Castiel had many conflicting emotions about speaking with the broken woman. He was certain that she was a black widow, which meant that what she said had been true, though much of it had made little sense. He knew two things, though: 1) he was looking for a man who wore green, who would lead him to the man who could see visions. 2) Gabriel had betrayed them. These two facts had his stomach rolling.
He wasn't exactly sure how he survived the three weeks that followed. He did odd jobs, moved around and heard all kinds of gossip. He'd heard about Daemon Sadi going mad and that the destruction he wrought was so much that Dorothea SaDiablo had shipped him off. He heard that if Daemon Sadi ever got back into town there would be a standing offer for free room and board in any inn, landen or blood. Castiel heard a lot of things like that, because Daemon Sadi was interesting, but none of these things were really important.
What Castiel hadn't been able to do was find the man he was looking for. He'd sent out probes, searching for all the green jeweled males. He was sure he'd found all of them, but none of them, none of them were right. He felt so much bitter disappointment that he could barely stand it. He had thought that he should leave Draega, but the woman had said the men he was looking for were in the city, though hidden… very well hidden. Maybe a black widow had hidden them?
Castiel sighed and continued his trek down the busy streets. It was a crowded as always and loud with unspecific murmurs.
"Hey, buddy, get the hell out of my car. You don't pay, you don't ride!"
Well, that was loud and obtrusive. Castiel's head shot up and he noticed a next to a horseless carriage shouting at the passenger.
"You stupid little landens think you can get away with denying me service?" Castiel guessed Aristo. They were the only ones really that conceited.
"You don't pay, you don't ride. That's the rules. I am not driving you fat ass anywhere for only the 'satisfaction' of dragging your smelly ass around and then not getting paid for it."
The passenger got out. He wore Summer Sky, and he was large and threatening, even bigger than the driver. Castiel could feel what was going to happen. The Summer Sky Warlord was drawing power up. He was going to kill the landen driver.
A Sapphire shield snapped around the driver before the blast of Summer Sky could hit. The blowback hit the Summer Sky Warlord in the chest. He wheezed. The driver blinked and looked around. He'd clearly only just realized that he'd almost been dead.
"You don't pay, you don't ride," Castiel said. "I suggest you should leave now." The other warlord glared up at him, seeming to consider a fight until he saw Castiel's Sapphire jewels. Then he bowed his head and left quietly.
"What just happened?" the driver asked.
"Your passenger was attempting to kill you. I shielded you," Castiel said. He glanced at the carriage. "Why do you not have signs on your carriage if you drive people?"
"I can't afford it," the driver said.
"You could have been killed."
"Well, I wasn't, was I?" the man asked. "You want a ride or what?"
Castiel turned to look at the man, about to say no, thinking him ungrateful. Then he saw the driver's eyes. They were green, greener than Castiel had seen a man's eyes be before. Or maybe he just hadn't noticed. Maybe he wasn't so hyper aware of the color before.
"Who are you?"
"Dean Winchester," the driver said, sticking his hands in his pockets. He looked uncomfortable. "You want a ride or what? I mean, I'll give it to you for free, since I'm not dead because of you."
"Oh, yes, thank you," Castiel said, getting into the back. He watched the driver get back into driver's seat. Castiel's eyes took in the carriage before he quietly started to probe the inside. What caught his attention was the shielded sign.
"You don't have to worry about rates," the man, Dean, said.
"Who shielded this for you?" Castiel asked. He didn't know of any grey jewels in Draega except his brothers. He suddenly felt so homesick he couldn't stand it.
"This guy names Gabriel. He got in my car, drove me crazy, and did that," Dean said.
"Gabriel did this?" Castiel asked. It was a kindness. Thinking about it made Castiel's heart hurt. Gabriel did things like that, small things that really meant a lot.
"Yeah? You know him? I haven't had anyone bother me about paying sense, except that idiot. Told myself I was never driving a darker jewel again, and then you show up and I broke my new rule," Dean said, looking back at him from the mirror attached to the front window. Castiel felt struck againt by how green Dean's eyes were.
"Yes, I know him," Castiel said. He wasn't sure why the words came out of his mouth after he'd spent so long hiding. "He is my brother."
"Really, man I pity you for that. You work in SaDiablo Manor too?"
Castiel could see pity in Dean's eyes, like he'd seen Castiel that one night he'd stood in for Michael. Castiel felt the long buried shame resurface and he looked away.
"No," Castiel said.
"Keep it that way," Dean said. "Now, not that I don't like talking to you, stranger, but I actually need to drive a few more people today so I can afford my rent, so would you mind telling me where you want me to go?"
"My name is Castiel."
"That's great, Cas, but where can I take you too? I mean, I'm thankful and all, but not enough to get kicked out of my apartment because you won't give me a location."
"Dean," Castiel said, a little surprised to hear his name shortened in such a familiar manner. "Do you know a man who sees visions."
The slightly annoyed but friendly looks Castiel had been getting from the mirror are gone, replaced by a real anger. "Who are you?"
"Castiel," he repeated. "I have been told of a man who can see visions and I am looking for him."
"By who?" Castiel could practically see Dean trying to stand protectively in front of someone who wasn't even there. But if Dean was in contact with Gabriel he might not even realize how much danger he and the other man were in.
"A black widow," Castiel said. "One of my sisters." Pamela wasn't his sister, like Uriel and Samandriel weren't his brothers. They were from the same homeland, but they weren't really related, they just said they were. But Lucifer and Michael and Raphael and Gabriel were Castiel's brothers. Castiel and Ana even shared the same mother as Lucifer.
Dean looked nervous and uncomfortable. "So?"
"So, this man is very important. He will be the one my family needs to find a way to win back our homeland. If you know who he is, you must tell me."
"And if I don't? You'll torture me until I tell you?"
Castiel looked confused. "Why would I do this? I have been told that you are the only way to get to this man. You are just as precious as he is, for without you he will not help us. We need him, Dean. We need him more than anything. We have no home. We haven't for a long time. I would not torture. I never would become that type of man for any reason. We are fighting for our home against those types of people. Why would I do that?"
"Because that's what blood do." Dean sounds so bitter.
"That's not what blood do. That's what bad blood do," Castiel said, feeling offended. "Who hurt you? Someone hurt you."
"Shut up and get out of my car."
"Dean, please," Castiel said, reaching over and pushing the lock button on the door. "If you run away I will follow you."
Dean turned around completely. There is no warmth in his eyes any longer. "You are just like them then."
"Have you not had something that meant everything to you?"
"Yes, and you're trying to use him."
Castiel wondered if this man was Dean's lover. If Dean hated blood so much, then why was this man so important to him?
"Dean, listen for a moment, please. This man is important to us. We will protect him and keep him safe. What he can do for us is not something we can coerce. He'd have to do it willingly, I am certain. I will not harm him or you. But I have to find him and I have to protect you both."
Dean hesitated, looking Castiel up and down. He was searching for something.
"Can you protect him? Really make certain that he doesn't get hurt?"
"Yes, I can." Castiel said. He knew it was a lie when it left his mouth. Gabriel had betrayed them and they weren't safe. He couldn't take them home because he couldn't convince the others that Gabriel was dangerous. He couldn't protect them from his own family… but he could from everyone else.
He called in two necklaces with Sapphire jewel chips attached to each. "My black widow sister made these. My siblings who wear weaker jewels wear them sometimes. They make shields and it means that if someone attacks you, then you will be protected. If another blood tries to attack you, then you will be safe."
Dean reached out and took the offered necklaces. He slipped one on and hit it under his shirt. "What if someone stronger attacks?"
"If someone of the same strength attacks it will hold, but the only stronger people are in Dorothea's court, and we aren't going to go there," Castiel said. "It should also hold for at least a moment, but darker jewels are very rare. I believe only my brothers and Dorothea SaDiablo would be able to break that shield now."
"So, as safe as can be then," Dean said. "But I still don't trust you."
Castiel felt conflicted for a moment. He needed Dean to trust him. "How much money do you need for rent?"
"Seven bronze marks," Dean said.
"I can pay that," Castiel said.
"And this is supposed to make me trust you?" Dean asked while Castiel called in the marks.
"No, but I need you to take me someplace safe and private. I have a secret, and important one, one no one else can know."
"You can tell me here."
"I can't tell you, but I can show you, and here is too visible."
Dean considered and then nodded. He took the marks and put them away before starting to drive. Castiel just had to hope that this would work, that Dean would understand the significance of what he was about to show him. If he didn't, then he doubted Dean would trust him.
A/N: I secretly, truly, really love this story, okay? It's a lot more fun than it should be, is all I'm saying. I just wish more people liked BJT is all.