Title: Map of the World, 5/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4



--Day 22--

So this is his life: a dark, crowded, miserable cabin in the goddamn middle of a lost war.

Two days of trying to make something livable out of three rooms means running face-first into distorted reflections of himself everywhere he looks: water-stained boxes tumbled into tired piles, faded ink scrawling over the sides in his own hand and filled with short glimpses of a life before the Apocalypse more horrifying for being his own, parts of the history that he and this Dean shared.

He gets to the half-melted, broken remains of the tapes from the Impala, labels smeared to illegibility, and has to stop, shaking so hard the plastic rattles in his hands before repacking them between age-yellowed, ragged t-shirts and hex bags crumbling to dust at a touch, piles of fading papers and old credit cards, cracked leather wallets with half a dozen fake IDs and ink-stained notes.

Sitting back against the bedroom wall as his second day in the cabin starts to end, hands filthy with dust and smeared with drying blood from papercuts and unexpected staples, he looks at the remains of a life excised of half itself, all the way back to the start, obvious in its very absence.

There's nothing of Sam here at all.

None of Sam's books or his notebooks or his handwritten notes or his fucking gift for finding and using the shittiest available printer in any given library; no red pen correction and passive-aggressive notes and no flyleafs with Sam Winchester in idiotically typewriter quality print because Sam was--is--was like that. It's not just five years of absence, not here; this is his entire life at four, at fourteen, at twenty-four ruthlessly stripped bare and clean, Sam at one, at eleven, at twenty one scrubbed clean as if he never existed at all.

Dean thinks of the Impala with seats that once shaped themselves to Sam's body, upholstery victim of a half-dozen fat-free soy mocha lattes and dashboard that hosted his fucking huge feet, a car that carried Sam in every inch of metal, dragged here and piled with boxes and memories before it was burned and salted to exorcise ghost that lived only in this Dean's memory.

The stripped down bunk bed is shoved into a far corner of the room, making way for the pile of blankets he bullied out of a terrified Chuck where he failed at sleeping before getting up again to fail at coping. He avoids the patrol wanting anything but orders and the people offering smiles that belong to a man so much like him that no one can tell the difference. He's beginning to wonder, really wonder, if that's because there's no difference to see; it's almost like he's not here at all.

He's not sure how long he's been sitting here, but when he looks up, the late afternoon has vanished into a dull orange-pink dusk on his twenty-second day in this world and fifth of being Dean Winchester. He's still invisible, though, behind a name even more powerful than Cas's sigils, because now they look right at him and talk to him and take his orders and still don't see him at all.

He wonders if Cas is having a blast fucking himself unconscious full time now that there's a replacement Dean to take up the duties of the original.

Almost as if the thought's enough, he listens to the open and close of the front door, waiting without particular interest for someone to call for Dean and expect him to respond. After a few minutes--or hell, hours, he has no idea--footsteps cross the distance to the bedroom door before coming to a stop, and the sheer weight of attention is unmistakable, inevitable, something that he's never been able to entirely understand and never quite learn how not to want. Even now, maybe especially now: now, it's from one of the only two people on this goddamn planet who look at him and can see who he really is.

"Don't tell me," he says tiredly, tipping his head back against the doorframe. "I'm late for check-in."

"Two days, but who's counting." From the corner of his eye, he sees Cas fold himself down on the opposite side of the doorway, drawing up one knee. "You're very late."

Dean isn't sure he's up for surreal conversation, but he also can't make himself want Cas to leave now that he's here; an empty cabin shouldn't have so many ghosts, and he's only one of them. He tries to think of something to say--Jesus, after the last two days, four days, three weeks, he has a fucking list--but he can't remember a single thing.

Not that Cas seems to be doing much better, breaking the growing silence with, "It's been rather quiet."

"Because I'm not around?" Dean gives him a disbelieving look. "You run out of groupies?"

"Have you had many visitors?" Cas asks. "Other than patrol, I mean. It's not a rhetorical question."

Dean pauses at the genuine curiosity in the question, rewinding through the last couple of days and realizes that actually, no, he hasn't. Even the few times he's been forced to leave the cabin for food or Chuck or patrol-related purposes, he got smiles and waves and hopeful expressions, but no one--no one--came any closer than they had to.

"Not really--wait." He looks over at Cas, who doesn't seem surprised at all. "Are they avoiding me?"

"They're avoiding both of us," Cas answers, leaning his chin on the arm stretched over his knee, and damned if he doesn't look amused.

"How do they know--"

"This is a very small camp." Dean blinks at Cas's sudden smile. "Everyone knows everything. Though your extremely public stalk from my cabin two days ago in full view of everyone did help, yes."

"I wasn't that obvious." He was, actually, that obvious. "Sorry I fucked up your sex life."

Cas shrugs. "I wasn't in the mood anyway."

"That--" he hesitates, trying to decide if he actually wants to know. "You and Dean--that happened a lot?"

"Not recently." Cas looks away before he can see more than a flash of grief. "I had to work to get a reaction from Dean, and it was rarely worth the effort involved. On the rare occasions I bothered, he dealt with it as you did and simply left."

Swallowing, he stares at the far wall. "Cas--"

"I want you to come back."

Dean chokes on a strangled laugh. "You've gotta be kidding."

"Dean--"

"I said I wouldn't leave the goddamn camp," he interrupts, too tired to feel like arguing this one. "I'll be careful about what I say to anyone. If it's the wards in the cabin--I mean, can't you do them here?"

"You hate it here." Dean stills, unnerved by the certainty in Cas's voice. "Dean's cabin. You haven't slept, you don't eat--"

"How would you know…." He rolls his eyes, but there's just not enough left in him right now to even be pissed. "Chuck, right."

"If I apologize," Cas says lightly, "would that help?"

"It would help," he answers bitterly, "if you said one fucking thing to me that was true."

"I've never lied to you."

Dean laughs breathlessly. "You're so good at it you don't even have to anymore. How the fuck long does it take to learn to do that? Can you even tell the difference?"

Leaning back against the wall, he closes his eyes, aware of the silence emanating from Cas and wondering how long he's got before Cas makes an effort--he's pretty sure Cas didn't get this good at manipulation and not pick up the positive forms--and he's convinced. It's not like it'd be a hard sell either way, because Cas nailed it about this goddamn cabin. It's go crazy alone here or go crazy while Cas is a dick to him somewhere else, and at least one of those options involves a bed and company while he does it.

"Okay," he says finally, deciding to get this over with; he's pretty sure the walls are actually getting closer the longer he's here. "Convince me. Try to make it believable, though."

"Your first visit here wasn't precisely an unalloyed misery for me once the migraine of seeing someone out of time had passed."

Dean pauses, looking at him in surprise. "What?"

"Something true," Cas answers with a shrug. "I was very high, with a terrible headache from your presence, and your constant horror and disgust at all you saw was--annoying, yes--but the sheer novelty made up for it. Dean was not so philosophically inclined, of course. To see yourself in terms of what you no longer are, to be forced to recognize what you've become--that isn't something anyone could easily deal with, especially Dean. At the time, I didn't--let's say the last three weeks have been enlightening on what he was going through, but then I had no idea. Even if I'd known, however, I'm not sure I would have been able to stop him."

All at once, he gets it. "Me being here--it pushed him to that hit on Lucifer before he was ready, didn't it?"

"I don't know," Cas answers slowly, which is as good as a 'yes'. "It wouldn't have changed how this ended. Once Dean acquired the Colt, it was simply a matter of time."

"But he might not have done it that night." Zachariah had to know what would happen. Jesus, he was fucking with both of them. "I thought Zachariah was just--just showing me, I don't know, what could happen or something if I didn't agree to be Michael's vessel. Like Gabriel did with Sam."

"Zachariah didn't create a pocket of time for you to explore a potential future, no," Cas answers. "Instead, he moved you within time itself to see your own future. When you were returned to your own time, it was not the same world you had been taken from; it was one that your knowledge of the future created."

"He did it on purpose." That doesn't make sense. "Why?"

"Revenge," Cas says simply. "In your world, he couldn't risk any injury to Michael's vessel. So he forked time itself and allowed an entire world to be created so it could happen, with the bonus of making you watch yourself die."

For a moment, Dean can't think, can't even breathe; all he can see is that moment two years ago, staring at Lucifer standing over Dean's dead body and looking at him from behind Sam's eyes. Nausea rises sharp and bitter in the back of his throat, and he wonders if he's going to throw up.

"That sick fuck," he breathes. "I wish I could kill him again."

"His didn't anticipate your ultimate reaction to what you saw, of course." Cas looks at Dean, blue eyes filled with chilling approval. "You destroyed Lucifer without the interference of the Host and in the end, Zachariah died by your hand. Thank you."

Dean swallows, looking away.

"You can absolve yourself of any responsibility for Dean's decision. He chose to attack Lucifer that night because he was Dean Winchester," Cas continues. "Because Sam Winchester was Lucifer's vessel. Because Lucifer wants nothing less than the destruction of all humanity. And because at the beginning of time, Lucifer rebelled against my Father and promised he would destroy my Father's most precious creation. It was inevitable."

"Destiny, you mean?" Dean snorts. "Destiny is bullshit."

"Destiny is a word far more vast than the definition would imply." Cas frowns, eyes distant. "Sometimes, what you've become makes it impossible to see all potential paths. What you know--limits--what you believe can be achieved."

"You can't believe that."

Cas shrugs, like he can't bother himself to even disagree. Dean stares at the ceiling, thinking about Zachariah causing an entire doomed world to exist simply because he wouldn't be Michael's vessel. No fucking wonder Cas hates him; his entire existence was destroyed because of Dean.

"When you first came here and I saw you, I knew that you would create another path, one where our mistakes might not be repeated." Cas's mouth quirks in the suggestion of a smile. "Which you did. Though I could have been content with knowing in theory, it's pleasant to know for certain."

"The Apocalypse is always being beaten somewhere," Dean agrees, not quite sure he could take it so philosophically when it wasn't his somewhere winning. Well, he knows he wouldn't; not like his counterpart was thrilled to see him the first time, and Chuck isn't throwing a party right now for the survival of a world they don't even get to see. Then again, this is Cas and he's crazy. Maybe knowing one world existed meant there were other ones out there, better ones. Somewhere, they saved the world, Sam settled down with a nice girl, and Cas is sheriff of heaven, an angel of the Lord, and never crawled through the sewage of humanity behind another Dean who turned his own fucking personality disorder into a working theory of existence. "Okay, I'm convinced."

Cas tilts his head. "You're not pretending very well."

Dean snorts, pushing a hand into the floor; the idea of even Cas's shitty mattress is taking on epic proportions of comfort and sleep, Jesus, just get out of here. "Didn't promise I'd be good at it."

"Strangely enough, I'd prefer you meant it."

"Take what you can get," Dean snaps back. "You're getting what you wanted, so what the hell is the problem?"

"And what are you getting?"

"Somewhere I can sleep," he answers. "Someone who looks at me and knows who the fuck I actually am. Any questions?"

"That can be dealt with," Cas says softly. "We can leave Chitaqua."

Dean drops back onto the floor. "Leave."

"Your existence is known to the camp, and it's now inevitable Lucifer will discover it. Leaving would be the most prudent course of action."

"And what about everyone here?"

"You can order someone to take your place," Cas answers, so easily that it dawns on him that this sounds suspiciously like a plan, like maybe one he's been thinking through. "Tell them we're going on a mission for something--I can make something up that sounds sufficiently impressive--and we go somewhere less visible than the first place Lucifer will look to exterminate who's left of those who followed Dean."

Including Cas, and Chuck, too, Dean realizes belatedly; maybe especially them. Even now, Lucifer can't think it's a good idea to leave an ex-angel and an ex-prophet alive longer than he has to, no matter what Cas thinks. "So cut and run and leave everyone to die?"

"Once you're safe, we can try to find a way to send you back to your world. My lack of Grace does not erase knowledge that stretches to when time first began. Given time--"

"Yeah, and I also remember something about everyone being gone who could help except Lucifer. Not that I think you're lying or anything--"

"Implying it is much better, thank you for the effort." From the look on his face, Cas might be counting to ten. "I'm not lying. It's not impossible that there's something I haven't thought of. I need time, Dean."

Dean grits his teeth, trying to think. "And while you're doing that and I'm sitting on my ass in hiding and Lucifer keeps up his reign of terror--"

"His reign of terror, as you call it, will remain unaffected either way, I assure you."

"But you--realistically here, tell me the chances I'm getting out of here without a goddamn miracle? If there's anyone left who could do one, which I'm guessing there's not, so stop fucking with me. You brought me here in the first place because it was the safest option. What are the actual chances you'd manage to find something before he hunted us down if you haven't thought of anything yet?"

"Better than if we didn't try at all."

"And leave everyone behind to fend for themselves? You could do that?"

Cas stills, looking away, but Dean doesn't need to hear him say it; he will. Of course he will, Dean thinks bitterly; he Fell for him and died for him, marked time in a shitty mortal life for him, and even this Dean's death didn't set him free because another one took his place. He'll leave if that's what Dean needs, and it may kill him to do it, but he'll still do it.

"You think--" Dean swallows hard. "You think I'd make you do that?"

Cas looks surprised. "Dean--"

"You still think you chose the wrong team?"

"Your memory is becoming annoying," Cas answers testily. "And in this case, imprecise. Better is relative, but wrong is absolute. I never said I was wrong. I wasn't."

"I have no idea what that means." But actually, he thinks that he does.

"It probably would help if you'd been subject to Bobby's interest in professional sports during the Super Bowl," Cas says. "He used to throw things at the television, it's not important. What is important is--"

"Okay, tell me this," Dean interrupts challengingly. "The odds that we'll figure out how to get me back before the actual, literal end of the world, humanity, everything, are they better than zero? While we're on the run, by the way."

"They are better than zero," Cas begins, then visibly reconsiders. "They are also somewhat higher than Lucifer spontaneously repenting and lower than the Apocalypse coming to a random and inexplicable halt."

"Which," Dean points out, "is actually happening right now."

Cas sighs. "However, your survival is required if we are to raise them to any significant degree."

"I can't just--these people believe in me. Hell, they kind of depend on you right now. Tell me how I'm supposed to live with fucking them over?"

"I don't think there are enough options for you to feel a crisis of conscience."

"So let's get some new ones!"

Dean thinks: I have no idea what the hell I'm saying here.

"Dying horribly is the most likely so far," Cas answers, voice edged with incredulity. "What options do you think--"

"I don't know!" Dean answers a little desperately, wondering if it'd be worth it to punch Cas in his stupid mouth just on principle. "Jesus, Cas, you're better than this! You can create invisibility when you're so high you're seeing Elvis, you fake your way through running the camp so well no one knows you're making it up as you go, so I think you can drop the bullshit for a few fucking seconds to help me figure how the fuck we're gonna handle this!"

It's almost as good as a punch, maybe better; he didn't break his hand, and Cas's expression goes utterly blank.

"You realize," Cas says slowly, "that if you choose to stay, you're effectively accepting command of the camp."

"Chuck nailed me to the job already. Not like I haven't done the apocalypse thing before. Five days so far, no one's dead yet." Cas's expression isn't encouraging, but it's not like Dean doesn't know this is a stupid idea. It's just the only one they've got. "So you gonna help me do it or what?"

For a moment, he's standing in a room with an angel who learned to doubt, arguing that free will trumped prophecy, that the paradise the Host sought on earth would be won in a war in which humanity would have no say in their own fate. Dean does appreciate the irony of asking Cas to help him now, considering how well listening to him has worked out for him so far.

Then Cas stands up. "You've convinced me," he says. "Let's go."

"What?"

"I'm going to help you," Cas answers irritably. "You're going to stand up, come back to the cabin, eat something, and try to discover a course of action of relative sanity before one of us realizes what a terrible idea this is."

He lets Cas pull him to his feet, mostly because he can't figure out what else to do. "But you're going to help anyway."

"I rebelled against the Host," he says deliberately, spacing the words for maximum impact, "fought archangels, threatened my superiors, defied my orders until I was sundered from Heaven, and finally Fell to earth instead of fleeing with the remaining Host. I'm a drug addict whose only hobby is sex and I have effectively founded a very minor yet by definition actual cult encouraging enlightenment through the use of psychedelic drugs via sexual congress based on almost offensively adulterated Buddhist principles and a documentary on Woodstock I watched on the History Channel three years ago." Castiel pauses, studying him. "In retrospect, I can see why you might think this seems out of character."

Dean can't think of what to say there (though it does make him wonder who the hell thought giving Cas unlimited and unsupervised access to the wonders of cable was a good idea). Put all together like that, it just sounds crazy. Like, who does that? "Why?"

"It's going to work," Cas answers firmly, turning away. "It's not as if I have anything better to do."




Dean will later blame his post-Cas-makes-fucking-terrible-life-decisions-like-as-a-habit realization for the fact they're back at the cabin, Dean's made his way through something that involves beans and unidentified meat--not squirrel, he tells himself firmly, they're all gone--while Cas stares at the sigils on the doorway like they're talking to him. Which who the hell knows, maybe they are.

"Okay, level with me. Dean's cabin was shitty, but why do you want me here instead? Don’t tell me it's just for the pleasure of my company."

"Dean didn't like it there, either," Cas tells him absently. "To be honest, I'm not sure he ever slept there."

Dean starts to object--what the hell does that mean?--then rewinds to remember the condition of the bunk beds and the fact he was sleeping on a pile of blankets he got from Chuck. Suddenly, this Dean's state of serial semi-monogamy kind of makes uncomfortably practical sense.

"Girlfriends?"

"That is the word I have heard used in reference," Cas answers discouragingly. "Preference seemed to depend on the quality of their mattresses."

"Tell me you're joking."

"I'm joking. I'm sure there were other factors involved." And whoa, Cas is palming a knife that came out of nowhere. "Come here."

"You want my blood on the wards," Dean interprets correctly, getting up from the couch and crossing to the doorway. Taking his hand, Cas brushes the tip of the knife against his finger and then takes his wrist, guiding him to one of the sigils. Dean obediently brushes his finger against the wood and checks his finger when Cas lets go. There's a tiny smear of red at the tip, but licking it away, there's no sign of a cut. He squints at the sigil dubiously. "That's it?"

"I want to check something. If it works, I'll know within a few hours, and if it doesn't, nothing will happen."

Dean gives them a final look before crossing back to the couch. "Where'd you get these wards, anyway? I looked through your books, but there wasn't anything like this."

"That's because they didn't exist until after your arrival." Sliding the knife behind his back, Cas drops onto the opposite arm of the couch, bare feet resting on the cushion and regarding Dean thoughtfully. "Anyone else might have asked why their blood was needed before offering it. Do you plan to do so anytime soon? I can wait."

"Dude, if you were bent on evil and all you needed was my blood to get the ball rolling, newsflash: I've been sleeping here every night. Not like it was hard to find me and get it."

"Maybe I needed your consent," Cas says, crossing his arms defensively and not giving a single goddamn inch. "Do you usually give the bodily fluid with the greatest potential for mystical abuse to anyone who asks for it? You were always far more scrupulous when it came to sex and the worst that could happen would be passing an STD or fathering a child."

"No, I don't, and are we really talking about this right now?" Dean asks incredulously. "The wards, tell me what they're doing."

"It's more how they're doing it," Cas answers, settling himself in what could be answering the goddamn question mode. "Do you know about the principle of contamination?"

"Leftovers, right?" Dean answers promptly and is rewarded with a surprised smile. In the spirit of--whatever they're doing--he's not even taking it personally, but come the fuck on, he's still a hunter in his world and shit happens. "Before you do some rituals, you have to purify a place, get rid of whatever might have been done there before."

"That's one aspect, yes. It also applies to those who are involved, but generally it can never be entirely removed from a person," Cas answers. "When you came here, I knew who you were even though I didn't have Grace. Did you ever wonder how?"

Dean shakes his head; he figured it was some former angel thing.

"I created your body and sealed your soul within it when I raised you from Hell. Every cell in your body is--for lack of a better word--contaminated."

"Okay." Dean files that away: angel thing. "Contaminated by what?"

"For the purposes of this conversation, me." Before Dean respond to that--or even work out the response--Cas continues. "You can't make a corporeal being invisible. The sigils you use now are a very simple distraction; when someone sees you, they say you're not there, and as I explained, the human mind doesn't like dissonance, so they're believed despite sensory evidence to the contrary. The simplicity is why they work, but the problem is that they're telling a lie. That makes them vulnerable, and once someone knows you're there, they stop working, rendering them useless. I needed something true."

"Okay, fine, got it, something true," Dean agrees, not following at all. "Let's go back for a second; what did you mean by--"

"In addition, certain protections can only be established in places that someone claims as their habitation--their home, in essence, or in any case their residence."

"Wait," Dean says, startled. "You live here, that's a personal claim and it creates a connection--wait, that's contamination? You living here contaminates the cabin? Like ghosts haunting their old houses?"

Cas grins at him. "Yes, exactly. It's in everything to a greater or lesser degree, but generally, it's only noticeable when it's negative, and in those cases dramatically so: poltergeists, coercion spells, compulsions, summoning the more disreputable supernatural beings for various reasons, ritual human sacrifice."

"Demon blood fed to a kid," Dean says quietly. "Contamination."

Cas's smile fades. "Your experience with it as a hunter has almost always been in its negative or neutral forms because the positive don't call attention to themselves. Contamination itself is neutral; why it exists is not." He pauses, studying Dean for a moment. "The reason that you don't notice contamination--the reason that word with all of its negative connotations is used to describe it--is because its positive form suffuses your life from birth to death."

"I'll take your word for it," Dean agrees impatiently. "Now, how does this relate to my--did you say 'atoms'--?"

"All protective wards are based on a single set of five symbols--ones created, in case you're curious, before language itself had progressed beyond its most rudimentary oral form," Cas tells him, settling into something not unlike Sam in Telling Dean Things mode. "The most accurate description would be the definition of self; in short, each person belonged first to themselves, discrete and separate from one another. The first claim a human made of ownership was to themselves, and thus, you became self-aware. My Father created you in his image, but that moment is when humanity created itself."

Dean thinks about that, intrigued despite himself. What Cas is saying is probably only a small part--maybe the smallest part--of what that really means, but it's enough to get the shape of it. He can't imagine--literally, he can't even wrap his mind around--what it meant to exist without knowing who you were, and this is not even knowing there was something there to know about--but he gets this much; until that moment, that thought never existed and there was no context for its conception but that of the mind that thought it. There's power in what you claim, all right; a single thought claiming themselves had made beings who were just another animal into something so much more.

"At their core, all that wards are doing is define what is to be protected; they do nothing else," Cas continues, watching him carefully. "Once you've defined what is being protected--and later, contained--you add the specific elements that suit your purpose."

"Devil's trap to hold a demon," Dean says absently, thinking about the symbols on the doorway. "I've seen some of those symbols in wards and protective charms before, but each one only shows up once and it can be anywhere. The Enochian, though…." He trails off, thinking. "They look like the ones I wore around the camp, but the cabin itself isn't invisible, so--wait, I'm invisible in here? Is that what they're doing?"

"Congratulations," Cas says, sounding pleased. "Your ancestors would be impressed with your perspicacity."

"Every time I was in here during meetings, I didn't need to worry about those goddamn sigils?" Dean demands. "Dude."

"I was distracted by your constant laughter," Cas answers, raising an eyebrow. "My apologies. Now as I was saying--"

" "But you said those could be broken because it's a lie, so what…." Dean pauses: contamination. "Hold on. When I'm in here, what do people see when they see me?"

"Something that isn't a lie. I formed every cell of your current body, and that's a great deal of contamination, down to the molecular level. Within this cabin, those symbols tell anyone who isn't specifically excluded from their effect that you are simply part of me and should be disregarded as an independent being. And according to the laws of contamination, that's true."

Huh. "So they see--you? Literally?"

Cas grins. "Of course not, that's an entirely different spell, and incredibly difficult to maintain. No, you aren't me, so the senses are confused, and per usual, since they prefer to avoid dichotomy, they see nothing. Same effect, different reason."

"So I'm practically invisible in here." Dean turns to stare at the doorway again, then at Cas. "That worked?"

Cas's expression changes briefly, barely a flicker--two parts pleased, maybe a hint of smug, but it's the last part that makes Dean blink: surprised. Really, really surprised. "Yes, it works. I tested it with Chuck while you were sleeping one morning, just to be certain. He almost sat on you."

"I slept through that?" Dean asks, but he's beginning to grin: he's invisible. Practically, anyway. "Can we do it again so I can watch? Wait, if he knows I exist--"

"That's my favorite part," Cas interrupts, almost bouncing, and Dean sees that other guy again, the not-dick one, but even more now. "It's not a lie, just extremely confusing, so it can't be broken by knowledge of your existence or even knowing what's happening. The only way to avoid the effects is to be excluded from the range, and that requires me to consent to someone being excluded. The truth really does set you free. Or confuses the senses a great deal, I mix those up."

"Where did you find this?" Dean asks, thinking about the potential, or to be honest, what Bobby and Sam would do with that, since fuck if he knows. "Seriously, where did you get this?"

Cas looks at him for a moment. "I told you, in the days your ancestors were working on sentience--"

"I think being invisible would have been pretty useful before now!"

"That part is somewhat--experimental." Cas shrugs, not really casually. "I'm not sure why no one tried it before. It's relatively simple, though to be fair--"

"You made it up." Will wonders never cease. "Right, they're from the sigils you made up for me to wear. Jesus, you always do that when you're high?"

"--it's rare that this particular situation would occur," Cas continues as if he didn't say anything. "My blood proves contamination to be true, and my right to claim you--as me--by right of ownership."

Cas sits back with a smile of malicious satisfaction, obviously waiting for exactly what happens next.

Dean doesn't disappoint him. "Ownership?"




"I asked Joe for as much of his supply as he would part with in exchange for a bottle of Eldritch Horror, as you named it," Cas says, returning from the kitchen with an entire cooler--which explains how he has cold beer without a working fridge--and dropping a bottle in front of Dean. "I assumed we'd both need it."

Dean figures this is a two beer minimum kind of night, so he waits until he's looking at his third before deciding he's ready for anything else. Cas is on his fourth, which makes Dean think maybe this should be a straight tequila kind of night.

"So that's why you weren't worried about me being here at night without refreshing those sigils I was wearing," he says carefully, turning the beer in one hand and regarding Cas as neutrally as he can. "Even if anyone came in, they wouldn't see me."

"No one would come in here without my permission," Cas states, taking a drink that empties half the bottle. "I thought it was prudent that you wear the sigils at all times to assure it was a habit so you wouldn't forget to do so outside the cabin."

Dean starts to protest but thinks better of it. If Cas wants a fight tonight, he's gonna have to work at it, and he's curious why he's even trying. "So in here, no one can see me, hear me--and it won't break because I'm talking to them while standing in front of them?"

"No one," Cas confirms, going for his fifth beer and passing Dean one as well. "It takes advantage of all the senses by which the world is perceived and trust in them working correctly."

Dean takes that in as he unscrews the top. "You mean an angel in their vessel could be standing right in front of me and he still wouldn't know I was here?"

"As long as they're in a vessel, they're as vulnerable as any other corporeal being." Cas rouses himself from vague dissatisfaction (possibly with the lack of rampant hostility from Dean, interesting) to look interested. "Practically speaking, if you decided to engage in single combat with one, they might have a clue that that they're missing something, but even if they knew for a fact you were here, it wouldn't help them see you. In this case, knowledge isn't power. The wards are telling the truth. A very loose comparison would be to someone who is red-green colorblind; being told the brown is actually red doesn't make them see the color red."

"Huh." Reluctantly--ownership? Later--he's gotta admit this is kind of cool. "How'd you get the idea anyway?"

Taking a drink from his half-empty bottle, Cas rolls his eyes. "It's simply taking advantage of natural law, in a sense. It's not something as complex as a devil's trap or ritual magic. It's the equivalent of theorizing that an apple is subject to gravity if it falls. You don't need to see it happen to know it will."

Lowering his beer, he tries to decide if Cas is serious. "This is like gravity, anyone can figure it out."

"Now that you mention it," Cas says seriously, "it does seem strange that no one has before. The requirements seem to be an angel laid siege to Hell to successfully claim a damned soul, resurrected them on earth, and then Fell into their own vessel to live the remainder of their mortal life, at which time they have a very motivating reason to want to provide limited invisibility to someone in a cabin during an Apocalypse." Looking at Dean, he gives him a picture-perfect impression of earnest curiosity. "Certainly that's happened before. Let me think for a moment so I can provide relevant examples. Oh, wait--"

"It hasn't," Dean finishes for him, wondering why the hell he wants to laugh. "And it works on humans and angels in human vessels. What about, I don't know, werewolves? They're human most of the time, but what about when they're not?"

Cas pauses, bottle halfway to his mouth, and God help them all, he's thinking about it.

"It shouldn't matter," he says, lowering the bottle. "It affects how the senses perceive the world around them, and that applies to everything with a corporeal form on this plane. Maybe a god's perceptions would be different enough to not be affected the same way, but to interact fully on this plane, they still need a human body to do it, and like an angel, it would affect them in the same way. Other than that…." He trails off and starts to grin, all pleased malice. "Gabriel's reaction would be worth any number of terrible second rate gameshows, just to see his expression when you punched him. It probably wouldn't have been a good idea to risk Kali, she'd set the cabin on fire and be done with it, but Serapis was notoriously slow when it came to anything later than burning of Pompeii--Diana was pleasant enough, I wouldn't try with her--"

"Cas," Dean interrupts, "you'd use your cabin of invisibility to play practical jokes on gods if they were still around?"

"Yes, of course." Cas looks at him, cheerfully malicious grin and incandescent blue eyes and Dean can, actually, see him doing just that. "Why not? Gabriel certainly enjoyed doing it to us, and he'd appreciate the humor. Eventually."

Dean opens his mouth to answer--there are a lot of reasons, and all of them sane--but the laughter that comes out instead cuts him off at the knees. Punching Gabriel in his smug face knowing he couldn't even find him, even if he was standing a couple of inches away; that's fucking awesome.

It's not just that, though, or even mostly that. He's got a list and it's growing by the second: Crowley, Meg, every demon ever, the goddamn Host, Horsemen, Lucifer, t sirens, gods, witches, everything that's ever fucked with his head. Just once, they'd have to fight like he does every goddamn time, depending not just on what he knew but for the other side to fuck up. One advantage, just one: God knows, everything he fights has dozens of them, so why can't he have a really good one?

Before Cas can start again with all the other fun things you can do with a cabin of invisibility (cabin of death, of lots and lots of dead monsters) to fuck with people (gods, angels, werewolves, vampires, this list is getting way to long), he makes himself stop and take a long drink before moving on to practicalities.

"So what are the rules for the wards to keep it working inside the cabin?"

"Very few, but to compensate for that, they're also very strict," Cas says, tucking a leg underneath himself and reluctantly turning his attention to practicality. "The cabin's wards define the space you need to be in for this to work, and that requires there be unchallenged ownership to that space. Not only to keep anyone else from being able to control the wards and give consent, but due to their nature; they're strongest and work best when their creator owns the space they're protecting. In this case--as there's no one who's challenging me for the cabin--ownership is simply defined by this being my residence, and habitation is satisfied by this cabin being the place where I sleep." He pauses, thinking about it, before adding reluctantly, "In this case, by me, I mean both of us."

"Because you own me," Dean says flatly, taking another drink and pretending not to notice the earlier lingering amusement fading from Cas's face, or the way his voice loses its animation.

"Essentially," he agrees colorlessly, finishing the bottle in a single long swallow and reaching for another. "Though it may also be satisfied by simply not sleeping anywhere else and spending some amount of time here daily. I haven't tested how long that would be." He shrugs, but Dean gets the unsettling impression that as of now, this is a priority for testing. "As of now, degradation begins to occur if twenty-four hours have passed without both of us sleeping within the wards, and they vanish entirely at thirty-six hours, which I can assure you is accurate to the second."

Because he's been living in that other cabin, which is probably not the preferable way to go about testing the limits. "And blood?"

"Provided we follow the habitation rules, it's purely symbolic; a weekly offering on the key is sufficient. Mine, not yours," he adds deliberately, finishing off his eleventh beer--Dean missed a couple apparently, but the number of bottles on his side of the couch is growing fast. "Adding yours was to see if it made them stronger, but there's no sign of any change so far. Anything else?"

"So that's it?"

"Strict, but simple," he confirms, then pauses to finish the entire twelfth bottle, and Dean's abruptly grateful this isn't a tequila night after all, Jesus. "They have another advantage," he starts, going for another one--how many did Joe give him anyway?--and opening it. "It must be a relic of your hunter-gatherer ancestors having no permanent residence, but in theory, habitation can also be satisfied by both of us sleeping in the same space, provided it has no other claimants. At least, it should, or your ancestors wouldn’t have survived long enough to discover fire."

"I feel a 'but' coming on."

"I’m not sure what that means in modern terms or how long it would take to count as habitation, so that part's going to require live testing, I suppose. Until then, assume one sleep period in a given space would be the minimal requirements to confirm habitation, after which time the twenty-four hour limit goes into effect. At least, that seems to work; it's not as if I had much time to experiment."

"It's still kind of new," Dean supplies, morbidly curious how much it might take for Cas to get drunk on just beer. He knows his own tolerance, and Cas's is better by an order of magnitude if he can shoot bottles of Eldritch Horror. Cas nods shortly, starting to take a drink. "You just made it up, what, three weeks ago?--so I'll cut you some slack."

Cas gives him an annoyed look, but he lowers the bottle. "Thank you."

"Anytime," Dean says brightly, taking a small drink before adding, "Cabin of invisibility."

"Bobby was an advocate of using what you know," Cas answers, beginning to relax again. "He used to say that research was all well and good when there was time, but in most cases if we wanted time we'd have to make it, so the five minute rule should apply."

"The five minute rule?"

"He phrased it differently, but in essence, five minutes is all you might have at any time, so if you can't kill it and can't run away from it, you should already know a way to--buy time to find out how to do one of those two things."

He can hear Bobby saying that, adding 'idgit' with a snort when they looked blank. "Bobby was awesome like that."

"He was." There's another, shorter silence as Cas stares at nothing before saying in a completely different voice, "Dean, I would have chosen something else if there was anything that was this effective."

Huh. "What?"

"Power." Cas gives that fucking bottle a long look, and Dean's about a second from snatching it out of his hands when Cas finally looks at him again. "Wards usually require power to do anything, and short of a blood sacrifice, I don't know how to get it. These don't require power; they're passive and only require that they exist to work. That they work at all is--I won't say miracle or the irony might actually strike me dead for abusing it, but something very like that. On this plane, it doesn't mean anything, why they work. It's symbolic."

So maybe--just maybe--it's possible he can guess where this is coming from: goodbye bottle fucking fifteen, hardly knew you. In retrospect, maybe he can also guess why Cas has put off a ward disclosure speech for three weeks.

"Uh, Cas," bottle sixteen, yeah, this is getting ridiculous, "is something bothering you?"

"Why would you think that?" Cas asks pleasantly, twisting off the top like he's imagining it's someone's (Dean's, probably) head. "The list is very long, and I think I've told you the major points of dissatisfaction before, but if you want a recital, in order--"

Reaching out, Dean snatches the bottle out of his hands. He'd be impressed with his cat-like reflexes and getting the drop on Speedy McStrong of Dean's cabin interrogation fame, but he's pretty sure it was sheer surprise that got him that bottle. "Cas--"

"You want me to tell you the truth," he says tightly. "You're going to need to be much more specific on when that's acceptable and when you'd prefer a lie so I don't upset you. As a guideline, only the truth if you want to hear it is far less useful than you might assume."

Dean's gotta say, it sucks to suffer not just for the sins of his predecessor but for his own. "You get I don't like the idea of you thinking you own me?"

"I don't particularly enjoy having to claim you," Cas answers flatly. "I don't like you that much."

Dean drops back into his corner of the couch and grips both bottles until he's sure he's overcome the urge to walk out, punch Cas in his stupid face and then walk out, or to up the ante, throw them both bottles at him and then punch him and walk out. This isn't going to work unless they can stand to be in the same room (cabin) with each other, and--Cas isn't walking out to fuck someone in the spirit of dickhood. Wait.

"Cas, are the wards working right now?"

"It could also be I don't like claiming a person like a piece of property because it's obscene," Cas says out of nowhere, eyes fixed on a point over Dean's shoulder. "It's possible the problem isn't you."

"They're working, but habitation rules aren't satisfied yet," Dean continues, filing that away to come back to in a second. "I've been sleeping in that other cabin. Not sleeping, whatever."

"I haven't slept here in two days," Cas admits, shoulders slumping unhappily. "When I did it before, I came back every day to maintain habitation, but I haven't been here at all. As I said, this is very simple but very strict."

"Where did you sleep?" Dean asks before he can stop himself.

"I haven't," Cas answers distractedly, frowning in concentration. "They're working, yes, but I think they might collapse if either of us leave without sleeping first to start the twenty-four hour clock. That's interesting, considering the origin; humans were migratory for most of your history--"

"Cas?" Though honestly, Dean kind of wants him to keep going; the unhappiness is lost beneath the power of intellectual curiosity. So that kind of thing works on people other than Sam; he's gotta remember that.

"--so it's possible intent to inhabit might also work. I'd like to test that." Cas begins to smile to himself, small and faintly pleased, and oh God, now he gets it. Cas said he didn't have power and got these to work anyway. Fuck Dean's life, that's the problem; Cas was proud of his cabin of invisibility, and Dean's reaction to the minor detail of being owned rained on his goddamn ward parade.

Dean thinks: I don’t feel guilty because I don't like the idea of Cas owning me.

He wonders how long it will take to convince himself of that. "Cas?"

Cas's smile vanishes and while it's not replaced with outright hostility, that could probably be because he just realized he (and Dean, probably) can't actually storm out of here yet. This is going to get awkward soon--for Dean anyway, Cas seems a little shaky on the entire idea--or maybe Dean could do something with this forced proximity. This Dean would leave, Cas said; Chuck said that this Dean did the same thing; so that's where Cas learned that little trick.

"You can sense wards?" he asks casually. "You can still do that?"

Obviously, not the question Cas expected.

"I don't know I ever could as an angel," he answers slowly. "I had Grace, which is--different; any ritual that used my Grace I could sense, and I rarely needed or used any other kind. Human practitioners of ritual magic often can, however. Especially those that use their own blood in the binding."

"Have you ever," Dean asks, returning Cas's bottle to his hand--his expression is totally worth it--and taking a drink from his own, "considered easing into a subject isn't the same thing as lying?"

Cas stares at his bottle like he's kind of wishing invisibility worked on him about now. Bingo.

"You're stuck with me until you sense the wards are up and running and this cabin isn't that big. How long until we can leave? I mean, right after we wake up, what?"

"One period of sleep should be enough," Cas answers shortly, and there goes half the bottle. "Though technically, we've both been absent for long enough that it may require a full day for them to be satisfied, so--"

"Twenty four hours," Dean confirms in satisfaction. "Will it take you that long to admit you were trying to piss me off with the ownership shit to test me on how committed I am to you telling me the truth? You spent almost three weeks not telling me because--going out a limb--you thought that part would bother me and you didn't want to deal with it or me. Fine, I get it, being around me isn't fun for you."

"Dean--"

"But you're gonna have to deal with me now if you're gonna help me do this--your decision, Cas--so this is how you want to start? Making an effort to see what kind of mileage you can get out of being an asshole and excuse it by saying that's what I wanted?"

Cas looks at him bitterly. "I've never noticed method of delivery makes any difference when telling humans something they don't want to hear."

"You mean Dean didn't." That last meeting before they all went to Kansas City that day looks a lot different now. "Cas, look: you made a cabin of invisibility--there's literally nothing not awesome about this--and derailed the entire imaginary ways I'd fuck with Gabriel and everything I've ever met by making it sound like I'm something you won at poker."

"I'm terrible at poker," Cas murmurs, but something tells Dean maybe he made some progress. "A siege of Hell is nothing like poker, and you're not a pile of currency."

"Then just tell me what it means."

Cas hesitates before setting his half-full bottle down. "It has no meaning on this plane of existence, and very limited applicability anywhere else; free will does have some protections inherent to it. I can't make you do anything--even if I wanted to or knew how--or do anything with it, but in this form, because I resurrected you as well as rescued you from Hell, it offered an unexpected benefit, the one thing I can still do--" He breaks off abruptly. "When I was an angel, you had the right to expect me to protect you."

Not. Guilty. "Cas, just because I'm here--I mean, I never expected you to--" There's no good way to say this.

"You didn't," Cas interrupts quietly, and in his voice, Dean hears 'useless' like some kind of fucking chorus and wonders if he ever hears anything else. "Without Grace, my options were limited, but this--it worked, so I used it." He hesitates, looking uncertain. "With Grace--with any power--I would have less--distasteful alternatives. However, I can't think of many ways to gain power that aren't obscene, so--"

"So cabin of invisibility," Dean finishes for him. "You know, you could have started with what you just said and saved us some time and beer, just saying. Did you even taste it? It's good beer, and it's not like you can get drunk off this unless you got about four cases in here somewhere." He pauses, giving the cooler a suspicious look. "Do you?"

"Joseph didn't have that much," he admits reluctantly, slumping further before giving Dean a narrow look. "And for the record, you could have asked 'what does ownership mean' instead of jumping to the conclusion I considered you the results of a successful game of poker. Especially considering it's fairly obvious we weren't speaking of slavery."

That's also a valid point. "This is going great so far," Dean tells him glumly over the rim of his bottle. They're going to kill each other, sarcastically. "What do you think?"

"I think you'd feel better if you'd actually thrown both bottles at me. I appreciate your self-control." Disarmed, Dean stops clutching his bottle quite so tightly. "To be fair, I didn't find that part particularly comfortable personally, so I might have been needlessly blunt."

This is definitely progress. "I could have asked," Dean admits. "Truce? Dude, it's a small cabin. We gotta get along here."

"I don't have to be here…." Cas stops, and Dean watches in interest as the obvious kicks in. "Except to help you, of course."

"Couple hours a day, right?" Dean tries not to take Cas's alarm personally, but Jesus, way to make a guy feel almost tolerated for existing. "It's only what, a few years of history, how everything works, names--hey, I could use everyone's names. Which one is Evan again?"

"You're enjoying this."

"You can change your mind," Dean says quickly, keeping his voice carefully neutral, though now that he's thinking about it--really thinking about it--he's got no idea how this is supposed to work. He can ID maybe a third of the camp on sight, maybe, and that's being really goddamn optimistic. "Free will thing."

"Don't be ridiculous," Cas says, starting to frown. "I'm trying to remember if Chuck has any writing implements and paper."

"He does," Dean confirms in bewilderment, watching Cas half sit up before shaking his head and sitting back again. "Uh, why?"

"Disadvantages of a mortal body and lifespan," Cas says cryptically. "Having a perfect memory but not all of time to search it. Notes would help."

After seeing Cas's interpretation of reports, that's terrifying. "For me?"

"For both of us. The invention of written language was a great step forward in human development. I'll speak to Chuck in the morning." He pauses, giving Dean a critical once-over. "You should go to bed. The day patrol meets an hour after dawn in the mess before they go on duty."

"Why weren't they meeting here?" Dean asks in confusion. "I left at dawn every morning."

"You rarely woke at dawn; you're simply not used to the weather enough to tell the difference without a clock," Cas answers, a hint of amusement in his voice. "I don’t have one here and I know Dean's cabin doesn't have one. And your watch is broken: I noticed when we talked in Dean's cabin a few days after your arrival."

"That's what you want to call that?" Okay, on the list for today--tomorrow: get a goddamn clock. "You could have woken me up."

"I didn't," Cas says with a shrug. "I'll wake you at dawn so you can prepare yourself and then tell them they'll be meeting here for the foreseeable future. You've attended enough patrol meetings to know they're not terribly difficult. The abbreviated version you were doing from Dean's cabin was acceptable, but as you said, you're still learning their names. Their personalities might be also be considered need to know information, and this will give you the opportunity to learn more about them."

"I'm meeting with them alone?" Dean blurts out before he can stop himself.

"No, of course not," Cas answers in surprise. "That's why I need to talk to Chuck. I'll be taking notes to make this easier for both of us."

Right, okay, so far so good; he's not being abandoned (again) to stare at people he's never met who expect him to know what he's talking about (not even a little). Sleep's a good idea, actually. Finishing his bottle, Dean considers the small army of them on the other side of the couch and decides to let Cas deal with it. "Cas…."

"Hmm?" He glances up. "Don't worry; two days is my effective limit without sleeping unless I have reason to abstain, so the wards should be stable come morning. In the future--"

"Look, it's just--" Okay, just get it over with. "Where are you going to be when you're not helping me? Groupie?" Cas hesitates, and yeah, that's what he thought. "One of the empty cabins so no one would notice you aren't living here and wonder why."

"Dean, it would take something truly unusual for anyone to be surprised by anything I do…." Cas trails off, expression changing, which Dean thinks might mean he sees the problem.

"Would someone notice?" Now that he's thinking about it, he always wondered about that. "Cas, how'd you find out I was going to the city anyway?"

"Contemplating my sins," Cas answers darkly, giving him a glare, but whatever, that shit was hilarious. Their faces when Cas said it…. "Vera was worried. She checked on me every morning and told me the jeep was warm."

"Think anyone will wonder why you're not here when this is where you live?"

Cas sighs. "I take your point."

"Or," he adds carelessly, "they'll think I'm an asshole that'd throw you out of your own cabin for no particular reason…." Cas raises an eyebrow, like maybe that's an idea he could live with. "No."

Cas shrugs, but his next drink is moderate enough that Dean feels confident enough to keep going.

"Everyone's living double and triple because the extra ones don't have roofs; I'm not that much of a dick." God, he hopes this Dean wasn't. Cas looks startled. "Took a tour while I was invisible, it was interesting. So break it down for me; why are we doing the timeshare thing again? You have to sleep here anyway to keep up the wards and if you're gonna help me you gotta be here at least sometimes, so--what's the point?"

Cas's expression melts into genuine surprise. "I thought you would prefer it."

Right, he can work with that. "That's the only reason? I mean--" There's no way to ask him if it's because of him without just asking it. "Okay, one, it's your cabin, and I don't know about you, but it's--I'm not okay with feeling like I’m throwing you out. To a roofless cabin, Jesus."

"Most have a least some--" Cas makes a face, conceding the point. "What's number two?"

"Is it because of me?" His mind scrambles desperately to figure out a way to clarify that, but the way Cas's face goes blank tells him that he got it, and possibly the answer.

"Yes," Cas says slowly, blue eyes suddenly finding something really interested in the wall by the bedroom door. "In the sense I assumed you would appreciate the privacy."

Privacy, isolation: so similar, yet really not. "I'm okay with you being here."

"I could always--" He cuts himself off with an appalled look.

Dean recognizes that look. "You were gonna say hang out in Dean's cabin. Trust me, I would have used a tent if I could have found one."

"A tree would be preferable," Cas agrees, then looks at Dean, blue eyes speculative. "Your recent forays have proven that you no longer require nursing but you may be well enough for regular visitors."

Okay, he can probably handle social calls. "That sounds fine, but we were talking about…." Cas's sincere expression almost but doesn't crack. "What kind of visitors?" he asks suspiciously.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Cas answers with suspicious disinterest. "I didn't keep track of Dean's social life."

Dean almost drops his bottle: Risa, Jane, Jody, oh God, and only one of those isn't here to haunt him. How many women are in this camp anyway? "Dean's girlfriend."

"That title may not be singular," Cas says after a terrifying moment of thought. "I don't know for certain, and you may appreciate how much effort that took in a camp this size. However, it shouldn't be difficult to discover. I've found that a very good indicator of someone desiring sex is the removal of significant clothing--"

"Shut up," Dean breathes, horrified by a brand new aspect of something that was kind of questionable and horrible already. "Okay, yeah, that's--no. You can't find out?" Cas's bursts into laughter, nearly dropping the bottle, and yeah, that would be weird, but Jesus, the alternative-- "Not helping!"

"I am helping," Cas says in a strangled voice, looking at Dean with dancing blue eyes. "You're still traumatized by your encounter with Lucifer and your time hiding in Kansas City, so you require time to process your experiences before finding closure."

Dean blinks at him, dazed by the sheer number of words in that sentence. "I have no idea what that means."

"You're in an extremely bad mood," Cas clarifies, finishing his bottle and setting it on the floor with a satisfied expression. "You want to be alone, and I won't let you isolate yourself further. That, actually, isn't out of character." Cas's grin fades, a flicker of grief that vanishes almost immediately. "We weren't always on speaking terms, but neither were we always…not on speaking terms."

Dean tries not to read too much into that. "That means--"

"He liked my couch more than I do," Cas says with a hint of amusement. "And I like it a great deal."

Dean almost asks what the hell was up with that bedroom and stops; that Cas might have vague dislike of it because he was locked in there doesn't mean that this Dean liked it any better as the person who did the locking from either side of the door.

"My winning personality, as you call it, should do the rest. Of course, if you change your mind regarding social--"

"No." Dean glares at him as he gets to his feet, not at all relieved to see Cas is relaxed again. "I'll keep you informed if that changes."

"Please do." Cas at least has the decency to hide his smile before continuing. "It would also remove a source of constant stress as far as your safety is concerned."

"From what?" he asks, confused. "I mean now, not the coming of Lucifer. I'm not doing anything."

"Dean…" Cas stares at him for a moment. "The existence of danger at any given moment where you're concerned is not only probable, but almost guaranteed to occur, usually in a completely unexpected form, and often the results of your own actions."

Dean cocks his head. "You're saying I'm asking for it?"

"More that, much like my philosophy regarding sex, you don't refuse when it offers an invitation." Cas's smirk fades into--Dean wants to say he's nervous. "However, you must keep in mind I haven't lived with anyone since I Fell, and before--I didn't necessarily understand what I observed."

"It'll be an adventure," Dean says honestly. Considering his own experiences as an adult--two, Sam and Lisa, Dad doesn't count by any stretch of the imagination and Bobby was occasional at best--he can't say he knows much more. This'll go, he thinks fatalistically, either unsettlingly well or end in murder-suicide. Maybe both: like he said, adventure. "Right, so--you sure you don't want the bed?"

Cas snorts. "Not at all."

Yeah, he figured as much. "Cool."




Map of the World, 6/11
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2014-06-17 03:17 am (UTC)
Woooh! glad to see this out here!

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Quotes

If you don't send me feedback, I will sob uncontrollably for hours on end, until finally, in a fit of depression, I slash my wrists and bleed out on the bathroom floor. My death will be on your heads. Murderers.
--unknown, BTS list


That's why he goes bad, you know -- all the good people hit him on the head or try to shoot him and constantly mistrust him, while there's this vast cohort of minions saying, We wouldn't hurt you, Lex, and we'll give you power and greatness and oh so much sex...

Wow. That was scary. Lex is like Jesus in the desert.
--pricklyelf on why Lex goes bad


Obi-Wan has a sort of desperate, pathetic patience in this movie. You can just see it in his eyes: "My padawan is a psychopath, and no one will believe me; I'm barely keeping him under control and expect to wake up any night now to find him standing over my bed with a knife!"
--Teague reviewing "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"


Beth: god, why do i have so many beads?
Jenn: Because you are an addict.
Jenn: There are twelve step programs for this.
Beth: i dunno they'd work, might have to go straight for the electroshock.
Jenn: I'm not sure that helps with bead addiction.
Beth: i was thinking more to demagnitize my credit card.
--AIM, 12/24/2003


I could rape a goat and it will DIE PRETTIER than they write.
--AIM, anonymous, 2/17/2004


In medical billing there is a diagnosis code for someone who commits suicide by sea anenemoe.
--AIM, silverkyst, 3/25/2004


Anonymous: sorry. i just wanted to tell you how much i liked you. i'd like to take this to a higher level if you're willing
Eleveninches: By higher level I hope you mean email.
--LJ, 4/2/2004


silverkyst: I need to not be taking molecular genetics.
silverkyst: though, as a sidenote, I did learn how to eviscerate a fruit fly larvae by pulling it's mouth out by it's mouthparts today.
silverkyst: I'm just nowhere near competent in the subject material to be taking it.
Jenn: I'd like to thank you for that image.
--AIM, 1/25/2005


You know, if obi-wan had just disciplined the boy *properly* we wouldn't be having these problems. Can't you just see yoda? "Take him in hand, you must. The true Force, you must show him."
--LJ, Issaro, on spanking Anakin in his formative years, 3/15/2005


Aside from the fact that one person should never go near another with a penis, a bottle of body wash, and a hopeful expression...
--LJ, Summerfling, on shower sex, 7/22/2005


It's weird, after you get used to the affection you get from a rabbit, it's like any other BDSM relationship. Only without the sex and hot chicks in leather corsets wielding floggers. You'll grow to like it.
--LJ, revelininsanity, on my relationship with my rabbit, 2/7/2006


Smudged upon the near horizon, lapine shadows in the mist. Like a doomsday vision from Watership Down, the bunny intervention approaches.
--LJ, cpt_untouchable, on my addition of The Fourth Bunny, 4/13/2006


Rule 3. Chemistry is kind of like bondage. Some people like it, some people like reading about or watching other people doing it, and a large number of people's reaction to actually doing the serious stuff is to recoil in horror.
--LJ, deadlychameleon, on class, 9/1/2007

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Fan Fiction is John Cusack standing outside your house with a boombox.
-- Tweeted by JRDSkinner

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