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Chapter Eleven: Hold Me ((Plumb))

"Okay, come at me."

Castiel frowned. "I don't want to."

"Cas, that's kinda the whole point of the training. You've gotta get used to attacking things that move."

Dean shifted his weight from one leg to the other, waiting for the angel to charge him. The pair had been in the castle's courtyard for the better part of the evening, following dinner. If they were going to take on Crowley, Castiel needed to know how to fight without using his angel powers. The first thing he'd tried to teach the dark- haired man had been how to use a gun. The first thing Castiel had done was take it apart. That plan was quickly dropped. Dean didn't really think they had enough time to go over that one. But he wasn't letting the other leave until he'd gotten some basic training down, at least.

Chuck had been of some help, letting them use the courtyard so now one would interrupt them. He had a feeling Gabriel would be running a commentary by now, otherwise. He also left them a few weird looking training dummies. They looked a bit like scarecrows, and even had little frowny faces drawn on the heads.

The training started out with Dean showing Castiel a few basic punches and kicks on the dummies, and then having the angel repeat them. It didn't work so well in the beginning, until Dean made the connection between the fighting and Gabriel teaching him how to dance. When Castiel thought about it like that, it was easier to take the information in.

Once Dean was satisfied with the progress, he'd decided they needed to move on to something that could actually fight back. Castiel refused.

"I don't want to fight with you, Dean." The angel crossed his arms, staring him down.

"We're not really fighting, Cas. It's just the same things I taught you. I won't hurt you, I promise." Dean held up his hands with a smile.

Castiel tipped his head to the side. "What makes you so sure that's what I'm worried about?"

Dean grinned. "You're worried about going too hard on ME? Is that it?"

He nodded. Even without his Grace, he was still an angel. Angels were naturally stronger than humans. He might not have taken down a full- powered demon like this, but humans were so… breakable. Also, he'd seen Dean hurt quite a few times since they'd been together, and he wasn't happy with it. It left a bad feeling in his chest that he couldn't place, a human emotion he wasn't used to. He didn't want anything to happen to the hunter, least of all something he did.

"You've got nothin' to worry about, Cas. I can take care of myself."

The angel huffed out a breath. "Yes, because you've been doing a wonderful job so far."

Dean arched a brow. "I'm still here, aren't I? C'mon. I just wanna see that you'll be able to handle yourself later on. I don't want anything happening to you."

Castiel paused, staring at him. So that feeling he had, the one that screamed at him to make sure the hunter was alright, that nothing happened to hurt him— Dean felt it too.

Finally, he licked his lips. "Alright."

The human looked pleased, staring at him. "Okay cool. Just come at me. Remember what I taught you, and pretend I'm just some demon."

Castiel nodded. He studied Dean for a moment in creepy angel- mode, as the hunter had started to refer to it as, and then reached out quickly to grab his collar. Dean wasn't going to make it easy, however. He grabbed the angel's wrist before fingers could close around the fabric, twisting the other's arm behind his back with just enough force to hold him there. Not enough to hurt.

He smirked, tipping his head over the other's shoulder to stare into his eyes. "Still think it's gonna be so easy to hurt me?"

Castiel looked shocked. He knew he shouldn't have been; Dean was a hunter, and he knew how to fight. But the move had surprised him. And the hunter being so close surprised him even more. His stomach flipped, another curious sensation he'd yet to be able to identify.

Instead, he curled his ankle around the other's leg, pulling and knocking him off balance. Dean fell back with a surprised noise, his grip on Castiel pulling him along for the ride. The angel landed on top of the human, Dean pinned to the soft grass of the courtyard.

"Hey, that was pretty good."

Castiel squirmed a bit, shifting position until he had a knee on either side of the hunter's hips, staring down at him. Dean's grin at the other's fighting skills soon wore off, staring back up.

He gnawed at his lip. "Um, Cas?"

"Yes?"

"Probably should get up. It's kinda awkward."

"Oh." The angel moved quickly, sliding off of him and sitting on the grass beside him instead. His stomach flipped again. He was going to have to ask Gabriel what this feeling meant. He wanted to ask Dean, but he'd learned that the hunter didn't deal well with feelings. So his brother would probably be the best choice in this case.

After a moment, Dean's grin was back in place. "So. Ready for another round?"

***

Dean sighed, staring at the angel in front of him. The angel that was wearing the most effective puppy eyes he'd ever seen outside of Sammy when he was five years old, and clutching a pillow as if it would protect him from whatever the night held in store.

Castiel tugged nervously at his bottom lip with teeth, awaiting the verdict.

The hunter rolled his eyes with the tiniest of grins, scooting over to make room for him on the plush bed. The angel brightened, hugging the pillow he really didn't need as he slid under the blankets on the free side. Dean knew they needed as good a night's sleep as could be allowed, if they hoped to stand any kind of chance against Crowley. And he wasn't going to admit it, but the angel had scared the crap out of him the previous night, all panicked and making those scared noises.

So at least if Castiel was sleeping with him, he'd be able to watch out for any more nightmares. That's what he told himself. There was no way he was admitting to the fact that he was getting used to having the angel sleep beside him.

Nope. Not at all. Rivers in Egypt and all that.

***

Bobby, true to his word, had everything ready by the time everyone was awake and ready to go. Breakfast was a quick affair this morning, no one really speaking much. Gabriel seemed to still be in a bit of a mood, although he'd agreed to come along. Dean suspected Sam had a hand in convincing him. Castiel was quiet, even if he hadn't dreamed that night. It was a reflective sort of quiet, not a haunted sort, so Dean wasn't worried. Sam seemed normal enough, lost in his thoughts as he usually tended to get before a hunt. He would trade a few words with Becky when she spoke to him, but kept to himself for the most part. Dean went over everything with Bobby, what they knew about Crowley, what had been packed for them, where they would find the demon's home.

The only thing left to do was to start out.

They would drive to Crowley's place. The city after the castle was roadworthy, and the major highway ran most of the distance to the demon's home. Dean was relieved. Another week of walking and he wouldn't have been held responsible for his actions on other members of his party. Namely Gabriel.

This also helped, as now they wouldn't have to carry the duffel bags that Bobby had packed for them. All the weapons that hunters used on their cases, especially the things that worked best on demons. Holy Water most of all. It came in canteens, a few for each of them. Boxes of salt, in addition to the salt- packed rounds that came with the shotguns. The only thing they didn't have enough for each of them was special demon- killing knife they had, which was currently in Dean's possession. Mostly because he seemed to be the only one out of the group that had trouble with Latin.

When Bobby led them out to the castle gates, where their car was waiting, he could have hugged the guy. If he did that sort of thing, of course. Sitting just inside the iron gates, waiting for them, was a black '67 Chevy Impala, an exact copy of his own car. He stared, mouth even gaping a bit, before turning to the old guard. Bobby just grinned, tossing a set of keys at him.

Sam rolled his eyes good- naturedly as Dean tossed his bag into the trunk, almost giddy as he circled to the driver's side. God, but he missed his baby.

The angels had no knowledge of what made this particular car so special for the Hunters. Castiel noticed that it made Dean very happy, so that was good enough for him. Gabriel didn't really care, so long as it meant they didn't have to walk. Sam had already made his way to the passenger side, so the archangel hopped into the back, behind the driver's side, where Dean was marveling that even his tape collection was in place. Castiel just smiled, taking the last spot.

Bobby opened the gates, waving them off. It was easy enough to get them onto the highway; Dean had been navigating highways since he had learned to drive. He practically had at least a fourth of them memorized by now. They might have been in Purgatory, but at least it had a manageable transport system, when it wasn't forestry and 50s era slums.

It was comfortable. The windows were rolled down, letting the highway- blown air through the car. It was just another hunt for the Winchesters. The only difference was the pair of angels they'd picked up, but that was a petty semantic. Dean felt as much at home as he'd come since they were transported here. A look in his brother's direction told him the same was true with Sam. He leaned against the door, head propped up on an arm and staring out the window. An almost- grin was on his face.

He glanced in the rearview mirror at the angels. Gabriel looked bored, staring at the scenery. Dean figured it was only a matter of time before the annoying archangel started kicking the back of his seat. He was definitely not looking forward to that. Castiel seemed to be trying to look everywhere at once. If he wasn't staring out the window, he was toying with something inside the car. At the moment, he as rolling the window up and down, then settling for a halfway point. Dean supposed he'd never ridden in a car before. The thought made him grin. At least his first car ride was in the best car possible.

Dean grabbed a tape at random, pushing it into the player. Sam groaned, starting to complain. His brother quickly invoked the rule of Driver Picks the Music, Shotgun Shuts His Cakehole. The problem with this rule, as he quickly found out, was that it didn't account for backseat passengers. That was when Gabriel decided kicking his seat was a good idea. Castiel only looked curious.

By that point, they'd been driving for a few hours, and Sam suggested they stop somewhere to eat and stretch. Dean almost refused, but he was about ten minutes from throttling the archangel in the backseat— who had decided that show tunes would be helpful to the other passengers, especially in the loudest voice he could muster— so he pulled off at the next exit.

Gabriel was out the door as soon as the car was parked in the first diner they came to. It was probably the only thing that kept Dean from yanking him out of the backseat. Sam got out, stretching. He was used to being cramped up in a car all day, but it didn't make it any less gratifying to get out of one. Castiel slid out with an apology for Dean on his brother's behalf, which Dean shrugged off.

Lunch was simple and fast. Diner fare, which the brothers were used to. Castiel had taken a liking to cheeseburgers and French fries, not to mention free refills on Pepsi. Gabriel decided to try the weirdest- sounding thing on the menu, which in this case, was aptly named 'Liver Disaster'. Sam looked like he was going to be sick over his chicken salad.

When they were done, Sam and Gabriel went out to the car. Dean and Castiel went to pay the check, the former insisting that Gabriel had better keep his Liver Disaster right where he put it, because if he threw up in the Impala, Dean was ditching him. At 90MPH preferably.

Moments later, when the pair exited the diner, they were greeted with the sight of their respective brothers trying to fight off a rather large group of werewolves. Well, Sam was trying, while Gabriel was rummaging through the trunk while Sam yelled at him.

Shit. Shitshitshitshit. Dean had been so preoccupied with what they'd need to fight demons, he'd forgotten there were other supernatural creatures filling up Purgatory.

Sam kicked one of the wolves, right in the face. It flew back with a yelp. Two more took its place.

"Gabe c'mon!"

"There's nothing here!" the archangel snapped back, tossing aside a few boxes of salt. Something shoved him away from the trunk, and he landed with a grunt on the pavement. He looked up just in time to see Dean grab a shotgun from the back, slamming the butt of it into a snarling face.

"Get in the car!" the hunter barked, the gun colliding with another werewolf's side.

Gabriel scrambled inside the backseat.

They were in trouble. Sam knew the salt rounds weren't going to do any good against werewolves, and they didn't have any silver, based on Gabriel's search of the contents of the trunk. He wasn't sure if the demon- killing knife would work on them. They'd never tried it before. But still, even if it did, there were at least twenty of them against one knife.

There were at least five of them circling him now. Another group was attacking his brother, and still more were clawing at the car, trying to get at Gabriel. And Castiel—

Dean had left Castiel at the doorway when he ran to help Gabriel. The angel took off running, moving to do the same for Dean. He slammed bodily into a werewolf that was seconds away from taking a bite out of Dean's shoulder. Both of them went sailing through the air and crashing to the pavement, Castiel landing on top of the wolf with a noise.

The wolf quickly threw him off, and was on top of him in an instant. Dean barely had time to shout the angel's name before claws ripped into his arm. Castiel screamed in pain. That was all it took for Gabriel to act.

Half a second later, the entire wolf pack was gone.

To be more precise, it was them that had moved, not the wolves. They were no longer in front of the diner, but in a park a few miles away. It was the first thing Gabriel could think of. Sam froze, looking around in confusion. He half expected the wolves to come back in an instant.

Dean didn't have time to wonder what had happened. He dropped the shotgun in the grass, falling beside it at Castiel's side.

"Cas!"

The angel curled in on himself, gripping his arm to his side. He cringed, letting out a pained whimper as Dean carefully rolled him over to inspect the damage.

"Did it bite you? Please say it didn't bite you, dammit, Cas…"

Castiel shook his head, eyes shut tight. "Just… claws…"

Dean nodded shakily, pulling at the angel's trench coat. The sleeve was in tatters, and Castiel hissed as it was pushed over the cuts to slide off his arm to be left hanging on his other shoulder. He propped Castiel up against the Impala's tire, stretching his arm out. There were four slashes along the forearm, not deep enough to be life- threatening, but pretty bad. The puddle of blood against the grass was proof enough of that.

Sam was on the other side of them by then, a white box in his hand, which he handed wordlessly to Dean. A travel first aid kit. Dean shuffled through it quickly, ripping open a few packs of gauze to press against the cuts. Castiel let out another noise, but Dean held on.

"Sorry Cas, but we've gotta stop the bleeding, okay?"

The angel nodded, biting hard at his lip.

Gabriel crawled out of the backseat, hovering worriedly over them. "It's not too bad is it?"

"He'll be okay," Sam assured, looking up at the archangel. "Can you heal him?"

He blanched, looking honestly near tears as he shook his head. "I used it all up in moving us. It'll be at least a few hours before I get anything back, let alone enough to do that."

Castiel tensed, his breath quickening. Blue eyes darted around to each of them, and he whimpered.

"I feel… light…"

Dean held on to the angel's arm, keeping the gauze in place. "It's okay, Cas, just breathe."

He squirmed a bit, but nodded, closing his eyes.

"Eyes open, okay? Stay awake and take deep breaths."

"What's going on?" Gabriel knelt beside them. "I thought you said he'd be okay…"

"When the human body loses a lot of blood, it starts a sort of 'fight or flight' mechanism." Sam explained, moving to loosen Castiel's tie. "If we're not careful, he'll pass out."

Castiel kept his eyes open as instructed, staring at Dean. He felt out of breath, even if he was taking in mouthfuls of air at a time. It made him restless, as if he had to move somehow, and he nervously twisted as much as his current position would allow. Dean kept his hands pressed against the gauze on his arm, keeping him from moving too much, and also from losing more blood.

It became harder to hear, as if something was slowly covering his ears. There was a humming noise, and though Dean was talking to him, instructing him to keep breathing, it was muffled. This made him whine again.

"Dizzy…" he managed. "Hot… Feels like I can't hear well…"

Dean nodded. "Keep breathing, it'll go away in a minute."

Castiel kept breathing, deep breaths through his mouth, eyes open. Sam had grabbed a folded sheet of paper from the white box, fanning the angel to cool him down. Dean was wrapping stretchy plastic tape around the gauze on his arm, keeping his eyes on Castiel's.

True enough, his hearing started to clear after another minute. The thudding of his heart began to calm. "I think… it's getting better…"

"You're gonna be okay, Cas. I got you. You're an angel, you can't let some puppy with an anger problem get the best of you." He grinned a bit, but there was worry in his eyes.

Gabriel's hand was clenched into a fist in the other angel's trench coat. He looked from his brother to the Hunter caring for him. He was a fucking ARCHANGEL, and here he was useless.

Castiel's breathing calmed slowly, and his nervous squirming ceased. Dean checked the bandages while Sam started putting the unused supplies away. Gabriel stood abruptly and stormed off.

***

They set up camp in the park. A lot of the afternoon was spent looking after Castiel, and none of them were really up for the drive at this point. Sam built a fire, and they had the snacks Becky packed for him for dinner. Gabriel still hadn't come back by sunset, so Dean went to look for him.

He didn't have to look far. He found the archangel curled up against the far side of the Impala, legs drawn up to his chest with his chin resting on them. Wordlessly, he took a seat beside the other.

"What?" Gabriel glanced at him sullenly.

Dean just shrugged. "Just wondering what's up."

"I'm fucking useless around here." The archangel snapped. "I'm tired of having to play the 'Which Bad Thing is Worth Using My Powers On' game."

The hunter hummed thoughtfully. "Then why do you wanna stay so bad?"

Gabriel stared at him, expression unusually serious. "It's personal."

He nodded. He knew better than to push that particular issue. Instead, he went with a different tactic.

"There's no way we would've been able to deal with all those werewolves." he sat back against the side of the car, staring up into the sky. "Taking care of the cause, rather than the effect. It was the right thing to do."

"For all the good that did Cas." Gabriel snorted self- depreciatingly.

"He got out of it with only a few claw marks. A lot worse could have happened and you know it."

Gabriel was quiet for a moment. What he said next came out muffled, most of his face burying itself against his knees in the meantime. "You're gonna take care of him, right?"

"Of course."

Gabriel's shoulders slumped, and he let out a sigh. "I wanted him to go home before he got hurt. This is exactly why he shouldn't have come."

Dean arched a brow. "If he'd been here instead, wouldn't you have come to get him?"

"In a heartbeat." The archangel scowled. "There might be a lot of us angels flapping around, but Cassy and I… we're close. I gotta look out for him."

He nodded. "I don't see why you're surprised then. It works both ways." Dean had enough personal experience to know this much. As hard as he tried to keep his own brother from getting hurt, sometimes Sam had to come through and save his ass.

Gabriel stopped to think about this. Dean stood up, dusting himself off.

"Sam's got sandwiches if you're hungry. We're starting early tomorrow, so don't stay up too late."

The smaller man stared at him as he left, frowning in consideration. Damn humans.

Dean wandered back to the makeshift camp. Sam was reading something, a book Bobby had packed with the weapons. Castiel was lying a bit away from the fire, curled on his side with his head pillowed on his coat. He took a seat beside the angel.

"How you feeling?"

Castiel glanced up at him, blue eyes dark in the fire light. "Better. Sam gave me some medicine for the pain." He held up an empty wrapper. Advil from the first aid kit.

Dean leaned back on his arms. "That's good. We'll get back on the road tomorrow. The cuts weren't too bad; they should be healed up before we get there."

The angel nodded quietly. "How is Gabriel?"

"He's fine. Just sulking. I had a little talk with him. He'll be alright."

"Thank you."

The hunter shrugged awkwardly. "No worries. It's my fault you got hurt in the first place."

Castiel gave him a half- smile. "I suppose it was worth it in the end."

Dean grinned. "Don't go making it a habit."

"I could say the same to you."

They were quiet after that. Castiel yawned, the fire and the painkillers making him sleepy. He moved closer, his head resting against Dean's leg. The hunter said nothing, just relaxed, watching the fire. A few minutes later, the angel was asleep.

Gabriel came out of hiding a little while later; making short work of the sandwich he got from Sam. He curled up across from them, on the other side of the fire with his back to it. Sam went to the trunk, pulling out a stack of army blankets. He draped one over each angel and handed a third to his brother, before settling down for the night with his own. Dean lay back, careful not to wake Castiel, covering his top half with the blanket.

The fire was out, burned down to ash, before he managed to sleep.
In which there's werewolves...

Have an update before tonight breaks our hearts? ouo

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:iconpatchedfox:
PatchedFox Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
Great Chapter, love having the car in it now.


But poor Cas....:( (Werewolves are still cool, though.)
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:iconkaruleonnese:
KaruLeonnese Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Of course the car would make it in eventually. xD Wouldn't be the same without it!

(Best thing about being a writer is using personal experiences later on in writing ouo )
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:iconnevesmose:
Nevesmose Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
Werewolves make everything better. :meow:
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