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A/N: I have to say, that I have never written slash fiction. Not ever. Nope. Not even in my imaginings… well, maybe in my imaginings… but, they were never coherent enough for me to try and write them down. So, this little plot demon comes by and sit next to me and says, "Hey… hey, you… want some slash fiction plot ideas?" I, of course, said, "Christo!" Sadly, the little demon was persistent and he kept popping in when it was least convenient. So, I relented. *sigh*

Like I said… this is my first ever attempt, so… try not to flame too harshly. But, please let me know if I should keep my day job.
Also, I do not have a beta so the mistakes you see, please let me know so I can fix them. I read and re-read and edit and change and… well, it's never enough, is it?

Disclaimers: This is a transformative work of fiction based on Erik Kripke's Supernatural and is not meant for profit, only fun and frolicking (Destiel Destiel Destiel!!!). No harm or infringement is intentional. This is rated with a Hard R for smut and sex between consenting male adults as well as a couple cases of language.

Spoilers: Friends, if you haven't made it to the end of Season 6 or seen season 7 and don't want any spoilers, don't read this. In canon, Dean is completely straight (or so he claims), so he will be out of character in this way. Otherwise, I tried to keep them as close to character as possible.

Rating: Last chance… R, Really… not PG-13 with hopes toward R… this is R.

Upon My Knees, Do I Repent

The first time Castiel heard Dean's voice whisper his name; the emotions attached to the utterance were despair and regret. The angel refused to heed the call, though it was torturous for him to ignore it.

There were other times that Dean spoke his name. Dean was discussing something the angel had done to betray them or expressing his disappointment in their friend to his brother. Castiel refused to go to Dean. He didn't want to see the look on the hunter's face. He didn't want to see the dark expression of hurt.
There were times, at night or the very early hours of the morning, Castiel would hear his name whispered, a whimper or a sob, pain etched like white hot blades across tender skin in the one syllable, "Cas". These were the times Castiel was hardest pressed to refrain from going to Dean's side. But, Dean believed Castiel was gone, dead, beyond the mortal realm… and Castiel knew it was better—better for Dean—that the Winchesters continued to believe this lie.

When Sam went, of his own volition, to check into the hospital, it was because he believed he was a danger to Dean and to himself. Dean had tried to save his brother from the hallucinations, from the visions of torment and of Hell. Sam's reasoning to Dean was Sam was a ticking time bomb and Dean wasn't able to watch him 24/7. Castiel knew that this was completely his fault. He should have known Sam had not come back from the Cage a whole person. Castiel was an angel and he should have known there was something off immediately upon returning Sam to the mortal realm.

He should have known…

Especially since Castiel knew, from personal experience, the connection between an angel and a human soul…

Castiel will never die. He won't die until Dean does. He won't be done with this life until Dean stays in his Heaven. Then, Castiel will be able to die, to pass and not return. It was the soul of Dean Winchester that anchored the angel to this world.

Castiel heard his name, could almost smell the lingering traces of leather, gunsmoke and aftershave. He could taste the flavors of mint toothpaste, black coffee and cheap whiskey on the tip of his own tongue as Dean spoke the word. He could hear something in his name that he hadn't heard before in the way Dean spoke it. He heard a choked yearning and painful loneliness that strummed his hearing like a bow pulled across the strings to resonate the low bass voice of a Cello.

Castiel knew Dean didn't handle loneliness well. Dean liked to tell would-be paramours that he was like a "lone wolf", but Castiel knew… the lone wolf was usually the first casualty of the hardships of Winter.

Castiel arrived at the last known residence of Bobby Singer. A putrid charcoal smell rose from the burned-out black skeleton… all that remained of a lifetime lived within four walls. Guilt washed over the angel as this was more than a grave marker of a hunter's life. This was a testimony of his betrayal of his friends. This was one of the consequences of his hubris and ambition.

He flew to the hospital where Sam had been admitted. He watched for a long time. Castiel knew, eventually, Dean would call his brother.

He was right.

But, it took a week of watching and waiting. He watched as Sam woke in the mornings to stare out at a world he was no longer sure he would be able to rejoin. Castiel walked with Sam into the large "Rec Room" where the patients congregated daily in forced leisure. Sam sat with his delusions, murmuring to Castiel's brother as Lucifer tormented him with Hell. Sometimes, Sam would press firmly into the palm of his hands with fear shining in his hazel eyes. Sometimes, Sam would cry, covering his ears ineffectually trying to tune out Lucifer's voice and repeating, "You're not here. You're not real. Leave me alone" as a sick mantra. Castiel's insides lurched and wrenched when this is what had become of the Sam Winchester he had known.

And, this too… Castiel knew, this was his doing.

Castiel's name became an itch under his skin as he waited for Dean to call Sam. In the single word spoken by Dean, from who knew how far away, Castiel could hear the pain and desperation in the familiar voice. He could hear Dean's fatigue and hopelessness on the other end of the line. Castiel waited, listening with intense concentration for the clue to where the hunter was hiding. Even before he finished uttering the words, Castiel had arrived in the gutted out building near an industrial park where Dean had cleared a nest of vampires.

There was blood on Dean's jacket… a lot of blood. It was splattered on his face, it coated his hands like slick, red, silk gloves. Castiel wanted to weep. He watched as Dean spoke to his brother, his eyes squeezed shut, his face a rictus of pain, but his voice was sure and strong, betraying none of the physical torment to which Castiel bore witness. Dean laughed at something his brother said on the other end of the call. They were both pretending for the other... Dean was holding back a tide of strong emotions with a clenched jaw and a carefree façade. Sam was joking about his time in the hospital to keep his brother from worrying.

Dean ended the call with a date and time for his next call. Castiel remained hidden even though Dean wouldn't see him. Dean went about the business of cleaning up the mess of bodies and blood. Castiel watched as Dean dragged his weary body to a Ford sedan and slid behind the wheel. Castiel sat next to him in silence. He caught words whispered under the hunter's breath. Some words were spoken in hushed reverence. He heard the name of his mentor and surrogate father. The angel felt still more guilt, he was drowning in it, for making the world around Dean Winchester shatter into pieces when all he had hoped to do was keep them safe.

Castiel remained near Dean for the rest of the month. He watched the hunter visit the local bar just to return to the empty repo in a middle class neighborhood. He didn't look for hunts. He didn't seek companionship. He didn't eat or sleep well.

Then, he called his brother. For about ten minutes, Dean leaned back against the wall while lying on his green sleeping bag. He joked with Sam on the phone and spoke to him about a non-existent Wendigo he was "currently hunting", saying he had back-up from one of Bobby's contacts. When he ended the call with Sam, Castiel watched as Dean cried himself to sleep.

Castiel remained a stalwart sentinel over Dean's slumber. He chased away the visions of Hell and Leviathans as Dean dreamed. For the first time in a week, Dean got almost five hours sleep.

When he rose, Dean packed his belongings, hotwired a dark grey Dodge pickup and headed out of town. Castiel sat shotgun.

Dean drove for ten hours to reach a beach-town in Florida. He began casing some potential places to stay, but it was clear to Castiel that the hunt he came for was not a Wendigo.

Dick Roman was speaking to potential donors for Presidential Primary candidate's campaign. Dean was careful to not appear where cameras could catch his image. Castiel noticed some cameras Dean didn't, but they died with a wisp of smoky o-zone and blue sparks.

Dean was obsessed. Castiel could see it in the narrowing of the hunter's green eyes at the single-mindedness of his gaze as he stalked the Leviathan. Roman moved without fear from a photo opportunity to private luncheon with potential "whales". Castiel privately agreed with Dean… he did not like this Dick Roman.
Castiel entered the darkened hole-in-the-wall bar. This was unlike any bar he had ever seen Dean enter before. Castiel shifted in his unease. There were no busty women in the room. There were no women at all. Dean headed straight for the bar at the back wall and sat in the far corner with a good view of the front entrance and the side door toward the kitchen.

"What can I get you, Handsome?" The beefy bartender asked. The man was about the same height as Dean, but built like a truck. His muscles rippled under the black t-shirt with the bar's pink flamingo logo over the left side.

"El Sol," Dean responded.

The man went and returned with Dean's beer. He remained nearby cleaning the back of the bar, occasionally moving away to make a drink for another patron. He kept an eye on Dean, though Dean appeared to ignore any attention. He was approached by several men who tried to initiate small talk, and the hunter was polite, but he declined the invitations often enough that he was soon left to his own thoughts without further interruptions. He only drank beer and the bartender kept an eye out to be sure he was doing all right. Around quarter to two in the morning, the house lights came on and men started to make their way out into the damp summer air.

"Well, friend… you know what they say…" came the friendly baritone from behind the bar. "You don't have to go home…"

Dean nodded, "But, you can't stay here." Dean eyed the man with an appraising eye to determine any nefarious intentions from him.

"Look, if you're new in town…" he left the statement open to Dean's interpretation.

"I was gonna find a room, maybe stay a few days." Dean told him.

The bartender looked over Dean's head to the bald and heavily tattooed bouncer with a nod. The man gestured to the bartender with a wave and a smile as he closed the door behind him.

"Name's Tony," he said as he turned back to Dean.

Dean tipped the remaining beer into his mouth and pulled out some cash from his wallet.

"Do you work tomorrow, Tony?"

Tony grinned, his pearly white teeth flashed against his dark black skin. His deep brown eyes sparkled with hope.

"Nope."

Castiel was confused by the exchange. The ritual was familiar; the easy banter back and forth between the large, muscled man and the hunter was an intricate dance he thought he understood. But, Dean usually danced it with a different kind of partner.

Tony pulled a pen from somewhere on the counter and began writing on a napkin. He slid the paper toward Dean as the hunter rose from the stool. Dean folded the paper and placed it in his wallet. He smiled and winked at Tony as he left.

Castiel followed Dean out to the truck trying to puzzle what had just happened. Dean drove out to a run down, dodgy no-tell motel inland from Tony's bar. He went into the office, paid cash to rent a single room for a week and grabbed his stuff. Castiel followed him into a small smoke-scented room. There were sounds of the street, a train nearby rumbling along the tracks, and the over-dramatic panting and cries of a female in the room next door. Castiel wondered if
Dean would be able to sleep.

It turned out that Dean didn't intend to sleep. He sat at the table in the room and opened Sam's laptop. He scrolled down through a dozen news articles before he looked at his watch. It was five in the morning and the sleeplessness was beginning to take a toll. He moved to lie down on the lime green comforter completely clothed. He folded his hands behind his head and gazed at the water-stained acoustic popcorn ceiling. After a time, Castiel could hear the murmuring from his friend. He heard his name whispered and Dean choked on it as if it stuck in his throat. Dean clenched his eyes shut and his breathing evened out after a while. Castiel knew Dean had fallen asleep. As he had done the night before, Castiel warded Dean's sleep against nightmares that constantly plagued his friend.

TBC
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February 5, 2012
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