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My Fallen Angel - This Is Different

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Sam was hunched over on the ground, leaning weakly on the front wheel of the Impala with limp legs. Dean was crouching next to him, frantic to help with nothing to do. They were parked in front of the church where Sam almost closed the gates of Hell. Almost. Dean got there just in time, but Sam was sick anyway and he couldn’t stop it. If Cas were here, he could just heal him, Dean thought. But is anything that simple in their lives? No. Cas said he was damaged on a level that even he couldn’t fix, and he wasn’t here. Dean tried praying to Cas, saying that they needed him, but the other end was silent, leaving them on their own.

 

Sam wheezed on the ground, losing his grip on his clear vision and drifting off in the splotches of black scattering in his eyes. Dean grabbed his arms for the third time and gave him a good shake, begging him to stay awake, to breathe, to keep his god damned eyes open. He refused to let Sam go. Never has, never will. Right after they could start fixing everything they've broken, he refused to let Sam leave him. He finally opened his eyes for a moment with all the strength he could wring out of his deflated body, but his strength quickly drained as they closed again.

 

That’s when the sky then lit up above them with a sitting storm just waiting to pour. The strange cloud almost glowed. A storm brewing with no storm, or any signs of it. It was just... sitting there waiting for something to happen. They were extremely suspicious, but they didn't have time to care, so neither of them took much notice. God, where the hell was Cas?

 

“It’s gonna be okay, Sammy. Alright, just stay with me, okay? You gotta stay with me.” Dean begged, shaking his shoulders lightly and patting his arms desperately. Sam nodded faintly and straightened himself as much as he possibly could. "Yep, I'm good" He coughed out. A straight up lie and they both knew it. But Dean needed to hear it. He really wasn’t good. He could feel himself rotting, the sick scorching the back of his throat as a painful reminder. But he needed to live, for Dean. He needed to prove that he wasn’t going anywhere. He couldn't leave them now. He couldn't. For as long as he could, he'd stay awake. For his family, Dean and Cas. Wherever he was.

 

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Cas woke up strapped in Naomi’s chair and seeing her lifeless vessel sprawled out on the desk pouring blood, startling him into alertness. It was both a scare and a relief to see her corpse still as stone on the table. The feeling wasn’t long lived.

 

Cas could feel cushions of the chair digging into his back from all the painful memories of his experiences in this exact spot as the memories flashed by his eyes. Shaking himself sane, Cas looked around wildly for clues on where he was and what the hell was going on. He came up with nothing, to his fearful annoyance. That was until he saw the person standing across the room as his heart dropped.

 

Metatron stood across from him and had the 'interrogating' tools pushed aside, and a copper bowl with a familiar piece of stone set beside it, the stone he stole. The stone he wrote. He had various ingredients shoved in the containers and spilled all over, dangerous and rare ones that were a pain in the ass to find. From what Cas could infer, the spell had almost been completed, only one or two ingredients and whatever destruction was stirring in that bowl would erupt into effect. He had a vile clutched in his hand with a peculiar charm that Cas would know anywhere, one he knew in his core. A grace charm, for keeping an Angel's grace.

 

Metatron leaned over to Castiel with a cloaked smile and a wicked eye, hovering over him like a vulture. A contently peaceful, sick, vulture. He held an angel blade delicately in his hand, grazing his finger across the razor-sharp edge as Castiel bucked against his restraints with fury in his eyes and a pitch-black, cold pit in his gut.

 

Metatron waltzed over to Castiel, whom was helplessly bolted down to the chair, and looked to him with softly deceiving eyes, bending down to his level before held a glass vile to his throat and dragged the blade across with a grunt of pain from Cas. Castiel's Grace was shining out of the cut and flowed out into the glass, draining from his body as his body screamed for its return. Metatron swept his hand over the slice and it was gone, like nothing ever happened. Like nothing changed.

 

He could feel the power being sucked from his vessel. He felt himself weaken. He felt nauseous and dizzy, and abnormally warm. His heart was beating like a motor and his eyes were feral and alert. He didn't feel that spark of control or power in his grasp, the serenity of reign and dominance. He didn't feel his grace anymore. There was nothing but a sore ache in his body and a throbbing headache. No, no, no, no, no, this can’t be happening. Please, no.

 

“I want you to live this new life to the fullest. And when you die, and your soul comes to heaven; find me. Tell me your story." He said, his tone calmer than any sane person should have in that moment.

 

He was…. Human. He sank into the chair. Never in his entire existence has he felt this venerable. In an instant Metatron snapped his fingers he was falling from the sky, flames surrounding him. The next thing he knew he was lying on the ground, broken and defeated, consumed in black nothingness.

 

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The Winchesters were just left witness to the falling sky, pieces of Heaven coming crashing down to Earth. Dean assumed they were meteors and shrugged them off, having more important things to do, but something just seemed off to the other Winchester. Sam (being the nerd he is) keeps up on these kinds of things and no meteor showers were expected anytime soon or anywhere near where they were. It just didn't seem right.

 

“What's happening?” Sam asked in worried confusion. Both brothers looked up at the puzzling phenomenon until finally, it clicked in Dean’s brain what was going as one of the stars had a body, and wings. Crowley said something about the Angels before he zapped off, but Dean didn't get it until now.

 

“The Angels. They’re falling.” Dean said breathlessly. They both sat and watched powerless as they saw a particular Angel fall fairly close to the church. He fell in a pit a few miles out. For some reason, Dean was drawn to it. He didn’t know why, but he just seemed familiar, comforting, and… fearful. Set on figuring out what, or in this case who, fell down in that clearing, Dean got up from the ground and revved up the Impala. The feeling he had in his gut nagged at him with something he could pin down. It almost felt like possession, but something he felt low and deep inside told him otherwise. This just felt different.

 

He managed to haul Sam into the Impala and drove towards a small clearing down the road to where it landed. He told Sam to stay behind before he got out of the car. Sam of course rebelled against the order and attempted to get out, saying he needed to help. But the drowsiness got the best of him as he ran out of gas trying to sit up and he dozed off in the back seat. When Dean jogged over to the crash site to investigate the blasted area, he saw an excruciatingly recognizable trench coat lying on the ground, covered in dirt and blood. Oh, God no.

 

He bolted down into the pit to find Castiel knocked out lying on the ground. He had burn marks on his arms, with cuts and bruises all over. He dropped on his knees and gripped Cas’ arms tightly, praying he was alive, even though he knew it was a useless plead. He was too desperate to care. He searched for a sign of consciousness but found none. Nothing except dead weight and cold skin.

 

No, no you can't leave me now. You can’t do this to me. Please Cas, please don't leave me now. I need you, I need you to wake up! Please, not now!

 

“Cas, you there, buddy? Cas!” Dean started to shake his shoulders to make him open his eyes, say something, do something. "Cas, you need to wake up, please, Cas! Wake up!" He screamed desperately, his voice almost cracking from the rawness. With that, Cas opened his eyes.

 

After scrambling to his feet with Dean’s assistance, he slowly stood up fully, taking in his surroundings. He set his gaze on the man above him, regaining his focus. Once he came to he suddenly stumbled over to the Impala and directed his gaze to the sky, praying everything was fine. Please, tell me it isn't true...

 

Just to Castiel's luck, it was. The Angels were falling and crashing into the Earth. His brothers and sisters being banished from their home, his home. Dean watched Castiel’s heart sink and his balance melt away. Tears were starting to form in his eyes and his lips started trembling a little as Dean rushed over to catch him. He wrapped his arms around him, guarding his angel from this nightmare and keeping him standing.

 

“No, no, no this can’t…..” Cas cried as he fell into Dean’s arms, melting into him.

 

“No, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry...” Dean held him tighter letting the tear drops soak through his jacket. He let Cas nuzzle his head on his shoulder, letting him closer than he’d ever allow before. He didn't care about his stubborn act anymore, or that this would have been awkward for him. Cas was breaking, and he wasn't going to let him fall to the broken alone like he did, like he let him do before.

 

"No, no-I can't.... I didn't mean to......" Cas whispered and cried desperately. Dean gripped Cas' shoulders and spoke low into his ear, willing himself to believe what he was about to say.

 

“I’ve got you, Cas. It’s gonna be okay, Cas. It’s gonna be okay.” Dean chanted into his ear. Cas clung to Dean like there was no tomorrow, letting the tears flow down his cheeks. He's never cried in his entire existence, or really felt sadness or feelings at all until he left Heaven with the Winchesters. He never knew or understood the power of human emotions until now, how weak he’d become. He didn't dwell on the thought, the only thing on his mind was how he betrayed his family, how they we’re being thrown out, and everything else that happened to him, to his family up until now. He didn’t mean to, he didn’t want this to happen. He went cold as he heard his brothers screaming in confusion and pain, falling from the Divine and his body started to drip down his trench coat.

Chapter Text

  “Cas, we have to go.” Dean urged as he realized Sam was losing strength to keep his eyes open. They couldn't help them even if they wanted to, anyway. Not now. 

           Cas finally turned away as Dean nudged him to the passenger seat, since Sam was now lying down in the back. Dean confirmed that he was stable enough to sleep, for now. Not for long, but for now.  

 Dean set a course for the hospital and went on their way, trying to keep his panic under control and the speedometer under ninety. He’s had bad hunts, he’s seen death, he’s lost and seen more than his fair share, but this situation almost had seen Dean break. Watching his brother rot to death and his.... Best friend lose all of his hope and strength. Cas just wasn’t their Cas anymore, for better or much, much worse. It was a few minutes of silence in wincing, aching pain before Dean mustered up the courage to bring up his question of the evening. 

           “Cas, are you okay?” Dean asked cautiously as he gave him a once over. He certainly wasn’t as bad as Sam, but he looked dinged up pretty good. Cas cowered away from the question, delaying the inevitable. He sulked in on himself and took a breath, trying to find the strength and will to explain how he let Metatron trick him, steal his Grace, and banish the Angels from Heaven. He hitched his breath and muttered out the words he finally found on his tongue. 

            “I... I’m…… I’m human." Cas paused for a moment to let reality sink in, an ache growing in his backside. "I’m human, Dean.” He said, now turning towards the hunter. Dean gripped the steering wheel tighter and bit his lip, willing away his anger and restraining his burning confusion. 

            “What?” This didn’t make sense. How could that happen? Why? Dean started a loop in his head as it started to spin. After having an internal panic, Dean started to notice that Cas wasn't healing himself and he was still wincing in pain from the fall, telling him this was really happening.             

“Metatron tricked me. He stole my Grace to finish the spell to close off Heaven.” He sighed timidly as his voice shook with something of sadness or anger, or both. Cas looked broken, ruined. He felt hopeless, helpless, and everything stung with every short, wheezing breath he sucked in. The world started to look fuzzy and unfocused. Is this normal? 

           “Cas, I’m sorry. None of this should’ve happened.” He said, shaking his head trying to shake off the mountain of guilt dumping on his shoulders for later before frowning to Cas. Dean now started notice that Cas looked a little drowsy and his eyes were falling heavy. Maybe Cas should get checked out too. It seemed to be getting worse as Cas was struggling to keep his head upright. Then he saw blood splotching on the leather, red and brown stains making anew as more poured out down his back. Cas’ head finally fell to the side and the pain threatened to take him under.  

Dean pulled over almost yanking the steering wheel out of the dash, barely looking at the road with his eyes glued on Cas as he slammed the breaks. He tried restraining it as best he could, but the stop of the Impala was still harsh and abrupt. He didn’t wake Sam, to his relief, but not surprise. Dean looked over at him again and saw Cas' eyes were growing heavier and distant, the blue hue almost grey as the crimson covered the Impala’s sacred leather cover. In the moment, Dean couldn’t possibly find it in himself to give a shit. 

          “What happened?” Dean asked urgently, patting Castiel's shoulder in an attempt to keep him awake. It had little effect. Cas was having trouble focusing and the blood was starting to pool at the bottom of the seat. Cas didn’t give an answer, at least not one he could hear. Dean went around the car to check on him and he told Cas to sit up. He did, but not without major effort while releasing more of the warm, precious liquid from the jaggedly ripped trench coat. He could feel a sharp, white stinging pain in his back, gushing warmth as it took the heat from his body.  

Dean looked over his back and saw two large, messy slices running down either side of Cas’ backside. They ran all the way down, and they looked deep. Whatever or whoever did this wasn’t very efficient, as there were rips in Cas’ skin all the way through the meat that made up his now permanent vessel. Dean gawked at the blood loss, Cas now flushed white and his eyes fluttering to stay open.  

         “Oh, shit." Dean sighed a lot louder than he intended to, surprised that his voice was undisturbed. At least one part of him was holding it together. "Hold on, Cas. You gotta stay awake, okay?” He said frantically, putting his palms to Cas’ cold cheeks repeatedly.  A bone chilling, shaking sensation in his core from all the blood loss made him shiver. It was an odd sensation to feel, none the less. Being drained, sucked away by gravity. Dean ran to the trunk to grab a stock pile of flannel from his duffel and pressed them on the wound.  

"You have to keep pressure on it, can you do that?" Cas nodded and mouthed a small ‘thank you' and leaned on them the rest of the ride. Dean made small talk to keep Cas awake and aware, asking him questions and telling him stories as he didn’t know what else he could do. Dean was actually rambling at this point, but it helped keep him distracted. Somewhat. His brother was slipping off in his sick and his best friend was pouring himself out. Any sane person would be in complete hysterics by now, so he thought he was doing just peachy. The blood flow was slowing down from Cas’ wound, but not enough to Dean's liking, as Cas was still fading. Dean didn’t like it, but it was enough. It was something. 

Dean checked on Sam one last time and he seemed to be going along good enough for the time being. His fever was still burning like hellfire, he was still pale and sleepy with the occasional fit of slight shivers, coughs, and some blood now staining his lips and chin, little coherency in his eyes on the rare miracle moments he opened them. But, none the less, he was doing better than before. He had to carry the damn guy out of the church, and Dean was pretty sure the giant even passed out. More than once.  

Dean got the blanket from under the seat and turned on the heat to try to warm Sam up a bit. He hasn’t thrown up, but Dean was expecting to see the symptom sooner rather than later. There was nothing else he could except keep Cas awake with his bullshit macho stories, which weren’t his best if you asked those lucky people who stumbled on next to Dean in the bar and got to listen in, but they were what he had in the moment. Cas didn't say anything. He just nodded and shook his head at all of Dean's questions. Cas' breathing got shallow and his face started to flush more until he practically looked dead.  

"Cas, you need to stay awake, okay? Just for a few more minutes." He cooed, noting that Cas was also now shivering. Dean kept his hand on Cas' shoulder to keep track of his breathing and try to comfort him to prevent shock as Cas took kindly to the notion, nuzzling into the warmth with his icy figure with as much strength as he had to spare. 

Dean called Kevin for some more details on the effects of the trials in the meantime of the long, still, and stark road he was speeding across. Specifically, how to reverse them for Sam's case. It took him a few minutes, but Kevin finally found a mention of a reverse spell in his notes, letting Dean in on the fact he’d done a slight pick pocketing of Crowley's stuff earlier. Dean snapping at him to get back on the job, Kevin then explained the spell would reverse the damage, but also undo the trials. Dean took it in a heartbeat. Screw the trials, screw Hell, he just needed Sam alive. It wasn't full proof, and they both knew it, but it was a plan. It was the best one they had. It was the only one they had. So, Dean asked for Kevin to keep him updated and hung up as he slowed the Impala. 

Dean found the red cross on the large building and pulled in, opening his door before he even set it in park. Sam hurled himself up and rubbed his eyes, feeling the engine shut off and the hum of the machine fade into the crisp night. He saw the blaring red sign and snapped his head to Dean. 

"No. No way." Sam slurred, shaking his head in a messy motion. He looked drunk at this point, just not the fun kind. This kind of delirious was worse. The worst.. He tried to get up to show that he was fine, but he failed to prove his point that they both knew was wrong. Dean rolled his eyes and looked back at him in the dim back seat with a stubbornness that demons would baulk under. 

"Yes, we're going. Even if I have to drag you in. This trial stuff was no shit. Just a few days, until we can figure out how to fix this. Besides, Cas needs stitches, and antibiotics. So, either way, you're going in. We good?" Dean more of ordered than asked, no room or time for an argument. Sam sat up more and looked ahead of him to where Cas was. And sure as shit, he was bleeding, his face was pale, and his eyes were mere slits trying to stay open. 

"What the hell happened?" Sam asked as loud as his lungs would allow. He was an Angel, for God's sake. Literally, God’s sake. How could this happen? Why wouldn't he just heal himself? Why can't he? 

"He's an Angel!" Sam said, prying for an explanation. Dean inhaled sharply and leaned over, his face grim. 

"Sam, he's human." He couldn't hide the confusion or concern if he tried. Sam was about to bring up a million more questions and attempt to shout a million more phrases of disbelief and denial, but Dean was out of the Impala walking over to Cas' side. Sam nodded to himself, noting to save those questions for later and slid down to the doorway that Dean opened. By the time his legs were dangling out of the car, Sam was spent. Without a whisper of complaint, Dean grabbed his arm and hauled his body to his side, the limp like arm sagging around Dean’s neck. 

They finally reached the hospital and both Sam and Cas were admitted hastily. Dean stumbled in with Sam on his left, Cas on his right dripping blood on the white tile, and both of his wounded slouching in exhaustion. Horrified gasps, yells, and an ‘oh, my god!’ were the only sound in the emergency room. The men didn’t say a word as the nurses called out orders, beds being rolled in and both Sam and Cas being taken from Dean’s sides. 

 They were taken away and Dean followed close behind until a nurse with thick, glossy black curls stopped him and shooed him in the other room with the help of the rest of the staff. Five nurses with the help of the secretary shoved him into  

He sat in the room for exactly two minutes and twenty-three seconds before an officer stepped in, stoic and the smallest bit intrigued. He gestured for Dean to sit, but his eyes demanded his obedience. Dean didn’t think this was the best time to get in trouble, so he pulled back a chair. Anything to get this over with. 

The officer leaned back in the stern furniture and looked the man in front of him up and down. Usually with sudden tragedies like this, people would be shaken, disturbed and hysteric. And Dean was sitting still across from him, looking down at the stains on the table. His eyes showed empty memories. His face showed torture, war, betrayal, and loss. This wasn’t his first rodeo. He wasn’t mad, or crying, or anything. He was too determined that they would live, that he would make sure they lived to feel anything of his own. It made the officer... disturbed. 

“So... you three just happen to waltz in here with a near dead sick man, and some of the worst lacerations this hospital’s ever seen just out of the blue?” He said thickly, laying his elbows on the table as he leaned forward, tangling his fingers together. Even though he didn’t send any anger, Dean could sniff it out in his sleep. His face didn’t move, and his voice didn't waver. He was trying to intimidate him because he didn’t know what happened. His job is to protect, and he’s doing a damn good one, Dean had to give it to him. He was protecting his people. He could respect that 

Dean didn’t respond, chewing the inside of his cheek as a stern answer of silence. The officer nodded stiffly and stuck out his lips, puzzling together Dean’s stubbornness.  

“You’re gonna tell me exactly what happened out there, Rodger. And you’re gonna tell the truth.” He growled out, reading the name on Dean's “I.D”. Dean really thought about his next move, as it was a critical one to make for all three of them. If he told him a lie, that’d just make them dig deeper and make an investigation, and if he told the truth, they’d say he’s lying and pry him for what “really happened”, as that would only be logical on their part. His best move was the question card. 

“I don’t know.” He sighed gruffly before tipping his head up to the expecting officer, Jacob, Dean inferred from his named badge. Dean didn’t let his guard down, but he showed a silver lining of honesty, his eyes strong yet earnest. 

“I don’t know what the hell happened.” He repeated with more remorse scratching his throat. Now, part of this is true. Things were going okay with the trials, then he found that damn rag in the trash and everything went to Hell. Things with Cas were strained and he was pissed at the guy after the whole tablet thing, but it didn’t mean he wanted Cas to die. He couldn’t find it in himself to be upset with him anymore. He couldn’t handle that much shit in his brain. 

Everything happened so fast. Now they have rouge fallen Angels, a war for Heaven and Hell, and a fallen Angel of their own, without any mojo juice left in the tank. And Dean thought the Apocalypse was messy. 

From what Dean could tell, Jacob believed him. For the first time since the officer stepped foot in the room, the man showed empathy toward Dean. This cop was different than the others (many, many, others) he ran into. He wasn’t a loose grip man, but he showed respect as much as he demanded it. He realized that the people he had to interrogate were people. 

Jacob nodded downward solemnly before removing himself from his seat, letting Dean go with a nod to the door. To check on his family. Dean was sure this wasn’t a done deal, but it was enough. It was some time. Time he was aching to reach. He didn’t need to be told twice.  

Dean made a sharp turn to the check in desk to where the nurse was filing paperwork, and her eyes widened in surprise at the man who brought two emergency cases in on his shoulders not more than ten minutes ago. She eventually levelled herself and told him where the rooms of “Jeremy and Caston Campbell” were located down the hall. Dean nodded in short thanks and burst down the hallway, scanning the rooms until he found 241 and 247, which were across from each other.  He opened Cas’ door first, and nothing could have prepared him for the sight.  

Cas was unconscious and motionless on his deathbed, machines buzzing and beeping the only sound in the room. He couldn’t even breathe on his own at this point. The Angel of the Lord that Dean met in that barn was gone, replaced with something different, unknown. Dean couldn’t breathe. His body refused to function at that moment, and he could feel himself getting light-headed. It was too much for him to process, so he stormed to Sam’s room. 

Sam’s condition wasn’t better, and made his stomach drop all the same. He wasn’t conscious, but he was breathing on his own, with the help of extra oxygen. His heart rate was slowly dropping, and Dean knew he didn’t have much time left before the trials took Sam’s last breath. This was too his deathbed. He stormed back outside to call Kevin, and maybe panic. 

  Cas was taken care of and put on antibiotics and painkillers from what Dean heard from the doctors. All that good first-class stuff. He was finally allowed to sleep after he was stabilized, which he gratefully accepted after Dean was dragged for questioning. Sam was in a bad condition but wasn't put in the ICU, thank God. Dean laughed to himself for the thought of the bastard that made all of this the way it is. I bet he’s in Costa Rica chugging Pina Coladas. If he’s even alive. 

Dean stepped outside after giving over his insurance and called Kevin again. Sam was getting worse by the minute, they didn't have time. Kevin picked up quickly. Despite that, Dean was about ready to scream his throat raw in fear, or frustration. Probably both. 

"Kev, what do you got?" Dean asked, trying his hardest not to raise his voice. Luckily, Kevin didn’t waste his breath. 

"I found the ingredient list and how to do the spell, but you're not gonna like it." Kevin warned cautiously. Dean pinched the bridge of his nose and paced in the parking lot, patience floating from his fingertips. Kevin held silent on the other end before he took a breath, annoying Dean to impossible measures. He wasn’t really mad at the kid, but he was on short straws. Scratch that, he was completely out of straws that weren’t even his in the first place. 

"Dean, we need her for this-" Dean cut him off with an indescribable noise of frustration, already knowing the red head whore he was talking about. 

"No. No way. Anything but that." Dean stood his ground, refusing to work with that bitch again. With her little voice and just peachy attitude made his blood boil. 

"Dean-" Kevin waned, raising his voice before Dean got the chance. In that moment, Dean was reminded of the full capacity of the situation, and who he was talking to. This was Kevin. He didn’t pick the golden ticket to be Prophet of the Lord. The kid wanted a degree and a white picket fence, he's told them more than once. It was a miracle Kevin was even talking to Dean, helping them, alive 

"Okay, okay. I'll... I'll get her." He strained, the pressure of his rage pushing on his forehead and constricting his throat. Dean hung up and ran his hands through his hair in fury before jerking it back to his side, where his phone was burning a hole in his pocket. He cursed at himself before dialing, impatiently waiting for her vile voice on the other side. She finally picked up, the other line noisy in the back-ground. People were murmuring, and subtle music was playing. 

"Hello, Dean. What's the chat for? Do you finally have my stuff I left at your place?" Rowena tested in her bittersweet tone. Dean would usually bark back with “Sure, the rest of your ego is up my ass” or “finders keepers, bite me”. But he reined himself in. He almost said it, though. Almost. 

"Cut the crap. I wanna make a deal." Dean said tasting every foul word fall out of his mouth. He still couldn't believe he was doing this until he looked up to the starkly lit building to his side, where Sam was dying. Where Cas was dying. He’d do anything to keep those two dorks alive, and this would keep his brother alive. So, he swallowed his pride and strode through it. For Sam. 

"Oh, sweetie, I thought you learned your lesson by now.” She sighed with a laugh at the edge of her tone. “Oh, well. To each their own." She shrugged through the phone with a deep hatred that only Dean could feel. She paused, and her voice went lower and stern. "What's in it for me, Winchester?" Rowena asked, her tone condescending with light and kind, and pure bitch. It unsettled Dean down to his bone. 

"I need your help." Dean sighed, hating the fact he was going through with this, but brushing it off as best he could, nonetheless. 

"Do I need to repeat myself, Dean?" Rowena huffed into the phone with a higher pitch, indicating she was starting to get annoyed. Dean knew what she was talking about. He shouldn't be giving this up, any rational person would say this is a stupid idea. But he was just desperate enough. 

"I'll...." His words got caught in his throat, a web making the words tick to his tongue, not allowing him to speak. Instead, he came up with a last-minute trade that he would probably regret later. 

"Alright, I'd owe you one. Deal?" Dean asked, the hot rage threatening to boil his brain to mush. Rowena paused, just to annoy him, push him a little more. Dean was about to take it as a no until she spoke up. 

"Fine. Where should we set up our date?" She goaded. Dean rolled his eyes and gave her the name of the hospital, St. Peters. Not another breath was heard on the other line before she hung up, and then there was silence. 

 The next two hours Dean stayed outside, thinking. There was too much to deal with. All the Angels. On Earth. It's a shit show. He didn't know what to do. They were going to take vessels sooner or later, and that was a whole new issue. It's a damn miracle they need permission to jump in the long pig pool. Crowley’s in the wind, and Abaddon is trying overthrowing downstairs, making demons all the more of a pain in the ass. And Cas... Cas was another story altogether. What the hell is he supposed to do? 

The nerves made him sick, his organs doing gymnastics without his consent. Everything twisted and knotted, so much so it made it hard to move. He couldn’t lose them. He refused to live without Sam. Always has, always will. He needed the nerd more than he needed himself. Even when they’re pissed at each other, he still needs him. That’s something that can’t be broken. And Cas... 

Dean’s throat clenched at the name. Cas was his best friend. The one that always stuck around. He’s died, sure, but he always came back. He always came back. More than that, he never gave up on them. He should have a long time ago, but he didn’t. They’ve hurt each other, betrayed each other, even threatened to kill each other but they were still friends. They were still brothers, no matter what. 

Something jammed Dean’s overflow of thought when the words ‘friend’ and ‘brother’ came up next to Castiel’s name. All his words came pouring out into the back of his throat, mixing on his tongue. Of course, Cas is a brother, how couldn’t he be? He’s damn well earned it. Then the other voice chimed in. He’s earned a lot more than that, whether he tried or not. You need him, more than you’ve needed any other girl in your life. You know that, have ever since he opened purgatory. 

Dean has had this argument with himself a million times and he still can’t figure out what the fuck was going on in his brain. Ever since he met the Angel in that old barn he felt different, new. He thought it was because he was, well, an Angel. Not to mention the one that pulled him back topside. It was just logic that they were bonded some way.  

Then theory started to make less and less sense as time went on. It wasn’t just the mojo, it was just Cas. His hilarious faces, his amusing confusion, and his ongoing love for Earth and humanity. More than even that, he was hot. Just the thought of his body sent a shiver down his spine. 

He’s told himself more than he can say that he was NOT gay towards his Angel friend. Well, it never worked, but he tried. Those late nights when he couldn’t get it up, he thought of Cas. He thought of fucking him against the wall, Cas pinning him on the bed and sucking him dry or screwing his brains out, wrapping his lips around his cock. All these images would pile up and overwhelm his senses and by then he was coming. He’d always drink away the guilt afterward, but in the moment, it felt too good to refuse.  

Dean felt his pants starting to tent and he shook away the thoughts because god dammit, this was NOT the time. Sam and Cas were both dying and he’s grabbing boners like a teenager. Sam is only hours away and just the memory of Cas on that damn bed made him want to throw up. The more he thought about it, the more his jeans relaxed to their usual state. 

“Son ova bitch.” Dean muttered, sliding his hand down his face.

Chapter Text

 Just then Dean heard the click of heels down the dark alley, and the outline of a long, slim coat and a large hood that hugged a tight abdomen and a small waist with flawless hips. She came a few more steps forward until the streetlight shown off her fiery red hair and the eccentric cat eye that was truly Rowena’s wicked touch. 

She came to the side of the wall next to where Dean was standing, her posture tightened and precise. She took off her hood, letting her hair cascade down and her bouncy curls flow at her neck like flames. Dramatic entrance. 

"Long time, no see. What calls for the quick visit?" Rowena chirps. Dean doesn't toil on the remark as he pulls his phone out to show the pictures of the demon tablet translations. Rowena's eyes widen as she places her hand over her chest dauntingly. 

"Can you read this?" Dean asks with no room for funny business in his tone. She ponders on whether to toy a little longer but thinks better of it. Angry and over emotional Winchesters were not something that she would consider entertaining rather than just plain irritating. 

"Yes, I can, dearie. Why would you need a spell from... “The holy Trials for the Devil's Gate"? What have you done now?" She retorts thicker than bloody molasses, knowing exactly why he needs this spell. He isn't exactly a nice Nancy, so why should she be?  

Dean doesn't care less about giving her an explanation. "Ingredients. How do we get them?" He almost growls. Rowena shows no reaction but gives up the act. Well, some of it. 

"The eye of one of God's damned, the stone of David, and a few other things. You don’t happen to have some in your pocket?" She asked, tilting her head with her fake puppy eyes. 

 Great. How the hell are you supposed to just stumble on the stone of David, and the eyes of whatever you call it? He let his forehead rest in his hand as he let out an annoyed grunt of frustration. 

"Oh, come on sweetie, I have most of this stuff in my trunk. The stone of David though might be a little trickier." Rowena sighed as she strode back down the alleyway. She walks back with a small, black bag and sets them down on the hood of Dean's Baby. He flinches as she dares to lay a hand on her, but he complies. For Sam. 

"One moment." Rowena says holding up her finger and daintily dialing numbers on her phone. Dean heavily confined his anger, every buzz of the hold line making his blood vibrate. You've got to be kidding me. 

She turns her back to Dean as someone picks up. Dean has no idea who she could be talking to, but he didn't have time to ask as Rowena was walking back to the alleyway with no further action. He couldn't hear the other end of the call, but he could still hear Rowena. 

"Yes, it’s Rowena, you swinely brute... I'm calling it in... The stone of David.... You better not, I'm not as fragile as I look. You of all people should know that…. Yes, that’s what magic was made to do........ You know I could. Right now, if I wanted to....... Just bring it, you doaty, scrabby hackit.” And with one last eye roll and huff of annoyance, she hung up and strode back to the Impala. 

"What the hell was that all about?" Dean asked clearly aggravated, but genuinely curious. She didn't turn back to him and stayed silent for a moment as if thinking on a strategic answer. The only thing keeping him from yelling was his confusion and the fact that he needed to get that spell more than getting an angry red head. She placed the ingredients in the bowl silently and turned to him with an exasperated sigh, pretending to be annoyed by his confusion.  

"You two lumberjacks and the little Halo dink aren't my only allies. I have my sources." She cooed calmly, going back to the task at hand as Dean cringed at the misname Rowena made to Cas. Just like that, a man came to be standing in the alleyway, lashing his black eyes in a mischievous glare. Oh yeah, let’s just have a fucking fiesta, Dean mumbled to himself. Rowena held up an annoyed finger to finish her work before walking over at a brisk pace, displeased expression clear as cold glass. 

They exchanged a few words, with the man handing Rowena a small box stiffly, shaking his head at her. She nodded without another word and waved her hand as she turned her heel, and the man was gone with the stench of sulfur. 

"What just happened?" Dean asked pointing to the alley, anger somewhat subsided into suspicion and growing urgency. Rowena just sighed and opened the box next to the rest of the ingredients. She pulled out a red, brown and orange stone and placed it in the bowl. The stone collected the small dusts on the bowl, making it look darker. 

"Merandus. He's one of the smaller demons, but he knows how to bargain, I'll tell you that. We've worked together a while ago and long story short, I got him out of a bug and he owed me a favor. Just like you!" She rambled on as she carried on with the spell after pointing to Dean, rubbing it in his face. Dean sat there dumbfounded and annoyed as he went over what happened. It wasn’t all that far-fetched, actually. Rowena was a sly woman, so it didn’t surprise him much. But he didn’t give it any more thought. 

The bowl then started to glow a bright orange and red with smoke, foaming up and lapping at the edges. Rowena smiled to herself as it dimmed. She sifted the fine powder at the bottom, slid it into a jar and handed it to Dean. 

"What do I do with it?" Dean almost sighed with relief.  

"He needs to consume it. Put it in his coffee, or something. The Moose won’t even notice. I'm sure he'll be fine, Dean." And with that, she was gone. She knew the whole time. Dean looked down at the glass vial swirling with foggy, bright yellow and orange smoke. Thank God.

Chapter Text

He found Sam in his room dozing off to the buzzes and beeping of the machines, twiddling his thumbs. He could barely turn his head from fatigue. He waved a little and gave him a lazy, goofy smile. Drugs, he's on drugs.  

Sam waved him over with slow movements as Dean walked forward. He was coherent enough to take things seriously, but he was still a little loopy. I wonder what he's on.  

Dean grabbed his mug and dumped the dust into the dark beverage. He nudged it towards Sam and told him to drink up. Losing his edge to the mystery fluid pumping in his arm, he chugged it in less than ten seconds. He slammed the cup down and bit his lips at the odd taste. 

"What the hell was that?" Sam asked, sticking his tongue out in distaste. Before Dean could answer, they saw a yellow orange glow spreading up Sam's veins. A burst of light emitted from Sam’s core, his eyes lighting up. It dispersed in his body as he took a large inhale, hurling himself forward. 

"What the hell was that?" Sam asked again, his voice sounding stronger. Dean smiled at him and he couldn't help but laugh in victory, almost hysterical. 

"Kevin got the spell." Dean sighed. Sam went over and pulled the IV out of his arm and grabbed his stuff without thinking. He was majorly improved, but he was still not all the way back yet, as he had to keep his hands on something to keep him standing straight. He got his phone and nodded to Dean, not needing to say anything.  

Dean led them down to Cas' room and saw that Cas was nowhere to be found. A nurse was in there taking a bag off the IV pole and saw the two standing there. 

"Can I help you?" She asked politely, eyeing between the two enormous men. 

"Yeah, my name is Dean, and this is my brother Sam. We're looking for our friend, Caston Cambell. You know where he is?" He asked looking around the room. She showed a look of confusion as she said that he was in operation. Dean shook his head to himself and forced himself to breathe. 

 Sam thanked her as he practically dragged Dean out and they went on their way outside. 

"What happened to him?" Sam prodded. They found a rusty bench outside to talk in private, Dean plopping down and rubbing at his headache. Sam wasn't good at standing for very long yet, so he stayed put for once.  

"Metatron tricked him to steal his grace and shove the gates closed to Heaven. And he fell. Once I found him he had those two slashes down his back." Dean recited. 

"How did he get them?" Sam questioned, fearing for the answer. Dean just shrugged solemnly and told him he didn't know.  

They sat there in silence for about an hour or two until Dean decided to go check if Cas was back yet. If he had to have a friggin' surgery, this was worse than they thought. He really was human. A terrible thought appeared in Dean’s head at that moment. What if he doesn’t make it?  

He shoved it down and swallowed it down to his gut, refusing to believe it. Refusing to think about it. Cas was gonna live, he had to. He was going to make sure of it, if it’s the last God damned thing he did. 

Dean came back to find Cas in his bed, unconscious and hooked to machines. It made his stomach drop. He was always the strong, deadpan, stern, Angel of the Lord he's come to love care about like family. He stood by them when no one else would. Given his mistakes (which were because of them, for them, and to protect them), he gave everything for them. And still he was given the bad end. Again. He barely looked like Cas. 

Sam was staying in a motel across the street while he got some shut eye, and he told Dean to give him an update. He was really just giving Dean space with Cas, but he didn’t mention it. He thought to give Dean some air before he lashed out. 

 So far, he's not looking good. Now that he was human, he would have feelings. Not that he didn't have them when he left Heaven, but they would be about ten times worse, or better, depending on how you think about it.  

They had no idea how he was going to come out of this. Judging by the breakdown in the clearing when Dean found him, it wasn't gonna be peachy. But he didn't care. No matter what state he was in, it was better than no Cas.  

It was about a week or two of Sam and Dean staying at the shitty motor inn across the way with terrible TV and greasy food, which was more than fine with Dean. Sam, not so much. He drove out to get some "real food", as he called it. Dean shrugged him off and ate his fries and bacon cheeseburger. They went on a case actually, when Sam recovered. It was nothing they couldn't handle, just a tulpa and annoying officers. It was once again some dumbass people not knowing what they were doing and put the believe it see it sticker in their apartment. 

Eventually, Sam was as good as new and Cas was taken off some of the machines. Sam visited sometimes, but there wasn't much to it since Cas was still out. The doctors said the gouge damaged both of his lungs and the outside tissue of his heart. Sam and Dean talked a lot in the meanwhile, Dean leaving out the part about Rowena. Things were just going back together, he wasn't going to bring it up now. He did what he had to do, end of story. 

Cas was sleeping for a total of three weeks before he opened his eyes. He wasn't in a comatose state, but he was pretty damn close to one. The damage was deep, for sure to leave scars and maybe even permanent damage, but they said he would be fine after a lengthy recovery and strong drugs. But this left wounds on Cas no one could heal.  

When Cas finally woke up the first thing he saw was Dean sitting next to the bed. His vision was still fuzzy, but he'd always recognize that jacket and old flannel anywhere. His voice didn't sound clear, but it was comforting and familiar. It took him a few minutes, but he could eventually make out what Dean was saying. 

"Yeah, this isn't really the best place to stay. But hey, it could be worse. Sam's better and he says hi. We've been on a couple of cases too. It wasn’t anything big, and so far, there’s no info on the Angels. They didn’t take vessels yet, so that’s a start. Soon your stitches will close and we'll be back in the bunker, and I can show you all the joys of bacon cheese burgers and all the junk food galore." Cas smiled softly and turned his head to Dean, who didn't even realize Cas was awake until Cas showed his teeth in a lazy smile 

"That sounds very nice, Dean." Cas slurred. Dean smiled and patted Cas on the shoulder, glad his Angelic formality hasn't changed. 

"Hey! There you are! Nice to see you awake." Dean said cheerfully. Cas rubbed his eyes and looked around the room looking puzzled. Last time he remembered being awake he was in the Impala. 

"Where are we? How long was I asleep?" Cas groaned. Dean leaned in to speak softer, trying not to freak him out from his jet lag. 

"We're in the hospital. You were asleep for three weeks, Cas." Dean almost whispered. Cas sat up in his seat with slight panic in his eyes and looked around the room again. 

“Is that normal?” Cas asked in his gravely tone, even in distress. Dean chucked a bit which left him confused. Why was this funny? 

“Yeah, I mean, for as bad as you were, that’s pretty normal.” Cas relaxed a bit and let his eyes go soft.  

They talked a bit before Cas went back to sleep. Dean stayed with him trying to get a few hours in himself, singing absentmindedly with the ringing of the machines. While Cas was in the hospital, Sam persuaded Dean to work a case nearby. It was a short one, but it was exhausting. Sam said he was getting some grub for later, and most likely hung up in a bar, now that he’s recovered. He told him to let Cas know he said hi and that he was doing good, as well as to give him an update, as usual. 

 Dean was watching some of the crappy hospital TV when he heard Cas shift a bit. He didn’t think anything of it until he started whimpering and murmuring nonsense in his sleep. He sounded scared and hurt. Dean just thought it was from the morphine wearing off and the nerves flowing back. Though he could have sworn he heard Cas mumbled his name.  

Chapter Text

Cas was suddenly standing in an empty field. This must be a dream. He called to Dean just to make sure and he heard no response. I was right. Besides, he was still in the hospital when he fell asleep, if memory serves correctly. Cas stepped forward but felt something next to his foot. It was the cold hard hand of a body. It was a small, blonde girl. It was his sister. Haniel. She’s had the same vessel for millennia. She was always one of the nicer Angels, one that saw Earth for what it really was, a true guardian of Humanity. She was in his Garrison.  

He looked around to find himself in the middle of a fresh graveyard. Everyone in his Garrison and more, still and stone cold on the ground with the ashes of their wings coating the soil. Their blood was fresh. It was on his hands. It was on the Angel blade in his hand. It was on his clothes. He knelt down next to his sister’s body. No, no, no……. No, I didn’t…… I never meant to…. Cas heard ominous whispering from above, below, behind, and everywhere else, talking to him. They knew him and they knew what he did. The voices clouded his mind. “Castiel….. the fallen, the broken, the disowned………. The Lord orders punishment……” Cas put his hands on his head as the tears started to pour down his face as they got louder and louder and screamed in his ears, the blood pouring from the bodies. He scraped at the walls of his brain for the sweet release of awareness, but the voices held him there, and they weren't letting go. No, no, no, I’m so sorry….. 

        The next week Cas was healing well and getting ready to go home. But his head became much worse. Every night, every time he went to sleep, Cas would have that same dream. Sometimes it made small changes, but it scarred him all the same. Cas wasn't used to human pain, to say the least. Physical or emotional. After that he wouldn’t talk, he wouldn’t eat, he wouldn’t do anything. He was human. Utterly, human. He was useless.  

Sam got him a coffee and made small talk when he came to visit. Cas drank it and gave a fond light smile. He didn’t answer much but he made small gestures. Cas was discharged a couple days later, but he was put on bed rest and sent home with some pills.  

Dean pretended not to notice Cas' mood change, but he did. He noticed how Cas shut down. He noticed how Cas glued his mouth shut only using it to eat, which he did rarely. He noticed how he tossed and turned at night, mumbling in fear. Dean thought about how he must feel. How he was once an almighty creature of God himself, damn close to indestructible, now a fragile bag of bones, meat and flesh with a whole new lower power. Dean tried to talk to him, but Cas was always able to dodge the question or make up an excuse not to answer.  

The day finally came when Cas was discharged, and Dean couldn’t pack up faster. This had been some of the hardest weeks of his life, let alone Cas. His scars were now a bright pink, just starting to turn white. It made Dean cringe every time he saw them, and Cas wince from pain, which just made it worse to see.  

Cas got up with a lot of assistance and grabbed his clothes as he started for the door, after thanking one of the nurses for his things, who blushed and stalked off with her ears bright red. Cas’ was about to walk out, but Dean lightly grabbed his forearm before he could leave. 

"You okay, Cas?" They stopped for a moment, staring at each other. The look on Dean’s face, that almost had Cas. He was one finger’s touch more away from just slipping into Dean. His heavenly power and purpose would shatter from the green light that man paraded without knowing it. But Cas rebuilt himself again, his thick shell hardening. Cas turned away from Dean and cleared his throat, not looking back at Dean’s face that he knew would break him. He took in a breath and shrugged off Dean's touch, changing the subject. 

"Sam said he started the car. We shouldn't keep him waiting." Cas said blankly and strode out the doorway, taking paced and struggling steps. He had to be wheeled out because of hospital policy, but Cas was reluctant to accept. He finally made his way to Baby where Sam was leaning on the door, a beer in hand. He didn’t meet his gaze and held his hand on the door, trying to steady his breath. Even short walks put him in agony, much to his annoyance and disappointment. 

 Cas shut out everyone and everything in the last couple weeks. He couldn't get a grip on his petty human emotions and the Angel radio had no mercy in his head, even when he was sleeping. He was no use to the Winchesters and they were bound to leave him sooner or later. He wasn't sure if he could handle that. He couldn't handle anything. It was all just too much. He thought he could accept his sins against Heaven, against Dean, but he was human now. Nothing else. Just a traitor fallen Angel stuck with no purpose, use, or meaning. 

 Dean found Sam parked outside, tossing Dean the keys. "The honor is yours to take." Sam bowed theatrically towards Baby. Dean smiled and landed himself in the car in sweet relief. Cas got in the back without another word, and Sam got out a cassette tape of some dumb country he liked. 

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Dean accused, his eyebrows knit together. Sam gave a confused shrug as Dean took it out of his hands as if to read it. He threw it out of the Impala and got out his AC/DC. 

"Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole." He said as Sam jokingly rolled his eyes. The rule would always stick, and they both knew that. 

            They drove back to the bunker, Cas sleeping in the backseat of the Impala, his back showing the pink scars from that unfaithful night from his tugged-up shirt, which fit him pretty damn well. All the drugs made him sleazy, so he was only awake for about four hours or so a day. Sam actually threw up from that greasy food he ate when they ran out of his. Sam had to lean out of the car and Dean thought he’d give him some “advice” for old times' sake.  

            “Hey Sammy, you know what sounds good right about now? A good old, greasy pork sandwich in a dirty ashtray.” Sam gave another gag at that, trying to control himself. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and got back in to the car. He looked Dean dead in the eye with a true bitchface and nagged, “I hate you.” Dean just put on a cheesy smile and taunted, “Yeah, I know you do.”  

Chapter Text

 Cas didn’t say anything when he got home. He just walked out of the car (with help from Sam) down to what was dubbed his room and set up camp. Dean finally got Baby parked and the trunk unpacked when he was hit with the smell of frying bacon. Sam was so happy to be back made lunch for everyone, the perky bastard.   

             “Oh my God, I missed our kitchen.” Sam yelled in happy relief as he bit into his BLT. “Oh my God, I missed BACON!!” He shouted as he handed Dean a sandwich. In the five minutes they’ve been home, he’d made bacon, cut up tomatoes and lettuce that was somehow in the bunker, and made sandwiches. Well, this wasn’t actually a big surprise to Dean. Sam was always a salad eating, yoga training early morning asshole. 

            “Take it easy, bud." Dean teased. When he took a bite of the sandwich he rolled his eyes in satisfaction. "Holy crap, you do make good sandwiches though” Dean admitted. There was one extra plate of lunch for Cas. He couldn’t just leave Cas hungry. He was human now, so the gesture wouldn’t be lost. He took one more bite and took the food to Cas' room. Cas was watching Netflix on the bed when Dean came in. He was really into Narcos. Huh. 

            “Hey, um, I thought you’d want some food.” Cas looked back and gave a small tightening of his mouth. He was still healing, and he didn't really have any motivation to do anything, so he didn't move off the bed. He was caved in. But, he was starving, so he couldn't refuse. 

“Thanks” Cas mumbled. He took a small bite and couldn’t stop a small grin from spreading across his face. Food tasted a lot better at the sum of its' molecules, especially if it’s not from a low class, low budget hospital cafeteria. Dean walked over and sat next to him. They had his pills on his plate for the pain and some other things that Dean refused to remember. Cas was healing well, but he was getting so much worse. Cas used to be sure, ready, confident. Now he was merely human, just different. It hurt to see how low Cas thought of himself. 

             “Do you wanna talk?” Dean asked, edging in closer. Cas flushed a little and lightly shook his head. He didn’t fully understand his sinful guilty feelings yet and he knew emotions made Dean feel uncomfortable, so he didn't know how Dean would react to the weight on his shoulders. He didn't want Dean to take the load that was fully his mistake. He shouldn't even be feeling like this, losing himself like this. But what else could he do? 

Dean couldn't handle the silence anymore. He wouldn't let Cas do this alone, not again. After weeks of prodding him for some answers or just a conversation, he couldn't take it anymore. He needed him, and he needed him to be okay. 

             “C’mon, Cas, Talk to me.” Dean pressed on, placing his hand on Cas' shoulder and boring into him with his deep green eyes. Cas couldn’t refuse anymore and spilled.  

             “I’ve lost everything. I'm useless to the fight, and really everything else for that matter. I can't handle my human emotions, or human pain in this fragile state. I hear my brother’s cries. I hear their pain. And I can’t do anything to help. I’m not an Angel anymore. I can’t do anything.” Cas said with a ping of sadness and anger. 

            “You can hear them?” Dean asked, confused. Cas turned his head to face Dean, water burning in the surface of his eyes that he would not let fall. Cas had been through so much. He deserved better than this. 

Cas nodded swallowing his gut of burning frustration. "All of them are either terrified of this doomed world or furious at me, or both. I can hear them yelling at me, for closing Heaven. I tried to fix it, I tried to make up for the suffering I've caused, but I screwed it up, Dean" Cas said with a single tear sliding down his cheek, staring into Dean's eyes with a devouring guilt. He couldn't bear watching his family like this. Dean was sitting there listening to every word. He struggled to swallow his say as Cas confessed, but he managed to ask him. 

"What happened?" Dean asked tracing his hands down the scars with tense, aching hands. Cas shivered at Dean's touch. And just like that, he brought up the whole other set of feelings he burned up and buried in his head until they kept quiet. How he felt about Dean. He really shouldn't feel like this or even feel at all. But hey, that's just what comes with the package of free will, as he'd come to learn. He could handle these urges as an Angel, but his humanity ripped it raw and strong to the point where he couldn't speak. Cas stuttered to get the words out, to shove the confession off his chest. "My.... My wings. I lost my wings."  The words smacked Dean in the face. Holy crap, this was a lot worse than he thought.  

"Cas, I'm so sorry." He said with remorse. That was it. Cas needed to set a few things straight. He grabbed a hold of Cas' chin. Cas' eyes were a deep blue ocean of guilt and pleading that Dean couldn’t bare to look at. But he had to fix it this time, he wouldn't leave him broken again. "None of this was your fault, do you hear me? None of it. You were trying to fix all of it. That's what matters, Cas. Don't doubt that. Don't you doubt that for a minute, you hear me?" He said strongly. Dean examined Cas' face, the tears rolling down his face in silence, until Cas just hugged him, and Dean hugged back.  

It must’ve been over an hour of them just sitting there, not letting go. Dean was edging in closer and closer and he couldn't stop himself. Cas just started staring, filling Dean's chest with a feeling he couldn't name. A feeling that told him to do something ambiguous, long wanted, and probably stupid. He couldn't care about the thought any less as he leaned in more and let their lips press together ever so softly.  

Cas' thoughts and worries were pushed to the back of his mind with all logic as he followed Dean's lead and pushed his lips back. The taste was surreal, intoxicating and he just couldn't bring himself to pull away. It couldn't taste better. Dean cupped Cas' cheek in his hand while the other led up the side of Cas' face and grasped at his hair with almost second nature. Cas let out a shuddering moan in Dean's mouth and pulled him closer and closer and closer.... 

They both were caught up in the fact that this was actually happening that Dean forgot to breathe. It was always Castiel, no matter how hard he tried to avoid it. Even when he would go out on endless hunts for simple women at the bar to take to the motel for some fun, Cas has always been different. He didn't know why or how he was attracted to an Angel (in a man's vessel), but he couldn't shake it. Something told him low in his gut that Cas was his, and he was Cas'. He had a possession over his body that he couldn't begin to describe.  

It wasn't just the body either, it was who Cas was. How he gave up everything to protect his Father's creation. To protect the Winchesters. To protect him. He tried to tell himself he was straight, god dammit. That he loved women and only, exclusively women. That he wasn't just a smidge curious when it came to Cas. He tried to brush it off or act like it wasn't there, but it wouldn't go away. After a while, he started to realize he wasn't going to able to make it. 

Cas was a different story, but very similar. He knew he loved Dean, or at least had some sort of connection with him ever since he raised his soul to the light. He didn't know what these feelings were. Hell, he barely knew what feelings were at all. But when he spent enough time with humanity, watching them grow and now coming to be one himself, he knew what it was. He loved a human soul. An Angel. Barbaric, he thought to himself. He knew it was forbidden but he couldn't bring himself to care or stop these emotions. He didn't want to. He had far fantasized about this moment but didn't dare dream or reach for the man he wanted. He didn't want a rejection. He didn't want to lose him. Besides, Dean would never want him back, he wasn't human or a “woman”. 

 Even though he hid it damn well, Cas got nervous and fuzzy with Dean if he let himself go. He couldn't breathe, and his heart felt like it was thumping hard enough to hear. He didn't let it show, though, as he knew it made Dean uncomfortable. So, he hid it for the sake of their friendship. But now he could let himself feel. And God, he wanted to. 

Dean felt Cas ease at his touch, as well as tense in a heat of want, which he felt too. He parted for a brief moment to look at Cas, worried about his reaction and what the hell he just did. God, what the hell just happened? 

Chapter Text

 He was covered in a rose hue, his eyes blown, and his lips swollen. He was so stunned that he didn't dare to move. His eyes were wide trying to process what just happened, their chests heaving as they were pressed together in the tingling aftertaste, which was surprisingly... Different than what Dean had in the past. But it was a good different. 

“You okay there?” Cas didn’t even hear Dean’s question until he asked again. 

“Cas, you good?” Dean asked, chuckling. He snapped himself out of his buzz and gave a childish nod. Dean chuckled softly and leaned against Cas' forehead. They then both heard Sam yell, “Dinner guys!” They shared a blush look as they contemplated what they just did. What. In the hell. Just happened? 

“We should probably get going.” Dean said after he cleared his throat as he stood up, offering his hand to Cas with the other tucked behind his neck. He gripped it tight and tried to pull himself up, but it took Dean's extra hand to help him off the bed. They both walked into the kitchen with a daze, Dean straightening their hair and letting their pulse slow until they confronted Sam. 

“Hey, Cas! You hungry?” Sam exclaimed as he held out a plate, glad to see Cas up and moving. Cas smiled softly and took it gladly. Sam was back to normal, just like that. He started waking up at 6 am again like a douchebag and went back to his normal routines. He didn’t even look sick anymore, which was still setting in with Dean as he would check up on him frequently and Sam always brushed him off reassuring him he was really okay. Sam was always a quick healer with his kale shakes and Namaste bullshit. 

"Alright, Gordon Ramsey. What did you create this time?" Dean teased as he sat down. Cas took a spot next to him and neatly tucked himself into the chair, fidgeting with his thumbs and the hem of his Metallica shirt Dean gave him. Was he nervous? 

"Shut up, it's just burgers from a joint nearby." Sam said as he laid the food out and popped a seat. They all ate their helpings (with Dean snatching a few fries from an unnoticing Sam), making light small talk. Cas started to join in after a bit, letting himself open up. Cas actually had water come out of his nose he laughed so hard at Sam’s unintentional joke, which left everyone a giggling mess on the floor, their beers almost toppling over. Dean had never seen Cas laugh like that before, and it was a sight to behold. He wanted to hear that sound for the rest of his life. 

Of course, Sam was finished first, picking up all of the tipped bottles. He ate like a horse ever since he got back. He missed actual food when eating that cafeteria and greasy fast food joint crap, so he took each meal with gratitude. Although this food wasn't that different.  

He tossed his plate and strode off to his room to hit the hay, yelling a goodnight before closing his door.  

Dean and Cas were left to an awkward silence in Sam's absence like two angsty kids. Cas even blushed when their hands brushed together getting seconds and snatched his hand back. Dean had to fight not to smile and he almost tossed a fry at him in tease but thought better. He secretly wanted to get those rosy cheeks to spread the color across his face, which was the girliest thing that’s ever popped up in his head. 

They were both done eating and went back to their tasks. Dean stopped before going to hit the sack as well and offered to Cas to sleep in his room that night since it might be more comfortable than his next to ancient unkempt storage unit. He hesitated under the question and declined as he headed back to his room shyly. 

Dean felt sorry for Cas. Not pity, but actual empathy. He was too afraid of his feelings to let himself be loved. He didn't feel like he deserved it. (Oh, gee did that sound familiar.) They had a lot more in common than Dean thought. Huh. Neither of them wanted to get hurt. Well, they've been through a lot of shit that most people would buckle under. It made sense why Cas was blocking himself off. They didn't deserve what they've had handed to them, and Cas got the worst of it. 

The next week was awkward, to say the least. Dean and Cas just couldn't handle having one normal damn conversation, or even being in the same room for too long. Cas was avoiding him at all costs and Dean was still trying to figure out what the hell happened and why the hell he was acting like this. He couldn’t stop thinking about his fragile masculinity. 

Of course, Sam caught on but didn’t investigate. Those two were always getting into it with each other. It was always something. So, he left it alone until they both moved on from whatever happened.  

Cas barely left his room except for using the bathroom and occasionally food, and to go downstairs. Dean thought to give him some space, but both Sam and Dean heard his murmurs in the night. 

The other morning Dean woke up to Sam glued on his laptop. This was a usual sight to see in the mornings, but Sam looked more serious this time. He looked up to Dean and waved him over. 

"What is it?" Dean asked begrudgingly, taking a step behind him to view the screen. It was an article on a supposed murder in Ankeny, Iowa. It had pictures of ambulances and some black and white pictures of what Dean assumed to be the vics.  

"Hey, where's Cas?" Dean asked, taking his mug from the counter. 

"He's still in the basement. Been in there since six." Sam answered without looking away from his laptop. This wasn't much of a surprise to Dean. Cas has been working out for the past week at least once a day. It’s not as active as he wishes it to be, but it’s as good as hell get for the time being still adjusting to recovery. He's barely upstairs anymore since Sam showed it to him. He doesn't like putting his body to waste, as he puts it. 

"Check this out. So apparently, there's been multiple cases of unsolved murders with the victim's eyes burned out, and their insides tuned to mush." 

"Angels." 

"Yeah." Sam sighed. They were gonna show up sometime, and here it was. It was only about six hours away, and the most recent fatality just came in this morning. Dean was about to grab his duffel when Cas came in the War room with his trench coat on.  

"Where you goin', Cas?" Dean asked, eyeing him up and down in his usual, over layered trench coat.  

"I'm coming with you." He said bluntly.  

"Cas, you can't-" Dean started. 

"No. This is my mistake, and my brothers. I may be human, but I'm not a moron, or useless. I'm coming with you." Cas said sternly, staring Dean down. Sam gave a light nod and went to Cas' side, which confused Dean to say the least. 

"Wait, you really think this is a good idea?" Dean accused, ignoring the eye roll from Cas. 

"He's been training with me for a while now, and he's been doing pretty good. He can look after himself." 

With two against one, Dean had the lower hand. He just nodded, frustration clear, and went to the Impala with Sam and Cas trailing behind, just out of earshot. Sam could see from Dean's expression that he had no idea what Cas had been up to in the basement. Why Cas didn’t tell him, he didn’t know. 

Chapter Text

Dean was awaiting in the driver’s seat when Sam took shotgun and Cas slid in back, not batting an eye at Dean. They revved out of the garage on their way to Iowa. 

The road was silent for the next five hours before Dean pulled into a rusty dinner next to their motel they would be staying in for the case. Sam rolled his eyes at the grubby smell and the flickering neon lights before grabbing his laptop out of the Impala. Cas couldn’t help the grin on his face when he took in the scent of food. Ever since his fall, he’s really taken a liking to the aspects of eating. It tasted so much better than when he was an Angel, now that he could taste it and needed to eat. 

They took a booth next to the front window and grabbed the menus. It was overall pretty simple, as it wasn’t a high quality place. Cas happily flipped through his seemingly infinite options with Dean eyeing him down until a waiter came. A busty girl with dark brown hair and honey eyes. 

“So, what can I get for you today?” she asked, clicking her pen with her chirpy voice. 

Sam put down his menu and politely handed the menu back. 

“I think I’ll just get the Cesar salad, thanks.” Sam said, nudging Dean to get his attention.  

“I’ll get a bacon cheeseburger.” Dean said gruffly, nodding in thanks. 

“I think I will have the BLT, thank you” Cas said handing her his menu, smiling. She nodded and went back behind the counter giving Cas’ a wink and a bright smile and wave before going back behind the counter. Sam sat there surprised and let a smirk spread on his face. 

“I think she likes you, Cas.” Sam said leaning in. Dean started to pick up on their conversation, confused. Cas just chuckled and shook his head. 

“I’m not interested in and casual sexual or romantic gratifications.” Cas said in his usual deadpan tone, though he sounded flattered.  

“Wait, what?” Dean asked, his eyebrows stitched together, secretly in worry. 

“Yeah, that girl was totally into Cas. She winked at him.” Sam almost boasted, laughing to himself.  

“What? No way.” Dean more asked than stated. What the hell is wrong with me right now? 

“She is nice, and very sweet, but no.” Is all Cas said, leaving the unsaid floating in the air as he set his gaze out the window. He then saw a man suspiciously walking into the back alley, looking each way for any eyes. Fortunately, he didn’t detect Castiel's gaze. 

He disappeared back into the alleyway in between the motel and the laundering mat. He could tell it was an Angel. Dina. He hasn't seen her since the War. She initially took his side, but she wiped herself off of the map when things got complicated, until Metatron took her away from Heaven, leaving her wingless. 

"What're you lookin' at?" Dean said trying to spot what Castiel was staring at, snapping him back to reality. Without a word, Castiel got up, gripping his Angel blade in his pocket as he strode out the door. The Winchesters followed, confused and concerned. 

"What is it?" Dean asked, his eyes for Cas and Cas only. He tilted his chin towards the alleyway, mouthing one word, 'Angels'. Before the boys could stop him, he was off into the alley, not looking back. 

Cas crept, careful as not to be seen. What he saw made his heart drop. There were seven Angels in the alley, some he knew and others he didn't recognize. There was Dina pinning one of them down that he didn't know the name of. There were others that held the other two in a similar fashion, holding them down with blades. There was one thing that made Cas' heart stop cold though. The three that were pinned down had children vessels. 

Sam and Dean crept up along with him just in time to hear them. They shared similar faces as Cas when they realized the situation. 

"We could do this the very, very, hard way. Or, we could just make this easy. Tell us where he is." Dina growled, pinching the Angels' neck. 

"We don't break easy, Dina. WE'RE loyal. Metatron will let us back in, and he will rule. Do what you want, I don't care." The little girl spat in her face. 

"What do we do?" Sam whispered to no one in particular, utterly brain farted about what to do. But Cas was already taking his blade out and turning to the boys. 

"Sam, go get the holy oil out of the trunk, Dean already has a lighter. I need you on the other end of the alley, ready to make a line and light it when I tell you to." Cas whispered, pointing to Sam. "I have some holy oil in my pocket, and I'll make the first line, then you make the second to close them in. I'll go in, and then Dean will light the other side and I'll take it from there. I have a few things up my sleeve, literally. Good?" Cas said turning back around and still building up a strategy. 

"Are you insane? We're not just gonna leave you in there by yourself!" Dean whispered almost raising his voice. Cas rolled his eyes and tilted his head back to Dean, annoyance clear. 

"Dammit, Dean. We don't have time for this. Unless you have a better idea, you stick to my plan." Cas growled with authority. Dean huffed out in annoyance as he and Sam went to the trunk as stealthily as they could. Cas waited in his position, slowly drawing the oil from his pocket. He sloshed it over the alley, making a spattered line to close in his side without drawing any attention. Dean came back to Cas as Sam snuck around to the other side of the alley. 

The Angels were preoccupied by their altercation, so no notice was taken when the boys slammed the trunk. Cas spotted Sam on the other side as he shot a line across the gap, closing them in. Cas nodded to Sam and both boys got out their lighter, setting the line aflame as Cas jumped inside. There was just one thing, though. Dean and Sam jumped in too. 

All of them turned their head both directions as they noticed they were trapped. The three in children's vessels ducked down, knowing that their now human forms were outsized. The four others dropped down in stance and grabbed their blades. 

It was right then that Cas could see that two of them still had more grace leftover, Zulphas and Tabbris. He could feel it in the air, barely taste it in his throat. Like cold divine smoke without the fire or burn on his tongue. The other two he could recognize. They weren't of the more powerful ranking, but they were notorious for stealing Grace. The other Angels had nowhere near the power they had. They probably don’t steal it. 

“Castiel,” Dina snarled like a rabid dog, chocking out Cas’ name like insulting glass. The young vessel she was holding was now glaring at him, while the rest took to the Winchesters. Dina charged at Cas, blade in hand. Cas blocked just in time and swung his arm from underneath and shoved her back. 

There were two on Cas while Tabbris and Zuphlas were on the Winchesters. Dina came back on her feet, landing a blow to Cas' face. He ended up getting her back in the jaw, but with less effect. The other Angel got his leg with a resounding hit as he fell to the ground. He didn't stay down for long as he thrashed his blade through the air to buy him some time. 

            Sam and Dean were left with the other two, which were more difficult than they anticipated. At one point, Zulphas tackled Sam, but wasn't able to see the Angel blade in his hand striking his side until he collapsed with a blue pulse of grace, eventually burning a mark of his disheveled wings and fading away into nothing.  

Dina eventually caught Cas off guard after she took a swing with her blade, connecting with Cas' bicep, making a long slice of red. He winced and spun into the other Angels' grasp. He held Cas there, pushing on his throat and his body aching for air. Dean tried to come over but was hurtled by Tabbris onto the ground, his Grace shining through his eyes. 

The other Angel put his fingers onto his forehead and he was shot back into his memory. When he was god. It was everything he did. Stabbing his friend, Balthazar, smiting the pleading Angels in Heaven with no mercy, to breaking the wall in Sam's head, leaving him defenseless and venerable. It was Lucifer beating him down, toying with him in that mental ward, it was how he betrayed the Winchesters time and time again. All on repeat. 

He suddenly snapped back into reality gasping for oxygen as the Angel held him tighter, whispering in his ear. 

"You have any idea what you've done, Castiel?" He said, snarling his name as if his voice could put it to damnation; like he wasn’t already damned. "You fell for two humans, abandoning your family. You slaughtered my brothers, my sisters. And you still think you deserve to live? Pathetic." He spat as Cas clawed at his arms for a breath. 

Cas hooked his leg around the Angel that was holding him and swept it from under him. He dropped his arms in defeat as Cas landed another blow to his gut, doubling him over giving Cas his opportunity. In three punches, he was knocked out cold with Dina taking hold of his wounded arm. Cas shouted in pain but was able to slam her into the wall, watching her body slump to the floor. 

Just then Cas saw Tabbris opening his palm to Dean's forehead, his eyes filled with divine light. Dean was forcing his hand away, but Tabbris was winning. 

"NO!" Cas yelled, charging his brother. Before Sam could react, Cas hurled Tabbris off of Dean and onto the ground, pinning him down as the boys watched, the other Angels forgotten about. Cas held his neck and his arms down, keeping him still as he growled, teeth gritting with fury as he expelled them from their vessels, not losing grip. 

"Omnipotentis Dei potestatem invoco, Omnipotentis Dei potestatem invoco, Ab orbe terra, Hunc angelum omne obsequendum, Domine expuet, Domine expuet, Ut deum ad empyreum remittat!" Cas yelled, not stopping for a moment as the blue smoke left his body, as well as all the others. Their heads tipped back, releasing them from their vessels and off into the open as they flew away. 

"Holy shit." Dean sighed, his hands resting on his knees as he panted. Cas pushed himself up and brushed himself off, wincing from his arm. He put out his hand to the fire closing off the alley, and just like that it withered into smoke as the boys sat there staring at Cas. 

"Did you just-" Sam started. 

"A charm for extinguishing holy fire that can only be used by humans. It's quite easy, actually." Cas admitted, looking down to his hand before turning back to the bodies in the alley when his eye caught the three kids huddled next to a dumpster, terrified. He almost forgot about them. He dropped his blade without thought and walked over, clearly worried. 

"Hey, hey, hey, it's okay." Cas cooed, bending down to meet their eyes with his. They didn't move from their place and their hands were still trembling. Two of them were boys that looked very alike, twins most likely. The other was a girl in a tattered blue skirt and clutching a bracelet around her wrist. The boys looked to be around seven, the girl no older than five or four. Why the Angels would choose these poor kids as vessels, Cas had no idea. Easier to persuade, maybe? 

"I'm not gonna hurt you, you're safe now." Cas almost whispered, putting his hand out as he nodded to them in kind. The little girl took it and out of nowhere clung to Castiel's neck, too scared to let go. Cas took her in as the twins followed, tucking themselves into Cas. 

"Sam, Dean, check on the others." Cas said just as the woman on the ground behind Cas started to open her eyes. Sam snapped his eyes off Cas and helped her up. Dean took a few seconds longer and then came down to the other men on the floor. 

Chapter Text

Cas picked up the girl with his good arm and held one of the boys' hand, keeping them close as he took them out of the dark alley, the children gladly following behind. 

He led them to the Impala and sat them down on the trunk after grabbing some damp towels and wiping their faces from the mud and dirt, as well as cleaning off his. Their clothes were dirty and unkempt, and they had small cuts and bruises on them from the altercation before. He grabbed some more towels and wiped off their wounds, finding some Band-Aids in his duffel for them. 

"What are your names?" Castiel asked tenderly after patching them up, sitting on the hood. The kids looked down at their laps shyly for a few moments before the taller twin spoke quietly. 

"Logan." He whispered. 

"Liam." The other twin piped in, fiddling with his shirt. Cas nodded calmly as he cleaned off their hands. Once he got the muck off he asked the little girl again, scooting next to her on the trunk. 

"What's your name, sweetheart?" Cas asked patiently. She looked up at him, her hazel brown eyes connecting with his.  

"Sophie." She said as she played with her golden hair, her S's pronounced with a lisp and her consonants with the hints of an overbite, as most children do.  

"That's a pretty name, Sophie." Cas smiled warmly. She didn't return it, but slightly nodded at him, still shaken by the events. It wasn't something you just forget, getting possessed by Angels. The twins didn't make much eye contact either, leaning on each other in silence when Cas felt a gnawing in his stomach for food. These kids are probably hungry too. 

"You guys hungry?" Cas asked, slipping off the Impala to stand. They all nodded eagerly as Cas took their hands and went into the diner. He made an effort to cover up the slice on his arm to avoid suspicion. He was greeted by an older woman with pale red hair and a wide grin as he came up to the counter. 

"Hey there! What can I get for you guys?" She chirped, looking between the kids. Cas nudged Logan on the shoulder, saying he could get whatever he wanted, as well as Sophie and Liam. Sophie looked up at Cas with a cheerful glint in her eye as she said "Pancakes!" 

Cas chuckled at her immense excitement (which he could relate to), as the woman behind the to-go counter wrote it down. Logan and Liam piped in saying they both wanted chicken, not being able to help the smiles on their faces at the thought of something to eat. Cas ordered a plain cheeseburger for himself and placed an order on his name. 

"Alright, I'll get on it for ya!" She cheered before she went back behind in the kitchen. Cas thanked her and took them back outside to the Winchesters. He came back out to find that the Winchesters came back along with the survivors. Next to the Impala were Sam and Dean along with the three other victims. They were beaten and bruised and cut and had no idea what just happened, but they seemed to be handling themselves. 

 "How are they doing?" Cas asked, picking up Sophie from her tugging on his sleeve. The boys shook off their confusion and astonishment for another time and looked back to the people leaning on the Impala. 

"They were beaten good, but none of it seems critical. We've done what we can for the injuries and the pain." Sam said in his usual professionalism. 

"You're welcome." Dean piped in, raising his hand and holding an orange bottle of pills as Sam rolled his eyes. The two men were standing next to a pole nearby, talking while the woman was looking off in the distance leaning on Baby. 

"What did you tell them?" Cas asked gravely, needing to know what story he was going to have to stick with. 

"We told them the truth, the whole truth. They know about the fight, the Angels, the fall, everything. There was no other way around explaining having no control over your body after being filled with a blue and white smoke as you could hear someone else in your head and have them meddling in your mind. As Noah puts it." Sam added, pointing back to the man on the left in the basketball shorts and black buzzed hair.  

"What are we gonna do with them?" Dean asked as he pointed to Sophie lounging on his chest. 

"I dunno. Maybe turn them in to the local police department." Cas sighed, really not knowing what to do. He was really trying not to think about what that Angel made him see, made him remember. First being the outsider rouge Angel, then being a merciless god with Leviathans, Lucifer using him as a puppet, and then this. He was probably out for half a minute, but it felt like an entire day, give or take. All of his worst memories. Lucifer, Leviathans, Angels, Winchesters, everything he's done to this poor world and everything that still haunts his nightmares. 

One of the newer memories Cas had to bare in his sleep recently was Lucifer, when he was in the mental ward. When Lucifer kept in spinning like a top day in day out. He kept saying that the Winchesters didn't care anymore and that he meant nothing and that he'd eventually die and give up, alone with his sins. He said they were worse than his, which surprised him as he admitted. After weeks of it, weeks of torture, Lucifer faded away until it was just Cas. When he lost it. 

"Hey, so get this, there have been missing reports from here about two twin seven-year-old males, and a five-year-old girl." Sam said, looking between the picture on his laptop and the kids next to Cas. 

"I have their addresses, and they're not far from here. Half hour or an hour maybe." Sam read from the article, looking through the files. 

Cas nodded, thinking to himself when Sophie looked up into the diner window, pointing. Cas turned to see a bag with his name scribbled on it, sitting on the counter. Liam almost dragged him in before he held up a finger to the Winchesters and was swept inside, practically stealing the bag on the counter with all three of them trying to take it outside as Cas gave over his cash. The nice woman handed Castiel the bag as he waved in gratitude and came back outside. 

Both Sam and Dean gave a surprised look when Cas sat them down outside and ate with them. He even helped Sophie with her pancakes. They were still shy and a little shaken up, but they were starting to warm up to Cas, as everyone else could tell. 

“What the hell happened?” Sam exhaled in disbelief as they watched Cas with three traumatized kids, like a natural parent. Dean couldn't look away, his eyes were glued. Even with Cas' last month of being 100% human, it still baffled him at how he acted with those kids. He's never even talked to kids, let alone looked after any. Yet he was sitting there with three, giving them food like he's known for his whole life. It was mesmerizing to see him acting like a dad. It made Dean's heart swell. God dammit, you’re acting like a girl. 

"I have no idea, Sam." Dean sighed, his gaze still fixed on Cas. Sam rolled his eyes and went back on his laptop, not thinking twice about it. There would always be awkward moments between the two. He'd come accustomed to them, and just brushed it off to their 'profound bond' and what not. Even then, he did have his suspicions… But no. No way it was something else. They were just different, that’s all. 

When Liam, Logan and Sophie were all finished eating, he went back over to the Impala to discuss what their plan was. They all decided to take them back to their homes without involving the authorities. They said their farewells to the rest as they were given a bus ticket before they sped off. 

The first address belonged to the twins, half an hour away. The boys got out their fake badges and knocked on the door, Logan and Liam tucked behind Castiel's trench coat. A short woman and a lean man opened the door with bags under their eyes and pale skin, like they haven’t slept or eaten for days. 

Their faces lit up when they found Logan and Liam hidden in Cas’ trench coat. 

“Oh, MY BOYS!” She shouted in joy and dropping to her knees with her arms out, the two boys running into her  embrace. The man dropped down next, wrapping his arms around his family. Cas smiled to himself to see the reunion. They’d get to live the rest of a happy life. 

After getting their moment on the floor, the parents stood themselves up, clutching their boys to their sides. 

“Thank you, really. Thank you so much.” The dad sighed, his eyes welling in joy. It was only then when reality started to sink in, along with the questions. 

“Who are you?” The woman asked still in shock. 

“I’m Agent Rue, and this is Agent Sully and Agent Campbell.” Sam said pulling out his badge with Dean following suit. Cas caught on and pulled his from his pocket, flipping it open to the couple. 

They both nodded, looking back to their kids when Liam looked up at Castiel with a genuine smile. 

“Thanks.” He said, Logan nodding in agreement. Cas smiled back with a nod off his own. 

“Well, this case has been closed until further notice, to give you guys some rest. Until then, here’s my number in case anything happens. You can call me for anything, especially you two.” Cas grinned, pointing between Logan and Liam, Dean and Sam baffled once again. 

They all nodded back to him before giving there immense gratitude to each of them, waving as they went back down the driveway with Sophie in the back seat with Cas. 

Next was Sophie’s house, which was another fifteen minutes or so. The house was a bright blue with flowers at the deck, and posters with Sophie’s face scattered all over. 

Cas knocked on the door and found them to be in a similar condition as the twin's parents. The two moms almost screamed when Cas’ handed them their little girl, who was four he found out later. There were tears and a lot of hugs. One of the moms even came up and wrapped her arms around Cas with Sophie joining, her mom whispering a happy thank you in his ear. 

They went over the same routine as with the last family, Cas giving them his information before they left. 

“Man, did you see how those two clung to you, Cas?” Sam shook his head. 

“Yes, I was there.” Cas said, back to his Angelic formality. But he did smile afterward and nod to himself. He really hoped those kids would be okay. 

"I just-" He suddenly felt the world shrink around him and the world fading from view into nothing as his eyes fell closed. Dean caught him before his head was able to smash the ground.