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Dealing With the Same Hell, Just Different Devils

Chapter Text

It all started on a Sunday.

 

Which is ironic, considering that Sunday is the day of the Lord.

 

Dean and Sam Winchester had taken Dean's beloved 1967 Chevrolet Impala out for a spin. Lately, Sam had been crushed by homework and studying. He was only fifteen, but already he was spreading himself thin.

 

Dean had thought that it would be good for Sam to get out, get some fresh air. When Sam was little he adored driving in the Impala. His big brother thought that, since Sam hadn't been able to cut loose for a while, they could go out and go for a ride, probably ending up in a diner somewhere sharing a basket of loaded fries.

 

So after a long weekend of work Dean proposed the idea to Sam. After much persuasion, Sam agreed. They drove off, excited and ready to relax.

 

However, there they were, ten minutes later, being cornered by a bunch of people on motorcycles. Dean tried his best to avoid both their bullets and their bikes, but then the pair drove into a guardrail.

 

The car flipped.

 

Sam remained inside.

 

Dean wasn't so lucky.

 

***

 

Please, anyone, please, if you can hear me, please keep my brother safe. I'll do anything. God,

anyone, please, if you're there, please make sure he's safe.

 

***

 

That was the last thing that went through Dean Winchester's mind before his body crashed into the pavement.

Dean Winchester breathed no more.

 

***

 

“Dean?”

 

Sam tried to move but his vision was blurring in and out, his leg couldn't move (too much pain), and he didn't want to risk burning himself with the fire that surrounded the wrecked Impala.

 

“Dean?”

 

His voice once more came out as just a croak. Sam broke into a coughing fit and struggled to get free from the car once more. However, his leg couldn't move without excruciating pain which made Sam feel like he was simultaneously going to puke and pass out.

 

While twisting around he could just make out a pair of legs through a remnant of a window.

 

They weren't moving.

 

“DEAN?!”

 

The roar of a motorcycle's engine cut through the crackling of the fire. Sam screamed for help, and, after unfamiliar motorcycle boots made their way over to him and pulled him out, he screamed for a different reason.

 

After he calmed down he closed his eyes.

 

“Help...Dean..,” he whispered before he passed out, never seeing their savior's face.

 

***

 

Dean Winchester.

Dean tried to open his eyes, but couldn't. It was as if he lost all control of his body.

Strange , he thought. I feel like I'm...floating.

Dean Winchester.

Yes?

Did you mean it when you said you would give anything?

Yes.

Are you absolutely sure you would do anything to keep your brother safe? Even to the point of avenging any injury he has received?

Yes.

Okay.

 

***

 

Dean's eyes flew open and turned bright orange, the color of flames. His mouth opened to scream, and what started off as a scream turned into a monstrous roar. His fingers dug into the pavement underneath him, so hard they started to bleed freely until they closed up again a few seconds later. Through the fog of horrendous pain he could see a man with a flaming skull and motorcycle boots get on a bike and ride away.

 

He writhed on the pavement, completely ridden with pain, feeling as if his body was engulfed in flames. Smoke rose off his body as his face slowly melted away, bringing forth a fearsome skull surrounded by fire, no neck visible.

 

Now we are one.

Chapter Text

Bleary eyes opened to a blinding white light.

 

Dean shut his eyes again and opened them once more.

 

“Am I...dead?”

 

“Nope, you’re apparently still alive. Sorry.”

 

Dean’s eyes finally focused, spotting his very helpful and enlightening little brother who was sitting by the bed...wait, bed?

 

“Where are we?”

 

Sam adjusted in his seat, groaning a little. Dean, much to his chagrin, realized that Sam had a cast on his leg, and small bandages on some pretty nasty cuts on his face. Dean’s eyes widened, all memories of the accident rushing to his mind at once. He shot up out of the hospital bed, throwing off all his IVs and wires that hooked him up to the EKG to check on Sam.

 

“Oh my God, Sam, are you okay?”

 

Sam blanched and frantically tried to shove Dean back in bed, no matter the amount of pain this action put him in.

 

“Dean! You’re the one who’s been in a coma for a few days. I’m fine! Get back in bed!”

 

A doctor ran in, a look of slight panic on her face. The sound of the unhooked EKG still droned on, not detecting any heartbeat from where the wires hung.

 

“What the hell is going on here?!”

 

Sam relaxed back into his chair. “Hi Ellen. The jerk here wouldn’t stay in bed.”

 

The woman, Ellen, tutted at Dean’s behavior, shaking her head. She came over and gently but firmly got Dean back in bed. Dean turned to Sam.

 

“Shut up bitch,” he shot back at his brother, brief affection sparkling in his eyes even though his jaw remained poised in a aggressive position. He then froze and turned to Ellen. The woman rolled her eyes at the language and kept working on getting Dean properly hooked up to everything again.

 

“So what’s up, Doc?”

 

Ellen rolled her eyes once more at Dean, settled everything once more, and then turned to the two brothers. Upon further inspection Ellen was a pretty older woman with brown hair and brown eyes that , even though she immediately came off as hard, she had a look in her eyes that reminded Dean of his mother. She glared at him and then her features settled into a more relaxed state.

 

“Well, what do you remember?”

 

For a reason Dean didn’t even know, Dean remained silent.

 

Don’t let them know.

 

Sam piped in, slightly unsettled at his brother’s silence. “Dean said earlier that he remembered the accident.”

 

The doctor just took Dean’s lack of speech as shock from remembering trauma.

 

“Well, Dean - Can I call you Dean?”

 

Dean nodded.

 

“Dean, you were in a car accident three days ago. You were thrown from your car and have been in a coma since then. It’s a miracle you didn’t die.”

 

When she finished her sentence a memory flashed before Dean’s eyes: a split second of darkness and then unbearable fiery pain. He gasped, drawing the scrutiny of both the doctor and his little brother.

 

Sam and Ellen looked at him in a mix of both confusion and concern. Dean tentatively smiled, trying to make it look like he was totally fine. Get it together Dean , he scolded himself.

 

“Wow…” Dean trailed off, trying to rack his brain for a white lie. “That is a miracle. I’m one lucky bastard.” He, by this time, recovered himself and exchanged his tentative smile for one of his signature cocky ones, even adding an eyebrow waggle. Sam rolled his eyes, used to his brother’s antics, but, underneath, Sam could tell that something was up.

 

***

 

After a checkup from Ellen which, miraculously, showed that Dean seemed to be perfectly healthy young man (which generally is not normal for a person who had been in a car accident, let alone for someone thrown out of a windshield), Dean checked himself out of the hospital but only a few scratches to his name. He and Sam made their way back home, which was a run-down farmhouse at the edge of town.

 

“Home sweet home,” Dean said after the long trek of from the hospital to the house. Sam rolled his eyes and re-adjusted his crutch, wincing in pain as he did. The elder brother lifted the younger up onto the porch, even though the younger brother could have managed it, and helped him through the door.

 

“Dean,” Sam started, looking at his brother with concern. “You just got out of the hospital, let alone out of a coma. You shouldn't be over exerting yourself with just helping me.”

 

The blonde boy shook his head and carried Sam ( Almost effortlessly , Dean thought to himself) through the doorway.

 

“Sam, your health matters more than mine. Besides, in case you didn't notice, I'm fine!”

 

“Dean, you know that is NOT true!” Sam protested. “Also, I heard that you had been thrown from the car almost 13 feet. You can't just be ‘ fine’ after that!”

 

The elder opened his mouth to protest but was interrupted by a groan from the other room. Both boys froze, looks of panic flashing across their features. They heard the sounds of shuffling, as well as the telltale crashing of liquor bottles being knocked around followed by very vivid cursing.

 

“Boys?! You home?” John Winchester yelled from the doorway. Both flinched at the sound of the man’s voice but one of them knew someone had to answer.

 

“Yeah Dad,” Dean responded in a subdued term.

 

“Well...could you grab me another beer? I gotta get to work.”

 

Dean rolled his eyes. “Yeah Dad.”

 

He helped Sam in and settled him on a chair that was by the door, then walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Dean took note that he’d have to go shopping again due to the fact that the only things in the fridge were multiple six packs of beer, most of them empty, and a package of uncooked hot dogs that had never been opened. Dean snatched the target of his quest out of its position and brought it to his father. John took it wordlessly, threw on his jacket, and walked out the door, not even noticing Dean approaching Sam, shouting behind him, “I got a hunt. Won’t be back for a while.”

 

As soon as his truck pulled out of the driveway Dean and Sam relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief.

 

“Good riddance,” Sam said under his breath. Dean didn’t disagree but he still shot Sam a disapproving look. The elder brother helped Sam up once more. Sam picked up his crutch and went into the kitchen to get to the entrance of the staircase. Dean followed right behind him to help him up the stairs.

 

***

 

Dean laid in bed staring at the ceiling. After getting Sam into his room and on his bed (insisting that bedrest is good), Dean decided to lay down for a little bit. He still hadn’t been able to deal with the car accident and the brief memory - Was it a memory? Was it a hallucination brought on by fumes? - of...whatever that had been.

 

It was me. Us. You.

 

He sat up straight, eyes widening in shock and fear.

 

What?

 

It was me, and now it’s us. And you. We are one.

 

Dean shook his head, trying to clear it.

 

No no no. You’re just a voice. A random voice in my head. Not real. Just brought on by stress.

 

I’m real. I’m the one who saved you from death.

 

Running a hand through his hair, Dean sighed and laid back down.

 

Okay, say you are real. Who are you and why are you in my head?

 

I am the Spirit of Vengeance. I am here to bring the vengeance you desire.

 

Yup, it’s official, I’ve finally gone insane , Dean thought, throwing an arm over his eyes and groaning.

 

Depends on your definition of insane.

 

Dean laughed and rolled over, putting his face into his pillow.

 

Right.

 

***

 

Dean failed to see the scorch marks on his pillow when he woke up later that evening.

Chapter Text

Dean went to work two days after he woke up, even though Sam had protested. John wouldn’t be sending money for at least a week and they needed to get groceries. Therefore, Dean went to the shop as always.

 

“Hiya Bobby.”

 

Bobby Singer smiled at the boy. Bobby, the owner of Singer’s Auto Shop, had known Dean and Sam for the majority of their lives and thought them to be like his sons.

 

“Hey, Dean. Slow day today. Can you stock up the shelves over on that side while I do some inventory?”

 

Dean nodded and set about to the task. He was somewhat distracted: ever since that conversation with that voice in his head last night he’d had a sort of...paranoia. At first it was just the little things, like smelling smoke in his bedroom when there was none or being able to easily jump out of the way of a car while on his way to work. Then came the bigger things, such as the voice chanting guiltyguiltyguilty over and over in his head and the fact that Dean had had murderous thoughts about random strangers he passed on the sidewalk today. While thinking on this Dean’s hand shook, causing some odds and ends car trinkets to tumble to the ground.

 

CRASH.

 

-Blinding pain, glass shattering as he flew through the compromised windshield, gravity both working and not as Dean flew through the air, wracked with terror, pleasepleaseplease let Sammy be safe, anyone please anyone somebodypleaseHELPHIM-

 

“Dean!”

 

Dean came back to himself. He felt hands on his shoulders and saw Bobby only a few inches from his face, wearing an expression that was a mix between horrified and worried. Panicked, Dean breathed through his nose and out his mouth, closing his eyes to do so. After he was calmed down enough, he ran out of Bobby’s grip and left the store with the voice chanting over and over:

 

Revenge.

 

***

 

Bobby had heard the large crash from the other side of the store and ran to see what it was. When he had arrived at the scene, he had seen Dean hunched over with his hand gripping one of the shelves to stabilize himself. Bobby had run over and asked Dean repeatedly if he was okay. He had heard Dean repeat something under his breath. Upon getting closer he had heard Dean say, with growing intensity:

 

Theymustpaytheymustpaytheymustpaytheymustpay.”

 

While Bobby had gotten closer, Dean had suddenly looked up. Bobby, stricken with terror, stumbled back from what he saw.

 

Dean’s eyes were bright orange, and, where sage green eyes had once held such light and love, were only orbs of anger and darkness.

 

***

 

Charlie Bradbury, in all accounts, was a ray of sunshine. However, in high school, when she could’ve been hanging out with the popular clique, she chose to stick with one person: Dean Winchester.

 

To her, Dean was like the brother that she had never had. He understood her. To anyone else in high school, he had been quiet and shy, too nervous to ever even say hello to anyone. But, to Charlie, he was one of the best people she knew. He was caring and compassionate, especially when it came to his little brother, Sam, who he had been looking after his whole life.

 

He was funny and sweet, always considerate of how she felt about something, whether it was the entire year she boycotted ice cream due to it’s “utter cliche-edness” or when he respected her not wanting to talk about her parents. He also respected her when she broke down while telling him about her parents’ accident, even holding her as she cried. Dean and Charlie just...fit.

 

Dean had also always respected her gift as well. When learning that her accident had allowed her to see auras and get intuitive feelings about events and people, he never made fun of her for it. In fact, Charlie distinctly remembers him saying, “Well, okay. We all need a little more special in this world.”

 

Charlie loved Dean. She loved how he understood her shyness about her orientation, she loved how he would drive in the middle of the night to comfort her, and she loved him even though he dropped out of high school during Junior year in order to take care of Sam. Long ago Charlie had realized that she would die for Dean as he would for her.

 

So when he called her, panicked, on a Thursday afternoon, she dropped everything and ran to her car to go get him.

 

***

 

Dean was sitting on a sidewalk in front of A Taste of Heaven, a local diner a block away from Bobby’s. He had his head in his hands.

 

What happened back there?

 

I need to be fed.

 

You need to be...fed? With what? I eat..enough.

 

Even though it was just a voice in his head Dean swore that he could’ve felt the voice roll it’s eyes.

 

Until you and I find a perfect equilibrium and you feed me, I will continue to drive you mad with memories.

 

What?! But what about all that ‘us, we are one’ spiel? I thought this was equilibrium. I mean, since you’re obviously not just a figment of my imagination anymore, that is.

 

I’m sorry. But that’s the deal. I need to eat or you’ll go insane and then I can eat.

 

Dean was about to reply when he heard a very familiar horn that belonged to a very familiar yellow Volkswagen. He got up and grabbed the passenger door handle.

 

“What’s up dude?” Charlie said, rifling through some CDs in her glovebox. “I’ve got Metallica, Creedence Clearwater, ACDC-”

 

She looked at Dean and gasped. Dean tilted his head in confusion and stared back at her.

 

“What?”

 

Hmm. She’s pure. That’s odd.

 

“Your..aura. It’s different.”

 

“Different how?”

 

“It’s…” she trailed off and reached into the backseat to grab a notebook and some crayons. Charlie worked for a little bit on her drawing and, when finished, handed the notebook to Dean, then put the car into drive. Dean looked down to see a miasma of gold shot through with dark red, black, and bright orange.

 

After a while of quiet driving Charlie was the one to break the tense silence.

 

“It used to be gold and teal.”

 

“What?”

 

“It used to be gold and teal. Your aura, that is. The gold, it stands for your righteousness, your purity, your heart. Not many people have gold. The teal was your burdens. It was all the weight that you carried that you didn’t have to. Now..what happened?”

 

Dean looked at Charlie with the most forlorn and lost expression she had ever seen on his features.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

***

 

“Cassie! Coffee!”

 

Castiel Novak jumped from his place at the counter by the window of his Aunt Anna’s cafe, A Taste of Heaven. He was a waiter there, but, every once in a while, he would get distracted by the passersby outside the cafe’s two large windows in the front. And that was why he had zoned out now.

 

Castiel whirled around to see his cousin Gabriel rolling his eyes at him and gesturing toward the disgruntled patrons who were waiting for their liquid energy. By said patrons was Castiel’s Aunt Anna, who currently was attempting to calm down patrons saying that more coffee was being made and that they should get some shortly. Castiel, after a split second of wondering what was going on, realized he was carrying the only full and ready coffee pots currently in the place.

 

Shit.

 

He stood there like a deer in headlights and then snapped into action.

 

“Hey-so sorry, didn’t mean to miss ya there-oh, how’s your kids-no, haven’t found a special someone yet-so sorry again about your coffee-yes we do serve that here-okay, have a nice day!”

 

After twenty minutes of awkward-yet-finessed conversations and frequent apologetic looks shot towards both Anna and the patrons, Castiel plopped down on the stool in front of Gabriel at the counter.

 

“So what - or should I say who -”, Gabriel asked with a suggestive wink. “Caught your eye this time?”

 

Castiel looked down, slightly embarrassed. “None of your concern.”

 

Gabriel gasped with fake shock, theatrically putting his hand over his heart.

 

“Cassie! I am wounded ! I’m just looking out for you! What else are loving cousins for?”

 

Anna threw a washcloth on the counter in front of Gabriel while walking by.

 

“How about working, Gabe?”

 

Castiel hid his smile. “Or not annoying his ‘not as loving’ cousin.”

 

“Ahhh, you love me and you know it,” Gabe smirked, and then went to go wash some recently vacated tables.

 

Castiel thought back to what had caught his eye...or rather, who, as Gabriel had said earlier. He had been washing one of the tables by the window when he had noticed a man hunched over on the sidewalk. He had had his head in his hands and was shaking. He had looked troubled, and Castiel had wanted to help him. However, he had a hunch that the man needed alone time, not someone to hover over him and ask if he was okay.

 

So Castiel decided to watch him. In a totally non stalkery way.

Castiel brushed his fingers through his dark, unruly hair and then rubbed his eyes.

 

Let’s get back to work , he thought.

 

But he still couldn’t get the man out of his head.

 

***

 

After work that day, Castiel made his way back to the trailer park a few blocks away from the cafe. He took a shortcut through the woods, navigating through the dark purely by memory and instinct. All of a sudden he heard a voice say his name.

 

“Castiel.”

 

Shit , he thought, freezing mid-step. Castiel had forgotten that Uriel was guard that night. He winced and tried to make himself as scarce as possible, but, unfortunately, he had already been spotted.

 

“Castiel, why are you lurking around the woods at this hour?”

 

Castiel sighed and resigned himself to the already uncomfortable conversation.

 

“Hi Uriel. I was just walking back from work.”

 

“Anna’s diner. Castiel, why do you stoop so low as to work with that...abomination. You should be doing what real Angels do. Not rolling in the mud with the pigs,” Uriel ranted, a look of disgust seemingly carved into his features.

 

“Well, uh..I’ll keep that in mind,” he replied quickly, trying to get out of this conversation as soon as humanly possible. “Do you know if Michael’s around?”

 

Uriel, seeming to have calmed down, nodded. “He’s where he usually is. But, Castiel, keep in mind what I’ve said.”

 

The younger man forcibly smiled at Uriel while walking away. “Of course.”

 

Castiel hurriedly walked through the park, weaving between the masses occupying the area. Gradually he made his way to the northwest corner. The farther he got, the amount of people tapered off until there were only a few people, scattered around, sneaking through the area. Castiel laughed at their fear under his breath and climbed into the trailer that everyone was not-so-subtly avoiding.

 

“Hi Michael,” he said, swinging into their shared trailer, throwing his backpack on the floor.

 

His surrogate father glanced up from his work and looked back down. “Castiel.”

 

The younger man rolled his eyes and grabbed a Honey Bun off the counter. The other one sighed, set aside the records he was looking at, and leaned back into the couch.

 

“Still working at Anna’s?”

 

“Yup,” Castiel replied mid-chew, attention fixed on the Little Debbie treat in his hand.

 

“You know,” Michael started, ready to repeat a rant that Castiel had heard many times before. “You don’t have to work there. You could be much more well off working for the Angels.”

 

Castiel leaned over and scooped his backpack back up, ready to make a run for it in case the conversation becomes something that he didn’t want to deal with...not that he wanted to deal with it already.

 

“I’m good.”

 

“You say you’re good, but, really, you could be better ,” Michael responded, frustrated at his ward’s stubbornness.

 

“I don’t want to be better. If going into the family business, which I barely tolerate in the first place, makes me better, then I’m good. Any other job? Sign me up. But not what you want me for now. Not for this.”

 

“You have a duty -”

 

There’s that word. Duty. The word that has always gotten Castiel in trouble. Castiel hated the word duty.

 

“I have CONDITIONS!”

 

They both went silent at Castiel’s outburst. Castiel made for the door, but at the last second, leaned his forehead against the cool metal. He took a few deep breaths.

 

“I have conditions , Michael. I’m happy to be your soldier. Do with me what you want. But that… I won’t do that.”

 

Michael looked at Castiel in silence for a second and then nodded.

 

“Okay.”

 

Castiel picked his head up and looked at Michael. Wide blue eyes met a calm blue. The elder nodded once more.

 

Okay , Castiel thought. Okay .

 

He was turning to leave when Michael piped back up again.

 

“I heard there were a few Demons over by the docks. Go see what they’re doing and report back to me.”

 

Yes sir , Castiel thought as the door banged into the outside wall of the trailer, his mood officially soured.

 

Yes sir.

Chapter Text

So,” Charlie had said once they had gotten settled in on her couch. “Start from the beginning.”

 

Dean did.

 

He started talking of the accident, which, really, had only been five days ago, which had totally blown Dean away. He talked of his prayer and of the white hot pain. He talked of waking up, not knowing where he was. He talked of the voice; however, for some reason, he skipped over what they’ve had conversations about. He finished by telling her of his slight mental breakdown at work. By the end the two of them had finished off two pizzas and had drank a few beers each.

 

“Well...Damn.”

 

Dean threw his head back and laughed wryly. “Understatement of the fucking year.”

 

Charlie shook her head with mock exasperation and then sobered up, eyes widening.

 

“Can you tell me what caused the accident again?”

 

The blond fixed her with a look that just screamed of incredulity.

 

“What?” she asked innocently. “Humor me.”

 

He sighed and started back up again. “So Sam and I were driving and a bunch of bikes showed up-”

 

“Motorcycle bikes?”

 

“No, they were regular old exercise bikes. Jesus, Charlie, of course they were motorcycles!”

 

She rolled her eyes and motioned for him to keep going.

 

“...And they started trying to either run me off the road or shoot us until we were nothing but sacks of bullets.”

 

Charlie nodded. “How many do you think there were? Ten? Fifteen?”

 

“Fifteen.”

 

She nodded again and grabbed her laptop off of her coffee table.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

After typing for a while completely immersed in her computer the redhead turned to him and smiled. “I think I’ve found a lead.”

 

“A lead?”

 

She gave him a look. “Dean. You were in a coma for three days and currently have a brother who’s got a broken leg. Plus, your car is busted to all hell. Don’t you want to know why?”

 

Yes.

 

“Yeah, I guess,” Dean replied, rubbing his temples.

 

Charlie lit up.

 

“Great. So, since I just hacked into the police database, I’ve been able to find evidence of two warring motorcycle gangs in this town: the Angels and the Demons.” She gave Dean a second to snort at the cliche-edness of their names before moving on.

 

“Angels prefer to lay low, moving from the shadows, not making big public shows to demonstrate power. From what the police suspect, apparently they keep their power known by dealing drugs out of a trailer park at the north edge of town. They also answer “prayers” for people who need help.”

 

She paused and glanced at him. Dean nodded for her to go on.

 

“The Demon gang are similarly suited to their names. They are violent pyromaniacs who, if someone reneges on one of their “deals”, will not hesitate towards acts of violence. Also, they won’t hesitate to use violence in general. I’m willing to bet that they were the ones who came after you the other night.”

“But why?”

 

The woman shrugged. “I don’t know. Unless you made a Demon Deal or something…”

 

Dean shook his head. “I didn’t.”

 

Charlie nodded and then shrugged again, looking at her computer. “By the way, if you ever want to see your car again, it’s in the impound lot by the police station.”

 

Dean smiled widely. “Thanks Charlie.”

 

She nodded without looking up. He rubbed a hand over his face and leaned back, enjoying the peace and quie-

 

FEED ME.

 

The man bolted right up, head in his hands. Charlie jumped off the couch and grabbed his shoulders but he barely registered the touch.

 

FEED ME.

 

Dean whimpered at the pain radiating from his head.

 

With what?

 

I’ll tell you what to do.

 

He groaned in relief as the pain subsided momentarily. Charlie frowned, watching as his aura flared, seeming as if it was almost completely overtaken by red and orange before it finally went back to its original state. Her friend looked up at her with unreadable green eyes.

 

“I...gotta go,” he said in an almost dream-like state, grabbing his jacket off of her dining room table. Charlie intercepted his walk to her front door.

 

“Dean? Dean, hold on buddy. I drove you all the way here from town, okay? Let me take you back to your house. Let me take you back to Sam.”

 

Dean shook his head, eyes still slightly glazed over. “No. I gotta go Charlie. I’ll see you later, okay?

 

Charlie repeatedly tried to stop her obviously troubled friend from leaving, but it was no use. Dean was gone.

 

Dean Winchester , she thought, watching him walk down the street through her window.

 

What is happening to you?

 

***

 

What is happening to me?

 

Dean walked down the road, leather jacket swung over his shoulders. The voice had been chattering away since that first mental attack at Charlie’s, whispering like a poisonous old friend in his ear.

 

After he had left Charlie’s he had kind of slipped back and let the voice direct where his feet were going. Now that he was snapping back to himself, he was filled with terror. He had just walked at least fifteen miles to the Docks on the outside of town. He heard laughter and saw a few people decked out in biker gear burning things just lying around. So far there were multiple crates in flames as well as a bike (not a motorcycle) and a few bags.

 

The Demons (he didn’t know how he knew they were Demons, it was just a feeling...he was having a lot of those these days) were giggling and laughing, sipping on their drinks as they lit things on fire, not a care in the world.

 

Dean stared at the fire, transfixed at the sight of the rippling colors.

 

Fire is beauty. And power. And simple. And complex.

 

What are you, a poet?

 

We are a being of fire. You and me. We both create and destroy. These, though..they don’t deserve the power of fire. They don’t create. They just destroy. That’s why they’re prey.

 

The blond man flinched.

 

Prey?

 

These people tried to destroy you. They tried to destroy Sam. They need to pay.

 

Dean slowly felt overtaken with an overwhelming feeling of bloodlust. It crept over him, embracing his bones, it’s heat caressing his skin with a touch like that of a lover. He relaxed into it, feeling both embraced and almost suffocated by it.

 

Then all he felt was pain.

 

Fire flew across his skin, it feeling as if it was simultaneously flaking off and restoring. He kept his mouth shut so as not to rouse the suspicion of the Demons only twenty feet away.

However, almost as soon as the pain had started, it stopped.

 

Dean was pushed to the back of his mind, floating on a high of promised vengeance and violence. And, in this state, for once he understood.

 

So is this what you meant by us being one?

 

Yes. How does it feel?

 

...Awesome.

 

***

 

Sam was laying on the couch when he heard a knock on the door. He pulled himself up onto his crutches and hopped over to the front door. He was hoping it was a police officer bringing home his brother, even if it was due to underage drinking or something; but, sadly, it turned out not to be the case.

 

“Hi Sam!”

 

The teenager shyly smiled at his fellow classmate and opened the door wider for her.

 

“Hi Ruby.”

 

***

 

Castiel sat on top of a shipping container at the Docks, watching the Demons wreak their destruction. He didn’t even bother hiding his swinging legs as he ate a banana. Externally, he looked like some loner kid who was just innocently eating a banana on top of a shipping container.

 

Internally, he was seething. He couldn’t stand how the other Angels didn’t get why he loved his job. Was it so hard to understand that he wanted to help people instead of hurt them? His job being at Anna’s diner didn’t help either. Apparently some huge fight had went down many years ago between the main family which had caused Anna to run away, later giving birth to Gabriel. (Not that her running away and Gabriel being born were connected; he was born years later.)

 

So here Castiel sat upset, staring over the peaceful Docks, with the exception of the rival gang members, eating a banana in the moonlight. He was staring over the yard when he spied a fiery flare up behind a shipping container about twenty feet from the Demons. Curiosity piqued, he went to investigate.

 

Upon jumping down from his perch, Castiel ran to the spot he had first seen the fire. Could it be more Demons? he wondered, making sure his footsteps were silent by running on the balls of his feet. What he happened upon he would’ve never expected in a million years.

 

A man, slightly taller than himself, stood staring at the gang members with a relaxed position. He wore a leather jacket and jeans. But the most strange thing about this man was that his head was completely on fire.

 

Castiel slowly backed away, thinking he would have to make a new plan of action for the moment. Then he stopped. There was possibly a more strategic plan. So, in that moment, Castiel Novak did the stupidest thing he had ever done in his life.

 

Who are you?”

 

***

 

Once seated, Ruby tucked a lock of her dark hair behind her ear and smiled.

 

“So, how’ve you been doing? I heard you’d been in an accident.”

Sam raised his eyebrows and leaned back into the couch, wincing as his leg hit it.

 

“How’d you hear that?”

 

She smiled again and rolled her eyes. “Oh, you know. Around.”

 

Sam nodded cautiously. “Been better. You?”

 

“Well, the other day Lilith and I were going to the mall when we found the most-”

 

“Ruby.”

 

Her eyes darted to meet his, her mouth still gaping open from being cut off mid-sentence. Sam looked her in the eye, now sitting up in what he hoped was an authoritative stance.

 

“Why are you here?”

 

Ruby slumped. “I just wanted to..see how you’re doing. I’m worried about you. All cooped up in this house.”

 

The other teen nodded and smiled genuinely for the first time during the visit.

 

“Well, in that case, welcome to my home.”

 

***

 

Dean (or was it the Spirit? Dean didn’t know anymore) turned around to see a dark haired man standing in a seemingly forced leisurely position behind him. He felt the Spirit scoff.

 

And why would you care?

 

The man shrugged, his face shrouded in shadows. “Curiosity.”

 

Dean’s head tilted, a combination of the Spirit and him. They examined the man, their own curiosity piqued.

 

What a brave little ant he is.

 

Dean suddenly was shoved forward into the driver’s seat, now completely aware of the man. His humanistic appearance returned, flames dying away as if they were never there. The other man stepped back in shock as Dean gasped, adrenaline really fully hitting him. The now human man hunched over and grasped his knees, trying to get his heartbeat down.

 

After a few minutes - seconds? Dean didn’t know - of calming himself down, the other man cleared his throat.

 

Dean looked up and sheepishly smiled, even though the man couldn’t see him due to the shadows.

 

“Uh...Hi.”

 

***

 

Castiel would’ve snorted if he wasn’t still in slight shock at seeing a man go from.. whatever that had been to human in a span of thirty seconds. However, he did slightly relax his stance and take a deep breath.

 

“Hi?”

 

“...Yeah.”

 

They stood there awkwardly for an indeterminable amount of time (that was probably only minutes) until Castiel finally cleared his throat.

 

“So..you’re the most awkward being I’ve met. Granted, you’re the only being I’ve met, but still.”

 

Oh my God , Castiel thought. Stupid stupid stupid !

 

The other man tentatively laughed. “Well, what do you want me to say? I...have absolutely no idea what you just saw, but I know that you probably are freaked out, so…”

 

Castiel instinctively smiled at the guy’s nervousness and shook his head. Wait.

 

“You don’t know what I just saw?”

 

The man bashfully looked down, his silhouette only visible due to the dark of night. “No, not really.”

 

“Well,” Castiel started, struggling with what he was about to say. However, his stellar tactfulness won out and he said something that he most definitely was probably going to regret later.

 

“You’re a giant flaming skeleton. And were quite fearsome in your appearance.”

 

Once more they stood in silence, tension so thick you could cut through it with a knife. Castiel gulped, scared that the man was going to set him on fire.

 

Instead, the man replied with a soft and scared voice. “...Really?”

 

The fear in his voice cut Castiel to the bone. All of a sudden, the mysterious man wasn’t a threat anymore in Castiel’s eyes.

 

The dark haired Angel smirked at the other man, an eyebrow lifting subtly.

 

“But you looked like a badass .”

 

The mysterious man’s shoulders relaxed and he chuckled softly. “You really think so?”

 

And this , Castiel thought. Could be interesting.

 

***

 

Sam and Ruby sat around the whole day either talking or watching movies. She was extremely nice to Sam in every way and Sam’s suspicions of her noticeably lessened. By the end of the day he thought that it was nice that somebody his age cared about him.

 

At seven o’clock Sam started to worry about Dean. His older brother was usually home by 5:30, his overprotective instincts driving him to constantly worry about Sam, even if Sam was a teenager and didn’t need protecting. Every time he commented about Dean, however, Ruby would say that she bet that everything was fine and that Dean was just out with some girl.

 

Sam, at that time, nodded half-heartedly and went back to discussing the mechanics of Harry Potter with the girl.

 

Ruby left around nine due to her curfew. Sam sat at the door, watching her walk down the road, thinking how nice it was to have a friend that actually cared about him enough to stop at his house and check on him. The only people who ever truly cared about him that way were Dean, Charlie, and Bobby.

 

The younger Winchester gasped. Dean.

 

Sam hobbled as fast as he could to his cell phone and dialled Dean’s number.

 

No answer.

 

The boy then dialled Bobby, who picked up on the second ring.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Hey Bobby. It’s Sam.”

 

“Hi kid. How’re you doing?”

 

“Better. Bobby, do you know where Dean is?”

 

He heard a pause which was then followed by a sigh.

 

“Kid, I don’t know what’s going on with your brother.”

 

Sam looked at the phone, confused, and then replied. “What do you mean?”

 

“He left work early today. Didn’t say why. Just ran out. But Sam..just, watch out for him, okay? Something’s not right.”

 

The young Winchester, still confused and extremely worried, nodded. “Okay Bobby. Thanks.”

They said their goodbyes, and, the second Sam got off the phone, he called Charlie.

 

She picked up immediately.

 

“Sam? Is Dean there? Is he okay?”

 

“Charlie,” Sam started, his worry amping up a hell of a lot more due to her reaction. “What are you talking about?”

 

“Sam, I’m so sorry I didn’t call you. Dean’s worrying me. I just, I can’t tell you what’s going on, but have you seen him? Please tell me you have.”

 

“Did you see him today?”

 

“Yeah. I picked him up from work and Sam he just left my house so randomly and he wasn’t in a good state and I don’t know what to do and oh God you haven’t seen him oh my gosh where would he be I-”

 

“Hey,” Sam said, cutting her off. “I’m sure he’s fine. When did Dean leave your house?”

 

Sam heard her take a few deep breaths before she replied. “Around two.”

 

Holy shit , Sam thought. Dean has been gone for 7 hours.

 

“Okay. Charlie?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I’m sure Dean’s fine. Go get some rest. I’ll have him call you in the morning.”

 

“Thanks Sam.”

After she hung up, Sam immediately pulled on his threadbare coat and haphazardly stepped out of the house.

 

He had a brother to find.

 

***

 

Dean and the other man talked for a few hours, the Demons having left during that time. They never learned each other’s names, but they did talk. About philosophy, how they feel about certain things in the world. Dean was careful to leave out any personal information about family and affiliations, as did the other man. Instead, they sat and watched the stars.

At one point in the conversation Dean realized that the voice was silent.

 

“It’s probably getting really late.”

 

Dean jumped at the gravelly voice cutting into his thoughts.

 

“Huh?”

 

“It’s probably getting late.”

 

At that moment the Winchester jumped to attention. “Oh my God.”

 

The other man sat there calmly, watching him curiously. At that moment, Dean’s heart was pounding. He couldn’t believe he had spent this much time talking; how was Sam? Was he all right? Was he able to get dinner with that broken leg? What if he had fallen and couldn’t pick himself back up, doomed to lie on the ground forever because his supposed protector had bailed on him.

 

“I have to go.”

 

***

 

Castiel watched the silhouette of the mysterious man trip over himself, trying to brush the dust off of his clothes. The young dark haired man tilted his head with curiosity.

 

“Are you alright?”

 

“My brother...shit..I have to go. I’m so sorry,” he replied, hurriedly trying to back out of the conversation. After he hurried away, Castiel waited a few seconds before following him stealthily. There was something about the other man that had seemed familiar to him and Castiel wanted to find out what.

 

He followed the man back to his house which was a surprising distance away. Every once in a while the man would stop and rub his temples, groaning a little at the obvious headache.

 

Castiel didn’t get a good glimpse of the man until he had finally walked into the light of a streetlight. The dark haired follower could only do so much to contain his gasp.

 

The man that he had followed was the one from outside the diner.

Chapter Text

Ruby was a popular girl. She was beautiful, decently smart, and had a magnetic personality which either repelled or attracted people. One thing about Ruby, though, is that she had one major flaw.

She was one of the most easily manipulated people the world had ever seen.

Sure, yes, Ruby was smart. She had a mind of her own. But she didn’t have a fantastic ability to make decisions in serious situations. Ruby was a lackey, and her mother took advantage of that very much. So, when Ruby was telling her mother about Sam and Dean Winchester’s accident and survival, her mother sucked in a sharp breath before recovering herself, putting on a gentle facade and finding a way to exploit the situation to meet her needs.

“Ruby,” her mom said slyly, her voice soothing and expression falsely innocent. “Tell me about those Winchesters. Sam’s in your class, right?”

The daughter gave the affirmative, distracted by her Lit homework. “Yeah. Sam’s pretty cute. Genius too."

Ruby’s mother smirked, a plan forming in her mind.

So, when Ruby went to see Sam Winchester that night, she did not have the innocent intentions she claimed to have. And as she left, the girl smiled, pleased that Sam Winchester was playing so easily into her hand.

***

“Sammy! What the fuck are you doing out here? It’s freezing!”

Dean had raced home to find his little brother sitting on the sidewalk a few meters away from their house, breath quicker than it should’ve been, with his crutch a few feet away from him and his head in his hands. As soon as Dean's voice rang through the air, Sam's head shot straight up. Once catching sight of Dean, he struggled to stand, only to immediately collapse back down onto the sidewalk. Dean ran toward his brother, arms catching Sam before Sam could make impact on the sidewalk.

"Dean?" Sam asked weakly, wondering if it really was his brother or if he was just hallucinating.

The elder Winchester helped his brother up, supporting his weight, and began (gently) dragging his brother to their house. Dean didn’t bother acknowledging his newfound strength; he was too busy worrying about Sam.

“Yes, you dumbass. Who else would drag your ugly mug off the sidewalk?” he replied, trying to mask his concern for his brother. How long had Sam been out there? How long could he have been out there if Dean had decided to come back later than he actually had?

Sam shook his head in exasperation at his older brother’s antics, only to have it lost in the fray of his fretting sibling.

Dean got Sam inside the house and proceeded to carry the injured (and now slightly irritated) boy up the stairs and into Sam’s room. The younger sibling rolled his eyes as his brother checked him over thoroughly, making sure Sam was okay.

“Dean, you don’t need to mother hen me. I’m fine. My pride’s hurt more than anything.”

“Sam,” Dean said, worry coating the very word. “What were you doing out there? Are you out of your mind?”

“I was worried.”

“About me? Sam, you have a broken leg. Worry more about you, not me!”

At that, Sam laughed bitterly, throwing his head back at the irony of that statement. Dean crossed his arms and leaned back from his brother, crossing his arms while furrowing his brow in confusion.

“What? Why are you laughing?” Dean asked. Sam threw his gaze at his brother, making Dean flinch back at the mix of frustration and bemusement in those hazel eyes.

“Did what you just said ring any bells for you?”

The elder brother shook his head, utterly and completely confused.

“Dude, that is literally, word for word, the same thing I have told you for years now. Don’t worry about me, worry more about yourself.”

“Except, tonight, if I had worried about myself and hadn’t rushed home after realizing how late it was, you probably would still be out there right now, laying on that sidewalk, hurting and alone. So be glad I worried about you this time.” Sam begrudgingly accepted Dean’s answer, and the corners of Dean’s mouth quirked up a little bit. Point one for Team Dean.

The two sat in silence for a little bit, the tension in the air still decently thick. Dean eventually squirmed and decided to cut it.

“So….why were you laying on the sidewalk?”

Sam ducked his head and rubbed at his eyes, not really feeling like answering but deciding to anyway.

“I got a call from Charlie and-” Sam paused, taking in his brother’s tense figure at the mention of Charlie. Interesting, Sam thought, cataloguing that reaction away for later. “And she asked me if you were home yet, and, when I said no, I realized how late it was and wanted to go find you. Why didn’t you call me to tell me you’d be home late?”

As Sam talked, Dean felt frozen on the inside. He knew the question that was coming. Knowing Sam, it was inevitable. Just give the kid a few seconds…

“And, more importantly, where were you?”

Dean absolutely did not want to tell his brother where he’d been, because that would raise even more questions. Then there would probably be a fight, then hurt feelings, then more problems that will inevitably will come in the future. He absolutely should not tell Sam.

***

He didn’t tell Sam.

***

After getting Sam to bed, leaving him with the lie that Dean had been with friends the entire night, Dean remembered that he had left Sam’s crutch outside. Rubbing a hand over his face, he walked outside, searching for the apparatus in the moonlight.

Hmm.

Dean jumped at the sudden intrusion on his search. He had almost completely forgotten that it was there, as it had been silent since the...incident at the docks.

“Ugh, and what do you want?” Dean asked tiredly, feeling too worn out to struggle with telepathically think-talking with the thing inside his head. He rolled his eyes at the amused feeling inside him.

Something’s off. I sense a soul...a curious one.

Dean snorted. “Look, I think you’re just worrying yourself over Sam. We’re all good here.”

No, it said, irritated. Someone’s watching you. Someone unfamiliar...but I feel like we’ve met them before...

***

The next morning Castiel sat in the diner, trying to quickly eating a banana before Taste of Heaven opened. He couldn’t help but obsess about what he had done last night. Before he had gone back to the trailer park to report to Michael he had done something he would never, ever do: he had followed the mystery man back to his house. Castiel had watched him help a young boy and move around a little bit before the man had frozen and looked outside before pulling the shades shut.

“What’s up Cassie?”

Gabriel started Castiel out of his reverie, making the dark haired boy almost fall out of the stool he was perched on. Castiel glared at his cousin from across the counter as the other guy chuckled. He took a deep breath to calm down before answering.

“Nothing.”

“Aww, come on, you have your brooding face on,” Gabe said playfully before turning to a more serious tone. “You know you can tell me anything, right?”

Castiel smiled slightly at the concern in Gabriel’s tone. “Yeah, I know. I do have a question.”

Gabriel leaned back from the counter and held out his hands in an open matter. “Shoot.”

“Do you remember that guy outside the diner the other day?”

“You mean the one that you stared at with an intensity that could’ve possibly made something spontaneously combust?”

The younger man blushed and continued. “Do you know who that was?”

Gabriel was in the middle of shaking his head when Anna walked in. “Who?” she asked, putting on her apron.

“The guy outside the diner the other day.”

Anna pulled her red hair back into a ponytail. “Blond hair, tall?” Castiel nodded.

“Yeah, that would be Dean Winchester.”

Dean Winchester. Now that Castiel could put a name to that face, he understood why he hadn’t recognized the other man at all. The last time he had ever seen Dean was the last day of third grade, when Michael had decided to homeschool his cousin. Dean was a mystery, even back then. Dean had been often quiet, not really making an impact on anyone. He was sweet though, that Castiel could recall. Castiel remembered that once he had been having a hard time solving a math problem in class and Dean had come over and wordlessly pointed out how to do it correctly. The dark haired man remembered the shy smile after Castiel had thanked him.

“Dean..” Gabriel murmured. “DIdn’t you know him Cassie?”

“Yeah, a long time ago. We were kids.”

“Well,” Anna said, looking at Castiel. “I heard that he’s working at that auto shop..Um, what is it...Singer’s Auto?”

Gabe winked at his cousin and put a lollipop in his mouth that he seemingly had grabbed out of thin air. “Have fun Cassie.”

Castiel blushed but his mind was somewhere else. He knew what he was doing on his lunch break.

***

Dean had, with much hesitation, returned to work. He needed a paycheck and he couldn’t avoid Bobby forever. When he had walked in, however, Bobby didn’t make a comment, just looked at him out of the corner of his eye and said that there were a few shelves that needed to be restocked. Dean had nodded and went to grab the supplies.

We need to go.

Why?

We need to feed.

Dean stopped walking. By killing?

Yes.

How about...no.

We NEED to.

I can ignore you. I’m good at that.

Fine. You do that. But there will be consequences. Believe me.

Whatever.

***

Four hours later Dean had avoided Bobby’s curious looks, stocked all the shelves, cleaned the store, checked out a new car that had come in, and did all of that while ignoring the asshole in his head.

Hey!

I’m not wrong.

All of a sudden someone came into the store. Dean looked up, interrupted from examining the logs, from where he sat at the front desk. There was a tall man staring at him intensely, blue eyes meeting green. Their eye contact continued until Dean finally broke it to look to see if Bobby was in the area. This man looked familiar, but Dean couldn’t place him for some reason.

“Hiya,” Dean greeted, standing, recovering himself from their intense staring contest. “What can I help you with today?”

The dark haired man seemed to be startled out of...well, whatever that was. He looked up at Dean with an unreadable expression on his face. “You may not remember me, but I’m Castiel Novak.”

Castiel Novak.

Castiel Novak was a small memory, a mere blink in Dean’s existence. However, Dean remembered him well. He was the only kid in the third grade to act like Dean existed. When he had left it had devastated Dean, because that meant probably no one would ever talk to the motherless mute boy with the absent father. In fact, no one had made any effort to acknowledge Dean in any sort of way since Castiel had left; that is, until Charlie transferred over in the eighth grade.

Dean quickly realized he hadn’t been engaging in conversation for a few minutes and stuck out his hand. “Of course I remember you. Nice to see you!”

Castiel stared at the hand in confusion before, after Dean had let it hang there awkwardly for a few seconds, Dean dropped it.

The dark haired man then leaned forward and said to Dean in a low voice (which Dean thought couldn’t be physically possible to sound that deep and good), “We need to meet.”

“Okay,” Dean said. “This is a little out of the blue, but okay.”

“It’s about two nights ago. At the docks.”

Dean froze. That had been Castiel? He swallowed nervously. “Okay. Where?”

“I have to work second shift tonight at Taste of Heaven. Come over there around nine?”

Dean calculated for a bit, factoring in what time he got off and what he would do with Sammy. He figured nine would give him enough time to sort things out.

“Yeah, nine’s good.”

Castiel smiled minutely and nodded before turning and walking out. It was at that time that Bobby chose to walk into the front of the store. He stopped in shock.

“Was that Castiel Novak?”

Dean nodded. “Yeah.”

“You better be careful around him boy.”

“Why?”

“He’s one of the most dangerous people in all of the Angels.”

Chapter Text

He’s one of the most dangerous people in all of the Angels.

 

Bobby’s words clamored through Dean’s head on repeat, following him around throughout the day. That was all Dean could think about while working, while making sure Sam was good and fed, and while he was walking toward the diner he had promised to meet Castiel at. Dean’s feet moved as if they were moving through sludge as he stepped, when, really, Dean was walking like that because he was afraid. What would Castiel do? If Bobby was right and Castiel was one of the most dangerous Angels, then what would he do? Is he going to tell people about the other night at the docks? If he hadn’t already?

 

Then he dies.

 

Dean froze midstep. What?

 

He would have done wrong, so we kill him. Vengeance.

 

Oh. 

 

That was all Dean could manage, his heart was beating so fast with anxiety. Every beat felt like an impending death sentence.

 

Dean paused in front of the doors to the diner and took a deep breath to calm himself down. He pulled the door open.

 

He had never been inside of Taste of Heaven. Of course, he had heard of it, but, between work and taking care of Sam, he never managed to make it in. The sight that greeted him was warm. There was a counter running along the back with a door behind it that was probably the kitchen. There were tables scattered around the cafe. The walls were painted with pastels, mainly blue, pink, and orange. It looked like something out of the fifties. Dean breathed in and smelled a plethora of pleasant aromas, primarily the comforting smell of homemade pie. 

 

This place isn’t so bad.

 

I prefer the scent of freshly spilled blood.

 

Dean sighed. Of course you do. 

 

The cafe was pretty empty, save for a few teenagers who were trying to stay out as late as they could before their parents got worried. A short teenager with wavy dark blond hair, who Dean estimated to be maybe a year or two older than Sam, looked up from washing the dishes and grinned. He winked at Dean before yelling (making all the patrons jump in surprise), “Cassie! Your boyfriend’s here!”

 

Castiel burst out of the kitchen, irritated expression. “Gabriel, for Christ’s sake, if you continue to pull that with every single person who walks in, I will kill-” The dark haired man froze, spotting Dean, and nervously wiped wet hands on his apron.

 

“Hello Dean.”

 

“Hey Castiel.”

 

Castiel cleared his throat and leaned onto the counter. “Do you want anything to eat?”

 

Dean walked over to the counter and sat down. “I..don’t know. Never been here before.”

 

Castiel grabbed a cloth and started nervously cleaning the counter. “We just made some pie.”

 

“Kind?”

 

“Apple.”

 

“Sign me the hell up.”

 

They stared at each other for a few minutes. 

 

Gabriel leaned over to refill some of the stragglers’ coffees. “Geez, you can cut the tension with a knife, am I right?”

 

Castiel gestured to the kitchen and Dean stood up and followed the dark haired man through the kitchen door. Upon arriving in the kitchen, Castiel walked to an oven that had a cooling apple pie on top.

 

“Sorry about my cousin,” Castiel said, dishing out a slice of pie for Dean. “He can get really annoying-”

 

“So you’re an Angel.”

 

The man set the piece of pie on a plate and sighed. He held up the paper plate with the pie on it. “How about we take this outside?”

 

Dean was anything but comfortable about going outside alone with a supposed gang member, but he had to anyway. Who knows what Castiel was going to tell him?

 

***

Castiel was nervous. No, understatement, he was, as Gabriel would put it, “freaking out”. Dean Winchester was even more breathtaking up close than he was from far away. Also, there was the small matter of him being..whatever he was, but, surprisingly, that characteristic didn’t deter Castiel’s interest in the slightest.

 

They climbed up to the roof via the fire escape and sat on the ledge. For a minute, Castiel stared at the stars before he looked back at the blond man next to him.

 

“Yes,” the dark haired boy said.

 

Dean quirked an eyebrow. “Yes?”

 

“Yes, I am an Angel. But I’m not a bad person.”

 

“Not a bad person? You’re part of a gang, and are known to be one of the worst of ‘em.”

 

Castiel winced. Obviously someone had told Dean of his past. “I’m not what I used to be. Yes, I did do some...bad things, but none of those were of my own volition. And I’m trying to get out.”

 

“..By working here?”

 

“Yes. There’s something...calming about having a normal life.”

 

“Yeah.”

Silence overtook the conversation once more, an awkward tension in the air. Castiel took a moment to study the features of Dean’s face. Moonlight cast shadows over the other boy’s face, making him seem almost ethereal. He continued to observe as the boy watched the moon shine over the woods in front of them with a mysteriously wistful expression on his face. It was very calm until Dean disturbed the silence.

 

“Go ahead. Ask.”

 

“Ask what?”

 

Dean turned to Castiel and looked him dead in the eye. “Ask the question that you’ve been dying to ask. Ask me why I become a blazed up skeleton freak. Tell me what you’re going to do about it, how you’re going to ruin me.”

Castiel’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Dean, I have no intention of hurting you. You must know that, right?”

 

The blond shook his head. “No, someone’s always out to hurt me.”

 

Sighing, Castiel grasped Dean’s shoulder gently. “Well, I’m not going to.”

 

His hand jumped off the boy as Dean’s eyes glazed over.

***

He is not lying.

 

Are you sure?

 

He is not. See?

 

All of a sudden, Dean was seeing what he could only describe as...Castiel. There was gold and blue mixed with a darker navy that just seemed to shine brighter than any sun.

 

If he were lying, his soul, to put it into human terms, would be tinted by a mud-like brown.

 

Sighing with relief, Dean smiled at Cas, his expression tired. “I believe you, Cas.”

 

The Angel raised an eyebrow. “Cas?”

 

If Dean could see himself, he would probably be blushing. “I don’t know...it’s a nickname, I guess. I don’t have to call you that if you don’t want me to.”

 

“No, I...,” Cas paused before continuing. “I like it. It’s the first nickname anyone’s ever given me that I never actively despised.”

 

Dean smiled, but that smile quickly dropped off his face when Cas asked him a question. “So, Dean, what - not to put this to crudely - are you?”

 

The blond sucked in a breath. “Well, to answer that, I need to give you a little bit of a background.”

 

He began talking about the accident, which stemmed into telling Cas about his past. When he mentioned Sam, he didn’t need the voice in his head to tell him that his companion was hiding something. Dean paused. “What is it?”

 

Cas’ eyes widened, trying to look innocent. “What?”

 

“Come on man, I know you’re hiding something. Out with it.”

 

The brunette stared down at his lap, suddenly interested in his fingers. “I..may have followed you back to your house after our first meeting.”

 

“Wait..,” Dean said, putting the pieces together. “That was you at the docks? And you were the one who was watching me at my house that night?!”

 

Kill him.

 

“What? Fuck you. No.”

 

“Dean, what did you just say?”

 

Shit. Did he just say that out loud?

 

Yes. Yes you did.

 

“I’m sorry,” Dean said in a tired voice, scrubbing a hand over his face. “I..you know, the uh voice in my head.”

“Ah,” Cas nodded. “The ‘Spirit of Vengeance’, or whoever that is.”

“Yeah. There’s just a..whole lotta shit that comes with surviving, you know? First there’s voices, then there’s the whole ‘hunger’ thing.”

Cas quirked an eyebrow. “Hunger?”

 

“Um…,” Dean stuttered, looking down. “The, uh, ‘spirit’ apparently needs to feed every once in a while.”

 

Which I haven’t.

 

“Shut up .”

 

“Dean?”

 

“Sorry,” he apologized and pointed at his head. “This guy is just yammering away up there.”

 

Yammering? You would not even be alive if it was not for me.

 

Dean suddenly was overwhelmed with another vision.

 

-Blinding pain, glass shattering as he flew through the compromised windshield, gravity both working and not as Dean flew through the air, wracked with terror, pleasepleaseplease let Sammy be safe, anyone please anyone somebodypleaseHELPHIM-

 

The spirit laughed. 

 

Asshole.

 

The blonde rolled his eyes. Castiel, after intently watching Dean for a minute, asked, “So what does he - is he a he, I don’t know - feed on?”

 

Shifting nervously, Dean stared down at his hands, which suddenly became very interesting. “He..uh..he feeds on........death.”

 

The silence that ensued was excruciating. 

 

“Wow,” Cas said.

 

“‘Wow’? That’s all you have to say?”

 

“Well, what do you expect me to say? That’s my reaction. There’s a spirit that has merged you that feeds on death. Have you fed it?”

 

“No.”

 

Cas raised his eyebrows. “What are the consequences behind that?”

 

Dean thought of the slip earlier when he had spoken out loud instead of thinking, as well as the pain that he had felt in the beginning and the loss of control. “I...don’t know.”

 

Once more, there was a pause. Castiel finally spoke up. “We..could remedy that hunger.”

 

The blond man looked up sharply. “What?!”

 

Castiel sighed. “Demons are a big problem. They kill people and-”

 

“Angels kill people.”

 

“...Yes. But what if we went after the Demons, that gang on gang violence, as well as all the drugs and unnecessary death, would decrease exponentially.”

 

“Cas, are you suggesting that we team up and kill people?”

 

The Angel nodded. Dean frowned. “But that’s not me.”

 

Dean. This is a matter of life and death. Your life and death. Let me feed, or you will die.

 

Cas leaned closer to Dean and intently stared him in the eye. “Dean, there are unknown consequences if you don’t do this. You might just have to kill people. But don’t worry, I will help you.”

 

Dean put his head in his hands and thought for a moment before meeting Cas’ gaze once more.

 

“Alright. I’m in.”