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10 December 2014 @ 09:28 pm
This Could Be the Saddest Dusk  
Title: This Could Be the Saddest Dusk (Episode tag to 10.9, sorta)
Characters: Castiel, Sam
Wordcount: 1,053
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: obtuse spoilers for 10.9, [spoilers for the fic]major character death, suicide.
Author's Notes: Okay, so I was less than bouncy about Tuesday's SPN episode, for a host of reasons that I've already splattered all over everyone's journals. Regardless--or maybe in spite of it all--I was really moved by the drabbles HERE and HERE amberdreams produced in response to the ep. Please read them first! They're quick, and my ficlet will make much more sense afterwards. Actually, it's technically a tag to her drabbles!

Anywho, I found myself needing to wallow in the most abject melodrama and self-satisfying angst that I ever angsted. I NEEEEEDED THIS. Forgive me.

The bunker door is ajar. Castiel nudges it open with his foot, peeks into the gloom. The warding has been neglected.

He half-expects to see the walls christened with blood, flung in great rusty arcs. But he doesn’t, and there’s the faint and distant echoes of music playing from somewhere deep within the marble halls of the place.

Sounds like something Dean would be listening to. Aerosmith. The band name pops into Castiel’s brain, plucked from all that information implanted there by Metatron. He even knows the song title: ‘Last Child.’ And there is something distinctly ill-omened about that knowledge.


No response.

Castiel walks down the iron staircase, heads toward the music. Past the war room and the study and the mess hall, past the open bedroom doors, with their unmade beds.

Sam hasn’t picked up the phone since they’d burned Dean’s body. Since he and Castiel had made the pyre deep in the woods behind the bunker, in a clearing surrounded by bare branches and old snow. There was no eulogy from Sam, only dry-eyed silence, disturbed by the crackle of the flames and a flock of starlings that startled into the gray sky when Castiel had sneezed. He would need to find more Grace soon.

Afterwards, Sam hadn’t wanted anyone hovering over him. Castiel wouldn’t have minded doing the hovering, but he did have jobs. Jimmy Novak’s daughter needed supervision, albeit distant; as long as she didn’t know Castiel was playing guardian angel, the relationship was copacetic. And there were still rogue brethren wandering Earth and for them, Castiel felt particularly responsible.

Sam had always been stubbornly self-reliant. He’d said he understood why Dean did it.

“Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt,” Sam had said, with a laugh that held not a bit of humor. He’d said he knew it would happen, and it didn’t make him love Dean any less.

“It’s bullshit about suicide being a Mortal Sin, right?” he’d asked of Castiel, eyes boring into the angel’s as though daring him to lie. He knew Castiel could lie—oh, he could—he’d gotten quite good at it, in fact.

“Yes, Sam. It’s...bullshit. Dean’s soul may have to do penance, but he won’t be damned.”

Sam had nodded, taking deep breaths. He wanted so hard to believe, this much was clear. “And the Mark?”

“It can be removed now.” Castiel lied very well, indeed.

“Thanks, Cas.” And then Sam had wandered off with a bottle of something 100-proof dangling from his fingers.

Two weeks ago, that was. Castiel has not sensed Sam’s soul leaving the corporeal plane, but there is something amiss, and Castiel feels a flicker of guilt that he hasn’t paid closer attention to the one human being left on this planet who knows him best. Who forgives him everything. Who cares.


Still nothing, but the radio and a rumble.

The faraway rumble of a car.

Castiel runs, skids around the corner into the bunker’s massive garage. There is but one light on in the place, and one car is running. A hose travels from the exhaust pipe of the Impala to the driver’s side door, where it has been pinched tightly in the window.

He charges to the car and yanks on the door handle, but Sam has locked it. The hose pulls free with one tug, and Castiel slams his elbow into the window. The safety glass splinters into millions of tiny squares, but it takes a second strike to make an actual hole. Music blasts out of the car. Shoving his hand through the break, he unlocks the door and nearly tears it off the hinges, so desperate to open it.

Sam is sitting shotgun, his head lolled back and lips slightly parted. After the injury that nearly destroyed his shoulder, he’d struggled to put muscle back on, and now it’s clear he’s stopped taking care of himself altogether; his hair is greasy and his neck is thin, his cheeks, hollow. He hasn’t shaved.

Castiel grabs a fist full of shirt and drags him unceremoniously across the bench seat. Skinny or not, Sam is long and boneless, and it takes some care to untangle his feet from under the dashboard and get him to the garage floor without doing more damage. His skin is still warm but Castiel isn’t certain he’s breathing.

“No, Sam. No.” Castiel shakes him hard. Sam’s eyes are barely open but he doesn’t blink. Pressing a palm flat to Sam’s bony chest, the extent of the damage quickly becomes clear. It’s systemic. Sam is full of alcohol and something narcotic, and nearly every organ has shut down. There’s not enough Grace in three angels to make things right. Sam’s soul flurries against Castiel’s hand.

He tries to keep the tremulous, iridescent thing in Sam’s failing body, but it squirms and buzzes. Panic rises up in Castiel’s throat, stings his eyes. “No, Sam! I...you can’t. I lied. I lied to you, Sam.”

But the soul wants nothing more to do with the body that was Sam Winchester. It bats at Castiel’s palm, bewildered, pleading to soar like a starling in the woods. He feels his own cheeks grow hot, and tears drop onto Sam’s shirt, darkening the plaid in spots.

How can he tell Sam that he’s sorry? There are no words. There is no more time.

The music shifts into a song Castiel doesn’t recognize. A swaying melody, a man’s sweet voice singing of the saddest dusk he’s ever seen, turn to a miracle, high-alive...the lyrics make no sense, but they fit together like poetry.

My mind is racing, as it always will, my hands tired, my heart aches...*

Lifting his palm, Castiel allows the soul to thread through his fingers. It glows pale blue and fragile, prickling the fine hairs on his forearm. It might even have lingered a moment, watching, before it drifted up and up and into the dark of the cavernous garage, until Castiel knows that it is gone.

Tomorrow, he will build a second pyre, in the same spot as the first. He will lock the bunker up tightly. Perhaps someday, another hunter will deserve it, another legacy. But tonight, he will sit on the cold stone floor and brush the hair from Sam’s considerable forehead. And he will regret a great many things.

*The song in the car: REM's 'Half a World Away'
Current Mood: listlesslistless
Current Music: 'Last Child' - Aerosmith
YohkoB: Sam-Seriousyohkobennington on December 11th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)

Okay but no.



Edited at 2014-12-11 02:41 am (UTC)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 02:46 am (UTC)
Because I'm PMSing and Show made me grumpy and MISERY LOVES COMPANY. And I thought Amb's drabbles were really powerful so...yeah?

(Play the song at the end of the fic, IT'S HAPPY-ISH, I SWEAR!)

tifachingtifaching on December 11th, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
I thought Amber freakin' broke me but I see that there's still more to shatter. Sam sitting shotgun.... Castiel's lies. I need to read fic about kittens now.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
I had to purge, I'm so sorry! *notsorry* I dunno, I just had to get it out of my derned system. TIME FOR KITTENS!
borgmama1of5borgmama1of5 on December 11th, 2014 02:50 am (UTC)
Sobbing now, thank you very much...
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
ephermeralkephermeralk on December 11th, 2014 03:32 am (UTC)
OKAY. Y'all are determined to try and pull tears from my body. I WILL NOT GIVE IN. I REFUSE.

But really though. That was pulling, and wonderful, and heart-string pulling, exactly how I like my fic.

And I love that although I too felt rather "meh" about last night's epsiode--not the best, not the worst, that I love how everyone around here is taking it, and giving it life (or death, so to speak), and making it our own and meaningful.

That is the best part.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 03:59 am (UTC)
I completely agree! I felt 10.9 was kinda like a cake that didn't quite work. It had all the right ingredients to make a helluva dessert, but in the wrong quantity, in the wrong order. The oven was a little too cool and the pan, a little too small. Or something like that.

But yeah, it still had great ingredients, and we'll bake like mad with them. :)
zara_zee: Take Care of Sammyzara_zee on December 11th, 2014 03:37 am (UTC)
Ah...shit. Sorry. Sobs. Really? I damn well hope there's a special 'get out of Hell' card for being lied to by an angel...

For all that 10.09 could've been better, it sure seems to have left us all with a bucket-load of feels...
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, there is at least that, huh? Feels are good!

I wouldn't have been compelled to create without having read Amb's drabbles first, though. They made me ponder: what would Sam have done? After trying his damnedest to save Dean and failing, left to grieve, would he keep hunting? Or would he hang it all up, thinking Dean had made it Upstairs, and decide to join him?

I think he would.
(no subject) - zara_zee on December 11th, 2014 04:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on December 11th, 2014 06:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
firesign10: Sam - my past is my pastfiresign10 on December 11th, 2014 04:09 am (UTC)
Oh jesus..............*cries*

But so well-done, just so much contained here.

*cries some more*
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 06:28 am (UTC)
*offers tissues and hugs!* Thank you for reading! I know it's not an easy sell...
Miz Arabesqueindiachick on December 11th, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
So I'm cheating because I haven't watched 10.09 but I don't feel the need, and I've kinda seen the parts that matter. And bb, fandom is *owning* this doozy.

Eh, Season 10 is making us all morbid, but I LOVE this fic. Saddest dusk, yes, without either of the Winchester boys. But oh, Sam ;_____; And I love the last paragraphs best of all: there is some sort of vulnerability in the image of the soul threading through Cas's fingers which puts a lump in my throat because that's the only way this boy is going to show vulnerability without Dean. The last few lines: *crying forever*
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 06:35 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah, you absolutely don't need to have watched 10.9 to get this fic (but reading Amb's 'prequels' is a must); there were only a handful of scenes that added to the over-reaching story arc, anyway. And by "owning", you mean we've sorta taken the canon and run with it? Or been less-than-generous to the episode? (OR BOTH?) ;)

I'm super glad you liked this! I wrote it in such a stream-of-consciousness, ennui-filled grump, I wasn't sure it'd be anything more than draaaaamaaaa. *smish!*

(no subject) - indiachick on December 11th, 2014 06:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
frozen_delight: angstfrozen_delight on December 11th, 2014 05:55 am (UTC)
O God. *cries*
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 06:36 am (UTC)
Happy tears, right? RIGHT? (Seriously, though, thank you for reading! This fic was a really tough sell, I know...)
(no subject) - frozen_delight on December 11th, 2014 06:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on December 11th, 2014 06:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Amberamberdreams on December 11th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Oh my word, what have I done?

But seriously - once you take the first step suggested by the episode, you can see an ending for the whole show that is tragic but completely fitting. And this is fitting, heartbreaking and very Sam.

I love that you wrote it from Cas' POV, and that Cas lied. It was a very human thing to do, something he learned from a Winchester. I especially loved the description of Cas trying and failing to keep Sam's soul anchored.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)

I have no doubt that if/when either brother meets a permanent end, the other will be close behind. (But we shall see when the series finally crawls to a halt! I don't even really wanna think about that day, I truly don't.)

Yup, Cas has learned a lot of 'bad' habits from the boys. I really dig writing from his POV, though. I'd be tempted to illustrate this fic too, BUT OH THE SAD!
(no subject) - amberdreams on December 11th, 2014 07:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
caranfindelcaranfindel on December 11th, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
Oh god. Sam's soul fighting to leave his body just crushed me. This is wonderful.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
*smish!* Thank you!
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on December 11th, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
Sometimes there's nothing better than a fic crammed with feels and beautiful tragedy to lift your spirits!! ;)

This was painful, but in the best kind of way. I adored how Cas lied, it felt very Winchester to me. And the part with Sam's soul was just perfect, and really tugged on every one of my heartstrings.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
I know, right?? I felt tons better after writing it. I wanted something that was not...fixed. That reflected how something as simple as a little white lie to make someone feel more at peace could spin out of control. Another thing that feels very Winchester to me. ;)

Thanks bunches for reading! I know it's not happy, holiday fare, heh.
tiamariaanactoria on December 11th, 2014 10:44 am (UTC)
Oh wow. This is fantastic. And by 'fantastic' I mean, 'a bit like having your insides scooped out with a melon baller.' Ouch.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
Fantastically melon-balled! \0/! Thank you for reading, though. Even if it was hella sad!
gidgetgal9gidgetgal9 on December 11th, 2014 01:23 pm (UTC)
Okay, this and amber's pieces had all the feels and more that we expected from the finale- but did you have to break us? Awesome job on it though, just guh!
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
Clearly, AMB and I needed those feels something fierce! I always find it fun playing off another person's fic or drawing. Muses are wonderful!

Thanks for reading! I know it wasn't happy-fun-times...
mangacat201: bitchmangacat201 on December 11th, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
Uhmm... what? What? WHAT?... but Sammy's soul, it's... so beautiful and whimsical and THEY WILL NEVER END. (Also, they're still totally stuck in limbo, right or did that mess get fixed off screen too?) Still. WHAT?
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 11th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
Well, since Metatron is jailed and no longer controlling who comes and goes from Heaven, I think it's business as usual, but don't quote me!

Hey, I have a question about the winged pic (I am working on it!): does Sam have his anti-possession tattoo in it?
(no subject) - mangacat201 on December 12th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on December 14th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mangacat201 on December 14th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
walking_tornadowalking_tornado on December 12th, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
Sam is sitting shotgun
*sob* Gah, my heart can't take this! No more 10.9 tags/codas for me or I won't make it though hellatus.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 13th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
*hugs!* But thank you for reading mine! YOU'RE AWESOME. :)
(no subject) - walking_tornado on December 13th, 2014 05:10 am (UTC) (Expand)