“No, no, no,” Cas mumbles, frustration settling like a lead weight in his stomach. All around him the Great Library sits quiet and still. Dust floats like slowly drifting snowflakes through the warmly slanted afternoon sunbeams, the calm drifts disturbed into swirling vortexes by his hurried shuffle across the polished marble.
The comfortable stillness is broken again by the low rumble of distant thunder. Cas puts on a burst of speed. It’s not dignified to run through the Great Library, it’s not dignified for the Librarian to run through the library, never mind anybody else.
But here he is, trotting with long strides down past Cirien Croin, Your Sea Serpent and You , Copper Cauldron Care , and Corporeal Dissonance Disorder: The Complete Guide to Finding Yourself after Astral-projection . Counting shelves, Cas curses the sweat trickling down his back, the pressure in the air growing thicker the closer he gets to his destination. His shirt clings uncomfortably to his skin.
“Clouds, clouds, clouds,” Cas mumbles to himself pulling on the bottom of his waist coat. Finding the correct shelf he rolls his shoulders back, runs his fingers through his hair a few times, and clears his throat.
“Dean,” Cas rumbles, displeasure clear in his tone. Two of the books shift along the shelf, trembling and jumping slightly. Cas’ frown depends. “Dean!” Cas snaps, and thunder rumbles around him.
“This is…” Cas huffs a breath, licking his lips and shifting angrily from one foot to the other. “Dean, come out. Now, please.”
In response, the books shutter across the shelf, tiny sparks of light erupting from the spine of the smaller green book, like the light at the end of a Fourth of July sparkler. Cas pinches the bridge of his nose, sighing roughly he growls, “ Deaaann!”
Abruptly, the temperature drops and overhead, lightning crackles. Clouds roll in far too thick and too quickly for a quiet afternoon in The Library. They rapidly obscure the topmost shelves of the towering bookcases bracketing Cas’ front and back.
“Don’t you dare,” Cas warns, “Dean. Don’t you dare.”
As the last word leaves his mouth the clouds swell and dump cold, clean rainwater down over his head. Instantly Cas is soaked, and after a moment the absurdity gets to him and he tilts his head back, laughs bubbling from deep inside of him.
“My love,” he whispers, head tipped back so the rain falls softly over his face, slides down his cheeks, clumps his eyelashes together. He blinks up at the clouds, warmth suffusing his limbs, expanding in his chest, making his heart thump hard. Nothing around him is wet, there aren’t even puddles on the floor under his soaked loafers.
The book, with its bright green binding and gold inlaid font flops off the shelf and falls open on the floor. The pages blow back and forth rapidly, though there’s no wind to disturb anything else. Castiel kneels down, and the rain peters off to a gentle shower, the clouds overhead lighten from an angry grey to a pleasant soft fluffy white.
Cas strokes his fingers over the page and small excited sparks flash, popping with pent up energy. “Come, my sweet. I am sorry I’ve been gone so long. The annex in Amsterdam was infested with sprites, they were eating the pages right out of the books. You know how I feel about my books.”
Overhead thunder cracks and lightning scorches across the low hanging clouds. Cas’ hair stands on end and he frowns.
“How could you think that? Come out here right now.” Cas snaps his fingers, his magic surging down his arm, flowing out of him like a typhoon. Instantly the clouds melt away, his clothes dry, and his hair relaxes against his scalp. Adjusting his waistcoat Cas clears his throat. “Dean, please. I’ve missed you so.”
With a soft sigh, a swirling fog rises, wispy and light, iridescent and lovely, from the open pages. Slowly, it takes form and Cas smiles leaning back. Color bleeds into the soft white myst; bright green eyes with long dark lashes, and a freckled nose.
“There we go,” Cas coaxes, quietly standing. The myst follows him, growing taller and wider, more substantial until a man, solid as Cas is, steps from the pages and onto the floor. He grins cheekily, then bites his lip, shoving his hands into the pockets of his dark jeans and blushes, looking down.
“Hey. Cas,” he says quietly, his voice as low and deep as the thunder he called forth earlier.
“Hello, Dean,” Cas says, a smile curving his lips. “Quite the tantrum.”
Dean rolls his eyes and taps the toe of his boot against the marble floor. With a huff he bends and picks his book up, turns it over between his fingers before slipping it into his back pocket.
“Yeah, well, you were supposed to be back two weeks ago. And then I have to hear from Kevin that you’re back? Kevin! In records? Not only that but you got back two days ago?”
Cas hums softly, nodding along. Yes, he should have come to see Dean first but he had slightly more pressing matters to attend to. Matters that had kept him away far too long and simply could not wait. Plus, Cas has convinced himself that he could not show his face to Dean until he’d discovered the key to the mystery that had kept him away from his love. Luckily, Dean’s tantrum came just as the solution presented itself.
“I’m sorry,” Cas says softly, reaching out to cup Dean’s jaw. A static jolt jumps between the space of their skin, shocking Cas before he can even touch Dean. “Ow! Really, Dean?”
Dean turns away, sulking, his lips pursed. Cas sighs, a smile curling over his features.
“I’ve brought you something…”
“From outside?” Dean turns, his eyes sparkling with excitement.
“Of course, would you like to see it?”
The ploy only works for a second and then Dean’s eyes narrow, thunder rumbles and the air pressure in the room drops.
“Do you want to see what kept me?” Cas asks again, reaching into his pocket, “Or are you going to continue to pout?”
Since Dean befell the curse that locked him into the pages of his book, his power as an elemental sealed almost totally away, he’s yearned for a taste of the outside. Of the world and nature he was once so connected to. But more than that, he yearns for kin; for his kin.
“Yes, show me. But you’re not off the hook,” Dean warns, stepping into Cas’ space like he owns it, like he belongs there. And he does. A cautious childlike smile tilts his lips.
“Of course not, I wouldn't dream of it,” Cas indulges, pulling the chain from his pocket and letting the small amulet dangle from his fist.
“Wow,” Dean breathes lifting a hand to ghost his fingers over the burnished golden figure head. “What is it?” Wonder laces his words and Cas’ heart constricts.
“It’s an amulet.”
“Let me clarify,” Cas says, reaching out and lifting Dean’s hand, turning it palm up. “It.. is possibly, more appropriately known as, The Samulet.”
Cas lays the amulet in Dean’s palm and the reaction is immediate. The small charm glows bright like starlight, filling the space with blinding white light. Cas shields his eyes as it takes over, whiting out his vision. When the glow fades, Dean's free hand is clutching tight to Cas’ bicep, he’s breathing in small stilted gasps, his eye wide and glassy with unshed tears.
“Sam…” he chokes out, his fingers slipping from Cas’ arm to reach for the towering man now standing beside them.
“D–Dean,” Sam chokes rushing forward to embrace his brother.
“How long? How many eons?” Dean mumbles into the curve of Sam’s shoulder and Cas feels his throat constrict. He shuffles back a step, ready to give them some long overdue privacy when Dean’s hand snaps out and grabs Cas, stilling him.
“Cas,” he breathes, and there is so much there in that one word, in his name. So much emotion held in that one syllable that Cas can only nod, swallowing roughly. “Thank you.”
And then Cas is wrapped up in Dean’s arms, his body cradled in warmth and strength. Dean presses a kiss to his lips, his eyes closed so tight, so trusting. Tipping his forehead against Cas’ he breathes, “Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me until we break the curse and free you both.”
Dean pulls back and smiles, it's like the sunrise, bright and warm, with so much potential that it makes Cas’ breath catch.
“If anyone can do it, it’s you.” With a squeeze to Cas’ shoulder Dean turns back to his brother, slipping the amulet over his head and caressing it as it lands against his chest. “I have so much to tell you,” he says.
“Me too,” Sam chokes, tears slipping free from his eyes. “Me too.”