In the Trenches, Part 8
What the hell was that?” asked Sam.
been laid out on his side on the bench opposite Castiel, and his little
brother was pawing at him in an attempt to help him sit up. He batted the
helping hands away impatiently. He hadn’t thought he’d been gone long, but
he must have been, because the Red Barn Tavern had turned into a full-blown
battle zone in the interim. The ceiling had caved in from the weight of the
mud on the roof, and every man, woman and child was knee-deep in muck.
Water was flying everywhere – from buckets and hoses – and the folks had
formed a kind of makeshift production line, passing buckets back and forth
to be refilled. It reminded Dean of a movie he once saw where a bunch of
farmers tried to put out a raging barn fire with tiny buckets filled from a
nearby pump. It wasn’t going to be enough to hold the army back, and
everybody knew it. But to their credit, not a one of them was giving up.
was I out?” Dean asked, slightly dazed. He was already standing and
scanning the room for any glaring holes in their defences.
minutes,” Sam answered grimly.
worse than he’d thought – if this was what it was like after only ten
minutes of fighting, they didn’t stand a chance of making it until morning.
think we’re gonna have to make a run for it. There’s no way we can keep
this up all night,” said Sam, worry etched deep into the lines of his face.
have a choice, Sammy. If we go out there we’re toast, and you know it.
Those things will be down our throats before we even get through the parking
do you suggest we do?” asked Sam, waving his arms at the chaos surrounding
darkest corner of the bar a man screamed, but the noise was almost
immediately snuffed out. Dean followed the direction the noise had come
from and saw that they’d lost the young man who’d helped him rip the table
out from their booth. The dirt had encased him, smothered him, and then
dragged him down to the floor where it was now slowly devouring him. Dean
looked away, feeling more than a little sick. From behind him a woman
shrieked and ran from her position on the bucket line to the fallen man.
Dean guessed she was his girlfriend. Others shouted at her to leave him,
but she was past reasoning, sobbing and wailing as she fell to her hands and
knees at his side. For her, the end came quickly, and in the chilled
silence that followed her death, Dean made up his mind.
“I need to
talk to Cas,” he said, pulling Sam aside.
fell on the unconscious angel, but rather than question him, he simply
shrugged. “Have at it,” he replied. “Just make it quick – we need all the
hands we can get, here.”
what Dean loved about his baby bro. No matter how bizarre the situation, he
always managed to take it all in stride. Dean clapped him on the back and
slid into the booth across from Castiel, taking the angel’s hand in his
own. It felt weird, and he knew Sammy was looking at him funny, but it was
the only idea that sprang to mind, and Dean was going to go with it.
back in there, Cas. We’re not done talking.” Dean squeezed his eyes
together tightly, but nothing happened. Then he thought it through and
have been the magic word, because he found himself once again in the dim
dream tavern with a morose but determined-looking angel squared off against
him, like he was expecting a fight.
his hands out in front of him in a placating gesture. “Hold your fire, Cas.
I just came to talk.”
stance relaxed somewhat, but he continued to watch him warily. “There is no
need for discussion, Dean. I was clearly wrong in my presumption, and I
have already apologised for making you uncomfortable.”
harrumphed and took a few steps closer, proud that Castiel was stoically
holding his ground. “There are people dying out there, Cas. And if you’re
right, and we… If we do this, and it works? I’m just saying, we owe it to
those people out there to give it a go.”
washed over Castiel’s face, leaving his blue eyes empty. “It’s not that
simple, Dean. We can’t just go through the motions and repeat the
incantation and expect God’s blessing to pour forth from the pendant. This
will only work if our souls were created to be joined in this way.”
“But for a
while there, you thought they were?” Dean’s eyes trapped the angel’s gaze
and refused to let him look away. “Deep down, you thought it would work
between us.” Cas moved to turn away, but Dean grabbed him by the shoulders
and forced him to remain where he was.
were indications,” Castiel muttered, “even before…before I was able to fully
comprehend the emotions I’ve been feeling. The fact that of all the people
on this planet, you were the one in possession of the pendant should have
been a clue. Not to mention the fact that I was the one fated to raise you
from damnation. I made you whole again. I marked you. It was because of
you that I betrayed Heaven and everything that I knew, and yet despite my
blasphemous behaviour, God saw fit to return me to you. But it wasn’t until
I lay dying in the hospital and it was your blood that saved me that I began
to put the pieces together.”
mulled it over for a moment, nodding his head as the argument began to make
a kind of warped sense to him. “Do you still think this might work? I
mean, it’s not like we’re your typical couple – hell, we’re not even the
smile briefly lifted one corner of Castiel’s mouth. “What I think is
irrelevant. This isn’t something that can be faked or forced. Either our
souls were meant to be joined or they weren’t. No amount of wishful
thinking can change the outcome.”
just gonna give up, then?” Dean rebuked. “I didn’t immediately jump on
board with the flowers and the Hallmark platitudes, so you just hang up your
halo and call it quits?”
on Castiel’s face was the epitome of puzzlement.
tell a guy who’s lived his whole life happily pursuing the opposite sex that
his entire way of life has been a sham and just expect him to go with it!
It’s not that easy to shift gears, if you get my drift.”
of hope sparked in Castiel’s eyes as he studied Dean carefully. “Then you
do reciprocate my feelings?” he asked bluntly.
a moment of rising panic as he prepared to voice something he hadn’t even
fully admitted to himself. “I don’t know what I feel,” he replied
honestly. “It’s not like I have anything I can compare our relationship
with, you know? But I do know that when I got that call from the hospital,
and I thought I might lose you…” Dean had to stop and take a breath. “I
haven’t felt like that since Sammy died, and I never want to feel anything
like that again. It’s just – I never really let myself think about it. I
mean, you’re an angel of the Lord; and a guy. In my world, that pretty much
takes you out of the running.”
nodded his head slowly and solemnly, trying to absorb and understand what
Dean was telling him. After a moment’s deliberation, he took a couple of
steps towards him, breaching the distance between them until they stood less
than a foot apart. With a determined gaze, he said, “Kiss me”.
thought he was close to panic before, then clearly he needed to have his
scale readjusted, because this was panic. Castiel was so close he
could feel the warm huff of his breath against his throat, and damn
if that didn’t stir up something deep down and dirty inside him. What
freaked him out most was the way Cas was looking at him – like he was daring
him or something. Dean was not the kind of guy who backed down from a dare.
impulse to bolt was incredibly strong, but it didn’t hold a match to his
need to see this through. If he was wrong, if there really wasn’t anything
between them and the whole soul mates thing was a bust, then all he’d lost
was an ounce of pride and a few minutes of time on the battle field. But if
Cas was right…ah, but then, what were the chances of that happening, he
himself for what he assumed was going to be a nasty experience, Dean
squinched his eyes shut and leaned in, tentatively pressing their lips
together. The first thought that sprang to mind was that Cas’ lips were as
soft as they looked, and actually, that was the last coherent thought he
had, because when Cas’ lips parted against his with a gentle sigh, Dean’s
hands fisted in Castiel’s jacket, desperately clinging to him as his whole
world turned upside-down. The sudden heat – the toe-curling lightning jolts
that arced over his entire body – was unlike anything he’d experienced
before, and there wasn’t a whole lot that he hadn’t already experienced in
his life. And when their tongues touched for the first time, the sensory
overload was almost too much to bear.
forced himself to pull away, his mind reeling in the aftermath of what he
could only describe as a life-altering experience. Cas was breathing hard,
his pupils blown and his lips parted and just a little swollen from their
kiss. It was the single hottest thing Dean had ever seen, and if it hadn’t
been for the war raging in the bar outside their secret haven, he would have
indulged his urge to sink back into those lips again and stay there.
convinced,” Dean rasped, nudging Castiel’s nose with his own. “Now what do
that spread across the angel’s face was so genuinely sweet that it made
Dean’s chest ache to see it. “First, you’ll have to find a way to wake me
up,” said Cas, trying and failing to douse his smile and look serious.
a bucket of ice water over your head? That usually does the trick,” Dean
Castiel said in reproach.
we’ll find another way. Next?”
need witnesses, and someone to read the incantation out loud.”
shouldn’t be a problem,” Dean replied. “And…?”
will need to seal the deal with a kiss. If we are meant to be bonded, the
pendant will release God’s Grace upon us,” Castiel answered.
beamed at him, “Great – let’s do this thing!”
Castiel became sombre, and he shifted his eyes away from Dean’s. “You must
understand that this is not a step to be taken lightly. Even if our souls
are incompatible, we will still be married in the eyes of God.”
the whole ‘love, honour and obey, ‘til death do us part’ thing?” Dean asked,
to which Castiel nodded gravely. Dean swallowed hard. That wasn’t
something he’d considered. But hell, it wasn’t like he was likely to live
all that long in any case, right, he thought? And anyways, if it did work,
then they were going to be tied to each other for all eternity, so what was
the big deal? Dean nodded firmly. “I’m in,” he said, giving Cas his most
tilted his head at him and pursed his lips, which now only made Dean want to
kiss him. “This is serious, Dean. It’s not something you can back out of
“I get it,
Cas,” Dean assured him and gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Now let’s go
ride off into the sunset together.”
frowned at him, but it never reached his eyes, which were still smiling.
Castiel reached out to Dean’s forehead with two fingers and poked him back
into the land of the living.
What took you so long?” Sam barked at him over his shoulder. He was busy
hosing away three mud soldiers that were intent on getting into Dean’s
up on his bench, feeling disoriented. On one hand, his life was in serious
jeopardy, but on the other hand, he’d never felt happier in his life. Sam
was staring at him like he’d gone soft in the head, and Dean didn’t get it
until he realised he was smiling like a loon.
how would you like to be my best man?” he asked, his grin widening at the
befuddled look on his brother’s face.
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