Life in Limbo

I was scared at first. Fought my way through hordes of things while Cas tried to find a way out.

He didn't. He tried so hard to push and shove his way through that by the time he had landed again he was cut, bleeding, battered and weak. And tired. God, he was so tired. He just shut down.

He found a stream, tiny, didn't give much water, and sort've crouched beside it.

And he didn't move. He didn't speak a word, didn't hardly blink. Sometimes I don't think he was breathing. I set up a sort of camp in a cave close by to keep him in ear-shot and able to start a fire without something seeing it from far away. I really didn't want to freeze to death in this place. Sometimes it snowed, sometimes it rained, sometimes I could see lava coming down off the mountains from really far away. I always kept an eye on him. There were plenty of things there that knew my name, that knew I was there. The fewer that knew about Cas the better.

The first time he was attacked it took me almost too long to get there. He still wouldn't fight back and…and it got him pretty good. It sliced his chest and was diving toward his throat before I cut its fucking head off.

"Cas, Cas, hey!" I'd pulled him off the ground, steadying him to look at him. The cuts were already healing, but damn he was shaking so hard. He was scared. Really, really scared of…of everything. "Why didn't you-? Damn it, Cas." He still didn't talk to me. Hell, he barely looked at me.

Anything that tried to come near him after that was killed before it got within five feet of him.

I couldn't yell at him anymore. I couldn't be angry and yell because…damn it, it wasn't working. I didn't like hurting him, either. I just let him sit, let him think for a minute. The minute turned out to be over a month. I'm not gonna lie, I got frustrated. I threw shit, I got angry. But yelling at him, hurting him wouldn't do anything but make him clam up further.

He always looked like he was in physical pain, in agony, tormenting himself from the inside out. I spent every day fighting and trying to get food. And every night I'd come back and he'd be right here where I left him. In all that time I never thought of one damn thing I could do to help him.

I came back from killing off a pack of werewolves once, drenched in blood, sweat, dirt and God knows what else. I knelt on the other side of the stream, hastily wiping my face, frustrated, joints stiff and weary. I didn't expect the handkerchief to start wiping what I'd missed. I didn't expect to see him looking back at me either. "Cas?" I said, waiting for a response that didn't come. He just looked at me, clearing the blood and dirt from my face, gentle. When it was gone he replaced it in his pocket, gently running his knuckles on the back of my cheek before returning to his original stance, staring ahead at nothing. I stood, stepping through the shallow water and carefully touching the back of his head before I went back in the cave to rest.

A few hours later I couldn't wait anymore.


I'm insane.

I'm broken.

I'm useless.

Dean's going to get himself killed here and all I can do is sit here.

But I can't move. I've tried. I've tried so hard to get up, to try fighting again. To protect who I love. Father help me, I can't.

The memories of Lucifer's tortures that haunted my consciousness tried to fight through the clarity I had gained back. I tried to focus on my priority, on Dean, because I love him so much but…but I couldn't. I tried…

I fought myself, fought for what felt like seconds, but it could very well have been weeks. Judging by how worn and tired Dean looked each time I focused enough to see him I guessed as much.

I didn't even see that thing when it started to maul me. I screamed. I expected death. I don't know my limits here, I don't know if I can die here. And Dean…

He saved me. He saved me.

I didn't see him again until he was crouched in front of me, sloppily wiping blood off his face. He was covered in it, it and dirt. He stopped, taking breaths, so tired.

I reached into my jacket, taking out the handkerchief I'd left there and reached out, taking away the excess he'd left, trying to wipe out the evil and wretchedness that had touched him.

I wished he'd tell me he forgave me. I wish he'd tell me if he didn't. Or if he still loved me. Or cared, even a little.

I loved him.

I never stopped loving him.

He looked back at me, waiting for something. For anything. I couldn't speak, not yet. I tried.

He was cold. His eyes looked lonely and afraid, not of what was around us, but me. He was afraid for me.

I put the cloth back, staring away at nothing, trying to remember a time when he didn't look at me like that.

When I focused again it was dark and there were warm hands on my otherwise cold skin. His fingers turned my chin up and…

And he kissed me. So tender and gentle, so soft. He carefully took my waist, guiding me up so I was in his arms. "Dean?" I whispered, speaking for the first time in I'm not sure how long, looking at him, searching for an answer.

He kissed me again, deeper, holding me tighter. "I missed you," he whispered. "And I…I can't do this anymore, Cas."

"Do what?" I choked, afraid of his answer.

"Stay away from you." Another kiss. A hard, deep kiss and his arms slowly entwined around me, holding me. "Can…I can still…care about you right?"

My heart swelled to the point of being painful and I leaned forward again, touching those lips I'd dreamed of touching for so long now. That same wonderfully terrible ache in my chest was there again; longing so long denied finally soothed. He held my cheek possessively, forcing me to stay as close as possible to him. The monsters and lies were forgotten in these moments, being near him, allowing his stubble to burn my lips and his mouth to take over mine.

"Come here."

I took him back to where I'd been living. It'd been years since we'd touched like this, literally years. It was like feeling him for the first time again.

It was different than being with a girl. You know, besides the obvious. I missed him. I missed this. It was cold, we were naked, but damn it we didn't care. He looked up at me, lying on his coat, his hand carefully clasping over the handprint he'd left there what seemed like lifetimes ago. My chest hurt. It was a different kind of pain, though. Not the betrayal, not seeing him slowly turning into what I'd seen when I'd gone to the future, not being so pissed and so worried about his crazy ass for so long. No this was…this was want.

I'm not gonna say the L word here, but…

God he was so soft. Smooth, perfect, his lips molding to mine so easily. Guess it is like riding a bike. "Cas…"

"I'm here."

He needed me. I could tell when he looked at me how much he did. So scared, worried he'd make a wrong move again, worried I'd hate him again, worried that I'd have to leave him in some asylum with a demon bitch that would only hurt him while he was tortured day in and day out by his brother-

Gettin' what he's scared of and what I was mixed up again.

"Dean," he breathed, looking up at me. I felt his legs slide beside my hips, shaking for reasons other than the cold. I carefully cupped his calf, thumbing the skin underneath my hand before kissing him again, savoring the taste of his mouth. God, I missed him.

"Shh, I got you, Cas."

I obviously didn't have any…any um, stuff with me. Not like I walk around with me and…and spit doesn't really…especially with this wind. I…I didn't want to hurt him. I hoped he'd get it without me having to explain.

Turns out I didn't. He pressed up into me, whining softly, needing. I lost my breath, gripping his sharp hips and grinding into him. His blunted nails dug into my shoulders, heading falling back with a whimpered, "Oh." I kissed his neck, taking advantage of the angle he'd given me. He sighed, rocking slowly in time with me.

He felt good. So fucking good you…God you have no idea.

"Dean!" He choked when I wrapped my hand around the both of us.

"Shh…" I hissed, kissing him again. "Shh, don't be too loud. You'll bring that shit here."

I cut him off, parting his lips with my tongue and giving him the deepest kiss I could muster. I was so tired of hearing him apologize. He'd said that word enough without being forgiven, being told that it was alright and he didn't have to anymore. And the last thing I needed was to see those eyes that fuckin' glowed even in this little light fill with tears again. No, no it hurt too much.

"Shh, shh…" I whispered. "No more. No more of that, just…"

He kissed me this time, searing, making my heart pound. It was stupid how much he could make me feel. He put fuckin' butterflies in my stomach, made it hard to breathe and zapped all the spit in my mouth. He made me forget all of the crazy, horrible shit that was happening around us. He made me remember what it's like to…to…

"Shit, Cas!"

Felt like high school, rubbing our pricks together, rutting like teenagers because we didn't really know what to do yet. Some other time, when we weren't rushed, when we didn't need each other so bad it felt like we were gonna explode if we didn't I'd do this right I'd take my time and show him how much he meant. Not now. Not the time or the place now.

I fell into his neck, moaning, "Angel…"

I can't remember the last time he called me that. I literally cannot.

I leaned my cheek into his, one hand on his back, sliding up and down his smooth, supple skin before catching in his hair. He was everywhere, everything. In less than an hour Dean Winchester had invaded my senses as well as my thoughts. Everything I'd been wishing for since he brought my memory back. To feel him again. To feel his soul reaching out to me again instead of retracting from revulsion or fear.

And here he was.

He wrapped his hand around both our arousals, creating such desired, now slicked friction between them I forced myself to bite down on his neck rather than scream. He cried out, his own voice muffled by my skin, cursing again. The chill in the air was welcomed now, soothing the unbearable heat building between the two of us. He kissed me, sloppy, wet, wanton lips attacking my mouth again. I wanted it. I wanted so badly to be absolutely engulfed by him. And yet another wish was being granted.

It was harder to be quiet now. I could feel the build of both our releases building. Our noses mashed as we tried to kiss again, bumping foreheads when we tried again, laughing briefly before completing the task.

He paused a moment, forehead pressed to mine, smiling at me. Actually smiling at me. I could only return it to the small degree that I did smile. He kissed me again, eyes void of the weight, guilt, pain and worry they usually held just for these moments.

When he was with me.

"Dean," I said raggedly, out of breath from the rigorous work as well as those eyes of his. "Please."

The hand that would be responsible for our orgasms was back again, tighter, for fevered, working us closer and closer. "Yes, yes, please, please," I begged, breath gone. "Dean…"

Faster, harder. My muscles tensed, all of them, feeling his heart thunder, pulse trapped under than the hand on his neck.

"Mmph!" He grunted, teeth gritted. "Cas!"

"Please, please…" My hand slipped to his shoulder, to where I'd claimed him mine all those years ago, squeezing to hang on. He gasped, managing my name through a quiet whimper again, moving so quickly. I was losing myself, mind being taken over by his lips, his sweat, his voice, his hand.

"Dean, I'm-"

"It's okay," he assured, kissing me again, lips grazing my ear before he spoke again. "Let go for me, Angel."

He muffled my cry with those beautiful lips, free arm wrapping around my back to sit me up, widening my legs and delivering those last few jerks that-

I was lost in white brighter than my own grace, falling back a little too hard when he collapsed over me, his last twist sending hot release onto our stomachs to mingle with mine.

He gasped, face resting against my chest. I stroked his cheek and dampened hair, cradling him as best as my jellified limbs would allow. He looked up at me after some time, just looking. I frowned, worried.

"Dean…You, you aren't going to take this back, are you?" I breathed. His brow scrunched.

"What do you mean?"

"You've said you haven't meant it before…or rather that what we've done didn't mean anything. Does that apply now?" I spoke softly, afraid it to be come true if I said it aloud.

I saw a rare tenderness for me wash over his face. "Hey," he moved beside me, half on my coat, half on the dirt floor, fire at his back, giving him a beautiful glow that made him look…angelic. He cupped my chin to keep my eyes on him. "Cas, I…You know you mean more to me than that. We're past that, aren't we? Thinkin' that I don't care-"

"You've had no reason to care for over two years now," I reminded, too-familiar tears welling in my eyes, words caught on a strange lump that lodged in my vessel's throat when this happened. "You've got every reason to never mean it again."

"Damn it, Cas," he spat, pained. "It's okay, okay? It's fine. We're fine. You've paid your dues for what you did, okay?" It didn't help.

"I, what I did to Sam, what I did to you, the Leviathon…"

A violent flash of lightning pierced the black air outside the meshed netting of leaves Dean had constructed to mask the cave, incredible thunder that shook the very earth following, all while a tear fell down my cheek.

I always wondered what would happen if an angel actually cried. Tears falling and everything.

Now I knew.

The wind that rocked the old, gnarled trees outside was horrific, making them creak and twist, the rain pounding and relentless. Thunder made the whole place tremble, rocks clacking softly together, lightning so constant it was if the lights were on. And that was before Cas started to actually sob.

"Forgive me, Dean," he pleaded, voice almost lost in the noise. "For everything, for every single time I've ever hurt you. For anything I'd done to displease you, for harming your brother, for starting the war in Heaven, for trying to protect you so much I almost killed you with my own hands. Please, please forgive me. I killed so many, my family, my brothers and sisters, human and the like. Please forgive me for my betrayal, for not coming to you when I needed you while you were with Lisa, for marrying that woman when I should have been with you, for letting those things inside my body, for not warning you sooner that they were still inside me- DEAN, PLEASE, I'M SO SORRY!"

We're gonna die if he keeps this up.

I grabbed his face, kissing him, pulling him into my arms and finally, finally saying it aloud. "Look at me, look at me!" I bellowed over the storm and his tears. "I forgive you. For everything, absolutely everything. I forgive you, Cas. And," I swallowed past my own cowardice. Just say it, god damn it! "I love you. I love you."

He looked at me for a beat before collapsing against me, clinging to me. A freakin' levee that finally broke. "Shh…" I soothed, holding him. "Shh…I forgive you. It's okay now. Now, please stop crying. This storm'll kill us, angel." He gave an echo of a peaceful smile through his tears, taking slow breaths to calm himself down. "Shh, it's okay. It's okay now."

I could feel the cold now, shivering a little, hugging him closer. He sniffed, sitting up, tears gone, but the remnants on his cheeks still shining in the light of the fire.

"You're cold," he stated, swallowing hard.

"Yeah," I nodded, turning to get my clothes. He touched my shoulder and a second later I was fully clothed, so was he. He stroked my hair back, pulling me to him and lying down with me. I rested my head against the crook of his arm, facing him. He sniffed, vulnerability still in his eyes

"I'll fight if anything comes," he assured in that soft, gruff voice of his. I smiled. "And I'll keep you warm. Sleep, Dean."

I let my eyes close, forcing worry out so my head would shut up and I could rest. "Dean?" He said softly.


"I love you too."

Yeah, I could survive in here. If things stayed this way, I might be able to stay here forever.

A few miles away, a werewolf howled.

Never mind, we need to get the fuck out of here.