5.08., castiel, fanfic, fic, s5, spn
Fic: "Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find" (Spoilers for 5.08)
Title: "Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find"
Rating: Gen, PG
Genre: episode tag, h/c
Characters: Dean, Castiel
Word Count: ~1K
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers through 5.08.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit
a/n: with apologies to John Milton and Bobby Singer for borrowing a couple of their best lines.
a/n: title from "A Song to David" by Christopher Smart.
Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find
Dean glanced behind him as he started to swing himself into the Impala and was surprised to see that Castiel hadn't fluttered off yet.
The angel was standing by the old warehouse, looking—well, he looked like Dean felt: like all the adrenaline of TV-land and potential archangel barbecuing had just drained out of him, and the wet soggy weight of the real world had been thrown unceremoniously across his shoulders.
"Hey," he called, "you okay?"
When Cas didn't answer, Dean glanced at Sam, who was slumped in shotgun, head flopped back against the seat, and went over to the angel, put a hand on his arm.
"Hey," he said again, but softly, like he was talking to child, or a stray cat. Cas looked at him, and Dean winced at the sight of his face, split skin over his nose, and a big shiner coming out over one eye. There was something in his eyes, something pleading, that Dean had no idea how to answer. "Come on," he said instead, "get in."
No one said much on the ride back, because, really, once they got started, where was it gonna end? Cas trailed after them into the room. He stood there silently while Sam and Dean puttered around, switching out weapons and locating clean socks.
After a few minutes, Sam grabbed the car keys and announced he was going to go pick up some pizza. "Feel like I've been eating imaginary food for days," he muttered.
Dean looked up to answer him, but Sam was already out the door. Only Cas was left, still standing, but swaying a little on his feet now.
"Dude," he said, a little exasperated, "sit down before you fall down." But he had to actually go over and guide Castiel to the end of one of the beds, push him down gently, both hands on his shoulders. He appraised Cas's face again, and didn't like what he saw—bruises round the eye going ugly shades of purple and green, the skin around them unhealthily white. "Hold on," he grunted, "I'm gonna clean out that cut."
He wet a towel in the bathroom, and crouched in front of Castiel, trying to get the dried blood off as gently as possible. The angel flinched a little from the drag of cloth over injured flesh, and without thinking, Dean put his other hand on the back of his head to steady him. The bruises on Cas's face was swollen, hot to the touch even through the washcloth, but the nape of his neck was cool and clammy. Dean wondered if he was a little shocky, if such a thing could happen to an angel. He didn't bring it up, though—he was sure Cas would heal himself if he could—just snagged the antibiotic ointment out of the first aid kit, and dabbed some over the cut.
Cas still hadn't spoken by the time Dean had finished, marooned in some swamp of memory or exhaustion.
"Anything else?" Dean prodded, just to make sure he hadn't lost the power of speech altogether. "You hurt anywhere else?"
"No," Castiel said, voice even rougher than usual, and hunched his shoulders higher up around his ears.
Stung into sympathy by something in his tone, Dean ducked his head a little to catch Cas's eye. "Family, eh?" he said, trying for a rueful smile.
Castiel looked up then, and even though Dean knew he was unfathomably old, had seen more of human suffering and divine peace than Dean could ever imagine, at that moment he looked young. The solemn sadness of a child faced with a problem that couldn't be fixed by tears—having to go to bed while it was still light out, or Fourth of July fireworks not happening again for a whole year.
"We were all so filled with purpose once," Castiel said desolately, "clothed in righteousness, in harmony with our father's wishes, in harmony with each other, creating the world like the parts of a song." He released each phrase slowly, scraping them over the gravel in his voice, as if deliberately castigating himself with remembered beauty. The longing in the words hit Dean like a punch. He wanted to turn away, but couldn't, caught up in a grief he couldn't help but share.
Then Cas shivered violently, and Dean, glad of the excuse to break the intensity of the moment, stood to fetch the extra blanket out of the closet.
He arranged the thick, mustard-colored folds of it around Cas's shoulders until he looked like a sad, beat-up chick peeking out of a polyester egg.
"I'm gonna get you some ice for that eye," he said when he was done, "and some soda or something. Seems like your brother worked you over pretty good back there."
He was only gone a minute, and Cas was still huddled silently in the ugly blanket when he got back. He didn't look impossibly young any more. The opposite, really. Aged by the countless missteps of angels and humans alike.
Dean wrapped the ice in another towel, closed Cas's hand around it, and guided the hand to press the ice against his swollen eye. Hot coffee wouldn't hurt either, he thought, and busied himself with the machine in the corner.
"'In dubious battle,'" Castiel said, low and tired.
"Huh?" Dean repiled cautiously, a little worried that Cas was about to wig out.
"'In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,'" Cas said, "something a poet wrote about another one of my brothers. Seems like it applies to all of us now."
"Well," Dean said, suddenly determined to shake the angel out of his funk, and pitching his voice accordingly, "I don't read much poetry. But your brothers can fight each other like a pack of wild dogs, for all I care, or go off for a few millennia to sulk over Daddy playing favorites. Where I come from, family doesn't end with blood. And we're together on this one. Nothing fucking dubious about it."
Somewhat to Dean's surprise, his outburst of bravado actually got Cas to look up. He cocked his head at Dean with something so close to his usual quizzical irony that Dean gave a relieved bark of laughter.
"C'mon," he said, "have some coffee, and you can fill me in on some more good poems about God—chicks love that shit."
ETA: reverie18 made this wonderful picture of Cas in a mustard-colored blanket. Thanks so much!!