And each found their life in the other, and each was the other’s love.
—Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach
Someone held a cup to Dean’s lips and whispered, “Drink.”
He sipped — the liquid was cool, milky and sweet, like coconut milk with lime. He swallowed, coughed, and whispered through his aching, smoky throat, “Where am I?”
“My home,” the woman said softly and held the cup to his lips again. “You’re safe. Drink.”
Dean drank again and swallowed, and lay back on the pillow. It smelled like lavender. He rubbed his eyes and squinted at the woman, and smiled when he recognized her. “Dr. Fisher.”
“Call me Celine,” she said, smiling back. She picked up a round sponge and began cleaning his face with warm water.
“Maya’s mom. Or sister. Or whatever.”
“Maya’s mom is good enough,” she said, gently washing him. “Rest your voice, Dean. You inhaled a lot of smoke.”
He nodded and lay back, and then started up again. “Sam –”
“Sam is unharmed,” Celine told him gently. “Lie down. You can’t do anything about it now. Doctor’s orders,” she added and resumed cleaning the ash and blood from his skin.
“But Lorcan has him — and Lilith –”
“They need him alive,” Celine said. “He is not dead.”
“But they’ll kill him,” Dean said and pushed her hand away. He tried to sit up and was racked with coughs.
She sighed and said, “Castiel,” and the figure in the chair by the window rose so that Dean could see his face. It was Castiel, of course it was Castiel, his own face smudged with ash and his eyes red from smoke.
He clasped Dean’s hand. “Rest.”
“I have to save Sam.”
“You have to rest.”
Castiel held up his first two fingers to Dean’s forehead. “Relax or I’m putting you out.”
Dean lay back, unhappy and frustrated, and when Castiel’s hand cupped his cheek he turned his face into Castiel’s palm and sighed. “Where are we?” he muttered into Castiel’s warm skin.
“The Fishers’ home.”
“Which is where?”
“Do you remember the mountain I took you to before, when you dreamed of the burned forest? You can see the mountain from these walls.”
Dean closed his eyes. “So I’m dreaming.” It figured — a death hallucination. Typical.
“No. This is real. You are alive, you are safe, and when you are well enough we’ll discuss the next step. But you are not well enough and you are filthy.” Dean opened his eyes and saw that Castiel was looking at him affectionately.
“You came and got me,” Dean whispered. “You got me out of the fire.” He could remember it vaguely now — Castiel wrapping his coat around him, how somehow they’d burst through the flames and into the cold day, how the sound of helicopters had only gotten fainter as Castiel carried him away. He looked up at Castiel with wonder.
“You called my name, so I came.” Castiel stroked Dean’s cheek. “Sleep now.”
Dean looked from Castiel to Celine, then nodded and relaxed against the pillow. Celine gave him one more drink of the sweet milk, and as she finished washing the traces of the fire off him, he slept.
Dean was only vaguely aware of the passage of time. The room got brighter, different people came to feed him or bathe his wounds. Someone held his hand for a while. Someone stroked his face. Someone sang one of his favorite songs to him in a soft, whispery voice as if they didn’t want to be heard.
He thought later that he slept too deeply for dreams.
When Dean woke up fully, he blinked a few times to get the room into focus. It was plain grey stone, with an arched doorway and an arched window. A candle burned in a candlestick on the arched windowsill. It was too dark to see what was outside, but he could smell vegetation and soil, and he could hear water running over stone and wind blowing through leafy branches. There were a few tapestries on the walls, depicting picnics and hunts, and a thick rug on the floor woven with flowers. The bed he lay in was made of wood, high off the floor, and there were green velvet curtains pulled out enough to shield him from light coming from the window. The coverlet his hands rested on was green velvet as well, and he ran his hands over it a few times to take pleasure in the softness.
And in a green velvet chair, one leg pulled up and the other stretched out like a counterbalance, his head propped on his fist , slept Castiel.