Title: Better Than Me
By: rixietrixie91
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Rating: AO
Summary: Based loosely on the song by Hinder. After the war, when all is said and done, who leaves who?


It was all over. The war, the battles, the fights and the seals, they were all done and over with. Dean stood on the edge of the ravine. He looked down at the carnage, dead bodies were everywhere. It had been a long, grueling and tiresome fight. Dean himself was covered in dried blood; most of it was not his. Looking over the scene he felt more like a god than a human at this point. He saw everything, every detail that had seemed so important before, he finally saw a larger picture. He saw Uriel's host's body, killed while trying to turn on the angels. Castiel had seen to it that his comrade would never walk among the humans again. He saw Sam with Ruby, both seriously hurt, but they had each other. Dean, however, couldn't deal with going down there right now. Dean scanned the sight for Castiel, his loyal guardian, the angel who had saved his skin time and time again.

Dean was surrounded by screams. He couldn't hear his own thoughts or the voices of any of his friends. All he saw was good vs. bad, Lilith's army versus theirs. He threw some holy water at a demon trying to sneak up on an angel name Dariel. Dariel looked up at the screams and grinned at Dean. Dariel was very much like Dean, he enjoyed a good fight, especially when it involved killing demons. Dean drew his knife and stabbed another demon in the back, pushing hard to ensure some pain before it went back to hell. Behind him, Dean could hear Sam groaning as he removed another demon from a human's body. That was the only problem now, as Sam had learned to control his power and just pull out the demon Dean had been slightly comforted. Now, however all the humans were waking to a scene of carnage. An angel named Mariel said she would be in charge of transporting the revived humans somewhere safe before they awoke. She had her work cut out for her because Sam was working overtime. Suddenly there was a shout of "Dean! Look out!" Castiel cried and with a mighty thrust, banished the demon who was about to take Dean's life. "Watch out for yourself, today I can't do it for you."

An arm on his shoulder pulled him out of his reverie. Dean turned to see Castiel giving him a searching look.

"You're leaving." They both said it at the same time. Neither of them was asking a question. Both knew the inevitable had to happen eventually. Castiel was the first to answer.

"I don't know. I haven't gotten any messages yet. A few of my brothers have been sent to new missions on earth. Although the war is won here, Lilith's affects were felt much farther than just this place. Two of my brothers…have been called back." He said the last part with reluctance, as though he didn't want to admit that it was a possibility. Dean just nodded and kept looking away. "If I stay, will you?" Dean turned to stare Castiel in the eye. Although he had never been able to stare down the angel, he could send messages through his eyes that still fascinated Castiel. Now all Dean's eyes said were sadness.

"Cas," he sighed and rubbed his eyes, "I don't' need to be here, not anymore. The demons are gone. Sam doesn't need me, he's with Ruby now. You know he brought a ring the other week? I never would have seen this coming…." Dean trailed off.

"And me? What about me, if I stay –"

"IF you stay! That's the problem Cas, if you don't I'm not sitting around here waiting for another angel as perfect as you to touch my life because I'll never find one."

"But, Dean, what if I do stay? Will you stay with me?" Dean turned again to look at the angel. He still marveled in the fact that he had gotten what he never thought possible. Something he never deserved.

Dean was looking over the texts again. He was still trying to wrap his brain around the idea. Sure, when Anna was here Sam had thought pitting Heaven and Hell against each other was smart, and it was, at the time, but this was suicide. The armies of Hell were rising, Dean knew exactly where and why. They couldn't touch them of course, because they were protected, time-bound. And why? Well to battle the assembling armies of Heaven of course. This was it. All 665 seals had been either protected or broken. Lilith had broken 65 of them. There was one left, the biggest baddest worst one of them all, that if they lost, it didn't matter because the world was over anyway. The armies of hell had to defeat the armies of Heaven. Lilith had been hoping to avoid that one, but with all the hard work, she had only one option left. Dean was looking over defensive spells that would protect him and Sam, who of course were joining the fight. Castiel was standing over Dean reading ten times faster, at the end of every page, when nothing satisfactory came up, he would sigh and argue.

"Don't do this Dean, I told you it's us angels who must fight the war to come. Please just take Sam and get out while you still can, this is not God's will." He would look at Dean with big blue eyes that pleaded with him to leave. Dean would look away and flip the page. Finally Dean got to the last page. Castiel reached the end and sighed.


"No, Cas I'm not going to give up, there are other books, other scrolls. I'm not leaving you alone. I'm not-" Dean got up and kicked his chair down. His heart was racing and his breathing was fast. Every time he thought about What Castiel was about to go through he cringed. Dean had gotten close to the angel, he didn't really show up in front of Sam anymore and Dean felt almost as if he had his own private guardian. No matter what Cas said about not perching on his shoulder, Dean knew that the angel secretly looked out for him even when they weren't together. Castiel looked at Dean and cocked his head in confusion.

"Why do you care so much Dean? You are the human savior, you don't believe in angels, remember?" Cas smirked. "Besides, we can take of ourselves." Cas put his hand on Dean's shoulder. "All I need is for you to get yourself somewhere safe." Dean shuddered, he could have blamed it on the scary thought that there was no where safe, but he knew it had more to do with the warmth now resting on his shoulder.

"Castiel, were you commanded to protect me?" Castiel was taken aback by the question.

"No, that is not my official commandment, but-"

"Then why are you trying so hard to get me out of danger. I thought I was going to be the one making tough choices, and my choice is to stay with you, fight with you to the death, and beyond. I'm not leaving you." The tone of the conversation had switched rapidly. Castiel was blown away by the feelings of warmth and commitment emanating from Dean. He was overwhelmed. He did the only thing he knew, by mimicking the humans, which would alleviate this odd yet wonderful feeling. Castiel grabbed the back of Dean's head and pulled him into a warm kiss.

Castiel waited for an answer.

"No, Cas, I won't stay with you. You are an angel, in every sense of the word, and I'm … not. Okay? You should be back with your own kind. Back with the angels. I dragged you down, I don't even know why you picked me, I'm unworthy of anything you could give me, and you've given me so much. I love you, you know that, but you deserve much better than me." Castiel cocked his head and Dean couldn't help but feel enamored by the angel. That look was going to get him far.

"I don't think you understand, Dean. Angels can't feel anything, you know that, I have no real emotions. Sometimes little things break through. I can sense things. If a sense is so strong and powerful I can understand what it is to feel. I can feel your love Dean. Through it I can project my own love to you. I'm not truly sure of how it works. Dean, the point is you are worth anything I can give. You are brave, and loyal. You stuck with me and Sam and even Ruby, although others would have turned away, you stayed true. You are smart and cunning and have a strategic, calculating mind. I wish I could show you how much I feel about you. And the fact that I can feel is a big deal. If you leave Dean, I'll never forgive myself." Castiel was as close to crying as an angel could get. Dean looked at him in awe, but nodded.

"Tonight will be ours." Dean said, in a low whisper. Castiel nodded. Cas put his hand on top of Dean's and led him to the small room they had been hiding out in.

Dean woke early. It was still slightly dark outside. He was tired, but he had to do this. He looked over at the gorgeous body next to him and felt a twinge of regret in his ribs, right near the heart he had recently found thanks to Castiel. Dean leaned over and kissed the forehead of the angel that had shown him everything he could ever dream of. Castiel didn't really need to sleep but the host body needed recharging every once in a while. Dean thanked the heavens that tonight was a night Cas needed to recharge. He got up quickly and quietly. Dean picked up his jacket and his duffel bag. He felt for his knife, his wallet and his charm that Cas had given him.

"Hello Dean," said Castiel, as Dean had been nodding off on the side of the road. Sam was asleep on the backseat already. At the sound of Castiel's voice Dean jerked up. No matter how many times Castiel appeared to him, Dean always managed to be taken by surprise.

"Was that supposed to be a divine wake-up call? What do you want this time?" Castiel just looked at Dean with his blue eyes.

"I've come to make sure you understand."

"Understand what?"

"Dean you have had countless appearances from angels and yet you still disbelieve in heavenly beings. You sometimes doubt whether I myself am an angel, even though you have seen my wings, which few mortals have ever seen. You have to understand that although I am not with you all the time, although there is a bigger picture than just you and your brother, you were still worthy of being saved. You have so much to offer the world, starting with just your skills in the upcoming battles. Dean, understand, please, that I believe in you." With that, Castiel disappeared. Dean blinked and looked over at the seat again. There was something there. There on the seat was a pair of silver wings, small and delicate but beautiful. Dean held them up to the dim light from the streetlight outside. It was a striking charm, and Dean carefully attached it to his bag. Dean smiled slightly, he had a little more faith this time.

"What are you grinning about?" came a voice from the back.

"Shut up, I'm not smiling about anything."



Dean sighed as he realized he hadn't actually spoken to Sam at all since the fight ended. There was nothing he could do now, no turning back. He had to make himself promise not to turn back no matter what, or else he would never be able to leave. Dean crossed the room and went to the door. One more look back and Dean nearly died right there. Castiel was lying on his back on the bed with a sheet over him. His leg was sticking out, like it always did. His hair was also mussed up and his face looked so peaceful. Dean realized that he had never seen Cas without a slight hint of worry behind his eyes. Once Dean was gone, everything would be better. Dean walked out and closed the door. He walked only a few steps when he heard a cough behind him. He wheeled around and saw Ruby taking guard duty. This was it, should would try and make him stop and all her arguments would be flawless. Dean would be caught and he would have to turn around and damn Castiel more than he already had. Dean looked at Ruby anticipating whatever she would say, already resigned. Ruby looked at him with her glaring eyes. She eyed his jacket, his face and finally the small charm hanging from his bag. Ruby's head twitched, so slightly that Dean thought he imagined it, she hadn't just nodded, had she? Dean looked at her and cocked his head. He looked so much like Castiel that Ruby had to resist rolling her eyes.

"Go, now, before anyone else wakes up." Dean let out a breath he hadn't realized that he had been holding.

"Thanks, Ruby." Dean ran off, but stopped mid-run. He turned quickly. "Take care of Sam for me, and…. Tell ….him none of this is his fault." Ruby smiled

"Of course." She knew that the 'him' Dean referred to did not mean Sam.

That night, Dean ran away from the only love he had ever felt. The next morning Castiel woke, knowing right away he wouldn't see Dean. Sam had a hard time adjusting, but eventually Ruby made him realize there are certain things that had to be done to protect the ones you love. Castiel stayed within reach of Sam, but he never really found his place.

"Okay dude, I think you've had enough for tonight. Come on Dean, every night we go through this. Give me the beer." Mark looked down at Dean, tonight he looked pretty bad, and Mark had seen Dean at his worst. Dean's jacket was wet in the front from the beer slopped down when Dean couldn't find hid mouth. Dean's hair was sticking up everywhere from the fact that he hadn't taken a shower in three days and some girl's hands had just been rifling through it. It was Dean's eyes that scared Mark the most. It was Dean's eyes that had first pushed Mark to get to know the kid who had walked through his doors almost a year and a half ago.

The bell rang while Mark was washing dishes.

"It says 'closed'!" Mark yelled without looking up. He had only had this job for a few months but he already learned the 'cruel' ways of the barmen. Besides, Glasgow had at least 20 pubs open at this hour.

"Please, I just need something really strong." It was the desperation in the American voice that made Mark turn. There stood a rather adorable young man in a faded olive jacket and jeans. Mark looked at the man and felt sorry for him. Then he looked up and Mark gasped. The man's eyes looked like those of a little boy's. They were green but the color just barely touched the surface. They were dull and sad. Such desperation and sadness filled those eyes that Mark was hypnotized. Mark also realized the man had not slept in a long time because under the eyes were purple blotches. It also looked as though the man had been crying for a really long time. Mark immediately put down the glass he was drying and filled it with his strongest ale. The man sat down and raised his glass to Mark.

"Did you lose a girl?" The man looked up and smirked in such a cynical way that Mark cringed.

"If only…."

Dean looked at Mark and put the cup down.

"You're right. Besides, the pretty girl in the corner invited me back to her place." Before Mark could protest Dean got up and walked towards the little redhead in the corner. She giggled as Dean came towards her. Dean scowled; he hated it when they giggled. He put his hand over her shoulder she led him to her car. She drove him to her apartment and had enough sense not to talk much. Before they even got into her room Dean had his mouth on hers. He tasted like cold water and apples. She tasted like peanuts and cheap brandy. Although his mouth was tentative and not skilled, Dean never cared; he just led him through the motions. She was an excellent kisser. Dean put his hand in her hair, and wrapped his fingers around the long red tendrils. His hand wove through the small bristles loving the feel of his short hair. She backhandedly opened the door and led him to the bed. She fell on top of him and continued kissing passionately. He always insisted on being on the bottom. She went down to his neck and sucked and pecked and kissed. He sucked on his ear, knowing it was the one spot that made Dean feel just right. She looked up at him and he nodded, she pulled off his shirt and gasped. He never said a word about the scars; he knew what Dean had been through. He looked at them as if they were medals of Honor. He never needed to ask.

"What happened?" Dean shook his head and muttered something about a fight. She nodded and continued kissing while he tried to get the feeling. He traced the shape of a heart right on his chest, "so you'll always remember," he then followed the line down to his naval and kissed him gently. She had her clothes off in record time. She obviously thought this was going to be good. Dean almost felt bad about leading her on. In the end she screamed pretty loud and rolled over to go to sleep. He never said anything, but at the end he would whisper his name at the last second. Then he would come back up with the same energy as always. He would gently put his lips on his. At first it would be soft and cool. Then it would become more passionate. He would kiss all over until he gasped and he would claim what was all his. He knew exactly where to go and what to do to make him squirm. It would become hot and passionate. Finally he would whisper "Castiel,"

Dean woke abruptly. He hadn't thought that name in a long time. He willed himself never to think that name or it would open a floodgate of memories he didn't need, of a life he never deserved. Dean shut his eyes tight; this was not what he needed, not now. Before they could start, however, the door burst open.

"Get off my sister, you bastard!" The girl sat awake. She looked at Dean, and then at the man at the door. Dean couldn't even remember her name, something with a K maybe?

"Ricky? What are you doing here?" Ricky crossed the room and pulled Dean up. "Ricky, let him go!" She had a really squeaky voice that was grating on Dean's ears.

"Did he hurt you Ann? Never mind, we'll talk about this later." Dean was then pulled out of the room and out of the apartment and slammed against the wall.

"You got a name, boy-o?"

"Dean." Snickers echoed throughout the alley. Dean noticed that there were now three men.

"Ricky, an American is banging your sister."

"Yeah, well soon I'll be banging him." Dean was then pushed into the wall again. His head hurt pretty badly already. Then he was pulled up and one of the guys held his arms back. He had no more strength, no more will, really. A big brawny man with a small beard came in front of him and smirked.

"This here is Charlie, he's from Germany," said Ricky with a sneer. "Germans have a special way of telling people to get out of their country. With that Charlie pulled out a pair of brass knuckles, strapped them on and started to punch. First the face, when Dean's eye was so swollen he couldn't see, Charlie moved on to his stomach and his arms and legs. Finally, with one last punch to the groin, Dean was let go, he fell to the floor. The three men crowded around him, one of them was saying something but Dean couldn't hear through the pain. Then there was a whisper close to his ears.

"I said, do you understand what's gonna happen if you ever come back here?" Dean was already seeing stars, he just wanted out. He had no one to go to, no one to lean on, and no one who even cared anymore.

"No, I didn't catch that," spat Dean, blood coming out of his mouth. Ricky punched him again.

"Well then, I guess it's time we showed you." Dean braced himself for more punches, maybe even a whip, but all he felt was himself being turned over onto his stomach. Then Dean heard the sound of a zipper being pulled down. Dean's whole body clenched in fear. This was not what he had expected. Before he could do or say anything, he felt a weight on his legs. A voice whispered in his ear.

"I can see why my sister picked you. You're a pretty American" Dean felt lips sucking at the nape of his neck. This wasn't right, this couldn't really be happening. Cool lips kissed his neck, chuckling at the feel of the scruff. "You could use a shave, laddy." Warm, rough hands felt their way under the thin t-shirt Dean wore, every muscle tensed under the touch. Cold, soft hands traced circles on his back, roaming a path so familiar. Suddenly Dean's boxers were pulled down, and another whisper.

"I love you Dean."

"This is going to hurt like hell." And it did. A ripping piercing pain like Dean had never known, save for hell, erupted through his whole body. Dean screamed, throat dry and harsh, but it just came out as a hacking cough. Dean felt bile rise in his throat. He needed it all to end. He didn't care if he died, he hadn't for a long time, and he just needed it to happen soon. Finally Dean felt something, something wet snaking down his leg. He realized it was his own blood, a lot of it. Dean began to cry and whimper. This is what he had become. He mumbled incoherently "God, oh god, please, god, oh please," and then when the pain became too much again, when the man behind him was forming a horrible rhythm, Dean screamed out.

"Cas! Please! Castiel!" Before the word was even out of his mouth a bright light enveloped everything. At first Dean thought he had died, but if he did, he wouldn't still feel the pain. Dean vaguely heard screams from around him, but the light was so strong, yet so comforting, so warm, he just needed to sleep…

Dean jolted awake. His head was pounding. When he picked up his arm to felt for bumps, his whole body screamed in protest. Dean grunted in pain and took to trying to open his eyes. He opened his right eyes, and closed it really quickly, because the light was way too strong.

"I closed all the curtains, unless your suffering from a migraine, which is possible considering the amount of pain you are in, the room should be dark enough for you to open your eyes." Completely ignoring the voice that Dean knew couldn't have really been there, Dean tried again. Three more tries of rapid blinking, and Dean could finally take a look around. He was in a small room he had never seen before. The curtains were in fact closed. Dean was lying a small bed, and there, on the foot of the bed was a mass he thought he would never see again. He tried getting up and quickly regretted his decision. The person on the bed got up and went to his side. An arm came down on Dean's shoulder. At the touch, Dena felt like he was being burned. He had missed that feeling so much. Dean looked anywhere but up.

"Dean. It's me." Dean looked at the small burn mark on the carpet.

"I don't understand."

"When you left, even before, I knew you were going to. You needed space and time. I could have found you Dean, I'm an angel. But my orders were to stay with Sam. I knew you needed to be alone, to think everything through. When you didn't come back quickly enough, I was…punished for my doubting." At the word punished, both men shuddered. "I waited, Dean, because I had faith that you would come back. Then I heard your calls of help, and I came. Now here we are. I am waiting for you to come back, and you will do anything but look at me." At that, Dean looked up at the dresser beside the bed. He was still reveling in the fact that Cas was really here.

"Is it really you, Cas? Why? Why do I deserve to have you to myself? You're an angel, you are the greatest thing to happen to this planet, why does it make sense that you should stay with me? Cas, there are better and more devout men out there. I don't deserve you." Dean continued looking away. He didn't know what else to say; how else to convey to the angel that there was nothing meritorious about him. At least he should have picked Sam. Sam believed. Sam had always believed. Sam liked to believe in good rather than bad. Even when they were kids, Dean had taken away every childhood illusion from Sam. He told him that Santa was a fake, the tooth fairy didn't exist and that angels were just some myth made up by moms who wanted their kids to think 'someone was always watching.' Castiel should have picked Sam. Castiel should have picked anyone, anyone was better than Dean. While all this was going through Dean's head, Cas just looked at him. Looked at him with a sad face, and a hint of curiosity. Humans were still new to Castiel. How was it that someone as great as Dean, could feel so worthless. Castiel had seen Dean's head, he knew about his father's expectations, about the shadow of a younger brother. Castiel saw the guilt cause by all that Azazel had wrought. He saw, but he didn't understand. Didn't Dean see the perfection that he had inside of him? Didn't he realize that the very fact the world existed, was because of him, not Sam or the angels, but Dean.

"Dean, how can I make you understand? What can I do, more than I have already done, to make you realize, that nothing in this world, nothing my Father has ever created will be as important to me as you are? I love you Dean. I did the moment I pulled you out. From the beginning until now. There are not enough words in all the languages that would help me convey my feelings. I have feelings Dean! Because of you! I have never felt anything before, ever, and now I feel warmth, hope, and love. I believe more than I ever have since my creation. I… I don't know what to do anymore. If you won't have me, then I will go back." Dean had kept his head down the whole time, but at the last words, he looked up. Castiel looked at him and gasped. In those beautiful green eyes, so many emotions ran around it was like a tidal wave. Sadness, anger, guilt, hope, relief, love, shock and just the word 'no.'

"You can't go. The world needs you."

"The world has other angels."

"I…" Castiel waited.

"You what?" Dean had to say it. He couldn't let Cas leave. But would he risk Castiel's place in heaven, just to keep him for himself. He had ran all the way around the world to prove that he wasn't selfish, that he would let someone else have Cas. But when it was Cas doing the running…

"I won't let you go." Castiel smirked

"And how, exactly, do you intend to stop me?"

"like this." And Dean got up and hugged Castiel. And n that hug he conveyed more than he ever could in any kiss. He held on so tight, that if Cas was a man, he wouldn't have been able to breathe. He held on so tight so Castiel couldn't go anywhere.

"I won't let you leave, because I need you. I don't care anymore about anyone else. I need you all to myself, if that means I damn myself, then fine. If it damns you, I'll stand with you in the deepest pits of hell. You are not going anywhere. Ever." Castiel who until now was so shocked by the hug, he couldn't do anything, wrapped his arms around Dean.

"I swear I'll never leave you Dean. I could never do any better than you."