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A Moment of Weakness (Chapter 12)


Crowley checked in every few days with tidbits of information. Most of the news he brought was about the Leviathans and not Belial.

Dean knew that they needed just one breakthrough and they’d be able to take Belial down. But it was hard for Dean to be patient with the constant news of monsters and hunts that may or may not have had to do with the Leviathans.

He took on Bobby’s job of filtering calls from one hunter to the next when help on hunts was needed. He went through at least a dozen calls a day. With each day, he gained a greater appreciation for everything that Bobby did in the hunting world.

Dean walked back into the living room with his cell phone still in hand. “That was Garth.”

“Garth?” Sam repeated. “Like scrawny kid, Garth?” His memory of the hunter was sort of a blur, considering the circumstances involving their meeting.

“Yeah.”

“Well, what did he want?”

“There’s a hunt. A witch in Washington.”

“Are you going?” Everyone was wondering if Dean would take another hunt. They would have understood if he declined. Belial and the Leviathans were their top priority. Going off to fight a witch for a few days almost sounded ridiculous.

“I don’t know.”

“Go, Dean,” Bobby said. “He’ll probably get himself killed if you aren’t there to watch him.”

Dean sighed and shook his head. It was most likely true. “Sam, you coming with?”

“I can’t, Dean. I’m working on something with Balthazar and Michael. I think we’re close to finding out how to defeat the Leviathans.”

Dean couldn’t tell if his brother was lying or not. The excuse sounded legitimate enough, and Balthazar and Michael gave no indication that it wasn’t true. Besides, Sam was the nerdy one. Dean would gladly let him do more research if it meant he didn’t have to. “Bobby?”

“Busy,” the elder hunter answered quickly.

“With what?” Dean asked, suspicious.

“I need to make sure Jody’s protected when it hits the fan.”

“And you need to do that now?”

“Just take Cas,” Gabriel said, impatient.

Dean bit his lip. He was going to ask Castiel next. He almost asked Castiel before he asked Bobby. He didn’t want to think too much about what that meant. He knew that if he thought about it, he’d freak out. “You up for it, Cas?” he asked. He could feel his cheeks burning.

“I think so.”

“I don’t need a think so, Cas. I need a yes.”

Castiel thought about it for a moment before he said, “Yes.”

“You healed enough to be my back-up?”

“I’ve been healed enough for some time now, Dean. You just enjoy coddling me.”

Everyone else in the house didn’t even try to hide their laughter. The teasing didn’t bother Dean as much as it should have. They didn’t know about what happened between them. They had no idea about the kiss, and neither of them was going to tell anyone else about it, so Dean let them make assumptions about what was going on.

Besides, Castiel didn’t seem to care, so he didn’t either. “Yeah. Okay. Get your crap and we’ll head out in fifteen.”

They were on the road in twenty.

This car ride went along much more smoothly than the one to Kansas. Castiel stayed awake the entire time asking Dean questions as they passed mile markers and landmarks. Whenever Dean couldn’t answer honestly, he made something up.

By the fourth lie, Castiel had caught on, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to ask questions to keep a conversation going.

An ease that passed over them as they traveled. An ease Dean hadn’t felt in years. But there he was, driving, smiling, and talking, with the man he considered his best friend.

He couldn’t help but think that this was the way it was supposed to be.

A couple of hours later, Dean pulled into the parking lot of the motel Garth said he was staying at. Garth stood outside, leaning against his car, eating a bag of Doritos. Dean was in awe of how unhunter-like Garth was.

He and Castiel got out of the car and crossed the parking lot. “Garth,” Dean said.

“Dean, nice to see you again,” he said with an orange smile.

“Yeah,” Dean replied. “Same here.”

Garth leaned to look at the person standing behind Dean. “So, who is the new guy?”

“A friend.” Dean winced. He didn’t know why it was so weird for him to call Castiel that. “Cas, this is Garth. Garth, this is Cas.”

“Nice to meet you.” Castiel stepped around Dean and held his hand out to the stranger.

Garth wiped his hand down the front of his shirt to get rid of the artificial cheese. He reached out and shook Castiel’s hand. “Any friend of Dean’s is a friend of mine.

Dean couldn’t help but think that even though the two people next to him were completely different, they would get along. He didn’t know how he knew, but Garth and Castiel would work well together. He hoped his feeling was right instead of the alternative of them hating each other and wanting to kill each other during the hunt. He would have to wait and see. “Well, now that we all know each other, why don’t you fill us in on that witch?”

“Can we grab something to eat first?” He crumpled up the empty bag of Doritos and shoved it into one of his jacket pockets. “There’s supposed to be this really good omelet place here. I can give you guys the basics while we eat.”

At the mention of food, Dean’s stomach growled. “You hungry?” he asked Castiel.

“I would not mind something to eat.”

“Show us the way.”

--------------

The three of them headed out to where Garth figured the witch’s location was. The hunter had gathered good intel, but his dates and ability to count were off. Instead of the next kidnappings and killings taking place in two days, it was set to happen that night. So, they gathered their weapons and found themselves at a house in the suburbs a little before midnight.

Dean could only hope they didn’t get arrested for looking like a group of people who were up to no good. And if they did get arrested, it would have been after they got rid of the witch.

They snuck up to the house that was supposed to be the central location of all the kidnappings and body dumps. They looked into the window and saw three people tied up and shoved into the corner of the living room. The witch was nowhere to be seen.

“Okay,” Dean whispered, forming a plan. “You two go in and untie those people and get them to safety. I’ll—”

“No,” Castiel said before Dean could finish his plan.

“Cas, we don’t have time to fight about this.”

“We aren’t fighting. You’re making the situation hostile.”

“Cas, those people—”

“We will free them, but you will not go after the witch until we are there to provide back-up. Is that understood?”

Dean knew that he was in trouble when Castiel abandoned contractions when he spoke. As intimidated as he was by the angel, he could not ignore the warmth pooling in his belly. This was the Castiel he missed. The strong, sure, and unshakable angel. “Fine,” he agreed. He hoped Castiel caught his sarcasm.

“Guys, not that this argument isn’t entertaining, but the witch is probably in the house, and might be a little difficult to get to the people we’re trying to save if she’s in the same room with them.” Garth shrugged as he offered his suggestion.

“He has a point,” Dean agreed. He looked at Castiel who wouldn’t budge. He actually did not he expect him to go along with his first plan. He knew he had to think of something quick to get Castiel back on his side. “New plan. The three of us go in there. You two untie them and I’ll play lookout.”

“Dean,” Castiel sighed, knowing there was a part of the plan that Dean wasn’t telling them.

Dean ignored Castiel. That way, there wasn’t a chance he was lying to the angel. He knew how devious it was, but at the moment, he didn’t care. “We have to move.” He headed toward the back door knowing that action would keep Castiel from arguing. He pulled out his lock pick kit and unlocked the door. The three of them made it into the house without trouble.

Dean pulled out his gun and pointed it to both corners of the living room. He put a finger to his lips to signal the kidnappees to be quiet when they made eye contact with him. He waved Castiel and Garth in from behind them. They rushed to the people and quickly worked to untie the bonds.

Dean stood in the middle of the living room, changing his aim from the stairway then to the kitchen, then to the hallway. “Cas, hurry up,” Dean whispered.

“The knots are as stubborn as you are,” Castiel growled. He did not like being rushed.

“Just cut the ropes.” He pulled out the demon-killing knife from his waistband and tossed it to Castiel.

Castiel caught the knife and began to saw the ropes that bound the feet of the woman in front of him. He froze when he heard the sound of something drop upstairs. “Dean, don’t,” Castiel hissed. He knew exactly what Dean was thinking of doing. “We’re almost done here.”

“I got it, Cas.” He wasn’t going to run upstairs and kill the witch, even though he wanted to. He was going to wait for the kidnappees to be out of the house before he killed her. But he did want them to hurry. He would have rather been the ones to catch the witch off guard instead of the other way around.

“All right, people,” Garth said when the last person was untied. “Let’s get you all somewhere safe.”

“Go with them,” Dean said to Castiel when he didn’t move. All his order earned him was a glare so piercing that was almost hurt. “I’ll be right behind you,” he said, keeping the gun pointed at the stairs.

Castiel didn’t believe him, but he knew he had to help get the people out of the house. Although Garth was a hunter, Castiel felt like Garth wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task without him.

Castiel walked up to one of the captives and she grabbed onto his shirt and was not going to relinquish her hold any time soon. He looked back and Dean to make sure that he was behind him. Then he headed toward the back door.

Dean walked backwards, keeping the gun pointed out toward where he knew the witch was.

Once he saw Castiel step out of the house, Dean shut the door, locked it, and headed to the stairs. He knew he had to be quick because Castiel would kick in the door and run in after him regardless of how much noise it made. This way he knew he had time to get to the witch and keep Castiel out of danger.

He slowly made his eyes up the stairs, pointing the gun toward the second floor. He got to the second floor and pressed himself against the wall to stay out of sight.

It was easy to find which room the witch was in because that was the only one lit. Dean made his way to it and saw the door cracked open. He found it lucky that the witch’s back was to him. He didn’t want to think about too much because he knew that luck wouldn’t last.

He stepped into the room, then loaded the gun, knowing that it would alert the witch of his presence. As soon as he did that, the witch spun around and growled at him. “Who are you?” she screamed.

“No one important,” Dean replied. He moved his gun down to point at the witch’s heart.

“Hunter,” she hissed.

“Okay, maybe a little important,” Dean said with a shrug. “By the way, it wasn’t very smart of you to keep your sacrifices unguarded.”

The witch’s eyes widened. She couldn’t sense anyone else in the house besides the hunter. Her plan was ruined. She screamed and swiped her arm. Dean flew backward and out of the room, dropping his gun in the process. She straddled his waist and punched Dean in the face enough times for his teeth to turn pink. “It wasn’t very smart of you to come alone.”

Dean rolled both of them over right before she could punch him again. When he had her pinned, he reached into his waistband for the demon-killing knife, but couldn’t find it. His eyes widened when he remembered that he gave it to Castiel. “Shit,” he whispered.

The witch saw that Dean’s plan wasn’t going accordingly, so she took the opportunity to roll both of them over again, but this time, push Dean down the stairs. She was able to separate herself before Dean pulled her down the stairs with him.

Dean should have known the witch was going to use the stairs to her advantage. He realized his mistake in not doing so when he rolled the wrong way. He rolled down the stairs, protecting his head and neck from landing in the wrong position.

He groaned when he landed on the first floor. His vision was blurry, his ribs hurt, and he was pretty sure his head was bleeding. His vision cleared up just in time to see the witch’s heeled boot go to his neck. His hands went up to fight it off, but the witch was stronger than he was. Black dots danced around his vision as he found it hard to breathe.

He coughed a few times, spilling blood on her leather boots.

The witch gasped in disbelief of what the hunter did to her shoes. She wiped her boot off on Dean’s pants. She kicked him in the temple and Dean was out.

Dean came to with a hand squeezing his shoulder and the world vibrating around him. He didn’t think to fight back if the person was a threat. He just wanted the shaking to stop, but he needed a moment before he could get his voice to work. He opened his eyes and was greeted with bright blue eyes trying to stare into his soul. “Too close,” Dean said.

Castiel sat back on his heels. He let out a sigh of relief. “Dean, are you all right?”

He looked up and tried to look around Castiel and saw himself still at the bottom of the stairs. He saw Castiel covered in blood. “What happened? Are you okay?”

“The witch hit you. Then she threw you down the stairs,” Castiel answered, ignoring the second question completely.

“And what did you do?”

“I stabbed her.” He held his hands out and stared at the blood drying on them. He opened and closed them a few times before he dropped them down to his sides.

Dean groaned and grunted as pushed himself up to a sitting position with Castiel’s help. “Really?” Castiel let go of Dean. He could swear he saw Castiel’s cheeks turn pink.

Castiel’s eyes dropped down to the floor between them. He stared at the gun and knife that he gathered after he killed the witch. “I was able to catch her off guard.”

Dean smiled. That was definitely one of Castiel’s strong suits. He was always stunning people that way. He clapped a hand on Castiel’s shoulder. “People need to stop underestimating you.”

Castiel brought his hand across his chest and laid it on Dean’s. “I would rather they not. It makes it easier for me to surprise everyone.”

“Yeah, you’d lose a tactical advantage, wouldn’t you?”

Castiel nodded. He grabbed onto Dean’s arm. “Can you stand?”

“I need a second.”

“You may need more than a second.”

Dean sighed and rolled his eyes. Of course Castiel would take everything too literal. “Cas, I—”

“Dean! Castiel!” Garth yelled running into the house. He smiled when he saw the other hunters in one piece. “You guys are okay.”

“Where were you?” Dean asked. He looked Garth over and saw that the hunter was unscathed.

“I thought I saw something running around outside.”

“And?” Dean and Castiel said at the same time. They would not be able to handle another witch. Not with Dean injured.

“It was a dog. Or a cat. Maybe a bird,” Garth replied.

Dean and Castiel sighed. They were in the clear for now. “How are the kidnappees?” Dean asked.

“Freaking out. I think it’d be best to take them to the hospital.”

“That’s probably for the best,” Castiel replied.

“Are they in my car or yours?”

“Mine,” Garth answered. His station wagon had more space than the car Dean and Castiel drove over with.

“Okay, do you need us, or can you drive them there on your own?”

“I think I can handle playing chauffer,” Garth smiled. “What are you two going to do?”

“I think Dean’s injuries need my attention.”

“Okay,” Garth said. He looked at Dean who was still sitting on the floor. He did not look like he was in any condition to drive. “Do you know how to drive, Castiel?”

“I’m driving,” Dean answered.

Castiel tucked the demon-killing knife and Dean’s gun into his waistband. “No, you aren’t. You’re injured.”

“And you don’t know how to drive,” Dean countered. He let out a deep breath and braced his hands to push himself up. He groaned when his head started spinning. He felt Castiel’s hands on his arm pulling him up. Once he was standing, and not swaying, he looked at Castiel. “I’m okay to drive. The motel is ten minutes away, not ten hours.”

“All right,” Castiel conceded. He handed the keys over to Dean. He figured if Dean was well enough to argue, then he was well enough to drive the distance to the motel.

Garth led the way back to the cars, followed by Dean. Castiel walked a few feet behind. He was the person best suited to take care of a threat if one came up. He would have rather walked next to Dean and helped him to the car, but Dean was too stubborn to accept help for something like that.

Dean and Castiel got into the car and waited for Garth to start his. Once they got on the road, Dean followed Garth as closely as he could for as long as he could before they needed to head in different directions.

It took them a little less than ten minutes to get back to the motel. Castiel got out of the car first and walked to the driver’s side door. He didn’t help Dean out of the car, knowing how much it would frustrate him, but he kept a watchful eye on him as he stepped out.

He did take Dean’s bag from him so Dean could concentrate on walking and only walking.

Once they got into the motel room, Dean went straight to the bathroom. He needed a quick shower. Usually, after hunts, he’d stand under the hot spray for as long as he could to let the tension in his muscles melt away, but Castiel needed the hot water more to wash away the blood.

Dean finished his shower within ten minutes and as soon as the bathroom was free, Castiel took his place in it. He saw that his duffel bag was opened and the First Aid Kit was sitting on top of his clothes. While Castiel showered, Dean slipped into a shirt and boxers.

When Castiel came out of the bathroom, Dean sat on the edge of the bed. Dean would have rather just went to sleep, but he knew Castiel wanted to deal with the cuts and bruises the witch gave him.

Dean watched as Castiel moved mechanically around the room. He sat and let Castiel get the supplies from the First Aid Kit without saying anything. He watched as Castiel intently opened the kit and rifled through the contents. He reached for a few things when it looked like Castiel was taking too long.

What he got was a slap on the hand.

Castiel shut the kit and pushed it out of Dean’s reach.

Dean had no choice but to sit and let Castiel tend to him. He sat quietly, like a good patient, while Castiel wrapped and covered his injuries.

Castiel didn’t say anything as he did his best to tend to Dean’s wounds. When he was done and all the extra supplies was put away, he walked back over to the injured man. “I’m sorry, Dean,” Castiel said, rubbing his thumb over the bandaid he put on Dean’s eyebrow.

“Don’t apologize for what the witch did.” Like Castiel had said many times before, it was nothing he had control over so he didn’t need to apologize.

Castiel furrowed his brow. “I wasn’t apologizing about that,” he said, pulling his hand away. “That was your fault.”

Dean’s eyes widened enough that they threatened to fall out of his head. He grabbed Castiel’s hand. “Excuse me?”

“You didn’t wait for Garth and me. What is the point of bringing me along as backup if you don’t want me to back you up?”

Dean couldn’t argue that. Especially since he told Castiel he’d wait for them to come back before he confronted the witch. “Okay. So why are you apologizing?”

“I’m sorry that I can’t heal you. I don’t think my brothers feel I deserve my grace yet.”

Dean bit his lip. He felt guilty. He was the one in charge of keeping Castiel’s grace. If he had just given his grace back, this anxiety wouldn’t exist. “Don’t worry about it, Cas,” he said, trying to calm Castiel’s guilt. “I’d dealt with worse before you popped into my life.”

“You shouldn’t have to deal with it now that I’m in your life. I’m an angel. I should be able to heal you.”

“Well, you’re helping right now.” He pointed to the bandages on his arms and face. “Just not in the way you’re used to.”

“I suppose.” Castiel sat down next to Dean on the bed. “Are there other injuries that you need me to tend to?”

“I think I’m good, Cas.” He had a few muscle aches, but it wasn’t anything that a few painkillers before bed wouldn’t be able to fix. Then a thought hit him. “I didn’t even ask if you were hurt at all.” He reached for Castiel, which earned his hand another slap.

“The witch didn’t touch me,” Castiel replied. There was no need for Dean to check on him. He’d waste his energy and find nothing.

Dean was impressed. The witch was crafty, and if Castiel was telling the truth and the witch didn’t lay a hand on him, it said something about Castiel. “It must be that little bit of grace you still have.”

“I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it.”

“Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t,” Dean replied. Then he yawned.

“You should get some sleep,” Castiel said when Dean’s yawn ended.

“You too.” Another yawn occurred, and his eyes watered.

“Of course,” Castiel said. He stood up so Dean could pull back the covers.

He grabbed Dean’s duffel bag and searched through it. He pulled out a bottle of pills. He poured out two then returned the rest to his bag. He walked back to the beds and grabbed Dean’s hand. He put the pills in it, and was about to get some water, but Dean swallowed them without it.

He was about to get into the empty bed when Dean grabbed his wrist. Castiel’s eyes followed Dean’s to the empty side of the bed. He smiled and walked around to climb in.

Dean reached over and shut off the light when Castiel was settled next to him. They both maneuvered to get into the most comfortable position. They settled with Dean lying on his back with Castiel tucked into his side. Dean had to smile at how long it took them to get into that position since they’d been sleeping like that for weeks.

He fell asleep with a smile on his face.

[Chapter 11]   [Masterpost]   [Chapter 13]

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
laura_trekkie
Feb. 27th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
Go Cas, BAMF even without most of his grace. Hopefully Dean won't ditch his back up again!

What will Cas' reaction be when he learns that Dean is the one holding his grace?

Laura.
dauntperplexity
Feb. 28th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
Cas is a sneaky angel. Of course, Dean would do anything and everything to keep Castiel safe even if it means getting his butt kicked.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )