In the midst of falling, Castiel discovers poetry. He shoplifts his own tiny library of books, and Dean and Sam are, in their own ways, both proud of him and disappointed. (Dean, of course, proud that he’s taken up the age-old Winchester tradition of not paying for what he wants, but disappointed in the fact that he’s chosen to steal books of poems. Sam is exactly the opposite; pleased with his choice but looking down on his methods of obtaining them.)
He sits silent for weeks at a time and reads, rips pages from his books and folds them into intricate patterns, leaves them on benches they pass while working a case or in hotel bathrooms. He doesn’t speak for weeks at a time, except to lash out at the brothers for interrupting him, with fists he isn’t used to using and a voice that’s nowhere near its former power.
He proves himself excellent with a gun, and Dean catches him reciting nonsense lines during target practice, nearly gives them away more than once with his weird need to talk to himself before he shoots. Sam finds tiny wings in his coat pockets made of e. e. cummings poems, swans of Sylvia Plath in his shoes.
Cas starts a collection of intricate boxes of hotel notepaper, covered with poems of his own invention in scribbled Enochian because he can’t remember English letters. He leaves them on Dean’s sleeping chest and the hollow between his shoulder blades in the early morning hours, smiles privately at the hunter’s confusion when he wakes.
The intermissions between long periods of silence and poetry are violence, arguments fueled by rage at everything, holes punched in walls, black eyes and broken noses. Cas tells them he hates them, breaks the Impala’s windows, walks off into the woods with no sign of coming back. Dean wants to leave him, says ‘fuck him and his PMS’ but Sam refuses, tries to explain because he knows exactly how the ex-angel feels.
Castiel is back in a few hours, with words written on leaves and tied together with vines to hang from the broken back window. He’s still angry and he doesn’t speak except to tell them ‘this is your fault,’ turns his back before he can see Dean’s expression shatter and Sam’s harden.
It’s months of this before he stops, quite abruptly, staring down at the paper in his hands like he has no idea what he’s doing. He drops it, paper spinning as it falls to the Impala’s floorboards, and leans over the seat to tell Dean to stop driving. He doesn’t explain, twitches his hand toward the steering wheel like can still stop the engines with a thought.
Castiel is out of the car the moment it’s stopped, stumbling over the hem of his too-long jeans and tall grass. He pulls open the driver’s side door and pulls Dean out, hauls him up, ignoring the pushing hands and stuttered curses, Sam’s protests from inside the car, and kisses the other man full on the mouth.
Sam, after a moment of shocked silence, starts laughing, and Castiel does as well, forehead pressed to Dean’s collar bone. Dean takes a moment to recover, blinking fast and thinking faster, before pulling the ex-angel’s hands off his shirt and pushing him back enough to look at his face.
Castiel smiles, really smiles, for the first time since he Fell.
“Hello, Dean,” he says, and Dean can’t help the chuckle that erupts from his chest. “I think I might love you.”
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