curtkenobi: (cas glare)
[personal profile] curtkenobi
Title: Mosaic
Author: Curt Kenobi
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: T/PG-13
Genre:
Angst. H/little C? AU/AR – canon-change. Gen (Dean/Cas preslash?)
Word Count: 3704
Summary: He hadn't expected to ever see him again, not really. —He didn't expect the punch to the face.— …And…he didn't expect for him to crumple beneath the blow.
{follow-up to Fractured and Heavier Than Heaven.}

Disclaimer: Supernatural's all Kripke's fanboy dream…I'm just a fanboi of his. I make no money, don't sue – I'm really beyond poor.

A/N: Still with the stupid tense. Damn creative ideas. Not sure on this one either, but I'll probably come to terms with it. ...Dean's post-traumatic mutism is kicking in. But that's just the start of the dysfunction with these two. Ah, happy reunions…not. And yeah, Dean is wallowing a bit. But just like always, it'll be over soon when guilt/sense of duty kicks in.
A/N2: There maybe a second part to this, like a "Day Two" kinda thing.
Last thing: The whole E.A. Poe "you heard me rapping, right?"-line is from The Crow. (Because it is made of amazing.)

Previously:
Instalment I: Fractured
Instalment II: Heavier Than Heaven


-----m-y---b-o-d-y-'s---b-r-o-k-e-n;---y-o-u-r-s---i-s---b-e-n-t-----


Whatthefuckizzat.

Part of his mind finds the ability to be slightly amused that he's gotten to where even his thoughts are slurred. Let's hear it for dedication. His lips twitch – not a smile, or even a smirk. He doesn't think he could pull those off again to save his life. Who wants to smile in a world where your baby brother – the one you were supposed to keep safe, the one you were supposed to save, the one your mother died for – is in fuckin' Lucifer's cage in Hell.

…Way to ruin a small moment. He buries his face in the rough pillow.

Shit, he realises a moment later, raising his muzzy head. That fuckin' noise is still there. Buzz….Buzz. What the fuck is it? He should know…should—

Cell phone.

Jeez. He thought the damned thing had died. Should've thrown it out the window on the road. There'd been plenty of opportunities over the days…weeks. But he had promised Bobby he'd keep in touch. Only reason he still has it. …Who's freakin' calling, then – had called? Bobby would let Dean call first – he'd said he would.

Dean thinks of swiping at the irritating thing, hoping it will shatter apart as it impacts with the floor – maybe the wall and floor if he sweeps hard enough. Doesn't think luck would have it go his way, though. Winchester, his mind sardonically supplies in agreement: Winchesters don't get lucky.

With a groan, he flaps a hand blindly out and squints at the glowing screen. 1 MISSED CALL. Little envelope at the top, blinking away: new voicemail. Dammit. The damn thing will keep buzzing if he doesn't check the voicemail. He runs through the motions, mind already half-drifting back off, just waiting for whomever was fucked enough to call's voice to come on so he can "press seven to delete."

"Dean."

Fuck. Only one person in all fucking Creation says his name like that, all imperious and desperate at the same time, his single little name its own full statement. Cas. Damn, evidently Heaven's getting fucking awesome reception. What's he want? Waiting….

"Return this call."

Really, Cas? Really? You'd think the Heavenly Sheriff would have something more profound to say. "Return this call." Sorry, Castiel. I don't answer you anymore. You're a Dick again. (Capital letter and all.) And I'm done with you pawn-pushers in Heaven and Hell.

He hits seven and tosses the phone. If it's so important, the bastard will bamf or shimmer or teleport – whatever – in at the foot of his bed.

…And Dean will ignore his feathery ass some more. Dick.

»« »« »«

He makes it further than he was actually expecting. (Honestly, when the full pain of truly moving his wings hit him, his tactical mind had calculated not much of a distance from his starting point would be had.)

He skids and tumbles hard upon crumbling asphalt, skinning his palms and wearing and tearing the knees of the dress pants. His teeth click as his chin connects with the ground. Blood and a stinging pain burst in his mouth and he spits, jaw aching and chin tingling where its skinned raw. He spares a quick look round, finding himself in an abandoned lot, before his eyes are watering so much his vision is blurred. Castiel gives in for a moment, curling in on himself with a low, wounded noise. It's not really the pains of his flesh affecting him; those are irritants more so than anything. But his wings – they've always been a part of him, symbolise who and what he is. (Is, he tells himself, even as a humanised part of him chimes in smartly: Sort of is/rather was.) …Even as he was Falling, no matter how his Grace had faded because of his disconnect with the Host's plans, because of his doubt – he had never reached the point to where he lost his wings. Now though, as terrible a thought as it is, Castiel finds himself wondering if that would not be easier, to have them cleanly clipped or being completely rid of them.

Obsessing over the pain isn't going to ease it, this Castiel knows, and having his mind focused on a mission is a good replacement of thought process. No more flying. Get to Dean. Have a stable base from which to regroup and form a plan of action. Mainly regroup.

He gets to his feet, feeling for the familiar imprint. His lock on it is tremulous, his stunted Grace drained a fair amount from his ill-fated attempt at flight, but he clings. He's not sure of distance, only direction, and for him, that's enough. He'll simply follow. Things will happen as they will.

»« »« »«

It strikes him that he should probably get his shit together and piece how long he's been in this dive, amongst other things. He's not sure what was left on the card he used – can't come off the top of his head what name was even on it. He's got a feeling he's been here near on a week, give or take. …Long time to stay in one place without being on a hunt. Long time for him to stay indoors.

He stumbles out of bed, head pounding. Grinds the heel of a palm into his right eye. Shiiit. The last emptied bottle of Jack on the floor glints forlornly at him in the sliver of daylight stealing in through the curtains. Well damn. He doesn't know if he's more vexed by the fact his booze has run out, or by the fact he will have to deal with (fucking obliviously ungrateful) people to replenish it.

He pads to the bathroom to piss, shower and shave. Finds it ironic that luck will let him escape imbedding glass mirror shards in the soles of his bare feet, but won't spare him This.

The shower clears his head, even as it steams the room, like lifting up a lens filter. Like a fuckin' Claritin commercial. The colours don't necessary brighten rosily, all sunshine and new perspective, but reality – the full of it, not just his little bitch emo corner – certainly sharpens for him.

Out of no better thought of how to express it, Dean punches the shower wall, knuckles sliding. Fuck. This is not what Sammy wanted him to do. Sam hadn't wanted him to fucking sulk out, hadn't wanted him to fall into a way he knows how to deal. He wanted better for him. "Go live that apple pie life, Dean. Go find Lisa, hope to hell she's dumb enough to take you in." Have an honest-to-God family like you've always wanted, Dean.

(Since the only one you've ever had and needed is fucking nonexistent now.)

He's letting Sam down. Fuck. How's he gonna fail by his brother when the dude's not even around? Great job, Winchester; get your fucking shit together. Figure out where the fuck you are and then put the Impala in the direction of Cicero and don't stop until you get there.

He's going to stock up first; he'll just hold back on imbibing. He grudgingly starts packing his stuff, righting the place so it doesn't look like he's been doing exactly as he has been. Then he'll load up, hit the store, and then head out.

«»

So he ends up passing out to cope with his hangover and misses check out. What's another day? He decides to take his gear to the car – notices the liquor store is a hop, skip and a jump away and figures the walk'll do him good.

As Dean returns, brown bag tucked in the crook of his arm and a six-pack in his other hand, his senses prickle. Wouldn't that just be his luck: he starts to actively do good on his unspoken word to Sammy and ends up falling back into hunting. He puts the six-pack into the cooler in the trunk and the bag of bottles into the floorboard of the backseat – less temptation if they're all the way out here – and takes a surreptitious survey of the lot. Nothing overtly out of place. Noise in the overgrown meadow this place backs up to. A cat's eyes – or shit, was that a raccoon? – gleaming at him from atop the dumpster at the far end of the otherwise still and quiet parking lot. It's not suspiciously cold, and there's no telltale scent of sulfur. …He shrugs. It would be like him to (want to) stumble across something, wouldn't it? But he hasn't, he doesn't, and he's not. 'Cos he's done fucking enough and more for humanity and he's got a normal life he's got to try and fit his way into. He locks the Impala and heads to his room.

»« »« »«

While it's his angelic form's pain he feels most acutely, Castiel finds that his mundane form's aches build up to a comparable irritation. Especially since he's been walking non-stop for a day and a half. His feet hurt. His shoulders throb in sympathetic pain to his decommissioned wings.

But he can feel the tug of the classic Chevy as he traipses unevenly through the overgrown meadow. He feels the pull as warmly as he once felt the call of Heaven. He's so close – he can finally just rest – regroup. Sort out just what has gone on – gone wrong. For as much free time he has had since waking, his mind had decided it seemed, of its own volition, to not concentrate on those matters quite yet. Instead, it had thrummed numbly with overlapping throbs of pain and the faint whisperings of "angel radio" and the sounds around him; the rhythm and ache of every step, the currents of the air about him, muted signatures of people and creatures he had passed – and his single-minded purpose. The feel of every blink, each breath, his pulse. All of it had filled his mind with a cottony thoroughness, a white noise that had kept him from deeper contemplation of the grander points of his predicament.

He almost runs into the Impala. His mind had blanked except for "keep going" and his limited, human vision had fuzzed with it. The jut of solid, unmoving steel against him is a startling comfort, and while his goal-oriented mind rails at not following through immediately, he takes a moment to lean against the car as he's seen the Winchester brothers do countless times. Palms flat against the cool smooth roof, he drops his forehead down to it as well. Almost like praying, he abstracts, irrationally grateful for the sturdy comfort of this object beneath him, before him, holding up his shivering frame. There's also a stab of…something like disappointment or disapproval as he realises he is capable of being far more resilient than this crafted work of metal.

(Is… Should be.)

But he is not presently. The quaking in his knees underscores that fact quite clearly. Locking them and taking a resolute breath, Castiel pushes away from the Impala. Room thirteen is right across the way and a light shines behind the mostly drawn curtains like an invitation. Castiel approaches it.

»« »« »«

There's a knock at his door, as Dean's looking at the television but not seeing anything on the screen. Doesn't matter what noise it's making; he's got the sound turned off. The thought of people speaking and everyday sounds grates at him almost irrationally.

Hence why he's none too thrilled about the beckoning at the door.

It comes again: rap, rap, rap – a long pause, hesitation maybe, and then again in the same neat triplet. What the fuck?

" 'Suddenly I heard a tapping, as of someone gently rapping – rapping at my chamber door.' You heard me rapping, right?" Yeah, yeah, he hears them rapping all right, for whatever fucking reason.

Scowling, he caves and walks to the door. Really – who the hell is bothering him? The front desk? Fuck 'em. Rooms next door? Screw them, too. The tapping knock sounds again as he slides the bolt. He jerks open the door with a harsh tug.

His eyes widen at the person before him, then narrow. He hadn't expected to ever see him again, not really. But it is him – Dean isn't sure how, but he can just tell. He feels it.

Cas is taken aback a bit by the violence with which the door disappears from beneath his knuckles, the black look that overshadows the surprise in Dean's eyes as he takes him in. Maybe Dean believed he would actually have just forsaken him – returned to Heaven without a single backward glance? It is a fair assumption for him to glean, he supposes – though that wouldn't have been the case.

He doesn't expect the punch to the face. …In hindsight, as it rather goes along with Dean's current demeanour; he should've expected it. (Still, he didn't expect it to hurt so much; something new to add to the catalogue.)

And as he falls back on his ass, Dean's eyes widen again. He didn't expect for him to crumple beneath the blow. Absently, he flexes his hand; it doesn't feel broken from the impact with Cas' jaw. …Something's off. Something is off, and he should feel concerned about it, but instead all he can feel is a frustrated, furious rage welling, and he hauls Cas up by the lapels of his stupid trench coat and drags him inside the room. He slams the door shut by throwing Cas up against it.

The blue eyes Cas gained from Jimmy are cerulean-rich and wide, but still unfathomable, unreadable. There are so many words and emotions that want to erupt forth from Dean – he wants to tear the dude a new one, read off all his fucking gripes and grievances and just the fucking pain of his own righteous indignation. But they won't force past his throat, form in his dry mouth. So he just pins Cas and glares.

Castiel reads volumes in the glower, layers of emotions that threaten to suffocate him as they must be Dean even if he doesn't have the words that express them, the reasons for them. He can categorise most of what he reads within them, but not the why. He opts to just swallow and work his sore jaw, meeting Dean's roiling green gaze.

"Hello, Dean. …I called." His words meet unbroken, mute simmering hostility; a brief pursing of lips indicates yes, Dean knows Castiel called — is unimpressed. Dean inclines his head, his brows furrowing in an accusatory way.

"I am in need of what I believe you refer to as 'a place to lay low,'" Cas says, words careful. The expression stays, and he elaborates: "All did not go quite as cooperatively as I would have hoped in Heaven. Raphael was...still most displeased with me."

A derisive snort escapes Dean, and Castiel favours his own look of irritation. "Obviously, you share the sentiment," Cas smarts, not in the least surprised by the quirked eyebrow of oh, really: y'think? upon Dean's face in response.

"You will let me go," adds Cas after a long moment passes with nothing but the palpable tenseness between them. He's worn down, and more than a little putout with this welcome and the wall unyielding at his sore back. His hands curl about Dean's wrists, ready to force him away if necessary, but at the contact, the hunter releases him as if burned.

Dean snaps back at the touch. For a moment he'd zoned, half-convinced himself he was hallucinating. But this is real. It's really Castiel, Angel of the deadbeat Lord, dishevelled and uncharacteristically easily pinned, before him. And Dean wants nothing more than to ring his fucking neck – and currently totally could – but an absurdly rational part of him is telling him now's not the time.

He really, really is considering ignoring it. This is the fucker that erased everything about Stull, who fucking just up and left. If there's an outlet for Dean Winchester's frustration about That, other than his godforsaken self, it's this angel. …But he stays back, body vibrating tension and hands itching.

Cas is a little stung at the – that's disgust and rage in Dean's stance. He bites down on his curiosity, though, not sure he wants to deal with the obstinate explanation Dean's sure to toss out if asked. Honestly, Cas simply wants to rest. After he's done that, he can have a head-to-head with Dean and his stubbornness. "May I stay?" he asks again – though where he will go if the answer is no, Cas hasn't a clue.

Dean regards him, eyes narrowed like he's warily conceding to accommodating an enemy. Where else is the dude gonna go then, though? He looks like shit – he probably walked for who knows how long; he can't drive, probably hasn't even thought of money, and has the social graces of a cat (somewhat endearing but in the long run off-putting). Why he didn't just fly is beyond Dean, though logic tells him that Raphael's "displeasure" probably figures into that.

Dean grimaces and shrugs. He grabs a change of clothes from his duffel at the foot of the bed and throws them at Cas. The angel catches them (with a pull of pain across his face, Dean notes, probably his back – his wings?) and stares at them dumbly. Dean thumbs back at the bathroom behind him, and comprehension, with no little awkwardness, dawns. Dean gives him a sardonic expression and nod. Yeah, go take a shower; you reek, man. As Cas goes, Dean drops down onto the bed, and drops his head into his hands.

There aren't enough mirrors in the world to break, and fuck, but he needs to break something. He doesn't know what else to do. He doesn't want to stomach being around people long enough to rile up some fight at a bar. He's got a mental stop on hitting Cas anymore. …Cas. Fucking Cas the Angel, back and broken and helpless, fuck's sake. And him – fucking broken beyond even shamming together. What the fuck. He doesn't wanna fucking deal with this.

He gets up, striding, and his fist leaves a hole in the wall beside the doorframe. Shit. His next few blows connect solidly with the frame instead, until his knuckles are scraped and bloodied, and he drops his head against the cool metal frame.

What the fuck am I doing?

»« »« »«

C stands for cold; H for hot. That's elementary. Figuring out the handle is a little more challenging, as is finding a median between the H and the C that actually equals water that is not freezing, and more than tepid as well – but not scalding, either.

Angels don't have to worry about such things.

When he had first entered the bathroom, Cas had remembered that quite clearly. He was able to will his appearance and form to heal and mend at will. So, he had stepped round the glass in the floor, placed the clothes upon the closed toilet lid, and done so.

It hadn't worked.

Juvenilely, he'd willed a bit harder. All that accomplished was making his head swim. Humans were so tactile, so emotional. It was verging on overwhelming, he was quickly deciding. This was something he had not liked during his stint on skirting being human himself.

So it's rather against his wishes he finds himself under the weak spray of water. It's surprisingly soothing, even as his thoughts are not. What is he without his angelic powers? Because basically what he is right now is merely a human with some "abilities," and one quite likely soon to be hunted for sport. He can hold his own, he knows, can adapt if he has to, but it would be nice to have familiarity…solidarity.

Will Dean allow him to travel along with him? Will they go to Bobby Singer and see if he knows of anything? …What will Castiel do himself?

He thinks in circles of uncertainties with no answers until the water runs cold, and no twisting of the handle will warm it.

»« »« »«

Dean finds himself wandering out on autopilot to the Impala. He stops and looks down at the keys in his hands, wondering exactly what it is he intends to do. Part of him is tempted to slide behind the wheel, but he knows if he did, he wouldn’t put the keys in the ignition. It was Cas; he couldn't just leave the guy, no matter how pissed he was at him, not when he was like this. Weakened. Broken.

What a fucking pair. The emotionally-incapacitated wandering and bereft dude leading the humanity-challenged and injured not-so-"angeled-up" angel. Great.

He could get in, start her up and just go. Fucking simple, for real. He's pissed with Cas anyways. Whether he's angeled-up or not. …But he won't go. Maybe it's from when Cas had kicked his ass back in that alley (because if Dean wants to admit it, this has been there before even that), but it seems, on a level he doesn't want to contemplate, that he's started to make leaving Cas behind a non-option.

It's almost like he was with Sam…and completely different at the same.

…Yeah. He's done on those thoughts. He'll just accept that he's not going to run out on the guy. Besides, Cas obviously is in a bind and damned if Dean Winchester's default setting isn't "help others." He puts his hands on the roof of the car and drops his head. Fucking damn it.

He pushes off the car – giving her a conciliatory pat of appreciation – and opens the back door. He grabs out the first aid kit from behind the driver's seat that Sam had always kept meticulously stocked when he could, and a bottle of one of his earlier purchases.

That should be a good start, he thinks, shutting the heavy metal. Shower for Cas; alcohol for Dean – just enough so he can sleep tonight, without thought, so he can wake up and figure out just what the fuck come morning. Hell, he'll even share. He knows Cas needs it, too.

With a sigh, he heads back to his motel room and the complications he can't escape follow and wait.


(The lyric in the page break is from "Every You, Every Me" by Placebo.)

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