I'm all out of love
I'm so lost without you
I know you were right
Believing for so long
I'm all out of love
What am I without you?
I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong
Today had to be Valentines' Day. The most pointless holiday ever invented.
Sam scowled as he picked up the coffee cups on the diner counter in front of him, eyes fixed on the heart-shaped confetti littering the tables. He had lost track of time and day completely recently what with having rather more pressing matters on his mind, but walking into the diner brought his memory back with a snap. Everything was pink and red, hearts and arrows, tables taken by nothing but couples. A handful of people were sitting alone at the stools in front of the counter nearby, looking just as bitter at the holiday as he did, but he suspected for very different reasons. He highly doubted that any of them had had to face Famine around this time of year not that long ago.
Still scowling, he whirled around and pushed his way through the door, kicking it shut with his heel. He was already teetering on the brink of a full-scale hissy fit, and the tacky decorations of the day weren't helping. The only point of the whole holiday in Sam's opinion was for shops to sell themed products, for the sales of chocolates, flowers and little cuddly toys to go through the roof and for anyone who wasn't currently in a relationship to feel hostile towards any who were. And that didn't add up to much of a holiday.
What only made his temper worse was that he'd had barely any sleep last night due to Dean bursting into their motel room, screaming bloody murder because Castiel's trench coat had gone missing. Sam hadn't even known Dean still had the coat stuffed somewhere about his person, but apparently he had and had noticed its disappearance shortly after their arrival at the motel.
Which could only mean he periodically checked that it was still wherever he hid it. And if Dean hadn't looked liable to explode if Sam so much as commented, he kept this observation to himself.
Trying to avoid an argument with his brother who was already looking close to an emotional breakdown, Sam had complied with Dean's request and helped his brother to search for the dead angel's precious coat. Their fruitless search resulted in nothing but failure, however. The coat had somehow been swiped from the boot of whatever car they'd stolen this time around, but all of their gear had been left alone, completely untouched. This had been Dean's number one problem; according to him, to find the coat, the thief must have dug their way past their duffel bag and their hunting weapons. Surely a boot full of knives, guns and other assorted armaments was enough to warrant questioning, or to act as a deterrent for anyone breaking into their car? So why had the thief simply disregarded these other items as if they were utterly normal, and made off with a coat?
And what was so special about the coat anyway that someone would risk breaking into the car of some complete stranger? Especially after they'd discover the vast array of weaponry awaiting them. Having the boot of your car filled with things like that would only succeed in painting you out to be some sort of whackjob, so why would the thief continue in their task and steal the coat? And just how the heck would they know it was there in the first place? Not even Sam was aware that the coat was still with them. It just didn't make any sense.
The conundrum had kept him awake for most of the evening. While Dean stormed off in the direction of the town and logically the local bar, Sam remained at the motel, mulling it all over. It couldn't have been a demon, because of the protective sigils Dean had personally carved into the inside of the boot. It wasn't any other supernatural creature that Sam could think of, because in moving their belongings, they would have had to touch silver at some point, and most creatures had rather nasty reactions once coming into contact with that particular metal. Not to mention the salt heaped everywhere, and the fact Dean had left the car for a minute, two tops. The theft would have had to have taken place within seconds. He felt he could also safely rule out a fellow hunter, because one, why would another hunter rob them, and two, wouldn't they have tried to take something more valuable like the Colt rather than a dirty old trench coat?
Dean had returned a while after all the bars closed, and promptly collapsed onto his bed, falling asleep almost instantly. Sam hadn't even attempted to make enquiries with his brother about the missing coat; he'd be lucky to get so much as a grunt in response. So he remained lying on his own bed, eyes fixed on the ceiling above his head, wondering just what could have managed to break into their car, and what their fascination with Castiel's old trench coat was.
After a while, he supposed he had fallen asleep because the next thing he knew, sunlight was streaming in through the window. Dean was still snoring gently on his bed, and it hadn't taken Sam long to grow sick of the noise and the cramped room. He therefore chose to leave before he started climbing the walls out of sheer frustration. Coffee. If they were going to be alert and hunting, they would need sustenance, especially after his practically sleepless night. But his trip to the diner had done little to improve his temper, and as he reached the motel complex again, he was still glowering. The thought of being stuck inside that small room was not appealing. At all.
He was just reaching into his pocket for the key when he heard it.
"SON OF A BITCH!"
Sam froze in his tracks, the coffee cups tumbling to the floor. Only Dean's voice could reach that level of volume and menace, and judging by his wording, his outcry was because of nothing good. Pulling his gun from the waistband at the back of his jeans, Sam ran forward and threw their motel room door open, lunging in with his gun raised.
What he saw made him almost drop his weapon.
Dean was sitting on the edge his bed, but he was by no means alone.
Directly next to him, definitely in violation of his older brother's personal space, stood another figure. Short, dark hair lay plastered to the man's head, dribbling water down the sides of his face. He held himself straight-backed and resolute, his posture similar to that of a solider. His body was encased in a sodden darkly coloured suit which clung to his frame, dripping water. And draped around his body on top of this was the trench coat. It was the only dry thing about the man; everything else was leaking water onto the motel carpet, creating a dark stain where he stood. Deep, piercing blue eyes stared directly at Sam as he stood locked in the doorway, his gun still pointing towards the being that he knew would suffer no damage from his bullets.
"Castiel?" He gasped, eyes wide and staring.
"Hello, Sam." The angel replied in his usual deep voice.
Sam reeled, backing himself into a chair before his knees collapsed out from underneath him. "How..?" Was all he managed to say as he slid his gun onto the smooth tabletop.
The last he had heard of Castiel, the angel was dead. Again. He had become corrupt under the power of the Leviathans, and had walked himself into the middle of a reservoir. Well, at least that seemed to explain why he was sopping wet. As he watched, Castiel's eyes flicked to Dean and settled on him, even though it was Sam that had spoken. Sam rolled his eyes, too used to this behaviour to care.
"I am unsure. I believe my Father chose to bring me back." Castiel said, and then added as an afterthought, "Again."
"Well, how did you get here? Your sigils are still on our ribs, right?" Sam asked, his voice regaining a little of its former strength.
"That is correct, yes. But I am unsure as to how I found you." The angel finally turned to look back at Sam.
"What? What are you talking about?" Sam's head was spinning.
"I felt myself being dragged upwards and the next thing I knew, I was inside this room."
"So you didn't take your coat from our car..?" Sam asked, fearing that he already knew the answer. His fears were confirmed when Castiel's head tipped in his trademark head tilt.
"No, of course not. I was wearing it when I found myself to be conscious once again."
Sam frowned. Something was wrong here. His eyes strayed to his elder brother. Dean was sitting on the edge of his bed, elbows propped on his kneecaps, face buried in the palms of his hands. Sam's confused frown deepened as he observed this particular behaviour. Every time he'd considered the angel returning to them, he'd pictured Dean all but running to Castiel and pulling him into a tight hug. That was how Winchesters worked; rise from the dead, get a hug. No matter what Castiel had done in the lead-up to his death, the fact was he'd tried to right his wrongs. Sam knew that Dean had been struggling to cope with the loss of his closest friend, and that to see the angel alive and well again would usually have been cause for celebration.
And yet, Dean was acting like Castiel was still dead, not standing a few feet from him alive and well.
"Dean?" Sam asked, eyebrows knotting in confusion. "What's bugging you? Castiel's back again."
"Trust me Sammy, I'm more aware of that than you are.." Dean grumbled, lifting his head to glare. "I don't need you to point out the obvious."
"Well then, what..?"
Before Sam could utter another word, Dean suddenly yanked his right arm forwards violently. To Sam's immense shock, Castiel's left arm rose and he stumbled forwards, almost falling right over. Sam felt his jaw drop as Dean leapt to his feet, and raised his arm. Sam's eyes followed Castiel's as it too rose and hung limply a short distance from the height Dean's had stopped at. It was almost as if their arms were joined by some sort of rope, but there was nothing between their limbs. Sam stared at the gap between their arms, trying to spot any signs of some sort of binding material, but there was simply nothing there. Well, nothing that the human eye could see, at least.
"What the hell..?" Sam muttered, also getting to his feet in order to have a closer inspection.
"I have no idea," Dean growled, sounding positively furious. "I just woke up and found Cas lying next to me. I freaked, scrambled away, and he was pulled along with me."
"Dean then felt it was appropriate to yell a profanity at the top of his voice." Castiel muttered dryly.
Dean scowled at the angel, before glaring at his arm as if the offending limb was the sole cause of whatever had happened. "What I want to know," He snarled, "Is who in their right minds would think this is funny?"