No Refunds

Chapter 19

Cas didn't look behind, merely followed Dean straight to the car and got in. The hunter was now on the phone, and didn't look up at Cas. Dean nodded.

"Right. Makes sense with the old man too; burnt her, but kept some hair. Ghost then."

Cas heard Sam's tinny voice on the other end of the line.

"Yeah, it's going fine." Dean glanced to Cas. "Didn't get kicked out too fast."

Sam spoke again.

"No, should be fine." Dean sighed. "See you later."

Dean hung up before turning the radio back on and beginning to drive.

"I assume we will be returning." Castiel said.

"We'll stakeout until he leaves, then we go in and find the hair." He said. "The ghost'll be attached to that. Sam talked to the new wife; she definitely saw old Hilda."

Cas nodded, and looked out of the window, watching the scenery go slowly by as Dean turned the car around and wound up parking down the street they were just in, though further down so they would not be seen by old Bill.

After a few minutes, Cas sighed, and Dean looked up.

"What?"

Cas looked to the hunter, surprised at the attention, but Dean quickly looked away again, looking back at the house.

"I do not understand human sentimentality." Cas stated.

"So what else is new?" Dean muttered.

"Why would Bill West have kept a lock of his wife's hair?" Castiel wondered aloud. "I have noticed that humans find corpse's grotesque, yet he keeps a part of one..."

Dean shook his head. "No, it's... yeah, it's a bit weird, but," He frowned, trying to explain. "It's like holding on to them. If you've still got a piece of them, they're not completely gone."

"And this is different to photographs?"

"You got it." Dean huffed, steadfastly looking out of the window.

"Have you ever partaken in this activity?" The angel asked, though suddenly regretted his question when the hunter looked back at him, coldness in his eyes. He shut his mouth and shuffled slightly uncomfortably; he had forgotten, just for a moment, that it wasn't how it had used to be. Dean was no longer in the mood to satisfy his curiosity about humanity, no longer willing to answer personal questions about himself. He was barely willing to have Cas in the same car as him.

But Dean merely looked away again, clearing his throat. "Yeah." He told him. "I kept my Dad's jacket, I kept Jo's gun... it's not quite a chunk of their hair, or something gross like that, but it's something."

Cas looked at him, amazed once more at the hunter. Each time he'd thought he understood the man, he'd find out something new, and this was no exception. Since he had returned, all he had seen of the hunter was his cold side, the front he'd put up so as nothing could hurt him again. He had feared that this is all he would ever see of him. But that moment, that admission of warmth...

Cas smiled.

Dean was looking out of the window. He didn't want Cas to see his face, or his eyes, which were currently a little too shiny. He blinked away the slight moisture. Damnit, that angel was beginning to chip away at his boundaries... again.

He didn't think Cas really knew what he was asking. He was just confused by human customs again, and he wanted to see how they fit in to the hunters lives. When he had asked if he had kept anything for no reason other than for sentiment...

He thought back to the trench coat, lying alone but not forgotten in the trunk of the impala, many miles away from here. He had kept it, but he hadn't looked at it since the day he put it there. It wasn't like his Dad, it wasn't like Jo – he kept their things and used them, it was his way of remembering. The coat, Cas... he wanted to forget. But he never did.

Cas didn't know what he had been asking.

His thoughts were interrupted when he saw movement outside. Bill was leaving his house and getting into a car parked out front.

"Show time." Dean commented.

Back to the job.


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