A/N: So I've decided to revamp the earlier chapters seeing as I've decided to (freaking finally) finish this story. I'm sorry it fell off for a while...I kind of dropped out of the Supernatural world because of some decisions in the show that really upset me, but after dragging my feet through seasons 6 and 7, I finally made it to the wonderful world of season 8. And oh it feels like the good ole days *sighs*. This story will still take place just after ep 5.18, so please be aware of that for all you newcomers! Anyway if anyone is still reading this uuuuuh...your patience was/is greatly appreciated! So without further ado...
Castiel was jolted back into consciousness by a splash of searing cold water. He sputtered and coughed, his lungs burning like dry ice as the water surged back up his throat. The angel blinked through the white spots of disorientation that danced across his vision, trying to remember what had happened.
"So that was enough to wake you, hm?" a dark voice hissed. "Good."
Castiel's heart leapt into his throat, and all of a sudden reality crashed in around him. He was standing, his back pressed against a hard surface, both his hands tied above him with some kind of wire that bit harshly into his skin. His body was stretched taught, and the angel grimaced as his slight movement of surprise caused his aching shoulders to sing with pain. But moreover, there was a heaviness in his limbs that hadn't been there before, like every muscle was being pulled down towards the earth. Castiel shifted, attempting to spread his wings and take off, but it was like pressing against steel. Something was containing him. It hurt. God it hurt.
"I wouldn't try flying if I were you."
"Who's there?" Castiel asked, trying to sound demanding, though there was no denying the soft tremor that escaped over his lips.
A shadowed figure skirted along the edges of Castiel's still muddied vision, but no answer came. Ignoring the strange tingling of nerves that flit across the back of his neck, Castiel furrowed his brow and thought. He had to figure out where he was. Everything was dark, which meant they had to be inside somewhere. The only source of light came from a couple old flickering lamps in the distance, but that didn't show him much. All he could tell was that the place looked old, and that the smell of rusting metal hung heavily in the air, along with another scent that was faint but hauntingly familiar.
"Oh…we've never met before."
Castiel racked his brain, attempting to stay the terror threatening to consume him. If he couldn't figure out where he was, then he needed to figure out how he got here. The last thing he remembered was…California. The memory sent a surge of fresh adrenaline pumping though the angel's veins. He pulled against his bindings, suddenly uncaring of the fact that his arms screamed in disagreement.
"I've heard many things about you though, Castiel," the voice snickered, moving once more like a wave of shadow in an ocean of darkness.
The angels—one must've caught him before he'd completed the spell.
"I heard about your betrayal."
Castiel knew what that softer scent was now. He was familiar enough with angel blades to know when one was near. The sharp metallic smell slithered through him, making his skin prickle all over, and the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
The figure took a purposeful step forward so that his silhouette was just barely visible in the flickering lamplight. "I've heard about all the things you've done, in the name of Dean Winchester." A dark snarl snapped through the air.
"There are a lot of people looking for you, Castiel." The angel stepped forward once more, light flashing across his features like lighting in a thunderstorm. "How lucky I am to have found you before they did."
"Who are you?" Castiel locked eyes with the other angel for the first time and found himself lost in a sea of black anger.
The other angel moved towards him like a feather on the wind, pale light washing over him. He was tall and willowy, his long limbs dangling at his sides with graceful purpose. His face was hard cut and sharp, which his livid expression only served to enhance, and his eyes—the color of ice glittering in the moonlight—bored into Castiel with a fury that made his stomach burn.
"You've killed a lot of angels, brother," his thin lips curled down into a sneer. In a flashing moment an angel blade was pressed against Castiel's neck, and he couldn't help but shiver from the stinging cold of the metal against his bare skin.
"Zachariah is dead."
Castiel stiffened as the blade sliced through the thin layers of his bared throat.
"My twin is dead." Warm blood slithered down Castiel's throat. "So, fallen, you will have to forgive me if I'm not in the best of moods."
Castiel stifled any reaction to the pain. "I am sorry for the loss of your brother." And he was. He found no joy in killing angels—they were his brothers too…once. He'd made excuses of course—told himself what he'd needed to in order to do the things he'd had to do—yet still…it tore him apart, piece by piece falling with every crimson drop. He wasn't the angel he used to be. He was something entirely different now. "As for Zachariah, I am not the one who killed him."
"No," the dark angel hissed, his stare glacial, "that blame goes to the worthless soul you saved."
Dean. Castiel didn't dare blink. Did that mean the plan had worked? Had Dean made it out? Impossible. He'd seen it—that undeniable look of defeat in Dean's eyes; the look of someone who had nothing left to live for.
The angel seemed to read the question in Castiel's eyes. His snarl suddenly lifted into a feral smile.
"Did you think that Michael had taken him?" the angel sneered. "Even I knew that Dean Winchester would never say yes to us—not unless we had Sam. I told Zachariah so. But he thought the little half-blood would be enough. And where did that get us? A stake through Zachariah's throat, and Michael in an outfit that doesn't quite fit. Everyone's in an uproar about it…but I suppose you wouldn't be able to hear that. Not anymore."
With a smooth calculating grace the angel trailed the dagger down the line of Castiel's neck, dipping the tip into his collarbone and enjoying the startled hiss of pain it caused. But Castiel could feel more than just the pain. He could feel the pure untethered white hot energy encased in the metal; he could feel it jumping out and snapping at him like sparks of electricity, hungry to pierce his flesh.
He should be scared. Isn't that the emotion that people normally felt before they died? So why was Dean the only thing that was on his mind now? Why was his only thought about how much he would regret their last words? But then I won't have to watch you fail. Sorry, Dean, I don't have the same faith in you that Sam does. The words made him cringe. Fallen—how appropriate it was that he was called that now.
"That was quite a clever idea by the way," the blade moved lower, skimming over the surface of Castiel's freshly cut skin, "banishing us with a sigil like that. Tell me, did you carve it in yourself, or is it the work of one of the Winchester boys?"
Castiel didn't answer.
The angel's eyes glittered as he ran the sharp point along the exposed raw flesh, just hard enough to draw a light stream of blood. Castiel forced his expression blank as he felt his muscles twinge in pain.
"My brother was very good at drawing sigils." The angel stepped in closer, and Castiel could feel the heat of his breath pool against his face. "He had a steady hand you know." The blade suddenly pressed in, breaking easily through muscle and flesh and sending sharp bites of energy coursing through his blood. The world flashed white for a lingering moment.
The angel ripped the dagger out, leaving Castiel breathless and gasping.
"I think you may find that I did not inherit all the same traits as him."
The blade plunged in once more, slicing deeply along the grooves of the sigil. It was all Castiel could do to hold back the scream that begged in his throat.
The dark angel hissed, "You're going to pay for the things you've done, Castiel. As my father's child, I will bring justice where it's due." His smile was just a fraction too manic.
Castiel just looked at him wearily. "Killing me will not bring your brother back."
"No…but that's hardly the point."
So it was meant to be torture then. Strangely, that knowledge didn't faze him. What could this angel possibly do to him that could bring him more pain than he already felt? He had accepted his fate long before entering the warehouse in California. He had known that he probably would not come out alive. In fact, a part of him had longed for it—to be free of this new world that was so different from his own. Everything he had once loved about it seemed to have crumbled away beneath him. Yet, even still, he had clung to something in this new life—poured everything he had and everything he was into it.
And that moment he had found Dean on the street—so broken…so ready to give in to everything they had fought so hard to stop—had shattered something inside of him. Dean had been the one thing left in the world for him. The moment Dean broke was the moment he broke too.
He had given everything.
When he had flown down into the depths of Hell, it wasn't just because he'd been ordered to, or just because he'd wanted to stop the first seal from being broken—sure those things had been part of it, but never the core reason. He had gone because he'd believed that there was finally someone who could set things straight—who could go against everything and bring the world into light. That belief was what drove him forward when all the rest had turned back or fallen behind. They couldn't take the dark. They couldn't take the ice. But he could. For Dean, he could. And from the moment they'd touched, Castiel had known there was something in him that had tethered itself to Dean's soul. That one moment…had changed everything. He had denied it at first, but deep down he had always known.
He had never touched a human soul before, an maybe he just hadn't been prepared for the sheer purity of it, or maybe he had just seen something there in Dean's soul that made him burn in a way he had never experienced before. He hadn't meant to mark Dean with it. The heat had just been too much to contain. He didn't remember feeling the cold from the ice after that.
He had no choice but to follow Dean in the end. But he never thought…he never thought—
A light electronic chiming broke through his reverie, and for a horrifying moment Castiel didn't know what was happening. And in an even more horrifying moment, he figured it out. His cell phone was ringing—and there were only two people who ever called him.
The angel's hold on his blade faltered as his eyes flickered down, gleaming with a dark curiosity. Castiel's heart hammered in his chest as he watched the angel reach into his coat pocket and pull out the small glowing device. He gave a helpless tug against his bindings as he saw the angel's expression flash with delight.
He flipped open the phone, his thin lips curling with a sickening sort of satisfaction. "Hello, Dean."
Castiel's stomach lurched. "Dean, don't—" he was silenced by a wave of the angel's hand.
"Did you hear that, Dean? Castiel sends his regards."
Castiel leaned forward as far as his shoulders would allow, straining to hear and vainly trying to summon enough energy to lift off his affliction of silence. But it was hopeless. The angel had stepped back into the darkness and all Castiel could hear was the scratching sound of his voice echoing around the room.
"Now, Dean," the angel chided, "it is impermissible to use our Lord's name in vain."
There was a pause.
"Well if you ask nicely, I'll tell you where we are."
Another pause, followed by a deep throaty chuckle.
"Come now, Dean, you can do better than that. You didn't even say please." The angel snorted. "Kill me will you? I'm sure you'll try."
The next pause was longer than the rest, and for a moment Castiel wondered if the other angel had left—that perhaps Dean had baited him somehow.
But the angel's cold chilling response broke whatever hope Castiel might've had, and more. "Too bad it will be Castiel who feels the sting of those words and not you. You want him back so badly? You won't even know him by the time I'm through. He'll be so broken you'll wish you'd never come. And no matter how fast you drive, it won't be fast enough. He will pay for what you did, and you will too."
The silence pressed in, hard and blank.
"You'll find what's left of him in a warehouse on the west end of 6th street, Brooklyn New York."
Castiel heard the phone snap shut and fall to the ground with a soft thud. The light from the front screen still flickered faintly in the distance, but strangely it only seemed to intensify the surrounding dark. Shadows stretched across the room, grasping with claws of shade over a black so complete it seemed to swallow everything in sight. Maybe that was why his breath hitched when the angel suddenly appeared before him, the blade flashing in his hand.
"Quite an interesting charge you have." The angel quirked a brow. "Do you enjoy that sharp tongue of his?"
Castiel grimaced, silence still keeping his lips.
"Show me your wings, Castiel." The room sank into a sudden chill.
With a sharp breath, Castiel reined his grace in a little deeper. The angel wanted to see his wings? Angels never exposed their wings tangibly. Never. There was no good that could come of it.
The angel looked almost amused as he pressed his blade against Castiel's chest once more. "Show me," his voice was somehow more frightening when it was soft. "Or should I wait until Dean gets here to have my fun?"
The words were sharper than the metal point piercing his skin. Dean. Castiel felt suddenly and violently sick as his heart stuttered and quickened. Without even so much as a full thought crossing his mind, Castiel unfurled his grace and spread out his wings ever so slightly. And with a feeble shake they appeared, stark and white, feathers trembling though the air hung still. He let out a shuddering breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. Never in his life had he felt so utterly and completely exposed. It was like he was inside out somehow, and all the things he'd buried so deep couldn't stay down anymore.
Narrowed eyes widened as the angel gazed at Castiel's wings. He'd probably never seen a pair before. Castiel certainly hadn't. Not even his own. And he wasn't going to look now. He couldn't. Because if he looked, that would mean this was real, and it would mean there was nothing that could save him.
But that didn't matter. Dean hadn't given in to Michael—he hadn't given up. And as long as that fact held true, then Castiel wouldn't give up either, no matter the cost. If he had to give his life, then he would gladly give it. As long as Dean was ok. As long as he was protected—that was his purpose now. In fact, it was the only purpose he remembered ever feeling. Perhaps…it was because he'd never known what it was like to feel before Dean.
He'd told the hunter in the alley that he'd given up everything, and indeed he had. The life he'd once known was lost forever in a fading memory. But Dean knew…he had to know that what he'd gained was so much more.
So, if it came to it, if this was his end, then so be it. He had no regrets. Barely a year on earth had given him what a millennia in Heaven had never even brushed. Compassion…empathy…love. It had given him love, or the closest he'd ever come to it. If he'd had more time, maybe he could've known it better.
Castiel almost smiled. He would've liked that.
A silken fingertip running along his jaw pulled him from his thoughts and back into the shadowed world. He clenched his jaw, refusing to shy away from the mocking caress.
"So much, over a human," the angel breathed, his voice like a ghost on the wind. His hand trailed down Castiel's neck dipping into the slope and gliding along the rise of his shoulder. Ever so gently his long fingers moved over the exposed white feathers and Castiel shivered as he felt that touch run through him like an icy current.
Then, in a blink, the angel's features changed. His fingers wound themselves around a fist full of feathers and clenched unforgivingly. Castiel gasped as white-hot pain burned through him. His vision swam and he felt a wave of bile surge up his throat as his stomach turned in on itself.
"Well…we'll see if you still think he was worth it when he gets here. That should be what, three days from now? That's more than enough time to have some fun. Aren't you glad that we never sleep?"
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