Spoilers: 5.04 The End
Posted to: story_lottery
Prompt: #24 - A rainbow
Summary: Under the cut to respect not spoiling.
Summary: Castiel's actions and thoughts while on the side of the road.
"I'll just," Castiel closed his phone with a sigh. "Wait here."
He was trying to be better at his human interactions, and he did understand logically that Dean required sleep and food to continue operating. He still found it a bit distasteful to think about, but he had to admit that his fascination with Dean was beginning to translate into a greater interest in humans as a whole.
None of this made it easier to wait.
He considered simply shifting over to the hotel anyway. If Dean was sleeping, he wouldn't know that Castiel was there, and watching Dean sleep would give Castiel something to do. Dean tended to sleep heavily, with sudden bursts of movement as he'd flop over from his back to his stomach, only to once again lie completely still except for breathing. Castiel had discarded the idea of letting Dean know how often he'd visited while Dean was asleep. He had the distinct impression the human would not understand.
Which didn't make the idea any less tempting. Since he'd rendered Dean invisible to angels, he'd been unable to pay any clandestine visits. By protecting Dean, he had cut himself off from his primary source of support, though he did appreciate that Bobby would take his calls. It hurt to call him, though, the awareness of his lost power and the cost of that sacrifice bitter in his throat the entire time they spoke.
If he took the time to think about it, and there was little else for him to do at the moment, he could admit that he missed Dean. He found the man obscurely comforting though he remained at a loss as to why. Perhaps it was the passion with which he approached each day, or his resolution in the face of adversity, or even his indomitability. These were all once characteristics that could be ascribed to the angels.
Then Castiel would think of his vices and libertine ways; he would be alternately thrilled and offended, and he would remember that whatever else he was, Dean was also fun. Thanks to Dean, he now understood what that meant.
Though he was still working on actually experiencing it.
He missed being able to check in on his friend. He missed watching Dean’s aura ripple lighter and darker rainbows with his mood. He missed his quick mind and quicker sharp wit.
He missed his friend.
If he went to visit now, he could be quiet and unobtrusive. He could perhaps even drop in on one of Dean's dreams, where he could at least interact a little rather than standing here staring blankly at the empty road.
Castiel shuffled his feet.
No, no. Dean had requested the time alone, and Castiel would abide by his wishes.
He hadn't said anything about Castiel paying attention from afar.
Castiel considered it from all angles he could think of, and could find no fault in his logic. Of course, that was no guarantee that Dean would agree with him. He had found humans in general and Dean in particular very difficult to predict.
Of course, it was not necessary for Dean to know.
Satisfied, Castiel closed his eyes and relaxed, allowing his awareness to filter to Dean's location. He concentrated, opening his spectral vision and searching for the distinctive gold-shot rainbow that was Dean's aura. He would be completely unable to search for him, of course, but if he placed his consciousness within the room, he should be able to watch over Dean directly. Or, at least, that was the theory.
Dean wasn't there.
"Well," Castiel muttered out loud. "This is disconcerting."
He pushed more power into his presence in the room; not quite enough to translocate but enough that the objects in the room gained solidity to his spectral vision. He recognized the duffle bag on the floor and the knife on the table. Perhaps Dean had elected to get food before sleeping after all.
Castiel resigned himself to a solitary wait by the side of the road and prepared to withdraw. He shifted his alignment in the room to lessen the disorientation on returning to his corporeal self, and had actually begun to dissipate before a glint of silver caught his attention. It brought him back to the room in a rush that almost brought his body with it. Only his promise to Dean kept him remote.
The glint on the dresser was the keys to the Impala.
Castiel looked around the room furiously. There! A smear of fading white-edged crimson by the run down bed showed the astral trail of an archangel.
Castiel growled audibly and clenched his fists, preparing to translocate.
Dean popped back into the room with a gasp, Zachariah a bare instant behind him. Dean landed almost right on top of Castiel, which was unexpected and somewhat disorienting but had the benefit of hiding his presence from Zachariah.
Castiel withdrew to a safer distance but monitored the conversation closely, trying to get a read on what had happened. All he really learned was that Zachariah was still incredibly persuasive. The correlation that Dean was even more stubborn was not new, but Castiel was sincerely proud of his refusal to give in.
It was that deep, basic intransigence and belief in the mutability of fate that made humans, and Dean in particular, so fascinating. It spoke to a part of him that desperately needed guidance and direction, that needed to know that his actions might be against his brethren but were still ultimately right...
Oh. Zachariah's patience was at an end.
Castiel reached out and touched the back of Dean's head with one spectral finger, translocating him to the side of the road with a wrench. Dean's face when he turned was startled, then deeply grateful. It made Castiel smile, to see Dean's pleasure at his presence.
"That was pretty nice timing, Cas," Dean's aura was darker than it had been, heavy with grief and resolve. Above that was relief and... fondness. Castiel appreciated that Dean was teaching him so much about being human, such as the details of interaction and personal space. But these were that which he treasured most after so long emotionless: belief; warmth; loyalty born of caring and not of blindness. Acceptance.
Castiel smirked, knowing his smug amusement and affection for this difficult and unruly human was showing and not caring in the least. "Well," he said. "We had an appointment."