They’ve been running, fighting, tearing through beasts for who knows how long. It doesn’t seem to stop, but Dean thinks that’s just how time progresses here. It feels like a string of random moments, like jump cuts in a movie. Every so often, Dean will realize they’re not in the same place he thought they had been moments before, or the thing dying at Castiel’s hand is a different kind of monster.
“Can we be killed here? Or would we just be put back together?” He asks because he’s seen a creature drag its head back to its body after Cas had ripped it off.
Blue eyes spare him a fast glance before returning to scan, watch, guard. “This isn’t a realm meant for man or angel. We might not die in a technical manner…but if they ripped deeply enough to reach your soul or my grace…” he trails off but Dean shivers, understanding that they could be eaten alive, body and soul, while they watched.
Dean learns that like on Earth, here, he can’t magically fix himself. They’re set upon by a pack of…well, Dean doesn’t have words for these things. Dean’s tangled with most kinds of monsters, but that was on his turf, and usually the things looked semi human. These things speak of ancient nightmares painted on damp cave walls, of evil to come in the night and swallow you whole. He’s never been one to run from a fight, but he’s a man without a weapon and all he can do is try not to get hit as he waits for Cas to dispatch them.
He’s gotten good at ducking and dodging and spinning away from the monsters here, but to be honest, they seem more drawn to Cas anyways. It’s stupid, going for the obviously more powerful, deadly creature, but Dean kind of gets it. Whenever Cas fights here, it’s like his edges blur and his grace starts to shine through, and he glows with power. Like a moth to a flame, it brings the creatures to him, and Dean’s still not sure if it’s involuntary, just how this place works, or if Cas does it on purpose to draw them away from Dean.
But this time, he spins too far, out of Castiel’s reach, and one of the beasts breaks off from the beast to latch jaws onto his leg. It’s a ridiculous kind of pain, Dean can feel his body crumbling, but it’s not like he can go down without a fight, so he kicks out hard with his other leg and sends the thing flying back some. Dean looks to his leg and feels a wave of sick wash over him as he quickly assesses the damage. His foot’s gone, the rest of the leg below knee tattered, blood gushing. He doesn’t feel dizzy from blood loss, but it still burns with incredible pain and there’s no way he’ll be able to push himself up and away from the creature making it’s way back to him. And now, he’s almost done. Almost ready to lay back and let the thing fucking take him apart until its filthy slobbering jaw is clamped down on his soul. But before he can surrender to it, there’s a holy blast of light as the creature’s blown into a hundred different pieces.
Castiel picks him up, cradling him in his arms, and Dean would make a joke about how he’s no princess, but he’s down a leg and fucking tired. He stares at the weird, empty sky as every motion, every breath makes his leg throb and gush, and surely he should have lost all the blood in his body now, but it doesn’t stop. They stop moving some time later, Dean doesn’t know how long, but Castiel gently rests him on the ground and gentle hands hover over him.
“I can’t just heal it Dean…I need to re-grow it. It will be painful,” Castiel warns softly, pausing, waiting for his signal.
“Just do it Cas,” he grits out, but as soon as Cas starts, he second-guesses his choice. He could have just had Cas cauterize it, because who really needs a leg when it feels like this to re-grow it?
He wants to scream until he’s hoarse, but he bites it back and pushes it down as Cas conjures new bone and covers it with muscle and skin. When his leg is whole again, it’s perfect, exactly as it was, but the memory of the pain still sits heavy in Dean’s stomach and it takes him awhile to gather himself before they can move on to a safer spot.
The rest on a hill, the sky getting lighter, and Castiel traces a perimeter around them, allowing Dean time to rest. And he knows he should try to sleep, rest while he can, but he can only sit with head in hands and try to not completely lose his mind and maybe a tear escapes from his eye. Castiel finishes his round and sits lightly next to him, patient for Dean to speak.
When he finally does, his voice is raspy and broken when he says, “I’m so useless here. All I do is slow you down.”
He can’t see Cas, but he feels his body turn towards his as he quietly replies, “Seeing you out of this place is the only thing to propel me forward Dean. That’s far from useless. You and your brother will be together again, I promise you.”
At that Dean lifts his head, and attempts a sort of smile that doesn’t really happen, but it’s the effort that counts. “All of us will be together.”
Castiel ducks his head, almost shyly, but Dean saw the corners of his mouth quirking in a smile as he repeats, “All of us.”
THIS IS FANTASTIC.