Profile

chartruscan: (Default)
chartruscan

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
chartruscan: (Default)
[personal profile] chartruscan
Title: Harbor Lights 3b/?
Author:  chartruscan
Characters/Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Sam
Warnings: Abuse of reality, WIP, fluff
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: ~2700
Summary: The Winchester brothers are a team to be feared by the criminals of their waterfront city. Or, the one where Castiel is an asexual doctor who attracts insane stalkers amorous suitors and Dean pretends to be his boyfriend to scare them all away.  Also, they fight crime.



 

***


The first body hit the papers the next morning, front page.  

Dean was grateful that his own shooting was out of the headlines.

Sam still had two work days of vacation and a whole weekend left to fight with Dean, who still spent every lucid moment bitching about being cooped up.  Sam could sympathise with this state of mind, and tried his best to go over the boxes overflowing with testimonies and Hanji Shipping financial records whenever Dean was blessedly passed out, which, thanks to Sam being more diligent about making sure Dean actually swallowed the damned pills, meant most of the day and night..  

Sam swung between feeling guilty about not keeping a better eye on Dean in his first three days out of the hospital, and feeling angry that Dean, as a grown man, refused to take better care of himself, and angry at Castiel for making him feel guilty.  And then he’d of course feel guilty for being angry.  

After putting together a suitable excuse for his absence, Sam tried calling Castiel, only to be sent to voicemail every time.   On Friday he left Dean sleeping and took the Impala back into town to Castiel’s brownstone.  A neighbor informed Sam that Castiel hadn’t been seen in days, but that this wasn’t unusual.  

Rather than fight with traffic, he walked the half-mile to the hospital, grateful to be out of the apartment and stretching his legs, even if he was worried about Castiel.  When he got to the emergency room entrance with the intention of asking the receptionist to page Castiel, the place was a madhouse.  People were bleeding in the waiting room, lying on stretchers seemingly forgotten down side corridors, doctors and nurses and interns shouting and rushing through doors that never had a chance to bang shut.

He caught a glimpse of Castiel then, blood-stained gown and mask, as the doors heading towards the operating rooms swung open again and then failed to close as another stretcher was pushed through, crowded around with hospital staff and grief-stricken civilians.  

Sam had a fleeting grisly musing about whether that’s how Castiel had looked like when Dean had collapsed in that quiet room.  He pressed himself back against the wall, feeling that he’d been gone from the apartment --and Dean-- long enough.

***


He brought back coffee and bagels, and tossed Dean the newspaper on his return.  Still in a fog, Dean didn’t even attempt to catch it, letting it land on the couch cushion next to him.  He roused somewhat when Sam silently placed his breakfast on the end table like an apologetic offering, even though he’d really rather kick Dean’s ass for taking off the other night.  

Around a mouthful of cream cheese and an everything-bagel, Dean mumbled approvingly, “Hooz’mh’bzch?”  

Sam smiled.

Washing the bagel down with a large gulp of coffee, Dean stated, slightly slurred, “You’w’re gone awhile.”

Sam shrugged, meagerly scraping his light veggie cream cheese over his whole wheat flagel, “Was worried about Cas, he hasn’t been returning my calls.”

Despite the pain meds, Dean retorted without missing a beat, “Watch it, Samantha, that’s my boyfriend you’re talking about.”

Sam frowned, “You’re still keeping that up?”

Dean shrugged, the movement sluggish and stilted, then worked up enough consciousness to pick up the paper as he took another messy bit of breakfast, trying to make his eyes focus on the block print.  Lucci Associate Dead: Burned From Within.  The article went on to note the complete mystification of the coroner’s office over how it was accomplished.  Phrases like “spontaneous combustion” and a sketchy witness claiming seeing “black smoke”.  Dean threw the paper down in disgust.

***


On Sunday, Sam called Castiel and left another message.  When Castiel was finally able --or willing-- to return his call, Sam asked if Castiel could come by the apartment the next day when Sam went back to work.

“Not going out tonight?” Castiel asked, somewhat snippy.

Sam was silent for a moment.  “Look, Cas,” he said eventually.  “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the bike, and I’m sorry I left Dean alone.  We just . . . got on each other’s nerves . . .   I went out to blow off some steam.  I shouldn’t have left him on his own, okay?”  He left a fuller explanation about the motorcycle for another time.  “So I’m asking, as a friend, could you hang out with him while I’m at work?  I can’t take any more time off.”  Sam paused, feeling awkward and somewhat undeserving as he continued, “And I know you’ve been burning yourself out at the hospital, and, um, you’ve got days off coming.  I’d feel better if you two could keep an eye on each other.”  He really would prefer it if Castiel spent his time off with Dean, knowing that Castiel went from being knee-deep in humanity to hermit-like seclusion when they banned him from the hospital for working too long.  It was the perfect solution to keeping an eye on Dean, even if Castiel just simply crashed once there.  Dean would think twice about sneaking off if there were someone there to notice his absence, even if belatedly.


After a tense silence, Castiel agreed.

***


Dean was on the couch, on his side again because it pulled the least on the stitches in his back, his eyes drooping, TV flickering silently.  Castiel sat in the armchair, not reading the book in his hands.  Instead he was looking around like he hadn’t let himself do when he was surpassing even his own standards for social morality the night before, spying on the Winchester brothers.  

For all that they had combined wages of a lawyer and police detective with no dependents at their disposal, from appearances they could have been a couple of vagrant college students still eking by on ramen noodles.  There were a couple of old photos in dusty frames; in one he could barely make out a blond woman, and dark bear of a man, and two small boys.  Another was only slightly less dusty, a group shot at what looked like a party, young men and women hanging off of each other, drinks raised.  He’d never met any of Sam’s other friends, wondered if perhaps that it was one of Dean’s pictures.  Sometimes he thought Sam was just as lonely as he was.  And from what he’d seen, despite his legendary exploits, Dean was, too.

“Why do you live with your brother?”  Castiel’s voice cut through the silence, startlingly loud even though he’d kept his voice low.

Dean stirred on the couch, the question unexpected, and Castiel watched patiently as Dean sluggishly thought his way around the answer.

Eventually, Dean asked, eyes closed, “Sam tell you about Jess?”

Cas nodded, then said, “Just that she passed.”

Dean stared sightlessly at the floor, then rolled onto his back, pressing deliberately back into the pain it caused, grimacing as he stared at the ceiling.   

After long minutes of silence, Castiel thought Dean wasn’t going to answer.


“Our parents flew up for Sam’s birthday, since they couldn’t make it to his graduation.  It was a big surprise for him.”  Dean pulled a tired hand over his face, stopping when it covered his mouth.  Eventually he dropped his hand, saying more quickly, “Anyway.  She picked them up from the airport, so they were all in the car . . .”  Dean hoped that Sam had given Castiel enough specifics that he didn’t have to paint it all out.

Castiel watched the light from the TV flash and flicker over Dean’s face, a careful mask of apathy overrun with hairline cracks.  “I’m sorry,” Castiel said.

Dean exhaled out through his nose.  “So . . . me and Sammy, we’re all we got.  ’s’just us now.”

They lapsed back into silence, and Castiel let his head fall back against the armchair, feeling worn thin from a long week at work, too few hours over too many days spent sleeping in the on-call room.

“What about you?”  Dean’s question came out a gentle murmur.  He’d fumbled the TV off, and the room seemed to settle into a deeper silence.  
 
Castiel tilted his head lazily, not quite awake.  “Hmmm?”  He cracked an eye at Dean, who had turned back onto his side.  He couldn’t tell if his eyes were open.

Dean shrugged.  “Any family?”

It was Castiel’s turn to be silent, and . . . he didn’t feel rushed.  

The sun was shifting to the western side of the apartment, where old maples shaded out the late afternoon light.  The apartment grew darker, and Castiel felt safety in that, like the confessionals he used to go to.  

“Yes,” he eventually softly admitted.  “We don’t speak much.”  Or anymore, he didn’t add.

Dean didn’t offer any sympathetic noises, for which Castiel was grateful.  He simply asked, after a beat, “Falling out?”  

Castiel almost smiled.  “Nothing so dramatic.”   Most people assumed, based on what one acquaintance had once called his “severe social dysfunction”, that his family had been cold and loveless.  That he was incapable of feeling love or attachment.  Other people, if they cared to inquire, assumed that he’d been disowned for being gay or bisexual.  Those were the ones whose advances had been rebuffed.  

But he could never tell the truth that he had cut all ties when he’d run, too afraid that any contact would land him in a lab, never to see them again anyway.  Damned if he didn’t run, doubly damned if he did.

“You miss them,” Dean stated.

Castiel thought of his mother’s meatloaf and warm hugs, his little sister deciding that boys were no longer gross, and, being fatherless, Castiel taking up the role and putting the fear of God into her suitors.  He thought of his friends in school, who’d smuggled him out of the hospital while he was still in a coma, him waking up in the back of van in the middle of nowhere, Gabe, Micah  and Sara shoving money and prepaid phones into a duffel as they cried when he decided (realized) that he couldn’t go back home.  

Everyone always assumed that he just didn’t care.

He swallowed around the lump in his throat, “Yeah.”

***


Sam came home around even, Castiel asleep on the armchair with a blanket half-falling off his shoulders, the couch rumpled but empty.  He peeked his head into Dean’s room and found him sprawled across the bed.  When Sam returned to the kitchen, Castiel was up, rubbing at his face and through his hair.

“Evening, sunshine,” Sam greeted.  “Dean behave?”

Castiel grunted and walked like a zombie over to the sink and began filling the coffee pot with water.  “He was bearable.”  Fact was, Dean had mostly slept.  Beyond their brief conversation, so had Castiel.

“You okay?”

“Tired,” was all Castiel said.  He’d overtaxed himself at the hospital, spent his supernatural abilities and exhausted himself the normal way, and he was still paying for it.  Yet, no one had died, and he couldn’t regret it.

“About the other night . . .” Sam began.

Castiel gave him a sharp look that said  Don’t bother.

“Yeah,” Sam huffed ruefully.  “I had a nice story rehearsed.”  It was pretty lame, actually, about having a secret life in a motorcycle gang that he didn’t want getting back to his law firm, how it would undermine his reputation.

Castiel waited, busying himself with scooping ground coffee into the filter.  Most of his shifts were the graveyard shift, and he found it easiest to live like a night owl.  Getting home at eight in the morning., falling asleep at ten, awake again at supper.  The overtime killed him.

“Just, Cas, please believe me when I say I wasn’t out having fun while Dean was hurting.  I can’t say more than that, just, please, trust me.”  He gave Castiel such a sincere and earnest look that Castiel sighed and nodded.

Castiel did ask, “Does Dean know.”

Sam nodded.

Castiel studied his friend for a moment, idly musing over all the mischief Sam could be getting up to.  His speculations didn’t come close to the truth.

“We good?” Sam asked, nudging Castiel’s shoulder.

Castiel didn’t want to fight.  He smiled grudgingly.

Sam returned the smile in relief, then changed the subject, turned the focus away from him, trying for a light, teasing tone, “You never did tell me why you decided to go on a bender the other night.  You were, uh, going on about chickens.”

Castiel palmed his face.  “Oh God, that wasn’t just a horribly embarrassing dream?”

“‘fraid not.  Cough it up, Chicken-Man.”

“I had a run-in with Balthazar,” Castiel said eventually, ears flushed red.  “It was . . . unpleasant.”

Sam glanced toward the back of the apartment.

Quietly, Castiel said, “Don’t tell Dean.  I handled it.”

“So,” Sam ventured, “The ruse isn’t working.  Dean pretending to be your boyfriend, I mean?”

“It is,” Castiel insisted.  “It’s just . . . Balthazar is more persistent than most.”

Sam eyed his friend curiously.  “Any particular reason you don’t want Dean to know?”

Castiel turned away and filled a mug with coffee instead of answering.

***


Dean awoke at ten, feeling sore but also like his head was screwed on a little tighter, now that he was able to officially start weaning off the pain medication.  When he emerged from the shower, he found Castiel once again in his living room, nose-deep in medical journals.  

After he killed a few hours with a brunch of microwaved breakfast burritos and orange juice, reading the morning’s paper, and sighing loudly from the astro-turfed balcony, he threw in a DVD and sat gingerly down onto the couch, kicking his legs up on coffee table.  Halfway through the movie Castiel got up, only to return with a glass of water and a single pill.

“Dude, I just woke up,” Dean protested.

Castiel brooked no sympathy, merely sloshing the glass dangerously closer to Dean’s face.  “You should have set your alarm, then.”

By two Dean was staring listlessly as the credits rolled and let the screen turn blue.

By five he was hanging up on Sam, who had called to say he was working late, so to “do whatever for dinner”, he’d catch something in the city.  

“Wheelhouse Diner?” Dean had asked.

“No,” was Castiel’s reply.

He’d begged and shouted and thrown balled up bits of newspaper at Castiel.  Castiel had simply taken the paper away.  After five minutes of peace, Dean had asked him what he was reading, then mocked Castiel for being a geek when he learned that Castiel was keeping current on medical techniques and studies.  

Castiel bit into his apple and told Dean to go make himself a sandwich.

By six Dean was sitting up straight on the couch, staring at Castiel, his cabin fever having finally taken him around the bed..  He liked to torture Sam like this, burn holes into him while Sam was stressing over a paper, distract him without saying or doing a thing.  Sammy never lasted longer than five minutes before he cracked and chucked whatever he had been pouring over at Dean, then had to retrieve it before he stormed off into another room.

Dean got a good seven minutes in before Castiel finally looked up.  Castiel’s expression was blank, mild even.   Dean kept staring.  Castiel looked down, only to twitch his gaze back up, the bland expression replaced by a hint of confusion.   

“Dean, what are you doing?”

He shrugged innocently.

Castiel tried to return to his journal, but Dean noted smugly that he couldn’t focus anymore.  Dean felt victory was close, and was glad he wasn’t playing the no-smile game because he felt his lips twitching.

Castiel was trying to look annoyed and failing utterly as amusement tugged on his features, eyes crinkling and mouth twisting up wryly as he admitted defeat.  Castiel closed the journal decisively, sighing “Fine” as he stood, trying to look annoyed.  

Dean decided that seeing Castiel’s secret smile was far more fun than flustering Sam.

***


TBC

Date: 2011-08-08 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kahla802.livejournal.com
This is awesome. I love that Castiel's powers aren't the center of the story and sense of humor and brotherhood.
Wonderful story is wonderful.

Date: 2011-08-08 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chartruscan.livejournal.com
Thanks!

I love superhero stories, but I also can't stand when it's all about the powers and the tights. It's always a huge suspension of disbelief for me, especially in fic when it's an AU and not a proper Superhero 'verse. So I'm trying to treat it as "so, these guys have superpowers, how does that fit into their lives? How do they live in this world I've created where superheroes aren't more than urban legends? They're regular joes with 9-5 jobs (or the graveyard shift version of). They're dudes. And they're already workaholics committed to their day jobs. But they're so freaking bamf that they lose sleep over keeping the streets safe a little longer than their paycheck warrant.

I'm glad that a sense of humour is coming through, as I tend to wallow in the angst. Pain, bring it!!

I said elsewhere that I've been disappointed in Show that we've had Cas state that Sam is his friend, but we never got to see it, and I love twisting canon (what's the point in telling the same story twice?) to make Sam Cas's friend, make Sam Dean's point of entry into the orbit of Castiel. So I'm hoping that the brotherhood you mention encompasses Sam's friendship with Dean, the actual brotherhood of Sam & Dean (Winchesters forever!) and the growing friendship/brotherhood between Cas and Dean.

Date: 2011-08-09 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kahla802.livejournal.com
I really like that Dean has to go through Sam to be friends with Cas.
It would be interesting to learn what brought Castiel and Sam together as friends in the first place and how Dean came to like Cas as a friend to begin with (but that's what established relationships are for, am I right?)
But yeah. keep it up!

Date: 2011-08-09 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chartruscan.livejournal.com
It's covered very briefly in the first chapter how Sam and Cas met, and implied that Dean became aquaintences with Cas through association with Sam. I wouldn't say their friends quite yet. Dean's still in the mindset of doing a favor his his brother's friend. I'd love to go so far back as detailing Sam and Cas' budding friendship, except that it would take me forever to even get to now, and there's so far to go! So, since this is a D/C story, I chose the entry point of when Cas really became central to Dean's life.

But thank you for being so intrigued as to wanting more, which to me is always a good sign (even when the authors that I'm begging more from are mean to me and refuse)!

Thanks!

Date: 2011-08-09 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chartruscan.livejournal.com
they're, not their :(

Awesome...

Date: 2011-08-15 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misslily66.livejournal.com
This is so well written, on all levles, characters, setting, everything. Certainly one of the best fanfics I have ever read. Have you considered writing professionaly?

Re: Awesome...

Date: 2011-08-16 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chartruscan.livejournal.com
Wow, thanks! that's certainly a high compliment. I'd be one of those poor writers bussing tables because I write so slow :P

Glad you're enjoying it so far!

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Jul. 21st, 2017 04:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios