Title: Heavier Than Heaven
Author:
Curt Kenobi
Fandom:
Supernatural
Rating:
K+/PG
Genre:
Angst. AU/AR – canon-change. Cas-centric, Gen (leading to Dean/Cas).
Summary:
It takes Castiel moments longer to put together just what is wrong with this scenario he finds himself in: laying in a field in a light drizzle, pain stabbing through his unnervingly heavy body. His vessel body.

Raphael. {follow-up to Fractured, but can stand alone}

Disclaimer: Supernatural's all Kripke's fanboy dream…I'm just a fanboi of his. I make no money, don't sue – I'm really beyond poor. And the title is originally from the title of a biography on Kurt Cobain. Dude that wrote it beat me to it; just using it cos it fits.

A/N: I'm not exactly sure if I like this; I didn't expect Castiel to be so hard to write. Complex bastard. Oh well, hopefully it will work. Anyways, still with the suckage at this tense, but taking up for all mistakes :) Oh, and here's where we veer into AU territory.


so now I'm bleeding on myself, yes, once again/

it seems I trusted another deceitful friend/

my fault: I should've known the deal/

keep your friends close, but your enemies closer, for real


It's the soft plat-plat of drops of water against his face that brings him round. For a jarring, panic-ridden instant he knows nothing – no whom, what, when, where, why, how. Things come back, though, like the click of dominoes knocking together and tumbling, a picture forming in their wake.

When the pain hits, he thinks maybe he shouldn't have wasted the bliss of that earlier blankness with scrabbling for reality.

It takes Castiel moments longer – he keeps blanking mentally due the stabbing, burning sensation between his shoulders, foremost ranking in his list of pains – to put together just what is wrong with this scenario he finds himself in: laying in a field underneath a gunmetal grey-clouded sky in a light drizzle, pain lancing through his unnervingly heavy body. His vessel body – he's trapped – he's trapped – within the confines of flesh in the form of what originally had been Jimmy Novak.

Again, he's not quite sure he should have wasted his not-knowing with the realisation of the truth. …He's starting to gather why humans are so adverse to it sometimes.

Raphael.

And it's slightly amazing, a disjointed, obviously checked-out part of his mind muses, how just that name can simply cover everything, no elaboration required—

—Or wanted.

Dean probably has some blasphemous word or phrase he'd deem this situation the appropriate moment for, but Castiel's finding he is at a loss for any word, in any language, to encapsulate the magnitude of this…. This.

»« »« »«

He had gone back to Heaven. He had been restored by God, he was all but completely certain, and he felt duty-bound in his Father's doing to go and try to rebuild his family. …He should have referenced from Dean Winchester's personal experience that this was not an easy undertaking.

Their Father was still absent, though Castiel was proof of His presence, however behind-a-curtain it might be. For some of his brethren, that was enough. They had faith and Castiel was a tangible example of their Father's existence. Castiel – all-but-Fallen Castiel who had sided with the humans and their free will, had been restored by their Father even so. God had favoured him for a reason, and maybe, some of them had even gone so far to theorise, maybe their Father was using Castiel as an example. (They were still debating the finer points of just what that example was meant to be.) These were lower-ranking angels, though, as Castiel had once been – foot-soldiers and tacticians. They followed orders, and they believed – they believed in their Father, even if they never saw him. They never had.

It was the more elevated angels that poised the biggest obstacle. They, on the other hand, had become jaded, wrathful…like petulant, put-upon children. The most formidable of these of course was Raphael, freed from his ring of holy fire. There had been a script, and Castiel and the Winchester brothers had torn it asunder – Castiel, who had rebelled against what had been their Father's design, and had been brought back as an Archangel for it. Raphael found this an affront, and through his persuasive power, had built himself a backing. He spread detraction from the idea of loyalty to an absent, obviously different Father with an unknown set of rules – or lack thereof; of inferiority or fellowship with the mud-monkeys' continued existence; and the idea of being a harmonious, subservient family again like an insidious disease.

And he had it out for Castiel, in no uncertain terms.

»« »« »«

Pain. Throughout – from the fall. Fall? He doesn't know yet – isn't ready to analyse that much deeper. Head. Chest – pain concentrated there is more emotional over physical. Betrayal. Shoulders – not this form's. His wings.

»« »« »«

Brothers holding him bound. More brothers and sisters in the wings. Raphael like judge, jury and executioner before him. The disdain in the steely gazes focused upon him cut like knives. Raphael's disgust was written plainly in his sneer, all the more terrible to be found upon his angelic countenance.

He could have thrown off the ones restraining him. No matter they'd taken him by surprise and taken him down before he could put up a better fight. He could have escaped them. But no, no sooner had they had him at the disadvantage had Raphael shown. They held him down as Raphael swept forward and mangled his wing – grasped the right one and wrenched. Thoughts of much more than hurt and pain had been lost to Castiel then.

The words Raphael cast upon him were lost to him as well, though he knew he heard them – whited-out with the blinding pain, deafened with the air rushing by – falling, being cast out—

—Blankness. …His family. …His wings. …His Grace.

»« »« »«

His Grace.

His wings are mangled in his true form, the phantom pain of the fact wracking his vessel – his fleshed form, now, even so. And his Grace….

Castiel's eyes go wide, rainwater stinging – stinging – as it falls in on them. His Grace.

It's been ripped away inelegantly – vestiges lingering, like a taunt. A "we still have tabs on you, but you are not of Us." It feels unsettlingly reminiscent of what he had been before his restoration. But that had been a consequence of his own actions, one he'd – though not easily – taken. It had been penance. This…this is retribution from a disgruntled brother.

Castiel stares up at the sky above him, blinking, actually having to blink away the water, for comfort, not function. It's fitting, though, the punctured sky. Heaven, if he tried to describe it so a mortal mind could grasp it, was much like the sky, but blanketed in endless iridescent-tinged white. (There's so much more to it than that, but that's the idea.) If that's what Heaven can be pictured as, he reckons that the sky above him is an apt depiction of what Heaven is now. Tainted. Shadowed. Chaotic.Lost.

He's lain on this ground for far too long, mind wandering in aimless arcs. Inaction and lamentation will accomplish nothing. It's also a very human thing to do, to distract from more immediate matters with idle contemplation. Castiel rises to his feet, acclimates himself. His physical countenance is still that of Jimmy Novak, though the man's soul had been commended to the afterlife following Castiel's first running afoul of Raphael's wrath. The familiar form he counts as a point in his favour – good to have one, since the various pains throughout it are decidedly not. He doesn't know what to make of the capacities, though – pro or con? He feels, with human senses more so than his faint angelic ones, but at least they're there. He found human sensation overwhelming the first go round and isn't relishing the idea that he's back to that. It discomfits him. Angels have no reason to feel discomfiture.

He narrows his sensory input (– it's dismayingly harder than in his celestial form –) ignores the inconsequential and inescapable sensations (the pain in his shoulders, the damp of the trenchcoat, how weighted he feels) and focuses on a plan of action.

Dean, is all his mind can think to supply. He had always meant to keep an eye on Dean, whether his obligation to the Righteous Man was fulfilled or not, no matter what his duties trying to restore order to Heaven became. It didn't feel…right to just abandon Dean Winchester. Yes, the Apocalypse had been averted, Lucifer locked away, but Castiel knows how much Sam meant to Dean. And while Sam's sacrifice was honourable and necessary – and so very brave – Castiel remembers the sensations of guilty and anger when he himself had had to kill a brother or sister. The sorrow. It was most unpleasant, that loss, that anguish. And even for all he'd done in the name of the cause he had chosen, his Father had still been there, however woefully removed from everything he may be.

Dean isn't sure about God, and even Castiel is a little uncertain when it comes to his Father's intentions toward His favoured creations. But Castiel believes in Dean. Is…attached. He cares. Dean Winchester taught him friendship, taught him faith in Doing What is Right – Fighting the Good Fight, above all else. He lost his brother, his world, to save everyone else, to save humanity.

Castiel realises, in a jolt of surprise, he hadn't quite gone back to Heaven for his Father's sake – he'd gone back because he'd believed it was right. As Dean would have.

Castiel feels out with his woefully tattered Grace, testing its capabilities. He can't locate Dean due to the Enochian carved upon his ribs, but he can, oddly enough, locate the Impala. Ordinary objects don't have a draw upon them; objects imprinted with a significance far outside their face-value do. And Dean Winchester practically has lived in and through his classic car.

A small weight eases when he locks upon the familiar signature. His tension does not completely waver, though. Hesitantly, tentatively, he feels with muted angelic senses his broken wings. They hurt. Nevertheless, he pushes – flaps them. The pain makes his teeth grind and a sweat break out across his human skin. For a moment, he wishes for a bottle of liquor to numb it away, help him focus on the action and not the pain.

He prays this will work.

As he steps forward, his trench sways and a slight weight bumps his thigh. Cell phone. He doesn't know what possesses him, but before he fully realises, he's already hit the first speed-dial and the tinny ringing echoes against his ear. There's a click and his mouth is open, ready to speak, until he realises the voicemail has kicked in. He folds the phone closed, ignoring the odd sensation in his chest and throat. He knows the emotions prompting the downturn of the corners of his mouth: disappointment.

He tries again. The same. Bites the inside of his lip, throat thick. Dean. Dean, answer. I need to know where you are. I need to know— The back of his mind is jabbering like an insistent mouse's chittering.

I need to know in case this doesn't work. I need to know—

(because I am afraid.)

It's not something he likes to realise, so he pushes it away. It's a hindrance.

Once more, Dean's flat tone instructs him to leave a message.

"Dean." He isn't sure what he wishes to say. The recorded message will not give him Dean's coordinates, and he really doesn't wish to wait to see when Dean will call him back. He's not really known for his timeliness with such mundane things. Castiel settles for: "Return this call."

He'll either see Dean before then, or he'll answer when he does.

Castiel closes his eyes as he slips the phone back into his pocket, latches onto the Impala's imprint. He calls on his angelic form and remaining Grace, ignores the pain, and goes.


(The lyrics in the page break are from "Only the Strong" by Flaw.)