Livin' on a Prayer
Dean's phone rang at three o'clock in the morning. He groaned, rubbing his eyes and wanting to silence the high pitched noise. His hand clumsily felt for the phone on the nightstand. His fingers wrapped around it as they gained purchase and he squinted at the screen before answering.
"Cas?" He groaned, rubbing his eyes. "Cas, what the hell's wrong with you, do you know what time it is?"
"Y-yes, I am very aware how late the hour is," he said quickly. "But-"
"Cas, whatever it is it can wait 'til tomorrow. We both've had a seriously long day so-"
"Dean, please, listen," Castiel said urgently. "I…I'm not in the best of places right now and-"
"Alright, we're in room 302, King's Inn in Queens."
"D-Dean, I can't get to you," Dean sat up at the angel's tone. He didn't sound like his usual monotone self. He sounded scared. "I've tried leaving here, but, but I can't. Please, Dean…I don't know what to do."
Dean was already getting dressed and shaking Sam awake. "Alright, Cas, we're comin' to get you, where are you?"
"T-Troy Avenue, in Crown Heights," he said shakily. Dean sighed and shut his eyes. That meant it would be almost two hours before they got there.
"Alright, we'll be there soon. Just stay where you are and…and don't talk to anyone, alright?"
"Okay," Castiel said. "Okay, I will."
"We'll be there soon, Cas, just sit tight." He closed his phone and grabbed his jacket.
"Dean, what's going on?" Sam asked.
"I'll explain on the way, right now, we gotta go get Cas."
Castiel looked around the shady neighborhood, keeping his eyes downcast and away from the people on the street.
A group of young men were standing a few hundred yards away, glancing over at him, whispering to each other.
Castiel had never been this scared. He didn't understand what was going on, or why it was happening. He'd left Sam and Dean broken and angry. He'd spent the last few hours walking around and drinking. When he'd found himself in this neighborhood he had tried to go somewhere in the mountains, somewhere quiet, peaceful. But when he tried, nothing happened. He couldn't go anywhere, which is why he called Dean. Dean could help him, he could find a way to help him.
"Hey!" Castiel looked up. The group he had seen earlier was walking toward him, looking menacing. "What you standin' there for, Mr. Businessman?" Castiel remained silent. Dean said not to say anything.
"You deaf? He's talkin' to you!" They were surrounding him. He backed into the wall behind him, still not saying anything.
The man that had first talked to him got incredibly close to his face.
"How about you just gimme your money?" He said darkly. He didn't have any, but Dean told him not to talk. "You either gimme your money or we gonna take it from ya."
They couldn't hurt him. They weren't strong enough to hurt him. He was wrong.
Dean parked the Impala on the side of the road, registering the gun in his waistband as he stepped out. Sam followed suit, looking up and down the street for a familiar trench coat.
"Cas!" Dean called, ignoring the looks he got from the people on the street. "God, don't these people have to sleep or somethin'?"
"Not with their jobs," Sam mumbled. "Cas!" They started walking, looking between buildings, just wanting to find their friend.
"Shit," Dean spat, jogging across the street. Sam followed, looking equally as worried.
Castiel was leaning against a brick wall in an alley, his clothes torn and disheveled, blood trickling out of his nose and the corner of his mouth, dark bruises on his cheek, his jaw and his eye.
"Cas, Cas, are you alright?" Dean asked, steadying his head so he looked at him. The angel nodded, staring at the ground. "What happened?" Castiel's eyes met his, sad and confused.
"You said not to talk to anyone," he said quietly. Dean shut his eyes, sighing.
"I'm sorry, Cas," he said. The angel looked away again. "Who did this, huh? Angels, demons?"
"Humans," he said. "Just humans," Sam's eyes grew. "They took my phone."
"It's okay. It's okay, we'll get you another one, alright?" Dean assured.
"I…I'd like to leave this place," he mumbled. Dean and Sam looked at each other briefly.
"Ok, Cas," Sam said. "We're leaving, c'mon." They hauled him up and helped him to the car. Castiel stumbled a few times, worse than he should have. Dean frowned.
"Cas, have you been drinking?" He asked. The angel nodded.
"It dulls this ache in my chest I can't seem to get rid of." His voice was so quiet they could hardly hear him. The brothers looked at each other once more.
They got Castiel into the back seat.
"What the hell's going on?" Sam asked rhetorically.
"I don't know," Dean said, running a hand over his face. "I don't know. But what I do know is that we've got a half-drunk, hopeless, beat up angel in the car that can't do his usual angel thing."
"I'll call Bobby," Sam said. "Maybe he'll know what's goin' on." Dean nodded and got in the car. Sam sighed.
He was the only one left that seemed to have any hope. Castiel's faith in what they were doing had diminished when they told him God wasn't going to help. Dean's had been chipped away slowly, and now there was nothing left. But he couldn't give up.
Sam reached in his pocket, touching the amulet that resided there, frowning.
"Sam," Dean called, rolling down the window. "You checkin' out the scenery? Let's go!"
I watched the city fly by next to me. My body ached from the beating I had received for reasons I still don't quite understand. I folded my arms over my chest, trying to understand why it hurt so much. I was…scared. I think that's what the emotion is called. I was confused as to what was happening to me. I could not send demons back to Hell. I could not heal those who needed it. And now…now I feared that I was no longer an angel. I could be injured by humans. I felt the chill of the air around me. And the bruises weren't healing. What was happening to me?
Dean parked the car in a motel parking lot before getting out and going into the office to get a room. Sam turned around, looking at me. His expression changed to concerned when he saw my face, no doubt just as puzzled as I was about the abrasions on my face.
"Cas, why aren't you healing?" Sam asked.
"I don't know," I said truthfully. Sam pursed his lips, trying to think of an explanation.
Dean opened the door next to me, helping me get out.
The alcohol I had drank earlier had worn off completely.
The pain was there, that awful feeling of abandonment. It was an empty feeling. And it hurt.
It hurt to walk on my own. My ribs throbbed, making my breath hitch in my chest. The short walk from the car to the motel room seemed to take an eternity, though in reality it was only a few minutes.
Dean guided me to sit on one of the beds, going to dig the first aid kit out of his bag.
Sam took out his phone and dialed, most likely calling Bobby.
I felt uncomfortable here. I shrunk into myself, wanting this horrible feeling to stop.
Dean sat back down next to me, a rag in his hand.
"You ever had to patch someone up before?" He asked. I shook my head.
"None that weren't celestial," I said quietly. Dean nodded, his face understanding.
"Alright, hold still." The rag touched my face and I flinched away. I didn't expect it to hurt. "Sorry. It's gonna hurt a little."
I winced again when it touched the scrape on my cheek. Dean apologized when I cringed.
"Are any of your ribs broken?" He asked. I looked him. I didn't know what that was supposed to feel like. "Alright, tell me how bad this hurts on a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, ok?" I nodded again.
He pressed his hand into my side, taking me by surprise.
"Ah!" I pulled away reflexively. "S-seven." Dean nodded and pushed again, feeling for something. I shut my eyes and bit my lip, hissing in pain.
"Alright, they aren't broken," he said, more to himself than me I think.
"Okay, thanks Bobby," Sam said, closing his phone. He looked at his brother, gesturing for him to come over.
"I'll be right back, Cas," he said, standing.
I sat alone, watching them talk and wondering what this grumbling in my stomach was.
"What'd Bobby say?" Dean asked quietly. Sam shook his head, sighing.
"There's only one explanation that he could come up with," he admitted. He looked at Castiel, who looked lost and alone. "He thinks he's human."
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