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A Single Tear

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“Again.”

Naomi’s voice was cold, yet at the same time, far too casual for what that word implied- it would have been unnerving to Castiel just a couple of weeks ago, but now.... Now he was just the same himself, it seemed. He had become oblivious to the world around him, and though that familiar command sent a chill through him, his eyes remained hollow. They were no longer the stunning blue from before- the light had vanished, and all that was left was a reflection of the room around him.

As a result of Naomi’s order, the air in front of Castiel began to flicker and blur, an image quite similar to what a human might see when looking into the distance on a hot day. And indeed, Castiel reacted as though that was all it was- something in the distance, something without any significance or relevance at all. However, what Castiel was seeing was not at all so meaningless- because within a matter of seconds, the air in front of him had transformed- and suddenly, standing before him with a bewildered expression, was Dean.

Somewhere, deep down, Castiel was screaming out against what he was about to do, what he had been doing for the past who knows how long. But the rest of him now acted perfectly according to Naomi’s orders, and Naomi had told him to do it again. He didn’t want to, but then... "Want is a human thing, Castiel. You do not want. You just follow orders." As Naomi’s voice resounded through his thoughts, so did the memory of the pain that had followed when he had said “No.” That had been when he realized that he didn’t get to say no. He didn’t have a choice- he would do as Naomi said, and that was that. Even if it meant killing Dean, the one he had raised from perdition, the one who had, over the years, become a friend- something more, even. Before, he would rather have given up his own existence than take Dean’s life- but of course, this was exactly what Naomi was telling him to do, and as such, he had to do it- he knew that now.

So he did. He followed orders, and ignored everything else. He ignored Dean’s concerned, then angered, and then agonized shouts as Castiel grabbed his wrist and twisted until that sickening crunch was heard. He ignored how his vessel’s hands shook as he thrust the angel blade- which he so longed to cast away- forward between the hunter’s ribs... Again. He ignored how badly it hurt to do so, deep down from the same place that had been screaming before, and still was. And as Dean slipped down onto the cold, white floor, blood pooling around him, mixing with the blood of a thousand other Deans who were also dead and fallen, Castiel ignored that single tear that escaped from his hollow eyes and slid down his cheek- a mere echo of the torment he was feeling inside. One would think that after so many times, it might hurt less.

"Angels do not feel, nor need emotion, Castiel. It is wrong."

That single tear finally dropped down, and Castiel’s gaze snapped towards the ground. He watched it- almost in slow-motion- as it fell to Dean’s paling cheek, which had tear stains of its own. His eyes lingered for a moment on Dean’s face, those familiar freckles now contrasted by blanched skin, and previously green eyes now just empty mirrors, to match Castiel’s own. The worst was the blood, slowly dripping from his open mouth- a reminder of the anguished shouts and pleas that Castiel knew all too well.

A jab of some unnamed emotion ripped through Castiel, as though threatening to tear him to pieces, and he snapped back up, eyes once again devoid of that flash of pain they had shown a moment before. As he stepped forward over another of Dean’s corpses, Castiel felt somehow heavier, and a slight ache remained- but he ignored it, and turned to face Naomi, once again a statue, a soldier.

He ignored it, not because he did not care, as he pretended- but because it hurt to recognize what he had done, hurt to see Dean, who meant so much to Castiel- dead, because of him. It hurt just as much as if he had speared himself with the blade instead.

“Again.”