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Previous chapter.


Week 2.

14 kalends Septembris (August 19).

Note: For those of you keeping track of the timeline, this chapter takes place two days before the events of An Acorn Button.


Castiel woke up with Dean’s mouth sliding damp and leisurely across the back of his left shoulder.

“Grrm?” he asked, of the pillow.

Dean’s lips curved against his skin, and pressed closer for a moment, so Castiel could feel the brush of his nose and chin too, and the weight of his cheek against the folded wing. “Hsssh, g’back to sleep. I gotcha.”

“Mmmp,” Castiel agreed hazily.

A line of warm, open-mouthed kisses wandered around the edge of his shoulder blade, tucking into the sensitive parts between the main bone and the ball of the wing joint that fitted in at its base. Castiel shifted, lowering that wing a little to let him in. Dean paused, nuzzled at the spot, then danced his finger along the dampened path that his mouth had made.

“Your back’s kinda weird,” he decided, all early-morning drawl, and pressed a kiss into the centre between the wings.

“Yrs’s empty,” Castiel muttered into the pillow, and lost the end of it in a yawn.

“I mean,” and there was Dean’s hand, light and careful on the back of Castiel’s ribs as he stretched up to kiss the side of Castiel’s neck. “How’s there even room for all this extra stuff in here? Don’t the bones get in each other’s way?”

Talking,” Castiel accused peevishly, and tipped his head aside to encourage him in better morning things, because once Dean started getting curious about how things worked there was no stopping him.

Dean laughed against his skin, a quick shivery huff, and obliged.

In these moods, Castiel was discovering, Dean could be unexpectedly - unnecessarily - careful, gentle and courteous in a way that was at odds with his brash demeanour out of bed. And there was a reverence in the way his mouth explored Castiel’s neck and shoulder, in the movement of his fingers skimming slow circles on Castiel’s lower back, that elevated it all to a rare tenderness.

Dean took his time, and Castiel let him because it was precious and lazy and warm, and it felt curiously like being cared for. He stretched a bit, arms and legs and the wing not trapped against his side by the warm body leaning over him, and wandered sleepily through the day’s business in his mind.

Thoughts of the letter he was drafting led to thoughts of Sam, his earnestness and his determination and the way Dean looked at him, exasperation over a vast depth of you are my world. And of course that led to thoughts of one of the specific (one of the most delicate) articles to be listed in the letter: his own betrothal, and their plans for marriage.

Over the warm awkward flutter in his stomach, Castiel remembered, with the wayward associations of drowsiness, the deep, tired voice of his father. One of the things he’d said many times - had needed to say, to him and Balthazar both, and usually about Gabriel.

Family means you stick by him. Even if it looks like he isn’t sticking by you. That’s probably when he needs you the most. 

The meaning of that had changed over the years, and it was weighed down with an extra load of irony now.

Castiel arched his neck into the gentle, curious mouth nibbling its way down the right side, and wondered idly what Dean’s definition of family was.

Dean’s hand tucked around his waist. Castiel squirmed a bit at that, because he was sensitive there and it tickled, but he was distracted by suddenly finding Dean’s face up level with his, nuzzling in against his cheekbone.

“Morning,” Dean beamed, looking very pleased with himself, and very young.

“Hello Dean,” Castiel returned drily, but he couldn’t stop himself from smiling, just a bit.

Dean made a contented noise and brushed his lips over Castiel’s cheek, and the corner of his mouth. Castiel deigned to turn his head just far enough out of the pillow to catch them properly, since it was, after all, in his own best interests.

He would never have guessed, two months before, that there were so many different types and flavours of kisses to be categorised. This one was loose and easy, barely any movement but for the tilts and soft presses of Dean’s head and the flex and relax of mouths. At this angle it was wet, and not particularly deep, and Castiel could perhaps have changed that if he’d been feeling less lazy. He liked it, though: it felt like an easy slow morning, just like them and just itself. Together with the slow circles of Dean’s palm in the small of Castiel’s back, it was enough to coax the tiger inside him to lift its head, yawn, and begin to stir.

It was an unfamiliar beast, this tiger. Castiel had never even suspected its existence until Dean had woken it for the first time. When its blood was up it suffused him and heated him and drove him on, to shove against Dean’s body and coax those breathy noises out of him and dance a wild dance together; but that was all Castiel knew of it so far. He wasn’t sure he trusted it, especially with Dean’s fragile form; and so he rode it, and thrilled in it, but never loosed the reins.

Dean caught Castiel’s lower lip between his and let it go, then nudged at Castiel’s cheek. 

“Y’need a shave, man.”

Castiel buried his face in the pillow and shoved at Dean’s chest with the wing caught under it.

“More kissing,” he instructed, muffled.

Dean snorted, and kissed his ear, and the back of his head, and the nape of his neck, and the knob of his spine, making the tiger purr: warm and possessive and coddled.

“What, all over your back?”

Castiel rolled his shoulders thoughtfully, shuffled feathers against skin. There were parts of his back that were tingling and warm, teased over with Dean’s attention, and there were others that were feeling distinctly neglected. Especially those parts of it covered by his folded wings, which left bare only a strip down his back wide enough for Dean to span with one spread hand.

“Yes,” he decided, and flexed his left wing against the arch of Dean’s body, which caged it in and kept Castiel from stretching. “Everywhere.”

“Whoops!” It was said like a tease, but the haste with which Dean’s weight vanished was all guilty concern. “Sorry, dude. Wings get pins and needles?”

“No, just...” Castiel wriggled again, hitching his wing up higher to get it out of the way. Dean tried rolling back in under it, but that wasn’t going to work unless he wanted a face full of feathers, so Castiel poked him awkwardly until he rose to his knees, down by Castiel’s hips.

“Told you those things weren’t practical,” Dean commented helpfully, craning back out of the way as Castiel tried to pull the wing forward far enough to stretch it out past him. “Cas, I can’t lie on top of your wing, that makes no sense.”

The peak of Castiel’s wing caught in the sheets, just as the stiff primaries of the tip caught against Dean’s neck, and he squirmed and grumbled. He wasn’t accustomed to moving around people who weren’t used to wings, who hadn’t any more idea how to predict them and what went where and when to move out of their way without a thought than a toddler had.

“Dean. Sit on my hips.”

Dean’s hand made itself felt, hovering low and warm at the very base of Castiel’s spine, making the skin around it tingle hopefully.

“You sure?” 

“You won’t crush me, Dean.”

The mattress dipped and shifted. Dean’s hand pressed down for a moment as a balance, a knee skimmed over the sensitive skin at the top of Castiel’s right thigh (just as he’d mount a horse, Castiel thought curiously), and then Dean’s weight was settling warm and careful on top of him.

It pushed Castiel’s growing erection firmly into the mattress. That, he hadn’t foreseen.

“Okay?” Dean asked in a low voice, when Castiel made a noise and squirmed under him. And that was interesting - that must be the soft weight of Dean’s testicles, resting just below Castiel’s tailbone. Castiel shifted his hips again, testing the cage of Dean’s thighs around his flanks and ribs, and the intriguing shift of hot skin pressing down on his buttocks. He oughtn’t be startled by the fact that it was so much hotter at the centre, at Dean’s centre, right where it bore down on the swell of Castiel’s flesh.

Then Dean lifted his weight up onto his knees.

Castiel blinked a glare over his shoulder.

Dean rolled his eyes at him. “You were wriggling! I figured you were uncomfortable!”

“I’m enjoying,” Castiel corrected him, as primly as he could manage when his breath was coming rough. “Touch me, Dean.”

And there, now he could stretch his wings properly: out well beyond the span of the bed, arching his back into it with pleasure until the longest primaries brushed the window sill on one side and the closet on the other. And he could feel Dean’s eyes sweeping over him, as if it was a physical touch shivering hot over his back, and he thought of the tiger again: stretching and curving, flanks rippling like velvet fire, in the shameless new thrill of being watched. Of being coveted.

“Shit,” Dean breathed, and now his breathing was ragged too, and Castiel could feel the thud of his heartbeat where they were pressed together, in the fingers that curled tight into the meat of Castiel’s waist. 

Then Dean’s weight shifted, and one hand slid upwards in a slow tease, skimming over Castiel’s sensitive ribs and making him wriggle and huff (then moan when he ground himself harder into the sheets), trailing up the centre of his back to spread wide between his wings, as if Dean was trying to cover as much of him with one hand as he could.

“You know you’re fucking gorgeous, right?” Dean murmured behind him, his voice a low burr that heated the back of Castiel’s neck.

Castiel squirmed a little, partly because of that voice and partly because he was finding it very difficult to stop. “I’ve never had occasion to think about it,” he replied breathlessly.

There was a pause. Then Dean’s voice again, rich with delight and tease. “Dude. Are you blushing again?”

“Be quiet, Dean.”

“Cos, y’know, if you don’t believe me I’m not the only one who thinks so. Gwen was saying -”


“Shutting up now, Captain,” and there was absolutely no reason why Castiel’s erection should throb against the blankets just to hear Dean name his rank. Even in that voice. With that smirk.

Dean leaned in a little closer, planting one hand on the pillow beside Castiel’s face and sliding back to sit on his thighs, pressing in low enough to nuzzle another kiss into the back of Castiel’s neck. His other hand slid up to tangle deep into the ticklish feathers under Castiel’s right wing, but Castiel only noticed that for a moment before he was distracted by the other touch, hot and damp, dragging down the back of his thighs as Dean bore down on him. And oh, that was Dean’s -

Dean’s startled moan came at the same time as the hot thrill shooting up Castiel’s spine and his own hissed breath, and was immediately followed by Dean starting back up with a curse and an apology, taking his hands with him.

Dean,” Castiel complained again, and groped behind him for Dean’s wrist. Because that wasn’t fair, giving him just a taste of that, and leaving him to imagine Dean pressing down on him, on top of him, heavy and inexorable between his wings and maybe even between his legs, and there was definitely such a thing as being too gentlemanlike.

Castiel abruptly abandoned the plan of getting Dean to press kisses all over his back. Weight, and movement: that was what he wanted, and he wasn’t sure exactly how it worked, but there was only one way to find out.

“Sorry,” Dean huffed, sounding embarrassed and very turned on, “I didn’t mean -”

“Dean, where is your hand,” Castiel demanded, because it was far too elusive, and “I know you’re aroused, Dean, we are past that ridiculous game,” and when Dean worked it out and gave Castiel his hand, it took two firm tugs to get him back to where he had been, all warm skin and muscle heavy against Castiel’s body.

Dean made a muffled kind of squeak, then a much deeper groan, burying his face in Castiel’s shoulder and just shoving, so that the overheated line of his erection pushed up behind Castiel’s testicles and skipped roughly up the cleft behind it: one shocking, delicious moment before Dean caught himself and jerked his hips back.

Yes. This.

The wrist planted in the pillow by Castiel’s face was shaking, a rapid-fire counterpoint to Dean’s low ragged breaths and Castiel’s faster panting, so Castiel pressed his mouth against it and growled with the frustration of discovery, “Don’t apologise. Keep going.”

“Really?” Dean panted, incredulous and wet against his shoulder. “Because, really, I’m not, not even touching you properly, I’m just. Sort of over you.”

“I like it.”

The sound Dean made was well beyond words, broken and blissful enough to set Castiel’s blood pounding inside him. Dean pressed his hips down again, moving restlessly, little wriggles from side to side that caught skin against over-sensitive skin and drew little snatches of sounds from them both. Then Dean was in there, settled, snug between Castiel’s buttocks so that Castiel could feel the hot pound of blood throbbing right against his... against very sensitive nerves.

“Cas?” Dean breathed, half a moan and half a plea, and if Dean was going to keep asking Castiel would have to be clearer with his approval, so he opened his mouth hard against Dean’s wrist and pushed up into Dean’s touch.

Dean’s arms flexed beside his cheek and shoulder and his hips shoved into a rhythm that was no rhythm, all hot and clumsy and rushed. And this was like nothing they’d ever done before: not just kissing and twining together, and not just hands exploring (or, that one time, mouths). This was whole-body and whole-hearted, overwhelming and almost rough. 

It set Castiel writhing, arching into Dean’s body with the familiar undulations of flight as he flexed his wings against the bed, and Dean jabbing down hungrily into him without any plan or regularity, so that every stroke landed differently. Deep between Castiel’s buttocks to catch against that spot that made Castiel jump, or landing sideways so that he skidded down over the side of Castiel’s hip, or slipping up and over onto Castiel’s back, and or down too far when Castiel moved the other way to nudge between Castiel’s damp thighs. 

And oh, the weight of him, pressed in large and hot all around Castiel, encompassing him and surrounding him and possessing. Castiel ached so very badly to spread his legs and find out what it would be like with Dean inside him, with all that hungry flesh pushing into him to lay Dean’s claim there as well. Would he just slide in, like this? Castiel knew hazily that there was meant to be something about stretching, and something about oil, but where Dean was moving their bodies were both slick now with sweat and with Dean’s own arousal, and he just glided, strong and welcome, setting Castiel’s nerves singing with anticipation. Castiel felt like, if Dean asked, his body would just open right up and draw him in.

And what would it feel like?

He arched his back, took his weight on his elbows and mantled his wings until they pressed in on Dean from either side, so that every shove and slide of Dean’s body set feathers ruffling and flickered at the nerves: so that every time Dean moved, he would feel Castiel pressing in all about him, brushing every inch of his flanks and legs. Close enough to having him inside.

Dean groaned, a guttural thing that Castiel felt vibrating all the way up his back, rolled his hips in sharper and harder until he slipped forward into the hollow of Castiel’s back, and spilled himself all over Castiel’s skin with a sound like he couldn’t remember what breathing was for.

Castiel whined in his throat, let his wings fall to the bed, and went as still as he could. Dean was a twitching weight above him, somehow heavier now, and his breath was hot in the space behind Castiel’s ear, and there was a slow wet tickle on Castiel’s back as Dean’s seed sought a way to slide over the edge and down his side.

Keeping his hips still, though, was not a simple task. They kept wanting to twitch forward of their own volition, push into the mattress below him, inadequate as it was by comparison with...

Dean mumbled something delirious and sweet into the side of Castiel’s neck, and dragged himself up to perch on Castiel’s thighs. Castiel missed him immediately, the chill of morning air creeping in to touch the skin where he’d been.

“Wow,” Dean mumbled, and it sounded something like drunken awe. A finger traced its way down Castiel’s spine and into the cooling wetness, drawing it into patterns on Castiel’s skin.

Castiel made some noise in return, something like a question and something like wanting, because, just a little more, he was almost there, and if Dean would just...

Dean’s finger trailed its little line of wetness down further, up over the reddened skin of Castiel’s rump, and Castiel hissed out his name and tried to spread his legs, pushing against the bracket of Dean’s thighs.

“Cas,” Dean breathed, and it was nothing short of awed. Which was all very gratifying, but, “Dean.”

“Oh! Oh, right, you’re, you didn’t - right.” Dean rolled himself off Castiel’s body, moving sluggish and a bit dreamy, to reach for the cloth and water jug beside the bed. “Hold still a minute, I gotta...”

Castiel gamely held still while the damp, chilly cloth slid reverently over his back, down over his ribs to catch the trickles, up again to mop up any spillages. His hips were moving again, rolling slow circles against the mattress, but he didn’t bother to stop them. Even with the urgency of release battering at the gates, the sweet trusting lassitude of early morning and of Dean’s mood were creeping over him again. The tiger was purring, kneading its paws and willing to wait to be sated; and when the cold touch of the cloth disappeared he didn’t protest the sweep of Dean’s warm hand in its place, or the soft press of lips to the side of his neck, to the sweat-ruffled down between his wings, then open and lingering in the newly clean hollow of his back.


A tug at his elbow.

“Cas, come on man, turn over.”

Castiel groaned and obliged, as laboriously as possible: rising up on his elbows, dragging his wings in from their extravagant drape slowly like they weighed too much, taking his time setting the wrist of his left wing into the mattress and shifting his weight onto that instead of the elbows of his arms, rolling with a grunt and a mutter over onto the propped wing and its half-folded companion and hanging there for a moment before letting them splay out under him, dropping onto his back with a huff.

Dean shuffled up beside him, still on his knees, still looking all soft and dopey; but his eyes, travelling up and down the length of Castiel’s naked body, were strange mix between shy and hotly possessive.

Castiel had to close his eyes against it, because Dean’s eyes had a power to change him, and he couldn’t look into that gaze and keep the tiger in check.

Dean’s hand settled on his hip, fingers splaying out to tickle in wiry hair; and Castiel groaned, and arched his back, and reached out to tug Dean down against his side, into the crook of his wing.

Dean came easily, warm and pliant, and his mouth found Castiel’s just before his hand closed over Castiel’s aching, greedy flesh. 

No refinement here, either, but there didn’t need to be: not with Dean’s leg locked around Castiel’s, tugging him open, and Dean’s calloused sweat-damp hand tight and sweet and quick on him, catching almost rough against the head when he went too far, and the far more familiar welcome of Dean’s mouth, and the press of his body all up against Castiel’s side and nestled in the tight, protective furl of his wing and his arm. 

He felt Dean’s eyes on him again as his body shook itself into completion, intent and open on his face, but he couldn’t bring himself to mind.

A few drowsy minutes later, he mumbled into Dean’s cheek, “Dean. Are we family.”

The easy drape of Dean’s body gathered itself up like the coil of a spring, and Dean lifted his head to blink down at him, halfway to a frown.

“Dude. You’ve been family since about a week after I first met you.”

Castiel considered this, yawned, nodded, and tugged Dean back down beside him. Dean didn’t resist, but the you-are-ridiculous huff of air against Castiel’s neck was perfectly eloquent, so Castiel hummed some vague kind of acknowledgement and began scratching his fingers idly through Dean’s hair, because that always made Dean lean into it and look like he wanted to purr.

“Hey, Cas?”

Castiel turned his head on the pillow. Dean’s eyes were soft, not quite sure of himself. “Yes, Dean.”

“Tell me about your mum?”

Castiel took in a slow breath, and closed his eyes again. After one long careful minute, he began to speak.


Next chapter.


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