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Gabriel woke up with Castiel’s hair in his mouth, and warm slow breath gathering damply on his neck.  

Huh. Possibly Gabriel hadn’t completely screwed him up, then.  

He waited for the surge of smug exhilaration that should have followed that thought. It didn’t come.  

Possibly because of the headache. And the heavy sluggishness in his limbs.

Maybe angels could get the flu in Purgatory.  

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There were twelve faceless figures in silver and gold, standing on the hills around them. Always dancing, always out of reach, always lulling you to sleep as you watched.

They weren’t real. Or rather, they weren’t real creatures. Not a blip on the monster radar.

That didn’t mean they weren’t dangerous.

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In the land beyond knowledge, there is a forest of forgetfulness.

Into this forest there came a lion who had changed his roar for a hyena’s cackle, a leopard who had lost his spots, and a warrior bear without his shadow.

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Dean spoke with more than just words. He spoke with silences too. Those places where he stopped and stuttered, and went on with a grin about something else altogether - the places that he talked around as if he was carefully stepping the edges of a vast gaping hole in the ground without acknowledging that it was there - those were the most speaking of all.

Most of the silent spots were about his brother.

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The angel was not simple, on the inside.  

While the human slept, the watcher nuzzled up around the angel, close and curious, and brushed against the aching parts of his mind. The angel flinched, and stared; but he let him do it.

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The watcher stretched his wings out through the veins of the land.

These creatures belonged to him, the angel and the human, and he would guard them.

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Previous chapter.

 

Week 2.

14 kalends Septembris (August 19).

Note: For those of you keeping track of the timeline, this chapter takes place two days before the events of An Acorn Button.

 

Castiel woke up with Dean’s mouth sliding damp and leisurely across the back of his left shoulder.

“Grrm?” he asked, of the pillow.

Dean’s lips curved against his skin, and pressed closer for a moment, so Castiel could feel the brush of his nose and chin too, and the weight of his cheek against the folded wing. “Hsssh, g’back to sleep. I gotcha.”

“Mmmp,” Castiel agreed hazily.

A line of warm, open-mouthed kisses wandered around the edge of his shoulder blade, tucking into the sensitive parts between the main bone and the ball of the wing joint that fitted in at its base. Castiel shifted, lowering that wing a little to let him in. Dean paused, nuzzled at the spot, then danced his finger along the dampened path that his mouth had made.

“Your back’s kinda weird,” he decided, all early-morning drawl, and pressed a kiss into the centre between the wings.

“Yrs’s empty,” Castiel muttered into the pillow, and lost the end of it in a yawn.

“I mean,” and there was Dean’s hand, light and careful on the back of Castiel’s ribs as he stretched up to kiss the side of Castiel’s neck. “How’s there even room for all this extra stuff in here? Don’t the bones get in each other’s way?”

Talking,” Castiel accused peevishly, and tipped his head aside to encourage him in better morning things, because once Dean started getting curious about how things worked there was no stopping him.

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Next chapter.

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Previous chapter.

 

Dean kept looking at him, in the day and weeks that followed, as if he believed that he still knew Castiel. As if he couldn’t see the wings - no, as if he could see them and thought of them as no more than an interesting skill. As if an angel and a human could really be friends and brothers and it was as simple as that, until sometimes Castiel wanted to shake him and say, Dean, don’t you remember, I am a monster. Because Dean was too forgiving, and Dean was a better man than Castiel.

Because Castiel’s honour had become a flexible thing. 

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Previous chapter.

 

***

 

Castiel didn’t exactly mean to kiss Dean.

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Bright as a Gorgon’s eyes.

a March-Stalkers Mighty extra

 

Written: 15-19 March 2013.

Pairings: Castiel/Dean.

Rating: Mature.

Genre and tropes: Domesticity, some fluff, some h/c, virginity, oral sex, cuddles, cookie-dough fights, fairy tale.

Word count: 13k.

Spoilers: Plenty for March-Stalkers Mighty, none for the show.

Summary: Dean had always looked at him like that. He’d always looked at Castiel and made him into something new, something that Dean believed in so strongly that it became reality before Castiel had even noticed he was changing.

Warnings: Grief, and mention of character deaths that took place before the story opens.

Notes: Timestamp to March-Stalkers Mighty: key scenes and sequences during the action of MSM and after it, from Castiel’s point of view. Given this retells parts of that story but doesn’t detail the action in between, will make very little sense without having read the main fic.


An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth.
Sonnet XX, William Shakespeare.

Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding:
Yet do not go away: come, basilisk,
And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight.
Henry VI part 2, William Shakespeare (III.ii).

[Love] adds a precious seeing to the eye:
A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
Love’s Labours Lost, William Shakespeare (IV.iii).

... with Hector’s eyes glaring bright as a Gorgon’s eyes or Ares’, man-destroying Ares’.
Homer’s Iliad (Book VIII.


Now.

“You gotta open your eyes, Cas,” Dean whispered in his ear, breath huffing distraction down the side of Castiel’s neck.

“My eyes are open,” Castiel grumbled at him, and promptly made a liar of himself as Dean tucked his nose into the crook of Castiel’s neck and laughed, as Dean’s hand on his waist shifted with the horse’s movement and brushed warm against Castiel’s skin through the loose ties at the side of his tunic. 

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From my Gabriel Big Bang, which is a sequel to La diritta via and therefore a Castiel-and-Dean-and-Gabriel-in-Purgatory fic:

“I knew this story was Sleeping fucking Beauty,” Dean muttered.

It wasn’t a cloud, the dark mass around the base of the tower. It was a forest. Specifically, a forest of thorns.

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----

From the so-far-unnamed sequel to Losyngerie, and so an alternate ending to season 7:

“Gabriel.”

Gabriel’s gaze swung back to Sam, wary and so very tired that Sam ached with it.

“What, Sam?” he said, like the words were too heavy for him to lace them with sarcasm.

Sam wasn’t quite sure what he’d meant to say, but what came out was, “Remember the night before Elysian Fields?” And, as Gabriel’s forehead furrowed up and his mobile mouth twitched into something sour, “I prayed to you. You hear that?”

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----

From a timestamp for March-Stalkers Mighty, from Castiel's point of view:

Now.

“You gotta open your eyes, Cas,” Dean whispered in his ear, breath huffing distraction down the side of Castiel’s neck.

“My eyes are open,” Castiel grumbled at him, and promptly made a liar of himself as Dean tucked his nose into the crook of Castiel’s neck and laughed, as Dean’s hand on his waist shifted with the horse’s movement and brushed warm against Castiel’s skin, through the loose ties at the side of his tunic. “This horse is too tall,” he complained when he opened his eyes again. He tried to scowl down at the smelly, inelegant beast between his thighs, with its coarse mane and the steady thud-thud-thud of its dish-plate hooves over the soft sod, but it was hard to build up a good scowl with the heat of Dean’s body pressed up warm against his back, nestled snug between his wings.

Dean’s mouth broadened into a grin against Castiel’s shoulder. Castiel knew exactly what that one would look like on his face, but he’d never felt it pressed into his skin before. “My angel, scared of heights?”

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... because this is the kind of wild night one has in college, apparently, with beanbags and lots of sleepy people and Disney. Possibly this will change when the undergrads turn up so it isn’t just a bunch of grad students around the place. BUT.

The genie turned up. And he was being all hyperactive and sassy and LOOK AT HOW I CAN PLAY WITH REALITY FOR THE FUN OF IT and he felt really familiar

AND THEN I REALISED HE IS GABRIEL basically but cut for images and gifs and rambling about Bela as Jafar and Dean as Aladdin )
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... well. Here's my AO3 stats for 2012:

Author Subscriptions: 53
Kudos: 1139
Comment Threads: 143
Bookmarks: 249
Subscriptions: 86
Word Count: 440281
Hits: 43357

See that number, second from the bottom? That is an excellent reason why it would be exhausting and tiresome to write a 'this is what every story meant for me'.

A few shout-outs, though...

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