Cas won’t stop at them. He won’t go inside, though they are desperate for shelter, and they never rest near them regardless of how tired they are.
By the time they run across the seventh church-like structure, Dean is frankly sick of it. He’s tired of running, tired of fighting, tired of walking past perfectly reasonable shelter only to huddle against the wet, scarred trunks of definitely-not-rainproof trees.
“Cas, what the hell, man. I’m tired. I’m sitting down, right here, and you’re going to sit your feathery ass down, too, and we’re gonna grab some rest.” He tugs on Castiel’s sleeve, transferring some of the grime from his hands to the ashen film that’s collected on the trenchcoat. Cas resists, a solid wall of no radiating from him, and places his hand over Dean’s.
“We can’t, Dean. We must move on.” Castiel’s eyes are pleading, wide, wet blue catching his own and there’s something like grief there. It’s enough to make Dean reconsider stopping, but not without an explanation.
“Why can’t we just stop for a second? These are the only buildings we’ve run across the whole damn time we’ve been here, and I’m a little homesick right now, you know? Might be nice to sleep somewhere with four walls. Hell, I’d settle for at least one right about now.”
Cas stops fidgeting, stops shifting his eyes between the structure and Dean’s own; he takes a sharp breath, looks at Dean, and angrily says, “Would I ask the same of you? Would I ask you to rest with your brother’s corpse beside you?”
Dean, confused, makes no reply; simply waits Cas out, knowing that the mercurial nature of his moods is just another symptom of Purgatory. He’s hoping that patience will earn him an explanation - at least, one he can understand.
Cas takes a deep, calming breath, and finally sits beside Dean beneath the fluted awning above. The steady dripping of water is the only sound other than their breathing. Dean counts to twenty-three before Cas continues.
“This is what remains when… This is what remains of Iofiel, who died when Lucifer was cast from Heaven. What you see is a testament to God, our Father, who made us to worship; you see a cathedral, a building made by mortal hands. What I see is… an empty vessel whose grace has been burned away. It is empty here; my brother is gone, and this is his corpse.”
Dean doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand how Cas can still speak of God with such reverence when the detritus of His neglect is all around them. He doesn’t get it.
Dean clears his throat quietly; Cas doesn’t need his anger right now. If Cas is going to give him this, allow him his rest and shelter, then there has to be something he can do in return.
As the rain falls around them, puddling just outside their shelter, Dean reaches for Castiel’s hand and says, “Tell me about your brother, Cas,” and listens to his stories of stars and sound and fury until he falls asleep.
So much gorgeousness. Plus Cas. I mean…. <3