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Of Bees and Necromancy

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“Are you sure about this? We both saw Jurassic Park,” Sam said worriedly. Dean rolled his eyes.

“Dude, we’re resurrecting bees, not velociraptors. And you saw Cas — he’s a wreck, bees being extinct is gonna kill him too.” It was true — ever since they’d learned last week that honeybees were officially extinct, Castiel had been absolutely despondent over it. There had been tears. Dean liked bees well enough, but he was pretty sure nobody was mourning the little guys as much as Cas.

“Try and put yourself in Cas’s shoes,” he told his brother. “Imagine dogs went extinct. You’d never be the same.”

Sam, who was mixing herbs in a big metal bowl, paused and got the most stricken look on his face Dean had seen since last time one of them was about to die.

“You’re right,” he admitted. “Okay, we’re bringing the bees back. The spell’s ready — you want to do the honors, or should I?”

Dean usually let Sam do the witchcraft when a case called for it, but this felt personal. He picked up the paper with the spell written on it.

“I got this.”

“You what?” Cas asked again, stunned. Sam and Dean were standing there looking sheepish, both avoiding his eyes.

“We, uh. We were trying to resurrect some bees so they weren’t extinct anymore,” Dean began.

“And the spell put their life force back into the bodies, but the bodies are still dead,” Sam finished for him, sighing.

Dean looked at Cas finally, apologetically.

“I’m sorry, buddy. We were trying to help, but instead we made zom-bees.”

“Dean,” Sam warned, shaking his head.

“What? They’re zombie bees — zom-bees.”

For the first time since he’d arrived, Cas noticed the low buzzing sound coming from the door behind the brothers.

“Can’t you reverse the spell?” he asked sadly. “They should rest in peace.”

“We tried.” Sam gestured to the door, taking a deep breath. “Cas, I hate to ask you to do this, but I-I think the only way to kill them now is for you to smite them. Undead things are unholy, right? It should let them die again for good.”

Thinking about dead bees made Castiel want to cry again, like he’d been doing all week. And now he had to be the one to kill them again? It wasn’t fair.

“We’re really sorry, Cas,” Dean spoke up, patting his shoulder. “We were tryin’ to do something nice for you, and for bees, I swear. Didn’t mean for it to turn out this way.”

Cas sniffled and straightened up, putting on his soldier face. The zom-bees probably weren’t enjoying their undead state — he would go in and smite them, for their own sake.

“I can do it,” he told the Winchesters, stepping past them toward the door. Sam and Dean trailed after him sadly.

Cas slipped through the door and closed it quickly behind him. The room beyond had spell items and a bowl set out on the table, a small pentagram drawn on the floor…and a swarm of angry zom-bees whirling around them.

“My friends…I’m so sorry,” Castiel told the bees, stepping closer and holding out his hands. The bees looked perfect and alive, and it pained him to know he’d be putting an end to them soon. The bright little points of life energy in them felt wrong, though. It wasn’t anchored properly — they weren’t alive so much as reanimated, the energy crammed back into the bodies without fully seating itself.

The zom-bees swarmed for Castiel, coating his hands and crawling on his nose, on his hair. Even undead like they were, they didn’t sting him. Bees had always been friends to Cas.

Cas held up his hands and looked at their tiny striped bodies, feeling the buzz of their lives on his palms. They were all touching him, now was the perfect time to smite them…

But he just couldn’t do it.

“It’s not your fault,” the angel sniffled, cradling the bees in his hands. “You didn’t want to die, you just wanted to taste flowers and make honey, like God intended.”

The bees had fallen silent. For a horrible moment, Castiel thought perhaps unholy things being so near to his grace had killed them even without smiting them. When he looked closer, though, he saw that the pinpoints of life in each bee were settling down, drawing into each little leg and wing and antenna.

The bees were no longer zom-bees. They were alive. As Cas sat and thought loving thoughts at the bees, his grace had reached out and healed them.

“Still can’t believe this,” Dean said, shaking his head. He and Sam were standing on the edge of the Bunker’s new rooftop garden, watching Castiel transplant a big bunch of petunias from a pot to the flower bed. Happy bees swarmed around him, some landing on his hair, one resting on his cheek as he worked. Dean had never seen him look happier.

Sam shrugged.

“I guess our spell kind of worked after all, in an indirect way. If we never tried to resurrect the bees, Cas never would have tried healing them.”

“Sammy, we just brought an extinct species back from the dead.” Dean turned to him, grinning. “What if we DID try dinosaurs? You think it’d work?”

“Dean. No.”

“C’mon, just a little one. I’m not talking a T-rex…”