After what felt like another eon of watching, waiting, protecting, Cas noticed Dean finally stir beneath him. The angel allowed himself one sigh of relief, brief and muffled.
“Rain,” Dean gagged, his voice raw, like a dull blade. How long had he been unconscious? Cas had no sense of it here in Purgatory, no concept of the minutes or hours or days. Besides, time was a human construct anyway, the measure of which never quite came naturally to Cas, no matter how hard he tried. “Ghch—Fuck. Rain?”
“I do not understand,” Cas murmured, in a voice blasphemously close to prayer.
“‘s raining,” mumbled Dean, without opening his eyes. “Since when’s it rain in here?”
“It is not raining, Dean.”
Dean tried to open his eyes then, but the effort was too much; and he settled instead for lolling his head gently back and forth along the ground.
“Ow. Fuck.” A breath escaped Dean’s chapped, broken lips, stained with whose blood, Cas could no longer tell. “Sure feels like rain.”
“I assure you.” Cas bit back a pained smile. His wings, raw and battered, ached. “It is not raining.”
“Then tell whatever’s dripping on me to stop.” A droplet splattered on Dean’s cheek just then, dripping down the contour of his cheekbone like a caress. Dean choked. “‘S annoying.”
“I’ll try,” murmured Cas, snaking a hand to the collar of Dean’s jacket. “Just go back to sleep.”
“Fine, fine,” he groaned, shifting his broken cheek against the back of Cas’s palm. Cas moved his hand away, and tried to ignore the brief, inappropriate flush of pleasure he felt from the small contact. Dean needed an angel now, nothing less.
“Looks like Mom was right all along,” Dean then added softly. He managed a small, secretive smile, as if he’d told a funny joke that Cas should have gotten. Cas grimaced. He still struggled to understand human humor. But this was neither the time nor the place.
“Sleep,” Cas ordered, and Dean did.
-gasp- OH MY GOD NO ONE HAS EVER WRITTEN A DRABBLE FOR MY ARTS BEFORE THANK YOUUUUU I love it! 8D Seriously! I am so stoked! LAKSf;lgs;log;lkj!
Posts tagged fanfic.
Rejoice, favored one, and do not fear, for your prayers are heard, and I have finally found you.
It was really a perfect plan. Dean didn’t see how it could go wrong.
If glasses scorched in holy fire could let him see hellhounds, why not an angel’s wings?
Dean almost rubbed his hands together in fiendish glee when he realized that seeing Cas’s wings could be as simple as putting on the glasses and calling Cas. He’d been dying to see them ever since the barn, and things between them had changed significantly since then.
With no reason to hesitate, he got his glasses from the trunk of the Impala and went to his bedroom in the bunker to pray. They’d had to alter the wards slightly to allow Cas through, but it was well worth it.
“Hey, Cas, I want to talk to you about something, so get your feathery ass down here!” Dean said playfully. He waited.
There was a soft swish of wings behind him and he turned, heart leaping in anticipation-
His breath caught in his throat, heart stopping cold.
“Dean?” Cas said, tilting his head the way he always did when he was curious about something. Dean couldn’t answer, nausea sinking into the pit of his stomach.
He could see Castiel’s wings.
They were huge, dwarfing Cas with their sheer size. The longest feathers looked to be the size of Dean’s forearm, soft and smooth, but that wasn’t what caused the lump in Dean’s throat.
Thick tracts of scar tissue crisscrossed what he could see of the wings. Large patches of feathers were missing, revealing painful-looking burns, or clearly growing back in. One of the wings had been broken and not set properly, lending an odd curve to the bone.
“Why are you wearing glasses?”
Dean’s hand flew to his face and he yanked them off, shoving them in his shirt pocket.
“I…. uh, reading,” he said. Cas nodded slowly, uncertain whether or not to believe him.
“What did you want to talk about?” Cas asked.
“You know… I forgot,” Dean lied.
The doctor hands you a brush and a row of watercolor paints. He tell you to paint your past, something that stands you the most to you.
“What’s the first thing you see when you close your eyes?” he asks.
You shrug, don’t want to tell him the truth.
Tell him it’s me, Lucifer whispers in your ear. Tell him that your dead big brother haunts you. Ask him if you can cut your wrists a little so you can banish him with that pretty sigil you like so much.
You look up from the paint set and swallow past the dryness of your throat.
“I’m not good at art,” you say, timid and quiet.
The Doctor smiles. “That’s okay. This isn’t going to be hung up on a wall anywhere, it’s just for you and me.”
You nod. Next to you, Lucifer laughs and kisses your temple, making you flinch.
You can do it baby brother, he insists. Draw that beautiful boy you love so much. What’s his name again?
“Dean,” you concede, playing into Lucifer’s games.
That’s the one.
“Who is Dean?” The Doctor questions.
Your face reddens and you look back down at the paints, picking up the brush and dipping it in the Dixie cup filled with water. He’s been asking you about Dean for as long as you’ve been here. And you never answer, you can’t. You don’t know who the Doctor is and you can’t risk giving Dean over too him. So you keep quiet and the Doctor lets you do so, not asking anything else.
When your brush is plenty wet, you dip it in the black first. And a ringing starts in your ears, the second the bristles touch the paint. It’s a rumbling sort of sound, like the engine you’ve memorized over the years and a song being played on low. It surprises you. You try to ignore it. But when you begin to paint on the paper in front of you it only gets louder. You close your eyes to it and just listen as each brush stroke brings to life the image of a the Impala doing down the road, Sam sleeping in the passenger seat and Dean looking at him with a fondness that makes your chest ache.
You open your eyes when you feel the brush skittering on the page, dry of all the paint you put on it. You rinse it in the water and go for the blue. Again you hear a scene, but this time it’s wind and waves; gulls chattering to be heard over the roar of the sea. You don’t close your eyes this time. Instead, you paint a small marble on top of the fat black line you created.
Try red, Lucifer exclaims from behind you. His hand squeezes your shoulder and you do as he asks.
You don’t like red, or orange. They create flames and broken families and push at your chest like they’re trying to cave you in. Yellow brings demons to life and purple takes you to seedy bars, serving you unfamiliar drinks. And brown makes you hear the laughter of children as their father hands them ice cream cones, reaching into his familiar leather jacket to pay the cashier for the desserts.
You hesitate when you finally get to green. Your brush hovers over it and you’re scared of what you’ll hear. You can guess, and you’re almost sure you know what the color will be related to.
“Emmanuel?” the Doctor says. “Are you finished?”
You shake your head and touch the paint, closing your eyes as you do. For a moment, nothing happens. All you hear is silence so deafening you want to throw the paints across the room. But just as your anger starts to build, an image appears, slowly, like a drop of water hitting a paper towel and spreading wide. It starts with his smile, then to his freckled nose and short hair. It circles all around, revealing everything but his eyes, saving them for last. And eventually they’re there too, staring at you, crinkling at the corners as he grins.
“Hey, Cas,” he says.
“Hello, Dean,” you reply, smiling back at the image in your mind.
Dean licks his lips and then he’s gone.
You open your eyes and look at the doctor who’s watching you with an expression on his face that you can’t quite place.
You set the paintbrush down on top of your paper and fold your hands in your lap. “I’m done now.”
There’s a ruckus in the hall.
There’s never been a ruckus before, not a single one in all of Time. There really shouldn’t be one now, and Sachiel feels his first frisson of fear.
A human - a human! - bursts through the pristine doors, a primitive weapon in his hand that nonetheless fills Sachiel with unimaginable dread.
Human souls shouldn’t be able to find this place, must less storm the doors. Even angels do not dare to set foot here unless invited by Her.
And if humans aren’t supposed to be here, that weapon most certainly should not be. Sachiel can smell the blood of Eve’s children on it, can feel the malice radiating from the sharpened stone even beneath the murderous rage emanating from the human wielding it.
Sachiel is frozen in place, paralyzed by shock and something he doesn’t want to admit is fear as the human marches up to the desk and seizes the front of Sachiel’s suit. Sachiel is dragged half over the counter, nose to nose with the intruder. The weapon the human holds is leveled at his throat, and then the human speaks.
“Where’s my angel?”
fic excerpt: pilot!au
notes: (everything is pilot!au this week, shh.) saw this this morning and it is beyond adorable and absolutely has to be a part of this fic, aah. this tiny section is perforce not at all original, I just wanted to include it—many apologies!
Castiel spots him from all the way across the wide floor, crouching underneath one of the other Hawkers, shaking his head at whatever it is that he sees.
One morning, after a handful of fidgety afternoons, Dean sets down a paper bag of breakfast bagels in front of Cas, walks away a couple steps, and then, so in a manner so carefully casual it could only be calculated, wiggles off his old silver ring and throws it to him, with no more lead-in than a grunted, “Hey. Catch.”
Cas catches it easily, barely glancing up from the standard-issue motel copy of the King James that he’s leafing through, but when he actually thinks to inspect what he’s now holding, he frowns. ”Dean?”
By this point, Dean has turned away and is busy shrugging out of his coat. “What?”
“What is this?”
Sam looks up from the desk at the disturbance, looking between them.
Dean rolls his eyes. “It’s a pony, Cas - what does it look like?”
Cas makes an annoyed noise in his throat. “It’s a ring,” he says. There’s a long pause where he waits for some kind of response or explanation, but Dean is suddenly extremely focused on flipping through the files for the case they’re working on; Sam closes his book and leans back in his chair, watching the exchange with amusement. After a beat, Cas goes on, “Dean, why are y—”
Dean snaps the case file shut, colour starting to seep along his neck and jawline. “Look, it’s not rocket science, okay? Either put it on or give it back,” he says gruffly.
Cas looks down at the ring in his hands - silver worn smooth by age and endless wear, a little dented and dirty where it wouldn’t come clean after a fight - and wordlessly slips it on. Ring finger, left hand. It’s a little too big but when Cas looks up his eyes are soft, crinkling at the edges like he’s looking into the sun. “Thank you.”
Dean doesn’t answer this. He jerks his shoulders in a non-committal shrug, no big deal - but he does reach out, just quickly, and touch Cas’ face, knuckle to jawline, and that’s it done and that’s all they need.
Then Dean sees Sam smirking and demands, “What are you looking at?”, because they needed a witness, but he doesn’t have to look so goddamn smug.
When we drive in your car, we listen
to your music, and you talk
and talk. You tell me that this song
is the greatest hit of a man named Led.
You wave your hand and your ring
glints in the glow from the stars
and the headlights. “But you probably
only like Ode to Joy and shit.” I tilt.
“Beethoven was deaf.” I guess I gotta
keep on ramblin’. “This man,
Led Zeppelin, is he deaf?” You throw me
your best what-the-hell. “Robert Plant
is not deaf.” You conduct, stabbing
your fingers in the air, your mouth spieling
like the dark road we’re speeding down
and I watch your talking hands, your spitfire
spit-fly mouth, and I hear your perfect
chaos voice, and regardless
of both Plant and Beethoven, you
are the best music I’ve ever known, and
remaking you from nothing
was my greatest hit, my
ode to joy.
Something sweet for my wall.
—also super thank you to both Euclase and Quickreaver for their awesome crit help with this.
Some things are worth falling for.
Like a well-worn coat, a constellation of stains faded around its collar. It still smells a little like mud and cheap fast food, and all the other things Dean stowed away in his stolen cars. There’s still a crease along the belt from where it was folded that just won’t fall out, because Cas keeps it there. Maybe it’s an indulgent use of angel mojo, but Cas tells himself it’s okay, because after all, it’s the blemishes that make it beautiful.
Or the bracelet with “WINCHESTER, CAS” stamped in tiny bold letters. Two names, neither of which he asked for, neither of which he’d give up. Underneath scrolls his admittance date to the hospital like a birthday, or a baptism, and it means more now than his years or his rank or the number of tours he’d spent in that foxhole called Earth. It means more than how many apocalypses he can avert, or how many demons he can fell with a single swipe, the black blood spattering into his mouth, Anna crisply saluting, the pride in her eyes, Cas finally feeling like the soldier he was created to be.
The first cheeseburger, the first beer. The first dream of his own making—not someone else’s, which he stomps through like so much underbrush, but his own private sanctuary, one with a nebulae of flowers and the sunset slanting across a lake unending. The first nightmare, and the hand on his shoulder that wakes him. The first time Dean slips and calls them both my brothers.
Like watching the stars in a hopeless place, and realizing that’s all they are anymore: distant lights, fading memories. Brilliant, beautiful things that once seemed so small, and so close. But now Cas is the one who’s small, and the space between the stars and his memories threatens to swallow him up, and maybe he’ll let them; maybe this time he’ll just close his eyes and let go.
But then a pair of strong, scarred hands fold across Cas’s belly, so sure, so presumptive, as if an angel of the Lord even needed the support—as if knowing that of course he does, and maybe he always did.
Like the weight of a man, his bones sharp against Cas’s flesh, so frail, so breakable. But the flesh is as warm as the core of stars.
Stars fall, and empires fall, and resolves fall, each dragged down by the weight of inevitability, and yet, Cas thinks as Dean’s ribs press heavily against his own, some things are worth falling for.
Hey, chapter 16 of Redemption Road is published, so I can post these now!
I had a blast drawing these. Thanks so much to Nyoka for letting me illustrate, and to Lettie for coloring the first two images!