Destiel AU: What Is and What Should Be
The first time Castiel Novak met Dean Winchester he was eight and Dean was three. The Winchesters had just moved next door and Dean was always in the yard, throwing a small bouncy ball into the air and clapping and waving at his mother as it bounded toward him. Castiel thought it was sweet in the way he thought that Balthazar, his annoying four year old cousin was cute when he ran under women’s skirts at the supermarket. Michael disagreed.
Their lives officially intersected on one cloudy day in April when the small ball took a wayward bounce into the Novak’s yard and right behind it came Dean, a determined look on his tiny, freckled face and a slight twinkle in his stunningly green eyes. After reaching for the ball and smiling as blindingly as was possible at three, he promptly sat down next to Castiel and peered over his arm to look at the piece of paper he was drawing on. Dean made a gasped sound and clapped at the picture of the car he was drawing (Dean’s father’s car). At first the thought of Dean watching him draw bothered him, but when Mrs. Winchester came over to tell Dean to come back to their yard, he found himself telling her it was fine and that he would walk Dean to the door in a little bit. He was surprised to find that the intrusion didn’t bother him as much as he had initially thought it would.
Twenty four years passed and Dean remained a constant fixture in Castiel’s life. Until one day everything changed. Suddenly there were doctor bills and hospitals and surgeries and test results. And lately the bad news even had bad news coming out of it.
The latest test results didn’t look good and all of the doctors keep walking around and saying ridiculous phrases like, “there’s nothing else we can do,” and “make him comfortable,” and all Castiel wants to do is yell and scream and punch someone at the injustice of it all, because he was supposed to have forever. He was supposed to have wooden rocking chairs and embarrassing stories to tell their grandchildren, not a two year old daughter with sun kissed blonde hair and bright green eyes and a dying husband.
Dean was only twenty-seven. How could God be so cruel as to only give Cas twenty-four years with this incredible man that he loves? How could God expect twenty-four years to be long enough with Dean Winchester? How could God expect him to lose the only person in the world who could ever complete him? How could the God he was supposed to teach their daughter to believe in be that..wrong. Because if there was one thing Cas knew for certain it was that this, what was happening to Dean, it was wrong. There wasn’t even a word in the dictionary to depict just how completely and utterly not right it was.
They had so much left to do. So much they thought they’d have the rest of their lives to get done.
They were going to fish off the coast of Puerto Rico in a rainstorm, they were going to kiss in front of the guards at Buckingham Palace just to see how much those people were willing to endure, they were going to skinny dip in the Mediterranean Ocean and sunbathe in the nude, they were going to go the Louvre so Castiel could admire the art and Dean could admire him. They were going to scare Maria’s first boyfriend or girlfriend away together, embarrass her at her sixteenth birthday party, make funny faces in all her graduation pictures, and walk her down the aisle at her wedding.
They were going to be together forever.
They had promised each other in front of everyone they loved.
Their rings even said so.
But, nobody told him forever would be twenty-four years, five hours, six minutes, and forty-five seconds.
If they had, he would have tried to appreciate them more.
Goldstream Park - built in July of 2010. The city council had decided to tear down an old, abandoned warehouse and build the park on top of it. Soon afterwards, a block of houses next to the park was sold to the city. Goldstream Elementary was completed in 2012.
Jenny Hawthorne moved to the Goldstream neighborhood the summer of her 4th grade year, 2014. She was a bright kid with six freckles on her right cheek. She preferred to braid her dark brown hair and curl it in a bun, and she hated mustard on her hotdogs.
“Pass the ball!” Frankie Borak yelled. Jenny kicked the soccer ball to him as Ashley Turner jostled her from the left. Frankie charged forward, breaking away from the clump of 4th graders chasing after the ball.
Jenny slowed, breathing heavily, and cheered when Frankie maneuvered the ball into the goal at the other end of the grass field.
“Who’s that?” Ashley asked, pointing towards the playground a few yards away. Jenny squinted at the colorful metal.
“Where?” Ashley pointed more insistently.
“Over on the bench!” Ashley made a face, lowering her hand. “He’s weird!”
Jenny’s eyes found the person Ashley was referring to. It was a man, about as old as her Daddy, and he wore a large, tan coat. It had a few streaks of dirt on it, but he appeared to be wearing a crumpled, dark blue suit underneath it.
“I don’t know.” Jenny stared at the man curiously. “He’s not a teacher.”
“Stranger danger, stranger danger!” Ben Park ran around Jenny and Ashley in a circle, flapping his arms wildly. Ashley shrieked, racing back towards the game. Ben followed her, but Jenny paused for a moment. The man didn’t look dangerous – he wasn’t even talking to any of the kids. He was just sitting there, thinking.
And for some peculiar reason, it didn’t feel like he was a stranger. Jenny had certainly never seen him before, but she just knew…
“Jenny!” Frankie’s voice broke her out of her thoughts, and Jenny looked up just as he sent the ball flying in her direction. She rejoined the game, soon forgetting about the man on the bench.
The next day, he was there.
And the next day.
And the next day.
He didn’t move.
Every day for an entire year, the man was there. Never leaving, never moving, and never speaking. After a month, Jenny informed her teachers, but Mrs. Elwell couldn’t see him. None of the teachers could see him, yet all of the children could.
‘The man on the bench’. Goldstream’s very own urban legend.
Nobody approached him until the winter of 6th grade, when their curiosity finally outweighed the fear of the unknown.
“Hi,” Jenny said, steeling herself. The entire 6th grade huddled together a safe distance away, watching her. Ashley shot her a gloved thumbs up.
“My friends and I noticed you’ve been sitting here for a while.” Nothing. No response, no eye contact. Jenny wasn’t sure he was even breathing. “We were wondering if you wanted us to bring you something. Maybe some food?”
The man stayed a statue. Jenny glanced back towards her friends once before reaching up to tighten her scarf decidedly.
“Well, if you ever do need anything,” Jenny hesitated, gathering her nerves, before cautiously touching the man’s pale hand. It was ice cold but malleable, definitely flesh, definitely real, unlike the stone she had always imagined him to be. “My name is Jenny.”
“Thank you, Jenny.” She jumped back at the unexpected, rumbling voice. The other kids were frozen, having heard his words quite clearly. “But I do not require any secular items.”
Jenny stayed quiet, waiting to see if the man on the bench had anything more to say. When he didn’t continue, nor make eye contact, she reached out and touched his hand again.
“What’s your name?” She could see her friends leaning forward as a group, frightened and rabidly interested at the same time. His eyes finally lifted to hers, and Jenny held back a gasp.
The man’s eyes were crystal clear blue, piercing and vibrant, possibly the bluest blue she’d ever seen.
Jenny swallowed, hard, and forced herself to sit down on the bench next to Castiel. Something about him felt safe, despite all of the self-preservation bells ringing in her gut.
“Why are you sitting here, Castiel?” Castiel looked past her, at the group of children watching him, before decidedly ignoring them.
“I am waiting for someone.” Jenny leaned forward, curling her fingers together.
“Who are you waiting for?” Castiel looked away from her, towards the empty playground.
“The Righteous Man.” He didn’t offer anything more by way of an explanation, and Jenny didn’t ask.
“Are you sure you don’t want something? We can get it for you, you don’t have to leave.” Castiel’s lips curled in the faintest hint of a smile.
“I do not need any material items, Jenny.” She nodded, her own lips curling back in a smile.
“I didn’t ask if you needed anything.” Castiel’s piercing blue gaze fell upon her again, and Jenny met it, unblinking. “Do you want anything?”
“I – yes.” Jenny waited patiently, wondering what he could want for. She would do everything in her power to get it for him, but to a man who’s been sitting on a bench for three years, what could be desirable?
“I would like a hamburger.”
Castiel got his hamburger.
Every day for recess, the children would bring the man on the bench a hamburger. In return, Castiel would tell them his stories.
Sometimes, they were horrible, terrifying. Death and monsters, blood and gore so graphic a few of the children threw up. Other times they were beautiful, stunning. The description of the miracle of an angels’ wings was continually requested of Castiel.
More often than not, the stories were about the Righteous Man and his brother.
“Dean did not have faith in Sam’s plan. I had even less faith than he, after the abandonment of my father.” Castiel took a bite out of the burger, eyes passing over all of the children at his feet. The teachers always looked on, absolutely baffled as to why they were all sitting there, completely silent.
“There seemed to be no other course of action. We took Sam to Detroit, to Lucifer.” The kids waited anxiously, drawn in by the angel’s storytelling. “Sam drank demon blood, preparing himself to host Lucifer. But Lucifer knew we were coming, and he was ready.”
“What happened?” Frankie asked quietly. They all knew that the apocalypse had not come to pass, but what did that mean for Dean and Sam?
“Lucifer took Sam as his vessel.” Castiel’s gaze swept over the children again. “Sam tried to fight him, tried to carry out our original plan, but Lucifer was too strong.”
“Dean would not give up on his brother. He called upon the prophet Chuck for information on the location of the battle between Michael and Lucifer. Then, we departed for the cemetery.”
“Was Sammy okay?” Peyton asked, biting her lip. Castiel patted her on the head comfortingly.
“Lucifer and Michael were preparing to fight when Dean arrived. He attempted to speak with his brother, but his efforts were in vain.” Castiel crumpled up the hamburger wrapper and threw it away in the trash can next to the bench. “Bobby and I arrived at the graveyard, and I attacked Michael.”
“Lucifer was angry with me – he retaliated by ripping my vessel apart. He killed Bobby, and went for Dean.”
“No!” A couple of the girls hugged Castiel’s legs, tears welling up in their eyes. He comforted them, smiling faintly.
“How did you survive?” Jenny asked. Castiel met her eyes calmly.
“I do not know. But I believe that God saved me.” Castiel stayed silent for a moment, brushing down Rachel Montgomery’s hair as she clung to his leg, before continuing.
“Lucifer began to beat Dean. Again and again his fists pounded down upon him. Dean did not fight back, for he could not bear to harm his brother. Then, a miracle occurred.” Castiel stared at Jenny, though he didn’t seem to be seeing her, replaced instead by a vision of the past. “Sam regained control of his body and ceased the brutal attack on Dean. He took the rings and opened the Cage.”
“Michael reappeared, and Sam took him and Adam down into the Cage with him.” The recess bell rang; breaking the trance Castiel’s story always put them in.
“Is Sam still down there?” Elena asked worriedly. Castiel shook his head no.
“I will recount more tomorrow. Go forth and learn.” They did as he said, racing back inside, except for Jenny.
“I’m sorry.” Castiel looked at her, perfectly neutral.
“You have nothing to apologize for.” Jenny held his gaze.
“I know. But I’m going to anyway.” And she turned, running back inside the school.
It took another year of hamburgers and recess to unfold the entire story. Castiel told them of Sam’s missing soul, and Dean’s quest to find it. He revealed that it was his fault that Sam’s soul was missing, but that he had no idea that would be the repercussion of attempting to bring the younger Winchester back.
He told them of the war in Heaven, and of his brother Balthazar. He told them of Crowley, and his offer of Purgatory.
Castiel told them everything.
“When is Dean going to come?” Frankie asked, after Castiel had finished telling them of his ill-gotten stint as God.
“I do not know,” Castiel looked around the group. “But I will wait for him.”
“For how long?” Timothy asked.
“For as long as it takes.”
Jenny hoped it wouldn’t take much longer. Castiel had been waiting long enough.
Dean still had not come.
Jenny and her classmates had moved to a new school – Goldstream High. Castiel had been sitting on the Goldstream Park bench for nearly 6 years.
Dean Winchester was nowhere to be seen.
“When’s he going to come?” Jenny asked quietly, handing Castiel a hamburger. She sat down next to him, scanning the empty playground.
“I don’t know.” Castiel replied, slowly unwrapping the burger. Most of the other kids had stopped coming, but Jenny returned to the park as often as she could.
But Jenny had known Castiel practically her whole life – she knew he was losing faith in the righteous man.
He was losing faith in his righteous man.
Jenny wasn’t blind – she’d figured it out a long time ago. Nobody talked the way Castiel talked about Dean without being completely and entirely in love.
“Why don’t you go to him?” Jenny suggested. Castiel shook his head, biting into the burger solemnly.
“I will wait for Dean Winchester. He will find me when he wants to.”
And that, Jenny thought, had to be the saddest thing she had ever heard.
Four years later, Dean had not come for Castiel.
Jenny was a senior now, too busy to visit the abandoned angel on the bench. Four AP courses, a language, and an editorial spot on the school newspaper ate up her time and left her absolutely exhausted.
But she passed him every now and then in her car, still sitting there on the bench. Still waiting for the man who, it seemed, would never come.
“Hey Jen,” Frankie grinned at her, leaning against an adjacent locker. “How’s my pumpkin?”
“You cheesy douchebag,” Jenny teased, leaning in to peck her boyfriend on the cheek. “Over-wrought, that’s what. I might have to cancel our date tonight to work on Rachel’s fucking column.”
“Aw babe, it’s Friday night!” Frankie sighed, shaking his head. “How about tomorrow night?”
“That definitely works for me.” Jenny rewarded Frankie with another kiss, this time on his lips, and far more prolonged than the previous one.
“Alright, I’ll call you. Maybe we can see that new Adam Sandler movie.” Frankie smiled wickedly at Jenny, aware of how irritating she found Adam Sandler.
“Shut up.” She punched him playfully in the shoulder. “See you tomorrow.”
Frankie disappeared, and Jenny headed out towards the parking lot. So many things she had to do, so little time in which to do it. Homework, the newspaper, dating, applying to colleges…
Jenny climbed into her car, pointing it towards the main street of the town. Her mother had texted her earlier in the day requesting bread and milk. Not to mention, she needed to go to the library for some resources on her Shakespeare paper.
Jenny pulled into a spot next to the Vietnamese cleaners and got out of the car, heading for the local market. They always had fresher bread than the Shoppers up the street.
She hurried past an ATM machine, barely glancing at her surroundings.
Until she froze, eyes wide, staring at the impossible car.
A 1967 Chevy Impala.
She gaped, daring to take a step forward. It couldn’t be.
But it had to be.
All thoughts of groceries and Shakespeare dissipated from her mind as Jenny reached out and touched the hood of the car. It had to be him. It had to be the righteous man.
“She’s a beauty, isn’t she?” A gruff voice called out from behind her, and Jenny whirled around.
She knew that voice too well. Too often it had been described by Castiel.
“When Dean is sick, or upset, there is a catch at the back of his esophagus. It sounds like sand rubbing together, like a blip in the purr of the Impala’s engine.”
Another man came up beside the one who had called out to Jenny. She knew him, too.
“Sam is very tall, taller than I am. You are all very small, so I am confident you can imagine how tall he must be if he is to be taller than I.”
“You – I – How –” Jenny gawked, a fish out of water. Sam exchanged an eyebrow raise with his brother.
“You bastard!” Jenny yelled. Dean jumped and she stalked forward, smacking the elder man upside the head.
“Hey, what – ow!”
“He’s been waiting for you for nine years dickwad!” Jenny glared at Dean. “Why the hell have you kept him waiting so long?”
“I – what?!” Jenny smacked him again, harder.
“Nine years, and all you have to say for yourself is what.” Jenny shook her head in disgust. “You are a pig, Dean Winchester!”
“Who the hell are you?!” Dean snapped, irritation breaking through his surprise.
“It doesn’t matter!” Jenny turned around, opening the Impala and climbing into the backseat. “Shut the hell up and drive!”
“Dean, we’d better check this out.” Sam muttered to his brother, and Dean’s expression flashed between confusion and irritation.
“What the hell.” Dean cursed under his breath and got into the driver’s seat, Sam in the passenger’s. Jenny could feel a bubble of giddiness building up in her stomach. Castiel wouldn’t have to wait much longer.
“Go up this road. Turn right at the last corner.” Jenny instructed. Sam kept a careful watch on her in the backseat, making sure she didn’t turn into a creature and attempt to eat them.
“Would you mind telling me who the fuck you are?” Dean demanded.
“If you must know, my name is Jenny.” She responded shortly, staring intently out the windshield.
“Uh, Jenny,” Sam began calmly. “How do you know who we are?”
She contemplated her answer for a moment before she knew exactly what to say.
“The man on the bench told me.” Sam and Dean exchanged the communicative glance she had heard so much about, and she grinned, unable to contain her happiness.
“Aw dammit,” Jenny frowned. “I haven’t got a burger.”
She saw Dean mouth ‘the fuck?’ to his brother, and edged forward in her seat. They were nearly there.
Dean turned onto the street, maneuvering the Impala slowly down it. Jenny bounced, unbelievably excited.
“Stop!” Dean braked hard, and Jenny waited, satisfied.
“He’s waiting for you, Dean.” Dean’s eyes widened as he spotted the tan figure on the bench. He scrambled out of the car, and Sam gaped.
“Cas.” Dean breathed, and the angel turned.
“How long did you say?” Sam asked Jenny quietly, glued to the scene before him.
“Nine years.” She replied.
“I – I thought you were dead.” Dean choked, and Jenny could hear the catch Castiel had described. For the first time in a long time, Castiel stood up, vacating the bench.
“Death cannot stop true love,” Castiel took an awkward step forward. “It can only delay it for a little while.”
Dean laughed desperately, tears welling in his eyes. “Pop-culture references. I’m impressed.”
“I hoped it would prove sufficient.” Castiel admitted. They stared at each other for a long moment.
“C’mon Dean,” Sam muttered impatiently.
As if telepathic, Dean lurched forward into Castiel’s arms. He caught the angel’s lips passionately, almost obscenely.
Jenny smiled. Castiel’s wait was over.
Somewhere between Dean’s first and fourth drink, they have the conversation. Sam is treading carefully. These aren’t eggshells, they’re landmines, and there’s no going back. So he waits until after the drive, after the hunt, after checking into some shitty motel where the paint’s falling off; after the first, second, third drink, and when he says it, it’s gentle.
"I miss him, too, you know."
"Who?" Dean licks at the rim of his flask, catches Sam’s look, caps it with a frown.
"Yeah, well, I don’t," Dean snaps. "Son of a bitch was asking for it. We told him. We all told him."
And just like that, it’s over. So Sam waits to try again.
Somewhere between the first and fourth week, Dean finds it in the back pocket of a pair of jeans. It’s crumpled and small and faded. But it’s there, the sloping scrawl of an address, pen on paper.
Meet me here. Go now.
Dean doesn’t know why he kept it. It’s from so long ago. But he did, and there it is. Something to keep the coat company. So he tucks it into the pocket of the coat, puts that back inside the trunk, and tells Sam he’s going for a drive.
It’s deserted when he gets there. Nothing, except maybe a rat or two. And Cas is missing, just like last time, but Dean doesn’t know how to help. This place isn’t important anymore. It never was. It’s just an address. Dean doesn’t know why he came, here, of all places. It doesn’t make any sense. But it never makes any sense.
He knows Cas won’t come. He just needs to be here for a while, alone. He just needs to know it’s okay to wait, even if the wait doesn’t pay off. Soon, it gets cold, so he puts the trenchcoat on, even if he feels all wrong inside it. He closes his eyes, and waits.
Nothing, and no one in his head, either. Tell me. Tell me where to go now. Tell me what to do to get you back.
Not a sound.
"Is this what closure feels like?" Dean mutters at empty space. "Because it fucking sucks."
He takes the coat off and folds it again. Sam will be worried. He should get back. But he waits a little longer, and doesn’t know what he expects.
"Look, I never told you. But you knew, right, Cas?" he whispers brokenly. The trenchcoat stays silent. "Please, just tell me you knew."
Dean is in the bathroom too long. Always too long.
He used to do this as a kid; Dean thinks that his brother doesn’t remember, but the images are burned into his mind, like so many others. Dean was silent for a long, long time. Didn’t talk, didn’t even communicate; not with gesture, not with noise.
Now it seems like things are hardly different; he speaks, sure, but he’s not really saying anything; and he’s staying in the bathroom too long.
Sam slams his fist on the door. “Dean,” he says, and there is no response from inside.
Well, the person who normally works with newly-deceased Donald Westerly on his Thursday night bartending shifts is working — surprise surprise — tomorrow on Thursday, so that means Dean is now needlessly dressed in a suit and at a bar with Cas, waiting on Sam’s news from the morgue, while tonight’s bartender is making bedroom eyes at Cas.
“Definitely a wraith, though,” he mutters under his breath to Cas, taking a sip of whiskey. “An entry wound like that?”
“A kitsune would have produced a similar mark,” Cas reminds him snidely, and knocks back the entirety of his (seventh) drink in one go. Dean cringes.
ssssh let’s pretend i was studying,i just read this 8.07 coda-fic and..i feel really HAPPY. It’s been so long since i read a coda-fic that i feel it could actually happen in canon. This is not an accusation to fic’s authors, it was a problem of the show. In season 7 was hard -at least for me- to imagine/write a dean/cas coda fic or a canon!verse.and..now, i feel that YES, Dean and Cas had this conversation in the 8.07 and it’s not over. So we can picture millions of ways they could end it..and this was another thing i missed *sigh*..so..YES. Ok…back to pretend study.
Signs and portents by aesc (PG-13)
Title, Rating: Signs and portents, PG-13
Word Count: 2730
Warnings (including pairings other than Dean/Castiel):
Summary: At first, Dean doesn’t really notice it: Dean and Castiel being mistaken as a couple.
Signs and portents is a hilarious take on what would happen if, instead of Sam and Dean being mistaken as a couple, Dean and Cas were mistaken as a couple. Hilarity ensues.
A short Dean/Cas fic in which Dean does not appear. Based on #spoilers for 8x08
“Why didn’t you go with them?” Sam says as the car’s tires squeal and Dean and Benny drive away. There’s anger in his voice, and he looks daggers at the passenger side of the car as though he could burn Benny out of the shotgun seat.
Castiel sighs and doesn’t answer. He’s thinking of that moment again, the one where he could have pushed and let his power overwhelm and forced him self up through that portal. The other time he chose not to go with them.
“Cas?” Sam’s voice comes as though from far away.
He forces himself to return to reality. “Sam.” He clears his throat. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Like hell it doesn’t. I could have handled things here alone.”
“As could I. Why didn’t you go with him?”
“Cause I can’t stand that vampire.” Sam’s lip curls. “Besides, your power’s still shaky from the trip. There’s no reason you should have to do this alone.”
“Yes, there is.” The words are out before he can help them.