"Cas? What the hell you talking about?" Dean demanded immediately, his voice rough.
Castiel stared at Dean, no sign of recognition on his pale face. Glancing over his shoulder, he realized there was no one else around him. "Am I Cas?"
Caught off guard, Dean stumbled over his words, what he wanted to say coming out as an incoherent sputter. What the hell was Cas on about? "Of course you're Cas!" Dean snapped at him.
"I don't remember you," Cas responded quietly.
Dean's heart quickened. "What do you mean?"
"Who are you?" Castiel's tone took on a defensive tone. "How do you know me?"
How do you know me? Cas didn't remember? He didn't remember springing Dean out of jail? Or rebelling against Heaven? Or betraying the fuck out of both Winchester brothers? Dean swallowed forcefully, his mouth rapidly growing dry. "I'm your…" But what was Dean to Cas? A job? A friend? A brother? At one point, yes, but Castiel had pointed out bluntly that he had no family. "An old friend," he settled on eventually, not wanting to scare Cas away.
Cas studied his face for a moment, eyes narrowing slightly. In a very Cas-like way, he tilted his head to the side. "You do seem familiar…"
Running a hand down his face, Dean tried to sort out his thoughts. His earlier anger toward Cas had disappeared. Now he was more worried— and relieved, and curious— about how the angel (former angel?) was now standing before him after being killed for the third time. With a lack of memories as well, apparently. "Cas, what's the last thing you remember?"
"Waking up in the hospital almost a year ago… I couldn't remember anything about myself. Not my name, where I was from…" He trailed off for a moment, gazing down at his hands. "What I am…"
Swallowing nervously, Castiel dropped his gaze to the ground. "I can't sleep. I don't eat, I don't even feel hunger. And I can… I have a strange ability… I can heal people. And not in the cheesy hippie healing way. The real, glowing, power way."
Dean stared at the shorter man. It was strange hearing Cas speak in a simple way; Dean was too used to his sophisticated speech and diction. "That's because you're an angel. Or I'm assuming you still are since you can heal."
Castiel snorted. "Angel, right. You're crazy. Leave me alone." Turning, he attempted to walk away, but Dean quickly grabbed his shoulder— in the same place where Cas had gripped Dean tight and raised him from perdition.
"Cas, wait," he demanded, holding the dark-haired man in place. "You heal people, you don't sleep. What else could explain that?"
Castiel shook his head, trying to dislodge the other man's hand. "Stop."
"Think, Cas. Try to remember. Don't you remember me?"
"It's me Dean, Cas. Part of me believed you'd always come back," Dean continued, his grip on Castiel's shoulder tightening.
Lighting shot through Castiel, his face twisting in pain. "No…" His hands went to his head, holding tightly. "Stop! I can't remember!"
Eyes widening a fraction of an inch, Dean let go of his former friend. "Cas? Are you okay?"
"These memories," Cas began in his gruff voice, his eyes still shut tight, "they're locked away for a reason. And I'm not going to take down the walls and let them eat me. They're dangerous."
Rage boiled inside Dean again. "So you can do it to Sammy, but not yourself? You son of a bitch!"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Castiel responded shortly.
"My brother! Who's currently dying in the hospital, so get your healing ass into gear and come with me and help him!"
Hesitant eyes returned Dean's hard glare. "I don't…"
"He's dying, Cas!" Dean nearly shouted. "Help him!"
The two stared at each other for a few moments, silence settling in. Dean's eyes were glistening, showing how emotional he was feeling. Castiel felt his stomach churn, another rush of familiarity rushing through him. "I could… I could try, I suppose," he finally mumbled.
"I cannot promise anything though…"
Dean waved him off, shaking his head. "Once you remember yourself, I'm sure you'll have your angel mojo and be able to figure this out."
"Dean," Castiel started, but stopped when the name sent another bolt of lighting through him. Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. The own sound of his voice echoed through his head, as if he'd said the name hundreds of thousands of times before.
Just before he fell over, Dean was holding him tightly, keeping him upright, arms on his shoulders. "Cas? Cas? Are you okay?"
"Stop!" Castiel cried, his head ready to explode.
I'm still just Castiel.
Bits of pieces came to him. Nothing made sense though. Nothing explained anything.
"Hey, okay, I'll stop," Dean promised, his eyes searching the deep blue ones before him. "Okay?"
Slowly, the pain calmed into a dull ache in the back of his skull. Opening his eyes, he found Dean's hazel orbs inches away.
Cas? We've talked about this. Personal space.
A groan escaped his lips as the pain grew again. "Get away," he ordered Dean.
For the briefest second, a flash of hurt passed across Dean's face, but it was gone before Castiel could determine the reason. Still, the hunger let go and put some space between the pair. A few moments later, the pain dulled down again.
"Are you good now…?" Dean questioned.
"For the moment… it seems memories trigger pain," Castiel informed him, frowning slightly. "Shall we go?"
Taken aback by his quick change in topic, it took Dean a moment to answer. With a quick jerk of his head, they headed to his baby. Castiel stared at the Impala for a few moments, his hand running against her glossy smooth coat. "Nice ride."
A slight grin tugged at the corners of Dean's face. That was something the old Castiel would never say. Slipping into the driver's side, he started the engine, allowing Castiel just enough time to slide in and shut the door behind him before taking off. Amnesiac Castiel apparently didn't favor driving fast, for his face tightened, as well as his fists, as they passed sixty miles per hour.
"Were we more than old friends?"
Castiel's question caused Dean to start. For the last hour, it had been silent in the car. Dean hadn't even turned on any music. "What do you mean?"
"I feel… as though we have a lot of history together."
"Yeah, I mean, I guess we do." That was the understatement of the century. "You'll remember everything when you get your memory back."
"I'm still not sure I want it back."
Dean's hands tightened around the wheel. "Why?"
"You saw what just a glimpse of memory did to me… imagine if I remembered everything?"
"You're an angel. You can handle it."
I am an Angel of the Lord.
Castiel winced as his own voice reverberated through his mind. "That still sounds…. Implausible."
"Do you know why I died?"
Dean glanced over at him, his jaw clenching. How could he forget? It wasn't every day an angel swallowed thousands of evil creatures from Purgatory. "Yeah."
"Maybe if I remember everything the pain will stop," Castiel sighed, pushing his head against the Impala's cool window.
Dean hesitated. If Cas remembered, what would happen? Would he feel guilty? Would he want to run away? "What if you were some kind of bad guy?"
"What do you mean?"
Dean shrugged nonchalantly. "You know, just normal bad guy stuff. Like Superman going to the dark side or something."
It is a little absurd though.
I know, I know.
Superman going to the dark side. I'm still just Castiel.
Castiel's hands returned to his head, the pain stronger than ever. Suddenly, he knew. He knew he did something very, very wrong. At the moment though, he just didn't know what.
And he didn't know if he wanted to know what.