Frickin' witches. It was always the witches.

And you'd think that after twenty years of hunting experience, that he would know how to avoid the bitches.

But no, here he is again; strung up on a wooden pole, shirtless and about to become a sacrifice. Again.

Dean sighed; this would have never happened if Sam wasn't such a girl. It was all "Dean, I'm sick", "Dean, I want chicken soup", "Dean, stop being a jerk." Bitch. And so, on the way to get Samantha her frickin soup, the frickin witches had taken him by surprise and frickin nabbed him.

He really needed to rethink their policy of not killing humans. Like really.

The witches were busy boiling some potion with his blood in it, chanting some language that Sam probably knew. Which reminded him how handy it would be to have Sam there with him. But Sam was probably in a snot induced coma right about now, dreaming about pretty blondes.

Kevin probably hadn't even left his room yet; since it was so well supplied with mi goreng.

Charlie would't know he was missing, and everyone else was dead.

And he couldn't just call Cas to come save him because, well, Cas was human now. No more angel-mojo to get them out of a sticky situation. Whilst it had been nice to teach Cas the about finer points of humanity such as beer, Dr Sexy and terrycloth bathrobes, it meant that their one big gun was out of ammo.

Not that he was being selfish or anything. But dude, seriously. Witches.

The witches' chanting had become louder, and a eerie blue light was rising up from the potion, enveloping them. A part of Dean was hoping that they only wanted his blood for some mood lighting, and that maybe he could get out of here before the latest episode of Dr Sexy was finished.

The blue light enveloped the three witches, growing brighter as they stepped closer to each other. They were no longer chanting, it had become more like melodic shouting, their voices harmonizing in a powerful strain. Before Dean's eyes, the three witches merged into one being; a beautiful woman shrouded in blue, silken butterfly wings extending from her back. The creature wasn't moving her lips but Dean could still hear the chanting, getting louder and louder as she stepped towards him.

She reached out her hand and touched his forehead and suddenly the chanting was gone.

"Dean." Her voice was velvet caressing his ears, somehow emitting an entire song with just one syllable. He could feel himself sinking into her voice, letting his mind enter a deadly fog but he shook his head. He didn't know if she was a witch anymore, but he knew that trances were bad, no matter what the creature.

"How do you know my name?" he snapped.

She touched his chest with her fingertips, "I have become my true form thanks to your blood. And it has allowed me to see deep into your being."

Dean suppressed an irrational need to cover himself up and instead asked, "Who are you and what do you want with me?"

She chuckled and started circling him, her fingertips still touching his body. "Oh, how I love the mind of a hunter. So straight forward, no pesky panic that comes with ordinary humans."

She took her knife and sliced his flesh, right above his heart, collecting it in a wooden bowl.

"Well, I'll tell you Dean. I am the goddess Psykhe, keeper of the soul, lover of Eros; god of love. I was banished long ago by Aphrodite, who was jealous of my beauty. And I've been trying to get back to my love ever since. I have been waiting in the form of the witches for centuries, waiting for the perfect candidate. And now I've found him."

Dean eyed her warily, maybe there was something worse than witches after all.

"Candidate for what?"

"My final challenge before I can reunite with my love. I must find a hollow man, unite two souls and break one heart. You, my dear hunter, are my hollow man."

A part of Dean wanted to retaliate with a snarky comment about the poetic bullshit she was spouting. But a larger part of him wanted to know why everyone thought he was a desolate hollow man. Famine, Death, hell, even Cas had commented on his emptiness, his void. He was not hollow, thank you very much. In fact, he was getting a bit soft around the middle.

"Ok lady, why don't you just cut the crap and tell me what the plan is. That way you get the satisfactory villain speech and I get a chance to hatch a devious plan to escape."

Psykhe laughed, her melodious voice calming Dean slightly. "Alright my hollow man, since you asked so nicely. My last hurdle, as I told you before was to find a hollow man, unite two souls and break one heart. In layman terms, I have to find a man who was empty inside, who had distanced himself from the world in order to protect it and himself. Then I have to unite him with his soul mate. Then I have to kill his soul mate so that I could break his heart. How's that sounding? Had enough time to formulate an escape?"

Dean couldn't speak. His throat had dried up and lips were fused together. This had suddenly gone from vague witch rambling to an intimate attack that would ultimately result in the death of his soul mate.

Psykhe dipped her fingers into the bowl, coating them with his blood. She held them up to her lips. "Lets see who this soul mate is, shall we?"

And then she blew.

Dean closed his eyes, trying to contain the panic that threatened to bubble over. A part of him raced through the names of possible candidates; Cassie, Layla, Anna, Lisa. A bigger part of him was depressed that he didn't know who his soul mate was.


Oh God no. That's all he thought. Because he knew that voice, and it sounded wrong like that; all vulnerable and scared.

He snapped his eyes open and sure enough, it was Cas. Pure, innocent, scared Cas. Pinned against the wall by some unseen force. Cas with his wide hopeful eyes. Cas with his perpetual sex hair. Cas who doesn't enjoy urination because he finds it tedious. Cas who uses up all the hot water in the bunker. Cas who can speak a thousand languages but can't master the coffee machine.



"You've made a mistake," Dean managed to croak out, "he's not... I'm not gay."

"Oh Dean," she tutted, "A soul mate isn't based on sexuality. It isn't based on lust or even love. It's the person whose soul fits in with yours in a way that makes you question if you were ever whole to begin with."

She cut Cas over his heart, mixing their blood together in the bowl.

"I can see into both your beings, including your pasts. This is the man who raised you from hell and then gave you a reason to live. This is the man who stood by you no matter what; even his mistakes were made trying to protect you. This is the man that somehow, despite all your layers of armour, managed to earn the title 'family'. This is the man who always answered when you called, who died for you on more than one occasion. This is the man who knows you, down to your core, who understands you and loves you unconditionally."

She stepped in front of Dean, staring into his eyes.

"Surely you knew that. Surely on some level you knew. Whilst you were staring into his eyes, surely you suspected."

Dean averted his eyes.

"That's what I thought. And what about you Castiel? I am aware that you have only recently become human, and don't particularly grasp the whole range of human emotions. But what do you feel when you look at Dean?"

Castiel swallowed loudly. He glanced between Psykhe and Dean before finally focusing his gaze on the ground.

"I-I feel a pounding..."

"Go on Castiel. If you tell me the whole truth I will let Dean go free."

Part of Dean wanted to tell Cas not to believe her, that he didn't need to share his deepest feelings. But a larger part of Dean wanted to hear him.

"Its a pounding in my heart- I think," Cas began again, nervously licking his lips, "It starts every time I look at him, every time I think of him. Sometimes when I dream about him. It makes me feel weak in the knees, but somehow gives me the strength to keep fighting. It makes me believe in the good in humanity, makes me want to be the best that I can be. When I was an angel, when the pounding got too loud I could just leave but now..."

Cas swallowed again, glancing up at Dean. "Now... The pounding just gets louder and louder, and I can't help but to look at his face. I look at his face and hope for a smile. I look at his eyes and try to determine the exact shade of green they are. I try to count his freckles. I try to imagine what he would look like beneath his clothes, covered in sweat, moving in me..."

There was a slight tinge of pink on his cheeks, but despite his embarrassment he was staring at Dean, with the intensity that makes it impossible to look anywhere else.

"Sometimes...Sometimes I regret not taking a female vessel; maybe then you would find me attractive as a mate. But then I think that even if you were to never touch me, I would be content, as long as you were with me. As long as I could spend the rest of this short and fragile life with you. As long as you would always be there with me. I would be content. I would be...happy."

By the time he finished, they were both covered in sweat, breathing heavily. To Dean it felt like it had taken a marathon effort to get to where they were now, to unload all those emotions. They hadn't broken eye contact yet and Dean desperately didn't want to. He wanted to stare into those blue eyes forever, now that he had realised what Cas was saying with those stares.

And then he remembered that forever wasn't an option anymore. Because Psykhe still needed a broken heart.

She took her knife and placed it at Cas' neck.

"Well Dean? Any last words you want Castiel to hear before he dies?"

Dean wanted to yell at her, and kill her, wanted to take Cas and escape, wanted to kiss him and make love to him, wanted to fight alongside him till he died. And suddenly all those possibilities had been taken away from him, and something rose up from inside him and made him cry out. He began to sob uncontrollably and stared at Cas with a ferocity that almost scared the goddess.

"Fuck...Cas... This was never how I wanted to do this. I feel the same about you...I'm not good with words, and I'm not good with feelings- but I have them-about you. Fuck...what I'm trying to say Cas is that I love you. And it scares me, and I'm sorry that I didn't admit it before, and I'm sorry that I screwed up yet again, and I'm sorry that you're going to pay the price for that...I'm so sorry...I love you."

Cas was crying too, tears silently slipping down his cheeks. He looked scared and Dean just wanted to hold him and protect him, but he couldn't. He couldn't and it was killing him.

"Please!" he begged the goddess, "Please don't kill him. I will do anything, I will give anything for you to spare his life. Take mine! I'm begging you..."

She looked at him and sighed, sympathetically but unwavering.

"Please... Please...don't let him suffer..."

She gave a slight nod and then moved to cut his throat. There was a loud report and for a second Dean believed it was his heart exploding. That this was the end. That this was the limit of suffering that one person could handle.

But then he saw the goddess lying on the ground, blood oozing out of the gunshot wound, her eyes lifeless.

He barely registered Sam untying him and asking what happened. Barely registered Sam trying to cover the cut on his chest. All he knew was that nothing was stopping him from getting to Cas now. He pulled him into his arms and kissed him, hard and passionately. He kissed him like there was no tomorrow, because up until a second ago, there wasn't. He kissed him until they both stopped crying and Cas' hands were trying to pull Dean's face closer. He kissed him until he was sure that he was convinced Cas loved him. And then he kissed him just a bit more.

They finally pulled apart when Sam coughed awkwardly and then proceeded to remind them that there was a dead body on the ground and someone must have heard the shot.

They stumbled towards the Impala, desperate to get back to the bunker.

Sam held out the keys to Dean, his eyes widening when he rejected them.

They hopped in the car, Sam driving, Dean and Cas clutching each other in the back seat.

Sam looked at them in the rearview mirror and smiled softly. Then he frowned.

"You never got me soup jerk."