I Tell Myself That I'm So Lucky (To Be Loving You)
Warnings: bottom!Cas, bottom!Dean
Spoilers: references up to 7x12… for Dean. But it's set season 6 for Cas.
Disclaimer: Supernatural ain't mine. Title from the jazz ballad Time After Time by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
I've been here for a very long time. And I remember many things.
But now I remember things that I should not even know. Things about the future.
I know that Sam Winchester returns to his brother's side, that his brother leaves Lisa and Ben Braeden… And more.
And I wonder what happens in between. What role I play in how these things come to pass…
There is still much left unexplained. Much I wish I could change. And much that I do not.
Even if it means my role in how things come to be… will end.
By all normal standards, I would not have heard Dean Winchester's call. Should not have, but for the mark of my grace upon his soul.
And had it not been for that, perhaps I would not have been able to hear his voice amongst the transient din of the earthly plane. I would not have suddenly registered a difference in this one man, that halted my attention.
"Calling Castiel, Angel of the Lord…"
In all the eons of my being, never had such a thing occurred. I had watched God create the Earth, had witnessed the birth of man and it's paltry evolution, and never, never, had one of these creatures been aware of my fleeting visits to their plane of existence, let alone presume or even know to call me by name.
To put it simply, at the time, I was severely affronted.
And were it not for the sheer outrageousness of the thing, I don't know how I would have responded. But as it was, the oddity of this singularity demanded answers.
And so, I followed the call to the earthly plane…
"Cas? Are you there?"
And there he was. Just a man. Otherwise indistinguishable from the other billions of his species… were it not for the unfathomable presence of my grace, his whole being threaded together with it's strands, and on his shoulder, a phantom print, seared with it.
"… Look I dunno if you can hear me, but I've gotta give this a shot anyway. My name is Dean Winchester, and I'm… uh… this probably won't make sense right now but… let's just say in the future I know you."
This was the only logical conclusion, which I had already begun to suspect. Within the enigma of my grace there also lay an apparent discordance with the current time-reality. And the presence of a similarly discordant, but more powerful being in the nearby dwelling confirmed this suspicion.
"I hope this doesn't screw up the future – past – whatever, but… I just want a chance to say goodbye properly you know? I mean, 'cause you were with us down here for a while, and now… you aren't… Fuck."
This inarticulate explanation still left much to frustrating mystery, but already the man had revealed a great deal. The mark of my grace alone was a worrying thing. That I take a vessel, that I walk the earth and deign to interact with the world of men… there were only a few instances in which this could occur, and the implications of these things were staggering.
"Okay look. Sometime before 2011 you gotta come visit me in the future. I mean, in my future. 2012. 2011 is my past. Jesus fuck this is confusing. Just skip over 2011 okay? Come visit me after I gank this time-god and get back to my own time and you have a vessel I can talk to face to face, coz I've got important stuff to tell you okay? Please. Please, Cas."
Who was this man? This, Dean Winchester? And who was he to me that I had revealed myself to him? Infused him with my grace? And who did he think I was to him? That he thought he could call upon me, so casually, to do his bidding?
And yet for all that his impertinence incensed me, I knew that clearly, this man was to be watched. And his horrifying implications of the future were to be reported to my superiors immediately.
But as I left to do just that, I heard one last prayer whispered through the veil…
"…I miss you."
Those last few hushed words seemed the loudest of all, echoing after me long after I had returned to Heaven. Though the possibility of a future Apocalypse was now a very present threat and kept me much occupied, still, they lingered. Along with the baffling implication that I had spent enough time with this one man to warrant what he deemed a "proper goodbye". Enough time to be… missed.
But only time would explain these things. So there was nothing else to do but let time unfold.
"You really suck at goodbyes, you know that?"
Dean Winchester. The Righteous Man. The one to begin the Apocalypse, and the one destined to end it.
And ultimately, the one to defy that destiny, and save the world from it's end.
The one who taught me that the world was worth saving, worth fighting for, worth falling for.
But though I had been restored, I had been forever changed. I had walked the world of men. I had lived and breathed the confinement of the human body and learned to hold life dear. I had been cut off from the Heavenly host and found shelter amongst friends now as known and beloved as my family before.
Yes, much had transpired in such minuscule space of time, for such lack of respect to affect me the same way it once had. And though the memory had been pushed aside, sheathed in blood and battle, rebellion and sacrifice, and the fight for freedom… Dean's parting words chased after me again, as they had once before, all those many years ago.
But I was seeing with new eyes now, and I could clearly see that the Dean who had visited me in 1944 was much changed from the Dean of this time.
The Dean I had just left was considerably exhausted, and still too stunned to feel much of anything at all, let alone the loss of his brother. But the Apocalypse had been averted, and there was a small measure of relief in that.
However, the Dean I had first seen in 1944… that Dean was lost. Tired, and weary, and fractured, as if shattering under the weight of burdens too heavy to carry.
So though the war was won, for some, it would never be over. And after all Dean had done, and all he would go through, didn't I owe it to him to grant the request he had asked for so long ago?
He'd said he had important things to tell me. Of what I couldn't possibly imagine. Nor was I sure I wanted to know, for the repercussions the knowledge might have on the present order of things.
But I at least owed him the knowledge that his plea did not go unheard all those years ago.
I at least owed him a proper goodbye.
And yet, I hesitated. I told myself there was much to do before I could justly sever my earthly connections…
I would go rescue Sam Winchester from Hell, save him from an eternity of unimaginable torture and reunite him with his brother. And maybe, hopefully, this would ease some of the unbearable grief I had forseen.
Then, I would report to Heaven of all that had transpired, and begin teaching the host all I had learned of humanity, it's fleeting preciousness and it's unexpected nobleness, all that the Winchesters had taught me.
I would make sure all was right with the world.
But perhaps my time amongst humans had made me too sentimental. Though my plans were undoubtably honorable… perhaps I was simply not ready to say goodbye yet.
Of course, that was until Raphael knocked me into next week.
After that, I feared I might not have another chance.
I found him in an abandoned cabin. And the few glimpses of information I gleaned in those first few moments were… overwhelming. To say the least.
But for all that I'd just learned, I could not be anything other than pleased to see Sam Winchester, at his brother's side again. And a very human wave of nostalgia washed over me, when like the first time I met the younger Winchester, he immediately pointed his weapon at me.
But so did Dean. And this only confirmed the knowledge I had just gained.
I no longer existed in this time. My grace… nowhere to be found on this plane or the next.
I understood then, more acutely than ever, why Dean had made that request all those years ago.
"Hello Dean, Sam, I assure you, you have nothing to fear. I am Castiel, from another time."
A tense silence greeted my words, until finally Dean was struck with realisation, and he lowered his weapon a fraction.
"Wait, you mean you heard me? Back in 1944?"
He huffed out a breath, what seemed to be both relief and disbelief in his features.
"And all this time, you never told me?" he said, louder this time, and by his tone I was struck with the feeling that I had, yet again, angered him somehow.
"Sonofabitch." he huffed out with a short shake of his head. But the anger had dissipated, if the small smile playing on his lips was any indication, the flare of hope in his eyes as he lowered his weapon completely.
Sam lowered his guard like his brother, but was still doubtful, and asked Dean if they could talk in private.
Though I could still hear them, I at least let the brothers have the illusion of privacy as they conferred in the next room. I overheard Dean explain how he had called me in 1944, and Sam was understandably concerned about the repercussions this venture to the future could have, but Dean assured his brother he was well aware of the danger, and promised to be careful. But when he told Sam he just wanted a chance to say goodbye, there followed a silence between them, as incomprehensible to me as it was full of meaning for them, as many conversations between these brothers were, and at the end of it, the younger Winchester relented.
When they returned Sam simply looked at me for a moment, his eyes welling with fathomless depths of emotion, then in two steps he had his arms around me in a tight hug.
I was aware of this human custom, but I was too surprised by the action to immediately respond in kind, and by the time I'd begun to, Sam had already pulled away.
"It's good to see you again Cas." he said, smiling genuinely down at me. "I'm gonna go and give you guys some space okay?" he said. Then he embraced me again and said quietly in my ear, "Goodbye Cas," and, "I forgive you."
My puzzlement at these last words followed him as he left the cabin and drove away in an unfamiliar car, sparking a small spike of alarm within me… but then Dean and I were alone, and I could feel the weight of his gaze pressing heavily on me.
I waited for him to gather together the words he needed to tell me, his face conflicting with emotion after emotion, until finally he huffed a frustrated breath, deflating under the overwhelming press of them all.
"Dammit Cas, there are so many things I want to yell at you for, so many things to apologise for, and thank you for, and I… I don't know where to begin."
"Then don't. I know too much already. This is already too dangerous."
"But Cas, there are so many things I've gottta tell you, you've got to know about-"
"Dean, don't." I interrupted before he could say anything further. "You of all people should know what is to know the manner of your own death."
He drew back at this, as if the words themselves had delivered a blow, and I could see the change in his gaze, what must be the memory of Hellhounds tearing at his flesh until he was no more. The memory devoured him for a moment, and then he chased it away with a blink, taking a deep breath as he scrubbed a hand down his face, then releasing it with a shaky sigh. When his eyes found mine again he was back in the cabin, in that stolen moment, with me.
"Well Cas, at least I had time to live a little before I went out, you know? At least I had time to… " he faltered, his hand trailing in the air after the words, and I caught them, filling in the gaps.
"To say goodbye."
I drew myself up, preparing myself, waiting for the words.
But they did not come.
"I can't." he finally said, unable to look me in the eye as he forced out the admission.
But he needed to. He needed me to give this to him. And I owed him this.
So taking after the younger Winchester's example, I stepped forward, cautious when his eyes became wary, and carefully, I wrapped my arms about him.
He was as unresisting as I must have been in Sam Winchester's arms in the first moment, and then in the next he seemed to crumple against me, his arms grabbing at the back of my coat as he buried his face into space between my neck and my shoulder.
It was nothing like the embrace of the younger Winchester. Nothing like that brief tightness of compassion and affection. But a perfect eternity of connection and solace. Seconds, minutes, hours… the human passing of time no longer mattered here. Only this man, Dean Winchester, in my arms.
"God I missed you Cas." he began to speak, murmuring hot breaths of air into the material of my coat. "I miss your stupid, awkward, dorkiness… they way you don't get any of my jokes… the way you're always up in my space…" He laughed then, beginning to pull away, and I loosened my arms for him, beginning to regret the close of the moment we had shared.
But he did not pull away.
Instead he merely shifted, drawing his arms up between us and grabbing the material of my coat, looking down at it, the dark stain of tears he had left behind.
"I take this damn coat with me everywhere." he said, almost to himself.
I closed my hands over his as I spoke his name, hoping to call him back to himself and the danger of revealing too much again. But in the next moment, he was kissing me, drawing all words of caution out of my mouth with the press of his lips, the caress of his tongue, and the taste of his tears.
If to hold him in my arms was eternity in a moment, to have him kiss me once was endlessly not enough. And when he pulled away for air I found my lips chasing his again, suddenly faminous in a way I had not been under the spell of the Horseman.
When Dean began to remove my coat my first reaction was to halt his efforts, loathe was I to remove what seemed to be the stimulus to such an unexpected, but now much coveted response. He pulled away then, but before I had chance to lament the loss of his lips he had pressed his forehead to mine, the substitution of contact doing much to allay my sudden panic. His breaths were hot and harsh and human against my face, and yet I could barely wait for him to calm them before I could claim them again.
"It's your last night on earth again Cas, and I'm gonna do this properly." he said. I did not know if it was the "proper goodbye" he kept referring to, or his old issue with my lack of sexual experience that had once resulted in our expulsion from a den of iniquity, or both. But I did not care. I would do whatever he wanted me to do, give whatever he needed from me, if only it meant he would kiss me again.
He seemed to be waiting, paused on some tremulous threshold of need and fear and hope, and though I did not completely understand, I said,
It was the right thing to do, as it brought his lips crashing back to mine. And this time when he began to remove my clothes, I did not protest. When he pushed me towards the bed, I let him. And when he lay me down, and the last of our garments were removed, I trusted him. Trusted in every kiss, every caress, every touch. Trusted that I was giving him everything he needed, even as he was teaching me what to need.
I was languid in his embrace, but he was already heavily aroused, a line of heat and hardness pressing insistent upon me since before it had even been bared. And I recalled that this state of undress had certain associations in the human mind, cues to certain action, a thrill of expectation. But nudity did not yet hold the same meanings for me, and did not immediately prompt the same reaction of the flesh. And so Dean taught me, with his lips, and his hands, and his fingers, until I was flushed and full with the ache of a desire I had never yet experienced.
I almost cried out in frustration when Dean left me, rushing about the room and seeking out some thing from his bag, inconsequential to me at the time. But then he was back in my arms, pushing slick, strong fingers inside me, and I felt the first brush of electricity spike through my body, like the first tentative sparks of lightning in a slow brewing storm.
I would have begged if I knew what to beg for, but all I could do was wait and watch and feel, his name a helpless plea on my lips. And then, finally, he gave me what I didn't know to ask for, pushing himself into me with one, slow, slide… and I felt complete. Filled in ways I did not know I had been empty.
And then he began to move, creating a slow alternation of hollowness and culmination with each drag and thrust, and I thought I could go mad from it. But mad without it. Was mad to go without it.
"Does it feel good?" he asked softly, watching me close.
"Yes." I said. And then, "Please," and "More."
"Move with me Cas." he replied, guiding me into that maddening motion. And it was that 'more' I'd wanted, and yet still not enough, the building storm of sensation that had begun within me now clamouring for it's downpour.
And Dean, beautiful Dean, there were such sounds coming from his mouth, pressed into my skin… Rough sounds, soft sounds, sounds he had never before uttered in my presence… And I wished I knew how to make these sounds, but all I knew was the sound of his name on my lips… The only thing, and everything, again and again.
He reached down to touch me then, grasp at me with his hand, his grip rough and knowing and raising me from wonderous agony as I had once raised him from Hell, until finally, release came pouring from me, exploding through every last strand of my grace as he broke free with me and filled me and filled me and filled me.
Afterwards, I let him lay upon me, draped across my body as I held him in my arms, unwilling to let him go. The nearness of him grounded me in the aftermath of what he had shown me, and I felt a such a profound closeness to him, so vastly different from the connection to my brothers, and Heaven, yet still so divine that I could see why some would choose to fall, for this.
Maybe I would have, then, again, but for the Apocalypse Raphael and his followers were intent on reconstructing. The Apocalypse that we had thwarted when I fell before, and was now my responsibility to prevent again.
But for just a little longer, I could stay. I could hold Dean in my arms and keep him close in the glow of my grace.
And yet, all too quickly, the brevity of our time together encroached our awareness once more, and we held on to each other all that more tightly.
"How am I supposed to lose you again?" Dean whispered into my skin.
He shifted against me, looking down at me, and I saw again how weary and broken and lost he had become, and I wished I could do more to sow the pieces back together. Do more to ease the burden of the grief I now understood for what it was. But all I could do was kiss him, and hope that this was enough.
It apparently, wasn't, his kisses becoming more urgent with each passing moment, his touch imploring unrelenting.
"Cas, I want you inside me." he gasped in between the press of our lips. And I drew back at this, unsure if he was just stalling for more time, or if he truly desired what he was asking me to do.
"You would… give yourself to me? After all you experienced in Hell?"
He winced at these words, and as the memories haunted his gaze again I wished I could take them back immediately. Instead I pressed my hand to his shoulder, where I gripped him when I first drew him from those fiery depths, and his gaze cleared, returning to mine.
"I could hurt you." I warned him. And when he turned away… I understood that I already had. But I didn't know when, or how, or what I could do to make it better. Except, as always, what he asked of me. So I kissed him again, pressed him into the mattress and covered his body with mine, and this time my body responded to his, as it had learned to, our hands and lips becoming frantic with re-awakening need.
But I was determined not to hurt him with any inadvertent clumsiness or unchecked strength, so I took my time preparing him, as he had done for me, and when I finally entered him… dear Heaven, how I can I describe it? The sheer bliss of it… being wrapped up inside him… the tight warmth of him… I don't know how long I stayed in that unending moment, as he clung to me, held me tight in his arms… Dean…
I could have stayed like that forever. I very well might have, if not for his soft kisses, calling me back, reminding me that there was more, so much more to come. And with light hands and tender encouragements he showed me what he needed, guided me into that slow rhythm of motion, the maddening necessity of it now so familiar but now entirely different as well, the pressure of it, the heat and friction of it fresh utopias of sensation.
It was all I wanted to know, and yet I knew there was much I didn't know. Whether to hold him closer, where to touch him, and if he felt, as I hoped, as good as I did. I stopped to ask him these things, and he hushed me with a quiet laugh, and said,
"Keep doing what you're doing Cas. Just stay where you are, I want to look at you."
And if that wasn't enough to assuage my fears, then he whispered,
"And kiss me more… Kiss me Cas." And I felt a floating in my chest, a headiness, of relief, joy, affection… all these things, but none of these things. I did not know the word for it yet. But I trusted that I would learn, that Dean would teach me.
So I kissed him. And kissed him and kissed him. And when I wasn't kissing him I let him look at me, watch me as I moved within him, and was rewarded with,
"Yeah Cas, just like that. Don't stop."
So I obeyed, let him guide me, command me with soft moans. Whether it was "Harder," or "Deeper," or "Right there, oh God yes…"
Anything. Anything he wanted. Anything he needed to seam the fractures of his soul, fill the gaping chasm of his heart, cradle the pieces together as he shattered in my arms.
"Cas!" he cried. And then "Castiel!" again. And then he pushed his fingers inside me once more, forced me over the edge and then fell with me, and in that moment, when I looked upon his face, I knew that I loved him. God help me, I loved him. And I don't know when, or how, or why, but I knew that he loved me too.
When I came to myself again I found myself buried in his skin, trembling so hard that for a moment I thought he was the one shaking in my arms. Maybe he was, I couldn't tell either way. But it was almost too much, the perfect, overwhelming, closeness of him, that I had to pull away.
"No." he stopped me, holding on tight, "Stay. Stay with me."
And in a sudden rush of awareness I knew what he meant.
"You could stay here for years before you had to go back, couldn't you?"
"Dean," I began, the words already too painful to bear, "I already know too much." And I wanted to tell him how wonderful, but ultimately dangerous were the things I'd learned, but he interrupted me in a vehement rush of words.
"Then let me tell you everything! Go back and change it! We've already changed our destinies before, why can't we do it again?"
And the truth is so excruciatingly simple it cuts like a blade.
"If we did, would we be here? Right now? Like this?"
Would Dean have called me all those years ago, if he hadn't wanted to see me again?
Would I have then reported to Anna my suspicions of the future? And would Anna have then fallen, had she not begun to observe humanity with this knowledge?
Would I have then been the one to find Dean in Hell, if I had not already seen and known him?
Would we have met, and loved, at all?
The answer we both feared, was… No.
He released me then, rolling away from me and hunching in on himself, until aching from the distance I wrapped myself around him, pressing my lips into his shoulder.
"I'm never going to get over you now, am I?" he whispered. A confession to the dying. Like all the other things he had said and done that night, that would never had transpired if I were alive.
"Dean," I said then, "If you regret this, if it's too painful, I can erase it from your memory."
He turned to me then, his eyes tracing my face, as if committing it to memory, and said,
And in the next second, he had collapsed in my arms again, holding on to me as if I would disappear before his eyes. And I wished that I could erase my own memory instead, dreading a return back to a time where he did not love me yet. And fearing that with all I had learned and might thus possibly change, he perhaps never would.
But as our embrace shifted into quiet resignation, I understood why he did not want to forget this night. For whatever may come next, and though the words themselves had not been said, we at least had the chance to say goodbye.
I held him until the sun began to break the horizon. Then, as I was tracing the lines of his face, brushing away the trails of his tears, I pressed my fingers to his forehead, and he finally closed his eyes. I don't know how long I stayed there, the day creeping through the curtains as I watched him sleep dreamlessly beneath me. But it only took the space of a blink to be bereft of his arms, with nothing but mere clothing to warm my skin. And nothing but the memory of that night, to steel myself against the next, last, year of my existence.
There is still much left unexplained. But there is much I know now that I will never regret knowing.
I know that I love Dean Winchester. And as I stand here watching him, raking leaves in Lisa Braeden's backyard, I ache to go to him again.
But I cannot. Will not. For if his own brother Sam has left him to live the life he believes Dean deserves, however brief the respite may be, then who am I to ask him for help? After all he has sacrificed? All he has yet to sacrifice?
After all, he is just a man, and I am an Angel, in a war amongst Angels. What more can he do? Especially now, when I cannot even ask for the comfort of his embrace.
And yet I know, I will do everything in my power to make sure the world does not end, so that he can live in it. Even if that means he lives in it… without me.
"Ah, Castiel. Angel of Thursday. Just not your day is it?"
A/N: I know this might totally be Kripke'd soon, but I started this before the spoilers came out and I'm a slow writer X_X
Anyway Happy Valentine's Day 3