"Pokemon Rock Salt & Brimstone:
01. Nice To Meet You Dean"
Author: Mistina of the Cranky Ol' Fangirls
Beta: Clarisse S., Emlynn and Stormlyht
Published: July 26, 2014
Series: "Supernatural" and "Pokemon"
Spoilers: For "Supernatural", you just need to know who Castiel is and you're good. For "Pokemon" you just need to know what a Honedge, Tepig and Zorua are and you're good.
Length: 4,504 words
Summary: "Dean Winchester is finally an official Pokemon trainer. With his Tepig, Johnny, they set off on their journey— Oh, wait. Slight delay. He already lost his trainer card."
A small boy stood on the side of a path lined with tall grass, a furry companion cradled in his arms. The dry blades tickled his nose as he peered in to get a better look at the jostling grass not far from where he stood.
"Dean? Is that you? Can you see him, Bones?" He hefted the Pokemon, a Zorua, up above his head so that it might confirm his suspicion.
"Yeah, Sammy…" Dean groaned, standing up to reveal himself, stray blades of grass stuck in his clothes and tangled in his hair. "…it's me."
"Johnny too?" Sam asked, lowering his arms so that he could cradle Bones once more.
Dean rolled his eyes. "Johnny too."
"Do the thing, Dean!"
This elicited a chuckle from the older boy. "Alright. Anything for you, Sammy."
He ducked down to scoop up the Tepig at his feet, the Pokemon squealing in surprise, then rushed forward so that its snout poked out of the grass just in front of Sam.
The little boy giggled in delight, freeing up a hand to pet the poor Pokemon. "Hello, Johnny."
The Tepig grunted his displeasure at being handled so roughly. His trainer only chuckled at this and, after emerging from the grass, finally set the disgruntled Pokemon down on the dirt path. It perked up the instant its hooves touched ground and trotted around Sam's feet happily.
"What are you and Johnny doing in the grass, Dean?" asked Sam, still chuckling at the fire Pokemon's jovial greeting.
"Nothing." Dean averted his gaze guiltily.
"I don't believe you," the kid said bluntly, setting Bones down on the ground next to Johnny. "Uncle Bobby just gave you Johnny and lotsa goodies so why aren't you back in town bragging?" He narrowed his eyes and put his fists on his hips in the adorably exaggerated manner kids imitate a posture, knowing its meaning but not sure how that meaning translates physically.
Bones curled up next to his trainer's sneaker, annoyed when the Tepig immediately sought it out to play.
"I… Uh…" Dean's ears reddened, betraying him.
"Dean," Sam prompted sternly.
"Ugh! Fine! I lost my trainer card! There! You happy now, Sammy?" The blush spread to his cheeks as he crossed his arms defensively.
Sam was at a loss for words.
Dean's Tepig, however, was not.
Squealing, it rolled around on the ground laughing at its master.
"Shut up, Johnny!"
"But Dean… You only got it, like, two hours—"
"Shut up, Sammy!" snapped Dean, though he quickly mumbled contritely, "I know, okay?"
Sam's face scrunched up in concentration as he studied his older brother, who squirmed under the intense scrutiny. Just before Dean could bear it no longer, Sam's face relaxed.
"Come on, Bones." He beckoned his Pokemon to follow him into the grass and the Zorua did so without hesitation.
"What are you doing, Sammy?!" So surprised at his brother's strange and sudden behavior, Dean momentarily forgot his humiliation.
"I'm gonna go look for your card. D'uh!"
Dean sputtered, unable to string together words as he processed the situation. Once he finally put two and two together, he relaxed and a fond smile formed on his lips.
"Thanks, Sammy." He followed his baby brother to tousle his hair lovingly.
"Hey! Quit it!" Sam's words were betrayed by his gleeful giggles at his brother's show of affection. "What are brothers for, right?"
"You're never going to let me forget this, are you?"
"Nope! Never ever!"
"Jughead!" Sam stuck out his tongue.
"You're reading the wrong comic books, dude. I'm Batman!"
"Says Jughead!" Sam laughed, but before Dean could retort he returned the topic to the matter at hand. "So you checked over there?" he asked pointing to where he had found Dean just now.
"You go right, I'll go left. This way, Bones."
"This isn't over, Sammy—"
"It's over because you owe me!" Sam called over his shoulder as he and Bones disappeared into the tall grass.
Dean huffed in annoyance, "Damn kid is too smart for his own good"—he broke into a chuckle—"too damn smart… Come on, Johnny!"
Thus began the search for Dean Winchester's freshly laminated and already misplaced trainer card.
"Did you go as far as the crossroads?" Sam shouted from his self-allocated search perimeter, with Bones nearby trying to scent out the elusive I.D. card.
"Nah, got about twenty yards towards there when I realized the card was missing," Dean shouted back from his assigned area, Johnny also sniffing about his trainer.
"Well it's not here!" exclaimed Sam after about an hour of looking. "Where were you before?" he asked as he worked his way back to his brother.
"In the woods," Dean replied. He stopped rummaging abruptly when he noticed his brother heading his way. "I was showing Johnny my favorite spots."
"So the cave, the giant oak, the tunnel by the brook and that huge mossy log behind those trees where all those chesto berries grow that you think I don't know about but I totally do."
"Yeah, all those and—Hey! How do you know about the log?!" Before Sam could reply Dean continued, "Never mind. You checkout the cave and the oak, they're closer to the path. I'll check out the spots deeper in the woods."
"Deeaaannnn….!" whined Sam at his brother's over protectiveness.
"Don't 'Dean' me, Sammy. I lost my card and I'm your older brother."
"No 'buts', Sammy." Dean took a deep calming breath. "Thanks for helping, but I'm responsible so I should do most of the work. 'Kay?"
"Fine. Call me if you find it, okay?"
"And you call me if you find it."
"You know I will. Unlike a certain someone, I am responsible."
"Because it's true!" Sam stuck out his tongue. "Come on, Bones!"
Dean and Johnny slowly made their way into the woods. The human thoroughly inspected the ground and bushes while the Pokemon sniffed the air and plant life. They quickly became so deeply engrossed in their search that the only sounds to be heard were that of the woodland insects, the rustling of leaves and Johnny's nose at work.
They startled when Dean's pack suddenly vibrated. Sam had texted him an update: Just reached oak. Nothing yet. It hadn't occurred to Dean to keep in touch via text.
Heading to log and berries first —
Dean had to stop mid-text to chuckle when he realized how dirty his message sounded, then had a slight panic attack when he realized he was texting filth to his little brother, and then relaxed when he remembered that Sam was too young to catch the innuendo.
Nothing yet. I'll keep you posted.
Dean found a sturdy stick not long after and used it to help him rifle through thickets. The search continued, only halting momentarily whenever Dean's pack buzzed when his little brother texted him an update which he would read then reply. As time wore on his focus on finding his lost I.D. card inevitably waned and his mind drifted.
He didn't notice that an hour had passed without a text from Sam. He didn't notice Johnny becoming fidgety after an hour and a half with still no messages from his brother. He didn't notice his Tepig squeaking fretfully and still no messages after three hours. It was only when Johnny started squealing that Dean heard him at all.
"What the Hell, Johnny?!"
The Tepig grunted in frustration, then frantically squealed his concerns in the pig equivalent of speaking a thousand words a minute. Dean blinked, confused by his Pokemon's strange and sudden behavior. Slowly he became aware of his current surroundings.
"I don't recognize this part of the woods but… But we didn't… I mean, we didn't stray from the path, right?"
Johnny let out an irritated sigh, before shaking his head to indicate that, no, they hadn't gone the wrong way. Confused, Dean checked his phone.
"Three hours…" That was when he freaked out. "Three hours?!"
Where are you?
He tried to wait for a reply but could only hold out a couple minutes before trying again.
Are you okay?
Just as he hit send he couldn't wait any longer and dialed Sam's number. Johnny sat next to his trainer, leaning in what it hoped was a comforting manner against his leg. Together they waited, enduring the piercing dial tones and the long pauses between them.
"Come on Sam, pick up… Pick up…" Dean mumbled. "Damn it, Sammy!" his fingers paled as they clenched fiercely around the phone when he got his little brother's voicemail.
He tore the phone from his ear and hit 'end call' aggressively with his thumb. Johnny nudged his trainer gently and that's when Dean heard it.
No insects chirping. No leaves rustling.
"Johnny…" he looked to his Pokemon for an answer—or a clue or anything, really—but the Tepig shook his head sadly. "Alright. No use just standing around, then— What the…"
Soft, stray rays of light suddenly caught Dean's eye. Having nothing else to go on he followed them. His Pokemon trailed behind hesitantly, becoming more and more nervous. The forest seemed to get denser, and the rays weaker, as they progressed. The ground used to be fairly devoid of greenery, mostly dirt in fact, but now there were bushes and plush low hanging branches and grass and mushrooms. Just as they thought the forest was going to swallow them whole, they suddenly broke through the wall of thick greens and fell into a dimly lit clearing.
"What the Hell? This isn't supposed to be here!" Dean exclaimed, taking in his new surroundings in disbelief. "Where in the Hell are we?!"
The clearing was surreal, illuminated by the sparse rays of sunlight that made it through the thick canopy and gave the already mysterious location an ethereal glow. Those rays also revealed a large solitary object lying at its center.
"What the Hell is that..?"
Dean was never one to think before he acted so, curiosity peaked, he made his way towards that object despite Johnny's vehement protests. As he got closer, he could see that it was a large stone slab, smooth and all straight lines. It was most definitely not a natural formation. Johnny started tugging on his pant leg with its teeth but Dean ignored the frantic Pokemon. He would quickly come to regret this.
"Oh shit… Is this a…" a shudder crawled up his spine when they were within arm's reach of the slab that was large enough to fit a person. "Johnny, is this…?" the Tepig's ears were glued to his head as it cowered behind Dean's leg, basically answering Dean's half spoken question.
Dean was just about to turn tail and run when the grooves in the stone caught his eye. Mesmerized by the graceful airy swirls carved into the mysterious sarcophagus, he couldn't help but take those last few steps and stand next to it. Johnny reluctantly followed. When he too reached the formation that he had so feared, a couple of whiffs quickly turned his fear to awe. Dean didn't notice his Tepig's sudden change in demeanor, but he didn't have to. Not when he finally laid eyes on the top surface of stone.
It was an ornate lid with a beautiful and intricate depiction of an armored angel wielding a Honedge. The details were carved deep, clearly with skill and precision, and were easy to interpret despite being caked in dust.
Dean knew his history.
"No, it can't be…"
Dean knew his lore.
With a feather light touch, Dean ran his forefinger reverently along one of the recesses of the many protruding wings. The stone was unnaturally cold and his finger came away sullied so he instinctively wiped it off on his jeans.
"It just can't…" he took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Dean knew who this was.
He was skeptical, but he knew who this was.
"Johnny." Dean stepped aside and gestured toward the stone. "Tackle."
The Tepig squealed in protest, partly out of fear and partly out of respect for the dead, but Dean was adamant.
The Pokemon reluctantly got into position to do as he was told. Dean watched as it crouched down to attack, heart pounding in terror as he wondered why in the Hell he wanted that coffin open.
Johnny managed to knock the lid askew on his first try, enough that Dean could get a firm grip on the edge of the lid. After picking up his Tepig and placing it gently on the exposed rim, Dean and his Pokemon pushed. Together, with a great deal of effort, the lid fell off the other side. It hit the ground with a resounding thud and a cloud of dust escaped from the container. Johnny sneezed before burying his snout into his trainer's pant leg to keep it away from the dust. Dean coughed, roughly trying to clear the air with his hand, and peered inside.
Dean knew his history.
Dean had heard the lore.
So to say he was surprised to find himself face to face with the legendary Pokemon trainer, Castiel, would be a colossal understatement.
In disbelief he rubbed his eyes and looked again.
Under a thin layer of twinkling dust lay a man in a suit and tan trench coat with a sheathed Honedge resting upon his chest in his hands. They mirrored the carving on the lid but the stonework couldn't compare to the real thing: Messy black hair, a five o'clock shadow, plump pale pink lips that nearly blended into his pale skin, a healthy flush to his cheeks… If Dean hadn't known any better he would have thought that Castiel was alive but it had been a millennia since this man had disappeared. Dean's mind boggled at how there was anything left, much less… everything!
Dean suddenly froze like a deer caught in the headlights.
The man was breathing.
Dean leaned forward because, though he was certain he was mistaken, he had to be absolutely certain—
He jumped back in disbelief shouting, "Holy shit!"
The man's chest was rising and falling, though very subtly.
Using his stick to prod at the man, he whispered fearfully, "You alive..?"
There was no response.
"Y-you…" Dean was angry at himself for being afraid, so he took a moment to compose himself and yell, "HEY! YOU ALIVE, MAN?!"
There was still no response.
His Pokemon tugged at his messenger bag but Dean dismissed it, "Not now, Johnny."
The Tepig only tugged more roughly.
"I said not now, John—" that's when Dean remembered his berry pocket.
"Chesto Berry…" he quickly dug out the berries from his disorganized bag, Johnny grunting his approval, but once he had them in hand he encountered another obstacle. "How do I get him to eat them?!"
He took a moment to brainstorm.
He sighed, replacing the berries into his bag temporarily, then hesitantly reached inside the sarcophagus to gently grasp the man's forehead and chin to open the mouth slightly. Retrieving the berries Dean held them over the sleeping trainer's open mouth and crushed them, letting the juice trickle down the throat.
"This is freaking stupid, why am I—HOLY CRAP!" Dean jumped, jerking his sticky hands to his chest, when the man's eyes suddenly snapped open and the Pokemon blinked awake.
Dean stood by, breathing heavily but otherwise frozen in shock, as he watched the man suddenly bolt upright which sent the Honedge flying into the grass below. He clutched the rim of his sarcophagus as he took his first deep breath and, just when Dean didn't think his eyebrows could get any higher or his jaw could drop any lower, a large pair of white feathered wings sprung free from its dusty confines.
The man looked about, disoriented, until his gaze landed on Dean's, who was still standing there with his arms up protectively. Squinted blue eyes bore into Dean's for a long moment before drifting down to the boy's hands. At the sight of the berry juice his eyes snapped back up and in a blink he was standing right in front of Dean. The boy jumped at the sudden invasion of his personal space but the man quickly grasped the sticky wrists with a strong grip and pulled Dean in closer to squint into his eyes.
"Hello." The man's voice was deep and gravelly.
Dean's breath hitched, "…Hello?"
"I am Castiel."
"Oookay, that's nice, but do you really need to introduce yourself this close to my face?"
Castiel blinked in confusion then dropped Dean's wrists and took a—small—step back as soon as he realized what the boy had meant.
"I apologize. It wasn't my intention to make you uncomfortable."
"Right…" said Dean, unconsciously rubbing his wrists.
"I was merely curious as to what a righteous human would be like after so many, many generations." Castiel explained, his unwavering gaze unnerving the boy.
"Okay, that's all well and—" Dean started on autopilot before the man's words sunk in. "Wait a second! Righteous human?!"
"Yes." Castiel replied deadpan.
"What, you mean me?!" he cried out incredulously.
"Yes. It could be no other. You're the one who found me after all—"
"Stop! Just… stop." Dean ran a trembling hand through his hair as he tried, and failed, to process what was happening. "Back up! Back way, way up!"
Castiel took the command literally and backed up into the sarcophagus, catching Dean off guard.
"No! I mean…"
Johnny squealed in what sounded like a serious tone and Castiel squinted at the Pokemon as if he was taking in every noise it made.
"Ah, I see." The man nodded his understanding. "He meant he would like me to provide context."
Dean blinked, "What… You… You understood that? Those squeals?!"
"Yes." Castiel replied deadpan, again.
"Once I provide the context you need you will know how."
Dean waited for the strange mythical man to elaborate but he did not. He just stood there and stared and an awkward silence fell over them. That quickly got on Dean's nerves so he cleared his throat to end the quiet and get Castiel to blink.
"Uh… So fill me in?"
Castiel slightly cocked his head to the side in confusion. "I do not understand."
"Are you going to provide the context or not?!" snapped Dean.
"Ah. Well, I suppose I should start at the beginning seeing as you don't seem—"
"Yes! The beginning!" Dean cried out in exasperation. "Go!"
"You're in a hurry, I see. Okay…" he counted out his factoids chronologically on his fingers before speaking again.
"…there was a war for supremacy when humanity first came into being. I am a link, a name given to those transitory links in the evolutionary chain thus I'm not completely Pokemon nor completely human. I fought in the war then was assigned to maintain the peace once it was established— Are you okay?" Castiel asked mid-sentence as Dean's eyes had sort of glazed over and his skin had turned a little green.
"Wha—Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. Just figuring out what to tackle first."
"What is there to tackle?" Castiel tilted his head owlishly again.
"LOTS! I mean, there's—Wait. No, not tackle as in the attack. Tackle as in…" Dean sighed in defeat, but perked up when a particular bit of information struck home. "You're half Pokemon?!"
"Yes. Isn't it obvious?" Castiel flapped a wing to emphasize his point.
"Oh. Right. Okay. So you have wings and can speak to Pokemon… Anything else?"
"I can manipulate wind currents—Oomph!" the Honedge suddenly nudged Castiel indignantly. "What is it—Oh! Where are my manners? This is my friend, Balthazar. You can call him Balthy. Balthy, This is…."
"Oh! I-I'm Dean. Nice to meetcha…" the Honedge held out a curl of its decorative blue cloth. "I think…" Dean hesitantly shook 'hands' with the mysterious Pokemon.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dean."
Dean looked up to see Castiel smiling brilliantly at him. At the sight he unconsciously reddened and his breath hitched, "Uh, you too…"
Another silence fell over them, only this time it took a while for Dean to notice as he was mesmerized by that dazzling smile. He did eventually notice and jolted back to reality. This time he cleared his throat to hide his embarrassment, not that Castiel noticed.
"Those clothes don't look so old… Are you really that old?"
Castiel laughed, "I purchased these a few cycles ago and I'm not technically as old as you think…"
"If you fought in that war how are you not that old?" Dean couldn't understand, though for once he wouldn't be the only one not to.
"Clever boy," said Castiel, looking genuinely impressed. "Between cycles I go into a stasis."
"Stasis?" as a ten year old Dean had never heard the word before.
"A sleep so deep that time stops for me between cycles."
"Oh, awesome!" Dean exclaimed gleefully, childish curiosity temporarily overcoming his fear and nerves. "So you sleep in a coffin between… What's a cycle?"
"Coffin?" again with the head tilt. "Oh, this? It's not a coffin! Though I can see how you can—"
"It's a coffin," said Dean firmly, impatient for the information he wanted. "What's a cycle?"
"Yes. Cycles." a melancholic expression washed over Castiel's face. "It is in the nature of sentient beings to spark conflict between one another. The war I fought in isn't the first and won't be the last. I have been tasked by Arceus to watch over those flare ups, the cycles, to ensure the survival of all species."
"War? What war? Everything is fine—"
"Over the centuries the cycles become less and less bloody…" Castiel smiles sadly, not wanting to upset this child but incapable of deceit. "I try to make the transition between cycles as painless as possible and keep it that way."
"But there isn't anything bad happ—"
"Yet," said Castiel sternly. "There isn't anything bad happening, yet."
"Please don't be afraid, Dean," said Castiel, softly but sickenly sincere. "I am here to help you."
"What the Hell do you mean by that?!" snapped Dean, completely overwhelmed. "Okay, so shit is going down… What does any of this have to do me?!"
"You are this cycle's champion."
Dean was getting sick of Castiel's deadpan way of replying, and even sicker of his stories. "Champion?!"
"Yes, Champion." Castiel confirmed matter-of-factly. "You will lead those who believe in love and equality against those who wish to dominate over others."
"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Backup!" Castiel made a move to take a step back again but swiftly recalled how Dean had used the expression earlier. "How am I a champion?! I'm just a kid, and very average. Very, very average—What's with the sad face?"
"I am saddened that you have such a low opinion of yourself, Dean."
"Whoa! Don't get me wrong, I love me! But I'm no champion!"
"On your right shoulder you have a pale birthmark shaped like a handprint."
Dean was taken aback by the sudden change in topic, "How the HELL do you know that?!"
"It's the mark of the champion. When you're older, and the mark is the size of my hand, those who wish to dominate Pokemon will begin their plot." Castiel put his hand on the aforementioned shoulder. "From what I can tell, you have plenty of time until then."
Dean jerked out of Castiel's reach, oblivious to his reddening cheeks. Johnny nudged his leg in a comforting manner.
Balthazar suddenly chirped and Castiel allowed it to wrap it's cloth around his waist and sit as a sheathed blade. The legendary trainer approached the frightened child. He crouched down and gently tipped Dean's face up with cool hands. When his squinty reassuring eyes met Dean's, all the fear seemed to melt away.
"I can't promise that it will be easy, because it won't, but I will be there with you every step of the way."
"W-What do you mean… 'Will be?'" Dean sniffed, his nose having gotten stuffed up when his eyes became misty.
"There's some business I must attend to before your time comes. There's a lot of information I must gather," Dean started to tear up, fear coming back strong, "however… Though I may not be with you until the cycle begins, I will protect you always. Not just during your trials but before and after. Whenever I'm not by your side, I will be watching over you and I will come when you have need of me."
Dean sniffled miserably. "Really?"
Castiel smiled fondly. "Really. I swear upon everything I hold dear. I will always protect you."
"Do you really have to go?" Dean will never admit he whined, despite having done just that. Nope.
"Believe me, I really don't want to…" wiping away a rogue tear with his conveniently nearby thumb, Castiel's own eyes were teary with emotions Dean couldn't decipher. "…But yes I have to go."
"Good bye, Dean. We will meet again." The legendary trainer placed two fingers against Dean's forehead and before the boy could argue his world went black.
"Five more minutes, Mom. Sheesh," Dean mumbled, lethargically batting away whoever or whatever was intruding.
Dean startled awake, feeling surprisingly refreshed. "Sam?"
"You lazy jerk!" Sam yelled. "You've been sleeping here while I look for your stupid trainer card?!" as he scolded his older brother he punched Dean repeatedly, something clenched in his right fist.
"Ow, quit it!" Dean nursed his abused arm before defending his honor. "I wasn't slacking off!"
Sam stopped hitting and pulled back to shoot a disbelieving bitchface. "I can't wait to hear you explain this one."
"I'm not going to make excuses, Sammy! Something really weird happened!"
"Yeah, yeah. Get on with it!"
"So I was looking for my card, right? And suddenly I find this coffin! And in it was, get this, THE trainer Castiel and his Honedge. I woke him up with a chesto berry and he tells me I'm some kind of champion and—"
Sam whistled. "That is some dream you had, slacker."
"It was NOT a dream!" Barked Dean a little too passionately.
Johnny grunted in Dean's defense.
"Whatever you say, dude." Sam tossed the trainer card he worked so hard to find at Dean. "I'm going to let you off the hook this time on account of temporary insanity."
"It was real, Sam! It was r—" as Dean moved to get up a hand landed on something that wasn't grass. He picked it up to get a better look at it.
It was a feather. A large, strong and sleek white feather.
Dean smiled, carefully putting his treasure into his bag and carelessly stuffing his trainer card into his pocket, before running after his younger brother.
"It was real… He is real…" he whispered happily under his breath.
Pokemon Rock Salt & Brimstone • "Nice To Meet You, Dean" • Destiel