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11 August 2011 @ 02:03 pm
fic, SPN: don't take my hope away from me (Balthazar/Castiel/Dean), PG13, for joyyjpg  
Title: don't take my hope away from me
Pairing: Balthazar/Castiel/Dean
Word count: ∼4400
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: goes AU from 6x17.
Warnings: none that I can think of.
Disclaimer: they're not mine, won't ever be.
Summary: wherein Balthazar has a talk with Dean about Castiel's plans for saving the world (which no one likes).
A/N: err so months ago just after 6x17 aired I started writing a fic for joyyjpg for an OT3 ficathon - the prompt was don't make me choose, i've got too much to lose. I never managed to finish it so I thought I'd do it for her birthday, and I missed that too, and I'm not even sure it fits the prompt thoroughly, but still, I did manage it. I hope it's to your liking! ♥ and sorry for the lack of any porn whatsoever but it didn't want to go that way. Title stolen from Patti Smith.

There are a lot of things that Balthazar is willing to admit that he is without much of a problem – and many of these things aren’t necessarily flattering. Insensitive might have been one of them. The problem is that he kind of feels like a son of a bitch for needing to be insensitive right now, and maybe before he found out how nice it is to have free will he wouldn’t have cared.

He sort of does care, but the fact that he has faked his death and spent a couple of glorious years frolicking in everything the human world had to offer doesn’t mean that he doesn’t see what it means to compromise the big picture. There’s the difference between him and Castiel, he supposes – Castiel cares too much about too many things, and especially about two stupid humans whose name is Winchester. And if six months ago you had told him that he’d be the voice of reason, he’d have been somewhat skeptical.

Not the point right now.

“Cassie, you know that I do get you, and you know what I thought about unsinking that bloody ship, but do you realize that if before things were relatively screwed, right now they’re thoroughly fucked?”

Castiel sighs and brings a hand to his temple, not bothering to deny it. He looks tired – bone-deep tired, and Balthazar will never not find the sight appalling. Angels aren’t supposed to be ever tired.

Then again, Castiel hasn’t been a typical angel since the day Zachariah forced him back to Heaven, and there’s a reason Balthazar had faked his death just after that. Maybe he wasn’t that typical as well even back then, but it isn’t what he’s worried about. What he’s worried about is an entire other matter.

“You do realize that if you want to win this war you can’t keep on choosing them forever? Or maybe I should say him,” Balthazar says, his voice softer than it usually is. He doesn’t enjoy doing this, far from it, but he has to.

It’s not a question of not getting why Castiel always ends up choosing the Winchesters over everything else – he wishes it was. The point is: Balthazar was perfectly happy doing his business on the lovely planet Raphael wants to destroy. He does like it, and he isn’t in any hurry to get back to a Heaven where you get tortured for speaking your mind (he has learned how much better it is. He usually tries to ignore the point where it becomes a problem of ethics). He also isn’t stupid enough to think he could have escaped forever with all the weapons with him, and at some point he had had to pick a side. The fact that he picked Castiel’s says a lot of things – it’s not just that he rebelled only after Castiel did, it’s not just that they once were as close as angels are, and it’s not just the fact that deep-down he knows that Castiel is right. It’s all of that and probably more, but even if he’s being a good guy for now, he doesn’t really look forward to losing because Castiel has a thing for Dean Winchester. What they’re planning to do isn’t exactly ethical by human standard, or righteous – and considering how stupidly righteous Dean is, Balthazar is sure that he wouldn’t be happy with it.

And he can’t have Castiel giving up on their only chance left just because of that.

“I know,” Castiel chokes out, barely audible. “But I – please don’t make me do it now.”

“Do what?”

“Choose,” Castiel keeps on. “I can’t. Not now. I’ll have to, and I’ll lose whichever way I pick. But please, at least – I can’t do this.”

It’s such a human reaction, Balthazar can’t help noticing. Castiel looks beyond tired – he looks exhausted.

“Not when for once I have something,” Castiel whispers, then looks at him for a moment that seems to last a lot longer.

Then he disappears.

And Balthazar knows enough about human staring to draw a few conclusions.

Well, free will is great, but he won’t be the one denying that having feelings can be a clusterfuck of hugely bloody proportions.

And the way Castiel sounded when he asked that – shit, now Balthazar feels like an ass for having even brought it up. But there’s no way Dean will accept it when Castiel tells him what he’s been really doing, not when Castiel doesn’t know how to sweeten bitter pills and not when Dean is so wrapped up in his stupid righteousness that he wouldn’t even listen. He’d probably lash out for a first reaction, which would make everything end up horribly.

Balthazar isn’t really looking forward to pick Castiel’s pieces after that conversation happens.

Unless.

He thinks about the situation carefully, wondering if maybe him speaking to Dean first would change the outcome. It’s not like he cares what the stupid human thinks, so the whole ‘wrapped up in emotions you don’t need’ problem that would occur with Castiel wouldn’t be a problem.

It’s not like he especially </i>wants</i> to talk to Dean, but as much as it might not seem like it he does care about his brother, and not just because him winning the war would make Balthazar’s life easier.

Well, he thinks, why not. Just as he’s about to think about a way to locate the Winchesters, though, he stops dead in his tracks. Because no one prays to him but that’s a prayer he’s hearing. Loud and clear.

Balthazar? I need to talk to you. Just talk. Like two… adults, I guess. Can we do that?

Dean?

Balthazar can’t deny that he’s surprised, but why the hell not. At least he has skipped the whole locating part of the problem. He follows the prayer and shows up in front of a car in Bobby Singer’s backyard; Dean is leaning on another one, looking like someone who has spent half the night thinking instead of sleeping.

“Look who’s here. I was just about to come down and have a talk with you as well, but please go first. I think it’s about the same bloody thing anyway.”

Dean raises an eyebrow, then shakes his head like someone who’s too tired to have a discussion.

“Listen, I just – when we came back from that reality. The one where the Titanic never sank. I asked Cas whether it was just you hating a chick-flick that much and he said yes. Now, back then I just took it for good – I wouldn’t put it past you to drown a ship just because you hate Celine Dion. Fuck, I might even get it. But then I remembered how he looked. And his voice. And that he was looking at the ground. Cas always was a piss-poor liar, and he hasn’t gotten any fucking better. Also that speech he gave us before – it’s just making me think that there’s something he’s keeping from us and since I doubt he’s going to spill if I ask, and since you two seems to be best friends right now, I was – can you just tell me? Without going through all the charade we always go through?”

Balthazar will have to hand this to Dean – he can behave like an adult when he wants or when pushed to the brink. Now he just has to hope the conversation keeps on like this until it ends.

“Now, now. I can tell you, actually I wanted to so that Cassie wouldn’t have to do it himself and possibly ruining the whole shebang with his own hands, but there’s some stuff I need to say first.”

Dean gives him a tight nod and Balthazar moves forward.

“Alright. Cassie really hasn’t told you how things are going up there. Well, I’m telling you now – they’re bad.”

“Bad? Didn’t he get the weapons?”

“Like those are enough. Weapons. The best thing about him having them is Raphael not having them, but that’s not the point, Dean. The problem is that he’s been wearing himself down non-stop since he went back to Heaven, that the only person he can fully trust is yours truly and that if you knew how many of us he’s had to kill until now – let’s skip that. You can’t even imagine that.”

“Try me.”

So much for Balthazar’s hopes not to argue.

“Imagine killing your brother a thousand times over.”

Dean swallows and pales all of a sudden.

“Exactly what I thought. And if Cassie loses – well, your entire world is toast. Good night and good luck to you, in that case. And no, you can’t help because the fighting is in Heaven. And even with this, apparently he always finds time to come if you call, because as I stated last time, he cares about you and your brother a bit too much for his own good and my own liking. This stated, he’s lying to you because he’s pretty sure that if he told you straight what he’s doing, you’d hate him forever or some crap of that kind.”

“I wouldn’t –”

“You don’t know yet, so just shut up and let me talk. So. He asked me to not-sink that bloody ship.”

“He did?”

“It’s – I suppose we could say a practical question. Alright, I’ll try to put it in a way your poor human brain can get it. So. If he wants to win, Raphael has to be out of the game. Except that the only way to kill an archangel when you’re weaker than them is using one of their blades. But, and that’s where the shiny bit begins, we all know where are Michael and Lucifer, and Gabriel’s sword hasn’t been found anywhere since his little fight with Lucifer. Follow me?”

“So Cas should become an archangel?”

“Or as powerful as one, exactly. Which, you will realize, isn’t exactly a walk in the park. So, there’s the next best thing. Which is, being temporarily as powerful as an archangel. And there’s just one way you can do it.”

“I’m sure I won’t like it, will I?”

Dean’s voice is shaking, and Balthazar takes a breath. If he does this wrong then Castiel will resent him for eternity, but he really can’t not go the whole way.

“An angel’s grace is strengthened by being in contact with a human soul. Let’s say, if now someone stabbed me with an angel blade and I had to heal my Grace, I could do it by touching your soul. Now, if I just went and touched fifty thousand souls without my grace needing it, don’t you think I’d become possibly more powerful than an archangel could ever be? For the moment, at least. Doesn’t mean that the soul would exist anymore after I used it to grace myself up and I didn’t let it go at once.”

Dean has become so white that Balthazar is sure he’s about to faint.

“So – so he wanted to – just to kill souls?”

“No, he wanted to do it the – the ethical way.”

“How do you call that ethical?”

“Because those souls never existed in the first place! Those humans all had a life that they wouldn’t have lived if that ship sank. So they were just on stupid borrowed time on Earth, and they should have never arrived in Heaven. So yes, he would have killed them, as you put it, but hell, they had a life already which they weren’t even supposed to have. That surely was more… well, ethical than using souls that are already in Heaven, Dean.”

“And – and now?”

“He went back on that to save you and your brother. Which means that unless someone else finds a way fast, he’ll have to do it anyway. Or to go search for Purgatory. Which would be worse. Using souls already in Heaven would be the easiest option though, and if he goes through with it, it will be with souls who have already lived. Do you see why he’s lying to you?”

“But – Christ, he – why did he lie to us, I wouldn’t –”

“Dean. Come on. If he had been the one to come to you to say, ‘hey Dean, sorry for having kept stuff from you until now but I just had to obliterate fifty-thousand souls or possibly more from existence because otherwise I couldn’t have won against Raphael, and by the way now maybe just our Heavenly father would measure with me’, would you have been understanding or you’d have just lashed and told him that it’s just so utterly morally wrong and that monsters do that, not humans?”

Dean takes a deep breath and looks at the ground. He doesn’t bother denying that last implications. His fingers are curled in a fist and Balthazar is half-sure he’s going to draw blood.

He can’t bring himself to give a shit.

“Fuck. Why didn’t he ever say –”

“Seriously? When the only reason you’ve been calling him around has been your brother’s problems with his soul?”

“What the hell do you know about it anyway?” Dean snaps. Balthazar takes a step back.

“Dean, Dean, what did we say about talking like adults? Of course I know. As I said, who else do you think he trusts up there? Right, not me because I’m just not going back home for now, but you get it. Listen, let’s just lay it on the table now. He still hasn’t done that, and if you two idiots can find a solution, I’ll be there cheering you, because I’m not that fond of the idea myself. But he’s been wearing himself thin killing his family and then even if whenever you talk to him you’re a complete repressed jerk in denial he’d still sacrifice an entire reality just for you. Alright, he might have done some stupid things, but you selling your soul and your brother drinking demon blood to kill Lilith? Not like your track record is clean. He thinks it’s the right thing. I can’t blame him. So what about reconsidering your priorities here? Because just before you called me, he was begging me not to remind him about this entire lovely clusterfuck because he didn’t want to think about choosing between you and that stupid war he’s losing. And it might not look like it, but I do give a shit, thank you so very much.”

“I just – I don’t know, if you’re the new hot stuff then why the hell does he still answer when I call? You can go have your best friend forever adventures,” Dean snorts before turning his shoulders, and oh crap. Now the idiot’s jealous. There are moments in which Balthazar despises feelings.

He sighs and appears just in front of Dean, hoping that he gets that Balthazar’s not done here.

“You stupid human, haven’t I told you last time that he’s in love with you? You need me to spell it out?”

“Cas can’t be –”

“Dean, Dean. Denial is a very bad thing, you know? Especially when I was thinking about finding a nice way to lighten up this situation for a bit.”

“Which would be?” Dean asks, still suspicious.

“I don’t have much interest in seeing Cassie suffering the aftermaths of a grace surplus. But I’m going with it just because it’s the only option. That doesn’t mean that I don’t give a shit, as stated.”

Dean’s eyes widen in understanding.

Halle-fucking-bloody-lujah, Balthazar thinks. He hadn’t thought it’d take Dean this long.

“You – but isn’t that like against every possible – you’re in a guy’s body, he is, and you’re brothers for –”

“I’d have pictured you to be a lot less hung-up about this. Anyway, being in a guy’s body, as you put it, doesn’t change anything. It’s a body. In my case it was vacated already and in Cassie’s – well. It was a long time ago. And being brothers for us is nowhere near the same thing as it’s for you. We don’t have a mother. We were just created together by a same person, and to be entirely honest I don’t give a damn about you all human hang-ups. And while he does moderately give a shit about me as well – Dean, it was clear he wanted your ass since Zachariah dragged him back home the first time. There’s a reason I faked my death after it was done. Now, I have a question for you. Would you be so kind to acknowledge it?”

Dean gives him a nod. He’s still speechless.

“Good. Now, would you be so kind to acknowledge that you’ve been a by-the-book example of denial until now?”

Dean glares, but doesn’t say no.

“Even better. Now, last question, which is by the way the most important. Cassie’s pretty miserable lately, but I haven’t really tried to cheer him up, if only because I know he’d think about you all the stupid time. So, what about us two burying the hatchet and, you know, step up to the plate?”

Dean now gapes at him looking like a fish out of water, but at least he has the grace to shut his mouth at some point.

Then he opens it again.

“You’re asking me to have a three-way with two angels wearing two guys that would also be two thirds incestuous by my standards? If it ever gets there.” Dean asks.

“Not that hard to get, wasn’t it? So, yes or no?”

Dean stares at him for another second. Then lets out a breath and shrugs, then looks back up at Balthazar again.

“Fuck knows I don’t really like you, but I figure I can learn to. If only because you’re right about me having been a douche to Cas all this time. I still haven’t forgotten that stint you pulled with Sam, but then again he didn’t have a soul, so you might get some leeway.”

“Honored,” Balthazar snorts. But at least this has worked better than he had dared to hope.

“My ass. Just one thing though. I – I’ll look into this thing and I’ll have Sam and Bobby look into that too. Just – don’t let him do something stupid until it’s sure that there’s no other way.”

“I think you should tell him yourself,” Balthazar says, and then decides that it’s time to start working on part two of his plan.

He quickly takes a survey of all the hotels around and picks one whose wallpaper isn’t peeling, then touches Dean on the forehead and blinks the both of them in his room of choice.

“What – where are we?”

“Still in South Dakota. Now wait just a second.”

He closes his eyes and sends Castiel a message – when he’s sure that there’s nothing of import going on, he pretends that there is something of import going on with him, and in a second Castiel has appeared in the room as well. Balthazar glances at Dean, who’s looking at Castiel like he just had a revelation and he’s noticing now how tired Castiel looks.

Good to know. Better late than never.

“Balthazar? Dean? What’s going on here?” Castiel asks, sounding slightly suspicious.

Dean looks at him and Balthazar wants to just punch him. “Well, I talked until now, I won’t be your bloody mouthpiece. You can speak for yourself, you know?” he sighs, and then Dean stands up, hands on his knees, and swallows as he looks straight at Castiel.

“I know,” Dean breathes next. “About the souls. And all the rest.”

“You told him?” Castiel almost shouts in Balthazar’s direction. Balthazar pretends that he doesn’t care and rolls his eyes instead.

“Hey, it went a lot better than it’d have gone if you had,” Balthazar answers before leaning back against the wall.

“Cas,” Dean starts again moving closer, “it’s – I can’t really say it’s all good, but – I get it.”

Castiel looks at Dean suspiciously, still holding himself still. “What do you mean?”

“He – I might not like him much but he said a lot of right things. Among which that I’d have totally lashed if you had told me yourself. I wouldn’t have realized a lot until too late. But – well, he, uh, put it in the right perspective. I still wish you’d told us more rather than just keeping silent –”

“I did things you’re better off not knowing.”

At that Dean moves even closer, almost cornering Castiel, who looks more lost each second that passes.

“Bullshit. You aren’t talking with a saint here. And anyway, I just – I don’t really think that gracing yourself up is a good idea, but – I guess I sort of get it. And I know you’re doing it for us when we don’t even deserve it.”

There’s such relief on Castiel’s face that for a second Balthazar feels offended. He never got such a reaction when he said the same thing. He should resent it, but he has known for a while with whom Castiel’s affections mostly lay; he also knows how to let grudges go. Mostly.

“Dean, I –”

“Also, when we were in that other reality, he also said something else which was… well. In retrospective, I guess I should have acted on that a lot before.”

“What do you –”

Castiel never finishes that sentence because Dean kisses him halfway through it, and damn but it takes Castiel one second to kiss back like a man starved for it. Right, Balthazar figures, he’s been pining for years, and if the object of your desires gives you a kiss that’s pure romance movie (slow, tongue slipping in just after a while, thorough) while his hands are running through your hair and slowly caressing your cheek, no one faults you if you melt against them on the spot.

Still. There’s something burning somewhere at the left of his chest that makes him want to separate them or go in between and have a piece of that too, because it’s obvious that there’s feeling behind their motions and not just random pleasure. He thinks that maybe it was a bad idea to even suggest the whole three-way thing, but then again he can’t take his eyes off them or bring himself to leave either.

Then the kiss is over and Dean is whispering something; Castiel’s eyes widen for a second, then he turns towards Balthazar and the look in his eyes is… fond? Sweet? Balthazar hasn’t exactly had this much experience with that kind of feeling, he isn’t sure of how to put it. It makes him realize how much more than him Castiel feels exactly – after all Balthazar has been done this for a couple of years tops and always making sure to enjoy himself. Castiel hasn’t had the pleasure; maybe it’s why he’s so different from every other angel now, Balthazar thinks. He can’t say he doesn’t like it, though.

“Balthazar, you could have told me,” Castiel says, moving away from Dean though not that much. Balthazar shakes his head and takes a couple of steps closer, wishing he knew for sure what to say; he thought he was equipped for this, but maybe he isn’t after all.

“Would that have made a difference?” He shrugs, trying to keep his voice to its usual tone, but then Castiel moves closer and Balthazar realizes that he’s holding in a breath when Castiel’s hand touches his cheek.

“You always assume that you already know it all,” Castiel replies, but he doesn’t sound angry or reproachful.

Balthazar lets that breath out as soon as Castiel’s lips meet his. It’s not a kiss worthy of a romance movie, because he’s too stunned to take the lead and Castiel apparently isn’t sure of how it’d be received. It’s slow, and tentative, and it completely lacks tongue or heat, and it’s probably the most chaste kisses he has shared with anyone, but he can’t recall enjoying other kisses better than this one since he found out about free will.

When it’s done, Balthazar doesn’t know what to say, and it’s been long since he found himself wanting for words. Castiel’s cheeks are flushed and he doesn’t look quite as devastated as he does lately. Balthazar feels Dean moving next to them; Balthazar glances at him – he looks all right with it.

“You won’t have to choose if you don’t want to. Not in this,” Balthazar whispers, trying to keep his voice from shaking (now that’d be really too much).

“It doesn’t change that –”

“Cas, can you just stop worrying about it for the next two hours? We’ll all look into it. Me and Sam have managed to stay alive until now without your suicidal angelic plans, maybe we’ll find a way out of it.”

Castiel looks more like someone who wants to believe Dean rather than someone who has bought completely what Dean just tried to sell, but Balthazar figures it’s better than nothing. At least it means that Castiel won’t go through with that stupid plan just now, which is better than Balthazar had hoped for a day ago.

“I can do it,” Castiel breathes out. Balthazar thinks that he looks frail right now, lines around his eyes and one of his hands slightly trembling as he raises it up, as if he doesn’t know where to put it. The other is still clenched in a fist at his side.

Dean’s elbow hits Balthazar’s side, sharp but not painful; Balthazar turns to his left. Dean sends him a determined look, his mouth set in a firm line, his eyes sharp and focused, and Balthazar thinks that maybe he’s starting to see what Castiel sees, too. Dean doesn’t speak but he glances at the hand Castiel raised, then at the clenched one. Balthazar doesn’t need to read his mind to know what he means. He nods back at him and moves to Castiel’s side. He sees Dean’s fingers close gently around Castiel’s palm, his thumb under Castiel’s knuckles.

Balthazar reaches for the other hand with both of his own at the same time, his eyes still on Castiel, noticing that his shoulders relax visibly; when he takes Castiel’s wrist in one and tries to unclench Castiel’s fingers with the other, he meets no resistance.

End.
 
 
feeling: okayokay
 
 
 
joy: b/c » how did we ever get this farjoyyjpg on August 11th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG. I AM EXCITE. BB, it is never too late for OT3 goodness. \o/

Sadly, I have to go to work like, now, but when I get home this afternoon, I am reading the hell out of this. Just so you know. :D


AHHHHHHHHHH. I LOVE THIS. LOOOOOOVE IT. Do not apologize for the lack of porn. It doesn't even need it, bb. It's perfect as is. :D

See, why don't things like this happen on show? You aren’t talking with a saint here. THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING THAT, DEAN. Alright, he might have done some stupid things, but you selling your soul and your brother drinking demon blood to kill Lilith? Not like your track record is clean. He thinks it’s the right thing. Just -- see, this is why we are the same person. :D

Oh, Cas, bb. My heart aches for youuu. This: “You do realize that if you want to win this war you can’t keep on choosing them forever? Or maybe I should say him,” Balthazar says + “I know,” Castiel chokes out, barely audible. “But I – please don’t make me do it now.” + Not when for once I have something = AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. *dies*

Also, the ending. The kissing. That Dean/Cas kiss is so much better than porn. And Balthazar trying not to be jealous. :D OMG. I swear, all I need in my life is this OT3 and I will be happy forever.

In short: This is awesome. THANK YOUUUUUU. SO MUCH. *hugs tight*

Edited at 2011-08-11 10:35 pm (UTC)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on August 13th, 2011 09:50 am (UTC)
EEEE THANK YOU! :DDDDDDDDDDDDD I'm so glad that it worked for you, and sorry for.. lol, finishing it in three months? Sort of? ;)

Anyway yeah, one would hope that in the show they'd quit with the denial and talk like sane, normal people (or as sane as it goes) but I fear it's never going to happen. And if Dean just remembered things before it's too late... and haha WE SO TOTALLY SHARE A BRAIN. ;)

*hugs Cas after you're done*

Also heee, I love writing those three so I guess we're both happy? ;) you're welcome! ♥ I'm really so glad that you liked it this much. :D
cassiopeia7: Cas&Dean: angstycassiopeia7 on August 11th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Outstanding! The conversation between Dean and Balthazar should have been on Show, damn it!

And LOL at this: You’re asking me to have a three-way with two angels wearing two guys that would also be two thirds incestuous by my standards?

Oh, Dean! Everything else that's going on, and that's what you stick at?

the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on August 13th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)
I so was hoping it'd happen. Yeah, right. :(( *sighs*

And ha, see, Dean, when in denial just stick to arguments that won't hold, right? ;) thanks so much, I'm really glad you liked it! :)
Dorian Malkavian: Dean bby I've sinneddorianmalkavian on January 26th, 2012 08:31 am (UTC)
God. No porn but it's hot.
Good fic. A poor baby-Cas all tired and sad, a caring-Balthy and a... Dean-Dean haha.
I like it. And you have quite a good style ^^.
Thank you for sharing your art.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas/balthy wtfjanie_tangerine on January 26th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading, I'm so glad that you liked it and that they felt IC to you. :D