|Consequences of Action
Author: kasey8473 PM
AU: God has come home, the angels are in big trouble, Lucifer's playing on earth, and 2014 isn't…exactly what Zachariah showed Dean. Dean/Risa, Castiel/Jo CompleteRated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Dean W. & Castiel - Chapters: 16 - Words: 102,408 - Reviews: 48 - Favs: 41 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 06-11-10 - Published: 04-15-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5898960
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Consequence of Action
Summary: AU: God has come home, the angels are in big trouble, Lucifer's playing on earth, and 2014 isn't…exactly what Zachariah showed Dean. Dean/Risa, Castiel/Jo
Rating: T -- rating changed from 'M'.
Disclaimer: Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke. No disrespect is intended.
Notes: Not ready to leave 'The End' quite yet and wanted to try something a little different with it. Please be patient for updates. I've got a lot going on the next couple months IRL. My goal is weekly updates, but they could be quicker or even slower.
Daniel 4:35 (NIV) : All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
It wasn't a good day to be an angel.
Their Father was home and he was pissed. To put it mildly.
"What have you done?"
The question rang loud in the heavens, though it wasn't said in a way that indicated ignorance of their actions, but rather a full-blown knowledge of exactly what they'd done, to whom, and why. It was said to make them think and truly understand their actions, the same way He'd asked Adam 'where are you' in the Garden that day long ago. It wasn't for His benefit, but theirs.
They pulled up ranks in a full-blown panic, returning home so fast and with so much confusion, that their head count was a little off and not discovered by them until much later.
Sometimes Michael hated being the oldest.
He had watched as the upper ranks of angels were made to wait while their Father questioned the lower ranks. None of the lower ranks knew anything. The Apocalypse had been all the idea of the upper ranks.
Michael knew as well as all of them that their Father didn't need to question any of them. He already knew everything -- their reasons, their rationalizations, who was involved and on what side. Everything. There was not a single thing He didn't know.
This waiting was a lesson to them. Everything in His time, not theirs.
And so Michael watched and waited for their turn before Him.
He saw the lower ranks sent back to work beginning in 2012, the Cupids among those sent back down. One of them was taken aside, given 'special assignments' that had the particular Cupid giggling and overjoyed. Michael wondered about those assignments. Who was so special that matches had to be arranged immediately? While he had suspicions on one, he was uncertain on the others. He pondered that and paced slowly, observing his brothers and sisters, noting each reaction to the waiting game.
Raphael was in a state of shock, having not stopped repeating, "He really came home," over and over since they'd been ordered home. He remained despondent, not comforted even by that long awaited return of their Father.
Zachariah had developed a nervous tick and muttered much the same way Raphael did, only his refrain was along the lines of, "We had to. We did. Surely He understands how hard it was to wait?" Considering Zachariah had put in a bid to run heaven himself, there were going to be heavy consequences for him for that.
As for Gabriel….
Irritating, smug, selfish Gabriel who'd disappeared for centuries and run away from his responsibilities….
Gabriel sat there, still in his meat suit, unconcerned that they were all about to be disciplined, watching them as Michael did. He behaved as though it was just another day in heaven. Maybe to him it was. The middle angel. Periodically, Gabriel would close his eyes and sigh. How had Gabriel been able to stand spending so long inside that meat suit? Why continue wearing it when he didn't have to? Michael was tempted to ask him those questions, but didn't bother. He and Gabriel hadn't had a truly genial conversation in a very long time and he'd only receive sarcasm were he to try.
Michael thought his own punishment would be severe. Even though he hadn't directly been involved -- preferring to wait for Dean Winchester to cry out for his help specifically -- he hadn't protested, or tried to stop the others. He'd let it happen and therefore, it was his responsibility. As the oldest, he was the one they all looked to and he'd let them all down. He planned to acknowledge that and accept his punishment, whatever it may be.
Finally, it was their turn to have their Father's attention.
The previous day had been a nightmare. Dean Winchester sat down beside Castiel at one long scarred wooden table. Why he'd ever thought torturing an upper level demon would give them any intel was beyond him. Selective amnesia and stupidity? Thinking back, he remembered that Alistair hadn't been particularly cooperative either.
"Passing by, my ass," he muttered, sighing and looking over at Risa, who was pointedly ignoring him at present. She was in a mood again, alternately staring at him as though he was Lucifer himself and ignoring him. He was tempted to make a snide remark about monthly visitors and might have if he hadn't made that mistake once before. She hadn't been amused then and wouldn't be now.
Not only had the demon lied under torture about the location of the Colt, it had lied about Lucifer. Put that together with Risa pissed for some reason she was being all mysterious about and this ranked as one of the worst weeks of his life.
Beside him, Castiel let out a snort of laughter and in an eerie stint of something akin to mind reading said, "Those upper level demons do rather well under…pressure, don't they?" It wasn't mind-reading because Cas couldn't do that anymore, but he still had a knack for knowing what was on Dean's mind sometimes.
"You find this amusing?" He cast a glance Cas's way, watched him open a pill bottle and take his morning dosage of anti-depressant. Since becoming mostly human, Castiel had to take pills to treat that depression caused by his circumstances. Without medication, he'd simply sleep and stare into space, maintaining that the combined weight of his thoughts and Jimmy's were too much to bear. Or he'd drink for days and eventually wake up with women he didn't remember going to bed with.
Dean had been in such a place himself a few times. He could remember the depression, the pain and weight of it all crushing down upon him. He'd done those same things he'd seen Castiel doing -- alcohol, women -- and cringed when he noticed Cas following his path, but what could he do? It wasn't like he'd any room to criticize.
With the pills, Cas was almost normal. Well, human normal. He certainly wasn't the Castiel that had pulled Dean from hell years earlier.
"I find it amusing in a 'sad clown of life mocking you' way." Castiel popped the pill into his mouth, washed it down with water and stirred more sugar into his coffee.
It had been Cas who'd gone to a doctor friend of Bobby's, knowing he needed help to continue functioning and knowing neither Dean nor Bobby would bother with a doctor. But then, he still had Jimmy in his head, telling him what he ought to do. Dean had to admit Jimmy's advice had been helpful. Cas was functioning, if a little clumsy sometimes, with occasional trouble feeling like he couldn't control the body he shared with Jimmy despite being the one in control. One of those moments had resulted in him breaking a foot the previous year.
"And you pissed off Risa, too, Dean? I told you to console Jane for the loss of her boyfriend in public and in the daytime. Just because Jane's a night owl doesn't mean you wait until the middle of the night to see her."
"Not one of my best decisions," he admitted, "but I was passing by…. It's not like we were alone, Cas. Bonnie and Hank were there." Sitting beside Risa in the truck on the way to where Lucifer was supposed to be (and hadn't been) had been a hell all itself. Her chilly silences rivaled the one he remembered Ellen Harvelle once giving him all the way back to the Roadhouse. Was Risa's silence really over Jane? Jane? Really? Jane was too sweet to interest him. Besides, those days were behind him and she should know it. He'd have to corner Risa and talk to her about it. "Hey, you up to adding more signs on the north and east sides today?"
"We can always use more signs. Besides, we lifted a particularly threatening one off that abandoned military base a couple weeks ago." Dean was proud of that acquisition. They'd been collecting signs for months now, putting them up all over the place. Some were to confuse and some were to warn.
"Sure, I'll go after awhile."
Dean was still nursing his coffee when Castiel left on that task.
The moment Risa realized she'd fallen head over heels for Dean Winchester was in the middle of one of their frequent blistering arguments about nothing particularly important. The sun had been out. She remembered Chuck standing off to one side watching them like it was a fascinating movie, his mouth open and arms crossed. A little ways to Chuck's right had been Castiel sunbathing nearly naked on a large blanket with two also nearly naked women. Castiel had raised up onto his forearms and watched them with an expression of confusion that she'd never figured out to this day. What about that scene he'd witnessed had caused the confusion?
She'd stumbled to a verbal halt at the same time Dean had, registering for the first time how truly beautiful his eyes were and that there was amusement and not anger swimming in their depths. How had she never seen anything but anger before? Their arguing was stupid and ridiculous. She'd tried to smother a smile and failed, the urge to laugh growing until she let it free. By the time she was able to stop, she had tears in her eyes and Dean had joined her, his chuckle warm and unrestrained.
Risa had never heard Dean laugh before.
It was a nice sound and one she'd wanted to hear again.
That moment had signaled a change in their relationship. They'd argued less, discovered shared interests and viewpoints, and spent much more time alone together They had a 'connection' as he called it, a spark of something that they'd pursued.
It had been over a year since then and quite a lot had changed for them, yet every so often, Risa was very afraid that the Dean Winchester she'd first met would rear up and she'd discover that one more man in her life had screwed her over by running to another woman. He had a past of stringing women along though he claimed to have changed. His past was factand try as she might, Risa just couldn't get over it as fast as she knew he wanted her to.
Maybe she was overreacting about Jane. Maybe it really had been innocent, but when her man, her husband, didn't come back to their cabin one night and was seen leaving another woman's cabin early the next morning, she thought she had a right to be upset. She thought she had a right to be pissed and moody and unreasonable and she thought she had the right to demand an explanation. The worst part though, was that Dean seemed oblivious to the cause of her anger, like he had no idea whatsoever that spending those hours in Jane's cabin was behind her ire.
And that ticked her off even more.
He knew about Risa's own past and how she'd been hurt. The reason she was upset should have been blindingly obvious to him even if he was preoccupied with the events outside in the world right now.
"What's wrong with you the past couple days," he asked her, taking her arm in a firm but gentle grip to stop her from walking away.
"You're going to pretend you don't know," she snapped, looking at him. There was a hint of annoyance in his eyes.
"It isn't an act. I have no idea what bug crawled up your ass and died there, so if you'd finally enlighten me I'd be much obliged, Risa."
"Think about it. Really think. That man-stealing bimbo with bleached blond hair and the biggest rack in the camp ring any bells?" Tugging her arm free, she crossed her arms and waited.
He blinked, licked his lips, then sighed. "Tell me you're not worried about Jane."
"Ding, ding, ding! Why shouldn't I be worried, Dean? You just spent the night with her!"
"I did no such thing. I was there for three very uncomfortable hours with Jane, Bonnie, and Hank while Jane cried and rambled about Tanner and how he looked up to me. You know, Tanner? Jane's boyfriend who got killed five days ago? The guy who'd planned on proposing to her on her birthday this month? Three hours hardly constitutes a night, not to mention that the rest of the wee hours I was with my team discussing the plan on grabbing the Colt." Stretching out his hands, he touched her arms, slid his fingers up and down them in that slow way he knew she liked. "Come on, Risa. All you had to do was ask me about it."
"I shouldn't have to ask."
He released her, lips tight. "If you can't see your way to believing me, then talk to Bonnie and Hank. They'll tell you."
"Maybe I will."
"Maybe? Think you can make that a certainty, because I'd like a warm bed again in the near future."
"I'll think about it." Turning, she left him there and decided to track down Hank first. Hank wouldn't lie to her. He'd tell her the truth straight.
Halfway across the camp, it occurred to Risa that she had a long way to go in learning to trust her husband.
Castiel was at an old rest stop, one of those forgotten ones that seemed out of place once new highways had been put in and traffic diverted elsewhere. There were two around the lake that Camp Chitaqua was by, both within the boundaries Dean and Bobby had originally created. Castiel was supposed to be putting up more warning signs, but had decided to take a break once the sun came out from behind the clouds.
He snoozed on the hood of his truck, back to the windshield, hands behind his head, and ankles crossed. After the gray skies they'd been having, the heat and light felt good. He sighed with momentary contentment, hearing the slight whispering of Jimmy agreeing with him. Jimmy was often opinionated and during their time together had lost any reservations about speaking up. He had no trouble telling Cas what he thought, with definite ideas on what was best for them, like the pills Cas took every day. Jimmy's voice fluctuated in sound, softer some days and louder in others. Today was a softer day.
Since Castiel's powers had gone, they'd become trapped together, fused like one instead of two in Jimmy's body with Castiel in control. Jimmy could sleep, wake, talk only to Cas, but not ever have the running of their body. A source of frustration for Jimmy and sometimes for Castiel.
Beside him, the radio crackled. "Convoy headed your way, Cas. Check 'em out."
They had a few video cameras placed in the trees that fed into a station at the camp, an expensive difficult project initially, but one he thought they were all glad for now. It gave them advance warning of anyone coming.
Sighing, Castiel answered and sat up, reaching for his binoculars. Sure enough, he could see the four vehicles approaching. Whoever it was would be lost by this point of the roads, unsure just where they were due to the maze Dean and Bobby had carefully planned out. The roads had been blocked up one by one until there was really only one easy way in and out of the camp.
It gave them time to determine intentions. Or try to.
Slipping from the truck hood, he strapped on a few weapons and waited for the convoy to notice him there.
Jo Harvelle was tired. Tired physically, tired of trying to find a safe place in a world that no longer had any refuge anywhere, and of leading a group of survivors that kept getting smaller no matter what she did. Raising a hand, she ran it through her hair and leaned her head over towards the window a little more. The breeze cooled her a little, but the dust from the dirt road was choking so she sat back in her seat.
There were days where she longed to have her mother back; to have Ellen be the one leading them; to just relinquish leadership to someone else entirely. With a sigh, she recalled that day in Georgia months earlier when she'd lost her mother. Ellen had become infected and not bothered to try to hide it, accepting it with a calm Jo hadn't understood at the time. Now, though, she understood completely.
Her mother had been tired, just like Jo was now.
Ellen held out her arm, a sad smile upon her lips as she displayed the bleeding gash there. "They got me, sweetie. I'm done for."
"No, mom, no --" Dread gripped Jo with tight fingers. She was wrong, it couldn't have happened, not to her mom. Anyone but her. No virus would lay Ellen Harvelle to the ground.
"Take these." She held out her gun, then her keys. "You want the money too? It's not much, but it might get you something. Whatever you want off me, take it."
With numb fingers, Jo took both items from her. "Mom…. There's still a couple hours before --"
Reaching her hand out, Ellen touched Jo's cheek. "Better do it now, Jo. I can't chance hurting you by waiting too long. Just…give me a minute, okay?" She took a deep breath and sat down against the brick wall. "Try to find Dean. That was the plan anyway, right? Keep moving, help who you can. You understand me, Jo?"
"Yes." Tears clouded her eyes and overflowed to run down her cheeks.
"Promise me you'll take care of these people."
"Of course. I promise."
"I love you, baby."
She'd had only a few more minutes then before she'd had to shoot her own mother and leave her body there to rot. There'd been no time to give her a proper send off, not with more Croats coming after them.
"There's a truck over there," Mya in the seat behind her said in an excited voice. She leaned over the seat, pointing. "Looks like a man standing there." Mya was always pleased to find people, even if it turned out their intentions were less than honorable. She was Jo's age, yet Jo felt infinitely older than Mya.
Reaching for the binoculars, Jo told Rick to slow down. "Let me try to get a good look at him before we swing over." She focused on the vehicle and the man waiting there. Jo gasped and lowered the binoculars. Castiel. She was sure it was him and if it was, that meant they were probably close to Dean's camp, because she didn't see Cas leaving Dean's side. Castiel had been devoted to Dean. Her heart beat a bit faster in her chest at the prospect of finally being able to relax for awhile, even if it was nothing more than a day or two. The rest would be welcome. "Go ahead and turn in there, but stop a good ways away. Everyone stay in the trucks and let me go out to meet him."
"You sure about this, Jo?" Rick glanced at her.
He'd been a good friend these past months and while he'd shown interest in her to begin with, Jo hadn't encouraged that interest. While leading, she had no time for romance. There were far more important things to do than kiss and cuddle and lose her head when she needed to be calm and rational. He'd turned to Mya instead and Jo had breathed a sigh of relief. She had to keep control, be the leader her mother had been, and hold them all together in a cohesive unit in order to survive.
"I'm sure. You can cover me if you like."
"It could be an ambush."
"True," she agreed, surrendering the binoculars. "Here, Mya, keep a watch on the area." Jo opened her door and slid out, taking her gun with her. She studied the rest area. The parking lot was overgrown, what asphalt there'd been choked by weeds and grass. The building appeared to be in good shape from a distance. Behind the building and spreading out in a half circle were trees, beautiful flowering trees that hadn't been pruned for years now. Yards away, the woods began. The wilderness was already starting to take over those faint signs of civilization. How long before all traces were wiped away?
So, yes, Rick could be right. It could be a trap. Jo pursed her lips, considering that possibility as she prepared to start the trek along the road the rest of the way to the rest stop. If it was a trap, the people waiting were well hidden, though she supposed they could be at the tree line. She was taking a risk by doing this. The treetops swayed a little, leaves rustling.
Jo began to walk. The man, who really was Castiel she saw, remained where he was, waiting for her to come to him.
She slowed in her walking to take a closer look at him as she approached. His hair was ruffled by the breeze and she recalled it always being tousled, as though he'd no concept of a comb or brush. The look suited him. His gaze remained upon her, steady and calm. He wore jeans, a worn, faded t-shirt, and an army jacket. Jo let her gaze slip down him once more. Jeans? The last time she'd seen him, he'd still been wearing that suit and coat.
Jeans were good, she decided. He looked comfortable and infinitely approachable in those casual clothes. She wanted desperately to run to him and embrace him tight; feel the lean strength of his body against her and let herself relax. Jo wanted to hand him the figurative reigns of leadership and sink back from that role.
Mostly, though…she wanted him.
That sudden stab of need, want, and lust inside her was unexpected and weird in its sharp intensity, her breaths quickening and a flush warming her cheeks. She couldn't recall ever feeling such an instant yearning. She'd wanted men before, but not within seconds and not with this almost overwhelming physical desire. It rolled over her body, down and back up, over and over like waves on a beach, enticing her to give in and be pulled towards him.
Jo glanced back at her people and forced herself to take slower breaths as she stepped onto the remains of the parking lot and over to him.
Jimmy Novak had been a vessel and a part of Castiel for years. He vaguely remembered Raphael blowing them up and then not much of anything else until Castiel's powers had faded. Suddenly, he'd been wide awake.
In that instance, he'd had a clarity of mind he'd been lacking due to the sheer force of Castiel's powers. Without those powers present, they were simply two guys stuck in one body, with Cas as the dominant controlling party. Jimmy could see, hear, taste, smell, and feel touches -- and things or people touched --, yet not actually control anything.
And he was aware then of just how far Castiel had sunk in his depression. He'd had a fight to make Castiel aware of the extent of his wakefulness, but once Castiel had realized it, he'd become quite considerate. More so than he'd ever been. As bad as Jimmy had thought he'd had it as a vessel, he'd come to realize Castiel was better than most angels in that regard. He'd never mistreated Jimmy knowingly and now…. It helped that Jimmy had become vocal in most instances, mainly because Cas had no way otherwise of knowing when Jimmy was awake. The powers that had told him that were gone.
It was like being invisible in a way.
He had more of a life now, as strange as that seemed, than he'd had clinging to a full-powered Castiel, even if that choice had lost him his family. Jimmy wondered if Amelia and Claire were enjoying heaven. They should be, right? He knew they were gone. One demon had delighted in telling them they were dead and demons didn't always lie. Jimmy's family now was Castiel. And Dean, Risa…. All of those Castiel connected with. He'd made peace with it and had put Amelia and Claire aside.
He didn't protest Castiel's girlfriends, realizing that it wasn't fair to Cas to do so, especially since he'd been neck deep in women by the time Jimmy had woken. Apparently, Castiel had no trouble attracting women. Something about a bitter, drunken ex-angel brought them to him in droves.
"Do you always have women throw themselves on the ground in front of you and spread their legs," Jimmy had asked, not meaning it literally, only in the way that it seemed rather ridiculous to him that they behaved like Cas was some sort of drug they had to have.
"Pretty much," Castiel had replied. "It baffles Dean, too."
Jimmy decided that Cas needed normal relationships. He needed to interact with women -- and interact he had, eventually evening out most of the 'relationships' so they lasted more than a couple days.
Occasionally Jimmy even gave him advice regarding women, advice that was of the different sort than what he got from Dean. Mostly, he tried not to be awake whenever Castiel…entertained, yet sometimes, inevitably, he found himself awake during intimate moments. When that happened, he'd close his eyes, a simple matter of willing himself not to see what Cas saw, and stay silent. He wouldn't let Cas know what he'd seen, though the rest of the senses remained. Did Castiel know, he wondered. Did he suspect how much Jimmy had experienced with him over the years?
It had once made Jimmy uncomfortable, like voyeurism, but what could he do? He was stuck there and had learned to make the best of it.
Jimmy enjoyed the sunshine and, as the vehicles stopped and Castiel prepared to meet them, he woke up further, watching and very curious as to how this was going to play out. For a second, as Jo Harvelle came towards them, he was struck by her beauty and how the sunlight was almost a glow about her body.
Suddenly, Jimmy remembered what it felt like to be in love. He remembered craving the woman's attention in every area, not wanting to wait to see her again, and more. Their heartbeat quickened and he heard Castiel thinking almost the same thing about the sun and her body. The sight of her stirred a yearning inside them.
She paused, as though in response to them, and when she resumed walking, Jo looked different to him. He wanted to get to know her as much as Castiel did.
Maybe he'd stay awake awhile and fulfill a bit of that longing.
The vehicles -- two trucks, and two large SUVs -- turned off the main road and parked. The front passenger door to the truck opened, a woman stepping out. Her long blond hair whipped in the breeze. After a moment, she began to walk and as she came closer, Castiel recognized the woman.
There was a weary confidence to her that hadn't been present the last time they'd met. He could tell at a glance that she'd been down a long, hard road, yet her beauty remained intact. She was silhouetted by the sun, that light a flattering haze about her slender body. Cas's breath caught in his throat and he had to clear it in order to speak once she reached him.
"Hey, Jo. Been a long time." He watched her walk towards him and held up his hands to show he was unarmed. At least not where she could see a weapon. Dean had taught him the importance of having multiple weapons ready. There was assessment there in her eyes, mixed with…. He blinked. Desire? No, that couldn't be right. He had to be seeing it wrong.
"Castiel." She kept the rifle pointed at him. "You look different."
He shrugged. "It's 2014. Saw you last in, what? 2011? A lot happens in that time."
"Got that right. You with Dean's camp?"
"Cas." She lowered the rifle a bit, shoulders slumping. "Come on."
Would it hurt to confirm it? Probably not. "Okay, I'm with Dean. You want to put the rifle down?"
Her brows rose. "You have any open wounds?"
"No." He tilted his head a little to the right, studying her. There were beads of sweat on her brow, her cheeks flushed a becoming pink. Her jeans were tight and tank top tighter, molding to her body, emphasizing curves that had filled out a little since the last time they'd met. He didn't see any visible bandages or bulges of hidden ones. "Do you?"
"How do I know you're telling the truth?"
Cas shrugged again. "Strip search?" He quirked a brow at her. "I'm up for it if you are."
Jo opened her mouth, closed it, and started laughing. "You've spent way too much time with Dean. That was such a Dean comment." She set the rifle down and stepped close, arms raising. "I'm damn glad to see you, Cas."
The hug would have been awkward on his part the last time he'd seen her. At that point, he'd still been uncomfortable with physical affection of that sort. This time, he embraced her back, sliding a hand down onto her rear, lifting her against him -- a full body hug. She felt thinner than she'd been, the curves of her body harder. He wanted to linger, to run his hands over her body slowly, committing her to memory. Her cheek pressed to his and he caught a tantalizing whiff of faded perfume on her skin. The hug lasted only briefly and then he set her from him.
"How many people?" He pointed at the vehicles stopped on the road.
"Fifteen plus me. We started out last fall in Virginia with over forty. If it wasn't Croats picking us off, it was U.S. soldiers and scavengers."
"You're trying to find sanctuary for them?" It was a guess, but a good one. It was how they'd gotten quite a few people in the camp. People tried to find some safe place to rest.
She nodded, reaching down to retrieve her gun. "We heard rumors of other camps, but by the time we located them, they were gone, destroyed, nothing left. One had all the people strung up in the trees. Another had the children impaled on spikes and all the adults beheaded. Who does that?"
He could name a couple demons right away who'd have thought both were fun Saturday afternoon activities.
"So please tell me there's still a camp, still a place for these people to go, because if I have to tell them otherwise, I think they'll all just give up, lie down, and wait to die."
He glanced at the sky. "There's a camp, but, uh, you should rest here first. Bring up your vehicles, pitch camp for the night and we'll talk about it, you and I." There was weariness and relief in her eyes and Cas stepped close again, putting his hands on her arms and caressing with a light touch. "I promise we'll talk."
"You'll take us," she asked.
She was a good leader to her people -- caring, stern, yet gentle when need be. Cas watched her the whole of the afternoon while she interacted with them, directing their efforts to make camp. They made a circular formation with their vehicles around his, like the wagon trains that had once headed out to the West, leaving a center that felt protected.
He gave a radio report, claiming the people needed to rest overnight, that they were exhausted. It was mostly true. The urge to simply drop was plain on their faces. Even Jo showed the strain. She needed rest as much, if not more so, than the others. He would observe them over the next hours, get a better feel for each person in order to give Dean a complete report upon returning.
Castiel watched her and he spoke to her people each in turn. Rick was wary of him, yet friendly, which seemed to be the tone for most of the people. They looked first to Jo, then to Rick on how to react to him. Castiel got the impression that Jo and Mya were friends by necessity, the two talking and joking in soft voices as they worked. By the time he was done, he'd decided there probably weren't any trouble makers Dean would need to watch out for. Still, he'd ask Jo later if she thought there'd be trouble from anyone.
As he watched Jo, a desire for her grew within him. It was no light, idle want, but rather a consuming need to be inside her. He wanted to lay her down right now and take her -- just rip her clothes away to feel her bare skin against his. He wanted her sleek limbs wrapped around him and her mouth locked to his as he found ecstasy inside her. The thoughts took hold of him, scenes of that imagined coupling filling his mind, distracting him from the task of settling them for the night.
Cas knew Jimmy was awake, but when he attempted to ask if Jimmy felt the same thing, Jimmy didn't respond, playing possum for some reason only Jimmy knew.
Her ease with Castiel put her people at ease, though Jo wasn't quite as comfortable as she let them think. She was very aware of his constant scrutiny and of the flicker in his eyes that denoted his interest in her. It wasn't that his stare was uncomfortable in a bad way, because it wasn't. Jo liked having his attention upon her, even standing up a bit straighter in response. She simply wasn't used to acknowledging that sort of attention any more.
He exuded an aura of confidence and calm. Jo pondered the changes in Castiel as she directed her people in making camp for the night. He certainly wasn't the Castiel she'd known. Gone was that sense of otherworldliness about him. He was just a very intense, focused man. Was he still an angel?
Jo cast a glance towards him. He'd charmed Mya and was helping her start a cooking fire, claiming it was safe to do so. They could have a hot meal tonight. She didn't think he was an angel, but how much of that was gone? She found she wanted to get to know him.
He intrigued her more than a little.