Title: All of the Boys and All of the Girls (Can't You See What I See?)
Summary: When the war ended, Dean discovered love. She may have made some questionable choices after that. Mainly, the whole "she" thing. Dean/Cas.
Rating: R for language
Chapters: 11 (plus epilogue)
A/N: I honestly don't know where this came from. But it was persistent. It wouldn't stop nagging until I finally finished it. It's cracked-out, though. Long-ass title from "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears (yeah, I know. Just don't ask, ok?).
Warnings: Genderswap, language, and flashbacks in italics (some people don't like those).
Disclaimer: I don't own the song that the title is derived from, nor do I own the characters created by one Mr. Eric Kripke.
All of the Boys and All of the Girls (Can't You See What I See?)
Two things happened when the war ended. Sam ran, and Dean realized that he was in love. He wasn't sure which one scared him more, the fact that Sam had finally realized that he'd been in the wrong all along and dealt with it by leaving, or the fact that he himself was head-over-heels.
It was most likely the latter. After all, he couldn't really blame Sam. The kid had been mind-fucked, had been tricked into doing all sorts of shit he wouldn't have under normal circumstances. And it wasn't really his fault. It was Dean's, what with the dying and going to Hell and all.
So he was happy that Sam had finally figured it out. A little pissed that it had taken Ruby pointing the Colt at his chest to get it, but whatever. Sam had pulled his own little trick and the gun was in his hands and Ruby was dead and that was it. The end. Crisis averted. Ruby and Sam had been the demons' last chance. With Lilith dying on the battlefield, Sam's revelation, and Ruby's death, it was done.
And then Sam had run. Had celebrated their victory with him at the bar, and been gone in the morning. Never to be heard from again.
It was that night when Dean had his own little revelation. The whole love-thing. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Sam leaving and Dean alone and the sense of presence in the room. It had brought him down and made him break. Alone but not alone in the motel room with two beds, he'd cried.
He'd cried and he'd sobbed, and then there was a hand on his back and a comforting weight on the mattress, and he'd known.
He'd known, and that knowledge had broken him down farther, made him scream. Because it was impossible. It was wrong. A one-way ticket to Hell. And it figured, he supposed. He'd actually gotten to thinking that things would be better once the war was over, had thought that maybe he'd even get something for his services. Like getting pulled from the Pit hadn't been enough.
Hell, he'd even started thinking about what he'd ask for. A house, maybe. Safe and protected from evil. Always fully stocked. Because these guys could do fucking anything. Had pulled the most pathetic gutter-soul from Hell. So he'd figured pulling a Martha Stewart couldn't be that hard.
The hand had circled on his back, and then the other one was on him, fingers grazing his forehead, and everything had gone dark and quiet.
Dean had had a lot of time to think since that night. A lot of time alone. So much time alone, just sitting and staring at the empty bed, at Sam's forgotten cell lying on the dresser, at anything but his own selfish reflection.
He may be going back to Hell for his revelation, but he wasn't dragging anyone else down with him.
When the angel finally showed up again, Dean decided to make that fact clear. "Stay away from me."
"Oh, I don't know," Dean shrugged. "My brother's gone, for one. I don't even know where to start looking. And you," he gestured vaguely. "You just pop up whenever the hell you feel like it, right? Why are you even still here? Shouldn't you be up on a cloud celebrating, or something?"
"I was worried about you."
He felt his heart flutter a bit at that, felt memories of small compassions that he hadn't even noticed for the war raging around them come back so suddenly it hurt. "Don't worry. I'm fine."
"You're not fine," Castiel said. "You're conflicted."
"What do you care?"
"I care." He looked up to meet the angel's eyes. "Tell me what's wrong."
"I'm not going back."
"Nobody said you were."
"Not yet." Dean sighed. "Just leave. Go home, or wherever. I'll clean up your mess."
"You're hiding something." That familiar tilt of the head, the feeling that those eyes could see through him, and the realization that this was it. The moment that would break him. The moment that would send him tumbling back into Perdition because he couldn't control his thoughts or his impulses or whatever the hell had brought him here. Had made him want.
"It's not my fault," he muttered, knowing it was a lousy defense. But it was true. He'd just had too much time to think, too much time alone, and the memories came back. Getting pulled, being comforted, being saved, being forgiven. And he hadn't asked for any of it. He never asked for anything. It was just there, amidst all the distraction of Seals and Lilith and demon blood and dicks with wings. All muddled up and confused until he had a minute to himself to stop and think and then - oh.
Would you look at that? Compassion and forgiveness and warmth and maybe he'd started to think he'd actually deserved something. Not a guardian angel, but a friend, at least. Someone good to rub off on him. Someone to clean the gaping holes and make him all shiny and new. Someone who saw him as worthy of something. Anything.
God help him, someone who loved him.
And that was when the shit hit the fan. Because there wasn't love there. There wasn't even friendship. There was manipulation and a constant threat and fear.
Somehow, though, in his messed-up mind, Dean had taken that and made it seem good. Seem pleasurable. Happy. Maybe it was forty years of Hell, thirty years of torture, that made the consistency of their working relationship seem like something he should want. It was twisted and wrong and his heart still beat a little faster when he heard the fluttering of wings, so he was screwed.
He was screwed because he didn't even have a good idea why he was screwed. He'd just latched onto the good feeling that he sometimes got when the angel was around and then-
He snapped out of whatever the hell that had been, and looked at the angel. "Cas?"
"Are you ok?"
"I told you, I'm fine. Now go."
"You're not fine. Your heart is beating erratically and you're sweating and your breathing has become rather shallow. What's wrong?"
"It's nothing. Just go back to Heaven and leave me the hell alone."
"Just tell me what you're scared of."
He dared to take a step closer. "I'm not scared of anything."
"I'm not leaving until I know."
Dean just gaped. He knew he was gaping because he felt his jaw drop and his eyes widen. What was that, the angel equivalent of you can't make me? No. "No."
"It can't be that bad."
He laughed. He laughed and something in his head disconnected because the next words out of his mouth were, "can't be that bad? I fucking love you."
And there it was, kiddies. Out in the open and hanging in the air. A death sentence. But Dean chose to look at the bright side. The side where more time in Hell meant a second chance to hold out, to not break, to finally do something right.
"Is that all?"
He was gaping again. "What?"
Castiel shook his head, a look of bemusement written plainly on his face. "Is that all?" he repeated. "Dean-"
"No. Ok, no. I'm not going to Hell with you laughing at me."
"You're not going to Hell."
"And why the hell not?"
"Because you haven't done anything wrong."
"Haven't done…? Ok, you must have missed my little declaration of love. For an angel. A guy angel."
"There's nothing wrong with loving someone, Dean."
And that right there struck him mute. Dumbfounded. Because Dean Winchester didn't get what he wanted, even if he hadn't exactly been aware that he'd wanted it. Not ever.
There was something warm inside him, though, something that he would have probably identified as hope if he'd ever really had time to dissect the feeling before. He liked it. Hell, he loved it, and he kind of wanted it to stay.
The feeling that maybe the way Cas refused to even blink meant that he'd maybe known all along and maybe the feeling was mutual, and maybe Dean could persuade him into whipping up that house he'd been thinking about and maybe they could live happily ever after. Yeah. And maybe monkeys were going to start flying out of both their asses.
But, you know, couldn't hurt to try, right?
"Does that mean what I think it means?" Dean asked, voice a little shakier than he might have liked.
Of course. Because people like him, people who tortured and burnt and hoped couldn't possibly be loved or happy or, fuck, anything but miserable.
"That doesn't mean that the feeling is not mutual."
There was that damned warmth again, all bubbly and excited and making him fucking smile. "You love me?"
A single bob of the head, a stoic expression, but Castiel looked sincere. "I do."
The angel shrugged. "I don't know. Do you know why you feel this way?"
Dean snorted. Oh, he knew. He knew because he'd spent time dissecting it, had spent time thinking about it, worrying about it, convincing himself he was hellbound. He sighed. "Were you ever planning on telling me?"
"What good would it do?"
He shrugged. "I woulda liked to know." And that was the truth. He would have. With Sam running off with Ruby all the time, and people threatening them all with Hell, and the world coming to an end, it would have been nice to know. To have someone care, just a little. "So what do we do about it?"
"Because that makes perfect sense."
"It's a sin."
"I thought you said there wasn't anything wrong with loving somebody."
"The sin is not so much in the thought, as in the action," Castiel clarified.
"Well, we don't have to do anything. You could just stay-"
"The temptation would be too great."
"You managed not to get your wings clipped so far."
"There was a war," Castiel said. "Distraction. That's done now."
"There's gotta be some way." Oh, did he ever hate the way his voice sounded. All whiny and pathetic.
The angel just stared at him, eyes boring into him before finally turning away. He was hiding something.
"There is, isn't there?" Dean said. "You know something. Some way to avoid the whole sin-thing."
"They aren't preferable."
"More than one? All right, well, run 'em by me."
He sighed. "I can't stay with you. Not like this."
"Like this?" Dean asked. He got only a stare in return, long and hard and begging him to understand without words, and he was starting to wonder where those emotionless marble statues Anna had bitched about had gone. Because this guy definitely felt feelings, despite the fact that he didn't ever really show it. So Anna had lied. Anna, who had seen the best of both worlds, human and angel, who had Fallen, and-
Castiel looked relieved. So Dean had gotten it right in one. Wonderful. "You said there was another way. Maybe one that doesn't involve the proverbial trip to Candy Mountain?"
The angel just looked at him.
"Ripping out your angel kidney?"
"Never mind. Just lay it on me."
Castiel sighed again. "It's not something I would have suggested otherwise, just know that."
"Ok, but, dude. If there's a way around this…"
"The Bible states that men shall not lie together."
"Spit it out, Cas."
That stare again. Not blank this time. Full of… something. Fear, maybe? Regret? Caution? Hope? Like Dean was supposed to get anything out of that.
But then he put the words with the look and it clicked somehow. Everything fell into place and he stared right back at the angel, daring him to finish what he'd started. "That even possible, Cas?"
"All things are possible through the Lord."
"You're talking about a supernatural sex change."
"Which is why I would have let it drop."
Dean blinked. Was that slang? Did he just hear..?
He forced himself to focus. "Yeah?"
Wide eyes met his. "This is why I didn't tell you. I wasn't willing to put you through that."
"Me? What about you, Mr. All-things-are-possible-through-God?"
Castiel glanced down, fingering the lapels of his coat. "This body is not mine."
"The guy's still in there?" Because that would have been the real kicker. Loving an angel and raping an innocent man all at once. Bonus Hell points.
"No. Thomas has moved on."
"Because it's not mine. I would not insult his memory by radically changing what he willingly sacrificed."
"Oh." When he thought about it, Dean supposed it made sense, but… "You're asking me to… you actually want me to…?"
"I'm not going to force you, Dean. It is your choice. Think about it." And with that, the angel was gone.
With a sigh, Dean fell back onto his bed and stared at the ceiling. Dude. Dude. No fucking way.
Dean was asleep when Castiel arrived. He was smiling slightly, his body and face relaxed, finally at peace. He seemed so fragile in that moment, so human. A mass of flesh and blood and contradictions. So small, and yet large for his kind. Weak, but still strong. Willing to carry the weight of the world, and never expecting anything in return.
He was special, this human. He cared. He didn't care because he believed he would be rewarded for it after death, as so many people did. He simply cared because it was the right thing to do. He fought, not for vengeance, but to save people. There were very few hunters without a vendetta.
Dean didn't see that, though. He didn't see the safe, happy people he left behind. He didn't see the good he'd done. He only saw the evil. The Seal that he'd unwittingly broken, the demons he'd created while under Alistair's care, the people he'd been unable to save.
He blamed himself, and that was why Castiel loved him. He cared for everyone but himself, and that was a great injustice. It had to be corrected.
That, coupled with the way he'd found the man in Hell, his eyes crazed and already darkening, a silent litany of I'msorrysosorrypleaseI'msorry cascading from chapped, broken, and bloody lips as he sliced and shredded and carved.
Becoming what he'd fought, he still held his humanity. The very essence of his being.
All his fault.
Castiel loved him because of that, because of his faith in people, his faith in everyone but himself. Castiel loved him because he now had that same faith. Where he'd once seen savages, creatures capable of doing inhuman things to each other, he now saw art, beautiful paintings of life and vibrancy. He saw what Dean had always seen, simply because Dean had seen it.
Had seen it, but had never seen himself. Because Dean didn't believe himself to be worthy. Because he gave and gave and gave, until he had nothing left to give. That was when he gave more. Gave until he was running on empty, and Castiel could only ever hope to be like that, so selfless.
He hadn't reached that goal, obviously. He was asking Dean to give up his identity, was going to take the way he looked and twist it, change it, make it different.
And Dean never questioned. Only considered. Only begged Castiel not to give up what made him, him. Offered to do anything to keep what few shreds of companionship he had left.
Castiel knew that if he truly loved the hunter, he would have Fallen, would have ripped himself apart in an effort to get to Dean, to make him understand.
He also knew that if he took that route, Dean would simply blame himself.
So he'd offered another way, and now he would wait for Dean to rise. He would wait for his decision. Would wait to see just how hopeless life, Hell, and the war had left the hunter.
So, uh... yeah. That's chapter 1. Reviews are always welcome, and thanks for reading!