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Angels Among Us

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Castiel Milton is a young man, around twenty-three, and he minds his older brother as though he were his parent... because he pretty much is. They live in a three bedroom house with two floors. It's a typical white picket fence deal with a relaxing porch, a good sized lawn, and a colorful array of flowers. There's a garden in the back along with a pool, a small shed for Castiel's gardening tools, and a line to dry clothing. The neighborhood is peaceful, though seems far too good to be true. In all honesty, it is. When the sun goes down, all manner of creatures stalk the night in search of prey. Cas has come across werewolves, vampires, demons, and just recently a succubus. Down the street from them is the college, where the young man subs for a variety of classes just for something to do. He has no need to work, really, as Gabriel provides everything they need.

Across the street is a house they swear is haunted, covered in a thick blanket of creeping vines, and when it storms the lightening seems to strengthen that theory. But that's not the scariest part about this place. The scariest part would be the houses nearer to the college... those turned into frat houses, or apartments for rent so students have a place to stay off campus. Cas hates walking that way. There's a frat house known for their wild parties, ones that include all the sinful things the young man shivers at the thought of. The residences there, virile young males that don't really care where they put their dicks as long as it's tight, have been trying to coerce Castiel into going to their parties. When they don't have the parties to ask him to, they try to get him there by requesting tutoring sessions. Gabriel has expressly forbade him from ever stepping beyond the gate there.

The man with dark brown hair sighs, setting his gaze on the perfect blue sky above the haunted house. The color matches his eyes perfectly. It's a nice day out today, the sun warm and the breeze just cool enough. He didn't have work today, which means this was a short reprieve from his uncomfortable walk to the college. There's noise at the front door, said portal opening up for a man of five foot eight. He has a mess of brown hair and unusual golden eyes.

“Hey, Cassy, what are you doing out here?”

“Nothing much... just watching the sky.”

“... Yeah, it's really... blue,” he states offhandedly. “Come on inside, Cassy, it's getting late. Everyone will be in eating dinner soon.”

He nods and stands from the porch swing, listening to the chain creak at the change of weight. He loves nature and Gabriel placed that swing just for him to sit among it. He spends his time off planting flowers, gardening, and even reading in the college library. He doesn't have many friends... just one. Her name is Meg and she's a demon, but she's been trying so hard to live among humans. Castiel has taken up the roll of her 'sponsor' and she's done very well for the three years they've lived here.

Behind closed doors is a different world for them. No prying eyes invade their personal space, no one left to see what they do behind closed doors. When the front door shuts... they both unfurl their wings. The two aren't human, but angel. It's rare for an angel to want to live on Earth, however these two have always been an exception.

Since Gabriel is so powerful, ranked an archangel of Heaven, he placed a spell on the house. Anyone looking into their windows will see their home and, should they pass the windows at the time, a man without wings. It's just a precaution to keep them anonymous and safe. Gabriel stretches his six wings out, the light shimmering off the golden feathers with hues of red and orange like fire. Cas loves Gabriel's wings, they're far more angelic than his own. His are black, as though a void swallowing all light. In the right light, however, glimpses of violet and navy can be picked up. And should one be brave enough to really look... they would see the pinpricks of light mapping out the galaxy and it's constellations. Only Gabriel has ever dared to get that close.

The archangel glances at his charge, those black wings dragging the tile of the kitchen and drooping sadly. He clicks his tongue and marches over, grabbing leftover spaghetti from the fridge to heat up. They don't have to eat, but Gabriel insists they at least eat small meals to blend in better. The creatures that go bump in the night may not be able to sense what they are, but the fact they don't eat will be a major clue to most. Not to mention it'll make the humans suspicious and they'll have to move again.

“I'm not hungry, Gabriel,” Castiel insists. “Can't we just skip dinner?”

“Absolutely not,” the older male states. “I've raised you with a routine and you're going to stick with it. You'll eat your dinner, I'll let you skip dessert, you'll get ready for bed, I'll groom your wings, and you'll sleep tonight.”

“We don't need to sleep, you know that,” the other sighs in irritation. “I want to read tonight, I don't want to sleep. Besides, I can use the time to catch up on grading...”

“What did I say?”

“... Fine.”

Gabriel holds back the urge to coo and pinch Castiel's cheeks at the pout. In all rights the other is still young in angel terms, only just maturing past his cherub stage. Gabriel's been watching over his little brother for a long time and he's proud of how he's turned out. He warms the food and makes sure to give Cas only a small portion, the two sitting at the table to eat. When they're finished Cas goes to brush his teeth and change into his pajamas, just as he does every night.

Sleep never comes to the younger angel, it takes a special hand to soothe him to that state. Gabriel waits in his room until he's ready. For all the time they've lived on Earth, the older angel has taught Castiel to do things as a human would. Never take shortcuts if it can be helped. Then again, he's horrible at taking them himself, so he isn't the best role model. Cas, however, is a very obedient angel... which Gabriel hates and loves at the same time. He's the perfect child; always listens, keeps the house clean, never does what Gabriel forbids. He doesn't forbid much, but what he does is strictly for Castiel's safety.

When the younger angel walks in, his dark wings are still dragging the floor. Gabriel rolls his eyes, motioning for the other to sit on the end of his bed while he takes up the middle. He does as told, spreading his wings wide and opening the book he's brought with him. It's a book of Edgar Allen Poe's work, an author Castiel's quickly become obsessed with. It'll pass... last week was a mystery author and the week before was drama.

“You're lucky I groom your wings daily with the way you drag them,” Gabriel scolds. “What have I told you about that?”

“Not to do it,” Cas mutters.

“Then why do you still do it?”

“... I don't know why it matters anyway,” he sighs out. “They're not Heavenly like an angel's wings should be... they're ugly and dark.”

“They're so much more than that, Cassy, don't listen to those other angels... they're just jealous. Father gave you a gift he never gave anyone else, you should be proud he loves you that much. Now, I don't want to hear another negative thing about your wings. They're beautiful and special.”

The younger angel sighs, yet doesn't say anything more. He knows what happens when he does, Gabriel will tug at his feathers hard enough to just hurt. Fingers glide through his feathers, the touch soft and familiar. It sends a sense of security through him. As Gabriel picks through his feathers, using a damp rag to wash them, Castiel's eyelids droop. Slowly, he begins to nod off. This is the only thing that manages to put him to sleep all night, which is one reason why Gabriel insists on doing it. When he starts bobbing forward, Gabriel grips him and carefully lays him on the bed. He finishes up cleaning those wings, watching a shooting star streak across the feathered pitch before disappearing, and then ruffles Castiel's hair affectionately. With a wave of his hands, those wings are tucked back on the plain human eyes can't see.

The next morning Cas is waking in his bed, a blanket drawn over him by his caretaker. He can hear Gabriel moving about downstairs, likely making them breakfast. Sometimes he thinks that food rule is because of the other's growing love of cooking. With a yawn, he considers cheating and zapping some new clothes on him. He thinks better of it and rummages through his closet. Dressed in a blue polo shirt and a pair of white slacks, Castiel heads downstairs. The minute Gabriel sees him, he frowns.

“You know I don't like you dressing like that, it reminds me you're not a cherub anymore,” he whines. “Why can't you wear jeans and a tee shirt or something?”

“I like this outfit, Gabriel,” Cas says a bit affronted. “Besides, I'm heading to the campus today. The library should be quiet, it's Saturday. I wanted to spend the day reading.”

“How the hell did I raise such a little nerd?”

“Probably because you spoiled me when it came to me wanting to read.”

Gabriel rolls his eyes, mumbling something about 'video games', and motions for the other to sit down at the small table. Breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, and toast. He's just pouring a glass of orange juice for Cas when he stills. Castiel hasn't tuned in on their brethren since he left Heaven, it only made him homesick for a place he didn't belong, but Gabriel keeps that link open to feed his curiosity. Before he can let the orange juice overflow, Cas gets up and takes the pitcher away.

It takes a long while, however soon the archangel is coming back to him. There is no explanation for now, only the older angel seating himself to eat. Cas barely tastes the food, shoveling it into his mouth as his eyes flicker to look at his brother. Finally, after their plates are cleared and washed up, Gabriel sighs heavily and leans on the counter.

“We'll be having guests, Cassy, so don't stay out too late today,” he informs.

“Guests? We never have guests, Gabriel. Why now?”

“The angels want us to have a reason for being down here,” he nearly spits out. “Micheal has ordered all Earthbound angels to play host to the new breed running about defending the humans. The nephilim are incapable of staying in one place for too long, as they stop aging after a certain amount of years. That means they can't keep a permanent residence. Which means, they'll be staying with angels living in the towns they pass through.”

“... I don't understand,” Cas remarks with a confused squint. “Why would nephilim be wandering the planet? I know that there are very few of them and I know that all humans with the genetic, whether active or dormant, are called 'Hunters'. I know that their job is to hunt and kill any creatures that feed off humans, but... there are hunters that keep permanent residences, aren't there?”

“Yes, but they're human, Cassy,” Gabriel explains patiently. “There are only four nephilim in the United States; two Winchesters, a Harvelle, and a Bradbury. These four are only a few of the hunters born with an active nephilim genetic. It's both a gift and a curse. Since they don't age, humans will find them as odd as they would us. They're angels in essence, born with the capacity of human emotions that usually elude us.”

Cas wants to continue the discussion, as he was never taught about the nephilim race, but he knows he can't be late to the library today. He sighs and gives in to the fact they'll be having guests. Unfortunately, he knows Gabriel well... he's bothered about something. Though he wants nothing more than to ask what, Cas trusts his brother to tell him if it's really detrimental. With a quiet good-bye, the younger angel leaves.

The walk to the library is as uncomfortable as it normally is, the catcalls and lecherous comments ignored. One of the males from a frat on the right always invites him over to 'suck on a lollipop'. The male from a frat across the street offers to take him out for a night of 'dinner and sex'. Even the girls in a house closer to the college giggle and flash him, asking him to make them feel good. He doesn't know where all the human morals go between the stages of child and teenager.

With a labored sigh he finally steps up to the front of the library. It's an old brick building, Gothic in style, with wide stairs. They're framed by two large slabs of concrete that hold up lion statues, divided into three sections by metal railings, and the library's name is scrawled in stone above the arched doorway. It's his safe haven, his home away from home. With a smile he walks into the entrance hall, all his woes of the morning melting away.

His shoes tap against the tiled floor, the long leaves of a potted plant brushing against his cheek. The inside is beautiful, a nice chandelier hanging above him, and the librarian is sitting behind the curved counter of mahogany as per usual. Her feet are propped up on the counter, her body lounging in the high backed stool she's seated in, and she's reading a magazine. She's dressed in torn jeans and a band tee, her bubble gum snapping as she blows a bubble, and he can see a wad of chewed gum stuck to the bottom of her nikes. Her long black locks, slightly curly, are pulled back in a high ponytail to keep the locks from obscuring her vision. The last time he saw her like that, she came to work directly after working out at the gym.

“Hello, Meg,” he greets his friend.

“Clarence!” she says a bit loudly. “How the hell are ya? I been waiting all day for your feathery ass to show up, you're late. Those douches at the frat house giving you a hard time again? Just say the word and I'll kick their asses.”

“Words can't harm me, Meg... but I appreciate the offer,” he states with a small smile.

Cas has met many people, but he's never come across someone like Meg. She isn't a girly type, always dressed in jeans and tee shirts, and whatever is on her mind will inevitably be blurted out. There's no worry over how it'll make someone feel, if it's the truth she's going to say it. Their friendship is very unconventional and even Gabriel doesn't really understand it, but it's the only friend he's ever made. That being the fact, the archangel allows it as long as Castiel doesn't hesitate to smite the demon should she go bad again.

“What author ya stuck on this week, babe?” she questions.

“Um... Edgar Allen Poe,” Cas answers quietly as he glances at her magazine.

“Now that's a guy I can sink my teeth into! Come on, I'll help you find more of his work!”

This is how their days together always start. They converse a little bit, and then the two head off into the towering shelves of books within the two story building. Meg works in the library every weekend and sometimes a few days a week if she's bored, it keeps her out of trouble and she's a closet bookworm herself. She navigates the aisles like a captain in the open ocean, so easy and practiced, and soon they're standing in the correct section.

Just as always, they gather a couple armfuls of books and head back to the front counter. Meg pulls a second high backed stool up beside her vacated one for Cas, stacking the books on either side so they can read together. There's no one else in the library today, Meg mentioned that during their trek, so they're alone and don't have to be quiet. It's a small relief as they fall into the usual companionable silence riddled with soft conversation.

“I won't be able to stay all day like I normally do,” Castiel sighs as he turns the page.

“Why the hell not? Your warden demanding more attention?” Meg snickers. “I honestly don't understand your relationship with him. Are you sure he doesn't wanna bang you or something?”

“I'm positive. He's like my father, you know... he raised me for a long while,” the angel admits sheepishly. “I'm not very good with human interaction, I don't understand many things they say... like that frat boy that keeps offering me a lollipop. Why would he offer me candy everyday?”

“He's not, hun,” Meg remarks with a humored tone. “He's inviting you to suck him off.”

“... Suck him off what?”

“You know... give him head... a blow job?” she tries, with a sigh at his clueless expression. “He wants you to put his dick in your mouth so he can fuck you orally.”

The angels face goes pale at that, yet that's all that's needed. Meg understands Gabriel's worries now, this angel would get himself raped and killed within a day or two. She shakes her head with a chuckle, making a mental note to beat the shit out of that little punk later. No one messes with her adorably clueless friend.

The front door opens and closes, the footsteps of two people wandering in and heading to the back. They don't even say hello, although Meg greets them the minute they pass the front desk. Too absorbed in his book, Cas doesn't even bother looking them over. When he glances at Meg once more, she has a lecherous expression he's come to associate with lust on her face.

“Damn those two were fucking hot as Hell... and I would know,” she smirks. “Did you see them? I wouldn't mind breaking a hotel bed with one of them.”

“... They were aesthetically pleasing?” Cas wonders.

“Fuck, Clarence, don't talk like that. You sound like a damn robot,” she laughs. “And they were definitely pleasing. You need to loosen up, babe. You're so tense I doubt anyone could shove their dick up that ass of yours.”

He opens his mouth to say something back, yet thinks better of it. Even Gabriel has commented on how he needs to relax more. They talk a bit more about relationships, mostly Meg's as Cas has never been interested past a bit of stress relief. Meg likes a good one night stand, but occasionally she'll find someone that catches her fancy for a week or two. This time it's a woman by the name of Ruby. She's another demon, so Meg doesn't expect this relationship to last very long... but she knows it'll be fun while it lasts.

As they converse over their books, they can hear the footsteps of the two Meg's declared her next fling... hopefully a threesome. Most of the things she says Castiel overlooks, he knows she's just a very talkative person. Some of it he barely understands and she has to explain. Considering the fact she's a demon, she has an over abundance of patience for the curious angel.

“So, you never told me why you need to leave early,” she accuses. “I thought we were gonna go out for dinner and shit today.”

“I'm so sorry, Meg, it was last minute. Gabriel was told to expect company and he wants me there when they arrive. Hopefully tomorrow we can go out for dinner.”

“No shit, man. We don't get to spend time together anymore.”

“It's not intentional, I promise.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” she sighs as she turns a page of her book. “It's just... I've never had a friend like you. You're reliable, you don't care about my past, you're always there when I need you... doesn't it bother you that I'm your only friend? I mean... shouldn't you have some angel friends or something?”

There's a long bout of silence, the demon glancing toward Cas curiously. She's never asked a question he hasn't answered promptly before. His gorgeous blue eyes are filled with sadness and distant memory, the angel frowning slightly. Though he's staring at the pages before him, it's easy to tell he doesn't see what's written there. Just as she recognizes the pain of those memories in his eyes, opening her mouth to say he doesn't have to answer, Cas sighs and replies to the inquiry.

“... I don't prefer the companionship of my brethren,” he says quietly.

“... Would you like to tell me why, Clarence?” she wonders carefully.

“I don't belong in Heaven, I'm not like them,” he admits shamefully. “Even my wings are different from theirs. They're so colorful and bright and Heavenly, but mine... mine are just ugly.”

“I can't imagine anything about you to be ugly, Clarence,” Meg offers consolingly. “You're beautiful on the inside and out! I mean, who else would give someone like me a second chance? You're wonderful! Probably even better than any of those tools in Heaven!”

“Thank you, Meg,” he smiles softly. “You really are my best friend... even if you weren't my only friend.”

She laughs and pats him on the back, the sound lively and joyous. If anything, Meg knows how to live life to the fullest. The rummaging in the back continues. The two are getting curious now, wondering what those two could possibly be doing. Meg sighs and leaves her book open on the counter to the page she's on. Reluctantly, she heads over to see if they need any help. She may want to spend time with Cas, but she still has a job to do.

He goes back to his book, stretching out his hearing to listen to his friend. The conversation starts innocently enough, a man asking about the strange death a week ago. A jock had died during a frat party. He had fallen asleep in an empty room and they found him dead the next day, no clues to be found. Gabriel suspects a succubus, though even angels have difficulty tracking them down. It would seem the strange death has attracted the FBI if what Agent Smith says is true. He has a partner, Cas knows this by the footsteps, however they don't say much. They seem to be putting about behind Meg.

There's a clatter of something falling to the floor, the agent asking Meg to grab it for him. Suddenly, she hisses in pain and Castiel's eyes dart in that direction. Meg shouts out, the sounds of books toppling to the floor nearly drowning them out, and the angel rounds the counter to get to her. The dark haired woman rushes from between the aisles, falling and skidding along the tiles until she's halfway to Cas. A tall man with long sandy brown hair is just behind her, raising a black blade up and bringing it down. Meg screams and covers her head with her arms... but the blade never touches her. She peeks open an eye to find it lodged to the hilt in Castiel's forearm.

“What the fuck?” the tall man murmurs in shock.

The angel tilts his head to the side as he gazes upon the knife in his arm, reaching one hand over and yanking it from his limb. There's no blood, which only has the man in front of him ready to attack. Cas doesn't care for him, turning his back to face the demon he's protecting. Meg is in awe, though he can sense fear beneath it. He knows the blade the man used, it's a demon blade. Meg had one and told him all about it when they were comfortable enough with each other. In return Cas told her about the weapon of the angels, though Gabriel refuses to let him near them.

The second agent hurries to help out, skidding to a stop at the sight of the new threat. Cas doesn't look much like a threat, more like a professor that trains for long distance runs in his free time... it's not too far off. At the moment, he stands completely relaxed with a tilted head and confusion in his eyes. Meg is just standing from the floor, keeping the angel between herself and the men after her.

“Are you alright, Meg?” he asks without a care for those behind him.

“Yeah, Clarence, I'm fine... thanks to you,” she murmurs.

There's the sound of a shot gun going off, the angel not moving an inch as his back takes the brunt of the attack. His polo shirt is riddled with tiny holes now. With an irritated sigh he spares a glance for the two watching. The shot gun belongs to the second man. It's a sawed off and was likely hidden in his long coat when he came in. He's not as tall at the six foot four man beside him, but he's still taller than Cas.

“Meg, please leave,” the angel states. “There's no need for you to be here right now, I'll call you when everything has been dealt with.”

“I'm not leaving you here all on your own,” she frowns.

“What do you know, a monster with a conscience,” the shorter agent scoffs. “Isn't that a first.”

“Go fuck yourself!” the demon snaps. “Clarence is my friend, I'm not leaving him here with you two bloodthirsty assholes!”

The shorter of the two smirks, cocking the shotgun and taking aim once more. The discarded knife is back within the taller agent's hand, his body in an aggressive stance that uses his height for intimidation. Silence is deafening at the moment, senses heightened and tension at it's thickest. Someone slides a foot along the tile, getting ready to launch themselves at their opponent... and then the front door opens.

A presence Castiel is familiar with meanders in, the angel letting loose a breath of relief. The two agents hide their weapons, yet don't remove their gaze from their targets. Gabriel carries himself with an air of arrogance and mischief, his ever present grin falling a bit at the sight of the face-off. He hums to himself, noting a cut in Castiel's arm and tears in his shirt. That's all that's needed for the archangel to get pissed off. Gravity within the room seems to grow heavier, a blast of wind rushing outward from his form and slamming into everything surrounding him. He tries so hard to keep his cool.

“Cassy, you forgot your wallet,” he says in a playful scold. “What have I told you about remembering it? I can't have you missing lunch because you have no money, now can I?”

“I... uh... guess not,” the younger angel mumbles.

“And what should I find when I wander in but my precious little brother, whom I've raised since he was but a cherub, injured and awaiting his end,” the archangel states with a slightly unhinged laugh. “Now, give me one very good reason why I shouldn't smite the both of you for this insult!”

“Gabriel?” the taller of the two wonders. “The archangel? We're the nephilim.”

The archangel groans in irritation. Of all the reasons they could possibly find, they had to come up with the absolute best. Cas walks with Meg over to his brother, knowing introductions and explanations are on their way. Hopefully they're enough to dissuade Meg's death.