“You haven’t called for me in a very long time,” the voice was soft, not more than a whisper behind Sherlock’s right ear, before the man materialized to sitting on the bench next to him. Sherlock didn’t turn his head, merely nodded.
“You’ve changed, Castiel. What happened to the vessel you used to use?”
Castiel’s face scrunched at the verb ‘to use.’ He always thought he’d been better than that to his vessels. “He was sent to war and shot. I didn’t think it my place, anymore, to ask so much of him.”
“And where is he now?”
Castiel frowned at Sherlock, faint wings curling around Sherlock’s shoulder, tapping at his tension. “You’re avoiding the subject, Sherlock.” Sherlock didn’t say anything. Castiel sighed. “I erased his memories of me. I don’t know if it worked completely, he might even remember me if he saw me again but I very much doubt that will happen.”
“And his name?”
Castiel’s frown deepened. “I don’t remember that myself, Sherlock, and even if I did, you know I wouldn’t tell you.”
Sherlock nodded. “That’s fair, I suppose.” The two sat in companionable silence for a few moments more, shoulders barely touching. Castiel was slouched forward, hands clasped as he watched pigeons pick at the sidewalk.
“I’m in love, Castiel.” It wasn’t much more than a whisper, words just hovering over the edge of sound. Castiel sat back straight again, head turning a perfect ninety degrees to assess Sherlock’s form. “His name is John,” Sherlock paused. For the first time since Castiel arrived, Sherlock turned to look at his old friend’s face. It was weathered in places with bruises and wrinkles, as though he’d been in some recent and torturous fight. As usual his eyes gave no sign of judgment, just of gentle contemplation.
“I know – I have heard that your Father does not approve of such arrangements, but I cannot help it. John is…” Sherlock trailed off, turning to look forward again, expression not unlike Castiel’s.
Castiel recognized the look. One of complete adoration, of the inability to describe the utter perfection of the one who was Made for you. He was certain he would meet John and that John would be flawed, would not understand his former Charge entirely, but Castiel saw the hopelessness, the feeling of being abjectly lost in the one you love, in Sherlock’s eyes. Anyone else would see it as sadness, but Castiel recognized it for what it was because he felt it too.
“My Father does not take notice of such arrangements,” Castiel tried his hardest to keep the bitterness he felt out of his voice. “He is, like me, utterly indifferent to sexual orientation.” Castiel shifted on the bench, forcing his gaze away of Sherlock and forward. It was now Sherlock’s turn to stare, to analyze the tired lines in his face connected to the ones of proud smiles; the bruises caused not only by the hateful hands of family members who long lost their love, but by the kind of ‘rough-housing’ supplied by friendships, the worry lines that were far too frequent to be simply about his own fate or the fate of heaven.
“What is his name?” Sherlock asked.
Castiel slouched over again, hands folded in a prayer position, fingers ghosting over his mouth. “Dean.”