heavenonearth: (.123)
ᴄᴀsᴛɪᴇʟ ([personal profile] heavenonearth) wrote2016-06-12 07:24 pm

tale as old as time

Aaron's hooves slam into the ground beneath him, a hard staccato beat that plays the earth like drums, and the chill evening air tugs at Castiel's thick cloak, whistles through the bare, gnarled trees and rustles his dark hair. He rides hard, the horse's strong hooves kicking up mud and dust as he streaks down the wooden path, lungs burning with effort, face flushed and breaths quick and heart hammering.

This is not the first time Castiel has left home, but surely he thinks it will be the last. He has never seen eye to eye with his brothers, and he runs now from their fury and abuse, leaving behind a soft life of velvet and cream that he has never truly enjoyed.

The youngest son of a noble lord, Castiel is educated and trained, but his ambition has always reached beyond home, past the cruel grip of his family, his brothers who always held their heads too high and ruled those beneath them with a tight fist. Soft, they had always called him, too warm, too kind; serfs and servants and commonfolk were little more than insects, puppets, tools to be used and squeezed for profit, and Castiel had tried to make change, used his father's protection to do what he could to ease the hard life of those he feels they are meant to protect and guard and provide for.

But his father is gone. Disappeared. Dead or abandoned them, Castiel cannot say, and the shock of Lord Novak's disappearance has rippled through them all, giving his brothers free reign to turn on him at last, to vent their fear and abandonment and anger all on him. Without his father to shield and sanction him, Castiel has fled, furious and chafed and angry, hurt, all of his paper thin self confidence pulled to shreds so quickly, like a straw hut in a hurricane. He had packed everything he could into Aaron's saddlebags, and fled.

He's well past his providence now, beyond the lines of his family's influence, for he knows he must melt into the landscape, and disappear as his father had, find himself somewhere safe to close himself off in, to sort himself out, to think.

The gnarled root rises from the earth in the shadows beneath him, neither horse or rider see it, and Aaron trips, stumbles with a whinny and Castiel is flung from the saddle with a shout, landing hard on the damp earth, unharmed beyond perhaps a few scrapes. But Aaron has thrown a shoe, and limps lamely, and Castiel feels the first hints of panic beginning to grip at his breast. It's quickly becoming dark, and they are miles and miles still from the nearest town, and in the distance Castiel can hear the mournful howl of wolves. Quickly, he snaps up Aaron's reins and guides him along the path as fast as he can, and it's only by chance that he sees the twisting, overgrown path that branches off to the east - on horseback, he never would have seen it, old and broken as it is, but when he squints through the shadows Castiel thinks he can spy a gate, some twenty or so yards down winding ribbon of earth.

It's his only hope.

With a gentle word and a palm smoothed along Aaron's proud neck, Castiel leads him quickly down the twisting, narrow road, pushing aside brambles and clinging branches until he finds the rusted iron gate looming up before them, its sharp spires piercing the grey, darkening sky, and beyond it.. a castle. The grounds are silent, the building itself tall and foreboding, beautiful in a sad and dreadful sort of way. There is no life here, no movement or anything to suggest that these grounds are inhabited. The doors are shut tight, the carriages overgrown and in disrepair, the marble paths and statues overgrown and choked with weeds and ivy - but lonely or not, it is the only option he has, the only safe shelter he will find before the sun sets, and when thunder rumbles dark and treacherous above, Castiel knows he has only this one option.

Shoving the creaking gates open with his shoulder, Castiel leads Aaron onto the grounds and closes the gate tightly behind them before he's leading the white stallion along the churned up path, over broken stones and toward the tall doors, dark and peeling, the hinges creaking and groaning loudly when he pulls the doors open - and it takes all of his strength to do it, sure that these doors can't have been opened for many, many years for how rusted the hinges have become. Tugging his hood up and his thick, fur-lined cloak tightly around his shoulders, Castiel ducks his head, and slips inside.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
The castle is certainly old, worn, has enough history that it had to be scrubbed clean of spirits more than once. From the entrance it looks like nothing else has inhibited it for years. But there are hints in the dust gathering in the entryway, years and years worth, layers building upon layers, but there's a drag here and there, large pawed strides that disappear down the hallway. There's no light. No heat, just cold darkness awaiting it's guest.

The castle is far from unoccupied. It's been home to one cursed being for more years than he cares to count. He doesn't often leave the west wing of the castle that he's made his own prison, spends his time pacing and digging through the library for ways to break a witch's curse. It's a solitary life. So much so that the sound of hinges from several feet away echoes like a bang to his sensitive ears that are used to hearing no other sound than his own, and the occasional ghosts.

He closes the book with a clawed hand and listens with perked ears that twitch with every sound.

A hunter. It's the first thing that comes to mind. And his fingers twitch angrily at his side. He'd almost happily meet his death if he could die. But it seems his curse isn't that simple to break. There's scars in various spots all over his body where he's tried, where others have tried. Nothing has worked. Now the pain just annoys him.

He stalks down the hallway, dirty colored tail stiff and fluffed out as he moves in almost perfect silence. He was quiet as a human, as a beast, he's nearly untraceable. He pauses on the upper level of the stairs, the dark a cloak for him, the pillar even more so. But green eyes flash even in the shadows as they follows the steps of the covered intruder.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
There's a break in the darkness from the window above the staircase, and Castiel steps right into it and while most of him is hidden under the obviously expensive cloak, there's enough of his face exposed that has Dean's sharp gaze softening somewhat. It's been...decades since he's seen anyone other than the rare hunter. And he's never seen anything this pretty. It makes his stomach twist in the only kind of fear he can really feel anymore. It makes him hesitate to return that greeting, but before he can there's the echo from his prisoner.

"Help!" It's loud to Dean's ears, and he's long forgotten how well humans hear. Maybe it can't be distinguished at all. Or maybe it can. Either way, it gives him a legitimate reason to hesitate in revealing himself and he watches for a reaction instead, curious to see what this pretty creature is doing in his castle.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
The reaction is all but immediate, and suddenly Dean wonders if this person came here searching for his prisoner. It makes sense. He captured someone to keep them from running off and sharing his location with an angry village, and he still gets invaders in his castle.

He follows quietly enough behind.

"Castiel? Is that you?" The voice is undoubtedly Castiel's father, trembling from cold and fear and sudden hope. "Help me. Find the key." And his hand reaches through the bars of the dungeon he's in, hoping the movement will catch Castiel's eyes and lead him to where he's being imprisoned. "Hurry."
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 05:12 am (UTC)(link)
"Castiel, look ou-" It's the only warning he gets before Dean is charging into the room, catching the intruder easily around the neck with a long clawed hand and slamming him into the wall.

"What do you think you're doing?" Dean snaps, careful even as he bares his teeth, not to cut into the delicate flesh of the man in his grasp. He's too pretty to maim without reason. And while it's obvious these two know eachother, that this boy must be here to save the man, he can't help but suspect that there's another reason that brings both of them here. "This is my prisoner."

"Leave him be!" Comes the protest from the cell before it's interrupted by a bout of loud coughing.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 12:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Dean can hear his heart beating wildly under his fingers and he can't help but remember the curse placed on him, that snarling bitch's smug words about always being feared. And he doesn't blame anyone. He would have put a silver arrow between his own eyes if he saw something like him charging. His fingers loosen just slightly.

"I didn't take him. He came here to kill me. He's lucky he's alive." Truth being that Dean didn't kill humans. He refused to be that part of a monster. But he had grown increasingly angry and cruel in his isolation. Didn't see anything wrong with imprisoning someone who would have him dead.

"I didn't-!"

"Shut up!" Dean roars, head turning to the cage that immediately grows quiet.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 01:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Dean watches the boy's hand loosen on his own before his eyes dart back up to his face. Even in the dark, he's easier to see up close, and he thinks the light suits him better than the shadows.

"I know a hunter when I see one." Dean snaps, "He should have considered that before he left. He's mine. And he stays."

He does though, reluctantly, drop his hand from that fragile throat, "You need to go."

For all he's detached from humanity anymore, it's obvious this one isn't a killer. "And know that anyone you send back here won't have as lenient a fate."
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-13 01:28 pm (UTC)(link)
"Castiel..." Comes the soft voice from the cell, a warning. Of course the man in the bars doesn't believe this course of action will do anything other than get them both locked up. Or his son's untimely death. Or he could return home, gather up his stronger brothers, and return for him. ...If he lasted that long in the cell.

Dean though, simply stares at him. He remembers that kind of devotion. He would have done the same thing for his own father in a heartbeat. And immediately he recognizes Castiel's conviction, knows that he won't leave his father behind. Dean could throw him out, but he can't stop him from coming back, again and again, until he's forced to do something worse with him.

So he doesn't have to ask if it's something Castiel would really do, it's obvious enough in that fierce look in blue eyes. He prefers that to the fear he saw earlier.

With a snarl he shoves Castiel away from the cell bars, rips them open with his hands, forgoing the keys on the ground and wretches out the older Novak. Without a word he picks up the panicked, protesting lord and quickly takes him to the entrance of the castle and then out to the barn where his horse has been kept.

He tosses him toward the ground and turns around in a dismissive flourish. "Return and I'll kill you." He warns, before he's moving back into his home, slamming creaking doors. Now it's just him and...his new house guest.

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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-19 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
There are plenty of ways to turn rabbit into food, and Dean's all but forgotten all of them. Stew. But he hasn't tended the gardens in years. He's not much of a veggie eater, after all, even before the change. But he doesn't even bother cooking it these days. It's almost a craving any more, the warm blood when he tears into soft flesh.

But he cooks it tonight. Skewers it and sets it in the fire until it's dark.

Look, it's the thought that counts, okay.

And since the dining room is still not exactly a good place to eat, Dean takes two plates into the sitting room before he stalks the halls to Castiel's room and bangs on the door with a heavy fist.

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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-20 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
Really? Silent treatment? It's not the worst Dean has been presented with, and after decades of silence, it's really not the most effective way to get to him. Still, it reminds him of how young his captive must really be. Alone, trapped with a monster, exchanging his freedom for his father's when he doesn't even know who what his dad did.

So Dean sighs, tries his best not to sound gruff when he turns to start walking, sure
this time that Castiel will at least follow. "Um...You're welcome to the castle, you know, if you get bored of the room. There's...art on the walls." And he frowns inwardly at himself, "Oh, there's a library."
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-20 04:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Dean catches a slight change in Castiel's typical demeanor at the mention of a library and he smirks slightly. That had been his brother's favorite too. But he hadn't been in it in several years. Reading had only been a neccesity, never a pleasure. He learned just enough to do his job. Curses and sigils were rather word oriented after all.

"I'll take you there after dinner if you want." Under the unspoken condition that they get along well enough to make it through dinner.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-20 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Well. That ends the conversation and Dean doesn't attempt to pick it back up. He leads Castiel into the sitting room where he's set up the small table in the center for plates. It's nothing more than half a torn rabbit, but at least it's cooked. There's a single fork and knife; Dean doesn't need either.

"So. Food." He repeats again, staying by the door and glancing expectantly at Castiel.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-21 01:31 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, well, it really wasn't my intention to starve ya." He shrugs as he moves to sit down in the other chair. That had been an interesting task when he first tried and more often than not he doesn't bother with furniture, but he makes a point of it now. It always serves to remind him how he's some strange mutation between wolf and man, doesn't fit into either physically anymore. He really doesn't like those reminders. But right now Castiel is more on his thoughts than his curse, and that's...that's preferable. So he keeps his attention quietly on the other as he picks up the torn leg from the rabbit and easily tears into it with sharp teeth.
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[personal profile] dadssoldier 2016-06-21 07:07 pm (UTC)(link)
He can feel Castiel's eyes on him as he eats, but this is one thing that's always been familiar. Even as a human he was a terrible eater, open mouth, loud chewing, messy meat eater. So there's nothing but a curious glance Castiel's way as he chews.

Sam had always been a neat eater. Maybe that's where he got the idea at all to pull out silverware. Or maybe it's an effort to get Castiel to like him.

At least he's making an effort to start conversation. Or maybe he's just the curious sort.

"...decades." He quit caring after his family passed about keeping up with any dates.

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