skidmo_fic: (dean/castiel)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: Dream in Color, Live in Black and White
Rating: PG
Pairing: Dean/Jamie, Dean/Anna, Dean/Castiel
Word Count: 1208
Warning: none
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly.
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: Redemption, Dean is learning, is not solely the domain of the church.
A/N: Part of my NaNo project to write every day using song lyrics as prompts. Title comes from the song “Never Thought” by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers





So will I suffer
Or will I be all right?
I look up into the stars,
Then look down to count my scars,
And I know mercy

-Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Never Thought




Redemption, Dean is learning, is not solely the domain of the church.

***

He’s walking down the street with Sam, going from their motel to the diner for breakfast. Sam’s talking about their latest case, and Dean is…distracted.

It’s become the natural order of things, really. If Dean isn’t distracted, he’s finding ways of distracting himself.

“Dude,” Sam says, nudging his shoulder. “What’s up with you lately?”

Oh, I don’t know, Dean doesn’t say. Maybe it’s just that I spent forty years in hell watching everything that made me human slowly stripped away from me again and again and again.

“Nothing,” is what actually comes out of his mouth. “What’s up with you?”

Sam frowns and shakes his head, and they both know that the other is holding back, but there’s nothing to be done about it. Not right now. Not out on the street. Not in the middle of a job.

A kid, no older than twelve, Dean thinks, comes barreling down the sidewalk towards them on his skateboard. He practically runs them over, and Dean looks up, intending to tell the kid off. Instead, he snags the back of the kid’s jacket, yanking him off his skateboard as it flies into the street, colliding with a Buick.

“Hey, thanks, man,” the kid says as he squirms out of Dean’s grasp. “That coulda been me.”

“Yeah, well…be careful next time,” Dean scolds, looking every inch the crotchety old man he’ll likely never become. “You could kill somebody on that thing.”

Sam shakes his head as the kid goes to retrieve his board and apologize to the Buick’s driver.

“What?” Dean asks, and Sam laughs.

“Dude, you were two steps away from telling him to get off your lawn.”

“Whatever,” Dean scowls. “Are we getting breakfast or not?”

***

Dean spends a lot of time in bars anymore.

He has trouble sleeping, and when he does sleep, he has nightmares. Whiskey helps for a few hours at least, so he tries to get his fill before heading back to the motel, and if he’s lucky, he’ll be late enough that Sam will already be asleep and won’t smell the alcohol on his breath.

There’s a girl next to him at the bar, and Dean figures if she’s old enough to be there it’s just barely. She’s a waitress at the chain restaurant down the street, one of those places that make you wear flare and charge twelve bucks for a basket of wings. Dean’s flirting with her, of course, but there’s no real intent behind it. He’s not sure he deserves that anymore. Not after what he’s done and what he’s become.

The girl doesn’t seem to mind, though. She just enjoys the attention, smiles and lets Dean buy her a few drinks, until she’s tipsy but not too drunk.

When she leaves the bar, Dean notices that she left a roll of bills on the counter, and he guesses that must be her tips for the night, so he picks up the roll and heads out of the bar to find her.

She smiles, a little wobbly, and thanks him profusely when he gives it to her. She looks at him like he’s an angel (like he isn’t a monster) and kisses his cheek, and Dean doesn’t want anything more as a thank you, so when she invites him to a party at her friend’s house, he politely declines and makes sure she has a ride before leaving her.

He turns to go back to the bar, decides he’s had enough to drink, and heads to the motel instead.

***

Jamie makes him laugh.

She calls him G-man and takes the revelation that one of her best friends was a shapeshifter in stride. She thinks he’s a hero.

Dean knows he isn’t, not really, but when Jamie smiles and tickles him in bed, he lets himself believe it for once.

He slew the monster (or Jamie did, but he helped), he gets the girl.

Doesn’t that make him a hero?

She wants him to stay another day, and Dean wants to, but he can’t.

Because if he’s going to be anything even close to the hero she thinks he is, he has to keep moving. He and Sam have to keep doing their job. Saving people, hunting things.

Stopping the Apocalypse.

So he just kisses her goodbye, and smiles when she thanks him and Sam, and goes back to his crazy life.

***

Anna tells him that one of the things that makes being human worthwhile is sex, and Dean finds he can’t argue.

Later, she tells him she knows what he did. She heard the angels talking.

And after all that, she still wants to be human. She still wants to be human with Dean.

There’s a moment, when Anna’s slim fingers splay over the scar on his shoulder, when the name that threatens to spill from his lips isn’t Anna’s at all. And she looks at him like she knows.

And she keeps going.

They’re stretched across the back seat later, Dean’s jacket over them providing at least some shelter from the cool, night air, and Anna says, “He isn’t like humans.”

Dean doesn’t have to ask who she means.

“Maybe he tries,” she continues. “I don’t know. He was always…curious. But you can’t expect him to be like other people.”

Dean’s fingers slide over her back under his jacket. He thinks he should be embarrassed—she knew he was thinking of someone else, after all—but he isn’t.

“I know,” he says after a moment. “That’s why.”

She pushes herself up to look at him and nods. Then she kisses his cheek and moves to pull her clothes back on.

“C’mon,” she says after she’s dressed. “Sam will be worried.”

***

It’s worse than Dean ever thought. He’s not just someone who gave into the temptation to cut someone’s flesh to save his own.

He’s someone who started the Apocalypse.

And he’s had a lot of time to think about it. Sam would spend every waking minute in the hospital trying to get Dean to think of other things if Dean let him, but he doesn’t. He sends Sam off to the hotel, makes him go see a movie or hit a bar, tells him they’re short on cash and that Sam better go hustle some pool to help out since Dean’s out of commission.

He’s been in the hospital bed for a week when Castiel stops by.

Castiel’s been busy, he tells Dean. As has Lilith. More seals have been broken; they’re that much closer to the actual end of the world, and Dean’s stuck in this bed, unable to do anything to reverse what he started.

Castiel doesn’t stay long. There’s much to do and fewer angels to do it now.

Before he leaves, though, he stands by Dean’s bed for a minute, as though debating his next move. Dean can see it on his face, the way he wrestles with one idea after another and rejects each one.

Eventually, he leans over Dean and murmurs, “Rest well.” He kisses Dean’s forehead, and Dean closes his eyes.

When he opens them, Castiel is gone, and Dean settles into the bed to sleep.


fin
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