It's good to be back my lovelies! Trying something a little different with this one but I hope you all like it! This has been cooking for a while, as has another similar one, a sibling piece to this one, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This'll be au and at the moment it's a one-shot but I've been toying with the idea of having a series of linked one shots? idek I'll leave it up to you guys: keep it a one-shot or keep it going?

The idea is based off my own experience with losing my papa so I hope it is believable. xx

Don't think any warnings in particular just a general spn warning of angst and cute times.


~8~

"This is John Winchester. I'm not available at the moment.

If it's an emergency, leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible."

A cellphone snaps shut in the deathly silence.

The same deep timbre, the same dark roughness that was born from sleepless nights and too-much-too-soon alcohol. The same unnerving ability to turn even the simplest phrase into a thou-shalt tenth commandment. And he only ever obeyed. There was never choice, only duty.

He slugs back the last of his Jack.

It's oh-two-hundred on a Wednesday morning and his father is still dead. Has been for a week now. Yet he continues on, left behind, like it's nothing, even though it's everything.

Outside his window, the inky blackness of the pre-dawn is absolute, impenetrable, and unfathomable. The light is all but gone from the world.

Dean wonders if it was ever really there at all.

"The number you are trying to reach has been disconnected."

It's an ugly and monstrous beast that raises its hulking head, opens bleeding jaws, and howls in the hollow slowly swallowing the life left in Dean Winchester's chest. He yanks another bottle from the pile only to find it already empty.

It's been a month.

One month of pointless phone calls, of unhealthy and maddening obsession, of despairing agony and hope. A month of just once more, please god, please. A month, and finally the phone companies and god decide enough is enough.

Another piece of John Winchester erased with the press of a button.

Mindless rage crawls beneath his skin, creeping fingers sliding up his neck, and sinking deep into his brain. He sees only red. The chair he's gripping cracks beneath his hands before, with a final broken roar, he lifts it above his head and throws it across the room. The impact leaves a crater in the wall and splintered wood on the floor. It leaves him empty.

This is it. He has nothing left.

The wrath disperses as quickly as it is arises. It sinks through skin, through sinew, through bone and into the floor, through wood, stone, and earth. Fatigue knits his eyebrows, buckles his knees, slumps his body into the remaining chair.

His heavy head falls into the calloused cradle of his hands.

Dean holds his breath, holds back the scream he knows is clawing its way from the pits of Hell, holds back the aches of a four year old boy who watched his mother become a burning star and his father become a shadow, a shell, a man-that-was.

Holds back the tormenting guilt of a twenty-seven year old that watched his father go from a man-that-was to a man-that-was-never-more.

"This is–"

"Hello?"

The ocean of static is all he can comprehend. The voice is just out of reach, from another time, another life. Surreal.

His voice cracks. "Dad?"

The shuffling sound of a blanket moving aside, a groaning bed frame, and the quiet padding of feet. "I don't think so."

"Oh."

Silence. Then, "Who is this?"

Brows furrow, he doesn't understand. "Who are you?"

Deadpan. "Shouldn't I be asking, seeing as it's four am, and you rang me?"

The voice has a point, but he's not sure he can form correct sentences yet.

A vague half-sigh, "Look buddy, maybe you've had a few too many," which technically is true but not relevant now as he's never felt more sober, "but if you're trying to reach your dad I think you have the wrong–"

He frowns into the mouthpiece, voice steely and adamant. "I don't. This is his number."

On the precipice of irritation, "Well, obviously it's not because this is my number. I know it's mine because I just go it, so perhaps try dialing your father again, slower this time and you might –

"He's dead." Concise, to the point, no emotion: just as he was taught.

…And he's pretty sure he hears a pin drop somewhere in Nevada.

The silence teeters on the razors edge of uncomfortable before staggering back to something a little less like the wait for the other shoe. "I'm sorry from a stranger over a phone doesn't quite cut it, does it?"

"Doesn't cut it from a friend face-to-face either." His voice is bitter and biting, like the day-old shards of glass on his floor and the frost on his window.

"There's nothing I can say."

"No, there isn't." Then, after a moment, because the truth of these words stumbles towards him on cautious feet, "Thank you."

"So," a kind of huff of a laugh, because really, it doesn't get stranger than this, "who are you?"

The words peter off into uncertainty. "I'm not really sure anymore."

Maybe an eye roll and a quirk of mouth. "Ok Mulan. What's your name?"

A snort of laughter, unbidden and a new kind of relief. "Dean."

Dark and deep, like gravel and velvet. "Hello Dean." A tingling shudder lingers across his skin.

"And you are?"

"Castiel."

He can't believe his luck. "An angel of the lord, huh?"

A smile in the voice, a hint of cheeky tongue, perhaps crinkled eyes. "Yes actually. How did you know?"

The smile comes unbidden, the warmth a welcome ache. "My mum used to talk about angels. Used to recite their names and say they were watching over me, looking out for me. And here you are."

"A voice in the dark."

"Poetic."

"I should hope so. I'm majoring in poetry."

"Figures."

"You don't like poetry?"

"No, I just prefer a different sort of poetry."

"Like 'and miles to go before I sleep' or 'I do not like green eggs and ham' or?"

"More like 'nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.'"

A genuine, can't-help-it laugh washes down the phone like rain after a firestorm and he finds the sound makes him lighter. "So what do you do when you're not listening to classic rock bands?"

"Usually listen to them at work." He pauses, feels like he's going to fall short of something, some expectation the man on the other end of the phone has of him, because who's he kidding anyway? He's a nobody with a dead father and issues piling up the size of Texas.

Yet he continues because some part of him wants this guy to prove him wrong. "I'm a mechanic, but I volunteer at the fire station."

He doesn't disappoint, "lucky me." The smirk is tangible and for some reason he finds it on his lips too.

"So, where are you?"

"Pontiac, Illinois. You?"

"Lawrence, Kansas."

"Well Dean the mechanic slash firefighter from Lawrence, it's been an odd pleasure meeting your voice. I actually kind of hope we can do this again, though at a more reasonable hour if possible."

"I'd like that, Cas the poetry major from Pontiac."

More smiling through the phone. "How about tomorrow around seven pm?"

It rolls off his tongue and down the phone line, "It's a date."

~8~


So what did you think? Let me know! And what's the verdict: series or no series?

As always, it's lovely to hear from you my lovelies!

Until next time xx