For edgebug on tumblr, because this inspired by her wonderful "angel mating season" headcanon art. I own none of the characters.
Dean realizes something is up right about the moment Sam stops talking mid-sentence and lets his jaw go slack around the words dying on his tongue, but it takes another moment or so for him to gather just what is going on. His confused ignorance lasts about as long as it takes him to turn around and mutter "The hell are you looking-" before he adopts the same stunned expression as his brother.
There's an angel in their motel room: a familiar, but very flustered, ruffled, downright feral-looking angel. And he's staring directly at Dean, perfectly divine hunger gleaming around his dilated pupils. It's almost rabid, uncontrolled and animalistic, and it's completely unlike the Castiel that Dean and Sam know.
But even so, that is not the first thing the two of them notice.
No, the first thing they notice – and they have a hard time noticing anything else – is the massive shadow curling around Castiel's hunched form, or rather two shadows, to be more precise. They extend from his back, two massive dark wings, puffing up like those of a bird defending its territory or trying to impress a potential mate. But they aren't just dark. They're gleaming with iridescent color: turquoise and magenta and emerald green that swirl together like a glimmering nebula against the black backdrop of space.
Dean barely has time to get out a breathy, "Cas?" before Castiel launches himself forward without pretense or preamble, grabbing Dean's lapels and dragging him down for a messy, desperate kiss, his wings quivering and curling around them possessively.
Sam staggers backwards with a shocked cry, and Dean clutches at Castiel's trench coat, struggling for purchase. Finally, he manages to push Castiel away, their lips swollen and red, Castiel looking at him with a positively ferocious-looking spark dancing in his eyes.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Dude! Turn it down, would you?" The gleam in Castiel's eye diminishes a bit, though it does not even come close to disappearing; it's halfway replaced by a questioning glance that's a bit more reminiscent of a more familiar Cas.
"Problem?" he asks, his voice even more ragged than usual.
"Uh...yeah," says Dean, gesturing at the wings extending from Castiel's shoulder blades. "Wanna tell me what's going on with the feathers?"
Castiel glances at one dark wing that's curled around Dean's shoulder before looking back up at him. "It's perfectly normal, Dean."
Sam lets out a nervous-sounding scoff. "Normal?" he asks when Dean and Castiel both look over at him. "You must have a pretty damn broad definition of normal."
"I tend to, yes," Castiel says plainly. "Now no offense intended, Sam, but you may wish to leave."
"Why?" Sam asks dubiously.
"Because I intend to mate with your brother, and I'm relatively certain it would cause you to be quite uncomfortable were you here to witness it."
Sam's eyes widen to the size of dinner plates, and Dean holds both hands up defensively.
"Whoa, just slow down there a second, Cas," he says. "What's gotten into you? And seriously, what's going on with...with all this?" He reaches out to touch one of the feathers, and Castiel shivers.
"It's my..." He pauses a moment, suddenly looking self-conscious, looking back and forth between Sam and Dean. "It's my breeding plumage."
Dean snorts, and Sam is already grabbing his keys and striding toward the door. "Wait, Sam, where are you going?" Dean calls after him.
"This is farther out of my comfort zone than you'd ever believe," Sam replies over his shoulder. "I can only handle so much weird."
The door slams behind him, and Dean looks back at Castiel, who is staring at him like a starving dog might stare at a steak.
"Are you ever going to fill me in on what the hell is happening right now?" he asks. "I mean, breeding plumage? What does that even mean? You in heat or something?"
"You could call it that," Castiel says, drifting closer to Dean in a half-hearted attempt to kiss him again. Dean keeps his lips a safe distance away from Castiel's; it's not that he doesn't want to kiss him, but at the moment he's far too weirded out to do anything but try and wrap his mind around what the hell is happening. "Is there a problem? Do you not wish to mate with me?"
Dean blinks. "Well not when my freaking brother is in the room!" he says.
Castiel glances at the door. "Sam isn't here right now, Dean," he says huskily.
"Just cool your engines for a second, okay?" Castiel purses his lips unhappily. "You have...you have wings, Cas!"
"I've always had wings."
"Yeah, but they're big...shadowy things," Dean says, gesturing wildly above his head. "Not...not like this. This is just..." He stares at the gleaming feathers; they are beautiful, he has to admit. Entrancing, really. "Just..." He trails off, looking back up at Castiel, who is suddenly blushing.
As his mind stops reeling, he gets a chance to take in the image before him: Castiel with his hair mussed up and sticking out at odd angles, his pupils blown so much his eyes look glazed over and dark, and those wings...They're puffed out and ruffled, feathers shining with so many colors, so vibrant they almost seem to glow. All of it, the whole picture is just so incredible, so erotic for reasons Dean can't understand.
It seems almost forbidden, and he's never been able to resist that.
"Geez, you look incredible," he breathes, and Castiel reddens further. Experimentally, Dean reaches up again, threading his fingers through the puffy feathers, and Castiel moans softly, closing his eyes. Dean chuckles a bit, feeling his heart begin to pound heavily at the sound of Castiel's vocalizations as he runs his fingers deeper, massaging the rough flesh beneath the down covering. His hand skims over the joint near the base and Castiel's eyes snap open, his gaze firey with divine need.
Dean barely has time to smirk before Castiel pushes forward, tackling Dean down onto the springy motel mattress, his wings stretching heavenward and gleaming in the dim light.
Dean's not really sure how it happened, but somehow he's ended up hanging halfway off of the edge of the bed, his knuckles nearly brushing against the ragged carpet as he tries to catch his breath, sweat cooling on his back. It's a bit of a blur, honestly, full of entangled bodies and feathers, desperate gasps and not-even-attempting-to-be-anywhere-near-quiet moans. The other motel patrons probably hate them at the moment, but Dean's having a hard time caring; he's wonderfully sated and busy wondering how the hell his jeans wound up dangling from the ceiling fan.
"Holy shit..." he breathes. Castiel hums next to him, his wings rustling as he wraps them around Dean. The feathers tickle at first, but they're warm and soft, like a fluffy winter blanket, and he relaxes back against Castiel's chest, wondering if he's ever felt this perfectly satisfied before. He doubts it.
He hauls himself up, lying on his back and staring at his pants swaying back and forth from the blades of the ceiling fan. "Breeding plumage, huh?" he asks. Castiel nods sleepily next to him. "I didn't even know that was a thing for angels."
"It happens rarely," Castiel says. "Specifically to angels walking the earth. It causes some very...basic urges to take hold of us."
"Yeah, I noticed."
"I hope I didn't hurt you."
Dean lets out an unashamed laugh. "You kidding? Cas, that was...damn, that was..." He can't think of a word. He lets all the air out of his lungs at once, closing his eyes and enjoying the warmth. "Think you might have scarred Sam for life, though."
Castiel looks away, now seeming embarrassed. "It wasn't my intention," he say self-consciously. Dean pats him on the shoulder.
"Hey, don't worry about it, okay? He'll be alright." They slip into comfortable silence, and Dean wonders if Castiel has fallen asleep, if that's even possible, before the angel shifts beside him, pressing up against him more tightly. Before Dean knows it, Castiel is peppering his neck with kisses, using his wings to pull him closer, and Dean has to push him away a bit, chuckling as he does.
"Cool it there, peacock," he says fondly. "You might be running hot, but I need a little bit, okay?" Castiel makes a whimpering sound in the back of his throat, his wings drooping, but Dean can't allow himself to feel guilty when he's just had his mind blown to pieces; his whole body feels like jelly and he needs to sleep or at least relax for a bit before he's ready to go another round.
Though he has to admit, he does look forward to it. Very much so.
Dean is mostly dressed and stretched out on the bed, flipping through the television channels with Castiel curled up beside him, the angel's wings wrapped comfortably around the two of them. Apparently, when angels aren't busy being horny bastards during this mating season or whatever the hell anyone wants to call it, they're ludicrously clingy. Castiel seems to need to have some sort of contact with Dean at all times, even if it's as superficial as their hands brushing up against one another. Dean would certainly never admit that it's anything but annoying, but it's...well, it's endearing to a certain extent. It would probably get old fast, but Castiel has assured him that this is a temporary state, so for now, he lets himself enjoy being wanted.
When there's a tentative knock on the door, Castiel doesn't move, and Dean doesn't much feel like doing so either. "Dean?" drifts a voice through the door. "You ah...you decent?"
Dean looks down at Castiel – who's wearing just his button-up shirt and dress pants – and then at himself in a t-shirt and jeans with the top button undone. Well...close enough.
"You won't go blind, dude," he calls, and the door creaks open. Sam raises his eyebrows at the two of them, trying to hide a blush that's creeping onto his face.
"Hello, Sam," Castiel says, and Sam waves awkwardly, staring at the shimmering wings that are still wrapped around his brother and the angel.
"So...you're still..." He raises his hands on either side of his shoulders, trying to give the impression of wings with the gesture, and Castiel glances at his own feathers.
"I can't hide them in this state," he explains. "They're too..."
"Fabulous?" Dean jokes. Castiel jabs him.
"It's difficult to explain. Normally my wings are tied to the divine, to Heaven, and they can't be seen on this plane. But now...they're grounded in human desires, in basic drives and urges native to this realm instead. So I can't shroud them in my own Grace as I usually would."
Dean listens to the explanation and hums thoughtfully. "Doesn't really make much sense if you ask me, but I can't exactly do anything about it, can I?"
"You're doing all you need to already," says Castiel, a flirtatious edge to his voice that Dean is not at all used to hearing. Dean smirks, and Sam grimaces.
"I'm right here, guys," Sam reminds them. "I'm already debating getting a separate motel room for the night."
"Aw relax, Sammy," Dean assures him. "It's cool, alright? We're not gonna do anything."
"Alright well...I'm beat. Can you guys keep your hands and er...wings to yourselves while I catch some shut-eye?"
Sam sighs and slips off his shoes, crawling into his own bed and burying himself under the covers. He tunes out the sound of the TV and is asleep within minutes.
Sam wakes up and immediately wishes he were still unconscious, because the sounds drifting over from the other bed are the absolute last things he wants to be hearing at the moment.
Castiel lets out a strangled yelp, and Dean says, "Damn, sorry. They really that sensitive?"
"Don't apologize," Castiel growls raggedly. "Don't...just do it again, Dean. You touching me there...it feels...good..."
Between the smacking of lips on skin and the rustle of feathers are several unashamed moans from both his brother and Castiel. He tries for a bit to pretend he's not hearing the soft drag of clothes brushing against flesh as they're removed before he decides enough is enough, and he sits up.
Dean and Castiel are positively entangled in each other, Castiel's wings fanning out over their bodies as he devours Dean's bare neck and chest. "Jesus, guys, really?" Sam groans. Dean pauses and looks up, but Castiel doesn't seem to care at all, and he continues to drag his mouth over Dean's skin.
"Ah..." Dean says as Sam gets up from the bed and grabs his things, stalking toward the door. "Sorry, Sammy...We uh...didn't mean to wake- Cas, can you hold up for a second?" Castiel pulls back, staring down at Dean with the same ferocious hunger he'd had in his eyes earlier. Sam is already halfway out the door.
"I'm so done with both of you," Sam says, throwing up his hands as he leaves. He closes the door behind him with a loud slam, and Dean tries and fails to bite back a chuckle.
"So much for not waking him up," he says as Castiel goes back to kissing and licking at Dean's chest. "You're not exactly quiet, ya know."
Castiel lets out a hum that's at least partially a growl, reaching down wordlessly to grasp Dean's hand and guide it back to his wing. "I told you," he says breathily, sighing in pleasure as Dean drags his fingers through the iridescent feathers. "It feels good."
Dean does feel a bit bad for essentially sexiling his brother, but Castiel quickly distracts him.
For three days they're holed up in the motel room. They can't take Castiel anywhere because God only knows how people would react if they saw him walking around with that impressive "breeding plumage" of his, and because Castiel's random boughts of unbridled horniness are notoriously difficult to predict. One moment, Dean will be drifting off while watching a late-night talk show, and the next, Castiel will be pinning him to the wall and grinding against him incessantly, his feathers puffed up in some sort of erotic dominance display.
For that reason, Sam rarely ventures anywhere near their room, occasionally acting as a delivery boy and bringing them take-out before making a hasty retreat. Dean really needs to do something nice for the kid when this is all over because Sam really does look positively miserable. He'll make it up to him somehow, but it's hard to think of that when Castiel is slithering down his torso, unbuttoning his fly and-
Yeah...he'll think of it later. Much later.
He wakes up on the morning of Day Four with Castiel squirming next to him. For a moment he thinks the angel is itching to go another round, and he inwardly groans because he's starting to get sore, but then he realizes that Castiel is actually just plain itching. He's reaching around trying to scratch at his own wings, which look shoddy and dull, the colors having become much less vibrant overnight. Feathers drift down onto the mattress and floor, and Dean picks one up and stares at it before looking up at Castiel.
"You okay?" he asks.
"I'm...I believe I'm starting to..." His words trail off as he lets out a pained groan, curling his wings around to make them easier for him to scratch.
"What?" Dean questions, "You molting or something?"
Castiel gives him a miserable side-glance, and Dean arches his eyebrows. "Wow, okay."
"It's very unpleasant," Castiel admits.
"Well how long does it take?"
"Not long, I think. Once my breeding plumage is gone I'll be able to sheath my wings again. The ah...urges have already diminished considerably." He reddens a bit as he scratches.
"Guess we're both a little saturated," Dean says with a chuckle. Castiel doesn't seem to hear; he's still wrapped up in his scratching. "Hey, come here."
"Just come here," Dean commands, and he maneuvers himself behind Castiel, scratching deep between the feathers of his dulled wings. Castiel sighs, letting his head stretch back, a small ghost of a smile playing at his lips.
"That feels very nice, Dean," he says, stretching his wings out so that Dean can get better purchase on the hard-to-reach under-feathers. A few come off in Dean's fingers, and he lets them fall away. They'll clean up later, but for now he lets Castiel relax, relishing the occasional contented sigh that slips from the angel's throat.
"Sam'll probably be happy to know that all this is over," he says.
"And are you?" Castiel asks.
"Am I what?"
"Happy that it's over."
Dean shrugs and smirks. "Well I definitely didn't mind. But yeah...guess I'm glad it didn't go on for too long, you know? I'm only human."
Castiel hums thoughtfully and lets his eyes slide closed as Dean's fingers find a particularly sensitive spot on his shoulder joint. Blue and magenta feathers slide to the floor.
Castiel finds that soaking his wings relieves much of the discomfort of shedding the old feathers, and he's stretched out in the bathtub, Dean trailing his wet fingers through his wings. It's...nice, a pleasant break from monsters and mayhem, and he allows his head to drop back against the side of the tub, the water sloshing around his chest.
"So do all angels go through this?" Dean asks. "The ones on earth anyway."
Castiel nods. "It depends," he says. "It's usually triggered when an angel already has a connection with someone...The urges are already present, but dormant until..." He trails off because it doesn't really need saying.
"Not that dormant," Dean teases, and Castiel finds himself smiling. "We're not going to have to deal with a bunch more horny angels showing up at our door, though, are we?"
Castiel stiffens as he realizes something, and Dean pauses. "Cas?" he asks dubiously. "There something you want to tell me?"
Sam's packing his bag, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he folds his clothes. It's been four days of this, but it seems Castiel is at the tail-end of his "mating season" so they should be able to get back on the road soon. And none too soon, either, he thinks. He's tired of this motel room, and he's tired of having to jam a pillow over his ear to keep from hearing his brother and his horny-beyond-belief angel going at it two doors down.
A faint fluttering sound wrenches his attention away from his own thoughts, and he turns.
"Gabriel?" he breaths. "What are you-" He stops dead when he notices that something is very, very different about the archangel: namely, the six gleaming wings stretching out from his back. They're large and ruffled and...pink. They're absolutely bubble-gum pink with tiny flecks of brilliant gold shimmering on the vibrant feathers.
Gabriel's eyes are glazed over in precisely the same way that Castiel's were four days prior, and Sam's eyebrows arch nearly to his hairline.
"Let me guess," he says raggedly. "You too?"
"Evening, Sasquatch," the archangel breathes, and Sam barely has time to get out a clipped, "Oh-" before Gabriel is tackling him down on the bed.