Fic: Adieu

Oct. 20th, 2012 11:23 pm
seeing_ghosts: (Dean - Faith)
[personal profile] seeing_ghosts

Summary: Castiel comes back from Purgatory. Dean almost drowns in guilt.
Dean, Castiel, Sam, Dean/Cas, 3,000 words, PG-13

Written for, and inspired by a conversation with,[ profile] destielchild and I blame her entirely! Also, I think there is some heavy UST, so I apologize for that, too.

Spoilers for 7x23 and all aired Season 8 episodes, just to be sure. Lyrics are from the song Adieu by Enter Shikari.

Fic is unbeta'd, english is not my first language, constructive criticism is always welcome.

And I long for you to appear
After losing your way across star-riddled skies
To carry you home

Cas appears in the middle of the motel room on an otherwise ordinary Saturday, close to midnight. Sam is sitting by his notebook and Dean is watching the tiny, crappy television from where he's perched on the floor, when the soft sound of flapping wings makes them both look up so fast their necks crack audibly.

Cas stands there, in his ruined trenchcoat and the hospital scrubs that used to be white and are now beyond recognition, his eyes trained on Dean as he says his name, simply and quietly.

Dean doesn't hear Sam gasp through the rush of blood drumming in his ears – all he knows is that suddenly he's not on the floor anymore; he's on his feet, his gun ready to fire in front of him; in his shaking hands, his trembling fingers.

"What the hell are you?" he bites out through the panic, hearing Sam call his name from somewhere far away. "What are you?"

"Dean," Castiel repeats, staring into Dean's eyes over the barrel of his gun, unperturbed. "It's me."

"No!" Dean shouts and readjusts his grip on the gun; it seems to be slipping from his fingers and sweaty palms, unwilling to be pointing anywhere in Cas's general direction. "I saw you – I saw – it can't be – "


It seems to be the only word Cas is capable of, repeating it with the same vigour, with the same emotion, as he ever has.

"I saw it fucking take you! You can't be – "


This time it's Sam calling his name. He's standing now, his palms out. "Man, calm down. Don't do anything hasty, we'll run the test, we'll see – "

Dean's eyes flicker from Cas to Sam and back again and he licks his lips, shaking his head. "No," he says but it sounds weak even to his own ears, the blood still rushing through his heart into his head, into his shaking hands, making him dizzy and light headed. "It can't be," he repeats again but the grip on his gun loosens. Sam takes it as a sign to take a step closer to Cas, who hasn't taken his eyes away from Dean the whole time.

"Dude, I'm sorry but I gotta do this," Sam says to Cas, his voice gentle in contrast with the blade he has in his hand – Dean doesn't even remember seeing Sam get it from their duffels.

They go through the tests, trying everything they know – holy water, Borax, silver – and Cas passes with flying colors, his eyes only leaving Dean's to look up at Sam and offer a small smile when Sam finishes up with a loud exhale of breath.

"Welcome back, I guess?" he says and clasps Cas's shoulder. Cas murmurs a silent thank you and turns back to Dean, taking a step forward.

Dean keeps shaking his head, the gun still in his hand but hanging beside his body now, his other fist clenched. He remembers Cas's face when he last saw him, eyes wide and full of fear, an odd contrast with the calm serenity in them now.

"Ah, I'll go and get something to eat," Sam says from somewhere behind them. "I'll get you a burger, Cas, how's that sound?"

"Thank you, Sam," Cas says.

"Alright, so yeah, it will probably take a while to find something that's open now, and I'll eat something while I'm out, too, so, uh. It might take me some time."

Dean tears his eyes from Cas's face to look at his brother who's standing by the door with a hand on the door knob and a smile that's partly amused and partly really fucking touched.

They say nothing but Sam still nods, opens the door and goes, closing behind himself quietly and leaving Dean alone with Castiel.

Dean opens his mouth and closes it, and then opens it again. "How?" he croaks out, his voice rough with emotions he can't even identify, let alone name. Guilt. Relief. Something else entirely Dean doesn't let himself dwell on.

"It's the angels," Castiel replies. "They brough me back, somehow. I didn't bother to ask how exactly yet. I wanted to go to you first."

"Oh, god," Dean breaths out and it sounds too close to a sob for his liking; if he starts crying, Dean's going to fucking kill himself.

"I think we have established that I am not, in fact, a god," Castiel says, his lips drawn into a little sheepish smile.

"I thought you were dead, you asshole!" Dean barks out and takes the last two steps dividing them, wrapping his arms around Cas again. This time, Cas hugs him back.

With no prying eyes around, Dean allows himself to burrow his head in Cas's shoulder, grip his torn and dirty trenchcoat, rock them back and forth a little, from side to side. Cas stinks of sweat and mud and blood, even though there is no blood on him; he smells like no angel should ever smell but Dean couldn't care less.

"I'm sorry," he says. "If I'd known I would have – "

"I know," Cas cuts in. "You are not to blame, Dean."

Dean squeezes his eyes shut and takes a sharp breath, forcing the air down his tight throat. Then he pushes back, grips Cas by the shoulders and looks him straight in the eye. "You need a fucking shower, man," he says and Cas's lips twitch, "and a shave."

Dean gives Cas one of his old t-shirts and Sam's sweatpants, deciding to try and make Cas as comfortable as he can, since he failed at everything else.

He sits and listens to the running shower, pretending to watch the television while his mind wanders elsewhere; his heart drops somewhere to his stomach with the knowledge that he left Cas in there and didn't even try to get him out; that he assumed, with such certainty, that the angel was dead even when Dean knows that when push comes to shove Cas is a stubborn son of a bitch and wouldn't just croak.

It's almost funny how things have changed – a year ago, it has been Cas who owed them an apology. A year passes and it's the other way around.

"Maybe we're even now," Dean mumbles and closes his eyes.

As if on cue, the shower stops. Dean glances towards the bathroom door and then back to the television, pretending his heart isn't clogging his throat, that he isn't dreading the confrontation now that things are slowed down.

Cas steps out of the room looking entirely too small in Dean and Sam's clothes, and entirely too awkward just standing there like he's waiting for Dean's approval on his attire. Dean tries really, really hard not to snort at the sight of him.

"You still need a shave," he says instead and Castiel shuffles awkwardly in place.

"I do not know how to shave," he says after a beat and Dean's eyebrows rise.

"Oh," he says and then repeats it as it sinks in, "oh." He takes a breath and waves his hand in Cas's general direction. "Alright, uh, I guess I'll just show you, then."

He stands up and ushers Cas back into the bathroom, turning him by his shoulders and pushing him with a hand between his shoulder blades, Cas's body solid and warm underneath the thin t-shirt. They stop in front of the tiny mirror above the sink, their faces shadowed and worn out in the dimmed light of the room.

"I could show you," Dean says after a moment, "or I could just... Do it for you. Might be faster that way."

"I think I would prefer it if you did it, please," Cas says and Dean chuckles.

"Well, since you asked so nicely," Dean says and pushes Cas to sit on top of the bathtub, grabbing his shaving cream. "Good thing Sam's out, otherwise this would've been awkward."

"Why?" Cas asks, voice flat and even. Dean shrugs.

"Let's just say that this isn't something two dudes usually do for each other," he says and rubs the shaving cream between his hands. "Unless they're dying or something."

Dean smooths the cream across Cas's cheeks, refusing and ignoring the impuls to cup his face in his palms. Cas's eyes are locked on his face and Dean ignores that, too, even though he can feel his own cheeks flush under Cas's gaze.

"Why would you need shaving if you were dying?" Cas asks and Dean's hand falters a little as he reaches over for his razor, remembering how disracted and unfocused Cas was after taking on Sam's hallucinations and before Purgatory.

"It's a..." Dean starts and then shrugs. "Guess some of us would like to snuff it while clean-shaven," he finishes with a smirk, figuring he might as well play along with the question, looking Cas in the eye for a moment.

He positions the razor to Cas's jaw and Cas asks, "Is that why you were still shaving in Purgatory?"

Dean swallows and says, "keep still and stop talking, for crying out loud."

Cas does and Dean shaves him in silence only interupted by their breathing and the sharp drag of razor across skin. Once or twice he asks Cas to lift his head and lower it again but other than that, they don't talk at all.

It's much harder than he remembers it being, shaving someone else but himself. But then again, it's been years since he had to do it for Sam and it feels like apples and oranges anyway, comparing it. Cas is not Dean's brother, not in the same way Sam is – and honestly, Dean's not sure what Cas is to him, not after everything – and there's something intimate about what they're doing that was never there with Sam. Not when Sam was sixteen and Dean had to show him for the first time, or when Sam had his arm broken and was virtually useless for almost a month right before he left for Stanford.

Cas's eyes don't leave Dean's face for a second, not even when Dean's done and wipes the remaining bits of the cream off Cas's face with a towel.

"That's it," Dean says and smiles at him, patting his cheek lightly, "you're all shiny and new."

"Thank you," Cas says but neither of them move for a few seconds, and then Dean runs his fingers through Cas's still wet strands of hair, standing up in all directions, falling into Cas's eyes.

"You could probably use a haircut, too," he says quietly, brushing the hair back from Cas's forehead and rests his palm on top of Cas's head, swallowing through a throat too tight. "Cas," he says and closes his eyes, licks his lips, "god. I'm sorry I screwed up."

"Dean, don't," Cas says but he doesn't stand up or shake Dean's hand off, and Dean doesn't remove it either. For some reason he doesn't really want to.

"Shut up," he mutters, "you should be pissed. Be pissed! I know I would be."

"No," Cas says and only then reaches for Dean's wrist, pulling his hand down but keeping his fingers circled around it. "You wouldn't be. You weren't, when you found me."

"I kind of was," Dean says, admits, and Cas stands up. Dean tries to take a step back, to put some space between them but Cas is still holding his wrist and won't let him.

"No, you weren't, Dean. I can read you, I could read you. You were..." Cas stops then and his eyes flicker to the side. "You were looking for me while you could have left without. What happened wasn't your fault and you musn't blame yourself. I don't blame you."

Dean is shaking his head. "You stupid son of a bitch," he breaths out, biting his lip. "It's gonna get you killed one of these days. For real this time."

I'm gonna get you killed, is what Dean means, but he doesn't say.

Cas shrugs and lets go of Dean's wrist, and for the first time Dean realizes how close they're standing now that no one is keeping him in place but his own free will.

Dean expects Sam to walk back into the motel room at any given moment, doesn't know if he wants it to happen or not. But no one comes, there is no knocking or even the rumble of the Impala outside, so Dean swallows and says, "You should get some rest. If you, you know, need to. Want to."

"I'd like that, yes," Castiel says and Dean nods.

"Alright," he says, "okay," and then he starts moving and just like that, whatever was between them breaks now that they're animated again. Dean leaves the bathroom with a wildly beating heart, Cas walking close behind him.

Dean gives him Sam's bed; Sam can take his because Dean doesn't sleep on beds much anymore, anyway. Cas crawls onto it but not under the covers and hums when Dean asks him if he's fine. He fidgets and shuffles, though, as if he doesn't know how to even use a bed and Dean takes pity on him, then. He gets on top of his own and leans against the headboard and watches Cas mimic him.

The angel is asleep less then fifteen minutes later and Dean stares at him while he can, while no one is around. He should have asked, probably, if Cas's okay; Dean can't remember the last time Cas had to sleep, or the last time he actually did – he could go on forever with no rest at all, and if there's a tiny part of Dean that's freaked out by him falling under so smoothly, he stomps at it until it dies.

Sam comes back almost an hour after Cas falls asleep, long after Dean pulls the covers over him and turns off the sound on the TV, switches off all the lights.

Sam stops in the doorway, a cup of coffee in one hand, a styrofoam box in the other.

"Hey," he says then and closes the door slowly, careful not to make much noise. "Is he, uh," he nods towards Cas on the bed, "is he alright? Since he's sleeping and all that."

Dean shrugs. "I don't know," he answers truthfully. "I didn't get to ask him."

"Alright," Sam replies and smiles a little like he knows something Dean doesn't, that little shit. "I'm gonna put this in the fridge so Cas can eat it in the morning, and I guess I'll get another room."

"No," Dean says immediately, "you don't have to, I'll just – "

"You're not sleeping on the floor, Dean," Sam cuts in sharply. Dean opens his mouth to protest but Sam beats him to it. "It's got to stop, alright? You can't keep doing this, you're not... You're not in Purgatory anymore. You can sleep on the damn bed."

Dean wants to yell at him, wants to tell Sam that he has no idea; no right to tell him what he can and cannot do, and that mostly he just doesn't understand; but then he glances at Cas and it all dies in his throat.

"Sure," he says instead, "whatever you say, Samantha."

Sam grins as if he won the lottery, puts the burger in the fridge and goes for the door. He stops before he opens and looks back at Dean. "Dude... Are you okay?"

Dean shrugs again and tries to grin at his brother, but his face feels rubbery, uncooperative. "Sure," he says, "why shouldn't I be?"

Sam just shakes his head and closes the door, leaving Dean in the darkness sitting on top of a bed that feels almost alien to him, with a sleeping angel (or whatever Cas is now, after coming back) snoring softly in the bed next to Dean's.

Dean slips onto the floor and if he spends the rest of the night sitting on it watching Cas... Well, Sam's not around to see him.

Home could be anywhere
When I am holding you

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