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23 October 2009 @ 05:16 pm
fic, Supernatural: There Will Come Soft Rains 1/5 (Dean/Castiel, Sam/Jess), NC17  
And this is one fic. I'll be finishing the other two. *goes writing*

Title: There Will Come Soft Rains 1/5
Pairings: Dean/Castiel, some Sam/Jess
Rating: NC17
Word count: this part 7800; total, around 30000
Spoilers: it's totally AU but since I tried to nod at canon as much as I could there are some S4/S5 spoilers. 5x04 mainly.
Summary: Two years after World War III starts, Dean Winchester is a disillusioned former veteran leading a survivors' camp in the former state of Kansas whose life takes a very, very unexpected turn. Starting when he rescues this guy with huge blue eyes named after an angel.
Warnings: this is a post nuclear war fallout setting with everything that it implies. There's violence (this chapter specifically has an attempted rape description in the beginning even if it's nothing excessive and it doesn't eventually happen and a murder happening just before that) and descriptions of situations which could be nasty at best and disturbing at least or however possibly upsetting and/or triggering. Also for plot purposes Dean is an Iraq war veteran (the last one, not the Gulf war) and there are sections dealing with it and for that are valid the same warnings.
A/N: written for the AU/AR challenge at deancastiel for the prompt There are no angels or demons, and the apocalypse happened with bombs and a very human war. . Er. As you probably realized it completely got way out of hand, but I have it all written down already and I just need to edit it. Which means I hope to post it fairly quickly. The title is blatantly stolen from a short story by Ray Bradbury which so doesn't have a thing to do with this except for the nuclear fallout setting. Since I'm here, I'm using it for sacred_20 #8, apocalypse.
A/N 2: to avoid anyone possibly going WTF at me when reading the premise, wikipedia entry about Vozrozhdeniya Island, which is probably the only thing that could be obscure about my whole nuclear war plan. The whole part about the damage nuclear bombs bring to the environment is half out of research and half is stuff I came up with because it served the plot, so if there's scientifically impossible stuff just er, try to ignore it. I hope I didn't just go and take it too far from what the prompter imagined.


The end begins on January 24th, 2007.

The end is what people have been calling World War Three for the previous sixty years and of all the things WWIII eventually is for real, no one would have guessed that, of everything, it’s quick. After all, the other two had been four and six years each, but it’s also true that at least until 1945 no one had h-bombs to spare.

This is, pretty much, how it goes.

It starts on January 24th when the US suddenly attack Iran without any kind of warning (offical reason: the nuclear, of course); and then it doesn’t stop. Sure, there’s an emergency UN meeting three days later, but the only result is that the week after China has sided with Iran, Russia stands waiting, the EU mostly stands with the US, Switzerland is neutral and a couple of towns in the south of Iran don’t exist anymore.

It doesn’t last much, really.

A month later, North Korea has attacked Pakistan, Pakistan has attacked Iran, Iran has attacked Israel, the US have sent more troops in both Iraq and Iran, China still sides with Iran, Russia still has done nothing, the UN has dismembered.

For the time being, but turns out there that the January 27th meeting is the last.

Two months later, Russia sides with China. Two days after it does, two H-bombs drop on Washington and Los Angeles at the same time and two US ones (coincidence? Of course) drop on Bejing. Eight million people die because of the Bejing bombs, the double in the US, but with Washington, most of the New York area and LA, there goes the Senate, the White House and the Pentagon. Chaos ensues. Meanwhile, North Korea aims missils on the US and while it’s the end of the H-bombs, for another couple of months there are still raids all over the territory. On May 2nd, with no one actually leading the country still, some States declare secession, and not peacefully; all the others follow suit.

That’s when the second American Civil War starts, and that’s when the US are mostly left alone; after all, people in there were doing the job for themselves, no point in wasting any more time on that front.

In the following month, though, Russia declares war to China, Pakistan sides with Russia and India attacks Pakistan, Europe tries to stay compact against Russia and Switzerland isn’t neutral anymore.

In June, most European countries are at war with each other and with Russia, the entirety of Africa is a huge, out-of-control civil war, London is a wasteland because of a Chinese H-bomb; Israel stops resisting and a facility where nuclear weapons were concealed blows up bringing most of the area with it.

It somehow ends when a relatively small cell of Russian terrorists (well, that’s what was on the news at the beginning when there were still news to be aired, but in truth they really weren’t terrorists) steals bioweapons from the abandoned testing site on Vozrozhdeniya Island, by then completely unguarded.

Half of the population of Europe dies because of anthrax in the next month along with an equivalent percentage in China. Half of the countries surrender, China surrenders, nothing is left of Pakistan or Iran anymore and the US are still in a civil war; by the end of July, it seems like Russia will dictate the new world order, and then France won’t go down without a last fight and three French H-bombs are dropped on Moscow, Vladivostok and St. Petersburg.

In August, three quarters of the Russian population is gone, what’s left of European countries is in a sort of precarious truce, England is a big reverse magnet spreading radiations, most countries in South America are fighting each other, Africa is mending the wounds from the bloodbath of civil wars which at least seems over for the moment, China’s population is reduced to ten million people, Iran and Pakistan and most of India don’t physically exist anymore because 90% of their population is gone, ninety-eight per cent of the territory is a desert and radiations have killed as many people as the bombs did when they were first dropped.

There isn’t a single country with some kind of stable government.

In a nutshell, it’s


Before things went to hell for good, preachers used to say that this was the Apocalypse and that God brought it upon man.

They were half right. It was indeed some kind of Apocalypse, but no one said
it wasn’t God, it was us who did it.

Then, when it’s over, there’s no Rapture and no sign that the end of times is nigh.

Maybe it wasn’t
the Apocalypse.


Then the other disaster starts, and it starts with the rains.

Radioactive rains, of course. Clouds bring radiations everywhere with the exception of the few places where no one thought H-bombs should be wasted and that were too far from bombed sites (Africa, Australia, South America) and that’s probably the reason why what remains of the world doesn’t die all of a sudden. But while trees do survive there (and at least no one is concerned about the cloud forest being destroyed anymore), it doesn’t happen in the upper side of the world.

What the bombs spared, the rains kill; at the end of 2007, 98% of the surface of all the areas hit either by a bomb or the rain is a dry desert. By the middle of 2008, coming across a tree across the US or Russia or England or China is a literal miracle.

The really dangerous rains end then, but whoever survived the war, the bombs and the rains gains back a world where the sky is perpetually shielded by clouds. The surviving scientists can’t find an explanation, also because they don’t have much means anymore; it doesn’t really matter though. Either the sun will somehow shine through white clouds making the sight of the sky almost white or it won’t show up much during winter days, and, looking up, there will be a gray or almost black curtain covering the sky. At dawn and sunset, the clouds change through every possible shade from yellow to red.

When they’re red, it seems like the sky is covered in blood.

Meanwhile, between the survivors, in any nation, it becomes increasingly hard to give birth to children. Women stop getting pregnant and when they do they lose the baby nine times on ten; during 2008, a total of twenty children are born in what used to be the US, and three of them die in the following ten months.

People say it’s because of the rains. Someone attempts some joke concerning how Bob Dylan got it exactly right, even though very few people have time to spare to think about Bob Dylan and a hard rain that was a-gonna-fall but that now indeed fell. After a while people actually stop getting sick or dying on the spot if they accidentally drink unboiled rainwater and that’s when it’s generally assumed that the rains aren’t completely dangerous anymore; assumption, of course, but better than nothing.

After all, life goes on.

Sort of.


January 24th, 2009

Dean Winchester doesn’t admit often that his brother was right when he himself wasn’t, but at the moment he thinks this might be the one time when he does admit it. Well, he’ll admit it in his head and not out loud, and it’s not like he can say it to anyone since he’s alone, but well. Sam was right.

Come on, man, it’s your birthday. I know it’s your turn for the supply run but you know no one will blame you if you ask someone to cover it. You haven’t had two hours for yourself in ages, just let somebody else go. You know this is the day when you find all the available nutjobs around. You can come over and I can see if Jess has something to put a decent dinner together, or we can ask Ellen, I’m sure no one would mind if...

Dean had cut him off and went on the supply run anyway because rules are rules, today it was his turn and he wasn’t letting anyone else go. Especially because, as Sam said, this is the day for nutjobs to get around, he knows how to deal with nutjobs better than anyone else at their little camp, and that wasn’t an argument. He shakes his head and winces as he drives slowly, trying to be as silent as possible as he gets out of what used to be Lawrence’s outskirts, once. Before fucking WWIII and Civil War Two, of course.

Dean used to live in Lawrence, once upon a time. It was a nice city and they were happy, there. Him, his brother and their family. Until 2003, anyway. Right, their mother had died earlier, when Dean was ten and Sam was six, a plane crash (there’s a reason Dean hated planes until he was forced to endure them), but their dad had brought them up just right and just fine and they never missed anything. Never did. Things went fine for a while, really, until his dad died in a car accident in that godforsaken year and Dean realized that there was never going to be enough money for his brother to go to college. See, Dean never was the one for school; he got his GED, found himself a job in a garage and he had been happy with it, but Sam, Sam was smart and he wanted to attend and he should have attended alright; it had ended with Dean enrolling and going to Iraq.

And see, WWIII had been fucking WWIII and the rest hadn’t been a piece of cake either, but the years 2003-2006 were the fucking worst of Dean’s life. Fine. He had made enough money and Sam had gone to college alright and he had had to endure planes and well, you know, he went through the war just freaking fine; this, until he came back with a wound on his right knee which had almost blown it up (it hadn’t; he just had a very, very nasty scar and since today it’s also freezing it’s most of the reason why driving hurts like a bitch), half of the hearing in his right ear gone because a grenade exploded too close and a stock of prescription for more meds than Dean had seen in one time his whole life. For a while he had taken them, then he had stopped because when he did he spent half of his day sleeping and the rest in some kind of hazy-comatose state which made his nerves snap. That left him with wracking nightmares most nights, a very slight limp which no one noticed unless they paid a lot of attention and a habit to always put himself at people’s right side. He only had one year to feel bad about it (and at least Sam had gone to college in California, Stanford even, and it was good because on one side Dean was proud of him and on the other one, well, he had managed to wake neighbors screaming himself hoarse one night, so it was a good thing he stayed alone) though; after... well, another war came to find him again. His brother arrived in Lawrence the day before Palo Alto got blown up by that fucked up first bomb and one month after Dean was teaching him to shoot because people from damned Nebraska and the confining states were shooting at sight anything beyond the border.

Things had happened and it seemed like Dean was one of the few people in the area who had actually done the war, some war, and who hadn’t either gone crazy or was in the process of losing it; when Nebraska and Colorado seemingly decided to attack Kansas (separately), with Sam’s help he had gathered together as many people from the town as possible and made everyone move in a camp which once was some kind of beauty resort. It had felt weird at the beginning, but after all, after removing all the useless beauty resort crap, it was big enough, it had a heating system, showers that worked and regular cabins for people to stay. Nothing to complain about.

Three days later, soldiers were dropping bombs on Lawrence and people had decided that Dean was a trustworthy guy, not to mention someone who knew what he was doing. That’s how come, now, he’s fucking leading the damned camp; he has been doing it for almost two years, he has done a pretty good job all things considered, at least Sam has found a girl in the midst of all this and that’s how come he’s driving a jeep full of canned goods and toilet paper and other amenities with a hand on the wheel and a shotgun in his lap. He hates the weekly supply runs, mostly because he has to go into a ghost town, but that’s how you do supply runs; people from other camps meet there because it’s no man’s land and you exchange what you got raiding other no man’s lands and abandoned military facilities during the rest of the week. At least until there’s nothing lasting stocked anymore, but Dean thinks that it’ll be at least two years before that happens. Everyone who still is around lives in camps now; but the truce hasn’t been going on long and it wasn’t until then that the systematic raiding started.

This round their camp had blankets to spare and Bobby’s had the toilet paper, which is totally a good exchange if you ask Dean. Chuck, their head of inventory, will be delighted. He has been complaining about the lack of toilet paper for weeks, not that he wasn’t right. Anyway, he likes Bobby. He was a friend of their dad’s and had lived across town since ages and Dean sometimes wishes he was with them, but then again it’s someone else who fought in a war and isn’t fucked up in the head, so it’s good that he has a place and keeps people together. Sometimes Dean wishes someone would fucking stand up, find a way to gather people together and form some kind of government. Democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, a fucking generals’ regime, he doesn’t care as long as this madness could be over and he could rest, but no such luck.

He hates the supply runs because while the civil war is unofficially over (meaning: after one year and a half people were sick of killing each other and everyone is more or less at a truce), no man’s lands are full of idiots who think they’re still at war and won’t hesitate to shoot you any second; especially when you’re driving a jeep full of goods. Most times he ends up passing dead bodies by when he gets out of Lawrence and he tries not to let the sight affect him. It was a war, right, but now it kind of isn’t anymore and... well, he’s sick of seeing dead people. Not that it matters. It’s what it is and he’ll take it the way it is.

Shit, he thinks when his knee starts throbbing, this is fucked up. After all he’s just turned thirty and guess what, he already feels like he’s fucking sixty. Whatever. Now he’ll just drive slowly, pay attention, get back to camp and go to sleep, hoping that this is the one time in a month when he doesn’t have nightmares, and tomorrow he’ll set off with Sam and some volunteers to see if he can catch something worthy enough to exchange for petrol. Tomorrow is another day, indeed, and...

That’s when he hears screaming.

Actually, when he hears two people screaming. A woman and a man, he thinks, except that the woman abruptly stops a second after she starts and Dean should really go straight and ignore it, but that’s not his way of dealing with things and so he stops the car and looks at his left. There are bonfires lit all across the road, he’s just barely out of the city and the bonfires are part of the scenery, but the scene he’s searching for is far enough that they can’t see or hear him (yet) and near enough that he can witness it.

There are three men, wearing ragged clothes and whose faces really don’t inspire Dean any kind of trust; one of them is throwing away, like it was some kind of broken doll, the body of a girl who once must have been a pretty redhead, dressed in rags, her pale skin covered in bruises and her throat slit, her blood spreading on the ground like a pool. She was wearing a sort-of-white skirt; it’s all covered in blood which isn’t coming from her throat.

Jesus, Dean thinks, but it’s nothing unusual. He shudders, feeling somewhat relieved when he does; at least it still sets him off, and he dreads the day when he’ll just merely blink. He knows it’ll happen. He has seen it happen enough times to know it’ll come for him, too.

The man is still screaming though, at least until one guy puts a hand on his mouth and shouts at him that he should just shut up. If he does, they’ll be quick and they might even keep him for a round two before sparing him some mercy. The man looks young, even if Dean can’t exactly see him from this point, and his clothing isn’t in any better shape; a second guy takes his shoulders from behind and tugs at his torn jeans at the waist while the third keeps him still and the first keeps him silent, not that the guy is struggling much.

Dean should really go. There are enough people at camp and another person is so not what they need, not to mention that if some other crazy guy jumps out of some abandoned house then the supplies are fucked.

Still. That’s not how he rolls. Dean has cared for people all his life. He has cared for his brother when their mother died, he had gone to Iraq mainly for the money but also because he had believed they were helping civilians at that time (naive, how naive he was back then), he has been taking care of a hundred and fifty fucking people until now, complete strangers included, and if he goes he knows that the poor bastard’s screams will keep him awake at night and that’s something he can absolutely make without. He has enough screams keeping him awake already.

Well. Fuck it. He turns the car to his left, speeds up and when he brakes mere feet from the scene, the three fuck-ups have in fact destroyed whatever passed for a shirt that the poor schmuck was wearing and his jeans are getting opened while the third guy has already pushed him down on his knees. For a second Dean’s eyes meet the young man’s and the guy looks at him so hopefully, like he’s seeing the fucking second coming, that Dean can’t really back away from this now. Before the three can react, he has opened the door and pointed the shotgun on his lap at the head of the one whose hand is still on the guy’s mouth. They all raise their hands and Dean is thankful that they aren’t trying anything stupid. He’s sure he has the face of someone who doesn’t have time to lose.

“Back the fuck off,” he says deadpan, trying not to let anything show. “Slowly. And now. Or your heads blow up, all three of them.”

He’d really rather avoid it, though. He doesn’t feel like killing anyone, or shooting anyone and create noise of any kind.

One of the three looks at him. “Hey, man, if you want a piece we can share. Really, it’s...”

“After seeing that,” Dean answers nodding in the poor girl’s direction, “I should have already done the world a favor and shot you all. But luckily for you, tonight I’m feeling generous. More or less. So, you three back the fuck off now and leave him alone. Now, I said. And this is your last warning. Was it clear?”

Seems like it was because they look at each other and indeed back off. Dean doesn’t lower the shotgun until they disappear for good into the night and then takes a breath. He needs to be quick now, he really has been here for too much time already and dammit, he doesn’t want to get off the car but the guy, who is now on his knees trembling like a leaf (and of course, it’s fucking freezing and he’s almost practically naked), is just a few feet from the door and Dean has good reflexes. Right, he thinks, let’s be quick.

He grabs one of the few spare blankets that he had used to cover the canned stuff from the backseat (there are enough that they’re still covered anyway) and gets off the car, then kneels in front of the guy and gives him a quick look-over. He’s in his late twenties or early thirties, skin so pale that it’s almost unhealthy (though that might be the cold), dark brown hair which definitely needs a cut, too thin, still shaking without control. Jesus. Dean puts two hands carefully on his shoulders, trying not to wince when he feels how cold the poor bastard is and trying also not to scare him away either; the guy’s head raises and Christ, for a second Dean’s words get stuck in his throat because he has the most honest to God enormous eyes that Dean has seen his whole life; they’re a clear, pure blue which is nothing short of breathtaking and they’re looking at him with such gratefulness that Dean is sure his heart loses a beat. Then he realizes he can’t waste too much time here.

”Hey. Listen, I know you probably need your time here but I’m on a supply run and there are a lot of people ‘round here who could use what’s in that car.”

When he sees that the guy is clearly panicking but can’t even talk for how much he’s shaking Dean squeezes his shoulder.

“No, I’m not leavin’ you here. I mean, you’d be a dead man and that ain’t exactly why I pulled that show before, but I need you to stand up and get in the car so we can get goin’. Then we’ll deal with it but for now... here, take this.”

He drapes the blanket around the guy’s shoulders and helps him standing up, wincing when he realizes he doesn’t have shoes. He stands on his feet though, which is definitely better than Dean had hoped for. Dean opens the door for him, figuring that with those shaking hands occupied with keeping the blanket where it is he couldn’t do much else, then shuts it close when the guy finally gets on the seat. He climbs on the jeep on his side and then gets the hell out of there, thankful that no one noticed the whole ordeal.

Except that he can hear the guy’s teeth chattering and it’s driving him insane, so when he’s sure they’re far enough, he stops the car and reaches for the other two blankets, it’s not like they need them now anyway; he hands them over and while his new company proceeds to wrap up his feet in one and drape the other over his shoulders on top of the first, he brings out a flask of whiskey he keeps in his jacket and hands it over.

”Take a drink. It might warm you up.”

The hand taking it shakes way less than before and even if he’s sure that half of the whiskey got spit on the blanket at least the guy coughs a couple of times and a faint color gets back on his cheeks, which is more than enough for the moment. And then he takes another small drink before giving the flask back.

“Thank you,” he says after clearing his throat, and Dean has been thanked a hell of a lot of times in the last two years, but this is the most heartfelt one he can remember and for a second he feels overwhelmed. “Oh, thank you,” the guy says again, his voice pretty low and kind of deep, and Dean thinks of velvet for a second.

What the fuck is he even thinking?

“Hey, no big deal. I mean, well, yeah, guess that for you it was, but... let that go. I couldn’t just pass it by.”

“Three people passed by. While... while she... Anna...”

“Anna? You mean the redhead...?”

“Yes. Just... you were the only one.”

“Was... she was your girl or something? If...”

The guy shakes his head, thankfully his teeth stopped chattering. “No. No, we were just in the... wrong place at the wrong time. She didn’t... she didn’t deserve...”

He trails off and shakes his head; Dean figures they made him watch. Fuck ups. Even though there’s something strange about him; he doesn’t seem much adjusted to the new world order, and Dean has never encountered someone who wasn’t adjusted in some way. He thinks that almost no one at his camp, not even eight-year olds, would be shaken by that. Wrong, sure, but...

Suddenly he feels a sudden need not to get the guy out of his sight ever again, which is kind of crazy considering that he doesn’t even know...

“Hey, what’s your name? I’ll need to call you someway. If you aren’t comfortable with your real one just lie to me until you’re sure.”

“Why... why should I?” the guy asks, clearly surprised.

”People usually do. Trust is not exactly the most popular feeling, these days. Half of the people who joined camp after the second war told me their real name after three months.”

The guy shakes his head, clearly not liking the policy. “That’s... well. I don’t see why I should lie when if it wasn’t for you... I’m Castiel,” he answers in a whisper, and that’s exactly a name which would be fake any other day but Dean just has this feeling that the guy can’t lie for his life.

“Well, nice meeting you, though I wish it had been in nicer circumstances. I’m Dean,” he answers, wishing he could just shake hands or do something equally normal he hasn’t done in ages, but Castiel’s hands are hidden under the blankets and Dean doesn’t think it’s wise to pull them out of there. “So, listen, we’re about five minutes from camp. Ain’t very big, it used to be a freaking beauty resort but it doesn’t look much beautiful these days. Whatever, that’s not the point. Now, before we go, since people refer to me and I have to inform them, I need you to answer a couple of questions. Could you do that?” he asks, trying to keep his voice as gentle as it gets. Which is hard because Dean isn’t gentle with anyone these days, except the few children around camp when he meets them, and the ones he meets are hardened. A lot tougher than most children he dealt before ever were anyway.

“Yes. Of course,” Castiel answers, even if it looks like it’s the last thing he wants. Dean decides to stick to the minimum.

“Do you have... some place to go? Or family, or anything? Because we can arrange it if...”

“They’re almost all dead. And the ones who aren’t... who weren’t the last time I saw them, well, we... let’s say they don’t want anything to do with me,” he whispers, and Dean wants to hurt someone. Who is that doesn’t want anything to do with their family these days? Well, you need to have sense in the first place. Seems like it isn’t the case. Also because Jesus, this guy? Doesn’t look dangerous or psycho or anything. “I wouldn’t have been out there if I had a place to go, would I?”

“... no, probably not. Okay. Hey, that’s fine. Really. I’m sorry I had to ask. Anyway, if you don’t I guess you can stay with us, but...”


”Well. It’s kinda... all rooms booked. The place was made for maybe one hundred and twenty people in high season and we’re one hundred and fifty. There’s barely any space now and people are wary of strangers, so I can’t give you a room or set you up with anyone.”

Castiel nods, his head bent down, his whole body language screaming misery.

“That’s... I understand. Just... let me stay the night somewhere, outside too, tomorrow I will...”

“Hey. I didn’t finish. Now, as the person people refer to, the only advantage is that I have my own place. It’s... well, a room which is kind of bigger than the norm. Or maybe it looks like that because I’m the only one living in there. Anyway, I have a spare mattress. It’s hardly anywhere near comfortable and I’m really not the person you want to share a room with, but you could stay there until we find a solution.”

Sincerely, to anyone else, Dean would have probably said either you take it or go fuck yourself. It was what he had done in all the similar situations he ended up in the last two years and anyway people never stayed for more than two nights, see voice nightmares, but there’s just something about Castiel that makes him choose his wording, that makes his voice a shade more gentle. Also, in any other occasion he’d have thought about it at least ten times before offering to share his room, but again, that something just suggests him that he isn’t risking zilch here.

“I... I doubt I’d find it uncomfortable,” Castiel answers, relief plain in his voice.

“Was that a yes?”

“I... yes. It was.”

There’s just the tiniest hint of a smile on Castiel’s lips but Dean’s breath gets caught in his throat again. What the hell is with him today?

“Good. Then... uh, let’s just go. People will need to unload the car, but you can stay there. I’ll talk to my brother meanwhile and then we’ll just get some sleep and discuss things tomorrow. What about it?”

“I... I think I would like it.”


“Dean. What the hell?” Sam whispers at him while he looks at the figure wrapped in blankets on Dean’s passenger seat while Chuck and some other people get stuff out of the backseat and the trunk. Dean is about to answer when Chuck runs towards him and shakes his hand gratefully because yes, he brought the toilet paper, and then runs away again.

“I mean, another person is hardly what we need,” Sam says, but thankfully he doesn’t sound angry or anything. Well, he knows that it’s Dean’s final decision anyway, even though he’s the second in charge for a reason. But Dean also knows that Sam wouldn’t really send out to the wolves someone who needs help; he didn’t want to be a lawyer for nothing, before everything got fucked up.

“I know, but... Sam, I was driving back and... he just was there, these three from that crazy bunch of people in the outskirts had raped and killed this girl in front of him and they were going to do the same thing to him and... I was too late for her, but I couldn’t....”

“Yeah, I can imagine that,” Sam answers, a hand on Dean’s shoulder, and he sounds slightly affectionate. Well. It’s his brother, he knows Dean more than Dean is willing to admit.

“And he just... he was lookin’ at me like I was fucking Jesus Christ or something and I couldn’t leave him there. I just... anyway, I asked him if he had some place to go.”


“And his family is dead and what’s left of it seemingly doesn’t want to have much to do with him wherever they are, dunno why, he doesn’t have a goddam place to go and...”

“Are you sure he isn’t lying?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I am,” he answers without even thinking about it.

“How do you know?”

“I just know. He’s... hell, well, I’ll be introducing you tomorrow. You’ll see what I mean.”

“Fine, let’s say he isn’t lying. People won’t want anyone new around to share food with if he doesn’t make himself useful, and you know it. Well, guess they’ll give him some time if he’s shocked or something, but... well, does it seem to you like he can... I dunno, go with you for raids or...”

“He looks like someone who never had a gun in his hands, if that’s what you want to know.”

”That’s impossible,” Sam asks, and Dean cringes. There was a time when Sam would have abhorred the idea of using a gun. There was a reason they fought hard before Dean left for Iraq.

“Looks like there’s an exception to the rule. Sammy, listen to me...”

“Hey, if you’re calling me like that...”

“Listen to me. If he can’t shoot I’ll teach him, or something. If he can do something else, he’ll do something else. Hell, I have an idea that he’d clean everyone’s room til it shines if it meant he gets a place to stay. I’ll just ask him tomorrow, I doubt that he’s up for that kind of talkin’ now.”

“No shit,” Sam nods. At least he does get that. “And where he’s staying by the way? We’re full and you kn... Dean.”


Sam rolls his eyes, but when he looks back at Dean it’s almost like he feels sorry for him and Dean knows where this is going. After all Sam did hear everything, when he was in California, about the fifteen girls with whom it didn’t work out because of Iraq and he has seen the other fifteen (at least) with whom it didn’t work out because of Iraq, WWIII and Civil War part II. If there’s something Dean will always envy Sam is that even if he did fight his part, he doesn’t get the nightmares and the mood swings. Shit, the mood swings. The last one had been some one month ago and no one had come near his cabin for two weeks and he really is glad for that. Sam knows. Yeah.


“I know. It just was the only solution. If it doesn’t work we’ll deal with it in... two days or something, I guess.”

“Right. Dean, I’m sorry but...”

“Sam. Shut up, okay? We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Sam just nods and Dean is grateful. He also kind of hates that Sam will always let Dean have his way when Iraq comes up, but for once he won’t complain.

“Alright. Just take him to your cabin, talk to him tomorrow morning and you’ll tell me when we get back. You’re not coming. People won’t complain if you take a morning off anyway and you know it.”

Dean would have argued any other day, but Sam’s right. If he has to deal with this then he can’t go to Alma tomorrow.

“That’s fine. Alright. Hey, in case I don’t see you tomorrow morning, try to find something to trade for petrol. We have enough for a month but I don’t wanna run out of it.”

“Sure thing, jerk,” Sam answers before getting back towards his cabin. Dean smiles for a fraction of a second, even if sometimes he’s kind of jealous when he thinks about Sam’s beautiful, amazing girl who is there to wait for him during the day, if she isn’t out at his side. At least Sam had found himself someone, and anyway it was Dean saying that if people start getting married again he should totally ask her. Whatever. Not his problem. He made peace with it long ago. He gets back to the car which is now unloaded and helps Castiel down. He’s still kind of shaking but at least he walks fine and Dean is grateful for it because there’s already too many people watching.

His cabin isn’t too far from where he left the car; sure, it’s just a small wood bungalow where Dean thinks people went to have massages when this place was still a beauty center, but the heating still works (thankfully they have some electricians in their bunch) and it’s pretty much enough. After closing the door, Dean takes a look around; here they are, his double-sized mattress covered in half-clean sheets and high enough that it’s comfortable to sleep on it, his dad’s gun on a small table in the left of the room, the linen chest in which he keeps all of his clothes, the sheets and the few things he still has from that other life of his, the smaller mattress in the corner on their right. It’s kind of dusty and that sends Dean out of his reverie. He also has a small desk with a chair; he takes it out.

“Hey. Sit here a minute, I’ll just clean that up and put on some sheets.”

“Don’t... don’t concern yourself. I can...”

Dean raises a hand. “No. This is my cabin and really, no.”

“I’ve slept in worse places,” comes a deadpan answer as Castiel sits in the chair anyway. Dean shakes his head and goes to the linen chest, takes out one of the two clean sets of sheets he has and leaves it on his bed. He grimaces when he sees how much dust gathered on the mattress. Jesus, that’s disgusting even for his standards. He doesn’t want to know in which worse places Castiel slept, really. He wipes the dust off, more or less; when he’s half-satisfied with it he puts the sheets on as best as he manages, grabs another blanket from the linen chest and places it on top of the sheet. Then thinks about it another second, remembers the end that Castiel’s clothes met and fishes out some old stuff of his. It’s some heavy red pajama trousers he had since before Iraq and the only band shirt of his that survived, from a Metallica gig he attended when he was nineteen and in love with Shirley from the year he graduated high school, who was a Metallica fan too, and life was way easier. He gathers them up and goes towards the chair.

”Sorry, I don’t have a spare pillow. Just, take these. You can’t sleep in that crap you’re wearing right now. I haven’t worn them for years anyway.”

“I... no, I cannot accept...”

“Hey. Relax. You can. I got you out of that mess, I feel responsible.”

There’s that hint of a smile again and Dean really wants to know what the fuck is up with him. Castiel stands up and takes the clothes; Dean says he’ll be out for five minutes so that he can change and doesn’t register Castiel’s stunned expression because he’s already out.

He could have brought something though; now he has to stand here for five minutes freezing his ass off, but well, he could be worse off. Five minutes it’s not much really, and...


Right, Dean thinks. “Hi, Chuck. So, stocked everything?”

“Yeah. Jesus, all that toilet paper. You’re a saint, man, y’know that?”

“Sure, most awesome saint ever,” Dean answers shaking his head, giving the guy a quick look-over. He looks pretty decent, for someone who spent the day arguing because he had to ration the last of said toilet paper and spent the last half an hour ordering people around to stock goods. But well, as he said, when for a job you write supernatural stories for monthly magazines, you aren’t much good at shooting around. But he was good at lists, very good, and Dean is thankful they have someone responsible.

“So I hear you have company?”

“You hear right. Will get back to check in a short while though. You have anything to say?”

Sometimes Dean is amused at his apparent ability to scare Chuck; he kind of does that on purpose. Once in a while.

“Oh, no. Nope, not me. You know I don’t care. Also some new face might be good for this place. Could become less boring. For a while.”

”You want to trade boring with the missions?”

“Hell no, man. I’ll take the boring.”

“Good. Listen, before I get back in... I don’t know what he’ll end up doing, but he seems a nice kid and just, I don’t think he’s much up for playing risiko. If I can’t find him anything to do would you mind someone to help you?”

“Well, guess it could be useful. It’s not like I need someone but ‘course, whatever.”

“Thanks,” Dean mouths. At least if they don’t find anything more suitable no one will have to complain. “And... er, I realize this is a lot to ask, but... try to keep the gossiping to a minimum if you can, alright?”

“What, your company can’t use the gossiping?”


“Then your company is a rare kind of person.”

“Seems so. Which is exactly why I’d like to keep things that way.”

He can’t explain that finding someone who still could be shocked at this fuckery feels too much like a miracle, these days. Even if maybe Castiel would have something to say.

“I see your point. Well, we’ll see. I’ll go check on the stuff one last time. You, uh, have a good time. Night. Whatever.”

“Night, Chuck,” Dean chuckles as the guy leaves. Well, at least the five minutes are gone. He knocks on the door before getting in and thankfully, no embarrassing scene. Castiel is wearing his clothes and sitting on the mattress, and while Dean still thinks he could use a hair cut and some time at what used to be fast foods back then (not an option now) he looks a lot better and at least not so pale. Seeing him in Dean’s clothes feels pretty weird but it’s not stuff he usually wears, so he figures that it’s okay. They’re bigger on him, of course, but still.

“Comfortable?” he asks, trying to keep his tone light as he gets rid of his jacket and the knife he keeps in his belt. He’s not getting rid of the one he keeps tied to his ankle. He always goes to sleep in his clothes; it took a while to dismiss the sleeping-with-his-shoes-on habit, but he really couldn’t afford to wash the sheets every day because the dirt from the soles ended up everywhere.

“I... yes. Thank you again, I...”

“Hey. No big deal. You probably need to catch some sleep and I probably have too, so I guess the talking is for tomorrow. And...”


Castiel looks at him with a certain curiosity, his head slightly tilted on his right shoulder, and Dean thinks it’s kind of adorable.

What. The. Fuck.

“Two things. Well, mostly one. To make things short, I was in Iraq some five years ago. It had consequences. If tonight I start screaming or shit just turn around and try to ignore me, it happens more often than not. And if you need to talk to me, do it on the front or the left side. I mean, I hear from the right but it’s half-damaged or something and it’s a mess. Alright?”

That’s the moment when Dean usually gets the I-feel-so-sorry-for-you look which usually means that in the morning a conversation that goes like you’re-a-really-kind-person-but-I-really-can’t-share-a-room-with-you-for-another-day happens, but... surprise. Castiel just looks at him with a very, very serious expression before nodding and saying alright, sure. Fine, he does look sort of concerned, but not feeling so sorry.

Well, he’ll just sleep on it. He waits for Castiel to settle on the mattress, noticing that he moves like he hasn’t slept on a sort of proper bed for ages, then turns out the light. He hopes this is the rare night when he has a dreamless sleep.


No such luck, and he’s there, the sun is beating upon him, his uniform is way too heavy, his pack is way too heavy, his hands grip the rifle so hard he’s sure it’ll slip away for how much he’s sweating, and then it’s open fire and there’s just the noise of bullets flying and the private who arrived just yesterday is dead next to him, a shot in the head, and he fell down and there’s blood all under his neck and everywhere and coming out from his mouth and he should have stayed down, why didn’t he listen, just why didn’t the idiot just listen, and he drags the body on their side because at least then they’ll have someone to bury in Bumfuck, Oklahoma, and his hands are fucking covered in blood and Dean jerks up and opens his eyes, hears the echo of his own no, you idiot, why the fuck didn’t you listen but at least he wasn’t screaming himself hoarse. Not full force. There’s a hand gripping his shoulder, not too hard but not a feather touch either, and there’s cold sweat breaking all over his face and Christ, this would have gotten really bad if he hadn’t woken up.

If someone hadn’t woken him up before his own screams did.

He turns his head to his left, realizing that he’s so tense that he can feel his own nerves shaking; he meets blue eyes which shouldn’t be so clear in the pale light coming from outside (just stars, no moon tonight), but it isn’t the stare of someone who is taking pity on him. It’s just merely worried and somehow it calms Dean down, more than he’d like to admit.

“Sorry... sorry if I woke you up,” he mutters, but Castiel shakes his head.

“What for? You can’t help it,” comes the answer, the voice in itself sounding soothing, and it’s the first time someone who isn’t Sam tells him that. Everyone else always has suggestions and they don’t have a fucking idea of what it means, but... this is not the case. “I just, I didn’t know if I should have woken you up or not, but...”

“It’s okay. Thanks, actually. You should’ve.”

“Oh. Well, then I’ll... get back.”

“Yeah. Sure.”

Castiel nods and Dean almost feels naked when that hand leaves his shoulder. He barely outlines Castiel crawling under the covers again and he falls against the pillow again. He isn’t sure he’s going to get any more sleep tonight, but at least he won’t spend the next three hours like the mess he becomes when things in his head get out of hand.

For once it seems like it can be sort of bearable.

Part II
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: misha collinsjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Ha, glad that I got you hooked! ;) I'm really happy you're liking this and that the setting is working for you. I swear it's not going to be so angsty though... well, from a certain point. ;) Thank you so much!
cas_lovercas_lover on October 23rd, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
WOW, that's one hell of a start!
Really love it so far, amazingly written.
Can't wait for the next part *sits patiently in the corner*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel is a bamfjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm so happy you're liking it so far! <3 If everything goes according to plan you shouldn't have to wait much though. ;) Thanks again!
shaitanah: redshaitanah on October 23rd, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is a breathtaking start! This story paints such a terrible, painful picture of the world, every detail so vivid and realistic... And poor Dean! A different lifestory, yet still incredibly IC. <3 Looking forward to reading more of this.
Also, LOL at Chuck))) Toilet paper forever))))
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural the prophet chuck <333janie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy you're liking it! I have to say that I had been wanting to write such a scenario for ages so it's great to know it's working for you. And that Dean's IC because that was what I was fretting about most. I hope to post one part each day, which if I don't get too lazy will probably happen since for once I've already written it. ;)

Chuck and his toilet paper are my real OTP. ;) ;)
Olympiaolympia_m on October 23rd, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
wow! I can't wait to see what happens next!!!

I really hope you edit and post as soon as you can because your fic made me VERY impatient...
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural beckyjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Yay, glad to hear you're liking this! :)

I'm planning on one part each day, the whole thing is done and if I do manage to do the editing in time I totally should have it up soon. Thank you so much!! <3
lover all alone: SPN: Dean/Castiel All of it for youinvisiblelove on October 23rd, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
This is AWESOME. Oh my goodness, I was so excited when I came across a fusion fic from you in the deancas comm :) Gaaaah poor Cas who is openly broken and Dean who is secretly broken - I just want to hug them both.

Sooooo fantastic! I can't wait for the next part :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/castieljanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I kind of was hit with the plot when I read that prompt and as usual I ran away with it and became a novel, but I'm so happy that you're liking it! And yeah, I did give those two their load of angst alright. I swear I won't be too cruel though. ;) *hands them both to you for a hug anyway*

And next part should be up tomorrow, thanks again!
Lou: spn - castiel deangottalovev on October 23rd, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
ohh, I usually do not read WIP, but you said this is finished and I was curious! the harsh description of WWIII made me cringe because.. well people are stupid and it could happen.

Of course Dean could not just pass by, and I love that Castiel retained a bit of his innocence. can't wait to read more!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas don't ever changejanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's done. I mean, I've written it all already, I just need to do some minor editing in the last parts but I should manage to post one part each day so not really WIP on that front. ;) And yeah. People are stupid and it could happen and I definitely hope it doesn't *shudders*.

And yeah, Dean is too much of a good person. Thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked it! I'll have more up soon. ;)
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: BJ rules and it's a factjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm happy to hear that! :D
Shout loud, breathe in, won't you drown in the nowsuge on October 23rd, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Good start. I like this a lot. :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural beckyjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
Kyrie: Ichigo - just a normal humanlaifan on October 23rd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Wow this is awesome. The description of the war made me cringe cuz I can see something similar to that happening should people start firing missils at each other.
And LOL Chuck and the toilet paper XDDD What can we say? It's canon ♥

Keep up the good work~
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural the prophet chuck <333janie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you're liking this!

Sadly I think that's more or less how it would go were someone with h-bombs decide he's tired of keeping them where they are, but sure as hell I was cringing while writing it. >< And yeah, you know that Chuck/toilet paper = OTP ♥ right? :D thanks again!
Remtwodromance on October 23rd, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
what an amazing first chapter! your writing style is addictive -- everything is so raw and vivid and the dialogue really flows (and sounds impressively in-character, all things considered). i'm excited to read the rest! :D
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas tweetjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much! I'm totally flattered right now, I'm so happy that you liked it and you found them IC. And that you liked the setting. The rest is coming soon, thank you again!
vankossvankoss on October 23rd, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
this really shows up like a very promising story, liking it very much so far, and hoping for the continuation. Youe really painted a grat picture with words, it felt so inmersive, i love that about a story. Great Dean, very him and the relationship with Sam is very much as we know it, and love it :D.

Waiting for Castiel's past, that should be interesting to explore.

Also, Chuck+Toilet Paper= absolute Win!!!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas the endjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much! I'm really glad you're liking this and I totally hope you like the rest as well. And now I'm totally flattered, thanks again! Also I'm so glad to hear that you liked the Dean/Sam dynamic, I was totally aiming for doing that part right.

Ha, Castiel's backstory comes in the next part so I guess you won't have to wait much. ;) And Chuck and that damned toilet paper had to be in this, I couldn't resist. *cough*
elanorofcastile: SPN - Brothers in Arms by dodger-winslowelanorofcastile on October 23rd, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Oooooooh, interesting premise and fantastic beginning! I look forward to reading more.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas the endjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much!! I'm really glad to hear you're liking this. :D
epsylon_1epsylon_1 on October 23rd, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
this story is amazing. I really love what you did. :D
Great writing, great characters'voices and awesome plot. I think I'm addicted^^""""
I can't wait for more *____*
the female ghost of tom joad: BJ rules and it's a factjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much!! :D if you're addicted then I'm flattered. ;) I'm planning on one chapter each day so there'll be more up soon, thanks again! I'm so glad you're liking it. <3
(no subject) - epsylon_1 on October 23rd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Louquantumdoll on October 23rd, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
Already I can tell this is gonna be pretty damn epic! your WWIII is is terrifying, and my heart goes out to poor already-broken Castiel. I'm so looking forward to part 2!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas finale #2janie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! Yeah, I did my worst/best re WWIII, but I have to say I'm really glad that you found it terrifying. It means I got it right. ;) And it's awesome to hear Castiel works for you here, thanks again! Part II will be up soon-ish.
kaylynnkiekaylynnkie on October 23rd, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Is it wrong that I liked damaged!dean? Whatever. It's excellent.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas ANGSTjanie_tangerine on October 23rd, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks, much glad you liked it! And ha, poor Dean, he always ends up like that... but if you like damaged!Dean I think you'll get plenty in the next parts. ;) Thanks again!