Title: The World As She Saw It
Genre and/or Pairing: Pre-slash Castiel/Dean, POV of Lisa.
Spoilers: This takes place a little bit after 5x22 so assume everything up until then.
Disclaimer: I don't really really don't own them and I never will. I'm just borrowing them for a little play time and then I swear I will put them back.
It started with the nightmares.
At first they only manifested in quick breathing and the occasional moan of regret. However, as time went on, they became more intense and the quick breathing turned into labored pants while the occasional moan developed into full blown screams of "Sam!" sometimes followed by "Bobby!" But none of these were half as curious as the whispered "Cas" which almost always superseded the previous at the end of each strenuous bout.
For a while Lisa thought he might be dreaming about some ex, missing her with all the desperation that laced that name. However, when the name shifted from desperation to the sound of reverence, she knew this could mean trouble. Lisa had asked about Sam but Dean would always close up and refuse to talk about it. After 3 months, she stopped asking about Sam. After 4 months, she started asking about Bobby and, lucky her, Dean was more forth coming with information.
Bobby was an old hunter and surrogate father to Dean. Dean who refused to discuss what happened to his real father outside of "hunting accident", which never rung true in anyone's ears.
Perhaps things could have been better if Dean had been remotely willing to talk about his problems. But, like the classic car he was, he simply couldn't and her guesswork was only making it worse. So things progressed, or digressed as the case may be.
It wasn't until five months of the nightmare screams and whispered names that she finally bothered to ask, "Who's Cas?"
By the way his eyes widened slightly, she could tell it was someone she wasn't supposed to know about. Not that she wasn't aware of the fact Dean had a long list of consorts, but this was the first one that he ever called out to when he was in pain. It wouldn't due to say it out loud but Lisa was genuinely jealous over this memory of a girl Dean called out to.
"Cas?" He seemed to draw his expression with feigned ignorance and it made Lisa raise one fine eyebrow.
"Yeah. You say 'Cas' a lot when you sleep." When you have nightmares.
"Oh that's-" he paused with a frown. "No one. Just an old friend."
Now that caused her to raise the other eyebrow. Dean wasn't exactly shy when it came to talking about past girlfriends, so why was this one any different? Why would Dean not talk about her when all the others were fine to mention?
This went on for another month before Lisa started to lose her cool over it. Yes it WAS irrational for her to be upset over this dream girl but, really, couldn't he call out to someone who wasn't Sam or Cas? Maybe the occasional 'Lisa' would have put her mind at ease?
It had been a long and trying spring day when everything finally came together. Ben was in school, Dean was working in the basement on some leaky pipes, and Lisa was doing her best to whip her kitchen into shape when the doorbell rang.
With a questionable glance at the clock (who came over at 9am anyway?) and a weary sigh of frustration at having to break her work steam, she padded over to the front door, hit the latch, and yanked the thing open.
Lisa blinked. Standing at a somewhat unimpressive height, a man with ruffled brown hair, slightly stubbled chin, and an ill-fitted business suit looked extremely awkward standing at her front door. Must have been a Jehovah Witness, she concluded, though there was a second of hesitation to consider that he might be a Mormon. However, upon seeing that he was traveling alone and didn't have a bike (or backpack for that matter), she figured he probably wasn't either of the two.
But just to be safe...
"Look, I'm not sure why the last visit didn't scare you guys off but I'm really not interested in joining your congregation now or ever. Thanks."
And just as she was about to shut the door in his face, the man's surprisingly deep voice resonated through the open crack and forced her hand to still.
She opened the door back up and narrowed her eyes, feeling cautious as she stared him down hard. Under closer inspection, the man seemed... off. His eyes were much too bright, as if there was a separate light source behind them, making twin oceans stand out as the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Even his stance was all wrong. The man stood with an awkward tilt, perpetually leaning forward as if he were carrying weight on his back and shoulders. And then there was the head tilt that reminded her distinctly of a bird, and it struck her all at once that this man very well might not be human.
"Who are you? What do you want?" Lisa started in on the defense, ducking behind her door as she eyed the welcome matt which held a demon trap under it.
"I..." He seemed hesitant, not at all like any cocksure monster she had ever encountered. "My name is Castiel and I am here to see Dean Winchester."
Yeah, he was definitely not human. And just as she was about to tell the monster that Dean wasn't here and it could go right back to hell where it came from (thank you very much), the man in question interrupted.
"Lisa?" His voice made her jump so badly that she had jerked the door open when she turned to look at him.
Dean was frozen in his spot halfway to the door in the middle of the foyer. Lisa absently wondered where that demon-killing knife was.
Suddenly, her world stood still.
She watched as Dean's green eyes grew large and then, for the first time in six months, they actually lit up. Like Vegas at night. Wait. Did he say-
"I didn't think you were coming back." There was joy, but it was brief as he glanced at Lisa. Everything that had been playing on his face suddenly went blank, like he realized she was watching and this show was not for her. What. The. Hell?
Dean finally spoke again, wavering as if he was treading through a room set with hidden mines. "Don't you have family problems to be cleaning up?"
"Things are in decent shape right now. Joshua is managing in my absence."
They were talking in code. Dean was practically filling the entire doorway like he wanted to block Lisa's view, but it all seemed so quick and without thought. If he was doing it on purpose, he wasn't consciously aware of it.
"So why are you here?"
Lisa was starting to feel like a third wheel and that just wasn't okay. The other man (Castiel was it?) was looking off to the side like he didn't want to answer why he would suddenly show up at their door with no explanation.
"Cas." There was a tone of authority lacing the name- a demanding voice he had never used on her. Dean leaned to the side then, catching the man's stare before straightening in order to force eye contact. Well that was weird. About as weird as his demanding tone which was swirling with a number of other emotions she couldn't name. And then it all clicked into place.
This was Cas. THE Cas. The same Cas that Dean called, pleaded with, and cried out to when his screams of "Sam" subsided. And Lisa felt her knees shake as if her world was turning on its side and she was powerless to stop it.
"It's Sam. He's... not where he should be."
What the hell did THAT mean? Dean wouldn't talk about Sam to anyone. Not even to Bobby who called once a month to check in on him. But here was Cas, talking about it freely as if he were exempt from the "no talking about this" rule. As if he got special treatment.
"I thought you said Sam was dead," Lisa finally interjected, feeling mislead and out of place.
"What do you mean he's not there? What about-?" He was ignoring her.
"My brothers are still there but Sam is not." They were talking in code again.
"Is he...?" Dean looked skyward and Cas shook his head. What? They could read each other's minds now? Come ON. What the hell was this?
"He's on Earth. In America, I think." What? If he was not on earth where ELSE would he be? Lisa's patience evaporated.
"Hello? Is someone going to tell me what's going on?"
"I'm sorry." The illusive 'Cas' apologized to her when she pushed her way through to actually stand next to Dean. However, the apology wasn't really for her, she could tell because his unnaturally bright eyes were slipping back to Dean at every given opportunity.
"Give me a minute." And then Dean was gone, disappearing deeper into the house without a word to Lisa who was going from confused to annoyed to pissed. By the time she swiveled from looking at Dean to looking back at the creature standing before her, Code Red sirens were screaming in her mind.
Who the hell did he think he was? What right did he have to come into reality, materializing out of her worst fears and becoming someone who would come along and take Dean away and screw everything up? It annoyed her that she hadn't expected this. Her disturbing ideas of "Cas" had always been this blond bomb shell with legs that stretched for miles and a fake tan that made her look like she had Jondis as a child. This short-ish awkward brunette man with a soft face and eyes as blue as the ocean on a clear day was NOT what she had expected.
When he finally looked at her quietly, shifting in his place only once, she felt transparent. As if her skin was merely a film and her insides were all constructed of cellophane so all that remained visible was her soul. And he was looking right at it. Needless to say, it wasn't a comfortable feeling.
"I'm sorry." He repeated himself slowly to her, sympathy dancing across his features in a rhythm she didn't understand.
The answer came not in the form of spoken word but in the movement which shuffled behind her a second later. Dean had reappeared with a duffle bag stuffed full of his things and a thick leather jacket slung over one arm.
Oh. For this.
"Alright, Cas, let's go." He pushed past her then paused halfway out the door, as if having an after thought. He then looked to her eyes, attempting not to focus on the disbelief playing so openly there. "Thank you. For everything, Lisa. I have to go take care of some things now, please tell Ben goodbye and I'll be back in a few weeks."
"No." She braced herself.
"This has to end Dean." Her arms were crossing and she knew she was about to fight an uphill battle. "You can't keep coming and going. I need something more stable than that. Ben deserves something more stable than that." She was going to lose her nerve any second now, so she went for broke and did her best to spit it all out before she chickened out.
"If you go, Dean Winchester, you can't come back."
And bless his soul, Dean actually hesitated, as if he hadn't already mentally said his good byes the minute Cas showed up. Lisa knew he had always just been waiting for the right excuse, the perfect reason to high tail it and run like hell.
This was not to say Dean hadn't tried. They both had. Tried until their hearts were black and blue and pained with each resounding beat. However there was a truth (and it was as ugly as any truth could be) that held a place regardless of the efforts put towards alleviating it.
Damaged people do not survive relationships with people who are not. Not for lack of effort or care but for the pure and simple fact that they simply do not understand each other. They cannot relate. When it came down to it, Lisa and Dean could only communicate on a superficial level, which left so much lacking and even more to be desired.
But they HAD tired. Dean tried because he made a promise and this all-American-apple-pie life was what he sometimes day dreamed about when cleaning out his guns or washing the blood from his clothes at the laundry mat on some idle Tuesdays. Lisa had tired because she was hopelessly attracted to Dean and had a knack for wanting to fix broken things. Call it motherly compassion or what have you, but she wanted so badly to mend Dean's mangled wings.
Yet, this was all too similar to Dean being exactly like the car he drove, a classic car that was breaking down and being thrust into the hands of someone who knew nothing about automobiles. Sure, she could do all the surface work, fill him with gas and pies, get the oil changed, teach him how to not swear in front of children, get new tires, force some higher education on him… But when something major broke, she was at a loss at how to fix it.
The worst part was that she didn't even realize anything was broken until it stalled and become apparent to her that everything might actually be twenty seven years too late to fix. As it stood, in the hands of a novice any attempt to fix the classic car would only serve to break it further.
And this time, the fact that she was not only incapable of fixing Dean Winchester but also missing a vital piece that was needed to mend him... was now glaring her in the face. That missing piece and the ability to put him back together was bound to the owner of the name Dean spoke to only in dreams. The same owner of those startling blue eyes attempting an apology.
Thinking back to how Dean had been all this time, it started to become more obvious that no one else other than Cas could ever be the one. While she never entirely understood the subtle yet unintentional hints he had dropped during the past months, she now had full clarity about what they meant all along.
It was the way Dean's fingers twitched towards his hip like he was reaching for a gun at the slightest noise. Or the way he incessantly checked his phone for a call that he never got or never made. Even the way he would drive the impala, staring too long at the highway and occasionally missing their exit for several miles before autopilot clicked off.
Beyond a templar man, Dean was a King of the Road. And the longer he stayed in one place, the more apparent it became.
"I'm sorry." He mimicked his mechanic though he was at least genuine about it, sad green eyes betraying any and all emotions he ever had.
She was sick and tired of hearing those words already.
And, while Lisa invariably knew Dean would leave her someday, she just hadn't expected it would be so soon. At the very least, she had mentally prepared herself for this day and she was doing a damn good job of holding her ground and keeping it together. Chin tipped up and shoulders squared, she watched the man of her life turn away from her and walk over to her fears personified.
They had tried, really tired, to make things work, but it just didn't pan out and this was why: When Castiel spoke quietly to Dean and placed a hand on Dean's shoulder, Dean snapped his eyes up to look at him with the most soulful expression she had ever seen anyone make.
Cas was stealing him right out from under her nose and she was guilelessly letting him.
…On second thought, maybe it was less like stealing and more like he was just taking back what was already his.
When that creature, Castiel, lifted his hand from Dean's shoulder, Lisa could see that it had been resting exactly on the spot where that handprint brand was. A reputably perfect match.
Her eyebrows rose to her hairline and she openly stared at them walk towards the impala. Dean would never tell her where that hand print came from or who it belonged to, but every time he touched it there was a slightly pained expression followed by the look of veneration etched into his face.
Now it was obvious that it was Cas' print. How it got there, she wasn't sure she wanted to know but that handprint and that look and those whispers at night all belonged to this small man in a trench coat. His impossibly blue eyes trailing after Dean with nothing short of... devotion?
Clearly there was more to this than she knew and it almost disturbed her.
Now the phone conversation to Bobby she over heard last week made a little more sense.
Dean had been in the front under the impala working on changing out something when Bobby called the house phone, which he wouldn't have done if Dean hadn't accidentally dropped his cell in the toilet that afternoon.
"Hello?" she had answered the kitchen wall phone before the familiar voice came over the line.
"Hey, this is Bobby Singer. I'm trying to get a hold of a tall idjit, goes by the name of Dean?"
She had laughed, told him to hang on before setting the phone down and walking into the living room to pick up the cordless. With it in hand she made her way out of the door and to the impala perched neatly in the driveway and making a mess of her boyfriend.
"One second, I think I found the one you're looking for." She snickered into the receiver as she dropped to her knees and announced it was Bobby. Without much thought to it, Lisa handed the phone over to Dean and immediately left because, while Lisa was many things, she was not nosey. What Bobby and Dean had to discuss was between Bobby and Dean.
So it's entirely her honest belief that she had no intention of ever listening in to the phone conversation. In fact, she was just about to hang up the kitchen line when the sound of her name came over the open air and paused her movement.
"Have you told Lisa?" That was Bobby.
"No." That was Dean. Lisa contemplated hanging up because she clearly wasn't supposed to be hearing any of this but the next like stopped her.
"She's going to start wondering. What will you do when she starts asking questions?"
"I don't want to talk about this."
A long pause, then, "Have you heard from that little angel buddy of yours?"
"Cas?" There was that name again. "No. Haven't heard a thing."
"Have you tired calling?"
At this point Lisa felt herself getting annoyed for a couple of reasons. One, Dean was keeping more secrets from her (though that shouldn't have been a surprise in anyway.) Two, Bobby knew who this "Cas" girl was and apparently was encouraging Dean to talk to her. Three, "little angel?" Really? How cliché.
"No." Dean was sulking. Curious, that.
"Boy, sometimes you're a bigger idjit than I give you credit for."
Lisa silently hung up then and later that night took out her irritation over this mysterious girl, and Bobby's encouragement of her, on Dean in the form of an argument over jelly. They had a lot of "nothing" eruptions because Dean wouldn't tell Lisa enough information to ever have a real fight.
And this is where it got them: the oldest Winchester opening the car door for the mysterious "Cas" who didn't turn out to be a girl at all, but still managed to swindle him away.
Looking over the hood of his impala, Dean's eyes caught hers and he actually had the gall to look apologetic. Right. Well, time to stick to her guns because that is what was best for Dean. For all of them.
"I'll call?" he offered and her attention darted to Cas as her mind wandered to all those times Dean slept uneasy with that name hushed under his breath and a silent plea attaching itself to it. He was calling for help, for redemption and Cas was it. Now that atonement was here…
"Don't bother." Dean didn't belong here. He belonged there, in that car with that... man? No, that wasn't right. That thing wasn't human, but by the way he casually stood on her welcome matt and the way Dean treated him, he couldn't be a demon or monster. So... what then? What was this thing taking Dean away?
Both humans looked at the creature sitting in the passenger seat who returned the favor by looking back at Dean. His "little angel." And the last piece fell into place.
Angel. There was no other creature she could think of that Dean would look at so fondly, let alone ride in the passenger side of his baby.
Dean had no idea.
The car door shut, the impala started up and Dean had no idea he was in love. Lisa rubbed her face and walked back inside her house with a groan. Bobby had been right, Dean was a big idjit and Lisa didn't feel like contributing to the idiocy any longer.
Someday he was going to wake up and realize what it meant to look at someone like that and get the look in return, but not today. In fact, probably not for many more years to come. However, when he did she hoped he would call so she could get a good laugh out of these wasted six months. Well... not entirely wasted, but exhausting all the same
Locking the door and checking the seals, Lisa nodded in resolute surrender. The good ones were always gay or taken and Dean was, tragically, both. Lucky bitch.