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Supernatural

RPF

All the Broken Pieces 2015 SPN J2 Big Bang, NC-17 Jared/Jensen, background Misha/Gen, A/B/O: Omegas are a blessing and Alphas are a curse.  Jensen has been told this his whole life, in the minds of others it goes to justify why all Alphas are enslaved and treated like nothing more than animals.  Jensen is an omega and despite what society and his parents may want him to believe he has never been able to see the slavery system as anything but barbaric.  Despite the circumstances he falls deeply, hopelessly in love with his Alpha slave Jared.  When a slave revolt leaves Jared free and Jensen in danger what they share will be put to the test.
Art byuke_sama_sensei Art Post



One Wrong Step NC-17 Jared/Jensen, Jared/Others A/B/O: werewolves don't typically have mated pairs. Packs have open relationships, and in a healthy pack sex can be an expression of anything from love, to comfort, or simply for pleasure. Jared's pack is anything but healthy. He is beaten and abused by the Alphas in his pack, and when they are seeking new lands he inadvertently winds up in a hunters trap. He is left behind by his pack, and saved by Jensen. The new pack embraces Jared and helps him heal. He enjoys exploring new, healthy, sexual adventures, but he still likes Jensen best.

My Heart Beats For You NC-17 Jared/Jensen From the moment Jared sees the reclusive Jensen he knows, without a doubt that they are meant to be together forever. And he will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

When Jensen's attempts to escape from his stalker unintentionally manages to bring them closer together the line between obsession and love starts to blur. Soon Jensen is no longer sure if he can escape from Jared, or if he really wants to.

Gods Among Men PG-13 Jared/Jensen/Misha Jensen lives a simple, but happy life teaching mythology at a university. But when Jared and Misha both come into his life he starts to understand that love takes many forms, and the gods of mythology he so dearly loves may have a more personal interest in him than he ever imagined.


SPN

Broken World PG-13, Ruby/Castiel The apocalypse comes and goes leaving Michael and Lucifer trapped in the cage, along with their vessels Sam and Dean. The world is broken and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Ruby is pregnant with Sams child and together she and Castiel set off to see what's left of the world and find there are somethings left saving after all.

Art by kuwlshadow Art Post

Little Bird G Dean/Castiel In the future, after the world doesn't end, Dean, Castiel and Sam buy a house and retire from hunting. Castiel spends his time reading, Sam is happy to embrace a quieter way of life, and Dean tries to adjust to life without hunting.

White Collar

Father's Day G Gen Neal and Peter celebrate Father’s Day together.

My Heart Beats For You Chapter Six

When the truck came to a halt. the bottom dropped out of his stomach. “We’re here!” Jared’s voice was upbeat, nothing to betray that he had just abducted someone. He heard the door on the driver’s side open and close and Jensen stayed still focusing on breathing. His door opened and then there was a hand on his arm guiding him out of the truck and onto the ground. Gravel crunched beneath his feet and he listened for any other sound that might indicate where they were. The air smelled like pine trees and he could hear the song of birds close by, but there was nothing else. No sound of traffic. Which gave him an idea of where they were, but not one that he liked. Jared was leading him, excitedly talking and, all Jensen caught were snatches of his words: “you’ll love it here!” and “don’t worry, everything is blind-friendly.” Jared took him up two steps onto a wooden porch that creaked under his feet. There was a pause and the jingle of keys and then a door creaking open. Jared guided him past the threshold and into the house.

“I wanted to wait to show you until everything was ready. I’ve been working on this ever since I realized we were going to be together. It should have everything you need. I know you’re going to like living here with me. I got this place a long time ago, I wanted somewhere out of the way. Somewhere quiet and away from people.”
Jensen’s heart sank at that. It was a confirmation of what he had feared that they were far from civilization.

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Dear Author

Dear Yuletide Author, the very fact that we matched on any of these fandoms means I already like you. Thank you so much for writing something for me! I can't wait to see what you come up with! <3

For ease of reading I've put headers to each section in bold so you can skip over the parts you may not be interested in. My ao3 username is OhWilloTheWisp and can be found here: Ao3

I provided prompts because I find they be helpful with this sort of thing. If you aren’t inspired by any of my prompts you really don’t need to write anything that fills any of them. Believe me, I won’t mind. The order of the shows listed and number of prompts provided does not denote preference. I love all of these fandoms and characters equally and will be happy with whatever I get.

I adore all my requested fandoms and characters. I will be extremely happy with anything written for any of these fandoms. :) I'm good with any rating level, but if there is explicit content I'd prefer to be a part of a larger story and not PWP. I've listed my ships for each fandom, but I love gen/canon based fics and am in no way trying to imply I'd only be happy with a ship based story.

Things I like: I read a lot of different genres of stories. There isn’t a lot that I won’t read, but in general some things I am particularly fond of: pregnancy (including mpreg), fluff, domesticity, hurt/comfort, angst with a happy ending, canon verse, canon divergent, or canon changes (like canon set in an A/B/O world), AUs, A/B/O (especially Omegas are treasured AUs), clothes sharing, bed sharing. I am a sucker for a happy ending. Happy endings are what make me want to read a story over and over. Basically you can make the story as dark and angsty or as fluffy as you like, as long as it has a happy ending I will love it.

Things I do not want: Non-con/extreme dub-con, underage, PWP, ambiguous or unhappy endings, (permanent) major character death, serial killers, graphic gore or torture, infidelity, character bashing.

Under The Dome

Requested characters: Hunter May, Dale "Barbie" Barbara. Gen, Barbie/Hunter, Barbie/Julia or Barbie/Julia/Hunter. I'm only requesting Hunter and Barbie for this, but I do love Julia so I'd prefer no infidelity. This could be an AU where Barbie and Julia never got together, or if you'd prefer not to mention Julia at all I'll just assume her and Barbie aren't together. The exception to this would be the canon AU between seasons two and three when Barbie thinks Julia is dead (I'm completely open to Barbia ending up with Hunter instead of Eva).

Prompts
1. After admitting that he had been working for Barbie's dad, Hunter tries to make it up to Barbie. Completely open to how this goes, I would just really love something with Hunter trying to show how sorry he is for betraying Barbie.

2. Life outside the dome. This could be something based after the show ended, during the alternate reality between seasons two and three, or a canon divergence from any part of the show with the dome coming down or Hunter and Barbie escaping from it. Basically anything exploring what life's like for them outside the dome.

3. Manhandling, because it's canon and I kind of love that part of their relationship.

4. Barbie being protective of/protecting Hunter from something or someone.

5. After season two (either in the alternate reality or canon divergence and the dome really does come down) Barbie's father isn't going to let Hunter go, not knowing what Hunter knows. Barbie's father tries to keep Hunter under his control and Barbie helps/saves him.

6. I love "what comes next fics" so something with what happens after the show (canon or au) would be great!

7. I'm in love with hunter and barbies characters so anything focusing on them in any capacity would be greatly appreciated!

Big Wolf on Campus

Requested characters/pairings: Tommy, Merton. Gen or Tommy/Merton

I absolutely love this show, it was my favorite show when I was young, and I still periodically watch through it. There is something undeniably charming and fun about Tommy and Merton's relationship. I would be happy with absolutely anything with these two! Feel free to include any other characters/OCs you want. The only thing I ask is no explicit content. Fade to black/implied sexual situations is perfectly fine, just nothing too graphic.

Prompts:

1. Life after the show. Where did they go? What did they do? What was college life like for them? Or future fics with them later in life, what they are doing, what are their lives like?

2. I love all the odd creatures featured on the show, something with new monsters not seen on the show could be a lot of fun.

3. Road trip fics are a favorite of mine and I can see a road trip being a great opportunity for adventure for these two!

4. The fun of this show was how out there it was. I'm open to anything set in this verse at any time, just have fun and I'll be happy. :)

Pushing Daisies
Pairings: Ned/Chuck, Olive/Ned/Chuck, Gen


Prompts: I don't have anything specific I'm looking for. Anything written in this world would be very welcome! Maybe seeason three or what happens next for them. Either an established relationship or a get together fic is welcome. Case fics are always good with this show (a new case or something based in one of the canon cases.). Basically I'm in love with this show and I'd love anything you choose to write in it!


For olive/Ned/Chuck femmeslash is welcome but not necessary. Jealousy is perfectly fine as long as it's resolved by the end. The only thing I ask with this is that by the end everyone is in a happy, threeway relationship.

Broken world

Ruby had done a lot of things in her long and sordid career as a demon, all in the name of freeing Lucifer.  She had devoted herself fully and completely to him, to doing his will and brining him forth.  The Winchesters might not think demons have faith, but they do.  Ruby was the most devote of them all.  She would do anything in the name of that faith.  But she had never imagined she would find herself stuck doing babysitting duty to a church mouse like Anna.  Ruby was powerful beyond what the Winchester’s knew, beyond what anyone knew, the only notable exception being Lilith.  Lilith was the only one who knew what Ruby was capable of.  And yet here she was in an abandoned cabin alone with Anna, while the Winchesters were probably off getting themselves killed and spoiling all of her plans.  But this was important, Anna was important.  The angels wanted Anna dead.  At least they had that in common.

“Thank you, you saved me.”  Anna’s soft voice was dripping with honey sweet sincerity and if Ruby was capable of feeling such emotions it might have made her feel guilty.

Ruby waved a hand dismissively, “It’s fine really, saving the lost and helpless has become somewhat of a hobby as of late.”  It was true, in a way, if it wasn’t for her then Sam and Dean and countless others would be dead.  And besides, what she was doing wasn’t wrong.  She was bringing forth Lucifer, an archangel.  He might not be the god the Winchesters wanted, but he was the best thing that could happen to this world.  She wasn’t lying to them, well she was, but at least on one point she was telling the truth.  She remembered what it meant to be human.  She remembered how cold and evil men could be.  She remembered in her final moments crying out to God in a desperate hope, clinging to the possibility of light even as darkness took her.  Her prayers were answered when she woke up in Hell.  God might have ignored her prayers, but at least Lucifer had been listening.  The god that had created the world had left it to go to Hell.  If he didn’t plan on intervening to save it, then that said all she needed to know.  At least Lucifer wanted to have a hand in the way the world worked.  Lucifer wasn’t damnation, he was salvation, and even if he couldn’t see it now, eventually Sam would understand that.

“If it weren’t for you and Sam and Dean I’d be dead right now.  I don’t know what’s going on, but I know God sent you.  I don’t think you appreciate what that means to me, that you were there when I needed, need, someone the most.”

She put one hand against Ruby’s cheek and leaned in and kissed her, softly, hesitantly.   It only lasted a moment before she pulled back, looking embarrassed.  “I’m sorry, that was…I don’t know what came over me.”  Ruby could still feel the warmth from where Anna had touched her, she wanted to pull Anna against her and show her to kiss someone properly.

Instead she asked what had been bothering her since she met the girl, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?  Wasn’t your father a pastor?  Didn’t he teach you to be afraid of demons?  Shouldn’t you be hiding under the bed, or something?”

“My father taught me about good and evil, it’s what a person chooses that makes them who they are.  It doesn’t matter that you’re a demon.  You have a good heart, I can feel it.”

No one had ever said that about her.  Even Sam didn’t believe she was good.  At his best he saw them as two fucked up people who had come together out of desperation and need.  He saw her as his best, and only, option.  He never said she was good, never even tried to pretend he thought she “had a good heart.”  He was right of course.  Ruby took Anna’s hand and put it over her heart.

“Can you feel that?  My heart doesn’t beat.  My heart is as dead as I am.  I don’t have a good heart; I don’t have a heart at all.”  She didn’t know why she was doing this.  She was fighting against Anna’s faith in her.  It was beneficial that Anna believed she was good, she didn’t know why she was trying to make Anna see her for what she was.

“I know what you’re trying to do, you don’t believe in yourself.  You don’t believe that when it comes down to it you can make choose the right path.  I’ve seen evil, I’ve seen its true form.  And I can see you, past the body you wear, and you are beautiful.   And I know you don’t believe that, but it doesn’t matter, because I believe in you.”

Ruby didn’t know what to say to that, so she didn’t say anything at all.  She would let the church mouse believe what she wanted.  There was no reason to take away her faith.  Ruby was going to end the world, but she could afford to let Anna believe in her lies.  Anna’s belief was so sincere that for just a moment Ruby was almost able to believe it herself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All of her hard work was finally coming to fruition, it wouldn’t be long before Lilith would be dead, Sam’s power was undeniable and Lilith didn’t stand a chance.  She should be happy, elated that this was finally happening, after all of her hard work.  But all she could think of was Anna.  Anna was an angel, one that had fought against Lucifer, tried to keep Lilith from breaking the seals.  She could only imagine what would happen to her when Lucifer rose.  And everything she wanted, everything she worked for, everything she thought she wanted, none of it mattered now.  Now that it was finally happening, now that it was all falling into place, all she could think of was Anna.  It may have taken her death and becoming a demon to finally see it, but for the first time she understood what it meant to have something worth sacrificing everything for.

“Sam, wait!”  She put a hand on his arm to try and stop him, but it was no use.  Her revelation had come too late, Lilith was dead and Lucifer was rising.

The moment she saw Dean come bursting through the church doors she knew what was coming.  She had been to Hell and now she was going to die, again, and she didn’t know what came next.  She didn’t know what awaited a demon on the other side, but it couldn’t be good.  Nothing in her life had ever been good.  That wasn’t true; there had been one bright light in all the darkness
“Sam, wait!”  She put a hand on his arm to try and stop him, but it was no use.  Her revelation had come too late, Lilith was dead and Lucifer was rising.

The moment she saw Dean come bursting through the church doors she knew what was coming.  She had been to Hell and now she was going to die, again, and she didn’t know what came next.  She didn’t know what awaited a demon on the other side, but it couldn’t be good.  Nothing in her life had ever been good.  That wasn’t true; there had been one bright light in all the darkness.  In the final moment she thought of the face of an angel and felt peace before darkness fell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She came to, suddenly, taking in a deep breath that filled her aching chest with air.  She was cold and alone and only distantly aware that she should be in a lot of pain.  Instead she felt better than she had, well ever.  Who she was and why she was there were distant and she knew she didn't want to remember.  She looked around shifting on the cold stone floor, trying to get a handle on her bearings.  The memories started to push in against her consciousness.  There had been shouting then blinding pain, then nothing.  She didn't want to remember.   She rolled onto her side and tried to push back against the memories that surfaced.  There was no helping it.  She remembered.  Lucifer had risen, then Sam and Dean had killed her.  She should have seen it coming; death followed the Winchesters wherever they went.  And she had been naïve to think Sam would be onboard with her plan, once he found out what was really going on.  They were supposed to rule in the new world together, side by side, enjoying all the rewards deserving of those who had brought forth the morning light himself.  Instead she had been willing to give up everything to save just one angel.  She had gotten everything she had worked for, but all she felt was cold and empty.

She sat up, wondering how it was she was alive, she had died, again.  And the first time it had happened she had woken up somewhere hot and far less pleasant than the decrepit church she was in now.  It must have been Lucifer; he was as am archangel after all.  He had this kind of power.  It appeared that even if Sam had forsaken her, her lord had not.

She didn't know what to do or where to go.  She had been brought back, no doubt as a reward for her loyalty to Lucifer.  But now she was left without direction.


She put a hand to her stomach trying to get a handle on her emotions.  The spark she had felt before was still there, still with her.  She had wanted to tell Sam, she wanted to tell him he was going to be a father.  But then that would have distracted him from his purpose, he had to stay focused.  She would have told him after.  That was the plan anyway.  But now Sam was gone and it was too late.  She had finally found something worth fighting for but she had found it once it was too late to turn back.  She closed her eyes and did something she hadn’t done in a long time – she prayed.  She prayed to Lucifer or God or Michael or whoever was left listening.  Someone had to  be there, someone had brought her back, it was only fair that they answer her now.  If they had brought her back they must want something from her, might as well find out what that was.  But her prayers were left unanswered and she was left alone in the cold and the dark.  She stood slowly, gingerly and climbed over the rubble of what was left of the church.

She wasn’t surprised by the destruction she encountered, trees and grass had been charred.  Nothing was left alive, save for her, and really, she hadn’t been alive in a long time.  She made her way to the road and began walking, but the destruction she had encountered didn’t end with the church.  It became less severe the further out she went, but the trees were still broke, and the road was broken in places.  Most notably there was a distinct lack of people.  She could always hear them, the low thrum of life all around her, the signs of humanity, but they were all ostensibly missing.  Maybe this was Lucifer’s doing.  Maybe this was the paradise he had promised, a world free of the scourge of humanity.  For paradise this wasn’t what she had pictured.  She had pictured standing by Sam’s side and watching the world burn, cleansed to be brought new.  But this was desolate, empty.  Maybe it wasn’t the world she had been hoping for.  But it wasn’t just the world that was different.  She felt different.  It wasn’t quite something she could pinpoint, she hurt all over, she had been through Hell, a few aches should be this noticeable.  But something had changed, she wasn’t herself.  Her body remained tense and on guard as she walked, she was aware of every noise, careful of every step.  Something had happened and she still didn’t have a handle on it.  She was very nearly alone.  The only presence left that she could feel was that of her unborn child, a still small spark safe within her.  She didn’t miss the soft rustle of feathers behind her back and she paused before slowly turning to see who it was.


It was Castiel, looking as serious as ever, trench coat and all.  “Well, if you’re going to kill me, I guess I can’t really complain.  I suppose a person can only come back to life so many times.”  She tried to sound glib, but it was difficult to quell the growing fear.  She had her new found life, she didn’t want to give it up again.   But it was more than just her life she was worrying about, her hand going almost unconsciously to her stomach.

“I’m not here to harm you, or your child.  I’m here to help you.”

Well that was just about the last thing she was expecting.  “And why might you do that?”  In general angels didn’t take a favorable view of demons and she saw no reason this should be different.
“I know you are carrying Sam’s child.  Whatever else may have happened your child is innocent.  And I believe you were brought back for a reason.  There are few forces powerful enough to bring back the dead, and your life, I believe, is evidence of my father’s lingering presence in the world.”
She disagreed, she was quite certain Lucifer, or Sam, or Samifer had brought her back as a reward for her loyalty.  But she wasn’t going to correct the angel if it meant he was going to help her.

He filled her in on what had happened while she had been gone.  She wasn’t sure what had happened to her in the interim.  She didn’t remember heaven or Hell or anything in between.  It had been just like going to sleep and waking back up.  But while she had been away Sam had said yes to Lucifer, and Michael had convinced Dean he could save Sam and destroy Lucifer, if only Dean said yes to him as well.  They had their final battle and in the end they had only managed to kill one another, taking a good portion of the world along with them.  So now the world lay broken, claimed by neither heaven nor hell.  It appeared, in the end, everyone had lost.  And what was left of humanity was left to pick up the pieces.

Castiel was true to his word, taking care of her, and protecting her.  He took her to a hotel he had found, somewhere they could rest and regroup.

Chapter Two
The hotel was empty when they arrived, as least it was empty as far as she was concerned.  She didn’t endeavor to determine if there was anyone residing in any of the rooms.  If they weren’t inclined to bother them, she was willing to  leave whoever, or whatever, was there alone.  She slid beneath the sheets, grateful for their warmth.  She didn’t do well in the cold.  Maybe it was a demon thing, she wasn’t really sure.  Maybe she had always had a problem with the cold.  She wished she could remember more of her former life.  Most of it was hazy, with patches that came in perfectly clear.  Like seeing landmarks in a heavy fog.  There were aspects she could remember clearly, and parts she couldn’t forget no matter how hard she tried.  But most of it was lost in the haze.  Did she always like fries?  Did she always have a problem with the cold?   Did she prefer tulips or roses, or maybe lilies?  They were all lost to.  All the small details that made up who a person was, and they were all lost to her.

She supposed Sam and Dean probably thought she had been lying about the whole thing.  But she wasn’t.  She remembered being human, and she remembered exactly what that meant.  But that was exactly why she had done what she did.  She remembered what it meant to be human and that was why she thought the world deserved to end.  Lucifer was supposed to come with his cleansing fire and make the world right, he was going to fix everything.   Humanity was the worst thing to have ever happened to the world.  Lucifer was going to fix all of that.  But none of it had gone according to plan.  Now they were all gone.  Sam, Lucifer, Dean and Michael, they were all dead.  And she was left alone, in a world that was past saving.  She tried to block the thoughts out of her mind.  But it was difficult and they kept pushing in.

The bed creaked in protest and she felt the mattress depress behind her.  A trench coat clad arm wrapped around her middle.

She sighed heavily, “Castiel, what are you doing?”

“Physical contact is supposed to be of comfort while sleeping.”

“Angels don’t sleep.”

“Neither do demons.”

There was a heavy silence after that, and she wondered if Castiel was waiting for her to say something.  She tried to think of a good response, before finally settling on the truth. 

“I’m still trying to get used to that part again.  Maybe I was brought back wrong.”

“It is possible, it is also possible that the baby is effecting you.  Maybe your body is adapting to it’s needs.”

She didn’t try to be surprised at his words.  He knew, of course he knew.  Stupid angels had to know everything that happened.  She didn’t respond.  She didn’t know what to say.

“Did Sam know?”

“No, I was going to tell him.  I kept trying to, but I wasn’t sure how he would take it.  I thought I could tell him…after.  I tried to stop him, you know.  At the last minute I called out to him, I tried to tell him to stop, but it was already too late.”

“We both could have done more to prevent this.  For our own reasons we both believed we were doing to right thing.  Now it’s too late and we both must live with the consequences.”

“Well, aren’t you just a ball of positivity.”  The angel didn’t respond and she considered tell him to leave, but there wasn’t much point.  For good or bad they were in this together.

Chapter Three

“So, the world just ended, what are you going to do now?”  She tried to keep her tone upbeat, not that it mattered.

“There is very little of my father’s creation left.  I’d like to see as much of it as I can, before it’s gone forever.”

She clapped her hands together decisively.  “The world’s most depressing road trip it is!  I’m game!  I mean, it’s not like I have anything better to do.  I have something penciled in for about nine months down the line, but until then, I’m all yours.  Where to first?”

It wasn’t exactly difficult to find a car that worked, they had plenty to choose from.  It didn’t take her long to hotwire one and get it going.  They drove in silence past crumbling building and burnt trees.  The further into the country they got, the more normal things looked.  The world, it would seem, wasn’t entirely ruined.  In fact, much of it seemed entirely intact, perfectly preserved, as if simple abandoned.  People had just up and left everything behind.  She contemplated what it must have been like for them.  To go from not believing in angels, beyond an abstract metaphysical concept, to finding out two archangels were about to end the world.  To have your world both expanded and ended in one day, that must have been something alright.

Castiel gave her directions and when he finally told her to stop, she pulled up a dirt drive and stopped in front of a building.
************************************************
She wanted to ask Cas if he still about Dean, still thought about him when they were together.  She missed Sam, of course she did, but Cas was much more than just a warm body to fill his place.  She wanted to know that she was more than that to Cas.  She wanted to tell him that she wouldn’t compete with a ghost, that she wouldn’t play second fiddle to Dean fucking Winchester.  She wanted to tell him that if he wanted to be with her, he had to be with her, not the just using her as a place holder for the one he really wanted.  But she couldn’t bring herself to say it.  She didn’t get to want things anymore.  She had helped to break the world.  She didn’t get to make demands.  She had to be happy with what goodness there was left in it, what she hadn’t broken.  So they laid there in the silence and the dark a world of unspoken words stretching out between them.

They continued on like that.  They would travel stopping along the way at whatever tourist traps Castiel found along the way.  Sometimes they were odd, like the giant balls of twine, and sometimes they were just restaurants or shops, whatever was left of them.  It was anything that caught Castiel’s eye along the way, and she went along with it.  She was a drift, in a way, Castiel one of her last anchors to the world.  But beneath it all she felt the slow ticking of the clock as the days passed one into another.  It was a silent timer inside of her head – counting down – nine months left, 8 months left, and on it went.  Eventually as her time grew closer they were going to have to settle down somewhere safe. 

She watched the sunrise outside of the window, the golden-red rays casting long shadows and the turning the walls the color of blood.  During the night Castiel had wrapped his arm around her waist, one hand resting on the curve of her belly.  She listened to the sound of breathing, her baby was still, a hush fallen over the world.   'Angels don't sleep,' Castiel had said that the first night he had laid down to sleep next to her.  Now as she listened to the even sound of his breathing she knew she wasn't the only one who was changing.  She wanted to believe the arm around her was possessive, that it was more than just her child that Castiel wanted to protect.  But she couldn't kid herself. He loved humanity, he had fallen for it.  He wanted to protect what amounted to the last remnants of it, the only thing left of the Winchesters that he had loved.  He had fallen for them, for humanity, not for her.  She had done horrible deeds, even before she was a demon.  Even as a human she had done more harm than good, she didn't deserve to be loved.

She heard Castiel’s breathing change indicating that he had woken up, but he didn’t move.

“Good morning.”

“Good morning,” his voice was sleep rough.

He must be aware that he was becoming less angelic, but he didn’t comment and neither did she.
She felt him starting to stir, shifting to get out of bed, she assumed.  She spoke up, partly to keep him from leaving and partly before she lost her nerve again.

“Am I going to Hell?”  It had been worrying her, Hell was an unpleasant place, even for demons, but now the thought of her child ascending to heaven while she was went to Hell, spending an eternity seperated, was unbearable.

“No.”  Castiel’s reply should have been comforting but she was having trouble believing.

“You sound sure.” She replied.

“You are human now, with a human soul, that gives you a second chance.  The victims of my father’s plan will go to heaven, a compensation, I suppose, for the part they played.”

“And that’s what I am?  A victim?”  She asked.

“Yes, events were set in motion from the beginning of time that would lead to the end of the world.
You were instrumental in the divine plan.”  His voice sounded hollow and bitter.  “You believed in a distant father that was supposed to fix all the ills of the world.  Even if you had put your faith in God, not Lucifer, the result would have been the same.  Every path led here. You greatest sin was your faith.  You were as much a pawn in all of this as the Winchesters themselves.”


“What about you?  Will you ever return to heaven?”  It shouldn’t have been the most pressing question at that moment, but the thought of going to Heaven was a cold comfort if it meant being separated from her angel.

He sighed, his breath warm against the back of her neck.  “I’m not sure I would be welcome there anymore.”

“Stay with me, wherever I go I want you by my side, whatever that might mean.  Never leave me, Cas, whatever happens, promise me we’ll be together.”  Perhaps it was reckless and stupid to lay herself so bare, but she had nothing left to lose. 

“I promise.”  It was simple, but his words were enough.

She had put her faith in Lucifer, and she had put her faith in Sam.  She had thought they would be together for an eternity, they would rule the new world side by side.  But both had betrayed her.  Maybe this time she had found the right person to put her faith in.  Whatever it meant, whatever they were to each other, she didn’t need to define it, she just needed him.  Everything else could fade away as long as they could be together, be the family she never thought she could have.

Chapter Four

She stared in wonder, at their destination.  This was what it had all been leading up to, and she was having a hard time not being overwhelmed by it. 

“I remember the creation of the Grand Canyon.  It was solid rock, watching it split open was beautiful.”  Castiel remarked, awe tinging his voice.

Ruby simply nodded, that would have been something to see.  It was a testament, no matter how much of the world was destroyed, God’s creation still remained intact.  Not all of the world was ephemeral it would seem.  She put a hand over her rounded belly as she looked out.  They would have to come back here someday, when her child was old enough to appreciate it.  She liked the idea, that there was still beauty left in the world for her baby to see one day.

Seeing the Grand Canyon felt like an ending in a way, their journey’s end.  After that they settled down into the business of, well, settling down.  It took sometime and effort but they finally found a place that was suitable.  It had once been a bar, and though it was still mostly in tact, the owners had since abandoned it.  They went about fixing it up and getting things ready.  They decided to turn it into a new Roadhouse.  It would be a haven or a rest stop for anyone who needed it. 

In those days it was becoming easier for Ruby to settle into her new life.  She couldn’t exactly forget what she had done, but since no one knew her, and only Castiel knew the part she played in the end of the world, it was easy enough to pretend she had always been human.  She wasn’t a demon anymore, and being human was taking some getting used to, but it was becoming easier with each passing day.

Ruby held her new daughter in her arms, watching the child sleep.  “Samantha,” she said quietly, not looking up when Castiel came up beside her.  She didn’t save Sam, but she a part of him would continue on.  All the souveniers and post cards she had collected along their journey were spread out across the shelves in the room.  She would keep them safe and show Samantha when she was old enough, and they would explain the significance of each one to her.  It wasn’t much, but it was pieces, evidence of what the world had once been.  She could make sure that the best of what had been would go on, in some small way at least.  She had helped break the world, but she could help fix it.

Broken World

Title: Broken World
Word count: ~5,000
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/Character: Castile/Ruby, past Sam/Ruby
Warning: ace!Cas, post-apocalypse, mentions of canon level violence

Summary: the apocalypse comes and goes leaving Michael and Lucifer trapped in the cage, along with their vessels Sam and Dean. The world is broken and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Ruby is pregnant with Sams child and together she and Castiel set off to see what's left of the world and find there are somethings left saving after all.

|Broken World|

A/N: I had the great pleasure to work with kuwlshadow again this year as my artist! Like last year she really outdid herself with her art and made the whole process well worth it! I'm in love with the art she provided for my story and I'm honored to be able so post her picture with my story. :)

I had a lot of fun writing this story. I've wanted to write something with Cas and Ruby together for sometime and this challenge finally gave me to motivation to follow through. I'm still not entirely happy with it how it came together. I feel like there's still more I could write in verse. I'll probably keep coming back to add to this and i already have a sequel planned :)

AO3 - Coming soon!


Title: Counting Stars
Word count: ~12,000
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/Character: Dean/Castiel, Charlie, Dick Roman
Warning: Language, past abuse (non-graphic), minor character death (not graphic), canon character death in non-canon ways, referenced suicide.

Summary:  It was supposed to be simple.  When Dean planned it out, it had all made sense.  He was going to kidnap Castiel Roman, son of the 'philanthropist' Dick Roman and use the ransom money to fix what Dick had broken in the first place.  Not many people knew the monster Dick really was, not the way Dean did.  But his plans he didn't expect, and the more he gets to know Castiel the more he understands he has much reason to hate Dick Roman as Dean himself.  Soon they both must decide what - and who - matters most and exactly how far they are willing to go to get what they want.

A/N: I'd like to thank my absolutely wonderful artist lotrspnfangirl who made me the most amazing art for my story!  Her images really made my story come alive and I am in awe of what she was able to create.  If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to do so and let her know how ubelievably talented she is, she deserves all the praise!

My eteranl grattitude to my beta salparadiselost whose honest critques and helpful advice made my story many times better than it was.  I am extremely happy I was able to work with such a talented beta who could help me make my story into what I wanted it to be.

Few stories have ever given me as much trouble as this one did but I'm glad I preserved.  I love the way it all came together and the art I was able to recieve made the whole thing more than worth it.  This was my first time participating in the Dean Cas Mini/Big Bang and it certainly won't be my last. :)

AO3 - This will absolutely be posted to AO3, but due to technically difficulties I probably won't have it posted on there until sometime tommorrow.

Counting Stars Chapter Four

Castiel stood contemplating the house he knew so well. For most of his life it had felt like a prison, the walls closing in on him. But now it felt somehow underwhelming, just wood and mortar, not the stifling cage he had once seen it as.
When he walked in his father was waiting for him, unsurprisingly given the amount of surveillance the man had invested in.
“You’re alive.” His tone was one of a man commenting on the weather.
“I am…I managed to escape.”
“I can see that.” He hadn’t exactly expected a warm reception, but he had half expected that his father would at least pretend to be happy to see him. “Do you know who took you?”
“I don’t. I never saw their face.”
“Well, then I suppose that’s the end of it. I’m just glad you’re safe.” This time he managed to muster enough emotion to sound almost sincere. “What are you wearing?” This time he sounded genuinely horrified as he looked Castiel over.
He was stilling wearing Dean’s clothes. He had grown used to feeling of denim and the soft material of the hoodie that he had forgotten to retrieve his own clothes before he left.
“It’s…a long story. But that’s not what’s important. I thought I was going to die, and it brought clarity. It made me realize how small and vulnerable I am on my own. I saw for the first time what you’ve been trying to show me. Without power I’m nothing. I…I want to take over the company, like you wanted. If you still are willing.”
A smile that tugged at the corner of his father’s mouth and he put one hand on Cas’s shoulder, “Of course son. I’m proud of you, I knew you’d come around eventually.”
It was the first time he had ever told Cas he was proud of him, and it took a good deal of effort not to pull away from the hand that was grasping his shoulder. He doubted his father could see how bitter and broke Castiel’s smile was. All he could see was the good son who had finally become what he was supposed to be.
Chapter

A bell above the door rang softly as he opened the door and stepped inside the small shop. The woman at the counter looked up smiling. “Hi, can I help you with anything?”
“I saw the sign in the window. Are you still looking for someone?”
Her smile brightened, “That I am. It’s a small town and not many people are looking to work in a bookstore these days. It’s all about e-books, no one appreciates the beauty of ink and paper anymore.”
He looked around the shop, it was a small shop, but clean and the neat rows of books lined up gave it a charm all its own. The shop was free of flash and didn’t try to draw attention to itself, sitting quietly minding it’s own business, much like its owner. It was nothing like what he was used to, and exactly what he needed in his life.
“I’m…Clarence.”
She looked at him quizzically, “Are you sure? You don’t sound thrilled about it.”
“It’s…uh…my legal name, but I don’t usually go by it.” The name still didn’t fit him right. It was the name on his ID, so he was going to have to get used to it. But it didn’t feel like him.
“Okay…’Clarence.’ Is there something else I can call you?”
“Cas.” Lilith had told him he could choose another name, something to go by if not his new ‘legal’ name. But there was nothing else that fit him quite right.
“Nice to meet you, Cas. I’m Anna. Tell me, why do you want to work here? Have you ever worked in a bookstore before?”
“Not exactly. I guess I need a change. I need something quiet. Books make people happy. And that’s all I want, to do something that helps people.”
Anna nodded, “I can respect that. Well congratulations, Cas, you’re hired.”
“Just like that?” He had expected much more of a process. Everything had been a fight for him, he wasn’t sure he could trust anything that went easily.
“Sure, you seem nice and you want the job. If things don’t work out, we can renegotiate. But I believe in giving people a chance and you certainly seem like you could use one.
A new name, a new town, a new life. It was everything he had once wanted. But now sitting in a café in a small town where no one knew him, he could only think of his old life and of a man with green eyes. He had officially started his new life as a “Clarence Novak” a little over a week ago and he was finding his new life to be less satisfying than he had expected. He liked the quiet, the peace, and most of all the freedom. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Dean. It was better this way, he wasn’t good for Dean. His father would never stop looking for him. He knew it wouldn’t take much for the man to figure out what had happened, and the true depths of Castiel’s betrayal. And Dick was not a man who gave up easily. As long as he was associated with Dean and Charlie he would only put them in danger. Castiel wasn’t fooling himself, his freedom was only going to be short lived. It wouldn’t be long before…he wasn’t exactly sure what would happen. Before he came face to face with his father once more? Before he was found dead in a ditch? Before he mysteriously disappeared never to be seen again? Whatever happened, it wouldn’t be good. A man as powerful and connected as his father was would inevitably find him. As long as Dick was alive, Castiel would never be safe. The only thing he could was distance himself from the people he cared about.
He sipped his coffee and scrolled through the news on his phone. It still brought him a deep sense of satisfaction witnessing evidence of Dick’s fall from grace. Everything he cared about most had been stripped away. One headline jumped out and Castiel froze. “Renowned ‘philanthropist’ found dead.” He couldn’t stop the way his hand shook as he clicked on the article scrolling down,
“The case involving Dick Roman continues to unfold. He was found dead this morning, and while investigations continue, it is rumored that it was suicide. After it became public that he had embezzled millions from what was supposed to be a charitable organization, along with accusations of more serious allegations, Mr. Roman was not available for comment. It now appears that the infamy of his name, and the dissolution of his empire proved to be too much for him to handle.”

He couldn’t bring himself to read any farther. A chill ran through him and his racing thoughts began to quiet until only one remained: It was over. It was finally over. He felt suddenly exposed, like a light was shining on him, and everyone must be watching him. He stumbled to his feet, nearly knocking his chair over. A quick look around told him that even this had drawn little attention. No one knew him, no one cared about him. Something significant had happened, everything he had been fighting for, everything he had been through, and it was finally over. This should be momentous, there should be something, but to everyone else it was another day, and Castiel another stranger in a coffee shop.
It wasn’t a long walk to the small apartment he was renting. Each step felt heavy, he waited for some sense of relief or happiness, or hell, even sadness to grip him. Instead he felt empty and cold. He was free of his father’s rule forever. It still didn’t feel real. But with each step it felt as if a weight was pressing him down. He had cut off all ties from Dean, he had made sure there was nothing left to connect them. He had done it all to protect him, and now the danger was gone, and he was alone. He had broken all ties with his old life, and he felt untethered, lost with a way back to the only man he had ever truly cared about.
He made his way up the flight of stairs, listening to the soft murmur of voices behind closed doors. He unlocked his door and walked inside, dropping his keys onto the table, the soft clink breaking the quiet. His empty apartment greeted him, welcoming him into the emptiness of his life. Even Amadeus hadn’t come to greet him. It seemed even his cat had decided to abandon him when he needed someone the most.
Feeling sorry for himself wasn’t going to do any good. But it was hard for him to feel motivated to do anything else.
“Get the fuck off me. What the fuck is wrong with you?!” The sharp voice broke the silence like a gunshot and Castiel looked up to see Dean emerge from his bedroom attempting to dislodge his cat from his leg.
“Cas, I hate to break it to you, but I think your cat is a demon.”
Castiel stood in shocked silence, was this real? Or maybe he had finally lost his mind and was hallucinating, yeah, that seemed more likely.
“Damn. That would have been so cool. I was going to wait for you to come home then surprise you with something a lot more dignifned. Whatever. Apparently your cat hates me.”
“Amadeus.” It was all Castiel could bring himself to say.
“What? Are you possessed to? Is that why you left?”
Castiel shook his head, feeling like he was waking from a dream. “The cat’s name is Amadeus. It means ‘love of God.’ He was a stray I found wandering around outside, half starved, so I took him in.” Was this really happening? It felt surreal, standing talking to a man he never thought he’d see again, about his cat of all things.
“Okay, that’s fine and all. But I gotta be honest, if we have kids we’re not going to name them after angels, or whatever. We’re giving them nice, normal sounding names.”
Castiel looked up at that, meeting Dean’s eyes. Amadeus had made his way over to Castiel, sitting next to him, eyes narrowed at the intruder, indicating his clear displeasure. “Kids?”
Dean shifted, looking suddenly uncertain of himself. “Yeah, I mean, that’s a long way off, I haven’t forgiven you for leaving yet.”
Castiel tried to swallow past the lump in his throat. He wanted to close the gap between them, but couldn’t bring himself to move. They stood the distance between them interminable now as Castiel tried to find the words to make Dean understand.
But he didn’t need to say anything, Dean crossed the space between them and pulled Castiel against him. The kiss was slow and possessive, as if Dean would never let Castiel go.
The day Castiel had met Dean his life had ended and began anew. And now Castiel was going to learn what it really meant to live.

Counting Stars Chapter Three

He wanted to forget about his problems, and Dean had a solution, maybe not the one Castiel wanted, but one that seemed sufficient at the time.
So really it was Dean’s fault. That night he said he needed a drink, and what started with one shot turned into two. It wasn’t Castiel’s fault that he might have had one too many shots. Or perhaps three too many.
Dean watched with amusement as Castiel knocked over his glass and attempted to right it, only to give up. “Come on Cas, I think it’s time to get you to bed.”
Cas put his arms around Dean’s neck, pushing against him clumsily. His tone remained light, only slightly slurring his words. His smile was sloppy, and he smelled like whiskey. He had to give him credit, he wasn’t nearly as drunk as Dean had thought he would be by this point. But he was still drunk, and this was wrong. The other man was a warm weight against him, and as Cas leaned in closer, it took an effort to make himself push him away. “Cas, we can’t. This whole thing is too fucked up as it is. It wouldn't be right.” The last part was as much of a reminder to himself as it was Cas. He had never been one to run from temptation, rather as Charlie had once accused him, he was more likely ‘to follow temptation home like a lost puppy.’ And the way Cas was one temptation he didn’t want to run from.
Cas made a frustrated noise, eyes narrowing, looking a bit like a pissed off cat. “Now you’ve decided to take the moral high ground.”
Dean sighed, feeling suddenly very tired. This was all his fault, from the kidnapping to the whiskey, he couldn’t seem to get it right. “Cas, you're drunk.” He didn’t try to hide the weariness in his tone.
“I know.” Cas snapped, “and who’s fault is that?” Dean was having decidedly mixed feelings over drunken Cas. “You’re more than happy to mess up my life, it’s okay as long as you’re in control. But when it comes to what I want you suddenly discover a conscious. I had an out. I worked hard to escape my father, then you came along messed it all up. I’m not going back to the way things were before, I’m never going back.” There was a dark bitterness in his voice that cut through him. He felt the painful twist of guilt starting to sober him a little.
“Look, I’m sorry, about everything. But this isn't about you or me, it's about fixing what Dick fucking Roman broke.
"And what is that exactly? What is did you think you'd accomplish anyway?"
“He killed my mom.” There was a part of Dean’s brain that knew he shouldn’t be giving away too much detail about himself. But that part was losing out to the part that was soaked in whiskey. He wanted Cas to know, he wanted him to understand why he had done all of this, that he wasn’t a monster. “She worked for him, for one of his charities. She started to see discrepancies and when she looked deeper she discovered somethings she wasn’t supposed to know. So he had her killed. There wasn’t enough evidence to prove that it was him, but it was. My dad became obsessed with proving what happened, and when he started to get close, he was killed in a car accident. I couldn’t just let it go. I started making a fuss, trying to get people to at least look at the man, see who he really was. I didn’t care what happened to me. But I wasn’t the one he went after. My brother, Sammy, he’s in college, or he was. He had a full ride scholarship, but Dick pulled some strings and got that taken away. Apparently killing off the entire Winchester clan might have brought up too many suspicions. So he punished Sam to make a point. The money I wanted for ransom, it’s enough for Sammy to finish college and start a new life. He’s deserves that much. He doesn’t deserve to suffer for my mistakes.”
Cas looked slightly, and only slightly, more sober after Dean finished talking. “Dean, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I knew, I knew my father had done something. I saw you on a video once. Someone had taken it off you talking about what a monster he was. I remember my father talking about what to do about you. That was back when he still thought I would take over. I never forgot that desperation, that pain. I knew whatever he had done to you, it must be bad, but I never imagined….”
“Shit. You know my name?” It was like a bucket of cold water, here he thought he had been so careful and Castiel knew him the whole time.
“And who exactly am I going to tell, Dean? As far as I’m concerned my father is the one who deserves to be in jail, not you. I’ll never be free of him. He’ll be the dark shadow hanging over me until the day I die.”
It appeared Cas had crossed from ‘fun drunk’ to ‘hopeless drunk.’ Dean knew that state well and nothing good ever came of it.
“Okay, yeah, I think this was a bad idea all around. Let’s get you to bed.” Castiel didn’t resist this time, letting Dean half carry, half drag him to the old bed that had apparently become his. It was far more comfortable than the sofa Dean had been sleeping on.
Chapter
Dean woke up feeling surprisingly comfortable, and warm. There was a warm solid weight lying against him. Just as he came to realize he had apparently fallen asleep, fully clothed, snuggled up with Cas, he also noticed they had a witness.
Charlie was standing in the door way smirking at him and when their eyes met she gave him a “really?” look. Dean did his best to carefully extricate himself from Castiel without waking the sleeping man and followed her into the kitchen.
“We need to talk.” Charlie began, then hesitated, it wasn’t like her to not say what was on her mind,
whatever it was must be serious.
“Oh Charlie, are you breaking up with me, after everything we’ve been through, that’s cold.” He
kept his tone light despite the gnawing concern inside him.
She rolled her eyes at that, “It’s about Castiel….I think we made a mistake when we “borrowed’ him. I
don’t think we can go through with our original plan, at this point it feels wrong.”
Dean felt like a weight had been lifted off of him, he had been trying to find a way to bring up this exact
subject. He had been pre$y sure Charlie would feel the same way, but she was in this as deep as he was
and he had been afraid she might not be having second thoughts like he was.
“I couldn’t agree more.” At his words he could see some of the tension leave Charlie as well, apparently
she had been as worried about this conversaon as he had been.
“Cas has no idea where this cabin is, and I have a pretty good feeling he’s pretty motivated not to go to the cops. We could cut our losses and get out. Cas isn’t going to do anything to draw attention to himself, so he isn’t exactly going to make a fuss about the whole kidnapping thing. We can take him back to town, drop him off and be on our way. He never has to anywhere we are going and we never see each other again. I know it’s not exactly what you wanted but given what we know now, I think it’s the best solution for everyone involved. We part ways and never see each other again.”
Dean shifted, feeling uncertain. She was right, it was the best solution for everyone. No harm, no loss. But he couldn’t go back to the way things were. It couldn’t end. He needed justice for his family if he was ever to know peace. But it was more than that…
“I can’t walk away. Not now. I’m in too deep to get out.”
Charlie narrowed her eyes at him, “Have you developed Stockholm syndrome? Is that what this is about?”
“I don’t think that’s how that works. I’m pretty sure only the victim develops Stockholm syndrome, besides, doesn’t that take a long time? I don’t think a week’s enough.”
She stared at him for a moment before speaking, “That wasn’t really my point. You want to save him, don’t you?”
“I’m not going to ‘rescue’ anyone. I’m not a knight in shining armor and Cas isn’t a princess in a tower….but yeah, I want to help him. I think we owe it to him. I mean, he was doing fine before we came along, but we can’t leave it the way it is. He needs us, if we can help him, I think we have an obligation to.”
********************************
Once Cas was finally awake and Dean had given him his fool proof hanger over cure, he sat Cas down to talk to him about what he and Charlie had decided to do.
“Charlie and I,” Since Cas already knew who he was, he had given up on the presence of fake names, “we have a plan. Do you trust me?”
“I do trust you, perhaps I shouldn’t, but I do. I don’t believe many people have ever treated me as well as you have.”
“Okay, that’s a whole level of fucked up we are going to set aside to deal with later. For now we have a downfall to plot.”
Dean glanced between Cas and Charlie. Honestly, it had never occurred to him that Dick Roman wouldn’t pay up. His family had their issues, but he knew that his dad would have done anything to keep him and Sam safe. “Actually, this whole ‘kidnapping thing’ was our plan B. I mean, it wasn’t like kidnapping was my first choice.”
Castiel perked up at that, “What was plan A?”
It had been something he had been thinking about, there was a small glimmer of hope that his plan might actually work. But it would require the help of Cas, a possibility that had seemed impossible. “Charlie created this program sort of thing.” He didn’t entirely understand most of what she did, but he did know that she was the best at what she did. No one was quite like her. “If she could get it installed in Dick’s computer than she could hack him, clear out his bank accounts, have access to everything. The only problem is Dick is too careful. He has too many security measures in place. Every time she tried to gain access, he blocked her out. If we could get close enough to him that someone could put a thumbdrive in his computer then Charlie could gain access. I didn’t think that was ever going to happen. But now… you could get me in. Tell me everything, security codes, weaknesses, the whole nine yards and I could gain access to Dick’s computer.”
It would be perfect, he barely dared hope that it could finally end.
“No.” Cas’ reply came through him like a knife.
“What do you mean ‘no’?” Dean’s eyes narrowed, a dangerous tone to his voice.
“I…uh…I mean no. It’s too dangerous. He would catch you and that would be the end of it. He could make you disappear. But he wouldn’t even have to. If someone like him catches an intruder in his home, it would be an easy thing for him to claim self-defense if something unfortunate happened. You can’t do it….but I can. I can tell him that I escaped. He doesn’t exactly trust me, but I he wouldn’t be suspicious of me either. He thinks he has me properly cowed. I could do it and he wouldn’t suspect a thing until it was too late.”
“And what about afterwards? What would happen when he realized what had happened, right after your miraculous return home? You think he wouldn’t suspect you then?”
“I could –“
“No. Fuck no.”
“But Dean –“
“No. End of story.”
There was a tense moment when he thought Cas was going to keep arguing with him, but with a breath he could see all the fight leave the other man.
“Fine. We’ll do it your way.”
The glimmer of hope in Dean flared into a beacon, this was happening, he could get everything he wanted, and keep Cas safe while he was at it. Dean’s celebration was short lived though.
“But I want out. I’m done. If you're going to risk your life, then fine, that’s your prerogative. But then I don’t want to be a part of it. I want that packet that Lilith gave me, and once I’m on my way to a new life, then I’ll text Charlie everything you need to know.” There was a dark edge to Cas’ voice and Dean knew he wasn’t messing around.
“Cas, we can talk about this.” He hated how desperate he sounded.
“I think I’ve had enough of controlling men.”
Dean’s clenched his teeth together to prevent himself from speaking rashly. After a beat he replied, “Fine. I’ll go get it.” He turned and walked out without waiting for a reply.
The drive to the bus station was a quiet one for the most part. Cas was slumped over against the door staring out the window. His normal rigid posture had relaxed and right now it made the man look like he was weighed down unable to sit straight. Dean shifted, feeling restless as he drove. He reached for the dial to play music, then had second thoughts and withdrew his hand. He started to speak, then stopped. He wasn’t sure what the right thing to say was, and honestly he didn’t know what he wanted to say. Given the circumstances nothing seemed quite right.
“I’m sorry.” Castiel didn’t look away from the window as he spoke and voice sounded as defeated as his posture made him look.
“You’re sorry?” His voice betrayed his shock and disbelief. “What are you sorry for? Wait…is this Stockholm syndrome? Is that what’s going on?” He hadn’t ever given someone Stockholm syndrome before and he wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it if he did.
Cas did look over at that, “no, I don’t have Stockholm syndrome.” ‘You idiot’ was not stated outright, but was clearly sub textual given Cas’s tone. “Stockholm syndrome would require an extremely long period of captivity, and even then is quite rare.”
“Well, I’m sorry then. I didn’t exactly read up on Stockholm syndrome. It didn’t occur to me beforehand….you know what? That’s not the point. What are you sorry about?”
Cas sat silently and Dean wondered if he had reconsidered what he was going to say. “I’m sorry for everything. I was selfish. I wanted to get away from my father. I didn’t think about all of his victims. That’s not true. I did think about it, but I didn’t try to fix it. I only thought about myself. I’m sorry you were caught up in all of this.”
“Cas, this is not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. Evil men like him are to blame, people who think they can do whatever the hell they want without consequence.”
Castiel looked at him for a long moment but didn’t respond, and the silence filled the confined space before Cas looked away, back out the window. Dean wanted to understand what was going on in his head, what he was thinking, but he knew he had no right to ask.
They arrived at their destination and Dean turned off the engine. He took a deep breath and tried to draw out the last few moments they had together.
“Where will you go?”
“It’s probably best you don’t know.” Castiel’s voice was even, but it cut through Dean like a knife.
“Okay.” His reply was curt but if Cas noticed he didn’t say anything.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been kidnapped.” The non sequitur surprised him, but he didn’t respond and Cas continued.
“I was 10. It wasn’t too long after my mom died, I was out at the park with my nanny and a man grabbed me. I was so scared, but he took me to this old house with a creaky porch and gave me candy and I watched TV with his sister. I had so much fun that I begged them not to give me back. I didn’t want to leave and return to my father. I think his sister was considering it, but he talked her out of it. My father is a dangerous man, and they had already crossed him, I think he thought ransom was one thing; actually keeping a child was too dangerous. My dad paid the ransom; I cried the day they returned me to him. I refused to tell the police–or him–anything. I told them that I didn’t see who took me and that I had no information to give them. I don’t think my father believed me, but he couldn’t prove anything. But there was something about that day. He was so happy to have me back that I think he was scared for me. It was the first time in a long time that I started to feel like he loved me. My nanny was fired, and he was good to me for a little while after that. I even began to believe he might have changed. But then he went back to being his old self, not all at once, by degrees. But eventually his true nature reasserted itself. That’s what it comes down to I think, people can pretend to be something they are not, but who they are will present itself, eventually.”
Dean sat silently for a few moments, uncertain what to say to that. He finally settled on, “So is this the part where you ask me not to let you go? Just keep you here with me.” He kept his tone flippant but there was a knot in his chest as he waited for an answer.
Castiel gave a soft sigh, “I’m not a child, or a lost dog Dean. I don’t expect you to keep me, or save me. I can take care of myself. As it happens, I was doing a pretty good job getting away from my father on my own. At least, that’s what I was telling myself. But I’ll never be free. He isn’t the sort of person who lets people go. He would have found me eventually, and even I did get away, it would have meant living with the guilt that I didn’t do anything to try to stop him. I’ll never be free of him, not as long as I’m alive–or he is.”
He wanted to say something, he wanted to promise Castiel everything would be okay. He wanted to tell him he had a plan, and that soon enough everything would be over. But he couldn’t promise that, and the last thing Castiel needed was one more person making promises they couldn’t keep. But what he could do was help Castiel take control of his own life.
“Then I suggest you get going. The sooner you're safely off to wherever the fuck you're going, the sooner Charlie and I can take care of our end.” There was no point in drawing this out any longer.
Castiel just nodded and opened the door, stepping out, before closing it behind him with a sound of finality.
*******************
Dean paced back and forth across the floor, the old wooden boards creaking in protest with each heavy step.
“It hasn’t been that long, Dean, he’ll come through.”
“It’s been hours Charlie, fucking hours. Maybe that whole ‘woe is me’ thing was an act. Maybe he went straight back to Dick fucking Roman and called the cops or something.”
“You don’t really believe that. And even if he did, you didn’t exactly have a choice. Dick was going to pony up ransom and you couldn’t exactly drag Castiel around with you for the rest of your life.”
Dean narrowed his eyes at her and started to reply, then stopped. She was right, of course he knew that. It didn’t change the fact that he could have let his best and only shot at taking down Dick slip away.
“Are you worried he won’t come through? Or are you worried something might have happened to him?”
“Cas is fine.” He snapped. He was fine, he had to be.
“Okay, sorry I said anything.” Charlie put her hands up in mock surrender and left Dean to return to his pacing.

Counting Stars Chapter Two

He went in and out of consciousness, never able to achieve a deep sleep, rather patches of restless sleep that eventually brought him to morning.

He was awoken by the sound of Deans voice.
Deans voice faced once more he laid still contemplating his situation. He had wanted to be free of his father, and now he was. It might not be the way he had been expecting, but here he was, far from the man who had controlled every aspect of his life. He closed his eyes, moving into a more comfortable position. He listened listening to the sounds of the forest, so different from the constant thrum of noise of the city. Under other circumstances it would have been peaceful, ideal.
He couldn’t quite make out the words but he could hear his voice was heated, and he was pacing again. There was the sound of another voice, higher than his, and he knew this must be the mysterious associate his kidnapper had been talking about. The pacing stopped, then started again. Eventually they moved further into the cabin and he wasn’t able to hear anything else. He listened to the silence for a while, and this time when he fell asleep he didn’t awake until it was light out.
He moved his stiff muscles protesting the awkward sleeping position. He sat up, trying to fix his clothes that had bunched and twisted in uncomfortable ways while he slept. He wasn’t awake long before he heard the sound of footsteps coming towards him. He unconsciously sat up ramrod straight, something his father had drilled into him, to always maintain good posture. It was the only reason he always wore a suit. His father firmly believed that, Castiel was a reflection on the company and maintaining a proper appearance was paramount. No need for anyone to know what went on behind closed doors as long as the outward appearance was a favorable one.
Dean, 'Smith', as Castiel needed to remember to call him, walked into his room and leaned against the door frame, “Sleep well?” He asked. Castiel didn’t know what to say, so stayed silent, looking down rather than at the other man.
“Fine, have it your way.” He walked towards the bed and Castiel couldn’t stop pushing back, away from him, towards the wall. But Dean was undeterred and didn’t comment as he unlocked the cuffs from Castiel’s wrist, and put a hand on his arm to pull him up. "Come on,” was all he gave in way of explanation as he led Castiel into the cabin. He walked along obediently, and felt no small amount of relief when he was led the bathroom, opening the door and gesturing for him to enter. “Go on, you can clean up and take a shower. I can’t guarantee the water will be hot, the plumbing system in this place is a bit iffy at best.” There was a fond affection in the man’s voice when he talked about the cabin and Castiel wondered what this place meant to him. But he knew better than to ask, instead walking into the bathroom, grateful for the time alone, the closing behind him.
He felt a good deal of relief as he shed his layers of clothes and studied himself in the mirror. Bruises and scars, old and new, covered his body. Nothing he wasn’t used to. But his wrist was sore and raw from the cuffs, he must have been having nightmares and had thrashed hard against the metal. He rarely remembered his dreams, and they came back to him as an impression of pain and a pervasive, consuming darkness.
There was nothing in the bathroom, not even a toothbrush. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap were the only commodities left him. He supposed this was a precaution done to ensure he didn’t try to arm himself. The idea was almost amusing. Dean had a gun, and he was afraid that what, Castiel would try to stab him with a toothbrush? It didn’t matter anyway, Castiel wasn’t going to try to escape. He had no idea where he was, and his survival instinct was too strong to take any chances. That was one thing Castiel was good at it, he might not be selfless or brave, but he was a survivor.


He climbed into the shower and was pleased to find that Dean’s prediction about the water was incorrect, it was actually quite warm. He showered, enjoying the water thoroughly and stayed in as long as he felt like he could justify. When he stepped out, he found a towel and clothes waiting for him. His clothes were still present in a pile on the floor, but on the counter there was a folded t-shirt, hoodie and jeans. He hesitated, looking between the two. Giving him clothes to change into was a kindness he hadn’t expected from the man who had taken him. And as much as he wanted to make a point by putting his own clothes back on, he loathed the thought of getting back into the suit.


When he emerged from the bathroom, as he expected, Dean was waiting outside the door for him. “Good, I was hoping the clothes would fit, they are a little big, but not too bad.” He paused before adding, “You look shorter somehow, out of the suit.”


Castiel tried to keep his expression blank, but must have given something away because the other man smirked before adding, “It’s a good look on you. You look less stuffy and uptight out of the suit.”


He did feel better like this. Physically at least, he was still fighting against the growing panic of his situation.


“Look, things have become a bit more…complicated. This might take a bit longer than I anticipated. I know the accommodations aren’t exactly the ritz, probably a pretty far cry from what you're used to, but I think we can make it work for a little longer. Anything I should I know about, any allergies? I don’t want to accidentally poison you.”


Castiel fixated on the word complicated. He was going to be here longer than Dean had expected. There weren’t many things that could cause ‘complications’…except. “My father wouldn’t pay the ransom, would he?” He blurted it out without thinking. As soon as he said it he wished he could take the words back. He already knew the answer, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear confirmation.


Dean shifted, looking uncomfortable. “No. My associate thinks your father thinks we’re bluffing, she thinks if we give it a day or two he’ll come around. Or maybe he’s already contacted the police or something.” He said it as if he was trying to reassure Castiel as much as he was trying to convince himself. Castiel nodded, as if he believed that was true. He didn’t ask, and didn’t want to know, what they had told his father, what threat he believed they were ‘bluffing’ over. He wanted to believe his father was biding his time that he truly cared about getting Castiel back. But a part of him had always expected this. Perhaps his father was relieved to be done with Castiel once and for all.


Dean let out a soft curse and Castiel looked up, uncertain what he was doing. “Your hand looks terrible, come on, I can get that patched up.” He led Castiel into the living room and sat down on a beaten up old flannel sofa, indicating for Castiel to sit by him. Dean pulled out a duffle bag and got out gauze and antiseptic and set to work cleaning the cuts and scrapes where the metal had cut into him.


Something had changed. Dean’s demeanor was different now, his actions seemed softer, less severe. Even the smiling skull of the bandana covering his face looked less intimidating. He wondered what had caused the change of heart. He had thought that being denied ransom would have made him angrier, he had expected to feel the full weight of the man’s wrath. Dean fixed up how wrist in silence, working with a practiced precision that made Castiel wonder if Dean had experience mending wounds.
Dean looked up when he was done, “there, that should feel better. Look, as long as you promise not to go anywhere, we can do away with the cuffs. I mean, honestly, I don’t see you getting very far, anyway. We are pretty far from civilization.”
“Why are you doing?” Cas’s voice was soft and he didn’t look up from the bandage on his hand. He could feel Dean’s eyes assessing him, and he doubted the other man missed the bruises and marks he tried to hide.
“It’s not about the money, if that’s what you’re thinking. I mean, it is about the money, but mostly it’s about making things right. Dick Roman isn’t a good man. But I suspect you already know that.” Dean was silent, as if waiting for an answer. When he didn’t get one, he continued, “I’m guessing you know first hand exactly what kind of a monster he is. But why stay silent? Why not tell the world what he’s really like?”
Castiel shifted, uncertain of how to make Dean understand. “He’s controlled my life. He made sure I was never in a position to talk to anyone that mattered, not without supervision. He rarely lets me leave the house. He has been trying to groom me into his successor since I was a child. For a long time I went along, because it was easier that way. But as I got older and his expectations of me became….darker, I began to resist his control. He didn’t take it well.”
“So that’s why you have the fake IDs? Trying to get away?”
“Yes. It took me a long time to find a way out, to find someone who, I couldn’t trust exactly, but I was reasonably sure wouldn’t turn me in. You can’t send me back to him. Even if he does pay the ransom, I can’t go back. Tell him I’m dead, tell him you killed me or I ran away, anything. Please.” He hated the desperation in his voice, and when he was met with silence he looked up. He didn’t expect to see Dean looking sad and for a moment Castiel thought he might give in.
“I can’t do that. Not yet. There’s still a chance Dick might pay if he thinks you’re alive. If he does…we’ll figure something out.”
It wasn’t exactly the answer he was hoping for, but it was more than he had been expecting.
The next few days passed in a sort of haze for Castiel. He was allowed more freedom, Dean even let him go outside. Castiel wanted to believe it was because Dean was beginning to see Castiel was not like his father, and was a good person. But he knew it was most likely because Castiel had no way of finding his way to civilization, even if he wasn’t locked up. He was supervised, Dean would stay close wherever he went. He found his presence felt less ominous, and he began to become accustomed to the man’s presence.
Dean’s “associate” started streaming movies on her laptop and introduced Castiel to a show called “Dr. Sexy M.D.” Dean would sigh and roll his eyes every time he saw them watching it.
As the days passed and Castiel remained unsurprised that his father had no interest in helping him. It would be easier this way, if Castiel just went away. Perhaps it should have, but it didn’t bother Castiel overly much. What did bother him was Dean’s continued refusal to give a definite answer as to what was going to happen.