Fic: Take A Bow 6/6
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. ______________________________________
Dean felt bone weary as he trudged down the last few stairs. A chill in the air from the storm outside certainly didn't help much. Each step he took caused his joints to creak until he was back on the main floor. Leaning against the banister, he paused for a moment to catch his breath.
A snort came from over by the fire place. Sitting in a high-back chair, Bobby continued to oil the outer barrel of his shotgun. "How's Sam doing?"
"Still blubbering like a baby." Instead of the humor he would have ordinarily been feeling, all Dean experienced was a deep seeded exhaustion. He wanted to lay down and sleep for a hundred years. "He did a lot of terrible things, it's going to keep him up for a while."
"The exorcism ritual certainly didn't do him any good." Bobby stopped mid stroke to glance up at Dean. "It didn't do him any harm either. Which is strange considering all the demon blood that boy's sucked down."
Coming over, Dean shrugged. "His soul's been cleansed, I could have told you that."
"Yeah, well, why didn't you?" The irritation in Bobby's voice showed up on his face after he finished speaking.
This caused Dean to shrug again. "Would you have believed me?" When he met the older man's eyes, a tiny smirk formed on his lips. "Besides, it was about time someone tied him up and knocked some sense in to him."
"This isn't funny, Dean." It was obvious the older man wasn't happy about any of this. "This is some serious magic. Do you even realize what you've potentially done by doing this?" If his words struck home, the younger man didn't give any indication.
Dean continued walking until he reached the fire place. Standing in front of it, he stared down at the flames. After a moment of doing nothing, he crossed his arms.
The silence that followed left both of them uncomfortable.
For his part, Bobby continued to clean his weapon. When he was done, he set the shotgun aside. "Why don't you start with the beginning." It wasn't a question.
Warming his hands against the flames gave Dean time to consider just what he wanted to say. There were some things he would never tell. Others, he wasn't sure he could. It was all very painful to even think about, let alone articulate.
"The angels took me." As he spoke the words, Dean's courage grew. This was important. It was a part that someone had to know. "Zachariah and Castiel were there, but I think it was that dickhead Zachariah who grabbed me."
Bobby stared at Dean in open surprise. He had been expecting something, but not this. "Where did they take you? Did they say why?"
That was the easy part of this explanation. Dean knew what to say here. "It was one of those marble waiting rooms you see in fancy hotels. The place was filled with crap you're afraid to touch cause they might break. All tastefully done, of course." His eyeroll nearly made him dizzy from the size.
"Of course. Where else would angels hold their clandestine meetings?" The absurdity was certainly not lost on the older man.
"As for why, Zachariah said it was for my own good, but it was actually just so they could keep me on a short leash. They wanted me out of the way so I couldn't stop Sam. Seems they wanted Lucy freed from jail so I could kill him for them." Releasing a humorless snort made Dean feel a little better.
"What?" Bobby didn't even bother to control his reaction. His eyes went wide and he stopped completely. "Don't they even know what kinda hell that would unleash? Even if you could kill the son of a bitch, just letting him loose would cause all sorts of backlash."
Dean raised his eyebrows in amusement. "Yeah, well, they decided they could live with that." Turning to face the older man, he let the amusement was feeling over the situation out. "But that's never going to be a problem again."
"How do you figure?" One look was all it took for Bobby to know the answer to that. "What did you do?"
Quick to throw his hands up, Dean shook his head in denial. "Wasn't me, I swear."
Sitting back, Bobby made himself comfortable. "This, I got to hear."
Dean smiled back at the older man. Much to echo that dick, these were results he could live with. Well, some of them.
As he turned to face the fireplace again, Dean let the smile slowly slip from his face. He suddenly had to swallow to wet his mouth. "Something wasn't right from the start. I knew it and tried to get them to tell me, but that douche kept going on about how important I was. And Cas, the whole time he just stood there looking at me. There was this sad look to him, almost like someone had beaten him down."
He grew quiet for a short time after that. This was the part that had weighed so heavily on him for the past week.
Outside, the storm rumbled. The windows shook in their panes from a strong gust.
"I was so angry. They wouldn't let me do anything except wait." A sudden pain from his palm made Dean look down. He stared blankly at the tiny, crescent shaped cuts in his palm. "And Cas, he kept coming back to me. He tried getting me to calm down and all I would do was yell at him some more. I honestly thought he had betrayed me."
Blinking, Dean closed his hand and raised his head. "I hit him, Bobby. He just took it." Letting his arm drop back to his side, Dean sucked in a quick breath. He tried to keep his head high but soon dropped his chin to his chest.
"Then, it was like a whirlwind. Things moved too fast for me to notice much. He had me pinned. Suddenly he had a knife and was cutting his arm. Next thing I know Zachariah shows up and then Cas uses his blood to..." Dean took a shuddering breath. A hand on his shoulder made him jump and turn away.
He found Bobby standing there not a foot away. The older man had gotten up and walked over without him even noticing. Rubbing at his eyes, Dean sniffed to clear his sinuses. "We knew where we had to go, what had to be done. One moment we were in the waiting room, and the next at Chuck's place. Then the place started shaking and Cas sent me to the church where Sam was." Events were rushing so fast through Dean's mind that he was having a hard time making sense of them to himself.
His hands shook as he began to pace. "Cas had this look on his face just before he sent me. He knew what was going to happen and he did it anyways. It all happened so fast that I didn't get to even say goodbye." Feeling lost, he found Bobby across the room. Dean's eyes were red rimmed and blood shot.
"Then there was the church. I couldn't think of what to do, Bobby. I had to do something, so I screamed for Sam. The doors were locked and I pounded so hard, but I wasn't strong enough." Raising his fists, he made abortive hitting gestures. "Sam killed Lilith. She was the final seal and he didn't even stop to think about why that bitch might let him get so close."
Gasping, Dean sucked in a quick breath. His eyes darted from Bobby to the fire place, then to the ceiling. "The doors opened too late for me to stop him. We got Ruby, she was working for Lucifer the entire time. The knife Cas gave me..." He looked down at his hand, staring at it as if he still held the knife.
When he looked back to the older man, his eyes were wide in panic. His chest hurt from his heart pounding and Dean felt breathless. "I stood there helpless as the pit opened. We couldn't stop it, the final seal had been broken." He fell silent once more.
Bobby wasn't about to give him a moment to rest this time. Taking a cautious step towards the harried looking man, he held up his hands to show he was no threat. "Dean."
Swallowing, Dean ran a hand through his hair. "I'm fine. It wasn't me." Before he knew it, Dean barked out a harsh laugh. "God. This was his plan. I realize that now." He nodded as if that confirmed it for anyone but him. "They used me. I was nothing but a tool to them. Only one person gave a damn!"
"Dean!" Bobby took the last great step between them and seized the younger man by the arms. Jerking him around hard, he forced Dean to look at him. "Snap out of it!"
Face contorted in shock, Dean stared Bobby directly in the eyes. "Bobby, they killed him. He only wanted to protect me and they killed him for it." Once he said it, Dean seemed to deflate. All his manic strength fled him and he began to sag.
Pulling the younger man in to his arms, Bobby held him close. He didn't say a word when he felt Dean's shoulders begin to shake. Just closing his eyes and holding him was the best thing that he felt he could do now.
Listening to the rain pound against the window, Dean twisted the glass in his hand. The contents shown brilliant amber in the firelight. He had been staring at it for the past ten minutes. There was just something so hypnotic about the alcohol.
Seeing the man's actions, Bobby shook his head. "You know, people usually drink that stuff to forget their problems."
"I know." Yet, Dean did not lift the glass to his lips. He continued to watch the fire flicker through the thick filter. This was what he wanted to do.
Realization made Bobby scowl. Bringing his own drink to his lips, Bobby sipped it for a moment. He sighed with appreciation for the flavor. It was a good bottle, he didn't get it out often.
Dean was far more somber than he had been earlier. After his break down, all he wanted to do was sit there and wait for the world to pass him by. Despite this, he knew that he could never let it happen. Still, he hurt so very much.
He had opened his mouth and drawn a breath before he fully made up his mind to do so. "Did you dream about her?"
The question so startled Bobby that he nearly dropped his glass. Recovering quickly, he reached up to wipe the drops from his shirt. "About who?"
"Your wife." For the first time, Dean broke his study of the glass to face the older man. Swallowing, he braced himself. It was inappropriate to bring it up, but he had to know. "After she died, did you dream about her?"
Raising an eyebrow, Bobby matched Dean's stare with one of his own. "Damn, kid, you ask the most off the wall..."
"I dream about him." It came out rushed, but he said the words clearly. Unable to bear Bobby's stare any longer, Dean looked down. "When I sleep, he's there, waiting for me." After swallowing, Dean took a stilted breath. "Every time I close my eyes, I can almost hear his voice."
Bobby had to take a moment to process what Dean had told him. The conclusions he came to had him frown. Looking shaken, he reached up to scratch up at his eyebrow. "Dean, are you trying to tell me something?"
At the question, Dean glanced up to meet Bobby's eyes only for a moment. He quickly dropped his gaze and frowned. His cheeks colored as he tried keeping his reaction in check.
When there was no denial, Bobby turned his attention on the fire. Running a hand over the lower half of his face, he took a slow breath. "What..." he trailed off with a shake of his head.
Cheeks growing hotter, Dean sat forward in his chair. He let the glass dangle between his fingers. Closing his eyes, he braced himself to reveal the rest of it. "I don't really know how to say it, Bobby. Hurts just thinking about it."
"Then it's best to just come right out and say whatever you got to." Troubled, Bobby was unable to drag his gaze away from the fire.
Something in his throat made it hard for Dean to swallow. "I, uh, think he cared for me, uh, a great deal." A weight started to lift in his chest. "It was more than that, though. There was so much more to it than that." Swallowing, Dean jerked his head away. "This isn't..."
"Say it, Dean." The older man's voice rang out in the frighteningly quiet living room.
"He loved me." The confession was punctuated by a spasm in Dean's chest. Pain laced it's way around his heart and up his throat. "And I, god help me, I wanted him to. I wanted it so badly. Uncle Bobby, he gave up everything for me and I never got to tell him." After that, Dean grew quiet.
For a while, the only sound in the night was the quiet cracking of burning wood. Every so often one of them would exhale loud enough to fill the room.
Having finally given his confession, Dean felt empty and brittle. He prayed for silence that would last forever. It was as if the slightest word could turn his bones to dust and he would blow away. Every time he heard Bobby take a breath he would cringe internally.
When he did break his silence, Bobby's voice came out in a harsh whisper. "Months after, all I would see when I closed my eyes were hers looking back at me. I couldn't even sleep in the same bed. Still can't, had to get rid of the damn thing." Clearing his throat, Bobby continued. "For years, the smell of her perfume lingered, just a hint I would catch every so often. The sound of her laughter echoed on a summer's day. I now know it was all in my head."
Eyes closed as his face contorted in pain, Dean was reliving his own memories. The phantom touch of fingers slid down his arm making him shiver. He was dragged from his revery by Bobby clearing his throat loudly.
Shifting in his chair, Bobby brought his glass to his lips. "You get over it eventually." Taking a deep swallow, he gasped as it burned all the way down. "You have to, it's not like we got any choice in the matter."
Nodding, Dean sucked in a quick breath. He was right, of course he was. It was Bobby.
After another painful silence, Bobby finished off his drink. Smacking it down on the table beside his chair, he frowned. Standing up proved to be a challenge for him.
Dean caught the movement out of the corner of his eye but did not turn. He let the man have his dignity.
Once he was finally standing, Bobby sighed for no reason. The weight of the night seemed to physically push on him. He turned to head for the stairs at a slow stagger. On the way passed, he pat Dean heavily on the shoulder. "Goodnight, boy, try not to stay up too late."
"Goodnight, Bobby." Dean gave him a halfhearted smile in acknowledgment. "Oh, hey." He waited until the older man was facing him again. "Would you check in on Sammy for me?"
Bobby paused long enough to study Dean's face. He looked tired and far older than his years. "Sure thing." With a final nod, he headed up the stairs.
Dean let the smile slip from his face. He listened to the heavy fall of drunken footsteps as they climbed to the second story.
Despite what he had agreed to, Dean was far from sleepy.
Snorting awake, Dean blinked about him with wide eyes. It was dark and he shivered. The room had cooled down quite a bit since he had last remembered. Glancing to the fire place he found only coals.
Dean frowned as he shivered again. He was a little cold, yes, but that wasn't what had woken him up. Groaning as he stood, Dean stretched out his limbs. Halfway through the motions he paused.
Cocking his head, Dean listened to the night. There were the sounds of the house settling. Water was dripping some where outside. From upstairs, he heard Sam talking in his dreams. What had caught his attention he couldn't say.
Night had fallen out there. He probably just heard an animal. Feeling silly, Dean finished his stretch.
He was about to dismiss the notion completely when he felt it again. This time, something tugged at his thoughts. Something definitely wanted his attention. Instead of feeling alarmed like he knew he should, Dean felt calm and relaxed. That should have been enough to stay his forward momentum. It wasn't and he continued until he found himself at the front door.
Without even the slightest hesitance, he reached out and grabbed the door handle. His finely honed instincts screamed at him that this was wrong. Yet, he didn't really care. This was going to happen. With a full twist, he unlocked the bolt.
He had time to mentally make note of the lack of secured dead bolts as the door swung open. Bobby never left them unlocked. Something had undone them. To Dean, this fact was but something he noticed but really didn't pay attention to.
His goal lay beyond.
Stepping across the threshold, Dean felt the insistent tug grow stronger. It wanted him out of the house. Almost dreamily, he complied. The door creaked shut behind him under its own power. His bare feet felt the cold boards under him but they did not register in his mind.
Standing on the porch Dean took the time to admire the world around him. Cool mist floated off the ground in a very thin fog. He could see out past the yard but beyond that was hazy. Despite the rising moisture, the air remained quite warm. His breathing was made all the easier for it.
In the next moment his pleasant feeling was torn away by the arrival of a figure.
"I knew that you boys would show up sooner or later." Stepping between a pile of cars and junk parts, her high heels left furrows in the mud. Each step was accompanied by a tiny grimace. Her path quickly brought her to stand front and center of the porch. "That, if I waited long enough, one of you would come out." Standing under the security light, she smirked up at Dean in defiance. "And what do you know, I was right."
It was a demon, low ranking.
Dean wasn't sure how he knew. Something about her appearance just lent that knowledge to him. Looking away, he tried to find the source of his earlier peace. If only he could recapture it everything would be all right.
"Hey!" Arms crossed, she glared at Dean with black eyes. Her posture spoke of annoyance at everything around her. "I'm right here, dickhead!"
"You are of no importance." The words felt strange to him. Frowning, Dean tried to concentrate. His dreamy state was starting to return. It eased the worry lines on his face and replaced them with a smile.
Snapping her fingers, the demon tried to draw his attention. "Yo, asshole. Demon here if you haven't fucking noticed!"
Forcing himself to ignore the siren's call of the comfort, he looked down to the demon. "Go away."
She winced the moment he looked at her, but quickly recovered. Her outrage at being dismissed made her snarl at him. "You might want to pay attention, because what I've got to say is important."
The peace would not be ignored, however, and tugged Dean back to it's grip. It wanted him to leave the porch behind.
Seeing that he was coming towards her made the demon smile. "Now, that's more like it." Her jubilation was cut short by the fact that he wasn't even looking in her direction.
Feeling the call like a thousand whispers against his skin, Dean looked to the sky above. Nothing else mattered to him. The mud at the bottom of the steps didn't even register in his mind.
"Hey, fuck brain!" All sense of being superior was lost in her rage. Taking an aggressive stance, she clenched a fist. "Look at me when I am talking to you!"
Her words didn't even seem to reach his ears. All he heard were the glorious cries. They were speaking to him, welcoming him.
"Fine! You want it that way. Fine." She smirked at him. "I've got a message for you from Lucifer. We're coming for you. You, your brother, that fat grease stain you live with. Everyone you ever cared about. All dead!" She pointed a perfectly manicured finger at him. "You pissed off the wrong people, Winchester. The pleasures you experienced your last time down there will feel..."
"Shut up." Dean raised a hand and she was instantly silenced. "Go away."
Eyes going wide, her mouth opened in a silent scream. Brilliant yellow light filled her mouth and eyes. It swiftly spread from her face to encompass her entire body. A bright flash, then she was gone. Only a sprinkling of ash remained to dissipate in the air.
No longer distracted by the annoying presence, Dean could focus solely upon the voices. Closing his eyes, he felt the warmth of light surround him. It came from everywhere at once with a great rushing sound. And then, it was gone.
Opening his eyes, Dean felt clear headed again. The lure was gone and he could think for himself.
He was also no longer surrounded by the salvage yard.
It was morning out and birds cries echoed through the air. A soft breeze blew over his face as he stared out over the lake. Under him, the dock rocked softly up and down. Realization of just where he was came along with the feeling that he was no longer alone.
Turning around, he subconsciously held his breath. The sight that greeted him struck him like a lightning bolt to the chest. Exhaling with a shudder, Dean felt tears sting at his eyes. "You're not real."
"I am, Dean." Voice familiar and raspy, Castiel stared back. A tiny smile blossomed on his lips. "It's time to go."
Dean found himself nodding his agreement before he even formed the words in his mind. The sunlight grew bright and warm as it surrounded them. "Yeah, I'd like that."
A slight tremor shook the bed. Waking with a gasp, Sam rolled over in his blankets. Sniffing, he reached up to rub at his eyes. Much to his surprise, he found them wet. Sitting up, he swung his feet off the side of the bed. A sudden need to see his brother filled him.
Frowning, he stood up and stretched out to his full height. Yawning as he did, he moaned aloud. A half a heartbeat later, he glanced about in embarrassment. When there came no voices raised or banging on the wall, he sighed with relief.
Padding to the door, he tried to remain quiet. It was hard with his height and natural weight on old wooden floors. Some how he managed to make it in to the hall.
A quick look revealed that Dean's door was open and that his bed remained untouched.
Frowning, Sam made his way to the stairs. He carefully took each one so as not to make it whine. He succeeded until the very bottom step. As it cried out, he winced. Again, there came no sound of protest from any awakened sleepers.
Fear gripped Sam's chest. Walking in to the living room, he checked all the chairs and the couch. Dean's boots were by his favorite chair and his jacket still hung by the door. The fear increased as Sam found signs of where his brother had been, but no Dean.
"Dean?" His call went unanswered as he checked the kitchen. The basement door was closed and the bathroom's was open. Dean was no where in the house proper. A sudden thought occurred to Sam as he headed back to the living room.
Trying the front door, much to his horror, he found it unlocked. Swallowing, he gave the handle a quick twist and pulled it open. A wave of cold, moist air hit him the moment he stepped across the threshold. Taking a deep breath, Sam was assaulted by the smell of roses. It was so thick and cloying he nearly gagged.
"Dean!" He began a frantic scan of the salvage yard. The security lights revealed no movement. A quick look of the Impala found it resting where Dean had left it earlier, untouched. "Dean!" His scream echoed off the house as Sam stepped off the porch.
Putting his hands to his mouth, Sam called again. "Dean!" He tried to see further. There were other security lights, but none of them revealed his brother's location.
He was halfway across the front yard when his foot became entangled with something. Reaching down, Sam started to pull it off his foot so he could continue with his search. That is, until he caught a glimpse of it.
In that moment, everything just stopped. Staring at the leather chord, Sam couldn't breathe. He tried to form a denial. Nothing would come from his lips, though.
Swallowing, he eventually found the strength to draw breath. "Oh god, Dean," he whispered, his voice a hoarse croak.
"And god blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested..." - Genesis 2:3