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08 November 2013 @ 01:42 pm
.death doesn't have to be a lonely business, ii/ii.  

| .part i. | .story masterpost. | .art masterpost. |




Dean gets a few hours of sleep while Turner does his shift at the 7-11, where Cas can check him out and hear him out if needed, or so he said. Dean would start to worry about exactly how much can Cas see and listen at some point, or he thinks he should, at least.

He wakes up in the hotel bed, more comfortable than the last one he's been using (when he used a bed). The hotel is also nicer than the last few he stayed, it`s not five stars, but it's closer to match with his wardrobe; also his back and legs say thank you if he's going to be working them out in regular basics like he used, he's sure they deserve it. He does what could be a morning routine even if it's way past noon and he's considering hitting the dinner he saw a few blocks away when he sees a text on his phone. It's from the only one person that has his number and it says "on the move".

Dean smiles to himself and says "good morning to you, too" to the empty room. Doesn't bother texting back and puts on the earpiece he took off to shower.

"Hey," he says, "where to?"

"Hello, Mr. Winchester," Cas replies with a steady, almost deadpan tone than could calm anyone down, "he's going to the same park than yesterday."

"How was his day at work?"

"Uneventful."

"Is that your fancy way to say boring?"

There's a pause and Dean is pretty sure he's getting no answer, when a soft "yes" sounds in his hear.

"You're something else, Cas."


The park looks the same than the day before. Some of the kids are even there as well, just like their parents are talking around, not watching everything like Dean, or Turner for the matter, is doing. There are two police cars, the exits are clear and the bastard with the cigarette case is under a three, phone out and a lighter on his other hand. Dean glares at him, just for the sense of inner justice. The pretzel cart is also there and Dean is pretty sure he could indulge again with all the going around he's been doing in the past day.

"Did he talk with his officer today?" Dean asks Cas while he's trying to find a spot to be a bit more invisible and a bit less uncanny.

"Yes," a pause, "they're not meeting tomorrow."

"Why not? Why didn't you tell me before?"

Cas makes an annoyed noise before answering and Dean consider it unjustified, he should have told him that. "Because the officer's wife is sick. Turner offered to go himself."

"Of course he did."

"They're meeting today."

"Really? What the fuck Cas?" Dean does his best to hide both the surprise and the bothersome the information causes him, "and when were you going to tell me that?"

"I just did."

"Don't play cute with me, man, it won't work when I'm mad," Dean sighs, "we're working together, I'm not pressuring to know where you get the numbers or where you go home or even how the fuck you got me off the police radar, but the information that has to do with the case? That's the one thing you give me, no questions asked."

"You were... indisposed when I learned it, Mr. Winchester," even if it's not an apology, Dean is pretty sure he hears it in the voice. That's when he remembers: Cas isn't one of his CIA officers, he's not a trained Intelligence supervisor with his agents. Any knowledge that Cas has about how the agency works comes from reading: books, reports, classified things even; but it's all reading, none practice.

"Sorry for snapping, man," Dean says, just because he likes the smooth relationship they've built in the past forty-something-hours and doesn't want it damaged so early. "From now on, anything about the case, we share it, it's that okay with you?"

"Of course."

Dean doesn't let the oddness the conversation took to creep more into it, he goes back to asking important questions: "where are they meeting?"

"The park."

"Well, that's weird," Dean says. His eyes are again on the people around him, there are a few more kids now, but everything else seems the same. "If he wanted to do something here I don't think he'll bring his officer to look around with him."

"He could still be a victim, Mr. Winchester."

"Yeah, he could," Dean lets the silence in. He sees as a slim, tall man comes closer to Turner, pasts him in the shoulder before sitting next to him. Turner doesn't smile but he relaxes a bit, even if he keeps eyeing park from time to time.

"I'm gonna get closer to them Cas," Dean explains, "should I try to patch the officer's phone or you think is pointless?"

"I trust your expertise in this, Mr. Winchester."

"And I'd like your opinion, Mr. Novak," he dislikes the last name, in comparison to the easy syllable that 'Cas' is.

"I think it's pointless." Cas replies and he sounds less solemn that a moment ago and that's good to ear. Dean focuses on the two men near him now, while pretending he's busy with his phone. They're talking nonsense, Turner even asks about the officer's wife. They're okay in each other's company; Turner has no issues with authority or at least with this man's authority. He doesn't seem like the type of recluse who'll want a ticket back to jail. The victim theory makes more sense as the time goes by.

Dean's eyes move away from them when a soccer ball rolls in front of them. At the naked eye none of them pays attention but Dean can see Turner looking around, even behind the kid that comes running for the ball. Dean catalogues everything: the kid, who's eight or nine, Turner doesn't look at him, there's a mother calling out for the kid, blonde, smile, your American soccer mom in action; Turner does that small relaxing gesture when he sees her looking at the kid. Dean doesn't actually understands that, he looks around the park again, trying to get what he's missing; none of the cops even noticed the action, the man who once played with the cigar's box is not holding the phone anymore. Nothing else is worth of his attention.


"Everything all right Mr. Winchester?" Cas' voice is lower than before, the usual rasp on his voice sounds slightly more sensual like that. Dean smiles to himself.

"Yeah, and I'm not even gonna ask how you noticed that," Dean backs away from the men, whom never stopped talking. At least, the officer didn't, Turner seems slightly distracted.

Not even ten minutes later, the officer leaves, so does some of the kids and most people in the park. Dean looks up to the sky.

"Hey Cas," he calls out when noticing the clouds, "let's add a weather summary to the things you'll tell me, okay?"

"Are you in need of a car to bring you back?"

Dean is about to say yes when he notices Turner going to a different exit that the one he made the day before, the opposite he should take if he was aiming to go to the subway station that leads him to his house.

"I think I'm gonna push my luck walking a bit more," he says tagging behind Turner, "either if he's going to put himself or others in danger, I should be around right?"

"Very well, do call if you need."

"I will."

Dean disconects the earpiece as he walks the small streets Turner decides to take. If he's trying to lose someone, he's doing a fine job at that, but at the same time, his pace isn't hurried or even nervous and he hasn't looked over his shoulder not even once. Just in case, Dean keeps himself outside of the view range.

Dean stops when Turner waits in a corner even if he could be crossing the street, he's not calling anyone's attention and to everyone but Dean he's just another new yorker in a hoodie looking around, thinking about the soon to happen rain. A man comes close to Turner and Dean has a hand on his gun just in case; turning his earpiece back on with his free hand while wondering why he even bothered to turn it off, he mumbles the address to Cas and asks if he's watching.

"I don't think you'll need your gun yet, Mr. Winchester," is Cas' reply and there Dean can see how Turner and the man exchange a package. Too big for drugs and, paper back or no, Dean can tell that shape anywhere.

"Well, we don't have a motive or a victim, but I think we have the weapon Cas," he says, "and I found myself another shared night with Mr. Turner."

The "mhm" that comes as a reply has a small concerned tone and Dean almost comments on it, but doesn't when realizing he's categorizing Cas' different sounds.



Nightfall finds Dean outside's Turner apartment again. He finished a cheeseburger from the dinner a block away, and is now on his quest to finish the fries even if most of them are cold and soggy.

"Do you like burgers Cas?"

"How is that information remotely important to you, Mr. Winchester?"

"You know a lot about me," Dean says around a mouthful of fries that swallows down with a sip from his drink. "And there's no way you can find it dangerous if I know something about your eating habits."

"Anything can be dangerous in the right hands."

"Man, if you think I can use your like or dislike of burgers against you, you have way too high expectations of me," Dean admits with a grin.

There's a long pause at the other side, enough for Dean to over check his surroundings. He's in a car this time; for it has been raining on and off since earlier and Cas sent one for him. The street is as deserted as the night before, the lights at Turner's windows are off and no one has left the building since an old man and his yorkshire terrier entered about an hour ago.

"Yes," Cas' voice almost sounds like he's giving up and Dean can't help the snort.

"That's all I'm getting?"

"Yes," and now there's defiance in that tone and Dean grins to that.

"We'll see," he muses.

*


"He took the gun with him."

Dean blinks fully awake to that, "how do you know?" he asks, hoping it sounded legible enough for Cas to get it.

"He finished his shift, went back home, and is now wearing a longer jacket. Also, he just adjusted himself like you do around it."

"Like I do?" Dean mimics, "You've seen me getting my gun, what, twice? And you notice those things? Cas, you sly dog."

"It's my job to notice too, Mr. Winchester," Cas sounds completely not amused with Dean's comment and tone, "now, do I need to remind you that the man we think may commit a crime just left his house with a weapon?"

"I'm out already Cas," Dean replies back, he's still smiling, "he's on his way to the park?"

"Yes."


Luckily enough, Dean gets there first. After yesterday's rain the park is emptier, there are only a couple of teens on the swings and one family with kids is eating cart food. The sun hasn't yet dried the grass enough for it to be nice, but if the clear sky continues, it surely would be pleasant later in the day. There are police men in their usual locations and there's a man smoking in a bench far from Turner's usual. It takes Dean a second look to realize that it's the same man that has been on the past two times.

"Cas, can you do facial recognition from where you are?"

"I don't think I can get a shot clear enough, but I can try," Cas' replies inmediatly, "what worries you?"

"This dude has been around since day one, just like Turner," Dean says, while he pulls out his phone and makes a silly show of taking a few pictures; making sure the guy is in some of them. "Maybe, he's who Turner is after."

"It's a possibility," Cas agrees.

"Maybe Turner is considering doing a killing spree," Dean replies while sending the pictures to Cas; the man hasn't moved from his spot and Turner hasn't showed up yet. "Though, he doesn't look like the kind of man who would do that."

"No, he doesn't," Cas replies, "I have the pictures, I'll let you know what I get."

"Awesome," Dean agrees and catches the familiar complexion of Turner soon enough. "My friend is here."

Turner is walking straight to where the smoking man is sitting and Dean considers his chances. Taking out his gun can look bad, there are police cars
around and he doesn't want to see Harvelle again or have Cas to pull him out that soon once more; also Turner can get the very wrong impression and start shooting, and Dean can't risk that with civilians around. So, he just walks to crosspatch with Turner; yes there's a chance this is just as bad as a plan as taking his gun out, but his guts tell him that this is the best he can do.

"What?" Turner's voice is rough, more being so close to him, and he sounds so honestly surprised that Dean almost relaxes. "What are you doing, son?"

Dean can use that on his favor, so re replies with a "you know what, old man," in the lowest, less threatening tone he can muster.

There's a sight at his ear, and it's not Cas, it's too fatalistic and too warm and too close.

"Son, move," Turner says and Dean knows that if they both were to take out their weapons, Dean would have it out first and he would be the one doing the shooting. Even if he's been chasing that man for the past days, he finds something in Turner's voice and attitude that makes him think that there's more to it. That there's a side of the story that both Dean and Cas don't know.

"I don't like smokers either, but I'm not shooting at them," Dean tries, and Turner doesn't back up yet.

"If I don't do it today—" Turner stops himself and stands better, Dean isn't sure why the change but he can guess it, they were spotted.

"Let's sit in your usual bench and we can talk."

"Why?"

"Because I am not letting you fire that at least until you've gave me a good reason."

"Who are you?" Turner asks, but he does walk to the bench; Dean uses the opportunity to check on the smoking man, who's suitably looking away.

"A concerned third party," Dean replies and he's almost sure that Cas snorts back at the library, but says nothing about it because he's even more sure that the man would deny it.

"Why you have to do it today?" Dean asks when Turner says nothing, just glances around the park.

"It rained yesterday, there won't be that many kids in here; and if they come, it'll be later."

"You care, how touching."

"Mr. Winchester I got a match for you," Cas says in his ear and Dean mutters him to wait, still focused on Turner.

"He's going to leave and I'm going to have to track him down again," Turner sounds actually remorse about it, worried and even tired. Dean's eyes go back and forth between Turner and the man, who's not smoking anymore and who could, if wanted, get up and leave at any second.

"Why are you tracking him down?"

"'cause that bastard is out by damn luck and he shouldn't be, no one knows what he actually does out here."

"And what's that, Rufus?"

Turner doesn't even look surprised that Dean knew his name, he only sighs heavier than before.

"He's takin' pretty kids and sellin' them around," Turner says, spiteful, "and that's not the worst, what he does with them in the meantime if he likes them is."

Dean can't help it, he tenses. His eyes are on the man and he's tracking all the possible exits he could take and what Dean himself should do to follow him and how long it would take him.

"I spotted him talking with one of his buddies, a few times; no one cares for the lonesome black guy with the broken knuckles you know?" Turner isn't looking at Dean when he talks; he's also eyeing the man. "He didn't say much about it, didn't show it around, just talked it with other two guys, because you know, that kind of thing can get you neutered inside, maybe even killed. And the asshole isn't that much of an idiot. He kept saying his mistake was taking a shit where he ate, and that he'll be more careful now, that he had a better place to choose from to please clients without getting his own job on the line."

"Everything he's saying can be very much possible, Mr. Winchester," Cas says in his ear, "they were together for a time in jail. The man is Horace Crane, he worked in a youth center close to the park; he was in jail for mishandling money from donations, but the case wasn't strong enough and he was let go."

"Then why didn't we get his number?" Dean says, annoyed, mouth covered by his right hand and eyes darting from Turner to Crane.

"Because Mr. Turner's one was more urgent and determinate; if all Mr. Crane does is stealing money from charity even if not a good action it's not as vital as murder. And if there's something more, his crime isn't decided yet, maybe he takes a kid, maybe he doesn't, maybe he keeps one, maybe not; it's confusing and irregular, not enough certainty on it. Mr. Turner's actions were easier to read and plan. He has been indeed investigating and hunting down Crane, much like you've done with him so far."

"Listen to me Rufus," Dean talks, once he's sure Cas won't say anything else, "I believe you, but you can't take him down."

"That's not even a possibility, son."

"Yes it is, I'm gonna go take care of it," Turner snorts in response to that, "I am Rufus, and I'll do it alone, don't make me shoot you in the leg to stop you from following me."

Turner says nothing for twenty-two seconds, Dean counts. Then there's another sigh, as if he was letting things go with that breath. Dean can relate.

"If he's not dead or in jail by tomorrow I'm hunting him down again, killing him and then boy, I'll be after you."

"Sounds reasonable," Dean agrees.

Turner nods, once, stands and walks away.

After a minute Cas informs him: "he's watching you."

"Of course he is," Dean almost smiles, "as long as he doesn't get in the way."

"What's the plan now, Mr. Winchester?"

"I'll follow this guy, see what I can find, and if I see something that can incriminate him enough, I'll tie him down somewhere and call the police."

There's silence, Cas isn't even typing.

"You heard me, man?"

"I did," Cas replies, "you're talking seriously."

"Of course, Cas," Dean sounds just as exasperated as he feels, he can't help it.

"Very well."

"What?" Dean says, Cas hadn't questioned before, about Turner, so why now. "You said it yourself that Turner's story made sense, so…"

"I agree very much with your plan Mr. Winchester," Cas tells him, he sounds slightly amused and Dean is going to have words with him for this sort of behavior. "I find it very clean and… not unnecessary violent."

"That I know and like firing guns and explosion doesn't mean I'm gonna be doing one or causing the other at every corner, Cas," Dean says with a glare that goes wasted on the grass. "Did you want that when you asked for me to join you?"

"No, not at all," Cas replies, with even more amusement, "I'm just being more proved right about choosing you, that's all."

"It's not like you had that many candidates," Dean says, getting up this time, stretching his legs and pretending to look around the park, as if he was deciding where to go next. He's still eyeing the bench where Crane is and can also feel the man's eyes on him; as if they're sizing one another.

"That's beside the point," Cas says and it takes Dean a moment to register the reply, busier with what's around him. Crane got up and took one of the routes out of the park; making Dean choose the best way out without looking exactly like he's tagging along.

"Turner still around?"

"Yes, but distant enough."

"Let's hope he stays that way for now."


Dean, and by consequence Turner, follow Crane as he walks away from the park and in a subway ride. During that time, Dean gets to see the man take his phone from his pocket twice to check (apparently) the time. Dean can't force matchmaking right now, not only because he's in a bad place for it, but also because Crane has seen him already and if Dean gets too close, he'll be suspicious. Turner for his part stays away enough, but Dean is aware of him and even meets his eyes when the three of them exit the subway station.

Crane enters a ratty building, even worst looking that some of the motels Dean has stayed, and that leaves him out of his and Turner's immediate eyesight. Dean is confident Cas is trying to find a way in, or whatever he can with this guy.

"I should be shooting you," Dean tells Turner, getting closer to him.

"You really thought I would let you alone in this, Mr. Concerned Third Party?"

"Dean is fine," he says with the hint of a grin, "and no, I didn't."

"What are we doing here, Dean?"

"You're going to sit out here and keep an eye on our man, you're not," Dean turns to fully face Turner this time, "I repeat, you are not, going to use your gun on him. You'll just watch him. I'm gonna go get some things we may need, and then we're spending the night."

"Okay," Rufus agrees, but he sounds wary, Dean can't blame him.

"If I leave and you walk in there and kill him, I'll make it my personal assignment that you take the blame and go back to jail; and it'll be your fault that no one could even try to get him for his crimes against kids, you see my point?"

"Yes."

"Good, 'knew you were smart," Dean nods. "Can I learn something about our new interest?"

Turner gives Dean a look but says nothing, Cas on his ear stops typing.

"Ex-convict like we already knew, he was out because there wasn't enough evidence against him; or the evidence went missing somehow after the man who arrested him was pulled out of the case for it not being his division, or some bureaucratic move like that."

"Not suspicious at all," Dean snorts.

"This location you're in is something he owned before jail, way before, at his mother's name actually, the woman is dead by the way and has been for almost five years. His window is the second one to the left on the first floor. I'm analyzing his phone records and if you could get in, we could know more."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"He worked for the youth center for about four years,. He helped train kids, most of his times he uses it there; he was paid for his job even if most of the money the center got was from charity there was some assistance from the state. Even if the center didn't charges against him, because of the weak evidence, they also didn't hire him back or not officially; but I can see he still goes there, I have him on camera. And well, he's been spending most of his afternoons in the park."

"Yeah, I'm gonna see what Rufus can tell me about that, and find a right time to break in and see the apartment, I don't want to tip the guy off on anything to have him walking away from us."

Turner is looking at him again with tiny eyes and a focused expression, surely at the mention of his name; so Dean honors him with his own attention.

"How long you've seen him going to the park?"

"Less than a week," Turner replies, "he still goes to the youth center in the mornings, offers to help or something, I dunno. After that he takes a walk around the fancy primary school that's between the center and the park, he never approaches to the kids but he tagged along families last week on some kind of spring picnic shit."

"The bastard probably doesn't want to take kids from the center and now takes his time choosing outside," Dean looks around, sees the lights turn in at some of the windows in the building in front of them, Crane's included. "Okay, here's what we're gonna do."

Turner looks up to him.

"Like I said, you'll say here, keep an eye on him; follow him if he leaves, I'll have someone checking on you, so behave. I'll get my things, we'll spend the night. Tomorrow, you'll follow him to his early routine and I'll break in; if the apartment has anything useful on him, when he's back to it, we'll make sure we won't leave it again and I'll call in an, ah, acquaintance I've made."

"You have weird acquaintances," Turner replies.

"And don't even let me tell you about my friend who got me into this," Dean grins back, "are we clear?"

"Yeah, we are."

"I'm trusting you here, Rufus."

"That should say something about you, son."

"That I'm all in for second chances, old man."



"What do we know about the people who arrested Crane, Cas?" he asks while he's on his way to meet a car he asked him to send with what he needs.

"The ones that original made the arrest were a couple of officers under Detective Robert Singer orders, they were all moved from the case by another Detective, Jake Talley, new kid that got pretty high pretty fast."

"That sounds like should be checked in by someone, even if not us," Dean says, "and hey, that dude, Singer, why does it ring?"

"He worked on Kansas for a brief period, you two didn't cross path for what I can read here, but maybe you've heard about him there. He's quite the example as policemen. Well, was."

"Is he dead?"

"Oh, no. But he's off service, possibly soon to be retired."

"'that old?"

"Not really, but maybe he didn't like to be moved around."

"Mhm, maybe," Dean musses, "I'll check that sometime later."

"As you wish," Cas replies, "should I put it in your agenda, Mr. Winchester?"

"Should you—my, my, Cas, was that teasing?" Dean smiles, accomplished, "Am I already rubbing on you, just after a few days?"

"Your car is there already, Mr. Winchester," but Cas sounds like he's smiling, so it counts for Dean in the board of points he's taking in his head at times.



Rufus is a pretty decent stakeout partner. He even chews silently, doesn't protest to anything Dean says or does, not even to Dean's random question to Cas (that aren't that many or even that random, he asks about the case mostly and doesn't even once wonders about anything Cas may not want to share, he decides to keep that private between them and also, Rufus is already giving him pretty odd looks even if not commenting). Turner can stay up like the best and his eyes are pretty hawk like when focused, easy to spot anything that should be noticed. Dean is partly curious about whom this guy was before jail, but in place of asking him and risking annoyance, decides he'll ask Cas to dig a bit. He's pretty sure Cas won't want to investigate just to satisfy Dean's curiosity, but maybe he can pressure or negotiate. Perhaps, with burgers. Or coffee, Cas looks like the kind of guy who would like strong, warm, coffee.

A little before nine am, Rufus asks Dean for his phone to call to work and say he's sick; he lies with effectiveness and clearly he hadn't use that excuse before because it's responded with polite concern and quick acceptance. They're out of the car at ten, just ready for when Crane leaves the building. Turner tags him from behind, not knowing he's being supported by Cas with his everywhere eyes and Dean makes his way inside the building. The job becomes pretty easy, pretty soon. Dean can't stop smiling.


"Oh, Cas," he says trying to contain his almost childish enthusiasm, "you're gonna love this Cas."

"Am I?"

"I'm turning on a computer for you to have everything that's in there, but these cupboards and closets are made of gold to incriminate a person, there are papers and pictures and even working notes… working notes Cas, who does working notes?"

"I do."

"Of course you do," Dean smiles while he connects the wireless usb to the computer and sets it on for Cas to do whatever he needs to do while he snoops around some more.

"So, it's enough," Cas says, tapping quicker than usual.

"More than, there are some files from the youth center even, things he took from there trying to hide something; all this should be enough to keep him in and investigate further. We gotta get someone smart on this, make sure it doesn't end up in the guys who freed him before."

"I can make sure the call ends up in Harvelle's precinct."

It's playing with his luck, go to her. Dean knows. But she won't know for sure that he did this and she looks efficient enough to take care of it in the right way.

"She's as clean as she looks, right?"

"She's the only support for her and her daughter, she's prideful and wouldn't do anything outside the law; so yes, she is."

"She's our lady then," Dean agrees, "how is Rufus going?"

"He's outside the center; Mr. Crane walked inside a moment ago."

"Good, I'm gonna stay in."

"Do you think it's safe?"

"Rufus is a smart man, but he's not shadow, I could tell even before you told me that he was still around me; so Crane probably knows. Whatever he wants to do, he'll come back here first, get rid of some stuff before attempting to either disappear or contact someone else." Dean explains, "So, no, it won't be safe, but Crane would be more worried about what to destroy like to expect someone to jump on him."

"Very well," Cas says and he doesn't fully like Dean's reasoning, it shows.

"As soon as he's in, I'll let you know, or you'll hear, whatever. Call it in, okay?"

"Of course."

"Right," Dean takes off the usb from the computer, turns it off and finds himself a secure spot to wait.


He doesn't have to wait long. Crane walks in, eyes on his shoulder as if expecting Rufus to follow him, and Dean takes that chance: he's in front of him fast enough to not let him any time to react.

"They're on their way," Cas says, voice slow and soft and Dean allows himself a smile while moving an unconscious Crane to his own couch.

"Should have known you'd have all the fun," Rufus says from the door.

"Took you long enough to come up here, old man," Dean beams at him, "come on, help me to leave him tied up with a pretty bow for the cops."

"The cops?"

"I called the right ones in, don't get your panties in a twist."

"You better hurry, Mr. Winchester."

"Bossy," Dean says to Cas and ignores Rufus' grunt as they get Crane tied.

"I don't think he's gonna wake up in time to say hi, but just in case," Dean explains.

"What reason did you gave the cops?" Rufus asks.

"Proof that he's still visiting the youth center when it was asked him not to; plus a week of footage of him in dubious observations around a primary school and a park full of children. The call comes from Mrs. Willis, from the department across his, about his always violent behavior." Cas answers in Dean's ear and he repeats that to Rufus.

"Maybe he should have an unregistered gun and all," Dean says, Cas makes an agreement sound and Rufus gives him a pointed look.

"It's mine."

"Get one legally and give me that or I'll take it from you."

Rufus growls, yet gives it to him. Dean adds the gun to the scattered possessions.

"Gentlemen, please leave," says Cas.

"Come on, we need to be off."

They're in the car when Dean can see Harvelle and a small team of officers going in.





Dean first stop is at Rufus' building.

"Stay out of trouble, old man," Dean asks.

"Yeah, yeah," he has a hand on the door when he turns to Dean, "if you ever need backup..."

"I'll remember your name," Dean beams. "Let's just hope I don't need to come for you for any other reasons."

"You won't."

And maybe Dean is being a bit of an idealist here, but he believes him. Rufus leaves the car without another word.

"I should have a car, Cas," Dean says when he's moving in the city again.

"No, they're easy to spot," Cas replies, and after a second he adds: "Which you already know, you're just being an annoyance."

"You're catching up," Dean smiles.

"She'll figure out it was you at some point," Cas says after a few minutes of silence.

"Well, one more person looking for me won't hurt," Dean says, "even if she knows that I'm alive."

"I'll divert as much as I can, but—"

"Don't worry about it," Dean cuts in, "hey, if I leave this girl a few blocks away from my hotel, you'll take care of her right?"

"Someone would pick it up, yes."

"I'm gonna sleep like the dead, man," Dean smiles as he parks.


*



Dean finds Cas close to the same bridge they met after a day of sleeping and changing hotels again, just in case.

"You like this place," Dean says, it's not a question.

"Maybe," Cas still replies, he's sitting in a bench and he looks more interested in the sky than in Dean. "It's time for you to make a decision."

"A decision?" Dean echoes. After a second, he understands, "you have a new case uh?"

"I do, I'll always have a new one," Cas replies, "the machine giving me information won't ever stop working."

"You'll need to explain to me how that works, one day."

"Maybe," he uses the same word that before, but Dean doesn't find a 'yes' here. Perhaps he should run away.

"No one else is gonna take care of this, of them." Dean says it out loud, but waits no response.

"No one," Cas gives it anyway. "But it won't be pretty Mr. Winchester, not all of them are going to be like Mr. Turner. We're not making happy stories here, we're stopping ugly ones. It's not the same."

"I know."

"And at some point, we'll be found or killed, or, most likely, both," Cas explains, "you should have that in mind, too."

"Makes sense, I guess."

"I can give you an out now," Cas says, he's staring at the sunset with half focused eyes. "Enough money and identities so you won't be found. Not even by me."

Dean smiles to the sunset, "and you'll do just that."

"I already told you that I won't hold you, Mr. Win—"

"Dean," he cuts in, "if we're doing this together, you're calling me Dean."

"I thought you wouldn't want anyone using that name," Cas replies, pensive.

"You already use the surname, why don't we go a little crazy?" Dean smirks even if it's unseen and unreturned.

"I do hate being interrupted mid-sentence, Dean," he says.

"I know," Dean's smile doesn't break as he gets up from the bench, "why do you think I do it?"

Cas does turn to look at him there, blue eyes focus on him and Dean is trying to discover something on them, but can't. So he stares back. It lasts more of what is polite and even more of what it should be comfortable. Dean finally gives in, lets his grin grow bigger and nods.

He hushes a simple "see you tomorrow at the library, Cas" and walks away. Peaceful for the first time in over ten years.



"The meeting of two personalities
is like the contact of two chemical substances;
if there is any reaction,
both are transformed."
-Carl Jung.



____________________________________________________________________________________________




Story notes:
1. The title comes from playing with "Death is a lonely business" by Ray Bradbury as suggested by my lovely artist, Mistina60.
2. The story plot is highly based on Person of Interest's Pilot, even if the case per and some evens aren't related with the show, most of the ideas for the interactions and situations come from there.
3. There are also direct quotes from Person of Interest's Pilot. If you recognize it, it's probably from them.

Thank you notes:
I want to squeeze my artist to death. She's been wonderful teammate on this and an immensely talented human to see work. Besides that, she was one of my biggest supporters with the story and the inspiration for the title. She spoiled me completely with the amount of art she did for my story, when she only had to do one. She gave me those adorable chibis, and I must admit I have strong feelings concerning chibi!Castiel's tie and chibi!Dean's face with crumbs. I can't even write how thankful and happy I am for her choosing my work to illustrate. Thank you Mistina60.

This work wouldn't be understandable for the English language if it wasn't for my two betas.
Lauchis, thank you for making my Dean makes sense and sound like you him and also for cutting right through my bullshit and help me to become a better writer. <3.
Mkz, thank you for doing everything in record time and for your lovely fresh eyes on my work, your notes made me smile and yes, I decided to say exactly what dog because of you ;).