Author's Note: This story is a missing scene from the episode of Supernatural called, 'Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester'.

Angel

"You should show me some respect. I dragged you out of hell; I can throw you back in."

And maybe Dean's mind doesn't remember the last four months, but the flesh must have its own memory. His breath catches, body freezing under the angel's piercing eyes like one of those guys that Medusa bitch turned to stone. Perspiration breaks over his skin and sound drops from his world as Castiel leans closer, his angled face nearly brushing Dean's lowered lashes. Dean can't look at him directly – doesn't dare. The silence is long and charged, until finally the creature's shoulders relax, his gaze softening to something like regret as he takes a step backward.

"I wasn't intimating intent; merely capability," Castiel explains. As if that's supposed to be comforting. "After so many years, we sometimes lack in subtlety.

"Oh, you're plenty subtle," Dean assures him, putting another step between them himself. Because, okay, that was a little too close.

The angel's mouth twists. "We aren't what you think we should be, are we? Not my brothers and I, not the Lord."

"He hasn't exactly given me much to believe in," Dean mutters. And maybe he doesn't see the big picture, but isn't God supposed to look out for everyone? Mom had believed, taught Dean to say his prayers at night. Told him there were angels watching over them. So where were they when that son of a bitch tore her to shreds and set her on fire? Dean's seen plenty of innocent people die, and God hasn't lifted a finger to save them. And now he's supposed to believe the big guy wants to save him? Right…

"How is that?" Castiel's brow furrows. "Has he spoken and not acted? Made you promises he didn't keep?" The angel peers at him curiously. "Have you never acted on faith alone?"

Dean shrugs. "Not on behalf of an invisible deity, no."

"But someone." Castiel cocks his head in that eerie, inhuman way. "Your father."

"Yeah, well he never let me down."

"You're lying." It's a simple observation. "You're loyal to him, even now. Did you ever show him such lack of respect?"

Dean flushes under that discerning stare. "Not exactly relevant, is it?"

Castiel nods, as if to himself. "Perhaps this visage will be more conducive." Before Dean can reply, there's a blurring of the surrounding air. The creature morphs, changing planes and angles, shoulders broadening, forehead and jaw emerging in all-too familiar shapes. "I think it's time to check that attitude, kiddo."

"Whoa," Dean says, because the guy actually sounds like Dad, too, and that's more than a little freaky. "Okay. Enough with the blast from the past; consider me impressed."

"Good to know," Castiel replies in the same wry tone, pulling over a chair and taking a seat. He crooks a finger, a mannerism Dean remembers well, and he wonders if their feathered friends have been paying more attention than he gave them credit for. "Over here."

What? "No; hey, you got this wrong," Dean tells him, holding up a hand as if to ward the angel off. "Whatever you think this is - "

Castiel blinks, the blue eyes briefly reappearing. "Paternal censor?"

Dean shakes his head, relieved that the creature is using his former voice, and not John Winchester's. The guy is dead. And he isn't coming back. "It's a kiddie punishment, okay? People just don't go around spanking grown dudes." He frowns, considers. "Well, you know, not unless they pay for it…"

"Your father spanked you sixteen months before he died."

"Hey," Dean hisses, glancing over at Sam, but his little brother is still snoring in the living room. "No one knows about that."

Castiel raises a brow. "But it is true."

Dean sighs. "I kind of had it coming," he admits. He hadn't been quite as okay with Dad's plan to split up as he'd led Sam to believe, and too many drinks had let his mouth get away from him. A few swats from Dad had sobered him up pretty quick, though.

"Precisely." Castiel blurs again, this time even changing out his accountant clothes for jeans and Dad's old thermal jersey. The feat makes shapeshifters look like amateurs. "Over here and jeans down; I'm not gonna ask you again."

Fuck. "Look, I just can't - "

"One."

Dean's pulse jumps in response. "Are you serious?" His nervous gaze darts to Sam, and then over to the staircase.

"Two. They won't be waking up," the creature adds.

"But - "

"If I get to three, things are gonna get ugly."

Dean wonders if ugly means tearing flesh and licking flames. "Okay, okay," he concedes, quickly stepping to his father's – Castiel's – side. "I'm here," he says grudgingly, fingers fumbling numbly at the button of his jeans. And okay, maybe he should have thought twice before pissing off a friggin' soldier of God. He shoves down the worn denim, shivering as cool air drifts over his bared thighs. "What now?" He tries to sound bored with the whole thing, but his palms are damp with sweat.

"I think you know how this works," is the reply, and the latent humor and affection in his father's voice makes it hard for Dean to swallow.

"Fine," he manages hoarsely, slowly lowering himself over the man's lap. He can't get over how much this feels like his father, the steady arm snugging his waist, the hard legs beneath his stomach. The bastard even smells like Dad, like gunpowder and motor oil and some aftershave Sam once bought the guy in hopes it would make him like the other fathers they knew. It's too real, too much; so much that Dean doesn't notice Castiel's fingers at his boxer briefs until they're already at his knees. He throws a hand back, even if it is too little too late. "Wait! You can't just- "

"I can and I am," not-Dad replies, pulling Dean's hand in and pinning in at the small of his back. "And maybe next time you'll think twice before mouthing off."

Yeah, no kidding, Dean thinks darkly, wincing as not-Dad's calloused hand smacks against his bare ass, leaving a stinging handprint in its wake. Unfortunately, that's just the start of it, and it isn't long until he's gritting his teeth to keep from gasping at the rising heat. True to the creature's claim, Sam seems to be sleeping through the commotion, and Dean's half-grateful, half-pissed at the lack of interruption.

"There's a time and place to be a smartass, Dean, and this isn't it."

Dean doesn't know if the words come from the past or present, and he doesn't care. He grimaces, wrapping his fingers of his left hand around the leg of the chair and squeezing tight to avoid squirming like some unruly little kid. The sharp slaps echo in the dim room, bouncing from his blazing skin, and like any of Dad's reprimands, it's impossible to ignore. The sense of shame wells up on its own accord, tightening Dean's chest and blurring his view of Bobby's floor.

"I got the message," he chokes, the toe of his boot finally kicking the floor in protest. "Swear it."

Not-Dad's arm tightens around his waist. "You'd better," he warns, his hand continuing to scorch already-spanked skin. Dean stiffens at the ongoing assault, then slumps in defeat, hot tears wetting his flushed face. The punishment stops with the first sob, but even then it's impossible to release his grip on the chair, impossible to stop this fucking flood.

"Easy," not-Dad murmurs, releasing Dean's hand and rubbing soothingly at his upper back. "I've got you, kiddo."

Dean shudders at the soft words, words that comforted him throughout his childhood and beyond. Words he shouldn't have heard again. This isn't Dad, damn it – never is – but somehow the quiet reassurance reaches inside him, unwinding the tension coiled in his stomach since waking from that pine box. He's able to drag in a trembling breath, becomes vaguely aware of his clothing being replaced. The reminder of his awkward position has Dean uncurling his fingers from the chair, weakly pushing upward from not-Dad's lap. The creature helps him to rise, steadying him with a firm hand to his shoulder before stepping away. Dean wipes a forearm over his damp face, and fuck, he doesn't think he's ever missed Dad this much.

"Man is an interesting species; so emotional. Vulnerable." Dean looks up, startled to find Castiel again. The angel reaches out, fingertips brushing lightly over Dean's cheekbone. Dean watches warily as Castiel brings the hand back to his own face, sniffs with wonder. Then, "I trust we have an understanding?"

"Sorry," Dean mumbles, focusing on the angel's shirtfront. He's still a little thrown by this whole apocalypse thing. Maybe Castiel does have bigger fish to fry than a few raised souls. Maybe Dean is the dick here. He's not sure. But he crossed the line tonight, though; that much is clear.

"You're forgiven."

Dean frowns, lifting his gaze to Castiel's serene features. "I am." It feels too simple; too easy. You don't get something for nothing.

"What greater privilege is there in being human?"

Dean just doesn't have an answer for that.

"Not all my brothers are as fond of man as I," Castiel continues. "Should you offend one of them, my favor won't be enough to protect you."

"Why would you protect me? Never mind, I get it," Dean says, when the creature opens his mouth. "Because God commanded it, right?" 'God.' That's even funnier than 'vampires.'

Castiel's lips curve faintly.

"So." Dean shifts on his feet, trying to ignore the persistent burn of his ass beneath the faded denim. "What's next?"

The angel lifts two fingers toward Dean's forehead. "You sleep."

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