Follow on from Angel, part four of the Hand of Sorrow Verse.

So I said Monday, didn't I? I lied. I got this finished sooner than I thought (and by finished I mean the fic, not the chapter) and because I'm not one to let things sit and fester, I figured I would share with the class. The song lyrics at the beginning and end of each chapter are from Truth by Seether.

Disclaimer: I keep praying to the Almighty Kripke that I will be given them and it never happens, so I am a meer worshiper who plays with his toys. Likewise I don't own the song.

Truth.

If I gave you the truth
Would it keep you alive
Though I'm closer to wrong
I'm no further from right
And now I'm convinced on the inside that something's wrong with me
Convinced on the inside, you're so much more than me

Dean knows that there is something wrong with Castiel, something beyond the obvious injuries and the memories of what was done to him in that dark little room. Knows that there is something that Castiel is not telling them because he has been jumpy these last few days, jumpy and angry and just not like Cas. Not like him in the sense that he pushes Dean away when he tries to check stitches and injuries, not like him in the sense that he sits and stares at nothing for hours on end without comment or acknowledgement of any of the others in the car with him. Not like Castiel at all. Because Castiel does not mope, Castiel does not get angry, Castiel does not get afraid. All of this is freaking Dean out, really freaking him out and now he no longer has Katie in the back to distract him and worry him with how she is coping with being told that she can never go home. Ellen had been angry, and not in the sense of slightly bemused. She was angry enough to greet them with a shotgun, angry words along the lines of them disappearing with barely a word after Yellow Eyes was killed, Dean dying, coming back to life and they still waited a year before getting in contact with her and only then because they needed help. Fortunately she had still agreed to take Katie in, not taking her anger with them out on the girl and that left him free, so that his focus is almost entirely on Castiel, on where they can all go to avoid the other angels and lie low until he is healed more.

Which is something else. Castiel's creepy angel mojo does not seem to be working, or not working right, because Dean has seen Cas come back from worse than this, knows that punching the angel is like striking a brick wall so these cuts and slashes should be almost healed at least by now. They are no where near it and Dean wonders if that is not one of the reasons that Castiel will not let him near them, wonders if Castiel is regretting ever choosing to help them, with everything that he has lost and is losing and Dean wants to ask needs to ask about Jimmy, because even if Castiel is broken and the hunter has no real way to help him, no real way to fix him without delving into memories and emotions that he would rather not touch with a twenty foot pole, Dean at least needs the comfort of knowing that Jimmy is either oblivious to what has happened to his body, or that he is dead and gone, because somehow the idea that the devout family man has suffered for Castiel's decision and Dean's hard, angry, words, makes the whole situation that much worse. Dean would rather live with the knowledge that Jimmy is dead, than the guilt that his demands have put him through that. He will not ask, however, because whenever he does speak to the angel these days he does not get a response much past monosyllables and he can tell that even Sam is coming out of his 'I set Lucifer free' funk enough to notice that something is very wrong.

He knows that Sam has tried to talk to the angel at least once in the last day or so, knows because he could hear Castiel's answer of "I do not need your pity," across the parking lot as he brought food back to the motel room for the two human occupants, wondered if maybe he should turn back and wait for a moment, but the door had opened and Sam had spotted him, muttered something about Cas being Dean's angel and he should deal with him, and traded places, taking a walk and leaving Dean with an angel who neither knows how, nor wants to express emotions. It is an experience that neither Winchester wants to repeat just yet, so neither has broached the subject again, just bundling Cas into the car each morning after yet another fight to be allowed to check on his wounds and Dean wishes that they would heal already, or that Cas would get out of this mood of his, because it is getting old and as much as Dean owes the angel he is about ready to tell him to take care of himself for a while so that both boys can catch a break. He will not, however, because he does owe the angel, and it is his fault, at least a little, that Castiel is in this position, so he holds his tongue, because he understands to a degree what the angel is going through, remembers the same frustration and fear and anger at the world when he first got back from Hell, first started to really recall what had happened and because of this, he knows that it is not his place to push, and not Sam's place to question and eventually Castiel will open up or deal on his own. Dean is good with either option because sometimes such chick flick moments are acceptable.

Between now and then, however, they will drive, drive until they find somewhere remote and abandoned where they can hole up for a few days. Would rather go to Bobby's place with it's demon proof panic room and massive library, except that the angels know about Bobby's place and Bobby does not exactly like Cas, not with the whole first meeting and general Winchester manipulation that he had going for a while so that is another reason not to go there, not with the angel being less than his usually serene self, where everything is bubbling just below the surface and Dean is worried, afraid, that it will all surface soon, because just as Castiel has no experience with actual emotions, he has no experience in controlling them either and if Winchesters can be explosive when they bottle things up for too long, he dreads what a confused, frightened, angel will do, so they need to find somewhere, soon, hex bags and continual movement can only do so much against the forces of heaven and hell combined and Dean does not need to have both of them on his ass while he tries to fix Sam and fix Cas and fix himself, although he is beginning to think that he is too far gone anyway, and Sam is quickly headed that way and he has no idea about the angel.

So he drives, drives aimlessly around back roads and through little towns. Drives until he finds what he needs, a house, long abandoned, long forgotten. Dusty and rotten and full of rats and insects and mould. It may not be the most stable place for them to be, but at least it is out of the way, at least it is not the home of anyone that they know and they are not putting anyone else in danger. They can hide here and at the moment, hiding is the only option, the only thing that they can do until the muttered 'fine' that comes from all corners every day is as close to the truth as possible, though it will never be true and Dean knows that, he just needs things to be right. He needs Castiel to be right, is worried that he will never be able to make it right.

No

No there's nothing you say that can salvage the lie
But I'm trying to keep my intentions disguised
And now I'm deprived of my conscience and something's got to give
Deprived of my conscience
This all belongs to me, yeah

Reviews are little Castiels that fly above our heads and mini Deans under the bed. A small Sam in hand and a tiny John by the chair, a review that can show how much you care.

Artemis