lift up your hearts. 12x23 coda. deancas. (ao3)
Castiel wakes in darkness.
He reaches for his grace to find that it’s gone, but his hands are still there, so he reaches out with those, instead. He claws his way up and out of the cold and damp and crushing weight, holding his breath, chest aching.
As soon as he breaks the surface, he lies there, still half buried, and gasps in lungful after lungful of cold, fresh air.
It’s only when his breathing finally calms that he pulls himself the rest of the way out of the ground. He tries to stand but winds up falling to all fours, fabric of his damp clothes chafing against his knees, his elbows. He settles for kneeling, instead, as he tries in vain to shake the sand from his hair and clothes, wipe it from his skin.
As the sun finally peeks over the mountains, he twists his head, looks over his shoulder.
They buried him where he fell. In the early morning light, he can make out the shape of his own damaged wings seared onto the ground, stretching out on either side of where he lay. There is no cross marking his grave, no cairn, just a small circle of carefully placed rocks and a pair of familiar bootprints not yet washed away by the elements.
Castiel turns back around. He rises slowly to his feet and stumbles into the house.