12x23 coda

Dean barely notices when Sam runs into the house to investigate the nephilim situation. His eyes dart this way and that, taking in the tattered, broken wingspan spread out before him.

All of the times that he lost Cas, he never saw his wings. Not once. And it feels so…final.

Dean’s lips tremble as he casts his gaze upwards towards where he knows heaven is watching. He wonders if the angels care. He wonders if God cares.

He knows Chuck probably isn’t even in heaven, and maybe he has his ears turned off while he’s having the family meeting to end all family meetings with Amara, but he tries anyway. He wants to beg, bargain, and scream, but he’s not sure he can speak. He sends up a plea, his lips mouthing silent prayers.

The air is still. Too still. Deathly still.

Dean squeezes his eyes shut and slumps down to the ground. He bows his head down, but he can’t yet bear to look. Not yet. Not again.

He breathes, and it feels like a monumental effort. He is hyper aware of being alive, of his lungs filling with oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, and suddenly he thinks he might understand why yoga helps to clear the mind. Maybe he’ll take it up. He could do with a nice, clear mind after…after…

He opens his eyes. Cas is there, but he isn’t.

Dean swallows against the burning lump in his throat as he reaches a hand out. Hand touches hand. One is cold.

Dean stares at the eyes and wills them to open as he curls his fingers around the still, cold hand. And finally, after much effort, he finds that he can speak.

“Please,” Dean pleads, his voice smaller than he thinks it has ever been. “Please. Cas. I need you.”

No. That’s not right. That’s not enough.

“I love you.”

Too late. He says it, finally, after all of these years, and it falls on deaf ears. Ears that will never hear those words.

Dean’s eyes sting. “Come back. Like you always do.” His voice cracks. “I love you. I love you. I love you. Please come back.”

The world is still. Too still.

He’s not coming back this time.

Dean folds himself over Cas’s body and finally allows himself to break.

Since I’ve been traipsing around a different continent for the past three months, I haven’t even seen the rest of the season and the finale… but let me tell you what happens anyway after last night’s Apparent Clusterfuck:

As Dean Winchester stands next to his prone angel, morbidly fascinated by the ash wings burned into the ground around his feet, he feels completely and utterly numb. He’s only had the presence of mind not to step on them, an easy thing given the fact that they’re so bare of feathers.

Carefully, and still without thinking, the hunter lowers himself to his knees, brow furrowed and lip trembling as he attempts to process what is clearly right before him.

Castiel is dead.

Still, Dean can’t help extending a shaking hand. His fingers gently trace the curve of Cas’s cheekbone in a way he never would have allowed himself if the other was still breathing, and despite the fact that his mouth feels like sandpaper and he can feel Castiel’s skin turning cold he asks the question anyway:

“…C-Cas?”

Dean can feel Sam staring holes through his back, but that’s the extent of any response to his query.

“Cas, wake up.”

His voice is a broken croak, but Dean keeps speaking anyway, turning bolder and more desperate with every second that reality sinks in.

“Cas? Castiel, wake up. Wake up, Cas! Cas!”

He’s pawing at his angel now, vision blurring until he has to blink to clear it. He all but throws himself across Castiel’s torso to uselessly slap at his cheeks in an attempt to rouse him.

“You stupid son of a bitch, wake up! Wake up, Castiel! Don’t you dare leave me, don’t…”

Castiel is still motionless when Dean collapses against him. “Don’t go,” the hunter whispers pitifully into his angel’s neck. He squeezes his eyes shut and swallows a sob. “Please. I… Cas, I…” His heart is in his throat as he turns his head to press a light kiss behind the other’s ear, moving to put his lips against Castiel’s own for the first and last time. “…I love you, you dumb angel,” he murmurs. “So you gotta wake up. Cas. Cas, I love you, so you hafta…”

When nothing happens, Dean curls himself over his angel and cries.

Sam joins him after a time, crouching to put a hand to his shoulder and blinking back tears himself. Soon, though, they have to go. “Dean. Dean, we have to get out of here.”

“Sammy, I–”

“I know. It’ll be okay.”

But when they both turn away from Cas for the first time, God isn’t who they’re expecting to find. In all honesty, they’re not expecting to find anyone… and yet, there he is: Chuck, dressed in a robe and stained pj pants.

“You love my son?” Is all he asks, piercing gaze boring into Dean. Dean takes a step back as if to protect Castiel’s form from his own father, and that apparently is good enough. Chuck nods sagely. “I don’t play favourites, you know,” he says. “I did that once with Lucifer and it didn’t end well… but Castiel is, different. He’s everything I didn’t know I wanted angels to be. He makes mistakes. He learns. And yet every time I bring him back, he ends up risking his life for you.”

Dean holds his breath. Chuck sighs. “I love my son, I would give him the world if I could.” There’s a beat, and Chuck tilts his head to the side. “But we’ve both seen what happens when he has unlimited power. Besides, at the end of the day… I think he really just wants you.”

And then God is gone.

Dean is confused for only a moment before there’s a gasping breath from behind him and a hacking cough, Castiel sitting upright and flushed and so very alive that Dean can do nothing but throw himself to the ground. He tackles Cas in a kiss before the other has time to say a word, pressing him to the floor and putting everything he is into the contact.

When he pulls away, Cas is bright red and smiling with the approximate wattage of the sun. “Dean,” he murmurs, awed. “I’m… I mean, I…”

Dean presses a finger to the other’s plump lips. “I love you,” he says simply.

And Castiel moves to kiss him again.

12x23 Coda

Dean stares at the wisp of darkness in his fingers. So soft, he thinks. So fragile.

“What is that?”

Sam’s soft voice pierces Dean’s thoughts. “I–it’s–it was–Cas gave it to me.” Dean hesitates, then opens his hand to show Sam.

Dean doesn’t look up at Sam’s inhalation. “After that day in the barn, we…talked. I asked about his wings…and he showed me. Even worn and frayed, his wings were so…”

Dean drifts for a time. “I wish you could have seen him that first time, Sammy. He was a giant. All sparks and lightning. And I…” Dean laughs, a half-mad sort of laugh. “I stabbed him in the chest. His eyes were so blue, like fallen stars. I stabbed him…”

Neither brother can take his eyes from the small black feather lying across Dean’s palm. So insubstantial; even among its fellows, how could it have held such greatness aloft?

“I asked, and he showed me. I couldn’t help myself, I stroked his feathers like he was a fucking bird or something.  He was so still, and then he…he smiled. I’ve never seen him smile like that, Sam. I don’t think anyone touches an angel’s wings. When I stopped he reached back…so many of his feathers were already gone, but he plucked this one anyway…” He gestures at the angel’s gift. He can’t see it anymore, there are too many tears. He doesn’t remember how to blink them away.

“Did you ever see his wings, Sam? Before they were bur–” He stops, choking on the word. Sam wants to remind Dean they saw the wings together once, but realizes Dean won’t hear him anyway. “They were perfect, Sammy. And when I touched them I could hear them singing. Singing. Angels don’t sing, but their wings do. And the music…”

Dean closes his eyes. “Until yesterday, this feather sang to me, Sam. But it’s quiet now. Everything is quiet.”

He looks at the pattern burned into the ground.

“Everything is quiet.”

Deaf!Dean drabble 1

Cas’s eyes open when the sun comes up. It’s barely morning, but he isn’t surprised to see Dean’s green eyes staring back. Now that the angel has become human, it’s common knowledge that he sleeps the longest. Dean doesn’t seem to mind.

Dean leans on his arm as he shifts, bringing both hands to the front.

‘Good morning’ he signs with slow movements of his hands as Cas yawns.

Cas smiles sleepily, signing ‘good morning beautiful’ back to his deaf husband before leaning in for a kiss.

Dean blushes a little, and it’s Cas’s favorite, because it always makes his freckles darker and tinged with pink.

'I am watching you mad’ Dean signs to Cas. Cas furrows his eyebros, tilting his head. He grabs the notebook on their side table.

'You just signed to me that you’re watching me get mad,’ writes Cas.

Dean reads it with a scowl, then sighs. Cas pushes the notebook to the bed showing Dean the proper sign.

'Sleep,’ Cas signs.

'Sleep,’ Dean tries again. 'I’m watching you sleep.’

Cas smiles, kissing his husband on the forehead in praise before signing 'very good.’

Dean wiggles his eyebrows playfully: 'Eileen’s been teaching me a lot. Like–’

Cas grabs Dean’s hands and pushes them down into the sheets.

'Dean!’ he signs, scolding. 'That’s inappropriate!’

But Dean just throws his head back, laughing. And that’s exactly the moment Cas realizes that Dean is messing with him.

Dean buries his cheek into the fluff of the pillow with a crooked half smile, his hair disheveled and his eyes bright.

The stare at each other, both with dorky grins, kicking toes under the sheets. It’s been three months since the accident where Dean lost his hearing and almost the same amount of time has passed since Cas became human. Cas and Eileen have been teaching Dean sign language, helping him adjust to hunting without hearing, but Dean still has a lot to learn.

Lovingly, Cas puts both palms over Dean’s ears cupping them as if his long-absent grace is attempting to heal them.

“Hi,” Cas mouths as if the hands are the only thing keeping Dean from hearing the word.

“Hi,” says Dean back, his speech slurred and different since the accident, but, in Cas’s opinion, more beautiful than ever.

But it’s just a game they play. Because Cas knows and Dean knows, they don’t need angelic grace or the ability to hear. In fact, there is something beautiful that stems from the silent, very human world they share

Dean puts bot of his own hands over Cas’s holding them tight against his face as he smiles.

“I love you,” Cas mouths.

“I love you, too,” says Dean.

* * *

If you want to read my other Deaf!dean fics, the masterlist is Here (x)

I Want All of You

(A 12/23 Coda.)


After he got the phone call, Dean couldn’t have driven back to the Kelly’s house fast enough.  

Some part of him was sure that it was just some cruel, cosmic joke, that Cas couldn’t possibly actually be there, alive and waiting for him.  

They’d watched him die, watched the grace flash out of his eyes, seen the wings emblazoned on the ground.  Hell, they’d buried him.

Sure, they’d lost Cas before, but this seemed so final.  Dean had spent three days in depression, drinking his sorrows, thinking about how he’d never again get the chance to hear Castiel’s voice, wake up to those blue eyes looking down on him.

Thinking how he’d died without ever really knowing how Dean felt about him.  

But then, the phone rang, and Dean, predictably, ignored it.  

It rang three times before Dean bothered to pick up, grunting a tired, “Yeah, what?” into the receiver.

There was a brief pause before a deep, gravelly voice Dean never thought he’d hear again said, “Hello, Dean.”    



Dean found Cas asleep on the sofa, curled up like a shrimp.  Some generic reality show buzzed softly on the television set, illuminating the darkened room.

For a long moment, Dean just stared at him.  Only his bare feet and shock of dark hair protruded from the thin blanket he was wrapped in, his soft snore permeating throughout the otherwise quiet room.  

It couldn’t really be him.  It just couldn’t.

Gently, Dean reached out and let his fingers brush his shoulder, so gently that Cas didn’t even stir.  Beneath the blanket, the flesh was toned and warm, and distinctly human.  

Dean tentatively touched him again, this time more firmly, letting his hand rest there a moment.  

“Cas,” he whispered, shaking him gently.  “Hey, Cas.”

Cas awakened with a soft, startled snort, sitting up and rubbing his eyes in a way that reminded Dean of a sleepy kitten.  

Dean watched him in sheer awe, unable to believe this wasn’t a dream:  this was, most definitely, Cas.  His Cas. 

He blinked at him, squinting dazedly.  “…Dean?”  he inquired, voice still slurred from sleep.

Dean swallowed wetly.  “Yeah, it’s me, buddy.”  

The blanket pooled around Cas’s waist, and only then did Dean register Cas wasn’t wearing anything except for his boxers.  

Cas followed his eyes, then gathered the blankets up around him, abashedly.  “Apologies,” he murmured.  It was difficult to tell in the dim light, but he seemed to be blushing.  “My clothes are in the wash.  They have been…persistently dirty.”

Dean chuckled, but decided against telling Cas that a suit like that would be dry-clean only.  “No worries, man.  I’m just happy to see you.” 

Well, that was the understatement of the twenty-first century.  Dean realized belatedly his hands were on Castiel’s forearms, though whether they were trying to steady himself or Cas he really didn’t know.  He made no effort to remove them.

“So, you’re uh.  Sleeping,” Dean remarked, stupidly.  “Does that mean you’re low on grace, or…?”

Cas shook his head.  “No,” he said gravely.  “I’m human.  Completely, it would seem.  My grace was extinguished when Lucifer stabbed me.”

Dean blinked.  This couldn’t possibly be real, could it?  Cas was human, and it seemed to be permanent.  There’d be no more vanishing off to heaven, no more long, lonely nights wondering where he was.  Cas would be soft and warm and tangible now, possibly forever.  

It was a dream come true.  Dean was about to say something along the lines of “that’s amazing,” when he realized belatedly Cas was crying, his chest heaving in quiet, painful sobs.     

Dean scooted to sit beside him, never taking his hands off Castiel’s arms, afraid he’d disappear if he stopped touching him for one instant.  

“Cas, buddy, what’s the matter?”  he murmured, tipping his head to get a better view of his face.  “You’re alive, man.  We can finally go home.”

“But I’m a human again, Dean,”  he whispered.  “I’ll never be anything more than a burden to you now!”

Dean opened his mouth to answer, then closed it again, instead just wrapping the shaking form up in his arms.  God, it felt so good to be able to touch him again, to hold him again, soft and warm and alive. 

“You could never be a burden, baby,”  Dean murmured, not even questioning where the endearment came from.  He breathed in the smell of his mussed-up hair, still slightly damp from the shower and smelling like shampoo.  “You never were.  And it’s not gonna be like last time, either:  I’m gonna take real good care of you, okay?  I promise.”

Cas stubbornly pushed him away, still sniffling slightly and refusing to meet his eyes.  “I don’t want you to have to take care of me, Dean.  You owe me nothing.”

Undeterred, Dean scooted closer to him on the couch, putting a tentative hand on his knee.  “Well, I want to,” he said with certainty.  “And for the record, yeah, I do:  I owe you a hell of a lot, Cas.  You pulled me out of hell, saved me in every sense of the word.  And I don’t think I can live without you anymore.  Or at least, I sure as hell don’t wanna.”

Cas started to cry again, and Dean didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around his bare shoulders, rubbing them gently, making soft, soothing sounds until the tears finally stopped.

Part of him was sad that he’d ever made Cas feel so useless, that he couldn’t convey the indescribable joy of just having him in his life.  But another part, the larger part, couldn’t stop being happy that he was here again.

And that was all he needed.



That night, they lay in bed together, Dean gently, soothingly, stroking his fingers through his hair.  He hadn’t stopped touching Cas since he’d gotten back, and he didn’t plan on it, either.

“Dean, I was thinking,” said Cas, thoughtfully.  “I don’t believe hunting is a good career for me.”

Dean’s fingers momentarily stilled.  “No?”

Cas shook his head.  “I’ll continue to live in the bunker, of course, and I’d still join you on the occasional hunt, but I don’t believe I want it to be my primary career.  I think I’d like to do something else.”

“Oh, yeah?  Like what?”  Dean asked, more at ease now that Cas had confirmed he was going to keep living in the bunker. 

Cas rolled to face him, looking slightly up at him through long eyelashes.  “I think,” he said thoughtfully.  “That I’d like to be a professor.”

“A professor?”  Dean repeated, a little surprised by the assertion.  

Cas nodded.  “I have vast stores of knowledge from my long lifespan, and could easily relay enormous shares of it on history, theology, mythology, mathematics, physics, and/or combat strategies.  I also retain fluency in over 150 human languages, and have a significantly higher than average IQ,” he added modestly.  “I believe you and Sam would be able to forge me the appropriate credentials?”

Dean took a moment to process it:  he thought of Cas coming home in a sweater vest and glasses, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, all nerdy-hot.  He liked the image immensely.

“Yeah, baby,”  Dean grinned.  “I think we can.”

Cas smiled softly, internally relieved at the thought of being useful at something.  At being more than just a burden to his human family.

Sensing he was retreating back into his self-deprecating thoughts, Dean brushed a gentle thumb over his cheekbone.  “Hey,” he said, tipping Castiel’s chin up to face him, meeting his eyes fully.  “We’re gonna have a great life together, you hear?  Not normal, I tried that and I think it’s safe to say it ain’t either of our cup of tea, but it will be a great one.  I wanna marry you, Cas:  I wanna propose, with a ring and everything, and then have a classic hunter wedding.  Then I wanna take you on a long-ass honeymoon, somewhere warm and sunny, where we can do it on the beach, and maybe someday, we’ll even have kids.  I wanna have it all with you, Cas.  And then, someday, we’ll both kick it, and God-willing, we’ll spend eternity together in heaven, doin’ it like bunny rabbits.”

Cas’s eyes grew wider with each passing second, expression unreadable.  Three days ago, he wouldn’t have even considered spilling his heart like this.  But that was more than enough time to get a taste of what a missed opportunity would feel like, of the hollowness of losing Cas without him knowing how Dean felt.

Dean was never going to let that happen again, consequences be damned.      

After a moment of silence, Dean smirked – trying to hide how vulnerable the confession had left him – and added, “That is, if a gorgeous babe like you is okay with spending eternity with my sorry ass.”

Cas blinked, then nodded mutely, expression vaguely stunned.  

“Yes,” he said finally, voice barely a whisper.  “Oh, God, yes.”   


… 


The next morning, Dean woke up next to Cas for the very first time.

Up close, in the daylight, he could see the delicate stubble of his jaw, full lips chapped and slack with sleep.  He could see the dark fan of his eyelashes, the little lines between his eyebrows where they drew together when he was confused. 

Dean couldn’t stop staring.  Which, under most circumstances, might be considered the slightest bit creepy, but he figured turnabout was only fair play.  And besides, if a man couldn’t watch his back-from-the-dead boyfriend sleep – or fiance, rather – what was the world coming to?

Warmth bloomed in Dean’s chest.  He wasn’t sure how this had happened, or why.  He didn’t know how he was going to explain this to Sam, and he didn’t care.

All he knew was that Dean Winchester was one lucky bastard, and wanted to wake up next to this for the rest of his life, snoring and all.  

After a while, Castiel blinked open his eyes, blue and beautiful as a pool in summer.  He smiled softly, and Dean hoped he was thinking something close to the same thing.  

“Hello, Dean.” 

The Bunker’s quiet but for the sound of Dean’s and Sam’s footsteps that Cas follows. He keeps his distance, lingers behind when Dean reaches for the chair.

“We’ll get her back,” Cas assures faintly, though he should be the last one to speak. It’s all his fault, achingly, fully. It’s him who deserves to be stuck in Lucifer’s nightmare world, not Mary.

He gets no reply, not from Dean, not from Sam. What could they say? We can’t. We will. The world be damned.

Dean pours three — four fingers of whiskey into his glass. With a glance, offers one to Sam, but Sam refuses. He doesn’t comment on Dean’s choice of coping tactic, either. There’s no offer for Cas, Dean puts the bottle down and takes a sip; he knows — Cas is guilty.

Cas froze.

Cas did nothing while his mother fought Lucifer and dragged him back into his hell of a world.

Cas let the portal close behind her, let Dean drop to his knees, broken. He’s never seen Dean so broken.

It all happened so damn fast.

Sam clears his throat. “We’ll figure it out,” he promises, moving a chair out for himself.

Dean snorts, an ugly, mocking sound. “Which part?”

Sam opens his mouth to reply, hesitates. A slow draw of breath, head hung low, not daring to look at Dean. “Mom.”

“Oh.” Dean nods. “That I know.” He takes a long sip and sets the glass down with a loud clank. “We’re getting mom out, I don’t care what it takes.”

For a moment, tension in Sam’s shoulders forebodes defiance, a rightful one. One Cas has no strength for. All he can muster is a sad smile. It’s a huge mistake, a horrible and dumb one. And made out of love — the kind of mistakes the Winchesters never once shied from.

Cas couldn’t stop them if he tried. Even if every part of him rages against the very thought of letting Lucifer out, of giving him that chance once again. Like they did last night. For one bright, painful, terrifying moment he was back in this world.

And then he wasn’t.

And Dean was left kneeling in the dirt, unresponsive.

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Fool’s Overture - ~.5k post 12.23 / pre s13, angst, part of this series

He says it once in the shadow of a mausoleum, the scent of burning bones acrid in the night air.

I love you, and Dean’s eyes go wide. A purple bruise is blossoming on his jaw, but after a moment a grin splits his face.

Castiel has seen supernovas, but there is nothing quite so blinding as Dean’s smile.

Once in the booth of a crowded diner, when Sam steps away to the restroom and Dean is perusing the menu.

I love you. Dean’s face flares scarlet. He looks furtively around the room, breaths coming quick and shallow. Sam returns, oblivious, and there’s silence for a while, but slowly Dean inches his hand along the bench until their fingers twist together.

He’s still looking away, the fierce blush is still tinting his cheeks, but he keeps holding tight to Castiel’s hand.

In the kitchen, while Dean is cooking at the stovetop and singing along to the music drifting from the ancient record player. I love you, and Dean looks over, expression playful, and winks. Then he throws a dishtowel at Castiel’s head. 

He gasps it out, over and over – I love you, I love you – as he lies on soft sheets, Dean moving against him and above him, panting in the darkness of his bedroom.

He presses the words into Dean’s skin. First in English, then in Enochian, in Latin, in Hebrew, and in languages that no longer have a name. He traces his love with his tongue until Dean shivers and gasps and spills – eyes dark but so alive.

He says it on the rocky shoreline, the yellow-orange seam of light glowing behind him.

I love you.

Dean just looks at him a moment, before he steps up close. Castiel kisses him, just once, soft and sweet, before Lucifer’s blade pierces his heart.

//

He imagines it differently every time: all the many ways it could have been. 

If he’d been a little braver, a little bolder.

If he’d realized a little sooner just what that gnawing hunger in his heart meant.

Maybe if they were different people, with different lives. Maybe if they were free.

Castiel has been to Hell. He thinks maybe this place is worse.

He concentrates, tries to imagine the taste of Dean’s skin, but there is nothing quite so bitter as regret.


(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)

“Cas! Cas! Don’t do this to me, Cas.”

Dean kneels in the dirt next to Cas’s inert body, the rough fabric of the trenchcoat gripped tightly in his fists. It’s been minutes–hours?–since they came through from the other universe, since Cas… Dean doesn’t know when he started crying, but his face is wet with tears and his throat is raw from sobbing and pleading with Cas.

“Open your eyes, Cas. You cannot leave me. Not again. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes…”

He is still whispering the words, his voice nearly gone, when Sam pulls him away.

***

“Cas.”

It’s been over a week since they burned Cas’s body. Dean’s mind won’t let him sleep; he still sees the flames every time he closes his eyes. He feels the heat licking at his skin, cracking his lips. Now he sits on the cement floor of the parking garage; it’s the coolest place he can find.

“Where are you, Cas? Can you hear me anymore? Is it hot where you are? Is it cold? Where do angels go when they…”

There are tears on his cheeks again.

The barest whisper: “I miss you, Cas.”

***

On a hunt, a werewolf pack closing in.

“Cas! We could use your help!”

Sam jerks in surprise, barely escapes a snapping jaw.

The fight is brutal. Dean has a gash on his arm, Sam a badly bruised rib, but all the werewolves are dead. They make their way back to the Impala, Dean muttering, “Where are you, Cas?”

“Dean,” Sam says softly, “Cas is–”

Dean’s glare stops him cold.

***

Dark fields fly past outside Baby’s windows, and the sky above is a flood of stars. Dean is blind to all but the road and the steering wheel.

Led Zeppelin plays on the radio. Ramble On. This isn’t on the tape he made for…

“This used to be one of my favorite songs, Cas. But it’s all about goodbye, all about looking for something more. That was my life, always saying goodbye. Then we found the bunker, so we kinda had a home. And I thought–I hoped–someday I’d have you too.”

The song had ended while he was praying. The Impala’s engine and her wheels on the road are the only sounds until Dean’s gasping sobs fill the car.

He pulls over to the side of the road.

Cas.” Dean chokes on the name. “I wish you could hear me.”

***

It’s been 37 days since Cas…left.

Dean is off on his own again. He hunts with Sam, but between hunts he can’t seem to stay still, just like he can’t seem to close his eyes. So he drives. When he realizes where he is, he makes a sound that is almost a laugh.

Pontiac, Illinois.

He takes a few wrong turns, but eventually finds his way to the barn. It is, surprisingly, still standing. He expects to find the inside littered with beer bottles and the like, but there is nothing. Maybe all the signs and sigils scared off the local miscreants.

Memories wash over Dean in a rush.

Sparks.

Wings.

Stabbings.

I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.

I’m an angel of the Lord.

This is your problem, Dean. You have no faith.

Dean falls to his knees, head bowed. Remembering. The awesome sight of Cas’s wings, filling the entire barn. The way his eyes seemed to look into Dean’s very soul. The feeling of being known, and chosen, and wanted.

He aches for Cas, so even he is surprised by the words that tumble from his lips.

“Chuck. I don’t know if you’re listening anymore. The bible says–and yeah, Cas told me to read the bible, so I did–that you’re everywhere at once, so maybe you can still hear me even off on your family vacation.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not good at this. I sound like an idiot. I’ve gotten used to praying to Cas, but he can’t hear me anymore. Lucifer, he…” Tears flow from Dean’s eyes.

“I’m broken, Chuck. I can barely stand. You need to give him back to us. We need him. And not because he’s a fighter, or because he’s an angel, or because he’s a part of our team. You need to give him back because…” Dean takes a shuddering breath. “You need to give him back to me. Because I love him. He’s not my brother, he’s…he’s everything.”

His voice is raw, thick with tears.

“I never got to tell him. Please, Chuck. Please. I don’t know what else to say. Can you hear the sound of a heart breaking?”

***

Chuck blinks.

“Well, what do you know. Too bad I’m not writing any more books. I love character development.”

He twirls his finger in the air, and the dust motes form a spinning vortex. Atoms join, coming together to form more and more complex molecules until, with a tiny breath from Chuck, the angel stands in front of him.

Chuck gestures. “Sorry about the tie. Dean seem to like it backwards, though.”

Cas stands bewildered, patting his coat, touching his face, ruffling his hair–deliberately avoiding the place where the blade pierced his chest.

“And the tape is still in your pocket. I know it’s important to you.”

Cas’s hand flies to the inside pocket of his trenchcoat. When his hand closes around the familiar piece of plastic he relaxes slightly.

“I don’t understand,” Cas says. “I was…gone. Again.”

Chuck points at himself. “Did you forget who I am? Or how many times I’ve done this for you?”

Cas’s thoughts still haven’t caught up to the present. “But why?”

“Character development.”

Cas tilts his head, puzzled. “I don’t–”

“Nevermind,” Chuck says, chuckling to himself. “I just need you to deliver a message to Dean Winchester, okay?”

Cas nods, eyes bright. “Alright.”

“Tell him…tell him…no, on second thought, just go. I think he’ll understand. A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.”

Cas nods again, still not understanding, but willing to go. Chuck reaches out, gently rests his hands on Cas’s shoulders.

“One more thing,” he says. “It was never a punishment, Castiel.”

Cas’s eyes widen.

“You always believe in me. I keep bringing you back because I always believe in you too.”

***

Boards creak. Feathers rustle.

Dean’s head jerks up.

“Dean, why are we here?”

Dean cannot speak. He pulls himself to his feet, his eyes never leaving Cas’s. He walks to Cas, and when they are standing close enough to touch Cas says, “What about personal space, Dean?”

“Are you real, Cas?” Dean breathes. “Are you really you?”

Understanding, Cas flexes his wings. Blue-black feathers flash. No demon or shapeshifter could fake that.

“Good,” says Dean. “Oh, Cas. I–”

But there are no words. He pulls Cas into a hug, holding him like he never wants to let go.

“Thank you, Chuck,” Dean whispers. “Thank you.”

starsinursa  asked:

Word prompt: Sunflower 🌻

Ever since Cas came back it was hard to keep track of him. As an angel, he’d been absent. As a human, he was surprisingly more so. Absent and distant.

Dean tried to be patient when he heard the door to the bunker open and close in the middle of the night, or when he walked in to Cas’s room only to find it empty. Again. 

When Dean asked where Cas was going, he’d simply say “out.” 

He didn’t look angry or frustrated when he left. Just sad. Which was probably worse.

Dean sighed, rubbing at the bridge of his nose when he saw Cas making his way to Dean’s closet to borrow a jacket. 

He used to like the sight of Cas in his clothes, but this had become the habit before he left again, and Dean found the sight always came with a bitter aftertaste because of the fact. 

He didn’t bother asking where Cas was going as he leaned on the doorframe to watch as Cas flipped the skewed collar down with his thumbs as he leaned his chin down. 

“It’s going to rain,” Dean said, instead. “Hard. Maybe you should wait until the storm subsides before you go… wherever it is you’re going.”

Cas didn’t stop, though, as he picked up a pair of shoes, swiftly pulling them on his feet and knelt down to tie them one at a time. 

“Can’t,” he said, casually. “The storm is why I’m going.”

The sound of thunder cracked through the walls of the bunker, and suddenly, Dean had had enough. 

“Damn it, Cas,” he pushed past Cas, knocking against his shoulder, then grabbed a thicker coat from the closet. He threw it hard at Cas’s chest with a scowl. 

Cas barely caught it awkwardly before it fell, looking surprised. 

“If you need to get away from us so friggin’ badly you’re willing to go out in this crazy ass storm, then at least take a jacket with you that has a hood, ” Dean snapped. 

He tried to leave the room when a hand grabbed his arm. 

Cas looked at him for what felt like the first time in weeks, and Dean had forgotten how much he missed the color blue. 

“It’s not to get away from you,” Cas said calmly. He looked warmly at the coat as if it were the nicest gesture Dean could have given him and not an old piece of fabric chucked in his face. 

Cas started to put the jacket on over the one he already had. The two awkward coats looked ridiculous and somehow amazing on him. Dean fought the tiny smile that tempted him when he spied it. 

Cas grabbed the keys to his car on the dresser. “Come with me,” he said, flipping the hood up and zipping the outer coat. “I want to show you something.”

Keep reading

12x23 coda

“I’ll drive the truck.” Dean’s voice wavers. He can barely hold onto the words, his mind a blur of chaotic disbelief and pain. It’s as if what happened hasn’t quite struck to him yet, but it’s already pressing down on him, cold and hard. It feels as if he’s stuck under the ice and he can’t break free, deafened by the cold and silence of the freezing water surrounding him.

He shivers. Looking away from his brother, he clears his throat, but the lump doesn’t leave. “You can take Cas and- drive the Impala back to the bunker.” Castiel’s name is nothing more than a whisper.

“Dean, are you sure-”

“I’ll see you at the bunker.”

He can’t feel anything as he walks through the dark, back to the lake. The truck is just an empty vehicle stained with painful memories that Dean wants to forget but is so afraid to lose. Dean can see the keys in the lock and he gets in, still shivering.

The door closes with an echoing bang. As soon as Dean is alone in the empty car, it gets worse. In here, the scent of Castiel still lingers. Earth and the sweet scent of flowers after rain, a gentle smell that belonged to the angel. Dean is forced to breathe it in and accept it with every inhalation.

Castiel is dead. 

Dean grips the wheel and stares at it, determined to push this feeling away and drive back to the bunker so he can take a shower and get a beer with Sam. His lips begin to tremble. His eyes get blurry and before he can withhold it, tears begin to trickle down his cheeks.

“Cas…” he chokes, but he can’t speak properly. Within a few seconds, his shoulders are quivering and he starts to cry. He presses his forehead against the wheel and holds it, sobbing with irregular gasps for air, the pain he’d been trying to hold suddenly flooding him.

 -

Sam knows his brother isn’t okay when he walks off towards the truck. He wouldn’t even need to be around Dean to know that. Sam isn’t okay either, but at least he’s accepting that he isn’t. Dean doesn’t want to show how much things hurt, not even to Sam or himself.

But Cas just died. Sam isn’t able to think clearly, he doesn’t know what he should do. He just wants to lay down where he’s standing right now, in the sand, close his eyes and forget everything until it’s all over and his mind is cleared. He doesn’t want to feel anything, but the image of Cas falling down, grace disappearing through his chest, his eyes, the silent scream… it won’t leave his mind. 

Castiel is dead. Sam bites down his lip and clenches his fists. Then, he gets to work. He finds an old plaid blanket in the back of the Impala. He lays Castiel in the backseat and covers him with the plaid. It feels too wrong to put him in the trunk, too uncaring and definitive. For Sam, it’s as if Castiel is just sleeping. That moment they saw him appear just before Lucifer stabbed him, Sam had felt comfort. Castiel was there, he knew more than them and could do more than them and whenever Cas was around, Sam knew there was always a way out. He knew that ever since Castiel had brought Dean back from hell, and he was convinced when he had taken away Sam’s visions of Lucifer. But fear now clouded all hope and possibilities and Cas would never be there to give it back to him.

When Sam found out Eileen had died, he only wanted one thing. To not be alone. As much as he said he didn’t, acted like he didn’t need Dean, he’d ached for someone with him, a living person to give him the idea that hope was still a thing. The thought of Eileen still makes it feel like multiple daggers are slammed into his chest and he hisses, the sudden sound loud in this quiet, empty place.

Dean should’ve already left with the truck by now. Sam just didn’t have the guts to actually drive away with Castiel’s body just yet, but the silence makes him realize that Dean hasn’t left yet, either.

He locks the Impala and gets to the pickup truck that, as he suspected, hasn’t moved yet. When he is just a few feet away, he can see Dean sitting in the driver’s seat, his arms on the wheel and his head pressed against it. Sam walks over to the other side and gets in quietly, neither hesitating nor saying a word. Dean doesn’t look up and only stirs when Sam puts an arm on his back. He rubs it, slowly and unsure. Sam has seen Dean cry before, but never like this. He’s giving into it completely and Sam finally knows how it looks when Dean accept that he’s in pain.

“Dean,” he says and his voice breaks at the sight of his strong, older brother falling apart with grief. “I wish we could fix this.”

It’s not the ethical way to answer, it’s not the ‘I can’t imagine what you’re going through’, the ‘I’m here for you’. It’s the raw truth. It’s harsh and painful and feels heavy on Sam’s tongue. But neither of them is okay, and neither of them can pretend to.

“Sam- Sammy,” Dean stammers, “I… I can’t- he’s… he…” Sam pulls Dean into his arms. Despite Sam being taller, Dean still always feels bigger and stronger. But now he doesn’t look big at all. He hides into his brother’s arms with his face pressed into his shoulder, tears soaking Sam’s shirt. Sam pulls him closer and tries to say something, but tears drip into Dean’s hair.

“I know,” he says.

Holding Dean tight, Sam stares outside into the darkness and tries to find a silhouette. He wishes to see a figure in a trench coat walking up to them so he can tell Dean to look around and get out of the car to reunite with Cas. But no one appears.  

Sam doesn’t know how long they will sit like this. Maybe ten minutes, another hour, the entire night until dawn starts to wake up nature and birds will sing as if nothing happened. But he knows that no matter how long, it won’t fill the empty place that belongs to Castiel. It can’t fix the laugh that Dean won’t burst into, the smile that won’t appear on Sam’s face.

Some things can’t be soothed, some scars never fade. Mourning will come later, maybe too late. The Winchesters are way too familiar with death taking away those they care for. And this time, it took too much.

12x23 Coda (All Along the Watchtower)

Dean can hear the lake, mussed by the night wind, over and over, brushing the shore.

He has sand under his fingernails, and ash under his tongue.

His legs folded beneath him minutes, or hours ago. He’s not sure.

Cas’ eyes are open, opaque, inky. There are stars in them.

Dean is stringing words together like drops of blood. He flings them into the cosmos like he’s Al Capone at the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Chuck, I swear, if you do not get your shiftless holy ass down here and fix this, I will personally rip heaven and earth apart and put your balls in a vice.

He thinks Cas might find that funny - Dean Winchester vs the Almighty,  a bug vs a hurricane. A really furious bug though.

He reaches for the tie. It’s not back-to-front like the old days, when Cas was new to riding Jimmy Novak, but it looks tight, somehow. Dean loosens it, his fingers working the silver stripes at the knot. He pulls it free, wraps it up and puts it in his pocket. He undoes Cas’ top button - once, twice, as if the angel might sit up and breathe. The gesture takes him back to Rexburg, Idaho; to Cas serving nachos in that ridiculous blue Gas ‘n Sip uniform, the one which really brought out his eyes. Dean’s own eyes start to sting.

The Heavens are not opening. They are dressed in thin cloud, indifferent.

Screw you, Chuck. He tries Amara.

Hail, lady, full of dark grace, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. I know you gave me my Mom, and that was…. a lot. But, she’s stuck in a Hell dimension with Lucifer now, and let’s face it, “light-bringer” was not a good name for that dude…

He doesn’t have the words, in prayer or any other language, for Cas lying un-moving on the earth beside him.

A thin moon skitters in and out of view in the night sky. The back of Dean’s neck feels cold. He knows that Sam has gone inside the house,  that he should get to his feet and help his brother, but he can’t.

He whispers the words to the last song he put on that stupid, pointless mix-tape;

“There’s an angel on my shoulder/ In my hand a sword of gold/ Let me wander in your garden…. You know…”

The sky clears and the cheese-rind of the moon casts her pale light across the beach.

“Let me take you to the movies/ Can I take you to a show/ Let me be yours ever truly…. You know…”

Dean lifts up his head and finally, really looks at the great burnt wing-marks on the sand. Then he presses his face to Castiel’s moonlit shirt and bursts into huge, wracking sobs

13x23 coda

Castiel stares at the back of Dean’s head as Micheal agrees to Dean’s demands. In his heart Cas knows it won’t work. Micheal wont keep his side of the deal.

“Dean, don’t do this,” Castiel whispers.

“I have to, Cas. He has Sammy and Jack.”

Then Dean does something Castiel isn’t expecting. He turns around and steps forward right into Cas’ personal space. He grabs the back of Castiel’s neck and pulls him into a kiss. It makes Castiel’s head spin with pleasure and emotion. Just as fast as it began, Dean’s pulling away and turning his back to Cas again.

“I’ll come back, Cas. I promise,” Dean says with as much conviction as he can. Castiel believes he means the words but he’s not sure that truly matters.

Dean says yes and in a blink of an eye they’re gone.

Castiel sits down right where he stands. Staring at the wall he touches his lips. He refuses to believe this will be the only time he gets to touch those lips he’s dreamed about for so long.

Castiel’s chest tightens. He can feel the exact moment that Micheal takes back over. It’s over. Dean’s gone. He stares at the wall until it’s too blurry to see anything anymore.

“Please come back to me, Dean,” he whispers right before Mary and Bobby walk into the room.

You Keep Those

Anonymous said:  Hi for the destiel prompts-please fix what the SPN writers broke. Maybe a reunion of the boys because obviously Cas definitely isn’t and can’t be actually dead


Sam had to drag him away from Cas’s body that night, after he’d finished doing whatever it was he was doing with that the Devil Baby inside of the house.  Dean couldn’t bring himself to care.  

Instead, he knelt by his body and looked up at the stars, still numb inside and unsure of what to do.  

Cas, he thought desperately, to the night’s sky.  Cas, buddy, are you out there?

Where did angels go when they died?  Cas couldn’t possibly have just…ceased to exist, could he?  The thought made Dean feel hollow. 

Thin cracks had formed in his heart, ones only Cas would have been able to heal.  But Cas wasn’t here anymore, was he?  Cas might never be here again, an eternity of possibilities cut short with the cruel stab of a knife.  

He’d died, and Dean never even got the chance to tell him he loved him back.

Dean took his hand, already limp and cold, in his own.  

“Cas, buddy, please wake up,” he pleaded, beyond logic at this point.  “C’mon, you gotta wake up now, y’hear?  We need you here, Cas.  I need you.”

But Cas remained quiet and still, so still, a vacant husk with nothing inside.  The wings emblazoned on the ground were confirmation stamps of his demise. 

Dean sobbed, holding the hand to his face.  “Please, baby, I need you,” he whispered.  “I need you.”

He stayed like that for a solid half hour before Sam came outside.  “Nephilim’s gone,” he told Dean gently, still kneeling, unresponsive, over Cas’s corpse.  “I’m not sure where he went.”  

Dean made no indication he had heard.  

“Dean,”  Sam sighed, putting a delicate hand on his shoulder.  “It’s no use.  He’s gone.  Maybe Chuck’ll bring him back sooner or later, but for now -” 

I ain’t leaving him,” Dean snapped suddenly, head whipping harshly in Sam’s direction.  “I’m not.”  

Sam held up his hands in capitulation.  “Okay.  Okay, you don’t have to.  Just…come inside, alright?  I’ll take care of…”  Somehow, ‘the body’ sounded too callous, so he just trailed off.  

It was another fifteen minutes before Dean followed him, wordless and broken, into the house.  


…  


Moments later, Chuck appeared, standing over Castiel’s corpse with his hands in his pockets. 

“Oh, Cas,” he sighed, scratching his salt-and-pepper hair.  “You went and did it again, didn’t you?  Always willing to bleed for the Winchesters, never once thinking of yourself.”  

He sighed, stooping down beside his son’s lifeless body.  

“I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you last time,” he continued.  “So much was going on, and there was just…so much to say, I didn’t know where to begin.”

He looked around, as though concerned he might have an audience. 

“You always were my favorite, Cas,” he conceded.  “I know what the others say, but you didn’t come off the line with a crack in your chassis.  Contrary to popular belief, I very rarely make mistakes with my creations.  I made you this way on purpose, and so far it’s worked out:  you’re the only one who ever loved humanity, really loved them, with all your heart and soul.”

He extended a hand, fingertips brushing lightly over the top of Castiel’s dark hair.  

“And that’s why I’ll always keep bringing you back, Cas,” he sighed.  “Even if it is a pain in the ass.” 

Particles of blue light – angel’s grace – materialized above him, tall as a Chrysler building.  Though it would have been imperceptible to the average human eye, this was Castiel’s true form.  

It filtered into the slits of his eyes and half-open mouth, re-integrating with his human form.  Vessel didn’t seem appropriate anymore:  Castiel had been the only one inhabiting this body for far too long. 

Like the Creation of Adam, Chuck breathed life back into Castiel.

The Winchesters, startled by the incursion of light pouring through the windows of the house, ran out just in time to see it, cow-eyed and baffled as anyone who’d just witnessed a miracle should be:

Castiel’s eyes burst open, still blue with grace as he gasped in air, scooting back onto his elbows as he frantically, confusedly, looked around.  But otherwise, he was completely unharmed:  Chuck had even gone to the trouble of fixing his wings.  

He turned to face the baffled Sam and Dean, Dean in particular still staring at Cas as though he was a dream that might vanish at any moment.  

“It’s a gift, Dean,” Chuck announced, deadpan and a tad disgruntled.  “You keep those.” 

slow fall home

A story of Cas and Dean and meeting in barns. (Also my very belated 12x23 coda).


Castiel stands outside a barn.

If asked, he could recite the exact latitude and longitude of where he stands. He could break every sigil etched on the walls inside. He could snap his fingers and watch the building fall down before him.

 He does none of that. He simply begins to walk.

 His landing wasn’t perfect; his vessel still feels… off. The barn door slams inward without his giving much thought to it, the lights crackle and burst around him without his notice. He’s only looking at the man at the end, the one with the raised gun in his hands and the raised handprint on his shoulder, hidden just beneath his t-shirt.

 Dean Winchester shoots him in the chest, and Castiel feels nothing.

 Dean Winchester stabs him through his vessel’s heart, and he simply pulls away the blade, dropping it on the ground.

 “Who are you?” Dean asks, and Castiel detects the note of fear there. He doesn’t care if this man is afraid. He answers with his name. Dean asks what he is, and he tells the truth, because what else is there to say? Isn’t it obvious?

 “I’m an angel of the Lord.”

 “Get the hell out of here,” Dean says. “There’s no such thing.”

 He’s put off somewhat by Dean’s disbelief, by his combative nature. This is a man rescued from the Pit on the orders of Heaven. He should be filled with faith, brimming to overflowing with gratitude to God above and the angel before him.

Castiel begins to think the “Yeah, thanks for that” which preceded the stabbing was not sincere.

But he doesn’t need a heartfelt thank you. He doesn’t need Dean to look at him in awe, though he wants it enough to show off his wings. What Castiel does need is for this man to listen to him, to accept that he has a purpose. A purpose from Heaven, a destiny to fulfill. He’s a soldier in the war to come.

Dean asks, “Why would an angel rescue me from Hell?” and Castiel begins to think they’re making progress.

“Good things do happen, Dean.” That too should be obvious. The man stands before Castiel whole and alive, when mere days before he was flayed and torn, rotted to the core, black smoke starting to froth at the edges of his soul, bloody blade in hand, the product of four decades in hell.

“Not in my experience,” Dean says, with a clear edge to his voice that Castiel recognizes. He’s been briefed on this characteristic of Dean Winchester, the self-hatred that lives deep within his bones, not born there, but nurtured by a difficult childhood, thriving under the heavy hand of his father and the heavy weight of a hunter’s life.

He believes he’s expendable.

Dean doesn’t think he deserves to be saved, and Castiel doesn’t bother to tell him that he’s not really here to save him. He’s here to move Dean from the flames of Hell to the battlefield on Earth, to facilitate Dean’s transition to warrior of the Lord.

This is a mission. Dean is a mission. If he’s turning out to be more difficult than Castiel thought, well, he’ll discover some way to persuade him to be more amenable. Bring up Dean’s father, maybe. Threaten to throw him back into the Pit, possibly. It doesn’t matter what the tactic is, so long as complete compliance is achieved eventually.

“Why’d you do it?” Dean asks again.

“Because God commanded it,” Castiel responds. “Because we have work for you.”

Then he flies. He’ll come back to Dean when he needs him.  

///

Cas stands inside a barn.

When asked if he’s good, he says, “I guess so.” He can recall the burning acid in his stomach, the fear as his body’s organs turned to rot, the choking sensation of bile pouring out of his mouth. He can still see the terror in the Winchesters’ faces; the self-hatred, the belief of responsibility in Dean’s.

He tries not to think of that. Dean says, “Let’s go home,” and so he begins to walk.  

The healing came suddenly, but his body still feels… off. Dean pushes the barn door outward, and Cas slowly walks through it. Dean’s looking at him, a certain sadness in his eyes mingling with relief, and Cas doesn’t know what to say. He resists the urge to touch Dean’s shoulder. He’s not dying anymore.

He told Dean he loved him, in front of everyone, and Dean looked away.

Funny how love feels akin to a stab through the heart, just the way every cliché human love song claims.

“Are you —” Dean starts to ask him something, and Cas hears the lingering fear in his voice. Sam and Mary walk around them to the Impala and Cas waits in silence for Dean to finish his question, but the other man just sighs. Cas imagines the question to be something along the lines of can you drive yourself home?

“My grace is fine,” Cas says. He smiles weakly. “I’m still an angel. I’m all right.”

“Like hell,” Dean says, suddenly combative. “Don’t give me that crap. You almost died.”

Cas startles at the vehemence of this statement, the anger in Dean’s eyes. He’s never quite sure what to say to Dean, the right words to string together to avoid his ire. Cas is all right. He’s still standing, still useful.

Cas begins to think that perhaps Dean didn’t want Cas to confess his love while dying, to add another weight to Dean’s chest.

But he doesn’t need love in return, he tells himself. Cas doesn’t need Dean to tell him sweet things, to drive him home. It’s enough that he cares, enough that he asked Cas back to the bunker. Maybe he’ll allow Cas to stay for a few days, until his body stops trembling in ways he can’t seem to control, until he’s back on his feet. Back to being useful for the battles to come.

Dean says, “Cas. C’mon, man, talk to me,” and Cas wonders what Dean wants him to say.

“I can drive myself back, Dean, it’s fine.” Dean looks at him oddly, almost like he’s hurt. “Look, I’m whole. No more goo.” He tries to smile again, and Dean still refuses to smile back. “I’m healed.”

“Whatever, man,” Dean says, with a clear edge to his voice that Castiel recognizes. He still doesn’t understand what he’s done wrong. He worried Dean, he knows, but he’s healed now. He can still be of use. He doesn’t need to be coddled like the child he never was.

He’s not useless.

Dean turns to walk back to the Impala, and Cas doesn’t bother to call out “You’re welcome to ride with me,” though he wants to. Cas’s mission is to watch over the Winchesters. He doesn’t want Dean to have to worry, to think he needs to be the one to watch over Cas. Cas is a warrior. He’s used to battle wounds.  

But this, watching Dean walk away, this feels like a particularly deep wound, a wound not caused by any lance. It’s turning out to be more difficult than Cas thought, to not expect Dean to say something. To not have it acknowledged that yes, Cas may love all of the Winchesters, but that first admission belonged to Dean and Dean alone.  

As he reaches his car, Dean turns and asks, “Are you following us back?”

“I don’t know,” Cas responds, feeling lost and adrift. “I… I have some work I need to do, looking for Kelly. You can call me the next time you have a case.”

Dean’s jaw clenches. He gets in the car, and the Winchesters drive away. Cas stands outside the barn, wondering when he’ll be needed again.

///

Cas wakes in a barn.

He doesn’t know where he is. He sees the sigils on the walls, but they swim before his eyes. He waves a hand in front of his face, shocked to see his fingers intact and whole, flesh not yet withered off the bone.

He tries to sit up. He can’t. If he wanted to walk out of this place, he’s not sure he could.

His body shakes, his vision tilts. Cas feels so… off. He hears a door slamming, and he tries to turn his head. The lights in this barn blur together, but he can see a man moving toward him. Cas lies still on the floor and wonders if he should feel afraid.

Then the face of Dean Winchester forms out of the blurred lights, kneeling next to him, and Cas starts to cry, though he doesn’t quite understand why.

Dean reaches out to hold his face, breathlessly saying, “Cas, oh thank god,” and Cas leans into the touch, his heart pounding in his chest.

“You’re alive,” Dean says, voice wavering, and Cas can hear the relief. He’s not sure what happened, why they’re here, and Dean asks him a question that only rings in his ears. He tries to speak, but his mouth feels dry and his words clog up his throat.

“I’m —“ he manages, thinking that alive sits on the tip of that sentence. He remembers Lucifer, remembers the blade sticking out of his chest, now.

“The hell spawn gave us a spell,” Dean says, still sounding choked. “He said it would bring you back, and I… God, I begged and begged him for it. It took so long, I didn’t think you would ever…”

He’s shocked to see Dean crying now as well, his usual smirking countenance replaced by a torrent of tears. Cas should be trying to comfort him, but his lungs are swelling as they take in air, trying to breathe past the tightness in his chest, choked by this display of grief finally ended. His heart overflows with love for the man before him.

Cas feels like he’s beginning to see the real Dean, the Dean who would walk up to Lucifer’s son, the most powerful being on the planet, and ask for Cas’s life.

And he needs to touch Dean. He reaches out to run his hand through his friend’s hair, and Dean looks at him, smiling faintly through tears. Cas needs to know everything, what he’s missed, what the spell was that brought him back, but right now his only purpose is to make Dean Winchester smile again.

Dean asks with a shaky voice, “Do you recognize where we are?” and Cas moves his head stiffly, looking around. “He — Jack, he said you’d come back to the start.”

He smiles. It’s so obvious, now. “Good things do happen, Dean,” he recalls aloud as he takes in the barn’s gray walls, covered in wards, lights still busted out. Dean smiles, too, just barely, but it’s a beautiful sight, pure and perfect.

“I guess sometimes they do,” Dean says, something in his voice that Cas recognizes, a love that Dean may never be able to put words to, but Cas understands it now. Dean is more difficult to read than most, but he loves deeply, to his bones, and he only tries to bring back those he desperately needs in his life.

He’s not expendable. Not to Dean.  

Cas spent all this time not sure he deserved to be saved, and Dean saved him anyway. He runs his hand through Dean’s hair, and Dean leans in toward him, sighing quietly when their lips touch softly, reverently, completing a transition from antagonists to allies to friends to… now. And something more. Something new.

This is a mission. Dean is a mission. He turned out to mean everything to Cas — difficult, obstinate, frustrating, but also caring, courageous and extraordinary beyond words. Cas will discover how to love this man properly with the new life he’s been given. They’ll find a way to work past their hindrances. They’ll find a way to live together. It doesn’t matter how, just that Cas is sure in this moment he’s never wanted anything more than he wants Dean.

“Don’t ever do that again,” Dean says when he pulls away, hands still cradling Cas’s face. “I mean it this time, Cas.”

“I won’t,” Cas says softly. “Because you commanded it.”

And they’re there when they need each other.


Find me on AO3.

12x23 coda

13x1: Dean can’t speak. 

He doesn’t say anything when he sees Sam’s worried expression for their mother. Or, when his brother finally pries the impala’s keys from his hands. Doesn’t answer Sam’s questions on the way home.

He just… can’t. 

In fact, it’s hours before he cries. Hours of sitting in the dark on the floor beside his bed. Hours before he finally says his first words, his face wet with tears. The only words he has left:

“Cas,” he prays, closing his eyes. “I loved you.”

It’s something he was planning on saying all night but had been trying to hold in simultaneously. Now he says it, like breeze.

“Stay here tonight.”

Castiel turns around and looks at him. Dean thought he’d never see him again, but he’s back. Alive and real and Cas. Dean feels like he’s been constantly out of breath ever since Cas returned that morning, suddenly on the doorstep of Dean’s motel room.

Dean can’t quite seem to settle, unable to keep his eyes from Castiel. One moment, and he could fade.

“Why?” Castiel asks, curious more so than confused.

“Because,” Dean manages, “…because you’ve been gone, alright? You were dead, and we…. I thought we would never see you again. And I-” Dean’s voice falters. He walks over to Castiel and stands in front of him, his eyes gliding over his face. Every inch of him is real, solid, not like the dreams he’d been having. 

Sam and Dean had been getting separate rooms ever since Dean was awake for hours every night and just paced around the room aimlessly. When Dean slept, he’d been having dreams of Castiel being alive and he’d wake up and realize it wasn’t real. He’d rather not sleep than go through that every single night. But this, he wasn’t going to let this be a dream as well.

“Take off your coat, come on.” When Cas just frowns again, Dean does it himself. He slides the beige coat from Castiel’s shoulders and drapes it over the back of a chair.

“Dean, I’m fine with sleeping in the other motel room.”

“I’m not.” Dean rasps. “Please, Cas, don’t go.” Having Castiel around is worth sharing his emotions for. “Not again.”

Cas looks down. He looks different without his trench coat, more human. Maybe he is, in fact, a little more human. Castiel said he isn’t sure, and it’s how he’s been acting all day. Insecure. Dean can feel it whenever he looks at him, and that’s also what scares him.

“I’m sorry.” Castiel looks up to him. “I tried so hard, Dean, I tried so hard to live. For you, for Sam. I tried to stay with you and I failed.  I didn’t come back with a win for you.”

“Cas-” Dean grabs his shoulder, solid and real and warm. He looks in Castiel’s blue eyes and realizes how much he’d actually missed him. “Listen.” He begins unsteadily. “You coming back is a win for us, you hear me? You being here is enough.” Dean’s hand slides from Cas’ shoulder. “It’s all I wanted. And that’s why I want you to stay here tonight.”

“I don’t think I’m following.”

“Come on, Cas! What if you leave tonight and I come into your room tomorrow and you’re gone? What if something happens and you- you are gone for good? What if you die? What if- what if I can’t…” Dean curls his fingers into a fist. “What if I can’t let you go again?”

There’s something in Castiel’s eyes that change. It’s surprise, mostly, surprise and confusion and something Dean only recognizes from very few people in his life.

“The last thing I want is to leave another time,” Cas says. “And I- I understand now.”

Dean nods, suddenly empty where words should be, and swallows.

“Then stay. Come on, bed’s big enough.”

As Dean undresses in the darkness, with Castiel on the other side of the bed, Castiel suddenly speaks.

“Dean?”

Dean turns around, with his shirt almost off but still hanging on his neck and arm. He can’t see Cas’ face, but he can hear his breathing.   

“Yeah?”

“I love you, too.”

How it is now

It’s not long, the time between when Sam drags Dean out of the other dimension, the alternate universe, the whatever the fuck, and when Cas follows, but it feels like forever to Dean. Each breath he drags in scrapes along his inner walls like sandpaper on sandpaper. It does nothing to distract him from Cas not being here. Being there, with Lucifer, alone. The not knowing, the fear…

Cas returns after too long, and Lucifer is hot behind him, wielding Cas’ own angel blade. The jab rips through the fabric of the trench, and Dean sees the point appear, gleaming in the moonlight, having missed Cas by an inch.

Cas throws an elbow up, a move Dean taught him, and sends Lucifer stumbling back through the portal just as it closes.

Then, they’re alone. Together and quiet. Kelly is giving birth in the house behind Dean, and Mary’s with her but she’s never delivered a baby before, and who knows where Sam ran off to, but none of that matters because Cas is here.

Cas closes the distance between them and pulls Dean closer and down an inch by the collar of his jacket, crashing their lips together. That’s what it is. A crash. The wild sea meeting the shore. A collision. The longest game of chicken where they both lose. Or they both win. It’s years in the making, years overdue, hungry and consuming.

Dean pulls back, gasping, and the only reason Cas lets him, he suspects, is because he’s human and he needs to breathe.

Cas’ grip on his collar tightens. “Okay?” he asks, urgent and demanding, voice stripped and bare and wanting.

Dean hears what isn’t said. This is how it is, now. How things have been meant to be.

Soft as surrender, Dean says, “Okay.”

They kiss again, gentle, like they’ve got all the time in the world. But they don’t. Dean’s gaining lucidity faster this time. His cheeks wet, and the kiss tastes like salt. The harder he clutches Cas the further away he gets. The more aware his mind becomes.

Dean doesn’t draw back to breathe, he’d rather not. He never wants to stop. Never wants to wake up. But he does. Eventually, he always does.

Sometimes it’s the light filtering in from the stained, flimsy motel curtain that does it. Sometimes it’s Sam opening or closing a door somewhere in the bunker, trying to be quiet and succeeding mostly, but Dean has always been a light sleeper. Sometimes it’s Dean’s own alarm; he still has a job to do.

What it never is, what it will never be again, is Cas’ voice. Or his gaze, heavy like a touch. Dean will never know what it is to wake up with his face buried in dark, coarse hair, with a strong, tan arm slung around his waist, or with soft lips touching his, coaxing him out of sleep.

Because when the moonlight hit the tip of Cas’ angel blade, it was bloody. And when Cas hit the floor, he never got up again.

ao3

It’s A Gift (12x23)

Dean Winchester/Castiel
Words: 3.1k
Warnings: some language, angst in the beginning w/ a happy ending
A/N: Yes, the first line is a Twist & Shout reference. All credits to those writers for that amazing line and story. We were all hit pretty hard by the season finale, so I put a spin on the ending!

Originally posted by dailydestielposts


Castiel died on a Thursday.

It would have been a beautiful night for star-gazing under any other circumstances. Instead, it left Dean’s head spinning in a cloud of rage and grief beyond any that he had felt before.

Rowena was long gone. He could handle that. He had owed her, sure, but it’s not like they had established any sort of relationship over the past years.

Eileen had passed nearly two weeks before , leaving his brother once again heartbroken. Dean had felt a different kind of pain then. It was one of empathy towards his brother that made his soul ache along with a longing to see her back by Sam’s side.

Crowley was dead by his own hand. It had shocked Dean more than anything at first. The King of Hell actually sacrificed himself. No denying it, that hurt him, too. Crowley had helped them beyond measure and had saved their asses more than once without batting an eye. He knew he would miss him.

Mom had disappeared. Dean had just gotten her back from the hellhole of a place her mind was in and just like that she was taken from him again. The very thought made him want to punch a wall or take out his anger on anything nearby. He was afraid to think of what he would do if they couldn’t save her.

These things hurt worse than Hell or Purgatory or the Mark of Cain or anything that he had ever faced before. He was broken enough as it was with all of those things, but he would move on.

None of that could compare to the unbearable, excruciating pain he felt as he watched the life drain out of Cas.

Keep reading

Dean drove down the dark highway, the smell of the night air around him and the sound of Led Zeppelin in his ears. He sang along, drumming his hands on Baby’s steering wheel, practically dancing in his seat.

It’s been a long time, been a long time

Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time

There wasn’t much out here, on this empty, lonely road. No cars, no buildings. Sometimes trees, sometimes open fields. A full moon hung heavy in the sky. The track changed, Dean kept singing.

I’m waiting for the angels of Avalon

Waiting for the eastern glow

Angels, Dean thought. He shook his head to clear it, and pushed the thought down deep. No. No Angels. Just Zep, nothing more, he told himself. He let the music fill all the empty places inside him.

There’s a feeling I get

When I look to the west

And my spirit is crying for leaving

In my thoughts I have seen

Rings of smoke through the trees

And the voices of those who stand looking

Where am I going? Dean thought. I don’t even remember.

The road kept coming, the music kept playing, Dean kept singing. He wasn’t sure when it had become a prayer.

The sea was red and the sky was grey

Wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today

The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake

As the children of the sun began to awake

Then came the last song, and Dean was singing words that he hated, that he didn’t want to believe. His voice was hoarse, but still he sang.

Crying won’t help you

Praying won’t do you no good

No, crying won’t help you

Praying won’t do you no good

The tape ended. Dean pulled off the road, parked. He put his face in his hands, and was surprised to find his cheeks were wet with tears. He got out of the car and stumbled a few steps toward the treeline beside the road, trying to find his center, trying to find something. Finally he said in a strangled voice, “I always wanted to sing to you, Cas. I’m sorry I never did.”


(If you’re interested, Dean is listening to Zeppelin IV.)



Inktober with the Bunker || Day 8: Rockstar