Finding Refuge

by The Grrrl

Title: Finding Refuge

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com

Author's URL: http://thegrrrl2002.slashcity.org/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Supernatural

Pairing: Dean/Castiel

Summary: An old enemy threatens Dean, and it's Castiel to the rescue. Sort of.

Notes: Written for murron for the castielfest exchange. A big thank you to eretria for the beta, and to chellefic for the read through.

"What the hell?" Wind-whipped rain stung Dean's skin. He had been in diner with Sam, but in a blink of an eye the diner vanished and Sam was gone. Dean found himself in the middle of a forest, surrounded by pine trees swaying heavily in the wind. "Sam?" he bellowed. "Sammy?"

No answer. Dean spun around slowly, squinting into the rain, searching for clues. Lightening flashed, thunder crackled overhead and the smell of ozone was heavy in the air.

Dean's heart raced--this kind of shit was never good and he needed to know where Sam was. Right now. "Sammy," he yelled again.

A deep booming voice carried over the howling of the wind. "Save your breath, Dean Winchester."

Dean froze, his breath catching in his throat. He knew that voice.

This was definitely not good.

"Hey," Dean said. "If it isn't my favorite mutant ninja turtle." He turned, and sure enough, there was Raphael, glowering at him. He was still wearing Donnie Finneman's body and while rain poured down on Dean, soaking him through to the skin Raphael was perfectly dry, untouched by the water. "Where the hell is my brother?"

"Your brother is still in a diner in Peoria," Raphael said. "My business is with you."

"Well then, lucky me." Another crash of thunder and Dean jumped, heart pounding in his chest. "Enough with the party tricks, okay?"

Raphael stepped closer, the wind swirling around them both. A tree branch snapped and Dean ducked as it flew past. "Do you have any idea how long I remained trapped in the ring of holy fire?" Raphael asked. His tone was soft yet filled with menace.

"Not long enough, clearly." Dean clenched his fists at his side and steeled himself not to step back as Raphael came closer and fuck, he hated archangels. Every single bitchy-assed one of them. "By the way, sorry to spoil your party, but our side won. No more apocalypse."

Suck on that, you stupid son of a bitch.

Raphael laughed, but there was no humor in it, only scorn. "You call this winning?" He raised his arms and lightening flashed, bathing him in a eerie white glow. "The earth is no better off. There is still no God."

"What a bunch of whiners." Dean shook his head in disgust. "Get over it. Daddy got tired of listening to you all and left. Whoa, like that's a big surprise."

"Watch your mouth, boy. You're of no value to anyone right now."

The rain switched to hail, battering Dean's skin. He shivered and ducked, lifting an arm to protect his face. It was true--there was no reason for Raphael not to smite the hell out of him, splattering little bloody bits of him across the forest.

And yet he was still standing.

"Just tell me what the fuck you want from me," Dean demanded once he could lift his head again.

"It was almost a year." Raphael was on the move again, predatory now as he circled Dean. "I was trapped in that ring of fire for nearly a year."

Dean turned with him, tracking Raphael with wary eyes. "I hear they have a support group for that."

Raphael raised a hand and Dean flew back, hitting the ground with a thud. Wind knocked out of him, he lay still for a moment, eyes screwed shut against the rain as he tried to remember how to breathe.

"Consider yourself lucky that I am feeling merciful today," Raphael said. "This isn't about you."

"Bite me," Dean sneered, wiping the rain from his face as he sat up. If Raphael was really feeling merciful, and if this wasn't about him, why was he there in the first place?

A hand touched his shoulder. "Hello, Raphael," Cas said in a quiet voice. "It's been a long time."

And suddenly Dean understood. He had merely been the bait. "Cas, it's a trap," he warned with a sinking heart.

"I know," Cas said. With a firm grip he helped Dean to his feet. "Are you all right, Dean?"

"Damn it, Cas--" Now Raphael could happily smite them both and Dean was sure there were only a limited number of times that God was willing to revive either of them.

Cas's hand lingered on Dean's arm, nodding to Dean in acknowledgment.

"Well, if it isn't the new sheriff of heaven." Raphael smiled, only it looked more like baring his teeth in a snarl. "Have you come to put me back in jail?"

Dean tried to look away, but he couldn't. Cas was going to get popped again like a fucking balloon and there was nothing he could do about it. And after Cas, he was next, judging from Raphael's palpable rage. Just when things were settling down--damn it, it all just sucked.

"No, Raphael. It's over. Accept it. The earth still belongs to humankind," Cas explained gently.

"It can still be our paradise," Raphael pleaded.

Cas shook his head. "No, it cannot," he said, as if to a small child.

"You would rather side with them, than your own kind?" Raphael asked.

"I side with God. As should you."

Raphael laughed, a deep booming laugh like thunder. "God. Your faith in our father is touching. Childish, but touching." He raised a hand toward Cas, palm out. The wind quieted, the rain eased, and the resulting silence was ominous.

Dean took a step back, but he still couldn't look away. Couldn't breathe.

Cas didn't flinch. "Our father brought me back to life twice. Think about it."

Raphael hesitated, then shook his head. "I have thought about it. A great deal. I will never understand why you received special treatment. After all you did, after killing so many of your brothers." He sounded genuinely puzzled.

"And that is your failure," Cas explained. "Return with me to heaven, and perhaps then you will understand."

"As if I'd let you lead me into another trap," Raphael sneered.

"No trap. Just come home." While Cas's voice was soft and pleading, there was a steely determination behind it.

"I don't think you are in any position to be making requests," Raphael said.

"It's not exactly a polite request," said another voice. "More of a demand, I'd say."

"Joshua?" Raphael lowered his hand and stared. He seemed stunned.

Dean stepped back, startled. Joshua had appeared beside Cas, in the form as Dean remembered from heaven, with the same kind eyes and soft smile. Dean didn't know if he should be comforted by his presence.

"Hello Raphael, Castiel," Joshua said. "And Dean. How are you, Dean?"

Dean nodded, wrapping his arms around himself. This was all getting fucking weird. "Peachy," he finally managed.

Joshua smiled as if genuinely amused. "Glad to hear it. Now, Raphael, if you will come with me?" He held a hand out to Raphael.

Raphael hesitated. He narrowed his eyes at Cas, who stared back at him, jaw firmly set. "I have unfinished business."

"Yes, yes," Joshua said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "You will finish it some other time."

Raphael turned his gaze to Dean. "I'd prefer to finish it now," he said slowly. Dean shivered, chilled to the bone in a way that had nothing to do with his soaked clothing.

"Raphael," Joshua continued in the same gentle voice, "you realize that it's not I who is making this request. I am merely a messenger."

Raphael turned to Joshua, surprised. "I do not believe you."

"I understand you have doubts," Joshua said.

"More than some."

"All the more reason for you to return to heaven with me."

A long pause, and Joshua waited patiently. Dean contemplated grabbing Cas and insisting he zap them out of there, right now. But Cas was watching Raphael and waiting, same as Joshua.

Great. Let's all hang out and wait for the crazy archangel to smite us all, Dean thought.

Finally Raphael sighed, his decision made. "All right. If what you say is true, and God has indeed requested I return," he said, surprisingly hesitant. "then perhaps it is time for me to return."

Joshua nodded, smiling. "Wise choice."

A flash of lightening and both he and Joshua were gone. Thunder boomed overhead and Dean nearly jumped out of his skin. Rain began pouring down in torrents.

"Thanks for nothing," Dean shouted at the sky. "Asshole."

He wiped his face and took a steadying breath. Shaky with relief, he was surprised to see Cas had not returned with them. Shoulders slumped, head bowed with water streaming down his face, Cas looked wiped out. Dean wondered just how close a call that was. "Hey man, come on, let's get the hell out of here." He tugged on Cas's sleeve.

Cas took a breath. "I can't."

"What? What do you mean?" Dean frowned, spreading his arms out. "I'm drowning here."

Raising his head, Cas scanned the area, his eyes on the trees. "As you said, it was indeed a trap. I can't access my power to transport."

"You can't? But Joshua, he zapped out of here, right?"

Cas nodded. "I believe it's specific to me. Joshua may not even have felt it. Sigils of some kind, enclosing this area."

"If we find one, can I break it?"

"I think so." Cas spun around in a slow circle, a faraway look in his eyes. The wind gusted, flapping his coat. He lifted a hand, and chanted in a low voice.

"Great." Dean sighed and pulled his phone out of his pocket. To his surprise, it was still working. Rain poured down and Dean had to turn his back to wind, hunching over to keep the phone dry long enough to get through to Sam.

"Dean, what happened? Where the hell are you?" The connection crackled with static, it was difficult to hear Sam over the rain and wind, but even so Dean could still hear the worry in his voice.

"I'm fine Sammy. Just had a little run-in with Raphael," Dean said, as if it was no big deal.

"What? Raphael? Hold on a minute--how did you--"

"Sam--I'm fine," Dean insisted. "Joshua took care of it. Cas is with me, but he got his wings clipped. Temporary thing."

"You sure you're all right? I can barely hear you."

"Sure I'm sure," Dean said. "Just got stuck in a little thunderstorm. We'll be back as soon as I break Cas's trap."

"Dean, let me come and get you guys. Where are you?"

"I have no idea. Cas," Dean shouted. "Where are we?"

Cas paused in his chanting. "Maine."

"Oh, great, we're somewhere in Maine," Dean said. Sam was over twenty four hours away. "Never mind, Sammy. Not worth the drive. We'll walk out. Or swim, if I don't freeze my ass off first. Just wait at the motel for us."

"All right. Have fun, Dean," Sam told him. "I'm going to go and take a hot shower right now--"

"Oh, shut up," Dean growled, but he was grinning as he snapped the phone shut.

"This way," Cas said, pointing. "The nearest sigil is this way, but it is distant."

"How distant is distant?" Dean scanned the sky, rain battering his face. The clouds were low, and lightening still flashed.

Cas shrugged, just a tiny roll of one shoulder but still a very human move. "I can't be certain until we get closer."

"Great." Dean wiped the rain from his face. He was cold, he was wet, and they both had come way too close to getting wasted by an archangel. "This day just keeps getting better and better."

There was barely a path, but they followed it, picking through the mud and the rocks. The rain continued to fall steadily, and Dean's clothes were soaked, feet squelching unpleasantly in his shoes. He wished he was in his car, warm and safe and dry. With the heat turned up. And some good tunes playing.

He hated archangels.

So, what's going to happen to Raphael upstairs?" Dean asked during a lull in the weather. "Please tell me he's going to get his ass kicked."

"I don't know." Cas answered. "Archangels can be difficult."

"Yeah, no shit. Can they at least keep him up there?"

"It's up to Joshua. And God," Cas said. "But it's likely he'll stay."

They reached the top of a ridge and there was nothing but trees all around, rain and mist hanging low enough to obscure most of the view.

"Okay. We're in the middle of freakin' nowhere." Dean stared up at the rain and sighed. "How the hell did Raphael find me? We're invisible to you guys."

Cas began picking his way down the ridge. "Good question. What were you and Sam doing?"

"Demon hunting." Dean stared after Cas, then with a resigned sigh, began following him down. He slipped on wet moss, falling hard on his ass. With a muttered curse he himself up, grimacing at the muck. "We had just exorcised a powerful one."

It had been a tough hunt, the demon was a nasty son of a bitch but they had gotten him in the end, lured him into a trap and sent him howling right back into hell.

"Perhaps he was able to track the energy," Cas mused. "I'm sure he was looking for you, as a way to get to me."

"Yeah, about that. Even though you had Joshua up your sleeve, it was a stupid idea," Dean said, "to come rushing in like that."

Cas shook his head, blinking the water out of his eyes. His hair was flattened over his forehead and his coat hung heavy and wet. "I didn't know Joshua was going to show up."

"Wait a second." Dean stepped in front of Cas, forcing him to stop. "So, you knowingly played right into Raphael's hands without backup? So he could kill you a second time?" He shook his head in amazement. "You're fucking kidding me."

"Joshua had been searching for him," Cas said mildly. As if yet another smiting by an archangel was no big deal. "So I suspected he would come."

Dean wanted to strangle Cas. Or hit him. But he knew how well that worked the first time he tried it--his knuckles had ached for days--so he settled for grabbing Cas's shoulder and giving him a good shake. "What the hell where you thinking?"

"You were in grave danger, Dean." As if that was sufficient justification.

"And what, you thought you'd jump in and take a bullet for me?" Dean scowled at Cas. "You may be juiced up now, but Raphael is still a heck of a lot more powerful than you. He would have just killed us both."

Cas stepped closer, eyes fixed on Dean. "I intended to make a deal with him," he explained. "He could do anything he wanted to me as long as he let you go."

"That has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard." The wind picked up; thunder rumbled in the distance. Dean shivered. He was cold, he was wet and now, royally pissed. He shook his head. "Let's just get the hell out of here." He stalked off, making his way to the bottom of the ridge.

There was a paved road running along the base of it and Dean's hopes were raised, only to crash down again after a rounding a turn and finding it was flooded--no cars, just water, deep and moving rapidly. They climbed back up and kept along the ridge, and after another hour Dean wondered just how much further they had to go. He was exhausted and fed up with the rain--his feet were ice cold and his wet jeans were chafing something awful.

Dean shot a sideways glance at Cas. "You doing okay?"

"I'm wet," Cas said, lifting his sodden coat with a look of disgust, "and it is very uncomfortable."

"Yeah, tell me about it. Do you have any idea how much further?"

"Perhaps another hour. Maybe two."

"Crap." Dean squinted up at the sky. It was hard to tell with the low clouds, but he was pretty sure the gray was deepening and it was getting close to dusk. "We're going to need to get out of the rain soon. I'm getting cold and that's not good."

He hugged himself, then regretted it as his cold, wet shirt pressed against his skin. He thought fondly of his jacket, last seen draped over a chair in the diner.

Cas nodded. "My still grace protects me from the worst of it, but I can't reach it, I can't use it to help you."

"Terrific. Because seriously?" Dean's teeth were beginning to chatter. Damn wind. "I'd kill for a hot shower right around now."

They walked farther and Dean saw nothing that could be used for shelter, just trees and more trees and with the soaking rain building a fire was out of the question. He beginning to despair when he saw it--the roof of a house, peeking up just past the treeline. "Cas," he said, grabbing Cas's arm. "Up ahead."

Shelter. Thank God. Dean didn't care if it was occupied or not, hell, he'd crawl under a porch right now get away from the incessant, driving rain. The sky was growing dark, the temperature was dropping, and if he didn't get dry soon, hypothermia was going to set in.

Dean stumbled down a ravine, slipping in the mud. He reached a clearing, surrounded by stacks of timber, a pile of bricks off to one side--a new development. Only not so new. His heart dropped when he saw that the house he had spotted was one of series, all consisting of merely a roof and a wooden frame, no walls.

"God damn it," Dean growled. New construction, clearly abandoned. But it was shelter, just the same. Better than nothing.

Then he saw the mud-streaked sign: Model Home.

"All right," Dean said, slapping Cas's sodden back. "Now we're talking. Come on."

Dean splashed through the mud, climbed over paving stones, fell to his knees in a deep rut but he got there, trotting across the overgrown lawn to the small, neat house, roof intact, rainwater streaming down the gutters.

He peered through the windows, teeth chattering fiercely--the wind had picked up, pulling the heat from his wet body. He saw a chair, a couch, tables, curtains on the windows, a fully set dining room table. "And it's furnished. Awesome."

Cas leaned against him and looked through the window. "No one lives here?"

"Nope. It's all for show." Reaching the front steps, Dean tried the doorknob. Locked, of course. Back to the window, wishing he had a jacket at least to wrap his hand for breaking the glass, and maybe he should just take his shirt off and use that, it's not like it was keeping him warm--

"Dean." With one effortless tug, Cas had opened the front door and was waiting patiently for him.

"Oh, right." Clearly, Cas still retained some of his powers. "Thanks."

Cas held the door open and Dean slipped past and he was in, finally, out of the rain and wet and cold and while it wasn't much warmer inside, at least there was no wind, and no rain pounding his head and shoulders and back.

"Oh man," Dean groaned, back pressed against the wall. He was shaking now, shaking too hard to do anything but hug himself and breathe, his hands useless and numb. "I fucking hate the fucking rain."

Cas nodded as he took in their surroundings. "It's a discomfort."

Water, streamed off their clothes and puddled on the floor. A shudder ripped through Dean's body and he knew he had to get them off, and soon. He tried the light switch, but there was no response. No power, not that he expected it but damn, a hot shower would rocked his world. "Come on, maybe there's something to dry off with. Towels. Sheets. Anything."

Hell, he'd pull the curtains down if he had to.

It was a struggle to take off his muddy shoes, his fingers could barely grip the laces, but at last he was able to kick them off and peel off his socks, he was so fucking tired of squishing with every step. Bare feet on a dry rug and he nearly groaned with pleasure as he hurried through the house, pulling his sodden shirt off and throwing it over the stair railing, muscles cramping as he shivered, hard.

"Dude, your coat," he said as Cas left a trail of water behind him. "Take it all off, I don't know if angels get hypothermia but I'm not taking any chances." No telling exactly how much power Cas had left, and even though he didn't seem to be as cold as Dean, a sick vessel was not something he was ready to deal with.

Cas slipped off his coat, leaving it on a dining room chair, along with his suit jacket. He was struggling with his tie when Dean found a closet, next to the bedroom. "Bingo."

Crisp white towels and sheets, all neatly folded and lined up. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Dean grabbed a towel, ran it over his head, drying his hair--no more water dripping into his eyes. Thank god. He slung it around his neck and struggled to unfasten his jeans. His fingers were stiff and unresponsive, the zipper tab elusive, and Dean thought he might be stuck in heavy wet jeans for the rest of his god damned life.

"Fucking asshole ninja turtle with his rain," Dean snarled.

"They are heaven's weapons. Difficult to control." Cas said as he unbuttoned his shirt.

The zipper tab slipped once again from Dean's fingers. "Right, I'll show him a weapon. I'll firebomb his holy ass so far back up to heaven that he'll never get out."

Cas frowned. "I'm not sure how that would work."

"And you. You knew you were walking into a trap." At last Dean managed to unzip his jeans. "He was planning to kill us both, you knew that, didn't you?"

"I was aware of that." Cas pulled his shirt off, hunched and shivering. "And it's why Joshua intervened."

Making an exasperated noise, Dean threw a towel to him. "Was that luck or faith?"

Cas caught the towel. "I wasn't going to leave you to Raphael's mercy. I would have made him free you."

"How the hell would you convince him of that? Huh? Reason with him?" Dean snorted in derision. "Good luck with that."

He shoved his jeans down and tried to step out of them, only to lose his balance as a fierce shiver wracked his body. "Fuck," he cursed as his hip thudded against the wall. He bumped into a side table and a lamp fell over. Dean shoved it off the table, but it wouldn't satisfy him by breaking, it only bounced and rolled across the floor. Dean's hand throbbed from the blow. "God damn it."

"Dean." Cas grabbed his shoulder, holding him steady.

Dean sighed and after a brief struggle, pulled his feet free from muddy, wet jeans bunched around his ankles. "Man, this sucks."

He shook off Cas's hand, then slipped his underwear off and dried himself as best he could. He was shaking hard and his hands ached and he was sure he would never be warm again, chilled to the bone and so fucking tired he could barely stand.

Dropping the towel, Dean pulled a sheet down from the shelf--a heavy, soft cotton sheet but he couldn't get it unfolded, couldn't get his hands to work and he cursed once again as it slipped from his fingers and fell to the floor.

Before Dean could move Cas bent and retrieved the sheet, unfolded it and began wrapping it carefully around Dean. Dean eased closer, into the circle of Cas's arms, drawn to the heat radiating from Cas's naked chest. So calm about the whole thing--Cas was so fucking calm and matter-of-fact about walking into a trap for him. No way in hell could he have stopped Raphael and yet he still showed up and Dean could still see the blood-splattered grass from the last time an archangel had wasted Cas, like it happened only yesterday.

It still haunted his dreams.

"You stupid son of a bitch," Dean said, and he pulled Cas close, arms wrapped around Cas's bare waist, only a thin sheet between them as Dean pressed his face against Cas's neck. Cas was warm, so god damned warm and Dean shivered harder, mouth open now against Cas's skin as he clung tight, eyes closed, his breath stuttering and irregular.

Cas wound his arms around Dean and rubbed Dean's back, trying to either calm him or warm him. Cas just didn't get it -- Dean was pissed, he had lost enough people in his life, he wasn't about to lose another. Archangels may be all about the wrath of heaven, but this was about the wrath of Dean. "Stupid," Dean growled, tightening his grip around Cas's waist and rubbing his face on Cas's neck.

Cas tasted like rain, everywhere Dean touched. Once he started he couldn't stop, moving his mouth over the smooth skin of Cas's neck, the side of his jaw, his lightly stubbled cheek, even his mouth. Dean kept kissing him until the taste was gone, until it was only Cas. Safe in his arms, Cas was solid and alive, lean hard muscles shifting under Dean's hands and Dean had no idea what the hell he was doing but Cas was kissing him back with equal fervor, his grip on Dean's shoulders growing tighter, his fingers digging in and maybe Cas wasn't quite so calm after all.

Cold was seeping through the sheet--Cas was still clad in his dripping wet trousers. "Get these off," Dean insisted, grabbing handfuls of loose wet fabric. He needed Cas's warmth, and the pants were getting in the way.

Cas glanced down, eyelashes brushing his cheeks. The soft light cast shadows across his face and Cas was entirely beautiful. Dean had always pushed the thought aside, pushed aside the wanting but he couldn't do it anymore, he was too tired, too cold. Too frustrated. He watched hungrily as Cas slipped off his pants and his boxers and then Cas was naked, lean hips and pale skin. So much naked skin and when Dean drew him in Cas came without hesitation, pressing up against him, all fiery heat and strength and warm wet mouth.

"This," Cas said, pulling the sheet away so he could touch Dean, skin against skin. "this is why we are alive."

Dean couldn't argue with that, it felt like victory, to be able to touch Cas everywhere, to slide a hand down Cas's back, to press his hips to Cas's hips, to feel the surge of Cas's cock against his thigh. Cas was holding on as if he was afraid Dean would slip through his fingers and that was something Dean understood all too well.

"Come on, come on," he murmured in Cas's ear, pushing him into the bedroom and down onto the soft bed. He stretched out over Cas, pressing him down into the mattress, holding him in place. Maybe if he held on tight enough Cas wouldn't ever slip away from him again.

Cas moved restlessly beneath him, hands sliding down Dean's back as he arched up against Dean's chest. Dean pushed Cas's legs apart and nestled down between them and Cas made a small, surprised sound, grabbing Dean's hips and rocking up. Naked skin, hard, hot cock, and Dean slid a hand into Cas's unruly hair, holding him steady, kissing him deep and dirty until Cas was a mess, rough and needy and grasping. Yeah, this was definitely his victory, to make Cas clutch and grab, the way Cas's tongue stuttered in his mouth as he moaned, low and deep, as if the pleasure was too much to bear.

"Dean." Cas broke off the kiss, voice rough and low. "I need--" His hands slid up Dean's back, fingers digging in, seeking purchase against slick skin.

"Yeah, yeah. I got you." Dean worked a hand between them, closing his fist around Cas's cock. Cas pushed into his hand, hips jerking frantically and it didn't take long. With a sharp moan Cas came, heat spilling out over Dean's fingers.

The expression on Cas's face was one of astonished pleasure and that, that was hotter than it should be and Dean loved it, loved that he could do this for Cas. Dean kissed him, groaning as he thrust hard and fast against Cas's come-slicked hip. Cas held him tight and whispered something in his ear, Dean couldn't understand the words but he felt the weight of them searing his soul, maybe there was some sort of mojo involved--and with a rush of mind-bending pleasure he came, panting against Cas's cheek.

When it was all over he lay flat on top of Cas, trying to catch his breath before sliding off to one side, come dripping down his stomach and smearing over Cas's belly. He reached for the sheet, managed a haphazard cleaning and Cas--

Cas was smiling. A warm, contented smile, broad enough to crinkle the corner of his eyes.

"Hey. Look at you." Startled, Dean touched Cas's cheek, then kissed him.

"We had sex," Cas said, and damn if he didn't sound proud.

Dean nodded, trying not to grin. "You catch on pretty quick, for an angel."

A thoughtful look. "I liked it."

"Yeah. Me too. But hey, don't forget," Dean said, tapping a finger on Cas's chest. "I'm still pissed at you."

"Of course you are," Cas told him.

And maybe Dean was, but he was tired and spent and more than ready to save it until morning. With some effort he sat up, scratching his head. The air was cold and the sweat was drying on his skin, chilling him. He pulled the sheet up, then noticed a blanket folded at the base of the bed. "Bingo."

He reached for it, aware of Cas's eyes on him. "Just going to grab a couple hours of sleep, then we'll continue, okay?" When Cas's expression brightened, Dean added, "Outside. We'll continue outside, to find a sigil and get us out of here."

"Of course." Cas nodded, but he still watched Dean with a thoughtful frown as if contemplating other things that should be continued.

Dean was intrigued but too exhausted to wonder much about it. He stretched out next to Cas, pulling the blanket over them both. Tucking a pillow under his head, Dean could still hear the sound of wind-driven rain hitting the windows. He moved closer to Cas, draping an arm over his chest. Warm, naked skin and Dean pressed still closer, listening to Cas's slow steady breathing. He was finally warm enough, and Cas was safe beside him. Content, Dean closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

***

When Dean woke, he was still plastered against Cas's side. The room was dark, he had no idea how long he had slept. Dean stretched, grunting over stiff, sore muscles. He rolled onto his back and blinked up at the ceiling, trying to see in the dark. Cas moved with him, arm draped over Dean's chest as he pressed his lips to Dean's shoulder.

"Cas." Dean's voice was gravelly with sleep. He rubbed his eyes, trying to clear his head. "Sorry. You could have gotten up. You didn't have to hang around and wait."

Cas nuzzled the side of Dean's neck. "I wasn't bored. Trust me."

"Still have a thing for watching me sleep?" Dean asked with a snort of laughter. "Weirdo."

He turned on his side, facing Cas in the dark. It was pretty damn weird to lean in and bump his nose against Cas's cheek, finding Cas's mouth with a soft kiss. Weird but yet pretty damn good and Cas certainly seemed good with it too, his lips parting in a soft sigh as they kissed.

Cas reached for him, hands gliding slowly over Dean's body, lingering on his chest, playing with a nipple as if fascinated by the texture before moving down over his ribs and onto his belly. Dean sighed and stretched in contentment, stiff muscles relaxing under Cas's touch.

"Do you wish to go back to sleep?" Cas asked, stilling his hand.

"No, no, I'm good. Really, I am," Dean said, hooking an arm around Cas's neck and pulling him for another a kiss. He was warm and comfortable and very willing to let Cas explore the intricacies of the human body. "Keep going."

"Good. There's much I would like to do." Cas slid his fingers down, exploring the curve of Dean's thigh with a delicate touch. Dean spread his legs, inviting Cas to do more. He shivered as Cas stroked his inner thigh, then drew his legs up, feet flat on the bed as Cas reached further down and cupped his balls, holding them in the palm of his hand. Dean bit his lip and squirmed against the mattress.

"Are you still angry with me?" Cas's voice was a warm caress. "For saving you?"

"Cas, please." Dean whispered. He moaned as Cas touched his dick, fingertips brushing the length of it.

"I succeeded," Cas continued in the same soft voice. "We are both still very much alive."

"That's not the point." Dean couldn't remember what the point actually was, not anymore.

"Yes, it is." Cas tightened his grip. "Now show me what to do."

Dean gasped, then reached down and curled his hand around Cas's, guiding him. Long slow strokes and Dean rocked his hips, moving into it, savoring the slow steady climb. Cas's mouth was on his chest, tasting his skin and with a gentle push Dean guided Cas over to a nipple, moaning again as he felt the wetness of Cas's tongue.

"I'm not going to break," Dean said. He liked it a little rougher, needed to feel Cas's teeth.

"You might." Cas's voice was gentle and Dean knew all to well that Cas could break him. But not only with his physical strength. Dean arched into Cas's touch, fingers threaded into Cas's hair as Cas's teeth scraped over a nipple. He rubbed his face against Cas's hair, and fuck, it smelled like rain, reminding him of Raphael's fury but when Dean pressed his mouth to Cas's forehead he tasted only sweat. Tightening his grip on Cas's hand, he brought it to the head his dick, twisting a little, showing Cas all the moves he liked. Cas caught on quickly, working his dick just right and maybe Cas could see inside him, because as pleasure surged through his body, Cas's breath quickened and with a small, desperate noise he reached up and kissed Dean, fierce and needy. Dean's hips jerked and fuck, he was there, coming all over his stomach.

Fingers intertwined with Cas's, Dean stilled his hand. "Okay. Not really pissed anymore," he gasped, and wondered if he was setting a bad precedent.

Or a good one.

"Not that you can resolve everything this way," Dean added, blinking up at the ceiling. "Just, um, most things."

"I'll keep that in mind." Cas nuzzled Dean's cheek.

"Yeah." Dean chuckled. "Humans are simple creatures."

"No. Trust me on this, Dean. You are not."

Dean rolled onto his side, pushing Cas flat on his back. "Was that an insult?" he asked.

"Take it as you wish." Cas's arm was moving. Touching himself, Dean realized. He pulled the blanket away, wishing he could see more, but there wasn't enough light.

"Let me do this," Dean said, placing a hand on Cas's arm.

Cas moved his arm and Dean slid a hand along Cas's body. Soft skin over firm muscle and Cas arched and stretched at his touch. Dean leaned over to kiss his chest, lips gliding over his skin. When he came across a nipple, he sucked on it, hard and when he heard the small surprised "oh" he grinned, knowing that Cas had finally gotten it.

Moving down the bed, Dean manhandled Cas into position, climbing between his legs and pushing Cas up further on the bed to make room. He nosed Cas's belly, feeling the muscles quiver beneath. Cas smelled good, warm and human, and the thought that Dean was about to suck angel dick was kind of funny, it was one thing Dean never imagine he'd do but Cas was squirming beneath him, cock pushing at Dean's chest, damp at the tip. Dean wanted it, he was hungry for it. Sliding down further, he took it into his mouth.

Cas froze, moaned, low and astonished. Dean wanted to tell Cas that this was what being human was about, this one of the things he had fought for--yes, there was pain and suffering on earth but there was also this-- but surely Cas already knew. Dean ran his tongue over the head, tasting the sharpness, then sucked it down, almost gagging as Cas squirmed and hit the back of his throat.

It had been a while and Dean wasn't all that experienced, but he knew what felt good. Soon he found a rhythm, curling his fist around the base, working the head and judging by Cas's breathy moans it was working just fine. It didn't take long, soon Cas was twitchy and shuddering and with a shudder he came, flooding Dean's mouth and Dean was never too fond of the taste but he held his breath and swallowed, fast, wincing as he made the effort and managing it all pretty well.

When Dean crawled back up over Cas's body, Cas slung an arm around his neck and pulled him close. "I don't understand," Cas murmured, "how humans get anything done, when they have this."

Dean nodded. "Probably keeps us from getting into more trouble than we already do."

"And yet you continue to get into trouble," Cas pointed out.

It was getting light out now, and Dean could make out Cas's face, half-lidded eyes watching him intently. "Yeah, well, so do you." He nudged Cas with his bare foot.

Cas continued watching him, his expression turning sly. "Perhaps we need to do this often. For our own safety, of course."

"Of course." Dean agreed. Cas just might be on to something there.

Arms firmly clasped around him, Cas looked as if he might be contemplating ways to keep Dean naked and in bed forever. Which didn't sound like such a bad idea, actually. "Crazy," Dean said with a snort of laughter. "You and me, together like this."

Cas opened his mouth to speak but Dean cut him off. "Don't you dare tell me that God works in mysterious ways."

Closing his mouth, Cas looked suspiciously innocent.

"As much as I'd like to stay in bed all day," Dean said, "I'm going to need food soon." As soon as he said it, his stomach growled.

Cas released him and Dean hesitated, reluctant to pull away now. He wanted to settle back down and bask in the warmth of Cas's body, to let Cas touch him all over again, to try and make sense of all of this.

But none of that would get to get them out of there so Dean patted Cas's chest and slipped off the bed, taking the sheet with him. "I'm going to see if there's any food." With one last look at Cas lounging naked on the bed, he headed for the kitchen.

He checked drawers and cabinets, and found a half-empty bag of chocolate chip cookies. "Awesome." He snatched them up, grabbed one and stuffed it into his mouth. It was stale, but still pretty good.

When he got back into the bedroom, Cas was up and getting dressed, grimacing at his muddy, wet clothes. Finishing the cookies, Dean gathered up his clothes, which were still wet for the most part, but at least not dripping. His t-shirt was nearly dry, the jeans, still heavy and wet. "This is totally gross," he announced, reluctant to get dressed. "Man, I hope the roof is leaking on Sammy right now."

Cas looked out the window. "The rain has stopped," he said. "Perhaps Raphael's wrath is spent. For the moment."

Dean scowled. "I doubt it." He resisted the urge to make a very bad joke.

***

"There," Cas said. He stopped and pointed. "I can't get any closer."

The tree was large, with a wide, gnarled trunk and branches dipping down low with a heavy canopy of leaves. Dean could see the sigil burned into the surface of the trunk, as if by lightening. "Okay. I'm on it." Dean went on ahead, leaving Cas waiting behind him.

Two hours of walking, and the warm, dry bed back at the house was a distant memory. Dean was miserable all over again, feet wet, jeans still damp and uncomfortable.

"This had better work." Dean pulled out his pocket knife and went to work on it, shaving off the bark on the lower corner, hoping that simply making a break in the main figure it would be enough. It took some time, the wood beneath was also marked, and he had to dig that out too. His shoulder began to ache, he wished he had a bigger knife but after one last chunk of wood, he was sure he had gotten it all.

"Hey," he called out, and there was a hand on his shoulder. He turned to find Cas, now sparkling clean and dry, right behind him. "I guess that was it?" He squinted as the sun came out from behind a cloud.

He was pretty sure birds were going to start singing soon. Like some kind of freaking Disney movie.

"Thank you," Cas said. He gave Dean's shoulder a squeeze and Dean's clothes were dry.

"You're like a one-man laundromat," Dean told him. "Awesome."

Cas came closer, hand cupping the back of Dean's neck as he gazed warmly at Dean. "I would do it again. To save you," he said quietly. "You should know that."

Dean let out a sigh, closing his eyes. "Maybe trying having a plan next time? Other than just...trusting in God?"

When he opened his eyes he saw a small, knowing smile on Cas's lips. He shook his head. "Fine. I get it." Cas still had way more faith in God than he did, and nothing would change his mind. Not now.

Cas's fingers moved lightly along the side of Dean's neck, but he said nothing, just continued to stare. As if waiting.

"So," Dean said, feeling awkward and uncertain. It felt different out in the bright sunshine, almost as if he was doing something wrong. Still, he slid his hands under Cas's coat and pulled him in for a kiss.

It was a good kind of wrong. Especially when Cas leaned into him, kissing him as if ready to start things up all over again.

"So what's going to happen when you go back?" Dean asked once he could breathe. If this is what they were now, then he wholeheartedly approved.

Cas nuzzled his cheek. "I'm going to wish I was here on earth, with you."

Dean gave him a little shake. "Cas."

"I have much to learn," Cas continued, hands moving to Dean's ass. He gave Dean a sideways glance, his gaze sliding down Dean's body suggestively.

Dean was surprised and pleased by Cas's single-mindedness. "And I'm all for teaching you except I need to know you're going to survive once you go back to heaven. What about Raphael? He's not going to be running the show now, is he?"

"Don't worry, Dean. He dare not harm me while in heaven," Cas said. "And I will do what I can to sure he stays there."

"Good. I don't like being anyone's unfinished business." After a moment's thought Dean added, "Except yours."

Cas drew him closer and smiled. Dean grinned back at him, then leaned in for another kiss. Above them in the trees, a bird began to sing.

"Okay, this is kind of ridiculous," Dean said, cheeks growing warm. He reluctantly stepped back, out of the circle of Cas's arms. "Now, can you get me back to Sam? The Mark Twain hotel, room number fifty-six."

And then he and Cas were standing in a motel room in Peoria, Sam coming up to greet them.

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