.-.-.-.-.
Waiting for Salvation
.-.-.-.-.

Dean was miserable. Castiel was off again, doing God knows what, and Sam and Bobby were treating him like he was a fragile doll. He had to be propped up since he had no strength of his own to sit up. His vessel was running on empty, and his Grace was struggling to keep his body awake long enough to even drink. It was bad enough that he needed help with everything but there was a special hatred for the straw. He felt so humiliated by the fact that Sam had to hold out a glass with a straw for him to drink from.

'I hate this,' he slurred as Sam offered the glass again.

'You only have yourself to blame,' Sam pointed out. 'Cas says your body will take over once it's nourished.'

Dean stared at the glass and sighed. 'Yeah, upkeep's minimal when you're healthy…'

'So get healthy,' Sam said with an encouraging smile, once more lifting the glass. He smiled as Dean finally took a drink. 'Your uh…your phone rang while you were sleeping,' he said eventually.

Dean visibly stiffened and glanced sideways at Sam. 'Yeah?'

'I still don't like it.'

'I know,' Dean said quietly.

Sam watched Dean for a moment before speaking up again. 'Do you want me to call her back?' he asked.

Dean slowly shook his head and winced. 'No…the contract's with me. She wouldn't be able to tell you anything, and…she'd probably just hang up on you to avoid pissin' me off.'

Sam pulled Dean's phone out of his pocket and set it on Dean's lap. 'Well… It's there when you can lift it,' he said, his voice bordering on joking.

Dean gave a short laugh. 'That might take a while. Shit… I hope…' He trailed off and stared at the phone. He reached out with his Grace, hoping to find a sign of Castiel's return. He could use the reassurance. 'I can probably do speaker phone, but…'

Sam squeezed Dean's shoulder as he stood. 'I'll give you some privacy,' he said and picked up Dean's phone. He dialed the number that had been calling once every few hours.

'You don't…have to. This kinda involves you, too,' he said quietly as the phone rang. He was full of apprehension as Sam sat back down, setting the phone back on Dean's lap.

'Seraphiel!' The relief in Meg's voice was hard to miss.

'Hey, Meg,' Dean greeted. 'Heard you were trying to get ahold of me.'

'Where the Hell have you been?! It's been days!'

'I had some things to take care of,' he replied. 'So what did you need?'

'Lucifer's been reaming my ass about you! He wants you with him.'

'I can't do that, Meg,' he said with a sigh. He glanced at Sam for support and immediately looked away. The frown Sam was sporting was all he needed to see to know Sam's thoughts on that matter.

'Not to join him,' Meg quickly assured. 'I… He asked how you looked, and I…I-I told him about your wings… He didn't take it well. He knew they were red and torn, but he didn't know…'

'Just how fucked up they are?'

'He wants you with him so he can protect you,' Meg said quietly.

'I can protect myself!' Dean shouted angrily. He flinched when Sam lightly touched his arm. 'I've been on my own since… I don't need…'

There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line. 'He thought you might be stubborn about that… So, he wants to know who it was,' Meg said.

'There was more than one responsible,' Dean bit out. 'What's he gonna do? March up to Heaven and hunt down every angel that ever looked at me wrong?'

'Given the chance…'

'No. Tell him I'm fine. I've…adapted. I don't need his pity. I don't need him to be my vengeance. I…when I do eventually see him… I just want him to listen,' Dean said, ending in whisper.

'And when might that be?'

'I don't know. Not anytime soon. I need time to… Time to myself.'

'All right. I'll let him know. And, Seraphiel?'

'Yeah?'

'Please. Please, please, please answer your phone sooner!'

'Can't make any promises,' Dean said with a smile. He nodded for Sam to hang up the phone. 'That went well.'

Sam furrowed his brows and thinned his lips. 'You're not gonna…go back to him, are you?' he asked, not looking at Dean.

Dean looked over at Sam. 'No. I want to, but no.' He offered a grim smile when Sam met his eyes. 'It's hard, Sammy. He's right there. Closest he's been in…well, millennia. But…Cas makes it easier. If I didn't have him, I think I probably would go runnin' back, eventually. If only to keep him from comin' after you.'

'Cas said all I have to do is say "no"…'

'Lucifer… He can be pretty convincing,' Dean said softly. 'I didn't want to rebel. Didn't think it was right. But I still stood by him. Still agreed to do it. Half of us that rebelled…we didn't think it was the best option, but we still did it. He didn't trick us. Didn't lie. We knew what we were doing.'

Sam's stomach twisted at the prospect. 'I'll never be his vessel,' he promised. He felt the blood drain from his face at the sad look Dean gave him.

'And I swore I'd never rebel for such a stupid reason.'

.-.-.-.-.

The weeks wore on, and Dean slowly gained his strength back. As Bobby used his contacts to hunt down signs of Lucifer and the Horsemen, Castiel bounced in and out on a self-imposed mission to locate God. Dean had tried to point out that it was futile. If their Father didn't want to be found, then it was useless.

Castiel was growing frustrated. Dean may have been regaining his strength, but it only made him more of a handful. Every time he returned to Bobby's house to check in, Dean would try to coax him into bed. Dean's vessel may have gotten its strength back, but the angel's Grace had yet to regain any true power. Certainly not enough to be properly intimate.

Dean had tried to convince Castiel that human intimacy was just as good. When Castiel finally relented, their session ended almost as soon as it had started. The moment Castiel touched Dean's wings with his own, the other angel had hissed and pulled back sharply. It had thrown Dean into a depression, and Castiel was uncertain if he should mention that the reason for Dean's aches and pains was due to the new growth of fresh, shimmering feathers. He decided to keep it to himself after peeking into Dean's Grace and seeing how sensitive Dean was about his wings. Especially when he happened upon the memory of Seraphiel picking out every remaining clean feather in a fit of remorse.

The other half of Castiel's frustration was coming from his inability to find their Father. He had gone so far as to sneak back into Heaven for information, but he had found nothing. None of his contacts knew anything. In a stroke of luck, he did locate Seraphiel's blade. He was surprised at how unguarded the forgotten relic was. Not to ignore the opportunity, he secreted it away, intent on returning it to its rightful owner when Seraphiel was able to call upon Heaven's power once again.

In his frustration, he had tracked down Raphael, certain that the archangel would know something. The information he had received was less than comforting.

It was with that information that Castiel returned to the hunter's house to find Sam and Dean in the living room, researching omens. Sam sat at the desk with his laptop, and Dean was sprawled over half the couch with a heavy book, flipping back and forth between pages. Neither looked up from what they were doing, but Dean did lightly graze Castiel's Grace. 'Dean…'

Dean looked up from the book he was flipping through, when Castiel's Grace desperately clung to his own. 'Cas. Cas, what's wrong?'

Castiel dropped heavily onto the couch next to Dean. 'I spoke with Raphael,' he confessed. He felt Dean's alarm rise and the gentle prods against his Grace, looking for any damage. He shook his head and placed his hand on Dean's thigh. 'I'm fine. I am unharmed. He may be upset when he finally gets out, though…'

'You trapped him in holy oil, huh?'

Castiel nodded and looked up, catching Sam's curious gaze. 'Raphael claims that…that God is dead.'

Dean scoffed as he leaned back. 'That son of a bitch is an idiot. Who else brought you back, huh? What was that light that got me to the plane? What other explanation is there?'

Castiel shifted his gaze to Dean. 'Lucifer,' he said above a whisper. Next to him, Dean stiffened, suddenly retracting his Grace. 'What if Lucifer brought me back? Raphael had a compelling argument… Lucifer would want fallen angels for his army. And he would certainly want to keep Sam safe…'

Sam shifted uncomfortably in his chair. 'I don't… I don't think I was ever in any danger at the chapel,' he said, pulling Dean and Castiel's attention to himself. 'I've been… He's been turning up in my dreams.'

'He doesn't know where we are, does he?' Dean asked, sitting up straight.

Sam shook his head. 'He seems convinced that I'm gonna let him take over, though.'

Dean sighed as he relaxed. 'Just be careful, Sam. We can try finding some warding that'll keep him out of your head.' He shifted his attention back to Castiel. 'As for you… I don't think Lucifer has the power to bring you back. I mighta been able to pull that off in my heyday, but he wouldn't be able to. If he did manage to bring you back, it would just be a cheap copy. Like…like Lilith was. You wouldn't be an angel. You wouldn't be you.'

Castiel nodded stiffly. He felt better. Much better. Especially with Dean's Grace flitting through his own, leaving weak, but bright, blasts of love and reassurance. He closed his eyes and let Dean's Grace wrap around him. He breathed in slowly as Dean leaned over and kissed his neck. A cough drew his attention, and he opened his eyes to see Sam looking at the pair uncomfortably.

'You don't have to stay,' Dean pointed out as he continued to kiss at Castiel's neck. He smiled at Sam's disgusted grunt and listened as his brother stomped out of the room and down the hall. Dean pushed against Castiel and brought his wings out. They were still sore to the touch, but he was willing to put up with a little discomfort to be with Castiel. He paused in his exploration of Castiel's mouth at the look of wonder he was receiving. 'What?'

Castiel shook his head dismissively and pulled Dean back down. 'You're just so beautiful.'

Dean flexed his wings, feeling the phantom pains of limbs that no longer existed. 'No, I'm not.'

Graces thoroughly entwined, Castiel lightly placed his hands on Dean's cheeks and kissed him. 'Yes, you are, Seraphiel,' he said. 'You are the most beautiful angel I have ever seen.'

'You've never seen Lucifer.'

'I've seen him in your memories, and to me, you are far more beautiful,' Castiel said placing another loving kiss. He didn't mention that Dean's second set of wings were slowly growing back, sprouting soft tufts of downy feathers. 'Enough talk. I shouldn't stay long. Raphael will come after me, and it would be best if he didn't find out where you and your brother are.'

Dean didn't have to be told twice. He pulled at Castiel's clothing and set to work on undoing Castiel's pants. In a flash, they were on the bed that Dean had been occupying for the past few weeks. Dean grunted as he shook his head. He sent a reprimanding flash through his Grace and set back to work on removing Castiel's clothing. 'Been lookin' forward to this,' he moaned.

Castiel gasped and squirmed as Dean kissed his way down. Ever since their encounter in the Crystal Caves, Castiel had been hoping to receive more of Dean's physical attentions. He lightly grasped Dean's hair as a warm mouth closed around his hardening cock. 'Oh!'

He was vaguely aware of Dean lifting his legs to rest on the other's shoulders, too engrossed in the feeling of Dean licking and sucking at his cock and balls. 'D-Dean… Ah!' His eyes flew open as a slick finger slowly made its way past his sphincter. 'W-what are…?'

Dean paused and looked up. 'Is this okay? I can stop. Just thought you might wanna try it out? Since I still don't think I can keep up Grace-wise…'

Castiel blinked curiously as he followed Dean's thoughts. He smiled and spread his legs to give Dean better access. 'Yes, we can do this,' he replied. His smile shifted to a leer. 'But I get to take care of your Grace,' he said. 'I promise I'll be gentle.'

Dean's breath hitched and he nodded jerkily. 'Y-yeah…' His eyes fluttered shut as Castiel's mark on his Grace flared up with an intense pulse of need. He concentrated as he proceeded to work on loosening up Castiel. He faltered as he found his fingers wet with lube he had yet to grab. 'Eager much?'

'Very,' Castiel admitted. He ran his Grace along Dean's, dipping in and out, earning faint pulses of want in response. Dean shifted above him, and as Dean positioned himself, Castiel readied. Dean slowly, gently entered Castiel, whispering soothing, loving words. When Dean's cock was fully sheathed, Castiel let loose with every bit of love and desire he could muster, piercing straight to the core of Dean's Grace.

Dean's arms gave out, and he fell against Castiel's chest, gasping as he twitched against the young angel. He cried out in ecstasy as Castiel's Grace slowly moved through his own, spreading out to touch and lap against ever corner of his being, leaving bits of smug pleasure in its wake.

'I'm new to this, but shouldn't you be moving?' Castiel asked with a teasing grin.

Dean let out a short laugh and pushed himself back up. 'Yeah. Just wasn't expecting that,' he said as he began to pull out and slowly push back in. As he moved, Castiel's Grace intensified its exploration, causing Dean pick up the pace. 'C-Cas…'

Castiel ran his hand down Dean's chest as he watched Dean move above him. He was aware of the pleasure his body was receiving, but most of his concentration was on Dean's Grace. He pulled Dean down for a kiss and matched Dean's thrusts with burst after burst of needy desire. He wanted Dean fully and sent every selfish wish and want through to Dean.

Dean groaned as his thrusts came quicker. 'Cas… C-Castiel… Mmm… Gonna… Oh, fuck. A-again!'

Castiel moved in time with Dean. He felt his body go over the edge, and he translated the physical feeling of his orgasm along his Grace and pressed it gently against his mark on Seraphiel. He smiled lovingly up at Dean and moaned softly at the sensation of Dean's seed spilling into him.

Dean gasped for air, his arms barely able to hold him upright. He had just experienced the most intense orgasm of his life. Both as a human and as an angel. 'I-if that was you being gentle…then…oh, fuck.'

He slowly pulled out with a soft hiss and let Castiel pull him down. He only winced a little as Castiel rolled them over and straddled his hips. He stared up at Castiel, dazed. 'Can we do that again?'

Castiel chuckled and bent down to kiss the tip of Dean's nose. 'Once you're better, yes.'

Dean frowned, his brows coming together. 'You're about to leave.'

'As much as I want to, I can't stay here,' Castiel replied. 'I would be putting you and Sam in danger.'

Dean sighed and nodded. 'Don't be a stranger, okay?'

Castiel left little jolts of love and happiness behind as he withdrew his Grace from Dean, his smile growing wider as Dean writhed beneath him. 'It would be rather hard for me be a stranger at this point. Don't you agree?'

Dean slapped Castiel's shoulder, grinning. 'I mean: Come back and see me sometime!'

'I promise,' Castiel swore before vanishing.

Dean let out a long breath as he stared at the ceiling. He closed his eyes and stretched out his arms and brought his wings forward to work out some of the kinks. He opened his eyes to glare at his wings for hurting so much, and his heart stopped. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of white. Slowly, he turned his head and saw fresh feathers, glistening with and inner light, crowning part of a limb that wasn't supposed to be there.

'S… Sa...' He choked on his words as he struggled up. 'Oh, God. Fuck. No… S-Sammy! Cas! Bobby! Someone?!'