Chapter Three: Animal I Become
A soft breeze blew overhead, and Dean closed his eyes as it passed over him. His hair fluttered and moved in the direction of the wind. A faint smile came upon his lips as he let his head fall back and his body relaxed into the chair he sat on. Beer in one hand and fishing pole in the other he listened to the birds chirp away. The water was quite and he didn't expect to catch anything, he was never that great at fishing anyways. Sammy always caught on to that stuff really fast, and his heart ached for his brother. Opening his eyes he watched the clouds, white and seemingly fluffy. He imagined if he were to reach out and touch one that it would feel like soft cotton, or silk maybe. The sky was a crystal blue, he never remembered seeing such a color before. Never quite remembering the sky that blue and beautiful.
The dock he sat on was wooden and sturdy, probably not having been built too long ago. Dean felt at home here, not that he knew where he was but he felt like he belonged. That this chair he sat on was made for him and the song that the birds were singing was just for him. His own personal serenade, his own paradise. His own Heaven.
He felt him first, before he saw him. Almost like there was a change in the wind or a different feeling in the air. It continued to amaze him how he suddenly got a sixth sense for him. There were multiple reasons why he thought he could feel the Angel but they didn't seem to matter as he came closer. Dean didn't turn around as he felt Cas come to stand next to his chair, he didn't even turn around to look at him.
A sense of dread came over him, maybe even guilt and now all he felt like was running away. Looking down he saw blood on his hands, dripping- bright and red. His beer crashed to the ground, the bottle cracking and spilling its contents. The fishing pole was discarded, thrown into the lake and if he wasn't so distressed he probably would have watched as it floated away.
Instead, Dean wiped fervently at his pants, attempting to wipe away his sin. After a moment he closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm himself willing himself to take it easy, and when he opened his eyes once more the stains were gone. Now he could feel Cas staring at him, but Dean could not look him in the eye. He kept his eyes cast down but his chin was up and if you looked on from afar it would seem as if he was being scolded for something. In so many ways he thought he was, Cas looking at him with blue steady eyes. His face unyielding to the emotions he felt, his human emotions.
Gesturing out with an arm, Cas looked around them and observed Dean's Heaven. Letting his grace soak in the peace here. When he looked back over to the hunter, his charge, he let his arm fall back down to his side.
"Why are we here, Dean?" Cas asked, voice rough and deep. It spoke of business and speculation, Dean had lost him and he deserved that.
"You tell me." Dean brought his eyes up to look at Cas, full of remorse, apologies, hatred, love, and so much more. He was never able to hide from Cas and the Angel realized it was not Dean who brought them there.
Cas did nothing but stand there looking back at Dean, the hunter was now looking directly at the Angel. In this, Cas was forced to look upon the only man who could ever bring him down, make him fall. Already, he had gone against his brother's and sister's just to save this one man. Angel's are not weak creatures, it takes a lot of power to bring one down and Dean had managed to do it in one night. Yet, that was on Cas, he was too blame for that and now he was left thinking of the words from his deceased brother, Uriel. He had lost sight of what was important and he let himself start to fall. He has disobeyed and for what? A human man.
Angels are holy creatures, sent by God to be as warriors of Heaven. Castiel was a soldier and he had failed in his duty because of a human whom he had found himself sacrificing everything for. Why? Because of the things that Dean has spoken for, freewill, never succumbing to fate, and making ones own decisions. Cas recalled the countless times the hunter lectured him about free agency and telling him that he shouldn't follow blindly. When he had found that Uriel had turned against him and was the one killing so many of their own brother's and sister's that is when he joined Dean. The Angel's had turned on themselves and where was God in all of this? So Cas clung to the only person-creation from God- that made sense. He had started to doubt, the first step to disobedience and he was congratulated. This still left him torn, what is that God wanted him to do? Was he on the right path?
Looking at the hunter before him now, he saw Dean as a threat. Every instinct within himself saying to destroy this creature created by his Father. That he has gone against the will of God and had averted the Apocalypse. Even so, Castiel could not bring himself to harm this man. That was not his place, instead he approached the man that had torn him down, caused him pain, made him bleed, made him hate but also made him love. Stopping just in front of the hunter, their faces inches apart and Cas was sure Dean would take a step back and mumble about personal space. Except he didn't, instead he hung his head, his fists closing at his sides in shame.
Cas looked beyond Dean, again taking in what his Heaven was like. He wished he could have Dean stay here, that he would not have to experience everything that was to come. Suddenly he had become the victim worried about his attacker, even as he tried he could not bring himself to feel anything but sorrow for the things that Dean had done. Bringing his hand up he let it fall to the hunter's shoulder and reality came crashing down around them.
The room as it may, was still dark and the light bulb over head was swinging back and forth. The small spotlight it created moving over them and then disappearing behind them in its what seemed like never ending movements. Blood that was once free flowing out of him was now sticky an in the early stages of drying out on the flesh of his vessel. He could feel as every cell in his vessel repaired itself and became whole again. He would be completely healed in a matter of hours, all except his wings would never return to what they once were.
An Angel's wings are most precious, and rarely seen. There times that it was speculated if Angel's even had wings. While God had created Angels to be his warriors, their greatest strength was also their greatest weakness, were their wings. Easily hidden but just as easily destroyed in battle if not careful. Now his, that used to be so brilliantly white and shinning like the light of Heaven were painted charcoal. Dull and ragged looking, while the feathers themselves would repair he could never get his light back. Black was the color of the fallen, of the damned and of the damaged.
Dean was clinging to him, his hands closing around Cas's arms and his forehead resting against his collarbone. There was no going back for the hunter, and even as he begged for forgiveness he knew he would not get it. Guilt choked him and tears burned hot in his eyes and throat. Apologies kept flowing from his lips but Dean had gone past the point of no return and now there was nothing he could do to make things right. His eyes were closed tight, eyelashes dripping of tears and then he was suddenly taken back in time.
Cas sighed looking back behind him at the room that contained Alistair. Dean was standing in front of him and as he looked behind the angel at the door that separated him from his demon he shook his head.
"No, no way am I going in there Cas." He said cold, calm and dangerously.
His eyes were hard but his palms were sweating. His heart pounded in his chest and he swore that Cas could hear it. The Angel's eyes were wide and sad.
"You have to, Dean." Castiel tilted his head to the side studying the hunter's reaction.
"No." He shook his head.
"Demons are killing Angel's. These are my brother's and sister's, Dean. I would give anything not to send you in that room but this is above me." Cas said firmly, his face now close to Dean's.
"Cas, if you send me in there-" He choked, his mouth going dry. "You won't like what comes out of there." Dean said pointing at the door, looking at Cas trying to make his point.
"You will go in there because we asked you to." Uriel's voice came from behind Dean.
"I'm sorry, Dean. This is not my decision." Cas said looking away from the hunter. "What if it were Sam you had to watch die." The Angel spoke softly that Dean almost didn't here him.
He had watched Sam die, but he brought him back. Making a deal that put him in the spot he was in now. Except he could let Cas keep watching his siblings die, nobody deserved that. Even if he refused, he would be responsible for the deaths of how many people if he didn't find out who it was doing all the killing? Uriel was one step away from demolishing all of human kind just to get justice, and Dean couldn't allow that. With one last look at Cas, Dean squared his shoulders and looked to the door.
"I'm going to need a few things." He stated flatly.
He had dreamed of that very moment, getting his revenge on Alistair. Dishing out exactly what the Demon had dished to him, torturing him as he had tortured him. Except he was going to make it last longer, it would be sweeter that way but even as Cas asked him to do it. Giving him the very opportunity he secretly craved for, he was scared to return to that place again. To become the very monster Alistair molded him to be.
When it was all said and done, and Alistair was dead by Sam's hand. After they had left that place and Cas had returned to Heaven. The angel came back, and knelt at Dean's feet.
Cas appeared before Dean, who was sitting on his bed after a long day of investigation. Sam was out grabbing them something to eat and Dean was sitting at the edge of his bed. Elbows on his knees and palms pressed together. His lips were pressed against his knuckles as he looked at the spot in the carpet that was just slightly darker then the rest of the floor.
The nightmares had gotten worse, and he dreamed of hurting Sam, or hurting anyone he ever cared about. The images of blood crusted knives and screamed haunted him and when Cas came into the room with a flutter of wings he didn't even notice.
It wasn't until the Angel came to stand in front of him did he even know that Cas was there. Dropping to his knees in front of him, Cas cupped his hands around his. Tears were shinning in the Angel's bright blue eyes.
"Forgive me." Cas choked out, tears falling from his eyes and his chin trembling.
The Angel bowed his head and Dean brought one hand out of their grasp and laid it gently on Cas's head. He knew if he could, Cas would have prevented him from going back to that place. Leaning forward, he pressed his lips to Cas's hair. It was a kiss but a gesture of comfort, a sign showing that Dean forgave him.
The irony of Dean coming back to torture the one person that forced him back to that place was not lost on him. Even so, he knew he could not blame this on Cas. This was on him and he scoffed at his own weakness. He had let the monster out and now he was begging for forgiveness for his transgression. When Cas had sent him into that room, Sam was there to comfort him. Sam wasn't even Sam then, he was just a shell of a brother- addicted to Demon blood but it was him who finally killed Alistair. Now, Sam was gone again and Dean should have gone to Cas instead of letting everything build. Of course, it was too late now.
Opening his eyes, he pulled away enough to look up Cas. Dean could not deny that the Angel before him was indeed a divine being, as much as he had fought at the idea of God. He could not deny the power that was within Cas. That's when he saw the true extent of the damage he caused, looking into the angel's eyes which were once so alive and vibrant. Were now empty and distant- hollow. Even as Cas held him in a sign of comfort he was not present, and the hunter could feel his departure. The bond they once shared was weak, almost non-existent leaving Dean cold.
Not breaking their eye contact Dean gave a slight shake of his head and Cas took that as he understood. The hunters eyes were shinning a bright green and Cas brought his still injured hand to wipe away the final tears that Dean cried. The hunter was silently pleading, don't leave me. Bringing up his hand from the angel's shoulder, Dean closed it around Cas's hand that was still on his face and he let out a choke sob. His apologies fell on silent ears, he knew this even as he pleaded with Cas to forgive him. Cas looked away from Dean then, over his shoulder as if he was seeing something that Dean couldn't. Realizing there was nothing else he could do Dean let his hand fall back down to his side and he looked around them with tear filled eyes. Pulling away Cas removed his hand from Dean's face and place two fingers on the hunter's forehead. Dean shook his head as his eyes met Cas's once more, blue eyes that spoke of finality and green eyes that cried devastation.
"It's okay to forget, Dean." Cas spoke in a harsh whisper.
Before he could protest, the world around him went black and Dean fell limply in Castiel's arms . The Angel stood slowly with the hunter in his arms, his battle having been won.
Author's Note: This chapter was difficult to write, but I am extremely proud of how the plot had developed.
Still more to come.