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The Sound of Longing

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Look, I’ll be honest. The house I’m looking at doesn’t have a monster. It doesn’t have a victim, ghostie, or creepy crawly. It’s just a house that’s empty. The owner hasn’t come home yet. If he has any sort of life on a Saturday, he won’t be coming home tonight at all. I don’t know why Sam is having me waste my breath on this case. There’s nothing in this town. He’s still strung out from our last two weeks. 

Douche with wings zapped us into the corporate life with no memories. We spent two weeks living the lives of civilians with desk jobs. He’s itching to prove that it will never happen again and that he doesn’t want that snoozefest of a life. He’s too busy trying to prove that he chooses hunting to see that there is nothing here to hunt. 

I know I’m happier staking out, cleaning rifles, loading salt rounds, and ganking evil sons-of-bitches, but it felt like a vacation. It felt like a rest from Hell, a moment to breathe after torturing Alistair. 

Sam wants to wash it off and pretend it didn’t happen. He wants to forget the two friends he lost while he was trapped in the mind of an IT pencil-pusher. I could do without the memories of that poor kid in the bathroom. He didn’t deserve to go out just because Zachariah chose to stir up our brains. We could have had that ghost before… What’s his name? Ian? Ian died. I didn’t know him. Sam did. I called him “pencil-neck” and Sam didn’t take it well. 

“He had a name.” 

His name was Ian. He was Sam’s friend, but we’re still not allowed to have friends. Not ones with nine to fives and no supernatural protection. 

I am glad to be back, though. Back to eating bacon cheeseburgers and drinking beer. Back to long hours driving and highlighting newspapers. Back to normal, health-insurance and pay free. I’m back to staring at a boring house and sitting in the car just so I can think. 

I keep running over why I said yes to torturing someone, no matter how evil he is. I had waited thirty years of what I thought was going to be eternity to start torturing anyone. I didn’t want to go back to it the second I was back topside. I didn’t want to look into his ugly face and hear his slimy voice. I know why I said yes, though. He asked me to. 

Mister blue-eyes-and-trench-coat showed up and asked me to do him one little favor and there I was like a lost dog. Any other angel and I know I would have said no. If Zach had asked, I might’ve even told him where to stick it. Junkless did ask, and I told him no. I made the mistake of asking to talk to Cas alone. Talk to the only being that could make my heart run wild and make him convince me to help him with those eyes and that voice. No, it had to be Castiel. It had to be him. 

Something keeps coming up with him. Uriel and Cas have both said that Cas is getting too close to me and that he likes me. The words are a fist around my heart. I don’t know why I care. Anna already told me that angels can’t fall in love. Not that that’s what I’m thinking about because it’s not. 

Love. I can repeat the word over and over and I’ve always just seen a blank screen. I guess that’s not true anymore, but who knows what that means? I’m not allowed to fall in love. I’m a solider for Earth, Hell, and now Heaven. I’m a bullet-shield if anything and unworthy of that kind of feeling. It’s not like I hear that word and think about my pounding heart and sparking lights. It doesn’t mean anything if I hear that word and feel my stomach twist because I think about him. He doesn’t think about me. Not as anything more than some rescue dog from Hell anyway. 

What does it mean he likes me? What the fuck does that mean? It can’t mean anything. I want it to mean something. I want it to mean anything and everything. 

“Hello, Dean.” 

I jump out of my skin and look over to the passenger seat of my previously empty car. “Don’t do that!” Always. Whenever I have a moment to just think, here he is, sitting next to me with his blue eyes narrowed like he can read my thoughts. “Why are you here?” 

“I always come when you call,” he says, the gravel in his voice raking over me. 

“False alarm. I didn’t call.” There’s no point in trying to look back at the most ordinary house. Cas’ eyes are pools to drown in. I can’t breathe. 

“I can hear longing, Dean.” 

What the fuck? What kind of thing is that to say? I don’t long for things. Especially not people. Or angels. I don’t long for him. I don’t long to run my hand down the side of his face or feel his lips on mine. I do not long for his arms around me. I don’t long to be shoved against a wall by him, our noses touching, eyes locked. I definitely don’t long for Castiel. 

“Excuse me? You’ve got the wrong number, pal.” 

“What number? I didn't call you.” Cas shifts, his eyes cast down to my lips before finding my eyes again. “It hasn’t stopped, though. I don’t understand.” 

I force myself to look away and find myself staring at the boring house again. This is the most pointless stakeout in the history of our hunting career. I could be at a bar drinking and flirting with anyone who walks by. Instead, I’m biting my tongue and contemplating how badly I want him. 

“What are you doing here?” Cas asks, his face turning toward the same building that I’ve been watching. 

“Humoring Sam.”

He doesn’t say anything else. I should’ve said something to keep him talking. I could have told a joke that would have gone over his head just so that he would tell me that he doesn’t understand. 

“I’m sorry, Dean.” I wasn’t expecting that. I look back over at him and watch his head turn slowly. His eyes are filled with his apology. “I’m sorry about what happened with Alistair. I should have protected you from Heaven’s orders. I should never have let you walk into that room.”

“Don’t like what came out?” I don’t mean to joke or throw my words back in his face, but I am scared of the answer. His apologies could be his goodbye, and I’m not ready for that. 

“That will never happen.” My heart lodges itself in my throat. “I tried to redeem myself for that by protecting you from Zachariah, but I was detained.”

“You were detained?” The way he talks drives me insane. He’s poetic and formal for no reason.

“Yes.” 

When he doesn’t say more, I feel like it’s my turn. I’m supposed to accept and forgive him. I’m supposed to acknowledge that he’s sorry so we can both move on. 

“Yeah, okay.” 

“I have to apologize for my actions after you and Anna…” Can angels blush? Is that what’s happening? “I was jealous. That was one of the reasons I was kept from you. They accused me of getting too close to my charge. I can’t deny that accusation, but jealousy isn’t something that is allowed in Heaven. I could have protected you more effectively if I hadn’t let myself feel so strongly.” 

Jealous? Jealous of Anna. Jealous of Anna when she was a human and asked me for her last night as a human. Jealous of the kiss in the barn before she powered up. Castiel was jealous? Jealous of me or her? Please be jealous of her. 

“What do you mean, jealous?” 

“It’s not of import. I… I should go.” He can’t leave now. Not after he opened that up. 

“Cas,” I hear myself begging as I grab onto his arm. I can’t let him leave. Not now. “Talk to me.”

Cas sighs and I’m sure I’m wrong. I’m wrong in thinking he was jealous of her. Why would he want me? Now my hand is on his arm and I can’t take it away. If he can hear longing, he can probably feel it through his arm by now too. I shouldn’t have stopped him. I could have gone my whole life without this conversation. 

“Uriel wasn’t lying to you when he told you of my affections.” 

I want to scream. I want to ask him to clarify. I want to hear him say it. I need to hear him say it. His affections . What? Can you have a heart attack from thinking someone may have a crush on you? I think I’m having a stroke. 

“I thought angels couldn’t fall in love.” Love. He never said he loved me. He said he has affections . Whatever that means. Now I’ve ruined it. I’ve lost all of my chances by using the world’s dumbest word. 

“They can’t.” Fuck. “At least, I thought we couldn’t.”

I remember my hand on Cas’ arm and rip it away. He can’t mean it. He has to mean it. “I’m not allowed to fall in love. I’m just a soldier.” I repeat the words that I’d heard and told myself repeatedly through the years. I’m just a soldier. I’m disposable. I’m not meant for love or ‘ affections ’. 

“That does apply to both of us.” Cas reaches out and takes my hand back. I should keep it from him, but his touch is all that I can think about. 

“I guess it can’t be love then.” I lose the fight of not staring at his lips. 

“I don’t think it matters what we call it.” 

Cas drops my hand to cup my face instead, leaning in and pressing his lips to mine. It’s warm and soft and now I think I’m definitely having a heart attack. My heart slams in my chest as if it’s trying to escape as Cas’ mouth opens mine. I feel his fingers dragging through my hair as I pull him against me. His kisses swallow me whole.