It had certainly been an eventful evening, and the Winchester brothers were more than happy to be able to relax in their motel room after spending almost the entire day running around like mad men trying to figure their newest case. Someone, or more accurately something had been causing a series of deaths in a quiet nearby town, and all the hunters had to go on were a set of what looked like claw marks on each victim and a pile of feathers left behind at every scene.
Castiel had arrived a few hours earlier, but hadn't been of much help so far, since neither Sam nor Dean had a clue about what they were up against. Now the angel was leaning against the wall of the motel room, watching both of the hunters as Sam pored over articles on his laptop and Dean leaned against the desk that held all of their current evidence. Unfortunately, the only evidence they'd been able to pick up was one of the feathers from the newest murder scene.
"Whatever it is doing all this, I think it's molting." Dean mused, picking up the long, ink-black feather they'd recovered and twirling it between his fingers as he looked over at Castiel. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was one of you behind all of this. Unless there's something you're not telling us…"
He grinned at Cas and the angel sighed and gave the hunter a steady, firm look in return. "No, Dean."
Dean held his hands up in a placating gesture and laughed, "Alright, man. I was just kidding. You…" He pointed at Castiel with the feather, "You need to lighten up."
"Dean, you've been in a bad mood all week." Sam chimed in before Castiel could answer and looked up from the research he was conducting on his laptop. "I don't think you can really tell someone else to-"
"Yeah, maybe I have been." Dean said with a snort, crossing his arms, "But it hasn't exactly been the best week. I nearly got skinned alive by some damn spirit a couple days ago because you weren't burning the bones fast enough." The words were dry and sardonic, and Sam frowned in response.
"I already told you I was sorry." The younger hunter said, closing his laptop. "I'm going to go back to the scene to see if I can find anything else. You should take a nap or something and try to get your head on straight. You've been acting testy for a long time, and to be honest it's even putting me on edge." Sam said, giving his older brother a slightly worried look.
Dean snorted and twirled the feather again, "Yeah? Well maybe I should go back to the scene with you. Maybe all the feathers will just tickle the mean right out of me." He said, words dripping with sarcasm as he set the feather back on the desk.
"Honestly at this point, I'd be willing to give it a shot." Sam replied with a roll of his eyes. "If you're as ticklish as you were as a kid then-"
"Hate to break it to ya, Sammy. But I'm not." Dean cut in rather quickly, making Sam raise both eyebrows in mild surprise. Castiel, who had been silent during the whole exchange, looked over at the hunter curiously as well, wondering what had gotten into him.
"….Alright then. I don't know why you're being so defensive…" Sam said, furrowing his brow a little in confusion.
"I'm not being defensive." Dean snapped, before calming down and regulating his tone, "Look, just let me be pissed off for a little longer and go out and check the scene again." He started to shed his leather jacket. "Then you don't have to deal with me, and I can get a little sleep."
Sam stared at his older brother for a moment longer, then let out a breath and shook his head incredulously, "Yeah….sure. I'll just take the car then." He said, deciding not to push the issue as he stood up and grabbed the keys off of the bedside table. "You just…try to relax or something." He told Dean, giving him another raised brow before heading towards the door. He glanced back at Castiel, giving the angel a meaningful look and gesturing with his head in Dean's direction. Then he was gone, leaving the grumpy hunter and the angel in the room alone together.
Cas considered what that look Sam had given him had meant, then turned to look at Dean again. "Dean…what is 'ticklish'?" He asked, recognizing the word but not quite remembering what it meant.
Dean shot him a mild glare, apparently not a fan of the topic, before shrugging and walking towards the foot of the bed. "It's just…when someone can touch you somewhere sensitive and it makes you laugh. You know, kid stuff." He narrowed his eyes and looked back at Cas again, "Why are you even asking?"
"Because you seemed upset when Sam brought it up. Is it something bad?"
Dean sighed and crossed his arms again. "No it's not…look, why are we even talking about this? I'm wasting quality sleeping time."
Castiel seemed even more confused at that answer, "If it's not bad, then why did you get so angry when Sam asked you if you were ticklish?"
"Because I'm not, okay." Dean growled out, looking pointedly at a spot on the wall.
"But has anyone tried to…" Cas started, only to be cut off.
"Not for a long time, but I just know, alright?"
"But how do you…"
"Cas, I know because being ticklish is for five year olds and chicks," Dean said, shaking his head and laughing as if Castiel was ridiculous for even thinking that he would have that kind of weakness. His lips then curled into a slightly wicked grin, "And Sammy. But be careful, he kicks."
Castiel tilted his head curiously, "But Sam is neither a five year old nor a woman. And if he has this….weakness then what stops you from having i-?"
"Look, I already said that I don't." Dean interrupted with a patronizing laugh, "I don't know why you're pushing the issue so hard. It's kind of weird, man."
"Because you seem defensive." The angel replied smoothly, taking a few steps closer to his companion and crossing his arms over his chest. "This…ticklish thing….is it really that bad?"
The hunter sighed and ran his fingers through his short hair before turning his green gaze back to Castiel. "Why do both of you keep saying I'm defensive….I told you, I'm not ticklish." He said with an air of finality to his voice, "If you haven't noticed, I'm a full grown man, I hunt demons for a living, and I'm not the sweet, sensitive type like Sammy. Something that silly isn't going to take me down."
He accented this point with a stabbing motion towards an imaginary 'demon', then spread his arms wide and tipped over backwards to fall onto the bed with a dramatic 'oof'.
"Now if you don't mind, I need my beauty sleep." The hunter said, flashing Cas the charming grin that always won him a beautiful woman on his arm. If only for a night. "So go do….I don't know, angel things. Wake me up when Sam gets back with new details."
With that, he yawned widely and settled down into the thin motel-bed mattress for a nap. It was only a few more minutes before Dean was snoring lightly, arms and legs splayed out ungracefully over the bed. Castiel raised a brow at the position, then sighed and shook his head. Dean's tough-guy, and often smart-ass attitude was grating sometimes, and Castiel didn't like being treated like he was a fool for asking a simple question.
"Angel things….right." He muttered to himself as he pondered the sleeping hunter before him. He couldn't help the curiosity racing through him now, especially after Dean had gotten so defensive and denied everything Cas had said so immediately. Humming thoughtfully, he moved swiftly across the room to grab hold of the chair of the nearby desk, dragging it back over to the foot of the bed and settling himself down in it.
Dean really had fallen asleep quickly, and his sprawled out position had one socked foot hanging over the edge of the bed. Cas hummed again as he reached over and poked at the sole of the foot, yanking his hand back when it immediately twitched away. Had he hurt Dean with such a light touch?
It then started to come back to Castiel exactly what it meant to be 'ticklish'. He'd heard the term before, but until now he hadn't been able to remember. It had to do with human sensitive spots.
He reached back out to Dean's foot and traced a finger down along the sole, a small smile quirking his lips as the foot jerked away again. It seemed that feet were one of those sensitive spots, based on Dean's reaction so far.
"I think you were lying, Dean." Castiel murmured, "That explains why you were so defensive." He looked over his sleeping companion and wondered if he should just leave him alone to sleep. But now he was curious, and it would be a good revenge for how Dean had been more difficult than usual.
The angel was feeling strangely mischievous as he reached out to gently take hold of Dean's ankle, using his other hand to pull the sock off slowly, as to not wake the hunter just yet. Dean stirred slightly but was still deeply asleep and settled down quickly.
Castiel pondered the bare foot for a moment, before remembering what Dean had said earlier about feathers. He turned back to the desk behind him and reached out to pick up the feather. "I wonder if this will work…" He said softly to himself as he twirled the feather in his fingers before touching the tip of it to the sole of the foot in his grasp. He ran the feather down in one straight line from heel to toe.
Dean's foot nearly pulled right out of the angel's grasp from how hard it jerked, and Castiel's normally stoic face spread into a slightly wider smile. "You must be really sensitive here to have that sort of reaction." He murmured, holding the ankle down again and running the feather up and down the sole in a zigzag motion from heel to toe and then back again.
This was definitely starting to get to the hunter, whose foot was now jerking at a systematically. Dean's lips were turning up into a smile and his body started to squirm slightly on the bed as the feather traced along the arch. "S-stahap…" He muttered out in his sleep, snickering a little bit.
Castiel was fighting the urge to laugh softly himself, finding this far more amusing than he should as a serious former angel of the lord. But he started chuckling lightly when he saw the way Dean's toes were wiggling as he tried his best to pull his foot away. Cas caught him by the end of the leg of his jeans this time, holding the material tight as he moved the feather down to the hunter's toes and brushed it along the bases of them.
A full blown giggle (not that Dean would ever admit to being capable of giggling) escaped Dean's lips and his toes curled in defense. Cas smiled and pried the digits back gently so he could continue to run the feather along them, sensing that he'd found a good spot. He was in the process of running the feather between the hunter's toes when Dean squirmed enough to wake himself up, the tickling sensation too much to handle.
"What're you doin…?" Dean grumbled sleepily, turning his head to glare tiredly at Cas as he yanked his foot away. "Let go of me." He snapped.
At this point Castiel was having too much fun to want to stop, much to his own surprise, and he held fast to the leg of the hunter's jeans. "I thought you said you weren't ticklish, Dean."
Dean definitely noticed the way the angel was holding onto his foot, and he frowned and tried to pull it away again. "I'm not. Man, can't I just sleep without God's little helper bothering me?"
"Is that so?" Cas said, his voice calm but laced with amusement as he chose to ignore the last snide comment and only let it fuel his growing desire to take Dean down a peg. "Because it certainly seemed like you were, particularly when I did this." He ran a finger down the bare sole of the hunter's foot, which twitched in response. Dean's face managed to remain annoyed, though, as he snorted down at the angel.
"I already told you I'm n—ahh!"
Dean yelped and started to squirm desperately; kicking out as Castiel suddenly started scrabbling his fingers along the arch of his foot. It was apparently more than he could handle because he jerked his leg as strong as he could and wrenched his foot from Cas's grasp. Castiel laughed softly again, deciding he'd come back to that later.
"I must say, you are very convincing." He said, standing from his seat. Dean grumbled at him again.
"Oh, now you're a master of sarcasm." The hunter muttered then rolled his eyes before widening them as Castiel suddenly started to advance on him. "I mean it, this is not a fight you want to start." Dean said with a slight bit of nervousness in his voice. He knew that even through his vessel, Castiel was still strong, stronger than he was. The man scrambled backwards a little as the angel was suddenly at the side of the bed. "Cas, I swear I will knock the halo right off your—"
That was all the hunter could get out before he was tackled to the bed by the other man, who was far too fast for his own good. Castiel was definitely breaking out his superior strength, managing to wrestle both of Dean's arms up and pin them above him. He held both wrists down with one hand as the hunter's body twisted and thrashed beneath him, trying to throw him off. The angel knew that Dean was too good of a fighter to hold down like this for long, so he looked around for a solution.
He found it quickly in a tie that had been left on the bedside table; Sam's, if he remembered correctly. He wasted no time in grabbing it and looping it through two of the bars that made up the headboard of the bed then tying both struggling wrists, hopefully securely. Once both knots were made, he settled back, straddling Dean's hips as he waited to see if the tie was enough to hold the hunter.
Dean growled and pulled down at his wrists over and over again as his body struggled under the angel, "Damn it Cas, what are you doing?" He asked, finally giving up his struggle as the material of the tie started to chafe his wrists. He laughed sarcastically and glared up at Castiel. "Yeah, yeah very funny. It wasn't as if you only pulled this off with special angel power or anything…" He grumbled, obviously embarrassed about being overpowered so easily.
"I don't appreciate being lied to, Dean." Castiel said as he smiled down at the hunter, his cheeks flushed a slight pink and panting a bit from the effort it took to tie the thrashing man down. Dean couldn't help but fall silent for a second, staring up at the angel as his throat went dry. Right now, Castiel looked so….
"Shit!" Dean gasped out as Castiel started to prod gently along his sides through his white t-shirt. His hands yanked down instinctively to grab at the angel's hands and stop him, but the tie kept them from moving. "Stop, stop!" He practically wheezed out, twisting his body from side to side to get Castiel's fingers away from the sensitive area.
Castiel's lips quirked up into yet another smile as he felt Dean's body struggling beneath him even at the simple touches. The feeling of the man squirming beneath him, the sight of the helpless smile starting to erupt along his face, it had Castiel's stomach fluttering in the strange way that had become far too familiar when he was around Dean. He shook his head to clear his mind so he could focus on the way his fingers moved.
"It would seem you are ticklish." Castiel mused, chuckling softly as he started to pinch gently at the sides of Dean's stomach instead. He was experimenting with different kinds of touches, since he wasn't sure which would be the most effective. Apparently he'd hit the mark, because Dean's body was squirming hard beneath him while the hunter threw his head back a little, a smile now completely stuck on his face as he pulled at his wrists again and kicked his legs uselessly.
"N-no, I'm nahat!" Dean gasped out, unable to help the small, breathy laugh that came out as he spoke, "Cas…Castiel…stop!"
Castiel couldn't believe that Dean was still in so much denial when it was obvious that he was very ticklish. The angel could tell that he was holding back laughter, and Cas was only pinching and prodding at one area on his torso. He moved his fingers up, scrabbling them along the Dean's shirt-covered ribs, which earned him another bout of squirming and thrashing. The hunter's mouth was now open as silent, almost snickering laughter broke through every once in a while. But still he wasn't giving up.
"D-damn…you…" Dean breathed out, trying his best not to succumb to laughter. "L-let me go! 'M n-not….t-ticklish!"
The angel was at a loss at this point, but an idea soon popped into his head and he suddenly stopped his tickling, moving his hands away and looking down at Dean with a thoughtful gaze.
"No. I guess you were telling the truth." Cas said, his face falling back into its normal seriousness. Dean was panting and trying to catch his breath, but still his lips managed to form a smug little grin.
"S-see, I told you." The hunter replied, and then tugged at his wrists again. "Now will you untie me? Don't make me break out the puppy eyes. No one can resist those bad boys."
Green eyes widened 'endearingly' up at Cas to complete the joke, and the angel raised a brow. "Yes, of course." Castiel said, leaning over as if to untie Dean's wrists. He smirked a little bit, unseen to the other man, and waited until he saw Dean's body relax completely.
As soon as the hunter sagged a little into the bed, the angel attacked.
His hands were suddenly at Dean's sides again, fingers digging relentlessly into the hunter's ribs as he explored every space between them with wriggling fingers. What left Dean's mouth could only be called a shriek, and then he was arching his back up hard in a desperate attempt to escape the tickling. He couldn't keep it up for long, though, and fell back onto the bed and thrashed as breathless, helpless laughter finally started to spill from his lips.
"N-nahahaha….C-cas!" Dean managed to gasp out amidst his laughter as his body twisted side to side, his legs kicking out over and over again. Castiel was merciless though, and his fingers dug and scrabbled and moved up and down the sensitive ribcage to try to find the best spots. The spot directly under the ribs had Dean bucking up and wheezing out laughter, and the upper ribs just under the armpit had his arms pulling desperately at their bonds. And now that the floodgates had been opened, Dean couldn't hide his reaction anymore and laughed frantically, the sound echoing throughout the room.
"Mmm, you were lying to me." Cas said, too addicted to Dean's laughter to even think about stopping now. "I can see now. You're ticklish here…" He moved his hands up under Dean's shirt to scribble his fingers across bare ribs, which had Dean's entire body jumping and squirming as he fell into a more giggling laughter. "And here…" His fingers started to scrabble across the hunter's bare stomach, digging in a little into the softer areas that Dean was loathe to admit he put on from time to time. Right now, that was the last thing on his mind though as he thrashed and nearly squealed as Cas's fingers tickled around his bellybutton before laughing deeply and loudly.
"N-no…" Dean managed to get out breathlessly between bouts of laughter, along with the occasional squeal and "stop" and "please". It was obvious that Dean wasn't only ticklish, he was very ticklish. He couldn't even breathe for laughing, and wherever Cas's fingers trailed along his torso earned him squirming and bucking and thrashing and helpless laughter.
"Yes." Castiel replied teasingly, having far too much fun torturing the normally unshakeable older Winchester brother. He noticed that Dean was red in the face and was gasping for air now, and decided to stop so the hunter could catch his breath a little bit. "So. Are you ready to admit you were lying?"
"G-go to hell…" Dean replied hoarsely, chest heaving for air as he tried to pull his wrists down again.
Cas was almost happy that Dean still refused to give in, and he hummed as his hands moved further up under the hunter's t-shirt. "Fine then. But I'm not giving up until you let go of this strange denial you still have." Castiel said, before he was cut off by a yelp coming from Dean's lips. "What…"
He noticed then that his fingertips were barely brushing the areas under Dean's arms. But already the man was squirming, shaking his head 'no'. Cas practically grinned, which was uncharacteristic but he was having more fun than he'd had in a long time. "Are you sensitive here too?" He asked curiously, brushing against his captive's underarms again.
"No!" Dean called out before he could stop himself, forgetting for a moment that he was supposed to be convincing the angel that he wasn't ticklish. But his armpits had always been a major weak spot for him. The childhood memory of Sam's fingers wriggling in there after he'd managed to pin Dean in a wrestling match made Dean shiver. "Don't…" He nearly pleaded, starting to pull more desperately at his bonds than he had so far during Cas's attack.
"I will assume that means yes." Castiel said, poising his fingers at the ready. Dean seemed to sense this and looked up at the angel with pleading eyes, and Cas could tell then that he was near his breaking point.
"I'm so taking you down when I get out of this! You won't even know what hit you!" Dean threatened as he pulled over and over again at the tie holding his wrists above his head.
Castiel didn't take well to being threatened, and he wasted no more time as he started to attack Dean's underarms with light tickling fingers, scrabbling all over the area.
Dean's back arched so hard that it looked painful and he gave a legitimate shriek of laughter. Then he was falling back to the bed and bucking and thrashing harder and more helplessly than ever before, legs drumming onto the mattress behind the angel. Cas was nearly thrown off by the force of it before Dean's muscles suddenly turned to jelly as the lightning sensations of the tickling took over his brain. He was left squirming and tossing his head from side to side. Frenzied, loud, and slightly hoarse laughter filled the room.
Castiel could hear the man trying to beg for mercy between his laughter, but he couldn't even form words through his hysterics. The angel started to dig his fingers in, squeezing gently at the muscle along the outside of Dean's underarms, which had the hunter shrieking frantic laughter as tears started to leak from his eyes. He was completely red-faced as he arched and flailed and tried wildly to escape the tormenting fingers.
The angel could feel the strength of the muscles in Dean's torso as they flexed and clenched over and over again as the tickling continued, and he felt his cheeks heating up in that way that still confused him. The sound of Dean's laughter washed over him so pleasantly that Cas felt a shiver going down his spine. It felt….amazing to hear Dean laugh so much, after everything the man had been through.
Cas slowed his tickling fingers as he noticed that Dean was having trouble taking in air. But he left them in the man's underarms as a warning. "Do you surrender?" He asked.
Dean couldn't answer for quite a while, but he turned his sweat-soaked forehead into one of his bound arms and nodded weakly. "A-alright, alright…" He panted out. "I-I'm…"
The angel curled his fingers gently, threateningly, into the hypersensitive underarms again. "You're what?" He was now deeply involved in this game, and Castiel wasn't a fan of losing.
"N-no…don't!" Dean yelped out at the threat and then squeezed his eyes shut as his cheeks flushed in embarrassment both at losing so badly and at being proven wrong. He mumbled something unintelligible.
Castiel tilted his head. "Sorry? I did not hear that."
"I-I'm ticklish, okay?" Dean spat out, glaring up at the angel, though it was half-hearted at this point. "Damn it…y-you won alright? Now l-let me go."
The angel smiled as the hunter finally gave up, taking his hands out from under Dean's shirt and settling back. "Sam was right then."
Dean huffed at that, "Y-yeah, yeah. Don't tell h-him that though, he'll never let me l-live it down." He was starting to catch his breath and bucked up again. "Can you get off now?"
Castiel nodded, reaching up to untie the exhausted man beneath him for real this time. He undid the knots in the tie until Dean could finally pull his arms down. The hunter rubbed at his sore wrists and sagged into the bed as he caught the rest of his breath. The angel waited for him to recover and glanced over his shoulder down at his feet.
Dean noticed the look and narrowed his eyes, bending his knees to plant his feet flat on the bed. "Stay away from the feet." He growled, "I will kick you so hard, you'll be seeing little dancing angels."
The angel only laughed slightly in response and then noticed suddenly that he was still straddling Dean's hips. The position flustered him slightly, and he immediately started to get off. He was stopped short, though, when a pair of strong arms wrapped around his waist. "Dean, what are you doing?"
Those were the only words Cas was able to get out before he suddenly found himself flat on his back on the bed, with Dean hovering above him. The angel was about to protest when Dean's lips were suddenly against his. Castiel's eyes widened with surprise, but he was soon melting into the kiss, his hands reaching up to unconsciously curl into the soft material of Dean's shirt. He was so wrapped up in the warm, tingling feeling the kiss sent through him that he nearly whined when the hunter pulled away.
Dean was grinning in that self-assured way above him, "Gotcha." He nearly purred.
Cas's brow furrowed slightly in confusion, and he tried to scratch at his head but soon realized that he couldn't move his hands. "What…" He tugged again and looked up, only to see that his hands were bound above him the same way Dean's had been just a few moments ago. "How did you…"
Dean laughed at his confusion, "Aaah, looks like I still got it!" He said proudly, his ego severely stroked with how involved he'd gotten the gorgeous angel beneath him in his kiss. Enough even to tie Cas's wrists above him without him noticing.
"Yes, fine." Castiel replied with annoyance in his voice. "Now release me."
"Oh, no no no, I don't think so halo boy." Dean said, shaking his head and smirking. "I'd say it's time I got a little payback, wouldn't you? And we've got at least another hour to kill before Sammy should be getting back."
Cas tensed as Dean's fingers started to unbutton his dress shirt. "I am not ticklish." He stated.
"Yeah. We'll see about that."