It's the Stars That Lie

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It's the Stars That Lie
Chapters 12
Words 164k
Days 63–104
Published July 2014
Completed September 2014
AO3 link It's the Stars That Lie

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It's the Stars That Lie is the second book of Down to Agincourt.


We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win. -- AO3 Summary

Dean Winchester wakes up from a two-week long fever dream with a killer headache, a hairline fracture, a stalled apocalypse, and an ex-angel whose never tried chocolate. The exciting follow up to Map of the World, It's the Stars That Lie sees Dean and Cas trying something new: hope. But first--because fuck his life, Dean has to recover from a near-death experience and learn to walk to the bathroom on his own. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and hey, if there are some hand massages laced with tension along the way? So be it.


That's a lie, he discovers. And not even a good one.

—  It's the Stars That Lie, opening line (in response to Castiel's "You'll feel better when you wake up." at the end of Map of the World).

It's the Stars That Lie picks up a week after Map of the World left off. Dean has been sleeping off the aftermath of the fever and despite Castiel's reassurance, he doesn't feel much better. But he's alive, and that's something. A miracle, if Vera, who has been working around the clock to save him, has anything to say about it. And she does, in detail. In addition to questions, because before the fever, she had no idea Dean Winchester even had a brother at all.

Recovery is a slow process, and it takes twenty days of stringent R&R, with nothing more strenuous than an ill-fated trip to the bathroom, before Vera declares Dean past the point of immediate relapse and congratulates him on the ability to survive a hangnail. During his mandatory bed-rest period, Castiel reveals he is translating the infamous Hippo Porn poem into English so that Dean could enjoy it alongside him, and that he stopped in the middle of reading it to start his translation. He spends several shifts at Dean's bedside reading it aloud, much to Dean's--and later Vera's--delight. It isn't all examinations, sleep, and translated hippo porn, however. During his first trip to the bathroom, Dean catches sight of his reflection in the mirror and is horrified at what he sees.

Reaching up, he touches his forehead, sliding up to feel the stubble--his hair, what happened, when did that happen--drawing his fingers down clammy skin, trying to find what he saw in the mirror. Sunken cheeks, skin stretched too tightly over bare bone, hollowed out eyes ringed in thick circles of rotting black, patches of peeling yellow and white skin broken with shocks of angry red, smears of green and dots of purple, fleshless lips stretched to splitting over teeth--it had taken a full minute to realize he was looking at himself.

—  It's the Stars That Lie, Chapter 2

It turns out, surviving a fever that nearly kills you disqualifies you from the running in America's Next Top Model. Dean is understandably shaken by what he sees and asks Castiel if he was resurrected as a zombie, since no one living should look the way he looks. Castiel is understandably confused by the question and tells Dean as much, noting seriously that he looks "like [someone] who survived."

You look--" Cas pauses. "You look as if you survived a fever that almost killed you. You look like you woke up and knew who you were and where you were. You look like you woke up again and you still knew those things. Every day, you do these things, and when you have a fever, it goes away, and when you fall asleep, you keep waking up." Cas's voice cracks. "You couldn't look any better than you do right now."

—  It's the Stars That Lie, Chapter 2

After this conversation, Castiel returns to the bathroom and destroys the mirror, so Dean won't be forced to confront himself every time he needs to use the bathroom.

Dean also learns that the nerve damage to his right arm due to the brownie bite is extensive and with luck, physical therapy, and routine practice, it is possible he will regain "gross and some fine motor control and sensitivity". In the meantime, Castiel suggests training Dean's left hand to competency to accommodate. Dean regains his motor control slowly, with stretches and the aid of tennis balls at first, but his range of motion is limited by the scarring and the nerve damage. Often his right arm feels numb or senseless to the touch.




Chitaqua (Introduced)

Ichabod (Introduced)

Other (Introduced)