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24 September 2009 @ 01:40 pm
SPN Fic: The Most Reliable Network  
Category: Gen
Characters: Dean and Castiel
Spoilers: Through 502.
Summary: After defeating War, Dean's on his own.

Note: This was written for thandie in the Fall Fandom Free For All . It might not be the smartest thing ever to debut in a new fandom with a quickly written story, but I wanted to get it in before the new ep tonight. This fandom is contagious!

Long after the engine noise had faded away, Dean sat at the picnic table, pretending he could still hear it.

He tossed War's ring idly in his hand, not looking at it. Trying hard not to think about anything at all, because his thoughts kept circling back to Sam and he didn't want to go there.

It was better. Sam had to get his shit together. Dean knew that - he agreed with it. He very much didn't like it.

There was a family doing the picnic thing at the other table, but he still felt alone. He glanced at the Impala and tried to smile at his baby. At least he still had the car.


The ring slipped through his fingers, between the slats of the table, and fell with a metallic clink to the ground. He bent to get it as it rolled under the table.

But it kept going. And if there was any doubt that it was a magic ring, it blithely kept on rolling, disdaining the gravel as anything that should slow it down.

"No, you don't!" He jumped after it. "Not after everything!"

But he missed, hand grabbing only a handful of dirt and stones and landing hard on one knee. He stumbled upright and ran after, muttering under his breath about godforsaken, middle-of-nowhere mountainous rest areas and magical rings, as it rolled fucking uphill and went over the top of the rise.

He followed and looked down a shallow slope of sandy dirt and scrubby weeds. Shit. He wasn't as alone as he thought. There was someone there, someone who hadn't been there before, crouched down in the gully to catch the ring.

His heart leapt and his mouth went dry as he realized he was utterly alone. No backup. All he had was the knife at the back of his belt. He was screwed. If that was War, that happy family was profoundly fucked, too.

But then the figure stood up, and the tan trench coat fell into familiar lines, and his relief was sharp. It was Cas.

A frown took his place. Castiel had said he couldn't find Dean, so why was he here? "Cas? What are you doing here?"

Castiel spun around, and it was highly satisfying for a moment to see the surprise on his face. He hadn't known Dean was there. But the surprise then was wiped away. "Dean. You should be more careful with this."

He held out the ring but Dean didn't reach for it. "Shouldn't you take it someplace to be destroyed?" he asked. "Throw it in a volcano someplace?"

"If you keep it, no angel or demon, or War himself, can find it."

Reluctantly, Dean put out his hand and Castiel dropped the ring back in it. He shoved it in his jeans pocket. "It can't be all his power."

"No. The Horsemen are the suffering of Humans made manifest. They are always here, but acquired bodily form only with Lucifer's rising. The ring is a conduit to channel his power to a specific end. He will acquire another."

Dean thought about that for a second. "You telling me the other three are out there, too?"


"And they're not killable."

"No. They can only be defeated when Lucifer is destroyed or re-imprisoned in Hell."

"Great." This just kept getting better and better. He had worse enemies, and fewer allies to fight them. "So how goes the search for God?" he asked, not quite able to keep the sarcasm from his voice.

Castiel only narrowed his eyes in disapproval, answering with that level tone that gave nothing away. "It goes." His gaze flickered behind Dean and upward. "Where's Sam?"

"He went." Castiel frowned at the news.

Dean turned away from Castiel and started trudging up the hill back toward his car. It was a little odd to hear Castiel's footsteps following him. "So how'd you find me? I thought you said I was invisible to angel radar?"

"You are. I was following the portent of War, and I sensed the ring was nearby. Why did Sam leave?"

"Because he's finally figured out that he's messed up in the head and it's putting people at risk." His beer had turned warm and flat, but he drank it anyway, to avoid Castiel's stare.

He could still see Castiel's head dip a little in that oddly bird-like way of his as his eyes seemed to see right under Dean's skin. "That leaves you alone at an inopportune time."

Dean shrugged, resolutely ignoring the frozen rock taking up space right under Castiel's artwork on his ribs. "It's better this way."

"If you say so..." Castiel said, as if he would like very much to disagree.

Dean faced him and forced a cocky grin. "I say so. So you can go off on your search for tortillas. I'm fine."

"If you need me--"

Dean raised his eyebrows. "Are you actually offering to help in a hunt?"

Castiel went on as if Dean hadn't said anything. "Speak my name and I will... telephone you." He said the last with the faintest disgust at the thought, and Dean couldn't help a smirk. Poor slumming angel.

He patted his cell phone through his jacket pocket. "I'll keep it right here."

Castiel nodded once and then Dean blinked and Cas was gone with a gust of wind and faintest sound of the rustling of wings to mark his passing.

Finishing his beer and crushing the can, Dean threw all the trash in the bin and headed for the car.

He was still alone, but when he slipped a hand into his pocket, he touched his phone and resolved to keep it charged. Just in case. It was his lifeline to Sammy, Cas, Ellen, Bobby... They weren't with him, but they were only a phone call away. At least they would be, once he found a place where his phone would get a signal.

Once the engine was purring, he put her in gear and turned up the volume high enough to make the quarter panels vibrate. He peeled out of the parking area just because he could.

Time to do his job and kill some evil things.

noybusiness: Leoben/Anders/Starbuck threesomenoybusiness on September 24th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Great job! Good characterization.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on September 25th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
thank you! That's good to hear in a new fandom! :)
kira_bouviea on September 24th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
Oh this was just too awesome!

I love your use of language here. *draws hearts*
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on September 25th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
thanks! it's nice to be encouraged when I'm new to writing for the fandom!
thandie: cas/dean by the lakethandie on September 24th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This was so perfect, I like your Castiel a lot ;)
I hope it'll be the first of many, you know this fandom won't let you get away easily. ♥
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on September 25th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
you're welcome! I'm glad you like it.

And heh, yeah, I'm pretty sure it's just the first. This SHOW!
rhoboat: SPN - Dean/Castiel/burgerrhoboat on September 24th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
OMG YAY, you write Castiel fic! I've enjoyed many of your BSG fics with Sam, and seeing a fic of yours pop up in a Supernatural comm is a highlight of my day.
lizardbeth: Anders - gunlizardbeth_j on September 25th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
aw, thanks, that's so sweet!

There's a crossover coming up next, so keep an eye out! :)
rhoboat: BSG - Andersrhoboat on September 26th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
Squee! I'm following you now so I don't miss out. :D
Mayhem Parva: Ellison (blackdoggy1)raincitygirl on September 27th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Eeeeeee!!!!!!! I *like* this story;
lizardbeth: Dean with Metallicarlizardbeth_j on September 27th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
heh, thanks. Just dipping my toe in the water... :)