Title: Ever After
Summary: Castiel Novak was orphaned at the age of eight and forced to live with his stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister. He is as kind and gentle as he is wise and beautiful. Despite the horrible circumstances that his stepmother foists upon him, Castiel remains true to himself. His gentleness works miracles in the lives of all around him, including the Crown Prince of England.
Dean Winchester, Crown Prince of England, was born to a life of privilege which unfortunately also came with specific obligations. The most important one requires that he marry. Eventually, Dean is able to strike a bargain with his father on the matter of his marriage. He has one month to find the love he desires to have in order to marry, or he shall have to wed Prince Gabriel of France, the betrothed his father had arranged for him.
Pairings/ Characters: Dean/Castiel, Sam/Gabriel, John/Mary, Bobby/Ellen, Jo, Zachariah,Uriel, Lilith, Anna, Michael/Tessa
Genre: AU | Slash
Warnings: mature sexual situations, language, mild abuse, reference to mpreg
Written For: dc_everafter2012
Word Count: 20, 138
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: This story was inspired by one of my all-time favourite movies: Ever After. I combined it with some parts from Cinderella and this is the result. There are parts of conversation from Ever After in this story.
The Fate of a Child
"Alright children, time for bed," a cheerful, male voice came from the doorway, full of warmth and comfort.
The little girl and boy both ran and climbed into their beds, turning as one to look at their father pleadingly where he was standing leaning against the doorframe, arms folded in front of him.
"Please tell us a story, Daddy," the little girl asked.
Their father chuckled and pushed off of the door frame to their nursery and walked over to the beds. He sat down and made himself comfortable on his son's bed, facing his daughter. Looking at the bright, expectant faces, he asked them, "Which story do you want to hear?" even though he already knew the answer.
"The one about how you and Papa met," the little boy immediately responded.
Their father gave an over exaggerated sigh, "Again?"
"Please, Daddy? Please? I do so love that story," his daughter begged, sounding just like her Papa in that moment.
The father laughed at his children's pleading features. He honestly didn't mind telling them the story, it was after all one of his favourites as well, but it amused him to see his children imitating their uncle's puppy eyes. They were obviously spending far too much time with their uncle if it was this effective on him.
"Alright. Everyone comfortable?" he made a show of checking.
"Now then… what is that phrase you use? Oh yes…"
Once upon a time, in a not so faraway land, there lived a young boy who loved his father very much. His father was a Marquis who owned a very large estate and had many servants. Despite his elevated station though, he was a kind and generous man.
He gave his son everything he could desire, and yet he still felt as if his son needed a mother since his own had died soon after his birth. The widower remarrieda woman who came from a good family. She had two children that were his son, Castiel's, age. A boy named Uriel and a girl named Lilith.
After spending eight years alone, Castiel was delighted to be gaining siblings as well as a mother since he had never had the chance to get to know his own...
Castiel found himself dressed in one of his finest outfits, waiting outside the Winchester Manor House along with all the servants to welcome the newest editions to the family. He watched, eagerly awaiting the sight of the carriage that would soon be pulling up the drive.
"Do you think they'll like me?" Castiel whispered to Pamela, the housekeeper, "My new family, I mean."
"Of course they will, sweetheart," Pamela whispered back immediately but her eyes and the tight lines on her face hadn't been as sure as her tone. Castiel was too excited to notice though.
"They're here," he declared, his blue eyes sparkling in happiness.
The Marquis was the first one to step from the carriage. He turned, reached in and helped down two young children, first a boy with dark hair and then a little girl with long, blonde hair. Both children were dressed in matching black travelling cloaks. The little girl wore a pink ribbon in her hair that matched the dress she was wearing beneath her cloak.
As the two children stepped to the side, the Marquis once again reached into the carriage. A slim, elegant hand appeared, followed by an arm that was covered in the finest cloth.
Castiel watched as slowly, a blonde woman emerged from the carriage with the assistance of his father. She had long hair and was also wearing a black travelling cloak over a forest green dress.
"Papa," Castiel exclaimed, running forward, unable to still any longer.
His father swept him up off the ground and into his arms in one movement.
"Castiel, my son."
"I'm so glad that you're back, Papa."
His father hugged him tightly before turning to make introductions.
Shortly after remarrying, Lord Jonathan, known to his close friends as Jimmy, was required to go on a trip to Manchester for business. He didn't want to leave his family so soon, but it was necessary.
The entire household, servants included, stood outside the Manor House to see him off. Castiel looked the unhappiest of them all at this turn of events.
"Why the long face, my son? I shall be back in a two weeks," Jimmy asked Castiel as he squatted down to be at eye level with his young son.
"You just got back," Castiel answered quietly, eyes down staring at his shoes. Both of his hands were clasped in front of him, fidgeting with a loose thread on his jacket instead of looking up at his father.
"I'll be back before you have a chance to miss me," his father told him, "Besides, you can use the time to get to know your new brother and sister better."
Castiel glanced up, threw his arms around his father in a hug, buried his face in his neck and breathed in the unique scent that was his father. His father smelled like leather, sandalwood and some other musky smell that he could never quiet put his finger on, no matter how long he spent pondering the different options.
Lord Jonathan quickly gave his new family a kiss and a hug before climbing onto his black horse. Jimmy ignored the ache that appeared in his chest, brushing it off as indigestion, and nudged his horse to begin moving forward.
Castiel stood and watched his father ride off on the black horse. Ruby, his stepmother, turned and swept back into the house through the nearest door, her two children following closely on her heels.
"Wait," Castiel called out to them, "he always waves at the gate. It's a family tradition."
Ruby scoffed and pulled up her nose at such a ludicrous idea. She wasn't going to waste her time waiting around. Instead, she walked back into the house with her children. The deep red gown she was currently wearing trailing behind her.
His stepmother's obvious disdain upset Castiel slightly, but he was determined to uphold his and his father's tradition.
The little boy ran past the servants still standing outside to better see his father's ride up the path.
A minute later, before his very eyes, Castiel watched as his father clutched at his chest and toppled over from atop his horse as if in slow motion.
His pained and panicked scream carried across the extensive grounds, bringing all who were in the house outside as Castiel ran towards where his father was lying on the gravel road leading off their estate.
Castiel reached his father, dropping to his knees and turning him over with a great tug.
All his father was able to manage was a groan. Achingly slowly, he extended a hand to cup Castiel's face as Ruby and some of the servants reached them.
"I love you," Jimmy whispered to his son, completely ignoring his new bride.
Castiel gripped his father's hand in his and watched helplessly as he expelled his last breath.
"Father?Father?" Castiel cried when his father's body went lax, clutching at the hand that was cupping his face.
"Don't leave me, please don't leave me," the child begged his father even though everyone could see that it was too late.
All around him, the servants were crying and mourning the passing of their beloved master. Ruby was screaming and performing for all she was worth. One of the servants stepped forward and tried to pry Castiel off of his father's body.
"Leave me," Castiel screamed, "Father, come back. Please come back."
It was shortly after the death of his father that Ruby revealed her true character. She was cold, cruel and utterly selfish. Her only concerns were maintaining the standard of living to which she had become accustomed, and furthering the interests of her own two children.
Castiel had barely returned from his father's funeral when he was removed from his luxurious rooms, and put into a little corner in the kitchen beside the fire. His possessions were taken from him, and all that he was left with were two sets of tattered clothes, one old pillow and blanket and a pair of shoes that had a number of holes in them.
From that moment on, Castiel was neglected and abused. He was prevented from taking on the role of becoming the next Marquis and instead he was forced to serve as one of the lowest servants in his own home. The family jewels were the first thing that Ruby sold off once the estate's money ran out. This happened around the time that Castiel was thirteen. She sold every piece of jewellery that she could get her greedy hands on in order to pamper herself and her two children. Unfortunately, for Ruby at least, she was unable to sell the pieces that had been entailed with the estate. Castiel was able to hideonly two pieces of his mother's personal jewellery in a little nook behind a loose brick beside where he slept at night. Next, she began to sell off the livestock and crops, shortly followed by servants not bound to the land as Ruby's extravagant spending sent them further and further into debt.
Each time Ruby sold something, a little part of Castiel's heart broke even further.
Winchester Manor fell into a state of despair and neglect much like Castiel himself, as Ruby was unable to sell the land since she had no legal right to it no matter how hard she tried to find a loophole.
Uriel and Lilith never let a day pass without taunting and abusing Castiel in some manner. As Castiel grew older, his fair skin and piercing blue eyes made him even more beautiful than he had been as a child, which only propelled Uriel and Lilith to greater lengths in their attempts to break Castiel's spirit.
Castiel, however, never forgot his father and all that the man had taught him. He remained kind hearted and never stopped caring about others. Ruby, Uriel and Lilith never failed to make him miserable but Castiel did not let go of his dream of one day being free and happy, of finding someone who would love him, and whom he could love in return. He never realised just how much of a fairytale his life would become.
For the fate of a child would change an entire kingdom.
The Spirit of a Man
Ten Years Later
As far as screams went, it was by far loud enough to shatter several windows or at the very least a few eardrums.
"Coming. I'm coming," Castiel called back, hurrying up the stairs.
He was in such a hurry that he slipped on the sixth step and barely managed to grab the banister in time to prevent himself from falling and landing on his bottom. The young man had forgotten that he and Anna, the parlour maid and one of his best friends, had waxed them earlier that morning.
With hurried steps, he finally reached Lilith and came to a halt in the bedroom doorway.
"You called?" Castiel asked, slightly out of breath.
"About time you imbecile. My food is cold," Lilith informed him, making a sweeping gesture towards the tray of food, turning her nose up at the thought.
Castiel desperately wanted to snap back, "It was warm an hour ago when I brought it up, you ungrateful witch."
Unfortunately, he knew that the consequences would not be worth it. Instead, he merely replied, "I'll go heat it up for you."
Lilith sniffed, "See that you do."
Castiel stepped forward and picked up the silver plate.
"Shall I leave the fruit?"
Lilith shook her pretty little head.
"No, I want fresh ones."
Castiel exited the room, making sure to be careful not to grumble until he was completely out of earshot. Ruby, Lilith and Uriel seemed to delight in ordering him around for the smallest things even after so many years. It meant that the young man was almost constantly going up and down, up and down the stairs.
There was also the dusting, the polishing, the waxing of the floors, the mending, the pressing, the cooking, the bed making...
The list of things that they had him doing was seemingly endless.
He nearly made it to the kitchens when Ruby called him.
Castiel released a sigh and made his way to the sunroom where he knew Ruby would be sitting.
Ruby barely waited until he was in the room before she began with her instructions.
"There are a number of things that need to be done before we go to the ball tonight. All of our outfits need to be presses, our shoes need to be pressed, Lilith and I will need out hair to be powered. You also need to go to the market and get ribbons and a brooch for Lilith that will match our outfits tonight as well."
Castiel looked at her with wide eyes.
Ruby didn't take any notice, continuing with her list of chores that Castiel was to attend to.
"After that is done, you need to wash the table clothes, the windows need to be polished as does the mirror in the foyer."
By now Castiel was staring at Ruby slightly slack jawed. It was an incredibly long list and the walk to the market would take quite some time.
Ruby turned to look at him and snapped, "Well, what are you still standing there for? Get to it."
Castiel nodded and retreated to the kitchen where he ran across Jo, another of his childhood friends. Jo was Ruby's personal maid. After explaining that he had to go to the market, Jo asked to go with. There were a couple of things that she also needed to get. Castiel smiled at her and agreed. It would be nice to have some company for the walk.
The road from the Manor to the market was one that Castiel and Jo were intimately acquainted with. The young man knew the dirt, and often times muddy, road like the back of his own hand. These days he allowed his mind to wander when walking to and from the market. He and Jo spent the time lost in their own thought and daydreams of a better life. He inevitably ended up thinking and wishing that things were different. The "ifonly's were a cold comfort to him. His thoughts were constantly filled with "If only..." and "If things were different..."
When Castiel and Jo finally reached market, they decided to split up to accomplish their individual tasks quicker so that they could return so soon as possible and complete the long list of chores that Ruby had made for them. Spotting the shop that sold the ribbons that he needed to buy; Castiel hurried over and went inside to purchase Ruby and Lilith's things.
Absorbed in his thoughts and daydreams of a better life somewhere far away from Ruby, Lilith and Uriel, Castiel didn't hear the approach of an oncoming coach coming around the street corner at full speed. The young man looked up and had a second to panic before a heavy weight slammed into him from the side and swept him out of the path of the oncoming carriage and took him down to the dust covered ground.
"Are you alright?" a warm, male voice asked from directly above him.
Castiel hadn't realized that he had closed his eyes until he opened them to stare up into the greenest eyes that he had ever seen. The brunette couldn't help but hold the gaze for a few seconds before lowering his gaze, looking at the man's Adam's apple instead of into his eyes.
"Yes, uh… thank you," he murmured quietly.
The warm body that was pressed along his shifted slightly and then lifted up and off of him and Castiel was struck with an unusual feeling of loss. A hand was extended down to help him off the ground which he gratefully accepted.
Sure, confident hands helped him steady himself on his feet and then proceed to assist brushing off the dust and dirt from his clothes.
"Thank you," Castiel murmured again.
He took a moment to really look at his rescuer, pausing when he registered what he saw. The man standing before him, that had pulled him out of the path of a speeding carriage was, to put it simply, beautiful.
His rescuer stood slightly shorter than himself with somewhat short, dark wheat coloured hair, a smooth, clean, creamy complexion that looked out of sorts with his common, dirty clothes. But his eyes were what drew Castiel's attention the most. The man's green eyes were captivating and Castiel found himself drowning in them.
"Castiel!" a voice shouted from down the street, startling Castiel out of his eye lock with his rescuer.
"I … um… I need to go," Castiel said as he threw a quick look over his shoulder at Jo who was waiting on a corner from where she had shouted.
The man held out his hand, silently offering Castiel one of the parcels that he had dropped when he had been knocked out of the way of the carriage.
Castiel reached out and shyly took the parcel, murmured another "thank you" and turned around and fled.
Dean watched utterly bemused as the young man fled down the street. He didn't turn to look behind him but felt the presence of his brother and Gabriel as the two came to stand beside him.
"That was kind of foolish, Dean," Sam commented quietly, more in exasperation than anything else. He had learned a long time ago to expect nothing less from his older brother.
Dean merely turned his head slightly and gave Sam the raised eyebrow. The one that said I-did-it-and-I'd-do-it-again-what-you-gonna-do-about-it? Sam shook his head and chuckled under his breath. Gabriel simply stood watching the brothers and sniggering quietly.
"We'd better head back before the palace guards are sent out to drag us back," Sam said.
Silently agreeing, the three young men headed over to where they had tethered their horses and rode back to the palace.
Dean, Sam and Gabriel parted ways, each going to their own chambers to change into something more befitting of their station. Once again dressed in his fine clothes, Dean headed to the gardens where Sam and Gabriel were sure to be.
"Let's not tell anyone about this morning," Dean suggested, although it sounded more like a request.
Gabriel smirked at Dean, the Crown Prince of England, and a gleeful twinkle entered his eyes as he looked at Dean,
"What's it worth to you, Deano?" Gabriel asked even though they all knew none of them would say a word.
They were royalty and technically were never supposed to have left the palace grounds without an escort. To inform anyone of what Dean had done would also to be saying that they had snuck out without their guards.
"There you all are," a woman's voice rang out across the gardens.
All three young men turned towards the voice.
A beautifully dressed blonde woman was making her way toward them. Her dress was a dark blue and made of the finniest silk. Atop her blonde head was a crown made of gold and set with many precious stones.
"Hello mother," Dean greeted her.
"The King would like a word with you three. Several words in fact," Mary informed her two sons and Gabriel.
Sam snorted, "He usually does."
Dean smiled at his mother as he shuffled his feet and meaningfully stood on Sam's foot.
"We'll be right in," Dean told her, looking pointed at his younger brother.
Sam sighed, rolled his eyes and followed Dean back inside the palace, Gabriel trailing behind them chuckling under his breath at their antics.
For some strange reason, Dean felt exceedingly calm as he, Sam and Gabriel were escorted by Queen Mary down the long hallway towards the throne room where he felt sure his father was waiting for them. As the group entered the throne room, King John looked up from the pile of papers that were scattered across the table before him.
"The three of you are restricted to the grounds," King John barked out after they had barely stepped a foot inside the room.
Dean couldn't help the little smile that spread across his face.
"Are you putting us under house arrest?" Dean laughed.
Out of the corner of his eye, Dean saw that Gabriel had apparently become extremely fascinated with the floor while Sam was inspecting his nails and biting his bottom lip in an effort to not let a laugh escape him.
"I am your father and the King of England," John burst, "and I will be obeyed or..."
"Or what father?" Dean asked, amused at his father's reaction to their little unescorted trip outside the palace. "You'll ship us to the Americas?" Like some criminal?"
A snort escaped Sam at Dean's questions. Luckily their father was too worked up to have heard it but Dean and Gabriel weren't and it made it all the more difficult to not start laughing.
King John leapt to his feet in anger as his wife moved to stand beside him.
"You are the crown prince of England and your brother is next in line after you," John shouted.
"And it is our lives," Dean shouted back, "You cannot begrudge us a little freedom."
All of Dean's repressed feelings of restlessness and a desperate need to escape for a while came rushing back up to the surface.
Mary stepped forward and between her husband and eldest son. It was a rare occurrence for Dean and John to quarrel let alone shout at each other. For some strange reason, it seemed to be happening more and more often as of late.
"John calm down before your heart can't take anymore," Mary ordered before turning from looking at her husband to look at Dean and Sam, who was standing slightly behind his older brother.
"Honestly, the two of you. I don't know what is going on with you two but it needs to stop," Mary stepped closer to Dean, "Sweetheart, you have been born to a life of privilege and with that comes certain obligations. None of us like them all but you cannot pick and choose which aspects you would like to deal with."
Dean sighed and forcibly relaxed his body. Sam in response also relaxed slightly. Gabriel meanwhile had been uncharacteristically quiet. Sam darted a quick glance behind himself to ensure that the young prince of France was still present.
"I apologise, Mother. I do not understand why though, when the two of you were given to opportunity to form a love match, you are so eager to see Gabriel and I married off to each other."
Dean threw a look behind him, "No offence meant Gabe."
A tiny smirk formed on the brunette's face, "None taken, Deano."
The sound of a sharp rap on the table startled them and brought their attention back to the King.
"You will marry Gabriel, Dean, by the end of the month or I will strike at you in any way I know how," John proclaimed.
Mary sighed and shook her head. If there was one way to ensure that Dean wouldn't cooperate, it was ordering him to do something that he didn't want to do. Sam seemed to think the same thing,ifhis slight wince was anything to go by.
"What's it to be father? Hot oil or the rack?" Dean queried mockingly.
John spluttered at Dean's nonchalant attitude.
"I will simply deny you the crown and live forever. Better yet, I'll give it to Sam."
Dean nodded decisively, "Good. Agreed. I don't want it. Not with those conditions."
"What?" Sam exclaimed, "No. I don't want it. If you make me crown prince, I'll renounce any claim on the throne. I'm happy being a prince; I don't want to be King."
Ignoring everyone, Dean turned on his heel and strode out the throne room. Sam and Gabriel hot on his heels.
Mary shook her head despairingly and sighed, "Oh John. Now you've done it."
Castiel spent the next couple of hours helping Ruby, Lilith and Uriel dress in their outfits for the ball. He'd powdered both Ruby and Lilith's blonde hair, making it even fairer after Jo and Anna had put their hair up for the evening. Ribbons were added and jewellery was extravagantly used for all three.
Finally, Castiel along with Anna, Jo, Ellen and Pamela stood on the steps of Winchester Manor and watched as first Uriel, then Ruby and lastly Lilith each took the footman's hand and climbed into the waiting carriage that would take them to the ball.
Castiel felt Jo and Anna each grab one of his hands as the carriage rolled down the road. He looked from one face to the other, finding identical mischievous smiles on his best friends' faces.
"What's going on?" he asked them, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.
"There's no time to lose," was the only answer he received as he was pulled back into the Manor and down a hallway.
"What are you talking about?" Castiel asked utterly bewildered at their strange behaviour.
He didn't receive an answer and allowed himself to be pulled along. His friends were acting in the most peculiar manner. It was best to just wait and see what would happen rather than digging his heels in. He already knew he wouldn't win against them.
"Right, off with your clothes," Jo ordered him as she turned the doorknob and propelled him inside.
"Hurry up. We really must rush," Anna informed him tugging at his shirt.
"What are..." Castiel trailed off as he actually took a moment to look around the room, his room now that he took note. A large steaming tub filled with water and some bubble was in the centre of his bedroom. Pamela was pouring another rug of water into the tub and Ellen was fiddling with the lock on a trunk that had not been in his room two hours before.
Castiel cast large, bewildered eyes at all of them, "What on earth are you all doing?"
Pamela grinned at him as she approached, "You, darling Castiel, are going to the ball."
When Castiel arrived at the Palace for the ball, he gazed around in amazement. He could hardly believe that he was really there. Almost as soon as he walked into the ballroom, men and women stopped to look at him and many made their way over to him, attempting to engage his attention.
It had taken an hour to transform him into someone that he didn't recognise, someone who looked like a courtier. He'd been bathed and dressed and even had a slight touch of cinnamon oil dabbed on the side of his neck to give him a pleasant smelling aroma. Just before he had left, Anna and Jo had presented him with his mask and a hug while wishing him good luck.
Castiel still couldn't believe that he had really made it to the ball even though he was standing in the ballroom at that very moment.
Many others surrounding Castiel whispered amongst themselves, trying to solve the mystery of the new arrival.
"Who is he?"
"Have you ever seen him before?"
"Do you know who that is?"
"I don't recognise him, do you?"
Castiel ignored the whispers surrounding him and focused instead on thoroughly enjoying himself for the first time in years.
Dean stood leaning against one of the ballroom walls out the way of the crowds. A glass of wine was held elegantly in one hand as the crown prince surveyed the guests from behind his black mask. A low rumbling of whispers caught Dean's attention. In his bored state, Dean allowed his curiosity to get the better of him and quickly made his way across the ballroom to where the disturbance seemed to be originating from.
He stopped dead in his tracks when he found himself facing the most beautiful young man he had ever seen in his life.
Dean couldn't tell if he really was beautiful underneath the wine red mask that adorned his face but there was just something about the young man that seemed to be calling to him.
He had dark brown hair, appeared to be around the same height as Dean himself. It was his smile that held Dean's attention though. The young man's smile was so genuine, so happy that it seemed to draw in all those around him and infect them with his happiness at just being present.
Dean stepped forward until he was near enough to hear all the young man's eager suitors begging for a single dance. He wanted to have that joy, that happiness, beaming at him.
"Excuse me ladies and gentlemen but the young man has promised his first dance to me," Dean politely informed the crowd gathered around the enchanting young brunette, even though he was lying through his teeth.
Dean watched as bright blue eyes widened considerably in surprise to Dean's announcement but he didn't say anything to contradict it. Instead, an amused and mischievous smile played across his lips. Dean bowed his head slightly as he extended his hand silently. The English Prince quirked an eyebrow at his mysterious young man, daring him to call the bluff.
Dean was delighted when he received a radiant grin that was like a punch to the gut and a smaller hand was placed in his extended one. With a gentle tug, Dean pulled the young man closer and began to steer him away from all the overeager eavesdroppers.
"Hello," Dean greeted him belatedly.
"Hi," the young man ducked his head slightly in greeting.
"Do you have permission to waltz?" Dean asked as he heard the music starting up in the background.
The young man smiled even as he shook his head. He leaned forward and whispered as though divulging a big secret.
"I don't know how to dance."
Dean looked at him astounded. The young man giggled, seriously giggled, at the look on Dean's face. Dean shook his head and gazed at the young man on his arm in amazement. With the mask on, he couldn't really tell if he was truly beautiful but there was just something about him. He seemed to glow, his beauty coming from within.
He'd spent the time since his father had issued his ultimatum alternating between resenting his father and feeling hopeless. He hadn't thought that it would be possible to meet someone in such a short period of time but now... now here was this young man who just appeared to be enchanting him and Dean didn't even know his name yet. Maybe there was hope yet.
Castiel hadn't noticed him when he had first entered the ballroom. He had walked into the ballroom with wide eyes and gazed around the room, trying to take everything in all at once.
He was tall, dressed in a dark blue with a gold chain that fitted his broad shoulders perfectly. Castiel was only able to see the lower half of the man's face but what little he could see was very handsome. He had the most kissable lips that Castiel had ever seen, a thought which immediately prompted him to blush. The man had dark blonde hair that was slightly shorter than the average aristocrat.
When he brazenly informed everyone that he was going to dance with him, Castiel couldn't help but be intrigued and happy. This man, this gorgeous, charming man was the reason he had snuck into the ball.
"It would be remiss of me to allow this sorrowful state of affairs to continue," the man gently teased Castiel, referring to his inability to dance.
"Sorrowful?" he couldn't resist asking.
The man shrugged, "A beautiful person, such as you, should know how to dance."
"And you propose to teach me? Where?" Castiel asked, arching his eyebrow in question.
Castiel allowed the man to pull him toward the large door on along the side of the ballroom and then out onto the terrace.
"Where are we going?" Castiel was breathless with excitement and nerves.
A hand closed over Castiel's hand that was resting on his partner's arm.
"I know a place."
The man guided Castiel across the terrace, down the steps and into the maze. The man twined his fingers with Castiel's as they meandered through the maze. Castiel felt the cold metal of the ring that was on the man's right ring finger against his own hand as it began to warm from the contact. It appeared that he knew where he was going so Castiel allowed himself to be pulled along.
"It's beautiful out here," Castiel murmured.
"Wouldn't you rather be in there, snaring yourself a Prince?"
Castiel shook his head ruefully, "No, I didn't come here for that. I just wanted to see what it would be like to attend a royal ball."
The man dressed in blue turned his head and gave Castiel a look he couldn't quite understand and then a small smile played across his lips.
"You're not like other courtiers."
"Maybe you've been spending your time around the wrong ones," Castiel offered with a shrug.
The handsome stranger huffed and barked out a laugh, "Maybe I have at that."
They strolled in comfortable silence for a few seconds before slowing down.
"We're here," Castiel heard him say but he was too busy looking ahead of him to where the hedges forming the maze parted.
It was beautiful. At the centre, there was a large, white, marble fountain, the water cascading and shimmering in the moonlight shining down upon it. There were stones paved in a large circle around the fountain and two benches, one on each opposite side of the fountain. It looked magical and like it belonged in a fairytale and not right before him.
Castiel was pulled to the middle of the maze. His partner kept hold of one of his hands and placed Castiel's other hand on his shoulder. Castiel blushed as he felt a hand on his waist, tugging him a little closer. A slight shiver went through Castiel at the close contact as they began dancing.
Wanting the moment to last forever and put off the thought that at midnight he would have to return to his life of servitude and misery, Castiel closed his eyes and lay his head on his dance partner's shoulder, his nose burrowing into his neck and inhale his scent as they turned in small circles. Castiel took a deep breath and attempt to memorize the unique smell. He smelled like freshly cut grass, sandalwood and something else that he just couldn't put his finger on.
"I feel like I know you."
Castiel lifted his head and looked into green eyes.
"Have we met before?"
Castiel tilted his head slightly, "I don't think so, my lord," because this man was definitely a lord of some kind. He practical gave off vibes saying that he was born to a life of privilege.
"Are you sure," his dance partner persisted, "maybe at a joust?"
Castiel shook his head, "I don't attend jousting and I haven't participated in one."
"Mmm... maybe it was at another ball?"
"This is my first ball."
The other man sighed, exasperated and amused instead of irritated.
"You're not being very helpful, you know."
Castiel smiled and lay his head back down on his partner's shoulder as they continued to dance.
"I know," he breathed.
Castiel felt a soft, barely there kiss on his forehead and snuggled closer as danced around the fountain in the centre of the maze.
"Tell me about your family."
"My mother died giving birth to me and my father died when I was eight years old," Castiel informed him quietly.
Dean winced. It was not the direction he had hoped to steer the conversation in.
"If I asked, would you tell me who you are?"
Taking a deep breath, he answered quietly, "My name is Castiel."
"Castiel. It suits you. Call me Dean."
Dean hugged Castiel closer and whispered in his ear, "I can't believe that I met you fifteen minutes ago. I feel like I've known you all my life, like I'm flying and I am never come down."
Dean's voice was deep and filled with warmth. Although he knew Ellen, Jo and the others tried their best, it was the first time in a very long time that Castiel safe felt and loved. He sighed and stopped dancing with Dean but didn't pull away. With both hands, he reached up and put his fingertips on the edges of Dean's mask.
Dean nodded his head, unable to get the words out and reached up to do the same to Castiel. Once they were both unmasked, the pair took several moments to memorise each other's face, trying to commit each feature to memory.
Castiel was shocked to discover that the man that he was dancing with was actually the Crown Prince of England.
Hesitantly, Castiel traced Dean's nose and along his cheekbone with the tip of his finger. Dean's skin was soft and smooth and tingles of pleasure fluttered in Castiel's belly.
"I feel like you're not real. That you're a figment of my imagination," Castiel confessed softly.
Dean caught Castiel's hand in his own and never breaking eye contact, kissed each fingertip. Castiel sucked in a scandalised breath at the sensual move. Doubt reared its head for all of a second before Castiel discarded any worries. He would never have a chance like this again and he was feeling oh so wicked at that moment.
"Would you kiss me?"
Dean stared at Castiel in shock as the younger man ducked his head, a blush spreading across his face.
"I'm sorry, that was terribly forward of me," Castiel murmured.
Dean titled Castiel's chin up with his index finger, forcing blue eyes to lock with green.
"Not at all," Dean breathed before closing the small gap between them.
A soft sound escaped Castiel as he felt Dean's arms wrap around him as his lips were captured in another gentle kiss. This time, Castiel felt Dean's tongue running along the seam of his lips. The younger man parted his lips on a sigh and melted into Dean's arms at the warmth that was spreading through him.
Dean eagerly continued kissing Castiel. It was unlike any other kiss. It stole his breath, made him feel alive and capable of doing anything. He could tell that Castiel was inexperienced but all it did was make him want the young man even more.
A loud sound penetrated Castiel's hazy thoughts and made him pull away from Dean, breaking the kiss.
"What was that?"
"Big Ben. It's midnight," Dean replied, confused as to why it would be important.
"Oh no. I have to go," Castiel exclaimed, horrified that he had allowed time to slip away from him.
Dean grabbed onto Castiel's arm as he tried to slip past him and out of the maze.
"Go? You can't just leave."
"I'm sorry but I have to go," Castiel pleaded with Dean and managed to gently pull his arm free.
Castiel turned and raced back into the maze, searching for the way out. Luckily, the light coming from the ballroom served as a guide on which direction to head in.
"Castiel. Wait," Dean's voice rang out from somewhere behind him.
Castiel saw the exit of the maze and ran in its direction. Just before he managed to escape he ran into a stone wall made of muscle. Sure, strong hands automatically reached to steady him.
Castiel looked up to say his thanks and could have groaned. Sam Winchester, Dean's younger brother and a Prince of England was the one steadying him back on his feet.
"Your Highness. Thank you," Castiel murmured before darting around him and fleeing the maze.
"Castiel?" Dean called out again and instead ran headlong into his brother and Gabriel.
"He ran that way," Sam pointed helpfully and watched as Dean took off like he had a pack of hounds nipping at his heels.
Sam and Gabriel watched as Dean disappeared in the same direction as the other young man had seconds before.
"Gabriel? Was that...?"
"Gabriel, why not? He's an imposter."
"Sam, I know that you're intelligent, so think. How did we meet him the first time? More importantly, what were you wearing?"
Sam frowned and thought about it. They had first seen the young man in the market place when he, Dean and Gabriel had snuck out. They'd been wearing...oh, right. They'd also been dressed as peasants.
A sheepish smile crossed Sam's face as he looked sideways at Gabriel.
"Exactly, Sam-bear," Gabriel teased.
"Shut up," Sam said affectionately, lightly shoving Gabriel. If his hand lingered longer than was appropriate, well, neither he nor Gabriel said or did anything about it.
Dean ran, desperately searching in all direction for Castiel. Eventually, he forced himself to face the fact that the young man was gone. The Crown Prince sighed and was about to sit down on the palace steps in despair when something caught his attention. Quickly, Dean made his way down the steps and paused.
There, lying at the bottom of the steps was Castiel's mask.
He must have dropped it as he ran, Dean thought.
He bent down and picked the mask up. Clutching the mask in his hand, Dena turned and headed back into the palace. If anybody could help him find Castiel, it would be Bobby.
"Bobby, I need you to help me find someone," were the first words out of Dean's mouth when he finally tracked own the elusive Lord Singer.
Bobby raised an eyebrow and asked, "Who'd you lose now, ya idjit?"
Dean frowned at him, "One, you can't talk to me like that and two, I haven't lost anyone before now."
"I helped your parents raise you, boy," Bobby told him.
"I know Uncle Bobby. I really need your help though," Dean pleaded, prepared to get down on his knees if he had to.
Bobby sighed as though he was being put upon but they both knew that he was going to help Dean regardless.
Dean sat down across from Bobby and rubbed his hands over his face tiredly before he started speaking.
"I met someone... at the ball. His name is Castiel. All I know is that his mother died in childbirth and his father when he was eight. I think he's about Sam's age."
Bobby stared at his Prince incredulously, "That's all you've got?"
Dean threw up his hands defensively, "What? I know it's not much but it's all I have. How many young lords could there be with the name Castiel, that have a mother that died at childbirth and a father when they were eight?"
"You do have a point. I'll see what I can dig up," Bobby promised.
"Thank you," Dean spoke softly.
The next morning, Sam went in search of his brother. Bobby had cornered him earlier and asked about Dean's need to find Castiel. Dean, himself though, hadn't been seen yet. Sam had a feeling of where he would find his brother though.
Coming out in the middle of the maze, Sam slowed as he spotted Dean sitting on a bench beside the fountain. Silently, Sam made his way over and sat beside his older brother. Dean didn't even so much as look up from where he was studying the stones beneath his feet.
After several moments of silence, Sam decided to break the quiet.
"What if I don't find him, Sam?"
Sam placed a comforting hand on Dean's shoulder.
"You will. Even if Bobby doesn't find him, you said that his parents are dead, yes? And he's about my age so he's at least eighteen? He will have to be at the opening for the House of Lords, it's required by law. You'll find him then."
Dean sighed, "One problem with that, Sammy. The opening of the House of Lords is months away. I only have 'til the end of the month to find an alternative spouse or I have to marry Gabriel."
Sam frowned. He had forgotten about their father's ultimatum.
"We'll think of something, Dean. Gabriel and I will help you in any way that we can."
That got a small smile out of Dean, "Thanks Sam."
The Destiny of a Prince
Castiel sat on the grass in the cool shade cast by a large tree. He gazed with unseeing eyes across the lake before him, his thoughts absorbed in the ball and more importantly, the Prince. He desperately wished that things were different, that he could see the Prince again but there was no way that he would be able to get close to him. Besides, the Crown Prince of England could have anybody he wanted, Dean would have long forgotten him by now, of that Castiel was sure.
There was a rustling sound from behind him and then someone spoke.
Castiel froze in shock, sure that his mind was playing tricks on him. There was no way that Prince Dean was standing behind him and had just spoken his name. It was wishful thinking. Slowly, prepared for the heavy weight of disappointment, Castiel turned his head to look over his shoulder and behind him and was rendered speechless.
There in all his royal handsomeness was Dean.
"How did you find me?" Castiel blurted out.
He hadn't meant for that to be the first things he said to Dean, not that he had actually planned anything to say to Dean since he had been sure that he would never be seeing the green eyed man again.
Dean gave him an amused grin as though he knew what Castiel was thinking.
"Two of your servant girls, the blonde and the red head, they said that you liked to come here."
Jo and Anna, Castiel silently realised. The least the two of them could have done was give him some kind of warning. He felt utterly confused and flustered around Dean.
His mind was racing so, trying to think of something to say, that he didn't notice Dean had moved closer until he spoke again.
"May I?" Dean asked, indicating the ground beside Castiel.
Castiel ducked his head and nodded.
Dean had to bite his lip at the picture that Castiel made sitting on the grass beside him.
Castiel slowly looked out of the corner of his eye at the Prince. It was slightly different now in broad daylight. There was no darkness, no music playing in the background, no romantic atmosphere. It all made him increasingly nervous.
"I didn't think that I would be able to find you," Dean informed him quietly.
Dean's statement caused Castiel to look up and directly at Dean. He'd had no idea that he had made such an impact.
"You've been trying to find me?" he asked, unable to believe such a thing.
"It's all I've done this past week," Dean admitted.
Castiel was struck speechless by Dean's admission. Nobody had ever really cared that much about him, except for the family he had made with Pamela, Ellen, Jo and Anna. It was a truly unexpected and startling thing.
"You find that hard to believe?" Dean queried, brushing his shoulder against Castiel's.
"You are the Crown Prince and I am nothing," Castiel whispered, "I did not think that you would care."
Dean put his arm around Castiel's shoulders and drew him flush along his own body. Castiel allowed himself to be tugged against Dean, soaking up the feeling of Dean's strong, warm body alongside his own.
"Listen to me closely because I am not in the habit of repeating myself. You are not a nobody. You are special, different. Don't let anybody make you feel otherwise," Dean spoke passionately against Castiel's ear, his lips brushing the younger man's ear as he spoke, sending shivers down Castiel's spine.
Hesitantly, Castiel pulled away slightly to look Dean in the eye. Blue met green and Castiel found himself swaying forward. Dean's eyes dropped to Castiel soft, pink lips and he couldn't resist any longer.
He kissed Castiel gently, savouring the younger man's soft and sweet yielding to him. He reached up with his right hand and cupped Castiel's jaw, feeling the smooth skin beneath his hand as he angled Castiel's mouth to better kiss him. Dean's ring glittered from the small rays of sun that made it past the tree's leaves.
After several long moments, the pair broke apart to begin breathing again. Castiel had to remind his brain to inhale.
Gently, Dean ran a loving finger across Castiel's lips. The younger man leaned towards Dean, his eyes fluttering at the sensations coursing through his body.
"What are you doing tomorrow?"
Over the next three weeks, Dean and Castiel spent every free moment they had together. They spent their dayshorse riding and travelling around the country side. Dean took Castiel to the monastery's library when the younger man had confessed that he had a love of reading, delighting in the happiness that Castiel radiated, knowing that he was the cause.
Anna, Tessa, Ellen and Pamela covered for Castiel with his stepfamily and it made him love them even more for it. They were delighted that he was truly happy for the first time in a very only time.
Likewise, Sam and Gabriel covered for Dean in court while he was out with Castiel. Sam and Gabriel found themselves growing increasingly closer as they spent more and more time together.
Sam even taught Gabriel how to use a bow and arrow properly.
Gabriel sighed, frustrated with himself as he missed yet another target.
"It's no good, Sam. I'm hopeless at this," he moaned.
Sam chuckled, shaking his head in disagreement.
"You're just holding it wrong, Gabe."
Sam moved to stand behind Gabriel and show him the correct way to hold his bow and arrow. Gabriel couldn't resist leaning back slightly so that he and Sam were against each other, back to chest, thighs pressed against together.
"Here," Sam whispered softly as he reached around Gabriel and repositioned his hands on the bow and arrow. Gabriel didn't pay much attention to what Sam was saying, instead he was too busy absorbing the feeling of Sam's muscled chest rumbling slightly as he spoke against his own back.
Sam allowed his hands to linger on Gabriel far longer than what was appropriate. Once he had positioned Gabriel's hands, his own bigger hands fell to the French Prince's waist to angle his body even though it was actually just an excuse to continue touching Gabriel.
"Now try again," Sam spoke softly into Gabriel's ear.
As Gabriel took aim again, Sam gave in to the temptation to lower his head slightly and brush his nose along the side of Gabriel's forehead, by his hairline and inhaled deeply trying to memorise the feel of Gabriel in his arms and the sound of a slight hitch in his breathing.
Not paying much attention, Gabriel released the arrow and it hit the target with a soft thunk.
Both Sam and Gabriel looked up and were surprised to find that it had hit dead centre.
Sam took a step back from Gabriel and cleared his throat.
For once Gabriel merely uttered, "Thank you," instead of making a snarky or bragging comment. A slight blush was staining both their cheeks as they looked at each other, each trying to be covert and failing miserably.
At the same time that Sam and Gabriel were at the archery range fighting their feelings for one another, Dean and Castiel were making their way to the lake where Dean had first found him after the ball.
Dean was riding his favourite horse, Impala. Impala was three years old and had the sleekest black coat that he had ever seen. Beside him, Castiel was sitting astride a chestnut horse named Angel.
When they reached the lake, Dean gracefully dismounted and quickly turned to assist Castiel with climbing off his own horse. Castiel smiled at Dean as the Prince helped lower him to the ground, his hands lingering longer than necessary on his waist and Castiel couldn't resist.
He pressed a soft, short kiss to Dean's lipsin thanks. Dean gave him a besotted, wistful smile before giving him a quick kiss.
"Here," Dean said handing Castiel a blanket and their basket, "I'll see to the horses."
Castiel turned and made his way to his favourite oak tree while Dean tied their horses to another tree with plenty of room for them to move around.
The younger man made quick work of spreading the blanket out underneath the tree, setting the basket on one of the corners of the blanket and then sitting down. Dean joined him moments later.
Castiel turned and began unloading their basket as Dean sat down beside him. Their dinner comprised of freshly baked rolls, some pieces of chicken and an assortment of fruits. Castiel passed Dean a napkin with a helping of each food before taking his own.
"I love apples," Dean informed Castiel randomly a second before a bit a piece out of his apple.
Castiel nodded his head slowly, an uh-huh look on his face but he didn't say anything further. Dean looked up and noticed the look on Cas's face and chucked a red grape at him. The grape hit Castiel square in the middle of his forehead.
"Hey," Castiel reproached Dean playfully.
"Ah, you poor thing. Here, let me kiss it better," Dean beckoned Castiel nearer.
Castiel inched towards Dean warily, poised to bolt at a moment's notice. Dean reached out and cupped the back of Castiel's head and tenderly pressed his lips of the younger man's forehead. A second later and Dean moved slightly to kiss Cas on the lips. It was a short, sweet kiss but left Castiel feeling like he could melt into a puddle of goo right then and there.
The couple finished their dinner, chatting about this, that and everything. Things neither could remember but enjoyed being in the other's presence. Castiel enjoyed watching the sun set immensely since he was able to share in the beauty with Dean. It made it all the more marvellous.
Once they were done eating, they packed the napkins and leftovers back into the basket and moved to make themselves comfortable on the blanket once again.
Dean moved to sit behind Castiel with his back to the large oak tree. He reached out and manoeuvred Castiel to sit between his spread legs and then leaned back slightly to rest against the trunk of the oak tree. Castiel sighed and relaxed back against Dean as the older man's arms wrapped around his waist, hands coming to rest on his stomach. Castiel placed his own hands over Dean's and tilted his head back to rest on Dean's shoulder.
"Comfortable?" Dean asked, amused at Castiel's actions.
"Very," Castiel sighed happily, "This was a good idea, thank you."
"Happy to oblige."
The pair sat in comfortable silence for a while, content to merely be in each other's presence and enjoy the peace and quiet.
"Sometimes, I don't think I want to be King," Dean admitted lowly.
Castiel turned in Dean's arms so that he could look at the green eyed man.
The question was devoid of any judgement or criticism. It was simply a curious, honest question.
"It's a lot of responsibility."
"You were born to a life of privilege. Yes, it comes with responsibilities but you could do so much. You have access to things that may people dream of. There is nothing that you can't do, not if you really wanted to. You could help so many people," Castiel told him passionately but softly.
Dean gazed at Castiel in amazement. He reached up and tucked a stray strand of hair behind Castiel's ear and shook his head.
"You have such strength, such conviction," Dean whispered.
Castiel ducked his head, laying it on Dean's chest.
"I'm sorry if I offended you," he murmured.
Dean ran a comforting hand up and down Castiel's spine, "Please don't. You haven't. I simply find myself continuously amazed by you."
The sun had set by now and Castiel found himself searching for something to say to lighten the mood. A decidedly wicked thought played through his mind.
"You know," Castiel began, tracing an invisible pattern on Dean's chest as he spoke, "there's something I've always wanted to do."
"What's that, Cas?" Dean asked him curiously.
"I've always wanted to swim in the lake..."
Dean frowned; sure that he was missing something, "Okay." The "and?" silently implied.
Castiel bit his lower lip nervously before continuing.
"...wearing nothing," he ended on a whisper that Dean nearly missed.
The mental picture that went through Dean's head at Castiel's confession went straight to his groin. He shifted uncomfortably, trying not to let Cas feel his sudden interest. He wasn't quite sure who said what put scant minutes later; both Castiel and Dean were shedding their clothing and hurrying into the calm waters of the lake.
The cold water woke his brain and allowed him to focus on the picture that Cas made in front of him. The younger man had pale, smooth skin that shone in the moonlight and made Dean's hands itched to touch made such a breathtaking sight with the water pooling around his waist against the backdrop of a now starry sky. Dean had never seen a more beautiful sight.
Castiel for his part couldn't take his eyes off of Dean. The Prince was tanned and muscled but not overly so. There was a black cord hanging around his neck with some sort of gold amulet dangling from it. The water made Dean look like a Greek god more than a mere mortal prince and he stopped breathing at the picture that Dean made.
Dean walked back several steps until the lake water reached just below his shoulders, Castiel's bright blue eyes following him.
"Come here," Dean called, holding out his hand, fingers beckoning the younger man closer. Tiny drops of water dripped down his fingers.
The night was quiet, with no one but the young couple around. The silence surrounding them just made it seem all the more like they were the only two people in the world at that moment.
Castiel waded through the water until he stood before Dean. The Prince reached out for him underneath the water, his hands settling on Castiel's waist and pulling him closer still. Castiel placed his hands on Dean's shoulders and stared at the man that he had come to love in such a short space of time.
The blue eyed young man licked his lips nervously, Dean's eyes following the movement. Before either of them knew it, Dean had captured his soft lips in a passionate 's hands moved up to lock behind Dean's neck as the Prince's tongue darted out to lick along the seam of his lips.
Castiel moaned deep in his throat as his lips parted under the onslaught. Dean's thumbs began tracing small circles on his hips where they were 's left hand moved to cradle Dean's right check while his other hand moved to bury itself in Dean's hair. As Dean's tongue darted into Castiel's mouth, one his thighs moved in between both of Castiel's. They both groaned at the new sensation of skin against skin.
"We," Dean panted before kissing Castiel again, "We," kiss, "have," kiss "to," this time he groaned at something Castiel did with his tongue –and how had a novice learned to do something like that in such a short space of time?-"stop."
Castiel pulled back slightly to look Dean in the eye.
Dean moved a hand down to splay it over the younger man's belly.
"Because we can't risk you falling pregnant before we're married."
Dean's explanation sent ice shards through Castiel's veins. Dean would never marry him. He was a servant. Crown Princes didn't marry servants. He also didn't want to be the one that gave Dean a royal bastard no matter how much he would love to have a child with Dean.
Castiel took a step back and untangled himself from Dean.
"You're right. We should stop."
Dean nodded and started moving out of the water, not noticing how flat Castiel's voice had sounded.
The two dressed quickly since as soon as they had gotten out of the water they had felt the chill in the air. Dean rode with Castiel to Winchester Manor first. Once Castiel had dismounted a few feet from the house saying that he didn't want to wake anyone, Dean grabbed his hand to gain his attention.
"Do you know the old cathedral ruins?" Dean whispered questionly.
"I often go there to be alone, much like you do with the lake. Would you meet me there tomorrow?"
A strange look came over Castiel's face, one Dean could not identify.
"I shall try," Castiel replied slowly, as though measuring his words.
"I shall wait all day for you then," Dean informed him before swinging back up onto his horse and riding out into the night to return to the palace.
Gabriel wandered into the Palace's private library, scanning the rows of books as he walked. At the back, in a corner lying sprawled ona deep blue settee, he found Sam. The young prince was absently thumbing through whatever book had caught his interest and was now lying open in his lap.
"Hey, Sam," Gabriel greeted quietly as he approached the object of his search.
Sam looked up, a stray lock of hair falling into his face making Gabriel's fingers itch to tuck it behind his ear.
Sam smiled in greeting, "Gabe."
The taller prince moved his feet as Gabriel stepped closer to the setae. The French prince grinned at Sam even as he sat down in the space that Sam had made. Gabriel immediately twisted around, toed off his boots and placed his feet directly in Sam's lap. Sam chuckled, but instead of shoving Gabriel's feet to the floor, he instead put his right hand on one of Gabriel's ankles, his thumb absently began stroking along Gabriel's ankle bone.
Gabriel stared at Sam with bemused, caramel eyes. It felt like mini sparks of lightning were spreading across his skin, originating from the spot where Sam's hand was touching him.
Gabriel cleared his throat and desperately searched for something to say, "Where...uh... where's Dean?"
"Mmmm..."Sam tilted his head to look at Gabriel. "He's with Cas," he answered quietly, a strange expression on his face as his looked at Gabriel. It was one that Gabriel had never seen on the English prince's face before now.
"What what?" Sam asked sounding adorably confused.
Gabriel shook his head and shifted, moving his feet to rest underneath him as he leaned forward and with a feather light touch, traced a single finger along Sam's cheek bone. Somebody gave a near-silent gasp, Gabriel wasn't sure which one of them it had come from.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Gabriel whispered, his finger still running up and down Sam's cheek bone.
"Like what?" Sam spoke, his voice barely a whisper at all.
"Like that," Gabriel responded before leaning forward and brushing his lips against Sam's in an imitation of a butterfly's touch.
Gabriel pulled back slightly to look at Sam and gauge his reaction. Cautiously, Sam's large hand reached up and cupped Gabriel's cheek. Sam was huge compared to Gabriel and yet his hands were extremely gentle when they touched Gabriel.
Gabriel found himself rendered mute when Sam carefully tugged him until he was sitting straddling the English prince's lap and then Sam tilted his head back slightly to look up at Gabriel and kissed him softly.
A happy sigh escaped Gabriel's lips as he returned the kiss, his one hand resting on Sam's shoulder while the other cupped the back of Sam's head. He threaded his fingers though Sam's long, soft brown locks and moaned in contentment.
Sam's hands somehow had ended up on his hips and it seemed as though he wasn't planning on letting go anytime soon which was perfectly fine with Gabriel if he were to be honest. And then Sam did something with his tongue and Gabriel lost all rational thought.
The ruins of the old cathedral were one of Castiel's favourite places to retreat to when he wanted to hide from the world. Knowing that he and Dean both loved the ruins and used them as a refuge made him feel all the more close to Dean, as well as make the hurt he felt all the deeper.
As he quietly made his way across the dew covered grass, drawing closer to the ruins, Castiel tried to picture what the ruins must have looked back before they had crumbled in an effort to calm himself down.
He imagined that the towers had stretched so high that it had seemed like they were touching the sky. It must have looked beautiful and absolutely breathtaking.
Now though, the ruins were covered in moss and various other plant life that had grown over the stones with time. It was also now home to squirrels, birds and some other small animals. The trees surrounding the ruins cast deep shadows across the ground.
Castiel slowed as he entered the ruins. He spotted Dean easily, sitting on the ledge of what used to be a large window. Dean sprang to his feet as soon as he spotted Cas walking towards him.
Castiel watched Dean approach him and felt as though he could have broken down and started crying right there. Something must have shown on his face because Dean's joyous expression upon seeing him melted into one of concern.
"Are you well?" Dean asked reaching him and taking him by the arms, his eyes inspecting Castiel for the reason of his distress.
"I fear I am not myself," Castiel whispered, all his carefully prepared speeches emptying out his brain until he had absolutely no idea how he was going to tell Dean that he couldn't see him anymore.
Dean's green eyes glittered in the streaming sunlight as he replied, "And I feel as though my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once."
Castiel swallowed painfully. He had to tell Dean. He had to tell him now. He'd spent nearly all of last night and early that morning thinking and had come to a realization. Their relationship could not last. Dean didn't know who he really was, that he was a mere servant. A servant was not fit to be the future King's Consort. If he and Dean were to stay together even after he learned the truth, then Castiel would have to be his mistress, his lover, maybe even his favourite but no more.
He'd have to stand to the side and watch Dean marry someone else. It wasn't something that he could do and that wasn't even counting the fact that he could end up pregnant. It would never be fair to the child, to not be able to have a father that could claim him or her. No it would be better if he just ended it with Dean now before they went any further. Last night had shown him that.
"There... there is something that I have to tell you."
"And I you," Dean told him, grinning excitedly.
"I cannot stay long and I have much to tell you."
Dean took Castiel's hand and pulled him further into the ruins, into what Castiel supposed used to be a courtyard of some kind.
"Last night, I had a kind of revelation. I used to think that if I cared about one thing, if I took responsibility for one thing, then I would have to care about everything. Take responsibility for everything and I'd go out of my mind." Dean stopped, turned and took both of Castiel's hands in his own as he continued to speak excitedly. "But now, now I think I understand and have found my purpose. I feel a strange sense of freedom and it's thanks to you."
Castiel felt his heart sink way past his stomach and through the floor.I can't do this. He's the most wonderful person in the world and I can't have him.
"Dean, please. It's you," Castiel blurted out, "You've always had the potential. You are going to make a great king."
"You are unlike any other courtier I have ever met, Cas," Dean spoke adoringly, "And I want to show the world."
A tear escaped and slide down Castiel's cheek.
"Why did you have to be so wonderful?" Castiel whispered, filled with misery. He couldn't do it.
Dean reached up and cupped Castiel's face with both of his hand and tilted his head up so that he could look directly into blue eyes.
"Now then, what was it you wanted to tell me?"
Impulsively, Castiel threw his arms around Dean and kissed him, pouring his whole heart into the kiss. For a few seconds, nothing else mattered but Castiel knew it couldn't last.
"i simply wanted to tell you that last night was the best night of my life."
Another tear trickled down Castiel's face as the young man began backing away from Dean.
Castiel shook his head.
"I must go," he murmured before turning on his heel and fleeing the ruins.
Despite his confusion at Castiel's actions, Dean was incredibly happy. He had found the person he wanted to marry, wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
Mary had finally been able to find out just who it was that had Dean in such high spirits. Once she did, she invited Lady Ruby and Lady Lilith to have tea with her in order to get to know her son's future spouse's family.
Ruby couldn't believe that she and Lilith were walking with eh Queen of England in the gardens. It was quiet the coup if she did say so herself.
"Tell me, your stepson, Castiel," Queen Mary began, "he is the Marquis of Winchester?"
Ruby was so stunned by the question that she barely managed to nodded in response.
"My son is quite besotted with him," the Queen continued.
Ruby didn't hear anything else Queen Mary said. Her ears were buzzing with what she had just said. My son is quite besotted with him. My son is quite besotted with him.
Lilith was scowling and looked to be on the verge of throwing a temper tantrum which prompted Ruby to break out of her stupor.
"That is quite unfortunate" Ruby murmured, "Castiel is engaged to an Austrian. He was going to meet and marry his betrothed later today as a matter of fact."
Lilith practically beamed at her mother's quick thinking while the Queen's face fell with worry and concern for Dean.
How was she going to tell him?
Dean returned to the palace in extremely high spirits. Try as he might, he just could not seem to keep the smile off his face. His happiness did dim slightly when his mother approached him on the palace steps. He stared at Mary as horror began to dawn with the words that she spoke.
"The Marquis of Winchester is engaged?" Dean repeated weakly as he sank down onto the palace steps, "To an Austrian?"
"I'm so sorry, Dean," Mary offered quietly, moving to place a comforting hand on her eldest son's shoulder.
"That's impossible," Dean shook his head in denial even as his traitorous mind whispered that he knew that there had been something that Cas had been trying to tell him earlier that day. "There has to be some sort of a mistake."
Mary sighed, "Unfortunately not. He was to travel by boat this afternoon."
Dean suddenly shot up from the steps in anger, "If he knew that he was betrothed, then he damn well should have had the decency to say something."
"Can you honestly say that you would have listened, my son?" the Queen asked.
Dean scoffed, "Of course not, I would have..."
Dean's face fell when the realisation hit him. Cas's hesitance, his need to speak earlier, it all was beginning to make a horrible sort of sense. The crown prince groaned in misery.
"Fuck, I am such a fool. I was pouring my royal heart out to him this morning and Cas was merely trying to bid me goodbye. How could I have been so stupid?"
Mary reached up and placed a gentle hand on dean's face, "It takes a truly strong person to be able to guard their heart with you out to steal it."
Dean laughed bitterly, "Look at what a clumsy thief I turned out to be."
Mary's heart ached for the pain that her son was in. She desperately wished that there was a way that she could help him but she was powerless to take away his heartache.
Dean shook his head and came to a decision. He turned on his heel and marched up the palace steps.
"Dean, where are you going?" his mother called out from behind him.
"To tell father that I will do as he wants," Dean responded over his shoulder, not stopping to answer her.
"Dean, no," she pleaded with her son, rushing after him but it was too late.
Dean walked around the corner, pushed open the heavy wooden doors and entered the chamber where his father, Sam, Gabriel as well as the Lords Buckingham and Suffolk were seated around the table in the middle of the chamber. King Michael and his Queen Tessa were also seated at the table.
"Father," Dean announced his presence by calling out, "I've made my decision. I'll marry Gabriel."
Dean was so focused on his father that he didn't see Gabriel drastically pale or the look of utter devastation that crossed Sam's face. The only one that noticed was Mary and before she could even blink both Sam and Gabriel's expressions faded into an emotionless mask.
"Dean, what have you done?" the Queen of England murmured under her breath. This was not going to end well. Not for anyone.
Castiel's return home was quiet a different experience. Ruby, Lilith, Uriel and surprisingly, Zachariah were standing in the foyer almost as though they had been awaiting his return. Castiel froze just inside; worry beginning to claw at him. His stepfamily looked positively delighted which never boded well for him. Ever.
They can't do anything to me, Castiel thought bitterly, they can't hurt me anymore than I already hurt. I just need to ignore them.
Castiel moved to walk past them but Lilith and Uriel blocked his path.
"Let me pass," Castiel said.
"My, aren't we feisty today," Lilith taunted, twirling a blonde lock in her fingers as she looked at Castiel gleefully.
"Let me pass," Castiel bit out.
"You brought this on yourself you know," Ruby commented cryptically from Lilith's right.
Castiel turned cold eyes on her, "What are you talking about? I'm not a threat to you. You've won. You have everything now."
Castiel felt like curling up on the cold, hard floor and sobbing but he would rather die than give his stepfamily the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing how much they had hurt him.
"Oh, you are not our problem. Not anymore," Uriel informed.
Castiel shook his head in bewilderment, "I don't understand."
Silently, Castiel flinched at being referred to as a problem. He had no idea what he had ever done to make them hate him so much. The young man had done absolutely everything in his power to try and get his stepfamily to love him and still nothing ever changed. After spending years being mistreated, Castiel had known logically that they didn't care for him but there had always been a small part of himself that couldn't help but hope that maybe just maybe if he worked hard enough, tried hard enough, they would come to care for him.
He was done though. Castiel was through trying to gain the affections of people he quite honestly wanted nothing to do with. The one person in the world that he did want was Dean and he was going to have to give his prince up. There was no way that the crown prince would want him when Dean found out who he really was. Things like that only happened in fairytales and Castiel had been living too long with his head in the clouds. It was time to face cold, harsh reality. The reality was that he and Dean could never be together. His stepfamily was never going to care for him.
His hope shattered like a piece of glass exploding into a million little pieces when it hit the stone floor. The sound of it was so loud to Castiel that he was amazed that the others didn't even seem to notice.
Zachariah's next words caught his full attention though.
"Lady Ruby and I have a deal. I am after all a businessman, Castiel."
"Why are you telling me this?" the young man asked, dreading the answer.
"Because you are the payment for my end of the deal," Zachariah informed him, a leer spreading across his face making him look ugly. Castiel's skin felt like it was crawling with a thousand ants.
Castiel barely had a moment to process what Zachariah had told him before he felt two pairs of strong, muscled arms seize him from behind and begin dragging him backwards, out the Manor.
"NO. Let me go. NO!" Castiel screamed, kicking out as he was dragged to what he supposed was Zachariah's waiting carriage.
Raw horror gripped him. He could only well imagine what his fate would be when Zachariah had him alone and at the horrible man's mercy. Tears streamed down his face as he saw through blurry eyes that Pamela, Ellen, Anna and Jo came running as fast as they could in response to his screams.
"Castiel! Let him go," Castiel heard Jo scream before he was bodily thrown into the open carriage. The sound of the door being shut and then bolted reached Castiel a second later, before he could even get his bearings.
Desperately, Castiel banged on the bolted carriage door.
"Let me out. You can't do this. Let me out."
There was the sound of a whip being flicked and then the carriage jerked into motion.
He was a prisoner.
Ruby had really sold him.
I wish I was dead. I don't want to live through this, Castiel thought as the carriage bumped down the road.
I wish that I had told Dean the truth and that I love him.
With that thought, Castiel broke down, wrapped his arms around his waist tightly and sobbed wishing that he were still safe in Dean's arms.
Dean walked down the darkened corridor towards Gabriel's chambers. He'd realised during the evening meal that he and Gabriel had not spoken a single word to each other since he had made his announcement the previous day. It was an odd thing since Gabriel usually couldn't seem to keep quiet.
As Dean pondered the strangeness of Gabriel's silence, another thought occurred to him. Sam had also been silent. Come to think about it, Sam hadn't even congratulated him on his up and coming nuptials. His father and King Michael had decided that since he and Gabriel had technically been betrothed for years that there was no need to wait any longer. So now he found himself about to be married in the morning and the two people closest to him hadn't even spoken a word to him.
Quietly, Dean rounded the corner and came to a stop. Sam was already standing in the doorway to Gabriel's chambers.
"Please Sam?" Dean heard Gabriel plead.
"We both know that it's not possible. Our countries need this alliance. We can't be selfish and sacrifice our people's safety for our happiness."
Dean had never heard Sam sound so unhappy and hopeless.
Gabriel sighed and reached out with a tentative hand and placed it on Sam's chest over his heart. A bittersweet smile pulled at the French prince's lips.
"I know. I just wish that we could run away."
Both Sam and Gabriel were quiet for a while. Sam had put his hand over Gabriel's where it rested over his heart. The two of them were both looking at their joined hands.
"Stay with me tonight?" Gabriel whispered.
Dean barely heard him but was shocked by the idea that Gabriel wanted Sam to spend the night.
Sam shook his head and Dean saw a tear run down his face. The flickering flame from the torch mounted on the wall causing the tear to glisten as it ran down Sam's cheek.
"I want to," Sam breathed, leaning down to brush his lips across Gabriel's, "Oh how I want to but I can't. I can't do that to Dean."
Gabriel stifled the sob that threatened to escape, "You're going to spend the rest of your life watching me from afar?"
When Sam didn't respond, Gabriel grew alarmed, "Sam?"
"No," Sam cleared his throat before speaking again, "No. I promised Dean a long time ago that I would stand up with him during his wedding but after the wedding, I'm leaving. I can't stomach the thought of having to live here and watching the two of you together every day. Watching you grow big with his child and wishing it were mine. I can't do it."
Dean didn't hear the rest of the whispered conversation; his thoughts were in too much turmoil. How could he have missed this? His brother and Gabriel were in love with each other and now he was ripping them apart. He hadn't even stopped to ask Gabriel what his opinion on all of this was. It certainly explained what he had overheard at dinner. He hadn't been able to understand why Gabriel had hissed at his brother, King Michael, that he would never forgive him for doing this. Now, Dean understood what this was.
Dean's thoughts whirled. There had to be some way that he could fix this and fast. He and Gabriel were supposed to be married in the morning.
That was it.
Inspiration struck Dean and he hurriedly turned and ran towards the other end of the palace.
Finding the person he was looking for, Dean cleared his throat noisily.
The object of his search looked up in surprise.
"Your highness, what can I do for you?"
"Jim, I need you to listen carefully. I need you to do something..." Dean began.
Horns blared and trumpets blasted. The windows had been washed; the floors scrubbed, wood carvings polished and the bushels of fragrant flowers that had been carted into the palace had been placed on every available surface.
Prince Gabriel of France stood by the doorway leading into the main hall of the cathedral where he was to be married. He had an attendant on either side of him and four standing behind him. They were all dressed in cream silk outfits with gold accents.
Gabriel took a deep breath to steady himself as he moved to stand directly in the doorway. He subtly looked around as he took his first steps down the aisle towards his future husband. To the one side, the choir boys were singing a Latin hymn accompanied by some of England and France's finest musicians. On the other side on a slightly raised dais, the Kings and Queens of both France and England were standing watching Gabriel's progression down the aisle.
And there, already kneeling at the altar, was the man that he would be married to for the rest of his life. Sunlight was flittering through the windows and caused the crown on his future husband's head to sparkle. Gabriel couldn't see his face; he could only see the official royal robes from the back of him.
Up and down the aisle the courtiers stood and bowed to Gabriel as he made his way down the aisle with his attendants walking along with him.
The music stopped when Gabriel reached his intended and knelt on the cushion beside him. He had to bite his lower lip from uttering a sound and folded his hands in front of him in an attempt to stop them from shaking.
The church was silent as Jim, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was to officiate the wedding, made the sign of the cross and then began the saying the wedding mass in Latin.
"En nomine patri, et filios,et spiritosancti..."
Gabriel held his breath only listening with half an ear to the archbishop while the other half was focused and waiting to hear the sounds of someone, anyone, objecting and calling a halt to the wedding but it never came.
Gabriel was trying so hard not to make a sound that he nearly missed his cue. It was only his future husband reaching out for his hand and squeezing it that prompted him to say the correct words.
The ceremony itself was a blur for Gabriel though. Once the archbishop was done he brought over the paperwork for them to sign before they could turn and greet the court as a married couple. His husband signed first and then passed the quill and parchment over to him.
Gabriel looked over the document before signing his name. Leaning back slightly once he was done, Gabriel gazed at the signatures.
There was his own signature, Gabriel PhilippeLouis Charles Michael de Bourbon
And there above his own was his new husband's Samuel Dean Edward Richard Henry Tudor
Sam reached out and took one of Gabriel's hands in his own and then turned them to face the court. Everyone's faces showed their shock and confusion. The sound of someone clapping drew their attention to the one side of the hall. Dean stood off to the side clapping for all he was worth in congratulations for his friend and his brother. Bobby was the next one to start clapping. Soon after everyone followed their examples until the entire hall was clapping. No one said anything about Sam being the wrong groom since no one wanted to appear as though they were not in the know.
Gabriel and Sam, for their parts, merely held onto each other tighter as they walked down the aisle together and out the hall, Dean following close behind on their heels. Once they were out the hall, Sam snagged Dean and pulled him close to whisper to him.
"You need to find Castiel now. He's not engaged, he's not anything. It's a long story but the short of it is that Ruby, his stepmother, sold him to Zachariah."
Dean's eyes widened with horror. The whole court knew of Zachariah's reputation and how he treated those he wanted. They hadn't been able to do anything about it since they had no actual proof.
"Adam has already gathered some of your men and saddled your horse for you," Sam told him urgently.
Adam was Dean's manservant and was utterly loyal to the Crown Prince.
Dean hugged both Sam and Gabriel quickly and tightly.
"Thank you," he breathed.
"No, thank you, Dean," Gabriel grinned at him in happiness.
Dean nodded his understanding before he took off, tearing down the hall all the while hoping that he would get to Castiel in time.
Gabriel and Sam watched as Kings Michael and John and Queens Mary and Tessa approached them. They couldn't do anything now to dissolve the marriage since it had been such a public affair, not if they didn't want to lose face in front of the world.
Gabriel still couldn't believe that Dean's plan had actually worked. Dean had come to him earlier that morning, begging for his forgiveness in not noticing that he and Sam were in love with each other. He'd gotten Sam to meet them and, after another round of profuse apologies, had informed them that he had a plan. The plan had been a simple one. Dean and Sam's robes were similar enough that from the back they looked the same. Sam would be kneeling before the alter before anyone got a look at his face. Archbishop Jim changed the name of the marriage certificate and when presiding over the ceremony spoke the name so fast that people didn't get a chance to hear each individual name. Sam and Dean's full names also happened to be very similar as well which also helped immensely.
Sam wrapped an arm around his waist in support. Gabriel leaned into his new husband and smiled. No matter what happened, being married to Sam would be worth it, Gabriel thought as his brother drew near.
Castiel tugged helplessly at the chains encasing both his wrists and his ankles. It was the first thing that Zachariah had done to ensure that he couldn't escape. He had then thrown him in a dark and cold cell for the night. Castiel supposed that it was meant to make him feel grateful towards Zachariah when he let him out but there was no way in the seven hells that Castiel would ever give the bastard .
Zachariah's manservant, Le Pieu, had taken him for a bath and once Castile had managed to dress himself, he had begun reshakling him. Le Pieu had just attached he chains around Castiel's wrists when the young man saw his opportunity. Swinging with all his might, Castiel slammed the chains against Le Pieu's head sending him crashing into the stone wall and then onto the cold floor. Castiel took a moment to realise that he had a chance to escape, maybe his only chance, and ran as fast as he could possibly manage out of the room and down the hallway.
His luck ran out, however, when he glanced over his shoulder at the sound of a human roar of anger. Zachariah had spotted him and was giving chase.
No!I was so close, Castiel's thoughts screamed.
Castiel ran around a corner and slammed into a wall of muscle. He didn't bother to contain the scream that erupted out of him as strong arms locked around him, holding him prisoner.
"CAS!Castiel, it's okay, you're safe now," a voice spoke.
Castielstopped struggling and froze. He knew that voice. He knew it intimately. It was a voice that he had thought that he would never hear again. He could have sobbed with relief.
"Cas, get behind me," Dean ordered as he shoved the younger man behind his back upon seeing Zachariah round the corner.
Dean didn't hesitate. He drew his sword and when Zachariah was close enough, stabbed him though the stomach, the blade coming out his back on the other side, killing him instantly. Leaving his sword for Adam to grab, Dean turned and wrapped his arms around a now crying Castiel.
"Shhh my love. You're safe now. You're okay. I'm taking you home," Dean murmured comfortingly in Castiel's ear as he ran his hands up and down the younger man's back soothingly.
Adam silently searched Zachariah's body, looking for the key to the lock for the chains around Castiel's wrists and handed it to Dean once he'd found it.
Dean made quick work of freeing Castiel from the chains and then, tucking Cas's head under his own chin, escorted the younger man out of the building and to the waiting horses. Dean barely let go of Cas to climb up onto the horse behind him. The Crown Prince wrapped one arm around Castiel's waist and used his other hand to hold onto the reins. Castiel had managed to calm down but he was exhausted. Content with the fact that Dean would keep him safe, he leaned back into the green eyed man and drifted to sleep. Not even the other riders returning and then the horses galloping off towards the palace woke Castiel.
When Dean rode up to the entrance of the palace, he quickly and carefully dismounted, taking care not to disturb Castiel. Tenderly with Adam's assistance, Dean pulled Castiel into his arms and carried him up the steps into the palace. The young man weighed less then he should have, a problem that Dean would be fixing as soon as Castiel awoke.
On his way to his room, Dean ran across Gabriel and Sam who looked as though they were taking a stroll around the palace. It had taken a day and a half to ride to Zachariah's Manor and another day and a half to ride back. Sam and Gabriel looked horrified as they spotted Dean carrying Castiel down the hallway.
"Dean?" Sam asked hesitantly, afraid to actually ask anything out loud.
Dean slowed as he neared the newly wedded pair.
"He's okay. I think it's just exhaustion," Dean reassured them.
"He wasn't..." Gabriel trailed off and instead made a gesture with his hand.
Dean shook his head, relieved that he could give a negative answer. Both Sam and Gabriel let out a breath that they hadn't realised they had been holding.
"I'm taking him to my room. Please tell mother and father that I'll speak with them tomorrow."
"Of course, Dean," Sam patted his older brother's shoulder reassuringly before stepping to the side and allowing Dean to pass them.
As Dean continued to his chambers, several servants did a double take upon seeing him carrying an unconscious young man but nobody said anything. Once he reached his chambers, Dean stripped Castiel and then dressed him in one of his own spare bedclothes. Having gotten Cas into clean garments, Dean placed his love in his bed and pulled the soft, thick covers up and over him. Castiel sighed in happiness and rolled to lie on his side, snuggling deeper into the covers.
Dean quickly and efficiently, stripped and donned his own sleeping garments. Since he had learned of Castiel's supposed engagement he had been sleeping poorly and now that he had Cas back his tired body was demanding sleep. Carefully, Dean pulled back the covers to climb into the bed behind Castiel. Reaching out, he pulled the younger man's back flush against his chest, wrapped an arm around his waist and then drifted off to sleep, content in the knowledge that Castiel was now in his arms and wouldn't be going anywhere. At least not without him.
Castiel awoke in the most comfortable bed he had ever been in utterly and completely confused. Slowly, his memories returned causing him to bolt upright in panic. He hadn't noticed the heavy arm that had been lying over his waist and dislodged it when he sat upright.
"Hey, shhh. You're okay," Dean's sleepy voice reached Castiel's ears.
Castiel turned his head and looked at his bed partner.
He had been sleeping in a bed with Dean.
He had been sleeping in a large, stunningly soft bed with Dean.
Said prince reached up and tugged on his arm until Castiel lay back down in the soft, comfy bed.
"It's too early," Dean mumbled, "Go back to sleep. We'll talk later."
Castiel agreed with the sentiment especially since his eye had already started drooping. He vaguely felt Dean once again wrap his arms around him and then darkness claimed him.
The next time that the pair woke it was just past midday. Dean noticed a tray on either side of the bed filled with an assortment of food. On the tray closest to him was also a note with what he recognised as Sam's handwriting. While Castiel sat up and rubbed his eyes trying to wake up fully, Dean reached for the note and read it.
I thought that you might appreciate some food, not to worry Gabriel and I brought it for you personally. I know that you both have a lot to talk about. Ha, I'd have paid big money to see you talk about your feelings, but because of what you did for Gabriel and me, I'll give you a free pass this time.
Gabriel and I will keep the parents busy until the two of you are ready to face the world. Good luck
Castiel looked over at Dean and saw the smile on his face.
Dean folded the note and placed it on the bedside table.
"Just Sam. He and Gabriel are going to keep my parents away until we have a chance to talk."
Castiel swallowed nervously at this. He had a lot to tell Dean but had no idea where he was going to start. Taking a deep breath he decided to start at the beginning with the death of his father. He told Dean how Ruby had sold nearly everything she possibly could, how he had become a servant in his own home. He explained how the other servants had wanted him to have one night of happiness and helped him get to the ball. Castiel spoke until he grew hoarse.
For the most part, Dean remained silent, listening intently to Cas only stopping him now and then when he had a question or two. Once Castiel was done, Dean pulled him back into his arms.
"You're not a servant. You never were. The second your father died his title passed to you. You've been the Marques of Winchester since you were eight years old. Ruby should only have been looking after your estate until you came of age, nothing more," Dean informed him. He couldn't believe how Castiel had been forced to grow up.
"Now that you've come of age," Dean continued, "she must have begun panicking. You would have had to be present at the opening of the House of Lords and if you hadn't been, someone from the court would have gone looking for and her horrible children probably considered you a threat to their ambitions for the throne and rightly so."
A happy smile spread across Castiel's face, "Really?"
Dean glanced at him, shocked, "Of course."
He leaned down and kissed Castiel on the tip of his nose.
"I want to marry you, Castiel. I love you," Dean told him passionately.
Castiel was struck speechless for a second before rational thought returned to him. He turned in Dean's arms and threw his arms around Dean's neck.
"Yes. Yes, I want to marry you," he declared breathlessly before kissing Dean.
When they broke apart, Dean reluctantly moved away from Castiel.
"In that case, let's get dressed and find my parents before I give in to the urge to ravish you right this second."
Castiel positively beamed with happiness in response to Dean's growl. Things were looking up for him
The Legend of a Love
Dean led Castiel by the hand down a series of corridors that if asked, Castiel would be able to say with confidence that he had no idea where he was.
They appeared to have reached their destination when Dean pulled him into a room. Castiel walked three feet inside and then froze on the spot. They were in a medium size chamber with large glass windows along the sides. Along both the right and left hand sides were dozens upon dozens of courtiers that were all looking at him and Dean as they walked up the middle of the wasn't even the worst part that had terrified Castiel so much. No, because standing at the end of the room on a slightly raised dais was the entire royal family as well as some royalty from France. Castiel recognised King Michael and his Queen Tessa standing to the one side. On the other side were Prince Sam and Prince Gabriel. And finally in the centre of the dais was King John and Queen Mary, Dean's parents.
"Everything will be fine," Dean whispered reassuringly in his ear, "Trust me."
Castiel forced himself to relax as he walked with Dean. He couldn't not trust his love.
When they reached the dais, both Dena and Castiel bowed to the royal members standing on the dais. King John indicted that they should kneel. Castiel glanced down as he and Dean knelt and noticed for the first time the two cushion that had been placed on the floor.
Dean never let go of his hand as they knelt on the floor, his thumb rubbing soothing circles across Castiel's knuckles.
"Our kingdom has indeed been blessed, for both my sons are to be married in one week," King John announced to the courtiers.
At this, Castiel glanced sharply at Dean who winked in response.
"Archbishop Murphy, if you would?" King John motioned with his hand to the two bowed head before him.
Archbishop Jim Murphy moved forward to marry the second English prince in the space of a week with a joyful smile on his face.
"En nomine patri, et filios, et spiritosancti..."
The wedding was a blur for Castiel. The only things he clearly remembered were his vows to Dean and Dean's vows to him. He could scarcely believe that he and Dean were married now. The wedding feast that they had after the ceremony was one that Castiel thoroughly enjoyed but it might have been because Dean never left his side. They spent quite a bit of time dancing, smiling, and talking with other courtiers. Sam and Gabriel had sat with them for a while before giving way to the Kings and Queens. King John and Queen Mary would take some getting used to but Castiel felt sure that with a little time they would come to feel like another set of parent s for him. Dean assured him that it would happen.
After a while, both Dean and Castiel decided that it was time to leave the feast and retire to their chambers. They left amongst many good natured laughs and winks that were harmless but made Castiel blush as red as a tomato.
The trip to Dean's, now their chambers was another blur for Castiel. If his brain hadn't been so foggy with happiness he might have worried.
Standing in their chambers a few feet from the large bed, Castiel looked at Dean and felt his heartstop beating and then start again, hammering away in his chest in nervous excitement.
"I love you," Dean whispered a she closed the distance between them, wrapped his arms around Castiel and swept him up in a passionate kiss. Castiel focused on pouring all the love he felt for Dean into the kiss. He wounded his arms around Dean's neck and pressed himself flush against his new husband.
The kiss was intense and left them both panting for air when they pulled away.
"I love you," Dean whispered again as his placed soft kisses first on each of Castiel's eyelids, his forehead and then his nose before kissing him on the lips again.
"I love you," Castiel whispered back, clutching Dean tighter.
Castiel pulled away from Dean on a sigh and took a few small steps back. Never taking his eyes from Dean's, the younger man quickly stripped out of his clothes and then sank down on the bed behind him.
Dean pulled his clothes off faster than he ever had in his life. He walked forward and then kneeled in front of Castiel, between his parted legs. Dean placed his hands on the tops of Castiel's thighs and a delighted shiver ran down Cas's spine.
Castiel cupped Dean's face and lowered his head, his mouth closing over Dean's lower lip to suck, nibble, and lick it until Dean could no longer think and was driven to distraction. When Castiel moved to lavish the same attention on Dean's earlobe, Dean had to gulp several mouthfuls of air or he'd have stopped breathing.
Castiel pulled away to wiggle backwards up the bed until he could lie back in the centre of the large, comfortable mattress. Dean watched him with a predatory look in his eye and the second Castiel settled back he pounced.
Before Castiel knew what he happened, Dean was straddling him and kissing him to within an inch of his life. Castiel reached up blindly and sank his fingers into Dean's hair and held onto his husband as Dean proceeded to drive all thought out the window.
Dean continued kissing and licking into Castiel's mouth as he reached out with a hand and grabbed the pot of oil that was on the bedside table. Dean kissed Castiel again and then mouthed along the younger man's jaw line as he spread the oil along his fingers.
Castiel clutched at Dean's shoulders and dug his fingers in when he felt the press of one long, slick finger sliding into him. The initial breach sent a sharp burn through his body that instantly receded into a pleasant feeling of being stretched. His body shuddered as he felt Dean press another finger in beside the first. Every inch of his skin felt highly sensitive and he was racked by shivers of anticipation.
"More," he pleaded with Dean, his voice raspy with need.
Dean slid a third finger in and slowly teased him open until he was panting and pleading with his new husband.
"Dean, please. I need you," Castiel whined.
Castiel opened his eyes when he heard a low, guttural moan to find Dean looming over him, his nostrils flared, breathing hard, his jaw clenched, his hair damp and plastered to his forehead, and his pupils blown so wide, his green eyes now looked as black as night his pupils were so dilated.
"Now?"Deanpanted, his voice rough, wrecked. It took all the willpower Castiel possessed just to nod, urging Dean on.
Dean's fingers were suddenly gone and Castiel moaned at the loss but it didn't last for long. Slowly, dean pressed forward, inching his way into Castiel's untried body, sweating with the effort to go slow.
It wasn't easy for Castiel. It hurt. The preparation had helped but it still hurt. The pain wasn't unbearable though and Castiel could feel how desperately Dean was holding on by a thread.
Dean paused, buried deep in his husband, his consort's, body and gave Castiel time to adjust to the sensations. The Crown Prince leaned down and kissed Castiel, the kiss soft and unhurried.
Dean took one of Castiel's hands, laced their fingers together and then pressed their joined hands into the pillow beside Castiel's head as he pulled out nearly all the way. Looking down into Castiel's blue eyes, Dean watched him as he pressed back in, noticing the wide eyes filled with love and passion.
Castiel noticed that Dean still seemed to be holding back. He wanted his husband to enjoy this as much as he was. Taking Dean by surprise, Castiel canted his hips up in time with Dena's next thrust.
Dean gasped at the sensations and quickened his pace. Their bodies were glistening with sweat as they held onto each other all the more tighter as they approached their climax.
The pleasure was so overwhelming that Castiel couldn't take any more and exploded, moaning Dean's name as he came. His body arched on the bed as Dean pushed into him, once, twice more and then every muscle in his body went taunt as he flooded Castiel's body with his release.
They had no idea how long it took for their breathing to return to anything even remotely resembling normal.
"I love you," Dean whispered as he pressed a tender kiss to the side of Castiel's forehead.
Castiel took Dean's arms and wrapped them around himself as he whispered back, "I love you too."
Early the next morning, Adam was sent to Winchester Manor to summon Ruby, Lilith and Uriel to court on the King's orders. Mary and John had been livid when Dean had told then all that had been done to Castiel. It was not something that they would tolerate at all in their kingdom.
Ruby, Lilith and Uriel were practically oozing with smug pride as they made their way through the hall where the royal court had convened. The trio stopped periodically to give little bows to the various courtiers as they made their way up to the dais where the royal family were seated. Upon reaching the royal family, the three sank into a full bow, touching down to the ground and stayed down, eyes cast to the ground, waiting to be addressed.
There were six thrones at three different levels of the dais.
King John and Queen Mary, dressed in outfits of royal purple were seated on the largest thrones on the highest level of the dais in the very centre. On the left and two levels down, Prince Samuel and Prince Gabriel were seated on smaller thrones. To the King's right and one level down, Dean was seated and beside him was an empty throne. All five members of the royal family were wearing their crowns. They cut a truly magnificent picture and Ruby was almost salivating at the mere thought of her family being a part of them.
She, along with her two children, were rudely jolted back into reality when the King spoke.
"Lady Ruby, did you or did you not, lie to Her Majesty The Queen Of England and furthermore sell a member of the nobility?" King John addressed her angrily.
"Choose your words wisely, Madame," Queen Mary spoke frostily, "for they may be your last."
Ruby clutched at the folds of the skirt of her dark blue gown with both hands and took a step back in shock before answering.
"A woman will do practically anything to help and protect her children," Ruby began before switching tactics, waving a hand in front of her as if to dismiss the severity of all that she had done, "Perhaps I did get a little carried away."
Lilith covered her mouth with a hand, an overly outraged look on her face as she shouted, "Mother, what have you done?"
She pushed forward past her mother and directly into the line of sight of the King and Queen as well as Prince Gabriel and Prince Samuel.
"Your Majesties, like you all, I am just a victim of her schemes. I had no idea that she had gone so far," Lilith spoke in a sickly sweet voice, an apologetic look now falsely painted on her face, "she has lied to us both and I am ashamed to call her family."
"I as well, Your Majesties," Uriel was quick to add from just behind his sister.
Ruby's face was so red it looked worse than a ripe tomato fit to burst.
"How dare you?" she screamed, completely forgetting for a second that she was standing in full view of the court and royal family.
"How dare the two of you turn on me, you wretched ingrates?" Ruby spat, overcome with fury.
She grabbed her children each by an arm and yanked so hard that they spun around to face her. The pair would definitely have bruises on their arms later in the day, she held them so tight.
Uriel roughly pulled his arm away and took a step closer to the royal family.
"You see? You see what we have to put up with?" he demanded, completely forgetting his place and of whom he was making demands.
The King was not impressed. He was disgusted with their behaviour. He banged his staff on the ground loudly before speaking.
"Silence. The lot of you. Good lord," King John exclaimed.
Queen Mary stood up from her throne and looked down at the three with barely disguised contempt.
"Dowager Marchioness Ruby. You are forthwith stripped of your title. You and your horrible children are to be executed, unless, by some miracle, someone here will speak for you. The abuse of a person of nobility is punishable by imprisonment and lying to a member of the royal family is treason and therefore punishable by death."
Dead silence fell over the entire royal court as the Queen finished speaking.
Gabriel squeezed Sam's hand as he tried to suppress his grin at the absolutely horrified expressions on Castiel's three tormentor's faces. Sam, like always these days, seemed to know exactly what was going through his mind. The corner of his mouth twitched and he gently squeezed Gabriel's hand in response but other than that he showed no outward response to what was going on before him.
As Ruby cast around for a friendly face, she and her two children took a couple of steps back, away from the royal family. She was desperate to find even one friendly face, anyone that looked like they might just help her but found not one. Everyone stared hard right back at her, no one showing any sympathy.
Ruby turned back to look at the King and Queen determined not to go down without trying to do something about it.
"There seem to be quite a few people out of town," she tried to offer lightly but it came out a lot more strained than anything else.
There was a heartbeat of silence before a soft voice spoke from the back of the hall.
"I will speak for them."
Ruby, Lilith and Uriel hastily spun around on the spot, almost getting whiplash in the process, to stare at the back in shock. The sight that met their eyes was something that could have come straight out of one of their nightmares.
Castiel stood tall and proud at the back of the hall and was, with small but steady and sure steps, moving forwards.
Ruby could only gape at him in shock and outrage.
The boy that she and her children had looked down on and used as a servant for so long now stood in full view of the entire royal court. He was wearing a beautiful red and white silk doublet with black trousers and the finest black boots. There was a gold broach with rubies and pearls upon it pinned to the left side of his doublet. But the worst was the golden crown of rubies and diamonds glittering atop his head.
Ruby felt as though she might faint on the spot. It appeared as though Castiel was a member of... the court.
"They are after all my stepfamily," Castiel added in the same courteous voice.
The three watched dumbstruck as Castiel moved through the court towards them. They were further shocked as the entire hall bowed down low to Castiel as he walked past. It wasn't a passing bow one gave to nobility. No. It was a full on bow that was usually reserved for royalty.
He stopped when he was within an arm's reach of them, turned slightly to the royal family still on the dais and gave them a small bow of his head. Ruby was further horrified upon seeing this. It meant that somehow Castiel was in their favour which did not bode well for her or her children.
The entire court watched with bated breath waiting to see if the three of them would bow down to Castiel. Deciding not to anger the royal family any further than they already had, Lilith, Uriel and Ruby sank into a full bow before Castiel.
Dean gracefully got up and stepped forward proudly.
"Lilith, Uriel. I don't believe you've met... my consort," a silly grin was on his face as he spoke.
"Your Highness," they managed to choke out.
Castiel watched them with an expressionless face, giving away nothing of what he was feeling. Dean watched from the dais with pride.
"I want you to know that after this moment, I will never think of the three of you again but you, I am quite certain, will think of me for the rest of your lives," Castiel spoke quietly to them.
"And how long will that be?" Lilith hissed softly back at him.
Castiel looked up towards the dais where his new family was sitting and addressed them.
"All I ask, Your Majesties, is that you bestow upon them the same kindness which they bestowed upon me," he asked loudly and clearly.
Sam and Gabriel each gave the new couple a small smile, happy with the way in which things had turned out.
Uriel and Lilith just barely managed to suppress their desire to demand to know how this had come about to be.
Castiel locked eyes with his husband and they shared a soft, loving smile, forgetting for a moment where they were.
Dean stepped down off the dais ad stopped once he was standing on the ground. Still watching Castiel, he held out his hand, silently beckoning his consort to come to him. Without a second thought, Castiel stepped forward and once he was able, took Dean's outstretched hand.
Gently, Dean tugged him back up the dais and up to where their thrones were awaiting them beside the King and Queen. The couple turned and took their seats though Dean refused to relinquish Castiel's hand.
As they sat and surveyed the court while King John spoke, Dean lightly ran his thumb over Cas's knuckles.
Ruby, Lilith and Uriel were stripped of everything and made servants in Ludlow Castle, a place that was visited next to never by anyone. They were absolutely horrified while Castiel was glad to finally have had justice served.
Two days later found Castiel and Dean once again sitting on a blanket by their lake only this time, Gabriel and Sam had joined them for a picnic and were seated on their own blanket.
Gabriel sighed happily as he looked out over the lake from where he was lying. Sam was sitting leaning back against a large oak tree while Gabriel was lying on the blanket with his head in Sam's lap. Sam's long fingers were absently running through Gabriel's locks while he spoke with Dean.
Dean meanwhile, was also leaning back against the tree, his shoulder touching Sam's. Castiel was curled up against his side with his head resting on Dean's shoulder and Dean's arm loosely wound around his waist. Both Castiel and Gabriel were seconds away from sleeping so Dean and Sam spoke in hushed whispers.
"We did good, yeah?" Sam spoke as he glanced down at his husband lying in his lap.
Dean glanced at Castiel lying on his shoulder and smiled at his brother.
"Yeah, we did."
"And they lived happily ever after," Castiel finished his story.
His son and daughter lulled to sleep by the sound of his voice.
"Happily ever after, eh?" Dean's warm voice came from the doorway.
Castiel looked up and towards where his husband was standing. Even though they had been married for more than ten years, the sight of Dean still made his breath catch at the back of his throat.
Silently, Castiel stood up from where he was sitting on the bed and walked past Dean, out the children's nursery and down the hall to their own chambers.
Familiar, strong arms wrapped around his waist from behind him and Castiel's nose was assailed by the scent that was uniquely his husband. The younger man relaxed back into Dean, a soft, happy smile playing across his lips at the utter contentment that he felt.
"Are we living happily ever after, husband mine?" Dean breathed into his ear, lips brushing against the shell of his ear. A shiver of pleasure shuddered down Castiel's spine as Dean placed an open mouthed kiss on the side of his exposed neck. Castiel couldn't help doing anything more than moaning and tilting his head to the side in order to give Dean more access.
"Mmm... are you going to answer me?" Dean whispered wickedly, knowing that Castiel was barely able to focus let alone come up with a straight answer. It absolutely delighted him that after all this time; he could still reduce Castiel to a puddle of goo in less than ten seconds.
"Yes," Castiel breathed, a beautiful smile on his face, "We're going to live happily ever after.
And They Did Indeed
Live Happily Ever After
End Notes: I want to thank my absolutely amazing beta, elsa_kallan, who never gave up on me even when it looked like I might not finish this in time. She was there cheering me on the whole time. Thanks so much, I couldn't have done it without you. I also want to thank talli_approved and cloudyjenn for hosting the dc_everafter for 2012. I enjoyed doing this so much and am looking forward to the next one. *grins*