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Failure to Communicate

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Kevin checked his watch. He was working on it, but he was not qualified to handle a roomful of three-year-olds on his own. Castiel was supposed to be his mentor, helping him manage the room, but Castiel wasn’t there yet. This was not like him. Castiel was usually here at 6:30, and it was 7:40 now. Kids were going to start arriving any minute now, and Kevin was not prepared to do this by himself.

He’d tried calling Castiel five times already. He’d tried calling Castiel’s husband Sam twice, and Sam’s brother Dean once. Sam and Dean were out of town on a hunting trip, he thought, but maybe Castiel would pick up for one of them.

Desperate times, Kevin told himself as he dialed a number he’d promised Castiel he would never call. Naomi answered right away. “Hey, uh, Castiel’s not here yet and I can’t reach him, do you know what’s going on?”

“No one told you?” Kevin rolled his eyes at Naomi’s surprise. Of course no one told him, why should anyone think to tell him something important like this? “Castiel’s had a family emergency come up. Hester and Inias should be there shortly. You’re off today, if you’ll just hold the fort until those two get there.”


Kevin ended up staying until 8:30, introducing Hester and Inias to the kids. He couldn’t answer their questions about where Castiel was, frustrating them and himself both. At least he knew they were in competent hands when he left.

When he got home, his mom ran out to the car to meet him. She blocked him from opening his car and motioned for him to roll down the window. He complied, and she handed him a bag and a phone. “Castiel called and said he had a family emergency and that Naomi would likely send you home without him there. He wouldn’t say what was happening, just that you need to meet up with him and the Winchesters at ‘the cabin’, whatever that means.”

“He does know I’m his student, not part of his family, right?” Nonetheless, Kevin took the bag and put it on the seat beside him.

“I sure hope so. I don’t want you dragged into the Winchester family business, Kevin. You be careful.” Linda reached through the window to pat his cheek.

“I will, Mom. Thank you.” He waited until Linda got her hand back out before rolling up the window and hitting the road. It was a two-hour drive to the cabin, and the whole way there, Kevin spent the whole time cursing in Enochian. An accident with a magical artifact had downloaded the language into his brain, and he found it more fun for cursing than any other language he spoke – if for no other reason than his mom couldn’t understand him and tell him off.


The cabin was an isolated place in the woods owned by the Winchesters’ uncle Bobby. Kevin had only been there once, and swore he was never going back after the magical artifact incident. Sam and Dean hunted creatures that Kevin had believed were mythical until he couldn’t anymore. It was hard to be skeptical about vampires when one’s got his fangs in your throat. Thankfully, Sam had ripped the vampire off before it could kill or turn Kevin, but his entire world had changed that day. Castiel knew about and supported the Winchesters’ family business, although he didn’t hunt. Kevin asked him about it once. “Sam and Dean do important, necessary work. So do I. So will you, when you finish your training. I used to hunt alongside Sam and Dean, but then a hunt got into my head, and now I sometimes have to call in backup for the violence you and I see in our classroom.”

A family emergency probably meant that Sam or Dean was hurt, so Kevin expected to see Castiel waiting outside for him. No one was out there when he pulled up, causing Kevin to frown. The Impala wasn’t there, either, but Castiel’s Continental was out front. This didn’t make sense. A trap?

Only one way to find out, unless Sam or Dean felt like answering the phone. They didn’t. Kevin briefly considered calling Castiel, but decided against it. If this was a trap, Castiel wouldn’t be able to warn him effectively. He picked up the bag Linda had given him and opened it, smiling fondly when he saw the gun right on top of a note from his mom telling him he was not to get involved in anything where he’d have to use it. “Too late for that, Mom, sorry.” He picked up the gun and walked inside.

Castiel was sitting on the floor beside the couch, holding a vaguely familiar young man’s hand. “Alfie?”

“Alfie? No.” Castiel looked up. “This is my brother Samandriel. Sam and Dean are still out hunting for the thing that did this to him, but it would help a great deal for us to know what, precisely, happened.”

“He’s awake. You can’t just… ask him?”

Castiel rolled his eyes. “Of course I can ask him. Samandriel, what happened to you?”

Samandriel sat up a little bit, giving Castiel a pleading look. Castiel nodded to him, and Samandriel began spilling out the story. “I went to bed the night before last, and everything was normal. I was in the middle of this really good dream about this cute guy from Grindr, Kevin, when I found myself waking up to being dragged out of bed by the ankle.” So this was Alfie. Huh. Dreaming about him? That was nice. “They dragged me through the house and into a car, locked me in the trunk, and brought me to a cave. They stuck these needles in my head and said something about restoring factory settings. Next thing I knew Sam and Dean were in the room pulling the needles out and bringing me here to Castiel.”

Castiel looked at Kevin. “You see?”

“No. I mean I get that restoring factory settings doesn’t make much sense, but…”

“You can understand me?!” Now Samandriel was on his feet, staring at Kevin with his mouth hanging open. “Tell Castiel I’m not speaking gibberish!”

“Of course you’re not speaking gibberish, you’re speaking…” Kevin trailed off as he realized what was happening. “You’re speaking Enochian. Castiel, he’s speaking Enochian.”

“Wonderful. That’s going to limit his Grindr options severely.” Castiel hugged his brother. “We’ll find a way to fix this, Mandy. I promise.” Castiel’s phone rang, and he glanced at it before answering. “Sam?”

“We’re okay. We’ve killed two of the three demons, and the third one’s been telling us some useful stuff. Apparently he thinks I care about the Boy King stuff, and I’m willing to exploit that to get answers.” Castiel rolled his eyes while Kevin and Samandriel exchanged confused looks. “Anyway, so, get this. You know how your parents named you and your siblings after angels? These guys thought Samandriel was the actual angel Samandriel on Earth, and they wanted to find out what he was doing here.”

“Um.” Castiel shot a worried look at Samandriel. “Kevin’s here, he says that the stuff Samandriel’s speaking is Enochian.”

“Huh. Honey, are you an angel and forgot to tell me?”

“No, but I think my brother might be. Any idea on how to fix him?”

“Pray to the real Samandriel and see if he shows up? Get Kevin to reteach him English?” Kevin rolled his eyes and exchanged a glance with Samandriel. “I don’t know. I’ll see if this demon has anything and call you back.”

Castiel stared down his little brother. “Are you an angel?”

“No,” Samandriel said. Castiel understood that, despite the Enochian, and headed outside. Samandriel sat back on the couch. “Enochian, huh? I take it that’s the language of angels or something?”

“It’s the language angels use amongst themselves, at least,” Kevin said. “Last time I came up here, I accidentally broke some holy tablet and got hit with lightning. When I woke up, I could speak Enochian. Other languages came back over the next couple days, and since you still understand English, it might be the same for you.”

“We can hope.” Samandriel stared down at his hands. “So, I was planning on asking you for a meetup, but this was not what I had in mind.”

The corner of Kevin’s mouth turned up and he leaned into Samandriel. “Yeah, no kidding. Why Alfie?”

“It’s easier to say than Samandriel. I dunno, it’s just what I typed. I’m glad you came, trying and failing to talk to Castiel and the Winchesters was frustrating.”

“I remember, and I had the advantage of at least when the stupid tablet taught me Enochian, it taught me what Enochian was. I had some idea what the hell was happening. I don’t have to go back to work until Monday, so I can hang out all weekend. A bit more than I had in mind for a first meeting with a Grindr hookup, but…”

“Sounds good to me. Hopefully, by Monday, I’ll be able to speak English again.”