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23 October 2010 @ 11:46 pm
fic, SPN: through the dead ends and all the bad scenes (Castiel, Dean, some Campbells), PG13  
Title: through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
Characters: Castiel, Dean, Christian & Gwen Campbell
Rating: PG-13 (or well. How would you rate Lazarus Rising?)
Words: 7500
Spoilers: up until 6x05
Warnings: people get blinded, generally not much niceties happen from the second part onwards. If you like the Campbells then you don't want to read this.
Summary: where Castiel isn't feeling particularly nice and Christian Campbell suffers the consequences, but since Dean and Castiel have a bond, at least they even things between them.
A/N: so basically, after episode two I was like, 'can Castiel just blind everyone in the Campbell family?', and then hitlikehammers encouraged the idea. So I started it then, but I wasn't satisfied with it. Then 6x03 happened and I had to re-do Cas's parts, then I kept editing it and then yesterday happened and so I figured I'd just rewrite some more and put it up to date with canon. *headdesk* But I like it a lot better than I did on first draft. Then it also was supposed to be mostly about Castiel making fandom's wishes come true and then it became more about Dean & Cas still being BFFs, and by then it was far from the 3000 words I had thought it'd be. Tldr, I suck at reaction fic and I hope it's decent in spite of rewriting it ten times. Also since it ended up meeting the requirements, I'm using it for scifiland's big bang challenge. Title stolen from Bruce Springsteen.

He feels like a goddamn girl. End of story.

Hell, having another argument with Sam is bad enough, considering how things are between them right now, and considering that Sam just stood and watched him turning into a vampire.

But having it because of this supposed family Sam tries to shove on him when it’s clear it won’t work, well, it’s worse. (Dean can barely manage the idea that Sam let him turn. He can’t process that, too.) Then again, the fact that he’s pissed at them because, however you put it, everyone named Campbell that Dean meets seems to look at him like he’s the scum of the hunting world? Alright. Maybe not Samuel. It might be because the meet thirty years ago. And well, maybe he wouldn’t be that bad, on his own.

Point is, that’s the most fucking chick-flick Dean has ever been, and Lisa refusing all of his calls until now hasn’t done anything to improve his mood.

Point is, he can ignore that they think he’s not a professional. (Like you can get a degree in hunting, Dean snorts, but let them. He doesn’t care. Also at least Dean saved some goddamn lives, while from what he gathered, in the Campbell family it’s not the first point of the whole deal.) He can ignore that whenever his dad comes into the conversation there’s snorting, like he was some kind of freshman who knew shit about hunting. (And while John Winchester never was parent of the year, and Dean sees it now, Dean won’t hear that he was shit at hunting. Not with everything that happened. Not when he died because he fucking sold his soul for Dean. Not when he taught Dean that they saved people and hunted things, and not the contrary.) He can, with a lot of effort, ignore how Christian has decided he needs to mention Dean’s stunt in Hell every time they’re in the same room since that time with the baby shapeshifter, like Dean doesn’t still dream about it enough times.

Except that this last thing he had to say now? Well, that one he couldn’t have ignored.

Talks the one who needed a fucking angel to break him out. Your dad might not have been the best around, but at least he got out on his own, didn’t he? And then what, you shared friendship bracelets with your pet angel while searching for fucking God? That’s hilarious.

At that Dean had kind of flipped. In the don’t you dare mentioning Cas like that sense of flipping, and damn he shouldn’t have. But fuck it, even if the dick has left in order to play Clint Eastwood in Heaven, and that had hurt, and even if when he dropped by again he zapped out of existence without a goodbye again, Dean still won’t hear the first son of a bitch that comes by saying such a thing. Not when he has found out that his own brother doesn’t apparently have his back as much as he says.

Fuck it, Cas not only had dragged him out of Hell (and apparently they even share bonds. What the hell). He stuck by, he died for them, he turned his back on his home for them, he became a fucking human for them. Fuck, he died twice. And yeah, he had Dean’s back pretty much everytime, since then. Also, it wasn’t for them as in for humanity. He had done it for Dean and no one else, and when someone does something like that for you, then you’ll want to stand up for them. Even if they’re dicks and if they never call and if they have no social skills and if they hurt your brother in the process. (Though Sam being pissed at Cas for never answering him has been one of the three times he has seen Sam show some emotion since they met again. It’s still something. Still, that was before the last vampire stunt. Now he wonders if it was fake.)

But look at him. Defending your best friend’s honor? Pathetic.

Clearly Gwen had had to join and make another remark about Dean’s apparent lack of professionalism, because you don’t just befriend angels (or call them Cas when they’re named Castiel, anyway) and then Dean had stormed out. And Sam had been all like, just give them a chance and meet halfway, and it’s not like they don’t have a point, from their side. Dean hadn’t even bothered to answer and now he’s some twenty miles away, sitting on the car’s hood, shaking his head and wondering how the fuck did he end up like this. Again. He’s very close to losing it.

Fuck, after one year like the one he had, loneliness hurts.

“Well, Cas,” he says to the empty air, “I just hope you appreciated that, deep bond and everything. If you have time to spare, anyway.”

He sounds utterly ridiculous, that’s how it sounds.

“Appreciated what?” comes from his right side, and Dean almost screams. He jerks, turning on his right, and fuck it, there Cas is.

Trench coat, stupid suit, crooked tie, blue eyes staring right into his own, and Dean almost punches him. Except that he doesn’t feel like breaking his own hand on top of everything else.

“The hell?”

Cas tilts his head at him, obviously not getting it.

“Cas, fuck it, you just fly away without even saying ‘well, guys, that was nice, see you next time’ and now you just poof here?”

Cas shrugs, then raises his head and looks at Dean again.

“You called,” he says, and Dean still thinks that it’s too surreal to be true.

“I called? Seems to me like last time I tried, you didn’t come because I took the effort to do it.”

“Dean, I…” Cas trails away for a couple of seconds, before looking at him again. “I think I owe you an apology. I was distressed and I would have liked for the circumstances to be different. I had not predicted such chaos, when I went back to Heaven.”

“You still could have answered Sam. Which, by the way let me become a vampire in front of his eyes and now I don’t even know what the fuck I’m supposed to do with it.”

“I… yes. I could have. Now I’m sorry I did not. I just… you saw how it is. It is a civil war. I didn’t have an answer for him. I assumed it wouldn’t have helped if I had answered. And sorry, what did you say happened?”

“Christ, your people skills are rusty. Well, at least I can give you a pass for having known he was alive and not having told me as everyone else. And… well, we were hunting these vampires, one of them managed to turn me, my newly resurrected grandfather had a way to turn me back and all was peachy except that while the vampire turned me… Sam got there and he just watched. And now he says he has my back,” Dean mutters before shaking his head. “Anyway so what, now why are you coming if I call? You’re not as busy?”

Cas shrugs again, and the humanity of the gesture is such a stark contrast to the… otherness Dean can see in his eyes that it’s almost scary. Not to mention that his eyes narrow as soon as Dean spills about the vampires deal.

“I am, but I can make time. And as much as it’s worth, I would still come if you called. And that is… distressing, to say the least.”

Well then, now Dean’s theory that Cas just didn’t give a damn anymore goes flying out of the window.

“You’re one of a kind, you know that? And why, because of our awesome bond? And yeah. Distressing. That’s an understatement,” Dean can’t help saying back, because he really can’t still wrap his head around that.

“I wish I knew something. Believe me, I would if I could. But… he would not have done it when he was drinking demon blood,” Cas says, “and I knew it back then. But that isn’t the reason you called. Or you would have done it before, wouldn’t you?” Cas speaks slowly, and Dean can see that he’s trying to see some sense in this. Good luck to him.

“It’s… just, things happened.”

Which is how he ends up spilling everything about his grandfather’s resurrection to Cas while they both lean against the car. He doesn’t keep out the fact that he doesn’t really trust any of this new family, especially because it seems like their priority is catching whatever creature they have on their hands, and not about saving the lives it threatens. Not to mention that he doesn’t like that they seem to know a hell of a lot about him, for having never met him. (Or met him once. Whatever.) He keeps out the subjects of his arguments with his cousins, though. That’s something Cas doesn’t really need to know. Especially when he’s still mostly business. Dean at times misses the Cas who went with him to a whorehouse and couldn’t even manage to kiss a hooker.

“Anyway, we argued again and just, I went for a drive,” he ends, and Cas raises an eyebrow.

“And what is it that I should appreciate, in all of this?” Cas asks then, and Dean curses himself for how he had worded that sentence.

“I’m not really sure it’s a good idea to share,” Dean mutters, and then Cas’s hand is on his shoulder, the grip firm but not invasive, just like it was when they went back to the future, Dean thinks, and this doesn’t compute.

“Dean. There’s obviously something else troubling you. And if there’s something I should… appreciate, I would like to know what it is.”

Dean shrugs. “It’s stupid. Probably a waste of your precious time.” And damn, he can’t help being defensive.

“Let me be the judge of that.”

All of a sudden Dean feels like it isn’t such a bad idea. Maybe it would make him feel better. Except that… it makes him feel ridiculous. Fuck, it’s like those girls at kindergarten complaining because someone pulls on their pigtails and Dean never had time to be like that. The notion that it’s something girlish and stupid and shameful is ingrained too deep inside his head and he doesn’t know a way to phrase it so that it doesn’t sound like he’s a twelve-year old.

He shakes his head and figures that when you’re talking to an angel, maybe there are advantages.

“Can’t you just… look into my head or some crap like that? I just… I can’t,” he ends, feeling lame in a way he has never felt in his life, and Cas reaches out with a hand and his fingertips brush over Dean’s forehead.

Dean just thinks about all of his encounters with the rest of the family.

Not a professional.

Sorry, I heard about what you majored in down in the Pit.

Talks the one who needed a fucking angel to break him out. Your dad might not have been the best around, but at least he got out on his own, didn’t he? And then what, you shared friendship bracelets with your pet angel while searching for fucking God? That’s hilarious.

But look at him. Defending your best friend’s honor? Pathetic.

Cas moves his hand away and Dean stares at the ground. Christ, now in the best of cases Cas probably thinks that he’s spineless at best.

Then he glances on his right and sees that Cas’s hand which was on his forehead before is now clenched in a fist.

“Dean.” Cas’s voice is the same deep monotone, but there’s something in the way he says it which compels Dean to look up, and when he meets Cas’s eyes he almost gasps. There isn’t contempt there. Just understanding. “I appreciate,” Cas says then, and Dean doesn’t know why there’s a strangled noise of relief leaving his throat traitorously, but damn if Cas hasn’t forgotten how to break the dams that Dean builds with such care with only a handful of words. Dick or not.

But it’s just, someone at least validates his point of view, and the next thing he knows Cas’s hand is on his shoulder again. And fuck, alright, the angel might be a dick without a single clue of a lot of things and his people skills might be rusty, but after… after what just happened knowing that at least someone still has his back is enough to make his stomach clench.

The other next thing he knows is that he’s starting the most tentative hug that ever happened on the face of the planet. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing and sure as fuck he and Cas never hugged once. And he shouldn’t do this because, huh, it never happened and Cas doesn’t do this kind of thing and he doesn’t do this kind of thing. (Not if it isn’t Sam or Bobby, anyway.) But there’s something nagging at him that says that on the contrary, he really should, and by the way, he sort of might really need it, and so he moves close, putting his arm around Cas’s shoulders, but not gripping tight or anything. Just because he doesn’t even know if Cas appreciates this, as well. And because he has a feeling that he’ll get pushed away sooner than later.

Then Cas’s other hand reaches up where Dean’s shoulder blades are, always tentative and like he’s trying something he never has done (which might be the truth, anyway, unless you count that time with the Cupid), and then they are embracing but almost barely touching.

Dean feels like an idiot for a second, and then Cas’s hands grip tight and bring him forward, almost crushing him against the angel’s frame, and Dean lets out a breath of relief and grips back. Fuck, at least it isn’t so awkward now. And at least Cas got the hang of it.

“I just,” Dean mutters, his chin still on Cas’s shoulder, “it’s not like they’re making it easy for me,” he sighs, and then one of Cas’s hands gives him a short squeeze before he moves away a bit, enough that he’s looking at Dean in the eyes.

“For what it’s worth, don’t let anyone tell you they could have done better,” he says, and Dean doesn’t know if he can stand Cas staring at him while saying it. But fuck, he needs to hear it, even if he doesn’t exactly believe it. Rationally, he knows Cas is right. You can’t say shit about Hell until you try it for yourself. Still, it hadn’t been enough when Alastair had told him, now also supposed family has to rub it in his face?

Cas positively rolls his eyes.

“Dean. Are you still thinking about that? Almost no one lasted as long as you did, and even if you broke, you still retained some of your humanity. That is not a given. I told you once I didn’t envy the burden on your shoulders, and that hasn’t changed. I don’t know if anyone else would have agreed to carry it,” Cas says, sounding so earnest that Dean can only nod gratefully, and he’s still not sure he wants to let entirely go of Cas. Not just now.

“At least someone thinks that. It’s just… how do they even know? I guess Sam told them. Whatever, they’re family enough for him, I guess, but still. It was my own fucking business. And yours, I guess,” he sighs, and then Cas nods once, like he agrees with it one hundred per cent. At least. Still, Dean can’t help feeling like he’s being ridiculous, crying on Cas’s shoulder like he obviously is.

“Sorry,” he says shaking his head, “I’m being…”

“You’re not,” Cas cuts him, and now he looks positively pissed off. Not at Dean, at least. “There’s just one person who could legitimately have a say about what happened to you in Hell.”

“That being?” Dean asks, moving slightly away, even if he doesn’t shake Cas’s hand still on his arm.

Me,” Cas answers, and he says it the same way he told Dean he should show him some respect once. It’s almost frightening. “I saw you down there. And there is a reason I did everything I did, and it wouldn’t have happened if I had looked down on you when I saw you for the first time.”

He pauses for a short while, then shakes his head and leaves Dean’s arm, putting his hands in the coat’s pockets. “Actually, I think I would like to have a talk with your cousins.”

“Cas, you really don’t need to, you know…” Dean starts, because one thing is just talking about shit with a friend and another is enduring Christian laughing at him about his pet angel who stands up for him the next time they meet. Even if considering how Cas rolls now, Dean doubts that anyone would feel like making fun of him. “I can deal with the whole lot on my own.”

“Dean, I would not presume that you couldn’t,” Cas says, “but it’s not… exactly about you.”

And damn, they haven’t really grown apart as much as Dean would have thought if it takes five seconds of staring at Cas and at how there’s actually rage in his eyes to see what is it that bothers him personally. After all, he probably heard the actual conversations when he read Dean’s mind before. And oh, Christ. He has seen that expression on Cas just once. Specifically, when he told Cas that he had heard that Jesus was on a tortilla.

And then what, you shared friendship bracelets while searching for fucking God? That’s hilarious.

Probably Cas took it as a personal offense. And he kind of should. Because yeah, you don’t make fun of such a thing, not in front of Cas anyway. Not when God is still not in the building and angels are rebelling all over the place because they found out that freedom is fun.

“It’s about him finding your search hilarious?”

“Mostly,” Cas agrees, and he looks about to say something else when he just freezes and stays still for a couple of seconds.

Then he smirks. And Dean would say it’s an evil smirk.


“It appears that your surviving cousins are trying to summon me.”

Dean can’t help gasping. “They’re what?”

“They’re trying to summon me. Using the same ritual you used,” he adds, and he still has that evil smirk on his lips.

“Shouldn’t you be… gone?” Dean asks, and Cas shakes his head.

“When you summoned me, I didn’t come the same moment you completed the ritual, did I? And this ritual doesn’t even compel me as yours did.”

“Why? It’s the same.”

The smirks turns into the barest hint of a smile, but it softens Cas’s whole face.

“Dean. It is. But I am not. If my Father had brought me back as I used to be, for the second time, I could have never revived someone.”

It falls on Dean, like a ton of bricks. Cas doesn’t look any different, but now he can feel that same power that he had felt when he had walked straight into that barn coming from him in waves, and fuck. It’s different. It’s more. It’s…

“You’re a fucking archangel?”

“No. But I belong to an higher rank now. I… I hope this does not put a damper on our relationship,” Cas answers with all the seriousness in the world, and all of a sudden the holy and mighty feeling is done and in front of him… there’s just Cas. Who, more powerful or not, hasn’t apparently changed an inch.

“Did you just quote the fucking Princess Bride at me? Who even made you watch it?”

“Sam, last year. Just after we were back from Gabriel’s television trap. You were sleeping, I think. He chose the movie and he invited me to… stick around, I believe he said.”

“Oh, Christ, unbelievable,” Dean mutters, wondering if the Sam who came back would still watch The Princess Bride when in distress. He thinks he wouldn’t. Scratch thinking. He’s positive that the Sam who came back wouldn’t even think about it, let alone suggest it.

“I think I will go. As I said, I would like to have a talk with them,” Cas says, and the sort of evil smirk is back.

Dean realizes that he sincerely doesn’t care about what Cas is planning. Maybe it makes him a bad person. Maybe.

But he really would like to see Christian try it downstairs before saying anything. Just in case.

“Hey,” he says before Cas can just flutter away, “just, pay attention. I think there’s something going on with ‘em that isn’t exactly… I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s a reason they want you there, and I’m not sure it’s a good one. I’m sure it’s not to have a nice talk.”

Cas just nods, once, not discarding the information, and then his hand is on Dean’s shoulder again, giving it a light squeeze.

“Dean. Not counting the circumstances… it has been good to see you again,” Cas says, and Dean just shrugs.

“Yeah, and this round I just ranted at you the whole time and before it wasn’t that great. But yeah. It was good. Don’t… don’t be too much of a stranger?” Dean asks, hating the slight shake in his voice, and Cas just shakes his head.

“I will try,” Castiel says, and then he’s gone.

And Dean has to admit it. He feels better. He could go tell Sam that this whole talking about his feeling shit worked for once. Except that it’s too late, by now.


Castiel takes his time as he approaches the Campbells’ home base. They summoned him about fifteen minutes ago, but he isn’t going to show up until he decides it’s time to and until he has thought a couple of things through.

He’ll admit it: he lied to Dean, before. Not entirely, though. He isn’t here just because he’s had enough trouble with his search for God that he won’t allow anyone else to make fun of it. Like he hasn’t been dealing with the consequences for a year already.

He’s also here because as he told Dean once, they had been through much together, and Castiel has seen him in Hell. He has raised Dean from Perdition because he was righteous and no one such as him deserved to be there, and he won’t allow no one to make fun of it either. Not when Dean has taught him humanity, and in turn humility, and in turn what it means to feel, and even if it means that taking decisions is harder, he still would not change things. He’s still wondering what his Father had aimed to teach him, not that there has been any word from Him, but considering what’s happening right now, he thinks that humility was at least part of the lesson.

It’s a quality the people he will see in a short while obviously don’t have.

Not to mention that what Dean said about Sam is more than disconcerting. Castiel had sensed that something was changed, when they met last time, but the Sam whom Castiel met the first time would have never done such a thing. Even when he was drinking demon blood, he had been doing it for Dean, among a lot of other well-meant but ill-advised reasons; Castiel wonders if it would have happened if he had answered, when Sam had called.

Another regret to add to a long list, he muses before deciding to take care of the present matter first.

Castiel doesn’t exactly have a plan (except that he wants this to be quick; he’s here on borrowed time), but no human will ever think ahead of him, and he knows the precautions he must take. He’s quite sure he will know what to do after not much time.

So he wills himself just outside the door of the room where Gwen and Christian Campbell are. It’s just the two of them. He figures it will be easier to deal with only two people rather than with three, one of which would be Samuel Campbell. He will also need to investigate on Samuel Campbell’s resurrection as soon as he gets back to Heaven, among the other things. He might not be able to find out who brought Sam out of Hell, but he’s positive that investigating a resurrection from Heaven would be fairly easier.

Then he starts listening to the conversation going on inside the room.

“How many times do I have to tell you? I did the ritual to the letter,” a female voice says, “it couldn’t have possibly been wrong.”

“Oh, come on, he still isn’t here! That Winchester loser could do it and you can’t? You need to just summon a goddamn low-level angel, it can’t be that hard,” a male voice answers, and Castiel is happy that he knows patience.

Then he decides that he might as well have a little fun.

He snaps his fingers and the entire warehouse goes dark for a second before all the lights start to flash at intervals. A light bulb inside the room snaps, and he feels satisfied as he hears electricity crackle.

Then he wills the door open.


When it does, he’s faced with Christian and Gwen Campbell, the both of them holding a shotgun, and looking like they’re ready to shoot him right this moment.

Castiel doesn’t move an inch.

“I would not chastise her,” he says then, his voice even, “the ritual was perfectly done. Very… professional,” he adds. “Also, I would lower both of your weapons. If you had asked Dean Winchester before doing this, he would have told you that they don’t work.”

They don’t lower them, and then Christian full-on-smirks, looking as calm as if it was his father who had just walked inside the room.

“So, you’re Cas?” he asks, and Castiel glares at him.

“I would prefer it if you called me by my given name.”

“What, I’m not good enough?” he snaps back. “And you’re not good enough to step in? We just wanted to have a talk.”

“Yeah,” Gwen adds, looking just slightly more shaken than him, “nothing more.”

Castiel shakes his head and snaps his fingers again. Suddenly, a ring of fire appears just a couple of steps from where he is, and he feels very satisfied when for a second both Campbells look surprised. Like they had thought that he would surely fall into that trap.

He snaps his fingers again and the fire goes out.

“Just so that we are clear about this,” Castiel says appearing inside the room but outside the circle burnt into the ground, “I fell for that trick once, and I wasn’t proud of that. I will not fall for it twice. Now,” he keeps on, trying to maintain his voice to the same level, “since you made your conditions clear and they weren’t exactly the ideal, for me, I should establish mine.”

He raises his hand and then they’re both pinned to the wall, guns fallen on the ground, and at least Gwen looks positively worried now. Christian is still looking at Castiel like he’s the scum of angel society, but Castiel has had his brothers look at him like that for a very long while, and a human won’t be what frightens him.

Castiel then sits on the table facing them, gun parts falling into the ground as he does, and then looks up at the both of them again.

“I think that now we can talk. Do not shorten my name.”

“Aren’t you awfully sensitive?” Christian asks, with a nonchalance that Castiel doesn’t like at all.

Castiel glares at him, and another bulb explodes.

“There are exactly three people on the face of this planet who will not make me sensitive, when it comes to this particular matter. You are not in that number. Why did you summon me?”

Christian snorts and Castiel can give him points for not having looked away once

He’s pretty sure that it’s going to change soon.

“It’s just, from what Sam said, apparently if anyone in the family calls, you come. I wanted to test it. Even if you kind of made him disappointed, not answering him.”

“For fuck’s sake,” Gwen whispers, “are you crazy? Don’t get his feathers riled up. It wasn’t supposed to go like this.”

Castiel can’t help a small chuckle, figuring that at least one of them has enough sense. Also, she has practically confirmed that their aim was to trap him.

“My feathers do not get riled up, but I can assure you that, metaphorically, they just might,” he says, turning towards her, and then towards Christian again. “And to answer your question, I might, but just if your surname is Winchester, and only if I decide to. I do not believe this is the case, is it now?”

“Yeah,” Christian snorts, “especially if their name is Dean, is it?”

Castiel thinks that by now he really has had enough.

Maybe it’s time they actually realize with whom they’re dealing.

He moves away from the table so that he’s standing in front of them and as another light bulb explodes, he lets his wings’s shadows appear.

From both their faces, he can infer that she has understood it well enough, while he still hasn’t. Not entirely.

He clenches one hand in a fist and she gasps when electricity appears around it before disappearing.

“First thing, yes. I will come if Dean calls. Because I wish to and because me and him went through so much together that you couldn’t even begin to imagine it. Like you can’t begin to imagine all the reasons why I could not answer Sam. If it’s anyone else, then I don’t. Regarding that, I am sorry to say that I am here because I chose to, not because you compelled me.”

“How… how would that be even possible?” Gwen screams.

Castiel smiles, just a bit, and he lets the loose electricity trace his wings in their entirety, and he’ll admit it: when all blood drains from her face, he feels satisfied.

“I’m not a… lower-rank angel anymore, if I ever was,” He pauses, making so that the pressure pulling them against the wall becomes heavier. “You might want to weigh what you want to say to me before you speak.”

“It can’t be,” Christian mutters, and Castiel shakes his head, moving his stare towards him.


“That something like you comes at Dean Winchester’s beck and call,” he almost spits, and Castiel would really like to know why is it that he apparently hates Dean so much.

“I am sorry to say, but he’s much more of a righteous man than you will ever be. And if you are assuming that he’s beneath me, you are wrong.”

“Yeah, and you’re such great friends that he can’t even see your real face,” he spits, and Gwen looks positively terrified now. Castiel is glad she is.

Also, this man most definitely needs a lesson in humility.

“Do not,” he says, taking a couple of steps closer, “threaten my patience. It’s already thin. Almost no human can see my real face or hear my voice. Do not ever presume to understand what happens to a soul in Hell until you experience it, and do not dare imply that Dean Winchester is a lesser person than you are because of it. Once I told him that he should show me some respect, because he was talking to me the same way you are. He learned his lesson. Now, if I were you, I would do the same. And show him some respect as well.”

“Since when I’m disrespecting you? Since I just pointed out that it’s kind of weird that you out of everything would like Dean?”

Castiel fights the urge to roll his eyes.

“You disrespect me since you underestimate me, since you talk to me not acknowledging that I can end you with a snap of my finger and since you think that I’m some thing that can be summoned and tricked like a common pet.”

By now his voice has dropped lower and for a second he wishes he wasn’t reminding himself of Raphael. His current tone of voice is becoming dangerously close to the archangel’s. And it still stings too much for Castiel not to feel distressed, but at least it’s having some effect.

Christian is looking at him with hatred now, if anything, while Gwen is shaking against the wall. Castiel almost wants to free her since he’s sure she has learned the lesson, but it would defeat the whole point.

“I don’t want to know why you were planning to imprison me, but next time I would think about it twice. And if I were you, I would not presume to know anything about Hell.”

“Will you just stop defending him like he was your fucking girlfriend?” Christian snaps. “Like he didn’t do torture for a living down there.”

“Do you really think you could do better? At least, he did look upon my true face once, and he held my stare. I can assure you that it’s not a given, considering where we both were at that time. And the man who agreed to be my vessel was the only human who ever stood it. Let me tell you, he was a much better man than you are, as well. The only other human who had the misfortune to really see me, lost both of her eyes.”

Now Christian does start to look scared.

At last.

“But since you’re set on proving that you could do better… very well.”

He lets the pressure fall away and they crumble on the ground; neither of them tries to attack him.

“I will be merciful. I gave you use of your hands. You can decide whether you want to cover your eyes or your ears. And if you cover your ears, I assure you, your eyes will stay open.”

“You can’t…” Gwen starts, but it just takes Castiel’s eyes locking with hers to stop her.

“I will,” Castiel says.

He’s lying. At least about her. She understood enough; he’ll let her eyes close, if she’s smart enough to cover her ears.

He won’t be as generous with him.

“Now let’s see if you can stand me,” he says, and then he leaves his vessel.

(Not Jimmy. This body is his, forged because that’s what he knows. Jimmy is in Heaven, and Heaven is different now, and Castiel checks on him periodically. He’s happier than he was before. Castiel intends to make it better, because he has a lot to apologize for, when he doesn’t have a civil war to deal with, but now it’s not the moment.)

Then he speaks.

When he’s back inside the vessel, there’s blood coming out from Gwen’s ears, but she has covered them and her eyes are closed. When she opens them again, she looks at him in shock, her mouth opening and closing without managing to form words.

Christian chose the ears and Castiel doesn’t feel much regret, when he sees two black, empty voids where his eyes were. The skin is completely cauterized. There’s blood all over his face.

Then again, Pamela Barnes’s eyes burned out of their sockets when she saw Castiel first, and now he’s not the same as he used to be. No one could ever look upon him and expect not to have it worse.

“How could you?” he’s screaming, and Castiel shakes his head and doesn’t even bother to answer. “I can’t… I don’t see!”

“That will teach you to weigh your words before you let them out of your mouth.”

Then he kneels down, so that he’s at Christian’s height.

“In Hell, I saw demons burn out the eyes of the souls on their rack like this. Repetitively. More than once each day. Every day. Most give up after one week. Dean stood it for thirty years. Think about it. Grow a perspective, as I was forced to. I am sure you will have plenty of time.”

He stands up, straightens his coat and turns to Gwen, instead.

“Next time, I will not be as merciful,” he says, and then he leaves the room, walking away until he’s outside.

He doesn’t feel sorry. He should. He had felt sorry for Pamela Barnes, after. Enough that he has searched for her in Heaven. He had felt sorry for forcing pain on that child who should have never sold his soul to an angel. But right here and right now, he can’t bring himself to feel any kind of regret. He doesn’t know if it’s a bad thing or a good one.

He feels frustrated, and he wishes he could have avoided it, but as things were? He can’t bring himself to regret it.

Before he knew free will, he wouldn’t have even wondered about it. Then again, there is a reason why, for him, choosing on his own is something painful but necessary, and for his brothers… for his brothers it’s everything but.


Two days later, he hears Dean calling to him and he wills himself where Dean is even if he really should not stay on Earth if not necessary.

They’re still on a backroad, it’s still night and they’re still leaning against the car. And Dean is looking at him in disbelief.

“Cas, what the hell? You blinded him?”

“I had not planned on going that far,” Castiel shrugs. And it’s true. He hadn’t exactly gone into the barn thinking he would do such a thing. “He was trying my patience. And you don’t dare an angel to prove that you can stand their true form.”

Dean swallows, but he doesn’t look that devastated about it.

“Christ. My grandfather is kind of pissed, just so you know.”

“That’s not my concern.”

“You know what,” Dean says, “that’s not fucking mine either. And if I can be completely honest with you, I can’t feel that sorry about that jerk. Hell, I felt a lot more sorry about Pamela and we still went to a brothel together, I’ll forgive you this time.”

“Neither do I. And… Dean. They had thought they could trap me.”

“They what?”

“They had a ring of holy fire ready, just inside the entrance.”

“Why the hell would they even want to trap an angel?”

“I would not know, but you said they wanted to use a shapeshifter to lure another one in, or keep it if it failed. I am quite sure that it’s not common procedure.”

“Hell no. You see one, you kill it. You don’t keep it around. And why would they trap you if… oh, crap.” Dean’s expression literally falls and Castiel can’t help wrapping his hand around one of Dean’s elbows.

“Dean? What do you mean?”

“They probably thought that you would be easier to catch because you know me and… I don’t know, maybe you wouldn’t have come thinking about smiting them? You’d have had your guard down? I dunno, but I guess that’s it. Crap, I’m sorry,” Dean sighs, and Castiel fights the urge to roll his eyes.

“Dean. I am perfectly capable of defending myself. You don’t need to feel sorry for that. I wouldn’t have trusted them even if we had not spoken before.”

Dean nods, letting out a breath of relief. Then he shakes his head, almost smiling.

“You know, one week ago I’d have thought that maybe this could have patched shit up with Sam. You know, right now he’s not being outright pissed at you but when I said we should hear your side of the story he said yeah, sure. But after everything that went down, I’m not… I’m not sure that even if you convinced him that they were planning something bad it’d mean anything,” Dean says, and Castiel can’t do anything except leaving his hand where it is. “I don’t even know how much I should trust him anymore. What the fuck. It never was this bad.”

“Dean, I… I will speak to him, whenever you both think is suited. I can’t tell you that it would… fix things, but I still owe him an explanation, since he did live with them all this time. Still, I’m… I would do something, if I could. If I knew what to do.”

“You were right, y’know? I thought about what you said last time. About the demon blood. He would have never done it then. I just, I wish I knew what to fucking think.”

“If it makes you feel any better, I am at a loss, too.”

“Hey, at least I’m less alone in being at a loss. That’s something,” Dean says, and Castiel internally cringes at the helplessness in Dean’s tone.

“So… what I did does not put a damper on our relationship?” Castiel blurts, feeling… he doesn’t know how to put it. He feels ridiculous and like he’s grasping at straws, not to mention that he still doesn’t know what’s so endearing about quoting movies. But at the same time he doesn’t want to hear Dean sound like this. He just hopes it does work, to some extent.

It does, because Dean lets out half a laugh and shoots him a hint of a smile before shaking his head. “Dude, what happened before Sam killed Lilith hasn’t. I doubt this will. And seriously, that’s the only movie you can quote from? You’d need some further schooling. Possibly with less chick-flick movies.”

“As you wish.”

Dean gapes at him before starting to laugh, for real, and Castiel just stands there and fights the urge not to let the corners of his lips twitch up. The atmosphere isn’t still what Castiel would call relaxing, but it’s still better than before.

“Christ, Cas,” Dean says when he has composed himself, “I don’t want to know what would happen if I got you to watch Pulp Fiction. Maybe next time you’re around?”

Castiel just stares at him, hoping that it conveys the answer. Because he really doesn’t want to refuse, but… he can’t even say yes. Even if he wishes he could.

“Crap, you’ll never manage to your feathery ass down here for petty reasons like watching a movie, won’t you? And with great power comes great responsibility?”

“I fear that’s another reference I don’t get but… it is accurate. If it was up to me, I would like to. But… it’s not,” Castiel answers, and he wishes he didn’t have to go just now, but there’s business he needs to attend and Dean has probably some to attend to as well.

“Then… then I guess we’ll see if we can manage it sometime. I’ll… I guess I’ll go dealing with my grandfather, Sam and everyone else. At least the jerk isn’t so chatty anymore. I wouldn’t want to be him. But… really, I get it. I do. Just, once in a while maybe it would be nice if I didn’t have to ask you to take a walk to the wild side.”

“Very well. I… I will remember it. But I would like to ask you something.”


“If you are in such distress again, and with that I mean if you ever risk to become something you hunt again, don’t assume that I could not make time.”

“Last time you really didn’t…”

“Last time I had matters on my hands which were more pressing than usual.”

Dean holds his stare for a couple of seconds more, then he gives him a tight nod, and Castiel has to wonder, again, why is it that the right thing to do is always the least appealing in any given circumstance. He nods back and gives Dean’s shoulder a squeeze before willing himself away.

He wishes it could have gone another way. Like as he wishes he could afford to care about the means and not just about the end, but he has learned the hard way that it’s still not for him. (And as he wishes he could afford to care about everything else: about how Sam isn’t the Sam who was his friend anymore, and about how he would have never allowed Castiel to perform that ritual on the child one year ago. About how he would have never let Dean almost become a monster. Or about how Dean doesn’t deserve unhappiness or contempt or to wait one year to find out that his brother is alive. Or about how he had thought Heaven could be peaceful again. Or about how he doesn’t want to kill his family any more.)

Maybe one day there will come a moment where he won’t have to harm children and show his true form in order to get to an end. But he has learned the hard way that things don’t change easily, and that what he wishes isn’t always something he can afford. He thinks that Dean has learned that, as well, and it does not surprise him that it’s yet another thing that they have in common.

feeling: indescribableindescribable
888mph888mph on October 23rd, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
I approve of this IMMENSELY! This is the fic I needed to read and didn't know it.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas THEY HAVE A BONDjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Lol, I wish it really happened. ;) And thank you! I'm so glad that you liked it, especially because I spent three weeks not knowing what to make of it, er. XD
joy: spn ♰ assbutt [© mata090680]joyyjpg on October 24th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
This is canon. Please let this become canon. And clearly we're sharing a brain, because I've been kind of convinced since about 6.03 that the Campbells will eventually attempt to trap Cas for whatever reason.

And I basically NEED that fic where Sam and Cas are watching The Princess Bride because that might make me even happeir than this did. :D :D

Also, Cas being a total BAMF as per usual - YESSSSSSSSSSS.

Um, in short - you are awesome and this fic is awesome and THAT HUG. THEY HUGGED.
the female ghost of tom joad: assbut!!!!!janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Believe me, I wish it was. I'd cheer, if it ever came close to happen. And I'm half-convinced they'll try that too, which won't end up having good conclusions, but as long as it isn't good conclusions for THEM.. XD

And haha that totally came out of nowhere but then I thought that pre S6 Sam would have TOTALLY got Cas to watch The Princess Bride. Maybe one day I'll actually manage to write that one, too.

BAMF Cas = we all like, y/y? And thanks so much!

(no subject) - whomii2 on October 29th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
sevvy23: holmeswatsonsevvy23 on October 24th, 2010 11:05 am (UTC)
Remember after ep 2 when you first talk about writing this and i told you i'll leave you all the time you might need cause the result would be worth it? i was totally right XD (and for the record this is a nice feeling).
The hug was awsome, Dean and Cas interaction as spot on as ever, the confrontation with CHRISTIAN- I'AM-THE-BIGGEST-JERK-EVER-CAMPBELL was fucking epic( i might or might nt have made a little victory dance when Cas burned his eyes out, but nobody was here, so nobody will ever know...), and i <3 the idea of Cas watching the princess bride. Bonus point for the end of the fic, cause it sound so realistic, with the opposition between the things they wanna do and the ones they have to do.
So yeah, i loved it. like a fucking lot.
the female ghost of tom joad: assbut!!!!!janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
Lol, REMEMBER THAT I STARTED THIS THEN? XD I just needed to post it because I couldn't keep on tweaking that forever. XD Especially because next ep will make this totally kripked I fear.

But thank you! The hug was mandative. Hell, MAYBE sometime it'll happen but until it does I provide for myself. And hehe I wish Christian had such a confrontation with Cas really. I get riled up if I just hear his name. (And yay for the victory dance - that was what I was aiming for lol) ;)

You know Cas would -love- Princess Bride. (Hell. PETER FALK IS IN IT. Castiel would totally love Peter Falk, coat and all.) And I hadn't planned on the ending being that angst, but as things are lately, if I stick to canon it's the given conclusion. :( And thanks so much again, I'm so glad that you liked it! :DDD
...a kind of sweet metaphysical blur...: castielhitlikehammers on October 24th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely fantastic -- absolutely fantastic. I'm pretty sure it's also actually canon, now, basically. The way you wrote Dean and Cas interacting -- the tenderness and the power and the personalities, it was all so well conveyed and lovely -- and the way you portrayed Cas with the Campbells (EPIC WIN!) were just wonderful.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural cas ;_____;janie_tangerine on October 25th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
Phew, thanks so much! I'm so glad that you liked it, especially because I fought with a lot of this. *sigh* (except for the confrontation but er, well, I hate the guy XD) and I'm so glad that the Dean/Cas interaction worked for you. I like them being friends so. *sigh*
Giulia: Spn_Cas_PeopleSkillse0wyn on October 24th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
“The ritual was perfectly done. Very… professional”

LOL Strepitoso Cas! Serviva proprio qualcuno che desse una lezione a questi "professionisti". Non vedo l'ora di vedere questo momento anche nella serie :D

E l'abbraccio *wub*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas THEY HAVE A BONDjanie_tangerine on October 25th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Secondo me se succede gli si alzano gli ascolti di non so quanto. XDDDD ;)

Finché non si abbracciano in canon, dovrò pure rimediare in qualche modo... XD <3
ozmissage: SPN. Dean/Cas.ozmissage on October 27th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
This fic is good for the soul. Like really epic fannish chicken soup. You write Dean and Cas so well! Their conversations were so sweet and real. I loved the hug. So, so much. And the part where Sam made Cas watch The Princess Bride? Oh my heart.

And while I'm not generally a fan of ultra-badass Cas, the Campbells had it coming. Awesome fic!

(Oh and one more thing: JImmy in Heaven!!! I <3 you.)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas early s4janie_tangerine on October 28th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ee, thank you! :D That was pretty much how I wanted it to feel. Also because it was my fannish chicken soup. (Yes, I hate Christian Campbell that much. *cough*) And it's so good to hear you like how I do Dean and Cas together, it's always great to hear it. ;)

You know S5!Sam would have TOTALLY sat Cas down and made him watch that. *sniffles*

Well, they HAD it coming. And badass!Cas at times needs to be badass. ;)

ymmy12: yipeeymmy12 on October 27th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
i wish!!!!!
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on October 28th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
Me too. ;)
doesthatmakemedoesthatmakeme on October 27th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
LOVED EVERY WORD and agreed with all of it. I would love to see more as the season comes along perhaps?
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on October 28th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
Ehe, thank you so much! Believe me, I'd wish to see that happens. And eeeeeh, I have a bunch of stuff to write so idk if I'll have time for more, but if I need to torture me some more Campbells who says I couldn't. ;)
zagethe: Damon Salvatorezagethe on October 28th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
Badass, don't "F" with me angel Cas is awesome, especially when he's standing up for Dean.

Seriously, WHY are the Campbells even in the show??? Does anyone know? I mean I can't stand them. Why do we even need grandpa Campbell when we have Bobby?? (who is all kinds of win) I wouldnt mind a good smite(ing) in the least. And while I think it would be interesting as a plot device for them to try and trap Cas, I would hope he would kick their collective asses.

That just goes to show you how good your story was.. I'm all fired up for Dean and Cas both!! lol.

Frankly, CC should consider himself lucky that he only lost his eyes. You're a more generous writer than I. :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on October 28th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
Ikr? I need something like that to happen. I doubt they'd go as far as this but...

Also I KNOW REALLY PLEASE GET RID OF THEM. The only reason I stand Samuel's face (and just him) is that I used to love the actor on X-Files BUT DAMN IF I'D RATHER HAVE BOBBY any day. I just, ew. They need smiting. Christian especially. Which is why he got the treatment here, lol. ;) And I'd like them to just try to capture Cas. That'd be such a collective asskicking (on Cas's side), right?

And eeeh, good to know you're fired up and thank you! ;)

(Lol, I figured that becoming blind was bad enough. For now. But it's fic. I sincerely hope not to see his face in canon anytime soon.)
Deanadeanawinchester on October 28th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Could you please somehow mojo Sera into making this canon? I'd love it so much, I can't even... I hope those stupid people will get their asses handed to them, though honestly I'd rather have Dean do it. Anyway, I loved this fic, BAMF!Cas rocks, and the relationship between Dean and Cas was so ... emotionally loaded. Thank you for this :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean 2.0janie_tangerine on October 28th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'll do what I can! I'd kinda love it if it happened. And yeah, in canon I'd like Dean to kick their ass, but I just thought 'dammit Castiel why don't you BLIND them please' at the end of that ep and then I had to go with it. ;) BAMF Cas is always good stuff, y/y? And thanks so much, I'm so glad that you liked it. :D
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas THEY HAVE A BONDjanie_tangerine on October 29th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Cas would totally love Inigo! God, I think I might want to write that fic, if only because I'd have an excuse to rewatch that movie. Okay, OT, but Cas would be totally BAMF while watching it. That said I'm so glad that this worked for you and that the D/C relationship worked for you in this. The fact that they always have each others' back is what sells it for me I think. ♥
slinkymilinky: Trenchslinkymilinky on October 29th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
you know - ever since the 1st ep when they took the Djinn, I've been thinking 'what if they try and catch Cas!!???" -AND HOPING IT HAPPENS, BECAUSE I WANT CAS TO GO ALL BAMF ON THOSE SLIMY CAMPBELLS!!!!!!

...you just forfilled my fantasy and reminded me WHY fanfic is the most important thing. ever. EVER!!! *squeeeeee*
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel early s4janie_tangerine on October 29th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Ehe, did I read your mind? But yeah, that, it should totally happen and he should just get them off my screen right this moment. :////

And eeeh, that's what fic is for! ;) I'm so glad that you liked it. :DD
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on October 29th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
This is the perfect coda! I love the friendship between Dean and Cas because that relationship is truly special.

And Cas in BAMF Mode is always awesome!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on October 29th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? *sigh* I just had to get it out of my chest.

BAMF Cas is always good stuff, right? ;) thank you for reading!
windgrieved on October 29th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I have to admit that I'm a bit of a lurker but I had to comment on this. It's a great look at the whole situation and I would really like to see Samuel's reaction to Cas (hopefully they have a scene like that in the show!). I really don't like the cousins thus far, seriously they should've just named one Oliver and have been done with it! They are not neccessary to the show at all. A thought has occurred though, we know that Sam blabbed about Dean's activities in Hell but (considering that Cas was the one to teach the fire trick to the Hunters) he must've also taught them how to trap an angel. Sinister much?
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on October 29th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
Comment away! ;) and well, I used to lurk a lot too so I totally get it, but in case, I never bite. ;) I'm really glad that you like this though, and ha, oh God, I'd love to see Samuel meeting Cas if only because my X-Files lover self would geek out a lot. (Really, I'd hate Samuel a lot more if he wasn't Mitch Pileggi...) And the cousins could gtfo for all I care, but then the Christian one making comments about Hell just.. no. Please. GO AWAY. ;) And ohgod I hope he would not teach them that... except that he might have. Ops. Well, sinister much indeed.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I'm glad that you liked it!
borgmama1of5borgmama1of5 on October 29th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Very gratifying read! Love Cas teaching Christian a lesson, and the interaction between Dean and Cas being different now because of Cas' promotion, and yet they do have their 'special bond.'
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on October 29th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
Good to know it was gratifying! I just can't stand the Christian guy's face. I needed it off my chest. And hey, their special bond is PROFOUND, it can't be broken by just a meager promotion. ;)