Summary: A look at the beginning of Dean's and Cas's lives in 2014. A more positive view, focusing on Castiel's fall and what they are giving each other.

Note: I don't own the show or the characters. Enjoy ^_^

Thank You

Castiel had fallen, and it hadn't even been unexpected – not after those years, even though a dramatically short time, he had spent with Dean. Just for looking up to this man, Castiel could have expected that it would end like this.

That the rebellion he had chosen would lead him to freedom – which was, to being human.

It had started with a slow, steady trickling on the inside – as if Castiel was lacking power after straining his grace too much. But it hadn't stopped, he hadn't gotten stronger again; the trickling had continued as a soft tingling, grace running out of him through a tiny, invisible leak.

The world was changing, too – and with it, heaven. Angels were leaving, and doing something that had shut down the connection between Castiel and heaven. The grace inside him was slowly disappearing because of that, blurring, and his power grew shorter and shorter. Like the roots of a tree, growing back inside into the wrong direction.

Cas and Dean had built up the camp together; they picked up whoever they found in fights and on the run; they brought them there and then they all worked together, helping each other to survive and live.

It was good to have others around them, people who trusted Dean and Cas and who were even thankful for being saved. Most of them hadn't known how to fight before, but Dean was happy to teach them the basics – and a lot of them were happy to learn something useful, after they've seen what danger waited for them out there. Dean enjoyed being looked up upon, being able to help people.

For Cas, the beginning was the hardest time. More than anything, it was the strangeness of the process, and how unexpected every single change was. He didn't even know how far this would go, what else would come. The changes were coming so slow that it was hard to tell.

One time he had started crying – something new, an unexpected feeling Castiel simply couldn't handle. Dean was there and rushed to the bed when Cas's legs gave in and the angel stumbled back, more overwhelmed by the clenching of his stomach and the tightness of his throat, the sickness rising in his chest than what had happened itself – the death of the friend, Castiel's fault.

Dean sat down next to Cas on the edge of the bed, grabbing both of his hands and holding them tightly in his; worry was showing on his face, eyes not daring to leave Cas. The touch confused Cas; an almost frightening confusion because he couldn't even say if it was still as unpleasant and distracting as it had always felt for an angel – or if his perception of human contact was now changing as well.

"You're okay?", Dean mumbled, still not letting go of Cas's hands when the sobs had stopped after minutes. Castiel just swallowed, nodding slowly in response and trying to sit up a little straighter; Dean's eyes were still on him, searching Cas's gaze and trying to read his expression.
"It's not your fault, it's okay", Dean continued quietly, now brushing his fingers over Cas's hand.

"If you say so", he finally said, and there was this unknown, slightly shaking note in his voice – as if he suddenly wasn't even able to control it anymore, just like his body. It was as if Castiel slowly had to let go of the control, the strings connected to his vessel. His body.

Dean seemed to have noticed it as well because he shifted a bit, until he was fully facing Cas.
"No, come on, I mean it. It's not your fault", he continued in a very quiet, soothing voice, and his eyes were full of confusion about Castiel's change.

Taking a deep breath, Cas nodded, then stared down at Dean's hands around his own. The sight almost surprised him now; but still, even if he had stopped crying and felt much more in control now, more like the usual Castiel, it wasn't as unpleasant as it used to be until now. Just…unusual.

Of course Dean noticed the way Cas was staring down and he followed his eyes, pulling his hands away with something close to disappointment.
"Sorry", he muttered, smiling halfheartedly; but Castiel felt a small sting of something new…something he didn't recognize, and he quickly shook his head.

"I'm fine, you really don't have to worry", Cas said; his voice was back to normal now, as he noticed with some relief. Dean gave him a last, long look before he got up from the bed, slowly stepping back a little. "Okay, then – see you around", he said and then turned around with a small smile, closing the door of Cas's hut almost carefully.

Whenever Castiel felt unknown emotions – human emotions – rush over him and control his body, it took him some struggling, strength to handle it. But it was getting easier with time passing – and finally, he realized that this change wasn't necessarily bad. That there was a way he might be happy now, something that was maybe even better than what he had been used to before, as an angel.

Dean was with Cas most of the time, and tried to help him whenever Dean noticed that something was wrong. He would hold his hand, talk to him or just stay close. Watch Cas to make sure he would be fine. And maybe this was what helped Castiel to deal with the new emotions – because it made him feel at least something familiar, an emotion he had already known as an angel, even if he shouldn't have. Or at least not for Dean. Thankfulness.

The presence of his grace was getting weaker and weaker; and so one day after a long time, Castiel finally tried to concentrate on feeling it again. He had pushed it back in order not to get too distracted by it – the feeling of constant loss and change, a reminder of what he had once been and what he was moving away from. When he searched for it this time, and there was nothing more than the tiniest spark left of his old power, Castiel felt another strong, warm emotion rushing through him – and he felt relief.

Dean was there, and he seemed to have noticed the way Cas leaned back, his body less stiff and concentrated. Muscles now relaxing in defeat.
"Cas, you're okay?", he asked, moving closer with the same worried, careful expression as always. Cas was sitting on the bed and leaning against the wall, and now looked up at Dean.
"I believe…my grace is dead", he said with amazement, and Cas knew that there was a soft smile on his lips he couldn't control.

The words made Dean stop in his movement, staring at Cas.
"You mean… completely gone now? All of it?" Dean's eyes widened a bit and his face was even more careful, almost guarded now. As if he wasn't sure what to expect, or whether he could handle Cas.

But Castiel just shook his head slightly, the smile still on his face.
"Not completely, but…almost everything is gone by now. I'm as good as human now", he said and looked down at his hands for a moment.

Dean didn't seem to move for a long moment, and when Cas finally looked up, he met shocked eyes.
"Wow…I-I'm sorry", Dean muttered. His eyes were flickering around nervously, trying to hold onto a safe point in the room.

"You don't have to be", Cas said while he got up from the bed. He hesitated a bit before he stepped closer because he still wasn't sure what he was even supposed to do.

Dean's eyes locked with his now that they were standing closer, and Cas tried a small smile.
"It's fine", he said softly, wanting to show Dean that it really was. That Castiel was even relieved, as if a burden had been taken off him.

Dean pressed his lips together and looked incredibly pained for a moment without daring to move.
"Oh Cas, goddammit", he mumble. His eyes seemed to flicker from Cas's smile down to his hands before Dean stepped closer, pulling Cas into a tight, close hug.

The contact was so unexpected, so sudden that Cas let out a small sound, something he hadn't planned; there was this sensation, the warmth he knew from before – but now, it seemed to be so different.
Maybe it was because his grace was gone or almost dead, or just because Cas had realized it – but the warmth had turned into small stings now; twitching and shooting through him almost like he was shivering, but in a pleasant way. Cas swallowed, for a moment too overwhelmed to do anything.

Dean had obviously heard the sound Cas made because he pulled away quickly – only to be stopped by Cas who kept his hands on Dean's back.
"Wait", he mumbled. His voice sounded like he was asking Dean, almost pleading; and Dean relaxed again, smiling sadly at Cas.

And as if emotions were controlling him, without really deciding to do so, Cas felt himself moving his hands on Dean's back. One wandered up to his neck and one a bit lower, resting there and keeping him close. Just when Dean's lips parted a bit to say something, Cas leaned in and met them in a kiss.

Even though now, when he could feel Dean's mouth soft and warm against his own, Cas suddenly realized that he had no idea what to do, luckily Dean moved a bit after just a moment. His arms sneaked around Cas's waist again and his lips pressed gently against Cas's, opening them just a bit until Dean could push his lower lip between both of Cas's.

They seemed to stay like that for moments, and Cas tenderly tried to move his own lips, mimicking Dean; he sighed, feeling warm and relaxed and…happy, humanly happy.
Feeling like he was falling in such a soft way, sinking into the kiss and…into a strange, unknown security. Something Castiel hadn't known before, something completely different. Different from thankfulness, from rage, sadness, or the small glimpses he had gotten on happiness. Just something different, something that made Cas kiss Dean back.

He only realized that his hand was playing with Dean's hair, caressing his neck and moving over the hairline. His other hand was resting on Dean's lower back and Cas was still kissing Dean, tenderly breathing into his mouth and letting Dean play with his lip – gently tug on it, then releasing it again and press against them with his own soft warmth.

For those long moments, everything stood still, hovering in the air while Cas didn't even think, just felt.

Then, there was a change in Dean's body, muscles hardening and tensing under Cas's touch. He stopped his movements, then let go of Cas and quickly pulled away, so Cas dropped his own hands. He stayed silent and let Dean step away, meeting his widened eyes. There were emotions shining in them Cas couldn't quite name, and maybe it was a mix of too many different emotions, confusion.

"Uhm…sorry?", Dean said nervously, and Cas could almost hear the questioning undertone, as if he was too unsure even about whether he wanted it to be a statement or question.

Cas opened his mouth, realizing that he was standing motionlessly in the room while Dean was sitting on the bed now.
"I didn't expect a kiss, but…it's not like I didn't want to do it", Cas started, but Dean interrupted him.
"-yeah but maybe I didn't want it, okay?", he said, and the way his voice was shaking confused Cas. He didn't sound exactly angry, but rather desperate.

It was silent for a moment, a strange sense of tension and nervousness hanging in the air.

"Oh. Sorry", Cas said. Dean gave a weak snort, looking at Cas with another confusing look.
"That's what I just said", he mumbled. Cas didn't know what to answer, just kept standing in the middle of the room and staring at Dean, not daring to move.

He lowered his eyes after a moment, focusing on his clothes instead because the eyes contact made him feel out of place, restless. Clothes Dean had given him, when they had started the camp and the ones Jimmy had chosen years ago had become useless, torn and dirty – now that Cas wasn't able to fix them anymore. It filled Cas with a strange sense of…melancholy. Touched him, just knowing that those were Dean's clothes.

"Cas", Dean finally said, and he looked up. "I'm…really sorry. About what happened. That you're – human", Dean said quietly.

Cas just nodded slowly. "I'm not. I'm not sorry about it", he replied with a calm voice, walking over to sit next to Dean again, who looked up at Cas with disbelief.
"How can you-", Dean started, and then he shook his head, an almost exasperated motion.

Their eyes met again, and Cas stayed silent, just to give Dean a chance to finish his sentence if he wanted to. But the silence grew longer, turning into a minute of just staring at each other.

The look Cas saw in Dean's eyes was fascinating; something very tender, almost gentle was there, but buried by sadness and confusion. Disbelief. Cas felt as if he could discover more and more of the softness the longer Dean just let him look.

It was thrilling, almost enchanting to just watch him like that – and after some time, Cas realized that his lips had curled into a small smile, while he continued staring. Drowning in Dean's eyes. He let out a small breath, and shuddered at the unknown, yet welcome and familiar sensation of warmth. Safety, almost…happiness.

Cas reached out without knowing what he was doing, why he was doing it, and then Dean's hand was in his. Dean didn't flinch or move away though, not even when Cas looked up meet his eyes again.

Or when Cas brought his palm to Dean's cheek, resting there; his thumb brushed over the skin, and even this movement filled him with the same warmth, the same kind he had felt before, during the kiss.

Dean's eyes were fixed on Cas as well, his look full of fascination and…maybe fear. But Cas could feel him tightening his hand around Cas's, holding it.

So let his other hand wander over the skin of Dean's cheek, caressing it and drawing soft patterns there. His fingers travelled a bit lower, and Dean closed his eyes, let out a long breath when Cas's fingers paused on his neck.

When Cas leaned in again and kissed him again, Dean made a soft, desperate sound; then his breath mingled with Cas's, the kiss suddenly deeper than before. Cas responded slowly, his lack of knowledge and experience making him careful and hesitant, but Dean didn't stop because of that.

And after a moment of pressing, gently moving his lips against Dean's mouth, Cas kissed back a bit deeper. It was slow, one of them taking the lower lip of the other in between his lips, breathing into the other's mouth or letting a tongue slide over a lip.

But the kiss still just felt as soft and secure as the one they shared before.

And when he pulled away with a sigh, Cas shuddered a bit, seeing the tender smile on Dean's lips.

Neither Dean nor Castiel thought that suddenly, just because of those kisses, everything had changed. That the world wasn't on the edge of complete destruction and doom, or that the hovering danger of Lucifer had suddenly been wiped out because of it.

But that didn't mean that there was nothing. Or that nothing had changed.

There was something. A soft, tender connection, a bond growing between them – or maybe, as Cas thought, they had just finally brought to life what had been there all the time.

Maybe it was because he had become human, or maybe because they had grown together even more during this time of fate and desperation. Maybe it had just been a matter of time.

But whatever the reason – it was there.

The first two, small kisses wouldn't be the only times they got closer, even though Dean was more than reluctant in the beginning. It was the guilt that kept him from Cas, or that kept him struggling at least.

But, in the end, the next kiss did come. It was a longing for closeness, searching for warmth and contact that made him do it – and definitely a longing for this good, secure facet of being human that made Cas do it.

And sometimes, when Dean smiled, or looked at him for a long moment, Cas felt like this was what they both had been waiting for, that it was just right. That somehow, they really did just belong together.

Of course, neither of them was simply alright. There was something missing in Dean after all – a part he had lost together with Sam. Dean had changed, he was different from before. Rougher, more tensed; in some sense, Dean had just grown older, but much older than just those few years. Dean wasn't even the same person, and the guilt and self-hate had left traces, scars after all.

But it seemed that this was the reason why now, he could have this with Cas. That Cas could fill the empty space inside of Dean.

Maybe it was only the pain and the loss that made Dean weaker, changed him and hurt him until he finally saw what he had. Cas.

Dean saw that Cas was his, that he was perfect; some things can only be understood in difficult situations, and Dean's love was certainly one of those things.

And it seemed to be the same with Cas – as soon as he had become human enough to feel and experience emotions, something had changed in the way he looked at Dean.

Not only the person he had chosen to fall for – lose his grace, let go of everything that defined his very existence. And Castiel had known almost from the beginning that it would end like this. From the moment he had laid his eyes on Dean's soul, and centered everything around him.

But now, he saw more than that.

He saw it everytime Dean gave him a special smile, so gentle and tender and thoughtful at the same time. Whenever Dean would stop to give him a longer look, or reach out for a simple touch.

Sometimes Dean would just show up in Cas's door, smile at him as if he himself wasn't sure what to do, and then finally pull Cas into a kiss.

It didn't take long until Dean moved further – until one night, he simply started unbuttoning Cas's shirt and sank down on the bed together with him. His hands moved on to Cas's jeans, running over the waistband slowly.

It was only then that Cas said something, and he broke the kiss with a small sigh.
"Dean", he just mumbled, his lips wandering over Dean's jaw and moving up to his ear while Dean himself started moving out of his own shirt. The fabric rustled softly when it fell to the ground, joining Cas's shirt.

"Cas?", Dean mumbled, and it took Cas a moment to realize that he was supposed to look up. The sight of Dean half-sitting on his legs and holding a tube in his hands made him swallow, blood rushing to his face and heating up his cheeks.

The look in Dean's eyes seemed slightly unsure, but he smiled carefully – a special smile, tender and caring – while he reached up to cup Cas's cheek. Cas didn't move or say anything, waited until Dean had kissed his lips softly and moved away again. "Do you…do you want to?", Dean whispered.

Cas nodded slowly with a matching smile, staring back into Dean's eyes with fascination and….affection. Pure, gentle affection.

"I want to", Cas mumbled, both of his hands running over Dean's back; he repeated the words in a whisper while his fingers started working on Dean's belt and jeans, until words were replaced with kisses that covered Dean's lips, chin and jaw until the pants were gone and Dean could shift to do the same with Cas's jeans.

Cas's hands were running over Dean's whole body, his back, sides and stomach while Dean sighed and licked against his neck, fingers working on Cas's jeans. Their movements were a confusing mixture of longing and desire – and soft gentleness, slow and eager at the same time.

But still, none of them was impatient or anything less than completely overwhelmed by what was happening, how this felt; how they made each other feel.

When all of their clothes had gone and he was sitting on top of Dean, both of them running their hands over the other's body and caressing the skin they could reach, Cas realized that he barely knew anything about this.

But when he whispered a "I don't know what to do" into Dean's ear, the other didn't change their positions. Instead, Dean shifted, parting his legs, and then reached for the lube. He carefully spread some on Cas's fingers, at the same time still rubbing their hips together and making him moan.

"You need to…stretch me", Dean mumbled; his voice sounded breathless and rough, making Cas shudder. Dean guided Cas's hand lower, to his own ass cheeks, and Cas brought his free hand up to Dean's neck; he caressed the skin there while he slowly pushed a finger into Dean.

No matter how long Cas had been human for now, or had been in contact with human emotions and sensations, reactions of his body – it was all very different to seeing Dean like this. To feel naked skin against naked skin, the touches and kisses everywhere that made his skin tingle. His brain felt so dull, numbed from such an amount of desire and longing.

Cas kept his eyes on Dean's face to see every change there and be able to stop, if he had to. He pulled out slowly after a few moments, only to spread more of the lube on his fingers and slip them in again, this time using two of them.

Dean let out a long, shuddering sigh and Cas immediately froze, stopping what he was doing – until he saw Dean shaking his head slightly.
"Don't stop, Cas", he mumbled. His lips were drawn into a soft, surprisingly relaxed smile.

"It feels good, you're doing fine", Dean whispered when Cas continued the slow, careful movements of his fingers. And really, Dean felt barely tense anymore, the muscles almost relaxed and loose around his fingers. Cas still continued, trying his best to control his body that demanded more than that, told Cas to rub against Dean and feel as much of him as possible.

Finally, after using even a third finger and after Dean had relaxed even more, Cas looked up; Dean's face was a mixture of happiness and excitement, and the way he was biting his lips, eyes closed, sent electric stings and shudders, more heat to Cas's groin.

"You think…you're ready?", Cas mumbled, using his free hand to caress Dean's neck gently.

"I'm ready", Dean whispered back, now opening his eyes and smiling at Cas with half-lidded eyes.
"Cas, I…I want to feel you. Please", he mumbled with an even shakier voice, but Cas just sighed and continued the caress on Dean's neck while he slowly pulled his fingers out of Dean. Dean made a soft sound, then relaxed again, looking up at Cas with a smile.

Cas groaned a little when he spread the lube over his own erection – because he hadn't expected it to be that sensitive, his body to react like that while he was only preparing himself.

"Okay", he mumbled when he was done. Cas moved his hands over Dean's legs first, caressing the thighs while spreading Dean's legs – but when he saw that Dean seemed to be concentrating even more like that to keep from tensing up again, Cas just positioned himself.

The position between Dean's legs felt awkward and strange, but as soon as he slowly pushed into Dean, Cas completely forgot about it.

His eyes were still on Dean's face the whole time, locked with Dean's and searching for every little change. For a sign of pain or discomfort.

But all he could see was a happy smile, a soft shudder on his lips; Cas could still feel that Dean's muscles tensed a little at first, and he stopped the movement immediately. The smile on Dean's lips widened a bit at that, and Dean brought his hand to Cas's hair, running his fingers through it and combing the too long, messy strands.

"Go on", Dean breathed, and Cas had to smile when their eyes met. He nodded, licking his lip a little while he pushed in again; the movement was smooth and slow, and Dean really didn't tense much around him. Cas noticed that he was breathing Dean's name, but his focus was more on Dean himself: his face, his eyes, the slight tension of his muscles around him and the heat. The way Dean's skin felt under Cas's fingers when Dean pushed up a little, trying to deepen the sensation and press closer. How close they were, how…right this felt.

His fingertips moved over Dean's hips in circles to soothe him; for a moment, Cas didn't move at all inside of Dean. Then his head shot up when Cas heard Dean saying his name, almost pleading him to do something.

"I need you to move", Dean just mumbled, biting his lip a little. Cas moaned and then he was pulling out a little, then pushing back in again.

It was still as smooth as before, and Cas made sure to concentrate on Dean's body as well as possible – but the movement was faster this time. It resulted in Dean groaning from the friction, and Cas gasping from the way he could feel the pleasure run in soft shudders through Dean's body. It was as if he could feel his very own movement resonating, being echoed in Dean.

He moved a bit out again, only to push back in, and Dean moaned again. His eyes were shut now, hands clasping Cas's shoulders.

"That's it, Cas", he mumbled, and Cas felt his own body shuddering when Dean pressed closer and made him go even deeper.

"Dean", he just brought out. One of Cas's hands found Dean's erection; he wrapped his fingers around it, running them along the shaft, and then starting to stroke him in the same rhythm with his movements.

Shudders were flowing into moaning, Dean's hips pressing up against Cas's body to meet them in the right angle, feel more of it. Their bodies seemed to be sinking into each other – Cas was drowning in Dean's body, in the way it felt around him. The way it felt to melt into Dean like that.

And Dean was completely sucked into the movement, into what Cas was doing to him. How complete it made him feel, how…right.

Then Dean came first, gasping Cas's name and his semen spreading over Cas's hand, stomach. The electric tingling and waves of pleasure running through Dean's body and making his muscles clench carried Cas over the edge as well. They were both just holding onto each other's bodies, fingers gripping shoulders and hips a little too tight when their bodies shuddered together when the orgasm was running through both of them.

When it had ebbed off and been replaced by leaden, warm bliss, Cas still hadn't pulled out of Dean.

It was a moment that felt like it needed meaningful words, to prove their deep affection. Their love.

Dean still just smiled up at Cas lazily, and the other returned the gesture, running his hand over Dean's cheek.

And it felt perfect and complete just like that.

With a sigh, Cas moved until he was lying on Dean's chest, feeling the slightly sweaty, heated skin under his own, their hearts beating against each other's chest.

Only after another moment of happy, exhausted silence, Dean moved a bit until his lips were on Cas's cheek, kissing them gently.
"Thank you", he whispered against the skin.