There was a glint in Charlie's eye, and Dean can't get it out of his head.
He's been trying to sleep for hours, tossing and turning on the mattress that's supposed to stop him from ever being so uncomfortable, and her voice echoes in his memory.
"What about Castiel? He seems helpful... and dreamy."
Something about the comment just isn't sitting right, and Dean's jaw twitches. He stares at the wall in the dark, and at a quarter past four in the morning, it hits him.
"Asshole," Dean hisses under his breath, sitting up straight, "that sonofabitch kept publishing."
He drags himself out of bed, shuffling down the hall in his socks, trying to keep quiet enough not to wake Sam.
It takes all the self control he has not to start yelling, because Chuck had promised. The books went up to him going to Hell, and then they stopped.
"That goddamnned sonofabitch asshole," Dean says to himself, picking up Sam's laptop from the library table.
Once he's back in his room, he pulls the door shut and hits the power button before getting back under the covers.
The start up chime is loud, and he shoves his pillow down over it, hoping the sound didn't travel. He has no desire at all for Sam to see these books. Not until he's checked them, anyway.
Because Charlie had that glint in her eye. And he has a feeling he knows exactly what she was getting at. His private thoughts, his very private, very pointedly repressed thoughts, written in Chuck Shurley's horrible, flowery goddamn-
He pulls the pillow away and opens up the web browser.
For a moment, his fingers just hover. He wants to know for sure; he doesn't want to know at all. He swallows, nervous, and types, CARVER EDLUND SUPERNATURAL E-BOOKS. He hits search with more force than is necessary, and scrolls through the results.
A few minutes later, he wants to throw the laptop at the wall.
Clicking through pages of reviews and some kind of fansite with lists of sub-categories that he doesn't even want to think about, he tallies up the total number of books.
At least forty more have been published since Chuck had told them he'd stop.
Dean feels his mouth go dry and pushes the laptop away, taking a moment to breathe before he pulls it back and goes about downloading them, one by one.
Glad that he can at least let the computer do the searching for him, he opens the first book and hits CTRL + F. He searches Castiel's name. The first instance is a scene, described in horrible, vivid detail, in which Pamela's eyes get burned out of her skull. He skips it, not wanting to read descriptions of the pain that Pamela experienced because of him, and reaches a scene near the very end of the book. With embarrassingly shaky fingers, he scrolls through, and reads.
The roof above them rattled, shaking loose dust and insects from the rafters. Dean glanced upward, suddenly regretting the entire plan. "Wishful thinking," he joked, deflecting his fear in the usual way, "but maybe it's just the wind." Bobby's brow raised high under his blue cap. Though Dean didn't turn to see it, he was spooked, too. For a hunter as seasoned as Bobby, that didn't happen often, and he was about to tell Dean that wishing was for wells when above them, bulbs started bursting. They both flinched at the sound of shattering glass, ducking their heads to protect their eyes. When they looked back up, the door burst wide open, and a figure strode through. At a passing glance, it was just a man, clad in an ill-fitting suit and a trench-coat; but he rolled into the barn like a thunderstorm. Something in his walk was alien, his steps slow and calculated as though the limbs he used were unfamiliar to him, and he planned each movement consciously. He passed over each trap, through every protective circle and symbol that they had painted. All the while, his eyes never left Dean. Raw, crackling energy radiated from his gaze, striking something deep in Dean's bones as sparks rained down, and at once he felt that some part of himself knew this man, this creature, whatever he was. The feeling settled in his stomach like fear, roiling cold, and he gripped the gun in his hand. Each round hit the target, and had the man been simply a man, he would have gone down with the first chestful of salt and iron buckshot. The fact that he was still standing didn't faze Dean, though. As the man reached him, Dean grasped the demon-killing knife behind his back. "Who are you?" His voice, while firm and demanding as ever, still betrayed the fear that plagued him. He knew this man; he feared what he would tell him. The man, close now, looked him directly in the eye. His face was earnest, calm, and held the barest hint of pride as he responded; "I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition." Any gratefulness Dean might have felt was immediately cancelled out by the fact that this being had left him in his grave. His mind flicked back to the moment when his eyes had opened, the burning in his chest as he sucked in his first breath, the panic that had come over him when he realized where he was. He levelled the man with a glare. "Yeah? Thanks for that," he snarled, and lunged forward, driving the blade home. Dean felt as it punctured the skin, cracked through ribs and pierced into the man's heart, buried deep. The man, somehow, didn't. He didn't flinch, and he barely glanced down before yanking it out and dropping it to the floor.
The benevolent expression never left his face, even as he threw out one hand to stop Bobby from swinging at his head with an iron crowbar. The man raised two fingers to his forehead, barely making contact. A moment later, Bobby was laying on the barn floor, unconscious, and the man turned back to Dean, giving him his full attention. Dean felt his palms sweat under the power of his gaze. "We need to talk, Dean," the man said, glancing back at Bobby before he amended the sentence, "alone." Dean, summoning the kind of cock-eyed bravery that Bobby would have admonished had he been conscious, completely ignored him. With a firm set jaw, he moved around the man to crouch down by Bobby's side, checking for a pulse. The man looked at him with some interest. "Your friend is alive," he said, matter-of-factly, and glanced down at the nearby workbench, still littered with pages from the book that Dean and Bobby had used to summon him. Satisfied that Bobby was indeed alive—a fact he had ascertained on his own, moments before the man had told him as much—Dean stared up at him. "Who are you?" "Castiel." "Yeah, I figured that much. I mean what are you?" Castiel put down the page he had been looking at, and turned to face Dean fully. "I'm an angel of the Lord."
Dean clicks the little red x on the file, and it blinks out of existence. He lets out a relieved sigh. He knows it's probably a little premature.
There were literally sparks flying, he thinks, and barely suppresses his grimace.