Dean takes another shot of whiskey, enjoying the way that the alcohol burns low in his gut once it settles, adding not only a weight to his limbs that makes him feel unmovable, but also a fogginess to his mind that is supposed to help him block his wayward thoughts.
So far… it’s not working as well as he wants it to. It’s not even working as well as Dean expected it to, and considering the fact that Dean rarely expects much in ways of the world working in his favor…. That’s really not saying much.
He doesn’t want to think right now. He doesn’t want to give himself a chance to dwell on the events of the day. If he allows himself to think of everything that has happened, everything that he has learned, then he may end up connecting the dots, or putting the fucking puzzle pieces together, or whatever, and learning something more that he honestly would rather be kept in the dark about. And he thinks that he’s already learned enough, thank you very fucking much.
Almost against Dean’s will, thoughts of Cas, Castiel now, really, because it seems as if the Cas that Dean once knew is gone, or hidden away in a place where he can’t get to him, no matter how much he would like to, filter through Dean’s mind, and he groans, downing another shot of whiskey seconds later in hopes of drowning out his thoughts.
It doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t fucking work. The burn as it goes down is intense, and it should ease the emotions churning inside of him, but it only seems to make them worse. Because, as Dean sees it, the whole God damn world hates him, and seems fucking set on doing the opposite of what he wants, every fucking chance that it gets.
Dean groans again, laying his head down on the bar as he does so. He knows that he’s drawing some rather odd looks from the other people in the bar, but right now he can’t seem to make himself care. He shuts his eyes, hoping that that will somehow cease the course of his thoughts, but it only seems to make it worse, because now, not only is he thinking about Cas, he’s also seeing him in his head as well. He sees bright blue eyes and a messy, dark head of hair and a dirty trench coat. But more than that, he sees light (because Castiel may be making some stupid decisions, but that doesn’t mean that he’s bad. Castiel could never actually hold any darkness in him. He’s just… confused right now, and fucking stupid as hell…. But no, he’s not dark) and power and things that are both familiar and alien to him, all reflected in the way that Cas tilts his head, in the way that Cas squares his shoulders and clenches the jaw of his borrowed vessel (though, now that Jimmy was gone, dead, of course, did that make the body Cas’? Dean didn’t know. The whole thing was confusing.
Dean doesn’t want to think about this, but the more he tries not to, the more the thoughts seem set on tormenting him. He’s beginning to think that coming out to get plastered was a really bad idea. He should have just stayed at Bobby’s instead of going out on his own. After all, there is plenty of liquor there… but there’s also Sam, with his hesitant, sympathetic looks and his awkward (though Dean knows that they are meant to be comforting) touches, who seems to think that he understands. And there’s Bobby, with his gruff sympathy that barely masks his own sad I-told-you-so attitude. And there are also too many memories at Bobby’s. Dean just can’t bear being surrounded by them right now. It’s been almost three days. He needed some time away. He just... needs some time to not think; not that it’s working.
He slams his shot glass down hard enough to shatter it, though by some miracle (not that Dean actually believes in those anymore) it remains intact. After throwing some bills down onto the bar, he stands, and with strong, purposeful strides, he marches out of the bar, eyes trained upward before he even gets outside. He’s ready to do things he has sworn to himself that he wouldn’t.
“Cas,” Dean yells, eyes focused on the now dark sky as he does so. He imagines that he can see Heaven from here, not the Heaven that he had seen before, filled with nothing but what other’s long for, but of the Heaven that he imagines Castiel dwells in, full of beauty and chaos alike. “Cas, get your feathery ass down here, now! And don’t give me any of that bullshit on how your ass doesn’t have feathers! I don’t want to hear it! Get the fuck down here Cas! Now! I need to talk to you!”
“Must you be so loud,” a voice asks from behind Dean, making shivers run up and down the hunter’s spine. Every fucking time, he thinks, whirling around to face the angel. This happens every fucking time he hears Cas’ voice.
“Yes, I must be loud,” Dean growls, and for once, it’s him that gets up into Cas’ personal space, getting into the angel’s face as he speaks. “I really must. Now, do you have any fucking clue as to why I called you down here?”
“No Dean,” Cas says, and a long suffering sigh follows his words, as it he’s speaking to a child, as if Dean is warring on his every nerve and making him lose his patience. “Contrary to popular belief (and Dean has a moment to wonder where Castiel had learned that phrase from) I cannot ‘get into your head’ (he actually uses air quotes as he says this). So you will have to enlighten me. What is it that you are in need of now? I thought that you had already stated that we are now on opposite sides, or something of that nature….” Cas looks so unbearably sad when he says this, like he’s a small puppy who has been kicked and casted aside one too many times, but the look is gone almost as soon as it had appeared, being replaced with Castiel’s usual blank expression, and Dean tells himself that he imagined it as Cas says, “And remember, my time is not time that should, nor can, be wasted. I have more… trying matters to deal with, at the moment.”
Dean growls once more, low and fierce in his throat. He feels rage boiling up in him, hot and quick, or maybe it’s more sharp and lethal, and suddenly, it’s as if he has no control over his body. He’s just so mad, so infuriated, livid and angry and a bit scared and maybe just a little bit broken inside, all to a point that only Cas has ever managed to get him to reach. He’s not thinking clearly when he lunges forward, barreling into Cas hard enough to make Dean have the breath knocked right out of his lungs. He’s winded on contact, and Cas doesn’t even budge, doesn’t seem affected at all, but Dean doesn’t care. He can’t care. He grabs onto the lapels of Cas’ trench coat, barely aware of the fact that he’s gripping the cheap fabric hard enough to tear it, and shakes the angel, or tries to.
“What are you doing Dean,” Cas asks flatly, standing stock still as Dean jerks back and forth on his feet, trying with all his might to just… get Castiel to fucking move already, and only managing to succeed in moving himself around like some sort of rag doll. Cas looks impatient again, and a bit alarmed as well, like he can’t, for the life of him, understand what it is that Dean is trying to do, or maybe he does understand what Dean is trying to do, and he just can’t figure out why. “Is this what you called me down here for; so that you can manhandle me?”
“Don’t get smart with me,” Dean snarls, not even truly aware of the fact that his nose is just a hair’s breath away from Cas’ as he does so. “You really do not want to test me right now.”
“I believe that you are forgetting which one of us is the one who is more powerful,” Cas says, and anyone would be able to hear the threat that lies
beneath his words. Dean, of course, ignores it, and presses himself closer to Cas, eyes flashing with rage.
“Oh, I know just how fucking powerful you are, Castiel,” Dean says, a sneer present on his mouth. “It’s not like you ever let me forget it, is it? You remind me all the fucking time that you’re an Angel of the Lord, a Lord that, should I remind you, bailed on all of us and doesn’t seem to give a fuck.”
“Watch yourself Dean,” Cas warns, blue eyes flashing with something dangerous. His pink lips form a thin line across his face. “This is not a subject that you should tread into while you are intoxicated.”
“Oh, so I’m intoxicated,” Dean snarls, his lips curling in distaste. “Buddy, you have no idea what intoxicated looks like, not really.”
“And what would you call what you are now,” Cas asks, sounding more exasperated than curious.
Dean barks out a laugh. “Pissed the fuck off,” he says, though other words are flashing through his head, like they’re calling to him. Words like hurt and betrayed and fucking cut open, torn to pieces and left to survive on his own without a much needed limb or organ. He feels all of these things well up inside of him, clogging his throat for a moment, and he releases Cas’ trench coat, steps back, and without thinking about it, draws his hand back to slam his fist into Cas’ perfectly straight nose.
“Fucking owwww,” Dean says a moment later, and Cas looks at him, all wide blue eyes and amazement, before he grabs Dean’s arm, and suddenly they are no longer in the middle of a parking lot outside of some crappy little bar. Fact is, Dean has no idea where the fuck they are, his vision blurring due to pain, and his hand hurts too much to think about it. He curls it into a loose fist, the fingers of his other hands forming a protective barrier around it, and holds it against his chest.
Castiel shakes his head, just a fraction of an inch from right to left. “You would think that, due to prior experience, you would be wise enough to know better than to try to use force to get your point across, at least when you are dealing with me.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Dean hisses, gritting his teeth together to keep from whimpering in pain. He is not some weak ass girl who can’t throw a decent punch, dammit.
“Such disrespect,” Cas mutters, and he reaches out, laying his own long fingered hand on top of both of Dean’s. “Perhaps it will be better if I merely leave you in pain and allow you to experience the consequences of your own stupidity.”
“Do whatever the fuck you want,” Dean growls out. “It’s not like you aren’t already. It’s not like you don’t now. I don’t fucking care Cas. Just leave if that’s what you want to do.”
“Dean,” Cas attempts to interrupt, sounding stern. Dean ignores him though, and wrenches away from the angel’s light grip on his arm. Where, seconds before, Dean felt as if he couldn’t get close enough to Cas, felt as if he had to be close to deliver his message, not he feels like he can’t get far enough away.
“I don’t know how the fuck you are capable of being so calm right now,” Dean growls, his voice filled with resentment. “After everything that has happened in the last few days, after everything you have done… after the choice that you made… how can you stand here now? How can you face me and act as if nothing has happened.”
Something flashes across Castiel’s face, something that looks a bit broken and scared and hurt, making him look almost human for a moment, but it’s gone a second later, and Cas’ eyes go cold. “I am fighting a war,” he growls, his face twisted in righteous fury. “A war that, need remind you, must be won by me if there is any chance to save humanity. Do you think that I enjoy doing what I have been doing? Do you think I like working with a demon? No Dean, I do not. But it is necessary. Just as it was necessary for you to work with the same demon in order to stop the Apocalypse. Now I must work with him in order to stop history from repeating itself. I have no choice Dean! Rafael must be stopped, and I am not strong enough to do it as I am!”
“But Cas…” Dean cuts in, feeling wrung out. His shoulders slump and his head bows as he regards his friend. “Cas…. This isn’t the way… it’s…. It’s wrong Cas… how….”
“I have grown tired of explaining myself to you,” Castiel tells Dean, staring him right in the eyes, supernatural blue clashing with vibrant green. “I can do no more for you then I have already Dean. I tried to explain things to you, I tried to set things right between us, but you would not hear me out. You believe that there are only rights, and only wrongs, that there are only goods and evils, but that is not so. And to win this war, I cannot be what you so desperately need me to be. I am sorry I have disappointed you Dean, but what I am doing must be done. As I said before; I am doing this for you. I see no other way.”
And that, right there, Castiel’s calm explanation, made something snap inside of Dean. Eyes flashing, he lunged forward, he hands clenching into the lapels of the angel’s coat as he crowded into his personal space (not that Cas knew the meaning of such a thing), his own crooked nose pressed up against his friend’s. “You…” he gritted his teeth, not sure how to go on for a moment, before continuing, voice on the verge of being too high. He didn’t care though. If there was ever a time to yell, now was it. “You aren’t allowed to do this Cas! Not you! You’re supposed to be… fuck, you’re supposed to be the only constant in my life, don’t you understand that? You can’t… you can’t go around tainting yourself, or whatever… you can’t let me lose faith in you. If you do, what the fuck do I have left? Cas… you can’t… you’re the only thing I’ve been able to have continuos faith in, even when I wanted to beat the crap out of you. You’re good Cas.” Dean told him, before stepping away suddenly, his arms falling to his sides. “You… you’re supposed to be good.” He sounded almost defeated as he said this, as if the energy that had been keeping him going his entire life had suddenly been zapped out of him, leaving him dry and weak. Normally, he’d refuse to allow anyone to see him like this. But with Castiel… well, the angel had always been able to worm his way past his defenses.
Castiel, ever calm, solemn Castiel, met his eye, looking conflicted. “I believe that that puts a great deal of pressure on me,” he finally said, voice sounding deeper than usual.
Dean huffed out a humorless laugh, his fists clenching and unclenching at his side. And damn, he was just starting to remember how much his hand hurt like hell, now that the whole adrenaline rush had faded down a bit. He probably should have let Castiel heal him earlier. Damn him and his pride. “Yeah, well you’re an angel of the Lord. You’re God’s favorite, for fucks sakes. I could kill you now (no, I couldn’t; not now or ever, Dean silently thinks, so please, please, please don’t put me in a position where I may have to) and I bet he’d just bring you back to life, good as new, or even better than before. You’re…”
He cut himself off. He had bared his soul enough tonight. He didn’t think he could say anything more; not now. He already felt like he was growing tits. Christ, he was all but pleading, and that just wouldn’t do. “You know what dude? I just… I can’t. You’re fucking us all over, and for what? To make your life easier? You could have come to us. Me and Sammy and Bobby… we would have helped. Instead, you went to a demon. Fine then.” He turned, ready to walk away. He didn’t know what he was thinking, calling Castiel down here. He’d blame this whole episode on the alcohol.
“Dean,” Cas called, when the hunter had managed to get a good fifteen yards away. “Dean!” he said again, when he found no response.
Dean stopped, but he didn’t turn. “What?”
“I do not know if I can be what you wish me to be,” the angel responded, and suddenly he was in front of Dean, his blue eyes as wide and solemn as ever.
Dean met those eyes with his own, after a moment of hesitation. “Yeah, well… all any of us can ever do is try, right?”
If Castiel was one to smile, Dean imagined that he would be smiling now. “Right,” he agreed, and laid his hand over Dean’s injured one again, healing him with gentle warmth. “I suppose I owe it to you to try then.”
Dean grinned, just a little bit. Because things weren’t fixed. Far from it, really. Everything was still pretty chaotic and disastrous. But that was a regular occurrence.
He could grin though, because /his/ Cas was standing in front of him, not the cold soldier he had been encountering on a regular basis lately. “I suppose you do,” he agreed, before finally looking around. “Now… where the hell are we?”
This time, there was no mistaking the look on the angel’s face for anything other than a smile. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” he responded, and whoa, he looked pretty mischievous at the moment. What the hell? Before Dean could get over his surprise, Cas was grabbing him and they were off, zapping back to Bobby’s.
So things weren’t fixed, not completely, but they were on their way to getting there, sort of, and Dean could live with that.
Though it wouldn’t stop him from yelling at Cas when he was unable to shit properly for the next few days.