A/N: Inspired by this fanart by spacefragments on Livejournal.
No. No no no. It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
When Dean had found Cas working as a healer in some backwoods church, no memory of heaven or angels or Winchesters, it had been his chance to start over. To get Cas back, or at least something like Cas. To erase all the bad blood between them.
But then Cas had brushed his hand against Dean's face, and now he was reeling back, staggering, holding his head in his hands as he moaned over and over, "I remember. I remember. Dean, I'm so sorry."
And Dean tried to say that hadn't wanted Cas to remember. Dean Winchester was lousy at forgiveness. He had been fine when there was nothing to forgive, but now these apologies were being thrown at him and he didn't know what to do with them. How could he even begin to talk about what had happened? How could they possibly get through this and back to the way they were?
Cas stumbled forward, clutching at Dean's sleeve. "I'm sorry, Dean," he repeated, his face a mask of agony as the memories continued to flood back.
Dean couldn't make his mouth work. He hadn't been able to say the words the first time Cas had asked for forgiveness, back before he had died, and he couldn't say them now either. Maybe that was his Winchester stubbornness, or maybe it was his own special brand of dysfunction. But even though the only thing he wanted in the world was to take Cas in his arms and never stop kissing him, he couldn't even open his mouth to say two simple words.
Cas crumpled against Dean's rigid form, hiding his face in the shoulder of Dean's coat. "I'm sorry about opening Purgatory," he said.
And Dean wanted to say, "You thought it was the only way to save the world. You didn't know what would happen." But he couldn't.
"I'm sorry about working with Crowley," said Cas, tipping his head so that his lips brushed Dean's neck as he spoke.
And Dean almost said, "It's not like me and Sam haven't done the same thing tons of times, and worse." But he didn't.
"I'm sorry about all the lying," said Cas, and this time the touch of his lips on Dean's skin was anything but accidental.
And this time Dean actually opened his mouth to say, "You tried to tell me so many times. I should have listened to you. I should have given you a chance to explain." But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make the words come out.
And then Cas started to unbutton Dean's shirt, and Dean abruptly forgot what he had been about to say.
Had Cas learned this from Dean? This way of speaking with his body? The words Cas was speaking were so small and hollow beside the enormity of the things he had done, but when Cas spoke them into Dean's skin as his hands ran down Dean's chest, suddenly they were enough. These apologies were more than empty words. They breathed life into Dean, making his heart swell as it tried to respond to what Cas was offering. It stirred within Dean the words he wanted to badly to say.
Cas dropped to his knees so slowly, kissing his way down Dean's chest. "I'm sorry about breaking Sam's wall," he whispered as he went.
And there it was. The big one. The one that Dean didn't know how to get past, no matter which way he came at it. Cas had broken Sam. Sam. The one person who meant more to Dean than Cas ever would. And now, with Sam raving in an institution, Dean wasn't sure he had it in him to speak kindly to the person who had put him there.
Dean almost hadn't noticed that Cas's mouth had reached the waist of his jeans, and that Cas's fingers were fumbling with the zipper. Cas opened Dean's pants, and they shifted down to reveal his already-hardening cock. And still Dean could only stand there, wanting to speak, wanting to move, and failing at both.
"I'm sorry…" Cas said one last time before wrapping his lips around Dean's cock.
The floor tipped and the walls bent. Dean thought his legs would buckle under him, but then he was suddenly leaning his back against the wall. He wasn't sure how he had gotten there, but Cas was still sucking his cock and nothing else mattered. Cas had no skill, but he made up for it in earnestness. He worshipped Dean with his tongue and his lips and his hands, and each warm breath on Dean's wet skin was another whispered apology.
It was Cas's desperate display of love that finally shook something loose in Dean. And Dean found that he also remembered. He remembered that Cas was family. And he remembered saying once that you always forgive your family, no matter what.
No matter what.
The words came tumbling out of Dean before he could even work up the effort to say them. They flowed so easily, coming in gasps and groans as he lifted his hands from his sides to twine his fingers into Cas's hair. "You're forgiven," he said, "I forgive you. You're forgiven."
Cas's fingers dug into Dean's hips and he pressed his head forward, taking in more and more of Dean. He swallowed Dean down, fighting against his gag reflex as he tried to give every kind of pleasure that he knew was possible. Dean couldn't hold on. He continued to babble out his forgiveness as he came down Cas's throat, his hands tightening on double handfuls of black hair.
Dean was sitting on the floor before he even realized that he was sliding down the wall. Cas was sitting in front of him, coughing and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. It took Dean a several seconds to catch his breath before he managed to pant out, "I can't believe you just did that."
Cas smiled, a smile that Dean had thought that he would never see again. "I can't believe it either," Cas admitted.
How stupid Dean had been to think that it would be better if Cas never remembered any of it. Cas would have never apologized. Dean would have never had the chance to forgive him. The things they had both done and said to each other would have hung between them forever, and even if Cas had never remembered, Dean would have. It would have poisoned their relationship for as long as it lasted.
This way was so much better.
Dean didn't know how to turn any of that into words, so he took a cue from Cas and spoke through his actions. He reached out, cupped Cas's cheek in his hand, and pulled him gently forward. A touch of lips almost instantly deepened into a desperate, open-mouthed kiss, and Cas's arms wrapped themselves around Dean as if they never intended to let go. For Dean, the room began to spin again as he tasted Cas's tongue deep in his mouth, along with a faint bitterness that must have been his own semen.
It hadn't even been minutes since Dean had blown his load, and he was already unspeakably turned on.
Dean dropped his hand from Cas's face to run it up Cas's back under his shirt. His other hand went low to palm the bulge between Cas's legs.
"What are you doing?" said Cas breathily, his body arcing against Dean's involuntarily.
Dean tipped them both over, laying Cas on the floor and rolling on top of him.
"I also have a few things to apologize for," he said.