Title: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep - posted November 4, 2008
Author: Lacey McBain
Pairing: none (Dean and Castiel)
Rating: G
Word Count: ~1225
Summary: Dean needs someone to keep the dreams away. Takes place after 4.7, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester", although there really aren't any spoilers to speak of.
Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Kripke and Co. I'm just playing.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Dean was running. His feet slipped in the mud of the dirt road, and he landed hard, hands torn by bits of gravel, mud and blood blending in the cuts. Behind him, the baying of hounds rose up through the dark, so he pulled himself up, wiping his hands on his torn jeans, and kept going.

It was a horrible night. Dark and wet, so much like that night when Sam had … when Sam had died, and Dean had decided it was worth everything, even his soul, to save his little brother. He didn't regret it, not for a moment. Not even after everything. And he'd do it again if he had to.

The sharp bark of a dog, somewhere to his right, and Dean automatically swerved off the road, into the woods that had appeared heavy and foreboding to his left. Trees tore at him, whip-thin branches flaying flesh from his arms, and still he ran. Towards what, he had no idea; his main thought was to get away. He knew what was behind him—the saliva-slick fangs, curved claws, and the slow drag of paws on his flesh.

Suddenly, he burst through the trees, the opening coming so unexpectedly he was falling before he could catch himself, falling into a pit, open and red like a laughing mouth. Gnarled hands grabbed at him as he fell, and even with his eyes closed he could see the distorted faces of men and women in perpetual torment, reaching out for help, fingernails razoring his flesh as he slid past, down, down into heat and horror unimaginable.


He came awake instantly, aware of two things only—Sam snoring lightly in the second bed, and the solid grip of a hand on his arm. Dean reached for the silver blade under his pillow, instinct taking over, but the hand tightened slightly and he heard his name again, spoken softly, “Dean,” the voice rich and dark and oddly comforting. Dean let go of the knife beneath his pillow, and let out the breath he’d been holding.


The angel was sitting on the edge of Dean's bed in his usual beige trenchcoat and loosely knotted tie. The hand that held his forearm was familiar, as familiar as the scar on his left shoulder, and Dean wondered if he'd have a scar wherever Castiel touched him. As if aware of what he was thinking, the angel let go, and Dean stared at his skin, whole and unmarked.

“You haven’t told Sam what you remember.” There was no judgment in the tone.

Dean glanced quickly at Sam, face relaxed in slumber. He looked young and innocent, still looked like Dean’s kid brother rather than someone with the power to exorcise demons with his mind.

“And I’m not going to,” Dean whispered, a pointed glare in Castiel’s direction. Sam got little enough sleep as it was, and Dean didn't figure Sam needed anything else to keep him awake at night. Bad enough Dean remembered without dumping that on Sam.

“He won’t awaken. You can speak freely.”

Dean glanced over at Sam, and whispered angrily: “Did you do some kind of angel mojo on him?”

Castiel almost smiled then, and Dean felt something in his own heart lighten. He reminded himself Castiel was one of the good guys. “He will awaken having slept peacefully without dreams.”

Dean leaned back against the padded plastic headboard and closed his eyes. Willed away the fluttering of wings, the relentless baying of hounds on the hunt. “Wish I could say the same.”

“It is within my power to grant that.”

Dean scowled. “What are you, a genie now? No, thanks. I know where wishes lead. Nothing good ever comes from them.” He'd been there, done that. The djinn were to be avoided, offering you everything you wanted and stealing your life at the same time. No matter what he did, Dean felt he was damned.

“Then how about a prayer,” Castiel said, and Dean could see from the angel's face he was completely serious. Right. Believing in the power of prayer was probably in the job description, but Dean still wasn't buying it.

“You're kidding me.”

“It was merely a suggestion.”

“Yeah, like I’m going to pray to you just to get—“

“Not me, Dean. God.” Castiel was looking at him with that patient understanding that made Dean wish he'd paid a little more attention to Pastor Jim growing up. Castiel moved off the bed then, slipping back into the orange chair beside the nightstand, where he must have been sitting before Dean woke up. The chair hadn't been there when he'd gone to bed.

Castiel seemed to understand Dean's silence, another trait Dean found thoroughly frustrating. Bad enough to have a sympathetic little brother who worried after you without adding an overbearing angel who seemed to feel it was his personal duty to safeguard your soul.

“You don’t need any special words, Dean. Just ask for what you need. He'll hear you.”

Castiel didn't seem to be going away, and Dean sighed and looked over at Sam again. He was sleeping soundly, relaxed and peaceful. Dean shook his head and reluctantly admitted, “I only know—I don't even know if it's a real prayer.”

“Tell me.” Castiel's voice was gentle, but it carried an undertone of command, and Dean didn't even consider not obeying.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." Dean paused and looked at Castiel. "Really, that’s kinda creepy when you think about it.”

Again, that half-smile from the angel, and Dean didn't know what would happen if Castiel ever really smiled. Probably rays of sunshine would light up the place. “Metallica, 'Enter Sandman'.”

“How did you--?"

"I know you, Dean. The original prayer began in the eighteenth century, but there are other versions of it."

"Metallica's is pretty kickass, you know."

"I have no doubt. However, I prefer this one: 'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guard me, angels, through the night, and wake me in the morning light.'”

“Still kind of creepy, Cas.”

"I suppose," he admitted, seeming to think about it for the first time. "And the times I can be here are limited."

Dean nodded, settling down into the covers again. He'd only known this angel a short time, and yet, he felt safe with him—safe the way he'd felt with his dad growing up, and that wasn't a feeling he'd had for a long time.

"Could've used you when I was a kid," Dean said, not meeting Castiel's eyes.

"Just because you didn't see anyone, doesn't mean you were alone, Dean." The angel's face seemed troubled, as if it truly mattered to him how Dean felt.

"Felt alone."

"I know. Sleep now." Castiel was there on the edge of the bed again, although Dean hadn't seen him move. Dean felt his eyes closing, a blanket being drawn up around his shoulders. There was a feathery touch against his forehead and a sense of peace settling over him. "Sleep without fear, Dean. I will keep watch."

"Still creepy," Dean murmured, but he didn't really mean it. He slept.


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