Chapter 1: Prologue
There was the sound of metal being crushed against metal. It pierced through everything, and from then on out all of my thoughts started to go in fast motion, while my actions seemed to do the opposite. I’d heard the brakes slam just moments before, including the sound of the tires screeching against the pavement as we swirled into what looked like a blur of motion. We. Well that was a start. Who else was with me? I tried to turn my head to the side to get a glimpse of the person in the shotgun seat next to me. Who was he. He. Well, that was at least something. Brown.. longer.. Plaid. Something tried to push into my mind, a memories I suppose, but I was so tired, and it left as soon as it came. My body felt both heavy and light all at once, as if some unknown numbness had washed over my brain, consuming all of my thoughts in sheet of cool meditation. An odd calmness settled over me as I felt the metal rip through my legs, the pain not stopping until it reached past my hips. There was a tree, it had fallen on us. No. Incorrect. We had fallen on the tree. No you can't fall on a tree. Maybe ran into? The ringing started. My throat hurt. Why? The ringing in my ears grew, than subsided in slight waves. Only when my hearing returned slightly did I realize someone was screaming. This should've disturbed me. But it didn't. It rather encouraged me to know the cause of the sound, bringing in my curiosity rather than fear. Everything was black, I was only aware of small patches of light around the area centered in what I’ve assumed was my vision. I tried to move my fingers then realized I could no longer feel them. It was cold. I was cold. Everything was cold. Then it was warm at the same time, almost a burn as I felt my own blood pouring down my body, the nerves that still worked picking up its thickness and warmth. The screams shrilled on, only just being heard over the loud drums that filled my ears. Where was I again? Why was I here? Who was yelling?
Only when I felt my vocal cords bleed, and when the darkness did finally consume all of my vision, did I realize It had been I who was screaming.
It only stopped when I felt my throat fill with blood, small gurgles filling the air as I choked on it. Suddenly, pressure. Everywhere. Like my lungs were in a tiny box getting smaller and smaller as I gasped and coughed for release. Than I stopped fighting, why fight? A feeling of peacefulness again washed over me in soft waves, as if the small tides of an ocean washing away the beach were rolling over me. A blanket wrapped around me. Who’d want to get up from this? It felt so good. So good for all the weight of my body to finally be lifted from me, like for the first time I could really be free of any bonds. This was amazing. Warmth spread through my being, more so than before. I wasn't able to call this my body anymore, and no words came to mind as to how I should now describe it. It felt so good, not like a fire from the earlier heat, but a soft ball of light that filled me until I felt as if I could explode from it, the energy taking up my vision as the darkness slowly turned to light. I reached for golden gates, the complete mass of them baffling me, the pearly white pillars with the golden posts, both elegant and strong. No man could create such a prize, but I guessed no man had. There was the faint sound of trumpets... no, horns, bugle horns. It was soft and warming as I felt myself slowly rise to the gates that started to open upon my entrance. So close I thought, letting all my emotions escape from me, no longer feeling the need for them. This felt right , more right than anything ever had.
There was a sudden tug on my ankles. Ankles? But.. I couldn't understand how I could feel anything. I looked down to see my slightly transparent legs dangling in mid air below me. I was completely naked, and for the first time since being in that mystical place, vulnerability flooded through me, the need to cover my exposed body. There were chains around my ankles, leading down past the length of my vision into a hazy abyss that seemed miles and miles below me. They seemed out of place in this holy environment, a sore thumb. They were cold against my body, and the metal made all the light and warmth rush from me as quickly as it had come. A fast tug on the chains caught my attention. Down . I was being dragged down, the gates getting further and further away as well as the sounds of music. No… no come back.. I pleaded wordlessly, my thoughts feeling like a scream in the silence. The open space no longer felt like a haven, it felt terrifying, like anything could grab me and pull me into some unknown place. Well, that is what's happening at the moment, I humored myself, however this didn't help, it only made me look over my shoulder more, wanting to curl up into a ball and just leave this awful place. I was cold again, so very cold. The tugs got faster as I was dragged under the surface I had not known there to be in the first place.
A feeling like being thrown in cold water came over me as I opened my eyes. Fear shot through me at what I had just witnessed. Not this dream again , I groaned getting up, that was the third time this week I'd had the same dream. This had been happening a lot over the past week… it had been a week right? I look down at my wrist, expecting to see the time and date on my watch. Don't be stupid, Dean, it's still the same I internally kicked myself and stared at what the clock read 11:47 PM 12/15. For as long as I could remember that's what it had said, and every time I look down to see the date and time, all I see are these numbers. Getting up and giving myself a once over, I decided I was relatively presentable, same black T-shirt, same blue jeans, and same busted vans, woo.
Exiting the house I shoved my hands in my pockets, looking around at the scenery. There were Christmas lights up and people dressed in heavy coats and scarfs. It must me another cold day, assuming these people were dressed accordingly. I don't know how long I've been here, but I assume long enough to know where everything was and all the shortcuts to get there. I waved at a few passersby who took no notice of me and kept their heads down, their scarfs tight around their mouths and noses. Assholes. Taking a left, I continued down the busted up sidewalk and made another left at the street sign with the vulgar graffiti. Apparently some girl named Pacifica is a hoe and Brian hates her -This was said in much more choice words to put it lightly.- There was a small diner that I liked to stop into every once and awhile. At least, I think I like to. The people watching -yes, people watching is very fun, don't judge- was good here and you could always find interesting conversations to listen to. The bell rang as someone walked into the dinner, I moved as they opened the door so they'd hold it for me, however it slammed in front of me the moment I moved to enter. Rude. The bell stayed silent as I opened the door for myself. Sitting in the waiting area as usual, I watched as others were taken to a table as I awaited my turn to be seated at one all the same.
Maybe today will be different .
No different. As usual I waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing. No servers came to greet me, no one acknowledged me when I asked how long the wait was when clearly there was no wait at all. Again, as usual, I got fed up with being ignored and proceeded to find my own table, marching right past the rude hostess. I took my seat in empty booth by the counter that almost always was clear. No server came to greet me or ask what me wanted. That was okay though. I wasn't hungry. I'm never hungry. People came and went, some happy, some sad, and others were completely unreadable, sitting at booths and tables alone. These were interesting, just as interesting as the ones who came with large groups of friends, being loud and laughing with each other over food and drink, having no care in the world and just having fun.
Longing . I longed to have these experiences and friends, I mean why did he I always have to be alone? Why me? It wouldn't make any difference. Begging and wishing on stars never got anyone anywhere Dean, I told myself. You have to work for it.
Sighing, I looking across the counter that my booth was near. Looks like I'm gonna help myself. Again.
It was time to work for it.
Getting up and walking over to the counter, I casually jumped on top of it, standing on the counter now. Slamming my sneakers on the marble tops and moving to kick around the coffee cups from the groups around me, spinning on my heels and sliding on napkins and plates. They'd see none of this, that I understood, however it never took away the satisfaction I found in having someone react for a millisecond every once in awhile. It gave me the feeling of still existing, or still being part of their world, like I wasn't completely invisible. They'd look as if a cold shiver ran down their back, and usually would glance to the door or nearby window, assume it was just a breeze, and move on with their lives. However. No matter how small the reaction I would see it every time, and it only made it even better. For hours I danced and kicked around on that counter top, smashing coffee mugs and kicking juice glasses over, singing loudly to myself (Renegade - Styx. On my top ten list for sure) despite knowing no one would listen, spreading my arms wide and allowing myself to destroy anything and everything that my busted up sneakers touched, only smashing the mugs again when the universe decided to fix my messes, as if I was a glitch that was never meant to be, so the universe just covered me up. Well fuck you universe, I'll smash all the goddamn things I want to.
Something felt off.
I noticed this when I myself felt a chill run down my back, and found myself glancing at the door, as if something was out of the ordinary, as if I was one of them.
I'd done this hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and not once had I felt like this. What the hell..? I looked around, pausing as I stood on the counter in my coffee soaked jeans, the stains running from up my shins and calves to around my thighs, even some on my shirt. That's when I saw it. Well, more like when I saw him .
I hadn't had this happen to me in what felt like many life-times, well if that's even what you'd call these. I'd only ever gotten milliseconds of the feeling, never really letting the taste of it sink into me like it was at this moment in time.
There were eyes.
And they were on me.
Chapter 2: So you’re a ghost?
Dean likes Coffee. Castiel is more of a tea kinda guy.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“So you’re like a ghost?” He said, hands fidgeting with the cuffs of his button up shirt. He had been doing that a lot since he had been sitting across from me in the booth. The blue-eyed guy would alternate between two things. Looking me up and down very obviously, or glancing over his shoulder and at the people around him, as if silently waiting for them to acknowledge me.
It took a lot of willpower not to sneer at him and explain this. Ignorant. He got paid attention to, it was so easily happening to. Waitresses looking at him, people walking in noting his pretense before moving on. It was a small thing, something no one even noticed others around them do, just carrying on with their own lives and conversation. Ignorant. They all ignored the empty booth across from him where I was seated.
His eyes kept flicking across from my face down my body, as if he expected me to suddenly disappear if he didn’t pay enough attention. To be perfectly honest I couldn’t blame him to much about this one…. I was half expecting that too. However, I didn’t disappear, the universe, for the time being, seemed to allow me to soak up the first attention I had felt in what seemed to be years.
Maybe it had been years.
“Call me whatever makes you feel better about this. You look like you’re gonna wet yourself,” I scoffed a little, letting my own eyes glance him up and down for a few moments, a distraction from the excitement that was quickly replacing my annoyance towards him.
It sounds like a girl thing to think, but this was the first person to speak to me in such a long time, I couldn’t remember the last time of been looked in the eye and it just- I couldn’t believe it, he was talking to me. Not just flinching then moving on, he was having a conversation with me. Not to get all sentimental first timey about this, but it did kinda feel like I was losing my ghost-virginity.
Jesus Christ, what has happened to me.
I waited for a second, impatiently tapping my sneaker-toe against the pole to the table between us. Funny, how you can go so long without chatter but you have the same habits once you are thrown right back in. At least I think these are my same habits. They feel habit-y.
When I didn’t get an immediate response from him I sighed, deciding I was gonna have to put a little more forward. “Look, I’m just as freaked out by this as you are-“
“Said the ghost to the guy who just saw him kicking coffee mugs around like it was nothing.” He added sarcastically, Oh, so we can be pissing ourselves and sarcastic. Multi-talented Guy right here. I rested my chin on my palm as he continued. “Something tells me I have a right to be much more weirded out about this than you do,” He seemed to be trying really hard not to sneer. Oh watch it buddy. If you can see me I’ll put my fake ghost-money on you feeling my knuckles in your teeth.
I’m noticing a trend of this whole ghost thing. Please forgive.
The people sitting in the booth to the far left of ours glanced over their shoulder at us… well, at him. Their faces seemed concerned, and almost afraid. The waitress came over ( wow) and gave him a pitifully smile.
“Everything Alright over here? You seem a little…. Nervous… anything I can get for you? You’ll have to order something if you wish to keep the table…” She explained to him kindly. It was fake, the kindness in her voice was just a mask to hide the pity she was feeling for the blue-eyed man sitting across from me. Oh. That was another thing, he has blue eyes. Have I mentioned that yet? I’m not sure. Well, I don’t know why this fact bothered me so much, it was like whenever I looked at him, this fact stood out to me more than anything else. More so even than his toddlers hair and the cut of his cheek bones and how he had been running his tongue over his lips every now and then the entire time he had been talking to me.
Talking to me.
Sorry. Still haven’t gotten over that.
He looked at the waitress, raising an eye a little at the question. “Oh- I see…. a cup of tea then? Honey if you have it please…” He turned to me, “Do you want anything?” He asked as if it was the most normal thing ever. To him it was. It was an innocent enough question, him just trying to be polite.
That’s why it made me burst out laughing. The guy looked alarmed, and the waitress also seemed rather afraid, but her attention was no where near me. More focused on blue-eyes.
“Well- erm.. a cup of Honey tea coming up…” She quickly smiled before turning away from him, eyeing him over her shoulder as she did so. He looked utterly confused, which only added to my laughter, holding my stomach.
He shot me a glare, irritated as he opened his mouth to undoubtedly ask me ‘what the hell that was’ and ‘what I think is so funny.’ However, he seemed to pause and think it over in his head. “Wait… Can she see you?” He asked me slowly. There it was, he seemed to have gotten the hint.
“Nope.” I grinned at him.
“None of them?”
“Well, none accept you, apparently.” I shrugged. “Oh, and you’re talking to yourself, just a heads up that everyone does, in fact, think your insane.” I added with a shit-eating grin.
The look I received in return was gold. “Look, Mr. Uh”-
“Castiel. My name is Castiel.” He corrected, sitting up a little in his seat, hands folded together on the countertop.
“Okay Castiel. You’re the first person I’ve had the privilege to talk to in a very long time.” I explained, trying very hard not to sound snarky as I spoke to him, letting my shoulders relax as I did so. He gave me a look and I returned it. “What?”
“You seriously haven’t talked to anyone in a while have you?” He grinned a little.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I challenged.
“You didn’t go.”
“ Your name, hot-shot.”
I rolled my eyes, sitting back against the booth and crossing my arms as I glared over at him. However, we both seemed to know there was no malicious intent behind it. “Dean.”
There was a pause, the waitress returning and setting the tea down for him. He thanked her, moving to add some cream to it.
“You put cream in your tea?”
“Shush.” He mumbled almost on reaction, taking a teaspoon and storing the hot liquid for a little before taking a sip. “You don’t?”
“I’m much more of a coffee drinker myself.”
“How do you take it?”
“Spoon of sugar and two creams.” I recite on instinct, it makes him smile into his cup. “...though I can’t really remember the last time I’ve had the chance to order coffee.”
Another long pause of silence fell between us. “...How long have you been like this?” Castiel asked after a couple moments. His tone was cautious.
“How do you have no idea.” He shot back rather quickly at me.
“Oh sorry, I left my ghost-for-eternity timer at home. Let me just run and grab that for you.” Was the response he earned from me. He seemed to back off after getting that no, I didn’t have any type clue. And I was also craving coffee. Another fun benefit of this conversation. Castiel looked down into his tea, not meeting my eyes for a good long while. He then put his tea-cup down with a small clink, getting up as I opened my mouth to ask where he was going, closing it again when I realized it probably wouldn’t matter. Probably going to pay and leave. Good going Dean, snark the only person who can see you away, good goin’ pal. Whatever. I didn’t need him, I’ve been perfectly fine on my own this entire time. Totally normal and… nervous and.. and sad and….. lonely.
I did my best to ignore my mind yelling at me to get up and follow him, or ask him to sit back down and apologize for the attitude.
A mug was placed in front of me. A mug of coffee.
Two creams, one sugar.
Castiel sat back in his seat, stirring his tea-cup again before setting the spoon down and glancing up at me, the tiniest smile on his face as he did do.
I stared at the coffee, almost forgetting how you were supposed to drink coffee. With shaky hands, I reached out to the mug, doing my best to get it together as, rather slowly, my hands rested on the sides of the mug. I felt the warmth from the liquid through the marital, letting myself enjoy how it could warm your entire body. Warm. Another sensation that I hadn’t felt in a good long while.
The coffee against my tongue was even warmer.
Castiel smiled into his cup again, managing to catch me Do the same in mine. He set his cup back down, seeming more relaxed then when he’d first sat down.
“.... So you are a ghost.”
“I feel like we’ve already gone down this path. Yes, Sherlock , I’m a ghost.”
“I’m much more of a John actually.”
Hey! It’s only been forever. I will try to update more frequently. Please excuse the short length of this chapter, I’m still getting into writing Dean from first POV and the story dynamic on general.
Hope you enjoyed! And as always I appreciate your reading!