quiddative: Thor (Baby Hollywood is Dead)
a question to the world ([personal profile] quiddative) wrote in [community profile] conversely2010-09-28 12:54 am

Face to Face with the Skies 9/9

April 2009


Dean’s stomach drops as his world turns upside down and inside out. “The archangel smote the crap out of him. I’m sorry,” says Chuck dejectedly.

“You sure? I mean, maybe he just vanished into the light or something... ”

He trails off when he catches the look on Chuck’s face. He knows just as well as Chuck and Sam that Castiel is gone. It still doesn’t stop him from feeling as if his entire world has turned to dust.

It feels like he’s lost Caspar all over again and a part of Dean wants to laugh hysterically at that. At the irony that the man he loved—still loves—had seemingly come back to life only to die again. Mom, Dad, Cas, and even Sammy... they’re all going leave him some day.

Because he’s poison and everything he touches will wither and die one day.

May, 1997


Dean was pretty sure he’d lost his head when he told Dad that if Cas left, he would leave too, but at the same time he’d never been more sure of anything in his life up til that point. It was the first time he ever stood up to Dad and the last time, too.

When he saw the blinding pillar of light erupt in the sky near the lake, he knew in his heart that it had something to do with Cas. He and Sam abandoned their search for the werewolf and hightailed it toward the light, but by the time they got there, there was nothing left save for the blackened corpse of the werewolf and Dad.

And Cas’s trench coat—bloodied and torn, in Dad’s hand. Panic swelled in Dean as he took a tentative step forward. “Dad,” he said shakily, “where’s Cas?”

Dad turned around to look at him, a blank expression on his face. “Gone,” he said simply. “Vanished.”

Dean shook his head, feeling tears brimming at the edge of his eyes. “No, you’re wrong,” he croaked. “Cas wouldn’t just leave us.” He would never leave me. He fucking promised he wouldn’t!

Dad looked at him pityingly and it took everything in Dean’s power to keep from trying to wipe the look off his face. “I’m sorry, Dean,” he said, actually sounding like he meant it. “He saved my life.”

“No... ” Dean stumbled back, clutching his head in his hands.

“He and the werewolf... I don’t know what happened but he’s gone, Dean. He’s gone.”

“You’re lying!” Dean shouted. The tears poured freely down his cheeks but he didn’t care. He raised his head to the sky and screamed, “Cas! Where are you?” When he received no answer, he quickly whirled on his heels and marched into the forest, pushing Sam aside when he tried to block his path.

“Dean—”

“I’m gonna find him,” swore Dean. “I’m gonna find Cas.”

He glanced behind him and caught Sam and Dad exchanging worried looks, but they said nothing and followed Dean into the forest, letting the thick trees swallow them like a black hole.

*


They searched for a week. By the end of the fourth day, Dean knew Kittery Point like the back of his hand.

He screamed himself hoarse the entire time, crying for Cas until it wasn’t a name anymore but a mantra with no meaning. He even prayed to a God he still wasn’t sure he believed in that Cas would come back to him because he was going insane with every minute that passed without the older man by his side.

At the end of the week, Dad and Sam wordlessly began to pack away their tents and supplies, waiting until the very last minute to drag Dean—kicking and screaming—to the car. If he wasn’t so angry at them for it, he would’ve laughed at the sight of seeing Dad and Sammy working together for once and not at each other’s throats.

“It’s no use, Dean,” said Dad regretfully. When Dean didn’t answer him, he sighed, “I’m sorry, son. I... ”

“What would you know?” Dean snapped, wincing inwardly at the crack of his throat. He was curled up in the backseat of the Impala like a sulky teenager with bloodshot eyes and everything. He was sure he’d cried the most in these few days than he ever did his whole life and he finally had no more tears left.

To Dean’s surprise, Dad simply sighed instead of snapping back at him. “Because I know what it’s like to lose the person you love most,” he answered, so quietly that Dean nearly missed it.

*


Dean burned the trench coat the next night.

April, 2009


“Hey, Dean,” says Sam quietly, nudging him out of his thoughts.

Dean blinks and suddenly he’s back in the cold, dank present. “What?”

“We’re here.”

Dean can just make out the annoyingly bright neon red sign that flashed, CASTLE STORAGE above him. “Yeah.”

Sam opens his mouth to say something but one look from Dean is enough to convince him that keeping quiet is for the best. Dean’s in no mood to deal with Sam and his guilt, not on top of his own twisted thoughts.

*


“—I won’t ask twice,” says Castiel.

Despite the pain, Dean can’t help staring at Castiel, still can’t fully believe he’s actually there. He vaguely registers the flutter of wings signaling Zachariah’s departure (good riddance, he thinks) just as his body’s restored to normal. He shoots a concerned look at Sam, satisfied when he sees that he’s back to normal, too. More or less.

“Cas, how are you—” But Dean doesn’t get another word in edgewise when Castiel singles in on him like a fucking missile, pulls him up with little effort, pushes him roughly against the wall and starts kissing the life out of him.

The first thing Dean thinks is he tastes so much like Caspar that it’s painful. His lips are chapped and dry and not exactly pleasant but the familiarity of it sends a spark of desire straight through Dean’s spine. Castiel tastes like the forest and of fire with a quiet hum of power bubbling underneath him so close and threatening it terrifies Dean but turns him on at the same time.

Just like before.

He pushes Castiel away once he’s got his grip, both of them breathing hard under their breath. Castiel sucks in a deep gulp of air. “Dean—”

“What the fuck was that?” Dean asks. He congratulates himself for keeping his voice in check, though just barely.

“I... ” Castiel looks away, almost as if he’s ashamed. “It’s me, Dean. Caspar.”

Time stops.

“Caspar?” Sam echoes.

Dean’s head is spinning and now that he’s taken a better look at Castiel—his trench coat. It’s gone. “What—”

“You knew me once as Caspar,” he says more firmly. “But my true name is Castiel. I... ”

Anger flares in Dean suddenly—hot, burning rage that he’s been bottling up for years. “So you were playing us this whole time?” he barks. “Getting your jollies by screwing with my head? Oh, I think I’ll send Dean Winchester on the most fucked up trip of his life by playing hide-and-seek with him as his dead boyfriend!” Dean’s voice is getting louder and shakier now and he knows it, but he doesn’t care. All he knows is anger and pain and he wants Castiel—Caspar—who the fuck ever to feel every last bit of it.

“That’s not true,” Castiel says weakly.

“You know what? Forget it!” Dean pushes past him, past Sam, ignoring their protests. “I’m done!” The scary thing is, he means it.

He’s spent too many years breaking his heart over and over again for Caspar, looking for someone—anyone—to fill the void in him and failing every single time. He’s done crying for him.

Castiel had his chance (a hell of a lot more chances than he deserved, really) and Dean’s done waiting around for him.

*


Neither Dean nor Sam could do anything more than let out yelps of surprise when Castiel suddenly appears in front of them in Bobby’s hospital room, puts his hands on their chests, and—holy fucking shit, what the hell just happened to him?

“What the hell was that?” Dean snarls as soon as Castiel pulls his hands back. He tries to ignore the lingering tingle of warmth where Castiel’s hand used to be.

“An Enochian sigil. It’ll hide you from every angel in creation, including Lucifer.” A beat. “Including me,” he adds quieter.

“Good,” Dean replies scathingly. Castiel winces noticeably.

“Dean—”

“Look, if whatever you have to say next isn’t about the Apocalypse, then you’ve got nothing to say to me,” says Dean. He doesn’t want to hear Castiel’s excuses, doesn’t want to hear him ask Dean to give him another chance.

Because he might just do that.

Sam suddenly clears his throat and all eyes on the room turn to him. “Hey, Cas,” he says. “Wanna get some coffee with me?”

“Why would I—”

But Sam’s already dragging him out the door, shutting it behind him with a loud ‘click’. It’s just Dean and Bobby now.

Bobby fixes him with an unreadable look. “There somethin’ you wanna tell me, son?” he asks cautiously.

Dean lets out a choked laugh, covering his face behind his right hand. He sees a flash of silver and holds it out, just realizing that he’s still wearing the ring Castiel gave him all those years ago. A pang of misery and so much want hits him like a freight train and he forces himself to look away. “It’s a long, long, very long story,” he says.

Bobby snorts. He rolls his chair to the other side of the room where his clothes are and pulls out two silver flasks. He tosses one to Dean, who catches it easily in one hand. “We’ve got all the time in the world,” says Bobby, uncapping his flask and already downing the contents in his mouth.

The irony’s not lost on either of them but it’s enough for the last of Dean’s resolve to crumble. He sighs and opens his mouth. The words he’s kept locked in the deepest, darkest corner of his heart for what felt like centuries come spilling out fluidly, finally given the chance to escape after being bottled up for so long. With every little thing he tells Bobby, another lock breaks open and everything he’s been holding in is out in the open now, and he can’t take it back anymore.

By the time Dean’s done, he realizes that his cheeks are stained with tears and he actually has to sit down, his legs unable to bear the heavy weight any longer. Bobby says nothing. He simply clenches Dean’s shoulder tightly and doesn’t let go.

*


When Sam comes back from his fake coffee break, he’s alone.

“Hey,” he says softly, sitting down beside Dean. “You okay?”

“Just peachy.”

Sam snorts. “Yeah, right.”

They—Sam, Dean, and Bobby—sit like that for a long time, letting the buzz of hospital activity outside the room wash over them. Finally, though, Sam breaks the silence. “Cas told me everything.”

Dean takes a long swig out of his flask. “So?” he says as nonchalantly as he can, but he knows just as well as the two men with him that he’s not fooling anyone.

“He meant it, all of it,” begins Sam. “When Chuck said that Raphael blasted Cas to pieces... it wasn’t true. For some reason, he sent Cas back in time, our time.”

It’s ludicrous and seems like the plot of a horrible, horrible Back to the Future remake but hey, considering all the things they’ve seen since they were kids, Dean can believe it. “Huh,” he says carefully. He doesn’t trust himself to say more.

Sam goes on, “He didn’t mean to hurt you, Dean. He just... I know it’s been years for you but it’s only been, like, a day for him. He loves you—” Dean winces at that. “—and he’s trying to understand, really, but you’re not giving him the chance to.”

Dean is quiet as he digests Sam’s words. “Well, too bad for him,” he eventually says.

Both Bobby and Sam heave long-suffering sighs. “Dean, Cas just wants to make everything better... ”

“Kinda hard when there’s a freakin’ apocalypse hanging over our heads, isn’t it?”

“... why are you so against it?”

Dean looks away from Sam and fixes his eyes on the floor instead. “Because he’s gonna leave again,” he rasps out. “He already did—twice. I don’t care if it was ‘cause of his own will or not, but the point is, there’s a big chance it’ll happen again. I’m tired of it, Sam.” He shakes his head. “Better to be like this.”

“... Dean, that is dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and I was there when you tried to explain Rocky Horror Picture Show to Cas.”

Dean can’t help but allow himself a small smirk at the memory but he quickly sobers up as another thought crosses his mind. “It’s our curse, Sammy,” he says. “Look at Mom, she lost everything. Then Dad lost Mom, you lost Jess... ” Sam flinches at that. “... and me... ” Dean trails off. “We Winchesters are just destined to lose the things we love.” He lets out a harsh, bitter laugh.

Bobby sighs and he mutters something that sounds suspiciously like “fucking idjits” under his breath. “Maybe,” he says gruffly, “but Dean, has it ever occurred to you that you might be the first Winchester to get it all back?”

*


Dean can’t stop thinking about what Bobby said. The words echo in his ears as he and Sam drive to River Pass, Colorado and they remain seared in his brain while they’re stuck in the middle of a battle royale between the entire town and War, the actual Horseman himself.

When Sam tells him he wants to—no, needs to leave Dean isn’t surprised. A few months ago, he would’ve tried to stop him. Now, he just doesn’t have the energy for the drama anymore. A lot can change in only a few months.

Just before Sam leaves, though, he turns to Dean with the same puppy eyes his twelve year old self had. “Dean,” he says, worrying his bottom lip. “you should talk to Cas.”

That... is possibly the last thing Dean thought he would say. “Why?” he calls out.

“Because you’re miserable without him. Just... I want you to be happy.”

And with that, Sam disappears from Dean’s life again in an old pick up that’s definitely seen better days.

*


After killing the vampire and stumbling back into his lonely motel room, Dean can’t take it anymore. He feels like a girl for even thinking about doing what he’s about to do. They’ve still got a world to save and a freakin’ Devil to gank, after all. It’s not like he can just put the Apocalypse on hold so he can work through his issues, which are microscopic in comparison.

But at the same time, he knows that he’s only been functioning on auto-pilot since River Pass and there’s no way he can go up against Satan while he’s like this.

He lets out a shaky breath as he takes out his cell phone, scrolling down until he can see Castiel’s name. Just before Sam left, he forced him to put his number in “just in case”. He stares at it for a long time, his thumb hovering over the button with the green telephone before pressing down.

Castiel picks up on the first ring. “Hello?” he asks, uncertain.

“Hey, Cas,” says Dean quietly. “it’s me—”

Dean.”

Dean swallows. The way Castiel said his name, like he’s the only thing that matters in the world, always made him a little dizzy back when he was eighteen but he never thought that it would have the same effect on him now as it did twelve fucking years ago.

“Yeah,” he gulps out. “I... We need to talk.”

Where are you?

Dean barely finishes rattling off the crappy motel’s address when he hears the sound of Castiel’s wings beating the air behind him. He turns around and his breath hitches.

Castiel looks so different without his trench coat but everything else about him is exactly the same; his eternally messy hair (Dean’s fingers itch to run through it) and his crystal clear blue eyes, pinning Dean where he stands with their heavy stare. “Are you alright?” Castiel asks worriedly, breaking the silence. He crosses the space between them until he’s standing right in front of Dean, gently placing a hand on his cheek. Dean jumps at the sudden contact, at the familiarity of it and it comes crashing down on him just how much he missed Caspar. Castiel seems to notice this too because his eyes widen in realization and he steps back quickly, looking like a frightened animal.

“Dean?”

“I’m fine,” Dean begins, but when he catches the disbelief on Castiel’s face he sighs. “Actually, no, I’m not fine.”

“You’re not physically injured,” says Castiel.

Dean snorts. “No shit, Sherlock.” Then, more seriously, he adds, “Cas, that night with the werewolf... what happened?”

“I found it,” replies Castiel. “We fought but we were interrupted by the archangel Raphael. He annihilated the werewolf and, having realized that I was not from that time, sent me back to the present.”

“... This really is a terrible Back to the Future remake,” Dean mutters under his breath.

“Was that the film with the winged cars?” Castiel chances hesitantly.

Dean chuckles. “Yeah, we saw that on Thanksgiving, remember?”

“I remember,” says Castiel fondly.

It’s kind of comforting to see that Castiel hasn’t changed at all, even after all these years.

No, it’s only been days for Castiel and a whole decade for Dean. Maybe Castiel hasn’t changed, but Dean sure has. And that... that scares him more than anything.

An awkward silence settles over them like a heavy blanket but, to Dean’s surprise, it’s Castiel who eventually breaks it. “I’m sorry, Dean,” he says suddenly. “I... I wanted to tell you but—”

“It’s okay,” Dean blurts out.

“No, it’s not,” says Castiel firmly, turning away. He looks angry with himself. “You’re hurt and that... I can’t forgive myself for that. Believe me, Dean, the last thing I ever wanted to do was to hurt you.” He looks up and Dean momentarily forgets to breathe when his gaze meets Castiel’s. “I love you, Dean.”

His raw confession scares Dean; it scares him because it sounds like he really means it, because Dean’s only seconds away from throwing himself back in Castiel’s arms and staying there forever.

“You don’t know that,” he chokes out. “It’s been years, Cas. I’m not the same kid I was back then.” I’m ugly and screwed in the head, are the words he doesn’t say, but he doesn’t doubt that Castiel can hear him.

Castiel looks stunned, like he can’t believe this revelation. “Dean,” he says slowly, stepping forward to close the gap between them. “I’ve seen your soul, all of it, I rebuilt your body from dust and I know every single inch of it.” He takes another step and the space between them grows smaller by another foot. “I’ve seen you at your worst... ” Dean cringes as his memories of Hell briefly resurface but Castiel keeps going, “... and at your best.” There’s barely a hair’s breadth of space between them now.

Every part of Dean is screaming at him to back away and run because he can’t deal with this—it’s too much. But Castiel’s eyes hold him in place and he can’t look away. He brings his hand up to clasp Dean’s cheek again, brushing his thumb across Dean’s skin carefully. “I know you, Dean, all of you. And, because of that, not in spite of it, I love you. I loved you then and I love you now. I’ll always love you.”

Dean’s world stops spinning and there’s nothing but him and Castiel in their own little universe. “Really?” he can’t help asking, silently berating himself for sounding like a little kid.

Castiel nods. “Yes.”

Like a spell that’s been broken, Dean suddenly surges forward, wrapping his arms around Castiel’s neck and kissing him with a passion he hasn’t felt in twelve years. Castiel pulls him closer, wrapping his arms around Dean’s waist, and kisses back with just as much force and emotion. Dean pulls back only long enough to gasp out, “We’ve got a lot of lost time to make up.”

Castiel smiles up at him with the same smile he wore when they went to the carnival all those years ago. He leans forward, pressing their foreheads together, and whispers, “Yes, we do.”

*


Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
And the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
And the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
Fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
Under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
Among the flowers, face to face with the skies.


- “Again and Again, However We Know the Landscape of Love” by Rainer Maria Rilke


Masterpost →
fenellaevangela: text: Kirk & Spock & Bones & some guy in a red shirt. (Default)

[personal profile] fenellaevangela 2010-10-16 10:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I really enjoyed this!
maab_connor: (metalicar)

[personal profile] maab_connor 2010-10-18 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
this... was just beautiful. the co-mingling of the timelines was perfect; letting us see them fall in love and letting us see the hurt in Dean when Cas was back, but not back... lovely and heart-wrenching.

thank you so much for sharing!
grimalkin: [don't hang up] (cas; almost out of minutes)

[personal profile] grimalkin 2010-10-19 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I read this all in one go last night and it kept me up until dawn. I was too sleepy to leave a comment then, but I had to come back and tell you how wonderful I thought it was. Your characterization is just brilliant, and you make all the scenes I know so well from season four and five play out even more poignantly. Brava!

[personal profile] voiceintheradio 2010-10-24 06:49 am (UTC)(link)
jasdfghjkl This is pretty much the best thing EVER. And I love how you ended it. I was pretty much in pain the whole time reading this because I couldn't imagine how you would end it happily, but when I saw it, it was amazing! ♥
morningstar06: Castiel (The Angel of Thursday)

[personal profile] morningstar06 2013-05-21 09:03 am (UTC)(link)
The Lead up was my Favorite Part when they Reunited i squealed.
and the ending such Perfection. ugh!!!!!
koryuu: (Default)

[personal profile] koryuu 2013-09-25 06:54 am (UTC)(link)
Oh thank you so much for sharing this amazing story! I did like how Dean have been getting accustomed to Caspar, and Cas was so... Cas. And I've cried in the end of story ^^" Thanks again.