They had Fallen. His brothers and sisters… Every last one of them…Fallen.
And because of him. Because he had tried – once again – to fix this. And he had failed. Like he always did. Because there was something wrong with him. A crack in the chassis, as Naomi had said before he’d fled her the last time during the second trial.
A silver tool speared through the back of her head, blood spilling out from underneath.
“Our mission was to protect what God created. I don’t know when we forgot that.”
She was dead now, too. Metatron had killed her, and he had gone and taken Castiel’s Grace to complete the spell.
How could he have been so stupid?
He should have waited – should have waited for Dean. They should have done it together.
“These were never trials, Castiel. This is a spell. And what I’m taking from you now – your essence, your Grace – is the last piece.”
Not for the first time he wished he had someone else to lean on, someone older, someone who knew what to do. He was so tired of making decisions and messing up catastrophically.
He had failed them all again, and now he had no idea where he was, and he needed to find Dean.
“And now something wonderful is going to happen, for me and for you. I want you to live this new life to the fullest. Find a wife. Make babies. And when you die and your soul comes to Heaven, find me. Tell me your story.”
Thank everything he had ever believed in that Metatron didn’t know about Dean. He wouldn’t have been able to handle it if anything happened to him. Dean was all he had left now, and he needed to find him.
Still shaking and shuddering from the shock of his Grace being extracted, Castiel stumbled through the trees, barely catching himself on the rough bark that scratched his palms painfully.
His eyes were burning with tears, and Castiel knew that if he were to reach up, his face would be wet. Crying…it was such a human thing. Castiel barely knew how to deal with it, along with all the other visceral human emotions that were so much more than anything he had experienced before.
He had to find Dean.
When Castiel woke up, he was wet, cold, and miserable. Light trembles wracked his frame, and his body complained as he gingerly shifted himself upright to sit against a tree. It was still dark, though he could make out the trees around him and the sterile lights that seemed to be a city.
Castiel didn’t like that he’d lost consciousness like that. It was unpleasant, and it served no purpose other than to waste valuable time. He could have contacted Dean by now.
Pushing himself to stand upright, Castiel staggered slightly before regaining his balance, his eyesight not keen enough for him to be able to make out anything untoward that he might stumble over. He couldn’t sense the Earth; he couldn’t sense the universe; he couldn’t sense Heaven; he couldn’t sense Dean.
It was the last that almost sent Castiel into a panic attack, but he slid back down to sit, clutching at his knees as he forced himself to calm down.
He might be human right now, but he could handle this. He could.
All he needed right now was to find out where he was, and then he could find a phone and contact Dean to tell him his location.
He would be panicking right now after seeing the angels fall from Heaven.
Taking a calming breath, Castiel stood back up, legs notably steadier now. Making his way through the trees and shrubbery, he found himself at a road with people and cars. The sky was pinkening, and Castiel rubbed a hand over his face before he turned left and headed towards the buildings he could see.
It turned out that he had woken up in a park, and it looked completely different from where he had been last night. He knew he hadn’t seen these buildings in that clearing where he had watched the angels fall.
Breath coming more rapidly now, Castiel reached for the wall that bordered the park, stumbling over to it and leaning heavily against it. His trench coat fluttered against his legs; there seemed to be a weight on the left side.
Reaching in, Castiel pulled out what looked like a transparent rectangular flat plane of glass. Peering down at it curiously, he rubbed his thumb over the smooth material, only to be startled when it blinked blue and a clock appeared under his thumb.
Turning it around, Castiel found himself looking at what looked like a highly futuristic phone, judging from the little apps he could see on it.
Tapping on the screen, Castiel found it to be easy to use, his second try pulling up a keypad. He had no idea how or why this phone was in his pocket, but he wasn’t going to ask questions when he knew Dean’s number by heart and could call him right now.
“We’re sorry, but the number you have dialed is not in service. Please check the number and try again.”
No, no, no, no. Dean used this number; Castiel knew he did. How was it not in service?
Trying again only gave him the second message, and Castiel hunched over, pressing the edges of the phone into his forehead, desperately trying to keep his breathing steady. He couldn’t afford to panic now.
Maybe there was some clue as to what had given him the phone.
After a few more taps on the screen, Castiel found himself in what seemed to be the description of the company that made the phone, the amount of data available, any available accounts, and a host of other things that didn’t interest him. The company was Stark Industries, but Castiel had no idea what that was. The data plan seemed to be rather excessively large, but he didn’t need that.
He next ended up opening what seemed to be the address book, and there was only one number in it: Tony Stark.
Seeing no other option for him, Castiel pressed the call button, waiting nervously for whoever would pick it up.
The line rang for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only seconds, but Castiel couldn’t tell anymore because he was human.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Castiel brought his other hand up to pinch his nose, telling himself to count to three between breaths like he’d seen people on television do.
That was when the other person answered, beginning to speak immediately. “So are you going to make a habit of calling instead of randomly appearing unannounced in my kitchen? Because that’s something I can definitely get behind.”
Though Castiel had only seen him once in his new vessel, he instantly recognized the voice. “Gabriel, brother…” To his dismay, his voice broke halfway through, and he had to breathe in shakily to stabilize himself. “I need your help.”