Title: Cast Down by cupidsbow
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Castiel/Dean Winchester
Characters: Castiel, Sam Winchester
Length: 1,000 words
Summary: The corruption of need.
Castiel woke. It was still odd to him, waking -- the dark lapse of time in a liminal state suddenly transforming into awareness.
Castiel woke lying on his hard bed, covered in a wrinkled sheet. He opened his human eyes to greet the morning light creeping across the moldy ceiling of his room. Sometimes, just after waking, he expected to lift his head and see electric wings, armour plate, the precise segmentation of dozens of limbs, and the bright, enormous fire of his grace emanating out of his core. Instead he found two arms, two legs, the beginnings of an erection, and a bed sheet that was in danger of sliding off the side of the bed and onto the floor.
He grasped his phone from where it was vibrating on the rickety bedside table, almost fumbled it, and answered on the third ring. “Hello, Sam.”
“Hi, Cas,” Sam said, and without further prompting, “It’s Dean.”
It was always Dean.
Castiel was the talk of Heaven because of Dean. He could hear it even now, small melodies twining around the larger song of the Host.
(Is Castiel falling? Is he, is he?
How could he love a Human? So strange, so odd, always breaking the mould, Castiel.
It’s blasphemous, lecherous, angels should not lie with Humans. Have we not learned better after the Nephilim? He should be cast down!)
At least his waning Grace meant the carols of his siblings were growing faint and far away, serving as a background chorus to the prayers of suffering Humans. Once, the desperate, helpless prayers of Humans had been easy to shut out, but now they had a weight, crowding in on his notice and demanding he listen. Full of longing and hunger and pain, his name as much a curse as a comfort as it left their mouths.
("My hip, please God make it stop hurting, just for a minute, these damn stairs..."
"Please, oh, please, let there be loose change in the couch, just enough for food until payday on Thursday, a few dollars and I can make it stretch..."
"And I’ll be so good, if you’ll just help mummy get better, I’ll be so good, Castiel, I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, and you can have all my toffees, even the good ones I’ve been saving...”)
In the Bible, angels were glorious, and fierce, and inscrutable, and rarely kind. Or else they were banished to Hell to join the army of Lucifer. Or they were fallen and enjoying the sexual pleasures of human men or women on Earth.
This was not the Bible. Castiel was none of the above.
“What’s happened?” Castiel asked. He sat up, stuffing the limp pillow behind his back, and rubbed a hand across his eyes. He needed to hoard his Grace, use it wisely for the tasks ahead that mattered most. It meant doing many things the Human way -- showering, and eating, and stretching out the tension in his limbs, and rubbing the blear from his eyes.
“I’m not sure. He's been acting hinky. I was hoping you could talk to him,” Sam said, his voice full of a cautious hope, jangling like a prayer in Castiel’s head.
Angels in Heaven existed under conditions of absolute reality, with no need to change, no needs at all, except to Love. Castiel had been that, once. A drone. Purged and cleansed by Naomi, kept as a blank slate witten over only with piety.
It now seemed an existence as insubstantial as a dream, the Love he felt then a pale and weedy thing.
(Castiel experienced so many terrible needs now. The need to choose. The need to protect. The need to atone. The needs of a body, the pressing urgency of time, the strange push/pull of pleasure and disgust during sexual release. The endless sucking need of a Human soul longing for love while building walls in his mind so high and dense they could never be broken.
The even more desperate need to find a way to build a door.
No one in Heaven could feel like this.)
His siblings thought Castiel had been corrupted by love for humanity. Such an odd notion. Did their Father not build them for Love?
It was need that had corrupted him.
“So can you call him?” Sam asked. “Maybe he’ll talk to you.”
“Of course,” Castiel said. “Are you okay?”
Sam chuffed out a half-hearted laugh. “No. But what can you do?”
That was a question Castiel was still trying to answer. But perhaps... “I can listen.”
Sam didn't reply for a moment, as though surprised by the offer, and then said, “I just worry, you know?”
“Yes,” Castiel said. He leaned over to the pile of clothes on the room's single chair, and fished a crumpled twenty dollar bill from the pocket of his coat. “I know you do, Sam. You're a good man.”
“Sometimes everything just feels so hard, and nothing you do will make a difference. Like pushing the ocean. Do you ever get that feeling, Cas?”
“Yes.” He rubbed his eyes again, still tired. “Feelings are exhausting.”
"Ha! Yeah, they are." There was a short silence, but it felt companionable, not stretched with a hundred missed cues and misunderstandings. When Sam finally spoke again, he said, "I guess I'd better go, let you make that call to Dean."
"I will. Goodbye, Sam."
After Sam hung up, Castiel gathered up a small blurt of grace and focused on the money lying in his palm. He tossed the note into the air and flicked it through the ether to lodge down behind the cushions of a far-away couch.
Dean's phone went to voicemail when Castiel tried to call, so he put his own phone into the recharger and went to have a shower before trying again. The bathroom was basic and cramped and rather dank, but the soap smelled astringent and clean, and the water felt cool and refreshing against his skin, drumming out the chorus of the Host, and dulling the steady stream of Human prayers.
("Don't let him die, please, please. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Castiel. I beg you, just..."
"Shit, she's got a gun. Shit, shit. God, no. This can't be happening. Please..."
"Oh thank God. Twenty dollars! Yes! Now I can eat.")
This entry was originally posted at http://cupidsbow.dreamwidth.org/421156.html.