daylight_darknight: (Team Free Will)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
Alright. It's time to stop nitpicking and start posting, way past time. This is what I've been obsessing over for about a month and a half. It's 18 chapters long and mostly done so I'll probably post a chapter per day or maybe two since they're fairly short.


Title:
Practically Human 1/18
Characters: Castiel, Bobby, Dean
Rating: PG-13 for swearing and a little violence and disturbing stuff in later chapters
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Word Count: ~18,000 in 18 in little chapters
Spoilers: Up to the end of season 5
Summary: Some things are a lot easier to deal with when the world is ending.
AN: This takes place in a slight AU where season 5 ends almost the exact same way except Castiel's powers are never restored and Bobby is still in a wheelchair. While Dean goes off to keep his promise to his brother, Castiel ends up left behind at Bobby's as he tries to adjust to his new life as a human.

Chapter 1

Castiel watched Dean drive away, the wheels of the Impala kicking up a long trail of dust along the dirt driveway before speeding off down the road. He kept watching long after the black car had vanished beneath the horizon only looking away when he heard the sound of a throat clearing behind him.

“Come on, Feathers,” said Bobby tiredly adjusting his cap. “We’d better head inside. Get started on dinner.” The old hunter gripped the wheels of his chair and turned around leaving twin trails in the rough ground as he rolled his way up to the ramp leading to the front door.

Shoulders slumped heavily, the former angel followed slowly behind.

The old, wooden house was large, but felt small and cramped with to its numerous mounds of dust-covered clutter. It was enclosed by a heavy silence which Bobby broke with the loud creaking of the refrigerator door as he peered inside.

“You hungry?”

“No,” Castiel replied even though he knew his stomach was telling him otherwise. For some reason, he didn’t feel like eating.

“Well, you should probably eat something anyway,” said Bobby as he started pulling things out of the fridge. “Why don’t you go have a shower while I make us something. Don’t need you hanging about stinking up the place.”

Castiel frowned and glanced down noticing for the first time the stains on his normally pristine coat and suit. Splatters of blood decorated his sleeves and streaks of brown covered his shoes and the cuffs of his trousers. Graveyard dirt, he noted absently. There was also a smell.

“You can borrow some of Dean’s clothes. He usually leaves some spare in the closet upstairs in the boy’s room.” Bobby paused in his meal preparations and turned to look at him. “You do know how to take a shower, don’t you?”

“Yes,” Castiel said deciding it was best to not mention how he knew. He’d learned a lot of things in the centuries he’d spent observing humanity. One of those things being that humans seldom liked finding out they’d been watched unawares.

The shower was warm and soothing. Castiel spent a long time standing under the falling water, enjoying the numbness it brought. It was a welcome break from the overwhelming feelings he’d been receiving recently from his human senses. When the water grew cold, he stepped out and towelled himself dry, the sight of his naked body still new and alien. He paused a moment when he came to the pink scars that covered his chest. Without his abilities, they refused to fade completely. It seemed as if the banishment symbol that had robbed him of his powers would remain as a permanent reminder.

He found Dean’s clothes mixed in with some of Sam’s, all haphazardly thrown into a pile at the bottom of the closet. It seemed odd that he could so easily distinguish the two sets. He felt strangely reluctant to touch Sam’s things, but in the end, he carefully folded them and set them aside feeling a peculiar tightness in his chest as he did so.

He dressed slowly, his fingers still fumbling slightly over the buttons. The jeans and gray shirt he ended up wearing hung oddly on his body and the material felt strange against his skin. Trying to make them more comfortable, he tugged at the sleeves and pulled at the waist of the pants, but he had little success. He gazed at his beige trenchcoat a long while, but ended up leaving it crumpled in a heap on the floor.

******

Later that night, after a sullen and silent dinner, Castiel found himself upstairs in Sam and Dean’s small bedroom, lying on the bed closest to the door and wide awake. It had been Bobby who’d suggested he sleep in the Winchester’s room saying he might as well since it didn’t appear that they’d be using it anytime soon. Then the hunter had cleared his throat again and helped himself to a long draught of whiskey. Castiel had left him in the study still clutching the bottle and staring emptily into space.

To the former angel, the encompassing darkness of sleep was unappealing. Instead, he turned to the trenchcoat still lying abandoned on the floor. Picking it up, he felt weight in one of the pockets and reached inside pulling out the cell phone Dean had given him. He stared at it a moment; then opened it up and following some half-understood urge, dialled.

“Cas? What...? Is everything alright?”

Castiel winced at the alarm in Dean’s voice. He hadn’t intended to cause him any concern. Truthfully, he wasn’t entirely sure what he had intended, but Sam had been insistent that he would look after his brother.

“Everything is fine,” he tried to reassure Dean. “I just wanted to make sure you’d arrived safely at your destination.”

“Oh.”

“I’m sorry if I woke you.”

“’S okay. I wasn’t asleep.” Despite what Dean said, he sounded incredibly tired, his voice deeper and rougher than usual.

“Then you are well?”

“Oh, just peachy,” Dean replied tersely.

Castiel opened his mouth to offer some condolences or words of comfort, but realized he still had no idea what humans considered appropriate in such circumstances. Fortunately, Dean saved him from having to say anything.

“Look, Cas. I just… I can’t do this right now. I’ll talk to you some other time. Okay?”

“Okay.”

Dean hung up almost before Castiel had finished speaking the last word leaving behind only the buzzing tone of the phone. When it was gone, the room seemed even quieter than before. Castiel lay awake a long time in the darkness, the cell still clutched in his hand.

Chapter 2
 

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mulder200.livejournal.com
Ouch! Poor Cas! How lost and lonely he must feel.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylightfire.livejournal.com
He's my little lonely angel. The things I do to him. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dark-austral.livejournal.com
Good start to this story. I too always thought that if Cas stayed human, he would have ended up staying at Bobbys. I like how you're handling everyone's grieving, especially Cas since he's new to this whole human thing. I find it sad/touching that he's wearing the Winchester clothes and sleeping in their room. It's like he's part of the family now but he's isolated still.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylightfire.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I'm so glad you liked how I'm handling the grieving. I worry so much about it ending up over the top or cliche. I do seem to love putting Cas in Dean's clothes and making him part of the family though I've done it in a rather sad way here.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizra.livejournal.com
I can sense this will be a tear-jerker. *grabs a box of Kleenex* Good start, too. Castiel and Bobby never saw eye-to-eye, but I always felt like the old hunter had a soft spot for the now Grace-less angel. :(

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylightfire.livejournal.com
Thank you :) Yes, I'm afraid there will be some tears especially near the middle but hopefully some smiles too.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] high-flyer87.livejournal.com
Human!Cas is my weakness. Also, I heart Bobby with all my soul. This sounds like it's going to be awesome. I can't WAIT for the rest :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylightfire.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I hope I don't disappoint.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rocks-not-dead.livejournal.com
*wibbles* Poor Cas. And Dean and Bobby. I'm really loving this, already loved it from the premise. I'm looking forward to more. ^__^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daylightfire.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you like it. :) More coming right now!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-26 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stellajane07.livejournal.com
poor Cas :( he just needs a hug
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