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Spn Fanfiction - DCBB2012 - Borrowed (Dean/Cas) [Chapter 3]
Bill Nails
hollybennett123

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



Chapter 3

The silence is resonant, reverberating around the room and echoing within Castiel’s ears in a way that the absence of sound should not. He releases a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding and inhales, letting oxygen flood his lungs as he tries to focus. “What do you mean?” he asks her quietly, because while he may have heard what she said he cannot possibly comprehend it.

“And lo, a new being will be brought into existence and they shall be, in turn, Creator of life as others before them,” the goddess says.

As far as Castiel can see, she isn’t being particularly helpful.

“I am… one of you?” he ventures. He isn’t even entirely sure what he hopes her answer will be.

“Yes, Castiel,” she replies. “Only once in several millennia does such a thing occur; we had heard rumors of another ‘Creator’, as you may call us, but we did not know for certain until this moment that you existed. You, specifically, are made in my image, able to craft human and angel both.”

Castiel glances around the table, uncertain of how the others are reacting to everything the goddess is saying. Shekinah’s mouth is a tight line of concentration and Sam looks stunned, though his eyes soften slightly when Castiel briefly meets them. Dean is impassive, a faraway look in his eyes as though he is lost somewhere inside himself.

“Castiel,” she says, startling him. “I cannot decipher your thoughts when you ask so many questions at once.”

“Apologies,” he tells her, concentrating on speaking clearly within his mind, blanking out the flow of cluttered thoughts and queries and attempting to think linearly. “But I think there must be some mistake. I am merely an angel; or at least I was, until I returned in this body. I am just a human now.”

“Some of us were born at the dawn of time, while others began their lives in a different form,” the goddess responds. “You were formed as an angel, and should have travelled your destined course to become a Creator. Unlike most, though, you did not live out your fate as intended and chose your own path.”

She doesn’t sound angry or disapproving of the things he has done, simply stating it as fact. Unlike the angels, she doesn’t appear to be judgmental of his actions; the Creators, it seems, are on the side of no one but themselves, the squabbles of angels beneath them.

“Castiel, you created that vessel,” she goes on. “Your death as an angel triggered your reformation into Creator; I understand you inhabited a human vessel for some time, perhaps resulting in you creating a mortal rather than angelic new form. It is not of consequence, however, as you will be able to take an ethereal form when you come with me.”

Castiel feels an odd pang of sadness at the words ‘ethereal form’, for there are times when he misses it so much. When he was able to switch between human and angel effortlessly he did not realize how lucky he was. Millennia as an angel, and all that is left is the ghost-like wisps of memory.

“When I come with you?”

“Obviously; your life here has run its course and you have been granted the privilege of eternity as a Creator, one of the chosen.”

Castiel frowns. “I… don’t want to go with you,” he tells her. “I wish to stay here.” Even as he says it, he hears himself falter. He imagines, as he has done so many times before, a life without ever again experiencing the glory of Heaven, and he imagines having passed up this chance to be raised higher in status than he ever was before.

He imagines a life without Dean.

“I want to remain here with my family,” he says, surprised and strengthened by the realization. To find sadness or negativity in a choice made is not the same as regretting it, and he would fall a thousand times over to be right here on Earth every time. He cannot have everything, and he has what he wants most. “This is my home now, and I’m happy.”

“I do not understand what you are saying,” the goddess says, her voice disjointed with confusion. “This is not a choice; you are to come with me. Why would you not want to experience the glory of creation?”

Dean’s hand grips angrily at Castiel’s. “Now listen here, lady. I dunno what you’re trying to pull, but -”

“Is that human addressing me?” the goddess interrupts.

“Yes,” Castiel tells her calmly, “and he won’t do so again.” Thankfully, Dean takes heed of Castiel’s warning and falls quiet, though Castiel can sense his prickling annoyance. “It may be hard to understand, but… I’m more suited to life as a human than I ever was an angel. There are things I am unwilling to sacrifice, even for the glory you are offering to me.”

“It is an odd request, but I consider myself reasonable; upon your death as a human I will take you instead. A human lifespan is short and such a length of time is a mere moment in my existence.”

“The afterlife is as important as my life here. I will split my time between my Heaven and working for you, please consider this,” Castiel begs of her.

“You are very… difficult, Castiel,” she grumbles, and there is a span of silence while she considers her options. “Three of your human years,” she says at length, and Castiel frowns in confusion. “I do not think you appreciate the honor and grandeur that has been bestowed upon you, and I have no option but to take you with me now so that you can come to realize how ignorant you are being. The period is over a thousand sunsets with which I can show you the beauty of Creation. You will come with me for three years, at the end of which you would be able to return if you chose to do so, which I can assure you that you will not. You will divide your time equally in the afterlife between Creation and your personal Heaven should that be your choice, though while working for me I will not allow you to speak with any human because Creation is your duty and you are bound to it.”

“He’s not taking your bullshit deal,” Dean snarls.

“I am not a demon and this is not a deal, you worthless speck,” the goddess bristles. “I am showing him mercy.”

“You are gracious,” Castiel tells her. There was a time, after all, when he too was baffled by the concept of human friendship and love; she cannot comprehend what this means to him. “I agree to all terms and will argue no further, on the condition that I do not have to go with you yet. Please – a week, perhaps?”

The mood shifts to one of petulance, if such a thing is possible. “I tire of these arbitrary rules and timeframes you are inflicting on me Castiel, but I wish for us to work together harmoniously. I will take you on the seventh sunrise from today. I will not negotiate further. Be ready.”

“Thank you,” Castiel replies, and she bids him an abrupt farewell before retreating. It is an odd sensation, as though a cloak has been lifted or a spell broken.

Dean drops Castiel’s hand and turns to him, incredulous. “You don’t think maybe we should talk about important shit before making deals with some goddess-bitch? Are you kidding me?”

“This was my decision to make, Dean, and I won’t apologize for it. I’m sorry,” Castiel tells him.

“This is a hell of a lot to process, Cas,” Sam says, fingers rubbing tired circles on his temples.

Shekinah is quiet, slumped over in her seat with her face in her hands. “Are you alright?” Castiel asks her, worried, but when she lifts her head she looks only tired rather than hurt.

“Yeah, hon, I’m just exhausted,” she says with a small smile. “I need to leave, I’m sorry, but I really think I should go home and recuperate a little. All this angel-talk really takes it out of you.”

“I’m sorry I involved you in this,” Castiel says, taking both of her hands in his own. “I hope you will be okay.”

She moves to stand, and when she smiles it’s open and honest. “I’m glad I could be of help. Whether you speak to me before you leave or after, I’m here for you. Angel of unconditional love and all that, right?” She bends and kisses him on the forehead before giving a little wave and blinking out of existence with a flap of wings, and Castiel feels almost as tired as Shekinah had looked.

The atmosphere for the rest of the day is tense at best, and both Dean and Sam spend much of the day away from the motel killing time and thinking things over. Sam is friendly to him, like he almost always is, but he’s a little distant and Dean barely speaks to him at all during the rare moments Castiel sees him.

When he goes to sleep that night there’s nobody beside him and he doesn’t think he’s ever felt quite so alone.


~*~


Dean spends the entirety of the next day brooding and generally acting like he’s pissed off with the entire world, which Castiel would maybe be able to resolve at least to some extent if he wasn’t essentially doing the exact same thing. He spends most of the day doing very little at all, and by the time darkness has come they’ve achieved nothing and wasted an entire day. Castiel sits at the little table in Sam’s motel room and stares out of the window, though since it’s dark outside and they’re surrounded mostly by pasture and grassland, it’s not as though he can see much anyway.

He’s contemplating whether or not to go out for a walk to get some fresh air when Sam sits down and places a chipped blue mug on the placemat before him, holding an identical one that he himself is drinking from.

"Don't you dare tell Dean I made hot cocoa, he'll be a total jerk about it," Sam tells him with a soft smile, eyes creasing in the corners. "The marshmallows will only make it worse; he'll be a dick for days."

For a moment Castiel suddenly gets a flash of what Sam must have been like as a child, gentle and carefree, and it almost makes him sad not to have known Sam at a younger age; as much as he has grown to adore this man as one of his closest friends and allies, his family, he gets the impression that the Sam he knows is quite different to the Sam that Dean sometimes talks about when he alludes to their childhood and it makes him wish he knew Sam then as he knows him now.

"I will keep this our secret," Castiel says quietly, cradling the warm mug between his palms and taking an appreciative sip. It is sweet and delicious.

Sam mirrors him and places his mug on the table, looking at Castiel. "You know it's obvious why Dean is acting the way he is," he says quietly.

"Is it?" Castiel replies with a tense jaw, setting his mug down slightly too hard and watching the hot liquid slosh treacherously close to the sides. A little splashes over and burns his fingers, and for some reason he feels terribly, hopelessly human at this moment. He doesn't mean to sound irritated with Sam, but he is angry generally right now. Feeling guilty, he rubs at a spattering of sugar on the side of the mug, avoiding Sam's sympathetic gaze.

"Yeah. Firstly, Dean's not pissed at you; he's pissed at the situation. This is just how he deals with all the crap that gets heaped on him and you should know that by now, so stop sulking and try actually forcing him to talk things through with you for once."

Castiel says nothing, but lifts his eyes to look at Sam. As much as he resents being spoken down to, Sam is right and he needs to face his problems head on rather than coping the Dean Winchester way with fury and resentment buried under layers of stubborn refusal to communicate.

"Secondly," Sam continues, "I know exactly why he's making such a big deal over three years." He pauses and rubs a weary hand over his face. "Cas, he thinks if you go that you're not going to come back at all."

Castiel is shocked. "Why would he think that? Of course I'll return," he asks him, frowning.

“I know you will,” Sam says. “But the goddess will probably do everything she can to try to get you to stay, and to be honest it isn’t all that surprising that Dean worries so much that someday you’re gonna walk out that door and not come back. We’ve lost so many people already – hell, we lost you more times than I can count.”

Castiel nods in understanding. It is true that Dean has experienced the loss of so many friends, family members, lovers – Sam too. They can’t be blamed for their wariness and lack of trust; after all, it has been broken so many times before.

For some time they sit in amicable silence, sipping at their drinks until they are finished. Castiel knows what he has to do now.

“Thank you, Sam,” he says gently, placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder as he passes him by on the way to the door.

“No problem,” Sam replies. He waits until Castiel is almost out of the room and calls after him, “Don’t tell him about the marshmallows.

In spite of himself, Castiel smiles.

~*~


He finds Dean in the first place he looks for him: he’s laid out on the hood of the Impala, drinking beer under the stars where he’s parked in an empty field behind the motel. The night air is cool, and Castiel shivers slightly in his hoodie.

Dean must hear him approaching, his bare feet rustling the dry, sun-scorched grass, but he makes no move to look at him. Castiel climbs up to lie beside him and looks up at the night sky: Sagittarius, Sirius, Aquila… he has travelled to each of them in turn, brushed up against the stars and felt their radiant energy around him and within him as he flew through constellations and felt comets glance off his wings. Now they are so far from his grasp, and still so beautiful in an entirely different way.

He waits for several moments, the silence punctuated only by their breathing. “I understand, Dean,” Castiel says quietly.

“Do you?” Dean says, undertones of bitterness left open and unhidden.

Castiel sits up and Dean, to his relief, sits up also, watching him. He finds being ignored far worse than any anger Dean could throw at him. “I understand if you don’t think I’m going to come back,” Castiel goes on. “But I can’t do anything more than give you my promise.”

Dean makes a non-committal sound and looks away from Castiel, staring out across the darkened landscape to the dense scattering of twinkling lights in the distance. Homes and people and families, thousands upon thousands of them even within the narrow span of their vision all coexisting.

“You’re not the only one scared of this, Dean,” Castiel adds quietly. “I could return to find you or Sam injured, or dead, or simply long since moved on without me.” So many unvoiced fears and these are but a few of them.

Dean looks genuinely taken aback as though he hadn’t thought about it from Castiel’s point of view until now. “Jesus, Cas, like I’d just suck it up and decide I didn’t need you back after a few months of not having you around. Don’t be fucking stupid.”

“I know you wouldn’t. But that doesn’t stop me thinking about it in the same way that you for some reason think I’m not going to come back to you. I can do nothing more than have faith in you; perhaps you should do the same for me.”

Dean leans back on one hand, looking up at the night sky, and lets out a slow breath. “Okay,” he finally says in response. “Sorry. Didn’t really think about it like that, but you’re right.”

“I will come back, Dean,” he says again, because he can’t stress it enough. “Besides, you’re angry at the situation, not at me,” he adds, just because. It startles a surprised laugh out of Dean, who turns to look at him again.

“Is that right?” he says, corners of his mouth tipping up despite himself. “Figure that out all on your own, did you?”

“Sam and I spoke earlier,” Castiel tells him; credit where credit’s due, after all.

Dean shakes his head. “Wow, never would have guessed,” he says, rolling his eyes and leaning over the side of the car to put his empty beer bottle on the ground.

“Are you still pissed off?” Castiel asks him. Dean sighs but says nothing, and Castiel takes it for a ‘no’.

Castiel leans over to press their lips together, but Dean pulls away after a couple of seconds. He feels his stomach swoop unpleasantly before he realizes that Dean is only teasing him.

“Talking about feelings and making out under the stars, Cas? Really? I don’t think this could actually be any more pathetic,” Dean states, eyebrows raised.

“You once told me it doesn’t count as a chick-flick moment if it involves both beer and a badass car,” Castiel reminds him.

“Right,” Dean grins, bumping their shoulders together gently. “But I’m all out of beer, so I guess we’re shit out of luck, huh?”

He’s looking intently at Castiel now, holding his gaze, and Castiel couldn’t turn away for anything life could offer; he loves this flawed, beautiful human entirely, wholly, and with every fiber of his being. It hits him so hard sometimes, when Dean smiles, or looks at him a certain way, and it is utterly breathtaking.

“Oh,” Castiel says eventually. “That’s unfortunate.” He presses Dean down with one hand so he’s laid out on his back again, fingers straying to the zipper on the other man’s jeans as he hovers over him. “In the absence of beer, are we allowed to substitute something else in its place?”

Dean folds his arms behind his head, eyes bright in the near darkness.

“Damn straight, sweetheart,” he jokes, and then he gasps and Castiel would laugh but his mouth is occupied elsewhere.

~*~


The days pass as quickly as Castiel had thought they would, and by the time his final night arrives he has managed to reach a state of reluctant acceptance. He spends the day with Dean and Sam, doing little more than enjoying one another’s company over pizza, beer and bad daytime television. They go out for a completely pointless drive in the Impala, and Dean even lets Castiel drive for a brief stretch which is a rarity in itself on account of the fact that he’s fairly terrible at it. In an impressive display of self-control, Dean even manages to keep his swearing to a minimum.

When they return to the motel in the evening, Sam bids them both goodnight and retires to his room. Dean continues down the corridor that goes to the room that he and Castiel share, pausing to look at Castiel on his way in. Castiel’s heart thumps heavily in his chest, and he follows Dean into the room where he is simply standing by the bed, head cocked slightly, looking at him like he’s trying to burn the image of him to his memory in case it should ever start to fade.

There’s a tightness in Castiel’s chest which won’t go away and it feels something like breathing in water – a heavy, terrifying weight in his lungs and his head and his heart, and he thinks of a lake and wishes he didn't know the feeling well enough to make the comparison.

This is a goodbye and they both know it. The weight of it pulls them closer together and yet feels like a chasm between them, and Castiel wants to build bridges to fix this but instead feels like every word he wants to say will burn another down.

He sits down on the edge of the bed and Dean moves wordlessly to stand before him, looking down at him as he first removes his own t-shirt with a careful slowness, and then Castiel’s.

Dean,” Castiel murmurs, unable to look away from the hurt etched across the other man’s face and the resolute line of his jaw.

“Don’t, Cas,” Dean says softly. “Just… don’t, please. I don’t fucking know how to deal with crap like this so just… shut up, okay?”

Castiel nods in agreement and waits, gaze unwavering.

“Fucking kills me when you look up at me like that,” Dean breathes, cupping one hand under Castiel’s jaw and gently tilting his head back. His thumb brushes across Castiel’s bottom lip and then pauses, the weight of it a gentle burr of friction that drags and pulls, testing the softness there and smudging wet onto dry where the two meet.

Castiel enfolds Dean’s wrist with gentle fingers and drags his mouth down languidly to kiss the heel of his hand, his knuckles, anywhere he can press his lips open-mouthed and hot as Dean’s pupils dilate with want. Rarely have they spent so long just touching, taking sex slowly; time, Castiel has come to realize, is of such little importance when you think you have enough of it. There is always another day or another moment until, suddenly, there is not.

Castiel curls his fingers into Dean’s belt loops, bringing him closer, and slides one side of Dean’s jeans down a couple of inches to expose the subtle jut of his hipbone. Dean exhales unsteadily and cards the fingers of one hand through Castiel’s hair as he continues to map Dean’s body with his mouth, committing the cartography of it to memory as though he doesn’t know it already inside and out beyond anything else on Earth. He lets his hands smooth lingeringly over Dean’s jeans, fingertips brushing over the age-softened denim to allow his thumb to trace a slow, sweeping curve against the obvious swell of his cock; Dean swears softly and leans into the pressure of Castiel’s hand, eyes heavy-lidded and pleasure-blown.

“Y’sure know how to get a guy all fired up,” Dean says quietly, voice gone hoarse and smoke-rough with arousal, and he’s smiling with affection but there’s a sadness there too.

Castiel moves his hand to the back of Dean’s thigh and Dean climbs onto the bed on his knees, straddling Castiel’s lap and unbuttoning their jeans. “I was taught well,” Castiel says and Dean lets out a little huff of laughter.

“You were taught by the best, Cas,” he murmurs, smirking a little with good humor, and Castiel quirks his lips in a half-smile and pulls him down into a kiss. They rearrange themselves in an awkward tangle of limbs until they are fully on the bed and Dean can remove the last of their clothing before fitting himself between Castiel’s thighs, bare skin meeting bare skin and making them both gasp.

The room is too hot, too humid, and the bed creaks with every thrust against its starched sheets and uneven mattress and it’s perfect as it always is, so when Dean shuts his eyes so that Castiel won’t see the anguish that’s bleeding into them, Castiel says nothing, tightens his fingers where they’re linked with Dean’s, and closes his too.

---

--Chapter4-->




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