Title: The Feathers Of An Angel's Loyalty
Author: martyred-wings
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Mr Eric Kripke. I make no money from this - this is purely for entertainment porpoises (and dolphins).
Summary: Dean still had nightmares of Hell, even though he didn't want to admit to still having them to Sam.


Dean still had nightmares of Hell, even though he didn't want to admit to still having them to Sam. Night after night he would jerk awake, sit up in bed, sweat pouring from his body, eyes staring blankly into the darkness of the room. The motels may change, but the darkness did not - the darkness of the room itself, and the darkness within himself remained too.

After several weeks of this, he started crying out for Castiel, crying out for the angel to come to him, to help him, to save him from himself. Even though Castiel did not, could not come every time, he answered Dean when he could. The angel patiently sat with him, held him in gentle arms, soothed him with soft, loving kisses until the pain went away, until Dean had fallen back into now dreamless sleep.

Every morning Dean would remember that Castiel had been there, would miss his presence when Castiel was gone by morning light, until he asked the angel one night to be there for him, when he awoke, so that he could see him, to kiss him, to know that he was alright.

Castiel had given Dean one of his mysterious smiles at that, and said - "I can't always be there, Dean, you know that. I will leave you something though, to let you know that I am watching over you, always, wherever I am."

He didn't go into details and Dean didn't ask for them, just knew that the next morning, a single feather was laid next to his pillow when he woke up. And so the ritual continued every morning - even when Catsiel couldn't come to Dean's side to soothe him, he still left one single feather without fail, to show him he'd at least been there.

Dean would always pick up that single feather, press it to fervent lips, kiss it urgently, knowing that somewhere, wherever he was, Castiel felt it, knew that Dean was thinking of him, and was grateful for his vigilance, his watchfulness over him.

Every time, Castiel would smile, knowing that nothing in this world would keep him from Dean's side, from protecting him when he could, from always watching over him. He felt the bond growing ever stronger between them, a bond that would never be broken, and he would do anything to keep that bond strong, active, alive.

He realized then that he needed Dean as much as Dean needed him. Dean needed him for protection, love, the feeling that he was being watched over by something, someone, while Castiel needed the chance to be a protector, to love, the reason to watch over something or someone. Both depended upon the other for their own existence, and both knew that without each other, they would fall, they would break, wouldn't be able to survive.

And so, Castiel kept returning, left the single feather as a mark of an angel's loyalty to his charge, until finally, the dreams of Hell slowly diminished, faded, finally left Dean. Even though both knew that the dreams had gone, Castiel still left those feathers, still went to Dean's side in the night, because he wanted to, needed to, felt compelled to keep returning to Dean's side, night after loving night ....