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31 December 2009 @ 12:45 pm
December Drabble Dump  
prompt: this picture for deancas100

"I'm tired." Castiel brushed the snow unceremoniously off the bench and sat down.

Dean came up behind him and laughed. His breaths puffed in the frigid air. "You're just not used to having to walk."

"I generally expend less effort to reach the top of a mountain, yes."

Dean sat down next to him. His boots crunched in the snow. "Not much of a view from here."

"I disagree. I think the trees are nice."

Dean cocked his head. "And I think you're kind of a sap, Cas."

A half-smile. A gloved hand found his. "I think you like it."
-

Harvest Moon
because sometimes you just need kissing boys.

It's a blue moon, the harvest moon they call it, the second full moon in the month. The temperature has gone down and now the air has a biting chill to it, as nights become longer than days and nightmares longer still. That is the harvest moon, and now Dean sees it reflected in Castiel's eyes when they turn on him, dark and full of purpose. Castiel says something, deeply heartfelt and intense, and Dean only knows he's speaking, doesn't hear the words. He sees Castiel's jaw, sharp and stubbled, moving urgently, and he wants to move urgently with it. So he does, he leans in, and he slides his lips against that jaw, presses them softly to the purse of Castiel's mouth. Gets one huff of surprised breath into his mouth, hot and earthy, and he savors it. His eyes open long enough to see Castiel's slit closed, the reflected moon eclipsed by sinking eyelids. Then hands grab his shirt, and he's all feeling again, all this sudden press of weight and balance against him. Castiel's holding on to him for dear life. He's shaking, he's going to fall. Dean's arms go around him protectively at first. He won't let Castiel fall, not after Cas has saved him so many times. But when he registers the all-too-human heat, the need, when Castiel's mouth opens wider and a tongue tastes his, then Dean's the one holding on for dear life.

Castiel's back is smooth, no protrusions of wings like in the old paintings or more entertaining movies. Dean's hands move up under his shirt and feel at those shoulder blades as though he's expecting something there, but his hands clamp in Vs over the wingless jut of bone on either side. It's a cradling embrace, holding Castiel up even as he bears down on him with an eager, wet, plundering mouth, and Dean thinks that if he holds him tighter he might crush him entirely. Castiel's solid and strong, but he feels soft and light like linen or mist, and Dean doesn't want to destroy him, he wants to hold him, to build him up into something solid and real enough to believe in.

But the darkness is falling, the moon is fading from view, and night drops like a heavy curtain around Dean's shoulders in a blanket of cold. He presses Castiel down low into the ground, trying to keep the darkness from touching him, and golden spears of dry grass and reeds break under the weight of his body. Ah, so Castiel has weight after all, weight and solidity, he's real, and that's enough to push Dean down onto him, covering his body. Castiel's pulling at his shirt, making anxious noises, and Dean closes his eyes again this time not to feel but to listen. His whimpers rise and fall in minor keys, and if it weren't for the insistent rise of his body against Dean's he might mistake it for a lament.

He needs to break his own silence, and he opens his mouth, but Castiel fills it with his kisses, and Dean can't say anything. He's disappearing into the darkness and the silence, unable to assert himself. He isn't him, he's just want, want and need right now. This is the harvest moon, and he'll reap tonight. Next time it will be the hunter's moon.
-

prompt: Sam/Dean, Sam tries to make Dean's birthday special

Dean's birthday came halfway through an all-out battle with a vengeful spirit that had possessed, of all things, a girl's vintage Barbie doll. It had promised her all kinds of clothes and accessories and makeup and told the poor girl to skin her classmates alive. It was nightmarish. Dean was not much in the mood for cake after all that, and even a beer would probably only turn his stomach. He kicked hard at the gravel as he stomped back, bloody and bedraggled, to the motel room. Birthday hell, more like.

Sam had just finished showering up -- he'd been burning the bitch's bones while Dean tried to keep the third-grade teacher from getting an impromptu facelift -- and was coming out of the bathroom, hair moist, with a towel wrapped around his waist. "You made it," he said.

"Of course I made it," Dean grumbled. "What'd you think, I was having my toenails done?"

Sam shrugged, frowned, crossed the room to peek at his face in the mirror. "I need a haircut," he complained. "And not courtesy of any possessed eight-year-old."

"Well, don't look at me," Dean said. "I'm done with girly stuff for good."

Sam turned, and a half-smile played across his face. "I'm going to think of that as good news," he said.

"Not in the mood, Sammy." But Sam's smirk was hot, and Dean felt himself twitch, even so.

"If you say so." Sam shrugged and dressed, and Dean stared at him sourly for several minutes before realizing the reason he was feeling so crappy: Sam should have realized it was his birthday by now. Why hadn't he said anything yet?

"Tell you what, Dean," Sam said, relaxing on the bed and folding his hands behind his head. "Go get cleaned up and we'll order in something with lots of boobs and explosions."

Dean grumbled, but the fact remained that he was pretty damn dirty. He shrugged and fumbled his way into the bathroom.

Into the bathroom that smelled of fresh pine and featured a bathful of enticingly steaming water.

"Surprise," Sam said, moving behind him and kissing his neck. All the clothes he'd so painstakingly put on earlier were gone, probably tossed off haphazardly and all over the motel room floor. "Happy birthday, Dean. Now into your birthday suit, before I have to strip you down myself."

"This is pretty fucking girly, Sam," Dean muttered, but he couldn't keep the smile off his face as he turned to bring Sam's mouth to his for a grateful kiss.

-

prompt: Samuel/Claire as the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

Well, hello there, Little Red Riding Hood. Look at you so earnest and so fair. Off to save the world, or at least to find your place in it. It's tough, isn't it, to be you? To look for that perfect place where dear old Grandmother is waiting there with sweets and a warm smile, to tell you stories and sit you down by the fire and say, dearest Red, you'll always be at home here.

Too bad, little girl. Your grandmother's ill. She can't even get out of bed. That comforting, welcoming world you want is far, far away and fading fast from memory. You'll never get it back.

So why not dally with me here off the path? We'll frolic in the flowers and pick up some daisies hoping in vain we can cure her illness with flower power. It won't work, but isn't the hoping delicious? I know it is. And perhaps you shall stray so far from the path that you'll never be able to find your way back home again. But is that really such a bad thing?

Stay with us a while, Claire. See how life is off the beaten path. Forget your obligations and your worries and your sense of home that you might never find.

And should a wolf like me gobble you up-- well, then won't it have been worth it to make the most of the time you had?

-

prompt: Bobby grills Castiel about his intentions

"Now listen, you." Bobby wheeled around the table. "You and I need to have a little talk."

"About what?"

Bobby harrumphed. "I get it. You're an angel. You can't heal me, but you can show up anywhere at any hour and harass my boys, and I'm not sure I like that. You do know us humans value our privacy, right?"

Castiel's gaze shifted. "Yes. I've heard about that."

A snort from the grizzled hunter. "I'll just bet you have. How many shaving cuts have you given that poor boy? Never mind, don't answer that," he grumbled when he saw Castiel start to count mentally. "The point is, I need to know your intentions."

"Intentions?" The angel frowned. "My intention is to find..."

"God, yeah, I know, I swear I don't know which of you is the bigger id'jit, the one who wants to find God or the one who wants to kill the devil." Bobby made a noise that sounded sort of like an elephant hosing itself. "I'm talking about Dean. What do you want out of him?"

"I..." Castiel didn't have an answer.

"Look." Bobby heaved a long sigh. "Those boys have had nothing but each other for their whole lives. They've been to hell and back, literally. The fact that you're all nice-nice with them all of a sudden scares the hell out of me, because if you try to come between them it's not going to end well. And you won't come out ahead."

"I don't understand." (To which Bobby muttered, "Big surprise there.") "How could I come between them?"

Another derisive snort. "If you don't know, then I guess you're not in much danger of doing it. Never mind." He started to wheel away.

"Bobby."

The nickname -- any nickname -- coming from the angel was odd. But when Bobby turned to look over his shoulder, he saw serious eyes. And at the same time, Castiel looked less sure of himself than he ever had.

"I want to protect him," he said lamely. "Dean."

And a hint of a smile touched Bobby's whiskered face. "That'll have to do for now," he said.

-

prompt: Sam/Castiel h/c

Sometimes Sam dreamed of Dean being dragged off to hell. Sometimes he dreamed of himself.

Lilith. Child's eyes and pert lips, dainty fingertips becoming claws and pulling at him, weighing Sam down, drowning him in fire. Was it worse than dreaming of the savagery of hellhounds? Was it easier to dream of human blood staining the streets or demon blood staining one's own bones?

The dreams dragged him in, although it wasn't Sam he was supposed to be watching. Castiel found himself locked in mindspace night after night, watching from a distance as Sam struggled and cried out. He dared not make his presence known, so he bore silent witnesses to the atrocities perpetrated by a mind at war with itself.

He wasn't able to connect spiritually with Sam. That was blasphemy, it was treason. It would be noticed.

But his body was that of a man. There would be no trace of his physical proximity.

Castiel made up his mind. One night, he shed his coat and climbed into bed beside the dreaming Sam. And when those thin lips parted to shout, Castiel covered them with his own.

Sam groaned, dream interrupted, and rolled over, settling half his weight onto Castiel's frame. He murmured something and pulled him close, still sleeping. His neck arched thin and yearning in the dim light. Inviting more kisses.

Castiel obliged, dotting presses of pursed mouth against the skin of Sam's neck, letting his human body's instincts guide him and marveling at the reactions each touch brought.

Somewhere in the middle of it all Sam awoke. His eyes fluttered open, and he brought hands up to caress Castiel's jaw.

"You've been in my dreams," he murmured.

Castiel wasn't sure if that was just an acknowledgment of his previous presence, or a confession of something more. "Yes."

"Dean's in the other bed."

A strange thing for him to say. But it was strange that he hadn't flown to his feet, called for help, made a scene. "I know."

Sam half-smiled, an expression beautiful and mysterious as the moon. "Can you be quiet?" he asked.

Castiel's eyes went wide. Sam waited patiently, still smiling, until he found the presence of mind to nod.

Then warm lips engulfed his and arms pulled him down, not into hellfire but into a warm world where bad dreams were banished.

-

prompt: Sam/Dean, kissing in the snow

In the end times there's very little of the world that looks unsullied, unspoiled by the death and suffering that surrounds them every day. But on a morning when snow has even pasted white over the soot-black roof of the Impala, for that moment of rediscovery, everything is new and pristine again.

Until your big brother socks you in the back of the head with a snowball, of course.

Sam lurches forward, puts a hand to his now-freezing noggin. "That hurt!"

"They don't call it a snowball therapy session, Sammy." Wide grin and two packed-full fists that go flying, left-right, one in the shoulder and one in the gut, but now Sam's grinning just as widely. He leans forward like a speed skater on the starting line.

"Oh, I see how it is," he says in a warning tone. "You want a fight?"

"Damn straight." Dean's down and scooping.

"Then--" launching himself forward-- "you'll get a fight!" Sam's leaping, a tiger in midair, and he grabs Dean around the waist. Dean falls ass-first to the ground, oofing loudly, then gets a chestful of Sam bearing him down. He's utterly defenseless, wasn't expecting that at all, and a lifetime of combat training has now proven itself completely useless under the illusionary spell of a dusting of snow.

Sam laughs a lopsided chuckle. "Not so tough without your snowballs, then, are you?

"Get the hell off me." Dean struggles, but Sam's bigger, and besides, his frame is a wonderful warm contrast to the cold ground.

"What's that? You want to make a snow angel?" But Sam looks down and sees an angel in the snow. He traces a finger over Dean's Adam's apple.

"Course not," Dean says with a short laugh. "Now that we know real angels wear trenchcoats."

Sam echoes his laugh, and they're the only two people in the whole world right now. Of course they kiss. They kiss like their love and this snow could rebuild the world from this point up. Maybe it can. The angels are banking on it.

-

prompt: Dean/Cas, "You only thought you knew me."

It became a refrain. Whenever they disagreed, whenever Castiel had to deny him the immediate satisfaction of saving the girl or not watching the town burn, Dean would turn to him and say, "Cas, don't do this. I know you. You know this is wrong."

The I know you grated on his patience. It jarred his moral core. It was one thing for Dean to try to convince him of his foolish mortal logic, a point of view that saw no farther than its own horizons. But for him to be so presumptuous as to assume that Castiel had already agreed with him, that he was just holding Dean back out of some sort of stubborn pride, or, worse, malice-- it was more than Castiel could take silently.

So this time, when he stayed Dean's hand and allowed the demon to run free, he was ready for the assault.

"It's a demon. You're an angel. How can you just let him get away? I know you. I can see in your face that don't want to do that. I know--"

"You don't know me." Castiel had seldom raised his voice before but now he thundered, shoved Dean backward. "You only think you know me, but you don't have a clue. Don't have any idea what I feel, or think. You couldn't begin to comprehend the things I have to face."

"You're right. I can't," Dean said, and his boots stamped on the dusty ground. "I don't know what it's like to be an angel. But you've been darkening my door every other day now with your prophecies of doom, and I'd sure as hell like to think I've put up with you long enough to know you just a little. So get off your goddamned high horse and just admit it."

"And if I don't?"

"Then you're not the guy I thought you were."

He sounded so disappointed. For an instant, Castiel wanted to reassure him, to admit to everything he didn't dare even think, to tell Dean what he couldn't yet admit to himself.

Instead, he stared at him coldly. "That's exactly right," he said. "You only thought you knew me."

-

prompt: Castiel/Dean, the morning after

He woke with a groan. The light hurt his eyes, and.... what, what had happened here, why was it warm, and...

Oh. Oh...

the bar the drinks the lights the smell of him in the hallway the feel of his fingertips at his collar and warmth, and heat, and oh this was why sin was so very very tempting to humans and

He trailed a few fingers over the throat of the man who lay there, still blissfully (and annoyingly) asleep.

When had it come to this between them? When had the tension and the need turned into this feeling like a hot ember in his chest, the desire to touch and be touched, to feel the presence of another being who was solely focused, solely doting on him?

(Was it when he realized his Father was further away than even he'd known?)

And why couldn't he bring himself to regret it?

Fingers found his, and Dean was turning over, and squinting up at the light and cursing. "Too bright," he murmured, tugging on Castiel's arm (bare arm, how strange to be bare in someone's presence) and pulling him down into a loose embrace.

"Go back ... sleep," he mumbled into Castiel's ear.

Ah, yes. This was why.

-

prompt: When the Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash

"So what's it going to be like?" Dean said as he sat down on the stoop. The beer sweated and jangled in his hand like the ringing of a bell, and Castiel found himself watching the beads of water as they rolled down the glass and puddled at Dean's feet.

"What's what going to be like?"

"The Apocalypse. You know, the end. When it all comes down to some final fight. When the man comes around, like the song goes."

"What song?"

Dean tapped his foot as though he could hear the music "Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers," he sang, a tuneless, guttural voice. "One hundred million angels singing.... multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum."

Castiel grimaced.

"Yeah, sorry, I'm no Johnny Cash," Dean said. He popped the beer open and took a swig.

"It's not that." Castiel's eyes were dark.

"Then what is it?"

The angel hung his head. "It won't be anything like that," he muttered.

-

prompt: Dean gets caught trying on Cas' trenchcoat

Shock. "Dean. What are you doing." No inflection in his voice. No questioning tone to the question. It's obvious what he's doing. Castiel's not actually asking, he's just expressing surprise.

He's met by a huge grin. "Check me out! I'm an angel!"

"You're drunk." Another observation.

"I'm a pissy angel." Dean wanders over, wobbling. He claps a hand on Castiel's shoulder. A shoulder with nothing but a shirt on. Castiel feels weirdly exposed. Is this the shame that Adam felt in the Garden? he wonders.

"Dean," Dean says in a low, gravely voice. "I'm a pissy angel and I need your help." He's mocking him, Castiel realizes. That's... vaguely irritating.

The trenchcoat suits him, though. Castiel wonders if it will smell different when he returns it. Once Dean lent him a shirt and when it was returned he complained about it smelling like Castiel. This time, he is curious, but he can't think of any reason to complain about the phenomenon.

Instead, he tips his head to the side. "Then I should pretend I am you?"

Laughter rips from Dean in a wave of beer-sour breath. "Give it a try."

"Very well." Castiel frowns, looks at the ground, then stares at Dean again. " 'I am a stubborn jackass and I don't want to help you because you're an angel and I think angels are dicks.' "

Dean's hand slides from his shoulder. "That's not cool, man," he mutters, and turns away.

Castiel is baffled. "Why not?"

"Because I thought we were past that," Dean says, that lion's roar behind his slurring voice. He calms, says in a lower tone, "I know I'm a jackass, but I'm not that bad." A pause. "Fact is, I trust you. I shouldn't, but I do."

Castiel is somewhat amazed to discover he actually is relieved to hear that.

-

song lyric: "How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?

I know what I am. I know I am an angel. I know whom I serve and what my orders are. There are no questions to ask. There is nothing to doubt. There is no room to move. This is how I have continued for thousands of years. It is how I always expected to continue.

But you-- I don't know what you are. You're a vessel, you're a human. You can host angels or torture innocents in the depths of hell. You're something in between and something beyond, something that transcends and something that moves.

You change. Your morality changes. What you believe isn't in a world that is good, or a world that is evil, but a world that is flawed and precious. You contradict yourself, you're swayed by your emotions, you have tides like the sea and shudders like the earth. And my orders are to stand with you, to hold you steady and keep you focused on an unchanging destiny that was written for you long ago.

How can I possibly hold you steady? How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?

I've heard the tides crashing against the shore in my own dreams lately, and I fear something is changing in me that was never meant to change, that has never changed before.

And you tell me that life is change. That I should hold on tight and watch it happen.

I'll hold on. But only if I can hold on to you.

-

prompts: a stolen kiss under the stars where nobody's around to see

It's as they're hiking to the next town to get someone to pick up the broken Impala. Dean's practically heartbroken, and Castiel offers to teleport him but Dean says if he doesn't stomp on the ground some he's not going to be able to stand what they've done to his baby. Goddamn demons know how to hit him where it hurts.

So Castiel, trailing behind him a few paces, finds himself in the improbable situation of having to cheer Dean up. He tries to retell one of Uriel's jokes from back in the good old days, but it flies right over Dean's head and he just turns back and stares at Castiel like he has just sprouted scales and a pouch.

"I'm sorry," Castiel says, feeling sheepish and awkward-- as he is feeling much more often these days. "I was attempting humor."

"Yeah, attempting," Dean says. But that, more than the joke, has put a smile back on his face.

He's looking not at Castiel but behind him, at a sky littered with stars, and after a moment he treks back up the hill to the crest. He looks up and breathes, "Wow."

Castiel follows his gaze. "The firmament is one of the miracles of God's creation," he says, and it's almost by rote. "Does this cheer you up, then?"

Dean pauses, and his smile widens. "Yeah," he said. "Which is weird cause I'm not exactly a nature freak, but I always liked being out on the open road, and that's just about as open as it gets." He chuckles. "I'm getting sappy in my old age."

Castiel frowns. "You are not old."

Hands grab his. "Just shut up and let me enjoy," Dean says, with a determined little scowl. The hands disappear again as Dean steps back and looks straight up at the zenith. Castiel falls silent and watches him, watches his neck crane as he tips his head up to enjoy the heavens. Dean turns a slow 360 degrees, all wonder and fascination.

After a moment it's achingly clear that the way Dean is looking at the sky is the same way Castiel has been looking at Dean.

Castiel steps in and presses soft lips to his neck. Dean murmurs, and his head starts to tilt. But by then Castiel has soft hands running up the back of his neck into his hair and is sliding his lips up to graze against the stubble at his jaw.

He pulls back. "Forgive me," he says, "I..."

There's starlight in Dean's eyes. "Nobody will know," he mutters, more to himself. "Nobody is around to see."

His hands have fallen to Castiel's waist. Closing eyes shut out the night sky, and lips brush lips, soft and tender with a hint of roughness from the weather and the dry night. Castiel feels his body melting from the inside, like wax dripping off a candle there's liquid heat in his ribcage, and his lips seek out more, deeper contact. Dean's pulling him closer. The contact is chaste, passionate without being sexual - it's something beautiful and beginning here in this night.

"We don't tell anyone about that," Dean says severely when they pull apart. He isn't smiling when he says it.

But he smiles all the way to the next town, and that, Castiel decides, is something.

--

prompt: Learn to knock

It's bad when Dean cuts himself shaving. He jumps ten feet in the air and the razor goes the wrong way and Castiel's pressing a hand to his chin, observing, "You cut yourself," as blithely as though it isn't painfully clear that it was his appearance that caused that very accident.

It's not bad because of the blood. It's because now Dean has the feeling of Castiel's hand on his chin, and he's not likely to forget it.

"Out," he says. "Come back in through the door. Knock."

"Very well." Cas is gone and there's a knock at the door. Just like that. It's a good thing Dean hadn't gone back to shaving, because he jumps eleven feet that time.

-

It's worse when Dean's working out, on the bench press in a wife beater with his eyes squinted up at the ceiling, press up, back down, press up, back down, and press hello that's not a ceiling that's Cas and the barbell comes down and the wind's knocked out of him.

He's had the wind knocked out of him plenty of times. This is worse. It's worse because Castiel's helping him up, lifting the weight off of him and then sliding his hands around Dean's back, steadying his ribcage, Cas' human heart beating next to his for an instant.

"Some warning next time," Dean mutters when he can speak again.

"There was no place to knock." Castiel looks back at the glass doors to the gym, propped open on the balmy day.

Dean stalks off toward the locker room. "Don't follow me," he warns. He has to go shower off the almost-embrace and the sweat. It's a while before he comes back out.

-

The worst is when Dean's alone and miserable, all tapped out of energy after a fight that came down to nothing and all his anger drained into self-loathing.

"Knock," he roars before Castiel can say anything.

It's the worst because he knows Castiel's come for a reason. And whatever it is, that reason is not to comfort him, to touch him again or to put the arms around him that make him forget, for an instant, that the rest of the world with all its craptastic problems doesn't exist.

-

Castiel finally knocks.

Dean lets him in. "What's that look for, Cas?"

"It's frustrating," he says. "To knock. When I want to see you and I have to wait for you to answer the door."

"Welcome to life," Dean says with a shrug. "It's frustrating." He turns, swaggers away a few paces. "So why did you want to see me?"

Castiel is silent.

"What?" Dean looks over his shoulder.

"I just wanted to see you," Castiel says. "I don't have a reason." He has the same look on his face that Dean gets whenever he realizes how much Castiel has gotten under his skin.

It's satisfying. But it demands more.

"You've learned something," he says, husky, walking up to him and touching his chin right where Castiel had touched his, that first time.

Castiel's whole body vibrates, and he turns dark eyes up to Dean's. "Yes," he says, "I think I have."

"Good," Dean says.

It is good. And it gets even better.

--

Prompt: Dean/Castiel, 30 minutes alone

"If I'm not back in 30 minutes, you can come after me," Sam had warned. "But until then, Dean -- you're going to have to learn to trust me again." And the door had slammed.

Dean knew immediately he was still not alone.

"We need to talk."

"Jesus, Cas, can I at least take a leak before you come popping up on me--"

"It's important."

Dean turned, pushed past him. "It's always important," he said before heading full tilt into the bathroom. Maybe if he spent the 30 minutes alone in here Castiel wouldn't feel the need to invade his space some more. He was pretty sure he'd finally trained him to stay out of the restrooms.

Trained him, like Cas was a dog. In some ways, maybe he was. All doe-eyed and serious and demanding. One of these days he'd give Cas a belly rub and see how he liked it. Just as long as Cas didn't end up licking him, and--

"Dean."

What he'd thought about training him to stay out of the bathroom? Totally wishful thinking.

Dean zipped up his pants. "Jesus! Look, Cas, I have 30 minutes alone. Do you know what a guy usually does with 30 minutes alone? Hint: It doesn't involve an angel."

Slow recognition over Castiel's face. "I think I kn--"

"Don't. Just... don't. Okay?"

Castiel fell back, silent. Dean pushed past him back into the room. Flopping on the bed, he flipped on the TV and let the angel stew in his own... angel juices, or whatever... for a minute. Finally: "Well. What is it?"

"Never mind. It can wait."

That was enough to made Dean turn the TV right back off again. Since when did Cas sound hurt?

He got up and came back into the bathroom, where Cas was staring at himself in the mirror. "Dude. You OK?"

Castiel turned to him. "I don't want to inconvenience you."

"Come on, Cas. You're a buddy. A buddy with no sense of personal space or regard for my nerves, but a buddy. Tell me what's up."

Castiel frowned. His reflection frowned back at him. "I... don't know."

Dean thought by now he would have learned not to be surprised by anything Castiel said. But he'd also learned never to expect to get used to him, either. "You don't know."

"You told me to trust my intuition."

This was a lesson from last week. Last week involved a werewolf and three demons and a hot cheerleader. "Yeah."

"Sam said you should give him 30 minutes."

"Yes, we just... are you saying Sam's in danger?" Dean fingered the car keys in his pocket.

"No."

"Then what?"

"You have 30 minutes."

"Yeah, we already talked about that."

Dean was just about to be over and done with this conversation, when Castiel came out with, "My intuition told me to come see you."

A beat. "I don't get it."

"Neither do I." Castiel had been looking at Dean through the mirror, but now he turned. "But the urge to see you was very powerful, Dean. I think there must be some very important reason, but I don't know what it is."

Dean stared at him for a beat. Then he laughed. "Cas. You're lonely."

"What?" The utterly blank look on the angel's face was almost laughable.

"Lonely. You just wanted some company. And you thought I'd be lonely too. That's kinda sweet." He turned, looked over his shoulder at Castiel, and beckoned him to follow. "Come on. We'll watch some TV."

Hesitantly. "I thought you said you wanted 30 minutes alone."

That was Cas to a T -- always second-guessing his own intuition at exactly the wrong time. A swell of warmth lifted Dean's ribs. "That's fine," he said. "We can be alone together."

-

prompt: Michael was the one who resurrected Castiel

"I'm going to go in there," Dean had said, tears blinding him to reason and to the pain on Castiel's face. "and I'm going to say yes. If that's the only way I can save Sam, then that's what I'm going to do."

Castiel had argued with him. He'd tried so hard to sway him. But Dean had made his decision. And now the man walking back through those doors, a building collapsing behind him, was not Dean.

"Michael," he said, bowing his head in respect and more than a little fear. Castiel had prevented Michael from taking hold of his vessel, and in the meantime, how much carnage he'd caused. His shame was only matched by dread of Michael's inevitable revenge.

"Castiel." Dean's voice, but the low, majestic tone was not Dean's. It broke Castiel's heart a little to hear. "Thank you, brother. I knew you would do the right thing."

"What?" Dark eyes darted upward.

"You've followed the truest inclination of your soul, and it is because of you that this moment has come. My brother has been--"

And behind him, another figure emerged. C seized up. "He's-- he's still--"

"Alive, yes," said the voice of Lucifer through the mouth of Sam. "Alive and safe, and no longer cursed with a hatred that consumed me for millennia."

"I don't--"

"It was being inside these vessels, you see, that was the key to everything," Michael said. "These two who have fought themselves and each other, but who would still give their lives-- any number of times-- to save this world. We needed to know that feeling. To experience it first-hand."

"To know," Lucifer said, "what our Father saw in them."

"And for that, they had to be themselves, proud and entirely human," Michael said. "You preserved them that way for us. And thus this world will be preserved."

"I don't understand," Castiel said, wild-eyed. "You wanted me to keep them safe from you?"

"Until the very end, yes. So they could save us."

"Then--" A suspicious glance at Lucifer. "Raphael was right? You did raise me?"

"No," Michael said. "That was me. And now I will give you whatever reward you desire, Castiel. My most faithful brother."

For the first time, certainty settled across Castiel's face. He set his jaw. "Then," he said, "I want Sam and Dean back."

-

prompt: AU: Castiel owns a bake shop and Dean is his favorite customer

There was something heavenly about croissants. More so than any of the other baked goods in his shop, Castiel adored making them. Their layers of flakes, the way the butter just melted into them -- they were like clouds, like little pieces of heaven. That's why there were croissants painted onto the signboard that hung outside the Baking Angel, along with the figure of a cherub in an apron and baking hat. Croissants were his specialty, and everyone that tasted them said they were just divine.

Everyone but Dean Winchester, that was.

Dean's brother, Sam, liked them. He gave each croissant the attention it deserved, complimenting Castiel on his baking acumen every time. But Dean just shoveled them down his throat, usually demanded a few cookies to boot, and never said a damn thing. Perhaps he thought Sam would do the heavy lifting for him.

But in a way it was Dean's voracious downing of the pastries that made Castiel as happy as he was to see him. He didn't have to play chef with Dean. They sat and talked about nothing, and Dean was always happy to munch on whatever Castiel brought him. He wasn't classy, but always appreciated things on a more basic, more earthy level. And so Castiel began to put little treats in his bag whenever he ordered something to go. A mini-angel food cake with a strawberry baked into the middle. A tiny cinnamon bun gilded with icing. Three small muffins in adorable little muffin cups, raisin, corn, apple. And yes, often, a croissant.

Someday Castiel would sit him down and force him to appreciate that croissant. Someday he'd reach across the table and wipe the crumbs from that grinning mouth. He'd hold up one or two layers of soft cloudlike pastry, and Dean would open his mouth wide, let it melt on his tongue, lick the extra butter from Castiel's fingertips. And someday perhaps there would be a kiss that tasted like flour and baking soda and promises of heaven yet to come.

For now, though, he just smiled, stuck a gingerbread man into the paper bag, and enjoyed the brief slide of his fingertips against Dean's when he handed it over.

"Enjoy," he said.

Dean smiled at him. "We always do."

-

prompt: Castiel brings Dean Christmas candy

The paper bags were the same shade as his trenchcoat, so if it weren't for pink hands and dark eyes peering out from between them, Dean might have thought Castiel was just one big paper bag. He laughed and came forward to lift one bag from Cas' arms. Plastic rustled inside. "Don't tell me you're cooking tonight," he said with an easy grin.

"I don't think anything can be made with these ingredients."

Dean peered inside. "Holy mother of crap, that's a lot of candy," he said. "What, did you get confused and think it was Halloween or something?"

"The sign at the store said I should fill my bags with Christmas cheer for a loved one," Castiel said.

"Haven't we had this talk already? About advertising not being gospel?"

"I'm aware of that." Darkness flickered through Castiel's expression. "I felt in this case it was an admirable sentiment."

"All right, don't bite my head off," Dean said. "So what are we going to do with all of this? Give it to orphans or something?"

Castiel didn't answer immediately. His eyes slowly rolled up to the ceiling. "The sign said to give it to a loved one," he finally said.

"Yeah, you mentioned. Doesn't answer the question."

Castiel stayed silent long enough that Dean turned around to look at him. That expression was mysterious. Self-conscious, shy, but determined, as though it had taken him some courage to bring the bags of candy to...

Oh, no. No, no, no, he must be mistaken. Couldn't possibly be.

Dean set the bag down with a harrumph. "Guess we'll share it with Sam," he said halfheartedly.

Castiel's eyes rolled back down from examining the ceiling and fixed on them. "All right," he said.

Dean reached into the bag and pulled out a candy cane. He turned it over in his hand for a minute, then, shyly, reached out to offer it to Castiel. "You want it?" he said.

Castiel looked at him as though he'd just gotten to one knee. Their fingers brushed as he reached out to take it, and they turned red in tandem.

So they promptly turned away from each other and ate the first of the candy back to back. At least it was unabashedly sweet, even if they were having a hard time of it.

--

prompt: "aver"

These are things Sam knows, the things he can lean on when all else is lost.

Dean's the only other person in the world who understands what it is to be John Winchester's son.

The Impala will always be his second home. He'll never get to drive unless Dean needs a nap. Hell will freeze over before he gets to drive it solo.

People are weak and cowardly and frightened, but they are good.

Girls like a hard worker. More than that, they like a hard worker who doesn't talk much.

Dragging Dean out of bars before he embarrasses himself is better than an hour in the gym. More resistance.

Demons love to use sex. They think that if they possess a pretty girl, Sam will be totally fooled. Sam can use this.

Everybody thinks they're doing the right thing, even people who consider themselves evil.

There are a few things that separate Sam from other people walking this earth. Some are unsavory. Some are precious. One is Dean. And that's enough.

When he can't breathe, can't think straight or see straight, Sam reminds himself of these things. There's indisputable truth in this world, and if he hangs onto it, he can navigate the darkest labyrinth.

-

prompt: Gabriel, his first time on earth

At first he's just kind of amused. There are a lot of colors down here, aren't there? he keeps thinking. It'll be a good place to hide. Here among all the reds and yellows and blues and greens nobody will notice a boring old black-and-white angel inside the body of a Roman merchant who took the first boat to Christianity the minute he heard a sermon from, what was that joker's name? Paul? Saul? Rumplestiltskin? He can't remember. Anyway, doesn't matter. Point is, it's a good disguise. And he's liking this plane, pretty much.

There are some serious dumbasses down here, though. He has a drink behind the palace with some guy, convinces him to stab the Emperor, and stands in the back to watch it happen. Oh, it's like something out of a play. He'll have to tell someone the story once he finds someone who can write worth a damn.

But nothing compares to the first drink of honey nectar. Oh. It's love. He's never, ever leaving.