Word count: 4830
Summary: There is no one alive who knows as well as Castiel that Dean's sold his ass in a million ways to protect Sam. There's nothing he's not done for his brother. Not a damn thing.
Warning: Drug use, dub-con, character death
Title taken from David Bowie's Panic In Detroit. This is a story I started for justabi about a bisquillion years ago, and I'm finally putting an end on it. The beginning bits might sound familiar to some of you, but not to worry, I tried to shovel some more porn into it. *beams*.
The first time it happens, Dean is crouched under the blankets and sheet of yet another anonymous motel--no jackalope on these walls, no scintillating disco-ball overheard light, or avocado and tangerine wallpaper. The room's just beige and brown, all fairly new, because it's not fun anymore, the oddball hotels and motels, not since Sam left and…Dean's trying to breathe but it's not working all that well.
Or rather, it's working a little *too* well, 'cause his lungs keep sucking in air and shooting it out but not using it. And he'd been breathing kind of hard, but now he's…well, barking…and it hurts. Makes him dizzy. It's all Sam's fault.
All of this is Sam's fault.
"Dean…" cool hands turn him over on the bed, stroke over his face and dry the wet. Tears and gluey snot glaze his face and the hands don't even hesitate, they slip and slide over the mucus slope his chin has become. "Dean. Please. Don’t—"
Dean shoves the cool hands away and god, it's hard to do but he does it because he's a fucking Winchester. He throws his arm over his eyes. "If—if—if you tell me—not—not to cry, I will kill you, 'cause I'm not crying."
"I know you're not. I can tell. If you were crying, there would be much less snot."
Dean startles himself by launching a soggy laugh into the crook of his arm. He wipes over the slime and snorts—carefully. "Yeah."
"You can talk to me. You can tell me anything. I'm here for you."
Dean jerks his arm down, but looking into angelic blue eyes and a solemn, solemn face, he gets the feeling that 'I'm here for you' means something different to Cas than it does to him. He thinks maybe Cas means it literally. Like he hasn't got a whole lot of choice. "Yeah…I'm thinking," he says. "I'm thinking this time, it's the end. Sam's gone again and I'm afraid."
Cas makes an encouraging noise so Dean goes on, "I'm afraid that this time, I won’t get him back. Stupid fuck—always trying to save me—us—the world. Bleeding heart kinda mentality, y'know? Sam was always after us to collect our fuckin' empties. Recycle, blah-fuckin' blah."
As if what Dean's blabbering about makes sense, Cas nods. There is no one alive who knows as well as Castiel that Dean's sold his ass in a million ways to protect Sam. There's nothing he's not done for his brother. Not a damn thing. "Yes," he says quietly. "There's nothing he wouldn't do for you. Dean."
"Hey, Cas…want a beer?" It's all Dean says.
Castiel nods. "Why not?" He says, and is fairly certain he uses the term correctly.
The next time they share a moment, Dean's not crying—he's too damn dry. His head's pressed against the flank of the only thing that's never failed him, and he's wishing like hell he could cry, but he's seen Sam. Sam's…Sam's not home anymore. Can't be. Because no matter what Sam would never do what this thing's done. Sam never killed an innocent person, ever.
Not even when he was drinking demon blood had he stooped so low…Dean's telling his baby this, knees on the cold blacktop and gravel, mouth smeared up against her icy side. "He never, never, never…."
There's the low sound of leaves skittering across pavement, of the wind sweeping through dead trees and those cool, dry, silky-smooth hands are on him. Pulling him up, until Dean's head is resting against a surprisingly warm belly covered by smooth, clean cotton. He slumps until bumpy-soft wool is under his cheek. "Dean. Don't mourn your brother, he's not gone."
Yet Dean can hear the word hidden under Cas' awkward caress. Dean rubs his cheek against Cas' warmth, rubs and his mouth opens and he exhales everything in his lungs and Castiel grunts, surprise flavoring it. The noise reminds Dean of…what he's not had in a long, long time…he bites down, wanting to hear that sound again.
A quick, soft inhale and Cas slowly leans against the car, spreading as he settles Dean between his legs. "I'm here for you, Dean." Wriggles against the cold metal when Dean bites down over the length sliding down his leg, mouths and sucks against it. Cas' belly jumps and jumps, he makes surprised little grunts over and over and Dean exhales hot moist breath as he asks. "Ever feel that before?" and Cas shakes his head.
"What? I can't hear you." Teasing Cas makes Dean's pulse jump a little, especially since he knows Cas doesn't really get that it's teasing.
"No—no—" words burst out like yelps pf pain and Dean likes it, forces another hot wash of air over the fabric and Cas groans like it's on naked flesh. Dean grabs him, squeezes. "That's your dick. Like that? Like me touching it?"
Cas nods frantically, yells out yes when Dean starts to squeeze his handful of wool and dick. Dean surprises himself with a real chuckle. He's funny, Cas. "Owe you, hunh, since we fucked up the whorehouse, right?" He eases Cas' zipper down, reaches inside and touches hot straining flesh, rubs the tips of his fingers through dripping lube and grins. "Ready, hunh? Okay." he pulls Cas free, barely gets the tip into his mouth and Cas howls, jerks his hips hard a few times and he's gone. Dean chokes, but swallows it all, cheeks bulging briefly as he tries to coordinate swallowing and breathing. He drops back on his heels and pats Castiel's thigh distractedly. "Yeah…."
Watches Cas watch him as he jerks off, rough and fast.
After, he hands Cas his flask. "Don’t hog it," he says.
Cas tilts the flask and listens to the fluid slosh. Unscrews the stopper and sniffs—jerks back. Dean laughs at his expression and Cas smiles shyly.
"Why not?" Cas says.
There's a time it happens that Dean engineers.
They're near Detroit.
He gets a text.
panic in Detroit. By the time they get there, the Motor City is well on its way to becoming a smoking hole in the ground.
Detroit lights up the sky for miles—flames turn the underside of the black clouds bloody red. It's bad, but not as bad as the sound of Sam's screaming. It goes on and on and on and after a while Dean's pretty sure the noise is just in his own head because no one's doing anything about it.
The endless shriek hangs over what's left of the city for days, hangs there like the thick blanket of smoke does…when it finally stops, the moment it does, Cas leans over and throws up. It gets so quiet then that all Dean hears is Cas retching and something in Dean breaks. He eyes the bare back of Castiel's neck for a long minute before fisting the ash-streaked collar of his Colombo drag and dragging him back towards the car. "Suck it up, bitch—we're all finished here—"
Dean has no idea what it was he'd really heard that day.
But he's pretty sure now it was his brother leaving him for good. Sam's left him unprotected. He just hopes whatever Sam felt for him died too.
Less complicated. He doesn't like to think of Sam sharing.
Dean figures from there, they should head to Bobby's. They drive until Dean's ready to drop because he won’t let Castiel behind the wheel and refuses to teach him. They stop where they want because everyone's headed the fucking other way, leaving all their shit behind, their houses open…people aren’t stupid. Or at least not stupid enough to sit tight over a powder keg. Dean watches them run. These are the people he's pledged to save, or do the best he can to.
These are the people he'd chosen over Sam.
He thinks he should feel something more about that, feel something for the panicked masses…maybe it'll come to him.
They end up crashing for the night in a house on a road lined with other houses just like it, the only differences are color, flower beds, lawn ornaments—unimportant shit.
In the ruins of a pink and blue bedroom, smoke rises towards the ceiling, Dean watches it rise and fade out. The bed's creaking a slow cadence as Dean takes his time, one unhurried thrust after the other. He can see outside the window, a slice of scenery between lank curtains. On a still perfectly manicured front lawn, someone'd lined up a single file of pink flamingos, the cheap plastic kind you can find in 'everything for a dollar' stores, and set them on fire. The lawn is now host to a line of warped and twisted blackened lumps, some with their flamingo faces still recognizable…he has to admit, it's kind of funny.
The smell of burnt plastic wafts in on a breeze, almost overpowering the smell of burning weed. He inhales and the joint flares like burning flamingos and little burning bits of paper drift down, pepper the back under him. Brings a hiss of pain that Dean barely hears. He pushes in deeper and Cas moans, slow, hurt--Dean moves to a low, steady murmur of sound. Dean's so fucked up he feels like he's been in him for hours, an agonizingly slow fuck against pale blue sheets, under the brainless smiles of some strangers nailed on the wall, palm trees in the background and mouse ears on their head. He squints and wonders what the fuck kind of grown person hangs a picture like that over their bed. He fucks in harder, and relaxes a bit when Cas groans….
It was another life. Another *world*. Dean wonders where they are now. Civilians. Losers.
"Dean, Dean…I need—I need—"
"You wanna come for me? Need me—"
"Yes, yes…I'm here for you, Dean," and Dean thinks…it sounds a little like Castiel's being punished. Yanks Cas up and fists his dick, until he's screaming and spurting over the stupid sheets.
Dena pulls out and rolls away. Peels the rubber and he's jerking his own dick, grunting with the effort. Cas looks at him, eyes half mast and cloudy as beach glass. He watches Dean work, licks his perpetually dry lips and slowly, almost fearfully reaches out. Dean snorts even as he groans…Cas looks like he's about to pet a savage kitten. Cas watches him, mouth open a little and then—touches.
He lays his hand right over that mark, that brand he gave him—Dean jerks up hard. His back arches, arches, arches until it hurts. He's grinding his head into the pillow and screaming—his heart pounds harder and harder and faster until Dean swears he can feel it slamming against his ribcage, splitting itself open against the bones. a feeling rips through him, frying nerves, popping little explosions in his blood—a little like when he'd gotten electrocuted but it feels…good doesn't begin to tell the story. His dick feels like he's got a live wire shoved in it and it threads right back to his asshole and he can feel himself clamp down on nothing as he comes harder than he's ever come in his life, so hard he's really, really, certain, he's *positive* that he's dying—about to tell Cas but what the fuck—he probably knows. Probably hopes for it….
When he opens his eyes again, he looks like he's been hosed down. Sweat and come run down his chest, drip between his legs…he looks like Japanese porn.
Cas is staring at him with big electric blue eyes--wipes his hand on the bed, then curls a piece of the sheet around his wet, now soft dick. His lips and cheeks burn red--he drops his eyes.
"You—you came on me, didn't you? Fuckin' freak…" but Dean's sort of amused, sort of turned on by it. Castiel goes and proves it by looking furtively guilty, and when Dean's eyes flutter shut from exhaustion, he barely catches a glimpse of Cas flicking his tongue over his fingers like a cat.
It's almost full dark when Dean wakes up again. Street lights are burning, a small beside lamp is lit…still got electricity, at least for a while. There's salt in a thin precise line on the windowsill, in a perfect circle around the bed.
He stretches and sighs. Sits up and kneels over the nightstand, rolls another joint. He thumbs his Zippo to life, and breathes in until his lungs burn. His throat's pounding trying to hold in the smoke…Dean can't help grinning at Cas watching, his mouth a little O of amazement. Dean chokes through a laugh, smoke leaks out his nose and the corners of his mouth. Eyebrow raised, he holds it out to Castiel.
Cas licks his lips thoughtfully. He never takes his eyes off Dean's mouth and says, "Why not?"
Things change after Detroit, everything and nothing. The world, people… Dean. Different, Castiel becomes aware of the changes; like dominoes falling, one small change leads to another to another to another until what they have is….
They get to Bobby's with the Impala lugging a full load. There's a pair of ghost-faced orphans in the back seat between a woman who hasn't stopped crying silently since they'd found her at a rest-stop, and a mom curled over her infant daughter. Up front, Castiel is squeezed next to Dean and there's a soldier squeezed next to Castiel. And all of them, every one of them, is afraid of Dean. Dean ignores them all until they're back at the salvage yard and he kicks them out.
That was just the beginning.
Bobby's place becomes the home base for first a trickle, than a stream, and eventually a torrent, of the dispossessed. Displaced people, broken-hearted, terrified, their faces getting tighter and harder and hearts freezing like ice.
In fact, they're a lot like Dean, Castiel muses, shifting uncomfortably in shotgun, a seat he's trying to get used to. It helps it's not Dean and Sam's car anymore. It's a big grey truck and the bed's full up with the lost, except for the girl who’s crammed up against Dean's side, big slick grin on her face and her hand shoved between his legs. He shrugs at Castiel, and smirks, steers the truck around a long cloth covered lump in the road without missing a beat.
A few miles down the road they're stopped at a safe place—a Pilot, sitting in the middle of a giant spray-painted pentagram. Not as air-tight as a devil's trap but serviceable. Their cargo wanders around the lot like fucked up cattle and dotted around the perimeter a few former soldiers lounge, keeping their eyes on the herd. Their expressions mirror Dean's on the road…tight, withdrawn, ready to kill…a little bored.
Castiel sits as close to Dean as the ache rippling under his skin lets him, their legs dangling over the tail of the truck as they pass a thin joint back and forth. Dean's taken off his shirts, draped them over one shoulder. His zipper is half undone, low enough that where pale skin starts, Castiel can see a teasing dusting of hair, and a slick, thin smear of red, descending into the vee of the open zipper.
Dean smirks. Castiel listens as Dean takes pity and educates him. "Don't go all squint-eyed when I pick up a girl, dude. A blowjob's a blowjob, buddy. Never turn one down." He grins at the girl with the red mouth, she's alone in the cab and she's pouting but just a bit—afraid to piss Dean off. "If you can get with that, then we're always good." Winks. "If not—nothing personal dude. That's just how I roll…."
Castiel considers the lesson. He's alone. Has been alone since his brothers turned away from him. He feels the growing loss of his power—his grace. Instead of losing it in one grand, awful, *burst*, it dribbles out of him in agonizingly slow dribs and drabs, dribs and drabs.
He did it all for Dean and Dean is all he has.
Castiel stares at the stars and mouths the words silently, tasting them…how I roll. Wonders if they mean what he's feeling right now….
"So you're cool with this? You wanna keep…you know?" Dean makes a gesture with his hand and tongue that Castiel imagines must mean something to Dean so he tries out a dozen responses in his head before settling on the one that's always made Dean smile and wonders why this time his answer seems to make Dean less than happy.
It happens again and again….
Dean's bouncing a girl on his dick as Cas watches from the other bed, those ice-blue eyes wide and hurt, knees drawn up and his arms clutched around them, like a little kid….
The girl, they'd picked up hitching—running--earlier that night. She'd been scared as hell, and fucking damn grateful, happy to show him how grateful she was. He fucks her hard, feels like he's burning inside, swelling like an explosion about to happen. He keeps his eyes locked on Cas's, daring him to move, to close his eyes. When Cas just shifts and breathes harder, presses a tentative palm to the tent in his pants, Dean laughs. His tongue dances over his lips, he bites into his lower lip--groans. "Aw, fuck Cas…she's so hot, so wet, look at her take it. Fucking…loves it…"
Cas watches, blue fucking angel eyes shimmering and pained and he looks too young--looks fucking beautiful like that…the most beautiful like that….
Dean drops his head and watches himself slide in so he doesn't have to watch Cas's eyes, he concentrates on the prints his fingers leave on her plump thighs. She groans and rocks, and squeezes her thighs tighter around his. The bed creaks like a gunshot when Cas squirms, makes a small sound—it fucking shoots right into Dean's dick. His fingers trace around where his dick is in her, thumb makes circles over the wet slick nub of her clit. He presses a finger inside, along side of himself and she shudders and moans…
"Please," Dean hears, soft as a feather's touch, light as a dandelion seed. Cas's head is tilted to the floor-away from Dean. Away from the bed. Dean growls, "Look at me you son of a bitch." He doesn't know why he says it the way he says it—or why he needs it.
Cas gasps. Tears his eyes from the floor and looks at a point somewhere between Dean's neck and his dick. He bites his lip and doesn't let up until it's washed in red.
Dean's looking at the slide of his dick but his attention's all on the angel. He doesn't miss the thick bulge pressing against accountant trousers, accountant fingers knuckling hard against it, circling, pressing. Knowing that makes Dean want to come. Has to fight to hold it back. "S'all good clean fun--" Dean pants, "--sure you don’t wanna fuck her too?"
"Hey!" She yelps and Dean slaps her leg.
"Shut up. You owe us. We coulda left you there." She pouts but quiets and Dean rewards her, bites and sucks her nipples until she's wiggling in his lap like a fish on a hook.
The bed dips with Castiel's weight. He crawls up behind Dean, not touching, just…breathing. Smelling him? Dean laughs, but laughter turns into a belly deep groan when Cas moves in front of them and sticks his hand under the girl's legs, wraps a couple of fingers around Dean's dick as it rides in and out of her. Dean groans, "Go ahead, feel her, push your fingers in too."
When Cas says, "Why not?" Dean comes hard, biting curses into the curve of the girl's shoulder.
So they end up squatting in an abandoned resort, a ramshackle group of cabins on a lake, a place Dean insists on calling Crystal Lake.
It's a place to stop and breathe, more or less. Croats are everywhere outside the fence. Croats took out the salvage yard, killed the group they'd built up there…took out Bobby. Dean cried when they burned Bobby's body. At least, Castiel thinks he cried.
When they leave the salvage yard, Dean walks past the Impala, stripped out and sitting up on blocks, without a second look.
By then, people are starting to see Lucifer's face…
Dean's feeling expansive, generous. He wants Castiel to feel the same. Show him what sex is all about. "Real sex, Cas. You're still a virgin," he yells and dumps a drunk, drunk girl on his bed. She's laughing. She looks like a smear of a human being. She reaches out for him, patting the bed like she can't find him, can’t see him, giggling.
"Let me help." Dean smirks and pulls the boxers Castiel is wearing to his knees. He's hard in an instant. Dean touches him and it's…like terrible magic. His breath already catches in his throat and Dean smiles at him, a little fondly, and Castiel reaches out for that show of feeling, desperate for it.
"Go ahead," he says, like he's telling Castiel to take a cookie, a piece of candy. He cups fingers over Castiel's shoulder and pushes him forward, onto the girl. Into the girl. It's horrible, it's frightening and amazing and his breath wisps away.
He doesn't get why this is supposed to be more real than what he did with Dean. It doesn't seem to compare. Brows pull together as he asks, "Is this what you felt?" He makes a stuttering lunge forward, flooded with the feeling and the memory.
"Yes," the answer he gets is throaty, almost a gasp. "But this is better. This is what you're supposed to want." Harsh. There's a hand on the back of his neck, holding him in place, a hand on the dip of his spine. "Go on. Harder." Castiel throws the hand off, and finds that it's…easy. Pleasant. The more he moves in wet tight grip of the girl, the more she moans and moves and his hips move and he tries to think of nothing but her. He takes his cues from her, he moves and touches her and watches what makes her gasp.
Dean's pushed into a small corner of his mind as long as he's in her. It's the only thing he can do, and when he comes, it wipes all thoughts of Dean from his mind. He's not sure if he likes it.
When he opens his eyes, Dean's gone. He hadn’t even felt him leave.
The girl asks him if he's up for more and he smiles down at her with what he imagines is a cocky grin. "Why not?"
When it happens again, Dean's leaning against the window frame of a room carved out under the eaves of what had been the main lodge of the resort. He's shirtless and looks like he's carved of tan marble in the dying sun light. There's a look on his face that Castiel would call reflective, but it's Dean—he might be figuring out how to booby-trap the paths leading up to the camp, or what caliber gun's best for blowing a church door sized hole in someone…or sex….
Castiel leans against the door jamb. Casually. He's pretty certain it looks as graceful and as careless as Dean's slouch.
Dean looks up and frowns. "Hey. What are you doing?"
"Waiting. A few of the newest members are interested in my comparative religion classes." Castiel shrugs and smiles, glances at the floor, and up. Looks right in Dean's eyes. "Did you know there was a marvelous thing called yoga? Some of my students are extremely flexible." He walks over to stand in front of Dean and Dean scowls harder. He brings one hand up, as if he wants to push Castiel away, or fend him off. The hand ends up against Castiel's shoulder, not quite a push, not quite an invitation.
"What's going on with you, man?"
"What do you mean? I'm here every day, you see me every day." He leans closer into Dean's space. Touches his hip. Slides his hand higher, walks his fingers up Dean's chest until his hand is resting, curved around the back of Dean's neck. "You don't see me—until you need me. You need me because you don't have anyone else, am I right, Dean? Bobby's dead. Sam's dead. You don’t have any family and everyone who ever loved you is dead except for me. Dean, look at me. I'm all you have in the world."
Dean's eyes are wet, they spill over. "I don't even want to be here. I hate this, I hate myself and I miss Sam so much. I *hate* seeing his face—that monster riding him. I'm going to kill him, Cas. I'm going to kill him and when I'm done—"
Castiel pulls him in, kisses him. Kisses him like a brother, chaste and warm, an explanation of his love. Lets the kiss shift, an explanation of his desire. "I'm here. For you," he murmurs against Dean's lips and Dean groans, Sam and kisses him back open mouthed, wet and dirty. Sucks Castiel's upper lip between his teeth and bites down hard and pain morphs to pleasure in an instant. He shakes with it--Dean works Castiel's mouth over like he's got no control. He sucks and bites down on Castiel's lower lip as well. Castiel works the loose cotton pants he's wearing over his hips, down, and coaxes Dean's head down, gently. Feels the tip of Dean's nose against his belly, feels his lips slide lower, reluctant at first and then. He's in Dean's mouth, and he's pulling at him, wet and hot and surrounding him. "That's right," he whispers, "Suck, you know you want it. Feels better, doesn't it? Feels right…" He rocks in and out of Dean's mouth, a slow rhythm that builds. Dean's fingers on his hips tighten, dig in—so he thrusts hard and shivers at the feeling of Dean's throat fluttering around him. He grips the back of his head and holds him, feels Dean struggling for breath and eases up, enough that the man can breathe. For a moment. "Come on, you can take more," Castiel encourages him, "you can."
Dean sobs once and plunges down, going deep as he can. Perfect. Castiel groans as the fire builds, the desire—need—to come makes him want to crush Dean. Break him.
It's possible Dean can't break anymore but Castiel can. He feels a shuddery warm wave start in his gut, tightening it, twisting and coiling and uncoiling and rising to fill his chest and his lips and his arms raise and open and he's groaning louder and louder and Dean leans back…"Cas…?"
Fire breaks out under his skin, races up and down and from inside, consumes his flesh and the light burns, comes out of his pores and burns. Fire rips down his spine and his wings break free, out of his control. Smash through the walls, break out the windows—glass is flying. Splinters and shreds of fabric flutter in the air before winking bright and turning to ash. There's a whirlwind of debris in the room, a tornado of bits and pieces flying and flashing to death against him. It's too much, the pain of the fire, his wings and the walls shredding, burning around him make him crazy and he forgets and looks down and Dean screams. The sound goes on and on—one minute in hell feels like a month.
His wings are burning, they burn right down to his back as the last bit of his grace is fried out of him.
When he opens his eyes again, Dean's staring at him, wiping his mouth—"What the fuck, dude. Where did you go?"
Cas feels heavy and blocked and tired. Tired to death. He can feel the minutes passing, feel his lungs work, his gut grumble and ache, feels sweaty where Dean touches him and tacky and itchy where semen's dried on his skin. His head aches. He wants intoxicants, he wants sex, he wants sleep and peace and quiet. He wants it all and why not? He's given enough to deserve a little peace. The end was rolling up on them soon enough and he was going to go out like Dean, with a bang.
"Went with the flow—that's how we roll, right?"
Dean squints at him from the corner of his eye, the corner of his mouth twitches. "What the fuck ever dude." Right before he leaves Castiel alone in the dust filled room he says, "You look different."
Castiel smiles at him, wide and wild and barely sane. "I am."