Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me

Fandom: Supernatural

Category/Rated: Gen, PG

Year/Length: 2007/ ~934 words

Pairing: Dean, Castiel

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Summary: When Castiel falls, it has nothing to do with sex, violence, or any of the other sins he's so feared.

Author's Notes: Note: Because everyone needs some apoca!fic, complete with falling angels and some blurring in the distinction between good and evil.

Beta: My angel-girl, mgbutterfly

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Dean says, "I can hear Him calling you home," without looking up from the sword he's sharpening. The edges of the blade catch the flickering candle light and seem to absorb it, reflecting it back a thousand times brighter. It is nothing compared to how bright Dean has become.

Castiel looks to the side, his eyes watering when he nods and says, "Yes." The call has been rising for hours now, loud and all encompassing through his being. It's calling him home, calling him to higher battlefields. Earth has been lost. The heavenly host marshals in the firmament, and Castiel is the last to answer His call.

On the bed, Dean looks up, pausing in his work and bouncing the whetting stone in his hands. Castiel can feel Dean's gaze on him, and after a moment Castiel turns to face the man. His eyes still water. He fights the urge to look away, his fingers curling up slowly towards his palms.

Dean sighs, sounds exhausted when he says, "So what are you waiting for?"

And that is the question Castiel's been asking himself since he first heard the call, nearly a day and a half ago. He should have gone immediately, dropping this cage of flesh and bone, hurrying to His side. Castiel is built to obey one voice and one voice alone, and It is calling him, ordering him, pulling him.

Castiel pushes out a hard breath, blinking, trails of wet warmth sliding down his cheeks, "I will stay." It is the best answer he can give to Dean. It is the best answer he can give to himself, though it is no answer at all, no explanation. He knows only that he cannot leave. No matter how loud the call gets. No matter the defiance that he's flaunting. No matter that he should not be able to.

Free will was never given to him. It was never given to any of his kind. And yet, Castiel stays on Earth when he should be in Heaven, sitting here in this run down motel room in Lawrence, Kansas, waiting for Lucifer to crawl out of his pit.

Across from him, Dean snorts, shifting around, "Don't be a fucking idiot. You know what's coming." The words are flat, brutally honest. And yes, Castiel knows what's coming. He can feel the twisting, churning, legions of hell spawn, waiting for the last thin barrier to be destroyed, for their ticket to Earth to be punched. Dean continues, gruffer, "You have a chance to get out of here. You'd be insane not to take it. God knows I'd be out of here."

Castiel makes himself meet Dean's gaze again, deciding not to call Dean on the lie. It's no longer important. Very soon, it won't matter. Nothing will. Castiel shrugs, a gesture that he learned from Dean, and says, finally, "Nevertheless, I will stay."

Dean laughs, low and rough, shaking his head, his mouth twisting up a little with disbelief or amusement. They lapse into silence, and Castiel leans back against the wall, closing his eyes and folding his hands on his lap. It's taking more and more effort for him to resist the call. He can feel the pull down low in his gut, up his spine, pounding away at the base of his skull. Castiel frowns, balling his hands up into fists, willing himself to stay on this plane, in this body, here. Something inside of him is being torn to pieces.

When Dean stands, sudden and abrupt, it is a welcome distraction. Castiel cracks his eyes open. He's surprised when he hears Dean clearly over the roar building in his mind, "It's almost time." Dean's expression is grim, and the sword is in his hand now, the edge shining so brightly that it seems as though flames are gliding it.

Castiel nods. Pushing to his feet takes effort, and Dean reaches out, steadying him. Castiel hears worry beneath the irritation when Dean says, "Seriously, you should go while you still can. You know, live to fight another day. All that good stuff."

There's sincerity in Dean's expression, right beside the worry and fear and, buried somewhere so deep Castiel is sure he must be imagining it, hope. It's enough to make Castiel shake his head, to make him force from his tight throat, "No. I make my stand here."

He should have known that the third refusal would be enough, would be the end of His patience. Inside Castiel, the call cuts off abruptly, startling and painful in its absence. He hisses, swaying for just a moment, raising one hand to his forehead and pressing there. He feels cold, hungry, tired, weak. He feels lessened, and knows that he is.

The last seal breaks. An angel fallen from God's grace with pure actions, for loyalty, love, and honor.

Not that it matters. Not with the smell of sulfur filling up the room. Not with Dean squeezing Castiel's elbow, and saying, so soft that the words are barely audible, "Thank you." And the gratefulness in Dean's tone makes Castiel ache, makes him feel things that were never an option before. Castiel wishes, suddenly, that they had more time, even as something bangs against the door.

Dean releases Castiel then, smiling his wild smile, lifting his sword and resting the broad edge of the blade against his shoulder. Dean says, "Ready to rock and roll?" as the door and the spells warding it finally shatter under the combined attentions of the army outside.

Dean grunts, and steps forward into the attack, shining as brightly as the Morningstar.

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