Title: In Darkness
Characters/Pairings: Castiel, Sam, Dean (no pairings)
Rating/Warnings: PG-13? Slightly graphic violence. No plot, just gratuitous angel-whumpage... *hangs head in shame*
Summary: Castiel needs saving...
A/N: Written absolutely ages ago and unbeta'd so apologies for any spelling and grammar issues. Inspired by the girls at the Order of Castiel and our constant talk of Castiel tied up and tortured. Ask and ye shall receive they say.....
There was only darkness. Soft cloth wrapped around his eyes in stark contrast to the thin metal wires that were biting into his wrists. He didn’t need to see to know that the wires had cut into his skin. The slick, sticky sensation of blood was only too obvious.
The pain fascinated him. He had never felt pain like this before, sharp and stinging and so very human. The wires around his wrists were taut, pulling his arms up and out, away from his body at an awkward angle. The only way to ease the pain was to stand as straight as possible, shoulders set, legs planted firmly. It wasn’t so difficult right now, but earlier; when his captives had punched and kicked and beaten him out of sheer amusement; he had been unable to prevent himself from sagging forward, the wires refusing to let him fall, cutting deeper into his wrists as his shoulders twisted and bruised at the unnatural angle.
The wounds healed as quickly as they came, but the pain remained. Every muscle in his body ached, his skin prickled with the remembered presence of the cuts and bruises, gone before they ever had a chance to bleed.
Only his wrists bleed. The thin steel wires that hold him in place have been meticulously engraved with demonic markings that he can sense without even seeing them. They make his stomach twist, binding him into this weak human form, sealing flesh and spirit together, and he feels trapped within this skin.
They aren’t just keeping him for fun. He’s to be a gift, they tell him. A gift for an old friend. He remembers the sensation of a hand around his neck, of evil creeping around him, darkness tugging at him as an ancient spell is cast. He knows it would have dragged him into hell had it not been interrupted. He prays, but bound within this human form, he doesn’t know if his Father hears him.
One of his captors returns. It taunts him, mocking his weakness, challenging him to unleash the full power and fury of his true form. He tries, but the demonic magic that binds him is too strong. It’s evil is like a cold fist squeezing at his heart, it smothers his light and renders him shivering and helpless.
Cool metal drags across his skin. He cannot see, but he feels the knife as it traces the contours of his torso, cutting into him and outlining the hard edges of muscle with blood. It doesn’t heal. The knife- engraved and enchanted like the wires that bind him- carves a steady path across his chest, slowly pressing deeper, until he can feel his muscles tearing. The creature whispers dark threats in his ear, it’s sulphuric breath mixes with his own and he feels physically sick. He holds on to the sensation, a welcome distraction from the more immediate pain as his torturer glides it’s blade across his collarbone, pressing it into the hollow between shoulder and neck. He grits his teeth, but is unable to prevent a whimper of pain escaping. His captor relishes it.
‘What do you want from me?’ he spit’s the words out harshly, and it merely laughs and continues it’s work.
He doesn’t speak again, doesn’t so much as gasp when the knife creates a matching wound on his other shoulder. His breathing becomes ragged when it begins to carve a notch between each vertebra of his spine, but he doesn’t cry out. The creature becomes impatient, twisting the knife deeper and deeper, but he will not give it this pleasure. He keeps his head tilted back, and imagines that he can see a glimmer of light in the endless darkness. Silently, he prays.
Salvation comes in an unexpected form. As the creature methodically carves it’s way down his spine, a new sound reaches his ears. A voice chants in Latin, muffled by the wall between them but clear enough for the sanctified words to give him comfort. A moment later a deafening crash heralds the arrival of his rescuer. The demon snarls impatiently and twists the knife extra deep, as though the intrusion is his fault, and then he feels it move away, hears the sounds of a brief scuffle, followed by an electric crackle, and the scent of sulphur is suddenly pervading the room.
‘Oh my God.’
He had never thought he’d be happy to hear that voice, but his heart lifts, even as a second voice echoes the sentiment in it’s own unique manner.
‘Son of a bitch.’
For some reason, as the knowledge that he is safe- that he is saved- sinks in, his strength seems to desert him. His legs betray him and he sags forward, the wires biting deeper into his wrists even as a sigh of relief escapes his lips. Then he feels a warm presence behind him, rough hands pressing against his chest and pulling him upright, pulling him back to lean against a cool leather jacket.
Without warning the tension in the wires breaks, and his arms drop heavily to his side. He begins to fall, but the hands pull him back, holding him steady as the man behind him sinks carefully to his knees. The movement causes every one of the cuts on his torso to re-open, and he cries out in protest but the man soothes him gently.
‘It’s okay, I’ve got you.’
He can hardly believe the tone, he’s never heard such compassion in the man’s voice, has never expected it to be directed at him.
A hand moves to his face, tugging gently at the blindfold. The light hurts his eyes as the cloth falls away but he doesn’t close them, doesn’t even squint. He welcomes the brightness, thanks God for it. Dean Winchester’s face comes into view, his green eyes filled with concern and compassion.
He is lying on the floor, Dean kneeling behind him so that his upper body rests across the man’s lap. His head is pressed against Dean’s chest at an awkward angle, but he doesn’t care. A second pair of hands gently touches his wrists, he tries to look but Dean stops him.
‘Just lie still,’ he tells him softly, and he obeys.
To his surprise it doesn’t hurt as much as he expected when Sam Winchester gently untangles his the wires from his wrists. The boy’s fingers move with utmost care as he pulls steel from skin. All the while Dean holds him gently, speaking soft words of reassurance. He doesn’t understand why they show him such compassion, for when has he ever given them cause to care about him? Yet their words are soft, their movements gentle as they free him from his restraints.
As the demonic bindings fall away he feels as though a weight has been lifted from him. There is still pain- his wounds will take some time to heal- but some strength returns, and he struggles to sit up. Pain flares but he clamps it down, focussing on the steady hands on his shoulders.
‘Can you stand?’
He hesitates, unsure of the answer. The brothers glance at one another.
‘Maybe we should get him to a hospital?’ Sam suggests uncertainly.
‘That won’t be necessary.’
He barely recognises his voice, it’s dry and cracked and far too quiet, and both boys eye him skeptically.
‘Have you seen you?’ Dean asks, but his tone is still one of concern.
‘I will recover soon enough. I just need to rest,’ he assures them, and though the words sound unconvincing with his voice so broken, they appear to believe him.
‘Okay then.’ Dean concedes, nodding to his brother.
Sam kneels at one side of him and Dean kneels at the other. They each hook one of his arms around their necks, then slide their own arms around his back. Dean’s fingers grip the belt on Sam’s side, and Sam’s fingers hook into a belt loop on Dean’s side, and between them the brothers heave him upright. Pain shoots through him and he falters, swaying precariously for a moment, but the brothers stand strong beside him.
Okay. Let’s get the hell out of here,’ Dean suggests.
Leaning heavily on the Winchester brothers, he begins to walk. The three of them move slowly but steadily towards the door, pausing only to navigate past the empty meatsuit on the floor. The boys guide him out of the cabin, and when sunlight falls on his mangled skin, warming it instantly and soothing the torn and aching muscles, he raises his face to the skies and thanks God that the Winchesters are on their side.
Title: Blood and Fire
Characters/Pairings: Castiel and Dean, no pairing.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for blood and slightly graphic violence...
Summary: Castiel needs help
Disclaimer: I've written to Santa, but until he gets back to me, none of this is mine...
A/N: By request, a sequel to my fic 'In Darkness'. I'm a bit nervous about this as sequels are not my strong point, but I was asked very nicely. Unbeta'd again, so apologies for any spelling and grammar issues.
What little strength he had recovered in the cabin finally deserts him as Dean’s car bounces over the hundredth pothole of the journey.
He is stretched out in the back seat, with Dean kneeling awkwardly over him and carefully trying to bind up the worst of the injuries. The bandages wrapped around his torso are already stained with his blood, as Dean presses a pad of gauze to either side of his neck where the demon’s knife had slipped behind his collarbone and almost punctured his lungs.
The hunter takes one of his hands and guides it to the gauze, telling him to hold pressure on it. He is doing the best he can when the car clips a particularly deep pothole and shudders violently. The motion causes Dean’s hand to slip as he attempts to pass a fresh roll of linen around his waist. Rough fingers press too hard into a knife wound, and the sharp burst of pain causes him to cry out.
Both brothers throw concerned glances his way, apologising immediately, but he turns his face away from them, pressing it into the leather jacket folded beneath his head. His spirit reacts to the unceasing pain, and his physical form responds in the only way it knows how. Hot tears fill his eyes, and he doesn’t want them to see this weakness. He is no mere mortal, and the tears are a far greater humiliation to him than they could possibly understand.
He closes his eyes and draws in a deep, shuddering breath, but the action causes a fresh wave of pain to wash over him. Dean’s hand accidentally brushes against a loose flap of skin on his back, and his limit is reached. With an agonised cry he gives up, retreating inwards. He sees darkness clouding in on his vision and welcomes it.
There are five basic kinds of torture.
His captors had gleefully informed him of this when he opened his eyes to see only darkness. They tugged on the wires that restrained him, pulling his arms up to a painful angle and forcing him to his feet.
The first, he soon learns, is hot.
He is a being of light, bright and beautiful in his true form. He had forced his way into the depths of hell; witnessed the flames of hellfire dancing and twisting into horrific images, but he had been immune to their power.
He is not immune to the flames they use to burn away his skin. The hissing flame and the smell of burnt flesh is nothing compared to the agony of cracked and blistering skin. He is unprepared for the intensity of the pain, and the first time the flames lick across his face and neck he cries out, surprise mingling with pain in his voice. They delight in the sound, and immediately set about trying to draw it out again, but he is angry with himself for his moment of weakness, and steels himself against their efforts.
It takes three days for them to grow bored.
The second form of torture is sharp.
A razor blade drags carelessly across his neck, pressing into the skin but not quite breaking it. The blade traces a steady pathway down to the base of his ribcage, and his heartbeat quickens in anticipation.
You heal too fast, they whisper to him, it’s no fun at all.
If we cut out your heart, would it go on beating?
Fear grips him for the first time, and when they dig deep into his skin, tearing at muscle and pushing past bone to test their theory; he screams.
When he wakes his body is bathed in sweat and shaking.
Something damp and cool presses against his forehead and he flinches away, even as some subconscious part of him acknowledges that there is no danger here.
His eyes dart rapidly around the room, confirming what he already knows. He is lying in a room just like all the others he has found the Winchester brothers in when he comes to them to deliver his messages and warnings, and threats. The heavy curtains have been pulled shut, and the only source of light is a battered lamp on a small wooden table.
The bed beneath him can hardly be called comfortable by human standards, but it is soft, and he has lain there long enough for the mattress and blankets beneath him to mould to his shape. He is on his back, so the pain there is worst, but he acknowledges the fact that his chest and stomach are far more damaged. There are bandages wrapped around most of his torso, and several thick pads of gauze taped over his neck and shoulders.
They are soaked and sticky with his blood.
It is an oddly unsettling sensation, and he struggles for a moment to sit up, wanting to pull the soaked linen away from him. A hand presses him gently back into the sheets.
‘Take it easy,’ Dean murmurs softly.
He feels infinitely uncomfortable in his weakened state, and part of him is almost angry that it is Dean Winchester of all people who had to rescue him, who had to see him laid so pathetically low.
But the elder Winchester presses the flannel cloth to his forehead again, and he shivers slightly as it soothes away the memory of fire.
‘You were dreaming. I didn’t think angels could dream.’
Dean’s tone is light and conversational, almost friendly. He doesn’t know how to respond, glancing up to see green eyes fixed on him. They seem almost understanding.
What were you dreaming about?
He knows his previous attempts to communicate with the man have been awkward and clumsy, but now he has found himself in a situation where talking is all he can do, and he wants to answer, wants Dean to understand.
‘Not like humans do,’ he replies softly. His voice is still dry and cracked, and Dean rises to fetch a glass of water, gently lifting him and helping him to drink before he responds.
‘So what would an angel dream about?’ he asks.
There is no challenge in the man’s voice, and he regards him uncertainly. Since the first time he had approached Dean Winchester, the man had only ever resisted him. Every question, every word that came from his mouth was a challenge, as though to see how far he could push before the angel pushed back. But it was okay; because Dean is a soldier, and he is a soldier, and he knows how to deal with soldiers.
He confessed his doubts to Dean because he knew the man would not listen. He knew his words would be heard and accepted and remembered, but they would not be judged. Not like his brothers would judge him. Now he wonders if Dean is judging him in a different way. For the first time he finds himself wondering what Dean sees when he looks at him.
‘The past,’ he admits softly.
He knows that Dean knows he was reliving his ordeal. But he is ancient, timeless, and he has seen so much. Too much. Better to relive his own trials than those he has been forced to bear witness to.
Dean regards him in silence, green eyes staring into his own, and for a moment he wonders if the man knows all that he leaves unsaid. The silence stretches between them until the hunter blinks, breaking eye-contact, and he wonders if Dean has seen something he cannot stand. The man has never been able to look him in the eye for too long, and he doesn’t know why. It’s certainly not reverence, nor fear that causes Dean to look away. He thinks it might take a lifetime to understand this man, and then wonders why that matters.
The elder Winchester lifts the cloth from his forehead and turns his attention to the bandages on his wrist. He unwinds it slowly, hissing in a breath as the last of the cloth falls away. His eyes follow the man’s gaze, coming to rest on the torn and maimed flesh of his wrist.
Dean reaches out, and he feels himself tense as a hand stretches toward him, but the touch on his wrist is feather light, and doesn’t hurt.
‘I kind of assumed you’d be half-way healed by now,’ he admits softly.
‘It is not just this body that has been damaged,’ he replies by way of explanation, and his voice has dropped to a whisper because it doesn’t hurt his throat so much to whisper.
‘Is there anything we can do to help?’ The question is open and genuine, and he stares at the hunter, honestly confused. He has never given the man cause to help him or trust him. Since Anna their encounters had been even more strained, filled with harsh words and forceful commands.
You’re supposed to show mercy.
He wonders if this is the mercy Sam Winchester had expected of his kind. The thought causes him to notice for the first time that the younger Winchester is missing, and he asks Dean where his brother has gone.
‘He went to pick up some supplies.’ Dean waves a hand towards his bound and bloodstained torso. ‘We used pretty much our entire stock in bandages on you, and we weren’t sure how long you’d be out for.’
‘It will take me several days to recover,’ he tells the man. Then in answer to his previous question; ‘You don’t have to do anything more for me. I can take care of myself.’
Dean quirks an eyebrow, and the sceptical expression on his face is much more familiar to him.
‘You can’t even stand up,’ he notes bluntly. ‘Will your angel buddies be coming to help you?’
‘My brothers have larger concerns,’ he replies, then remembers Dean’s opinion of the ‘larger concerns’ explanation. Sure enough, Dean’s expression hardens for a moment, but when he speaks his voice remains soft.
‘Then you need our help.’
The words are filled with certainty, and he hates that his weakness is so obvious. He’s in no position to disagree with the man, not when darkness is clouding the edge of his vision and the deepest wounds on his body are still sullenly leaking blood. His grasp on consciousness is tenuous at best, but he holds on as Dean binds his wrists in fresh white linen. He shuts his eyes and clenches his teeth when the man eases him upright, the movement causing fresh waves of pain to crash over him. He leans heavily into Dean, his forehead resting on the man's shoulder as he recovers from the effort. Dean holds him still for a moment, but then his hands fall away from his shoulders, and he forces himself to remain steady. Blood-soaked cloth falls away from his body, and he winces when the bandage must be unstuck from the wounds, shivers when cold air whispers into the cuts, stinging like ice.
Dean can’t keep from staring at the myriad pattern of cuts across his chest, horror in his eyes as he takes in the full extent of the injuries. He tries once again to reassure the hunter.
‘I have suffered far worse in my time,’ he says softly.
‘Yeah?’ Dean looks caught between disbelief and some kind of awe. ‘When?’
Green eyes meet his, and he sees the familiar challenge, muted by genuine curiosity and concern. In truth there are several answers he could give, but at this moment all of them are lost to him. Words spill out against his will, and he wants to snatch them back but it's too late. The truth, once spoken, is not so easily denied.
‘When I pulled you out of hell.'
I'm working on a sequel to this one if anyone is interested. As always, thanks for reading! :hug
As before, a wonderfully written tale. The pain Cas has suffered so similar to what Dean had suffered in hell. a new level of understanding and bonding created by the angel's misfortune.
You are quickly becoming one of my favourite shorts writer.
Thank you! I remember being fascinated at the start of the season by what exactly Dean's rescue entailed, I didn't think it would be a simple case of snagging a cookie from the cookie jar.
I'm glad you enjoyed all my fic efforts and thanks for taking the time to review them all!