Hey guys. This could be considered a continuation of my fanfic Being Human, but you don't have to read it for this one to make sense. This is set after the Angels fall and Cas loses his Grace. For the sake of this story, Ezekiel/Gadreel is going to do what he fucking said in the first place, and leave when Sam is well enough.
Also. This may be a very triggering fic for some of you. It deals with drug use, addiction, self harm, and suicidal thoughts. Please reach out to someone if you are struggling with any of these issues!
Cas took the room next to Dean's. As he struggled to put sheets on the mattress, he was again reminded of how simple things were when he was an angel. He didn't need to sleep, let alone make a bed. Exhaustion seemed to be a constant now, but he fought it. Sleep was anything but restful.
It was getting late, and Dean wandered into the library. Cas was still hunched over a book, staring at it with intense concentration. Dean couldn't help but smile. Cas always gave 110%, no matter what he was doing.
He cleared his throat to announce his presence.
Cas startled, and Dean felt bad. "Sorry."
"It's okay, I'm just...not used to people being able to sneak up on me. My senses are so dull."
"You get used to it." He sat across from his friend. "It's almost midnight. You gonna go to sleep anytime soon?"
"No." Cas stated simply.
"Uh, okay. The book will still be here when you wake up, you know that, right?"
"Are you okay?" Dean studied his face. Cas looked beat.
"Yes. Why are you still awake?" He turned the question around.
"My sleep schedule is so messed up right now." Dean laughed, running a hand through his hair. "I'm probably gonna hit the hay soon though."
"Let me know if you need anything." He stood.
"Goodnight." Cas turned his attention back to the book.
With everyone asleep, the bunker was quiet. Too quiet. It was interesting; if he concentrated, Cas could still hear Angel Radio. But the voices were static; unclear. He didn't know if it was simply his humanity, or the fact that the bunker was warded. Either way, it was giving him a headache to try and listen in. He sat back, looking at the clock. Only a few more hours until morning.
He yawned. Maybe he would lie down, just for a minute...
Cas quietly walked through the halls to his room. His room? He paused. No. It wasn't his room. It was just a room where he was supposed to sleep. Calling it his would imply that he belonged here. The bunker was not his home. He didn't have a home anymore.
He laid down and closed his eyes. It felt good to relax. But as soon as he started drifting off, the images started.
His brothers and sisters, crashing to the earth. Their cries piercing his heart.
Hael's face danced in front of him. "This is your fault, Castiel."
His eyes flew open. Dammit. He wasn't even asleep yet, and already the nightmares were beginning. He sat up, fixing his gaze on the clock. Only a few more hours until morning.
"Hey." Kevin greeted him as Cas wandered into the kitchen.
"Hello. You are awake early."
"Yeah. I need to translate the Angel tablet, sooner rather than later."
Kevin chuckled. "You look as sleep-deprived as I feel." He handed Cas a cup of coffee.
"No problem. So, what are you gonna do until we figure out how to get your Grace back?"
"I'm not sure." Cas admitted.
"It's okay. Sam and Dean will put you to work. There's always something to do."
"Ain't that the truth." Cas turned at the sound of the familiar voice. Dean shuffled into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes. "What the hell are you doing up?"
Cas couldn't help but smile. The hunter's hair seemed to have a mind of its own, tufts sticking out in every direction. His eyes were squinted against the light, and he leaned up against the doorway. He was wearing a thin T shirt and sweatpants, and Cas briefly wondered why he dressed in layers all the time. He definitely didn't have anything to hide. He was in excellent physical shape.
"I'm getting an early start on Translating, I don't know why Castiel is awake." Kevin explained, sipping his coffee.
"Hm. You sleep okay, buddy?"
Cas looked away.
"You did sleep, right?"
"Dude, you're human now. That means you gotta rest."
"I'm aware of that, Dean." Cas bristled at the unwanted reminder.
"Okay," Dean put his hands up. "Just saying."
The day seemed to drag on, and Cas felt like he was moving in slow motion. As much as he appreciated the safety of the bunker, he missed the open skies. He was getting claustrophobic.
"I'm going out." He announced.
Kevin didn't even bother to look up from the tablet. "Alright."
As he stepped out, Cas inhaled deeply. It felt strange; breathing. He could actually feel the cool, crisp air entering his lungs. As an angel, he hadn't needed to breathe, but his vessel had done it out of habit anyway. But this was different. He had experimented by holding his breath, and quickly learned this caused an unpleasant burning sensation in his lungs after a while.
He started walking. The ex-angel wasn't sure where he was headed, but he needed to clear his mind. Nature had always been a sort of haven for him. Sitting quietly among God's creations brought him peace.
Cas strolled into the woods by the bunker, enjoying the sounds of the wildlife. He reached a clearing and sat down on a large rock. Maybe this would be a good time to try to tune in to Angel Radio.
He closed his eyes and concentrated.
"Father, where art thou?"
"Make it stop..."
"DAMN YOU, CASTIEL."
"How could this happen?"
"Find him, and kill him."
Cas drew a shuddering breath, blocking out the frequency once again. Most of his brothers and sisters sounded lost and confused. But there were a few voices in there cursing his name and wanting him dead. He didn't blame them. This was his fault, after all.
He turned his head to see Dean approaching, swatting branches out of his way.
"What the hell are you doing?" He panted.
Cas stood. "I went for a walk." He said defensively.
"I can see that. Why?"
"It is easier for me to hear the angels out here."
"Yeah, that's cause the bunker is freakin' warded. You know, safe."
"I thought it would be helpful if I could overhear plans-"
"Not necessary. We've got a Reaper on our side."
"Remember Tessa? She knows what's going on, and she's helping us out."
"And you trust her?"
Dean hesitated. "Well, no. But we have history, and she seemed pretty pissed about the Reapers for hire. She's gonna keep them from finding you. And she's got sources within Bartholomew's ranks."
"Hm." Cas wasn't sure about it, but Tessa had proven herself to be an ally before.
"Come on, let's get you inside."
Cas hesitated. "Can I just...stay out here a while longer?"
"Why?" Dean frowned.
"Nevermind." Cas sighed. He didn't feel like explaining himself.
He drank two cups of coffee that night. He knew sleep was inevitable, but wanted to delay it as long as possible.
Dean was no stranger to sleepless nights. He'd never slept well; being a hunter kept you on your toes. From childhood, he'd been trained to wake up every few hours to check on Sammy and assess potential threats.
Now that they had a place to call home, he slept much better. But tonight he awoke with a familiar feeling; something was wrong.
He quickly got out of bed and picked up his revolver. He stealthily made his way to Sam's room, and looked inside. His brother rarely shut the door, which worked in his favor. He knew the younger Winchester would be wide awake at the smallest sound. He was sleeping peacefully, long hair falling across his face. Dean smiled. Sam was okay.
He still couldn't shake the feeling, so he checked on Kevin next. He bit back a laugh as he gently pushed the door open and found the kid upside-down, foot hanging off the bed, snoring softly. He slept in the weirdest positions. How was he not sore every morning?
One person left to check on. (Well, other than Crowley. He would check the demon's restraints before heading back to bed.) Dean walked back to Castiel's room, and quietly opened the door.
The former angel was curled up in a ball in the middle of the bed. It was crazy how small he looked like this. His fists were clenching the sheets tightly, and there was a look of pure agony on his face. He was making small whimpering noises, and it tore at Dean's heart.
"Cas," He set his gun down on the nightstand and gently touched his friend's shoulder.
Terror-filled blue eyes shot open and stared right at him, not truly seeing him.
"Cas, buddy, it's me."
"Dean," His name was whispered in a choked sob.
"You're okay, it was just a nightmare." Dean sat on the edge of the bed as Cas shakily leaned up against the headboard.
"No. It was a memory."
Dean frowned. "You wanna talk about it?"
"No." He ran a trembling hand through his hair.
"Okay," Dean said softly. "That's okay."
"The coffee didn't work."
Poor guy... "Caffeine only works for so long, man. You gotta sleep eventually."
"I can't keep doing this." Cas's voice wavered, and Dean felt helpless.
"You can." He said gruffly. "It gets better. You won't always have nightmares."
"But they won't stop! Every night...since I fell...every time I close my eyes..." His breathing grew more erratic, and Dean saw a panic attack coming.
"Hey, breathe." He gripped Cas's shoulders. "Look at me. You're gonna be okay."
"I'll be okay," Cas nodded feverishly, repeated the words as if he was trying to convince himself they were true. "I'm sorry if I woke you."
"Nah, you didn't. I woke up on my own, and just thought I'd check on you."
Cas gave a small smile. "Thank you."
"Yeah. Well, um, try to go back to sleep. Come get me if you need me." Dean awkwardly stood and headed for the door. He was no good at this whole talking thing.
"Thanks." His friend repeated.
As Dean looked back, he fought the urge to stay. Cas looked so lost. Those blue eyes stared straight ahead, and his hands were gripping his sheets again. No way he was going back to sleep anytime soon.
But what difference would it make?
He couldn't fix the broken angel. He couldn't take away the pain. Sam was the go-to guy for comfort. Maybe in the morning he'd ask his brother if he would sit down with Cas and see how he was really doing.
New chapter coming (hopefully) soon! Thanks for reading :)