cas who

Close Quarters

(For @manateeparty. Thank you for donating to @trashbrigade‘s gisholarship fundraiser!)

ao3

Sam shakes his head, laughing at his brother. “Always with the scissors, Dean.”

Dean doesn’t even dignify him with a response. Rock-Paper-Scissors is a sacred, binding contract for laundromat duty and he’s lost fair and square. He picks up the duffles full of dirty clothes and hoists them over his shoulder.

Cas, who has been watching this exchange with interest from the far bed, gets to his feet. “I’d be happy to assist you.”

“Oh, how sweet,” Sam practically chirps. “A laundry date.”

“Shut up, Sammy.” He looks at Cas. “C’mon if you’re coming.”

They try to time things to be back at the bunker before they’re out of clean clothes, but an unexpected addition to their last case had them heading four hundred miles in the wrong direction.

Dean slings the bags into the back seat while Cas searches for to the nearest laundromat. It’s not far from the motel and, from the pictures on the website, it looks fairly bright and cheery
as far as coin laundries go.

Dean parks out front and they each grab a bag. Inside, the washers stand in rows while dryers line the walls. Dean drops his bag on a high counter meant for folding clothes and goes to find the change machine. By the time he returns, his jacket pocket heavy with quarters, he finds Cas standing between two open washer doors carefully studying one of Sam’s t-shirts.

He looks to Dean with the same face he uses when he’s making sure a sigil is correct. “Is this considered a dark or a light?”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m sorting.”

“Well, stop it.”

“Dean,” Cas says with the utmost concern, “the label says to wash separately.”

“They all say that, Cas. Time to live on the edge.” He reaches into the second washer and grabs the couple of things that are in there and throws them in with the other clothes.

Cas frowns, but pulls some more clothes out of the bag.

Dean sighs. “The trick is to not touch any of this nasty stuff. Have you met Sam Winchester?” He shudders; there’d been Mexican food recently.

“Of course I have, Dean,” Cas grouses. “And he said I should sort the laundry.”

Dean takes the bag from Cas’s hand and dumps it into the washer, then slams the door shut with a flourish. “Ok, maybe at home that’s fine, but on the road it’s all about cheap and efficient. And as long as there isn’t anything—“ he glances around at the other patrons before continuing, “unnatural on the clothes, you can wash them all together in cold water.” He’s still pissed about the ectoplasm that ruined one of his favorite band t-shirts. Sam knows that shit needs to be treated with vinegar first.

“I don’t understand why clothing comes with rules if you’re just going to ignore them.”

“You,” Dean says. “Mr. I Rebelled From Heaven. You’re judging my laundry law-breaking.”

Cas’s scowl lightens into something close to a smile.

Grinning, Dean hands Cas some quarters. “Go get some soap.”

When the soap is added, Dean slots the quarters one by one into the washer. “This used to be Sam’s favorite part. I had to lift him up so he could reach.”

“You spent a lot of time in laundromats as kids.”

“Yeah, and let me tell you most of them weren’t nearly as nice as this one.” He ushers Cas to a couple of empty seats where they can keep an eye on their washer. He nods toward the sign announcing free wi-fi that hangs over the row of vending machines. “Plenty of times Dad left us in one and went off to a bar.”

Cas gives him that same pinched-brow look he always gets when Dean talks about John, but Dean waves it off. “It was actually kind of fun. Sam and I played a lot of hide and seek in these things.” He nudges the wheeled laundry cart with his foot. “Raced around in these when the place was empty.”

It hadn’t been all bad. Even without a door to lock between them and the rest of the world, laundromats felt safer than motels a lot of the time. They were mostly populated by moms and old ladies and sometimes they shared snacks or gave quarters when John left them lacking in one or the other. The swishing sounds of the washer, the hum of the fluorescent lights, even the startling buzzers from the timers. These were all soothing, familiar sounds that led to the simple joy of clean, warm-from-the dryer clothing. Even after the years of having the bunker to call home, Dean still finds himself hoarding quarters just in case.

It’s funny to think that he learned all this as a child, but now he’s teaching an older-than-dirt angel how to do it. But it’s kind of nice to have him here, tagging along not because he has to but for the sheer sake of keeping Dean company. That’s been a happy realization, since the two of them became…well, whatever the hell they are these days. The way that having someone by your side can make even the most mundane tasks fun. Things like grocery shopping, where Cas studies coupons like they’re instructions for defusing a bomb, or washing dishes, which was inevitably followed by instructing Cas on how to snap a dishtowel. (Cas had gotten surprisingly good in a short amount of time with Dean’s ass as his target.) Not to mention the unexpected bonus of decreased nightmares that came with having this particular warm body next to his each night.

They sit in comfortable silence as the washers whir and the dryers tumble. Cas keeps his knee pressing against Dean’s, and sometimes Dean still can’t believe he spent all the time lecturing him on personal space. Especially now when he’d like nothing more than to pull him onto his lap and kiss him until they are both gasping for breath.  But that’ll have to wait. They’ve still got a few more days on the road before they can head home again. He tries not to think about how they’d be spending their time alone at the motel if Sam had been the one banished here.

Dean’s eye is caught by their washer accelerating into the final spin. Checking that the row is empty of people, he tugs Cas by the hand, leading him over to it. There, mostly hidden from view, he backs Cas up against the washer and kisses him, pressing against him so that the vibrations tingle through them both.

“Soon,” Cas whispers.

“Soon,” Dean agrees.

There’s time for one more kiss before the buzzer sounds.

new hero idea: support hero with an ability to reduce the damage an enemy can deal or negate the damage boost of nano, mercy’s damage beam, or orisa’s ult. (reduce damage that enemy can deal by 30% for a short period of time). this would probably last for about five seconds and have a twelve second cooldown and is a projectile like the sleep dart.

they have a passive ability that heals allies nearby, similar to lucio, but instead of being always on or switch to a speed boost, they can turn it off to increase their own damage. it heals more than lucio’s does, but the damage they do with healing turned on isn’t great, so it would take a lot of timing to keep allies and self healed or focusing on dps. the on-off would be defaulted to alternate fire and has no cooldown. 

their gun could be comparable to mercy’s, but does twice as much damage when not healing (20 on a body shot and 40 on a headshot, or 40 on a bodyshot and 80 for a headshot when not healing). probably projectile with a similar speed as d.va’s out of mech pistol and about 20 shots with a fairly fast reload. 

another ability is a burst healing, similar to ana’s grenade, but centered around them in a radius. all allies in the radius get instantly healed for a good amount (75 health? 100?) but it doesn’t have the same bonus health buff that the nade has. This might have an eight second cooldown. 

ultimate could be something like a bigger version of the damage reduction– everyone takes 30% less damage on their team, or the enemy team does 30% less damage for the duration. or everyone in a certain radius, like if it is a deployable item or a burst effect like emp. i’m not sure if it should be a buff ability for their team or a negative effect for the enemy team. 

maybe some sort of movement ability? something that reduces damage they take for a short period of time when activated, like orisa’s left shift but still affected otherwise by stunning abilities? just to help with survivability, like lucio or mercy? not sure. they would have a fairly fast base movement speed tho and a hitbox that is pretty small like out of mech d.va or tracer. 

okay I just saw Spider-Man Homecoming and now I can’t stop thinking about Dean being a total freaking science nerd all awkward and halfway in love with his best friend, Cas. Cas, who is a total genius and super popular and who has no earthly idea that Dean is the masked vigilante giving people directions and catching bike thieves. Which is fine by Dean, because Castiel has already confessed that he has a total crush on Spider-Man… and the former is pretty damn sure that Cas thinks the man behind the mask has it all figured out: older, mature, attractive—not a sixteen year-old who shares a room with his younger brother. (How Sam still doesn’t know about Spidey, Dean isn’t sure.)

Anyway, Cas comes over one night to work on their part of the robotics for the after-school team, and waits in Dean’s room because Bobby says he’s out. He sits on Dean’s bunk (the bottom) and waits and waits and waits, until fucking Spider-Man climbs in through the ceiling and carefully closes the goddamn door. Spider-Man. Spider-Man, who is clearly Dean Winchester.

Cas basically has a heart attack.

And so does Dean, if we’re being honest.

This results in a handful of days where Castiel continues an incessant line of questioning, the whole thing culminating in his desire to be Dean’s right hand man, his “guy in the chair”, if you will.

Of course, Dean says yes.

And of course, it’s when they’re hanging out in Dean’s room–the latter hanging upside down with a web and Cas lounging on Dean’s bed, that the former gets up and presses an upside down kiss to his best friend’s mouth.

Dean is speechless, and to his half-formed words of disbelief, Castiel merely shrugs.

“I liked you way before I liked Spider-Man,” the blue-eyed boy says. “And I was getting tired of waiting.”

6.22:

SAM: What happened?
ELEANOR: They took me. I got away.
(She opens her coat. Her shirt is soaked with blood by her stomach.)
BOBBY: Oh, Ellie. What have they done to you?
ELEANOR: (chuckles) Everything. The demon I could’ve handled, but when the angel stepped in, I - (sighs) I told him, Bobby. They have enough to crack Purgatory wide open

Ellie died moments later. After saying it was an angel torturing her that made her break. Now, we know there are other angels working for Cas and Crowley, guarding Crowley’s lab, who may have actually been responsible for the torture, but even we don’t know that for sure.

DEAN BELIEVES CAS TORTURED HER.

That information, the fact that Dean isn’t sure that it couldn’t have been Cas who tortured her, that he has to believe the worst, because in 6.20 believing the best of Cas was proven disastrously and catastrophically the wrong choice… And he just can’t take that risk with so much on the line here…

Then Cas showed up with his ultimatum, the same one he’d delivered Dean in 6.20 and 6.21, only now in a state of desperation:

CASTIEL: I’m sorry this had to happen. Crowley got carried away.
BOBBY: Yeah, I bet it was all Crowley you son of a bitch! (He tries to go after Castiel but Sam and Dean restrain him and he steps back.)
DEAN: (to Castiel) You don’t even see it, do you? How totally off the rails you are!
CASTIEL: Enough! I don’t care what you think. I’ve tried to make you understand. You won’t listen. So let me make this simple. Please, go home and let me stop Raphael. I won’t ask again.
DEAN: Well, good, ‘cause I think you already know the answer.
CASTIEL (shakes his head) I wish it hadn’t come to this. Well rest assured, when this is all over, I will save Sam, but only if you stand down.

Then he breaks Sam’s wall. After lying to Dean YET AGAIN, about it having been Crowley who “got carried away” with torturing Ellie, when Ellie had just told them it had been “the angel” who’d done that to her.

But how much has Cas really tried to make Dean understand? He spent almost the entire season doing everything in his power to keep Dean in the dark about everything. Yes, it was in a misguided attempt to protect Dean, but the cumulative weight of all those lies was just too much.

Sam’s journey to piecing himself back together inside his own mind is a direct mirror to what Dean’s been going through in the last three episodes regarding Cas. Since I’ve been writing over the last few days about how s6 is truly a tragedy in the classical sense, wherein the hero walks past warning sign after warning sign because they simply have no context for correctly interpreting those warnings, this really explains it well.

Sam has two lines here that Cas will eventually use in 7.17 when he eventually gets to piece himself back together… “I don’t remember anything” which eventually becomes “I remember everything. I remember you.”

I think Cas has already gone past the point of no return here. Whatever he’s been doing for the last year has changed him. Unlike how everything SINCE then has changed him for the better (as Sam assured him in 12.10), s6 definitely changed him for the worse…

CASTIEL: First Sam and Dean, and now this. I’m doing my best in impossible circumstances. My friends, they abandon me, plot against me. It’s difficult to understand.

He doesn’t understand WHY they “abandon and plot against him.” Because the moment they discovered how much he’d been lying to them all over the last year and a half he’s given them no reason to trust him. We know he’d also been lying to Balthazar, supposedly his closest supporter who’d Cas trusted Sam and Dean’s safety to multiple times over the year, but still Cas killed him when Balthazar tried to help Sam and Dean.

Cas had already reached that point of no return before he ever made that ultimatum to Dean. He’s already been poisoned in a way, hardened himself to do what he had to do, because he’d missed all those warning signs screaming at him to turn back all season long…

DEAN: You’re full of nuke. It’s not safe. So, before the eclipse ends, let’s get them souls back to where they belong.
CASTIEL: Oh no, they belong with me.
DEAN: No, Cas, it’s it-it’s scrambling your brain.
CASTIEL: No, I’m not finished yet. Raphael had many followers, and I must punish them all severely.
DEAN: Listen to me. Listen, I know there’s a lot of bad water under the bridge, but we were family once. I’d have died for you. I almost did a few times. So if that means anything to you… Please. I’ve lost Lisa, I’ve lost Ben, and now I’ve lost Sam. Don’t make me lose you too. You don’t need this kind of juice anymore, Cas. Get rid of it before it kills us all.
CASTIEL: You’re just saying that because I won. Because you’re afraid. (Behind him, Sam picks up the angel killing sword.) You’re not my family, Dean. I have no family.

Thing is, look at what Dean says he’s lost: Lisa, Ben, Sam. Why has he lost each of them? AS A DIRECT RESULT OF CAS. But Cas can neither understand that, nor is it something he can let himself care about while it’s all happening. He has to keep focused on the bigger picture if he has any hope of winning against Raphael, and also against Crowley now.

And this entire mess is ALL down to Cas’s initial choice. What he’s been through, essentially alone for the last year and a half, hardening himself into a single-minded focus, taking the entire responsibility for everything onto his own shoulders as ally after ally has abandoned and “betrayed” him (Rachel, Balthazar, and now Dean… granted NONE of them actually betrayed him, they just were so appalled on learning his plan to defeat Raphael that  they could no longer support him, but that’s as good as betrayal in his purpose-driven, ends-justify-the-means mindset).

And yet still Dean tells him that everything’s not lost, that it’s not too late to turn the bus around, to save himself. Dean was offering him a hand, despite having lost everything because of Cas’s actions over the last year… he still hasn’t given up on Cas.

But of course it’s too late. It’s always been too late. Because that’s the definition of a tragedy.

  • <p> <b>Me at 10am:</b> I'm going to be productive today, definitely not gonna spend the whole day fangirling online again.<p/><b>Me at 11pm:</b> *staring at 23 opened ao3 tabs, a 150 songs Destiel playlist on youtube, a finished Destiel OS and thousands of tumblr posts* Well fUCK<p/></p>

There’s a little box sitting in Cas’ room.

The walls are still naked, the bed has no covers and nothing but the occasional borrowed book from the Bunker’s library resting on the nightstand indicates that anyone even lives in this room.

But there’s a hidden box under the bed, a box Dean only found by accident, when he was returning Cas’ freshly washed trenchcoat.
The box is empty - except for two photos (one of Claire, one of Sam and Dean) and a small, frayed black feather.

The box stays in the room, under the bed, even when Cas isn’t there.
It makes Dean breathe lighter, to know that Cas leaves something here that is valuable to him. That way he knows Cas is coming back sooner or later.

And he does.

Every time.

Because there’s something valuable waiting for him back home, in the Bunker.

And Cas wouldn’t abandon him in a million years.