Castiel drowns himself over and over every night and then again every morning. He holds himself under water and breathes in deep so his lungs are filled with the only thing he thinks can kill him now. A flood of warmth washes over him as he embraces the call of the light. There is no pain, no worry, no strife. All he longs for is peace.
This is dramatic, perhaps. But, after several millennia he is entitled to a bit of self indulgence.
Dean rolls over, sound asleep, and presses his face into Castiel’s shoulder. Several billion years watching the Earth reach the state of human domination and this is what slows him down and forces him to pay absolute attention.
He has always been a glorious soldier of god, there can be no doubt. After all, his sin has never been from his service. His sin is Dean. Heaven has declared Dean a distraction from the glory of God’s mission and the true purpose of Heaven.
That doesn’t make sense. Humans are the mission. They always have been. If God had truly wanted the apocalypse in all its drama and splendor He would have had it years ago at Stull. The creator of Heaven and Earth couldn’t be stopped by a handful of stubborn creations. He has humored them. God wants angels to ascend to a higher state of being and understanding. Their father does want them to have free will. He just hasn’t felt the need to tell them that.
No matter. Castiel chose years ago. Barely a second within the timeline of his own existence. He can recall every second of his life up to the point that he rescued Dean Winchester from hell. Yet, miraculously, every second thereafter has ticked slower than the ones before.
Castiel smiles and rubs his knuckles against Dean’s stomach. “I love you.”
Dean’s brow furrows. He can hear Castiel. No smile comes, but Dean moves closer and throws a leg over Castiel’s body.
“Mm. Love you, too, Cas.” Dean sighs and settles back into deep sleep.
He dreams of a child’s laugh. Sam’s maybe… or his own not often enough heard. Castiel smiles and pets Dean’s hair, but doesn’t dare disturb such a beautiful dream.
Hanji took a long, slow breath and conceded, “You’re right. I know you’re right. But I keep going over it in my head. Analyzing every moment, considering if there’s something I could have done differently.” She laughed quietly, bitterly, “not that it matters now anyway.”
“You’re still talking like a fucking idiot.”
Nearby, the pastor shook his head, muttering under his breath, “That’s no way to talk to your soon to be wife.”
That snapped her out of her thoughts. Hanji’s head jerked up, “-your soon to be what?”
“It’s not – just – fuck,” grabbing her ponytail, he forcefully turned her away from the pastor, “Ignore him.”
The pastor hummed, “You should tell her about my offer. Life is short.”
Levi’s ears flushed red. He hissed, glaring murderously over his shoulder, “Shut the fuck up.”
Hanji looked at the pastor, perplexed. An offer? Could it be - had he agreed to open up about the true nature of the walls?
Levi must have read the excitement on her face. Grimacing he shook his head. “He hasn’t agreed to help us with anything useful – yet,” he ground out the last word, an unsubtle threat.
“My ceremonies were quite sought after in Stohess, actually. I even allow time for individuals to include their own vows,” the pastor said, effortlessly changing the subject.
Levi rose in one fluid motion. “Yeah, you’re gonna wait outside.” Grabbing the pastor by the front of his shirt, he dragged him up. The pastor yelped as Levi sent him stumbling out of the tent.
Hanji watched the exchange, mouth agape. It almost sounded like the pastor was talking about,“…Levi, is he offering to-?”
“He’s an old, senile bastard and I think you rattled a few brain cells loose when you hung him off the wall,” Levi muttered. The tips of his ears were cherry red.
Hanji almost left it at that. Almost. But he looked so damn uncomfortable. She couldn’t help herself.
“Is there any particular reason why our friend Pastor Nick wants to marry us?”