Cas waited for a second, then two. When he got to ten he forced one foot to step in front of the other, heart pounding and blood rushing to his feet. He was still angel enough that he could actually hear and see these things happening within his vessel.
On his diminishing angel form, his Ram head peered down at his human vessel and rolled his eyes at him. Trudging up the stairs, Cas fought the urge to flip his form, himself, off.
He wasn’t sure when the line had blurred but somewhere along the way, Cas came to feel like the human him was the real him whereas his form was this annoying shadow that followed him everywhere.
Even more specifically, the Ram was akin to an annoying older brother with know-it-all tendencies. Cas has never told a soul but he secretly thinks of his Ram head as Gabriel. The eye rolling, the snide below-its-non-existent breath running commentary, the “advise” that Cas ends up listening to way too often for his own liking.
He was halfway up the stairs when the Ram started.
It started going to the beat of every step Cas took, taking on a strange chant like quality.
He’d reached the top when the voice, having grown higher, not just in octave, but in volume makes Cas snap.
He all but shouts at himself, actually taking the time to turn his head up to look at it. It sneers down at him and bares its teeth in retaliation.
Cas fights the urge to hiss back at it. As much as he likes cats, he has to remember he’s not actually one.
The thrumming of irritation that sits just below his skin and is ever-present is the reason Cas ended up naming his Ram Gabriel.
It had happened in Apocalypse World, when he’d walked next to his older brother. Gabriel was as infuriating as ever, constantly “yanking his chain” (his words) about Dean.
Cas isn’t sure how Gabriel had known but suspects it was his Ram who “spilled the beans”.
Cas has a memory of having woken up once from a non-nap ( “I’m merely entering a meditative state, Dean.”) to find his Ram colluding with Gabriel’s significantly bigger Ram head.
For a second, Cas had stared. It was rare that Gabriel allowed his form out to play. Probably the millennia spent as a pagan god, keeping it hidden. That it was out now meant Gabriel was either comfortable in his surroundings or tired. Since Gabriel always seemed…itchy, fidgeting, like he wanted nothing more than to fly far far away, Cas guessed it was probably the latter.
Either way, it was “awesome” to see. Gabriel’s Ram had massive horns that curled in and around itself twice. It was beautiful and Cas had felt a little humbled by it until both heads had turned, looked down at him and proceeded to give him identical looks of derision.
Cas had groaned and turned over.
“What the hell, Cas?” Dean’s outraged shout brings Cas back to the present.
Cas has had enough.
His form is diminished enough that he knows it won’t harm Dean to see him. Not anymore.
He’s going to do what will probably empty the remaining grace reserves he’s so carefully been saving but in a rare fit of anger, Cas genuinely doesn’t care.
The world’s going to hell anyway. Or becoming hell. Whatever.
The only person who ever loved him is dead, at the hands of his own grandfather.
The only older brother Cas has ever cared about is dead (again). Cas doesn’t know why Gabriel hasn’t been given as many chances to live as he has. Knowing what he knows now, he thinks it’s probably Chuck’s retaliation for Gabriel having stopped believing in Him eons before. Out of all of us, he’s the one who had it right from the start, Cas thinks. Either way, it matters not. The point is, he’s gone. He’s gone and Cas is alone.
His other two once favored brothers, Samandriel and Balthazar are also dead, killed by his own blade.
Claire can barely stand to look at him, even now. Just like Dean. Cas understands the sentiment well. Most days he, too, can barely stand to look at himself.
And after this, the person he loves the the most is going to outright hate him.
“Who gives a shit?” The Rams asks, interrupting, always interrupting. But Cas smiles in return this time, a vast difference from the thinly veiled contempt he usually portrays.
He steps a little further into Dean’s space.
Who gives a shit, indeed.
Angel vessels only feel anything at all when the angel allows it.
Cas has always allowed his vessel to be malleable when Dean punches or pushes it. Of course, there was that one time, but Cas had healed his hand and changed his settings.
Right now he’s not budging an inch and the shock is written on Dean’s face.
Cas smiles and takes one step even closer, effectively boxing Dean in. He leans in just the slightest, adjusting himself against Dean’s body, taking note that even after all this time, his body still knows what to do and even more interesting, so does Dean’s.
Dean’s left leg spreads automatically even as his arms are up, against Cas’s chest, still trying to push him away.
Cas has the errant thought that he’s never really told Dean what angels can and can’t do and he figures now’s a good time as any since he’s probably never going to see him again.
“Did you know that an angel’s vessel can only be moved if said angel allows it?” He’s speaking lowly into Dean’s ear, enjoying Dean’s smell, feel and the sound of his body working, as it pumps Dean’s blood into his brain, heart, his…Cas smirks and gets closer, allowing his lips to brush up against Dean’s earlobe ever so lightly.
“I’m sure you’re thinking of all those times you managed it, you managed to push me, right?” He pauses and allows breath to exhale, ghosting over Dean’s most sensitive neck spot. The one Cas has never forgotten.
Dean shivers and Cas continues. “It’s because I let you, Dean. I allowed it so you wouldn’t hurt yourself.”
Dean’s earlobe is directly in his hot mouth and he knows Dean can feel it but he doesn’t close his mouth around it much as he wants to, much as he can feel Dean wants it. Instead he just leaves it there, leaves it to bask in the warmth of his mouth.
“And, of course, there was that time that I let you because I liked it.” He whispers this part.
This grabs Dean’s attention and he stiffens immediately.
“What are you talking about, Cas?”
Cas wonders the best way to do this when he feels the Ram smirk and he gives it a silent yes, a slight nod of his head. He’ll allow it to do what it wants.
“My name is Castiel.” The Ram introduces itself haughtily, looking down its nose at Dean.
Cas is busy, enjoying the smell of leather and gunpowder that so quintessentially Dean, but he’s still able to feel (and hear) the snap of Dean’s neck as he looks up. Cas looks inside Dean’s body and sees Dean’s nerve tested within itself.
“You hurt yourself Dean, here, allow me to take care of that for you.”
Cas presses forward until his lips touch Dean’s neck. He feels Dean jerk and he smiles. He remembers that jerk. Others, too.
“What are you doing, Cas?” Dean demands, a little choked but otherwise completely composed. Hmm, that simply won’t do.
Cas licks a small strip on Dean’s neck.
“Did you know that were I to lick you every angel would be able to smell it and know you belong to me?” The Ram asks, its voice deep and resonant.
“I belong to no one.” Dean retorts.
“The handprint on your shoulder says otherwise,” the Ram snaps back, rolling its eyes.
Dean’s heart speeds up and Cas feels his Ram cock his head.
“Did you know that every time your heart rate increases we can hear it? Every time your blood rushes to your…head (Cas smirks at the audacity of his Ram) we can hear it? Actually, if we want to, we can see it.”
“You’re saying you have x-ray vision?” Dean scoffs but now he sounds unsure.
Cas puts his hands on Dean’s waist to comfort him.
It has the adverse reaction.
“Don’t. Touch. Me.”
Cas freezes. Seems in his quest to make Dean remember, he forgot.
“Right.” He says, dropping his hands and taking a step back.
Dean is looking at the ground, an angry tick in his jaw and that rises Cas’s ire once again. He redoubles his efforts.
Dean meets his eyes.
It’s now or never.
Cas allows himself to grow bright, then brighter. If the Ram had startled Dean, it’s nothing compared to how he feels when he sees the rest of Cas become visible. There’s the Lion, his jaw in mid-roar although Dean can’t hear him, there’s also a bird. A Peregrine Falcon, Dean remembers. He’d learned it when Cas forced him to watch a documentary. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest of all birds.
To Dean’s shock, the Falcon seems to nod at him.
“Tis the reason we were ‘chosen’ to retrieve you from hell. We were the fastest angel in heaven, right behind Gabriel, of course, but that can’t be helped, he was the Messenger after all.”
Dean can’t see the air quotes or the indifferent shrug but he knows they’re there. He can feel them.
“You’re in my mind?” He asks, annoyed but also a little surprised. He didn’t think Cas could still do that.
The Lion snorts and waves his head, his mane flowing through the air.
“There are many aspects of us you didn’t like so Castiel turned us off. He’s allowed us to return, this last time.”
“What do you mean?” Dean inquires, on alert. It feels weird to be talking to Cas but not Cas.
“We’re using the last of our reserves. To introduce ourselves to you. We’re to recover a memory we hid.” It’s the Ram responding this time, tone dismissive as ever, and yeah, he’s definitely Dean’s least favorite.
“You messed with my mind?!”
“Had to. Turned out you couldn’t handle the truth.” The Ram responds snootily and condescendingly.
Dean’s about to tell the Ram to get fekked (and yes, he knows he’s essentially talking to Cas but separating his Cas from angel Cas has never been a problem.)
“Therein lies the problem.” The Lion says, frowning. He opens his mouth to speak again but the Falcon stops him with a quick shake of his head and looks at Dean instead.
Dean notices they’re flickering now.
Then there’s a whoosh and Cas’s forms seem to all suck into him. Cas’s head snaps up, eyes bright with grace, and Dean is able to catch a glimpse of his huge wings. They cover the entirety of the map room.
They stare at each other. Then Cas speaks.
It sounds like the voice of millions, melodious and lyrical, all speaking at once.
Dean hears, but he’s too busy watching Cas’s hand come up and snap to ask any questions.
Cas is gone.
It was the fifth of November. 2013.
Dean had just dropped off the Colonel with the hippie vegans and was walking out of the bakery when Cas called. He asked to meet Dean and although he felt a flash of irritation, he was busy, he’d agreed.
He dropped Sam off and met Cas at a hotel.
Cas kissed him, Dean’s legs parted and the rest was history. Or should have been, but the light of morning brought regret and anger.
Dean shouted at Cas that he wasn’t gay. It was significantly easier to yell at Cas in the light of day than it had been the previous night because Cas’s lips weren’t on his, weren’t on his most sensitive spots. And although, he swore he could still feel the weight of Cas’s thick cock on his tongue, it was, in fact, no longer there.
He was embarrassed at the long drawn out moans Cas had elicited from him when his tongue had dipped in and out of his rim in the most delicious way. Mad because he’d enjoyed it so much. Pissed because his ass hurt.
Cas had been a little rough and although Dean had enjoyed being man (or angel)- handled, especially since it had been done by his angel, he couldn’t help but wonder what Sam would say; had shuddered and internally recoiled at what his dad would have definitely said.
“I should have never answered your call.”
Cas’s face hardened and Dean had immediately wanted to take the words back. He opened his mouth but it was too late.
He woke up to Sam rapping on the window.
“Dean! Where were you? Did you sleep out here?”
Dean searched his memory bank and found nothing which only meant one thing.
He looked up and squinted at Sam, surprised at the lack of hangover.
He smirked. “Must have been a hell of a night, Sammy.” He sat up gingerly, Baby was hell on his bones, but again nothing hurt so Dean hopped right out.
He felt good. It was almost too much energy. He shook out his arms and bounced on his feet.
“You ok?” Sam asked, giving him a smile that said he clearly thought Dean was losing it.
“I’m better than good, Sammy.” Dean responded, clapping Sam on his back. “I don’t know what happened last night but it must have been good. Did the body good, know what I mean?” He winked lasciviously at his brother.
Sam rolled his eyes but smiled.
“Yeah, yeah, let’s go. I already checked us out.”
The next time Dean saw Cas he’d felt a weird inclination to give the angel a hug. But he didn’t. That was too chick-flicky and they didn’t do that unless someone was dying.
Still, something in his heart ached and he’d spent the rest of the day wondering why.
“Where’s Cas? I can’t find him.”
Dean jolts when Sam breaks Dean out of his newly resurrected memories. Dean looks at his brother. Eyes red-rimmed and puffy from losing Rowena. Bags under his eyes where he was tired from Rowena, Jack, mom, Gabriel and probably everyone else they’ve lost in their lives.
All for nothing.
“You Tired, Sammy?”
Sam straightens as the tone with which Dean is asking hits him- his question immediately forgotten.
Dean nods and puts down his whiskey, fingers tapping on the map table.
Finally, Dean looks at his brother.
“We’re not hunting after this. I’m tired too. I’m tired of ghosts, vampires, all the fucking boogeymen. There are other hunters, they can take care of the world now.”
“You promise?” Sam’s words are soft and remind Dean of four year-old Sammy, asking Dean if their dad was really coming back. If Dean was sure.
“Yeah, Sammy. We’re going to beat this son of a bitch. And when we do, we’re taking our angels and having Gabriel build us our own fully warded home. With hundreds of acres of land, full of all the animals you want, the bees Cas wants, whatever Gabriel wants, and without a single fucking monster. Fuck this popsicle stand.” He says, motioning to the bunker.
“Gabriel’s dead.” Sam replies, flatly.
Dean shrugs. “Who cares? We’ll bring him back anyway.” He sends a feral smile Sam’s way.
“This is our world, Sammy. Yours and mine. We make the fucking rules. If we say he comes back, then he comes back.”
Sam’s still for a moment.
Dean barks out a laugh, raises his glass and downs it.
“We live in each other’s back pockets, Sammy. How would I not?”
Finally, a smile (and smirk) break out on Sam’s face.
“I know too.”
Dean rolls his eyes. “I’d be more offended if you didn’t.”
“But I’m telling you,” he says, wrapping an arm around his little brother’s neck, yanking him closer in a mock threatening manner, “if that damn pixie does anything to my baby…”
The road and battle ahead will be the hardest and toughest Dean will ever face but Dean’s almost looking forward to it because the beginning of a battle always comes with an end.
And Dean has someone waiting for him.
Someone who rescued him from the pits of hell, who time and time again has rescued Dean even when it was from himself.
Now it’s time for Dean to return the favor.
He releases his brother and cracks his neck.
First stop: bring his and Cas’s son and his future brother-in-law, back. Jack and Gabriel have been gone far too long and Dean misses his kid…and yeah, ok, he misses Gabriel’s annoying ass too. I always did say he had style, Dean thinks mischievously. He thinks he’d like to engage the archangel in a friendly prank war. What could possibly go wrong?
But first things first.
He turns to Sam.
“The Empty. You ready to break in?”
Sam smiles at him.
Out of the two, Dean’s the one with the potty mouth but…
“I’m Sam fucking Winchester and you’re Dean fucking Winchester. We’ll see the abyss and it’ll see us and just like always, we’ll fucking kick it in the ass.”