I'm a ghost,
You're an angel.
We're one and the same,
Just remains of an age…
Castiel was trying to hold onto himself.
His brother had stopped tormenting him for a few moments, and colored blurs were flashing before his eyes. Some bright, some loud, most of them dark, he could barely keep up with them. But he always tried to focus his shattered concentration and mind harder when these visions came. They felt better. He felt more coherent, more together, when these lights and sounds played in his mind's eye.
More like whoever he used to be.
I'm just a stranger in a strange land,
Running out of time…
Many times, the vision would flash back and forth between just a few images. Like now, with a man's bloodied face and pained, tired eyes—only to be replaced by the same man's mirthful eyes and a smirk upon his full lips.
Castiel watched a frowning face fly by, then the same face with a smirk on it, then that face, beaten and bruised and suddenly very close to his own. The man's eyes looked miserable, filled with fresh and overflowing grief.
Those eyes unnerved him. They were usually looking at something that he couldn't get to come into focus. When he tried to see what the man was staring so intently at, the gaze turned directly to him, as if the hallucination knew he were there.
There was a word for what was in this man's eyes. He reached for it and missed.
"I trusted you!"
Cas jerked back, vaguely aware of Lucifer's snort behind him. Betrayal. He'd hurt someone.
Did he hit him?
Did he lie?
Angel or demon,
I gave up my soul,
I'm guilty of treason,
"Who are you?" Castiel shouted. He shifted his eyes toward the door to see if his outburst had been heard and discovered that he hadn't spoken aloud. Right. He wasn't capable of this.
His mind gave voice to the thought and repeated the name in his mind like a mantra. The man's name was Dean, and Dean thought often and deeply of him. He'd thought the same of Dean, and suddenly felt an overwhelming impulse to run to wherever Dean was.
A pang ran through what remained of his emotions. Where was Dean? Was he in danger? Dead?
Why couldn't he help Dean?
"I always come when you call me."
Dean had trusted him to do that.
Why wasn't Dean calling him now? The visions were getting louder, Dean's eyes growing colder. Suddenly, Castiel was unbearably lonely and almost wished that Lucifer would start talking again. All he heard was Dean screaming at him.
Lost in a daydream,
What do you see?
If you're looking for Jesus,
Then get on your knees.
"I gave you everything!"
Dean appeared again, this time looking at him through the thick pane of glass on the wall to his left. The bitter expression was gone, replaced by myriad emotions that the young man tried to brush away with his fingers. Dean could only brush away water from his eyes, and the longing look remained. Another impulse struck Cas, this time to take every trace of suffering from this man's eyes and let him want for nothing. Cas searched for a curse. He could do neither, couldn't even wave.
He could not understand who he was or why Lucifer was his brother. Why he even knew his name was unknown. But he saw the man—Dean, he now knew—gazing sadly through the glass at him, and Castiel concentrated all that he could muster into an expression that didn't look blank and unreachable. He probably looked lost.
He certainly felt that way.
Whatever he had done to Dean, Dean was the only one who had visited him, and he had cared for Dean. Dean had cared for him, cared enough to be devastated when Castiel had hurt him.
Castiel decided didn't give a damn if he held onto himself. He could endure the destruction and recreation of his mind each day with those hazy images as his guide—as long as he never had to let Dean go, Castiel didn't need to consider who he was or who he had been.
Angel or demon,
I gave up my soul…
A/N: Song lyrics are from 30 Seconds to Mars's "Stranger in a Strange Land".