A/N I don't know, maybe something's wrong with me, but I ship Cas and Jimmy so hard it's not even funny. Hard enough, in any case, for them to be the center of my first published Supernatural fic. Yay! *throws confetti* That's not to say that they're the first SPN ship I've written, though- I've drabbled around with Sabriel and cranked out a bit of Destiel fluff, too, but I'm too nervous to publish them. In any case, this pairing is so RARE. It's not fair. Gah. So this fic is set through the events before and during S4E20, "The Rapture," which I shamelessly stole the title from because I'm a lazy ass. Anyways. Reviews are cherished but not demanded, though they would make my day. ;w;
Rated T for a bit of bloody stuff at the end
Disclaimer I don't own Supernatural or any associated characters, events, etc.
You have always been a believer. Faith is a key element of your being, weaving in and out of your other occupations during the day and night, a constant undertone of hope, of light and confidence in even the darkest of times. It's kept you afloat, kept you alive, and never for one instant have you allowed the slightest fragment of doubt to sneak into your mind, simply because there's been no reason to. The Lord has never let you down, not truly—no life is perfect, after all, and yours comes close enough for contentment. You don't want to venture out of your comfortable existence, and yet it happens somehow, anyway. He seeks you out, one night.
When you hear his voice, it's painful, at first. It starts as a low nagging in the back of your skull, something not quite formulated, not exactly tangible. You dismiss it as exhaustion, but it doesn't give up, instead growing in strength, until you can hear it, just on the very edges of your perception—a slight, faint keening, like the sharp stinging hiss of shattering glass drawn out into a long, ceaseless screech. There's no time to process what it could be, because then it's increasing, growing louder and louder at such a rate that you don't have time to think. Building up, pressing against the inside of your skull, arching and swooping into a piercing crescendo, and it hurts like hell, you've never heard anything so loud or so primitive and painful and you can't see anything and you want it to stop, whatever it is, because it's obscuring your mind, everything is enveloped by the screaming white storm of sound—
And it's like you've passed through infinity, reached the maximum, because it's suddenly gone, leaving only a vague, almost musical ringing in your ears. But it's not an aftershock of the noise, you realize suddenly—the ringing is something else in and of itself—perhaps exactly what you've been going through for the past eternal moments, but condensed into a much more delicate, pure form, a perfect whisper, a sweet collection of dewdrop notes from a spring symphony, warming and refreshing and dazzling all at once.
His voice is music.
You know what it's saying, somehow, even if the words themselves don't quite take proper shape, at least not in English. You could probably listen to it forever, too, held in this state of flawless contentment; but his time is limited, he has other things to attend to, not just you. And then he's gone, taking away his glorious chorus in a whoosh like an autumn breeze, a barely-breathed finale to the purest thing you've ever heard.
You're alone again, somehow lying on the floor of your living room, the ground hard and the air dark. The rough, ragged clash of your own heart beating and your lungs pumping is suddenly disgusting, repulsive, uneven. Already, the precise sound of his music has escaped you, but you're still warmer for his being there, there are tears on your cheeks and a name in your mind that you know you'll never, ever let go of.
You want more of him. You need more of him, and it's that knowledge, that hunger that plagues you throughout the next span of days, weeks. Everything about your life seems suddenly grey and dull without him, horribly monotonous and dreadfully mundane. All you look forward to is hearing his voice again, and, more than that, the day when he'll finally let you see him for who he truly is. He claims that his true form will burn out the eyes of anyone to experience it firsthand, but you feel different somehow. You feel connected to this angel, to this tragically, heart-wrenchingly beautiful being that consumes your mind even in the hours when he's away. He's so perfect, so blazingly brilliant, and he's chosen you to speak to, you, regular, dull Jimmy Novak.
They don't trust you anymore. Amelia, Claire. They think you've gone insane, but it doesn't matter somehow. Because you know the truth, you know what's really going on, you know that he is the most real thing you've ever come into contact with. And you'll keep fighting to hear him again, to be with him again. You don't accept the pills or the counseling that your wife tries to set you up with, you push aside her words—
I thought we were the most important thing that ever happened to you…
—Because she thought wrong, because Castiel is more important than her, though it couldn't be clearer that she wants to deny it. She's lovely, yes, you adore her, but her eyes are tired, and you can read in her face that she doesn't understand, she would never understand how she doesn't compare to him, how even your own daughter doesn't compare. Nothing can match the feeling of excitement, the burning, furious acceleration of your heart and the light that seems to fill you from the inside every time a thought of him crosses your mind.
And you're ready to give it up, in the end, ready to give up your family, your house, everything so that it can finally happen. You want to finally see him for real, for him to stop taunting you with these achingly wonderful visitations, flitting about the edge of your perception, speaking and singing to you but never truly revealing himself. You need to know what Castiel looks like. And he tells you, a note of warning in that lilting yet powerfully soaring voice, just what such a thing will require. You don't care about the sacrifice, though—in fact, the instant that he tells you how you two will need to share a body, well, it's probably the most amazing moment of your life. Your head is light as you promise him—aloud, though he can hear you quite well even if you elect to only think the words—yes, yes please, please do this for me, please, Castiel, let me see you, let me give up everything I have to your advantage.
Awe settles over you like flame as he appears, in the darkened sky above you, because you could never begin to imagine such a thing. He's everything and nothing all at once, such a bright, bright diamond hue that everything else is suddenly monochromatic, sepia. He dazzles, an abstract form that you can just barely imagine to be a winged man—but perhaps it is your imagination, because there can't be any true shape to this miniature sun, this flowing banner of light that is pure, pure snow white and yet holds every hue imaginable in its curves and twists. If his voice is music, his appearance is art—no, not art, a thousand miles from the primitive scribbling of humans that they so proudly dub with such a title. He shines, envelops, and you can see why some might be burned, but to you, his presence is nothing beyond a sweet, soft warmth, touching your face, sinking into your neck and shoulders and chest.
The light gets brighter and brighter, filling your mind, and your ears are consumed by the gorgeous melody of his voice, everything is glowing and nothing is real.
It's empty without him.
Not just spiritually empty, psychologically empty, but truly, genuinely, physically empty, so that there seems to be a literal gap in your chest, in your stomach, so that you can barely walk straight for the lack of the shining presence that previously resided there. Every step that you take is shaking, and you know that you should be happy to see your wife and daughter again—you smile at them, blankly, you act as normal as possible, force stinging lies through your teeth—that he was never real, that you were wrong and she was right and Castiel was never more than a dream. And you can almost believe it, if only in the shallowest way possible. Back under the warm, honey-amber lights of your home, everything is normal again, human again. It's shadowy, though, as though your eyes are having trouble adjusting to a dark room after standing outside in the sunlight. Which is accurate enough, really… being forced back into pathetic human civilization just when you'd grown used to the simpler, more beautiful way—the way that things are meant to be.
But that doesn't stop you from acting happy. You almost think that you really will be able to do this, really be able to put him behind you and be content with Amelia and Claire. The latter, at the least, seems happy to have you back, and the former pulls together a plate of sandwiches with a tight expression, but you can see it in her eyes—the relief, the gratitude that you're back with them.
Claire asks it then, asks if you're going to say grace.
Should you thank the God that you've always believed in, the deity that was supposed to provide you with everything you wanted and needed, make you happy? Thank the angels, thank him for the perfection that he blessed you with, if only for less than a year… thank him for letting you return, for letting you slink back to your average, dull life, take up the position that could be occupied by any other?
No. That's what you tell her, piling on denials through a throat that's suddenly too tight, tears that are blurring the familiar shape of the table in front of you. No, you're not going to. You're going to defy it, stand up perhaps in the furtive hope that he'll notice, that he'll see what's wrong and fix it, that he'll come back and correct the words that you keep repeating, internally and aloud, in an attempted tone of relief: it's over now, it's over, it's over.
Your face is hot, and every cell in your body is throbbing with the most elemental of emotions, an agonized sensation that you can't bring yourself to despise, because it's so lovely, such a bittersweet feeling consuming your chest every time you attempt to remember the feeling of him inside of it.
Why are you crying, Daddy?
Because I'm happy. It's not right how easily the lie comes out, because it is a lie, a lie if there ever was one. It's a sin, lying, but you don't care at this point, you want to go to Hell if it means that he can come, that he can pull you back out again, that you can see and hear and feel him one more time.
You're not crying because you're happy.
You're crying because it's over.
Pain, physical pain, is something that you haven't felt in a long time, and probably never in proportions like this. It tears at you, at some indefinite point between your hip and your stomach, sickening and lurching, and you can see the blood on your fingers, so bright, so vivid. Burning until it's the only color left, until everything else has faded into greyscale.
Everything else except for him. Him, in the form of your daughter, but that's not what it looks like. You don't see her, only him, only Castiel, watching you with even eyes as your breaths rip themselves out, forming into words as they escape into the air, pleas that he come back—you don't even realize that you're saying them, and his stare is sad, or as close to sad as the winter-cold angel could ever be, as you blubber out your innermost wishes like the pathetic coward that you are. You're dying, and you know you're dying—you don't care that you are, though. The only thing that you care about is that he comes back, that you can have him again, feel him just one more time.
He finally agrees, and that knowledge seems to force the pain inside and outside of you to the brink, so that you're suddenly falling, sound and light is fading and you're simply sinking into pleasure, simple, relieved, eternally grateful pleasure as you feel him touch you a final time, feel the brush of his wings wrapping around you.
Thank you, his voice purrs, the two English syllables transformed into the rush of a river, the crackle of a fire, the whip of wind and the rumble of an earthquake, all melding together to form a full, ringing note that grips your core and sends it tumbling into a senseless void.
The smile inside you doesn't reach your physical mouth as you slip away, but you know he can see it, and that's all that matters.