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Zeppelin

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Dean rarely got truly scared of anything anymore. A lifetime of hunting everything from small game like ghosts to the devil himself did that to a person. There was only one thing that could gnaw at his heart and keep this constant terror simmering inside of him. Where the fuck was his husband? 

Castiel had been missing for a week and three days - two hundred and forty hours - which was about two hundred and thirty nine too many for Dean. After so many years together, he didn’t know how to sleep without his angel next to him, so he really hadn’t, even though Sam and Mom had both urged him to at least try. There was no way. He’d dozed here and there between the frantic searching, with Grace laying in Cas’s spot on the bed. 

Dean loved that cat far more than he’d ever thought he could, even if he was tempted to blame her for Cas’s disappearance. It was beyond unreasonable that Grace’s preference of cat food flavor could have truly had anything to do with it, but it was still the fact that it was the last time Dean had seen his husband. Dean had come home from a supply run and while helping him put everything away, Cas had frowned at the cans of cat food.

“She prefers whitefish, Dean, you know this,” the angel scolded, albeit gently. Damn it, that’s right, Dean always forgot when he was actually standing in the store. 

“She’ll be okay, babe, she likes salmon too,” the hunter returned. Cas sighed. Dean started to roll his eyes but stopped. He was not going to go back out just for a different flavor of cat food. Unless Cas asked him to, that is. His wonderful husband crossed the kitchen, planted a firm smooch on his unshaven cheek, and asked for the Impala’s keys. Dean dutifully dug them out of his pocket. 

“You spoil her, you know,” he told Cas. Grace very much would eat the salmon food, she just didn’t do the little happy dance she always did when she smelled the whitefish flavor being opened. 

“I know,” Cas admitted with a smile. “Be right back.” 

And it had now been two hundred and forty hours since that smile and casual statement. They’d found the Impala at the pet supply store, but that’s where the trail went stone cold. 

Grace didn’t seem to care what flavor food was put in front of her with her favorite owner gone, she was only listlessly eating with no joy. She was hardly even leaving Dean and Cas’s room, and would pace and meow in misery. 

Dean knew how she felt. Neither of them would find peace until the angel was back safe at home.   

He could be dead. Again. Dean knew this, had to force himself to stare that possibility in the face. He’d lost him twice in the time they’d been married, and in hindsight, with all things considered in their lives, that wasn’t a bad average. But Dean had barely survived himself through those times, and if he hadn’t had his family to keep going for, he was not at all sure he would still be here.

The deep dark hole in the pit of his stomach threatened to swallow him alive, just as it had when Cas had been taken out by friggin Lucifer when Jack was born. If he hadn’t checked out then, he didn’t think he would now. That had been the hardest thing he’d ever done, hands down: giving his husband a hunter’s funeral and trying to begin to force his brain to wrap around the words gone and widower. If he hadn’t had Sam, and Mom, and Jack…

The blond haired nephilim now sat on the couch in the family room that the Winchesters had created out of one of the larger spare rooms of the bunker. The place had become even more of a home once their surrogate son had come to join them for good, and Dean had wanted to honor that. 

He and Cas had talked about it but they’d never truly gotten a place of their own, other than that cabin that Dean kept for certain nights. He snapped his mind back from where it was wandering, the wonderful memories currently cutting like a knife as Jack winced again. 

“I’m...I’m getting something,” Jack forced out through the pain in his head. It hurt the kid like hell to try to tune into angel radio but it was amazing what he could do when one of his dads needed help. Claire’s face was a dark cloud of a scowl as she gripped Jack’s hand for dear life, helping to ground him while he put himself through this torture. It was beautiful to watch the two of them together usually but now, just like everything else, it was just making Dean’s heart hurt.

Jack opened his eyes again, still cringing. Claire reached over to gently swipe that floppy lock of hair off of his sweaty brow. He looked up at Dean, an apology in his expressive eyes. 

“I can only get snippets of things,” he said in his halting cadence. “It’s like they know I’m there and they’re blocking me. I could probably break through, but I didn’t know if I should be that obvious.” 

Dean shared a sharp look with Sam, who stood on the other side of Jack and Claire on the sofa. The brothers were clearly thinking along the same lines. 

“You did well,” Sam praised Jack. “Thank you.” The boy, er, young man, glanced between Sam and Dean curiously. 

“I didn’t really get you any information, though?” he asked. Claire was giving him that affectionate smile that she did a lot of the time, that ‘you’re clueless but I love you anyway’ smile. 

“Sure you did, Sweets,” she told him, and Jack’s face finally relaxed at this. 

“If they wouldn’t let you listen in, that means they know something,” Dean clarified. 

“And generally when the angels know something, it’s bad,” Sam expanded. Leave it to him to be so grim. But he was right. 

“So. Breaking into Heaven,” Dean stated, the cogs of his brain working furiously already. 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa…” Mary’s voice broke in from where she hovered in the doorway. No. There was no whoa. There was whatever it took to get his husband back in his arms, and Dean’s fiery gaze that he shot across the room at his mother made that obvious. 

Mary’s lips pressed together in a thin line, silencing any further thoughts of dissension. She loved Cas like the third son that he had become to her as soon as she met him and saw how happy he made her oldest boy. She was the one that had taught Dean about family and doing anything for them. So he knew she understood, underneath the maternal worry. 

“I mean, for a human to get into Heaven, don’t you have to...kind of...well, die?” Claire’s tone made the question mostly rhetorical. 

“Yep,” Dean replied, his tone and demeanor all business. Sam merely sighed, but his face was set as well, and he gave his brother a nod. Fuck, Dean was lucky to have him. He didn’t want to put Sammy in danger as well, but he knew there was no way he’d let him go alone and he wasn’t stupid enough to think he could take on multiple angels on his own up there if it came to a fight. 

Jack was wide eyed again, this time with alarm.

“I should come with you. Not Sam.” But Dean was shaking his head. 

“They’ll expect that,” he explained. “And they’ll be able to see you coming a hundred miles off.” Jack’s shoulders drooped. They’d benched the kid a lot, sure, but this time made too much sense. 

“We’re going to need people here to bring us back,” Sam explained, taking turns looking Mom, Jack, and Claire each in the face seriously. If that could even be done this time, Dean didn’t share the thought. He’d make sure Sam made it back, even if he couldn’t, he resolved. But they’d scoured everywhere else, and this was their last hope. If Cas wasn’t in Heaven, and he couldn’t bring him home, if he was really gone, then Dean wasn’t worried about coming back. 

He looked around at his family gathered in the cozy room of the old bunker, his wonderful, beautiful, bruised, but strong family. And the glaring, screaming, keening absence of his dearly beloved Castiel threatened to swallow him whole. His thumb tip traced along the edge of the silver ring on his left hand where it had rested for six, almost seven years now, the familiar motion keeping him barely tethered to sanity. 

Without another word Dean turned to head to the infirmary for the drugs that would make his heart stop beating.           

 

Maybe they should have brought Jack, or someone who knew their way around. The brothers found themselves in the Impala, of all places, driving along a two lane road with the sunset behind them. 

Dean slammed the car into park, being much rougher than he would be if this were the real version of his baby, and almost jumped out of the driver’s seat. He didn’t need a potential version of his personal heaven right now, he needed to get into the main offices of Heaven, the places where the angels occupied. And they didn’t have much time if they, or at least Sam, was going to get back alive. Stress, grief, and rage balled up in Dean and were forced out in a primal yell. 

“COME ON YOU SONS OF BITCHES!” he screamed to a picturesquely beautiful orange-and-purple mottled sky, his hands in tight fists. “WHERE IS HE? I SWEAR I WILL RIP THIS PLACE APART.”

“Dean...” came Sam’s soothing voice of reason, or an attempt at it anyway, but his tone had Dean turning warily. Two angels, one in a female vessel and one in a male, both dressed in the usual boring celestial gray, were striding up the blacktop towards the Winchesters. 

“We assume you’ve come for Castiel,” the female said once they’d drawn closer. “We regret to inform you that we’re not quite done with him yet.”

Sam and Dean had both taken out their angel blades and now they exchanged a swift look. These words had Dean’s jaw grinding painfully, and he was almost shaking with rage as he glared at the angels. 

He lunged forward, as did both angels of course, but two run of the mill feathered dicks weren’t much of a challenge for two righteous Winchesters anymore, and though they both had Dean on the ground in a second, Sam ran the male through with his blade before the angel could do the same to Dean, which left Dean able to twist around in a trick move and get his blade at the woman’s throat. She didn’t even look put out at the death of her comrade, just cold and condescending. Typical. 

The brothers shared another glance, words not necessary between them much of the time, and Sam gave a small nod to say yes, he was fine, and yes, he was ready for the next step.  

“Now,” Dean growled, pressing the edge of the blade into her vessel’s skin, “Take us to him.” 

She raised her palm slowly, facing out towards the tree line at the side of the road, and the scenery of the sky and trees peeled back like a decorative curtain. A doorway opened up into almost blinding whiteness beyond. Sam stepped through first and Dean marched the angel forward.

He had to allow her some freedom to walk ahead of them, but her own angel blade poking into her back kept her from trying anything as she led them through seemingly endless hallways of blank white. 

Dean shouldn’t be surprised that Heaven was so boring, that Cas had been willing to give this up, to not want to come back here. Damn it, Cas had never wanted to come here again and these assholes had forced him to. His captive didn’t even seem perturbed in the slightest at this twist of events, it’s like she was still just doing a job. 

“Naomi knew it would not be much longer before you were here,” she said almost conversationally as the three of them turned another corner of the endless maze. Dean thought about finishing their guide off at this. 

Naomi. Dean had heard that name before, from Cas’s lips as he’d finally talked about the horrible things she’d done to him, and though Dean had never met her, she had grown to occupy a special place of hatred in his heart. It didn’t matter that she later claimed she was just trying to do her best by the few angels that were left, and that Cas grew to understand some of her motives. If that’s who was at the bottom of this, Dean swore she would pay. 

When they finally got to the chamber where she was, though, it was not her that Dean was focused on at first. He was only dimly aware of his brother’s large hand settling on and gripping his shoulder as if to keep him from falling to his knees at the sight that met his eyes. 

He was there. His Cas was there. Strapped by all four of his limbs and his head to a slab of that same goddamn white, the black straps a sharp contrast. He wasn’t moving and clearly wasn’t conscious, but he didn't seem to have any external injuries. His normally warm tanned skin was now only a couple shades darker than the milk white table that he was laid on, and he’d gotten so thin that Dean could see the outline of his ribs. 

The angel was mostly naked, save for the boxers that Dean had seen him get dressed in last; it was a pair that he wore because he knew they made Dean smile, a pair that Dean had gotten for him as a joke a few Valentine’s Days ago, printed with conversation hearts with sassy little sayings like ‘Blow Me’ and ‘Main Squeeze’ on them. Seeing them now on his unresponsive husband’s body sent a stabbing pain down Dean’s spine and into his stomach. 

After this quick study of his husband, Dean was able to bring his eyes to flick around the rest of the room, and he didn’t have to ask which one was Naomi, standing at the foot of the slab with the bitchiest and most condescending of bitch faces that ever bitch faced. Loathing washed through Dean at the sight of her and that smug expression and Dean started forward, hearing Sam start the transport spell behind him. 

It was all well and good that they’d found Cas, or at least what was left of him, though Dean tried not to let his mind go down those roads. But they needed a way to physically bring him back with them when they were currently only spirits themselves. Luckily Sam had been learning a lot from Rowena lately. 

“You. Bitch,” Dean ground out, stepping towards Naomi, throwing his captive to the side roughly. His face was stone, and all he could think about was seeing this angel dead on the floor, as bloody as Dean could get her on the way there. She had the utter nerve to give him a little smile.

“You needn’t have come bursting in like this.” Her voice was calm and curt, and could have been almost soft if it weren’t for the evil it held. “We would have returned him to you.”  

“What have you done to him?” Dean was on a mission, angel blade glued to his raising hand. He sensed Sam behind him, still enunciating the Latin words, and unbuckling the straps holding Cas down. Dean should be doing that, he knew, but it would be worth it if he could get rid of this abomination for once and for all. 

“He’s been very useful,” Naomi said calmly, holding herself straight even as Dean advanced on her. “We’ve learned a lot from him. And don’t worry, he’s still very much alive.” Who was she, to tell him not to worry? Dean nearly snarled a wordless reply. She was going to look good dead.

“Dean?” Sam’s voice was urgent, cutting through his rage like very few sounds could do, and though he didn’t dare take his eyes from Naomi, Dean tuned his ears to his brother. 

“We need to get back,” Sam rushed out on a breath, not daring to halt the spell he’d started for long. “They’re starting to revive us.” 

Dean could feel it, now that he was paying attention, a certain indescribable pull on his soul. He finally wrenched his focus away from Naomi. If Cas was truly alive, then he came first, Dean could always avenge his husband with her death later. 

A part of his brain wondered why Naomi was not attacking, was not trying to keep them there, even as Dean spun to wrap his arms around his Cas, his angel, and yes he was warm, and breathing, and at least seemed physically still intact. Dean clutched him to his chest, angel blade dropped and forgotten at feeling him again. Sam uttered some last words as Dean let out a sob into his husband’s neck and felt the final yank of being pulled back down into his body.

His heart slammed into his ribs, overstimulated by the shot of epinephrine that Claire had plunged into it, and he gasped a life-giving breath. Next to him on the floor, Sam was doing the same, Jack hovering over him. 

And Cas...Cas was clutched to Dean’s side, the human’s arms locked around him in a vise grip, his warm weight comforting. He was alive. He was alive. His eyelids twitched twice and then opened slowly to see his husband, his savior, half underneath him.

“Dean,” that deep voice rasped out, always the sweetest sound to Dean’s ears. The hunter’s face was wet with tears, well beyond caring about appearances and all he could do was continue to cling onto Cas as the angel was able to wrap his arms around him in turn, not with his usual strength, but enough so that Dean knew he was there, and he was okay. They’d done it. Dean could lay here on this motel floor forever in relief. 

But he had to take care of his angel, and so once his heartbeat had settled into a more normal rhythm, helped by stroking down the bare skin of Cas’s back, he shifted enough to be able to look his beloved in the eyes, his hand cradling Cas’s jaw. He’d rarely seen him this tired and drained before and he hated it. He needed to get Cas home and recovered. Cas brought his lips to Dean’s softly, and Dean smiled a little into the chaste kiss. 

“Let’s get you cleaned up, okay?” he whispered tenderly to Cas, who nodded against his temple. Dean cupped one of Cas’s hipbones, always loving how it fit just right against his palm. 

After all this time, they knew each other’s bodies with an intimacy they didn’t have to think about. Cas was far from being strong enough to do much of anything on his own. So Dean helped him stand, holding him up, his fingers ghosting over the new dips under his ribs where Cas had lost weight. 

Dean wanted to know what had happened, of course, but it was much too soon for either of them to talk about it. For now it was enough that Cas was alive, and seemed functional, in his own mind, and was back here with Dean. They would figure the rest out later. 

Dean helped Cas sit down on the closed toilet while he took his own clothes off and got the shower started. Once it was the temperature he knew Cas liked, several degrees cooler than Dean himself preferred, he came back to his angel and pressed kisses to his forehead as he helped him stand again. He slipped the boxers down past his angel’s buttocks, perfect hips, and soft cock, and down to the floor, encouraging him to step forward, his steadying hands on his shoulders and biceps. Castiel was still the single most beautiful person that Dean had ever seen or wanted to see, his body a temple that Dean was only too happy to worship at, whether sexually or just tenderly. 

He abhorred any separation from his love, even when planned, and this...this having come too close to losing him again, had Dean’s heart bursting with love. Once he had Cas in the shower, and the angel was only too grateful to lean against him, their naked flesh melding together underneath the spray of the water, the tears came once more. 

“Damn it, I thought I lost you again,” Dean nearly whimpered. It was unbelievably good to hold him once more, even in this weakened state. He could tell Cas had lost some muscle mass, but he was able to stand and his grip on Dean was still pretty solid. 

“Are you hurt?” he asked his husband. “Is there pain anywhere?” Cas’s head shook gently, dripping water from his hair into Dean’s eyes. 

“I don’t think so,” he told him. “I’m just so tired.” His words mingled with the spattering of the water, and Dean set about lathering up his hair and getting Heaven washed off of him so they could go the fuck home. 

Cas sighed in gratitude as Dean’s hands worked through his hair and over every inch of skin, proving to them both that there were no signs of external injuries. Cas’s grip tightened on Dean’s biceps as the human stood back up from washing his lover’s legs and feet, having worked his way down. 

“Dean,” came the soft groan in his ear, with a neediness that he knew all too well. Cas was outright clinging to him, hands trying to pull him impossibly closer as the water started to cool, and sure enough there was the pressure of Cas’s half hard cock tickling at Dean’s hip. 

“Cas, Baby, shh,” Dean soothed, his hand slipping around to cup the back of his husband’s head and cradle him as if he was the most precious being, because he was. The angel used what strength he had left to rut against Dean, his body obviously yearning.

“Please,” he nearly sobbed into Dean’s neck, and began mouthing at the skin there. Heat coiled in Dean’s belly, he was far from impervious to begging like that from his lover. Cas was clutching at him, and Dean knew he was desperate for the comfort that sex would give, that he badly wanted to disappear into physical pleasures with his husband after who knew what he’d been through. 

Dean, growing hard himself at the moans coming from his angel, would be lying if he said he didn’t want to reunite with his lover in that way. But. Not now. Not yet. With a Herculean effort, Dean drew his hips back from Cas’s, and still steadying him with one arm, reached behind him to shut the water off.

“Cas, my love,” he intoned into his angel’s ear, “Not tonight, okay? You need rest. I love you so much. So, so much. Let’s go home.” Cas seemed to gather himself and nodded into Dean’s shoulder and allowed himself to be dried off. 

He was able to dress himself, in the random pieces of clothing Sam and Dean pieced together for him, not exactly having expected to find him naked or having planned on staying in this motel room. They’d simply needed it for the rescue since it was close to Heaven’s gate at the playground. 

So Cas ended up wearing an old pair of sweatpants and a hoodie of Sam’s that swam on him that they found in the Impala. Dean had Sam drive home to the bunker so that he could sit in the back with his angel in his arms and practically in his lap, oblivious to Jack and Claire trying not to watch them. He never wanted to take his hands off of him again.    

Chapter Text

Cas slept for the better part of two days, which, for a celestial being that usually barely needed rest, was an unheard of amount. Was he still a celestial being, the question flitted through Dean’s mind more than once, worry still keeping him from great sleep but at least now that Cas was home and safe he was able to get some. The rest of the time he just laid there, watching his husband slumber while Grace purred nonstop on his chest, and the questions chased themselves in circles. 

What did they do to him up there? Did he still have his grace, was he even an angel anymore? What had that bitch meant by they’d learned a lot from him? What were the angels up to? Why had they more or less allowed them to just take Cas without a fight? And what the hell had they done to him? 

Dean was there with water and simple sandwiches when Cas would wake for bits at a time, and after a couple of days, he could tell his lover’s strength was coming back by the way he was able to hold him tighter when he’d roll over and be folded into a sleepy Cas’s arms. 

He rather wished they could take him to a hospital to get checked out, but in the case that he was still an angel, that would raise too many questions. Not for the first time, Dean wished there were some sort of celestial medical professionals. Maybe Sam’s nurse girlfriend, Emily, could take a look at him. 

On the third day of being home, Cas was able to sit up and beam a smile at Dean that could still make the hunter’s heart melt.    

“Hey beautiful,” Dean smiled back at him when he returned to their room, after having lunch with everyone, mostly to appease Mom. She’d ordered his favorite chicken bacon pizza and he couldn’t have said no if he tried. He set down the plate with the slice that he’d brought for Cas, just in case he should want it, and climbed back in bed, reaching for his angel. 

“Feeling better?” He began peppering kisses along Cas’s jaw, even though his stubble was starting to grow into the beginnings of a beard after so long away from a razor. 

“I think so,” Cas said, sighing into the affection. “You take such good care of me, my love.” Dean draped an arm over Cas’s chest, covered in a loose black tee, and was pleased when Cas brought his hand up to caress his elbow and bicep; this was the most energy he’d had yet. 

“Mm, it’s kinda my job,” Dean returned, leaning over to lift Cas’s left hand and place a kiss on his ring. Cas gave a gentle chuckle. 

“I suppose you can say we’re even now,” he mumbled, turning his head to graze Dean’s hair with his lips. His warm breath seeping through to Dean’s scalp made the hunter grateful in nameless ways. Dean pulled his face back enough to look at Cas at this last, his expression quizzical.

“I raised you from Perdition, you dragged me back down from Heaven,” Cas clarified, a tender smile hanging on his lips. Dean’s heart thudded as he returned the look.

“That’s what we do, we save each other, right?” And then he couldn’t hold back any more, and he crashed his lips, as gently as he could, into Cas’s, who gave a muffled, “Mm-hmm,” as he fervently returned the kiss. Cas opened to Dean almost immediately, eager and willing, tongue licking at Dean’s like he couldn’t get enough of his taste. Damn, it was good to have his husband back. Cas’s fingers were in his hair, and Dean’s fingers were digging into Cas’s ribs, and Dean made himself break the kiss, not wanting to push his angel too far too fast. 

But Cas moaned at the loss of contact, so Dean trailed his lips down his neck in consolation, and only now realized he’d gotten carried away enough to have come to be straddling Cas’s lap. He started to scramble off, desperate not to hurt his love, but Cas held him in place. He didn’t have all his strength back yet, but enough to get his point across. Dean went still in his arms and met his eyes, those gorgeous sterling pools that he could never get enough of. 

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Dean told him sincerely, his hands now gently gripping his sides. 

“You won’t,” Cas comforted him. “I’m okay. I really don’t feel poorly, I promise.” Dean took a few breaths, he knew Cas wouldn’t lie to him, but there was still much that he didn’t know. 

“What were they doing to you?” he had to ask, his voice close to cracking. A cloud passed through the blue skies of Cas’s eyes, but they had to talk about it at some point.

“I don’t really know,” he told Dean. “Naomi said something about experiments and vessels and how remarkable it was that I’ve been able to keep my vessel for so long.” His brow furrowed and his gaze turned down to the bed sheets for a moment. “There’s a lot I don’t remember and I don’t really want to. I’m just glad she didn’t tamper with my mind this time, at least, as far as I can tell.” 

“You swear you feel alright?” Dean begged his husband, his hands smoothing against the cotton rippling over his ribs. There had been no indication otherwise, but he was still wary. Cas sighed through his nose, only a touch of irritation in it. 

“I swear, Dean,” he said sternly. “And…” in a softer tone, “I really don’t want to talk about it anymore.” His hands roamed over Dean’s back, one dipping down to cup an ass cheek and the other wrapping around to his opposite shoulder. Dean took the hint and buried his face in his angel’s chest, wrapping his arms around this solid, amazing body for all he was worth. Just, not quite squeezing as tightly as what he normally would have done. No sense in not being a little bit careful. 

“Baby,” came floating into Dean’s ear then, and he responded with a love drunk, “Hmm?” 

“Make love to me, please,” Cas whispered. Dean finished melting even as the slow pull of arousal began swirling. Cas was not one for dirty talk, like Dean enjoyed doing sometimes, rather he had the gift of simply telling his lover what he wanted in that husky voice of his and Dean was almost never able to deny him. 

“I want you, I need you inside of me,” Cas intoned and broke the last of Dean’s reservations. He drew in a ragged breath and slipped his fingers under the hem of Cas’s tee, almost trembling with emotion. His angel’s skin was his paradise, the adoring gaze he was met with when he got him shirtless his salvation. 

Dean set upon worshiping his angel, lips tracing slow sensuous paths down the side of his neck, over his broad chest with the sprinkling of dark hair, around the pink nubs of nipples that hardened at the attention. Cas kept running his fingers through Dean’s hair during all of this, and it was tender and arousing at once. 

It was still Dean’s goal in life to give Castiel the world, and he knew that too often he fell far short, though when on the one or two occasions he had voiced this desire to Cas, the angel had told him that he could have had the world if he’d wanted it, and what he wanted was Dean and all that he was. 

Cas was so thoroughly content with Dean, and Dean still had a hard time believing that sometimes. So whenever he could, like now, he went that extra mile to make sure Cas knew he was appreciated, adored, loved, and cherished. 

Dean relished the variety of breaths and sweet soft sounds he could draw from his lover as he mapped his way down his body, pausing to suck at one of those delicious hip bones, not satisfied until he’d raised a purple bruise and a real moan from Cas’s throat. He smirked and moved his mouth to Cas’s navel, flicking the tip of his tongue at the upper edge, feeling goofy and so full of love he could burst. 

Hooking his fingers into the waistband of the plain gray sweatpants Cas wore, he started sliding them down, not raising his lips from his lover’s belly, the happy trail tickling his nose. Cas lifted his hips to allow the pants to come off when Dean tugged, and Dean had to get off of his legs long enough to finish removing them but he settled over them again immediately, only pausing to shuck his own shirt off before he bent back over his lover’s groin. He was rewarded with fingers tracing along his shoulders, leaving goose bumps in their wake. 

As Dean hovered his face above Cas’s sturdy, beautiful erection, inhaling that warm scent of it that was all turned on Cas, he could feel his own cock harden even more in his sleep pants. He had no trouble ignoring it, at least for now. 

This was all about Cas and using every touch and lick and kiss to erase what had happened to him upstairs. Wetting his lips well, Dean took hold of the angel’s swollen cock and deliberately brought his gaze upwards as he stretched his lips around the head and sank down. Cas’s eyes met his and Dean loved the way the blue seemed to shimmer into pools of lust. 

He moved slowly, sucking and licking at a pace that was just the other side of teasing. When Cas’s breath sped up, only then did Dean draw back, running the leaking slit over his swollen lips a few times and letting Cas’s heavy cock bob free. He moved back up his lover’s torso, easing a hand in between his legs as he did so. Cas was quick to spread his legs for him. 

“That’s it Baby,” Dean encouraged, his fingers stroking Cas’s full balls, “You gonna open up for me real good?” Cas nodded eagerly, still staring at Dean like he was the center of his world. Dean’s hands took hold of Cas’s hips and moved him down the bed so his head was on the pillow and he was laying on his back, then he reached over him for the lube in the nightstand drawer. 

Once he’d slicked up his fingers and could go by feel, he stole a deep kiss while he reached between Cas’s legs. His angel whimpered at the first wet press of his finger against his hole but it deepened to a needy keen the next second. 

Dean circled his finger a few times, until Cas was pressing down, silently asking to be breached. 

“Oh you’re so tight,” Dean moaned, sliding his finger into the ring of muscle, very slowly, until it was as far as he could go. It had been awhile since Cas had bottomed actually, but if that’s what he needed today then Dean would give it to him. Dean felt his own hole clench in need as he worked that finger back and forth, causing a deliciously dirty smile to grow on his angel’s face. He silently told it to settle down, not today, as much as he’d become quite addicted to opening his body for Cas. 

“More,” Cas murmured against Dean’s lips that hadn’t quite left his. So Dean worked another finger in, starting to twist and crook and stretch in earnest. He didn’t even take his pants off until Cas panted out, “Please,” his voice drowning in lust. Dean coated his now throbbing cock with lube, and carefully positioned himself at Cas’s entrance before leaning in for another kiss. As their mouths pressed together, he pressed in as slowly as he could go, and Cas was back to grabbing onto his biceps in a desperate hold. It was Cas that broke the kiss so that words could spill from his tongue, Dean sinking deeper and deeper into him.

“Oh Dean, Dean, yes. I love you. Love you. Dean.”  

“I love you too, my angel,” Dean soothed, pausing to run his fingers down the side of Cas’s face, a tender gesture that left them both with a glowing smile. Cas’s hole squeezed around Dean’s cock, ensuring he was all the way inside and stars almost popped behind Dean’s eyes. They stayed just like this for several long moments, both rapturously thankful to be in each other’s arms and together once more. 

Then Cas moved his strong hand down to Dean’s ass and used his grip to rock his hips back and forth, and Dean got the hint. He had to work to draw back, almost all the way out, and then slide forward, each movement as slow and gentle as he could make it. He knew there were times that Cas loved hard and fast and rough and wanted to erupt while screaming Dean’s name, but this was not one of those times, nor would Dean have been okay with giving him that right now. No, what they both needed today was the sweetest love making, healing through touch and carnal pleasure. 

Dean rolled his hips languidly, reveling in the feel of every centimeter of Cas’s walls along his swollen cock, more times than not pulling almost all the way out so the slide back home would feel that much more intense. Meanwhile, he was lazily jerking that huge cock and watching the ecstasy dance across Cas’s face. 

This, combined with the moans and continued declarations of love coming from his partner was more than enough of a reward. He wished he could do this for hours, and with another application of lube perhaps he could, he began thinking, when Cas tightened around him, his head tilted back, making Dean want to claim his throat in a bite, and one long moan fell from his lips. 

Come was flooding Cas’s belly and chest, warm where it splattered on Dean’s hand, and this sight was all Dean needed to finally allow himself to tip over the edge. His balls gratefully released deep inside of his lover as Dean rode out his orgasm, still moving slowly, gently, until he lowered himself onto Cas’s body, not able to care about the jizz sliding between them. 

“Fuck, Cas, I love you,” he said yet again through his panting. He felt a kiss pressed to the top of his head and his husband’s arms surrounded him, and he swore he was not moving until he absolutely had to. His cock was beginning to soften but it was still inside his angel and since that was its favorite spot, he wasn’t in a hurry to change that. 

“My Dean,” Cas breathed simply, and they both drifted off towards a well sated sleep. 



Oh but they were sticky when they woke up, and Dean wished he’d at least had the energy to lick the come off his husband before they’d dozed off. After making sure Cas didn’t want it, Dean rolled over and scarfed down the cold slice of pizza that had been left on the nightstand. He knew he needed to get up and shower, they both did, but it was so peaceful in here, so good to have each other back, they didn’t want to leave their warm safe cocoon. 

Plus it was really dirty and hot that the room stunk of sex and Dean could see that Cas’s hole was still wet and leaking a little. They couldn’t have been asleep that long. Cas must have caught him looking, because he reached down and ran his index finger through the mess that was his hole and Dean’s eyes widened a little. That was way too hot and he felt his dick stirring in interest, as was Cas’s. 

A smirk grew on the angel’s face, and he began alternating between petting his wet entrance and ghosting his hand over his slowly hardening cock, all the while staring into Dean’s eyes with a look that hung in the middle of pure love and a challenge. After a few moments of this, without looking down, he crawled his free hand towards Dean’s cock, which was only too happy to respond in kind. It was still amazing what this angel could do to him. 

Dean lunged for a kiss, and this conveniently brought their erections flush with each other, sliding and rubbing obscenely and making Dean nearly lose his breath. They took turns jerking their cocks together until precome started seeping out of both. Dean brought his thumb to his mouth to lick it off, and though he wasn’t sure whose it was, he didn’t care at that point. 

“How do you want it this time, my naughty little angel?” Dean murmured, just before his lower lip was sucked into Cas’s mouth. When his lover was done with that, he answered almost shyly.

“Get back inside of me?” he asked. “I love when you claim me,” he added in a near whisper. As if Dean could say no to that. 

“You’re sure?” he did check. “You’re not too sore?” He brought his finger to the slick rim and worked it around the perimeter, slipping just a little bit inside, testing. 

“You were so gentle with me,” Cas said in between more kisses, “I want more.”

“Okay, Baby,” Dean agreed, and that was how he found himself lubing his cock and sliding slowly home into his lover for the second round of the day. Or was it night by now? He got a little more adventurous this time, angling the right way so as to hit Cas’s prostate, bringing that glow to his eyes that he loved so much. He tried to keep his pace as slow as earlier, but Cas worked to make that difficult, using his legs to pull Dean in every few thrusts. 

“Can you do me one favor?” Dean asked him before they got any further. 

“Anything,” Cas agreed on an outbreath. 

“Don’t come until I say so, until after I do,” he requested. “I want every drop of you down my throat this time.” Cas gave him one of the many grins that was just for him and said that he could do that. So Dean continued to pump slowly in and out of his angel, his knees and hips protesting before he felt his balls tighten; he wasn’t as young as he used to be anymore. 

The knowledge that this was the second time in a row he was filling his lover with his come and Cas was taking it so eagerly helped Dean get there and he released another load, shaking his way through his orgasm. 

Cas held him through it like he always did but then he said his name in that tight tone that only meant one thing. Dean mustered the last vestiges of his strength to move off of Cas, out from between his spread legs, to kneel over him from the side and take his cock as far down his throat as he could in one gulp. He wrapped his fingers around the wide base and his tongue exploded with the flavor of his lover’s precome. 

A hand carded into Dean’s hair and then tightened. His name came again, in a groan this time, and then he was suckling down Cas’s second load of the night. He moaned in pleasure, knowing this would add to his partner’s climax, and proceeded to make sure he got every drop. It still wasn’t better than pie, but it was better than his favorite beer, and that was saying something.   

Chapter Text

Everyone was happy to see Cas up and about, once Dean managed to let him out of his sight enough to leave their room. Mom even made Winchester Surprise to celebrate, and Cas even ate some, though it was with the air of being polite more than hungry. He did truly seem to be alright, and once he’d endured the rounds of questioning from the rest of the family, there was a collective sigh of relief around the bunker.

It was only worry-wart Sam, predictably, that held some reservations. 

“Dude, you - you sure you’re okay?” he asked Cas later that week, sincere concern oozing from every pore. Cas looked up at his brother-in-law over the edges of their respective laptop screens. 

“Sam.” 

Dean watched the two of them in his peripheral vision, loving Sam for checking in but knowing what Cas’s answer would be.
“I’m fine. In fact I feel great. I don’t know what the objective was up there with me, but clearly it was accomplished with no lingering harm done. I have as much grace as I did when I was taken, my wings are intact, everything seems to be functioning normally.” In the face of this logic, Sam had no real argument but his expression tightened all the same. 

“It’s that part that we don’t know about that bothers me,” he told Cas. “Maybe we should think more on that?” he suggested.

“No,” Cas replied, his voice firm. “I’m just glad it’s over. Let’s move on.” And with this kind of command in his deep voice, even Sam wouldn’t argue any further. He gave a slow nod and seemed to accept Cas’s wishes. 

And hence life resumed as pretty much normal; Mary took off to meet up with Bobby for a hunt, telling all three of her sons that she was really thankful this had freaking worked. Claire had already gone back to Jody’s, and in order to keep his mind off of missing her, Jack threw himself into extra practicing of controlling his powers. 

Kid had come a long damn way, but he’d confided in Cas, and only Cas, shortly before the father that he was undoubtedly closest with had been angel-napped, that there had been a messy incident with some teens from town. He was determined to master his tendency to be reckless with his powers, so Sam, ever the most patient of them, was working with him, using such things that Dean called mumbo-jumbo like yoga, meditation, and eating less meat. Dean knew enough to stay out of Sam’s way and trusted him to do whatever was needed to help their son. 

And he was their son, no mistake about that. It was a weird three way parentage with no maternal help until Mary had come along and little enough of that since she would never be the overly nurturing type. But it worked for them, each of the Winchesters fulfilling a different role in Jack’s life and development. Dean was glad for his part of being the one who had taught him to drive and did a lot of the traditional dad things with him. Some things he remembered doing with his own father, and more things that he hadn’t but which made him all the happier to give Jack the experience of to make up for what he didn’t have. 

As unconventional as the kid’s upbringing had been and still was, the guys were trying to give him a more solid foundation than what they’d known. Cas had always loved him, since before he was born, and Sam and Dean had grown to. Now woe betide anyone who threatened or even spoke against that nephilim. 

Dean was glad that Jack and Claire had found a connection, as rather unexpected as it had been. And as awkward as that tell-me-about-girls-and-sex conversation had been. Dean could still remember how hard Sam had tried not to laugh as Dean had fumbled through an analogy of a gas nozzle and filling up a car. Sam had taken over to smooth out the finer points. Then they found out Jack was asking because he liked Claire, and no amount of rock-paper-scissors rounds made it easier to decide who would break that news to Cas.

But it turned out they didn’t have to. Claire had meanwhile gone to Cas and asked him about Jack, if it would upset him if they got closer, considering the rather unusual circumstances. It was one of the more sensitive acts the girl had ever performed, which showed she had matured from the lost, reactive teenager she’d been. 

Now she seemed to center Jack, and he’d been able to draw Claire out of the dark place she had started occupying after the loss of Kaia…perhaps it was only Jack with his ever-sunshiny but still level disposition that could have done so. 

For such young people, they had both been through more than their share of heartbreak. They deserved the simple joy they’d found in each other, and now they were both growing up, coming into their own.      

This was good, Dean knew, though it made him feel a bit outdated. One day, he and Sam and perhaps even Cas wouldn’t be around to protect ‘the kids’, and now at least they had each other. He wasn’t sure which would be more eager to kill for the other, but his money was on Claire. 

Dean chuckled to himself as he finished off a beer, reminiscing back on his wedding day. Claire had worn a gorgeous sapphire blue gown, her hair done up with these sparkly clips in it, and her eyes all made up. It was the most feminine Dean had ever seen her. 

But down the back of her gown had been an angel blade, strategically hidden by her cascade of blonde hair, and she had scanned the guests almost constantly for any signs of interlopers. She’d nearly stabbed Crowley, who had materialized in the back of the crowd towards the end of the ceremony. 

Theirs had been far from a traditional wedding, and Dean looked back on it with an affectionate smile. From the table loaded with a variety of pies instead of a cake to Cas’s vows in Enochian, which Chuck had rolled his eyes at and Dean barely restrained his fist from meeting God’s jaw, it had certainly been unforgettable. 

It was still weird, sometimes, to think of himself as married to Castiel. The angel had ended up being right, of course, the bond that they shared went far deeper than any human devised sentiment. But the pride Dean felt swelling in his chest when he thought the words “my husband” in relation to Cas still hadn’t tapered off. 



“Dude, leave some for me,” Dean told Cas jokingly as his husband grabbed another mini donut from the box Dean had picked up at the last gas station. In return, Cas smacked a powdered sugar smooch to Dean’s cheek while the hunter tried to focus on driving. Sam shook his head at both of them, not lifting his eyes from his phone as he scrolled for more information on the lead they were following.

“Another whole family dead last night,” Sam announced bleakly. “Well, except for the daughter,” he corrected as he scrolled further. The sign welcoming them to the small town in the southwest corner of Tennessee flashed by. 

Later in the day, it was Cas that suggested they get a real meal after they left the hospital. Dean’s stomach growled in agreement, but he had to wonder as he turned the Impala towards the Biggerson’s he’d seen on the way into town. It was odd for Cas to be the one to request food - he would sometimes partake of a meal if something the others were having sounded good, but he almost never seeked it out. Cas’s hand reached over to Dean’s knee and rested there lightly, comfortingly, and Dean thought he got the idea: Cas was doing this for him, for them. 

The mood in the car was somber after questioning the victim, the only survivor in what very much sounded like a wraith attack against her family. The guys were used to sad cases, of course, but a sixteen year old girl having had to watch her parents, baby brother, and grandparents to boot tortured and killed by a monster, and then still have the strength to tell Sam, Dean, and Cas everything she’d seen - that kind of thing never quit hurting. 

Food would be the best brand of distraction, especially because they’d only had mini mart snack crap since leaving the bunker. Sometimes there were things that only a good bacon cheeseburger could fix. 

“And what can I get you, Sugar?” the waitress asked Cas, shooting him that look. Once upon a time, before Cas had made his “I want you to teach me about sex” move, and things had quickly evolved from there, Dean had seen green when Cas received glances like that, even though Cas never knew how to respond to them. Now he merely slid his pinkie finger over to where Cas’s rested on the table and hooked them together. Didn’t want the poor lady getting her hopes up. 

“I’ll have the grilled chicken sandwich with the waffle fries,” Cas told the waitress, blissfully unaware that she’d even been trying to flirt with him, or just uncaring. Dean really loved the crap out of his angel. 

Okay, maybe it hadn’t wholly been for Sam and Dean that Cas had wanted to stop. He was enjoying his own plate of food perhaps a bit too much, if the pleased groans he was emitting were any indication. Dean wasn’t about to be jealous of a sandwich, but it usually had to be parts of Dean in the angel’s mouth for Cas to make those sounds.   

“Would you like a moment alone with that?” Sam teased over his veggie omelet.  

“Have these always been so good?” Cas asked as he shoved two more waffle fries in his mouth at once. 

“Yes,” Dean answered promptly. “Welcome to the real world, Babe,” he chuckled, then sobered, his mind working. It was always great to see his man let loose and enjoy things, but this was a little odd. 

“You feeling okay, though?” he had to ask him. “Like, your grace is still topped off and everything?” Cas nodded and gave him a reassuring smile. 

“Yes, my love,” he replied, meeting Dean’s eyes. The hunter would never tire of that shade of soothing blue that they were now. 

“I know, it is rather strange that food seems to no longer taste like molecules,” Cas acknowledged. “But as far as I can tell, nothing else feels different.”

Then he looked over at Sam, his expression suddenly hopeful. “Do we have peanut butter and jelly at home?” he asked his brother-in-law. Sam gave him an affectionate grin in return, while Dean sat there feeling a little left out. 

“Yeah, man, I’m pretty sure. We’ll just pick up some fresh bread on the way back.”

Before they could think about heading home, however, there were no fewer than five wraiths to kill, as it turned out, all freshly fed and ridiculously strong. It wasn’t like the cursed creatures to live in packs, but here was what seemed like a family unit of them residing comfortably in an old house on the far edge of town. 

The hunters had lost the element of surprise by the time they found the place, since as it turned out, both the surviving victim’s English teacher and the man the poor family had rented their house from were wraiths. They had deeply entrenched themselves in the community and appeared to not think they should have to move on. So the monsters were waiting for them and there was no real choice but to go in with silver knives shining.  

If Castiel hadn’t been with the guys, they would have been screwed. 

It should have been easy, wraiths were relatively easy to kill but the numbers were on the monsters’ side, and they got a hold of Dean almost as soon as the Winchesters entered the house. As a result, Dean didn’t remember a lot of the fight later, his brain flooded with horrible images of his Cas and Sam turning on him, even his mother coming to join the battle but then bringing a blade to her older son’s throat. 

He heard the wraiths refer to him as dessert while one of them held him captive in the basement, and even through all the false dopamine Dean could feel the sharp spike thrust into the back of his skull. It was okay, though, because that meant the fight would soon be over, clearly they had lost anyway and it was easier to just let the wraiths have their way. 

An enraged roar, a piercing crack of wraith spike, and all the feel good chemicals left Dean’s body in a hell of a rush. Now he could smell blood, and barely see anything, and the pain made him cry out. He wished for the spike to completely enter his brain and finish him off but instead it was being gently pulled the opposite way and why and oh god just end it. But then a familiar warmth crept through him, and he opened his eyes to be met with the glowing grace pouring out of an angel’s silver blue gaze. 

“Cas!” Sam’s voice splintered suddenly from across the darkened room. Even while the angel held his human close, having healed him for the hundredth time, he reached out the arm that wasn’t around Dean. The wraith that Sam was shoving towards Cas had the misfortune of having his head seemingly burned from the inside out as he was smited at a touch. Dean smiled blearily at his husband, perfectly safe on the other side of him. 

“That’s my badass babe,” he said with pride, grabbing a handful of angelic ass cheek. Hey, he’d almost just died, he deserved this, even if Sammy was still in the room. Cas turned to him, his gaze not as fierce as it had been moments ago but still holding that hidden fire that only Dean could bring about. The hunter swore he could feel Cas’s wave of arousal being sent into his cells along with his grace as he finished healing him. It was a result of being so intimate together for so long, Dean knew it turned Cas on to take care of him. 

“That was the last one,” Sam broke into the moment with. Dean almost had to shake his head to bring himself back to the dank basement and away from the heavy desire in Cas’s eyes. They needed to get to their cabin, soon. 

Chapter Text

“Do you want this now or a little later?” Cas asked, the black strip of cloth held in the air, his voice pitched low. Dean considered, grateful as ever for the question. Usually he said later, he could never get enough of seeing his lover bare and appreciating all the signs along the road that led to Cas not able to hold back anymore. But tonight...maybe the fallout from the hunt was getting to him…but tonight Dean wanted to hide, to not have to process more than necessary, to just let Cas take control and be free to do whatever he wanted to Dean. 

“Now,” he decided. Cas stepped close to him, then around him so that he was lightly pressed to his back. The nearness was both comforting and exciting. Cas laid one open mouth kiss to the side of Dean’s throat as his arms came up around the hunter’s head. As Dean’s vision began to be blocked by the fabric, a murmur of devotion stole into his ear.

“I love you,” and the knots were being gently but tightly tied at the back of his head. Dean was a sucker for this moment. Cas always said he loved him as he tied the blindfold on, and he was always gentle. It didn’t matter if this was happening this early or much later in the festivities and one of them was already inside of the other and almost desperate to come, Cas always made sure this part felt important and special. Now, though, Dean still had all his clothes on and they hadn’t even begun. 

The lack of sight disoriented Dean for only a second because his angel’s touch was on him immediately, hands smoothing over his shoulders, teeth catching an earlobe, breath hot on his cheek. 

“The way you give yourself to me is so beautiful, Dean,” that deep voice rumbled, and Dean felt the warmth of a blush under his collar. He considered he and his husband to be equals in their marriage and their sexual relationship, and he knew Cas did too. Though they sometimes teased each other and joked about who was the top or bottom that week, it didn’t matter in the slightest; it was whatever worked for both of them on any given night. Or day. 

Dean loved that, he appreciated that they were open enough with each other to not be shy about who needed what and when. But in the corner of his hidden heart, nothing quite got him going like Cas having the reins and taking him apart piece by piece, only to put him back together with every deep thrust into him.   

He’d expected Cas to lead him to the bed, but instead he felt the angel’s warm fingertips tickle under the hem of his shirt while they stood there in the center of the room. Goosebumps rose on Dean’s skin as those fingertips traced up his ribs, slowly peeling the shirt up with them. Cas’s thumbs brushed his nipples, just once, and Dean let out a gasp. 

He’d never know how Cas’s touch could still electrify his body like that, after years, after hundreds, thousands of touches. The rush of air hit his skin as the shirt was completely removed from his torso and the goosebumps spread. Cas’s breath returned to his cheek, his neck, his shoulder now, leaving a warm trail and counteracting the chill. When Cas stepped in close to his back again, Dean could tell he’d removed his coat but the scratch of shirt buttons on his skin sent a pleasant thrill through him. 

“So gorgeous,” Cas reassured, then without warning, reached around and down to cup Dean’s groin in his sizable palm. Dean wasn’t even that hard yet but in the angel’s slightly pressing grip through the denim, that was changing. 

“Oh Cas,” Dean half moaned, his head lolling to one side. He could easily picture the pleased smile on his angel’s face as Cas simply held his junk, warming it in his still hand, not moving at all otherwise. Until Dean felt a reverent single finger at the base of his neck, which then traced down his spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, just lightly scratching. 

He knew Cas’s face would be filled with fascination; he always enjoyed Dean’s skin and body reacting to him and now the hunter couldn’t help arching into the teasing tracing as his cock hardened, the mix of sensual and sexual making his breath catch. 

“You are perfect,” came Cas’s deep voice, and the hand left Dean’s crotch, to slide over to a hip as the angel’s other hand reached the small of Dean’s back and the fingers dug into his waistband there. He’d barely touched him, and Dean was putty already. Of course, that’s why they were here. 

The air around him shifted as Cas stepped to the front of him now, hands not leaving his waist, warm and reassuring. Nails began scratching at his back from this angle, a comforting gesture that was usually reserved for soothing him to sleep, but the thigh that rubbed against his erection was not at all suggestive of rest. Dean let out a small moan. 

“That’s it,” Cas encouraged, “You know I love the sounds you make.” How well Dean knew it, that all he had to do was beg a little or moan extra loud for Cas to do whatever Dean wanted. That was something else nice about the blindfold; Dean usually found it easier to express his pleasure behind the safety of the darkness. It let him sink into the sensations just that little bit more, and the isolation of the cabin of course helped: no one but Cas and the deer and rabbits outside to hear him. 

So he moaned again, that thigh working against his erection, and the warm hands running up and down his bare arms, over his shoulders, then fingers tangling into his hair. Cas answered with a soft groan of his own just before he claimed Dean in a kiss that started out gentle and slow and ended with his tongue stealing the human’s breath and leaving him almost shaking. 

“Cas, dammit, what you do to me,” Dean murmured as soon as he could speak. They were still in the middle of the room, he still had his pants on, and as far as he knew Cas was still fully clothed. And the angel was perfectly capable of driving him crazy even like this. Those wet lips pressed into his collarbone, his chest, his sternum, and the pressure left his groin as Cas kissed his way down Dean. 

An anticipatory thrill went through the hunter, strengthened when his belt was undone and his fly opened, warm lips and now a tongue tip toying at the skin of his belly. Dean reached out blindly, hoping to find something to center him, and his hand blissfully found the side of Cas’s head. He began petting the angel’s soft hair, one of his favorite things to do.

“So good to me,” Dean told him. “Love you so much.” He knew Cas’s mouth was too busy to reply in words, but he answered with the gentlest of bites to the now exposed flesh where his belly became his pelvis. It was too easy to picture Cas on his knees as his pants and boxers were slid all the way to the floor and he helped Dean step out of them. 

There would be that swelling of bottomless devotion in his cobalt eyes as he looked up at his human’s naked form from this angle, eager to worship, and if Dean was sad he couldn’t see this for himself this time, he had plenty of memories of it to draw from, and he swore that Cas’s touch was the more intense for it. 

There were light scratches in the crease between his pelvis and legs, circles rubbed into the tired muscles of his thighs, wet kisses at the skin just above his cock, everywhere but where Dean’s hormones could want contact the most. But he knew Cas would get there. He smiled to himself, imagining how difficult it must be for the angel to be working around the hard length that was hanging right in his face from where he was. 

“You love teasing me don’t you, my angel?” Dean asked tenderly, his fingers not having left Cas’s hair, not pushing or steering, just moving with his husband’s head as he lavished attention on Dean. 

“It is one of my most favorite things to do,” Cas confirmed, his breath warm on the hip that he then proceeded to nibble on. And still Dean’s cock hung there, mostly hard, waiting, patient for when the angel would finally decide to play with it. Which, blessedly, was now. 

One sole fingertip, which must have been wetted in Cas’s mouth, was traced from the base to the tip, a move that had Dean releasing a sudden gasp of surprise and desire. The blood that had been eager to rush down and finish filling his cock did so now, and he heard Cas’s low and dirty chuckle at the show it must be making. Fuck, that chuckle did things to him, and that, combined with another simple trace of that finger along his length had him back to a full erection in no time. 

“Someone likes my playing,” and damn, if Dean could come from a voice alone, his angel’s could do the job.

“Always, Baby, always,” Dean murmured. Which wasn’t strictly true; there were plenty of times he was too horny and he just needed and he would rush to the main event but Cas let him have this one for now. 

That single wicked finger, rewetted at some point, was still stroking slow paths down and then up his dick. It was almost ticklish, but Cas knew how to make it so good, the slight roughness of his callouses somehow dragging just right along the sensitive skin, pressing against the veins. Dean wasn’t sure how much longer his knees were going to hold out before they started trembling, and then they did when a gentle finger traced its way around the swollen head of his cock. 

“Ohhh,” he let out, and had to reach for Cas’s shoulder to steady himself. 

“Yes,” his husband replied, and Dean wasn’t sure if it was in encouragement or just for his own pleasure for how much he was loving his human’s cock. Dean then felt the exquisiteness of his husband’s warm breath on the head of his dick, now wet with precome. 

A whimper fell from his lips. He loved this slow torture, but his body wasn’t so sure. A wet, dirty kiss pressed to the very end of his cock was, for now, his only reward, Cas’s tongue just barely flicking at the leaking slit. Dean’s hips twitched, he couldn’t help it, and a sound escaped him that he’d never heard before. He thought about begging but he was honestly content with this slow torturous tease. 

“Fuck, Cas, my Baby,” he did say to show his appreciation, more complex words being beyond him. The breath was back on his erection and stayed there, warm and promising, as hands worked his thigh muscles, Cas knowing he needed help to remain standing at this point. 

Oh so gently, one of those hands crept to Dean’s ball sack and a shudder went through the hunter when Cas began stroking along the seam even as his tongue came back and lapped wetly at his frenulum, and only at his frenulum. He hadn’t known he was going to be teased to within an inch of his life tonight, but he was there for it. 

His eyes were shut tight behind the blindfold, his teeth gritted as he rode the sensations, and his fingers tightened in Cas’s hair; he couldn’t help it, though he still tried not to take control. His balls were now being securely cupped in his angel’s hand, the thumb just gently rubbing over them and Cas’s tongue, thank fuck, began licking in earnest along his cock. 

“Cas…” Dean groaned out, his hips beginning to move without his permission. 

“You’re so hard for me,” the angel’s lips murmured into the wet skin of the side of Dean’s dick, and Dean thought he might lose his mind. A large hand came to rest on and then squeeze his left ass cheek, his balls being cradled and fondled, and then in the next instant, his swollen cock was all the way in his angel’s mouth, the head slipping down Cas’s throat, lips sealed around the thick base. 

“Fuck!” Dean yelled, and received an appreciative moan that vibrated through his whole pelvis. His breath was coming in little gasps and his ab muscles were trembling, and then Cas swallowed. The tightness around the head of Dean’s cock was almost unbearable and he was fighting not to thrust, even though he knew he could if he wanted. 

Cas’s hand squeezed his balls, as if trying to milk him, knowing just how much pressure to use without it being too much, then one of those fingers was creeping along Dean’s perineum. Meanwhile his cock stayed nestled as deep in Cas’s mouth as it had ever been, and he didn’t know how his knees hadn’t given out. As Cas’s index finger found the dry pucker between his cheeks, the angel began drawing back on his cock, sliding wetly and beginning to fuck his mouth on Dean in earnest. 

“Cas. Bed. Please,” the hunter gasped out. As much as he’d like to come down Cas’s throat while his husband was on his knees in front of him, his legs would not keep him upright through that. 

Cas pressed a fingertip just into the bare edge of his dry hole as he pulled off of his dick, exposing Dean to the harsh chill of the room air after the warmth of his mouth. But then his hand was on him, and he was fucking leading Dean to the bed by the slow strokes and pulls on his cock. Dean could more than deal with this. 

“So beautiful,” Cas told him again, stopping his stroking enough to guide his husband down into a sitting position on the bed. 

“Open those legs for me,” he commanded, and Dean obeyed, out of his mind with lust, not that he wouldn’t have fulfilled his angel’s request anyway. Cas’s hands were strong on his thighs again as he settled himself between Dean’s legs now, and somewhere in there he must have grabbed the lube because the fingers that worked their way back behind his balls were slick with promise. 

And again, Cas took Dean’s hard cock in his mouth, now sucking and licking with more abandon, as he played his fingers around Dean’s rim. The hunter laid back down on the bed, thankful to be able to not have to spend energy on not collapsing, and let himself go. 

His fingers wound into Cas’s tangled hair, the softness grounding him as he held his lover’s face down at intervals, knowing from the approving moans that Cas wanted it that way, liked being choked by his husband’s cock. Dean’s hole was breached by one wet finger, slipping in easily, and he could feel Cas reaching, exploring, knowing his body better than Dean did himself. 

He tried to hold his hips still, now not so much to avoid face fucking Cas, but more so that the angel could concentrate on what he was looking for, even as his wet mouth slid up and down Dean’s dick, taking him to the root every time. 

And there it was, that press, that tingle that had Dean seeing stars in his extended blackness and he knew he didn’t have to warn Cas; this was what the angel had been trying for. Dean’s orgasm slammed into him, his hips now uncontrollably bucking as he came and came and came down Castiel’s throat, drawn out by the swallowing motions rubbing against his sensitive head. 

He’d been making sounds for some time and now his hearing and more of his  consciousness came back so he could be aware of them, but he didn’t stop. The kisses being pressed to his hips and ribs and the fingers that hadn’t left his hole told him Cas was more than happy to listen. 

After a few moments, Cas did slip out of him, to be able to encourage him to move into a more natural spot on the bed, guiding his head towards the pillows. Dean went willingly enough, glad for his lover’s helping hands as he felt all but boneless. 

“You’re my angel,” Dean muttered, shifting his head in the direction he could tell Cas was in from the slight sounds of rustling cloth. He could take the blindfold off for now if he wanted of course, but there was just something so safe about keeping it on.  

“And you’re my human,” Cas soothed, and a sweet kiss was pressed to Dean’s hairline. Dean heard the brush of cotton on skin, the unmistakable sound of a zipper, and the soft whump of clothes hitting the floor. The bed dipped, and Dean reached. 

To feel Castiel’s nakedness against his own was a blessing he would never tire of, their skin sliding and melding together was pure ecstasy, whether they were headed towards sex or not. Now, though they both knew they were far from done for the night, Cas took his time stretching himself out against Dean’s side, and then rolling the hunter’s body towards him. 

Dean could feel Cas’s half hard erection growing against his hip, but the angel kissed him as if he had no other pressing matters at hand, as if he had all the time in the world to map Dean’s mouth with his tongue, as if he could spend the rest of his life doing this. He kissed him until Dean was moaning again, and running his hands all over his skin, and Dean’s cock was stirring once more. Castiel’s patience and control was infinite when it came to pleasing his lover. 

“Do you want me to fuck you, Dean?” Cas asked simply, his fingers ghosting into the crack of his husband’s cheeks. 

“Yes,” Dean slurred, love and sex drunk, “Take me. Hard,” he added, wanting to forget everything in the world that wasn’t Castiel. Teeth found his throat as fingers dipped deeper and Dean bent his knee so Cas would have more access. He loved tender teasing and warm climaxes, he did, but tonight he really wanted to be fucked inside out. So he grabbed onto Cas tighter, moaned lewdly, and whispered into his husband’s ear just how much a filthy whore he was for him. 

Cas growled and rolled Dean onto his back once more, spreading the human’s legs himself this time. He slathered lube on Dean’s hole and bit his thigh as he sunk two fingers in all the way. Dean braced his heels into the mattress, opening his legs as wide as his hips would allow him to, desperate for Cas to use him. 

He was panting, pushing down, eager to live up to the words he’d just planted in Cas’s ear. His hands groped, feeling his way down his angel’s solid body until he found one of his favorite parts, and then he was wrapping his hand around that thick gorgeous cock that he couldn’t wait to be impaled on. 

A third finger slipped in, stretching, stretching, and now Cas was also moaning with Dean’s talented hands working his precome-slicked erection and full balls. Dean circled his hips, grinding down on his husband’s fingers, more impatient than Cas. He knew this was important, he knew it would be better for the thorough prep, but the closer they got, the more he wanted his angel inside. 

Finally Cas decided he was ready, not before using a fourth finger for just a bit, and Dean trembled with need when all the fingers left slowly. He went to kneel, to get on all fours, but Cas had his hands on his biceps, pulling him down on top of him. Okay this worked too. However his lover wanted him. 

“Ride me, my love,” Cas said in a rough breath, as he helped Dean lean up and back. Dean certainly couldn’t deny that request. So he positioned himself by feel so that his hole was just above Cas’s now freshly lubed length, his legs straddling his husband’s hips tightly. 

His heart missed a beat like it always did before he took that cock inside him. His ass was used to it by now, sure, but it was still fucking huge. He sunk down slowly after getting the head inside, relishing every stretching, burning inch. This was the position that let him take the absolute most of Cas inside, and he keened as he bottomed out, his balls pressing into Cas’s, his ass so full he swore he could feel it in his guts. 

The angel was panting, hands temporarily gone limp on Dean’s hips. As they both adjusted, though, his grip came back to life and he began to steer Dean in a rocking motion, then back and forth, then finally up and down, each new direction ripping fresh sounds from both of their throats. 

“Dean, you take me so well,” Cas rumbled, his hips starting to piston upwards, the couple now slamming together. 

“I love your cock in me,” Dean groaned. “You’re so big.” Thrust. “So hard.” Thrust. “Fuck.” Thrust. 

Something familiar was being pressed into Dean’s hands, and he understood without a word. The blindfold was Cas’s pleasure to put on him; the ear plugs were up to Dean. As best he could with the monster cock being pounded up into his ass, he worked the protection into his ear canals, hating at first how it muffled the wet slapping sounds of their bodies and Cas’s uneven breaths. But he knew with the angel handing them off to him that they didn’t have much longer, and sure enough, Cas’s voice rose in pitch as he started calling out his husband’s name.

“Dean...Deeean...DEAN!” The human’s breath evacuated his lungs in the next moment when he felt the always exotic silky magic suddenly dancing along his skin, feathers folding around him. Dean sent up a howl of pure pleasure, wingtips tracing against his back. 

He wished he could rip the blindfold off and see them, but it wouldn’t be safe, not with the way Cas was starting to scream. Dean’s hole was being as thoroughly used as he’d wanted it to be, rammed into over and over and over and over again. Even through the thick black fabric and eyes closed tight he could still sense the blinding light filling the room and even with the ear plugs he could feel the frequency in his brain and bones when Castiel lost it. 

He kept himself in his human form just long enough for Dean to be filled with the rush of hot come deep inside of him, and then the angel’s orgasm shook time and space itself. Dean could still feel the Cas that he knew underneath and inside of him, but it was as if the angel was also filling the entire cabin and then some with his true wavelength at the same time. His strong wings held Dean in place, safe, secure, suspended. 

Dean grabbed his cock and stroked himself to the sound of Cas’s final screams that settled into moans, and it was when they regressed back to heavy breaths that Dean came once more, spilling his seed presumably all over Cas’s belly. He let out his own last moan and collapsed, Cas’s wings and arms helping him ease down slowly beside the angel on the bed. 

The blindfold was removed with as much love as it had been tied on, and the softest of kisses was placed on each of his eyelids. Then the earplugs were plucked out, and the sound of Cas’s now steady breathing had never been sweeter.  

“Love you, my angel,” Dean barely got out, his body and mind beyond done. 

“As I love you, Dean,” Cas whispered in return and held him through the night, with the forest outside their cocoon silent, dark, and deep.

Chapter Text

It was admittedly weird to have Cas now eating with them at more meals than not. Dean enjoyed sharing his love of food with him of course, and watching his angel’s reaction to different tastes as he explored more of what he liked and didn’t like. Sadly he did not fall in love with bacon as his husband had hoped.  

“I just don’t really like it, Dean.” This went straight to Dean’s soul. Cas was really lucky he already loved him.

And when they didn’t all sit down together or their schedules didn’t allow them to have a solid three, Cas was more than happy to fall back on his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“What is that stench?” Dean asked, walking into the kitchen where Cas, Sam, and Jack were gathered. It smelled like something had died in there, and actually, as long as the body was fresh, blood and guts smelled better than this.

“Brussels sprouts!” came Jack’s excited answer, in the same tone normal kids said, “Cotton candy!” 

Cas chimed in, “Sam showed us how to roast them with some olive oil and herbs and they make quite a lovely…” 

“No.” Dean interrupted and gave his brother a withering look. “Brussels sprouts don’t make a lovely anything,” he declared. “They’re not even food. What are you doing to these poor guys Samantha?” Sam rolled his eyes, hard, as he wiped his hands off on the flowery apron he was wearing. 

“If Cas is going to be eating now, at least some of it should be healthy,” the younger Winchester argued. Dean’s jaw worked and his eyes squinted as he tried to come up with a rebuttal. 

He hated vegetables himself, only choked one down every other day or so because he’d sworn a long time ago to his then-fiancee that he’d try to eat healthier. Which kind of shot any smartass remark he might make now out of the water. He sighed in defeat and watched Jack happily munch on another sprout. 

To make up for all of this, Dean introduced his angel to pie. Apple, blueberry, lemon meringue, strawberry rhubarb and on and on; he brought one of each of them home, eager to see which one would win Cas’s affection the most. Chocolate won.  

If it wasn’t clear that he was very much still an angel, Dean would have been worried out of his mind. Obviously wherever this need for food was coming from, it must be a result of what the sickos upstairs had done to him. But he supposed that if this was the worst side effect of his ordeal up there, things could be worse.    

The combinations that Cas would try though...putting ketchup on pie, or gravy on his eggs...sometimes Dean couldn’t watch because they were so gross, but he always had to be amused by Cas’s curious experimentations. How could the guy know what things were generally never consumed together, with this being all new to him? The way his nose would scrunch up when he found something he decidedly didn’t like was nothing short of adorable.

Of course with food and drink intake, this meant that certain biological functions had to be attended to, and it seemed that was something that Cas was having a harder time accepting. Dean was tempted to chuckle every time Cas complained about having to use the bathroom, but the dark look in his husband’s eyes at the expense of his discomfort mostly shut him up. He tried to be understanding, he did. 

“It’s not funny!” Cas snapped at him after he’d urinated for the third time that night, grumbling each time. Okay, touchy...  

“Just don’t drink as much,” Dean told him, trying to be reasonable and getting ready to unpause the movie they were watching. Cas settled himself back down on the sofa, but not as close to Dean as he had been when he’d gotten up. The hunter frowned, and avoided looking over at Jack in the squishy armchair. 

“I haven’t,” Cas said coolly and, crossing his arms over his chest, he stared at the still screen of the latest Jurassic Park movie, making it clear he was not in the mood to talk further. Dean made his sigh as silent as he could as he hit the play button to start the disc once more. After so many years together, he knew well that things weren’t sunshine and rainbows all the time, but it wasn’t like Cas to be this suddenly contrary.

“I bet that’s the dinosaur that goes rogue,” Jack announced gleefully as the biggest creature they’d seen yet flashed across the TV. Dean’s amused smile was halted by Cas’s biting reply.

“Can we just watch it and find out without the commentary?” He barely even glanced at Jack as he said it, and he hadn’t moved any closer to Dean yet, though Dean had been hoping he’d cuddle back up with him under the blanket. 

The human watched the nephilim’s face freeze, unused to his father being this harsh towards him. Dean bit back a furious remark defending Jack and instead gave the kid a sympathetic look and a tiny shrug. Jack’s expression was apologetic but he said nothing more; Dean could tell he didn’t want to make his dad more upset. 

What the hell was going on with Cas? The three watched the rest of the movie in silence, the angel eventually relaxing back against the couch and consenting to lean into Dean’s legs at least. Everybody was entitled to a bad day, Dean supposed. 

The next afternoon, Cas took Jack to the mall in the way of an apology, and bought him not one but three ridiculously overpriced tee shirts at the “Hot Topical,” as he’d never stopped calling it. 

“What is there to panic about at a disco? Other than the shitty music?” Dean asked in some concern when his son showed off his loot, but, like a typical teenager, Jack just laughed at his out-of-the-loop dad and headed to his room. 

“I’m sorry to you as well, Dean,” Cas interrupted Dean’s affronted look after Jack. He turned to his husband and the petulant, sweet smile that rested on his face. Then he was being folded into his strong arms and a kiss was being pressed to his cheek. He’d already forgiven the angel, never able to stay mad at him for long, but he wasn’t going to complain about the attention.

“I don’t know what came over me,” Cas murmured as he trailed his lips towards Dean’s ear. Dean tilted his head, eager to allow Cas to apologize in whatever way he wanted.

“It’s okay,” he reassured, running his hands up and down Cas’s back. It was the middle of the day and they were in the middle of the library, and there were too many people home, damn it. Sometimes Dean missed only having Sammy to share the bunker with.  

“You can make it up to me tonight,” Dean whispered into Cas’s ear, their cheeks’ stubble brushing, just before they heard a deliberate cough. They stepped away to see Mary’s knowing, chastising look from across the room. 

“Mom.” Dean only squirmed a little. They hadn’t really been doing anything after all. He’d thought she would be used to seeing them together, like this, by now. But the way her eyes darted away and around the room as if she was waiting for the two to stop touching said otherwise. 

Mary was happy her sons had both finally found love, or she said she was. She knew how much Castiel meant to Dean, she’d seen it when she first met the angel, even before they had a chance to tell her they were married. There was always an uncertain shadow in her expression, though, whenever Dean and Cas did more than hold hands around her, a shadow that wasn’t there when she watched Sam kiss Emily. 

Dean guessed maybe it was too much to expect from someone who’d grown up in the fifties and sixties to fully accept the whole same sex thing. He appreciated having his mom around again, really - it was just not always the easiest. 

“What’s up, Mom?” he asked her, taking only the smallest of steps back from Cas. 

 

They didn’t get a chance for Cas to make anything up to Dean that night because Mary needed help with a hunt. Sam was off visiting Emily and Bobby was being, well, this version of Bobby, all alone in isolation for a while. The old Bobby, what Dean couldn't help think of as the real one, had never been a sociable guy, but this one was a deeply scarred shell. He’d say it was better than not having a Bobby around at all, but he wasn’t so sure. 

It took all three of them to put down this werewolf in Arkansas, which seemed far stronger than he should be for not being an Alpha. Great. Super monsters. Something potentially new to worry about. The bastard was able to get Cas down on the ground even as he was being shot full of silver bullets at close range. Dean felt the stab of terror as those fangs got far too near his husband’s skin before Dean’s shoulder hit the beast in the side, using all his weight to knock him off of Cas, and then Mary’s silver blade neatly sliced its head off. 

Cas was so tired after that, or so in shock, that he almost stumbled back to the Impala, and fell asleep on the way home. Dean drove through the night, glancing over at his angel curled up in the passenger seat, trusty trench coat covering him like a blanket. No more hunts for him for a few days anyway. 

Even after three days, however, the angel didn’t seem fully recuperated, not wanting to do much more than laze around, watch TV, and read. He deserved a break, that was all. 

“You know those waffle fries from Biggerson’s?” Cas asked Dean, who of course said he did. 

“Will you go get me some?” The pleading blue eyes were wide and that delicious lower lip was downright pouting and Cas knew how to make his husband do anything he wanted. 

“Sure, Babe,” Dean told him, brushing a kiss against Cas’s hair and carefully not asking if he felt okay. He’d done so the day before when Cas hadn’t wanted to go get pizza with him and Sam. Cas had gotten touchy again, and said he was fine, thank you very much, and then in the next hour had kissed Dean in the sweetest of ways, only to fall back asleep in the following twenty minutes. 

Obviously something was wrong. Dean couldn’t lie to himself no matter how hard he tried. But other than being tired and needing food, Cas still said he felt okay, and the moodiness was probably just coming from not having his normal stores of energy. That would make Dean bitchy too. Whatever was going on, they’d get through it, Dean swore he would love his husband through it. 

So he got Cas a double order of waffle fries and didn’t grumble later when Grace worked her way in between their bodies so she could curl up tight to Cas’s stomach. Dean had wanted to cuddle his angel, but the smile on Cas’s face as Grace began her incessant purring was so peaceful he consented to back off for the night. 

Maybe she’d given him some magical cat healing or something because the next day, Cas got out of bed, eager for breakfast and he taught Jack how to make pancakes. Which they both ate two stacks of. Except that Cas ended up in the bathroom throwing at least one of those stacks up in short order. Dean hated the shiny, pale pallor on his husband’s sculpted face as he emerged. Sam made him some ginger tea and Dean avoided picking on him for eating too much, something he would have done any other time, to anyone else. But he didn’t want to risk another mood swing.

Things had gotten rather quiet between them in the past couple of weeks, with Dean trying to be careful not to set Cas off. Even though the angel never seemed to get truly angry with him and his snippiness didn’t usually last long, it was just easier to try not to rock the boat. 

Dean brought the rest of the dinner plates to the kitchen sink where Cas had just set up his phone to play some music while he took his turn doing the dishes. Some synthetic eighties pop tune began and Dean shook his head at his husband. He would never know where the guy had gotten his musical non-taste from. He hung back for a moment, dirty plates still in hand, to watch as Cas’s hips began moving to the beat while he plunged his hands into the sinkful of hot water.

Sweet dreams are made of these…” Cas sang in a low tone, and Dean smiled tenderly even while his ears cringed. There were a lot of things the angel was good at, but singing certainly wasn’t among them. His human didn’t care. Especially when his body, and mm, that round ass in those jeans, was moving back and forth in a hypnotic rhythm. 

“You do know that I know you’re there, right, love?” came Cas’s amused voice, its owner not looking up from the sink. Dean’s face softened even more at the warm words. Cas was in a good mood and Dean wanted to keep it that way if he could. 

“Just enjoying the view,” he returned honestly and started forward. He slipped the plates into the dishwater around his husband as the pop song came to a close and keeping an eye on Cas’s hands so he could intercept him if he had to, he grabbed the angel’s phone. 

He didn’t get yelled at, just received a patient yet exasperated glance. There was complete trust between them, of course, and it wasn’t that Dean might go through his husband’s phone and find anything he shouldn’t. No, Cas knew he was changing the music. 

When Dean found the song he was looking for, the solid beat of Grand Funk Railroad started filling the kitchen, and he set the phone down to be able to move back behind Cas’s body again. He put his hands on the edge of the counter for now, corralling his angel between his arms and the sink. And he started moving his own hips, just close enough so that Cas could feel him. 

Well, my baby, he’s alright,” Dean sang along, his lips just brushing Cas’s dark messy hair at the back of his head. 

Well, my baby’s clean out of sight. Don’t you know that he’s some kind of wonderful.” Dean had been told a time or two in his life that he could sing, and though he wasn’t sure he believed it, he guessed he sounded decent. 

Cas resolutely continued washing dishes but his hips were moving with Dean’s and when the human leaned closer to press their cheeks together, he saw his husband’s pleased smile out of the corner of his eye. Dean’s hands went to Cas’s waist, then he went all in, and trying not to get in Cas’s way, he wrapped his arms around his lover’s middle, continuing to sing to him. 

“Now is there anybody? Got a sweet little angel like mine. There’s got to be somebody gotta, gotta sweet little angel like mine.” Cas’s grin widened at Dean’s altered lyrics, and the hunter felt the usual wave of love take him over. Only Castiel could bring this kind of sappy cheesiness out of him. 

The angel was humming along as he rinsed the dishes, still trying to focus on the task at hand. It wasn’t exactly Dean’s goal to start anything for once, he was just enjoying the moment of closeness, the respite from stress. The warmth of a happy husband could always do the trick. He was content to hold Cas in his arms and move their bodies together, simply for the tender fun of it. 

Dean suddenly noticed that Cas seemed to feel a little thicker around the middle than he previously had and he inwardly chuckled as he grazed his lips along the skin behind Cas’s ear, tickling the tip of his nose on the dark hair and inhaling deeply of his angel’s neck. He must be putting on a few pounds - it made sense since he was now eating and he hadn’t been horribly active for the last week or so. 

Dean thought about saying something teasing but caught himself just in time. He wasn’t sure if Cas would be self conscious about gaining some weight but Dean wasn’t taking any chances, especially with the way his mood had been lately. It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with it; Dean certainly wasn’t as trim as he used to be himself. 

In fact, as he moved his hands over Cas’s stomach, still rocking their bodies to the beat of the song, he found his husband’s slight pudge kind of cute. He nuzzled his lips and nose into the back of Cas’s neck in between singing the repetitive last verse, and he could practically feel his angel melt in his arms. His mouth subconsciously knew all the spots to kiss on Castiel’s skin that alternately turned him on or relaxed him. They were going to bed early tonight, Dean determined, just so they could hold each other.  



Later, in the middle of the night, Dean rolled over and half woke up as he found Cas watching him sleep like he always used to do. His Scooby Doo night light that Cas had gotten for him last year cast the perfect soft glow throughout his room, and the angel’s face seemed alight with love. Dean smiled groggily, thankful for this moment. Grace was even down by their feet, not curled into her new favorite spot against Cas’s stomach. 

They’d fallen asleep blissfully cocooned together for once, and now they weren’t anymore. Dean slid his body closer to his husband, once more silently seeking what he’d been denied in the last couple of months.  

He didn’t even care about sex, well, he meant, he did. But really, he simply wanted his man’s arms around him again; Dean, who’d never cuddled before Cas, was needing a good snuggle. 

“Come here,” Cas whispered tenderly, able to tell what his lover was after, and rewarded Dean with the sanctuary of his arms. Dean tucked in quickly and securely, his arms reaching around Cas’s torso in turn...he’d missed this more than he’d thought. He squeezed his angel firmly, feeling the hard plains he loved so much press into his own sturdy muscles. 

“Nngh,” Cas grunted suddenly. “Dean, not so hard, my love,” he forced out in his low voice, and Dean could tell he was trying to keep his temper. A trickle of fear as well as loss went through him as he loosened his hold a little. Cas was steel, and strength, and iron. There was nothing his angel couldn’t withstand, within reason, and certainly Dean’s tightest of holds had never caused him an iota of discomfort before. 

“M’sorry,” Dean’s lips murmured into the skin of Cas’s bare shoulder. He was scared to meet his husband’s eyes, but he pulled back and did anyway. The uncertainty he found there struck directly at his heart. 

“What’s wrong, my angel?” Dean cradled Cas’s jaw, keeping his touch gentle even there. Cas’s eyes were a dark sapphire in the soft, safe glow of the night light.

“I don’t feel right,” Cas confessed. “Not bad, exactly, just kind of - funny - in certain places.”  

This was where Dean would usually wrap his arms around him and make the pain and fear go away, but he couldn’t do that. Neither of them said the obvious as they stared at each other: that last hunt that Cas had been on was long enough ago that even if he didn’t have his grace, he shouldn’t still be feeling it quite this much. 

And Dean was terrified to ask what the certain places were, but considering the throwing up that was becoming commonplace after every breakfast, he guessed he didn’t really have to. What if Cas’s organs were shutting down? What if the ‘experiments’ the angels had run on him had been meant to accelerate the breakdown of his vessel? 

But he still had his grace, that meant he could find a new vessel, right? Dean desperately loved this body that his Cas resided in, but if the angel had to acquire another one that would hardly be the worst thing ever. Right? Dean loved Castiel himself, not just his body. The human made his lungs take some deep, centering breaths before his mind could run too far away. 

“You can’t heal it?” Dean checked, his tone carefully curious rather than desperate. 

“I’ve tried,” the answer came, “But...it’s not like an injury. More just a...weirdness.” Well that wasn’t helpful, but Dean refrained from saying such. 

“I love you Cas,” he did say, his words slow and heavy with meaning. “We’ll figure it out, okay?” Cas nodded slightly against his pillow, Dean’s palm still resting on his jaw. The human reached down to draw the blanket back up over his husband, wanting to give him what comfort he could. Cas stopped his hand. 

“No, please,” he said. “I’m so warm.” The angel always ran hot, which made snuggling on winter nights great for Dean, but usually not to the point of not wanting any covers when he was barely wearing clothes. Dean lifted his hand to press against Cas’s forehead like he used to do with Sammy when his brother was little and sick and the memory brought a wave of nostalgic worry.

He used to just be able to steal some children’s tylenol for Sam and it would help. Something told him that what was going on with Cas wasn’t so simple. But he didn’t seem to be running a fever exactly, so maybe that was good. Dean would take what he could get. He gently leaned up to replace his touch with a kiss to the precious forehead and heard Cas release a sigh. 

“It’s gonna be alright, Baby,” Dean soothed, then he trailed his fingertips down Cas’s arm in a barely-there touch. 

“Is this okay?” he asked, no longer sure what was safe, which hurt more than he could begin to put into words. 

“Yes, my love,” Cas told him, “That feels wonderful.” So Dean continued, tracing lines up and down all of Cas’s exposed skin, always careful not to use pressure, to keep his touch as light as a butterfly’s wing. Before long, Cas was the one who was asleep and it was Dean watching him through the rest of the night, not able to find slumber again.

Chapter Text

“Ugh,” Cas grunted, his expression one of disgust as he joined Sam and Dean in the war room. “What is that smell?” 

Sam and Dean exchanged confused looks as they sipped their coffee at the map table. 

“I haven’t noticed anything,” Sam said. “I just did some cleaning yesterday so nothing should be too gross.”

“Yeah all I can smell is Sam’s gratuitous amount of hair gel,” Dean murmured with a straight face as he continued glancing over the day’s news. Cas pulled out a chair and sat down between the brothers, still looking unhappy. Dean took another gulp of caffeine, silently thanking whoever had first thought of grinding and brewing coffee beans; he was not human until he had his daily dose. 

“Ughh,” Cas made the sound again. “I think it’s your coffee, guys. It smells like sewage.” The angel almost seemed like he was thinking about throwing up. Both Sam and Dean’s brows furrowed. They’d just opened a new bag of Colombian Supreme the day before, and it tasted fine. 

“Hey man, don’t pick on my coffee like that,” Dean defended. “Maybe you should try some, it’s actually really good.”

“No!” Cas shot back up out of the chair and almost ran out of the room. Dean stared after him with wide eyes, wondering if he should be bothering looking in the news for unusual events. Seemed like things were strange enough here at home. 

It didn’t stop with coffee. All of a sudden, Cas couldn’t stand the smell of bananas, any deli meats, and the odor of Grace’s litter box. Not that he’d ever found that last one pleasant of course, but now it made him almost gag. Dean had to start doing all the scooping, and twice a day at that. 

“Do you have to use that laundry soap? It’s so…piercing.” As a bunkerful of guys, they didn’t buy overly scented laundry products; as long as it got their clothes unstinky, they didn’t care and usually went with the generic brand. 

“I can’t even smell anything on this,” Dean said after sniffing the arm of the clean shirt he’d just put on. Cas shook his head at him. 

“It’s almost burning my nose,” he said unhappily. 

“What’s gotten into you, Babe?” Dean asked. 

“I don’t know,” Cas almost whined. 

“Well, something’s going on,” Dean insisted, worry making his tone sharper than he’d intended. Cas’s eyes flashed a violent blue as his face hardened. 

“You think I don’t know that?” the angel bit, and hissed a heavy sigh before turning away and heading outside for some fresh air. Dean was left behind, again, to quietly freak out. What the hell was up, seriously?

They didn’t talk much the next couple of days. In fact, Cas actively avoided Dean, though he didn’t say so outright. But they were too close for Dean not to know and for Cas to not know that he knew. The human fought his own nature to force the issue and try to make his husband talk to him. He well knew by now that nobody made Castiel do anything he didn’t want to do, though, so he tried to leave him in peace. For the moment. 

One day, Dean squirreled himself away in the armory, which was deep in the bunker, as if the Men of Letters hadn’t wanted to acknowledge the need for it, at least on the surface. Hypocrites. It was cool and quiet and well stocked, and Dean liked to go there to think sometimes. 

The firearms, both the almost antiques that had been left, and the new ones the Winchesters had added, calmed him to be around. Each one of them had their particular function they were meant for, and each of their parts worked together in a tight cause and effect that made sense. Dean wouldn’t have called himself a gun enthusiast, but he knew weapons well and sometimes things that had such cut and dry mechanics to them were easier to be around than people. 

He emerged after a couple hours of cleaning and polishing metal calmer than he’d been in a little while. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. As he passed his and Cas's room, then the family room, then the kitchen, Dean’s senses tingled and his gut roiled. His blood pressure that had pleasantly simmered down now spiked once more. He didn’t know where Cas was. 

He was probably fine; he’d probably gone for another walk because he didn’t like the smell of the dish soap now or something. Or maybe he was missing again. 

Dean was just about to start calling his husband’s name. Then relief washed over him as he came upon the library and saw Cas’s shoulders slumped, hunched over, as he sat at the table with his back to the doorway. 

Dean didn’t know why he’d had the uneasy feeling Cas may have stepped out for a bit. Yes he did. He didn’t want to let Cas out of his sight. With whatever was going on, Dean wanted to at least pretend that he could protect him from it, even though it didn’t seem like he could because they didn’t fucking know what it was.

“Hey,” the hunter said cautiously, stepping into the room to round the corner of the table. He hated seeing his Cas like this, down and unsure. And scared, even if he wouldn’t admit it in the light of day. The relief of seeing him at all was replaced by a cold tension in Dean’s bones when he saw the bottle of Wild Turkey that Cas was almost hugging to himself, a half empty glass in his other hand. 

“What are you doing?” That came out far less casual than Dean had been hoping it would.

Cas’s gaze lifted from where it had been fixated on the carved initials in the wood of the table. Cas’s own “CW” sat there proudly next to “DW”, placed there the day they got home from their honeymoon. They’d both been exhausted, but Dean had insisted that something as important as getting his husband’s initials commemorated in that table couldn’t wait any longer. Cas had used his angel blade, so his was the most artfully done out of all of them. 

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Cas said blankly, lifting the glass in an “isn’t it obvious?” gesture before raising it the rest of the way to his lips and taking a healthy swig. He didn’t even grimace at the taste like he usually did, though he had chosen the honey flavored one, and Dean knew from experience that did go down much smoother than most.  

Dean wasn’t sure why this was bothering him so much. It wasn’t like Cas didn’t drink sometimes; hell, for better or worse, it was Dean that had introduced him to it. But right now, it just felt...wrong...to see the whiskey entering his husband, the poison that Dean knew it was, for all of his jokes and defense of the hobby of alcoholism. 

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” he said, and he watched one of Cas’s dark eyebrows arch, in a sort of wry amusement. 

“You are not about to lecture me on drinking.” His tone was heavy, and he finished off the glass as if in a challenge. The angel refilled it immediately, his husband watching him helplessly. Dean knew he had no ground to stand on here but…

“Do you really think it’s the best thing right now?” Cas was usually the voice of reason when it came to this, and he had gotten Dean to cut back a lot since they’d been together.

Cas’s face was drawn, defeated, and that sight hurt Dean to the core. As Cas took another gulp, an uncomfortable prickle went through Dean again. 

“If my body’s breaking down anyway, what does it matter?” The words hung thickly in the air; neither of them had voiced that possibility out loud yet. Dean had to grit his teeth to try to keep the tears and the anger at the whole situation from rising too far. 

“That doesn’t mean you need to help it!” He couldn’t keep his volume down, though. Cas rolled his eyes at him, the blue just starting to have a sheen to them as he drank again. He was obviously trying to get fucked up, and it’s not like Dean could blame him - it’s what he would probably do.

“I doubt it matters at this point,” Cas bit back, sitting up straighter. They weren’t quite yelling, mindful of Sam and Jack being somewhere in the bunker, but they were close. 

“You don’t know that!” Dean accused, then took a deep breath. He didn’t want to fight with his angel, he didn’t. He gentled his next words. 

“Cas, please, just - stop - I don’t like it.” 

In response, Cas just took another hearty sip and didn’t say a word, his gaze heavy on Dean. The hunter wanted to knock that glass out of his husband’s hand, take the rest of the bottle and throw it against the brick wall. 

So he did, moving too swiftly for Cas’s slightly altered state. The glass hit the table with a thud, golden whiskey pooling over and soaking into the family’s initials before it rolled off the edge and surprisingly didn’t break when it hit the floor. 

The bottle did though, with the force of all his frustration that Dean flung it at the wall with. The sound of glass tinkling was a violent firework and the sweet stench of the honey bourbon dripping down the bricks and seeping into the table filled the library. Dean looked back at Cas, his emotions and face on fire. The angel just stared back at him, his expression hard. 

“That proved something,” Cas said with cold sarcasm. He hadn’t bothered standing up.  

“I hate this, okay? I hate what’s going on with you and I hate seeing you like this and I hate that I can’t fix it. If we need to get you a new vessel, let’s just get it out of the way so we can get back to normal.” Dean watched Cas’s Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed, his eyes narrowing at the human. 

“You think this is that simple?” 

“Well…” Dean didn’t like to think about it either, stealing another person’s body, even if it was with a certain amount of permission, the idea of looking into a different set of eyes, touching different skin, kissing different lips. He hated that too, actually. But what was the alternative? Cas wouldn’t just let himself slip away, right? Right? 

“What do you mean?” Dean asked, his voice tight. Cas now leaned back in the chair, his chin lifting as his eyes widened. 

“Come here, Dean,” he said. “Sit down.” The human complied, taking the chair next to Cas, rolling the intact drinking glass on the floor out of the way with his foot. Cas pushed out his own chair so he could face Dean. 

“That last time I came back, when God or the Empty or whoever it was, placed me back here…” He pursed his lips for a moment in thought, Dean watching every ripple move across his precious face. 

“This is no longer a vessel, Dean,” Cas said. “This is me. No, I don’t know what that means in the long term,” before Dean could ask. “If I keep my grace and I’m still more or less immortal, what that means for this body. But it’s not exactly looking like I’ll get to find out.” 

“So you can’t just go shopping for a new meat suit?” Dean had to use gruff humor, it was the only way he knew how to cope with news like this. Though he had to admit it made sense. 

“If I were to try to extract all of my grace and put it in someone else, if I were even able to do so, I believe it would kill me and leave me here with this body. A ghost of sorts.”

Now it was Dean’s turn for his shoulders and his face to fall. 

“Cas...I can’t…” He didn’t even want to say the words. There had to be something that could be done. Something. Anything. The Winchesters were masters of making the impossible happen. Cas reached out a hand for Dean’s, the mood having softened, but Dean was standing up again, stunned grief morphing into anger once more. 

“That bitch,” he hissed as he began pacing. The scent of whiskey still hung in the air.

“I’m summoning her ass down here and she will explain what the fuck she did, and she will fix you. And then I will take her out.” 

“Dean -” Cas stood up as well, his husband’s anger only growing when the angel winced in discomfort, like a sharp pain had gone through him. 

“Naomi can’t leave Heaven for very long, without her there aren’t enough angels left to keep the place running,” Cas tried talking sense into his human. Like Dean cared what the fuck happened to Heaven in the face of losing his Cas. The logic he had left in his brain told him he had to care about it, though, for all the souls that were up there. Goddamn it.

“And I - really - don’t want to see her again, Dean,” Cas added, his eyes pleading. Dean crossed his arms over his chest. 

“Fine. Then I’ll go back,” he declared. “I’ll deal with her myself.” 

“You’re not dying again just so you can kill her.” Cas was indignant. 

“So I’m just supposed to do nothing?! She owes us fucking answers!” Dean’s voice was rising again. Cas sighed and suddenly the angel looked exhausted, his eyes dropping to the floor, to the glass on its side still under the table. Dean’s heart trembled. He was trying to get better about his anger problems, and here he was, failing spectacularly. His arms fell to his sides and he took a careful step forward. 

“Hey,” he said once more, barely above a whisper now. Cas looked up at him, his delicately lined face almost haggard with misery. 

“Come here,” Dean pleaded, holding his arms out towards his husband. “I’m sorry.” 

To his utter relief, Cas took the few steps that brought him into Dean’s embrace, and the hunter made sure he didn’t squeeze too hard. Just wrapped his angel in love, wishing they didn’t have to deal with this. But Dean knew better than to dwell on wishes. 

“We’re going to figure this out, okay?” he promised. Cas’s hands were strong as they lay flat on Dean’s back. The angel nodded into his shoulder, his head heavy. 

“Just don’t leave me,” Cas asked, his voice rough from the whiskey and the emotions. 

“Oh my angel, why would I leave you?” Dean breathed, bringing a hand up to cup Cas’s jaw and pulling back just enough so he could look into the blue eyes. They were clearer now, and full of love. 

“To go up to Heaven. Or to make some kind of a deal,” Cas said. “If this is how it’s supposed to go, maybe we should just accept it.” 

No. Hell no. But Dean bit his tongue on that reply. 

“Okay,” he said instead, his thumb brushing along Cas’s cheekbone. “I won’t go anywhere. But we are going to figure this out,” he repeated. “Just make me a promise in return? Well, maybe two?” Cas turned his head enough to kiss Dean’s palm, then turned back to look at him with the silent question. 

“No more drinking,” Dean requested. “And don’t give up on me, okay? I’ll follow your rules but I am going to fix this.” 

“Dean - ” 

“Please.” 

Cas’s eyes slid shut for a moment, and he nodded again. Then he kissed Dean, slow and soft, and when he broke it, he said, “I promise.” They stood there holding each other gently, until Dean made himself step away to go get some cleaner and a sponge to take care of his mess.

“Want to go out for ice cream when I’m done?” he asked Cas as he rolled his sleeves up. “We can take Jack.” Cas smiled back at him, still tired but with some light back in his expression. 

“That’d be nice.”

Chapter Text

Dean didn’t have to help Cas get into the passenger seat of the Impala but he kept a steadying hand on his husband anyway. In the last week, while things had not gotten significantly worse, they hadn’t exactly gotten better either.  

The angel had gained even a bit more weight; what had been noticeable only when he was naked was now showing through clothes. And it’s not like he was eating that much, even though his appetite had returned full force, the puking up of at least one meal a day blessedly having tapered off. 

If Dean hadn’t known better, he’d have called it a beer belly, since it seemed like it was all localized there. But it wasn’t soft like fat should be, and the word ‘tumor’ had started blinking through Dean’s brain quite frequently. 

Cas was now complaining of his back hurting a lot, and his chest feeling stiff and like it was on fire. That had Dean freaking out in the middle of the night, terrified, when Cas first mentioned it.  Heartburn, right. It’s not like Cas had experienced it before to know what it was but Dean was quite familiar once he’d been able to calm down and got him to elaborate. The angel could no longer eat anything with tomatoes in it and he was keeping a bottle of Tums nearby all the time. 

These were far from solutions though, and Dean was determined to get some answers, even if it couldn’t be from the bitch that must be responsible. 

So he, Cas, and Sam were on their way to pick up Emily, that wonderful soul who had studied hard in the last couple of years to become a registered nurse. Though she worked at her local hospital on humans and not angels, she’d promised to do what she could. She couldn’t risk her job by bringing Cas to the hospital she was employed at, but luckily the Winchesters had somebody else in their corner, someone who cared a little less for rules, and who was also in the medical field. 

It took seven hours to get to Sioux Falls, longer than normal due to the bathroom breaks that Cas requested. The having to pee a lot hadn’t stopped unfortunately. It worked out, they needed it to be late when they got there. Cas still wasn’t sure about this plan but Sam and Dean had come up with it, and it wasn’t one of their worst ones.  

“It’s worth a shot, right?” Dean had told him. “I mean, your vessel functions more or less as a human’s. The heart pumping blood, the lungs breathing air. Some tests have to show something.” It was a place to start at least. 

They’d decided to leave Jack at home, Mary had hardly been around lately and they needed someone to hold down the bunker. Plus they weren’t sure what they were going to find, and if it was bad, they didn’t want Jack to be privy right away. He obviously knew something was wrong with his father, Cas was well beyond being able to hide his symptoms. But the nephilim had no idea of their worst fears. 

Dean held his husband’s hand almost the whole way, and the human and angel took turns squeezing each other’s fingers in comforting patterns. They hadn’t fought again since that day in the library. Cas had been more withdrawn and quiet, but he hadn’t seemed quite so moody and he’d kept his promise to stay away from the booze. Dean, honoring that, had as well, even though he dearly wanted to hide at the bottom of a bottle. 

When they got to the hospital around midnight, Alex ushered them into a side door, far away from the emergency department, which she locked behind them. 

“What about the cameras?” Sam asked her. 

“Taken care of,” the dark haired girl told him. “I learned from the best,” and she gave him a cocky but admiring smile. Alex liked to stay behind the scenes of most of the hunts that her adopted mother and sister went on. 

She was a priceless asset with her own brand of knowledge she’d acquired over the years, having taught herself to read the blood and DNA chemistry of most standard monsters, weres, vamps, that sort of thing, and she was very good at covering not only her own but others’ tracks. She could get them access to most of the medical equipment they wanted to use, and Emily knew how to use the equipment. It was a match made in...well, Sioux Falls General Hospital. 

Sam and Dean obediently slipped on the doctor’s coats Alex handed them, and though Cas winced when she told him to change into the paper thin gown, he did it without complaint. At least he was allowed to keep his boxers. 

She was in charge here, she knew where to go and when, the staff’s schedule, and what exactly they could get away with without drawing attention to themselves. Sam was to be their watchdog, stationed outside of each room they might need, clipboard in hand. Emily had worn her normal scrub uniform of course, and with a borrowed and touched up hospital badge, she was at home, efficient and professional. 

“Bloodwork first,” she instructed, and Alex led the group to the lab. Cas looked so out of place meekly following her, hospital gown stretching over his broad shoulders. Dean looped an arm around those shoulders, trying for an air of normalcy. 

“Who knew you could even look sexy in this?” he murmured into Cas’s ear, hoping no one else heard. He was rewarded with an indulgent smile and a sideways glance of his favorite eyes. 

“Do you say that to all your patients, Doctor?” Cas teased, and Dean smirked back, mind happily distracted for the moment by a fun fantasy. He happened to know Cas looked quite fuckable in a doctor’s coat himself, and they never did have a chance during that one case to…

He was pulled out of his temporary respite from worry by Emily sitting Cas down and tying a tourniquet around his upper forearm. Her movements were smooth, practiced, and Dean trusted her with their lives. He still hated hospitals, that sick but sterile latex smell and the harsh fluorescent lights. 

“Just going to get a blood sample so Alex can start looking at it and then we’re going to go into another room and I’m going to examine you, okay?” Emily told Cas, voice steady and sure while she looked into his face. 

She was Sam’s little Emily that got swallowed by his arms, Em that hung around the bunker with them, coming over for movie and game nights and having a couple of beers with the guys, who Dean had heard burp louder than him. She’d become the kid sister Dean never had or wanted, he liked to joke. But right now she was all business with a soft reassuring smile for her patient. 

Blood sample smoothly procured, she handed off the tubes to Alex, who pointed them to an empty room and bustled off towards the lab. Dean sat in a chair in a corner of the room while Emily had Cas sit on the exam table. She’d even made up a chart for him, which she jotted in as she and Cas talked. 

“So Castiel, what, exactly, have you been experiencing for the past few weeks?” Emily obviously already had some idea of what had been going on, but Dean loved her for being so thorough. She was the closest they could get to taking Cas to a doctor, and Dean had all the faith in the world that if there was some explanation that could be found by these means, she would find it. 

“I feel like I have to eat now. That’s been strange,” Cas started. Yeah, a regular doctor was totally out of the question. He went through the rest of his symptoms, the weird aches, the heartburn, the weight gain.

“Any other details you can think of?” Emily asked. “No matter how small they seem.” Cas looked thoughtful for a moment, his head tilting to the side in his classic move, a motion that brought his husband, who was watching closely from the corner, some modicum of comfort from the familiarity.   

“It feels like right here - ” and Cas ran the backs of his index fingers up and down the sides of his stomach, “Is rather stretching and twisting. Not so much pain, but the muscles twitch sometimes.”

What? He hadn’t told Dean about that. Emily nodded mildly, made some more notes, and laid aside the chart to reach for a blood pressure cuff. 

“One-twenty-five over eighty-three,” she announced in a bit, and Dean raised his eyebrows in an I-don’t-know look when Cas glanced over at him with the silent question on his face. Emily, missing nothing, smiled affectionately at them and explained.

“That’s good,” she told them. “That’s within the range of what I would expect from a somewhat active male anywhere from his late twenties to mid forties, depending on a healthy diet and fluctuating stress levels.” 

“Okay, Cas, I’m going to need you to take off the gown now, at least the top half,” she then said. Though Cas was trying his best, Dean could tell he was nervous, especially when he tore the gown as he slipped it off his shoulders and arms. He’d gotten extremely good at playing at being human over the years but completely new circumstances could still throw him off. 

“That’s okay,” Emily reassured, “After I’m done with my exam, you can just put your coat on. I’m going to listen now,” she said, holding the bell end of her stethoscope up to show him. She had him take deep breaths as she rested a soft hand on his shoulder. 

Dean watched Cas sit as patiently as he could through his first physical, admiring the angel for how calm he was remaining at least on the surface. It was better than Dean was doing, leg twitching as he almost bounced in his seat. 

“Your heart and lungs sound great,” Emily announced. “Now lie back for me and lose the whole gown please. You can keep your underwear on. Unless…” and she paused, glanced at Dean and then back to Cas, focusing on his eyes. 

“Do you want me to do a full testicular and prostate exam as well?” she asked, as professionally as everything else she’d said. Dean’s cheeks heated up for his husband while Cas’s eyes shifted downwards and to the side.  

“Um,” Cas muttered, “None of that...hurts. There haven’t been...any problems. With them,” he got out. 

“You’re sure?” Emily asked. She looked over at Dean again, including them both. “Look, guys, I know this is a sensitive topic, but I’m just trying to be thorough. At the very least, given some of the symptoms, I’d like to rule out an inguinal hernia.” 

Dean swallowed, he knew she was doing her job, what they’d asked her to do, but this part was a lot of why he didn’t do doctors himself. And he thought he knew his own husband’s body well enough to have detected if something was off with any of those parts; they seemed to be functioning just fine, and he could feel his face get even redder as he tried to squash down the most recent memories of... 

Cas was standing up, pink flush spreading over his cheeks and neck as well as he divested himself of his torn gown and light blue boxers. 

“She’s right,” he told his husband, who’d been about to announce that they were indeed sure this wasn't needed. Emily nodded gently in acknowledgement of Cas’s decision.

“Go ahead and sit back down for now,” she told him. “I still have the rest of the exam and I’m going to work my way down, as it were. If it would be more comfortable for Dean to step out of the room when I get to that part, that’s completely understandable.” Cas immediately looked over to Dean and shook his head no. The hunter grit his teeth and sighed as quietly as he manage.  

Emily proceeded to thoroughly work over Cas’s body with a clinically detached warmth, peering into his eyes and throat with her penlight, feeling the glands at his throat, moving his joints, and asking as she went if there was any soreness or pain with anything she did. 

Nothing seemed remotely remarkable until she had him lay down and she began to work over his expanded stomach. Here there was discomfort where she pressed, if not true pain, but it wasn’t like Cas ever experienced much pain unless very weakened or the injury was extreme, so that might not be the best indicator. 

“I’d like to head into ultrasound after we’re done here,” Emily said. “I think that might show us something.” Then she began moving her fingers into the creases between Cas’s pelvis and thighs and as much as Dean wanted to look away completely, he locked eyes with his husband and didn’t break contact while parts of Cas that only he had touched were examined. Not until Emily had him stand, turn around, and bend over the table as she reached for a disposable glove and a tube of KY she found in one of the room’s drawers. 

“You sure I can’t just do this part?” Dean joked weakly, to which Emily didn’t even respond. The air in the room was that of swift if not rushed efficiency, and Dean had the thought that as Cas’s pretty much little sister as well, this probably wasn’t her idea of a good time either. When they got home he was going to drown his angel in kisses and caresses to make up for both of them having to endure this. 

“Prostate feels normal,” Emily announced after a surprisingly short amount of time during which Dean had focused on the hairs on Cas’s left leg. She chucked the glove into the nearby garbage can and told Cas he could put his underwear back on.

“Also in good news, I don’t see any signs of a hernia. But I don’t like that swelling around your abdomen. Whatever that is, it’s my guess that it’s causing the rest of your symptoms. So it’s time to look inside, and the easiest way to start doing that is with an ultrasound.”

Alex was waiting outside the exam room with the bloodwork results when the three emerged, Dean having slipped Cas’s trench coat back on his husband’s shoulders.

“The white cell count seems a little high, which could indicate infection, but there’s also a kind of cell that I’ve never seen before, so...it’s not like anyone knows what normal values are for angel blood.” She looked apologetic, then brightened a touch. 

“Platelets look great though. Iron and potassium levels are good. Overall, this is pretty healthy bloodwork, from what I can tell.” She pursed and twisted her lips to the side in an expression that echoed Dean’s thoughts: good news but that doesn’t get us closer to an answer.

Dean’s worry was mirrored in his brother’s furrowed brow as they followed Alex to ultrasound. He could tell Cas was working to keep his own expression as neutral as possible, but he also felt the anxiety emanating from him as he drew him close to his side and kissed his temple during the elevator ride. The way Cas clutched his side in return was all the reinforcement he needed. If this didn’t yield answers, he’d have to get Cas to agree to let him talk to Naomi. He’d summon her alone or with Sam, Cas didn’t have to be present. 

Another table for the angel to lay down on, though at least he could keep his coat on this time, just opened wide. Emily told him there would be pressure on his abdomen as she had to press down with the probe. The lights being necessarily off for her viewing of the machine’s screen was slightly calming, and Cas reached for Dean’s hand. The hunter was all too happy to comply, needing the comfort himself. What if it was a tumor? Cancer? Was that even possible? And what would they do? Boost Cas’s grace with another angel’s? They’d have to figure out something. 

Dean didn’t like the confused frown Emily was giving whatever she was seeing on the screen but he didn’t want to push her too hard. He watched her smear more goop on Cas’s stomach, switch to a different probe, and concentrate on the lowest portion of the swollen area. She stared intently for several moments while her eyes widened, and Dean could tell she was trying not to look at them but her professional composure had broken.

“What is it?” his voice was strained, his fear naked. Emily blinked a few times rapidly.

“Um…” she stalled, “I’m...not...an ultrasound tech. I’ve only taken a sonography class or two. Um, but...there’s some things that are hard to miss. But. This is impossible.” And she finally looked at them, her brown doe eyes full of doubt and almost wonder. 

“What is it?” Dean and this time Cas as well asked, at the same time. It’s not like impossible was new to them. 

“Um,” came out yet again. “It’s. It’s a baby.” Her voice was a little breathless, as if she couldn’t believe she’d said the words. 

“Sorry, what?” Dean couldn’t believe those words either. Tumor, mass, lump...those he’d been expecting and able, if not okay about, believing. Not -

“A baby.” 

Cas cleared his throat. 

“I’m. This is a male vessel,” he stated. “In the human species, only female bodies are able to support new life.” His deep voice held only a slight tremor. His palm had gone uncharacteristically sweaty in Dean’s grip.  

“That...is correct,” Emily agreed. “But this fetus is large enough that it can’t be anything else. I don’t know guys. See for yourself.” And she adjusted the screen on its stand so that it could be turned to face Dean and Cas, then placed the probe on Cas’s abdomen again, moving it just a bit to get the spot back that she’d been looking at. 

All Dean saw was indistinct black and white fuzz at first, like the picture on the televisions in those old motel rooms when he was a kid and had been able to get rid of Sammy for a little bit and he would try to dial up a porno. Then Emily moved the probe just so, and this picture came in, at least mostly. That was definitely a shape of some sort, shifting just slightly. A baby shaped shape if Dean had been forced to guess. And it was inside of Castiel. 

“See, there’s the head,” Emily told them, tracing the obvious bulge with her fingertip. “That’s a leg,” she said, her voice full of tentative wonder. “And an arm.” She pointed out another whitish protuberance. 

“And if we can get them to move, just so…” Emily was too focused on her task now to see the stricken expressions on Dean’s and Cas’s faces. 

Dean had never seen his husband so stunned, and his own emotions...well, he just felt rather hollow, unable to take this in. That was assuredly a baby, a fetus, in his husband. But nothing could have prepared Dean for this. This was not natural. Of all the unnatural things the hunter had seen, dealt with, and killed in his life, this had to be one of the most unnatural. 

He dropped Cas’s hand in order to rub both of his over his face, his eyes, hoping that maybe when he opened them again this would have all gone away.

“It’s a boy,” Emily said softly into the silence. “I’d say you’re about sixteen to eighteen weeks along, Cas.” 

Dean could not cope with this. He could not. 

“How?” His voice cracked on the word, and he stood up from his seat as if he could run away from the news. 

“How is this even…,” and he snapped his gaze to Cas, laying there with his stomach coated in ultrasound gel, the probe still pressed against him. 

“I thought you felt fine!” Dean accused, though he knew that obviously wasn’t the case, since they were here now. 

“Sixteen, eighteen weeks, and you didn’t have any idea?!” The shock tore the words from him as his brain frantically cast around for some reason, some meaning, some sense, to all this. 

“I couldn’t have!” came Cas’s stricken answer. “How was I supposed to know what this feels like?” Only dimly was Dean aware of Emily draping a towel over Cas’s stomach and hastily withdrawing from the room, leaving the ultrasound screen a flat, plain gray. 

“I don’t know! You’d think you’d feel something!” What the fuck.      

“Dean,” Cas said simply, and the sound of that beloved voice shattering, begging, keening over his name brought Dean back from the edge. He looked at Cas again, really looked at him, feeling his own face tight with tension. 

But he’d never seen uncertainty in those bottomless blue pools like he was seeing now, his husband not even able to come up with the words to plead with him. Had those gorgeous eyes ever been so wide? Walking a knife’s edge of worry, Dean’s heart started beating again. 

He was back at Cas’s side in a moment, leaning over him, scooping an arm around his shoulders, getting caught in the open trench coat once but working his way past it. 

“Dean,” was all that Cas was able to say, sounding like he could burst into tears at any moment. 

“Okay, it’s okay,” Dean spoke without thinking, tucking Cas’s head into his chest as he crouched over the exam table awkwardly. He stroked his husband’s soft messy hair, closing his own eyes and letting his instinct to take care of his angel override everything else. Still. What the fuck. 

Chapter Text

They stayed just like that for how long they weren’t sure, in the darkened room, the only light coming from the grayed out screen where they’d seen an image of their baby, their baby, not long ago. Eventually Dean’s back complained enough, and he straightened up, Cas’s desperate hold on his borrowed doctor’s coat loosening. 

The hunter oh so tenderly used the towel Emily had provided Cas with to wipe off the angel’s stomach, er, well, baby bump, he guessed, of all the goo she’d slathered on him. It didn’t feel real yet and Dean supposed it would be awhile before it would. 

Cas had asked him while they’d simply held each other what they were going to do, and Dean had said they’d figure it out, he’d promised they would figure it out. Now, as he cleaned up the last of the gel, and his eyes roamed over Cas’s belly, the reality did start seeping in. He rested a careful palm just underneath the angel’s navel. 

“There’s a baby in there,” he said softly, more wonder in his voice than there’d ever been. His eyes were lost in Cas’s.

“Our baby,” he added, still trying to get it through his brain. “Our kid.” The tiniest hint of a smile that Castiel gave him made Dean’s heart flutter. This was probably the strangest goddamn thing they’d ever had to deal with, which was saying a lot, but they would figure it out. 

“It’s a boy,” Cas breathed, also placing his hand on his swollen belly. 

“It all makes sense now I guess,” Dean croaked. Except it didn’t, not really. The symptoms tied in, sure, but Cas was still a guy. Er, uh, wasn’t he?

“We’ll figure it out,” Cas echoed Dean’s words, comforting his husband in turn. They always tried to do their best, in stressful times, at trading off falling apart, at losing their cool. So one could hold the other together if needed. With this, though, they were going to have to take turns moment by moment.  

Dean almost jumped at the soft knock on the door, but he didn’t take his hand from Cas’s warm belly as light leaked into the room with the door opening. He wasn’t sure he ever wanted to take his hand away from that spot again.

It was Sam’s telltale footfall behind him of course, with Emily trailing back in after him. Dean twisted around to look up into his little brother’s stunned face, a tentative smile growing on his own lips. 

“So you’re...pregnant, Cas?” Sam asked the angel softly, who hadn’t moved from his reclining position on the table, neither he nor Dean able to gather themselves that much quite yet. 

“I guess so,” Cas replied, his voice stronger than it had been but still hushed. 

“You’re gonna be an uncle, Sammy,” Dean said incredulously. Then and only then did the rest of what that meant hit him.

“I’m gonna be a dad.” The words were foreign on his tongue. Dean’s eyes found his husband’s again, and for all intents and purposes, they were still the only two people in the room, in the world right then.

“We’re gonna be dads,” Dean said to Cas, and the hands that were already clasped in each other’s and had been for some time, both tightened their grip even more.    

     

They got to Jody’s house around three in the morning. The sheriff was working an overnight shift but had given them use of her place when they’d called and said they were coming to town. Claire was gone, chasing a case, which Dean was thankful for, for once. He didn’t know how they were going to tell people, and for the time being they just needed to process it all themselves.

“Are you okay?” Dean asked his husband as they settled into one of Jody’s spare beds. 

“I think so,” Cas sighed. “Are you okay?”

“I don’t know.” Dean attempted a small laugh. Everyone had been very quiet on the drive here from the hospital, no one quite knowing what to say, whether congratulations or something else was in order. 

Dean tucked Cas into the crook of his body when they both rolled to their right sides, a million thoughts flowing through his mind, thoughts he didn’t want to burden his angel with, though he knew Cas’s mind had to be going a mile a minute as well. There would be time to talk later, they should get rest now. Cas’s low question was hardly surprising, however.

“We’re keeping him, right, my love?” 

Dean would be lying if he said he hadn’t had the notion blip across his radar, back in that ultrasound room. He was certainly no stranger to hard circumstances and the decisions that came with them and there were an overwhelming number of factors to take into account here, a lot of reasons why this pregnancy was not a good thing.  

And another Dean, a younger one, a Dean less versed in love and options, may have entertained a different sort of figuring it out, a sort that would lead to a no longer living fetus. But this one, closely spooning his wonderful angel, his beautiful husband of six years and best friend for longer than that, who now, somehow, had a living being growing inside of him that was part of both of them, couldn’t bear to think of doing anything to cause that fetus harm. He nuzzled at the unruly tufts of hair behind his husband’s ear as he replied. 

“You’re really sure?” he had to check. 

“I am,” came Cas’s soft but strong timbre, with no hesitation. 

“Then yes we are,” Dean confirmed and if a heart really could overflow with love, his would have been. A baby. Dads. Sleep was a long time in coming. 

 

Jody, bless her, had set up the coffee maker before she went to bed so all they had to do was hit the brew button, and there was a note saying that the fridge was fully stocked. Dean had ultimately gotten maybe three hours worth of a nap so caffeine was definitely a necessity. 

He was leaning against the stove, first mug of priceless bean juice cradled in his hands, thinking about starting to cook breakfast, when Sam wandered into the kitchen, scratching at his messy bed head and yawning. 

“Hey, man,” he greeted his older brother. “You okay?” 

Dean couldn’t be annoyed this time at the question, especially since it took him a few moments to bring his attention back from the intangible spot in space he’d been zoning out on enough to focus on Sam. 

“Mostly,” he shrugged, not sure if it was the truth or not. Sam nodded like he understood, and went to pour himself a cup of coffee as well. 

“How’s Cas?” he asked after adding milk and sugar and taking his first sip. 

“Pregnant,” Dean clipped. “He’s pregnant, Sam.” And all the maddening swirl of thoughts that he’d been struggling with came pouring out into the safety of his brother’s concern, the dam broken. 

“How...how is this possible? He’s a dude. He doesn’t have the parts, or at least he’s not supposed to. What the fuck did the angels do to him up there? It’s their fault, it’s their doing, it has to be. And how, how did we not know? This is fucking weird even for angels, unless Gabriel could have had a hand in it, but he’s dead, he’s been dead. And even he wouldn’t do this to Cas.” Dean paused for a breath but then dived right back in. 

“We’re keeping it. Him. It’s a boy, did we tell you that, Sammy? We’re keeping him, Cas wants to, and I do too, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do this.” A frantic laugh escaped him. “Hell, no one really knows how to do this. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We’re going to bring another nephilim into the world? We saw what happened with Jack and…” 

The circumstances of Jack’s birth and his mother’s resulting death halted Dean’s words for only a millisecond, not allowing him to voice that particular gigantic concern, but then his rambling resumed, as if trying to bulldoze over the implications that Jack’s delivery had conjured. 

“I mean, yeah, there was always a tiny, I mean tiny, part of me that wanted to be a dad, but I was fine with not having that. I was. I raised you and hell, that was enough. This is no life to be bringing a kid into. Not even a kid! A nephilim. It’s a boy, Sammy. Did we tell you that?” He was out of breath by now, and ran out of steam here. Sam nodded again.

“Yeah, yeah you did, Dean,” Sam replied gently, and held his hand out for Dean’s now empty mug. He refilled it and handed it back.

“It’s going -” Sam started. 

“I’m fucking scared Sammy,” Dean interrupted, as if his word vomiting hadn’t been enough of a clue. 

“It’s going to be okay,” the younger Winchester tried to console, and Dean wanted to believe him. 

“I’ll start in on the lore, there’s got to be something somewhere. I’ll get ahold of Rowena, maybe she’ll be able to help. It’s not like you guys are alone in this, you know?” Dean nodded absently, then with slightly more conviction as his gaze settled on his big little brother’s calm visage. 

“We’ll figure it out,” Sam promised, and Dean had to give a small smile. That was what Winchesters did after all, wasn’t it? 

 

“Hey Cas, you’ll want to take it easy on the caffeine,” Emily warned as the angel went to pour his second cup of coffee in as many hours. They were going to head out soon, for the drive back to the bunker, but were lazing around until Jody woke up so they could at least briefly see her, thank her, and tell her the news.

“But I like coffee,” Cas told her with a bewildered eye squint. "Now that it doesn't smell like sewage to me anymore." Happily, some of the intense aversions to certain smells were slowly fading away. 

Dean knew the coffee drinking was his and Sam’s fault, Cas had been drinking it before he strictly needed food. Emily gave him a soft, indulgent grin. 

“Sure,” she said, “But the baby doesn’t. Seriously, too much caffeine is bad for him. One cup of coffee a day, if that, is what I’d limit it to. That still leaves you room to enjoy some of your chocolate pie.” 

“What’s wrong with chocolate pie?” Cas asked before Dean did. 

“Nothing,” giggled Emily. “In moderation, of course. You don’t want to be consuming too much sugar either. Cas, just follow more of Sam’s diet than Dean’s for the next several months and you should be okay.” She squeezed her boyfriend’s knee from where she was snuggled up next to his side on the loveseat. Sam focused on his open laptop and tried not to look smug. Dean was too aware that she was in the right to argue, especially when it came to the health of the love of his life and their child. 

“And you obviously know not to drink or smoke at all, right?” she added. At this, Cas’s eyes shot over to Dean’s, the recollection of that day not that long ago suddenly even heavier on both of them. The shadow of shame that fell over the angel’s face had Dean crossing the room in an instant to wrap Cas in a hug and murmur that they couldn’t have known. The road ahead was not going to be easy.  

   

Jody received the news as stoically as she’d learned to take everything when it came to ‘her boys’, as she’d been calling them for the last few years. Maybe the fantastical was easier to accept when you’d been introduced to the world of monsters and the unusual as forcefully as she had. She nodded her now mostly gray head and gave Cas an appraising once over.

“It’s a wonder I didn’t piece some of it together; the morning sickness, the weight gain, the having to pee so much. Sorry to tell you honey, but that only gets worse.” She wrinkled her nose in sympathy as Cas frowned. 

“And wait till your legs swell up, and oh, the stretch marks…” Jody cut herself off when she saw the uneasiness spreading over the angel’s face. “But don’t worry,” she changed course, “Not everyone gets all of that as badly as some, and really, in the end it is worth it.” She stood up on her tiptoes to draw Cas into a deep motherly hug. 

“Congratulations. And you call me with any questions okay? It’s been awhile but I have been here. That goes for you too, kid,” she added as she drew Dean into a strong embrace as well. He sighed into her dependable love, not sure what he’d do without his family.  



They’d been home for all of a day and a half before they got a call about some strange circumstances that had resulted in the death of a hunter two states over. Sam and Dean started packing immediately, making plans to meet Bobby there. Dean halted his ammunition inventory when Cas tossed his duffel bag onto the map table. 

“Sounds like it could be a wendigo,” the angel commented. “I made sure I packed some extra flares.” 

“Yeah, I don’t think so.” Dean’s voice was firm, his jaw squared. Cas shrugged a shoulder.

“Maybe not but it can’t hurt to be prepared.”

“That’s not what I mean,” Dean replied, blinking through this new ground shifting under his feet. “You’re not seriously planning on coming with us.” One arched dark eyebrow aimed his way spoke volumes.

“I can still hunt, Dean, I can still work a case.” Dean’s head was shaking before Cas got the whole sentence out. 

“And when the fight comes, you’ll be in too much danger.”

“I’m not some delicate flower,” Cas rebutted. “I can take care of myself, I can still fight. Carefully.” Dean’s jaw twitched with the effort of keeping the wrong words from spilling out, words like no, and you can’t, and I won’t let you. He knew well enough that none of those would get him anywhere. So instead he sighed and implored his husband with wide eyes.

“If I was the pregnant one, would you be okay with me going out there, no matter how tough I am, maybe getting hurt and bringing our kid into danger?” Cas’s shoulders slumped as his eyes narrowed. The angel knew what Dean was doing, of course, he was too smart not to. Cas leaned in close, and spoke so he wouldn’t be overheard by Sam double checking his packing over in the library and pointedly trying to not to pay attention to his brother and the angel.

“Point taken,” he murmured, and Dean was rather proud of himself. Cas then snaked a hand across his husband’s lower back, which always made Dean melt a little. He leaned his temple against the crown of Cas’s head. 

“Because I love you more than life itself, I’ll stay here nice and safe and wait for your return,” Castiel said with a mix of contrition and displeasure. 

“Thank you?” Dean offered, well aware of how difficult this would be. 

“But I don't have to like it,” Cas reminded his human. “It goes against everything I know to let you go off and not be there to protect you.”

“I’ll have Sammy.” 

“Which is the only thing that comforts me. You come back to me...you come back to us,” he corrected as he laid a hand on the lump underneath his shirt that was their baby, “In one piece, okay?” 

And Dean realized that though Cas always wanted him to finish a hunt safe and alive, of course, there was a different quality to that now. There was suddenly more at stake than just them, and Dean both hated and loved the terrified throb his heart gave. This was exactly why hunters shouldn’t have kids. 

“I will,” he swore, hoping this wasn’t the hunt that went wrong.

 

Chapter Text

Jack had that curious gleam in his eyes, which was the only way you could tell he was thinking deeply about something. His expression never gave much away, and Dean loved how much that reminded him of Cas in the early days. Jack had gotten better at speaking what was going through his mind quicker than Cas had once upon a time, however. 

“So you’ll have a real son now,” was his conclusion on the news that two thirds of his dads had just shared with him. And his brow dipped a bit, causing Dean to scramble for an answer. 

“I hope you don’t think this implies that you mean any less to us, Jack,” Castiel beat him to the punch. “We love you, and you are our son. You were our son first.” His voice was so steady, so full of affection for the boy. Dean knew he had to add his own words, he didn’t want Jack feeling less than, but Cas was a tough act to follow. The hunter cleared his throat.

“Cas is right,” he told Jack, looking into the nephilim’s soft eyes, “You are a member of this family, and a baby ain’t going to change that.” Jack’s gentle enigmatic smile blossomed.

“Yes it will,” he said, but it was with a tone of acceptance, even permission. “The baby will come, and you’ll be caught up in him. Babies are a lot of work, you know,” he added in some concern. Yeah, Dean was trying not to think about that, thank you very much. 

“Will you help us?” Cas asked. “Help us take care of your little brother?” Dean smiled at how easily his husband made Jack feel included and loved. He himself always had to try to think of what to say. He blamed his less than stellar emotional safe spaces while growing up. 

“Yeah, you can have diaper duty on Wednesdays,” Dean joked and laughed when Jack wrinkled his nose but nodded. There was a time when Dean wouldn’t have allowed the kid to get within a half mile of a baby, much less his and Cas’s. But he’d come a damn long way and impossible as this thought once had been, Dean would now trust Jack with his life.

“And maybe it’s time you started coming out on the road with us more,” he suggested, watching the tentative hope grow on Jack’s face at this. He knew the guy was eager to hunt, to help, and what better opportunity than when one of his dads had to take it easy for a while? 

 

Jack proved to be an invaluable asset, now that he could better direct his ability to take down anything in his path. On his first time out he obliterated the nest of super strong vamps that Dean was honestly scared about taking on, and vamps were old news to him. Sam had developed a theory that Michael might be behind these monsters that seemed to be on steroids, an unsettling thought but one that Dean couldn’t shake. 

He eyed Jack on the drive home, who was happily munching on his favorite nougat candy bar, less than an hour after wreaking total destruction without breaking a sweat. Just how powerful was this kid anyway? It was hard not to hope he might be able to help take down Michael someday but Dean didn’t want to put too much pressure on him, not yet anyway. 

When the guys got home and Dean exhaustedly made his way to his room, he heard the unusual sounds of soft violin and piano music floating through the air. His heart welled up with love to see Cas sitting in the armchair in the corner, Grace curled up on his lap, and the gentle smile resting on his angel’s face. 

Cas blinked at him, eagerly accepting Dean’s greeting kiss as the hunter tried to scratch the cat’s head at the same time. 

“What’s with the mood music?” Dean queried. He didn’t exactly mind it but it was so different from the classic rock or the cheesy pop that these walls usually were exposed to. Cas chuckled affectionately. 

“It’s Beethoven,” he informed his human. “I read that classical music can help with a growing fetus’s development. I think he likes it.” 

“You...are adorable,” Dean told his husband. “And I love you so much.” Never had coming home from a hunt been quite this satisfying.   



Dean gripped Cas’s hand so hard that it probably would have hurt his husband if Cas wasn’t an angel. At forty years of age he should not be this nervous to tell his mother anything. And this was good news after all, wasn’t it?

“We’re pregnant, Mom,” he got out, knowing he couldn’t stall any longer. He had asked her to meet him and Cas in the family room, figuring the comfortable surroundings might put him a bit more at ease. Mary had been staring at him expectantly for two whole minutes when he finally blurted out the words. He was thankful Sam had offered to be there as well. 

“You’re going to be a grandmother,” the younger Winchester added in now, his tone bravely encouraging in the dead silence after the announcement. Mary’s face was stone. Her lips opened slightly, then closed, her calculating stare shifting between Dean and Cas wordlessly. 

“You can’t be serious,” was what she came up with. 

“It’s crazy, I know,” Dean said. “But there’s definitely a baby in there.” Here he looked over at his husband, the warmth between them steadying him. He wasn’t sure he would ever get used to the idea of Cas growing another life. 

“It’s a boy.” Dean turned back to his mom with the same incredulous smile he always got now when he said those three words. But the chill in Mary’s countenance chased his smile away, and his heart fell a story or two. 

“You’re happy about this,” she said blankly. 

“Yes,” Dean replied with no hesitation. “I mean, we couldn’t have planned it obviously, but I guess it’s happening. I…” and he turned to Cas again, needing the support and love that he was so lucky to have there waiting for him. His angel released his hand to be able to wrap his arm around Dean’s shoulder, lending him even more strength. 

“We’re going to be dads,” he finished, this time refusing to let the light in his eyes fade when he looked back at Mary. A long, heavy sigh worked its way through her frame before she spoke again. Sam just hung back, carefully watching.

“You think this is the best idea?” 

“Mom,” Sam couldn’t be quiet any longer, “He just said it’s not like they planned it.” 

“It’s unnatural,” she stated. 

“Well, yeah,” Dean conceded. “We know that. But aren’t you going to be at least a little happy for us?” Not even the hint of a smile had grown on his mother’s face, and while Dean had known she would be cautious, he’d been hoping for a little more acceptance than this.

“How?” Mary asked plainly. She shook her head, her short blond hair bobbing. “Look, you two want to be together, I deal with that. My son tells me he’s in love with an angel, to a member of a species I didn’t even know existed, who’s wearing the body of a man, I deal with that.” Her expression softened a touch here.

“Cas, I can clearly tell you make Dean happy, so I deal with that. But this...I don’t know if I can deal with this, guys.” She sounded defeated. Again, Dean was glad Sammy was there, because he himself was left a little speechless at this summary.

“Mom, that's your grandson you’re talking about,” Sam implored, turning on his puppy dog eyes. Mary huffed. 

“I’m too young to be a grandmother, for one thing,” she scolded. Okay, she wasn’t technically wrong, since Amara had brought her back at an age that wasn’t much older than her sons. 

Wait, she had no ground to stand on with calling anything else unnatural. Dean felt himself beginning to prickle, and Cas’s hand rubbed up and down his arm, his husband easily picking up on his emotions.

“And one nephilim isn’t enough?” were Mary’s next words. “You’re going to bring another one into the world? That’s...forbidden, isn’t it?” Certainly she wasn’t saying anything that they hadn’t talked about by now. But it wasn’t that simple.  

“He’s our son, Mom,” Dean found his voice again. “Our baby. Not just a nephilim.”

“That’s cute and all, Dean,” she cut across him. “But Jack was just a baby once upon a time too, or so we thought.”

“And now he’s a compassionate young man,” Cas’s voice was strong and carried just the hint of a warning. No one got away with even remotely talking bad about Jack in his presence. Dean leaned a bit further into his husband. 

“Yes, he is,” Mary agreed, closing her eyes for a second, then opening them. “I’m not saying I don’t love Jack, that’s not the point of this.” Sensing she was not going to get anywhere with the nephilim argument, she changed tactics. 

“Okay, so, unnatural pregnancy of a supernatural creature aside,” she forged on, “You’re going to bring a child into this life? Repeat this pattern all over again?” Dean bit his tongue before flying off the handle; he didn’t want Cas exposed to more anger and stress than he had to be while carrying their child. 

He could see the pain underneath the harshness in his mother’s eyes and that helped tamp down his temper. The last thing she’d wanted was for her sons to be raised as hunters, after all. 

“What would you suggest we do?” Dean couldn’t keep his tone from coming out hard, daring his mother to mention what he and Cas had agreed was unthinkable. She wouldn’t, would she? 

But she was not just his soft mother from when he was a little boy, the woman she had tried to be for her children and her husband. She was as sharp and ruthless as Dean when she had to be. And if she truly voiced what her older son was thinking she might, he was going to tell her to get out of the bunker, there was no question. He’d like her support and acceptance of course, but he couldn’t make her produce it, and he wasn’t going to let their baby be around anybody who didn’t want him. 

The silence mounted once more as Mary took in Dean and Cas standing glued together, Dean’s hand on the angel’s belly and their stance clear. Sam was still off to the side, grinding his teeth. 

“I think I should go for a little bit,” Mary announced. “See how Bobby’s doing maybe.” There she went again, running away. Dean chided himself that maybe he wasn’t being fair enough to her. But loving your mom and wanting her unconditional love was supposed to be simple, and he couldn’t help feeling cheated out of that every other time he turned around. His mouth opened as she began to spin away on a heel to leave the room. 

“That’s the best you got for us?” He felt Cas’s lips press into his temple, asking without words for him to stay calm and he saw Mary’s eyes take this motion in. She sighed again, and swallowed.

“I’m sorry, Dean,” she told him, her glance including Castiel. “This is a lot to take in. I’ll...I’ll try. I’ll call you soon.” And then she hustled out of the room like she had to get away from them as quickly as possible. 

 

“Dean-o!” Garth’s jovial voice boomed through the bar. Dean couldn’t help a smile as he finished taking a pull off his beer and stood up from his stool. He’d given the mostly retired lycanthrope hunter a call when he’d realized he, Sam, and Jack would be passing close enough to the town that Garth and his family lived in. 

This might mark the first time Dean had seeked out the nerd purely for his company and not assistance on a hunt. He was now wrapped in that too-close trademark hug, which he returned, a little more warmly than he used to do. Garth was certainly his own character, but he’d proven a real friend to the Winchesters. 

And true to his indomitable spirit, he now toasted Dean with a hearty congratulations when Dean told him the news. There was no awkward silence, no dark look of condemnation, no heavy questions of what they were going to do. Just a fresh round of beers and honest joy for him and Cas, and of course some curiosity on the nature of how. It was a breath of fresh air, even if Dean couldn’t quite answer most of that last. 

He did find his voice rattling on about all his worries, surprising himself with how comfortable he felt confiding in Garth. But the heart of the matter was that the guy was a father, had been doing this for a few years now himself, and that was a lot of why Dean had called him. 

“Trust me, when that kid comes out and you look at him for the very first time,” Garth promised, “All of that fear is going to melt away.” He paused. 

“For about five minutes. Then you’re going to live in a constant state of terror that everything you’re doing is wrong.” He had the nerve to laugh at the color draining from Dean’s face at this. 

“But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Seriously, man, there is nothing like holding your own kid, it’s a love you can’t even begin to imagine until you feel it.” Only Garth would be getting this sappy in a bar as they ordered another round. Dean did a shot just for good measure before he asked this next. 

“What if I can’t be good enough? I don't know how to do this. I’m not a dad.” He gulped down half of his beer, hiding his emotions in the alcohol like he was so good at. He’d still been cutting back, especially at home, in solidarity with his husband’s inability to have any, but he needed an escape sometimes. Garth suddenly grew as serious as Dean had ever seen him. 

“Yes you are,” he returned, staring directly into Dean’s face. “Even putting aside what you’ve monumentally done for Sam and Jack, the fact that you’re this worried about the little one and doing the best you can by him… Dean, you’re already a great dad.” Garth gave him a warm smile while Dean sighed, accepting the words of comfort with effort.

“Cas is being so strong about all this, too. I know I definitely couldn’t be carrying this baby. He’s amazing.” And now Dean knew he’d had a bit too much to drink, it wasn’t like him to be this sentimental about his relationship, even if everyone who looked at him and Cas could tell they were hopelessly in love. 

“You guys are awesome together,” Garth confirmed. “Hold onto that, hold onto each other. I’m not saying you have an easy road ahead of you, but you and Cas...if anyone can handle it, you two can. Give that man of yours a big old hug from me. And just take the best care of him that you can. The rest will work itself out.” 

 

Dean was trying. He’d bought every supplement that Emily had told them about, even if they didn’t know they would work the way they should since Cas was male. From what she told them though, the pregnancy was progressing well. It’s not like they could take Cas in for regular prenatal care doctor visits, but Emily would examine him whenever she was at the bunker, as well as continuously question him on his eating and exercise habits within an inch of his life. 

Dean never would have known there was such a thing as pregnancy yoga but he wasn’t surprised Sam did, and though he would shake his head when he saw Cas going to get his mat, he loved his brother more than he would ever be able to express. He was well aware they wouldn’t have made it even this far without their family and friends. 

Chapter Text

“She’s not wrong, Dean,” Cas said, and the hunter had to pause in his scrolling to look up with the question in his expression. 

“Your mother,” Cas clarified. It had been a week and a half since Mary had left the bunker and no one had dared mention her name until now.

“Cas...what she thinks -” Dean started.

“Is justified. Our son is a nephilim. You know what this means for him.” Cas was sitting in the armchair in the family room, reading a book while Dean messed around on his laptop. It was a quiet day, why did Cas have to bring this up? They’d talked about it before, falling back on the ‘we’ll figure it out’ vow. Oh, no, his angel’s gorgeous eyes were watering. Dean shut the laptop and rose to his feet. 

He hated that fear in his husband’s expression and voice, and he would do anything to make it go away. He just wasn’t sure what that was sometimes. He went to Cas and sat on the arm of the recliner to be closer to him. 

Cas’s swollen belly was quite pronounced by this point. He'd had to start wearing old shirts of Sam’s to cover it, and as the baby inside him grew, making himself more known to the world, he was becoming a real presence. Dean’s hand smoothed over the rise of his husband’s stomach, the gesture natural now. 

“Has he been kicking today?” Dean asked, hoping to distract his lover with happier thoughts. Cas nodded softly. Dean would never forget that moment as long as he lived; Castiel’s eyes impossibly wide as he rushed into their room and told Dean to feel his belly, just there, to the right of his navel. 

That sudden press back into his palm, from inside of Castiel, had Dean’s knees going weak in a way he’d never been able to imagine. He’d kneeled and pressed kisses to Cas’s belly, to their baby, until they were both swimming in warm happy tears. 

“He seems to like right after lunch, when we relax in here, the most,” Cas told him. Dean lamented the days he’d been out on hunts and had missed those moments, and knew it was just a shadow of days to come when there would be plenty of moments of his son’s life that he would have to miss. He didn’t like that thought. Dean looked at his husband’s face, always rather tired now but shining beautifully even with the moisture still on his lashes. 

“Cas, Baby,” he told him, knowing the angel would not be deterred from his train of thought. “We’ve been able to keep Jack safe. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep Zeppelin safe.” The second the promise was out, Dean’s eyes widened and then fell, and he could feel his cheeks heating up. 

They hadn’t talked about names yet. Dean was going to bring that one up, of course, when they got to that conversation. But a smile was peeking through Cas’s tears and maybe if it was making his angel feel better it was worth the slip and the embarrassment that came with it. 

“Zeppelin?” Cas queried softly. A downright bashful shrug was the only answer Dean could come up with at first. 

Then, “It doesn’t have to be,” he said quickly. “We can talk about it. Of course.” He didn’t want Cas thinking he was taking liberties. 

“I guess...” Dean started to add, then paused. He wasn’t scared to share anything with Cas, he knew his angel would never laugh at him, but this was something he’d always managed to bury pretty deeply. 

“I guess if I ever had a kid, a son,” he went on, finally looking up at Cas and the patient expression on his handsome face and in his beautiful eyes, and calming a bit, “I always kinda wanted to name him Zeppelin. I know it’s kind of dumb,” he confessed. “But I also never really figured I’d actually have a son,” he finished quietly. Even now, a name seemed such an abstract thing to what felt like the surreality that he was actually going to be...already was, he corrected his brain...a father. 

“It’s not dumb,” Cas said, his voice warm. Dean’s mouth began twisting in a scoff, but then Cas continued, “Besides, it’s you, you can’t exactly think I’d be surprised that that would be your choice of names,” and Dean’s lips went in the direction of a wry smile instead. 

“I like it,” Cas stated then, and Dean’s eyes filled with hope, to which Cas’s eyes positively sparkled in response. 

“It doesn’t have to be,” Dean said again. 

“Dean,” and the soft way Cas said his name had the desired effect of soothing Dean as only it could do, and Cas reached out for his human’s hands. As their fingers slotted together and even this everyday touch of skin centered them both, Dean had to speak again. 

“I mean, you get a say too, you know? He won’t be here for a couple months, we have time to talk about it.” Cas gave him that tender smile that Dean was beginning to be familiar with. After so many years together, he had thought he’d seen every possible expression on his dear husband’s perfect face. 

But since they’d found out about the baby, there was this new smile. It was reminiscent of the proud one he gave Jack sometimes, or the one he tried to hide when Claire came around. This version of it though, had a depth and a light and a love to it that Dean had never quite seen.

Always, just when he thought he couldn’t love Castiel any more, something happened to prove him wrong. He wouldn’t just die for him, he’d die a thousand deaths to protect this angel and now the precious being he carried, never mind that some wouldn’t consider their baby precious. Dean and Cas knew better. 

“Zeppelin,” Cas said simply, as he smoothed the hand that wasn’t holding his husband’s over his swollen belly, making a statement, almost a ritual of it. Tears leaked into Dean’s eyes at the sound of his beloved’s voice uttering the name of his child, their child, with this conviction. 

“It’s perfect,” the angel assured Dean, then pulled him closer so he could lay a kiss on Dean’s scarred knuckles. Dean began leaning in for a real kiss, but was interrupted by Grace’s sleek black body leaping up onto the other arm of the chair and promptly settling on the rise of Cas’s abdomen. She curled up in a ball and began purring immediately, almost before Dean could form a complete frown. Cas, however, still had a soft smile on his face. 

“Are you sure she’s okay there?” Dean argued, his tone oozing worry. “She might be too heavy.” Cas’s smile only deepened.

“She weighs nine and a quarter pounds. She’s fine. I think she likes to protect him,” Cas told Dean. “To protect Zeppelin.” At this, Grace’s purring rose a decibel.

“And I think she approves of the name, too,” he shared, a tear peeking at Dean from the corner of his sterling eye. Now Dean had to lean over both a sizable baby bump and a curled up cat to press a kiss to his husband’s lips, but he wasn’t complaining at all. 



“I’m not...quite sure he’s a nephilim.” Sam’s familiar creased brow accompanied this declaration, in response to the word being spoken at the dinner table one evening. 

“What do you mean?” Dean asked swiftly, pausing in his next bite of steamed stir fry. It was a compromise meal; relatively healthy but still had real meat.   

“It’s just that...all the lore Jack and I can find clearly states that a nephilim is born of the union between an angel and a human woman. Which suggests that a female angel, or...at least an angel with a womb, has not been impregnated by a human male.”

“And we’ve been reading a lot ,” Jack added.  

“I would imagine in most cases, the grace would overpower the sperm and the angel’s body would reject the fertilization,” Cas pondered. What a conversation for a family dinner.   

“Then why didn’t that happen with us?” Dean couldn’t help but voice the question.   

“A better question to ask is why do I have a womb?” There was a touch of amusement in Cas’s tone, and Dean truly didn’t know how he could attempt to make light of any of this, but he did love him for trying. 

“But since I do have one, I’m guessing the conception must have happened that one night, that night shortly after I got back and…” he trailed off with a soft, private smile aimed at his husband, whose ears were turning brick red and who couldn’t look at his brother, much less Jack. 

“That...would make sense,” Sam said, a little uncomfortably. “Your grace was at lower levels and you were trying to recoup.” 

“We couldn’t have known…” Dean muttered, feeling like maybe he should apologize or something. 

His angel burrowed his fingers into the spaces between Dean’s and tugged his hand closer to his belly, to their son. He leaned in and spoke into Dean’s shoulder.  

“I wouldn’t change it,” he promised and Dean turned his head to nuzzle at Cas’s cheek. They usually tried to somewhat downplay the mushy stuff around the rest of the family, but they were never very successful. Touching each other, finding comfort or refuge in even the most innocuous of caresses, was just something they needed. Now more than ever. 

“So we don’t know what our son is going to be,” Dean spoke up, addressing the rest of the room after pulling himself out of the headspace of the world that belonged to only him and Cas. He gave a lopsided grin. “Leave it to us to make something one of a kind, right?” he asked, glancing back at Cas. 

“I mean, there’s a chance he could be just...human,” Sam told them. They could be so lucky.

“But we don’t think that’s very likely,” Jack said helpfully. Right. Of course not. 

“All we can really do is wait and see,” Sam said, which Dean knew and that’s precisely what might drive him crazy. “Cas, you’ll let us know if you feel like something’s off, right?” 

“Since all of this feels off ,” Cas replied with his perfectly measured snark, “It might be hard to know what that threshold is.” Dean had to lay a kiss on his husband’s knuckles. 

Cas had been reading for days, weeks, the books piled high on the library table, the kitchen table, the nightstand: What To Expect When You’re Expecting and other such titles. Trying to get an idea of what was normal, what he should be worried about if he felt, the baby’s development. But since none of this vaguely resembled normal, he had that constant shadow of uncertainty in his beautiful eyes that no matter how often or how tenderly he tried, Dean couldn’t kiss away. 

 

With the progression into his third trimester, it had become difficult for Cas to even get comfortable at night now, and it was only for Dean and the growing life he was supporting that he even laid down in bed and tried to sleep. 

There was no question of who was the big and little spoon anymore, and though Dean was usually the big one normally, he missed being able to take a turn to be snuggled into the crook of his husband’s body. But there was no crook now; only Zeppelin, protruding, heavy, and making Cas move awkwardly and honestly feel miserable a lot of the time. 

“Good night beautiful,” Dean muttered before reaching over to turn off the bedside lamp, knowing “good” was optimistic at best. Cas would have to get up at least twice to use the bathroom, and Zeppelin usually woke up about two hours before his dads did, kicking and making his presence known. 

“Oh please, Dean,” Cas groaned lightly. “Thanks for trying to make me feel better, but we both know I’m hideous.” Dean’s hand halted at the forlorn sound in his husband’s voice, dropping back as he rolled to face Cas, lamp still shining. He studied the angel closely. 

It was true Cas looked tired all the time now, the lines around his eyes had deepened and there were shadowy bags under them. Most of his skin was paler than usual without him getting outside as much anymore. The baby alternated between making him too warm or too cold but tonight must have been too warm since Cas was currently shirtless. His belly was huge, unnaturally round, pulling all his skin taut and causing blooming blotches and veins to creep like spiderwebs towards his navel.

Dean knew Cas hated his swollen ankles too, and he’d lost most of the firm muscle mass he’d had when he was a fighting machine. Yoga with Sam and Emily had helped him keep some tone but there was only so much it could do. His entire body had changed over the last several weeks, and while Dean could concede that he wouldn’t be featured in the women’s version of Busty Asian Beauties anytime soon, he was undoubtedly still Dean’s gorgeous angel.     

“What are you talking about, Baby? You’ve never been more beautiful.” 

“You’re just saying that to be nice,” Cas returned. 

“C’mon, we both know me, when do I do something like that?” This worked to get at least a minuscule smile out of Cas. It wasn’t like him to be self conscious about his appearance, but Dean supposed that pregnancy hormones were really doing a number on him. Cas sighed, and Dean, hoping he wouldn’t get yelled at for making his husband too warm, scooted just a bit closer to him. He slid a hand along the pillows to cup Cas’s jaw. 

“I love the fuck out of you, you know that right?” Dean asked plainly, his gaze getting lost for the millionth time in his favorite eyes. 

“Of course, Dean,” this was met with a larger smile and a lightening of the tiredness in the bottomless blue. 

“And you could never be hideous. You’re growing another life, you’re growing our son in there.” Here Dean rested his other hand lightly on Cas’s side, feeling the heat radiate off his skin. 

“Look at these stretch marks, though. And they’re going to get worse. And it’s not like they totally go away after.” Cas must really be feeling down, it definitely wasn’t like him to whine. 

“Turn the light off please, Dean,” he asked. It was Dean’s turn to sigh, but he fulfilled his angel’s request, wishing there was something he could do to make him feel better. 

“I’m going to put your lotion on, okay?” he said as he rolled back over, the bottle in his hand that he’d grabbed from the nightstand. Emily had gotten Cas some fancy coconut-aloe-jojoba-hyacinth-and-a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree lotion that was supposed to help keep the stretch marks to a minimum. 

The night light left enough glow to work with to smooth a generous portion of the white liquid over Cas’s belly, Dean being careful not to rub too hard. The skin was thin and sensitive and he also didn’t want to take the chance of waking Zeppelin up and bothering his dad; he hadn’t thought this aspect of having a kid was one they’d encounter before the kid was even out. 

“Thank you, my love,” Cas told Dean, and the human was happy to now hear some relaxation in his deep voice.    

“Of course,” Dean whispered back, losing himself in the rhythm of the gentle caresses. His hands would smell all flowery for the rest of the night now but it was worth it. He began peppering the lightest of kisses across the expanse of his husband’s chest as his fingers explored the bare skin of Cas’s hipbone, dipping under the waistband of the cotton pj pants to do so. 

His man, his angel, was still sexy, even if he didn’t feel it right now. One day again soon Dean knew he would be able to lay Cas down and take him, use him, ravish him and remind him that he was Dean’s personal sex god. He hoped. 

“What are you doing there?” Cas asked in some amusement since Dean’s touch had roamed further into the angel’s pants, now tracing at the crease of Cas’s pubic bone. Not quite touching...there...but not very far off. 

The hunter’s eyes flicked up to his husband’s face, the question unspoken. They hadn’t done much of anything sexual since they’d learned about the pregnancy, as unsure as everything was. Again, if Cas had been a pregnant woman, there would be some precedence of normalcy, some idea of what might be okay. 

With their gazes locked on each other’s, Cas’s swelling cock suddenly brushed Dean’s fingers, drawing a huff of a chuckle from the angel and a smile from the human. Damn he missed this dick. 

“Let me make you feel good, Baby,” Dean requested, and a needy kiss from plump angel lips was his answer. He eagerly wrapped one hand around his favorite oversized cock while he worked the pajama pants down Cas’s hips with the other. 

Cas breathed heavily into the lingering kiss, making Dean sorely wish he could crush him to his body and hold on as tight as he could. Dean was good at control when he needed to be though, so he concentrated on slow and steady strokes of his husband’s shaft, loving the changes in breathing rhythm he could produce from his angel. 

“Where’s that lotion?” Cas asked as his hips began to shift a bit of their own accord. But then his groping must have found where Dean had left it on the bed. The human let out a sound between a gasp and moan when Cas plunged his hand, wet with lotion, down past his waistband and directly around his cock. 

Dean had been focusing on his lover’s pleasure, and while this always aroused him, he’d only gotten about half hard himself. Now he sprang the rest of the way to full mast in Cas’s capable grip. 

“Supposed to be…” he got out on one breath, unable to help suddenly quickening his stroke on his husband.

“About you,” he finished on the next breath. Fuck but Cas was good at this and oh fuck how he’d missed it. A deep sexy chuckle was his first response.

“And I love you dearly for that Dean,” Cas said in a whisper. “It can be about both of us though.” Dean swirled his thumb through his husband’s precome, and smiled as he inhaled. All he could smell was that lotion.   

“Great now my dick’s gonna smell like flowers too,” Dean realized in a breathy laugh that rose in pitch as his cock impossibly hardened more in his angel’s fist. 

“Can’t be much worse than the first time you fucked me,” Cas teased in his low sexy drawl. “That lotion from that hotel,” he reminded Dean. 

The hunter smiled widely at his angel, noticing even in the dim light that Cas’s eyes had turned the darker blue that meant he would be coming very soon. The reminder of their first time going all the way blended with this knowledge that one could only have after years together and the combination served to tip Dean over the edge. He spilled all over Cas’s hand, still in his pajama pants, even as his angel, master of control, finally let his own self go, coating Dean’s hand in turn.

They stayed just like that, hands messy and down each other’s pants like teenagers, until their breathing had both calmed. 

“See what you can still do to me?” Dean told his husband before leaning in for a tender kiss. Cas kissed him back, but “Mm-hmm,” was his only response when they drew apart and his eyes stayed closed. Dean, smiling sleepily himself, tucked Cas’s now soft cock gently back in place and wiped his hand on the sheets. Whatever, it had been long enough since they’d had some fun, he didn’t mind changing them in the morning. 

Cas’s messy hand had slipped out of his pants and lay between them under his swollen belly. Dean half heartedly dabbed at his own come with his tee shirt but he didn’t think Cas cared too much. 

“Love you Baby,” he whispered into Cas’s hair before his head found his pillow. The angel finally had a night that he slept almost all the way through.

Chapter Text

Once upon a time, Dean wouldn’t have been able to dream of trusting this haughty ancient redhead as far as he could throw her. Oh how things could change. 

“It’s going to be alright, dear,” Rowena was saying while squeezing Dean’s hand. “At least, I’m mostly sure.”

Sometime around saving their hides for the third time, and now that they were going to be relying on her to help Cas give birth, a closeness had grown between the witch and the Winchesters. If she wasn’t exactly family, she was pretty damn close. 

“What do you mean mostly?” Dean wasn’t about to miss that. Rowena’s sculpted brow raised, but it did not hold its usual sharpness. 

“Any birth has its risks,” she told him, her hazel green eyes steady on his. “Of course I can mitigate most of them, but this one is rather special. It shall have to be a cesarean section, of course. Castiel and I have talked about that.”

“Whatever he needs, whatever he wants, you do,” Dean agreed. She beamed a soft, almost motherly smile at him, a smile that he was not used to seeing on her face. 

“You do know that there are no guarantees, though.” The flowing lilt of her accent didn’t make the words any easier to hear. 

Dean’s expression hardened, his jaw flexing, and Rowena quickly continued, “I will do everything in my power, you know that. But you should be prepared for the possibility…if I can only keep one of them alive…?” She trailed off, the question as gentle as she could make it. It took a second for the implication to hit Dean.

“No. No.” He then growled and ripped his hand out of Rowena’s grasp. Fear was tearing at his heart, as it always did when he couldn’t help but think of how Jack had come into the world and what had happened to poor Kelly. Granted, Zeppelin didn’t have an archangel for one of his parents but there was still plenty to be terrified about. 

“You’re going to make sure it doesn’t come to that. That nothing happens. To either of them,” Dean commanded Rowena, his voice hard and desperate. He was not above begging when it came to this. “Please.” 

Dean was far from naive and he knew, logically, even as the witch’s head gave the smallest of noncommittal nods, that he couldn’t exactly expect her to be in complete control of whatever would happen. But.  

He couldn’t, he couldn’t, he couldn’t possibly make a decision like what Rowena was trying to prepare him for. Because he knew in what was left of his soul what choice he would make and he knew it made him a horrible person; he loved his unborn child, the thought of meeting him filled Dean with tentative joy, but if it was at the cost of Castiel’s life, that just wasn’t a price he was willing to pay. 

It would devastate Cas, his wonderful angel who was giving so much of himself right now to carry this baby, and Dean had no doubt Cas would make that ultimate sacrifice if it did come to it, and leave Dean here with a brand new nephilim - or whatever Zeppelin was - and a blown apart heart. He would think that Dean could handle it, because his Dean was so strong. But his Dean was not that strong. Which is why such a situation could not be allowed to happen. He shoved the idea into the deepest corner of his mind where it would at least have a lot of company. 

Dean mentally resurfaced long enough to draw Rowena into a quick, reassuring hug. He knew she would do the best she could, and she was a damn powerful witch. The odds were in their favor. 

But then he took himself away, leaving Rowena to continue to set up the bunker infirmary the way she was going to want it when the time came, a matter of weeks now. Dean mused over how quickly the last several months had gone as he decided to go for a walk in the woods and get some air. It was a mild September day, and fall hadn’t quite begun to make itself known yet.  

He was still angry at the angels for doing whatever they’d done to Cas that had allowed this to happen. He managed to hide this anger in front of his husband, in the interest of not wanting the negativity to affect his own angel at such a time. Though Zeppelin had been conceived in certain love and would, if he survived the birth, be cherished by his family, there was no escaping the fact that his existence was not natural, could even be considered an abomination. 

Dean’s mind flashed to the ultrasound picture that rested in his wallet. Sneaking into the hospital wasn’t something they could do too often, but they had gone back for one follow up at least, so Emily could check that their Zeppelin was developing well and that Cas was still in good health. She’d insisted on getting the guys some traditional ultrasound pictures from the session and Dean was thankful she did.   

He didn’t need to take it out to see all the little nubs that were ten fingers and ten toes and then the outline of the big head, the rough shape that was a body growing inside of his husband - he’d stared at it for hours already. How could something that beautiful and precious be an abomination? 

“Don’t worry, Zeppelin, we’ve got you kid,” Dean said to the trees and rocks, vowing to that unborn nephilim-or-whatever-he-was that he would never know a day of not being wanted.

 “Just please don’t kill your dad on the way out, okay?” 




So. Much. Stuff. So much. Did babies really need all of this? An entire store, and a big one, dedicated to supplies for the little buggers. Cas had insisted on checking it out, and Dean had no power to deny him of course.

They did have a decent start, thanks to a few gifts from Jody, Claire, Donna, and Garth and his wife. The room next to Dean and Cas’s, the one that used to be just Cas’s and was hardly ever used, had been designated as the nursery. Everything they had so far was gathered in there: a few bags of clothes, a start on the diaper supply, an assortment of formula (Dean didn’t understand the difference in the kinds), and some toys, all of which Grace had thoroughly sniff tested. 

And Garth had dropped off a highchair, a swing that hung from a doorway, and a changing table, all no longer needed now that his girls were toddlers. Dean and Cas were grateful for their friends’ generosity, but they knew there was more they would need. So here they were, wandering around lost and mostly confused in a Babies From A to Z store.

Okay so some of the clothes were kind of cool. Dean plucked a onesie off a rack and held it up with a smirk for his husband’s approval. The words “Ladies’ Man” were printed on the front. Cas’s stare back at him was soft and transfixed. 

“What?” he asked Cas, who shook his head and rolled his eyes but told Dean to put the onesie in the cart.

“You’re adorable,” the angel added. 

“Pfft, well I know that,” Dean tried to play off how pleased the comment made him, but he couldn’t manage to keep the stupid little grin off of his face as they continued through the store. It didn’t help that Cas kept giving him that warm soft look whenever Dean pointed anything out to him, even how damn expensive diapers were.

“Shit catchers, and they charge this much for them? Housebreaking is happening young, that’s for sure.” 

“I think it’s called potty training with humans, Dean,” Cas said, still with that twinkle in his gorgeous blue eyes.

“No, I trained Sam to go outside,” Dean shot, then smirked. “Used to be so proud of him, watching him learn to scoot his butt along the grass.” Cas gave his arm a playful shove.  

“Are you sure you want to have a kid with me?” Dean asked as he began to study the endless selection of bottles and nipples. What were half of these even for? And why were there so many different sizes?

“I’m sure,” Cas replied as he rested a hand on his belly in the unconscious gesture that had become so natural. Dean couldn’t help glancing around to make sure no other shoppers were watching. 

Cas was huge now, he had less than a month to go, and it probably wasn’t even the best idea for him to be in public. His clothes plus the trench coat were baggy enough that it could look like a bad beer belly but people didn’t usually caress their beer bellies. Society might be able to handle two dudes shopping for baby stuff, but Dean thought it best to not draw attention to the fact that one of the dudes was actually carrying the kid.

They had wandered into the bedding aisle now and Dean’s glance fell on a blanket printed with cutesy safari animals. Ah, just the thing. He reached out and grabbed it, noting that it might be the softest thing he’d ever touched. Presenting it to Cas, it was safe to say the ploy at distraction worked. Both of the angel’s hands grasped the fuzzy blanket as his eyes lit up. Then he saw all of the matching bedding that went with it.   

“Oh Dean this is perfect,” he breathed. “There’s little lions and crocodiles and zebras. They’re so precious.” Then there was a sharp intake of breath. “Dean. Look at the mobile.”    

“We don’t need to get everything today,” Dean cautioned, but he knew it was hopeless.

Another hour and an overflowing shopping cart topped off with the most expensive damn car seat the place sold because they both refused to skimp on safety, Dean sent up a thank you to Charlie for arranging for the bottomless credit cards. 

Normally, the Winchesters were content with just the necessities of life: food, clothes when the blood wouldn’t wash out of theirs anymore, fresh ammo. A kid might need a little more than that, and Dean had known that, of course. But jeez. 

At least the crib was taken care of. It wasn’t one of the fancy ones the store had, that turned into a bed as the kid got older, but it was handmade by Zeppelin’s father and uncle, the uncle making sure they used the latest safety parameters. 

Sam and Dean had spent a whole day building it, not totally sure what they were doing, but both smart and handy enough to figure it out. After all, Dean and then Sam, for a shorter time, had slept in the crib that their father had made. It just seemed right somehow. 

“Too bad Zeppelin couldn’t have had our old crib,” Sam had said quietly as they worked. Dean concentrated on meeting two joints before he replied, also speaking gently. 

“Too bad he can’t have anything we did. Or would have. But maybe that’s good.” Sam crooked his brow as he looked up at his older brother. Dean was silent for several moments while he watched the understanding settle on Sam’s face. 

“Yeah,” he agreed, “Every parent wants to do better than the generation before, right?” He gave the smallest of head shakes.  “Well that won’t be too hard to do,” Sam summed up. 

“I hope not,” Dean said as he went back to affixing the walls of the soon-to-be-crib together. 

“Dean,” Sam’s voice was firm. “I know you’ll make sure of it. We’ll all make sure of it. This child will not grow up like we did.” 

“Yeah. Yeah I know. Thanks Sammy,” Dean replied, refusing to look up from his work so his brother wouldn’t see how watery his eyes had gotten.

 

Between making sure they had everything, setting up the nursery so that it was as bright and warm as they could get an underground room with no natural light, and Emily coming over as much as she could to work with Cas on breathing and stretching techniques, these last few weeks were passing much too quickly. Cas was alright with that; he was as beautiful and wonderful as ever to Dean, but he said he was tired almost all the time now and he would be happy when this was all over. 

Dean wondered how much worse it would be for him if he wasn’t an angel with the extra strength that gave him. Cas’s ankles were definitely swollen like Jody had said they would be and his face was even puffy; he couldn’t comfortably lay down or sit up or especially stand anymore; he would be ravenous one day and the smell of all food would repel him the next. Zeppelin was twisting and turning in there more often than not, as if he couldn’t wait to come out. 

Dean tried to imagine how horrible this ordeal must feel to a human, and what he would do if he’d been the one that had to carry the kid. He couldn’t think about it without wincing in pain, and he bestowed that many more kisses on his angel.

“So you’re just going to know?” Dean pressed Cas. “How? It’s not like your water’s going to break.” He paused, his brow creasing. “Is it?”

“My love,” Cas let out a small chuckle, accompanied by a sweet smooch to his husband’s temple. “Rowena and I have it worked out. She and Emily have given me the best idea that they can of what contractions should feel like. As soon as I get them, even if they might be the Toni Braxton hickey ones, I’m to report to the infirmary and Rowena will monitor me and proceed with the Caesar sectional when she feels it’s safe to do so. Don’t worry.” 

At this summary, Dean couldn’t help it; his worried face broke into a loose grin. A grin that got bigger when Cas winked at him, telling Dean that his husband had only said the birthing terms like that to amuse his husband and that he did know better.  

“How are you not scared?” 

Cas looked at his Dean for several long moments after the hunter asked this question, the smile gone but his expression still soft. A sudden emptiness in his sterling eyes spoke the truth before his tongue could. 

“I am,” he finally said quietly. “Of course I am. But you’re going to be here, right? And I know you won’t let anything happen to me or Zeppelin.” Dean forced the sudden lump in his throat back down. 

“You know it, Baby,” and he squeezed Cas’s hand a bit harder. 



As the estimated day got closer and closer, going out on hunts was getting to be risky business, naturally. Dean was not going to take the chance of not being there for his son’s birth, but sitting around waiting wasn’t exactly doing him or anyone else in the bunker any favors. 

His pacing was making Cas nervous, his almost constant low humming of that cheesy eighties song The Final Countdown made Rowena lock herself in the room they’d given her, and when he tried to watch TV, his endless flipping of stations made even Jack shoot him dirty looks.

Sam was close to his breaking point, after hearing his brother slam the fridge closed for the twentieth time, not finding anything magically new in it in the last hour. Dean had washed Baby twice in the last week and given her the best tune up of her life, in sort of an apology for having to install the car seat in her sleek leather back seat. The nursery was set up, the diapers were laid out, the infirmary was ready. There was nothing for anyone at the bunker to do except wait. 

Emily had promised to come down as soon as she was able if it happened while she was working and Jody was on standby as well. Mary was still keeping her distance, which Dean was thankful for. He still hoped she would come around eventually but on the chance she didn’t, they would get along just fine. In a way, he supposed she was supporting them by taking on as many hunts as she was able to, along with Bobby, so that Dean and Sam could both be there for Cas. That was no small thing. 

Donna was also working a couple of extra cases and even Garth had come partially out of retirement, working on behind the scenes research and jobs that weren’t directly dangerous. Of course it also helped that the Winchesters’ older son could decimate just about any monster or demon he’d encountered thus far with a flick of his wrist or a focused stare of those burning orange eyes. 

“All done, heading home now. Cas have the baby yet?” Sam read out Jack’s text with a shake of his head. He and Jody had been gone less than eight hours and most of that was drive time to Denver. Most likely Jody had just had to be the lookout while Jack took care of the wendigo. 

Dean was so damn proud of Jack, and he could tell Sam was too by the smile his little brother shared with him. He turned back to the cupboards to see what else he could stress eat for the evening. 

Cas was propped on the couch in the family room with Grace and one of his favorite movies, Homeward Bound, which Dean wouldn’t watch since it made him cry. Every damn time. It made Cas cry too, of course, but the angel wanted to be alone and he assured Dean that he was overly emotional right now anyway and he would be sure to call out if he felt anything happen.    

“You did a great job with Jack, man,” he told Sam as he brought a bag of peanuts back to the kitchen table. Hardly junk food, but he’d already eaten all the chips. Sam reached for a handful of peanuts and started to shell them as he answered.

“You did too,” he reassured Dean. “We all did.” 

“I still worry about him, you know?” Dean asked. “Which is crazy. He may end up being the most powerful being on this planet, other than friggin God, and I still worry about sending him off like this. He’s just a kid.” 

Underneath this current overshadowing fear about Cas and Zeppelin, Dean couldn’t shake the unease that something big was coming. It had been too long since they’d heard from Chuck, for one thing, and nothing was going to convince him Michael was gone. One day, one problem, at a time, Dean reminded himself. It had gotten the Winchesters this far in life. 

Sam’s smirk was warm and understanding. 

“I know what you mean, Dean. Seems like it wasn’t that long ago that you and Jack…” Sam trailed off, his expression sobering. Dean didn’t need to be reminded of the rough start that he and Jack had gotten off to. Hell, he’d actually shot at the boy right after he was born. That was a dark time, with Castiel dead and the future even more uncertain than usual. Dean tossed back a handful of peanuts, trying to chew loudly enough to drown out the memories. 

When Jack got dropped off by Jody who wanted to get home to her girls but told the nephilim to relay to his dads that she was a phone call away, he wasn’t even tired and he made a beeline to the kitchen for his favorite cereal. The box of Cookie Crisp was about the only thing Dean hadn’t touched yet, since it was known by everyone who even passed through the bunker that it belonged wholly to Jack. 

Then he joined Dean and Cas in the family room. The angel had taken to essentially living on the sofa, since he couldn’t get comfortable laying down anymore, and the only reason Dean left him to go to bed was because Cas begged him to. The days, and nights, were getting extremely long.  

“Maybe Zeppelin’s not going to come out,” Jack suggested, warily glancing at Dean and Cas as he crunched on his cereal. Dean tried not to glare back at him. Or he’s not going to give any warning and just going to explode out of Cas, he kept himself from yelling. Instead he turned and went to the library to have a drink. There was only so much he could be expected to endure without whiskey. 

Chapter Text

“You should go for a run with me,” Sam told his brother with one foot on a chair next to the map table, lacing up a sneaker. Dean’s expression couldn’t have been more perplexed than if Sam had suggested they try ballroom dancing. 

“When have I shown any interest in your weird little perversions?” Dean shot. Yoga, running for fun, salad eating...love him to death and beyond, sometimes he had to wonder how he was related to this granola-grazing hippie. Sam gave him a quick glare that as soon turned into an affectionate laugh. 

“It’d be good for you to get out a bit - you know, get some air, get your body to make some endorphins,” Sam tried, all to the same silent and unflinching wry glare from Dean. 

“Those sound like parasites,” the older hunter returned with a straight face. He knew better of course, but he truly enjoyed ragging on his little bro. Sam was only trying to help. There was no way Dean was going more than a hundred yards from Cas for anything at this point though; he had to be about to pop any second. 

“Sam, dearie,” a lilt called out from the doorway, making the addressee halt in his turning to start up the bunker steps. Rowena was dressed down, for her, in a simple black dress and her hair was tied back for once. She smiled as she requested, “If you go into that wee town, can you bring back some flowers? And maybe some of those crisps for me?” 

Even Rowena had taken to boredom snacking, and a brand of salt and vinegar potato chips that the closest convenience store sold had become her go-to.  

“Sure thing,” Sam agreed with an easy smile for the witch and a warning glance at his brother.  The twitch at the corner of Dean’s lips and the dance of light in his eyes said what he wouldn’t quite say out loud, due to respect for Sam’s relationship with Emily. Sam quickly took his leave. 

Flowers? Dearie? Dean turned towards Rowena as he attempted to formulate a question.

“Oh relax, uptight one,” she beat him to the punch with a smirk. “Friendly flirting, that’s all. If I was going to jump your brother’s bones, I’d have done it by now.” 

Dean fought off a queasy shiver: that was not an image he wanted in his head. Though he had an uneasy feeling that if not for Emily, Sam and Rowena would have gotten even closer than they had since she’d been teaching him the ways of her craft. 

“What about the flowers?” he had to challenge. Rowena smoothed her already immaculate dress as she answered. 

“Look around this place. Dismal as...well, as an underground bunker. Since I’m not going to be here much longer it’s not worth redecorating, but some flowers in the infirmary would at least cheer that particular hole up.” 

“All cut flowers do is die anyway,” Dean retorted, bored and not minding starting a small argument. Rowena refused to be ruffled. 

“True,” she admitted. “Then it’s a good thing they only need to look nice for today.” With this, she turned to fade back to wherever she’d come from. Dean’s brain gave a hop and a skip, and then he was chasing after the witch through the library.

“Wait,” he said. “Does that mean - you know it’s today?” He couldn’t hide the tremor in his words. The green eyes Rowena turned back to him were calmer now, any teasing gone. 

“I can’t be fully sure, but I have a strong sense,” was her reply. The Winchesters had been working with and relying on Rowena’s strong senses for too long now for Dean not to put all his stock in this simple statement. A grin slowly spread across his face as he looked over at the calendar on the wall of the library. It then quickly turned into a frown.

“It’s the thirteenth,” Dean stated blankly. And not just any thirteenth. 

“And?” Rowena prompted, a tease barely hiding in this short word. 

“Friday the thirteenth,” Dean clarified, in an isn’t-it-obvious tone. Rowena must have decided to quit torturing him and went right to mocking. 

“Don’t tell me you’re superstitious about the date, Winchester,” she smirked, one perfectly groomed auburn brow arching. Dean bristled and set his jaw.

“Not - superstitious. Just. A little stitious maybe.” The witch across the room from him sighed, half relenting and half annoyed. 

“Bloody Loki,” she muttered, “He certainly didn’t help anything.” Then, in a clearer voice, she continued, “Friday the thirteenth is quite an auspicious day for a birth actually. It’s not Frigga’s fault that such a magikal date was corrupted by the patriarchy.” 

Dean could hardly make sense of this, and was going to ask for clarification when his phone started buzzing. Now? This better be important. His heart jumped as soon as he saw the caller I.D. 

Cas. 

“Dean, I need Rowena,” the deep voice came as soon as the hunter answered, and before he could relay this to the witch she was gone, off down the hallway, calling behind her to get Cas to the infirmary and she would meet them there. 

 

Golden cat eyes blinked at them from one bed over. Dean hadn’t been sure about allowing Grace to remain in the infirmary after she’d followed her masters into the room, but Cas didn’t want her to go and Rowena was fine with it. Dean blinked back at the cat from his spot next to Cas’s bed, rather thankful for her calming presence. Nothing had really happened yet and he was already a bundle of nerves. 

His angel lay shirtless on sheets that were already no longer cool, his huge belly rising and falling as slowly as he was able to control his breathing. Dean’s hand kept smoothing over his forehead, petting him steadily. Rowena was readying various herbs, liquids, and other ingredients on the table on the other side of Cas’s bed, her sharp eyes never fully leaving her patient. 

Cas gave a sudden grunt, and Dean swore he wasn’t going to live out this day without acquiring some gray hairs. He glanced between his husband and Rowena but the witch was still calm. 

“The next one?” she merely asked. 

“Yes,” Cas confirmed shortly. Dean watched Rowena’s lips move as he also tried to count on his watch. She was more accurate. 

“Down to three and a half,” she announced. “Not bad. Keep breathing, Castiel.” Dean sorely wanted to be able to do more, but he knew this was the Castiel and Rowena show now.

He’d made all the phone calls: Emily was going to be there within the hour, and Jody and Claire were on their way. Sam had already been on his return jog, and Jack was home but staying out of the room. He knew there were some things he wouldn’t want to see. 

Sam’s knock sounded now a quarter of a second before he burst in, promised flowers in hand, anxiety splashed across his face. Rowena went to him, took the flowers with a tiptoed kiss laid on his cheek and a thank you. She then shushed him out, asking for him to go boil some spring water and bring her some in her favorite iron bowl that she’d left on the dresser in her room. 

She returned to Cas’s side as Sam rushed off to carry out the request, and counted down to the angel’s next contraction as if there’d been no interruption. The flowers went into a vase she must have had ready as soon as the contraction was over. Dean was going to lose his mind. 

“Are you all right, Cas?” he asked for the eleventh time. “Do you need anything?” He watched, transfixed, as the skin over his husband's belly rippled with presumably an arm or leg testing its confines, as if trying to work on finding the way out. How could everyone be so calm? 

“Fine, my love,” Cas breathed, his eyes dark. He had to be in decent pain but he was taking it in some stride. 

“Are you excited?” he asked Dean. “To meet him?” And he smiled. 

“I’m excited to have this over with,” Dean wanted to scream but didn’t. He just smiled back and nodded and gave his angel a quick kiss right before the next contraction started. They definitely were speeding up now. 

“Drink this,” Rowena instructed, shortly after Sam got back with the hot water, and she tipped a brown liquid into Cas’s mouth. He obeyed without question. He was sweating already. 

“A cool cloth, Samuel, if you please,” Rowena directed as she nodded towards a cooler Dean hadn’t even noticed at the foot of the bed. 

“What can I do?” Dean asked. He had to be useful somehow. 

“Exactly what you are,” came the lilting reply. “And place this on his forehead,” she added, handing off the cool washcloth that Sam had handed her. The drink was already having a calming effect on Cas, and Dean wanted to ask what it was, but Rowena was busy with a table of instruments and he didn’t want to disturb her concentration. So he tried to focus his all on his husband, which wasn’t hard. It never was, and now if any slight thing seemed off, he wanted warning. 

The beautifully beloved sterling eyes were getting glassy, and if it hadn’t been for Cas’s continued strong breaths and firm grip on Dean’s hand, the hunter would have been more worried. C section, Dean reminded himself; of course he’d have to be asleep for that, and they weren’t in a hospital, and why had they ever thought this was a good idea? Maybe it wasn’t too late, maybe… 

When he looked up for Rowena again, Emily was suddenly with her, consulting over the instrument table. She’d snuck in without Dean even noticing. She was as efficient as ever, slipping off Castiel’s loose sweatpants and draping clean sheets over him. 

“Samuel, please go sit with the cat, but be ready to help hold him down if needed,” Rowena instructed, business-like but not unkindly. Dean’s eyes met his brother’s as Sam passed him to do as he was told. Sam nodded, his hand reaching out and squeezing Dean’s shoulder briefly. It was going to be alright, that glance and the grip said, we’ll get through this together. Dean let himself breathe. 

And then Cas screamed , and his hand tightened around Dean’s to the point of potentially bone crushing pain. It was the worst sound Dean had ever heard come out of his lover. The angel was now covered in sweat and his breath was ragged, heaving, control gone. Dean’s wild gaze went from his husband’s pale face to the two women on the other side of the bed. 

“What can I do? What can I do?” he begged, beginning to stand up, but not willing or able to let go of Cas’s hand. It still had him in an iron grip anyway. 

Stay. There . And stay out of the way.” Rowena bit, the hint of a threat in her tone. Dean’s ass hit the chair again, out of his element. There should be something he could fight, or figure out, or some way to solve this, to take the pain away, to get to the other side with everyone in one piece. That was his job, to make sure that happened, every hunt, every threat, every time. 

But this wasn’t a hunt. He had no power here, and all he could do was mop Cas’s forehead with a fresh cold cloth and murmur comforts to him that might be bold-faced lies for all he knew. 

“You’re doing so good Baby. Everything’s going to be okay. It’ll be over soon. Just relax. It’s all good.” 

He found the words somehow as Cas began to thrash on the bed. Dean would not allow himself to succumb to his worst fears; he’d promised his husband he would be there for him, and he would, no matter what it took. 

“It’s time,” he barely heard Rowena say, and Sam was back because they needed Cas held still to make him drink something else, and also this time give him an injection into his jugular. 

Dean had to focus on his own breath like a lifeline while he tried to watch Cas’s eyes, which had been pulsing between glowing silver and their deepest sapphire, until the injection hit home and they closed as suddenly as the rest of his body went utterly limp. 

Dean had a flashback of his beloved on that cold marble table up in heaven, and it was only Sam’s grip back on his shoulder, large and warm and grounding, that kept him from scooping Cas’s body up in his arms and going running blindly from the infirmary. 

Sam held onto him so he could hold onto Cas, the angel’s hand now as relaxed as the rest of him, but the fingers still forming a loose clasp around Dean’s. 

The nurse and the witch were busy, subdued but active, talking in low voices as they each performed steps that they must have extensively planned for prior. Dean caught snippets. 

“The largest one after all I think.”

“Keep an eye on his vitals. The second anything changes -” 

“Do we know what position the baby’s in?”

“You’ll make the main incision.” 

None of these were exactly comforting. Emily spared Dean a gentle smile and a nod as she listened to Cas’s heart. This only slowed his own heart’s racing down by a beat or two a minute. 

Then she was gone, behind the blue drapes she and Rowena had strung up at some point to conceal Cas's lower half from everyone but them, and Rowena was muttering what Dean could tell was a spell and there was a scent of burning rosemary. He worked his thumb in a constant rhythmic stroke across the back of Castiel’s hand, centering himself, curious what was going on behind the drapes but not brave enough to look. 

He didn’t have to be told or see first hand the moment when they sliced into his husband...Dean would know the smell of fresh blood anywhere. Cas’s eyelashes were so long, resting peacefully on his flushed cheeks; he was the most beautiful angel, or person, in the world, and he was going to be fine. He had to be fine. 

“A little more, just a wee bit more,” Rowena was heard to mutter. “There we go…” A sudden unearthly howl shook the very air in the infirmary, loud enough to wake the dead. Dean stood up in spite of his best control. Neither Rowena nor Emily spared him a glance as they worked over their charges. 

Was that...? Could that messy, bloody, screaming little form be his...their...son? Dean only got a glimpse of a flailing hand smaller than his thumb and a wet head that couldn’t decide if it was round or cone shaped, covered with a slick black coating before he felt his knees start to tremble.     

“Stay back, you’re not sterile,” Emily warned in a rush, giving away her awareness that Dean was hovering. Through it all, Rowena was chanting as if in a trance. Sam stood at Dean’s side, eyes saucer wide at the sight his extra height granted him over his brother. 

“Oh wow, he’s so…” Sam breathed. Dean then saw his son in full as Emily pulled the small body further away, wrapping him in another blue drape. The umbilical cord must have been cut. Their son was born, and decidedly healthy if his loud protests to being dragged out from the warmth of his father’s womb were any indication. 

His heart torn directly down the center between his husband and his son, Dean started to reach for the baby, but Emily gave him a pointed look before shifting her eyes to Cas. Still wordless, she then abruptly turned away to tend to the newborn. The icy shiver that trickled down Dean’s spine in response as he turned his attention to his prostrate husband once more was something he would never forget. 

Having dropped Cas’s hand in his impetuous rise to his feet, Dean reached to take it once more. He felt the difference immediately. It was now cold, and Dean was shoved to the verge of panic. He searched Cas’s face and saw the sweet pink flush was gone.




“Hey! Hey!” Dean yelled, not sure at whom; the witch, his husband, his son, the world. Zeppelin howled again as if in answer, and Rowena simply chanted on, her eyes now closed, her hands presumably on Cas’s abdomen underneath the drapes. 

“Cas,” Dean begged, leaning over his husband’s chest and grabbing as gently as he could at the opposite side of his face. 

“Cas, listen to me, Baby. You hear that? That’s our son, man. That’s our son. You can’t fucking leave me now, Cas.” His worst fear was coming true; Zeppelin was out, and healthy, and Castiel was giving his life in exchange. No. No. Fuck no. 

Rowena’s chanting got louder, firmer, and Dean had a wild thought to punch her in the face. He must have moved towards her, because the next thing he knew his little brother’s arms were wrapped around him, holding him down and almost pinning him to Cas. 

It was so warm in the room but Cas was so cold, and Zeppelin was screaming, and all Dean could smell was blood and the electric tang of burning magic and his own skin felt like it was on fire. Sam was whispering to him, and Dean didn’t know how many times he’d said the same thing before Dean heard him. 

“There’s a pulse, Dean - he’s got a pulse.” Sam took his brother’s hand and placed it on Cas’s throat, a sensible measure that had completely flown from Dean’s mind in the tsunami of fear. It was faint but it was there. Whatever this damn witch was doing she had to hurry! 

Dean glanced towards her with the intent to yell again. Zeppelin did it for him, though, which was just as well because Dean’s throat was dry as old bone. Rowena’s eyes were glowing a deep purple and they were all but rolled back in her head. 

Archaic sounds continued to spill from her, the pitch rising and falling, then abruptly settling into a low simmer. She was now barely murmuring, and Zeppelin had quieted too. Dean’s ragged breathing became the loudest sound in the room. 

He didn’t hear Rowena’s hoarse, “Half the dose should do it,” and he didn’t see Emily inject something into Cas’s jugular again. He couldn’t smell the herbs or the magic anymore, and he barely registered that his hand was being moved. It was Sam again, good old Sammy not letting him completely fall apart.

“Open your eyes, Dean,” his little brother said softly, and Dean tried. He still could hardly see, and he blinked, only then realizing his face was soaked with tears. He didn’t bother to wipe it off; he was too focused on Castiel’s cheeks. 

His beautiful, wonderful cheeks into which a light flush was creeping back. Dean’s fingers on the angel’s throat picked up the steady thump of a no-longer-as-faint pulse, which was what Sammy had been trying to get Dean back to his senses with. He wanted to collapse on top of Cas, to wrap him in a vise grip and never let go, but he settled for half falling against the side of the bed.

He leaned down and pressed his forehead as gently as he could to Cas’s, who was still very much not awake, but whose breathing was now noticeable and strong. 

Sounds began to trickle back into Dean’s ears - a rustle of cloth, a sing-song whisper, a deeply relieved sigh. And an unfamiliar sound, one that he hadn’t heard in over thirty years, way back when Sam was new… a snuffly gurgling followed by a tiny hiccup. Dean raised his head, finally swiped a hand over his wet face, and looked around the room. The bundle in Emily’s arms drew him like a magnet but his trained hunter eyes roamed the rest of his surroundings. 

Sam, ever faithful, stood on the other side of the bed, his own gaze taking everything in, but mostly watching his brother. Grace was sitting up very straight and tall, still obediently on the other bed, her attention focused on the baby like a laser. There was still a faint purple glow in the room, the residue of intensely powerful magic. 

The blue surgical sheets that had covered Cas’s lower half were now replaced with plain white cotton sheets, and at the foot of the bed stood Rowena, looking as if she was ready to drop. Dean had never seen her so exhausted; her eyes seemed to have sunken into her face and if he’d thought it possible, he would have said she’d lost twenty pounds that she couldn’t afford to lose. Her hair was half out of its ponytail in a frizzy halo, messier than it had ever been, and she was trembling as she met Dean’s gaze. 

“He’s safe and well,” the witch uttered, her voice weak and triumphant at once. “They both are. And Castiel is back to normal…” She paused, and her eyelashes fluttered as if she didn’t even have the strength to hold them open. 

“Angel magic is…complicated…” And though it seemed like she wanted to say more, her energy was now totally depleted. Dean’s eyes flooded again as he stared at Rowena, speechless in the face of the enormity of what she’d been able to do and his gratitude. He would hug her later when they had both recovered. 

“Samuel,” she then barely got out, and he moved like lightning to take her by the arms before she fell, guiding her to another bed. And now Dean’s attention moved fully to the armful of blanket in Emily’s arms. Emily was beaming at him as she held her precious cargo. 

Zeppelin. Their baby. Their child. Their creation. For several spinning moments, nothing else existed in Dean’s world as he got his first good look at his son. He was ruddy and tiny and wrinkled and Dean was sure he’d never seen a more beautiful creature. Emily started transferring the baby into his arms with a soft smile and he wasn’t ready but he was also more than ready. 

Dean was four years old again, holding a newborn Sammy for the first time, settled into the couch so that he could hold him safely but now he was standing up, strong, able, and proud, though he didn’t know how with the way his knees were trembling. He must be careful not to break or hurt this precious being.

Zeppelin weighed nothing, he was lighter than Grace, and his father’s large hand cupping the back of his head covered most of his skull. He had a surprisingly thick shock of almost black hair that felt like strands of damp silk on Dean’s fingertips. And how could ears be that small? As Dean stared in adoration and amazement, Zeppelin blinked slowly, revealing slivers of a sterling blue that existed in only one other set of eyes. Dean’s lips parted in a smile. 

“Hi there,” and as quiet as he tried to be, he was scared he would startle his son.   

“Can I see him?” came a tired but deep voice from behind the new baby and his awestruck father. Dean’s heart thrilled but he pivoted on his heel slowly and steadily. 

Sam would later tell him, over celebratory whiskey and pizza, that Dean’s face was like he’d never seen it before, as he looked at Castiel again while holding their new baby. Like it was filled with an inner light, and every worry and burden that he carried for the work and the strife their lives were filled with had vanished, if only for that moment. His eyes were almost glowing like an angel’s, his little brother said, and he almost didn’t look like himself. Sam would admit that it had been wonderful to observe.

Now Dean took Zeppelin to Castiel, whom Sam had helped prop up with some pillows. The angel looked as exhausted as Rowena did, but to see him awake, and alive, completed Dean’s world. He shifted the baby as gently as he could but the blanket he’d been wrapped in fell off with the movement. No matter. Castiel would not and should not wait to hold his son. 

So Dean laid him on Cas’s bare chest, skin to skin, and watched as his husband’s powerful arm held Zeppelin in place. A hundred wonders of the world could never be as beautiful as this sight. The awe on Cas’s face had Dean beaming and tears were freely flowing from both of their eyes, and probably from others in the room. Sam confirmed this later.

“Look what we made. He’s got your eyes,” Dean whispered, laying a hand on Cas’s shoulder, needing to be physically connected to him in this moment. “And your hair.” 

Cas, his gaze not wavering from the perfection that was Zeppelin, said something confusing. “Actually, they’re your eyes, love.” 

“No, Babe, that’s the bluest blue I’ve ever…” Dean was silenced as he focused on Zeppelin’s barely open eyes once more. That was the greenest green that could possibly exist in eyes. They’d been blue, he knew it. A moment ago, they’d been blue. What the…

Dean let it go; it didn’t matter, after all. Zeppelin was here and healthy and so was Cas and that was all that mattered. 

“I think he’s got your nose, too,” Cas whispered. 

“I think it’s still a little squashed to be able to tell that yet,” Dean answered, and they shared a quiet chuckle before Dean leaned over to kiss his husband softly over their baby. They’d made it. They’d all made it to the other side.

Chapter Text

Utter exhaustion and months of tumultuous stress were still to take their toll, however. Zeppelin was eventually scooped up for a more complete bath, which Dean was happy to let Emily do. He had a thought that he wouldn't mind being involved, but he also didn’t want to take the chance of breaking the baby this soon, and he really wanted some time with just Cas. 

But his husband had become downright distraught, happy tears turning to fearful ones, and they would not halt. Dean wasn’t sure what to do with this. What could be wrong? It was over...it could have gone so badly and it didn’t.  

“How are we going to do this, Dean?” Cas’s voice slurred as he all but sobbed into Dean’s shoulder.  

“Baby, Baby,” soothed the hunter, his own heart in turmoil watching his angel endure such stress. Dean pressed a kiss into Cas’s wet hairline, the salt from his dried sweat stinging his lips. 

“You’re alive. We made it through that,” he murmured. “That’s enough for now.”

“But how are we going to feed him? I can’t feed him. I’m not a woman. I carried him but I can’t feed him.” He was rambling, obviously not thinking straight. 

“I’m a failure.” And a fresh slew of tears began. 

“Hush,” Dean soothed. “You are so not a failure.”

“But - feeding him…” Cas's voice broke in distress, rationality gone.

“Formula, love. Remember, we got a bunch?” Dean said gently. “Em’s making his first bottle up now.” 

“But I should be able to…” and tears were now streaming down Cas’s face. Dean was familiar with that shadow of extreme guilt on his husband’s face but this was a different brand as his expression remained twisted and tortured. 

He looked like crap  - yes of course he was forever gorgeous in Dean’s eyes, but facts were facts - his cheeks were flushed and wet with tears, the lines on his face were the deepest they’d ever been, his eyes...the pain in those perfect sapphire eyes broke Dean’s heart into a thousand pieces. 

Carefully, very carefully, Dean climbed into the narrow bed with his angel, never letting go of his hand until it was to wrap a tender arm around his chest. He avoided anything lower, knowing Cas must be sore as hell where Rowena had cut him open to get Zeppelin out, and then done whatever she’d had to do to fix the angel.  

He burrowed his face into the side of Cas’s, deeply inhaling the fresh and stale sweat mixed together, shushing him the whole time.

“Castiel, my love, my darling, my Cas,” he chanted, stroking down his husband’s opposite arm. He wanted to absorb this pain from him, and though he knew it wouldn’t help, that it didn’t work like that, he rather wished he had his own grace in that moment to heal his angel. But these weren’t physical wounds. 

“Dean, oh Dean,” Cas sobbed in reply, not even able to form words about his perceived lack of motherly abilities anymore. 

“Shhh,” Dean breathed into his ear. 

“I’m disgusting, Dean,” Cas muttered now, the force of his tears abating somewhat. “You don’t want to do this. I’m gross right now.” His voice was positively filled with dejection and he tried to pull out of Dean’s hold. 

“Bullshit,” Dean murmured, pressing a kiss to Cas’s temple, then his cheekbone, then just above his ear. “You’ve never looked more beautiful, my angel. Hush...hush...breathe Baby,” he soothed, not knowing what words were spilling out, just desperate to calm his Cas down. 

“You did so well, Baby. So well. You need to rest now. It’s over. You did it. You did it,” and now as Cas responded to his soothing and began taking deeper breaths, Dean’s eyes tingled and started swimming in his own tears yet again. 

“You did it, my love. God I fucking love you so much. Everything’s going to be okay. I love you. I love you. I love you.” He felt Cas’s hand grip his arm, then rub up and down, now calming him in turn. 

Dean, who once upon a time found it hard to get the words out, now couldn’t stop the litany of I love yous from pouring out and surrounding Cas, pooling around them both in the infirmary bed as they clung to each other in the aftermath of bringing their son into the world. Cas finally relaxed in his arms, muscles going lax against the mattress.

“I love you too, Dean,” he said weakly, the exhaustion starting to take over. 

“That’s it, Baby, rest,” the hunter encouraged. “Sleep, you need it.”

“Wait,” Cas said suddenly, still fighting the pull of unconsciousness. Dean began to wonder if more sedation might not be a bad idea. 

“Where is he?” Cas wanted to know, an edge of panic threatening in his words even as they slurred. “Where’s our baby?” Dean understood this - it already seemed wrong in some way to be apart from their son, to not have him in sight. And Cas must be feeling this that much more sharply, having grown the baby and had him be a literal part of him until less than an hour ago.  

“He’s with Sam and Em, and Rowena. They’ve got him. He’s safe, Baby. I promise.” Cas relaxed again immediately, his faith in his husband stronger than steel.  

“I love him so much, Dean.” There was a fierce desperation in his voice even as he faded further. As if he somehow needed to prove, after he’d carried their son for nine months of joy and torture, and now having suffered his body being taken apart so the child could be born, that he cared for him. Dean’s lips had to turn up at the corners softly.

“I know, Baby,” the hunter told him, “I know you do. I love him too. And I love you,” he couldn’t keep from saying again. 

“Love...you…” Cas sighed out as he finally, blessedly drifted off. 



They should have stocked up on more diapers. 

Was that a slightly different cry than the one an hour ago, and if so what did this one mean?

He should be eating more. He should be eating less. 

He was still breathing, right?!

His butt should definitely not be that red. Maybe they should switch diaper brands.

He’s so beautiful. 

How much pee can a person that size hold?

Was he consciously controlling his eye color or was it like a reflex?  

 

These were the most common thoughts that Dean and Cas shared in the first few weeks of Zeppelin’s life, though not all by any means. Dean had known he wasn’t ready; he had known one barely can be fully ready for this. But the depth to which he felt out of his element was staggering. As with everything else that got thrown at him, however, he would figure it out. And he was. And Cas was. Jody coming and staying with them for a bit helped immeasurably. 

“It’s been a long time since I’ve taken care of a baby,” she told them, “But some things you just don’t forget.”

Once or twice Dean caught a glimpse of the ghosts dancing through Jody’s eyes as she held Zeppelin, undoubtedly pulled back into the past when her own little boy was first born. Zepp’s smile would chase the ghosts away in the next moment, though, and Dean saw his tough as nails friend melt as she sang softly to the baby. 

Everyone wanted to come take a gander at the little miracle. Yeah, yeah, everyone who’d ever had a kid thought it was a precious little miracle, like theirs was the first baby on Earth; it used to drive Dean nuts and probably still would if he was being honest. But no one could deny that Zeppelin’s existence really was a phenomenon.  

Emily was trying to come over as often as possible, to continue to be the closest thing they had to a doctor to be able to keep an eye on Zepp. Along with Jody, she put a lot of the new fathers’ worries to rest.  

Watching Jack meet his brother made Cas cry again, when they brought him into the infirmary room the day after. Jack’s eyes glowed golden with wonder, and he held Zeppelin reverently, sitting on the bed, Grace hovering next to him. 

“Hi,” Jack whispered, excitement and love in his voice. “Hey little brother. Nothing’s ever going to hurt you,” he promised, “Not as long as I’m around.” At this, Dean’s throat nearly closed, and he had to look over at Sammy, across the room also watching. The brothers’ glances met and they shared a smile that only they understood. 

Zeppelin cooed at Jack as if in response. All those present in the room; Dean, Cas, Sam, and Jody, had seen Jack in action, and collectively knew that no baby would ever be more protected than this one. 

“And if you start having weird powers like I did,” Jack continued in a whisper, “I’ll help you control them. I hope we’ll be best friends, so you gotta hurry up and get big.” 

Claire would only hold him for a few minutes at a time, as if she didn’t know what to do with a baby, which was rather true. 

“I’m going to teach you to be a badass hunter, don’t worry. Even if you don’t have fancy powers,” she told him, and Dean winced. That wasn’t what he wanted for his son, and everyone knew that, but they hardly seemed to listen. 

Bobby came by when Zepp had been around for about a week, and brought a handmade gift, which was thoughtful, but… “Baby’s First Silver Knife” wasn’t what Dean would have chosen. Still, it was hung in the nursery over Zeppelin’s dresser. As much as Dean wanted to pretend otherwise, their son was not going to be able to have a normal upbringing. 

“Good grip on the little sucker,” was Bobby’s comment after Zeppelin had grabbed onto his callused index finger and held on tight, staring at the grizzled hunter’s lined face. It was a shame that Zepp wouldn’t be able to know the Bobby that the Winchester boys had grown up with. Dean afterwards had to make sure to wash the smell of gun oil off of his infant son’s hand.  

Meanwhile, Rowena stayed locked in her room for three days, resting from her part in the birth. Dean and Cas didn’t get a chance to properly thank her before she left in the middle of the night, with a word to no one and her door left ajar. When they found the crystals under Zeppelin’s crib in what seemed a deliberate pattern, though, they took that as her kindhearted farewell. 

“Blue calcite, lepidolite, black tourmaline, and carnelian,” Sam announced after working to push his oversized frame back up off the nursery floor, where he’d been peering under the crib. “All strongly protective stones. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she warded this whole room.” 

“She did,” Cas added. “I can feel it.” Rowena caring about a child; some wonders never ceased.

 

“Told her all they would do is die.” Dean shook his head to himself as he tucked the vase with the wilted, now-brown flowers that Sam had picked up from the gas station under his arm. Emily, too kindly, had washed all the bed sheets and thrown out what couldn’t be salvaged. Dean was finally getting around to replacing them on the beds. Never knew when you would need the infirmary and want it ready in a hurry. 

He’d seen the dying flowers as he swept his eyes through the room, about to shut the lights off, sighed, and grabbed them. Now he closed the door behind him, careful not to tip the vase and spill the scuzzy water until he could get outside. He was glad Cas wasn’t a flowers kind of guy. 

The nursery was on his way and as he drew near it down the hallway he couldn’t resist popping in, even though Zeppelin was down for his nap. Dean thought he would never get tired of looking at that little face, that he teased Cas was downright cherubic, and that mess of dark hair. He watched his son sleep, still with the vase tucked under his arm, and smiled through a contented sigh. 

Oh no. Zepp was stirring; as quiet as he’d been, he must have woken him up. Dean set the vase on the dresser so he could lean into the crib and smooth his fingertips over his baby’s hair. Though it wasn’t like Zeppelin was actually going to cry. 

He was the calmest baby everyone kept saying they’d ever seen. Now his paper thin eyelids fluttered and as soon as he saw his dad looking down at him, he gave a happy kick and released a soft sound that may have been the precursor to a laugh. 

“Yeah?” Dean asked his son tenderly. “I didn’t mean to wake you, kiddo. Go back to sleep okay? You need your energy for all that eating and pooping.” This time the sound really did sound like a laugh. But that was impossible. Wasn’t it? That he could even make a real laugh yet, or that he could comprehend that his dad had made a joke. Dean had to wonder. 

He kissed his fingertips which he then pressed just barely to Zeppelin’s tiny temple, then turned to leave the nursery, hand reaching for the dead flowers as he did so. His arm froze halfway to the vase. 

Instead of the brown, lifeless stalks and heads that he knew he’d brought into the nursery with him, vibrant yellow daisies, warm orange mini lilies, and royal purple carnations stared back at him. He was pretty sure they hadn’t looked this alive when they were fresh. The water was clean and the stems were all a healthy green once more. 

Sam. It had to be Sammy. He was the only one who could move quietly enough, though Dean didn’t how with his bulk, and the only one who would try to play a prank on him like this. Shaking his head again, Dean grabbed the vase and left the nursery in search of his bratty little brother. He found him making lunch with Jack, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. 

“Good one, Sam,” Dean said as he plunked the vase down on the kitchen table. “Don’t know where you got another batch or how you snuck up on me but kudos.” Sam turned his head to look over his shoulder from where he was carefully watching the sandwiches on the stove. 

“What are you talking about Dean?” The older brother was standing next to the flowers with his arms crossed and a knowing look on his face. Sam’s brow wrinkled in confusion. 

“What do you want, man? I’m a little busy. And do you want your sandwich with or without tomato?” 

“You don't get a choice,” Jack laughingly piped up, dripping tomato juice down the front of the cupboards from where he was slicing them. “You get tomatoes on yours. You need more fruit.”

Dean spared his older son an indulgent smile before he went back to glaring good-naturedly at his brother. Sam had finally noticed the not-dead flowers and was putting on a good act with the curious look he was giving them. 

“They look better than they did when I bought them at the store. Did Rowena do something to them?” He then had to turn back to the stove to flip the sandwiches before they burned. 

“C’mon Sammy,” Dean goaded. “You know you’re messing with me, switching them out on me while I was watching Zepp sleep.” 

“Dude, I haven’t been out of this kitchen in an hour. We’ve been busy. Each of us in here can put away like three sandwiches, we’ve got to make a lot.” Sam transferred the sandwiches he’d just cooked onto a plate already piled high with them. Dean frowned. It did seem likely that Sam was telling the truth. But if not him, then who?

“You said you were in the nursery?” Jack spoke up. “Did Zeppelin wake up while you were in there?” Dean acknowledged that had happened, yes. Jack gave a shrug. 

“Maybe it was Zeppelin,” he said simply, and started slicing another tomato. Dean blinked. Sam, in between pans of grilling bread, stared at the flowers. 

“Those are definitely the ones I got,” Sam said. “I thought Rowena would like the purple. But they should be dead by now, that was like a week ago.”

“They were dead. Ten minutes ago,” Dean answered. The two brothers paused, while Jack hummed softly to himself and made more of a mess of the kitchen counter. Without another word, Dean took the vase of flowers back to the nursery and set them on the dresser again. He didn't linger, and this time Zeppelin didn’t wake up. 

A week later, the flowers were still vibrant and healthy.   

 

  

It was a bit later, when Zeppelin was a few weeks old, that Mary ended up coming around. Dean considered not letting her into the bunker. They’d barely seen her since they’d broken the news of Zeppelin’s existence to her. Once, during a phone call, she’d asked Sam how Castiel was doing with things, and when told mostly well, she’d quickly said that was good and then dove directly into details about the hunt she and Bobby were on. 

“You have to give her a chance,” Sam and Cas both said, but Dean didn’t see why. He’d been doing so for far too long as it was. Still, he relented, watchful as a hawk. She gazed down at Zeppelin in his crib, and she suddenly looked much younger, and Dean experienced a disorienting jolt of jealousy. Had his mother ever looked at him so tenderly? She must have, he remembered her caring wonderfully for Sammy before…

Everyone was a little surprised when she asked to hold him. The pause was palpable, no one knowing what to say. 

“I’m sorry,” Mary announced into the silence, “For how I acted, okay?” Her eyes flicked between her sons and her son-in-law, who had taken Zeppelin up when he started fussing and was now cradling him in his strong arms.

“I’m not looking to be grandmother of the year,” she admitted. “But can’t I get to know him a little?” 

Dean and Cas held an unspoken conversation in each other’s eyes, and Dean blinked his defeat. She was trying, like she’d said she would. She looked so different holding Zeppelin than she used to holding Sammy, or at least from what Dean could remember of how she’d looked back then. 

But of course this was a different woman, this was not Mom in her white nightgown and long hair that smelled like strawberries and vanilla, a loving smile on her face to hide secrets her young sons couldn’t fathom at the time. This was Mary, lips held in a stiff line, army green jacket stained and a little torn, forehead creased with shadows of atrocities done and seen. 

She rocked back and forth, instincts kicking in after Cas had transferred Zeppelin to her arms. And the corners of her lips slowly rose. Cas’s hand nestled between Dean’s shoulder blades in comforting support. 

“You’re so beautiful,” she murmured to her grandson, who was staring silently back at her. Then Dean nearly laughed as Zepp seemed to stick his tongue out at her. Not only did this bring a true grin to Mary’s face, a tear leaked out of the side of her eye. 

“You better take good care of him,” she said when she handed him to Dean, her voice fierce again, but in a different way. 

“We plan on it,” Cas had to answer, since Dean wasn’t sure what to say to this. Like they were planning not to? 

“Better than I did with you,” she added in a rush, and then was suddenly gone, out of the nursery, out of the bunker, before anyone could go after her. Well that wouldn’t be hard, Dean had the uncharitable thought. But his doubts screamed back that it would be one of the hardest things he would ever do. 




“All that worry your dads had over you,” Jody told Zeppelin as she rocked him back and forth. “Not knowing what species you would be.” She clucked her tongue as Zepp smiled back at her.

“And it turns out that you’re just a baby. As sweet and cuddly as a little baby boy there ever was.” She rubbed her nose to the tiny one, which never failed to make Zeppelin laugh. 

But for once, Jody was wrong. It was more than just the flowers, which continued to be a bright pop of color on the baby’s dresser. 

His eyes truly did alternate between blue and green, as if they couldn’t make up their mind what color they wanted to be. And sometimes, they seemed to get stuck in the middle, and a dreamy turquoise would be peeking out from under his eyelids. Stunningly beautiful, but definitely not normal. 

As far as behavior, it was never difficult to get Zeppelin to go to sleep. They would lay him down in his crib, and after quietly watching his zoo animal mobile with intense interest, he would drift smoothly off. It was almost too easy, and made his parents and caretakers worry in a new way. 

But he woke up just as peacefully, and other than when he was hungry, or wanted a different pair of arms to hold him than currently was, never seemed to cry. Cas and Dean had read about colic and indigestion, diaper rash and jaundice, trying to prepare themselves for the expected maladies. They never came. 

“He must have angel grace,” Cas finally admitted. “At least some.”

“You think?” Dean chuckled, watching his son shake his favorite rattle around, blissfully at ease with what had just been done to him.

Emily was able to carefully smuggle the group of two month infant vaccines out of the hospital, once the Winchesters had agreed that Zeppelin not getting them was not a chance they wanted to take. 

She was gentle, of course, with the four injections she gave Zepp, who watched her administer them like he watched everything else: intently, closely, unwaveringly, at the moment with sterling blue eyes. He’d proven he wasn’t a fussy baby by this time, but this should have affected him; Garth had told Dean how horrible his children had cried and howled during their shots, enough to break a father’s heart. Zeppelin didn’t make a sound. It was as if he couldn’t feel the jabs, or if he did, they didn’t bother him. 

He had no side effects from the vaccines either. His dads were thankful, certainly, that their son seemed to be having such an easy life thus far and hence making their lives calmer than they’d hoped. There was still the disgusting diaper changes, that occasionally made Dean gag - seriously, how could poop ever be that color? - and waking up in the middle of the night, and learning as they went. But while they recognized their fortune, it left many, many questions in its wake.      

 

Chapter Text

One of Dean’s new favorite places to sit was in the rocking chair in the nursery with his son in his arms. Grace, who was never far from Zeppelin, was curled up in the bed they’d placed next to the crib for her, tail tucked over her nose, deeply asleep. 

The lights turned down low, the scent of clean baby wipes in the air, the still-vibrant flowers that remained on the dresser. A safe space that had been made for this precious being who was growing every day, maybe a little faster than some infants but more or less in an average progression. 

Zeppelin was solid and strong now, even at only sixteen pounds, and no longer did Dean feel he might break him. The baby had an uncanny way of looking at you, like he was trying to speak with his eyes. 

Dean knew all parents thought so, but he was secretly sure that Zepp would turn out to be smarter than many other kids. If it was even fair to compare. It did seem as if he was definitely more than merely human, and Dean was caught between the intensity of wanting to know once and for all, and just being thankful and soaking in all these little moments. 

So far Zeppelin’s favorite Zeppelin song was Misty Mountain Hop. Sam liked to think it was because he knew it was about The Hobbit, which he’d already embraced what he considered as his uncle’s duty and begun reading to him. 

Dean figured this was a bit of a stretch though. That was well beyond the realm of what they could expect even a supernatural baby to understand. It was just cool to see Zepp blink along with the lyrics that Dean sang to him when they were alone like this. 

Walkin' in the park just the other day, baby…whaddaya…whaddaya think I saw? ” Dean swayed lightly with his son, staring down at him with his heart bursting. As he continued with the song, his soft but deep voice managing to make it a lullaby, he reflected on his crazy life and all the events that, directly or indirectly, had played a part in leading to this moment right here.  

Often he was shocked that he was merely still alive; by all rights he shouldn’t be. No one he cared about should be. The God that at one point was not such a crazed maniac bent upon the Winchesters’ destruction - hell he’d officiated his and Cas’s wedding, unless that was a tongue in cheek little mind game he’d indulged in and Dean would put nothing past him - seemed to be closing in on wanting the world to implode. 

But in spite of everything that got thrown their way, Team Free Will kept on keeping on, carrying on, and fighting on. Dean and Sam and Cas had been able to carve out a life, a fulfilling if challenging one, from the ruins of their nightmares and past mistakes. Dean didn’t know how they did it sometimes, but really he did.      

Cas. So much came back to Cas. The reason Dean was still alive, the reason Sam and so many others were still alive, the reason he’d learned how to love and be loved, the reason Zeppelin existed…Cas had given Dean literally the world, or at least all that meant anything in the world to him.  

Sam. Sam was his rock, the very marrow in his bones. If Cas was his heart, Sam was certainly no less than his lungs, and now Zeppelin was his soul. A man could not ask for more, or have more at stake. Dean took a deep breath, having run out of lyrics and the desire to chase such serious thoughts in circles. He smiled at his son who was still contentedly looking up at him, his eyes currently the same hazel green as Dean’s, seemingly the calmest baby in the world. 

“So what other secrets are you hiding there, kid?” he whispered. “You got wings we haven’t seen yet?” Zeppelin gave his half smile, the one that Cas said was a lot like Dean’s smirk. This was usually the look on his face when he was dropping a particularly nasty load in his diaper. Dean braced himself for the smell that would indicate he would have to clean his son up. 

Instead, Zeppelin began squirming in his father’s arms, like he was trying to scratch an itch or maybe dance. Thinking maybe he was tired of being held, Dean stood up and then eased himself down to kneel and lowered the baby to his floor mat, which was, like almost everything else Zeppelin owned, animal themed thanks to Cas. 

Zepp wasn’t quite old enough yet for what Jody called “tummy time”, so Dean laid him carefully on his back, watching him reach up for the same dangling turtle as he always did, in a swatting move it almost seemed he’d learned from Grace. As he did so, however, he continued to wriggle his shoulders, almost bucking into the floor with what strength was available in his small body. 

“You pretending to be that snake there?” Dean joked with his son, doing his best to ignore the way his lower back and left knee complained as he stood up straight. Whose brilliant idea again had it been to become a brand new father at forty years old? 

Grace had woken up and was making her stretching way over to Zeppelin. Dean watched her closely. Ever since they’d eventually figured out Cas was pregnant and put two and two together that Grace had been cuddling up against Cas’s stomach far more than usual, Dean had started paying attention to how the cat acted around Zepp. 

She didn’t seem concerned now, but she was sniffing at him as he cooed at her. Maybe he did need to be changed, or maybe he had dry skin on his back. Dean grabbed a fresh diaper, some wipes, and some lavender lotion, preparing for either scenario, before he lowered himself to the floor. It would be easier to just do it down here and worry about getting up again afterwards.

“All right kid, let’s see why you’re so squirmy huh?” he said tenderly as he undid the snap and then began to unzip Zeppelin’s one piece dinosaur pajamas. The moment the garment was loose Zepp seemed to surge forward off the floor a bit, as if he was trying to sit up. But he was much too young for that. They thought anyway. Still, he did it again as Dean began to ease an arm out of a sleeve. 

And then Dean’s fingers brushed something soft, something that wasn’t organic cotton or baby skin. His eyes widened as he propped his son up and peeled the other sleeve off. 

“Holy shit,” he breathed. Then…

“Cas!” Dean called, scooping Zeppelin up in his arms again and this time not noticing how his joints complained about standing up. 

“Cas!” he called again, making his way down the bunker hallway now, trying not to yell. He didn’t want his husband to be alarmed but he needed to see this. Cas, who still had much better hearing than humans, came rushing towards them from the direction of the library, his expression one of high alert. 

“Dean, is everything…” he started, and then his eyes fell on their son, being held by Dean with his rump in one hand with the other hand across his chest, so as to not restrict the two protrusions that were extending from his tiny shoulder blades, covered not so much in feathers as in downy fluff, but still as midnight black as the wings of the father who’d carried and birthed him. 

Cas’s gaze melted in wonder and met Dean’s over Zeppelin’s messy hair, and they grinned at each other like lovestruck fools there in the hallway of the bunker. Well, Dean had asked Zepp if he had them…

 

No one was more delighted with Zeppelin’s newest development, however, than his big brother. Jack eagerly helped alter all of Zepp’s clothing to allow for his delicate baby wings. It wasn’t so much that they were always out; like Cas, he could tuck them away completely, but unlike his father, he didn’t yet have control of when they came out and when they were away. 

Jack would tickle him and they would come out, and then when he kissed him on the forehead they would tuck away. This only worked with Jack however; with everyone else and at all other times it seemed quite random. 

Dean’s life was complete, or as complete as he ever would have dared to think that it might be. There was only one thing missing, even though part of him hated to admit it. Hunting.

“I gotta get out there again,” he told Sammy while they took down Christmas decorations. The holidays had been wonderful, Zeppelin had been spoiled by everyone, and Dean had probably gained ten pounds. Home was comfortable and he loved it, but he was getting restless. 

“Are you sure?” Sam asked, handing down some garland from where he’d unwrapped it from the stair railing. “We’ve been good without you these last few months.” He paused to look at his big brother carefully.

“Oh I see, tell me I’m not wanted anymore,” Dean pretended to be offended. Sam shook his head once and chuckled. 

“No, it’s not that. There’s a few hunts it would have been great to have you on, don’t get me wrong. I just thought maybe…you know…it’d be the right time for you to retire. You know, if you wanted to.” 

Of course Dean had thought of it. He knew Sam and Jack and Jody and Mary and Claire and Bobby and all the rest had been doing just fine and keeping up reasonably well. Of course, a lot of this was due to the fact that Jack easily covered what three or more hunters could do. Yes, if there had been a glimmer of being able to retire thus far in Dean’s life, this was it. 

“Have you talked with Cas about this?” 

Dean nodded, remembering how that had gone; surprisingly well, actually, since Cas was such an understanding soul. Still, his eyes had gone dark blue with heavy worry when Dean had brought it up. 

“You can’t expect me to be happy about this,” that deep voice rumbled. An anguished sigh had escaped the hunter. 

“No, not really. I’m not thrilled about it myself. But I can’t stay here, locked up, protected, hiding behind these walls while everyone else does the dirty work. That’s not right, that’s not - ”

Cas held up his hand to interrupt, then stepped close to press his palm into Dean’s collarbone.

“That’s not who you are. I know, my love. How well do I know.” The slightest of smiles told Dean that Cas wasn’t mad at him. And those lips were so luscious… “I miss it a little too, to be honest with you,” the angel confessed before his husband leaned forward and started kissing him. 

So they proceeded to make out in the family room, soft, warm, and lingering, putting off further words for several more long moments. Kissing his angel would forever feel like coming home. When they slowed by Cas trailing gentle smooches from the corner of Dean’s mouth down to his jawline, they continued to hold each other close.  

“We make one unbreakable agreement,” Cas’s voice broke the comfortable silence. “We never go out at the same time.” 

Dean locked eyes with him and didn’t have to nod yes but solemnly did anyway. Neither of them needed to clarify this stipulation - their minds were full of it. So if the worst should happen, Zeppelin would not be left an orphan all at once. 

 

Dean pulled himself back to the present in the map room, packing Christmas decorations up, his hands idly folding a box while he focused his attention back on Sam. 

“What about you?” he asked his little brother. “Do you think you could ever stop? Like really stop, for the long term?” There was a surprisingly long pause. 

“I’d like to think I could,” Sam answered, his expression as uncommitted as his words. 

“Yeah, me too,” was all Dean said at first. Sam was already giving him a knowing look, so Dean finished the thought they were both having. “But only if there were no monsters anymore, no archangels with a vendetta, maybe a God who cared or at least just chilled. The way it is now? No way.” Sam nodded. 

Maybe, one day, just maybe they would see that happen - no more werewolves running amok, no more vamps thirsty to make more vamps, no more djinns feeding on emotions, no more wendigos or pishtacos or ghouls or, or, or…the list could go on. It felt endless, it always seemed like there was another threat, that the world would never be free of supernatural bastards. 

At the same time, Dean had a sense that there was, just possibly, a glimmer of a promise of an end. He couldn’t have said where this feeling came from, but he felt it the strongest when he looked at Jack. If Chuck didn’t end the entire world with the next snap of his fingers, and while he probably wouldn’t while he still thought there was a chance he might get the gruesome ending he wanted, somehow it seemed like the nephilim would have an integral part to play. 

Dean hadn’t breathed a word of this inkling to Sam or Cas, not wanting to even suggest that there might be that much pressure on the kid. Although he was barely a kid anymore; he had a girlfriend, he was gaining power every day it seemed, and he was becoming more worldly with each hunt he went on. 

And then there were days he would still eat his nougat candy bars for breakfast and lunch until Sam made him have a healthy dinner, and if he got on a cartoon marathon, he wouldn’t be torn from them for almost anything - if Claire came over during one of these she knew there was no distracting him. 

Okay so Dean wasn’t that much different, honestly. He wanted Jack to be as carefree as he could as long and as often as he could, but the world he’d been born into hadn’t allowed much of that. So he deserved his stolen time to let his guard down; they all did. 

Dean’s gaze now roamed over the ornaments that had been removed from the Christmas tree and laid out on the library table, ready to be carefully packed away. A loving smile played on his lips. They still had the original ornaments that Cas had picked out that first Christmas they had been together and Dean had wanted to properly celebrate the holiday for the first time. 

Along with those now though, were many more: Jack’s favorite animated characters, that his three fathers and others had given to him over the past couple of years; the classic cars that Sam had started getting for Dean as yearly gifts; the traditional themed ones that Sam loved - it was an eclectic mix of all of their tastes, and Dean loved the sight they made, a warm and cheerful mosaic on the biggest tree they could find. 

And about the tree this particular year…it had been pleasant to not deal with the usual shedding of brown stabby pine needles as the tree died. All they had to do was have Zeppelin in the room at least once a day and the tree never even started drying out. Even now halfway through January it was still a healthy green and smelled like they’d just brought it home. 

Looking at all of this and contemplating how his life had changed, Dean could not be blamed for wanting to believe there could be a future that held peace, now that he had to worry about his own child someday living in this world beyond the safe walls of the bunker. They’d all worked too hard for too much of their lives to not at least leave that chance for the next generation, damn it. 

Chapter Text

Dean had almost forgotten how tiring but satisfying hunts were. Damn it was good to be driving his Baby down a dark stretch of road with the smell of blood still fresh in his nostrils. That souped up vamp had given them a run for their money, had nearly had Sam pinned for a hot minute there, but Dean was not so rusty that he couldn’t still swing a machete with unerring accuracy to save his brother’s life. 

He glanced over at Sammy in the passenger seat, looking as exhausted as he felt, and grinned. 

“Just like the old days eh, Sammy? Just you and me doing what we do best,” he said. Sam gave him one of his half smiles. 

“Yeah, something like that.” Dean nodded as if in satisfaction, but he couldn’t deny it didn’t quite feel right. It should; he was at home in his car with the person that was the reason he knew what family was. There was an ache down deep in the pit of his stomach though, that couldn’t wait to get back to what had become his home over the past few years and the people that were just as much his family. 

“Yeah I know what you mean, man,” he replied in a more somber tone as he continued to drive. They’d only been gone a day and a half and were on track to get back to the bunker in the next four hours, but except for while they were in the thick of the fight, it had felt much longer. The high from the hunt lingered in his veins, but all the same, Dean was glad it was over. 

Cas and Zeppelin were napping when they got home, and the sleepy faced angel, wearing his oversized wrinkled tee shirt with the Smurfs on it, and the baby in his monkey pajamas, were never a sweeter sight. Dean crushed Cas into him and, though he was still exhausted, played one of Zepp’s favorite games of flying him through the air. Talk about the hunt could wait; he was too happy to be back with these two. 

“So was it all you hoped it would be?” Cas teased him as they curled around each other in bed after Dean had taken a hot shower and their older son had taken Zepp for the night. Jack had no sleep schedule, and was often content to hang out with his little brother for as long as it took the baby to drift off in his crib.  

“Truthfully?” Dean rumbled into Cas’s neck, where his face was pressed, getting drunk on one of his favorite scents, that of his husband’s skin. 

“Yeah it was,” he admitted. “But there is nothing like right here with you, Babe.” And with this, he looped his leg over Cas’s muscular thigh and promptly passed out. 

 

The weather that winter was decidedly odd; though it was now into February, there had only been two heavy snowfalls and in between them the snow had melted almost clean away. Climate change or Chuck flipping a coin? Impossible to know and disconcerting to ponder.

It was a pleasant bonus however that the milder than usual weather made it easier for Emily and Jody to visit more often than they usually could during the midwest winters. This was a treat for Sam, of course, who did not get to see his girlfriend enough as is, and reassurance for Dean and Cas to have people around they could ask baby questions of. They were holding things down just fine, thank you very much, but an experienced nurse and an actual mom’s outlook was invaluable. 

“He is developing a little ahead of the curve,” Emily told them when she dropped in about halfway through the month. Though she wasn’t just visiting; she was there to take Sam away for some uber romantic Valentine’s Day getaway that Dean had been razzing his brother about for a week.  

Zeppelin was now a sturdy thirty-five pounds and was already gaining mobility. Jody’s eyes widened when she saw him for the first time since Christmas. 

“Well, look who’s been growing!” she exclaimed, and Zeppelin smiled up at her in response. His smiles were stable now, not the back and forth fleeting things of an infant any longer. Like he knew what Jody was saying and understood it as praise. 

“Only four months old and sitting up,” she observed, deadpan, like she was trying to take this fact in. Everybody was gathered in the family room; Dean and Cas on one couch with Jody perched on the arm, Sam and Emily on the other couch, Jack cross legged on the floor with Zeppelin in front of him on his play mat, and Grace presiding over all from the chair that Jack usually sat in.

“We thought he was progressing rather rapidly,” Cas said, his hand squeezing Dean’s comfortably. “According to the books and websites.”  

“Yeah, I’d say so,” Jody agreed. As they watched, Zeppelin’s wings popped out as they naturally often did. Then, as if showing off for company, he leaned forward and began doing his army crawl to grab the toy that was on the far side of his mat. 

Emily had seen his wings already, but Jody hadn’t. Dean smirked as privately as he could while he watched the sheriff’s mouth literally drop open, but in true Jody fashion, she recovered quickly. 

“Well that’s pretty close to the cutest damn thing I’ve ever seen,” she said, grinning widely. 

Dean, now with an open smirk, replied, “Aw shucks…” He watched Jody’s eyes roll just before he received a playful swat on both of his arms, one from her and one from Cas, hers noticeably harder. Sam and Emily snickered from across the room. 

“I’m impressed that he’s strong enough to almost be crawling,” Emily remarked. “You’d never know he’s not at least six or seven months.” 

“I told him he’s got to get big quickly,” Jack reminded them, as if Zeppelin’s growth was his doing. 

“And I told you, don’t rush it please,” Dean groaned, not without love in his tone. 

“Yeah, really,” Jody agreed. “They grow up much too fast anyway, without angelic acceleration.” Everyone gathered had a mild laugh at that, and agreed that was a good name for the effect Zepp was under. 

“Well, I’d say you’re doing everything right,” Jody told Dean and Cas, and Dean’s shoulders let go of a little tension with this approval. His friend’s opinion meant a great deal to him. He watched his young son play and explore, and tried to see him with the eyes of one who wasn’t with him everyday.  

Zeppelin’s hair was as wild and unruly as when he was born but now it was thicker - they tried brushing it but it had the same texture as Cas’s and the best that could be done was flattening it with a wide comb sometimes. He’d been able to almost-crawl for a couple weeks now, and they wondered how far behind walking could really be.  

He was able to chase after Grace, and this delighted him to no end, especially since the cat usually let herself be caught up with more often than not. Zepp’s hands could steadily hold a board book or his stacking rings. He wasn’t able to stack them in the proper size order every time yet, but he had the coordination to get them on their post. His laugh was sounding more real every day and less like a cooing giggle. 

He was trying to make words, though he wasn’t quite there. He was close: when reaching for his brother, “Jahh” often came out, with a distinct “J” sound, which his dads and uncle understood was a tougher one for babies to make early on. “Grahh” was of course Grace, but as of yet nothing like a “Dada” or even a “Dah”. Figured, Dean thought cynically but with no real annoyance. Still…it would be nice… 

And as always, Zeppelin’s eyes, whichever color they happened to be at any given moment, seemed to stare into your soul when you looked into them.   

“We know he’s healthy,” Emily confirmed. She’d given him a check over when she’d gotten there, and proclaimed that his heart and lungs sounded quite strong, and his reflexes surpassed the usual for his age. 

As the ragtag family lounged, having gotten beers or wine as per their tastes, talk turned to Valentine’s Day, much to Dean’s disinterest. He’d never been a fan of the Hallmark holiday, and he was glad that Cas didn’t seem to mind. They usually ended up having some pretty spectacular sex that day, and that sort of celebration was just fine with him. 

This year he was less sure of that outcome, however. They hadn’t exactly done much since the arrival of Zeppelin; partially because it felt weird with their kid one room over now, and partially because quite frankly, Dean was scared. 

Rowena had said Castiel was back to normal. He trusted her. Cas said he felt perfectly normal, like the pregnancy hadn’t even happened, which they were aware was more than most people who’d carried a baby could say, especially after only four months. But still. What if. What if Cas could get pregnant again? It was a horrible and terrifying thought. 

Dean would deal with bottoming for the rest of their lives if that’s what they had to do, but they’d never had to worry or even think about it before, they were able to just go with what felt natural in the moment, and now it felt like they’d lost a freedom that they’d taken for granted. Sex did not seem as much carefree fun as it always used to, and Dean missed that. 

They’d shared a couple of quick blowjobs, hoping Zepp couldn’t hear anything, but there was an unspoken and invisible barrier that stopped them from doing anything more now. In order to distract himself from this unfortunate subject, Dean fell back on one of his favorite hobbies: picking on his kid brother. 

“So where is it you two are running off to?” he asked the couple on the other couch. Em had been around long enough to be included in Dean’s ribbing. “Sargent Martian’s Rimhole?” 

“Dean!” Sam admonished, displaying a perfect bitch face. What? Cas had taken Zepp away to give him his dinner and Jack was too absorbed in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie someone had put on. They were all adults here. 

“The island is called St. Lucia, only one of the most romantic places on earth,” Emily informed him. “And it’s going to be beautiful, just wait,” she said, now turning her tired eyes on Sam and giving him a loving smile. He gazed back at her with that warm look he only got on his face for her. They were as sickeningly cute together as they’d been when they started dating. The kids deserved this, Dean knew, he just enjoyed messing with them. 

“It’s not like an old married guy like you would know anything about that anyway,” Emily then shot, still able to surprise Dean with her sass. It didn’t come out often but when it did it was so on point it almost made him wince. 

“Where are you taking Cas for Valentine's Day, hmm?” she continued, her voice playfully acidic. “The steakhouse?” Dean feigned affronted shock. That was a decent date! Not on February fourteenth cause there would be too many other people there, but Dean had taken Cas there for a night out. 

“Hey, a good steak is romantic,” Dean retorted. 

“Only to you, Dean,” Sam replied. Through all of this, Jody swirled her wine in her glass and watched bemusedly. Now she chimed in. 

“Don’t tell me you’ve never taken Cas on a good date,” she said, ready to reprimand. 

“I have too!” 

“A date that doesn’t include having to fight anything,” Sam must have felt the need to clarify. Dean’s eyes narrowed at his brother while he mentally searched for a defense.

“It’s not like it’s only up to me,” he pouted. “Cas could ask me out, too.” Cas of course chose this moment to return to the room just as Emily giggled. 

“What am I missing?” the angel asked as he sat back down next to Dean. 

“They’re picking on me,” the hunter pouted to his husband. 

“We just feel bad for you with this guy, Cas,” Em explained, her tone light and making it clear now that she was only joking. “You deserve a good Valentine’s Day date, too.” 

“You know, I suppose I do…” Cas began playing right in, looking sideways at Dean, who groaned and swigged his beer as everyone laughed. They were all insufferable. 

A bit later, after a few more beers and two empty bottles of wine, Sam and Emily retired to Sam’s room; they had to be up early to catch the plane. Jody was going to drive them and then continue on home, so goodbyes were said as people drifted off to bed. 

Zeppelin allowed himself to be put down for the night by Jody, who had to read him a story, leaving Dean and Cas some extra time for themselves. Dean's gaze roamed over his husband’s smooth, strong back before Cas yanked on a sleep shirt. He imagined that back, those shoulder blades, sweaty and flexing as Dean’s hands grabbed…

“Something on your mind, Dean?” the angel’s deep voice broke into his daydreams. He must have noticed being ogled but when Dean blinked and looked up it was into blue eyes that held worry. He shook his head and swung his feet onto the bed. 

“Does it really bother you?” Cas asked, and Dean’s heartbeat spiked. He wasn’t ready for this conversation of why they hadn’t…he knew they should, that they’d have to eventually, but it wasn’t a topic they’d ever had to dissect. 

“The Valentine’s Day thing?” Cas added, seeing Dean’s blank expression. “You weren’t wrong, I could ask you if you wanted to do something. Maybe I should have already. I’ve rather taken it for granted that you never seemed to want to do much for it.” His tone bordered on apologetic. Dean’s nerves relaxed and his brain started catching up. 

“I - no - Cas…I was just being a jerk earlier.” He stared at his angel and made grabby motions with his hands. Cas still stood at the end of the bed, hair rumpled from changing, and looking unsure of himself, but this caused him to smile and respond to Dean’s silent request. He settled his bulk over his husband’s body, fitting around Dean’s edges like he was made to do so. 

The couple stared at each other for some moments, merely appreciating being close. 

“Did you really think I was being serious?” Dean asked Cas, since the angel hadn’t said anything else. 

“No, but it did get me thinking,” Cas answered, his fingertips beginning to fiddle with Dean’s hairline behind his ear. 

“It’s fine, Babe,” Dean started, then smiled. He had the slightest of buzzes from the few beers he’d had, not having been drinking heavily lately. 

“Although,” he continued, “You never actually did ask me out on a date and try to court me, you know,” making his voice sound obviously mocking and putting an exaggerated hurt pout on. “You just took your dick out and seduced me. Literally.” 

He feared he’d made a misjudgement as Cas leaned up and away from him a bit but Dean caught the quirk in the corner of those full and gorgeous lips. 

“First of all, my love,” Castiel began steadily, “You can’t knock my approach, because it worked. Second of all, dragging you out of Hell and proceeding to spend the next several human years protecting you at all costs while we seemed to constantly undress each other with our eyes…anyone else might very well take that as courting.”

Here he paused to lean down again and press an almost condescending kiss to Dean’s forehead. For an added touch, he capped this off with a melodramatic sigh before continuing. 

“But if you insist on a real date now that we’re already married with a child, I acquiesce.” Dean knew his husband far too well to miss the twinkle in those blue eyes that Cas was trying to hide behind that lofty tone. 

“Tease,” Dean shot, pulling Cas closer.

“Always,” Cas responded with one eyebrow raised, allowing himself to be pulled. 

And so after some actual serious discussion, the two determined they would go on a real date for Valentine’s Day. Then the question turned to where, since anyplace that was nicer than a steakhouse was at least a two hour drive away, and not to mention they’d made this decision a little belatedly to make reservations. 

“It really doesn’t have to be all that fancy of a place, Dean,” Cas told his husband the next day after the sixth failed phone call. 

“Yes it does,” Dean frowned. “We’ve never done this, gotten all up dressed up for each other and everything. We’re going to do this the right way.” As usual, once he had something stuck in his mind, he wasn’t about to give up on it. 

He dialed the next number on the list. 

It took three more calls, and going a bit out of what he’d hoped to keep the price range in, before he found a restaurant called Salvatore’s that had had a cancellation. Dean hoped the steak was worth the almost seventy-five bucks per plate they were charging.

He breathed a sigh of relief once he got off the phone, then set his sights on giving Baby a good wash and wax. It had been too long anyway, and he needed to take his date out in style. 

They never wanted to use Jack as a built-in babysitter, but the nephilim swore he didn’t mind, even though Claire was coming over to spend Valentine’s Day with him. Two teenagers alone in a secret bunker with a baby for the night, what could go wrong? 

Though Claire was well on her way to no longer being a teenager, and well, nobody really knew how old to say Jack was. They both loved Zeppelin and Dean knew he would be in good hands. And it’s not like the kid never slept, so the older kids could still have some time to themselves. The first time they would be left to themselves this much. Which reminded Dean… 

“Jack,” he addressed his older son as Claire carried her overnight bag in, “With you guys being on your own here, do we need to have…well, you know…some sort of a talk or something?” He had some trouble getting these words out; this wasn’t exactly a topic he wanted to bring up, but he had to be the responsible one. There was a knowing glint in Jack’s eyes that relieved Dean of having to explain just what sort of talk he was referring to. 

“No, Dean. Sam and I had that conversation some time ago,” the nephilim said easily. Claire had come to stand next to her boyfriend, and leaned up to give him a quick kiss. 

“Good,” Dean returned, hiding the sigh of relief that wanted to burst out. He looked over at Claire and his face started getting warm anyway.

“Good,” he repeated. “Cause we don’t exactly need more angel offspring right now.” Claire arched her eyebrows in insult and was done only listening.  

“As if,” she shot. “Zeppelin spit up on me once. Once. That’s enough baby bodily fluid on me for the rest of my life.” She spread her hands out in the air in front of her in emphasis as she spoke, then glanced up at Jack by her side. “No offense, Sweets.” 

Jack gave her his sunshine grin. “None taken. Dean’s right, anyway.” Looking back at his father, he told him brightly, “Don’t worry, she’s had her shots and we use condoms.” 

“Jack!” came the hiss from Claire, and Dean, face now decidedly reddening, began to back away. 

“Good. Good,” he got out gruffly again. And it was, he was happy they were smart kids, but he would have been fine at least pretending they were going the abstinence route. He escaped the room as quickly as possible.

Chapter Text

As Dean adjusted his collar and tried to get his tie just right, he realized how long it had been since he’d truly gotten this dolled up. His jaw was baby bottom smooth for the first time in months, having used a razor with shaving cream instead of merely running the electric over his face to keep the stubble down to a minimum. He needed a haircut, but it was too late for that now, so he swiped a touch of gel through his locks and tried to ignore the several new gray strands. 

He knew he still cleaned up good, even if these suit pants were a little tighter than they’d been the last time he donned them. Hopefully they would stretch as the night wore on. So he wasn’t as fit as he used to be, he wasn’t a youngster anymore. Dean had never been a self conscious sort, but this still bothered him. Was he as attractive as he used to be to his husband? 

Well, he’d done the best he could, dressing in his nicest black suit with a crisp white shirt and a deep red tie with a matching square in his left pocket. The radio continued to play classic rock, making Dean feel even more like a teenager getting ready for a date, but he did have to admit this was fun. He smirked now as his favorite song from a certain little ol’ band from Texas came on. A sharp and heavy guitar intro had him turning up the dial and gave him a boost of confidence. 

“Clean shirt, new shoes, and I don’t know where I am goin’ to.”  

Dean tied his shoes in spite of the fact that he was tapping his toes to the gritty beat. He gave himself one last glance in the mirror and checked his watch. 

“Cas!” he called out over the music, out of the bedroom door and down the hall. “Babe, we should get going soon. Reservations are at -” the last word got lodged in his throat, almost cutting off his oxygen supply. The bathroom door had opened and Castiel had stepped out. 

As if on cue, the second chorus of the song kicked in as Cas took a few graceful steps towards Dean and the hunter’s jaw fell open. 

“They come runnin’ just as fast as they can, cause every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man.”

“Do I look presentable enough for the establishment we’re going to?” he asked, his tone all seriousness, but Dean barely heard him. 

The angel wore a royal azure blue suit like a king wore his rightful crown, the cut hugging him in all the right places and the jacket dangerously defining his shoulders. His tie was a moody dark purple, and the effect of these colors caused his eyes to almost illuminate without any grace. Sharp dressed indeed. 

He’d shaved too, and while Dean loved his usual bit of stubble, the sculpted jawline that was now on display made his knees weak. Cas’s hair was still messy, he’d obviously run his fingers through it in an attempt to tame it but the effect just made him look rakish, and it was perfect. While Dean stared, Cas raised his eyebrows, silently asking for a verdict. 

“You…look…” Dean’s mouth opened and closed a few times while his melting brain tried to find adequate words. 

“Completely. Stunning. I’m not sure I feel worthy to be seen in public with you.” Cas’s face broke into an all encompassing grin, and a flush brushed at his cheeks and neck. 

“Nonsense, my love. You are the most handsome man I have ever seen, and you know I am proud to be on your arm.” 

How in the fuck had Dean gotten so lucky? He fondly remembered a time that Cas’s blue tie was always crooked and Dean would fix it for him. Way back when they had just barely been friends. Sure. As if that had ever truly been the case. 

Now the angel’s outfit was impeccable, as if he’d stepped off a runway in some highfalutin city. Dean could stand here and stare at Cas all night, and was tempted to. But he’d promised him a real date, and Jack and Claire were counting on the place almost to themselves. 

So he tore his stare away from the devastating vision in blue and reached back to flip the bedroom light and the radio off and close the door. He was pretty sure they would not be returning to that room until much later the next day. 

They found Jack, Claire, and Zeppelin in Jack’s room, Jack playing some of his favorite music for the baby. Claire sat on the floor with her back up against the bed, taking pictures of Zepp as he seemed to move to the beat, such as it was. Dean had heard this song before coming from Jack’s speakers, something about pumped up kicks and outrunning a gun.  

“C’mon, don’t ruin him on this…music,” the last word came out with an effort. Jack almost rolled his eyes, or as close to it as he ever got. 

“But he likes it,” he defended. And as Zeppelin rocked his body back and forth, it was hard to argue. Claire laughed and swayed her head from side to side, mirroring him, and Zepp laughed back. 

“I don’t think he’s even going to miss us,” Cas remarked. “Thank you two for watching over him. You’ll be okay if we are gone into tomorrow?” Dean tried not to let his skin prickle in discomfort; the kids must know what was implied by that. 

“That’s fine,” Jack replied. “Enjoy yourselves.” 

Claire looked up, from Dean to Cas and then back again. When she was feeling mischievous or especially sad was when it was most obvious that she had Cas’s, er well, Jimmy Novak’s, eyes. She was not experiencing the latter currently. 

“With both of you all gussied up like that, I’d be disappointed if we saw you come home tonight. Now get out of here, you geezers,” she teased. “Happy Valentine's Day.” 

Not able to meet her eyes, Dean leaned down to kiss Zeppelin on the top of his head. 

“Be a good boy for your brother and his punk of a girlfriend, okay? Love you, kid.” His heartstrings twanged as he stood back up and made room for Cas to say his goodbye. 

This would be the first time they would both be out of the bunker and away from Zeppelin since he’d been born. He would be fine, he was in good and loving, if musically taste challenged, hands. He would be fine. Dean repeated that to himself as he and Cas made their way up the staircase out of the main bunker and to the garage. 

Baby stood waiting, gleaming like an eager lover’s eyes, a fresh coat of expensive polish caressing her. Dean knew Cas did not necessarily care about the car’s gleam, but the smile he gave his husband made it clear he was joining in Dean's pleasure and pride anyway. He’d known when they got together the Impala was his first love. 

Dean hurried over to the passenger door to open it for Cas, partially to be a tongue-in-cheek gentleman and mostly to watch his husband’s reaction, not to the door opening gesture but to the…

“Dean, it’s a meerkat!” The way those cobalt eyes lit up made the corniness worth it. Because he’d known Cas would love it as soon as he saw it. They were not stuffed animals, flowers, cards, and trinket kind of guys. But this had been too cute to pass up. 

Cas didn’t disappoint. He was staring brightly at the toy and then he brought it to his chest to actually hug and he was so absolutely adorable that Dean’s heart could burst right now and he’d die happy. 

“Glad you like it, Babe,” he said. 

“You didn’t have to get me anything, Dean,” Cas said, “I didn’t -” 

“Shh,” Dean stepped closer to him and laid a finger on Cas’s lips. “You didn’t need to.” He knew they did have to get going, but he couldn’t resist bringing the rest of his fingers up to run them along Cas’s soft, sharp jawline. 

He allowed himself one quick peck of those lips and then leaned quickly away. They didn’t have time at the moment, and if he started, they would end up with their nice suits wrinkled and thrown in the back of the Impala. And with the car seat, there wasn’t as much room back there as there used to be.  

“Well, thank you, my love,” Cas said as he folded himself into the car, still hugging the meerkat. Dean slammed the door and went around to the driver’s side. Revving the engine up and pulling out of the bunker garage, he settled in for the drive. 

He reached across the leather seat, hoping Cas would want to let go of the stuffed animal enough to hold his hand. He was not disappointed. Their hands slotted together, like new lovers heading to only their second or third date. Dean loved the feel of Cas’s wedding ring nestled between his fingers while the Impala thundered down the road beneath them. 

 

Pulling up to the restaurant, Dean saw why the prices on the website were outrageous - the building was massive, and had honest-to-goodness marble columns out front. Where did this place think it was, Italy, instead of the dusty Midwest? He declined the valet service of course, and parked Baby next to a friggin Mercedes Benz. 

“I’d say I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, but I know we didn’t cross the state line,” Dean said to Cas as they made their way up to the entrance, where a doorman primly waited for them. 

They stepped into a cavern-like entryway and after the long drive in the falling dark, and their eyes used to the mellow bunker illumination, they both had to blink at the light exploding from a massive crystal chandelier. This hung over a handsome table made out of green marble with gold veining, which held a bouquet of what must have been upwards of three hundred blood red roses. 

“Wow,” Cas wasn’t able to help uttering. Sure, they’d had cases that took them to expensive neighborhoods and homes, they’d been in fancy digs before, but never really when they could take the time to soak it in without working or looking for the next threat. 

Mercifully, the dining room they were ushered into displayed dimmer, more intimate lighting, the furnishings made out of a warm dark wood, probably mahogany. The place was packed, almost every table but the one they were seated at occupied. The staff was naturally wearing impeccable monkey suits, and were almost painfully polite and proper. 

Dean was glad he was used to playing chameleon cause this was way outside his norm. Stark white tablecloths instead of old stained Formica. Real crystal wine glasses without a spot on them instead of plastic beer steins. Crisp, severely folded linen napkins placed neatly in the center of the plates instead of a stack of wrinkled paper ones somewhere on the table. Even candles shaped like hearts floating in three vases as a centerpiece. 

With satisfaction, he noticed Cas was silently taking in all the opulence with appreciation, though. Low mood music was drifting from somewhere, mixing with the murmur of a dozen chatting couples. Dean smiled over at his husband, glad he could give him this. 

They ordered a bottle of wine, of course, though it must have been obvious to the server that they were choosing at random. Dean was starving, and could have really gone for a good bacon cheeseburger. He chose the filet mignon, with fingerling potatoes and garlic braised broccolini, whatever that was. Cas went with the cranberry crusted halibut, which sounded like a disease in and of itself, not to speak of the weird sides that came with that. 

Cas brought him up first. “Do you think Zeppelin is doing alright?” He looked into Dean’s eyes and the hunter’s shoulders relaxed as he sighed. He hadn’t wanted to say anything if Cas didn’t want to talk about him on their special night out, but it’s not like they could forget they had a child for the night. 

“Probably. I think so. I hope so,” he answered. 

“This almost feels strange to be out and about again, so far from home,” Cas confessed. “Like we’re doing something wrong.” 

Other than short walks when the weather wasn’t bad, and a run or two to the store with Sam, Cas hadn’t been away from Zeppelin much since the baby had been born. This had to feel especially foreign to him, then, to be in this crowded, snazzy restaurant. 

Dean stretched his arm across the table to reach for Cas’s hand, love pouring out of his eyes. The angel’s fingers met Dean’s and they each played their fingertips over and around the other’s, making a sweet game of it. 

“I know what you mean, Babe,” Dean said. “But Zepp’s in great hands, and the kids know to call with any worries. He’s fine. I am so happy to be here with you, that we can have a chance to do this.” The grateful smile he received in return was beauty incarnate on that face. 

Dean had privately wondered if the dinners they’d ordered would live up to the hype. After all, wasn’t meat just meat at the end of the day? For someone who had lived entirely too much of his life on fast food, bar food, and diner food, his taste buds weren’t sure what to make of filet mignon. It was rather euphoric, he was happy to find out. 

Cas was just as satisfied with his meal, and they both had to be mindful of the little groans of joy they were making as they ate. 

“Mmm,” Cas moaned, his eyes closing as he chewed a tiny potato. Dean looked up and swallowed even though he didn’t currently have a mouthful of food. Watching his angel experience pleasure gave Dean pleasure, and right now, looking across the table at Cas in that sharp suit, looking so almost painfully handsome, it was impossible not to think of a more intimate brand of pleasure. 

He leaned forward over his half finished plate and said in a low growl, “You know, as much as I’m enjoying seeing that suit on you, I also could rip it off you and take you right on this table.” 

Cas’s blue eyes flicked up to meet green ones that were getting smoky with lust. After a swallow of his own, a smirk teased the corner of Cas’s lips upward, and one of his eyebrows raised in a way that had Dean shifting in his seat. The hint of candlelight flickering on his sculpted face added to the torture.

“Perhaps that would not be the other patrons’ best idea of dinner and a show, Dean. We can control ourselves long enough for dessert, surely? That tiramisu looks too good to pass up.” 

Dean exhaled slowly through his nose. Of course his Cas would tease him to no end until he could get his hands on him. He loved him for it; patience was one of the many things the angel had taught him in their time together. Dean nodded and went back to the rest of his steak, trying not to dwell on his worries about accidentally getting his husband pregnant again. 

Should he say something now, start the conversation that they would have to have very shortly? As their server came up to ask how everything was and see if they would like more wine, he decided to wait till they were not in public for that. 

Castiel got his way; the white chocolate strawberry tiramisu was ordered, a glorious concoction with fresh strawberries drizzled with warm hot fudge sauce melting into thick rich whipped cream. If Cas had been making sounds over his halibut and potatoes…

Dean’s overactive imagination was definitely having a hard time staying in check now.  

“I can picture this whipped cream right on your - “

“We’re still in public, my love. Later,” came the gentle reprimand. This only served to get Dean’s blood even hotter. Then Cas licked his fork clean with agonizing slowness, that strong pink tongue catching every last drop of cream. 

“Check please!” Dean called as politely as he could manage. His suit pants were getting tight in other areas than just the waistband now. 

As they walked out of the fanciest restaurant either of them had been and probably ever would be in, with their arms around each other’s waists, he could not resist dropping his hand to give one of Cas’s ass cheeks a quick squeeze. So satisfyingly firm, filling Dean’s whole hand. Cas stayed stoic and gave no sign that he’d been manhandled in public. Until they were back in the Impala. 

No sooner had Dean slid behind the wheel than he was being grasped around the middle and dragged into the center of Baby’s bench seat. Hot lips were on the side of his throat, nearly burning the skin and making his pulse scream. Damn, Castiel still had it.

Dean tried to gain some ground, tried to turn his head, tried to grab some body part of Cas’s in return, but he was putty in the angel’s hands. Which were holding him tightly, one on his hip and one on his upper thigh. 

“How do you get away with looking so sexy tonight and giving me those fuck me eyes all during dinner?” Cas’s deep low growl unfurled into Dean’s ear. The hunter took a deep breath and managed to get a hand on Cas’s thick thigh. 

“I, uh, I guess I don’t,” Dean whispered, making Cas chuckle. He then braced an arm on the seat behind Dean, and began to slide a leg over his husband’s, about to straddle him. Dean waited eagerly. 

The door of the Mercedes Benz next to Baby slammed suddenly, crashing into Dean and Cas’s awareness. They both worked to take a few settling breaths. Dean winked at his angel. Turnabout was fair play. 

“We’re still technically in public, my love. Later,” he parroted back to his husband. Cas’s eyes flared at him for just a moment before he released Dean and went back to the passenger side of the seat. 

“You know, we haven’t gone to the cabin in awhile,” Cas suggested, “And we’re not expected back till tomorrow.” 

“Yeah, you set that up nicely, didn’t you?” Dean smirked as he regained his spot behind the steering wheel. He had to reach down and adjust some things before he could sit any kind of comfortably. Luckily the cabin was only an hour north of where they were and Dean always had the keys on him. 

“Well it wouldn’t be a Valentine's Day without completely debauching each other, would it?” Cas asked him, his tone more serious than Dean imagined anybody else’s would be with that sentence. 

“Also,” the angel added, more softly, as he reached over and took Dean’s hand, his grip now gentle.“I just miss you.” Dean’s heart melted. 

“I miss you, too, Babe.” They looked at each other for a moment, letting the words and the realization that they hadn’t been able to be truly alone in many months sink in. 

"Then please start driving Dean,” Cas requested. Dean drove.  

 

Chapter Text

As much as he wanted to watch those luscious lips ghost a trail down his chest, Dean had to give into the sensations. His eyes fluttered closed and his head tilted back into the pillow while Castiel continued to tease and toy and torture. 

To be fair, they didn’t even have their pants off yet. Dean had wanted to tear off their expensive suits as soon as they were in the door of the cabin but Cas had cooled down more than him during the drive. The angel led Dean to the bed, sure enough, but instead of refreshing the attack he’d begun in the car, he’d simply started rubbing his husband’s shoulders. 

He knew exactly how to work Dean’s every muscle, and the human was soon a pile of goo. Not exactly what he’d been looking forward to while he pushed Baby’s gas pedal to the floor most of the way here, but he wasn’t going to argue either. 

Only then did Cas peel Dean’s suit jacket off and bring his lips to Dean’s throat. He didn’t even start kissing it - he knew how to use his breath to fire up his partner’s synapses, and when his lips did brush the skin just fleetingly, it was a sensuous jolt that raised goosebumps. 

They’d unbuttoned each other’s shirts lazily, languidly, and Dean loved how Cas had gotten him to slow down and appreciate every little movement. By the time Cas was achingly slowly pulling off his undershirt, Dean was relaxed enough to not even necessarily care about sex anymore, he would be fine if he and Cas simply caressed each other all night. 

But then his angel had eased him into a lying position, careful to make sure a pillow was under his head, and with no warning, began lapping at his nipples. Dean gasped, feeling his nips harden into tight buds immediately, and his eyes widened at the erotic sight that Cas made leaning over him, his pink tongue licking and swirling hungrily. 

In a few moments, though, his irrepressible lover had backed off, run the lightest of cupped hands over Dean’s growing erection through his pants, and proceeded with this tortuous route of warm lips over heated skin. 

“Cas,” Dean breathed out, somewhere between a benediction and a plea. His angel could still light his body on fire and make his head spin. The hunter began stroking his husband's back when he moved within range, his fingers appreciating the ripple of muscles underneath the smooth skin. 

A kiss was pressed to his ribs. Then to the top of his navel. Then to his shoulder, and Dean turned his head to try to catch the wandering lips but they were gone again. A kiss to the center of his chest. His waist just above his hip. The crook of his elbow, and that one tickled and made him squirm. 

Cas’s weight shifted over him with each kiss in each new location, and Dean wanted to pull him down into his body. But the angel was clearly having too much fun. A shoulder again, his forehead, underneath a nipple. Dean knew what the game was by now: patience. He was still being brought to task for being so eager at the restaurant. That was fine. He was strong. He would not break. He would not beg. 

His husband’s exquisite hands gently encased his ribs and those lips started kissing a trail from just under his belly button up towards his chest. Tiny, warm, delicate smooches designed to drive him crazy. Dean’s breath was getting ragged and he couldn’t take anymore. He opened his mouth to plead with his lover for a real kiss.

But he didn't have to. 

Full lips overtook his, and the angel’s weight settled over him, and a warm tongue slid against his own, asking to dance, finally, finally, finally. Dean reached up and spread his hands open against Cas’s back, pulling him in tight, determined that he would not be going anywhere anytime soon, and moaned into the kiss like a greedy heathen. Which, of course, he was. 

Dean felt his strengthening erection press into a matching one in Cas’s pants. Pants. Fuck, they were still wearing pants! He slid his hands down Cas’s body with the intention of fixing that problem, but that would require that they unglue their hips and, well, that didn’t seem that appealing. Not when he was being kissed to within an inch of his life. 

Cas’s tongue dove and plundered and swirled, and Dean just tried to keep up. He hadn’t gotten tired of making out with his angel, and he never would. Though you’d never know Cas was an angel at times like this; he could kiss like a hungry demon. Dean loved how he took charge and took him over, and how they could get distracted by just doing this, bruising their lips and tasting each other like wine.

Eventually Cas pulled back, to suck on Dean’s swollen lower lip, then worry it between his teeth before finally releasing him. Dean took a half second to catch his breath, then surged forward to give Cas a taste of his own medicine on his neck. He meant for the kisses to be gentle and teasing, but he was too worked up so they turned into open, wet, sloppy things. He dined on his husband’s throat and stopped just shy of leaving a hickey. 

Cas began to writhe against his human, their skin sliding together and making Dean extremely warm. He paused his attack to catch his breath and he attempted to push Cas up off of him so that they could get some air flow between them. Also so he could look into the eyes that he knew would be about the royal shade of that blue suit about now. But Cas didn’t seem to want to budge. He was affixed to Dean like a spider monkey. 

“Feeling clingy tonight, huh, Babe?” Dean teased. Cas burrowed his face even deeper into his neck before he answered. 

“I missed you,” the angel said once more, this time muffled. Dean chuckled, soft and low, and continued to stroke Cas’s back. 

“Me too, Babe. Me, too.” He shifted his hips, enjoying the moment, but ready for the next phase. Which he guessed they still needed to talk about. 

“C’mon, love,” Dean told his angel, and tried pushing up on his waist again, “Sit up and let me see you. Sit up and grind that cock into mine,” he added, his voice pitched lower. Cas’s hips seemed to involuntarily roll with Dean’s words, but he didn’t raise himself up. 

“We can’t get naked like this,” Dean complained, mostly joking. He knew they could, because they had before, ripping clothing off in a frenzy. This time he wanted to take in the glory of Castiel above him, though, staring down at him with that possessive glare. 

“I - I don’t know, Dean,” Cas said, his voice suddenly unsure. Dean’s mind raced. What? What? His hand came up to cradle the back of Cas’s head almost instinctively in a comforting posture. 

“Babe? What don’t you know?” Dean could hear the nerves bubbling in his own voice. He could also hear Cas swallow, and the angel’s fingers tightened on his shoulder, but he stayed silent. 

“Whatever it is, you can tell me,” Dean encouraged. “Is something wrong? Do you not feel okay?” He waited, almost feeling Cas’s hesitancy through his skin. Finally a whisper came into his ear.

“I look different now, Dean.” The hunter was immediately very confused. 

“What are you talking about? No you don’t, you look the same as always.” 

“I mean my body,” and Cas’s voice was as small as Dean had ever heard it. “It’s not the same as it was - before.” Dean got it now, and his heart lurched at the dejection in his husband’s words. He tightened his arms around him, holding Cas together, or trying to, wanting him to feel safe and loved. 

“Baby, your body is fine. More than fine. You’re fucking gorgeous.” He felt Cas’s head shaking against him. 

“I can still look good in a nice suit, I guess,” the angel conceded. “Or okay with clothes on. But…” 

“No buts,” Dean filled in. “You’re still fucking gorgeous, and that’s it.” As he spoke, the realization came to him that he had not really, truly, seen Cas fully naked since about halfway through his pregnancy. Damn, had it been that long since they’d been this intimate? 

There’d been that handjob, and they’d exchanged a couple quick blowjobs since Zepp had been born, and…and that was it, Dean guessed. No wonder they were rabid for each other tonight. Or, well, had been…

“You haven’t noticed the stretch marks?” Cas asked, his voice shrinking even more. “Or how fat I am?” 

Dean now thought of how Cas actually had been wearing tee shirts to bed when he never did before. And he hadn’t really noticed. After so many years together, and having a baby to think about, he hadn’t noticed. Damn it. 

“I thought they would go away,” Cas said. “But my grace, or what’s left of it, could only do so much.” He sounded close to tears now and he still hadn’t lifted his face from Dean’s neck. 

“Hey,” Dean said, his voice getting shaky. “Hey, Babe. C’mon, sit up. Please,” he begged. He smoothed his hands over his husband’s back and sides, attempting to draw him into an upright position yet again. Cas sighed deeply. 

Please, ” Dean repeated. “I love you.” He put his whole heart into the words, hoping Cas would feel confident enough to bare himself to him. The angel lifted up slowly, bracing himself on Dean’s shoulders at first and then straightening, holding eye contact and looking still ready to cry. Dean admired his bravery and took the gift of his vulnerability with the gentleness it deserved. 

It was true, Cas was still thicker around the middle than he had been before Zeppelin, and some of his skin hung looser. His stomach was not the firm plane it used to be, and though they weren’t incredibly obvious in the light from the lamp next to the bed, which was the only one they’d turned on, Dean could see the stripes of contorted skin leading into Cas’s waistband.

“Exactly like I said, fucking gorgeous ,” he said with feeling as he locked gazes with his angel once more. Cas’s eyes melted and he opened his mouth as if to rebut, but Dean stopped him with a finger on his lips. 

“Shhh,” Dean told him, then proceeded to worship.

He began by tracing his fingertip down Cas’s chin and Adam’s apple. Then he traced all of them just barely over his chest, circling the nipples playfully, then grazing them down his ribs. Similar to what Cas had done to him with his lips. 

He danced them over the soft skin of his stomach, circling his belly button, which was now less inverted and more on the verge of being an outie. He traced along Cas’s waistband, his fingers feeling the slightest of grooves in the skin where the stretch marks lay. Through all of this, he maintained eye contact, wanting Cas to pick up how loved he was by osmosis. Dean still was not great with words, but damn it, for his angel, he would try. He cleared his throat.

“Castiel Winchester, you are, and will always be, the most beautiful being I have ever, and will ever, see.” His voice was warm and stone cold serious at the same time. “You’ve been depriving me of not seeing your sexy body and that’s just not fair,” he added on a teasing note. This got the smallest of grins out of his husband. 

“Am I really okay? You really still want me?” Cas asked, his voice relaxing a little. “I mean, especially since I haven’t really been in the mood to…” 

“I will always want you,” Dean’s voice deepened as his hands tightened their grip on Cas’s hips. Then they finally went to the angel’s belt and undid the buckle and unbuttoned his pants. Cas shifted his hips just slightly, and this got Dean’s erection rising again. 

Devouring his husband with his eyes, he left the blue pants zipped for now and dipped his fingers into the open waistband, grabbing on to the fabric and proceeding to push and pull Cas back and forth, dragging their groins together. Cas gasped and must have gotten distracted from his insecurities by how good this felt, because he leaned back and started grinding into Dean until they could feel their balls filling out and yearning to escape their pants. 

Then Dean undid the zipper and plunged his hand into the front of Cas’s underwear. His thumb slid through precome as he grabbed onto that huge cock he loved so much and he could feel his asshole pucker in hopes it would get to feel it too. 

Cas’s head tipped back and he gathered himself up on his knees so Dean would have more room in his pants to work. He slid his hand down the thick shaft all the way to the root and reached under Cas’s balls with the tips of his fingers, just for a quick tease before he ran his fist back up to the tip. 

He withdrew his hand and brought his thumb to his lips to suck off the precome and inhale the sweet musky scent of his lover’s cock. Now the fire had mounted in both of their veins again, and Cas made quick work of Dean’s belt and fly, then grabbed at his waistband to yank his pants halfway down his thighs. 

Dean watched him stare hungrily at his exposed hard-on for about five seconds, and then his cock was engulfed in the angel’s mouth, lips creating a seal around the base. Dean surged up off the bed, inadvertently shoving his dick even deeper into Cas’s throat, but his husband took it like a champ, his tongue sliding along the shaft as much as it could in the limited confines. 

Dean couldn’t resist; he ran his fingers through Cas’s hair and brought his hand to rest on the back of his head, looking down and relishing the picture made of Cas’s face willingly buried in his groin, his cock all the way in his mouth. He wanted to fuck his husband’s throat, and he knew he could, but he also wanted to hold him tight and rut their cocks together, and he also wanted his husband to make him come by impaling him over and over on that oversized cock until he screamed. 

With the curse of getting older, Dean knew he probably only had one good ejaculation in him, and he didn’t want to spend it so soon tonight. So he silently urged Cas off his cock and back up his body where he could capture his lips again and taste himself on Cas’s tongue. Meanwhile, he clumsily worked to shove the angel’s pants and underwear down over his ass for better access. Their cocks met, the saliva on Dean’s helping them slide as Cas worked his hips. 

“Hold on, hold on,” Dean breathed heavily and he fumbled, reaching for the bottle of lube on the bedside table. They were the only people who were ever in the cabin so they didn’t bother to stash their accessories. 

He squeezed a good dollop into his palm while Cas kissed more random parts of him, and then Dean smoothed the lube over their swollen cocks. Instantly they were sliding almost gracefully up against each other, wet hard heat against wet hard heat. Dean wrapped as much of his hand as he could around both shafts and worked them as his hips started moving in time with Cas’s. 

“Dean…” Cas groaned, “I don’t want to come quite yet.” Dean understood. So he backed off the jacking of their shafts, wiping the remainder of lube on their inner thighs. He’d love to keep jerking Cas off and watch his come spurt all over both of them, but it was still relatively early. 

Cas eased off of Dean and lay down next to him so they could catch their breath and cool down. The angel’s cock rested against the human’s hip, thick and swollen and heavy. Dean’s balls drew up a little at the lack of warmth from what they’d been experiencing. 

“What do you want tonight, Babe?” he asked his lover, tracing his fingers up and down the arm that was draped over him. 

“I don’t know,” Cas answered with a little laugh. “It’s been so long, I guess I kind of want everything.” Dean gave a full laugh and laid a kiss on the messy dark hair. 

“I know what you mean, everything sounds good.” He lowered his voice now. “But you know what really has me going?” He took Cas’s hand and led it down to where his legs were spreading, and made sure his fingers went past his ball sack till they were grazing his hole. 

“You opening me up and fucking that big cock into me as hard as you can.” A hungry, mischievous glint came into Cas’s eyes as he tapped a fingertip against Dean’s opening. Dean spread his legs even wider in invitation and gave his husband his best “please treat me like your personal slut” look. 

Castiel kissed him again, slow and deep while he lubed his fingers up and began sliding them along Dean’s crack. This was going to be messy and sloppy and Dean was there for it. It had been awhile and he knew Cas would take his time and make sure he was stretched and he was so indescribably happy to be that fortunate as to have such an amazing lover. 

A thick fingertip made its way inside, then just as quickly withdrew. Then it entered again, and withdrew. Then again. And again. 

“Your hole is so tight I don’t even know if I’ll be able to fit…all the way…deep…inside…” Cas teased in his husky voice, heating Dean’s blood. He knew exactly how to get his human going. They both knew quite well they could get it in there, that Dean would be a mewling wreck by the time they achieved it, and that was just fine with both of them. 

A finger dove in again, this time slightly deeper. Dean laid back and got even more comfortable than he already was. This could and would take a deliciously long time. 

One of Cas’s hands, the one not occupied between his legs, smoothed over his inner thigh, and Dean’s muscles relaxed further. His hole was breached yet again and the finger did not leave immediately this time. It stayed and swirled and Dean’s knees fell open. 

It kept swirling as it got closer to withdrawing, till it was circling just his rim from the inside, lighting his nerve endings up, but instead of sliding out, it thrust itself back in. This was only Cas’s index finger, not even his thick middle one, Dean could tell from years of experience.

His hole was explored and teased and violated in all the best ways. It was re-lubed, spread open by two fingers and penetrated by two others. It was left begging and then filled again; it was stroked from the outside and then the inside; it was spread and stretched with the patience of a saint, or at least an angel with magic fingers. Cas knew how to crook each finger just right and make his human ready to take him. 

Dean’s cock had settled to half mast, resting against his thigh for most of these ministrations. But now as Cas shoved in deep with two fingers and stroked Dean’s prostate with exquisite slowness, his shaft filled out again and stood up proudly. 

“I think someone’s ready to be fucked,” Cas whispered. This was dirtier than he usually talked, and Dean’s hips bucked at the words. Cas smirked, obviously loving the effect he was having. He suddenly straddled Dean’s chest and the hunter had his favorite cock shoved in his face. 

“Get it all nice and wet for me. And for you, my love,” Cas instructed, and Dean eagerly opened his mouth so the angel could ease in. As the head slipped past his lips and the rich taste rubbed along his tongue, Dean moaned, impatient. 

He gave a few good sucks, trying to coat the cock with as much saliva as he could, loving when Cas got this dirty and naughty. He felt his husband grow thicker in his mouth, heavy on his tongue, then he withdrew, a string of saliva mixed with precome trailing onto Dean’s chest as Cas moved down his body. 

Then the angel kneeled, positioning Dean’s legs open wide with feet lifted off the bed so he was completely open for him, and the hunter felt the wet hot heat pressing at his hungry hole. They both groaned loudly as Cas slipped the head in past the ring of muscle. 

He stayed there for a moment, like he always did, making sure his lover was okay with proceeding. He then began a maddening rhythm of micro thrusts, never quite pulling out, but stopping just short, making Dean’s hole looser and more eager at the same time. And this is where Dean started to mewl. He wanted his husband buried in him to the point that it almost hurt but this just felt so good, making a tingling warmth creep up his spine. He would never know how Cas had the self control for this sort of thing. 

Finally, the angel eased himself forward, and then some more, and then some more, until his cock was seated firmly in his lover’s ass all the way to the balls and Dean was wrapping his legs around his hips and holding on for all he was worth. 

“Ohmyfuck, ohmyfuck, ohmyfuck,” Dean chanted. Cas had him stretched so wide, and the head of his cock was absolutely crammed into his prostate, and Dean never wanted to feel any different than this as long as he lived. If he could die with Cas buried all the way up his ass, he would die a happy man. 

“Dean, my love,” Cas strained, his grip on his husband’s calves bruisingly tight. “You are ecstasy personified.” That was his Cas, Dean smiled inwardly; able to go from straight up smutty dirty talk to somehow eloquent sexual compliments. Outwardly, his face was probably contorting but that was okay cause this felt too amazing to care. 

And then Cas began moving his hips, slowly at first but not for long. When Dean begged for harder, he complied, and soon he was slamming into his husband’s hole and prostate almost violently. Dean was thrashing but made sure he was nodding so that Cas wouldn’t stop. 

The human’s legs were spread so wide that if he hadn’t been in such ecstasy they surely would have felt like they were about to pop out of his pelvis and oh fuck he hadn’t wanted to come quite yet...

“Angel out, Baby, you can angel out if you want,” Dean was barely able to breathe before his orgasm washed over him like a tidal wave and his hot come splattered all over his belly. His asshole started pulsing around the throbbing cock impaling it and Dean gave a guttural scream of release. 

At the same time, he felt that tingle of electricity and the brush of feathers along his skin and the sweet blessed flood of his husband’s come deep inside of his guts. Filling him and completing him while above him Cas keened and now kept himself shoved in as far as he could. 

Their mutual panting filled the small cabin and gradually Cas sank down to lay on top of Dean once more, his spent cock sliding out of his lover. Dean half heartedly swiped a corner of sheet over his belly before Cas could get the mess quite all over him. His trembling legs relaxed and he straightened them while his body was still loose, before his joints stiffened up. 

Dean smiled as the edge of a fluttering black wing filled his vision and he remembered a hotel room in Paris some years ago when they had first truly laid together and Cas had covered them with his wings just like this. 

He found the energy to stretch his arm up and around to reach between the angel’s wings and lovingly scratch at the joints where they met Cas’s shoulder blades. His husband melted even further into him, relaxing like a cat, like Grace did when she was scratched in the same place. If Cas could have purred, Dean was sure he would have been.  

Long gone were the days when Dean was unsure if Cas would want him to touch his wings; he knew the angel welcomed his caress on the glossy feathers, enjoyed every lingering stroke, at times electrifying him and at times putting him to sleep, almost as if hypnotized.

“My beautiful, wonderful, sexy angel,” Dean murmured into Cas’s hair, and laid a kiss to the top of his head where it rested on his chest. Cas moaned a happy sigh, which was pretty close to a purr, in reply. 

“You know you could have gone all out though, if you’d wanted to, Babe. The blindfold and the plugs are right here,” Dean reminded him. He was more than satisfied with the way everything had played out, don’t get him wrong, but he wanted his lover to be no less than a thousand percent content as well. 

Cas rubbed his face against the skin of Dean’s chest, also not unlike a cat, and the slightest prickle of facial hair growing back tickled the hunter. Then the angel lifted himself up enough to look his husband in the face. 

“Actually, my love…” he said, “No I couldn’t.” Dean’s brow creased, not understanding. 

“I don’t think I can transcend this form anymore,” Cas explained. His fingers toyed with the hair behind Dean’s ear as he went on thoughtfully, “I think the pregnancy altered that too.” 

“So what does that mean?” Dean asked, not sure how to respond. He had a sense that something unnameable had been stolen from Cas, from both of them, and he wanted there to be a way to get it back. 

“I don’t know.” Cas sounded a little lost. 

“It’s not like you’re exactly human,” Dean said, caressing the lustrous feathers covering them both that proved this point. 

“No, but I can tell I have less grace than almost ever before. As if…” he paused, chewing his lip, which Dean knew he only did when he wasn’t sure how he felt about something. “As if I gave most of it to Zeppelin.” 

Dean let out a long, slow breath, taking this idea in. Cas not being able to fully transform anymore, perhaps not being as strong, an integral part of him literally given away to build their child. He held his angel close as his wings slowly retracted, and he hoped that wasn’t the last he would ever see of them. 

“I’m…I’m sorry, Babe,” Dean told Cas, cradling the side of his handsome face. He wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to say, but Cas gave him a tiny smile. 

“It’s okay. He’s worth it,” he said simply, and Dean was impressed all over again by his partner’s devotion and selflessness. He silently admitted to himself that if the roles were reversed, he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t be at least a little bitter about the situation. 

“You’ll always be my angel, no matter what,” he said out loud, and gave Cas a firm, slow kiss. 

“I love you so much, Dean,” Cas said as he laid his head back down on the human’s shoulder. 

“I love you too, Babe,” Dean answered. He reached over, fumbling, for the blanket that had nearly been shoved off the bed and tossed it over the two of them as best he could without moving too much. Cas’s weight on him was his favorite security blanket but it was February and his toes were getting chilly. They dozed off just like this, holding on tight to each other, naked and feeling as close as two people possibly could.

Chapter Text

Dean stirred, aware it was still dark outside. He knew he definitely didn’t want to move yet. Cas’s full weight was no longer on him but his warmth was still pressed close, comforting and solid. And there were lovely gentle sensations dancing over his inner thighs, the crease where his pelvis met his legs, and his soft cock in the form of angel fingers. 

Dean inhaled deeply, appreciating the light strokes, feeling pampered as was Cas’s specialty.  

“Mm, that feels so good. But I don’t think you’re going to get a round two out of me, Babe,” Dean moaned sleepily and gazed down at his lover through blurry eyes. 

Cas just smiled, soft and lazy, as if he was unconcerned with where this led, and continued his reverent petting. The human was content to lay back and enjoy it but then Dean’s cock, to Dean’s surprise, started making a liar out of him, filling up and thickening. Maybe they’d been asleep longer than he’d thought. 

Cas smirked. “Your turn.”

Dean, not quite altogether awake, responded with, “Hmm?” He found his hand being taken and placed into a warmth that his fingers would know anywhere. He was awake now, Cas’s balls pressing into the heel of his palm. 

Dean’s heartbeat spiked. He looked over at his beautiful husband laying next to him with his legs spread and his blue eyes full of lust and eagerness. Dean idly stroked the angel’s perineum while his brain started firing. 

He couldn’t tell Cas he didn’t want to; the guy had just come back from the brink of self image issues, and was probably still teetering on them. Refusing would destroy him, and it would be a lie anyway. As Dean’s index finger tapped lightly at Cas’s tight pucker, he imagined how good it would feel to sink himself into that hole, slowly and deep enough to make those blue eyes roll back in the angel’s head. But… 

“Babe,” Dean whispered, “Are we sure we should?” He hated that they had to have this conversation. 

“Oh, we should,” Cas breathed, opening his legs wider. “We should do it as many times as possible.” Fuck, Dean loved when Cas got all slutty. His cock gave a throb as if to ask him what they were waiting for. 

“I mean, we should be careful, though,” Dean said, scratching lightly at Cas’s hole with his stubby nails, feeling the angel’s balls grow heavier against his wrist. Cas’s breath grew deeper; Dean knew what he liked without even having to think about it. 

“You’re always careful with me,” Cas replied, still not getting it. Dean made himself withdraw his hand, unable to help fondling his husband’s ball sack on the way out from between his thighs. He would have to be a little more blunt. 

He met his gaze when Cas looked at him questioningly. 

“I don’t know if it’s the best idea for me to fuck you,” Dean stated. “I love the crap out of you and trust me, I want to …but -”

There was no good way to say this - “Look what happened last time?” Cas stared at him for several long moments. Dean knew his husband well, but he couldn’t quite tell what thoughts were tumbling around under that messy bedhead. 

“That makes sense,” Cas finally said, then his voice dropped an octave in that way that always made the hunter hotter than the midday sun.  

“But Dean…my love…I want you to be inside of me.” Dean’s cock filled out even more at the sound and suggestion of these words and he wanted to seize Cas and attack him. He grabbed the angel’s hand instead. He’d never denied him before; never even tried. He swallowed and his throat was dry. 

“I’m scared,” he confessed. “What if - what if - it happens again? We had no idea and what if - ?” 

“I’m fine, Dean.” 

“You felt fine then, too.” He paused. “We could use a condom.” 

Dean didn’t love the idea, to be honest; they’d never used them before, though he’d acknowledged to himself at least it may have perhaps been a good idea early on. He’d kept himself as clean as possible in his free wheeling past and supposed he’d gotten lucky to not have any lingering keepsakes that could have really hurt his partner. 

To use them to prevent pregnancy with Cas, though, was not something he ever would have thought they’d have to consider. 

“The nearest town is half an hour away,” Cas pointed out. “And everything is closed.”

Dean sighed in frustration. He should have picked some up before this, just in case. He should have known this night was going to lead here. He should have thought ahead. Cas squeezed Dean’s hand, feeling his turmoil. 

“We don’t have to, my love,” his voice softer. 

“I want to be able to, though,” Dean almost whined. He knew they would deal with it if they had to, but this would change the sexual dynamics between them if they could no longer freely give and take. Cas now wrapped his arms around his human.

“Dean, I assure you that I believe I am back to normal, no more eggs, no more uterus. I trust Rowena’s skill. I truly think we would be safe, but if you have misgivings, I understand.”

His words were sincere, his tone gentle and loving. His hands, however, were back to devilishly wandering down Dean’s thighs, his fingertips playing along the underside of the hunter’s cock. Dean’s erection had mostly waned while they had been talking but now the blood came back and began pumping steadily through his length once more. 

“Cas…” This time it was a whine. A heavy thumb dragged over the head of his cock, just rough enough to torture, just soft enough to tease. 

“There’s something called the morning after pill, is there not?” Cas said steadily, still looking into Dean’s eyes almost innocently while he worked his magic below the waist. Dean blinked, his mind doing its best to function under the circumstances. 

“And as soon as we can, we’ll go in and I’ll get another ultrasound to make sure I don’t have any parts I’m not supposed to,” Cas said sweetly before starting to kiss his way up the side of Dean’s face. Possibly never had more unromantic words been spoken in bed before. They went right to Dean’s heart and hormones. 

With a growl, he lunged at his husband and pinned him to the mattress in one smooth motion. His cock was rock hard again. Cas stared up at him with his wide baby blues, silently asking to be taken. 

“You naughty angel,” Dean murmured into Cas’s warm neck, leaning in close to inhale the scent of sex already clinging to his skin. “You’re so good at corrupting me.” He wrapped his arms around his lover, just needing to feel him close for a moment. His heavy cock pressed up against Cas’s thigh, and thrilled at the pressure. 

“Who, me?” Cas answered, his voice deceptively sugary while his leg came up to wrap around Dean’s hip. “What did I do?” Dean trailed his lips over the shell of Cas’s ear, making the angel squirm like that trick always did. 

“Remember our first time?” he asked in a whisper. “That room in Paris? How you gave yourself to me?” The memory washed over Dean as he said it, squeezing his heart. 

“How could I forget?” Cas answered, his voice husky. And his other leg wrapped around his husband’s hip as well. As the angel gave himself to the human once more, with his whole heart and soul, Dean honored it as best he could, though he was surprisingly hungry with lust for having come once earlier. 

There was just something about Castiel splayed open for him, looking up at him with that mix of heat and love and utter trust. Dean had missed this even more than he’d let himself ponder. 

So he got to work, running his fingers up and down the sensitive skin of Cas’s hamstrings, kissing his lover’s still sexy belly while he gripped the muscles of his inner thighs and splayed his legs open that little bit more. Moving down, he gave the angel’s hardening cock a few healthy wet swipes with his tongue, but then got serious as he took Cas’s ball sack into his mouth. 

He made sure to drool over the sweet musky taste while he worked his tongue in circles and lightly sucked on the contents. Dean adored how ruggedly male Cas was, and he was relieved that none of that had changed with the events of the past year. 

The angel panted above him and tried to push down more into his mouth, even though Dean’s lips were already on the base of his cock, sealed around his sack. He knew what his lover wanted. Using the saliva that had dripped down for the moment, Dean circled his middle finger around the perimeter of Cas’s hole, which was already fluttering open as much as it could in anticipation. 

Dean wanted to take this slow, but much like their first time, he wasn’t sure if Cas would let him. At least now they had real lube. Dean drew his mouth off of its tasty morsels, leaving them slick and throbbing. He glanced up at Cas and the flush that was on his husband’s chest and the way he was gripping the sheets. 

He couldn’t resist; he pushed himself up and captured Cas’s mouth in a searing kiss that the angel responded to with a vengeance, plunging his tongue as far in as it would go, eager to taste himself. But even while they kissed, he was pushing Dean’s hand down between his legs, pressing the hunter’s fingers into his most private spot. Dean could take a hint. 

He broke away, giving Cas’s pec a playful nip as he reached for the bottle. He loved to watch his lover’s eyes glow as they watched him coat his fingers and settle between his thighs. Dean smiled up at Cas. 

“I’ll go slow,” he said tenderly, “It’s been awhile.” He was rewarded with a flare of blue fire being stared back at him. 

“Get your fingers inside of my asshole so you can impale me on that dick,” Cas commanded, his tone as hard as the dick being mentioned. Damn, he did want it. Dean felt a swell of pride that he could still do this to his angel, and he hurried to comply. 

He took the liberty of starting with his middle finger, and instead of small, testing thrusts like Cas had used on him, he just slid it in, slow and deep all at once. Cas’s thigh muscles quivered and Dean glanced up to see him nod. So in went another finger, slow and steady. 

Cas reached up to grip Dean’s biceps, and his hand slid down to the wrist of Dean’s dominant hand, the one that had its fingers seated in the angel’s ass. Cas began moving Dean’s hand so that he was fucking himself on said fingers. They’d been together for years now and it never ceased to amaze Dean how his lover could still surprise him in the dirtiest of ways. 

In an effort to keep some control, he crooked his fingers and twisted, to which Cas’s legs opened even wider. The ring of muscle flared, promising that it would be ready for more soon. 

“Damn, you’re so sexy,” Dean breathed. Cas always made him feel like a god when he wanted him this badly. “So horny for me.” He pushed his longest finger in as deep as it would go - Cas had stopped moving his arm for him - and pressed upwards. This caused Cas’s thick fat cock to give a jump, tapping the angel’s lower belly and kissing the skin there with precome. 

This show made Dean’s cock surge in response, and he got more serious about prepping. He twisted and thrust and added another finger. He leaned down and placed a kiss to the tip of Cas’s cock, coating his lips with the warm clear liquid. 

“Dean, please, I’m ready,” Cas moaned. “Take me, give it to me.” There was no way Dean could deny that. So he gave one more twist for good measure, then slipped his fingers out to wipe them on the sheets, relishing how Cas’s wet and hungry hole winked at him. 

He looked down at his angel while he moved into position between his legs, still amazed that this being was his, to have, to hold, to make love to. His hands found their way to Cas’s hips, those lovely sharp hip bones that dug into his palms as he pulled his lover towards him at the same time he pushed forward, watching the head of his cock enter his husband. It was such a beautiful sight he almost forgot to breathe. 

As he sank deeper and deeper, feeling the tight heat swallow him, he gasped, still holding Cas’s hips in a death grip. His cock fully immersed, Dean looked up to find an erotic sight. 

Cas’s spine was bowed, his head thrown back exposing the long line of his throat, in which his pulse pounded steadily. His hands were braced on the headboard, his eyes were screwed shut, and if it weren’t for the beaming smile on his face and the way his hole was pulsing around Dean’s cock, Dean may have thought he was in pain. His whole body was taut with pleasure, a quiver stretched tight. His swollen cock lay heavy on his softer lower abs, a pool of precome trickling down his side. 

Dean began working his hips slowly, drawing out every tiny stroke, going back to watching his cock slide in and out. But Cas had other plans. 

“Give. It. To. Me.” He ground this out between gritted teeth, and then he began to shove his hips down, using his arms for leverage. Dean swallowed, only debating for a moment. Then he grabbed his dirty lover’s hips as tight as he could, and began to pound. 

The bed complained, Cas had to use a pillow to keep his head from hitting the headboard, and Dean’s knees were going to feel this later. But he slammed into his husband as hard as he could, watching the thick cock bob up and down with every thrust. He wasn’t sure they weren’t going to bruise their balls as they slapped together obscenely on every thrust, but that hint of pain added to the fire shooting through his veins as he felt his orgasm get closer and closer. 

Hot and tight and wet and hard and oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck was all his cock knew as it slid home again and again and…then one last time as he came with a roar that he couldn’t hold back. He shuddered and collapsed on top of Cas before he could stop himself, his cock throbbing as it poured his come into his husband. Dean couldn’t have moved at that moment if the scariest monster in the world had walked into the room. Not like Cas was letting him move anytime soon.

The angel’s legs had come up to lock around his hips, to hold him in place and prevent him slipping out any sooner than absolutely necessary. Dean could feel Cas’s thick erection trapped between their bellies, and thought about attempting to lift himself up enough to give his lover a hand with that. 

But Cas’s hands were on his sweaty back, and who was Dean kidding, he still couldn’t catch his breath to move. They were both sweaty and soaked and far too warm. Cas then began moving his hips just a tiny bit, not enough to allow Dean to slip out, though he could feel himself softening now, but enough to squeeze his hard cock even tighter between their bodies. 

“Oh, Oh, OH, OH,” Cas gasped out on a moan, and Dean’s entire front, trapped against Cas’s, was flooded with sweet hot sticky come. As Cas rode his orgasm, he held Dean impossibly closer, his legs like a vise around his middle and his used hole clamping down almost painfully on Dean’s flaccid cock.

Then as the wave crested and ebbed, the angel’s limbs slowly loosened and he went limp under the hunter. Dean’s cock finally slipped free, a little sore for the wear but thankful for the experience. They both clumsily and weakly reached for the bedside table at the same time, laughing, still a little breathlessly, as their hands collided at the drawer pull. Dean, slightly more recovered, was able to pull out a big soft towel placed there for these occasions. 

It was not even a half hearted wipe up; they’d been messier and fallen asleep like that before, but Cas’s come had made it all the way to their chests. So they blotted at it a little bit at least, sharing lovestruck, post orgasm kisses and playing with each other’s hair. Neither of their legs would have possibly worked to allow them to shower for a little while. 

As they settled into their familiar spooning position with Dean tucked into the crook of Cas’s body - it felt so good to have gotten that back - birds started chirping outside in the gray pre-dawn light. Cas drew the blanket over them this time, then nuzzled his nose into Dean’s hair. He knew how to take care of his human. Dean all but purred in contentment and kissed the parts that his lips could reach of the arms that were wrapped around him. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Cas,” he mumbled, half asleep already. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Dean, my love,” came the reply, and it sank into his soul as it did every blessed year together.