Cross To Bear

You Have Me Now

Castiel stared dismally at his dad's phone, something he'd been allowed to borrow since his was long gone and god knows where Dean's was. He'd hunted down different news articles already made, watched videos and read different blogs about the incidents until John's cell was dead. It was the least he could do with his time and he was starting to wish he hadn't done it. The number of people dead around the world was immeasurable at that time but the running count was in the hundreds of thousands and climbing.

"I can't believe this..." he placed the phone on the floor beside him and stared past his feet at nothing. He'd gotten enough strength back to hold a phone for a few hours, as well as sit up. Standing was still a challenge though, so no one was pushing him. Dean hadn't left his side until an hour before, Cas loved Dean's company but he couldn't ask his brother to sit and be a vegetable with him. Not that anyone could go very far, though.

His mind wandered more and more, he could feel the tremors in the ground beneath him but couldn't pinpoint anything. His grace was weak; his human form was back in all its glory – and to his great pleasure without wings. Even his senses were dulled, feeling someone's presence was minimal at best; the only one that was obvious to him was Dean, as per usual. After being with those sensations so long, his body had gotten used to it all. Without it he felt strange, he knew what he was and he knew what he needed to be doing but nothing was getting done. People were dying and he was useless.

And meeting new people was a nerve wracking experience for him, he had no idea what their intentions were. Military people could always be good or bad, or at least the movies showed anyway. Cas was just glad that Meg was there, she could read people similarly to himself and at that point he knew she'd never let anything go wrong. At least, not within her power anyway.

"So," Captain Uziki stood in the doorway with a smile, arms folded over his chest as he walked into the area, "I hear you've shut yourself in with a cell phone."

Cas offered a half smile in return and looked down at the dead block of circuits, "I was reading what was going on, this isn't just around us, it's everywhere." He leaned back against the wall, his limbs feeling heavier than they should have. "I don't know what to do anymore."

Shimizu stopped across from him and waited quietly for a moment, letting Cas stew in his thoughts for a while. "It seems to me you already know what to do, it's just frustrating to not be able to control what's going on." He motioned to the cushions next to Cas, "May I?"

"Of course," Cas shuffled over a bit though it wasn't really necessary. "Maybe you have a point though, I just feel like everything's going to shit and I know it's my fault. I just want to be able to fix it." He ran his hand through his hair a few times, not counting how often anymore. "I see my family and I don't even know what I put them through. My friends are traumatized because of my choices and I think the maddening part is that I'd do it again."

"You saved your brother,"

"I know! That's why I'd do it all again, but was that the right choice?" Cas asked in complete exasperation, wide eyes focused on the captain now, "Did I do the right thing? What kind of an angel am I if I can't do the right thing?"

Shimizu held his gaze for a few seconds before daring to address the concept of what Castiel was putting forward. "I've heard a lot of ideas on the whole 'what's right and wrong' argument. At the end of the day, with something like this, there's just no winning. You're caught in the middle of two ugly options and you'll get your hands dirty with either of them. But I think you can be proud," he smiled and nodded his head. Cas felt a small part of the man's presence then, it was kind and honest and the first time Cas felt he could really trust him.

But it didn't make a whole lot of sense. "Proud? Of getting all of those people killed? I've murdered hundreds of thousands of people, Shimizu; I don't see how I can be proud of myself."

"I can," Captain Uziki looked at him earnestly, "because when you were given a choice that would end in suffering either way, you still made a decision. You didn't do nothing, and that's something to be proud of."

"Maybe nothing would have ended better…" Cas sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose; he knew that wasn't true though. Dean was in danger and something would've happened regardless. Doing nothing, in that case, would have been forcing time to make his decision for him.

"Look, all I know is that you're beating yourself up over something that the people around you are so thankful for." His voice was soft as he gave Cas' shoulder a squeeze, "I've spoken to everyone here and they all adore you, are grateful for what you've given up and what you've done for them. I know from experience that no amount of me telling you this will help, but you shouldn't be so hard on yourself."

"You've felt the same way?" Cas asked, hoping to get to another subject, or at least off of himself.

"I have, you enlist to help and when you're out there you find out that you aren't doing as much good as you thought. I've saved lives but I've ended enough to make me feel that I should never have made the choice to fight in the first place." His expression got a little darker but didn't give as much away as Cas thought it might. The words matched his eyes, that's all Cas could gather from Shimizu at that moment. He cursed his inability to use any abilities but let it go all the same.

"Sounds like you've been in a few situations kinda like mine." Cas knew better than to poke at a soldier, don't ask them what they've done and don't force them to relive it. "How do you handle it? People's lives in your hands, what do you do with that?"

"You hold on," the captain nodded firmly, "You try and hold onto those lives and yourself and hope that God can be merciful."

"He's frozen."

"Well that's not wrathful so in a way it's good, right?"

Castiel smiled at Shimizu's humour, at least he could find the sense to joke and make himself feel better.

"So why're you sitting alone? Dean's been with you since you passed out, why push him away?"

"Dean's been through a lot because of me, I wanted to see what I'd done to the world and to do that I knew I'd be in a dark place. He's been dragged through hell literally and I didn't want to, I don't know, do it to him mentally too. I have a certain effect on people," he shrugged, knowing it was a dumb excuse. "Maybe I just wanted to wallow in self-pity…"

"I would too, probably." Shimizu smirked and looked down at the phone again; the kind of pause Cas knew meant he wanted to say something. "So I came over here to tell you first, there's a new set of command over the current battlefield and state of affairs. As it turns out they don't believe your story and they don't intend to protect you any further. Your family will be asked to move out of our camp sometime today."

Cas would have stopped breathing if he were still doing that. "You're kidding me…" he groaned and covered his face, "What am I gonna do?"

"We'll need to get you somewhere you can hide for a while, something we can defend if needed."

"I don't have a clue where to go-" Cas stopped and looked at Shimizu again, had he just said we?

Captain Uziki continued seamlessly, "I was thinking I know a place, a friend of mine has a reinforced shelter about 50 miles from here."

"You're coming? You'll help us?" Castiel didn't want to get his hopes up, with just Meg helping them he was sure that she'd save his life but what about the others? His parents could use weapons if needed, Bobby and Karen were a bit older but no less capable. Hell, they could all use a gun if they had one but no one was armed, nobody had anything more than the shirts on their backs. It would have been immensely helpful if the captain was serious but leaving all his hopes on that didn't bode well for his mental state should Shimizu have been lying.

"I told you I'd help, didn't I?" He smiled warmly, "I didn't become a soldier to ignore what I thought was right, I didn't do it to follow orders blindly so I'll make my own decisions from here on out." Shimizu's smile faltered a bit, "Though I can't bring anyone else with me, I'm all you'll have."

"Can you get the others some kind of weapons?" Cas couldn't believe he was asking and he could believe it even less when the captain nodded. "Your career with the military will be over after this, you know that don't you?"

"I honestly couldn't care less." Shimizu stood and headed for the door, "I'll inform the rest, please keep it to yourself for now."

"Of course," Cas watched in quiet shock as the soldier departed, it reminded him of officer Mills somewhat. She'd been very kind when he was younger. "Uhm," he mumbled loud enough for Shimizu to pause and look back at him. "Thank you, for everything."

"I've hardly done anything, but you're welcome." And with that he left.

Cas sat with his own thoughts for a little while, his mind wandering to where they'd end up and when his grace would spark to life again. He was starting to sense things more and more lately, he knew it was growing.

His thoughts misplaced his ability to keep time and sooner than he'd expected Dean walked in again. "You tell me you need alone time so you can sulk, hm?" Dean smiled, he didn't seem angry, just concerned.

"Seems to be the case, yeah." A lot had happened since they last went to school together, Cas felt much older and Dean kind of looked it. They had connected in ways he never expected and it was right then that Cas felt he needed it again. He remembered how it felt to have Dean so accessible to him, to be able to feel his brother's presence every way he turned. It was comforting and it was all he wanted. He remembered waking up after passing out, Dean was close and held him so tightly he never wanted to move from there again. Cas wanted that back, he wanted to be held, at least a little.

Dean walked over and dropped down next to him, so close yet not quite touching. Cas shuffled the inch so he could at least get that much contact. It was such a small move but he heard the way it made Dean's breath hitch, and felt the quickening beat of his pulse. Cas knew without looking that Dean's mouth was dry and his tongue tied. They sat in silence but Castiel was comfortable. He closed his eyes and rested his head on Dean's shoulder, he reached across and placed his hand in Dean's hand and waited.

Waited for a sound to interrupt them, waited for someone to walk in and one of them to abruptly end it, he just waited.

"You know," Dean spoke after a few minutes, longer than Cas expected to wait, "I'm scared about what's going to happen." Dean tightened his hand around Cas', "I know we can fight the demons and I know we'll protect you here, but what happens when you leave? I can't help you, I can't keep you, I can only let you go."

Castiel lifted his head and used his free hand to tilt Dean's chin his way, "You have me now," he whispered and wished he could offer something more concrete to ease Dean's fears. But it was good enough, Dean closed the small gap between their lips again and Cas let himself fall into it. He was tired and felt like he couldn't hold himself up, not that he needed to with Dean there though.

Their mouths moved together slowly, it was warm and drew him further and further in. Dean tasted like he'd recently eaten something salty, it was still on his lips and Cas wished he could taste it the way Dean had the first time. Instead the combination of molecules clicked in his mind and he knew that it had been jerky. Cas pushed thoughts from his head, pushed out understanding and just let his body run on its own. Dean's hand reached to his side and Cas felt he could melt into the touch, his skin burned under a foreign hand and he found himself wriggling closer.

Dean grabbed him and pulled him across his lap like a rag doll, Cas wrapped his arms loosely around Dean's shoulders and stayed there as oblivious as he wanted to be.

Which meant that he didn't notice any others walking into the room. "Boys," John's voice was stern and loud, it made him jump. Cas turned to see basically everyone entering the area - they must've been given the 'leave as soon as you can' speech.

"Uh," Dean was like a deer in headlights, his hand slowly slid away from Cas' lower back to his upper back in hopes it wasn't noticed. "Hey... guys..."

"What's up?" Jet was grinning from ear to ear, that sly look in his eyes.

"We're going," Mary quickly said as John processed what he was seeing, "So pack anything you've got, they said they'd let Captain Uziki escort us to the nearest town."

Cas laughed softly as Dean carefully lifted him from his lap, "Sorry," he couldn't help but smile about it. He felt so comfortable as Dean awkwardly attempted to act like an obvious obsession wasn't growing in his pants. Cas couldn't worry about his dad's reaction either, because one good look at how happy Castiel was and his dad's narrow-mindedness dissipated almost entirely. He was still grumpy but Cas really didn't care.

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