Author: Hella PM
One-Shot. Coda for 5x14. Sam rides out the punishing effects of his own personal famine binge, and Castiel offers what support he can to the imprisoned Winchester.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Castiel & Sam W. - Words: 1,473 - Reviews: 49 - Favs: 180 - Follows: 7 - Published: 02-13-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5741238
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Characters: Sam, Castiel
Summary: Coda for 5x14. Sam rides out the punishing effects of his own personal famine binge, and Castiel offers what support he can to the imprisoned Winchester.
Sam's screams echo in Castiel's ears. Desperate, panicked, agonising. Pleading for anything; anyone. Just to make it stop.
Castiel is an angel; it is nigh unbearable to listen to someone suffering so badly, and yet he is unable to do a thing to stop it. His words earlier had convinced neither himself nor Dean that what Sam was experiencing in there was any less real. Necessary, yes. But that was small consolation when the screaming on the other side of that iron vault door eventually dissolved into broken sobbing.
Rationally, he knew he could not lessen the effects of the demon blood exiting Sam Winchester's system. It would neither help nor hinder the tormented man on the other side of the door if he were to simply leave. And yet, he felt he owed it to him to stand there; his solitary vigil the only witness to his suffering.
Dean had been outside since nearly the beginning. Castiel did not begrudge him his escape, but the lack of conversation between them amplified the anguished cries inside the locked vault. Each broken plea for Dean, Dean, Dean was like broken glass against his skin. For Dean was not there.
And then Sam's attention shifted.
"Cas? Cas please, please. Just get me out, I can--I mean, I can't--you, you've gotta help me, Cas! Help me. Please. It hurts, Cas."
Staring at the wall, eyes unblinking and his body as unmoving as a statue, Castiel listened to his human friend begging for him to save him. But he could do nothing. Guiltily, Castiel reflected that the only time he could ever have done such a thing was when he'd retained his full powers. And what course of action had he taken last time this situation had occurred? He had released Sam Winchester for the purpose of killing Lilith.
This time, he would do the right thing. He would witness this, and he would guard Sam. For there was no one else there who could stand to do it.
After a time, the wretched screaming began again. And after an hour or more, something else - something that made the angel's borrowed heart pound in his chest.
Castiel was inside the demonic vault -for that was all it was, really- between one fearful heartbeat and the next, barely seeing the contorted arch of Sam's back and his tear-streaming eyes before his hand slammed over the pleading human's mouth, trapping whatever he'd been about to say behind warm skin and the burn of his gaze.
"You must not, Sam. If you invoke him, here, and now. . .it will not matter whether you are senseless or not. Consent is consent, Sam."
But Sam's attention had switched again, his fever-bright eyes fixed and intense on the diminished angel, tears spilling anew in exhausted trickles over his temples. Restrained on the thin pallet like he was, he resembled an asylum patient, tormented by ghosts no other could see. Should Lucifer pay him a sleeping visit while he was in this state. . .it could be disastrous.
Eyes still heavy and full of pathetic recognition, Sam began to speak behind Castiel's restraining hand.
"You will survive this, Sam," Castiel told him, without ever removing his silencing palm. "You resisted in the face of your greatest hunger, because you knew where it would lead. You must not falter now." Carefully, he rested his other palm against Sam's damp forehead, feeling the unnatural heat that was likely feeding him his visions.
Eyes rolling up in his head, Sam said something else, but Castiel still refused to move his hand. Abruptly stretching out his hands inside the meagre give of his bonds, Sam only managed to catch hold of the edge of the angel's trenchcoat. But he gripped it, his knuckles white with strain, and pulled as agony gripped his body again.
This time, Castiel saw it; the almost panicked dart of Sam's eyes as the pain crested, ripping through his body like great claws, tendons straining in his neck as he rode it out, if only because he had to. Sweat dotted his skin and he thrashed and moaned and shouted with his torn and broken voice, and Castiel saw it all.
And he could never have abandoned him to his fate. Not now. And so, as the minutes turned into hours and the night deepened into pitch silence, Castiel began to pray.
"Pater Noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum. . ."
It was cold comfort to Sam, Castiel was sure. What had the Almighty Father done for him, in all his suffering? Were he anything like Dean in that regard--
Sam's head turned beneath the angel's restraining hand, gasping for breath in moist warm puffs of air against his palm. Cheek pressed into the thin pillow now, eyes brimming with involuntary tears, Sam's gaze found Castiel's between one word and the next, and managed to speak.
". . .e-et dimitte nobis debita nostra. . .sicut et nos, dimittimus debitoribus n-n-nostris. . ."
Castiel stared in wonder, in awe as the broken boy-man before him, in all his torment could still recite the Lord's Prayer, in latin, and recite it with such fervent plea that the angel wondered for a moment how Lucifer could ever inherit him as his fated vessel, in whatever future or reality lay ahead of them. Sam had faith - he believed and possessed a strength that shook Castiel to his wounded and diminished core. How he had ever overlooked this, he was unsure. It seemed that he had been taking his orders far too literally, even now, when rebellion was whispered in tandem with his name amongst heaven's angels. Dean Winchester was not the only human who had needed to be saved.
Sam was gasping for breath now, great whooping gusts of air that sounded almost painful to drag inside his exhausted body. But he seemed to be calming for the moment, some of the clarity returning to his eyes. Whether the blood was working itself out of his body or the prayer had actually restored his mind some, Castiel didn't know. But he was thankful. The fist gripping his coat weakened and went slack, freeing him from the restraining tether of Sam's hand. Still, he did not move away. Instead he hesitated a moment before lowering himself to perch uncomfortably beside Sam's hip, where Castiel might observe as Sam Winchester finally found something resembling rest.
The sun was rising when the peephole clanged open, and Dean's bloodshot eyes peered into the room.
"Sammy? Holy--Jesus Cas what the hell are you doing in there? He could have done anything while he was. . ." Green eyes squinted at him in the brightening dawn light. "Dude. Are you holding his hand?"
"His pulse is steadier now," Castiel intoned, unruffled by the suspicion in Dean's voice. "The worst of it has passed. It appears he simply needs to sleep. I will watch him."
Dean's surprised silence said much, but the relief in his voice said more. "That'd--yeah. Yeah, okay. I need a bit of shut-eye myself."
"At least four hours," Castiel replied, recalling a certain discussion of such parameters Dean had insisted upon. He would give him ten; Dean had been through much recently. "Sleep well, Dean."
The grumbled reply and subsequent screech of the peephole closing were faint in the angel's ears, since his attention had been stolen by a single sight as he turned back to his sleeping charge.
Sam's smile was faint and trembling, but it was real and spoke of much gratitude. Castiel found his shoulders relaxing at the sight of it, a coil of tension in his chest unwinding. He would recover; Sam would be fine.
"You," Sam started, before licking his lips and trying again, "you smell like burgers."
Castiel blinked at him. This was not the thanks he had been expecting. And yet, the incongruous warmth in the tired observation somehow made him return that faint smile with one of his own.
"Yes," he agreed, and watched that smile grow with the bloom of sudden, desperately grateful affection. "Now you must sleep, Sam."
Castiel watched the curve of his mouth until it slackened with exhaustion, content to wait the long hours keeping his vigil by his side. He supposed that this was something a friend would do, after all.
. . .because maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me. . .