Wherein Castiel Is Not a Cat, and Then He Is
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
There was something deeply, horribly unfair about cats, Castiel thought with an unusual trend towards irritation. Castiel did not dislike anything in particular up until his current position in the time-space continuum, but now he was sneakingly disgruntled with the existence of cats. It probably had to do with the fact that he currently was one.
A parting gift from Gabriel, that. Castiel had not really considered the possibility that Gabriel would force his vessel into another form, though he could write the shape-shifting off as a practical joke (which he’d estimated was a possibility of 43% of occurring, as opposed to the 56% maiming and/or attempting to kill him and the 1% that Gabriel did absolutely nothing. Angels higher up on the pay grade tended to get more reactionary if what they deemed their business was thwarted).
“What the—” Dean bit off whatever crass profanity he was about to utter. Castiel meowed back at him, attempting to telegraph his dislike of the situation. Judging from Sam’s vocalization of mirth, Castiel did not deem it effective.
“Cas—” Dean began, scooping him up without warning, “are you a kitten?”
Dear Father above, Dean had huge hands. Castiel flailed his new forelimbs— the only part free beside his head— haphazardly, which only served to make Dean tighten his grasp. Another discontented meow forced its way out before Castiel could stop it.
“Oh my god,” Sam said in a funny voice. “He’s— adorable.” And then he started laughing.
Castiel swiveled around to stare at him. He could not fathom the amusement factor of his predicament.
Sam simply laughed harder. “I’m sorry,” he said in between gasps for air, “but I didn’t know it was possible for an angel to be just as— as—”
“Prissy?” Dean suggested. He held Castiel up a little higher and squinted at him. Castiel’s unimpressed stare, redirected to the older Winchester, was apparently hilarious enough to even have him cracking a grin and snickering. “Oh wow, you’re right, he’s exactly the same as a cat.”
Castiel mrowled grumpily and started wriggling, testing the boundaries of Dean’s hands. He would much rather not be held at the current time, thank you very much.
“Whoa there, tiger,” Dean said, barely keeping a straight face as the wriggling and grumpy cat noises intensified. “Where d’you think you’re going?”
It was too late— Castiel was already in freefall, freed from Dean’s clutches. He landed a little clumsily on all fours, jarred by the impact enough to stagger out of it instead of stick the landing.
“Jesus,” Dean said. Castiel meowed back automatically, already checklisting through his usual abilities. It was not entirely unexpected when he could not change back, but certainly disappointing; nor could he fly. His abilities of perception also appeared to be rather limited, to the point where Castiel could only barely discern that Sam and Dean were human.
“So can you change back or what?” Dean interrupted.
Castiel stared at him. It was obvious that he would have done so immediately had he the power to do so.
“I’ll take that as a nooo,” the elder Winchester drawled.
“Well, I guess we’ll just… take him along with us?” Sam hazarded.
“Nothin’ else we can do,” Dean answered, resigned. Pointing a finger sternly at Castiel, he warned “If you leave any damage to my baby’s interior—”
Sam was the one picking him up this time, with significantly larger hands than Dean’s. “Come on, Dean, he’s not going to do anything to your car,” he groaned, concurrent to Castiel’s grumpy meow at finding himself once again off the ground.
“Yeah, well, you know how it goes.” Dean was not one to let things go where his precious automobile was concerned.
“Whatever.” Sam slid into the seat and expertly buckled in as though he did it holding cats all the time. He gently set Castiel down on his lap just as Castiel began to feel anxious again. “Just stay there Cas, and you’ll do fine.”
Castiel eyed him with some trepidation— traveling as a small animal in a large car was not an experience he looked forward to— but settled on one of Sam’s legs. The engine revved, and it sounded ten times more terrifying. It took Sam’s sudden hiss to realize Castiel had inadvertently unsheathed his sharp kitten claws into the denim-covered thigh he sat on, and he retracted them with an apologetic mewing noise.
The car started forward and Castiel dug them in again with an alarmed noise, startled by the sudden lurch. Sam was probably making a face, because Dean snickered.
It was going to be a long drive.
I was too lazy to search for Castiel-being-a-cat stories so I decided to write one myself.
Title translates loosely to "A brother's wrath, plus cats."
This will be a multichaptered fic, just me writing a little at bedtime each night.
Wherein Castiel Fights a Newspaper
Cas sat quietly on the hotel table.
The drive to the hotel the Winchesters holed up in did not seem as though it had been stretched by the angel’s perceptions. This Castiel counted fortunate, as he had heard of the phenomena where time appeared to elongate; considering the amount it had slowed since his fall from grace, he was not sure if it could move any slower, and much prefered not to find out. (He supposed the experience was not empirical evidence as to the possibility of time slowing further due to limited powers, but it was nice not to find support for such an event yet.)
The two brothers were currently exchanging solutions to the problem of a shape-shifted angel.
“Well Bobby doesn’t have anything,” Dean said sarcastically, snapping the cell phone shut after the customary call to the mechanic for additional information. “With our extensive lore on angels and their vessels, we have nothing on angels in animals.”
“Yeah…” Sam answered, obviously checklisting potential solutions in his mind. “It’s probably not wise to just call up Gabriel and ask him to undo it or anything, either.”
Castiel yawned luxuriously and sank into a crouch on top of the newspaper Sam had tossed on the table. It was good to be on solid, unmoving ground.
“Oh yeah, great idea.” The resentment emanating from Dean was palpable. “After that showdown he’s going to want to help us about as much as we want his help.”
The fan whirred steadily in the background. The faint air current it generated caused the corners of the newspaper pages to flutter a little.
“Okay, well, maybe there’s a spell we could try somewhere,” Sam threw out, ignoring Dean’s bad mood. Castiel absently added this occasion to his growing data collection supporting his theory that Sam possessed a legendary power of perseverance far beyond other human beings as he studied the waving newspaper with interest. “I bet there’s something in some of those grimoires Bobby’s got that deals with shape-shifting.”
Dean snapped his fingers. “Like some of those books we were checking out when we were trying to find a way to revert the werewolf change?” he asked.
Sam frowned slightly as though the reference was not positive. “Yeah,” he said. “I think I remember reading through something a couple years back.”
Castiel was now determinedly resisting the urge to swat the paper. He deliberately turned his back on it and tried reading one of the articles printed under his feet.
The angel could swear the page corners were rustling laughter to his enhanced hearing.
“Okay,” Dean said decisively. “Tomorrow we drive to Bobby’s, check out the books on magic.”
The brothers whirled around to face the table, where the angel kitten was locked in a death match with the offending newspaper corner and ripping it to shreds with eviscerating claw strokes. It froze at their movement, staring at them with wide eyes.
“Dude,” said Sam after a long moment of incredulous silence.
Castiel slowly disentangled himself and attempted to broadcast the “there is nothing to see here” message. He affected an astonished look at the now-shredded paper that twitched in the fan-generated breeze between his forepaws as though he had no idea how it had appeared, and promptly became mesmerized by the now-multiplied moving papers.
Dean clapped a hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Cas apologizes for your newspaper,” he said solemnly.
Castiel firmly slapped a paw down one of the escaping scraps. The result was the flight of several other bits of paper and his skidding pounce off the table and subsequent tumble over the edge.
“Your phone has a video camera, right?” Dean asked Sam.
Wherein Castiel Discovers Soothing Tummy Rubs
The next few hours resulted in several scratches and a lot of general havoc as the Winchesters cheerfully taped their kitten compatriot doing ridiculous things. Castiel disliked this immensely, but whenever he collected himself enough to chide the two with yowling complaints and tiny claws they would drop towels on top of him and watch him confusedly try to find his way out.
(And it was not his fault the towel kept attacking him independent of the Winchesters’ machinations. It was only fair he put up some defense!)
The break for dinner saw him napping on one of the pillows of Dean’s bed as the television the older brother had thought to leave on for Castiel’s entertainment played a movie quietly in the background. Needless to say, the angel was exhausted, a situation that had provoked serious alarm but no action to remedy it because Castiel had dozed off in the middle of his plans to combat his new vulnerability to kitten energy levels.
The locks clacking open roused some awareness, enough so that Castiel felt his gigantic ears twitching at the noise and he cracked an eye open in time to see Sam and Dean coming back from whatever diner they had found for their evening meal.
“Look, man—” Sam was saying. He broke off immediately when he noticed the snoozing cat on the bed. A startled smile made its way over his face— probably another effect of Castiel’s new power of “cuteness,” the angel mused vaguely.
“Yeah, I get it,” Dean said behind him, not even noticing Sam’s sudden silence. Dean was loud, and it was sufficiently alarming that it shocked Castiel firmly out of his nap. “Just because we’ve got the Apocalypse hanging over our heads doesn’t mean you can’t get a little action every once in a while.”
“Dean, you woke him up,” Sam said, annoyed, as Castiel yawned and stretched. He hoped the deliberate exposure of his delicate needle-sharp claws would forestall more attempts to take humorous videos of the kitten antics this new shape tended to produce.
“What? Oh.” Dean eyed Castiel guiltily. “Sorry, Cas.”
Castiel grumbled a customary kitten meow and turned his next stretch into an undulating body roll that left him stretched out on his back and half off of the pillow. He felt a profound desire to do absolutely nothing and drift back off to sleep in this new and comfortable position.
There were some shuffling noises as Dean rummaged through one of his bags, most likely for the bottle of bourbon he was currently in the process of emptying. Sam huffed about something. From the way the chair at the table creaked and the soft click of the laptop being flipped open, it was clear that Sam was settling down to do some preliminary research on whatever currently occupied his attention.
Dean settled on the side of the bed unoccupied by Castiel, causing the bed to dip under his weight. Castiel flipped his tail in irritation as his center of gravity shifted and tensed a little in apprehension of Dean doing something else to cause horribly degrading kitten behavior. The sharp smell of whiskey and the sloshing echo of the bottle signified the start of the hunter’s nightcap; the volume of the television rose a little, cued by the clicking of the volume buttons on the remote control. Castiel relaxed.
“That is a ridiculous position to lie down in,” Dean informed him. Castiel cracked an eye at him and yawned again, emphasizing his pointy new dentition. He resumed his facade of snoozing.
“Okay, fine.” More sloshing noises. And suddenly, the sensation of large warm fingers rubbing his stomach. Castiel started in shock and froze you are under att— wait a minute—
That felt very pleasant.
Dean snickered and the typing on the other side of the room paused. If Castiel had not been too busy purring his tiny kitten throat out under these new and highly pleasurable sensations he would have caught the “Really, Dean?” Sam muttered, its accompanying exasperated eye roll, and the massive grin Dean shot his brother in response.
Wherein Bobby Disparages the Distractions of Kittens
It was quickly apparent that Bobby was not a cat person, even if said cat was both a former angel and heart-warmingly cute enough that Dean and Sam spent half their time trying to get stupid pictures of it.
(When pressed, both pled blackmail.
“Idjits,” Bobby growled at them. “How d’you think an angel’s gonna take to blackmail?”
“No, Bobby— just look,” Sam insisted, and showed him the video of Castiel trying to escape a towel. By the time it had ended, Dean and Sam were snickering and Bobby was eyeing them as though he thought they were possessed by demons of a high-enough caliber to pass the holy water test.)
Due to both Winchesters’ propensity to get easily distracted by whatever kitten-ish antics Castiel happened to get up to, Bobby eventually banned the angel from staying with them while they went through the books he had in the hopes of finding some spell to reverse Gabriel’s “alteration to the fabric of reality” (“Dude, just say ‘turning Cas into a cat,’ yeesh”). Castiel had been trying his best— really, though he was slightly flattered by the brothers’ sudden constant affectionate attention, he definitely wanted any and all recording devices away— but even his staring was no longer “creepy” but a source of constant humor.
The banishment was not the worst thing that had happened to him, but it was a little saddening (who enjoys getting blamed for one’s appearance?). Five minutes later, it was mildly irritating when Castiel realized that his restless kitten body was bored, and there were no friendly hands to proffer coma-inducing belly rubs. Ten minutes after that, he sprinted up and down the hallway and straight up some curtains. The eight-foot drop back to ground level did absolutely nothing to faze him.
The next hour passed with a blur of energy-burning shenanigans as the kitten explored the house. First, Castiel toyed with some tassels from some neglected throw pillows that had somehow been integrated into the structure of a stack of books in one of the spare bedrooms that appeared to stand double-duty as a storage room. After that he sprawled on his back on one of the rugs in the living room, limbs splayed every direction, and twisted the upper half of his abdomen so that he could tug himself around by clawing at the weave. When that lost its charm, the angel sprinted around the kitchen to see how much linoleum he could slide over (though he was quickly banned from doing so, as Bobby’s den looked straight into it) and ran into some cupboards in the process. The upstairs bathroom in particular was appealing due to the endless roll of white soft tissue that shredded easily under malevolent kitten claws and the endlessly fascinating swirling water of a newly-flushed toilet bowl.
Castiel supposed that he must have been making more noise than he intended, because it was not too long after the fourth flush that Bobby came up the stairs, grumbling something about relative distractions and the lesser of two evils. He sighed when he found Castiel poised in prime swirl-viewing position and expertly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.
“Come on, Cas,” Bobby growled as he carried him downstairs. “All these bumps an’ thumps are distracting the boys worse ‘n if you’d just stayed with us in the first place.”
Castiel instinctively held very still during the process of relocation. It was not that he could not move, but rather that something was telling him very firmly NO, DO NOT MOVE (AND TUCK YOUR ELBOWS IN WHILE YOU’RE AT IT), and Castiel always followed orders. Well, he used to. But the voice was very much like the Revelations he used to receive (presumably from his Father until recently) and also somewhat like Dean Winchester (who tended to give orders out like free candy) and so it was very hard to ignore, and by the time Castiel thought to rebel Bobby was plunking him down in Dean’s lap where the man was searching through a stack of books on the couch.
“Stay there and don’t make a fuss,” Bobby ordered both Dean and Castiel, then rolled back to his seat.
“What the— am I the cat-sitter now?” Dean asked bemusedly as he looked down at the kitten, tamely quiet on his thigh.
“Yeah,” Bobby said in a tone that brooked no argument as he picked up the book he had left off in. “Now shut your trap and keep readin’.”
Castiel’s daytime antics had only served to demand an extensive evening nap, and that left him with way too much energy to settle down with the rest of the house’s occupants when they all retired around midnight. Castiel found that he hardly minded, however, as the house was much more interesting in the dark than in the day. Strange shadows and mysterious noises made it a thrilling adventure to gallivant through the various nooks and crannies.
The best part, he discovered around one a.m., was the mice that emerged from their hidden spaces in the now-silent house.
Castiel stumbled upon the first of them, (predictably) in the kitchen, nibbling some crumbs scattered on the floor just below one of the counters where there had been serious sandwich-making hours earlier. If the angel had thought things had been combative before (the newspaper, the towel , the Winchesters, etc), it was absolutely nothing compared to the way a frisson went through him and his instant shift to a slow stalk from his previous mellow meander at the sight of grey fur and twitching whiskers. He inched across the floor with his attention locked on the tiny furry mammal.
He got within two feet of the mouse before it bolted. Instantly Castiel was up and after it, sprinting over the slippery linoleum. A winding chase around the table legs and back around the open floor and Castiel saw his opening and leaped and—
With a tremendous crash, the angel landed badly in a cabinet heaped with pot lids.
This, predictably, roused both Dean and Sam, who came ghosting down the stairs from the spare bedroom on the second story armed with their usual under-the-pillow weaponry. Sam was the one who discovered Castiel gingerly extracting himself from a pile of metal, and let out that exasperated half-sigh that drove his older brother up the wall.
“It’s all right, Dean,” he called out, lowering his gun. “Cas was messing around in the kitchen.”
Dean appeared in the large doorway on the tail end of the statement toting his ridiculously large knife. He scowled at the cat and sheathed it. “Cas, we’re tryin’ to sleep here,” he complained, somewhere between angry and indignant as Castiel finally wriggled out of the cabinet.
A suitable response was impossible due to the lack of sophisticated labia-lingua configuration, so the kitten settled for a meow in which he attempted to convey his sincerest apologies. Whether it was effective or not, both brothers grumped back upstairs without another word.
As if by magic, the mouse (or its cousin) reappeared only seconds after the Winchesters disappeared. Castiel sank down once more.
This time, he made use of his cover, slinking in the darkest shadows, as downwind of the mouse as one could be in non-existent wind. Closer and closer he got, memorizing the way the mouse moved as it cast around the plastic-based flooring for more scraps of stale food, scenting out miniscule portions and sucking them down as fast as it found them…
When he got within two feet this time, the mouse did not have a clue. Castiel pounced, and shortly found himself sharply shaking the frantically-struggling mouthful of fur.
The crunch of tiny bones and sudden limpness was surprising. Castiel spit the newly deceased mouse out and batted it lightly. It did not move. This was inexplicably extremely exciting. The kitten batted it again and wait was that movement— pounced on it again; but no, it was really dead. What to do with it now?
The angel thought for a moment and, thought processes having undergone accelerated alteration with the length of time spent under the sway of kitten influence, patiently carried it up to Bobby’s room and left it on his pillow to make amends for the afternoon’s mess. It was as he was arranging it just so in an act he attributed to contrition that Castiel realized that a similar gift to Sam was necessary considering the amount of times the kitten had accidentally clawed him on the harrowing road trip back to South Dakota.
Thus motivated, Castiel spent another two hours tracking down and stalking another mouse. The firmly angelic part of him was not quite sure if it was the moral thing to do (and he had not intended to kill that first mouse if he was very honest), but if he ignored reality enough, the beady black mouse eyes were demonic-looking enough to ensure a properly mice-murdering frame of mind. After only two escapees, he managed to kill a second rodent and left it on top of Sam’s duffle bag just as he was starting to seriously contemplate sleep.
Ridiculously proud, he curled up on one of the squashier pillows in the den for another nap.
Wherein Paper Bags And A Solution Are Introduced
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Neither Bobby nor Sam were particularly pleased with the mice. Dean thought it was hilarious.
“Look at ‘im, he’s turning into a proper cat,” he said with mock pride. Castiel’s grumping mrowl at Dean’s teasing just made the elder Winchester laugh.
“Yeah, well,” Sam said with a look of distaste as he held his mouse up by its tail, “I think I could do without dead mice in my stuff.”
Research continued as usual; by midday there was still nothing useful turned up. Lunch was pizza and beer, the three men perusing various amazingly ancient volumes of precious human knowledge in between bites. Castiel spent most of his time finding new and creative ways to drape himself over furniture, books, and Dean. The afternoon was much the same, save that Castiel managed to get onto the kitchen counter and discovered the exhilarating rush that came with entering small paper lunch sacks (this one previously being inhabited by cheese and peppers) and enthusiastically crinkling paper. This was irritating enough that Dean ended up picking the sack up with Castiel still inside, rolling the top closed, and then recording Castiel’s attempts to escape it as punishment. The angel hid under the couch for a while after that.
“Huh,” Sam said suddenly a little after five, and leaned back in his chair frowning at the book in front of him.
Dean paused in his game of “doodle-on-paper-and-watch-Cas-try-to-catch-the-pen” (he had taken a break a while ago and never got off it) and looked up. “Is that a ‘I found something’ or a ‘I’m off on a tangent’?” he demanded when Sam did not elaborate.
“Well…” Sam raised his eyebrows at whatever the passage was. “We looked in Trickster lore, and that didn’t have anything, right?”
“Yeah,” Bobby said suspiciously. “But Gabriel isn’t a proper Trickster.”
“And we also looked in those grimoires,” Sam continued, “and there wasn’t anything on breaking shape-shifter spells unless you were the one doing the shape-shifting in the first place.”
“Right,” Dean said.
“Well in this book here there’s… I guess it’s a general rule of thumb or something, but it basically says that any spell that makes someone non-human can be broken by either kissing them or killing them.”
There was silence for a moment. Castiel took advantage of Dean’s lapse in attention and captured the pen. Dean swore as the kitten chomped on one of his fingers instead of plastic by accident.
“No way,” Bobby said incredulously. “What is that, straight outta a fairy tale?”
“It says that you can get people out of spells that turn them into statues by kissing them. And I don’t know, maybe it’d work?” Sam said in his special tone of I-am-not-positive-but-my-logic-is-impeccable. “I mean it’s that or actually doing the Grimm story— the princess and the frog, you know— but that involves throwing Cas against a wall or beheading him.”
“Huh,” Dean said, and absently started scratching the kitten behind its ears. Castiel put his assault of the pen on hold and purred. “Well we probably don’t want to be killing anyone around here, and I don’t think Gabriel would make that a requirement for breaking this thing. He doesn’t seem to be the kinda guy to hold a grudge like that.”
“All right, let’s try a kiss,” Bobby said. “You wanna do the honors, Sam?”
“What?” Sam recoiled. “I, uh.”
“There’s no way I’m doing it,” Dean said with a leer. “C’mon, Sammy, take credit for your hard work!”
Sam made a face. “Really?” he demanded the room in general.
Bobby shrugged. “Well hell if I’m doin’ it,” he sniped back.
Dean caught Castiel easily by the scruff of his neck and walked over to Sam, where he helpfully held up the surprised kitten to his brother. “Congratulations,” Dean said and winked. Castiel meowed mournfully as he continued to hang in space for another couple seconds while Sam hesitated.
The younger brother scowled at Dean. “Fine,” he said. He leaned forward awkwardly and gingerly kissed Castiel on his nose.
And abruptly there was a thud as Castiel dropped onto the table in his proper humanly-shaped vessel again, blinking at his sudden occupation of much more space than previously.
“I can’t believe that worked,” Dean said, impressed. Sam leaned back in his chair with a whooshing sigh and a mix of pride and displeasure on his face.
Castiel held up a hand and thoughtfully twiddled his fingers. “Huh,” was his only comment. He started patting himself down for no other reason than to be sure that he had all the proper anatomical appendages for human status.
“Well that was interesting,” Bobby said dryly. He closed his book with a snap and rolled away from the desk. “Any of you boys want a drink?” he called over his shoulder.
“One for me,” Dean said, then clapped Castiel on the shoulder. “Good to have you back,” he told the angel. “Not that you weren’t fun when you were a cat, but y’know.”
“As it means that you will cease to take video recordings of me when I am under the influence of inhuman instincts, I am pleased to be back,” Castiel responded seriously after a moment of evaluating what he remembered of his feline experience.
Sam snorted quietly.
“Yeah,” Dean said with what he probably thought was a sly grin. “We’re never getting rid of those.”
Castiel hummed slightly and got off the table. He might not have had enough power to do many of the things he used to, he reflected as he followed Bobby into the kitchen (a little unsteady on two feet instead of four), but he still had enough to wipe the video data from both of their phones.
Welp, that's the end of this! I don't know if anything more will come of this... but for now, thanks for reading this piece of lunacy.