AN: Final chapter. Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed it!
Over the next few weeks, Castiel would turn up with a handful of potential matches, and, every time, Dean would shoot them down for one reason or another. On the occasions when he appeared during a hunt, he would help out, and Dean would praise him, slapping him on the back, scratching at his wings… Castiel kept reminding himself to keep himself separate. To not let himself get attached. Dean was just the physical type. He enjoyed giving and receiving physical comfort. It didn't mean anything.
Between the touches and Dean's dismissal of all potentials, Castiel was getting frustrated. He went to his brother to vent.
'And this one,' he said, slamming the file onto Gabriel's desk, 'this one's hair was too long!' He paced back and forth, flapping his wings angrily. 'He won't even agree to one date with any of them!'
Gabriel sucked on a heart-shaped sucker as he watched his brother. 'Make him write down all his physical preferences and go from there,' he suggested.
'It doesn't matter,' Castiel groaned. 'I…I'm gonna turn in his case. Just…assign someone else to the job.'
'What?! No!' Gabriel knocked a few stuffed animals off his desk as he reached over to grab Castiel. 'You gotta stick it out! Don't give up, baby brother!'
Castiel stared at the hand gripping his arm. He looked up at Gabriel in alarm. 'Gabriel?'
'C'mon, give it a little longer. You can do it! I have complete faith in you,' Gabriel said, giving Castiel a little shake. He smiled encouragingly. 'He just has to warm up to the idea. Take him bar hopping. Get him drunk. Then ask him what he likes. Hell, ask him while you're getting him drunk. Just get to know him better.'
Castiel sighed as he pulled his arm away. 'Very well. I'll give it a little longer.'
Gabriel grinned happily. 'Can't have you breaking your streak! Besides, I've got money riding on this one.'
Castiel shook his head as he headed deeper into the library for a fresh set of files.
Sam and Dean were hunting down a demon when Castiel turned up.
'God, not now, Cas!' Dean growled as he pushed Castiel aside. 'Kinda busy here.'
Castiel fluttered his wings to keep balance. He had grown accustomed to Dean welcoming him to join the hunt. 'I…I can help,' he said.
Dean spared Castiel a glance as he spread a line of salt across a windowsill. 'You any good with demons?'
Castiel nodded and summoned his bow and arrows. 'How many?'
Sam frowned as he looked out the window. 'Three…that we know of,' he replied. He glanced at Castiel and did a double-take when he noticed what arrow Castiel was loading. 'Uh…Cas?'
Dean looked over to see what had made Sam uncertain. 'What the Hell, Cas? Don't you dare make any demons fall in love with me!'
Castiel rolled his eyes and disappeared. He reappeared outside the window. He tucked his wings tightly behind himself. No need to alert the demons to what he was.
'He's gonna get himself killed!' Dean grumbled. He turned to leave the room, but was stopped by Sam. He looked back at Sam and frowned as his eyes settled on where Sam was pointing.
Castiel raised his bow and arrow as a demon approached from the distance. He pulled back and released the arrow.
Dean held his breath as he watched. The arrow struck its target square in the chest, but the demon didn't even flinch.
Sam and Dean watched helplessly as the demon closed in on Castiel, who wasn't even looking, just patiently loading his next arrow.
'Run, you son of a bitch!' Dean shouted. 'What the fuck?!'
The demon stumbled as black smoke began pouring from its mouth. It fell to the ground and gagged, smoke pooling around it. The smoke vanished into the ground, leaving behind a sobbing man.
Castiel raised his bow and let another arrow fly as another demon approached. It met the same fate as the first. Castiel walked away from the window, and Sam and Dean hurried outside. When they found the cupid, they also found three more humans huddled together and crying.
Dean cautiously walked up to Castiel, keeping an eye on the humans. 'What the Hell did you do?'
Castiel stretched his wings out and dismissed his bow and arrows. 'Killed them with kindness? The human soul is quite powerful. It just needs a reason to fight. I simply reminded them of their loved ones. Or, in Richard's case…his collection of cars,' he explained. 'My arrows can work as an exorcism.'
Sam had stopped to speak to humans, making sure they were okay. He came up to Dean and Castiel, shaking his head in disbelief. 'They're all okay.'
Dean slapped Castiel on the back and rubbed his hand over the black wings. 'That's it. You're coming hunting with us from now on,' he declared.
Castiel sighed and leaned into Dean's touch. He wanted to join Dean, but he had a job to do. He was being selfish and unrealistic to think that he could really be with Dean. Dean tolerated him and only really saw him as a tool.
Dean grinned obnoxiously at Sam as he ran his fingers through Castiel's feathers. Sam had chastised him several times already over touching the cupid's wings, insisting it was probably an intimate gesture. His grin widened as the wings moved in time with his hand. 'You like that?' he asked in a husky toned. He softened his strokes as Castiel folded his wings and nodded.
Castiel blushed lightly at Dean's voice, but told himself it was nothing. 'It…feels great,' he admitted. 'You're much better at this than Uriel, and he's known for his wing rubs.'
Sam frowned at Castiel. 'Wait, so what he's doing isn't…taboo?'
Castiel shook his head. 'What? Why would it be taboo?' He inhaled sharply at the implication and blushed brightly. He reluctantly pulled away from Dean. 'N-No! It's perfectly normal! I…I uh… They're just wings. Like…like uh…um…arms. Like a second pair of arms. They're not special.' His heart raced and he turned to face Dean with wide eyes. 'You…you… Did you think that? A-are you…um… Do…do you… I…'
Dean stared at Castiel and bit his lip. 'Oh, uh… I thought if it was something special, you'd ask me to stop. I uh…thought it was like patting a dog on the head for a job well done,' he lied. He lips quirked up as Castiel ducked his head and let his wings sag.
'Oh. I see. I'll uh…I'll see you later with more matches,' Castiel said and vanished.
Dean smirked at Sam. 'I think he likes me,' he said proudly.
'I think he's confused,' Sam pointed out.
Castiel stared forlornly at the flashing neon hearts that surrounded his doorway. God, how he hated them. They just served as a reminder of what he couldn't have. Removing them would be useless. They would either return or be replaced by something worse. He heard someone approaching and looked up. 'Anna...'
'You look awful, Cas,' Anna said. 'Is that Dean guy treating you all right?'
Castiel frowned at the phrasing. 'I'm fine… Did you enjoy Hollywood?'
Anna nodded and turned Castiel to face her. She ran her hands down his wings, smoothing out the feathers. 'It was fun. Nothing that'll last, but a lot of passion.' She straightened his tie and smiled fondly at him. 'There. Now you look presentable. I hear Dean likes how you fight. Especially with demons.'
'Well, he finds me useful, yes,' Castiel replied. 'I… It was a bit of a distraction, so I still need to show him the new set of potentials I found.'
Anna narrowed her eyes at her brother. 'I see… Any good matches yet?'
Castiel shook his head. 'I'm not having any luck,' he admitted. 'Gabriel suggested I get him drunk and ask him about what he likes then.'
'Hmm… I can see the merit in that,' Anna said. She patted Castiel's shoulder and gave him a warm smile. 'Well, good luck. And don't worry. I'm sure everything will turn out all right.'
Castiel nodded. He didn't feel the same confidence as Anna.
As Dean was drinking his beer, he could have sworn he saw Castiel out of the corner of his eye. He turned to look, but didn't see anyone he recognized. He faced forward with shrug. He hadn't seen Castiel for a couple days, so his mind was probably playing tricks on him. He had been trying, unsuccessfully, to flirt with Castiel, but the cupid only wanted to discuss matchmaking. And after the incident with the demons, Dean had to admit that Sam was probably right. Castiel was a cupid. He set up matches based on information. He had no real world experience. No people skills. He didn't understand the concept of flirting. Dean had probably read him completely wrong.
Castiel's eyes would light up, and his wings would vibrate with excitement whenever Sam asked about historic couples. Dean didn't pay attention to what was being said, but he did pay attention to how Castiel moved. Dean stared at his beer. He wished he could make Castiel light up like that. He wished he knew enough about history and love stories to hold a proper conversation with Castiel. Not that it mattered.
Dean jumped and stared at Castiel. 'C-Cas?! What… What are you doing here?'
'I…I was hoping we could discuss…you,' Castiel said as he fidgeted.
Dean frowned. Something was different. His eyes wandered over Castiel as he tried to figure out what was wrong. 'Dude, where are your wings?'
'They're invisible,' Castiel replied. He rolled his shoulders and fidgeted more. 'It is not a comfortable feeling, but it is less conspicuous.'
'Huh…' Dean nodded as he took another drink. 'You look…different.'
They stared at each other for a few minutes in silence before Dean waved down a waitress. 'Can I get a couple more beers and uh…hey! Let's do some shots! Whiskey good with you?'
Castiel shrugged helplessly. 'I've never…'
'Right! Beer and whiskey to start! Thanks!'
Castiel sighed in resignation. His brother's advice was to get Dean drunk then speak with him. Maybe everything would turn out all right after all.
Two hours and seven shots later, Castiel was feeling pretty good. He smiled as Dean recounted an old hunt he'd been on with Sam. He found he really liked the sound of Dean's voice. Another glass was pushed in his direction, and he dutifully drank it.
'You sure you're feeling okay?' Dean asked. He had been pushing most of his drinks in Castiel's direction. He figured a cupid would have a much higher tolerance to alcohol than a human, and it looked like he was right.
Castiel nodded then blinked at how his vision didn't seem quite right. 'Um…yes…I believe so. I uh…I think I feel something?'
Dean grinned as he pushed another shot towards Castiel. 'So, how'd you become a cupid? I mean, job-wise.'
Castiel eyed the shot glass. 'I was born into it. My entire family has been dedicated to assisting humans find love. There are a few families that work solely in the archives and watching humans… But my family…we're one of the active ones.'
'So…what happens when you want to retire or uh…take a break?' Dean asked, taking a sip of his beer.
Castiel sighed as he raised the shot glass. 'I guess I would just…take a break.'
'What would you do with your time? Watch some movies? Play some golf? …Find a girlfriend?'
Castiel slammed the shot back and set the glass down. He laughed softly at the thought of him getting a girlfriend. 'Sure. I'll find a girlfriend…or a boyfriend…or something. I'm in the system now. It's only a matter of time before my name comes up. Until someone decides I need more love…'
'What do you mean?' Dean asked with a frown.
'You wanted to read my file,' Castiel replied. 'I had to enter myself into the system as a potential soulmate. Once you're in…you're in.'
'Oh…uh…sorry.' Dean quickly finished off the rest of his drink and ducked his head. 'I didn't know you'd be stuck.'
Castiel shrugged and slouched into his seat. 'It's okay.' He looked around the bar in dismay as he rubbed his back against the chair. 'Can we leave? My wings are bothering me.'
Dean nodded and left to pay the bill. When he returned, he had to help Castiel out of the bar. 'So, are you gonna head home now?' he asked.
Castiel shook his head. 'I still need to talk to you about…you. What…what kind of…er…color of eyes do you prefer?'
'I'll go with blue. How's that sound?'
'Blue is nice…' Castiel stumbled and clung to Dean for support. 'Sorry…I seem to have trouble walking…'
'Drank a little too much, huh?' he laughed as he got Castiel settled in the passenger seat of his car.
Castiel sank into the seat and pulled experimentally at the seatbelt. He looked up at Dean as Dean got behind the wheel. 'What is the point of this?' he asked, tugging at the seatbelt.
Dean reached over and buckled Castiel in. 'It keeps you safe.' He watched Castiel pull at the belt. 'What color of eyes do you prefer?' he asked.
Castiel ran his fingers along the seatbelt. 'I never really considered it before… But, I guess…right now… Green is kind of nice,' he replied, smiling shyly.
The ride was spent in a comfortable silence. When they arrived at the motel, Dean had to help Castiel out of the car.
As Castiel leaned on Dean, he let his wings appear with a happy sigh. 'That feels so much better,' he moaned. 'What…what… Do you like… Does your uh…soulmate have to be familiar with all of the bands you like?'
'Uh, I guess not,' Dean replied as he unlocked the motel room door. He helped Castiel into the room and set him on the edge of his bed. 'You just sit tight, okay?'
Castiel swayed before leaning back on his elbows to stare up at Dean. He tilted his head to the side and smiled. 'I kinda like you.'
'Kinda like you, too,' Dean replied and patted Castiel's knee.
Sam looked up from his laptop with a raised brow. He took in the scene before him before glaring pointedly at Dean. 'Is he drunk? Did you get him drunk?!'
Dean turned to Sam and had the decency to look embarrassed. 'He got himself drunk,' he said. 'He could have stopped, but he just kept on drinking. Right, Cas?'
Castiel breathed deeply and flexed his wings out. 'I liked how it tasted,' he said. 'Never had it before.'
Sam closed his laptop with an exasperated sigh. 'Now, what?'
'Now, we let him sleep it off. Sound good to you, Cas?'
Castiel let his head roll back. 'Mm-hm…'
Dean lifted Castiel's legs and guided them onto the bed. 'C'mon, let's get you comfy.'
Castiel reached up and placed his hand at the back of Dean's neck and pulled him closer. 'Dean?'
Dean held his breath as he stared at Castiel. He swallowed and nodded for Castiel to continue.
'I…I really like you,' he whispered before leaning up and placing a soft kiss on Dean's lips. He pulled back and smiled lazily up at Dean. 'Really…really like you… You're…you're so special…and…and your soul is so honest and…the love… I…' He trailed, staring at Dean's lips. He pulled Dean down for another kiss. He let go of Dean and dropped back against the pillows. 'Do…do you…maybe…'
Dean nodded jerkily. 'Y-yeah. I really like you, too,' he replied and gave Castiel a quick kiss.
Castiel beamed at Dean. He let his eyes shut and quickly drifted off to sleep.
'Fuck,' Dean whispered.
'What the Hell, Dean?!' Sam snapped. 'You can't… He's… What the Hell?!'
'Hey, he could have stopped me from flirting anytime. Coulda told me he wasn't interested,' Dean said defensively. 'Obviously, he's into me, too.'
'But he's…he was assigned to find you a soulmate, not…not be your soulmate!'
'He has a file. That means he's a potential soulmate. He said so himself.'
Sam slammed his hands on the table as he stood. 'He only has a file because you made him get one!'
'I didn't make him do anything!'
A laugh pulled the brothers from their argument and they stared at the newcomer. He was short and looked human, aside from a pair of golden wings.
'Who the fuck are you?!' Dean shouted as he reached for the small of his back for a gun that wasn't there.
Gabriel grinned at Dean and held out the missing gun. 'Big brother,' he replied. He looked past Dean to Castiel's sleeping form and shook his head fondly. 'He was supposed to get you drunk, not the other way around.'
Dean frowned at Gabriel. 'Huh?'
Gabriel tossed the gun back and forth between his hands. 'He was supposed to get you to open up and talk to him about what you liked. But…this works, too.'
Dean sucked in a breath and narrowed his eyes. 'Did you shoot me with one of those God damn arrows?' he growled.
Gabriel snorted. 'I don't need to,' he replied. 'You two are so hopelessly gone, you don't need a push.'
'Wait…so this is okay? They can be together?' Sam asked.
'There's no rules against it, Sammy. I've got a hot Hindu Goddess of Destruction, myself,' Gabriel said with a grin.
Dean looked from Gabriel to Castiel. 'How do I know I haven't been manipulated?'
'You don't. But…in all honesty, I would have shot Cas instead of you,' Gabriel said as he walked up to Castiel and lightly stroked a wing. 'He was fighting the attraction a lot harder than you were. Getting him drunk? That just got him to be honest with himself and willing to take a chance. Good work, Dean-o!'
Dean grabbed Gabriel by the coat and gave him a hard shake. 'You'd shoot your own brother?!'
Gabriel's expression shifted, and he gave Dean a hard stare. 'Relax. He knew the risks when he entered himself into the system. We all do. If it makes you feel any better, my mom shot me with an arrow when I first met Kali.'
Dean let go of Gabriel, but kept glaring. 'Then why are you here? Why show yourself?'
Gabriel looked down at Castiel. 'I'm here as his big brother,' he replied. 'If you hurt Castiel in any way, then I will make your life a living Hell. Ever have a wendigo want to jump your bones?' He handed the gun to Dean with a friendly smile. 'Think about it. Every job, every hunt…whatever you're hunting will want to mate with you.'
Dean took the gun and contemplated shooting Gabriel in the face. Or at least hitting him upside the head. But he could see where Gabriel was coming from. If anyone ever hurt Sam, he would do everything within his power to make that person pay.
Gabriel nodded happily to himself. 'You take good care of him,' he said then turned to Sam with a bright grin. 'Blonde or brunette?'
'What? Oh…oh, no!' Sam replied, quickly shaking his head. 'I'm good for now. Thanks.'
Gabriel laughed before disappearing.
'C'mon, Sammy, embrace the love,' Dean said teasingly, earning himself a dirty look.
Castiel awoke and sat up with a loud groan. He was still wearing the uncomfortable suit and coat, so he fixed that problem, replacing it with his normal outfit.
'Morning,' Sam called out from behind his laptop.
Castiel jumped and sat straight. He looked around and recognized the motel room. Everything from the night before came crashing back. He glanced quickly around the room and found no sign of Dean. He could have sworn Dean had kissed him. Or was it just a dream? How much of last night was real? He hugged himself with his wings and stared at Sam. 'Um…where is Dean?' he asked. Did he scare Dean off?
Sam glanced up. 'He had to go get something,' he replied. 'He uh…he also wanted to talk to you about one of the folders you had brought him to look at.'
Castiel forced a smile. 'Oh? That's…good.' He stared at his lap as he tugged at one of his wings. 'Did he happen to say which one?' he asked quietly.
'No, but I can tell he thinks it's a good match.' Sam smirked and hid behind his laptop.
Castiel's wings dropped. He tried to tell himself it was a good thing. Dean had finally chosen someone. Dean was going to be happy. He took a deep breath as he heard the Impala pull up. He braced himself and put on a bright smile.
Dean opened the door and carefully entered the room, keeping one hand behind his back. He grinned happily at Castiel and may have let his eyes take their time roaming over the half-naked cupid. 'You changed,' he said, not bothering to keep the leer out of his voice.
'Yes…it's more comfortable,' Castiel replied. Did he dream last night? 'Sam said you had chosen someone?'
Dean nodded eagerly. 'Yeah, one of the uh…matches you brought me,' he said. He barely managed to keep a straight face when Castiel's wings drooped. 'He's smart, good looking…has some weird tastes, though.'
'I see…when did you want to meet him?' Castiel asked, keeping his smile in place. His smile faltered as a bouquet of roses was shoved in front of his face. The paper they were wrapped in was decorated with little, pink hearts. There was a tag on a stick, nestled between the roses. His eye twitched at the little hearts that lined the card. Hearts. Everywhere.
'Um…Cas?' Dean frowned at the neutral look on Castiel's face.
Castiel looked up and forced a smile. 'I'm sure he'll like them,' he said with a strained voice.
Dean stared at Castiel in confusion. He checked to make sure the card was pointed at Castiel. 'Uh…they're uh…for you?'
Castiel sucked in a breath. He stared at Dean in shock then looked back at the card. Sure enough, his name was scrawled across the center of the card. 'Y-you… But, I…' He carefully took the bouquet. 'Th-thank you…' He had never gotten flowers before. He suddenly found the hearts tolerable.
Dean sat on the bed next to Castiel. 'So…do you wanna have a go at being my soulmate?' he asked as he slid his hand up Castiel's back and across his wings.
Castiel stretched his wings out and wrapped one around Dean's shoulders. 'I'd like that,' he softly replied. He glanced over at Dean and blushed at the hungry look he was receiving.
'I think we should start wiping out some of those N/A's on your profile,' Dean said as he pushed Castiel against the mattress.
'Hey! I'm still here!' Sam exclaimed.
'No one's making you stay!' Dean shouted back.
Castiel could have sworn he heard the door slam, but he was a little too distracted by what Dean was doing to his neck to be certain.