Dean is bored.

Really, he's always bored. There's a finite amount of stuff to do in a castle, particularly an abandoned castle. And he's done them all. At least eight times. He's run along the ramparts, he's shot at birds with homemade arrows, he's climbed the outside of his tower, to collect the wild berries that grow from a tree in a cleft stone at the very top. He's read every book in the library. Well, almost every book. The five interesting looking ones. He's cooked every recipe he possibly can with the rations that are brought to him each month. He's built a fort from loose stones. Built intricate mazes and designs. He's learnt how to climb and jump from pretty much every part of the castle, and practically every way he can amuse himself physically, alone.

And now he's bored.

He's been bored for three months, two weeks and three days. He knows because he keeps a calendar of how long he's been at the castle. In total, it has been, fifteen years and five months since he was imprisoned, on his fifteenth birthday. He's now thirty, and getting kind of old to be a prince.

It doesn't help that the castle is surrounded by a moat of boiling lava, at the bottom of a thousand foot deep gorge, over which a narrow, rickety wooden bridge is the only way of passing. Dean had to credit Alistair with designing the perfect prison. Dean had lost count of the knights who had died just trying to get to him.

Oh, and it was guarded by a dragon. But so far, no one had gotten close enough to even see the dragon.

Dean was trapped in the castle for...well, probably for the rest of his life. But, the reason for him being there was all because some creepy black magician had come to his father's palace, and thought he was pretty. Yeah. Really creepy, considering that Dean was fifteen at the time, and still running around in short pants, learning to fight with a wooden sword. Alistair had asked King John for his son's hand in marriage, and, although John was pretty open minded, he could see that Alistair was incredibly creepy. So he'd said no.

Three nights later, Dean had been kidnapped and brought to the castle. A day after that, the dragon had been installed as extra protection.

So, Dean had grown up in the castle, and now he can hardly remember what his former home and parents even looked like. His younger brother is a brown haired blur in his memory.

Thankfully, Alistair had only visited a couple of times before he'd gotten bored and moved on to stalking Prince Balthazar of Enochia. But that meant that Dean was forgotten, like an old toy, in his prison.

He rolled out of bed, because if he was going to be bored, he was not going to be lonely too. He found some clothes and put them on. He'd had to make them himself from old upholstery, once he'd outgrown the clothes that Alistair had brought him. Thankfully, the dragon still went off once a month and brought back rations, or he'd have starved a long time ago.

Dean hurried down the tower steps, across the weed riddled courtyard with the creepy statue of the little boy being eaten by wolves. (Seriously, what had happened to this Alistair guy when he was a kid?) and on towards the lower gate that led to the dragons lair.

Dean stuck his head into the darkness and whistled. "CAAAAAAAAAAAS!" He yelled, when no reply was forthcoming.

A plume of fire lit up the interior of the darkened space for a second.

"Stop sulking and get out here – I'm bored."

There was a sound very much like a sigh, and then the floor jumped and rumbled and Castiel woke himself and come towards the gate. He emerged into the morning light, first his long, royal blue snout, followed by his eyes, and the large spines on his head, then his long, long back – the length of three horses at least, and finally his tail, ending in a tuft of black feathers. His scales deepened in colour from blue to black along his body, and his claws were white.

He glared at Dean.

"Wanna race?"

The dragon yawned expressively, then laid down on the stones and tucked itself up for a snooze, it's great, black wings fanning and folding pointedly.

Dean stuck his tongue out. "There's nothing to doooooo!"

As he'd grown to adulthood alone and in the company of only a dragon, Dean had not learned the finer points of maturity, diplomacy or tact.

Castiel sighed and got to his feet, looking down at Dean sternly.

"Please?" Dean asked.

Castiel rolled his eyes and then took off at a run, towards the main courtyard.

"Cheat!" shouted Dean, sprinting after his scaled rump.

Castiel won the race, but as he had twice as many feet as Dean, and as he was about fifteen feet longer, Dean couldn't really feel all that bad about it. They ended up in the orchard, where tart green apples were lying in the grass. Dean did not like apples, but Castiel loved them, so he peeled them and fed them to the dragon slice by slice. Castiel closed his eyes and made the weird little trilling noise he made whenever he was happy.

When the sun came out, Castiel rolled onto his back and squinted up at the sky, growling sleepily. His belly scales were pale blue, and Dean watched them shine in the sun. After a while he got up, taking the apples and the paring knife with him, climbing onto Castiel's belly and stretching out so they he could still feed him slivers of fruit. Castiel trilled and screeched softly, like a bird.

Dean's only had two friends in his life, and one of them he can barely remember, a prince from some other kingdom. Castiel is his one real friend, and he's not even a person.

Castiel lays his wings flat out on the ground, sunning them, and Dean lies with his legs and arls spread, cheek pressed flat to the scales over Castiel's heart. It thumps quietly, on and on and on. Dean sighs, fingers touching and stroking the smooth scales. They're shiny and slick as glass or polished stone.

"You're pretty." Dean says, almost to himself. His fifteen years alone have left him with almost no inhibitions – because, who is there around to hear him? Or see him when he bathes in the courtyard fountain. Even Castiel isn't around then.

The heart under his ear beats a little faster, and Castiel makes a small sound in his throat. Dean rubs his cheek against one of the scales, still wondering at its smoothness after all these years. They're like jewels...moonstone maybe. There's a piece of moonstone in one of the chairs up in the tower, and it's one of Dean's favourite things. He rubs his lips against the scale, something he always does when idly exploring something like this – a blanket, a leaf he finds when lying in the grass.

Castiel makes the noise again, slightly louder, and Dean jumps as the spines on Castiel's head stand up a little.


Castiel breathes out and wriggles, trying to dislodge him. Dean slides to the grass and watches as Castiel turns over onto his belly, legs tucking in under him, wings wrapping around himself protectively.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Dean edges round to Castiel's face, which is lowered towards the ground. He reaches out and strokes Castiel's nose.

Castiel snuffles, and presses lower to the ground, but the spines on his head rise a little more.

Dean looks at them, and curiosity gets the better of him, he reaches up and touches one.

The reaction is instantaneous. Castiel drops his nose to the ground and rubs his face against the sunny grass with a soft coo. His wings flap up, and his legs kick out, and Dean catches a glimpse of something firm and insistent protruding from between Castiel's legs.

Dean doesn't really know what to do. It's one thing to say he has no inhibitions, quite another to say that he's ready to tackle such issues as his draconian guardian's demonstration of sexuality. He didn't even know Castiel had a sexuality. He was male sure, but, he was a dragon.

Castiel whimpers and tries to ball himself up again, and Dean runs his fingers over the spine in a reflex gesture. This time, Castiel's tail thrashes, and he growls at the sky.

Dean swallows. He has no idea what it going on. But he knows he doesn't want it to stop.