?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
25 October 2009 @ 08:12 pm
fic, Supernatural: There Will Come Soft Rains 3/5 (Dean/Castiel, Sam/Jess), NC17  
Title: There Will Come Soft Rains 3/5
Pairings: Dean/Castiel, some Sam/Jess
Rating: NC17
Word count: this part 6679; 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 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. And in this chapter there's a flashback regarding that which isn't anything too nice.
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.. And this is where things do actually happen. Whoever gets the subtle (?) Lost reference gets a cookie. Part I | Part II.

Dean's new carefully balanced routine abruptly changes on May 2nd, what a chance. Things really happen in fucking anniversaries these days.

See, it’s a joke when your birthday is the anniversary of WWIII and your brother’s is the anniversary of the second Civil War, but you do what you can. There’s a raid scheduled for May 2nd, and Sam was supposed to come, but Dean had convinced him into staying at home. It was the first one since Sam met Jess and while he knew it wasn’t going to be easy he really wanted Sam to get the day off. Sam had argued that on his own birthday no one could convince him from giving up on the supply run and Dean had argued back. He doesn’t remember exactly how he won it, but he did (he thinks that it was because after all Sam did want to spend the day with Jess and because Sam still thought that acknowledging it was worth something while Dean didn’t) and so Dean brings only Jo, Risa and this former other Iraq veteran named Gordon who usually is at Bobby’s but came to their camp to do some trading on the place and ends up saying he wants to come too.

Bad mistake.

Because while Gordon is perfectly trained and sure as hell lucky because he got off without injuries and stuff, Dean is used to Sam. He doesn’t even need to check to see if Sam has his side; Sam always has his side and Dean can just feel him. Also, Sam always knows that no matter what he has to stay on Dean’s left.

Now, Dean has let pride go a lot of time ago. Fine, he has his ear half-fucked up and when there’s noise it’s as good as zero; while he hates mentioning it, he also knows that there are situations which mean life or death and it’s information that he always shares before everything else. Usually people listen. Clearly Gordon gave him the I’m-so-sorry-look (which is always worse when the person giving it to you comes from the same place and got out of it without half of the shit you got instead) and promptly forgot it. When they realize that there was already a small cell of people raiding the same facility they were going for, Gordon puts himself at his fucking right, Dean doesn’t hear shit because bullets are already flying, when he hears something at all he understands the wrong thing and he gets out at one moment when no one was covering him.

Good thing that Jo is a great shot and that she has pretty sharp reflexes. When Dean falls to the ground after a bullet passes directly through his shoulder and another one gets stuck into his hip, she doesn’t lose time; she shouts at Risa for cover, hits the guy aiming at Dean with his rifle in the center of his head and brings Dean back to the wall they were hiding behind. While Dean knows that none of the wounds are mortal, he realizes he’s losing way too much blood from the hip and his head is spinning; he barely hears Jo shouting at Gordon and telling him that he’s an idiot and that he knew that he should’ve been on Dean’s left side, then she calls everything off because anyway now they’re three against fifteen and somehow he’s hauled back to the car with Jo driving and Risa putting pressure on his wound after taking the bullet out, he doesn’t want to know how she did it.

He passes out.

--

“... do you think you could look after him until he’s back on his feet? If you had turns for laundry and stuff we’ll find people to cover, you always do that for everyone anyway...”

Dean blinks and somehow recognizes his brother’s voice. He’s talking with someone in the room, his voice low. Dean keeps his eyes closed.

“Of course,” comes the answer without missing a beat. Deep voice, sounding way too concerned and relieved at the same time.

“Thanks, man. I’d do it myself, but until he’s fine, and he will probably be stuck for a month, I need to stay in charge of things and well, you would be here anyway. Right?”

Dean so doesn’t want to hear the rest of the conversation.

“Sam. Do you even need to ask me that?”

Dean thinks he can picture in his head Sam’s idiotic apologetic smile. He just knows he’s making that face.

“Actually, you’re right. I don’t. So... well, if you need anything, just knock on my door, alright? If you want to suspend the whole lessons business we can...”

“There will be no need for that. It’s only in the mornings. If it needs to be suspended then I guess we will, but let’s just try first.”

“Good. I’ll tell Ellen and Chuck about your turns and they’ll take care of that. Cas, really, you’re a lifesaver.”

“Thank you, but I could say that about someone else too.”

Dean turns on his side. He thinks he’s blushing. Then pain shoots through his side and he can’t stop a miserable sound from coming right out of his mouth; three seconds after someone is turning him with his back on the mattress and the first thing he sees when he opens his eyes is Sam’s Jesus-my-brother-can-be-an-idiot face.

“Dean. You got shot in that side twice and you want to turn on it?”

“Er. I wasn’t exactly thinking.”

“Right. I could have a lot of wise answers, but...”

Suddenly Sam’s hand is squeezing his and hard, and the expression on his face becomes miserable; before Dean can do or say anything Sam stands up and looks at him right in the eyes.

“Don’t ever try to pull such a thing on me again, understood it?”

“It wasn’t even me!”

“Yeah, I’ll concede you that, but I meant that next time I am fucking coming.”

Then Sam gets out barely restraining himself from slamming the door and Dean realizes that...

“Shit. I ruined it.”

“You did what?”

Dean turns in Castiel’s direction; the other man is kneeling next to his bed and checking his dressings, seemingly satisfied with them.

“It was his birthday. I made him stay because he was supposed to go and enjoy it with Jess like it was at least half-normal and then I come back like this and... Jesus.”

He lets his head fall against the pillow and sighs, trying not to give in to the desire to punch something. It’s not like he’d have enough strength anyway. It’s not like he has enough strength for anything at the moment.

“I hope you realize that it wasn’t your fault, don’t you?”

And yeah. Well. Castiel’s voice can be soothing when it wants to.

“Yeah. I do. I mean, it was that idiot. I told him I wasn’t gonna hear anything on the right side, but of course he didn’t listen. But still, I should’ve just stayed down. Crap. Now... how long did you say I was stuck?”

“One month at best.”

Jesus.”

“Well, you’re alive. That’s something, right?”

Dean would answer that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just over, for him at least, but then he remembers how they met and just...

“That’s something.”

--

Clearly he wasn’t going to get any respite. And clearly this had to be the night when he gets it.

This time Castiel isn’t fast enough; Dean wakes up alright, half because of his own screaming and half because someone is shaking him by both shoulders, careful not to touch the dressing on the injured one, but this time is different. It’s not just cold sweat; he’s trembling all over and saying some shit without even meaning to, he thinks he can hear his voice mumbling that he’s sorry, so sorry, and he won’t even try to close his eyes because he knows he’ll just see it all over again, playing in front of him in slow motion like it was yesterday and not five years ago. He feels sick and he isn’t sure he isn’t going to throw up; also, whenever he gets it it’s always the start of a mood swing phase and he so doesn’t need one when he’s stuck on a bed, damn...

Suddenly he’s jolted out of his train of thoughts.

See, Dean is not really a person for what he has dubbed chick flicks ages ago and he doesn’t hug anyone which isn’t Sam or Bobby or Ellen and just in very rare occasions, but then he feels a hand on his back and one on his neck tentatively bringing him forward and shit, Castiel is honest to god hugging him even if there’s still some space between them (as if he isn’t sure that it’s crossing some boundary or not) as he kneels on his damn bed; and the problem is that it feels so good that Dean can’t even bring himself to push him away and pretend it never happened. He’s tired, fucking tired, he hurts all over and especially in his left side, there’s a hammer beating in his head and he wants to crawl under the covers from shame when a sob escapes his mouth, but then Castiel’s hand starts rubbing circles on his shoulders and his breathing sort of evens out. If he concentrates on that maybe he can calm down enough. Christ. He’s a wreck, he’s always a wreck when it happens, but...

“Do you want to talk about it?” a soft voice asks, and no, Dean doesn’t want to talk about it, not now and not ever. He shakes his head, feeling ridiculous. He should just fucking say it, but apparently he isn’t in the mood for talking today.

“It might help, you know.”

Dean shakes his head again, even if the tone is earnest and not judgmental in the slightest.

“You don’t wanna hear it,” he mumbles against Castiel’s neck.

“How do you know?”

You’d hate me, Dean wants to answer, and well, there was a reason he never told Sam what exactly he did down there. Or not all, at least. ‘Course, Sam wasn’t ever going to cut contacts also because hey, Dean did it for a reason, mostly, but he just never wanted to see his face after Dean spilled it out.

“I just do.”

“You can’t know that,” Castiel answers, his voice always so soft. “And for what it’s worth, whatever it is, I’m not going to think any less of you.”

Dean has a lot to object, fuck if he does, but he’s tired and maybe he should just spill it out. Doesn’t help that his only experience talking about it had been with the guy who prescribed him the meds when he was back, who had just nodded through the whole story before handing a prescription and inviting the next in.

“It was... ‘bout a year after I enrolled. I had done my share of... well, let’s say missions, but that one was... anyway. We got this order. We were in some town in the south, never could learn to pronounce the name. They said there were terrorists hiding in this school and they were pretty dangerous and that they were planning to blow half of our station up. They sent me and five other people and we just... didn’t double check. It was an order, we went. And started shooting on the spot.”

He takes a breath.

“There was the whole deal. Broken windows, people running out and stuff, but we just kept on shooting until someone realized that the only three people who ran out were unharmed and that wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Also ‘cause no one tried to fight back. We got inside, it was just this one room and... it was...”

His voice breaks and he can’t help it. He wishes he could at least cry on it but he just shakes more. Maybe it’s because he thinks he doesn’t really have a right to cry on it.

“They were all kids, all fucking kids and a couple of teachers and I was the first to get in. There was just one who was still alive. There on the floor, all covered in blood, and he was looking at me before he died there and his face... I think it’ll be the last damn thing I see before I die and serves me fucking right.”

There’s a moment when he’s sure Castiel is just going to stand up and walk away. And he’d have every right to, for how he sees it. It would just leave him even more miserable, but he’d deal with it. Hell, the guy might have been through the new world order but maybe he still draws lines, and...

That thought dies when Castiel brings him closer instead. He doesn’t say anything, maybe because there isn’t anything to say, but when Castiel’s hand squeezes his uninjured shoulder Dean just stops thinking, raises his good arm and throws it behind Castiel’s back. Fuck his policies, right now he needs this and he can’t even believe that Castiel is just there and that he isn’t giving him any empty, nice pre-made speech. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t saying anything at all; Dean wouldn’t know what to answer either.

He wishes he had some strength left, enough to say at least thank you, but he’s exhausted and he doesn’t and then he realizes that they’re not kneeling anymore but they’re both laying down on the mattress. Castiel has momentarily removed one hand to raise up the covers, but as soon as he’s done it’s back there, rubbing circles on Dean’s shoulders, and before he can freak out at what’s going on he closes his eyes, just thinks about Castiel’s hands on him and passes out from sheer exhaustion.

For the first time in ages, he doesn’t dream.

--

The morning after, when they wake up with sheets tangled between them and their own limbs touching everywhere Dean feels so self-conscious that he might as well throw up, but Castiel’s hand is back on his shoulder again as soon as he starts to visibly freak out and he doesn’t know if it’s the wounds or if he’s just such a wreck; it makes him feel calmer. Shit.

“I... I just, I’m sorry. You’re already stuck playing nurse, you really didn’t have to...”

“Dean.”

Dean reluctantly turns to meet Castiel’s stare and... Jesus, it’s there, that look that says don’t freak out, I get that but I’m not feeling sorry for you and Dean feels grateful for once.

“Yeah?”

“This is probably going to come off... not in the way I intend, but... why do you have to assume that I did it just because I felt I had to?”

Dean doesn’t have an answer and so Castiel goes on.

“I mean, why is that when the point is helping others then it’s alright and when the point is someone else helping you then they’re either doing it out of some sense of duty or it’s a waste of time?”

Dean could ask Castiel exactly the same thing, but he’s momentarily speechless. Right, they’ve been sharing vital space for a lot of time, but Castiel must be a pretty damn good observer to get it just like this. Because well, he doesn’t think about it, not often really, but he can’t deny that it’s his policy.

Castiel anticipates him again.

“Don’t ever think that what you did there makes you worthless. I mean it.”

He stands up then, saying he’s going to have some breakfast and will bring him something before he goes to class; but as he does, a finger of his left hand slowly trails up Dean’s cheek and then Castiel is gone.

Dean’s skin doesn’t stop tingling there for an hour.

--

That night he doesn’t get it, but there’s a scream dying on his lips when he’s shaken awake. Castiel looks at him for a second and then it’s the night before all over again. Dean doesn’t fight it and refuses to think about what it means that he’s accepting it without too many issues.

The third night Castiel is going towards his mattress; Dean looks at him for a second and then looks at the wall, wondering if maybe it would feel better if...

Castiel takes some pieces of paper that were lying on his mattress (he always spends some fifteen minutes writing stuff on there before turning in) and without saying a word he climbs on Dean’s, on the opposite side.

Dean doesn’t say anything to discourage him.

That’s how they start sharing the damn bed.

--

At the beginning it’s sort of weird, but the pros outweigh the cons by far and Dean just dismisses the weirdness (which is there because after all with, Sam’s exception he has never exactly shared a bed with a man, and Sam was a whole other thing). The point is that the weird factor is also brought on by the fact that he can’t label it. It’s not what it would seem if someone walked in on them and it isn’t Castiel doing him a favor either, also because this wouldn’t be the kind of favors Dean accepts. It’s about someone who isn’t family just being there when he needs it and sad as it might sound, it’s the first time it happens to Dean and he doesn’t quite know what to make with it. Also, it hasn’t escaped him that last time he had that dream which started it all he had spent two weeks slamming doors, cursing at everyone who was unfortunate enough to end up in his way and sleeping two hours each night if it was a good one. Which is not happening now.

He wishes he knew what’s in it for Castiel, after all sharing a bed with someone who has a tantrum every night more often than not can’t be a joy ride, but Castiel is just unreadable when he wants to and Dean can’t figure it out just from looking at him, and not from the way Castiel just doesn’t seem to mind at all. He just seems fine with it and the few times Dean actually spits the contents of his dreams out he just sits next to him and listens and is there. Sort of like that kind of best friend everyone wishes they had and who rarely exists. Dean feels like he isn’t living up to his end of the deal though (friendship goes both ways after all), but, after one time when he asks Castiel if he could do something for him in return and gets a shake of Castiel’s head in return along with an answer that says that he’s already doing it, he doesn’t ask anymore. He doesn’t know what he could be doing for Castiel; if it was about what he did then he could see it, but no, Castiel said doing and not done. He just stops thinking about it at one point. He’s already injured and he doesn’t need more stuff to think about in all his free time.

--

Sam drops by almost every day and Dean would really like to know why is it that he and Castiel always go outside when they need to talk, but he doesn’t pay attention.

--

One morning, when Castiel is off doing his job, Dean is moving around the cabin (it’s been three weeks, thank you) when someone knocks on the door. He opens it to find Jess on the doorstep and he smiles at her before letting her in. It’s not exactly every day that she visits but he knows she’s busy (hell, organizing all the turns for everyone and everything is a busy job) and actually, he wonders why is that she came alone.

“What brings you by?” he asks, wishing it was still before and he had something to offer.

“Oh, I just wanted to check on you. I know that you still can’t get out, I haven’t seen you in ages and from what Sam says it sounds like you’re more dead than alive.”

He snorts, shaking his head. “He worries too much.”

“Well, I need to give this one to you. You know, you look good.”

“Do I?”

“Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t want to...”

“Jess, whatever it is I’m sure I can handle it.”

“It’s just... you know, before the accident you were... well, since I met you I always thought you looked a bit like a wire ready to snap. And you have all your reasons by the way. But... I don’t know, you always look so tired and... now you don’t really look like you’ll snap in ten seconds tops at all. Also, you had shadows under your eyes and now they’re almost gone. Are you sure you shouldn’t take some time for yourself more often?”

Dean isn’t really taking it all in, but he manages a shaky smile and throws some remark about him taking time for himself when there’s a fucking government to take care of stuff for him and she laughs at that, at least. The small talks lasts maybe ten minutes before she squeezes his good shoulder and goes. The first thing he does is taking out half of a mirror that stays in his desk’s drawer; he doesn’t know why he has never thrown the thing away, it’s just a piece of useless glass after all, but it still works. He takes a look at himself best as he can and fuck that, Jess is right. He does look more like a human being than the last time he looked into a mirror, which probably was some... he can’t remember it.

He knows at once it isn’t because he’s taking time for himself. It’s because he has been sleeping half-decently.

Well, he guesses he owes Castiel one.

--

He realizes that things are far more complicated than he had thought when one day, some six and something months after January, Castiel asks Dean if he’ll teach him how to shoot. His (very understandable) point is that he might have survived until now for some kind of miracle but he doesn’t want to risk any chances and Dean says of course. His arm is healed, he’s back at his place and things are more or less like before, so yeah. No major problem here.

Turns out that if there was something Castiel was a natural at at, shooting is not it. He just can’t seem to manage to take aim and whenever he shoots he ends up jumping one foot behind. The kids watching are pretty amused, Castiel looks like he’s glad that at least someone is having fun and Dean doesn’t think it’s funny at all. He tries another way then, coming behind Castiel and covering his hands as they shoot, but since Dean is the one really aiming, it’s the one time the blanks hit the target. The rest?

A disaster.

After a while Castiel seems thoroughly disillusioned and his face looks like the face of a person who feels like he has disappointed half of the planet (and the kids aren’t having fun anymore, which Dean figures is good) and that’s when Dean realizes he actually is glad.

He’s fucking happy that Castiel is a complete failure at this and it doesn’t make sense, unless...

Unless.

Unless he actually thinks that someone not knowing how to shoot is too much of a good thing to actually change it. If the new world order ends and a better one starts, then he wants people who don’t even know how to hold a gun in to live it. He stands up and takes the gun from Castiel, trying not to think about how his fingers don’t leave Castiel’s wrist.

“You know what? I don’t think you need it.”

“What? Dean, just no. I do. Everyone does. And I just wish I wasn’t so useless at...”

“Cas. Shut up. Actually, I’m... I’m kind of glad.”

“You’re what?”

Dean lets his voice drop to a whisper. “I just... I think you’re pretty much the only person in the state who couldn’t hit that target. And believe me, most of these days I wish I didn’t need to know how to. And... well, sorry if it’s blunt, but you never killed anyone, right?”

“... no. No, I never did,” Castiel answers, his voice choked and barely audible.

“Then... then let’s just keep it that way,” he answers, biting back the then I never want you to and you never need to know that was about to come out. He wraps his fingers around Castiel’s wrist and something warm blossoms in his chest when Castiel’s other hand grabs his free one for a second before they part and head back.

--

One evening some time later, Sam is passing by to discuss the next supply run and he’s about to get out when he suddenly stops on the doorstep.

“Uh, I was forgetting. Dean, do you remember Steve?”

“The guy who lives in cabin sixteen? Yeah, so what?”

“He, uh, moved in with Tracy.”

“The one who is in cabin eight?”

“Yeah.”

“So?”

“So... well, there’s a free cabin and I don’t know if maybe you two were waiting for...”

Sam shrugs. The following moment is, well, awkward. Dean looks at Castiel and he’s sure that his attempt at the it’s-okay-if-you-want-to-go smile is pretty much a failure, Castiel looks at him like he’s kind of panicking and then says that there’s the family in twenty-four, the Novaks, who are eight people and really, they probably need more space and thanks for the offer but he’d really rather have them using it. Sam shrugs again, says that’s fine and that he’ll tell them. He doesn’t look too freaked out, thankfully.

As soon as he’s out of the door, Castiel turns in Dean’s direction and he’s obviously worrying that he did the wrong thing.

“Did I... I mean, would you have rather...”

Dean doesn’t really care about his manly pride enough anymore.

“I kinda got used to you. It’d feel strange if you just left,” he answers sincerely even if he’s looking in every direction except Castiel’s. Then he does, though, and what, is Castiel looking sort of relieved?

“Let’s say I got used to you, too.”

“Guess this isn’t temporary anymore?” Dean asks then, his voice just the slightest bit unsure.

“If you want to.” Castiel’s voice is soft and Dean thinks velvet again. What.

“Yeah. Yeah, I do.”

It stops being temporary and Dean freaks out for just one second.

--

At the beginning of August things haven’t exactly changed. Well, Dean still goes out on raids and does supply runs and if it’s raids he always brings Sam with him, Castiel claims that his class is slowly progressing (Dean thinks that the bare fact that they’re progressing at all is more than enough), Chuck is desperate for new plastic dishes, the weather is insufferable (but there isn’t a time of the year when one can stand it anymore, whether it's summer or winter) and he still shares a bed with Castiel.

It still is just that, and they really don’t touch each other in any other occasion; still. Dean hasn’t had a serious mood swing in months (and he had them even when he still could buy meds especially for that) he sort of sleeps more or less regularly even if Castiel has to wake him up at least once each night and that’s good enough.

There’s this evening, though, when Dean gets back from a supply run and the cabin is empty. Strange, because it’s late and Castiel is usually always there at this time. For a second he feels strangely disappointed, and it’s not like he hasn’t used the cabin alone for ages. He raises an eyebrow when he sees that there’s someone sitting in front of the wired fence, looking outside. And what a scenery; it’s all dark with a bunch of bonfires spread in the distance. That’s all the scenery they get, lately.

He recognizes Castiel’s white shirt (the crazy idiot is wearing a winter one with rolled sleeves; Dean is positive he should be dying from heat, but whatever, his problem) and sits next to him (even if not near enough to touch) without saying a thing. In another life, he’d have had a can of beer to offer.

“Hey.”

“One can’t really hide from you, can he?” Castiel asks, but the tone is light.

“Nope. Takes a lot more to do that. Any reason you’re dying in this heat when everyone else is respecting curfew?”

There’s something that makes Dean ache in the way Castiel retreats his knees against his chest before answering.

“Well. I was just thinking. It’s... it’s been a year. Since Topeka.”

Dean remembers indeed, he doesn’t think he’s ever forgetting what Castiel told him that second day. He nods, even if Castiel isn’t really looking at him.

“I was just... thinking about things, you know? I mean, I... all of my life they were there except for those three months when I was in Phoenix and then just like that, they weren’t any more. Even if... I guess that physically they were there but not in any other sense by that point.”

Dean nods again and doesn’t miss the way Castiel is stubbornly looking in the distance and bringing his knees closer.

“But... I wish at least we parted in good terms. With most of them I didn’t even part and whenever they looked at me they’d just be so disappointed, and with the rest... the last thing my uncle told me before they left was that he was sorry he ever had to waste time on such a failure and something about him not really deserving it. Sometimes I just keep on trying to find out where I went wrong, but apart from that I can’t find nothing and... sorry. I’m probably being a...”

“You aren’t being anything,” Dean says softly, coming close enough that their shoulders touch. “And damn, you spent the last three months listening to my crap, I can listen to yours once. It goes both ways, y’know? And I’m not doing it because I think I have to either. And... just, that’s so stupid.”

Dean sighs and he can’t help thinking about his father. It doesn’t happen often because usually he’s too busy to think about his life before, but he can’t help it right now. He remembers how crazy with grief he was after that fucked up plane crash and how he had started working two jobs in order to have enough money around to keep the house, the car and the insurance. Clearly after that he hadn’t been at home much and that was the reason why Dean had been the one looking after his brother most times, but Dean was old enough to get why he couldn’t spend so much time with them as he used to. He remembers people in the neighborhood talking and saying that he and Sam were such nice kids and deserved better than a single parent who was really with them just on weekends. Dean had never really thought that and of the two he had always been the one who got along with John Winchester the most, but since he decided to stick to the GED he had always had this idea that he had let his father down somewhat. His college fund had gone with Sam’s college fund and Dean was really more than happy to have things that way. And then the last time he had seen his father alive, the same morning he ended up in that wreck while going to work, Dean had randomly dropped at his dad’s place to get some coffee since his own coffee maker broke the evening before. They were just sitting there, then Dean had stood up to go to work himself and his dad had stopped him and said randomly that he was proud of him. And that he was sorry he hadn’t been there much. Dean had more or less told him he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else and four hours later he was dead. He had always thought that it was unfair, but at least he figures that there wasn’t anything hanging between them.

He shakes his head and tries to find something useful to say. “I mean, it’s just, family’s supposed to see past your flaws. I guess I just can’t get why they’d make such a big deal out of what kind of people you like fooling around with, also because I’m sure you weren’t the kind that gave them any problem before. Or the kind to fool around.”

“Me? Hardly,” Castiel answers, a tiny hint of sarcasm in his tone. “But the people I like... fooling around with... are also part of what I am. I guess. I just... if I had lied or convinced myself I was wrong maybe they’d still be alive or maybe I’d have just died with them, and I can’t find it in myself to think that I’d have liked it better. Even if it’d have been the right thing, I guess.”

“You’re talkin’ nonsense. Martyrdom is never the right thing. And you couldn’t help it, especially when you didn’t do zilch. Except offending your uncle or whatever. Sorry, I just... I didn’t mean to... listen, do you trust my judgment?”

“I thought it would have been obvious that I do, by this point.”

Dean tries to ignore the fact that Castiel sounds on the verge of tears. “Well, then your uncle was... is a fucking poor judge of character. And if anything, he put it wrong.”

“What...?”

Dean takes a breath. He’s sort of glad no one else is listening, or his image would be definitely ruined for good. Not that he cares much anymore, but still.

“He said he didn’t know what he did wrong to deserve you?”

“Yes.”

“Then he failed all over the line because for all I’m concerned, I’m still wondering what the hell I did right.”

Castiel’s head jerks in Dean’s direction and he looks so shocked that it’s almost funny. Almost.

“Are you serious?”

“I’m dead serious. Didn’t you even notice that since you set foot here things have changed and I really won’t be the one to complain? First of all, there must be a reason everyone likes you. And since you’re around things have been just... how do I say it. There’s a more decent mood. You might be giving your class there some tools to actually do something useful for them and for other people if this madness ever ends. And then, I might be kind of freaking subjective here, but with my brother’s exception, and it really ain’t the same thing, you’re the first fucking person who hasn’t given up on yours truly after three days. If he was glad he got rid of you that’s fine by me and I’m just sorry for him.”

Because he doesn’t know what he has lost, he bites back since that was way too chick flick even for him.

Castiel opens his mouth.

“You ask me if I really mean it, I’m punching you.”

Castiel closes his mouth and he just looks so relieved when he meets his eyes that Dean figures that if it’s time for chick flicks it’s now. After all Castiel did this for him for a while, it’s just fair if Dean gives some of it back.

He wraps an arm around Castiel’s shoulders and when dark hair is tickling in the hollow of his neck and a hand presses against his waist, he brings Castiel closer and watches bonfires burn in the distance.

--

That night, Dean has a honest to God dream for the first time in forever. He’s so shocked that he almost wakes up just because he’s dreaming, but then he doesn’t. He recognizes the setting at once; it’s what he had once agreed was his coping mechanism in front of Castiel, the one before he adjusted his expectations. The one when he would imagine himself going into the two-storey house and find this pretty blond girl with brown eyes waiting for him with open arms. No one in particular; just, more or less his type.

In his dream, he’s standing outside said two-storey house. He has just waved at Sam as he crossed the road (Sam and Jess sit on the porch in the house next to his) and now he’s checking for mail before actually crossing the lawn. The lawn is green in a way he can’t quite stand, the grass soft and almost luscious, the color so bright that he almost wants to cry out in happiness. The sky is clear, blue, and not covered in the usual gray; around him there’s just this normal neighborhood that could be anywhere. No bonfires. Dean could get used to this. There’s no mail; he crosses the lawn, takes out some keys and gets in. The house is nothing fancy but furnished with a certain taste; there are quite a lot of books scattered around even if apart from that it’s mostly neat and that’s weird because he never fantasized about owning so many books. He takes a couple of steps inside, turning on his right where he knows the kitchen is; there’s a set table, no fancy cutlery or anything either, but there’s some fresh made pasta in the plates which looks pretty much tasty and he can see that in the oven (turned off) there’s apple pie, which used to be his favorite before apples didn’t exist anymore.

“I see you’re home,” a voice interrupts his thoughts, and Dean turns even if he should be honest to God freaking out because it isn’t a random female voice he has conjured up. It’s a male voice and... yeah. Behind him, on the doorstep, there’s Castiel, dressed in a blue suit with a matching tie and a white shirt; it all looks good on him, matches his eyes, and the thing is that Dean just smiles at him and doesn’t freak out at all. Right, it’s a dream, but when he comes closer and Castiel comes closer and they share a slow, sweet kiss which never was so intimate when he actually was awake to make this up, he should damn well be freaked out.

He isn’t, though, and Jesus, he has to admit that kissing Castiel feels good, and there’s something in the way Castiel’s hands are rubbing circles on his hips that is making his heart skip a beat, and then he wakes up.

The first thing he sees is the wall of his cabin, or better, the window; it’s dark outside and the bonfires are still there. The next thing he feels is an arm hooked around his waist and well, if Dean sighs when it unconsciously tightens its hold, no one notices. He knows this can’t be more than it is, even if his subconscious seems to have another opinion about what he wants this to be, but it’s more than enough. It really is.

--

Nothing changes much after that, if not small things. Dean starts noticing details about Castiel, like the way he’s completely OCD about folding the laundry but how he’ll scatter around his former mattress all that paper where he writes his stuff, Dean presumes for classes. Or like the way his eyes lit up when he’s having fun (even if he never smiles properly), or the way he sews back rips on his clothes, carefully and neatly (Dean kind of loses patience whenever he has to and for a result his clothes get ripped a lot more after he sews them), or the way he always takes small bites whenever he eats. It’s crazy and nonsense, but he can’t help that. He really can’t.

Part IV
 
 
feeling: hungryhungry
on rotation: mozart at very random
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: misha collinsjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
<33 Well I'm definitely VERY happy to hear it. ;) Thank you! :D
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural beckyjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
<333 Thank you so much! I totally tortured them but I swear I'm making it up to them! Really I am! And I'm so happy to hear you liked the Dean/Sam dynamic, I was really trying to get that across too.

AND LOL WHAT YOU READ MY MIND, IT TOTALLY WAS THAT. Or maybe I'm obvious. *hands tissue* <333333333
Olympiaolympia_m on October 25th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
*makes loud purring noises*

I had to stop working because I got seriously tired and hungry, but this restored my strength better than anything!!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas don't ever changejanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
NO, THANK YOU SO MUCH because now I'm all flailing. ;) I'm so glad you liked it and that it provided some nourishment there. ;) Thanks again!! <33333
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas the endjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
LOL yeah someone totally is! ;) ;) And thank you so much, I'm so glad you're liking it! :D
vankossvankoss on October 25th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Holly crap!!, my mind powers fail to pick that you already updated!!! Surprise YAY!!

You have played this so nice, Dean being so grateful of someone being there for him, not not freaking out and not feeling sorry for him. Pulling him out of the dark pit of his dreams, healing him with his presence. Castiel is a godsend to him. Angel much?? i want to think so :D

And Castiel finally has a place to belong, someone that cares about him and needs him, in the same way that he need dean.

Also, OMG!! they are sharing a bed, Thats hot

Hoping for more!!!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas don't ever changejanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Surprise!update ftw much? ;)

I'm really so happy to know you liked the dynamic in this! I sort of couldn't resist the nightmares thing so I tried to adapt it. Yeah, Dean, I can't leave you alone, sorry. And yep, angel much indeed! Even though not exactly here but you know. I was aiming there. ;)

And yessss, you know that the bed sharing is mandatory. *cough* I'm so glad you're liking this!! :D And more is coming tomorrow. ;) <3
(no subject) - vankoss on October 26th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on October 26th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cas_lovercas_lover on October 25th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
WOW ... still got motherly instincts for Cas, I can't help it! What a poor lil' puppy!
But Dean now too ... Geez, I guess I'm a SUPER mother or something! *hugz both*
Love how Dean starts to care about Cas and even dreaming about him and kissing him in his dream ... that's so so cute! *faint*
Can't wait for the next chapter, your fic is made of win! Love it and it just keeps getting better and better! *heading back into the corner and wait patiently*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas tweetjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, I totally want you to have them. He needs some hugging, and Dean totally needs it too. I can't spare them the angst, or so it seems. *sends them in your direction*

Dean is totally cute even if he doesn't want to admit it. And thank you so much! :D There's definitely more coming tomorrow. ;)
Passive Aggressive Heterophobe: Cas reacting towards such an inane act.juanitatequila on October 25th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
OMG yay their relationship is finally ~blossoming~. :')!!! There were just so many ah-dorable moments that made me grin like mad. :3
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas tweetjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah it is! And it's totally not stopping here, lol. *has projects for those two* Seriously, thank you! I'm really glad your liking this :D
Bess Farris: Castielmeewunk on October 25th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Maaaan, I fucking love this AU <3 Can't wait for the next parts :D
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas bffs <3janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Aw, I'm so glad you like it! Next parts will be up in the next two days. ;)
elanorofcastile: SPN - Castiel profile by crystalchainelanorofcastile on October 25th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
*hugs them both*

*hugs you*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castieljanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
*hands them over*

*glees*

Thank you so much! :D
(no subject) - elanorofcastile on October 25th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on October 26th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Louquantumdoll on October 25th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
This is just beautiful, I honestly don't know where to start! I adored Dean being happy that Cas was a bad shot, as though Castiel is too pure and needs to be protected. Also, Cas comforting Dean after he spilled about his time at war. Oh, and the gorgeous scene where they watched the bonfires *sigh* such lovely imagery. And Dean noticing things about Cas at the end? That has to be love!

Being a Lost fan I kept an eye out for the reference but I missed it. I'm lame....
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas finale #1janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so very much! <3 Seems to me like you started fine though. ;) I'm so glad you liked the shooting scene, that was pretty much my intent with it. The poor guy doesn't really need to learn that. ;) And I've rarely written h/c with those two so now I'm all flattered, I'm so happy you're liking this.

Oh, it totally has. Keep your eyes open for the next part. *cough*

BTW, the Lost reference is Steve and Traci, it was that joke going on with Sawyer and the people in the raft in the S1 finale. ;) But it's not you being lame, it's me being obsessed.
lover all alone: SPN: Dean/Castiel we're doneinvisiblelove on October 25th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Sooooooooo lovely! <3 The way Cas takes care of Dean and having Cas around has led Dean to dream again...GAH *FLAILS* I want Dean to have that house next door to Sammy with apple pie and Cas <33333333333 Seriously, the h/c, it's like nourishment for the SOUL. ;)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas finale #2janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
H/c is TOTALLY a nourishment for the soul. ;) Except that I usually think I suck at writing it so I never do that, but this round I just figured I'd do it and I'm very, very happy that you liked it. ♥♥♥ And yeah, I'd so want Dean to have that too. *sigh* That's still not happening but who knows. ;)
xmarie08xmarie08 on October 25th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
I usually have no interest in AU fics but I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories, so I decided to check this one out and I'm loving it!

Your Dean is such a beautifully damaged character.

Can't wait for the next update!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas ANGSTjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you're liking this even if AUs are not your usual thing. :D And thanks regarding Dean because I was kind of going for the damaged, even if I'll make it up to him. Soon-ish.

More should be up tomorrow, thank you so much! :D
Jenni: spn › d/c » personal spaceonlyechoes on October 25th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
MY HEART, OH MY HEART WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME WITH THIS FIC? I honestly can't believe this is only FIVE CHAPTERS LONG because you are killing me with this and I am turning into a maniac if I don't get more asap. :( Oh the manpain, Dean's dream and everything is just wonderful.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas bffs <3janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
EEEEH YOU KNOW THE MANPAIN IS THE MANPAIN. <333 Well, I already know I'll want to write snippets off this thing so maybe it won't get to be just five chapters. ;) Though seriously, I'm so thrilled you're liking this!! And I'm so giving you more tomorrow afternoon.. ;) <3333 Thank you so much!! And don't die, I want you to get to part V! <3
(no subject) - kiasca on October 26th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on October 26th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
And the night over London lay: my baby shot me downshaney on October 25th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
*draws hearts all over this fic* :D

When Dean got shot, I was all Nooooo and I knew it would trigger bad memories from the past, but Castiel being such an unwavering presence in his life, taking care of him, listening to him and NOT judging him was exactly what he needed, and he got it <333 And then he returning the favour to Castiel by listening to him on his issues with his sucky family - I really loveee that image of them sitting quietly and watching the bonfires.

And the dream Dean has at the end, and how he starts to notice the little things that are Castiel. Lovely touch. I can really feel the development between them, and they are each other's support system, and that is very touching.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural deanjanie_tangerine on October 26th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
*is totally and completely flattered*

Eeh, I needed to give him some more angst in order to start making up to him, poor guy. And I usually don't write h/c because I'm never sure of it so it's awesome to know that you liked their dynamic here. ♥ And well, friendship goes both ways, right? ;)

And ha, they're totally each other's support system, you put it perfectly. And it's great to hear that the development worked for you, thank you so so much! :D
Lou: SPN - castielgottalovev on October 25th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
=D

aww, this us sweet, I love the balance and anchor Castiel brings Dean. how they slowly fit together (and Dean, babe, if you think this is one sided, I have a feeling you've got a good surprise coming!)

:)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas tweetjanie_tangerine on October 26th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, glad you're liking this still! ;) ♥ (And Dean is totally having a surprise coming. VERY soon. *cough*) :D