Notes: This is the last chapter of the first installment. If you actually liked it (majority vote says 'no'?) there will be a second installment appearing soonish. Possibly a third, or just the few random non-linear snippets my darling proofreader inspired.
Please review? I get all paranoid when not even one person tells me I did moderately unbad.
They pack up at the end of the lease, bundling everything important to them into the black beauty, weapons hidden in a special compartment in the boot. Lately Jimmy has found himself drawn to the knives, admiring the shine of them, the way the long blades glinted in the light. He stares at kitchen knives sometimes as he holds them, paused half way through chopping vegetables or trimming fat from meat. He always puts them down before he can think too deeply about what staring at knives might mean.
He falls asleep in the back seat of the car, waking up at a rest stop hours down the track as Dean slides into the back seat beside him. Neither of them say anything, but when Sam starts driving Jimmy finds his head growing foggy with sleep again and lets himself drift off with his head cushioned on Dean's shoulder. The next time he wakes up his head is in Dean's lap and there are fingers stroking absently through his hair. He reaches up to touch Dean's thigh lightly, brushing the denim of his jeans with the tips of his fingers. The hand in his hair stills briefly, then resumes its petting.
"I want a knife," Jimmy says, interrupting the brothers' quiet conversation.
"A knife?" Sam repeats, a small, sincere frown making his brow crinkle.
"What kind of knife, angelface?" Dean asks, mixing wariness with indulgence.
"Something I can carry with me."
"Not planning on slitting our throats in our sleep?" Dean prompts, knowing as well as both of the other men in the car that if Jimmy was going to do anything of the sort he would have done it by now. He was not asking permission to commit murder.
"We'll find you a knife," Sam says, raising his eyebrows at Dean through the rearview mirror.
"You can have dad's old blade," Dean says, just a beat behind his brother. "The old straight razor."
Jimmy feels like there's something significant to that, but neither of the Winchesters seem keen on telling him what exactly that is. So he keeps silent and touches Dean's leg again, letting his fingers rest against the denim.
He lets the green-eyed murderer kiss him again that night, parting his lips a little to let Dean taste his mouth. Dean's tongue tastes like strong black coffee. A cold hard weight is pressed into Jimmy's hand. He knows, without needing to look, that it's the blade that he was promised.
"You're not going to beg me, are you?" Dean asks, murmuring the question against Jimmy's lips. "You're different. You're not going to give in."
"No," Jimmy whispers, meaning yes.
He stays stoic as Dean presses against him, thinks about his wife and feels sick with Dean's next, forceful kiss. Dean starts to pull away but Jimmy's hands grab hold of his shirt, pulling him back again and tangling their mouths together. The thought of Amelia fades under fresh assault from Dean's tongue but the feeling of sickness remains until their mouths finally pull apart again, both men panting.
"Fucking tease," Dean whispers. "Fucking angel. Face like a goddamn angel..."
"I'm not ready," Jimmy says, voice bland because he's known for quite some time exactly why the brothers kidnapped him. He knows it was all Dean's idea. He suspects he was supposed to have been gone already, that somewhere along the line the plan must have changed. He knows and he's starting to not care about the things holding him back.
"I'm a patient sonofabitch when I want to be," Dean says simply. He gives Jimmy one final kiss before leaving him alone with the razor and his own thoughts.
In the morning Sam's eyes give him a warning flash of yellow. Jimmy nods to the younger brother, silently giving his agreeance. He still remembers that conversation they had over the top of his head. Dean is Sam's first.
The sharp edge of the razor drags slowly over his skin, drawing a thin red line down over his collarbone that wells with blood. Cas tips his head back, raising the blade from his skin and looking at the red staining the blade while a tongue traces over the cut, spreading blood and spit over his chest. Huge hands smooth down his torso, stopping to unbuckle his belt and undo the fly of his jeans. Another pair of hands touches his hair, his face, his neck, tilting his chin further back so his mouth can be claimed in a slow kiss.
Sam's hands pull on Castiel's jeans, tugging them down and finally tossing them aside. Cas lets his thighs spread, and press the razor into his inner thigh, a cut just deep enough to drip blood. He leans back against Dean and the elder brother supports his weight while Sam ducks down to suck on the cut on his thigh.
Sam's hand covers his, pulling the razor down again and Castiel squirms when it touches a sensitive spot close to his hip, breathing hard.
"Do it, Sammy. You'll love the noise he makes." The encouragement is breathy and gruff, emphasised by hands that stroke down Castiel's stomach.
Sam presses the blade down. "Repaid in full," he murmurs against Castiel's hip, slicking his fingers in KY.
The very first time he's handed the keys to the impala is also the first time he sees a real demon. They were at a truck stop when it happened, when Sam caught sight of something and stiffened in a way that made Dean automatically reach for the pistol tucked into the back of his jeans. Jimmy follows their line of sight to an average looking man in washed-out jeans and a flannel shirt. He watches as the man's eyes connect with Sam's, catches a flash of yellow from the corner of his eye and knows that something about that man has just managed to put Sam Winchester into a really bad mood.
The man walks out of the truck stop and Sam gets up to follow, Dean half a step behind him. Jimmy follows at a distance, curiosity winning out over common sense. He walks into the mouth of the alleyway in time to catch the fight. There are three men and only two Winchesters, but the brothers are holding their own with knives and fists.
Jimmy hears the demons talking, calling Sam the 'Winchester Half-breed'. They're all too busy to notice him watching. Only afterwards, when two of the hosts are dead and the third is a bloody wreck on the pavement, do the brothers notice him standing there. Sam's eyes are yellow, his face is bloody. Dean is in a similar condition, a split in his eyebrow dripping blood down his face.
Jimmy takes the keys to the impala wordlessly and sits in the driver's seat for the first time. It occurs to him that this now makes him their getaway driver. "Possession?" he asks, glancing at the brothers in the rearview.
He doesn't need an answer. He knows what he saw. He drives until a hand taps his shoulder, then pulls over and lets Dean take over, sliding over into the passenger seat. He thinks it's oddly poetic in a way. The Winchesters are killers themselves, but scorned by demons who have surely done worse.
Jimmy looks out the window and wonders if the world has always been so fucked up.
He's ready sooner than he thinks he will be. He recognises the sudden shift when it happens. He's looking in the mirror, going through the morning ritual of shaving his face when suddenly he looks himself in the eyes through the mirror. The difference captures him immediately. The blue is cold and indifferent, eerie in an impassive face. He thinks to himself 'I'm not Jimmy', and remembers that nobody has called him that in almost a year. For almost a year he's been 'angel' or 'angelface'. He wonders if he'd still answer to his own name if he heard it aloud.
The answer is no. He wouldn't. The imagined scenario didn't seem right. It would require forgetting everything that he'd experienced, forgetting his willing compliance, his silent shadowing. He could have left at any point he wanted to, he realises, any point after they started leaving him on his own without rope to keep him hobbled. He could have called, could have emailed, could have slit his wrists and left the brothers a cold, inconvenient surprise. He didn't. He's not that man anymore.
He finishes scraping the bristles from his face with a thoughtful air. He would like a name. It seems unnecessarily complicated for Sam and Dean to constantly keep avoiding the question when strangers ask who he is. He doesn't hate the pet names, but introducing himself with an endearment is just plain ridiculous.
He thinks about it all day, musing on all the names he's heard, toying with the idea of naming himself after something or someone, maybe from a book.
"You're thinking too hard," Dean tells him that night, when they're standing outside the laundromat waiting for a load of washing.
"It's important," he replies simply. He lets Dean touch his face and run his thumb over his bottom lip.
"Tell me what you're thinking about. Tell me what's so important."
"Come on, angelface. What's got you so caught up?"
The inspiration is like lightning. His eyes light up with a smile that doesn't reach the rest of his face. The irony would be brilliant, he thinks. Too funny, too perfect. Now he only has to pick the right one. He leans forward and kisses Dean of his own accord for the first time, biting the other man's lower lip. "You think too much," he tells Dean.
Dean pushes him against the wall, thigh shoved between his legs, hands on his hips pulling him closer. He does more than just let it happen. He rolls his hips forward, slides an arm around Dean's waist and grabs his jacket collar with the other. The kisses are hard, with bitten lips and duelling tongues. He's breathless by the end, tastes copper on his tongue.
"Cocktease," Dean says when he's pushed away.
He doesn't tell Dean that he wants a name for the other man to use before he'll agree to anything more.
He decides on a Thursday, fitting in that it's actually the sole factor in his decision. The other factor is a mess on the floor of blood and bones, blood that stains his jeans, his shirt, and the blade of his straight razor. A shiny badge is pinned to the torso.
The Winchesters watch him where he's fallen to his knees. They're not bloody like he is, but the blade of Sam's knife shines red and Dean is still holding the sawn-off shotgun.
"Angelface," Dean says, shocked and impressed and frankly a little turned on. "Are you ok?"
He looks up at the brothers, away from the body he'd just consigned to heaven, and he speaks in a calm, cold monotone. "My name is Castiel."
He blacks out then, not physically, but there's a gap in his memory between the revelation of his new name and suddenly finding himself in the back of the impala, blood dry on his hands. If he strains really hard he can recall strong hands dragging him to his feet, maybe saying the words; 'He would have called for backup'.
Castiel knows he had been standing in the mouth of the alley by the car, watching silently as the brothers cornered the couple they'd pegged as an easy steal. Kill the man, let the woman get away, less her diamond earrings and her feeling of being safe ever again. Sam had been stripping the woman of her jewellery when the cop had come along. Beat cop, unfathomably alone. He had his short-wave in hand when Castiel had stepped in, straight razor in hand, body moving of its own accord. He'd felt a sensation similar to that time, long ago, when he'd trashed the living room of a cottage. It was all just smash, break, and rip. The cop hadn't even had time to reach for his baton.
The woman had scrambled away, a mess of dirt and her date's blood. Castiel remembers choosing his name.
He looks up at the brothers in the front seat, sees them both watching him - Dean's eyes in the mirror, Sam's body turned so he can watch him from the passenger seat.
"You are impressed," Castiel says, reading the currents in the brother's body language and in Dean's eyes.
"You're certainly full of surprises," Sam answers first, shooting a glance at Dean that Castiel finds hard to interpret.
"Surprised the hell out of us both," Dean says then, smiling over his shoulder before turning back to the road. "You hacked that guy to bits. Tiny little bits."
"That is exaggeration."
Silence descends. Castiel notices that he's still holding the razor and polishes it free of blood before tucking it into the pocket of his newly stained jeans.
"So..." Dean says again, when they're alone in the nameless motel, Sam gone out to retrieve supplies and food. "Castiel, huh? Got a last name to go with that?"
"No." He likes it that way.
Dean's hand touches his face. "Mind if I call you 'Cas'?"
He doesn't have to answer. Dean sees it in his eyes. By the time Sam returns blood-stained clothing is crumpled on the floor. Cas lies in the circle of Dean's arms, bruises from bites and rough fingers peppering his body. He doesn't care about that, feels strangely content even as Sam's eyebrows raise.
"Dude, shut up," Dean says, pulling a blanket higher over their bodies.
Cas never plans with them. He doesn't enjoy that part, doesn't participate in the discussions about who and where and how. He leaves it up to the brothers Winchester and sits back to take care of the domestic chores that neither of them ever seem to have learned. He takes the guard more often than not, often enough to have earned him the joking title of 'guardian angel' when he takes down bystanders who wandered past at inopportune moments before they can raise the alarm.
When, and if, he gives in to violence without prompting it's always quick and efficient, removing the irritation without fuss.
Now that they have his fingerprints, the FBI have begun to piece together a mostly fictional account of what must have happened. Castiel's eyes fill with disgust and contempt as he watches the show's host discuss his situation with psychological experts.
They're watching because the TV guide said it was a series of 'documentaries' on serial killers and the Winchesters are vain enough to want to watch theirs for amusement's sakes.
The episode started by recounting the brothers' troubled childhood and ex-military father's supposed brainwashing and abuse. It ran through their MO - which made both of the brothers laugh at the number of deviant cases that obviously hadn't been linked with them yet - and showed their most recent mug shots. Sam from two years ago with puppydog eyes and innocent expression, Dean from barely a month ago, giving his best adorable joker smile.
Then they showed Castiel's picture, emotionless and bored as the host gave an almost hammer-horror narration of the FBI's discovery that the killers had a new accomplice. The host talked about Jimmy Novak's unblemished past, proper Christian upbringing and happy childhood, marrying his high school sweetheart, his job at a sales company... His sudden and unexplained disappearance.
Theories ranged from kidnapping (Dean's hand squeezed his thigh), to previous association with the brothers (the hand cupped his crotch), to undiagnosed mental problems (and rubbed), to everyone's favourite theory when a victim became a killer.
"I don't appreciate their speculation," Cas said, trapping Dean's wrist.
"I don't like what they keep calling you, angelface."
"Will you two get a room?" Sam rolls his eyes, changing the channel. "I'm starting to think I need to find myself an accomplice."
"I always said you needed to find yourself a pretty demon girl, Sam. You'd have to keep her on a short leash for a while, but I'm sure we could work it out."
Sam looks thoughtful, frowning a little as he considers the idea. "Find a body that I like," he muses, "and then find a demon to match it..."
"See? Easily done. There's got to be some demon out there with a bit of a human kink."
Castiel leans back against the couch and against the green-eyed brother. "I am not cleaning any messes or mistakes," he says, his contribution to the conversation. He doesn't care that they might kidnap someone, might put her through the same routine that he had gone through to get to this point. She would either live and become one of them, or she'd die. What did it matter, as long as he was content?
Sam stands and takes the keys to the impala, thoughtful look still on his face. "I'll be back later," he says, and disappears.
Cas lets go of Dean's wrist and lets the younger man unzip his jeans.
Four days later, Sam comes back to the motel with a Polaroid snapshot of a woman from the next town over. He places the photo right in the middle of the small kitchen table. The photo is obviously stolen from somewhere, the handwriting underneath the woman's smiling face labelling her 'Ruby'. Sam looks at his brother and says four words. "I want her, Dean."