It had been a tough job. Sure, they were always tough, but this one drained the boys emotionally as well as physically, with weak leads and too much running and the dredging up of old memories. It'd been a Siren- two actually, working together, but with a kick. Rather than appearing as a stripper or even a loyal brother, the Sirens chose to resemble real people, people their victims cared about.

By the time Sam and Dean (and Castiel, hovering in the background trying not to embarrass himself talking to witnesses) showed up on the case, several men and women had committed murder after apparently trying to save someone- for some a husband, a wife, a girlfriend.

Yes, it had been a tough job, but it was over now. Nothing remained of the Sirens but the scars they'd left behind, the nightmares Sam would have of Jess for the next couple of nights, the jagged cut on Dean's forehead that he was mopping up with a dirty cloth as he leaned against the motel counter next to Cas.

"Tough one," he mumbled as Sam went into the bathroom to wash the blood off of his face. Dean's head ached from where one of the Sirens had cracked it against the wall, and he had a bruise blossoming on the center of his chest where the other Siren had caught him off guard.

Without a word, Castiel reached over and put a hand on Dean's shoulder, and in an instant the cut, the bruise, and the ache vanished. "What did you see?" he asked, not waiting for a thank-you. "When the Siren was trying to trick you." Before they'd been able to gank the things, one had tried to nab Dean before Castiel was able to smite it.

Slowly, Dean lowered the cloth from his face, a light grin hitching the corner of his mouth up. Cas's healing made him feel rejuvenated, more awake, but he also felt more clear-headed than he had in a long time, for an entirely different reason. "You know," he said, eyes on the stained floor, "I saw this one angel."

"Yeah?" said Cas, who also seemed to be avoiding his eyes. "What- what was he like?"

"Oh," said Dean, glancing up at Cas. "Like a friggin' child." At that, Dean couldn't help but laugh at Castiel's expression. "No, he's… he's a good guy. Funny, and… and kind. And brave, too, stupid brave, jump-in-front-of-a-train idiotic brave."

"Sounds nice."

"He is," said Dean, and with a tiny motion he hooked a finger around Cas's thumb. He felt like he'd just taken a sledgehammer to layers of dusty drywall and left nothing in its place but fresh air. "And you know, I think…" He looked back down again, unable to look Cas in the face even as a smile tugged at his mouth. "I think I love him."

Dean felt a slight tug at the hand that was gripping Cas's, and then they were kissing, full-on-the-mouth kissing the way Dean had been beginning to think they never would. Cas was warm and tasted like salt and Dean could've sworn he heard feathers ruffling.

"Dean?" said Cas, pulling away suddenly. "I'm the angel, right?"

Very slowly, Dean's subtle grin grew into a full-blown smile. "Yeah, Cas," he said. "You're the angel."