Disclaimer: I don’t own Supernatural. I don’t own a lot of things, though. Title is loosely based off of a lyric from Les Mis. I regret nothing, really.
Pairing: Destiel if you squint
Warning: feels, bad writing, language, spoilers up through season 8.
Note: Sacrifice hurts. And instead of blaming Karen for once, I write this for her without complaint.
Summary: “When angels’ tears do flood the early, the gates of Hell shall see rebirth. When the demise of angels doth impend, the human boy shall meet his end.” Alexandra Adornetto
Dean looks up into the rearview mirror as he keeps driving down some country side street. Sam is lying across the backseats as best he can, his knees bent so he can fit. He’s wincing and whimpering in pain occasionally, but to be perfectly honest, that’s Dean wants to hear right now. The minute Sam goes silent is the minute that Dean will start to panic.
“Stay with me, Sammy,” Dean says, risking a look over his shoulder into the backseat. “We’ll get to a hospital soon.”
“And tell them what exactly, Dean?” Sam bites out, choking back a sob. He’s got clean tear streaks from his eyes down his temples. He turns his head to look at the back of his brother’s head, “That I got thrown through a window by a demon and then have been taking syringes of blood out of my arm to cleanse a demon – actually, the King of Hell – and now I’m suffering God’s wrath for not finishing the Trials? Yeah, they’ll lock both of us up.”
Well, shit. He has a point. Dean looks up into the rearview one more time before he looks back at the road. “Well, sit tight anyways,” he mutters to himself, settling in for a decent amount of driving that night. The sky is still streaked with falling stars – ha, really, let’s be real – only now they aren’t falling all at once. Every now and then one random one will fall, but it’s not at all like it was earlier.
His mind is running a million miles a minute: did Cas fall too? Where was he? Is he okay? What about Sam? Would Sam be okay? God. What if he couldn’t fix this?
His thoughts are interrupted by his headlights hitting a familiar looking trench coat within the trees as they hit a turn. Dean slams on the breaks, gaining a yelp from Sam. Dean throws the car into park in the middle of the street – no one’s coming – and gets out of the car.
“Castiel,” Dean says, marching right up to him. The angel turns around and Dean slows and starts to approach as if he were a spooked animal. Castiel looks as if he’s been crying. He sniffles as Dean approaches.
“My brothers and sisters – they’re falling,” Cas says in disbelief.
“Are they dead?” Dean asks.
“I don’t know.” Cas turns back to look at the sky to see three angels streak across the sky. “So much pain…”
Dean looks up to watch two more fall. “Cas, what happened up there?”
“Naomi was right. Now I have to live with the consequences of my actions.”
A silence falls over them, Cas sniffling still and Dean shuffling awkwardly from foot to foot. Finally, the hunter sighs.
“Well, I hate to cut the Pity Party short, but Sammy, he – he’s in trouble. He doesn’t want me to take him to a hospital and he’s – “ Dean doesn’t finish what he’s about to say. “Cas, I need your help.”
“I don’t know if I can be much help to you,” Castiel says tearing his eyes away from the sky once more. “But I will try.” Dean nods, relieved.
“Good. Get in.”
They drive to the Men of Letters bunker and Dean somehow miraculously shoulders Sam’s weight and gets him inside and to his bed. Castiel follows behind, not exactly looking forward, but looking down. Once Sam is settled on the bed, Cas steps forward and places a hand on Sam’s forehead.
The tension in Sam’s face relaxes and his body goes limp. A light snore comes seconds later. Castiel steps back and turns to Dean. “You’ll want to see to his physical wounds. I’ve done all I can for now.” He then walks out of the room, not looking back. Dean rushes forward to his brother’s side to check on him. He’s still bruised up in some places and cut in others. The bite mark from Crowley is still on his arm, but it doesn’t look entirely fresh. Kevin walks in with the first aid kit and Dean stands up and heads towards the door, stopping in front of the teenager.
“Just. Make sure he’s not bleeding out.”
“Can do,” Kevin says quietly as he walks over towards Sam, opening the box and getting to work.
Dean walks through the bunker to find Cas not around. Thinking the worst, he rushes outside to find him standing out next to the Impala, looking up at the sky.
“Hey, Cas, when I ask you to do me a favour, I don’t mean half-ass it.” Cas turns, confused.
“But I didn’t half-ass it, Dean.”
“Sam needs to be fully healed – “
“I can’t fully heal him, Dean.”
“Why the hell not?”
“He didn’t complete the Trials – that calls for a little bit of pain. Also, I – “ Cas looks like he’s about to cry again. “My power is very limited and that small amount I used to stabilise Sam is all I have right now.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that the power I just used was merely an echo. My vessel held onto some of it, but not enough to make a full recovery. I’m sorry, Dean.”
The look on his face and the waver in his voice calms Dean’s anger. “Hey, Cas, it’s okay,” he says awkwardly. This is border lining a feelings talk and Dean is really bad at those. “Cas, what happened up there?” he asks again. “Did you fall too?”
“No,” Cas says. “They brought me to that place where you found me and left me there so I could watch as my brothers and sisters fell. To teach me a lesson.”
“Dicks,” Dean mutters.
“I can hear them screaming as they fall,” Cas goes on. “I’ve felt sorrow before, but not like this. It’s as if my chest is going to implode.”
“Cas,” Dean begins slowly, “Stupid question, but is everything alright? I feel like you’re being more vague than usual.” Castiel doesn’t answer, just looks back up at the sky. “Cas, are the angels that are falling – are they going to become human?”
“I don’t know. It depends on how they land and if their Grace is still intact after.” Dean’s eyes widen.
“Cas, are you human?” Castiel looks at Dean and nods. “What did those dicks do to you?”
“Metatron cut out my Grace in order to finish what he and I started. Naomi was right – we weren’t closing the gates of Heaven, we were expelling every angel from it.” Dean merely gapes at Cas in horror. “Metatron betrayed me – he betrayed us all. And it’s all my fault.” There’s a lump rising in Castiel’s throat. He swallows around it awkwardly. He feels like he’s going to cry again. “Does this feeling of humiliation and anger and sadness ever go away when you’ve let someone down, Dean?”
Dean says nothing, just steps forward and pulls Castiel into a hug. Cas stands awkwardly in Dean’s arms, his arms by his side as his throat aches and his eyes burn. When Dean pulls away, he’s misty eyed but his expression is hard, determined. Castiel has seen this look on Dean’s face before, directed at him a few times, but usually it is one saved for conversations with Sam that Castiel has witnessed, but not interacted in.
“You listen to me,” Dean says in a shaky voice, “I don’t care what Naomi said or what that Megatron-dick said to you, this is not your fault, you hear me?” When Castiel’s silence basically screams I don’t believe you, Dean narrows his brows further and looks downright angry. “Dammit, Cas, I know you’re naïve as a freaking toddler sometimes, but you have to know that this wasn’t on you, this was on all of them. They played you, Cas! They knew you’d believe that they were doing good and they took advantage of that. That doesn’t mean that this is your fault!”
“But I did nothing to stop them, Dean. I knew that Naomi was corrupt and I still did what she said – I brutally hurt you because – “
“Cas,” Dean is practically in the other’s face, “If there’s one thing I have learned in this hellhole that we live in, it that having something that you care about to the point of it being used against you is not a liability. We’re family, man. We look out for one another. And if that means that some dickhead angel or some asshole demon decides to try and use family against one of us, so be it. When those days come for me, and they have a lot, they just better hope to whatever they find holy that they’d better not take any of my family and hope to come out alive. I’ve already lost enough of it. I don’t need to lose any more. I can promise you, Cas, we’ll get this son of a bitch. We’ll get him and we’ll make sure he knows not to mess with us.”
“Revenge isn’t exactly a good form of attack, Dean,” Castiel warns.
“You got any other ideas? ‘Cause from where I’m standing, revenge has gone over pretty damn well for me.” It’s a lie, they both know it. They look at each other for another moment, Castiel looking hesitant and Dean arching his brows almost as if he’s trying to convince Castiel to agree with just a look. Finally, Castiel sighs, defeated.
“What’s the point, Dean?” Castiel asks after a minute. He looks up at the sky, searching. “I can never go home again.”
Dean reaches over and claps Cas on the shoulder. “Home is where your family is,” he says simply with a small smile. He then turns back to the bunker and starts heading for the stairs to go check on Sam. Castiel stays out in the gravel drive, looking up, watching with sorrowful eyes, still upset, but not as much as before.
Things aren’t going to be okay. Not now, not tomorrow, not in two weeks.
But at some point, Castiel thinks, the skies will clear.