Cross To Bear

What's He Doing With That Corpse?

"I haven't died," Cas repeated the words, he was tired and he wanted to sleep but he would speak if it would keep Dean's soul quiet. He remembered fighting the demons and he remembered his energy draining away to nothing and then it was all gone. And that was it, next thing he knew it was pitch black and all he could hear was Dean. Dean was screaming, his soul was on fire and burning Cas up just through sound. He felt like the specks of his grace that remained were reaching, stretching thinly across to touch and soothe the agonized soul. Slowly they'd come back to him, enough energy to reach his brother.

Dean was in so much pain; he'd nearly torn himself apart from the inside. Cas was glad he had enough strength to fix it; small tears were easy before they split any further. Every now and then he felt that spike inside Dean when he'd been quiet too long, fear that he'd passed out or died for real this time.

"I'm still here," he whispered and let that do the soothing for him. He couldn't keep sending energy into Dean; otherwise he really would kill himself.

"You weren't breathing," Dean muttered against his shoulder, still not letting him go.

"Angel's don't breathe." Cas replied tiredly, his eyes closing again.

"Your heart stopped."

That was new, Cas was pretty sure he could feel his heartbeat. Or was that his imagination? "That must be new," he decided aloud. "Can you hear it now?"

Dean slid down and listened to his chest, he stayed there for a few seconds before he shook his head, "No… so you don't have a heart anymore?"

"I guess my anatomy works differently now." Cas smiled weakly when Dean lifted himself up to see him.

The way Dean's eyes changed through emotions made Cas' chest ache instinctively, he must've still had a heart there right? "You're so beautiful, Cas." Dean whispered and made his figurative heart stop altogether.

Cas let Dean lean in closer, their eyes locked for moments that vanished faster than they could count them. Cas tilted his head the best he could but he had to wait for Dean to come down before they could kiss. It was so gentle, Cas cherished every passing second that warmth washed over his skin. Dean's lips were soft and giving, pushing when needed but relenting strength as Cas demanded. It made his legs feel weaker and his grace pump up, he was so glad they could share this. The times they'd shared before, the first kiss that made him so happy and so anxious at the same time were like distant memories. He was living in a dream now, some kind of nightmarish dream.

Dean didn't want to break it off and Cas certainly wouldn't take it away. It deepened and became more than Cas thought he was ready for, but nothing ever waited for that. He found the strength to at least hold onto Dean in return as he was lifted closer, Dean's hands and arms supported him like nothing else could. Cas melted into him and Dean did the same, they couldn't imagine being separate.

"Dean?" Cas recognized Jet's voice but didn't pull away, he couldn't move further down. Dean didn't move either. Jet walked around to their area, an empty partition of some kind of tent and Cas almost laughed at the soft, "Oh," that escaped. Through his lost state he still managed to notice Jet's approaching steps, they were cautious and almost silent. It was then that Cas realized it must've looked like Dean was kissing a corpse, assuming everyone really thought he'd died back there. And this time he laughed.

He felt the way Dean's mouth smiled against his as he tried desperately not to giggle about the ideas that must have been running through Jet's mind.

"Wait, is he alive?" Jet asked in astonishment, he was hesitant to truly believe it. "Cas?"

"Hi," Cas offered a pitiful wave of his hand; actually the more he thought about it the more he realized it was just him letting go of Dean's jacket and dropping his limb like a rock. It was kind of funny and made him snicker again, "Sorry, I don't know why it's so funny."

Jet's eyes lit up with life and the hint of tears. "No, no it's okay." He rubbed his face and walked over to them, "I don't mind hearing you laugh right now." He knelt down and pulled Cas partially away from Dean to hug him. Dean allowed it though he didn't make any move to put distance between them. Jet's hug was strong and Cas couldn't say he'd ever felt more loved by the guy than right at that moment.

"I'm alright," he reassured them both, "I'm just very tired, I have no energy left."

"I can tell," Jet loosened his grip with a grin aimed Cas' way, "You're like a limp noodle."

"Thanks," Cas said with a smile in return and quietly waited until Jet gave him back to Dean. It was comforting to be in the warmth of his brother's lap, there was nothing waiting for him.

Or at least not until he realized that he'd passed out in the middle of something. "What happened? Where are we?"

"I was waiting for him to ask," Jet remarked but Dean shushed him.

"Don't worry about that right now, okay? You've only been out for an hour or two. Nothing happened."

"Don't do that, man. He's just gonna fill it in with his imagination." Jet looked Cas right in the eye and explained, something Cas really appreciated. "You vaporized a shitload of them but there was still quite a few left on the edge of your reach. You ended up shrinking into just you and Meg, both of you collapsed but she was fine and still conscious. The army got close enough to start shooting rocket launchers at the demons, some rockets were knocked aside slash went astray and wound up crashing really close to us. They realized they fucked up and hauled us back to where they kept their medical tent and crew and we've been sitting around here for a little over an hour waiting for something to happen."

Cas had to hand it to him, that about summed it all up without any real details. Pretty fast too. "Thanks, is anyone hurt?"

"We're all a little banged up but everybody's still with us." Dean reassured him, a gentle expression on his face that was enough to calm him down.

"So there are soldiers fighting the demons?"

"Yeah," Dean and Jet said in unison.

"Are they winning?"

"No idea." / "Fuck if I know."

Cas smiled at them, it wasn't great news but it was good enough. "I think I should see Sam, mom and dad. They must be in a lot of pain right now."

Dean picked him up and carried him through to where the others were sitting. Everyone was present, and from what Cas could see it looked like Nikki had shown up as well. "Oh, I'm glad she made it," he spoke softly and looked at Jet who nodded.

"I didn't know she was here," Dean sounded almost offended.

"I was coming to tell you," Jet rolled his eyes, by now everyone was looking their way.

At first it was a sombre kind of greeting, the way Dean carried Cas around must have looked so morbid. Cas changed that was a simple smile and a; "Hello, I'm not dead."

"Cas!" Sam was the first one to react and he ran across the room like a shot. He buried his face between Cas' cheek and Dean's shoulder, hugging as tightly as he could. Cas did his best to return it but he wasn't able to do much. It was very frustrating.

"I'm so sorry for putting you through that," he kissed the side of Sam's head once and rested his cheek against it.

Mary didn't have words but Cas could feel the intensity of her emotion as she hesitantly crossed the room. If he weren't talking at that moment and she was imagining his smile she would hate herself for hoping, he knew her well enough to know that much.

"I'm alive, mom." He tried to offer some kind of support or confidence that she could trust herself; it took a little bit of convincing as well as his dad leading her closer. Mary took him in her arms then; Dean was more than willing to let her. Cas loosely draped his arms over her and dropped his head against her shoulder, Dean meanwhile explaining that Cas had no strength to lift his head so to be gentle.

Mary adjusted her hold and carefully lowered him down to the floor all the while staring at his face, "Sweetheart, you're really alive…?" She whispered and brushed her hand over his cheek, he could see it all in her eyes. Hope and belief took the place of doubt and the despair that was consuming her; she couldn't save her little boy. "My baby," she hiccupped a sob and gradually fell into relief, she was holding him and he was alive. "You're okay, oh my god…" the words were strained as she fought to speak over the desperate breathing.

She hugged him like the others, tightly and unrelenting. Cas saw his dad over her shoulder, John stood with tears running down his face and a pained but relieved smile. Cas rarely saw him show that much raw emotion, it was something he'd never forget.

John couldn't just stand there much longer; he went to their side and hugged both him and Mary. "Are you okay, dad?" Cas asked quietly and he nodded, mouthing yes but no sound came out.

"I can't…" John tried to say but his voice broke, he had to sniffle hard and turn his head back a bit to try and keep tears in though there was no way he'd be able to do that. "I can't talk." When he finally said it he spoke quickly and it was distressed at best. Cas didn't ask anything else; he just sat there and let them hug him.

It wasn't until later that he noticed the echoing and distant explosions, and that was only when they'd stopped. "They either won or the demons took off." Meg pointed out; she hadn't left the room he was in since he'd gotten back. "No way they'd pass up killing you when you're exhausted."

"They might already think he's dead," Sam suggested, Cas could only wish he was right.

"True," Jet added with some confidence, "Meg couldn't tell if he was alive or not so how could they?"

Meg's face lit up a bit, "He's right, actually. Cas they might think you're dead, that's great news!"

"Wonderful," Cas smiled at her, "And how does that help?"

"They won't be hunting us down, at least not until your grace comes back a little bit."

He liked her enthusiasm, it looked good on her. "Well at least we can take a bit of a break then, right?" Everyone seemed okay with that, it'd been nothing but craziness for him and Dean, he had no idea what the rest had gone through.

As they relaxed for a little while the door-flap to their separated section opened and a younger man stepped inside with two other soldiers behind him. Cas looked over, he could tell by the way they were decorated that the one who entered first was ranked higher. "Good afternoon, folks." He smiled and it seemed genuine, "How's everyone doing? Did we hurt you?"

"My ears are still ringing," Jet complained and his mom elbowed him, "ow! It's true."

The man nodded and looked at the rest of them, then to Castiel, "Young man have you been looked after?"

"I'm alright, yes. Thank you." Cas uttered quietly, resting on Dean after being passed around too many times. Everyone wanted to care for him but they all had to come to terms when Bobby told them that it wasn't doing him much good to pass him around like a hot potato.

"Captain, you're needed and it's urgent," another soldier entered abruptly, she had a similarly terrified aura around her as most of the others. Cas couldn't really blame them, how could they possibly be prepared for what was happening? Though he did wonder how long it had been since he'd left in the first place.

"Right," the captain gave her a quick nod before smiling at them again, "Sorry, I guess we'll have to have a chat later."

"Wait, are you Captain Uziki?" John asked before the man could leave.

"That'd be me," He tilted his head a little, Cas noticed he had a strong jawline.

"I just wanted to thank you for calling off the assault," John stuck his hand out, "John Winchester,"

"Shimizu Uziki, and you're welcome." He took John's hand and Cas could tell it was a firm shake. "You all should be safe here, I'll be back as soon as I can to talk."

Jet wasn't one to really care about formalities; he was trying to figure out the captain's nationality based on the man's appearance and name. "Shimizu? You don't look-"

"My father was a mix of Japanese and Korean, my mother was of Swedish decent, happy?" It looked as though the captain gave this explanation more than once; Cas figured being a not completely white male in the military couldn't be an easy thing.

"Yeah, sorry." Jet wasn't that sorry, Cas could tell by his tone but it wasn't like captain Uziki was all that offended either. Regardless, Nikki slapped Jet's arm as punishment.

Cas wondered about that, he'd seen her hit Jet a few times for being a dumbass. Nothing severe but it was a little odd for Jet to act like that in front of his mom to begin with. Cas had a feeling he knew, Nikki's smacks and elbowing was stronger now than it had ever been. She really could slap him for being an idiot and maybe that's something Jet kind of enjoyed, knowing his mom was strong enough to knock him around a bit. Nikki did always seem to be the kind of mom you'd fear pissing off, assuming she'd ever be healthy. Cas was glad he could heal her, even if he might've ended the world days later.

"So Jet being an idiot aside," Meg spoke up once the military folks were gone, "Any ideas what they wanna talk to us about?"

"Probably what we saw when we were over there." Mary said as if remembering it, "I mean we were right where Cas came out of the ground, we got a good view of everything."

John was looking toward the door, "I'm wondering why a captain's in charge on a battlefield this big, I think something must have happened out there. I can't say with confidence that we're winning."

Cas shook his head, "We won't win until I get to Heaven." He wished he could've backed that up with some kind of strength in his voice but he was just too goddamn tired. And sleeping still wasn't a thing he was able to do despite his exhaustion.

"Well good news is you're speaking English, right?" Dean smiled down at him and Cas couldn't help but return it.


"What was he speaking before?" Sam raised an eyebrow at them.

"Something I think I'd need to use my angel power to speak," Cas rolled his eyes and looked Sam's way dramatically. "It wasn't anything I've ever heard of, not that I'm a linguist or anything."

"My point is we can't just sit here," Meg interrupted again; she was agitated. "Cas' grace is coming back and once they get a whiff of it he's a big target and we're all screwed."

"Being surrounded by soldiers is a good place to be in that scenario, I think we should stay here." John argued and she glared at him.

"Not if they find out Cas is the target. It'll be a lot of questions to answer and you might not get to hang onto your son."

"Then we just tell them before that happens," Cas tried to speak louder to stop them before they started a heated debate. It didn't work as well as he'd hoped but they turned to stare at him as if he were nuts anyway. "There's no saying that they're going to take me away, that's just distrusting. They'll want answers and I have no reason to hide anything from them, demons are attacking the planet right now and I don't want to tell them what I am?"

"If there's a demon possessing one of them you wouldn't want to," she had a point but he shook his head.

"The demons by now would know what they're looking for and they'd know you. If one of them was here they'd already be trying to kill me, there's no point in hiding it."

"Besides," Jet looked at her with a skeptical expression, "Wouldn't you be able to see if they were demons?"

"Well, yeah but what if I'm not around?" Meg's lip nearly curled up in a snarl at Jet, she didn't like his tone, "I'm not his babysitter."

"Then we'll handle it," Jet wouldn't back down even if she had her demon form growling in his face, Cas could even picture it.

"Please don't fight," Karen asked from the corner, "if Castiel wants to talk about it then let him. I think we should stay here for now, though. It's safer than running about on our own."

"Plus we have nowhere to go, the town's been blocked off." Nikki added.

Meg looked at Cas, he could tell she wanted to say she was out, that this was all ridiculous. But she couldn't do it, she was as happy to see him alive as anyone else and to leave him to die right after getting him back was silly.

"Thank you," Cas told her and she looked away.

"For what?"

"You took care of them when I couldn't. I can't thank you enough for that."

She scoffed at him but nodded, "You're welcome, idiot."

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