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06 October 2011 @ 12:18 am
fic, SPN: they moved the moon (Dean, Cas, trenchcoat, others), PG13  
Title: they moved the moon
Characters: Dean, Castiel (though with… let’s say a twist), Sam, Bobby
Wordcount: 4200
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: for 7x02.
Warnings: language.
Disclaimer: SPN isn’t mine and it wasn’t even my prompt. This is all wishful thinking and I own nothing.
Summary: That night he opens the trunk again – he really has to be a masochist – and takes the coat in his hands, gingerly, holding it to his chest. It’s ridiculous, but he feels slightly better. Or: wherein Dean isn’t feeling all right and Castiel’s trenchcoat isn’t all that it seems.
A/N: so, uh, last day on Twitter I ended up discussing a fic idea with nyoka  who had the idea and gets the entire merit for the premise of this, I thought it should exist, I merged it with another half-plot I had been thinking on and there it is. Follows straight from the ending of 7x02, but the rest is all speculation. Title from Warren Zevon.

Dean doesn’t have a chance to properly look at the coat until two weeks after Bobby breaks them out of that hospital and drives them both as far as possible. He had wanted to wash the trench even before they had to run out of Dodge, but it seemed wrong to do it with previously Leviathan-infested water. Not that Cas could or would give a damn by this point, but Dean doesn’t feel like fucking up this last thing he can do for him.

The coat stays in the trunk until they find somewhere safe enough. It’s a hole of a town in Jersey, and the motel is not better than the usual, but since they don’t ask questions it might be good for staying a week or two. And recover. Right, Sam isn’t recovering completely anytime soon, but Dean can’t go around killing monsters that seem to be indestructible with a freshly broken leg.

When Dean limps to the car and finally takes the trench out, it looks even worse than he remembers. There’s dried blood on it along with Leviathan goo or whatever that black stuff is supposed to be called, the collar is half torn, the cuffs need serious mending and same goes for the hems, and at least four buttons are missing.

But he’s going to give a try, just because.

He knocks on Bobby’s door before going back inside his and Sam’s room.

“Can you go get me some bleach?” he asks as soon as Bobby opens it.

Bobby glances at the coat, then back at him. “How much?”

“A lot,” Dean answers.


Bobby buys him five packages along with more soap and a scrub, and Dean gets into the bathroom while Sam sleeps. He keeps the door open so he can keep an eye on Sam and wake him up if needed and then proceeds on filling the tub.

Dean sits so that his leg is in a more or less comfortable position, puts the coat into the water, pours bleach and scrubs the damned trench until his own fingers bleed.


One try isn’t enough. Two aren’t either. It takes four tries and all of the bleach to clean away blood that is almost the same color of the Leviathan goo, and when he’s done Dean can’t even feel accomplished because the coat looks… not clean. Technically it is, but when you look at it, the tan is more dull than Dean ever remembers it being. If you add the missing buttons and the tears and rips everywhere, it’s a goddamn sorry sight.

He folds it without much care for doing it the right way and puts it back into the trunk.

Sam doesn’t comment and Dean is thankful.


Maybe it’s staying in one place for six days in a row, or maybe it’s that he’s drinking more than he should (no news), but it feels as if the sky is different whenever he looks up at it.

Every time he raises his eyes and looks at it, he thinks that something is wrong. The moon is never where he thinks it’s supposed to be. The stars look dimmer. Or in places different than the ones he remembers. It’s as if some capricious God rearranged it the second he looked away during that damned second eclipse.

Yeah, nice analogy.

He isn’t even trying to kid himself – the sky looked the same as it has always looked before those things possessing Cas drowned him into a lake. He knows it has to be his head messing with him. Maybe he should seriously quit drinking so much; the last thing that anyone needs is him losing it. It doesn’t change one thing, though.

Real or not, this whole wrong sky thing is fucking distracting.

Every time he looks up at it he feels confused, even more than usual. Once, he could have stared at the moon and asked Cas whether he had a moment to spare. And Cas would have come.


How many times in the last year he could have looked at the sky, such a simple thing, and thought hey Cas, why don’t you take a trip downstairs? . And then, in the moment Cas came, because he always did, he could have answered Cas’s usual question (what do you need? ) with nothing, I just want to have a beer with you.

Would things have changed if he had done it instead of taking Cas for granted all along and being pissed at him for reasons beyond their control?

He thinks that maybe they would have.

It’s not as if Cas didn’t do shitty things on his own side, and he definitely proved that he wasn’t a stranger to taking colossally bad decisions. Dean is still pissed at him, but he can’t shake from his head the memory of that moment when Cas had asked him to stand by him once. And Dean said no.

Whenever he thinks about it again, he feels bile rising up his throat and filling his mouth. Maybe they could have settled things later if he had said yes, and surely as fuck Cas wouldn’t have swallowed Purgatory. Sam was right, he never hesitated much to give him a second chance, so why, why he had decided to hold that grudge so hard with Cas?

He never likes the answer he comes up with.


Dean takes another drink from his bottle of cheap tequila that tastes like ash, glances at Sam (no nightmares for now apparently – good, even if it won't last long), and he walks out into the parking lot. The sky still looks foreign.

Maybe it’s because he knows that nothing good is hiding behind those stars anymore. Maybe it’s because out of every damned thing that went wrong since he was raised from Hell, at least Cas had always been there. He’s realizing only now that he’s gone that Dean had been counting on the feathered son of a bitch to stay there, because he was one of the three or four stable things Dean could count on. Once or twice (while drunk out of his mind, though) he had figured that hey, Heaven was crap, but if Cas was there and he and Sam would share theirs, it wouldn't have been so bad after all, when his time came. And shit, the worst thing is that Cas would have still stood by him if only Dean had paid a bit more attention and realized what had been going on. Maybe if only he had said thanks once.

He tries to find the North Star and he can’t even begin to locate it.

He swallows, then limps until he gets to his car. He opens the trunk of the Impala. The trench is still there, and for some reason Dean thinks it looks pathetic, even if you couldn’t say that of a stupid coat. It’s not even folded right – it looks as if someone threw it there in a hurry. Not too far from the truth though, right?

Well then. He’s drunk enough to actually do what he’s thinking about.

“Cas, damn it,” he whispers before grabbing the coat and getting back to his room.


He turns on the tv, puts the one Dr. Sexy re-run he can find on the lowest volume and grabs the sewing kit from his duffel, along with a box of spare buttons that he keeps in there just in case.

He starts with the collar, then proceeds on mending all the tears he can find, running his hand on the places where the cloth is thinner because he scrubbed too hard while washing the coat. He replaces the buttons, fixes the hems, straightens out the creases. When he’s done, he folds the coat again, but carefully, making sure that the sleeves don’t fall out of place.

He thinks that the fabric doesn’t look as dull as before.

Then he decides that right now he’s too drunk for this and for hallucinating changes in a stupid coat’s color, and drags himself back into the car to put the trench back where it was.

He closes the trunk and heads back to the room, but two steps later, he half-falls on his knees and throws up the burger he had for dinner. His broken leg starts hurting like a bitch because the position in which he fell isn’t the kind recommended for a quick recovery.

He doesn’t know what possesses him to drag himself back to the car, grab the coat and put it under his pillow when he finally gets inside the motel room, but when he lets himself collapse on the bed, his mouth doesn’t taste foul anymore.


When he puts the trench back in place the next morning, he feels a pang in his stomach.


“Dean,” Sam says three days later, “you look like shit.”

“Geez, thank you. Don’t I know it?”

“I’m serious. How much did you sleep in the last three days, two hours?”

“What if I can’t?” he snaps back, trying not to sound as if he’s angry at Sam. Hell, he isn’t. He’s angry at everything else. At himself for forgetting that Cas can’t answer when he finds himself praying, at that stupid sky for being wrong and at that stupid things out of a Lovercraft book that have killed Cas and destroyed the one place that wasn’t his car which he has called home since the first one he had burned up in flames.

“Yeah, well, how come you went from sleeping ten hours three days ago to this?”

Dean knows too well than the last time he slept that long was when he had kept Cas’s coat under his pillow.


That night he opens the trunk again – he really has to be a masochist – and takes the coat in his hands, gingerly, holding it to his chest.

It’s ridiculous, but he feels slightly better. It’s not that the load on his shoulders hasn’t gone, but he can’t feel some of that anymore and for the first time in he doesn’t remember how long… he feels calm. More or less.

“Shit,” he says, “why did you have to go, you son of a bitch? You had no fucking right.”

He stays like that for a while.

Then he limps back to his room, puts the coat under his pillow again and sleeps for eight hours straight.

In the morning, the collar is damp.

Dean hopes that Sam didn’t notice it.


After two weeks, Bobby drives them to another town some twenty miles from the one they were in.

Dean stays in the backseat and keeps the trench folded under his head as he lays down and tries to get some more sleep. It’s dreamless.


The following night, Dean doesn’t take the coat along with him – seriously, it’s getting ridiculous – and after three hours of turning restlessly in his bed, he gives up.

When he opens the trunk, he stops dead in his tracks. He’s sure he had put the coat on the right side, but it’s currently on the left.

He had more than one beer in him when they left before, and he’s still out of it – maybe he remembers wrong.

He looks up at the sky. It still looks foreign, the constellations shaped wrong, not a single star in a place he can recognize. He doesn’t dare asking Sam whether he ever has the same impression.


He shouldn’t even be considering it, but just to be extra sure, the following morning he limps back to the car (and damn, he’s sure that his leg is healing faster than it should, or at least faster than it should after he almost broke it again that time he fell on it while throwing up) and puts the coat on the left side. Then he takes a picture with his phone.

That evening, he goes to retrieve it.

It’s on the right.

“Son of a bitch,” he mutters, checking his phone to be sure that he’s not going insane. “What the fuck is this?”

He runs his hand over the coat’s breast, and suddenly he shivers even if the air is perfectly warm.

But it’s not a bad kind of shiver.

He swallows, taking the coat out and closing the trunk before leaning on it. He unfolds the trench and it’s no different from the last time he had seen it unfolded. It’s just an old trenchcoat with mended rips everywhere and four buttons that don’t match between each other and with the others; there’s absolutely nothing different.

Then the left side of the trench flaps, barely, but there’s no wind. Not even a slight breeze.

Dean’s breath gets caught in his throat; his hands start shaking, but then the coat’s shoulder, where he’s gripping it, becomes warmer and somehow it seeps under his skin and his hand isn’t trembling anymore.

There are three chances.

One: Dean is going insane for good.

Two: something is possessing the coat.

Three: someone is possessing the coat.

Or maybe possessing isn’t the right word.

Dean opens the door of the Impala and gets into the passenger seat – he’s not doing this in the open.

“Cas?” he whispers.

The car’s light turns on.

Dean is glad that Sam isn’t here – he can’t imagine the Brokeback Mountain jokes that would happen if he were. Slowly, oh-so-slowly, he brings the trench to his chest, holding it close, and all of a sudden he feels warm, not only his hands but his entire body.

He doesn’t realize that he’s crying until he notices that the collar is damp with tears, because he hid his face against it.


The next day, a couple of the rips in the coat have disappeared.

“Y’know,” Bobby says as he glances at the trench currently draped over Dean’s bed, “that thing looked a lot worse, two weeks ago.”

“You’d say?”

“You looked worse too, two weeks ago.”

“Yeah, well, drinking myself to death won’t help anyone.”

“Not that I’m not glad that you finally understood it, but it ain’t about that. Is there something freaky going on?”

Dean figures that lying would be useless. “I – uh. I’m not sure. And it’d probably sound crazy. But I think – I think that –” The words can’t seem to get out though. He feels as if he’s somewhat giving Cas away; maybe it’s not that exactly, but he doesn’t want to share when it’s merely a hope, and if it’s true then he kind of wants to keep it to himself. Just for a bit.

“I can’t explain it,” he finishes, “but I will. As soon as I’m sure of what’s going on.”

Bobby doesn’t push it and Sam doesn’t either.


The next day, though, he decides that he’ll never get anywhere if he keeps it completely to himself. Crazy theories or not, it’s a fact that whenever he touches the coat he feels better, if it’s under his pillow he sleeps through the night without a nightmare, his leg doesn’t hurt half as much as it should and his head feels clearer even when he forgets that he shouldn’t drink more than a couple of beers each day.

But this is him, and maybe it’s his body reacting strangely because it’s Cas’s coat.

Still, he could see if it works for his brother, too. Sam has taken to sleep during the afternoons so that Dean can wake him up whenever he twitches, since if that doesn’t happen he has nightmares so vivid that Dean has to talk him through realizing that they aren’t real whenever he isn’t fast enough.

That morning, while Sam is out with Bobby getting breakfast, he raises his mattress and puts the coat under it.

When Sam goes to sleep at two in the afternoon, Dean sits on his own bed and watches him like a hawk, not caring one second about how creepy it is.

Usually it takes an hour or so for Sam to start stirring, but this time nothing happens. Two hours in, Sam hasn’t even twitched once. Three hours in, Dean moves to the desk in the corner and starts doing Leviathan research on Sam’s laptop, glancing at his brother once in a while, but the worst thing that happens is that Sam starts to snore. Seven hours later, Sam is still out and has barely moved.

Sam wakes up on his own a bit after midnight and curses when he looks at the alarm on the bed.

“Seriously? I slept for ten hours straight?” he asks, sounding as if he doesn’t believe his own eyes.

“Yeah,” Dean answers. “Figured you needed it. If I were you, I’d take advantage of the moment and go back to sleep.”

Sam nods, understanding at once what Dean means; the most he has managed lately without needing Dean to wake him up has been three hours.

Dean figures that he’ll pull an all-nighter since Sam is the one with the coat under his head, even if he doesn’t know it, but for some reason he feels sure that he doesn’t need to stay awake, and before he knows it, he’s out. He wakes up at six in the morning, sure, but at least it was still dreamless, and his brother is still snoring away without a care in the world.

Sam wakes up at noon and says that he hasn’t slept this well in years.


Dean isn’t sure if he wants to know whether he’s right or not, even if he has enough proof that whatever’s up with the coat, it’s not something bad. For once.

But he also can’t stall this forever. He doesn’t want to delude himself all over again and he doesn’t want to let this get too far. If he’s proved wrong now, he’ll deal with it. If he learns that he’s wrong when he actually fully buys this, he isn’t sure that he’ll recover from the blow.

So he tells Bobby to stay with Sam and goes to the Impala, leaning fully against the hood. He glances at the sky before unfolding the coat. Everything is still wrong, the stars and the moon still placed in different patterns; he can’t recognize a single constellation.

“Okay,” he says, looking back at the trench in his hands. “Please, for once, just this once, I hope that I’m not hallucinating this.”

Then he takes a breath and puts on the coat.

It’s a bit tight, but not uncomfortable; for a second, there’s only silence, and Dean is about to end this – he can’t keep on with this totally ridiculous act.

But then – then –

That warmth he had felt that first time isn’t only in his hands; it’s working its way from his wrists to his shoulders to his legs, and not on the surface. He can feel it getting to his bones. Dean trembles as he wraps the coat around himself and brings up the collar. He gets into the passenger seat, unable to stand on his already shaky feet and broken leg; by the time he’s seated, he feels wrapped in a comfortable, warm cocoon. He blinks, his vision blurring, and then the trench… it wraps itself closer.

And then – then Dean doesn’t have excuses to think that this is some hallucination. That warmth becomes something else, something other, and he knows how it feels. It feels exactly like the air did in that split second that passed between Dean calling for Cas and Cas actually coming.

“Oh shit,” he whispers, not recognizing his own voice, “Cas, is that you?”

From one second to the other, he feels warmer. He looks at the coat’s fabric – there isn’t a rip anywhere that he can see.

“You hid your fucking Grace… you hid yourself in your coat?”

Something else in the air switches, and Dean can’t keep track of what the hell is happening, but he feels the answer rather than hear it. He knows that it’s yes.

Dean can’t help it – he can feel himself smiling. “You sneaky son of a bitch. They underestimated you all over again, huh?”

The air around him almost hums in pleasure, or at least that’s the impression he gets. But then something else changes, and the atmosphere becomes tense – and damn, Dean doesn’t know how the hell this is happening, but he can just feel it.

“I know. I know, don’t – you… listen, I meant it. I never wanted for it to be this way. If only I had realized that it wasn’t the time to hold grudges, I’d have said yes when you asked me to stick with you. Shit, Cas, I – it’s all wrong,” he says, not realizing that his voice is breaking until he gets to the last word. He doesn’t realize that he’s crying hard enough to soak the collar, but he doesn’t even care anymore. He can’t remember the last time he has let himself break down and maybe Bobby was right, he had to let it out at some point. But then he feels warmth on his cheek, right there, and the air is positively thrumming right now; he chokes when he feels it take the rough shape of a hand, pressing its palm right there on his jawbone, as if reaching out to him. It’s gone in a couple of seconds, but Dean doesn’t doubt that it was there.

There’s some kind of breeze blowing inside the car, and the coat is still warm, though maybe a bit less.

“Dude, did you actually use your energies up for that?” he asks, unable to keep the amusement from his voice. “Wait – I think –”

He doesn’t know what possesses him to disentangle himself from his current position and yank down his t-shirt enough that the trench is in direct contact with the scar on his shoulder, and then oh damn it’s as if he turned on a switch. Profound bond my ass, that isn’t even half of it, he thinks. There’s a faint glow around him, engulfing him, that same source of warmth that he can see right now, and he for a second he feels relieved, but then he realizes that it wasn’t his sensation.

Oh no.

That was Cas’s.

“Man, I think you earned a second chance,” Dean says, his voice so hoarse that he can barely hear himself. “As far as I’m concerned, if whatever’s going on is your way of redeeming yourself to us while you’re actually inside a coat, then you’re doing it right.”

Thank you, he suddenly hears. It’s not a human voice, it’s not even a voice for that matter. It’s as if he’s hearing words but they were never properly spoken.

“What –”

You mended me, that not-voice almost sings. It doesn’t take much for Dean to get it; that coat had looked horrible when Dean first cleaned it as almost an act of closure, and then it had looked dull and just like a coat when Dean had thrown it in the trunk. But then he had actually taken care to put it back together, and all the strange stuff started then.

I was too weak.

It might be the first time that Dean doesn’t mind the levels of craziness his life can reach. Even if crazy means that he kind of knitted up an angel’s Grace with a fucking needle without even knowing he was doing it.

And to be honest, he’s better off knowing that Cas is hiding in this damned coat rather than being dead or having to coexist with those monsters.

“Does this mean that if I ever want to talk you again in person and give you the damn coat back I need to dry clean it every other week?”

He has no way to know for sure that Cas is laughing, but he has the impression that he might be.

No, but I think you understood already.

Dean thinks that he did.

“Okay. Good. Damn, I’m not sure I can leave this in the trunk now, though.”

He doesn’t say anything else and stays there in the car for a while, and he can’t find it in himself to feel as if this will eventually go to shit as everything else does.


At some point the buzz dies, and Dean figures that maybe Cas decided to call it quits for today.

Which is good - there's no hurry. They can do it another time, and as stated Dean isn’t leaving the coat in the car from now on. Not that he’d have done it before, all things considered, but now that he knows that Cas, or his Grace, is inside the goddamn thing, there’s no question about it.

He’s about to take the coat off when he realizes that his broken leg doesn’t hurt anymore and that he isn’t dragging it around.

Cas freaking healed it.

“Thanks,” he says, even if he knows he won’t get an answer. But he means it, as he meant what he had said before. Only Cas would keep that promise he made just before getting possessed, while not even having a proper body. Dean smirks at that, unable to control his reaction, but it feels nice to have a reason to laugh, as frail as it is. It isn't even funny, all things considered, but he's sure that Cas doesn't mind.

He takes the coat off, folds it carefully, then holds it to his chest as he closes the car’s door. After locking it, he looks up at the sky and gasps, his hands automatically grabbing the coat and pulling it closer.

In the last thirty minutes the stars righted themselves.

feeling: weirdweird
on rotation: The Gaslight Anthem - 59 Sound | Powered by Last.fm
shaitanah: good news_casshaitanah on October 6th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so touching. T_T The coat is magical, for sure))))
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel 4.0janie_tangerine on October 6th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
It IS, right? ;) thank you so much, I'm really glad that you liked it. :)