Oddly enough, as Casl sat in an uncomfortable white chair across from Naomi, the only thing running through his mind was a nursery rhyme. He didn’t quite understand why it was considered a story for children, as it was a tiny bit gruesome when one thought about it, but he had long ago given up trying to understand exactly why humans did what they did. Now he just tried to fit in as best he could when he was with Dean.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
But as Naomi continued to speak to him, Cas changed the words to the story. He supposed it was the influence of spending so much time on Earth, interacting with Dean and watching him, that caused his mind to drift. Though, it could also be part of Naomi’s conditioning, to torment himself until he was just a bundle of fear and doubt. Cas knew that a prisoner was so much easier to manipulate that way. He’d seen it for himself.
Little Castiel sat in a chair
Poor little Castiel full of fear.
All Naomi’s orders and all Naomi’s pain
Would have Castiel killing yet again.
“Castiel, are you listening to me?” Naomi’s voice cut into his thoughts, sharp as a knife. “This is important and not just to me. This is your life as well so you’d best pay attention.”
“Why?” Cas spat, glaring at her. “So you can just manipulate and torture me some more? What happened to doing things for the glory of our Father? Or have you gone as Michael and Raphael and Zachariah?”
“I am myself as our Father intended,” Naomi replied, a sharp bite in her words. “As you may not be if Crowley gets the angel tablet. I have another job for you and it is important that you complete it.”
“No,” Cas said simply, shaking his head as he crossed his arms over his chest. It was something he’d learned from Dean when the hunter was feeling especially stubborn. He continued to glare at Naomi, wondering what exactly she was going to do.
“You will do it,” Naomi replied calmly, moving to sit back behind her desk again. “You have no choice. It is for the good of all, Castiel. You will kill the Winchesters.”
Cas goggled at Naomi, all his anger momentarily forgotten as his thoughts froze. Kill the Winchesters? When they had been family to him, after all they had gone through and sacrificed for each other? When there were still so many unresolved issues and unspoken words between him and Dean? No. No, he wasn’t going to do this.
“You can’t make me and I will not,” Cas snapped at Naomi, though there was a thread of unease and doubt in his words. “This, I will fight you on.”
“You can try,” Naomi agreed, inclining her head towards Cas. “And you have a strong will. I am stronger, Castiel. You killed Samandriel upon my orders and you will do the same with the Winchesters. The next time one of them prays to you, you will go to him and kill him.”
Before Cas could argue, Naomi was suddenly standing above him with pale blue eyes boring down into his own. He couldn’t say what happened but his orders settled into his mind with the weight of an anchor, solid and immutable. A small part of him screamed and fought but the rest was held in Naomi’s thrall. Feeling himself nod, Castiel flashed back down to Earth. It would be a simple matter to wait; Dean prayed to him every night, even now. All Castiel had to do was listen for the nightly prayer from the eldest Winchester.
It came as Castiel knew it would. He could hear the desperation in Dean’s voice, the heartbreak and the sorrow. This time, Dean was praying for him to protect Sam during the trials that the younger Winchester was undertaking. While he’d been in Heaven, Castiel had had no idea of what the Winchesters were doing so this was new. Making sure his blade was ready in his hand, Castiel flew to the bunker that Dean and Sam now called home.
He appeared in the room, back to a brick wall, as Dean’s prayer came to a close. As soon as he did, Dean turned and looked at the chair that Castiel was standing next to. The angel froze, even though he should have been completely invisible to human senses. But Dean didn’t see him, just stared at the chair with tears in his eyes and sorrow on his face. Now was the perfect time to carry out his orders. The hunter was vulnerable and not expecting any sort of attack.
Castiel stalked around the bed, his cerulean eyes focused on Dean. What he didn’t notice was how the hand holding his blade shook or how his breath was heaving in his lungs. Dean turned back around and settled his elbows on his legs and stared through Castiel, seeing nothing but empty space.
“Hello Dean,” Castiel said, shifting his energy so that Dean could see him.
“Whoa, Cas, pers-” Dean yelped before Castiel lunged at him with the blade. Dean fell back on the bed, trying to avoid the death coming at him. He was only partially successful as Castiel followed him, smoothly straddling Dean’s legs and pushing the blade towards his heart. Dean screamed in fear as the tip penetrated his shirt and skin, heading inexorably in.
But Castiel found that that was as far as he could push the blade. He stared quizzically at his own treacherous hands, sending order after order at them to push harder and kill Dean. Dean, in turn, was barely breathing and trying not to squirm and drive the blade in deeper. He knew exactly what would happen, knew exactly where the point was headed. And Dean knew exactly how good of a fighter Cas was.
They stayed like that for several seconds and Dean wondered what was happening. There was a battle raging in Cas’s eyes, fear and determination and confusion sparking in the cerulean. Dean was confused himself, trying to figure out what had prompted this attack. He had suspicions that Cas was being controlled but this...
“Cas,” Dean finally said carefully, gently. He hoped Sam hadn’t heard him yell from his end of the bunker. The last thing he needed was his little brother walking in on this. “Cas, look at me. Why are you doing this?”
“My name is Castiel, not Cas,” Castiel replied, though there was doubt and pain in his voice. Why was he doing this? Castiel only knew he needed to, knew it was his mission and his duty. But it felt all wrong. Feeling his blade penetrating Dean’s skin, just inches from his heart, felt completely wrong. “I’m doing this because I have to.”
Castiel was afraid to meet Dean’s eyes. He’d never felt fear like this before even when waiting for his certain death by facing off with Raphael. Memories floated through his mind, of laughter, of tears, of yelling, of fighting. All with Dean. All at Dean’s side. He knew he would see all of this if he met Dean’s eyes and he would waver. Castiel needed to atone, needed to follow his orders. He had to kill Dean even when everything inside him was screaming no.
“No you don’t, Cas,” Dean said, grimacing as the blade went in a little deeper. Cas seemed to be losing the battle within himself, the control he was under forcing the angel’s personality further and further away. Dean remembered that Cas had never had a problem with the nickname before and even seemed to enjoy it. “You need to look at me and tell me. What did I do that you need to kill me?”
Castiel finally met Dean’s eyes, the color reminding him of cool forests on sunny spring days. He felt sorry for the pain clearly present in Dean’s eyes, physical and emotional. Castiel had never meant for this to take as long as it had; he’d wanted Dean to have a quick, clean death. If only he could get his treacherous hands to cooperate. But a part of him wondered if he really wanted to. There were so many things Castiel wanted to tell Dean. So many things to confess though he often didn’t have the words for them.
“Dean,” Cas whispered, easing up off the blade. Saying Dean’s name seemed to help clear some of the fog in his mind. But now his hands fought to keep his blade in place, to keep pushing in and striking Dean’s heart. Cas’s eyes widened as the battle within himself erupted again, this time in the opposite direction. “Dean, I don’t know... what’s happening. I... I need... help.”
“It’s okay, Cas, I’m here,” Dean said, a gibbering part of his mind asking where else he would be right now. Trying to take a breath without moving his chest was hard but Dean managed it. He smiled at Cas, one hand moving to rest on Cas’s shoulder. “Come on, buddy, it’s me. You don’t want to do this. I don’t want you to do this. I need you, remember?”
Castiel shuddered under the touch, his eyes slipping closed. Now it wasn’t so much his emotions fighting but the two halves of himself. Castiel and Cas struggled for control of the blade, Naomi’s voice ringing in his head. He could hear her telling him to kill Dean and Sam but no reason why. And that was Naomi’s mistake. There was no why that Cas would accept that meant he had to kill Dean. Not when... not when he felt the way he did.
“I... remember,” Cas finally said, gaining control of himself and fighting out of Naomi’s control. “No killing for me again. I can fight it.” With a strangled groan, Cas forced himself to slowly pull the blade out of Dean’s chest. His hands fought him but they weren’t strong enough now. When the tip finally pulled free, Cas hurled the blade at the brick wall. It hit point first and burrowed into the wall until it was almost completely buried.
“Good,” Dean said, heaving a sigh of relief and then groaning in pain. Blood was leaking out of the wound on his chest leaving a bright red trail down his shirt. Even though he knew he should get up and deal with it, Dean stayed where he was. This was probably the closest Cas had even been to him and Dean wasn’t freaking out. He had to admit it was nice, feeling the warmth of someone he trusted again. “Dude, you got some angel mojo that can heal this?”
“I’m sorry, Dean,” Cas said immediately, placing one hand over the wound and concentrating. A clear, white light emanated from his hand and the wound knitted up. Cas couldn’t do anything for the blood but Dean had had bloody shirts before. When he was done, Cas didn’t move his hand but sat staring at it. How could he have let Naomi force him into this? Cas met Dean’s eyes again and countless silent words flashed between them. What was this warmth he always felt with Dean?
“Cas?” Dean asked, voice breathless though he would deny it with his dying breath. The dynamic between them had changed, somehow, when Cas had laid a hand over his heart and healed him. Just as dangerous in its own way, but different. And Dean wondered if he had the courage to do what he’d thought about since Purgatory. He thought he might, if only he had an idea of what Cas was thinking and feeling.
“Dean,” Cas answered, never breaking their eye contact. He could see Dean come to some decision and was curious about it. Tilting his head, Cas’s eyebrows drew together as he studied Dean. He still hadn’t removed his hand and moved with Dean as Dean sat up closer to him. “What are you doing?”
“Something I quite possibly should have done a while ago,” Dean answered shakily, a laugh bubbling out of his throat. “And I’m sorry if... if you don’t want it.”
Cas was thoroughly confused now but didn’t have long to wonder as Dean leaned forward and pressed his lips lightly to Cas’s. The hunter smelled like coffee and gunpowder, the ever-present smell of whiskey starting to fade. Before Cas could even decide how he felt about this, Dean sat back and looked away. His cheeks were pink and Cas was intrigued by it. The angel had never seen the hunter blush before.
“Is that what this warmth is?” Cas asked thoughtfully. “A need for closer companionship?”
“Maybe,” Dean replied truthfully, meeting Cas’s eyes again. “You didn’t mind?”
“I don’t think so,” Cas said and smiled. Dean smiled back, immensely reassured. “Perhaps you should do it again so I can be sure.”
“Yeah, I can do that,” Dean replied before leaning in for another kiss. They could talk about the rest of this later. When they had more time, Dean would find out who had been controlling Cas and gank their sorry ass.