'...and that's all I remember, up until waking up in Bobby Singer's house, and it's six months later.'
'How come you don't remember?' Caleb asks, shredding a napkin between long pale fingers.
Jimmy shrugs. 'I wish I knew. Then I might get the memories back. That's all I can tell you though. I deliberately haven't asked anyone else who survived what happened.'
'I don't want to know. Castiel died, Dean died, me, Sam and Ruby survived. That's all I know, and that's all I want to know.'
'But what about Castiel and De-'
'That's why.' He interrupts, standing up. 'If you want to know, you'll have to read the rest of your book.' He shakes Caleb's hand and leaves. 'Good luck with your paper.'
Caleb nods and watches him leave before ordering another coffee and delving into his bag for the book, flipping it open to the folded over page corner and reading.
He reads about Michael, the archangel, and his supposed vessel in Dean, and Lucifer's in Sam. He reads about how they band together after Sam started the apocalypse and their relationship tears at the seams. Ruby holds them together, Ruby and Castiel. Dean's fairly sure Ruby and Sam are sleeping together, but he doesn't care. He's a little preoccupied being conflicted by his feelings for Castiel. He loves the angel, he knows that. Castiel rescued him from hell, he's seen his soul and still cares for him, saves him, protects him. And yet Dean knows he can't love anyone. It hurts too much. He writes about maybe he doesn't care. Maybe he doesn't care that Castiel is inches from Falling just for loving him, maybe he doesn't care that if he gives up his heart to Castiel, he won't get it back.
He reads about Gabriel, crashing into the small group fighting for free will's lives, unmasking himself. They treat him with caution, and then later, grudging respect. Dean doesn't like him, but he's civil, because he knows that the angel can snap his fingers and jumpstart Dean into saying yes at any moment. With him comes another angel, one that Dean had heard of, but assumed would be on Team Destiny. Azrael, the angel of death left Heaven with Gabriel and followed him everywhere. The oldest of the angels, Azrael had seen Lucifer's fall first hand and he'd watched his Father leave, and he'd watched Gabriel leave, and he'd followed. Dean had grumbled about how the angels and demons now outnumbered the humans, but he slowly grew used to having the feathered beings about.
And then Death rose. And Bobby brought more hunters in. Ellen and Jo died fighting to save the world, the first to die in the battle for free will. Bobby was never the same after their deaths, and Dean writes that the first casualty is like a first kiss. You never forget. He mourns them for pages after their death, not even Sam, not even Castiel being able to stop the hurt.
And then Lucifer creates Croatoan, and the world comes crashing to its knees. Three weeks. That's how long it takes for the world to tumble. Team Free Will, as Dean's taken to dubbing the ragtag band of heaven and hell outcasts, along with Chuck, the prophet and a few survivors from Sioux Falls, where they've been based for the past month and a half retire to Camp Chitaqua, an old Summer Camp, and set up Ground Zero. They hold it for a month, defending it against mindless zombies and cannibalistic Croats.
And then they get a call. On the old police radio Dean has set up in his cabin, always listening for survivors, a voice crackles out. They're in a church, somewhere in Arizona. Dean and Castiel, Ruby and Gabriel, and Azrael following like he always does. It's his job to take lost souls home, and he's never had to find as many wandering spirits as he has in the last month.
The last journal entry is the night before they drive out to the survivor. After is a rough handwritten note on the bottom of the page.
'They never came home. S'
Tear marks graze the page, blurring the ink.
S. Sam. It has to be.
Caleb wipes away a tear he never knew he was crying and closes the book. He throws down some money for the drink and leaves, returning to his apartment and writing his paper. He has to get the words out, he doesn't know what they'll do to him to keep them bottled inside.
He walks into the lecture theatre the next day, the paper in his hand, several pages long. Wesson is sitting at the desk, marking something, flicking ticks with a red biro. Caleb drops the paper onto his desk and Wesson looks up questioningly. 'My paper,' Caleb says, and walks away. Wesson watches him leave before reading the paper, reaching the end half an hour later.
'...In the end, all an angel can ever be is faithful. It shouldn't matter whether or not his faith is for heaven ,or someone or something else, the defining characteristic of an angel is always faith. An angel without faith is little more than a human with wings.'
Sam Winchester looks up into the empty lecture theatre for a few moments. If there was anything that Castiel ever had in him, it was faith.
And that completes And Then I Crashed Into You (And I Went Up In Flames)
Thanks to everyone for reading, adding me to your alerts and favourites.
Special thanks to my reviewers:
Love and kisses to you all!
The next multichapter I'll be posting on here is This Ain't A Song For The Broken Hearted (It's Just My Life) and it's Inception. See my profile for more detail. The next scheduled non-crossover Supernatural fic I have is Walk Away From The Sun (You're Fading Every Day) -side note, I really love using brackets and song lyrics in titles- and it's a giant AU retelling of seasons four and five for the deancasbigbang. Which should be posted around about... August, I think.
One last thing, if you have a tumblr, then feel free to check out .com and follow my secondary blog, used for posting snippets of soon to be finished fics, teasers for sequels of fics, and maybe even some scenes that were cut out in the editing of fics.
Anyway. Until next time.
Cantati, May 2011.