Castiel had much to think about still, even after he had spent four days with Gabriel. The older angel pampered him, making sure all his feathers were in place and his vessel was holding up. Over the nights, Gabriel would cradle him, caring for his vessel or carding his hands though his wings.
Castiel would fall into a light doze, the safe feeling enveloping his whole body. Gabe was sanctuary. He was thankful the normally mischievous hadn't decided to use the opportunity against him.
Cas had decided to leave on the third night, informing Gabe as such, but instead of leaving right away, he spent the next day with Gabriel paying extra attention to his wings and being taught to groom the wings properly while using a vessel. Cas found he really did not want to leave but he had responsibilities.
Cas folded his wings about his vessel, sighing. He had only left Gabe an hour ago and he had wanted to go back the moment he left. Gabe had pressed a kiss to his forehead and ushered him out of the room with a smile on his face. Cas brushed his hands over Gabe's feathers. He had worked in a few more feathers over the days they had spent together and now pink and pale yellow mixed with the ashy grey of his own wings.
On the last day, Cas wove one of his own feathers into Gabriel's wings. Gabriel told him stories of some of the different colored feathers.
He pointed out the gold one that had belonged to Michael and the white feather that belonged to Lucifer, telling Cas how much he loved the two brothers with all of his being. And then they had all started fighting. He told Cas of how Lucifer had such a big heart and would curl his grace around them in such comfort.
He told Cas how Lucifer just wanted what was best for the angels, and how hard it was for him to love the humans down on earth.
He told Cas all of the good things, and the bad things, and how Michael wanted to please their father. How Michael had torn Lucifer’s grace to shreds and cast him into hell. Into the cage. It left Cas not knowing whose side he was on. He hadn’t really know Lucifer, only speaking with him a few times when he was a tiny fledgling.
Humans were fascinating, but did he not have a loyalty to his brethren and family as well? A small whine echoed at the back of his throat and he spread his wings - pink, yellow, and ash - and set out to find Dean.
It didn’t take him long to find his charges. It was another bad hotel room, so much different from Gabriel’s that he was almost taken aback by it. Gabriel had this ability to make anywhere he was feel like home with the simple act of being there.
But these rooms were cold, empty, and unfeeling. He looked down upon Dean, watching him closely for a moment before making himself known, ruffling his feathers to get Dean’s attention.
Dean turned towards him, surprise clear on his face, though he schooled it quickly. ”Dean,” he acknowledged with a small nod. He was nervous. Why? It was a strange feeling - an emotion. It shook his grace like a tremor, but his vessel showed no external signs.
"You have got to learn what personal space is, man," Dean shook his head, stepping back to give himself room to move. Cas, though, just clenched and unclenched his hands. He shuffled back and bit himself, almost apologetically. After being so close to someone physically, it was hard to remember that non-angels had different rules sometimes.
All angels were brothers and sisters, so of course they didn't mind being close, allowing their graces to rub and slide along each other in greeting and friendship. Human were different - their souls were encased in flesh. Humans didn't allow their souls to touch - not often anyhow.
But that was not what he was here for. Castiel pulled the darkly colored feather from the depths of his tench coat. He took a step forward, closing the space again. He grabbed for Dean's hand, hesitating at Dean's "What the hell?" but he was not deterred.
He gave a small shake, hoping Dean wouldn't reject his offering. He licked his lips once, before opening Dean's hand almost forcibly. "In heaven," he started, "We give feathers to those we care for." He placed the dark feather from his wing gently in Dean's hand, where his focus was.
Neither said anything for a beat, and Cas looked up to hold Dean's gaze. "Uh... Thanks Cas..." And Cas smiled. "You're welcome," he nodded, looking extremely pleased. "If you need me, just call, and I will come," the angel muttered, and rushed off, leaving Dean standing with only a feather.
He was pleased with himself for not running before he could deliver the feather. Now he just had to make sure he didn't fall completely. He had faith that he wouldn't - not yet anyhow. He still had things to do.