Fic: The Hanged Man (Dean/Castiel, NC-17)
Summary: This is a sequel to The Beating of His Hideous Heart, from the opposite POV to the original. Dean is a charming sociopath, Castiel the fresh-faced prison chaplain. Dean has been looking for Castiel for fourteen years.
Warnings: This one is less dub-conny than the previous, but there are still hints of that, and - sociopath!Dean. 'Content may disturb', I might say.
For fourteen years, Dean has been searching for the Hanged Man. His father was the Four of Pentacles, his brother the Ten of Wands, a perfect balance of control and defiance to bracket Dean and entrap him there between them. Dean fought, but it was no use. John was the enfolding sound and Sam the fury, and Dean was the shackled Ten of Swords between them, their martyr and their Christ. His protests to the yellow-eyed man brooked no respite, no sympathy or release. God sent no miracles, the yellow-eyed man explained, to men who did not climb into the lifeboats Heaven dispatched. The Power that Is helps those who help themselves.
John was his first, and undetected, a single shot of air shoved into his jugular one night when beer and exhaustion left him stretched out like a dead man on a mussed motel-room bed. By morning he was cold, and too old, too insignificant, for the aneurysm to be questioned, not least because Dean had been so very careful with his pinprick. His father was his first. It wasn't as if Dean had any other option, after all. The yellow-eyed man has always been very clear about that.
Sam was lucky number sixteen, though he had been eighteen when Dean had done it, claimed him forever in that wide-eyed frozen moment of youthful devotion. The numbers still bother Dean, a little. It's bad mathematics. He could have found another two girls without any great amount of difficulty, or taken Sam earlier, perhaps - at sixteen, when he first shot up like a tree, all coltish grace and too much hair. At twenty, though, Dean had not understood the nature of possession, and by twenty-two, he could no longer wait. Sam was growing, his mind doing things Dean could not monitor, his body touching people Dean had not approved. Better he do it now, with Sam still wholly his, than later, when the numbers were right but his hold on Sam had thinned at the edges.
No, it - made sense. Dean is wrong to be irked by the numerology.
Castiel is the Hanged Man. Sammy's very certain about it when Dean consults him, hand over his heart to touch the place where he is. Sam's lived there since the moment Dean cut his own heart out of him with endless gentleness; made the leap and stayed, exactly as the yellow-eyed man had said. Sometimes, Dean forgets himself and talks to him aloud - "Don't like the look of him, Sammy, do you?" "Hey, Sammy, daffodils. Remember that spring in Fort Worth?" - but the others don't understand. They laugh and make insinuations, some of which are frankly sick. Sam says it isn't their fault; they're just dumb, and Dean knows he's right. Still, sometimes it's nice to say the words aloud, even if only in whispers: "That's him, Sammy, isn't it? He's the one."
When Sam says yes his voice is so fervent that it almost doesn't sound like Sam any more. Castiel is the one.
After the first time, neither Dean nor Sam is surprised to see Castiel back, although Castiel himself is evidently utterly unsure. That's only natural - after all, Castiel doesn't know any of what Dean and Sam know, about the yellow-eyed man and his tarot, his soldiers ranked in rows. Dean is his general. Dean has his trust, and Sammy is his eyes. Castiel is blindfold, but his feet feel the draw, nonetheless, of the only righteous path.
"Well," Castiel says, and his fingers work restlessly, tangling, steepling at his waist as if in prayer. "How are you today, Dean?"
Dean is wonderful. Dean is glorious and full of holy fire.
"Dean," Sam says, low and cautioning. Typical Sam.
"Doin' great," Dean says. Sam is the one who sees, after all. "No guard, huh?"
"I trust you," Castiel says, faintly. The words are oddly hollow as they struggle out of his throat, thready and quiet, as if what he means is the precise opposite. That's the work of the yellow-eyed man on his mind, right there. That's the yellow-eyed man telling him how it has to be.
"That's nice," Dean says, and gestures at the bed, all polite, like Castiel's feet must be aching from all that following the true and perfect road. "Have a seat, father. Nice of you to come and see me at home like this."
That's a joke. Sam laughs a little, and Dean can almost see the way his eyes would go crinkled when he laughed like that, the way his white teeth flashed in his face. Sammy always did think he was funny.
Castiel smiles a little, too, but he doesn't laugh. When he sits, his hands are still working frenetically against each other, grind of palm on palm. That's a kiss, in Shakespeare, says Sammy. He wants it, Dean. He knows.
They keep Dean all by himself, most of the time. Probably because the other prisoners are scared of him, as they have every right to be. Dean doesn't mind much. After all, it's not as if he's actually on his own. Still, when visitors come - which is rarely - there's always a guard hovering somewhere, some dirty smudge of black at the edge of the tarot. Today, there's nobody, and Dean can't understand it.
"I told them I was going to take your confession," Castiel says, like he's reading Dean's mind. Perhaps he is: our brother of perspicacity. "You've a right to privacy, there."
The yellow-eyed man must have helped, Sammy says. Dean isn't allowed to go to chapel - perhaps they know that his skin would shine there, nacreous, glowing with the light inside him - but they have never brought a priest to him here. The yellow-eyed man must have helped.
When Dean steps closer, Castiel lifts his face, eyes closed, like a martyr, and Dean feels the steady pounding of his pulse in his throat, the surge of his fervour in his chest. He finds Castiel's pulse, too, with two fingers, pressing so that the blood skips and rushes behind the priest's ear, under the soft skin there. He's nervous as a rabbit, flutter-rush-flee of his heart, but perfectly still, as if he knows his purpose; as if he has come as a sacrifice. Perhaps he would like that, Sammy says, if Dean told him: this is my blood, poured out for many.
"Stupid, Sam," Dean thinks. He doesn't mean to break the skin.
When Dean's hand moves to cover Castiel's mouth, Castiel half-sobs against it, stiffening, and Dean makes a show of muscling him down onto his back on the bed. Castiel is a priest, after all, with his own beliefs and vows, and it will be easier if they both can pretend Dean is forcing him. It will be easier. The glint of the light in Castiel's eyes tells Dean he is right in his assumptions as he hikes up Castiel's cassock; spreads Castiel's thighs with a strong, flat palm.
"Tell him," Sam says. "Tell him what you're doing, Dean. Tell him who he is."
But he doesn't tell; not here. Dean doesn't tell anyone, not the psychiatrist nor the guards, nor even the priests, about the yellow-eyed man, about his best-beloved always with him, the voice of reason in his mind. They wouldn't understand - they don't have the capacity - and Dean doesn't want to be written off as crazy. Christ, the psychiatric hospitals are way worse than this joint. So he shakes his head tightly - forgetting yourself, Sammy, jeez - and wrenches Castiel's suit-trousers and underwear down his thighs, over his knees; sits back on his heels and studies his cock, swelling and stiffening under Dean's gaze.
"Dean," Castiel says, weak and soft. His hand comes up, cards through Dean's hair. "Dean, I - "
"I know," Dean tells him, because he does; curves his palm over Castiel's mouth again and works his other hand a little lower between his legs, finding the place where their journeys end. He's hot there, tight against Dean's curious fingers, but he shivers when Dean circles a little, gently; all-out whimpers when Dean shoves up his thighs and pins them while he leans in and licks at the furl of muscle.
"Dean," Castiel grits out, like it's the only word he knows, fingers feeling out the lines of Dean's face, cheekbones and brows and ears and jaw. He cries out when Dean's tongue breaches the core of him, fucking filthy-wet, loosening him up, and Dean murmurs shushing sounds against his skin. When he sucks on him there, a wet-mouthed kiss to the twitching rim of him, Castiel flings an arm over his face to muffle his cries, and Dean feels the triumph welling up his spine, spiking his blood.
"Hush, I know," he soothes, working a finger inside the hot, tight clench of him, beautiful Castiel with his angel's name. "I know, Father. I got you." Another finger, slow. "I got you, c'mon now. Everything's fine."
The sounds Castiel makes while Dean's fingers work him open are animal, inhuman and tight and broken, and his eyes are closed to the world. When Dean rises up over him - slots between his thighs; shoves them wide with his hips and lines himself up - he's still locked away somewhere inside himself, hands making frantic little fists against the mattress.
"Hey," Dean says, "You need me to make you?" He fumbles open his jumpsuit; nudges the slick head of himself against Castiel's hole, and Castiel all-out shudders, hips arching towards him. It's not a convincing display.
"Dean," Castiel says, that word again, relentless, but his eyes open, slowly, and Dean stares down into the depths of them, open and black and doomed. "Dean, I - "
Dean shifts, plunging smoothly into him, then, and Castiel bucks up in surprise, rearing like a startled horse. He's tight, God, so tight, but the Hanged Man must be a virgin, a sacrifice and a contradiction. He's a clenching heat around Dean as Dean splits him open, crushing and new and broken like the yellow-eyed man's seals, and Dean feels his breath quickening damply with the rush of it, the white-hot thrill in his bones.
"God, Castiel," he whispers; presses his face into the hollow of Castiel's throat and drives his thrusts deepeer, fucks and fucks and fucks. "Castiel, Castiel." It's ritual, salvation, and Castiel keens beneath him, bucking up and clutching at the muscle of Dean's back, smoothing into the dip of his spine beneath the orange cloth. He's perfect, so right for this that Dean can feel it sparking in him everywhere, fizzing in his blood like champagne.
"Take him," Sam whispers. "Dean, take him now."
And Dean does - stutters against that spot inside Castiel a few more times until Castiel's limp beneath him, weak and arching and desperate, and then he seizes up and comes, wet and clean and scourging all over Castiel's insides. Castiel, evidently, recognises it for what it is, because his body twitches violently, fingernails pressing deep, and then he's arching, too; smearing slick and hot all over Dean's stomach.
Oh, but he's beautiful, such a perfect fit. Dean almost doesn't want to pull out.
Castiel, when he lifts his head, is breathless, red-cheeked and ashamed. Dean almost remembers shame, if he thinks back long enough, but then the yellow-eyed man came and explained that it was for the weak, for those who didn't understand. Castiel does not understand the sacrifice he has made for Dean today, but Dean understands. Dean is grateful.
He pulls out slow; wipes them both with the edge of the thin blanket, and Castiel's cheeks are flaming as he stands and adjusts himself, shoving himself back into his trousers.
"He'll be leaking all over those," Sam says, a smirk in it, and Dean laughs. Castiel gives him an odd look, but Dean only blinks back at him mildly. Castiel wouldn't understand. True martyrs never do.
"You should come and see me again," Dean says, as if they have just played chequers or discussed the news. Castiel's breathing is still coming quickly, tight in his throat as he smooths his cassock flat. Probably, he will say no, but that makes no odds now. Dean has his Hanged Man, his Four of Pentacles, his Ten of Wands. On to the next card.
"All right," Castiel says, clearly unexpected by both of them. His little duck forward is more unexpected yet, the brush of his damp open mouth against Dean's. Dean hardly means to stumble forward into it, but then Castiel's kissing him, gentle and unpractised, five seconds of tingling warmth before he's gone again, blushing still more furiously than before.
Sam snorts; needles at the back of Dean's mind. "Dean, you're done. We need a Magician."
Dean gentles him down; presses a hand over his heart to hold him in, calm him down. No sense in rushing these things, after all. Magicians are a dime a dozen.
"See you soon, then," he tells Castiel, smile quirking up at the corner of his mouth.
"Yes," Castiel says. "I - yes. I'll pray for you, Dean."
He slips out in a hurry, all blush and ignorance, and Sammy laughs after him, but Dean is pensive, almost intrigued. It's been a long time since a card has caught him like this - compelled him after the claiming. Perhaps a Hanged Man needs more than touch. Perhaps, like the fourteen parts of the High Priestess, he needs to be subsumed, broken and assimilated.
Dean sits down on the bed slowly; glances briefly around his cell. There's nothing here to make an assimilation with. A blanket wouldn't do it, unless he could convince Castiel to submit to breath play, and he suspects he would be wary. So many rumours are spread about Dean, so much ignorance. It will be difficult.
"Possible, though," Sam says, catching on. "If he trusts you."
"If he trusts me," Dean says, slowly.
Beyond the door of his cell, a guard looms into view, presumably in response to Castiel's exit. When he hears Dean speak, he glances up, judgmental, and Dean glares back at him, close-lipped and defiant.
If Castiel trusts him, he can do anything. If Castiel trusts him, perhaps, Dean could hang him for real; keep him forever and ever. He would like Sam. They'd get along.
Dean gives it a week.