This idea was born after watching a Dean/Castiel video called To Chase A Dream by ScribbledDreaming. I was graciously given permission to pursue said idea. ^_^. I don't have the link at the moment because the account was deleted but I think I have located it. I'll know as soon as I get a reply to my PM.
This is an AU, so here's a quick history. Sam was still visited by Azazael when he was a baby but Mary never woke up, so Sam and Dean grew up normal. Sam is in college and Dean is a mechanic like John. Dean is dating Carmen (from the episode with the djinn "What Is and What Should Never Be") and Sam is with Jessica. Castiel is half human half "cupid". He has to eat, drink and sleep like any human but he has the powers of angels.
Note: I have messed with the Angels and Heaven. There are some similarities but I've added some things or changed others.
Right, I think that's it. Happy reading!
... * ...
"Dean, I am going to work!" Carmen crossed her arms, attempting to stare down at her boyfriend menacingly. It was rather ruined by the quivering around her mouth as she desperately tried to hold back a laugh.
Dean leaned up on his elbow and reached out towards her eyes, wiggling his fingers in a way that was meant to be hypnotic but instead came out completely silly. "You don't want to work. You want to get back in this bed." He gave her his best puppy expression (which he would admit, if only to himself, would never be as effective as his younger brother's).
The strain of keeping her lips in a firm line finally became too much. Carmen began to laugh helplessly, dancing away when Dean tried to reach out and grab her legs. "I'm going!" She giggled as she snatched her keys from the bedside table, before Dean could hide them. "Go to sleep."
"I did not get under these covers to sleep!" Dean declared, stubbornly swiping at her hand as she darted away from the table. A grin of his own was steadily stretching across his face.
Carmen blew him a kiss as she backed towards the bedroom door. "Sorry, babe, but you'll have to have fun without me."
Dean fell back against the pillows, laughing as his girl disappeared into the living room.
It wasn't an ideal situation. Carmen worked nights and Dean worked days, so they only saw each other for a few hours at a time. She was working to get a day shift but that meant waiting for someone else to quit or get fired. More often than not she was too tired to do much more than crawl in bed with him for the few short hours they had in the morning before Dean went to work. It could get a bit frustrating in the sexual department, particularly with Dean's appetite.
Shifting onto his side, Dean burrowed his head into the pillow and glanced up towards the glowing numbers of the clock. 10 p.m.
Without ever really realizing it, Dean's eyes slipped closed. He knew he was dreaming when he found himself standing at the edge of a wide river, one that looked perfect for fishing. There was even a pole lying at his feet. Dean grinned to himself as he sat down and picked up the pole; it was a secret hobby of his, fishing. It didn't really have anything to do with the fish themselves, in fact he rarely actually caught a fish, it was just the peacefulness of it, of sitting still and quiet, of the sense that you had all the time in the world to just watch the river and listen to whatever birds happened to be singing nearby.
The pole was already baited, of course, because in good dreams everything was simple. Dean cast it out into the water, watched the line soar through the air in a thin arc before slipping with a little plop! into the river. The sand at the very edge of the water was nice and soft, so he stuck the pole in it and sat back on his hands, closing his eyes so he could enjoy the warmth of the sun on his face.
Felt very real, this dream.
Surprised, Dean opened his eyes and sat up, twisting around to find the source of the sudden voice. A man was standing at the edge of the river, no more than three feet away. He was short like Dean but more compactly built. His dark brown hair was just long enough to be a bit messy and it was spiked at the front. Ice blue eyes, the kind of wide, open eyes that didn't know how to lie, studied him curiously, head cocked in a manner that reminded Dean of a dog. Dean looked back at the man with the same level of curiosity; he rarely had company in his dreams and if he did it was Carmen, or Sam, or someone else he knew. He'd never invented anyone before.
"Hi," Dean said finally. What the hell, it was just a dream.
The man seemed to take Dean's acceptance of his greeting as some kind of invitation, because he suddenly strode forward and sat down beside him. He smiled when Dean looked at him, a small but friendly expression.
"So..." Dean waited to see if the man would say anything. When he didn't he continued. "What's your name?"
"Castiel," He replied.
Dean laughed. "Castiel? That's a weird name."
The man just smiled; he didn't seem in the least bit offended. "My mother wanted me to seem angelic."
"Oh yeah? Are you?" Dean asked, getting more amused by the second. Quite a funny character his mind had come up with.
"Sometimes," Castiel replied wryly. "You like fishing?"
Dean leaned back again, comfortable now that he'd reminded himself this was just a dream. "Yup. Don't really care if I catch anything, it's just nice to sit here."
"Peaceful," Castiel said simply.
Dean nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Peaceful."
Shifting around again, Dean laid back against the grass, crossing his hands behind his head. The bank was sloped down towards the river, so he could still see his pole from the position. He glanced towards his strange new companion, who was still watching him with open curiosity. "Not used to having strangers in my dreams," Dean said after a moment.
"If you get to know me, I won't be a stranger anymore," Castiel replied.
Dean chuckled, though the sound was slightly confused. That was an odd thing to say. "Alright," He said with a shrug; it was just a dream. Why not go with it? "Tell me something."
Castiel cocked his head again, thoughtfully this time. "I don't like to fish," He said after a moment. He smiled when Dean laughed. "But I like the water. I swim very well. I used to swim here when I was a child."
Dean frowned to himself; amusing as this creation of his mind was, it seemed his imagination had put an unusual amount of elaboration behind it. Maybe this was his subconscious telling him he needed to hang out with his friends more? He had been something of a couch potato lately. "I don't swim very well," Dean said finally. He was curious again, wondering how far his imagination would run with this.
"Maybe someday I'll teach you." Castiel turned to look down at Dean as he said this, the expression in his eyes intent, yet unreadable. When he leaned down suddenly, shifting on his elbow so that he was hovering mere inches above Dean, the man tried to back away. Dream or no, the close proximity to a stranger was too uncomfortable. Yet instead of sliding up the slope Dean found he was frozen in place, as though Castiel's gaze alone had trapped him.
"Do you know me, Dean?" Castiel murmured, voice soft and strangely pleading.
"I didn't tell you my name," Dean murmured, and then his eyes were snapping open as Carmen climbed into bed with him. His eyes flicked towards the clock; 7:30 a.m.
"Bad dream?" Carmen asked as she draped an arm across his chest, her head tilted up towards his to show him concerned eyes.
"Odd," Dean answered a bit shakily. He relaxed back against the pillows and reached up to wrap his arms around his girl. "Just odd. No big deal."
... * ...
"Dean!" Castiel's eyes snapped open as the other man woke, harshly dragging the soul he had only just found away from him. The half-blood lifted a hand and rubbed it across his eyes, the effort of not only finding Dean's consciousness but finding his way inside it having tired him out despite the nine hours of solid sleep.
"Castiel? Are you okay?"
Castiel let out a soft moan of frustration and fell back against his bed. "Mother! Please stop letting yourself into my house!"
His bedroom door opened to admit a short, plump woman in her late fifties. She had a round face that refused to lose its smile even in the face of Castiel's obvious discontent. "Who is Dean?" she asked. "You aren't...using your abilities again, are you?"
"You mean my cupid powers?" Castiel slid both hands over his face; this wasn't the first time they'd had this conversation and it wouldn't be the last. "They aren't evil, Mother."
"They aren't safe," she replied, the worry in her voice so heavy Castiel could feel it like a weight on his shoulders. "They might find out."
"If they haven't objected yet I doubt they are going to," Castiel countered.
"I'm not worried about the cherubs, I'm worried about the angels." His mother sat down on the edge of the bed and put a warm, delicate hand on his shoulder. "Who is Dean?"
Castiel let his hands fall away from his face, though his gaze remained locked on the ceiling. "I don't know yet. I just know I've been looking for him for a very long time." Finally, he turned to face his mother. "Why are you here?"
His mother sighed and stood from the bed. "I get lonely in that house by myself. Don't you ever get lonely, Castiel?"
Castiel almost laughed; his mother had no idea. Since he could remember he'd been searching for a person, a person he could feel to the very core of his soul but couldn't find. Now, finally, Castiel had found him, and he was still so far away.
"I'll go down and make something to eat," Castiel vaguely heard his mother say.
The half-blood paid her no mind. Instead he smiled to himself as he let himself wander back into the dream. Dean...God, Dean had been beautiful. Souls were bright things, no matter what, but Dean's had been blinding. It was always the first thing he noticed, unlike most humans and their obsession with appearance. Physical looks were more of a second thought, something not nearly so important, though in his opinion Dean's outside had definitely reflected his inside. Strong, bright, yet edged in a roughness he suspected hid a somewhat shy interior.
Rolling into a sitting position, Castiel reached for the clock beside his bed. 7:45 a.m. He didn't have to be at work for a little over two hours. That was good, in his eagerness to finally contact Dean he'd forgotten to take a shower last night and his head was starting to itch something fierce. A good long shower sounded great right about then.
As he shucked off his boxers and discarded them into the basket that served as his hamper, Castiel thought again of the brightness of Dean's soul. Something that brilliant usually indicated two things; an unusually good person or a soul with a purpose. Or, sometimes, both. From what little he'd seen of Dean the man was a bit rough around the edges, but that didn't mean he wasn't a good man. He hoped it was simply that, and not the purpose he feared might be in store for him.
Pain bloomed behind his eyes seconds after he turned on the water; they were talking again. Sometimes it didn't hurt when the angels spoke but when they were all talking at once it tended to cause one hell of a headache. Castiel groaned softly as he stepped under the hot spray and leaned his head against the steam heated tiles. What now? They'd been so active lately, more active then he'd ever felt them. Something to do with that demon, Azazael. Or was it Lilith this time? No...it was Azazael. And children, children with powers. He'd heard mentions of them before. They were dangerous and they didn't even know it. Hunted by angels and sought out by demons. Castiel felt so sorry for them that sometimes it hurt. Literally. It was part of his abilities, a kind of empathy that he thought came from a mix of his 'cupid' father's love focused powers and human caring.
"Go away," Castiel murmured against the tiles. He was already tired, he didn't want to hurt on top of it.
The voices faded from him, pushed away by his will. It didn't always work, sometimes he had no choice but to listen in on their conversations. Fortunately today was not one of those days.
By the time he dressed and made it downstairs his mother had eggs, bacon and a glass of orange juice on the table. Castiel sighed but sat down and started in anyway; he had never been the breakfast type, he liked a quick bowl of cereal or just a breakfast bar of some kind, but his Mother would never let him hear the end of it if he didn't eat.
"There is almost nothing in your fridge," his Mother fussed as she closed the refrigerator door and sat down with a cup of coffee, watered almost out of existence by the amount of milk she'd put in. Castiel winced slightly; in his mind, black was the only way to drink it.
"I don't eat very much," Castiel said simply. That wasn't entirely true, he ate all three meals, he just didn't eat in the house often. The diner let him eat for free, so there didn't seem to be any reason to stock up on food that he wouldn't eat.
His Mother said nothing, only sighed quietly and took a sip of her coffee. "You don't like it when I come to see you, do you?"
Guilt spiked through the half-blood at that. He smiled sheepishly over his orange juice. "I do. I just don't like it when you come in unannounced. I knock when I go to your house."
"I know, I know. Alright, I'll knock next time, I promise."
No, she wouldn't. But Castiel couldn't help smiling at his Mother as her own smile returned. She was fussy and invasive but she loved him. People had no idea how much that meant. How much power that held.
"I have to go to work," Castiel said. The clock now read 9:30. He drained the orange juice but left the bacon; he never had been able to make his Mother understand that he didn't like meat. "Goodbye."
"Bye hun," his Mother answered quietly. Her hands were slack around the coffee cup, her eyes concerned again as she looked up at him.
"I was meant to find Dean," Castiel said when it became apparent that she wasn't going to stop staring. "There is nothing to be concerned about."
His Mother nodded once, still concerned, still uneasy, yet accepting. "Alright."
Castiel nodded back before he turned and walked out the door.
... * ...
It had been a long day. Cassy, the girl who had been scheduled to come in and take over for him at six, had been three hours late due to car problems. Castiel didn't own a car, didn't even know how to drive. It was something he'd never felt right about learning. It only took him fifteen minutes to walk to the diner, so he should have been home forty five minutes ago.
Stumbling into the downstairs bathroom, Castiel yanked open one of several cheap, plastic drawers and dug through it until he found his bottle of Advil. He took two before he began to drag himself upstairs. Bed, he wanted his bed and the bliss of painless sleep.
Five minutes after leaving the diner Castiel had been hit with it, more of a mass intake of knowledge than the confusing conversations that often filled his head. Azazael was collecting the children and even the angels didn't know why. He'd seen faces, most innocent and unknowing of their powers. One in particular had been oddly vivid, a handsome young man in college with a beautiful girlfriend and an amazing future ahead of him. His face was still clear in his mind and something about it was familiar.
Stripping down to nothing but his boxers, Castiel crawled under the covers and pulled them over his head, creating a cocoon that felt safe even if it wasn't. He closed his eyes and let the vision of the young man's face drift there in his mind. There was something in the smile, the eyes...
When Castiel opened his eyes he was standing by the river again. Dean was sitting at the edge, without the pole this time, the way his eyes darted about suggesting he was waiting for something. Surprise struck Castiel sharply; before it had taken a great deal of effort to appear in Dean's dream. Had he been accepted already?
The man looked up sharply, seeming only somewhat surprised. "Huh. Hi."
Castiel felt such relief at seeing Dean that it was almost ridiculous. No, it was absolutely ridiculous. He really did need to find out why he felt such a connection with this particular soul. "Hi Dean," Castiel said with a small smile. He walked to the river's edge and sat down heavily beside the other man, feeling tired even within the dream.
For a long moment Dean stared at him uncertainly. Then he shrugged to himself and apparently decided it was alright that the half-blood was there. "You look beat."
"I had a very long day," Castiel said tiredly. Then, remembering this was a dream, he willed his weariness away. It only worked partially, as he wasn't really in his own dream. "I am happy to see you."
Dean chuckled, though the reaction seemed confused. "Um, thanks, I guess."
The man turned to stare over the river, though he cast occasional, curious glances at the half blood. For a moment Castiel felt somewhat lost. He'd been searching for Dean for so long, but had the other man felt any of it? Did he have any idea about the connection between them? Would that connection even be enough? What if they got to know each other and ended up hating each other?
The questions upset him. He turned to look at Dean with apprehension. "Am I still a stranger, Dean?"
Dean snorted. "Yeah, man. One dream doesn't make you a buddy, you know."
"Oh." Castiel thought a moment; he didn't want to be a stranger to Dean. He didn't want Dean to be a stranger to him, for that matter, no matter the risk. He would never know what was happening, what exactly the connection was, if he didn't try. "We should fix that."
"Yeah? Alright, I guess. How do we fix it?" The look on Dean's face said he thought this was his imagination in overdrive. For now, Castiel let him think it. Even as a half angel he'd had difficulty adjusting to the knowledge he had. He could only imagine how a full blooded human would react.
"Ask me a question," Castiel said after a moment. "And then I will ask you one."
"Okay..." Dean leaned back on his hands like he had last time, staring thoughtfully at the sky. "How old are you?"
"Twenty three," Castiel replied immediately.
"Twenty four," Dean said, pointing to himself. "Your turn."
"Favorite color?" Castiel asked. Basics were good, he thought. They led to the more complex things.
"Uh...brown, I guess," Dean said with a shrug. "Yours?"
"Blue," Castiel replied immediately, without hesitation. Blue was a calm, tranquil color. Castiel very much liked calming things, particularly after having his mind overpowered by the conversations of aggravated angels.
"Blue, hm?" Dean chuckled suddenly. "That's Sam's favorite color."
"Who is Sam?" Castiel asked curiously.
"My little brother," Dean answered. "He's in college. Got a girlfriend so beyond his league I think he must have drugged her."
Castiel smiled. "You're proud of him."
Dean shrugged and ducked his head a bit but Castiel saw the flash of a grin anyway. "Yeah, I guess."
"Tell me about your brother," Castiel requested carefully. It seemed more personal than the question exchange they'd begun. This was important to Dean. That meant it was important to him.
This was something Dean seemed very willing to talk about. He told Cas about how he'd looked after Sam when they were younger, how they'd never had a whole lot in common but that they both loved the same beer and they both liked to sit and 'fish' without really fishing. They'd looked after each other, confided in each other, supported each other in their opposing career choices. The more Castiel listened the more he smiled, because when Dean spoke of Sam his eyes lit up and the corners of his lips turned up in a fond sort of smile.
"'Course, it's not like it's all roses and sunshine, either," Dean mentioned. "When we do fight, we fight. There was this time when he was fifteen and he brought home his first girlfriend. I was being a dick, I think...I mean, I was just playin' around, you know, but he got all upset and punched me in the mouth. We broke the coffee table, he broke my nose and I broke his arm." Dean reached up and tapped his nose, drawing Castiel's attention to the tiniest imperfection in the set of it. "Then we both ended up feeling like shit 'cause that coffee table was Mom's favorite, so we managed to put it back together. Which ended the fight." Dean chuckled faintly to himself, then gave a small shake of his head, as though snapping out of a daze, and flicked his eyes up towards Castiel. "What about you. Got any siblings?"
"No, I was an only child," Castiel replied. "I had a friend when I was younger who was like a brother to me but he moved away when I was nine."
The half-blood saw a sudden change in Dean's expression, a shift from easy comradeship to narrow eyed confusion. He stared at Castiel in a way that could almost be described as calculating, or perhaps suspicious. Maybe both. Whatever the case, Castiel found he did not like it. He wanted Dean to look at him differently.
"What is it?" He asked finally, uncomfortably. He shifted, his eyes darting to the water and back, uncertain how to react to the sudden change.
"I just asked a figment of my imagination if he has any siblings," Dean said frankly. He was beginning to look a little disturbed.
Castiel opened his eyes.
... * ...
Rob stuck his head out of the tiny box that served as his office, his thick brows drawn together in a mixed expression of wariness and concern. "Dean? Ya alright out here?"
Dean kicked the toolbox he'd knocked from the bench, then silently cursed himself as his toes began to throb from the harsh contact to the metal. "Yeah, sorry. Weird night, kinda distracted."
"Okay. You want some help?"
Dean shook his head but managed a grin at his boss. "I'm good, Rob, thanks."
"Okay." Rob disappeared back inside, back to his paperwork or the freecell game he refused to admit he played on their ancient computer. Dean chuckled a little at the thought; when there was work to be done, Rob expected no less than perfection, but on a slow day...well, if you weren't sleeping and you stayed in the building, he didn't really care what you did.
Getting down on his hands and knees, Dean began to pick up the tools that had scattered all over the concrete floor. He righted the toolbox, then stopped abruptly and stared at the socket wrench in his hand without really looking at it. Usually, he enjoyed coming to work. He'd been employed at Rob's Auto Shop for three years now. He liked his work, his boss, even most of the customers. Today it seemed he just couldn't get his head in the game.
"I just asked a figment of my imagination if he has any siblings."
A kind of growling noise escaped Dean as he threw the socket wrench into the box with more force than was necessary. What was with these weird dreams? This Castiel that his mind had created seemed so real. He'd seemed apprehensive and uncomfortable right before he'd snapped awake at the sound of his alarm. He spoke of his old friend with fondness. He looked at Dean with an emotion the man couldn't quite place. It was too real! He'd been unable to get it out of his mind, which had led to a moment of clumsiness and an upended toolbox.
Damn it. He needed a car to fix. Anything to take his mind off it.
It seemed his wish would not be granted. Four o'clock rolled around without a customer in sight. Dean tried to think of tomorrow, Saturday, the one day he and Carmen had off together. It was also the day Sammy was coming home for the summer. He hadn't seen his brother since Christmas, their only contact being random texts and occasional phone calls, and he was looking forward to spending some time with another human being other than his girlfriend. There were just some things you couldn't do with a girlfriend. Fishing that wasn't really fishing, for instance, though he supposed he could do that, if she didn't hate it.
Dean shook himself. He was mentally rambling. This was ridiculous.
At four thirty Rob told Dean to go home, they obviously weren't going to get any customers today. He climbed behind the wheel of his '67 Impala, reaching for the key with every intention of heading straight home but as the engine roared to life he hesitated. For a moment he sat there, hands hovering over the wheel, before he set them down and turned the car in the opposite direction of home.
Dean's Father, John, was mowing the lawn when he pulled up in front of his parents house. He didn't seem at all surprised to see his oldest son; Dean had a habit of dropping by at random times. There was something about his old home he just couldn't completely leave behind, something that repeatedly drew him back, even if it was only for short periods. The mower was shut down as Dean climbed out of the car and John lifted his hand in a wave, smiling as his son approached.
"Hey, Dad." Dean returned the smile as he stopped in front of his father. "Mom home?"
"Yeah, I think she's working on dinner," John replied with a nod. "Everything okay? You look tired."
"Yeah, bad couple of nights," Dean answered easily, hoping to wave it off as nothing. He didn't really want his Dad probing further into the matter. "Just can't seem to get any sleep. Was wondering if you'd mind me crashing here tonight, thought maybe I could get some decent sleep in a different place."
"We never mind, you know that." John reached over and slapped his son on the shoulder. "Hey, in the morning we can go over and pick up Carmen, have everyone be here to see Sam when he gets home."
"Sounds great," Dean said with a grin. "Need any help out here?"
John shook his head. "Nope, I'm just about done. See you inside."
Dean nodded and headed for the door. This was good, he thought. One of his Mom's dinners, a few beers, some pointless chit chat or TV and he'd be out like a light.
That night, as he lay on the couch with the muted TV casting flickering shadows across his still form, he dreamt of a different place. Instead of the river he found himself in a house. It seemed old but fairly nice, though the lack of decoration or even furniture made it seem barren. There was a small table in the kitchen with two chairs, a tiny TV and a beanbag in the living room. Only two pictures, from what he could see, and he started when he realized they were of Castiel and a woman who appeared to be in her late fifties.
Great. His plan hadn't worked. It had just changed the location.
Dean turned to find Castiel standing behind him at the bottom of a set of stairs that started in the kitchen and wound around and out of his sight. He looked completely surprised, an expression that might have been comical had Dean been in any mood to laugh.
"I didn't..." Castiel took a step forward, the beginnings of a smile tugging at his lips. "You found me."
"I what?" Dean snapped. "Look, I'm tired of my own head playing games with me. You, you go away now." Dean waved a hand towards him, as though trying to swat away a fly. "You're getting a bit creepy. So...go."
Castiel sighed. He sat down in one of the two chairs at his table, staring steadfastly at the floor as he began to fiddle with a button on his blue shirt. "I can't just go. You're in my dream this time. You'd have to leave."
"What? This is my dream!" Dean cried insistently.
Castiel smiled slightly, almost sadly this time. "If you say so."
For a moment Dean didn't move, he simply stared at the man before him. Then he let out a frustrated sound and threw himself into the remaining chair. "Okay, obviously I'm stuck with you."
Castiel looked across the table at the other man, his eyes almost sad, like his smile. "Am I bad company, Dean?"
Dean shrugged. "Not really. I'm just not getting good sleep."
Castiel looked away but Dean caught just a glimpse of an emotion that looked suspiciously like guilt.
They sat there, silently, until Dean couldn't stand it anymore and finally spoke. "So...this your house?"
The other man shook his head. "I rent it."
"Ah. That why there aren't any pictures or anything on the walls?"
Castiel shook his head again. "No. I just...don't have any pictures. My Mother takes them every now and then. I don't even own a camera."
The room abruptly faded, making Dean jump when the table disappeared out from under him. He had to firmly remind himself that it was just a dream and if he fell it really wouldn't matter. "What's going on?"
Another room appeared around them, a small living room packed with odds and ends, overstuffed chairs and so many pillows that Dean thought he could have made a decent sized bed out of them. Castiel chuckled slightly, almost embarrassedly. "I seem to have moved to my Mother's house. I did tell you this was my dream."
For a moment Dean almost believed it. There were too many details in this room for him to have dreamt it up. Besides, his dreams almost never changed location.
Not unless it was that dream.
Dean shook himself; he didn't want to think about that. If he had to chose between that nightmare and this, he chose this. At least it was pleasant, even if it was weird.
"Well, I'm stuck here, so...tell me about this room." Dean held out his hands on either side of him to indicate the small, packed space.
Castiel looked surprised again but seemed happy to comply. "Alright. You see this silly dolphin figurine? My Mother found that..."
... * ...
Wow, this is turning out to be a bit more difficult than I'd originally thought. Oh well, it's still a lot of fun. I'm hoping to have the link to the video soon, with any luck it will be in the next chapter. If you liked please review! ^_^