Conflicting emotions had battled for dominance in Dean’s mind. Constant warring words flurrying and tangling on the tip of his tongue, but he refused to let any of them fly. He couldn’t. Not right now. The Hunter had watched the light-show with a sick feeling churning in his stomach. There would be those who would mistake it for beauty. An awe inspiring sight. But for Dean it was just a downpour of the dead and dying. The Fallen. The Damned. There was nothing beautiful here. Only tragedy.
His mind skittered and scraped towards thoughts of Castiel. But they were soon wiped clean when his little brother groaned in agony. Once again, Dean would carry Sam away from the burning wreck. Once again he would try to shield him from the flames. Just take him away as fast as he could. Get him home. Make sure he was safe. The Hunter couldn’t lose Sam. Couldn’t do it. Refused to do it. A glimmer of thought went to the Demon chained up in the old Church and Dean’s jaw clenched. He would deal with him later. But for now, Sam was the only thing that mattered.
Sam had tried his best to bolster away the Elder Winchester’s fussing. But Dean was determined to see him well. He was stripped of bloody and mud slicked clothing and tipped into bed. Wrapped up in blankets to tightly he might as well be inside a cocoon. The Younger Winchester was asleep before his head hit the pillow and Dean was unsure if that was a good thing or not. But he would keep checking on him. Make sure he was ok. Make sure that he lived. Dean felt the guilt wrap around his heart and squeeze tight. The Hunter somehow managed to make this all his fault. Again.
He took one last look at Sam’s bundled and sleeping form before sloping off to his own room. He took Sam’s laptop with him, needing to see what the rest of the world thought about the night’s fireworks. Things were pretty much as expected. Panic. Confusion. Trying to gloss over what had happened with ‘facts’ that they had just pulled from their ass at the last second. But Dean couldn’t blame them. How could they know the truth? And would they even be able to handle it if they did?
Dean made the decision to start checking round the hospitals first thing in the morning. He’d somehow persuade Sam to stay home. Maybe give him the laptop back and get him into research mode. The sooner he found Castiel the better. He had left the Angel out in the cold for too long. If he hadn’t ignored him like that. If he hadn’t forced all that guilt onto him. Would Castiel still have put all his faith in Metatron? The Hunter tried not to think too much about it. The pain throbbed in his chest and caused his stomach to churn. With a huff, he switched off the laptop and crawled into bed. But he didn’t sleep.
Every day was exactly the same. Get up. Open laptop. Research. Go out. Check hospitals. Check homeless shelters. Four days of fruitless searching. Combing through the desperate and the dying. Turning a blind eye to the dead. They couldn’t deal with the latter right now. Couldn’t cope with a body count that high. The boys had seen so much death. That magnitude would tip them over the edge. No one seemed to have seen Castiel. Dean’s frustration was reaching its peak. How difficult was it to spot a shady looking guy in a trenchcoat? Who even wore those things anymore? Castiel was all rumpled suit, messy hair and stupid coat. How could someone not remember him.
Sam had tried to gently tell him that there were so many people that it wouldn’t be noticed if Castiel was traipsing around in a tutu and a cowboy hat. But Dean wouldn’t listen. He silently seethed and stormed from the room. The two brothers were already beginning to snap at each other. Sam’s frustrations at always been left behind were starting to over spill. But he was too sick to defy Dean or to argue about it for long. He just had to do what he could, when he could.
They had checked Sioux Falls General three times already, but Dean found himself walking the halls again. The building was still packed with the hapless and hopeless. They never seemed to shift, only multiply. The Hunter was paid no mind as he peeked in at every single room he passed. There was a chance, a small chance that Castiel was there. That he may have missed him before or someone may have found him and brought him in.
When Dean looked into Castiel’s room, it didn’t register at first. He walked straight back out again and continued checking rooms. It was ten minutes later before it sunk in. With his heart in his throat and the sound of his blood rushing through his veins loud in his ears, Dean scrambled back to the room. For a few moments he simply stood in the doorway and stared. It had only been a few days, but the stress had made it feel like months. The Hunter moved forward on shuffling feet and gently laid a hand on the Fallen Angel’s shoulder.
The room was quiet, only the clanging stutter of the untended radiator offering an interim between muted murmurs and groans that bounded from the long, sterile halls and the mausoleum silence within. Castiel’s cot was marginally inclined, his head a bedraggled mess heaped carelessly on the postage-stamp pillow. It had been no wonder that Dean missed him on the first pass- his five o’clock shadow had bristled to the state of a thick stubble and his cheek was rested heavily on the side of the pillow facing toward the window and, coincidentally, away from the hallway. His chest was shifting shallowly, draws of breath long and even in sleep. It was not until the hunter’s touch rested lightly on his shoulder that the rhythm changed, slate blue eyes creeping open with a short inward pull of breath. His shoulder shifted in a brief show of languid protest, curling away from his visitor’s hand as the ex-angel’s heavy lids drifted again. It was Dean’s voice that earned him a greater reception, red-rimmed eyes blinking more purposefully before they, still at least half-lidded, searched for its source. For a moment he merely stared, the stormy shades of his gaze clashing harshly with the puffy beds of ruddied sockets. As he looked away the change was both spontaneous and total, a front of faux stability strengthening his shoulders as he hitched both hands to the periphery of the bedframe and none-too-gradually propped himself up. For a moment his arms were tense, joints dead-bolted in place before they incrementally loosened. The bend of his wrist rose to cover his mouth, a few short coughs preceding the first venture of his uncharacteristically hoarse since the fall.
[ Hello, followers! I know some of you pretty well, have seen others across the pond, and am meeting some of you for the very first time. As a mun I am known as Comrade, and run several other blogs of modest notoriety such as itstheendbaby, asoldierofheaven, and asorryuniverse.
This, you may have well guessed, is a fallen!Cas speculation/AU blog to keep me busy until Season 9 kicks off this fall. The main premise, as the url suggests, is the course of Castiel’s actions after the 8x23 finale. Unwilling to face either his brothers or the Winchesters, yet at the same time disliking the idea of meeting Metatron again so soon should he kill himself, he has embarked on a sort of self-inflicted exile. I’ve posted this starter for the initial setup, but will be open for much of anything pertaining to this or anyone meeting homeless!Cas on the streetcorners or alleyways of any major American city. More on later developments to come as his story progresses, but a major engine of that change is gonna be interaction, so please! If anyone is interested in plotting with me to any capacity, or just shooting me an ask/starter/response, I’d be more than game. Thanks for reading, guys, and I hope you all have a splendid Saturday. ♥ ]
“Sunday’s freak meteor showers coincided with the discovery of thousands of missing persons in what many fear to be the face of an emerging terrorist conspiracy…”
The anchorwoman’s tinny cadence was no more than a dull hum beneath the steady beat of footfalls and the unintelligible buzz of frightened voices that ebbed and echoed down Madison Community Hospital’s long linoleum halls. The staff attending the modest facility lacked its Sioux Falls counterpart’s limited experience with cases of critical injury- it was a small-town operation with only enough beds to accommodate the first round of gasping, moaning survivors. Many of those that had outlasted the impact wailed like children, forcing doe-eyed CNAs untrained in the art of triage to raise their voices to be heard over the horrible strains of human suffering. Castiel had been consigned to a padded waiting room chair as the more immediate cases were stabilized, a dingy rescue blanket drooped over his slumping shoulders and a paper cup of coco held listlessly between recently thawed fingers. Chapped lips were colorless, but no longer the hypothermic blue of the half-frozen creature Madison’s firemen had dragged from the woods at some point in the early morning.
”We now turn you over to NASA’s Chief Astrologist Zachary Walden for his report on how this unprecedented meteorological phenomenon could have occurred without any sign of advance notice…”
His memories of the rescue were as diffuse and abrasive as volcanic ash, tactile recollections of how the pleasant warmth of dawn had stung his milk-colored cheeks mixed with the painful jolt of alarm that had shocked his shallowly-rising chest at the sound approaching voices. He didn’t remember walking to the ambulance, but he did remember the body bags
fallen angel’s system.
“The Department of Defense is asking citizens to remain calm and direct reports of any persons displaying the aforementioned symptoms to local emergency personnel…”
It was only after a pair of lightning blue eyes stark against a road map of bruises and blood-matted hair petitioned his own with the same unspoken ‘why’ captured on the lips of hundreds that Castiel at last moved to leave. Amid the midmorning chaos, it was simple enough to slip out undetected, the warmth of movement making each step less awkward than the last.
Pinpricks of starlight peeked through the seashell shades of twilight (or dawn, he couldn’t be entirely sure) over the deserted South Dakota highway. The former angel became all at once conscious that he was out of breath, heart beating in his throat and between his temples. He didn’t remember losing his balance, yet he was all too suddenly on his hands and knees- retching and gasping pitifully like a fish wrenched from the water during a hurricane. Loose granules of asphalt bit into his palms, empty stomach yielding little more than a thin watery bile that burned his windpipe all the way up. Some time later there was a tunnel of bright light and a strong arm wrapped around his back. The sensation of movement. He awoke under muted florescent lights in Sioux Falls General, a ringing in his ears and a bad taste in his mouth. The sky through the window was light again with what he supposed was dawn, but the thousand points of twinkling illumination were washed out by the city’s veil of electrical lights. Cas shifted to stand, but his muscles screamed in protest that the fluid drip in his arm offered no analgesic to soothe. There were blisters on his feet and bandages on his hands, but the air was warm and it was quiet here. In his state of exhaustion- even peaceful. He didn’t fight the impulse of his heavy lids to drift closed, ignoring the dull sound of passing footsteps in the adjacent hall.