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08 August 2011 @ 02:18 pm
[fanfic] Tale as Old as Time (Fourteen Kisses - Kisses 6-10) (Castiel/Gabriel, PG-13)  
Title: Tale as Old as Time (Fourteen Kisses), Part 2 of 3 (6-10)
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: PG-13 for some sexual innuendo
Pairing: Gabriel/Castiel
Words: About 13,000
Summary: With his new divine power, Castiel brings back Gabriel and gets more than he bargained for.



vi. One song, only for you (needy)

Castiel withdraws after that, keeping to himself in the little house and not speaking. Gabriel catches him looking out the window and counting leaves, or air molecules, or cataloguing shades of green. Little things, to keep his mind occupied, to keep the yawn and roar of millions of souls from overtaking him and dragging him into turbulent darkness.

He's started to be aware of how they tug on his insides, Gabriel figures. The feel of souls powering you is different from the weightless electricity of grace; it's something borrowed, or stolen, not God-given, and that selfish act, or harvesting a soul for energy, is a corrupting force in itself. Gabriel has done it before. Balthazar was not the first angel to traffic in souls, nor the most skilled.

And Castiel had to have known the risk, going in. He had to have thought it was worth it. Dean could make a deal and go to hell; Sam could throw himself into the cage; but Castiel could not sacrifice his life to save the world. The only thing he could sacrifice was his integrity, and he did it without hesitation. In a way, It was a bold move. Gabriel appreciated the chutzpah, if not the outcome.

He’s getting lonely, though, and the house is too quiet. So after a few days he decides it’s long past time that Castiel break his self-imposed vow of silence. Besides, he has a fair maiden to find one of these days, and you can’t speed-date in a monastery, not even with eHarmony.

“Cas," he says, rapping sharply on the door, and then “Casti-el."

He swings open the door when there’s no answer and faces an empty room.

“Well, crap."

* *

Meanwhile, Castiel is looking over the edge of a cliff in Greece. Beside him, a young maiden looks up at him with demure eyes. He turns to her, closes his eyes, and disappears before their lips can meet.

In an African jungle, an intense biologist with ebony skin laughs at his intensity and calls him a Bengal tiger. She strips naked before him in the firelight. Castiel turns away.

In a teahouse in Japan, he watches a master of the leaves tell his fortune. She knows a lot about fortune and destiny and the impermanence of all things earthly. Castiel leaves with the taste of tea, not her, on his lips.

He returns to the small house with resolve clenched into his fists.

* *

"Well, where the heck have you been?" are Gabriel's first words when he strides through the door.

Castiel crosses the room and grabs him by the shoulders.

His mouth comes down on Gabriel's like a vise, crushing and gripping tight. Gabriel gasps, air sucking between their mouths, and falters, pushing back into him, hands fisting into the back of his coat. Castiel is relentless, keeping their mouths locked without respite, his hands traveling up Gabriel's neck to his face and pulling tight fingers against his cheeks.

When he breaks apart it's with a growl, and he immediately lifts a finger to Gabriel's lips.

"I don't want a human," he says. "I don't want a maiden. You're who I want, Gabriel. You and no one else. You're the only one."

Gabriel falters a moment. "What?" he says, and then shakes his head, "No, never mind, I heard you the first time. You've gone mad, Castiel. Bonkers, barking. You've mixed your beans up. Hello? Which one of us has been fighting for the future of the human race? OK, granted, I've been dead, but you get the picture. You love them, you’ve always been the Little freaking Mermaid. You want to go live where the people are. If you wanna fall in love with a prince instead of a princess that's fine, but it's always been them."

"You're wrong." Castiel's voice is even, and he's smiling in that mildly creepy self-confident way of his that makes Gabriel's skin do the creepy-crawlies. "I believe in humans. But I could only ever love an equal. Or my better." His smile softens. "Someone from whom I could learn to be a better person."

Gabriel doesn't know what to say for a moment. He hangs back, running his fingers nervously over the back of his other hand, regarding Castiel. Eyes fixed on him like he's a shadow that might flicker out of sight with the slightest change in the light. "I swear, every time I think I know you," he says, his voice muted, almost awed. He gives a low whistle. “Me, huh? Me. No pressure or anything."

“Gabriel," Castiel says. “Why can’t you accept this?"

“Oh, I don’t know, because it’s ridiculous? Because I’m not worth your time? Lest you forget, Castiel, I’m a runaway. A coward. How I could teach you anything about something I don’t even know..."

He’s flattened against Castiel’s body, head bobbing forward automatically to his shoulder as he’s folded into an embrace. “You can," Castiel murmurs into his ear. “You have. Feel this, brother. Doesn’t it feel right?"

Gabriel can hear his pulse pounding through the tender sheet of his skin.

“I … uh…" he starts, and then gives up. The embrace is too warm. He leans into it, hungry for warmth all of a sudden, wrapping his arms around Castiel’s waist and shoulders, burying his face in Castiel’s neck. It’s been too long. He’s missed this, the embrace of a brother. Not just a brother. Castiel. The little angel that could.

“Bond with me," Castiel whispers. “Be mine, Gabriel. And I will be yours."

“I want to—" the words are out of Gabriel’s mouth before he can think about it. “But Castiel, the souls—"

Castiel’s jaw set against Gabriel’s cheek. “What of them?" he asks.

“You’ve got to lose them," Gabriel says. “You’ve got to come back down and be the angel you’re supposed to be. You don’t do that, I’m not giving you anything." He pushes away. “I’ve loved gods before, and they’re too much for me to handle, bro. Maybe I just want to wear the pants in a relationship, but I’m not bonding with you while you’re still Nuclear Ted."

Castiel lowers his eyes. “I can’t."

“Then you’re out of luck, my friend." Gabriel crosses his arms and watches Castiel reproachfully. “Don’t think about touching me again until you’re ready to purge."

It ends the conversation pretty damn definitively. Castiel sighs and turns away.

So much for ending his isolation. Gabriel feels more alone than he did before Castiel returned. Swearing in an ancient language, he goes to scrub the kitchen. If he can’t be happy, the microscopic spores trying to form mildew on his counters are going to be miserable.

vii. Shut your eyes and trust in me (filthy)

It’s not exactly where Castiel expected to be when he returned to the house. He came so flaming with passion, so absolutely enamored of Gabriel and sure that he’d found his answer in his brother’s touch. And instead of sparking into a grand conflagration, the sparks had died, sputtering, and Castiel was left choking on ash.

So here he is, alone but for the millions of souls churning within him, a mountain full of magma but without a vent for the heat roiling his gut. Not true, he can hear Gabriel saying in his mind’s eye. You can let them go. You can be you again.

But Castiel likes who he is. He likes what he can see like this, what he can do. Why would he give that up?

He considers fashioning a double, a minds-eye mirror of Gabriel to feed him candy and be all he wants, but that’s not what he wanted from Gabriel to begin with. He wants to be challenged, and anything he creates will never challenge him. He’s too smart a god to give birth to anything that might oust him the way he ousted his own father from the throne.

No, a clone in vessel or spirit will not suffice. It’s the real Gabriel he yearns for, the real Gabriel whose visage he misses in each moment of solitude. And he knows the feelings are returned. They can’t not be. He’s read it in every kiss so far, even the ones Gabriel gave him reluctantly. The need was there, raw and undisguised. And Castiel needs to taste it again.

He returns to Gabriel with a counterproposal. “Perhaps this is all backward," he says. “Maybe I cannot give up the souls until I fall in love. I could love you, Gabriel, but not without knowing you. Be with me first, trust me, teach me why I should step down from my throne."

Gabriel just mutters, “Speaking of thrones, I’d better go clean the bathroom," and leaves the room without looking at him.

He tries to tempt Gabriel. He begins to eat sweets, sits shirtless on the front lawn surrounded by candy wrappers, looking straight into the sun in a way no human can. His eyes are pale blue, filled with light, pupils tiny as he soaks in the rays. He can feel Gabriel looking. But Gabriel does not touch, does not even approach. Just looks and longs.

And so Castiel is left where he was in the beginning. Powerful, alone, and unsatisfied. No, he’s worse than he was. Before, he did not know what he was being denied.

“I could rewire your mind," he says once, out of nowhere. “I could make you dumb, obedient. Yourself, but unable to comprehend the lesson you’re trying to teach me. I suspect it would feel pleasantly like being intoxicated."

“You could do that," Gabriel agrees, going back to his game of solitaire (which involves the cards occasionally coming to life and performing obscene acts on the foundation piles), and not offering another opinion about it.

He doesn’t need to offer more. Castiel knows it is an empty threat. He knows he could never neuter Gabriel’s sense of defiance, any more than he could create a clone for Castiel’s selfish indulgences. It would not be the real thing. And Castiel’s craving is for reality.

He closes his eyes and prays for an answer, but there’s no one left to pray to.

It’s late on a summer night when Castiel returns to Gabriel with another proposition. “Suppose I put them away for a time," he says.

“I’m sorry? Your dishes? Please do, you leave them all over the house."

“The souls," Castiel ays. “Suppose I lay them aside temporarily. Then, if you can make me see your side of things, perhaps I will never pick them up again.

“And what are you going to do with fifteen million monster souls?" There’s excitement in Gabriel’s face that he’s trying hard not to betray. “You can’t exactly just shove them in the trunk of a car.

“I can disperse them," Castiel says. “Release their power into the cosmos. Over millions of light years, they won’t be nearly as powerful as they were on earth or in heaven."

“Will that work?" A tremble in Gabriel’s voice.

Castiel finds he is smiling. “There’s one way to find out."

They travel out onto the lawn, in the small clearing they’ve carved out of this forest. Castiel reaches inside himself and draws out a single, brilliant, shimmering soul. It lights up the whole clearing with white, but burns red with sin around the edges.

He tosses it into the atmosphere.

Up, up it travels, like a firework, and explodes out into the night sky, a million trails of vapor spangling as they disperse, each following its own trajectory into the universe. It’s spectacular, and Gabriel lets out a sharp laugh, clapping his hands with uncontrollable glee at the sight.

“God, it must be a party in there," he says, nodding at Castiel’s stomach. Castiel raises an eyebrow but says nothing.

He lets another soul fly, this one blue with heartless malice, and it, too, bursts in midair before diffusing out in all directions. It’s a hell of a show, and before long Gabriel is clapping enthusiastically, whistling and shouting as rocket after rocket goes off in the dark of the night. Castiel watches him, stunned at the simple pleasure in just experiencing his joy, being witness to it, knowing that with each soul that flies up and dissipates into the universe, Gabriel can trust him a little more. He craves that trust more, perhaps, than he ever craved the power.

A trio of souls spark in the night sky like Orion’s belt, fizzling out to Jupiter and Neptune and far, far beyond. Gabriel grabs Castiel by the back of the neck and pulls him down.

There’s nothing tentative, or scared, or even innocent about the kiss he lays on Castiel then. He sucks on Castiel’s upper lip, draws a whimper from him, then licks at the seam of his mouth and down beneath the ridge of his lower teeth. Castiel wraps him up in eager arms, and they sink, together, to their knees in the dark, dewy grass. The whole world is bright with souls and dark with space, and Castiel and Gabriel are in the middle of it, melding, finally together.

Deep in the grass, Castiel can’t see the details of Gabriel’s face, just the line of his profile, lit up with the fading illumination of souls radiating out around them. It’s a noble profile, one befitting an archangel, and Castiel can feel the old reverence returning, the old sense of knowing that there are things in the world more powerful and more mysterious than he. It’s a feeling he never thought he’d have again, and he’s surprised at just how relieved he is to feel it.

A sense of mystery. Of the unknown. It’s thrilling.

Gabriel bears down on him, touches him in a thousand places, and layers kisses as filthy as sin all over his body. Castiel is brought down, crying out in incoherent need, happy to be on earth and to be earthy for the first time. If his choice is between the celestial, the pure and clean, and this delicious, decadent fall from grace, he thinks he’d rather be here.

He’s still not convinced he has to choose one or the other. But he’s willing to try.

viii. Once we watched a lazy world go by (butterfly)

He awakens with a chill. The night has painted dewdrops on his body, and the sun is just starting to burn them off. He has slept, he has shut his eyes and allowed the world to continue turning without him. For a moment he’s panicked. He must rise back to power, to take control, be sure the destiny of the universe has not shifted in the direction of chaos while he has slumbered. But the power isn’t immediately there for him to call to, and he realizes with a start that he has sent the souls flying, put them in an orbit around the edge of the galaxy so he can practice being the thing that Gabriel wants him to be.

Gabriel.

He looks down. The archangel is nestled in his arms, head turned up and into his collarbone, face pressed there as he slumbers. Castiel cinches his arms that much tighter around him. He’s flooded with memories, the feel of Gabriel’s hands as they clutched his, the weight of his mouth and the rhythm of their bodies as they’d melded, mated. It had been so carnal and so human that Castiel’s old, staid angel self is trying to feel shame.

He can’t. Nor does he want to. Gabriel’s humanness, his solidness, right here in Castiel’s arms, feels too good to ever regret.

Lips move, and a flutter sends a chill through Castiel’s body. It takes him a moment to locate the source of the flutter — Gabriel’s eyelashes, as he wakens, A puff of breath follows their touch, cool against Castiel’s chest, and he shifts, pulling Gabriel with him, to lie on his back and look up at the treetops and the morning sky.

Another flutter. Every time Gabriel stirs, the motion of his eyes sends a thrill. Such soft lashes, so small, and yet Castiel is drawn to their movements more than he is the sweaty, clasp of their stomachs or legs together. It doesn’t make sense. In life, the larger should be the more powerful. Something as small as eyelashes should not be enough to negate the oppressive warmth of a body in his arms.

But there Gabriel goes again. And again, he shivers.

There is a lesson there, Castiel suspects. But by then Gabriel has opened his eyes and pressed a kiss to his nipple, murmuring “Good morning," and Castiel’s attention focuses elsewhere.

ix. Freewheeling through an endless diamond sky (sneaky)

It’s a nice way to spend a morning, curled up with another body, warm, solid, looking up at those familiar, tesseract patterns of leaves in sunlight. He can still see the infinite variation in color and shape, just a little less distinctly. Or maybe he isn’t trying quite as hard. But they’re still beautiful for knowing all that detail is there. He’s content at this resolution for now.

They barely speak. They don’t need to; there’s an understanding now that doesn’t require words of confirmation. Castiel has let Gabriel into his mind, not a lot, just enough. They speak in movements of light and image and energy much more basic than words, riding the crests of contentment and joy in unison. It’s similar to the intimacy of body language, but it doesn’t require movement. They kiss over and over again in their minds, without their lips ever touching.

Gabriel searches his mind for the souls; there are just enough of them now that Castiel has the power to call the rest back from the stratosphere if need be. Gabriel’s intention to get him to rid himself of those final few comes through; Castiel’s obstinate refusal to consider it answers.

That’s when Gabriel breaks into words, sitting up. “Why do you need them? C’mon, look how damn happy you are right here."

“So you’re telling me that you’re all I need."

“I’m telling you that you were all right as you were. Better. I appreciate the tricked-out ride, but it’s gonna break you in the end."

“I’m not following your metaphor," Castiel says, humorlessly, and Gabriel snorts hard. “How do you plan on convincing me, Gabriel?"

“I’m thinking we can take a trip down memory lane," Gabriel says. He rises to his feet. A blink and he’s dressed again, holding out his hands to Castiel. “Wanna come on a magical mystery tour?"

Castiel gets up. “Is that another reference?" He doesn’t even have to blink to summon his usual clothing. It’s uncomfortable and chafing next to the seamless ease that was Gabriel’s body. “I don’t get it."

“A magic carpet ride, then. Tell me you at least remember that little misadventure."

At the memory, Castiel’s mouth tweaks upward. “Back when djinns were much more common, yes. As I recall, we smote a number of them just for being in our way."

“They were blocking progress!" Gabriel shrugs. “How are you gonna develop the Arabic number system if your idea of luxury is hooking yourself up to an infernal IV and pretending you’re alive? Anyway, long story, long ago, never mind. Now, do we need an actual magic carpet, or can you just follow me?"

Castiel opens his palms. “Lead the way."

He’s blizzarded with the bright curl of wings. In less than a second Gabriel’s high above the trees. Castiel zooms upward to follow him.

They soar hand in hand, their wings trailing behind them in overlapping spans of light. Gold and charcoal gray, streaking through the sky in unseen splendor. “Where shall we go first?" Gabriel wonders aloud. “I have a little villa in the Mediterranean, or we could go get debauched in the West End."

“I thought this was about revisiting history."

“Hey, my history is all over the freaking place," Gabriel says with a huge grin. “But you’re right, let’s pop back to where it all began. Garden of Eden, cradle of civilization, all that good stuff. No stepping on any fish."

The words fall like a weight, and Castiel dips in midair. He fights his way back up, boggling at him. “Was that—"

Gabriel winks. “I was the Messenger, remember? I did a lot of watching you kids. You weren’t the only one interested in squishing the wildlife, you know. If I had a nickel for every species I had to protect from pre-emptive extinction…"

Castiel cuts him off with a kiss.

Mouth to mouth, wingtips touching, they float somewhere over the Euphrates, too high up to be anything but a speck in the sky. Castiel’s blindsided Gabriel, whose eyes and mouth both fall open. His wings flutter desperately to stay aloft.

Castiel kisses him thoroughly, then pulls back, looking rather pleased with himself.

“You’re getting sneaky," Gabriel says. His voice is breathy with undisguised want.

“Come, brother," Castiel says. His face is serene. “Show me where life began." He takes his brother’s hands and they descend.

x. Beneath the shelter of the trees only love can enter (lazy)

Gabriel presses him down into the mud of the banks of human existence, where the first baby cried above water, and the first straw hut was built and then washed away by a flood after a rainstorm. He kisses Castiel until he can hardly be kissed anymore, and their bodies sink into the muck, behind a sheaf of reeds, where nobody can see. Castiel’s arms and legs are smeared with the brown muck, and he’s beautiful, a painted wildman, battle colors drawn along the line of his shoulder, sunlight filtering through the reeds onto his face. Gabriel looks down at him and sees a history close up that he was only able to watch from a distance, protect. He tangles his fingers with Castiel’s, the mud smearing between their palms and knuckles, caking them together.

Castiel’s chin tilts upward, his neck and cheeks pristine, even as his legs spread, bare toes pushing into the banks of the river. His knees bend, and Gabriel settles between them, uttering angelic blasphemies. His eyes roll back in his head. “Mother of heaven, Castiel, you take my breath away."

Castiel moans and stretches out the tendrils of his power, pulling Gabriel down for more.

When they join, Castiel opening himself to Gabriel with a wanton slide of hips against hips, it’s like being swallowed, like going back to the beginning and being formed all over again. Gabriel’s watching their human bodies fashioned from clay, Castiel is allowing himself to be changed. Gabriel breathes into his mouth, and Castiel swallows the air in greedy gulps, as though he could breathe it in and re-ignite the flame of his life in Gabriel’s image. Instead, he coughs, seizing up with the tightness in his belly, and grabs Gabriel’s hips to shove him forward.

“Gabriel," he whispers. “Brother. Give me. I need more."

“You want more," Gabriel corrects. His brow is furrowed.

“No. I need—"

But Gabriel stops moving, his hips painfully still, his body poised and pointed like a wolf on the hunt, and he pins Castiel with a stare. “Know the difference, Castiel," he says, and his voice is so cold it doesn’t sound like him.

Castiel’s eyes squeeze shut. “I want," he whispers, and the words almost don’t make it out.

“So do I," Gabriel says, and starts anew.

In the end, they lie dirty, debauched and blissful in the muck of the delta, watching the water flow by. “It hasn’t changed," Castiel muses. “Not one bit. Though everything around it has."

“It’s the core of all life," Gabriel says. “How much has the core of any of us changed? I mean, look at us. I’m still a big softie inside, and you’re still desperately trying to do the right thing."

He rolls over and presses a soft kiss to Castiel’s lips, a kiss that lingers, drifts lazily across his mouth, dipping like a cloud and then lifting again. “I gotta believe in that. Don’t you?"

Castiel thinks he feels the fringe of an ulterior motive in that question. But the kiss has clouded his own eyes, and now they’re drooping into lazy stillness. “Perhaps," he breathes, his hands relaxing over Gabriel’s, and focuses on ignoring the nagging sensation that he is happier here in the dirt, soiled and vulnerable, than he was at the height of divine power. It’s not relevant. It can’t be trusted.



Part Three
 
 
 
Captain Nommers of the Tastypants Brigade: burn (fallen angel)secondplatypus on August 8th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
This was overwhelming.
I know I throw a lot of compliments your way about your writing. They're all deserved, because I genuinely think you're just that incredible, but it leaves me at a loss at times like these, when the normal spectrum of compliments just won't do and I'm left grasping at language in a futile effort to try to find a way to tell you, really tell you, how much I love this.

I'm going to read it over and over again.
There's so much to point out, so much to appreciate, from the delightful symmetry of language in your love-scene sentences to the references to Gabriel's past and the history of the world (oh, djinns and the Garden of Eden) to that unbelievable scene where Castiel lets the souls go (those descriptions, oh, those descriptions) and all the gorgeous, glorious filth that follows.
to the fact that you used the word "tesseract" while a not-quite-God lay in the morning dew with an archangel in his arms.
to that dark little reminder - “Perhaps," he breathes, his hands relaxing over Gabriel’s, and focuses on ignoring the nagging sensation that he is happier here in the dirt, soiled and vulnerable, than he was at the height of divine power. It’s not relevant. It can’t be trusted. - at the end, of exactly who and what we're dealing with here.

Your writing touches on so many of the things that draw me to language and storytelling. Through your eyes and your mind, I'm falling in love with these characters all over again, as well as the world we live in.
As long as you're writing, I'll keep reading.

I'm so happy I won the bidding-war over this charity offering, you have no idea.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on August 8th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh. *squishes you* You are so effusive and the things you say tickle me so much. But I just... I just want you to know how much it means to me. *loves all over you* You're bringing me to tears here, I'm so glad that I could make something that you would love, and quite frankly, I can't think of a person I'd rather write for. You're such a lovely human being and you give so much back, and you don't have to, and I just... oh I just squish you forever.

Thank you darling. *hugshugshugshugshugs*
Lady Eternal: Gabriel will never let Sam fallladyeternal on August 8th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
I love this. Just this whole thing. My words are failing me which is making me crazy because there's so much...

This:

“Know the difference, Castiel," he says, and his voice is so cold it doesn’t sound like him.

JFCOAPS woman, you sent shivers down my spine with that line. A moment when it forces the reader to remember that Gabriel, like Dean, puts on a clownish exterior. That the creature underneath is neither tame nor easily overtaken should he choose to put up a fight.

Gabriel’s humanness, his solidness, right here in Castiel’s arms, feels too good to ever regret.

I just adore this image, the culmination of a description that just makes me wibble with its sweetness.

And using tesseract? Seriously? You're a goddess.

Need Part 3 NAO! ::scampers::
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on August 8th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Honestly I think I stole tesseract from somewhere, because it just appeared in my document and I was all "whoa, I'd better look that up to make sure it means what I think it means b/c I have noooo idea where it popped up from "XDDDD

Thank you so so so so much, love. You have no idea what your words mean to me. <3
333 - Halfway to Hell: Richard-Mishascyllaya on August 8th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
Amazing is what I can tell. Love every paragraph... when Cas let go of so many souls and Gabriel's joy to that. That warmed my heart so deeply.

Amazing story *rushes to next part*
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on August 8th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you're liking it! And AWWW your icon is perfect! :DDDD
The Ramblings of a Dreamer: <3 Canonstarrfire on August 10th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
God, this just keeps getting better. The sweetness of the whole butterfly kisses being more profound and meaningful and moving than the biggest thing in the world. Guh...that simplicity... the languid flow of this story...the growing intimacy between Gabe and Cas... Such utter perfection, I have no words to describe it. I can't find the words to compliment you enough, this is brilliant, and by far one of my favorite stories by you!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on August 10th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
<333 thank you so much doll!
The Ramblings of a Dreamerstarrfire on August 10th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
<333 any time bb! *hug*