Look at me / Teeth glittering mad / On the dance floor of heaven / I wanna rip out every person that said / They loved me / When all they wanted was a shotgun / Ride to my sparkling brain / I wanna throw myself / In front of this moving car / And be the girl who never sees / Her father again / His face / A way out it / Won’t matter if I’m his daughter / Or if light came from my body / For the last time / He’s dressing in front of the vanity / He forgets what love is / Supposed to smell like / He says it smells like old blood and aluminum / He says the sun melts his insides / And it feels good / Don’t miscarriage me / I am morning light moving / Towards myself at top speed
Fandom: Supernatural Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Castiel/Dean Winchester Characters: Castiel (Supernatural), Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Jack Kline Additional Tags: Dreams, Longing, Pining, Angst with a Happy Ending, spn 13x02, episode coda, Season/Series 13, Episode: s13e02 The Rising Son Series: Part 3 of Season 13 Codas
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my soul loves-
I sought him but I did not find him.
The spice shop was redolent with the scent of sweet clove, warm apple cider, and the tangy fog of dried leaves. It smelled heavenly - the kind of place that brought on fantasies of yellow curries and sweetly spiced apple pie cooling on countertops. It was also haunted. Dean gripped the shotgun a little tighter, shaking himself back to full awareness. According to the owner, the shop was sabotaged nightly. She arrived every morning to broken jars throughout the store and ectoplasm streaked across the picture window like tears, like someone pressed their face against it nightly and wept. Until a customer had been injured “and blabbed to the press” - she’d told them, lips pursed - she’d simply endured the attacks.
So far, with Dean, Sam, and Jack prowling the store, everything was quiet. Calm. Sam and Jack were checking in the back, trying to find any remnant or evidence of a false wall or floorboard that might be harboring remains. Dean ran his tongue over his teeth and winced at the fuzz. He’d insisted on heading straight into the hunt as soon as they’d made contact with the owner earlier in the day. Maybe afterwards he could find a truck stop with showers and a little privacy, and take a little time to feel human again. Dean and Jack could sleep in the car the rest of the night and they could press onward to investigate some possible ghoul activity the next state over. He picked up a glass jar labeled “Grains of Paradise” and rattled it. The contents jangled pleasingly and he smiled a little at it and shifted the shotgun to the crook of his arm so he could untwist the cap and take a quick sniff. Of course, that’s when it struck.
Glass shattered around him as Dean went down in between the shelves. He immediately rolled to his back and caught a glimpse of a specter darting away through the shelves. “Sam!” he yelled, scrambling to his feet. The shelves of the shop were low, barely five feet, and Dean raised his shotgun and fired one clean shot at the ghost making its way through the store. The ghost flung out its hands with a wail and disappeared in a flash of white.
Sam stumbled in from the back, Jack close on his heels. “Dean?” Sam said, looking around wildly. “Where?”
Dean shook his head grimly. “Headed for that wall,” he said, loading another bullet into the chamber. Together they stalked the shelves towards a kitschy collection of knick knacks nailed to the far wall. The entire back end of the shop was plastered in tacked on mid-century tinwork and dusty black frames. Dean scanned it rapidly before zeroing in on the culprit. “Yahtzee,” he said grimly, pointing at a photo mounted above a faded Coca-Cola sign. Hanging on the wall was a photo of a young man, mouth drawn into a sly half smile. A lock of hair was tied with a delicate piece of embroidery floss and plastered between the photo and the glass. Dean reached for the picture frame.
The ghost howled again with all the rage of a hurricane and Dean watched Sam and Jack get hurtled across the room, smashing rotund glass jars and decorative crystal work as they went. Dean grabbed for the photo, dropping his shotgun so he could use both hands to pry up the photo from the wall while the ghost was occupied with Sam and Jack. Sam hit the wall hard, and fell with a sharp thud onto the floor. He lay crumpled, still, and Dean grimaced. Jack had promised not to use his powers. Even so, he stood between Sam and the ghost. Although his eyes didn’t glow, his face was drawn in a grim expression akin to hate. He held Sam’s shotgun in his hands. Blam . The ghost disappeared.
Dean pressed his boot into the wall and tightened his grip on the frame, working it off the solid pegs spearing it to the wall. The frame burst free just as the ghost attacked again and the picture flew out of his hands and crashed to the floor below. The ghost tossed him towards the ceiling before he could protect himself and hot, white sparks jumped into his vision. Dean soon found himself tossed right on top of it by the ghost’s angry push and he shuffled his bloody hands around him until his fingers met the dusty thick paper. He slid it out and fumbled for the lock of hair, then fished a shell from his pocket. He broke open the shell and scattered salt before him so that it bounced out like hail across the tiled floor. Then he pulled out his lighter, squinted up at the inhuman face rushing towards him, and lit the remnants on fire. The ghost burned through one last scream and then the shop fell quiet.
Dean groaned and let his forehead fall to the floor where it crunched against glass. “Sam?” he called.
“He’s okay,” Jack said from across the store. “He’ll be fine.”
“‘Kay.” Dean closed his eyes for a moment - just a moment - and inhaled slowly to chase the sparks from his head. Even with his face pressed to tile, the shop’s sweet perfume permeated his senses. The floor smelled like spice and dust, heated by his breath. He wondered in his addled haze if this was what Castiel had described to him, long ago.
When Castiel had wings he used to travel for unusual ingredients in the blink of an eye or the space of an hour. He’d spoken of a market once, sweet with the scent of fresh fruit and the dust kicked up by people perusing the open air stalls. The town had smelled like mountain - minerals and pine - but once he was in the market the only thing he noticed was the thick cloud of harmonious spices. He’d spoken of this phenomenon with a crooked half smile, his eyes alight as though the concept of an edible symphony were entirely new to him.
Blood tinged spit pooled on Dean’s lower lip brought him back to the shop. He spat, then pushed himself up. Dean grabbed his shotgun and went to check on Sam. And Jack.
His and Sam’s head injuries meant that they were stuck with a hotel room. They limped their way to a nearby motel and after short, cursory showers, collapsed for the night.
Once the lights were out, pain pulled at Dean’s temple and he leaned against his bed with a groan. Jack and Sam had passed out fairly quickly. Jack, as it turned out, snored loudly and his chainsaw rattle filled the corner by the couch. Sam lay insensible under a pile of blankets, dead to Jack’s unwitting symphony. Dean reached for the bottle by the bed and took a long swig before dropping the condensation-wet glass to his pant leg. Another hunt down. Another day gone. Dean drank, and willed his mind to emptiness.
When he finally fell asleep, he dreamed. He was walking in a bazaar fringed by deep green pines and gray-blue mountains. The stalls were brightly painted with cloth-clad canopies flapping in the stiff alpine breeze. Dean looked around. It was a small village, as far as he could tell. Just a collection of sparse cabins and temporary stalls lining a wide dirt path that cut through it all. Still, the market was thick with people. They milled from stall to stall, their conversational haggling capped at a muffled buzz. Many of them wore furs or brightly cut clothing dusted white at the hems. Something white caught Dean’s eye.
A crisp white shirt and wide shoulders wove through the crowd and was eclipsed a moment later by a raucous man carrying a basket of melons on his head. “Cas?” Dean croaked. A white-clad arm appeared and then the tousle-haired man crossed the market to a stall on the other side, where he disappeared yet again. Dean pushed his way around a gaggle of men crowded around a dice game and shoved his way past two women with swords strapped high on their shoulders.
Just ahead of him Castiel’s hand slipped over sunny squashes lined up in a neat row. His fingers brushed along petals from a stand of cut flowers and then he disappeared again, this time behind a crowd of school children portaging wooden boxes over their heads.
Dean ran towards the stall where he’d last seen Castiel and an old man popped out from behind the flowers. He pushed a small glass cup under Dean’s nose, brown eyes steely. “Drink,” he ordered. Dean bit his lip and craned his head around. He’d lost Castiel again.
Irritably, Dean snatched the cup and drank it down quickly, like taking a shot. The liquid lingered on his lips, sweet but bitter, and his tongue darted out to taste it even after he’d shoved the cup back at the old man and pushed past him. Pomegranate juice, he thought. A drop of it clung jewel-bright on his lip and he caught sight of Castiel again. This time he stood across the bazaar, his nose buried in an uncapped basket, a look of bliss painting his face rosy.
“Cas!” Dean called out again. This time, a woman blocked his way. She thrust a crystal vial at him. An ornate golden air pump capped the top of it and he looked at the perfume bottle, puzzled. “What’s this for?”
“So you can keep his name,” she said.
He bit his lip again. Castiel was already moving on. Dean nodded curtly and snatched the bottle from her, sweeping around her side. She grabbed him swiftly, fingers cutting into the crook of his arm like talons.