Let's Don't Stop 'Till We Bleed
Destiel AU/Mentions of slight, non-slash Sabriel
Prompt/Summary: An AU where Castiel Shurley is a blind musician, and Dean Winchester is searching for a brand new life.
Rated T for Language
Warning: First of all, AU. Character death (eventually), Guy-on-Guy (Always), Language, mentions of Drug Addiction. Tears may occur. OOC (esp Dean), but hey, it's AU. What AU ISN'T OOC?
A/N: FIRST DESTIEL AU. I've sat down and pictured this entire fanfiction like a movie in my head more times than I can count. It's summer now, so I actually have time to write it. I didn't want to write this all out by hand – I wanted to type it, so this is why it's taken me so long. I don't have a computer at home, but some family friends of mine do and whenever I come over – BAM! I'm on. Always. I've started writing a companion story to this that'll be a Sabriel. Non-slash, more of a brotherly friendship thing, but Sabriel none-the-less.
Named after Denial by Sevendust
Broken up into separate parts do to length.
Also – in my mind, Lawerence is kind of how it looked in Season 4's "In the Beginning", except more modern. Just the same concept of all those stores and such in one place. And let's pretend The Roadhouse is A) there, and B) not as large as it is in the Canonly in the show. And not in the middle of nowhere. Just . . . you know what I mean XD
Wait – never say that to me, all I hear is a scream
The first thing Dean Winchester notices is the music.
He's not one for classical, or even that sissy-ass pop shit, and never cared much for string instruments (besides the guitar that is), but even he can't deny that it's beautiful. There's something about the way the notes twist and form around each other – he can almost picture them as they would appear on sheet music, dancing through the air with an odd sort of grace – that makes him stop, and listen.
The rain is cold on his neck, and the wind isn't doing much to help that fact, but even as the water runs in rivulets down his face, he still stands still, listening. He doesn't quite care that he's getting soaked.
The melody is strangely familiar, but he can't quite place it. A part of him is saying, keep moving, get out of the rain, but everything else is rebelling against that idea.
But, the fates are on his side today, and as the music ends, and he's finally pulled from his reverie, he realizes that it's source is actually coming from his destination – the Roadhouse entrance, just inches from where he's standing.
He pulls the door open, the Help Wanted sign fluttering in the gust created.
Inside, the music starts up again – different this time, more fast-paced, but sounds like forever in the sense that it must be the same instrument. His eyes are searching before he really realizes it – he pays little attention to the handful of people settled in chairs and around tables scattered over the place – , but a voice says his name and he gives up.
"Dean," Ellen smiles, arms held wide.
He smiles back, hugging her in response, "Hey, Ellen." Ellen Harville is an old family friend, since before his mother died in a house fire (years and years ago), so her touch is warm and familiar.
"Where the Hell have you been, boy?" she questions him, pushing him away at arms length and looking him over. He notices in the back of his mind that she's older, a few more lines and creases in her face, but she's in no way old.
"You know," he shrugs, "Around."
"Yeah, yeah. How long were on that road trip anyway?" she rounds the counter as she speaks, pulling two tumblers from a sink and setting them on the surface. Dean sits, ears still paying more attention to the music in the background then her words.
"Huh? Oh . . . Six months, I think. I'm not really sure, I kind of lost track of time, you know with Sammy and everything."
Ellen sighs, pouring his favorite brand of whiskey into the shot glasses, "How is he?"
" . . . He's recovering."
Dean doesn't like to think about his brother.
"So I saw the Help Wanted sign," he grins.
Ellen laughs softly, "Yeah, for a busboy. Not really your cup of tea, I'd think."
"It's time I stay in one place," he counters, raising his glass towards her in cheers.
"You know if you asked, I'd give you the job in a heartbeat," she finishes her drink in one swallow. "I just don't think you'd like it. Have you talked to Bobby? I'm sure he could use an extra pair of hands."
Dean sighs again, "I don't wanna bother him. I mean, he's already done so much, helping me with Sam." Usually, he would go straight to Bobby – after all he owns an auto-shop, and Dean's passion is cars, but what he tells Ellen is the truth. He really doesn't want to bother him anymore. Of course, their falling out is an element in that, but he decides not to bring it up.
"I don't think he'd mind, but if you insist." She holds her hand out and Dean takes it, smiling. "Just don't slack off this time around."
He chuckles, "Thanks again, Ellen. I won't."
"And be nice to Cass," she winks, gesturing over his shoulder towards the low, round stage in the back where they occasional held karaoke (oh, the memories with Ash and Jo).
Dean turns, sipping at his drink, and almost spits it out again because suddenly he can't breathe.
The music continues, and this time he recognizes the beat, the rhythm, – his favorite Kansas song, in fact – pouring from the vibrations of bow against string. It's a violin, he learns with a glance, darker in color than most, beautifully crafted. Even from this distance, he can tell there's an engraving on the side, in cursive, but he can't quite make it out.
That's not why he can't breathe.
Holding the instrument, delicately, with a touch lighter than the brush of a feather, is a man. More than that, an angel. (Because in case you didn't know, Dean is in fact gayer than a rainbow.)
He has a thick mop of dark hair, almost black, that sticks up every which way, perfectly capturing the ever-famous "just-rolled-out-of-bed" look, handsome features, with a well-defined, strong jawline, and that mouth. Dean can't see the color of his eyes, because sitting low on the strangers nose is a pair of expensive-looking sunglasses, but somehow he knows they're blue. (And he's always been a sucker for blue.) The stranger's hands are thin, pale, with long fingers that pull at the strings of the violin expertly, drawing the bow back and forth elegantly, as if pulling against air. Dean can't help but admire the site, and think about how bland the stool the man is sitting on seems in comparison.
He hears Ellen snickering behind him, "Yes, Dean. He bats for your team, and he's single. But he's a really shy fellow, so if you're going to go running after him, take it slow."
Dean kind of tunes out at bats for your team. Because really, that's all he needed to hear. Shy, he could work with. The single part helped.
"I heard that," the one Ellen referred to as Cass called out, setting his instrument onto his knee. "And I prefer Castiel."
Castiel. Odd. Interesting. God, that voice. It's deep, gruff like a smoker's, but so much better. Dean believes that if the concept of sex could sound like something, anything, it'd be Castiel's voice.
Castiel stands, pushing his sunglasses further up his nose and putting his violin onto the stool. Dean draws his eyes away from Cass' face just long enough to notice what he's wearing – a dress shirt and blue tie, askew and backwards, no jacket, slacks and red converse that clash so heavily with the rest of his outfit it's almost comical.
Just then, Cass calls a name – Balthy – and a golden retriever perks up from beneath a table, bounding towards the stage quickly, adorning a blue vest that stands out against his blonde fur. He sits at Castiel's feet, tail wagging and tongue lolling. Cass chuckles softly – an amazing sound that Dean almost doesn't catch – and pats the dog's head before grabbing hold of a short leash attached to the Balthy's vest.
The dog starts to lead Castiel away from the stage, towards the bar where Dean sits. And it hits him.
The thought isn't negative or pitying – just, sad. Though it's probably only been a few minutes since Dean even knew of this Castiel's existence, he thinks that Cass' doesn't deserve it, not with his talent and his beautiful face and the kind tone in his voice. Dean doesn't allow himself to be affected, so when Cass and Balthy the Seeing-Eye Dog reach him, and Cass sits on the stool next to Dean's without stumbling, he's already smiling and ready to introduce himself.
Cass beats him to it. "You must be Dean Winchester. I have heard quite a bit about you from Ellen."
A feeling that belongs to his teenage self sits in Dean's stomach. "Really?" he tosses Ellen a look. "What has she told you?" No, his voice is not shaking with nervousness.
Castiel smiles, "That you have a knack for getting yourself into trouble."
"Gee thanks, Ellen."
Ellen tosses a bar rag over her shoulder, "My pleasure."
"Well," Castiel stands again, reaching for Balthy's leash, "I must go now. I will be in early tomorrow to help you open."
"Oh, there's no need, sweetheart," Ellen looks at Dean, "Dean here is our new busboy. He'll be in my six AM sharp."
"I will? – Uh, I mean. Yeah, I will. You, sleep in and, whatever." Dean. Wants. To. Die.
"Are you sure?" he directs his gaze towards Ellen, missing her face by only a few inches.
"Of course." Ellen's hiding a smile behind her hand.
"Alright. I will see you tomorrow, Ellen. Good-bye, Dean." And with Balthy leading the way, Castiel leaves the Roadhouse, leaving Dean to sigh and stare and admire that extremely hot ass – er, what?
As soon as the door closes behind Castiel, Ellen bursts out laughing, "Oh, Dean! You've got it bad. It's a good thing he can't see you – you were as red as a tomato."
Dean rolls his eyes, "Shaddup."
Dean is awake well before six am sharp.
It's maybe four-thirty when he gives up sleep – the nightmares won't leave him alone tonight – and ends up jumping into the crap shower of his new apartment. He has just enough money saved up from his road-trip days for three months rent, but with his new job at the Roadhouse he doesn't think it'll be too much of a problem. Needless to say, he's not at all worried about the money.
He finds himself singing Carry On Wayward Son at the top of his lungs, but that's besides the point.
Afterward, he calls Sam – his younger brother, who is currently locked away in a rehabilitation center. About two years ago, he had gotten himself into trouble and as the months went by, it only got worse. A few OD's later, and Dean felt he had no choice but to send him to rehab. After all, he wants his brother alive. It's early – five-thirty – but he's pretty sure that's around the time they drag everybody out of bed. Turns out he's right.
"Hiya, Sammy," he mumbles around a mouthful of Frosted Flakes. The apartment came equipped with one of those cordless home-phones (he didn't even know they still made those) and sits on the counter next to the holder, phone pressed against his ear and cereal bowl in his hands.
"Hi, Dean," Sam sounds tired on the other line, like he's been awake all night again. Dean knows how he feels.
"How are The Rapists treating you?" It's a running joke between the two of them – apparently, therapist spells "the rapist", and after their last one (the sound their father had them see for years after their mom died) turned out to have child pornography on his work computer, they call every shrink that.
"Alright. There's this one, Pamela Barnes. She's nice."
"Is she hot?"
"What? Just looking out for you, Sammy!"
"Not that it matters to you," Sam snorts through the phone.
"Hey, remember what Daddy said about being nice?"
Dean laughs and hops of the counter, placing his now empty cereal bowl into the sink. "Ellen gave me a job at the Roadhouse."
"I told you she would."
"Yeah, I know, but still. There's this guy – he plays the violin for them. He's really good."
"Is he hot?" Sam inquires, mocking Dean's earlier tone of voice.
"As a matter of fact, he is." Dean leans against the kitchen counter, crossing his ankles. "His name's Castiel."
"Yeah, right. He's, ah, he's blind."
" . . . Oh, come on, you're not gonna let that stop you are you?"
"What? No – Sam. It wouldn't matter if he's blind or not."
"Wow. That hot, huh?"
"Would you shut up?"
"Oh, yeah I forgot. You're the new Dean. All nice and un-judgemental and what-not."
"Hey! I've always been that way."
"Yeah, and I've always been the Tooth Fairy."
"I don't have time for your childish games, Sammy. I have to get to work."
"Have fun. Tell Castiel," Sam says the name in a way that Dean really thinks he shouldn't, "I said hi."
Dean is surprised to see that Castiel is already at the Roadhouse, sitting on a bench outside, violin case next to him and Balthy at his feet. He's wearing a worn trench coat that fits his shoulders quite nicely, protecting him from the chill of the morning air.
"Hey," Dean says as he walks towards Castiel, pushing his hood of his head. "What're you doing here so early?"
"I couldn't sleep," Cass responds honestly, and Dean can hear in his voice that he too suffered from lack of sleep.
Dean settles next to him, shoving his hands in his jacket pockets. "Me neither."
Cass' dog pushes his nose against Dean's knee and whines, looking up at him with large, brown, doe-like eyes. Dean scratches behind his ears, "His name's Balthy right?"
"Yes. I named him after my cousin, Balthazar."
"That's . . . nice," Dean finishes awkwardly, not wanting to come across as rude. He wonders idly how these people chose these names for their kids.
"Er, welcome." Dean leans back against the dew-soaked bench as Balthy rests his head between his two front paws, eyes closing.
"Ellen's running late," Castiel says with a tilt of the head, his fingertips running over the face of a watch on his right wrist. Dean notices that the hands are exposed and pointing to not numbers, but a pattern of raised bumps – Braille.
"That's a cool watch."
"Thank you. My brother, Gabriel, had it custom-made for me."
"Sounds like a cool brother."
Castiel smiles fondly, "He is. However, he does have a fondness for pulling pranks on people. It has gotten him into trouble more times than I can count."
Dean's too busy staring at Cass' smile to respond.
"Do you have any siblings?"
"Er –" God, he is not drooling "– A brother, Sam."
"Does he live in Lawrence?" God. Nothing could ever be more adorable than that head-tilt.
"No. He lives in Topeka." As nice as Castiel is, he isn't quite ready to give up the details of his personal life. He's never really been one to – it's one of the reasons he's only ever had one serious relationship in his twenty-seven years of life.
"Are you close?"
Dean hesitates. He could feel the defense mechanisms in his mind flying up in red alert. According to those, Cass' questions are getting too close for comfort. He attempts to shove them away, "Yeah. He's my best friend."
"That is good."
"Yeah," Dean scans the horizon in search of Ellen, those same defense mechanisms in his brain still screaming for her to show up so he could just get to work and put this conversation behind him. The rest of him is telling them to shut the Hell up but they're really strong, and they keep his mouth closed although he knows he should be polite and ask about Castiel's brother in return.
Those mechanisms won, because just then Ellen pulled up in a beaten-up, red pick-up truck. She climbs out, yells a greeting to Castiel and says to Dean, "Hey, Dean! Help me with these supplies would ya?"
He jogs over to her, taking a cardboard box out of her hands. She leans closer to them and says in a low voice, "So? Have you been talking to him?"
Dean's a little taken aback at the fact that Ellen actually seems to care about whether or not they got along. "Uh. Yeah. He's been asking me all sorts of questions."
"Really? Wow. He must really like you."
"What?" That teenage-feeling is back. God. Curse emotions.
"Yeah, like I said, he's really shy. He doesn't really talk to people that much, not even me." She pulls another cardboard box out of the truck and closes the door with her hip. "Now come on, you have a long day of work ahead of yeah."
And Dean's now looking forward to every minute of it.
A/N: All right, next chapter/part, whatever, I promise I'm going to give you Dean/Sam's back story and a little bit on Castiel :D Reviews are welcome. Really they make me so happy. Even something random will leave me grinning for days XD