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13 February 2010 @ 06:53 am
[fanfic] A Reason to Go On (PG)  
Title: A Reason to Go On
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: PG
Summary: 5x14 coda fic. Castiel hears Dean's plea for help.
Author's note: Beta'd by the fantastic zoeycleybourne. My first experience writing second-person.

He is calling for help.

He's calling for help and you've never heard him call before. It makes your stomach turn and your whole body shiver.

You came into his life not because he called for you but because you were following orders. Orders from superiors you no longer trust. How odd, that if you'd been the type he wanted you to be then, that you wouldn't have even met him.

He's changed you so much. Now it's become obvious that he's changed too. When did that begin? It wasn't that way before. When you first raised him. He was hurting and he had spent far too long in a horrible place, more than humans with their limited lifespans can take, but he wasn't like this. He wasn't empty. He wasn't aching. He wasn't desperate enough to call for help. Something's changed. You follow him outside and try to discern what it is, but with all your skills and all the powers at your disposal you can't bring yourself to cross the line into reading his mind, seeing his thoughts. It's one place you can't go.

He looks to the sky, and he asks for help. And you wish you were up there so you could descend to him. But you're already here and on his level, so why would he look to you? You're no longer anything special. You're just you. You're just a friend.

And yesterday you thought being a friend was such an extraordinary thing.

He knows you're there. He sighs but doesn't turn back to face you. "It's not fair," he says. Just loud enough so you can hear. He's acknowledging your presence without wanting to face you. That's all right. You can give him that space.

"I mean, I know things aren't fair, life isn't fair, but this really isn't fair," he says. "This is so far past unfair." He's silent. You can feel the tears brimming in your own eyes. It hurts to feel his presence this saturated with sadness. You think you're drowning.

"I shouldn't have to deal with this," he says. "I shouldn't have to keep seeing Sam like this. He was better, he was over it, I had started to believe that again. I thought-- I thought for a little while there that we actually had a chance of winning this thing, and now I don't know anymore."

You're so tempted to talk. To tell him there is a chance, that he can't stop believing, that you gave all of yourself believing in him. But this is his hour of need, not yours.

"I mean, if Sam can still feel it, that hunger, and if I have to keep being the one to lock him up and torture him because it's the right thing to do. If he gives in and if I have to be cruel, then what does it matter if we're Dean and Sam or if we're Michael and Lucifer? Everything they say, it's right. We're just doing what we were meant to do. Free will is an illusion."

He laughs and your fists ache for some reason you don't understand. "Sam's weak. I'm weak. No wonder they all think we're going to end up saying yes. They don't break down, Cas. They don't give in. We do. That's what we are, we're humans and we break. Why are we even fighting anymore?"

He's acknowledged your presence explicitly now, said your name, and it gives you some strength. You move closer, and you can feel his heat when you get this close, feel the humanity and the mortality of him. It makes your blood course through your body. Such a precious, ephemeral thing a human is. Such a proud, fragile, mortal thing.

"You're supposed to be stronger than us," Dean says. "And you weren't. You were munching on your hamburgers and you were happy as a clam with that, and you couldn't even get close to him. You were just as weak as we were. How am I supposed to believe in you? How am I supposed to think we've got a chance?"

"Have faith," you say. You know the words are empty the minute you say them, and you feel the sting of his gaze before he wheels to face you. You flinch, like he's going to take a swing at you instead of just shout.

"Faith is the whole problem," he says. "What the hell is faith, anyway? Trusting heaven to know what's best? Believing that things will work out? Yeah, they'll work out the way those assholes want them to work out, and if you want things to be different, screw you. That's what faith is. See, here's my problem, Cas. I know heaven is real, I know angels are real, I know hell is real, and it doesn't help, it just makes it worse."

There are tears on his cheeks. You stare at them, transfixed. There's so much in those tiny drops of water that you've never seen before. If the soul in that briefcase was a bright light, Dean's soul is as dim as the moonlight reflecting off a teardrop.

"I'm tired," he says. "I'm tired and I don't want to keep going. I just... I want to go to sleep. Just want to close my eyes and have it all fade to black. And I can't. I can't because I know that no matter what, I'll keep going. Because there's heaven, and there's hell. And there's no resting in peace. Not for me. Never."

Your arms go out before he starts to topple. You're there in an instant, giving him your strength, your support. Maybe it isn't enough for him, but it's something. It keeps him from crumpling to the dirt. He grabs you, clutches you and cries. You look to the heavens and think this would be a good time for your Father to show up again because you don't know if you can stay in one piece, this makes you feel so many things.

He hurts you, he bruises you with his arms and his weight. Your arms and body are full. You slouch to the ground, both of you on your knees, crouched against the side of a junk car in the lot of metal skeletons. You don't know how much time passes. Behind you, you can still sort of hear the echoes of the chamber where Sam is holed up. Shrieks rise against the back of your consciousness. Then it goes all quiet. Dean's shivering in your arms and the night is empty above you. It's so quiet.

"What happens?" he says. "If I say yes. One way or another, it's all over. But if I keep saying no, keep fighting it... am I going to be doing this for the rest of my life? How many people will suffer and die because I'm being stubborn? And if I don't even believe in it myself, what's the point?"

"I don't know." You lie. You know very well. Life is the point. Dean himself is the point. You see that now so clearly that it hurts your eyes. And they're tearing up, too. Another human reaction you've never had before. You don't know what to do with them all.

"I have to keep going, don't I?" he says. His grin is rueful, exhausted. "I just have to keep going, and it'll never get better, I'll never get to rest, I'll never feel anything ever again. Just-- just keep moving, keep being empty-- why?"

Your hands are moving without your permission. You're touching his face now, traveling along the red streaks where his tears have dried. "I don't know," you say again. Useless, stupid words, and they're all that will come out.

He seems to realize too late that you're touching him. He draws away slowly, almost regretfully. "Cut that out," he says. You nod, pull your hands away, regret it.

"I don't have any answers for you," you say slowly. You're not sure what you're about to say, you're moving on instinct and that's something you've never had before. "I just... I believe, Dean. I believe that on the other side of this, there's something. For you. Something worth going on for."

He seems to be offering up some token resistance and you know then why you're saying all this. You grab his arm. "Don't." You're warning him. "Don't take that away from me. Even if you can't... let me believe. Please."

There you are. Selfish as any human, and you want to feel ashamed of it but you just can't.

"If it were just about you," he says, "if it were just about you or just about Sam, maybe I could... but it's not, it's about everybody. How in the hell am I supposed to save everybody? I can't live with that. I can't let myself feel anything because if I do I'm going to feel the lives of six billion people. I never wanted to save the world. I can't. I can't do that." He shakes his head.

He looks ready to break again, and you wonder if this time, your weight will be enough to catch him when he does. You panic. You say the first thing that comes to mind.

"I have a confession."

"You? A confession?" The non sequitur gives him enough presence of mind to stave off breaking down, at least for a minute. Still, his smile is halfhearted and his eyes glimmer with pain.

"The cravings I had." You might be turning red. "They were... revelatory."

He sniffles, wipes his eyes and nose. "I thought you were going to say gross."

"They were both. Gross and revelatory."

"Yeah, well, I get the gross part. How was it revelatory?"

Your eyes look at the dirt, at the limited space between the two bent knees, the two pairs of shoes. You always hate that space, feel like it ought to be filled in. It offends your aesthetic somehow. That's something new for you, to feel like things ought to be different than they are.

"Wanting something. Having a need and having it filled. I'm not... angels aren't built for that," you say hastily. "We don't hunger. We just are. The world is what it is, and we don't look to change it, or ourselves. But for those few hours, I wanted something. I wanted something and I took it, and I felt better. That was entirely new."

His eyes examine you, sharp and brutal. "I don't get it."

You shake your head. "I don't, either. But it feels relevant. There's an answer there."

"An answer? In hamburgers?" He tries to laugh. It sounds flat.

"What do you want?"

His face falls. He hangs back. More tears in his eyes. How is he able to have so many tears and not just melt away into water?

"I don't want anything," he says. "I don't even want to win this fight anymore."

Your fingertips ache to touch his face again. To wipe away the tears. Just to feel the human, solid warmth of him. Your own fingers are human fingers, but Dean's so very different from you. So very alive, even if he doesn't realize that himself.

"Dean." His name might as well be a prayer. Whenever you say it, you feel strangely reverent. "Michael and Lucifer aren't trying to end the world."

"They're doing a hell of an impression."

"But that's not their intention."

"And that's supposed to make it okay?" His lips curl. "Because it's just some bitchfight between brothers to them? That makes them more selfish."

"Exactly." You can't stop yourself anymore. You lay a hand on his knee. He looks down at it, then squints at you as though he's losing his vision. "Find something you want. Fight for that."

He keeps squinting.

"Not something big," you add. "Not to save the world. Just something small. Like hamburgers."

"Like hamburg--" He can't echo you in full without snickering. Good. He's still capable of laughter. That makes you happy. That's the second thing in as many days that's made you happy. You could get used to feeling happy.

"Cas," he says, frowning at you. "You've said some weird crap in the time I've known you, but did you just seriously tell me I should keep going because of hamburgers?"

"It's a poor analogy," you admit.

"Um. yeah." That look in his eye, keen and amused, makes you happy, too. It's proof he's not dead. No matter what a horseman in a wheelchair, frail and brimming with evil, might say, Dean's alive. And looking at him, you are, too.

"Cas," he says, and his lips purse.


His fingers cover yours.

"Thank you."

The Soul is:: moodymoody
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on February 13th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
LOL! Let's fight for hamburgers!

I am so glad Cas came through for Dean. Which I believe he always will.
Tiptoe39: food - wakkotiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
I truly hope he does.... (U.U) God, that was depressing to write... thanks for reading it, hon
kelslovespbjkelslovespbj on February 13th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
That was beautifully written. It makes me feel better to have Cas coming through for Dean when he needs him the most. It's how it should be.

The hamburgers bit was great. Funny yet you totally got Cas' point.
Tiptoe39: Cas smilestiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I really feel like Castiel needs to step up and help Dean. He just got a lesson in how to help someone with hurt feelings from Cupid, he should use that brand-new knowledge ^o^

Glad you enjoyed!
(Deleted comment)
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Good, I was hoping it'd come through. It really continues to strike me how they are so yin and yang to each other. :)

Glad you liked it hon!! :)
like "castle"cassyl on February 13th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
"Find something you want. Fight for that." This is so exactly right. This has always been the answer for Dean, that what makes the world worth saving is the little stuff, his own stupid, totally non-epic desires and foibles, and it's one nobody ever thinks to point out to him.
Tiptoe39: castieltiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Life is what happens when you're making other plans. If the angels aren't concerned about the fate of the world, maybe he needs to be similarly unconcerned. imho.

Thanks for reading!
wolfrider89: mr comatosewolfrider89 on February 13th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
"...did you just seriously tell me I should keep going because of hamburgers?"
This was beautiful! Last ep had me very, very depressed at the end of it, I must say, so this cheered me up some. Thank you. I actually loved the second person perspective, it totally worked, which is unusual. *goes on to smish Dean*
Tiptoe39: ramesestiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
He needs much smishing! I usually hate second person so i'm glad it worked because god only knows it wouldn't have been my choice. But The Bunnies Spaketh Thus and Thus It Must Be. :D

So glad you liked it!! :)
The Soul says: - wolfrider89 on February 14th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
awakencordyawakencordy on February 13th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
aww so beautiful, let's fight for hamburgers then!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)

So glad you liked it!!! :)
Daisy Droste: Dean/Caszoemathemata on February 13th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
Poor Dean. The ending of that episode made me so sad! I was desperate for Cas to show up and help.

Thank you for writing it and writing it well. I think Second Person POV is HARD and you did it so well!

and now I think I might need a hamburger...
Tiptoe39: food - wakkotiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
I know! and from the look on cas' face you could see he was struggling to think of the right thing to say........ omg....... *cries*

*orders you hamboogers*

Thank you!! :)
panda: SPN: dean/cas foreplaypandatini on February 13th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
You do their voices so well, I think you did it much more justice than anything I would write

"Um. yeah." That look in his eye, keen and amused, makes you happy, too. It's proof he's not dead. No matter what a horseman in a wheelchair, frail and brimming with evil, might say, Dean's alive. And looking at him, you are, too.

d'awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww *snuggles the boys*
Tiptoe39: dean/castiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
i know they are soooooooooooo sweet <3

thank you honey!!!
Rainbow Tits Mcgeemisdreya on February 13th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I really can't compliment you well enough for this story. I felt a little ashamed for Cas when Dean brought up the fact that Cas was just as weak as any human. And saying it like an accusation. I don't think any other 5x14 story I've read has dealt with just how disturbing that must have been to Dean.

I was really wishing they'd kiss, or hug, or something at the end. *sigh* Kripke must need to walk in during the episodes and give Jensen hugs so he can keep doing his role without trying to hang himself.
Tiptoe39: dean/castiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
awwww! Thank you soo much! Yeah, I wonder how Cas' journey toward human affects Dean, especially since it was Dean who started it, and now it's having unexpected consequences.

I like your theory. Jensen must need copious hugs. I've been LOLling about the Misha interview just released where he says SPN viewers won't need Prozac. UM AFTER THAT EP IDK MISHA <3

Thanks so much for your sweet comment!
yours truly: spn: castielonebrightmoment on February 13th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
*adds to brain!canon*

this warms my heart so much.
Tiptoe39: castieltiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. This was just a big ball of angst!comfort that needed writing.

Also I will never tire of the Lady CasCas icons. Ever. :)
Renée: Dean/Castiel. Never change.rogueslayer452 on February 13th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh God, thank you for writing this. This is yet another perfect coda for the ending of this episode. I really, really wanted Castiel to comfort Dean at the end of it and I admit to have been disappointed when it didn't happen, but thank goodness for these fics.

"Find something you want. Fight for that."

This, so much this is exactly what Dean needs to hear. And of course, my immediate thought after reading this is "Dean wants Castiel", because if anything Castiel believes in Dean's goodness, and Dean wants to believe that fighting for his family and his friends, including Castiel, would be enough for anything.

So yes, thank you for this. Love your Castiel in second person, so lovely. ♥
Tiptoe39: Cas smilestiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yayayay! Oh sweetie thank you so much, what a lovely thing to say. I am loving the various codas everyone is writing, I have to say. And it is, isn't it? Castiel is learning how very important these "unimportant things" are, and Dean's overwhelmed with his burden, and they have so much they could share with each other...

oh boys. *makes with the flailyhands*

Yay for this fandom, seriously. And yay for you.
Konst: [spn] misha/jensen sextimey_wimey_kid on February 13th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful <3 it made me smile SFM :) :) :)
Tiptoe39: porntiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
YAY for smiling! and oh dear that icon. oh dear. (O.o)


Glad you liked it!
The Soul says: - timey_wimey_kid on February 13th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
a halo is not a helmet: Dean & Caswinehouse on February 13th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, I love the way this was written, from the dialogue, to Cas' insight. Really, really superb job. Also, I loved the hamburger analogy ;D
Tiptoe39: creativetiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! I'm so glad the writing style worked for you. It was a departure for me, so I'm gratified it did its job :)

Thanks for reading!! :D
Aesculap: Teem Free Willaescu on February 13th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
I think I love you for this story. Fighting for Hamburgers - the battle cry of Team Free Will!

Wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 13th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
lol! I fight for love, justice, and copious amounts of red meat for all!

(Oh, there I go again with Pretty Soldier Sailor Misha... bad tippy...)
vamplover85vamplover85 on February 14th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
awww.....*Sigh* this almost made me teared up. This is amazing I like the second person in this, sometimes I don't even care for it but for this story it was wonderful, cause it gave it that emotion...teehee love the Hamburger analogy!! this was perfect....he needed to have that faith since I think he lost it a little after all of that during the episode. *sigh* poor Dean. But lovely little story! :)
Tiptoe39: dean/castiptoe39 on February 14th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Almost made you tear up? Damn! I shall have to try harder next time! *is evil perfectionist*

Seriously, I'm so glad you enjoyed. Yes, we all needed a dose of comfort after that episode, thank god for fanfic eh? :3 Thanks so much!