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22 December 2009 @ 05:10 pm
[fanfic] World Without End, Amen - Chapter 6  
Title: World Without End, Amen
Chapter: Six
Author: tiptoe39
Fandom/Pairing: Supernatural, some understated Dean/Castiel
Rating: PG
Summary: Sam talks to Bobby. Sam talks to Castiel. Sam talks to Dean. Sam stops talking and acts.
Spoilers: Up through 5x10.
Previous Chapters: here.


World Without End, Amen - Chapter 6

Sam could only stutter Dean's name as his brother, palms faintly glowing with the aftermath of power, strode confident and straight through a field that a minute ago had been crawling with monsters. When he reached the salt circle, he stepped carefully over it, and his lips turned upward into a grin. "What's up, Sammy?" he said, as though he'd simply crossed the street to say hi.

"What-- what in the hell was that?" Sam said.

"A couple of tricks Cas taught me," Dean said with a shrug. "Good stuff, huh?"

"Good stuff?"

"Are you an echo machine?" Dean patted him on the shoulder. His hand felt sort of hot, though the glow had winked itself out. "Come on, let's get that circle fixed up." He began to traverse the perimeter of the camp, picking up a loose bag of salt on the side of one tent post while he was at it.

"But the demons are already--" Sam turned to follow him, and saw that the cloud of dark creatures was receding -- no, retreating-- to the horizon. Those that had made it inside the devil's trap were cowering at its rim as groups of hunters closed in on them with every manner of gun, stake and other demon-killing weapon they had. In the center of the caravan, others were stitching and dabbing at their own wounds and those of others. Slowly, as Dean approached, all eyes turned to him.

He faced them. "You guys put up a good fight tonight," he said with an easy smile. "You really kicked some demon tail."

"No, you did," came a voice from the crowd.

He waved it away. "Nah, I just came in at the end. You guys did all the heavy lifting," he said. It was as disingenuous as Sam had ever seen him; almost a caricature of himself, soaking in the flattery even as he protested. Sam's fist clenched around the butt of his rifle, and his brow furrowed.

"Frigging full of himself, that's what he is," Bobby grumbled to himself as he wheeled past.

Sam couldn't help but murmur an assent. "I know, right?"

Bobby turned in surprise. He looked at Sam approvingly. "Well, go on!"

Encouraged, pleased to find a kindred spirit in this distrust, Sam folded his hands over his chest. "You know, when I was trying to save people, when I was trying to be a big hero it was such a horrible thing. 'You shouldn't be using your power. You shouldn't be saving people. It's not right.' Now look at him. He thinks because it's not a demon it's any different? Think about what the angels have tried to make him do!"

"You know what the problem is," Bobby said, "is, he thinks he's indispensable. He's convinced himself that none of us can put on our own pants in the morning without his help. And they're not helping."

Dean was showing an attractive young woman how to reload her gun faster. Sam had a feeling that, to coin a phrase, his own gun was pretty fully loaded. "I can't watch," he said, turning around and ready to stomp for the Impala.

Castiel was standing there.

"Oh, God, not now," Sam moaned.

"I need to talk to you."

"Me? Why the big change? I thought Dean was the only guy you needed to talk to."

"Alone," Castiel said, his sharp eyes turning on Bobby.

A second passed by. "Well, don't mind me, I'm just the guy in the wheelchair. Completely irrelevant," Bobby snapped, turning his chair abruptly around and grumbling all the way back to his own truck.

Sam followed Castiel for a dozen paces before being unable to hold his anger in any longer. "What the hell are you doing to him?"

"Dean tells me you know that the charms were fake," Castiel said. "I need to know you won't betray the secret."

"Why?" Sam flung an arm out in a wide arc. "Afraid it might embarrass him? It might hurt his feelings?"

"It is very important that these people believe in Dean." Castiel's voice didn't waver. "It's crucial to their survival."

"Oh, please." Kicking the ground, Sam rolled his eyes. "These are career hunters. They know how to handle themselves. They don't need Dean or anyone else to save them."

"Sam." Castiel very rarely said his name, and it gave Sam the prickles to hear it now. "I need you to keep this secret."

"Or what? You'll strike me down?"

"You know that's not--"

"Then don't give me this crap!" Sam lost it, shoving Castiel roughly but unable to move him. He fumed at the uselessness of his body against an angel's resolve. "You don't get to tell me what to do, and you sure as hell don't get to tell Dean what to do. He is not your-- your toy savior, or whatever you think he is. He's my brother, and I'm going to do what's best for him."

Castiel took a step forward, and his eyes blazed. "What's best for him,' he said levelly but with a trace of menace, "is keeping this secret. Not only that, it's best for you and everyone around here. If these people did not believe in him, you would all be dead right now. I guarantee you that."

He returned the shove, and it was strong enough to send Sam stumbling back, face to the ground. When he regained his footing and looked up again, Castiel was gone.

**

You don't trust him.

the voice in his head didn't make him jump this time. For better or for worse, Sam was getting used to the fact that Lucifer could communicate with him like this, and quite possibly read his thoughts, too. All he could do was reply. "I don't trust what he's doing to Dean," he muttered as he lay down in the back seat of the car and pulled a blanket over his body. It was usually Dean's province, while Sam took a sleeping bag by the side of the road, but Sam had a feeling Dean wouldn't be in his own makeshift bed tonight.

He's more powerful than even he knows. And I worry that you're going to see the effects of that power filter down into your brother.

"Who's more powerful? Castiel?" A half-smile lit Sam's face. "You sound almost scared of him."

I wouldn't call it scared. I'm simply aware of how dangerous he is. I don't want you to lose your brother, Sam. Unlike the other side, which is only interested in putting me down, whether or not you're in the line of fire.

Of all the things Lucifer did, Sam hated it most when he made sense. "Do me a favor," he snapped. "Just lay off the your-side's-better talk for one night, would you?"

Whatever you say.

"Good." He turned over and drew the blanket over his head. "Oh, and for the record, I'm not buying it. Any of it. I haven't forgotten what you are."

Fine, fine. Just think about one thing. Have I been wrong so far?

**

Morning. The day was beautiful. Folks were out and about, patching up shattered car windows and folding up their tents for another day of driving. Dean was perched on the fence, wolfing down a sandwich. Sam approached him, squinting from the rays of the sun. "So. You think you can kill the devil with that?"

"Oh, hey, Sammy. Did you see that chick from Las Vegas? Guess what she does when she's not staking vamps. I got a private show." He whistled.

Sam leaned on the fence next to him. "Seriously, Dean. Do you think that thing you pulled last night is powerful enough to destroy Lucifer?"

Dean glanced at his palm. "I don't know. Maybe, I guess."

"Look, Dean."  Sam tilted his head to look up at his brother, sitting a head taller than him on the tall wooden slats of the fence. "I'm worried about you. I know you say I should just trust you, but..." He sighed. "All this new power. And the deceit. I just wonder if you know what path you're taking."

Dean grinned. "Sure I do. South on the interstate as far as Kansas City, then--"

"I'm serious."

Dean swallowed and rocked forward a little. "I know you are. But I really need you to trust me on this, Sam."

"I want to. I do. It's just that-- well, look at it this way. When you first met Castiel, you didn't trust him as far as you could throw him. What happened that he's suddenly your best friend?"

"Huh?" Dean looked truly bewildered. He wiped his hands on his jeans and jumped down. "He's been helping us-- both of us-- for weeks now. What are you talking about?"

Anger twitched Sam's eyebrow. "I'm talking about you and Cas. Something weird's going on between you two, and it makes me nervous."

Dean opened his mouth to respond, then thought better of it and frowned hard. "Wait," he said finally, carefully. "Are we talking Ocean's Eleven weird or are we talking Brokeback Mountain weird? Because I think you've got the wrong idea here."

"Have I?" A full-on frown darkened Sam's face. "Because you know what I think? I think he has a crush on you."

This made Dean sputter. "What!?"

"In some weird, twisted angel way. I think he thinks you're the answer to everything, and he keeps telling you that, and now you're buying into his hype. Not only that, you're letting everyone believe it. Think about it, Dean. Did it ever occur to you that he's just plain wrong about some of this? That he doesn't know what he's doing any more than we do?"

"He knows. Sam, listen to me..."

"You know what? I don't want to." Sam turned and paced away a few steps. "I think it's time I went to find my own answers instead of just believing whatever you say, Dean. That's not my style."

"Sammy, wait."

But Sam was stalking away, and even with his back turned it was obvious that he would hear no more. With a sigh, Dean turned back and landed a sharp kick on the fence. It gave a satisfying creak.

"Do you think he'll tell?"

Castiel's voice was uncomfortably close to his ear. Dean jumped. "What the hell, man?" In response, Castiel stood back but was silent.

It took Dean a moment to reorient himself. "I don't know," he said. "I don't think so. Cas, what in the hell did I do last night? I just lifted my hand--" He repeated the motion. "--and bam."

"It was a function of these people's belief in you," Castiel replied. "They wanted you to exhibit power, so you did."

"I'm still having trouble with this whole concept of believing actually changing what happens."

"That's the way it used to be in ancient times," Castiel said, a touch wistfully. "Moses lifted his rod, and an entire nation believed he could part the sea with it, so he did. But the world has become so full of skeptics, and so enamored with science and proof, that mass belief has become ineffective as a weapon."

"I guess when you realize the world's ending, you start needing something to believe in," Dean muttered.

A nod. "The pump was primed. Only a catalyst was needed." 

Dean looked across the camp. Sam had disappeared from sight, and he saw only a mass of cars and trucks, folks milling about, trash littering the land around them where it hadn't already been torn up by demonic attacks. It was a mess, and it reminded Dean of nothing so much as a parking lot after a really good concert. The only thing missing was blaring stereo music and the occasional drunken shout. That, and the sense that anyone was having fun.

He turned back to look at Cas. He looked the same as usual -- short, earnest, sharp-jawed and with his gaze singularly fixed on Dean. Those eyes never seemed to waver, and for the first time in a long time, that made Dean a little uncomfortable. He chewed on his lip a moment. "Hey, Cas, can I ask you something weird?"

A frown crossed Castiel's face. "Sure," he said.

"Sam said... he said you and I were acting weird." An embarrassed pause, then he forced it out. "He said he thought you had a crush on me or something."

Castiel's head tilted. "He thinks I am in love with you?"

Dean forced out a laugh. "Pretty crazy, huh?"

"I'm not sure," said Castiel thoughtfully.

Dean blinked. It took him a minute to force his jaw into motion. "What do you mean you're not sure?"

"I have trouble telling the difference between 'love' and what is called 'being in love.' Love is universal. God is love. But being in love is a phrase I have only heard among humans."

"So you think you feel one but not the other?"

Castiel frowned. "I would think that would be obvious."

"No. No, not obvious." Dean gave another nervous laugh. "Not even close to obvious. Look, Cas, you're a nice, erm, angel and all, but--"

"I did not realize this would upset you," Castiel said. "I apologize."

His voice didn't betray it, but Dean thought he saw a wince flicker through Castiel's features. "No, don't be sorry," he said. "It's, uh, sweet. That you care about me. I mean, I care about you, too. You're a friend."

And Castiel smiled. Just slightly, just enough. "That makes me glad to hear," he said.

The look on his face overwhelmed Dean, and completely without thinking, he stepped forward. His heart dully thudding, he found Castiel's hand and gave it a brief squeeze. They stared at each other.

"Um... Dean?"

Their heads turned in unison. One of the young hunters, a ruddy fellow with a scar across his tanned shoulders, was standing there. Behind him trailed about a half-dozen others.

Castiel glanced meaningfully at Dean, who nodded and slid his hands into his jeans pockets, rocking back on his heels. "What can I do for you, my friend?" he said with a wide smile.

The  man was obviously nervous. "Well, um. Bobby said from now on we should check with you if we're ready to go, and we're ready to go."

Dean frowned. "Wait, Bobby said what?"

"He said that while he's off on reconnaissance, we should take our direction from you."

"Recon-- what?" His heart suddenly sinking, Dean pushed past the man. Others were starting to speak up now, questions thrown at him like darts, but Dean couldn't hear them. He raced across the camp toward the cluster of cars and trucks, shouting Bobby's name. He already sort of knew what he was going to find, but it didn't make it any easier when he came to the end of the campsite, out of breath, and still couldn't find Bobby's truck.

It was gone. And there was no sign of Sam anywhere.

to be continued
 
 
The Soul is:: okayokay
 
 
 
i dream of colors that have never been seenetoile444 on December 23rd, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
DEan!!!! You are letting the power game go to your head just like Sam did!!!!! Careful boy! I see Sam and Bobby are up to something now and Dean and Cas are so close to kissing (I hope) !!!!!

I really like the idea that belief empowers (literally).

Great stuff!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
SO interesting! I thought everyone who read this would be all on Dean's side. I am really gratified to know I'm keeping the characterization solid enough that people are starting to interpret it differently!!

Thank you so much!
rockstarpeach: Boyfriend Deanrockstarpeach on December 23rd, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Noooo!!!!!!!!

Oh Bobby! Oh Sam!!!

I do understand why they don't exactly trust Dean, but I'm kind of more sympathetic toward Dean here. Then again, I'm not sure exactly what he's doing to get his powers, so it might turn out to be bad, but...

*sigh*

I just want them all to be a big happy family :)

Oh, and Cas not knowing if he loves Dean or if he's in love with Dean? Adorable!!

This fic is so great!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so so much! I am really intrigued with people sort of thinking both of them have something going on. I was really afraid I'd make it too much on one side or the other... thank you, boys & bobby, for being awesome :loves:

thank you for reading!
laurapetri: dean/castiellaurapetri on December 23rd, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)

can;t wait to read more
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
Eee! Thank you so much! And every time I see that icon I want to die of cute, seriously. :)
laurapetrilaurapetri on December 24th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
AWW thanks
Shiro01shiro01 on December 23rd, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
I don't think Dean's letting the power necessarily get to his head. I think there's something else at work here. Bobby has known Dean for decades - he knows everything about him (his low self-esteem, his martyr issues, etc.). How is it that he's so bitter so suddenly? Is there another force at work? Is someone manipulating Bobby, like Lucifer is manipulating Sam? It just seems a bit off.
Tiptoe39: mysterioustiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
Oh, ho, so you think something more might be at play? Well... you may be right... *mysterious* Thank you so much for reading!
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on December 23rd, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
Damn! Bobby and Sam have turned into such haters. Okay, so maybe he should have told them what he was doing but it's not the same with Ruby and Sam's demon blood drinking. They should know Dean better than that but war brings out the worst in people I guess.

I like the idea of belief becoming power. That's so cool!

And I love that bonding moment between Dean & Cas. These two are just so close to each other. It's so sweet!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
And here's someone else on Team Dean. So interesting that people are choosing different sides on this. I look forward to seeing how you all react to some of what's coming up... *evil muahaha*

Thank you so much as always! :-)
karaqkaraq on December 23rd, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
Wellll, I am a Dean-girl and as I see it, none of the three hunters; Dean, Bobby or Sam have ever used the "believe it it, for it to happen" and now that Dean is changing it's like the others cannot comprehend what or who Dean is anymore.
I do think it is kinda unlike Bobby to get up and leave Dean, though - I don't think neither him nor Sam realizes how much Dean needs them (and Cas)

ooooh, love the scenes between Dean and Castiel - and Castiel being kinda dark towards Sam. Nice! ^^

~KaraQ

ps. Merry Christmas.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, I had fun writing the Castiel/Sam scene, since Cas is getting so vulnerable in this I wanted to make sure he was still a badass.

I would not underestimate any of our heroes at this point. They're all sneaky motherfuckers :D

Happy merries and merry happies to you, too and thanks for reading!
latvela: cas & dean 416latvela on December 23rd, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
Oh, so that's how Dean did it...Cas' lessons! And combined with belief as a power in its own right -- awesome, such an intriguing idea! I love how you tied that in with the olden days.

I really love Cas' frankness about loving Dean. And Dean taking Cas' hand...it's adorable ♥

And I'm worried about Sam. That Lucifer is a sneaky bugger. This is getting really good...and twisty!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 23rd, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
Don't underestimate Sam.... but don't underestimate Lucifer, either :D

Thanks so much for reading and I'm so glad you are enjoying it!
1deanlover11deanlover1 on December 24th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
SAM AND BOBBY! gah! why are they being so idiotic? Dean is just doing whats right! hes not doing anything wrong! and they are being jelous brats! gah! i hope they come to thier senses soon :( poor Deans gunna get put through a ringer! it makes me want to cry! is there somesort of spell on the two? seriously this just doesnt seem like them (well sam kinda but bobby?) i hope this will all end up happy becasue it looks like a dark road for poor dean :(
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 24th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Awwwww. Don't be too hard on poor Sam and Bobby. They might just have something up their sleeve. ;-D
yours truly: spn: brosonebrightmoment on December 24th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
oh this is all soooo fascinating.

lucifer being able to talk to sam so easily, dean maybe letting this 'power of belief' go to his head.

I especially like the discord you've created between sam and dean. after everything they've been through in canon, this feels so much more realistic- that they could so easily be unsure of each other like this. sad but true.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 25th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think that they balance on a fine, fine line between trust and distrust, and it keeps tearing them apart then pulling them back together again. The functionality of their relationship I think is way overrated :3