Work Header

To Pin a Butterfly

Chapter Text

Dean Winchester is not human.

Or at least he shouldn’t be.

Castiel has been on this earth for many millennia. He had seen many a great things. He had been there when man was first starting to walk on two legs without the aid of arms. He had witnessed the rise and falls of many empires. He had seen the beauty of man’s talents and the destruction of said beauty. He had seen everything that his Father’s greatest creation has to offer, and yet none of them amaze him as much as it should.

Because none of them compared to the bright, warm light that is Dean Winchester’s soul.

Dean Winchester. The man who believed in him, the man who opened his eyes to the corruption infallible angels were full of, the man who treated him like he was something more than he was, the man who would never waver even when all the odds were against him, the man he had Fallen for.

He does not deserve the fate that has been bestowed upon him. He does not deserve a father who abuses him and a brother who abandons him. He does not deserve to have been neglected. He did not deserve to go to Hell.

Most importantly, he does not deserve to suffer.

Humans suffer; it was their punishment for abandoning God, for their mistakes and misfortune that they were only to make because they were human. But Dean shouldn’t be human, as the Righteous Man he was only full of good. So much good that he was better than the angels.

Castiel has a plan. Has a plan to make the life of Dean Winchester the kind of life that he deserves. One of no suffering, no misery, no pain. Only of happiness and joy. Castiel will be the one to give Dean these things, and in turn Dean will share with him the warm light that is his soul, if not give it to him completely.

So he’ll give up his angelic status for Dean. He’ll go to war with his own kind for Dean. He’ll side with the filth demon king and follow through with the plan of using millions of souls, finding the gateway to Purgatory and killing thousands of humans to harvest their souls to have the ultimate power.

Because he does all these things solely for Dean Winchester.

Castiel takes a deep breath, the humming of the power flowing out of the pores of Jimmy and he feels like he can do anything. He understands now why people crave this, this feeling is exhilarating, addicting -- something that he wonders how he ever was without.

“I'm not an angel anymore. I'm your new God, a better one. So, you will bow down and profess your love to me, your Lord, or I shall destroy you.”

There was a force, a strong force that made Dean want to kneel, but the knowledge of what that would create would be a disaster in itself.

Maybe he could still reason with him, with the Castiel that he had grown to know and love. “What about Team Free Will?”

“Don’t be such a child, Dean.  I’m not some lost little angel anymore.  I don’t need any ridiculous team.  And I don’t need you to teach me how to be.  The only thing I need from you is to come with me.”

Dean raised an eyebrow.  “With you?  Where exactly do you want me to go?  What the hell could you possibly want from me?”

“I do not need to answer any of your impertinent questions.  I have told you my desire, and now you must fulfill it or face the consequences.”

Nearly laughing in disbelief, Dean shook his head.

“If you seriously think that I’m just gonna roll over and do what you say after what you’ve...become, then you are crazier than I gave you credit for, and I am stupider than I realized if I ever loved you.”  His heart was ripping in two even as he stood there, but he couldn’t hide the bitter pain even from the source of it.

Castiel laughed. “What I’ve become? What I’ve become is for the better.  This world is a mess, Dean.  So I am going to clean it, and then arrange it correctly.  And you are going to help me, or I will kill you.”

“You’re an idiot, Cas,” Dean said, feeling truly broken.  “You’re an idiot, and you shouldn’t be any god if you can’t even understand how your ‘subjects’ work.  The entire point of being human is the imperfection.  It’s kinda what we do.  And that’s what’s special about us, I guess.  How we always fuck up, no matter what.  And how we always try again.  If you can’t understand that, then you definitely don’t belong anywhere near us.”

Castiel brushed off the heartfelt words. “Don’t say such things to your new god, Dean; it simply isn’t polite.” He held out his hand. “Now come, we have a new world to create.”

“You’re not taking Dean anywhere, and we’re not going to do anything,” Sam said, stepping forward in between his brother and the ex-angel. “You may be powerful, but you can’t force us to do anything.”

Castiel gave a chuckle, a low eerie sound that made the three want to shiver. “I shed away my ridiculous ideals long ago. This world cannot be saved the way it is, it must begin anew for it to live on.”

“Maybe we don’t want it to be saved, asshole,” called Bobby gruffly.  “Maybe we like things as they are.  Fucked up or not, that’s just how it is.  It sucks, but that’s life.  Get over it or get out of here.”

“My, but you are all so disrespectful.”  Castiel’s eyes widened in a sarcastic imitation of surprise.  “Honestly, I don’t know how my Father put up with you for so long.  I would have cleared this place off eons ago if I’d been in his place.”    

Sam held his hands up for negotiation. “Now, Cas, let’s think this through -- ”

“You make me sick,” Dean spat at Castiel.  “You make me sick!” Castiel made motions to interrupt. “No, don’t!  Shut up and listen to me!  I was good to you, Cas!  I was always there for you, I helped you, I loved you!  How can you do this to me?  After all that, how the fuck can you do this to me, man? Did you ever care at all?  Did you ever even care at all, or were you just pretending?  Because if you cared for me even one iota as much as I do – did -- did for you, then you wouldn’t be doing this right now!”

Cas was taken aback by the blunt scolding.  It itched at something in the back of his skull, but did not change his mind, or really slow him down.

“Dean, you are overreacting.  Calm yourself.  Try to think logically,” he advised. “Now, say your good-byes.  It’s time to leave.”

“No.  I don’t want to.”

“I did not ask you.  I ordered you.”

“I don’t care.  I won’t follow your orders.”

“Dean,” Castiel tried to maintain a reasonable tone of voice.  “Now you are being childish.  I have already told you the consequences for disobedience.”

“Then do it,” Dean dared, arms outstretched. “Go ahead and fucking do it.  I don’t even care.  I don’t even care, because I don’t want to live in some world where my best friend has gone completely insanely psycho and wants to kill everyone and ‘repopulate’ the world.  Okay?  No.  I’m not gonna do that.  Find someone else.  Or better yet, don’t find anyone at all, and take your now-featherless ass back to heaven or wherever.  Go fuck yourself.”

Castiel stepped forward and slapped Dean across the face, shocking everyone into silence.  

“Stop it, now.  Be quiet and obey me.”

Dean laughed at him, the mad laugh of a broken man watching his world shatter before his eyes.  “You can’t -- you can’t hurt me any more than you already have.  I’m done.  I don’t even fucking care, Cas — or whoever the fuck you are now.  I’m done.”

Dean turned to face his brother and surrogate father. “I think we’re done here, guys.”

Hesitantly, eyes glued to the new god, Bobby started to walk away. Sam nodded, holding back tears. “Okay.”  He took a long look at the ex-angel. “ I’m sorry, Cas. I’m sorry we couldn’t save you.”

“Save me?” Castiel snorted.  “Save me?  You think you need to save me?  You think you could save me?”  He started to laugh, hysterically.  “Save me!  The idea is preposterous!  Save me, you say, save me!  From what?  I am the one who is saving you!  Don’t you understand?  This world is horrible!  It’s disgusting, flawed, evil!  But I can change that.  I will change that!  I can save you, and you can live in a better world!  All you have to do is obey me, and then your lives will be better!  It’s so simple!  Why don’t you understand?”

Dean watched in horror as the madness transformed what used to be his friend into a monster.  He did not know which was the most frightening part: Castiel’s grotesque madness, or the fact that Castiel really believed what he was saying was true.  It was like a nightmare, only worse.  Because this was real.  He wouldn’t wake up and push Castiel half-heartedly back to his side of the motel bed, pretending to be annoyed so that he could hide his relief.  

He wouldn’t be near Castiel at all anymore, he suddenly realized.  Not ever.  They wouldn’t drive to some fast food joint to get Castiel a late-night burger fix.  Or watch Disney movies, Dean’s arm around Castiel’s shoulders, because everyone should see at least fucking Lady and the Tramp or something.  Castiel wouldn’t slip his stupidly always-cold feet into the bottom of Dean’s pajama pants, or put drool spots on the back of Dean’s t-shirts where he liked to rest his cheek, or leave his goddamn shoes everywhere so that Dean would trip over them.

It was all gone, just like that.  Just like how Mom had been there one day, and then she was gone.  Just like how Dean had thought he knew his own father, but no, he’d been wrong about that, and the man he’d thought of as Dad was gone.  

Just like that.

“Good-bye, Cas,” Dean finally said, swallowing the sobs that threatened to claw their way out of his throat.  “I’m leaving.  If you ever turn into yourself again... you know where to find me.”  He turned and started to walk away, shoulders slumped.

But he suddenly fell to the ground, struggling to breathe. “As if I would allow you to just leave like that.” Castiel waved his hand, and with a blink of an eye everything froze. Bobby was stalled mid-step; Sam’s hair didn’t even move with the turning of his head.

“Yeah, you’re right, I gave you way too much credit,” Dean choked out.  Finding he could breathe again, he looked straight into Castiel’s eyes, filled with so many souls that it chilled him to the bone. “Guess I wanted to think of you as having at least a little bit of integrity.”

“Integrity?” Castiel could hardly believe his ears.  “As if you know integrity!  You lived off of fraud!  You murder, you steal, you have no integrity at all!  I detest hypocrisy.  Be truthful or be silent.”

“Cas,” Dean said, feeling tired, so, so tired, “I have never been anything but truthful with you.  Up ‘til even now, the only time I’ve ever lied to you was by omission.  I didn’t tell you what I should have.  And now it’s too late.  So go fuck yourself.  I’m not a hypocrite.  And you’ve murdered at least three times as much as I have.  Stuff it.”

Castiel frowned as he approached Dean, kneeling to hold his chin for eye contact. “Everything I have done has been for you, Dean. I rebelled from Heaven for you. I have murdered my own brothers and sisters for you. I have done so, so much -- and all of it was for you.”

Dean just shook his head sadly.  “That stuff ain’t love, Cas.  Murdering people -- that’s not -- someone who loved you wouldn’t ask you to kill people. I never asked you to kill people.  I just wanted -- I wanted you to be free, Cas.  I wanted you to be free from such a strict, empty life.  I wanted you to be happy.  I just… I’m sorry, Cas.  I guess it was because I wanted to be able to just fly off like a bird, fly away from it all.  So I assumed that you would want that too.  I guess I shouldn’t have interfered.  Sorry for ruining your life.  Sorry for... for everything.”

Castiel smiled. “Don’t be sorry, Dean. You did free me!  You helped me!  So now let me help you.  I can help you and give you a better life, just as you gave me.”  He held out his hand.

Dean pushed it away. “I can’t.  It wouldn’t be right.  I can’t do that, and I won’t.  It’s over, okay?  Just… just let me go.  Please.  Let me and Sam and Bobby go.  We won’t interfere with your plans.”

“Never,” Castiel was so vehement that it was scary.  “Never!  I will never let you go.”

Dean blinked. “Well, why the hell not?  You can find someone willing.  You don’t need me.”

“I do!” On some level, Castiel knew it was insane. That something was crazy and all wrong.  But he didn’t know what, it seemed so foggy and far away...  “I do need you! It has to be you, Dean.  It can’t be anyone else.  I --I love you, Dean.  I love you!”

“No, you don’t.  You don’t love me.  You want to control me.  You want to possess me.  But I’m not some fucking toy you can pick up and play with and then toss away again.  You’re selfish, and selfishness can’t love.  It only takes and takes and takes ‘til there’s nothing left.  Guess what, Cas?  There’s nothing left.  You took it all.  You took everything.  So let me have some fucking dignity at least, and let me walk out of here and get killed by your plague of locusts or Noah’s Arc or whatever the fuck you were gonna do.”

“No, Dean. How could you think of such a thing? You -- you are so strange.  You can’t see the simple logic behind my actions?  I am doing this out of love!  I want my beloved to live in a perfect and beautiful world.  This world is neither of those things.  This is Hell, Dean.  This is Hell, but I can turn it into Heaven, and I will.”

Dean closed his eyes, biting his lip. “This isn’t Hell, Cas.  I’ve been to Hell.  You saved me from Hell.”

“Yes, and I will save you from it once more!”

“Then go back to being yourself!”  Dean’s eyes glittered with tears as he made his final plea.  “Come back, Cas.  Please, Cas, come back.  I need you to be yourself again.  I need you.  I — I’m -- Cas, please just come back to me.  Dear Castiel, put your fucking feathers back on and be my angel again.”

Castiel was confused. “I’m still an angel, Dean.  I’m still the same.  I’m just lots of other things as well.  All the souls I took from Purgatory, all the monsters, they are there along with my angelic side.  I am much more powerful in this state.”

“No, Cas,” Dean said sadly, definitively.  “No.  You’re not the same.  You’re... I don’t know.  You’re gone.”

Frustrated, Castiel grabbed ahold of Dean’s collar, pulling him upright. “I’ve had enough of your insolence. You will obey me, worship me, for I am your new god and everything I will and command is law.”

Dean spat in his face. “Fuck you.  Just... fuck you.”

Castiel clicked his tongue.  “That was childish and disgusting.  Do not do that again.  Now, I’ve played your little game, but it is time to go.  I am generous, so I will let you say goodbye to your family.  But then we leave.”

With a motion of his hand, time started up again.  Bobby stepped, Sam turned; it was as though nothing had even happened.  Castiel still gripped Dean’s collar.

“What the fu- Dean!” Sam dashed forward to help his brother, but Dean shook his head.  After taking a step it was as if his foot was glued to the ground. He found that he could step back, but not forward. 

“You guys better get out of here,” Dean told them, too tired to fight any longer.  “I’m gonna let the Rouge Angle of Satin here whisk me off to wherever, but I’m not gonna listen to him or anything.  Eventually he’ll get annoyed enough to kill me, probably, so I guess this is good-bye for real.  If the world isn’t destroyed, take care of my Baby.  There’s still a couple of unopened Hunter’s Helpers under the driver’s seat.  Have a drink for me.”

“Dean, don’t do this.  Maybe --”

“Sorry, Bobby.  I...there’s nothing else I can do.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.”

Bobby, his surrogate father’s heart breaking, watched as that -- thing held fast to his boy.  It was terrible to watch Dean in so much agony.  It made him want to skin the thing in Castiel’s body, pull out each and every soul one by one, beat the son of a bitch til he cried and begged forgiveness from Dean, which would probably be too readily given, the good-hearted moron.  He was too compassionate, too good.  Too good to be a hunter.  Too good to be some psycho-monster’s pet.  Too good to be anything less than the baby-faced idiot child with a heart of gold that he was.  Fucking dumbass, Bobby thought.  Godforsaken fucking dumbass idiot.  My boy, my dumbass boy.

“Kid,” Bobby said, dangerously close to begging.  “Kid, please, come on.  This ain’t right.”

“Yeah it is, man.  You know it, even though you don’t wanna admit it.  Look after Sammy for me, all right?  He pretends he can take care of himself, but he needs a lot of help.”

“Dean,” Sam tried. “You can’t do this. I’ll never forgive you for sacrificing yourself to save us. How am I supposed to live with that? Live with the fact that while I walk free, my brother is a slave? I can’t -- I just can’t do that man, I can’t live without you, you can’t do this, don’t do this, there’s gotta be another way --”

“It’s okay, Sammy, you’ll be fine.  Bobby’s with you.  It’ll be fine, if Cas-or-whoever doesn’t destroy the entire planet.  We’ve been apart before, you know that.  And family’s family, no matter what.  Didn’t Dad always tell us that?  It’ll be fine.”  

Sam smiled sadly. “Since when did I ever listen to Dad’s orders?”

Dean smiled at first, but then shivered, and he knew that his good-byes were running a bit too long for Castiel’s liking. “Ha, well all right, that’s true.  But you did listen to me, right?  So you can listen to me now.”

Sam bit his lip. “But Dean, I love you.”

Dean laughed, and no one commented on how pitiful it was. “I know.  I love you, too.  So you better listen to me, or else.  Or else I’ll tell Bobby that it was you who put that dog turd in his shoe that one time--whoops.”

“Shut up, man.”

Castiel stepped forward, and Dean knew he had to wrap it up. “See?  Go on now, okay?  It’s really fucking late anyway.  It’s gotta be like two am, seriously, we’ve been here so long.  You guys should go home and go to bed.  I love you, okay?  I love you.  Get going now.  Good night, Sammy.”

“We are leaving now,” Castiel announced.  “You know what is expected of you, and what will happen if you disobey.  Farewell."

And without further warning, he pulled Dean closer to him in a tight embrace and shot upwards, out into the cold night air, up, up, up into the sky.

Sam stood there, staring out of the hole in the ceiling for a long time.  Bobby gently prodded at his shoulder.

“Come on, son, we gotta get out of here.  I don’t know what’ll happen, but the new skylight doesn’t sit well with me.  Come on.”

“Okay,” Sam agreed, still looking upwards.  And childishly, deliriously, he hoped that Dean could somehow hear him when he whispered,

“Good night, Dean.”