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the island of conclusions

"Make me down a pallet on your floor" (Dean/Lisa, Dean/Castiel, R)

the island of conclusions

bright star

"Make me down a pallet on your floor" (Dean/Lisa, Dean/Castiel, R)

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bright star
Title: “Make me down a pallet on your floor”
Rating: R
Word Count: ~1.7K
Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Dean/Lisa
Spoilers: Through S5, but nothing at all about S6
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.
a/n: for the last square on my hc_bingo diagonal line: “wings (always there).” I don’t think this is quite how the prompt is supposed to be used, but I hope it counts anyway.
More notes at the end.

Summary: With the perversity of fever, even as he lay there next to Lisa, Dean dreamt of Castiel.


“Pathetic,” Lisa said, frowning at the thermometer. “Ben brings home an ordinary middle-school cold and you feel compelled to try and turn it into a full-blown flu.”

She had him sitting on one of the kitchen stools, the hand not holding the thermometer resting on his shoulder, as if she thought he might make a run for it. She was getting to know him pretty well.

“Pathetic?” Dean attempted to smirk up at her. “Or so awesome that germs have to mutate to take me down?” He meant to be cocky, and a little flirtatious—but he was prepared to admit the effect was kind of ruined by the audible sniffs punctuating his words.

Lisa raised her eyebrows and turned down the corners of her mouth—an expression of disbelief that had no right to be as appealing as it was.

Dean changed tactics. “You’re right,” he said. “I am pathetic. You’re the one that’s awesome." He hooked an arm around her waist and drew her in, nuzzling the smooth fabric of her shirt. “And warm,” he noted. “Awesome and warm.

Lisa laughed and dropped her hand into his hair, rubbing her fingers against his scalp. “Come on,” she said. “Go lie down.”

But she paused there long enough for him to tilt his face up and press a line of kisses along the sweet, soft curve of her breasts.

++++++

Dean fell asleep before Lisa left to pick up Ben from practice, and didn’t wake up until she called his name and gently shook his shoulder, sometime after the early winter dark had closed around the house.

Lisa sat on the side of the bed while he downed a glass of juice and swallowed some cold medicine.

“How’re you doing?” she asked. “Germs still mutating on you?”

“Yeah,” Dean croaked, because it really did feel like some kind of viral experiment was being conducted inside his body. Now his throat was killing him, and all the muscles in his back and legs felt knotted and tight.

“Poor thing.” Lisa smoothed a palm across his aching cheekbones. “Go back to sleep—it’s the best thing for it.”

She was right, but sleep seemed to have deserted him. Every position hurt and the sheets scratched against his skin; he was too hot with them on, and too cold with them off. He had only managed a restless doze by the time Lisa came to bed, even though he pretended to be dead to the world when she whispered his name.

But her presence seemed to balance out the temperature somehow, because as soon as he heard her breathing even out, Dean dropped off too.

++++++

With the perversity of fever, even as he lay there next to Lisa, Dean dreamt of Castiel. Of an unseasonably warm autumn night they’d spent in the ass-end of Georgia during those odd, weightless months when they’d traveled without Sam.

They were in what must have been one of the world’s shittiest motels—and God knew Dean had seen a lot of shitty hotels. This one was stifling, with a single window-unit as noisy as it was useless. Some truly terrifying fungus spread spider-like over the bathroom tiles, and unidentifiable stains dotted the mustard-colored carpet.

But Dean hadn’t cared. He’d been wound tight on the aftermath of a brutal hunt and the looming threat of the apocalypse, and his his only purpose in stopping there had been to get Cas up against some surface—vertical or horizontal, it didn’t matter—and kiss him until the angel’s clear blue eyes clouded with desire, and his body loosened under Dean’s demanding fingers.

It had worked. For once, Dean had gotten Castiel to fuck him as hard as he needed to be fucked, goaded him into unleashing some of that heavenly fire. Dean was pretty sure that come morning he’d have a set of angelic fingerprints on his hips to match the handprint on his bicep.

It had worked, but it hadn’t been enough. Even bruised and sore and sated—even with half a fifth of whiskey in him, Dean was still wired, heart still racing like a three-day caffeine jag. And hot—so hot—sweat still dripping into his eyes, and the stale, dusty air of the room clinging to him like a second skin, worming its way into his lungs.

He rolled away from Cas to cough harshly into the thin pillow. When he’d gotten his breath back, he found the angel watching him, his expression unreadable.

“Get some sleep, Dean,” Castiel said, irises cool as lakes.

“Easy for you to say,” Dean rasped—hacking out all that dust seemed to have scraped his throat raw. He raked his eyes over Castiel’s naked body—dry, calm, unmarked by the rough sex—unmarked by the whole vicious war they were part of, for that matter.

He felt a sudden surge of resentment. “Don’t you ever rest?” he asked. “Don’t you ever just tuck your head under your wing like a pigeon and hide under the eaves?”

Cas tilted his head, looking puzzled—and more birdlike than ever.

“Christ, Cas.” Dean rolled his head restlessly and dug his heels into the sheets, as if he could tunnel out from beneath the blanket of heat. “Sorry—It’s just—I’m just fucking hot, you know? Do you think maybe you could use some of your mojo on that air conditioner? I swear it’s putting out steam instead of cold air.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Dean, you know that.” Cas was ever so slightly chiding.

“Yeah, yeah, I know—shouldn’t have even asked.” Dean muttered bitterly. He knew he was being ungracious, but right now he was too worn out and on edge to care.

They lay side by side for a few minutes: Dean trying to ignore the sweat prickling on his scalp and the headache building behind his eyes—and Cas. Well, Dean had no idea what Cas was doing. Whatever it was, it was very quiet.

Gradually, though, something settled over Dean. Something barely perceptible, but real, material, encompassing. It felt like what a cloud might feel like if a cloud had hands. Many, many hands. But no—that wasn’t right—because the fingers of these hands weren’t like fingers at all. They were flat, silken. They stirred, all around him, with the rhythm of breath.

And they were cool: cool like the first hint of rain on a sweltering day; like the comfort of shade after harsh sunlight.

Dean sighed in relief, and as the heat leached out of his body, the room around him seemed to dissolve too, garish mustards changing to warm whites and browns, the polyester sheets softening against his skin.

“Cas,” he whispered, as sleep finally took him. “Thank you.”

++++++

Dean blinked his eyes open in Lisa’s bed. He’d kicked off the covers, but the feeling of feathers lingered on his skin. They might almost have still been there, a current of satin skimming down his sides.

He lay as still as he could, fearful any movement might dispel the sensation, and, for a moment, he allowed himself to miss Castiel desperately—the power and strangeness of him—his weird, unexpected grace.

Inevitably, almost painfully, the wings, real or remembered, faded away, although the punishing heat didn’t return. Belatedly, Dean realized his t-shirt was soaked. That’s probably all it was, he decided: the fever breaking had triggered some weird sense memory of that time.

He eased himself out of the bed, careful not to wake Lisa, and padded into the blessedly mildew-free master bath. He could hear the wind picking up outside, but the temperature inside was perfectly pleasant. Lisa had a thing about energy efficiency, and he’d helped her put in new storm windows just a few weeks back. He relieved himself, making sure to put the seat down after, and laughed a little at his own domestication. Then he splashed some water on his face, tossed the damp shirt in the hamper without bothering to find a clean one, and made his way back to bed.


“Dean?” Lisa said sleepily as he slid in beside her. “You okay, babe?”

“Yeah,” Dean whispered. “I’m fine.”

Lisa rolled towards him and grazed her lips across his forehead. “Mm—you’re cooler, anyway—that’s good.” She turned away again, curled on her side.

Dean followed, put his arm around her, dipping a hand under her shirt to find the warm skin of her belly. When she didn’t protest, he slipped his hand lower, past the waistband of her pajamas, between her legs. No intention, really, just a blind need to be closer.

“Lisa?” he whispered into her shoulder, though he had no idea what he was asking. “Lisa?”

“Yeah,” she answered anyway. “Yeah.” She rocked into his hand a little, brushing gently back against him as she did.

It was nice, more than nice, but it was all there would be tonight, by unspoken, mutual agreement. It didn’t matter. Tomorrow, Dean told himself, tomorrow he would feel better, and tomorrow night they’d both be back in this bed, and they’d have all the time in the world.

They drifted towards sleep like that, but just before he went under, Dean imagined he could feel again the faint, precise, press of feathers on his back—not cool this time, but warm, like the wings of a fantastical bird that had been basking in some celestial sun.

fin

a/n: title taken from the old country blues song, which is sometimes a song about cheating and sometime a song about seeking shelter.
  • Oh wow, this is beautiful. The details of the wings cooling Dean are vivid and yet restful.
    • aw, thank you! since all the fics for the bingo have been more about comfort than hurt, I wanted the wings to be comfort here, not the injured thing--really glad the images worked for you!
  • This was quite beautiful. Thank you for writing it.
  • Lovely.
  • So sadly beautiful.
    • Thanks! You know, when I first thought about this fic, months ago, it was more like a threesome romp, but in the end, yeah, it turned out kind of sad....
  • I saw the title and knew I had to read this: I was listening to the Gillian Welch version of the song just yesterday. I love it!

    This was lovely too. Simply gorgeous wing imagery, and I love how you manage to show Dean with both Cas and Lisa and make them complimentary somehow, not conflicting.

    Some really evocative prose in here. Like:

    “Don’t you ever just tuck your head under your wing like a pigeon and hide under the eaves?”


    and

    They were flat, silken. They stirred, all around him, with the rhythm of breath.

    Beautiful!



    • oh, yay! I'm glad the title called out to you! I love Gillian Welch (this is at least the second fic I've titled out of one of her songs), and when I looked at some of the different versions of this song it just seemed to fit--

      And glad you liked the wing and feather images--I have a pet cockatiel, who was sitting on my shoulder most of the time I was writing this--and that thing about putting your head under you wing comes straight from him--

      Thanks for reading, and for the kind words!
  • Your writing is BEAUTIFUL. ♥ There are many lines I could pick out, but I think perhaps this one is my favourite:

    When she didn’t protest, he slipped his hand lower, past the waistband of her pajamas, between her legs. No intention, really, just a blind need to be closer.

    That's so perfect. DEAN.

    I love the warm yet melancholy feel of this whole thing. Wonderful stuff. Thank-you so much!
    • You are very welcome! It's just nice to know there's someone else out there who likes this particular trope--

      I'm so glad you like that moment--it was one I liked, too--it seemed like a Dean-like form of intimacy, y'know?

      I'm thrilled you enjoyed this!
  • Mmmmh, lovely. fever-dream-memories is one of my favourite tropes ;-D
    • hee! mine too, in case you hadn't noticed *g* I'm glad to know there's someone else out there who likes it, too, though!

      Thanks for reading!
  • That was just beautiful. Lovely and quiet, melancholy and yet hopeful.
    • Ohhhh, gods, I love your icon!!
    • Aw, thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it--and I'm glad you thought there was some hope in it--there seems to be, for me, in Dean being able to connect with people....

      thanks for reading!
  • MMMmmmmmm good. Lovely and a little bittersweet.
  • Lovely.
  • Gorgeous...

    *Wipes away a tear*

    Beautiful and sad and warming...

    *hugs you*
  • This is gorgeous and a little melancholy, and I love how you interwove Lisa and Castiel through Dean's fever and the offering of comfort.
    • Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it--and especially that you found the Lisa and Cas part interwoven--I really didn't want it to be a case of one relationship being "better" than the other--more complementary, maybe--
      • That's how I see it too. I like Dean and Lisa together, while I'm very OTP about Dean/Castiel and sure they're going to be buying curtains together one day. *G* (This whole dilemma is so easily solved with Dean/Castiel/Lisa -- if canon ever has Lisa and Castiel bonding my head will explode with squee.)
  • Oh wow. I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but darned if you didn't pull it off. I loved the sense of gentle comforting presence both Lisa and Castiel brought to Dean, each in their own way.
    • Thank you! I'm so glad you thought it worked okay--like I said above, I didn't want it to be a case of one relationship being "better" than the other--just complementary, maybe, or suited to different times and places.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Gorgeous!!!
  • Congrats! ☆ Your fic is recced here at sawedoff_recs.
  • Augh. So vivid and so tactile and so SWEET. You. Dean. Fevers. Comfort. Sexytimes. Match made in heaven.
    • aw, thanks for the sweet comment! I'm glad you enjoyed it--there's just something about Dean that lends itself to all those things, I don't know--

      thanks for reading!
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