he was a kid."
"We got Claire a telescope for her eighth birthday, one of those starter ones. Every clear night that summer I took her outside and taught her to use it, told her the stories behind the constellations, how sailors used to use the north star to guide them." He grinned. "She thought that was the best thing. Ames and I thought maybe she'd want to be an astronomer."
"Not really. She did tell everyone at church the next day she was going to be a pirate, though."
"Kid after my own heart."
Dean drummed his fingers against the hood of the car; Jimmy noticed he wasn't quite looking at him and had a good idea why. Jimmy let him stew until it started to feel a little mean. "I know, Dean."
Dean startled, like he'd been caught at something. "Know what?"
Jimmy rolled his eyes. "I know," he said again, gesturing between them until Dean turned bright red.
Jimmy wondered how long ago it had been since Dean Winchester got this flustered. "I didn't...I never really thought about..." He let out a long breath. "You can go ahead and punch me if you want."
Jimmy couldn't help laughing, even though that was a little mean, too. "It's okay. I knew before anything...y'know, happened. He actually asked for permission."
The look Dean was giving him kept hovering somewhere between sympathy and horror. "Dude. That conversation had to suck."
"It was weird, definitely." Jimmy remembered that moment; it had been one of the very few times Castiel had spoken directly to him and the first time he'd gotten a glimpse of the actual creature behind all of that power. "The words 'taking liberty' were used."
Dean shook his head. "Cas sucks at people stuff, so I'll apologize for him."
Jimmy felt that little flutter of irritation float up. "Hush. Stop eavesdropping and look at the stars."
"Cas say something?"
"I told you, he doesn't like us talking about him."
"Shut up, Cas. Your people skills are rusty, remember?" he said, like it was a quote. "And trust me, they were never that awesome to begin with."
It was a relief to Jimmy that Castiel had enough energy to react to teasing. He looked up at the stars again and felt the beauty settle him.
"Why'd you say yes to that?" Dean said after a quiet few moments. "That's kind of above and beyond the call of duty, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you did," - he still wasn't quite up to looking at Jimmy in the eyes, which Jimmy was still getting a kick out of – "but, I mean, you're married. And I'm a dude."
Jimmy decided to rescue Dean before he could find any more words to stumble over. "I couldn't justify agreeing to let him use my body for violence and fighting and then deny him something good. It seemed...I don't know." He remembered the desperation just under the surface of Castiel's words that day, the sense that the angel was at just as big a loss as him in that moment. "It seemed cruel."
"Bigger man than I am, I'll tell you that." Dean finished his beer and reached down for another one, taking a long swallow. "I didn't realize that every time I call Cas down from upstairs lately I'm screwing up your life. Unless this is still a 24/7 gig..."
"He calls when he needs me. There was almost a year where I didn't hear anything. Started to think I was off the hook." Jimmy shrugged. "Not like I didn't know what I was getting into this time, Dean."
Dean gave him a long, steady look. "Why the hell do you keep saying yes? I wouldn't. I mean, Cas is the best of those dicks up there and even I wouldn't blame you for telling him to go screw himself."
Jimmy kept his eyes trained on the stars. He remembered pointing out Ursa major and minor to Claire and listening to her make up a story on the spot about their war with Orion, one she added to all weekend. "Do you have children, Dean?"
Dean shrugged. "That's kind of complicated."
Jimmy gave him a look. "That's usually a yes or no question."
A wistful grin spread across Dean's face. "Hooked up with this chick a while back. When I caught back up with her she had this great kid and, y'know, the timing was right. Thought he might be mine. Still kind of wish he was. Me and his mom tried to make a go of it for a while but it didn't work out."
"It changes your entire life. Everything you thought you were, everything you used to think was so important, that just all turns into dust the first second the doctor puts that tiny thing in your arms." He took a final sip of beer. "I want my little girl to go to Heaven someday, Dean, but not the one that's up there now."
"How bad is it?" Dean nodded up toward the sky. "Up there. Cas just says there's a war and that he'll tell me things when he can and shit like that."
"I don't know, really. I get impressions sometimes and that's bad enough."
"Hey, at least you get, what, furloughs now, right? Time with the wife and kid, that's gotta be better than before, right?"
Jimmy felt a spike of ice in his chest that had nothing to do with the wounded angel hiding there. "Amelia can barely look at me. The last time I was home I was there almost two weeks and I don't think we said five words to each other."
"Dude. That sucks."
Jimmy had to look away. "Stop giving me that look, Dean. It's not your fault."
"Kind of is." Dean handed him another beer. "At least she's sticking it out, right? She could've taken off."
"She thinks that if she leaves she'll go to hell," Jimmy said, unable to keep the bitter twist out of his voice. "Claire overheard her talking to a friend of hers one night."
"That doesn't mean she really believes it. People say all kinds of shit."
"She told me that if Castiel calls again and I say yes, don't come back until I know I can stay." Jimmy shrugged, forcing that memory back down. The next call had come less than five minutes later. "I don't know. Sometimes I think we're almost back, and then other times she looks at me like she doesn't know who I am. Which I can't really blame her for, since sometimes she doesn't."
"How's the kid taking it? That's gotta be rough."
Jimmy smiled. "I think she knows when I'm going to get called. Maybe because we've both done this, I don't know. She gets it. She's different. Older. Maybe that's part of the problem with Ames, she sees the change in both of us. I don't know. "
"I'm really not arguing the point."
"Hey, if Cas lets you go when he runs upstairs why is he still always wearing the same thing?"
Jimmy examined his trenchcoat. "I don't know. I think he just likes it."
Dean laughed and Jimmy felt that echo through Castiel. "You're okay, Novak. I like you."
"Thank you, Dean." He took another sip and winced. "Honestly, where do you find beer this bad?"
"Pilfered from only the finest motels, I'll have you know."
"It worries me that you drink beer left in motel rooms."
"Yeah, I'm livin' the life."
Jimmy still took another sip, because really, any beer was better than no beer. "I admire you, Dean."
Dean actually choked on his beer. "Didn't get that impression last time."
"Yeah, well, you two had kidnapped me. That puts a guy in a bad mood." He gestured at the car and the road. "All of this, what you and your brother do, I couldn't do it. Hell, I have an angel possessing me and I'm still scared out of my mind."
"Yeah, well," Dean said, crushing his empty can and tossing it aside, "I wouldn't have had the guts to say yes like you did, so let's call it even."
Jimmy watched Dean go back to staring at the night sky, the peace of the fleeting moment making him look younger. He wondered if he should tell Dean that looking at him had almost as strong an effect on the angel as looking at the stars.
The attack came with no warning. He felt a shudder race up his spine, hot like someone drew a line there in fire, then pain exploded in a sudden, overwhelming surge. The beer can fell from his hand and his legs buckled as the pain radiated from his skin and echoed deep through him until he couldn't imagine there could be anything else left. He felt Dean grab him and hold him up like it was happening a thousand miles away. "She found us," he choked out, trying to focus enough to make out what Dean was saying; he could feel Castiel writhing and convulsing inside him and tried to imagine the horror of feeling this much pain and not even being able to scream. Stars...beautiful... Jimmy heard him whisper, that powerful voice so broken and weak Jimmy could barely hear it. Thank you.
"Fight it," Jimmy gritted out, ignoring the flash of panic in Dean's eyes. "Ride it out, we can do this." He had the impression of someone clinging to a ledge by his fingernails. "We got through it last time, just do it again," he said, ignoring that this attack was a thousand times stronger than the initial one and the angel had been getting weaker by the second.
Another wave of pain slammed him back against the Impala and Jimmy felt that ledge collapse. "Dean, talk to him," Jimmy said, pouring all of his focus into staying upright.
"What? I don't...what's he saying? What's going on in there?"
Jimmy shook his head. "He's too far gone, he won't hear me. It has to be you."
Jimmy wondered how often Dean was forced to deal with problems he couldn't just shoot. "Cas, man, I'm right here, I...fuck, I don't know what I'm supposed to say."
"Give him an order."
"Cas, you miserable son of a bitch," he heard Dean say, his voice going hard and angry, and Jimmy felt a tremor run through him. Castiel hated it when Dean was angry at him. "You kick her ass right now, you understand me? Snap the fuck out of it. You fight her."
Jimmy could feel Castiel wanted to obey, that deep, millenia-old instinct to snap to a barked order trying to take over. He even thought that if Dean had used that tone right from the beginning it might have been enough.
He felt one last deep flutter as Castiel pushed back one more time, then there was nothing but a weak impression of fear as he slipped back beneath the wall of pain. It was like watching someone get swept out to sea.
Jimmy squeezed his hands into fists for a second, then he lunged forward and kissed Dean, his hands tight on either side of Dean's head. Jimmy had never kissed someone like that before, hard and brutal, teeth grinding against teeth and he could feel it hit Castiel like a defibrillator. Dean seemed to catch on to what was going on and pressed Jimmy back against the car, his arms braced on either side as he opened his mouth to the kiss, the heat of him like a fire. Jimmy found himself clinging to Dean and couldn't bring himself to care; the stray thought that he couldn't remember the last time someone had kissed him sank into his mind like a poison.
Dean finally pulled back, his hands shaking on Jimmy's arms now, but he didn't pull back far; Jimmy could still feel the heat of his breath on his lips, the warmth of Dean's body pressed against his. "C'mon, Cas, you gotta pull through this," Dean whispered, the raw plea in his voice reaching deep into Jimmy and twisting. "You gotta fight, Cas, please."
A shiver ran through him, forcing him to hold onto Dean just to stay on his feet. He didn't know where Castiel dug up the energy but Jimmy could feel the angel pulling itself up; it wasn't even defiance so much understanding that he couldn't die under Dean's hands, not with Dean begging him that way. Gradually – almost miraculously, really – the attack abated, leaving Castiel weak and wrung out but still there and alive, which after the last few minutes seemed like more than anyone could have hoped for. Jimmy nodded up at Dean, ignoring the way his stomach lurched when Dean pulled away to lean over the hood. "That was too fucking close."
Jimmy pretty much had to agree. He crouched against the car door and tried to catch his breath, glancing up at Dean and telling himself that was for the angel's benefit and that the only reason he was still hard from all that was that it had the first time another body had been pressed against him in he didn't want to think about how long.
Sometimes Jimmy really did wish he was a better liar.
"How'd you know that would work?" Dean said, mercifully breaking into his thoughts.
"Seriously?" Sometimes Jimmy wondered if Dean and Castiel ever actually talked to each other. He nodded back up at the stars. "You're his north star, Dean."
Dean looked away; Jimmy couldn't tell if Dean hadn't known that was true or if he just hadn't been prepared to hear it confirmed. Jimmy remembered back when he'd been courting Amelia and how the fear that she actually might love him had been almost as crippling as the fear that she wouldn't.
Finally after a few minutes Dean clapped him on the shoulder, back to not quite looking Jimmy in the eye. "C'mon. Let's get you two to Bobby's already."
Jimmy nodded, taking a deep breath of cool air to clear his head. He spent the next few miles reminding himself that at no point during any of that had Dean actually been kissing him.