Chapter 1: Small Town Boy
Cas really hates 80s music, Anna talks about church while Cas is distracted by gay thoughts, also an apple a day does not keep the horrifying night terrors away.
Honestly? You can skim this chapter, I've got mixed feelings about it.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Internecine: mutually destructive;
mid 17th century (in the sense ‘deadly, characterized by great slaughter’): from Latin internecinus, based on inter- ‘among’ + necare ‘to kill.’
8 years ago
Anna stares out the window, irises reflecting clouds of grey. Expression surprisingly thoughtful for a grade schooler.
“Why do they always look at us like that?” She asks suddenly, permanently somber eyes turning to Castiel curiously.
“You know, the way the neighbors look at us when we walk down the street, or the way families glance at us in restaurants.”
“Because they think we’re different. Or rather they think I’m different, and therefore treat me as such.”
“.....I guess we are..” She hums, apparently satisfied with the vague answer.
Castiel peeks in the mirror to the backseat to Anna, he opens his mouth like he wants to explain but decides against it.
It’s quiet in the car save the soft drone of the engine.
He never turned on the radio, he avoided music as much as possible.
Music was supposed to make you feel…. things.
Fluid things like sadness or happiness or nostalgia, they could be heavy like waves or soft as mist. Sometimes the flood of memories and emotions were so much it’d pool in your eyes or drip on your lashes, stream down your cheeks.
There was a certain vulnerability to that.
A song could swing you and toss you like a boat lost at sea.
Or you could close your eyes and feel yourself floating, gliding across perfect flecks of gold and sunshine on still ocean waters.
Sometimes he would close his eyes and hear a voice humming in his ear, he would hear a song so familiar and yet indescribable, like it was part of him and yet still out of reach. And it’d feel like he was floating.
-No, it’d feel like he was flying, like an angel in heaven.
For something to sound so perfect and yet so much like home, exactly like an angel who’d found heaven.
And he’d open his eyes and the sound would always shut off.
And he’d find himself back onto the cold and out of place world.
So he hated music. It all sounded like trash now, it sounded like garbled mixes of chalkboard scratches and honking cars in traffic.
Silence became all the more comforting.
It was muted like the grey clouds blanketing the morning sky.
It was empty and colorless like him.
And that was comforting.
“C’mon Castiel, at least let me play a couple songs.”
“Fine.” He concedes with a sigh.
She lets out a pleased hum and reaches for the volume, “You should like these songs, they’re old like you.” She notes with a playful smirk.
“Basic arithmetic will let you know I’m not old enough to but touch the tip of the 80s generation, I have nothing to do with your outdated music taste.”
She raises the volume instead of responding, relaxed grin still in place.
The digital dash flashing with the words, “Small Town Boy : Bronski Beat”
Castiel tunes out the noise, he really doesn’t the appeal of whiny falsetto against mind numbingly repetitive computerized backdrop.
Anna leans her head back lazily, wind billowing through her scarlet hair like a haze of crimson smoke. Every once in awhile the cinders of her blaze would brush against the tip of her nose and she’d scrunch her face and sniffle.
Sunlight glares on her lavender tinted sunglasses.
Castiel lets the soft breeze caress his face with it’s cool and comforting touch.
It’s a rare moment of peace and he enjoys it despite the whiny background chorus singing….
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away….
The sunlight doesn’t last much longer, the further they drive the deeper they descend into dark grey sky lines and dewy pine trees. By the time they pull up at a diner, the ground is puddles and sledges of mud. The climb out of a warmth car is met with a wet plop and a groan. As if on cue the dark clouds decide to shower them lovingly in bone chilling drops and wraps them up snug in harsh howling wind.
They barge through the glass plexi doors, smiling courteously despite the numbness sticking to their cold cheeks. It was mostly Anna smiling, with her usual big and almost melancholic grin. And Castiel with his usual awkward twitch of lips and even more awkward little nod.
With a sympathetic glance at their weather ravaged faces, the waitress quickly grabs up some menus and gets them a squishy seat in a battered looking boothe.
The whole place is shamelessly outdated, with just enough charm to be considered ‘retro’. Their booth is pressed against a window with a bright neon sign, glowing red ‘OPEN 24 HR’ hooked up, below the sign is the neon outline of a blue coffee cup complete with blinking steam lights.
“Would you two like some hot coffee? It seems pretty chilly out there.” Her stare resting on Castiel’s face despite referring to both of them. He peeks back, she’s pretty-ish, young with curls of blonde hair.
Anna pipes in, “I think we’ll both have some tea, do you have some herbal tea?”
“Sure do, I’ll fetch ya some chamomile.”
Castiel rests his arms uncomfortably on the sticky table top, admiring how impressively ugly the faux-marble surface and the red pleather upholstery was. The cushions seemed let out an almost indignant squeak every time Castiel tried to settle in his seat.
Two hot cups appear before them, the scalding liquid glimmers rose in the glare of glowing light.
The waitress takes a particularly steep dip to place Castiel’s cup in front of him.
After an unsolicited view down her shirt, he focused instead on his menu.
The ‘House CheeseBurger Special’ definitely catching his eye; despite the austerity of the rest of his living he couldn’t seem to shake his indulgence towards red meat. Especially that of the ground and greasy variety.
The blue neon light blinks on and off over Anna’s face, casting a lilac shadow over her red fringe. “I’m going for the chicken salad, I’m guessing you’re getting the same as always.”
Castiel is cut off before he can even nod.
“So what brings you two around these parts?” The waitress croons obnoxiously loud.
Castiel clears his perpetually hoarse throat and attempts polite but curt conversation, “We’re just passing by picking up some stuff from the city. Our area is a little rural.”
“Little is an understatement. It’s like we live in an fundamentalist camp.” Anna mutters partially under her breath.
“Sounds rough for a young thing like you. You two are..?”
“Siblings.” Anna replies easily, and the waitress looks at her like she just gave her the winning lotto ticket. After taking their orders with more conversation and winking than strictly necessary the blonde finally pries away long enough for Anna to start goading him.
“She’s totally hitting on you.” Anna whispers with a grin.
His eyes roll to the side.
“Oh I know that look, what’s wrong with her?” Anna sighs with dramatic exasperation.
“Nothing, I’m just not that interested.” He replies blandly.
“You’re never interested Castiel. Maybe you should give someone a chance.”
Castiel nods empathetically, feeling very sure he’s absolutely not going to take that advice to heart.
The server returns with a tray of steaming food, hot fries and greasy burger paired with a sweating glass of chocolate malt. His hands greedily reach for his food. He takes an ambitious bite of his burger and dip his fries in the milkshake making Anna’s nose wrinkle in distaste. Mind lost in the bliss of salt and fat, he barely noticed the bell chimes along with the sound of rustling as the door swung open.
A new customer walks in, which he doesn’t find anything worthy of looking up from his milkshake for.
Anna, who was already facing the entrance, raises her brows and purses his lips to let out a silent whistle. It isn’t until the person who entered sits directly across Castiel’s line of sight that he realizes why.
He’s just glad he didn’t have a mouth full of chewed food when his jaw hit the table.
Growing up in an hyper conservative rural town meant you didn’t display interest in other men in public unless you were interested in a black eye.
Castiel immediately focuses his attention back to his plate, but not before catching a good glimpse of grass green eyes, so vibrant he could practically smell the earthy musk of fresh cut lawn. He chews, slowly, distracted by the noise of the server bantering pleasantly and the stranger’s low gruff voice responding.
When he dares to peek again he’s taken aback to see the man staring directly at him. His expression inviting, open. And his eyes shameless despite being caught, for no better term, ogling.
“Well isn’t it just raining men today?” The server chuckles, her top buttons mysteriously undone.
The comment isn’t directed to Castiel but to the stranger.
“What can do for you Ken doll?”
“Let’s see….” He mumbles, not even deigning the menu a glance, eyes stubbornly staring straight ahead, straight into Castiel.
“I’ll have what he’s having.” He declares, finally turning away to face the server with a charming wink, she all but melts of course.
Castiel can’t help but notice the crinkles in the corner of this man’s eyes when he does so, the way they scrunch with his easy grin. He must smile often.
Castiel drew his attention back to his sister who he vaguely recalls was actively talking to him.
“-and, I think they’re going to give me the part! Isn’t that great?”
“So are you going to come watch it?” She looks at him expectantly.
“Sure, what time again?” He feigns comprehension over the situation.
“Seven at the church, on Saturday.”
The church...probably another piano performance.
“Of course, I shouldn’t have any work.”
“This time, the youth choir is going to be accompanying my piece. It’s going to be really cute, the church would love it! It was the pastor’s idea-...”
Castiel would love to hear more about the pastor’s ideas but his brain is currently occupied by the man across him and how he’s wrapping his lips around the mouth of dark bottle. How he’s tipping his head back to take a hearty swig, with his exposed throat shuddering with every deep gulp. Strangely Castiel feels his own body shudder in sync, and his mouth becomes dryer with each suggestive swallow. Castiel shifts in his seat again, the cheap leather squawking knowingly with each fidget.
And then the man winks, he actually winks at Castiel.
“-Should we get going?” Anna interrupts his trance.
“Huh?” He answers dumbly.
“I mean, it’s already 7 and we got to get back for service by 8.”
Right....Wednesday meant night services. He should leave, oh the check is already on the table, when did that happen?
“I uh...need to use the restroom, you can go ahead to the car. I’ll take care of the tab.”
He already knows Anna likes waiting in the car, she gets to blast her CDs as loud as she wants without Castiel’s grimacing. She calls it pouting but he'll ignore that.
He tosses her the keys and walks down the aisle when he’s caught by a surprisingly persistent woman.
“Hey! I hate to hold you up, but…” She flicks her eyes down shyly, her hand tentatively reaching out to touch Castiel’s forearm.
“My shift ends soon, would you like to do something afterward?” She punctuates her sentence with the fluttering of blonde lashes.
“Sorry, I’m heading to church right now with my sister, I’ll be busy for the night.”
“A family man who goes to church, act like an angel as much as you look like one." She winks, "Well, it’d be a shame for you to leave without my number.” She slips an old receipt into Castiel’s palm, a phone number jotted on it in red pen.
“Thanks.” He mumbles, giving her a half hearted grin, and eagerly shifting to plow past her.
Perhaps it's because he already knows he has no intention of doing anything with the number. That once he spots a trashcan in front of the door in the corner of his eyes that he tosses the paper out, without much thought. He doesn’t really realize what he did until he a couple minutes later when he catches a glance at the woman’s shocked face. This is why I stay at home, away from normal polite people. Because I'm a complete idiot in public. ....
He shuts the door behind him without a beat, he would crawl under a rock too if there was one available.
….Eventually he shuffled out of the restroom, noticing the waitress was no longer lingering in the front. Probably went back in the kitchen to avoid Castiel after his admittedly harsh rejection. On another note, the vivid red neon OPEN 24 HR sign was flashing.
Must be broken. He was somewhat transfixed by the flickering light as he continued stumbling toward the door.
Castiel peers towards his car.
Anna’s leaning against it, arms crossed.
“You took forever.”
“Sorry, got held up by the lady inside. She was quite....persistent.”
Anna huffs but seems calmed down, she taps her foot as Castiel unlocks the door.
Her eyes seem to warily wander back towards the restaurant even as they pull out of the driveway and onto the road.
Castiel is slightly concerned if not curious but chooses not to mention anything.
“Castiel....” Her voice just below a whisper, eyes facing elsewhere.
“Yes?” He responds while following her gaze.
“That car has been following us for miles…”
There is indeed a black car driving behind them at a steady distance. He hadn’t even noticed.
“.....Not many options in this area road-wise. He’s probably trying to get into town, there’s really only one central road and it’s the one we’re on.”
“That’s true…” But she doesn’t seem entirely convinced.
By the time they pull up to the cemetery, the car is long gone.
The cathedral was attached to the cemetery, they walk past the finely crafted tombstones of wealthy parishioners and into the service hall.
Castiel realized it was slightly morbid but he liked the cemetery, he was one of the few volunteers to upkeep the hallowed grounds. It was honestly one of his favorite places, he watered the flowers left by visiting families as well the gardens he planted around the graves.
He planted marigolds and aconites, warm and cool toned flowers complimenting each other. The rest was just wild daisies and dandelions waiting to be ripped out, he didn’t let a single weed grow if he could help it. It stole nutrients from the lawn. Which he took great care to keep plush and healthy. Despite being thought of as a background to flowers, the grass was his favorite part of his garden, something about the color green. It reminded him of life and growth, when he closed his eyes and thought of a happy place it was always a deep emerald field, with dots of golden flowers, but mostly fresh lawn and glossy leaves. Sometimes he think his favorite part of church is just sitting on the bench in the middle of the graveyard, bees buzzing contently from flower to planted flower.
Service ends up finishing uneventfully. But as all the parishioners all shuffle out, long skirts swaying around their ankles and old men clanking their canes, he spots darkness in the corner of his eye. The same black car, hood glistening like obsidian in the shine of the moon.
He balks but decides not mention it to Anna, it could just be a coincidence and he doesn’t want to worry her. He’s unsure if he’ll come to regret that decision.
The night air is uncomfortably cold, it sends goosebumps down his arms. He settles into the car, and turns the ignition. He pretends not to the notice the suspicious sound of an engine starting seconds after his. He glances back, the mystery car’s headlight shimmering behind them, something about it seems so shameless. It’s like the car itself is watching him, drilling holes in the back of his head with a piercing stare.
He ignores it though, and by the time they pull up to their house, there’s no sign of any other vehicle besides their own.
It isn’t until he’s settled in his home, elbows resting on the kitchen table, that he considers it again. The stranger comes to mind again, the car was probably his, considering it was the only other in the lot at that diner. He chews his bottom lip nervously, nervous, when did he start to get nervous?....
He was prone to anxiety sometimes, he’d never mention it to anyone, although Anna probably had an idea. When he thought about those hazel eyes watching him so carefully, so intensively studying like he was a bug in a jar, he felt a wave of unease settle all over him again. Migraine building up behind his eyes.
“You alright Castiel?” Anna wandered into the kitchen, casually glancing over at Castiel whilst grabbing an apple from the counter.
“Of course, why?”
“You seem a little off today.”
“Just a bit tired is all, might be a cold.”
“Alright then...take it easy. I know it’s hard for you...for both us..during this time of year.”
Castiel’s eyebrows knit with confusion, Anna frowns, “You know...the anniversary..”
Anna’s face softens, she squeezes him on the shoulder sympathetically as she wanders off back into the living room.
Right, the anniversary….
His head was throbbing, he pinched the bridge of his nose and breathed deeply. He thinks about pain killers but he’s already taken 6 today. So he just stumbles towards the fridge and scrabbles for a bottle of cold water and maybe a small snack. He finds assorted leftovers, a wilted salad, chicken congealed in some sort of creamy sauce, and day old beef, still raw.
Red liquid settling in a pool on the plastic wrapped plate it’s on, but it’s overflowing, dripping down the sides, painting the white polystyrene interior. He grabs the bottle and hastily closes the fridge door.
He ignores the red liquid seeping from the close door, leaking onto the floor in a glistening puddle. Instead walking across the kitchen for an apple sitting on the counter, suddenly feeling ravenous he takes a hearty bite. Juice drips down his chin as he crunches away greedily, it’s bitter and cold but he’s feeling insatiable. Something feels off though, the texture is not quite right and the bites seem harder each time. He draws away and finds his teeth lodged in the shiny crimson skin. He wipes away the wetness at his lip and squints at the vermillion painting his pale finger tips.
He coughs and roses petals fall into his palm, beautiful and vividly red.
They melt into a thick oozing liquid. He looks down at his clothes and his shirt is stained with the same substance, soaked from the neck down.
Even his shoes is speckled with a couple droplets, like he walked through a scarlet rain shower. By his foot, there’s a stray lock of gold hair, oh, he’s mistaken, it’s not astray it’s connected right to a blonde head. Right in front of him, a heap of auric scarlet, just like the vibrant marigolds in his garden. His mother, lying motionless on the kitchen floor.
He wakes up choking on his own frantic breaths, cold sweat trickling down his forehead. His chest wracking with every heavy exhale. He closes his eyes, focusing on the sound of his slowing heart beat, running numb finger through his mussed hair.
Blearily he gets up from the couch and ambles his way over to his actual kitchen.
He leans his body weight against the marble countertop and gulps down a cold water. He relishes the cool calming feeling, almost choking when he lets the excess water drip down his chin. He leans over the sink and splashes his face, moonlight glowing on his skin and reflecting on the shiny metal basin like a mirror. He blinks sleepily, realization dawns that it’s pitch black everywhere except for the long rectangle of light pouring from unclouded sky.
He’s not one to become unnerved from darkness, he’s not a child. Scoffing, he ignores the chills of trepidation settling within his joints, twisting his muscles into knots. He stares through his window, focusing on the stillness of the night.
Thanks for reading!
I’m feeling really excited about this fic. This is definitely going to be a multi-chap story. I’m going for some mysterious psycho-thriller vibes, I don't know if I pulled it off, if you're feeling kind tell me how I did, your feedback honestly helps me so much. <3
Dream meanings : Loose teeth; anxiety and/or grieving for loss
Flower Meanings :
Marigolds: Jealousy, Grief in Love
Grass: Submission, homosexual love
Bug me on tumblr! <3
Also: If anyone was interested in being a beta, I would be honored <333
Chapter 2: It's a Small World, After All
“You look like a drowned cat.” Balthazar informs him as soon as he arrives.
Castiel doesn’t even deign that a response, which only seems to amuse his co-worker even more.
“What happened to your umbrella?”
“I lent it to someone else.”
“Oh, who?” The unspoken, who? You don’t have any friends except me, was well-heard in the remark. Castiel didn’t even begrudge him for it, it was completely true.
Castiel gets wet for Dean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (as in rain) , Crowley is actually Malcom Crowe from the sixth sense (except less dead) and Cas is Cole Sears, Dean actually accepts help, Uriel and Zachariah are assholes, Balthazar's hung over, and oh right; someone pops up dead.
So finals kicked my ass but the semester's over now so we're back in business!!
This chapter we get a couple glances at Castiel's past. *** or ~~ basically means flash back time.
Also slanted text is often Castiel's inner monologue, there's no POV-switching, it's all Cas.
Thanks for reading, enjoy! ;-)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Last night was... restless.
His alarm gives a shrill indignant screech and he understands it’s sentiments empathetically, he too would love to be shrieking at this ungodly hour if his throat wasn’t so dry. And it’s only because of that that he shifts out of bed to brush his teeth and gulp down some water.
Eggs... bread.. butter... he pulls things out of the fridge robotically. In the back of his mind he hears Anna ambling around upstairs. In the front of his mind he’s switching on the burner for a pan of oil and setting the toaster timer.
Breakfast starts with a pop of oil that splatters onto his wrist and a short burst of stinging pain.
“Good morning, sleeping beauty.” His sister chimes as she saunters into the kitchen.
“Morning to you too.” He grumbles soothing cold water over the angry welt.
He grabs the pan by the cast iron handle and slides the eggs onto a couple slices of toast just on the right side of almost-burnt. And rolls his eyes when his sister shifts past him and grabs an orange instead of a plate.
“See you later, I’m heading out early.”
“Bye.” He mumbles absent mindedly, he’s never completely present in the early morning.
With his plate he plops down at the table.
His chair groans apprehensively under Castiel’s weight. All the furniture was far past the prime of their lives. But they were poor and sentimental. Castiel never brought up the idea of buying new fixtures for the house and his sister never asked.
Perhaps because she’s planning on leaving soon anyway; college in beautiful California.
He chews thoughtfully, pausing between mouthfuls to lick off charred crumbs from chapped lips. He wonders if someday he’ll move out as well. It wouldn’t be impossible. He could save up, rent a little apartment somewhere far away from this mid-west purgatory.
He can’t say he likes this little house, or this little town, and any of it’s little minded people.
And yet he stays. For a reason he’s never bothered to contemplate, digging too deeply into his psyche has left him with more scars than answers.
Part of him wonders if his mother would come back to haunt him if he left her crappy little house. She loved this house, it’s the last thing she left. But considering all his night terrors and headaches he might as well have his own poltergeist. Doors closing and cups knocking over is so tame compared to the real terror he lives with courtesy of his own imagination.
That psychiatrist he brushed paths with in the middle of the mayhem following his mother’s death, had called it trauma .
Which was obvious enough, perhaps if he was listening beyond the first few minutes of the evaluation he would have heard his specific symptoms and diagnosis. But he remembers not being able to hear the man over the screams, feminine cries of pain.
They were obnoxiously loud.
“Excuse me, but could you ask the next door patients to quiet down. I can’t hear anything over their shouting.”
“You hear shouting?” The doctor’s rough scottish accent felt abrasive to his ears.
“I’m not deaf, so yes.”
It was probably the trauma , that caused him to uncharacteristically be curt. Then again it wasn’t like he wasn’t rude when he wanted to be, sometimes bursting with a venomous temper that surprised even himself. His fist clenched and unclenched against the hard wooden arm rests.
The doctor eyed him dubiously before nodding and calling for a nurse.
“Yes, doctor?” A dark haired woman leaned against the door way, somehow managing to sound both flippant and professional.
“Meg, please.” Her smile deepening.
“Do you hear any shouting?” He inquires smoothly.
“Sorry Doctor, can’t say I do.”
He nods, and turns back to Castiel with a shrug.
“Just-...just check the room next door.”
The nurse tilts her head to peek over, before shrugging, “It’s empty Cole Sears.”
“My name’s Castiel...Novak.”
“Mhm.” She smiles almost amused while walking off.
The doctor returned a careful glance to him once more, his eyes far too scrutinizing for his casual expression. Castiel felt himself growing restless in the silent analyzation.
The doctor breaks the quiet with a cough, “...You’ve obviously been through a traumatizing experience.”
Castiel nods and remembers not to wince when the voices start to wretch and cough, even though he can taste the blood in their throat.
Psychological trauma, that’s all.
It’s all fake, some sort of triggered coping mechanism within his mind.
He throws away the little white card he receives, gold font Dr. Crowley imprinted on it, and he ignores the scottish doctor’s advice to come by next week. He wasn’t a huge fan of psychiatrists. He didn’t particularly like the idea of someone trying to dissect his mind, unravel him. He was afraid of what they’d find.
In the end he digs the card out of the little waste bin in his room and obediently punches the number into the phone.
It was his brother Rafael, that ended up pressuring him to go back.
“It’s not like you have much options.” It’s not like you have anyone else to turn to.
It was a rejection as much as it was a request.
“You need help.” He waved his hands dismissively in front of him.
“Maybe they can help you.”
He listened to the ringing, once, twice, thrice- “Hello?”
He recognizes the tone of the nurse, her pleasantly deep voice and slight unidentifiable accent. Sultry was probably the word he was looking for.
“Hello, I would like to set up an appointment.”
Rain started tapping it’s wet fingers against his window pane. He watched it boredly and swallowed down a scalding gulp of coffee. He sweeped off some dried lingering crumb from his scruff, considered the effort of shaving and decided against it.
He arrived at the police station with water dripping down the ends of his trench coat.
“Someday you’re going to get pneumonia.” Is the first remark his coworker makes, face buried in his hands.
“Can’t get anything past you.” He grins with one hand cradling his aching head and the other pointing an obnoxious finger gun.
“Castiel, nice of you to show up.” Uriel huffs while sauntering past.
Balthazar rolls his eyes which Castiel appreciates, enough to actually give him some of the painkillers he keeps in his desk later.
Uriel continues throwing in snide remarks every once in an a while, he nit picks at Castiel’s work from the stapling in packets to the spacing in his emails. It seems lost on him that Castiel is actually his superior, but Zachariah has never corrected him.
But the rest of the day passes uneventfully, which is good, just a lull of tedious paperwork.
He runs a restless hand through his hair, exhaustion pulling down his eyelids. Last night did not offer him quality sleep. Balthazar is giving him an odd look which he pointedly ignores.
At the end of the day he slips on his coat and grabs his umbrella in a hurry, pleased to leave without getting stuck in any small talk.
Small talk tended to be less about the weather and more about Uriel or Zachariah’s thinly veiled insults, “Heading out already Castiel? Not much plans tonight either ?”
Or Balthazar’s well intentioned but terribly misdirected attempts to get ‘Cassie to be a little more social .’
He’s unlocking his car door when he remembers his umbrella, or rather the fact that he’s holding one. When he doesn’t actually recall bringing an umbrella to work today, and yet one was sitting right in his locker.
‘Going insane and it’s barely 5 pm, good work.”
He’s must have forgot he brought it.
And then a pale hand rests on his car hood, rain drops drivel down the crease of his knuckles, the glaucous bulge of his veins.
“Hey.” The strange voice greets, it’s deep and smooth with the twang of some sort of charming accent.. southern?
He forces his stare to confront the figure addressing him, despite his own social anxiety’s misgivings to the whole situation.
“Hello.” He mumbles, trying very hard to not make it sound like a question.
Oh, it’s not a stranger at all. Or well, it is, but not a new stranger.
The sight before him is unmistakable, beautiful cheek bones and vibrant green eyes, definitely not the kind of face you forgot. The same person from yesterday.
Now standing closer, he could see a splatter of faded freckles across his nose and cheeks.
I’m staring aren’t I, I should say something.
“Did you need something?” He tries not to sound cold, but he also was never good at sounding warm. It was hard to seem open and friendly when in reality you were closed off and desperately hoping to get away.
“Well, I was just wondering if you could give me a ride.”
“I wanted to go to the grocery store, but I don’t have an umbrella.”
Castiel gives him a look up and down, he’s completely soaked from his dark blonde hair to his shoes.
“What were you doing out without an umbrella?”
“I was riding with my brother but he kicked me out of his car.”
“What, in the rain- Why?”
“Probably said some things I shouldn’t have.”
“Oh. Sorry.” Probably shouldn’t have brought it up, good job Castiel you were rude to a stranger in less than 5 minutes.
He hums an acknowledgment as if to keep the atmosphere casual.
“Why the grocery store then? Once I drop you off won’t you be stuck in the rain again?”
“I figure if I pick up some beer and ingredients my brother will have to take me back home if just to get the stuff into the fridge.” He grinned.
“Oh, that.. makes sense.” If not sort of weird. He’s never fought with Anna or any of his siblings like that so he’s not really sure of the rules around that sort of thing.
“Any more questions?” The stranger teases lightly. And it sort of hits Castiel that that’s all he’s been doing, he’s not used to small talk but he’s been informed that he’s inordinately bad at it.
“I didn’t mean to be...interrogating.”
“Don’t worry, if I let a stranger into my car, I would be curious of his intentions as well.”
Cas glances at him from the corner of his eyes, but the man’s stare is glued at the window watching the street drift by, expression completely neutral.
“Well... you got into a car with a stranger, what do you think are my intentions?”
“Who knows, maybe I just locked myself in with a crazy psychopath.”
“Maybe I just let in a murderous hitch hiker.”
He snorts at that, it’s not something that should sound charming but it does.
“Touche.” The blonde chuckles. Castiel can’t help the small grin that forms in return.
Rain pounds harder on the front view window, splattering in glob-like pools before being ripped apart by the wind-shield wiper.
It’s not long before the store comes into sight, neon lit sign blurry and smudged in his water-logged view. He feels slightly disappointed instead of relieved like he usually feels at the end of unwarranted interaction.
“I never asked your name.” He accidentally interrupts, mentally kicking himself. Why are you like this?? He questions himself.
“It’s Dean.” Dean says after a beat.
“Castiel.” He responds, now wondering if this was a stupid question. He’s not sure it’s good to give out your name to strangers, maybe it was obtrusive to ask, but it’s not like they’re strangers anymore so it should be fine, it would be more awkward not knowin-
“Thanks for the ride, really appreciate it.”
“It was no problem.”
“Sorry I got your car wet though.” He glances down at the slightly dampened seats.
“It’s not a huge deal, I don’t usually drive with anyone besides my sister occasionally.” God, that sounds really anti-social and pathetic-
“Well… see you around Cas.” Dean actually fucking winks, which reminds Cas that Dean did that last time too. And he forgot to actually ask him about that odd encounter, in fact neither of them mentioned it.
He watches Dean open the door and a new wash of rain flood over the tentative foot that sticks out.
“Are you sure- uh” Cas wants to ask if Dean’s sure he wants to leave, but what else would he do? Wait in Castiel’s car for the rain to stop?
Dean glances back to him, obviously waiting for him to finish his thought, like a normal polite person. Meanwhile Cas tries to shake off that overwhelming deer in headlights feeling.
He gulps, “Are- are you sure you have a ride later?” What kind of question is that? What, are you offering to be his chauffeur or something? What would you do? Pick him up in an hour, give him your phone number? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
But honestly, he was worried about that, he felt bad throwing someone out into this kind of weather without any transportation or cover. It really wasn’t any of his business but if Dean’s brother was callous enough to leave him in the cold rain alone, then Cas didn’t really have much faith in him to pick up Dean later.
“Here. Take my umbrella.”
“What? No.” He says in the most kindly scandalized way possible, he’s got that kind of stubborn look to him that says he doesn’t accept charity easily.
But Castiel has also been informed, that he can be terribly obstinate, “I have a car and I’m just heading home after this... In case you need to walk somewhere, take it.” He holds out the object expantly.
Dean looks at him intently, it’s a contemplative kind of stare that makes him want to squirm without being abjectly uncomfortable. Like he’s being studied and dissected with gentle hands and marvelous anesthetic.
After some awkward seconds, Dean reaches over to accept the umbrella.
“Thank you.” He nods, and there’s something endearingly sincere in his eyes when he says that.
Dean tips him off with a grin, “Well, see you around Cas.”
All he can do is nod sort of numbly, feeling slightly bewildered to the whole event.
Castiel spends the next several minutes re-running every detail of their conversation and feeling abysmally embarrassed at nearly everything he said and did.
He can actually hear his sister nagging him in the back of his mind that he should have gotten a number. But that would have been inappropriate right? Just because someone’s gorgeous doesn’t mean you can insert yourself into their personal life by throwing yourself at them, or vice versa try to invade their privacy by asking for their information.
Okay, maybe he errs on the side of over cautious about these things, but that’s good. He wasn’t looking to get involved with anyone anyway.
“If you don’t find someone, you’ll be lonely.” Gabriel had mentioned to him, on a rainy night.
Tapping his pencil against a ceramic mug, filled with something actually vile and probably lethally toxic. A dark concoction of what used to be coffee before being assaulted by copious amounts of sugar and crushed painkillers and caffeine pills. It could probably OD a heroine addict, Castiel felt ill just watching him drink it.
“You’ll never live old enough to get lonely.” He retorted and continued, “Besides, I can’t see myself getting married.”
“Not even dating?”
“I’m not interested in a girlfriend.”
“What about a boyfriend.”
He froze, his stomach dropping like a stone. His brain short circuits, frazzled and afraid. He struggled to come up with some sort of rebuttal, some sort of half hearted denial but before the thoughts could form on his mouth Gabriel continued in a soft voice.
“You know, mom will never tell you this but you can date boys, probably even marry one someday. Not right now, not in this state. But in the future, that might change.”
“Wrong? It isn’t Cas, at least I don’t think so.”
“If mom knew…” His eyes instinctively glance toward the doorway even though he knows that his mother is at work and will be there for the next couple hours.
Gabriel charges on, eyes still uncharastically serious. “...Look, mom doesn’t really get it, and that’s fine. I’m...I’m always here for you okay?”
“How did you know?”
“It wasn’t too hard Cas, you kind of have a big fat crush on that new guy on the football team.”
Castiel’s eyes widen and as if reading his terrified thoughts his brother quickly adds, “Hey, don’t go panicking, I don’t think anyone else notices.”
It would have been nice if Gabe was right, but he was severely mistaken. A couple black eyes and once, a broken bone, had been an indication of that.
It wasn’t long after Gabriel had graduated and moved off to some nice college in California that Castiel had been thoroughly outed. At first he denied it, but eventually he just got quiet, didn’t bother to say anything.
A violent kind of silence.
“How was your day Cas?”
“Fine. Not much happened.” He paused and considered for a moment, “Well, I had to give this person a ride to the grocery store.”
“It was a raining, they didn’t have an umbrella. Well they didn’t until, I...gave them mine.”
“Oh, well that was nice of you.” She hums pleasantly.
“Yeah.” He shuffles into a chair at the kitchen table, grabs a ritz from Anna’s plate of ritz and peanut butter. “It was the same man from the diner.”
“Really?” She’s making a face now, “Isn’t that sort of...weird?”
Castiel shrugs, “It’s a small town, it’s not too hard to run into people.”
“I guess you’re right.” Castiel’s phone starts buzzing on the table and he eyes it dubiously while slowly chewing his cracker. Eventually he concedes, “I should answer this call.”
“Yeah?” He nods into the receiver despite the fact that there’s no way to hear it, “I’ll be there.” He finishes and stuffs his phone away.
“Right now?” His sister glances at the clock.
“Yeah, I probably won’t be back until the middle of the night.”
“Don’t forget your key, I can’t promise I’ll wake up to open the door if you forget.”
Her tone is teasing but Castiel knows she sleeps like the dead so he tucks the key into his pocket first thing.
“Right.” He nods, slipping back on his still damp coat. “Good night.”
He stumbles to his car in the rainy night, the damp pitter patter sounds like a stampede of soft shadowy feet marching in dark looming mobs. Their parade is deafeningly quiet, almost soothing if it didn’t seem so ominous. It doesn’t help that the roads are all lines with dense forest on both sides, a strait of blackness.
It’s not until he’s halfway to his destination that he remembers he loaned out the umbrella he usually would have kept in the car. And he forgot ask to borrow Anna’s.
And if the world wasn’t full of enough coincidences, it slowly dawns on him that this is the same roadway he took to the restaurant the other day. The destination of the scene is disturbingly close, he didn’t get much details over the phone other than “body spotted on the side of the road”, so he supposes the rest will just be a surprise.
“You look like a drowned cat.” Balthazar informs him as soon as he arrives.
Castiel doesn’t even deign that a response, which only seems to amuse his co-worker even more.
“Hey, what happened to your umbrella?”
“I lent it to someone else.”
“Oh, who?” The unspoken, who? You don’t have any friends except me, was well-heard in the remark. Castiel didn’t even begrudge him for it, it was completely true.
“ Okay ... well at least you’re not alone.” He tilted his head to Uriel in distance. Hands shoved into his pockets in solidarity as the rain poured over him like he was a rusted statue.
“I may have borrowed his when I realized I forgot mine.” He grins cheekily, “The lockers are insanely easy to pick.”
Castiel can’t help the amused huff that escapes him, it was kind of awful but Uriel was kind of awful anyway.
“Laughing at a crime scene is sort of inappropriate isn’t it?” Zachariah hisses as he approaches, glare directed mostly to Castiel.
Balthazar seems to open his mouth to retort, but Zachariah doesn’t pause for an answer, “Now that you’re here, let me brief you.”
He walks off, hand dismissively waving Castiel along. Which Castiel follows obediently, his friend chasing at his heels. He glances at the forensics team scurrying about, trying to set up some sort of cover for the scene before the rain washes any more evidence.
And then he spots the body.
Blonde hair and youthful face still recognizable.
It really is a small world.
“I know her.” Castiel mumbles slightly out of breath.
“You do?” He hears, but he’s not even sure who asks the question.
He answers nonetheless, “She- she was a waitress at this restaurant near by, she served us, me and Anna.”
“Around what time?”
“Maybe- about 3PM to about 4-4:30PM?...yesterday, or rather, Tuesday.”
“Alright.” Zachariah is scribbling something down in his little notebook, And he wonders why the paper isn’t getting soaked. Castiel belatedly realizes the forensics team finally got the little awning set up over the corpse and that they are all standing under it.
“Any other relationship to the victim?”
“No, that was the first time I met her.”
“And the last apparently.”
He frowns but he’s not sure who said that either, he’s feeling more than a little disoriented at the moment. All his muddled mind can do is keep up with the array of questions he tries to comprehend. At the end of the impromptu interview, his superior is sighing dramatically.
“Well, we’ll see what the forensic report says.”
“Right,” Castiel nods, face feeling a little numb between the cold and the shock, he knows he must be looking pale.
Balthazar is now giving him that patented concerned look with those big earnest eyes. They’re a deep shade of blue and it just doesn’t seem like the right color, it’s interesting it’s not the first time he’s thought that.
The rain proves to the ultimate accomplice to the murderer in this case. According to the file it’s likely the woman was not murdered where they found her. In fact she was likely killed elsewhere before being moved into the forest, and even then, it was the flooding water that washed her down a sloping hill and by the road where she was spotted by some poor driver.
Castiel scans the rest of the official report, eyes marginally widening as he reads that the restaurant had a fire; origin was the kitchen. The grill and fryer were left on for several hours, a grease fire started and there was no one in the vicinity to stop it until the next waitress started her shift and called the fire department.
Likely, the victim had left them on before she was suddenly-....
Estimated time of death: Tuesday, 4:30PM- 5:30PM.
Zachariah is leaning back in his chair, beady eyes watching him attentively, “Did you see any suspicious characters?”
“Well….” He swallows.
Hey guys! Thanks for the comments and kudos, please keep it up, it literally means everything to me! <333 :)
I'm really pumped, chapter 3 is already over half way done so we might actually be getting this fic on a decent schedule :^)
As always your feedback is what really motivates me to continue! Thanks for reading <33
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Chapter 3: Supplanter
Sorry about this taking so long, I've been going through a lot lately. Life has been super busy. Thank you for your interest in this fic, it means a lot to me even if I'm slow to updates sometimes! Honestly your comments make my day
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“If you find them, bring them in for questioning.”
Was the last order Zachariah left him with after Castiel recounted his memorable dinner at the now burnt down diner. Almost immediately after that, Castiel's superior left, followed by the sleepy parade that was the rest of his co-workers. Balthazar had the decency to look somewhat sheepish before eventually abondoning Castiel with the in proportionate pile of paper work his superior decided to assign him tonight.
It had taken hours, the interior was darkly quiet as he locked up the doors to the desolate station. He shrugged on his coat and stared into grey skyline, scraggly dark clouds and shredded bits of indigo sky peeking through. Meanwhile buckets and buckets of rain sunk into the endless pool of inky black concrete, he glanced toward his still dry loafers apolegtically and proceeded wading through the parking lot.
Twisting his keys into the rusty ignition, he sighed, tapping his idle fingers against his leg. A soft rumble of thunder was nearly drowned away by the loud pitter patter of the downpour.
The quiet steps of a stranger nearby were completely covered by the noisy night. The cold was numbed his skin. He barely felt the tap on his shoulder, but he definitely felt the breath against the back of his neck.
“Castiel.” It said, provoking a shiver he could feel in his spine.
He twists around at a breakneck speed, his keys clanging into the ground, “Wh-what?”
And it’s him. Laughing into his curled hand, green eyes shining mischievously, “Sorry. You didn’t hear me calling you when I was walking up so I decided to surprise you.”
He sounds exactly the opposite of sorry but he does dip down to pick up Castiel’s keys, which assuages him a little bit.
“What are you doing here?” He huffs.
“Well, I figured I’d head down here before you all come lookin’ for me. Being a witness and all that.”
“...How do you know about that?”
“The night news, something about a big fire and crazy murderer or something?”
“They’re not supposed to report on the killing yet…” He pinched the bridge of his nose, for once he would appreciate the press refraining from giving the potential suspects a head start on the investigations. He had already had a reasonably confident idea who the reporter responsible must have been, this little old man with curly grey hair, always lurking scenes like a vulture, often times before even the police could arrive, Metaton? Megaman? Something like that.
“Are you alone?” He asks, pulling Castiel out of his thoughts. Dean’s shifting his weight from one foot to another, his free hand stuffed into the pockets of worn denim jeans, watching Castiel curiously. It’s not quite menacing; the look in his eyes, and yet it doesn’t make Castiel feel completely comfortable either.
“Yes.” He answers, because he’s an officer, who’s trained and armed and doesn’t have to lie to a civilian. He straightens his stance, and levels his stare.
“Are you going to interview me?”
It’s a simple question, and yet it rings like a dare. Castiel, steps back a bit, because Dean has gotten a lot closer and that….makes it harder for him to think. The shift in position makes the rain pelt down his back-- he didn’t notice that Dean had actually been holding the umbrella over both of them, that was...considerate.
“Yes.” He replies, his brain working on autopilot now, that seems like the appropriate officer response, that was the order, of course. First rule of the investigative process, interview as soon as possible; memory wears over time. His thoughts moved so much slower when he could see the fog of Dean’s breath drawing close to his, could see the slight flush of pink on his cheeks from the cold.
“Out here?” Dean is grinning now, apparently far more amused with being part of a murder investigation than Castiel is.
“Ye-- No...” He fumbles for a moment, right, rainy parking lot, definitely not part of protocol.
“That place looks closed.” Dean motions toward the darkened building, and he’s right, the rest of the officers had long headed home. The station usually closed around 6, they ended up extending due to the investigation but that only meant that everyone was even more eager to leave as soon as they could. Even balthazar, who seemed apologetic about the load of paperwork dumped on Castiel from their superior, didn’t lag out the door.
Dean’s got a thoughtful look on his face now, “Say...can’t interviews take place at the witness’s house?”
“Well, yes... it’s not uncommon, often times the police has to come to the witness. It’s important to keep the person in a comfortable environment with minimal distraction during the process.” He responded suspiciously.
“I’m going to feel a lot more comfortable indoors, preferably with food. Sorry, I am starving. What do you say officer? Let’s get out of the creepy parking lot and you can ask me your questions over dinner.”
Castiel opens his mouth object but his arguments seem suddenly seem so flimsy, “...Where?” He hears himself sighing instead.
“Your pick, you’re the local around these parts right?” He says billowy; like being interviewed about a murder was just another one of his past times.
Castiel can’t seem to make himself do anything but stand still and watch while Dean circles his car to the passenger side, “I...yeah.” He belatedly responds.
“Well, take me to your favorite place.” Dean smiles over the roof of the car, the rain that washes in between makes it hard to see though.
He nods and turns his, now dampened, keys into the door again. He’s dazed, he can’t help but feel like at some point he’s been tricked. He’s got the same stranger slipping into his car again. A stranger who has his fingers reaching for the radio naturally.
“S’alright if put on a station?” Dean asks after turning it to a rock station.
He hates rock music, he hates music in general. “Yeah, no problem.” he answered.
Dean’s smirking like he can hear the lie in his voice, like he knows. Even though that’s impossible, this man shouldn’t know anything about him.
“Sorry, there’s really not a lot of options this late at night.” Or just in general, almost all the restaurants seem to serve the same thing. There’s one sad excuse for a Mexican restaurant that is obviously run by someone who is not Mexican and most likely has never seen a Mexican or what they eat. “But there is one diner that should be open, if that’s alright.”
“As long as they have pie. I could really use a slice of pie.” Dean hums, leaning his head back on the seat and tilting to watch the window again.
Castiel finds his lips curling up despite himself, “I think they do, so you should be good.”
They pull up the Road House, the food is good but he doesn’t come often because of the crowds and the noise. Right now though, it’s reasonably empty. Which he appreciates, at least he won’t have to shout through the entire interrogation.
He climbs out, squinting slightly in the glare of the neon restaurant sign, “You like burgers?”
“Is that a serious question?” Dean shoots back, a mock-offended expression on his face.
“Alright. Alright.” He pushes down the grin threatening to pop back up again, this is about work he reminds himself.
Dean was hungry, because he tears into his food like someone’s waiting to take it from him. Castiel leaves his plate mostly untouched, more concerned over the interrogation process than his stomach. It starts off simply enough, routine questions, time, location, vouchers, ect. He picks up that Dean was with his brother in their trailer at the time. Just as he’s about to wrap up the whole process, Dean cuts in with personal question out of left field.
“So, do you like being a cop?” He asks absently, squeezing some ketchup on the side of his plate.
Castiel stops for a moment, looking slightly like a deer in headlights.
“There are...certain aspects of it that are very rewarding. And certain aspects that are more...difficult.” He answers carefully looking at the uneaten tomato slice on his plate instead of Dean’s eyes.
Any sort of disinterest on Dean’s face is erased, his full attention is rapt on Castiel. It makes him want to squirm in his seat, instead his fingers thrum uselessly, nervously at the shiny table.
“What are the difficult aspects?”
Castiel shifts slightly, there’s nothing he has to hide from a civilian, “My boss can be quite…” Unfair, he thinks to himself, “--strict.”
“You don’t look like the kind of guy that would have a problem with strict. You seem pretty straight and narrow yourself.” He tips his glass and motions to Castiel’s whole general attire as if that explained his point, “No offense, but I can’t imagine you being the troublemaker of the office.”
“I try to be… responsible.”
“Sounds like he’s just an asshole then.”
Castiel chokes on the glass he was drinking from, he always had a habit of drinking water when he was nervous.
“That is some...choice words.” He coughs into his fist, “I will admit... he proves difficult to work with at times. And he can come off as unprofessional.”
“So he’s tyrannical and rude.” He puts it out as a statement rather than a question for Castiel.
“That sums it up rather nicely.” Castiel doesn’t resist the subtle chuckle that presses past his lips this time. He sees Dean’s eyes light up a bit, like it was a victory to watch Castiel let go. Castiel doesn’t know how he feels about that, just that it makes his stomach flip.
Dean snorts and takes a long sip of ale, “What about the rest of your team? Any butt-kissers for your ass hat boss? You can tell me, I won’t snitch on you.”
“The rest are...fine. There’s really only Uriel, he’s well loved among the team and very close to our superiors, but we don’t get along very well.” He paused, folding his hands over his knees, “I don’t hold it against him, I’ve been told I’m… hard to be around.”
“Why?” Dean slouched into the cushioned booth, and picked at a cooling pile of fries, “You don’t seem so bad.”
“I’m not exactly friendly. Apparently I can come off as cold.” Emotionless, inhuman, borderline sociopathic.
“You just need a little warming up to s’all, bit shy maybe.”
“I’ve never been described as shy.”
“Really? Coulda fooled me.” Dean smirked, reaching over to steal one of Castiel’s fries.
“My co-worker said I need to smile more, that I’ll scare everyone away.” He admitted, watching Dean munch the stolen fry and shamelessly reach for another. He pushed the plate closer to carb theiving blonde.
“I have a hard time believing that.” Dean leveled him a pointed stare, “With an angel-face like that, I doubt you’re scaring anyone off. Probably just the opposite.”
“I think you’re the exception.” Castiel swallowed some more water, steadfastly ignoring the heat in his face.
“Maybe. It takes a lot to spook me.” Dean replied with a sharp grin, “So...Now that we know the shitty parts of being a cop, what’s the “rewarding aspects”.” He scrunches his fingers for emphasize.
“Are you mocking my tone?”
“Maybe I am.” He breathed, leaning closer, eyelashes catching on the soft glare of the hanging light. “Let’s just say I’m a bit skeptical of the law system in general. And especially for these little cookie cutter towns. I can’t imagine what would make hunting down traffic speeders and wanna-be thugs a very exciting career.”
“It’s a little more than tickets and rebellious teenagers believe it or not.” He answered dryly to Dean’s utter amusement.
“You got my attention.”
“There’s a surprising and unfortunate amount of violent crime in this area. Unlike more suburbanized areas or cities, we lack resources. There’s very few streetlights, most of the roads are unpaved, every house seems to own at least one unregistered gun and there’s a wide inproportion of men to women. The forests are dense and dangerously seclusive, nearby lakes and rivers create ideal dumping grounds. The nature trails are so inactive, they feel more like hunting grounds for those brave enough to step on them. Hikers go missing periodically but we never find evidence of foul play, we never find evidence of anything.”
“It’s the perfect place for some psychopath to cover up his tracks. Basically, what happens here, stays here.”
“Sounds like a shitty place to be a cop. If you don't mind me asking, why did you become an officer?” Dean asks, looking genuinely curious.
“My brothers...also were in this field. You could say I followed their lead.” Castiel wouldn’t exactly call it an inspiring answer.
But somehow that more than satisfies Dean. “Family business, that I can understand.” He grinned, green eyes shining under the golden flare of the low lit lamp.
“Did you have one with your brother?”
“My brother and my dad. Well until the latter croaked. Occupational hazard.”
“What did you guys do?”
“Same as you. Find and beat up the bad guys.” Dean glowed, the crease beside of his eyes crinkled like the folds of a curtain drawn back to let in sunlight.
“Law enforcement I take then.”
“Basically.” He chuckled slightly, there was something mysterious to his expression though. His eyes drifted to the side, lost in thought, “I can’t exactly say those were the good days, but I do miss him. After my dad passed my brother went off to his own thing in law school.”
“Were you lonely?” Castiel hears himself asking before he can filter it.
Dean looks taken aback by the question, those green eyes blinking wide and affront. If it makes him feel any better Castiel is equally stunned by his sudden forthright.
“Sorry, that was-”
“Yeah. Yes I was.” Dean tells him, voice surprisingly hoarse. “I guess, I figured family would always be there for me, and suddenly...it just wasn’t.”
Castiel knows this conversation is far too personal for two strangers to be having and yet he doesn’t want to step back.
He wants to know, know more about Dean, whoever this man is that’s so magnetic Castiel can’t help but feel pulled to him whenever he speaks. He’s caught up in the image of this beautiful and alluring man somehow all alone in the world.
“Family is important to you.”
“My mom died when I was young.” He says it like the words themselves sting him, but continues on anyway, “Didn’t have much other relatives. It was just my dad and my little brother. Dad was always busy trying to take care of us, he didn’t have much time to take care of us, you see? He tried his best, but he couldn’t raise us like a normal family. Not that normal means anything.”
He huffed, ”We weren’t normal, but we had each other’s backs.” There’s a bite to his words though, a bitterness. Indignation.
“It…. wasn’t enough for your brother.” Castiel ventures.
“You really are a detective,” He huffs, shaking his head to himself with a self depreciating laugh, “No, it wasn’t. He wanted….normal. And I couldn’t give him that.”
“Do you ever want that?”
Dean pauses, and when he speaks his voice is slow, softer, “I don’t know. I try not to think about what I want.”
Now that just dumbfounds him, “Why wouldn’t you?”
“Because I can’t have what I want.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“If I had it, I would just break it.”
“That’s ridiculous.” Castiel scoffs, suddenly feeling indignant on the behalf of this man and his low, low self esteem.
“That’s how it works. I care about something, and then….” He shrugs, the worn leather on his shoulders bunching with the motion, “-things happen and it all goes to shit.”
“Sometimes good things happen you know.”
“I don’t know.” Dean hums noncommittally, taking a quick swig of his drink, “Do you psychoanalyze all of your witnesses?”
“Not like this. Just you...you’re interesting.”
“Oh. Okay then.” Dean replied a little bit quicker than usual. If Castiel didn’t know any better he’d say he saw a slight flush on the top of his cheeks. “What about you? What do you want?”
“I’m not sure.”
“I’m not saying I know what I want. I’m just saying that if there is something, I want to hold onto it, I wouldn’t give it up or let it go.”
“I hope you find what you’re looking for then.”
“I hope you do too.” He said honestly.
Dean smiled at him, almost shyly. He felt his breath hitch but ignored it. Everything this man did only seemed to make him exponentially more attractive to him, it was mind numbing.
“How about you Castiel. Are you lonely?”
“I have my sister. And I have a co-worker. They keep me company time to time, but otherwise I do feel somewhat lacking in a social aspect.”
“You seem nice enough Cas, why isn’t anyone else hitting you up?”
“I am admittedly, not the most popular member of the community. Due to events that occurred in the past.”
“What happened?” Dean pressed, his hazel eyes pouring into him intently.
“I’d rather not discuss my past. Yours is much more relevant to the interview.”
“Right. The interview.”
Dean hummed, leaning back into the cushioned booth and folding his arms. “Looks like this place is closing up shop.” He motioned toward the lone waitress, scrubbing at the front counter of the otherwise deserted restaurant.
“I see, I lost track of time.” Castiel lamented, shaking his head.
“Remember earlier I mentioned home interviews for witnesses?”
“Yes.” Castiel nodded suspiciously while Dean pressed money on the table for pay and tip, waving away Castiel’s hand as reached for his own wallet.
“Why don’t we finish this off at my place? We can start right where we left off.” Dean assured him, reaching for Castiel’s wrist. He lets him take it.
“I’m not sure-” Castiel mumbles, but lets himself be dragged along by Dean into the cold, wet weather outside the diner.
“C’mon, we’re almost done. I’ll make coffee.”
He grins, it’s small and almost hopeful.
“A-alright.” Castiel answers, because he’s really not sure how to refuse this man at all. He’s not even sure he’d want to.
Dean nods, apparently pleased, and swings into his car. Castiel follows.
Outside the rain pours and wind howls, the chill still clings to his hands from just a few moments of exposure. But inside the car, it’s warm and somehow very intimate. Which is ridiculous considering physically they’re not any closer than they were the past hour. But he can feel Dean’s presence right now like he’s pressed against it, like it’s consuming him. There’s no conversation except for the mutter of directions through the rain-slick, dark streets.
“Turn left….and there...I live in there.”
He ends up driving into a trailer park. The tires slide against the mucked up mud covered road until he arrives in front of a shabby little trailer.
Sorry if the ending seems a little abrupt, it's because this was written as one giant chapter but I decided to cut it for chapter 4. Thanks again for reading, you kudos and comments mean so much to me in terms of motivating me to write. Have a good day guys, you deserve it :)
Chapter 4: Doubt
Eyyyy looks who's back from the dead lol *finger guns*
ANyway guys, sorry for the million year haitus. I can't promise anything because I'm a hot mess but at least we're somewhat back in action ;)
Thank you everyone who's actually been sticking with this fic! I love you, you're the real MVP.
Btw I actually have a playlist for this fic if anyone wants it, I might link it next chap ;-) So stay tuned! <333
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Well, here it is.” Dean swung open a creaky screen door and the next equally squeaky wooden one. The inside is dark but Dean doesn’t make any motion to turn on a switch.
“Home Sweet Home.” Dean whistles to himself, walking ahead and waving for Castiel to follow. He does, hesitantly into the shadows, feeling soft carpeting under his shoes.
“Thank you for letting me come.”
“No worries.” Dean shrugged, as far as Castiel could tell from the dark outline of his figure. He sees him wander deeply into the room and crouch over something.
And then the room floods with light.
“Hey, take a seat. Mi Casa es su casa.”
Castiel stands dumbly for a moment, inspecting his sudden surroundings. Beside the antique lamp Dean just turned on there’s a mauled sofa and a scratched coffee table lined with newspapers and books. Dean never struck him as the academic type but his choice in literature says otherwise, the covers are almost all hard and worn. From the titles, the majority are non-fiction, Psychology, Physical Biology, Administrative Justice. He only recognizes the them from glimpses he caught of Lucifer’s books when he still at home, studying for the bar exam.
“Are you a lawyer?”
“What? Of course not.” Dean snorted.
“Oh. Sorry, these books… are usually used by people in the field of law.” Castiel awkwardly motioned toward texts.
“Those are my brother’s. Remember, law school? He still leaves all his shit lying around my place though.”
“Are all of these his?” Castiel, shuffles through the pile.
“Nah, some of them are mine. Some we share.” Dean plopped onto the threadbare sofa. “Why?”
“Nothing, they just seem very academic.”
“Well, I’m afraid I’m more than just a pretty face.” Dean smirked, looking up at him with an exaggerated flutter of his lashes. Castiel rolled his eyes, Dean looking all the more pleased for it.
“Cat’s Cradle? I’ve read that one...it’s interesting.” Castiel, thumbed over the gold embroidered font on the fabric cover.
“It is. I’ll admit that.” He huffed, “I enjoy Vonnegut, but Cat’s Cradle never sat right with me.”
“What part disturbed you?”
“The ending. The part where he lies down on the mountain.”
“What bothered you about it?”
“I dunno, I’d hate to give up like that. Even if I’m going to die, I’m not going to do it on my back.”
Castiel felt his lips twitch up a bit.
“What did you think about God Bless You, Mr.Rosewater?”
“That I should never listen to politics unless I want to go fucking insane.”
“You may be a wise man.” Castiel replied, fully chuckling now. “But you don’t seem to practice what you preach.” He sat down beside the blonde, and thumbed through the sprawled mess of newspapers. It was obvious that both Dean and Sam were extremely informed on current affairs given their almost obsessive collections of News Media.
“Hmm? Those are mostly local newspapers.” Dean hummed.
And they were he noticed, several small press newspapers, county by county spread over their coffee table, most of them folded to pages with sections on stories of petty crime.
“Why so many?” He asked absently, picking up a few from a district over on a city westward of theirs.
“Wouldya believe I like to collect them for their little comics on the back?”
“Maybe.” He answered flatly.
Dean laughed, “My brother is a criminal defense lawyer. These are practically stock charts to him. Fresh off the market.”
“Mmm, I hope I don’t run into you or your brother at a crime scene and have to arrest you both for Barratry.”
“We’re not that extreme...yet.” Dean finished with a wink.
He sighed and leaned back into the lumpy cushions.
“I wouldn’t mind running into you again anyway officer.” Dean said, turning to him with lazy smirk.
“If you ever wanted to see me you could visit instead of committing a crime.”
“That doesn’t sound nearly as fun.”
Castiel turned, surprised slightly by how close they had become during the conversation. He had barely noticed the heat radiating from Dean’s body where their knees were pressed together, where their shoulders were just almost touching.
Something about Dean seemed softer. His blonde hair, slightly mussed from droplets of rain, glowing in the warm light of his dusty lamp, his leather jacket off and just the worn fabric of his cotton t-shirt, his cheeks flushed from the sudden warmth of the indoors. He looked younger, almost more innocent.
“Did you always want to be an officer Cas?”
“No….I don’t think so. It was around when my mother died that I decided.”
“That sounds different then following your brother’s leads…..Sorry for your loss.”
“She was murdered.” He finds himself saying, although he’s not sure why, he was never the type to overshare. “I was in high school. I signed up for the ROTC.”
Dean shifted, leaning into Castiel’s space and began to speak softly, intimately.
“Mine died when I was really young, about 4. Even so, it seems like the whole world changed. Everything in my life became different because of what happened to her.”
“I...understand. I still...have dreams sometimes. Nightmares. During the day too, I can get….panic attacks, I suppose you’d call it.” His knuckles paled against his knee where they were scrunching the crisp fabric of his slacks. He hadn’t even noticed when his fist had started tightening. Dean, laid a warm palm over his cold backhand, curling his fingers around his hand protectively.
Castiel looks at him, really looks at him. Studying the reflection of yellowed light in the curve of hazel eyes…
It’s frustrating, it seems like every time he looks at him there’s a flicker, just a tiny, fleeting flash of something exceptional, something important. And yet it fades as quickly as it comes, just on the tip of his tongue but dying there, shorting out, like a cut fuse. Lost like it’s hidden between the tangled vines of chartreuse and gold intravascular tissue.
“Do I know you from somewhere?” Castiel blurted out.
Dean watched Castiel from under his eyelashes, his lips slightly parted and yet revealing nothing.
“Sorry-..you just-.....seem familiar.”
“No, I don’t think so.” He smiled tightly, “I think I would remember someone like you.”
“Someone strange?” Castiel offered.
“No, that’s not what I meant at all.” He said lightly, smile significantly softer. “Besides, I don’t mind strange. At least your kind of strange. It’s sort of endearing.”
He straightened Castiel’s tie for no particular reason, looking fond. His nose dipped down just a few inches away, he could see the crinkle in at the corner of his eyes when his lips upturned. It occurred to Castiel that he suddenly felt the insane urge to touch him, his shoulders, his arms, his cheeks, his lips, anything.
“I’ve met a lot stranger folk than you, and not all of them are good. You seem alright though.” He patted Castiel on the shoulder, letting his fingers linger a bit longer than necessary.
“I’m glad I passed the test.” Castiel smiled back, small and awkward from long term disuse.
“You should be. I sort of have a problem with authority.” He chuckled.
“I was never exactly the boyscout growing up. Rough childhood, low-income, the usual baggage that gets you into problems with the law.”
He said nothing, because there wasn’t anything to really comment, he just nodded.
“I’ve never had to deal with any of that. I guess I was lucky in that regard.”
“Everyone has things to deal with. It just bites ‘em in different ways. Mine was time.”
“Mine might have been….solitude.”
“But don’t you have family?”
“Oh yeah, lots. But only my sister is here.”
“Where’s the rest.”
He shrugged. “Somewhere away from here.”
“Sounds like you’re a little lonely officer.” Dean hummed sympathetically, a warm palm pressed against his clothed knee.
“I never thought about it.” He said, breath feeling short and warm.
“I think you do, maybe you just don’t want to.” Dean said far too close, closer than he was expecting him. When did their bodies become pressed up against each other like this, why was it so natural he barely noticed.
“Isn’t that…..a bit presumptuous?”
“You’re right, sorry.” Dean conceded, drawing his hand away from Castiel’s knee, before Castiel suddenly reached out and grabbed him, by the wrist. He looked down at his own hands like he had never seen them before.
Dean, turned his palm until he was able to lace their fingers together. Castiel watching the whole thing struck dumb.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re flirting with me officer.”
Reality came back to him and shame flushed through Castiel, he dropped his hand like it burned him. He moved to get up. “I- I’m sorry, this was...unprofessional. I will leave immedi-”
Dean grabbed him by the coat and pulled. He let himself be pulled, closer-- until full lips pressed against his, warm and sweet.
“What’s the rush?” He grinned, lips brushing against Castiel’s.
“I shouldn’t…” Castiel mumbled, unable to pull his gaze away from those plush lips, waiting to be explored, adored, abused between teeth and tongue, until they were red and swollen. His body felt hot just from the thought. “I should go.”
But then Dean’s warm mouth was on his, kissing him soft and gentle like a whisper, a plead.
And whatever last semblance of restraint he tried to carry all but fell away like a drop of water in the middle of rain.
;) let's just say some fun times up for next chapter <3
Thank you all for reading!! As always I truly appreciate your kudos and comments, feedback is really what drove me to actually post another chapter!! <333 Hope you're having an amazing day ! :)
(Also sorry if the formatting sucks, AO3 hates google docs)
Chapter 5: Bloom
He feels like he should admit, “I-It’s been a while.”
“Then just let me take care of ya.”
And that’s all Castiel has time to worry about before Dean is rolling hips against him, eliminating any coherent thought.
(This chapter is literally just sex)
Update!! yayyy, and it hasn't even been 6 months lol
The next one shouldn't be too far off either! :)
Well guys, I'm still trying to figure out how to write the sexy-times so hopefully it turned out okay. As always, thanks for reading !
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Dean pressed against him, his arms are tentatively curling around his neck. It’s hesitant and almost coy, as opposed to the cockiness in Dean’s voice just moments earlier. Now he looks vulnerable, eyes blown dark with want and lips open for the taking. He can’t help it, can’t help the way he leans in and takes it.
The kissing, it started sweet-- slow and soft. It had been years since he felt another pair of lips on his own. And he never missed it, never wanted it, until now.
After the initial pleasant shock subsided he felt a hunger building up in his gut. It wasn’t a flicker of heat or a glow of warmth, it was a flame ignited and rising into a giant flume of smoke and feverish burn.
He practically lunged into the kiss, shoving Dean backwards so quick he would’ve fallen if not for the fact that Castiel was holding him so tight against him, it was impossible for him to go anywhere. They both slowly sink into the cushions beside them.
Dean made a noise of surprise that was completely swallowed in messy, lusty kisses. It was rough and sloppy, inexperience and eagerness setting the tone. Dean being more a helpless victim than active participant to his sudden surge of passion.
Part of him urged himself to slow, to stop. And yet he couldn’t bring himself to stop, couldn’t hold back or hesitate, every single touch, taste felt like barely enough, he needed more and more. Wanted to taste every soft groan, every delicious gasp and moan. He never knew greed could be an emotion and yet he was completely filled with it, felt it drench every fiber of his being.
Dean plucked away for a gasp of breath, and it was only the sight of his face that made Castiel pause.
He looked utterly debauched, every freckle standing out against the flush of his cheeks, his blonde hair tousled, his lips swollen and red. Castiel couldn’t imagine he looked any more refined. He didn’t feel refined, he felt hot and desperate. Just from kissing.
“Wow.” Dean said under his breath, Castiel’s not even sure he heard himself.
“Yeah.” He mumbled back, caressing his cheek, starkingly gentle and chaste compared to his earlier passion.
Dean is looking at him, eyes wide and glassy, his teeth worrying into his lips again, he’s waiting for the next move. Castiel has him pressed underneath him with every inch of his body possible.
And it shouldn’t turn him on as much as it does, the change in position. But he loves it, he loves the thought of caging him in, pinning him right where he wants him. Being able to crowd against him, keep him right he wants, kiss the life out of him where he can’t pull away, can only beg for mercy, can only take what’s given.
Dean likes it too if his shudder and breathy groan is anything to go by, he looks up at Cas with hooded eyes beckoning for more, it’s a dare. Castiel almost growls, something deep and primal roiling in his gut. He ruts against his hips, pressed against his hardened groin already. They both groan and grip at each other.
Castiel can feel hands running up his spine, another at the small of his back and edging toward his waist. Castiel closes his eyes, savoring the sensation. It’s been so long since he’s been intimate, in any capacity, and he may be, a little, completely, pathetically touch starved.
Castiel toys with the hem of Dean’s shirt and pauses to ask, “Can I?”
“Only if you do too.” Dean replies, with a smirk.
Castiel can admit, he’s a bit overwhelmed the second Dean bares his skin. His breath still caught in his throat the first few seconds of dark cotton sliding up toned torso.
He’s gorgeous. With broad shoulders and splays of freckles scattered over sun kissed skin, warm and smooth to the touch. Every inch is firm and taut with musculature, except for a stubborn bit of softness at the base of his waist, Castiel adores it, he’s already imagining squeezing and clutching at it greedily it while he fucks him.
There’s so much to touch, so much to memorize and worship. He starts with his hands, running up and down his toned sides, thumb brushing against a pink bud. He feels a shudder underneath his palms, Dean looking at him beseechingly. He repeats the motion, letting his thumb rub against the bud more in harsh rolling motions. His cock throbs at the thought of suckling on those tits, plucking at them with his teeth as Dean shook and groaned at the stimulation.
A huff of frustration brings him out of his daze, Dean is wrestling with Castiel’s buttons, his own impatience hindering him. Castiel chuckles and helps, peeling it off with practiced ease.
He knows he’s fit, it’s part of the job of being an officer. He runs regularly, eats well for the most part. But he’s never thought of his body as anything beautiful or special.
The way Dean is looking at him makes him question that though. His eyes are simultaneously reverent and greedy, through his eyelashes, he tells him, “Bed. Now.”
Castiel can only nod, probably a little too eagerly.
He follow Dean dazedly into the little room where a small white sheeted bed is in the center of clutter and mauled furniture. He doesn’t notice anything though, besides the almost imperceptible sway of hips as they walk, his eyes completely stuck on pale skin and the freckles splattered on it. There could have been a dead body on the floor and he would have stepped over without a second glance if it was to get closer to Dean, Dean lying on his bed, waiting to be touched, waiting to be fucked. His cock throbbed, it weeped, it swelled with probably all the blood in his body.
Except Dean didn’t lie down on his bed, he stood beside it expectantly. And when Castiel wandered closer, he was pushed on the sheets with a bounce. Dean smirked, crawling over him, and pressing a sweet kiss against his nose, then his cheeks, then his lips and more against his lips, over and over.
Sometime between kisses the soft wet sound of tongues and lips lapping against each other is replaced with the rustle of jean fabric being pulled off. Both of them undress to nothing, skin finally pressed to blessedly naked skin.
Castiel shifted up the bed until there was pillows behind his head and a warm body straddling his hips. His hands are drawn to Dean hips, like magnets.
He feels like he should admit, “I-It’s been a while.”
“Then just let me take care of ya.”
And that’s all Castiel has time to worry about before Dean is rolling hips against him, eliminating any coherent thought.
“The drawer on your right, hand me the tube.”
All his years in the police force he's never been more ready to follow an order. He shuffles through the drawer embarrassingly hurried.
“Want to watch?” Dean mumbles and bites his lip, it’s so sultry it nearly pushes Castiel over the edge.
“Yes.” He exhaled, a rough and strangled sound.
As if he could do anything but lie and watch, his mind was swirling deliriously with lust. Dean lathers up his fingers generously and reaches around himself. Slowly but surely, slips a wet index finger inside himself. His full lips part in a soft gasp, probably from the coolness. He works the digit in and out, pushing his hips down on himself. Castiel feels his cock aching with irrational jealousy of Dean’s hands.
“ Touch me.” He groans, eyes demanding.
Castiel doesn’t think twice about obeying. His hands fly to his sides, running up and down his shuddering thighs and along the heaving expanses of pale skin, his chest and abdomen.
Dean pulls his fingers free, hurriedly spreads more lube on them and slicks up Castiel’s cock, apparently too amped up to wait anymore.
Castiel feels his body shake violently at the sudden intense attention. He bites his lips hard, hard enough to draw blood, desperately trying not to fuck up into the perfect heat of Dean’s entrance slowly lowering onto him. His fingers dig into his hips, dull nails probably scratching little white half moons into his skin.
Dean’s rhythm is brutal. He snaps his hips hard and fast, body clenching around him so tightly that it feels like he’s being strangled but in the most perfect, breathtaking way. The tightness he feels wrapping around his cock is almost cruel. It’s hot and ruthlessly sweet, so, so maddenly good .
Dean’s palms are warm and heavy leaning against his chest for balance, he can probably feel how hard he’s breathing right now, how fast his heart is beating. He tries to match Dean’s rhythm but it’s sloppy and desperate at best. He feels a heat, a searing electric kind of pleasure curling within the pit of his gut, burning in his blood. He feels like he’s dying, he’s never felt more alive. He feels his mind hazing with lust at the face Dean makes right as he bottoms out, twists his hips just the right way, his tongue licking the perfect swell of his kiss-abused lips.
He jerks his hips up desperately, his breath short and ragged. All he remembers is his fingers gripping tight at smooth skin, holding Dean’s hips like a lifeline while he rode out his own orgasm. And not breathing, not thinking, only feeling, the searing pleasure washing over him.
Hey guys, hope you enjoyed this chapter ! ;)
Thanks for your kudos and comments! They mean the world to me! :)
Spring break is ending soon which means back to school! Don't be afraid to yell at me to get back to writing, I secretly want the excuse haha <333