Castiel, angel of the lord, was slowly turning to stone. It started with his left forearm, a place that he could keep hidden from the Winchester brothers. No matter what he did, he couldn't find an answer as to what was happening to him. All he knew was that it was extremely painful and draining. At night he would hide away in his own little corner of the world, screaming until he could scream no more, even though he knew that it wouldn't help. It was release and for a brief moment it makes him feel better until everything comes rushing back.
It didn't take long for Dean to notice that something was wrong. He continually sent worried glances towards him and Castiel believed that it wouldn't be long until Dean started asking questions, but he didn't know what to say. It was a few days later, when he could barely even move his left arm that Dean finally asked.
They sat on a bench together in a quiet park, hands clasped between them. Dean opened his mouth to speak and Castiel braced himself for what would come next.
"Look, Cas. I know that There's something wrong… and… uh, I'm kinda worried 'bout you, but I'm not gonna ask you about it cause I know you'll tell me when you need to," he finished, awkwardly looking away from Castiel. Castiel anxiously pulled on Dean's hand, wanting Dean to look at him. Letting go of Dean's hand he shrugged off his trench coat and rolled up his left sleeve. He heard Dean suck in a breath sharply. Castiel watched him as Dean tentatively reached out his hands to touch Castiel's arm, but hesitated, looking into Castiel's eyes for permission. As Castiel slowly nodded Dean lightly ran his fingers over the stone part of his arm.
"What is it?" Dean said. Castiel lightly shrugged.
"I don't know,"
"Does it hurt?" Dean softly asked him.
"No," Castiel lied to him. Dean caught the lie a looked at Castiel sharply.
"Don't lie to me Cas. Does. It. Hurt?" Castiel averted his eyes and slowly nodded.
"Like nothing I've ever felt before," Cas whispered. Dean's face softened and he pulled Castiel close, gripping him tight. Castiel buried his face into Dean's neck.
"Oh, baby. It'll be alright,"
In the TARDIS the Doctor was frantically pushing buttons and pulling levers while trying to figure out what the warnings on the screens meant. Something big was happening on Earth, yet neither he nor the TARDIS could make anything of the readings that were coming from the green and blue planet. He stared at the screen for a moment before making a decision.
"Alright, old girl. Let's get to Earth," he said, stroking the console lovingly and then they were off.
The Winchester brothers were startled by a loud whirring sound and a slight wind. They immediately jumped up, guns at the ready. Both Sam and Dean were shocked when a blue phone booth appeared out of what seemed to be thin air. Dean stared open mouthed as a young man with floppy hair stepped out of the blue box, a large smile on his face. Dean was about to ask how some damn kid got into the base of the Men of Letters until he noticed that the man had eyes that didn't match his childlike face. They told a story of an old man who had seen war and too many deaths, of someone who had lived for centuries. He knew that whoever this guy was, he was not to be messed with. Dean ended up not having to ask the man who he was as he spoke,
"Hello, I'm the Doctor," the bright grin was still present on his face. Dean glanced at Sam who was opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water. Dean rolled his eyes. He didn't believe that this person in front of him would harm them, he had a feeling that if he wanted them dead or hurt he would have already made his move, but the man stood very still as if trying not to startle a wild animal.
"Could you please put those away? I do hate guns," the Doctor's voice had taken a darker tone that made a horrible feeling swirl in Dean's gut, but he first needed a reason to put his weapon down.
"I might if you tell me why and how you're here," Dean retorted watching the thin man carefully. The Doctor looked around as if he was only just realising where he was.
"I received a distress signal coming from here… where is here anyway? The TARDIS had trouble landing here… almost as if this place didn't exist. Maybe it's some kind of field… alien technology perhaps. Though I've never seen anything like this…" the Doctor rambled on to himself.
"You are in the base of the Men of Letters. I'll ask you again, how did you get here?" Dean said, mostly just wanting the man to stop his blathering and shut up. The Doctor looked at Dean as if he forgot that he and Sam were there.
"That's simple. This," he said gesturing to the phone box, "is my time machine,"
"Your what?" Sam asked, finally snapping out of his fish moment.
"My time machine. I travel through time and space," the Doctor replied. The two brothers just stared at the stranger blankly. Suddenly there was the sound of beating wings and Castiel appeared behind Dean making him turn around abruptly to face the angel.
"God Cas, don't do that," Dean scolded him.
"Hello Dean," Castiel and Dean stared at each other for a moment before the Doctor started speaking again.
"It's you. You're the one who sent the distress signal. What's happening to you? The timelines are all funny around you," the Doctor exclaimed with wide, excited eyes.
"You called him?" Dean asked Castiel accusingly, but Cas shook his head.
"Not to my knowledge," Castiel replied as he looked over towards the Doctor, his face morphing into one of confusion. "What are you?" he asked a hint of amazement in his tone. It was then that Dean remembered that Castiel could see people's souls.
"A Time Lord. What are you?" the Doctor stared at Castiel curiously.
"Castiel, angel of the Lord… kind of," the Doctor tilted his head.
"I do not wish to share my tribulations with you,"
"An angel… fascinating,"
"Hey, uh, guys? Can I put my gun down?" Sam asked, breaking up the conversation. Dean nodded.
"Yeah, I think he's alright, Sammy,"
"It's Sam, Dean," Sam replied, annoyed.
"Wait a moment. What are your last names?" the Doctor suddenly asked, looking very interested. Dean and Sam shared a look and a nod.
"Winchester," Dean replied. He watched carefully as the Doctor began pacing in front of them.
"Winchester, Winchester… where have I heard that name before," he mumbled to himself.
"Uh, we kind of stopped the apocalypse," Sam told him, pushing a hand through his long hair. A shock of realisation flashed over the Doctor's face.
"Oh! Yes! How could I forget? Amazing work," the Doctor praised the brothers.
"As fun as this show and tell is, can we get back to the main issue… like why you're here?" Dean asked. The Doctor looked annoyed with him.
"I have already told you. Your angel friend here sent out a distress signal and I received it, no matter of it was accidental. Just trust me, I'm here to help," the Doctor watched as Dean and Castiel looked at each other as if they were having a conversation. Dean nodded as if he had decided on something.
"It's fine. Show him Cas," Dean said and Castiel slowly shuffled forward, handing his trench coat and jacket to Dean on the way. The Doctor spared a glance towards Sam, but he seemed to have no idea what was going on. The angel started to roll up his sleeve and the Doctor's eyes widened in horror. He rushed forward not even flinching as Dean raised his gun towards him again. He grabbed Castiel's arm ignoring the way that the angel tried to move away from him, all the while muttering under his breath.
"No, no, no. This shouldn't be happening," he saw that the stone part of his arm went right down to his wrist. He noticed that the arm was still somewhat moveable as Castiel tried to jerk away. "How far up does this go?" Castiel moved to unbutton his shirt and showed the Doctor that the stone already covered most of his chest. The Doctor winced and let go of the angel's arm, Castiel moving back to stand beside Dean.
"What the hell, Dean? You knew about this and didn't tell me?" Sam yelled at his brother.
"It wasn't my place to tell you, Sam," Dean replied. Sam glared at him.
"When do you ever care abou – " it was then that Sam noticed that Dean's hand on Castiel's shoulder was perhaps just slightly to intimate to be just friendly. "Oh. I see. Finally," Sam finished. The Doctor looked curiously between the three other men in the room before realisation crossed his face as well. Dean stared at his brother like a deer caught in headlights and his grip on Castiel's shoulder tightened.
"W-what?" he asked cautiously. Sam rolled his eyes at Dean.
"You and Cas. Finally got things sorted out, huh?" Dean looked away from his brother to Castiel.
"Yeah, I guess… are-are you okay with that?" Sam smirked at his brother's stuttering.
"I have been for a while. I think I realised it before you guys did," Sam smiled softly. "Just one question, does he make you happy Dean?" Dean looked at Castiel who was staring back at him curiously, his head tilted. Dean smiled this special smile that was reserved just for Castiel and ran his fingers through Castiel's hair.
"Yeah," he said softly, still staring at Castiel.
"Aww," the Doctor said and he honestly looked like that was one of the cutest things he had ever seen. "I don't always get to see love as strong as that despite the fact that I've traveled through all of time and space," Dean and Castiel quickly looked away from each other, a light blush rising on both of their cheeks. "Now," the Doctor started and the three others turned to listen to him, "I think we may want to sit down for the next part," he said, looking at Dean and Castiel, eyes full of a horrid pity that neither had ever seen before.
The four of them sat at the dining table inside the base. The Doctor sat at the head of the table, Sam to his right and Dean to his left with Castiel beside him, their hands clasped underneath the table.
"I'm going to tell you about a creature called a weeping angel," the Doctor said, looking at each of the table's occupants.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Sam asked.
"You'll find out soon," the Doctor replied patiently, sounding old and tired. "A weeping angel is a malevolent being that feeds off of time energy. They have a truly amazing defence mechanism. When they are looked at by another being they turn to stone. It isn't a voluntary choice, but the problem is that you can never really destroy stone and they are incredibly fast. If you blink they could have you in their grasp. Just by touching a person they can send them back in time and feed off of the time energy that the action creates. They don't always do this, sometimes they just savagely kill. Each time they feed off of time energy they grow stronger, though if kept away from other life they can become broken and slow. They always stand with their hands in front of their eyes because if two angels look at each other they can never move again unless somebody moves one of them. They are the lonely assassins of the universe,"
"And this… weeping angel… is that what Cas is changing into?" Sam asked. Dean gripped Castiel's hand tighter.
"Yes," the Doctor said solemnly.
"Isn't there anything you can do?" Dean asked softly. The Doctor's face broke as he sadly shook his head.
"There's nothing," he said. "I've never witnessed the change before. I never even thought that they were once actual angels, but I suppose it makes sense," Castiel finally looked up from the spot that he was staring at on the table.
"Would… would I hurt them? Would I hurt Dean?" Castiel said weakly, as if he were about to cry. The Doctor looked at the angel with an indescribable sadness.
"Probably. Yes," the Doctor answered. Dean looked between his brother and the Doctor.
"Could you guys…?" Dean trailed off as he nodded towards the door. Sam and the Doctor nodded before getting up and leaving the room. Dean turned his chair and Castiel's chair so that they were facing each other. Dean glared at Castiel as he fidgeted in his seat and he knew exactly what the other was thinking.
"Don't you even think of angel poofing out of here because I will eventually find you and I will beat your ass," Dean gazed sternly at Castiel until the angel finally nodded. " Good. Now come here," Dean opened his arms invitingly towards Castiel who nervously moved towards him. Castiel ended up on Dean's lap wrapping his good arm around Dean's neck as the other was getting more and more difficult to move and Dean's arms wrapped tightly around his waist. Castiel buried his face in Dean's shoulder and finally let the tears come, sobbing silently as Dean's hands rubbed soothingly along his back. Dean pulled back to see Castiel's tear stained face and cupped his cheek, Castiel leaning into the touch. Dean moved forward and gave Castiel a chaste kiss on his somewhat salty lips.
"It'll be okay," Dean whispered against Castiel's mouth, "we'll figure this out," Dean said, but it sounded as if he himself didn't believe the words.
A few days later and Castiel noticed that his body was turning to stone faster and faster. His other arm, his chest, and his right thigh had all turned to stone. What he found interesting was the fact that his hands hadn't changed and his arms were stone only until his wrist. He liked the fact that he could still hold Dean's hand tightly, it was just a little something that made him feel a bit better.
The Doctor had been staying in the base instead of inside the TARDIS, it wasn't as if the Winchester brothers were lacking in space. He and Sam had been researching since the first day, Sam in the Men of Letters' library and the Doctor in the TARDIS' library. They would research together, both bringing armfuls of books out of their respective libraries and into the dining room. They would compare notes to see if they found anything similar to each other, but so far they were both still drawing a blank.
Dean would just sit with Castiel, holding his hand tightly and running his fingers through Castiel's dark, messy hair. They would talk about little things, sometimes even the weather, but they always avoided the main issue as neither of the emotionally impaired men wanted to deal with that yet. They were both still clinging onto the little bit hope that was left. Hope that Sam or the Doctor would find something, anything to help Castiel.
A few days later and Castiel could no longer move his arms without experiencing an intense pain. His right leg was completely stone; including his foot, as was his torso and his other leg had started to change. Fortunately he could still move those parts. He vaguely wondered if his clothes would turn to stone as well or if new clothes would form, such as a toga or something of that like. He wondered what it felt like to Dean when he held him close. Was he cold? He couldn't feel Dean's warmth on his back anymore when he leaned against him. He couldn't touch Dean's face anymore which he knew that the hunter loved. He couldn't do much other than let the hunter hold him and hold Dean's hands.
Still nothing. Sam had slept for a few hours when his body couldn't take it anymore and he almost passed out, but he was up again about two hours later. The Doctor, being a Time Lord, didn't need as much sleep as a human and hadn't slept at all, but he was definitely starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. He wished so badly that he could be of more help, but other than the fact that Sam's friend and Dean's lover was turning into a weeping angel there wasn't anything else he knew. He was walking through uncharted territory without a compass. He knew that he shouldn't feel it was his fault, that was often his problem, but he couldn't help thinking that if only he had found more information on the weeping angels that maybe he would've been able to help.
Castiel was cold against Dean's chest. It was a strange sensation to not have any warmth coming off of a body. The only heat Dean got from Castiel came from his hands and his head which he leaned his forehead against. Dean looked into Castiel's beautiful blue eyes and though it was a terrible thing to think because it threw all of his hope out the window, he hoped that they would be the last to change.
It was happening; there was no doubt about that. Castiel had almost finished changing. His hands and head were the only things that weren't stone. Everything else was stiff and he couldn't move without it being painful. He just lay against Dean all the time, his head tucked under the hunter's chin, and his hands clasped around Dean's tightly. He knew it was going to end soon.
Sam and the Doctor had given up hope. Their research had amounted to nothing, not even a single clue as to what could help Castiel. The Doctor knew that Castiel didn't have much time left, maybe a day, probably more like a few hours, but there was nothing else he could do about it.
Dean still held Castiel's cold, hard, and unresponsive body to him. He breathed in the scent of Castiel's hair silently then spoke so quietly that it was barely audible to Castiel even though his ear was almost right by Dean's mouth.
"Where do you want to go?" he asked. Castiel didn't even have to think before he answered.
Dean carried Castiel out to his beloved Impala and laid him in the back seat. It broke his heart a little knowing that Castiel couldn't walk to the car himself. Sam and the Doctor came out shortly and Dean wordlessly tossed Sam the keys before getting into the back with Castiel and laying the angel's head on his lap carding his fingers through his hair. Sam got behind the wheel and the Doctor sat shotgun. The ride was silent as they made their way to the nearest beach. Castiel was smiling softly up at Dean as if trying to reassure him, but they both knew it didn't work.
Dean carried Castiel down to the water refusing any help that the other two offered. He put Castiel onto his feet and straightened him out even though Castiel screamed as he did so. He then grabbed onto one of Castiel's hands and moved his other hand to the side of the angel's face, rubbing his thumb against the angel's cheekbone. Dean moved in and kissed Castiel passionately, knowing full well that this may be the last kiss that they shared. The two other men had to look away for the moment was far too intimate for them to watch. Dean finally pulled back and gazed into Cas' brilliant cobalt blue eyes.
"I love you so Goddamn much, Cas," Cas smiled a little smile and wished that he could touch Dean's face, but settled for squeezing his hand instead.
"I love you too, Dean," Castiel felt tears rolling down his face before he realised he was crying. Dean's hand brushed away the tears as Castiel's own hands turned to stone. Dean felt it as the tight grasp on his hand went from warm to cold in a matter of seconds and he smiled a tearful smile.
"It's okay. You're gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay," Dean chanted, even though neither one of them believed any of those words. Dean wouldn't let his tears fall; he wouldn't let Cas see him cry. He had to stay strong for him to make it slightly better. The stone was travelling up Castiel's neck as he smiled at Dean as if nothing was wrong.
It was his blue eyes that changed last.
Dean stood for a moment, unfeeling, before it actually hit him. Castiel was gone. Tears were cascading down his cheeks as the Doctor yelled for them not to blink. As much as he tried Dean couldn't keep his eyes open. He was lost in grief, the angel's hand still wrapped around his and his thumb still caressing the angel's cold cheek, until he thought of something. The Doctor had said that angels could send people back in time. If he could go back he could see Cas again. If he was sent back far enough maybe he could spend his whole life with Castiel.
"Dean, whatever you're thinking of doing, I won't let you!" the Doctor yelled out over the sound of the crashing waves.
"Please! Please! I need to be with him!" Dean yelled back, his voice choked.
"He won't even be the same anymore. He won't even know you," the Doctor tried to reason.
"But I'll still know him. I'll know all about him, the best angel in the garrison," Dean chuckled, but the sound was devoid of humour.
"Dean! You can't just leave me here!" Sam called out. Dean turned away from Castiel to look at him seriously.
"I love you, Sammy. Don't you forget that, but right now… you're safe and as long as you keep out of trouble it'll stay that way, but Cas? Cas is stone. Please, Sam. Go and get a family, become a lawyer, do whatever you want just… be happy,"
"But—"Sam tried to argue and Dean's face changed to one of desperate pain.
"I need him, Sam… I need him. I won't be able to live without him," It was quiet for a moment, the Doctor and Sam still staring at Castiel. Dean suddenly grinned at Sam. "Take care of my baby, yeah?" Suddenly the keys in Sam's pocket felt about a thousand times heavier than they did three seconds ago, but Sam nodded anyway.
"Yeah, I'll do that," Sam tore his eyes away from Dean, but kept them on Castiel. He wanted desperately to go over and hug Dean, but he knew that he couldn't get too close. "Doctor…? Doctor?"
"Let him go. He'll be fine. I know it," the Doctor's entire body deflated.
"I can't lose someone like this again," the Doctor replied sounding like a broken, old man. He looked to be near tears. "He could enter into a time with a paradox and he'll be stuck there forever. I can't get the TARDIS into those times,"
"Let him go," Sam repeated. The Doctor took a few deep breaths as if to brace himself then nodded.
"B-but… I just… don't know how," he said softly then sighed in defeat, "On 3. 1… 2… 3…" the Doctor and Sam both looked away from the angel. Dean turned away from Castiel and quickly said a phrase with a smirk that finally made the Time Lord and the other hunter let their tears through,
"See you later."