This is a soulmark AU Supernatural fanfiction set in an unknown time period in Supernatural except that it happens after the beginning of Season 4.
Spoilers for that – the beginning of season 4/end of season three – and nothing else, and sort of handwave on Supernatural theological logistics, which is fine, because this is a soulmark AU.
Definition soulmark AU: (see here for a longer take) – an alternative universe version of an extant setting (often otherwise very similar to the canonical universe) where soulmates exist and some or all people have them; all soulmates have a mark of some sort on their bodies that indicate who their soulmate will be.
This one was prompted by Anke long enough ago that she may have forgotten – sometime in August, I think. Might be July.
The soulmarks in this were inspired by the way the story here – although more by my memory of the way they worked (symbolism and language important to the other) than the actual mechanism in that fic.
Dean had heard of people who had soulmarks of the first words their soulmate had said to them.
Him, he and Sammy, they’d had some of the weirder sort, the sort that only mean something later, when you look at it knowing your soulmate, like finding rabbits in clouds or bats in Rorschach tests. His was all up and down his thigh; more than one lover had taken their time tracing the swirls and lines of it and saying, well, maybe this part is me, here, you know, the way it sort of looks like…?
By the time he’d gone to Hell, Dean was pretty sure that soulmates were a scam. He was never going to find his, he was just going to find someone who could see the right things in his mark, someone whose soulmark said Hey, how you doing? or, God help him, Hello, ma’am, we’re from the F.B.I., I’m Agent LeRoth and this is Agent Hagar…”
Sammy? Maybe Sammy would get lucky and find someone he really fit with. But Dean was more likely to settle down with someone who fit well enough to know he’d be gone more than he was home, someone who fit well enough to know where he kept the guns.
Or maybe he’d just find someone who wanted to raise a kid or two in some sort of casual thing where he stole money to send home to her. Dad’d had the love of his life. Sam’d had Jessica.
(It was possible Dean thought about this every third shower, especially any shower where he had been alone for too many nights, or any shower after a particularly bad hunt, the sort where you killed the monster but you still had to see the bodies you hadn’t saved, the sort where you knew you were just a little too dumb to save everyone.)
All that being said, there was still this moment when Dean walked out of the shower and Castiel stared at him, at the soul mark on his right thigh and the tattoo work he’d had done to compliment it on the right, the stuff he’d seen in a particularly clear dream, when for a moment he thought his dick was showing and Castiel was going to ask uncomfortable questions about how humans did things with, say, the pizza boy…
…and instead the angel-in-an-accountant (or whoever it was) had croaked out softly, “that… that is the High Holy Writ of Heaven. Dean Winchester, son of John, how do you come to have the language of the Seraphim on your body?”
Before Dean could answer, before he could even really figure out what Castiel was saying, the man in front of him fell to the ground. There was a moment of something very strange, like the brightest strobe light ever, and a sensation of fluttering, noises just at the edges of Dean’s hearing.
Then the body stood up again, patting himself in some confusion. “I have Church Latin upon my form, and some sort of… prism. I had never seen it before. It has always been there, but it is -” He gestured vaguely. “We are not omniscient. I cannot see every spot on myself well.”
“Prism. Prism. Wait.” Dean grabbed Sammy’s computer and did a quick image search. “Like this?”
“That is it. Yes.”
Dean stared at Cas as if he could see the mark on the host he was wearing. “And my leg – that’s… The language of Heaven?”
“The High Holy Writ of Heaven. Yes.”
“It – seriously? I mean…”
There was so much to pack into I mean, and Castiel was not great at picking up subtext normally, much less in a situation like this, but for once, he seemed to grasp it, or at least some of the issue.
“There have been humans who have had angels as soulmates before. Generally, they have been very pious, faithful, extraordinary human beings.”
“So.” Something fell in his chest. “Not me, then. I’m none of those. I mean.” Dean flashed his best n’er-do-well grin. “I’m extraordinary, sure, but not in the way you mean.”
“Are you not?” Castiel gave him a look that, like had happened so many times, made Dean feel like the two of them were having different conversations. “However.” The angel looked not just sad but hangdog. “You could not decipher my true voice. We were truly soulmates, you would be able to hear and see me as I am.”
“Come on, man, I’d literally just gotten out of Hell. Don’t you think I might have been not at my best?”
“It, I am afraid, does not work like that. It is an amazing coincidence, I will admit, and I envy the angel or being who has your mark on their skin.” Cas’ hand brushed over Dean’s cheek in a gesture that was far too intimate, and then he turned his back. “But it cannot be me.”
“Can you at least read my leg to me?”
“Perhaps another time. We do, as you say, have to hit on the pavement, yes? We must find out who this Larissa is.”
“Hit the road, Cas, or pound the pavement, or maybe both, but we’re not flirting with the asphalt.” Dean dressed, shoving the disappointment down into his gut while he zipped up his jeans. “Let’s go pound some road.”
By the time they were three towns over and fighting some sort of demonically-possessed cattle, Dean had not exactly forgotten about the matter but he’d managed to put it out of his mind, shove it into that little place he kept things like hopes of a real life.
It went like that.
He would catch Cas looking at his soul mark – whether Sam was around or not, though Dean tried to keep his pants on around Sammy, especially after he’d read some of those things their – their fans, he supposed, well, not their fans but the ones who followed the supernatural version of – damn, it was confusing, but anyway, after he’d read the stuff that had lead to him saying they do know we’re brothers, right?
So he’d catch Cas looking at his mark, and he’d catch himself wondering about Cas’s mark, and they would maybe say something or maybe not, and then they were fighting something again. And it kept on like that, weeks, months, until there was this moment when Cas just got sick.
And Cas wasn’t supposed to do that, he was an angel, for God’s Sake (for someone’s sake, for anyone’s sake) but there he was, sick, and he started stuttering, like strobing, the body falling down and then the lights flashing all over the place.
Finally Sammy found something in a book, something that could help with angel flu (it wasn’t called angel flu, Sammy’d explained what it was called, but Dean couldn’t spare any brain cells to worry about names right now, he couldn’t, he needed to just focus on Cas, on – on doing something to help.
It felt like when they’d been kids and Dad had left on a job, and Sammy’d gotten a bad stomach bug. Dean had done everything he could, he’d even gone to the manager and said his dad was watching his little brother but told him to ask what do you do for a stomach bug, but all he could do was give Sam the Gatorade the manager had given him and watch the kid cry, and get sick, and cry some more.
This was like that, only it was a hundred times worse and a hundred times stranger and it was awful.
Once Sammy was out the door, he took Cas’s hand, the hand that was sort of Cas’s at least, in both of his and did what he had for Sammy, all those years ago. He talked. He talked about something and nothing and then about some other things, and then he sang, nonsense and Pink Floyd and of course Stairway to Heaven… and Highway to Hell, because Dean knew himself, and he knew hell better than heaven.
Then, then Cas flashed. “Dean,” he croaked. “Dean, your eyes. Cover them. Close them. Cover them.”
Dean did what he was told, and tied a bandanna over his eyes before he stole a grip on Cas’s hand.
Cas’s… feathery hand. Cas’s wing?
He fought the urge to open his eyes. “Cas?” he croaked.
“I am – I am losing my grip on my form.”
For a moment, the voice sounded like he remembered it, like screeching almost out of his range of hearing. And then it was a voice. Not Cas’s voice, and yet still his.
“Okay, so, I gotta lock the door and I dunno, put a sock on it, so Sammy doesn’t come in here. I need my brother whole, man.”
There was a pause. The pause went on long enough that Dean opened his eyes against the blindfold and squeezed the feathers in his hand. “Cas? Cas, man?”
The room was bright – daylight bright, if his few experiences with blindfolds told him anything. Not unbearable, but then again, he was looking through several layers of bandanna.
“You can understand me properly. You could not, before.”
“I can – I can hear you.” Dean didn’t even try to explain how it felt, how the voice sent shivers up and down his spine, how it made his whole body feel alive how the touch in his hand was the most amazing thing he’d ever felt, nearly orgasmic and yet so much more. “I can feel you.”
“If you want – if you want, I think you can risk removing the blindfold. I understand, however, if you don’t want to risk it.”
There was still a bit of formality to Cas’s voice, but as he spoke, as he – wrapped an arm? a wing around Dean, it sank in that the angel – the angel! – wasn’t speaking English anymore. “Are you- Shit. Are you talking in Angel to me? Shit, is this what it’s like for everyone to talk to angels? To be – uh. Touched by an angel?”
He could no more help the slightly dirty snicker at that than he could stop breathing. He doubted Cas would mind or even get it.
The way he was feeling, he hoped Cas wouldn’t get it.
The angel gave the impression of clearing his throat, which sounded nothing at all like clearing a throat ought to sound. Dean kinda wanted to be confused by that, but there were still feathery wings on him. “No. No, not generally. Generally, one being touched by an angel in our true forms is something like your friend experienced – the medium – or it’s something equally searing. What you are feeling, Dean, what we are feeling, that is a soulbond. Any soulbond, as I understand it.”
“Woah.” Dean leaned into the feathers for a moment before slowly removing the blindfold. “Woah,” he repeated. “Cas… Cas, you’re beautiful.”
Cas was – was feathers, and eyes, and a smile that was the sweetest thing in the world. There was nothing human about the form, but there was beauty all over it.
And then he shifted, and Dean could see the mark on his back, the Latin, the prism, so beautifully drawn is was a work of art.
Someone tried the door, found it locked, knocked. “Dean? Dean, Cas?”
Dean swore. Cas flickered twice and then, in something like a heartbeat and something like a twist of space, he was on the bed, he was Jimmy Novak again.
Dean brushed his knuckles over the angel’s hand.
He was surprised at the surge he felt at the touch, the warmth in there.
“Guys?” Sammy called from the door. “You’re not really-“
“Just a sec, Sam,” Dean hollered. “Cas? Cas, you ready for company?”
“I believe I feel … better,” the angel breathed. “I believe. I believe we have raised each other from perdition, Dean Winchester.”
“They do know we’re brothers, right?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke6ekjknw64