“What do you mean what happened to Dean? Dean’s fine. Isn’t he?” Did that demon do something to his brother? Why would Hell be in a snit about it if he had? This made no sense.
“That’s kind of the problem Sam. Dean made a deal to save you, everyone’s heard about it, but no one can find his contract or the crossroads demon that sealed the deal. So I’ll ask you again, what the hell happened?”
Sam looked around the room like the answers he craved would suddenly appear out of thin air, but found nothing. Ruby had already come and gone, he’d told her he had no idea what she was talking about and hadn’t that gone over well, he didn’t want to risk telling her Castiel’s name until he had more information. He knew that Dean had definitely sold his soul, but then why was there no record? What the hell was going on?
Hearing a knock at the door he jumped up, only just now realizing that he’d been sat in the same spot for the past four hours without moving. His joints creaked and his muscles ached as he made his way across the small room to see who was visiting now. Opening the door he was almost relieved to find Bobby on the other side, if what Ruby said was true they were going to need all the help they could get.
“Bobby man, I’m glad you’re here. There’s so much we need to talk about.” He just hoped that Dean made it back in one piece so he could be a part of this little discussion as well. Stepping back to allow the closest thing he had to a father to pass through the threshold of his tiny little hotel room he tried to organize his thoughts. If he couldn’t explain this right, Bobby wouldn’t be able to help them at all.
“What the hell happened Sam, one second you’re yapping at me about a second deal your bone head brother made, then you’re yapping at Ruby of all people who just shows up here in your room, then I don’t hear a peep outta ya, so I race all the way over here to find you perfectly fine and in working order. What the hell happened Sam?”
Opening his mouth he meant to lay it all out for Bobby, to tell him about Ruby and Dean’s contract, about the second deal his brother was forced to make on his behalf. When no sound emerged from his open mouth he looked up into Bobby’s frustrated face and said the first thing that came to his mind.
“Dean’s still on his date.”
Dean tried to keep the scowl from his face, but from the looks he was getting he knew he wasn’t being all that successful. He was so confused, before this whole date thing started he’d been worried that Castiel would choose to do things that he would absolutely hate, things that would test his limits. Looking around at the people surrounding him his limits were being tested alright, just not the way he thought they would be.
He’d pictured murder and mayhem, not what would have been the perfect date if only he’d been on it with someone, hell anyone else.
The night had begun at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where he spent hours surrounded by the sounds of his childhood. Each new display bringing back memories that he’d forgotten long ago. Sitting up late at night with his dad in the impala waiting for whatever fugly they were after to show its face while he heard his favorite tunes for the first time. His dad’s fingers tapping along on the steering wheel.
If he closed his eyes he could practically smell the old leather and whiskey.
After they’d gone through every inch of the place, some parts twice, Castiel declared that he needed to be fed and that’s how they ended up here. He remembered this little roadside diner, his father had taken him and Sammy here for his twelfth birthday. It had been down the road from the hunt they’d been driving towards for two days straight, but still they stopped for a burger and a slice of pie. It was the one day a year when his dad would give his whole attention to his son, if only for the time it took to eat.
It was the last birthday of his childhood, after that day his father decided he was finally old enough to be given more responsibilities. He was given a more active role in hunts, starting with the one they’d been driving towards when his birthday cropped up, he wasn’t just his brothers keeper anymore. This place was where a child died and a hunter was born.
Looking down at the meal set out before him, the same meal he’d eaten all those years ago, he began to get a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He wasn’t completely sure what was causing it, but he knew it couldn’t be anything good. Even if the back of his mind, where his instincts lay wrestled into submission, was screaming at him that this was wrong, he did his best to push it all down as he shoved another bite of pie into his mouth. The food was just as good as he remembered it, but he could barely taste it.
Finally he’d had enough, this thing had been staring at him probably not even blinking since this whole bizarre date began, he wanted answers damn it. He needed them, if he was going to keep his sanity through this whole social experiment from hell.
“Alright, what gives?” Throwing his napkin on the table he rested his fists on the table and leaned in close so their conversation wouldn’t be overheard. They were drawing enough attention as it was without having to worry about the nice men with the big nets coming to try and drag them both away to the loony bin. He had a mild brain freeze at the mental image that train of thought conjured for him in his mind, but he easily shook it off in favor of the answers that he demanded.
“Whatever do you mean Dean? You need to learn to be far more precise with your language, you leave a great deal to interpretation.” Even though his face never really changed, he could see the smirk hiding in his eyes. The little prick was enjoying this.
He was so overcome with his frustration at having his question dodged, that he let the answer he did receive wash over him, not really hear it at all.
“Fine you want precise, I’ll be specific. Why the hell are you doing this? You take over my deal, frying a demon in the process I might add. Then you show up out of nowhere to, as far as I can tell, sit in a chair and stare at me. Then you take the first opportunity you find to maneuver me into this new deal where you can basically go anywhere and do anything and what you do is what? Revisit my past? Drag up old memories of the good old days? So I’ll ask you one more time, what gives?” He just didn’t understand it, this demon was more powerful than any he’d come across in the past, but he wasn’t acting like a demon at all.
Sure he was manipulative and opportunistic, but where was the murder? Where was the chaos? The mind games? Not that he was wishing for any of those things, but this whole lot of nothing wasn’t just confusing him, it was putting him on edge. He kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and honestly he would prefer to pull the damn thing down himself than keep fucking waiting.
“Did you not enjoy our first date Dean?” Hoping that a little honesty would earn him a few answers he went with the truth over his usual bluster.
“I think you already know that I did. You took me to the one place I’ve been wanting to visit since it first opened back in ’95. Then you bring me here, the last place I ever remember my dad being just my dad, and give me the meal I ate when I was twelve years old. It’s like you decided to drag me down memory lane or something. The music of my childhood, followed by the food of it. What I can’t understand, and am hoping against hope you will clear up for me, is why? Why spare Sammy’s life, just to do this?” Spreading his arms out wide to encompass the whole diner he raised his brows to make sure the demon understood what this was. What the hell was the point? He knew there was one he just couldn’t seem to find it, too much forest to see any trees.
“Oh Dean, what would be the fun in explaining? I am sure that before our deal is done, you will have worked it out all on your own. You are incredibly intelligent Dean, more so than many give you credit for.” Clenching his fists he decided to ignore the compliment in lieu of something far more important, at least in his opinion.
“Which deal?” This one or the one before? Was he implying that these dates would take a year to complete? It was possible, he’d been so worked up over Sammy and trying to keep Castiel from charging after him in a murderous rage he hadn’t even tried to place limits or time frames on this date deal.
Looking up he finally saw a smile spread across Castiels face and it sent a shiver down his spine. It was far too predatory to be even close to human.
“Good question, Dean.” Though it would seem it would be a question without an answer.
Castiel had just dropped Dean off with his loving brother and their mentor, determined to give his mate some space to process everything. He would go find something to do and leave Dean alone until morning at least, though he knew if he made it that long it would be a miracle. He supposed he could go to his brother and tell him all about his first date with Dean, Lucifer had always been supportive of him and all of his endeavors after all, and he would be interested to hear about his progress.
As he took flight, intending to allow his wings to carry him to his brothers’ side, he found himself in a deserted little park sitting on a bench thinking about his evening, alone. He thought again about going to his brother, but he found he did not wish to share the details of his courtship with anyone, even his blood kin. At least not yet.
At the moment all he wanted to do was savor the memory of having Dean all to himself for the first time, as he sat silently surrounded by the quiet calm of night he replayed the events of the evening in his mind. Every expression, every syllable forever ingrained in his memory.
Watching Dean try to puzzle everything out, when he was still missing so many important pieces was a thing of beauty. Most of all he enjoyed watching his beloved come so close to understanding, to fall just shy of the mark. He knew that one day understanding would come to him, and with it a host of other thoughts and feelings would encroach on his mind, but until that day came Dean would continue to look to him for answers and understanding.
Looking up towards the night sky he let the smile he’d been keeping to himself spread across his face, life was beautiful. Everything was falling into place for him, for them, and the thought of it was enough to make him want to laugh, by this time next year he and Dean would be in hell, really getting to know one another. When that day finally came there would be nothing left between them, they would finally be one as they should have been all along.
How was that for a grand design.