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Dean woke up and saw that the bed was empty beside him. He was ready to jump out of bed and search the house, but he stopped when he saw the silhouette of someone sitting at the foot of the bed. “Cas?” he whispered, his voice still rough from sleep.

Castiel spun around to look at Dean. “I didn’t realize you were awake. I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“Nah,” Dean replied. He threw the covers off of him and swung his legs off the bed. He stood up and stretched. He picked up his discarded boxers and slipped back into them. He looked over at Castiel and saw that he was still naked. Then he looked at what he held in his hand. “You haven’t done it yet?”

“Done what?”

Dean’s eyes went to Castiel’s grace and the angel’s eyes followed. “I figured you’d have your wings back by the time I woke up.”

Castiel closed his hands around the vial. He shook his head. “No, not yet.”

“What are you waiting for?” The demons and angels that hurt him were gone. Castiel got his closure. Dean was scared that there was someone or something they missed.

“Any reason I don’t deserve this,” Castiel whispered, not wanting Dean to hear his admission.

Dean ran his hand down his face. He sat down next to Castiel. “Cas, come on. I thought we were done with this.”

“We are,” Castiel answered. “I just…” His voice trailed off because he didn’t know what he wanted to say to finish that sentence.

“What? Is there any other human thing I can help you with?”

“No, I’m okay,” Castiel said with a smile remembering everything that happened last night.

“Cas,” Dean pressed. He wasn’t too worried since Castiel was smiling.

“I’m fine, Dean.”

“Really.” Dean put a hand on the one that held Castiel’s grace and squeezed it.

Castiel put his hand on Dean’s and mirrored the action. “Yes.”

“Okay.” Dean slipped his hand out from between Castiel’s. He stood up and scratched the back of his head. “Well, I feel like I should leave you alone so you can re-grace yourself.”

“No,” Castiel said rather quickly, jumping to his feet. He grabbed Dean’s arm. “Stay. Please.”

“Cas, I can’t exactly do anything to help you,” Dean replied.

“I just want you here.” Castiel sighed. “I won’t let anything happened to you.”

“Well, that’s good,” Dean said. He did not want to be hurt while Castiel became an angel again. “So, how are you doing this?”

Castiel shrugged. “I just have to break the vial. Right? That’s what Anna did.” He felt his grace warm up in his hand. It probably knew that it would soon be back in its vessel. “Dean?”

“Yeah, Cas?”

“I… I don’t know how to ask…”

Dean stepped forward and wrapped his hand around Castiel’s. He tilted his head to the side and pressed his lips to Castiel’s, hoping that was what Castiel was going to ask for. He reached up with his free hand and placed it on the back of Castiel’s neck to deepen the kiss.

He squeezed Castiel’s hand, telling him that it was okay to break the vial. When he felt Castiel’s hand close tightly under his, he knew that it was about to get really bright.

The glass cracked and Dean knew to screw his eyes shut.

Their kiss heated up, and Dean contemplated pulling away before his entire body burned. He felt like he was in a sauna. He kept kissing Castiel because he found himself unable to separate from Castiel. The temperature continued to climb and he knew that if this continued, he had no other choice but to push Castiel away.

Finally, the temperature died down, and Dean found his lips still pressed to Castiel’s. He could not believe that he wasn’t covered in burns, but he knew Castiel had something to do with that. Once the room dimmed, Dean opened his eyes and ended the kiss.

He stared at Castiel’s who was breathing hard. His eyes were wide, and Dean noticed how much bluer they were since his grace was returned. He panicked when Castiel swayed then fell forward into his chest.

“Whoa, hot stuff,” Dean said as he held Castiel in his arms. His body was warmer than a human body should be. “Cas?” He looked down and saw that Castiel’s eyes were closed. “Damnit.”

He took a quick once over and saw that there were no new injuries on Castiel’s body. His gaze went down Castiel’s back and he could have sworn that he saw something like a mirage moving near his shoulder blades. He reached out, trying to run his fingers through it. He pulled his hand back when he felt Castiel tremble in his arms. He wondered if he had just touched Castiel’s wings.

Dean bent down and slid his arm under Castiel’s knees. He stood up and carried the other man to the bed. He sat on the edge of the mattress after he put Castiel down, hoping that he wouldn’t be unconscious for very long.

A few minutes later, Castiel stirred on the bed. His eyes shot open and immediately went to Dean. “What?”

“You okay?” Dean asked.

“I didn’t expect that to happen.”

“I don’t suppose this whole you passing out thing will be over and done with now that you’ve got your grace back?” Dean smiled as Castiel stared at him and tilted his head. Of course, it was too much to ask. “So, how does it feel to be an angel again?”

“I never realized how heavy my wings were.” He squinted his eyes when he realized something. His hand went to this throat and he rubbed it. “Does my voice always sound like this?”

Dean laughed. “Yeah. That hasn’t changed.” He grabbed Castiel’s hands and pulled him into a sitting position. He looked over Castiel’s body and noticed that he was mostly healed except for the sigil scars, but more importantly the love bites and bruises from the night before. “Cas?” Dean asked, tracing a finger on the bruises he left on Castiel’s hip.

Castiel looked down to watch Dean draw circles on the darkened spot. “It’ll heal eventually. It doesn’t hurt.”

Dean stopped moving. “Were you hurting? From last night, I mean.” Dean blushed. It wasn’t like him to talk about things that intimate that directly.

“No,” Castiel said with a shake of his head.

“Cas,” Dean said. If he hurt Castiel, he wanted to know. He didn’t like the idea of possibly hurting the other man, especially since what they did wasn’t supposed to cause him pain.

Castiel shook his head. “It was… enjoyable,” he replied when he found the right word to say.

Dean smiled. “Only you would make sex sound so clinical.”

Castiel smiled back. “But I did enjoy it.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Dean replied. Castiel knew how to stroke his ego.

“I’m sure we’ll be able to continue this even though I have my grace back, if you like.”

Dean smiled and nodded. He had fun last night. He would not object to doing it again. “Why don’t you go take a shower? Don’t just mojo yourself clean. Appreciate these finer things in life. I’ll go see if everyone’s back.”

“All right.” Castiel slid out of bed, not caring that he was naked, and walked to the bathroom.

Dean couldn’t help but smirk. It was quite the situation he found himself in. When he heard the sound of the water turning on he threw on a shirt and jeans, then he left.

As Dean headed down the stairs, he could hear voices in the living room. Everyone was back. Considering the Leviathans were still causing chaos on the Earth, the mood in the cabin was much lighter. Dean desperately wanted Castiel’s survival to be a turning point. They needed some strikes in the win column.

He got to the first floor and could hear Michael and Lucifer talking in the guest room. He sat down on the couch and turned his body to watch them. He had the perfect view. He hoped the conversation wasn’t supposed to be private because he was sure they knew he was watching them. He didn’t care. If they didn’t want him there, they had the power to send him to Cambodia until they were done with their conversation.

“This doesn’t change anything between us,” Lucifer said. He crossed his arms over his chest.

“I know,” Michael said, sad.

“Michael.”

“It was nice to be on the same side for once.” He could barely remember a time where the two of them weren’t fighting.

“Father said for me to help Castiel. It would have been difficult to accomplish that if I was working against you.”

“But he means nothing to you.” Michael said that, but he didn’t believe it. He could see how Lucifer cared about Castiel. Maybe in the beginning it was just because of their Father’s orders, but now Lucifer had a connection with the youngest angel.

Lucifer knew what his brother was thinking. He shook his head. What he felt about Castiel didn’t matter. “He means something to Father. I still love Him, even though He cast me out.”

“At least you have your priorities.” Michael was glad for that. He didn’t know if they would have succeeded in helping Castiel without Lucifer’s assistance. “But thank you for your help.”

It was getting too chick-flicky for Dean’s liking. He did not want to see an emotional reunion between the two archangels. He saw Sam sitting at the kitchen table with Gabriel and Balthazar and walked over to them. “How was Missouri’s?” Dean asked as he took a seat across from his brother. For the first time in a long time, they sat at the kitchen table.

“I have bruises from her hugging me so hard.”

Dean smiled. Missouri was one to give bear hugs to people. Especially people she hadn’t seen in years. “You guys talk?”

“Yeah.”

“About?” Dean hoped that Missouri was able to help Sam to deal with his wall being torn down.

“Stuff.” Sam replied. He knew that his brother was trying to keep the attention off of him for as long as possible. Too bad for Sam, he already had some things to say. “She did say she was glad that you two finally pulled your heads out of your asses.”

“What?” Dean said loudly. He was glad he wasn’t holding anything or eating anything because it would not have helped him keep his composure. He would have made a mess with his reaction.

“Dean, it’s okay.”

Dean shook his head. He couldn’t even come up with anything to argue or dispute what Sam said. His brain had chosen that exact moment to stop working. “Shut up,” he finally said. “We’re not having a moment like this before I get some food in me.”

Sam smiled. As easy as it would have been to torment his brother, he contained himself. It wasn’t fun to mess with him when there wasn’t a challenge. “Okay.”

“So, it’s over,” Dean said.

“Depends on what you mean by over,” Sam replied. “The Leviathans are still running loose.”

Castiel flew into the kitchen dressed in his usual suit and trench coat. Dean would not mention how glad he was to see Castiel back to his angelic form; grace, trench coat, suit, and all.

Lucifer clapped his hands once and everyone turned their attention to him. “Well, that’s my cue to leave.”

Dean looked up and saw Lucifer and Michael enter the kitchen. “Wait, you’re just high-tailing it out of here?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Why?” Gabriel asked.

“I did what I needed to do. Father said to help the little angel over there, and I did.”

“So now what, you’re going to help the Leviathans?” Balthazar asked.

“No, of course not,” Lucifer said, almost sounding offended that his brother would even assume that. He thought that he made his stance on the Leviathans clear. “I would never lower myself to work those savages. I have some integrity.”

“So you say,” Dean replied.

“Then why can’t you help us?” Michael asked.

All Lucifer could do was shrug. He walked over to Castiel and stood in front of the angel. He stared at him for a moment or two. He was pleased to see Castiel not back away fro him. He reached over Castiel’s shoulder and traced his finger over something invisible. Castiel shivered under his touch. “You’re special,” Lucifer whispered. “And more peculiar than ever. I can see why Father loves you so much. Amazing, since you have yet to see His face.”

Castiel stepped back and out of Lucifer’s reach. He shivered once more. “Lucifer, do you know what the Leviathans want?” He knew that the Leviathans didn’t want to just create chaos on the Earth. There had to be more to their plan.

“They want Heaven,” he said, his answer simple and nonchalant.

“What?” Michael and Gabriel said at the same time.

“They want. Heaven,” Lucifer said more slowly, keeping his gaze on Castiel. “They want to show Father how they feel about Him keeping them in Purgatory all this time. They know that Father isn’t in Heaven, so they want to cause enough trouble that He returns. When He does, they’ll be waiting.”

“We have to warn Father,” Castiel replied. The Leviathans could be stronger than the last time their Father fought them. He might not be strong enough to handle them this time.

“Maybe,” Michael said. He needed to soothe his brother’s anxiety even though he was worried too. “But the plan might not be possible with Belial dead and Satan locked away.”

“Do not give them the chance to use their plan B,” Lucifer said.

“Plan B?” Dean said. They had a hard enough time dealing with Belial and Satan. He did not want to have to worry about more evil angels that could come after Castiel.

“It may not be as strong and attractive as plan A, but it will get the job done.”

“So, stopping them could be easier said than done,” Sam said. They still had no way of stopping the Leviathans, so they weren’t sure if they’d be able to stop their back-up plan.

Lucifer shrugged. He turned to face his brothers. “By the way, brothers. You won’t be able to defeat Father’s beasts. He created them before He made us. He made us weaker than them because he was afraid. You cannot beat all of them.”

“Do you know how to?”

“You should hope he doesn’t summon the other princes,” Lucifer continued as if Dean hadn’t said anything. “Especially Belphegor.”

“Why?”

“She’s the only other one who isn’t an angel. That vain and slothy princess,” he said with a smirk as he thought about her. “She is the only one that you don’t know how to kill.”

“Lucifer,” Michael sighed. There was nothing positive or helpful about what was coming from his brother’s mouth.

“Good luck, brothers.”

“Lucifer, wait,” Castiel said before the archangel could disappear.

“Yes?”

“Can we come to you? If we need help?”

Lucifer looked around his youngest brother to the other angels in the room. He could see that they all had the same question in their eyes. He looked back to Castiel. “You can.”

“Why me?”

“Father said for me to help you. Only you. And as much as you don’t want to see it, we’re more alike than you think. We are quite the rebellious pair.”

Castiel blushed. He did not think that having any similarities to Lucifer was a good thing. “I… thank you,” he said, unsure of the proper response to that.

Lucifer looked at Castiel and couldn’t help but smile. In the last few weeks, he had come to admire the young angel. He decided to leave him with a parting gift. He leaned forward as if he were going to whisper in his ear. “Remember how you killed Eve,” he said loudly enough that everyone heard. “The only time angels are stronger than the beasts are when they’re dead.”

Lucifer sauntered over to Dean and stood toe to toe with him. He crossed his arms over his chest and stood as tall as he could. “You better keep him safe, Dean.” That was as close to a threat as he’d give the human. He would never hurt Dean, but he needed Dean to know that Castiel was important. Even if they didn’t know to what extent yet. “Now, I say farewell. For now,” he finished with a wink. With a flutter of heavy wings, he was gone.

“What do you think all of that meant?” Sam asked.

“It means that something happened between Castiel and Dean last night. And now there is something more going on between them.”

“Not that, Gabriel. The only time angels are stronger than the beasts are when they’re dead,” Michael repeated. “I don’t understand.”

“All you angels have an allergy to straight answers. Why the hell do you guys have to make things so difficult?” Dean asked.

Michael brought a hand up to the bridge of his nose and rubbed. He was more frustrated than Dean. “Lucifer likes riddles. And puzzles. This way, he’s entertained.”

Dean wanted to be pissed, but he couldn’t summon up the frustration. He figured that Michael was frustrated enough for all of them. They had a clue on how to defeat the Leviathans. As obscure as the clue was, it was something. He looked to Castiel who had a pensive look on his face. “Any ideas?”

“Not at the moment,” he replied. “I’m still getting used to having my full grace in an injury free body. It’s difficult to focus on so many things after being human for so long.” Castiel quivered when his grace pulsed throughout his body. He let out a shaky breath. “I’m fine, Dean,” he said before Dean could ask him how he was doing. “We need to focus on the clue Lucifer just gave us.”

“Do you have a starting point?” Sam asked.

“We can check the Divine Scrolls in our library,” Michael said.

“That sounds like a good place to start,” Gabriel agreed.

“Then after that?” Sam asked.

“We find ourselves a Leviathan and test our theories out,” Balthazar said.

Dean could go along with that plan. “Do we have any theories? Any at all?”

“No,” Balthazar replied. “But we have weapons that you humans didn’t have access to. Something may work.”

Dean smiled. He knew he thought it a lot over the past few weeks, but it was good to be on the same side as the angels. It gave him hope. “Okay, then. Get to that. Me and Sam will brainstorm ideas about what the hell Lucifer was talking about.”

The angels agreed with that plan. Castiel stood in front of Dean, looking into his eyes. “I will let you know of our findings.”

“Thanks,” Dean said, blushing. Every moment with Castiel felt a lot more intimate because of what happened the night before.

“How is it possible that there is still this much sexual tension between you two after what happened last night?”

“Gabriel!” Michael yelled.

“Oh my—”

“Dean!” Castiel yelled to keep Dean from blaspheming.

“You need to tell your brother to shut the hell up.”

“We’re leaving,” Castiel said, speaking to the angels but not taking his eyes off of Dean.

Dean grabbed Castiel’s arm before he could fly off. He made sure he kept Castiel’s gaze. “Let us know when you got something. All right? And be careful.” He had to fight to lean in and give Castiel a parting kiss.

Castiel nodded. He put a hand on Dean’s and squeezed it. “Of course.” He let go of Dean’s hand then disappeared.

The other angel’s followed in his stead, but not without sending their smiles and smirks Dean’s way.

Dean shook his head, not caring that they knew. They didn’t know everything, and they would have found out that something was going on between them eventually. He turned to look at his brother only to be greeted with the same look on Sam’s face. Except his expression was multiplied by ten. “No,” Dean said. He needed to get as far away as possible from the impending conversation. He couldn’t get far with his brother’s hand on his chest.

“So, you and Cas?” Sam dropped his hand and crossed his arms over his chest.

“What about us?”

“Dean, if you guys are together, that’s awesome.”

Dean knew he could only avoid Sam’s questions for so long. “I don’t know what we are.”

“Dean,” Sam said. He suspected Dean wasn’t telling him everything.

“Seriously,” Dean said. He didn’t know if there was a word for what they were. Well, there probably was a word, but like he would know.

“Why don’t you just be with him and be happy?” Sam said with a sigh. His brother frustrated him to no end when it came to his own happiness.

Dean glared at his brother. He put a hand up to stop his brother from saying anything. After a few moments of silence to build up the tension, he finally spoke. “Are you dying?”

“What?” Sam asked. “No.”

“Am I dying?”

“Dean, what the hell is wrong with you?”

“The last time you told me something like this—”

“No,” Sam said quickly. “No one is dying.”

“Then why are—”

Sam pushed his brother in the arm. He knew his brother was just coming up with excuses now. “Dean, Cas stabbed himself so you wouldn’t have to choose between me and him knowing that you would never choose anyone over me.”

“Sam. I can’t,” Dean said. “Not with him. Not right now.”

“Why not?” Sam wanted Dean to give him a legitimate reason why they couldn’t be together. Until he could, Sam would tell him why they would work. “It’s not like he can’t show up wherever we are. It’s not like he can’t take care of himself. Jeez, Dean. Just let yourself be happy for once. He is what you want, but won’t let yourself have.”

“I’m not…” Dean said. He hated how well his brother knew him.

“Dean, I’ve seen you stare down the scariest things on this planet without blinking, yet the idea happiness scares you shitless.”

Dean stood there, dumbfounded. He couldn’t think of anything to say to dispute his brother. “So, then what? After we kill the Leviathans, me and Cas ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after?” A smile broke out across Sam’s face and Dean wondered what he said. His eyes widened when he realized it. “Fuck.”

Sam laughed. “I never said anything like that. I just said to be with him. You’re the one taking the fantasy that far.”

“Yeah. Fuck,” Dean said. He dragged his hand down his face.

“You want a normal life, Dean, but our life isn’t normal.”

Dean felt his chest tighten. He could not handle all of this sentimental crap. “Sam.”

“What? He fits our definition of normal. Cas can handle our life. He’s supposed to be here with us.” Sam stared at his brother and waited for a response. When he didn’t get one, he continued to speak. “I know you agree.”

Dean swallowed hard then scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, I guess,” he mumbled.

“Okay,” Sam said with a smile. He got his brother to sort of admit how he felt. He counted it as a victory. It was enough of a chick-flick moment for the day. Now they needed to get to work. “So, how is a dead angel supposed to be stronger than a Leviathan?”

Dean was glad for the subject change and had to smile. “I’ll call Bobby.” Well, after he made something to eat.

[Chapter 15]   [Masterpost]   [Epilogue]


Date: 2012-02-27 09:45 am (UTC)
ext_3277: I made this (Cas)
From: [identity profile] laura-trekkie.livejournal.com
Yay, Cas is back to his whole angelic self and Dean has mostly faced his feelings \o/.

Lucifer's departure was interesting. What is it that's so different and special about Cas? And will his parting clue be of any help?

Laura.

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August 2012

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