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Map of the World companion

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Quotable and Notable

Throwing down the report, Cas stares at it, and Dean wonders uneasily if 'smite' might be an angelic leftover and if the coffee table is gonna be the sacrificed to discover it.

Abruptly, Cas meets his eyes, and Dean stills, breath caught in his chest at a glimpse of something vast and impossible; it's like drowning in the frozen depths of an infinite ocean.

"You think I have it now? From this?" Dean licks his lips, unsettled by the idea. "I don’t remember what happened that got me here. That's what's bothering you."
"It's on my list, yes," Cas says, giving Dean a short, annoyed glance. "And as I'm not the one who brought you here, there's no way to be certain."

...he's stuck in this jeep and now he can't stop thinking: Bobby, Castiel, the reservoir, everything that went so fucking wrong he doesn't even know where it started, and Jesus, that's the worst part, knowing that. He should have noticed, should have seen it coming, when he could have stopped it, when Castiel would have listened, when--Jesus, he's gotta stop this.

"You don't have a sex life," Dean corrects him as Cas goes into the bathroom. "You have several of them, and dude, come on. Five years ago, you were freaked out by a brothel, and now you're--" There really isn't a word for it, or at least, not one Dean thinks he should use when he's kind of forcibly immobilized in the guy's cabin. "Okay with it." When in doubt, go with a dramatic understatement.

It's also the longest they've gone--ever--that Cas didn't take some time to remind Dean how much he resents his existence here, and he wants a little more time before Cas remembers that he kind of hates him.

Dean wants to ask how they were really, if they were still friends, if they were anything but reluctantly bound by what Cas did for him and with him. It's tempting, with Cas sitting here like this in the quiet darkness, like he can ask and maybe he'll even get an answer.

"I can't even tell what pisses you off more," Dean whispers finally. "That he died, that I'm here and alive, or that you survived at all. Do you even know?"


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References

"Something about hoped for, uh, the evidence of--unseen?" "'The evidence of things not seen'," Cas says, looking pleased. "King James Bible, Cambridge Edition.” -regarding the name of the sigil

Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV)
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Commentary:
Cas chose this verse as the “name” of the sigils he created to hide Dean, to protect Dean. “Evidence of things not seen” - this is somewhat obvious (Dean is being rendered invisible, the sigils are “evidence” of an unseen Dean. But the first part is revealing as well - “substance of things hoped for” - an early indicator that Cas is not as hostile towards the new Dean as Dean perceives him to be. Cas always hopes for Dean. And this time, this Dean, is another chance. Backing up further - “faith”. Creating the sigils at all was an act of faith - they had never existed before and Cas didn’t know if they would work. But they did - hiding the evidence of things hoped for.
comment by aerialist inspired above musings


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Comment Excerpts
as of 2015-09-04

bratfarrar, seperis

“Remaking the flesh is simple; joining it to a human soul and giving it life is not.”

Perhaps this also explains a bit why demons seem to often wind up trashing "their" bodies, given that healing is an aspect of life? So, with enough power, they could theoretically keep sort of resetting the body, but they couldn't actually heal it. - bratfarrfar

So my theory--in this fic anyway--is that this is one of the angelic abilities that angels in Hell grafted onto their recreation of humanity in their own image when a demon takes a vessel; while the angel is within a vessel, it's damaged, but Grace can heal it. Demons in a meatsuit--check out the mirroring there?--get damaged, it's being held in time, basically. It's a very tiny thing, a localized temporal shift specifically linked to teh demon within the body.
In case you're curious, one of the ways Dean's fever could have gone way back when I was in the plotting stage was Cas summoning a demon in End!Dean's cabin and forcing them into Dean's body, thus setting Deans' body into stasis, to buy Vera more time between treatments to find one that worked. All ethical and horror thoughts aside, this would have worked very well and also led to a lot of very uncomfortable and sketchy thoughts about just how much End!Dean taught Cas, and not just in torture mechanics; on the surface, it looks like one thing, but on another, it's not the action itself that was nearly as sketchy as what it meant Cas not only thought like that, knew how to do it, but didn't hesitate to go through with it. -seperis


“If we could only be so lucky,” Cas murmurs, smiling slowly, and Dean feels himself smile back. “Power is less than useless without understanding its limitations.”

Aha--and here we have the first glimpse of Cas's little 'fuck you' to Lucifer. It's a nice, subtle touch: works quite well on the first read, but going back it has a whole lot more weight--and we know why, exactly, Cas is smiling. Dean probably thinks it's at the thought of Lucifer doing the job for them, but it's because Lucifer is already doing a job for them. -bratfarrfar

*g* Yep. To me, when re-reading all Dean and Cas's early interactions is how much of Cas's sense of humor is already showing up, and not entirely the bitter self-loathing part; part of Dean responding to Cas so well is when Cas is distracted from self-hate to stuff like this.. Sure, Dean doesn't get the joke, but he can tell the difference. Sure, Cas does indeed find baiting Lucifer genuinely funny as hell, but that's not bitterness; that's genuinely funny to him.

Part of the reason I switched on POV so early in Maps is because Cas from inside at this point is not even vaguely accurate on how he's reading Dean as person (except when he really, really is, which is how to piss him off; he's past master of that), which is why every so often you get from Dean's POV Cas's surprise (reading Maps from Cas's POV on this part, Dean would look insane to him, especially when Dean first makes an effort not to lose his temper with Cas, and then realizes that it really is both deliberate and reflexive, a defense mechanism; he can't figure out what the hell Dean is up to). -seperis