Of course it was a warehouse.
Why was it, that whenever a monster wanted to hide somewhere, it had to be someplace cold, wet and dark? Why couldn't they ever pick someplace clean? Or at least dry? Even demons had more class for Christ's sake…
Dean barely had time to finish the thought before a cold trickle of water managed to find its way from one of the metal beams high above his head to the back of his neck and he bit back a hiss behind gritted teeth, resisting the violent urge to flinch with just a hair's width.
They were supposed to have finished this job days ago. A quick silver bullet to the heart and then back home in time to pick up pizza on the way, but then things had gone ugly when the werewolf they thought they had been hunting turned out to be something else entirely; and hey didn't that bring back memories…
Two first-aid angel treatments and one phone call to Bobby later had confirmed that what they were dealing with was called an Amarok, and was merely a distant relative to the werewolf, meaning it was bigger and didn't shape-shift. It lived alone, was a nomadic creature and a silver bullet would only slow it down, not kill it; for that they needed something more… solid. And that's why they now found themselves tracking the son of a bitch far into the abandoned parts of this one horse town; more specifically inside this old foundry where Dean was now on stake out in the middle of the night outside the creature's temporary lair, waiting for something, anything to happen. The power to the building had been cut off years ago so they had been given no choice but to venture inside in the dark, using whatever light that managed to shine in through the busted windows from the streetlights outside as guidance. Yet for some reason the lack of illumination didn't feel as hazardous to Dean as it probably should have; not with the bright, sparking presence of assurance in the corner of his mind that made the otherwise to threatening darkness around him feel almost safe.
Cas? He prodded at the link, lowering his thoughts to a whisper on mere reflex.
Castiel didn't whisper, but his voice was calm and steady; the complete counterpart of Dean's increasing restlessness.
Any sign of it from your position? Dean's eyes flickered towards the back of the building where he had left the angel and his brother over half an hour ago.
Not yet, Castiel admitted and Dean let out an exasperated sigh.
Figures, he muttered, rolling his eyes. You guys still out back?
We're coming around the other side now. You?
Sittin' tight, Dean grumbled, grimacing at the prickling sensation growing inside his left boot that announced that his foot was about to fall asleep. Why did he have to go and pick such a tiny space? Why?
Dean? Castiel's tone made Dean's mind snap back to the conversation, focusing harder on the link inside his head.
Yeah? He asked and in return the unmistakable sensation as if having a hand pressing over his left shoulder filled the bond, warming him from the inside out.
The corner of Dean's mouth twitched, the angel's concern feeling like a warm glow that flowed through his body to settle inside his chest in a fuzzy ball of heated content.
I'm always careful, he answered confidently and the phantom hand squeezed around his arm once more before letting go. He let the bond between them fall slack, sending a reassuring pulse through the link before he tuned away completely and then he rolled his shoulders and carefully adjusted the crouched down position he was in, trying to savor the heat of Castiel's presence for as long as he could. He was currently hiding beneath a broken fire escape with the entrance to his hideout partially covered with an old plastic tarp that fluttered in the cold draft from the open vents in the wall close by. It was a tight fit; barely enough for him to squeeze into, but it was the only place that allowed him to overlook the main machine hall from a somewhat secure position. They had watched the creature drag itself in and down one of the man-sized drainage pipes almost an hour ago, disappearing into it's hideout, but they had decided to wait it out rather than venturing after it and end up in a situation they had no control over. Dean didn't like it; every minute of waiting gave the creep more time to recuperate and he had no desire to get into a fight with that thing once it was back up to speed again, but the prospects of getting cornered inside a pitch black pipeline didn't exactly feel encouraging either.
Another freezing drop of water splashed against his skin and he shuddered, cursing under his breath when the prickling cold spread goose bumps all the way to his elbows. The silver blade stuck into his right boot was chafing his ankle where his sock had ridden down and there was a nasty itch right below his left shoulder blade that was damn near killing him, but he didn't want to move, not yet; some superstitious part of his mind whispering poisonous promises that the moment he went searching for higher ground the creature would reappear from its hideout, spot him and tear him to pieces before he got the chance to wiggle as much as his big toe.
He stifled a groan, trying to stretch his limbs to whatever width the small space would accommodate when suddenly a loud, metallic clang echoed through the empty hall and startled him, his hand immediately reaching for his gun before he remembered that shooting wasn't really an option tonight. Sneaking a peak between the shredded remains of plastic that hung before his eyes he saw the creature crawl out to the edge of the pipe where it had disappeared earlier, its grey fur still bloody and matted where the bullet from Sam's gun had torn up a nasty wound in its shoulder. He had to admit it; Sammy's skills with the gun weren't all that bad. Not that he would ever admit it to his face, but still…
The creature, who looked a lot like Big Foot's less attractive brother, raised its ugly head into the air and sniffed; a snarly, wet sound that resonated from the walls and somewhere in the back of his head Dean's thoughts immediately went to the vent sitting right in front of him, wondering if the draft somehow was enough to reveal his presence, and if so – how much time would he have to get away?
The thing in the pipe let out a growl that slowly morphed into a breathed out huff of air, beady black eyes scanning the hall intently, but it didn't move and Dean swallowed, licking his lips. Apparently the draft from the vent wasn't enough to compromise his position, which was good in every possible way, but they still needed to get the ugly son of a bitch out of the pipe or they would never be able to get close enough…
It's coming out, he informed through the link, receiving a light nod of affirmation in return from Castiel. But we might have a problem, he added.
What sort of problem?
It doesn't want to leave the pipe. It's lurking right at the entrance.
Dean felt Castiel's mind zone out slightly as he forwarded the message to Sam before returning.
Is it injured? he asked.
It's still bleeding. Sammy's bullet apparently hit a vital spot.
There was another muted silence and after a moment of hesitant flickering the link flared up in a sharp spark of resolve before immediately thinning down into a single, restricted channel that hid everything but Castiel's mental voice from Dean's mind and Dean had a very strong feeling that whatever it was that was about to happen in the next couple of minutes, he probably wasn't going to like it.
Alright, stay where you are.
The order - because it sure as hell wasn't a request - together with the sudden limitations of the bond made the suspicion harden in Dean's gut like a weight of led and his chest tightened almost painfully around his lungs when he felt Castiel begin to pull away from him.
Why, what are you going to do? he demanded, but Castiel snapped the link before his word even reached halfway through.
Dean cursed under his breath, sending a vicious tirade towards the now sealed off part of his mind and was met with a close to offensive ignorance that made his fingers itch. Fricking angels…!
He quenched a frustrated groan and instead focused his attention on the beast less than twenty feet to his right. Cas wasn't stupid; on the contraire he was actually pretty damn smart, but still, the other's lack of response was unnerving. What kind of move were those two idiots out there planning that they didn't want him to know about?
The answer to his question became evident when Sam suddenly stepped out behind a partially wrecked control panel approximately five long strides away from where the Amarok was sitting. He made no attempt to hide his presence and Dean realized with another muffled curse that the moron was using himself as bait!
He watched Sam raise his gun to aim straight for the creatures head at the same time as the Amarok turned towards him with a low snarl, its black, evil eyes locking onto the weapon in the human's hands with a flash of recognition. Sam caught the look and smirked, seemingly not the slightest fazed by the three hundred pounds of eminent death that was glaring back at him when he waved his gun a bit to the creature's left, motioning to the blood still seeping down the injured arm.
"How's the shoulder?" he asked sweetly, but Dean could hear the unspoken 'fuck you' as clearly as if he had been using a megaphone and amplifier. Apparently the Amarok could too, because the beast let out a deafening roar and launched itself out of its hideout in a flash of bared claws and teeth that left deep wounds in the concrete floor. It was fast; not like a Wendigo, but far quicker than a werewolf and Dean almost broke cover when he saw Sam throw himself to the side, barely avoiding getting his back sliced open by the creature's claws and every inch of Dean's body was screaming for him to get out there and help his brother before the fool managed to get himself killed!
Then suddenly an ear wrenching scraping sounded through the empty hall and the creature stopped mid-leap to turn back towards the pipe from whence it came, only to see Castiel plug the opening shut with a giant piece of a crumpled metal beam.
"Oh, sorry. Were you planning to use that?" Sam taunted, but the beast did not seem to find the younger Winchester's sass the slightest entertaining and Sam quickly found himself performing a haphazard duck-and-roll maneuver; the Amarok's giant claws missing the top of his head with a bare inch. He landed on his side with a strangled groan, but managed to roll around, raise his gun and fire three rapid shots in the beast's direction, missing twice before the last round of silver buried itself inside the Amarok's skull, blinding it on the right eye in the process.
With a howl of pain the beast staggered backwards, but Dean knew from their last encounter that it would only be moments before it gathered itself enough to form a new attack. He watched Sam sway to his feet and knew that it was now or never; they might not get an opening like this again. Crawling out from his hiding space he slid the silver blade out of his boot in a single, fluent movement before he took off in a sprint, his eyes fastened on the spot on the fur-clad back where he knew the creature's heart was pounding beneath bars of bones and he braced himself, leaping into the air and preparing for the wet sound of his blade cutting through flesh when he felt a pulse of dreaded panic wash through the link inside his head.
He barely had time to register Castiel's face, pale and horror struck somewhere to his right before he got hit square in the chest by a monstrous arm, the force of impact flinging him to the ground as if he was nothing but a piece of wet cloth, knocking the air out of his lungs with a sickening crack of his lower back and sending the weapon skidding across the floor. Pain shot through him, sharp and clear like lightning, but he couldn't scream, the muscles in his chest drawn too tight to even allow him a single breath, his legs nothing but a phantom feeling below his waist and he knew that it was bad, that it was really, really bad. The fuzzy image of the rusty ceiling disappeared out of sight and he caught a glimpse of teeth, bared and razor sharp where they loomed over his face; a breath that seemed plucked straight out of a hellhounds mouth washing over him in a nauseated moment that appeared to stretch on forever before something else, blurred and unfocused glimpsed at the outskirt of his vision in a flash of movement. Then Castiel was there, his hands digging into greasy tufts of hair that singed and curled when the grace from the angel's very core poured out to burn deep, oozing wounds of penance into the beast's flesh. The monster howled again; a panicked, hysteric sound that echoed from the old factory walls when pain, swift and relentless pierced through its very core. Castiel's face was nothing but a mask of unforgiving vengeance as he tightened his fist and the eyes that Dean knew so well disappeared in a final surge of electric blue light that burned like a molten star in the dark warehouse, slicing through the shadows like a knife through butter.
Dean watched Castiel shift his weight, barely enough to be called a movement, but the monster jerked and twisted in the angel's grip and after that there was a moment of complete silence before the scrape of metal against bone pierced the air when Sam buried the silver blade to the hilt in the monster's chest, using the weight of his entire body to shove the dagger through and crack the bones in the beast's ribcage. The Amarok twitched, once; a feeble flexing of claws before it sagged in the angel's grip, its fur and skin curling with smoke. Castiel tossed the creature away, barely giving Sam enough time to pull the dagger out before he strode over to drop to his knees by Dean's side, his fingers reaching out to grip around the human's shoulder so hard that Dean for a moment thought the angel had forgotten that he was already injured.
The stabbing pain in his chest and back were gone before he had the chance to even bat an eyelid and he sucked in a startled breath of blood-soaked, rust-filled, refreshing air into his lungs with a light cough, sensing Castiel's grace skim over the surface of his skin, searching for any other possible damage.
"Are you alright?" Castiel demanded, his hand still gripping tightly around Dean's shoulder and Dean nodded, trying to push through the blanket of near suffocating concern that the angel's mind had thrown over the bond.
"I'm fine, Cas," he promised, reaching behind his back for support in order to push himself up into a sitting position. "The bastard just caught me by surprise, that's all."
It broke your spine, Dean.
Dean's jaw snapped shut so fast the tip of his tongue got snagged between his teeth.
"What?" He said it out loud; the thought too big to fit through the bond alone.
Your spine, Castiel repeated, slower this time and Dean felt how the floor beneath his body slowly began to tilt, his head spinning like the world around him had suddenly turned into an enormous merry-go-round.
Broke his spine… Jesus Christ, it broke his spine…!
Images of himself, crippled and useless in a wheelchair for the rest of his life flashed before his eyes and he didn't realize that he had grabbed hold of Castiel's hand until he felt the angel squeeze his fingers back.
Cas… he choked, but Castiel quickly intercepted him.
I can heal literally any physical injury you might inflict upon yourself, Dean, we both know that, he said softly, but that doesn't make seeing you get hurt any less painful.
Dean opened his mouth, maybe to ask how the hell the other could possibly talk as if Dean's injury was something that caused him more pain than it did Dean, but then he shut it again, realizing when he met the look from Cas' eyes that this is not what the angel meant at all. Castiel and he were married, in a way beyond that of any other partnership that had ever been founded on this earth, but that didn't mean that they would be inseparable forever. There would inevitably come a time where Castiel would not be there to immediately save him from whatever danger he in his human stupidity might stumble into, and if the angel's absence would result in Dean being irreparably damaged, even if only for a short time, that would cause Castiel such guilt that for others to simply witness it would be painful. Dean should know, he had seen it before and recalling those memories now after assuming such selfish things about Castiel's statement made him feel horribly ashamed and sheepish.
Sorry, he mumbled, remembering the feeling of terror that had flooded the link to his brain mere minutes before. Of course seeing Dean get mauled by that thing had made the angel react like that; Dean didn't even want to think about how he would have reacted had the roles been reversed.
Don't apologize. Castiel scolded. You didn't get hurt on purpose. Dean opened his mouth to say something more, but Cas promptly silenced him with a light phantom touch to his lips. However, he added, if you could try not to get hurt in the first place next time, I would be very grateful. Dean let out an offended huff through his nose, sarcastically letting the angel know that next time he would make sure to wear full on body armor if it made Cas stop patronizing him, but when Castiel only responded to the threat by smiling in that ridiculously adoring way, Dean couldn't exactly do anything but to smile back.
"Could you two stop doing that when I'm around?" Sam grimaced over Castiel's shoulder with an exaggerated eye roll. "If it gets any sweeter in here I'm going to develop diabetes."
"Shut up," Dean snorted, but he accepted Sam's offer to help him up nonetheless, clasping around his brother's lower arm as he wobbled to his feet.
"You shut up," Sam shot back teasingly. "You know, sometimes I think you get hurt on purpose just so that Cas can have an excuse to get his hands all over you."
"I do not!" Dean objected, actually managing to sound honestly offended by the suggestion.
"Oh yeah?" Sam grinned, "I bet you weren't even injured just now; just lying there, relaxing while Cas and I got all the work done."
"Actually-…" Castiel started, but silenced when Dean made an insistent tug on the bond inside his head.
Don't tell him, he pleaded. He'll just worry.
He's entitled to worry, Castiel objected firmly.
You know what I mean, Dean argued. You fixed it anyway, right? Why bother him about something that doesn't even matter anymore?
"Actually, the fall only sprained his ankle and gave him a concussion," Castiel continued smoothly, as if his and Dean's internal conversation had never taken place. "I usually overlook his little performances, but perhaps I should let him work a bit harder for the attention from now on?" he added with a dewy-eyed glance at Dean that Dean knew was only meant to make Sam gag at how incredibly gay they were for each other, succeeding with very convincing results.
"You are hopeless," Sam declared loudly and Dean responded by flipping his brother the bird at the same time as he leaned over to give Cas a long, loud kiss on the lips along with a mumbled 'thank you' through the bond that made Sam pull disgusted faces and flail around as if he had gotten something far more gross than monster blood on him.
They burned the Amarok's body with an extra load of gasoline and salt because one could never be too careful and then Castiel temporarily removed the bunched up steel beam from the pipe to let them hide the ash and remaining pieces of bones inside. They didn't go all the way into the lair; Bobby had assured them, very firmly, that no matter what experience they thought they had, they did not want to see what it looked like in there. Castiel mojoed Sammy's shirt and jeans clean before they headed back out and by the time they reached the parking lot it was almost light outside, the sun already rising behind the misty clouds covering the horizon.
Cas left the very moment Dean turned the ignition on and Sam climbed into the passenger seat, stifling a yawn as Dean pulled out of the parking lot. Even though they had begun to rent separate rooms during their hunts now, some thing just never changed and since Cas was still experiencing some problems when it came to riding in the car he seemed rather grateful that no one had requested his presence in the Impala for any longer periods of time. Usually he was already at the motel when the brothers got back; food and coffee at the ready for them both. It was a luxury Dean still had some moral quarrels about accepting…
Hey, Cas? Dean poked at the flicker of light inside his head, feeling Castiel's mind open up willingly beneath the touch, familiar and relaxed.
Dean caught himself gnawing on his bottom lip and released it, resisting the urge he felt to reach up and scratch at the back of his neck when he continued.
I just wanted to say thank you, he said quickly. For real, you know…
For what? Castiel scowled and Dean could sense the angel's surprise when he reached out to find Dean's side of the link pulsing out both humility and embarrassment in response to the question.
You know what, Dean mumbled, sending a jumbled sense of everything through the bond along with the image of him not sitting in a wheelchair and Castiel blinked, taking in the sudden stream of emotional information with a light hint of confusion before he pulled himself together enough to answer.
You're my mate, Dean, he said slowly. Healing your injuries is something I do out of concern. Why would you ever think that taking care of you would be a burden to me?
I don't know, Dean muttered. You've told me all that stuff before, but… I just don't want you to think that I'm ungrateful or anything, you know?.
I know you're not, Castiel assured him fondly and then the bond twitched, as if the angel's attention was drawn elsewhere for a few seconds before it returned, bright and enthusiastic; Would you rather have Columbian or Turkish coffee with your bagel?
You're in Columbia? Dean choked.
No… I'm at the supermarket down the street from the motel, he said slowly; a quizzical frown and a mental head tilt informing Dean that the angel had absolutely no clue why Dean would think something like that and Dean almost broke out in a wide grin in response to it.
You're shopping? he asked, allowing his amusement to flow unabashedly through the bond. With what money?
Yours, Castiel responded simply and Dean's smile faltered, his eyes widening as his hand darted towards the pocket of his jeans only to find his wallet undoubtedly gone.
Theif, he accused through the link, but Castiel waved him off.
Everything of yours is mine, he defended himself, or isn't that how the saying goes?
Very cute, Dean snorted, but he couldn't help the smile that stubbornly kept tugging at the corners of his mouth.
The coffee, beloved, Castiel reminded politely and Dean shook his head with an eye roll, gesturing to his temple when Sam gave him a questioning look.
You know what; how about you pick this time? he suggested.
Columbian then, Cas decided after barely two seconds of internal consultation. It's half price, he informed Dean through the bond and Dean decided that it shouldn't be possible for anyone, human or angel, to sound so pleased about a selection of coffee beans.
That's great, babe, he said, but I called to talk about something serious if you remember?
I'm listening, Castiel answered and Dean could feel the weight of the angel's undivided attention when it suddenly turned to focus on him, causing his hands to go clammy and his mouth to run dry.
You know I don't take you for granted right? he asked after a few moments of swallowing down all the other phrases that didn't seem to want to come out right. That I appreciate everything you do for me…? For us?
I do, Castiel smiled, a secretive little twitch of lips sneaking itself through the bond. Your soul is practically screaming it in my face right now.
Sorry. Dean immediately attempted to stifle his own thoughts, feeling his ears heat up when Castiel only chuckled in response.
Don't be, he assured him. It's actually quite pleasant.
Oh…Well… I, uh… The furious flush spread across his cheeks and down the back of his neck, making him feel indescribably ridiculous where he sat, mentally blabbering like an idiot.
You know, he stammered, desperate to change the topic, if you ever get tired of shopping and stuff, all you have to do is ask and me or Sam can do it when we get back. Or we can go together, just you and me if you'd like? Or maybe if we ask Sam he could-…
Dean, Castiel smiled, I know. Now concentrate on driving; if I have to come save you from a car crash the coffee's going to turn stale.
Dean snorted, sending the angel a quick reprimand for insulting his driving skills, but he obediently dropped the subject.
I still owe you like, a million favors, he added. I promise I'll make it up to you.
As many times as you'd like, beloved.
The bond tuned out with the feeling of Castiel's smile still sending ripples of joy through Dean's chest and he turned towards Sam with a grin, slapping his younger brother on the shoulder, startling him out of his near-sleeping state with a frightened gasp.
"Cas is getting us Colombian coffee and bagels," he announced cheerfully and Sam rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, groaning tiredly.
"He's in Columbia?" he asked, peeking out behind his fingers as he stifled a yawn behind his hands.
"No, at the supermarket." Dean informed him with a thick layer of 'oh Sammy you're so silly', secretly relieved with the fact that he had not been the only one to draw such a conclusion from Castiel's words.
"Oh," Sam blinked, but then he frowned, settling back against his seat with a thoughtful crease between his eyes. "He's been doing that a lot lately, hasn't he?"
"Yeah," Dean sighed. "I've told him that if he gets tired of it he should just tell us, but… you know Cas; all eager to please."
Sam nodded and they went quiet, the rumble of the Impala's engine breaking the silence of the otherwise so tranquil morning as the car sped down the road. After a few minutes Dean leaned forward and turned on the radio, the tunes to Bridge over Troubled Water streaming softly from the speakers after a few seconds of initial crackling. Sam looked at the panel, that same crease still lodged in between his eyebrows as Art Garfunkel's subtle voice rose up in the first whispered words of the lyrics and Dean felt something thick and heavy settle somewhere next to his heart and squeeze around his lungs before the first verse had even ended.
"We're really lucky to have him, aren't we?" Sam asked suddenly and Dean felt the knot inside his chest tighten even further, making it hard to swallow.
"Yeah…" he mumbled, clearing his throat as he fought to keep the haze that threatened to cloud his vision at bay. "We really are…"
Castiel was reading when Dean finally decided to enter Bobby's living room.
Of course, Castiel had sensed his approach for a good twenty minutes or so, the hunter's mind giving off a low buzz of combined excitement and anxiety that made concentrating on the words on the pages before him very hard. So when a set of sock clad feet came into view beneath the edge of the leather bound cover in his hands Castiel was already anticipating it and he slowly closed the book, memorizing the page he was on before looking up to face his, as he noted, slightly fidgeting, spouse.
"What's wrong?" he asked, curious to what could have brought the otherwise so straightforward human to such a mental state.
"Nothing," Dean responded immediately, clearing his throat so sharply he left the bond vibrating with the sound of it like an echo. "Nothing's wrong, I was just… thinking…"
Castiel slowly straightened up in his seat, brow furrowing slightly from the nervous twitch Dean's mind made when he reached out to slide the fingertips of his grace against it.
"About what?" he asked, pulling back to give Dean space to answer.
"You know," Dean murmured, his eyes doing an awkward detour towards the ceiling. "About the… uh…"
Something flashed through the link from inside the taller man's head and Castiel caught the glimpse of Dean and himself standing in the upstairs bathroom, a fistful of shimmering feathers being gently enclosed within a pair of human hands. The scene then quickly morphed into a quick reminiscence of the conversation they had shared after the Amarok hunt a few days earlier and he nodded.
"I see," he said simply, even though the memory of his wedding gift and the topic of coffee provided him with little information to why Dean now appeared so embarrassed.
"Yeah," Dean nodded, his voice still low and a bit gravely and then he shifted his weight from one foot to the other, teeth pulling at his lower lip for a moment before he made an exasperated noise that came out somewhere between a sigh and a grunt, eyes darting to the side as his right hand shot forth only to halt right in front of the angel's face.
Castiel leaned back, narrowing his eyes to study the object dangling just a few inches from his nose, but when he made no attempt to take it Dean groaned again, jingling the item impatiently.
"It's a key, Einstein," he grumbled and Castiel's eyes flashed up towards the human's face before returning to the keychain, nimble fingers coming up to grasp around the cool metal as the weight of it settled in the center of his hand when Dean let it go.
"A key to what?" the angel asked, his voice carrying just a light hint of suspicion and Dean's mind was literally roaring now, like the noisy blabber from a poorly adjusted police radio.
"To the car," Dean blurted out, swallowing hard when Castiel turned to look at him, eyes wide and confused.
"What car?" he asked dumbfounded and Dean closed his eyes, seemingly struggling with a million different things at once before he answered; his voice snappy and agitated.
"The frickin' ice cream truck, what do you think? The Impala, of course!"
Castiel looked down onto the key in his hand, turning it over to study the plus-shaped logo that was engraved within the metal on the other side.
"I don't understand," he confessed slowly, because really, this made no sense. "You're giving me your car?"
"Hey, hey, I'm giving you a key to the car, not the car itself," Dean corrected quickly, his soul sending out a faint spark of shock at the mere thought.
"Okay…" Castiel nodded, turning the key over once again. "So I'm getting a key…"
"To my car," Dean ended firmly.
"A key to your car," the angel repeated.
They fell silent, Dean watching him expectantly as Castiel tried to wrap his mind around what this curious gift could mean.
"Thank you," he mumbled, "I really appreciate it, but… I'm afraid I have no use for it."
That, apparently, was not the right thing to say because now Dean was looking absolutely mortified and the bond instantly turned a sickly, purplish bruised color in response.
"Meaning I don't even know how to drive," the angel clarified hastily, trying to correct his mistake, but without results.
"I know that," Dean answered sternly and Castiel licked his lips, searching for the right argument that would make the glow of Dean's soul return to the bond once more.
"And I get carsick," he tried, still not understanding what he was doing wrong because Dean was not looking any happier. "Surely you remember that? After all, you're the one who told me-…"
"For god's sake, would just take the damn key already!?"
Castiel's mouth shut and Dean groaned, a silent apology palming at the angel's shoulders through the bond at the same time as Dean's real hand came up to rub hard across the back of his own neck, sighing deeply.
"Listen, man…" he mumbled, "I'm no good at this whole gift giving-thing. Seriously, the last time I bought a present for anyone I settled with a can of shaving cream from some rundown gas station in Michigan." He let out a strained chuckle, his weight shifting once more. "Besides, I mean… what the hell do you get an angel of the lord as a present? What does an angel even need?"
Castiel scowled, trying to decipher the exasperated tone of Dean's voice and as he watched, the hand on Dean's neck moved to drag across the human's scalp, leaving wild tests of hair standing in its wake.
"You gave me a piece of your own body!" Dean winced, sounding more and more as if Castiel had done something highly inappropriate. "The only way for me to even come close to that would be to chop off a finger and no offense, man, but I'm not doing that just to make a romantic gesture!"
Castiel opened his mouth, but then he closed it again, the part of him that had slowly begun to understand the art of correct human behavior telling him to stay quiet.
"Now I don't have a lot of stuff," Dean continued, "and I sure as hell don't have anything that could match an angel's feathers, but I have that." He gestured to the car key still clutched loosely in the angel's hand. "And I know you can't drive and I know that if you want to go somewhere you'd rather zap yourself there instead of feeling sick all over the front seat, but I thought-… You know, if you wanted to-…"
He looked up from the floor, shoulders slumping down as if defeated when Castiel looked up to meet his gaze.
"Would you just take it?" he begged, his eyes pleading and desperate. "I'll get you something better later, I promise. Whatever you want, just-... Just take it, please…?"
Castiel blinked and then he looked down at the key in his hand, his eyes slowly tracing the shape of the gift he had been presented with. There was a cut in the metal just below the Chevrolet logotype; a little snag from many, many years ago with an edge that had been smoothed down from a lifetime of fingers continuously running over it, wearing it down into something soft and pliable. He moved his thumb, tracing the pad of it lightly against the hard surface and then he sighed, a deep, exasperated breath before gently placing the book he had been reading aside on the couch and standing up.
"Dean…" he whispered, shaking his head at this human enigma that had become his life. His purpose. Then he reached out and grabbed a firm hold of the lapels of the Winchester's cotton shirt, pulling him in to search out and meet Dean's mouth somewhere in the middle just as the hot breath of Dean's startled gasp rushed over his lips.
"Thank you," he murmured against the corner of the human's mouth, Dean responding with a stunned and half muffled 'your welcome' before Castiel silenced him with another kiss, taking a slow step forward and steering them both around to topple down onto the couch where Castiel had been sitting mere moments ago as he continued to kiss him, the anxious blabber in the human's skull now replaced by eager excitement and indescribable relief.
"I thought-" Dean started, interrupting himself to gasp for breath against the angel's lower lip. "I thought you wouldn't like it," he confessed and Castiel grumbled, shaking his head.
"It's perfect," he declared firmly, bringing his free hand up to curl his blunt nails against the soft hairs at the nape of the other's neck. "So does this mean that I'll have to learn how to drive?" he asked, suppressing a shudder when Dean leaned up to mouth his way along his jawline and up towards his ear and he heard the human chuckle at the same time as a pair of clever fingers wormed their way underneath the back of his white dress shirt.
"Maybe later…" Dean admitted, a wet swipe of a tongue licking hotly over the angel's pulse. "But right now I have much more interesting things in mind."
"Really?" Castiel mumbled, already losing himself in the sensation of skin on skin. "Like what?"
"I have a few ideas…" Dean answered secretively and Castiel chuckled, the metallic clink of a key hitting the floorboards getting drowned out by a breathless moan and the sound of rustling fabric.
"Cas, over here."
Dean motioned for Castiel to come closer to the counter where the human was currently standing, hunched over to look through the glass and down at the vast collection of jewelry that was stored beneath the transparent counter top. Castiel obediently abandoned his study of the display case holding delicately inscribed pocket knifes and watches and quietly came to his partner's side at the same time as the store clerk emerged from the back room and spotted them.
"Welcome gentlemen," he greeted with a smile that actually wasn't half as sleazy as the one Dean had warned Castiel about, "is there anything I can help you with?"
"Yeah, actually," Dean straightened up, wiping his hands off on the sides of his jeans in a gesture that Cas recognized as nervous even without the tell-tale tremble that shuddered through the bond between them at the same time as the words left Dean's mouth. "We're, uh, looking for a set of rings? Like, wedding rings…"
"Ah, I see." The clerk's face lit up as if that was the best news he had received all day. "Any special designs in mind?"
"No, no, just…" he threw a startled glance over his shoulder as the little bell above the door chimed, announcing the arrival of another costumer and Dean's posture squared slightly. "You know, simple," he continued, his voice turning just a little bit lower. "Neat."
"Of course, of course," the man assured them. "Let me show you a few of our newest sets; arrived just the other week."
Castiel threw a quick look at the suit clad man that had just entered the store as he and Dean were directed to another counter, but turned back around when the clerk proceeded to pull out an entire drawer clad in dark blue velvet, the rings displayed on it glistening and gleaming brightly in the light from the spotlights above their heads.
Dean leaned over to look at them and Castiel followed his example a split second after. There were a lot of beautiful rings to choose from, truly exquisite samples of human craftsmanship, but Castiel was disappointed to find that most of them were adorned with gems and diamonds in different shapes and sizes. Not that he disliked jewels, not at all, it was just that the rings did not at all appear 'simple' or 'neat' like Dean had requested. Or perhaps those words meant different things in situations like this? Castiel wasn't sure if he wanted a ring with a stone, no matter how 'neat' this person considered it to be, but even more importantly, he was more than convinced that Dean wouldn't want one, at least not one that looked like these... Glancing to the side he caught his mate's gaze, not even bothering to send his opinion through the mind link since he could see his own thoughts reflected in the other's eyes. Dean straightened up and cleared his throat, gesturing to the assortment of jewelry before them with a strained smile.
"They're all very nice," he started diplomatically and the clerk nodded wisely, making Dean lick his lips before continuing; "but I was thinking about something a bit more… I don't know, masculine?"
"Oh, you want them clean?" the clerk exclaimed, bringing his fingertips up to his temple as if the thought had just appeared to him. "Of course, then you don't want to look at these, no, no, not at all. Just a moment…. Here we are, these are from what we call our 'modern' selection, a bit more what you had in mind, am I right?"
Castiel glanced at the new drawer that had taken the old one's place on the counter and relaxed, relieved to see that the amount of stones and gems had decreased dramatically and by his side Dean's posture loosened as well, the new assortment of rings apparently a lot more what the other had in mind.
"Yeah, yeah, these are good," Dean nodded, carefully picking up a thick, sharply chiseled ring in yellow gold and examining it closer before showing it to Cas. "What do you think? A bit too flashy, ain't it?"
"Gold is usually a sign of purity," Castiel said slowly, tilting his head to the side, "and even if we don't take our joined pasts into the equation, I doubt that the color in itself would suit you."
"Ah, so you're the lucky groom then?" the clerk asked cheerfully, smoothly avoiding the other uncomfortable topic that Castiel's statement hinted at and Dean looked up, blinking sharply. Castiel was sure that the question had not been asked with the intention to do any harm, but it appeared as if Dean was not so sure of the same as Cas could feel the rush of the other's confusion, the initial fear, the indignant offense that followed and finally the resolution that flashed through the bond in response to the other male's words, all in less than a second's time.
"Actually, we both are," Dean said slowly, reaching out to grab hold of Castiel's hand in a close to defiant grip and Castiel straightened up, sensing an odd feeling of pride work its way to the core of his human bones at Dean's possessive gesture. For a moment the man behind the counter looked at the two of them as if he truly saw them for the first time since they set foot inside the store and then his eyes widened, his hands coming up to wave defensively.
"Oh dear, I'm sorry," he pleaded. "It was not my intention to be rude; you see, it's not unusual for men to bring along a friend when picking out engagement rings for their brides, I shouldn't have assumed that would be the case with you as well, I'm so, so sorry."
Dean blinked again, the hostility that had begun to build on the other side of the bond wavering with surprise and Castiel realized with a start that this was not at all the reaction that the hunter had been expecting and he was about to ask Dean what kind of an answer he had been expecting when a rough voice from behind stopped him mid-thought.
Dean's mind immediately flared up like a gasoline-drenched bonfire and both him and Castiel turned around to look at the man standing a few feet away, eyeing an engraved pocket flask and looking completely innocent in his presence except for the fact that he was wrinkling his nose as if he smelled something rank in the air.
"Excuse me?" Dean asked, deceivingly polite as he took a single, slow step forward past Castiel towards the man, who put the flask down in what Castiel thought was an unnecessary nonchalant way before turning to look Dean straight in the eye.
"I said that it's disgusting," he repeated. "Two men should not pretend to live as man and woman; it's unnatural."
"Say's who?" Dean demanded, still just as calm.
"Says God," the man answered triumphantly and Castiel scowled; the man's obnoxious confidence on the matter making him feel nothing less than personally offended. On his left however Dean simply snorted, the corner of his lip pulling up in a tiny smirk.
"Yeah, I bet someone like you would know all there is to know about God, wouldn't you?" he mused sweetly and the man let out a lowering puff of breath through his nose.
"What you're doing is a sin," he declared firmly. "And that smart mouth of yours will not be able to save you from the Lord's judgment."
Castiel didn't realize that he had taken a step forward until he felt Dean's hand splay across the front of his shirt, accompanied by a soothing touch through the bond inside his head.
Calm down, Dean whispered and Castiel's fingers twitched, his eyes fixing on the man before them.
That's my Father he's talking about, he growled, sending the older male a look that made him take a cautious step back. Sure, God may not have been the best parent lately, but he was still God, and the number of people that Castiel allowed to talk badly about Him could be easily counted on five fingers; the man standing before them now not being one of those five.
He's not worth it, babe. Let me handle this.
Dean's hand left Castiel's chest as he took another step forward, conveniently placing himself between the angel and their mutual opponent, making sure he had the stranger's full attention before he spoke.
"Now you listen up," he said firmly. "I don't need the consent of some dusty, old dude on a cloud to know that I belong with this guy right here, but even if I did, it still wouldn't be any of your goddamn business. So if you have a problem with us buying rings from this store, then I suggest you leave and come back later when we're done before the man upstairs sends one of his little soldiers to deal with your bigoted ass, you hear me?"
Cas straightened up, feelings his wings unfurl and stretch on the other side of the veil that separated his true form from human perception in response to his partner's words. Truth to be told he had not ever felt the overwhelming need to smite anyone for being narrow minded or short sighted in their personal believes, but this man, for some reason, managed to 'push his buttons' as the saying went and right now his mind was itching to give him a glimpse of his true form, just to teach him a lesson in humility.
Easy there, Cowboy. Dean smirked. I don't think the dude behind the counter is going to appreciate you burning out the eyes of his potential customers.
"So what's it gonna be?" he demanded, his attention once more on the man before them. There was a moment of tense silence; the old man's eyes flickering nervously from Dean's steady gaze to Castiel's barely concealed glare before he straightened up and turned around, walking stiffly out the door with a not-so-friendly comment about homosexuals muttered over his shoulder just before the door closed with a mute thud. It wasn't until the jingle from the bell above the doorframe had rung out that the tension in Dean's shoulders eased up and he turned back to the counter, an apologetic bow to his head.
"Sorry about that," he mumbled, but the clerk waved him off with a snort.
"Don't worry about it," he promised, sending a poisonous glance towards the door. "Even if he does come back I can assure you that he's only going to shop in here once."
Dean looked up, once again with that confused crease on his brow that Castiel still didn't understand the reason to. The clerk was obviously sincere about what he was telling them; Castiel didn't even have to use his Grace to realize that, so why did Dean always look so surprised whenever he was being friendly towards them?
To tell the truth, Dean had seemed more relaxed and well adjusted towards the other man's hostility than he was with this and the thought made Castiel feel downright sad. Dean had said that he had worried about what people might say about them, but Castiel had assumed that he had been referring to people he knew. That a complete stranger would hold such power over Dean's opinion of himself was almost frightening and Castiel hoped that this incident had not given Dean second thoughts about what they were doing here.
Don't, he heard Dean's voice mumble inside his head and he instinctively pulled his thoughts back when he realized that he had been thinking them a bit louder than he had intended, but Dean wouldn't let him, catching the bond and pulling it tight, forcing him to come back with a gentle tug.
I'm not having second thoughts about anything, Cas, he whispered firmly, so don't think stuff like that, okay?
Castiel nodded, just a barely-there movement towards the floor and then Dean leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to his lips, quick and chaste, but with an insistency that burned straight through the mind link and lit Castiel's grace on fire.
When they pulled apart the clerk was fiddling with something over by the register, but there was a light crook at the corner of his mouth that he couldn't hide; that secretive little smile making Castiel's cheeks flush for reasons he couldn't even begin to explain.
Trying to divert his thoughts from the fact that Dean just kissed him, in public, he began fidgeting with the jewelries still on the tray before him and he picked up a ring at random, staring down at it for almost a full minute without really registering what it looked like before he heard Dean give a little whistle next to his shoulder.
"Wow, you really know how to pick'em, don't you?"
Castiel blinked, looking down at the silvery ring lying in the palm of his hand. A black band of polished metal ran along the middle of the ring and all the way around, smooth and shiny enough to resemble the dark surface of a mirror.
"Oh that one's a beauty," the clerk said who turned around to look at the ring that caught Dean's attention. "It's made of titanium and tungsten, and if you look here…" he reached over and picked up another, similar ring from the tray next to the empty space where the first ring had been, "the mate to that ring is mirrored, putting the tungsten at the bottom and the band in titanium. Also, the inside of each ring can be decorated with a thin layer of silver or tungsten, so when we make the inscriptions we punch the letters straight through the added layer so that they come out either black or metal, depending on the base of the ring."
"Really?" Dean asked, taking the first ring when Castiel offered it to him for a closer look.
"Oh yes, it looks amazing."
Dean turned the ring over in his hand.
"This… tungsten thing, is it endurable? I mean, I don't want it to crack and fall apart or anything…"
"You can wear it for a lifetime and it will barely scratch." The clerk announced proudly, "And none of the metals are corrosive so you'll never have to worry about the rings getting stained or tarnished from sweat or chlorine."
"That sounds almost too good to be true," Dean commented, looking at the ring warily. "I guess that means it's pretty expensive, huh?"
"Actually, the price doesn't differ that much from our noble metal rings." The clerk assured him. "The only extra cost, should you chose it, is the band I mentioned on the inside of the rings for the inscriptions, since it means a bit of a size adjustment and some additional material, but other than that it's basically the same. Unless you want us to make an overly complicated inscription?" he added carefully.
"That depends… What kind of inscriptions do you do?" Dean asked, weighing the ring in his hand.
"Practically anything," the clerk said, "within reason of course. We've actually had a couple that wanted their names scripted in Elvish. You know, like in the Lord of the Rings movies? I must say it turned out far better than I first thought it would."
"So it doesn't have to be roman letters?"
"Oh no, we can do practically anything."
"Anything, huh?" Dean mumbled and the ring flashed once more in the palm of his hand before he turned to look at Cas.
"What do you think?" he asked and Castiel narrowed his eyes, evaluating the band in the human's hand.
"I like it," he decided, nodding towards the darker of the two rings still being held by the clerk. "But you get to wear that one."
Dean smirked, and Castiel suspected that Dean had secretly been hoping for him to say that. Black had always looked good on Dean…
"Do you want any of that extra stuff?" Dean murmured. "The whole extra metal and fancy letters-deal?"
"Do you?" Castiel asked back and Dean shrugged, pursing his lips.
"Well, I… I mean, why not?" he said, almost succeeding in making it sound like he didn't care. "It's not like we buy jewelry on a regular basis."
"But do you want it?" Castiel pressed on and Dean made an unidentifiable noise in the back of his throat.
"It would probably look nice…" he squirmed, looking at the ring like a starved dog looking at a steak, "make it a bit more special, you know."
"Then we'll take the extra stuff," Cas decided and behind the counter the clerk looked as if he had just won the world's biggest lottery.
"Excellent," he smiled. "Have you thought about what you would like for your inscriptions? Your names? A quote maybe?"
"Actually," Castiel stepped forward, pulling out a piece of paper from the pocket of his trench coach, "Would something like this be possible?"
He flattened the paper out over the counter and turned it to let the clerk have a proper look at the design and after a few seconds of careful study the clerk nodded.
"Absolutely, this should be no problem at all."
The light sifting in through the curtains to their bedroom was soft, the moon outside having just begun a new crescent. Castiel was lying on his back on the bed, wedged comfortably in the space between Dean's chest and right arm while Dean rested his chin on top of the angel's head, watching Cas slowly turn the silver and black ring on his left hand back and forth, seemingly lost in thought. His fingers moved over the band, twisting it round and round, back and forth and Dean was starting to fear that his husband would end up wearing the inscription on the inside of the ring down before he even had the chance to grow accustomed to it…
To be honest it wasn't much of an inscription, it was just the Enochian initial for "D", mirrored by the letter "C" that could be found punched into the band on Dean's own finger. Simple and neat, without too much fuss, although Dean had to admit that he liked the way the silvery symbol for Cas' name shone out through the surface of the tungsten when he took it off to look at it. It reminded him of that shiny spot in the corner of his mind where the angel's presence gleamed through the darkness at him, like a little beacon of liquid light, for his knowledge only. He had never said it out loud of course, but he could tell by the amused and somewhat possessive pride that had sparked through the bond the moment the metaphor had gone through his head that Castiel knew the reason to his fascination for it.
Sam had demanded to see the rings as soon as they returned home with them and the grin of approval he sent them both in return had made Dean's chest feel all kinds of warm and liquidy. It had been Bobby's idea however - good old, practical Bobby - to add a tracking spell to the rings. Both Dean and Cas had been a bit stumped by the suggestion at first because why would they need a tracking spell when they had the bond inside their heads? Bobby of course had looked at them as if they were the two biggest Idjits on the face of the planet.
"And what about when either of you gets your lights knocked out?" he had snorted, "Can't pull off that neat little telepathy trick when you're unconscious, can ya?"
Well, they had to admit that he had a point with that one. Being knocked unconscious was an undisputable threat in their profession, and having a backup plan to be able to locate one another was never a bad thing.
The spell was done quicker than Dean had expected; Castiel putting his wings to good use and gathering all the ingredients in less than ten minutes. The rings had not felt any different when they put them on and they had decided to put them to the test by letting Dean go outside into the auto shop while Castiel remained indoors. When Dean had said the word that triggered the spell he had felt a distinctive and very insistent yank in his left ring finger, as if the ring itself was trying to urge him to come along. Moving away from the house in any direction had spread the tugging sensation all the way up to his elbow until it felt almost numb, but had immediately lessened once he took a step across the yard towards the back porch of the house. It was an odd feeling, like having a very determined five year old wrapped around your entire arm, but the spell seemed to be working just fine and that was all that mattered. He just wished that activating the spell while Castiel was running errands in, let's say Africa, wouldn't earn him a dislocated shoulder or worse, though he sincerely hoped that he would never have to find out about that.
But right now Castiel was lying safely on his shoulder, eyes half lidded as he studied the ring on his hand, an almost marveled look in the depths of that absent, blue gaze and Dean's smiled, the simple joy of feeling the bulk of the other's body press in against his being enough to make his heart swell.
"Hey…" he mumbled, pressing his lips to the top of Castiel's head in a sort of half snuggled kiss. "What're you thinking about?"
"Sjôjos," Castiel gruffed back and Dean's eyebrows shot up.
"What?" he chuckled and Castiel blinked, the daze clearing from his eyes when his brain caught up with what he had just said.
"Oh… I was just thinking about you and-… my mind must have wandered, I'm sorry."
"Do I even want to know how thinking of me could progress into thinking about Japanese ghost-monsters?" Dean asked carefully.
"The rings," Castiel clarified, "I was thinking about how I would be able to defeat it and save you, should you ever be attacked by one."
"You don't think I would be able to take care of myself?" Dean pointed out. "I have dealt with one of those before, you know."
"Yes, but this time you would be unconscious, of course," Cas explained, nodding as if to underline the suggestion as a fact, making Dean's eye roll to the ceiling with an amused grin.
"I see," he mused. "And then you would come along, chug down a liquor store and rescue me I take it?"
"That would be the best approach I think," Castiel agreed, not catching the amused teasing in Dean's voice, but then he scowled, as if an unpleasant thought had just occurred to him.
"But I'm afraid that drinking a liquor store would also take an unnecessary large amount of time," he muttered and Dean snickered, rolling over on his side to sling a leg over Castiel's thigh and nestle his foot underneath his right knee.
"So drink half," he suggested. "You don't need to be completely smashed in order to see it, just tipsy."
Castiel nodded again, thinking the new approach over.
"Half would be acceptable," he decided and Dean hummed approvingly, drawing lazy patterns with his finger over the edge of Cas' collarbone.
"And then what?" he asked with a barely hidden smirk.
"And then what… what?" Castiel repeated, the second 'what' coming out more than just a bit confused as he tilted his head up, trying to catch a glimpse of Dean's face.
"After you've rescued me." Dean explained patently. "Then what do you do?"
"Well I-…" Castiel trailed off and Dean could almost hear the sound of the angel's frown in the dark. "I don't really know," he admitted, "I never got that far."
"You don't?" Dean smiled, nudging his nose closer and pressing a kiss against the other's neck just below his ear, letting his tongue dart out in just a light tease that made Castiel sigh and tip his head against his chest.
"Actually…" A soft moan slipped between the angel's lips when Dean moved back up to nip at the top of his ear, "I think I do…" he confessed and Dean hummed, sliding his hand across the angel's abs.
"That's what I though," he smirked, fingers moving to trail down to the edge of the other's hip, dipping further to press the palm of his hand against the evidence of the angel's insight. It didn't take long before Castiel's face was pressed in against Dean's clavicle, small twitches making his entire body spasm and tilt his hips against Dean's hand in search of friction while every new stroke of Dean's fingertips caused a new litany of noises to spill from his mouth. One particularly well timed move along with a rough thrust of Castiel's hips had him pushing against Dean's neck, muffling a loud groan that would have been more than enough to wake the entire house had it gone by unguarded.
Dean chuckled, letting the hand that had been teasing Castiel's member fall back down to his thigh instead, pulling and dragging him over on his side in order to let his erection slot up with the one straining against Dean's own stomach.
"So loud…" he scolded teasingly, but Castiel just nodded, a breathless wince pressing into the slope of Dean's neck when Dean rolled his hips suggestively.
"Hey…" he mumbled, sliding further down the mattress in order to nip against the angel's now bared lips. "How about you pull that little party trick of yours and give us some privacy?" he suggested, thrusting once more to emphasize the urgency of the matter.
Castiel didn't answer; a breathy little whine the only thing escaping him and Dean was about to repeat his request when realization hit and he pulled back with his eyes closed, taking a deep, controlled breath before he propped himself up on one arm to look down at the male below him.
"You already have, haven't you?" he asked slowly and Castiel nodded, hands palming at the human's arms and shoulders.
"A few minutes ago," he murmured, letting out another noise of frustration when Dean still didn't make any attempt to lie back down and Dean snorted, his lips parting in a wide grin.
"I knew there was a reason I married you," he chuckled triumphantly, barely managing to catch himself against the mattress when Castiel decided that he had been kept waiting long enough and used his highly unfair advantage of celestial strength to yank the human back down and kiss him again. Dean laughed, but was quickly smothered by determined angel kisses and by the time the whisper of wings filled the space above them the sounds falling from his lips were forming a completely different tune.
Dean groaned when Castiel's hand moved the covers aside to grasp around him, the black metal on Dean's left ring finger blending with dark feathers almost seamlessly in the dusk as he fisted his hands in whatever he could reach. He watched as the tell-tale gleam of Castiel's own ring moved against the dark flush of his skin, reflecting the light from the moon outside like a mirror of pure silver. They didn't speak, though the bond between them rippled and pulsed with everything neither of them would ever demand to hear said out loud, but here, where the world outside didn't matter and the very air in their lungs felt like it was on fire, putting such emotions into words would only appear trivial in comparison.
And thusly, the story reaches its sad (or happy?), yet inevitable end.
Now to all of you who have read this story, who left reviews and came up with ideas or just simply took the time out of your day to write me; THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH.
I love you to pieces, every single one of you. You have been amazing, Chuck knows I would never be able to write without you guys. You are the best, I cannot describe how happy you have made me and I thank you all from the bottom of my soul for reading this. Sincerely, thank you.
Also, a big shout out to Betti (nekoshojo / trueffelkeks on tumblr) for being my muse and inspiration to this fic. If it hadn't been for her, this whole thing would have ended after chapter 11, but she's been so absolutely adorable that I had to keep it going just for her! If you don't already, go follow her because she draws the best fanart ever and give her your love because she deserves truckloads of it!
Betti, my sweets, sshhh, I love you darling.
Erhm, so yeah… More fanfics are coming up eventually, although they will be a bit scarce. For those of you who don't read Hot Water I have news to tell about why. See, I'm working on a book, like, a proper story that (hopefully) will one day be published and that's why the new fics and chapters might take a while because the book is my first priority at the moment, even though I'll most likely always have another Destiel fic in progress for you guys.
Anyway, there will be some independent one shots heading this verse's way too, eventually, so keep your peepers open and please, please, for the sake of my linguistic development, tell me what you think of them once I post them, okay? As a Swede I need all the English grammar help I can get…
My Complete, Undying and Devoted Love to you all