WARNING! SPOILERS FOR 8x17! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Alright, so I watch 8x17 and am totally shattered by it. So I'm coping with writing fan fiction, unfortunately it's super angsty and made me even more depressed. The beginning scene just about killed me but it made me think when the camera panned up to show all these Deans lying dead around this room. Just how many time did they make Castiel "kill" Dean before he was that cold? So I wrote this, it also kinda explains why Castiel couldn't kill Dean at the end of the episode when Naomi tried to make him. I fully believe that Naomi can force Castiel to do things that he doesn't want to do, like she has mind-control powers (or put something behind Cas' eye to make him be obedient to a degree).
"I can't. I won't do this. Not this." Castiel tried to stare down Naomi.
"You must learn to get over your unnatural bond to the Winchester. Kill him." She said patiently, gesturing to the Dean clone that stood before them, bound to the spot where he was standing, eyes wide with fear.
"I will not hurt Dean Winchester." Castiel stated stubbornly.
"For every disobedience, every hesitation, I will make you kill him again." Naomi gestured to the double again. "It is only until you are back to yourself again Castiel. Your misplaced loyalty and devotion, which should be to Heaven, will shift back to its rightful place. You will be able to come home eventually if you can break from him."
Castiel shifted the angel blade in his hand and shook his head. "No. I rebelled once for him, I will do it again if you force my hand."
"Castiel." Her lips had thinned and her eyes were turning steely. "You can either work through your unnatural bond, purging yourself of emotions that you should not have, by doing as you are told willingly, or I will make you."
Castiel felt a cold sensation run up his vessel's spine and his eye began to ache again. He didn't doubt she could make him, but he clenched his fists and his jaw and stared at her. She might make him, but he was going to fight it.
He could smell the tang of blood and hear Dean's screams as his blade sank smoothly into the man's midsection. "Cas, no. Why?" He said, grabbing Castiel's sleeve, tears running down his face.
"Dean." Castiel watched, horrified as the sound of ragged, labored breathing broke through the fog. Dean's face began to slacken and his eye dulled. Finally, the smell of bowels losing their grip on life filled the air and they both sunk to the spotless white tiles. He began to shake.
Reaching into his grace, he tried with all his might to heal Dean, to bring him back, but it has no effect. "No. No!"
"Good, but not good enough. Do it again, willingly this time Castiel." Naomi was standing behind them, hand folded serenely in front of her.
Castiel saw red. He turned and pulled his blade on her, screaming his fury, and didn't move an inch and his eye exploded with pain. Struggling he snarled, the years spent with Dean brought forth all manner of curses that he began to spit at her. Throughout it all, Naomi stood silently, with a patient expression on her face as if she were only watching a small child that was pitching a fit for no reason. That look only fueled Castiel's anger, as he cycled through every foul word, phrase, and curse from Enochian to all the human languages current and dead.
When he finally fell silent and settled for glaring at her, Naomi raised an eyebrow as if to ask 'are you quite done'. "I expected better from you Castiel. You are an angel, not a human. Wrath is a sin, and shouldn't be found in us at all." She waved a hand carelessly. "We need to rid you of these emotions; they cloud your judgment and your purpose."
"And what purpose would that be?" Castiel spat.
"To serve Heaven of course, Castiel you should know this already." She sighed. "Kill him again Castiel. That is an order."
"No. Let me go."
"Castiel, you are going to force my hand again?"
For the second time, Castiel killed Dean. He choked the life from him as Dean struggled, begging silently and clawing at Castiel so he would let go. When all that was left was an empty corpse, Castiel was finally allowed to drop Dean to the floor, and collapse himself as he tried once again to use his grace to save Dean Winchester.
"This is for the good of all of us Castiel. Do it again." Naomi ordered when Castiel finally let his head drop in defeat and knowledge that his grace wasn't going to do what he wanted it to.
"How can it be good for all?" Castiel traced Dean's blue face with his eyes as they landed on Dean's own green ones, the sclera was filled with broken blood vessels from the pressure of being strangled, the red making his irises stand out that much more. Swallowing heavily, he traced Dean's features down to his swollen and bruised neck where Castiel's handprint, in a sick parallel to the one on Dean's shoulder, stood out in stark pale contrast as blood began to pool sluggishly back into the skin where his had gripped him tight.
"You are too attached to him. You rebelled for him. You killed our siblings for him. I cannot allow you to continue with this relationship with him." Naomi kneeled down beside Castiel and placed a hand on his shoulder. "You are in shock Castiel. As an angel, you shouldn't even be able to go into such an emotional state. We will save you from this Castiel." She said kindly. "Now kill him again." In that same gentle tone.
It snapped him out of his shock and he whirled on her again.
The blade sunk up through the soft and tender skin under the jaw up through brain and bone. The tip went all the way up through Dean's skull in the same way that Dean had killed Zachariah. Castiel stopped and gapped at the frozen expression of surprise and shock on Dean's face as blood poured from his open mouth.
"Dean-." Castiel wrapped an arm around his middle and guided the body gently down, the dead weight of his dearest friend felt far too heavy as he was drawn into his lap, his own pieta. Castiel's head drooped, sobbing as grief and guilt ate away at his heart.
Heels clicked as Naomi walked up.
"Please. No more." Castiel begged. Even at the height of his madness, when he claimed to be God, he couldn't kill Dean. Now he's killed him thrice and can't even use his grace to make it right.
"You still have emotions, and are still unnaturally fond of him. This is dangerous for us Castiel. Dangerous for all of us, not just for you. Kill him again."
"I can't." It was a broken sound.
"Castiel, I'm warning you: Kill him now, or it will be worse for you later."
"I can't. He's my friend."
"He's your weakness. Kill him Castiel."
Naomi walked over and wrenched Castiel up from the floor, Dean's corpse dropped unceremoniously to the floor. "You've done it three times already Castiel; you can, and will, do it again. Remember, this is for your own good."
The blade that stayed in Castiel's hand was suddenly raised above his head and he plunged it towards Naomi's heart. When the sound of bones breaking so they could part for the blade and the smell of blood reached his nose it wasn't Naomi that he had stabbed, but yet another Dean.
Castiel froze. He wasn't being held above the ground by the lapels of his coat, both his feet were solidly on the ground and Naomi was nowhere in sight.
"Dean…I-." Too late, Dean was dead and sinking towards the floor.
"Not good enough. Kill him again, this time I'll make it easier for you Castiel." Naomi was behind him yet again.
"Nothing you can do will make it easier." Castiel whispered; his eyes trained on the corpse in front of him.
"Cas, you son of a bitch!"
Castiel jerked his head as Dean's voice rang out to his left. He dodged as an angel blade whizzed past his head. "Dean? What are you doing?"
"You left Sam to rot in the cage you junkless bastard!" Dean's eyes had darkened in his anger and he was stabbing the angel blade with far too much speed and accuracy for Castiel's liking.
"No! He was pulled out. Sam is fine Dean! Don't you remember?" Castiel kept dodging as Dean kept swinging.
"Liar! You left Sammy's soul to rot with Lucifer and Michael for all eternity! I will kill you." Dean's voice was hoarse with emotion as Castiel tried to dodge all the attacks.
"Kill him, he's going to kill you and you don't even have your grace to help you out now." Naomi's voice was in his ear, though he didn't see her. Reaching for his grace, he grimaced when Dean got a lucky swipe in and cut his arm, finding he couldn't reach his grace.
It took almost half an hour of dodging and ducking before Castiel tripped over one of the previous Deans and the current doppelganger was straddling him, blade in the air and poised to be plunged down into Castiel's own body.
"Kill him. Castiel that's an order."
In the same way his mind seemed to freeze and his body took over when he killed Samandriel, Castiel's own blade was in his hand and was plunging up through Dean's body at an angle, through his ribcage and into the spine. He heard as Dean gasped when the vertebrae shifted to allow the blade to pass, then Castiel twisted, snapping the spinal column and severing the spinal cord.
Dean slumped forward, then to the side, finally slipping to the floor.
Castiel let his head fall back and hit the floor with a thunk. "Dean." It was a breath, barely audible, but carried all the grief he felt just then.
"Very good Castiel. Do it again."
About a dozen Deans later, Castiel could feel his will cracking under the pressure of killing Dean so many times. Naomi was nodding gravely as the latest Dean slid to the floor with a fatal stab wound when a sound caught Castiel's attention. It was Dean's voice. Unlike the Deans that he had been killing for hours, days, weeks who knew how long, this one was praying. Naomi didn't seem to hear the prayer and Castiel felt a bit of surprise. He listened intently to Dean's voice, telling him about a golem, Nazis and various other happenings in their 'batcave' yet another reference Castiel didn't get. Then a pleading 'Where are you man? I'm worried about you' filtered through before Dean stopped praying.
Dean was safe. Or as safe as a hunter who went hunting could be safe. Hope stirred in his chest, if Dean, the real Dean, was on Earth than the copies he were killing were just that: copies. He sent his grace out to test the next one that Naomi was going to have him kill, it was already lunging at him with the angel blade, screaming about how useless, and far off the reservation Castiel had been while he was working with Crowley. It had no soul. It was an animated meat sack, a puppet, golem-like and most importantly, not Dean.
He knew angels could bring someone back to life again and again, Gabriel had done so in a time loop multiple times to teach lessons people never forgot, once he had even brought back a boy in a copy of his own body who had tried to commit suicide to teach a lesson, though Castiel never understood what that lesson had been. Creating multiples of the same person without a soul would be far easier.
The Dean clone lunged again and Castiel almost didn't react in time to save himself a gut wound, but managed to step aside and sink the blade deep into the double's back, killing it quickly. Even though he was certain that this wasn't the real Dean, it still bit into him that he had killed his best friend, again.
"Very good Castiel." Naomi praised, walking over to him and giving him a look that told him that she was impressed. "Less hesitation this time, even though he almost managed to stab you that time around." She examined the body on the ground. "What was distracting you?"
Castiel felt a bubble of panic, she can't know that he had heard a prayer from the real Dean or she might cut him off from angel radio. He had found, after killing Samandriel, that he could lie some to her, as long as the lie was mostly truthful. Castiel hung his head. "Guilt." He said. "What he said was true, I should never have worked with Crowley, it hurt everyone more than I should have, and I devastated heaven. I wish so completely that I could take that back."
Naomi's eyes softened. "This is why I must make you do this Castiel." She said gently resting her hand on his shoulder. "So you may see the true error of what you have done, so you will understand the full extent of what you wrought with your actions. I gather no joy watching you kill over and over again, but until you have been purged of emotion and of Dean, you will continue you kill him." She patted his shoulder. "Again."
Again, and again, and again, and again. Castiel continued to stab, strangle, and break every copy of Dean that Naomi put in front of him. Each time he couldn't contain his anger at Naomi so that he lashed out at her knowing how futile it was, or his grief at seeing the Righteous Man dead and dying because of him. The only small comforts he took were that it was not Dean that he was brutally murdering, and that every few dozen or so copies, another prayer for him from the real Dean reached him.
Those were always the times that Naomi got suspicious of him. He would get distracted, once he even let the copy full on stab him in the midsection with the demon knife because he was so distracted. The stages became more complex, she had Dean hunting him mostly at first, without the boon of his powers. Then as Castiel gained more and more ease at killing the aggressive Dean, Naomi had Castiel hunt Dean. The first twenty or so Deans, Castiel simply couldn't kill, as they begged for their non-existent lives. Naomi had to step in and force Castiel's hand. The next couple hundred she had him kill all were hesitant and not to her standards.
On and on, again and again. More Dean's died by his hands and slowly, he was going numb from it all. The prayers were doing little for him now but remind him that this wasn't real, that the Deans weren't dying because they were never truly alive. Just puppets for him to remove.
One kill the clone grabbed Castiel's coat sleeve and started to beg. Out of sheer frustration, knowing this was NOT Dean, he grabbed the wrist and twisted it sharply, the cry of pain cutting him as he felt the arm break in his grip. He hesitated longer than he should have with Naomi standing there before he stabbed this most recent puppet.
Surprise and cold, hard shock settled into his stomach. Killing the clones was getting easier, but to actively hurt them before killing them was a place in his mind he did not want to go.
"You are slipping Castiel, you hesitated." Naomi's voice was disappointed.
"Killing is one thing. I don't want to torture him." Castiel said automatically.
"You must break from your affections of this boy. For your own sake and the sake of all of us."
Castiel didn't answer, but swallowed heavily.
Naomi sighed. "Again, but this time I want you to break something with every new death before you kill him."
At first, he didn't, he couldn't. Naomi forced him eventually though. Each crunch of a bone breaking, splintering and shattering as well as the ensuing screams and curses that followed cut deeply into him as he sent silent apologies to the real Dean. A broken jaw here, snapped femur there, spiral fracture here, all of them hurt him as well until those too, he became desensitized from. Every death became easier, every broken bit of Dean cut Castiel less, and less. He wasn't sure how many copies he had killed at this point, as he hunted the latest Dean, but he was tired of it all. He just wanted it to end.
Castiel spotted this Dean, the latest batches were closer to Dean that previous ones, more akin to the mortal they were supposed to be, though they weren't exact. Castiel watched as Dean clone who-knew-what-number pulled his gun out from the waistband of his pants and stealthily tracked down the hall in the obstacle course.
'I just want this over.' Castiel thought tiredly striding silently to this latest fake, only making a noise at the last second so the not-Dean would face him, as Naomi seemed to enjoy, before hitting him a couple times-.
"No Cas, no-!"
-then reaching down to grab his arm, breaking it and ignoring the cry of pain that followed.
"No Cas don't please. Please-!"
The angel blade plunged into the Dean's chest, watching him for a moment before pulling it out, and standing up again, ignoring the trail of blood that ran from the man's mouth. This Dean was as dead as Castiel felt inside.
As the lights came back on and Naomi's heels were heard walking towards him Castiel continued to stare at the body on the floor.
"No hesitation, quick, brutal. Everything's back in order." She looked up at Castiel with something akin to pride in her voice. "Finally, you're ready."