skidmo_fic: (dean/castiel)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: The Splendor of Light
Rating: PG
Pairing: Dean/Castiel, slight Castiel/Jack Harkness
Word Count: 2702
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: “It started long before this, of course, Castiel realizes now. It started the moment he led the charge into hell.”
A/N: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] spn_teamfic prompt: Crossover.




It started long before this, of course, Castiel realizes now. It started the moment he led the charge into hell.

They must’ve known. His Father must have known. How could they not? How could He not?

They must have known from the moment Castiel gripped that broken, fragile soul from the pit, from the grasp of Alastair, that he would be set on this path.

They must have known, Castiel thinks, and the thought is cold comfort as he falls, hurtling, through space, through infinity, through life and death and pain, crashing, dropping, falling.

Somewhere far off he thinks there is a whisper of a song he once heard in the back of a church as he watched the Winchester boys, during one of their many stays with Pastor Jim.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise.

It must have started long before the march into hell, Castiel realizes now. It must have started on that first night, the first time he watched as Mary Winchester tucked her son into bed, promising him that angels were watching over him.

They must have known then. His Father must have known even then that it would come to this.

In light, inaccessible, hid from our eyes.

He wonders, briefly, on this interminable fall, if He was hurt. If that is why Castiel has never been one of the angels to see His face. Was it painful to look at Castiel, His child, knowing what would come? Knowing someday Castiel would choose this?

Had he broken his Father’s heart already, long before this day?

Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days.

He is like Anna now, he realizes. He has chosen the pain, the finiteness, the wonder of humanity. Chosen the creation over the Creator, as they say.

He wonders if he is not also a little bit like Lucifer.

Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

The music grows louder, and Castiel almost laughs, tucked in on himself, preparing to complete this long escape from glory. He is heading for a church. Perhaps the same church where he first heard the song. He can’t decide if it is punishment or mercy, wonders if his Father always sees to it that His fallen children land among his earthly children. Penance or a chance for forgiveness? One last effort on His part to keep them close now they have the choice to leave?

He wonders if Anna had been able to pull the same strings for him as she had for herself. She had said she would try, that she would do her best to ensure that he could keep his vessel or at least find him another so he would not have to start again, would not forget what he once was, and he wonders now what the congregation will see when he crashes into the building, interrupting their worship.

But he doesn’t land in the congregation. There is an opening in the sky, a tunnel of light, and Castiel thinks, No, please. Not after all this. I cannot go back. I have made my choice. Please, let me live with it.

And he falls through.

***

Dean was laughing. Castiel could hear it. Dean was laughing and calling to Castiel.

“Don’t leave me hanging now, sunshine. You’re so close. How could you stop? C’mon, Cas. Get up. Shake it off. We’ve got work to do.”

Castiel wanted to rise and follow, but his limbs were heavy, and he could not open his mouth to respond.

“I’m waiting for you, Cas. You promised you’d come, and I’m waiting.”

***

Someone is shaking him gently. “C’mon, now. You’re gonna be okay. Just open your eyes, and we’ll get you all sorted out.”

He’s still curled in on himself, arms wrapped around his knees, and when he finally manages to pry his eyes open, he’s blinded for a moment by the light, but Dean is smiling at him.

No. Not Dean. Someone else.

“There you go,” the voice says softly. “Knew you could do it. Now let’s get you up and out of here.”

His fingers are gently pulled from their grip on his forearms, and his arms are slowly unwrapped from his knees, and Castiel feels himself drawn to his feet, allowing it because he can’t remember how to stop it.

“You came through pretty fast,” the voice says again, and Castiel’s eyes flick over to its owner: a tall, dark-haired man, still smiling brightly at him. “I wasn’t sure you’d still be alive.”

“Where…” Castiel begins, but before he can finish his question (Where’s Dean? he thinks it was going to be.) there’s another voice from nearby.

“Jack, we’ve got police on their way. They’ll be here in a few minutes. Can we get him in the SUV?”

The man, Jack, Castiel assumes, nods and tugs him along. “You can make it, right, sunshine? Just a few more steps.”

And Castiel does, because Dean had called him sunshine once, and he feels he owes it to Dean to try.

He’s maneuvered carefully into the backseat of a large, black vehicle, but even so, he winces and gasps at the pain. “Don’t you worry,” says a third voice, a woman’s voice, soft, near his ear. “I can take care of that.”

There’s a prick in his arm that he almost doesn’t notice through the pain in the rest of his body (his body now, not a vessel), and then he doesn’t notice anything at all.

***

“Something’s gone wrong, Sam,” Jack’s voice says again.

No. Not Jack. Dean.

“Dean, we have to get out of here. Bobby says they know where we are. It isn’t safe.”

“I promised I’d wait for him. He said he’d be here.”

“He’s two days late, Dean. I like Cas as much as the next guy, man, but we’ve got to go.”

“No!”

Dean is angry. Castiel can feel it as much as hear it, and he wants to yell, “I’m here! We can go! You can be safe!” But he can’t get his mouth to work, and he thinks if he can just open his eyes, everything will be okay. He’ll see Dean, and they can go together, run together, hunt together, and everything will be just as it’s meant to be.

If he could only open his eyes.

***

“There’s our patient! How’re you feeling?”

It’s Dean. No, Jack. No. Yes. Jack.

When Castiel opens his mouth, all that comes out is a soft croak, and then there’s a cup and a straw held to his lips, and he sips gratefully, cool, sweet water. It tastes better now than it had before…

Before this life.

“Now,” Jack says again. “How do you feel?”

Castiel opens his mouth to answer and finds he doesn’t know what to say. He feels… He feels, and that in itself is a wonder.

“I am,” he begins carefully, cataloguing the sensations, “sore? And,” there’s a feeling in his stomach he cannot quite place for a moment, “hungry,” he decides. “And cold. And tired. And…”

“Whoa,” Jack says, holding up a hand to stop him. “That’s enough to start with. I think Martha’s got you on all the pain medication she can right now, but I can get you an extra blanket, and for the hunger…how do you feel about jelly?”

Castiel frowns. “I…do not know.”

“Okay, well we’ll get you some jelly, and maybe applesauce?”

He nods, because he doesn’t know how he feels about applesauce either.

Jack smiles and gets up, presumably to find the required items.

“Where…” Castiel begins, and Jack turns at the door.

“Where are you? Cardiff, twenty-first century. I’ll answer all your questions when I get back, I promise.” And then he’s gone.

“No,” Castiel whispers to the empty room. “Where’s Dean?”

***

“Dean, he’ll find us. He always does.”

“And if he doesn’t? Sam, he sounded weird when he left. Yes, weirder than normal. Like he was gonna…try something desperate. What if something happened to him?”

“He’s an angel, Dean. Nothing’s gonna happen.”

“Yeah…I mean…dammit, Sammy, I’m worried about him, okay?”

I’m here, Castiel thinks. I’m safe. I’m coming.

But he still can’t open his eyes.

***

“Morning, sleepyhead.”

Jack is reading by his bedside, and before he can respond to the greeting, a tray is placed in front of him.

“Martha says you’re ready to start on something a little more substantial,” Jack says. “It’s not quite a full English breakfast, but it’s got to be better than oatmeal, right?”

Castiel nods, frowning at the plate in front of him. Toast and eggs, he recognizes, and mushrooms. The mug must contain coffee, he thinks. And there’s water. So much water, they want him to drink.

“How are you feeling this morning?”

He looks up at Jack. “I,” he begins, then pauses to again label his feelings before speaking them. “I am…sore and hungry and…” And there is that other feeling, that he has not yet been able to put a name to. “And that is all.”

Jack nods. “Do you remember where you are?”

“Cardiff,” Castiel says, dipping his toast into the yolk of his egg as he had once seen Dean do. “The Hub. You are Jack Harkness.”

Jack smiles gently. “And do you remember how you got here?”

“I fell,” Castiel says simply. Jack has told him of a rift, a tear in space and time that had brought him to where he is, but for Castiel it is as simple and as complicated as falling.

“Do you remember who you are?”

“I am Castiel,” he says. “An…” He has to stop himself. He is no longer an angel of the Lord. “A man,” he finishes. “I am a man from America.”

“Where in America?” Jack asks.

It’s a question he’s asked several times in the last few days, but Castiel has not become impatient, and he feels as though this surprises Jack, though he could not say why.

“I do not know. I have no home.”

No home and no family and no Father and…

“Okay,” Jack says softly. “That’s fine. We’ll find something for you.”

“Dean?”

“We haven’t been able to find a location for a Dean Winchester or a Sam Winchester. And what was the other name you gave us?”

“Bobby Singer.”

“We’re still working on it,” Jack says, and lays a hand on Castiel’s forearm. Castiel’s skin warms at the touch.

“Can I get you anything? A book maybe? It must be pretty boring down here by yourself.”

Castiel considers this. “Yes,” he says finally. “A book would be nice.”

“I’ll send Gwen down with something in a bit,” Jack says, standing. “And if there’s anything else you need, just let me know.” He nods again and pats Castiel’s arm and leaves.

No home and no family and no Father and no Dean and…

Lonely. That’s what that other feeling is.

***

“Dean.” Sam’s voice is quiet, gentle, and Castiel wonders why he is being so careful. “We can’t keep coming back here.”

“He said he’d be here,” Dean says. “He promised he’d come back.”

“It isn’t safe, Dean. He wouldn’t want us to put ourselves in danger. He knows where to find Bobby. If he…When he comes back, he’ll go to Bobby’s.”

“We should leave something for him. So he’ll know we didn’t forget.”

Sam sighs. “Okay, Dean. We’ll leave something.”

Castiel forgets to try to open his eyes.

***

He has a job now and a flat. He works in a bookstore in Queen Street, and he has a one-bedroom flat above the shop. He’s a regular at the coffee shop down the street, though he’s discovered he prefers tea. He is Castiel Dominguez, and his parents moved to Cardiff from Barcelona when he was quite small.

A little, old lady, Mrs. Owens, comes into the shop every Saturday night and invites him to church with her on Sunday, but he shakes his head and smiles (a facial expression he thinks he has almost mastered by now).

And on Wednesdays, he takes his lunch to the park and sits on a bench, watching the children playing.

“How are you feeling?” Jack asks one night when he comes to visit.

“Tired,” Castiel says quietly. “And warm and…” He hesitates. He has not said it aloud since he found a name for that feeling. “And lonely,” he adds.

They have not found Dean or Sam or even Bobby, and Castiel worries that in falling he has been sentenced to lose all that he fell for.

Jack nods, and Castiel believes he can see a hint of that loneliness in Jack’s eyes as well, though he still struggles with understanding the emotions of other humans.

“This…Dean you keep looking for. He’s pretty special to you, isn’t he?”

“I fell for him,” Castiel says. It is the strongest thing he can say.

“Yeah,” Jack says quietly. “I fell for someone a while back too.”

Castiel regards him curiously. He cannot be an angel. Castiel would have known him.

Jack’s hand is on his arm again, and his other hand reaches across to touch Castiel’s cheek, and Castiel leans into the touch, not having realized how much he wanted something just like this.

When Jack kisses him, he returns it hesitantly, gently, and then Jack leans their foreheads together and sighs.

“We’re going to find your Dean. I won’t stop looking.”

Castiel nods, and Jack smiles and leaves.

***

“Cas?” Dean sounds as though he is crying. “Cas, where are you? You’re supposed to come when I need you, and I goddamn need you!”

I’m here! I’m right here! Castiel wants to yell.

“Cas, I…I can’t do this without you anymore. Where did you go? Why did you leave me?”

I didn’t. I left so that I would never have to leave you again. I’m coming for you.

“I just…I just want to see you once more. Please.”

Why can’t he just open his eyes?

***

“We have to leave now,” Jack is saying. “There’s going to be an opening in the Rift in the exact location where you came through in fifteen minutes.”

Castiel takes nothing with him but a battered copy of Rilke’s Book of Hours and an amulet he had found at a street fair a few weeks ago.

“It’s dangerous,” Jack says. “I don’t know for sure that it will take you back where you came.”

“I have to try,” Castiel says. Torchwood have been unable to find any records of a Sam or Dean Winchester in the United States, and Bobby Singer has been dead for ten years, and Castiel knows for certain now that this is not where he belongs. This world is not his.

Jack nods, and they speed down the road to the park where Castiel had first appeared.

Jack hugs him tightly. “I hope you find him,” he whispers, and Castiel clings to him for a moment before pulling away.

“Goodbye, Jack,” he says, and Jack salutes him as he steps through the tunnel.

***

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light.

Castiel is falling, hurtling through time and space and infinity, and he is not frightened.

Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight.

He knows now that it is worth it. There is no other choice he could possibly have made. He is falling into life, and there is nothing more terrible and wonderful than that.

All laud we would render; O help us to see.

He will be hurled into this church on a Sunday like any other Sunday, and he will change it forever. They will experience a revival, and new congregants will come from all around to worship here.

’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.

He had thought, months before, when he fell for the first time, that someday he might go looking for his Grace.

But his Father must have known when he set Castiel on this path that he would eventually come to this point.

And as he tumbles one more time, back to his world, back to his Dean, he realizes that grace comes in many forms, and that so long as he loves his Father’s creation, he will know the love of his Father.

fin

Date: 2009-07-05 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olympia-m.livejournal.com
wow - I loved it so much, and the ending was just beautiful... *sighs*
thank you!

Date: 2009-07-05 09:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-05 09:04 pm (UTC)
misslucyjane: (in these stones horizons sing)
From: [personal profile] misslucyjane
Ahh, that's lovely. Poor Castiel, and of course Jack makes everything better with a kiss :).

Date: 2009-07-05 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I could quite bring myself to give them more than a kiss...

Date: 2009-07-05 10:25 pm (UTC)
ext_29986: (strength)
From: [identity profile] fannishliss.livejournal.com
this is cool. i liked it a lot.

I guess the Cardiff of Torchwood is kind of in another dimension from the demon-ridden America of the Winchesters.... too bad, cause I'd love for Dean to meet Jack (a bigger flirt than himself)!!!

Jack was very sweet to Cas. I'm only just getting to know Jack from the dvd's of Torchwood that we are watching, but I like him more and more.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-05 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simithedemon.livejournal.com
Well I'm a sucker for well written crossovers, and this is definitely well written. Lovely, thank you, really enjoyed this!

Date: 2009-07-09 07:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-05 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deepgirl187.livejournal.com
I'm not a slash person generally, but I knew as soon as I started reading this it was worth it. Amazing work.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-06 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalikahuntress.livejournal.com
Jack was wonderful in this, I loved every minute of this fic.:)

Date: 2009-07-09 07:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-06 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurapetri.livejournal.com
beautiful sad lovely

Date: 2009-07-09 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-06 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexandriabrown.livejournal.com
That is utterly lovely and the way you worked the hymn through out fit the tone exactly. The thought of Torchwood being unable to locate any records on the Winchesters is actually quite chilling.

Really, this is wonderful.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-06 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikki-holly.livejournal.com
that was really, really good.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-06 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dapatty.livejournal.com
This was wonderful!

Date: 2009-07-09 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-06 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnliz4ever.livejournal.com
I had to look twice at the pairings cos I've never seen Castiel/Jack done before.

Brilliant. I loved every second and the way Jack was with Castiel was brilliant.

Oh Hell I have another crossover pairing now.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-07-07 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] love-jackianto.livejournal.com
What a great crossover. I love that Cas fell through the rift.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:05 pm (UTC)

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