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[personal profile] starryfif2
Title: Prize Of Heaven
Pairing: Castiel/Dean
Rating: R
Word Count: 7,059
Summary: Seven months after Lucifer rose and destroyed the world, Castiel wants Dean to find peace. Even if it's in Heaven.
Notes: I don't own Supernatural, but I sure wish I did. Thanks a million to [livejournal.com profile] becc_j for the beta. If it wasn't for her, the whole fic would keep switching tenses. Written for [livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang and for [livejournal.com profile] pinkelephant42's amazing artwork which sparked my Muses.
Warnings: This is a fluffy apocalypse fic. Because it is an apocalypse fic there is minor and major character death. There is a happy ending. Highlight below if you want spoilers:

Sam kills himself in order to save the world. Dean and Sam share a Heaven just like in Darkside of the moon. Dean is not dead.

Also inexpertly posted on AO3.







Seven months after Lucifer rose in a blinding flash of light and convinced (or was it tricked?) Sammy into saying yes, Dean finally tracked his brother down. Sammy was holed up in a hotel just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. Dean wished he could kick his brother's ass for deciding to bunker down here, because it's still just painful too come back to where his whole life went up in flames, never mind where his little brother is being paraded around by Lucifer.

Dean isn't sure why the devil stopped moving. Maybe he's tired after bringing the world to a smoldering ruin. Whole towns have been vaporized; buildings, cars, people, everything, going up in flames and burning to ash in moments. Whole states were now nothing but barren wastelands after the devil finished with them. Dean has had the misfortune of driving through a couple of the states Lucifer demolished, and it's just about the worst thing he's ever seen.

There were still pockets of resistance, both regular people and hunters working together with witches and warlocks to stop the devil. Dean's even worked with some. He never stayed with them for all that long; their agenda was to waste the devil; Dean's was to save his brother. Dean didn't work with anyone now.

It seemed that the world was holding its breath as Dean parked his baby outside of the hotel Lucifer is staying in. Dean felt the tension like a heavy weight on his shoulders.

Dean's fingers dug into the hilt of the demon-killing blade while his other hand brushed against the Colt tucked into the waistband of his jeans, covered by his shirt. He doubted it would work against Lucifer, but its weight was still comforting none the less. Two demon-killing weapons were better than none.

Dean's anxiety grew as he opened the door to what must have been a four star hotel before the apocalypse, but now has crumbling walls and cracked floors. His anxiety went up a notch when no demons tried to stop him. His footsteps echoed as he made his way across the rotted floor. He stumbled more than once over debris, and his breath caught in his chest when he saw two bodies, soaked in blood, eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling.

“Focus, Dean,” He whispered, barely able to hear himself over his hammering heart.

It didn't take Dean long to find his brother. Lucifer was standing in the fourth room Dean peered into, his back to Dean, his hands folded behind his back as he looked out a window. He wanted to laugh when he saw his brother was wearing a white suite; the urge faded when he remembered the devil was in control of Sam's body. Dean's fingers tightened instinctively around the demon-killing blade and his whole body tensed, primed and ready for anything.

His throat closed off, speech impossible, at the sight of his brother. Sammy was so close, Dean only needed to take two or three steps and he'd be within touching distance of his brother after seven months, but he couldn't do that. He needed to remember that he wasn't dealing with Sammy, that wasn't his brother. It was the devil; Lucifer himself who'd brought the world to flaming ruin.

It hurt Dean to stand still and not close the distance, but he managed.

Oh, God, Sammy....

“I see you've finally arrived,“ Sammy, no, Lucifer said. He turned, and the happy smile on the devil's face was like a punch to the gut. Dean hadn't seen it on his brother's face in years, and to see it now, and here of all places, when Dean was talking to the devil, was just plain cruel. “I was beginning to think you weren't going to show.”

Dean had to swallow twice before he could speak. “And miss the party? No way.”

Sam tilted his head like Cas did when the angel was confused, or trying to puzzle something out. “I would have thought you'd be eager to see me.”

“I want to see my brother, you son of a bitch, not you. You're the devil. You destroyed the world.”

Lucifer seemed confused both by Dean's words and by his anger. “I'm cleansing the world and making it ready for paradise. All of earth's people will know peace, at last.”

Dean's hand trembled as he ran it through his hair. “And you're using my brother to bring paradise and to murder millions of people. I've got some problems with your methods, pal.”

Lucifer sneered. “My methods, as you call them, are not as effective as I would have hoped. My brother's were supposed to challenge me. I was meant to fight Michael, but he is curiously absent.”

Dean laughed mirthlessly. “That ain't gonna happen. The angels want the apocalypse really bad. They want all of God's people to be killed by you. You aren't going to get your fight. Not from them, at least.”

Lucifer seemed disappointed by Dean's words. “That is...unfortunate.” His eyes were like lasers as they fixed on Dean. “And you are here to kill me?”

Dean nodded, though he wasn't sure if he'd be able to do even that. That was his brother in there. Lucifer's gaze on him was sharp and uncomfortable, and seemed to carry a weight that made him unable to move. With a flick of the devil's hand, Dean was slammed against the wall to his left and stuck there like he'd been glued. Lucifer threw his head back and laughed, and it was terrifying to hear the noise coming from his brother's mouth.

“I sincerely doubt you would have been able to kill me, Dean,” Lucifer said. He shook his head and laughed again. “I am wearing your brother as my meatsuit.”

Dean tried and failed to move a muscle. It was like he was facing Azazel again, as he had in what felt like a lifetime ago, only now his father was dead, and Sammy was the one about to tear him to pieces. If he was going to die, and that seemed like a foregone conclusion, than he was going to get the answer to one question that had been bothering him for the past seven months.

“How did you get my brother to say yes to you?”

Lucifer smirked, an expression that seemed too wide for Sam's mouth. “I told him if he said yes I wouldn't kill his precious brother. He agreed to save you.”

If Dean could have moved, he'd have punched Lucifer in the face. Goddamnit, Sammy. There had to have been another way.

“If it makes you feel better, your brother was still in shock and high on demon blood, and I'm very good at persuading people to do what I want.”

“Enough monologuing. Just kill me already.” Dean exhaled shakily, and he shut his eyes. He didn't want the last thing he saw to be his brother, controlled by Lucifer, smiling as he killed him.

“I think I'm going to do this the old fashioned way. No knives or guns; I'm going to use my hands.” Dean's breath stuttered out of him as Lucifer's hands clenched around his throat and began squeezing. His heart thudded frantically, and his muscles tightened as his brain screamed at him to fight. But he was still frozen against the wall, and there was nothing he could do to save himself.

Dean's body was screaming for oxygen when Lucifer's hands suddenly released him and the power holding his body to the wall receded. Dean fell to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut, and a voice he would know anywhere said his name.

“Dean?” Sammy, his Sammy, said.

“Sammy,” Dean rasped. “You're back?”

Sam knelt beside Dean and laid a shaking hand on Dean's shoulder. He seemed confused and disoriented. Dean managed a hesitant smile that had Sam's hand clutching harder at his brother's shoulder.

“I-I think so.” Sam said. “Everything is really hazy. All I remember is feeling my fingers around your neck, and then rage. It's like I was drowning in my own mind, and I've only just now come up for air.”

Dean took a really long look at his brother, and all the doubts that had been piling up in his mind while his brother spoke, the half-formed thoughts that Lucifer was deceiving him and his brother really was still being controlled by the devil, vanished.

He'd recognize his brother anywhere, even dressed in the ridiculous white suit, his hair cut shorter than it'd been in years. Dean still knew, on a soul deep level, that he was talking to Sam. It was the way his brother held himself, hunched over with his shoulders up to his ears, that practically screamed insecure, frightened Sammy.

“Dean?” Sam's cautious, quiet voice, caught Dean's attention. “What am I doing here? What happened?”

“You mean you don't remember?” Dean hedged.

Sam responded slowly, though Dean could still make out the fear Sam desperately tried to conceal. “No.” He coughed once into his fist. “...Should I?”

Dean opened and closed his mouth a few times. No words were forthcoming. He didn't know what he should tell his brother, if anything. What if the truth sent Sam over the edge and back into his mind where Lucifer was probably waiting? The already damaged world couldn't handle more of the devil's attention.

“Dean,” Sam said, the annoyance bleeding through his words at Dean's silence. “I want to know.”

“Lucifer's been riding your body around.” Dean said before he could think. His heart sank at the shocked look on his brother's face. Whatever Sam had been thinking, it hadn't come close to the actual truth.

“How long?” Sam asked.

Dean winced at the brittle quality of Sam's voice. “Seven months.”

What?!” Sam cried, shocked.

“I tried to stop you. I tried to free you.” Dean was quick to reassure. “You were always one step ahead of me. That big, genius brain of yours knew me too well.” Sam smiled at Dean's weak joke, though it was a pale imitation of the actual one Dean loved. “And now that I've found you, it's just too late.”

Sam's face was devoid of all color. “The apocalypse. It happened?” Dean nodded at Sam's words, his expression bleak. “Is there...is there anything left?”

Though Dean wanted to, he couldn't lie. “All the major cities are gone. There's pockets of resistance spread across the country fighting the devil. I've even worked with a few. The four horsemen rode across the world at the devil's order and so much was destroyed. Food is pretty much non existent and everything else is just...” Dean couldn't bring himself to finish.

“It's bad.” Sam stated.

Dean could only nod.

“What about Bobby and Ellen and Jo? Are they, are they still alive?”

Dean's eyes closed and his breath hitched. He shook his head in the negative. Sam's face, when Dean could bring himself to open his eyes, wasn't surprised.

“Did I...did I kill them?” Sam whispered.

“Bobby died in one of the first plagues Pestilence caused. Ellen and Jo...they went with a small group of hunters to stop you and never came back. I tried to make them stay at the house with me, but they wouldn't listen. I didn't go with them because I was convinced that I could get through to you, and weapons weren't the way to go.”

“I never wanted this to happen.” Sam said after a long, pregnant silence.

“I know, Sammy,” Dean responded brokenly.

“Now look what happened!” Sam cried. “It's the end of the fucking world, and it's all my fault!”

“No!” Dean instantly denied. “I started this whole thing, Sammy, by breaking the first seal. None of this would have happened if I wasn't so weak.”

Sam laughed mirthlessly. “You always blame yourself. I'm the one who wanted revenge and lied to you for months, and got himself hooked on demon blood. I'm the one who let Lucifer in. It was me, not you.”

Dean shook his head. “Lucifer only got in because you were confused and still tripping on demon blood. I should have protected you. That's all on me, Sammy.”

Sam's eyes were sad. “I'm so sorry, Dean.” And though Dean was surprised, he didn't protest when Sam drew him into a hug. He patted his brother's shoulders awkwardly when Sam's body started to shake with suppressed sobs. Sam calmed down after a few moments and drew back, embarrassed.

“I know, I know, no chick flick moments.” Sam joked weakly.

“It's all right.” Dean reassured. “You're allowed after the seven months you had.”

Sam's eyes hardened at the reminder of all Lucifer had done. “I need to stop Lucifer, before he takes control again.”

Dean started. “He's not gone for good?”

Sam smiled wryly. “It's not that easy. I think that even as strong as Lucifer is, I was still aware of what was going on. And him trying to kill you in cold blood, with my own hands, was enough to give me the strength to seize back control.”

Dean latched onto his brother's words. “We just need to, I don't know, strengthen your resolve or something. We can't let the devil back in.”

“It's not that easy.” Sam's voice was steady but quiet. Distant. “I can feel Lucifer clawing at the back of my mind. Another few minutes and he'll take back control. He knows what gave me the strength to take over, and he's not going to let it happen again. If we don't stop me now then I'll be gone for good, and then the world will be totally destroyed.”

Dean stared for a moment.“What should we do?”.

Sam ignored Dean's question. “I love you, Dean. I'm sorry that I let you down so badly.”

“I love you too.” Dean said after a moment. He didn't like the look in his brother's eyes. Sammy looked both determined and sad, and it sent Dean's heart thumping wildly.

“I'll see you on the other side.” Sam said with a smile. Before Dean could do more than yell his brother's name, Sam stabbed himself with the demon-killing knife that he must have lifted from Dean's belt when they'd hugged. With a sickening lurch, Sam's body lit up and fell to the ground and was still.

SAM!” Dean screamed. He dropped beside his brother's body and felt for a pulse he knew wasn't there. With his vision obscured with tears and his heart hammering madly in his chest, Dean felt like he was going to have a panic attack and join his brother in heaven, or hell, or wherever he was destined to go.

“Sam, you dumb bastard.” Dean whispered. He pulled Ruby's knife from his brother's throat, and wiped the blade off. He closed his brother's eyes with bloody fingers, and rested his forehead on his brother's chest, heedless of the blood coating his hair and skin as sobs wracked his body.

Several minutes later, Dean managed to find the strength and get to his feet. He was staring longingly at the knife, and wondering if he should take the plunge and join his brother, when Castiel appeared.

***:::::*****

“Hello Dean.”

Dean stared, not comprehending what he was seeing. Castiel couldn't be in front of Dean, it wasn't possible. The angel hadn't answered any of his calls over the last seven months, so why would he be here now, and too late to be of any help?

“It's good of you to finally show up.” Dean sneered. Castiel tilting his head, confused, only served to fuel the anger in Dean's belly. “You're here, now, after the show's already finished. It's too late, Cas. Lucifer's gone, and the big finale is my brother dead on the ground.”

Castiel's eyes were filled with sorrow as he stood beside Dean. Dean watched through suddenly swimming eyes as the angel placed a reverent hand on his brother's forehead. Castiel's eyes drifted closed for a long moment, and he glowed with a bright white light, blinding Dean. When his vision cleared, Sam's body was gone.

Dean leapt to his feet. “Where's Sam?”

Castiel's face was impassive. “Sam is at peace now. He is resting in Heaven, safe in God's embrace.”

“Bullshit!”

“I do not understand why you are reluctant to believe your brother's good fortune. I am not lying to you, Dean, nor would I choose to start being dishonest when discussing your brother. Why are my words so difficult to believe now?”

Dean paced back and forth across the room. “Sam and I couldn't get that lucky. After everything that we've been through, Sam can't finally be at peace. It just doesn't work that way.”

Castiel stepped in front of Dean and forced the hunter to either stop moving or collide with the angel. Dean stood still. “It is the truth. Your brother is safe and resting in Heaven.”

“So that's it for Sam? There's no way I can get him back?” Dean asked.

Castiel easily followed Dean's train of thought. “Even if you could find a demon who'd be willing to make a deal with you, the angels would never allow Sam's soul back into his body. All you'd receive is Sam's lifeless body and eternal damnation. Again.”

Dean's face paled at Castiel's words. “So my brother is gone for good?”

Castiel nodded.

Dean shook his head. “I can't accept that!” Castiel blinked at Dean's finger suddenly pointing at him. “There must be another way! After being ridden by Lucifer for seven months, he should be free now, not floating around in Heaven!”

“I told you Sam is at peace.”

Dean waved away the angel's reassurance. “Yeah, yeah, I hear ya.”

Castiel's hand on his shoulder spun the hunter around. “I do not think you do, Dean.”

Dean's smile was brittle and fake. “You know me, Cas. I do what I have to to survive. I'll figure something out.”

The angel was suddenly furious. “I need to return to Heaven, and I do not trust you on your own. With Lucifer dead along with your brother, his allies will seek to avenge him. They will target you. It is not safe for you here.”

“News flash, buddy: it's never safe to be a Winchester.”

“I will take you with me. Then I will be better able to protect you.” Dean blinked at Castiel's words, not understanding. Before Dean could even speak again, Castiel placed a hand on his forehead, and that same blinding light that had engulfed his brother was warming his body. For one moment there was searing pain and than the world went dark.

***:::::****

Dean had wings now, golden ones, their tips silver and burgundy in the bright light. He floated through the air, Castiel's arms around his waist, supporting him. Castiel's wings were just as big as Dean remembered. The angel's wings weren't black like Dean had thought in the barn, but rather a dark, vibrant purple. Each time his wings flapped, bursts of blue and pink arched across them like ink poured in water. It was beautiful.

“Cas, where am I?” Dean asked. “Am I dead?”

Castiel's laugh was like a warm firework bursting in his mind. Fear tried to form in Dean's mind at the thought of everything he didn't know, but a sudden flood of love from the angel effectively chased it away.

“Cas, please.” Dean hated that he was pleading, that his mind was stuck on details while he was flying through the air with his angel, but Dean just had to know.

Castiel sighed, but he obliged Dean, and set Dean down on solid ground. He peered at Dean, his eyes bright with affection. His hand was warm and tender as it rested on Dean's cheek. It felt like the most natural course of action as he tilted his head and pressed his lips to the angels.

Castiel started for a second, and then his lips were moving against Dean's. His hand tightened around Dean's cheek, and Dean gasped into Castiel's mouth. He could feel Castiel smiling against his lips. Dean growled and bit at Castiel's lip, and his tongue slipped inside the angel's mouth when his lips parted. For one perfect moment they were frozen in time, their tongues entwined.

Dean pulled away first. “Cas,” he whispered, “What's going on?”

Castiel's sigh was a breath of air tickling his mind. “I am taking your soul up to Heaven.” Dean was too stunned to speak. “You need to rest. Your soul is weary, and you can, I believe the correct term is 'renergize it' in Heaven.”

“I'm tired so you decided to bring my soul to Heaven?! Aren't you breaking a whole bunch of rules doing this?”

Castiel seemed amused at Dean's words. “Your body back on earth will be protected. And while you are in Heaven I will be by your side the whole time. At the end, when you need to make your choice, I will abide by it, even if I disagree.”

“What are you talking about?”

Castiel refused to answer, and instead flapped his wings. Dean startled backwards at the sound, and realized they were sitting on a cloud. A very solid cloud. The white floating past Dean was cold and dampened his jeans. All around Dean, as far as his eye could see, were more clouds and a light that made his eyes tear up if he looked too long.

“We must keep moving.” Cas said. Dean stood when Castiel did, stumbling from the unfamiliar weight of his wings. Dean wondered if he wasn't going to have wings the whole time he was with Castiel. He wasn't sure how he felt about them.

Castiel's arms were suddenly around his waist again. The angel ignored Dean's sputtering protests, and with a mighty flap of his wings, they were airborne again. Dean kept his eyes open for as long as possible, fascinated by all the clouds, and wanting to see the pearly gates he remembered his father mentioning.

The light became too bright, and for the second time in so many minutes...Or hours? Dean lost consciousness.

****:::::****

“Dean.” Cas's calm voice startled Dean awake. His head banged against a steering wheel, and he swore a blue streak. Dean caressed the Impala's steering wheel once he was aware enough to know where he was, and silently apologized to his baby for mistreating her. His eyes blinked blearily at the angel.

“We are here.” Castiel said unnecessarily.

“Where exactly is here?” Dean asked.

Castiel peered at Dean. “What do you see?”

Dean wondered if Castiel had suddenly gone blind. “The impala?” He asked, in case this was a trick question.

Castiel nodded and kept looking at Dean. “We materialized in your car the second I brought you into Heaven. The world outside of the car has yet to take shape. This is your Heaven, Dean. Your memories give it shape. So what do you see when you look out the car's window?”

Dean looked outside with more than a little bit of apprehension. He hoped he wasn't going to see a decrepit house, because knowing his luck he'd end up spending eternity in a haunted house. He actually saw the opposite.

“I see a bar and a motel. The car is parked in front of the motel in a parking lot.”

Castiel's body relaxed and he opened the passenger door. “We may get out then.”

“Okay then.” Dean followed Castiel over to the motel. “Let's do this.”

****::::****

The motel room is almost identical to the thousand or so rooms he and Sam have stayed in for as long as Dean can remember. The ceiling is cracked, the walls have mildew growing on them, and the carpet is threadbare and worn to the floor in some spots. The whole room smells like dirty socks. Dean finds the odor somewhat comforting.

Dean shoots the angel behind him a quizzical look. “Are you sure we're in Heaven? I'm pretty sure Sam and I stayed in this room when we were hunting a black dog in Arizona.” Dean pointed at a picture of either a rabbit or a camel. “Sam and I must have spent an hour trying to figure out what animal that is.”

“This is indeed your Heaven, Dean. I have no influence over what appears here.” Cas leaned against the wall to Dean's left. He was so close that his elbow brushed Dean's every time Dean so much as breathed.

Dean felt an unfamiliar warmth pool in his stomach, and the strangeness of his reaction, from Cas's elbow brushing against his, no less, had Dean snapping at the angel. “A rundown motel that Sammy and I stayed in years ago is where I'm going to spend an eternity?” Dean scoff was filled with nothing but scorn. “If that's true, than I want a refund. Someone gypped me.”

Cas's expression remained placid and unconcerned in the face of Dean's ire. “You will not remain here for an 'eternity' as you so succinctly said. As time passes your Heaven will change. Your moods and life experiences will continue to evolve your environment.”

“So my world is like a chalkboard that I can erase and draw something new on?”

Castiel blinked before a minuscule smile touched his lips. “An interesting theory that is not entirely correct. You are not consciously controlling the changes. Your subconscious mind is.”

Dean looked around the room for a min fridge that was hopefully stocked with beer. There was, unfortunately, no refrigerator to be found. He turned back to Castiel, ready to ask the angel where he could buy some beer, but the words died on his lips.

The angel was so close to Dean his eyes were nearly crossing just to keep him in focus. Castiel's eyes were focused on Dean so intently, the hunter could almost feel the weight of the angel's gaze. Dean's eyes drifted to Cas's lips against his will, and his stomach clenched with want so suddenly, just from looking at Cas's lips and thinking of pressing his own against them, that it made his head spin.

“Dean,” Cas began, but Dean held up his hands to stave off the words. His steps away from the angel couldn't be classified as anything but a retreat.

“I think it's time for you to leave.” Dean said firmly. He fought the urge to cross his arms protectively across his chest. Castiel looked as if he wanted to argue, but after a tense moment, he merely nodded, and with a flap of wings was gone.

Dean rubbed his forehead. What the hell was wrong with him?

*********:::::::::::***********

The water pressure was crap and Dean wondered how long the warm water would last. The towels were threadbare and hardly dried Dean off. The sheets were scratchy and paper thin and yet, Dean was content.

With nothing better to do, and not yet ready to investigate the bar next door, Dean decided sleep was the best option. The sky wasn't yet fully dark, though there was a full moon hanging in the orange hued sky. Maybe, in Heaven, it was never fully night.

Dean drew the shade closed, turned off the lights, and got into bed. Now, with the lights off, Dean understood why this crappy motel from almost four years ago, was in his Heaven. Motels were Dean's home, and he didn't think he could live anywhere else. Hunting was what John had raised Dean to do, and Dean lived for the hunts. Hunting was in his blood.

Now he was in Heaven and Dean couldn't help but wonder why Castiel had brought him up here. The angel hadn't really given Dean a solid answer. Cas had said he wanted to protect Dean, but his gut was screaming at him that it was more than that. But no matter how much Dean thought about Castiel's words, nothing more came to mind.

And then there was the kiss. Dean wasn't even sure if it had really happened. The moment was hazy in his mind, like he was viewing it on a channel that didn't come clearly. What he could remember, or, more accurately, feel, was the pressure of Castiel's lips against his. Dean's mind shied away from the warmth the memory brought him.

That only left his mind to focus on Sam, and just the thought of his brother made grief well up stone heavy in his chest. Life had dealt a shitty hand to his brother, and he'd kept going regardless. It wasn't fair that Sam's life had ended so abruptly, and after seven months of being ridden by Lucifer. He wished he had known what Sam had been planning and he could have moved fast enough to stop his brother. He wished Sam were still alive and sleeping across the room. There was a piece of himself missing, and only Sam could fill it.

There was a sudden weight on the bed. Dean's body tensed until he registered the sound of rustling feathers. He relaxed, knowing instinctively it was Castiel. Fingers ran soothingly through his hair, and his body became limp as the angel's other hand touched his forehead and gave him the command to sleep.

****:::::******

“Thank you,” Dean said the following morning after Castiel handed him a warm cup of coffee. He hoped he didn't need to clarify, and that Cas knew what he was thanking him for. He wasn't sure he could say the words.

Castiel shifted beside Dean. “You are welcome.” Castiel watched while Dean wolfed his food down. He politely decline when Dean tried to offer the angel a doughnut.

“So why exactly did you bring me to Heaven?” Dean asked after he tossed the remains of his breakfast into the trashcan.

Castiel seemed confused. “It is as I told you earlier. I wish to protect you from the forces that wish to bring harm to you.”

Dean shook his head. “I'm not buying what you're selling. There is more to it than that.”

Castiel's gaze was considering. “You're not ready to hear the whole truth.”

“I think I am.” Dean said stubbornly.

Cas's answer was to vanish with a flutter of wings.

“Son of a bitch!”

****::::*****

Dean spent what he thought was the morning channel surfing and fuming at Castiel's sudden exit. He watched Labyrinth, one of his and Sam's favorite movies from their childhood until the ache in his chest and his tearing eyes became too much to ignore. His hands shook badly as he turned the television off and stumbled out of the room.

With nothing better to do, and not wanting to go back into the motel room, he decided he'd check out the bar. And maybe get something to drink, even though it was still early. Getting drunk sounded like a good plan.

The bar was similar to all crappy ones Dean had gone to his whole life. The floor was sticky beneath his feet, the lighting was for crap, and the music coming from the beat up jukebox in the corner of the room was some crappy country song. He eyed the patrons as he made his way to the bar.

There was a bleached blond with a tired face, wearing too tight clothing even though she was pushing at least fifty nursing a drink in the corner. Two weather beaten rednecks with sunburned faces and faded tattoos up their arms were playing pool in the corner. A rail thin man, in a stained white shirt with tired eyes brought a beer over to the only man at the bar. And he was tall, and muscular and had shaggy brown hair and no, it couldn't be...

“Sam?” Dean croaked before he could stop himself.

The man turned around, startled, and yes, Dean was right. He knew he'd recognize his brother anywhere. In two long strides, Sam had Dean wrapped up in a giant hug. Dean relaxed into his brother's arms for a second before he made himself step away.

“How are you here?” Dean asked through his too tight throat. He followed Sam back to the bar, and leaned beside his brother.

Sam picked up his beer and took a long swallow before he spoke. “I don't know. Last thing I remember is ganking myself and Lucifer, and then I woke up here. I've been here for a couple of days. I thought I was trapped in an alternate dimension or something, but Cas found me this morning and told me I'm in Heaven. I was surprised; I thought if I was going to end up anywhere, it'd be Hell.”

“Don't say that Sammy. “

Sam's laugh was self deprecating. “After saying yes to Lucifer and destroying most of the world, I'd think I deserve eternal damnation. But I guess the big guy upstairs disagrees.”

“Damn straight. You saved the world.”

Sam's smile was tight and fake. “Only after I killed millions.” Sam's tone told Dean loud and clear that the conversation was over. Dean watched Sam play with the beer label, before a thought seemed to hit Sam. “Wait, why are you here? Are you dead too?” Dean shook his head no. Sam sighed in relief. “Not that I'm not glad to see you, but why are you here?”

Dean took a sip of the beer the bartender sat in front of him. “Cas brought me up here. Said he wanted to keep an eye on me until things calmed down back on earth. I'm number one on the most wanted list down there; every demon's gunning for me.”

Sam rolled his eyes at Dean's wide grin. “Well aren't you lucky?”

“That's me, Sammy; I'm awesome.”

Dean's smile faded as a thought suddenly occurred to him. “Wait, you said Cas talked to you earlier?” Sam nodded. “Why the hell didn't he tell me you were here? He let me keep mourning for you! That son of a bitch!”

He sat back down when Sam put a restraining hand on his shoulder. “I'm sure Cas knew you would stumble across me. And he must have known you'd go to the bar sooner, rather than later. And besides, I'm sure he would have told you next time he popped in to check up on you.”

Dean, somewhat placated, picked up his beer. He was calmer after another couple of sips. “I suppose you're right, Sammy.”

The two brother's sat in companionable silence for a while, drinking their beers and sharing a plate of nachos Sam had ordered before Dean came in. Neither brother felt the need to fill the silence, and Dean was grateful he was back with his brother.

“I'm going to go back to my room and sleep,” Sam said reluctantly as he stood. He patted his stomach absently and watched as Dean bit into the last nacho.

“You can go back to my motel room.” Dean suggested after he'd finished chewing. He handed his brother the room key. “There's no reason for us to sleep in separate rooms.”

Sam's smile was blinding as he pocketed the key. “Are you going to come back now?”

“Naw, I'm going to find Cas. I want to talk to him about something.” He patted his pockets, looking for his wallet, but stopped when the bartender waved him away.

“There's no need for money up here, man.”

“That's so freakin' neat, Sammy! Free beer!”

Sam rolled his eyes and followed his brother out the door. “You're such a child.”

Dean grinned. Heaven was looking better and better. “A child who gets free beer. This place rocks!”

Sam's eyes softened. He gestured at the motel. “See you in a while, Dean. Have fun with Cas.”

Dean flushed at the knowing look in Sam's eyes. “Yeah, yeah.” Sam waved as he walked away.

Dean sighed. Now he all he had to do was call for Cas.

*****:::::*****

Dean stopped beside the Impala and leaned against his baby with a sigh. He wasn't looking forward to the whole 'caring and sharing' business with Cas, but Dean figured it was time to get everything out in the open. He was tired of replaying their kiss in his mind; he still wasn't even sure if it'd actually happened. And Dean wanted to know what Castiel was hiding.

“Cas!” Dean called. “Come here!” Even though no one was around, Dean still felt ridiculous yelling for someone who wasn't there.

Dean wondered what Castiel was hiding from him. He tried to think of what it could possibly be, but Dean's mind kept coming up blank. He would think he was imagining it, if not for Castiel's words this morning in the motel room: “You're not ready to hear the whole truth.

Dean turned when he heard the sound of fluttering wings. Castiel's shoulder brushed Dean's as he leaned beside the hunter. Now that the angel was here, Dean couldn't think of what he wanted to say. Castiel didn't seem to feel the need to fill the silence; he seemed content to stare ahead, his expression blank.

“I found Sam.” Dean blurted out when the silence stretched on too long. Castiel blinked but otherwise didn't speak. “He's sleeping in my motel room. Well, ours now.”

Castiel finally looked at Dean. “You seem happy now that you have your brother.”

Dean shifted uncomfortably under the weight of Castiel's stare. “I am. It was tearing me up inside, knowing Sam was dead and I couldn't save him. But now he's here and...fuck, man, I don't know. It's like I can breathe again.”

It was true, too. The thought of his brother dead filled his stomach with icy dread. He could still see Sam stabbing himself and lighting up from the demon killing knife. The memory faded away under the comforting knowledge that Sam was asleep and close by.

“Is Sam really here or is this something my subconscious gave me because I wanted it enough?”

Castiel shook his head. “You and your brother are one of the rare humans who share a Heaven. He will always remain with you, here.”

Dean suddenly realized how close Castiel was. His breath hitched and caught in his throat. He tried to take a step backwards, so he could breathe, but a firm hand on his shoulder stopped his retreat. Castiel's blue eyes bore into his, their intensity causing Dean's heart to jump into overdrive.

“Why do you try and run every time I get close?” Castiel's gravely voice sounded almost curious.

Dean flushed. “I don't run.”

Castiel's lips twitched. “You are being dishonest.”

“Well maybe you're just confusing.”

“If I have been, that was not my intention.” Castiel's other hand cupped Dean's cheek. His fingers tightened when Dean tried to pull away.

“You certainly got touchy-feely all of a sudden.” Dean accused.

“Dean...” Cas whispered. The hand on Dean's shoulder moved to the back of Dean's neck. His fingers massaged Dean's skin, and Dean found himself moaning despite himself.

“What are you doing?” Dean gasped. His body became boneless and collapsed against Cas's body. The angel easily bore his weight.

“I am taking care of you.” Castiel said simply. “Like you deserve.” Dean felt lips press against his forehead. “You've been fighting for so long. It is time you take a break and let someone care for you like you so desperately need.”

“I'm not a baby.” Dean said belligerently. He pressed closer to Cas when the angel's fingers kneaded into his neck. Damn, that felt good.

“No, you are not,” Cas said, a hint of laughter in his voice. “But you deserve to be cared for. And I want to be the one to do it. That is why I brought you to Heaven.”

“But why?” Dean asked, pulling away enough to once again catch the angel's eye.

Castiel's face was grave, but his eyes were burning with an emotion Dean didn't want to name. “You are precious to me. I love you.”

Dean's body simultaneously went hot and cold. Holy fuck. Castiel loved him and Dean...and Dean...

“I know you are bad with expressing your feelings,” Castiel said. “But I am confident you feel the same way.”

Dean laughed. “You are such a girl.”

Castiel's smile was sudden, and real, and blinding. “Sometimes it is the only way to get through to you.”

The words were hard to get out, and it took a few tries to speak, but Dean managed.. “I love you too.” Dean knew he was blushing and tried to ignore his heated face and just get the words out. “You've done so much for me. You stopped me from doing something stupid after Sam died, you brought me to Heaven and gave me back Sam, you brought me breakfast this morning and,” Dean grinned, feeling so happy, “I have you now.”

“I will be with you forever.” Castiel said solemnly.

Dean groaned and resisted the urge to cover his face and hide from the whole conversation. “Oh man, that was so cheesy. Can we stop with the caring and sharing? I think my dick's shriveling up from sharing my feelings.”

“Then I believe we should stop.” He tilted Dean's head and pressed his lips to Dean's.

Dean closed his eyes and let the world slip away.

***::::****

Later, perched on a white cloud Castiel had flown them to, his arms wrapped around Dean's waist, he moaned as Castiel's lips moved over his. Castiel's body was warm against his, and Dean's fingers were wrapped firmly in Cas's hair.

Dean managed to pull back from the temptation Cas's lips were to ask:

“Are you sure this cloud is safe?”

Castiel's eyes were burning with passion and love as they met Dean's. He drew back far enough to pat the deceptively sturdy cloud. His wings flared back into view, vibrant purple and breathtaking.

“I will catch you, should you fall.” Castiel said.

As Castiel's lips moved over his, and his body slipped into Dean's, Dean could feel feathers brushing against his face as Castiel's wings closed around their bodies. Even if he decided to go back to earth, Dean knew Cas would remain with him, and Sam would be waiting for Dean to come back. As of right now, Dean didn't need to make a decision. He was with Cas, and Dean felt warm and protected. He felt like he was finally home.

The end

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