Hey there, So this is something new for me, this is my first Big Bang and I'm super excited for it. As for the story, I really like the idea of the Hanahaki Disease and it isn't really explored much outside of unrequited love, so what better way to do it than with a good old fashion case?
A young girl, no older than 21, entered her and her boyfriend’s apartment. She looked around and noticed that the house was no different when she left it in the afternoon. She did her best not to be frustrated about it. She didn’t want to hover when he needed time alone, so she spent some time with her friends tonight but she needed to check on him before she went to bed. “Lukas?” The girl walks up to his room and knocked on the door. She tried to open the door, but it won’t budge.
Lukas had been pale and sick for the past couple of days. She tried to take care of him, but he wasn’t getting any better and he refused to go see a doctor. It didn’t help at all that he was grieving and he wasn’t handling it well. He just shut down as he dealt with his grief. She loved him dearly but all that withdrawal and stonewalling she had been receiving when he was struggling took a toll on her, especially considering it was his ex-girlfriend whom he was grieving so heavily for. She needed one night with her friends to de-stress.
She went to their bedroom to check on him, he wasn’t in bed much to her concern and mild frustration. The day he heard about his ex-girlfriend’s death he locked himself in the study. ‘Locked’, she thought. She didn’t want him in the study again, hiding in that dark room when he was already so sick. “It’s been days now. I know you’re still dealing with it all, but this isn’t healthy.” She said through the door. “You know she wouldn’t have wanted this.”
Another moment of silence and she couldn’t take it anymore, she took the key and opened the door to his room. She pushed the now unlocked door slightly ajar, noting the light coming from a
computer monitor on the study desk, but she still heard nothing. “Lukas?” She called out to her boyfriend again before entering the dark room. She froze at the sight before her.
Her screams echoed throughout the neighborhood as her boyfriend lied still on the floor in his blood, bloodshot eyes wide open and yellow flower petals spilling from his mouth.
Sam walked into the diner to meet up with Dean. He spotted Dean in one of the booths against the wall, already pigging out on a burger with egg, cheese, and way too much bacon and mayo oozing out of the side of the bun, dripping onto the plate.
“Sammy!” Dean cried out with his mouth still full, “You gotta try this breakfast burger. It’s amazing.”
Sam sighed in annoyance as he sat across from Dean. He had long been used his brother’s disgusting eating habits to be revolted by it. But that didn’t stop him from scrunching his face and making a comment when he looked at the greasy mess Dean was holding. “It looks like what happened if bacon, cheese, and mayo tried to have an orgy.”
“Everything great that American food stands for.” Sam rolled his eyes at Dean’s smug look.
“Would it kill you once to eat something without grease on it?” Dean looked up from his breakfast burger and just shrugged. Sam closed his eyes and sighed in frustration. He questioned how his big brother even managed to get a breakfast burger at 2 in the afternoon but judging by the giggling and the sideways glances between Dean and the dark-haired waitress, it’s probably not that hard to figure out.
“Would it kill you to shut up and let me enjoy my burger?” Dean quipped back and took a big bite of his burger in front of Sam’s view. “Tell me about the case.” His words would’ve been incomprehensible if Sam didn’t live with Dean and his disgusting habits for all of his life.
Sam knew better than to give him the whole speech about it so he took out his laptop and showed him the new article. “Ok, so 3 people have died so far. 2 guys and 1 girl, all of them died from suffocation with flowers filling their lungs. The girl was the latest victim. Rebecca Washington., age 20, died yesterday at the General Hospital.” Sam explained as the waitress Dean was eyeing earlier came over to give him and Dean a cup of coffee.
“Sounds like a witch to me, fucking hate witches. Goddammit, made me lose my appetite.” He groaned, annoyed as he dropped the fatty excuse for food onto the plate. “Any connection?”
“Other than they all live in this town? Nothing much. No family ties, so we can rule out family curses. One of them was in high school, the others are a bartender and a manager.”
“OK, let’s suit up.” Dean wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and dropped money on the table for the table. “You go talk to the families, turn on your puppy eye charm and see if they know anything. I’ll go to the morgue and take a look at the bodies.”
“Agent Drake. I’m here about the flower suffocating case.” Dean flashed his fake CDC badge with the coroner, they figured that this would be better since it was an odd case for the FBI to be investigated.
“Yes. Rebecca Washington.” The coroner sighed mournfully. “Poor girl, way too young to be here.”
Dean said nothing in response as the coroner walked to where the vic’s body was stored and pulled it out. A young girl with long red hair who kinda reminded him of Charlie, wherever she was now. The vic’s face was a lot paler than it should be, making her freckles even more obvious as well as the small vein marks from the hemorrhaging.
The first thing Dean noticed on her body was that there was nothing visibly supernatural about the way she died. No wounds, bite marks. No weird cuts or markings either.
‘Well that narrows down our monster list.’ Dean thought as he looked over the body.
“Anything you can tell me about her?” He asked, scanning the body more carefully for any minor clue.
“Other than the flowers? Nothing.” The coroner stated in a professional voice as he began to list off his findings. “She was healthy and fit. It’s the oddest thing I’ve seen in years, it’s not like pollen allergy or anything. I don’t understand how this happened. It’s as if these petals just showed up from nowhere and started filling up their lungs gradually. The patients were having a hard time before it ended.”
He put down the clipboard in his hand and continued in a much more sympathetic tone. “It was awful, I heard she was in there for about 3 days. Constantly breathing heavily and coughing out blood and those petals, nothing her doctors did help her.”
Dean flashed a remorseful look back. That’s one of the things Dean noticed after working so many cases in towns like these, they all tend to know each other and it was a loss to all of them when a case like this hit.
The coroner left to continue with his work while Dean started to take a closer look at the autopsy. Even with years of experience and latex gloves on his hands, Dean could never get used to this part of the job and he’d usually pass this off to Sam. He never really liked the morgue, or the hospital in general. Beside the obvious life and death ties to these kinds of places, it always felt too sterile to Dean. Too clean like any hint of humankind was a blemish or a contamination to this sancent bubble. Ultimately the morgue and the hospital were just expansions of the same type of room in Dean’s mind.
He would question the vics but he knew that Sam with his big emotional heart would be better at getting information than his straight and direct demeanor, especially since the vic just died yesterday.
“Huh.” He noted the small mark. Dean pulled over the magnifying glass to take a closer look. Sure enough on the vic’s heart is a mark that Dean had only seen once, but it was a case that he’d never forget: The Enochian mark of Union.
With that, Dean checked the hearts of the other victims and the files to confirm his theory.
‘Son of a bitch.’ Dean wasn’t happy. He was hoping to never deal with the whiny emotional cherubs again but now it seemed like one’s gone rogue or whatever Cas called it.
Dean took off his gloves and called his brother, “Hey Sammy. Come to the Coroner’s, I got something.”
“Agent Freeman. I don’t understand, I told the doctors and the police everything I knew.” The woman replied as she led Sam into the living room. He felt bad for intruding on their time of grief, especially since the loss was so new and it showed in the tired look in her eyes.
“I know and I’m sorry to hear about your daughter.” Sam said sincerely as he took a seat, “The CDC need to conduct our own investigation into this. I’m hoping that you could tell me about the few days before what happened to Rebecca.”
Mrs. Washington took a seat facing him, looking pained as she talked about her daughter. “She was such a sweet girl. She was kind, smart. She was working as a bartender just so she wouldn’t have to bother us with her college funds. She was about to introduce us to her boyfriend too.” She choked down a sob, “I’m sorry, I just can’t believe she’s gone like that.”
“It’s all right.” Sam consoled her before going down his usual list of questions, “Was she acting unusual when you last saw her?”
“Unusual? Like symptoms?” Mrs. Washington thought about it for a moment before shaking her head, “I’m not too sure, you might want to ask Ellie or Rebecca’s boyfriend for that.”
“Ellie?” She called out into the hall.
After a while, the sound of light, fleetly footsteps come from upstairs and down the staircase.
“Yes, Mrs. Washington?” A young, mousey girl appeared by the entrance. She was quite short if she was Rebecca’s age, probably no taller than 5 feet, she was dressed in dark conversative dress that wasn’t common for her age group either. She had an innocent look to her, with her rounded cheeks and her wide brown eyes, though Sam could tell that those eyes had shrouds of sadness and heartache to them. She was fairing no better than Mrs. Washington, it seemed.
“This is Agent Freeman, he wants to ask about Rebecca” She introduced Ellie to Sam. He stood up to greet her.
“Hi, I’m Ellie. I’m-” She winced a little as she stopped and corrected herself, “I was Becca’s best friend.”
“Nice to meet you. How long had you known Rebecca?”
Ellie smiled fondly as she started, “The two of us grew up together and we became best friends, we agreed that we were gonna go to the same college and become roommates. That was the case until she met Sean last summer.” Her voice break a little when she talked about the boyfriend, she paused to recover but Sam caught it and said nothing as he waited patiently for her to continue. “Those two got together so fast that she told me that she was gonna move in with him after spring break. And after her death, Sean just shut down and disappeared. I just come here for Mrs. Washington’s sake. Becca was her only kid and after her husband passed, I didn’t want her to be alone.”
Hearing Ellie recalled her memories with the victim was heartbreaking for Sam, he could hear how important Rebecca was to Ellie, maybe even more important to Ellie than she was comfortable with admitting.
He didn’t push her though, instead, he asked his usual questions. “Did you notice anything odd about the day she started? Any cold spots? Weird smells?”
“Nothing much, we were just working on assignments when she started coughing. I thought she was just getting sick, so I made her tea. She couldn’t even drink it and that’s when she first coughed out blood. I got a towel for her and I noticed these little yellow flower petals. I heard what happened to Mr. Lowes and Lukas Free, so I immediately sent her to the hospital.”
“Did she have any enemies? Anyone who would want to hurt her?”
“No, she was pretty popular on campus. Not to mention the folks at the bar she worked at basically became her second family. I don’t think anyone would have it out for her.”
Sam groaned internally, ‘Great, another one of those cases.’
He took a quick glance around and noticed a photo of Rebecca on a shelf, next to it is a small glass bottle filled with wooden beads. It would be unremarkable if it wasn’t for the logo that’s on it, it’s a unique symbol that he had never seen before: it looked like a clover with 3 heart shaped leaves while the bottom one was a triangle with a cross beneath it. He walked over to it and picked it up for a good look. “What’s that?”
Ellie glanced over to the bottle and answered, “Those are scented beads, I got them for Becca’s birthday last month ago. We couldn’t really keep flowers in our dorms so I got her the next best thing.”
Sam was surprised. It wasn’t every day that you see something new, and when it happened it usually spelled trouble for the Winchesters. He pocketed the bottle out of their sights, if this was cursed, it was best that Sam kept it away from them.
“Ok, please let me know if you can think of anything else.” Sam gave Ellie a name card as she walked Sam to the door. Before he left, he turned back to Ellie and said, “I think it’s a really good thing you’re doing. Rebecca would be happy to know this.”
Ellie got misty-eyed at Sam’s pairing words, she smiled as she closed the door.
Sam barely made it out to the driveway before his phone started ringing, “Hey Dean. I didn’t get much. Find anything?” Sam flagged down a cab and gave the driver the place, “I’ll be right there.”
“Check this.” Dean got up from the stool and let Sam look through the magnifying glass. “Looks familiar to you?”
Sure enough, Sam took a look at the heart and spotted it. “Enochian? Isn’t that the-”
“Cupid’s mark.” Dean nodded and continued, “Same with the other two vics. Angel love marks on their hearts.”
Sam read the files on the desk before looking up at his brother, “So you’re thinking it’s a cupid?”
“I’m thinking that this is something. I just don’t understand why it’s only one of the pairs are popping daisies.” Dean silently reveled at the bitch face Sam was making.
Sam resisted the urge to roll his eyes and said, “Well maybe we should talk to Cas. Ask him if he knows about anything going on with them.”
“Fine, time to call in the junior detective.” Dean picked up his phone and called the angel.
“Cas, it’s Dean. We’re in Ohio, General hospital morgue.”
The sound of ruffling clothes and wings behind him signaled his arrival, which was followed by a familiar phrase, “Hello Dean.”
“Hey, Cas.” Dean wasn’t even surprised anymore, he just ended the call and turned to Castiel. They went silent for a moment as all they could do then was stare into each other’s eyes.
Castiel took a moment to appreciate Dean’s green eyes. Humans had a saying that eyes are the windows to the soul and Castiel thought that the human that came up with that saying was very wise and true. Dean’s soul did bear the scars from Hell, much like his physical body had scars from hunting and saving people, but that scars were completely overshadowed by the bright light that came from his loyalty, his passion for keeping people safe, and his love for his family and friends. Castiel couldn’t help but thank his absent bastard of a Father for at least giving him the honor of saving the righteous man and staying by his side.
Dean got lost in those bright, powerful blue eyes. Any reminder that Dean would need of the powerful seraph was here with him, and not trapped in purgatory, were in those eyes, bright with the grace within and powerful enough to smite any creature. But with all that power, his gaze was gentle and human. Cas was more than any dickhead angel, he was Cas. Cas was loyal, curious, innocent and naïve, maybe even a little cute with that head tilt thing he did…
Sam saw the two of them looked in their usual staring and was fed up with it. He could feel so much sexual tension from where he was that they might as well have been having eye sex, which was something Sam didn’t want to think about regarding his big brother. So, he cut the moment off, “Got another case with those cupid marks.”
Castiel woke up from his daze, turning his attention to Sam. Unknowing to him, Dean was trying to will away his red blush and really inappropriate thoughts starring his fallen angel (Not that Dean would admit it). “Are couples dying again?” Castiel inquired, focusing on the case at hand.
Castiel couldn’t help but think of the last time he dealt with this branch of his brothers. The last murders involving cupids led to Famine and Castiel consuming a large amount of raw red meat. While it didn’t kill him, the angel had fallen enough that he got sick and threw most of it up. It wasn’t a pleasant memory for him.
“No. It’s just one of them.” Sam spoke up, making the angel tilt his head in confusion as Castiel walked over to the examination table.
Castiel took a look at the heart, squinting his eyes in thought and contemplation. “That’s strange. These are indeed cupid marks.”
“So, rouge cupid?” Dean, now with blood back up in his head, chimed in and asked.
It was a reasonable deduction but Castiel was baffled. Cupids were all about love, even rouge cupids wouldn’t separate marked couples, to leave their soulmate alone to suffer. Besides, the flowers were something Castiel hadn’t seen before. Usually, rouge cupids would just cause their targets to overdose with love and let the couple die from their own lovesick decisions. Uriel found it humorous.
“I am not sure,” Castiel replied, “I’ll check with them and see what they have to say.”
Dean suppressed a shiver going down his spine, “Go on ahead, last time I met those bastards it took days to wash the feeling of hugging me.”
Castiel wasn’t too happy about either. But if any one of them had the better chance of getting something out of his brothers, it’d be him. He flew off alone to find the nearest mating ground, in search for them.
While Cas was looking for his chubby, bad touching siblings, the Winchesters decided that the best place to start was looking for patient zero. Sam managed to trace down the first victim and the person who found the body. The Impala pulled up at an apartment loft near a local college and they were greeted by a young girl with brown hair and blue highlights in her apartment. Her eyes look empty and bloodshot. She looked soulless. Sam and Dean knew that look, it was the look of someone who lost everything important to them.
“Chelsea Keaton?” The girl nodded and Sam continued, “I’m Agent Freeman, this is my partner, Agent Drake. We heard that you were the one who found the body.”
Chelsea paled at the moment of the body, she bit her lip but she let them in. “I’ve already talked to the police, I don’t know what else is there to talk about.”
“We’re with the CDC. There has been another victim so we need to cover all our bases.” Dean explained as he looked around the apartment.
While Dean scanned the apartment for clues, Sam sat down with Chelsea. “Can you tell us how Lukas was before his death?”
“Yeah, he was a freelance web designer.” She smiled as she recounted fondly, “We met in the same class and we really hit it off. He was amazing and fun, everything was great.
Her smile dropped as she continued, “Then his ex-girlfriend died and he just…stopped. He kinda holed himself into his room and I was trying to talk to him, but he cut himself off. He was so busy grieving that I didn’t know how to help him.” Her voice cracked at the end as she started weeping.
“Take your time, Chelsea.” Sam comforted her.
Sam waited for her as she dried off her tears before he continued, “When did his symptoms first start?”
“The day after June died.” She answered.
“June was the ex-girlfriend?”
“Yeah, she and Lukas were dating in high school. He broke up with her after we met and it was like love at first sight.”
“What do you know about June?”
“Lukas told me that she was a kind girl, I never really got to know her given the circumstances. I heard she killed herself after Lukas broke up with her and she couldn’t really move on. I found him on the floor here crying, saying it was his fault. He felt so guilty about it.”
Sam’s first thought was that maybe Juniper’s ghost was the problem, but that didn’t quite explain how 3 other complete strangers could be haunted.
Meanwhile, Dean had been doing his own investigation. He searched through the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom for any markings or hex bags and scanned the place with his EMF meter. Nothing so far, until Dean came across a locked door. “Chelsea, this door is locked.”
Chelsea looked over to answer. “That was Lukas’s study, we used it as a guest room sometimes.” She got up to unlock the door for them. “I kept it closed since….” She went silent with her face down but the unspoken answer was clear as day.
Looking into the room, it was clear that Chelsea hasn’t entered the room since Lukas’s death and judging by the way she lingered by the doorway. The room was dark with a slight musty smell. It was in disarray, the bedsheets were turned and twisted and a bucket by the bed probably for Lukas when he was sick. The one thing that stood out to Sam was a small shoebox on the top of the cluttered computer table.
“I’m guessing Lukas is a bit of slob.” Dean murmured. Chelsea might not have been heard it but Sam would’ve smacked Dean in the back of the head if that won’t blow their covers.
Instead, Sam turned to Chelsea by the door and asked her, “Did you notice anything where in the room when you walked in? Any odd smells or off?”
“No.” She shook her head as she starting choking up again. “I’m sorry, agents. I just can’t stand being here right now. We just found each other 2 months ago and now he’s gone.” They nodded but she didn’t see it as she turned away from the room.
Now that Chelsea was gone, Dean pulled out the EMF meter and started scanning while Sam checked under the mattress. But Sam couldn’t let that comment go. “Seriously, Dean?” Sam reprimanded, “She lost her soulmate, have some empathy.”
“Please, Sammy.” Dean said, “You and I both know that those cupid marks don’t mean shit in the long run.”
Sam sighed internally but said nothing more. Cupids and soulmates were a tough and touchy subject for Dean since he found out the truth of how Mom and Dad got together. He never really believed in love and Sam doubted that Dean would ever let himself open enough to love someone. But Sam also believed that part of it came from his denial about his feelings towards a certain trench coat angel. It sucked being the third wheel to all of this, seeing all the ways that Cas and Dean truly care for each other but never doing anything because his brother would rather face a hellhound than his feelings and the angel is as clueless as a newborn kitten.
They worked again in silence until Dean opened the shoebox. Inside the box was a picture of Lukas with a different girl, who Dean suspected to be the ex-girlfriend that died, and a small hand-sewn pouch. His hunter instincts went crazy and he opened it, only to be confused and a little disappointed that there was nothing supernatural about it, just dried flowers. ‘Damn, I thought I found it…’
With that last room in the apartment scanned and cleared, they leave Chelsea with a card just in case. “If you remember anything else, give us a call.” Dean said as he handed the card to her.
They leave dejected that they still don’t have any real leads. They walked out of the apartment while they discussed what they found out. “So, Chelsea noticed that Lukas was sick but Lukas completely refused to listen. Also, get this. Lukas’s ex-girlfriend killed herself a day before he became sick”
Dean nodded as he told Sam what he found out, “Well it wasn’t her though. The EMF didn’t pick up anything, no sulfur, but-” Dean pulled out the pouch he found, “I did find this.”
“Scented pouch?” Sam examined the pouch before opening it.
“Yup, with dried up flowers” Dean answered.
Sam examined the contents inside and just as Dean said, there was nothing supernatural about it. The flowers were just standard lavender, peony, and orchid, not that Sam would admit to Dean about knowing all that. The Samantha jokes would never end.
“You think there are pouches like these in the other’s rooms?” Dean asked. But neither of them had an answer. Right now, all they knew was that people were dying and they have no clue on what was the cause.
“This is already turning into a pain in the ass.” Dean concluded and Sam couldn’t help but agree. They needed more information and Dean needed a drink.
They found a local dive bar for dinner and went on about their usual routine: Sam doing his nerdy research on his laptop and Dean was drinking his beer while eyeing the local beauties for a good night.
“Huh.” Dean tore his eyes away from the bar and looked over at Sam’s curious exclaim.
“So get this, the girl that Chelsea mentioned?” Sam started as he turned the laptop to Dean.
“The suicide chick?”
“Yeah, I found the news reports about her.” Sam explained, “Juniper Rochelle, age 20. Was found hanged in her bedroom. And get this, her family owns the local florist shop.”
Dean couldn’t help but scoff at the name, “Her name was Juniper? Man, her parents can’t be any more creative.”
Sam said nothing, he wasn’t gonna talk shit about a dead girl like that. “Yeah, but the pouch does have the brand. Plus, I noticed that Rebecca Washington had scented beads with the same symbol on the bottle.” Sam took his laptop back and continued his work, “I’m gonna to do some research on that and see what I can find.”
Dean nodded in approval and went back to his drink, “So what about Lowes?”
“Well I talked to his girlfriend, and apparently one of his favorite ways to apologize is roses.” Sam said.
“Which he could’ve gotten from the shop.” Dean continued, “So what you think someone in that family’s a witch?”
“Could be a pretty powerful one, remember the hex coins?”
Dean groaned at the reminder of being a marriage counselor for two way too overpowered witches. “Great. I’m not being some witch’s grievance counselor.”
In the middle of it all, the bar doors swing open, revealing Cas looking a little disheveled and walking towards their table. At least he remembered to come in through the door when they’re in public. “Hello, Dean.” He then turned to Sam, “Hello Sam.”
“Woah Cas, what happened to you?” Dean took in his best friend’s appearance. He looked like he went through a wind turbine and his hair looked even messier and sexed up than normal, which made Dean’s mind and blood go down south, he quickly stopped that train of thought and focused it back on the girls at the bar.
Cas was completely oblivious to Dean’s inner turmoil and tilted his head in his usual confused fashion before he gave his report. “I can safely assure you that the cupids have nothing to do with this. In fact, they are rather distressed about their marks dying and something about ‘torn star-crossed lovers’. It requires a lot of consoling and… physical comforting.” Cas winced a little at the memory.
Dean winced too at his experience with dealing with cupids and their ‘handshakes’. Even though he asked Cas to talk to them, Dean felt like he threw his best friend under the bus. “Shit, Cas.”
“Well at least we know for sure the cupids don’t know jack shit.” Sam concluded. While it was another dead end, any info at this point was useful info.
Cas looked awkward standing there and he looked like he was ready to take off again. Dean didn’t want that, he just got Cas back from purgatory and he wasn’t gonna let Cas feel unwanted after Heaven and his own dad abandoned him. “Pull up a chair, Cas.”
“You want me to join you?” Cas looked shellshocked like he never expected Dean to want him around. It made Dean cringe internally, he should’ve done this sooner.
“You went through hug city for us, the least we can do is help you forget.” Dean shrugged as he ordered another round, feigning nonchalance while his heart was beating excitedly at the sight of Cas’s small genuine smile and the fact that Cas was staying. The one thing that had changed about Cas from the years that they’ve met was that Cas was much more open to Sam and Dean, which made him look all the cut-
Dean stopped that train of thought as soon as he realized he was gonna call Cas cute, not his socially awkward mannerisms but the angel himself. He shouldn’t even be thinking of the word cute. He blamed Sam for this.
“Dean, I may have been weakened. But it’s going to take more than a few bottles to get me drunk.” Cas reminded him, not that Dean could ever forget the hilarious image of him drinking both Ellen and Jo under the table. Ellen and Jo, two more people that Dean had let down…
Dean quickly snapped out of his mood, he didn’t want Sam or Cas to catch him like that and went back to his cocky carefree state. “That ain’t the only way to keep your mind off things.” He nudged Cas, turning their gazes not so subtly to the bar. “I see a couple of girls looking over.”
Sure enough, there were 2 young beautiful women who are looking over at their table, more specifically, at Dean. Castiel never really liked interrupting Dean during his conquests, but he was never with Dean when he tried to find women to have intercourse with. It was distressing and he started to feel dejected and upset after he heard this. He didn’t want Dean to spend the night with those women, but Castiel couldn’t really stop Dean from doing what made him happy.
“I’m fine, Dean.” Castiel looked away from the women and said in a slightly more monotone voice than usual “You can go.”
Dean, having watched and memorized all of Cas’s little mannerisms, noticed that something was wrong but Dean just chalked it up to not being interested in them and left to chat those ladies up.
With Dean off chasing skirts, Sam had a rare opportunity to talk to the angel alone. Being the smart one of the duo, he knew that Cas’s drop in enthusiasm happened because of Dean’s tendency to flirt with anything with an X chromosome. Sam wasn’t sure if Dean was gay or bi or whatever, but he knew for a fact that Dean had some repressed gay crush on Cas.
“So, Cas. How have you been adjusting?” Sam asked a silent and despondent Cas.
Cas’s head perked up and decided to open himself up to the younger Winchester. “I’m fine, Sam. Purgatory was a stressful place but I needed to go through that. I need to repent.”
Sam nodded. “I get it. It feels lighter after you wear yourself out. I felt like I could let some of the stuff go after I was in the cage.” Unlike Dean, he didn’t blame for why Cas did what he did. Sam didn’t believe that Cas should’ve punished himself like that, and he’d strap Dean to the backseat of the Impala if Dean tried to pull that shit out of guilt, but he couldn’t be a hypocrite.
Cas sighed, “Perhaps, I don’t feel it yet. I wanted to come back to make amends but I should’ve just stayed there.”
That got Sam’s attention. He remembered how Dean was like when he first got out of Purgatory. It scared Sam then because Dean was acting like his dad. John took his grief and guilt and used it to push himself to be the best hunter in the world, to the point where Sam even questioned whether he was doing it to protect people or if it was so John could lose himself in the thrill of the hunt, and Dean would’ve gotten to that point if Cas didn’t show up.
“Don’t. Dean was wreaked after he found out that you didn’t make it out.” Cas’s head shot up when he heard Sam say that, his eyes widen filled with disbelief.
“He shouldn’t have. I betrayed his trust and I caused him pain. I belong in there after the things I’ve done.” Castiel didn’t understand why he would be that important to the Winchesters after what he did to both of them.
“Cas, Dean cares a lot about you.” Sam kept trying to get through to him but Cas was almost as self-loathing as Dean, those two really were made for each other. “He stayed in Purgatory for a year to find you, Dean doesn’t go that far for people he doesn’t l-” Sam paused when he noticed a stony expression on Cas’s face and that Cas was no longer paying attention to him, but to the bar… where Dean was with those girls throwing themselves at him. Shit.
Castiel’s stunned and pained expression shifted into his cold emotionless mask that he had before he rebelled. He didn’t know why he was hurting like this, but he didn’t want to be here anymore. “I’m sorry Sam, but I think I’m going to ‘call it a night’.” Castiel said, not wanting to seem rude to Sam, and flew off to find a peaceful place away from Dean right now.
Sam felt so sorry for Cas. Dean might be so far up in denial to acknowledge Cas’s feelings but that didn’t give him the excuse to be this inconsiderate. Cas left without another word, leaving behind a somber mood. Sam couldn’t stand to want Cas and Dean dancing around each other and hurting each other in the process. Dean seemed to notice that Cas was gone since he was now looking back at the table, scanning around for a man with a trenchcoat. That was the last straw in Sam’s mind, he was done for the night. He signaled to Dean that he was leaving and walked back to the motel, thoroughly frustrated with his brother and their best friend.
Dean was a smooth talker and a ladies man, he was proud of that and owned that image despite his brother’s constant bitching about it. He left Cas with Sam and he was greeted by a couple of lovely women who were curvy and plump in all the right places and some sinfully tight outfits that show off said assets. After a few drinks and choice words, both of them were more than happy to take him to their hotel room. Fuck yeah, Dean thought, a threesome was the perfect way to get his mind off the case (and a certain angel that Dean won’t admit that he was thinking about.) but he noticed that Cas was done and Sam looked annoyed with him as he was leaving the bar. Dean was so confused, he didn’t even know what he did. But he’s got two hot ladies for the night and he’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. (He already tested them with his silver ring and holy water in their drinks, can’t let your guard down too much.)
They got into the Impala and head to their hotel, which is already better than his usual stay. It was then that Dean started to feel an itch in his throat. He didn’t think much of it, probably too much whiskey. He hoped that it’ll go away by the time they get into bed. The girls started getting more excited, putting their hands on him and whispering all the things they have in mind for tonight. Dean decided to forget about the case, Cas and his brother, for one night. Tonight, he’s gonna give these ladies the night of their lives, he was a gentleman after all and he had a reputation to uphold.
At least, that was the plan. When he got into their luxurious suite that is way too fancy for two fresh graduates (their dads must be making big bucks to afford this), that itch in his throat started to get worse and worse. He managed to make some half-ass excuse to go into the bathroom and get it out of his system. As soon as he stepped in though, his extremely irritated throat turned into a manic coughing fit. He felt something lodged inside and he had to get it out. It was obviously loud enough for the girls to start worrying. They knocked on the door, faint voices on the other side asking if Dean was alright. But Dean couldn’t focus enough to fake a response, his mind was dead focus on what he threw up into the toilet bowl, a small bunch of white flower petals covered in blood.
“Son of a bitch” He groaned as he leaned against the toilet, he should’ve seen this coming. Of course, things were too calm for a typical Winchester hunt. He couldn’t stay like this, he had to leave. He flushed the petals and the blood-stained toilet paper away, leaving no trace of any supernatural. The girls were not happy at all, but they were more than ready to shut the door on him when he told them that he changed their mind. One of them even accused him of being gay, something about wanting to go check on his boyfriend. It was ridiculous, Dean wasn’t gay. Maybe he was worried when Cas suddenly disappeared without even saying goodbye (Dean thought that they were passed this by now), either way, Dean wasn’t gonna argue with them anyways, he didn’t even get one of their names right. He decided to cut his losses and he got the hell out of dodge.
Turns out driving with the constant need to hack out flowers from your throat was extremely difficult, Dean damn near drove Baby off the road a few times. He needed to get Sam quick and figure out how the hell he got cursed.
Sam was enjoying a relatively calm night with his research when the door slammed open, banging it against the wall. Sam’s hunter instincts tensed when the fast blur barged into the room and darted straight into the bathroom. He approached the bathroom with his gun in hand, only to be shocked when he saw Dean hurdled against the toilet.
“Dean?” He put his gun away and crouched down to check on his brother. Dean started to hurl and hack again. That didn’t make sense, he hardly drank that much when he was sleeping with someone.
“Sam, we’ve got a problem here.” Dean’s voice echoed faintly through the bathroom, but it was how rough and scratchy his voice sounded that worried Sam.
“Dean, what the hell?” Sam asked, concerned.
Dean knew he couldn’t find it, he needed help or else he’ll be dead in 3 days. “Yeah, I think I caught the bug.” Dean confessed in a raspy voice, moving aside to let Sam take a look.
Sure enough, there were flower petals covered in blood floating in the toilet bowl. Judging by the amount, Dean probably threw up a handful of petals. This is bad, really bad.
Sam ran his hands through his long hair, trying to not to rip his hair out for the eightieth time and tried to get a grasp on the situation. “Ok, Ok. Run me through. What happened after Cas and I left the bar?”
“I was with those girls, we were heading to their hotel when I just got this burning itchy feeling in my throat. It got worse and the next thing I knew I was coughing out lilacs.” Dean groaned, it was hard to sound angry when he kept gagging into the toilet bowl.
Nothing about that gave any clue as to why or how the witch managed to even curse Dean. “Ok, I’m gonna call Cas.” Sam said exasperatedly. Right now, Dean needed help and this awkward pining that those two have been doing will have to wait. He looked up into the room and started praying for the angel. “Cas, it’s Sam. Something’s wrong with Dean.”
Castiel was at a local hospital, he had been spending more time around the sick and the needy to help them as a way to atone for his horrible actions. Tonight he was watching over the infants, something he would do when he felt lonely or upset. Emotions like these were still new to Castiel and he still didn’t know how to deal with it, so he watched the newborns as they try to understand these new sensations and the lives that they were given. It made Castiel feel a little less lonely, knowing that there are some that are still learning the basics of humanity like he was.
Castiel knew why he felt so upset when he saw Dean with those women, he knew what love was after all. He loved Sam and Bobby the same way he loved his Father and his family, but his love for Dean felt even greater than that. And when he saw Dean with those women, he was reminded how unattainable Dean was and it hurt. It felt worse than when Dean tried to give himself up to Michael, worse than when Dean, Sam, and Bobby trapped him in that ring of holy fire. Castiel wasn’t sure what his emotions were telling him, but he felt betrayed. Betrayed by Dean. It made no sense.
Suddenly, he heard Sam. The moment he heard how anxious Sam sounded and the mention of Dean’s name, Castiel took off without a thought.
“What happened, Sam?” Without missing a beat, Castiel arrived in front of Sam, immediately asking for answers.
“I don’t know.” Sam sounded so lost, on edge and tired.
Castiel was very unnerved when he heard Sam’s prayer. Dean was in danger. While Castiel was keeping himself away from him, Dean got hurt and it was his fault.
Dean looked up at him with a pale complexion, looking at him for answers but Castiel didn’t know what to tell him. Whatever it was Castiel couldn’t identify it, not at first glance. He tried to heal Dean anyways, his face started to regain color but just as he feared, Castiel didn’t know how to fully heal Dean from his curse. “I’m sorry, Dean. I can alleviate the pain but I cannot remove the curse.”
Dean nodded, seemingly accepting the short-term patch. “Alright, so we have 3 days to figure this out.”
While Dean tried to assure Castiel and Sam that he was fine for now, Sam had left them alone and got back into investigative mode. He checked Dean’s jacket pockets for any kind of hex bags or charms, nothing. He went back into the bathroom and checked out the nasty mess Dean left behind. Turns out he wasn’t just throwing up flowers, guess all that alcohol had to come out at some point. He picked up the cleanest looking petal on the floor and started to examine it. “Huh, your flower isn’t yellow.” Sam noted as he came out of the bathroom with a small petal in his hand.
“Please don’t tell me you fished it out of the toilet.” Dean groaned. Castiel tilted his head in confusion, surely there are more pressing matters right now than hygiene.
Sam seemed to share Dean’s sentiment and scrunched his face at the idea of plunging his hand into the toilet, “That’s disgusting, Dean. No, I found one on the ground.”
“Alright, and why the big yahoo about it not being yellow?”
Sam rolled his eyes but he looked more relaxed now that Dean wasn’t in immediate danger. “Ok, with the other victims, they were all yellow petals. Yours is white. Cas, take a look at this.” Sam handed the petal to Castiel, “What kind of flower is this?”
Castiel examined it thoroughly, “It’s honeysuckle, Sam. There is a force coming from it, I can’t tell what it is but it is much more powerful than a witch.”
It was Dean’s turn to roll his eyes, apparently questioning Sam’s knowledge of flowers. “Ok Martha Stewart, why’s that important?”
“Give me that autopsy reports.” Dean raised his eyebrow but did what Sam asked and handed him the file. Sam flipped through the files to get to the report he needed and confirmed his suspicions. “So, it turns out that all 3 victims have different flower petals in them. If this was just a curse, why use something different if the method is the same?”
Dean pondered on what Sam said, it made sense and it was clear that not one of the victims had the same flower yet. “So what you think that these flowers mean something?” Dean closed the file and stood up with determination, “Alright, I think we should pay the Rochelles a visit.”
Before Dean could take a step, he was confronted by Sam with what Dean had been calling his ‘bitch face’ (Castiel was pretty sure that Dean had made a log of all the minute differences of each one) and crossed arms, looking down at him with disapproval. “You’re not going, Dean. I can’t have you choking on the job.”
Dean looked like he wanted to argue but Sam cut him off before he got a word in and turned to Castiel, “Cas, stay with him. Make sure he doesn’t sneak out or do anything stupid.”
“Of course, Sam.” Castiel nodded, not taking his eyes off Dean. “Be careful, it may not be a witch but it is much more powerful than we first anticipated.”
Sam understood and left Dean in Castiel’s care, much to Dean’s annoyance. At this point, all that mattered what that Castiel will do everything in his power to keep Dean from falling prey into that curse.
Sam pulled up at the shop, not that it was hard to found. It was the only florist shop in town and judging by the unique symbol on the sign was the exact same that was on Lukas’s scent pouch and the bottle that belonged to Rebecca, Sam knew he got the right place. He entered the shop, the bell on the door signaling his arrival. Sam didn’t know what to expect but he wasn’t expecting to be hit with something as mundane as a fresh and welcome scent of flowers.
The shop was bright and well-lit with big shop windows letting the sunlight shine in, the entire storefront was bursting with bright colors from the plants and bouquets they have on display and the flower selections on the walls. This would not be the place where Sam would associate with a witch, it was too alive and normal. But they have seen weirder things.
“Welcome to the Nettle bouquet, how can I help you?” A voice knocked Sam out of his thoughts as he turned his attention to the young girl behind the counter. She looked like she was still in high school, a soft looking feminine face juxtaposed with a short and neat tomboy hairstyle that seemed to be more practical than fashionable (not that Sam would know), and a look on her face that told him that she had the world on her shoulders.
Sam read up on Juniper’s file so he had a good idea of who she was. “Hello, Aster Rochelle?” The girl nodded with a cautious look, “I’m agent Freeman and I’m with the FBI. Are your parents here?”
He had to ditch their original CDC persona since it won’t make sense, Sam only hoped that they were too busy dealing with their grief that they didn’t hear about him and Dean yet.
“They’re out of town for a while, come back later.” Aster had a pensive look on her face. If she suspected anything she didn’t let it show.
“I’m really sorry, but I have some questions about your sister, Juniper.”
Once again Aster was in deep thought, her face giving nothing away. So Sam was surprised when she obliged him. “Ask away.”
Sam took a moment to recuperate before pulling out a notebook, “So did Juniper act a little strange before she died?”
Aster clenched her fist and glared at the wall, “Well yeah, her boyfriend cheated on her to be with some new girl he just met.”
“And was this ‘boyfriend’ Lukas Free?”
“Yeah, fucking dick couldn’t even keep it in his pant long enough to break up with her.” She almost growled when she answered.
Sam took note of this immediately, it seemed that Aster and Juniper were very close before she died. It would give her a motive for killing Lukas.
“So your sister had her heart broken and after that, she committed suicide?”
“People give their condolences to us, but I’ve heard what they said about her.” The anger in her tone dropped and she sounded more like a grieving child, “June wasn’t weak for what she did. Anyone who says that doesn’t even know her.”
“Do you think your sister would’ve tried to hurt Lukas?”
For the first time, Aster’s cold passive expression is broken and replaced with a look of disbelief before she let out a sad empty chuckle. “Hurt him? I wish. Even if she didn’t do it, she wouldn’t even bitch about him. She loved him too much to dream of it.” She said fondly, “June always did have too much love in her heart.”
“What do you mean by that?” Sam pressed on.
Aster seemed to notice that she was opening up and caught herself before revealing anything else. “I’m not going to tell my sister’s story in public. I’m sorry, agent, but I think you should go.” With that, Aster got up and went through the Employee Only door.
Sam had just let him in Cas’s care and Dean was not taking it in stride, “Great, so now I’m under lockdown.”
“Dean, this is for your own safety.”Cas sighed. If Dean wasn’t mad at him now, he would’ve thought that the sigh and the gaze that Cas gave him was full of fondness.
“What, like when you two locked me up in Bobby’s panic room?” Dean scoffed and Cas’s gaze quickly turned into a glare.
Dean knew it was a low blow, especially since that one was all his fault, but he wasn’t gonna let Cas keep him in a room while his little brother was facing who knows what by himself.
“You have been through hell and come back.” Cas stated, slowing moving closer into Dean’s space. “You have stood against both Heaven and Hell to avert the apocalypse. You even survived in Purgatory and made it back alive. I am not letting you die like this.”
Cas’s words were filled with so much emotion and faith that he never knew the angel would give to him. It made Dean’s face warm with blood and his heart fluttering. Dean wasn’t ready to deal with this, not now or ever.
So he defaulted back to his usual ways of dealing with feeling, burying it down deep (usually with alcohol) and lashing out in anger instead. “You know what, Cas. You can blow me. You were the one that was willing to stay in that monster mash, you don’t get to tell me what to do.”
Cas’s face was so close to his right now that Dean could see the pain that his words were causing Cas, but he wasn’t going to take them back. Finding out that Cas gave up on the world and on Dean hurt more than any wound. “This isn’t about me, Dean.” Cas whispered, no longer able to look Dean in the eye.
“Like hell, it isn’t.” Dean growled, shaking Cas and forcing those big blue eyes back on him, “I did everything I could to get you out of that place and you just let it go. I mourned for you, and you didn’t even think about what would happen to the people you left behind.”
Cas was speechless, he was looking at Dean in shock, almost in awe. Dean didn’t know how to feel about that. It was one thing to be admired like eye candy, but it’s another to be adored by someone who could see your deepest scars. Dean retracted, putting some distance between them. His body seemed to hate him for that, his finger yearned to touch that stubble and that messy mop of hair on his head. His throat closed up and he felt like he could feel the tension and anxiety inside him, trying to claw itself out. Oh…wait.
Dean reached over to a bucket that was in the room, he believed that it was supposed to be for ice or something. Either way, it was now his puke bucket.
“Ugh… this is worse than any hangover.” Dean groaned. The bucket was now filling up with little white petals and blood.
Dean felt Cas’s hand stroking his back, soothing the pain with his grace as he tried to help even out Dean’s breathing, “Dean, Heaven would never accept me again, I cannot be the guardian of humanity that I claim to be after what I did.” Cas explained, regret laced in every word he muttered. “What would I have left here?”
“Me!” Dean cried out. Fuck his spring fever, Cas needed to hear this. “You still have me, and Sammy. You’re one of us, Team Free Will, and we aren’t leaving you behind.” Dean stopped to take a breath, he already spilled out a lot of emotions. He wasn’t gonna say something he wasn’t ready to admit to himself yet, so he said the next best thing. “Cas, I need you.”
Dean stood up again abruptly while Cas was still in a trance, trying to process what Dean said to him. “Alright, screw this. I can sit here and wait till these things kill me or I can go out there and do something.” Cas looked up at him again, conflicted about whether or not to go against Sam’s wishes. “C’mon Cas, let me go.” Dean didn’t want to use a banishing sigil on Cas but he would have to if Cas left him no choice.
Fortunately, Cas agreed to let Dean out. On the condition that Cas followed him and that he wasn’t allowed out of sight. Dean put up a big fuss but accepted it, not letting himself admit that he was way more on board with this than he was showing.
Sam shouldn’t be surprised that Aster was that closed off, the loss of her beloved sister was still fresh and it looked like she was mostly dealing with it alone. But he was hoping to learn more about Juniper, Sam truly believed that Juniper played a huge role in this case. So to understand the case, he’d need to understand Juniper. He would have to try a different route, one that involved more hacking and research and wasted time. Sam sighed, he had a long night ahead of him.
However the day just got worse when he realized that neither Cas or Dean was in the room by the time he got back there, Sam wasn’t too concerned this time since Cas was watching out for Dean. Sam was hoping that it wasn’t what he hoped it was, maybe Sam was wrong and they left on a food run. With that last hope, he picked up his phone and called his brother. No response. Sam was ready to call Dean for answers but Cas beat him to it. Sam received a text from Cas, telling him that he and Dean were inside the Rochelle house, looking for clues.
Sam was livid, not just because Dean and Cas didn’t listen but because those two decided to sneak into a family house without letting Sam know ahead of time. Aster could be back home any minute now. Sam took a deep breath to calm down, he could rip Dean and Cas apart for this later, right now he needed to make sure that those two dumbasses don’t get caught.
Sam seemed to arrive just in time, as he was getting out of the car he noticed that Aster was walking down the street. Sam cut her off at the front of her house, shocking her since she didn’t expect Sam to even know where she lived, let show up there for the story.
“What are you doing here, agent?” Aster crossed her arms, looking very pissed off right now. Sam would too if someone kept pestering him like that. But this was his cover now so he and Dean had to stick by it.
“I’m sorry for dropping in without notice but I need to know what you aren’t telling me, especially about Juniper.” He started to beg but something about Aster convinced Sam that she would be too smart not to catch some of their usual excuses.
Aster said nothing and just walked past Sam, which was a huge problem since Cas and Dean were still inside. Sam needed to think fast so he followed her into the house and just asked the first question that came to mind, “Why? Why are you hiding things about your sister? Why wouldn’t you tell me?”
Sam didn’t see it coming. One moment he was trying his best to stall this young girl from finding his brother and their angel in crime, the next moment he was incapacitated by said young girl. It just took her one moment to catch Sam off guard before she sprang into action, she grabbed his right arm and pulled it back, she kicked and knocked out his knees, making Sam kneel on the floor. With all that commotion, Sam wasn’t surprised to hear a thundering march of footsteps on the floor above us. Dean and Cas both show up armed, Dean with his trusty pistol in hand and Cas with his angel blade. Aster was not impressive by either of them, favoring the pistol that she currently had resting against Sam’s head.
“Don’t come any closer. Any sudden movements and I’ll put one behind his brain.” She warned them, “Drop your gun, buddy boy there drops his knife too.”
Stuck in this situation, Dean and Cas had no choice but to do what she asked. Both of their weapons are placed on the floor with at least 5 inches of space between them.
“Let my brother go.” Dean demanded and he started walking forward towards them.
She refused to let up the gun she had on him and she was still holding his wrist tight, Aster wasn’t done yet. “Tell me why you’re in my sister’s room.” She shouted, demanding answers.
“Dean, stop. She’s not a witch.” Sam cried out, making Dean and Aster falter.
Aster looked confused and frustrated, to be honest one would react that way if another people accused them of being witches. “Witch!?”
Cas took this moment to pop up behind her. By the time she noticed it was too late. She only managed to shout out “Hey!” and got a good look at those solid bright blue eyes before Cas put two fingers on her head and knocked her out.
“She’s fine.” Cas assured us as we moved her onto the couch in the living room.
After Aster was dealt with, Dean decided that now was the best thing to rip me a new open and give me so much shit over what happened with Aster. “What the hell was that? How’d she get the jump on you?”
“Don’t underestimate teens.” Sam winced, his knees were gonna hurt tomorrow. Dean really couldn’t add anything else to that.
“Well, that’s something to remember. So why are you so sure here that Flora here ain’t a witch?”
“Besides that the fact that she didn’t try to throw us against walls? She was using a gun, Dean.” Sam explained, “And look at these markings.” Sam pointed to the doorframe
There are dozens of rough carve markings along the doorframe. While they don’t recognize all of them, they do know what they are. “Warding symbols.” Dean noted.
Sam nodded in agreement. “And my guess is that under the doormat there’s a -” Sam pull the doormat away to find a devil’s trap. “Yup.”
At this point, both Sam and Dean have come to the same conclusion. “She’s not a witch. She’s a hunter.”
Since they won’t get anything out of her before she woke up, they decided to check the place out and made sure that a pair of pissed off hunter parents weren’t gonna drop in and pump them full of shotgun shells for breaking in and knocking out their remaining daughter. Cas confirmed that they weren’t in town so they decided to continue their investigation. Dean and Cas had inform Sam that Juniper’s room was locked really heavily, it would take the brothers hours to pick it open so it might be easier to just convince Aster to open the door for them. Outside of that, there were typical hunter gear, weapons, stacks and stacks of old mythical books and notes. Nothing really regarding the case.
After an hour of waiting and digging around the place, .Aster finally started to stir. “Rise and shine, Petunia.” Dean mocked as she opened her eyes. “You still wanna kill us?”
“Flower puns, original. Did you come up with them before or after you knocked me out?” She scowled. Dean was impressed considering her position, at least she has sass.
“We get it, Aster. You’re upset and we’re sorry.” Sam stepped in to apologize. It wasn’t supposed to go down like this in the first place after all.
Dean though didn’t seem to care about that crap and went straight for the question. “You’re a hunter, aren’t you?”
Aster went quiet as if she wasn’t sure if it was safe to tell. Then she must have decided that they were trustworthy enough for the truth. “More so my parents, but yeah. I know about hunting and monsters.” She explained before turning the question around and asked the three of them, “Who are you?”
“I’m Sam, this is my brother Dean and our friend Cas.” Sam introduced them one at a time. Dean stood there with a cocky smile still on his face, while Cas just stood there awkwardly like he always did.
“The Winchester brothers? Awesome.” Aster replied in such a dry tone that it was kinda hard to tell if that was genuine or sarcastic.
She then turned to Cas, giving him a good scan from top to bottom which made the angel slightly confused and uncomfortable to be under that kind of scrutiny. “So what are you? I know ghost and demons but I don’t know what could knock someone out like that.”
“I’m an angel of the Lord.” Cas replied in an equally dry tone, except the Winchester brothers knew for a fact that he was serious. Mainly because Cas hadn’t quite gotten sarcasm yet.
They were getting off track and Sam knew it. Time to get things back on track. “Look, we’re sorry for all this but you have to know about the deaths that are happening around town.” Sam explained.
Aster shifted on the couch, sitting in a more comfortable position before continuing in an exasperated tone, “Yes, my parents are out looking for the so-called witch you’ve been hunting.”
“You don’t think it’s a witch?” Dean questioned with a raised brow.
Aster sat upright again before she gave her deductions in a very analytical manner, “Working in a flower shop on the main street means you see the people in this town almost every day. I would notice if they’re buying anything weird like that. There’s no witchcraft here and my parents are going after every case they can find to get away from the house.” Her tone dropped into something more somber and empty. “I guess that’s just how hunters grieve.”
Hearing this Sam couldn’t help but agree, that was how John dealt with Mom’s death and that was how Dean dealt with his grief when they lost Cas. It would make sense that Aster was lonely seeing how her family did things. Aster and Juniper were obviously close, like his relationship with Dean. That kind of strong bond won’t form unless you trust them to the first person that’s got your back, and seeing how that bond isn’t with her parents but with her sister, it said a lot about how often they were home for and what were their priorities. He and Aster were more alike than he first thought.
Now that everyone in the room was a hunter, it made explaining so much easier. “We think that your sister’s death might have something to do with the killings.” Dean stated.
“Her ghost isn’t here, we gave her a hunter’s funeral.” Aster said.
“Still, Lukas’s death came a few days after hers.” Sam pointed out, “There might be a connection.”
Aster seemed to accept that reasoning, gesturing the guys to come with her upstairs. “Follow me.”
Aster led Team Free Will over to Juniper’s room, which is painted in a light lavender color. There are fairy lights above the bed and small candles placed in the room. One wall covered with pictures of Aster and Juniper with their friends and families. Both girls looked much happier then. The picture in the files Sam and Dean had found made it really clear that Juniper was beautiful, a soft looking heart shaped face with brown doe eyes, something both sisters shared. But the pictures showed just how cheerful she really was with a smile dawned on that face and dimples to compliment it. Aster took a glance at the pictures there and paused. Sam didn’t know what to say then, it’s easy to talk to a civilian with the same rehearsed lines, but what do you say to another hunter who lost someone this way? Juniper wasn’t even a hunter, just a young teenage girl with a shattered heart. At the end, all Sam could do was say nothing and to let Aster mourn, he gave her a nod of reassurance, which she was grateful for.
“Juniper might’ve been the older sister but she always seemed to have this light in her eyes, she was naïve as she was kind. She was enamored by the idea of love for as long as I can remember. She always said that one day we were gonna meet people who love us so much that it would hurt to breathe without them.” Aster reminisced, talking about her sister in such an inspiring manner. “We would pray to the gods every night that we would meet someone who would love us like that. We were young and naïve then but even after I grew out of it, she kept doing it. She truly believed that the gods would help her find her soulmate.”
“Then she met Lukas, and it was the dream romance she had always envisioned until Chelsea showed up and they broke June’s heart. I will never forgive them for taking my sister away.” Sam could hear the anger in Aster’s voice, but beneath all that rage was a sense of sadness and loss. Unlike Sam, Aster could never get her older sister back, not without any consequences.
“You lit all of these?” Sam asked. There are over 2 dozen of them in this room and doing it every day would be a nightmare if it wasn’t for her sister’s sake.
“June always light candles for them, and now I do it. The house feels too dark without them.” Sam smiled at Aster’s answer. Of course, nothing is worth more than reserving the memories of a loved one. Aster’s dedication to her sister’s practices was heartwarming but Sam wouldn’t be sure if he could do the same thing. He may never be able to listen to classic rock again if Dean died before him.
Dean was checking out a tall, thin bookcase next to the study table that seem to be filled with romances and mythology books, regardless Dean decided to take a glance at her book collection when he took notice of a particular painting that was hung next to the bookshelf, the painting is of a woman with a group of cupid-like figures flying around her.
“Interesting picture.” Dean pointed out, and by interesting in this case, he meant it weird. Why would a girl have a picture like that hanging around in her bedroom?
“That’s Hermaphroditos and the erotes” Aster explained, “The Greek gods of love.”
“The Erotes?” Dean turned to Cas, “Cas, you know anything about them?”
“They’re a collective flock of winged Greek gods. We don’t have much information about them, the pagan gods have never been fond of Heaven or our Father.” Cas explained.
“Great, another pack of dicks with wings.” Dean huffed before taking account of the angel in the room. “No offense, Cas.”
Cas dismissed it and left it be. Even though Cas himself admitted at times that his family is filled with assholes and dickbags, Cas never really gave up on them. That made it really hard for Dean and Sam who still hate most of the angels for wanting to kickstart the apocalypse.
“The one you probably know of is Eros, the god of sexual love.” Aster points to one of the cupid-looking guys.
“Sounds like my kind of guy.” Dean playfully remarked.
Sam looked like he wanted to facepalm at how Dean was taking this, he probably thought Dean was treating this like one huge joke. Please, he took this as seriously as any other job (despite how ridiculous this one was, I mean seriously, flowers?), but that didn’t mean that he was gonna just accept it. He’s a fighter, he’s got close enough to know which foods were Death’s personal favorites. What’s life without a few jabs anyways?
Sam didn’t care and turned us back on track again. “She prays to them?”
“Almost religiously.” She confirmed. And if that wasn’t a telltale sign for the Winchesters.
“Well, at least June here ain’t falling for those pale sparkling vamps.” Dean joked.
“Eww, god no.” Aster scrunched up her nose in disgust
It was then that Dean’s curse kicked back into full gear, he didn’t even have the slow build up this time. One moment he was flipping through another book on the shelf, the next he was hunched over, leaning up against the wall to stop himself from collapsing. Sam immediately rushed to his side with a trash bag and Dean didn’t wait another second. He emptied out as much as he could, choking slightly on it still. Cas was by his side now, trying to heal him still. The hum of grace entering his body felt so familiar by this point. It was warm and welcoming, it always left a small tingle under his skin. A small part of Dean believed that Cas’s grace was a manifestation of the love that he has and Dean wanted it all for himself.
It also sounded like Dean was in his own head for too long because Sammy’s voice sounds panicky again. “Dean!” Dean snapped out of his trance and saw Sam talking to Dean while Dean himself is leaning against Cas now, who was supporting him. “Cas, take him back to the motel. I’ll wrap things up here.”
Cas nodded but just before they flew off, they heard Aster calling out to them. “Wait. Here.” Aster handed Dean a pouch, “You seem tense. My sister would’ve given you one anyway.”
“What is it?”
“Lavender, neroli oil, and some marigold.”
“Thanks, kid.” Dean smiled. Even though he had no fucking clue what any of those were, she was trying to help.
With a swoosh, Dean and Cas were gone. Aster was still in shock, having never seen an angel in action before. Sam went to the bookshelf to finish what Dean started, the question though was where. For a small bookshelf, Juniper managed to squeeze in about 140 to 150 books. Sam didn’t have time to go through all of them. It was then that it noticed that a certain kind of the books has a lot more wear and tear on it than the others.
“Hey Aster, are all these books Juniper’s?” Sam asked, pointing to the obviously worn out ones.
“Yeah, she read them so much I’m pretty sure she memorized them.” Aster confirmed, “I’ve been borrowing them to keep her traditions alive.”
“You mean the themed bouquets and the scented stuff?”
“She was a real hopeless romantic.” Aster said.
‘Yahtzee’ Sam finally found something that might be crucial.
Sam took the most worn out ones from that genre and asked if he could borrow them. Aster only asked that he’d be careful, those were some of Juniper’s most prized possessions.
“Well, thanks for your help.” Sam thanked her as he left. He didn’t think he’d make an ally when he walked into that house but things worked out… kinda.
“Nah-uh, you guys finally got a lead on this that involves my sister and you want me to stay out of this? No way, I have to see this through.” Aster stood by the door with her chest puffed up, Sam could tell that she meant business. She reminded Sam of Krissy Chambers and realised that she was probably right. Aster needed this, she needed closure for her sister’s death and she wanted to help stop whatever was killing all those people. Something told Sam that denying Aster this wasn’t gonna stop her from doing something stupid or reckless anyways (much like a certain brother he knew of).
“Alright.” Sam pulled out one of their cards and gave it to Aster. “Here is our number, send me a text and we’ll call you once we figured everything out.”
For the first time since Sam met her, Aster let out a small yet genuine smile, “It’ll be nice to finally put this to rest.”
Back in the motel, all was normal. Sam was head deep in research, Dean was trying to keep food down and breath comfortably (both which are very difficult to do when your throat is constantly getting clogged with petals), and Cas staying by Dean’s side while trying and failing to understand human TV and pop culture.
Everything kept going as it was until Sam broke the silence. “Good news, I figured out what this curse is about.” Sam walked over to Dean and Cas with one of the books that he had borrowed last night. “So all of those flowers that the vics have been spewing out? They have a meaning.”
“The Language of Flowers?” Dean read the title of the book aloud then looked Sam in the eye and said, “Dude, can you be any gayer?”
Sam gave him another bitch face and wanted to say ‘coming from the one with a gay crush’, but Sam wouldn’t stoop that low. Not yet. “Shut up. People like the Victorians and French assigned a meaning to each flower, most of them with good, and some with bad meanings.” Sam flipped the pages the ones he bookmarked, “Rebecca had yellow tulips while Martin had yellow hyacinths. Yellow tulips stand for hopeless love, yellow hyacinths means jealousy.”
“I’m guessing Rebecca’s hopeless admirer was Ellie then.” Dean guessed, and he was right on the money
Sam couldn’t help but feel so sorry for her, a young girl content with her unrequited love if she could just stay by her side. Now she had neither and it was technically her crush on Rebecca that caused her death. The only small victory in this was that Ellie would never know the truth behind the deaths, such was the tragedy of young love.
“And for Lukas?” Dean asked, “Yellow carnations, which mean-”
“Rejection or disappointment.” Sam followed up with that, “And get this, Eros might be the most well-known but there is also Anteros, Eros’s twin and the god of requited love.” Sam showed them the research articles he found on his laptop “And turns out the twin brother has another title: the avenger of unrequited and scorned love.” Cas listened to his findings and looked at him with approval and pride, it made Sam a little proud to be able to impress a millennial old celestial being.
Dean read them and it all made sense… except for one detail. “Ok, but why are they suddenly interested in this small town in Ohio?”
Both Sam and Cas looked like him like he just dropped the ball, “Dean, Juniper was a devoted worshipper of them.” Cas reminded him.
“And Greek gods don’t like you messing with what’s theirs.” Sam added, “Not to mention that Juniper committed suicide because of love, in Greek mythology terms that could be considered a sacrifice to the Gods.”
“So now he’s punishing people who can’t return their feelings?” Dean couldn’t help but feel disgusted that such a petty reason was enough for someone, no matter mortal or god, to kill a loved one.
“Or toy with their hearts.” Sam closed the books and sighed, “That at least explains why you got hit.”
Dean did not need that reminder, it wasn’t like he got laid that night anyway. He was too worried about the curse and burying any feelings he had for Cas that night. “All right then, how do we gank ‘em?”
Sam pursed his lips and Dean knew that it wouldn’t be all good news. “That’s the bad news, there is a ton of information on Eros. Not so much about his brother.”
“Are you kidding me?” Dean hissed, turning to Cas for a solution. “What about you, Cas?”
Cas looked powerless under Dean’s gaze and answered, “I’m not powerful enough to smite a pagan god, Dean.”
Well shit then, they can’t kill Anteros if they know little to nothing about the guy. They wouldn’t be able to convince him to do a god to listen to them without some insurance. What good was information if they couldn’t use it? It was then that Dean had an idea.
“But we know enough about Eros? On how to summon him?” Sam looked at him and nodded “and about how to kill him?”
Sam flipped through his notes, “Uhh, lead tipped arrow tipped in the blood of a hare, straight into the heart.”
“Alright Cas, can you gather the ingredients for the spell?” Cas took the list, had a quick scan of the items and disappeared, hopefully to collect everything he needed. He then turned to Sam, “Sam, look up locations for abandon warehouses and where we can find lead-tipped arrows. I’ll go look for a hare.”
Dean smirked as his plan was starting to take shape, “Let’s see if we can get Eros to bring brother dearest to us then.”
The spell itself was simple, gather the stuff, toss it into a bowl and mash them together, then light that sucker up and that’s one god summoned. The ingredients weren’t that rare either, a rose quartz gem, a blue rose and the words of love from a worshipper. They were lucky that Aster had 2 of the 3 items. Cas just had to find a gem and they were set.
Their weapons though were much harder to get their hands on. Mainly because people don’t make lead-tipped arrows when there were lighter and cheaper options. Cas needed to help them with this one because the only places with lead-tipped arrows were Greek and Roman museums and they only existed as a symbol for Eros. Luckily Cas managed to get the arrows without any real issue and the hare’s blood was an easy job.
Now that they have the material and the means to do some damage if things went south, they head out to the warehouse and set everything up.
“You guys owe me for this. You’re lucky my sister was obsessed with this stuff.” Aster’s voice echoed through the empty warehouse as she waltzed right in. She brought some blue roses that were from the shop and one of Juniper’s old love notes to Lukas. Aster didn’t mind the guys burning them, she wanted to get rid of them anyways. Dean didn’t want Aster to stay in case this god wasn’t all hugs and hearts but she wouldn’t budge. She even got into a stare-down with Dean and won. Dean wasn’t happy about it but he couldn’t do much.
They crushed the gem along with the blue rose, putting the love note on the mixture and threw a match in. There were huge flashes of light, not quite like an angel’s but it was still so bright that they had to shield their eyes. After the light show stopped, they opened their eyes to see a new figure in the wide open room.
“Huh.” The god looked around the room confused before noticing that he wasn’t alone and sighed, “Dammit, I was supposed to get dinner tonight.”
If there was any doubt of Dean’s bisexuality, this would have cleared it once and for all. The god that appeared was a sight to behold. He was a young man who looked to be in his twenties. He had a soft-looking face matched with a slightly defined facial structure that looked distinctively Asian, Japanese if all those years with anime and busty Asians have taught him. He had silk raven black hair that was slicked back and it looked really good on him. But the first thing Dean noticed among all of that was a pair of big brown eyes that managed to be both innocent and mischievous at the same time.
And that was just his face. His outfit was a whole new subject, it was skin tight and it did well to show off his physique. One half of his outfit was made from some kind of see-through mesh that did very little to hide that bit of his chest and a half skirt that swayed whenever he moved his hips. There were small white crystals littered across his outfit that reflected off the moonlight seeping through the windows that gave him an ethereal light which surrounded him. He carried himself with the grace of Scarlett Johansson in Black Swan and the seductive confidence of Catherine Zeta-Jones in her prime, daring anyone to take their eyes off of him. To sum it up, his reputation was well deserved and Dean might’ve gotten down on his knees and worshipped him too if his heart wasn’t yearning for a different celestial being.
“Eros.” Sam broke the silence, “I gotta say, you look a lot different than the books.”
Eros himself looked unimpressed and explained, “We gods are immortal, you don’t honestly think we look the same forever. We change appearances every hundred or so years.” His expressive eyes turn steel cold as he asked with caution, “Who are you?”
“My name is Sam Winchester. This is my brother, Dean.” Dean waved nonchalantly as Sam introduced them “And this is-”
“An angel. Castiel, is it?” Cas’s eyes widened when Eros recognized him. To their surprise, Eros scoffed at him, “I didn’t know you lot still stayed after nearly dooming the world.”
“Hey, he helped stopped the apocalypse.” Dean jumped in to defend Cas. It didn’t matter who it was or what Cas meant to Dean, no one could talk shit about Dean’s family.
“It doesn’t matter, I heard about the things you’ve done. And they call me arrogant.” Cas shrank a little under Eros’s jabs, turning Dean’s moment of adoration towards Eros into annoyance. “Why did you summon me?” Eros asked with his arms crossed, already looking impatient.
“We need to speak to your brother.” Sam explained quickly.
Eros looked shocked by Sam’s request, “Agape? What would hunters want with him?”
“Not him, your twin Anteros.” Sam clarified.
“My questions still stands, what do you want with him?”
“He’s been killing people. We need to stop him before-” Dean stepped in to answer but he got cut off by another choking fit, throwing up more petals onto the filthy cement floor
Eros looked at Dean and concluded, “He’s cursed.”
‘No shit, Sherlock.’ Dean thought but he couldn’t really say that, they still needed his help and he was still recovering under Cas’s healing touch.
“And we need to save him.” Cas affirmed it, his eyes begging in desperation for Eros’s help
“Why should I help you?” Eros asked Cas in a pensive tone, “You angels act like you’re all high and mighty, that you’re untouchable because you all hide behind your absent Father.”
Cas couldn’t answer and Dean knew why. There was no denying the truth and that really was how those dickbag angels acted. Cas was no longer one of them but that didn’t stop the shame and guilt that Cas was trying to hide from plain sight.
But Eros wasn’t done with his rant, far from it. “Love is such a beautiful thing, wild and free. Humans were free to love as they choose until Heaven ruined it. Suddenly love is controlled and restricted, humans were taught that loving someone is wrong as long as they share the same sex. They couldn’t love freely anymore. The worst of the lot was the cupids, they turned love into a strategic play, pairing up humans against their wills, making them love whomever Heaven see fit, and all for the sake of bloodlines. You should know, your parents were one of Heaven’s couples, didn’t have the happiest of marriages.” Eros put on a disgusting taunting smirk at Dean and Sam as he made that remark and Dean lost it.
How dare he mock his parents, his sweet mom that Heaven had declared that she had to die, his dad that loved her more than anything. Even if Heaven forced them to be together, no one had the right to insult them. Dean was seeing red as he pulled out the lead arrow, much to his brother’s shock and failed attempts to stop him, and made a mad dash at Eros, more than ready to stake the bastard in the heart.
“You son of a-” He yelled as he charged with the arrow in hand, only for Eros to dodge it oh-so-easily. The curse was taking its toll on Dean, he couldn’t even pull enough energy to aim before he stopped to catch his breath and blood coated petals were forced out of his throat with every heavy cough and hack.
“Careful with that, I’m not into bloodplay.” Eros mocked Dean with a cocky smile.
Cas was immediately by Dean’s side, keeping his balance and upright while he continued to heal Dean. “You’re doing this over a couple of cherubs?!” Dean shouted in anger.
That smirk was gone as Eros replied in a serious yet sad manner, “Anteros did it for Juniper. She was filled with love and hope, we couldn’t wait to lead to her soulmate. Lukas was the one for her, but Heaven had other plans. That one arrow took that sweet girl’s love and life away. We couldn’t stand by it, all the people who were hurt because of their love wasn’t special enough to compete. Anteros figured that the best way to punish these heartbreakers is to suffer the pain of unrequited love themselves.” Eros emphasized as he walked closer to Dean and Cas flinched, turning his body forward in an attempt to shield and protect Dean.
Eros witnessed this scene and couldn’t help but gloat, “Isn’t it painful? You can’t breathe, you can’t live without feeling the pain. It keeps building and building inside of you and even if you feel like you can’t take it, you still force it down. Because nothing hurts more than losing the one you love.” Dean glazed at him with as much ferocity as he could mutter in this state, it was intimidating but Eros knew better.
“But they can’t help it.” Sam insisted, still trying to reason with the god.
“Lukas Free and Martin Lowes both could have avoided hurting the ones they rejected and ignored.” Eros rebuked.
“But what about Ellie?” Sam pleaded, “She loved Rebecca, would she have wanted this?”
“If things continued the way it did, Ellie would never be able to move on and find another. This is for the best.”
Realizing that the boys were failing to convince Eros, Aster got Sam’s attention and silently asked for a chance to talk to Eros. Sam signaled both Dean and Cas to step down, allowing Aster to say what she had in mind.
“Eros, My name is Aster Emile Rochelle.” She introduced herself and bowed to show respect.
Eros seemed to appreciate it and, for the first time since he arrived, showed a smile as he looked at Aster with soft gentle eyes. “I know who you are, Aster. Your sister might be in Heaven, but there isn’t one moment where she isn’t looking out for you, in life or death.”
Aster responded with a small sad smile of her own, no matter the circumstances she needed to hear that. “Juniper was full of love and life. I know my sister, you can’t believe that she’d want this to happen.”
“We are doing this for the ones like her, the people like Lukas deserve the pain that he had suffered.” Eros insisted.
Aster looked pained, probably because she thought that Lukas did deserve his death. “I can’t say that I didn’t wish for his pain, but this is wrong. You said it yourself, love is wild and free. It can hurt as much as it mended people together. I can’t let this keep happening in good conscience, not if I know that I can stop it.” Aster begged him, “Please, if not for me, do it for Juniper.”
Eros was taken aback by Aster’s plead, he was sure that they were doing the right thing by punishing these people. But now he was having second thoughts, he took a moment to think carefully before turning to Sam and Dean. “I’m not letting you near Anteros, but I will convince him to stop the curse.”
“Thank you.” Sam bowed and thanked him. Aster bowed too, with tears of relief spilling from her eyes.
“Don’t thank me. I just don’t want any more hunters after my family.”
“What about Dean?” Cas urged. Dean was looking worse and worse, he might not last long if they couldn’t find a way to fix it.
Eros took one look at the angel, how shaken he looked, and said, “I can’t lift the curse off of him, he has to break it himself.”
That was not the answer that Dean, Cas nor Sam wanted to hear. “How?” Cas demanded, fear and anxious seeping through his voice.
“The curse punishes those who don’t answer the call for love, figure it out yourself.” Eros gave them nothing more as he prepared to leave, “I’m going to Japan to pick up dinner.”
“Japan?” Aster blurted in confusion.
Eros smiled fondly as he shot a mischievous wink at Aster, “Psyche really loves the food there.” With that, Eros disappeared into the night.
Dean walked into their motel room with Sam and Cas right behind him. He wasn’t happy with how tonight turned out. It was supposed to be a nice simple solution with Eros bringing Anteros and them just killing the source of the problem. Now they had to wait and rely on the words of a Greek god who was as trustworthy as Gabriel in Dean’s opinion. Dean wasn’t a man of faith when it came to things like this, he was a man of action and results like his dad. But Aster and Sam were willing to trust him, and Dean wasn’t ready to kill a Greek god by himself. That wasn’t what mattered now, he had to believe that Eros would stop the curse. Now they have to break the curse on Dean.
“Fan-fricking-static.” Dean snapped, “We just let the SOB go and we don’t even know how to fix this.”
Sam sighed as Dean went to get some beers from the mini-fridge that always seemed to have some in stock for some reason. They still needed to decipher Ero’s hint to save Dean from an embarrassing death. So they hit the books again, trying to figure out whose heart did Dean break and caused this curse to happen.
“Eros said that the curse is meant to punish those who lead on their unrequited love.” Sam recounted, “So we just need to find out who it is and work things out with them.”
Dean was upset because he could still die from choking on honeysuckles and that was not the way that Dean wanted to go out on.“Fine, whatever. Let’s just find the chick first. Where do we even start?”
“Well, your flower is different from everyone else’s. I’ll check what the meaning of honeysuckles is.” Sam started.
What Sam and Dean didn’t notice was Castiel who was starting to fidget. He knew what Honeysuckles meant and he knew deep down that his love for Dean that caused it to happen. Castiel didn’t want this to happen, he didn’t want Dean to suffer because of his irrational feeling towards him. Knowing that it could kill the man he needed to protect just added to his guilt. But maybe this was an opportunity for the both of you, for little Cassie to be open to Dean and to be accepted. There was this small voice in Castiel’s head that he wasn’t familiar with (which for some reason sounded like Gabriel’s) telling him to take the chance, Castiel was at a crossroads now and he needed to make a move.
“Dean, what will you do once you find this person?” Castiel prodded. He needed to know what Dean’s stance on this.
Dean pondered for a moment while Castiel stared at him in bated breath,“Well, I can let her down and convince her to move on. Worst case scenario, you might have to wipe her memory.” Dean lamented, thinking about what he did to Lisa and Ben. “I can’t fall in love with someone and pull them into the Hunting life. Besides, if the unrequited love isn’t there, the curse is busted, right?”
Castiel actually had to fight against the urge to cry as he felt a strong ache that he didn’t know was possible. He never quite understood why humans called it heartbreak until now. Now he felt his heart writhing in pain, Dean didn’t want him, Dean would rather leave him than accept his love. Dean could never look at Castiel and love him.
“Right.” Castiel nodded, already numb by Dean’s words.
Meanwhile, Sam had been going through Juniper’s books to find what honeysuckles meant. It didn’t take him long and boy did his jaw drop when he read it. “Uhh guys, I found it.” Sam turned to face Dean and Cas, not knowing about Cas’s inner turmoils and fears of rejecting, and continued, “Turns out honeysuckles mean…”
Dean looked at the section Sam marked and read, “Bonds of devoted love.” Immediately, he looked up at the only person that had stayed by his side through literal heaven and hell, the same person who had shared a profound bond with him, the same person he might have feelings for.
Castiel on the other hand, was frozen in shock by his overwhelming emotions. He was completely embarrassed that his feelings were revealed, and started shaking out of fear of rejection It was ridiculous, he was an angel of the lord, one of the best of heaven’s warrior. But in front of Dean, he felt like a vulnerable little fledgling again. “Cas?” Dean muttered. That spurred Castiel into action. This pain and anxiety were too much. He had to leave.
“CAS! Wait!” Dean tried to reach out but it was too late. Cas flew off without listening to anything Dean had to say. “Dammit!” Dean yelled into the empty space, stomping as he left for a drive and slammed the door behind him.
Sam was utterly shellshocked. He had no idea what had just happened, all he knew was that Dean somehow fucked it up. Because let’s face it, Cas ran away from Dean and Dean wasn’t mad at Cas. Sam didn’t know what to do, he was always the third wheel when it came to those two. Most of Cas’s brothers and sisters were douchebags and the few that actually was nice to him were dead. Cas really only had Dean and himself, so he hoped that Dean would come to his senses and finally confess to the angel.
Castiel took off the moment Sam told Dean and he laid eyes on Castiel. Those eyes, usually shined with mirth, comradery, and devotion, looked at the angel with shock and pity. Castiel couldn’t stand the looks the Winchesters were giving him, he didn’t want to hear Dean’s excuses or apologies. He didn’t want to hear Dean’s rejections, or worse some lie to console him. He’d rather pine in silence than to hear any of that. It was bad enough that Heaven and his brothers didn’t want him, he didn’t want to stay with the Winchesters either now that his feelings were revealed, Dean couldn’t want him and he could just be uncomfortable with Castiel around.
His chest ached and part of Castiel wanted to scream at his Father about the unjust of everything that had happened. His grace pulsed in pain, much like a human heart that was breaking itself apart. The mark of union, a mark meant to signify soulmates, was hurting him. Zachariah had ordered cupids to secretly bond Dean to one of the angels in his garrison, thinking that would be enough to keep the human’s allegiance towards Heaven and ready to say yes to becoming Michael’s vessel. And since Castiel was the one that Dean had made contact with first, Zachariah deemed Castiel to be the one acting as Dean Winchester’s leash.
However, none of Heaven would believe that Castiel would fully rebel against Heaven, losing both the Michael sword and one of Heaven’s greatest warriors. Even so the mark stayed and it still played its role, pulling Dean and Castiel closer with every trial and danger they overcome. Dean had become a crucial part to Castiel but he could ever refer to their relationship as a “profound bond” when it was so much more. Something that was only meant for humans souls that now guaranteed that Castiel would be able to see Dean in his heaven when the Winchesters’ times on Earth were done, and Dean wanted all of that gone.
Castiel couldn’t bear the pain spreading from his grace, and stopped at a small rural village in Thailand. A small piece of land where life was simple, Castiel needed the tranquillity of it all. He walked up to a fishing shack nearby. It was quite rugged and weather beaten, the metal sheets making up most of the structure was all rusted and littered with small holes, it was not safe or comfortable enough to house anything so Castiel was very surprised to find a young boy inside.
Castiel had made himself invisible the moment he had arrived so he entered the rickety shack to find another, much older, man lying on an old mattress with small cartoon characters on it. The old man looked to be in his early 60s and he was shivering in the humid heat with a flushed face. A fever, Castiel deduced. The child next to him was tending to him as much as a 10 year old could, cooling his body by a cool wiping towel and making sure his blanket, much too thin to provide any real warmth, was covering his whole body. Castiel frowned as he took all of it in. Clearly the two cared about each other and that they didn’t have any financial means. The boy was getting sleepier as time went on, but he still tried to stay awake to care for the old man. The two of them needed each other, it was that simple familial bond that reminded Castiel of Sam and Dean that kept those two together. Castiel couldn’t let illness separate the two of them so he healed the old man. The young boy having woken up from nodding off, checked up on the old man again and sighed in relief that his fever was going down. He finally took the chance to sleep soundly. Castiel smiled as he left the shack, he sat the wooden dock that they probably made and looked out over the river. Even if he could never see Dean Winchester again, he would continue with the Winchester mission and help mankind in any way he could.
Dean, on the other hand, was driving aimlessly on the backroads of the town. His baby had always brought him a peace of mind, cruising down the roads while her engine purred. It gave him a moment to himself, but all he could think about was the fact that Cas left him and why he did it. Dean didn’t like it, he was never one to talk about his feelings and he just buried them down deep with alcohol but now he was finally forced to reflect on his emotions and whether or not he wants Cas in that totally non-platonic way.
As his mind thought of Cas, his mind pulled out a memory during their time in Purgatory. It was hard to find Cas in a pit filled to the brim with monsters that were out for Winchester blood, even with Benny by his side. But he was determined to find Cas, he needed Cas and he wasn’t gonna leave the angel behind. It took him a long time, but he knew that Cas was still alive and fighting. His heart raced when he saw the angel by the river, he was just so relieved and excited that he never considered why his heart kept fluttering after that. Their trek to the portal was long and brutal, Purgatory was a place a human like him didn’t belong in but there was something about the simplicity of the fight that made him feel alive. But he needed to get them out and get back to Sam.
Even though he didn’t need sleep, Cas insisted every now and then that they needed to stop and rest. Benny wasn’t happy about it but Cas was adamant about resting. Now that Dean thought about it, Cas was the only one taking care of him even when he didn’t need it. It helped to remind him that he was in fact human and not another monster sent there to hunt for eternity. It was small moments like those that helped Dean to see past what Cas did, but one of the first memories that came to mind was a conversation that he had with Cas when the two of them were resting against some trees.
“Have you tried to sleep, Dean?” Cas asked. It was rare that they had some time to themselves, with all the monsters and the Leviathan after Cas.
“It’s not like I really need it now, Cas.” Dean replied. To be fair, he never actually tried. Sleep was kinda hard with the constant adrenaline pumping through his veins. “It’s kinda awesome, too bad it’ll probably stop once we get topside.”
Cas sat beside him, enjoying the small moment of peace. “I remember sleeping, it was unnerving. Time disappearing without you being aware of it and weird dreams to keep you company.”
“Dreams are pretty cool if you get the good ones.” Dean smiled. He’s had some good ones, from the comforting memories where hunting was either tossed aside or nothing more than fantasy, to the wonderful saucy ones where he had a nice curvy body against him writhing and moaning with pleasure.
Dean had to stop that train of thought. It had been a year and he didn’t want to pop one in front of Cas. Cas though didn’t notice, instead he seemed troubled and contemplative. He then asked, “How do you deal with the bad ones?”
“You don’t. Everyone says that dreams are just your minds messing with you, that it’s not real. You could know that yourself and that wouldn’t change a damn thing. Those nightmares are real and you’re stuck with them for the next few hours.”
“When I fell and could sleep, I had nightmares of Hell, of my brothers fighting, of the world ending with the apocalypse. Sometimes I’d wonder what I would see if I could still sleep. Would Father give me a nice dream like when I first flew, or would I see the mistakes I made when I swallowed up all those souls or when I broke Sam’s wall?”
Dean never thought about that. He knew that the angel had more humanity and empathy than his douchebag brothers but he didn’t think that Cas would be worried about that. “Cas. Sam is fine now, he’s safe and alive because of you.” Dean tried to console him, but Cas just looked at him in disbelief and regret.
“I broke his wall in the first place. I directly caused pain to your brother and one of my closest friends. How could I face him again?” Cas wondered, looking up into the grey, soulless sky as if someone, maybe God, would answer all his troubles. “All of this, the leviathan, us ending up here. It’s all my fault, if I’d had listened to you from the start or given up those souls after I killed Raphael then none of this would’ve happened. Death was right, I was just arrogant. I just wished that someone had stopped me, even killed me. I’d take it if I wouldn’t have to see how far I had truly fallen then.”
Dean didn’t say anything after that, he didn’t know what to say. He understood the guilt and self loathing that Cas was going through, he was basically born and raised around it. But he didn’t know what to say to Cas then. Words that he’s heard Sam say over a dozen things, telling him that it wasn’t his fault, never did much for Dean and he doubt it’d work on Cas. Fortunately, he never had to say anything more because Benny came back from his patrol, breaking this small intimate moment between the two of them.
But Cas was Dean’s anchor, his ground during the apocalypse as much as he was to Cas. To lose Cas would be like losing Sam. Cas was someone too important in Dean’s life to just let go off. He always believed that you couldn’t afford attachments in a Hunter’s life, but Cas was the one he wouldn’t leave behind. Even when he died, even when he lost faith in his Father and found out about Heaven.
It was then that Dean realized just how much he had kept buried inside him, his feelings of trust and devotion he felt towards the dorky angel, and it all suddenly flooded out and hit him like a train wreck. Cas meant so much to him and Dean had spat all that love that he had in Cas’s face. Dean was even willing to erase someone who loved him again, just because he didn’t think he deserved it. But now he didn’t want Cas to forget about him again, it was hard enough when he had found out that Cas was Emmanuel with a blank hard drive playing house. He couldn’t afford to lose Cas again, not over something like this.
Dean couldn’t keep lying to himself. He did want Cas by his side. He wanted to hold and cherish the sweet angel, to make sure that Cas wasn’t going to be alone anymore.
With that thought and determination, he spun the car around, making a mental note to apologize to Baby and treat her to a nice tune up like the fine lady she was, and started driving back to the motel.
Cas had to come back, he always came back to Dean. And this time, Dean would wait for him. He’ll wait and finally give Cas everything that loyal fallen angel deserved.
Cas didn’t come back that night, or the next one, the one after that. Dean soon realised that he stopped coughing out flowers after he got back to the motel. Sam guessed that it was probably because Dean had acknowledged and reciprocated Cas’s affections, or maybe Eros took the curse off of him once Dean got his head out of his ass. Either way Dean was fine now, which was both a blessing and a curse on its own since Cas would have no real reason to come check up and tend to Dean. Dean didn’t want to admit how much he missed having Cas be his own nurse (That thought alone brought Dean’s mind to some old, long forgotten fantasies that Dean was definitely using in the shower next time)
Soon, the Winchesters had to leave Ohio. Just because Dean was a big fuzzy ball of angst and denial didn’t mean that there weren’t things to hunt and cases to solves. Dean had planned it in his head over and over again what he wanted to say to the angel, but never truly satisfied with what he had come up with, they all sounded like excuses… Dean was done with excuses. But without a clue on what to do with a problem this personal. he just told himself that he’ll figure it out when Cas showed up again. He could wait. Dean was patient enough to wait for Cas, right?
It had been a whole week since Cas just flew away, Sam and Dean have been on the road saving people and hunting things but it had become a routine to Dean now. His mind was always on Cas and his resolve broke a little every day that he didn’t see Cas by his bed. When was he gonna see Cas again? If he was ever going to see Cas again? How could Dean get Cas to forgive him? Was it too late? These were just some of the many questions that plagued his sleepless nights and restless dreams. But a week was enough, Dean wasn’t going to wait around for Cas to come back. Dean finally had the balls to go something that he’d been wanting to do for a long time: Confront Cas about his feelings towards him.
First things first, he needed privacy. He convinced Sam to go get a separate room. Sam seemed to know what he was up to, he somehow always knew and told Dean not to fuck it up. Now in the empty room, Dean starts to pray, “Cas, if you’ve got your ears on I need to tell you something. But I’d rather talk to you about it in person that broadcast it all over angel radio, so please come back.”
He waited and then he heard it, the sounds of wings flapping and a deep raspy voice, “Hello Dean.”
That knot in his chest didn’t feel so tight at the sound of his voice, his heart stopped aching and started to flutter in that familar manner when Dean was around Cas. For the first time since that curse was lifted, Dean finally felt like he could breathe again. Cas had no idea how happy that made him, Dean didn’t even know that until now.
Dean looked at the angel before him and his heart broke. Cas was not OK, his face was pale, his eyes are red-rimmed, and his stature is meek and timid. This wasn’t the Cas he knew. He had to say something. He had to apologize! “Cas, I’m sorry-”
Cas cut him off with a pained expression as he mumbled “Please, Dean, I understand that you don’t share the same feelings as I do with you. But please don’t say it.”
Dean’s heart ached and he felt like he was 2 steps away from crying. How could he have done this to the person he loved. “Cas, hey listen to me.” Dean lightly cupped Cas’s face with his hand, tilting it upwards so that he could see those amazing blue eyes as he said what he needed to say. “I wanted to apologize for shitting on your feelings like that. I shouldn’t have made you feel guilty for your feelings and I feel like a piece of shit for thinking that I could erase myself from someone’s life again. Sometimes it’s just easier when you know that the people you care about are with the people that they deserve to have in their lives, safe and away from all these fucked up madness.”
“Dean, I’m an angel of the lord. I could never have a normal mortal life and I’ll always be hunted.” Cas looked at Dean, bemused at Dean’s declaration but not leaning away from his touch. He steeled his gaze with determination, he had to make sure that Dean understood. “I’m not like Lisa, I can defend myself and I can protect you. And it doesn’t matter what Lisa said about you, you deserve to have people who care about you by your side. You deserve to be saved and you deserve to be happy.”
He let his hand drop from Cas’s face, choosing to interlock their fingers together instead. “Cas, I’m not a good person. I’ve killed people and hunted monsters, whether they were innocent or not. I lie on a daily basis to get through life. I actually enjoy hunting and killing, not just for protecting people but for the hunt itself too. I’m not a good person, but I can’t live without you. So I hope you’d let me be selfish and keep you in my life.”
Cas was looking at him with adoration and awe, and Dean wondered if he will ever feel worthy of being so loved by someone so perfect. “Is it selfish to want the same thing?” Cas whispered breathlessly, “I’m still shocked that you and Sam would give me another chance after what happened with Crowley.”
Dean sighed. Cas’s betrayal then hurt like a bitch but if Dean was in his situation, he’d have done the same if it meant that everyone he loved would be safe. “I’ll be honest with you Cas, knowing that you turned to Crowley of all people hurt like hell. But you were right, we didn’t understand what you were going through with that angelic civil war. We’ll all done some pretty crazy shit to save the world. Cas, I want to just put all that behind us but that could only happen when you’re ready to stop blaming yourself for what you did. You were right, you did the best you could with what you had.
Cas tilted his head upwards, letting Dean’s forehead rest on his. “Everything I did, I do for you.”
“I know,” Dean smiled as he leaned in for the sweetest, most innocent kiss he had ever had. There was no tongue, no fancy technique. But it was the most intense and genuine kiss he had ever experienced, it was filled with so many promise for a future he thought he had traded away the moment he walked out on Lisa and Ben. He could finally be happy, be vulnerable. And it was all thanks to his angel in a trenchcoat. “Thank you.”
Sam woke up the next morning with a good feeling about today, he went out for a quick run and packed his bags for the road. To his surprise, Dean was already by the Impala, with him was Cas looking happier than he had ever seen him. In fact both of them look happier and so much lighter now that everything’s out in the open. Sam was so happy for them, but as his role as a little brother, he kinda had to be a little shit to Dean now about his new budding relationship.
“So I’m guessing everything worked out. ” Sam smirked.
Dean rolled his eyes but even his fake annoyance couldn’t hide that big dopey grin on his face. “Yeah, yeah. Worked out great. Like a John Green novel.”
Cas being Cas, was completely confused and looked to Dean for answers, head tilt and all. “Who’s John Green? He’s not a prophet, how does he know that?”
Sam laughed while Dean chuckled with a loving look in his eyes, he embraced the angel and give him a peck on the forehead, “Don’t ever change, Cas.”
“Alright, ready to go?” Sam groaned. He was happy and all for his brother and his best friend, but he didn’t want to watch them be all lovey-dovey
“Yeah, you coming honeybee?” Dean asked Cas. Sam had to hold his laughter, that nickname was enough blackmail to last a lifetime.
“Yes. Can I ride shotgun this time?” Cas asked enthusiastically. He hardly ever got the ride in the front seat if all three of them were present
Dean smiled fondly at Cas’s cute request, he would never stop feeling like a puddle of goo around Cas if he kept acting like that. He didn’t think much before turning to Sam, “You heard the man, Sammy.”
“Whipped so soon?” Sam laughed but he didn’t put up a fight as he got into the backseat.
“Shut up, bitch.”
“Assbutts.” Cas chirped.
Dean had never felt so complete, he had his little brother to protect and to watch his back. He had a kickass lover who loved him for who he was. He had his Baby which hadn’t failed him yet. It was tough to get to this point, but now Dean was happy and he will fight Heaven, Hell and everything in between that wants to take that from him. Everything could only get better from here.
... And then the rest of Season 8 happened, which wasn't that great.
This is my first Big Bang and Destiel fic so I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for Muse and Jojo for this year's DCBB, and thanks to my art partner, Nerdong for the amazing artwork.
Until next time, take care Loves