The thunderous rumbling of the sleek, black Impala came to a sudden halt as Dean pulled the keys out of the ignition. With a musical jingle, he stuffed them into the pocket of his faded leather jacket and proceeded to climb out of the passenger's seat. The door wailed with a shrill shriek as Dean slammed it closed, squinting at the bright ginger sun that sat just over the horizon. He swung his bag over his right shoulder and began to walk across the damp parking lot, his boots thudding against the asphalt all the while. He passed under a rusty motel sign after receiving his room key, and made his way up a brief flight of concrete stairs. After a short saunter through the olive colored hallway, Dean came to his destination. He lifted the worn silver key into the slot below the handle of the whitewash door and slowly pushed it open. Taking only one step inside, a musty smell lifted its scent to Dean's nostrils. He paid little mind to it, however, and gently placed his knap-sack onto the crimson comforter. Then beside it, he sat down himself to get a better look of his whereabouts. Dean was pleased that he had decided to visit here after all. It was a bit more spacious than other rooms he and Sam had stayed in, containing a full bath, kitchen, and even a partial lounge. Despite the strange odor that lingered in the air, Dean found the place rather home-like. Rising slowly from the bed, Dean approached the small window in the far corner of the room. He could see a blanket of misty clouds and stars seizing the cerulean sky, the last remnants of salmon taking refuge behind a dense mask of evergreens. He sighed, watching as his breath made a slight haze against the chilled, November glass.
Bobby had suggested that Dean take a diminutive vacation after a heated confrontation between the two brothers. Dean clenched his fists and shook his head, still reminiscing with rage. Their brother ship hadn't quite been the same over the course of the past year, but as of late Sam was especially apologetic; always carrying out tiny gestures in attempts to make amends with Dean. At last Dean had gotten fed up with Sam's efforts and declared that it would take more than these endeavors to drain the poison in which Ruby had imposed into their relationship. "Oh, so this is all Ruby's fault now? Dean, are you sure Cas didn't have a part to play in this so called 'poisoning' too?" Sam snorted, slightly offended. Finally Dean snapped, punching Sam forcefully in the nose, causing blood to rush from his nostrils. Therefore, Bobby stepped in, making a firm indication that it would be best for Dean to take a break for a few days. Of course, Dean didn't go too far, in case of a hunting (or in their case, apocalypse) emergency.
Dean thought for a moment, trying to recall exactly why he had punched Sam on Castiel's behalf. It's not like Castiel had defended him on that many occasions to begin with. Dean sighed again, glancing down at a small end table nestled against the wall. Atop it sat a baby blue box. Dean opened the two flaps along the side, dumping out two round candles. Lifting one to his face, he inhaled trying to determine its fragrance. It didn't smell like much of anything to be honest, thus he read the package; Clean Linen. Dean shrugged, and pulled a lighter from his jean pocket. As the sparkling flames touched each wick a glowing aura arose, creating a flickering sensation that quickly filled the room. Oh sure, a real vacation, Dean thought to himself, where are all the babes... and pie? As Dean thought over this again, he realized he could really use some pie right now. However, he'd just gotten comfortable, and all he really longed for at the moment was a good, long nap. That being said, he closed the ragged curtains that dangled from a plastic rod and shoved his bag off of the bed. He then proceeded to plop his body onto the soft mattress and close his eyes for some well-earned rest. But rest did not come –- it never came. All that entered his dreams were the burning flames and the blood curdling screams. However, with what felt like an eternity's passing, Dean's eyelashes fluttered open. At first, he was unsure of his surroundings, but it all came quickly drifting back to him. He heard a slight shift coming from across the room, so instinctively he reached for Ruby's knife and the light switch. To Dean's surprise, on the sofa in front of him sat none other than Castiel.
He was hunched forward a bit, with his hands folded and dangling in between his knees. There appeared to be a damp sweat upon his brow, and he wore a sickened expression. Castiel stared blankly at him for a moment. "H- Hello, Dean," he said hesitantly after a pause.
"Damn it, Cas!" Dean huffed, "Don't sneak around like that." He placed the knife back onto the nightstand, and shuffled over to the kitchen faucet to wash his face.
"My apologies," Castiel murmured, his focus now drawn to the floor.
"So," called Dean as he dried his face on the hand towel, "what is it this time?"
Castiel lifted his eyes to Dean's location across the room. He tilted his head slightly as his gaze locked awkwardly onto Dean's ass – his ideally shaped, denim-concealed ass. And for what felt like the longest moment of his life, Castiel just admired how perfect it looked as Dean bent over to dry his face. Too soon were his thoughts overrun, however, by Dean's humorous sarcasm. "Hello? Earth to Cas!" Dean bellowed, waving his hand towards Castiel as if he was incapable of understanding.
Castiel blinked furiously, attempting to reconnect with reality. He felt his cheeks beginning to burn up, almost as if he'd just been caught doing something he shouldn't. "I, uh, thought it might be best if I, um—,"
His stuttering was soon ceased as Dean interrupted him from inside of the refrigerator. "Oh yeah, baby, jackpot!" he yelled, pulling an unopened six pack from the bottom shelf. Daintily he lifted a bottle from its cardboard case, unscrewed the cap, and took a sip that was followed by an exhilarating sigh. Castiel just stood there like some stoned idiot, rubbing his hands over his eyes. "Want one?" Dean offered after a pause.
Castiel nodded silently as he made his way over to the counter and received the beer from Dean's hand, trying his best not to make eye contact. Without any thought he twisted off the cap and let the cool, refreshing liquid spill down his dry throat. And he continued to gulp it down until he came to the realization that there was nothing more to devour in the bottle. Finally he pulled it from his mouth and panted with satisfaction, his heart racing all the while. He turned towards Dean whose expression was left in confusion, his own beer bottle inches from his lips – his flawless lips, Castiel thought.
And he scolded himself for that, regaining his focus on whatever Dean was about to say. "Dude, are you okay?" Dean asked, taking another drink.
Castiel's mind ran through a thousand responses, trying to decide which one would be the most convincing that he was indeed alright, despite the fact that he was dying inside. Still among the many colorful choices he'd witnessed the humans say, Cas could only manage a scratchy, "Yes," to escape his lips. After he said it, he wished so badly that he could take it back. Take a moment to breath and persuade Dean –- lie to Dean.
Gently, Dean placed his beer bottle on the counter beside himself and shifted his weight as he crossed his arms, obviously not swayed by Castiel's response. "Oh really?" he questioned, his lips almost forming a pout.
Again Castiel's mind was drawn to Dean's burgundy lips, and he longed to touch them. To caress them with his own, and to experience a sensation that he never thought –- never imagined –- existed. Yet his focus rose just slightly upward to Dean's eyes. His gorgeously combined green and brown eyes that were filled with pain, sadness, humor, and so many other combined emotions. It was almost overwhelming to Castiel all the emotions that Dean was bringing out of him at this very moment. Feeling the blazing upon his face swiftly returning, Castiel rotated his body away from Dean to collect his thoughts. "Yes Dean, I am fine," he replied, this time with more confidence in his voice. His face, however, told a different story and he was utterly thankful Dean could not see that. Dean always seemed to have a talent for being able to see through the inevitable, especially with Sam. And speaking of Sam, Castiel was curious as to why he was not with his brother. It seemed like a good enough reason to change the subject. "Sam is not with you?"
Dean thought it odd for Castiel to switch topics so quickly, but he did not press on the matter. Instead he tried to come up with a way to explain that Sam was with Bobby, without having some kind of a heartfelt moment with Cas. That in itself, would be a bit odd. So Dean cleared his throat and casually said, "Uh, no. He's with Bobby right now." He picked up his beer again and drank, now more or less to calm his nerves.
Hearing the hesitation in Dean's voice was enough to alert Castiel that something was not right between them. "What has happened?" he asked now in his standard angelic tone.
"Ah nothing, just a little fight," Dean retorted pausing to finish his beverage.
Suddenly, Castiel felt pity spring up inside of him for Dean. Pity that he and Sam, the one in which Dean had been brutally tortured in Hell on behalf of, were not getting along. And Castiel's heart ached at the fact that he could not be the one to console Dean –- only Dean could bring comfort to himself, and that was just the ways things were. Were supposed to be anyway. Castiel watched as Dean walked past him and over to the trash can to dispose of the beer bottles. And there he stood for a moment, holding back, like he always did. "I am sorry," Castiel whispered sincerely, almost unconscious of the fact that the words left his mouth.
But they had, never the less, and Dean had heard them. So he simply replied with, "It's not a big deal. Sammy's just stubborn –- he always has been."
At this, Castiel began walking slowly over to Dean, not entirely sure of what his intentions would be once he reached him. He paused for a moment, his heart thudding in his chest. Delicately, he placed a hand on Dean's shoulder. He'd seen humans do this as a sign of reassurance, and it felt right as he did so – like his hand had always belonged there. Belonged on Dean Winchester's shoulder. And soothingly he spoke softly, "I wish that there was something–,"
But Dean interrupted Cas once again, not allowing too many emotions to be brought to the surface. "It's okay dude," he said defensively as he turned towards Castiel, "no chick-flick moments, remember?" Castiel tilted his head in that manner of confusion that Dean laughed at but hated at the same time.
"I just want you to realize that I am here for you, Dean," Castiel urged, fearless as he took another step closer to Dean.
Dean didn't say a word but stepped back as Castiel continued to come forward, until he was against the wall and Cas –- well Cas was just inches from his face. This, first off all, made Dean feel insecure but also reminded Dean of the time Castiel had threatened to throw his ass back down to the pit. He felt very small then, but even smaller now as he felt Castiel's steamy breath nearing his neck as he leaned in to whisper into Dean's ear.
"I have always been here for you," Castiel muttered in a soft voice, which he was sure raised the hair on Dean's neck.
And in that moment, that glorious moment Castiel wished could just last forever, his lips entwined with Dean's making them whole. Making them one flesh, their hearts beating in perfect unison. Only Castiel's heart throbbed for a different reason – a much stronger passion that he relished in and prayed Dean could feel as well. He believe that the humans called it love.
Dean's pulse shrieked within him as Castiel's lips locked onto his own, feeling like an inferno to the touch. But just as the burning had begun, a new notion arose from the two of them. Instead of a volcanic blaze, a cooling sensation surfaced from the depths of their passions. A fresh and new feeling, like the cleanliness of one's mouth after the use of mouthwash. It came and flooded over like a wave of renewal to Dean, something in which he hasn't had the pleasure of experiencing in a long while. It almost made him desire to wrap his fingers around the nape of Castiel's neck and push his tongue deep into the angel's mouth – almost.
But almost doesn't count. Not unless you're playing horseshoes, Dean thought now coming to the realization that he was indeed kissing Castiel – or Castiel's vessel rather. And given the fact that Dean would've preferred a babe to Castiel any day, he should be pretty disgusted with himself at the moment. If only for this lovely tingling sensation amidst his gums. And as he felt Castiel's hands like hot ash roaming about his back, Dean decided that this affair had gone far enough – alright, even further than enough, which is why it had to be stopped now.
Now! Dean screamed to himself, as he shoved Castiel away with all his might.
Castiel was surprised at this sudden set back, as the two of them stood there panting. The air had suddenly become much thicker between them, but still their gazes held. Castiel read the expression on Dean's face as startled, but not disgusted, and Castiel was grateful for this. Again he pushed forward in an attempt to reconnect himself with the feeling that he longed for so much.
At this, Dean realized that he hadn't quite conveyed his message efficiently. So this time, as Castiel drew closer – always closer – he shoved him roughly near the shoulders. "Dude, what the hell are you doing?" Dean yelled, forcing the anger in his voice, to make it clear to Castiel.
But Castiel still didn't seem grasp what it was Dean wanted, and so he asked, "What's the matter?"
Dean moistened his lips with saliva, as they had now become very dry. He stood firm, placing his hands on his hips, almost as if he were scolding a small child. "Oh I dunno Cas, maybe the fact that you're trying to make-out with me like some damn school girl!" Dean almost wanted to laugh at this remark – picturing Cas as a school girl – but now was neither the time nor place.
Castiel couldn't quite comprehend what exactly school girls had to do with making-out, but he took it as something considered to be unpleasant. "I just thought it would help the situation," Castiel fibbed, protecting his true desires, "I've seen how it relaxes you when women do such things and–," But his voice had trailer off, not entirely sure where he had planned to take that sentence.
Dean had placed his head in his hands, now raising his face from his palms. "Look," Dean sighed, "you're confused, I get that. I mean, hell, you've never even had a chance to get your angel-rocks off. But just don't go making me your guinea pig." Dean realized how incredibly awkward that sentence was, but luckily Cas didn't seem to pick up on that.
Instead, Castiel was just stunned at the fact that Dean didn't have him pinned to the ground, threatening to damage his vessel's body. Although Castiel wouldn't mind having Dean pinned onto him, he recognized that Dean had decided to give him a second chance and he was determined not waste it. Even if that meant cowering his love for the sake of Dean – always for the sake of Dean, Castiel thought. And his thoughts lingered on that for a moment, until Dean cleared his throat. It was only now had Castiel become conscious that Dean had moved away from him to claim another beverage. Castiel lowered himself onto the nearby loveseat to collect his thoughts for a minute. After a time, he asked, "Dean – what is love?"
This caught Dean off guard. He thought of a few responses, one of which was sex, but he didn't think that would suffice for what Cas meant. Whatever it was that he meant. Never the less, Dean cleared his throat. "Why do you ask?"
Castiel closed his eyes for an instant. Because I think I love you, he thought to himself. At least, that was what he wanted to say, but didn't. "Have you ever been in love?" Castiel asked instead, his voice barely touching a whisper.
Dean was slightly taken aback. "We've had enough awkward moments to last a lifetime, don't ya think?" Dean avoided answering, "Maybe you should go."
Castiel was a little disappointed that Dean had evaded any real answers to his questions, but since it was what Dean wished he would obey. Silently he rose up and made his way swiftly towards the door. He placed his hand on the rounded knob, but turned his head aside in order to see Dean one last time. "Goodbye, Dean," he said, his voice rough and shaken. And with that Castiel left, closing the door gently behind him.
Dean let out a long-drawn sigh as Castiel left the room. This had officially been the most inept encounter of his life – and that was on top of a long list of awkward meetings throughout Dean's lifetime. Honestly, he didn't have any clue what Castiel's problem was. Sure, he could understand that he was curious about the activities that Dean participated in – and he was sure Cas knew exactly what it was he did – but that didn't make an excuse for him to get off by Dean. Still, Dean couldn't wait for either Sam or Bobby to call him, to give him the a-okay about coming back home.
Meanwhile, Castiel hadn't made it far from the motel before stopping to rest at a nearby bench. He thought it odd that a bench was just placed randomly at the far end of a parking lot, but at least it was somewhere to sit and calm his nerves. His breath left him in cloudy puffs, soon to be devoured by the night air. These new-found feelings were certainly not the easiest task to deal with, and Castiel would rather he didn't have them at all. He'd rather be a spineless, soulless, son of a bitch as Dean had once said. And he smiled at this – yes Castiel smiled at the thought of Dean. That's when he realized that he'd been smiling more frequently ever since he and Dean met on that long ago day. Maybe even possibly before that – maybe it was the day that he had placed his hand on Dean, leaving his very own impression, as he gripped Dean tight and raised him from perdition. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the day he was conceived in Mary Winchester's womb. That monumental day in which Dean Winchester was created in God's own image – the one human being destined for so much struggle and regret.
The one creature on this planet that could harness the entire supremacy of Castiel's consciousness, his heart included. But Castiel was losing himself now – losing himself in his reflection of Dean. Gone so far that he hadn't even noticed the warmth of another body standing behind him. He stood fast, turning to face the individual that stood behind him in silence. Castiel gasped, as his eyes locked onto a woman, which was not who he was expecting. Not that he was really anticipating anyone in particular, but most certainly not a woman.
She wore a baggy white blouse, patterned with a graphic rose about the front of it, layered atop a slim-fitting black shirt underneath. Her palms bore wrist-high gloves, designed like that of fishnet. Teal denim shorts, that appeared to have been pants at one time perhaps, clung snuggly to her upper thigh while her legs displayed rugged lace up boots that ran to her knees. As she stepped closer to him, her long blonde hair swayed in the slight breeze. Her shimmering grey eyes held a certain sadness as she whispered, "Castiel?"
Castiel was mystified by how she knew him – he'd never seen her in his entire life. Although, she did not seem threatening, so he made no attempts to thrust her away as she came forward. By this time, she was only inches from his face. "You're so beautiful," she murmured, her eyes searching his.
Castiel turned his head once again in a manner of confusion. "Who are you?" he asked softly.
Her expression altered into sullenness. Castiel genially was at a loss for words as she lowered her face towards the ground, a crystal tear running down her cheek. "You do not remember me," her voice was very hushed. Castiel stood motionless for a moment, until at last her gaze returned to his. She lifted her hands slowly and placed them tenderly on Castiel's cheeks.
Castiel closed his eyes for a moment, soaking her in. Soaking in how her skin felt on his own, how her scent – so clean and fresh – swirled in the air about them. And for a moment, images of Dean flashed in his mind. How he wished it could be Dean standing here with him, above anyone else. Finally he regained his focus to the current situation, and reopened his eyes.
He could see that her expression had changed once again, and he could swear he saw fury burning within her now. Hesitantly she spoke, "He will never love you like I do."
Castiel's eyes widened. A thousand questions ran through his head – Love? She loves me? Who is she? Does she mean Dean? What will happen to Dean? He wanted to pull away this instance and demand some sort of explanation, but he could not. Castiel felt as if he were frozen, standing her unable to move. Unable to move from her presence. And suddenly, Castiel felt a tugging coming from her hands – not a physical pull, but one of his soul. He felt himself slipping away, being yanked from his vessel. There was a flash of white – and then nothing. Simply darkness.
The woman could feel the weight of Castiel's vessel being pulled to the ground by gravity, now that he was not there to inhabit it. She lowered herself with him, careful not to damage the body. Once on the damp asphalt, she looked him over. Truly beautiful, she thought to herself. Steadily she laid her own body beside Castiel's and wrapped her arms around the back of his neck. Gently, she pressed her forehead against his and sighed, "Please, just love me. Love me, Castiel." She then proceeded to lock her lips with his, even though technically he could not return to the favor. But that suited her just fine for the moment. I'll be the one you want soon enough, she assured herself.
Clouds had begun to cover the sky above them. A crack of thunder and a flash of lighting sparked across the heavens, revealing their true beauty. Almost as if on cue, a tiny droplet of water came crashing down to Earth, followed by hundreds and thousands more.
And there, amidst it all lay two complete strangers entwined by one similar interest – Dean Winchester. Whether it was the hope to love him, or the desire to destroy him both were bound with the familiarity of his existence.
The motel room was dim and hushed. Dean again lay on the bed, but did not sleep. Not like he ever truly slept, although as of now he could not seem to find any slumber what so ever. Instead, he stared at the wooden blade of the ceiling fan that slowly progressed in a complete circle – one after another, after another, after another. The motion was mesmerizing, calming somehow. And Dean found that he was losing himself in his own thoughts. Thoughts of Castiel and just how bizarre that angel was. And Dean couldn't help but wonder just how things would be between them from now on – what was it about that kiss that troubled him so much?
It didn't mean anything, Dean tried to convince himself, did it? Gotta admit, he is a pretty good kisser though. And at this thought Dean pouted slightly – pouted almost as if he were preparing to kiss Castiel himself and not the silence that clung in the air about him. But Dean shook his head in attempts to remove that image from his mind. There's no way, just no fricken' way.
Then, suddenly, a sharp pain sprung up inside his head. It was similar to that of a migraine, but ten times extreme. Dean curled his body, cringing at the thudding that made him feel like his brain would soon explode. He struggled to breathe, and it almost felt as if his consciousness was being pulled from him. His face felt like it was on fire, and abruptly the pain ceased – almost as if someone had pulled the plug, so to speak.
Images of a fair-skinned woman flashed before Dean's eyes. But it really wasn't his eyes at all – almost as if he were seeing through someone else. Her eyes glowed with a cloudy white, which could easily have been mistaken for Lilith, if not for the fact that there was something much different about this woman's presence. A sort of light almost, but also darkness – much darkness. And at the thought of this, Dean shuttered, he did not quite understand why however. But it really didn't matter, for within a few seconds a canopy of light flashed before him and all appeared to be slipping away.
All Dean's cares and worries, just melting away into nothingness. Worries for his life, the apocalypse, Sammy – just vanishing, as if he had never had to agonize over them to begin with. And then, unexpectedly, an angel drifted into his last thoughts. He prevailed to Dean so clearly, standing silhouetted brightly against a bleak backdrop. His wings were spread wide, tiny feathers fluttering away with every step that brought him closer. As he approached, Dean could see the vivid sapphire eyes, which lead him instantly to the knowledge that this was indeed Castiel. His body bore armor of silver and gold, along with a sword that was nestled neatly in its sheath by his waist. Just so perfect – so angelic, would be the more fitting term.
But all too soon had the splendor faded, leaving Dean in utter stillness gasping, "Cas," with his last breath.
Midday light shone through the thin curtains that guarded the window of the motel room. And Dean groaned with weariness as he rose from the odd position he had fallen asleep in last night – or was forced to sleep in, rather. And then the thought occurred to Dean that he actually had managed to gain some rest in the hours of the previous evening. It wasn't a pleasant dream-filled sleep, mind you, but at least if was some form of escape none the less. Escape from the daily ordeals of his life in the wonderful and satisfactory feeling of Castiel.
Dean sighed in a slight disappointment of the angel's name. Castiel, again he thought to himself. Whether it was the displeasure of him simply thinking of Cas or the fact that he wasn't here with him now, Dean could not be certain. All that he did realize was that after seeing Cas in whatever form he had taken, Dean longed to be with him again. And possibly, give the angel fulfillment of his curiosities. Dean's heart raced at that thought, and he smiled somewhat.
But his thoughts were quickly interrupted by vicious pounding on the room door. Dean's eyes flashed over to it, and he watched at tiny chips of paint crashed to the ground with every knock. "Give it a rest, will ya?" he heard a neighbor call from down the hall.
Dean clenched Ruby's knife in his fist and cautiously made his way to the door. "Aw, bite me!" a familiar southern accent retorted. Bobby, Dean's first thought sprang into his mind as he swiftly unbolted the door.
To no surprise, it was Mr. Singer himself. "Oh thank God," Bobby sighed as he leaned in to hold Dean in his grasp.
Dean had always thought of Bobby as a father-figure, and so when he got emotional like this, it definitely meant that something was up. He was a little disappointed, however, as he pulled away to see that there was no Sam. "Bobby, what's going on?" he asked, his voice hoarse.
"What's going on?" Bobby asked sarcastically, "I tried calling you like fifty times, that's what's going on. Why the hell aren't you answering your phone?"
Dean rubbed his palms over his eyes in attempts to wake himself up. He sighed, "Sorry, I kinda actually slept."
Bobby looked surprised at this, but made no further discussion of the matter. He knew that talking about Hell with Dean was dangerous ground to be treading on. "So, uh, Sam's been looking into this apocalypse business – thinks he found something that might be worth looking at."
Dean nodded and cleared his throat as he made his way over to the sink. Oddly enough, this felt almost like déjà vu. "What is it?" Dean asked, as the cool water energized his skin and awoke him.
"Well, ya see, we're not really sure. Last night something hit, something big. And it wasn't too far from here, strange as that sounds," Bobby replied, taking a seat at the nearby table.
Dean patted his face dry and turned towards Bobby. "Something big? What, are we talking massive demons big? I'm going to need a little more than that, Bobby."
Bobby gave Dean the shut up before I smack you, idgit look. "How the hell should I know? Sam's the expert, here."
Dean chuckled a little bit at Bobby's wonderful, yet insulting humor. "Well then, let's roll," Dean said, grabbing his leather jacket from the back of the chair and gathering his other belongings.
After placing the room charges onto a random ID name, Dean climbed into the Impala and started the engine. This was Dean's baby, forever and always. Every time he revved that motor, it was like hearing it for the first time. Steadily, he turned out of the parking lot, following Bobby's lead.
They drove for a good twenty minutes before arriving back to Bobby's house. Sam was standing on the steps, leaning on the handrail. Dean sighed, preparing himself for yet another soul moment, which he could really do without, but what the hell. He walked towards the steps, where they both stood awkwardly for about two seconds. "Look Dean, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said what I said, but I think that there isn't solely one person to blame for what happened here."
Dean nodded as he licked his lips. "I guess I got a little out of hand, didn't I?" Sam snorted obnoxiously, but Dean took it as an apology anyway. He held out his hand, which Sam shook, but not before smothering him with a big ol' hug.
"You two idgits," Bobby remarked, crossing his arms, "getting all worked up over nothin'."
Sam smiled at this and Dean was glad to see him smiling – glad to see that his brother was happy, even if it was only for a brief second. "So, Bobby says something big hit last night?" Dean asked, business as usual.
"Uh, yeah," Sam responded, making his way towards the door. Dean followed, with Bobby not far behind. Once they reached his laptop, Sam began to explain in more detail. "See, I was monitoring happenings of the local area, when I saw this video being streamed from a news website," he tilted the computer so that Dean could see the news recording, "Apparently, some sort of meteor hit not too far from here, destroying a large area of a forest."
Dean raised an eyebrow. "So?"
Sam's fingers went into action, sweeping across the keyboard as he pulled up another webpage. "So," he continued, "out of the whole portion of burned woodland, one tree was left standing - an oak that no one ever seems to remember being in the middle of all the evergreens."
He gave Dean a look that screamed only one word: Angel. "So what, another Cas's chums decided to pop, lock, and drop it to Earth?"
Sam rubbed one of his hands over his top lip – Dean called this Sam's fake mustache maneuver. "I don't think this is just another angel," Sam hesitated, "see, when this 'meteor' hit, there was a woman hiking in these woods. The cops haven't even been able to find a trace of a body yet – I think she was targeted."
Dean examined the image that Sam had pulled up onto the screen. Something about this woman seemed familiar, but he couldn't quite place what. "Targeted? What does that mean?" Dean honestly confused.
Sam sighed. "I– I don't know," he stuttered.
Almost as if on cue, lightening lit up the sky. The leaving bowed to the wind's force outside as water began to pour from the sky.
"Well doesn't this just put the friggin' icing on the cake," Bobby muttered, rising up from the table he'd been leaning on.
Sam, who'd been typing away, paused and cleared his throat. "Say Dean, think you could get Cas here? He might be able to offer us some input."
Dean's mind ran in circles. What was he supposed to say? Oh yeah, why don't I just call him up so we can have a make-out fest? He mused to himself, snickering slightly. But then he realized that Sam was still waiting for an answer, and so he quickly thought. "Uh, you know, he's probably busy."
Sam snorted again, just one of his response habits. "Busy? Alright – since when has Cas ever been too busy for you?"
Dean just stood there for a moment, trying to concoct a witty come-back. "You know, Sam, this war in heaven probably ain't no picnic," Bobby added, and Dean was grateful for this.
And the thought of picnics caused a yelping growl to cry out from his stomach. Sam and Bobby exchanged glances, but Dean quickly interrupted before they had a chance to say anything. "I think I'm gonna run and get some dinner."
After closing the front door behind him, Dean quickly ran towards the Impala and hopped inside. The rain was coming down heavily now, making tiny waterfalls spill down the windshield. Dean switched on the headlights and cautiously began to drive down a long and barren road. There was a burger joint in a town not too far from here, he figured he'd stop there.
Once he reached the drive thru, he ordered a chicken sandwich for Sam, Swiss mushroom burger for Bobby, and two bacon cheeseburgers for himself – damn it, he was hungry. He paid for his request with a stolen credit card, of course, before speeding into the night. It was only around six o'clock, but it being November and all, surely didn't make driving any easier.
Dean was about fifteen minutes away from Bobby's when he just couldn't take it any longer. The delicious smell of melted cheese, bacon, and burger had been tantalizing him since he'd left the restaurant. Desperately, he reached into the bag and grasped a handful of golden fries, unable to restrain himself any longer. He sighed with satisfactory as the mush of salty potato slid down his throat and into his empty stomach. Suddenly, out of nowhere, stood a woman in the path of Dean's headlights. She was soaked and looked as if she'd been out in the rain for hours. "Please, stop!" she yelled, placing her hands in front of her.
Oh shit, Dean thought, as he slammed on his breaks. The Impala's tired were slick, however, and travel just a little further than he had intended. The hood of the Impala slammed forcefully into the woman thrusting her back a good five feet. The back of her head smacked against the road and she was knocked out, cold.
Dean through open the car door and ran out into the rain. He knelt down over the woman's body, cradling her head gently in his hands. Dean looked down at his palms – there was blooding running off of them. Carefully, he turned the woman's head, revealing a large cut with a stone partly lodged in it. He tilted his head and lowered it towards her mouth, checking for breath. She was still alive, but wouldn't last long if she didn't get help. Dean removed one hand from the back of her neck and placed it under the back of her knees. Then, without much effort, he lifted the fragile woman into his arms and carried her towards the Impala. Placidly, he laid her in the back seat and returned to his own seat behind the steering weal. Dean had a new determination to reach Bobby's house, despite the trials of wind and rain.
Finally, when Dean did reach the house, he ran with the woman in his arms to the front door. He slammed his boot against the door and hollered, "Sam!"
In a split second, Sam was at the front door – his eyes wide with confusion and fear. "Dean, what did you do?" he sputtered.
"It's a long story," Dean muttered, pushing past his brother, "she's hurt."
Just then, Bobby came through the archway quickly examining the wound. "Bring'er over here," he said, clearing books off a nearby table.
Dean placed her on the table and stood back, rubbing his tired eyes. Bobby had walked over to a faded gray cabinet, retrieving some sort of dusty silver case. He opened it, and to Dean and Sam's surprise, it was filled with medical supplies. "Uh, playing operation?" Dean asked.
"Just leave me to this," Bobby mumbled as he pulled out a knife and some other strange looking tools.
Both Dean and Sam entered into the other room, and Dean quickly returned to the Impala to grab the food. He swiftly arrived back, however, tossing a sandwich in Sam's direction. Dean rapidly opened the cheap plastic wrap surrounding the meat, before sinking his teeth into it, and pulling off a large chunk. Sam slowly unwrapped his sandwich, and daintily took a small bight like this was some kind of tea party. Meanwhile, there Dean sat, shoveling down his burgers like there wasn't a tomorrow. After a few moments, he glanced up – Sam was staring at him. He looked a little disgusted, but at the same time fascinated. "What?" Dean spat through a mouthful.
Sam placed his sandwich down, before once again doing his fake mustache maneuver. "You know who that is, right?" he inquired after a minute. Dean just shrugged his shoulders and continued to chew his delightful combination of meat, cheese, and more meat. "The girl from the forest." It almost sounded more like a question than it did a statement.
Dean paused for a second – Sam was right. He had thought that she'd looked familiar, but was in too big of an adrenaline rush to care about that. But at the same time, he couldn't help but doubt that she was the vessel of an angel. Dean reminisced on the time he had tried to punch catch. That hurt me worse than it hurt him, Dean recalled. So there was simply no way she could've been an angel and have been damaged by a little ol' Impala. After a couple more chews, he decided to tell Sam about his conclusion. "I hate to burst your bubble there, Sammy, but I don't think she's our girl."
Sam looked confused. He removed his mouth from the straw he'd been drinking from and inquired as to why.
"Come on, dude," Dean said, "If she were really an angel, that car wouldn't have done squat."
Sam nodded in agreement, but not for long. Sam usually never agreed with Dean for very long anyhow. "But if not an angel, what else could she be?" he reasoned.
"Well, maybe that's something you can ask her," Bobby interrupted, coming into the room. He was wiping his blood stained hands off with a rag.
"She's awake?" Sam asked in surprise.
"No," Bobby replied, "But when she does come to, that'll be your job."
"How'd you know to dress that?" Dean asked, pointing towards the white bandage that was wrapped around the girl's head.
"It's not worse than a bullet. Plus, you learn some things over the years," Bobby shrugged. They all sat in silence for a moment. "There better be something for me in that bag."
Dean lifted the fast food bag onto the seat of a chair and slid it with his foot over to Bobby. "Have a seat," he said, before diving into his burger again.
Bobby just smiled and shook his head. Sometimes, it was the little things like this that made hunting worthwhile after all.
Castiel awoke in the early hours of the morning, drenched and alone. His surroundings were not familiar to him, given the fact that his last thought was about Dean – always about Dean. Never the less, he rose up tall, attempting to recollect his scattered thoughts. Glimpses of a blonde woman flashed through his mind, and suddenly it all became clear to him.
Verchiel!, his mind screamed, his eyes widening at the thought. And Castiel could nearly beat himself for why he hadn't thought of it sooner. But then again, it didn't really come as that much of a surprise with the way his mind had been preoccupied with Dean lately. And at the thought of Dean, Castiel recalled just what it was that Verchiel had spoken to him earlier – He will never love you like I do.
Dean was in danger. Castiel could feel it like acid in the pit of his stomach. It wasn't negotiable, as Dean might have put it. And for one of the first times in his life, Castiel felt afraid – but of what, he honestly did not know.
Perhaps it was the uncertainty of it all. Castiel, what with being around for over two millenniums and all, was surely not use to being in the dark for most situations. And he especially did not care for the fact that this tentativeness involved Dean – no he didn't like that in the slightest. So, in attempts to clear his mind, Castiel realized that first things should definitely come first – that at the moment being to get himself cleaned up. He closed his eyes and prepared to feel renewed with the invigorating scent of new trench coat material, but instead nothing.
Castiel narrowed his brow and waited patiently for a moment, before opening his eyes. He felt about his vessel's body – he was still wet, there was no change. He tried again, but was left with the same results. And again, and again, and again, until Castiel was left utterly dumbfounded. He'd always been able to refresh into a new holy tax accountant's suit whenever he pleased, but for some particularly strange cause this time he could not.
Castiel sighed in slight disappointment, though it generally made little difference in his task whether he was dry or not. Right now, the main goal should be to find Dean and keep him out of harm's way – her way, Castiel corrected himself. He was prepared in an instance to rush away, through the cosmos, to arrive to Dean's exact coordinates. But at this he was left absolute frustration that his little teleportation system didn't seem to want to work at the moment either. Castiel through his hands into the air, an expression he'd seen many humans use, and he now understood why.
Regrettably, he began to make his way down a long stretch of road that seemed to have no end. He hadn't the slightest clue as to the direction he was headed in, but he knew that wherever a road lead, humanity could surely be found somewhere along the way. With each step he took, a squish noise was released from his shoes – quiet at first, then becoming louder and louder. Quite an annoyance, if there ever was one. And Castiel now realized that he'd been grinding his teeth. In fact, he must have been doing so for a good ten minutes now.
His senses suddenly heightened, as he heard a familiar sound coming around the bend of evergreens – a car, Castiel thought excitedly. Perhaps there was a way off this retched road after all. He turned to face the oncoming vehicle, waving his arm like he'd seen actors do on television, which Dean barely seemed to watch these days. Castiel had always thought it amusing that humans enjoyed watching other humans pretend to be something in which they were not. I should attempt that, perchance, Castiel reasoned.
The wheels spun faster, as the driver pushed his foot on the gas pedal. When he was in visual range of Castiel, he promptly stuck up his middle finger before shouting, "Get off the road, you jackass!"
Castiel quirked his head at this, as the automobile splashed tiny sprits of murky water onto his vessel's face. He thought possibly it was a greeting gesture, and so he held his own finger to exam it. He would have to remember it the next time he came in contact with an unfamiliar human.
The winds began to churn about as the clouds above darkened into a bleak steel gray. Castiel looked above himself towards the treetops – the umber branches bending to the command of the air, tiny golden and crimson leaving fluttering away into the universe. And with a sudden pound of his father's fist, Castiel felt the Earth tremble as a bolt of lightning touched its surface. And so, by His deliverance, water began to fall onto the soil soaking all that remained in its exposure. Castiel blinked away the tiny droplets that were beginning to form on his eyelashes. The motion reminded him of a young girl Dean had come in contact with in his high school years.
She was one of his father's more appealing creatures, with lochs of pale blonde hair and cherry red lips. Castiel distinctly remembered Dean's heart racing, as she'd come skipping down the school hallway with a smile on her face – oh, the joys of those days. He'd walk with her past a blur of lockers, listening as she went on about sweet nothings. And then, when the end would come and they'd have to go their separate ways, she bat her long, curvy eyelashes at him longingly. She was smart though, smart enough not to get her heart broken by quite the charmer in which Dean was – and still lives on as today.
Oh how these humans can possess intelligence greater than I, Castiel sighed to himself. He snuggly slipped his hands into the pocket of his vessel's trench coat – the one place that seemed remotely dry on his body. The rain was pouring down rather heavily now, consuming most of everything that lay beyond him – not there was much to be interested in front of him, but that was well beside the point. All that was left to do now was to believe – believe that no matter the distance of this road, it would eventually lead him back to happiness. Back to Dean, Castiel smiled contently.
Dean was alone – alone in a thick and swirling mist. Tall pines and hemlocks guarded his surroundings, and there he stood in the middle of a crossroad. Not the kind where you sell your soul, mind you, but more of a literal translation for being caught in a crossroad. Dean sighed, his breath adding more of a haze to the air around him. He looked up into the heavens that soared above. "Okay, I give up," Dean called into the stillness, outright baffled.
At this he heard footsteps crunching against the gravel creeping up behind him – far away at first, but gradually coming closer. He turned slowly, half expecting to see a crossroad demon, but to his astonishment it was none other than the young woman Bobby had helped to patch up. Her wounds were gone however, her presence much more calming than their last encounter – yet there was a certain coldness that clung to her. Almost lifeless – almost like an angel. Dean smiled smugly. "Clever trick," he muttered, placing his hands on his hips.
The woman blinked slowly, stopping a few feet shy from Dean. She folded one hand over the other and hung them picturesquely in front of her. "You are dreaming," she replied simply.
Dean laughed slightly at this, before retorting with, "You don't say – what was your first clue there, Sherlock?"
She narrowed her brow in bewilderment. Much to Dean's relief, she did not slant her head like Castiel would have in this situation. Castiel, Dean drifted on his name for a moment. At this an almost anger came over the angel's face. "You must choose," she informed him, tilting her eyes downward.
Dean pulled a fake mustache maneuver, rubbing his upper lip with his hand. "Choose what?" he asked after a moment.
A small smile flickered across her lips, before she looked up again – her gaze locking onto his. Her eyes nearly sent chills down Dean's spine. What is it about these angels, he thought. He quickly regained focus, however, for whatever she was about to say. Her voice was barely above a whisper as she said, "Open your eyes, Dean."
In an instant Dean was awake. A musty light drifted through the windows of Bobby's home and Dean squinted as one of the curtains was drawn. "Mornin', princess," Bobby chuckled, walking over to a nearby bookshelf.
Dean placed his hand in front of his eyes, in attempts to shield them from the sudden brightness. "What time is it," he murmured, his throat dry.
Bobby glanced down at his wrist. "Well, it is quarter past twelve – why, you got somewhere you gotta be?"
Dean stood up, cracking his knuckles. "Oh yeah, I'm late for my hairdresser appointment, Bobby," he moaned sarcastically, as his neck popped loudly.
Bobby leaned against the bookshelf, pacing through some folk lore pages for a moment. Finally he said, "So, you're actually resting some I see."
Dean rubbed his hands over his eyes. "Uh, yeah. It's kinda nice actually." Both he and Bobby stood there for an instant, looking at one another. Dean opened his mouth again to speak, but was abruptly interrupted.
From the next room, a shrill and deafening scream filled the air. Bobby and Dean exchanged glances, before rushing through the archway to see what the reason was behind such a commotion. Sam was plastered against a nearby wall, his eyes wide in shock. On the table next to him, the young woman had risen up, screaming in a mixture of pain and shock. She was panting heavily now, her head frantically searching the room for remnants of something familiar. Her lips parted once again, a cry rising from her throat.
Dean was a little fed up with this screaming business by now, so he promptly stepped over to the table and placed his hands firmly on her shoulders. "It's okay, you can shut up now!"
She stopped at his remark, regaining her breath. Out of the corner of his eye, Dean could see Sam giving him the dude, what is your problem look. "Wh- where am I?" the woman stuttered, still gasping for breath.
"Um," Sam began uneasily, "you're safe. I'm Sam, this is my brother Dean, and that's Bobby – this is his house." He directed his finger to the place in which Bobby was standing.
The woman sighed in pain, as she raised her hand to gently caress the white bandage that was wrapped around her head. "How did I get here?" she asked, now regaining more control over her voice.
Dean cleared his throat, and walked away awkwardly. "I kinda hit you with my car," he mumbled in a speedy voice.
Her brow narrowed at this. "What?"
Sam quickly but in, "You were injured. Dean brought you here and Bobby patched you up." The girl's eyes flashed over to Bobby and she gave him a grateful smile. "So, uh, you were missing – do you realize that?" Sam asked.
She placed her chin in her hands, her eyes thoughtful for a moment. "I was just hiking – and then, then it hit. It was a flash of white, and then burning."
"Burning?" Dean wondered.
"Yeah," she replied, glancing up at him, "the trees, they were all on fire. But out of nowhere, there was–," her voice trailed off.
Sam leaned in a little closer, his voice was filled with understanding. "There was what?"
The woman shook her head and smiled. "Nothing, forget it, you'll think I'm crazy."
Just then, Bobby decided to add his opinion of this situation. "Sweetheart, I've been around a lotta years – there ain't much you can tell me that'll sound crazy."
Everyone giggled slightly at this. "Come on," Sam urged, "won't you at least tell us your name?"
"Claire, my name is Claire," she looked at him.
"Okay, Claire, so what is it you saw?" Dean asked, taking a seat.
"Well, okay," Claire sighed, rubbing her hands over her eyes, "I had tripped over a fallen log, I was scared to death. And then, out of nowhere, this blinding light just washed over me – at first I thought for sure I was dead. But there was a voice that began speaking to me, it was very soothing. It said, 'Fear not, I come to bring you joy and not fear. You have been chosen.'"
Dean and Sam exchanged glances. "Chosen for what?" they both asked at the same time.
Claire laughed slightly. "That was my first thought. And then the voice told me that I was chosen by the Lord – chosen for a very important task. That I was only one who could do it, but I needed the proper guidance. The guidance– the guidance of an angel."
Bobby let out a long-drawn sigh. "Well ain't that just fittin'."
"I told you you'd think I was crazy," Claire lowered her eyes towards the ground.
"Well no," Sam chuckled, "it's actually just the opposite." Claire looked confused and disbelieving. "You see, angels are real."
Claire raised her eyebrows. "Right, so angels are real now? Just roaming the Earth? Next you'll be telling me that demons are real too." She joked.
"Well, uh–," Dean mumbled, fidgeting with his fingers.
"No way, you can't be serious!" Claire gasped, looking from Bobby, to Sam, to Dean.
"Angels, demons, spirits – the works," Dean added plainly.
Claire bit her bottom lip, before matching Dean's gaze. "What is this? The goddamned apocalypse or something?" She lifted her body off of the table, standing onto the floorboards.
Sam jumped up quickly placing his hands up defensively in front of her. "Look, we can help. You just need to calm down." Dean grunted sarcastically at this.
Claire glared first at Dean then Sam. "Calm down? Don't tell me to friggin' calm down, bubby!" she shoved him away and began to stomp towards the next room. She walked about two steps past the archway before collapsing onto the floor. With one hand, she grasped her head, writhing in pain.
Both Sam and Dean stood up, ready to aid her, but Bobby placed his arm in front of them. "Wait," he whispered.
"I don't think we have time to wait," Dean sighed, pushing past Bobby. Although, it would've been better to have heeded Bobby's advice. Almost as if on cue, a flash of light spread throughout the room, emulating mostly from Claire.
Dean was thrown a good couple feet away and landed swiftly onto the hard, wooden floor. Sam was quickly at his side, however. "Dean, are you okay?"
"Yeah," Dean replied, sitting up. He stopped though, just to awe at the sight in front of him.
Claire had been risen up to her knees, her arms spread wide, and her head tilted upwards. Her eyes were wide with shock, her jaw dropped in astonishment. The light was no longer pervading the entire room, but rather a consistent circle focusing in on Claire.
And at this image, Dean recalled how Jimmy had described his transformation into Castiel. Wonderful and charming Castiel, Dean thought. And for a brief moment, Dean's heart almost stopped, wondering why exactly only pleasant thoughts filled his mind at even the slightest mention of Castiel. Or how an angel, not one to typically understand human behavior, knew Dean so well – so well that it made Dean's heart flutter and his stomach tie itself in knots.
But none too soon were his thoughts interrupted as another exasperating flare exploded across the room, leaving all of its non-angel possessed humans blinded. Okay, not blinded, but seeing correctly more or less. Dean blinked a few times, before regaining at least some of his vision. Claire was lying on the floor, either dead or unconscious, but Dean knew not which it was.
His question was answered in a relatively short time though, as Claire's eyes flashed open revealing the certain coldness he had noticed within his dream. Quickly she stood up, as if nothing had happened – as if was just the average day in the average human's life. Only it wasn't, over course. Slowly Sam, Bobby, and himself arose all grunting as their eyesight adjusted back into focus.
Claire – or the angel rather – turned her towards Dean in an almost robotic manner. "Dean Winchester?" she asked blankly.
Dean cleared his throat, "Maybe – what's it to you?"
A sort of chuckle rose in her throat, but was quickly forgotten as her eyes burned holes in Dean. "You're just as Uriel described – couldn't have been more precise." Sam flinched at Uriel's name, the death promise he had made to him refreshed in Sam's mind. "And you," she continued, directing her glance towards Bobby, "you must be Robert Singer. And I thank you for the care you bestowed upon my vessel. However, it was an unnecessary effort."
Sam snorted in his obnoxious manner he always seemed to. "Unnecessary effort?" he quoted, "That poor girl would've died if it weren't for what he did."
The angel directed Claire's body a few steps closer towards Sam. "Alive or not, it makes no difference. That is what comes of defiance, Sam Winchester."
Sam's expression softened, but he crossed his arms almost in a demonstration of this defiance. "And you know me how?"
Dean could swear he saw the angel grin at this. "Oh, I know more about you than you think. Something as large scale as the filthy blood that courses through your veins in rarely a topic to be hushed."
Sam just directed his eyes shamefully towards the ground on which he stood. Dean felt furry burning inside him – what gave this angel the right to just waltz in here and judge his family. This angel, who would never know Dean's family, no matter how much they might claim to. "You said defiance – defiance of what exactly?" he asked, doing his best to keep his anger under control.
The angel sighed. "I told her that she was chosen, that there was no other, but still she refused," her expression bore sheer revulsion as she spoke, "She simply would not except the honor – the duty – of being an angelic vessel. And for that, I had to track her down."
He crossed his arms over his chest, much like Sam had done just a few moments ago – and honorable Winchester trait. "A duty? Sorry there pal, but seeing as much of a dick you are, I'd say she owes you nothing. Not a dime you–,"
"Dean," Bobby interrupted.
Dean glared slightly at Bobby. "C'mon, Bobby – I've had enough of this angel bullshit," he took a few cautious but confident steps towards Claire's body, "You just come on down here, taking over whoever the hell you feel like, meanwhile Daddy's off playing the invisible man!"
Claire's eyes burned with aversion that resembled hell fire. With a flick of her wrist, Dean was slammed against the wall, being held in place. Sam lunged at Claire's body, but with her other free hand Sam was soon in the floor. All three of the hunters were in shock – all had been under the assumption that this was a skill that only demons seemed to have harnessed.
She walked wrathfully across the room to the wall in which Dean was pinned against. She lifted one of her hands to Dean's chin and firmly secured it between her fingers. "Now you little to me, Dean Winchester – the Lord, your father as well as mine, is neither lost nor forgotten. He has vowed never to destroy this planet again, and it's ignorant wastes of space such as you that bring His wonderful creations to the lowest of all lows. You, with your grime and disgust, make this task almost unbearable. You had better treat me with integrity or there will be serious consequences."
At this, she wrapped her hand roughly around his throat and squeezed tightly. Dean could feel the pressure nearly crushing his throat – he gasped desperately for air. Just in the nick of time, she released him allowing his body to crash onto the floor below. Dean coughed and sputtered for a moment, before he spat, "Consequences – what's the worst you could do?"
Bobby and Sam exchanged terrified glances at the pleasant smile that was curling over the angel's lips. She turned her head just over her shoulder look at Dean. "Just remember," she said in a sly tone, "Castiel may have pulled you from the screams and flames, but that doesn't mean I do not possess the power to return you there. Do not test me, I implore you."
Dean's heart pounded in his chest as his mind traced over the unimaginable deeds he committed in Hell – the place where the nightmares never end, and dreams are all you can ever hope for. He closed his eyes and breathed heavily – he could only imagine what lay in store for him now.
Castiel had been trudging through this downpour for at least an hour now – perhaps longer. For a while it was pleasant, glancing about at all of the scenery there was to be had, but now everything appeared the same. Just one blur of color that seemed to have no end. And Castiel believes he has finally understood the term boredom. For a moment he wonders how it must feel to the humans, to have this feeling so often as he has witnessed.
Out of all the new emotions Castiel has had the pleasure of recently understanding, he decided that exhilaration was most definitely his favorite. Although he has no familiarity with it, of course, it is something that he will look forward to experiencing again. Perhaps with Dean, Castiel mused, wondering what he must be doing right now. Wondering if she has found him yet. Which she probably has, because she was always fast as Castiel can recall.
Castiel was so preoccupied with his own thoughts, that he did not even hear the engine of the truck that had just pulled up beside him. He glanced next to him in shock, nearly jumping out of his skin as the humans might say. The driver rolled down the passenger seat window. She was a delicate young creature with rich black hair and sparkling brown eyes. She smiled as she said, "Need a ride?"
At first Castiel was unsure what to say – at first he just stood there, looking like a complete moron, but then finally nodded. He figured that she was probably his only way off this forsaken road. He cold and clammy hand clenched the metal door handle, and swiftly he stepped inside.
The interior of the vehicle was nice – tan carpeted seats, not a lot of trash, but a faint smell of cigarettes as Castiel could see one that had been put out in the ash tray ages ago. "My goodness, you sure are drenched, aren't ya?" she asked, examining him. "Ah well, this carpeting needed a good cleaning anyhow," she continued.
Castiel realized that he was some kind of inconvenience – he did not fully understand how, being that all he did was sit down, but he knew there was something he must've done that was not to the woman's liking. "I am sorry," he apologized blankly.
"Oh no, don't worry about it," the woman said as she pulled away onto the road, "So uh, I'm Sasha."
Castiel could see the that the woman was awkwardly attempting to create a conversation – seemed simple enough to him. Just as long as he didn't reveal too much information to this outsider. "Hello Sasha, I'm Castiel," he replied simply.
Sasha gave him a warm smile, but quickly wiped it away – his tone had certainly sounded friendly, but he wasn't the smiling kind apparently. "So, Castiel – that's a very interesting name – where ya from?"
Castiel turned to examine her for a moment. She seemed very tense as she clutched the stirring wheel with her hands – almost uneasy in his presence. But she had asked him a question, and it was only polite to answer it. "Heaven."
Sasha laughed outwardly at this. "That good, eh?" she mused.
Castiel smiled slightly. He was being completely honest, but she obviously didn't grasp what he had meant – which was a good thing, of course. So, he decided it couldn't hurt to describe it a little – actually describe what Heaven was like. Who'd have thought? "It was pleasant place to exist in. No anguish, just peace." And at this, Castiel realized just how long it had been since he had resided serenely in his home.
"Wow, sounds almost too good to be true," Sasha said in a hushed voice.
Castiel said nothing further, begin quite content with his own thoughts at the moment. Thoughts of all the undisturbed tranquility that he had felt before he had been given his assignment – assignment to watch over Dean. There were times in which he regretted that day and wanted to curse his superiors for even suggesting he be given the task, but then there were more frequently days where he could almost dance with joy in celebration of this duty – that is, if he even knew how to dance.
"Where is this Heaven located, may I ask?" Sasha inquired, breaking the silence.
She turned to face Castiel, and he her. "Wherever you find it to be," he responded solemnly.
"Where I find it to be," she murmured, thinking over Castiel's words, "I'll have to ponder on that."
They drove for a while longer, and soon the rain began to ease up. She screech of the windshield wipers against the glass faded, as the drops became less and less. And finally, much to Castiel's relief, the sun began to peer through the wispy clouds, revealing its splendor.
"Now this is more like it," Sasha announced, rolling down her window and allowing a chilly breeze to flutter into the vehicle.
Castiel closed his eyes and allowed the refreshing air to find its way to his nostrils. And for what felt like an eternity, he found something he wasn't entirely sure existed in this world – harmony. It flooded over him, and was relaxing to his senses. And still, amidst his situation, his thoughts drifted towards Dean. He could almost see him – tired and unshaven, but Castiel would have it no other way. Would have Dean no other way, because the truth is, even if he could change Dean – remove his flaws – he would not. Could not. Perhaps, it was the very knowledge of his flaws that drew Castiel closer and captivated his heart.
And without a doubt, in this moment Castiel realized that he had not been mistaken when he thought he loved Dean. As a matter of fact, he no longer thought it, he knew it. And at this he opened his eyes wide and smiled brightly for a glorious newfound feeling had established its way into his heart and settled there.
Sasha turned to him with a goofy grin on her face, an eyebrow arched in confusion. I guess the weather really does effect the mood, she thought. And on that note, she reached one of her hands over to a dial in front of her. With a twist of the knob an Indie Rock beat pulsed through the speakers as they drove along. Normally, Castiel would've preferred silence, but quiet just wouldn't do justice to all the feelings that were bubbling up inside him.
And so there Castiel sat, an angel, tapping his hand to the beat of a random radio song as they drove along. He made casual conversation with this human, Sasha, who had been so kind as to remove him from the pouring rain. Yes, Castiel contemplated, exhilaration is unquestionably my more preferred emotion. Exhilaration of love, and exhilaration of Dean Winchester.
The angel had been possessing Claire's body for nearly the entire day – giving the Winchesters strict orders with no real meaning behind them. At least not a meaning that Dean could see anyway, and he'd just about had it with this commanding bullshit. But at least she was quiet now, offering him a moment's peace. She had taken a seat in the far corner of the room, away from the two brothers, reading over segments of their father's journal.
Sam sighed, resting his chin on his fists as he glanced over towards the window. Beyond the glass, a dim light silhouetted the thinning trees. Dean rubbed his hands over his tired eyes and watched as the clock hand made its way around the numbers – one, two, three, four, and so on. Suddenly, a rather noisy grumble emerged from his stomach. Sam grinned silently, but that smirk quickly vanished as the angel's eyes looked up from the pages in which she had been studying.
"Is there a problem?" she asked dimly.
Dean cleared his throat. "Uh, no. It's just I'm human and there's certain things I need," he retorted bitterly. The angel placed John's journal gently on the table beside her. It amazed Dean how moderate she could be at times, and how quickly that could change into utter rage.
"If you're directing this towards some kind of sexual manner, so help me–,"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Dean interrupted hastily, "slow down there, tiger. No one said anything about gettin' some, so why don't you just have a seat?"
Claire's body stood dumbfounded for a moment, but promptly she continued, "I know how vilely your heart craves bodily lust, thus I assumed–,"
But Dean cut her off once more. "Well see, there's your problem. You should never assume – makes an ass out of you and me." She smiled smugly.
Sam swung his head around with a if she castrates you, don't cry to me look plastered on his face. The angel crossed her arms impatiently at this. "What is it you require then?"
Just then Bobby came through the door barring the loveliest thing Dean had ever set eyes upon – food. "Who's hungry?" Bobby asked, closing the door behind him.
"See? Now that's what I require!" and with that he hopped up, snatching a wrapped morsel from Bobby's hand.
"What are you, a foaming beast?" Bobby asked sarcastically.
Dean quickly unwrapped whatever it was he planned to consume, revealing a chicken teriyaki sub. Ordinarily, Dean would've thought of this as chick food, but his stomach was doing all the talking at the moment. "I am a beast," he said proudly after a moment.
Sam laughed as Bobby handed him a sub, and he took a seat beside Dean. Bobby pulled up a third chair and the three of them sat, devouring their meal and acting as if the angel wasn't even in the room at the moment even though she was less than five feet away from them.
She stood hesitantly for a moment, before mimicking the movement Bobby had done and pulled a chair up to the table next to Sam. All of them paused in their eating to glance at her. "So, uh, does Castiel eat?" she asked quietly, seeming a bit more human.
Dean snickered a bit at this. "Nah – but Jimmy sure can." Sam nodded in agreement at this, and Dean took a swig of his soft drink. The angel just stared blankly at him, watching as the liquid spilt down his throat. "Jimmy's his vessel," he said simply.
She nodded silently, her eyes just sort of staring off into space. "How do you know him, anyway?" Sam asked through a bite of his own sandwich.
Her eyes glazed a bit at his name, and Dean saw a flicker of a smile flash across her face but it was gone in an instant. "He's my superior," she replied.
"Hmm, I didn't know Cas was a superior," Dean mused.
Claire's head swung around and her eyes glared at Dean with the mention of this nickname. "That's Castiel to you," she spoke cynically.
"Okay, Castiel then," Dean mumbled miserably. He was certainly not accustomed to being told what to call an angel – his angel. And Dean almost squinted at this though. Since when was Castiel specifically his angel? Although, it was almost pleasing as Dean pictured Castiel in handcuffs. And suddenly he blinked furiously, wiping the image from his mind. Focus, Dean commanded himself.
"Speaking of which, where is he anyhow?" Bobby asked, "I mean, shouldn't you guys be playin' on the same team here?"
The angel sat hushed for a split second. Finally she raised her eyes to the group of hunters that sat before her. "It's best he isn't here at the moment – this task does not require him."
"Oh, and what task is that exactly?" Dean spat out, not even thinking of who he was talking to.
But the angel really didn't seem to have a problem with this tone, so score one for the Winchesters! Instead, she just folded her hands promptly on the table and stared at them. "There's another way," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Another way to what?" Bobby asked curiously.
"Another way to stop all Hell from rising to Earth," she responded, as if it were nothing – just casually talking about the weather or something.
Sam and Dean's eyes widen as they stared at each other in shock. "Well, what is it?" Sam questioned eagerly.
She sighed. "It's not a simple – game plan – as you one might say. There are still risks involved."
"And?" Dean countered, fervently, "It can't be any worse than saying yes to Michael, can it?"
Her eyes looked as if she were searching the room for an answer – perhaps she did not have an answer. Finally, she directed her gaze at him. "It is not important now, the time will come."
"The friggin' apocalypse is happening now, and you think this can wait?" Dean reacted angrily.
She placed her hand firmly on his shoulder, never breaking the staring contest that had been going on between them. "Have faith," she said in a low voice. At this, her eyes rolled back into her head, and Claire's head came smashing down onto the table.
"Holy shit," Sam exclaimed rising from the table, "Dean, what did you do?"
Dean raised his eyebrows in amazement. "I didn't do a thing," he almost laughed.
"I'll tell ya something," said Bobby, gently lifting her skull from the wood on which it had crashed, "I'm pretty sure Elvis here has left the building."
Castiel and Sasha had been driving for a good forty-five minutes now, the radio blaring as they sped down the open road. The sun was finally closing in over the trees, and Castiel sat back as Sasha went on cracking jokes which he simply didn't understand. But for no other reason than just to smile, he laughed at them anyway. At last, up ahead, he could see the shimmer of fluorescent lighting – oh how a gas station never looked so good. Almost immediately, he sat up in his seat, staring as they approached the small mini mart.
"Haha, jeez, calm down. You act like you've never seen a gas station in your life," Sasha laughed.
Castiel smiled, as the vehicle came to slowing halt. All the pumps were surprisingly empty as they pulled up to number three and Sasha hopped out. Castiel decided now would be a good time to find a phone and possibly get a hold of Dean. He only realized now how much he longed to actually hear Dean – his voice. Just to make sure that he was definitely alright – had to be alright.
He closed the passenger's door tightly behind him, placing his feet onto the dusty Earth. "Hmm, that's weird," Sasha remarked as she clicked the gas pump handle over and over again.
"What is it?" Castiel asked curiously.
"The gas doesn't seem to want to come out of here," she grunted, squeezing the handle with all her might.
"Allow me," Castiel offered, gently brushing her aside. Yet, with all of his angelic strength, he was unable to make a drop leave the tube.
"Don't worry about it," Sasha said, placing her hand gently on his shoulder, "I'll go ask the clerk about it."
Castiel watched as she began to make her way towards the door – she was such a graceful creature, gentle and non-threatening. She seemed to be the kind of person in which Dean, and all the other hunters, fought so hard to protect. He sighed, leaning against the side of the truck.
Sasha noticed the neon Open flickering as she pulled on the silver door handle. A musical jingle played as the door opened and closed. The inside of the store was more deserted than the pumping area. Slowly, she walked over to the counter. The security television was blank, dancing with tiny specs of black and white. She glanced down – ring here a sign read above a tiny metal ringer. She pressed it forcefully three times before shouting, "Hello?"
A loud smack nearly made Sasha jump out of her skin. Quickly she turned to the direction in which the sound had come from – it was the second isle away from her. Cautiously, she made her way across the linoleum and past the racks of candy bars. She wasn't entirely sure what she had expected to be down this isle, but when she turned the corner, she could see a man standing there facing away from her. He looked like a burly fellow of about six feet, and he just stood there – not like he had been looking for anything, just standing there.
"Excuse me," Sasha said fidgeting with her fingers, "the one gas pump doesn't seem to be working, and I'd really like to get on my way."
Swiftly the man turned and was soon inches from her. Her expression changed in horror as his eyes locked onto her, black as coal. "We'll get you on your way," he snickered, wrapping his large hand forcefully around her neck. Sasha began to squeal slightly as she struggled in attempts to break free from his grip. "Shhh," he whispered, placing a finger to his lips.
Castiel sighed as he examined his vessel's fingernails. Something was definitely not right – ordinarily when Dean and Sam pulled into one of these they just pumped their gas, paid, and left. This is taking far too much time, Castiel decided as he began walking to the front door. He opened it, and immediately his senses were filled with tension. He could feel the blood circulating through his fingers as he curved them into a fist. His eyes flashed around the room as he vigilantly rounded the corner of an aisle. Castiel could feel tears pricking his eyes and his jaw tightening at the sight in front of him.
A burly man, a possessed man, clutched Sasha tightly in his grasp. Castiel directed his eyes towards a knife that the man held in his hand. There was a drop of scarlet blood clinging to the blade's edge that was positioned next to Sasha's hip. He could see the stain on the lower part of her shirt, growing with every minute that passed as fresh blood spilt out of her. The once radiant expression that had lit up her face had long since vanished – all that remained now was the look of utter terror mixed with pain.
"Let her go," Castiel begged – he actually begged –, "she has nothing to do with this."
"Oh yeah?" the man questioned sarcastically. With that, he tightened his grip over her mouth as he returned the blade to the wound, twisting it in every direction. Sasha's eyes closed tightly as a muffled cry escaped her lips.
Castiel urged forward, but was quickly grip by two other demon scums. "Not so fast," one of them whispered into his ear. How Castiel wished so badly that his angelic abilities would be returned to him in this moment.
The burly leader yanked the knife from Sasha's injury, an almost invigorated sigh leaving him. "You really think it's that easy, pretty boy? See, we're not letting you off without getting something we want."
Castiel looked desperately from one to another, and then to Sasha. None of this was fair to her – this punishment she was facing all because she had helped him. "What is it you want?" he asked his voice hoarse.
The man licked his lips intently. "Since you're so buddy-buddy with the Winchesters, all we need you to do is tell us where they've been hidin' out," he replied eagerly.
Castiel's heart sank – it had been at least three days since he'd talked to Dean back at the motel. And even then, he wasn't sure of their more permanent residence of the moment. He shook his head after a moment. "I– I do not know."
The three demons laughed indignantly at his response – they obviously did not believe in his lack of knowledge towards the situation. "Really now?" the leader asked after regaining himself, "Wrong answer!" With that, he forcefully plunged the blade into a new place in Sasha's lower body. This time, he did nothing to silence the agony writhing from within her – instead, he almost seemed to enjoy it. Castiel pulled forward once more, longing to rip the man's heart from his chest. "For every lie you tell, the bitch will pay the price."
Castiel closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed hard. He could feel a strong lump building in this throat now. "I don't know, I swear," he murmured.
"Lies, lies, lies!" he screeched, dragging the blade across her pelvic region.
Sasha through her head back and shrieked through the tears that had begun to flow down her cheeks. Castiel watched in horror as her blood made a tiny waterfall streaming from her skin. "No," he gasped.
And suddenly, he could feel the ground quaking beneath him – although, he wasn't entirely sure how much of it was the ground, given the fact that he was shaking himself. A sort of energy was building inside of him, just waiting to be released. And in that moment, Castiel was no longer able to contain it. With a flash of intensity, he felt the skin on his vessel's back burst open allowing bloody feather and bone flap freely. He wings – his gorgeous and massive wings – smashing the faces the fiends that withheld him in their grasp, their bodies flying lifelessly onto the linoleum floor below. And there he stood, gasping in the marvel of his full potential.
Sasha's pain seemed to morph into simple shock, as the demon carelessly dropped her to the floor. He began to turn and run, but Castiel was faster – much faster. In the blink of an eye, he stood in front of the trembling devil, pinning him to a nearby wall. The man's face was impaled with such fear, it only made Castiel feel stronger. With a piercing gaze, he stared into the midnight of the demon, his eyes beginning to burn away the contamination – literally. Starting at the eye sockets, the man's face began to blaze away as white fire consumed it. At last the only remnant that remain was charred skin, and Castiel panted with satisfaction. But this feeling was short lived as he turned to the sound of an anguished woman – Sasha.
She was lying flat on her back, dreamily gazing up at the ceiling tiles. Her hand's clutched her body, desperately trying to keep her life stream contained. Castiel gently lifted her into his arms, watching as the life was vanishing from her. She looked at him, but it was almost as if she could see more – actually see him. Sasha raised a crimson stained hand to his cheek and planted it there. Her eyes searched his for a moment, before she barely whispered, "You really are from Heaven."
Castiel felt his heart pounding in his chest. "Yes – dear sister," he responded quietly. He wasn't entirely sure why he had said it though. Perhaps it was because she assumed the truth, and deserved enough to have her last suspicions confirmed. A slight smile flickered across her lips, and then her eyes lay still. As the last breath left her lungs, her palm slipped from his face leaving behind a bloody handprint. "Yes dear sister," Castiel repeated, laying her tenderly onto the floor if not just to look at her. Look at how she had bloomed so beautifully, and how quickly it was she had wilted.
Claire's eyelids fluttered open. Above her she could see two blurry faces hovering – as her focus became clear, however, it revealed that they were indeed Sam and Dean. She sighed as she sat up, now rubbing the pain on the front of her head. She glanced from Sam to Dean, both of their expressions tense. "You can relax guys, it's me." Almost instantly the look on their faces softened. "What happened?" she asked in a soft voice.
Sam narrowed his brow. "Don't you remember?"
"Oh yeah," Claire replied sarcastically, "we were just about to order pizza."
Dean chuckled slightly, before clearing his throat at Sam's irritated expression. "Let me ask you just one thing," Sam said, pulling yet another fake mustache maneuver, "when the angel said that you were chosen, what did you do?"
Claire sat there for a moment, fidgeting with her fingers. "I– I ran," she spoke hesitantly. Dean closed his eyes and sighed. "Why? What does that have to do with anything?" she demanded.
"Well, it looks like Queen Bitch herself found you," Dean replied.
Claire's eyes saddened, as she wrapped her arms around her knees. "Hey, it's okay. It's not your fault," Sam consoled, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"There's no way either of you could understand what I'm going through," she sniffled, tearing welling up in her eyes.
"Of course we do," Sam continued, "you know, we actually met another angel."
Claire turned to him in surprise. "You have? What were they like?"
Sam's eyes searched the room, almost as if he'd find answer scratched on one of the walls. "Kind," Dean interrupted, "Generous." Dean stared off in the distance – he was lost in his thoughts. "Castiel," he murmured quietly.
But not quiet hushed enough, for Claire had heard the word spill from his lips. In a shocking manner, she grabbed by shoulders and stared at him. "What did you say?"
Their gazes held for a moment, before Dean repeated himself. "Castiel – that's the angel's name."
Claire arose from the table on which she'd been sitting and began to pace back and forth across the room. "Castiel, Castiel, Castiel," was she kept whispering.
"Do you know him?" Sam asked after a moment.
Claire rubbed her forehead. "No," she replied shaking her finger, "but she does."
"Who does?" Dean asked in confusion.
"The angel," Claire turned to face Dean, pausing from pacing.
"But I thought you couldn't remember," Sam added.
Claire pulled out a nearby chair and took a seat. "I don't – it's like a blackout almost. But it's almost like I remember her thoughts."
Dean arose from his own seat, stretching and cracking his neck. "Well if you didn't just open a whole new bag supernatural," he remarked.
"Tell me about it," Claire sighed, giving him a slight smile.
"I hate to barge in on you're bondin' time here," Bobby intruded, "but I got a job I think you boys might be interested in."
Claire looked baffled at this switch in conversation. "A job? What kind of job?"
Sam glanced over at Dean who shot him a, don't you even dare look. But that never stopped Sam from spilling his guts about hunting before, so it certainly wouldn't now. "Uh, remember when I said we dealt with a lot of this stuff?"
"Yeah," Claire said, not entirely sure where he was going with this.
"Well, um, that's because we down and kill those kind of things," Sam tried to explained hesitantly.
Claire rubbed over her temples. "Wait," she said, "I'm confused. You hunt what things? Angels?"
"For crying out loud," moaned agitatedly, "No! Not angels – demons, ghosts, monsters, the works!"
"Well excuse me!" Claire shouted, slamming her fist on the table.
Bobby let out a whistle of surprise. "Anyhow," he continued, "It's upstate – Aberdeen."
"Well then, what are we waiting for?" Sam exclaimed enthusiastically, packing his belongings into his bag.
Dean began to mimic Sam's move, stuff his own artifacts away into the shadows of his nap-sack. Suddenly, Claire stood up. "I want to go to."
All three of the hunters paused in disbelief. "I don't think so princess," Dean said sarcastically, "why don't you sit this one out?"
"Cut the shit, Dean. I can do this," she urged.
Dean stopped what he was doing and took a step closer to her. "No – you can't. Just a moment ago, you didn't even know what hunting was and now you wanna be a part of it?"
"Dean, just think about it for a second," Sam added. Dean shot him an evil glare, but still Sam continued. "I mean, if she's got an angel buried inside her, maybe she could be useful."
Dean glanced towards Bobby for advice, but he remained silent. After a moment, Dean let out a long drawn sigh. "Okay, okay, fine."
"Oh yay!" Claire exclaimed jumping up and down, clapping excitedly.
Dean held up his finger to her as she were a small child who just ate too much sugar, "But one screw up and I swear, I'll drag your ass back here – angel or no angel."
Claire wrapped her arms around Dean, hugging him forcefully. She buried her head into the side of his neck and whispered gently, "Thank you."
Dean found himself reluctantly returning the gesture, curving his arms around the small of her back. He was amazed – she felt so fragile beneath his muscular frame. "Yeah, yeah," he muttered, finally pulling away, "I need a drink."
Sam slung his backpack over his shoulder with a laugh. "Thanks, Bobby," he said after a minute.
Bobby pat him roughly on the back. "Yep, now get on you idgits." Claire shot him a grumpy look, all out of good fun of course. "That means you too, Missy."
A wide smile spread across her face, before she smothered him with a hug and a tiny peck on the cheek. And with that, she was out the door, soon joining the brothers in the back seat of the Impala. The black leather squealed with delight at the weight of a passenger taking a seat on top of it. "Oh cool," Claire murmured, looking about what in her opinion was an old car.
Sam chuckled as he pulled a book from his bag, turning to the page where he'd left off. Claire leaned gently on the back of his seat, glancing at what it was his interests were directed in. Apparently, Sam was reading up on some kind of horoscope lore. Meanwhile, Dean was rummaging through a cardboard box filled with cassette tapes. "What'cha looking for?" Claire asked nosily.
"Music," he grunted pulling one out from the bottom of the pile, "get ready to hear some of the best rock n'roll of your life."
Claire giggled, leaning back. Soon enough, blaring guitar and drums traveled through the speakers. She tapped her foot to the beat as Dean spun the car out of the driveway and onto the open road, the engine rumbling all the while. She watched Dean's eyes in the rearview mirror – wide and alert. And my, how they shined in the early morning light – just flourishing with a delightful hazel. Everything about him just seemed so enchanting, Claire felt charmed merely in his presence.
Dean lifted his eyes into the glass to catch a glimpse of the road that was drifting fast behind him. There was really no point of this, given the fact that whatever road the Winchester's traveled it seemed to always be deserted. However, it still seemed like the perfect time to steal a glance – a glance of Claire perhaps.
Her silky blonde hair built a delicate frame surrounding her face, a small portion of it hanging amidst her eyes. When she realized that their sight had connected, she bashfully looked away – her cheeks becoming inflamed. Dean cleared his throat and concentrated hit focus onto the road. Sam just smiled and shook his head.
Dean could feel his own cheeks starting to burn up, but wouldn't allow it to show too much. The last thing he needed was feelings pricking up towards another angel – another angel. His thoughts traced over that for a moment. It had been nearly a week since he had seen or heard from Castiel, and that in itself was odd. In this moment, he just silently prayed Cas was alright, that he wasn't dead or anything. And Dean pondered on that for a moment – Cas dead. But he shook that from his head fairly quickly, for it was not something he wished to dwell on for long. Just the idea of him never being able to stand beside Dean again made Dean's heart thud.
Dean looked back in the rearview mirror again. Almost as if she had heard his thoughts, Claire's expression had changed to sullen and irritated. She directed her own eyes to his, sending a piercing glare his way. The back seat rustled as she crossed her arms tightly over her chest. This is gonna be a long drive, Dean thought pressing his foot harder on the gas pedal.
Castiel did not feel – it was not that he was miserable or upset – he simply did not feel. Not in this moment, at any rate. And all he could do was sit and watch as Sasha's corpse disappeared amidst the flame and ash. She deserves so much more than this, Castiel thought. Although, this was the better alternative compared to leaving her body to rot on the floor of a gas station. He shuttered slightly at this, focusing his mind onto something else. In the blazing shadows, Castiel could catch a glimpse of his immense wings
Ever since they had opened up, it almost seemed like his wings refused to conceal themselves. And this worried Castiel – quite a bit, in fact. He'd never openly revealed them before. Sure, he had flashed an outline of them in front of Dean when they had first met, in person that is, but that was merely a scare tactic. This, however, was something completely different – Castiel felt as if he was beginning to change, and he wasn't entirely sure of how this would shape him.
Every little thing that he did seemed to open a new door for him. Yet, all the doors to normality appeared to be shut and bolted – specifically the door that would lead him back to Dean. "Dean," Castiel whispered aloud. He longed to hear his own name on the tip of Dean's tongue, the sarcastic tone he always seemed to possess. Castiel leaned his head upward, closing his eyes, and folding his hands. It was not often that he used his vessel for prayer, but he felt that some sort of guidance was needed in this current situation.
"Father," he began, "I need your leadership in this moment. There's so much hate and confusion about this place. I– I'm not certain of what is happening to me, and I'm unable to find the Winchesters. Please, guide me in your direction and your will, Father."
He opened his eyes slowly and sighed. Unhurriedly, he arose from where he'd been sitting, the inferno that had been ablaze now smoldering into nothingness as he made his way around to the front of the building. He rounded the corner of the brick wall but suddenly stopped, grunting in pain. Castiel turned his head over his shoulder to glance behind him – a bolt sticking out of the mortar had caught onto one of his wings. He reached one of his arms behind him, jerking the wing fiercely and ripping it from the bolt. As he swung his arm back to the front of his body, he noticed that the tips of his fingers were stained in fresh blood.
Slowly he turned, looking at the dirt in which he'd just been standing upon. Three silky white feathers lay tinted in scarlet. Castiel held one in his hands, admiring its beauty. It had been such a long time since he'd roamed about in his true form. But he knew that was dangerous to many of the humans that inhabited the nearby area, so he dealt with such a minor desire. Although, he looked about cautiously, realizing that it probably wasn't the best interest to walk along the side of the road exposed as he was. He had noticed a small pine forest not far from the gas station. Silently, he rose up walking across the balding grass.
He pushed through a small patch of bramble upon his entrance, minuscule thorns making tiny openings in his vessel's hands. The fluorescent light of the mini mart had long since faded, and now he was surrounded with nothing more than woodland and the flickering moon to guide him. But this really didn't bother Castiel – in fact, he almost enjoyed it. For a forest, in his eyes, was just another creation to marvel at. And he indulged himself in the lovely pine scent that drifted through the air. Cautiously, he stepped over fallen logs and ducked under low hanging branches.
After some time of treading north, Castiel grew tired of the repeated pattern of woodland. He longed for a change in scenery – something that would pop out from the blur amidst him. Almost as if on cue, a gray shape caught his attention. He squinted a bit, making his way over to the distorted image. It was a small cave nestled in some fallen limestone – it didn't appear as if it ventured too deeply, just cavernous to hold his body comfortably though. With a grunt, Castiel kneeled down to the smooth stone floor and curled himself into a ball. The weariness of these past few days was really bearing down on him now, and he wasn't sure if he'd be able to make it to Dean in time.
In time, Castiel's mind drifted over this once more. In time for what? Was the question he really should be asking himself about now. Castiel closed his eyes and let out a long drawn sigh. He is alright, Dean will be alright, he silently assured himself. Dean has to be – there's no question.
And with that, Cas allowed vivid dreams to fill his mind. The muscles of his body loosened from their previously tense state, as he drifted off into a deep sleep. Although it was not filled with dreams so much as visions – visions that must've held a significant purpose, otherwise they would not have come. He could see Dean – of course – and Sam. Sam's face held a torn expression of fear and hate as he watched Dean on the floor below. Dean appeared to be on the ground against his own will – almost as he didn't have a choice in the matter. Above him towered an angel. An angel so furious and tainted, it would not be unimaginable for one to venture that she was indeed a demon.
Dean's gorgeous hazel eyes were wide in amazement as a silver blade slide out from beneath the angel's torso garment. All time seemed to run in slow motion. Silently, he could see Sam desperately calling out Dean's name, although no sound came to his lips. A wide smirk spread across the angel's lips and breathed in the air as if it smelled of daises and roses.
And finally, with a deep plunge that slashed just below Dean's ribs, it was over. His life, his breath, his love – it was all quite simply over. Castiel felt the fury that had bubbled up within him while in the gas station wash over him. Lightening struck the sky above, causing blinding sparks of electricity to fall to the earth. The winds churned in opposite directions, picking up anything in its path that was fragile enough to be lifted.
Castiel arose from the place in which had so quietly been lying. "No," he shrieked, his voice booming and hoarse. He could hear his voice echoing off the nearby trees in an almost mocking manner. But this cry had not been enough to drain the rage fully from. With all of his strength, Castiel clasped his hands together and slammed them into the wall of rock. A thick crack slivered up the side wall and towards the ceiling of the cavern. Bulky chunks of rock slid from their secured places, crashing to the ground below. Cas looked about nervously – he attempted to make a mad dash for the entrance but was quickly trampled by the falling stone.
He groaned in pain as tiny sharp rocks dug their way into his back, tearing the fabric of his trench coat and his skin simultaneously. His now bloodstained hands clung to the floor as he tried to pull himself from the rubble. His fingernails burrowed into the stone that lay beneath, but he got no more than a few inches more rock fell upon him. This time, the weight was so tremendous Castiel could simply not move.
At last the avalanche of rock ceased and Castiel was left to sputter and chock on the dust remnants. "Dean," he called, spewing tiny drops of blood from his lips, "I'll find you – I will save you." His eyes rolled back into his skull as the world around him seemed to fade.
Darkness filled the gaps in which his vision could not comprehend, shadows blurring all that lay about him. And finally, amidst the enclosing chaos, the rest is silence.
Dean had been driving for nearly the entire day. Overall, it had been a rather quiet ride – Claire had gone on about sweet nothings for a while, but grew hushed as the hours drew on. About an hour or so ago, Sam had whipped out his laptop researching on the internet. The florescent light emulating from the monitor offered a dim glow to the Impala against the dusk that was closing in around them. Finally, Dean pulled into the parking lot of a hotel and pulled the keys from an ignition.
"So what'ya find?" Dean asked, rubbing his hands over his face.
"Well, I did some looking into of the local legends and came up with this – Northern State University," Sam stated plainly, "Apparently some students have reported seeing a little girl roaming the halls."
Dean stretched his arms out and cracked his neck. "Think it's something we should check out?"
"Well, we did come all this way," Sam sighed, "And it doesn't sound too dangerous." He nodded his head towards the back seat where Claire lay sleeping, indicating that it not being too dangerous would be a good thing in this case.
"Right," Dean muttered turning to face the back seat, "Claire, wake up. We're here."
Gently he placed his hand on her forearm, shaking her slightly. She moaned softly, raising her arms into the air and yawning. "Where are we?"
"Super 8," Dean responded, sounding sarcastically happy as he hopped out of the driver's seat.
Sam snorted slightly. "Sleep okay?" He asked as he situated his laptop back into its carrying bag.
"Eh, alright for a car I guess," Claire replied giving Sam a slight wink. He then smiled at her and she returned the favor.
Fairly soon all three of them walked through the doors of the lobby and approached the front desk. A very unenthused looking clerk was busy doodling on a piece of paper, not even bothering to look up at Dean before asking, "What'ya need?"
Dean cleared his throat, placing a credit card on the counter. Claire read over the name that was printed on the card. "Beau Wyatt?" he mouthed questioningly to Sam.
Sam just smiled awkwardly before digging his hands deep into his pockets. "We need a room," Dean said promptly.
At the sound of Dean's stern voice, the clerk looked up in surprise. He batted his eyelashes before saying in a lispy voice, "Sure, Mister – Wyatt. We can put you up in a room." He smiled warmly at him, causing Dean to feel a little uncomfortable. At this, he popped his leather jacket collar and rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. "Here you are, Room 13. Two double beds equipped with other room essentials."
"Right," Dean muttered taking the key from the man's hand, avoiding physical contact by all means.
Three of them began to make their way down the hall and Dean turned to glance back over his shoulder. "Enjoy your stay," the clerk smirked and waved delightfully.
Dean shivered slightly at this, before hurrying his step to catch up with the others. "I dunno about you, but I think that guy was just a little off his rocks if you know what I mean?"
They came to a halt as Sam worked to unlock the door to their room. Claire snickered somewhat at Dean's remark. "C'mon, Dean, he was totally checking you out," she giggled. Dean's expression turned to sudden horror, and Claire laughed openly at this. After a moment, she regained herself before murmuring seductively, "Not that I blame him." Jerkily she grabbed Dean's ass before passing under the archway.
Dean's face lit up embarrassed, yet happily. Sam just sighed a rolled his eyes as they followed her into the hotel room. On the floor was spread a teal-tinted forest green carpet, lined against plain beige walls. A desk was set on the far right wall, bearing a television. There was a single painting, along with an air conditioner, coat rack, and window placed along the other walls. Over the window dangled crimson curtains that were much nicer than the ones in the previous place in which Dean had stayed.
And suddenly Dean was reminded of that long ago night – the night in which he and Castiel had shared a feverish moment amidst each other's mouths. He had then longed so much to return the affection in which Castiel had so passionately displayed, but did not. Why, he could not think of at the moment, but he had never the less. And as Dean thought over it now, he realized how much he sort of regretted that decision – and just how much he missed Cas. However, his thoughts were quickly interrupted by Claire's loud laughter breaking the barrier of his mind.
"I call dibs on this one," she shouted, flopping herself onto the bed closest to the window. She laughed as her face was eaten by the strange patterned sheets that held a combination of blue-grey, red, orange, and cream.
Dean glanced at Sam and then to the second bed. Sam furrowed his brow and searched the room for any other sleeping means. "Aw, come on man!" Dean protested, "There is no way I'm sharing with you!"
Claire covered her mouth in order to conceal a chuckle that was bubbling up inside her. Sam snorted at Dean's childish behavior. "I don't really think we have much a choice, Dean."
Dean took a peak behind him and noticed a inviting green lounge chair. "I'll mind the recliner," he said hastily, taking a seat. He smiled nervously as Sam turned around and tended to his belongings. Claire shot him a pouting puppy-dog face as if taking pity on him, but that quickly morphed into a beaming smile.
It seemed that whenever that angel bitch wasn't lurking around in her skin, she was a much more enjoyable person. But Dean supposed that goes for anyone being possessed by an angel, really. "So uh, we should probably get some sleep. We've got a job to do in the morning," Sam said, throwing a pillow over Dean's way.
"Right," Claire announced rising up, "I call bathroom!" Quickly she marched over to the far corner of the room and shut the white door closed behind her.
Sam smiled and shook his head. "Is it just me, or is she a little too excited about this?" he asked, unbuttoning his dress shirt and revealing the white wife beater underneath.
"Only a little," Dean agreed in sarcasm, taking off his shoes and letting out a long drawn sigh.
Sam was busily stripping down his day shirt in exchange for his pajamas, when Claire emerged from the bathroom. "Oh my," she gasped at the look of Sam's abs. With this, she turned away to shield her face.
Sam laughed as he slipped a black t-shirt over his head. "It's okay Claire, it's not like I'm naked or anything."
"Images, Sam – images," Claire retorted, hopping onto the bed and applying some hand cream.
She had now obviously changed into undergarments of her own – she wore a slim fitting white tank top along with a pair mustard colored short shorts. Dean traced the gorgeous tan of her legs all the way to her upper thigh – he swallowed hard, watching as she messaged the lotion into her skin.
"Uh, Dean," Sam snapped, "don't you have some business to attend to?" He gestured his hand in the direction of the bathroom before giving him a dude, you're sick look.
Slowly Dean arose from the recliner and made his way over to the bathroom. "Yeah, I bet you do," Claire muttered when Dean was just within earshot.
Dean glanced over to her with an embarrassed smile, before opening the door and stepping inside. Meanwhile, Sam slipped off his pants, now wearing nothing but a shirt and boxers. Neatly, he folded his jeans and fit them snuggly into the space in which the bedside table offered. "You're not like your brother, are you?" Claire asked attentively.
"Why do say that?" Sam asked, taking a seat on the edge of his bed.
"Well, I mean, not to be Captain Obvious or anything," she continued shifting onto her knees, "but Dean is all openly aggressive and shit, and you – you're more relaxed. Cool."
Sam smiled silently, dropping his eyes to the ground. After a pause he cleared his throat. "Dean and I are brothers, but we've shared two very different pasts."
"Such as?" Claire pried, leaning forward on the bed sheets.
Just then, Dean came out of the bathroom, wearing a plain t-shirt and his jeans – barefoot as well. Sam glanced at him before saying to Claire, "You should get some sleep."
"What? You got something against pj's?"Claire asked, nodding towards Dean.
Dean looked about at his attire. Finally he glimpsed upward, "Never really liked flannel," he commented. With that, he plopped down onto the recliner and folded his leather jacket over him like a blanket. Sam switched off the bedside light, and Dean laid his head on the fluffy pillow that was nestled behind him. He exhaled a deep sigh, before drifting off into sleep.
Dean expected the flames and screams to enter his mind once more, like they always did. He expected to feel his heart race in terror as his fingers swiftly glided over the tools of the trade – a fine collection of play things, as Alastair had once whispered to Dean amidst the hellfire. It was interesting how even though Alastair had long since died, the spine chilling sensation of his voice still crept under Dean's skin. Every night in Dean's dreams – nightmares – he always returned to that same corner of hell, where he would begin his practice under Alastair's watchful eye as if he had never been ripped from it all.
But he had been torn away from it - gripped tight and raised from perdition. Which is why Dean found a strange comfort in the plain dark room he stood in now. There were no flames, no souls to recollect upon – simply nothing. So you can assume that Dean was a bit startled at the sound of Castiel's voice calling his name.
"Hello, Dean," he said solemnly. His voice sounded quite different than usual – forced almost.
"Cas, is that you?" Dean asked, turning and squinting at the figure that stood behind him. Castiel took a few steps closer to him, revealing his face. "Jesus, Cas! What happened to you?" Dean eyed up the scrapes that were all over Castiel's face, along with the dirt and other rubble that clung to his trench coat.
Castiel flinched slightly at the Lord's name being taken in vein, but there were bigger things to get on with compared to scolding Dean. He paused for a moment, searching Dean's eyes. There was concern hidden deep within them – Has he missed me? Castiel pondered. He ignored Dean's question though, and moved onto one of his own. "Where are you now?"
Dean looked slightly taken aback by Castiel's abrupt inquiry, but went ahead to answer. "Uh, Super 8," he replied and Cas looked almost relieved at his response, "with Sam and Claire."
Cas's expression changed almost immediately as Dean stated those who were with him. "Claire, who is Claire?" Castiel urged, taking yet another step closer to Dean.
"Jeez, calm down. Who are you, William Shatner or something?" Dean asked, confused at Cas's sudden change.
"Dean, this is no time for jokes," Castiel scolded, "Who is this Claire woman that is with you – I need to know."
Dean cleared his throat and said, "I thought you'd be the one to know. One of your angel bums decided to take her meat suit for a ride." Castiel closed his eyes dreadfully, and turned away from Dean. "Cas, what's wrong?"
"Verchiel," Castiel replied quietly.
Dean crossed his arms over his chest. "Come again?"
Castiel turned to face Dean once again. "The angel that's possessing your friend – we call her Verchiel. She was one of my best subordinates," Castiel clarified glancing towards the empty ground on which they stood.
"Was?" Dean asked, still a bit confused at where Castiel was going with all this.
"Some, how would you say, differences set us apart – you. You need to get as far away from her as possible," Castiel came very close to Dean's face now, so that Dean could feel his steamy breath on his chin.
Dean laughed slightly at how serious Castiel appeared to be. "Dude, I don't think so. This poor girl is scared and helpless, and you just want us to ditch her somewhere?"
Castiel sighed in irritation. "There's a bigger picture here, Dean–,"
"Damn it, Cas! There always has to be a bigger picture, doesn't there?" Dean interrupted.
Castiel looked upward towards the heavens that ceased to exist in this place. Silently he walked over to a chair that just magically appeared and took a seat. "Dean," he began placing his chin in his hands, "there is more to Claire than simply the vessel. There is an angel inhabiting her body, and she is far worse than anything you've ever encountered. She is ruthless beyond your recognition."
Dean had been leaning against the back of the chair, clutching its frame beneath his fingers. He bent over slightly, until his face was in level with Castiel's. "Cas, I can't leave her alone to deal with this," he said, his voice calm again.
Castiel could feel the skin around his face and neck becoming heated. "And why is that?" he hollered, quickly rising up from the chair, "What is about this girl that you simply cannot draw away from? Is it some kind of lustful nature about her body? Have you ever considered that there is much more to a woman than just her sensuality, Dean?"
Dean was at a loss for words momentarily – had he really just been verbally bitch slapped by Castiel? "Well excuse me, but I didn't think I said anything about her body!" Dean retorted, "All I said was that I couldn't leave her by herself to deal with this!"
"How is it that–," Castiel cut his words off, closing his lips tightly. He sighed deeply out of aggravation.
"Whoa, whoa. How is it what?" Castiel remained silent for a moment. "Cas, tell me what you were going to say," Dean commanded.
Castiel allowed his eyes to slip shut for a split second before returning his gaze towards Dean. "How is it that you can stand obediently beside a stranger, yet you would abandon your brother in his darkest hours?"
Dean blinked vigorously, taking a step away from the angel. "What are you talking about?" He asked, his voice barely touching a whisper.
"You had a choice, Dean," Castiel murmured, "You didn't have to make that deal in the first place."
"And what was I supposed to do?" Dean choked, fighting the lump that was arising in his throat.
Castiel rubbed his hand back and forth over his forehead. "Pray – call out. I would have heard you, Dean. I've been listening all along." With that, he gently placed his hand on Dean's shoulder – the feeling of leather beneath his fingers had never felt so good.
"Well," Dean whispered bitterly, "thanks for nothing." He allowed one salty tear to drop from his eyes before pulling away from Castiel and vanishing into nothing.
Castiel was left to stand in the emptiness of Dean's dream. He wrapped his arms around himself and returned to his seat on the nearby chair. "You misunderstand me, Dean," Castiel said into the barren space surrounding him, "there have been many times that I wanted to deliver you from your tortures, but that would've been considered disobedience. Dean, I would have disobeyed for you – I have disobeyed for you."
Castiel arose slowly, pacing back and forth in the stillness of the air. His hands were locked behind his back in that good soldier-like manner. "I left perfection for you, Dean. I even killed my own brothers for you – always for you," Castiel allowed tears to flow freely from himself for a moment, before anger coursed through his veins, "And this is how you repay me?"
Castiel turned to the chair that sat contently – obediently – in the obscurity of the shadows. His hands gripped it firmly, handling its thin frame between his fingers. It vaguely reminded Castiel of how it felt to lay his upon Dean for the first time – feeling the burnt skin touching his own, and allowing grace to fill the soul of Dean Winchester for the first time in forty years. But this only made Castiel's soul rage even more – rage wildly with bewilderment and jealousy. Rapidly, he threw the chair to the ground and continually beat and punched it into hundreds of pieces. A shrill cry escaped his lips as he smashed his hand down upon a ragged edged portion. A rather large hole had now been punctured through his vessel's hand, and Castiel worked quickly to pull the splintered wood from the wound.
He watched in a daze as crimson blood flowed freely and spilt out of his palm. He hadn't been this battered and bruised since Uriel had fought him, and Castiel could only imagine the blood that would be spilt when he and Verchiel faced off – which he was sure was bound to happen, by the way. And once more his thoughts drifted back to how unfair the situation was – again, the word jealousy rising to his mind. Castiel pondered over this for a moment, thinking whether or not he truly was envious of Dean's determination to hold onto this woman.
Yes, Castiel decided silently. He now realized that he was indeed letting these emotions, and sins, overcome him and that it was inevitably destroying him. With a thud, he fell to his knees and opened his arms wide. "Oh, Father!" he cried, wet tears sliding down his cheeks, "Why have you forsaken me in this strange land? Why do you not come to me when I need you most?" He curled his body into a ball, allowing himself to be enveloped by the flooring beneath him. Castiel shut his eyes tightly and prayed for hope and guidance to just fill his soul.
Almost as if on cue, a bright light flashed upon him. Castiel opened his eyes, but quickly closed them again, to spare them from the blinding light. Soon enough it settled, however, becoming less intense to his weary eyes. Before him stood a silhouetted man, whose face soon became familiar to him as it approached.
He was of a fair complexion, bearing bright green eyes, along with thick brown hair and a beard to match. He also wore a traditional robe that was of a beige color – it suited him quite nicely. "Sariel," Castiel murmured in disbelief, as the man held out his hand to Castiel.
Castiel gladly took it, being pulled up weightless beneath Sariel's strength. "Yes brother," he replied warmly, "it has been far too long." He embraced Castiel warmly with a hug, before pulling away to examine him. "Castiel, what has happened to you – you appear damaged."
Castiel's full name – and not the nickname Dean given to him early on – sounded strange to his ears. He looked shamefully towards the ground before replying sullenly, "Humanity is tainting me."
Sariel stroked his beard thoughtfully. "It saddens me to hear you say such a thing," Sariel said humbly, "Is it not why you stay? For the sake of a particular human?"
Castiel gasped abruptly at his brother's words, glancing up at him quickly to ponder what it was he meant. "I do not understand," he murmured.
Sariel took hold of his brother's hand, scanning over scarlet wound. He directed his thumb, pointer, and middle finger upward, folding the rest back. In circling motion he ran them over the wound, the skin beginning to renew itself as he did so. Castiel inhaled deeply, feeling the cleansing power of renewal rush over him. "Dean Winchester needs you," Sariel said finally, after a pause, "and you have been commanded to come to his aide."
Castiel ran his hand back and forth over his forehead. "I realize – I just fear he will not accept me, not now," he responded dimly.
Sariel delicately placed a hand on Castiel's shoulder. "Dearest brother, is that not why you love him?" Castiel searched Sariel's eyes deeply, "For you know it matters little whether he accepts you now, in this moment. In time, he will come to see your efforts and will love you just the same."
Castiel nodded silently, fighting the lump that was building in his throat. "Why do you help me, Sariel? Why not turn your back on me like the others?" He blinked away the tears that were coming to his eyes.
Sariel took a step back and looked over Castiel once more. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. Remember, Castiel, love always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." He breathed in deeply at this, and stretched his arms wide. Gracefully, two pure wings revealed themselves from behind Sariel's back. He looked up at Castiel and smiled, "You asked for guidance, and so I have come."
Castiel returned a smile, grateful to his brother for his gentle manner and kind spirit. Slowly Sariel approached him once more, placing two fingers upon Castiel's head. Castiel was propelled far off into the universe transformed by simple tranquility.
Castiel gasped at the sudden cold that flowed around him. His breath made steamy puffs into the air surrounding him. He looked above at the chilled white flakes that were falling to the ground below. He held out his hand, allowing the droplets to crash into it and quickly melt away. He had seen snow before in his lifetime, but never had he been given the chance to simply stand and marvel in it. And my, how the snowflakes stood out with much contrast against deep blue twilight.
It was now obvious that Castiel was no longer in the forest in which the cave had crumbled upon him. Sariel had apparently transported him to a far better location – a position much closer to Dean. Castiel could plainly feel that Dean was close within his presence. He had said that they were staying at a Super 8, so that's a start. All he basically had to do now was discover where this hotel was, and go to find Dean. That of course, would be much easier said than done. If Verchiel had her way, the Winchesters would be dead before Castiel even touched base with their locality.
Castiel closed his eyes gently, feeling the fluttering of his wings behind him. He exhaled after a moment before taking flight. Above the mounds of snow he soared at massive speeds, wanting nothing more than to be with Dean. To actually be with Dean – not in dreams of bitterness and quarrel. And so he pushed on past it all, searching wildly for his final destination where he would find Dean and captivate his heart. A sister lost, a lover gained, Castiel assured himself.
Dean lay asleep in the hotel recliner, tears still moist on his eyelashes. Suddenly, he was jolted awake by the firm feeling of a hand on his shoulder. His eyes flashed open, revealing the blonde haired girl that had been traveling with them – only it was not so much her as it was the angel. Verchiel, the name swam across Dean's mind at first glance of her. He cleared his throat before simply stating, "Personal space, thanks very much."
Verchiel looked awkwardly at him for a moment prior to shuffling back a good foot or two. He could see that she was kneeling, as if she had been watching him or some stalker shit like that. "Hello, Dean. What is it you were dreaming about?"
What was it with these angels about having to know every little factor about a person? Did they want to know when he had to take a shit too? On that note, Dean proceeded to rise out of the chair in which he had been sleeping. "None 'yours," Dean replied smart assily. He grinned slightly at this – sometimes he just cracked himself up.
He was just about ready to take a step away from the angel when she forcefully placed her palm upon his chest, slamming him back into his seat. "Wrong," Verchiel stated, leaning over Dean with authority, "You were speaking with Castiel?"
"So?" Dean responded, "What is it to you?"
"I want to know what he said to you," Verchiel commanded, now only inches from Dean's face.
"Yeah, and people in Hell want ice water," Dean said bitterly, obviously not taking pleasure in this little showdown here.
Verchiel moved her hands from the tips of the armrest onto Dean's wrist, putting on enormous pressure almost like a locking mechanism. "You're trapped – you have no choice," she muttered matter of factly.
Dean glanced around the room for a moment, before tugging with all his strength. Although, her hands were like lead weights and were not easily to be moved. He clamped his jaw tightly glaring at her. A smug grin came across her mouth with a satisfactory expression posed upon the rest of her face. Finally Dean came to his wits about the situation. "Oh yeah?" he chuckled, "How's this for a choice?" With that he lifted his lips to Verchiel's vessels, kissing them moistly.
Verchiel just stood there momentarily – not returning the kiss, but merely standing there like some moron. Finally, she pulled away, just gazing into nothingness. Dean quickly arose from the chair and took a few steps away from her, his heart racing in his chest. He hadn't felt this exuberated since Castiel had laid his lips upon him – Must be an angel thing, Dean decided quickly. Verchiel blinked vigorously for a second before turning towards Dean, fury burning in her eyes. She raised her fist high into the air prior to sending a vicious punch right into Dean's cheek.
Dean's body was slammed to the floor, but the torture was not about to stop there. With a rough stomp of her foot, Verchiel caused a loud crack to emulate from Dean's spine. Dean gasped at this, being that he had just gotten the wind knocked out of him simultaneously. Suddenly, the door to the hotel room crashed open with Sam Winchester to the rescue. "Hey!" he hollered.
Verchiel turned enraged, now directing her anger towards Sam. She began to charge at him from the position in which she was standing. Sam tensed, but stood solid in his defensive stance – just as she came close enough, however, he whipped out a metal coin and pressed it forcefully to the vessel's forehead. Verchiel screamed loudly, falling back in pain as a sizzling smoke emulated from her head. This reminded Sam slightly of a demon after being splashed with holy water.
He could see a red burn mark printed onto the skin of her forehead, but quickly glanced away to attend to Dean. "Are you okay?" Sam asked, kneeling down towards his brother.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Dean coughed sitting up, "Dude, what did you do?"
Both of the brothers watched her for a moment before looking back at one another. "Uh, I pressed a Zodiac Charm against her," Sam replied hastily.
"What?" Dean asked, still befuddled.
"I'll explain later," Sam said, moving over to help who was now Claire.
"Oh," Claire sighed, wincing at the pain that was throbbing from her forehead, "Sam?" Sam nodded silently, helping her up off the floor. "What did you do?" she asked in bewilderment.
"Well, I used this charm to calm the angel," he stated simply, holding up the zodiac coin.
Claire took a seat on the nearby bed. She wondered, "How'd you know it would work?"
Sam cleared his throat in slight embarrassment. "I didn't," he confessed, "but it was my only shot."
"Oh," Claire murmured while twiddling her thumbs.
"Claire, is there something you're not telling us?" Dean coughed.
"Claire lowered her eyes towards the ground before answering, "Wh- Why would you think that?" She avoided eye contact with the brothers as she asked.
"Oh, I dunno," Dean said sarcastically, "maybe cause a freaking angel shows up and decides to ride you around for no particular reason."
Sam leaned forward on the bed slightly, awaiting Claire's answer. She hesitated for a moment before responding, "I didn't actually think it would work."
Dean glanced over to Sam and Sam likewise. "Didn't think what would work?" they asked simultaneously.
Claire sighed. "It was just a stupid ad," her voice trailed off.
"It's okay," Sam urged, "you can tell us."
Her eyes searched the room desperately for the words she wanted to speak. "I was just browsing around on Facebook," she began, "there was this ad, Find Your Angel, you know the type I mean. I was bored so I thought, 'What the heck?'"
Dean licked his lips thoughtfully. "Hold up a second – this Facebook, what is it?"
Claire curved her eyebrows in confusion. "You're kidding me right?" she asked, dumbfounded.
Dean looked slightly taken aback, thus glanced towards Sam for support. "He doesn't get out much," Sam smiled, a little embarrassed, "So what happened next?"
"Well, you know, I took the survey thing and I got the result, The Angel of Affection is Watching over You, or some shit like that. I didn't understand a word of it, mind you, so I looked on Google for some info – I came across this one site, it offered a ton of stuff on this so called angel of affection," Claire rubbed her forehead, blinking away the tears that were being drawn to her eyes, "I honestly don't know what came over me, but after that day something changed."
"Something like what?" Dean asked intently.
Claire's locked onto his own as she spoke, "All my life, I've never trusted in anything – never fully believed. But once I read about this angel, a sort of faith just came over me. I prayed, actually prayed about it. Can you believe that? I just asked for this angel to come into my life and bless it – give it real purpose or something." A single crystal rolled down her cheek at last as she allowed her eyelids to slip shut for a split second.
Dean watched her as she let out what she had kept buried deep inside. Faith – it was something unknown to him as well. And Dean was vaguely reminded of what Castiel had said to him upon the day of their first meeting. "What's the matter?" he had asked, "You don't think you deserved to be saved." Which was true, Dean did not believe it – still did not believe it.
Sam snorted slightly. "It didn't happen to say this angel was the guardian of month of August, did it?"
Claire thought for a moment. "Now that you mention it, it did say something about it guarding the sign of Leo or some shit. Why?"
Sam held up the zodiac coin in which he clutched between his fingers. Engraved in its dazzling silver was a ferocious lion, roaring out towards the universe. "Ironic," Sam murmured.
"Verchiel," Dean said suddenly. Both Claire and Sam looked at him, not fully understanding what it was he was saying. "It- it was the name," Dean began, arising from his chair while performing a fake mustache maneuver, "Cas told me."
"Cas told you about this angel? When did you talk to him?" Sam asked, still confused.
"Last night," Dean replied, but Sam still didn't seem to comprehend, "in my mind. He told me that the angel's name was Verchiel and she was one of his subordinates or something."
"Huh – did he say what she wanted?" Sam continued, trying to come to the bottom of all this.
"Nah," Dean responded plainly, "he only said she was dangerous – yeah, angel of affection my ass."
"Maybe, she only shows affection to other angels," Claire suggested, shrugging her shoulders.
Sam glanced from Claire to Dean. "You don't think her and Cas–,"
Dean didn't even allow Sam to finish. "No!" he burst, "Cas even told me he never had a chance to get his angel rocks off."
Sam just raised his eyebrows and sighed awkwardly. He wasn't entirely sure why Castiel and Dean would've been discussing their virginity, or lack thereof, but he just didn't want to go there. "Well, whatever the case," Claire said, "she obviously doesn't like you very much."
"Yeah," Dean chuckled in agreement.
The three of them just stood there in silence – no words, no noise, just utter silence. Finally Sam cut in, "Hey, don't we have job to do?"
Dean cracked his neck and began to gather his things, "Yeah, what'ya say we get this show on the road?"
Sam and Claire began to mimic Dean's move of packing their belongings. As they made their way towards the door Claire muttered, "I think we've done enough damage at this popsicle stand."
Sam chuckled slightly, the same with Dean. Fairly soon the three were seated in the Impala speeding their way to roam the halls of Northern State University in search a child's long forgotten spirit.
Dean, Sam, and Claire had been driving south east for a good forty five minutes before they reached the university. All three of them gazed at the multitude of students gathered in front of the large brick building. Dean slowly steered the Impala down the street and smoothly rounded the corner.
"Um, I don't know if you saw," Claire laughed, "but the building was that way." She directed her finger behind her, in the direction of the university which was slowly shrinking in the rearview mirror.
Dean pulled into the parking lot of a nearby convenience store and pulled the keys from the ignition. "I know," Dean muttered, rummaging through a pile of fake IDs, "but we need some insurance first." He smiled gleefully, holding up three researcher journalists credentials.
"Uh, Dean," Sam asked, pulling on them from his hand, "all of these are men – with beards." Dean gripped his brother's head lightly, and turned towards the far part of the parking lot.
"Eureka," Dean muttered sarcastically, pointing towards a navy colored photo booth.
"I'm not sure I follow," Claire said, still baffled at what it was they were getting at here.
"Follow me," Dean simply ordered, opening the door. Sam and Claire did as they were instructed, removing themselves from the car, and following Dean speedily towards the photo booth. Dean opened the tattered and faded green curtain, revealing a metal stool in which to sit upon. "Ladies first," he said, gesturing his hand towards the inside.
"You're kidding right?" Claire giggled, stepping inside, "I haven't been in one of these things since I was a kid."
Sam smiled and leaned gently against the side of the machine. Dean popped a few quarters into the change slot. "Just try to look professional." Claire tried her best, not smiling too wide and positioning herself at different angles for the shots. Finally a small strip of film flowed out of the side, revealing her portraits. "What are you, a model or something?" Dean smirked teasingly.
"Okay, hotshot, let's see you do better," Claire replied smugly, pushing him into the booth.
Sam snorted slightly, watching as a white flash clicked several times before Dean stepped out. Soon enough his pictures were developed as well, and although he didn't look terrible, he certainly did not look his best. "You look like a poster boy for birth control," Sam joked.
Claire chuckled as Dean punched his brother playfully in the arm. "Ah, bite me," Dean laughed. Finally it was Sam's turn, and he looked the most convincing of them all of course. With Sam, maturity and professionalism were a given – he just had that umph some might say. At any rate, they all made their way back to the Impala, where Dean and Sam quickly got to work.
With a combination of quick wits, a utility knife, and some clear-drying glue, they were able to conceal the bearded men and transform them into realistic IDs. Claire clutched hers tightly in her hands before reading the name aloud. "Leslie Young – literature journalist specialist?"
"What? Leslie's a unisex name," Dean replied, running a comb through his hair. Sam laughed somewhat while straightening himself up at well.
Claire smoothed out her clothes and messed around with her own hair as well. "Yeah, but what I do exactly?"
"Look," Dean explained, turning to face her, "if anyone asks, we're a team of researchers from outta state working on a project."
Claire leaned forward, still unenthused, "Of?"
"Historical building information and architecture," Sam interrupted.
Dean smiled sarcastically. "What he said," he murmured, stepping out of the car.
Speedily, the team made their way down the sidewalk, and past the crowds of students. At last they reached the walk way which stretched towards the campus. Thin trees scarce with leaves zoomed past them as they walked, creating shadows the came and went over their faces. After all, they reached the front of the main building, where Sam proposed their scheme. "Alright," he began, "I'll start with interviews, talking to the students and such. You two, see what you can dig up on the history of this place – anything and everything. We'll meet in the cafeteria in about an hour."
"Right," Dean agreed, "follow me, rooky."
Claire tightened her jaw in aggravation, running after Dean as he sped away. "You're really pushing your luck," she whispered under her breath.
Sam just chuckled and shook his head. He followed the directions which were given on the school map over to Jerde Hall, and proceeded to make his way to the fourth floor. According to what he had read, this is where the students had most often reported the occurrences. Gradually he climbed the flights of stairs – one after another, after another. Finally he reached his destination and, to his surprise, the hall was not abandoned but filled with life. Many a student cluttered the halls, jabbering on about topics related to their majors.
This vaguely reminded Sam of his college days – those innocent, apple pie days when there was little to worry about in the world. Dean and John weren't apart of his life, but that was okay because there was plenty else to keep him busy. Like becoming a lawyer, for instance. Or wanting to marry Jess – or just anything really. But those days had long since passed, so there is no point in dwelling on them Sam supposed. Still, this atmosphere fit naturally with him, and he couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he had just blown Dean off that night he had come to him. If he had left Dean alone to deal with Dad's disappearance and all that followed after. Although, the main question that arose to his mind was, Would Dean still have gone to hell? After all, if Sam hadn't hunted with him, he never would've been killed by Jake – that insolent bastard – and Dean never would have made the deal to begin with. But still, what's done was done and Sam couldn't undo it – simple as that.
"Need a hand there, pal?" a voice echoed from behind him. Sam turned to see a young redheaded man standing near him. "You look a bit lost," he continued.
"Oh," Sam chuckled, getting his bearings, "uh, maybe you can help me."
"Okay," the man agreed, crossing his arms over each other in a relaxed stance.
Sam pulled out a small tablet and a pen, and began his story. "I'm with a small group of researchers who are looking into local legends of the area. Tell me, do you know anything about the supposed haunting of this building?"
The ginger rubbed his upper lip in thought. "Off hand, I couldn't tell you much," he said after a moment, "but if you to talk Nikki over there, she might be able to tell you more." He pointed over to a deep, black haired woman who seemed to be popular amongst her crowd.
"Thanks," Sam smiled making his way over to the group of girls. Politely, he sifted through the crowd until he reached her. "Excuse me, are you Nikki?"
The woman turned from that who she'd been addressing, eyeing Sam from head to toe. "Yeah, that's right," she muttered, chewing her bubble gum obnoxiously, "Who wants to know?"
"Well, you see, I was just talking with a fellow classmate and he told me that you might be able to tell me about the supposed haunting of this building." Nikki's expression softened and all her friends that were near drew quiet. Sam glanced at each of them before returning his gaze to Nikki.
"I suppose it's no secret what's happened here," she said, fidgeting with her fingers, "why do you want to know?"
"Oh, some friends and I are just looking into local legends," Sam lied.
Some of her friends eyed him suspiciously, but made no objection when Nikki spoke – it was like she had control of the pack, so to speak. "Sure, I guess. But why don't we talk somewhere more quiet – for concentration?" Sam nodded silently, and followed her into a nearby dorm room.
It was a brightly decorated room, filled with vibrant yellows and greens, all in a modern and pop styling. "Have a seat," she offered, pointing to a polka dot chair that was situated next to a desk. She plopped down onto a fluffy looking beanbag and folded her hands in her lap.
"So," Sam began a little awkwardly, "uh, what can you tell me about the building?"
She scratched the back of her head. After a pause she responded, "Not much. I came here a few months ago because they offered programs that interested me more so than other colleges."
"Okay, so what's happened between then and now?" Sam continued.
"Oh, more than you would believe," she muttered in an almost sarcastic tone.
Sam narrowed his brow. "Come again?"
Nikki sighed before rising from her seat and walked over to the nearby mini fridge. "There are some tales," she began, "about a little girl who haunts this building. They say she was kidnapped by some pervert janitor who tortured and killed her here. I didn't believe it at first but–." Her voice trailed off as she bit her lip in frustration.
"What happened?" Sam urged.
Nikki ruffled her hair a bit and retrieved two water bottles from the compact refrigerator. She tossed one to Sam as she opened the other and gulped it down. "I was out late one night, I must've only gotten back here around four or so. I was so tired, I just climbed right into bed. Anyway, I woke up not too long after that cause I felt something moving on my bed. When I opened my eyes, there was this girl sitting on the end of my mattress. She lifted her finger to keep me quite, but I just screamed – screamed my heart out until there was no air left in me."
Sam looked up – he'd been jotting down notes as Nikki talked, and only now had he noticed tears had sparked to her eyes. He raised a hand and gently placed in on her knee in sympathy. "It's okay," he murmured, "just try to go on."
"Her face," Nikki choked, "her face." With that, she shielded her own face in her hands and let out a sob.
Sam placed a hand comfortingly on her shoulder. "Shhh," he soothed.
Just then, footsteps emerged from the other portion of the room. Sam could see a figure distorted in the patterned glass which decorated the wall. Another young woman soon came out from behind it, however, asking, "What's going on here? Nikki!" Quickly, she was at her friend's side. "Who the hell are you?" she spat.
"I, was, uh– ," Sam stuttered.
"It's okay," Nikki added, through sniffles, "Talk to him, I – I have to go." She got up and headed into the other room, wiping her eyes as she walked.
The other woman resumed Nikki's seat. She looked at Sam, he expression being much more calm now. "What happened?" she asked.
"She was just telling me about her ghost experience," Sam replied.
"Oh, that," the woman responded, running a hand through her hair, "how much do you know?"
Sam glanced down at his notes. "She was just telling me about how the little girl was on her bed – Nikki started freaking out about her face?" he questioned.
"That's what she told me too, but I wasn't actually there," the woman confessed, "I heard this loud slam of a door or something, and then Nikki screaming. I jumped out of bed, I was scared shitless. I thought she was getting raped or something honestly."
Sam tapped the pen lightly against the edge of the tablet. "Has anybody else said anything about this little girl?"
"Well, there were a couple people over the years who have supposedly saw her. Um, one said she appeared in their mirror and then vanished. Another just heard her laughing at them and calling their name," the woman informed him, "A tricky little bitch she is."
Sam chuckled somewhat at her last remark. "Well, thanks for your time," he said pushing in the chair he had been sitting in, "and tell Nikki thanks as well. I didn't mean to upset her."
"Oh no, that's okay," the woman said while leading him to the door, "I guess when you experience something like that, it really changes you."
"Yeah, I guess," Sam replied. With that, he stepped out of the dorm room and back into the hallway. He really hadn't gathered a whole lot of information, but at least he had gotten firsthand account. That ought to be just fine for the moment – now it was back to Dean and Claire.
Claire had immediately taken Dean to library, diving into books by the armful. Dean, on the other hand, had resorted to more technological means. He scanned through internet links, reading story after story, collecting data as he went along. After a time, he glanced over to the table behind him to watch the beautiful blonde haired woman dig through pages.
She looked up innocently from a thick binding. "What?" she asked simply.
Dean grinned slightly, before licking his lips and standing up. Smoothly he walked over behind her and peered over her shoulder. "Oh, I just couldn't help but notice how much of a book worm you are," he replied casually.
Claire gave him a smile, looking like a small child as she gazed up at him. "And why is that?" she responded, shaking her head slightly to remove the hair from her face.
Dean slid out the chair and sat down beside her. He leaned his head on his hand, which was propped against the table now. "You just don't seem like the type," he murmured, lifting his other hand to gently push the remaining hair away. Purposefully, Dean allowed his hand to caressing slide down her cheek.
Claire closed her eyes, allowing a beaming smile to spread over her lips. She slid a hand tenderly up and down Dean's arm before asking, "Then what type of woman to you take me for?" She never once opened her eyes.
"Charming," Dean began, lightly kissing the back of her hand, "Wild, adorable, gorgeous, and my personal favorite – sexy." He intensified the word, continuing his kisses up her arm as he ravished her in compliments.
She murmured softly in satisfaction, sighing deeply as Dean tickled her neck with his lips. Claire swallowed deeply before whispering, "Is that so? I think sexy could be used to describe more than one of us." She bit her lip seductively, raising her eyebrows.
Dean just couldn't hold out any longer. Forcefully, his lips plunged onto hers, creating a slobbery mass between them. Claire's fingers played with the short strands of his hair as their tongues intermingled with each other. Dean very much enjoyed the taste of her cherry lip gloss, savoring every bit of flavor as he began to suck on her bottom lip. Claire let out a muffled gasp while Dean's hands ran up and down every curve of her clothed body. She felt he hands cup over her breasts before gradually sliding downward. Dean felt a low moan tingling in his throat, and suddenly something about this just became very uncomfortable to him.
He had thought about what it would've been like if he and Castiel had pursued their desires that evening in the motel room, and now he was reminded of how much he had wanted to go through with it all but chose not to. He could almost feel the angel's uncertain hands running over his skin, burning every spot it touched. He smelled the sweet scent of Castiel's innocent, and a sinking feeling began to emerge in the pit of Dean's stomach. He recalled upon the hole that had been gradually carved inside of him during the unbearable years of hell. It seemed that because of Castiel this hole was healing, filling with warmth and affection as their relationship grew. Yet, as Dean lustfully brushed his fingertips over Claire's body, a pang of guilt filled his heart. It's not like he owed any sort of loyalty to Castiel – was it?
At any rate, Dean was almost thankful you might say, for the abrupt cough that arose from behind them. There stood a middle aged librarian, wearing a traditional attire – loose fitting clothes, glasses, and a very strange smelling perfume. "What does this look like? A whore house?" her voice was shaken but still quiet at the same time. "Out," she commanded sternly, pointing towards the doorway. Dean and Claire quickly straightened themselves out like a pair of two horny teenagers that had just been caught by mom and dad – horny and caught yes, but that was well besides the point. Dean stuttered with coughs a bit, pointing to the mess of books that lay scattered around the table. "Just go," the librarian repeated, closing her eyes in dismay.
They both did as they were instructed, quickly fleeing to the exit. Once they had gotten past the nerdy spectators and out to the concrete stairs Claire let out a tremendous laugh. She was almost turning purple, and so she bent over and placed her hands on her knees gasping for air all the while. Dean chuckled because it just seemed like the thing to do in this moment. He placed his hand on her back, leaning over gradually. "Are you okay?" he asked between gasps.
Claire wiped away the tears that had come to her eyes and smiled at him. "Yeah," she choked, "I haven't had this much fun in ages."
"Wow, did I miss something?" Sam called, lightly jogging up the short flight of stairs.
Dean wiped his forehead with his hand before replying, "Apparently crabby librarians aren't getting some."
Sam smiled somewhat, curving his eyebrows in confusion. "What?" he chuckled.
"It's a long story," Claire said, saving Dean who was unsure of how he might've answered that question.
Dean cleared his throat, it was back to business now. "So what'ya find?"
Sam whipped out his tablet in which he had been doodling notes down on. "Well, apparently there have been several students over the years who have all seen a little girl roaming the halls of the fourth floor," he directed his hand behind him, pointing to Jerde Hall, "I talked to one who said the girl even sat on her bed. She had trouble describing her face." Sam continued with a fake mustache maneuver looking over his notes.
"Yeah, I read up on something like that too," Dean pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket which he had printed while searching, "I couldn't believe my eyes, she just sat there staring at me for a moment. She had a devilish grin on her face – oh, her face. It was horrifying, so much blood. This is still difficult for me to put into words." Dean read the excerpt unenthusiastically, before glancing up at Sam.
"That sounds about right," Sam confessed, shrugging his shoulders and nodding his head.
"So what's next?" Claire interrupted, looking from brother to brother.
A small rumble arose from Dean's stomach. "Lunch," he replied simply, making his way to the main building.
Once inside the cafeteria, the three ordered their food and found an isolated table towards the corner. Sam multi-tasked between his food and laptop, searching for any information that could help piece together why this spirit remained trapped in the hallways.
Claire and Dean ate their food and exchanged eye flickers from time to time. They said nothing further to coax romance however, for it was neither the time nor place. Claire could only hope though, that these embarrassed glances were a glimpse of the future – perhaps what the night would hold in store for her. And with this she let out a pleased sigh, content imaging Dean naked as he chomped on yet another French fry.
Castiel had been debating on how to approach the group that lay nestled within the Super 8 Motel – or at least he hoped lay nestled within the motel. He'd never been particularly nervous around Dean Winchester, but then again he'd never had an apparent reason to be. Until now, that is. It wasn't hard to make a badass introduction, or greet Dean in his usual expressionless manner, but this was slightly different – Cas hadn't seen, actually seen, Dean since their last encounter at the previous motel. And he had to admit, that made things a bit different.
And so here Castiel stood, pacing back and forth in the parking lot of a crumby motel. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as multiple people came in and out, throwing strange glances his way. He had considered calling first, but quickly put the idea out of his mind figuring that would be even more discomfiting. Finally, Castiel let out a long drawn sigh, before stepping through the doors and into the lobby area. It had a faint smell of cigarettes, which made Castiel wrinkle his nose in displeasure. A radio that sat upon the front desk was playing some cheerful Christmas music, slightly distorted because of static. As casually as possible, Castiel approached the desk and politely said, "Excuse me."
A tired clerk looked up from his Seventeen magazine, unknown to Castiel being the same clerk Dean had encountered. "Yes?" he responded, closing the magazine and intently folding his hands over its cover.
"Do you have anyone under the name Winchester here?" Castiel asked.
The clerk yawned in mockery before returning his focus to the magazine that lay before him. "It depends," he replied blandly.
Castiel realized that he wasn't about to get anywhere far at this rate. "I'm looking for a specific man. He's, uh, about this tall," Castiel stated, raising his hand to mark slightly below his own height, "appears rugged, unshaven, leather jacket – oh, and hazel eyes." Castiel was honestly surprised at how much he could recall about Dean. But, then again, that really shouldn't come as much of a shock being as Cas had been watching Dean for quite a while now.
At any rate, the words hazel and eyes sparked the attention of the man as to look up at Castiel and gaze in wonder. For a moment, Castiel feared that the man was able to see through his vessel's disguise for what he truly was, but his panic was quickly settled. The clerk blinked vigorously, as if to conceal what had just sparked in his mind. "Yeah," he responded, "he was here."
Castiel took an eager step towards the desk. "Tell me, what room is he staying in?" After he had said it, Castiel realized that sounded like more of a command than a question.
The man behind the desk appeared to be growing irritated now. "Look buddy," he said firmly, standing up, "I ain't tellin' you anything. Now unless you got some ID, piss off!" His lisp was certainly more apparent now, and Castiel would've giggled if not for the circumstances.
Who'd have thought? Castiel gaining a sense of humor – Dean would be proud! Dean… However there were many other feelings which were bubbling up inside of him, unable to be contained any longer. Castiel found the incompetence of this human considerably bothersome – I don't have time for this, he thought. Swiftly, Castiel began to come around to the back of the desk, fury burning in his eyes.
"Whoa, hold up there!" the clerk shouted, reaching for the nearby telephone to call security. With a quick swat of his arm, Castiel smashed the man's arm onto the desk ultimately cracking his wrist. "Oh fuck!" the man screamed out in agony, but Castiel was not finished with him yet - he grasped hold of the man's now cringing body and forcefully slammed him into the wall behind them. In the same instance Castiel cupped a hand over the man's mouth, much in the way he had to Dean in that room of white and gold just before his disobedience.
That room – it brought a warm tingling sensation to the inside of Castiel. It was the first time he had gotten really, well, close to Dean, and perhaps this relaxed Castiel just enough to show some mercy on this man. "Now listen to me very carefully," Castiel began, tension peaking in his voice, "You're going to tell me which room he is staying in, or your arm won't be the only thing causing you pain. Do you understand me?"
The man's eyes widened at Castiel's threat, but never the less he nodded obediently. Gently, Castiel removed his hand from the clerk's mouth, still keeping him pinned against the wall. "Eh, um, Room 13," the man stuttered, "but they left this morning – before dawn."
Castiel nodded in gratitude before placing two fingers upon the man's head, causing him to fall into a deep sleep. Gradually, he slid the man down the wall, before allowing his body to rest upon the floor. Castiel glanced around quickly, thankful that there were no witnesses to see his actions. Quickly, he stormed down the halls of the motel, finding the room still unlocked and slipping inside. Not much could've indicated that someone had stayed here the previous night – it was surprisingly clean for being a temporary habitat of the Winchesters, Castiel noted. He spent a few moments searching over the room, but found nothing. He took a seat in the nearby recliner, sighing in frustration. Dean was here, Castiel thought, for he could feel his presence in every inch of this room – especially where he was sitting now. Suddenly, something caught Cas's eye.
There was a small piece of crumpled paper, lodged underneath the corner of one of the bed's sheets. Castiel kneeled beside the bed, before pulling the paper from its place and unfolding it carefully. It was Sam's writing, Castiel could tell that in an instant because Dean's was particularly sloppy. At any rate, it read Northern State University – Jerde Hall. Castiel refolded the paper neatly, before slipping it into the pocket of his trench coat. He knew where his destination was now, yearning coursing through his veins. He was so close to Dean now, he could almost taste him – and Lord knows, just how much Castiel wanted to taste Dean.
Dean, Sam, and Claire waited in the Impala until darkness fell over the lay of the land. Claire sighed before taking another drink from the flask filled with whiskey, "Ah," she gasped as the warm sensation ran down her throat into her chest, "What time is it?"
Sam glanced down at his watch. "Half past one," he replied.
Dean, meanwhile, was busy cracking his neck and various other parts of his body. "Ugh, how much longer must we wait?" Claire urged impatiently.
"Patience is a virtue," Dean murmured, his eyelids lazily staying open.
Claire snorted, "Now you sound like Castiel."
Dean thought for a moment – he felt kind of bad for blowing Castiel off in his dream the other night. Cas really had looked terrible and Dean hadn't even taken the time to find out just what was going on with him. And, at the same time, it almost seemed as if something had changed in Castiel. There had been, an almost certain anger about his presence – something that Dean really wasn't familiar with as far as it went with Cas. On the rare occasions in which Castiel had gotten upset, it truly was for a good reason. But this was a different matter entirely – there was most definitely something that wasn't right with Cas, and Dean was determined to figure exactly what it was.
Suddenly the sound of Sam's voice broke Dean's concentration. "Wait a second," he said, "I thought you didn't know Castiel personally."
Claire looked blankly for a moment. Her eyes glazed a bit as she spoke, "You know what? I don't, that's the ironic thing about all this."
Dean glanced at Sam for a moment. "Am I the only one confused here?" he asked after a pause.
Claire giggled somewhat. "Castiel's vessel," she began, "Have you ever met him?"
"Yeah," both Sam and Dean replied in unison.
Claire fidgeted with her fingernails before glancing up at them. "Did he ever speak of connecting with Castiel on a personal level?"
Sam thought for a moment. "He never said anything about it, but that doesn't mean it's not possible," Sam responded, and Dean nodded in agreement.
"What kind of sick crap is she putting in your head?" Dean blurted out.
Claire looked slightly taken aback for a moment, but proceeded to answer Dean's question anyway. "It's not like she – Verchiel – has been directly planting images in my head or anything," Claire explained, "they're more like memories, really. As if I lived them, only I haven't. I think there's something specifically she wants me to see."
All three were silent for a moment, until Dean noticed some of the light flickering from the windows of Jerde Hall. "Time to go," Sam stated simply, as all three prepared the weapons and made for the dormitory.
Sam went first, Claire safely in the middle, Dean following shortly behind. Luckily for the Winchesters, Claire had some experience with firearms so she took charge of a handgun while Dean minded the shotgun. Sam, of course, was then left with Ruby's knife. Slowly, they crept through the hallways, being certain not to try to disturb the piece.
Suddenly Claire let out a gasp, her breath appearing in a haze before her. "God, it's cold in here," she muttered, her eyes wide with petrifaction.
"Stay close," Sam ordered, peering around the dark corner. In the shadows stood a small figure – it was difficult to make out, but finally Sam decided it was a girl a most likely the spirit they were looking for. "Hey! Who are you?" he barked.
The girl slowly turned. As she came into the moonlight, Sam could see she was wearing a baby blue dress with white laces and ruffles. Here golden blonde hair was put into decadent curls, a little white bow nestled atop her head. "Hello, Sam," the little girl smiled, "I've been waiting ever such a long time for you to come."
Sam took a cautious step forward. "Why are you haunting this place?"
A bone-chilling laughter filled the hallway, echoing from behind the group. "Guess again," a faint voice cackled. All three turned to look just who it was that was speaking – there stood yet another little girl, appearing to be wearing an old-time school uniform. Her clothes were ripped and torn, however, long black hair hovering in front of her face, covering all except her eyes. They were a haunting black, with a scorching flame filling the center.
"Oh Sam," the nicer dresser little girl exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his waist, "how could you forget me?"
Sam looked utterly confused for a moment, before Dean clarified the situation for him. "Lilith," he huffed in disgust. A twisted frown came over his lips.
Lilith's eyes rolled back into her head, revealing a cloudy white symbolizing her pure demonism. "Oh, you're face!" Claire exclaimed falling back on the floor. She was shaking slightly as she slugged backwards down the hall.
With a flick of her hand, both Sam and Dean were against the wall, a satisfactory grin coming over Lilith's face. "You have me," Sam muttered, "go ahead and kill me."
"Sam!" Dean snapped, shooting him an angry glance.
Lilith shook her head in a mocking mannerism. "Silly goose," she laughed, "now what fun would that be? Besides, you have something much better that I want." Her eyes now directed over to Claire who was still creeping along the carpet.
Suddenly, Claire felt her head brush against another body. She gasped in horror, looking up to see the ghostly little girl. "You're pretty," the little girl said, as a twisted smile came over her. Unexpectedly, her face coiled into terrifying shapes. "I was pretty once too." Claire was all too quickly on her feet, stepping slowly away from the spirit. "What's the matter?" the little girl asked, "Don't you think I'm pretty?"
With that, the little girl dug her fingers into Claire's chest, slamming her against the wall. Claire gasped out in pain, slumping uncontrollably to the floor. "Stop it!" Dean shouted, "You can't get anything out of her when she's dead, Goddamn it!"
"Dean, I'm surprised. You really don't get it do you?" Lilith retorted, "I don't need the bitch to ride the meat suit." Sam's expression softened, all of a sudden becoming horrified. He closed his eyes and began to breath steadily in and out. Lilith continued, "After all, what better than an angel and demon under one comfy roof?" she smiled sarcastically, doing a small victory dance.
"Claire," Dean whispered. She looked over at him, her eyes beginning to tear. He directed his head downward, towards the shotgun which was only inches from where she sat.
Desperately Claire reached for the nearby weapon. Finally, once it was in her grasp, she cocked it before taking aim at the spirit's head. "Eat me, bitch," she spat bitterly. With that, she shot a rock salt round right into the face of the little girl, watching as she vanished into oblivion.
Lilith looked agitated now as Claire arose from the floor. "Fine, if that's the way you want to play," she said, lifting her hand and returning Claire to the carpet. She twisted her hand, making Claire scream out in pain as she curled into a ball, her fingernails pulling at the strands of flooring material.
Sam gasped as if he had just been pushing a lead weight. With a jolt he fell off the wall, anger burning in his eyes as he made his way over to Lilith. Her expression became revolted as she slowly backed away. "You're not getting away this time," Sam said simply, lifting his hand in a strangling pose.
Black smoke began to drip out of Lilith's mouth, causing her to choke and spat as it did so. Suddenly, there came a bright white flash emulating from Claire. Her face had gone cold as stone as she arose from the floor and steadily marched forward – there almost seemed a glowing aura about her now as Verchiel took over her body once more. "I think not, Sam," she murmured, placing a hand on his shoulder. As badly as Sam wanted to ignore her gesture and continue with his work, he returned his hand to his side avoiding eye contact with the angel. He knew better than to defy her simple order – it could result in the utmost destruction. Verchiel nodded in thanks, now turning her glance over to Lilith. "Release him," she commanded, referring to Dean now of course.
A devilish grin curled the ends of Lilith's lips as Dean slid off the wall and collapsed onto the floor. Sam was quickly at his side, whispering questions of concern. Verchiel and Lilith continued to stare at each other for a moment before attacking one another. Dean and Sam watched in amazement as they fought a rather physical battle for being, well, both women. Or their vessels were at any rate. This is the best chick-flick ever! Dean thought, smiling ever so slightly.
Sam gave him a slight glare and Dean quickly cleared his throat, returning to a more serious stance. Suddenly, an overwhelming pain came over Dean's arm. "Ah!" he gasped out in agony as he cringed onto the floor.
"Dean, what is it?" Sam exclaimed nervously, leaning over his brother. He could see the upper part of Dean's sleeve becoming a crispy brown as something burned through the fabric. Desperately, Sam tore the sleeve of the shirt, revealing a sizzling and glowing red handprint.
"God, it hasn't hurt this bad since," Dean's voice trailed off. For obvious reasons, he didn't need to finish that sentence, for both he and Sam understood the silence's meaning.
Lilith and Verchiel paused their dual momentarily. Verchiel had an almost scared look upon her face, her eyes becoming wide and spacious. "Castiel," she whispered dreamily, "he's – here."
Lilith saw this as an opportunity to achieve victory and so she tackled Verchiel to the floor, harshly beating Claire's face in with her fist. After a few harsh hits, Lilith gripped her hands tightly around the angel's neck and squeezed. Verchiel struggled beneath her, wriggling and tossing in attempts to remove the demon from atop her. A pale blue light began to emulate from Claire's mouth and eye sockets as Lilith whispered a sort of angel exorcism, much like the one Alistair attempted on Castiel.
Dean watched in horror, completely unsure of what his next move should be at this point. The world was falling to pieces around him, and he was unable to stop it – any of it. He felt weak, just as he had when John died, and Sammy died, and finally he, himself did. Everything, simply everything, had gone wrong and all Dean felt like doing in this moment was screaming at the top of his lungs, praying that it would all just end somehow. From nowhere, a devilish laugh echoed from behind them. It was none other than the little girl, her face distorting once more as she came closer to the brothers. Just as the spirit was only a few feet from them, a new set of footsteps filled the hallway as a familiar angel rounded the corner.
Dean's breath was stolen as he watched Castiel stride forward, determination upon his brow. There was a new radiance about him – his skin had a sort of golden tinge to it, and his sapphire eyes sparkled like jewels despite the dim light that surrounded them. Dean didn't know exactly how to describe it, but it was almost like he knew things were going to be alright now that Castiel was here. It was as if looking in his eyes made Dean realized how much he needed the warmth and tenderness that Castiel provided whenever he was near. Sam looked at his brother strangely for a moment – he opened his mouth, about to speak, before Dean shot him a don't even start look.
Castiel stopped short of the Winchesters, smiling cunningly as the spirit turned to him terror. "Shield your eyes," Castiel commanded, his voice full of confidence and authority. Sam immediately did as he was told, Dean shortly following after. However, he could not help but peak ever so slightly as to witness the events yet to come. Castiel closed his eyes, drawing a breath deeply inward. Dean could see his hands were at his sides, curled into fists, and were shaking somewhat. There came a loud ripping noise, followed by the fluttering of feathers as if a bird had just flown into the room. Dean's eyes widened in marvel as Castiel's wings outstretched to their full potential. Cas took one step forward, and in the blink of an eye swiftly snatched the young girl into his arms, clutching her throat tightly as he slammed her against the nearby wall.
The spirit tried to struggle free from Castiel's fierce grip, but all attempts were useless. However, Castiel removed his hand from her throat, the girl still staying in perfect balance against the wall as he did so. Twisting and turning his hand the spirit cringed in pain before finally bursting into an oblivion of gray smoke. Dean pondered for a moment why exactly Castiel had told them to close their eyes – it was nothing that they could not have withstanded. Cas didn't want us to see his cruelty, Dean thought to himself as both he and Sam slowly arose. But this, apparently, had not been the full extent of Castiel's retribution.
Ever so hastily, Castiel strutted over to the demon sitting atop his sister angel. "Līlīt," he called her by her original Arabic pronunciation. Almost immediately Lilith turned to face Castiel, releasing Verchiel from her grip. Lilith stood there for a moment, eyeing the angel from head to toe.
"So this is the great Castiel," she snorted in mockery.
"Show some respect," Verchiel coughed, arising, "you foul demon scum."
Lilith glared scornfully at Verchiel before turning back to face Castiel. "It's good to see you again, Verchiel," Castiel nodded and – Wait, did he just use sarcasm? Dean thought vigorously.
Verchiel's eyes widened as if she had just been told some long kept truth. Almost shamefully, she directed her glance towards the ground. After a moment her eyes rolled back into her head, and the angel was gone once more. Lilith smiled ever so cunningly, opening her mouth about to speak, but Castiel wouldn't listen to a word. He slammed her body against wall, applying most pressure on her shoulders. With one hand upon her head, Castiel closed his eyes as if in deep concentration.
Suddenly, there came an abrupt laughter echoing out of Lilith. Castiel opened his eyes in surprise, the cool blue irises appearing innocent once more. "What's this?" Lilith asked matter of factly, "No mercy?"
Cas's eyes were set ablaze once more – thoughts of how Lilith had been ruthless when she had taken over Ruby's host as her own. She laughed, outright fucking hysterically laughed, as she watched the hellhounds tear and mar Dean Winchester's flesh. His divine flesh, Castiel pondered. When he finally looked at her once more, there was a silenced confusion on her brow. It's as if she knew what he had thinking – but Castiel was not about to let that sway him. Furiously, he impounded his face into her small cheekbone, a loud crack emulating from it as he did so. Lilith eyes closed tightly as she cringed in pain. This was not the final extent of Castiel's rage, however. He grasped her cheeks roughly with one hand, forcing her to look at him.
"I have none to give," he replied bitterly, smashing his palm onto the front of her skull, a bright white light filling the hallway.
Sam and Dean blinked feverishly, looking about – Lilith was gone. Not just sent back to hell for a time, or her newest host destroyed, no; completely gone. Castiel had finally succeeded with what the boys had been longing to do for so long. Sam had to admit, he was slightly disappointed that it was not he who received the privilege to do so, but at least she was dead and that would suffice.
There were bigger fish to be fried, however, Claire was starting to come to. Her face looked suddenly pale – drained – he eyes cracked and bloodshot. Her expression difficult read as she just sat there and wrapped her arms around herself. Dean was quickly at her side, placing his hands on either one of her shoulders and slowly rocking her. Crystal tears began to stream down her cheeks, words jumbling from her lips. "D- darkness. He's there. The flames," she sputtered, "Alistair!" Dean and Sam exclaimed both horrified and concerned glances, desperately trying to make some sense out of Claire's hysteretic nothings.
Castiel meanwhile, leaned against the wall, watching in envy as Dean rubbed his hands up and down Claire's forearms. Dean had never bothered to comfort him in such a manner, but then again Cas had never really been in such a state. Still, it wasn't fair and Castiel wished he wasn't present to see this. And so it was – with the sound of ruffling feathers Castiel had vanished, somewhere just a few miles off most likely.
Sam was too busy questioning Claire to have noticed, but Dean had. He always did notice anything and everything about Cas. But he'd been gone for so long, why would he come to their aid only to disappear again? A pang of guilt twisted in Dean's stomach as he reasoned the possibilities – Castiel wanted to avoid him. It seemed the only explanation that made sense. And now, atop of all the many other problems he had to deal with, a jealous angel on PMS was avoiding him. Oh brother….
Claire was unconscious when Sam and Dean brought her back to a nearby motel. It wasn't the same place they had stayed before, this one was more discrete and off the road. Sam had been the one to carry her, seeing as Dean was pretty much out of it.
"Thanks, Sammy," Dean patted his brother on the back, glancing at the clock – 3:45AM.
Sam yawned before flopping down on one of the beds. "Yeah," he mumbled, not even bothering to change into his pajamas.
Dean smiled a lopsided grin, stumbling towards the bathroom. It had been a long night, yes, but quite frankly he wasn't really all that tired. He flicked on the light switch before filling the acrylic sink with cool water. Dean let out an invigorated sigh as the crisp droplets splashed against his face. The velvety hand towel was enjoyable as well as he dabbed it gently over his cheeks. Suddenly, there was a flash of red to his vision as blood curdling screams filled his ear drums. Dean's eyes flashed around the room in panic, his heart thudding so hard he thought it would certainly bust out of his rib cage. With a thud, Dean fell to his knees clutching his ears, desperately trying to block out the hell that had come back to haunt him – literally.
But there was one voice, crystal with clarity, which broken Dean's mental barrier – Claire. Dean's eyes opened as he quickly regained his ability to stand. Claire was screaming his name, and she needed him. The bathroom door slammed open as he rapidly dashed to her bedside. "Dean, please – stop!" she shrieked in horror.
Dean grasped her shoulders roughly, shaking her. "Claire, wake up! Claire you have to wake up!" As last her eyelashes revealed those sparkling irises, her breath coming out as pants. Franticly she took hold of Dean's shirt between her fingers, needing to know he was really there beside her. "I'm here, I'm here," Dean mumbled, cradling her in his strong arms.
"But you were so angry!" she shouted, as if still unaware it was all dream.
Dean comforted, "Shhh! I'm not angry, I'm right here."
Claire gulped nervously as her trembling hands felt his stubble covered cheeks. She searched his eyes, her pupils quaking from side to side. "Dean, I need to you tell me–," her voice trailed off.
"Claire talk to me," Dean murmured, kissing her gently on the crown of her head.
Closing her eyes tightly, Claire let out a long drawn sigh. "Did," she hesitated before continuing, "did you really die?"
Dean was quiet for a moment. "Yes," he replied quietly.
"And is it true you tortured souls in hell?" Claire continued.
Dean's eyes widened as he quickly broke away from Claire's embrace. "Who told you that?" he spat in disgust. Salty tears lightly stung his eyes, and he had to turn away from her in order to keep from going on a violent outrage.
"Believe me, I didn't ask," Claire choked, close to tears herself.
Dean cleared his throat. "Then how the hell did you come to find out?"
"Verchiel," Claire whispered simply, "she, she put me in the position of a victim. Your face – I don't think I've ever seen it so twisted and Alistair just kept laughing, and laughing."
Dean took deep breaths before finally returning to her side. "What I did," he began, "I can never take back. I will never forget the way I slashed and carved those people. But I'm different now. Claire – I'm not a monster," Dean at last let go of the his secure walls and allowed it all to spill out of him. The sobs and the murmurs – everything.
Claire curved her arms around Dean's back as he leaned in towards her and cried. It was unusual, in her opinion, for a man to bawl so heavily but these were not the most typical of circumstances either. She whispered sweet comforts into his ear, until it seemed warmth and hope itself had traveled out of her soul and into his. Dean just allowed his damp eyelashes to flutter shut, as he indulged in this sincerity. Finally Dean looked up giving a dopey grin to Claire, who laughed at the sight of him.
"What?" Dean sniffed, wiping out the under part of his eyes.
Claire giggled, "Nothing, you just looked like a little kid when you smiled."
"Gee, thanks," Dean replied sarcastically, both of them chuckling somewhat.
The digits on the bedside clock changed, now reading 4:00AM. Dean cleared his throat before turning back to Claire. She blushed slightly, looking down towards the bed sheets. Before he even knew what he was doing, Dean placed a hand lightly on her cheek caressing the skin. All too soon, their lips were locked in a warm embrace, their hands free to wonder where the pleased.
Dean's shirt, of course, was the first article to be removed followed by a surprised gasp from Claire. Her mouth hung open ever so slightly, as she ran her fingers tenderly over his biceps and other various muscles. Dean grunted pleasurably moving his hands to her blouse and carefully lifting it up, the fabric giving way to soft peach skin. He extended his head downward, kissing her stomach area lightly as he moved about, circling her navel with his tongue.
Claire let out a hushed gasp, locking their lips together once more. Ever so lightly, Dean positioned her gently on her back, beginning to remove their other pieces of clothing. The events that followed included slobbery kisses, passionate grasping of sweaty skin, and moans and groans of many assortments – and Claire had enjoyed of second of it. Every second of fervent sex with Dean Winchester.
Dean, on the other hand, had not gained so much bliss out of the experience as Claire had. As a matter of fact, Dean wasn't even entirely certain of why he'd done it. Perhaps it was lust, as it always was. The words of Castiel rang in his head as his thoughts twisted and curved with guilt – What is about this girl that you simply cannot draw away from? Is it some kind of lustful nature about her body? Have you ever considered that there is much more to a woman than just her sensuality, Dean?
Placing his head in hands, Dean let out a frustrated sigh. It wasn't that he regretted his decision, was it? It just seemed that every time Cas came around he felt secure and safe, as if nothing else existed in the world – the apocalypse, hunting demons, nothing. It was as if Castiel was the guidance in his life, and without him Dean couldn't cope. Castiel had once told him that if Dean called out, he would come – perhaps that was all Dean required himself to do. Maybe if Dean Winchester finally let himself go, and let somebody else in, he could fill this whole that was being carved deeper and deeper within him.
And so, as Dean laid his head to rest on his pillow around six o'clock in the morning, he felt a strange light at the end of the tunnel. He silently hoped to himself that this dark tunnel would soon end and Castiel would be the vibrant light shining ahead of him – much like he had in that dream so long ago.
Castiel sat on a smooth grey rock, overlooking the water before him. He watched in silence as vibrant colors began to flourish the sky above, a chilly wind blowing about the tree tops. A small auburn tinted duck landed swiftly on the lake's surface, its mate soon joining it. Cas tilted his head, watching in envy as the pair appeared undeniably happy. He soon allowed his head hang low, however, lifting one of his arms to stroke his wings. He was growing more and more accustomed to letting them out freely now, easily tucking them away as well. Castiel enjoyed the smooth and silky feeling on his finger tips, it reminded him so much of his younger days in heaven. Suddenly, there came an abrupt crunching of earth from behind him. Castiel arose stealthily, turning in an aggressive stance.
"Easy, Castiel – I've never known you to be jumpy," Sariel smiled, raising his hands defensively.
Cas smiled somewhat, his muscles relaxing as he made his way over to his brother. "Quick-witted, some have said," he murmured.
The two joined in a warm embrace, before Sariel laid a hand on Castiel's shoulder. "Oh, I have no doubt quick-witted," he smiled, "But, I sense something else as well."
Castiel turned away from his brother in dismay. "I know, my apologies for my obvious jealousy," he said, his voice barely touching a whisper.
"Jealousy?" Sariel exclaimed in surprise, "That's not what I've observed, but now that you have mentioned it–,"
"It's impossible not to notice it, Sariel!" Castiel interrupted, throwing his arms into the air, "It flows about me in a constant motion – for the first time, I don't possess control over my emotions."
Sariel looked in deep thought. After a moment he pondered, "What do you think has brought you to such a state?"
"What do you think?" Cas snapped sarcastically. Sariel looked taken aback and slightly hurt at his brother's remark. "I am sorry, Sariel, I didn't mean that."
"It's alright Castiel," Sariel soothed, "But since you asked, I would imagine Dean Winchester being the source of your distress."
Castiel let out a long drawn, and shaky sigh, "As always." Exasperated, he reclaimed his seat on the large rock behind him, laying his head in his hands.
"Alright," Sariel placed a hand on his chin thoughtfully as he paced, "the question is, what do you plan to do about it?" Castiel didn't reply, but just kept his eyes solemnly focused on the ground. "Castiel?"
Slowly Castiel arose, his expression delighted as if he just stumbled upon some new found hope. "It was her," me murmured quietly.
Sariel narrowed his brow in confusion. He asked, "It was who?"
"It was always her!" Cas continued in oblivious excitement, "she's always had Dean wrapped her finger, he just hasn't been able to see it."
"Castiel, who are you talking about?" Sariel urged in slight annoyance.
"Verchiel," Castiel gasped, "I'm going to kill Verchiel."
Sam look at his brother in concern as Dean opened a fresh bottle of whiskey – at eleven o'clock in the morning. "Dean, are you okay?"
Dean took a few more heavy gulps before turning to Sam. He cleared his throat awkwardly, "Yeah, I – yeah."
"What the heck did you do last night?" Sam chuckled somewhat, nodding his head over towards the bed where Claire still slept.
"When the bed's a rockin' don't come a knockin' there Sammy," Dean teased sarcastically.
"Okay Dean," Sam shook his head, "but that doesn't explain the drinking."
Dean sighed wearily – there obviously wasn't any way to get around this heartfelt discussion. Clearing his throat, he tried to be as bland as possible, "Let's just say last night wasn't the best decision I've ever made." With that he took another large swig of the yellow-tinted liquid.
Sam paused for a moment, taking a seat at the small table across from his brother. "Wait," he said after a few seconds, "don't tell me you regret – you do, don't you? You regret sleeping with Claire."
Dean slammed the whiskey bottle down on the tabletop, little droplets splashing from its cap. Swiftly he arose, swiping a hand through his hair as he made his way to the other side of the small motel room. "I don't know, okay? I just, I don't know," Dean muttered, throwing his hands into the air before digging them deep into the pockets of his jeans, "Last night, the mood was so right, but I didn't feel right. I dunno, I felt wrong somehow."
Sam chuckled somewhat to himself, before walking over to meet his brother. "Dean, I think it's called guilt. A one night stand will do that to you," Sam stated plainly, shrugging his shoulders as if only discussing the weather.
"Yeah, but I never felt this way before Sam," Dean continued, now venting openly on his little brother, "I don't feel guilty for sleeping with her, I – I feel guilty like I've hurt someone." Dean clasped his hands together in front of him, looking down shamefully. Images of Castiel flooded his mind as his own words – picturing the angel, so majestic and so beautiful, was almost unbearable and made Dean nearly want to hurl at his own repulsion.
Sam raised an eyebrow at Dean quizzically. "You're not making any sense, Dean," Sam finally said, after examining his brother from head to toe.
Suddenly Claire stirred from beneath the bed sheets, murmuring quietly as she awoke. Sam looked as though he were about to speak again, but Dean shot him a pleading look as to keep his mouth shut. "Good morning," Claire smiled with a scratchy voice, obviously unaware of the discussion the two brothers had shared. She propped herself upward on her elbows, the covers barely disclosing her naked body.
"Good afternoon," Sam corrected, feeling a slight color flush into his cheeks at the fact that she was completely nude beneath the thin sheets.
Quickly grabbing the clock off the bedside stand, Claire pointed to its digital numbers. "Not quite," she said matter of factly. The clock only read 11:45, which was close enough for Sam's standards, but apparently not for others.
Dean just watched the two communicated so easily – no sexual tension, no nothing. Why was it so easy for Sam to get along with women, while Dean had to be tortured with a fascination of their bodies? Slowly Claire arose from the motel bed, careful to wrap the blankets fully around her like that of a bath towel. Cautiously she crept towards the bathroom door, giving Dean's ass a nice tapping while passing by. Sam just pinched the brim of his nose, smiling and shaking his head to himself.
"What?" Dean asked impatiently, the alcohol still fresh in his system.
"Oh, Dean," Sam sighed, "Dean, Dean, Dean."
Dean furrowed his brow in confusion – Am I missing something here? He thought to himself. "For God's sake, what Sam?" he asked again, this time more sternly.
Sam looked up to face his brother, genuinely surprised at Dean's burst of irritation. "I don't get how you can do it, Dean," Sam continued at long last, "You have these beautiful women that cling to you, but there's always something missing."
Dean debated his response – Sam did have a very good point. "They're fillers," Dean murmured after a few moments.
Sam arched an eyebrow in question. "Fillers?" he echoed.
Dean licked his lips softly, rubbing a hand over his tired face. "Yeah, fillers," he prolonged, pacing the hotel floor, "I use'em to try and fill this whole but the truth is – the truth is Sammy, it's just getting bigger and bigger. These quick fixes just aren't cutting it anymore."
Sam folded his arms over his chest at Dean's honest. He spoke wearily, "Dean, if you're talking about Hell–,"
"No!" Dean interrupted him, "It's all beyond that now. I think that I'm just finally coming to terms here. I think I'm finally seeing the big picture as Cas would put it." As he spoke, Dean couldn't hide the smile that was growing on his face at mention of the angel's name.
Sam stayed silent for a moment, just content to stare at his brother. Something had changed in Dean and he wasn't entirely sure whether it was for the better or not. "Speaking of him, where's Cas been anyway?" he decided to switch gears now that Dean had mentioned Castiel.
Dean opened his mouth to speak just in time for his cell phone to go off in his pocket. Somewhat startled, he jumped, but not before digging inside his pocket to retrieve the device. "Hello?" he cleared his throat as he answered.
"Dean!" Bobby chuckled on the other end – he spoke as if he hadn't talked to the boys in ages, despite only seeing them a few days ago, "How'd it go?"
Dean furrowed his brow at Bobby's strange tone, mouthing the elder hunters name to Sam silently as he proceeded to answer Bobby's question. "Eh, okay," he stalled, "we had a bit of a demon showdown. Cas dropped by to help us out though."
"Leave it to those angel idgits," Bobby uttered, now sounding somewhat like himself again, "Well, I got some stuff sittin' round here if you're interested."
"What kind of stuff?" Dean pondered – ordinarily he would've just agreed and been on his merry to way to Bobby's house, but something just felt fishy about this whole conversation.
"Oh, uh, well," Bobby stammered, "You know – apocalyptic lore. Heard there's something going down in California or something of that sort."
Dean stayed silent for a moment waiting for any further information which would either confirm or lessen his suspicions. At last he responded, "Yeah, sure, sounds good. We'll be there."
"Alright, I'll see ya then," Bobby replied cheerfully before hanging up.
Dean closed the lid of his phone, prior to standing there in thoughtful silence. "What did Bobby want?" Sam asked, taking a few steps closer to his brother.
"Said he had apocalypse stuff," Dean muttered, his eyes never drifting from the floor in front of him, "I dunno, there was just something not right about him."
"Like what?" Sam asked suspiciously.
"It's like Bobby was talking, but it wasn't really him," Dean cleared his throat, now directing his gaze at Sammy.
Sam stared back at Dean in concern a new worry sweeping over him for Bobby's sake. If anything ever happened to him because of them – there was no time to think of that. Right now, they just needed to focus on getting there and seeing what was going on. Suddenly the bathroom door flew open, Claire stepping out – fully naked. Sam turned away almost immediately, not wanting to offend the woman in any way.
"It's alright, Sam," she spoke, her voice very slow and calm.
"That is anything but alright, Claire," Dean huffed, picking up a nearby blanket in attempts to cover her up, "where the hell are your clothes?"
Claire turned her head stiffly, her cold gaze piercing through Dean. "I was hoping you could tell me," he uttered bitterly.
Dean's expression softened somewhat, now realizing that Verchiel had indeed taken over Claire once more – it was really annoying, this coming and going of hers. Almost like living with someone who had a combination of a multiple personality syndrome, bipolar disorder, and was a crack addict all at the same time.
"Why don't you check the floor?" he snarled, stepping away from her as if she had some sort of infectious disease. She said nothing in reply, simply crouching delicately to pick up her clothing articles. Dean turned away from her, walking over to stand beside Sam. "So what's this I hear about your friend having apocalypse news?" she asked while slipping on her clothes.
Sam and Dean exchanged confused glances before Sam questioned, "How did you know about the phone call?" He turned his head slightly over his shoulder, not completely looking at her skill half-nude body though.
"My vessel is not deaf, I hope you realize," she muttered simply strutting over to join the two hunters. Gliding on her jacket she stood with a non-amused look upon her face, crossing her arms while leaning her weight to one side.
"Let's just go," Dean huffed, already making for the door as he spoke. Once more the three piled into the Impala and sped off in the direction of Bobby's house. Dean put on some music to focus on while he was driving, hoping that it would somehow distract him from the jumble of thoughts that twirled around inside his head.
Evening was closing in by the time the grand trio reached the hunter's home. The doors of the Impala squeaked in a high pitch as all three slammed them closed. Dean pounded his fists against the door a surprising three times before Bobby actually answered it.
"Hey Dean, Sam," Bobby smiled, opening the door at last, "What'ya boys doin' here so late?"
Sam and Dean exchanged a quick glance before Sam cleared his throat, "You said about apocalypse stuff on the phone?"
Bobby's gaze was then directed towards the ground as if he were thinking hard about Sam's statement. At long last, the hunter looked up once more. "Yeah, now that you mention it – don't mind me, had a few beers earlier," Bobby exclaimed, rolling his eyes at his supposed drunken foolishness.
He moved out of the way, allowing both the Winchesters to pass along with Verchiel walking slowly behind them. The group stood awkwardly in the room together before Bobby decided to break the silence. "Hey uh, Sam," he said, lifting his cap in order to scratch his head, "before we dig in, why don't you come out to the yard with me."
Both Sam and Dean knew that was keyword for a private chit chat. Verchiel eyed all three hunters suspiciously, feeling that something was brewing between them. "What for?" she demanded, arising stiffly.
Bobby looked dumbfounded for a moment, but quickly recovered, "I'm having some problems with a scrap car that I think Mr. Genius here might be able to figure out."
"I'll get out the books a while," Dean cut in, relieving the building tension the room. Verchiel resumed her seat in the nearby chair, while Bobby and Sam quickly hustled to the salvage yard.
Once certain that they were out of the angel's ear range, Bobby turned to face Sam with his brow creased in concern. "I dunno who told you what, but I don't have nothin' on the apocalypse at the moment," he muttered simply, folding his hands over his chest.
"So you didn't call Dean earlier?" Sam exclaimed, feeling adrenaline beginning to pump through him.
"Nah," Bobby replied, "I thought you boys were still on that hunt of yours."
Sam rubbed his hand over his forehead, letting out a soft sigh. "Man, we should've figured this," he murmured, his voice very low and quiet.
Bobby took a step closer to the young hunter, "What?"
"I think Verchiel made the phone call," Sam stammered, "and I think she's been plotting something – from the beginning."
"Something like what?" Bobby urged, laying a hand firmly on one of Sam's shoulders.
Sam's gaze locked fully with the older hunter, a new fear growing in the pit of his stomach. "Bobby, I don't know," was all he could say, barely whispering as he said so.
Meanwhile, back inside the house, Dean sat rummaging through dusty cardboard boxes while Verchiel sat contently quiet. An unsettling silence had settled between the to, a most uncomfortable feeling churning in Dean's stomach. A few particles of dust tickled the hunter's nose as he let out a loud sneeze, which echoed through the empty house.
"Bless you," Verchiel said simply, watching as Dean strutted across the room to grab a tissue from the box.
Dean blew into the thin paper, crumpling it up and reaching for another. "Thanks," he responded through sniffles. Once again stillness crept in between angel and hunter, but this time Dean was not about to wait for another sneeze to relieve the building tension. "So," he muttered, taking a seat back in front of the boxes, "what happened last night?"
Verchiel looked at him quizzically. "Do you not remember your blasphemous experience with Claire?"
Dean chuckled somewhat at the angel's response, quickly clearing his throat though seeing as she was not at all amused. "No," he said more seriously, "I mean the whole fainting after seeing Cas thing."
The angel was silent for a moment, contently staring at the old floorboards in front of her. "When I saw Castiel," she emphasized his full name, obviously not approving of Dean's nickname for the beloved angel, "an overwhelming feeling came over me. It was as if he knew just what my plans were."
Dean arched an eyebrow in confusion. "Your plans?" he asked doubtfully.
A sneaky grin pulled at the corners of Verchiel's lips. She sighed softly before slowly arising from her chair, "I suppose there's no further reason to put this off. I don't like you, Dean Winchester."
Dean looked slightly taken aback – he'd had plenty of occasions where he and that of the supernatural didn't exactly see eye to eye, but no one had plain out just said that they didn't like him. "Okay, what was your first clue there Sherlock?" Dean asked sarcastically, now standing from his own seating.
"Not only that," Verchiel continued, taking a domineering step forward, "I despise you, in fact. You spend your time denying the one true happiness God has blessed you with, and you frolic lustfully after cheap women. I've determined that you're not just a wasteful human, but a waste of space all together."
Dean felt color flushing to his cheeks in aggravation – right about now he wanted to pull some kung fu shit on this angel, but he refrained. Picking up one of the boxes, he grunted, "Well thanks for that, but last I checked I didn't ask for your opinion bitch." With that, he began to stomp away into the next room.
With a movement which was barely visible, Verchiel appeared unexpectedly in front of Dean bashing the box out of his arms. It clamored loudly against the wall, as she also shoved Dean forcefully onto the floor below. Dean gasped out both in pain and for air, as the wind was just knocked out of him upon impact. Still Verchiel moved onward, blind fury burning in her eyes. She gripped Dean firmly by the shirt, pulling him just slightly upward as she knelt over the hunter. Stretching one arm outward her metal blade, which appeared every angel carried, slid out from beneath her jacket sleeve. Dean's bright hazel eyes widened in terror as the thin blade shimmered before his eyes.
Swallowing hard, he took a deep breath, preparing for the worst. Time seemed to slow as Verchiel twisted her hand in a stabbing position, moving the blade forward. Dean saw his life suddenly flashing before his eyes – there appeared images of Sam, mostly when he was still a little kid. And then all he could see was Castiel, beautiful and glistening. His trench coat elegantly flowed down his body, complimenting the angel's every curve. And his eyes – they pulled Dean into warmth and comfort that he never wanted to end. In that moment the only thing Dean desired, more than to actually live of course, was to see Castiel once more. To have one last smell of his essence, one last longing gaze, before he would be tossed back to hell for all eternity – this time, with no one to grip him tightly.
From out in the salvage yard, both Sam and Bobby heard the slamming coming from indoors. Exchanging a look of terror, the two bolted inside – Sam of course in the lead, what with his giraffe legs and all. The two hunters sped through the rooms of the old house, coming to see the scene laid out before them. Verchiel sat atop Dean, bearing her sword in which he intended to kill the eldest Winchester with. All Dean could do was lay back and embrace the pain which would surely come.
Sam could feel his heart thudding rapidly in his chest, his mind going in circles as he determined just what he could do. It was almost like a relapse of when John died – Sam had stumbled onto his father's dead body, calling for help, and desperately trying to revive the hunter. And then Sam could picture Dean's death – he was pinned to the wall, and all he could do was watch his brother be torn to shreds by the hellhounds. In this moment, a passion arose deep from within Sam in which he hadn't felt for a very long time. He took a determined step forward – determined not to let Dean die again, determined to kill the angel Verchiel.
Just as the younger Winchester passed through the archway, a hand reached out pulling on the hunter's shirt. Sam tried to resist Bobby's grasp, but he held steadfast. Then gripping, Sam by the shoulders, Bobby pulled Sam fully backwards. "No!" Sam gasped, "Bobby, let me go!"
Bobby gripped Sam tightly, keeping him pressed to partially his body and somewhat against the wall. "Sam wait!" Bobby retorted, struggling to keep his hold on the boy. Still Sam pulled forward, desperate like a trapped animal. Again Bobby hollered out, "Sam wait! Look!"
Sam paused, looking in the direction of where Dean lay. His breath was stolen at the sight before him. Unexpectedly there came a bright flash of light, in which both Sam and Bobby shielded their eyes. The old and tattered house shook from its very foundation. And then, there was silence – complete and utter silence.
"Castiel," Sam uttered in a breathless gasp, watching as the angel spread his wings before all.
They were not quite what he had been expecting, honestly. Instead of thin feathers coating the formations, they were long silky white strands. Towards their end, they curved out and swirled around creating a beautiful sight as they did so. All of this would've been simply picturesque, if not for the situation that the beloved angel had placed himself. Ever heard of the expression between a rock and a hard place? Try between Dean and Verchiel's blade…
Castiel's ocean deep eyes were large and glossy as he looked down at the blood stained silver – the tip just barely poked out from his upper abdomen, slightly below his rib cage. A single crimson drop fell from the lengthened point, landing just below Dean's lower lip. Dean, who still lay on the ground, looked up in pure astonishment as red began to flourish over Castiel's white dress shirt. Verchiel, meanwhile, stepped hurriedly away from her colleague's body disgust evidently showing in her expression.
Suddenly, there came a loud thud of Bobby's hand slamming against the table on which an enochian banishing sigil was painted. Tiny droplets of blood flew as Bobby's hand smashed against the wood – Verchiel clenched her fists tightly, her face appearing to be in agony, as she was zapped away in a bright flash. Sam quickly examined the symbol Bobby had painted with his own blood on the table – it appeared to be just like any other one they had used in the past, all the same characters and such, except in the center was written the Arabic figure "ت". Eyeing it closely, Sam determined that it stood for the letter "v". Verchiel, he thought to himself. Turning back over his shoulder Sam watched as Castiel collapsed, falling into Dean's arms.
Dean wrapped himself around the angel, desperate to stop the bleeding. He leaned Castiel's limp head onto his shoulder, positioning himself so that he could get a better look at where the blade had entered. Seeing stuck in Castiel's back and pointing upward, Dean wanted to scream – it looked bad. Terrible, in fact. The hunter swallowed hard, letting out a deep breath in order to collect his own thoughts. Clenching his teeth tightly together, Dean gripped the still cool metal, murmuring into Castiel's ear, "I'm sorry." The angel made no response, but gripped Dean's jacket tightly as the hunter pulled the blade from his body. A new river of scarlet blood flourished from the reopened wound, trickling down the back of Castiel's trench coat.
"Jesus," Dean choked, watching as the small trail stained the tan fabric. Pressing a hand against the damp material, Dean imagined this being Sam in his arms instead of Castiel. He thought back to that long ago day when Jake had severed little Sammy's spine, leaving him to die in Dean's arms. Dean was unable to cope after that – it had driven to sell his soul to the pits of hell. It seemed an awful thought, but Dean couldn't help but wonder what he would be compelled to do if Cas didn't make it.
What if Cas doesn't make it? Dean thought to himself desperately. Suddenly, he felt his mind snap into action – he couldn't let Castiel die, he wouldn't. Moving as quickly as he could, Dean loosened the angel's tie until it came off. He crumpled it into a tiny ball, holding it firmly against the back part of the wound. He then flipped Castiel on his back, a quiet grunt escaping the angel's lips as Dean did so. The once prominent color that flourished Castiel's face, was now fading to a dull yellow-white, his eyes clouding ever slightly. Dean blinked vigorously, trying his best to keep the threatening tears at bay.
With one hand, he tugged roughly at Castiel's white dress shirt, popping open the buttons and revealing his bare chest. Dean had never seen his chest, and he had never imagined that this would've been the occasion for such an occurrence. He looked down at the wound, which had thankfully stopped bleeding, but the blood was still very caked around it. Gently, Dean laid a chilled finger against Castiel's warm chest making the angel jolt ever slightly. Weakly, Castiel raised a hand to grab Dean's arm. "Dean," he murmured, his voice barely audible. His delicate blue eyes sparkled with sorrowful radiance, and – was that a smile perking up on his lips?
As Dean saw just how peaceful the angel had come to be, he couldn't take it any longer. Letting down his emotional barrier, the hunter gave up his securities if at long last. A loud sob burst from Dean, salty tears flowing freely down his flushed cheeks. "Cas," he sniffed, choking on his own voice it would seem, "Cas, stay with me."
Castiel gripped Dean's bicep even harder, despite the strength he barely held within him. "I," he tried so forcefully to speak, but the words were as faint as ever, "I've w-waited so long, long for this."
Sam and Bobby still stood in the archway, too torn to speak or even move for that matter. Bobby had never been one to really express his sadness, yet he found himself crossing his arms tightly over his chest. Sam, at the same time, could feel dampness pricking his eyes. He couldn't hear exactly what they were saying, but still he felt a tight constriction in his throat while his breathing became heavy. Suddenly, he jerked his upward, hearing Dean's agonized cry.
"Castiel!" Dean hollered desperately, "Please! I – I can't do this without you. Please Cas, don't go." The hunter sobbed on and on, cradling the angel safely in his arms.
Sam felt a single tear fall from his eye, drifting quickly down his face. Feeling Bobby squeeze his shoulder firmly, he turned away. Both he and Bobby thought it best to leave Dean in his last moments with Castiel alone and undisturbed. Shivers ran down Sam's spine at the thought that Castiel would no longer be with them after today. He would no longer use his voice in authority to get Dean to see "the big picture", he would never tilt his head in confusion, or even eat another hamburger which he so loved. How could an angel that had entered their lives only a year or so ago be gone so quickly? The one and only angel who actually loved Earth and all its creatures – especially man – in Sam's opinion.
Meanwhile hunter and angel still sat together, sprawled over the hardwood floor. Dean's tears were falling onto to Castiel's face, making it appear glossy and full of life once more. "Dean," Castiel whispered once more. Dean just sniffled, trying his hardest to keep from just screaming his lungs out into the hushed dusk. When there came no response from his hunter, Castiel tried again, "Dean."
This time Dean cleared his throat, "Yeah, yeah, I'm here Cas."
Castiel smiled at the words he was about to say, certain that now was the right time. "Dean Winchester, I – I'm happy to be dying here, here in your arms. I love you and, I, I think I always have. Always," Castiel sputtered, finding it difficult to annunciate all he wanted to say. Still, he was pleased with the words, glad that he was finally unafraid.
Dean's whole face went numb. No pain, no fear, no frustration – just nothing. Softness and purity if it had ever been felt. And in this moment, Dean could feel his heart wrenching with something he'd never felt so much in his entire life. He could feel love just booming out of Castiel and into him, and he never wanted it to stop. Never wanted the angel to leave his side. Unexpectedly though, amidst all the chaos and heartache Dean felt, a burning sensation began within his forearm. It was almost enjoyable at first, but gave way to a sharp pain that stung like a thousand needles being jabbed into him all at once.
Working quickly, he pulled his arm from one sleeve of his jacket to his shirt smoking and smoldering like it had only a few nights ago. Pulling the short covering up hurriedly, he found the handprint glowing a bright red. Then, as if the hand of fate had intervened, the strangest thought occurred to the hunter. Taking Castiel's hand in his own, he placed it atop the scar the angel had lift him with when embracing him in the jowls of hell.
Almost immediately a wave of immense energy passed between both human and heavenly host. Castiel arched his back, throwing his head back in desperation. He gasped loudly, both inhaling and exhaling in deep breaths. Dean meanwhile, clutched the fabric of Castiel's coat, willing whatever essence that was passing between them just to work on saving the angel. Silently he prayed – actually prayed – that God would just spare one person in his life. That only one freaking person could live without some terrible sacrifice having to be made. That that one person would be Castiel.
He held Castiel so tightly for so long, that Dean hadn't even realized how much time had passed. He wasn't exactly sure how, but it was as if he could feel the energy being pulled from his own body and being restored into Castiel's. Darkness began to creep into the corners of his vision, until all became black. Whatever happened next would be a secret only God, Himself would know.
Sam and Bobby sat atop an old broken down piece of junk under the calm twilight. There was still a pale mint green color lining the horizon, but overall a deep blue had settled across the cloudless sky. Bright shining stars were just beginning to emerge, a chilly breeze whipping across the land.
"So what are we gonna do about Cas – Castiel," Sam sighed, correcting himself by using the angel's full name. Somehow it just felt wrong to be referring to him with his old nickname.
Bobby cleared his throat, "Well, I say salt and burn, don't want any demons taking the body over. But really that should be Dean's decision."
"Yeah," Sam responded awkwardly, digging his hands deep into his jacket pockets. "I still can't believe he's gone though. I mean, he fell for Dean, he disobeyed. And for what? So he could be skewered by one of his own kind?"
"What are ya trying to say here, Sam?" Bobby furrowed his brow quizzically, "That Dean ain't worth savin'? That Castiel should've just stood in line and let the world burn?"
Sam sighed deeply, struggling to control the sorrow that was threatening to overtake him. "No Bobby, I didn't mean it that way," he sniffled somewhat, "All I'm saying is Castiel did so much for Dean, for all of us. And he never got anything in return – hell, he didn't even live to see the good guys win! How's that fair?"
Bobby patted Sam firmly on the small of his back. "What can I say? Life ain't fair kid – if it was, my wife would still be alive, you two idgits woulda never become hunters, and you and that pretty Jess girl woulda had the white picket fence."
Sam smiled somewhat to himself at the thought of living that apple pie life, as Dean had once referred to it. Was it really so long ago that he longed to pursue law? That all he wanted was to leave his hunting days behind? It felt like a lifetime ago – like it had never been a dream of his to begin with. But Sam was letting his own thoughts get away from him… "Still," he pondered aloud, "I just thought there would be more. That there would be room for at least a partially happy ending – a light at the end of the tunnel."
"Believe me, Sam," Bobby sighed wearily, "I think we've all been thinkin' that at this point."
A moment of silence pasted between the two hunters. Overhead, Sam could see a fiery meteor glide across the sky – it had been a long time since he'd witnessed a shooting star. Supposedly, if you wished upon one, your desire would undoubtedly come true. Sam had never believed much in the idea, but some hope didn't sound too bad right about now. So silently, Sam began to wish to himself – he wished that there was an end to this long and tedious road. He wished that there was more to life than just risking your neck and surviving on cheap rooms and crappy food. And above all, he wished that this peaceful future that he yearned so deeply for wasn't too far off. That maybe, just maybe, he could have the white picket fence after all with some unknown Mrs. Winchester. That thought in itself made the Sam smile to himself. Still, he also hoped that Dean too would find that happiness he seeked – whatever that may be.
"Guess we should see how Dean is," Bobby said at long last, "don't want him spending too much time alone."
Slowly both hunters arose from the hood of the car, turning to face each other. Sam looked deep into Bobby's tired, washed out eyes, noticing for the first time just how tired he appeared to be. There were deep wrinkles pulling at the skin surrounding his eye sockets, and Sam realized that this was probably the last thing Bobby needed on his plate. "Yeah," Sam responded quietly, beginning to head out of the salvage yard.
The two made their way through the back rooms of the house, coming on to a most peculiar sight as Dean came into view. There sat hunter and angel, both still alive and breathing if at all possible. Dean still held Castiel firmly in his arms, but his head was drooped over as though he had fallen asleep. Castiel meanwhile, rested peacefully – perhaps the most peacefully Sam had ever seen the angel – with his chin tilted downward, secure in Dean's grip.
Ever gradually, Sam knelt down to the feel the angel's vitals. There was indeed a pulse – not an extremely strong one, mind you, but still a heartbeat never the less. "He's alive," Sam uttered, glancing over his shoulder.
Amazed and in disbelief, Bobby was quickly at Sam's side feeling over Castiel's pulse himself. It was impossible – or at least that's what both hunters thought. How could it be? Pulling Dean's one arm away slightly, Bobby examined Castiel's wound – it was as if he'd never been stabbed. The only evidence that remained was a small scar, long, thin, and tinted white. Bobby's eyes traced along Castiel's arm, seeing as it still had a hold of Dean's forearm. He pulled the angel's palm from Dean's skin, a rather difficult task as a matter of fact. The handprint that remained on Dean's arm was very raw, outlined in a deep pink but the center a pale white.
Suddenly, as if Castiel's hand and Dean's arm had begun to mend as one, the handprint's center began to bleed out. At first it appeared only as if a scab had been pulled off a small scrape, but then deep red blood flowed freely from the new wound. It was astounding how much blood there was beginning to run down Dean's hand, so Bobby quickly ran out of the room to fetch a towel. Handing it to Sam, the younger Winchester hurriedly blotted it against the wound. "There's so much blood," he exclaimed, watching as scarlet began to spread over the white towel.
"Tell ya what," Bobby muttered, pressing the towel firmer to Dean's arm, "Why don't you get this one up stairs? I'll take care of him." He nodded at Castiel, who still lay asleep and oblivious to the current situation.
Sam moved over towards the angel, looking over exactly how he was going to do this. "Right," he said quietly in response, slipping his hands behind Castiel's back and under the nape of his knees. He grunted slightly as he picked up Castiel's body, frankly surprised at how much he weighed despite his trim figure. Ever gradually he made his way up the stairs, which was a long drawn process, and into the guest bedroom. Not meaning to, Sam roughly plopped the angel onto the soft mattress, letting out a heaving sigh in result. He pulled Castiel's legs into a straight alignment prior to fluffing the pillow that supported his head.
The angel's luscious eyelashes began to flicker, his eyes moving rapidly beneath his eyelids. Sam just stood there, his brow furrowed as he watched Castiel's disturbed rest. At last, eyelids gave way to a sparkling blue iris which held clarity never seen before – at least clarity Sam had never seen before. Castiel sighed deeply, a content smile spreading over his lips. "Cas?" Sam asked, crouching down towards the angel, "Are you okay?"
Castiel turned his head unhurriedly to face the younger Winchester, still bearing his pleased grin. "Yes, Sam," he replied simply, "I'm just happy he knows."
Sam was completely confused at the angel's response, curiosity flowing through him as a result. "Who knows what?" he asked, his voice very dim.
Cas's smile grew even broader at Sam's unawareness of the situation – quite honestly, he was thankful that Dean had kept any so called awkward confrontations just between them and had left the others out of it. He closed his eyes once more, resuming his head's position facing upward and away from Sam. "Dean – he knows," was all the more the angel said, exhaling deeply as sleep began to take him once more.
Castiel's answer still was a bother to Sam though – Dean knows what? He wondered to himself. As he let out a weary sigh and began to make his way downstairs though, he knew there were bigger things to worry about at the moment and the angel's little riddle would just have to wait.
Dean's vision was blurred an unfocused as his eyelids opened at last. He could see – what was that, a ceiling? As his sight came into focus, he could tell undoubtedly that he was lying on his back staring upward. All of a sudden, Sam's face entered his peripheral vision which startled the eldest Winchester.
"Geese!" Dean yelped, leaping back somewhat in the seat he rested in.
Sam comforted his brother, placing his hands upon his shoulders gently. "Whoa, whoa, take it easy," he soothed.
"What happened?" Dean asked, rubbing his eyes wearily.
Sam's brow creased in concern as he overlooked Dean. "You don't remember?" he pondered, puzzlement evident in his voice.
Suddenly, Dean's hazel's eyes widened as it all came flooding back to him in one spinning flash. "Cas!" he gasped, throwing the bed sheets off his warm body and exposing himself to the surrounding chilled air.
"Dean, Dean!" Sam hollered, grabbing a hold of his brother and keeping him back. Still, Dean persisted onward, attempting to make for the door. "Dean, just hold on a second!"
Dean braced Sam's forearms roughly, looking into his worried eyes. "Cas," he mumbled once more, "is he, is he alright?"
"Castiel is doing fine – Bobby has him resting in the guest bedroom," Sam responded firmly, directing his gaze right back into Dean's.
Almost immediately, Dean felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. All around his muscles loosened and his breath quickly returned to its normal pace. He resumed his seat on the bed, his face morphing into a combination of bewilderment and uncertainty. As he spoke his voice was very dim, barely grazing a whisper, "How – how was he saved?"
Quickly Sam pulled up a nearby chair, taking a seat next to Dean. "We were actually hoping you could tell us," he said, leaning in close. At the lack of Dean's response, Sam continued, "When Bobby and I came in, you two were out. Cas was just okay, but you're arm–," His voice trailed off. Dean hurriedly, pulled up the sleeve of his t-shirt, examining the thick white bandages that were wrapped tightly around the skin. A sharp pain surged through the muscle, as he laid a hand over the dressing. He grunted slightly at the ache. "Well don't go touching it!" Sam yelled, chuckling somewhat.
Dean resumed the shirt fabric over the binding, clearing his throat as his gaze returned to his brother. "Can I see him?" he asked after a moment, hesitation very clear in his tone.
Sam remembered back to what Castiel had said earlier – Dean, he knows. If Dean knew something that no one else knew, than perhaps it was best that he conversed with the angel to set things straight. "Yeah," Sam replied after a moment, "I think he should be awake by now."
Dean said nothing to counteract, simply arising from the mattress and making for the door. Slowly his feet shuffled across the carpet before touching the hardwood floor of the hall. It wasn't hard finding the guest room, seeing as Bobby's house was pretty much like the boys'. Gently he knocked against the partially cracked door, waiting to hear either an inviting or rejecting response. "C–," Dean heard a scratchy voice call. Clearing its throat, the voice tried again, "Come in."
Gradually Dean pushed the door open, stepping inside to find Castiel sitting snuggly on the bed. Sure, he wasn't snuggled under the covers or anything, that would be a sight, but he still looked comfortable. His blood-stained trench coat was draped across the back of a chair in the corner, in which Castiel meanwhile wore an old t-shirt Bobby must've pulled out for him. Dean had to admit, it felt odd seeing Castiel in that attire – he'd never pictured the angel in anything more than his holy tax accountant outfit. Still, he was just relieved at that fact that Cas was up and kicking above all.
"Hello Dean," Castiel greeted the hunter with his typical phrase, but this time there was something different about it. Something that was fresh and radiant, like hearing it for the first time. And how Dean loved the way his name rolled off the angel's tongue.
Allowing a grin to spread across his lips, Dean came closer to the bed. "Hey Cas," he replied simply, staring down at the magnificent angel. Hurriedly, Castiel scooted himself over somewhat, making room for his hunter. Dean promptly accepted this invitation, seating himself beside Castiel.
For a moment, utter silence filled in the gaps until it was just Dean and Castiel alone. Deep ocean eyes held the gaze of glowing olive for what felt like eternity – and this time, rather than breaking the stare, Dean never wanted it to end. At long last, reality came back once more, at which time Dean felt he owed some words to Castiel. "Cas," he began, his voice very hushed and broken.
Almost shamefully, Dean looked down at his hands, which were nestled in his lap. He could feel tears pricking to his eyes simply at the thought of what had occurred earlier just that day. The fact that Castiel had almost died right in his arms shook the hunter's very foundation. "Dean," Castiel whispered, "it's alright. Tell me what's in your heart."
Dean's turned his head upward once more, just loving the way Castiel appeared before him. "Oh Cas, I thought I was gonna loose you!" Dean exclaimed, wrapping his arms around the angel. Pulling Castiel in, Dean inhaled deeply breathing the wonderful scent of his hair. It smelled fresh, like the first spring rain after a long and rough winter. Bulging crystal tears welled up in his eyes, spilling over the waterline and onto his cheeks. As if racing against one another, the tiny tears sped down the hunter's face, dripping into Castiel's hair.
"I suppose it just isn't His time for me yet," Castiel mused, nearly choking on his own tears.
Dean chuckled somewhat at the blandness of Cas's response. "Apparently not," he cleared his throat, pulling away from the warm embrace. He ran a hand over his damp face, wiping away the salty remnants on his skin
"But Dean," Castiel sputtered, swallowing hard, "I need you to understand that I meant all I said. Nothing I whispered was spoken for the sake of easing the grief of my death."
Dean's brow creased at Castiel's words. "Cas–,"
"No," Castiel interrupted him, determines to get out whatever confession was trapped deep within him, "I do love you Dean. And I would've been honored to die in your arms. I cannot lie though and say that I'm not happy to be living here, with you, now."
Dean blinked vigorously, attempting to hold back any further tears that were surely to eventually come. "But – why me?" Dean asked after a long pause.
Castiel tilted his head in that adorable and innocent manner of his. "What kind of question is that?" he spat, "When will you understand Dean? There is nothing I wouldn't do for you. There is no line that I wouldn't dare to cross, if it was for your sake." Roughly, he gripped the hunter's arm just below the bandage.
Dean was speechless for a moment – all this, it was just so difficult to fathom. For the first time in his life, someone loved him. And not like a brother, or a son, or just as that hot guy to sleep with – no, Castiel was in love with Dean and wasn't afraid to admit it. All this time, Dean had been longing for something – anything – to fill the hole that was carved out from his soul, when really he'd just been avoiding the inevitable. He too cared deeply for Castiel, possibly loved, but was unsure how to take the first step. Suddenly, he desired to know just when Castiel had figured all this out. How Castiel – angel of the Lord – could learn to truly love before Dean could. "When did you know?" Dean asked breathlessly.
Castiel leaned back against the pillows in thought. For a moment he squinted his eyes, scanning over the room as if the answer were painted all over the walls. "Do you remember that night at the motel?" he asked at last.
Images of the two of them flashed through Dean's mind, as he remembered the exhilarating tingling sensation that had ran through his entire body when Castiel had kissed him. He smiled somewhat before murmuring, "Of course."
"It was then," Castiel stated simply, "when I had asked you what love was, that I realized I may indeed be in love with you Dean. And then, during our separation, my feelings were confirmed by other emotions and thoughts that I counteracted."
Dean just sat in silence for a moment – Castiel made it all sound so simple, when really it was but the contrary. He could his heart beginning to thump loudly against his ears at the words that were forming in his head. "Cas," Dean began ever hesitantly, "I don't know what to say. I, I know I feel something but you're gonna have to give me some time here."
Castiel leaned in closer towards the hunter, gently laying a chilled hand against Dean's ever pleasantly warm one. "Dean, I have given you much time already–,"
Abruptly Dean cut the angel off, "I know, I know, but I still need to figure things out."
Castiel waited patiently to assure that Dean was finished speaking. Once he was certain, he began again, "What I was going to say is, yes, I have already given you quite a lot of time already, but I too need to straightened out these emotions. This isn't going to happen overnight Dean, and I'm willing to commit as much time needed."
Sam meanwhile, wasn't eavesdropping but happened to hear dimmed voices as he passed by the guest bedroom door. Dean sounded pretty worked up, Castiel's voice as calm and considerate as ever. Rather hurriedly, he trampled down the small flight of stairs ahead of him, his palm sliding smoothly down the banister as he went along. Jumping off the tiny landing and skipping the last few steps, Sam nearly crashed into Bobby.
"Whoa, easy sasquatch," Bobby teased, surprised by the boy's energy.
Sam through the older hunter a dopey smile, quickly clearing his throat. "Dean and Cas are talking in the guest room," he said simply.
Bobby arched an eyebrow quizzically, "And?"
"Well," Sam glanced over his shoulder hesitantly before he continued on, "I think we oughtta give them some time."
Bobby nodded silently, stroking his hands lightly over his beard. "I have an idea," he replied at last, making his way over to a small end table which sat solemnly in the corner, "There's a neat 'lil bar on the edge of town, and damn if they don't make the best Bloody Marys around."
Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise at Bobby's statement. "Bloody Marys, Bobby? Really? I always thought you more of the 'get drunk off a six pack' type of guy," Sam chuckled somewhat.
Bobby retrieved a set of keys from the table's small drawer, tossing them into the air and catching them again with one hand. "Shut it there boy, let's hit the road!"
Reaching over towards the wall, Sam pulled his jacket from a peg of the coat rack before slipping it over his torso. He beamed a great smile, following Bobby out the front door and towards his truck. Once in a while it just felt great to leave the troubles of everything behind and be the Average Joe – even if it was only for a few hours.
Dean moved one side of the shabby curtains that covered the window away with his hand, watching as Bobby's truck pulled out of the driveway. In the dim porch light, he could see that Sam was with him which meant that he and Cas had the house all to themselves. Dean licked his lips, prior to digging his teeth in softly to the bottom one. He cleared his throat promptly, before turning back to face his magnificent. "So, I like you," he chuckled somewhat, "I have feelings for an angel."
"Indeed you do," Castiel smiled triumphantly, beginning to grow accustomed to how easily Dean was admitting the fact.
Dean rubbed a hand over his forehead, in which a slight sweat was collecting on. "So what now?" he asked simply, as if Castiel had all the answers – psshh.
Castiel placed a hand tenderly on Dean's shoulder, looking directly into his eyes. "Well, I firstly believe we need to have you become more comfortable in the situation," Castiel cleared his throat.
Dean could see that there was a slight sweat beginning to form over the angel's brow as well. Deep below in his jeans, Dean could feel a certain member of his harden, signaling the likely result of the evening. "And, um, how do we do that exactly," Dean sputtered, feeling color blossom to his cheeks.
"Well," Castiel responded coolly, eyeing Dean from head to toe, "why not let me assure you?" Dean said nothing, but allowed his eyelids to dip closed as Castiel leaned in to envelope them in a passionate kiss. There was no tongue, no feverish saliva exchange – just simply and purely a tender kiss. As a matter of fact, it was probably the best kiss Dean had experienced in a long while.
As soon as their lips parted, however, that was an entirely different story. Dean felt a lustful desire like no other surge through his body, longing to feel Castiel all over. The angel, meanwhile, was very much willing to give in to Dean's desires, allowing the hunter to kiss his neck rapidly. They kissed in slobbery and quick exchanges, eager to wrap themselves fully around one another and become one flesh at long last.
Dean enveloped thick handfuls of Castiel's trench coat in his palms, grasping at the fabric frantically. Feeling the angel's tongue work vigorously inside his own mouth, Dean was surprised at how rational and controlled Castiel was in the current situation. Sure, Dean could sense the lust and desire Castiel held deep inside him, but he was much better at taking charge of his actions than Dean was. It appeared as though every kiss, every touch, was meaningful and held a specific purpose.
Dean could feel Castiel pushing himself against him rather forcefully, and so he lowered himself onto the cushy mattress leaning on his elbows. With one hand Castiel cradled the back of Dean's head gently, while pressing the other firmly to the mattress in order to keep his balance. Dean absolutely loved this position – loved everything he could observe from this position. The way Castiel appeared so glorious, the way the golden light from the bedside lamp shimmered in the angel's eyes, even the way the fabric of his trench coat draped itself over the hunter as Castiel hovered above Dean. Dean just laid back for a brief moment, taking the time to stare at Castiel the angel – his angel. His large and luscious blue eyes danced with some unknown factor that somehow made him seem more human-like, his full lips red and swollen from some much feverish kissing.
As Dean stared deeply at Castiel, Castiel stared right back content to simply bask in the silence. And suddenly, with a thrilling wave that swept over the hunter, Dean could feel himself shiver. He was about to lay with a fully fledged angel, something which was probably never experienced in all the days of man – or not at least since the Biblical ages. Even so, just the very thought of what was to come made Dean's stomach churn in a nervous summersault. Still gazing into Castiel's face, the angel frowned somewhat, raising a hand to placidly caress Dean's stubble-speckled cheek. "You're trembling," he said simply, his cerulean eyes washing relaxation over Dean like the crisp ocean waves they reminded the hunter so much of.
Lifting his head from the pillow below, Dean rewarded Castiel's lips with a reassuring kiss, staring at him once more. "What can I say? I'm nervous!" Dean exclaimed, chuckling timidly.
A slight smirk settled upon the angel's lips as he ran a hand over Dean's torso, pulling at the hem of the fabric. Eagerly, Dean helped Castiel with the task of removing his shirt, revealing his naked chest happily to the angel. Castiel's eyes widened at the bare flesh exposed, dancing delightedly over every line and curve there was to be found. Leaning in closer towards Dean's face, he whispered quietly, "Close your eyes."
Dean eyed Castiel suspiciously for a moment, but made no objections silently shutting his eyelids. At this, Castiel lowered his head completely downward, running his lips over Dean's accentuated collarbone. He gripped his teeth lightly around the skin of the nearby area, nibbling softly as he moved along the bone. Dean murmured blissfully, gripping the bed sheets beneath him tightly. Still Castiel continued onward, lightly biting and suckling over various parts of the hunter's chest. Dean had become so enveloped in the purist of ecstasy, that he barely noticed as all of his clothing articles had been stripped away. Opening his eyes suddenly, he gasped at the sight of not only his naked flesh but Castiel's as well. The angel was down to his last accessory, ironically enough his tie, gradually loosening it before slipping it over his messy hair. Dean watched as it landed carelessly on the floor next to the heap of pants, shirts, and so on.
Castiel watched Dean's frantic expression, taking a moment to reassure him. "Dean," he murmured firmly, "it's alright."
Dean swallowed hard, directing his gaze back towards the angel and nodding silently. His heart slammed rapidly against his chest as he watched Castiel spread his legs widely, positioning himself atop the hunter. Dean's whole body jolted unexpectedly as their members touched – both evenly lengthened, hard, and raving to go. Feeling like ash to the touch, Castiel ran his hands over Dean's body yet again, causing Dean to arch himself upward and grind his hips against the angel's. Castiel beamed a great smile, amused at thinking how it really should be him reacting in this manner rather than Dean. Still, he leaned in connecting their lips again in a wet embrace. Dean pulled Castiel's mouth into his own robustly, nearly consuming the angel's tongue in the process. He gripped Castiel's sweaty back, his fingers running down the smooth skin in a slippery manner.
Shifting himself just slightly, Castiel was able to place himself in the perfect position – lowering himself slowly, Castiel could feel himself stretch in order to fit Dean fully inside him. Both hunter and angel in this moment pulled away from each other's lips, taking a second just to gasp and pant wildly at the invigorating pleasure that had stirred suddenly within each of them. Instinctively, Dean began to thrust his hips – his rhythm was slow and uncertain at first, but gradually increased in speed.
Throwing his head back, Castiel swallowed hard as his mouth had suddenly become very dry. "Dean," he gasped breathlessly, his voice echoing in the otherwise hushed and empty house.
Gripping the skin rather forcefully, Dean took hold of Castiel's hips helping him to guide his own. The sound of skin slamming against skin ricocheted in the hunter's ears, only increasing the pleasure that coursed through his veins even further. Escalating his pumping to and even faster tempo, Dean felt shudders ripple through every nerve in his body, his climax approaching rapidly. Pressure built almost painfully in the tip of him as Dean tried to hold out his orgasm for as long as possible. Still, hearing Castiel moan and whimper so excitedly, Dean couldn't contain himself any longer. With a thrilling plunge he released himself deep into the angel, white flashing before his eyes as he did so. Exuberance flowed within each lover, a wave of exhaustion following shortly thereafter.
Dean settled into the warmth of Castiel's arms, their hearts beating in unison as darkness over came the pair. He allowed his eyelashes to flutter shut as long overdue sleep finally over came them both.
A hazy mist hung over the land as the first light of dawn crept over the horizon. Sam sighed wearily, repositioning himself on Bobby's sofa. They had stayed out late last night – very late as a matter of fact. While Sam tried his hand at a game of darts Bobby, who wasn't typically a social drinker, had been flirting the night away with two sophisticated looking women. Quite frankly, Sam was just surprised that when it came time for their departure, Bobby hadn't asked the dynamic duo to join them. Then again, Bobby really wasn't that type of man, so it really wasn't a complete shocker.
Loud pops and cracks emulated from the boy's joints as he arose slowly from the comfy cushions. He rubbed his eyes and yawned tiredly prior to heading into the kitchen to brew a fresh pot of coffee. Now Sam, he probably wouldn't be the one needing it so much – he was just fine and dandy being a morning person. Dean, on the other hand, moaned and groaned to no end in the early hours of the day. Smiling somewhat to himself, Sam remembered that he probably should be waking his brother right about now. Making his way upstairs, careful not to disturb Bobby's slumber, Sam crept over to the bedroom door tapping on it lightly.
Stepping forth shortly thereafter, Sam muttered quietly, "Dean?" He glanced around the surprisingly empty room – the bed was neatly made, a simple indicator that it had indeed never been slept in. Sam frowned somewhat, closing the door once more before beginning his journey down the hallway.
Dean meanwhile, still rested peacefully beneath the blankets of the guest bedroom. His eyelids fluttered open slowly, Castiel being the first sight to appear before him. Dean smiled pleasantly at that thought, watching as his angel's chest rose and fell peacefully as he slept. Dean rested a hand gently on Castiel's shoulder, stealing a kiss to the angel's cheek delicately. Sighing happily, the hunter pushed himself slightly upward to lean against the backboard. Propping his arms behind his head, Dean sighed happily content to simply bask in the warm morning sunshine.
Suddenly, the bedroom door was pushed open as Sam entered the room. "Hey Dean, I'm making coffee if you–," his voice trailed off as his eyes widened at the sight before him. Sam could feel his heart rate accelerating deep within his chest as his view gaze darted rapidly between his brother and Castiel – both presumably naked. "Oh my God," he gasped, quickly rushing out of the room.
"Sam, Sam wait!" Dean called, hastily jumping out of the bed. Slipping his jeans on hurriedly, Dean bolted out of the room and down the stairs after his brother. He shouted once more, "Sam!"
Sam stopped dead in his tracks, rapidly turning around to face Dean. "What the hell was that?" he spat in shock.
Dean raised his hands defensively, "Look Sam, just calm down–,"
"Calm down?" Sam choked, "No Dean, I'm not just gonna calm down. I wanna know what freaking mess I walked in on when I came into that room!"
Dean sighed wearily, placing his hands on his hips in desperation. He licked his lips delicately, searching for the words in which to persuade his brother. "We fell asleep," he retorted sheepishly.
Sam snorted in disbelief. "Oh really?" he said, sarcasm thick in his tone, "Cause it looked like something else Dean. It looked like – it looked like you were naked."
Dean could feel slight color beginning to flush over his cheeks – turning away from Sam he ran a hand over his forehead which was becoming slightly damp with sweat. Yes, he would admit he had feelings for Cas, but he wasn't about to tell his brother that he just fucked the angel last night! "No!" he denied sharply, "Come on, Sam!"
Sam defended his position, coming around to face Dean once more. "Look Dean, all I know is what I saw. And I saw you, without a shirt, sitting beside Cas in a bed," he stated simply.
"So what, I'm not allowed to sleep outside a t-shirt and leather jacket?" Dean retorted, "We were talking and I got tired, next thing you know, I'm out like a light!"
Sam sighed, looking at his brother with a sharp gaze. "Dean, I just want the truth," he pleaded.
Dean avoided eye contact with Sam, keeping his gaze focused on the floor below. He stayed silent for a moment, before finally responding sternly, "Nothing's going on."
As ocean deep eyes surveyed the scene from atop the stairs, Castiel could feel his jaw tightening in bitter anger. He'd heard the commotion from the guest room, but now he wished that he could somehow unhear the words that Dean had just spoken. Turning quickly away from the top landing, Castiel stomped solemnly back to the bedroom to dress himself properly.
Sam pondered on his brother's answer for a moment, before an interesting thought came to mind. "Dean, can I ask you just one thing?" he said. Sam took Dean's silence as a reluctant agreement before continuing, "If you were really just sleeping, then how come Cas wasn't wearing a shirt either?"
Dean's eyes widened in astonishment as his mouth dropped open ever slightly – Sam just had to keep pushing the matter, didn't he? Taking an enraged step forward, Dean was about ready to open up a major can of whoop-ass on his brother, when Bobby stepped in. Just in the nick of time too.
"What the hell is goin' on in here?" the older hunter grumbled, rubbing his sleep deprived eyes.
Attempting to lighten the situation, Dean commented, "Looks like somebody has a hangover."
"Shut up, ya idgit!" Bobby retorted tiredly, "I'll repeat for the deaf: what the hell is goin' on here?"
Dean and Sam exchanged bitter glances, neither one of them daring to speak for a moment. At last Sam replied, "Nothing Bobby."
"Oh yeah, all that yelling sure sounded like a whole lot of nothin'," Bobby muttered sarcastically, making his way into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of steaming coffee.
"Just a little disagreement," Sam tried to reassure Bobby, watching as Dean gradually made his way back to the stair case.
"I'll be down in a minute," Dean declared solemnly, glaring at his brother once more before treading the steps.
Bobby watched the boy's expression as he trampled to the second floor, waiting until he was certain Dean was out of earshot to continue. "Now," he sighed, "would you like to tell me just what all that was about?"
Sam glanced wearily over his shoulder at the older hunter, taking a deep breath in preparation for the conversation that lay ahead.
Dean swung open the bedroom door, slamming it roughly behind him as he entered the room. Running a hand through his short and spiky hair, he let out a long drawn sigh before looking up at Castiel. He stood on the far side of the bed, buttoning up his white dress shirt prior before adjusting the cobalt tie to his liking. Dean could feel a pleasant grin tugging at the corners of his mouth, which gradually began to melt the tension away from him. Almost leisurely he strode over to Castiel, leaning thoughtfully on the angel's shoulder.
Castiel, however, was in no mood for after-sex cuddling. Indignantly he yanked himself away from the hunter, turning to collect his trench coat from the floor. Picking it up and brushing the fabric off, Castiel suddenly felt a similarity between himself and the article of closing. We've both been used, Castiel thought as he wrapped it over his torso, Used and discarded without a thought.
Dean furrowed his brow at the angel's strange coldness. "What's your deal all of a sudden?" he asked, obviously unaware of Cas's damaged feelings.
Castiel could feel anger bubbling deep in the pit of his stomach, still he controlled it as best he could. "Perhaps you should explain to Sam the true nature of what he saw," he replied simply, his words ragged as he bit back yelling furiously at Dean.
Dean fidgeted with his fingernails guiltily, glancing downward at the floor. "I didn't know you heard us," he muttered awkwardly.
"Yes Dean, I heard you," Castiel continued, letting some of his anger flow into his words, "heard how you completely denied our relationship." Folding the collar of his trench coat downward, Castiel stared at Dean with a lifeless and stone-like expression.
Dean suddenly felt very small as the angel gazed at him. It reminded him of when he was still a kid and he'd screw something up, which of course would always put John in a pissy mood. Still, he felt like Cas was being just a little unfair here – how could he expect Dean to be comfortable with admitting their relationship right away? It was something that required time, and quite a lot of it. He tried to explain, "Cas–,"
"No," Castiel interrupted Dean firmly, "I believe I understand perfectly, Dean. Everything just seemed right in the moment didn't it? Like it always seems to be! Well you know what, Dean? I refuse to be some toy – a player in this mindless game of yours." The angel panted loudly at his sudden outburst, watching Dean's somewhat startled expression.
Then, just when Dean thought he'd been surprised quite enough for one day, Castiel outstretched his wings – magnificent and shining, they swooshed through the surrounding air. And then, almost in the blink of an eye, Dean was left standing alone with just the sound of the disturbed air to comfort him. He could feel his heart wrench at Castiel's words, he hadn't meant to hurt him so. Dean knew he had to make things right with Cas, but how? And the real question was, how could he do it without Sam fully catching on to him? All these questions without answers… fan-fucking-tastic!
Bobby stroked his beard thoughtfully as Sam continued his rampage on what he'd just seen in the guest bedroom. Yeah, it was a bit awkward to picture Dean in that sort of relationship, but he honestly thought the kid was just going a little over the top with the whole situation.
"And I mean, it just doesn't make any sense! If he's gonna tell me–,"
"Enough!" Bobby interrupted Sam abruptly, "Enough Sam, I get it."
Sam's brow creased in apology, he felt like a fifteen year old girl venting on her best friend. "Sorry Bobby," he murmured quietly.
"It's okay," Bobby sighed, "but I honestly think you're blowin' this out of proportion here, kid."
Sam looked at Bobby, his mouth gaping slightly open. "Bobby, you have been listening to what I said right?" he asked, rather dumbfounded at the elder hunter's response.
"Only for the last five fricken minutes!" Bobby exclaimed sarcastically.
"And?" Sam raised his hands in desperation.
Bobby arched an eyebrow, not exactly following the boy's point anymore. "And?" he retorted similarly.
Sam sighed in exasperation, "Don't you get how wrong that is?"
Eyeing the younger Winchester suspiciously, Bobby crossed his arms lightly over his chest. "Look Sam, I'm not for the whole guy and guy gig either, but if Dean's happy then–,"
"That is not what I'm talking about, Bobby," Sam interrupted him wearily.
"Well then either shit or get off the pot!" Bobby whined in annoyance, "I'm sorry Sam, but if that wasn't your point then what the hell were you ranting on about?"
Sam gritted his teeth in slight irritation of Bobby's lack of understanding. He continued sternly, "My point is, that Castiel is an angel. That's what makes it wrong."
Bobby sat in silence for a moment, considering Sam's statement. "Well you didn't have any qualms when Dean laid with that pretty little redhead," Bobby pointed out.
"That was different, Bobby," Sam tried to clarify, "she wasn't technically an angel. She knew that she had fallen to earth, but she still needed her grace. With Cas, he's still an angel. A stupid, stupid angel who's falling and losing his grace as we speak."
As his brow furrowed in slight confusion, Bobby could swear he saw a tint of envy glowing in Sam's eyes. "For Dean," Bobby said simply, "He's an angel, who's falling for Dean."
Sam turned to face Bobby, realization dawning on him how that statement must've come out. He didn't mean it to sound like Dean didn't deserve happiness, or love for that matter, he just was trying to point out that the relationship was highly frowned upon. Just as he was about to elaborate on what he meant, Dean came wandering down the stairs with a sluggish manner to his step.
Curiosity grabbed a hold of Sam and he couldn't resist from asking his brother, "Where's Cas?"
"Why do you even care?" Dean spat sullenly, glaring at his younger brother – right now his emotions were unstable, and it wasn't so much that he was specifically mad at Sammy, but more or less just needing to let it out on someone. Anyone.
Although, Dean could see the hurt look that flashed over Sam's eyes at his response and felt a little guilty about snapping at him. "I was just wondering," Sam muttered, his voice quiet and taken aback.
Clearing his throat awkwardly, Dean spoke once more in a softer tone, "He left. He had to take care of some business." Dean tried to be as bland as possible, hoping that both of the other hunters would just take his word and leave it at that.
Bobby sensed the discomforted tension building between the two brothers and decided to move forward with the conversation. "I would imagine," he sighed simply, "still got a blood thirsty angel out there that sure has a hard-on for your head, Dean."
Both the Winchesters chuckled somewhat at the eldest hunter's remarks, slight grins bearing on their lips if only for a few moments. "So where do we go from here?" Sam asked, getting back to business.
Dean's brow creased as he tried to think of a game plan. "Hey, you wouldn't happen to remember that little ritual Ruby used when you guys were looking for me?" Dean asked, directing his gaze back to Sam. At his brother's silent confusion, Dean continued, "You know, when Cas and Uriel dragged me to Cheyenne?"
Sam's eyes lit up at the mention, now realizing the ritual Dean had meant – he remembered it ever clearly, seeing as the map had caught on fire until it burned to Dean's exact location. "Yeah, what about it?" he asked.
"Well I'm thinkin' if you used that to find me, then maybe–,"
"Then maybe we can find Verchiel with it," Sam finished Dean's
Bobby smiled a faint grin seeing as the two brothers appeared to be over their previous conflict and back on track to their normal selves. "So when you two chuckle heads figure out where she's hidin', what exactly do you plan on doing?" he asked, trying to be realistic about the situation.
Dean and Sam exchanged a perplexed glance before stammering to answer Bobby's question. "Uh, well, we'll figure that out when the time is right," Sam nodded anxiously, a dopey smile on his lips.
Bobby just shook his head at the kid. "Well, get to it then," he enthused, shushing Sam off in the direction of his laptop. Sam strode into the next room, a pleasant swagger to his step as he walked. Dean began to follow him out of the room, when Bobby lightly reached for his arm. "Dean," he said in a low voice, "can I talk to ya a minute?"
Looking into Bobby's deep gaze, Dean suddenly felt like a little kid again, his insides turning to jell-o as the older hunter awaited his response. He swallowed hard, his throat suddenly feeling very dry, "Yeah sure."
The two just sat in silence for a moment, Bobby overlooking Dean as if he were trying to read a difficult book. Which Dean was, of course. Still as his eyes scoped over the boy before him, Bobby's voice came out very hushed and understanding. "Sam was venting on me while you went upstairs," Bobby explained calmly, "He told me about what he saw. Dean, if you ever just need a man-to-man chat, I'm right here ya know. I just want–,"
"Bobby," Dean interrupted him quietly, his voice coming out much shakier than he would've liked, "I'm not comfortable talking about this right now. I need time."
Bobby nodded silently, gripping Dean's hand firmly in a warming embrace. Dean always appreciated Bobby for that, the respect he held for other people. Even if he didn't know the full story of a situation, he judged neither person involved, eager to help in any way that he could. Dean smiled gratefully at the hunter he'd come to know as more of a father-figure. As he gazed down admirable man, a flicker of hope shimmered in Dean's green eyes.
It didn't take Castiel long to find a place that suited his likings to land upon. It was neither extremely close to Bobby's home nor very far either. For the past ten minutes or so, he'd been letting his rage out on some stones that lined a small river's bank. Using his supersonic strength, Castiel was able to lift the boulders without a problem slicing and dicing them to his desire. He grunted somewhat lifting a rather large rock, before tossing it in the air and smashing it into thousands of pieces with his bare fist. A slight amount of pain surged through his knuckles, but it was nothing to compare to the ache he felt within his chest.
He'd done everything Dean had asked him to do and still the end result was this – disaster and heartache. Castiel had hoped that the fact that he had nearly died for the hunter would've knocked some sense into Dean, but evidentially not. Hell, Castiel had even dared to give him the most precious piece of his soul – his virginity. Still, Dean had denied their relationship without question. Denied the fact that he even had underlying feelings for the angel!
Castiel couldn't take it much longer, this agony. These twisted emotion were becoming all too much for him to handle and he couldn't be certain how it would change him – for better or for worse. Collapsing onto the ground Castiel let out a tormented cry, burying his head in hands. Through blurring tears Cas could he the inflamed skin upon his hand from when Dean had so vigorously rejoined their souls through his handprint scar. This of course, only made Castiel's heart wrench further, a new resent building up within him. Suddenly arising to his feet, Castiel spread his arms widely prior to calling out, "Raphael! Raphael, I'm here! Come and get me!"
With a rather noisily disturbance of the air, the archangel appeared behind Castiel. "Castiel," he greeted, his voice slow with authority, "leading me here without a sign of the Winchesters? How foolish of you."
Castiel turned to face his superior, the once present fear no longer coursing through his vein. "I have a proposition," he stated simply.
Raphael raised an eyebrow at the defiant angel, somehow willing to hear just what he had to say. Taking a step closer to Castiel, he spoke sternly, "Go on, I'm listening."
"I've come to offer myself to you," Castiel continued, his hands clasped behind his back in a soldier-like position, "I'll return to the field under your command, as long as I am able to complete one final task."
"Which is?" Raphael questioned, curious to Castiel's one condition.
"Verchiel, she has threatened the Winchesters' life – she thirsts for their blood and must be stopped," Castiel responded, his gaze never disconnecting from the archangel's.
Raphael remained silent for a moment, beginning to walk in slow circles around Castiel. "We're quite capable of handling a rebel angel," Raphael said solemnly.
Castiel swallowed hard, this was his vendetta and he wanted to settle it – personally. "I've dealt with much trouble on her behalf. Please allow me to carry out the charge – a demonstration that I still possess the strength to fight amidst the armies or heaven."
The archangel raised an eyebrow suspiciously, reluctantly taking thought to Castiel's offer. "I should smite you here and now, but – you could very well be a useful asset. So shall it be, but do not try to deceive me Castiel. As soon as the task is done, you will be transferred back to Heaven, no exceptions," Raphael stated clearly, holding out his hand.
"I understand," Castiel replied, grasping Raphael's outstretched hand. A blue tinted light flashed from their embrace, binding the deal Castiel had just made.
His soul belonged to Heaven once more and was their soldier to with as they pleased. Deep within his heart Castiel could tell that he would regret the decision, but it seemed what was best. Not necessarily for himself, but for Dean's sake. And that's all that was really important to Castiel at this moment – despite the anger he held towards the hunter, he still indeed loved him and wasn't willing compromise that. Not for the world. So if this was the only way to guarantee his safety and survival, then so be it.
"Please, Father," Verchiel prayed, her vessel's face glistening with tears, "give me the strength to defeat Dean Winchester. He has contaminated my vessel with his lustful filth and – and has taken dearest Castiel from me. All I want is peace, please grant me peace."
Turning swiftly, Verchiel gasped in utter shock as Castiel strode confidentially towards her – both clothes and wounds appeared to be fully restored, a new and shining brilliance radiating off the angel. His wings fluttered gracefully behind him, but his eyes told a completely different story. The once bright blue, shimmering with innocence and clarity, was now a deep sapphire bearing only remorse and blind fury. With an emotionless wave of his hand, Verchiel's body was tossed into the air before slamming into a nearby fir tree. A thin but spiky branch stabbed into her upper thigh, prior to breaking from the tree completely as the angel fell to the ground. Gritting her teeth Verchiel examined the wound, snapping the branch effortlessly and standing tall with a slight limp. Blood flowed steadily from the ragged flesh, but still both angels held a firm and steady gaze.
"How is it possible?" Verchiel asked at last, breaking the unsettling silence which clung in the air between them.
"That's a good question," Castiel responded, his voice deep and impassive as he spoke, "I suppose Dean Winchester, with his lustful filth, had something to do with it."
Verchiel felt a slight twist in her stomach, guilt in realization that Castiel had indeed heard her words. "He's changed you," she retorted bitterly, scowling at her once superior in command.
An almost evil sneer flickered over Castiel's lips, but quickly diminished as he spoke once more, "I don't mind hearing you so. After all, what would this life be but without change?"
Verchiel squinted her eyes at Castiel in wonder, as if trying to decipher a difficult code. She gazed at him in suspicion, until a wave of comprehension washed over her. "You didn't?" she spat, disgust ringing evidentially in her tone.
Castiel felt his jaw tighten as she judged him so – who was she to decide what mortal pleasures he would or would not take part in? "Fully and willingly," he replied, his words slick and gradual as they rolled off his tongue, "And I think you'll be pleased to know that I enjoyed the experience thoroughly."
Tears pricked lightly to her eyes simply at the thought of Castiel laying with another – especially Dean Winchester. "Oh Castiel, if only you knew how–,"
"No more words," Castiel interrupted her abruptly, swiping his hand through the air once more. Again, Verchiel came crashing onto the ground with a thud. This time her face landed on a jagged rock, gashing a thin scrape across her chin. Almost immediately a line of scarlet flourished over the otherwise pale skin.
Castiel marched over to his wounded colleague, staring down at her with bitterness and rage. "Castiel," she gasped breathlessly, tiny spurts of blood flying from her lips, "show mercy."
Kneeling down to her eye level, Castiel crouched atop Verchiel and gripped her tightly by her vessel's shirt. "Mercy like you would've showed to Dean Winchester?" he arched an eyebrow suspiciously. Verchiel's face fell flat at his remark, seeing as she had possessed no intention of sparing the boy's life. At the lack of response, Castiel jerked her forward so that their faces were just centimeters from touching. "I didn't think so," he replied harshly, raising a hand firmly to her forehead.
Verchiel grasped his arms out of desperation, but it was no use – Castiel had already made up his mind that he was indeed going to obliterate her. Flattening his palm so that his hand was pressed firmly against her skin, Castiel murmured a light prayer in Latin, "May vestri nomen sileo forever ut vestri defiant animus vadum effluo." (may your name rest forever as your defiant soul shall be forgotten)
A glowing light began to emulate from Verchiel's vessel's eye sockets and all the other openings upon her cranium. Hearing the shrill cry of her real voice, birds nesting in the nearby trees took flight in order to escape the deafening noise. At last the light faded, the vessel's eyes closed as her own voice echoed from her lips. Castiel allowed who was now Claire to drop carelessly to the ground, panting for breath as she cringed in pain. "Castiel, you son of a bitch, don't you just walk away from me!" she hollered at the angel who now had his back turned on her.
Glancing slightly over his shoulder, Castiel remarked in an icy tone, "You're in no position to demand anything from me."
Claire snickered somewhat, propping herself up with all her effort. "You think you're so badass, so righteous. But you know what you are? What you really are? You're just a jealous asshole who doesn't know how to deal with a heartbreak!" she spat, wincing from the ache of her broken ribs.
Castiel could feel color beginning to flush to his cheeks at the human's words. Marching back over to where she lay broken and battered, he crouched beside her once more if not simply to intimidate her. Gripping the piece of the fir branch that was still pierced in her leg, he twisted it viciously. "Say that again," he hissed through clenched teeth.
Digging her fingernails into his hand, Claire gripped Castiel's hand firmly while crying out in pain. "Go ahead," she retorted in agony, "finish it!"
As the thought crossed his mind, Castiel was half tempted to fulfill the human's wish when a dazzling stream of light poured down upon him. Slamming her forcefully back against the tree, he muttered simply, "No – I think not." Raising his head towards the heavens, a chorus of familiar angelic voices rang through his head. Opening his arms willingly outward from his side, the ambience flowed in a swirling motion around him, the ground shaking ever slightly.
Claire gaped in awe as light began to pour from every inch of Castiel, similarly to what she had just gone through. Suddenly, it looked as though the angel was just ripped from his vessel as the young man's body came crashing onto the forest's floor. As angel rejoined heaven, a massive shockwave spread over the land with a force so intense that Claire was knocked out almost instantly. And so there two angelic vessels lay, torn and beaten, stone cold in the midst of a South Dakota woodland.
Meanwhile, back at Bobby's home, all three hunters were busy at work to locate their long lost angels. After doing a bit of research, Bobby came up with a ritual very similar to what Ruby had preformed not too long ago. Just as about Bobby was about to set fire to the map, however, a large blast shifted over the land and shaking the house. All three gripped whatever nearby and stable surface was available, listening as a few loose articles crashed onto the floor and shattered into thousands of pieces.
"What the hell?" Dean muttered glancing out the window to see dust clearing over the land once more.
The trio of hunters exchanged quick glances before continuing on with their angel seeking ritual. Sam spoke the necessary words slowly and carefully, sounding very much professional as each syllable rolled off his tongue. At last, the map was set ablaze into flames of bright red and gold. Sam could feel his heart rate picking up ever slightly, remembering back to the last time he watched a map burn like this.
"Relax, the fire is our friend," Ruby had said, turning to face him with her eyes the darkest black. Sam squirmed uncomfortably where he stood, suddenly feeling an old hunger rekindled in him at the thought of Ruby and all the shameful acts they committed together.
Dean and Bobby eyed him suspiciously, watching as the thin paper of the map burned away into black nothingness of ash. "Don't worry, the only part of the map we need is the where's Verchiel part," Sam quoted, seeing his fellow hunters relax just a little, "Out."
Immediately the flames diminished, leaving only a solemn circle on the map – the area was near a woodland hiking trail, not too far from where the boys were now. Almost as if on cue, Dean's cell phone rang noisily in his pocket. He fished through his jacket hurriedly retrieving the cellular device at last. "Hello?" he spoke cautiously into the phone, not recognizing the opposing number.
"Is, is this Dean?" a dim voice spoke into the other end. It was male, slightly gruff but surprisingly higher pitched.
Dean knew this man's voice instantly. "Jimmy?" he gasped, his heart nearly skipping a beat.
"Yeah, it's me," the vessel strained, "I'm hurt pretty bad, there's a girl too–,"
"Where are you?" Dean interrupted him abruptly, not really caring about the specifics of the situation.
Jimmy sighed, twisting his head around to examine the nearby environment. "Uh, the woods. I don't know where, but there is a road not too far off, I can hear traffic," he replied at last.
Dean was already slipping his jacket on as Jimmy spoke. "Alright," he muttered, "try to make for the road, we'll be there as soon as we can."
With that he shut his cell phone, slipping it into his pocket once more. "Wait, so that was Jimmy?" Sam asked, surprise evident in his voice.
Dean did his best to avoid eye contact with either hunter as he responded, "Yeah." His voice was very hushed, Bobby furrowing his brow as he took note of it.
"Well where's Cas?" Sam persisted, still a little confused about the whole situation.
"I don't know, okay Sam?" Dean spat, feeling color already beginning to flush to his cheeks, "What I do know is that right now there are people who need our help, so I'd like to get to that if that's okay with you?"
Sam remained silent for a moment, slightly taken aback by his brother's words. "Yeah, let's go," he said at last, following Dean who was almost out the door already.
Jimmy ended the call, heaving in pain as he rested his body against the tree which was behind him once more. Glancing over at the blonde woman beside him, he had a thousand different questions racing through his head – Who was she? How did she get here? Could she possibly be dead? Reaching a hand gently out towards her, Jimmy turned her so that she was facing upward. He could see her chest slowing inhaling and exhaling, which of course was a good sign. He began to shake her somewhat in attempts to awake her from her dark slumber. "Hey, hey wake up," he urged in a dim voice.
Claire stirred at the sudden movement and voice, shaking her head slightly. She mumbled something inaudible before her eyelids fluttered open at last. She stared blankly up at the sky at first, eventually turning to face the man who sat beside her. She motioned him to come forward, in which he leaned in close to face. At such obedience, Claire hauled off and slapped him right across the cheek.
"What the hell?" Jimmy spat, quickly jumping back away from Claire.
Claire arched an eyebrow at him in suspicion. "You're not Castiel?" she asked wearily.
"No, I'm his suit if you will," Jimmy muttered in response, rubbing over his red cheek, "Who are you? And how do you even know about Castiel?"
Claire felt slightly guilty for slapping perfect stranger. "Sorry about that," she apologized awkwardly. Jimmy stayed silent, nodding his head in response. Claire decided it was best to continue onward, "I'm Claire – I'm a vessel too." Jimmy's expression softened at this, suddenly feeling sympathy for the woman who sat beside him. At the same time, however, he felt a tickle of loneliness and compassion play with his heart, tears nearly threatening to overtake him. He sniffled lightly, trying his best to hold back a sudden outburst. "Are you okay?" Claire asked, edging slightly towards Jimmy.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Jimmy choked, clearing his throat, "It's just that, uh, well, I have a daughter named Claire actually."
Claire tilted her head slightly sideways. "You have a daughter?" she asked breathlessly.
Jimmy nodded silently, attempting his best to regain control of his emotions before continuing. "She's beautiful," he said at last, "You sort of look like her, it's a bit strange."
Claire glanced toward the ground, feeling a slight color flush over her cheeks as Jimmy spoke. "How long have you been Castiel's vessel?" she asked, changing the subject.
Jimmy cleared his throat again, shifting into a more serious tone. He sighed, "For the past year and a half, I have been dragged all over creation. And now this is what I get." Claire remained silent, understanding the empty feeling that was welling up in her stomach too. "Who's your angel?" Jimmy questioned.
"Her name was Verchiel," Claire replied, "but I don't think I'll be having any more trouble from her. Castiel sort of killed her off before leaving."
Jimmy raised in eyebrows in utter shock – honestly, he didn't think Castiel held the rage to kill a fellow angel. "I'm sorry to hear that," he murmured after a long pause.
"Don't be," Claire chuckled somewhat as she spoke, "I'm not. I mean, she totally destroyed my life. That's the one good thing I can say came out of all this."
Jimmy didn't say anything, simply staring at Claire as she spoke. Seeing as he didn't totally agree with all she had to say, he decided to change topics. "Dean said that we should make for the road. Can you walk?" he asked.
"Wait, you spoke with Dean?" Claire's brow was furrowed in slight confusion.
Jimmy rummaged through the pockets of his trench coat, searching for the cell phone he had used just a few minutes ago. "Yeah," he replied rather sheepishly, "sorry, I had to use it while you were out."
Claire retrieved her cell phone from Jimmy's hand gratefully. "It's okay," she murmured quietly in response, "Can I have a hand?"
Using the tree to stand himself up, Jimmy soon helped to hoist Claire onto two legs as well. She groaned in pain as the branch still within her cut through her flesh. Still, both balanced upon one another, easing their way slowly through the maze of fallen logs and ever towering trees. They'd been walking for a good ten minutes or so before Claire finally heaved over, coughing up a fair amount of blood due to her numerous broken ribs.
"Easy there, easy," Jimmy soothed, gently lowering Claire down towards the ground.
Claire sighed wearily resting herself once more against a tree that stood just behind her. "I'm sorry," she said her voice faint and slightly shaky.
Jimmy meanwhile reached inside one of his pocked to pull out a clump of tissues, which he was somehow certain would still be there – in this moment, he was pretty thankful that Castiel wasn't some kind of neat freak. Still, he pondered as to where to the angel could possibly be and silently hoped that he was indeed okay. Reaching a folded square of tissue towards Claire's mouth, Jimmy blotted a small patch of blood away from her lower lip. "It's okay, don't be," he smiled somewhat, which looked odd to Claire. She was so used to always seeing Castiel's serious or otherwise expressionless face that it was sort of a nice change really.
A solitary moment of peace passed between the two, each looking hopefully into the other's eyes. Suddenly, there came a crunching of wood in the distance followed by two familiar voices. "Jimmy! Claire!" the two Winchesters bellowed in unison.
Jimmy cleared his throat, before hollering his response, "We're here! We're over here!"
Claire gave a sideways smile as she heard Dean mumbling about tearing his pants on some kind of plant or another – you could hear those two trekking through woods from a mile away. At last the group was untied, hunters with vessels. "Hey you guys," Sam panted, placing his hands on his hips.
"Hello, S-Sam," Claire replied, choking which caused even more blood to spill from her lips.
Jimmy placed the tissue at her mouth once more to collect the fluid, turning quickly to face the brothers who stood behind him. "She needs to go to a hospital," he said, desperation slightly evident in tone.
"Right," Dean replied simply, shifting over to the vessels. Scooping Claire up carefully in his arms, he lifted her from the ground and began to make his way back to the Impala.
Sam meanwhile, allowed Jimmy to lean on him, seeing as the man was in much better condition than Claire. There were a million questions that he knew both he and Dean were itching to ask, but now was neither the time nor the place – there were obviously bigger fish to fry. Claire turned to face Dean, her silver eyes sparkling as she looked into his. "Thank you," she murmured quietly, laying her head just under his chin.
Dean said nothing, but simply carried her through the crowded woodland. He knew that eventually he was going to have to tell her that what they was a onetime thing, but he most definitely wasn't looking forward to that anytime soon. And as the group continued to tromp through the woods, Dean wondered if heartbreak would ever stop being a normal part of his daily life.
The drive to the hospital was a rather unsettling one – Jimmy remained contently quiet, unlike the Winchesters' previous encounter with him. Claire had moaned every once in a while if Dean would accidentally hit a pothole, but otherwise she remained hushed as well. As soon as they arrived at the back entrance, Dean grasped Claire once more in his arms before carrying her into the emergency room. Thankfully Jimmy and Sam had tagged along, for when the time came for an explanation the two undoubtedly saved Dean's ass.
"What is it that happened to your friend?" the nurse asked casually, jotting down notes as she went along.
"Well, uh," Dean sputtered, unsure exactly what to say.
Quickly Jimmy stepped in, "I'm guessing a bear."
"What do you mean, you're guessing?" the nurse placed her hands firmly on her hips, an expression none to happy upon her face.
"Well you see, I was walking on road cause my car broke down," Jimmy began his tale, "and I heard this groan of pain. As it turns out she was knocked out, didn't remember a thing."
Sam continued to play on this halfassed story, "And that's when he called us. Can't say no to a friend need, now can we?"
The nurse arched an eyebrow suspiciously at the boys. "Mhmm," she muttered, scribbling down a few more notes, "Let's get you checked up." She directed her gaze towards Jimmy, who proceeded to follow her back to one of the check up rooms.
And now, both Sam and Dean sat in the hospital waiting room – Dean appeared surprisingly quiet, sitting contently with his hands folded in his lap. Sam, in the meantime, had been browsing through a few nearby magazines. After reading an article on how scalding coffee causes esophageal cancer, he decided he'd read enough. "Hey, Dean," he said, nudging his brother lightly with his elbow, "you okay?"
"Fine," he muttered, his voice barely above a whisper. He never turned to look at Sam while he spoke, however, intently fixated at the nothingness in front of him.
"Dean, I'm being serious," Sam sighed, urging his brother to open up if only for once.
Slowly Dean turned his head to face Sam, his face pale and drawn. The dark circles beneath his eyes stood out more than usual, and the week-old stubble upon his jaw was really beginning take a toll on his appearance as well. "I think I'll be better when all this is over," he replied blandly, his tone flat and nearly emotionless – well, other than the obvious exhaustion.
"Yeah," Sam agreed, allowing the matter to drop.
"Excuse me," another, much more friendly looking, nurse said, "your friend Jimmy is doing just fine. You may see him if you'd like."
Sam and Dean both nodded silently in unison, arising to slowly make their way down the hall to where Jimmy was staying. He sat atop the hospital bed, stripped down to his untucked dress shirt and black slacks. Dean swallowed hard, licking his lips as they had suddenly become very dry – seeing a light sweat glistening upon Jimmy's flesh oddly enough turned him on, seeing as he still envisioned Castiel possessing the man's body. Shaking his head vigorously, Dean pulled up a chair beside the bed as did Sam.
"So?" Sam asked, his brow creased in concern.
"The doctors say I'm fine!" Jimmy exclaimed happily, "They said that except for a few minor issues I'll be alright."
"That's great, really," Sam smiled, glancing over at Dean who still seemed unenthused. Seeing his brother's lack of excitement, Sam cleared his throat before continuing, "But, uh, there are some thing we gotta ask you Jimmy."
Jimmy looked as though he was about to speak his response, when Dean abruptly cut in. "Where's Cas?"
Jimmy glared at the eldest Winchester somewhat, attempting to speak once more. "I don't know," he sighed wearily.
"Bull," Dean muttered, his voice deep and cold.
"I don't!" Jimmy insisted in defense, "All I know is that it's done, for good this time."
Dean arched an eyebrow in suspicion at the vessel before him. Unable to withhold his curiosity, he asked, "What do you mean, it's done for good?"
"Before Cas left, he told just told me that it was finished," Jimmy explained.
"Finished? Well what did he mean, finished?" Sam chimed in, trying his best to relieve the tension building within the room.
"Look, I don't know okay?" Jimmy spat, throwing his arms up in desperation, "Who exactly do you think I am, Castiel still?"
"No, but I wish you were," Dean responded almost immediately. Before he even had a chance to think, the words had tumbled out of his mouth and both Sam and Jimmy looked taken aback in utter shock. Feeling color flush to his cheeks, Dean made his way for the door mentally beating himself as he went along.
Of course, Sam was trailing right behind him, leaving Jimmy to alone to simmer on Dean's statement. "Dean, Dean!" Sam called, chasing his brother down the hall. "What the hell was that?" He huffed once he had caught up to Dean.
"He's useless okay? Useless!" Dean spat in frustration, his aggravation just bubbling over the top.
Sam sighed wearily, directing his gaze towards the floor. "What happened between you and Cas?" he asked, already knowing that Dean wouldn't be completely and totally unwilling to share any information regarding that topic. Dean huffed in annoyance, turning away from his brother to stride down the hall once more. "Dean, where are you going?" Sam called.
"I need to think!" Dean hollered simply, turning a corner and disappearing into the many faces of the hospital.
Pinching the brim of his nose, Sam turned to go back to Jimmy's room. Once there, he collapsed into one of the bedside chairs, looking at the man who still sat on the bed. "Where's Dean?" Jimmy asked through clenched teeth, crossing his arms over his chest.
Sam avoided eye contact with Jimmy for a moment, replying simply, "He went out."
"Well since he's not here, would you mind explaining to me just what the fuck is going on?" Jimmy shouted, irritation flourishing color over skin of his face.
Sam looked up at him with a blank stare, honestly confused at the vessel's sudden outburst. "I don't understand–,"
"Oh save it!" Jimmy spat, arising from the bed to pace the small room's chilled tile floor, "I get it, Dean and Cas were buddies, but seriously? What was that?"
Sam stood from his chair, approaching Jimmy with his hands turned upward in a defensive stance. "Look Jimmy–,"
But Jimmy wouldn't have a word of it, cutting Sam off once more. "No Sam, I have to know. What was going on between them?"
"The truth?" Sam asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
"The truth," Jimmy said firmly.
"The truth is, I don't know," Sam sighed, "Something, I don't know what, but something is up with them."
Jimmy rubbed his forehead wearily, taking a seat on the bed once more. "Tell me something I don't know," he muttered quietly.
"I think," Sam began, not really certain of what words to say, "I think there might've been something, uh, something unusual going on between them." He tried to remain as unspecific as he could, hoping that Jimmy would just realize his point on his own without necessarily having to say the words.
"Like what?" Jimmy responded instantly, not really taking time for Sam's words to seep into his head. He glanced upward, seeing Sam's unsettled stare falling upon him. Their eyes locked in an understanding embrace, Jimmy suddenly feeling his heart rate beginning to accelerate. "You can't mean–," he whispered, his voice trailing off.
Sam took a few cautious steps towards the bed, speaking slowly and calmly, "I know this is hard to understand Jimmy, I think–,"
"Hard to understand?" Jimmy interrupted him yet again, "No Sam, it's simple really. I'm just being used as your brother's heavenly fuck buddy! Nothing weird going on there!" Sammy didn't say anything, just standing there like a moron, unsure if there was anything that he really could say. "Just go," Jimmy murmured at last, "I need time alone."
Sam nodded silently, swiftly leaving Jimmy's room and closing the door lightly behind him. He returned to his original seat in the waiting room, clasping his hands together before bowing his head. He felt a little awkward honestly – it had been a long time since he had prayed, but somehow Sam felt now was the right time to begin once more. "God," he began in a low and hushed voice, "I know you can hear me, I need some help. My brother… Jimmy… Castiel… where do I even begin? I guess what I'm looking for is guidance. Help me find the right path, please God. If I've never needed you before, well I sure as hell need you now."
Sam blinked vigorously as he tried to determine just where he was. Surrounding him all he could make out were blurred whitewash walls – an asylum perhaps? Then suddenly, it all came flooding back to him. Sam now realized he was in the hospital waiting room, and by rubbing his eyes he could see clearly once again. Quickly glancing at the large clock hanging on the wall, Sam was astounded by just how early in the morning it was. Was I really asleep for that long? Sam wondered to himself, checking his wrist watch just to make sure. But there was no mistaking it, it was indeed about quarter after five – just terrific.
Sam sighed wearily, arising from his seat to make for the cafeteria – he needed to get some food in his stomach and fast. Rounding a corner swiftly, Sam gasped in sudden surprise as he was now face to face with a bearded man. At first glance, Sam would've easily mistaken this person for Jesus in the flesh, but he quickly dismissed that thought.
The man smiled simply, placing a hand lightly on Sam's shoulder. "Easy there Samuel, it was not my intention to scare you," he said, a generally calm tone to his voice.
Sam chuckled somewhat, replying, "Oh it's alright – wait, how do you know my name?"
Still bearing a broad smile upon his face, the man spread his arms widely. "I've come as an answer to your prayers," he spoke casually.
Sam arched an eyebrow, glancing around in utter confusion at the man's words. "I don't–," Sam's voice trailed off as reality dawned on the young hunter, "You're an angel."
"They call me Sariel," the angel nodded, allowing his arms to fall to his sides once more.
Shifting his weight, Sam licked his lips delicately before questioning, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember asking for an angel?"
Sam was surprised to see that Sariel's pleasant expression did not falter at his words as he expected them to. Instead, the angel just continued to overlook Sam with understanding as he spoke, "You requested guidance, did you not?"
The young hunter's brow furrowed as he stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Yeah," he uttered, not really sure where Sariel was going with all this.
"And so the angel of guidance has taken flight," Sariel beamed.
At last Sam understood, feeling his tensed muscles loosening as he realized that Sariel was indeed here to help him. "So, wait a second, you could hear my prayers? This whole time?" he asked, curiosity overtaking him.
At this, Sariel's eyes shifted somewhat sheepishly as he directed his gaze towards the ground. "Yes," he murmured quietly in response.
"And you never thought to swoop in before?" Sam continued, a little outraged that over the years of his praying only now did any such heavenly power choose to intervene.
Sariel took a few steps closer to Sam, placing a hand casually on his shoulder as they began to walk down the hallway in unison. "It's not that simple there, Samuel," he explained, "See, up until recently order in the garrison has been strict, the consequences for disobedience harsh. But I suppose with all this apocalypse business transpiring, punishments have become rather diminutive you could say."
Sam's expression softened almost instantly, realizing that this angel was probably risking a lot coming out to see him – That's kinda thoughtful, Sam mused to himself. Clearing his throat he said, "So, uh, about this guidance, I could really use your help."
"Of course," Sariel nodded, "But first I advise you eat something. It's important to keep the temple nourished."
Sam beamed widely as his stomach made small gurgles in anticipation of food at long last. He was beginning to like this angel already.
After devouring a fairly large portion of the hospital's breakfast food, Sam leaned back contently full in his chair. At first he honestly felt a little odd eating while Sariel just sat there, but after a few delicious bites Sam couldn't help but digging in. And so, he now scooted his chair closer to the table, ready to get down to business as he sipped at a cup of steaming black coffee.
Sariel looked relaxed sitting across from Sam with his hands clasped together and placed atop the table. "So how is it you require my assistance?" he asked patiently.
Sam had to admit, he was awfully surprised that the light smile never seemed to leave the angel's face – as a matter of fact, it seemed a bit unnerving really. Like any minute he could just snap and burst from his happy camper state. Still, Sam cleared his throat eager to get underway. "Well, I was actually hoping you would be able to do me a favor," he said, "I was wondering if you could get in contact with Castiel?"
Sariel's expression shifted somewhat at Sam's request, feeling just a little uncomfortable suddenly. He broke his gaze from Sam to glance around the room, returning his focus back onto the hunter after a quick moment. "Castiel is not speaking to anyone right now," he stated simply, as if trying to remain as blunt as possible.
Leaning just slightly closer to the angel, Sam questioned, "So you know where he is then?"
Sariel looked slightly taken aback. "But of course," he responded as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, "He's returned to heaven – returned his soul to the service of the garrison and all its angels. I thought surely he would've told you."
"No, he failed to mention that tiny detail," Sam replied flatly, sarcasm thick in his tone.
"He's being repurified," Sariel continued without noting Sam's obvious lack of enthusiasm in the conversation, "Having his grace restored, if you will."
"Did Cas say anything to you before he left?" Sam urged, desperate for any and all answers at this point.
"No, I don't believe so," Sariel replied, licking his lips delicately, "He just told me that he felt his presence was no longer needed by your brother."
"Dean needs him more than ever!" Sam spat in astonishment that Castiel would even think such a thing. After a moment he regained his composure, moving further towards the answers he still seeked. "Sariel, what happened between Cas and Dean?"
Sariel looked away from Sam awkwardly, avoiding eye contact. "I'm really not at liberty to discuss this, Samuel," he sighed.
"Please," Sam implored, "I just want to know the truth."
Looking him dead in the eye with a stone cold stare, Sariel simply said, "Whatever conspired between angel and hunter is between only them. I'm sure Dean or Castiel will tell you when the time is right."
Sam stared into the swirling abyss of his coffee, which was quickly diminishing as he slurped it down. "Yeah," he murmured in understanding at the angel's words. The two sat in a surprisingly peaceful silence, both barely daring to breathe in fear it would disturb the tranquility no matter how brief it may be. Still, Sam redirected his eyes upward to gaze at Sariel once more. "So, would there be any way to get Cas back down here, I mean, even just to talk to him?"
Sariel fidgeted with his facial hair as if mesmerized in its soft texture. "It's difficult to say," he replied at last, "The archangels seem to have a firm grip on him, they won't be so easily swayed to let him go again." Sam sighed in frustration, his head in a whirl as he tried to figure out a solution to this newly dug whole they'd gotten themselves into. "Unless," Sariel muttered, his voice trailing off.
Sam glanced at the angel quizzically. "What? What is it?" he asked, watching as Sariel's eyes darted back and forth quickly as it was obvious he was in deep thought.
Sariel turned to Sam in sudden surprise, grasping the young hunter firmly by his forearms. "Castiel's vessel, is he willing to embody him once more?" Sariel inquired anxiously.
Sam sputtered somewhat, uncertain of just what Sariel had in mind, "Well, uh, I don't really know."
"Well Samuel, find out. And quickly," Sariel enthused, rising swiftly from his seat, "I think I may know just the ritual to bring Castiel down to an earthly presence. It will be temporary, but it may just buy you the time you need."
With that, Sariel turned ready to leave Sam sitting alone in the hospital cafeteria. "Wait," Sam pleaded, gently grabbing a hold of Sariel by the arm, "Where are you going?"
Sariel clasped Sam's hand within his own in an almost fatherly manner. "There are still questions that require answers, in which we cannot hope to continue without. Speak to the vessel please, Samuel, have him ready for my return," Sariel explained briefly.
"But how will we know when you're coming?" Sam asked desperately.
A light smile flickered across Sariel's lips. "Trust me, I'll make my presence known."
Sam opened his mouth in attempts to speak once more, but before a syllable could even be formed on his tongue the angel had vanished in a rustling of feathers. Sam sighed wearily, now standing alone near the flimsy cafeteria table. Sometimes it just amazed him how each angel differed from one another, each surprisingly having their own ticks and personalities. Digging his hands deep into his jean pockets, Sam made for the elevators – time to talk to Jimmy once more.
"Come in," Jimmy called, his voice light as he responded to an ever quiet tapping at his door.
He watched as Sam cautiously entered the room, knowing that he could no longer avoid the hunter's presence no more than he could the conversation that lay ahead. "Hey," Sam said in a hushed voice, "May I?" The tall man pointed a slender finger towards one of the cushy looking chairs which was nestled against the eggshell white walls.
"Yeah sure," Jimmy replied plainly, continuing to button up his white dress shirt over what looked like a new wife beater tank top.
Sam overlooked his outfit curiously, something just appeared different about it. Attempting to make fill-in-the-gap small talk, he asked, "Did you have that washed or something?"
A slight grin flickered across Jimmy's face as he finished buttoning and just glanced over the bright white, clean and fresh. "I thought it was about time for a good washing," he beamed, chuckling somewhat, "Only been wearing for over a year now."
Sam snorted in amusement at Jimmy's remark, clearing his throat as a heavy silence clung in the air between them. The younger Winchester opened his mouth to speak, he and Jimmy saying their first words simultaneously. "Oh, go ahead," Sam offered, being the polite young lad he was.
Jimmy smiled gratefully, continuing on with what he had planned on saying. "I just wanted to say sorry for flipping out on you earlier, Sam," he murmured, rather sheepishly.
"Jimmy, it's okay," Sam responded, trying his best to be sympathetic so that they could just move forward with the task at hand, "I may not know what you're going through, but I think your actions were completely understandable."
Plopping down on the hospital mattress, Jimmy sighed wearily. "Still, I want you to realize I wasn't yelling at you. I was just pissed," Jimmy still apologized.
Sam didn't say anything but just nodded in consideration. A still quietness came over the two men once again, neither one of them even making eye contact. "Hey, can I ask you a favor?" Sam asked dimly, breaking the silence yet again.
Jimmy licked his lips delicately, now putting his focus on his signature blue tie. "Depends," he retorted, slipping the thing material around the collar of his shirt and positioning it evenly.
"Would you, um, be willing to let Cas back in?" Sam asked hesitantly, bracing himself for the sudden outburst which he was sure would come.
Instead, Jimmy remained silent for a moment longer before finally tilting his head upward to face Sam. His ocean deep eyes sparkled with their constant radiance, but Jimmy's face fell flat looking none too enthused. "What for?" he asked simply, holding Sam's gaze.
"There's this other angel," Sam cleared his throat while trying to explain, "He thinks he might know how to get Cas back long enough to help us."
"What does that even mean?" Jimmy asked sharply, shaking his head as he looked towards the floor, "Getting Cas to help us."
"Jimmy, the apocalypse isn't taking a day off you know. The world is still burning around us and we need to do something to stop it," Sam advocated, his voice firm and full of compassion.
Jimmy could feel a tight lump rising, thinking of all the Biblical scripture he knew was destined to come true if this was indeed the end of the world. In that moment, all he could think of were his wife and daughter – how he missed them so. "But why do I have to help stop it?" he asked after a long drawn pause, tears pricking at the corners of his eyes, "I mean, I'm just a guy Sam. I never asked for any of this when I signed on. I didn't know this was friggin' armageddon! I didn't–,"
Sam remained quiet as a light sob emerged from Jimmy, allowing the tears to flow freely from the vessel. At last he arose, taking a few steps closer to the man and looked him dead in the eye. "I don't know what to say to make it any easier for you," Sam tried his best to offer kind words, "All I can tell you is that it will be worth it in the end. When we win this, everything is gonna be great."
"If," Jimmy corrected Sam through slight sniffles, "You mean if we win this."
"No, I mean when we win this Jimmy. Cause we are gonna we it," Sam retorted forcefully, "Now what do you say? Are you gonna give it one last round?"
Jimmy nodded silently, slipping on first the jacket to his suit, followed by the ever traditional trench coat. Honestly, he could go on and on just telling Sam how tired he was of wearing the damn thing, but right now there were obviously bigger things to worry about. Swiftly he followed Sam out of the hospital room and began to accompany the young hunter down the hallway. "So uh, how exactly is this other angel supposed to get in contact with us?" he pondered.
Sam never removed his gaze from the path before him as he uttered his response. "He just said he'd be in touch," Sam sighed, pushing the button for the elevator.
Promptly there came a soft ding and the two stepped forth into the enclosed metal space. Jimmy poked the button for the ground floor with the twist of his thumb, crossing his arms over his chest as the elevator began to slip down the floors. Suddenly there came a high pitched ringing that began to emulate from the elevator speaker. Sam gasped loudly, covering his ears which he undoubtedly thought were going to burst. Jimmy on other hand seemed much more content to move closer to hear more of the nuisance sound waves. "Are you crazy?" Sam shouted as loud as he could, "Do you wanna go deaf?"
Jimmy ignored Sam's typical response, seeing as it was most likely extremely painful for him to hear. Nearly pressing the side of his head fully against the side of the elevator, he listened closely to what the angels were saying. "Yes, I understand," he murmured quietly. He remained quiet as the voices continued to talk to him, sending various responses back and forth.
At long last, the loud dinging ceased, the elevator ride taking longer than Sam had ever experienced. Walking out of the confined space, he almost staggered at the feeling of being back on solid ground once more. Lifting a hand to cover his lips, Sam belched rather loudly feeling just slightly nauseas. "Was that Sariel?" he asked, feeling as though he already knew the answer.
"Yeah, he says to meet him across the street immediately," Jimmy replied casually, striding forward effortlessly, "Something about having herbs to do a binding spell?"
"Super," Sam muttered, trying his best to keep his very filling breakfast from becoming brunch. Damn it, Sammy thought to himself, I know I should've skipped the bacon and the sausage.
Making quickly for the hospital's exit, Sam and Jimmy were faced with a large and luscious garden across the street. Jimmy easily navigated through the winding paths of crushed stone and swaying plants, Sam following not so steadily behind. At last they came to a booming gazebo decorated with ornate carvings of a rich mahogany. Sariel stood in the middle of the great wooden structure, his arms folded neatly behind his back in a military-like style. He turned to them, swiftly walking towards their location. The expression on his face was not nearly as pleasant as it had once been earlier that very morning.
"I've discovered the preparations for the Obza Oe flesh ritual," Sariel said, his voice rather rushed as he spoke, "Means 'one in flesh' in the Enochian language."
"Great, what exactly does this ritual do?" Sam asked, placing his hands delicately on his hips.
"It's very old, very sacred," Sariel explained, beginning to circle both hunter and vessel, "It binds angel to the human body for approximately twelve hours."
Sam furrowed his brow quizzically glancing at the angel suspiciously. "What good is that gonna do?" he asked, not really impressed with Sariel's answer, "I mean, won't heaven just drag him back to headquarters?"
Sariel tried to put it in terms that Sam that would understand, "Think of an angel summoned by this ritual as bread on a timed baked cycle."
"Okay," Sam muttered quietly, still not really following the angel's point.
"Until the bread is fully baked, it would be unwise to remove it from the oven, would it not? Thus, the other angels won't be able to lay a finger on Castiel until the bounding is complete," Sariel finished, a light grin spreading over his lips.
Both Jimmy and Sam nodded simultaneously, the light bulbs above their heads clicking on suddenly if you will. "Let's do this," Jimmy said simply, his voice a little more gruff than usual sounding almost like Castiel once again.
Sariel now focused his gaze on Jimmy, his emerald eyes swirling with deep concern for the vessel's well being. "I need you to understand, this ritual most likely hasn't been preformed since the days of old – there's no guarantee what the end result will be," the angel spoke slowly, making sure each word sunk into Jimmy's mind as he stepped forward.
Jimmy swallowed deeply, his own crystal eyes meeting with Sariel's. "If it's for the greater good, I think I'm willing to risk it," he replied, smiling dopily. Still, Sam understood that it was all for show – deep down Jimmy was probably quaking in shoes. That didn't keep him from admiring the man though, his integrity and his courage. It's not every day you're told an angel wants to take over you to save the world, after all.
Smoothly shifting his head to face Sam, Sariel asked, "Samuel, will you be agreeable to lend you Latin-speaking skills?" Sam nodded silently, his eyes darting between Jimmy and Sariel vigorously. "Alright, then let us begin."
After placing a combination of dried lavender, barberry root powder, and elder blossoms in a circle enclosing Jimmy, various symbols were drawn out in chalk as well as white candles lit a blaze. Their flames towered high and laminating, despite the short wicks. Taking a step forth, Sariel unwrapped a dusty scroll made of an aged and yellow tarnished paper. He handed a small book to Sam, whose text looked as though it had been possibly hand painted by natural ink of deeply colored berries.
"On my mark, prepare to read," Sariel said, turning to face the outstretched scroll before him. Sam nodded silently, watching the angel as he began to speak in his native tongue. "C Ge-iad, oadriax biah asptol dorphal ol gassagen obza lit cordziz niis ollor drilpi od mad cordziz. Commah oi emetgis, c Oiad, od ol esiasch Castiel saga." (oh Lord, we stand before you looking to make angel one with human for a greater and divine reason. Bind this seal, oh God, and make brother Castiel whole)
Now directing his gaze at Sam, the younger Winchester set his finger upon the page and began to read aloud. "Ego to order vos, in nomen of Agna of Abbas," he began, "exsisto reus ut is terrenus somes. Ago in consensio per viscus, insquequo dies est perfectus." (I command you, in the name of the Lamb of the Father, be bound to this earthly body. Live in harmony with the flesh, until the day is done)
At this, Sariel dipped his fingers into a nearby cup which was filled to the brim with holy oil. Lifting his hand from the thick, yellow tinted liquid, the angel began flicking it against Jimmy much like a priest with holy water during an exorcism. A misty light poured down from the heavens, the ground beginning to tremble beneath them. Jimmy gasped out, staring upward and clenching his fists tightly. A blue-ish mist began to flourish from his every crevasse, a strained cry whimpering from him every now and again. Sam's eyes widened in fear, feeling that something must've gone terribly wrong.
"Castiel is resisting," Sariel said simply as if sensing Sam's distress.
At long last, any glow that had been emulating above or out of Jimmy ceased as the vessel's body collapsed to the ground. Sam was quickly at who was now Castiel's side, gripping his shoulders firmly. "Cas? Cas?" he called, shaking him desperately.
Eyelids soon gave way to dazzling irises once more as Castiel peered up at the young hunter before him. Sam smiled gratefully at the angel's consciousness, his happiness quickly fading however as Castiel looked nowhere nearly as enthusiastic. Silently the angel arose, his jaw tight in frustration. He held his hand before him examining, rounding his fingers to form a clenched fist. "You've performed Obza Oe," he growled bitterly, "Why have you brought me back here?"
Marching forward quickly, Castiel grasped Sariel roughly socking him square in the jaw. He continued to get a few more raging swings in there before Sam grasped him firmly by the shoulders in attempts to pull him back. "Cas stop! Stop it!" he urged. Suddenly, Castiel's pointy elbow jabbed back towards Sam digging painfully into the young Winchester's nose. Sam fell backwards, clutching the skin desperately as vibrant blood flowed freely now.
"I was supposed to return, be at peace!" Cas shouted, shoving Sariel onto the ground below. Furiously he began to kick him square in the stomach until blood began to spew from his brother's lips. Suddenly there was a flash of light, as Castiel curled himself into a ball and quickly vanished. Sam panted heavily, examining his hand which was covered in blood from the banishing sigil. As it turns out, nosebleeds can indeed come in handy after all.
Arising quickly to lend a hand to Sam, Sariel strode over to the hunter like it was nothing. "Thank you kindly, Samuel," he said, lifting the boy up.
"Yeah," Sam muttered in response, "Are you okay?"
"It's but merely a flesh wound," Sariel responded casually, "Still, I've never seen him quite so vengeful. We need to find your brother."
Sam's brow creased now in deep concern. He spat almost instantly, "What for?"
Wiping the blood from his lip, Sariel spoke in a hushed tone, "Castiel likely holds Dean responsible for the disarray he's experiencing at the moment. If such rage was demonstrated on you and I, can you imagine what he would do to your brother?" Sam swallowed hard, remaining silent, but realizing that Sariel had a point – an extremely good one, in fact.
Dean hunched over the railing of a nearby bridge which overlooked the flowing waters of a stream below. He watched at the current dipped and dived swiftly over the murky current, pulling tiny bits of rock sediments as it went along. He sighed wearily, allowing his eyelids to slip shut in hopefully serenity. "Oh Cas," he sighed, wishing so badly that he could feel the angel's secure embrace around him.
Almost as if on cue, there came a disturbance of feathers as a recognizable presence entered not too far from where Dean stood. Neither one spoke for a moment, the sound of the gurgling stream being the only interference in utter silence. "Dean," Castiel spoke firmly at last, not even a hint of emotion in his stone cold voice.
Dean felt the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up. "Cas," he gasped breathlessly.
Dean stared blankly at the angel before him, unable to move, or think, or even speak. At last he licked his lips delicately before uttering, "Cas, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all the–,"
"Let's no waste time with petty apologies," Castiel interrupted Dean bitterly, "Time is short and sure there's a purpose to all this."
Dean raised his eyebrows, slightly taken aback by Castiel's harsh tone. "A purpose to what?" he asked in bewilderment.
Castiel took a cautious step forward, his own brow furrowed in semi-confusion. "You mean this is not a part of your plan?" he mused slowly.
"What plan?" Dean spat, throwing his arms into the air in utter desperation, "Look Cas, I'mma bout as in the dark here as you are. Now if you know something that I don't, well then let's get crackin'."
Castiel bit his lower lip gently, directing his gaze away from the hunter's – suddenly it seemed all too impossible to stare into Dean's needy eyes. "Dean, I," he faltered, his voice coming out much more intimidated than he would've liked, "What's the point?"
Dean shifted his weight to one side, crossing his arms over his chest. "Of?" he asked simply, not entirely certain of what Castiel meant.
Castiel turned to face Dean once more, eyeing from head to toe as though he were foreign. A stranger who just happened to cross his path on the way to something greater. "You and I," he began, his voice hushed, "Is there anything lingering at the end of the tunnel?"
The hunter could feel his heart rate begin to accelerate at the angel's words – had this moment really come so soon? Dean had indefinitely wanted to sort things out with Castiel, but he didn't expect such depth of feeling to be tested. Love is not his specialty and so how would it be possible for him to say all the right words this time around? He sighed deeply, directing his gaze towards the ground. There he saw Castiel's hands, smooth and sturdy, dangling at his side. Dean couldn't even be certain why, but there just seemed to be a tingling sensation which struck up inside him, longing to embrace his angel once more. And so, almost unconsciously, Dean found himself reaching out to Castiel's trench coat concealed arms, taking the angel's slender hands in his own.
Castiel's cerulean eyes widened at the hunter's action, his lips parting ever slightly in awe. He looked as though he were about to speak once more, but clamped his mouth shut in silence. Dean took this as an opportunity to voice his own thoughts, clearing his throat promptly. "Cas, there's no way I can have all the answers," he said, his voice the slightest bit shaky, "but what good is trying to read a book, if you already know the ending?" His hazel eyes shimmered with something Castiel had never known before, an element that caught him suddenly off guard. He swore he could true compassion in Dean Winchester's eyes – love.
At this, Castiel found himself beginning to tremble in Dean's presence, the lightest feeling of tears pricking at the corners of his eyes. He coughed, choking slightly at the tight lump forming in his throat as he continued star at the hunter who stood before him. "Dean, we keep running in this continuous circle of problems. How are we supposed to overcome if new dilemmas keep arising? I don't–,"
"Stop it," Dean interrupted him sternly, "Stop it Cas. Why does there have to be an excuse, huh? Why do we always have to sacrifice the ones we love? Why can't for once we just be happy?" The hunter now found himself gripping Castiel securely by the shoulders, only inches from the angel's face.
"Dean," Castiel panted, his steamy breath warming Dean's upper lip and making the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up. Wrapping his slender fingers around the back of his lover's neck, Castiel enveloped Dean's lips into his own in a moist and passionate embrace.
Almost instinctively, Dean slid his muscular arms around the angel's waist pulling them together further and closing the remaining distance between them. Their tongues twisted together exchanging saliva as each one's hands roamed over the other's back and other various parts. All the so called repurification Castiel had received in the past twenty-four hours quickly melted away as he felt arousal surge through him once more. Feeling the need to be in control of this little love fest, the angel gripped his hunter before forcefully thrusting him into the metal beam behind. Dean grunted loudly, partially due to pain and partially because, as much as he didn't like to admit it, rough sex was a big turn on for him – especially rough sex with a fricken' angelic holy tax accountant.
Castiel ran his fingers over Dean's neck, feeling his pulse accelerating beneath his touch. Still he continued downward, feeling the hunter's collarbone even concealed by the fabric of his shirt. There suddenly sparked a passion deep within Castiel. He felt a need, a very special and particular need – he needed to be connected with Dean in the purist way possible, by touching the place where both their souls could collide. Using both hands he roughly tore the fabric covering Dean shoulder, tearing down, down, down, until at last he came to the handprint. With a needy groan he connected his hand to the scarred tissue, feeling energy immediately course through his veins. Dean's eyes flashed open almost instantly, his mouth opening wide to a hollowed O shape. There came a combination of the fiercest pleasure – like best orgasm of your life pleasure – along with the most unbearable pain similar to that of Hell. Dean clutched Castiel's forearm desperately drawing him forward until their hips were grinding against one another.
Unexpectedly, there came a rumbling engine at the end of the bridge followed by the screech of Impala doors being slammed shut. Sam stumbled out of the car and began running as fast as he could towards his brother – from this distance, all he could see was what looked like Castiel strangling Dean. Little to the young hunter's knowledge, however, that couldn't be further from the truth. "Dean!" he shouted through heaving breaths.
Castiel and Dean's gaze locked, Castiel not wanting to let go, but Dean willing him to – somehow they both understood through some unknown connection what had to be done. Castiel had to play his role, if only for a while longer. With a disgruntled sigh, Castiel pulled himself off of Dean only to sock him directly in the stomach. Of course despite him not actually wishing to harm Dean, Cas had to make it appear realistic and so he used his angelic force against his lover. Dean gasped out in pain falling to the metal grated ground below. In that instant, Castiel turned to face both Sariel and Sam who were running at him and with a surprisingly graceful flutter of feathers he was gone.
"Damn it," Sam mumbled under his breath, disappointed he hadn't been given the chance to beat the angel with all his mite. Still, there were bigger things under way, so as the fact that his brother was beaten down on the floor of the bridge. "Dean!" he shouted again, crouching down to the elder Winchester's side.
Dean smiled a lopsided grin up at his little brother, before murmuring through a bit of blood, "Hey, Sammy."
Sam sighed wearily, clutching his brother by the fabric of his now torn shirt and heaving him upright. "Come on, let's get you cleaned up," he said in a hushed voice, allowing Dean to lean on him for support.
As they made their way back to the sleek Impala, Dean made no qualms when both Sariel and Sam emptied him into the backseat. Castiel really knocked the wind out of him, and because of such an ecstatic commotion Dean was exhausted. Dean squirmed uncomfortably against the leather seat for a moment, discontent with the wet mess he'd managed to make in his pants. Oh well, he thought to himself. On that note, Dean folded his arms over his chest, allowing his eyelids to drift shut as the engine of the Impala started and they were safely on their way back to a motel most likely.
It wasn't long after they got back to the motel that Sam really laid it into Dean – the guy didn't even have a chance to change his shorts for Pete's sake! Dean just took a seat on the small plastic chair which accompanied the table, nodding and making unenthused grumbles every now and then.
"Are you finished?" Dean asked finally, after about fifteen minute's passing.
Sam sighed wearily, feeling that his rampage had gone swiftly in one ear and out the other. "Yeah," he muttered in response.
"Great," Dean said with a bit of sarcasm ringing in his voice, "Cause I gotta go." With that, he arose smoothly from his chair and he began to make his way across the room.
"Wait, where are you going?" Sam spat almost instantly.
Dean arched an eyebrow at him in surprise. "Um, to the bathroom," he replied as though if were the most casual thing in the world.
The eldest Winchester could immediately see his brother's muscles relax. Shaking his head slightly, Dean pulled out a non-ripped shirt from his bag and secretively a fresh pair of underwear. As soon as the bathroom door was secured behind the hunter, Sariel turned to face Sam.
"Did you see his scar?" he inquired, his brow creased in concern.
Sam nodded silently, stroking his upper lip in thought for a moment. "What do you think Cas was trying to do, anyway?" he pondered after a long pause.
"I cannot be sure, but something isn't right," Sariel replied, taking a step closer towards the table.
Sam looked at him with a quizzical expression upon his face. He asked, "What do you mean?"
Sariel sighed wearily. "I mean, the circumstances don't entirely add up if you look at the big picture Samuel," he explained, "You banished Castiel with that sigil, and it wasn't until approximately eighteen minutes and fifty-three seconds later that we arrived to your brother's location. A lot more should have happened to him during that time span other than a sucker punch to the stomach."
"Are you saying you wanted Dean to get the crap beaten out of him?" Sam snorted, taking some offense to the angel's words.
"Oh course not," Sariel assured him, placing his hands in a defensive stance, "I just think there's a hidden part of the confrontation your brother doesn't necessarily want us to see."
Sam took a step closer to the angel, no fascinated by just what he had to say. He continued, "And what would he have to hide from us exactly?"
Sariel opened his mouth as though he were just about to speak when Dean emerged from the bathroom with his ragged shirt bundled up in a ball. He glanced from hunter to angel vigorously as the two continued to stare back at him with mixed emotions. "Awkward," Dean murmured quietly, working his way over to his began to return his clothing articles.
"What are you hiding?" Sam spat, marching over to his brother's location. Sariel rubbed his head in frustration – this certainly wasn't the way in which he had planned on handling the situation he suspected.
Dean's first thought was the soiled underwear, but then he realized there was no possible way Sam knew about that. No, this was indeed something much bigger. "What are you talking about?" he retorted.
"Oh come on, don't play dumb with me Dean!" Sam hollered in frustration, "What did Cas do to you?"
Chucking his bag onto the floor Dean stepped closer to the table, not really wanting to look his brother in the eye right now. "You saw what he did, slammed me right in the gut that's what. I'm fine by the way," Dean muttered, slipping past the obvious intent of this conversation.
"That's not what I mean and you know it," Sam urged, standing only a few feet behind his brother, "Something happened before we got there, didn't it? Something like what happened at Bobby's."
Almost instantly, Dean felt his face burn with color at the remnants of that heated night he and Cas had shared. As if on cue, Sariel stepped in speaking in a hushed but firm tone. "I told you Samuel, anything Dean or Castiel tell you should be of their own doing. It is not your place to interfere with their affairs," he said.
Dean swung around to face the angel, wondering just how much the bastard knew. "Wait, who the hell are you?" Dean demanded.
"My name is Sariel, and–,"
"And he's the guy who helped to save Cas's ass, Dean," Sam interrupted abruptly, "He's kind enough to help, so it might be nice to show him just a little respect."
Dean threw his arms up in frustration, now turning back around to face Sam – he just couldn't win with these two. "What do you want me to say, Sam? Huh?" he inquired, taking a few steps closer.
"I want the truth Dean. That's all I've been wanting," Sam retorted in a nagging tone.
Dean looked his brother over from head to toe – despite the fact that Sam was a good four inches tall than him, at least, Dean still felt like he overruled him to a certain extent. "The truth?" he asked, his voice barely grazing a whisper.
"That'd be nice," Sam responded, placing his hands firmly on his hips.
Dean chuckled somewhat licking his lips delicately. "There's no way you could handle the truth, Sam!" Dean hollered back in his brother's face.
Sam looked slightly taken aback by Dean's words, now more curious than ever at what was actually going on between his brother and Castiel. "Dean, where are you going?" he asked desperately, watching as Dean made for the door.
"To visit Claire, okay?" he replied simply, "I wanna make sure she's doing okay." With that he disappeared out the door of the motel, it slamming firmly shut behind him.
Dean made his way down the cluttered hallways of the hospital searching for Claire's room. He really hadn't spoken with her since her and Jimmy's rescue and so honestly he felt a little guilty about it all. He tapped lightly on her door before stepping cautiously inside. At first glance it appeared as though Claire was asleep, but her eyelids blinked vigorously a couple of times before she directed her stare upon him at last.
"Hey you," she said, her voice tired and groggy.
"Hey," Dean said awkwardly, taking a seat in the bedside chair, "How you feeling?"
"Eh, I can't really say I've been worse," she chuckled somewhat, shifting slightly upwards, "The doctors say I can go home though despite the cast."
Nodding down towards her thigh Dean directed his view there, catching a glimpse of the stiff white material which covered her flesh. Cas did that, he reminded himself solemnly. Shaking that thought quickly from his mind, he looked up to face Claire once more. She was contently staring at him, a slight smile spread across her lips. "That's good," he muttered in a low voice.
"Yeah – of course, due to your and Sam's expertise, none of this is getting billed to my real health insurance. Or lack thereof," she joked halfheartedly.
Dean shrugged, "That's the beauty of fake IDs."
Both smiled in unison, staying silent for a moment longer. Unexpectedly each one began to speak simultaneously, Dean stopping abruptly to allow Claire continuance. "But how am I supposed to go home?" she asked, her tone grave, "How am I just supposed to go back to that now that I know what lies beyond."
"I honestly can't answer that," Dean frowned, "Sorry."
Tucking a delicate strand of blonde hair behind her ear, Claire examined her hands which lay in her lap. "I don't know, almost makes me wanna be a hunter myself. Tag along with you guys," she smiled.
"No," Dean said firmly, "I can't allow that. Become a hunter if you want, no one's gonna stop you, but I won't let you stay with me and Sammy. Too dangerous."
"That's a risk I'm willing to take," Claire urged, taking a hold of Dean's sturdy hand.
Dean felt awkward holding her small hand in his own. The delicate and feminine skin almost felt foreign in comparison to Castiel's much larger hand. Still, he placed his other hand atop her own, as if in a blessing manner. "Well I'm not. I'm tired of burying friends and family. You may be willing to sacrifice yourself for the cause Claire, but I won't have your blood on my hands," he spoke to her plainly.
Claire nodded silently, allowing a silent moment for Dean's words to really seep in. "Guess this means we're done, doesn't it?" she asked at last, turning to face him dead on, "I mean, if we really were anything to begin with."
Dean's heart fell at her words – this was the conversation he'd been dreading, but he knew it had to be done. Not only for closure for poor Claire, but also as a first step in his and Cas's relationship. If he was going to admit he had feelings for Castiel to anybody, well it might as well be Claire. "Claire, what we had," he cleared his throat, "I meant nothing. I'm sorry, I don't mean to hurt you by saying this, but if I could take it all back I would. It was just pointless."
Claire licked her lips, trying desperately to blink back tears. Sure, Dean may not feel anything towards her, but she certainly felt for him. "Just tell me one thing," she choked somewhat, "What did I do? Or didn't do?"
"Oh Claire, it wasn't you," Dean responded, running a hand through his hair.
She pushed, "There's someone else, isn't there? Just tell me who, I only want the truth."
Dean kept his focus glued towards the tile floor. He could feel color flushing to his cheeks ever slightly as he prepared a response in his head. Instead, he abandoned all other thought, murmuring one crystal word. "Cas," he muttered simply.
Claire's head jolted up in surprise. "You mean Castiel? Like the angel?" she stuttered.
"Exactly the angel," Dean replied, feeling a smirk pull at his mouth unconsciously at just the simple thought of the creature Castiel indeed was. Seeing Claire's bewildered expression, Dean cleared his throat in preparation to continue. It was now or never. "Cas and I – we had sex."
Claire's eyes widened further than before, her mouth gaping open in awe. "Oh," was all she could manage to say, never actually thinking that Dean swung that way – angel or no angel.
"Yeah," Dean chuckled somewhat at her emotionless response, "Now that held a purpose. See, I love him Claire. Back in November, when all this crap started, I think I first realized it but I just didn't want to admit it. I mean, I didn't wanna think that I was falling. Falling for an angel especially, but I guess there's no stopping the inevitable. When in Rome, right?"
The blonde woman before him stayed silent for a moment longer, staring at him with washed out and tired eyes. "I guess you're right. If this is the end of the world, I guess I'd better get back out there and make the most of it, eh?" she said through a lopsided grin, though Dean it was just her disguise of dismay and disappointment.
"Yeah," he said simply, not feeling ashamed for what he just admitted surprisingly. Dean actually felt very proud of himself – it was the first time admitting his relationship with Cas to someone other than the angel himself. Good practice for Sammy, he mused to himself.
"Whatever road you decide to take though, Dean," Claire said, interrupting his personal thoughts, "I hope you find happiness." With that, Claire leaned forward to place a delicate kiss upon the crown of Dean's forehead.
Dean just took a moment to stare at the woman he had come to know so much over the course of these long months – she looked so different to him now than she had when he first met her as a lost and frantic foal. She appeared to be more elegant now, graceful perhaps? Like her experience as an angelic vessel had given her some unknown element of integrity which altered her in his eyes. Whatever the reason, Dean decided it had certainly been a privilege to have known – and well slept with – her. Though he wasn't about to make any of these deep heartfelt thoughts known, seeing as he didn't want a chick flick moment on his hands. Instead, he simply said, "Likewise," prior to arising from his chair. Stopping once more in the doorway to glance back at her and smiled, "Take care of yourself, Claire."
As Claire watched the last remnants of Dean's denim jacket leave her doorway, she at last allowed a crystal tear to fall from her eye and roll down her cheek. Not even daring to speak the words aloud, she thought to herself, I'm sorry Dean. I'm so sorry.
Dean meanwhile was striding down the now rather empty corridor, looking for a vending machine to prey upon. The hours of the day were growing long now and so his stomach had been making quite a fuss. Turning the corner swiftly, Dean stumbled upon the appliance glowing a vibrant magenta. The hunter smiled to himself, digging his pocket to pull out a few spare quarters. Slipping them into the slot, Dean selected the choice of a bag of nacho chips, speedily retrieving them from the dispense slot. The loud twist of plastic echoed in the dull hallway, followed by Dean's loud crunching shortly thereafter.
Suddenly, Dean heard a loud ruckus coming from the shadowed area which concealed a door. Dean cautiously sidestepped over to the area, seeing the large metal door was open just a sliver. Reading the red bulletin plastered on the upper portion of it, Dean understood that this indeed lead to the third story roof but continued anyway.
He soon discovered that his curiosity was a fatal mistake – in front of him stood not only dickhead Zachariah, but Raphael as well. A line of four other suited angels on other side of them were there as well, all staring him down anxiously. "Crap," Dean muttered to himself, hearing the lock to the door click once more as he was no locked out. Just peachy.
From behind him, two angels locked their vice grip around his arms, causing him to drop his fresh bag of chips. Forcefully, they began pushing him forward towards the two superior angels. "Hello there, Dean," Zachariah beamed in his typically chipper voice.
"Oh, well if it isn't Beavis and Butthead. How's Cornholio?" Dean mouthed off, figuring the situation couldn't get any worse.
Strike two. Without warning, and without hesitation, Zachariah plunged his fist into the pit of Dean's stomach with monster truck force. Dean gasped as the air was knocked from his lungs once more, just as it had been due to Cas earlier. "Stand him up!" Zachariah commanded bringing two more punches to either side of Dean's face. Warm blood began to pour from the hunter's nostril, soon touching his upper lip. "Now Dean, you're going to cooperate. Otherwise there's gonna be serious consequences."
Dean's upper lip quivered, watching as Raphael now took a step closer to him. Constricting Dean's jaw within his grasp, the archangel came only inches from Dean's face. "Tell us, where is Castiel?"
Dean's upper lip quivered as he eyed the archangel in front of him furiously. He certainly did not take a liking to how these spineless dicks were presuming to punch and pry information out of him – there was no way in Hell that the hunter was about to give them anything on Cas for that matter either. "Ah shove it, chuckles," he muttered, still semi out of breath from Zachariah's punch to his stomach.
Raphael gripped Dean firmly by his shirt, fury burning in his eyes. How he tired of this human's game. He gritted his teeth beginning to dilapidate Dean as he spoke, "You listen to me you pathetic excuse of a–."
"Raphael!" a deep and familiar voice echoed from behind them. All the angels in the surrounding area immediately tensed, crouching down in an aggressive fight stance as they watched Castiel step forth.
Raphael immediately released Dean from his grasp, both he and Zachariah turning to face their fallen comrade. "Hello Castiel," Zachariah beamed sarcastically, "I see you've already reindulged yourself in the pit of human deceit."
"Cas," Dean gasped under his breath, wriggling and twisting in the soldier angel's grasp. His breath became rigid as a growing desire to beat Zachariah's face in grew in the depths of the hunter's stomach.
Castiel glared viciously at his once superiors in command. Lowering his head somewhat, he kept his gaze focused intently on them, his shoulders visibly moving as he inhaled and exhaled deeply. "Let him go," Castiel commanded simply, his voice dark and domineering.
"Or what?" Zachariah chuckled somewhat, taking a cocky step forward, "You can't beat us, Castiel. The odds are against you."
Castiel sighed, seemingly admitting defeat as he cast his gaze downward. "Maybe," he muttered quietly, slipping his long silver blade from his trench coat sleeve, "Maybe not."
Suddenly, Castiel lunged forward at one of the nearby standing angels, piercing him directly through the throat. The others immediately sprung into action, revealing their own blades surrounding Castiel quickly. Time seemed to draw on, becoming slow motion as Castiel spun around to face each of his opponents – the flaps of his trench coat swished elegantly as the angel turned, ocean deep eyes alight with passion and grace. Again and again he plunged his blade through brother after brother, sister after sister, each one glistening with light before all fell dark for eternity.
One of the angels who had been guarding Dean quickly rushed forward, making a move towards Castiel while his back was turned. "Cas, look out!" Dean called in desperation, but it was already too late.
Castiel glanced back over his shoulder, only to find a much larger and stockier man landing atop him from behind. He grunted, falling to stiff concrete below, his face smashing against the gritty surface. Scarlet began to flourish over the area almost instantly, but that was really the least of Castiel's worries. The angel who had attacked him was soon straddling him, working vigorously to secure Castiel's hands from any resistance.
"Potestas inf– hold still!" the angel hollered, slamming his fist into Castiel's face. Dean recognized this chant almost immediately, for it was the same one Alastair had used on Castiel when trying to send him back to heaven. The angel cleared his throat and tried to continue once more, "Potestas inferna, me confirma. Potestas inferna, me confirma."
The angel kept repeating this phrase, until a delicate blue light could be seen beginning to emulate out of Castiel. Cas tried his hardest to keep it concealed, clamping his mouth shut and such, but it was no use – his internal strength was simply overpowering his vessel. Dean could feel his heart rate accelerating, he couldn't just let Castiel get dragged back to Bible camp. On that note Dean lifted his leg, forcefully kicking the angel's knee in back of him. The angel's grip faltered, which was just the opportunity the hunter had been waiting for. Quickly Dean sprinted forward, turning back to face his opponent. The angel reacted swiftly, approaching Dean with fists clamped ready to beat the living shit out of him. He swung a fierce punch, missing Dean's head by a long shot, in which Dean rewarded him with a headbutt to the stomach. As the angel gasped out in agony, Dean continued pressing forward until slamming his adversary into the nearby brick wall. With that, he delivered two more forceful hits to the face, watching as the angel collapsed onto the ground. Dean panted, looking over the unconscious body – somehow he felt that had been too easy.
Still, he had much bigger problems to worry about for the now. Like Cas getting an angelic-exorcism, for example. Dean turned, racing over to where the two angels battled. Seeing Castiel's fallen blade laying not too far away the hunter clutched in his grasp, continuing his stride. "Hey, fugly!" he shouted bitterly. The angel atop Castiel looked in Dean's direction, only to be greeted by the lengthened silver plunging into his face. White exploded from him in an instant, only an empty body, used and discarded, to remain.
Castiel lay still, his face in shock, for a moment longer. At last he blinked vigorously, wiggling his fingers as if reconnecting with his vessel – this in and out teleporting business had to stop. Really. He then directed his gaze upward to face his beautiful hunter, so powerful so loving. Dean reached a hand out to help Castiel up, a dazzling smile covering over his face. Castiel felt a happiness beginning to bubble up inside himself as he reached out to accept Dean's offered hand. "It's not that simple," a dim voice growled from behind the hunter, the beaten angel wrapping an arm around Dean's neck holding him firmly in place.
Dean struggled in the angel's vice grip, seeing out of his peripheral vision that a silver blade was dangling beside his temple. He gulped slightly, fearing for his life. Castiel immediately arose, taking a cautious step back but still bearing his aggressive stance. "You wouldn't dare," he snarled, a thin trail of blood coursing down the side of his face.
"Oh, I would," the angel responded angrily, "Empty vessel equals automatic rite of passage. It's a win-win if you ask me."
"Yeah well, nobody asked you there genius," Dean muttered in irritation.
"Shut up, shut up!" the angel hollered, pressing the blade more forcefully against the hunter's head. It wasn't enough to puncture the skin, but just enough to actually cause some physical pain.
Castiel's eyes darted between the angel and his hold on Dean, adrenaline coursing swiftly through his veins. He dared to ask, "How did you find him?"
"They didn't tell you?" the angel snickered, raising an eyebrow. He obviously was talking about Zachariah and Raphael, who had somehow mysteriously disappeared. "Little miss vessel down the hall led us right to his location."
"Claire?" Dean gasped in shock. Had she really betrayed them?
"Yeah, made a deal with Zachariah she did. Protection from being any other angels' condom if she agreed to be a homing beacon, for the time being anyway. Of course, it's a little difficult to refuse when you're placed into horrific physical pain," the angel continued wistfully.
Dean's eyes widened as he realized how awful Claire must be feeling right now. I forgive her though, he thought to himself, swallowing hard. He mused under his breath, "The cast on her leg."
The angel beamed almost proudfully. "I gotta say, you're a smart one there Dean! Her femur to be exact, one of the most durable bones in the human body – beautiful," he sighed, a bright and shimmering smile plastered on his face.
Castiel took an enraged step forward, ready to beat the angel to death with his own bare hands, when suddenly his opponent gasped out in agony. He could see a shimmering silver tip sticking through the angel's neck, Sariel suddenly appearing from behind him. "You disgust me," Sariel murmured angrily, before retrieving it from the angel he had previously called a brother. Again, there came the flash of a bright light and then all was still with tranquility.
As the angel's now empty body behind him fell, Dean collapsed with him, choking and coughing from the vicious grip that had been held around his throat. "Dean? Dean!" Sam's voice called, the young hunter suddenly appearing on the rooftop.
Sam quickly joined his brother on the ground, wrapping his arms tenderly around his brother in a big bear-like hug. Castiel couldn't help but smile at the sight. "I'm fine Sammy," Dean managed to choke, continually clearing his throat.
Sam continued his hysteria, "Sariel and I came just as soon as we could. I–."
"Sam," Dean said more firmly this time, "I'm fine really. Everything's fine now." Sam looked instantly relieved, a delicate hope shimmering in his eyes as he continued to gaze at Dean. "Do you uh mind if I could get a moment with Cas?" he asked hesitantly after a long moment.
Looking from his brother to Castiel, who still stood solemnly watching them, Sam decided that was probably best. Nodding in agreement, he murmured quietly, "Yeah." With that, he lent Dean a hand to get up and then promptly joined Sariel at the doorway back inside the hospital.
The angel held the door open courteously for Sam, following behind him as they entered the shadowed hallway. "Sariel," Sam began, his voice hushed as he looked the friendly angel in the eye, "Thank you, so much."
Sariel furrowed his brow in confusion. He asked, "For what?"
Sam snorted in amusement, shaking his head slightly at Sariel's naivety. "For everything!" he exclaimed, "For saving Castiel, and now for saving my brother. I mean, if it weren't for you, Cas and Dean wouldn't even be speaking right now trying to sort out who knows what."
"Castiel is essential to your success against the apocalypse, there's no mistaking it," Sariel replied in an almost soldier-like manner, beginning to pace before Sam, "But there is more to be told of the part in which he plays."
"What do you mean?" Sam asked quizzically.
Sariel sighed, turning to face the young Winchester, "I believe you remember asking me about just what had conspired between your brother and angel, correct?"
"Of course," Sam shrugged, not quite following where Sariel was going with this.
"I had told you it wasn't my place to intervene, but I believe you deserve the truth," Sariel began, "You see, Castiel has become much more to Dean. Even though he doesn't like to admit it, certain feelings have begun to flourish."
Sam gulped, taking a cautious step towards the angel. "What kind of feelings?" he asked breathlessly, not truly wanting to know the answer.
"Intimate ones. Dean and Castiel have laid with each other," Sariel said bluntly, no tinge of emotion as if discussing something as typical as the weather.
Sam's jaw dropped, his eyes widening in awe. "They what? When? How?" Sam sputtered, not even recognizing the words which tumbled from his lips.
"Please try to understand Samuel," Sariel urged, placing a hand lightly on the boy's shoulder, "your brother and Castiel share an equal love. A love so pure, so powerful, that it's inevitable. From the time Castiel reached into the pits of Hell in which to raise Dean, their souls have been eternally bound."
Sam stared blankly, hearing each word Sariel spoke, but not fully registering it. "But, but, they slept together?" he gasped after a moment. Sariel nodded quietly, giving the hunter time to have this all soak in. "That is uh," Sam stuttered, beginning to trail slowly in circles, "Aw man, I think I'm gonna be sick!" With that, Sam hunched down placing his hands on his hips. He'd only caught Dean in the midst of lovin' once, and that was one too many times to have seen his brother's nether region. But now having to picture not only him, but Cas too? That was just a little much for the poor boy to bear. It made his stomach churn in utter disruption – but at the same time, oddly enough, it sort of turned Sam on too.
Dean pushed himself up from the concrete, smoothing out his clothes as he did so. He looked over at Castiel, who stood peacefully towards the edge of the roof. The clouds, which had been a dull grey, were separating slightly, causing a golden beam of sunshine to pour down on the angel. He looked simply beautiful, Dean's breath was stolen from him. Castiel turned his head silently, gazing back at his hunter, eyes shimmering brightly. Dean began to walk over to Castiel, sighing contently as he stood by the angel's side.
"I'm glad Sariel came," Castiel said simply, his eyes never leaving Dean's.
"Believe me Cas, so I am," Dean chuckled somewhat. He cleared his throat though, taking a more serious tone now, "Cas I, I was so scared I lost you. When Jimmy said you were back in heaven, I just–." His voice trailed off, not being able to think of the words to convey his message.
"I'm not going to lie to you, Dean. I was indeed prepared to leave you, forever," Castiel explained, now tearing his stare from the hunter.
"Cas, I know I made some mistakes in the past, but I'm ready to change. Ready to do whatever's necessary for you, to make you happy," Dean insisted, placing a hand tenderly on Castiel's shoulder.
Castiel closed his eyes in despair, swallowing hard. "It's not that simple, Dean," he tried to explain, shaking his head ever slightly, "This body, it's all temporary."
Dean smiled sadly, beginning to speak once more, "I know this is only a vessel or whatever but I–,"
"No Dean," Castiel insisted, turning to face the hunter once more, "I don't have much time left."
Dean's brow creased in confusion, slightly taken aback. "What do you mean?" he asked breathlessly. When Castiel remained silent, Dean urged, "Hey, what the hell do you mean?"
Castiel sighed wearily placing his hands on Dean's shoulders firmly. "I made a deal with Raphael," he confessed rather sheepishly.
With now widened eyes, Dean immediately jumped away from his angel – what was it with everyone he loved making deals for his sake? "You what?" he spat, his tone coming out harsher than he would've liked.
"Believe me Dean, it was not my first choice," Castiel explained hastily, "I just felt as though I had no further options left."
"But you did," Dean argued, almost glaring at Castiel, "You could'a came a talked to me."
Castiel bit his lower lip slightly, feeling irritation beginning to build in the pit of his stomach. He retorted, "And how was I supposed to do that exactly? Dean, when you felt cornered in the past, haven't you made rash decisions?"
Dean let out a long drawn sigh, he honestly couldn't argue that point. He closed his eyes, keeping silent for a moment longer, debating what his next course of action should be. "So how much time do you have?" he asked after a somewhat awkward moment.
Castiel raised his eyes towards the sky, trying to calculate the time of day. Reaching his verdict, he said simply, "About seven hours."
Dean swallowed hard, reopening his eyes and taking a few steps closer to his angel. "Alright," he cleared his throat, fidgeting playfully with the collar of Cas's shirt, "Well, we'll figure something out. Cause that's what we're good at, eh?" Castiel smiled faintly in agreement, not entirely certain that Dean would be able to find a solution – still, wasn't about to let any of his doubts fall through and disappoint his beloved hunter. Closing the distance between them, Castiel rewarded Dean with a tender kiss to the lips. Dean accepted the kiss hungrily, wrapping a hand around the back of Castiel's head and drawing him ever closer.
At last the two pulled away from each other and, hand in hand, made for the door back inside the hospital. Dean politely held the door open for his angel, allowing Castiel to step forth first. Castiel smiled gratefully, entering the shadowed hallway. Sam and Sariel immediately looked at the two, remaining quiet for only a moment longer.
"So?" Sam questioned awkwardly. He wasn't entirely certain where he planned to go with it, but why not go with the flow huh?
"This binding spell won't last much longer," Castiel cleared his throat, his tone gruff and back to business, "Raphael and Zachariah will be waiting to collect me, I'm sure of it."
Sariel stroked his beard thoughtfully, his eyes glazed as if off somewhere else. "I take it you both shook in agreement?" He asked, glancing up at his brother hopefully.
Sariel was quickly brought to despair, however, as Castiel nodded silently. "My contract is forever sealed, I don't believe there's a way out of it," Castiel stated simply, remorse ever evident in his throat. His gaze was tossed towards Dean, a longing stare passing between them which Sam couldn't help but notice.
"Unless," Sariel mumbled, once again in deep thought.
"Unless?" Sam echoed, feeling some kind of hope beginning to churn inside him.
Sariel now directed his gaze over towards the young hunter, a new shimmer swirling within his eyes. "We could try a solvo of debitum ritual," he smiled somewhat at his sudden burst of thought.
"Solvo whatta, whatta, whatta?" Dean, who up until this point had been silent, interrupted abruptly.
"Solvo of debitum," Castiel corrected him, "It literally translates to free of debt – peasants in days of old would attempt such a ritual when they could not afford debts owed to their landlords. It is potentially dangerous though."
Dean arched an eyebrow in suspicion. "Dangerous how?" he questioned, sizing up Castiel with his eyes.
Castiel broke eye contact with Dean, now feeling rather small under the hunter's weighty stare. "There's a chance," Sariel explained, "that Castiel could be killed in the process. He is stronger than any human, but still weaker than most angels after all."
"No, no way," Dean declared almost immediately.
Sam sighed at Dean's words. "Dean–,"
"Sam," Dean said firmly, "No, I won't risk it."
Licking his lips, Sam placed his hands on his hips rather matter of factly. "I don't think that's your choice to make," he retorted, raising his eyebrows at his brother.
Dean could feel color beginning to flourish to his cheeks, he obviously hadn't taken into consideration whether or not that authority was indeed his – somehow Dean just automatically assumed that Castiel was now his responsibility, regardless if the angel wanted it that way or not. "Sam is right, Dean. That choice is for only me to make alone," Castiel spoke up, laying a hand delicately on his hunter's shoulders.
Sam smiled proudly at first, feeling a little uncomfortable suddenly though as he saw Dean and Castiel draw ever closer. "Cas," Dean pleaded, his breath steaming against the angel's cheek.
"What difference does it make?" Castiel retorted, his voice hushed, "If we don't try this, than Raphael will still have me. I'm not use to as some bitch in paradise."
Dean couldn't help but chuckle at that, Cas using his own words against him. Imagine that. "And if we do, you die," the hunter cleared his throat, looking Castiel dead in the eye.
"So it shall be," Castiel declared, wanting so badly to take hold of Dean's hand but refraining. Dean smiled his thanks, reassuring his angel with his bright hazel eyes.
Sam scratched the back of his head awkwardly. "So, uh, guys," he cleared his throat, speaking louder than was probably necessary, "Why don't we head back to the motel and work on this ritual?"
Everyone silently agreed in unison, beginning to walk down the quiet corridor in which to make for the Impala. Sam and Sariel walked ahead, striving with purpose, while Dean and Castiel seemed to linger back hands so close they were nearly touching. Dean snickered to himself as they rounded a corner, leaning in towards Castiel's ear to whisper something only for his ears.
"So, last night on earth?" he said dimly. Castiel nodded silently, keeping his eyes focused on the path ahead of him. "Got any special plans for the evening?" Dean nudged Castiel lightly on the elbow, a smug smile spreading over his lips.
"We're going to need a separate room," Castiel mused, unable to contain a grin which he beamed himself.
Dean shook his head in delight, loving the way both he and Cas thought alike. "How'd I end up with someone so great? Just luck I guess," he chuckled somewhat, his voice still low in a whisper.
"No," Castiel said, his voice stone cold serious, "Fate." With that, he at last turned to look Dean in the eye, bright blue eyes washing over the hunter like a blissful wave.
Dean swallowed hard, feeling knots beginning to double over in his stomach. All this last night on earth shizz was complete and utter nonsense but what if there lay some truth beneath it? What if this was the last night in which he'd be able to hold Castiel tenderly in his arms? The hunter shook his head, looking ahead at the hospital's doors, just trying to focus on the task at hand. Castiel sighed dimly, already knowing every thought which was playing in Dean's head. He wanted to do his best in reassuring his hunter, making him understand that it would all be alright, if only for a few hours more.
The fantastic Four stumbled Into their motel room just as the first shadow of dusk was beginning to sweep over the land. Sam almost instantly settled onto his bed, sighing deeply. Sariel, in the mean time, got right to work using Sam's laptop for research.
"Wow, gotta say, never thought I'd live to see the day when angel uses a computer," Dean chuckled somewhat, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt.
"Believe it or not," Sariel retorted, his eyes fixed intently on the laptop's glowing screen, "even angels need a brush up on their knowledge every now and again." Dean still snickered, watching as Sariel's fingers swept rapidly over the keys, typing and searching at supersonic speeds.
"Well," Castiel cleared his throat, "I think it best if I got out for a while." With that, he turned swiftly, ready to make for the door.
"Wait, go where?" Sam asked, creasing his brow ever slightly.
Castiel fumbled silently for answer at first, regaining his composure quickly though. "I need some time to myself, Sam. To think," he said simply, throwing Dean a suspicious glance.
"Speaking of which, I think I'm gonna run for a burger," Dean spoke up, watching as Castiel shut the door lightly behind him.
Sam crossed his arms over his chest, obviously not impressed with Dean's little act – there was something much bigger than just walks and burgers going on here. "A burger, right," he muttered under his breath.
"You two want anything while I'm out?" Dean continued casually, still making slowly for the door.
Sam glanced over at Sariel, who said nothing, simply continuing onward with his research. "Nah, I think we're good," he chuckled, watching Dean disappearing into the hallway. He waited a moment longer until he was sure his brother was out of ear range before continuing, "What do you think is going on with them, anyway?"
"They're off to fornicate I would suspect," Sariel replied quietly, never taking his eyes from the computer screen.
Sam cleared his throat awkwardly unable to tell which seemed to gross him out more – the fact that Dean and Cas were going out to screw each other, or that Sariel was just so blunt about the situation. "Alright, well I'm just gonna see what's on," Sam tried to sound as casual as possible, pointing over towards the television.
Lightly, Sariel closed the lid of the laptop, arising swiftly from his seat. "I must go and collect necessities for the ritual," he declared, "I shall return soon."
Before Sam even had a chance to respond, Sariel was gone in a whoosh of feathers. The young hunter sighed wearily to himself. Nothing like sitting home alone on a Thursday night, watching crappy television marathons. Oh joy.
Dean snickered to himself, feeling like some kind of horny teenager as he made his way to the front desk. He cleared his throat, smiling at a friendly blond clerk who stood at the check-in desk. "Yes, how may I help you?" she asked pleasantly, eyeing Dean from head to toe.
He felt a little odd in her stare, still he continued with his request, "Uh yeah, I need another room."
"Another?" the clerk questioned, arching an eyebrow suspiciously
"Yeah, someone's gonna be meeting me later if you know what I mean? Wanna give the others a little privacy," Dean chuckled somewhat, leaning on the side of the desk and speaking in a hushed voice.
A large smile spread across the woman's lips as she reached for another room key. "Got'cha," she replied equally quiet, "For room sixty-seven."
"Thanks," Dean murmured softly in appreciation, turning to stride down the hallway. He reached the door in no time, reaching to put his key in the slot only to find that it was already unlocked and cracked open just a sliver. Slowly Dean pushed the door open further, ready for anything that might pop out at him. He quickly sighed in relief however, seeing Castiel standing inside solemnly, turned to face the wall – oh course the angel would already know what room they'd been assigned. Dean snickered somewhat to himself, placing a small red Do Not Disturb sign on the outside door knob. With that, the closed the door lightly behind him, being sure to lock it securely. "Hey Cas," he sighed contently, biting his lower lip somewhat in anticipation.
"Hello Dean," Castiel replied casually, a sort of sly seduction to his tone though. Swiftly he turned to face Dean, his hands still buried deep in the pockets of his trench coat which was folded tightly over his body. Dean arched an eyebrow suspiciously as Castiel whipped open the tan material, revealing plain and pure nudity to his hunter. Dean's jaw nearly dropped at how easily Castiel exposed himself, pleased at the sight never the less.
"Well, you certainly don't waste any time huh?" Dean giggled with delight, fixated on Castiel as he leisurely strode across the room towards the hunter.
Castiel smiled smugly, leaning in so close to Dean that their lips were nearly touching. "Indeed not," he smiled, closing the space between them with a moist and passionate kiss. Dean instinctively wrapped his arms around Castiel's bare back, pulling his angel closer – always closer. A deep purr-like moan arose from Castiel's throat at this, tugging at Dean's lower lip as if begging for his tongue to be allowed in. Dean parted his lips ever slightly, making the angel work for what desired so badly. Soon enough, however, their tongues collided and danced against one another in the dark cave of each one's mouth.
Both hunter and angel began to vigorously strip Dean of his clothes, starting with the shirt, working towards the pants, so on and so forth. The two soon found themselves toppling over onto the silky bed sheets, skin against skin. Castiel, of course, desired to be atop leaning down to reward Dean with yet another tender kiss. The hunter gasped loudly as Castiel suddenly disconnected their lips, stroking his hands lightly over all the right areas of Dean's body. Slowly, ever slowly, Castiel began to slip downward towards Dean's already stiff and bulging member prepared to dive into him hungrily. Dean threw his head back in pure ecstasy as he felt Castiel's lips upon him, lost in total bliss. He began to thrust harder, faster, feeling pleasure rip through him as he reached his climax. Arching his back, the hunter inhaled deeply, shrieking out his angel's name in desperation, "Castiel!"
Castiel's eyes flew open instantly, feeling a passionate exhilaration beginning to build in the pit of his stomach at hearing Dean call out his full name so eagerly. The angel then removed himself from Dean, falling beside him wearily onto the bed sheets. His blue eyes were wide with fading excitement and anticipation as he watched the hunter's chest bob up and down speedily with every breath Dean took. Dean turned to face Castiel, gazes fixed upon one another, lifting a hand gently to caress the angel's cheek. He leaned his head in, placing a soft kiss on the crown of Castiel's forehead, before arising to spread himself over the angel. Castiel furrowed his brow, lost in confusion – he'd always been the one to pleasure Dean, up until this point he had never received such treatment. He swallowed hard, simply staring in amazement as Dean towered over him.
The hunter squatted down atop his lover with a painfully pleasured moan which, of course, only turned Castiel on even more. The moment Castiel felt himself inside Dean all his senses were awoken, unable to think, speak, or even breath. At first the two just sat there, neither one daring to make a move. Finally Castiel began to thrust his hips in a slow and steady rhythm. Dean ground himself against the angel with equal pressure, both soon rocking in steadily quickening pace. Castiel kept his gaze glued to the ceiling, his mouth hanging open in complete awe – his emotions were in total overdrive, it was more than he could bear. Suddenly Dean twisted himself in an unexpected motion, which caused something to stir deep within the angel. Without warning, a surprisingly high pitch scream emulated from Castiel, who closed his eyes tightly gripping the bed sheets in utter desperation.
Dean snickered to himself, watching as Castiel wriggled helplessly beneath him. He could feel the angel's pressure building deep inside him, and so Dean slowed his thrusts somewhat, making the suspense drag on for as long as possible. Castiel cried out once more, random gibberish and gasps escaping his lips. "Dean, oh please, Dean," the angel pleaded, rambling on with his words.
"What Cas?" Dean chuckled somewhat, "What'ya want?"
Castiel, with eyes still shut tightly, grasped Dean's sweaty thigh with equally sweaty fingers, tracing down the hunter's skin. He moaned and almost growled frantically, replying, "Dean, I need, I need—." His voice trailed off, beginning to pump harder into his lover. Dean allowed his own eyes to slip shut, simply loving the way Castiel was beginning to regain control of the situation.
At long last Castiel reached his release, his eyes flashing open in that instance. He arched his back up towards the heavens, pushing himself into Dean further than ever before. Dean grasped the sheets within his fingers, biting his lower lip to keep a blood curdling scream contained. Finally he slipped off his lover, gently falling into Castiel's arms. Both angel and hunter panted wildly, each one's face flushed to a deep rose color. Dean turned to face Castiel, cupping him by the jaw line and pulling the angel's lips into his own. Almost immediately his tongue slipped into Castiel's mouth, twisting and twirling in the confinements of the tiny space. Castiel closed his eyes yet again, placing a hand on the small of Dean's back to draw him ever closer.
When Dean had finally got his share of kissing out of the way, he rested his head content on Castiel's shoulder, joining the angel in staring at the plain walls before them. "So," he muttered quietly, his voice barely reaching a whisper.
"So," Castiel echoed smugly, "this is a much better experience than our last."
Dean arched an eyebrow turning his head to gaze upon Castiel's face. "What's that supposed to mean? Wasn't I good enough for you before?" he teased, biting at Castiel's earlobe playfully.
"Oh no, Dean, you misunderstand me," Castiel swallowed hard, stroking Dean's forearm lightly, "You were incredible, then and now, there's just no one to interrupt us this time."
Dean smiled contently, understanding Castiel's point. "Yeah," he sighed, patting Castiel gently on the stomach, "Speaking of which, we should be getting back soon, don't you think?"
"I suppose," Castiel frowned, feeling chilled at the lack of Dean's warmth as the hunter arose from the bed, "Where are you going?"
"I'mma hit the shower," Dean replied smugly, quickly slipping through the thin beige door.
Castiel sat with his head propped on his elbow for a moment, thinking over the results of the evening in his head – if he was indeed going to die this day, at least he could say it had been a good one. Still, he mused, there must be some way in which it could be even better. With that, the angel grinned smugly to himself, throwing the sheets from his body and making for the bathroom door.
Dean meanwhile, had his hands pressed against the cool tile of the shower, allowing his head to droop as steaming water flourished over his body. His eyes were closed lightly, tiny beads of crystal water forming on his thick eyelashes. Suddenly, Dean's senses became alert, hearing the metal door of the shower sliding open. The hunter spun his body around quickly, finding Castiel posed solemnly behind him. "Uh, Cas," Dean stammered, "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" Castiel replied, arching an eyebrow seductively.
Dean gulped roughly, feeling the pulse in his throat beating rapidly. "I'm uh, taking a shower to get cleaned up," he chuckled somewhat, watching as Castiel took a determined step forward.
The angel pressed his hands firmly against Dean's shoulders, slamming him back against the tile, not enough to truly hurt him though. "Well then, I believe the appropriate response would be, allow me to make you dirty," Castiel smiled deviously. With that, he leaned in to kiss his hunter passionately, reaching downward to excite Dean once more.
Sam resorted to sitting in complete and utter silence when he failed to find something which would entertain him on the television. During that time, however, he'd gone from sitting up straight, to leaning on his arm, to lounging on the sofa, to actually falling asleep. It was surprisingly quiet in this place, little ruckus from neighbors or the ongoing traffic which lay just beyond the walls. And so, seeing how easily the young hunter had fallen into a deep sleep, he stirred little when both Dean and Castiel arrived back inside the motel room.
Castiel shut the door lightly behind him, scoping the room quickly for any signs of life. Sam was carefully concealed behind the sofa's high back, and so he was now the invisible man if you will. The angel squeezed Dean's behind playfully, watching as his hunter jumped with excitement at such an act.
"Damn, you're feisty today huh?" Dean chuckled, taking Castiel's hands in his own.
Castiel leaned in close to Dean's ear, murmuring quietly, "Oh yes." With that, he parted his lips, gently suckling Dean's earlobe in his mouth.
Dean shivered with excitement, pulling away simply to stare at his lover. "Oh Cas," he said in a hushed tone, his voice barely grazing a whisper, "What would I do without you?" Castiel's blue eyes glistened in a slight sadness, realizing that Dean would still be trapped in Hell if it weren't for him. The angel decided to remain silent however, content on shrugging his response. At this, a dopey grin spread over Dean's lips, drawing closer to his lover. "I do love you, Cas. Forever and always."
Castiel allowed his eyelids to flutter shut, feeling extremely warm in Dean's grasp. He laid his head onto his hunter's shoulder, inhaling deeply the luxurious scent of denim, sweat, and alcohol which all made up Dean – heavenly. Purely and simply, heavenly.
Meanwhile, Sam could feel his heart rate beginning accelerate – he'd heard it, he'd head every word. Every. Single. One. At first he'd only heard the low mumble of Dean's voice, which had brought him back to consciousness, but now he rather wished he'd stayed asleep. He swallowed hard, blinking vigorously as he lay there stiff as a statue. The curiosity deep within his stomach kept urging him to get up, but he couldn't help but dread the image he feared he'd see. Never the less, Sam Winchester had never been one to deny inquisitiveness its rite of passage, and so he hoisted himself up from the sofa cushion.
Castiel, who just happened to open his eyes in that moment, felt a panicked wave flourish over him his eyes locking onto Sam. "Dean," he murmured hoarsely, pulling away from his lover hurriedly.
Dean furrowed his brow in confusion. Lifting a hand to Castiel's cheek, he asked, "Cas what are y—,"
The hunter's voice halted abruptly as he too caught sight of his brother, who still peeped out from behind the sofa like a small child. Sam swallowed hard clearing his throat in awkward desperation, "Did I uh, miss anything?"
Castiel stepped forward, opening his mouth as if about to speak, when Dean placed a hand firmly in front of this angel. "I'll take care of this," Dean mumbled quietly, locking onto a yearning stare with Castiel. "Sam, let's go for a walk huh?" he suggested, already heading for the door. Sam's eyes darted between his brother and the angel who stood beside him, still frozen in awe. At the lack of Sam's response, Dean shouted, "Sam!"
Sam blinked vigorously, brought out of his trance by Dean's hollering. "Uh yeah, a walk sounds good," Sam muttered at last, rising wearily from the sofa's cushion.
The younger hunter felt a little unsettled as he walked past Castiel, the angel almost glaring at him as he did so. He cleared his throat awkwardly, shutting the door lightly behind him as he followed his brother out of the motel room and down the hall. Dean slowed his stride somewhat as they reached the end of the corridor, nearing a large window. His hazel gaze was fixated on the dim twilight glass for a moment longer, before turning to face little Sammy.
"So," he mumbled, sort of avoiding eye contact with his younger brother.
Sam dug his hands even deeper into his pockets – well this wasn't going to be awkward, now was it? "So?" he replied with equal lack of enthusiasm.
Dean rolled his eyes – typical Sam response. "Guess you owe me the biggest I told you so ever, huh?" he chuckled somewhat.
Sam couldn't help but smile – he definitely was planning to rub that in Dean's face. Maybe. He scratched the back of his head, furrowing his brow in slight confusion. "So you and Cas?" he asked, trying to just move things along swiftly.
"Yeah," Dean replied, digging his hands out of his jeans to place on his hips, "Me and him, I guess."
Snorting somewhat, Sam just shook his head somewhat in semi-awe and disbelief. "How did that happen? I mean, it's Cas – freaking angel of the Lord!" Sam stared at his brother, looking for some kind of lengthy explanation to clarify the situation for him.
Dean stayed silent for a moment, staring right back at Sam. He didn't know what to say, or how to even say it. "I fell in love, Sammy," Dean murmured after a long pause, unexpected tears suddenly pricking his eyes.
Sam's expression softened almost instantly, feeling some kind of sudden elation for his brother. "Really in love?" he asked, his voice barely audible as he took a cautious step towards Dean.
"Really in love," Dean choked, clearing his throat as it has suddenly become very tight and hard to swallow. Sam gave him a lopsided smile, patting him roughly on the shoulder. Dean grinned back nervously before continuing, "So you good?"
"No, not really," Sam sighed, casting his gaze downward, "I mean, it's you and Cas after all. Not exactly easy on a guy's stomach, you know?" He watched as Dean chuckled at his comment. "Still, I'm just gonna have to suck it up and deal, cause there are bigger things on the to-do list here."
Dean nodded silently in agreement, licking his lips without another word. Suddenly the motel room door opened and Sariel stepped out, his expression grim. "Sam, Dean," he said simply, "It's almost time."
The brothers exchanged a quick glance before stepping forth, back inside the motel room. Sam walked steadily to the other side of the room where Sariel stood patiently with the ritual's ingredients, Dean meanwhile lingering in the doorway beside his own angel. Castiel place a hand lightly atop the denim of his shoulder, pulling him closer. Dean could feel Castiel's breath on his ear as the angel spoke, which of course gave him goose bumps. "Thank you," Castiel whispered.
Dean arched an eyebrow in confusion, turning to face Castiel head on. "For what?" he muttered in equal quietness.
Castiel clasped Dean's hands publically in his own, examining the hunter's rough and callused fingers. "I heard what it was you said to Sam," he replied simply, smiling up at Dean almost sheepishly.
"Eavesdropping now?" Dean beamed, unable to contain the humor behind his scolding, "That's pretty naughty." With that, he leaned in to place a warm kiss to Castiel's needy lips.
Afterwards Castiel grinned back at his hunter, blue eyes sparkling, "I love you too." He pulled Dean into a warm embrace, tickling his fingers as he stroked the spiky edges of the hunter's hair.
Suddenly Sam's voice echoed through the motel, a swift cough emulating from his lips. Both Dean and Castiel broke apart, hands still entwined, as they turned to look at Sam and Sariel. Sam arched his eyebrows defensively, "Whenever you're ready."
Both smiled sheepishly, nodding in silence. Sariel stepped forward, still pretty glum about the whole situation. "We have just over two hours," he began, pacing the floor with heavy steps, "This ritual cannot be performed just anywhere. It must done on holy ground, that is the only way to guarantee at least partial success."
"Great, where to then?" Dean asked, raving to go.
Sariel sighed, "It's not that easy. Churches today lack the true holy aspect of their forefathers – we must go somewhere old, somewhere sacred."
Castiel spoke up, "Larchwood."
"Larchwood?" Sam echoed in confusion.
"It's in Iowa, not far from here," Castiel clarified, "According to legend a great cathedral was built there in the days of early settlement."
Sam placed his hands on his hips, already making for the door. He said enthusiastically, "Well then, what are we waiting for?"
"Zachariah and Raphael must be present," Sariel spout suddenly.
Both Winchesters turned to face the angel, nearly getting whiplash in the process. "What?" the gasped in unison.
"Cas, did you know about this?" Dean sputtered in awe, grasping the angel roughly by the shoulders.
"I didn't lie to you Dean," Castiel stated simply, "We did tell you there's a risk I may indeed die – Zachariah and Raphael are that risk."
"But why?" Sam continued, "I mean, why not just do it there and get it over with, without them knowing?"
Sariel stepped forth, honestly getting a little irritated with all delaying and debating going on here. "There must be a witness of the opposing force, if not the spell is useless and Castiel will still be bound. Believe me, this is the only way," the angel said firmly, staring the brothers down immensely.
No one dared to speak for a moment, a thick and eerie silence beginning to form between the group of men and angels. "Sam, how 'bout you drive?" Dean interrupted at last, glancing over towards his brother.
Sam's eyes darted to Dean and Castiel's hands, which were still clasped tightly together – if Castiel was going to be killed, Dean deserved to spend their last moments together. Sam cleared his throat, "Yeah, sure."
"We better hurry then, I'll use my telekinesis to inform them of the situation," Sariel declared. Castiel glanced at him oddly, his expression looking slightly taken aback. "What?"
"I did not know you possessed the capability," Castiel replied, a slight grin pulling at his lips.
Sariel nodded silently, a smile also spreading across his face as he followed Sam out of the motel room. Dean threw his bag over one shoulder and then he and Cas, still hand-in-hand, left the room as well –walking as lovers.
The group made it swiftly to Larchwood in a record time –f about thirty –inutes. As much as Sariel had urged Sam to drive faster, the young hunter kept the Impala going a few miles below the speed limit – he wanted to buy Dean and Cas as much time as possible. They had chosen to sit in the back seat, Dean with his arm snuggly around the angel's waist pulling him ever closer.
Throughout the whole ride, Dean and Castiel had gone back and forth whispering sweet nothings to one another and giggling just as a new couple should. But the time for that was over now, and only the dim rumble of the Impala's engine was what could be heard as the miles dragged on. "You want to make a right here, into the forest," Castiel broke the quiet at last, his voice dark and more sorrowful than earlier.
Sam was about to argue that there was no road for them to drive on, when a dirt path caught his eye – Cas knew where they were going. Although no one said anything, Sam could tell that they were getting pretty irritated as the car stumbled over the unpaved road. "Son of a bitch," Dean grumbled under his breath as his head was slammed against the car roof. Under any other circumstances Sam probably would've laughed at him, but this was neither the time nor the place. Dean turned to face Castiel once more, their gazes locking. "Cas?" he asked in a low voice.
"Yes, Dean?" Castiel replied casually, his coming out more urgent than he would've preferred.
"My hand," Dean said simply, "I can't feel it." He glanced down at their embrace, seeing the tips of his fingers beginning to turn white from the lack of circulation.
Castiel loosened his grip, pulling away from his hunter abruptly. "My apologies," he muttered, directing his gaze towards the floor.
Dean furrowed his brow in suspicion, noticing a slight sweat which had collected upon the angel's forehead. His hands were trembling too. Dean had never seen Castiel look like this, so human – not even while they were having sex! He leaned in close, cupping Castiel's cheek in his palm, "Cas—,"
"Stop," Castiel called up to Sam suddenly. Sam instantly put his foot on the break, lurching everyone in the vehicle forward. They all grumbled beneath their breath, letting out soft sighs of fatigue, frustration, and anticipation.
"Uh, am I missing something here? This doesn't look like a church," Sam speculated, leaning his head slightly out the window to catch a better look.
Sariel undid his safety belt, clutching the door handle within his grasp. "Only the remains of one," he said, stepping out of the Impala.
The others mimicked the same motion, stepping on to moist earth which lay covered with at least foot high grass. It was thin and wispy with a bright, almost neon, green hue to it. If not for the circumstances, Sariel would've loved to take a seat and meditate. Castiel, on the other hand, was thinking no such thing – his head was whirling with a thousand different possibilities, a sickly expression still upon his face.
Suddenly, there came an abrupt flapping of wings and both Raphael and Zachariah appeared a few feet away from the group. They looked the same as ever, Raphael bearing his usual pissed off expression Zachariah meanwhile smiling like a damn fool. Dean huffed bitterly, biting back some kind of catchy insult which he already had premeditated in his head.
"Sariel," Zachariah beamed, "It's good to see you again, brother."
Sariel remained silent for a moment, his eyes blank and difficult to read. "I wish I could say the same, Zachariah, Raphael," he murmured quietly, taking a smooth step forward.
Castiel followed his brother, soon standing in a soldier like position beside Sariel. Dean and Sam meanwhile stayed behind, not entirely sure how this whole angel showdown was supposed to work. "And then of course there's you, Castiel," Zachariah continued, his smug happiness never fading, "So disobedient, so loyal to these pathetic apes." As the superior angel spoke, he eyed Dean with disgust – Michael's vessel or not, he held little respect for the Winchester.
"You know what, I've had about enough of you already there chuckles," Dean growled almost, taking a heated step forward.
Sam grabbed his brother by the collar of his shirt. "Dean," he spat in a low tone, urging him to settle down. The last thing they needed was for Dean to say or do something stupid that would result in them all being killed.
"Well then," Zachariah chuckled somewhat, "Why don't we get this show on the road then?"
A thick stillness settled between the group, no one daring to speak a word. Sam and Dean exchanged confused glances as the angels just continued to stare each other down – whatever happened to getting this show on the road? "Well come on, let's get going with this!" Dean spat, not being able to take another moment of this unnerving silence.
"Dean," Castiel cleared his throat, urging Dean to keep quiet, "It's not that simple."
"The ritual must be performed inside the boundaries of the church walls," Sariel clarified, his eyes never leaving the two superior angels before them.
Sam eyed the holy ruins, snorting, "Or lack thereof."
"We must be standing upon holy ground," Castiel continued, ignoring Sam's abrupt remark.
"You must be joking," Zachariah chimed in sarcastically, "There's no way we're gonna let you pass!"
"We're going to stop you," Raphael threatened sternly, his eyes fixated on Castiel.
Dean licked his lips delicately, feeling his heart rate beginning to increase. "Yeah, well you can try," the hunter almost growled, whipping out his shot gun and firing it directly at Raphael.
Everyone watched in disbelief as Raphael went flying back into the nearby brush. "Dean!" Sam exclaimed, turning in horror to face his brother, "You just shot an archangel!"
"That was a mistake," Raphael muttered bitterly, appearing only inches from Dean's face in a matter of seconds. With a simple push of his hand, Raphael sent Dean flying into the air only to crash down upon the hood of the Impala. Sam stepped forth to quickly aid his brother, when Zachariah appeared in front of the younger hunter.
"I don't think so, kiddo," Zachariah said deviously, plunging his fist into the center of Sam's stomach.
Sam lurched over, gasping out for the air which was suddenly stolen from him. Quickly regaining his thoughts, he hauled off punching Zachariah in the jaw. Not really the best idea – just as Dean had done with Castiel, Zachariah's head turned almost robotically as Sam punched him, more harm being done to Sam than to the angel himself. Castiel burst between them, shoving Zachariah away from Sam. Cas now stood between hunter and angel, his handy-dandy blade ready for the kill.
"Castiel," Zachariah chuckled somewhat, "Still rebellious as ever I see."
"Oh you have no idea," Castiel retorted lunging at his once superior. He twisted his blade to and fro, backwards and forwards, and still Zachariah seemed to dodge it every time.
Sariel meanwhile, had used such a distraction to his advantage quickly scrambling over to where the church had once stood. With a special concoction in which he'd created earlier, the angel knelt down upon the ground and began to paint the symbol out. It was a rather large symbol, which would require a lot of time and concentration, neither of which Sariel had.
Zachariah hurled his fist into Castiel, causing his brethren to be flown backwards landing near Dean's location. Striding over vigorously to Castiel's location, Zachariah leaned in close to Cas's face, beginning to punch and beat him vigorously. A small stream of blood was beginning to flow from Castiel's lip, as the angel turned to face Dean who was undergoing similar treatment. For a split instance, angel and hunter locked gazes, Dean smiling simply as he felt his throat growing tight. Was this really all there was? Where the road ended?
Suddenly, Zachariah halted Castiel's beating as he heard Sariel beginning to utter the ritual's predeceasing words. He almost immediately released Dean from his grasp, now proceeding to show Sariel who was in control here. As the enraged angel bound forward Sam, who had collapsed onto the ground, stuck out his leg in which to trip Zachariah. The superior angel merely stumbled, turning to face Sam with fire burning in his eyes. Kneeling down, he gripped the young hunter by the shirt before planting his fist into Sam's face. "When will you ever learn?" Zachariah spat, pausing for a split instant, "Haven't you just had enough there, Sam?"
Meanwhile, Castiel's face was beginning to swell up like a watermelon as Raphael just continued to beat the living shit out of him. What the angel was really wondering at this point was why Raphael didn't just get it over it. Why not pull out his blade and end him there and then? And speaking of blades, Castiel's head was jerked to the side, in which he caught sight of the shining silver in the light. He and Dean exchanged quick glances before the hunter nodded and quickly lunged for Castiel's sword. Raphael turned as if about to lurch at the Winchester, taken by surprise as Dean swung the blade around and plunged in horizontally into the side of the arch angel's neck. Raphael's eyes widened, grasping his neck desperately as deep red blood poured out of the wound. He choked and sputtered on his own life stream, dropping to his knees in front of the hunter.
Dean merely sneered at the pathetic sight, gripping the blade tightly before whispering, "So much for stopping us." With that, Dean yanked the blade from Raphael's neck both he and Castiel watching as the bright whiteness burned from the now very dead angel. The pair stood hovering over the dead body for a moment longer, exchanging a triumphant glance. Despite his battered face, Castiel managed to throw Dean a smile which of course made the hunter think he was as beautiful as ever.
A shrill gasp from Sam quickly regained their attention back to reality. Dean turned in horror to find Zachariah had Sam in a fierce headlock, threatening to stab his blade right into Sammy's heart. Dean took an infuriated step forward, not before Castiel placed a hand firmly on his shoulder in which to hold him back. "Now, this is how things are going to work," Zachariah announced, tightening his grip around Sam's throat, "Dean, discard that blade." Dean glanced down at the weapon in his hand, eyeing the angel hesitantly. "Now!" Zachariah demanded, growing more and more impatient with each passing second, "And Castiel, you will step forward."
Both did as they were told, Dean tossing his blade off into the woods as Castiel slowly walked forth. Zachariah smiled sickly, looking as though he were about to speak once more when he was cut off. "Hey, shithead!" Sariel's voice suddenly rang out from behind him, "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Zachariah watched in dismay as Sariel dropped a lit match upon the symbol in which he'd created. The whole thing instantly went ablaze, a loud ringing emulating from it almost instantly. Zachariah allowed Sam to drop to the ground, the hunter instantly covering his ears along with Dean and Castiel. Both Sariel and Zachariah, however, seemed to be unaffected. "So this is what it all comes down to, huh?" Zachariah called over the shrill noise, "Brother against brother, Sariel?"
"Would you have it any other way?" Sariel retorted stepping forward in which to stand before his brother. Zachariah lunged at the other angel, but the following results were invisible as a blinding light washed over the entire forest. Dean, Sam, and Castiel all shielded their eyes burrowing the faces in their arms.
The sudden outburst of light diminished quickly, however, and all three were able to view their surroundings once again. "What the Hell?" Dean gasped his voice hoarse.
"The binding is broken," Castiel announced simply, arising slowly as did Sam and Dean.
Sam ran a hand through his hair, his expression purely flabbergasted. "What about Sariel?" he inquired, looking around the nearby woods.
Suddenly a dim murmur rang out not too far in the distance. All three rushed towards the noise, finding Sariel curled in a ball on the floor. "It's alright, it's fine," Sariel assured them with a wave of his hand.
Dean let out a relieved sigh under his breath, still concerned as the angel arose weakly. "What happened to Zachariah?" he asked.
"He is dead," Sariel muttered simply, leaning on a nearby tree for support as he stood.
"What? How?" Sam gasped, looking the angel over in disbelief.
Sariel's face scrunched up in pain, and he glanced quickly downward before replying, "I killed him. He offered me no choice."
"He deserved it," Dean snorted suddenly.
Castiel through Dean an odd glance, scolding, "Dean."
"What?" Dean shrugged, "Gotta say, the guy was a total dick."
Sariel snorted in amusement, sighing deeply. "Looks like even dicks can get the best of me," he stated, taking his hand off the fabric covering his stomach. Revealed was a patch of crimson, blooding quickly seeping through the angel's robe.
Sariel almost instantly fell to the ground, Castiel immediately at his side to catch him. Cas laid his brother delicately upon the ground, holding Sariel's head steadily in his hands. "Sariel," he whispered in sadness, reaching for his brother's garment in which to examine the wound.
"Leave it," Sariel insisted, giving Castiel a weak smile, "It is too late, Castiel."
Castiel could feel his throat tightening as he continued to look upon his brother – how he loved him so. "But I'm still in need of your guidance," Castiel insisted, trying his best to make excuses for Sariel to stay.
Even in his condition, Sariel still managed to laugh somewhat coughing up blood as he did so. "Then just remember the guidance I've already provided, "he murmured slowly, annunciating each word carefully, "Do not let my attempts be vein."
With that, the elder angel's muscles went limp and Sariel's eyes drifted shut. Castiel sighed deeply, allowing but one crystal from his eyes. The salty droplet tumbled down to Sariel's cheek, splattering and making a unique water pattern upon the skin. Yet again, a white light emulated from the angel, a light shockwave spreading across the land. "I'll be sure not to, brother," Castiel promised, under his breath.
The drive back to Bobby's had been a silent one to say the very least. Again Sam drove, Dean sitting solemnly in the passenger's seat beside his brother. The two hunters only saw it fair that perhaps Castiel had some time alone after his loss. The way the three had figured it, rather than carting Sariel's body back to South Dakota they would bury him right there in that lone forest. It was holy ground, after all, and it only seemed appropriate after all he'd done for them. He was an honorable angel, among the few. Still, after the long and extremely somber drive, all three piled out of the car Castiel making his way immediately to the guest bedroom.
Bobby watched the angel slump his way up the stairs, turning to Dean and Sam quizzically. "Somethin' bad went down I take it?" he asked.
"Yeah," Sam murmured, digging his hands deeper into his pockets.
"I should probably go talk to him," Dean cleared his throat, exchanging an understanding glance with Sam as his brother now fully understood their situation.
"Well, 'fore you do," Bobby said, "Take this." With that, he handed Dean a bottle of whiskey and shot glass.
Dean nodded silently, making his way quickly up the stairs in which to follow the path Castiel had taken but moments ago. He opened the bedroom door, closing it lightly behind him as he entered. Castiel sat hunched over the edge of the bed, his frazzled hair parted by his fingertips as the angel laid his head in his hands. "Bobby sends this," Dean mumbled, placing the whiskey on the nearby nightstand. Castiel remained silent, not even looking at his lover as Dean took a seat on the bed beside him. "Cas, you alright?"
"I'm sure I will be," Castiel sniffled, looking upon Dean at last. His typically clear eyes were red and blood shot, his face pale with tear streaks.
"Oh Cas," Dean gasped, placing an arm tenderly around the angel's shoulder in which to pull him closer, "What can I do to help?"
Cas said nothing for a moment, simply staring at Dean's other hand which he held in his own. "Hold me," he whispered at last.
"What?" Dean asked, leaning in closer until he could feel Castiel's breath upon his cheek.
"Hold me," Castiel repeated looking Dean dead in the eyes, "Please Dean, I need you to."
Dean smiled, helping to lean Castiel down onto the bed so that they could both lie horizontally. With that, he wrapped his arms protectively around his angel pulling him so close that there was barely any space between them. With a free hand, he stroked Castiel's ear lightly, playing delicately through the strands of the angel's dark hair. Dean tenderly kissed the nape of Castiel's neck, which of course sent shivers down Castiel's back. The angel backed himself further against Dean, longing for the hunter's touch. Longing for his warmth and love.
"Hey Cas?" Dean said at last, breaking the silence.
"Yes Dean," Castiel replied, though his voice was barely audible.
Dean again kissed his angel before continuing onward, "Did I ever tell you about my mom?"
Castiel furrowed his brow in confusion. This was clearly random. "Dean, I already know about her deal—,"
"No, not that," Dean interrupted him quickly, "I mean, about what I remember when I was little."
"No, I don't believe so," Castiel responded simply.
"Not long before she died, she'd always tuck me into bed. After kissing me on the head, you know what she'd tell me?" Dean murmured, his voice growing fainter with every word.
"What?" Castiel urged, eager for the finale of his lover's story.
Dean smiled to himself, allowing his eyes to drift shut. "She told me that angels were watching over me," he finished.
Castiel couldn't help but grin widely, this was quite a treat catching Dean in such a tender stance. "Really?" he asked.
"Yeah," Dean chuckled somewhat, "For the longest time I never believed her, but now – now I do, Cas."
Castiel turned until he was facing Dean and their faces were only inches apart. "And why is that, Dean?"
Dean's brilliant eyes locked on with his angel's, the hunter's mind lost in the pure bliss of his lover's touch for a moment. "Because of you," Dean said, "Because I love you."
Castiel placed a light kiss on the tip of Dean's nose, smiling warmly at the hunter. "I love you too, Dean. Forever and always," he replied. With that, Castiel curled himself inward closer to Dean allowing his head to rest beneath Dean's chin.
"Forever and always," Dean repeated, kissing Castiel's hair lightly. The hours seemed to drift on as the pair lay upon the bed, and sleep finally washed over the two. Dean never felt more peaceful, holding the angel in his arms. Yet, at the same time, Castiel never felt more human having his hunter hold him. All was right as it should be.
Castiel awoke feeling much more peaceful and rested than he had the previous evening. Dean still held him tightly in his arms, but somehow Castiel had managed to become stretched out almost on top of the hunter. Cas smiled to himself, gently slipping out of Dean's grasp. Throwing the covers off of them, Castiel watched Dean shudder subconsciously at the sudden chilliness, in which he proceeded to climb atop his lover and cover him with his own warmth. His trench coat, which he had apparently slept in all through the night, draped over Dean's torso almost like a curtain across a stage. Dean stirred somewhat as Castiel cupped his hunter's cheek serenely in his hand.
Leaning in close, Castiel purposefully rubbed his face across Dean's until he reached his ear. "Good morning," the angel whispered tenderly, awaking Dean peacefully from his sleep.
Dean's eyelashes fluttered open, giving way to bright and shining hazel irises. The hunter's pupils danced between dilation and constriction for a moment, adjusting to the new amount of light being absorbed. "Hey," he yawned gruffly, rubbing his hands over his eyes.
Castiel smiled contently, feeling the week-old stubble which still clung to Dean's face – twas about time for a shave, in the angel's opinion at least. Leaning in towards Dean's face once more, Castiel placed a moist kiss atop the hunter's mouth ignoring his foul morning breath.
Dean lifted a hand to wrap it around the back of the angel's neck in which to keep Castiel closer. A low moan arose in Cas's throat as he sat back up, running his hands almost suggestively over Dean's torso. Dean snickered delightfully at Castiel's touch, allowing his eyelids to dip shut once more. "How did I get so lucky?" he asked at last, after a silenced pause.
"Luck had nothing to do with it," Castiel declared simply, "I like to think it was fate, Dean."
"Fate, fate," Dean mumbled to himself, pondering the idea over as his eyes seemed to search the room. Finally his gaze stood on Castiel, admiring the angel's breath taking beauty which towered above him. Grasping Castiel's forearm lightly, Dean pulled his lover in closer once more to kiss him yet again. Castiel grasped Dean desperately as their kiss deepened, allowing his hands to wonder vigorously over the hunter's body. Dean broke their kiss momentarily, gasping out in pleasure. Castiel's tongue laced them together even further as he snaked it into Dean's mouth and sloshed about there. "Oh," Dean groaned out, "Don't make me do this."
Castiel chuckled, panting somewhat as he pulled away to look upon Dean. "Do what?" he questioned innocently.
"This," Dean rolled his eyes, "Never knew you were much of a morning sex kinda person anyways."
Castiel nuzzled at Dean's neck playfully, murmuring against his skin, "Oh, you have no idea." Dean grasped the fabric of Castiel's trench coat desperately as the angel continued to arouse him, ignoring the hunter's plea of putting their lustful desires on hold. Still, Dean had no qualms with morning sex, in fact he enjoyed it quite a lot. And so as Castiel began to undress him Dean lay still – all he had to do was relax and enjoy the ride.
Sam shook his head as he yawned wearily. He'd been up since the friggin' crack of dawn, unable to sleep for whatever strange reason in which he was unaware of. Glancing away from the road for a split second, the young hunter caught sight of a roadside sign advertising a diner a few miles up the road. Sam pressed on the gas pedal just a little harder as his stomach made loud growls and grumbles in anticipation.
Flicking on the radio's dial, Sarah McLachlan's In The Arms Of An Angel was in the midst of playing on designated station. Rather than immediately switching over to something else, as Dean probably would've done, Sam drove thoughtfully with the melody echoing through the otherwise empty vehicle. In the arms of an angel, far away from here. From this dark cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear. You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie. In the arms of an angel – may you find some comfort here.
It was strange, as Sam continued to drive as his serene pace he couldn't help but having his thoughts drift towards Sariel. Sariel had been an extremely honorable colleague in Sam's opinion – he'd been kind, understanding, patient, thoughtful. He was anything and everything a person could desire in a loyal friend. So loyal, in fact, that he gave his life basically for Castiel. That, and Castiel's relationship with Dean. Had they failed the ritual, Cas would've been hauled back to the heavenly host never to return, Dean would've been in total wreckage, and Sam of course would be caught in the middle of things as always. He hated seeing his brother in distress, watching Dean as he always seems to sits down to yet another bottle of whiskey. Poor guy, he was probably going to die of liver failure if anything.
Still, Sam was just grateful that Sariel could be at peace, not having to worry about saving his brother's or his brother's lover for that matter. No, it was a good fight, and Sam was sure Sariel would've rather gone down swinging more than anything else. Letting out a soft sigh, Sam put the Impala in park after finding a parking spot close to the front of the diner. He sat amidst the quiet interior for a moment longer, before pressing the handle and arising from the vehicle. The doors, as always, moaned and creaked as they opened and closed. A familiar sound Sam was sure he would never forget.
Stepping through the small doorway, the young hunter's nostrils were quickly filled with the rich scent of eggs, bacon, pancakes, and a sickly sweet smell of syrup. Sam smiled contently, strolling down the thin isle way before finding an empty booth in the corner. It was near a window, which meant that Sam could observe the world beyond. He liked that, observing. In fact, he found it rather interesting just to see how people dealt with everyday tasks and just how naive they were to all the damned chaos floating all around them. Their eyes were so well shielded, it was almost unbelievable.
"Hi, what can I get you?" a waitress asked suddenly. Sam jerked somewhat at her abrupt introduction, realizing that he must've really been out in la-la land somewhere. He quickly read over her nametag – Susan. Susan, apparently, was very tall – maybe Sam's height, a couple inches shorter perhaps. She seemed gigantic though as she towered above his table with her notepad ready in hand.
"Uh, can I just have the number two special?" Sam asked, glancing over his menu quickly. He realized he should probably order something for the rest of crew as well, but they'd just have to wait. He was going to stick around for a little while.
Susan scribbled down his order, glancing up from her notes to ask, "How would you like your eggs?"
"Scrambled please," Sam replied curtly. He gave her a slight smile, in which she returned kindly.
"Alright then, I'll be back in a minute," she said cheerfully.
Sam watched her turn briskly away from his table in which to stride off in the direction of the kitchen. She had a dirty blonde color hair, which was tied up in a high ponytail. It was interesting, the way is swooshed from side to side as she walked. Their uniforms were pretty simple too – crimson polo, dark pants, with an apron tied around the waist of course. She was pretty, Sam wasn't going to deny it. He sighed softly, leaning upon his hand as he gazed out the window. The roads were surprisingly busy for this early hour of the morning. But then again, a lot of people were probably making their way out of suburbia and into the city in which to take on the daily task of a job. Apple pie life, Sam snorted to himself.
Within a few more minutes, Susan returned promptly to his table, placing a large plate of scrambled eggs with melted cheese, two pieces of toast, a hamsteak, and a side of bacon before him. "Enjoy," she murmured before making off to another group of customers. Sam wasted no time digging in. He cut his meat vigorously, mumbling contently as the warm food slid down his throat and landed in his quickly filling stomach. Despite his size though, Sam had a tenancy to eat much less than Dean. Quite frankly, it surprised Sam at just how much Dean could indeed eat. No wonder he was getting flabby. Sam chuckled to himself at the thought.
Quickly he ordered a few meals to go, in which to take back to Bobby's with him. While they were being prepared, Sam used the restroom. Upon his arrival back to the table he found a small crinkled napkin folded into a neat square. Susan had left her number for him, with a footnote reading Call Me. Sam snickered, this could be good. Tucking the phone number safely into his pocket, he picked up the small styrofoam take-out containers and headed for the door. The whole car was already beginning to smell like delicious breakfast food as Sam closed the driver's door and started the engine. With a swift turn around, the young hunter was back on the road and going once more for Bobby's house.
After their quick spree of morning playtime, both Dean and Castiel had grabbed a shower – separately this time. They now sat amidst the silent living room, listening to only the echoing sound of the clock which clung desperately to the wall for dear life. A light musical ring emulated from it as the next hour was struck and so the day ticked on. Dean looked down at his hand which was tightly encased in Castiel's, smiling at the wonderful sight. He had never felt more content, never in his life.
It was a beautiful thing he and Cas had, truly. They understood each other's personal boundaries, taking the time to consider them but also to break them need be. They were, how one might say, flexible. And Dean supposed, not like he was a shrink or anything, that was the reason they were able to work so well. There wasn't a specific set of rules set out for them, and so they could try what they would and do what they pleased. Anyhow, this whole thing was as new for Dean pretty much as it was for Castiel. Other than the sex part, of course.
"So," Dean cleared his throat, interrupting the thick blanket of stillness which had somehow slunk itself over their shoulders.
"So," Castiel echoed, smiling contently as he laid his head on his shoulder. Being so close to his hunter, the angel just couldn't help but to smile.
Dean chuckled somewhat, this conversation was obviously going nowhere fast. "How you feeling? I mean, about the whole Sariel thing?" he asked, not trying to avoid a major chick flick moment here as much as possible.
Castiel let out a deep sigh, pondering his answer silently for a moment further. "It still pains me," he explained, "But his death was not in vein. And besides, he'll still live on up here." With that, the angel tapped lightly on the side of his head in which Dean grinned thoughtfully.
"It's good to hear you say that, Cas. Really. I mean, I can't stand to see you broken up," Dean cleared his throat.
"Nor can I, you," Cas replied simply, trying to avoid any further awkwardness of the situation.
Just then, the front door of the house opened and Sam stepped through bearing delicious diner meals. Dean and Castiel quickly spread apart. So much, in fact, that hunter and angel were now at opposite ends of the sofa. Sam just paused in the doorway, staring at them quizzically. "Okay then," he sighed, closing the door before stepping forth.
"What'ya bring me there Sammy?" Dean asked eagerly, the strong scent of food filling his nostrils as he inhaled.
Sam scratched his head, trying to remember all of what he had ordered to take with him, "Uh, there's eggs, bacon, pancakes—,"
"Oh man!" Dean exclaimed, nearly jumping off the sofa in which to dive into the food as it would seem.
Sam, who was meanwhile making for the stairs, quickly turned to face his brother. Dean had already somehow magically grabbed a plate from somewhere and was promptly beginning to load it down with food. "Hey, just save some of that for Bobby," he scolded, watching as Dean looked suddenly embarrassed.
The younger Winchester just shook hi s head as he trailed up the stairs, feeling already exasperated even though the day had just started. Promptly, he walked down the hall until finally coming to Bobby's room. Sam sighed, lifting a hand in which to knock upon its steady frame. Almost as if on cue, the door opened with a very groggy looking Bobby standing behind it. "Outta the way, idgit," Bobby grumbled, rubbing the sleep wearily from his eyes.
"There's some breakfast downstairs for you," Sam said, following slowly after the elder hunter.
"Mhmm, thanks," Bobby replied quietly, shuffling into the bathroom before closing the door.
Sam smiled softly to himself, making his way leisurely down the hallway before reaching the stairs once more. He paused midway, listening to the intent nothingness that filled the room below. Something wasn't quite right – Dean and Castiel should at least be talking. Furrowing his brow in both confusion and concentration, the young hunter continued to gradually make his way down the stairs one step at a time. At last he reached the main dining area where both Dean and Cas were seated and eating their breakfast quietly. Dean looked deep in thought as he chewed a small mouthful of eggs, Castiel just content and basically expressionless. Sam paused once more, gazing at the two and not really sure what to say.
"What?" Dean shrugged, raising his eyes towards his brother before him.
"Nothing," Sam cleared his throat, "You guys are just, uh, really quiet."
Dean took a sip of coffee, putting his now empty plate in front of him. "So?" he asked.
"Like I said nothing, it's just kinda strange is all," Sam replied, taking a seat in the arm chair across from the two.
"Where is Bobby?" Castiel chimed in.
Sam ran a hand through his hair, sighing wearily. "He's up," he murmured, "I guess he'll be down in a minute or so."
"Well then," Dean cleared his throat, "Cas and I are gonna step outside for a minute. Let us know when he gets down here?"
"Uh yeah, sure," Sam glanced at both his brother and the angel hesitantly. What was going on with them.
Awkwardly silent, Dean arose from his place on the sofa and made for the door. Castiel, of course, followed behind the hunter like a lost puppy. Cas closed the door lightly behind him, eyeing Dean wistfully as a ray of sunshine poured down from the sky almost atop the hunter himself. "Cas?" Dean said, facing away from his angel.
"Yes Dean?" Castiel responded, taking an eager step towards his lover.
"I uh, I want to tell them," Dean declared, closing his arms almost protectively around himself as he spoke.
Castiel frowned a bit, not entirely sure of what Dean meant by his words. He asked, "Tell them what?"
"Sam and Bobby," Dean clarified, turning to face Castiel at last, "I want to let them know what's going on with us."
"I assumed Sam already knew," Castiel said flatly.
Dean scratched the back of his head semi-awkwardly. "Well yeah, he does, but," he paused momentarily, "I gotta say something, I just have to Cas."
"What made you decide this?" Castiel continued to question, taking yet another step towards Dean.
Dean glanced downward at the ground, taking Castiel's hands firmly in his own. He let out a long drawn sigh, tender moments were obviously not his thing. "Cas," he began, nothing but whole-hearted words pouring from his lips, "I don't just want this to be a fling. Morning sex, quickies 'fore bed, cheap make out sessions—,"
"Don't those things please you, Dean?" Castiel interrupted, feeling his heart beginning to pick up deep in the bowels of his chest.
"Hey, I wasn't finished," Dean teased playfully, clearing his throat and becoming composed fairly quickly though, "Those things are all great, but it's you that I love about this relationship. I love you, Castiel."
Cas stood there smiling, staring into Dean's truthful eyes. Without a doubt, he said, "I love you too. I love you will all my heart, Dean Winchester."
Dean raised a hand to lightly cup the underside of Castiel's chin, bringing their lips together in a warm embrace. The angel instinctively wrapped his arms around the small of Dean's back, deepening their kiss. Dean's heart fluttered with excitement, realizing the true meaning behind the words he'd just said – he and Cas were about to become more than what they were, they were actually going to be a couple. A real commitment. And the best part about it was, Dean was ready. He was ready and terribly nervous, yet excited, to know what was to come. At last the two broke apart, sighing in unison as they gazed into each other's eyes.
Almost as if on cue, Sam stepped outside leaning halfway out the door. "Guys, Bobby's down here and he has coffee so he should be ready to go," Sam chuckled somewhat.
Dean and Castiel exchanged one last look before Dean took hold of the door and followed Sam back inside. The two took a seat once more of the sofa, Bobby and Sam seated across from them in separate chairs. Bobby sipped casually from his coffee, looking both more relaxed and composed at this point. "Well," he sighed, "What's this all about then?"
Dean let out a shaky breath, feeling his insides begin to tremble as he contemplated what he was going to say. Damn, he should've thought more about that over breakfast. He began slow, figuring he could wing it as he went along, "Bobby, Sam, I uh wanted to tell you that, that I uh—,"
"Dean," Castiel interrupted.
"No, no, it's okay," Dean sighed, rubbing a hand wearily over his face, "I just wanted to let you guys know that, um, Cas and I are more than just friends."
Both other hunters stayed silent for a moment, not really sure of what to say. Sam had known for a few days now, but he hadn't expected Dean to actually talk openly about it. And Bobby, on the other hand, had suspected something was up but doubted Dean would say anything to him at all. Finally Bobby cleared his throat, leaning in somewhat on his seat. "Meaning?" he asked.
Dean looked knowingly at Castiel, taking his hand in his own, giving the back of the angel's knuckles a light kiss. "Cas and I are a couple now, we love each other," he admitted proudly.
Bobby leaned back in his seat, a slight smile spreading over his lips and a slight twinkle in his eyes. He'd watched both Dean and Sam grow up, practically raising them at times while John was away. They'd both had their battles, their difficulties time and time again. Love had never been a constant thing for either of them, except when it came to the love they held for each other as a family. And so, as Bobby watched Dean and Castiel stare lovingly into each other's eyes he couldn't help but feel wonderful. Who cares if Castiel was in a man's body? All that mattered to Bobby was that Dean was happy, that he had finally found love at last. All that was left now was to find Sam a nice significant other to settle down with. And speaking of Sam, the young hunter sat perched tensely in his seat yet there was a calming emotion in his eyes. He'd never expected Dean to have feelings for an angel, let alone a man, but that was just something he would have to deal with. He knew Castiel, the angel was like a brother to him. And deep down, despite the awkward pit in his stomach, Sam was truly happy for them both. Through Dean, Castiel could learn to open up and express what was truly in him. And through Castiel, Dean could mend and learn the true meaning behind happiness and love.
Life is full of unexpected turns, twists, and falls. Friends betray us, love pains us, and sometimes we feel as though we can rely on nobody but ourselves. But there is hope just around the bend – if we're brave enough to voice what's in our hearts and ignore the devastating judgments of the world, we're sure to find what we've been looking for. We'll be able to finally end our hardships. Whatever we may be striving for, we'll make it past the struggle. We'll be able to overcome our struggle for affection.
– FIN –
So I'd just like to take a moment to thank each and every person who has taken the time to read this. Like I said, this was written like over a year ago, but that's the designated ending I've chosen for this story. Love it, hate it, it's completely up to. I shalln't write anymore, cause I think this is quite long enough. Thanks one last time, and please be sure to check out other stuff I've written. It may just interest you ^___^