For two weeks Castiel tends to his duties and his congregation. The problems come when he has time on his hands, time to think. He limits these periods of time as much as he can, but still he finds himself thinking about what would be best left alone.

He thinks about Dean in his quiet moments of torturous reflection. How the boy is coping, whether his reaction to Dean's slip in decorum has thrown him off the path of righteousness. Invariably his thoughts, well intentioned as they are, turn to Dean's flushed face, his bitten lips and dilated eyes.

In an effort to control himself he limits his meals to water, sugarless black coffee and dry toast twice a day. Flavours become a foreign thing to him. In the mornings he twists the dial of his shower all the way to cold and leaves it there. Hot showers feel too good to be allowed to touch his skin. He needs harsh treatment, nothing seductive, nothing sensual.

He cleans his house and the church itself in a flurry, dark robe heavy with splashes of water and sweat, he wrenches his back, light headed with hunger and sleeps fitfully on the floor beside his untouched bed.

It still isn't enough.

And it does not stop the dreams.

They are not themselves lewd. He dreams that he is warm and comfortable, the young, strong body in his arms unresisting and welcoming, soft hair and skin touching his own. They unsettle him more than sexual fantasies would – wanting Dean to lie with him, to just be close enough to touch, does not seem in itself to be an unreasonable desire.

It frightens him because he cannot fight it with morality, he cannot be disgusted with it or see it as a temptation.

Castiel sleeps less, preferring to read into the night, scrub floors and silver that is already clean, prepare sermons and pray circular, endless prayers.

Dean comes to see him halfway through the third week. Castiel opens the door of his office to a tentative knock and comes face to face with the boy's anxious face.

"Dean?"

"May I come in?" His voice is overly stiff and formal, Castiel clings to it like a talisman, nothing sinful can come of such a tone.

"Certainly." He widens the door and returns to his seat. "How can I help you?"

"I came to say sorry." Dean sits awkwardly in the chair opposite him. "I'm really sorry about what happened...I wasn't going to come back but..." He leans forwards. "but it's working, Father...what you told me..."

"I'm glad, Dean." Castiel feels a smile pinch his mouth. He is happy that Dean is finding some relief from his compulsions, though he feels a wave of jealousy that should be beneath him. "and you have nothing to apologise for."

"Father I..."

"It's already forgiven."Castiel's smile is genuine now, he doesn't feel that he could deny such an earnest boy honest forgiveness.

Dean smiles, relief evident in the sudden looseness of his shoulders. "Thank you Father." Dean's hands fidget on his thighs. "If it's alright with you...I'd like to keep going, with this...counselling thing."

Castiel feels his strength wane, he is so tired, so very tired.

"Dean...I don't think that would be appropriate."

The boy looks stricken.

"I knew it...you don't want to see me." Dean, for all his outward appearance of strength looks suddenly so small that Castiel has to fight the urge to circle the desk and comfort him as he would a child. A single touch, no matter how innocently intended, could break them both. He knows this, and so he does not move.

"Dean, if our last meeting is any indication...it may not be best for you to continue under my guidance."

"I can control myself Father." Dean meets his gaze levelly. "I know I was out of line, but I've been practicing restraint, and..." He frowns. "You look tired."

"What?" Castiel feels a jolt up his spine.

"Like you need more sleep..." Dean looks even more worried. "You're not...this isn't because of me is it? Because of what I did?"

"Don't trouble yourself with it my child." Castiel closes his priestly indifference around himself like a fire blanket.

"Father..." Dean's face is open, desperate, and Castiel responds to that desperation the way any God fearing man would, trying to offer solace, comfort. "Please...you're the only thing, the only one, who's helped me with this."

"There are other priests..."

"I need it to be you."

"Dean..."

"No, I...I know it sounds beyond stupid, that it has to be you even when you're part of my problem. But I can't help but feel like this." Castiel looks at the boy and sees so much conflict, so much anxiety in one so young.

"Very well." Castiel sends up a quick prayer for guidance. "You said you have practiced restraint in these past weeks?"

"Yes" Dean nods eagerly. "I followed the list and I stopped watching things that set me off, tried not to think about it and...well, I'm showering at home now, after practice." A flush deepens the tan of his face.

"You're doing very well." Castiel can see how much Dean needs praise for this, which has surely been a struggle for him, at his age sex is of great importance, a constant pressure in the body. He remembers that much from his own adolescence. "You're coping? With the cessation of the physical element."

Dean's blush deepens. "I'm trying Father."

"Good. But you must try harder." Castiel flicks to a page of notes pressed between two pages of his journal. "How long have you gone without?"

"Since..." Dean is practically stuttering with awkwardness. "Since the last time I saw you."

Castiel swallows.

"Have you tried alternative action, to combat arousal?"

"What would I have to do?"

"I find discomfort to be effective." Castiel links his fingers and sets his hands on the table. "A sharp pain or unpleasant sensation, like a cold shower."

"Is that why..." Dean nods towards Castiel's lap. "That thing with your leg."

Castiel blinks once, wrong footed.

"I saw you doing it last time." Dean says softly, and Castiel feels caught out, knowing now that Dean knows that he was aroused. "Does it work?"

"Very well." Castiel lets his eyes fall to the desk. "As does restricting other activities that influence the libido, sensual food, relaxation, prolonged nakedness...reducing them can help." Dean nods, his eyes contemplative. "There are also other things for you to consider, in my case I chose to enter the priesthood...you must redirect your attentions towards women your own age."

"You mean date?" Dean looks uncertain of this idea.

"Eventually yes." Castiel taps the surface of the desk absently. "Why don't you continue, with the abstinence and we can meet to discuss any problems or questions you may have?"

Dean nods. "Thank you, Father."

"I'll see you on Sunday." Castiel shows Dean from the church and watches him jog towards the street corner.

Dean reaches his house in record time, jumping up the porch steps and shrugging off his mother's offer of dinner with a grin and a muttered 'Not hungry Mom' he crashes through the door of his room and closes it behind him, sitting down on the end of the bed.

Castiel said he could keep seeing him. His heart kicks happily at the thought.

Dean closes his eyes and counts backwards from two hundred, hands clenched on his thighs. It barely helps at all. Seeing Father Novak, thinking about him, affects him in ways he can't begin to control.

At least not yet.

His cock twitches and he bites his lip, hard.

He can control himself, and he can get better. With just a little more practice.