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Apocalyptic Love Songs 6

“Yeah,” Dean muttered and scooted down under the sheets. “Will he be able to hurt me anymore? I mean, it’ll be great not to have nightmares anymore but –”

“No,” Castiel said. “You are protected.”

“Okay,” Dean said. “Thank you. And thanks for coming when I called you.”

“I told you I would,” Castiel said simply and leaned over him, hesitated, and then kissed his forehead. “Sleep,” he murmured and Dean closed his eyes and slept.

***

When he awoke again it was evening, dark enough in the bedroom that he could only see the furniture as shapes, and he felt like he’d slept for a week. A good week, too, so that his head felt clearer than it had been for days. And he was hungry and he wanted a shower, and he wished Sam and Bobby would come back so they could get on the road.

Dean made himself a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and when he’d eaten he wrapped some plastic wrap around his leg to protect his stitches and took that shower, singing Bon Jovi and Elvis to amuse himself as he soaped up. Clean and in fresh clothes — old sweats and a t-shirt, he wasn’t feeling up to jeans just yet — he turned on Bobby’s dusty T.V. and got the book Sam had shown him with the poem about the Green Knight.

It was a strange story, even for a medieval poem, full of symbols and allusions he didn’t understand, though the end notes explained things well enough. As far as he could figure, it was another pagan story that had been transformed like Sam said the Grail stories were — characters threatened to chop off each other’s heads and there were attempted seductions and a way-too-detailed description of a boar hunt.

Medieval people, Dean thought, were weird.

It didn’t help with the search any, though. The Grail wasn’t mentioned in the poem. Part of it took place at Arthur’s court and Sir Gawain was the main character, but that was the only connection.

Dean played with the malachite amulet and wondered why this stone kept turning up lately. He wondered who the Fisher sisters really were. He wondered if Castiel would come because he wanted him, not only if he needed him.

He wondered what he would do with Castiel if he did.

He sighed, turned off the television and went back to bed.

***

It felt like early, early morning — the sun was barely up and the light in the room was still pale and gentle — when Dean woke again, this time to the flutter of great wings. He said, “Castiel,” and felt the bed dip as Castiel joined him.

“How do you feel?” Castiel said.

“Good. Better. Leg still hurts like fuck but no nightmares and no feeling like someone’s digging their fingers into the wound, you know?”

“Good.” He started to speak, paused, and said, “I have been thinking.”

“I have too. I read the whole Green Knight poem. Of course, I’m no closer to what any of it all means, but –”

“About you and I,” Castiel said and Dean closed his mouth. Castiel said slowly, “I do not know, quite, what it all means either.”

“Hey,” Dean said, “why don’t you get under the covers with me, and we can talk about this proper.”

Castiel nodded and took off his raincoat and shoes, and Dean moved aside to make room for him. Castiel lay stiffly on his back a moment, and then moved onto his side, closer to Dean. He said softly, “I have known your name since the moment it was given you.”

Dean blinked. “I didn’t know that.”

“There are many things I have not told you.” He exhaled. “We have watched you every day of your life, you and Sam. We have watched every lesson you’ve learned, every mistake you’ve made –” Dean huffed at this, and Castiel laid a hand on his side to comfort him. “And every good deed that you’ve done. They are many, Dean. You have grown into a more than worthy champion for the mortal realm.” He paused a moment and Dean watched him, frowning. “You tell me you’re not strong enough to face what’s coming, but, Dean, you are so much stronger than you know.”

Dean felt his eyes grow damp and wiped them ruthlessly with the back of his hand. “Cas, I’m not.”

“You are. I know you. I know what lies in store for you,” Castiel said slowly, “and I weep for you. I have watched you through every moment of your life, every torment and every pain, and now I have flesh that desires and a heart that beats . . .”

He fell silent. Dean hesitated, then traced the otherworldly angles of Castiel’s face with his fingertips. “Cas,” he said softly, and Castiel made a pained sound and moved into his arms.

“I will not stop sending you into danger,” he muttered against Dean’s neck. “The fate of the world is at stake. But I hate it with every breath that’s in me.”

“But you won’t rebel, will you,” Dean whispered as he started stroking Castiel’s hair. “Not my Castiel. Obedient till the end.”

“Yes,” Castiel said, sounding no happier. “I wish I did not feel so much, Dean.”

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