Prompt 12: Knowledge
He catches himself reaching out for Dean more than once during their flight through the woods and it unnerves him.
They’ve been followed now for what feels like hours. After leaving the compromised safety of the white house and the corpse of the succubus and her mate, they hurried into the dubious concealment provided by the forest. The forest itself seems never-ending in this halfway place, stretching as far as his eyes - those of the vessel and his true ones - can see. He stretches out his power on occasion to check for an end, but so far he hasn’t encountered a stop to the trees in any direction.
The pursuit is unquestioned. Given what they are, what they’ve both done - Dean, as a hunter and himself especially, as an eater of souls - and the trail of power they leave behind them, pursuit is guaranteed. His surety is unwavering; his knowledge of his own acts guarantees vengeance by those trapped in this place.
His only goal, now, is to get Dean to safety.
Hopefully, to the safety of his own world; and hopefully before Castiel himself is ripped to pieces or becomes useless to Dean. These two things seem not only possible, but sure. He will die here, or change into something Dean will be forced to put down for his own safety. Before he does, he must get Dean out.
He walks behind Dean now, letting him set the pace for them both. Castiel may seem tireless to the man before him, but that hasn’t been true for quite some time. His fall from Heaven, his death twice-over at the hands of an archangel; then his civil war and the wearisome choices he was forced to make… All of these things weigh on him, slow him down, tire him out in ways he could never describe to his friends.
He finds that Purgatory unsettles him even further. His wound is a maddening itch beneath the sleeve of his coat, the succubus’s venom barely held at bay by his innate power. The nature of an angel is to resist corruption; but Castiel is not the angel he once was. He has already been corrupted multiple times over, and it gives the heated poison a foothold in his body.
And so, he finds himself reaching out to Dean on occasion as they walk. Just to touch. Just to… connect. He stops himself every time, but is unsure of how long he can continue on with this buzzing desire beneath his borrowed skin.
His thoughts are interrupted by the unmistakable rumbling growl of Dean’s stomach. The man himself reaches down and rubs at his belly, exposing a small strip of skin, and Castiel again makes an aborted movement towards him. Dean reaches into his pocket and pulls out a candy bar, turning slightly towards Castiel at the same time.
“Want a piece?” He asks, extending the wrapped bar - a Snickers, which if Castiel remembers correctly, the commercials on the rec room TV always assured that it would really satisfy one’s hunger. So, he thinks, it is good that Dean has one.
Thinking on the length of their possible stay, Castiel asks, “Is that the only food you have with you, Dean?” At the man’s slow frown and expected nod, Castiel says, “I can make it so that your food lasts a little longer, if you wish.”
“What, you can mojo me up a full stomach?” Dean raises his eyebrows, stopping and turning fully to the angel. The candy is still extended between them, a peace offering or shared meal between two soldiers, perhaps. Castiel is warmed by the offer, regardless of the intent.
“Not exactly,” he replies, “but I can stretch what you have, much in the same way the Holy Son provided meals for his followers. Nothing that extensive, of course, but I can take what you have and use it to make more of the same. It might be prudent given the nature of the food in this place,” he adds, gesturing to the damp trees around them and back the way they came, indicating the monsters some distance behind.
“Huh, Cas, you been holding out on me?” Dean laughs a little, breaking open the wrapper on the candy bar. ”So what, you’re gonna loaves-and-fishes my Snickers? You could put Hershey out of business with that shtick.”
Castiel only barely understands what Dean means, but he smiles in acceptance, taking the piece of nut-heavy candy between his palms and concentrating a little of his energy on it. Opening his hands, he reveals another candy bar - slightly melted by the heat of his hands - and offers it to Dean.
“Neat trick,” Dean says, taking the proffered treat. ”Not the most nutritional breakfast, lunch, and dinner a guy can get, but I ain’t complaining. Here, least we can do is split it,” he says, giving half of it over to Castiel.
As he accepts his portion, Castiel cannot resist the temptation to slide his hand along Dean’s. The touch is like fire up his arm and his wound sends out a painful throb. Castiel attempts the school his features into impassivity, but feels he must have again failed to hide himself sufficiently when Dean meets his eyes, something sharpening in his countenance. Castiel pulls his hand back quickly, almost dropping the candy to the muddy ground below.
“Thank you, Dean,” he rasps out, and gestures ahead to indicate they should continue walking. He puts a piece of the candy in his mouth to forestall any conversation and falls back to his spot at Dean’s back.
They begin walking again, silence thick between them, both of them intent on chewing their chocolate and nuts and moving as quickly as they can in the uneven terrain. Castiel catches himself licking the chocolate off of his fingers, remembering the handful of times he’d had it before in recent memory. A taste of pie in a diner with Dean and Sam; an impromptu birthday cake Daphne had made, saying they might as well, since they didn’t know when his birthday truly was; the little cup of pudding he was allowed at the institution when he woke.
This may be his favorite taste so far, fresh from his friend’s hand, and he enjoys the feel of it against his tongue as he licks over his fingertips.
Castiel stretches his senses out again; so far, no monsters within range, which is peculiar given the nature of Purgatory. The place teems with monsters - werewolves, vampires, sirens, shifters, wendigos, displaced human spirits who could not attain Heaven or were undeserving of Hell based on their warped natures. Not neutral, precisely, but certainly not holy or damned; just selfish, self-serving according to their natures.
He’s beginning to know what that feels like, to be monstrous and selfish, and wonders if this place will be his ultimate punishment on his last death.
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- undergrounduno said: Oh Cas, you poor baby. It’s an okay sort of selfish to want to be close to someone. Someone needs to tell him this ;_; (Another beautiful post, btw!! <3)
- catboatventure posted this