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Castiel was a content angel. All angels were content; it was the only emotion they felt.  For more than a millennium, Castiel and the rest of his garrison spent their time singing God’s praises or readying themselves to be warriors for God. All that changed for Castiel on the twenty-fourth of January the year of the Lord nineteen seventy-nine. On that day, a very important, very busy angel named Zachariah summoned Castiel to his office.

“Congratulations Castiel.”  Zachariah’s voice was a bored monotone. “We're promoting you to guardian angel.”

“Thank you, sir. Who is my charge? What do they look like? When do I begin?”  New emotions were forming in Castiel. He wasn’t sure if he felt excitement or anticipation but it was something other than contentment.

Zachariah scowled at Castiel. This enthusiasm was unwelcome and unnecessary. “His name is Dean Winchester and he looks like all the other hairless apes.” He looked at the paperwork and added, “He’s being born right now so you better get a move on.”

In a blink of an eye, Castiel was in a delivery room in Lawrence, Kansas watching Dean Winchester take his first breath.

The wailing infant was unlike any “hairless ape” Castiel had ever seen. He was breathtaking and Castiel stared in wonder as Mary soothed her child. “Isn’t he beautiful, John?”

“Yes,” Castiel sighed drowning out the father’s answer.

Castiel wanted to immortalize the moment. He wanted to show the other angels in his garrison the beautiful human in his care. Since angels don’t have cameras, he sketched the babe’s image onto the palm of his hand.

Back at the garrison, Castiel was surprised that his fellow angels weren’t as astonished at Dean’s beauty as he was. Upon showing them the sketch on his hand, none of them seemed amazed.

Uriel rolled his eyes in annoyance and walked away without saying a word.

Balthazar looked at the smeared sketch. “Sorry Castiel. I don’t see it. This mess on your hand looks like just a bunch of scribbles to me.”

Hannah agreed. “Nice scribbles, Castiel but not breathtaking nor beautiful.”

Anna, however studied the smeared sketch for the longest time. “I like it, Castiel. It’s a nice arrangement of atoms.”

Castiel withdrew his hand. “This isn’t a very good likeness. I was in a hurry and it smeared upon my return flight.  Come with me. Come see Dean Winchester for yourselves and then you’ll understand. He’s the most beautiful being in God’s creation.”

Anna and the others exchanged concerned glances. “Sure, Castiel, we’ll go with you after we sing the new praises Naomi wrote.”

 

Later, the troupe of angels gathered around Dean’s crib in the hospital nursery.

Castiel beamed with pride. “See? Isn’t he the most amazing human you have ever seen?”

Hannah looked at each baby in the nursery. “They all look the same to me,” she began. “What makes him so special?”

Balthazar wrinkled his nose in disgust. “She’s right. He looks like all the other hairless apes. He does, however, smell atrocious. Are they supposed to smell like that?”

Uriel stepped back in revulsion. “I don’t have time for this spotted smelly mud monkey.” He left with a flutter and was followed by Balthazar and Hannah.

Anna bent over Dean’s crib. “He does have spots. Teeny tiny spots,” She looked up at Castiel. “How can he be perfect if he has spots?”

“They are like the stars in the heavens. Constellations that show the wonder of God’s power. The entire universe captured in miniature,”  Castiel explained.

Anna raised a brow in surprise at his answer. “Right. Of course.” She saw that her friend was disappointed in the reactions of the other angels and didn’t want to hurt him further. “He seems like a very nice mud-- human. I’m sure he’ll grow more beautiful every day.”  She patted Castiel’s arm and flew off.

Castiel sighed and brushed his hand over Dean’s head with a barely there touch. He couldn’t understand why the others didn’t recognize Dean’s beauty but he couldn’t get enough.  

He brought parchment with him so he could sketch Dean’s likeness onto something other than his own hand. Although the drawing was a near perfect rendering of his subject, Castiel realized he had only captured Dean from one angle so a second sketch would be needed.

So it began.

Everytime Castiel visited Dean, he’d draw a couple of portraits from different angles hoping to capture the child’s perfection.  However, he always felt his art was missing something. An entire wall of his dwelling was papered with images of Dean. Dean smiling, Dean crying, Dean crawling, Dean sleeping, anything and everything Dean did was documented in a sketch by Castiel.

As he stood back to admire his work, Castiel noticed that although he had captured the roundness of Dean’s cheek and the bow of his little legs, he had overlooked one of Dean’s best features.

Castiel needed to start working in color. Those eyes deserved to be immortalized in the perfect shade of green. Charcoal on parchment simply didn’t capture their splendor. As Dean grew, so did Castiel’s art collection. Every surface in his home had a picture of Dean Winchester.  

Guardian angels watch over their charges and protect them as much as they can but their powers are limited. They can prevent certain accidents but, angels may not interfere with man’s free will. If their human chooses to do something harmful, the angel can only sit back and worry.

That is why Castiel wept the day Dean traded his soul for his brother Sam’s life. He had only one more year to care for and admire his charge before the poor human would be dragged to hell.

That year Castiel began sculpting. If he would never see or touch Dean Winchester again, Castiel needed to immortalize him in something more than parchment. Dean’s likeness needed to be chiseled from marble. However, it didn’t matter how lovely those works of art were, Castiel found them to be cold. So, he carved another Dean from wood.

On the day Dean’s deal came due, Castiel was once again summoned to Zachariah’s office. As if this day could get worse, Castiel thought to himself.

“Well?” Zachariah began once Castiel had taken a seat in his office. “What do you have to say for yourself? What kind of guardian angel lets their human make a deal to go to hell?”

“I, well, I mean, angels aren’t allowed to  --” Castiel stammered.

“Don’t tell me what angels are and aren’t allowed to do!” Zachariah’s booming voice shook the office walls. He stood and pointed a finger in Castiel’s face. “You better hope Dean Winchester doesn’t do anything stupid while he’s in hell!” He sat down and waved a hand at the file containing the account of Dean’s life. “But with his track record, it will only be a matter of time.”

 

Castiel wept as he listened to Dean’s screams. He couldn’t prevent the hellhounds from dragging Dean to hell but he lessened the pain by having Dean die quickly.

He spent the next several months revisiting every portrait of Dean. Every night he’d smooth a hand over the wooden statue of his charge, polishing it until it gleamed.

 

After what felt like an eternity to the angel but it was only four months in human time, alarms sounded throughout heaven. Michael and Raphael called an assembly of all the angels from the seraphim to the other archangels.

“The apocalypse has begun.” Michael bellowed, ignoring the few murmurs from the crowd.  “The first seal has been broken. Therefore, we must lay siege to Hell and raise Dean Winchester, for only the righteous man who broke the first seal can end what he put in motion. Brothers and sisters, prepare for battle!”

 

Hell wasn’t expecting the full army of Heavenly host to descend upon it. The few demons that were in the know, made themselves scarce. They knew a much bigger battle was looming. Castiel’s garrison slaughtered a path to Dean. While his brothers and sisters fought, Castiel raised Dean.

 

Castiel rebuilt Dean atom by atom, making him as perfect as the day he was born. God’s universe was redrawn with the freckles Castiel sprinkled on him. There were no tears or scars from the hellhounds, no broken bones. Nothing as much as a split end or hangnail marred Dean Winchester. He was perfect.

But Castiel had to sign his work. He wanted everyone to know who had raised Dean Winchester, who had put him together again. So he left his handprint on Dean’s shoulder.

Now he sat back and waited for Dean to rise and thank him.

Dean rose but didn’t seem to notice Castiel. He noticed the trees were blown flat all around him and it baffled him but he never thought an angel could do that. He didn’t even think angels existed.

As Dean made his way to civilization, Balthazar joined Castiel. “Look how well I put him back together, brother,” Castiel said pointing at his charge.

“Yes,  fine work, Castiel.” Balthazar surveyed the area around them, not really paying attention to Castiel or Dean, until the human walked closer. “He still smells rank, worse than I remember, actually. Couldn’t you do anything about that?” Castiel began to explain how Dean’s corpse had been rotting in those clothes but Balthasar waved him off. “Have you seen Michael or the others?”

Castiel shook his head. “Once I rescued Dean, I had only one objective.”

“Good.” The other angel shifted his robe which clanged like metal was beneath it, and nodded. Then he rested his hands on Castiel’s shoulders, looked him in the eye and said, “Fare thee well, brother.”

Too consumed with thoughts of Dean, Castiel didn’t pay attention to where his brother went.

He found Dean at a gas station. Dean was examining himself and wondering what had happened to the hellhound scars. “See! I remade you!” Castiel explained. “I have been studying you your whole life. I put you back together just the way God created you.”

Sadly, all Dean heard was ear piercing screeches which made him fall to the ground in fear and pain. Castiel stopped speaking the moment he saw Dean’s reaction. He didn’t want to frighten Dean.

 

Eventually Castiel was able to find a vessel. The angel didn’t find this human as beautiful as Dean but at least it allowed him to talk and interact with Dean.

Castiel wanted to tell Dean everything. How he’d been watching over him his whole life, how he had put him back together, how he had drawings back at his place… but the archangels had different ideas. Castiel could only share what they wanted him to tell Dean.

With the apocalypse looming and the threat of the seals being broken almost daily, Castiel rarely had time for his hobby. His collection of Dean artwork gathered dust as he and his charge fought against the forces of evil.

Then came the day Dean called him ‘Cas’.  The dormant muse inside the angel awoke and he spent the next month creating dozens of images of Dean. Some were sketches, some were paintings, one was done in stained glass, another was made from a candy called Skittles. Cas felt immense joy at being able to recreate images of his human. He made so many that only one room in his heavenly dwelling had space for the angel to stand.

Fortunately for the world and the Winchesters, an angel ‘month’ is only a blink of an eye in human time. Castiel was able to assist the brothers whenever Dean called.  And Dean called a lot. It seemed that every week there was a problem that needed Castiel’s attention.

The other heavenly host thought Castiel might be becoming too close to his human, so they called him home for ‘reprogramming’.  When the angel chose the Winchesters over his fellow angels, Zachariah forced Castiel to watch as he and Raphael destroyed his art collection.

When Sam Winchester saved the world by jumping into the cage, Castiel rebuilt Dean once again. For a little while, things went back to how they were before Dean’s time in hell. Castiel was busy with the civil war in Heaven and rarely had time to sketch let alone sculpt anything. There were only a few dozen new sketches of Dean hanging on the walls of his home.

A short time later, a mere moment to angels, Castiel opened the door to purgatory and absorbed all the souls there.  Now he was extremely powerful but his own spirit was lost in the ocean of souls inside him. Many of those souls hated Dean Winchester which forced Castiel to keep his art to himself.

When Dean finally convinced Cas to return the souls to purgatory, the leviathan held on. Castiel was forced to destroy his vessel in order to rid himself of the monsters. Thinking his angel must be dead, Dean gathered Cas’ trenchcoat and left the reservoir.

Hours later an exhausted Castiel crawled out of the water and collapsed on the beach. He had no memories of himself or his life. But when he closed his eyes he saw freckles like the constellations in heaven and the greenest of green eyes.

 

Daphne jogged the same path every morning. She enjoyed the scenery by the water and even though it was secluded, she always felt safe.  On one particular morning she saw what looked like a dead body washed up along the shore.  Daphne pulled her phone out, typed in the numbers 911 as she approached the body while her thumb hovered over the send button.

As she got closer, she could tell the man was breathing but unconscious. Daphne didn't want to get too close in case it was a trap and this naked man decided to attack her. She tapped his leg with her foot, still keeping her thumb ready to hit 911.

He groaned and rolled over, opening his eyes groggily. "Where am I?" His voice sound rough and scratchy. His hand scrubbed at his face.

Daphne stepped back, unsure if he was drunk or high. But, with this new view of him, she certainly wanted to help him.

"You're in Lakeview Park." She crouched down beside him. "My name is Daphne. What's your name?  What happened to you? Where are your clothes?"

Castiel looked down at his naked body and immediately covered himself. "I, I, don't remember my name. My head hurts but I don’t think I’m otherwise injured.”

Daphne took off her jacket, handed it to Cas and he covered himself.  “You should come home with me. We’ll make some calls and try to figure out what happened to you.”

Appreciating her generosity, Cas happily accepted her offer.

During the next few days, Daphne was very kind to Castiel. And, because he couldn’t remember feeling such kindness before, Castiel became smitten.  Daphne had never met anyone so innocent, so kind or so handsome. Castiel was the man of her dreams. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t remember his past, they would make a future together. His only flaw was his ‘hobby’.

Castiel loved to doodle but his little drawings weren’t random scribbles. He would draw the same face over and over. Daphne agreed that it was a very handsome face but she worried that maybe the person in the drawing had hurt Castiel. Perhaps he was the reason Cas had been naked and unconscious on the beach.

Castiel didn’t think the person he drew had meant him harm. He was convinced that the man had been very important to him and that they shared a profound bond.

Daphne didn’t like the sound of that. Castiel - who she called Emmanuel- belonged to her now.

After Castiel showed her a finished set of the most perfect green eyes, Daphne cracked a glass in her hand and cut herself.

Cas rushed to her side and pulled the shard of glass from her hand. And then just as she braced herself for the pain, Daphne saw her wound close and heal. “You are blessed by God!” she gasped. “You can heal people!”

“I can?” Cas whispered but if Daphne said it it must be true.

Though it meant the risk of losing him, Daphne couldn’t keep Cas’s gift from the world. Soon people from all over would be knocking on their door to see the healer.

As Castiel’s reputation spread, Daphne knew the man with the green eyes would soon be at her door.

 

One day Cas came to her and said, “I’m out of the brown I use for his freckles and I’d like to get another shade of green. I know I haven’t perfected his eyes, yet.”

Daphne sighed, “Of course Emmanuel. Go buy some more paint. I’ll have lunch ready when you return.”

 

When Castiel returned with the art supplies he stumbled upon a man killing another man on his front porch. Castiel saw that the dead man was not a man at all but some sort of evil beast. But the man holding the knife, that man was far more interesting.   

 

Castiel hurried that man into his house and dragged the body behind him.

"I can explain,” Dean started but Castiel cut him off.

“No need. I saw his face. His true face.” Then he saw Daphne gagged and bound to a chair. “Daphne!” He rushed to her aide. ”Are you hurt?”

“No, Emmanuel, but that man was looking for you!” She turned to Dean. “Who are you?! What do you want with my husband?”

“Husband?”

Cas held out his hand to Dean. “Yes. I’m Emmanuel Allen and this is my wife Daphne. And you are?”

Dean shook Cas’s hand. “Dean Winchester.”

Cas looked at Daphne and shrugged. The name meant nothing to him. “Thank you for saving my wife from that.” He pointed at the dead demon.

Dean was about to explain but Daphne found her voice. “How do you know my husband?”

Dean took a moment before speaking. He had only wanted to see if this healer, Emmanuel, could fix Sam. He didn’t expect to find an amnesiac Cas. “A man named Mackey told me Emmanuel healed his eye. I wanted to know if he could help me, too.”

Instantly sympathetic, Cas put his hand on Dean’s shoulder. “What healing do you need?”

“Not me. My brother. He’s in the hospital. Northern Indiana State Hospital, the psych ward. Uh, someone hurt his brain. I was hoping you could help him.”

“Of course. I am happy to help. Anything you need, Dean Winchester.”

“Indiana?” Daphne repeated in shock. “You’re just going to go to Indiana because he asked you to?”

“Yes. I thought you would understand.” Castiel looked confused. Surely his wife recognized the importance of this man. “I’ll go pack a bag, then we can leave.”

“Okay.” Dean wasn’t sure what was going on between the couple but he was grateful that Cas or rather Emmanuel was willing to help Sammy.

The moment Cas left the room Daphne turned on Dean. “Tell me who you are and how you know my husband.”

“Lady, I just met him.”

“Bullspit,” Daphne growled. “Come with me.”

She led Dean to what used to be her sewing room and said, “Explain this!” She threw open the door to reveal the hundreds of portraits of Dean that littered the room.

Dean stepped in and looked around with wide eyes and mouth falling open. “What the hell?”

“What the h-e-double hockey sticks, indeed. How do you explain this?” Daphne demanded.

“What? No. I don’t understand any of this.” Dean took a last look around and left the room with a small shudder.

“Well, you’re something,” Daphne said pulling shut the door and following him. “You know him. Or he knows you, that’s for sure. Tell me how.”

Dean didn’t have time for her questions. He wanted to get to healing Sammy. “Maybe you should tell me. I walk into a house I’ve never been in before and you have dozens of pictures of me?! Pictures of me as a kid? I’m freaking out over here.” Dean hoped turning the tables on her would get her to drop the subject.

Daphne gasped. “Oh my goodness gracious, maybe he knew you in a past life and your souls are drawn to one another. That’s why you’re here!”  She was convinced God had wanted Dean to find Emmanuel.

Dean stared at her hoping the crazy dripping out of her wouldn’t get on him. “No. I’m only here so he can fix my brother.” He pointed to the room. “I don’t understand any of that.”

Castiel rejoined them carrying a small suitcase. “Daphne, I have to go with Dean now. I hope you understand. I’m sure I’ll be home soon.”

Daphne hugged Cas tightly. “Of course, dear. I know you have to help as many people as you can.”

 

 

It was a two day drive to Indiana and Dean wasn’t looking forward to it.  He was still furious with Cas for opening purgatory and destroying the wall in Sam’s mind. But this version of Cas had no memory of those things.  And that meant Dean had to bury his anger. He and Cas couldn’t talk it out. He had to be friendly and appreciative of Emmanuel’s help when all Dean wanted to do was yell and punch something.

He would have felt awkward if he was with a stranger. But it was worse driving with ‘Emmanuel’ and holding in his feelings.

“Tell me about your brother. What happened to him?” Cas asked ignorant of the pain that caused Dean.

Dean took a moment before he answered. “My brother, Sammy, is a fucking hero. He saved the whole damn world, not that anybody knows about it. But, uh, this one guy -- a power hungry idiot douchebag -- decided to mess with my brother’s brain and now my brother is, he’s dying.”

“I’m sorry, Dean. I’m sure I’ll be able to help. I can cure illnesses of a physical and a spiritual nature.”

“Good, because I’m out of options and I don’t know what else to do.” Dean checked the gas gauge and the signs on the highway. “We’ll be stopping soon. You need anything?”

“No, I’m quite content.” Cas stared at the road ahead and then glanced at Dean. “Do you think the gas station will have paper and something to write with. I like to draw. It relaxes me.”

Dean rolled his eyes but replied, “I’ll see what I can do.”


Inside the tiny gas station, Dean found a notebook and a pack of pens. He added them to his basket of food for the road trip. He was debating which flavor of beef jerky to get when a voice from the past made his skin crawl.

“Well, hello Dean.”

He swallowed his urge to vomit. “What do you want Meg?”

“Crowley’s head on a pike. But since you can’t give me that, how about you give me some time with the healer you’re traveling with.”

Dean’s eyes narrowed. “What do you want with Emmanuel?”

Meg smirked. “Emmanuel? Interesting. He looks a lot like your old dead pal Cas.”

“So?” Dean moved past her towards the register.

“So? So what happens if Crowley finds out about your little friend? Think he’s going to care that Cas doesn’t know who he is?”  She gauged Dean’s reaction. “Look Dean, without Sam you’ve got no one else to watch your back. Think of this as ‘the enemy of my enemy’ kind of deal.”

It went against everything he stood for but Dean knew she was right. Together they could keep Cas safe until they got to Sam. After Sam was fixed… well that was a problem for the future Dean.

“Okay, Meg, come on, just don’t tell him who he is until he fixes Sam.”

“Whatever you say, Dean-o.”

When Cas saw Meg walking with Dean towards the car, his eyes went wide with horror. “Dean! Her face! She’s one of them!”

“Whoa, Clarence, don’t be racist. We demons come in all flavors and denominations.” Meg smiled wide and friendly.

Cas looked at Dean for confirmation.

“Yeah, Meg’s kinda a friend. At least for now,” Dean reluctantly admitted.

“Oh.” Cas turned back to Meg. “My name’s Emmanuel, not Clarence.”

“Right, sorry. You just remind me of someone.”  Meg slid into the backseat.

“She’s coming with us?” Cas asked.

“Yeah.”

When Dean didn’t elaborate, Meg chimed in. “The more the merrier, Clarence.”

“It’s Emmanuel.”

Dean handed Cas the notebook and pens and tore into a bag of chips. “Let’s play the quiet game for the rest of the trip.”

Meg crossed her arms across her chest and slumped back against the seat. Cas looked at her and then Dean before saying, “I love games. How do you play?”

Meg giggled, something she hadn’t done in centuries and Dean sighed heavily. “You sit there quietly and don’t say anything.”

Cas noted the exasperation in his voice and nodded. He opened his pack of pens and turned to the first page in his notebook. He glanced at Dean and began to sketch.

The pens were only black ink so they didn’t capture the multitudes of colors that were Dean Winchester. Cas drew Dean’s profile, happy to have his favorite subject in front of him, next to him, so that he could get the freckles just right.

The scratching of the pen on the paper piqued Meg’s curiosity. She leaned forward and tried to look over the seat. “Whatcha doin’ there, buddy?”

“You spoke. I believe that means you lost the game. Does that mean we can all talk now?”

Meg suppressed her laugh. “Sure does, Clarence. Now show me what you’re doing in that notebook.”

“I’m drawing. I find it relaxes me.” Cas held up the notebook and Meg squinted at the page.

“Hey, that’s pretty good. Looks just like Deano.”

Cas looked fondly at his drawing. “Thank you. I’ve had plenty of practice.”

“Yeah, about that,” Dean said glancing at Cas. “How about drawing something else for awhile.”

“Okay.”  Dean’s suggestion befuddled Cas. What else would be worth drawing? But then again, why was he always drawing Dean, a man he’d never met until today? He couldn’t explain that mystery to himself.  He turned to look at Meg. “May I draw you? I could draw your human face if you’d like.”

Meg smirked and leaned back lifting her arm over her head. “Sure, draw me like one of your French girls.”

Dean grunted a small laugh but Cas was more confused. “I don’t know any French girls.”

When they arrived at Northern Indiana State Hospital, Sam was strapped to his bed. Dr. Kadinsky told Dean that Sam’s body was beginning to fail and that it would just be a matter of days.

Meg grabbed Dean’s arm. “You need to tell him,” she whispered through gritted teeth. “Only a set of fully powerful wings can fix this.”

Dean tugged his arm free. He didn’t know if she was right but he didn’t want to risk Cas flying off. He turned to Cas who was staring down at Sam. A look of concern and misery on his face.

“Listen Emmanuel --”

“It’s okay Dean. I remember everything.” His voice had regained its deeper tone. Cas sat on the edge of Sam’s bed and gently brushed some hair off Sam’s forehead. “Sam, what have I done?  I am so sorry.”  He looked up at Dean. “Dean, can you ever forgive me?”

“Fix him up. Fix him up and we’re good, okay?”

Cas unbuckled the strap on Sam’s wrist and held Sam’s hand in his. “I can’t rebuild the wall. It’s too far gone.”

“You have to do something!” Dean begged.

“I will. I can heal his body and shift the problem from him to me.” Cas placed a hand on Sam’s head and as Sam was healed, Cas became catatonic.

 

Dean left the notebook, the sketches and the pens on Cas’ bedside table.

“Meg, you’ll call us the minute something changes with him.”

For a minute she looked like a sympathetic human. “Of course.”

Once alone with Cas, Meg tore out the sketches of Dean and herself and taped them to the walls so Cas could see them.  “Come back to us, Clarence.”

 

For the next few months, Dean and Sam dealt with the leviathans on their own. Dean never told Sam about Cas drawing pictures of him when he was Emmanuel.  He had nearly forgotten about the matter completely.

 

It didn't even cross his mind until Meg called him to tell him that Cas was out of his catatonic state.

"He's up? How is he? What does he remember?" Dean asked.

"You better get here. As far as what he remembers, he definitely remembers you."

 


 

Sam and Dean had no problem visiting Cas after normal visiting hours.  The staff seemed happy to see them, excited even.

"Hello boys." Meg was leaning against the door to Cas' room.

“Meg, how is he?” Sam asked.

“Uh, well,” she paused and looked at Dean. “Brace yourself.”

The brothers exchanged concerned looks and opened the door to Cas’ room. Everywhere they looked they saw pictures of Dean. Or Meg. But ninety percent of the walls and ceilings were covered in drawing of Dean.

“Holy shit,” Sam chortled. “Guess he remembers who you are, huh, Dean.”

Dean was shocked into silence. Why? Why did Cas have to draw him so much?

Meg spoke up. “He's been making these since he woke up.”

“Sam! You’re here!” Cas greeted Sam with a hug. “What do you think? If anyone could appreciate my art it’s you.”

Cas beamed with pride as he looked around the room at his work. He checked Dean for his reaction and noticed his friend looked stressed.

“They’re nice, Cas. Looks just like him,” Sam replied, his glee over his brother’s uncomfortableness barely contained.

“What do you think, Dean?” Cas asked.

“I think you need a better hobby.” Dean ignored Sam's grin and set a bag on Cas' bed. “We're here because of this.” He pulled a stone tablet from the bag and laid it on the bed. “What do you make of that?”

“Oh,” Cas said reverently as he smoothed a hand over the tablet. “This was written by Metatron.”

“Megatron? The transformer?” Sam asked.

“He said Metatron, not Megatron.” Dean clarified. “Alright Cas who is Metatron and why would the leviathan want that tablet?”

“Metatron is the scribe of God. That is His word.”

“The word of God?” Sam asked.

Cas ignored Sam and studied Dean for a moment. “I’m so glad you’re here.” He clapped his hands together and retrieved a pouch of colored pencils from a set of drawers. “Now I see my mistake. I added too much gold to these. Now I can make them perfect.”  He took his pencils to one of his Dean sketches and began coloring the eyes.

“Dammit Cas we don’t have time for art class right now. We need to know what’s on that tablet and how to stop the leviathans!” Dean hollered.

Cas emitted a soft eep and disappeared.

“What the --” Dean and Sam looked around the room. “Where’d he go?”

“He doesn’t like conflict,” Meg replied in a voice of someone who had experienced a disappearing Cas countless times.

“Well that’s just great.” Dean barked. “He’s the one that opened the friggin’ door to all this conflict. Where’d he go?”

“He’s down in the day room.”

Sam put the tablet back in the bag and the three of them made their way to the day room. In the hall they were stopped by a nurse. “Hey, Meg.”

Meg nodded her hello but the nurse couldn’t take his eyes off Dean. “Oh wow. You must be Dean. I’ve heard a lot about you. Glad to see you’re real.”

Sam snickered and Dean rolled his eyes in frustration but managed to mumble ‘Hi’.

“Cas is in the day room,” the nurse told them. “I’ve got to order more paper for that guy.”

 

In the day room Dean found more pictures of himself. It seemed that Cas spent every waking moment drawing or painting Dean’s image.

“This one’s my favorite.” Cas’s voice came from across the room. He was standing in front of a wall of drawings of Dean as a teenager.  “I think I captured your petulant expression well in this one.”

Dean joined him and saw himself as a sulky teen. “How-- you didn’t even know me when I was that young.”

“I’ve always known you, Dean. From the moment you were born I have been watching over you.”

Dean took a breath. It wasn’t creepy, he told himself. It was what guardian angels did. They watched over you.  “Cas, I need you to read that tablet. You have to tell us how to get rid of the leviathan.”

Cas finally looked up at Dean, then he nodded. He started across the room. Just as Dean thought they were getting somewhere, Cas approached an easel and began sketching Dean. “I must capture you in this light.”

“No!” Dean yelled and knocked the easel to the ground. “You have to help us.” He grabbed the angel’s arm. “You can draw all you want after you read that thing and tell us how to stop the leviathan.”

“But,” Cas began before looking to the door. “Someone is here.”

Sam drew his gun, ready for whoever or whatever walked through that door.

Kevin Tran hesitantly made his way into the room. “Hi, uh, excuse me but I think you have something of mine.”

Meg and the Winchesters exchanged confused looks as Kevin looked around the room. “Whoa. That’s a lot of portraits. Why do you have so many?”

Cas smiled at the interest in his work. “Dean is my favorite subject. I finding it relaxing to paint or draw his many expressions.”

“Who are you?” Dean demanded.

“And what do you think we have?” Sam asked.

“I’m Kevin Tran.”

“He’s a prophet,” Cas explained. “You uncovered the word of God and when that happens a prophet of the Lord is created.”

“Prophet?” The brothers and Kevin asked in unison.

“No, no, no. I’m an advanced placement student and I really don’t know what I’m doing here except that I need to get back whatever you have,” Kevin added.

Sam opened the bag. “This?” He held out the tablet for Kevin to see. “Can you read this?”

Kevin smoothed his hand over it and squinted. “It’s blurry and it kinda hurts my head to hold it but yeah. It’s about leviathans and how they came to be. It tells how God locked them up and --” he looked up at the other. “This can’t be real, can it?”

The lights flickered and Meg moved next to Cas. She place a protective hand on his shoulder and pulled him to stand behind her.

“Cas, we’ve got to get out of here, now,” Dean said. “Can you zap all of us to the Impala?”

In the next moment all of them were in the car but they couldn’t go anywhere. Cas had filled every empty space with his collection of Dean portraits.

“What the hell?” Sam crumpled the papers around him as he spoke.

“Cas,” Dean groaned from beneath a stack of his portraits. “You can’t take all of these with you. I can’t see where I’m going.”

“But I can’t leave them. I can’t lose my collection again. I’ve worked so hard on them.”

“Can you zap us directly to Rufus’ cabin?” Sam asked, shoving the papers down the best he could.

“He doesn’t have that kind of juice yet,” Meg answered. “Cas, you can make more portraits.  We can leave a few behind and pick them up later.”

Suddenly the car was empty of all the pictures of Dean and Meg. “I left them in my room with a note to keep them for me.”

Everyone in the car took a breath of relief. “Okay, everybody buckle up. It’s gonna be a bumpy night.”

 

 

At the cabin, Meg stood guard while Sam got Kevin settled with the leviathan tablet. Cas found an old journal and began drawing Dean.

Dean saw what Cas was doing and sighed in defeat. He took the journal out of Cas’s hands. “Dude you can not draw in that. It might have information we need.”

“Okay, but --”

“And don’t you think you’ve drawn enough pictures of me? I mean how many trees have died for your hobby?”

Cas gasped. “I’m killing trees?”

“Yeah, man. Where do you think paper comes from?”

“I never thought about it. But you’re right of course. I never meant to kill trees!” Cas whimpered and disappeared.

“Cas!” Dean called drawing attention to the fact that the angel was no longer in the cabin.

“What happened?” Meg asked, sounding more interested than Dean had ever heard her.

“I told him to stop drawing and to think of how many trees he killed to make all of these pictures.”

“That’s just great. The only thing he loves more than drawing you, and on rare occasions me, is nature.” Her eyes cut to the door and the wards the boys had drawn on it. “Well, you’ll have to go find him. I can’t get through the warding and we really shouldn’t break them yet.”

Dean cursed under his breath and left the cabin to search for Cas.

“Cas!” He waited but the angel didn’t return. Instead of yelling again, Dean walked around the cabin, hoping Cas would be nearby.  In the forest behind the cabin, he found Cas hugging a tree and talking quietly.

“Cas?”  He approached the angel cautiously for fear of upsetting him. “Cas, I’m sorry for what I said. What are you doing?”

“I’m apologizing to this tree and to all the others.  I never wanted them to die. I simply wanted everyone to see how special you are.”

Dean took a fortifying breath. He missed his badass angel. This version of Cas was tiring. “Hey, I just remembered something. I’ve got, or well, Sam’s got something you can draw on and it doesn’t use any paper,” Dean told him as he remembered the tablet Sam bought for Bobby.

“So I won’t be killing any more trees?”

“That’s right. This thing can hold thousands of pictures and not a single tree will be killed.”

Back in the cabin, Dean found the iPad and showed Castiel how to use it.

Cas beamed as he held the glowing rectangle. “Thank you, Dean. I will treasure it.”

“Yeah, no problem. You’re welcome.”

 

The next day, Kevin was finished translating the tablet. As the Winchesters prepared to take him home, the prophet noticed Castiel sitting forlornly with the iPad.  “You look sad. I didn’t think angels were ever sad. What’s wrong?”

Castiel showed Kevin the ipad. “Dean gave this to me. I keep the pictures I create on it so I’m not killing trees.”

“Yeah. That was a lot of paper.”

“Yes. I don’t want to kill trees. I love trees. The average tree produces 260 pounds of oxygen each year.”

“Really? I should probably know that for the SAT.” Kevin scribbled a note to himself.  “So if you’re not killing trees, why are you still sad?”

“It says it’s out of memory.” Castiel handed the device to Kevin.

“Oh, that’s not a problem. You can post your art online. Here, I’ll show you.” Kevin began tapping at the screen. After a few moments he showed Cas how to upload his work to a website. “Now every time you finish a piece you can post it on your blog and delete it from your iPad. You’ll never run out of memory again.”

The angel was at a loss for words. He had been given the opportunity to make and share as much art as he wanted. He hugged the prophet and thanked him. “You are truly blessed among men. Thank you, Kevin Tran, prophet and advanced placement student.”

In the months that followed, Dean was relieved to see that Cas had given up his hobby. The angel was now spending all his free time with the iPad and that was fine by him.

 

There were times Castiel would lock himself away and draw and post for hours. After these periods of isolation there would be days in which the iPad’s notifications would be sounding almost constantly.

One day the notifications were so constant that Sam’s curiosity got the best of him. He wondered who or what Cas was following. To his surprise, every note was a like or reblog of something Cas had done. Sam tapped on a note and it opened the page on Art Web by the artist Angel_art.

Picture after picture of his brother filled the screen. Sam laughed out loud in spite of himself. He grabbed his phone, navigated to the site and downloaded his favorites.  One became the contact picture for Dean. He saved a few others for new fake ID cards. Sam went so far as to buy a new printer for the bunker just so he could litter his brother's room with Cas’ art work.

Then he decided that Dean should definitely be a subscriber and signed Dean up to be notified every time Cas posted.

 

When his phone blew up with notifications of Cas’ posts, Dean was annoyed. When his room was redecorated with hundreds of portraits of himself, he vowed revenge. Sammy had better hope he changed the passwords on all his devices, because payback was gonna be a bitch.