Starting at the bottom edge of the angel's ear, Dean traced the line of Castiel's jaw with his fingertips. Dean's nails caught on scruff and stubble, but Castiel hummed against the drag. His eyes slid closed. A smile pulled at the edge of his lips. Dean leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss against one lifted end of that smile. The smile grew.

"You don't have to do this," Castiel said. His hand slid from Dean's shoulder down his back, where it snaked under Dean's shirt. Dean hissed at the cool touch of Castiel's skin on his own.

"Do what?" Dean asked. He kissed the other corner of Castiel's mouth.

"I'm not going to break," Castiel whispered against Dean's lips.

"I know that," Dean replied. He trailed his kisses over Castiel's cheek, not slowing until he reached the angel's neck. He didn't want to look Castiel in the eye yet – he'd know Dean was lying.

Castiel pulled his hand away from Dean's back.

"Just let me do this, okay?" Dean pulled at Castiel's collar, revealing the curve where shoulder meets neck. He placed a soft kiss there. "I don't want to rush it."

Soft fingertips touched Dean's cheek, coaxing him upwards. He pushed up on his elbows. Castiel cupped the side of Dean's face. His palm held Dean's jaw, and his fingers laced through Dean's hair.

"I'm here, Dean," Castiel said. His blue gaze locked with Dean's, imprisoning him. "I'm not leaving."

Dean swallowed the lump in his throat. Fear and lust and love and desperation tangled in his insides, leaving a heavy weight in his stomach. "I know," he said, but he didn't expect Castiel to believe it this time. The words were too shaky – too fragile – to be truth.

Castiel's eyes saddened.

"Cas," Dean started, ready to take it all back if it meant returning Castiel's smile.

"I'll never leave you again, Dean Winchester," Castiel said. His words were firm, spoken like a promise. He leaned forward and kissed the edges of Dean's growing smile.


Thank you so much for reading! This is cross-posted on tumblr and ao3. I wasn't going to post it beyond tumblr since it is so short but after the pains and aches of 8x17, I felt like we could all use as much fluff as we can get.

Also, thank you so much again for all of the bookmarks/follows/reviews you guys have left on my Destiel works! I am constantly humbled by you, and I couldn't be more grateful. HUGS