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Cas braced for impact as he hit the floor. He kicked at the monsters chest and tried to grab his angel blade, which was a few feet away from him. Sam and Dean had let him come on this hunt out of pure need. Cas was human, and Dean hadn’t wanted him to come with them, since he could get hurt. But Cas had insisted. And now he was being fought by a blue, tattooed humanoid holding a needle. Sam had said they needed extra help, since there was a pack of these ‘Djinn’. Castiel didn’t know what they did, but he was sure that they were dangerous, if the Winchesters needed extra help.
Just as his fingers brushed the handle of his blade, there was a burning, pinching sensation in Cas’ neck. He whimpered and slapped his hand over the area, only to feel a large needle sticking out. Suddenly, his body went numb, and he wasn’t able to move. He tried desperately to fight the djinn, but he couldn’t. Before he knew it, Cas’ hands were chained above him, and his vision was going dark.
Spot danced in his vision as he tried to call for help. “Dean!” he rasped. “Dean! S-Sam!” Cas was feeling dizzy. “I need…needs’m…h-help..” The dirty warehouse was spinning as he tried to keep conscious, but everything was getting dark, and the monster in front of him was grinning. “Don’t worry your little head.” It growled. “You’re a delicacy.”
——
Cas opened his eyes a few minutes later, seeing fluffy, white sheets surrounding him. Maybe he was in the hospital at the bunker. Dean was going to kill him for getting caught. “mmm…Dean? Sam?” Something stirred under the blankets next to him. “huh?” said a voice, sounding like the person speaking was still asleep. The blankets moved aside to reveal Dean, wearing a ratty old band t-shirt. “Hey, honey. G’mornin’” he spoke, rolling over and kissing Cas’ cheek. The former angel blushed and sat up. “W-What are you doing? Are you…Dean, are you intoxicated?” Dean made a face. “What? I’m not allowed to kiss my husband?” Cas’ eyes widened. “Husband?!” Dean looked almost hurt. “Yeah, we’ve been married for eight years. Do you feel alright, sweetie?” Castiel just blinked. Was this a dream? This couldn’t be real.
“I’m fine. What happened with the Djinn?” Maybe Dean was just drunk. Yes, that had to be it. “Djinn? Like a genie? Honey, I think you must’ve had a bad dream. You know things like that aren’t real.” Cas was shaking. Was this real? Was it? Even a drunk Dean would remember the existence of monsters. This was definitely happening, he could feel the blankets, he could feel Dean’s hand on his cheek.
When he looked around the room, he found that it didn’t look like the bunker. It was quaint and bright, and there was a cherry tree outside the window. Dean looked concerned. “Hey, why don’t we just go eat breakfast? I’ll make you pb&j, okay?” He ran a hand through Cas’ hair. Castiel found himself melting into the touch. “A-Alright…” He climbed out of bed and went downstairs with Dean. He was in a beautiful farmhouse, just the right size for a family.
Cas was sitting, bewildered, in the kitchen, when he heard the patter of little feet running down the stairs. He made to reach for the gun that Dean had given him the other day, but it wasn’t there. Now that he looked, he noticed that he was wearing one of Dean’s AC/DC shirts, and a pair of long pajama pants. What the hell was going on?
A toddler ran into the kitchen, holding his arms out to Dean. “DADDY!” The child screamed, grinning. Dean picked up the toddler with a smile. “Aw, morning, little man! You’re up early today, Jack.” The kid giggled and buried his face in Dean’s oversized shirt. Cas opened his mouth, and his face melted into a smile. Suddenly, he felt…at home. He didn’t know where he was, or what was happening, but it was great. He certainly didn’t want to leave. He didn’t even feel like investigating anymore. So far, he had everything he wanted. He was a father to Jack, he was living a quiet, suburban life, and it was with Dean.
“Hello…Jack. Good morning.” He walked over and pat Jack’s head. The toddler giggled again and reached for Cas. “Papa! Guess what?” Castiel blinked, and smiled at him. ‘Papa’ He liked that. “Yes? What?”
“I dreamt that you, and daddy, and Uncle Gabe, and Uncle Sammy, and me went on a big trip to the beach!” He smiled. Cas bit his lip. Gabriel was alive? “That’s great, kiddo.” Dean proclaimed. “We’re not gonna go to the beach, but Uncle Gabe and Sammy will be over today.” He handed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to Cas.
——
That day, Cas walked through the house, exploring. He found pictures from his and Dean’s wedding, pictures of the day that Jack was adopted. One of his favorites was a large, framed photo of him, Gabriel, Dean, and Sam at a bar. Gabriel was falling off of his chair, Sam was trying to catch him, Dean was laughing, and Cas was kissing his cheek. When Sam and Gabe came for lunch, Dean grilled burgers in the backyard, and they talked until it was Jack’s bedtime. Cas learned that Sam and Gabriel were together, and lived a few miles down the road.
He also learned that nobody knew about the existence of monsters. It was strange.
———
Back in the real world, Dean was pacing anxiously in their motel room. “No, Sam, you don’t get it!” He cried, turning around to glare at his brother. “Cas is gone, and he’s probably hurt, if not DEAD! I can’t lose anyone else, Sam! I lo-“ He stopped. “I need him, okay?”
Sam looked up from his book. “I know, Dean. I’m researching. I’m trying to find out where he could be. You gotta take some deep breaths or something, man.” Dean, for once, obeyed. He sat on his bed and took a breath, holding his head in his hands. “Sammy… I don’t know…Do you remember when I got captured?” His brother nodded. “I saw things, LIVED things. It made me want to stay, forever. He’s probably seeing things too, and the only way for him to escape is to-to…kill himself.” He flopped back on the bed.
“Himself in the dream. That was how I escaped. And if we take him off the Djinn’s poison, He won’t wake up at all. He’ll just die.” Sam sighed. “I know all of that, Dean. I was the one who told you those things.” Dean sat up abruptly. “Is the love of your life being bled and poisoned, Sam?! I don’t think so! So stop being a-a fuckin’…a..” he trailed off, curling back up on the bed. Sam just watched silently, dumbfounded. Had Dean actually just admitted to liking- no, LOVING Cas?
Dean lay on the bed, wrapped in a scratchy motel blanket for nearly an hour, before finally rolling over to look at Sam. “Hey, uh…” he sat up. “I’m sorry, I was being kinda mean earlier. And I didn’t mean that thing about Cas. It’s not romantic, it’s just ‘cause he’s my best friend so I love him, and-“ Sam stopped him before he could dig more of a hole for himself. “No. I get it. If this happened to Jess, or Eileen, or anyone else that I love, for that matter, i’d be going crazy. I’m sorry, okay? We’ll find him, I promise.” Dean nodded solemnly. “Okay, Sammy. Okay.”
———
Cas had been living in his dream world for a year. Or at least, what he perceived as a year. Time moves differently in djinn-induced dreams. One day to normal people was roughly a month to Cas. Cas woke up that morning and went downstairs, making Dean a coffee, like he always did. His husband was still sleeping in bed, with Jack laying on his chest. He had arrived in the middle of the night, saying that there was a monster in his closet. Cas had checked the entire house thoroughly, but found nothing.
As he stood in front of the coffee machine, Cas heard knocking. He yawned and walked into the mud room, opening the old oak door. “Good morning. Did you need something?” He asked politely. A discombobulated man stood in front of him, suddenly grabbing his shoulders. “Wake up! You have to wake up! You have to die! Use the knife!” he pointed across the room at the knife block. And suddenly, he was gone. Just a wisp of smoke in the breeze. And for some reason, Cas wanted to obey. He walked to the block and picked out a butcher’s knife, cleaning it on his shirt. He stared at the blade, before pointing it to his chest and taking a deep breath. As he readied himself to push in, there was a scream.
“CAS! Christ on a cracker, what are you doing?!” Dean rushed down the last few steps and pulled the knife from Cas’ hand. The blade grazed his palm, slicing it open. “Oh, Oh no.” Dean murmured. As blood began to steadily drop from his hand, Cas saw something. Something else.
A dark, dirty room. Maybe a basement. He could see a bag of what looked like blood hanging next to him. And a man, a scary man approaching him. Cas’ eyes snapped open, and he saw Dean again. He made up a lame excuse for what he was doing, really thinking about the room with the blood. The man was familiar. He had fought him before.
———
It had been 12 days now, and Dean was not doing well. The Winchesters had examined every abandoned place in a 50 mile radius, and found nothing. Dean knew that by now, Cas was dead, or at least mortally wounded.
However, while Dean drank at the local pub, he’d seen the news. Staff members were going missing at the local history center, located inside an old, large mansion. Cas could be there. The Djinn could be there. He had to find Sam.
Dean rushed out to the car, before he could pay the bartender. He started the car and gunned it towards the motel that him and Sam were staying at. “Sam!” he threw open the door as soon as he arrived. “Sam, I know where Cas is! And the…the other people, of course. Sam smiled. “Yeah? Well, let’s go.”
When the two of them arrived at the museum, it was past closing time. Sam picked the lock, and they went in. Sam searched the upstairs and ground floor, while Dean looked throughout the basement. He found a locked wooden door, and broke it so that he could enter. Inside, the last remaining Djinn of the pack was waiting for him. Along the wall, there were five bodies hanging from chains around their hands. They had two IVs in each of their necks, and were unconscious. And the body all the way on the left…it was Cas. “Sammy! I found ‘em!” he called, before pulling his angel blade.
The Djinn ran towards him with another needle, but Dean slashed his cheek open before he could do anything. When the monster slowed down to check the cut, Dean thrust the blade into it’s chest. The monster spluttered for a moment, before it’s tattoos glowed brightly and it fell to the floor. That was when Sam came in. “Jesus, Dean, that was…was…oh, shit.” He trailed off, seeing the bodies. Three were clearly dead, one of the corpses already rotting. The next man was larger, and messy-looking. He was also wearing a museum uniform. And Cas. Cas was looking rough. He was incredibly pale, and clearly unconscious. Sam could count seven full blood bags on the floor, and one that was actively being filled.
Dean ran forward, staring down at the blood bags. He picked one up. ‘250 mL’. “Sam! What’s 1000 divided by 250?” Sam raised an eyebrow. “Really? You need help with that?” Dean glared at him. “It’s four. Four. Why?” Dean stared at the bags. “That’s almost two liters. Shit, Sam. That’s not…He could be dead…” He reached up a hand and felt Cas’ neck. The first thing he noticed was how cold he was. His skin was like ice. That was a bad sign. Then he felt for a pulse. It took Dean nearly a minute to find it, but it was there. He untied Cas hands and lay him on the ground carefully.
Dean then carefully pulled out the needle on the left, since that was the one draining Cas’ blood. The small wound began to dribble blood weakly. If Cas had his normal amount of blood, there would be an unreasonable amount pouring out. He had already lost so much. Dean covered the wound with the sleeve of his flannel.
The other needle was attached to a bag of blue-ish sludge, which was slowly draining into Cas’ neck. The Djinn’s poison. If Dean was correct with his knowledge of the lore, the needle would fall out if Cas rejected the dream world. “C’mon, Cas…Come on, please.”
———
Over the next week in the dream world, Cas realized that the man was the Djinn, who had been the last person he saw in the real world. He knew that he had to get back. Something was very wrong. It was the middle of the night when he made his way downstairs, to the kitchen. He grabbed the same butchers knife as before, and took a deep breath. When he held it up to his neck, there was a crack. Dean was standing next to him. And there was little Jack. And Sam, and Gabriel.
“Babe, you don’t have to leave. You can stay with us. With me. Don’t you like it here?” Dean placed a hand on his shoulder. “Yeah. Cassie, y’know, I’m not even in the real world anymore. I wanna hang out with you. You want to see me!” Gabriel elbowed him. Cas screwed his eyes shut. “You- You aren’t real. None of you are.” He pressed the blade to his throat, tears welling up in his eyes from the pain.
“We are if you want us to be! Look what you could have!” Dean cried. And then the worst part. Jack tugged at Cas’ pant leg, starting to cry. “Don’t go papa! Stay!” he said. At that, Cas gritted his teeth, and made a quick, efficient slicing movement. At first, there was nothing. Then blood began to bubble from the deep cut. Cas choked and fell to the ground. The last thing he saw was Dean, shaking his head. He was disappointed.
———
A minute or so after Dean had laid Cas on the ground, the second needle clattered to the floor. Dean cheered and shook Cas lightly. “Hey, buddy, c’mon!” Castiel did not move. Dean felt for a pulse. It was gone. “Fuck, fuck…” Dean launched into CPR as fast as possible. He pushed on Cas’ chest a few times, before bending down to his mouth. He took a deep breath…and pressed their lips together, breathing into Cas. He didn’t wake. Dean repeated his actions. This time, when he connected their lips, Cas’ eyes flew open. Dean pulled away at breakneck speed. Cas was panting, not moving. He coughed, with his eyes barely open. “Dean…? What…are…” he slowed down again, closing his eyes. “I, uh…c-can’t….talk right now. Need to…take a nap.”
“Nope! C’mon buddy, Sam’s calling an ambulance now. You gotta stay awake.” Cas nodded vaguely. “a-alright…”
———
Cas was in the hospital for nearly three weeks. He got a blood transfusion, and needed to get the poison flushed from his system. Dean visited every day, even sleeping at the hospital a few nights. Whenever Cas was conscious enough for real thought, he was thinking. Thinking about the world that the Djinn had put him in. What could have been if he would’ve stayed? He could’ve had what he truly wanted.