Notes: Last Chapter! As always I like to end it with some fluff and hallmark moments. Next story will be posted tomorrow! Look out for Our Mrs. Winchester!
ship .me: Hello! Hiya! I don't think I have it in me to do that to any of my main characters. I would probably make my laptop explode by crying all over the keyboard XD
Disclaimer: Nothing doing here...
It had taken quite a while to get back to the Impala. Dean had wanted to send Sam back to fly it over so that Gabe and Cas didn't have to move their injured feet, but his brother seemed very reluctant to leave Gabriel so soon after finding him. He also pointed out that with the tree cover, they couldn't really do that either.
So instead Castiel decided to heal both his and Gabriel's feet to avoid any issues with walking….only the healing took a bit more out of Cas than he had planned on, and half way back to the ship Cas had to take a ride on Dean's back. Dean grouched plenty to all those who would listen, but inside he was happy to help Cas in any way. It was his fault that he was in this condition anyway. And maybe Dean liked to be able to feel the other man's warmth on his back, soft breaths of sleep puffing at his neck. It assured Dean that Cas was indeed still with them, alive and healed up. If not a little sleepy.
Missouri, as Dean had finally learned her name and story from a happily chattering Gabriel, followed them to the town before she parted ways with them. Gabriel had been concerned that she wasn't going to come with them, thinking that he had found another crew member for the Impala. But Missouri shook her head.
"Don't worry about me boy. I've still got patients back there. And like it or not, the town will need help getting rid of the mayor. I want to make sure all things are settled there before I start a new journey. Besides, I have a special place in mind that I wish to go to once I'm all finished up here. Maybe I'll see you all again there." She bid all of them goodbye, kissing Castiel's forehead as he continued to sleep on. And then she left, walking back to the town to set it straight.
"Oh, and boys? Take care of each other and mind your brother." She didn't look back as she said this, so no one knew which boys she was addressing, so each of them, Sam, Dean, Gabriel, Balthazar took a mental note. They would never think of crossing her. She just had that aura of listen to me or pay the price about her. Cas mumbled into Dean's neck something that sounded like, "Of course." But he was still asleep, so Dean couldn't be sure.
Now back in the ship, Cas was still sleeping away on the other bed in the infirmary while Gabriel did the best he could with Bobby until Cas was recovered enough to finish it up. Dean and Sam stayed nearby, keeping an eye on each of them from the doorway as Gabriel worked.
Once the pilot was sapped of energy and Bobby was blissfully asleep, he shuffled over to where Cas was and hopped up on the same bed, lifting up Cas' head and plopping it down on his lap so there was more room for Gabriel. As soon as he leaned his head back, he was out light a light. It was a cute scene. Cas contently snoozing on his "big" brother's lap, and Gabriel's hand resting on top of Cas' unruly head of hair. Bobby snoring so loudly it was a wonder that either Novak could sleep.
Dean snorted and whispered quietly to Sam, "Aww. Aren't they the little angels?" He joked.
Sam half grinned, not looking away from the scene himself, "Yeah, but I usually think of Gabe more like my little devil", he replied smugly, getting a disgusted look from Dean.
"Dude. TMI. Now you ruined the moment. Get back to flying the ship you pervert before you wake up Mr. Comatose over there." He said and pushed a grinning Sam away.
Once his brother was out of sight he looked back into the infirmary. There in front of him were three very much alive people. The vice that had been around his chest for the last two days loosened a small bit. At least the choices that he had made didn't result in a death. They might now have been the best choices, and things could have turned out better where no one got hurt, and no one was almost killed, but for now Dean could be satisfied that they were all still here.
He quietly moved further into the room and to the foot of Castiel's bed. He lifted up the thin sheet that was draped over the slumbering man to see if he could get a glimpse of his feet. It had been dark when Cas had first healed him and Gabe, and Dean wasn't sure if everything looked okay.
Inspecting the soles of his feet that a few hours ago were raw and leaking blood and pus, Dean saw healthy new skin that looked soft. Too soft, Castiel had lost all of the callous from his feet when he healed them. Dean took a mental note to start trying to get Cas to wear at least socks around until some sort of padding came back.
Lightly he ran a finger over one of the soles, not enough to even tickle, testing the new skin and getting wrapped up in the touch. He had almost lost it back there when they stormed into the town. As soon as he saw those flames near Cas….he almost had gone back to the past where he had stood and watched as flames twenty two years ago ate away one of his loved ones. It had almost happened again. Those short moments in the inferno, when he had been racing against the fire to free Cas, he had felt fear that almost paralyzed him. It reminded Dean far too much of the moment when he lost his mother...and that other moment when he almost lost Sam a few months ago, and of how he had almost lost Bobby a few hours ago. Had Cas really become that important to him?Had Bobby become that important to him? When had these people wormed their way past his defenses?
Didn't they know that he kept people at arms length for a reason? Why would they ever want to be part of his life when all he did was hurt the ones he cared about? People who got close to Dean ended up hurt, or worse...
But that didn't happen this time, Dean reminded himself. He didn't fail this time, not completely anyway. But Dean still wasn't sure how he was going to ask Cas' forgiveness after this. It was too late to push them away. Hell, he didn't think he could push either of them away at this point, even if he wasn't entirely sure of Bobby at the moment. They were too much apart of Dean's life now, and he would hold on to them in a death grip.
Castiel mumbled, frowning a little and shifting in his slumber, as if sensing Dean's deep thoughts. The captain reached over the stroked the sleeping man's cheek, feeling the gentle stubble along his jaw, trying to sooth him back into a peaceful rest. He watched as Cas' face smoothed back out, seemingly relaxed again at Dean's touch. It brought back an image to the Captain's mind from a few hours before, when he had touched Dean's face, as if in reverence, and then asked if Dean were real…it was just….wrong. Of course the poor guy had just found out that he had been abandoned by his father, and then Dean had to go and disappear. Who knows what he had been thinking.
Never again, Dean promised himself, and he promised the sleeping man in front of him, he would never let go again. He could not fail again.
Castiel had slept another five hours before he woke up and snuck out of Gabriel's lap to finish healing Bobby where Gabriel had left off. He had done it before anyone could stop him, and the result was Dean and Balthazar walking in on Castiel on the floor, nearly completely passed out again and his nose bleeding over his shirt.
After some intense scolding from Balthazar, some cussing from Dean, a clean shirt, and a transfer to a real bed in the passenger's quarters, Cas slept a whole day away. Bobby and Gabriel were up and about like nothing had happened by the time Cas had finally emerged from his room the next day.
Shuffling around the ship, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Cas accidentally bumped into Dean as he was sitting on the catwalk again, a beer in his hand.
"Hey there sleeping beauty. I was gonna send Chuck in there to give you a kiss to wake you up soon. We were beginning to believe that you would sleep away the week!" Dean said lightly, noticing the nervous stance from Castiel. Last time Dean had talked with Cas here, it had been because the guy felt guilty about something. Dean could tell that something was bothering Cas this time too, but it wasn't guilt.
"Pull up a space, Cas." Dean said. Castiel looked confused. "It means sit down." Dean said gently and gestured to the open space next to him, like he had done before.
And just as awkwardly as last time, Cas sat down stiffly. "I must apologize Dean. It seems I got everyone into trouble again." He said sadly.
Dean snorted into his bottle, "No way any of that was your fault Cas. You were too busy getting yourself lit on fire. It happens."
The other man nodded, not looking entirely convinced, but accepting of the leeway Dean was providing. Dean looked thoughtful, "Why didn't you fight back, Cas? I know you're strong. You could have blasted out the eardrums of all of those people and escaped easily. Why didn't you try to save yourself?"
Cas had started to fidget with the sleeve of his coat. "They saw something Dean. Just as Father had seen something. There could be a monster lurking under my skin. I can feel it sometimes, manifesting in me, growing bigger and feeling confined…pressure…I thought….I had thought that you saw it too, and that's why you had left me behind." Confessed Castiel, then he turned to Dean frantic, "I could be a cow!" He said loudly, sounding incredibly distressed at the thought.
That took Dean back. He blinked a couple of times dumbly at the other man, "Umm, a cow? Pretty sure you're not a cow buddy."
Cas shook his head frustrated at Dean's apparent ignorance."No. The cows, they were kept in the dark, but when they saw the light, they remembered what they were! What happens when I see that light? What will I be then?" Cas sounded close to tears and Dean turned to him, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder and squeezing tightly to get Cas' attention.
"Hey hey hey. Shhhh, Cas. What if you're not a cow, huh? What if you're a frog? Didja think about that?"
At Cas' bewildered look, Dean knew he had lost him. Sigh
"I seem to remember someone telling me a story about a dude who dreamed he was a frog. Well, are you a frog?" Dean asked.
Castiel actually looked like he was pondering it, "I don't feel like eating bugs." He checked his fingers, "They are not webbed…"
Dean gently grabbed Castiels hands, and made a big show at pretending to check as well. "Right. They look human to me. So for now, nothing to worry about then. Take things as them come. Don't throw your life away just because of a few idiots who couldn't see the light and good pouring off of you. For what it's worth, I think you might be one of the most delightfully obtuse, awkwardly sincere, disturbingly innocent, and hilariously absurd people I have ever had the pleasure of finding in a box. And you have too much heart for your own good." Dean poked at Cas' chest for each description, driving home each one.
A small smile formed on Cas' face as he continued to stare at his splayed fingers, "Do you find many people in boxes, Dean?"
"Only a few mail order brides, but anyway...Cas…I know how it feels to look in the mirror and hate what you see, but…whatever you see in your reflection…know that all I can see, all than any of us can see, is you. Awkward, nerdy, badass you."With that Dean stood up and clapped him on the shoulder ready to leave the other man to his thoughts, but he was stopped by Cas' voice.
"Dean…If I can no longer have faith in my father…I wish to have faith in you."He said, staring at Dean, his eyes, like always, so sincere.
Dean froze in shock. "What? Why? Cas there are so many better people to…."
"Dean. You came back. That's more than enough reason." The sincerity in his eyes and in his voice took Dean back. Mentally Dean again promised himself and Cas that he would everything in his power to never give Cas a reason to not believe in him, and that he would never let go.
Dean rubbed at the back of his head awkwardly."Well, you can just think on that I guess, even though I'm not entirely sure I deserve it…Anyway, I'm going to get washed up. Chow's in ten. No need to get dressed up." And he walked off.
Castiel walked slowly towards the dining area, still observing his hands with rapt attention like a man on acid. He could hear the laughter coming from the room where the crew had gathered.
He entered the room while Gabriel was in the middle of a joke.
"So the Sheppard says to the Companion, "Well, a good goat would do that for free!"
Then the room burst out in uproarious laughter and giggles. Even Anna and Bobby were slapping the table in joy, even though the joke was at their expense. Suddenly shy, Cas pulls back in the doorway a little bit, not sure about disrupting the happy atmosphere. But Dean spotted him before he got too far.
"Hey Cas, come join us. I got a chair right here!' And Dean kicked out the open seat next to him. Castiel moved fully into the room and sat down, giving Dean a grateful if not uncomfortable glance.
Then the Bobby started one of his own stories that immediately drew Cas' attention. If one of Bobby's stories ever started with, "I remember a time when Sheppard Brown…" Cas was all ears, eager to hear more of the amusing misadventures of the clumsy preacher from Bobby's old abbey.
He leaned forward on the table, not wanting to miss a single word from Bobby's mouth.
Dean watched Cas watching Bobby with a small smile on his face. Everyone was home. And even though Dean might only have six bucks to his name, he had his family and that made him rich.
Schmoopy ending, my bad. But Woooooo! Another story done! On to the next one. The title will be Our Mrs. Winchester. Check it out tomorrow!