~*~ Holly ~*~

♥ Oh, do you know you have the face of a genius? :) ♥


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Spn Fanfiction - DCBB2012 - Borrowed (Dean/Cas) [Chapter 1]
Bill Nails
hollybennett123

(((Masterpost-Prologue-1-2-3-4-5-Epilogue)))



Chapter 1

In a motel room in northern Colorado, the former angel Castiel drifts steadily from slumber and awakens warm and rested in his bed. Sleep was something he had little experience of before he Fell for this final time, but it is something he has come to enjoy. It is early May and the morning is warm and bright; after months of winter and waking to a dark, unhappy chill, he has enjoyed these past weeks of spring light and sunshine, the room temperate and comfortable even when nude.

He stretches languorously, his leg brushing against Dean’s where he sleeps beside him; the other man stirs but does not wake. Castiel looks at him, fond, and carefully extracts himself from the bedcovers so as not to disturb the relaxed sprawl of Dean’s body and his deep, even breaths.

As Castiel heads towards the bathroom to relieve himself and wash he can hear faint footsteps across the bare wooden floor beyond the wall that separates this room and the next, soft thumps as drawers are closed and belongings rummaged through. Sam is awake, then, and Castiel realizes with some disappointment that he will have to wake Dean soon if they are to make an early start. Dean wanted them to be on the road by eight a.m. at the latest, and it is already after seven.

Leaning into the shower cubicle, he turns the cold metal handle to start up the water, testing the feel of it with his fingers for a minute before it warms to an agreeable temperature. He steps beneath the spray, sighing quietly under the pleasant beat of the water against his shoulders; this is one of the better motels they have stayed in, and he is grateful. He squirts some of the cheap apple-scented motel shampoo into his palm and uses it to lather his hair and body, closing his eyes and letting the water sluice refreshingly over his upturned face.

Three years, now, he has been human, and he still cannot comprehend how much this body can feel. The pleasant curl of arousal he feels is welcome and not unexpected; already half hard from when he first awoke, his cock swells further as he soaps himself, fingers lingering over the groove where thigh meets body. Wrapping a wet palm around himself, he gives several slow, languid strokes from base to tip, breath hitching slightly as he thumbs over the sensitive head. He should hurry up, he knows this, but the blissful slow burn of pleasure is too much of a temptation.

Castiel is so lost in it that he doesn’t hear Dean enter the bathroom until he speaks, rubbing the heel of one hand against drowsy eyes and with his hair mussed from the heap of pillows.

“Starting without me? Not fair, man,” Dean jokes, voice even coarser than usual with sleep. Castiel stops stroking himself, hands instead smoothing the water’s spray from his body.

“You were asleep,” he responds with a placid smile, stepping back to allow room for Dean to climb into the stall with him. Castiel’s heart pounds faster, every time.

“Not an excuse, Cas,” Dean breathes into his skin, fingers stroking over Castiel’s ribs with intent. Castiel inhales steam and Dean, heady and dizzying, and slowly and quietly they bring each other to completion with hands and mouths. This is the best way to start a new day, and to Castiel it means the world.

“Good morning, Dean,” Castiel greets him belatedly, sated and content as the water swirls white around their feet; he always says good morning, no matter what. Angels have no need to greet each other in such a way, but humans do and he is one of them now. He takes comfort in ritual and routine.

“Pretty good, yeah,” Dean laughs as he starts to quickly wash himself clean.

Once showered, they finish getting ready in comfortable silence. Castiel is almost certain that the t-shirt he pulls on actually belongs to Dean, but he makes no comment as he passes by and he decides that this one will be his from now on; the dark cotton is soft, well-worn, and it is oddly reassuring to dress in something that Dean has worn countless times before.

“Hey Sam,” Dean yells through the closed door that leads to Sam’s room, hammering a fist against it three times in succession. “You ready?”

The door creaks open and Sam appears, hoisting his duffel bag over one shoulder and brushing unruly hair from his eyes with his other hand.

“Good morning, Sam,” Castiel says, and Sam responds in kind before turning to his brother.

“You don’t need to shout so freaking loud, Dean. I’ve been ready ages,” Sam says with a grin and a raised eyebrow, stepping into the room to join them. “Not all as slow as you, Mr. Hasn’t-had-time-to-dry-his-hair-yet.”

“Yeah, yeah, quit your whining,” Dean replies, not-so-accidentally elbowing him in the ribs as they leave to walk to the car. “You’re in a good mood; you finally learn how to download free porn onto your laptop or something Sammy? Attaboy.”

Castiel watches their back and forth banter with affection. The truth is that they are all in a good mood, and have been for a while now. Past losses will always ache deep down, and there are memories that will never cease to be painful, but the present is hopeful and they are all of them grateful for the simplicity of life at the moment. They hunt, and sometimes they are tired, or injured, but mostly they move from town to town at a steady pace, taking care of straightforward hauntings and creatures the Winchesters have dealt with a hundred times before. The worst is over for the foreseeable future and their relief cannot be measured.

The walk is only a short one and as they round a corner the Impala comes into view, the sunlight glinting off her polished frame.

“Cas calls shotgun,” Dean smirks as he unlocks the doors.

“Dean, you can’t call shotgun for someone else,” Sam complains with exaggerated annoyance.  “I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules.”

Castiel waits while they finish arguing back and forth. He always finds them amusing to watch; humans have such fascinating relationships, he thinks, interacting in so many different ways.

“Oh, you wanna get your rule book, Sammy? My car, my choice,” Dean grins as he climbs into the driver’s seat. Sam just shakes his head and rolls his eyes with a smile before gesturing for Castiel to sit beside Dean.

“No, Sam, that seat is yours,” Castiel tells him, climbing into the rear of the car. “I would prefer the backseat anyway.”

Yeah you prefer the backseat,” Dean mutters under his breath with a lewd smile, and Sam smacks him upside the head. Castiel catches Dean’s eye in the rear-view mirror and Dean winks at him, to which Castiel gives him his best exasperated look and Dean laughs, infectious and bright.

As they pull away from the sidewalk, Castiel relaxes into the seat and watches the buildings pass them by in a blur, dusty grays and chalky whites. He really does prefer to travel in the back where it is more spacious, the enclosed cocoon of the car still somewhat claustrophobic to someone with memories of flying in open, cloudless blue skies. Back here he can stretch out and watch the landscape pass by with a good view out of any of the car’s windows; it is his own way of exploring the world, still so new through a human’s eyes.

Besides, it’s true that there are memories of the backseat and of Dean that make him smile, secret and hidden.

The bricks and concrete of the city soon give way to vibrant greens and yellows, fields flashing past in a continuous smudge of vivacious color. The trees are still blossoming following the onset of spring and the tiny petals are picked up by the breeze, swirling like snowflakes and dancing across the tarmac under their wheels.

After a few minutes have passed, Sam attempts to start a conversation about his research and the case they’re working on, but Dean stops him with a raised hand.

“Nuh-uh, no talking about hunting right now. We’ve got more important things to deal with first,” he says, suddenly serious.

“Like what?” Sam replies, frowning. Dean glances in the side mirror and turns smoothly into the car park of a roadside café.

“Dude,” Dean says, switching off the ignition and raising his eyebrows incredulously. “Breakfast?

~*~


“The fuck,” Dean says loudly around a mouthful of half-chewed pancake, fork flailing alarmingly close to Sam’s chin. A young woman attempting to spoon-feed a small child nearby shoots him an angry glare, but he smiles apologetically and she blushes and ducks her head under the force of his easy charm. “But seriously,” Dean continues, quieter this time. “Who the hell even has the mojo to rip someone’s soul right out of them?”

“That’s the thing,” Sam says thoughtfully. “Not a lot, from what I’ve found. Other than angels, I’ve not really got much.”

“And you’re certain it was their souls that were taken? In all seven cases?” Castiel asks him.

Sam confirms and explains further, and it all seems to lead to the same conclusion: someone, or something, is attacking human adults and extracting their souls from their bodies. All seven victims underwent a dramatic change in personality overnight, and where they’d been warm and friendly beforehand, they inexplicably became cold-hearted and apathetic.

Lacking the capacity for embarrassment or fear of repercussion did at least have one benefit: all seven victims were willing to talk quite candidly about their experiences to the local newspapers. Each and every one of them claimed to have been approached by a tall, slender man, who reached into their stomach and stole a part of them.

Members of the local medical community were of course quite perplexed.

“You think we’ve got a rogue angel on our hands?” Dean asks, aiming the question at Castiel.

Castiel pushes little heaps of scrambled egg around his plate with his fork, silent as he considers it. They have heard very little concerning any angel activity at all for over two years now; as far as he can tell, those who weren’t killed during the war either chose free will and walk among humans now, or obstinately carry out the same duties they always have done in Heaven on an endless loop while awaiting further orders from their long-absent Father. The affairs of Heaven and Earth rarely collide these days.

“I think it’s possible,” he eventually answers. “I doubt it’s anyone from my garrison, though.” His garrison; old habits, they say, die hard. “What I mean is that I doubt it’ll be an angel of the order I once was. They wouldn’t be able to escape Heaven’s watch for long and yet whoever has been taking these souls seems to have been doing so for several weeks now if the reports are correct.”

“So… a different kind of angel?” Sam asks him. “Like a lower ranking or something?”

“Yes, I believe so.”

“Great,” Dean mutters, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Angels and souls; had kinda hoped we were done with all that shit.”

It’s a throwaway comment, not meant to offend, but it stirs an old ache pushed deep. “So were we all, Dean,” Castiel enunciates, firm. Now is not the time to dwell in the past.

“So, angel blade?” Sam cuts in.

Castiel nods. “But with only one between three of us, we’ll have to be cautious.” As hunts go, this will be by far the most challenging they’ve had in a long while, even if it does pale in comparison to some of those faced in the past.

The conversation drifts elsewhere as they finish eating, and if Dean notices when Castiel sneaks a forkful of syrup-drenched pancake from his plate he certainly doesn’t mention it.

~*~


They arrive in the aptly-named Greenside shortly after two in the afternoon, the journey uneventful. Despite the welcome sign proudly proclaiming a population of over five thousand residents, it is eerily quiet with very little sign of life as they pass through.

They follow the main road through the centre to stop at a tiny six-room guesthouse on the other side of town, and the gray-haired woman at reception looks positively overjoyed when they enter.

“Not too many folks staying round these parts these days,” she says with a weary smile. “Sure you’ve read all about it. These rooms are safe as houses, though, so don’t you boys worry about a thing.”

Sam thanks her warmly and takes their key, and they follow a winding staircase up to their shared room; it is old fashioned and threadbare with probably excessive amounts of pink floral patterns, but surprisingly inviting. Castiel has come to learn that as long as a room is warm and mostly clean, anything else is a bonus.

Dean eyes the rose-patterned wallpaper dubiously before disappearing for ten minutes, returning with sandwiches in white paper bags which they tuck into as they congregate around the room’s wobbling wooden table to come up with a plan of action. Sam spreads a map out before them and points out Greenside somewhere near the centre.

“So, like I said last week, five of the cases happened here,” he explains. “First three back to back, then a couple in nearby towns a few miles away.” He traces an imaginary line across the paper to illustrate. “Couple more happened here in Greenside in the last two weeks, so I’m guessing whoever’s doing this has got to be nearby. They don’t seem to want to move on for whatever reason.”

Castiel frowns, thinking. “I believe it’s likely that they can’t move on. An angel, especially if it’s one of a low ranking, would find it a great effort to transport so many souls from place to place without drawing unwanted attention from other angels or demons.”

“I probably don’t want to know the answer to this,” Dean says, rocking back on the legs of his chair. “But… who in the hell do we think they’re selling the souls to?”

“I don’t think they’re using them to barter for anything; it’d be too much of a risk,” Castiel replies. “I can’t say for sure but I imagine that they’ll simply accumulate them, drain them of energy then toss them aside. Unfortunately we won’t be able to return them to the bodies of the victims, but once freed they’ll be collected by a reaper and hopefully their suffering will be over.”

Dean curses under his breath, shaking his head. “Then we’d better hurry up and gank the sick son of a bitch before anyone else gets soul-slammed.”

“Except,” Sam points out, “we can’t summon an angel if we don’t know their name. We’re gonna have to scope out the town tonight and Cas can tell us where they are. Not ideal, but I think we’re fresh out of other options.”

As much as Castiel is dreading potentially having to kill one of his brothers or sisters, a small part of him is quietly pleased that he will be a useful addition to this particular hunt; although he’s quick with a shotgun now, fitter and stronger and an all-round good fighter, he knows deep down that on the majority of hunts Sam and Dean could cope perfectly well by themselves. It isn’t that he feels like he is a burden, and he is well aware that his knowledge and memory are unequalled by any other and he is therefore invaluable to them during their research, but in the heat of combat he often feels like an unnecessary addition to what was already a perfect partnership.

Here, at least, he has a skill that they do not. He might no longer be an angel, but he has at least retained the capability to sense when they are nearby; his abilities are probably less celestial and more akin to that of a human psychic nowadays, but it is better than nothing and he is glad.

Angels, man,” Dean grumbles.

Castiel, somewhat an expert on the subject, is inclined to agree with him.

~*~


The first night proves unproductive. They spend over six hours from late evening to the early morning investigating the surrounding area both by car and on foot, but Castiel senses no angelic presence and they do not encounter any disturbances or unusual activity. Eventually, weary and frustrated, they decide to give up and return to the guesthouse to get a few hours of sleep.

The next day is mostly spent in the area around Greenside, discussing the recent happenings with local citizens and trying to coax any further information out of them. The three of them trail from library to café to grocery store, but most people they converse with either seem to either know very little or are unwilling to talk, nervous at the prospect of strangers due to the town’s current tense state.

It isn’t until almost midnight, covertly surveying the town once again, that Castiel feels something. The thrum of energy is familiar in its nature but not in its design; an angel, unquestionably, but not one he has ever met. It is something of a relief, if he is honest with himself, as he has no desire to see someone he once considered a faithful brother now turned callous and malevolent. A stranger, he hopes, will be less painful to face.

To slay.

He is armed but alone, the Winchesters having left him to search this part of town while they each took to another location in order to cover as much ground as possible. He cannot work out exactly where the angel is, but he can tell from the strength of the feeling that they are very close. He is suddenly immensely glad that his ribs are now branded to hide him from Heaven; it is only a matter of time, though, before they see him.

Castiel hides in the shadows, back against cold brick, and quickly dials Dean’s number. Dean picks up after only one ring and Castiel tells him his location in hushed tones, adding that he should call Sam on the way over. Dean tells him decisively to wait where he is before ending the call, but Castiel isn’t sure how long he can linger here before his presence becomes known.

He only has to wait alone for around a minute before help arrives; it’s actually Sam who gets there first, making him jump when he suddenly appears.

“Cas, you okay?” Sam breathes, joining him where he’s hidden by darkness. “What’s going on?”

“He’s nearby,” Castiel murmurs. “I can sense him; I’m not sure where, maybe in the building behind us.”

“We’ll wait for Dean,” Sam whispers, looking back and forth around them for signs of movement. Unfortunately at that moment they hear a spine-chilling scream from inside the building and they freeze in unison, eyes wide.

Crap,” Sam mutters. “Change of plan, come on.”

They run to a narrow side door further down the alleyway and Sam uses the handle of his knife to smash the padlock open with practiced ease. Castiel is glad to be carrying both a gun and the angel blade, both a reassuring weight where they are tucked close to his body.

Shouldering the door open, they enter the gloomy building and find themselves in a large, empty hall. There are white lines painted on the smooth floor and Castiel realizes that this is some sort of gymnasium or sports center where people come to exercise. At the far end of the room he can distinguish three figures, and at Castiel and Sam’s entrance the tallest of them turns, distracted. The cornered teenagers probably work here, Castiel would guess from their matching uniforms; they had most likely thought themselves safer after closing hours by working as a partnership, but instead only made themselves a more tempting target.

“Really?” the angel laughs, and his voice sounds too big for his slim frame. The pale man he is wearing must be in his seventies or older, with a kind, gentle face and soft hands, but his form is twisted and made ugly by the being inside of him that brims over the edges. “A Winchester and Heaven’s least favorite rebel; you honestly think you’re any match for me?”

There was a time when Castiel would have known his brother’s name simply by looking at him, regardless of whether or not they were previously acquainted. Now he senses an angel and sees a man, and yet knows nothing of either.

“It’s Janiel,” the angel sneers, looking amusedly at Castiel. “Powers not what they used to be, brother?” He shakes his head and turns back to the terrified teenagers who are cowering against the wall, placing fingers against their foreheads and forcing them to drop to the ground in a dead faint. “That’s better,” he grins crookedly, wiping his hands on his shirt and striding towards the centre of the room before coming to a halt and waiting for Castiel’s next move.

Sam and Castiel approach Janiel slowly, Sam’s path arcing away from Castiel’s; with one of them at either side, he is less likely to be able to take them both out at once.

“Why are you doing this, brother?” Castiel says softly. “These souls aren’t yours to take.”

“So a handful of humans get their souls reaped a few years early- is it really of great importance?” Janiel scoffs.

“You must know that this is wrong,” Castiel implores him. “They have as much right to a full life as you do.”

“They are insignificant filth-dwellers, Castiel, and you are blinded to it,” he says, shaking his head. “The more power I can gather, the better I will be able to serve our Father when He returns.”

At that moment, Castiel feels a droplet of wetness on the back of his neck, almost as if the roof is leaking. It hasn’t rained in days. He rubs at it surreptitiously, slick against his fingertips and realization dawns; thankfully Janiel appears not to have noticed, their conversation and his own arrogance preventing him from paying attention. Castiel must keep him stalled.

“You cannot believe that that is what He would want from you, Janiel.”

“Such hypocrisy, Castiel,” Janiel laughs, throwing his head back. “Do you really wish to discuss what our Father would want when you yourself are a blasphemous abomination who chose his own will over Heaven’s?”

“I never intended to hurt anyone,” Castiel replies. “That is the difference between us, brother.”

Castiel catches Sam’s eye for a brief moment and the other man nods almost imperceptibly; he knows, then, what is about to happen. Sam’s eyes flick upwards to the ceiling and then back to the angel in front of them, and both he and Castiel step closer, ensuring that Janiel remains stationary and doesn’t attempt to advance upon them.

“As interesting as this is, Castiel, can we get to the part where you endeavor to attack me and I break every bone in your pathetic bodies?” he sneers.

“I’m afraid we have no choice but to kill you,” Castiel tells him, and Janiel barks out a laugh.

“Were you always this stupid, Castiel, or is it a new human thing you’re trying out? I can fly away at any time, you ignorant fool.”

Hey douchebag,” Dean yells suddenly, voice echoing around the hall. “Don’t count on it.”

Janiel’s face transforms in an instant from humor to fury, turning to look upwards to where Dean is laid across the exposed metal roof joists. Dean hurls his lighter down and he space around them erupts into flame, not quite the usual circle but a waving squiggle that contains the angel nevertheless.

With Janiel finally trapped with them, they can at last go in for the kill; unfortunately, of course, it does nothing to help the fact that his power easily outstrips the three of them combined. Sam is defenseless without any weapon that will kill an angel, and Dean has vanished from above them.

With no time left to consider their next move Castiel draws out the blade and throws himself forward with every bit of his weight behind it, crying out as Janiel reacts faster than expected, seizing his wrist and forcing him to his knees. The blade clatters away across the floor through the licking flames and comes to rest several feet away, useless. With a flick of his other hand, the angel sends Sam sprawling across the floor, conscious but very much warned against even trying to get to the knife himself.

“Such a pretty vessel,” Janiel smirks. “There’s not a speck of Grace left in you, is there Castiel? I can only imagine how lovely your soul will feel, all newly made.”

Castiel attempts to draw back, feeling the narrow bones in his wrist shift under the angel’s tight grip. He is utterly trapped, pain sharp through his arm and blurring his thoughts. He hears Sam shout his name, but Janiel ignores him and Castiel hasn’t the wherewithal to respond.

“You’re mine, Castiel,” Janiel whispers, smug. He crouches down before Castiel and plunges his bony hand beneath his ribcage, curling his fingers and grasping at his insides. It is unbearable agony, like fire and devastation ripping him apart from within as he shouts and writhes, hands grasping Janiel’s forearm as though he could pry him away.

“What the-” Janiel sputters, ripping his hand back abruptly in horror and leaving Castiel swaying on his knees, panting and half delirious from the pain. “How can this be? Graceless and soulless both – what are you?”

Castiel hears an intake of breath from Sam, and Dean too, he thinks; and then he sees movement, Dean beyond the flames, and Sam moving to catch something and suddenly Janiel erupts in a flare of light, the angel blade embedded in his back. Castiel slumps back, clutching at his chest and taking deep, gulping breaths. Stepping across the holy fire, Dean looks down at him, shock written across his face.

Cas,” he says shakily, and Castiel doesn’t want to look at him. He closes his eyes and inhales.

Over the staccato pounding of his heartbeat, all he can think is, I knew, I knew, I knew.

---




  • 1
Very good idea! I am hooked...

I'm glad I've managed to draw you in! And I hope you like the rest :)

You made me gasp. Audibly.

That's no easy feat -- can't wait to read the rest! (Your imagery is lovely, btw, and I really like your pacing. Great stuff.)

Wow, thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed the rest :) <3

  • 1
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