Fic: Take A Bow 2/6
Title: Take A Bow Author: Lopaka Tanu Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. Characters: Dean, Sam, Castiel, Bobby, Anna. Words: 20200 Prompt: 2. Post-apocalyptic or end of the world scenario. For stageira Beta: Thank you to my Muse, Beta and Corrections Officer, kira_bouviea Fandom: Supernatural Pairing: Dean/Castiel Spoilers: Immediately Post 4x22: 'Lucifer Rising'. Rating: Adult Warnings: Language, Violence, Character Death, Angelic Violence, Dean Angst, Dean Centric, Implied Adult Situations. Summary: Dean is the instrument that stops the apocalypse. There are consequences. Author's Note: There are general WTF moments that are explained by the end. ______________________________________
"Please don't hang up." Sam's voice carried through the cheap motel bathroom door. It wasn't designed for anything except to give the illusion of privacy.
Even with the light off, Dean could tell the bathroom needed to be cleaned. That probably had a lot to do with the light coming from under the door, reflecting off the stained floor tiles. If there was a place that qualified as God Awful, he was certain this motel was in the running.
"I know I've made a lot of mistakes, Bobby." The sigh from the younger man carried through the thin door loud and clear. "I admit it and I'm willing to make amends, but this isn't about me. Not this time. Yeah. I think something's really wrong."
Five-point-three seconds, Dean measured it with his watch. He had wondered how long it would take them to get around to discussing him. Releasing the night glow button, he let his arm drop back to the floor beside him.
"I don't know, it's just a feeling I have." It sure sounded like it. Sam only had that tone of voice when things got really bad.
Not that Dean really cared. The situation was nothing that mattered to him. Let them talk all they wanted. He would go on like nothing had happened. That's what he always did.
Sam's footsteps stopped near the bathroom door, but not within sight of the crack. "Ever since Chuck's, he hasn't said a word." His heavy sigh carried more than just a physical weight. "It's gone. Whatever happened there left a big crater and little else."
Ah. It wasn't the fact that he was brooding, just that he had stopped talking to the big dork. There was room for only one emo dork in the family. 'Jealous bitch much, Sammy?' Rolling his eyes, Dean let his head fall back against the tub.
"I don't know, Bobby. He didn't say." Apparently asking stupid questions wasn't confined to big dorks only. Sam leaned back against the wall hard enough to make it shake. "I think it has something to do with Castiel."
All the air in the bathroom suddenly stilled. Half a heartbeat later the light under the door flickered as the concussion of thunder shook the motel.
The wall thumped harder from Sam smacking against it when he jumped.
Snorting, Dean pictured his brother's reaction. The mere thought of that heart attack expression had him chuckling. This soon petered out and left him feeling drained.
"What? Sorry. Thunder scared the crap out of me." Sam's voice sounded strained. It matched the nervous thump of his fingers against the wall. "Bobby, that is not funny. Don't even joke about him smiting me."
The smile on his lips felt sad to Dean. He had missed this. All these months of dread and worry had robbed them of something. Until this moment, he hadn't been exactly sure what that was.
For too long their lives had been focused on things beyond their control. The strain of that took too much out of them. When they were forced to face it every day they had quickly forgotten to just live. That stripped the humanity from their mission, leaving only bitterness and anger behind.
It was a disgusting way to live. Dean had spent too much time in hell to let those same emotions rule him here. That was something he wasn't willing to do any longer.
Starting tomorrow, he would rediscover this world. Tomorrow, he would learn to start living again.
"It's not something I can describe." The words were barely above a whisper, yet the anguish in them was palpable. Whatever Sam was talking about really hurt him. "Something happened and it was all my fault. It was Dean, man, he faced it all down. Again."
Closing his eyes, Dean forced himself to relax. The cold plastic of the tiles chilled his skin where it stuck above the plastic lining of the tub. 'It wasn't a bed' was his last thought.
Brilliant sunlight came through curtains above the bed, bathing him in warmth. It was slightly annoying but wasn't woke him. Opening his mouth to yawn, Dean felt his jaw crack. He finished with a soft moan.
The bed was comfortable enough that he wanted to just lay there forever. Whoever had picked it out had great taste. Everything about it was just perfect. Even the cotton sheets were soft with the hint of strength that spoke of many washings.
Shifting a little, he felt the mattress give under him. The springs strained a little signaling that this was a well used bed. Thinking what the owner might be getting up to in it made Dean smirk.
A muffled groan to his right raised his eyebrow. That had been awfully deep for woman's voice. Then again, sex with him usually had them hoarse the morning after.
From his position in the bed, Dean could see the alarm clock. It was two minutes to seven in the morning. The alarm light was on. He had no doubt it would be going off in two minutes. Best to get a look at his bedmate so that he had an idea how to handle this before she awoke.
Putting an elbow down to his side, Dean carefully rolled to his left. The first thing he saw were the blue comforter and matching sheets. Cradled in them was the long line of a pale skinned back. They pooled at a trim waist, just above a hairy ass.
This time both eyebrows raised. Turning to look the other direction, Dean traced the curve of the spine up muscular shoulders. His eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he spotted no head. It took him a moment and a near heart attack later to realize the man's head was buried under the pillow.
Feeling stupid, Dean frowned. Leaning back on his right arm, he reached up with his left to rub at the lower half of his face. So he was in bed with a dude. A very naked dude at that. He had been in worse situations.
He wanted to lift the pillow to find out what this guy looked like, but that would, you know, wake him up. That sorta defeated the purpose of getting a first look. Without that chance he was lost.
It occurred to him that there might be photos of the man. Near to panicking, Dean glanced about the room. There was nothing out of the ordinary which might signal witch craft. He couldn't completely rule that out, but the really obvious signs didn't look good to him.
On the hard wood floor was a coiled rug large enough to extend out from beneath the bed. His clothes, wallet, and shoes were no where to be found. Raising up the blanket confirmed that he was bare ass naked in bed with a guy.
Carefully lowering the blanket, Dean cast a quick look to his bedmate. The man's back was covered in scratches now that he looked at it. A particularly nasty looking hickey had formed at the joint of his shoulder and neck.
Dean had the sneaking suspicion if a dental exam were performed, his own brilliant white smile would be a positive match. Unable to stop himself, he ran his tongue over his teeth. Aside from needing to be brushed there was nothing caught in them.
He went back to his search. There were a few photos on the vanity near the door. Unfortunately, they were facing the wrong direction for him to see them. Getting desperate, Dean turned to the bedside table. He hadn't seen anything there earlier, but he might have missed something.
Much to his surprise, there was indeed a photo. It was set in a hand carved wooden frame. What he found in it made his blood run cold.
Two men were standing in the center hugging. One was scowling, the obvious hand down the back of his pants being the reason why. The other, with his usual smirk, was him. Dean was staring at himself back from the photo.
The other man was slightly shorter, but seemed to exude a presence that gave the illusion of being bigger. A black tie hung loosened from around his neck. Without his usual trench coat, Castiel looked almost naked.
Turning to his left, Dean found the feeling translated well from photo. For what felt like an hour he could only stare at the man. In reality it was probably only a few seconds.
He was interrupted by the alarm going off. Someone must have been messing with the dial because all he heard was static. Dean tried to shut it off before Castiel awoke. Two well place smacks shut the infernal device off.
It was too late.
Shifting in the bed drew Dean's attention back to his bedmate. He looked almost reluctantly to find a wild haired head pulling out from under the pillows.
Rolling on to his back, Castiel shivered. He tugged the blankets up his chest as he lay his head down on the pillows. His hands froze halfway to rubbing his eyes. Having spotted the other man, he smiled. "Good morning, Dean Winchester."
Dean came awake with a start. Coughing, he cleared the stale air and dried saliva from his mouth. He had to clear his throat twice before his growl came out smooth. It took him a second to orient himself to the dim sunlight filtering under the door.
He was in the motel bathroom. In fact, he had spent the night asleep in the too small bathtub. His knees protested this fact greatly.
Groaning, he eased himself in to a sitting position. The tub groaned under him because of the shift in weight. He didn't care. His bare feet were cold against the hard plastic.
Resting his folded arms on his knees, Dean glanced about the bathroom. It looked as horrible in the morning light as it had last night. The faded clamshell wall paper gave it a nauseatingly pink tinge. His memory of it was kinda fuzzy but Dean was certain in might have been this color.
Dean shivered in his makeshift bed. It had been a bad idea to sleep in the tub. Still, it beat sleeping in the same room as that jerk. He could control his waking actions, it was his sleeping movements that might threaten Sam. Then again, this might also have had to do with not really trusting the other man. Just a smidge.
There was no doubt in his mind that his brother would take that admission the wrong way. He was always doing that. Ever since he was old enough to roll his eyes, Sam had been such a drama queen.
Glancing to the door, Dean realized he was putting off the confrontation. It wasn't something he really wanted to do. There was enough trouble between them without adding to it. Yet, how could he just let this go? Where was that hesitation in his brother when it came to betraying everything he had been taught?
That right there in a nut shell was what bothered him the most.
Nothing was sacred to the giant sasquatch. Even with everything that Sam had done, Dean had never believed him capable of doing what he had. Worse than that was the thought that Sam might have gone too far. There was only one way to find out.
Bracing himself on the sides of the tub, Dean gently eased himself up. His legs started to cramp almost immediately. Biting his lip, he made it to the edge before he was forced to sit down. This was definitely the last time he would sleep in a bath tub.
The smell of his leather jacket comforted Dean. It was a pitiful excuse of protection against the emotions racing through his mind. He felt like one big, raw nerve. The familiar smell of his jacket, the fit of his clothes, even the weight of the glock at the base of his spine were just a bandage over the wound.
Standing against the blinds, he watched the sun beam down over the parking lot. Warm orange glow reflected off the pools of water in the parking lot. Ordinarily, he wouldn't have noticed the beauty of it all. There was so much of it.
Funny, even four decades in hell hadn't taught him that lesson. Life was so precious. It was also very fragile. A single careless act could snuff it out.
Dean snorted. With a flick of the blinds, he knocked the slat back in place. He had wasted enough time. It was time to get on the road. That meant waking Grape Ape. Turning to face his brother, he studied the younger man.
Sprawled across the bed, Sam had kicked the blankets down to his knees. Dried saliva stuck to his cheek where it had run down from his open mouth. Only one of the two mini-pillows remained on the bed.
The thought that Sam wasn't sleeping well gave Dean just a tiny thrill. No one who had deliberately gone through that shit deserved to. That spiteful pleasure settled how he was going to get him up.
Stalking quietly over to the bed, Dean bent down beside it. He slid his fingers under the edge of the bottom sheet. Once he had the hem firmly in his grip, he stood, giving it a hardy jerk.
"Wha..." Sam's question turned in to a cry of shock as he was rolled off the bed. He landed with a muted thump on the other side.
From his position standing over the bed Dean could clearly see the alarmed expression on the younger man's face. Warmth curled in his stomach at the sight. "Good, you're awake. Time to get moving." He bent down once more to snatch something off the floor.
Sam's eyes narrowed quickly upon hearing those words. Before he could say what was on his mind a pair of pants came flying at his face. He barely had time to put a hand up to catch them.
Having noticed the pants gave him an idea. "Get dressed." Dean quickly moved about the motel picking up everything he could find that belonged to them. This was the perfect excuse to avoid meeting the pissy glare leveled in his direction. "Come on, hurry up!"
With a shake of his head, Sam threw the pants aside. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Dean shrugged. "You slept long enough," he stated like this thought was an obvious fact.
In the middle of standing up, Sam paused halfway to his feet and looked over at his brother. "Then what's the rush, Dean?"
"I'm hungry." At the other man's scoff, Dean frowned. "Hey, being hungry is an emergency." Another scoff made him look to Sam. Examining the big dork he found something that made his eyebrows raise as he quickly glanced away. "Didn't I tell you it's not nice to point?"
"What?" Frowning, Sam examined his hands. Finding nothing there he glanced down. The sight of his tented boxers made his eyes go wide. He quickly grabbed for the last pillow on the bed. "Damn it, Dean!"
"Oh no, you're not blaming this one on me. Frankly, I find it disturbing that your mind even went there." Keeping his eyes most assuredly focused on the ceiling, he shook his head. Out of the corner of his eye he caught Sam storming in to the bathroom.
Sam slammed the door behind him. After a quick tug with the handle he locked it. "Dean, quit be disgusting."
"Hey, I'm not the one sporting a chubby for his fine brother." Cocking his head to the side, Dean raised an eyebrow. "Not that I blame you, I mean, it's hard not to get hard when I look in the mirror some times."
"Oh, god." The wall thumped as something hard hit it from the other side.
Unable to stop himself, Dean raised his voice. "Hey, no thinking about me when you're doing that in there!"
A frustrated groan came through the wall. "Can we please just stop talking about this now?"
Snickering, Dean rolled his eyes to the ceiling once more. It felt good that he could still tease Sam. May be things weren't so far gone after all.
Opening the door scattered a flock of large birds. The brilliant sunlight flooded in to the motel room, but he didn't notice. He all but threw himself out it in his rush to escape.
Slipping on a pair of sunglasses, Dean took a deep breath. The air smelled fresh to him. It was almost as if the world were renewed. Then again, it could have been the fact he was no longer trapped in a motel room that stank of an open sewer.
He cast a glance over his shoulder at the big gas bag responsible. Upon spotting him, he made sure to wrinkle his nose.
"Oh, get over it, Dean." Bag over his shoulder, Sam pushed the other man forward. It was obvious from his expression that he didn't think it was one bit funny.
"I'm not sure how. I think I might have brain damage from that." Waving a hand in front of his face, Dean began to snicker. It really was funny and disgusting at the same time. "Besides, what I have I told you about Mexican?"
"Dean." Sam's warning voice echoed in the almost empty parking lot. Pushing passed his brother he slung his bag up higher on his shoulders. The moment he saw their car, he stopped dead in his tracks. "Where did that come from?"
Rolling his eyes, Dean continued around to the driver's side. "Did you breathe deeply while you were the bathroom?"
In response, Sam just stared at his brother, his lips thinning out in irritation. When he realized he wasn't going to get a response, he walked around the back of the Impala. He dug the keys out of his pocket to open the trunk.
Dean snorted. He didn't understand why the other was being so pissy. It wasn't him that had been forced to endure possible brain damage from exposure to toxic chemicals. Then again, they had been emitting from that large ass. Stopping by the driver's door, Dean fixed his sunglasses so he could look at Sam. "How is it even possible for your body to produce that kind of funk?"
Tossing his bag in the trunk, Sam slammed the lid closed. "Can you shut up again? I'm already starting to miss the quiet."
"Throw me the keys and get your gigantic, toxic ass in the passenger seat, bitch!" Dean was so busy rolling his eyes that the keys almost hit him in the face. "Hey!"
"Heads up?" Instead of a recalcitrant expression, Sam only smirked at his brother. The question from moments before was apparently forgotten in favor of bothering his brother.
Narrowing his eyes, Dean tightened his jaw. Fine, if that was the way he wanted to be about it, he could so get all over that. It was on!
Pulling the Impala into the last free parking space, Dean grit his teeth. The car shuddered as the front wheels impacted against the parking block. He released a smile in triumph the moment the car came to a complete stop. "I told you she would fit."
In the passenger seat, Sam exhaled in relief. He gave Dean a disbelieving look before shaking his head. Instead of speaking, he climbed out of the car as fast as he could.
Dean snorted. There had never been any doubt that his baby could maneuver in to the space. It wasn't his fault that parking spaces got smaller every year.
After turning the car off, he sat in the seat for a moment to compose himself. Despite the relative ease that they had driven in, it had been hard for him not to lay in to his brother. That strain was extremely exhausting. Once he was certain he could deal once more, he opened the driver's side door.
It was a tight squeeze, but he had just enough room to get out. After he closed the door behind him, Dean stretched to crack his back. He stared out over the parking lot in amazement. Every other space in the lot was filled with cars.
For a greasy spoon diner, it was doing excellent business.
Dean was interrupted in his scan by something tickling his nose. That quickly turned in to a slight stinging sensation. Screwing up his face, he turned to find the source.
Standing a few feet away, Sam was waiting for him. His hands were in his pockets. As he looked down, the long fringe of his hair covered his eyes.
The sight made Dean want to groan. He was doing that sulking thing again. It had long ago lost the desired effect on him, but it seemed old habits died hard. Un uh. There was no getting out of it this time. Squaring his shoulders, Dean put forth his best resolved expression.
If anything, Sam's stance seemed to shrink even further in on itself. He was set up for a long fight. The mulish expression on his face was the very same one he had used on their father before he left for Stanford.
Outrage filled Dean. How dare that big ass even think he could defend himself after everything he had done? There was no playing the victim on this one! Dean's lips twitched while the desire to strike the other filled him. It took all his will power to turn away. If this was what they had come to then it wasn't worth the effort.
Dean was not his father.
Not even bothering to wave it off, Dean stuck his hands in his jacket. He started for the entrance to the restaurant. The sound of his boots hitting the sidewalk echoed off the parking lot full of cars.
Upon reaching the front door he jerked it open harder than strictly necessary. The bells hanging off the handle loudly jingled as they slapped against the glass. That was okay in his opinion. The world needed to know how pissed he was.
Of course, that was when the world decided to let him know he wasn't the only person in it. Silence filled the restaurant. Every booth seemed to be filled to capacity with families in their Sunday best. All eyes were upon the door.
Dean readied himself for an attack. When none came, he was almost disappointed.
The people quietly went back to their conversations and eating. Only a few faces remained staring his way. Not a one of them above two or below seventy.
A prickling started on Dean's upper back and quickly made its way up his spine. By the time it reached his face his smile was a strained grimace. Babies and grandparents, two of his least favorite customers.
Clearing his throat, he looked about for waitress or sign to indicate where he should go. He found the latter two feet away.
'Seat yourself' it read.
He exhaled with some relief as he didn't think he was capable of dealing with an actual person at that moment. A quick survey of the booths found only one empty. Unfortunately it was towards the back and he had to pass through a large crowd of families to get to it.
Clenching the fist still inside his jacket pocket, Dean braced himself. He could do this. After taking a calming breath, he pasted on a pleasant smile and started through the throng. Walking through their number he pretended not to notice the stares.
By some miracle he made it to the table without incident. He decided not to chance it and slid in to the booth as quietly as he could. The next step was to decide what to order. Like there would ever be a difference in what he wanted. Still, it helped put people at ease if he kept up some semblance of normalcy, and these people needed putting at ease.
Glancing up as he reached for a menu, Dean found an old couple two tables over staring at him. He noted the way they held hands and smiled. The smile froze on his face at their reactions.
Going pale, the old man's eyes widened a little. He squeezed his wife's hand as she leaned in to him.
Her hand trembled as she set her coffee mug down.
Neither of them seemed to be able to look away.
Dean let the smile slip from his face. Giving up on being polite, he focused on the menu. There was nothing different about it from the thousands of others he had perused in his lifetime. He made sure to quickly check if they served pancakes with real syrup, not some imitation, diabetic friendly crap. That done, he set it aside.
Just in time too.
The exact same moment Dean put the menu back, Sam sank in the booth across from him. His hoodie was drawn up and his shoulders were drooping. It was obvious the man was trying to shrink as much as possible.
Eyebrows up, Dean pursed his lips. "Have you decided what you want?" He refused to look directly at his brother's face.
"What do you think he's going to do to me?" Sam's voice was low. His fear stole most of the strength from his normal timbre.
Dean sighed. "Well, for starters, he's probably going to kick your ass for knocking him out. That was a real boneheaded move on your part." He reached over and thumped the menu. "I recommend the eggs. Not exactly on your list of approved 'princess diet' foods, but try living up a little for a change."
"Dean, I meant God." Sam cut himself off after he finished the last word. He did a quick survey of the diner to make sure no one was suddenly watching him. When he was certain, he faced Dean once more. "What do you think he is going to do to me?"
Closing his eyes, Dean sighed again. These were words he had been hoping to never hear. The truth was he was afraid himself. There was no avoiding it any longer now that Sam had so blatantly laid it out on the table. "I don't know."
Sam appeared to be surprised by this response. He stared at Dean for a full minute before breaking off. "Oh." It was a non-committal sound, almost as if he had nothing else to say.
The prickling sensation crawled up Dean's spine once more. He turned to locate the source but found no one watching him this time. Frowning, he forced himself to keep calm. It was probably all just in his head.
Something on the edge of the table caught his attention. A second look revealed it to be a chrome napkin holder. Staring at his reflection, Dean felt a little disoriented, almost as if he wasn't really there. The sensation of being far from himself made his stomach flip.