Length: About 1150 words
Rating: PG for language
Characters: Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, Castiel
Spoilers: Mildly spoilery for The Executioner's Song
Synopsis: In which Castiel is a Pink Floyd song. Takes place at some point after The Executioner's Song. Fills the Thingstiel square on my spnspiration Bingo card.
The song winds through Dean's thoughts. An earworm, Sam calls it. A song that gets stuck in your head and you just can't shake it.
It's a song he hasn't been able to listen to in years, a song he last heard at Lisa's house, a song that made him stagger into the garage and sit in the Impala and scream into his fist, scream until his vision started to go dark around the edges, and then he wondered if Sam was screaming in Hell and of course he was, because what else do you do in Hell, you hurt and you scream, and you hurt some more and you scream some more, and it never stops, it never ever stops, and he heard did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage and he couldn't stand it any more, he couldn't pretend it wasn't happening.
Sam asks him where Cas is, if he's heard from him lately, and Dean doesn't know, he hasn't heard from him. But he's had dreams about him, nightmares, visions (not memories not memories), the same horrible twisted dream, over and over, blue eyes bursting into white flame.
And the Mark doesn't talk about Cas any more. It talks about Sam.
When the Mark speaks too loudly, when it makes Dean forget what he was like without Sam, the song comes back, and Dean sings along, so you think you can tell, heaven from hell, blue skies from pain. Sam looks at him funny and says that's weird, he has a Pink Floyd song stuck in his head too, and he looks at Dean's hands, keeps looking at them, like there's a clue there, like there's something important Dean is missing, and if Dean can just think long enough, can just get the fucking song out of his head, the fucking dream (not a memory just a dream of blue eyes and bright light and Dean being surrounded by cold white fire), if he could just concentrate, he could figure it out.
I know you miss him, Lisa had said, but it wasn't just the missing, it wasn't just the living without him, because he did that before and he can do that again, he would have been okay if Sam was in California (not okay okay, but a certain degree of okay, a pretty fucking sorry level of okayness but a level he could live with) but Sam wasn't in California, Sam was in Hell, Sam was being torn apart and Dean knew, he knew exactly what was happening to his little brother, and whose fault it was, and that maybe this was punishment for his own sins he'd committed in Hell.
Sam is worried. Sam has always been worried, but this is a new, heightened level of worry, and it makes Dean uncomfortable. The Mark keeps telling him that whatever Sam's worried about isn't his problem, that the only thing he needs to be worried about is Sam himself, because Sam's going to do something, Sam needs to be stopped, and there's only one way to stop him, isn't there, and Dean sees the spot on Sam's throat where he's felt for a pulse, hundreds of times, all his life, and he knows that right beneath that spot is the way to make him stop worrying, the way to make everything stop, make it all fucking stop, but then the song starts, speaking over the Mark's voice, can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail, a smile from a veil, do you think you can tell, and no, no he can't. But he stops looking at that spot on Sam's throat.
The Mark whispers to him, whispers about Sam. Sam's going to fall again, it says. There's only one way you can save him.
Then the song starts, soft and plaintive, we're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year, and Dean remembers screaming in the Impala, remembers what it felt like to be so completely bereft, and he softly sings how I wish, how I wish you were here and the Mark is silent. For now.
He asks Sam, do you know why Cain killed his brother? Not jealousy. It was to save him from Lucifer.
Sam looks at him anxiously, like there's something he wants to say but he's afraid to say it. You could stop him, the Mark whispers, you could stop him from ever saying it.
Running over the same old ground, the song responds, what have we found?
The same old fears, Dean replies, wish you were here.
Sam asks him again, but it's different this time, Sam is frightened and sad, so fucking sad, when he asks Dean what happened to Cas. Dean doesn't know, he still doesn't know, all he has is the dream, the dream of Cas and a blinding flash of light but that's not unusual, Cas has always been light, there's nothing wrong with that, it doesn't mean anything, Sam, it doesn't mean a goddamn thing, and the song says so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain, and he used to think he could tell but now he doesn't know, and when he tries to explain this to his brother, Sam gets teary-eyed and retreats to his room and Dean shouts after him I'm not your fucking keeper, Sam.
Sam's always sad. The only way to end Sam's sadness is to end Sam. And the Mark is so loud now, louder than Dean's thoughts, louder than Sam's sadness, Sam's fear. Louder than the song, now.
Run, run, run run.
Sam wakes like falling off a cliff, sharp and sudden, heart pounding along with the rhythm of the song he can't escape.
Run, run, run, run.
He lies in bed and listens for footsteps outside his door, listens as if his life depends on it, but he's not sure if he'd be able to hear anything over the incessant chorus of the song in his head.
You better make your face up in your favourite disguise
With your button down lips and your roller blind eyes
With your empty smile and your hungry heart
Feel the bile rising from your guilty past
He might hear footsteps. He might.
With your nerves in tatters as the cockleshell shatters
And the hammers batter down your door
You better run
The songs from this fic:
Wish You Were Here
Run Like Hell
Looks like I've unintentionally written a trilogy of fics that incorporate songs. The other two, if you're interested, are Give the devil his due and Closer.