For slinkymilinky, who has been so damn patient while I dealt with RL issues. She wanted Cas to learn diplomacy and people-skills from watching TV… and whaddya know, it involved angst, badassery, and sex. I hope you like it! And anyone who hasn’t watched Castiel: the Motion Picture should…
Spoilers Up to 6.16/And Then There Were None
Go get her, tiger…
The room is poorly lit but not so dim that Castiel can’t see the stains on the walls, and worn patches and cigarette burns in the carpet. It’s barely furnished, a closet with one door swinging open and towels stacked on the shelves, a small nightstand next to the bed, which is large, covered in shiny black fabric and scattered with cushions shaped like hearts. When he glances up there’s a mirror on the ceiling, and there are pictures on the walls, lurid erotica, entwined bodies performing acrobatic-looking contortions he’s fairly sure aren’t anatomically possible, many of which feature the application of fruit.
He’s aware enough of modern standards of attractiveness to know that Chastity is aesthetically pleasing, and he can already feel a skipping sensation in his chest as she reaches around behind him to lock the door, his chest because now he’s tied to the world and this human body, he thinks of himself as a real person. A real boy, Dean would joke, has joked, even if the smile rarely reaches his eyes these days.
The woman lets go of his coat sleeve, plucks the roll of banknotes from his hand, glances up at him through clumpy, spiked black eyelashes that don’t look real. She smiles, and he notices abstractedly that she has lipstick on her teeth.
“I have a toy box, sugar,” she says breathily, and she stabs an incongruously businesslike finger towards a small chest on the other side of the bed. “Go look, pick something you like. We can play.” She flicks her scarlet-painted nails through the money with practiced ease, crosses to a small door set into the wall, glances back over her shoulder and motions her head to a basket on the nightstand. “What flavor?”
Castiel isn’t sure what she means. “Flavor?” He clears his throat uneasily, but his voice still squawks out high-pitched and strained. “Uh… I’m not allowed to order off the menu. My… Dean said so.”
She smiles, winks. “Silly. I mean the Jimmy hats. What flavor?”
He takes a step forward, hovers uncertainly, stares harder at the basket, full of small flat packages in bright colors. “Jimmy?” he asks cautiously, and he drifts his eyes back over to the door, his escape route, and it’s only a few feet away. “You have a hat for Jimmy? Only Jimmy isn’t here any more.”
She turns, a flash of irritation in her eyes. “You’re so sweet, baby,” she doles out mechanically. “Jimmy hats. Rubbers.” She giggles, soft, girlish, false. “Bareback costs more. So I guess it’s off the menu, huh?”
She swivels her hips in his direction, backing him up against the wall and crowding right up into his personal space. It’s closer than any human who isn’t Dean has been to him, and Castiel’s mouth goes suddenly dry.
Chastity flicks her hair back off her shoulders, cups his cheek, smiles and licks her lips slowly. “Why don’t you tell me what you’d like, baby?” she murmurs seductively, so close Castiel can smell mint when she exhales. “I’m gonna fly you straight to Heaven…”
He startles, rises up onto his toes as she starts leaning in, tilting her face up towards his. “You are?” he says dubiously. “You can do that?”
“Oh yeah, baby…”
She closes the inch or so that separates them, teases Castiel’s lips with her tongue, pushes through the seam to slip-slide it against his teeth, and he can feel his heart start to thud even faster. She trails her fingernails down his neck, loosens his tie and unfastens his shirt buttons at the top as she nuzzles his skin. Her breath is warm against the line of his jaw, and she presses soft breasts against his chest, moans against the notch where his collarbone meets his shoulder, and he can feel her eyelashes-that-may-not-be-real scratch the underside of his chin. She grinds the heel of her hand against his crotch, and he hears his zipper slide down, feels her fingers snake their way in and grip him, kneading and twisting the sensitive flesh through his shorts.
Castiel tips his head back against the wall, closes his eyes, tries and fails to suppress the faint gasp he hisses out. His heart is sprinting hectically now, and he knows this is normal, that the human heart speeds up when the body is overexerted or sexually aroused, that even now his veins and arteries are dilating and blood is rushing towards his groin to engorge his penis and swell it erect, and that soon he’ll be ready to—
“You having a problem, sugar?”
Her voice is suddenly sharp, and he blinks at her. He’s breathless, and his chest feels like a giant hand is grasping him and squeezing him tight. The strange gnawing feeling he’s had in the pit of his stomach since Dean heaved him out of the car and marched him into this den of iniquity is getting worse.
Chastity narrows her eyes. “You’re real pale.” She pats his crotch. “And nothing’s happening down here. And it’s forty-five minutes tops, baby.”
He swallows, because he recognizes the relentless tattoo beating in his chest for what it really is now, remembers that the heart also speeds up in response to stress, anxiety, fear. “I think it’s fight or flight,” he croaks. “You don’t – arouse me.”
She scowls and steps back, her eyes cold and her lips a thin line, her voice bordering on harsh now. “No refunds, buddy.”
In a drab no-tell-motel off route ninety-five, Dean sprawls on the bed and pronounces Castiel the forty-million-year-old virgin as Castiel watches him take enthusiastic gulps from a bottle of Jim Beam he rooted out of his duffel. “Her dad ran away to the circus. Jesus.” He rolls his eyes dramatically, the alcohol making him peevish. “The fuck was that about?”
Castiel sighs, throws up defensive hands. “It was the post office,” he corrects ruefully.
Dean shakes his head in disgust, slouches there, confident, self-assured and sarcastic. But Castiel can see into him, knows it’s a bluff, a lie. He knows that Dean plans to drink himself into a stupor just like every other night, knows that he’ll lapse into unconsciousness fully clothed at some point, knows that he’ll scream himself awake and shaking with hazy, confused terror after just two, or three, or four hours of restless, tormented sleep. Castiel knows what Dean sees when he sleeps, knows his dreams are like an open, oozing, jagged wound that will never heal. Even the second-hand knowledge of it is so vivid that thinking about it stuns him, sets his nerves on edge and has him biting his lip.
Dean stares up at him, oblivious. “You, uh…” He takes another swig, creases his forehead, and he’s suddenly tentative. “Sticking around for a while?”
Castiel doesn’t answer, just makes his way to the bed, sits on the end, lifts one of Dean’s feet onto his lap and starts pulling at the boot. “It was the post office,” he says again. “And he ran away from it. Not to it.”
He huffs out his own irritation as the boot stays put, gives up pulling and starts unpicking the laces. After a minute of this, Dean starts nudging Castiel’s thigh with the toe of his other boot, increasing the pressure until Castiel gives in and slants his eyes up to the top of the bed, where Dean is glowering at him, drumming the fingertips of his free hand on his thigh.
Castiel shrugs. “You’ll be more comfortable with them off. And I take it you’re pissed at me?”
“You’re damn right.” Dean sinks another mouthful, wipes his lips with the back of his hand, and his eyes glint. “Top of the line cathouse, two hundred and fifty fuckin’ bucks to pop your angelic cherry, and you never even made second base,” he marvels sourly. “Jesus.” He whistles out a frustrated huff that turns into a yawn, and rubs one eye.
Castiel stares at him, tries not to focus too much on how tired he looks, at the shadows under his eyes, makes a mental note to ensure that he eats solid food before he starts drinking from now on. That’s what Sam would do, he reasons. “She was troubled,” he replies. “I wanted to give her something to hold onto.” He pauses a beat, frowns as he remembers the many and varied ways in which fruit was being used in the pictures on the walls of Chastity’s room. “And I fail to see what cherries have to do with any of this.”
“You were supposed to give her your dick to hold onto,” Dean parries tartly. “Fuckin’ idiot. And it’s a saying.” He flexes his toes as Castiel frees the boot, flops the other one up on Castiel’s lap and smirks at the raised eyebrow he gets in response. “What? I’ll be more comfortable without that one too.”
The second boot is tougher, takes Castiel longer, and he has to concentrate on the knot more closely, work patiently and methodically, turning it this way and that to see how it loops so he doesn’t pull it tighter, humming under his breath as he does, finding the chore surprisingly relaxing.
“You need to watch some porn,” Dean declares decisively, as the boot finally comes free. He waves haphazardly at the television. “Find out how it’s done. Maybe they got pay per view.” He nods thoughtfully. “Yeah. Porn. That’ll do it.”
Castiel is gripping Dean’s foot, finds he’s rubbing his thumb along the top of it, massaging the skin through the wool of Dean’s sock. The fabric is threadbare, torn at the top. Castiel can see the tip of Dean’s toe poking through the hole, and he doesn’t understand why, but it makes his throat ache and swell. He swallows thickly, squeezes his fingers up into the sole, and Dean lets out a tiny groan that might be appreciation.
When Castiel flicks his gaze over again, Dean’s expression has gone rapt and faraway, his lips parted just barely. “I know the mechanics of the act, Dean,” Castiel says softly, as he brings his other hand up to massage Dean’s toes, covering the oddly defenseless sliver of exposed skin, feeling protective of it even though he knows it’s ridiculous of him.
“Getting laid is more than just mechanics, Cas.” Dean holds the bottle up to the light as he speaks, squints at the amber dregs as a rivulet of whiskey meanders from the corner of his mouth down his chin, and then he starts sliding across the stained wallpaper, inch by inch, until Castiel sucks in a breath of alarmed air and pushes up, the discarded foot slipping back onto the bed.
He reaches out his hand to Dean’s face, holds him there. Dean blinks slowly up at him, the tips of his eyelashes fluttering soft against his thumb. The tingle of contact thrills its way up Castiel’s arm and he has a split second of clarity when he realizes that Dean’s lashes are longer and softer than Chastity’s were.
They stay like that, both of them poised at something Castiel fancies is a fork in the road, and they have a choice, can choose to go left, or choose to go right.
“I bet you don’t even remember why you chose me,” Dean slurs then, as if he can read Castiel’s mind. “I bet you wouldn’t if you could go back.” He gazes blearily up at Castiel, with eyes that are suddenly sad and worn-out. “Cas,” he says, and his voice is unsure and childlike. “Please. Don’t go. Stay with me.”
Castiel knows that Dean is lonely, damaged, disintegrating right before his eyes. And he knows that Dean is still the most important, precious, beautiful thing he has ever held, knows that the invisible thread that connects them is the only thing that soothes him in the absence of his brothers, even while it constantly reminds him he betrayed them for this man. He doesn’t consciously make the decision to shrug his coat and jacket off, but he finds he’s doing just that, sitting on the bed and shuffling his butt over.
“Of course I remember why I chose you, Dean,” he chides mildly as he leans back against the wall, his exasperation coming out casually, almost by rote, because Dean frustrates him so often and so thoroughly it seems like schooled patience has become his modus operandi for dealing with him. “I’ll never forget. Although I didn’t realize I’d be required to watch porn with you.”
Dean doesn’t answer, and maybe he didn’t even hear. He yawns, pats his hand about for the remote control, points it at the television and flicks through channels, curses unintelligibly when there’s no porn to be found and then continues surfing randomly until the hand with the remote flops lethargically. He lists over, drowsy and sleep-soft as he settles himself on Castiel, makes small, snuffling noises and pulls his tee up to scratch languidly at his belly.
Castiel tells himself he steals his arm around and drapes it across Dean’s shoulder for the sake of practicality, resolutely ignores how his heart starts beating percussion. He glues his eyes to the small screen, where a rumpled looking man with a bad attitude who walks with a cane is telling another man in a white coat that an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation can cause the heart to judder erratically. He can feel the tickle of Dean’s hair under his chin, and the heat of Dean’s body seeps in through the thin cotton of his shirt. And he feels the moment when Dean tenses, almost imperceptibly, and then Dean’s breath is suddenly warm on Castiel’s neck, like Chastity’s was, and his lips are tender as he mouths the hinge of Castiel’s jaw.
“What you do to me…” he whispers. “Cas. You got no clue.” And then, hopefully, “Do you?”
He creeps his hand up and lays it on Castiel’s cheek, tilts Castiel’s face just so. His palm is rough and callused, but it’s more gentle than Chastity’s was, and it has an electric charge that sears through to every nerve ending in Castiel’s body, sending his stomach dropping into the abyss.
“Do you know?” Dean murmurs. “What you do to me, Cas… make me feel like I might do something stupid one day. Or now, maybe. Real stupid.” He swallows, chooses his words carefully, in the way Castiel has come to realize he always does when he’s drunk and maudlin. “Say my name, Cas. You say it like I mean something. You look at me like I matter.”
He’s staring up, unblinking, and Castiel is suddenly hyperaware of every tiny detail, of DeanDeanDean, red-rimmed eyes tired but expectant, a fading bruise just south east of his temple on the left, his cheeks flushed pink and sprinkled with freckles, his hair spiked haphazardly. Dean licks around his mouth, and for that frozen second all Castiel can see is the tip of his tongue playing pinkly along the swell of his bottom lip, leaving moisture glistening in its wake.
Castiel knows the mechanics, knows how sex happens, and his head suddenly swims with possibilities, with the memory of Chastity’s tongue, warm and wet against his skin, and right then he realizes he’s getting tight in his pants, feels a twitching sensation in his crotch that he knows isn’t fight or flight this time. And he feels helpless, undone and unbalanced, feels like he has finally come home at the same time as he understands that he never really left, that he has always been right here in this moment with Dean, from the second he reached out to Dean’s soul in the Pit. He feels like his heart is suddenly too large for the ribs that contain it, feels like he wants to kick down the doorways to doubt Uriel and Zachariah raged about, stride through them, do things he never dreamed he’d ever want to do.
“Cas… say my name like I matter.” Dean’s eyes are intense, and his voice is sandy rough, but soft too. “Cas. Can I…? I think I want to—”
Castiel chokes it out, shakes his head, flinches back, because Dean is right there in his arms, and the pad of Dean’s thumb is dragging slow and lazy across his lips. It isn’t what he wants to say, because he wants to say Dean’s name just like Dean wants to hear it, wants to say that Dean makes him feel like he might do something stupid right now. And Castiel knows that his voice comes out low and unsure, and that it would be so easy to close that distance if he wanted to, close it like Chastity did. He wants to, and he suppresses it.
“Yes I do…” Dean frowns. “I mean – I have. Long time ago. It was gay for pay, but it had its moments. I’m an equal-opportunity slut, Cas.”
Castiel reaches up an arm gone weak and heavy, covers Dean’s hand with his own and slides it down to rest on his chest, where his heart flutters one second and pounds the next, where he feels split open and he aches with something he thinks must be want and need. He crosses his legs and wills the growing bulge away, steadies his voice. “You don’t know what you’re saying, what you’re doing.” He doesn’t say Dean’s name, even though it’s right there, craving to be said. “You’re drunk. It’s a bad idea. And you’re missing Sam, you—”
Dean snorts. “I don’t even know where he is. And I’m not that drunk.” He slumps on Castiel’s shoulder again. “Fuckin’ cockblocker,” he snipes, irritable but affectionate too. “Emotionally stunted fuckin’ cockblocker.” His hand is right over Castiel’s heart, next to where his amulet rests on Castiel’s skin. “It isn’t a bad idea, Cas,” he mutters. “And I can feel your heart going like a jackhammer in there. Don’t think I can’t.”
Castiel keeps his hand over Dean’s because can’t bring himself to let go. “It’s an abnormal heart rhythm,” he says hoarsely. “Atrial fibrillation.”
Dean grunts derisively. “You just saw that on House. Well, fuck House. Fuck him sideways.”
He shifts, but shows no signs of moving away, and when Castiel looks down he can see that Dean is gazing at the television again. He relaxes, the tension draining out of him, and Castiel can feel him go pliant.
“Gonna give you some advice, Cas,” he mumbles. “For situations like Chastitygate. S’advice that’s stood me in. In. Uh.” He furrows his brow, momentarily confused, before he sighs. “S… good advice,” he says again. “When shit hits, you ask yourself a real important question. Got it? It’ll help you, y’know. Make sense of it all. It’s a question. But it’s the answer too. To – everything.” He angles his face up again, and his eyes are slipping to half-mast, his features going slack and dreamy at the same time.
Castiel gives him a shake. “Dean,” he says, finally giving into the temptation to say the word. “What’s the question? The question that’s the answer to everything?” He’s urgent and slightly anxious, because he has been lost for some time now in this slow tumble down to Earth and humanity, and maybe he’s even doomed. But if Dean knows the answer to everything, then maybe he can find the way back to the right path again.
Dean sniffs. “What would Jack do?” He nods sagely, flaps a hand vaguely at the television. “My man, Jack. Right there. Totally badass. What would Jack do?”
He places the hand on Castiel’s hip, seems oblivious to the way Castiel’s whole body shivers at his touch. “You need help, Cas. You know, to fit in better, get the stick out of your ass.” He pulls a face, rambles on. “Stop staring at people without talking, man, it’s fuckin’ freaky. Unless it’s me.” He pats Castiel’s hipbone, rubs it gently with his fingertips, and the touch shoots though the fabric of Castiel’s pants straight to his groin, so he has to stifle a gasp.
“Watch,” Dean says. “Learn. Movies… they’re educational. Long as you watch the right ones. And porn, too. Hell, yeah.”
Dean’s breathing evens out then, and he starts to tip forward, so his body is pressed up close and warm again. And the glory of Heaven and the companionship of the Host might be lost to Castiel, but he has this, and he clasps it tight.
“Once I filled the sky, Dean,” he whispers, when he thinks Dean is asleep and can’t hear him. “I blazed a trail across it. And I stretched up and touched the stars. And now I’m growing weaker. I need to rest, to breathe. Now I’m tired. I’m – less. But I would do it all again. I would choose you.”
And Dean is still awake, barely. “It’ll be fine,” he sighs. “You’re with me now.” He burrows his face in Castiel’s chest. “Dick,” he complains. “Atrial whatever, my ass. I can still feel your heart. And you fuckin’ spoiled me for anyone else.”
Castiel lays his hand on Dean’s hair, finds that it’s softer than he expected as he strokes his fingertips through it, and then he trails his hand down to rest it on Dean’s shoulder, fits his palm to the precise spot where he burned his brand into Dean’s skin. “You won’t even remember this tomorrow, Dean,” he says quietly, and it gives him a tight, constricted feeling in his throat to match the one in his chest.
“Yes I will,” Dean insists tiredly.
Castiel brushes his fingertips across Dean’s brow. “Sleep, Dean,” he says. “No dreams tonight.”
Dean drifts off, fisting his hand in Castiel’s shirt, and Castiel keeps his eyes glued to the television, where Jack is battering down a door to gain access to a terrified young woman who seems to be attempting to conceal her whereabouts. “I believe Jack wishes to smite her,” he muses curiously.
Dean wraps himself around Castiel in increments as the hours pass. He sleeps deeply and peacefully, and Castiel watches over him, gazing at the flickering images on the screen as they lie there. It’s a vision of what life is like, and Castiel learns how to fit in better, until he extricates himself from their tangle of legs when gray dawn starts seeping through the curtains.
Dean doesn’t remember when he wakes. But Castiel takes it to heart, what Dean said, and he keeps watching and learning.