Hey guys, sorry for my prolonged absence. Some of you asked if I had abandoned the story and the answer is no. You can blame Misha, because GISHWHES totally took over the last week of my life, and now NaNoWriMo has claimed November. Plus, I've been working on getting my first novel published, so things have been a bit hectic lately. But, rest assured, I still very much want to continue this fic!

PS—I kind of (totally) cannibalized the following conversation between Sam and Dean from the companion Sabriel story "Deep Devotion". It's cheap, I know, but at least you get to hear Dean and Cas' side. I've made an effort to meld these two stories a bit more, so here's me trying to do it. Hopefully it will all make sense later.

PPS—So, horrific side note, but I was rereading the last chapter and I realized that I named the "landlord" Benny. That was completely not intentional on my part to reference cock-block Benny, but now he's in the story. My most sincere apologies.

The birth of Lucky and his littermates was the most exciting thing that happened to Dean and Castiel the rest of the week. The couple didn't really mind, though. It was nice to make it through a few days with nothing to worry about but whose turn it was to do the laundry or pick up dinner on the way home. Despite himself, Dean loved the domesticity of it all.

Late Friday evening, while they were watching The Decoy Bride (Castiel's pick from the Family Video down the block), Sam called from Stanford. As soon as Dean saw his brother's name on the caller ID, he gave a little whoop of excitement and punched "Pause" on the DVD remote before answering. It seemed like forever since he had last talked to Sam and he had been wondering how his little brother was doing. He was, of course, too cool to call and beg Sam to ring him more often.

After their preliminary greetings and comments on the weather and such, the conversation moved from Sam' classes to his personal life, and Sam reluctantly admitted to Dean that Jessica had broken up with him and that his address had changed since they last spoke.

"What a bitch!" Dean raged, indignant that any girl would see fit to dump his hardworking, loyal-as-a-golden retriever-puppy little brother. "Give me her number and I'll call and give her a piece of my mind!"

Castiel gave him a questioning look and Dean covered the mouthpiece to whisper the situation to the angel. Cas looked sympathetic and placed a hand on Dean's thigh, moving closer so he could hear through the phone.

Dean could hear Sam sigh on the other side of the line. So what if he wanted to play the Big Brother Card? He was serious about calling Jess—no one broke his brother's heart and got away with it. Of course, he did have the tendancy to take such things too far. Once, when Sammy was in ninth grade, his short-term girlfriend had broken up with him in the cafeteria in front of her friends. She told the boy that he studied too much and she just wanted to have fun. Dean, who overheard, stalked up to the girl and pretty much called her a whore, busting her ass before the principal called Dean to her office. The extra month of detention had been well worth it.

Sam, it seemed, did not want to discuss the problems with his love life further. Instead, he abruptly changed the subject. "So, how come you never told me that Gabriel moved?"

Dean frowned at the odd question. What the hell did his angelic landlord have to do with anything? As far as he was aware, Sam barely knew the guy and certainly had no idea he was an angel. "Ok, one, I wouldn't think you would care," the man said, "and two, he hasn't moved. He still haunts the first floor of the firehouse like always." Much to Dean's dismay, even though he'd never admit that he considered Gabriel one of his only friends. It was a love-annoy relationship.

"But, then, why is he in Stanford with me?" Sam whined.

"Come again?" Dean asked. He couldn't have heard his brother correctly.

"For real, Dean!" Sam insisted. "He came by the Law library the other day when I was studying and told me he was a professor here. I was curious, so I snuck into one of his classes today. He really does teach here. I looked him up on the university website and it says he's been teaching here for three years. Now, I'm not a physics major, but I know that even with a warp drive that's a hell of a commute."

"Oh my God, my brother is a huge nerd," Dean wailed, forgetting all else for a moment as he listened to his brother's sci-fi jabbering.

"I'm serious, Dean! There's something fishy going on. Either Gabriel's got the world's most life-like doppelganger, or he's in two places at the same time." Dean sighed. His brother was so dramatic and he could never let anything go. He had no idea why he was so concerned about Gabriel, but he knew for a fact that the angel was still in Lawrence, so he dismissed his brother's ravings as sleep-deprivation. "Now, Sammy, you know that's impossible. I told you that frou-frou espresso crap would melt your brain. Switch to decaf and—"

Castiel tugged urgently on Dean's arm and he put his hand over the receiver again, turning to look at the angel. "What's up, Cas?"

"I have a feeling that your brother is not seeing an apparition. It may be true that Gabriel is, indeed, in Stanford with Sam."

"What?" Dean protested, "I mean, I know Gabe flies all over the place partying or whatever, but why would he be in Stanford? And as a professor?"

"I do not know that, but I do know that everything my brother does is for a purpose. Usually, it only becomes clear much later on what his intentions are. If he is in Stanford with Sam, he most likely has a good reason to be."

"You think this has to do with Sam?" Dean wasn't sure what to think about that possibility. What on Earth could possess Gabriel to go bug Sam, unless it was for some elaborate prank? But why? He had hardly ever talked to Sam when he stayed here, just a few conversations in passing.

Castiel rubbed his wings behind him fitfully as he pondered this. "I cannot think of another reason why Gabriel would choose to pretend to teach classes at a university rather than pursue some of his less savory pastimes. As far as I know, Sam is his only connection to that place."

"Should we tell Sam? Let him know what's up?"

The angel shook his head. "No. If Gabriel has not informed Sam of who he is or of his intentions, then he does not want Sam to know. Interfering will only vex him and as powerful as Gabriel is, it would do better not to annoy him too much."

Dean had to agree. But that didn't mean that Gabriel wasn't getting an earful next time Dean saw him. What right did he have going out there just to pester Sam? Sam needed to be studying and thinking of his future, not playing this strange game with a demented archangel.

"Maybe we should go investigate? Make sure Sam's ok?" Dean couldn't help it—if Gabriel was involved, he had to know that his brother was not being toyed with.

"If we don't hear from Gabriel next week, I suppose we could fly to Stanford under the pretext of visiting Sam," Castiel mused. He clearly did not want to get on Gabriel's bad side, but he, too, sounded concerned about what his brother was up to.

Dean decided to play it cool for now. "Sorry, Sammy, we don't know anything about Gabriel going AWOL. You know him; sometimes he was gone for days. He doesn't really have a concept of time. I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep studying. Cas said, when he's feeling up to it, we'll come out and visit. Maybe in a couple weeks, ok? Keep your nose clean and get back to work."

After a few more exchanges, the brothers hung up. Dean and Cas got back to their movie, but as they watched, Dean kept thinking about his talk with Sam. He suspected that Gabriel was up to something, but he just wasn't sure how it involved Sam. He knew one thing though—if Gabriel did anything to his little brother, Dean didn't care if the guy was an archangel—he'd gank him, no questions asked.

Dean should have known that the serenity of the previous week would not last through the next. Things has been suspiciously quiet for the week after; Cas and Dean went their separate ways in the morning and occasionally met for lunch, then reconvened at the firehouse for the evening. They took turns picking up dinner on the way home or cooking and had otherwise settled into a nice, steady rhythm. Dean had thought that once things got quiet again he would miss the drama and novelty of having a new angel in the house, but he found that he enjoyed the placid pace as well. Things were still far from boring living with Cas (especially in the bedroom) and the man liked the pace their lives had taken. He became complacent in their routine, and that's when tragedy struck.

It was Thursday afternoon, about an hour before Dean usually quit for lunch and called Cas to see if he was busy or wanted to meet up for lunch. Castiel had packed them both roast beef sandwiches via leftovers from last night's dinner, but it was still better eating together. (Besides, Dean had come to look forward to playing with Riot's puppies on his break.) He was lying half underneath a dented sports car that had recently been in a collision. He would work on the surface later, but he wanted to check on the axel to make sure it wasn't damaged as well. He'd already taken the tires off to change them all out as two had exploded, and since the car was low to the ground, Dean had propped one side up on a small jack. It was the broken one from his garage, which was missing the handle, but he wasn't about to walk all the way across the yard to get the good one from Bobby's.

The man was only half concentrating on what he was doing, thinking about seeing Cas in an hour and whether he should bring up going to Stanford this weekend. He hadn't forgotten his strange conversation with Sam last Friday and they hadn't seen Gabriel since, which made him worry. Reaching out blindly above his head for a wrench, Dean felt his hand slam against the unsteady jack instead. He only had a heartbeat of time to panic when he felt the tool shudder and collapse before the entire weight of the car landed on his midsection. At first, pain shot through him, sizzling all his nerve endings and making his head spin sickly. The cried out, his throat instantly raw from the sheer volume and amount of emotion he forced through it. And then, it was as if all sensation below his chest instantly vanished and Dean felt a cold shiver of fear run down his back.

Dean was dimly aware of Bobby running into the garage, come to check on him after hearing the crash. The man cursed and ran back out, presumably to call 911. Something silky and cool tickled Dean's side where his T-shirt rode up and he glanced down to see a rapidly growing pool of blood trickling out from under the car. He registered this fact with detached interest, as though the liquid was no more than an oil leak. Something else he noticed was that it was getting hard to breathe so he coughed and felt more liquid bubble in his throat. A trail of blood slid down his chin and he thought about how gory he must look, like something out of a horror film.

A familiar flutter of wings made Dean focus again after he had begun to drift. He rolled his eyes back to see Castiel standing over him. "Dean!" the angel cried. "I felt it when you were injured and I came to—Heavenly Father!" The man couldn't help but choke out a laugh—that was as close as Cas had ever come to swearing. He supposed now was probably the time for it.

"Hey, Cas," he tried to say, but could barely talk around the blood flooding the back of his throat.

Castiel knelt beside him, placing a gentle hand on Dean's cheek as he looked over to inspect the damage. "Shh, Dean, do not try to speak." When the angel saw what the problem was, he stood again and reached out to push the car away.

"Don't!" Bobby warned as he came back into the garage, phone in his hand. "That car's likely the only thing holdin' him together right now. Just leave it until the paramedics get here." He looked down at Dean and even in the haze that had settled over Dean's eyes, he could see that Bobby didn't think they'd get here in time. Dean suspected his uncle was right. He had to fight for every breath now and his body was getting cold, shutting down.

He turned to look at Castiel when the angel sat near his head. "Sorry, Cas," he whispered.

The angel leaned over him, his face feather-white with terror but set in his usual things-aren't-going-my-way frown. "Dean, listen to me. I can't heal this on my own—the wounds are too great."

"S'ok. Love you," Dean wheezed. He coughed again and more blood poured out of his mouth, coating his chin.

Cas touched his cheek again, forcing Dean to focus. "No, listen. I cannot do it alone, but the power of our bond might be enough. Only, we would have to complete it. I thought we would have more time to discuss it, but I believe it is the only way."

Dean merely stared back at him. God, his angel was so beautiful, even when he was scared. Those blue eyes that had first captivated Dean were wide and fearful but still so pretty. He'd miss that shade of blue…

"Dean!" Castiel growled. "Do I have your consent?"

The man blinked, startled out of his reverie. What was his angel asking again? He could barely hear him, even though something told him Cas was shouting at him.

"Dean, please! Please say yes. Please...please say yes…"

Dean had no idea what Cas wanted, but he couldn't deny his angel anything. He took one last shuddering inhale and breathed the word Cas wanted to hear so badly. "Yes…" His vision blurred and for a moment Dean thought he had passed out or died, but then he felt the soft brush of the angel's black hair against his forehead a split second before their lips connected. He knew he must taste gross with all the blood in his mouth, but Castiel persisted in kissing him, forcing his lips open.

He felt something enter his mouth, but it was not the angel's tongue. Soft, pure, misty energy flowed from Cas and into him through their sealed lips. The raw power—Castiel's Grace, Dean assumed—burned as it entered him, filling his veins with fire that threatened to consume him. He could feel its progress as it raced downward until it reached his injuries where it abruptly turned to a cool, soothing slither of energy, healing him from the inside out. Feeling began to return slowly yet surely, until there was a burst of overwhelming pain—he was healed enough to fell the damage that had been done. It was about at that point that Dean passed out for real this time, overcome with too much power and sensation, more than his broken, human body could handle.

When Dean slogged his way back to consciousness some time later, he could immediately tell that he was back in his own bed in the firehouse. It was too hard to open his eyes at the moment to look around, so Dean settled for taking mental stock of himself. The pain was, thankfully, gone again but he could also feel all of his extremities, so whatever Cas had done there at the end, it seemed to have worked. Dean was still fuzzy on the details and he remembered little more than the car falling on him and Cas yelling something important before Dean fainted from the pain. He prayed that Sam never got wind of that fact, for he knew his brother's merciless teasing would never end.

Beyond the lack of pain, his body did feel somewhat different. It was more…heavy, but on the inside. It wasn't necessarily that he had put on extra weight, but it was rather the feeling that something full and powerful was nestled inside of him where it hadn't been before. The sensation was not unpleasant but it was new and unexpected. It somehow felt right, though, like all the empty parts of him had been filled with warm, fluffy cotton. It rasped against his insides when he moved and breathed, but it was only a small distraction.

"Dean? Are you awake?"

The man struggled to lift his eyelids—they, too, were heavy, but Dean suspected this was due to the more mundane feeling of exhaustion. When he opened his eyes, all he could see was white. For a moment, he had the wild thought that he had gone blind, but then the wall of white shifted and he could see the tiny intricate patterns of Cas' feathers. It seemed that he was cocooned inside of Castiel's wings, lying on top of one rather than on the bed. The celestially-soft touch felt amazing on his naked skin and he moaned lightly.

"I shall take that as a 'yes'." Castiel said solemnly. Dean loved that his angel still didn't know how to use sarcasm.

"Yeah, I'm up," Dean said. "Where are you?"

The top wing lifted and draped itself over the lower portion of his body, revealing Cas who was laid out beside him. The angel peered at him, eyes narrowed as he tried to access his lover's state of health. "Do you feel any residual pain from your injury?" he asked.

Dean shook his head, and then winced when it sloshed dizzily. He felt like his brains had turned to mush, like he had been asleep for too long or not long enough.

"You should be completely healed by now. Your rate of recovery was extraordinary, but I should have expected no different. I knew you were extraordinary the day I first bonded with you." The angel ran a finger adoringly over Dean's stubbled jaw, staring into his human's tired green eyes.

"I'm ok, but my head is all fuzzy and I feel really…heavy." Dean relaxed back into the pillows as Castiel continued to stroke his face, taking comfort in his lover's touch.

The angel hummed acknowledgement. "You are feeling the weight of our completed bond. It may take some time for you to adjust. Usually there is a more gradual exchange of power, but as you suffered a trauma, the bond happened all at once, giving you all my extra power. A normal human probably would have exploded if he was suddenly given that amount of celestial Grace."

Dean swallowed nervously as he thought that over. "Uh, ok, well, that would have been the icing on the cake of a really crappy day. Thanks for not blowing me up, Cas." He reached up to cover the angel's hand with his own, and Castiel knew what the man was really trying to say.

"You are welcome, Dean," he said. Then he leaned down to whisper against the man's lips, "But, please, you must promise me you will never do something so dangerous again. When I felt what happened to you through our bond, I thought I was already too late. I…I can't live without you, Dean."

Dean closed the small distance between their mouths, kissing Cas slow and long, showing the angel that he wasn't going anywhere. When he pulled away a few minutes later, he said, "Me either, Cas." He swiped his tongue across the angel's wet lips. "God, I feel like I haven't touched you in ages. You taste so damn good. How long was I out, anyways?"

"Three days," Castiel replied. "It is now Monday."

Dean's jaw dropped at the tome frame, then he sighed. "Now I'm gonna owe Bobby two Saturdays."

"You should call you uncle and tell him you are all right. I have assured him every time he rang that you were doing well, but that has not stopped him from calling several times each day." Cas sounded a little affronted that Bobby didn't trust in matters of Dean's health, but Dean thought it as kind of cute.

"I'll call him later. First, I need to pee. Then I need a cheeseburger, then we need to talk about this bond thing." He made as if to sit up, but was surprised when it took him more than a few tries. He may have been awake, but his body was still bone tired and hadn't moved in 72 hours. He turned to Cas, his face a little red with embarrassment and exertion. "Uh, any chance you can zap me into the bathroom?"

Once his more urgent needs were taken care of, Dean sat happily back in bed with a tray on his lap containing a double cheeseburger and fries. Castiel hadn't been too happy with his greasy food choice, but Dean had insisted he needed protein and Cas was too kind to argue with the invalid.

"So," Dean said thickly after taking a huge bite of burger, "Give me the skinny on this new bond. I know we meant to talk about it earlier, but I guess other stuff came up. I figured we had more time to make a choice."

Castiel looked up at Dean warily from under his black eyelashes. Dean hadn't seen that hesitant expression on his angel's face in a long time, not since he'd first come to live with him. "Are you…upset that I put the final mark on you? I know you consented, but you were not in your right mind at the time."

Dean frowned and the angel winced a bit. Dean saw his reaction and reached out to grip Cas' arm with a greasy hand. "Am I mad at you for saving my life and binding us closer together? What kind of bastard do you think I am, Cas?" He wasn't angry, just trying to get his point across. It hurt him more than he cared to admit when Castiel doubted him. Yeah, he could understand that at first, but they were together now. Plus, he could feel the angel's uneasiness pounding in the back of his head from their new-and-improved bond and it unnerved him—it would take a while to get used to feeling his lover's every emotion.

Cas hung his head. "I'm sorry, Dean. I just know how much you dislike change and going too fast. I feel like I forced you into this. It is not something to be taken lightly, nor can it ever be undone, even after death."

"I got no problem with that. You make me sound like a crotchety old man. Change is all good with me, as long as you're part of it." Dean sealed his statement by giving the angel a salty kiss, then let go of him and went back to his food, eating casually. He wasn't trying to be sappy, he really wasn't, but the words were true, so he didn't attempt to take them back. Dean knew he would probably freak out later when the fact that he and Cas were basically married forever sank in, but for now he rather liked the idea. Besides, he had nearly died three days ago—why sweat the small stuff when he was lucky to be alive?

It took Cas a moment to recover from the kiss as well as Dean's easy attitude about the whole thing. Then he seemed to shake himself off, ruffling his wings briskly before getting down to business. "There is not much you need to know about the bond, other than its permanency. No other angel will be allowed to touch or harm you. You will slowly become more like me, insomuch as a human can emulate an angel. You will find you strength will be increased, your senses heightened, your brain's capacity for knowledge augmented."

"So, what you're saying," Dean interrupted, "is that I'll be a superhero."

Castiel canted his head at the man's strange question, thinking back to all the movies they had watched recently and comparing Dean to the definition he had built of a "superhero." "Yes," he answered truthfully.

Dean laughed and finished off his burger. "I love you, Cas," he said, still chuckling. "Anything else? Will I grow wings?" he teased.

Castiel gave the man an incredulous look. "Of course not, Dean. That would be ridiculous."

"But cool," Dean argued.

This time the angel ignored him, suspecting that Dean was merely being playful. "We will be able to sense each other's emotions with ease and over greater distances. Telepathic communication will also be possible."

Dean couldn't contain himself this time. "No way, dude! Shut up!" He immediately closed his eyes and thought at hard as he could, Can you hear me now?

The angel beside him jumped, fluttering his wings in surprise. "Yes, Dean," he replied a bit pettishly. "And you needn't be quite so loud when you are sitting next to me."

"Sorry, man. This is just all so awesome. I'm lucky enough to have you, but to get all these awesome superpowers as a perk? Who's complaining?"

"No one, apparently," the angel said dryly. Castiel removed the tray from Dean's lap now that he was finished eating and scooted closer to snuggle up to the man's side. Dean raised one arm to put around him, allowing Cas to drape himself over his chest. Really, what more could he ask for? A pretty angel in his bed, a full stomach, and now superpowers? Life was good.

It got infinitely better when Cas started kissing his chest with light, feathery touches of his chapped lips. Dean groaned and wriggled a little, preening under the attention. When the angel laid his lips over Dean's nipple and started to suck gently, the man gripped a handful of wing and held on for dear life. It really did feel like he hadn't been touched in weeks and now every tiny brush of Cas' skin against his felt as though he was being shocked with a jolt of electricity.

As Cas had described, every one of Dean's senses had been heightened through the bond they now shared. He could clearly smell his lover, who was wrapped in the scents soap and clean skin and a hint of something warm and violent, as though he could smell the surface of the Sun right before it burned him for being too close. He could hear Cas' soft breaths and the slight rustles of his feathers as he moved. His heartbeat was strong and steady, but picked up a little when Dean moaned. He had never been so attuned to a lover before, never felt to close to someone to the point where he wasn't quite sure which thoughts and emotions were his and which were the angel's. It all conspired to make him horny as he wondered about how much more awesome sex was going to be now that they were bonded so completely.

Cas must have sensed his sudden spike in arousal and he backed off, sitting up to look at his human sternly. "No, Dean," he said, as if chastising a toddler. "We cannot copulate again until you are fully recovered."

"But I feel fine," Dean complained. And he did, mostly. His body still felt a bit wobbly and unduly heavy, but it was getting better. He thrust his naked hips up into the air fitfully, needing friction against his rapidly hardening cock. "I'm all in one piece, thanks to you, and yeah, I may be a little tried, but nothing some angel kisses can't cure." He said the last part with a lecherous grin, turning to hump Cas' leg enticingly.

"I won't hurt you," Castiel protested. "It's not worth it."

Dean begged to differ, but he thought of something that might placate his lover. "What if we used a position where I don't have to do any work?"

Castiel gave Dean his "something fishy is going on here" face, but nodded for the man to continue.

"Remember when you said you wanted to try a 69 position?"

The angel looked confused. "I was not aware the different sexual arrangements adhered to a numerical system."

Dean rolled his eyes. "I mean what the couple was doing in the porn we watched, where they were both lying down and sucking each other off."

"Oh," said Cas, "Yes, that is a good suggestion. We would both be mutually satisfied and you would not have to move in order to pleasure me." Then he tilted his head again. "Why this it labeled '69'? Was that the year it was invented?"

This time the man had to laugh as his partner's innocent question. "No, man. Think of the numbers like little stick people." He saw when Cas' face lit up with understanding and chuckled before pushing the angel onto his side. Castiel quickly got the idea and within an eye-blink he had inverted his position so that his head lined up with Dean's groin. Dean was left with an eyeful of his lover's dick and he wasted no time in leaning forward to take the semi-hard appendage into his mouth.

Damn, Cas tasted even better than burgers, and that was saying something. Dean sucked happily, raising one hand to grab a handful of the angel's soft ass. When he felt Castiel's hips jerk forward, Dean encouraged the angel to continue fucking his mouth. He moaned around Cas' cock when he felt Cas begin to lick at his slit, lapping up the precum already starting to dribble out and down the side. He tried a little thrust of his own, but the angel made a warning sound, telling Dean that he'd better let Cas do all the work like he'd promised.

Dean contented himself with trying to get his lover off, using all the tricks that he knew he liked people to use on him. He circled the head with his tongue then ran it up and down the thick vein from tip to base, trailing wetness all over. He poked his tongue at Cas' balls, playing with them, teasing his angel until he felt Cas' moan around his dick.

When he felt Cas speed up, a hint of desperation to his movements, Dean took him back in his mouth and deep throated him with gusto, fighting against his gag reflex to give his angel the best blowjob ever. Remembering something else Castiel liked, he stuck a finger in his mouth next to the angel's cock, getting it nice and slick. Then he ran his fingers down between Cas' cheeks and prodded at his hole. Castiel abruptly started to pump faster and harder into his mouth and Dean took it, continuing to tease the angel's tight entrance. When he smoothly side his finger up inside, he felt Cas still a moment before hot liquid filled his mouth. Dean swallowed quickly then gave a few shallow thrusts before he came as well, coating Cas' throat with his seed.

A moment later, Cas was right side up again and cuddled against his side. "Are ya gonna punish me for moving too much?" Dean joked as he stuck his wet finger back into his lover's ass and moved it around lazily.

Castiel sighed sleepily. "Perhaps later I can explore the benefits of recreational spanking. Now I believe it is time for a nap before I start dinner."

The angel closed his eyes, but not before he caught the shocked expression on his lover's face.

Later, as they were back in bed lounging around after the meal, Dean remembered something that he had been meaning to ask his angel. He rolled his head back to look up at Cas, who was lightly caressing Dean's short hair while he rested against Cas' warm thigh. "Hey, Cas? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I was wondering…Why were you blind when I found you?"

He felt Castiel still his movements and his stomach clenched uncomfortably, afraid he had upset Cas. Tentatively, he traced the thread of their bond back to the angel and searched his emotions. Castiel wasn't happy about the subject, but he wasn't mad at Dean for bringing it up. Dean felt a little bad for poking around inside of Cas to see how he felt, but the angel had assured him that he did not mind—it was part of being a bonded couple and soon they would both become used to the ease with which they communicated, sometimes without words.

"It happened a few months before we met," the angel said slowly. He resumed his touching of Dean's hair, but this time Dean suspected it was more for Castiel's comfort than his own. "Michael and I had been intimate for a several years. He had…other forms of entertainment other than myself, so it was never an issue, but then one night he demanded we add more of his friends to our private activities. I refused, and not just because it went against our bond. Michael I knew would not hurt me more than I could heal from, but his 'friends' I was less certain about."

Dean felt the angel's hand tremble slightly against his hair and he sat up, coaxing Cas into the circle of his arms. Castiel leaned against him and continued his story as Dean stroked his bare back encouragingly.

"Michael got angry that I refused him in front of his comrades—I believe it was seen as an indication that he did not have full control over his property. He hit me and as was unprepared for the blow, I could not dull its force. I fell back onto a marble table and hit my head. At full health it would not have been more than a mere scratch, but weakened as I was, the damage was much more. After that I slowly healed the wound, but restoring my sight was a more difficult process, one which I could not perform in my weakened state."

When Castiel finished, Dean hugged him fiercely. "I'm so sorry, Cas. I'd go kill that bastard right now if Zachariah hadn't already ganked him."

Cas squeezed Dean back, clinging to the human tightly. "You have nothing to apologize for, Dean. I am better now, thanks to you."

Dean chuckled lightly. "We really need to stop meeting like that—healing back and forth. Can't we go just one more week with a disaster?"

The angel pulled away and kissed Dean. "If we can, I believe it would be worthy of a special celebration." The rise of heated arousal in the angel let Dean know exactly what he meant by "special".

"Deal. And I may even show you what that thing is Balthazar made you buy." Dean returned the angel's kiss and Cas shivered agreeably. He couldn't wait until next weekend.