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15 February 2012 @ 04:16 pm
to the lost - part II  
“You know,” Dean asks Cas as they go back to the car. “It’s been three months and I still haven’t understood something. What’s in this for you?”

It’s so very dark – it has to be three in the morning – and there’s only moonlight. When Castiel takes off the mask, you can barely see the left side of his face at all.

“My father is a preacher. I grew up believing a lot of things that I don’t believe in now.” He clears his throat. “One was that good things happen to good people. No God is that kind of cruel. Not the one I believed in. Then I went to war.”

Dean waits for more, but Castiel stays silent.

“And?”

“I answered you already.”

Dean doesn’t understand it, but he lets it go. He grabs his packet of cigarettes, lights one – he doesn’t smoke often, but sometimes he needs it just to concentrate about something easy (take a drag, exhale, inhale, take another drag, exhale). He doesn’t offer Castiel one – the first time he tried, Castiel refused saying he couldn’t technically do it.

“You know what, Cas? Sometimes I don’t get you at all, but then again it’s not as if I get myself.”

“How did you call me?”

“I – uh. I didn’t even realize I did it. Sorry, if it’s –”

“I like it.”

Nothing else, but if Dean isn’t wrong, he thinks that the corner of Castiel’s mouth curled up in a small smile. But he could be wrong. Moonlight can be deceiving.

--

He’s heading home when he drives in front of a cinema. He glances at the title of whatever’s showing – he only reads Lon Chaney at the top of the billed actors, along with yesterday’s date. He realizes that it’s been ages since he’s done something as mundane as going to the movies. He looks at his knuckles – he washed his hands before leaving the umpteenth warehouse, but he still sees red all over them.

“Hey,” he says, stopping the car at the other side of the road. “I was wondering, wanna see a movie instead of going home straight? There’s some new Lon Chaney one just out and I haven’t been to the cinema in ages.”

“I don’t know who he is, but if you want to go, of course.”

“You don’t know – well, then it’s never too late to learn.” With Castiel, you find out that he could quote the Bible or Paradise Lost by heart but that he has no idea of why famous movie stars are famous, or about more recent literature (Dean had said something about Sherlock Holmes once and the only answer had been confused staring). By now, Dean has just learned to go with it.

“Why not? I haven’t been to a movie in years, too. It might be interesting.”

“For the same reason you don’t do books anymore?” Dean asks as he parks the car. Castiel shakes his head and waits for him when he gets out of the car.

“Dean, it’s fiction. In fiction… when it ends badly, people still care about each other, and when it doesn’t, it’s implied that they can be happy, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, so?”

“I learned that it isn’t quite so,” Castiel replies, and Dean has no idea of what to answer to that. He reads so much because of the opposite reason – he likes to think that somewhere people can be happy, even if it’s just fiction; and he also knows that Castiel feels a lot more things than he lets on. For now, he lets that go and heads towards the theater.

--

Lisa invites them both to dinner some three months later. Castiel doesn’t talk much and cuts his steak into ridiculously small pieces – then again he couldn’t eat them otherwise – and Dean doesn’t mind that it’s him, Lisa and Ben doing most of the talking. There’s something in the way Castiel’s shoulders relax and in the way he talks when he chooses to that makes Dean think he isn’t doing bad.

For someone who has broken a guy’s arm and sent him to an hospital for a warning six hours before. (Dean had broken the other.)

“Do you ever think… about going back with her?” Castiel asks on the car, the tone still carefully even, his eyes fixed on Dean’s.

Dean wishes he hadn’t gotten so used to it, but he barely notices by this point.

“Nah. ‘S already hard enough to hide what I really do from her or my brother like this. And it wouldn’t have worked. I mean, we liked each other, but that was it. And she doesn’t need me to be a burden permanently.”

“I don’t think she’s of the same opinion.”

“Cas, if she ever finds a nice guy with a good, honest job that can make her happy, she’ll be better off than she’d ever be with me. I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t think I ever was.”

“But don’t you ever want it?” Castiel pushes. Dean wishes he knew what’s the matter.

“I might’ve thought about it once or twice, maybe, but does it even matter?”

“Why does it never matter when your well-being is at stake?”

Dean wishes he could tell Castiel to just quit it – it’s not something he likes to think about. He hasn’t done anything for his particular own well-being since his mother died in a fire when he was four and brought the best part of his father with her. (Not that Dean resents him or anything, but something important in John Winchester died the moment Mary Winchester née Campbell did and that’s facts. He never was the same after.) He doesn’t regret having practically raised his brother and putting Sam’s needs before his own, but he doesn’t like to think about what he wants from life either. Mostly because he’s sure that if he ever thought about it, the answer would be not what you’re doing right now.

“Cas, me sucking it up means that at least four people in the world do good. That’s enough for me.”

Castiel doesn’t say anything else, but Dean can feel that lone, bright eye looking at him and he knows that Castiel knows that it was an answer full of shit.

He drives back home.

--

Sometimes he’s afraid that one day he’ll just shut everything out.

It’s a thought that shouldn’t really occur while he’s hiding behind a tree and cars are crowding in front of the barn where he and Cas did their last job half an hour ago. This time it had only to be a warning – which implied shattering the guy’s knee. Dean can feel his fingers pulling the trigger. He shivers, and his stomach turns on itself. He wants to vomit.

He wonders how long it’s going to last.

“You won’t do it,” Castiel says, and Dean realizes he has just spoken aloud.

“What –”

“You won’t. You can’t.”

“And how do you know?”

“Caring for other people is your first instinct. Why else would you even have offered to pay me a whore after talking to me for five minutes?” For a second Castiel sounds almost amused. “Dean, you can’t change who you are. I wish I was like you, sometimes.”

Sometimes Dean also thinks that Castiel has it easier, but maybe not.

“Why? Being me can’t be a great thing.”

“You just don’t see yourself the right way,” Castiel answers, and Dean recognizes the tone. It means that this conversation is over. Still, the one thing Dean sees when he looks in the mirror is that he’s not even thirty yet and the only good thing he’d leave behind if he was to die tomorrow would be Sam.

--

“Are you sure that you can’t come for spring break?”

Dean takes a breath, wishing he could tell Sam that he’ll come for sure. But on Sam’s spring break he has to go to Chicago in order to get Crowley a new deal with some other crook snuggling alcohol in there and since when Dean has days off?

“Sam, I wish I could, but I’m having problems with work here and I’m not really sure that I’ll have time. I’ll let you know, okay?”

“Fine. But Dean, do you realize that the last time I saw you was eight months ago?”

Dean knows. He knows even too fucking well.

“I know. I’ll try, okay?”

“You’d better.”

When he walks back into the house, he drops down on the couch, putting his head in his hands.

“I take it didn’t go well,” Castiel says from behind him, and Dean almost shouts.

“Fuck, I didn’t hear you at all, how do you – never mind. Nah, it went fine, but I told him I’d try to get there next week.”

“You know,” Castiel says as he sits next to Dean, “I could go alone.”

He’s not wearing the mask in the house lately and Dean is thankful for it. That thing might make normal people feel more at ease, but Dean just hates it and how inexpressive it is.

“You sure? I wouldn’t want to –”

“Dean, I know my way around. And considering the reputation our boss is growing, they will probably say yes to me without even letting me finish the question.”

“Yeah, and he never got a speck of blood on his own hands.” Dean can feel the venom in his own voice, but there’s no point in hiding it.

“At some point he will have to. I sincerely hope your brother graduates first, though.”

Dean can’t help himself – he does laugh a bit. “Thanks. If you can do it yourself – I mean, then I’m going to California. If it’s okay.”

“Of course. Go see your brother, you deserve it.”

Dean doesn’t think that he deserves much, but he doesn’t argue with it.

He takes a train the next day and the face Sam makes when Dean knocks on his dorm room makes him feel that maybe selling his soul to Crowley one piece at a time is really worth it after all.

--

He comes back home one week and a half later and Castiel isn’t back yet. There isn’t any angry message from Crowley in the mail or on the table, so he can assume that everything went fine. Good. He unpacks, opens the window to change stale air in the living room and in his own, and then he figures he could do it in Castiel’s as well. He never goes into his room, which used to be the storeroom but that Castiel keeps on saying is perfectly good to sleep in; then again, he wouldn’t look at anything. He’d just open the window and be done.

He does that, and he’s about to get out when a book that was precariously placed falls down from the desk when Dean passes next to it and knocks it down with his wrist.

Which is when Dean realizes that it’s the only thing around. The room is exactly as he left it the last time he walked inside it – the walls are bare, there isn’t a book or photograph or anything on the room’s only desk. There’s just that book. Which fell open. Dean figures that he’ll just grab it, close it and put it back where it was, but as he does it, his eye catches the content and he can’t help looking at it instead of trying to forget it.

It’s made of cut-outs from magazines, and he can only recognize movie posters (which is perplexing, since Castiel has never been to the cinema since they know each other, except when Dean drags him along). But on all of those posters, there’s a couple. Kissing, holding each other, next to each other, holding hands. Some are a man and a woman, some are two men or two women that are obviously close friends. The constant is that those people are supposed to care for each other, or at least Dean thinks so, and before he can make something out of it he looks up and Castiel is leaning against the door.

“Shit, when did you come in?”

“Five minutes ago.” Castiel doesn’t sound angry, at least. Merely… resigned?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to – I got in to open the window, I bumped into it and it fell open on the floor.”

“Don’t worry. I saw it all. I can’t exactly blame you.”

Dean closes it, hands it back. He’s thinking about Castiel asking why he doesn’t even try to get back together with Lisa, for instance.

“Listen, if you want to –”

“You don’t need to concern yourself. I just like to fool myself sometimes.”

“Fool yourself about what?”

“Dean, I’m not made for that. It’s nice to think that I might be, once in a while, but that’s all there is.”

“Cas –”

“I told you, I left home because no one would look at me in the face. I think you’re the only person who ever did it in the last four years. You can’t change facts.”

“Take it off.”

“What?”

“Take it off. The mask. Just do it.”

Castiel doesn’t look exactly convinced, but he does it. It falls on the bed, along with the book. Dean takes a breath, comes closer, meets Castiel’s eye and doesn’t look elsewhere.

“It’s not as if I’ve become friends with anyone else during the last four years,” Dean says when they’re so close that if either of them moved they’d touch. “Or as if I had time for friends when I grew up. Fuck, it’s not as if I’m much better off than you, except for – well. I’m not perfect. Me and Lisa wouldn’t be if we were together, even if you think that we could be. Don’t lie to me, I know you think that.”

“You don’t get it,” Castiel replies, and then before Dean can say anything there are lips pressing against his, half soft and warm and half ruined and rough, and before Dean can even think about it, Cas jerks back and doesn’t manage to run out of the room just because Dean has good reflexes and has caught his wrist.

“I’m – I’m sorry, I didn’t mean –”

“No, you meant it.” Dean knows that he meant it, no one does something like that if they don’t.

“Fine, I meant it. So you could let me leave, since –”

“Cas, shut the fuck up. Let me think.”

Castiel’s good eye widens in surprise and Dean breathes once, twice, and thinks.

He only goes as far as I liked it before he pushes Cas against the closed door and kisses him again.

It’s weird at first, because he isn’t used to a mouth that only kisses back halfway, but when Castiel’s tongue meets his it just works. It’s not the kind of kiss that hurts – Dean is trying to hold back in case he really ends up doing some damage – but the way Castiel’s tongue moves slowly against his as he kisses back and his hands reach up for Dean’s nape and for his temple makes Dean feel warm in a way he hasn’t felt in years. He reaches up with his right hand; the scar tissue on Castiel’s cheek feels rough and he only touches gingerly, but then Castiel moans into his mouth and before Dean knows it they fall on the bed, Castiel on top of him and their mouths barely inches from each other. When he looks up, Castiel’s good eye looks wider than usual, surprise and bewilderment and fondness and nervousness showing in it all at once. One of his hands is still on Dean’s cheek and his fingers are shaking.

“Dean?”

“I wanted to,” Dean answers, his voice quieter than usual. He reaches up, smoothing a strand of hair away from Cas’s forehead. “I hadn’t known that I wanted it, but I did. I do.”

Castiel’s hand stills. “Do you remember when you brought me to the den of iniquity and I told you that it didn’t work?”

“You weren’t interested?”

“I was. In someone else. When I told you that I could shoot that man for you… our employer thinks that it means that I’m completely insane, but do you really think that I would offer such a thing so freely?”

His voice is barely audible by now, and Dean barely manages to speak past the knot in his throat. “And why do you think I never asked you to find your own place? I like having you around, you know.” Dean has made peace with it – as weird as Castiel can get and as scary as he is sometimes when he seems completely detached from the rest of the world, he hasn’t been so comfortable around people other than Sam in ages.

“Once you asked me what was in this business for me. Do you remember what I answered you?”

“You used to believe that good things do happen to good people?”

“Dean, I haven’t done a thing all my life that I think makes me a good person, but meeting you was the only good thing that happened to me in years. I’m in this business because you are. It’s… it’s all for you.”

It hits Dean like a punch to the gut. He had always thought that Cas was in it for maybe getting some money and starts a decent life for himself, not that –

“I’m not worth it.”

“Why not?” It sounds so easy. Dean would like to answer, but then Castiel’s lips cover his again, once, tentatively, and he kisses back without thinking too much about it. He isn’t even sure he can come up with that answer now. But when it’s over, he tries.

“You shouldn’t – Cas, dammit, I do this because I have no choice, but you don’t have to.”

“If we had been in the same unit, would you have fought for me?” Castiel’s voice is all scrape and effort. Dean doesn’t even have to think about it.

“’Course I’d have, what kind of question –”

“Don’t you see it then? I’d have done the same for you. That’s what we are doing now. Yes, I have to. If you want me to.”

Dean can’t possibly say anything else, not when Castiel is looking at him as if he really is the best thing that had ever happened to the world, and so he reaches up with his hands and drags Castiel’s head down again. He kisses the burned side of his mouth as Castiel’s fingers tangle in his hair again. His arm goes around Castiel’s waist as Castiel pushes him forward; they fall on the bed, Castiel on top of him. They’re still kissing when Castiel moans into his mouth, his hardening cock pressed against Dean’s leg, and Dean’s trousers are already becoming too tight.

Time to take care of that.

“Clothes. Off,” he manages when the kiss breaks; Castiel gives him a curt nod and moves away from the bed. His fingers shake slightly but he gets rid of shirt and jacket quickly enough, and Dean concentrates on doing the same instead of staring – he can do that later. Their belts both clash to the ground; Dean kicks off his shoes and gets rid of the trousers before he can ruin one of his two good pairs; and then Castiel is kissing him again. Dean is itching to make it deeper, but he isn’t sure about just taking Castiel’s face between his hands and bringing it down – he’s sure that it would hurt like hell, in spite of what Castiel says.

“Hey,” he manages when Castiel breaks it off for air, “do you – I mean, really, if I touch you there, does it hurt you?”

Castiel breathes in, then shrugs. “Not really. I mean, it used to, but now… it isn’t painful. I can feel pressure over there, but that’s it.”

“Okay,” Dean whispers back before flipping them over. Thankfully the bed isn’t too narrow – it’s still made for one person, but he doesn’t risk falling off if he isn’t careful. He looks down, taking a good look at Castiel’s frame. There’s a bullet wound on his hip, but it’s the worst of it. He feels Castiel’s hand as it traces a knife wound that he got at some point in his first two weeks – it goes from Dean’s hip to his nipple, not that he got away with that one. His chest is all cuts and scars from bullet wounds, but overall he got it good – he can always hide them, can’t he?

“I was thinking…” Dean clears his voice as Castiel’s thumb stops running over a cut on his shoulder. “There are things I’d do to you that I could’ve arranged, but I think that for now I have an idea.”

“Meaning?” Castiel’s voice is hoarse, but it doesn’t fail to make Dean shiver.

“Meaning… just lay back. I got this,” Dean answers before leaning back and pressing a kiss in the hollow of Castiel’s neck. He moves down, going from neck to shoulder to hip; Castiel stays still at first, but then his fingers brush against Dean’s neck the second Dean licks a stripe just above his groin. Castiel still has his trousers on, even if they’re not buttoned; Dean pushes them down and out of the way. Then he decides that maybe it’s better if he’s kneeling on the ground and Castiel is sitting, so he goes down and waits until Castiel sits up before turning his stare on Castiel’s cock again.

He’s hard, though not as much as he could be; Dean breathes in, thinks about all the times girls have done the same to him – can’t be that hard, can it? – and then moves back a bit. His lips touch the head of Castiel’s cock, and he almost flinches back when Castiel lets out a low, rough moan and jerks his hips upwards. But he has better control than that, and apparently he’s doing good, so he goes down again and takes the tip into his mouth, putting his hands over Castiel’s hips at the same time. Good thinking, because like this he’s expecting it when they jerk up again and he can take a bit more. It feels weird, feeling Castiel harden with every motion of Dean’s tongue (and even more when Dean starts moving his head), but it’s not as bad as one might have thought – the taste isn’t weird, he has kissed more than his fair share of girls just after they gave him head. If he looks up, he can see sweat on Castiel’s forehead and when Castiel’s one good eye opens and looks down at Dean, it’s mostly blown pupil with just a sliver of blue, and he has no right to look this – this – the only word he can find is happy, but that doesn’t cover it entirely.

Dean,” he whispers a handful of second later, after Dean starts to tentatively suck while trying to take him in a bit more. “Dean, don’t – I will – I’m –”

Dean understands at once – Castiel has to be close, especially if Dean is the first person he’s doing this with; Dean is tasting pre-come on the back of his throat as he makes his pace just a bit faster. He’s doing this, he’s doing this right – he doesn’t mind the taste and for fuck’s sake, he won’t die if he swallows.

He closes his eyes, concentrates on where to put his tongue and on the fact that he fucking likes that Castiel’s cock is almost throbbing inside his mouth and that he’s moaning because of what Dean is doing. Fuck, Dean hates that his job is made of mostly pain, and this is the first time in years that he has made someone feel good rather than the contrary; if the part of him that was taught that you just don’t do this wants to talk, he won’t listen to it.

Not to mention that his own dick is becoming painfully hard, and gets harder whenever he glances up at Castiel’s face.

He slows down for a second when Castiel’s hands reach down to his head, and he expects to be pushed but it doesn’t happen; Castiel does tug then, and Dean just picks up his pace again and ignores it.

It’s done in seconds, after that; Castiel stills for a moment, then he moans again, deeper, rougher; his hips jerk forward, again, and he says Dean with a tone that makes Dean shiver as his toes curl, and then he comes so hard that while Dean had wanted to stay where he was, he has to move his head away coughing because he hadn’t been expecting it. He curses mentally before sitting on the bed and closing his hand around Castiel’s cock, stroking it through it, his mouth finding Castiel’s and kissing him right before he moans again. It’s intoxicating, he thinks as his free hand runs over Castiel’s good cheek and his right one stays on Castiel’s cock as he rides it out, and he hasn’t felt this good while having sex in years.

When they part, he’s breathing heavily, and Castiel is, too; his eyes are closed, the part of his lips that isn’t scarred is the red of ripe strawberries and deliciously kiss-swollen, and Dean can’t help thinking that he looks gorgeous, left side of his face or not. He doesn’t say it though. He has unlearned to say that kind of shit to anyone.

Then Castiel opens his good eye again, and it’s mostly blue again; Dean breathes in, wishing that he wasn’t at the receiving end of such a trusting stare. Everything screams at him that he doesn’t deserve anyone looking at him like this, but he can’t find anything to say right now.

Castiel does it for him, though. “You haven’t –” he starts, then glances down at Dean’s groin, then looks up at Dean again.

“Oh. Well, uh, if you don’t feel like doing more than this it’s fine, I don’t really –”

Dean doesn’t have time to finish that sentence – one moment he’s talking, the other Castiel has turned the cards over the table and moved on top of him so that Dean has his back against the bed and Castiel’s hands are on his wrists, keeping him pinned down.

“You need – to stop thinking – that your needs always come last,” Castiel says. There’s a strain to his voice that Dean figures is because he rarely hears Castiel make a sound unless he has to talk, and he has moaned plenty until now. “Now, I cannot – I cannot repay that kind of favor, but I can – tell me what you want. Please.”

Dean feels almost dizzier now than before – of all the intense stares Castiel directed at him, not one was as intense as this. “Your hand,” he manages, realizing that he can’t put one sentence together. “It’ll be fine – just that.” He has thought about Castiel’s hands, he realizes when Castiel nods and leans back a bit; he has stared at those fingers while they put a gun together or cleaned it or scrubbed blood off floors or stitched Dean’s injuries when he needed it. But now –

He doesn’t finish that thought because then Castiel licks the palm of his hand and then closes it around Dean’s cock, which by now has become painfully hard. He hears himself moan loud enough that a neighbor might have heard – he hopes not, but at the same time he doesn’t give a shit because it feels so good. He had been right – Castiel’s hands on him feel amazing. He’s giving him quick, efficient strokes but it doesn’t feel rushed, and his fingertips are as rough as Dean’s own; when Castiel’s thumb runs over the head of his leaking cock Dean can’t keep his voice in anymore (fuck the neighbors, really). He doesn’t even realize what he’s saying – surely Cas and yes and fuck and please and yes like this just like this – but what does even matter? Castiel is driving him crazy, slowing down the pace and then picking it up again, his fingers still firmly wrapped around his length, and Dean has to move forward and try to kiss him. It doesn’t work as well as it should – at one particularly well-placed stroke Dean jerks forward and ends up with his mouth on Castiel’s cheek, but when their lips meet and Dean starts to feel pleasure building through his muscles he kisses Castiel as hard as he can, their tongues meeting, Castiel’s free hand burying itself in Dean’s hair. It doesn’t take much more for Dean to come – his entire body feels like a string ready to snap and he has been hard since he took Castiel’s cock into his mouth – when he does, he bites down on Castiel’s shoulder as Castiel’s hand strokes him through his entire orgasm the same way he did for Castiel before. When he comes, he feels a rush of blood to the head and he sees white spots in front of his eyes, and he shivers in pleasure as his hips jerk forward; those are good shivers though, the kind that makes you see starts when you close your eyes and leave you relaxed and pliant when you wake up. He doesn’t even register the time during which he comes out from his orgasm – one second he’s coming, the other they’re lying down and Castiel is looking at him still.

And Dean doesn’t mind at all.

He should think about this, he should remember that whenever they touch they should leave bloody fingertips all over each other.

“Was it good then?” he manages when they’re lying under the covers, the rest of the apartment forgotten.

“You underestimate yourself,” Castiel answers, his eye winking at him for a second before he turns on the other side. He closes his eyes, and Dean does the same, and then a hand tentatively touches his hip.

Dean reaches up for Castiel’s shoulder, makes it turn over and throws an arm around his waist.

It’s the first night in ages during which he sleeps fine.

--

The next morning, Dean wakes up at the crack of dawn. No dreams and six hours straight – not bad at all. He doesn’t move from the bed though, not until Castiel starts to stir. His good eye opens, and he blinks twice before trying to sit up. He clears his throat.

“Thank you.”

“Hey, I didn’t do this to make you a favor. I wanted it. No need for thanks.”

Castiel nods, glancing at both mask and book on the ground.

“Hey, leave that be. And for fuck’s sake please stop wearing that thing in the house. It creeps me out. With everything I’ve seen back then do you think that I mind?”

“You don’t. It’s everyone else.”

As if it isn’t Dean’s most recurring thought in the last years.

It only makes sense that they got here, doesn’t it?

--

Cas is putting the rifle in his bag and Dean is buttoning his coat. He has a gun on him. He hopes he won’t have to use it, but he has no idea why Crowley has just called the both of them to his office, and he has no option but to take it along.

“You know,” he says before Cas opens the door, “I don’t – I never thought that this was me.”

“It isn’t you. It’s something you have to do. It might be me, but it isn’t you.”

Dean would like to know how can Cas sound so sure, but he doesn’t ask any further questions. His hand brushes against the small of Cas’s back as Cas unlocks the door, and then they’re out.

--

There’s blood on his fingertips. No one died, but apparently someone in the local police who was supposed to snitch for Crowley hasn’t done the job in a satisfactory manner, and it meant giving them a warning.

Dean pictures two of the guy’s teeth landing on the ground. It was nothing – if only two loose teeth were the worst he’s seen, but the sound that his hand made when colliding with the guy’s mouth is there in his ears, and it’s sickening.

“Do you think you can drive?” he asks Cas before they get inside the car. “I’m gonna stain the wheel and we have to get out of here. He’s gonna call for help as soon as he’s able to.”

Cas holds out a hand and Dean hands him the keys. He drives for a while, not heading home directly; Dean keeps his bloodied hands in his lap and stares at the red stain on the shoulders of Cas’s coat.

When Cas stops some twenty or thirty miles from the warehouse, in the middle of nowhere, Dean is still staring at it.

Cas takes the mask off, putting it in the pocket of the trench.

“Are you ever sorry that I dragged you into this?”

Cas shakes his head in the dark and gets out of the car, moving into the backseat. Dean follows him and he gasps when Cas reaches out, covers one of his bloodied hands with his own. It’s dirty, and rough, but there was just skin before. His fingertips are stained in red.

“Where do you think I would have ended up eventually? If I had not decided to call it quits.”

Dean shivers for a second, but it’s gone as soon as it came. He has thought about calling it quits too, at times, but it never lasted much. He knew that at least two people would have missed him and it was enough to make him soldier on, but if he had been completely alone he isn’t so sure that it would have been a choice so easy to dismiss.

“Dean, if you think I ever regret the moment I accepted to work for him, you can forget it.”

“Well, I don’t regret having gone to take that test, either. You’re not the only one who thinks that maybe a good thing happened even if they didn’t deserve it.”

Cas’s lips are cracked on their good side, but they become soft in a moment; when Dean leans back, he realizes that he brought one of his hands to Cas’s cheek and there are a couple of faint, pink fingerprints on his cheekbone.

“Sorry. I forgot.”

He doesn’t expect Cas to grab that hand again and bringing it back where it was, but when it happens Dean doesn’t try to resist the pull.

“That’s the reason I say that you don’t have to worry.”

“’bout what?”

“About killing someone and not feeling one thing. You never could. Not until you have people around keeping you from going back.”

“Are you still there all of the time? You told me that, once.”

“It’s never going to go away. But right now? I’m here.”

When Cas’s face turns and his lips press against his palm, Dean should feel sick.

Instead, he thinks that if he died right now, maybe there’s one other small good thing he’d leave behind other than Sam. He doesn’t want to know what it says about him.

“D’you think we could stay here another five minutes?”

Cas gives him a nod – never one for wasting words he doesn’t need. Dean puts his forehead against Cas’s left temple, in the point where whole skin becomes scar tissue, and Cas’s hand keeps Dean’s against his cheek.

They stay like that for a long time.

End.
 
 
feeling: okayokay
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel 3.0janie_tangerine on February 18th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Heee welcome back to fic reading then! :DDD <3

And thaaanks so very much! :DD I'm really glad that you liked this and that the characterizations worked for you here - mostly because I've been wanting to write this thing since, like, the second episode after those two people met and I might have thought about it a bit too much so it's totally great to know that all my mental plotting actually paid off. ;) and it's awesome to hear that the minor characters worked as well. And that the whole thing with Cas's poor social skills being related to the injury worked too - doing that part was probably half the reason I wanted to write this, so.. ;) <33

Also, re the BE originals: apart that I love that show as a whole (even if the peculiarity is that it's the one show I watch where there are probably three sympathetic characters every fifteen and then you have mixed feelings for everyone else but somehow I find it really engaging nonetheless), the two people I based this on are.. well, if I say that during the second episode after they met I was like 'okay those two are the uber fucked up version of Dean & Cas for real' it probably says something, lol. But they're totally awesome/interesting in their own right. Okay, ending the BE shameless pimping. ;)

Edited at 2012-02-18 12:11 am (UTC)
cassiopeia7: Cas&Dean: angstycassiopeia7 on February 17th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
Alas, I am unfamiliar with Boardwalk Empire, but oh, my God, this was wonderful. I absolutely love your characterizations -- your Dean and Cas are spot-on, as is Lisa, as is Crowley. And the story itself, so grim and brutal and seemingly without hope, yet retaining a tiny glimmer of faith that these two broken souls will one day make each other whole. Beautiful.

Such a gentle love story, considering it is, at heart, a story about two ruthless killers. Who else could pull such beauty out of such darkness? Only you, Janie, only you. Bravo!

ETA: I've gotta ask. The Lon Chaney movie Dean and Cas went to see? Did you intend it to be Phantom of the Opera? For Castiel's sake, I almost hope it wasn't, but all your details, Cas's messed-up face, his mask, the scene where Dean wanders into his room, finds the book, and is caught . . . I couldn't help but think of that movie.

If you did all that intentionally, well, I'm even more impressed with you. And I'm already pretty damned impressed. &hearts

Edited at 2012-02-17 11:27 pm (UTC)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean FORTIESjanie_tangerine on February 17th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
The Lon Chaney thing was half intentional - I was thinking to send them to either Phantom or the Hunchback of Notre Dame one, then I checked the dates and it couldn't add up since that one is from 1925 (and the other from '23 I think) and I needed to set this earlier because I didn't want it to be too much time since the war ended, so in this case I was meaning another one that didn't include scarred people. But you're totally allowed to imagine that in 1925 they'll totally go see Phantom of the Opera. ;) and don't tempt me now, I've been wanting to write a D/C take on that particular movie for ages (modern adaptations? WHAT ARE MODERN ADAPTATIONS? ;) ) but I've never fallen into the temptation. DON'T MAKE ME.

Aaand cinematic rant aside thanks so much ♥, I'm so glad that you liked it! I had been brewing this thing since BE S1 so yay for the years it took me to write but it's really great to know that the characterizations worked for you and that you found my attempts to make it NOT too grim successful. I guess I just can't do hopeless angst at all costs/can't torture them past a certain point. ;) thanks again! ♥
(no subject) - cassiopeia7 on February 17th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on February 18th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
harper47harper47 on February 18th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
Aww bb. What a beautiful, broken picture you weave. My heart breaks for this Dean and this Cas. Thank you for giving them to each other.
the female ghost of tom joad: ILUjanie_tangerine on February 18th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! ♥ I'm really happy that it worked for you. And here, have a cupcake and think that they have each other now, yes? <3 you're welcome and thanks again for reading it! :D
Daisy Drostezoemathemata on February 18th, 2012 09:13 am (UTC)
For a darker fic, this was lovely and... moving. I really liked the interactions between Dean and Cas and their characterizations.

the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on February 19th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
Much glad you liked it, thank you! :D and it's great to know you liked the characterizations :) and that you didn't find it completely bleak as well, I figured I should give them a bit of leeway...
sevvy23sevvy23 on February 19th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Ok I couldn't delay any longer, I HAD to read it tonight... And damn am I glad I did!! This is just... unf so fucking perfect!!! You managed to take enough elements of Boardwalk that the scene you had in mind is easily recognizable, but at the same time it's original enough not to be predictable for one second. It kinda makes me laught when you call Jimmy/Richard a "fucked up D/C" (cause, well, as if D/C isn't fuckep up enough already, right?), but it so totally is that it kind of hurt, like, everytime Richard is tilting his head, or the staring contests, or the whorehouse, and damn there's so many things in common between these 2 pairings I could probably keep going for the rest of the night... Anyway like I told you, I've been wanting this fic since about S01E07 of BE, and I couldn't have hoped for more: The atmosphere, the characterization, in one word this is just PERFECT!
the female ghost of tom joad: boardwalk empire >> jimmy/richardjanie_tangerine on February 19th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
Eeee thank you! :DDDDDDDDD I'm so really glad that you liked it, and I was especially hoping it'd work for you since you know what I'm fishing for here for both ships ;) ;) but that said I was really hoping that it wouldn't be predictable for anyone who actually watches Boardwalk so now I'm here feeling all accomplished. \o/ and... well yeah D/C IS fucked up on his own but Jimmy/Richard to me always was what D/C would be if it was totally deranged ;) (but yeah, ALL THAT. COME ON I HAD TO DO IT, between headtilts, eyefucking, whorehouses, Richard killing a guy for Jimmy the day after they meet, Richard being like 'oh I don't feel anything' but he's not fooling anyone I could go and write an essay ;) ) and that ranted thanks really ♥ I'll be here feeling oh so very accomplished still...
twisting_vine_x: Dean/Cas - Don't Ever Changetwisting_vine_x on February 19th, 2012 06:02 am (UTC)
Oh, honey. I just want to roll around in this entire fic and love on it forever. Did you really just manage write a beautiful and epic love story about two trained killers? ♥♥♥

Seriously, though. This was perfect. Cas and Dean, Crowley... such amazing characterizations, everyone. Also, smoking hot and utterly beautiful sex. I'm just gonna... yeah. Wrap my arms around my laptop and love on this forever.



Also, I saw in the other comments that you were possibly thinking about writing the Dean/Cas version of Phantom of the Opera, and just wanted to say that I WOULD READ OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, OH MY GODDDDD. 8D
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/castiel 4.0janie_tangerine on February 19th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
I... I might have? Even trained killers need some love in their life! Nah seriously I'm really glad that you liked it and that you liked the characterizations/atmosphere, I've been thinking about this thing for probably far too long so it's totally awesome to know it delivered. ♥

Also hahaha well regarding the Phantom of the Opera in my head it'd be something based mostly on the silent movie where there's no pesky other-boyfriend/girlfriend and where the phantom totally gets the guy and they have a bunch of codependency issues while I indulge myself and put opera everywhere. and then everyone will start wondering if I have something for plots where people have facial scars or something but hey everyone likes their tropes right The second I seriously consider it instead of just plotting for it at random I'll let you know.. ;)
(no subject) - twisting_vine_x on February 20th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on February 20th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twisting_vine_x on February 23rd, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Elletristinai on February 19th, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
Oh wow! This completely blew me away! Although it's dark, there's a very melancholic feel to the natural progression of Dean and Castiel's relationship. It was beautifully told and the imagery, especially with Dean slipping in and out of his experiences in Europe, was incredibly haunting. This is one of the fics I'd been waiting to read since I came across your summary a few months back. Let's just say you did not disappoint! <3
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas darkjanie_tangerine on February 19th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks so very much, it's great to hear it delivered on the expectations! ;) and that the relationship's progression/the two of them worked for you in here (and phew, it's good to know that you liked the way I handled the flashbacks as well, I was hoping that it'd convey the point without seeming insensitive or not carefully handled). ♥
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean FORTIESjanie_tangerine on February 19th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Ee thank you, I'm really glad that you liked it and that the characterizations worked for you ♥ [and thanks for the rec on twitter too by the way ;)]
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
Ditto with the amazing characterization and the small details just enough to set it in post-war America. You dealt with Dean's feelings very well and Castiel! And it's very poignant and touching and I can't comment well enough to do this fic justice but it was a very good work.
the female ghost of tom joad: !!! <3janie_tangerine on February 20th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Hey this is awesome fb, don't say it isn't good enough. ;) and thanks so very much, I'm really glad that you liked it and that their relationship/characterization worked for you. ♥
Giuliae0wyn on February 20th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
Bellissima storia... mi fa contenta sapere che questi Dean e Cas, nonostante siano incasinati e la vita non sia stata buona con loro, si siano comunque incontrati e ci siano l'uno per l'altro :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on February 24th, 2012 12:45 pm (UTC)
Grazie mille! ♥ e.. beh, era il minimo che gli dovevo suvvia, torturarli va bene ma fino a un certo punto... ;) <3
I like people with opinions: Supernatural [dean/cas]sunlight_dust on February 22nd, 2012 07:53 am (UTC)
ohmygod you have NO idea how excited i was to see this. one of my friends and i had a conversation a while back where we compared/contrasted castiel to richard harrow, so seeing cas as richard goes beyond what i can articulately explain.

the way you blended moments from BE with dean and cas worked eerily well. it isn't until it's all laid out like that you really see how richard's devotion and loyalty to jimmy mirrors cas' to dean.

thank you so much for writing this. it's a fic i really wanted to see written but didn't actually think would ever be done.
the female ghost of tom joad: boardwalk empire >> jimmy/richardjanie_tangerine on February 22nd, 2012 10:21 am (UTC)
Thanks so much really! :D I've been wanting to write this thing since.. er... well, the whorehouse scene happened, then I didn't manage to and then S2 happened and my head couldn't stop going like 'Richard Harrow you're so similar to a Cas without the S7 god complex and with all the codependency issues' and then I just had to write it. But that said I'm really glad that this worked for you and that the BE parallels did - I was hoping that for someone who actually watches BE it'd be recognizable but y'know not entirely predictable so it's awesome to know that it worked for you. :DD and no, thank you for reading it, I'm really thrilled that you liked it. ♥
~ji.jihime47 on February 23rd, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
i had this tab open since i finished reading this fic, which was the day it was posted, and i still can't form a coherent comment. i'll just... roll around here a little while longer, 'k?
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural angels bffsjanie_tangerine on February 24th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! And well, it's kind of really flattering to hear that so please do roll around here as much as you like. ;)
brokentoybrokentoy on February 24th, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
I stupidly realized I never commented on this ^^

I loved did, you know I did, and now it's your own fault that i'm gonna go through Boardwalk Empire looking for my Dean/Cas fix in there.

but you know that too and you'll have to deal with consequences in the form of rants once i get to that :)

Photobucket
the female ghost of tom joad: boardwalk empire >> jimmy/richardjanie_tangerine on February 24th, 2012 12:43 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD THAT GIF XDDDDDDDDDD (excuse me while I have a laughing fit)

That said awww thank you ♥ I'm so really glad that you liked it and I'll totally be here waiting for BE related rants. ;) Richard/Jimmy do give a lot of satisfaction in the shipping department..
vallie82vallie82 on February 29th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I´ve had this tab opened since the day you posted the fic but for some reason I haven´t actually read it until now. I´ve had a really shitty day at work and needed something to take my mind of things. And did it ever work! From the summary I expected it to be much more dark and depressing (which I don´t really like, I crave happy endings) and don´t get me wrong. The state of both Dean and Castiel was obviously not very good, both suffered a lot from what they went through in the war and I really liked the way you showed it, but it was still hopeful because they had each other. And for me that´s the most important part. I really loved this story, just as I do with most of your D/C stories. :)

And the art! It´s absolutely brilliant and fits the story so well. I guess I´ll better go tell the artist that asap. :)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/castiel 4.0janie_tangerine on March 2nd, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I'm really glad that it cheered you up (as weird as it might seem... ;) ) and that it worked for you. And ee, I think I'm physically incapable of embracing the concept of hopeless, so it's good to know that it did feel hopeful on top of the angstfest. <3

And YES, isn't my artist just the best? Shower her with love! ;)
improbability32improbability32 on March 1st, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
I read this a few days ago and just had to let you know how much I appreciate what you did here. This was a feat. A dark period fic, dealing with a very hard topic, and yet you managed to find and highlight the silver lining of hope and happiness. I felt like I was reading something "bigger" than the typical fanfic, something that meant a lot, something that was paying respect and homage to soldiers in war. I think you pulled it all off brilliantly and I just had to stop and give you kudos for tackling such a thing.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel 3.0janie_tangerine on March 2nd, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks so much! Really, hearing that this delivered on that aspect is the best thing you could tell me because it's not the easiest subject and I didn't want to risk trivializing it. And it's just great to know that it worked for you and that the atmosphere did as well - I didn't want it to seem completely bleak but I also didn't really want to make it seem as if their problems were going to vanish in a moment, if I explain myself. However, thanks again, I'm really glad that you enjoyed this.