[AU; Just something I literally wrote on the spot because why the fuck not. I hope you enjoy! ~rainy]

"Goddammit Cas." Dean hissed as the angel zapped into the passenger's seat of the Impala, making him jump, "You can't just sneak up on me like that, man, give a guy some warning." He found himself lowering his voice to a more manly rumble and shifting in his seat uncomfortably, because he definitely was not blushing because that was not something that gruff, whiskey shooting hunters like himself did.

"I'm sorry, I forget that you can be... alarmed by sudden appearances." Cas apologized in his typical slow and over thought manner, "I do feel we need to talk about what happened though, Dean."

He could feel Castiel's eyes on him, looking at him with that horrible sincerity that made Dean's stomach drop. Not flutter. It was not fluttering, it was dropping, definitely not fluttering like a cage of butterflies or any bullshit like that, "Well thankfully there's nothing to talk about, I was very drunk, all I remember is waking up this morning with one hell of a hangover, and that's all I want to remember." He spoke with a tense smile, but he was only able to turn and meet Castiel's eyes for a quick moment before he turned his attention back to the road. So maybe he was a godawful liar, but luckily for him Cas wasn't exactly a bloodhound on picking up on that sort of stuff.

Castiel didn't say anything for a moment, he only turned and stared at his hands, which were folded neatly in his lap. Dean watched him closely out of the corner of his eye, waiting to see if he'd take the bait or not.

"I..." Castiel began, in little more than a soft grumble, "I apologize Dean, I'm clearly upsetting you." He looked back up and this time Dean couldn't put his eyes back on the road in time.

"Cas, no don't take it-"

But with a snap of air the angel was gone, nothing remained of him other than the seat of the Impala, which was still slightly flattened from Castiel's weight.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Dean clicked his way through a webpage on hexes, but nothing substantial was surfacing. He sighed and took another swig of his beer, and nearly choked on it when a hand slapped his arm.

Sam was staring at him from across the table, his expression clearly waiting for some sort of an answer, "Sorry, Sam, I zoned out there." Dean mumbled, running a hand down his face, "Whatdidya say?" He slurred his words together, more from feeling tired than from any sort of substance.

"Dude, what is wrong with you?" Sam asked sharply. Dean had clearly stepped in something bad this time, because Sam didn't look in the mood to be buying bullshit.

"Sorry, I'm sorry. Just tired, late night, you know." Dean tried to smile it off, but unlike Castiel Sam wasn't so easily written off.

"No, I don't know, Dean. You go running off last night, saying something about helping Cas, and don't come back until half the day is gone, and any leads we had on this case have completely gone out the window. And then you just sit there, looking like someone shot your dog." Sam sat back, mimicking Dean's earlier show of running a hand over his face, "I'm sorry, Dean, but... did someone kill Cas, or-?"

"No, god no Sam, I'm just having an off day." Dean hissed, cutting his brother off, "Cas is fine and we killed what we needed to kill last night and the case is not over."

Sam sighed, folding his arms and giving Dean a long look over. Eventually he shook his head, and made a gesture of defeat, "Fine, I didn't mean to pry. It's just..." He trailed off, hanging his head low, hiding his eyes, "No, I am sorry, never mind." He looked up with a smile, but Dean knew that smile and it was not one he liked.

"Sammy, what aren't you telling me?" He asked, slowly.

"No, really, it's nothing," Sam insisted as he stood up, moving away from the table, "I was just thinking last night about ways to get this case under control, but it was a stupid idea." He was at the fridge out, pulling out another set of beers.

Dean gave a little smirk, realizing that Sam was becoming just as smooth of a liar as he was.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"Dean, I need your help." It was Castiel, his voice over the phone sounded hoarse and tense... and even a bit pained.

"Cas, buddy? What's wrong?" Dean said, immediately sitting up in bed, his hunter's reflex pumping adrenaline through his system, shocking him awake.

"I'm... out numbered, you could say. Can you help?" Cas was as vague as ever, but Dean was used to that.

"Where are you? I'll be on my way." He was already up and slipping into his boots and tugging on a fresh button down. He always slept in his jeans and a tee while on the job, because you just never knew when you'd have to be rollin' your ass outta bed.

"I'll come to you, I haven't initiated anything yet." Cas said quickly, and then he was gone, the phone had been hung up.

"Dean-?" Sam was awake now, propping himself up in bed, "What's up?"

"It's Cas, he needs-" Dean was broken off by a gentle hand being rested on his shoulder. He didn't flinch or have to turn around though, he knew it was Cas.

"I'm sorry Sam, but you cannot come, it's not safe with your..." Cas trailed off awkwardly, and Dean could feel him shift uneasily from behind him, clearly not sure how to word what he wanted to say without raising offense.

"With my blood addiction?" Sam filled in for him with a bitter smile.

"Y... yes. I'll get Dean back to you safely as soon as I can." The angel promised, empty perhaps, but he seemed confident enough.

And with that the room around them was gone and replaced by cold air and metal.

It seemed to be some sort of warehouse, a stereotypically shady place where Dean had little trouble imagining some sort of demon, or even angel, gig set up.

"So, Cas, you're runnin' the show. What are we up against?" Dean turned to the angel, not bothering to make a remark about Castiel's hand, which was still on his shoulder.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"Dean? Dean hold on. Hold on."

He had been falling, his knees had given out beneath him. Now he was just in pain, but at least he wasn't falling. He was foggily aware of arms wrapping around him, under his knees and shoulders, holding him, keeping him from falling. His head rested against a warm chest, but the pain was still there. There was a snap of air, and then the cold air was warm, and he was being set on something soft, with covers and pillows and everything was cleam and warm.

The distinct sound of fabric tearing clawed at his ears, and he could feel cloth pulling at his sides as it was stretched and ripped outwards. Hands settled over his abdomen, over the pain, and there was heat. Not pleasant warmth like the bed he was laying on, but scalding, horrible, painful heat. He cried out and his eyes snapped open, but despite the pain he didn't feel afraid. Cas was hovering over him, his palms glowing white as he held them firmly over the wound on Dean's middle, just below his ribcage. The searing pain emitted from them eventually dulled into little more than a dull ache, and then Castiel was pulling away, leaving Dean's skin chilled without the coverage of his palms.

Castiel pulled back and turned away, his shoulders raised like a cat who's just escaped being hit by a car. Dean let him have a few moments to compose himself, after all, the guy had just completely saved his ass so it was the least he could do.

"We need liquor." Cas said abruptly, and he vanished, gone with a blink of Dean's eyes. He gave a small, weak laugh and laid back on the bed. They were in some sort of fancy hotel room, or at least, that was how it appeared. Knowing Cas it was probably some safe point that was only this way because of some mojo running in the background. Dean didn't have time to take in the details, because Castiel was almost instantly back, his arms laden with bottles of the good stuff.

"I've taught you well." Dean said with a lazy smile, not bothering to even pick his head up. He just looked at Cas from across the room, sprawled out on the bed.

"You've lost a lot of blood, Dean. Drink lightly." Cas said, almost absent minded as he handed him a bottle of something clear and marked with a language Dean didn't know.

"Fuck that." Dean hissed with a smirk as he cracked the bottle open and gave it a few good gulps. Gasping and sputtering he sat up coughing, but the burn in his throat was good, it was alive and it was strong.

"Damn, Cas, where did you loot this from?" He panted as he let the fiery liquor flow into his system, before he greedily took another eye-watering swig.

"Somewhere in Germany, it was the closest." Cas said after he polished off a good chug or two of his own.

"Germany?" Dean said, swinging his head around to give Cas 'the look'.

"Yes, it's safe here. I'll return you to your car in the morning." Something about Castiel's posture still looked... guilty. His shoulders were stooped and his head was low, and his blue eyes were dark and heavy.

But Dean wasn't about to get out his diary and start sharing feelings with Cas, so he said nothing and turned to the bottle, letting the fire wash away the fear and pain and everything else that was wrong with his world.

It was some time, and a half a bottle for Dean, later before they spoke again. Castiel had finished whatever he'd brought the first time 'round and had already zapped out to get himself more, and now they were both at a small table in their posh room, taking swigs in silence.

"I didn't... I didn't mean for that to happen." Cas said softly from around the edge of a bottle. "I could have even handled it on my own, I think but I... I wanted your help."

Dean let his eyes drag upwards, until they settled on Castiel's face. But his eyes were fixed on the floor, guilty looking as ever.

"Cas, I don't mind. I mean, getting a stab full of demon in my chest may not be my idea of fun, but that nest was full. We had a tough time as it was-"

"But you almost died Dean." Cas cut in with a tone that was louder than Dean had ever heard him use, although it wasn't necessarily angry. The angel was finally looking up but his expression was pained and it hurt more to look at him like this than it did to see him moping.

Dean frowned and leaned forward, "Cas-" But he wasn't allowed to finish.

"It's... hard, with you and Sam. You, Dean, especially." Cas was looking into his eyes now without flinching, with a sort of guilty desperation that made Dean's heart ache, "You seem so unbreakable, and... and strong but you're just mortal and I find myself forgetting that sometimes, and I don't understand how, how these things work." He flailed his arms at the end, seeming to motion at himself. Liquor splashed around in the bottle he was holding and splattered on the table, looking like little clear crystals.

Dean watched the angel talk and smiled, sadly. It was still amusing to see the angel being slowly effected by the liquor; his speech was slurred on top of being halting and over thought, but it was also more emotional than Dean had ever seen him get.

"Come on Cas, I have actually died before, it's not like I don't know the risks of the job."

"But I couldn't save you again." Cas said, harshly, as he sputtered around another gulp of alcohol and rose to his feet. He walked on a slightly wobbly course to Dean's side of the table and, despite Dean's stammering outbursts of 'what are you doing', 'Cas, wh-' and simply 'what?!-' bent down and pressed his face into the crook of Dean's blood splattered neck.

"You're a brother to me, Dean." Cas mumbled into Dean's neck, but he could only sit there, stiff as a rail and not sure what to do with his arms, which were still resting on the table, gripping his bottle in a death choke.

"Cas-" He started, but the angel wasn't done,

"But my brothers and sisters never made me hurt like... like this." He was sinking to his knees now, kneeling in front of Dean like a broken man, "I don't understand." Was all he whispered as he turned his eyes upwards, looking into Dean's eyes with some sort of pleading desperation in his own. Dean could only think of how sad and blue they were, of how he didn't understand either, of how he wished he knew what to say.

Dean was pretty sure, somewhere in the back of his drunken mind, that there was some bro-code outlining how you couldn't kneel between your bro's knees because that was pretty damn gay. He was also pretty sure that cupping your bro's face in your hand because they look so fuckin' sad and pathetic was also against the bro-code; but here he was, with Cas between his knees, gently holding the angel's face and running his thumb over his cheek.

The bro-code in his mind had fired off the warning bells, but it was too late, the blue eyes Castiel had adopted as his own were all Dean could see, and he only broke contact with them to shut his own as he gently placed a soft kiss on the top of Castiel's head.

"Dean?" He could hear Castiel breath, confused, and he was tilting his head up, so Dean pulled away, his face on fire but not ashamed as he bent down even further and met Castiel's lips with his own.

Somewhere, in the back of his head, the bro-code was imploding on itself, being shattered into dust and silence.

Admittedly, for whatever this was, Castiel was pretty poor at it. He simply knelt there without so much as breathing, holding perfectly still. It wasn't until Dean pulled away that he seemed to come back to life. His hands reached up and curled into the tattered collar of Dean's shirts, pulling him forward and into another kiss that was painful and ferocious. For a moment Dean struggled against Castiel's grip, because it hurt and it wasn't right and he didn't understand why the fuck he had done that, but then Castiel pulled back for him, and they both sat staring at each other, eyes dark and breath ragged.

"Wh-?" Dean tried to form a question, but Castiel wasn't done, and he was stretching up now, still on his knees but as high as he could go, pressing upwards and into Dean. But the tone of the kiss was much different now, it was soft, and Dean found himself returning it against his judgement, guiding Cas in a hurried but gentle manner.

Castiel's hands were still knotted in his shirt collars, but Dean had his own wrapping under the angel's jaw and neck, pulling him up and guiding him ever so slightly. Kissing Cas was different than kissing any girl he'd got his smooch on with, even the rougher ones couldn't compare. If angels really were genderless it wasn't showing now, because Cas was as rough as Dean was. And he wasn't complaining that it was too fast or strong like the girls would, in fact, he seemed to enjoy it that way, and Dean wasn't able to find that he didn't feel any differently.

They pulled back, in a bonded synchronization, to gasp for air. There were no fluffy smiles shared between them or passionate giggles, only dark stares and heavy breaths.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"So you do remember."

The voice behind Dean was enough to make him jump, especially after being knocked out of such a vivid memory.

He turned in his chair, glaring the angel down, "Cas, you cannot just go poking in my head like that."

"You shouldn't have lied to me, Dean." Castiel seemed legitimately, well, maybe not pissed, but rather hurt.

There was the quiet sound of a chair scraping on wood as Sam pushed away from the table, avoiding looking at Cas or Dean, "You know what, I'm just going to step outside." He said with a little nod and an awkward smile as he quickly backed to the door of their cheap motel and scurried out of it.

Castiel's eyes followed Sam as he walked out, and once the door was closed he turned back to Dean, his eyes a storm of dark greys and blues. Dean thought he would say something, his mouth kept opening and closing, but it was like he had no steam left to spit words out with.

There seemed to be some sort of resolve in his face as he turned back to Dean, reaching forward and grabbing his collar, again with the collars, and pulled him forward into a bitter kiss, that was more teeth and vigor than anything passionate.

(To be Continued...)