cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Fic: 'Human-Angel Cooperation is a Beautiful Thing' by cupidsbow (SPN, Dean/Castiel, PG-13)

Here's my story for 2013 Dean/Cas Secret Santa Exchange.

I'm actually pretty pleased with how it turned out -- it's funny and has a plot I like (thanks to the prompt from my recipient), and I don't think you can tell it's four WIPs sewn together. There was obviously a Dean/Cas story I was keen to tell back when I started all these fics, because they all had really strong themes in common, and two of them were almost complete, bar the final scene or so.

Hopefully next year, I won't be so close to exhaustion that I need to raid the WIP files to complete my fests. I'm glad I didn't default, but it wasn't as much fun as having the energy to make something from scratch.

Title: Human-Angel Cooperation is a Beautiful Thing by cupidsbow
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Castiel/Dean Winchester
Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Castiel, Adam Milligan, Deanna Campbell, Naomi (Supernatural), Bobby Singer
Length: 6580 words
Recipient: crossroadswrite
Summary: Even in a world where angels and hunters work together, Castiel is still the black sheep of the family.

Sam was wearing his Serious Lawyer Face when he said, "I'm worried about him, Dean. I think something is really wrong."

Dean didn't need to ask who Sam was so concerned about, because Castiel had been acting like a pissy bitch for weeks. Even Dean had noticed it -- hard not to. He'd called Dean, "A selfish prick with a martyr complex and no sense of mortality," after their last hunt before flouncing off with his feathers in a twist. And yeah, one of the werewolves had managed to nip Dean's shin before Cas had gone all badass, but it had just ripped a hole in his jeans (not even his favourite pair) without breaking the skin, so it really wasn't that big a deal.

The problem was, it wasn't a one off thing -- Cas was definitely acting hinky, even for Cas. The case before that, Cas had shoved Dean up against the grimy wall of the sirens' grotto, right next to the broken anti-angel sigil (no, "Thank you, Dean, for bravely going undercover and letting me in"), glared at the bites all over his chest, and then jabbed two fingers to Dean's forehead in the most grudging healing ever performed by an angel. He snarled right up in Dean's face: "It's continually astonishing to me that my Father bothered to bestow intelligence upon your race, because you demonstrate it so rarely that it might as well not exist at all."

"Hey," Dean said. "The plan worked, didn't it?"

"Dumb luck does not constitute a plan," Castiel said, and disappeared after giving him a final shove into the grody wall.

The fact Dean's plan had worked hadn't stopped Sam and Adam from bitching Dean out, either, so it was pretty rich Sam calling Castiel out for doing exactly the same thing. And in light of that, Dean gave Sam's statement all the credence it deserved, namely, "I'm going to order a second piece of pie. Maybe we should order some to take away too, so you and Cas can eat your pain together, Samantha."

Adam snorted into his strawberry milkshake, making it bubble, and Dean rolled his eyes at him, sharing the joke. Sometimes it was good having another brother.

"Fuck you, jerk," Sam said, glaring first at Dean and then at Adam. "And you too, you little punk."

Adam smiled back at him sweetly. "I think I want pie too. You know, I've got at least as much pain to eat as Sam. Tasty, tasty pain."

"I'll give you pain." Sam reached over the table with one of his gigantor arms and gave Adam a thump, pretty hard too, judging by Adam's wince.

Dean could tell by Sam's face that Adam kicked him back under the table; Adam had fucking pointy feet, which Sam should have known by now.

Dean chuckled while they continued to trade blows under the table, and lifted a hand to call the waitress over to order more pie.

Discussion successfully avoided.


Except, of course, it was never that easy. When they arrived home for the next Campbell/Winchester(/Milligan) monthly dinner and review, Grandma Deanna was waiting for them on the porch swing with her guardian angel, Naomi, right next to her, looking grim.

"What the fuck, Sammy?" Dean said, as he reluctantly parked the Impala, all too aware of the Castiel-shaped absence in the back seat.

"Don't look at me," Sam muttered. "I would have warned you if I was going to rat you out."

Adam shrugged in the back seat, still playing Angels vs. Demons on his iPhone, which still wasn't funny. "I didn't say anything."

Deanna hugged and kissed them all, of course, even Adam, who Dean suspected was actually her favourite. Dinner was just as delicious as always, with Gwen, Christian and Mark regaling them with an improbable story about a leprechaun they supposedly met on their last case, and Mom had even made apple pie. Dean wished he could enjoy it more, but he had a bad feeling that wouldn't go away, and sure enough, as soon as the dinner dishes were cleared away, Dean was called into the office, and offered the over-stuffed, dragon-hide chair that always prickled, no matter how carefully he sat in it.

Dean girded his loins. This was about Castiel, and sure, he'd been angel-PMSing for weeks, but Dean wasn't quite ready to throw him under the bus yet. It wasn't every day a hunter was assigned a guardian angel, and Cas had been pretty great until recently. Dean owed him one or two.

He looked at Deanna, but it was Naomi who spoke first.

"Dean." She smiled at him, and it sent a shiver all the way through him, which made her smile even more. "How would you describe your relationship with Castiel?"

"What?" said Dean, because what? She couldn't possibly mean...

"He's been a good guardian angel for you, correct?"

"Yeah," Dean said cautiously. "Of course."

Naomi nodded, as though that was the answer she'd expected. "Good, good. That's good news."

"Great!" said, Dean, and started to stand up. "So if that's all…"

"Because," Naomi continued, "if he wasn't doing his job, if he were showing signs of going rogue..." She pinned him with the kind of stare that Dean could feel like creepy fingers inside his head. "Well, that wouldn't be good."

You sound like the freaking Godfather, he thought as loudly as he could, and had to fight back a smile when Naomi narrowed her eyes at him. Out loud, he said, "Nah, Cas is cool." He took a step towards the door. "Good talk, Naomi. I'm sure Cas will be thrilled to know you care."

He'd made it another couple of steps and freedom was in sight, when Deanna called his name. Reluctantly, he turned back to face her.

"There's a vial of holy oil in the armoury. You'll take it with you." She looked at him steadily, her expression solemn with the memory of all the hunters she'd seen killed on the job -- more than once due to supposedly friendly fire. "You'll use it if you have to."

Dean nodded and left to get the vial.

"You okay?" Sam asked, damp toothbrush clutched in one of his giant hands, as they crossed paths in the bathroom getting ready for bed.

Dean stared at himself in the mirror, trying to decide if he could be bothered flossing. "Sure, Sam, peachy."

Sam lifted an eyebrow skeptically. "Right," he said, and took himself off to complete his bedtime moisturising rituals.

Nah, Dean decided. Flossing was for sheep who always did what they were told.


A few weeks later, when Dean and Adam were trying to figure out how to escape from the warehouse they were being held prisoner in by some wannabe minor demon shooting for Crowley's job as King of the Crossroads, Castiel finally appeared and a) exploded six demons into tiny bits, making the inside of the warehouse look like it was coated in demon-flavoured jam, b) growled at Dean, "You are a reckless imbecile with a death wish and I'm tired of dealing with your antics!" and then c) flapped off, leaving them to unchain themselves and escape before any more bad guys, or worse, the police turned up. Fortunately Sam arrived first, and they were free, if not clean, by the time they could hear sirens approaching.

Afterwards, Sam and Adam double-teamed Dean in the parking lot of the In-N-Out they'd stopped at for lunch after their clean-up at the hotel.

"Okay, enough is enough. Talk to him, Dean," Sam said, arms crossed. "I mean it. He's meant to be part of our team."

"You talk to him, if you're so worried," Dean said, because come on, when it comes to pure bitchiness, pot: meet kettle.

Adam snorted. "Like we haven't tried." While his bitchface wasn't in the same league as Sam's, it was disconcertingly similar. "The last time Sam said anything -- after that succubus targeted you in Maine -- Castiel brought up Ruby."

"Ruby?" Dean said, because, okay, yeah, actually that was a little worrying. Castiel usually avoided all mention of Ruby, as though she'd never existed.

Sam nodded, expression pained, the way it always was when he was reminded of his year away from the job, and the way Ruby had conned him into a relationship with promises of white picket fences, while actually scouting his body for some kind of meatsuit auction scam. Castiel had only just saved him in time. "Ruby. And all the lights exploded in Adam's motel room the last time he tried to talk to him."

"After that vampire tried to put the mind-whammy on you and make you his sex-bitch," Adam said. "He said I was an abomination and shouldn't even be alive!"

"You too, huh?" Sam said.

Huh. Dean had wondered why Adam had turned up that night and insisted on sharing a room. He'd assumed it was nightmares about his mom's ghoulish death.

"Look," Adam added, "I know he saved me after that ghoul had just about sucked me dry and replaced me, but I don't want to end up smote. Nearly-dead once was enough, thank you."

"What the hell do you expect me to do about it?"

"Fix it," Sam said, his eyes going all squinty, and Dean tensed, knowing whatever threat was going fall out of Sam's mouth next was going to be a doozy. "Or Adam and I are going to get our own car."

Adam nodded and added, "We're thinking a Prius." Because he was a little punk bastard, and knew just how to twist the knife.

Dean stared at them in horror, but there was absolutely no give in their expressions, just stereo bitchfaces of doom. So after an obligatory round of, "Bitch -- Jerk -- Punk," Dean caved.

Fucking concerned grandmothers. Fucking Sam. Fucking Adam. Fucking Castiel. Bitches, the lot of them.


Castiel appeared in the middle of the motel room looking supremely pissed. "What's happened? Where are Sam and Adam?"

"Hey, Cas, good to see you."

Castiel gave him the hundred-yard stare.

"It's been ages since we hung out," Dean tried. "Thought you might like to go for a drink."

"Dean. Is this a prank call? I cannot afford--"

"No," said Dean, "it's not a prank! It's a fucking intervention!" He closed the distance between them. "What the hell is up with you? We only see you anymore when one of us is about to bite it."

When Castiel's eyes narrowed Dean realised that might not have been the best way to approach the topic.

"Have you been putting yourself in danger to attract my attention?"

"What? No," Dean said. Because that would be stupid, and Dean was not, contrary to popular opinion, stupid. He thought that as loudly as he could in Castiel's direction. "Dude, it's not me. It's totally you."

Castiel frowned at that, as though he was actually considering it, so Dean risked hooking a hand around the back of his neck, the way he used to do with Sam when he was full of teenaged angst. "What the hell is going on with you, Cas?"

"I don't know what you--"

Yeah, no. Dean was not putting up with that shit. He squeezed Cas' neck and said, "You busted up all the light bulbs in Adam's room, badmouthed Sam's ex-skank, called them both abominations, and keep calling me a suicidal idiot."

Lowering his eyes, Castiel actually looked slightly ashamed of himself. "You are right. I should not have said those things."

"Whatever. Like I care you shit-talked about Ruby or smote some cruddy hotel's fixtures. That's not even the point."

Castiel's shoulders hunched beneath Dean's arm, all the righteousness draining out of him.

Dean said, "This is some kind of angel bullshit, isn't it? They giving you shit about hanging out with the humans?"

Castiel nodded, and then did his space invasion thing, slumping toward Dean and pressing their foreheads together. He didn't do anything else, just rested there, as though exhausted. "I'm sorry."

Dean patted him awkwardly on the back. "So you thought hanging out with us less and giving us shit was the way to fix that? Because I get your thinking, buddy, but I gotta tell you it isn't going to work the way you hope. Bullies don't give up that easily."

"Yes, I have come to the same conclusion myself. Staying away has not made my detractors any less vocal. However, I'm not sure how else to proceed without making the situation worse."

"Hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but it's already worse."

Castiel went rigid, and then stepped back, staring at Dean in alarm. "What happened?"

Dean pulled the vial of holy oil from his pocket and held it up. "Naomi was spouting some bullshit about you going rogue, and I was pretty much ordered to carry this around."

"My brothers," Castiel said, with more venom than Dean had ever heard him use before, "are gossiping assbutts."

"Preaching to the choir on that one, Cas. If they replace you with another holier-than-thou angel like good old Zack, I'm going to cut a bitch. You hear me? So knock it off with the smite-and-fly routine. You're playing into their hands."

"Yes, Dean."

"Okay, enough of this shit," Dean said, putting the vial away. "I know just what you need."

Looking wary, Castiel said, "What is that?"

"A night on the town with yours truly. We'll have some fun. Take your mind off the angel crap."

"I do not wish to go to another den of iniquity," Castiel said firmly.

"Nah, I have a better idea. Come on."

Castiel looked tentatively relieved, and followed along in a way Dean hadn't let himself admit he'd been missing.

Dean took him out to a bowling alley, which Castiel loved (Dean suspected some smiting of pins, but didn't call him on it), and an all-night Mexican hole-in-the-wall place which Castiel turned his nose up at ("Your loss," Dean said, as he ate Castiel's nachos), and a bar with a dartboard, which Castiel owned and Dean cleaned up in side bets. It was awesome.

He crawled into bed in the small hours of the morning, barely hung-over, and feeling pleased with himself.

"Problem solved, Sammy," he said. "Angel wrangling isn't so hard."

"Great," Sam muttered from deep within the bedclothes. "Now shut up and go to sleep."


"How did it go?" Deanna asked the next morning, during their regularly scheduled check in.

"Tell Naomi she should consider giving out detentions to her schoolyard bullies," Dean said, one shoulder hunched up to hold the phone to his ear while he opened the boot of the Impala and dropped in his overnight bag. "Maybe dock their pocket money for a millennium or two."

"Ah," Deanna said. "I had my suspicions. Something similar happened back when Naomi was assigned to me."

"Angels acting like jealous douchenozzles. Who woulda thunk it," Dean said. He was pretty sure, thinking back over Mom's stories with the benefit of hindsight, that there'd been some kind of issue with Samandriel too, back when they'd ganked that Yellow-Eyed Demon together before Samandriel's official guardianship had started. Made for a great story, but probably pissed off a lot of jealous guardian-angel wannabes.

Deanna Mmmmed in agreement. "I'll pass it on to Naomi."

"So, problem solved," Dean said, as he made his way around to the driver's side door, accepting the take-away coffee Sam was silently holding out for him. "Cas sends his love, by the way." He took a sip, and it was black and bitter and tasted like sweet, sweet ambrosia.

"Does he now?" Deanna sounded amused. "Give him a kiss from me then."

Sweet ambrosia that was clearly booby-trapped. Dean fumbled the cup down onto the roof of the car, thumped himself on the chest, coughed, and wheezed, "Sure thing, Granny."

Deanna was still laughing when she hung up.


"Shit," said Bobby. The dog was barking outside, and he was standing at the window, peering out past the grimy curtains like a housewife looking for gossip about the neighbours. "What did you do now, you idjits?"

Dean paused, boot-knife angled against the whetstone he had set up on Bobby's kitchen table, and looked up to meet Sam's startled gaze.

"What's up?" Adam put down his half-cleaned gun and went over to join Bobby at the window. He glanced out into the car yard and immediately took an involuntary step back. "Shit!" he said. "What the hell did you do, Dean?"

Dean rolled his eyes as he tucked his knife back into his boot. "Nice. Very brotherly." He sauntered over to the window and looked out. "Shit!"

Stomping up the driveway was Castiel, his usually stoic expression marred by a slight frown. As he got closer, it was easy to see that the angle of his jaw was so pronounced Dean could have used it to sharpen his knife. His trenchcoat was snapping in a non-existent wind, and overhead clouds were tumbling over themselves to form a sigil in the clear-blue summer sky.

Given the evidence, Dean was willing to hazard a guess that Castiel was a little cranky. And despite Bobby, Adam and Sammy's suspicions, Dean was pretty sure he knew why. Fucking dickweed angels.

"Is that a trick of the light," Bobby said, "or are his eyes actually glowing?"

"Forget the glowing," Sam said, crowding in behind them. "Are those clouds forming an Enochian sigil?"

They all leaned closer to the window, trying to see the rest of the sky: the clouds were definitely swirling in the familiar pattern of a privacy screen to stop angelic and demonic eavesdropping.

"Shit," they all said as one.

"On toast," Bobby added.

They all jerked as a crack -- sudden and gunshot-loud -- came from one of the wrecks lining the driveway, metal scraping metal as it shifted, as though it sensed the unease in the air. Castiel glared at it as he strode past, and the wreck exploded like rust-coloured dandelion seeds and puffed away.

Castiel didn't even break stride.

"If my house gets smote, I'm impounding the Impala 'till you get the angel to put the roof back on."

"Dude!" Dean protested. "Harsh."

"But fair," Adam said. "He's your angel."

"Why is he always my angel when he's a dick?" said Dean, as Castiel began to stomp up the front steps and the whole house juddered. "And a team player when you're trying to get him to go along with one of your crackpot schemes?"

"Karma?" Sam said.

Castiel reached the porch, and plaster dust sprinkled down on them from the ceiling, like grimy icing sugar on the world's most unappealing cake.

"Impounded," Bobby hissed, twitching the curtains back into place in a vain attempt to hide from view.

"Right," Dean said, and hurriedly opened the door before Castiel could knock. "Dude! That powerwalk was awesome. Like The Batman, but more badass."

Behind him, Dean could hear the unmistakeable sound of Sam slapping his own face and Adam making a despairing sigh.

Castiel narrowed his eyes, and then said, in a voice that made all the windows rattle, "The Val Kilmer Batman, or the Christian Bale Batman?"

"Is that some kind of trick question?" Dean reached out and snagged Castiel's shoulder. He pulled him inside and steered him towards the study. "The Animated Batman, of course."


"And then!" Castiel said, glaring at a mortar and pestle sitting on the end of Bobby's desk, "Harachel implied you and I were having carnal relations!"

"The nerve of that guy," said Dean, sprawled out on the sofa, one arm cocked behind his head.

Castiel turned to glare at Dean, and, with a loud crack, the painting of card-playing dogs above Dean's head split neatly in two and slid down the wall, narrowing missing him on the way down.

From over in the kitchen doorway, Bobby made a little despairing noise in the back of his throat.

"You are not taking this seriously!" Castiel said.

"Sure I am," Dean soothed. "But it could be worse, right? What're a few sexual misconceptions between friends? Happens to me and Sammy all the time."

Sam made a face at being dragged into it, and pointedly kept staring out the window.

Castiel's eyes glowed with righteous anger when he said, "Dean. The entire Heavenly Host think we are fornicating! How could it possibly be worse?"

"Dude!" Sam protested, finally tearing his attention away from the Enochian cloud formation. "That's harsh."

Dean beamed at this sign of brotherly solidarity.

"I admit he's a moron," Sam continued, "but surely if they thought you were pegging trees or demons or something it would be worse."

Dean narrowed his eyes at his brother. "Thank you for that ringing endorsement, Sammy, I'm feeling the love here."

Castiel cocked his head to one side, and his frown smoothed into something calmer and more inscrutable. "You misunderstand me, Sam. I am not wroth because of my brothers' assumptions about what or whom I might be 'pegging'."

Sam, Adam, Dean and Bobby exchanged glances.

"Nice acting chops, then, buddy," said Dean, "because it kind of sounded like you were full of some wrath there."

"Dean," said Castiel, and outside thunder growled, long and low and ominously. "You are the Righteous Man, and God's chosen champion for your generation, and without your efforts, my brothers would be facing war with Lucifer instead of enjoying their peaceful pursuits. And in response, after all you have done, instead of showing you some respect, they have implied you are merely my sex toy!"

"Oh," said Adam, and the same moment Bobby tipped his cap back and said, "Ungrateful fuckers." Sam's nose was flaring with an epic bitchface.

"Well," said Dean, "When you put it like that, it kind of blows."

Shoulders slumping, Castiel walked over and sat down next to Dean. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back. "They make me tired," he said to the ceiling.

Dean nodded sagely. "Yeah, I hear you. But you did the right thing coming to me this time. Because I have a plan."

Castiel cracked a wary eye and gave Dean an assessing look.

"Oh, here we go," Bobby muttered, and left the room. "I don't even want to know."

"What plan?" Castiel said.

"Yeah, Dean," Sam added. "What plan?"

"Next time one of those dicks makes a crack about me, don't say anything."

Castiel frowned. "I don't understand. How will that convince them we have a more profound bond?"

Dean grinned. "It won't. If they want to believe shit about you, let 'em. Don't say anything. Hell, act smug." He winked, and then tapped his nose.

"Oh my God, Dean," Sam said.

Adam cackled. "Oh my God, that's genius."

"Smug," Castiel said, wonderingly, as though a whole new vista of opportunity had just opened up before him.


Once Castiel had flapped back off to Heaven, fortified with some strategic lessons in knowing looks from a gleeful Adam, Sam found Dean in the car yard where he was changing out the Impala's oil, kicked his foot, and said, "You sure that's a good idea?"

Dean re-tightened the nut and rolled out from under the car. "I don't really give a shit if it's a good idea, as long as it gets them off Cas' back for a bit."

"Okay, but… You know it'll get back to Grandma Deanna eventually, right?"

Dean stood and clapped his oily hand on Sam's shoulder, causing him to immediately flinch away and paw at his shirt.

"Sammy, I'm pretty sure she already thinks Cas and I are poking the old salami."

"What?" Sam said, looking up from examining his shirt, oily handprint forgotten. "What do you mean?"

"Just something she said after Castiel's little meltdown." Dean cracked the new bottle of oil and up-ended it into the funnel. "Don't worry about it."

"Don't worry about it! Dean! Did she sound mad?"

"Nah. Kinda makes me wonder what Grams and Naomi got up to back in the day, you know."

"My brain." Sam said, fisting his hair. "How are we even related?"

Dean laughed, and moved around to change out the spark plugs. "One day, Sammy, you'll decide to retire from the family business and get that law degree, and if you get real lucky, you'll find a woman who can kick your ass, and you'll pop out a couple of kids, and one of them will be just like me."

"Yeah? Why do you think I haven't, jerk," Sam said. He took a few steps towards the door and then hesitated. "Dean?"

He looked up.

"Are you and Cas…?"

Dean winked and tapped his nose.

"Ugh!" said Sam, and left in a giant moosey flounce.


Dean was dreaming he was fishing from the end of his favourite jetty. He had his jeans rolled up, legs dangling over the edge, the soles of his feet skimming the top of the water. His eyes were closed, head tilted towards the sun; he had a beer in one hand, the rod in the other, and the wind was ruffling his shirt. Everything was perfect.

And then a shadow fell on him.

"Seriously?" he said, not opening his eyes. "What now?"

"Hello, Dean," Castiel said, sounding hesitant. "I'm not here on business, and I do not wish to wake you. I'll leave if you want to be alone."

Dean finally turned to look at him, taking in Castiel's slumped shoulders and general air of moroseness. One thing Cas was not was the life of the fricking party. "Well, come on then." He patted the dock beside him.

Castiel shuffled over and started to sit down.

"Uh-uh," Dean said. He point at Castiel's shoes. "Off."

Castiel hesitated, looking down at Dean's bare feet skimming the water, and then obediently bent to take off his shoes and socks and awkwardly roll up his pants. After a moment's thought, he took off his trenchcoat too.

He sat down, close enough that his arm brushed Dean's companionably, and it made Dean wish they had more moments like this in the waking world.

"So what brings you to this neck of the woods, Cas?"

"We are not in the woods, Dean."

"Ahuh," Dean said sceptically, because he was pretty sure Castiel knew perfectly well what he meant and this innocent act wasn't going to cut it. He reeled in his line, re-baited the hook, and threw it out again.

With a sigh, Castiel came clean. "I have another problem with my brothers.

"You don't say."

"Excellent though your innuendo plan has proven to be, it seems to have had an unintended consequence."

Oh, ho! This was more like it. "Above and beyond thinking you're a horndog sex god who's giving it to me good, you mean?"

"Yes," Castiel said glumly. "Now the other angels all want to transude with me."

Dean considered that for a moment. "Is that some kind of freaky angel sex thing?"




"Dammit." Dean had always wanted to know about angel sex, which Castiel knew perfectly well, and now he could see a definite smirk turning up the corners of Castiel's mouth. "I suppose you think that's funny."

"A little."

"Maybe it is, a little," Dean conceded. "So what's this trans-dude thing, if it's not kinky incestuous angel orgies?"

"Transude," Castiel said, "Sharing grace. It is a way of honouring our Father and strengthening the connections within the Host one-on-one, outside of our group Communions."

"And you wanna avoid the one-on-one because..."

Castiel watched the waves lapping against the old wood of the jetty. "They are using it as a way to, I think you would say, score points. None of them were particularly interested in me before I was assigned duty on Earth. They thought I was… unworthy."

"Bullshit," said Dean. "You're awesome. I told three other guardian angels to go fuck themselves before I lucked out with you."

"Yes, I am aware," Castiel said dryly. "And I find myself more in agreement with your assessment of my brothers and sisters every day."

"There a specific asshole I should know about?"

"Zachariah in particular is being... persistent."

Dean shuddered. "I hate that dude."

Castiel nodded. "I find I do not wish to transude with someone who has never held me in esteem, just because it will mean I'm left in peace for a time." Castiel turned his head so that Dean could no longer see his face. "It is meant to be..." He trailed off, but the longing was clear enough in his voice.

"The good stuff, huh?"

"Transcendent joy," Castiel agreed, and it was probably just as well Dean was unlikely to see any other angels any time soon, because busting his hands on their smug faces wouldn't actually help the situation.

A moment of silence fell, in which stoic sadness seeped out of Castiel, and Dean enjoyed an all-too-brief fantasy about holy oil and a flamethrower.

"So," Dean said, once the fantasy palled and he was tired of Castiel sulking all over the place. "Can you do this transuding thing with non-angels?"

Castiel startled and stared at him with very wide eyes. He swallowed audibly and said, "...Yes."

Dean nodded. "I'm having an epically bad idea." He gave Castiel an assessing once-over: too-large suit coat, swirly bedhead, mopey face. "You wanna stick your grace in me and make me feel good?"

Castiel just stared at him, and Dean tried his best to look sincere, which he managed for maybe ten seconds, but he just couldn't hold it longer than that.

Dean burst out laughing. "Oh my God, your face."

Sighing, Castiel said, "You are 'pulling my leg.'"

Still grinning, Dean slung his arm around Castiel's shoulder, pulling him in closer. "Nah, Cas. I'm game. Come on, show me what you got."

"You really want me to--"


Castiel tentatively slid his hand up Dean's arm, clearly waiting for Dean to pull away or say no. When Dean didn't, he move his hand to the hem of Dean's t-shirt, and edged up under it, until his hand was centered over Dean's heart.

His hand felt warm and human. Dean's skin tingled. "This isn't going to, like, leave a scar, is it?" Dean joked.

"I hope not," Castiel said, as the tingling turned into a burn, forging a connection Dean could feel all the way inside places he never knew he had. And then the burn faded, and it was just an easy slide of power channelling inwards, deeper, and there -- there -- the first glancing brush as it hit home, a sweet, "Hello, do you remember me?" and a pulse of affection, warm and rich and familiar.

Dean choked on a breath, going rigid against Castiel, as something inside him surged up and and grabbed at Castiel's grace, dragging him in even further, desperate for it -- faster, now.

In answer, Castiel recklessly plunged in, his eyes starting to glow as they came together.

"Oh my God," breathed Dean, and clutched Castiel closer as they fell, the dream trappings melting away around them, the motel room bed rising up to catch them. "Keep doing that."

"I've got you," Castiel said, his voice full of echoes, the whirring tick of a million clocks, the roar of lions, the call of birds.

Relief-happiness-love pulsed through Dean, intense and personal, but it wasn't enough, the tension between them knotting tighter and tighter, Dean's restless movements creating ripples and new connections everywhere they touched.

Dean began to shake. "Cas," he said, "Cas," and pressed his face into Castiel's collarbone, because it didn't feel like pain, but at the same time it was too much to bear.

Castiel stroked a soothing hand over his head. "We're nearly done. Just a little more. You can do it, I know you can."

Dean grabbed hold of Castiel's hair, the worn wool of his coat, and held on tight, his body a cup so full of life he could feel his own cells growing, throbbing, desperate to take more, and spill the excess, both at once. Then he shuddered and a sound burst out of him as all the tension unflayed at once in a rush of hot, rich pleasure that left him dizzy, effervescent with happiness, but at the same time relaxed and sated. He could tell through their connection that Castiel was feeling it too, his grace ringing with joy where it lay wrapped around Dean's soul, as though it had always belonged there, right inside his chest.

"Jesus Christ, Cas." With an effort, Dean lifted his head and looked down his body. "And I didn't even come."

Castiel laughed, and Dean could feel the tickle of it running through his insides. "Only you, Dean Winchester, could turn God's most spiritual connection into an orgasm."

"You're a dumbass, Cas." Dean said, because Cas was a dumbass angel who didn't even understand what he was feeling. He thought about the hottest sex he'd ever had, let the feeling of it fill his chest, and then watched Castiel shudder all over when it spilled across into his grace. "Yeah, that's what I thought. How did you think that wasn't sex?"

"It isn't usually," Castiel said, "for angels. Or... that is what they've always led me to believe." He didn't seem to be feeling too cut up about having Dean's messy human almost-orgasm all up inside his grace, though, even if it wasn't the angel way of doing things. "Of course I liked it," he said in response to Dean's unspoken question, and kissed Dean's temple to show that he meant it, human flavoured and all. "It's probably just as well the others don't know that humans feel it that way, or they'd never give you a moment's peace."

"Puts a whole new spin on Human-Angel relations, that's for sure," Dean said, staring at Castiel's mouth. He gave into temptation and brushed his fingers against his lips, which were soft and warm, and had the perfect amount of give.

Castiel made a humming sound, and opened his mouth a little, grace burning with curiosity.

Dean leaned forward, because hell yes, who'd settle for kinky angel telepathy sex when they could have real orgasms too. But… "Wait. You said the angels were hot for you, right? Are they watching my dream now? Can they see this?"

A prickle of anxiety disturbed Castiel's sense of completion. And Dean realised neither of them had thought to put up a privacy sigil. "If any of them are looking right now, yes."

"Well then," Dean said, and swooped in for a kiss. "I guess we better make it a real good show."


The next morning, Dean woke to Naomi sitting on the edge of his bed, staring at him.

Dean rubbed his eyes. "Let me guess. The shovel speech?"

Naomi cocked her head to one side, her gaze drilling into him. And then she smiled.


Dean clutched the blankets to his chest, very glad he was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. He wondered what exactly a shovel speech might mean coming from an angel, and clutched the blankets a little tighter.

"I knew you couldn't be as dumb as you look." Naomi patted his foot through the bedclothes, and then rose. "Good talk," she said, and disappeared, leaving behind only a faint whiff of ozone, and a metric shit-tonne of nameless yet heartfelt fear.

Dean groaned and rolled over to bury his face in the pillow. He always figured his in-laws would hate him. Good to know his instincts were working so well.


The pretty, blonde-haired waitress (Jess, her nametag said) dropped off their breakfast order, placing a double portion of pie in front of Dean. He smiled his thanks, but her own smile in return was perfunctory until she turned to Sam, sliding his cereal into place. Like the loser he was, Sammy didn't seem to notice he was being favoured with the high-beam, just thanked her politely and picked up his spoon. Oh well, his loss.

"Breakfast of champions," Dean said, rubbing his hands together and ignoring Sam's judging face. Despite Naomi's visit, or maybe because of it, he was starving. Getting his spiritual leg over on a being of celestial intent took a lot out of a guy.

Cutting off a huge bite, Dean shoved it in his mouth, ready for Nirvana. He chewed once, then twice, and then slowly stopped, one cheek bulging. Then he hawked up the bite of pie, and spat it back onto the plate.

"Gross, Dean!" Sam said, edging his chair and bowl of muesli away.

Dean looked down accusingly at the slice of pie. Using the edge of his fork, he gingerly peeled the flawless-looking crust off to reveal a layer of green-grey mould growing out of the apple filling.

"Cas," Dean said, as he glared at the pie.

"Dean," Castiel replied, appearing beside him.

"You have my permission to smite this pie." Dean prodded the slice with his fork, and the filling made a wet gloopy sound, and oozed off the pastry like ectoplasm. "And the person who baked this pie. In fact, you have my permission to smite every evil bastard who touched this pie, and everyone who works here." He flung down his fork and crossed his arms.

Castiel gave Dean a long look. "Because it is evil pie."

"Work of the devil," Dean agreed and waggled his fingers at the slice, as though to say, get with the smiting.

Without looking away from Dean, Castiel stuck a finger in the mess of fruit and pastry on his plate. After a moment, he said, "One of the refrigeration units is malfunctioning due to an electrical fault. I'm sure they have a refund policy."

Dean pouted. "Well, if you're going to be all logical and shit about it," he said, and sulkily handed Castiel a napkin so he could wipe the mould off his hand while Sam said, "Stay here, I'll go," and walked over to the counter with a big, traitorous smile on his face for the blonde waitress who had served them the evil pie. Adam pushed his own untouched slice of pie away from him, and picked the menu back up to take another look.

"Did you sleep well last night, Dean?" Castiel asked, with an earnestness that was pretty adorable, even Dean would concede.

Suddenly Dean didn't care quite so much about the Pie Debacle. "Yeah, Cas. I slept awesome."

Castiel smiled, and it lit up the whole freaking place. "I'm glad."

Dean looked away before he did something stupidly inappropriate for a family-friendly restaurant, and met Sam's gaze. For the first time in months the Serious Lawyer Face was nowhere to be seen. Sam's eyes flicked from Dean to Cas knowingly, and he smirked. Dean flicked his eyes to Jess-the-waitress just as knowingly, and Sam blushed.

"Whoa," Adam said. "Sam's got game. Who knew?"

"I'm so proud," Dean said. "He's all grown up into a real boy, despite eating all those vegetables."

Afterwards, when they were heading off to their next job, complimentary pancakes eaten, and refund safely in hand, Dean maybe mentioned the evil pie once or twice (or a dozen) times, until Castiel finally huffed and zapped off, reappearing a few minutes later with a big white box with French writing on it, and some kind of froofy, creamy, million-layer pastry affair inside.

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Dean said, around a mouthful of dessert perfection. "Human-Angel cooperation is a beautiful thing."


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Tags: dean/castiel, fiction, supernatural
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