Wait and See

You Got Hurt For Me

Thomas comes by when the snow starts to melt and they do some shooting. Thomas helps him brush up his knife throwing technique. The guy really is impressive. He can hit the bulls-eye of a dartboard from 20 yards off. It's almost superhuman.

Thomas it turns out, got out of Hunting after his cousin died, and other than salt lines under all the door and window moldings in his house, hasn't really thought about ghosts or monsters since. Hunting had been like an extended teenage rebellion thing for him. His father had been raised in it, and refused to carry on the tradition. But he was a mean drunk and a selfish prick and Thomas had run off to find his Hunter uncle when he was 15, then just walked away, found this job, found Sophie, and settled down.

Dean learns from Thomas that a lot of Hunters think the Winchesters are just a story. Two hero brothers built out of the experiences of all other Hunters. Thomas tells him a few stories that he heard from his uncle about them and whistles low when Dean says that they're all true, even though a few details are off. The couple of Hunters that Thomas has talked to about the Supernatural series have assumed that Carver Edlund must be a retired Hunter who decided to take down the Winchester legends.

Dean doesn't want to be a legend. And he doesn't want anyone reading Supernatural. He's finished Lazarus Rising and the idea of thousands over-hormonal teenage girls reading over the passages that seem to focus weirdly on he and Cas exchanging "intense glances" makes his stomach roil almost as much the thought of them all getting a bird's eye view to Cas's feathers being burned off for him in Hell. Every page made his spine tingle like Becky Rosen was heavy-breathing outside his bedroom window.

Cas and Tony break up a week later. Chelsea comes over, clearly prepared to do some equivalent of ice cream and chick flicks, but Cas is actually taking it pretty well. It was only three dates, they didn't do more than make out, Cas already had his freak out about never being human enough. The three of them wind up putting on a record, eating the big quiche thing that Cas made, and amusing themselves inventing life histories for Cas, spinning more and more ridiculous ones until Cas can't stop yawning. Chelsea goes home. Dean and Cas go to bed.

Dean lies there, thinking about it, how it was just stupid fun to make Cas feel better. They didn't research, they didn't talk about Hunting or Hell, or Sam or monsters. They just had fun. It's a weird feeling, and it makes him feel a little guilty and suddenly awake. He goes downstairs, gets the stack of Hell lore he's been working on and reads until he falls asleep.

He wakes up screaming. Fire and brimstone and burning flesh in his nose, ash and blood in his mouth, the sounds of Cas screaming still in his ears.

He lashes out at the hands holding him down, trying to throw them off, until the insistent noise, of a different texture than the screams, finally gets through.

"Dean! Dean! Wake up! Wake up! Dean! It's not real!"

He stops moving, eyes adjusting in the dark until they can see the moonlight against Cas's chin and hair.


"You were dreaming, Dean. You're awake now. It's me."

Dean forces out a breath and drops back onto his pillows, Cas still holding him down.

"What did you dream about?" Cas asks.

Dean doesn't answer at first, then figures, what the Hell, it's Cas. "You coming for me in Hell. Why didn't you ever tell me what happened to your wings?"

Cas stiffens and Dean wonders if he's breached some sort of Angelic etiquette. Nothing is said for a few moments and then Cas moves, sitting down next to Dean instead of hanging over him, holding him down. The bed's not really big enough for both of them, and Dean shifts over a little to give Cas room. Cas sets his hand on Dean's chest. Dean can feel the way his heart is still hammering from the dream.

"How do you know about that?"

"Chuck's new book. He brought a copy. Chelsea was reading it."

"Oh." Cas doesn't say anything, just sits and looks at his hand on Dean's chest. Dean has a sudden flash of the memory of Cas kissing him, innocent and curious.

It wouldn't be innocent anymore.

He shakes his head, willing the thought to go away.

"I wasn't the only one. Angel's haven't attacked Hell since Lucifer first fell, to cage him, it's too dangerous. We all understood the risks of going into save you. There were causalities. Deaths. I wasn't the only one burned. I wasn't even the worst injury."

"But you got hurt. For me."

Castiel sighed, a deep, angry sigh. "No, Dean. I got hurt for God. Under his orders, for his purposes. And based on what's happened over the last few years, I'm not sure it was God, and we could have been under anyone's orders. Uriel's. Raphael's. Michael's. Considering what a cluster-fuck the whole apocalypse was it may have even been under Lilith or Azazel's orders. Don't blame this on yourself."

"But Cas-" Dean starts. Cas huffs again and pushes his hand down over Dean's mouth.

"My wings are gone now. Who cares how ugly they once were? Here and now you do everything for me, too much, sometimes. You saved me, you saved the world, you taught me, you love me. Hell burned me. You did not. Don't you dare simper about it."

Dean pushes Cas's hand away. "Cluster-fuck?"

"I learned it at the hotel. It's accurate."

"You were the one who remade me. When I came back from Hell. That was in the book too."

"It was given to me as an honor. A reward for injury in service. I didn't do it very well," Cas sets his hand over the handprint burned into Dean's skin. "You go this in Hell, when I grabbed you as I burned. I couldn't remove it."

Dean can't answer that and feels his heart start to thrum against Cas's hand again. He can see the wrinkles move on Cas's face as he frowns. Cas brushes a hand over his forehead. "Can I make you something?"

Dean clears his throat and sits up. Cas is so close he can smell him, like his lavender shampoo and the meals he cooks and the continually dusty smell of the blanket he's wearing less and less as winter starts to melt away.

It doesn't worry him like it may have before. Sitting here in his bed like this with a guy who had saved his life a thousand times and once kissed him. Who he'd taught to use the shower and who sometimes held his hand. Who he saved the world with and now ate all his meals with. He catches Cas's hand as it falls from his chest.

"I'm just… I'm sorry about all the times I was a dick to you," Dean finally says, noticing with every word just how stupid they sound coming out of his mouth.

Cas laughs at him. Real, deep, guffaws. His head drops down onto Dean's shoulder and Dean wraps an arm around his back until he finally stops laughing and moves into a hug. "You're ridiculous." He pats Dean's back and pulls back out of the hug. "I'll leave your door open. I'll come wake you again if you stir."

"Cas…" Dean starts… but doesn't know what he was going to say. "Thanks."

Cas shrugs and goes back to bed.

Dean lays back onto his pillows. It's stupid, Cas is right down the hall and heard him the last time, and it was just a dream, like a thousand other dreams he's had, and it's not real, and it's not nearly as frightening as most of his actual real life experiences, but he'd feel better if there was just someone else in the room. On the other side of the nightstand, like there had been his whole life.

Things finally pick up on the monster front. While he supposes that's not actually a good thing, it does keep everyone busy. Cas doesn't brood about not being human. Dean doesn't think about the weight of obligation to Cas that's on his shoulders. Chelsea is distracted from her offer to help set Dean up.

For some reason early last week, she had decided that this was a great idea. She theoretically knew tons of girls willing to put up with a drinking, nightmare having, Hell obsessed lunatic like him. Dean had just nodded, not seeming approving or enthusiastic, but not shutting her down either. Because if Chelsea really did have all of these great, open minded, single female friends- why did she spend most of her days and weird portion of her nights, here with them? If he stayed totally neutral about it, she'd probably forget to bother trying to dig up a girl who obviously didn't exist.

A couple of Hunters who are in the area even stop by, old friends of Bobby's, Cray and Jesslyn. Bobby drives in from Mitchell, everyone has a beer and trades war stories. Dean asks them if they've heard anything about Sam. Bobby and Chelsea exchange a look. Cas runs a hand down his back.

Cray shrugs. No they haven't.

But they can ask Ellen Harvelle if she has.

Cray and Jesslyn don't understand why that makes everyone freeze.

"Ellen Harvelle is alive?"

Cray looks askance at them. "Was she dead?"

"YES!" Bobby, Cas and Dean all answer together.

"She and Jo got blown up in a town full of Reapers when Lucifer raised Death. Jo got shredded by a Hellhound. No one heard about this?" Dean demands.

Jesslyn shakes her head. "Well… I mean, you guys know how things were during the last year. It was the apocalypse. You were the destiny players I heard. The rest of us were just treading monsters. Wasn't a lot of time to just call people and catch up."

"You got her number?"

Jesslyn writes it down and hands it over. That more or less kills the reunion. Chelsea lets Cray and Jesslyn out. Cas, Dean and Bobby sit around a phone and call her.

She is alive. She's hunting in Omaha because without the bar she doesn't have anything to settle down for, so she's scamming and snowing and taking down monsters. She promises to mosey up to South Dakota just as soon as she's taken out the werewolf she's hunting.

Jo's alive too. She' going to school in Delaware.

Neither of them have heard anything about Sam.

"So… what?" Dean barks. "Everyone else is coming back?

"We'll keep an eye out, Dean," Ellen says. "But… I saw a whole damn bar full of people burn. I ain't seen any of them, walking around. Maybe we can't get everyone back."

Dean hangs up the phone, throws it across the room, grabs the book he's been working on and goes up to his room. Somewhere in the haze of rage he can hear Bobby's car start up and leave. You can't hear Chelsea's damn Prius do anything, and she hardly leaves as it is.

Dean stares at the words in his book for a while, he can't tell how long. There's a squeak and a click as his door opens. He jerks his head up to yell, but it's Cas.

"What?" he asks, keeping most of the anger out of his voice. Cas holds up a book like a shield in one hand, he's got a mug in the other.

"I just came up to help."

Dean can't think of anything to reply that won't make him feel like a dick and he's starting to realize that he's having a tantrum and Cas is tolerating him. He shrugs.

Cas drops into the old, just a little bit broken arm chair in the corner of Dean's room. He sets his tea mug on the windowsill and he reads until he falls asleep.

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