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01 September 2011 @ 12:32 pm
The Violin House / SPN  
Title: The Violin House
Rating: PG
Fandom: SPN
Prompt: Write about two creatures—human or animal—whose sense of power is altered by each other’s presence.
Summary: The Apple Pie Life is a slow process, but Dean and Cas are getting there—until Cas is called for battle and Dean is forced to wait.
Notes: I realize that canon shows Dean and Cas communicate via prayer, not letters, so this is self-indulgent fic. :> Also, I always imagined Cas would play Hans Zimmer’s Leave No Man Behind, which was on repeat for most of this story’s creation. Keren Ann's Strange Weather and Cinematic Orchestra's That Home also played a part. Consider it the soundtrack! Story takes place somewhere after S5.

Edit: Now with a coda letter!! I regret I never loved you by 9_of_clubs. ♥

But she---she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.


-from The Harlot's House by Oscar Wilde


There are stories about the house that trickle down through different channels (the estate agent, the neighbor, the bakery owner). Details vary but the theme stays the same, and so does the warning: I wouldn’t buy that place if I were you. It seems generally agreed upon that the house by the lake is haunted—no one has lived there in years, generations, and the local folks figured no one would live there again.

But Dean is stubborn, and isn’t afraid of ghosts.

Betty, their realtor, is the most concerned. It’s a white, frozen morning when Dean signs the final papers. The keys are cold, the floor is cold, their breath comes out in puffs—but Betty, who’ll make a sweet commission from this sale, looks like she’s attending a funeral. An image of Mary Magdalene hangs from her neck, and she crosses herself with red-nailed fingers before walking through the front door.  

“There are other houses in town,” she insists, in a gentle, last-ditch effort to rescue her two lost boys. “They’ll require much less fixing-up. Can’t I convince you?”

Dean glances towards Cas, who’s standing by a window, its panes covered in prints from those who came before them. Cas looks back and meets Dean’s gaze, and Dean knows the answer without even asking.

“Nope,” he easily answers. “This is the one for us.”

Dean thinks he’ll always remember how vibrantly Betty’s red dress stands against the snowy horizon while the house sprawls before them, saturated with potential.

---

They don’t have much.

They don’t have anything.

There’s no table in the dining room, no mattresses in the bedrooms. They don’t have dishes or clocks or rugs. For a moment, Dean is struck with a fear that settles low in his chest. He mentally calculates the small savings he’s earned versus their future living expenses and reflects back on his brief time with Lisa: what did she budget for? What were the monthly expenses? What about land taxes? Insurance? Separate cars?

He and Sam lived on almost nothing, but Cas deserves a life that’s more than just scraping by.

Dean slides down a wall and lands gracelessly on the floor. Cas walks in a moment later, having checked to see whether the water is connected. (It isn’t.) Like the house, they are frail; like the house, they are hollow; but Dean watches Cas clean out the fireplace and knows they have a smoldering inside them, too, a flame that will light and warm them through the coming months of snow.

“It’s gonna be a long winter,” Dean muses while Cas gently coaxes the flames to life, adding the wood and tinder they collected that afternoon. Behind the lake are woods, where they lost two hours wandering under the pretense of picking good logs. The memory is fresh in Dean’s mind: Cas navigating the maze of trees, never straying too far from Dean’s sight, his hair haloed in branches while his fingers brushed against bark.

“We have weathered worse,” Cas replies, his eyes smiling in a way his mouth doesn’t. He means the Apocalypse; he means those years they spent battling the future. There’s nothing left for them now, except whatever life they manage to build with their own two hands.

“Still think you should’ve flown back to the Pearly Gates. I bet they have good heating upstairs.”

Cas huffs at this and motions for Dean to join him, where the fire’s warmth will actually do him some good. Dean drags himself across the frozen planks, and they sit, close but not touching, until Cas finally says, “You are so convinced this is not my place. Does humanity not suit me?”

The sound of crackling; the scent of burning wood.

Dean shrugs. “I’m just saying that you could’ve had any reward you wanted, and you chose this.”

“You mean a home with the one person who has ever... ‘had my back’? I must have been crazy to make such a decision.”

Where did he ever learn sarcasm? Dean watches Cas rise to his feet and move to where a mattress (a gift from Bobby, who pretended he was glad to see them go) is leaning against the peeling wall. He drags it as close to the fire as is advisable, and then spreads the ugly flannel blankets on top. Dean had bought them for cheap in a Nebraska thrift store, scraping up all the dollars and change he could find, every penny and nickel and crinkled Washington, and laying them on the counter. He doesn’t think it was enough, but the woman had given them a look and wordlessly bagged the blankets without counting his money.  

Dean salts the doors and windows; Cas wards the floors.

“I’ll keep an eye on the fire,” Dean promises as he descends the stairs, each step groaning quietly, but Cas is already asleep, his face lit in a butter-yellow glow.

The night is freezing, but Dean keeps the flames high and bright until sunrise, when Cas unearths himself. He silently watches Dean move around their new house, his face open with something Dean doesn’t understand.

---

Their possessions are as follows: the Impala, a mattress, ugly blankets, some clothes, and a five-hundred dollar check Missouri sends through the mail. Bobby wires them some start-up money, too, enough that Dean can afford to have the water and electricity connected.  

Cas, a solider by trade, doesn’t fear the work that lies ahead. He cleans the bathrooms while Dean gets busy scraping the walls, and they open the windows to air out any memories that don’t belong to them. Father Winter barges in uninvited, but Dean counters that by heating cans of soup over the fire and boiling Cas some tea. Once they’re too tired to clean anymore, Dean suggests a trip the library.

“The library?” Cas echoes. “What for?”

“Computers, man. I need to check job listings, see what’s available around here,” because they can’t live off the kindness of their friends, and Dean’s eager to start earning an honest living so that Cas can have a proper bed and pillows that aren’t from K-Mart.

Dean can only thank the scholarly gods that public library cards are free. He gets two and then grabs a computer while Cas browses the fiction section. There aren’t any openings for mechanics or construction workers, but at this point he’d be grateful for anything: burger-flipping, a janitorial gig, garbage collecting. He feels a flicker of hope when he notices the local Fed-Ex is hiring.

He jots down a couple of other openings that look promising before hunting down a copy of Resumes for Dummies and then Cas, who, to Dean’s horror, is twenty pages into the first Harry Potter book. He swipes it from Cas’ hands, who looks ready to complain before noticing that Dean is ambling towards the check-out counter, intent to bring both books home with them.

---

They clean and build and sleep on a mattress without a frame or box spring; they wander the woods together for kindle; Cas absorbs the entire Harry Potter series at night, quietly breathing next to Dean as he turns the pages. Later he tells Dean it’s a story about three young people who risk everything to fight against a tyrant. (Dean asks if it ends happily; Cas answers that despite their losses, despite the hardships, they manage to usher in a bright future that no one saw coming.)

The townspeople ask how they’re surviving the haunted house, and Dean laughs it off. What he really means is this: sometimes the worst ghost is the one you create yourself, because the house was never haunted and never will be, if he has anything to say about it.

---

Cas discovers music during their second month in the house. Bach and Mozart aren’t to Dean’s taste, but the fact Cas is choosing things for himself is enough to keep Dean silent. He bears the suites and overtures; listens to Cas hum them as they wander the frozen woods; unconsciously hums those same songs as he drives the delivery truck down its route.

Dean’s mind swirls with snow and music for weeks, but it’s not until November, nearly Thanksgiving, that he considers gifting Cas with a way to play rather than just listen. The idea comes to him during his route, when he drops off a package to a young woman whose solemnity suggests she has lived a life filled with disappointments. Over her shoulder Dean sees a large instrument case leaning against the wall, but he’s no expert and can’t tell what it is. She—Kate—signs the clipboard and follows his gaze.

“It’s my brother’s cello,” Kate says, answering his unvoiced question. “I’m selling it.”

Now that she mentions it, Dean notices the place is piled high with boxes, like a kingdom within a house. Moving away, or running away. Dean knows the signs.

“How much?” he asks.

She sticks her hands in her pockets, rocks on her feet: “Karl bought it for three grand, but I’ll sell it for twenty-five hundred. It’s a hard market and I need it gone.”

Twenty-five hundred dollars. Dean knew it would be expensive, but his heart drops regardless. There’s no way he can foot that all at once, not even with the lean way he and Cas are living right now.

“If your heart’s set on it, we can work something out,” she continues, after a beat of silence. “Look, let me give you my number. Think about it and give me a call. I’d really like it to go to someone who will... love it. The way Karl did.”

A hundred women in a hundred towns have given Dean their number, but he keeps this one safely in his wallet. There’s something about her he understands and respects, even if it’s just the weight she carries from losing a brother: Dean knows all about that, though he has the fortune of having Sam returned to him. That’s why Cas is here, now. That’s what he sacrificed to get Sam and Adam out of the cage.

(Later, before Dean drives home from the shipping center, he gives Kate a ring. He puts it out there, lets her know why this cello is so important. She’s quiet for a beat and then offers a payment plan that leaves Dean thankful.)

---

Two days later, Dean picks up the cello and manages to squeeze the case into the Impala’s back seat. Dean’s mostly pleased with himself, until he realizes that he hasn’t considered where to stash it until Christmas rolls around. He briefly considers one of those monthly storage facilities, but he’s paying enough for the cello as it is. The attic probably isn’t the best location, and Cas’ll surely find it if Dean tries to hide something so big in the basement. It’s times like these he wishes they lived closer to Bobby.

Cynthia, another driver, offers her guest bedroom. She lives with three cockatiels (all of whom pin Dean beneath beady black stares) and insists it’s not a problem, that she’s happy to be of help, and that Cas is lucky to have someone as thoughtful as Dean. (Dean doesn’t mention that he and Cas aren’t together, that they’re just friends, because no one ever believes him anyway.)

They store it carefully, as though it were a living creature. He opens the case just once to touch a string, and then the smooth, polished side of the cello’s body. It smells like age, like something that has lived through hundreds of songs—kind of like their house, waiting for someone else to love it.

When Dean gets home, he finds Cas curled up on the mattress reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Dean collapses next to him, vaguely recalling the book’s plot, but asks about it once Cas has dogeared the page and given Dean his attention. He says it’s about four children who march into a new country and rescue it from a power-starved witch, and that it always snows in Narnia until the witch is defeated.

Dean glances out the window, where night is pushing the evening away: the snow is barely visible, blending with the stars until they’re all just small white dots to Dean’s tired eyes. He rouses himself enough to change into warm bedclothes, falling asleep next to Cas, who’s picked up his book again and is reading by the firelight.  

---

These are the things Dean has purchased for the house: some cooking pans, a used microwave, bath towels, dishes, one clock, clothes hangers, and a CD player for Cas. By the time they pay the utilities and grocery bill (and a monthly $350 check to Kate that Dean prays Cas won’t notice), there’s not much left for luxuries. He figures once he pays off the cello then he can get started saving for another mattress, that way they won’t have to keep sharing—but Cas points out some other furniture he’d prefer (a dining table comes to mind), so Dean dutifully rearranges his Furniture Priority List and writes off the mattress for later.

December barrels through with a force. Dean imagines the White Witch abandoned her ice castle and has come to inhabit their small town, trailing harsh, gray weather behind her. It even looks like Narnia when he and Cas trek through the woods, collecting branches while they breathe puffs of white, and Dean is suddenly hit with the realization that Cas is old, older than so many things, and yet here he is with Dean, living off the land and the small paychecks Dean brings home.

This year, Dean scrapes enough extra dollars together to buy them real a Christmas tree. He hangs the lights as a surprise for Cas, who’s disappeared to the library again, and leaves them on as night falls. It’s something out of a magazine, the kind with photos of big, happy, real families—Dean thinks, with a punch of pride, that he and Cas are becoming a real family, apple pie and all. He’s still standing there when Cas gets home with a new stack of novels in hand. He stops when he sees the tree.

“Do you like it?” Dean asks, feeling jittery as the silence stretches too long. Why doesn’t Cas say anything? Maybe this was a bad idea after all, this tree, this proof of their normalcy. “I figured, you know, we ought to have one. Everyone else does.”

Cas reaches out to touch a green branch and finally responds: “It’s perfect, Dean.”

“Yeah? Good answer. It was a bitch to carry in here,” Dean jokes, and then swipes the books from Cas’ hands, ignoring the way his gaze shifts from the tree to Dean’s face. Dean runs his thumb over the title: The Hero and the Crown.

“Let me guess,” Dean says. “The main character faces unimaginable odds against a horrible evil?”

“If you would learn to appreciate reading, then you would not have to rely on my plot synopses,” Cas sniffs. Dean rolls his eyes and pulls a small casserole together for dinner, and they eat on the floor like squatters in their own house. But the tree lights are breathtaking and the fire is warm, so he can’t complain. Cas, he notices, never complains either, even when Dean is sure former angels must hate this lifestyle—but he’s working on changing that, working on giving them a place to put their roots.

---

Dean welcomes the holidays by buying all the dinner fixings they can afford, and Cas helps cook even though he’s no culinary master.

Around five o’clock on Christmas Eve, Dean pretends they need some more sweet potatoes. He promises to be right back, and jumps into the Impala. He does stop by the store to cover his tracks, but then he visits Cynthia’s house, where she helps him carry the cello out to the car, and pulls a flier from her jacket pocket once the instrument case is safe from the wind and snow.

“My neighbor’s kid plays in the middle school band,” she explains, handing the paper over with a kind smile. “He gets a lot out of it. Your Cas is too old for the eighth-grade wind ensemble, but this town does have a civic band. You should encourage him to try out.”

Dean reads the information but still doesn’t quite understand: “What’s a civic band?” he finally asks, ignoring his pride so that he’ll have the facts. Cynthia smiles as she rubs her palms together for warmth.

“It’s like... a volunteer orchestra for adults,” she says, trying to find the right words. “They give about four concerts a year, I think.”

“And this band is big?” Dean presses, because he doesn’t want to find out later that the “band” is a bunch of middle-aged stoners playing out of someone’s garage.

“Shoot, yeah,” she answers. “About thirty people right now. Doctors, lawyers, cashiers... pretty much anyone who wants to play music again.” Dean thinks about Cas, who’s only friend is Dean, and who’s probably home right this minute cobbling together a fake resume so that he, too, can find a job.

The next night, Gabriel comes for dinner, and Crowley, and Bobby and Sam; Dean’s okay with Gabriel these days, because he gave them a clean record before assuming the position of Heaven’s new sheriff. Crowley is a reluctantly invited guest, considering he comes and goes as he pleases, without the consent of anyone else. Sam is as girly as ever, and Bobby’s gruff attitude is canceled out by all the house-warming gifts he brings. It’s nothing fancy and most of it’s used, but Cas is dazzled by the record player, washing machine, and dryer, while Dean is grateful for a future without laundromat trips. Crowley brings wine, of course, and Gabriel brings an unexpected guest: Balthazar. Dean suffers him for Cas’ sake, but Crowley doesn’t expend that sort of effort.

“Who’s this?” he sneers. “Another member of the Free Will Club? If your standards sink any lower, I’ll have to reconsider my affiliation.”

“Oh, lovely. A holiday spent with an abomination,” Balthazar sweetly retorts. “I suppose awful Christmas dinners are a plight for every family.”

And so Christmas dinner is filled with insults and passive-aggressive remarks, and Dean laughs more tonight than he has in a long time. Gabriel whips up a few additions to their meal (mostly deserts), while Sam’s attention shifts from Balthazar to Crowley, like he suspects something that Dean won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

By midnight, everyone is gone, the house miraculously stands, and Cas is draped on the bed in an exhausted, pleased heap. They’ve cleaned the kitchen and put away what leftovers weren't sent with Bobby and Sam.

Dean says, “Stay awake five more minutes. I got you something, though I guess it’s not technically Christmas anymore.”

Cas looks like he wants to protest, but Dean is out the door before he can say anything. His stomach is in knots as he carefully removes the cello from the backseat and brings it inside, and these knots keep twisting when Cas peers at the case without speaking.

“You like music so much, I figured, I don’t know, maybe you’d want to learn an instrument. It was kinda dumb, right? I don’t know anything about orchestras or whatever, but cellos...” Dean struggles, gives up. “If you hate it, we can sell it.”

---

It’s cold, still, when March comes to Kansas. The mornings are made of white light and air that freezes the floors and blankets and window panes, but it seems far away on weekends, when Dean is roused by the voice of Cas’ cello.

He never imagined he would grow to love this: waking slowly to a bow against strings, nudging and insisting he join the world. He listens hard and tries to understand what the cello is saying, though oftentimes Dean is lulled into sleep again. He always walks softly so as to not disrupt Cas’ practice, goes into the kitchen and holds a coffee mug in his cold hands—then he leans against the door frame and watches Cas play, amazed that his fingers can find the right strings by feel while his eyes read the music.

Tonight is Cas’ first concert with the civic band. Cynthia was right: civic band is a good idea, and something Cas enjoys. It’s one thing to play a solo piece, but it’s another when drums and brass and woodwinds are added. Besides, he's making friends. Part of Dean is jealous; he’s used to being Cas’ only friend, the sole recipient of his attention, but the other part knows this is a piece of humanity he needs to learn: how to interact with other people, even when Dean isn’t there to supervise.

“Sounds awesome,” Dean says, when Cas looks up and catches sight of him. Dean can’t believe how quickly Cas picked up playing, but he figures it’s an angel thing, kind of like how Cas can read a hundred languages, current and dead. Music is just another way for him to speak.

Cas wears his best clothes that night, and Dean locates the one shirt that’s not beaten to hell, tucking it in so that he doesn’t look like a slob. He drives them to the local college’s auditorium, where people are already milling around outside, ignoring the cold as best they can. This fine arts scene isn’t usually Dean’s cup of tea, but he’s faked his way through so many hunts that he can surely fake his way through this.

“Hey Cas!” someone calls. It’s a group of violinists standing near the entrance, and a trombone—or french horn, Dean's constantly confused about that—player to boot. They wave Cas over, and Dean thinks he should make a clean getaway, let Cas hang out with normal society, but Cas grips his elbow and drags Dean along.

“Dude, is this Dean?” the violinist asks. He looks younger than them, maybe college age. “So he does exist. We were startin’ to wonder, man!”

“I’m Carol,” says the horn player. “And this is Eric and Steve. It’s so nice to finally meet you. Cas talks about you all the time.”

Dean’s eyebrows rise as he glances over at Cas, who’s conveniently flipping through his folder of sheet music. Even in the dark, Dean can tell his ears have turned red.

“Oh really? Hopefully about how awesome I am,” he jokes.

“He has hearts in his eyes and everything!” Eric laughs. He, like everyone else, has made the assumption that Dean and Cas are an item—and why shouldn’t he? Hell, they live together, and Dean bought him a damn cello for Christmas.

Cas clears his throat and promises to join them on stage. Dean shakes their hands and says he’s glad to meet them, because... well, he is. He wiggles his eyebrows at Cas when they’re standing alone; everyone else is starting to trickle inside in search of seats. Dean suspects he ought to hurry, too, if he wants a seat worth having.

“Break a leg, huh?” he says. Cas squints at him. Dean laughs and says, “It’s an expression, doofus. It means ‘good luck’.”

“Oh. In that case, thank you,” Cas replies. He glances down at his music and says, “You don’t have to stay. I know this isn’t your usual preference—”

“None of that,” Dean cuts in. “See you afterwards. We’ll get dinner and celebrate your first performance in front of... someone who isn’t me,” but when that performance comes, when the band steps out onto the stage and bows in front of the applauding audience, Dean doesn’t expect to be so proud. His heart wants to explode with it, and he can’t help but turn to the elderly couple next to him and say, “That’s my friend up there, with the cello.” The woman smiles in return and points out her granddaughter, a dentist by day and clarinetist by night.

The music isn’t what Dean would normally put into the Impala’s cassette deck, but he claps the loudest after the last song, and whistles from his place five rows back. Cas must know it’s him because his smile grows wide; Carol turns to whisper something to him, and he ducks his head, pleased, black hair shining beneath the lights.

Afterwards, they do get dinner and then walk the park, close together; Cas talks about music and Dean complains about snow, but the truth is this might be the best night of his entire life.

---

The dream ends on a Saturday in April. (The cruelest month, Dean’s told.)

They’re drinking coffee, debating the merits of a new fridge versus a new television (Cas has cast a practical vote for the fridge, but Dean is tempted by a flatscreen) when Gabriel and Balthazar are suddenly standing by the table, tired-looking and sad, a complete 180 from Christmas. They don’t even say anything, but Dean knows—if not from their expressions, then from life experience: he’s been happy too long, which means it’s time for the universe’s scheduled kick in the balls.

“Morning, boys,” Balthazar greets them, but the words are heavy as bricks.

“You aren’t here for pleasantries,” Dean guesses, not bothering to say hello in return. Why should he? A hello always precedes a goodbye, and rarely do angels leave without taking some part of Dean with them.

“No,” Gabriel admits. “It’s revolution in Heaven. Raphael burnt the mountains and gates, and we’re still—a lot of us died in the uprising.” He moves to stand next to Cas, who’s still sitting, clutching his mug with white, strained fingers. Gabriel bumps Cas’ arm with his hip. “The soldiers want you, baby bro.”

“I am not going,” Cas declares, like a man standing in the path of an avalanche, calmly asking it to turn back the way it came. “You are an archangel, Gabriel. They do not need me anymore, nor do I wish to return. Please leave.”

There’s a pitying expression on Balthazar’s face that Dean doesn’t like, mostly because Dean knows what it means: Cas isn’t allowed to refuse this. He carries the banner of an angel who averted, on his own steam, the end of Earth. He has made his mark. There can be no civil war without Castiel leading the charge. Dean accepts this the way he accepted his mother’s death, and his father’s: with a scream permanently lodged in his throat.

Balthazar’s voice is quiet when he asks, “Please don’t make us take you by force, Cassy.”

“You can try,” Dean challenges. He knows perfectly well he can’t protect Cas from his two dick brothers, but he’s willing to risk life and limb, and who knows, maybe the struggle will end with Tessa dragging him to the big pie in the sky. Then he’ll be with Cas and help him in the war, because there’s no way in hell Dean can stay here alone. The house isn’t built for one and the memory of Cas lingers in every corner, every crevice, in the books he leaves on the mattress and the tea he keeps in the cupboard.

“We’re sorry, baby bro,” and Gabriel ruffles Cas’ hair with affectionate fingers. Dean wants to hate him, and a small part of him does—but a bigger part knows Gabriel loves Cas, would die for him, would go to any length to keep him safe.

Just like Dean.

Balthazar clears his throat.

“We’ll give you a few minutes. Gabriel and I will be outside when you’re ready to go, Cas,” and they blink out like lights, similar to the kitchen fixtures Dean repaired last week. Cas had tried to help but he’s no electrician, and Dean wishes fiercely they could go back to that day when their biggest problem had been trying to cook dinner by candlelight.

They breathe. The house creaks in the wake of silence.

“May I borrow a pen, Dean?” Cas finally asks, just as Dean’s about to suggest a list of far-fetched possibilities, mostly along the lines of drawing a banishing sigil for when Gabe and Balthy pop back in. Dean figures they can ward the Impala and make a break for somewhere far away. He’ll hate to leave the house, but it won’t be the same without Cas anyway, so what’s the point?

Dean fishes one out of the drawer beneath the microwave. Cas tears off a paper towel from the roll and uncaps the pen. At first Dean thinks he’s drawing a new banishing sigil, something more powerful than the one Dean’s memorized—but Cas draws it so slowly, so carefully, that Dean knows he’s not in a hurry to run away. Fleeing is a useless endeavor, and yeah, Dean knows that, but he still wants to try.

“During every war,” Cas starts, “a messenger angel is assigned the task of collecting letters from humans. The practice died during your dark ages, but it has made a resurgence after Lucifer’s defeat in Stull. Most of the letters are from children whose guardians are reassigned to the battlefield, but I thought perhaps you would write to me.” At Dean’s look, he adds, “Not often, if you are averse to the idea. But I would... like to know how you are.”

Dean’s always been an awful writer and avoids it like a chore, but for Cas he’s willing to pen a freaking manifesto.

Cas looks away. “It is a ridiculous notion. I should not have said anything.”

Dean reaches out and places his hands on Cas' shoulders. He tugs until they’re face to face, eye to eye, with a shared breathing space that can be measured in mere inches. He’s screaming inside, because how many times do they have to lose everything? How much more sacrifice is required of them? How selfish can this Raphael dick be to risk Cas’ happiness? Cas, who never asks for anything, who never wants for himself.

“How do I get them to you?” he asks, quiet. This doesn’t feel like they’re talking about letters anymore. It feels like they’re agreeing to something else, something definite. “Draw this sigil on the envelope, or—?”

“The floor,” Cas answers. “Once you place the letter within the symbol, no one but the messenger may remove it. This is to ensure they’re not lost. Perhaps just—one a month would suffice, the garrison is usually too busy for further correspondence. And I won’t be able to write back, but it would be... nice. Nice to have something to read.”

“And just how long do those dicks plan on keeping you away?” Dean demands. “A couple of months? A year?”

“The war may take several years, so don’t—don’t put your life on hold for my sake. Live as you would without me.” He tries to smile. “At least now you won’t have to buy that extra bed.”

And because they don’t have any time left, because Cas might not come back from the war, Dean comes clean: “I never wanted an extra bed.”

Cas’ expression becomes a mask of grief as he finally admits, “Nor did I,” and there it is, the truth: all the months they’ve wasted, all the moments Dean wanted to turn over and put his hands on Cas’ stomach, chest, thighs. He could have. Cas would have let him, would have welcomed it. He understands, suddenly, Cas’ look of mourning.

Cas sucks in a sudden breath and moves towards Dean, leaning forward as if to kiss him, and Dean’s heartbeat doubles—but then a hand touches Cas’ shoulder and he crumples to the ground, unconscious. Gabriel stands behind him, his arm still extended.

Balthazar stoops to carefully collect Cas’ body; Gabriel gives Dean a look between sorrow and exhaustion, and they disappear, leaving Dean to face a winter that refuses to migrate, keeping its grip on every tree, every road. It might be winter forever.

---

The house creaks and groans in Cas’ absence, as if to fill the silence as a favor for Dean. He carefully draws the sigil on the living room floor, a perfect replica of the paper towel sketch. Outside, the snow remains constant.

He calls Sam and Bobby to tell them the news; he then e-mails the civic band conductor and Cas’ boss. He half-lies about a family emergency. They express sympathy and reply, There’s a place for him when he gets back, and Dean fights the way his stomach turns at the thought Cas might never return.

It’s Crowley, of all people (things), who begins haunting the corners and recesses of Dean’s house. Dean doesn’t understand why, at first, until his mind helpfully supplies the following equation: no Cas equals no Gabriel equals no Balthazar. Dean never expected Crowley and Balthazar’s meeting at Christmas to go anywhere, but apparently Crowley’s become attached while Dean wasn’t looking.

It’s not that Crowley loves Balthazar or anything. He’ll be the first to tell anyone, and Dean will be the first to believe it. Demons don’t love because they can’t—that’s just the nature of things.

In the meantime, Dean struggles to figure how to start a letter.

Hey, Cas sounds like they’re passing on the street, tossing a casual greeting as they move in different directions.

Cas, how’s it going? That’s all wrong, too, mostly because Dean suspects “it” is going badly.

Dear Cas makes Dean squirm. It’s so antiquated, so personal. He stares at the words—Dear Cas—and tells himself he needs a better way to say hello. How does one man say hello to another? How do they express care without words? Dean is suddenly angry with everything: his own denial, the stupid gender roles his mother would have hated, the dumb stereotypes that Sam disapproves of. The world tells him a man can’t be dear to another man, and he believed it, and now it’s cost him innumerable nights he could have been with Cas instead of making sure neither of them crossed the invisible line on the mattress.

He presses his pen against a fresh sheet of paper.

Dear Cas he writes. When he’s done, he stuffs the letter in an envelope and places it inside the sigil.

Two weeks later, the envelope is gone.

---

Dear Cas,

It’s New Year’s here. You’ll be proud to know I’m the most sober guy in town. There’s a tradition that happens at midnight on New Year’s Eve, which I don’t want to tell you about because I like to think the curiosity will drive you crazy.

Not much else is going on. Your library books were due so I returned them, but I wrote down all the titles and bought copies to keep, so now they’ll be here when you get back. My route is pretty busy but I decided to follow in your footsteps and check out some books for myself. I just finished ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. It was actually really good. I’ll buy it for you because I think you’ll like it.

The backyard is kind of bare. I’m thinking a garden? But not flowers. Vegetables. Let’s grow something useful.

Bobby has met a lady hunter from New York. I know he likes her because he’s mentioned her once in the past thirty days. Sam is back in school and leaving his classmates in the dust, though I convinced him to cut his hair before he made Rapunzel jealous.

The house is empty, so come back home soon. (Tell Balthazar to get here, too. Crowley’s driving me up the wall.)

-Dean

P.S. That New Year’s tradition I hinted about? You and me are trying it ASAP. (That means 'as soon as possible,' doofus.)


---

Dean is not a natural writer: he’s mouthy and crass and his penmanship leaves something to be desired. But when he writes to Cas, he tries to consider his words with more care than he would otherwise. He writes about Sam and Bobby, the hunts they take, the people they meet. He writes about the house, about what he’s done to it: painted the hall, repaired some pipes, cleaned the attic, enclosed the porch (Sam tells him manual labor helps to deal with grief; Dean says he’s not grieving, there’s nothing to grieve about, and Sam’s answering silence is both pitying and exasperated). He writes about weird packages he’s delivered, books he’s reading, the fact he’s learning to cook. He even writes about Crowley, who had been the first to suggest Dean learn to make something besides sandwiches.

The notion that an unknown angel enters his house once a month to take the words Dean has written was once unsettlin, but now he’s thankful. The letters are littered with unimportant details and inconsequential facts about life on Earth—but he hopes they might make Castiel imagine, for a moment, an existence that isn’t embroiled in war.

He never writes I love you, but it’s there, living between the lines and letters, in the creases of the paper, in the marks of the pen.

---

Dear Cas,

You know that new fridge we were talking about? I bought it. Turns out my boss likes my work and gave me a little bit of a raise. It’s not much but I decided you deserve a fridge with real drawers, plus there’s room for both milk and that gross pulpy orange juice you drink. I still think it’s nasty but Sam says it’s good for the body or digestion or whatever, so it keeps ending up in the grocery cart.

I’ve been researching gardens. It’s a lot harder than I thought (we need to test the soil), but it seems doable. I know you like squash so those will definitely get planted. Maybe some tomatoes and bell peppers, too. No omelet is worth anything without peppers.

And this may sound crazy, but I was collecting some firewood and found a dog. I think he grew up around people since he came right to me, but maybe he was abandoned or something because he’s thin as a stick. I took him to the vet and he checks out. I was thinking we could keep him? Back yard’s big enough. Sam named him Roscoe. He thought it was dumb that I kept calling him ‘dog’. Bobby likes the name and Crowley detests it. Roscoe’s the most pathetic excuse for a guard dog I’ve ever seen. A bird flew onto the window sill and Ros just stared at it and then went to sleep. He’s nice to have in the woods, though. Crowley’s already taught him some tricks, but he’s sworn (like he’s so freaking believable) not to teach him anything that will result in the death of small woodland creatures. It’s still really cold here—don’t know when winter plans to let up.

Ros is good company but the house is still kind of empty. Come back home when you can.

-Dean


---

Dean finds himself collecting things for the house, bits and pieces that he’s never needed before: pots and pans, a rug for the doorstep, magnets for the fridge because there’s nowhere else to hang recipes. He scouts for firewood but also for interesting things, like strange stones or an upturned bird’s nest that’s fallen from the branches. Ros is a constant companion eagerly chasing leaves and protecting Dean from menacing twigs. Dean stores all his finds on the fireplace mantle, where the books are neatly stacked, waiting for Cas to read them.

Dean dreams of Heaven's revolution: a wide-open sky; caverns housing the troops; a hundred explosions in every direction; an endless litany of orders and yelling, screams; the panic of another lost brother; storms like hurricanes; silence only when the sky is black; a slice of golden light in the clouds; despair of knowing the battle will soon reengage, that this repetitive misery is inescapable.

Dean always wakes with his breath trapped somewhere in his chest, eyes moist from the emotions being transferred into his consciousness. Oftentimes he’ll get up and go down to the couch, pick up a book and read something by the fire. Ros will sit on the opposite end and curl up, falling asleep, not quite realizing what Dean’s lost.

“You’re a pathetic little bird, aren’t you,” Crowley will say, but he makes Dean tea regardless.

---

Dear Cas,

I turned thirty-six today. It’s ridiculous, but Bobby drove over anyway, and brought Julia (his New York lady friend) with him. She baked the most awesome pie I’ve ever tasted. I know you don’t like lots of sugar, but you would have made an exception for this. It was cherry. I say ‘was’, because Crowley ate the last piece, but Julia e-mailed me the recipe and I’ll make you some when you get back.

Sam bought me some show called ‘Firefly’ on DVD. Why? He knows I don’t do shows with more than two plots going on at one time, but he said I was branching out with my reading habits so he figured I’d branch out with my viewing habits, too. Turns out, it’s not half bad. It's possible you'll like it, but I don’t know, sci-fi might be beyond your ken. Maybe we’ll get you started on that, and then move to ‘Star Wars’, which is a classic. Don’t let your stupid brother with the lollipops tell you otherwise.

Turns out Ros likes pie, too. Seemed unfair not to share some so now he’s got a taste for it. A dog after my own heart. I make sure he doesn’t mess with your cello. I think the band misses you so you’d best come back soon. I gave Ros one of your shirts to smell, so when you pop in he might not maul you. Or slather you with love, based on his past levels of ferociousness.

I just finished a book called ‘The Planets’. It’s about our solar system but it’s not a textbook or anything (that’s Sam’s deal). I left it on your shelf for when you get back, but you probably know everything there is to know about space so it might be boring.

The house is damn empty, so come home soon.

-Dean


---

On the night of Dean’s thirty-seventh birthday, the dream is so real that Dean can smell sulfur. He wakes devastated, wondering how Cas can survive this war when Dean can hardly bear the afterimages.

He lumbers out of bed. In the corner desk are a stack of photos from Bobby’s wedding, and near the top is a group shot. The wedding had been understated, so much so that Julia had baked her own cake, but everyone was happy.

He stuffs the photo in an envelope, and hesitates before kissing the seal, like that means anything, like Cas will be able to feel the kiss and know Dean misses him like nothing else. He places it inside the sigil, and then, punch-drunk from exhaustion and hungover from the case of beers he drank for dinner, Dean tumbles into sleep, remembering these sounds: turning book pages, a crackling fire, twigs snapping beneath Cas’ boots as they hunted the woods for kindle, a cello’s bow dragging over strings.

He does wake to the smell of fire, thinks Cas, bolts downstairs—but it’s only Crowley trying to keep the living room from freezing over. He looks up to where Dean’s stopped midway.

“Trying to die of hypothermia?” he asks, blithe. Dean glances past Crowley, to the sigil drawn on the floor: empty, the photo already sent.

---

Dear Cas,

I just finished a book called ‘The Little Prince’. It came recommended to me from Julia’s kid niece, and I promised her I'd read it, so.

The story was weird, but it reminded me of you, mostly due to the fact it’s about a prince who helps a pilot survive a hostile situation, and then goes around looking for crap. A desert flower even tells him that there’s only a handful of humans on Earth and that none of us have roots, so the Prince goes searching on a mountain and hears an echo and thinks it’s human voices when it’s really just his own.

It’s hard to explain, but there’s still something about it that made me imagine the Prince in a tie and trenchcoat.

A fox tells him, “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed,” but I never figured out what he meant. I’ll ask Sam—he’s probably smart enough to understand literature.

Everyone here is good, but the house is empty. Hurry home.

-Dean


---

Dean turns thirty-eight. Thirty-nine. Sam grows older, Bobby grays, Crowley flicks in and out of the house, a presence Dean has grown used to. Welcomes, even.

When Dean is forty, the house reaches its peak: floors shine, furniture matches, walls are painted, trim is clean, appliances work, and Dean has a savings account with money he’s earned delivering boxes in all shapes and sizes. The yard is trimmed and he’s built a small dock for the lake. The house still speaks in groans and squeaky hinges, and the townspeople still joke that Dean is living with a ghost. (This time they’re right.)

The old band conductor retires; a new one takes his place. Cynthia keeps in touch because she knows that Dean lives alone in the house, even though Sam and Bobby drop in for unexpected visits, and Crowley’s tromping through more often than not, making use of space that isn’t his, playing with Roscoe when Dean’s busy in the kitchen.

Dean writes faithfully every month. There are never replies (which he expects); the dreams stop coming (which he doesn’t), and he’s struck with a dizzying panic, thinking the sender is no longer alive to pass them along. Cas could be dead and he’ll never know, not until it’s over, and only if Gabe and Balthazar are kind enough to tell him for certain.

---

On the eve of the first day of Spring, someone touches Dean’s shoulder as he’s drifting off to sleep for the night. He jerks and glares up at Crowley, who knows better than to invade Dean’s bedroom. Crowley arches an eyebrow.

“There’s something you need to see,” he says, ever calm, ever put-together and composed. Dean grumbles but rolls out of bed, tiredly trails him down the stairs—and on the ground level stands two-dozen people, all strangers to Dean’s eyes except for one. In his hands is a careworn envelope that has been folded and refolded and refolded again.

“Hello, Dean,” Cas says. He doesn’t smile, and Dean thinks this isn’t how this should go. “I—apologize for the many visitors, but they insisted on meeting you. They were curious.”

Dean has dealt with a fair share of angels, menacing agents of fate in MIB suits, but these are different: they are silent, fingers grasping air rather than a weapon, and Dean realizes these are the soldiers who fought for so long without anyone to write to them, to remind them that somewhere else was a person waiting for their return.

“They were heartening,” a young man says, wearing jeans and an electric company polo. Dean’s eyebrows rise.

“Didn’t know I was writing to such a large audience,” Dean replies, glancing at Cas, whose eyes seem to focus on a faraway memory.

“Not at first,” he finally admits. “But when Rapahel’s forces trapped us near the cliffs, your words were the only comfort we had for a long time. They were—the way you—the letters were more than I could have hoped for,” Cas settles on saying, “and I only wish I could have kept them all. We had to travel lightly, but there’s one I kept throughout the war, and I—pray that it still holds true, unless you’ve—unless you would no longer prefer—”

“Yeah, Cas,” Dean replies, the words coming out rough and disbelieving. “It holds true,” because Cas isn’t holding a letter: he’s holding the photo of Bobby’s wedding three years ago, and the envelope that Dean had put it in. The envelope he’d kissed, briefly, in a bout of overwhelming loneliness.

---

These are the things Gabriel gives before he leaves for Heaven: a legal identity for Cas, a new set of strings for the cello, and the announcement that Balthazar didn’t survive the war. Crowley accepts this with an expression of indifference and a shrug of well-groomed shoulders. Dean doesn’t say a word. It’s been a long eight years worth of Crowley becoming Dean’s half-friend, waiting like Dean, impatient like Dean, only to be the one with no reward for his troubles. He tells himself that Crowley never loved Balthazar, that demons can’t love at all because that’s the nature of things.

“Balthazar asked that I deliver this to you,” Cas says, handing Crowley a creased and beaten envelope. Crowley looks at it like he’s never seen such an invention. “He wrote it before the battle at the caves, where he died. He said there was something he meant to tell you before we left for the war.”

“You angels are all so bloody sentimental,” Crowley complains, but he puts the letter in his jacket pocket and is gone between one breath and the next.

---

These are the things Gabriel takes before he leaves for Heaven: Cas’ Grace, Dean’s last package of cookies, and five years from Cas’ life. In the noise and haste, Dean forgets he’s forty now, surpassing Cas in the age department, and at first Dean protests this thievery—but Cas looks at him, like he’s tired of being left behind.

Dean thinks Cas looks good with silver streaks and crow’s feet.

That night, in the bed Dean finally moved upstairs, on the box spring he finally bought, they kiss for the first time. Snow pelts the windows and the wind howls like wolves, but Dean is only concerned with the way Cas runs his hands down Dean’s sides, the way he shakes, the way he clutches Dean’s hands and shoulders.

He says (between kisses), “I fought off all of Raphael’s forces—” Kiss. “—after receiving that photograph—” Kiss. “—because I wanted so much to see you again.”

“So you’re tellin’ me you won the whole war single-handedly, huh?” Dean teases, but he doesn’t doubt it. Cas has always set his mind to something and saw it through.

Cas shakes his head and murmurs, “No, Dean. You did.”

---

This is what Dean hears the morning after Cas’ arrival: a cello’s music winding up the stairs, creeping through the floor planks, pressing against Dean until he wakes to the white light of winter. In the living room, Castiel plays as if he never once left the bow behind. The floor creaks as Dean pours his coffee; the cabinets groan as he removes the sugar, and Cas smiles as Dean wanders in to press a kiss against his neck. Flames dance in the fireplace, and Dean looks out the window to find a single leaf has begun unfurling on a tree branch, a sign of impending spring.

FIN.


To have traveled so far... From east to west, a thousand terrible miles; my feet treading all God's surface - his Ocean, his swamps, his slopes and ridges - to find myself at last a mark in the aching snow from whence I beheld through a blue haze a world of mountains piled upon mountains.

-Ada Monroe, Cold Mountain
 
 
Emotions: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
Olympiaolympia_m on September 2nd, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
YAY! You wrote another SPN story! Ever since I discovered your works, I have been checking to see when your next story will be because you have become one of my favourite authors and, my (im)patience has been rewarded today! And what a treat this was! How utterly wonderful! I love how you took the idea of creating a home together and kind of turned it on its head - it's marvellous! I loved the idea of Dean!home-maker, because that's what he is, the one who takes care and fixes things, and he's so good at that. I loved that Castiel did his duty - even though he would rather stay with Dean. He's a big-picture kind of guy, and it showed here. And if I were to write every little thing I liked about the story, I'd never end so -- I'll just say that these were my favourite lines: He never writes I love you, but it’s there, living between the lines and letters, in the creases of the paper, in the marks of the pen.

I hope you don't mind - I was so happy to see a new story from you that I had to rec. it in my LJ...... (if you do mind, let me know and I'll edit the entry)

thank you OH SO MUCH!!!
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, thank you very much! That is so extremely flattering. :> I'll be the first to admit it takes a looong time for me to get stories out, but it does eventually happen. :D And yes, you totally understand Dean! He does take care of things and fixes what's broken, which is one of his best qualities, IMO. And poor Cas, he IS a big-picture guy. In S6, I always felt people were being too hard on him about the Purgatory/Raphael thing, but Raphael was planning on destroying, uh, everything? It's not like Cas had a lot of options. That's why I want him to get a happy ending--he works so tirelessly that he deserves something good.

I read your rec and was blown away by the nice things you had to say. Thank you again! It's wonderful to know people are enjoying the stories here.
simithedemon: Cassimithedemon on September 2nd, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
This is lovely. I know it's a happy ending but I feel the need to hug all of them and wrap them in blankets, poor loves.

Fantastic <3

BTW, have you considered posting this on deancastiel?
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Our boys have it rough. Even when they get their riding-into-the-sunset ending, they have to navigate tons of crap to get there!

I love that comm! But I'm so picky about what to post there. So far none of my stories have passed my own scrutiny, so perhaps one day. :D But thank you for the kind comment. It always makes my day!
(no subject) - simithedemon on September 3rd, 2011 07:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): wont leave youblue_fjords on September 2nd, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)
Bit of a sobbing mess here, but I loved this. It's so quiet and gentle and heartfelt. And I love cello music, there's such an aching longing to the sound, in my opinion, but it's also deep and strong. Perfect instrument for Cas.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Thanks very much! I agree that the cello was exactly right, so thank you for saying so. The words you used to describe Cas and the sound of the cello are perfect!
strangeandcharm on September 2nd, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
This was really sweet. I really loved this line: Music is just another way for him to speak. <33333
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
To me, Cas + music makes total sense. My personal canon includes him reading and speaking EVERYTHING, including music notes! :D

Thank you! It's always a compliment to get a nice comment from such a prolific, talented writer!
Hilshils on September 2nd, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, this is so beautiful! I was sobbing by the time I got to the end. Just wonderful. I am going to rec this when I do my next rec post on Monday
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
Gosh, lots (well, like, three) people said this story made them tear up a bit, and the whole time I was all, "Happy ending, no tears!" I guess our own work surprises us sometimes. But thanks for commenting, and thank you for the rec, if you choose to include this. There is no higher compliment!

peroxidepest17peroxidepest17 on September 2nd, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
I sat through half of this sobbing like a little girl and now I am tear-stained and snotty and unbelievably happy.

You are my favorite. <3
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
YOU are my favorite! Always leaving sweet little comments. It makes my day. :D

As always, I'm glad you enjoyed the fic, and thanks for commenting. It feels like the circle of fic-writing is complete when you drop a line. :)
(no subject) - peroxidepest17 on September 3rd, 2011 06:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! I didn't mean to make anyone cry, but heck, I'll take it! Thanks for commenting. :)
Sonett: deansonett on September 3rd, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Wow! I really loved this. It was so beautiful. :)
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :>
I like people with opinionssunlight_dust on September 3rd, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
i can't even begin to express how lovely this was. there was something so quiet about it all, but there was still so much heart that thrummed underneath.
plus, the songs you chose (or were unintentionally made part of the story) were so perfect that i listened to them throughout the fic.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 3rd, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!! :D I'm excited that you listened to the songs, too. They always got me into the mood to write this particular story. Like you say, they were unintentional at first, but weaved themselves in later.

Thank you again. It's always nice to hear someone enjoyed a story. :>
wickedvirtue on September 4th, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
The letters are littered with unimportant details and inconsequential facts about life on Earth—but he hopes they might make Castiel imagine, for a moment, an existence that isn’t embroiled in war.

So, that line made me sit and just SOB for very long minutes. That line rings truer than anything I've read in a damn long while and I wanted to let you know that while the whole story was lovely and affecting, nothing moreso than the sentiment right there.

(And just when I thought I'd finished crying, Dean had to remark on Crowley having nothing to show for his waiting on Balthazar and I just started the waterworks all over again.)

Thank you for this, because apparently I needed it.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 4th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Gosh, thank you so much! I'm glad that sentiment caught you. I think it rings very true--Cas would probably be a better soldier (not that he isn't good already!) if he knew there was someone who cared about/was waiting for him, and it might count even more so since he's never had that before.

UGH! Crowley and Balthazar just sort of crept in there. I usually write all happy endings, all the time, but this one called for a punch of realism. I was thinking of doing a sister story in the POVs of Cas, Gabe, and Balthazar and their views of just wanting to go home, but I know there's a danger of over-writing so it's still up in the air. Balthazar/Crowley seems like something fun to explore. :D

Anyway, you're welcome! And I'm really glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for leaving such a nice comment. :)
malcolm_doylemalcolm_doyle on September 4th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
This was the most beautiful thing I have read in such a long time. It was the very definition of lovely while also being achingly painful in the best way possible. I adored this so very much. Fantastic job here.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 4th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I was definitely aiming for "lovely", so you've made my day with your comment. :D

Thanks again!
Morgan O'Conner: SPN Dean and Cas love by temporalrangermorganoconner on September 5th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heart...

This is absolutely perfect in every way. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story!

Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 6th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :D Thanks for the lovely comment.
sealiejimandblair on September 5th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
This was glorious. The words slowly unfolded across the page showing us the world through Dean's understated point of view. His voice was perfect.

It did bring a tear to my eye: Dean waiting so patiently; throwing his hard-won words into the void; Crowley pacing at his side and then It’s been a long eight years worth of Crowley becoming Dean’s half-friend, waiting like Dean, impatient like Dean, only to be the one with no reward for his troubles.

Sympathy for the devil indeed.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 6th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! All the men in my family are understated so Dean's voice does come pretty naturally. :D

And I can't help but love Crowley. Even now I can't believe I didn't give Crowley the same ending Dean got, but it seemed to have more impact that way.

Thank you again! It's always nice to know people enjoyed a story. :>
Hana of the Clan Anorexi-Lion: dean cas notec00kie on September 5th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
This is a thing of beauty.


Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 6th, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
Way: caswayward_melody on September 6th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
You are incredibly talented and this story was warm like a fuzzy blanket. The sense of longing broke me in such a good way. Thanks for putting me, and the boys, back together.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your empty notebooks.: SPNteh_helenables on September 6th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you very, very much! Fuzzy blanket fics are a favorite of mine, too. :D I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!