Hey, this is probably a weird start for a book, but I thought I should introduce myself for the sake of better understanding. My name is Chuck Shurley, also known as God, but… let’s not talk about that. This isn’t about me, it’s about the story I’m about to write, and I hope you will accompany me on this journey through the past of Supernatural, or, to be more precise, through the past of Dean and Castiel.
Supernatural isn’t what I’d call one of my best works, to be completely honest. Seriously, who enjoys reading a depressing story about characters who hate themselves and stumble from one misery to the next, their hopes crushed again and again, countless times. Who would enjoy a story about pain and sadness, tragic deaths and heartbreaking choices the characters are obliged to make, even if it means they’re doing the right thing? Well, I do. It might not be appropriate to say this as the author, but I love my story. And I love my characters.
Writing was hard, sometimes I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and type in the next three words because I was lacking motivation. As a writer, you always try to bring your ideas across, you try to make the reader interested in the story you are telling. However, sometimes it is important for authors to write for themselves. If I don’t feel involved when I flip through the pages, then the reader won’t, either. If I don’t cry about a character’s death, how can I expect the reader to grieve for the loss?
With that being said, I believe I can say that I love my story without sounding too conceited. I adore my characters and the relationships they establish as the chapters come and go, and I also like to read between the lines when it comes to a certain hunter and his angel in a trenchcoat…
Oh, I didn’t mean to write such a long introduction. I should start writing already, shouldn’t I? So… let’s start at the beginning, at their very first encounter.
It all started when Dean got back from hell. He didn’t know how, didn’t know why, but suddenly he was back, climbing out of his grave somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And soon after that he met him. Castiel, angel of the Lord, who slowly became Cas, his best friend (and… maybe even more than that). Also known as Clarence, tree topper, Asstiel (when he screwed up from time to time), dark mysterious Smitey McSmiterton, baby in a trenchcoat (one of Dean’s favorites) and many, many other nicknames he collected over the years.
To be honest, their first encounter didn’t go very well, considering Dean instantly shot him and later stabbed him with a knife before the angel could even introduce himself. Now, he would look back at that scene with an amused smile, remembering how Cas stood in front of him -without a single scratch on his body- and muttered the words “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.”
When Castiel first declared he was an angel, Dean couldn’t believe it. Sure, the overpowered dude in a trenchcoat was unaffected by all his attacks and knocked Bobby unconscious with two fingers to his forehead, but he didn’t believe in what seemed like some religious nonsense to him. Seconds later, Dean was staring at the shadows of two impressive wings, eyes wide, mouth slightly opened. It just couldn’t be true. It couldn’t. This was a dream, it was fake, he repeated in his head, hoping if he said it often enough, he would be able to convince himself that this was a big fat lie and his world view wasn’t about to be turned upside-down by a man with a crooked tie and messy hair. It didn’t work very well.
“Good things do happen, Dean.”
Dean wanted to believe. He wanted to accept that he was worth saving, that he deserved this miracle, but in his reality, “good things” always came at a price. His life was a bloody mess, had always been one, and would continue to be one until the day he died, fighting to the last breath. In fear of disappointment, Dean didn’t allow himself to hope for positive surprises anymore.
Little did he know that meeting the angel Castiel would turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the hunter.
Dean had to learn to accept that the angel would randomly show up in the Winchesters’ li from now on. Although he seemed to be interested in their everyday struggles, he didn’t get involved at first. The hunter was disappointed, he demanded for the self-proclaimed warrior of god to help them out at least a little bit, but soon he realized that an argument about god’s plan with an actual angel wouldn’t bring him far.
As time went on, Castiel appeared more and more often by his side. Even though he carried out his “mission”, Dean realized that he slowly but steadily developed a more independent way of thinking. Personally, the hunter liked the new version of Cas better, but the angel struggled with the concept of free will.
All his life he had listened to the commands from above, fighting for heaven, killing enemies in his father’s name. Meeting the brothers made Cas aware of feelings he never had before, feelings that started to change the way he saw things. He started to feel responsible for Dean’s safety, he felt happiness and love, sorrow and despair. It was overwhelming for him, Castiel feared making the wrong choice, but one look at Dean convinced him that he found something on earth that was more important than questionable orders from above. At that point, he realized it wasn’t about right or wrong, good or bad. He made his decision, he chose a side.
Even if their future looked rather troublesome with the first seal being broken now, he was willing to accompany the hunter and help him where he could.
Dean, on the other hand, wasn’t all that optimistic. He was supposed to be the only one who could stop Lucifer from returning and bringing chaos and destruction upon the world? Son of a bitch, in this case, the world was screwed. He found himself starting to pray for Castiel to help him -something he never thought he would do- and usually the angel appeared with the soft noise of fluttering wings and a serious “Hello Dean”. Although he would never admit it, Dean enjoyed Castiel’s company, especially since he started to get into fights with Sam more often because of a certain demon called Ruby.
Once Cas even visited Dean in his dreams. It was so peaceful back there, no monsters, no responsibilities, no end of the world. Only him and Cas, side by side, gazing off into the distance. It was only a short moment, but it was a beautiful one. The angel appeared, they exchanged a few words and then he was gone again, leaving only a piece of paper with an address on it.
What followed afterwards wasn’t nearly as relaxing as his dream: when Sam and Dean were searching for Castiel, they only found his exhausted and annoyed vessel Jimmy who had had enough of being possessed by an angel and wanted to return to his family. Well, long story short, it ended in fighting demons and protecting Jimmy’s wife and daughter from being killed. They were glad Castiel had finally come back to help them out, but he was… different. He acted cold and distant towards Dean, like on his first day on earth, just as if nothing had happened, in fact even a bit angrier.
“I serve heaven. I don’t serve man. And I certainly don’t serve you.”
Those were the harsh words that broke Dean’s heart. Seriously? After all they had been through together? Dean could have sworn Castiel had decided to be on his side at all costs. What changed his mind? What did he do to deserve to be treated like this- had he done something wrong? Cas was acting as if it had been his fault, as if he was the one to blame, but he couldn’t think of anything he did to piss Castiel off like that. Still, Dean was secretly blaming himself for the current circumstances and waited patiently for this “mission” Cas told him about.
Again, the hunter felt betrayed when he got kidnapped and informed that he should kill Lucifer after the fallen angel would be set free. With Sam gone god-knows-where and the final seal about to be broken, it was no relief that Castiel wouldn’t let Dean get through to his brother. Despite the attempt of an apology, Dean was too angry to listen to what Cas had to say. The hunter could beg and plead, try to explain the importance of saving the lives of many innocent people, but Cas only shook his head.
“We’re done” the Winchester spat out, walking away, not wanting to look into those blue eyes anymore. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to contain himself if he did.
It was deadly silent in the room and when Dean turned around, Cas was gone. He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and bit his lip. Good. That was good. Then again, if it really was, why did he feel so sad and lonely all of a sudden? Dean brushed it off, ignoring the voice in his head that told him to call Cas back and apologize, because this was the last thing he wanted to do.
Dean wasn’t sure what convinced his friend to help him escape in the end, but he was more than happy as they took off together. At last, the angel really was on his side and Dean couldn’t help but feel a bit proud of Castiel. He could still count on his angel when it mattered. Cas agreed to stop the archangels and buy him some time while Dean went to see his brother, hoping he would still make it in time.
But it was too late, the final seal was broken.
Lucifer was free.