Author's Note: So I made a pretty little graphic for "Jodstiel" that you can view on my tumblr (username elocin-muse), otherwise, if you go on my author's page, there will be a direct link to it. I'll also be making a video for them in the (hopefully) near future.
Thank you everyone for the reviews! Have some Jody POV!
U is for Unite
Castiel is an angel that has gone through more transitions than any other human being or creature ever will. More and more every day, a new layer is uncovered, like peeling back veils on dusty tomes that reveal the golden pages beneath. He has little quirks, which most of the time I can't wait to uncover. For example, when he's awake, he keeps a fair amount distance—whether because of Dean drilling it into his head about personal space over the years, or because he's still not used to so much human contact is anybody's guess. But on the rare occasion when he's asleep, he is the clingiest thing you'll ever see.
I wake up pressed against him, on my own side of the bed, where he's migrated overnight. I nose into his collarbone and wrap both arms around him, in no hurry to get up. Castiel makes a small sound, smiling happily. "You're a furnace, for heaven's sake," I grumble not long after, putting up a futile resistance when the summer heat and his own body temperature becomes too much.
His hands trap me in place, quiet victory crossing his features. "I don't think any fever of mine pertains to the sake of Heaven."
"Smartass." I scratch my fingernails lightly down his front, digging in a bit at his sides. The angel makes a choked sound and squirms. I cackle triumphantly. He's ticklish on his stomach. I'm not kidding. This is one of the best discoveries and probably my favorite. Laughter bubbles up in his throat as he tries to slip away, but I trap him just as mercilessly. When he laughs, for that brief moment, every guard is down and he's so free that it might be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Even with his mojo watered down, he's still stronger than me, so I don't keep him subdued for long. In the next second, he's looming over me and I'm stuck between two arms with his smiling face staring down at me. "You are tempting Fate, Jody Mills."
"Good thing you're not Fate, then," I say, pressing my luck.
"Agent of Fate," he rumbles of himself, lifting a dark eyebrow.
"My mistake." I let my hands slide over his shoulders, fingers inching for his torso again. "Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers."
He laughs again, catching my devilish paws before they can do more damage. With one hand, he keeps them trapped between our bodies, and the other he uses to comb away errant locks of hair from my face with a gentle caress. He dips down to place his lips over mine. "If I didn't already know the Devil, I think I might confuse you for him."
Against his lips, I murmur back, "You sure know how to sweet talk."
"You're much more beautiful," he offers softly, with equal parts humor and sincerity.
And when Castiel loves, he loves and serves unconditionally. It's spoken through every touch, every glance, with passion that is sometimes a whisper and sometimes a stunning plea. Sometimes there's ringing, a shadow of Grace wrapped around us, the featherlight caress of invisible wings. And sometimes, his eyes are so blue it hurts to look at them, yet I still can't find it in me to look away.
I sigh into his kiss, running my fingers through his hair and leaning into him. It's always such a pleasure when he's fearless enough to initiate contact.
He'll never admit it, but he loves Fifty Ways to Say Goodbye, by Train. This is Dean Winchester's fault completely for getting him addicted to it, and Sam will never let either of them live it down. It's on the younger Winchester's top ten playlist though as well, and there are car rides I hear about where they blast it over the radio as loud as it will go in the Impala after a particularly triumphant hunt. It's a guilty pleasure and Dean swears them all to secrecy, under pain of death.
The first time I'd heard Cas humming it to himself while cleaning his weapons, I howled hysterically until I had tears in my eyes. His cheeks had flushed, but he'd merely smirked my way and went back to work as though nothing was amiss. I'd hooted all the way back up the stairs.
It was stuck in my head all day after that.
I know he misses Heaven. There are nights when I'll find the space beside me empty and look out the window to see him sitting beneath our tree, staring up at the stars. Sometimes he'll stay out there all night. Sometimes I leave him alone, sometimes I go and sit with him. He always looks relieved when I do, so I go as often as I can. I'll huddle in the circle of his arms against the chill, and most nights I fall asleep whether I mean to or not. Every morning though, I wake up in our bed, with the smell of caffeine filling my nostrils.
Cas is getting better at making coffee. He's pretty proud of himself. Angels are smug when they get something right, I've learned, although the arguments between Frank and an almighty celestial being over how much creamer and sugar was appropriate were damn hysterical. But even the grouchy old crackpot has been grumbling his own version of praise these days.
"Not bad, for an overgrown pigeon."
The boys and Frank have been teaching him how to shoot. Cas likes his shotguns; there's always the ghost of a smile on his face when he's firing away at old beer bottles and newspaper clippings of Dick Roman's face. Men and their toys. Whatever's biggest and loudest gets them riled up like it's Christmas morning come early.
This week we've been repainting the house. Dean suggested "Romance Red" for the lovenest to which Cas merely raised a quizzical eyebrow, while I made sure the path of the hose veered off course to douse the older Winchester in below freezing water. So far, the 'son of a bitch!' tally has reached double digits. Three of those were from Cas, because Dean is a suck influence on everyone around him.
Sunday, the boys noticed a beehive in one of the maples next to the house. It was high enough and out of the way, but unfortunately too close to open windows, so vertical they went. Angels are pretty adept at climbing trees, which was interesting to learn. Dean Winchester has the freakish dexterity of a monkey, which was a shocker, while moose—to no one's surprise—have about as much climbing talent as an elephant trying to top a fig tree. Frank bellowed orders from the ground. Happy to let the boys get stung up and full of sap without me, I did my part by handing off the broom through the window. Dean wanted to try out the new flamethrower on the bees, but the other two knuckleheads talked him out of it before he could light the whole lawn on fire.
Through what could only be great mystery, the Winchesters somehow found out about our little rugrat discussion. When the teasing stopped, they marched off to the pond with boards and rope to build a rope swing off one of the oaks. It remains to be seen if any potential kids will ever see the swing, as it was broken and reconstructed a dozen times due to a pair of burly man-children and one angel launching themselves into the water from it and scaring the living hell out of any unsuspecting ducks foolish enough to venture too close.
"The secret to any good construction job is beta-testing," Dean Winchester gruffs informatively. "Cas! You gotta swing from the backbone, man, if you wanna catch decent air! Sam, show him!"
Sam has broken the swing a total of eight times, howling like the King of the Jungle every time he hurtles off into the air. The guys laugh and hurry to rebuild it so they can do it all over again. I sit on the shore, occasionally dipping in when the pleas to come join outweigh my desire to stay dry. The sight of three half-naked men, glistening wet and all smiles, is a pleasant one, so I don't complain.
Cas dashes past me in his cut off jeans with more supplies for the brothers, hair dripping water into his face. I turn away from my book to swat after him with a smirk. "Nice ass."
He grins over his shoulder at me.
"Cas, hurry up! We're making it bigger!" This is hollered with great excitement. Bigger really means higher, and I swear they're all going to break their necks and I'll be the one babysitting all three of their whiny butts and spoon-feeding them meals. Mark my words, a matter of time. They're grown men (more or less) who hunt monsters for a living, and they're whooping like five year olds. Wonders never cease, I tell you.
Remarkably, the afternoon carries on without injury. Then, out of nowhere, I feel the sudden pressure of arms wrap around me, which would be fine, except Castiel is sopping wet. "Come in the water with me," he says, with almost childlike glee.
I shriek and recoil as he plops beside me on the grass, shoving at him halfheartedly and trying not to laugh. "I don't have to, you just dumped the whole lake on me!"
"Then you have no reason to stay here. You're already wet, come with me."
"Ohhh, you're terrible," I berate him, putting up a futile struggle. He's getting way too good at one-upmanship. I laugh when nothing derails his efforts. "Go away!"
"Dean said if you continued to resist, I should do this."
I shriek again when he suddenly hauls me up into his arms, then leaps right off the small knoll to hurl us both into the water.
She doesn't know what it is about the universe that, for every happy moment experienced in his life, Castiel must suffer yet another tragedy to make up for it.
While out on a hunt, a man had recognized Castiel from when he'd been possessed by the Leviathans. The man's sister had been among the slain at the political campaign gathering. What happened during the confrontation doesn't need repeating. It's the aftermath that fills her with worry and her lover with new despair.
"He should have killed me," Castiel murmurs miserably to the nothingness around him. "He should have killed me."
Jody is there, threading fingers through his hair, cupping his face, gripping his shoulders. "Enough," is all she says. Softly.
Those fingers brush away any tears that fall, like they never were. This level of emotion still terrifies him, like a drowning man trying to stay afloat, and he doesn't know how to cope with it. He buries his face in the crook of her shoulder and throat and her arms come around him. "I'm sorry," he chokes out, voice muffled against her.
Her whisper surrounds him like a balm. "I know."
"I'm so sorry."
Her lips are at his temple, his forehead. "I know. I know."
It takes him a long time to pull himself back together, but he does. He gets up, squares his shoulders, and follows the boys onto the next case. After all, disgraced humans made natural hunters.
"I'll be here when you get back," Jody promises him.
Castiel stares at her like it's exactly what he needs to hear. He pulls her close and holds her tight, unwilling to let her go for a moment. "I don't think I could do this without you," he whispers into her hair, closing his eyes.
Jody feels her heart swell up painfully, and she's suddenly blinking back tears of her own. So often after the death of her family, before the angel came into her life, the world just didn't seem worth being a part of. "Me either," she whispers back.
They both have so far to go, but together, the road seems shorter and not so dark.
Author's Note: Homestretch, people! The more you review, the more bonus chapters I throw in! ;D
Also, if you don't know the song "Fifty Ways to Say Goodbye" look it up. Now. For reals. It's so anti-Cas it's perfect.