This fic is inspired by the writings of AlreadyPainfullyGone, one of the best fic writers I've ever seen. It is inspired by two songs:
'Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing' by Amanda Palmer (on that note, the whole album Who Killed Amanda Palmer? is amazing)
'Space Oddity' by David Bowie.
Summary: Dean is an astronaut fighting two Cold Wars- one with Russia, and the other
with his bitter, neglected husband. AU, very dark and quite angsty Destiel, char death, slight Sastiel.
Yes, I understand gay marriage wasn't legal in this time period, but bear with me. A man can dream, can't he?
Yes, you are my love, the astronaut
Crashing in the face of science
I will gladly stay an afterthought
Just bring back some nice reminders
'Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing'-Amanda Palmer
When Dean met Castiel, nothing happened. He didn't feel the fireworks and the rush of instant love as his hazel eyes met bright blue- instead, he felt the other man was quite boring and left it at that. He'd gone with life, as usual, and slowly, while he wasn't looking Castiel had changed from a passing acquaintance into a good friend.
It wasn't until one night when he'd taken Castiel to a drive-through movie and bought a large bucket of popcorn to munch on in his Impala that he'd realized he'd fallen madly in love with the man. No one else had ever been allowed to eat in his car, even his own brother, but here he was allowing some guy with bright blue eyes and a fascination with zombie movies to possibly dirty his baby, and he didn't care.
Dean, of course, decided to do the right thing and make an honest man out of Castiel, so he stepped out of his car, walked to the passenger side, opened the door, and dropped to his knees, asking a confused Castiel to marry him.
And, to his surprise, with the sound of gore and screams filling the air, Castiel said yes.
They planned to get married when they had graduated and settled into stable jobs; however, fresh out of college, NASA came knocking on Dean's door. It was a Dean's dream job, and even though Cas had his reservations Dean promised that the money he'd make would be enough to have a wedding, a house, and make sure Cas never worked a day in his life, so it is with an uneasy feeling that Cas relented.
He regrets that decision now.
Dean had the kind of job people wish for when they were kids, but never achieve, and end up wasting away the rest of their lives in a cubicle cage while allowing the bitterness of a dream they never attain eat them up from the inside.
Dean was an astronaut.
The first time the job had ever interfered with their life had been their wedding. Cas and Dean had been sitting at the head table, talking quietly with each other and observing their guests as the reception wore down when suddenly a nondescript man in large glasses approached the table and began whispering frantically to Dean. Dean turned apologetic eyes to him and assured him he'd be back soon and Cas let him go; he truly believed that this would be a one time occurrence, and after all, the country needed Dean.
Then it became worse. Dean was gone more and more, often plucked out of Cas' arms at the most random of moments. At first, Cas let it go- Dean was still home on weekends and besides, it would all end when the Cold War ended, and that would be soon. But then the War stretched on, and Dean's absences became more and more frequent, and Cas began to feel a hole in him- first small, it grew to be large and gaping and all-consuming.
Cas found the only way to relieve the aching he felt one day when he was cleaning the house- alone - and opened the liquor cabinet to dust all the unopened bottles of whisky. He had never really drunk before, and he was curious, so when he was done he plopped down in a chair, poured a glass, and downed it. At first, the burning was unbearable, but as it subsided, it gave birth to a pleasant buzz that, to Cas' surprise, helped him forget the fact that he was alone.
So he drank, and at first Dean seemed okay with it- after all, it kept him from complaining about his absences- but after awhile Dean seemed to be getting more and more concerned with the amount of liquor bottles Cas had been hiding in the trash, and one night, he attempted to talk to Cas about it.
Castiel said he was fine.
Dean said he needed to stop, that he needed help.
Castiel threw out the zinger- "well I wouldn't need to if you were here more often!"
And Dean left it at that.
When they do have sex- Castiel refuses to call it making love anymore- it's hard, fast and angry, hard and fast because Dean is normally rushing to return to work and angry because Castiel is trying his best to show the bitterness and pain he feels at being constantly ignored.
It is sometime in the morning, waking up to yet another cold bed, that Cas makes the decision to leave Dean. It's a decision that Cas had been brewing over for a while; he isn't sure what exactly sent him over the edge, but then he realizes that this is the first time he's woken up alone after sex. No matter how busy he was, or how angry Cas was at him, after sex Dean stayed until Cas woke up, and then dashed off to work. Today, the bed is empty.
Cas told Dean this the next day, as Dean rushed in for breakfast, like he always did on Wednesdays. Cas stood in the corner, sipping coffee spiked with rum, watching as Dean keeps an eye on his watch while wolfing down his bacon and eggs, and says,
"Dean. I'm leaving you."
It took Dean a second to reply, and he took his time, chewing his mouthful of food before swallowing audibly and turning to face Castiel. "What?"
"You heard me." Castiel tried to calm his shaking hand as he took another sip of coffee. "I'm leaving you."
Dean actually stood up, and walked over to where Castiel was standing. "Cas," he said, tenderly, "c'mon now. I'm sorry I haven't been here, I really am. Let's sit down and talk this out, before you do anything rash-"
Castiel regarded him with his large, blue eyes, tilting his head to the side. For a second, he wanted to sit with Dean and just talk- but then the second passes and he's back to anger. "No, Dean. This isn't rash, I've been thinking about this for a while. Besides," he paused for another sip of coffee, "you don't even have time to talk. Check your watch, I know you want to."
Dean gave him a helpless sort of look, backing off and allowing Cas his space. He picked up his briefcase and coughed, adjusting his tie- Cas remembers the Dean he knew in college swearing he'd never wear a tie- and turned to leave, but before he did, he looked straight at Cas and said, "I still love you, you know. I never stopped. I never will stop. Saturday… Saturday is my last mission. I know you probably won't, now, but I was wondering if you wanted to come see it."
Cas sighed, and looked off to the side. While it was against his better judgment to go, he could never deny Dean anything when he looked at him like that. "Fine."
As Dean's hand reached out and touched the doorknob, Cas called out again. "Dean."
Dean turned to look at him, hand still gripping the doorknob, face uncertain, yet hopeful. "Yeah, Cas?"
"Stay." Cas said, simply. "Just… please, for once, choose me over your job. For once."
Dean's face looked pained, and he glanced in between the door and Cas. "Cas…" Cas' face fell; he knew what Dean was going to say before he said it. "Maybe tomorrow, but today-"
Cas merely turned and waved Dean away over his shoulder. As the door shut behind him, he broke down and sobbed, clutching his coffee tightly.
Dean sighed as he opened the door to the house. He knew Cas wouldn't come on Saturday, and he already had a backup plan in place. He needed to say goodbye, properly, and he figured leaving a letter on his pillow was the best way to do it. He stole upstairs quietly, opening the door to their room. Castiel lay, curled around a bottle of vodka, dried streaks of tears running down his face.
Dean ran a hand through soft curls and smiled sadly. This was the last time he'd ever be able to do something like this and he wanted to relish the experience. He watched as Castiel turned his face to nuzzle his hand, gently, a small smile appearing on his face. Dean couldn't remember the last time he'd seen that smile; he didn't know when they'd ended up so miserable and angry, but he wanted to go back.
He would never have taken this damn job.
Castiel's eyes blinked open, what was once a brilliant blue now dull and lifeless. "Dean?" He murmured, voice even more gravelly than usual with sleep.
He couldn't help it. He knew what was coming on Saturday, and despite the fact the he may hate him, he still loved him. That kiss leads to more, and as Dean is lying next to Cas, basking in the afterglow, he tried to tell him. But the words became stuck in his throat, and no matter how many times Dean coughed they wouldn't budge. As Cas slips back into slumber, Dean leaves, laying the letter on his pillow.
He had a beer, watched a little TV, and then returned to the hotel. Once there, he closes the curtains, lies on the bed, and stares at the ceiling; his fingers toyed with the large gold medal he held in his hands. A hero, they told him. He'd live on forever in the history text books, his name taught to generations and generations of Americans as the man who sacrificed for his country.
As he lay there, he wondered if it was worthless. If faceless generations he would never meet were worth losing everything he held close to him. It was too late, anyway, so he shelved those thoughts, and tried his hardest to avoid thoughts of tomorrow. He finally falls asleep as the city awakens for the night, the frantic nightlife buzzing around his quiet room.
It was a lousy way to spend a last day.
When Castiel woke, it was already Saturday. He rubbed his eyes, turning, as was his habit, to Dean's side of the bed. There, on the pillow, lies a crisp white envelope, bearing his name is Dean's scrawled handwriting. Confused, he rubbed his eyes, reached over and opened it, eyes slowly widening and brightening in shock and fear as he reads.
He dropped the letter to the bed; the clock besides him reads 8:00, giving him an hour to get to the airfield and stop this madness. He hurried through his morning preparations, mind racing as he washed the stale whisky smell off him before haphazardly throwing some clothes on and dashing to the car.
By the time he reached the airfield he was fairly sure he'd acquired a nice collection of tickets from the speed camera, but he couldn't find time to care. Flashing an I.D. at the security guard, he dashed out onto the airfield just in time to get a glimpse of Dean waving at the crowd gathered at the launch site before climbing into the rocket. Refusing to believe he was too late, Castiel turned to the large, nondescript building facing the launch pad. It was the Mission Control building. If he could get it there, he could talk to Dean, apologize, and convince him to not do this.
At least, he hoped.
Fighting off despair he dashed in, immediately being met by a veritable wall of guards. He showed them his I.D. and explained who it was. They snatched it from his hands and looked over it suspiciously; every so often they would glance at Castiel doubtfully and mutter into their walkie-talkies.
"Mission control, systems check."
The men, sitting in their chairs, began to reply, their glasses coldly reflecting information that could sustain human life, or end it. Castiel didn't listen really listen to them- though he did hear the man at the computer labeled PROPS* say something along the lines of 'error in engine 1, check- all he heard was Dean's voice, and with that, Cas knew he had to act.
Hearing Dean's disembodied voice gave Castiel the strength he needed to push through the wall of guards and into the room. His momentum carried him into the wide-eyed man in the chair in front of the mike, but instead of apologizing profusely as he was used to he merely leaned over the dazed man and pressed the red button on the intercom.
He heard a quiet swear, then, "Cas? Cas, babe, what're you doing there?"
"Never mind that, Dean," he was surprised that the man he was laying on had not called security, but he chalked it up to luck and continued. "Please, don't do this. Please. I'm sorry for everything, you can come home, just…" his voice trailed off, and he choked down a sob. "Please, Dean. I'm begging you."
Dean sighed, and the static sound seemed to hang in the air. "I can't, Cas. I- I'm sorry. For everything. Engines are on," his trembling voice addressed the room at large, "and systems are a-go. Ready for takeoff."
The man below Cas leaned forward, clearing his throat and giving Cas a pained, awkward look. Cas was strangely comforted by how uncomfortable and sorry this man seemed. "Takeoff in T-minus ten."
"Dean…" Cas murmured, painfully.
"I'm sorry, Cas. I- I love you, Castiel Novak-Winchester. I love you."
"I love you too, Dean Winchester." Castiel's heart broke with every word.
"Two. One. Takeoff."
All eyes in the room simultaneously looked out the large bay windows as the rocket took off, fire and smoke rolling out from beneath its engines as it left earth. It went up, up, up, until it was nothing more than a bright white light in the clear blue sky. Everyone sat, stock still, as alarms went off at every computer in the room; red lights flashing as each system suffered meltdowns one after the other.
The light turned, suddenly falling earthward just as quickly as it had pierced the sky. Castiel watched as it grew closer and closer, brighter and brighter, before finally exploding in the air above the launch pad. The debris rained down on the launch pad, flaming pieces indistinguishable from each other. Castiel knew one of those-or, rather, quite a few of those- were, had been Dean, and the thought made him sick.
Three Weeks Later
Castiel woke to his alarm clock. It was Wednesday, and Dean always came in on Wednesdays. He went downstairs, set the table, and began making breakfast. He was making waffles today; waffles, bacon, and eggs, Dean's favorite. He even had a fresh six-pack and a whole apple pie in the fridge.
Sam wandered downstairs, curious as to why Castiel was awake so early. He'd moved in with him to keep him company after Dean's last mission, and Castiel appreciated him being there on nights when the very shadows around his bed seemed to swallow and suffocate him.
"Cas?" Sam leaned against the entrance to the kitchen, giving Castiel an odd look. "Why're you cooking so early?"
Castiel gave him a long-suffering look. "Dean comes home early on Wednesdays. I always cook him breakfast."
Sam sighed, "Cas…"
"Yes, Sam?" Castiel tried his hardest to avoid Sam's eyes. He knew what he was going to say.
"You know what I'm going to say, Cas."
Castiel sighed, and leaned against the counter. His shoulders slumped, and despite the fact that he had just awoken he felt dead tired, and wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed and never leave.
"Yes, Sam. I know."
"Go back to bed, Cas." Sam's voice softened and he gently pushed Castiel away from the stove. "I'll clean up here."
Castiel nodded, then left, numbly walking back up the stairs before collapsing into bed. His eyes flickered to the large gold medal on his bedside table. The president had given him that, eyes solemn with practiced sorrow as he shook Castiel's hand solemnly, apologizing for his loss while praising Dean for being such a hero. Castiel was suddenly filled with anger; he picked up the medal and chucked it.
They killed his husband, and all he gets is a goddamned medal?
Castiel curled in on himself, shivering. The anger drained out of him just as quickly as it had taken hold, and a deep, deep sadness took hold. For days, he didn't leave his bed, he just lay, staring out the window, Dean's pillow held securely in his arms.
In time, Sam coaxed him out of bed. In time, Sam got him to go outside again, even to go to a drive-through movie with him. In time, Sam took his brother's place in Castiel's bed, but not in his heart.
His heart was lying in scattered pieces on the launch pad, with Dean.
Is it enough to have some love It is enough to have some love And I am still not getting what I want
Small enough to slip inside a book
Small enough to cover with your hand
Because everyone around you wants to look
Small enough to slip inside the cracks
The pieces don't fit together so good
With all the breaking and all the gluing back
I want to touch the back of your right arm
I wish you could remind me who I was
Because every day I'm a little further off
It is enough to have some love
And I am still not getting what I want
'Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing'-Amanda Palmer
*Propulsion Specialist- they're in charge of things like fuel and the engines. This was my job on my first mission in Space Camp, and I'm surprised I still remember all this stuff.
Fun fact: I timed myself saying the dialogue at the countdown scene in order to get a realistic-ish countdown.
The last line is a reference to Julius Caesar by Shakespeare: 'my heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause until it return to me.'
Well, that was my first (and very crappy) Supernatural fic… please review and tell me what you think! Plot structure, plot idea, characterization (which I know is terrible, sorry), writing style… stuff like that. Concrit is love 3
Thanks for reading!