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the island of conclusions

Fic: "Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find" (Spoilers for 5.08)

the island of conclusions

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Fic: "Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find" (Spoilers for 5.08)

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Title: "Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find"
Rating: Gen, PG
Genre: episode tag, h/c
Characters: Dean, Castiel
Word Count: ~1K
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers through 5.08.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit

Summary: Written for a prompt from hils for the spn_hurtcomfort tag-meme: Dean takes care of Cas after they leave the warehouse . Cleaned up a bit for re-posting.

a/n: with apologies to John Milton and Bobby Singer for borrowing a couple of their best lines.
a/n: title from "A Song to David" by Christopher Smart.

Where Ask is Have, Where Seek is Find

Dean glanced behind him as he started to swing himself into the Impala and was surprised to see that Castiel hadn’t fluttered off yet.

The angel was standing by the old warehouse, looking—well, he looked like Dean felt: like all the adrenaline of TV-land and potential archangel barbecuing had just drained out of him, and the wet soggy weight of the real world had been thrown unceremoniously across his shoulders.

“Hey,” he called, “you okay?”

When Cas didn’t answer, Dean glanced at Sam, who was slumped in shotgun, head flopped back against the seat, and went over to the angel, put a hand on his arm.

“Hey,” he said again, but softly, like he was talking to child, or a stray cat. Cas looked at him, and Dean winced at the sight of his face, split skin over his nose, and a big shiner coming out over one eye. There was something in his eyes, something pleading, that Dean had no idea how to answer. “Come on,” he said instead, “get in.”


No one said much on the ride back, because, really, once they got started, where was it gonna end? Cas trailed after them into the room. He stood there silently while Sam and Dean puttered around, switching out weapons and locating clean socks.

After a few minutes, Sam grabbed the car keys and announced he was going to go pick up some pizza. “Feel like I’ve been eating imaginary food for days,” he muttered.

Dean looked up to answer him, but Sam was already out the door. Only Cas was left, still standing, but swaying a little on his feet now.

“Dude,” he said, a little exasperated, “sit down before you fall down.” But he had to actually go over and guide Castiel to the end of one of the beds, push him down gently, both hands on his shoulders. He appraised Cas’s face again, and didn’t like what he saw—bruises round the eye going ugly shades of purple and green, the skin around them unhealthily white. “Hold on,” he grunted, “I’m gonna clean out that cut.”

He wet a towel in the bathroom, and crouched in front of Castiel, trying to get the dried blood off as gently as possible. The angel flinched a little from the drag of cloth over injured flesh, and without thinking, Dean put his other hand on the back of his head to steady him. The bruises on Cas’s face was swollen, hot to the touch even through the washcloth, but the nape of his neck was cool and clammy. Dean wondered if he was a little shocky, if such a thing could happen to an angel. He didn’t bring it up, though—he was sure Cas would heal himself if he could—just snagged the antibiotic ointment out of the first aid kit, and dabbed some over the cut.

Cas still hadn’t spoken by the time Dean had finished, marooned in some swamp of memory or exhaustion.

“Anything else?” Dean prodded, just to make sure he hadn’t lost the power of speech altogether. “You hurt anywhere else?”

“No,” Castiel said, voice even rougher than usual, and hunched his shoulders higher up around his ears.

Stung into sympathy by something in his tone, Dean ducked his head a little to catch Cas’s eye. “Family, eh?” he said, trying for a rueful smile.

Castiel looked up then, and even though Dean knew he was unfathomably old, had seen more of human suffering and divine peace than Dean could ever imagine, at that moment he looked young. The solemn sadness of a child faced with a problem that couldn’t be fixed by tears—having to go to bed while it was still light out, or Fourth of July fireworks not happening again for a whole year.

“We were all so filled with purpose once,” Castiel said desolately, “clothed in righteousness, in harmony with our father’s wishes, in harmony with each other, creating the world like the parts of a song.” He released each phrase slowly, scraping them over the gravel in his voice, as if deliberately castigating himself with remembered beauty. The longing in the words hit Dean like a punch. He wanted to turn away, but couldn’t, caught up in a grief he couldn’t help but share.

Then Cas shivered violently, and Dean, glad of the excuse to break the intensity of the moment, stood to fetch the extra blanket out of the closet.

He arranged the thick, mustard-colored folds of it around Cas’s shoulders until he looked like a sad, beat-up chick peeking out of a polyester egg.

“I’m gonna get you some ice for that eye,” he said when he was done, “and some soda or something. Seems like your brother worked you over pretty good back there.”


He was only gone a minute, and Cas was still huddled silently in the ugly blanket when he got back. He didn’t look impossibly young any more. The opposite, really. Aged by the countless missteps of angels and humans alike.

Dean wrapped the ice in another towel, closed Cas’s hand around it, and guided the hand to press the ice against his swollen eye. Hot coffee wouldn’t hurt either, he thought, and busied himself with the machine in the corner.

“’In dubious battle,’” Castiel said, low and tired.

“Huh?” Dean repiled cautiously, a little worried that Cas was about to wig out.

“’In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,’” Cas said, “something a poet wrote about another one of my brothers. Seems like it applies to all of us now.”

“Well,” Dean said, suddenly determined to shake the angel out of his funk, and pitching his voice accordingly, “I don’t read much poetry. But your brothers can fight each other like a pack of wild dogs, for all I care, or go off for a few millennia to sulk over Daddy playing favorites. Where I come from, family doesn’t end with blood. And we’re together on this one. Nothing fucking dubious about it.”

Somewhat to Dean’s surprise, his outburst of bravado actually got Cas to look up. He cocked his head at Dean with something so close to his usual quizzical irony that Dean gave a relieved bark of laughter.

“C’mon,” he said, “have some coffee, and you can fill me in on some more good poems about God—chicks love that shit.”

ETA: reverie18 made this wonderful picture of Cas in a mustard-colored blanket. Thanks so much!!

  • I love this. I love how you have Dean all but saying that Cas is family now.
    • thanks! I laughed a lot watching the episode, but I think my favorite moment was when Dean demanded that Gabriel release Castiel--because, yeah, sometimes we get to make our own families...
  • (no subject) -
    • That's such a nice thing to say--thank you! I think there is something sad and hopeful about their relationship--sad for the place that they've ended up together--hopeful because they bring out something new and good in each other...

      I'm really glad you enjoyed it--thanks for reading!
  • (no subject) -
    • thank you! I'm glad you thought Dean was in character. I think a good thing for Dean about Castiel is that he gets to have a family-of-choice now, in a way...A tiny counter-balance to his family-of-blood.

      and of course, me and the human think there should be many more references to poetry in SPN fic (grin)
      ::nods vigorously:: Actually, I thought of you, the cat-in-charge, when I titled this from the Smart poem--do you know his wonderful poem about his cat?

      Thanks so much for reading! (and I see I have two things by you to read tonight--yay!)

  • D'aw. :) Well done! The characterizations were perfect.
  • Loved it. Very in-character, very live-like, like a missing scene from the show :)
  • Awesome work!!

    Cas and Dean have totally become my favorite interaction pair on the show :)
    • They are my favorite pairing these days too (just 'cause I write gen doesn't mean I don't read the slash *g*). They can be so sweet and so fierce with each other...

      Glad you enjoyed this--thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • This was so gorgeous, and so in character. What a lovely tag.
  • This is perfect Dean. He's damn right about family not ending with blood. Great work!
    • I think my favorite moment in the episode was Dean demanding that Gabriel release Castiel. Because, yeah, he's gotten to choose his family this time.

      I'm really glad you enjoyed it--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • This is PERFECT, omg. I wanted an h/c coda for that ep SO BAD, oh. Poor Cas all beaten up by his BIG BROTHER agh, almost impossible to look at in the end there, and standing all alone by himself while SamnDean got in the car I was like oh geez, oh pete, you guys, Castiel is NOT OKAY.

    I was thinking about writing an h/c coda myself, but you beat me to it, YAY. I loved this. I'm going to reread it like right now.
    • oh pete, you guys, Castiel is NOT OKAY.
      IKR? It was so weird that they just showed him by the door, looking kind of lost. But really, if Dean was going to parboil an archangel on his behalf, was he really going to leave him there in the middle of the parking lot? Seriously?

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this! And you should totally go ahead and write a coda, I would love to read it. There is room for SO much more Cas h/c after that episode (there's a fabulous one here if you haven't seen it. It's Dean/Cas, but not porny)
  • He arranged the thick, mustard-colored folds of it around Cas’s shoulders until he looked like a sad, beat-up chick peeking out of a polyester egg.

    Awwwwwwwwwwwww, I can just picture it! Cas! D:

    This is great. I so completely loved that it seems as though Dean has pretty much adopted Castiel now. Dean obviously doesn't think much of the angels as a family, so Cas is gonna need a new one! Definitely my favorite part of that episode, and this fic really hits on that subject, so naturally, I loved it. ♥
    • Definitely my favorite part of the episode too--I'll remember Dean demanding that Gabriel release Cas long after I've forgotten all the silly television parodies (though they were funny). And I kind of love the idea that, for once, Dean gets to pick his family.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Ah, yeah. Poor Castiel. He's just so bruised by all the nasty going's on in his family.

    Being a Winchester is better, i think. Lovely stuff. :)
    • I hope being a Winchester is better...But at least Dean will be a better brother--he's an awesome brother! ;)

      I'm really glad you enjoyed it--thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Dean totally adopted Castiel in this episode; if he hadn't before, then he did there. Thank you for writing this.
  • Ah man, Dean telling Cas that he's part of the family just. Warms me so completely.

    And this: he looked like a sad, beat-up chick peeking out of a polyester egg

    How can anything be this cute? ♥
    • Dean demanding that Gabriel release Cas was definitely my favorite part of the episode--and I love the idea that, for once, Dean gets some say in making his family.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • This is great—subtle and perfectly nuanced. I love the imagery, too.
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