|Handprint on My Heart
Author: Hobster PM
Dean's always wondered how the hell he got that scar on his shoulder. He just won't bring himself to ask Castiel. Not after what he did. PostS6;PostS3Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Dean W. & Castiel - Words: 1,995 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-10-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7273472
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
When Sam steps out of the bathroom, clothed only in a white towel, Dean normally doesn't care. So, his brother forgot to grab his clothes before showering, so what? Besides, Sam always forgets his clothes. There probably wouldn't be much room in the small, motel bathroom anyway, if Sam were to take his clothes in, giant moose that he is.
But for some reason, from his perch on the chair by the window, Dean stares at Sam when he comes out. He's still a bit wet, and his hair is soaked and pulled back into a little tiny ponytail at the nape of his neck. He should really get a haircut. Sam stops in his tracks to his bed to grab his clothes and gives him Bitchface Number 5. That's the one where his eyes are squinty and his eyebrows are raised, his mouth set into a frown. Dean thinks it's normally hilarious, but he's in some sort of mood, so it's just annoying right now.
"What are you looking at?" Sam says, grabbing his clothes in a huff and staring at Dean expectantly. Dean doesn't really know how to act around Sam now. He says he's fine, but his older brother protective senses always flare up whenever Sam is anywhere near him. He knows it's because little Sammy is lying to him about being okay with his memories from hell. He hears him thrashing from nightmares when he sleeps.
The words slip out of his mouth before he can filter them, a common occurrence, Dean realizes. "Castiel pulled you out of hell, right? So where's your souvenir?"
Now that he thinks about it, Dean supposes this is a perfectly sound question. Sam obviously doesn't. He must think it's funny because he chuckles before heading back into the bathroom to get dressed, completely avoiding the question. But Dean's been thinking about this all day and he wants to stop because thinking about Cas in any sort of way hurts.
The older hunter eyed Sam up and down from head to toe when he came out of that bathroom. Sam doesn't have any sort of scar. So why does he have one? Castiel, that son of a bitch, pulled them both out of hell. Presumably, he set their bodies back the way they were with a little added quirks.
Case in point: all their old battle scars were gone. Their bodies were exactly the same as they left them, but it's like they were super-healed.
Sam's scar from when he got his appendix removed had vanished. Their numerous bullet wounds were gone. Dean didn't even have any burn marks on his hands from working on the Impala. (And he is so freaking glad Sam hasn't brought up the fact that when they both got out of hell and were set right, their skin was soft. Like a fucking baby's bottom. No calluses. None. It pissed Dean off.)
So, why was he the one that got stuck with the giant red hand-print on his shoulder?
He knows it's Castiel's hand-print. Cas has grabbed him once. Pulled him back from a demon that was about to swipe him. He wasn't sure if it hurt when he touched it. When Cas's hand gripped his shoulder, it burned, but it didn't hurt. It throbbed and pulsed, but it didn't hurt and there wasn't any pleasure gained from it. It was just there. It just happened. But Dean felt it. It sent shock-waves down into his soul.
And trust him when he says his soul. There is nothing like going to hell and having a soul separated from its counterparts. It becomes an actual thing he could feel. He isn't sure Sam would know what he's jabbering on about inside his head, but if he ever asked, Dean is sure that his brother would say the same thing.
He's so aware he has a soul now. It feels weird.
Dean used to have a theory. It used to be that Dean got the scar because Castiel "gripped him tight and raised him from perdition." It used to be that because Cas gripped so tight, his Grace burned itself into his own soul. But then he had to go and try and find the other hand-print. There wasn't another. Just the one.
And that didn't make sense. If anything, hunters are logical. They work cases and kill baddies.
(Dean swallows another shot of whiskey as he fingers the three horsemen rings he's got in his palm. He still needs Death's, but he'd rather think about that later. He doesn't like Death that much.)
Castiel, the bastard, couldn't have possibly pulled him up just by the one shoulder. Not in the position his hand was in. Dean's got solid proof. But damn. He knows Cas has a pretty good grip, but a good enough grip to pull Dean out of Hell with just one hand? (It's sort of like Castiel decided to brand him. Have him parade around with Castiel's mark, red and raised from his skin, on his shoulder.)
Dean grimaces and runs a hand through his hair, scratching at the back of his neck. He is no one's. That stupid bastard can't just do something like that and not give an explanation.
Besides, when someone is in hell, the demons manage to separate the body, soul, and mind from each other. They rip each bit apart and do their own number on them all. Normally, Dean figures, bodies don't make it down to Hell. They stay up on earth to rot in wooden coffins and decay into the dust of the ground. Demons know how to torture the mind. They know how to torture the soul. They're very crafty on torturing the body. It's like Christmas when the Hellhounds come dragging one down. Dean would know. He's seen it firsthand.
Dean shakes his head as red flashes across his eyes. He pours another shot and glances over at Sam when he re-emerges from the bathroom, clothed and looking tired. He returns his eyes back to looking out the window.
It still doesn't make sense, his scar. He'll never know, Dean thinks as he stands up and toes off his boots, downing what was left in his glass. He'll take a shower in the morning. All this deep thinking made him tired and he's half-drunk so nothing really matters right now. He'll never know and he's definitely not calling Castiel to ask.
When Castiel first received orders to fly into hell and retrieve the Righteous Man, he knew he needed to rebuild the man's body before he could put his mind and soul back into it. After all, every soul needs a vessel, and it isn't like he's got a spare—oh, what was his name..?—-Dean Winchester laying about the celestial dimensions.
So he got to work. He gathered all the ingredients needed to build a human body and began to create. Castiel was never the most creative out of his brothers and sisters, but he was the one that was set with this task and he would be the one to finish it. He just prayed it wouldn't take very long.
He went back in his mind's eye and observed all of Dean Winchester's life. His childhood, his ascent into becoming a man. He saw how his sandy blond childhood locks turned into a dirty brown and how his prominent freckles seemed to branch across his cheeks and then to his nose. He saw the many different injuries that the human had sustained in his lifetime. He saw everything.
Humans really were amazing. His Father was magnificent.
When he was finished building the body, it was a perfect replica. Only, it didn't look right.
Castiel paced up and down his corridors for a grand total of two days before realizing the reason it didn't look right was because it really wasn't Dean Winchester at all. Just a carbon copy.
He flew down into Hell without a second thought.
When he got there, he saw three things. The body of Dean Winchester strung up by millions and millions of tiny hooks that were pulling from all sorts of directions. The bright, shining soul of Dean Winchester being prodded and stabbed at by a nameless demon, sullied around the edges but truly untouched by the demon itself. The mind of Dean Winchester, projecting an awful image of himself so he could carry out the torture of another lost soul that belonged to the realm of Hell.
His Grace thrummed and he spread his wings as far as they could go, dislodging the many hooks that held a tattered, screaming, bloody body. A body that looked remarkably different than the one that Castiel had made.
His heart nearly broke when he flew away without Dean Winchester's soul and mind.
He repaired the body as best he could. He patched up the wounds and made all the hurt disappear. The angel used his Grace to heal all the superficial injuries that had already been there. It only took a fraction of a fraction of Heaven's power to restore the body as it once was.
There was the true body of Dean Winchester. There he lay and he was beautiful, superficially. Castiel marveled at the human laying at his feet.
He was still just a corpse.
When he returned to Hell, he killed any demon within fifty feet of Dean Winchester. He put Dean's essence into his pocket and cradled the cracked and torn, but still so bright, still so warm soul in his hands. He held it close to his own heart and flew quickly.
Replacing Dean Winchester's mind and soul were not trivial matters. Pressing to the man's forehead returned his essence and laying the glowing orb of warm, pulsating energy to the hunter's chest and pushing downwards made sure that the soul was returned properly.
Still, Dean Winchester remained dead.
Castiel didn't understand. By all laws of nature, he was perfect. His soul was a bit cracked, but still whole. His mind was frayed, but it would regenerate. Dean Winchester would be okay.
If he woke up.
"Nothing is perfect." Castiel whispered to himself, remembering his brother's words from along time ago. "But Dean Winchester is not perfect. He is torn and broken. I cannot fix everything, so why is he still laying at my feet, unmoving? Why is he not alive?"
The vessel Castiel was in alerted him that he needed to breathe or Jimmy Novak would suffocate, which had him cautiously drawing a breath of cold, night, earth air into his lungs.
The angel knelt down, gripped Dean's shoulder tight with one hand, took a deep breath and with lips connected, breathed the breath of life into Dean's mouth. His Grace flared and he felt his lips and hand grow hot. His Grace shook and knotted itself to Dean's life-forces, binding them. He knew then this man was special. No angel's Grace had ever bound themselves to a human. They were tethered together and Castiel felt oddly strange.
"How naïve of me." Castiel said, shaking his head and pushing the feeling down and picking Dean Winchester up and cradling him to his chest. He phased the man through six feet of dirt and laid him gently inside the coffin that was buried by Sam Winchester, the man's brother. He stared and stared at the man, watching him breathe, before flying away, back into Heaven.
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