I watched the Supernatural episode just a while before I wrote this (S05E17). I have to say, the scenes with Castiel were right on for me. The scene that stuck with me the most was when Dean gave Castiel the pills. Just gave me a reminded of S05E04 Castiel, and the fact that Dean might have started Castiel on the pills.

Anyhow.

Title: Poppin' the Pill
Author: ThirteenthSPIRAL/naivecrimsonLJ
Rating: PG
Warning: Spoilers up to S05E17.
Summary: Dean gave him those pills to help with his pain.


When Castiel read the inscription on the bottle at that particular point of time, he didn't really think that those little pills that some humans were so dependent upon could actually take away the pain that he felt.

He was certain that the physical pain was real, and he knew enough to know that the pills could help with that pain. But he was skeptical as to whether the pills could actually take away pain like it suggested on the yellowish, worn label. The real pain that he knew was not physical.

The bottle settled heavy in the pocket of his trench coat, like a weight that was too much for him to bear. It was like a promise that Castiel knew would never be fulfilled, and therefore couldn't bring himself to touch it, lest he be brought down crumbling. And Castiel knew that he was already teetering on the edge of falling - all it would take was one small push.

When The Whore of Babylon spoke words that tainted his soul and seared what remained of his Grace with blinding heat and sent him collapsing down to the floor, curling up against himself, writhing with agony that he never knew he could feel, Castiel was once again brought aware of how much his Grace had eroded. He was on the floor, face scrunched in torment, and the breaths that he had been taking so easily before suddenly seemed so difficult to achieve, so much more than he could handle. Every heave of his chest brought his a new wave of pain, and as he struggled to bring that under control, small groans escaped from his mouth, groans that he would never have imagined would be emitted from him.

From him, who once used to be a warrior of God, who was once a being that was to be feared.

His Grace had been like a curtain, veiling him from the world of emotion, from the field of pain. As his Grace was sapped away along with his faith, the world of the humans seemed so much more alive. So much more painful. So much more unbearable.

In that one moment, Castiel tried to fumble in his pocket, to reach for the bottle in there. He could feel it dimly against his thigh, but his arms didn't seem to want to move. His fingers did not want to uncurl themselves from the fists that they had balled into.

And so, for the first time in his very very long life, he lay there, doubled in pain, utterly helpless.

Lay there as blood seeped from his mouth to drip slowly on the floor, lay there in utter humiliation as the world slid in and out of focus for him. Lay there as strength seemed to have betrayed him like his Father had betrayed Castiel. But He had been Castiel's strength, and it made sense in Castiel's faltering mind that as his belief broke, so did his strength.

His eyes felt wet, and Castiel was ashamed that he knew why.

When Dean and Sam came for him, the physical torture had subsided. It went when the Whore went, but Castiel was already broken. When Dean hoisted him up, slinging Castiel's arm over his should, Castiel was silent. He was silent all the way back to the motel, and when they laid him down on the bed, he made not a sound. Castiel merely stared forward, although he had no idea what there was to look forward to. The Apocalypse had begun. His Father simply did not care. His existence that he was so proud of was slowly slipping away into nothingness. He was staring at nothing but dark emptiness.

And when Sam yelled Dean's name into the night, gulping in breaths of the cool night air, Castiel blinked, just once.

And his fingers reached into his pocket, curled around the smooth, cool surface of the glass bottle containing the pills, and he dragged it out.

Castiel rolled the bottle over and over in his hands, staring at it as Sam stared at the long empty road. And as Sam finally came to the conclusion that Dean was not coming back, not tonight, Castiel made his choice.

He opened the bottle, and shook out ten pills into his hand, and popped them into his mouth, and swallowed. He was showing restraint; after all, Dean said he should down the whole bottle.

The remainder of the night was a haze.

When Castiel came to again, Sam was by his bedside, and Castiel blinked twice before Sam's face came into focus.

'Hey, hey. Hey. You okay?'

Castiel stared at Sam, and for a moment, Castiel knew that there was something different, something wrong. There was something missing, but Castiel did not feel sore for the loss.

And then Castiel realized.

He wasn't in pain anymore.

The alcohol numbed his mind and dulled his senses and slurred his speech, and the pain only sunk deeper into his soul. But this. The pills. They did something.

They made him feel happy.

Castiel brought his eyes up again and locked eyes with Sam, noting the confusion in his eyes. Flicking his eyes to his hands, Castiel realized that all this time, he had gripped the bottle of pills tightly in his hands, never letting go. Bringing that hand up to his face now, Sam screwed up his face in a further look of confusion, and Castiel laughed a bitter laugh as he unscrewed the bottle cap once more, shaking the pills within, hearing them clink against the glass in a inexplicable sense of satisfaction.

'I will be fine, Sam.'

And Castiel swallowed another pill.