AN: Dean was never taught that he can't do things.

.-.-.-.-.
Familiarity
.-.-.-.-.

'Maybe…we should split up,' Dean said suddenly.

They had been on the road for a good six hours. So far, no one had said anything about where they were headed or what they would do when they got there.

Sam ran his fingers through Gabriel's fur as he stared out the window at the passing scenery. They were just a couple hours away from Chicago. 'We're not gonna leave you two to deal with Ruby alone,' he said. 'We'll do this as we originally planned, and…figure it out as we go.'

'Sam, she's not after you. You should get away while you have a chance. We can keep going. Head past Illinois… I can drop you off at Bobby's,' Dean said, glancing at Sam. 'She knows where we're headed… She can track me. Sammy, we're only inviting trouble if we stick to this.'

'Actually…I believe we should continue with Sam's agenda,' Castiel said quietly. 'She may be expecting us to deviate. We could…start off as if nothing is changing, then…go off course. Get out long enough to eat or stay the night, then backtrack. It could buy us some time.'

There were a few minutes of silence, and Sam nodded as Gabriel stared up at him. 'Gabriel thinks she might be expecting that…'

Dean rolled his eyes and let out an annoyed groan. 'Damned if we do, damned if we don't,' he muttered. 'This whole thing sucks.'

'I'm sorry,' Castiel whispered.

'We'll figure it out,' Dean said, catching Castiel's gaze in the rearview mirror.

.-.-.-.-.

It was just to the south of Chicago that the small group found a reasonably priced motel. Gabriel was a bundle of energy as he rocked on his heels, waiting for Sam to unlock the door to their room. He threw Castiel a wide grin before following Sam. Castiel let a smile slip when he heard Sam yelp and the door slam shut.

When he entered the room he would be sharing with Dean, his eyes fell upon the two beds. 'Um…which one…'

Dean looked up from his bag and followed Castiel's gaze. 'Oh. Well, whichever,' he said.

Castiel nodded silently before switching to his cat form. He hopped onto the closest bed and sat in the center of it. He stared at the door as he waited for Dean to finish unpacking.

There was a knock on the door before Sam let himself into the room. 'Hey, we're gonna run across the street for some food. Want anything?' he asked.

'The usual,' Dean replied. He looked to Castiel, surprised to find his familiar as a cat. 'I guess…same for Cas.'

Sam nodded and turned to leave. He paused in the doorway and looked back at Dean. 'Don't forget to ward your room,' he said. 'Gabriel thinks we'll be fine, but…I'd feel a little safer if you warded ours, too.'

'Sure thing.' Dean sighed when Sam shut the door, and he turned to face Castiel. 'I guess I should get to it then, huh? I'll need that book.'

Castiel blinked up at Dean, and the book appeared between them. 'Be careful,' Castiel warned with a meow.

'Oh, hey! I can hear you again,' Dean said. 'That's a good thing, right?' He picked up the grimoire and flipped through the pages. The writing was back to the language he had no hope of ever learning.

'Yes, it is. You should have no problems performing your magic, now,' Castiel replied.

'Yeah… And what about you? You said you'd be little more…uh…affected,' Dean said as he closed the book. 'English, please.'

Castiel thumped his tail against the bed a couple times and looked away. 'I'll be all right. You needn't worry about me. I won't...do anything unbecoming.'

For a moment, Dean wished Castiel would do something 'unbecoming.' He reopened the book to find the pages written in English. He casually flipped through, a few words catching his eye. 'What was that about not making love potions?'

Castiel looked up and flattened his ears. 'I-it's a collection of spells and rituals…and potions… Just because I've written it down, doesn't mean I've ever practiced them. Not all of them are mine. If…if you ever create a spell, I will add it to the grimoire.'

Dean nodded and went back to perusing the pages. 'Longer life…youth… Cool. Turn a mouse into a chicken?' He glanced at Castiel, feeling a touch of embarrassment that wasn't his own.

'I was hungry…'

Dean sniggered and closed the book. 'Not judging,' he said. 'Okay… I want something that'll keep evil witches out of my hair. Preferably something that doesn't require blood.' He reopened the book to a page labeled 'All Purpose Barrier.'

'Uh... Okay… This doesn't help me,' Dean said, shaking his head. 'I can't…build an impenetrable wall with my mind.'

'Envision it,' Castiel said as he got off the bed. He returned to his human form and stood next to Dean, looking at the spell that Dean had pulled up. 'Imagine constructing a wall of stone or metal… A steel fence. A locked door. Anything that you can imagine and you control the access to. I prefer a locked gate, myself.'

Dean pulled his lips tight as he stared at the spell. 'Even if I could do that…I can't pronounce these words.'

'They're there as a guide,' Castiel explained. He waved his hand over the page and the words to the spell changed. 'There. That should help.'

'From stone unseen, I cast this spell… From those against me, protect us well… Oh, God. It rhymes.' Dean groaned as he looked up at the ceiling. 'Guess the cartoons were right…'

'It helps you to concentrate,' Castiel bit out. 'You don't really think about the actual words when it is constructed in a rhyme. Once you get better, you will no longer need words for simple spells. You will only have to want it and envision it.'

'Yeah, 'cuz that worked out so well with lifting this thing,' Dean said sarcastically. 'I imagined it, imagined what it would feel like, then tried to move past the feeling. Like you said to do. Didn't work out right.'

Castiel placed his hand on Dean's arm and smile encouragingly when Dean looked at him. 'You overthought it. Yes, you need to move past the feeling of what you wish to control, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to ignore it. You just cannot linger on it. You need to let go. Concentrate on the act. What it is you wish to accomplish. Let your magic guide you,' he said softly. He squeezed Dean's arm. 'I've felt your magic. I know you can do this. I have no doubt in your abilities. You just need to believe in yourself as well. Remember, you cannot doubt that something will not bend to your will.'

Dean breathed in slowly as he stared at Castiel. He could feel Castiel's honesty and belief. 'I guess I can try this wall spell, first,' he said. 'Just imagine a sturdy wall, right?'

Before Castiel could reply, there was a loud explosion and the door to the room was blown off its hinges. Castiel moved to stand in front of Dean and was hit in the chest by blast of energy. He cried out and fell forward.

'Cas!' Dean knelt next to Castiel, looking for any damage.

Castiel shuddered and forced himself to his hands and knees. He grabbed grimoire and shoved it against Dean's chest before pushing Dean away. He spread his arms and the dust that had fallen to the floor cleared between himself and Dean, leaving a clear one-foot path from one side of the room to the other.

Dean scrambled to his feet, leaving the book abandoned on the floor. He rushed forward, but hit an invisible wall, just where the dust had cleared. 'Cas…what…?' He looked up when he heard laughing.

'Really, Castiel? Do you think that'll stop me?' Ruby said as she entered the room. She carefully stepped over the door and made her way to Castiel. 'You know as well as I do, you won't be able to protect him.'

'I won't let you hurt him,' Castiel said.

'I don't really think I need to,' Ruby said. 'I've been keeping an eye on him, and… Oh, my poor, sweet, Castiel… How can you stand it?' She knelt beside Castiel, pointedly ignoring Dean's shouts for her to leave Castiel alone. 'He doesn't use his magic. It must be painful. Knowing that it's there, waiting to be used. Waiting to run through you. But…he constantly denies you.'

'Dean denies me nothing,' Castiel spat out.

'Except what you want,' Ruby said quietly as she cupped Castiel's cheek. 'And I know what you want, Castiel.' She sent a small bit of magic into Castiel and smiled broadly at Dean as Castiel closed his eyes and moaned softly.

Dean kicked at the barrier, helpless to do anything for Castiel. 'Get away from him, you witch!' he shouted.

Ruby laughed as she grabbed Castiel by the nape of the neck. 'That's your best insult? You're a witch, too, you idiot!' She stood and brought Castiel up to his knees. 'And you're not much of one… You don't even know how to use your familiar. They're tools. They do our bidding, and we reward them.'

'He doesn't need any kind of reward from the likes of you,' Dean said as he paced back and forth. He needed to get past the invisible wall. How was he supposed to do that? He didn't even know how to make a wall himself!

Ruby just smiled in response and sent another wave of her magic through Castiel, causing the familiar to moan. 'Just listen to that… Oh, they like being touched…but touch them with your magic? Putty in your hands,' she said as she let go Castiel.

Castiel whimpered at the loss of physical contact and slumped over as more magic coursed through him. 'Yes…' It had been so long since he'd had a witch's magic flowing in a steady stream through his body. 'More! Please…'

Ruby gave Dean a smug smile. 'Don't look so sick,' she said, reaching down to pull Castiel up by the hair. When he was once again on his knees and staring up at her, she let go. 'Doesn't that feel nice?' she asked Castiel. She slapped him and laughed as his groaned. 'So pathetic! If you want more, Castiel, then dismiss his claim on you.'

Castiel stared up at Ruby. 'His claim…' Ruby nodded at him, and he searched himself for the claim she spoke of. He felt it burning brightly within and followed the claim to its source. He turned his head, and his gaze landed on Dean, standing behind the barrier he had erected. He licked his lips and blinked slowly as a rush of lust hit him through the claim. That was a new feeling. So different from anything else he had ever felt. 'Please… I want more,' he begged.

'Then dismiss the claim,' Ruby growled. She kicked Castiel in the ribs, sending the familiar to the ground. She sent a short burst of magic into Castiel, then another, and another. 'Dismiss his claim, and I'll give you more than you could ever want!'

Castiel writhed on the ground, gasping and moaning. 'Please! Please, oh, please, oh, please! Ah! Mmm…' The feelings of desire and lust coming from the claim were growing stronger. His witch liked him like this. Liked seeing him beg. A wave of magic hit him, distracting him from his witch's need. He didn't want the magic. He wanted the new feeling. 'Please…Dean…'

Dean stared at Castiel in shock. His hand was raised and pressed firmly against the barrier. It was just like in his dream. He swallowed, reminding himself that just because one premonition was happening, not all of them would. Maybe…maybe the other two were possible outcomes from his current situation. If he didn't get to Castiel in time, Sam would end up dead.

'Please,' Castiel choked out in a sob. 'Make it stop!'

Dean was shaken from his thoughts. He needed to get to Castiel, but there was a wall in the way. Castiel preferred gates. Gates could be unlocked. Given Castiel's probable age, it would be an easy lock to pick. He held his hand against the barrier and closed his eyes.

He could just make out the shape of ornate wrought iron gates. They were similar to the ones that stood in front of the old house he had found Castiel inside of. He frowned as he pushed out the sounds Castiel was making and Ruby's shouting. He concentrated on the feeling of sliding his slim tools into the keyhole. Finding each pin with his pick and pressing it up. He gasped as the barrier fell and he stumbled forward, his weight no longer supported.

Ruby's head shot up and she stared in shock. 'H-how… That's impossible!' she shrieked.

Dean caught his balance and, in a few short steps, was in front of Ruby. He pulled his arm back and punched her hard. 'I don't care!' he shouted back.

Ruby fell back, clutching her nose. She glared up at Dean and muttered a few words before vanishing.

Dean's legs shook as he stared at the spot where Ruby had been. Soft gasps drew his attention away and to where Castiel was lying, still writhing and moaning softly. 'C-Cas… Hey, you oaky?' Dean asked as he knelt next to his familiar.

Castiel opened his eyes and stared up at Dean. He let out an obscene groan when Dean stroked his hair.

Dean snatched his hand back as if burned. 'Woah, Cas, uh… Castiel! Hey, c'mon, man…'

'More,' Castiel hissed as he pulled at his tie and clothing. 'I want more… Please!'

'I…I'm sorry,' Dean said. He hoped that physical comfort would be enough to ease Castiel back from the magic high he was riding. He could just feel a constant need and want coming from Castiel and it was overwhelming. He tried to concentrate his own feelings and emotions on being calm and steady as he pulled Castiel into his arms and hugged him close.

Castiel growled and huffed as he dug his fingers into Dean's arms. 'Nooo! I want more! Give me more! Give it back!' he wailed, kicking out his feet. The wonderful feeling was gone. He begged and squirmed, hoping it would kick his witch back into wanting him again. 'Please,' he quietly sobbed as he body began to feel tired from his exertions. 'Felt so good…I want more… Please, Dean…'

Dean petted Castiel's hair and shook his head. 'I don't know how,' he said. 'And even if I did…I don't think that'd be a good idea right now.'

'What the hell happened?!' Sam ran into the room and tripped over the fallen door, Gabriel hot on his heels. He managed to catch himself and looked around the room in shock. 'What… Dean, what happened?! Are you okay?'

Dean looked up at Sam and back down at Castiel. 'Ruby happened,' he replied. 'I'm fine, but Cas…she blasted him with her magic, and…I dunno how he's doing.'

Gabriel clung onto Sam's arm and ran his eyes over the room. 'She's gone, right?'

Dean nodded. 'Yeah. She hightailed it after I punched her.'

Gabriel let go of Sam and made his way to the forgotten book on the floor. He picked it up and brought it over to Castiel, setting it in his brother's arms.

Castiel hugged the book tightly to his chest, gasping. 'My grimoire!' He stared up at Gabriel miserably. 'I…I…'

'Shh. It's okay,' Dean said, still stroking Castiel's hair.

Castiel shifted his stare to Dean. With the book back in his possession, he could think a little more clearly. And he could read Dean a lot better. Dean had no idea what Castiel was begging for. He blushed brightly. 'I'm sorry.'

'It's okay,' Dean said, helping Castiel into a sitting position. He kept a hand on Castiel's back and placed his other hand on Castiel's thigh. 'Next time, we'll know that we need to set up some wards or a barrier or something straight away.'

Castiel nodded and dropped his eyes to his lap. 'How did you get through?' he whispered.

'Your barrier? I picked the lock,' Dean replied. He grinned at Castiel's shocked expression. 'You might wanna think of upgrading your locks. It was actually kinda easy.'

'You…you broke through my…my barrier?!' Castiel's mouth hung open as he stared at Dean. No witch had ever been able to break through his barrier spells. No matter how distracted he was. He knew Dean was powerful, but…

'Yeah, I just figured it went the same way as making one,' Dean explained, feeling everyone's eyes on him. 'Locked gate…pick the lock. It…made sense.'

Castiel nodded dumbly, unable to argue.