Dean took Castiel's hand, desperate to knock sense into him, when a spark glittered in the angel's eyes.

"I am glad you found your way here, Dean. It is clear to me." said Cas, "I see what must be done now."

Castiel placed his hand on Dean's shoulder, and there was a sound like doves in flight. When he pulled away, they were outside, and Dean fell on his ass and watched his gun bounce across the ground.

"Cas, where the hell are we?"

Castiel stared at the blue vault of Heaven, his wings casting a shadow so long it stretched from one end of the mountains to the other. "Nevada."

Dean looked across the desert. The earth was flat and cracked in all directions, with no sign of animal tracks or human traffic. He sat up and cleaned his hands against his bluejeans, the dirt as fine as ashes.

"The Leviathans'll find us, even out here."

"I know."

Dean licked his lips nervously. "What's gonna happen?"

"The Leviathans were wise to get ride of me early on," said Castiel, his voice unrecognizable, "They knew there would be an accounting one day."

Castiel lifted his hand, and the sky went black. Dean shivered in the sudden cold, the clouds boiling over their heads.

"So you're gonna try and fix this yourself?"

A horrible noise rose up from the horizon, hundreds of black figures appearing in the heat haze, and Dean knew the Leviathans had spotted them.

"Yes. They are coming for me," said Cas, "They know what I plan to do."

"Send 'em back home, to Purgatory?"

"No Dean. They no longer have the right to atone. The Leviathans must go the way of all flesh," said Cas, lowering his hand and turning to face Dean finally, "All of them."

"What're you gonna do?"

"Gather their numbers in one place," said Castiel distantly, as if reading from a script, "Sacrifice the soul of the righteous man to call forth the whirlwind and bring them low."

A cold finger wormed it's way to Dean's heart, and he bunched up his shirt at his chest, forgetting to breath. "My soul..." he whispered, as the angel stretched out his hand toward him, "Please don't, you can still fix this without more blood on your hands."

But Castiel was changed, unnatural now. Naked save for his wings, the mountains shown thru him slightly, like passing your hand behind fine porcelain. Their faces were inches away, Dean sprawled on the ground and Castiel bending over like he had a secret to tell.

"It'll kill me Cas, won't it."

"It's a mercy."

A stray tear rolled down Dean's cheek. All he could think about was that if someone found his body after tonight they'd go thru his wallet and never know his real name. He rubbed his face off the shoulder of his cotton shirt. "Why's my end gotta be in this godforsaken place?"

"It is not forsaken," said Cas, looking across the dead heart of America, "God brings His loved ones to the quiet places, so they may hear Him."

The air was charged around Castiel, raising the hairs on the back of Dean's neck, and he wanted to shrink away. He needed a distraction.

"I'm sorry I left you in that crazy tank, I am, but you need to think straight. I can't let you do this."

"The Lord sent me as His instrument, and I delivered mankind into the hands of strange children. I must do this. Even if I'm never forgiven I must..." Cas faltered, his eyes glimmering in the dark, "Do you know how long I have lived under the curse of God's perfection?"

"We're all cursed," Dean whispered, "Don't think that way, that's how the devil gets you."

Lightning forked behind Castiel's head, and Dean gave him a shaky smile. "I've been where you're at, all my life. Nowhere to go and..." he said, leaning in, "No place to stay?"

He pressed his lips to the corner of Castiel's mouth, trembling, almost chaste. It was quick, but for a moment the angel seemed to be lit from within, his teeth and bones standing in relief against his face. Castiel's eyes moved the slightest fraction.

"What was that?" Dean whispered. The pressure in his chest, an old ache from the grave, had lifted.

Cas tilted his head one way, questioning. "Do that again."

"What?"

He felt Cas' hand slide inside his shirt, the sudden warmth sending a thrill thru them. Pale fingers deliberated over where to go, following the lines of brown muscle over the heart, sliding along his ribs. Cas inhaled, and dust rose up to mingle with the smell of whiskey and gunpowder. For all Dean's hardness, he had a gentle mouth, lush and soft, and Cas let himself be pulled a little closer. Dean kissed him again, and this time their lips stayed until Cas's arm arm wound all the way around Dean's waist.

Cas went down on one knee and then the other, Dean resting on his elbows and looking up at him. The angel was more unsettling this close up, for the wind did not tangle a hair on his head, and when he knelt he hovered just over the surface, so that he did not mark the dust. And yet there was a sweetness in his face, his dark eyelashes, the innocent blush that now crept up his cheeks.

Dean held his breath, waiting for Cas to speak.

"I suspected as much." said Cas, narrowing his eyes.

"Suspected what?" Dean's eyes slipped down the front of Cas's body for a moment, and snapped back up to his eyes.

"That you lost something on the journey from Hell," Cas continued, "That in the ensuing chaos a measure of your soul cleaved to me..."

Cas spread his hand over his chest and looked down, as if feeling for signs of infection. "...spreading thru my grace like leavening."

"That's a good thing?"

"Two pieces of the same soul may reflect God in each other, immeasurably so, as you would see yourself stretch to infinity when facing two mirrors to each other."

"I don't understand Cas..."

Cas ran his hand over Dean's face, his mouth, his cheeks, and his fingertips glowed with holy light. He could have swallowed a thousand of the damned and not wielded so much strength. Dean closed his eyes, not letting a noise escape him though his legs quivered under the angel's touch. Such creatures could crack the mountains, and he couldn't dwell on that.

"And now?"

"And now the piece," said Cas, "Calls out to the whole."

Cas lightly ran his thumb over Dean's lip, testing it, licking his own lips in unconscious response. Dean breathed a little harder, and felt himself harden in his jeans. It had been a long time since he'd brawled with Cas, was he really stronger then Dean? Or just looked stronger? Dean had been with the odd first-timer, and he tried to slip back into his usual swagger, but under Cas' hand all his cool words deserted him.

"Undress." said Cas, and Dean realized he only heard his voice in his head, for the wind whipped past like a speeding train.

"What?"

"Undress." he said, and pulled at his sleeve as if searching for instructions.

Dean held his gaze, blood pounding in his ears as he undid his shirt with shaky fingers. The wind was deafening now, but he imagined he heard the buttons coming undone. Castiel was frightening this close up, blue eyes searching him for some superficial flaw that indicated a deeper fault.

Did angels know how to fasten a shoelace, knot a tie? Dean reached for his boots and began to unlace them, a little embarrassed for his bare feet when Cas's finger trailed the blue vein criss-crossing his ankle. Unbuckling his belt, Dean watched Cas grow anxious, and slid his jeans past his hips, feeling an extra pair of hands fumbling to aid him. He remembered past days, when Cas would confide in him, fear to lose Dean's good opinion, and wondered if that might be lost after tonight. The clouds pulsed with heat lightning, and Dean felt his heart skip as a hand ran thru his dark blonde hair, smoothing it, catching the bristles along the back of his neck.

Dean spat into Cas' hand, leading it down and sneaking a glance at Cas' ample cock, as thick as he suspected it must have been from the moment they met. Their bodies weren't touching, not yet, yet Dean felt terribly exposed with the wind skating over him, coiling up his spine and over his flat belly. He wanted to wrap his arms around himself, to protect himself from Cas' scrutiny, but lay still.

Cas' hand reached around Dean, under one knee and flattening against the small of his back until Dean arched at his touch. The wind picked up speed, scattering dust everywhere until Dean's vision blurred and everything changed color except for those blue eyes.

"Put your hands here." said Cas, lifting Dean's hands to his shoulders. He slipped his free arm around Dean, burying his face in his neck as if to conceal himself. "Do not try to look at me until I tell you. It will not be my face."

The sky turned in a clockwise spiral, thickening into a black column as Cas grew hotter. "O-okay." Dean said, his voice breaking. He felt Cas smile against his skin, and it terrified him.

Cas drove into him. It wasn't the hasty, unsure act of a teenager, but a sharp, warm sting, one great snap following another like two parts of a machine that had finally locked and been set in motion. Dean tried to be quiet, to set his mind to their impending danger, but soon he shut his eyes and felt his head go.

He'd spent his whole life struggling to escape the things that might try to shape him in another's image, a soldier for John, a civilian for Lisa. And now he struggled for breath as he was crushed between the earth and a penitent angel, bigger and harder then any man and stretching him to suit his need. Cas' nails bit into his back, marking the skin as he went on and on until both men were slick with sweat.

Cas glowed as if made of moonlight, the storm gathering strength from him as a fan will turn over an open flame. But Dean couldn't help but think that any kind of fight, where he could move and possibly escape, would have been better then this, for both of them to be this vulnerable out in the open when a legion was approaching. Soon his whole body was throbbing from fear and desire, his cock forgotten and unbearably swollen between their bellies.

"We'll run out of time." he thought to himself, his senses returning sporadically between the rise and fall of Cas' hips, and his attempts to reason with the angel resulted in only a fiercer response, hammering into him with rapid blows, almost frenzied, beating him until Dean's body left a groove in the earth that prophets would later speak of for centuries.

The dark shapes grew steadily closer, some figures becoming recognizable, and Dean clenched his teeth against the side of Cas' face. Their bodies were twisted at an odd slant now, both Cas' hands cupping his ass and angling into him, his open mouth pressed to Dean's throat in a silent plea. It seemed this night would never end.

"They are close now."

Cas' hand plunged down now, to take Dean's cock between thumb and forefinger, and Dean would never recall if his touch were cold or burning, but he remembered being very afraid. He felt two red spots appear in his cheeks, and his hands hovered just at Cas' hips, barely touching them as they took up a more punishing pace.

His head fell back against Cas's arm, letting him kiss his open throat and murmuring something that might have been his name. Every now and then he would glimpse their enemy in the distance, and his desire would flag, but that heady craving began to mount as Cas pushed his legs apart wider, his hips tilting up and hungry for more of his slick, hard cock.

"They'll find us." Dean gasped.

Cas said nothing, planting hard, wet kisses beneath Dean's jaw. Dean's back scraped against the hard earth, but he ignored the pain, straining against Cas and lifting them both off the ground as if he could never be filled, as if he never wanted Cas to stop kissing him, and finally came in a wave of heat with the angel still snapping cruelly into him when he lay in a boneless heap.

With a last, brutal thrust, Cas made a noise, stopping in place with his head bowed, and the desert became as quiet as if someone had flipped a switch. Dean looked around, ears pricked.

"Cas...?"

He was about to look over when the sky burst forth, a hollow pillar of smoke a mile wide that descended on all sides and struck the ground with a seismic tremor so loud it could be heard in outer space. With a gasp, Cas rocked into Dean, a note of despair escaping him, and as he came in single, timeless moment of denied longing, the Leviathans were sucked up into Heaven like bubbles in a glass of champagne.

"Dean..." he croaked, "The whirlwind..."

"Yes?"

"Close your eyes."

Dean shut his eyes, clutching Cas for dear life as the creatures were torn to pieces around them, pulled apart in a vertical slurry of meat and bone. He would have lept up and tried to run, if not for the beating of Castiel's wings to reassure him, covering their faces from the wind.

Much later (hours?), Dean opened his eyes to a blue sky again, as if awakened from a dream. He hesitated to move, afraid Cas would be changed, would look back at him with different eyes, but Cas stirred before he did.

Cas furrowed his eyebrows, his hair standing at odd ends. "What?"

Dean smiled. The important things had not changed.

"Let's go home."