Hi! My friend and I went as Merry and Pippin from LoTR, and would really appreciate that those who took photos of us would upload them, or submit them to me! Thank you.
Dean’s body stiffens, and he makes a disgruntled noise in the back of his throat.
He knows Lucifer has probably been watching them; he probably always knows where they are, what they’ve been trying to do. He knows their weaknesses, their weak spots.
Dean runs a hand over his face, swallowing thickly.
They’ve known who—what—they’ve been fighting against all along. They know what he can do, what he’s capable of, and it never stopped them before—why should it matter now? They’ve got a job to do, people to protect, a world to save, and Dean’s not gonna give up now, just because Lucifer’s been playing mind games with Cas.
So what if he knows their weaknesses?
He wants to fuckin’ come for them? Let him.
“I should have grabbed more information from him, but he was…messing around up there”
"Hey—" Dean says, moving closer, rough hands being pressed against the former angel’s shoulders, soothing, hopefully grounding.
"This isn’t your fault, none of this is" he says flatly, his eyebrows raised.
There was not much Cas could have done; Lucifer had obviously been trying to manipulate him, to make him think that there’s nothing they can do to hurt him—to stop him—but Dean knows that they can and that they will. Cas is just confused, scared, and he obviously can’t see clearly right now.
They’ve been through so much, they can’t just give up now. They have allies, people who want to find and kill the devil just as much as they do, they’re safe here; they’ve built a place for them, a life. It isn’t much, but it is something, and they can’t just give up on it and throw it all away just because Lucifer’s been trying to mess with them.
There are people who rely on them, look up to them, freaking kids,and he knows—they both know—that they can’t let them down.
The camp’s as thoroughly protected as it gets; they’ve put up angel banishing and protection sigils everywhere, there are demon traps placed across the entire camp, under carpets, tables, above their heads etched on ceilings and walls, behind doors and under their beds—he can’t enter their camp, it’s practically impossible.
"He was messing with your head, okay? Nothing bad’s gonna happen" he says after a while, squeezing Cas’ shoulders before stepping back, the tension set between his shoulder intensifying, spilling into his muscles, his veins, making him sigh, suddenly feeling exhausted.
"I—We’ve been trying to get our hands on the Colt for months. You know they’re moving it around, Cas.” he says plainly, leaning back on the wall.
"The demon that we caught a couple of weeks ago had no idea where it is, so we just gotta keep trying. I know we’ll find it Cas, we’re so close" he says, acid filling his stomach—he’s angry. Angry because he’s done, and he’d do any-fucking-thing to get hold of the Colt, but somehow it always keeps slipping through his fingers and it pisses him off. He’s been trying so hard to find it—to find a way to kill Lucifer—he’s given everything he’s ever had,and it still isn’t enough. Lucifer’s still out there,wearing his brother’s body, destroying the world and there’s nothing he can do to stop him. Not before finding the Colt.
Or, you know, a fucking angel blade, but he’s pretty damn sure getting his hands on a angel blade would be nearly impossible what with the angels being gone and all.
"We just gotta keep looking for it" he says, gazing off into space with an expression so blank that is almost like a death mask.
—Will they find it?—
When he hears Cas saying that no matter what happens, he’ll be there for him—with him—a small smile twists his mouth, and he closes his eyes for a moment, a deep, strong sense of relief washing over him.
Cas isn’t giving up, and it’s a small victory among a million loses, but it’s what he needs right now.
"Thanks, Cas" he says, and he means it.
The fact that Cas is still willing to fight, that he’s not giving up yet, means a lot to him and it makes his heart swell with something, a feeling that the leader categorizes as affection.
Mentally groaning, he pushes himself off the wall and looks at his hands, his boots, the floor, avoiding making eye contact with Castiel.
He doesn’t wanna think about all the other reasons why Cas might be having a rough day, and anyway, the guy seems to be pretty beat up. He’s probably trying to come up with a good reason to kick Dean out so that he can go back to doing whatever it is that he was doing before Dean arrived.
"Get some rest, okay?" he says, glances back at Cas as he considers walking away—there is not much left to be said right now.
They both need to get some rest, pull themselves together and focus on the jobs they gotta do.
As he turns around though, he stops mid-step, curiosity getting the better of him.
"Okay—" he starts, glancing at Cas. "I have to ask." A brief pause. "What’s up with the uh—" he gestures at Cas’ face "You…shavin’ and all?"
From collecting flowers, to rationing the food, Castiel had another task he often kept himself busy with. He knew that he could no longer teleport himself to another location - his angel mojo used to take care of locating for him - and so he soon began realising that he would have to depend on maps, directions from other soldiers, and personal experience in navigating. It took him a week or so to make sense of the various maps in the camp, especially those with coding and keys — it was frustrating at first, but in the end he was able to translate the areas and reiterate them back to the soldiers who were on patrol; they needed to know which areas were dangerous, safe, and where the most survivors were found for future reference. He enjoyed being able to reassure the soldiers under his patrolling group that a certain area was safe, because he had experiences in the past where his soldiers would be too nervous to show their full potential, and the day would end up being much more difficult than it needed to be. He understood the need for clarification, as there was no knowing what was around the corner, and the camp had lost far too many survivors by not knowing the city well enough. Castiel aimed to remember every street, every building, and every road in order to keep the camp safe.
Castiel was more than familiar with Dean’s concern when it came to his safety, and the ex-angel studied the maps to prove him wrong. He wanted to let Dean know how prepared he was whilst going out on patrol, or searching the surrounding perimeter for any signs of Croatoan. He guessed that Dean still believed he was getting used to life without his wings, but the ex-angel had adapted quickly and trained himself with plenty of knowledge to get on Dean’s level; he learned from the man himself, but it was going to be somewhat difficult to prove that he knew his stuff. For now, he was content that his Leader at least acknowledged he could work a gun. However, when he heard the Colt being mentioned, Castiel was brought back to a few days ago of when he completed a map. The map contained sequences of Croatoan movement and sightings of Lucifer - as accounted by trustworthy soldiers - and any patterns that seemed important, yet suspicious at the same time. Castiel knew how much the Colt was needed, and so he set to work on where it could have possibly been transferred to, who had it last, and which area of Kansas City it could be in — and more importantly, did his older brother have it, or was he hiding it away where he knew it would take them more than a few weeks to find? A few weeks too late, as he would have already begun his attack. Lucifer’s movements were well-calculated, and Castiel was more than aware of his intentions, and if he was going to help in any way he could start on seeing a pattern.
"She didn’t know where it was because she was in the wrong area." Croatoans were noted for their groups, but that didn’t mean they were a close-knit family. Some of them were rogue and misplaced information, as Castiel noticed in their movements, and they hardly stayed in one area where Lucifer would be in the centre of it all. The demon Dean interrogated was one of the rogues, and she would only know limited information."I’ve spent the past few days studying Croatoan movement, and any sightings of Lucifer, especially in certain areas. I’ve graded the areas A, B, and C — with C being the worst affected area, and definitely a territory that shouldn’t be taken on alone. I’m still tweaking the details, but I’ll show you tomorrow morning, and see if it’s any help in finding the Colt. If there’s a pattern, then we know they’re hiding something other than an attack." It was a shot in the dark, but it was something and a small something is better than nothing at all. "We’re doing the morning patrol, any who, so it will give me a better view of the city and any places that are used at frequent routes by the Croatoan."
Rest was beginning to be at the forefront of his mind as soon as his Leader suggested it; how long had he been awake for today? He woke up just as the sun was beginning to show, and now it was disappearing, yet it only felt as though he’d been awake for a few hours. Distraction was often to blame, as the day was quickly done before he realised after completing all his duties in the camp. “I’m surprised I’ve managed to survive this long.” A chuckle escaped his throat, despite being unsure as to whether he was referring to how many hours he’d stayed awake, or the whole sha-bang of the war. No matter his thoughts, Castiel managed to grin as he made his way over to his cabinet and extinguished some of the candles he had burning, causing his cabin to plunge into semi-darkness. He couldn’t forget to extinguish them, because making another cabin was risky and time-consuming; it wasn’t as though they could produce uncontaminated wood from thin air. “But, don’t worry ‘bout me, Dean. You need the rest more than I do, yeah?” They were both tired, but the other male wasn’t just tired physically — he was tired mentally, and Castiel knew he couldn’t contain that tiredness as much as he could. As an angel, Castiel was taught to show no emotion, especially tiredness, considering the amount of enemies they faced in the past; to show tiredness was to show weakness, and the soldier could tell that Dean was following those exact rules. He couldn’t show Lucifer his weaknesses, even if he was down on his knees.
Yes, Castiel had lost most of his unyielding attitude, but he could be just as serious when he wanted to.
The conversation was drawn to a close as he watched his Leader make his way for the door, to which Castiel returned by continuing to extinguish the candles and clear the table of the whiskey and glasses. Usually the alcohol would be gone, but he guessed that Dean wasn’t up for much drinking tonight — he couldn’t blame him, because not everything could be solved by getting drunk. Their conversations often involved Lucifer, or patrolling, or other serious matters, but the topic would turn to something else and any seriousness was cleared with an air of casualness and comfort. However, it was clear that tonight was much different, and there was no other topic to include that would clear how serious things were getting; the war was no longer in the distance, but just around the corner. Placing the whiskey and glasses back into the cabinet, Castiel realised that the other male was still in his cabin, hovering near the door before turning to face him with a somewhat perplexed expression. He expected it to be something about the morning patrol, or some extra advice that Dean always gave at the end of the day — but what he said caught the soldier by surprise, and he couldn’t help the wide smile.
“Aah - I wondered how long it would take for you to mention that.” Castiel sounded amused as he reached up to place his hand on his chin. Smooo-ooth. With a shrug of his right shoulder, accounting for his nonchalant attitude towards his shaving, the male couldn’t really give an exact answer.”A fresh start, I suppose. Takes me back to the good ol’ days of being a thousand-years-old angel, because humans don’t exactly grow old gracefully.” He had watched humans throughout the ages, watched them be born and grow old, and it always fascinated him how much they could experience in such a short time; they found love, friendship, and suffered pain, loss, and yet it was enough for them. He was given access to Jimmy’s memories when he took over his body, and there was so many different images from when he was born, to the moment he met his wife, and to the day his daughter was born. And now, Castiel thought, he was making his own memories and growing old — and he began to understood how humans made the most of the small amount of time they had left. However, now there was no knowing how much time they had left, exactly.
"Beard or no beard, I’m still the same." He added, noticing the permanent perplexion on his Leader’s face. He didn’t look that different, did he? Nevertheless, the night was drawing on and they had to be up early for patrol, so Castiel offered Dean a reassuring smile before concluding: “I’ll see you in the morning, Fearless Leader.”
————————————End Of Thread————————————
The sky whirred overhead, black smoke puffing as if the earth was a locomotive, ever-changing fuzz obscuring an otherwise depthless blue sky, and his sleep-haggard mind rolled with his head to escape falling. Water. The wetness clung to his cheek, climbed higher, and his fingers stretched with intention of wiping it away, only to find the current working around his fingertips. Where…? Moments ago flashed when the sun caught his eyes just right from behind the looming tower of smoke; seated with Dean at the bunker, sharing a beer, his smile broad, heart full of warmth and a sense of pride, in himself, his family history, and even the job. For once in his goddamned life, he felt —okay. Content, even.
H a p p y .
Deliriously, Sam smiled at the glow of the sun’s rays, finally lifting his hand and blinking uncomprehendingly at the sharp contrast of white and red. Snow white. Blood red. He stared, and then he pushed himself up, hand slipping on the slick substance over some sort of straggly fern. He lifted his hand anew, this time to find black strands lining his red palms, and his disoriented hazel eyes turn on the fern, the black, lengthy fern —attached to a woman lying face-down in her own stink. Despite the sweet smell, he sloshed in the blood to feel for her pulse, but only found cold flesh and his senses. Dead. She’s dead. Heart dipping more from surprise than anything, he looked around for a source of the carnage and found maybe two dozen others piled around him. Stomachs torn out. Entrails tangled and sloppy, and he felt the bile rise, choked it back, stumbling to his feed in the mess. Probably all dead.
"What —were we hunting…" He almost pressed a hand to his temple, thought better of it, instead wiping his hand across his unscathed, white dress-top. Now, that made him squint. What the Hell? In the back of his mind, he could almost hear Dean’s Michael Jackson quip, reminding him to dig around for his cell which —no cell? No cell. Great.
Digging a quartet of rings out, his face contorted, bewildered, eying the horsemen’s ring as though they were, well, something much worse than a ghost. What the Hell happened? Calling out to Dean yielded no results predictably, so the first day consisted of examining and burning the bodies (and definitely a change of clothes). Whatever it was never came back. It got what it came for, which, if he wasn’t mistaken, were premature infants directly from the womb. Uck. His nose crinkled at the very thought the next day, when he set off to find civilization, a task that proved more difficult than imagined. Buildings were in ruin, electricity out. So, next best thing: Supplies. He raided homes, cornerstores, found a tiny selection up until hitting what he’d venture to be a doomsday prepper’s storage bin. Even that had been raided (perhaps by its owner), but there were cans here and there, mostly essentials. He could make these last.
It was the weapons he struggled the most to find. Had to get away from the city, where no-doubt everyone had scoured, the obvious place, and it’s to his fortune he found a proper car… up until he noticed the false door. A convenient car, okay, but full of weapons, right when he needed it the most…? Sam casually walked on, hung around the vehicle for a while before he actually took for the hills, literally, toward higher and higher ground until he found the more fruitful mountain towns. Difficult to traverse areas attracted fewer refugees. Then again, most of the people he’d encountered were… quiet. It would be impossible to burn them all. The first infected he crossed was barely twelve hours before, and he recognized the symptoms on sight, shot the woman clear through her skull.
One of the “miracle” weapons glistened between the trees, presently aimed at a… no, it’s human, raiding the weapons as it was. That didn’t make the trespasser any less dangerous. Weapon eye-level, held out straight, he crossed toward the Jeep cautiously and matched the stranger’s stance… only for it to falter. Castiel…? What the hell… how long was he…? God, it was good to see a familiar face.
“Cas? Cas—” The weapon lowered like a heave of breath, relieved smile pulling at his expression while his brows furrow in an unspoken you-look-like-shit-are-you-okay manner. And then he gestured vaguely toward the smoking grounds far below the steep mountain-side. “Hey. What happened, here?” Apologetic twinge to his gaze as though he had any control over being late to the party. “Last I recall, you were working at that, uh, that store. Dean and I just finished knocking one back. Fill me in a little?”
There was no indication that the ex-angel would lower his weapon as he remained stationary, focused solely on keeping the male in his line of sight. He refused to believe that the features he recognised was the owner himself, as the youngest Winchester was no longer able to be rescued; it had been far too long to even cast a glimmer of hope into saving him, and it took a while in order to remind Castiel that - no matter how many times he theorised that Sam could be revived - his abilities from his prior-status were no longer available. “I said don’t move.” The soldier repeated, his tone no longer curious but stone-cold serious as he heard his name fall from that..that creature’s lips. Despite how calming the male’s voice sounded, Castiel knew that his eldest sibling had a way of manipulating what needed to be believed, and this type of persuasion was one step too far for the ex-angel; it was cruel, cynical, and he had it in his right mind to pull the trigger and request immediate attention from his fellow soldiers back at the camp whilst he attempted to compromise with the Devil.
As the questions were drilled into his mind, the male took notice of the remaining smoke from the destruction that seemed to drag on forever. Despite day-light, the smoke delivered an ashen colour on the brink of blackness, encouraging the idea of the vast amount of damage that happened a few days ago; he imagined that half of the fuel were his fellow soldiers and survivors that were led astray from the rest of the party. It was meant to be a simple transfer from the inner city back to the camp, but they had not reached within 3 miles of it before they were attacked and slaughtered by the thing that had started it all; Lucifer. The attack was unexpected and the route that was taken through Area B was thought to be safe, as they had monitored any sightings of the Devil and recorded them onto the main map in Dean’s cabin; it was misjudged, and only one soldier was fortunate enough to report back to the cabin before he was caught.Despite the plain clothes - the regular plaid - and an almost exact replica of what Sam used to look like, Castiel had no doubt in his mind that it was a façade. A ‘what-once-was’ to convince the soldier that things weren’t as bad as they seemed, but he was reminded better of that — forget the sympathy, and remember that nobody can be trusted. However, there was nagging in his conscience that this may just be one of those rare miracles, and that he should be open to possibilities, rather than refuse them. The way he was trained kick in, instead, and he decided to remain steady in his defence; his brother was doing this to confuse him, to make him reveal his weaknesses, and the male knew damn well that he wasn’t going to allow Lucifer into his head. With his voice composed, yet with a hint of persistence, Castiel decided that it was better to ask questions than to flee; he wouldn’t stand a chance attempting to run, any way. “Was it really necessary to kill them?”
They were mostly survivors, found in the inner city and reported back to the camp,so they had no training under their belts. The soldiers were the only ones who were fully trained, armed with the latest weapons and enough common sense to resolve a serious situation — but they had nothing against their main enemy. They weren’t ready yet, and even Dean knew that, but there was nothing they would do to at least have some form of protection and defence. It took Castiel a while, but he realised why, exactly, Lucifer was eliminating survivors; he was preventing any more armed forces, and whittling down what strongest soldiers they had in the camp. He was clever, sly, and ahead of them.
Castiel knew his odds of surviving this encounter were slim, but he would go out fighting if it came down to it. At least, he thought with some amount of relief, that Lucifer was here and not elsewhere destroying the city. It was a bitter-sweet balance. “You know perfectly well what happened here.” The male added, eventually swallowing the lump in his throat that was threatening to release his vexation; he was strangely calm at this point, but the resentment he felt for his brother refused to disappear. Geezus, he even had to nerve to mention Dean as though they had mutual respect, and that only made his brother’s sickening joke worse. “You’ve already managed to take Sam from us, so I don’t think your little disguise there would go unnoticed.”
I can feel the heat rising
Everything is on fire
Today’s a painful reminder of why
We can only get brighter
The further you put it behind ya
And right now I’m on the inside
Looking out, cause——
I’m standing in the flames
And it’s a beautiful kind of pain
Setting fire to yesterday
Find a light, find a light, find a light
Standing in the flames
And it’s a beautiful kind of pain
Setting fire to yesterday
Find a light, find a light, find a light