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Prologue: Absent Fathers

 

Tony didn’t like it when he had to go to creepy visits. The house was rundown and a supposed writer lived here. Well, if he was a writer he wasn’t a very successful one. Gibbs was already flouting rules now Kate was here as he’d been told to go alone. He’d note it in his logs but he just wanted to get the hell out of town.

“Mr Shurley. Open up, it’s NCIS!”

The door opened and the man froze in shock.

It was not out of guilt as one might suspect but rather shock. To be fair, Tony wasn’t far behind in terms of shock. He was so not expecting to see his father (his real one) standing in front of him.

Shurley tied his bath coat over his underwear. “Come in, son.”

Tony shuddered because he wasn’t just being polite. “Hey Dad, where you been? You missed a lot.”

The door closed and time froze for a second. It was to allow them to have a real conversation with no ears from above or below muscling in on them. “So Jeg. What’s this about?”

“Oh, you know. My big brothers were being dicks. You were incommunicado. Mikey went power mad so I came down here to see what had you so enamoured with the humans.” Tony replied.

“So you’re really an NCIS agent?”

Jegudiel frowned because he didn’t like that tone. “Hey, you were the one who put me in charge of honest labours. Plus, Friday’s ... Them I adore.”

Chuck shook his head bemused at his son’s explanation but couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. “You know, I create everything but never watch or observe it. No one would be real if they knew who I was so I created this identity.”

Tony sat down on an opposite couch. His Dad had essentially confessed to checking out because he needed a break. He got the idea of a break to recharge yourself but to take so long that your brothers start planning the apocalypse in a hope of getting their father’s attention - well, that was too long. “You know they’re trying to start a war, right?”

Chuck shrugged as he was on holiday - if his kids decided to make a mess then they would be the ones forced to clean it up. If they didn’t, then Lucifer could have some guests in Hell until they learned their manners. “They have the free will to do as they please.”

Jegudiel froze because he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Although, it explained why they were having a civil conversation rather than him being zapped up into heaven. “So what I am hearing is ... Son, great to see you but if you want to continue your hiding, let’s pretend we didn’t see each other?”

Chuck clapped him on the back, “In one,”  and then he got a splitting headache. “Damn Winchesters.”

Tony didn’t say anything as it wasn’t his place. He’d decided to check out of heaven rather than be forced to face his brothers in an unnecessary battle. He was musing on what he’d been told. He froze, “Everyone has Free Will?”

“I made man in your image.” Chuck reminded him and then trailed off. “So if they have Free Will.”

Tony zapped himself away because he couldn’t believe it. He sat for a while on the top of the Grand Canyon. It was one of his favourite places to think. He couldn’t believe God had effectively pulled the mother of all lies of omission. The implication of the statement was staggering but was it his place to tear down Heaven. He knew so many of the Choir in Heaven who would not handle the idea of Free Will - It would be simply too alien to them.

He had so many big thoughts but he knew that while Gibbs wasn’t God (having just been talking to the real one) he could sure throw his weight around.

So the Archangel Jegudiel slipped away back into his mortal life and job as SFA of the MCRT. He would leave the Supernatural worries to the side - he had enough keeping Gibbs on an even keel.

Chapter Text

Chapter One: Explosive Meetings

 

Jegudiel was bored of stupid mortal pettiness right now. He was debating why the hell he’d stayed at NCIS once Gibbs had scooted off to Mexico. He should have ditched this identity at the same time. He hadn’t and now Gibbs was back and taking it out on the team.

It said a lot about working at NCIS if the Archangel in charge of honest endeavours was bone wearily tired. In fact, scratch that, he was tired down to his sixth set of hidden wings. There was so much stupidity and bitching it was like listening to Michael and Lucifer in one of their mammoth arguments. He was having to deal with petulant co-workers bemoaning the fact their leader had checked out to Mexico just as heaven decided to kick off once more.  

Tony was well aware that Zachariah was moving chess pieces around the apocalypse board that he didn’t like. This was bad, oh so very bad.

The Winchester brothers were taking up more and more of the cosmic radio. He may have been hidden from angelic view but he knew better than to not listen in. It was the best way to stay a step ahead without having to hide as one of the tricksters like Gabriel was currently doing.

“Tony. Are you even listening to me?”

Jegudiel broke away from his musings and tried to think of what his conversation had been about. He had to confess. “No, not really. What were you saying, McDrone ?”

“I was talking about the cold case - saying it’s futile,” the junior agent replied, looking frustrated. He hated having to review cold cases - as far as he was concerned, there was a reason why they were classified as a cold case.

Tony grinned manically, looking at the file over his shoulder. “Au contraire, look at the financials.”

McGee frowned because he wasn’t dumb. He’d done nothing but look at the financials for the last two hours. “They’re clean.”

Tony rolled his eyes because he’d seriously hoped he’d broken him of looking only surface deep. He was trying to prepare the team for the eventuality he was found by his brother and sisters. Or, if as he suspected, Crazy-Zacky decided the apocalypse should start as it sounded like a swell time.

In such a case or any other variation - it would mean that Jeg would have to leave his job as Agent and assume his true purpose. If so, then he didn’t want to leave the team in such a position where they would need an outside investigator. He suspected he’d need to step up training or that would happen. He didn’t know why but he sensed he’d be making this choice sooner rather than later.

“No, McGee, they’re not. What was their job?” Tony asked, guiding the agent to seeing the light.

“Accountant.” McGee replied still not catching the obvious.

Tony nodded and could tell he still wasn’t getting the point he was trying to make. “So what should they be pulling in?”

“Probably at least 2 to 3 thousand.” McGee answered thinking of average wages.

Tony nodded and redirected the question once more. “So why is this one only declaring one thousand?”

Mcgee’s face showed a dawning realisation, and then he flushed in embarrassment of his mistake.

Tony clapped him on his back. “Don’t worry, McGee ... the original team missed it.”

“You didn’t.” McGee said, obviously annoyed that he’d been led to the answer. He was supposed to be able to use computers to find the answers. It had failed him today and yet Tony had seen the issue immediately. He should be better than Tony, he needed to be better than Tony.

Tony shrugged, knowing that McGee was suffering from jealousy. Well, it was an ugly path that led to the wrong place. “If there’s one thing I have, it’s the experience of lots of cases.”

It was the truest thing he could say, after all, he’d been around since the dawn of creation in some form or another. He’d become so frustrated with his brother and sisters he figured he’d work for justice on Earth and see just what his father saw in his creations. Of course, that was before he knew Dad was bumming around Earth as a prophet. He got it now, even if some of them were annoying, like his team at the moment.

He’d been so distracted by his mundane day trying to deal with the egos on his team that he hadn’t noticed the danger. He only realised what danger he was in when he sat down in his car and felt the pressure trigger activate.

Fuck.

It might not be angelic but it was the only word that summed up how he felt. He was going to have to let the damn thing explode and fake being thrown into the air and have a miraculous escape.

It all happened in microseconds. It happened so quickly that heaven’s youngest angel managed to catch the scent of his power as he flew out of the blast radius but still stayed slightly singed. It needed to look authentic if he wasn’t going to raise suspicions. He’d had to block his divine power only once before when he’d been found to have Y-Pestis spores.

Tony groaned at seeing Castiel flutter onto the street. What was the baby of the flock doing out on his own? He should have kept a better reign on his power - he hadn’t slipped like that in a century. He was starting to hate this entire week because he must have broken like a truck full of mirrors.

The widening of Castiel’s eyes when he recognised Tony was funny even if it was a potential headache. He’d tampered down on his power extra hard - he didn’t want any more strays finding him. This was going to take enough explaining and he didn’t feel like justifying himself to the entire flock.

The game was up and he saw no reason in denying it. “Help me up, Cassie.”

The angel scowled even as he did so. “What are you doing here, Jegudiel?”

Tony shrugged because that was a good question with a seriously complicated answer. “Hey look, I will answer your questions but right now I’m pretending to be human. Tony DiNozzo is the name I am answering to so play along.”

The look of horror on Castiel’s face was absolutely hilarious. He may have been spending more time around humans if the angelic gossip was right but he was slow to acclimatise.

“Tony!” Gibbs shouted racing to the explosion site.

Tony coughed and felt annoyed that he couldn’t heal his body. He had no host with him - he was a freaking archangel so he’d built his own body. He wasn’t like his older brothers that hadn’t manipulated bloodlines to get their perfect vessels. “I’m still here, thanks to Jimmy.”

Gibbs looked the bewildered angel once over but dismissed him in the same instance. “Thank you for your assistance. Agent DiNozzo will need to seek medical help.”

Tony scowled in a way that was unfitting for an archangel. Castiel didn’t understand anything right now. “I hope you get better.” He was sure he’d heard Dean use that platitude once or twice with Sam.

Tony smirked where none of the others could see. He would as soon as pesky eyes were away from him. He then needed to hunt down the miscreant that had bombed his car. He loved that car.

~*~

Tony had gotten back to his apartment and he was thankful he was alone. It was weird the things he was willing to do in order to keep his cover. He decided to use the human way to contact an angel, in a great twist of irony. He prayed.

Oh Castiel, I seek your guidance on how to survive my Thursday.

Castiel popped into the apartment, looking no different from yesterday. He seemed to think Holy Accountant was the best look for him. He wasn’t one for short talk.  “You’ve been gone a long time, Jegudiel and you're not funny.”

Tony shrugged because he wasn’t big on denial. He’d made a choice and he would see it through to the end. “Not sorry. All of you were being dicks.”

Castiel smiled, Jegudiel sounded just like Dean. He was resistant to their brothers’ plans too. “You sound like the righteous man.”

Jegudiel had very strong feelings regarding Dean Winchester. “He deserved to be saved. Hell wasn’t right for what he did. Our whole family has twisted that boy up so he doesn’t know left from right.”

Castiel agreed hesitantly as he knew that his thoughts didn’t make him a good soldier.  “I am not Uriel’s hammer, Jegudiel, but I need help to oppose their plans.”

Now he was paying attention. Tony would have spat out his whiskey if it wasn’t the good stuff. Tony was so very impressed, he didn’t think a Seraph would be the first one to willingly embrace the idea of Free Will on his own. “You’re opposing the end of days? And you’re too cute to be a hammer even if you are a little badass. I found it hysterical when you punched out Baltazar.”

Castiel smirked at the memory. “He stopped calling me a precious unicorn afterwards.”

Tony adored the stubbornness being displayed, it made him look so cute both in human form and angelic. “You know they’ve been planning the end of days from before Dad even thought of creating you.”

Castiel pouted, which didn’t stop him looking adorable. “You could help me.”

“Stop the end of days?” Tony asked, seeking a direct confirmation of how far Castiel was willing to go.

“Yes.” Castiel said resolutely as if it was that simple. If it was just a matter of faith he’d have stopped it in his tracks already.

Tony tilted his head to the side and asked out of curiosity. “What convinced you?”

“Dean did.”

Tony quirked an eyebrow and he grew more impressed with the righteous man. Still, his impact was huge if he could make an angel consider rebellion. Little Castiel had grown up into one glorious little badass. He spoke softly. “Dean must be pretty special for you to consider rebelling.” It was the truth too, the first thing you would always say to describe Castiel was that he was loyal to the host. He may have started to rock Free Will thanks to Winchester’s influence but it wouldn’t have been easy.

Castiel looked pained and Jegudiel knew this was probably the key part of his turmoil. “I can’t imagine this is Father’s plan.”

Jegudiel chuckled and patted the spot on the sofa by him. “Come sit, talk me through your thoughts. No one in heaven or hell can hear us.”

Castiel nodded and talked for ages. He explained his task, how he raised Dean Winchester from perdition. His confusion with Dean not understanding that he should be saved. The confusion that leaving his grace to heal Dean had caused. Jegudiel suspected it was that small thread that had caused Castiel to end up a fully fledged doubter. He was clever little sod though as he still had access to his grace so the plotters didn’t suspect him yet. Jegudiel knew that meant if Zachy and co caught hold of it they would cut him off from heaven.

“You’ve had quite the year haven’t you, Cassie. ” Tony said in exasperation. Wow, when the angel decided to put his support behind someone he did it with his whole being.

“It has been quite trying,” Castiel agreed. He shuddered when he was pulled into a hug by Jegudiel. He could feel his wing being petted and it was so needed. He’d been starved of contact since heading down to the front lines of the attack on perdition. His wings were so tatty. He blushed. He shouldn’t sully an archangel with these wings.

Jegudiel tutted at him. “Don’t even think about it. You got this when you fought in perdition. It doesn’t make you unclean, it makes you a warrior.”

Castiel nodded but said nothing as it was unnecessary - To stroke an angel’s wing was akin to announcing your interest in them. He didn’t understand why Jegudiel would be intrigued by him. He was no one special.

Castiel shuddered. “That is ...”

“So good.” Jegudiel smirked. He’d always seen pleasure as a reward for endeavours. It might not be the most angelic philosophy but it was his - and it worked. As his Dad hadn’t clipped his wings, he figured the old man agreed with him.

“Yes,” Castiel arched into the sensation.

Jegudiel had to temper his own reaction. Castiel was just learning who he was on his own, he wouldn’t influence him unduly. He would be no better than those demonic bastards. “You shouldn’t wait so long.”

Cass groaned at the joy he was feeling. “Don’t trust the others and the rest think I’m impetuous.”

Yeah, Jegudiel could see how they would think that but he thought it was Castiel’s best quality. “Their loss but my gain.”

It was the start of a beautiful courtship.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Bonding Moments

 

Castiel dropped into the bar, as they’d arranged to meet. It was decidedly human and odd but he was willing to go with it to meet up with Jegudiel.

Castiel had thought he’d be cut off from heaven and his kind. To find that there was an angel already on Earth was amazing. It also made helped him to feel secure in his choice to go against heaven’s plan.

“Is this a courting gesture?” Castiel asked, confused by what was going on.

Jegudiel grinned at him. “If you want it to be.”

“I do.” Castiel said immediately. He didn’t want there to be any doubt. “I am just confused about why.”

Tony chuckled because that was the most human statement he could make without even knowing it. “Why do you think that is?”

“Well, you’re an Archangel and you shouldn’t sully yourself with Seraph.”

Tony was annoyed because the words may have been said by Castiel but that was all Zachariah. “Now tell me what you think and not Zachy.”

Castiel looked shy for a second. “You are you, and I am ...”

Tony sipped his beer. “Mine if you want to be. Castiel, you have achieved so much and you appeal to me on every level. I would like to court you truly and all that entails.”

Castiel blushed and his eyes went briefly wide. If you’d be able to see his true form then you would have seen a spark of red jet off his wings, a sign of true happiness. He was coy in his response of, “I would also enjoy all that entails.”

~*~

Jegudiel blinked upon hearing wings land in his apartment. A smile graced his face at seeing his favourite angel of the whole choir. “Hey there, what brings you to my humble abode?”

“Human interactions are infinitely complex.” Cas groused. He still couldn’t shake the annoyance his last conversation with Dean had left him with. He’d not wanted to lose his patience with the righteous man so flew away before he spoke out of turn.

Tony chuckled because that was the understatement of the century. “Well, yeah. They can’t see their soul beneath, Cassie. You know this.”

It had frustrated Jegudiel too until he’d figured out what the reasoning was and then he just learned to let it go. He couldn’t fix everything but he could use his influence to ensure a few grey candidates didn’t end up downstairs.

Castiel sighed because he was feeling despondent right now. He hadn’t known where he was going to fly to until he’d landed at Jegudiel’s door. It was a relief to know that he had someone he could talk with without judgement. “They don’t believe they deserve to be saved.”

“Well, human guilt is a powerful emotion for them.”

Castiel sighed but his frustration was obvious. “It can be too strong at times.”

Tony chuckled, pulling him in for a hug as it was obvious to him that he needed one. “And that is why we have perseverance and a safe space to vent and rant. I’m not coming up to heaven any time soon but you know you’re welcome here whenever you wish.”

It was an easy offer to make as he adored Castiel and no one in the team even knew about this apartment. It was also warded from both the elements of Heaven and Hell so he could relax here.

“Will you ever show your face to our other brothers and sisters?” Castiel asked. There was no judgement in his voice - just curiosity.

Tony shook his head because after having met Chuck and his annoyance with the whole affair he’d felt he was right to leave to focus on his role. He’d have continued too if Castiel hadn’t found him accidentally. “If they come after you, I will flatten them so do your best to avoid that.”

Castiel looked sheepish, which showed he was picking up some human mannerisms. It showed that he and Dean should monitor Sam’s influence on his angel. “I’m working with the Winchesters.”

Tony snorted at the sass which made him smile. Still, humans had some great ways of communicating without divine assistance. He figured they could easily use them to keep themselves and their relationship under the radar. “Fine, give me your phone. We can keep in contact the human way. It will be a novel experience.”

Castiel accepted the phone number. He solemnly promised, “I will do my best to stay alive.”

Tony kissed his cheek, knowing that Castiel would feel his grace linger. It would prop his lover up while his access to grace from heaven was tenuous. “And that is all I can ask. I must confess that I am keeping track of your signature.”

Castiel looked aggrieved. “Don’t reveal yourself for me.”

Tony growled at the way Castiel was dismissing his own existence. “You’re important to me. You know this, so you don’t get to make that choice. Just try not to put me in that position. I may not have picked up my sword in recent years but I can still flatten any opponent.”

“That is sweet of you to say,” Castiel replied, blushing a little.

Jegudiel figured threatening to destroy your enemies wasn’t normally considered a romantic declaration. However, when the object of your affection was a garrison soldier of heaven - then it was sweet. “It’s the truth.”  

~*~

Castiel was frowning at his phone, Jegudiel was not having a good day and there was nothing he could do to help. He could tell that Dean and Sam were confused with his actions. It freaked the brothers out because they didn’t think the angel knew anyone else on this Earth.

“You okay there, Cas?” Dean asked cautiously because his friend had the power to flatten towns when pissy. Right now, he wouldn’t fancy being the nearest town as it would be a crater with how bad Cas’ mood was.

The angel sighed but knew secrets could be damaging in such a small group dynamic. “Yes, a friend is being stubborn.”

“Who’s the friend?” Dean asked, intrigued by the idea of his favourite angel making connections with people. He’d felt so bad at the idea of him forsaking heaven to fight with them. It seemed Castiel was being proactive of a sorts. Of course, that meant they needed to consider if they would be a target due to being a civilian.

Castiel knew it was a half-truth but until he could discuss it with Jegudiel he wouldn’t reveal much. “His name is Tony, he is a Federal Agent.” It wasn’t a lie, Jegudiel did call himself that and identified by the name. He just neglected to mention his archangel status.

“How did you meet?” Sam asked. The brothers would always be nervous at the mention of law enforcement.

“His car blew up.” Castiel offered like that explained everything.

It didn’t of course but Castiel was willing to play obtuse if it kept them safe.

“And you saved him?”

Castiel shook his head. “No, he saved himself. I just kept him company.”

Dean was sure he was missing something but they needed to focus on keeping Lucifer from being resurrected. “Well, pop in and see him if you need. We’re just going to see if we can stop Lucifer from getting to Sam.”

~*~

Jegudiel longed to fly. He was beyond pissed right now and even if it was a human emotion he didn’t care. He was being punished for following orders. He’d been so tempted to offer up some old school smiting on the new big boss. Him and his smug little grin, and stupid toothpicks.

The wings landing told him he wasn’t alone. “What is wrong?”

Tony didn’t say anything at first, he just wrapped himself around Castiel and clung extra-tight using all six set of wings. “Stupid mundane matters.”

Castiel managed to gently nudge him to the couch and, in a perfect role reversal, he started to groom Jeg’s wings. The action relaxed him to the point where he was willing to say something.

“The Director wants to send me to a ship as an Agent Afloat, all because the previous director was suicidal and sent us away.”

Castiel didn’t stop his movements. “Do you did want to stay in the role?”

Tony pouted. “Quit using my own words against me.”

“We’re taught that you are the ones that have the wisdom we should aspire to.” Castiel said primly.

It might work on anyone else but Tony knew when he was getting trolled. “Don’t try that with me but I take your point.”

“We can use the phone to communicate and snatch other moments.” Castiel offered with a kiss to the lips.

“We will,” Jegudiel returned the kiss. “Just don’t get into any trouble before I get back to dry land permanently.”

“I promise.”

It was a promise that Castiel would be unable to keep due to a certain trickster showing up and planting them in a fake reality.




Chapter Text

Chapter 3: Changing Roles just like a TV channel

 

Jegudiel figured out they had formed a nascent bond just after Castiel left and he knew exactly where his intended had landed. Oh, that was handy. Cassie tended to get into a lot of trouble.

You can feel it. Castiel sent the thought to him. And wow, they could already transmit thoughts at the start of the bond so Jeg couldn’t wait to see where they would end up.

Yeah - Don’t let Dean get away with too much. He got in return.

Castiel snorted because Jeg should really practice what he was preaching in that regards. He was still ‘friends’ with his coworkers even though they were treated him terribly. You too.  

He felt the wave of amusement and happiness wash over him and that was a wholesome feeling to take with him as he once more chose to oppose the apocalypse. They were both facing changing realities. He was taken by surprise seeing Gabriel when he landed in the motel where Dean and Sam were supposed to be sitting.

It was the last thing he was aware of when, with a click of the other’s fingers, he was sent somewhere else. It wasn’t Earth but rather a pocket dimension. There were scantily clad women throwing themselves at him. It wasn’t right. He didn’t know them and he only ever wanted Jegudiel to be that close. He managed to weasel out of the group and get to the door, to be met with a roar of fire.

Gabriel had always had a terrible sense of humour.

Gabriel?

Castiel froze for a second forgetting about the bond. He could choose to say little knowing that Jegudiel had his own concerns. And yet, he deserved to know that Gabriel wasn’t lost to them.

He had the Winchester’s and myself in a pocket dimension and he is using movies and TV to make a point, Castiel explained through their bond.

The curse he got in return was not biologically possible even for an archangel’s power. However, he’d gladly watch Jegudiel’s attempt of shoving Gabriel’s wings through his halo sidewards.  

Are you safe?

Castiel was glad of being his first thought. I’m safe but the Winchester’s won’t be.

~*~

Dean hated tricksters. No, he detested them with a passion. They were bigger dicks than the angels and he couldn’t believe at one time he thought that was funny. It was a time before his vacation in hell. Dean was keeping a check on his temper - barely. Playing in the Dr Sexy Land was fun but not when Sammy got hurt. His little brother kept getting damaged by their little games.

“Where is Castiel?” Dean demanded to know.

The Trickster smirked at him like he was cute instead of menacing. “He is being kept busy. You haven’t been paying attention.” He chided, sounding like a vexed teacher instead of a trickster.

“Oh, but I have.” Dean purred.

Loki tilted his head to the side as if he was trying to figure out if Dean was bluffing or not. He wasn’t the only one - his brother was holding his breath trying to figure out what Dean’s play was.

“You want us to play our parts but why should we?” Dean replied. He hated the way everyone had seemingly decided the parts he and Sam were supposed to play. The only trouble was he’d been playing a role for his father most of his life and he was done playing to anyone’s tune. Dean was no longer fond of following anyone else's script.

Loki rolled his eyes at the defiance exhibited in the older Winchester’s eyes. He’d seen it a thousand times - people rebelled, and then they got squashed. It was part of the cycle and his Dad usually sent him or Mikey to do the flattening. It was one of the reasons he’d skipped out on heaven - he was no body’s blunt instrument. “You plan to interfere in plans that are millennia old. That is pretty arrogant, boy.”

A new voice interrupted their little tete-a-tete. Dean didn’t know the new player but he sounded pissed.

“You know, Gabriel , that is really fucking hypocritical. I could abide by your little Norse games but where the fuck did you put my Castiel.”

In truth, Tony could have probably found his bonded on his own but he didn’t want to. It was about time someone pulled Gabe’s head out of his ass - it may as well be him.

Jeg smirked, seeing, the Trickster pale. He was guessing that Gabriel had not accounted for him being part of the plan. He always did enjoy being the Wildcard of the group.

Gabriel was now trying to backtrack - at least that was how Dean read the situation.

“Jeg’ it is not like that ... I wouldn’t harm little Castiel.”

The new guy’s glare was pretty fierce as he warned the trickster-something . “He is precious to me, Gabe . I will dip each and every one of your twelve wings in holy oil and pluck them out with tweezers if you’ve fucked with him.”

Loki/Gabriel and Dean tilted their head to the side as if they were trying to imagine how that would work. Dean had learnt his angelic lore pretty rapidly. He was pretty sure that hot man in Zegna was Jegudiel, one of the seven big archangels. Best bit? He didn’t seem a dick. He seemed almost human which was odd.

“You’ve bonded with the littlest Seraph?” Gabriel asked, not even bothering to pretend he wasn’t shocked.

Jegudiel’s arms were folded in front of his chest showing how unimpressed he was with that statement. “You fucked around with Kali for a millennia. You hardly have stones to throw, brother.”

Gabriel smirked so it was clear he was unrepentant. At least in the way of his dating choices. “She is so passionate and fiery. It was fate.”

He clicked his fingers and Castiel appeared by Jegudiel’s side. Then much to the bemusement of everyone, Castiel clutched Jegudiel’s hand but he looked straight at Gabriel and shouted. “You’re a dick, Gabriel!”

Jegudiel rolled his eyes. In terms of dysfunctional - it barely registered on the scale.  “You lot are lucky I am playing Agent Afloat right now. So what in Father’s name is going on? Why have you revealed yourself now, Gabriel? Dad and I were content to leave you to your trickster games as you were happy.”

All three whipped their heads around that because the implications were massive. “You know where God is?”

Jegudiel nodded, and didn’t get why it was such a big deal. “Well, my ex-boss would like to think he has the title but you’ve met him.”

Castiel was frowning because he’d have remembered seeing God. He was thinking about all their ‘dates’ and never once had God come up in the discussion.

Gabriel snorted with derision. “You missed the memo. God left the building. It is why Luci and Mikey are gearing up for round two of the worst sibling fight in the history of ever.”

Tony snickered because that was one way to describe it. “You’d be partially right. He is bumming around writing for a living. He was always a creator, Gabe, he just chose stories as his medium this last thirty years.”

Dean was the quickest to the conclusion. He couldn’t believe that it was the truth. “Chuck? The drunk-ass prophet is actually God?”

Castiel glared at Jegudiel. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“A divine agreement to pretend the other didn’t know the other one is around,” was all he could offer as an answer. He wasn’t sorry. He’d enjoyed his time on Earth and meeting Castiel once more was a revelation.

Dean looked at his best friend and asked tentatively. “Er, Cas? Is this Tony the boyfriend?”

Castiel rolled his eyes because it should have been obvious. He didn’t go around holding just anyone’s hand. “Yes, Dean. He is. It is more than just a boyfriend but that is not the point right now.”

Gabriel was pondering things because he was fond of Earth. It wouldn’t survive if Mikey and Luci didn’t to duke it out to see who had the bigger halo. “Could we convince Dad to throw them into time out?”

Jegudiel shrugged because for all his power and experience this wasn’t something he could predict. The Fates also hated him, so tended not to answer any of his questions. “We won’t know if we don’t try.”

The two archangels looked at each other and had a silent conversation and disappeared.

Dean looked at his best-friend who appeared bewildered. “You just might have got your boyfriend to solve the apocalypse and you won’t even crack a smile.”

Castiel shrugged, “He said he was bored on the ship.”

Dean shook his head. “You really need to explain how an archangel ended up pretending to be an NCIS agent. He passes as human, Cas.”

“I know. Jegudiel has always been the one to work on hard labours so if he commits to a role, he does it with his whole being.”

“Your boyfriend is badass. So what’s the story behind you two?”

Castiel sighed. “This is not the place.”

Dean wasn’t going to be deterred. “So zap me and Sam to some place that is and then share the gossip with us.”



Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Plan B

 

Dean had championed Team Free Will but he'd never believed it would do much more than slow the End of Days. Lucifer was already walking the Earth so that was only if they were lucky. 

That was until his best friend pulled an archangel boyfriend, and one of his brothers, out of a hat. They were strange, the new brothers, and that was even with Dean’s history and family background. 

Gabriel had been masquerading as a trickster god, Loki. The bastard was good at it too and ensnared him and Sam at one point. Dean would have liked his style more if he hadn’t been killed a hundred times to prove a point.

Sam looked at him and kept starting a sentence but closing his mouth. It might have been funny at any other time but not so much right now. It seemed the situation was rapidly changing every second and it was making it hard to figure out where they stood or what they should do next. 

Dean could wait out bitch-face five - you’ve been keeping things from me. In truth, he was still trying to process that Castiel had a boyfriend, who was also an archangel of God. It meant their chance to stop the apocalypse had just significantly improved. 

“Did you know about this?” Sam finally asked him.

Dean gave a half shrug. “Sort of. He said he had a friend, Tony, who was a fed.” 

Sam snorted because Castiel had learnt more from them than they realised. For example, like how to be economical with the truth. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact there is an archangel who was whiling away time as a navy cop.” 

The two brothers started to snicker. Dena had to point out, “Is it any stranger than the fact angels and demons are conspiring for the fight of the ages but want their leaders to wear us to the Prom?”

Sam snickered. “That’s being a Winchester.”

Dean raised his beer. “To being a Winchester.” 

~*~ 

Tony was back on the Seahawk for a second and he had to put up with Gabriel frowning at him. In fact, he started to pout much like a child instead of an ancient archangel. 

“Dad’s not here.” 

Tony rolled his eyes because way to state the obvious . “I know that, Gabe. I need to make a decision and it is an important one for me.” 

Gabriel snorted because what he should do was obvious at least to him. “Bro, it is time to stop playing mortal, especially if we’re going to put a stop to Revelations. It’s not something we’re going to achieve with a split focus.” 

Jegudiel was the one who then started to pout because he knew his brother was right. It sucked. He liked just being Tony. It was soothing and he only had a few people being annoying and pesky, not the entire Choir. However, he needed to remember he was a big Archangel and it was time to call people to task. 

“So what do you recommend?” 

Gabriel grinned. He was shocked but pleased that Jeg was asking for his advice. “You want my advice?” 

Jeg nodded his head. “I might regret saying this but sure.” 

Gabriel looked at some of the clothes in the living area. “Why not leave your clothes at the end of the ship? You will become a mystery but one that would let you slip back into the identity if needed.” 

Tony tilted his head to the side and considered the angles. “That would work. Okay, so I’m going to go look into the horizon and fly off the edge.”

It wasn’t the nicest thing to do in terms of leaving NCIS but he had to focus on stopping the apocalypse. 

Gabriel smirked at him, and it was as if the eons just fell away. “Atta boy, remember how to use those wings?” 

Tony’s response was to use his fourth wing to knock Gabriel on his ass. He quirked an eyebrow at his brother. “You tell me.” 

Gabriel chuckled because he deserved that one. “Okay, fair point. Where shall we meet?”

Tony smirked. “Lebanon, Kansas.”

~*~ 

It hadn’t taken long to set up his exit from the ship. Jegudiel landed with ease and this was one thing he was glad he could now do. Humans took too much time travelling from place to place.

“You’re still hiding your presence?” Gabriel asked, bemused. He knew who Jegudiel was but if he looked at him for his real form it was obscured from view. It was a nifty trick, all things considered, as it wasn’t too easy to hide a celestial energy on the power level of them. 

Jeg could hear the question in Gabe’s voice. “Yep,” he dug something out of his pocket. “Catch.” 

The Enochian symbols on the bag was mixed in with ancient Sumerian and the hex bag was full of things that had died out in the modern world. Gabriel took stock of what was in it and then grinned. “So I can use my full powers. Nice!” He was debating how he was going to be able to help if he kept accessing the Norse powers instead of his divine. "Thanks, bro. So why are we here?” 

Tony looked at the door that was cut into the mountainside. It had the feel of a Cold War bunker and in all honesty, it wasn’t far from the truth. The only difference being it wasn’t communism but rather evil supernatural creatures that they were aiming to protect against. He swept his arms extravagantly at the rather unassuming door. “Welcome to a Men of Letters bunker, US style.” 

Gabriel was confused as this was a non-sequitur. “That’s nice - and how does that help?”

Jegudiel rolled his eyes because he was always the one to make the bigger plans. “Well, the Winchester’s grandfather was a part of the organisation but the wards are locked down tight. Turns out they’d need someone with a lot of power to open them.”

“So there are wards? And powerful ones? A place to use as a base.” Gabriel quickly caught up with Jegudiel’s plan  

He nodded. “So we won’t need to add too many to have a forward base while we figure out how to tear down the plan.” 

“You’re not asking Dad to help. Are you?” 

Tony shook his head. God was being an asshole right now, and to be honest he wasn’t sure what his help would entail - or even if it would be good.  “No, he’s in mega asshole mode at the moment.” 

Gabriel didn’t argue the insult as it was no doubt true. He just wanted to know to what degree. “Like lock Luci in a box or demand I wipe out all Nephilim because one was having a tantrum?” 

The look he gave his brother spoke volumes. “Right, and we didn’t say that in front of the others because...?” 

Jegudiel looked sheepish. “You know how much the others look up to him like he is this perfect being, Cassie included. I don’t want to tear down that hope until we absolutely have to.” 

Gabriel chuckled and shook his head. “You’re really halo over wings for him, aren’t you?” 

Jeg snorted at the butchered euphemism. “Yeah, I am.”

Gabriel was impressed with Castiel because he’d definitely grown since meeting up with the Winchesters. Jegudiel was the serious one of the flock. He always favoured his labours above having fun. He saw it as his duty to see God’s orders followed. He knew Dad leaving had screwed with everyone but Jeg’s level of disillusion was too great to have been just that. He would love to find out just what had happened.

“Let’s get to work.”

~*~

Tony and Gabriel popped back into the motel where the Winchesters were hanging out. 

“I don’t see God,” Sam said expectantly.

“What can you do?” Gabriel replied with a shrug. He conjured a lollipop, sucking on it for the hell of it. “He bailed but me and Jeg have a plan.”

A plan would be nice. It gave people hope - something they’d been running on fumes for far too long. Dean had been feeling empty since he’d been pulled out of hell. Sam was building up for a bitch fit, he knew that face since Sam had hit puberty. “So what is it?”

“You need to hang on to someone with wings.” Gabriel announced. 

Castiel noted that Sam took his hand and Gabriel had grabbed Dean’s - interesting . He would have to talk to Jegudiel when they were alone.

Dean looked around at the hill. It wasn’t what he was expecting but he could roll with it. “Okay, and where have we landed?” 

“Lebanon, Kansas. This is your birthright as Winchester men.” Tony informed them.

Dean knew he was an Archangel but he didn’t act like one. It helped because in his head most angels were dicks and he didn’t have the greatest reaction towards most of them. He liked Cas and that was it so far. “Huh. Let’s take a look.”

Dean grimaced as Tony and Gabriel had to use some of their blood. It was like the tv show - everything with the supernatural would always come down to blood. He stepped inside and lost his capacity to speak. “Okay, Gabe, I forgive you for being a dick at the mystery spot.”

Gabe grinned because he could do a lot with that - and bless Jeg as he didn’t explain who’d done the research.

“So what the plan for Lucifer because Sam and I are no one's meat suit for the fucked up apocalypse prom.” Dean finished as he sat down at the table where the others had all gravitated to. 

Castiel’s boyfriend had a maniacal look. “You’re going to help us build a Ma’lak room in one of the bunker rooms.”

“For what purpose?”

Gabriel had a grin. “Well, a Ma’lak box, once built and closed with the proper wards supplied by me and Jeg, would seal anything inside it for eternity. Now we need Michael and Lucifer to have a reality check.” 

“You think it’ll work?” 

The archangel brothers shared a pained look. Gabriel was the one to answer. “Honestly, no. Mikey has always been a mule-headed stubborn son of a bitch and Luci was too quick to temper, even as a toddler.”

Dean didn’t say anything about the parallels with him and Sam as he didn’t want to think about the whole births being manipulated by heaven and hell. “So a wicked example of time out. I thought it was coffin?” 

Sam whipped his head around because his brother usually chose to hide his smarts under his gruff mannerisms. Then again, the looks his brother was sending the way of the other Archangel weren’t subtle. Huh.

Gabriel tilted his head to the side in a very obviously appraising way. “It is, handsome, but between our power levels and your stubbornness I’m sure we can figure it out.”

Sam saw where this was going. “And if it fails, we can lock the bunker down once more and they’ll never see the light of day.”

Jegudiel nodded. “Exactly. It isn’t our desired outcome. After all, for better or worse they’re our siblings. You might fight with Dean but you would never leave him to rot but if it was a choice between the world and him you would make the hard choice. It was what you were raised to do.”

Sam tried to make a comment but he couldn’t because ultimately he was right. He had a lot to think about. This whole apocalypse had highlighted a few things to him. Dean was going to make a move on Gabriel soon. He knew his brother and knew the signs of a crush. He needed to find someone for himself. He wondered if there was an archangel that favoured a female form?

Jegudiel smirked at him. “Raphael but she can be kind of a dick.”

Sam flushed. “I...?” 

Jeg shook his head. “You’re entitled to your thoughts.” 

Castiel frowned, having missed the context of the conversation. “What’s so relevant about Raphael?” 

The angel spared Sam’s blushes. “He was wondering if any of the archangels favoured female forms.” 

Castiel had a look of dawning understanding. “I can understand the desire for companionship but no one deserves to have Raph’ inflicted upon them.”

Sam snorted because wow - if Castiel was disapproving of them they must be terrible. “Ignore me. I’m just being morose.”

Gabriel suddenly perked up. “I can find where that hot chick, Sarah, is. She could handle your life. She does, in fact, in multiple timelines.”

Sam was taken aback at the idea of a multiverse, whilst he knew his brother would geek out about it. “Er - let me think about it. Let’s sort out Lucifer first.” 

Gabriel shrugged. “That’s cool. Just please don’t be a cockblock while I try and seduce your brother.” 

Sam whimpered because this should not be his life. He walked to the library saying that Dean and Gabriel deserve each other.

Castiel and Jegudiel were standing to the side just watching, amused. Castiel whispered. “Should we do something?” 

Jeg shook his head. “Nope, this is something they need to figure out just like we did.”

Castiel smiled softly and kissed his lover’s cheek. “Well, we’ve figured it out so let’s go find somewhere to be alone.”

Jegudiel laughed softly as his lover grabbed his hand and led him down the hallway to somewhere he deemed private. Castiel was muttering about plans to worship him. He was so on board with those plans.

Tomorrow - they’d figure out the fine details of the plan on how they were going to stop the End of Days but tonight was just for the two of them. 

Chapter Text

Castiel and Jeg didn’t need sleep but both were the type to prefer somewhere to relax in private. Although the other rooms would need to be cleared out, Tony was having none of it. A click of his fingers, because he couldn’t pull off a nose wiggle like the character in BeWitched and the room, was how they wanted it. 

Castiel chuckled, “Won’t the others sense that?”

Jeg shrugged as he reeled Castiel closer. “Who cares? I want heaven to know there is a choice and not everyone is marching to Michael and Zachariah’s insane tango.” 

Castiel caught what was said but he was confused. “Choice isn’t something we have.” He said it like he was repeating something by rote, not as he believed it. 

Jegudiel smirked and challenged him. “Oh yeah. Who says?”

“It is the will of Heaven. Michael is the Leader of the Host in the absence of our Father and we must obey him.” Castiel said but he could tell Jegudiel wasn’t in agreement. 

Jegudiel sighed because if they were going to be successful then he was going to have bend the spirit of his agreement with God. “Yeah about that. I had a chat with Father once and he said man is made in our image. So it stands to reason that if they have Free Will so do we. We just weren’t aware Michael was the king of brainwashing before the humans figured out the term.”

Castiel gasped as he felt his connection to the Host restore itself. He’d assumed he’d been cut off when he made a choice to follow the Winchester plan. He wasn’t, Zachariah just wanted to make him feel like it. It was such an effective tool of control against other angels. You must follow the orders of the archangels or risk being cut off from heaven. It was akin to losing a limb and your entire family at one time. When it did happen - the angel would often choose to end their existence. 

Castiel had survived because he’d decided to fight for what is right and considered the Winchesters to be his family. And yet, he now realised he could have everything.  

Tony watched the brightness in his lover’s wings return and his grace naturally return to its normal levels. He’d been sustaining Castiel but couldn’t restore it completely. “You okay?”

Castiel gave him a droll look. “No, I feel terrible.”

There was no further chance for a chat as Gabriel shouted. “Jeg, what the fuck did you just do?“

Jegudiel grabbed Castiel’s hand and with his own wicked grin replied. “Are you ready to break Gabriel’s halo with this truth?”

“Yes. He deserves it for the stunt the other day.” Castiel said, clearly still vexed by the whole thing. 

~*~

Out in the main room, where all the books seemed to be stored, Gabriel nearly fell over with the power surge he felt. Dean actually caught him, showing his quick reflexes. Gabriel could hardly complain when he looked at the cute hunter. He would have to explore this soon - they should probably sort out the apocalypse first.

“Careful, Angel,” Dean whispered. “What got your wings in a flutter?”

Gabriel could have played it annoyed but had to laugh at the analogy. The answer sort of came in his next question. “JEGUDIEL. What the fuck have you just done?”

“Is that an angelic thing to say?” Dean asked, not in judgement but amusement. He was finding he liked Gabriel’s energy and humour. He was still sore about the whole mystery spot affair but that was now in a different light now he knew he was an archangel as well as a Norse God. 

Gabriel shrugged. “How should I know? I’ve been playing a Norse for a long time. So I was never any good in the first place?”

“That makes you alright in my book.” Dean replied. He didn’t exactly have the greatest experience with Angels. In fact, the only three he even liked were in the bunker right now. 

Gabriel was recovered enough to send Dean a come-hither look but any chance to continue to flirt was lost with Jeg arriving with Castiel. He was back in Zegna and looking every inch the composed archangel. “What?”

Gabriel pouted but he couldn’t exactly bitch as he’d shouted at Jeg - not the other way around. “You did something. Something big.”

Jegudiel stood still on the upper mezzanine, his arm around Castiel, not looking the least bit sorry. “I did. Sort of. Cassie did the hard work in my opinion.”

Dean didn’t get it but he was willing, for once, to stay quiet to see if he could get an answer. Gabriel was trying to figure it out but did choose to elaborate for the mortals in the room. “Little bro has his grace back.”

Jegudiel smirked. “I just shared some insight I had from Dad and then... Bam. Grace was back.” If anything his smirk grew wider. “It was a miracle.”

It was said so deadpan that Dean threw his head back and started to laugh at Gabriel’s gobsmacked expression. The laughter drew Sam into the room. Truth be told, it had been a long time since he’d heard the sound. “Er, what’s going on?”

“Tony broke Gabe’ I think,” was all Dean could say.

Gabriel started to speak but couldn’t formulate words. “You mean to say what I think!” 

Jegudiel just shrugged and looked sheepish like a human rather than an archangel of the Lord.  “If you mean Angels actually have free-will ... yeah.”

“Son of a bitch.” Sam was the one to say it, earning an askance look from Dean. It was almost like he was saying how dare you steal my line, little brother. 

Castiel seemed smug, Dean was pretty sure he was a bad influence to his best friend. What Dean could tell immediately was that Castiel seemed healthier. It was like he had a glow back, as he informed them. “I can’t wait to spread that gospel.”

Dean thought about it. “How will the angels handle learning that little truth?”

It was a fair question and the group migrated to the massive table in the centre of what looked like the library. The group were silent as they gave time to the very poignant question. Dean was aware that this could have a profound effect on not just the potential apocalypse but also heaven as a whole. 

Gabriel was thinking through the angles. “The choir is quiet, they have nothing to talk about. If you start preaching free will ... It will definitely cause ripples.”

“In a good way or a bad way?” Sam asked. He was concerned about the implications that Dean had voiced.

Jegudiel shrugged because it was difficult to predict. “It’ll be a case of numbers being your friend. The first sphere, you will have on your side. The second sphere, won’t care and more than likely just record the whole affair. Although, the sisters might have a bitch fit against me and Gabriel as I’m pretty sure we’d be derailing the whole thing.”

Sam was struggling to catch up, whereas Dean wasn’t because he’d done his research after finding out about Castiel.  

“The first sphere refers to the cherubims, seraphs and thrones. The ones who see God’s work done. They basically do all the legwork.”

Gabriel protested. “Hey, we’re the powerhouses!”

Dean patted him on the shoulder. “Of course you are but can Michael take on every seraph, throne and cherub?”

The answer was obviously no as they would work on sheer weight of numbers. Plus, the archangels who were currently running heaven in their father’s name would need their obedience in order to see that things are successful.

Jegudiel said it out loud. If Zachariah and little ole Ralphy are dealing with discord ... They will be too distracted to think about them, or, that they might still be around. There was of course their father to consider but Tony was pretty sure he would have interceded before now - if he was going to take issue. 

 “So Operation Discord is a go.”

The new team decided on who would go where, choosing to settle into two teams. Castiel, Dean and Sam would go and spread mischief amongst the other angels. Jegudiel and Gabriel would stay in the bunker and create the room that they felt could confidently hold both Michael and Gabriel if needed. 

Dean looked a little concerned as he was aware that he was facing foe far above his class. There was certainly nothing in his training from his father about how to handle angels. “What about if we run into trouble?”

Gabriel smirked at him. “Well, if the big bad hunter can’t handle it. I’ll be sure to rescue your princess ass.”

Dean shook his head but was actually smiling. “Sam’s the princess because he’s got the hair but you better rescue my ass.”

“You got yourself a deal, sweetcheeks.” Gabriel assured him.

~*~

Gabriel kept looking over at Jegudiel and could tell he'd gone as native as he had in his own way. "I can't believe you played human for so long."

Jeg snorted, "Shows what you know. I could fool anyone and everyone. It's my way. I spent lifetimes learning what was so fascinating about mankind, or, at least to try and understand Dad's perspective."

"So how did you end up as a Federal Agent?" 

Tony smirked because that was a bigger story. "Long story short. I saw a soul on a slippery slope and he'd been a soldier but grief was twisting him down a dark path. 

Jegudiel refused to look repentant as he believed that it was important to help anyone who was in need. It was why in this lifetime he'd fallen into the role of cop,  “So?” 

Gabriel threw a wing around Jeg because out of all his brothers, he kind of adored Jegudiel the most. To use a human anachronism Jegudiel was probably the most well-adjusted of the big seven. “Are you worried about them?”

Jegudiel rolled their eyes. “Castiel is a little badass and the Winchester’s are no lightweight. There is a reason they’re the True Vessels and you know it.”

Gabriel pouted even as he carefully etched in the big runes that would be needed to contain two of his brothers. “Will this work?”

Jegudiel snorted. “Gabe, we have powers, and stubbornness for days. We’ll be fine.”

Gabriel had faith in their ability but it was could they manage to persuade Michael and Lucifer that they needed to put aside their aeon old argument. 

They’d need all the luck in the world for that and possibly divine help and that was as archangels.



Chapter Text

The scene was a little odd in that the boys knew Castiel had his grace back. And yet, he chose to ride with them in the backseat. 

“It would have been quicker if I had taken you to Balthazar.” Castiel had to say.

Dean shook his head. “Nope, you may have access to your mojo but this is Baby. You don’t put her in the corner.”

Sam snorted at his brother. He couldn’t believe that his brother had actually uttered those words. “Did you just compare your car to an 80’s movie?”

Dean had no shame and just stared his brother down. Castiel didn’t get the joke and he made a note to ask Jegudiel about it. He was nervous about this plan and Dean must have sensed his disquiet thoughts. 

“So how did you meet?” Dean asked him, clearly still curious.

Castiel rolled his eyes. “His car blew up.”

Sam frowned. “He is an archangel.”

Castiel sighed. “Yes, but Jegudiel is in charge of honest labours. If he commits to a role then it consumes him. He let the bomb catch him, just not incinerate him. I caught a sudden blast of grace and went to investigate.”

“It could have been Lucifer.” Dean said sharply. It was risky as hell and he already felt bad about the fact Castiel had effectively given up his grace for them, wanting to do the right thing. Of course, this was before the introduction of Jegudiel and Gabriel into the team. 

Castiel just shrugged. He’d learned that one quickly around the Winchesters. “Yes, but we would have known only with me checking.”

“And if he’d smote you?” Sam asked carefully. He wondered what it said about his life that he could casually fling around such phrases. Then again, he was about to move into a secret bunker in the middle of Kansas so life was always unpredictable. 

“Then Jegudiel would have made him miserable.” Castiel replied, confident in the truth of his words. It wasn’t actually misguided as Jegudiel had dealt with Gabriel trying to mess with him.

Dean grinned softly at Castiel’s faith, and he sensed in the elder archangel it wasn’t misplaced. “So tell us about your boyfriend. He doesn’t get the press of the Gabe, Mike or Luci.”

Castiel told them both some of the sanitized version of the training they’d undergone as fledglings. 

~*~

In the bunker, the two brothers were making progress. It was a good job that Tony had spent time with the renaissance artists because Gabriel’s ability to draw sigils was terrible.

“How can you be so bad at Enochian? It’s your first language!” Jeg exclaimed, actually surprised by the turn of events.

Gabriel pouted at the question. It was not his fault but it was obvious that he was sensitive about it. “Piss off, I haven’t written anything down in centuries.”

“That just makes you lazy, it’s not an excuse. How can you be the messenger?”

Gabriel’s response highlight just what a mature archangel he was - he threw his paintbrush at his brother. Jegudiel was equal to the task, he transported them and the paint out of the room they were erecting. 

The paint war didn’t end for a long time. 

~*~

Balthazar could see one of his comrades waltzing up the street but he was confused and too curious for his own good. It was a flaw of his that he was definitely going to have to work on. He knew this and yet he didn’t care. He just had to find out how the Seraph had defied heaven and still looked healthy. 

He couldn’t help his greeting of, “My, my, my, Cassie. Quite the rebel these days but a nifty trick.”

“What trick is that?” The older Winchester asked. Balthazar hoped Michael didn’t get his true vessel because the soul was quite becoming and didn’t deserve to be destroyed by the eldest archangel. 

“The grace. This naughty one should be cut off.” Balthazar said with a start, having figured out just what was bugging him.

Dean shrugged and couldn’t help but tease the angel. “You know it was a miracle, there was one chat with his boyfriend and bam . Grace restored.”

“Oh the grace issue,” Sam responded with a smirk. It was fun when you knew what the joke was about before they did. 

“Yes - the bloody grace issue!” Baltazar shouted, gaining a few odd looks from the mortals on the sidewalk. 

Dean said it conversationally but his tone was just the right side of serious. “Oh, you mean how great hope is. Like, say, the fact we’re made in your image.”

Balthazar’s eyes nearly fell out of his sockets. “Are you fucking kidding?”

Dean shook his head. “You know, I’m sure cursing doesn’t make you a good angel?”

“Who wants to be good?” He responded with a smirk. “Being a rebel is way more fun.”

Castiel spoke up seeing Balthazar start to flirt. “Don’t even start, Balthazar, and you’d have to fight an Arch if you carry on.”

“You have one on your side? Who?”

Dean snickered. “Who said one? And we’re pretty but not stupid. You don’t get to know details until we know what side you’re going to bat for.”

“And how will I find you?”

Castiel smirked this time. “Pray.”

“YOU’RE NOT FUNNY!”

The team walked away. Sometimes in order to seal a deal you had to walk away from them and keep them keen. Dean started the count, “1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.”

“What is this plan of yours?”

Castiel smirked at him. “We’re travelling by car so if you’re willing to do so we’ll answer all your questions.”

~*~

Balthazar had talked the whole way. Dean had phased him out, all too used to Sammy in mega question mode. Sam had cheated and fallen asleep so Castiel was left to fend off the questions. Dean wanted to laugh so hard when Castiel got tired of the questions and uttered one word. 

“Dinosaurs.”

Whatever it was about dinosaurs, Balthazar flushed and went silent very quickly. Dean would so have to find out what that story was about as well. The list was just stacking up of things he needed to find out about. 

Balthazard saw the destination. “What on Earth is that?”

Dean smirked. “It’s our home but hopefully we’re on schedule for our surprise.”

“You mean to say the secret bunker isn’t the surprise?” The newest angel to fold asked sarcastically. 

“Nope.” Dean opened the door calling out. “Guys. We’re back with a friend - Balthazar.”

Gabe’s head poked out from the mezzanine. “Castiel, come and talk to your boyfriend. He is being mean to me.”

“You’re alive!” Balthazar knew it, as he could see it with his own eyes, but his brain was catching up with evidence he could see in front of him. Then he figured out something more. “Who is the boyfriend?”

Sam spoke up. “Jegudiel or Tony, depending on who you ask.”

Balthazar collapsed on the chair. “He was lost.”

“No, just hidden little brother.” Jegudiel announced softly. 

Balthazar said perhaps the most honest thing he could in that moment. “I don’t understand.”

Sam and Dean could sense the extreme emotions. “Let’s leave you to catch up. We’ll be outside drinking beer.”

~*~

Balthazar had assumed he’d listen to a pitch for the most ill-advised plan of entire existence. He’d maybe learn a thing or two, and then just disappear again, having gleaned where not to go whilst they fought out the end of days. 

He’d never expected to go and find two archangels who had finally come out of hiding. He was still at a loss and even Castiel, who he’d adored for his innocence, knew more. He looked at Castiel closer. “You’ve bonded with Jegudiel.”

Gabriel snorted. “Yeah, and Jeg is a possessive little shit. He threatened to dip each and every one of my wings in holy oil and pluck them out with tweezers if I’d harmed a hair on Castiel’s shoulders.”

Balthazar shuddered at the threat. “And people always assume Lucifer is the most vindictive of your group.”

“No, Jeg is the more unpredictable and creative. Lucifer always aimed to just punish.”

Jeg snorted. “That is because Luci never bothered to work at improving himself.”

Balthazar was exhausted at all the implications. “So let me get this straight. Castiel dragged Dean Winchester out of hell and restored him.”

Castiel was sitting next to Jegudiel, who had wrapped one wing around his shoulder. It was the angelic equivalent of snuggling and interestingly, little Cassie had one of his own wings showing that the angels considered themselves partners rather than one being dominant in the pairing. “Yes, I did. He did not deserve to be in hell.”

Balthazar agreed with his brother in that respect. His brothers had fucked around with that entire family so badly that they deserved to be left alone for the rest of days. Sadly, he was all too aware of that fact destiny wasn’t going to allow that to happen anytime soon. “Considering his time and who he was given to, his soul is still stunning.” 

Gabriel grinned, and Balthazar noticed the fondness in his grin. 

“He doesn’t mind pranks.” Gabriel explained as if that was important, at least to him.

“Is that a crush, I hear?”

Jegudiel snickered. “Oh yeah. There is but it is reciprocated if he can let go of his father’s voice in his head.”

Balthazar nodded, understanding exactly what was meant. The righteous man must have many different facets if he’d gained Gabriel’s attention. Although it might simply be his refusal of Michael. It would endear the Archangel to anyone who outright defied his elder brother. “I see, so Gabe is interested in Michael’s sword. Huh. And you’ve all decided to work together to convince Michael and Lucifer to ... what?”

“Sort their shit out or we’ll lock them up until they do.” Gabriel explained as if it was just that simple. 

“Okay, let me be a nitpicker. They are the two strongest archangels in existence and Lucifer has just escaped one box. How are you going to manage it?” 

Gabriel dragged Balthazar up off the couch. “Come and look at mine and Jegudiel’s artwork.”

“Who’s art?” Jegudiel contested. 

Castiel groaned. It was like hearing Dean and Sam at their worst, only this time it was harder not to take sides.

“It’s not my fault you screwed around with Da Vinci and Michaelangelo so are better than me at art!”

Castiel knew when to seek assistance. “I am going to bring Dean and Sam to see it too.”

He disappeared quickly only to reappear just as quickly with the two Winchesters. Dean whistled at just the door. “That is some sweet welding.”

Gabriel looked smug. “I took care of that. I left all the art stuff to pretty boy.”

Jegudiel rolled his eyes and didn’t react to the pretty boy comment. After all, he’d heard it all before. “Yeah. I just took care of the sigils that will hold the bastards in place.”

“Can they be bastards if they were made by God?” Sam asked in genuine contemplation.

Jegudiel snorted at the question as it was kind of ironic, and it was not like he could blame him. Their creation was a mystery to man. He personally figured there was someone God had been interested in which created that spark but he could never figure out who as his father had banned any mention of how they were created. “You will find all seven of us are magnificent bastards when the situation calls for it.”

Balthazar peered into the room. “Holy shit. You’re crazy. Clever but absolutely insane.”

They’d only gone and built a Mal’ak room. They were thought to be impossible to build but Jegudiel and Gabriel had pulled it off. There was a very real chance that this band of misfits just might be able to pull off a realignment of power in Heaven. This was the side he wanted to be on. 

After all - no one would think of the wild card side that the others didn’t even know existed. Heaven and Hell didn’t even know they were coming for them. This was going to be fun.  

Chapter Text

Balthazar smirked at the motley-crew. “I will be back with a few like-minded individuals.”

Gabriel smirked back at his little brother. Balthazar had always been willing to help with his pranks in the past. This was going to be the prank of the century as far as he was concerned, if not the whole millennia. “Thanks, Balt’ we knew you’d be the one to have contacts. Stay away if they’re fishy. Jeg and I are currently flying under the radar.”

“Understood. I can be discrete, you know.” He said, sounding vexed but the others all rolled their eyes. He’d had the odd discretion but he was never allowed to forget it even after three millennia.  

Sam was the one to ask the angels. “Can he be discrete?”

Castiel looked pained for a second but answered honestly. “In a word? No. He always does know how to come out on top though.”

Dean sighed because that wasn’t the most reassuring thing to hear considering the stakes they were playing with but it would have to do. “We need all the friends we can get.”

Castiel had been debating it but figured now was the time to say it. “I want to reach out to Hannah and the others in the garrison that I trust.”

Jeg didn’t like this plan but he wasn’t willing to let his bonded go alone. He trusted Castiel - it was all the other sycophants of Michael he didn’t trust. “We can go and have a little look.”

“Is it wise to go to heaven?”

Gabriel snickered. “There are more ways into heaven than Peter’s gates. Jeg and I know some sweet hidden ways.”

Dean smirked at the image of the two big bad archangels slipping out a bedroom window so they couldn’t get caught. “Okay, and we’ll check the signs for Lucifer? Anything we should look for Michael?”

“He is a flash git. If he was around - you would know it.”

~*~

Dean looked for signs in the papers. He sighed, figuring he’d found one.  “Do you think 500 deaths in one night means Lucifer’s around?”

Castiel appeared over his shoulders. “It seems that Lucifer is binding Death to him.”

“Let me guess ... Is binding Death part of the end of times prophesy?” Dean asked. 

His answer was in chorus from Sam and Castiel of, “YES!”

Dean sighed. “Perfect.” He paused as he considered a mad plan. “How mad do you think Jeg and Gabe would be if we launched a plan to capture Lucifer?”

Castiel was deadpan. “Extremely.” He then added, “What do you have in mind?”

“We contract out help.” Dean offered with a smirk. His sojourn in hell, whilst horrific in every way imaginable, did allow him to understand the demonic mindset far more. The information was hard-earned but allowed him to hunt far more efficiently. He was more than aware that for every demon who worshipped the ground Lucifer walked on there were just as many who didn’t want to see him rise once more. 

Sam frowned. “I’m not following.”

Dean rolled his eyes because his brother was far from dense. “We should ask some of our demonic acquaintances to help.”

Sam’s frown grew as that was honestly not what he was expecting from his brother. “You want to ask demons for help?”

Dean grimaced as it sounded bad when you put it that way. “I wouldn’t put it quite like that but sometimes when interests align they can be helpful.”

Castiel was pensive but could see how it might help. “Well, they have finished the room.”

“That still means we have to get Lucifer into the room.” Sam had to point out. He had no idea on how they were going to achieve it. They had a specific room to hold them and now they just needed to push him in. 

Dean pouted. “Why you gotta focus on the negatives for?”

~*~

Meanwhile in heaven, Gabriel and Jegudiel were furtively creeping around the back area. They would thank Balthazar when they got back as his loud brash arrival was keeping everyone’s attention on the front gate. 

Gabriel looked around and it had been a while for him since he’d been back to where he was created. The place should have felt like home and yet it felt sterile. He’d definitely got Stockholm fever with regard to Earth. Jeg snorted at his brother’s dazed expression. He could tell it had sunk in for him. “Me too, Gabe. Me too.”

“It was supposed to be a fun place to hide.” Gabriel said as the epiphany sunk in. He was going to kick around as a Norse, hideout until Dad forced the issue with Michael and Lucifer and then he would slink around - only it never worked out that way.

“They get under your skin, don’t they?”

Gabe’s pout grew to epic proportions. That had definitely not been part of his plan. “Yes. Some more than others.”

Jeg rolled his eyes because some implied there was more than one and that would be a big fat lie. “If it helps he flirts back with you, and not just surface deep. It’s the soul too.”

It did help. 

Gabriel thought through what the best plan would be. There was one individual in heaven who would know what was going on, especially if God was out of the office. “Shall we go and visit Joshua?”

“Oh yeah. If I see Metatron, I am going to punch through a wing or two. The tool.”

That was surprisingly vitriolic for Jegudiel.  Gabriel hadn’t heard what set it off. “What in Dad’s name did he do to you?”

Jeg snorted in derision. He was never fond of individuals who believed their own hype. Oh arrogant confidence in your abilities could be hot - but that meant you had to have a skill to be proud of in the first place. “He feels as he was entrusted to scribe Dad’s words that makes him qualified to run the place in his stead?”

Gabriel didn’t get it, it didn’t make sense. Michael had never been the type to share his toys and he definitely wasn’t the type to share the limelight. It was bothering him as he couldn’t reconcile the facts with his knowledge of Michael. “Why would Mikey let anyone share the power?”

Jeg smacked his head in frustration. He should have seen it but it was the only way to make sense of the data. “He wouldn’t but he could be blind with a serious focus on one goal.”

“Stupid stubborn bastard!”

“Luci, Mikey or Dad?” Jegudiel asked, hoping to clarify.

“Isn’t it obvious? All three of them.” Gabriel groaned. “We need to head back, forget Joshua.”

Jegudiel felt a moment of alarm from Castiel and was more than okay with getting back to Earth. “Let’s go.”

This time they didn’t bother to hide their signature. You see, sometimes if you want to find someone who’d been stubbornly hidden it was easier to get them to come to you. 

~*~

The two archangels headed straight back to the bunker as they’d sensed that was where the Winchesters and Castiel were right now. 

They could say they had expected every eventuality - this wasn’t one of them. 

Jegudiel bowed his head in respect to one of the few individuals who scared him. “Hello, Azrael. Did Lucifer upset you?”

The skeletal man sneered. “The little upstart tried to bind me. The annoyances had a plan and when I realised it might work I thought I would lend a hand.”

It said something about Winchester luck because usually, a hand from death meant you were off to one of your final resting places. All three angels had to smile at the way both Sam and Dean puffed up being called annoyances but were smart enough to curb their tongues. 

Gabriel snorted at the last threat Lucifer was screaming. He didn’t translate it. “Purlease, Jeg has you beat. He threatened to dip my wings in holy oil and pluck every feather out.”

The ranting went quiet. Dean was the first to speak. “Look, be mad but it was too good an opportunity to pass up. We figured while attention was on you it would be the perfect time to strike.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Relax, Deanno. You did good. I just wish I could have seen Lucifer’s face when Death grabbed him by the ear and threw him the room.”

Jegudiel had his head tilted to the side. “Well, at least we’re one down, and one to go.”

Dean chuckled. “I need a drink.”

Gabriel, trying to be helpful, made them one. Dean grinned like it was a neat trick and brought the drink up to his lips. He was clearly savouring it from just the way he inhaled the aroma. 

Gabriel smirked. “Try it.”

“You have fine taste.”

Azrael snorted. “I’m off to Chicago for some good pizza. I have no need to listen to inane courting gestures.”

Sam, seeing the way the wind was blowing, was half-tempted to join Death rather than be the fifth wheel which is what he seemed to be developing into. He figured he could be cheeky. “Would you give me a lift please?”

Death was impressed by the fact that a mortal was willing to ask anything of him. He figured the boldness should be rewarded. “I suppose it would be cruel to see you tortured in such a way.”

Sam disappeared with Death on a mission of his own. 

Chapter Text

Team Free Will in its current iteration were all still staring into the Mal’lak room which was doing it’s job in containing Lucifer. Dean cocked his head to the side, contemplating the one threat. He’d been a star torturer back in his time in hell and didn’t think that was even possible. 

Gabriel sneered at his big brother. “You always did have an imagination bigger than your belly.”

The next comment was in English, and yet Lucifer was still demanding to know things. “Where is my body?” 

Dean smirked at the devil. “You mean Sammie? He ran off with Death. I’m not sure how I should take that.”

Lucifer was horrified and asked aghast. “You mean you let Death take him?”

Dean shook his head. “Nope. He asked for a lift to Chicago. I'm not sure why.”

Gabriel was enjoying the range of emotions running through Lucifer’s face. “Yeah, your meat suit has run off the man who tossed you in the room. How does that feel?”

“Sam will say yes, and you know it.” Lucifer tried to goad him. He was doing what he always would - use his words to find a weakness in his opponents. The only trouble was this time - it wasn’t working.

Dean grinned at the Devil when he saw the realisation sink into his eyes. “Yeah, it turns out that neither of us wants to be meat suits for your prom date with Mikey. You know you could just have a sibling fight like the rest of us.”

Lucifer growled. “Michael threw me in the cage, like I was scum. What am I supposed to do? Forgive him? ” he finished with a sneer.

Dean sighed because he had a feeling it was always going to come around to that in one form or another. He turned his focus away from the incarcerated angel and focussed on the others, “So how do we get Mikey?”

The question sparked another set of ranting but Team Will did the worst thing they could - they walked away from Lucifer.  It was a bigger blow to his ego than being captured. The fact they were ignoring him like he wasn’t a threat.

~*~

God was watching the fun unfold from his fire. He knew that Jegudiel had the keys to solve the whole thing but he doubted he would have had the courage to stand up to his brothers. In fact, the Fates had been sure of it. Then again, they hadn’t seen the bonding of Jegudiel and Castiel. It was unexpected and the implications would change the ruling of heaven forever. He had been even more surprised when Jegudiel cajoled/threatened Gabriel into joining their campaign. 

What Chuck did know, though, was deep in his soul - he was tired. Yes, even God could get tired. 

The kids' plan would work and just maybe they could avert the end times. Chuck would prefer that as he was not ready for it. The world would end on his terms - not his bratty creations having a temper tantrum. 

Well - he could be a kind and benevolent god when he wanted to be. 

He magicked into reality a pair of handcuffs. 

And went for a walk in the dreamscape of one of his archangels. 

~*~

Jegudiel was one of the few who could multiphase and not give away the game. He felt a tug on his mind and he recognised the signature. His curiosity got the better of him - plus, he needed to know if his Dad was going to smite them all for their insolence. 

“Hey, Dad.”

“You’ve been busy.” Chuck observed, offering no clue as to how he felt about the matter. In truth, he was curious to see how Jegudiel would react.

Jegudiel snorted because that was an understatement and he was the one in charge of hard labours. “In my defence, it was Asrael who threw Luci in the room. Gabriel and I were about to sneak a chat with Joshua.”

“What changed your mind?” Chuck asked, curiosity now evident.

Jegudiel showed that perhaps this last Earthbound version of him had left quite the impression. “Oh, you know, I profiled him. Michael is around but he’s manipulating the game and ignoring his other responsibilities as a result.”

“That is a fair summary. He needs to be reminded that he still needs to follow my directives.”

Jegudiel looked around what was, in effect, a mindscape, or, the angelic equivalent. It was the house Chuck was using as his base of operations. “Why the facetime?”

“You have a sound plan.”

And now Jegudiel was starting to relax even as his shock levels grew. He was determined to help Castiel follow through with his plans even if he’d thought they would have a small chance of success. “I still need to throw Mikey in the room and it will be tight even if Gabe and I tag team.”

God smirked indulgently. “Happy birthday, Jegudiel.”

He looked at the cuffs. They were beautiful. They were rigid and made of a metallic component from the inside a comet. “These are beautiful.”

“Glad you like them.” Chuck then went onto explain, “You know if you get them around an Archangel’s hand... it will disrupt their ability to access their grace. Think of them as Grace Dampeners.”

“Will you want to speak to them once they are contained?” Jegudiel asked carefully. For all Chuck was being helpful right now - one overstep on their part could see them all crushed. He really liked existing and wanted to keep the others in a similar state so if he needed to act cautiously he wanted a heads up.

Chuck thought about it. “I will be listening to them and if I think they are ready to listen and not just rant I may just pop in.”

Tony looked at the precious gift, and it was precious because it meant he could keep Castiel and all their friends safe. “You know, Dad, you don’t have to be a stranger.”

Chuck gave him a salute as he ended the mental conversation. One step at a time, Jegudiel.

~*~

Castiel had sensed the mental breach but had waited patiently. You don’t interrupt God after all. “What did Father want?”

Jegudiel smirked, holding up the cuffs that were still in his hands. “Aren’t they shiny?”

Dean looked at them closely. “Is that Enochian?”

Jegudiel nodded and said with a small amount of sass that he hoped would be forgiven. "Daddy was sad he’d missed my birthday for aeons and gave me these ... Now, all we have to do is figure out how to get them on.”

Gabriel threw back his head with a raucous laugh - this was just too good."I'm not even mad that you're the favourite of us." 

Jegudiel smirked, "Nah - that’s still Castiel." 

Castiel, though, was thinking through the problem. "We still need to distract Michael in a fight and get him here." 

Gabriel thought about it and couldn't come up with a better plan. "This is going to suck." 

~*~


Dean was on the phone, they’d migrated away from the Mal’lak room towards the table in the centre of the bunker’s main library. He was trying to get in contact with his brother as he figured if they were going after Michael he deserved to be in the action. 

“Are you done playing with Death?” He could be more respectful but he probably lost that about fifty years ago. He saw the scandalised look from Castiel and the smirk from Gabriel. He just shrugged as he was on his phone to his brother - not talking directly to the grim reaper. 

“Yes, Dean. I am.”

Dean smirked. “Good. So can you pray to Jegudiel? Just use his human name.”

And before he could blink Sam was once more in the bunker, still chomping on his last bite of pizza.

Dean pouted. “Where did you get pizza from, and why didn’t bring some for all of us?” 

Sam had a glint of amusement in his eyes as he innocently replied. “Azrael offered and he has good taste.”

Gabriel could sense through his powers that Sam had done a bit more than just accept pizza from Death. They could discuss that at a later date. He didn’t want Dean to keep pouting. “Look, I will buy you all the pizza you want from my favourite place in Verona.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “This doesn’t need to be difficult. We have one thing Michael will come after even if he is sure it is a trap.”

It was a risky play but it made sense. Jegudiel felt obliged to point out, “If we’re using you as bait then we need a proper plan.”

“We’re what?”

“DEAN!”

Castiel just sighed. “I rescued you from perdition. You mess up your body ... I will be most aggrieved.”

There was dead silence as a response. After all, what could you say to that? Dean threw his head back with raucous laughter. He laughed so hard he collapsed against Gabriel, his whole body still shaking with laughter. 

It was a moment of levity but now the endgame would soon be in action. Win or lose, they would hopefully be avoiding the end times. No pressure or anything, 

Gabriel looked at it a different way - he was so excited as he was about to pull off the prank of the century. 

Chapter Text

Michael had fallen for their plan hook line and sinker. Dean had been having a chat with Gabriel about Lucifer being upstairs and he could give Michael temporary control to get rid of the problem.

Michael had landed in the middle of the bunker. “Gabriel, what a surprise. Do not fraternize with my body.”

Dean scowled as he was of the opinion that it was his body alone. “Where the hell have you been?”

Michael shushed him. “I will get to you in a minute, Champ.”

Gabriel sighed, knowing that Michael was pissed with him. “What is it, Mikey? You mad I ran away?”

Michael just gave him a look. “Yeah, a little. A Norse?”

Gabriel smirked. “I liked the way they partied and had an axe to grind against Dad so they were only too happy to help.”

Michael allowed so many emotions to cross his face in a flash of seconds. There was anger, rage, and hot burning loathing that was visible all at the same time. 

“You know this feels right. It’s the end times and my sword has finally stopped being stubborn.” Michael announced happily.

Gabriel didn’t get one mystery and he was only too happy to play distraction to get Jegudiel in position. “Who’s the body belong to?”

“Their grandfather was a part of my line,” Michael acknowledged. “And I borrowed it at the last second when Abaddon decided to help on his way to heaven. He had no need for the body so he gave it to me.” There was a wicked smirk on his face. “He liked the idea of continuing to fight evil.”

Dean didn’t believe a word the archangel was saying, and looking at the hard glint in Gabriel’s eyes - neither did he. Their plan better work or they were up a creek without a paddle.

Michael had a wicked glint in his eyes as he looked at Dean, Sam, Castiel and Gabriel. He had all the beings who were opposing him in one place. It looked like fate no longer hated him. He stepped around the table and his hand shot out. “Hope is an amazing thing, isn’t it?”

All of them fell to the ground, including Gabriel. Michael was building up a nice preach at them. “It gives you the strength to fight, to rebel.” Michael bent low to stroke Gabriel’s hair. “To betray your brother.”

Dean grunted against the pain and looked directly at the grandfather-stealing angel. Michael was an amateur compared to Alistair and demanded. “Get your hands off him.”

“Come on, Dean. You have it in your power to make me stop.” Michael goaded him. “Although, I am not so keen on this little romance that is blossoming.”

Dean gasped out. “How do I make it stop?”

“Say yes.” Michael explained deadpan as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Dean whimpered as he felt his liver split but he smirked through the pain. Karma was a bitch. He could admit to himself that he was going to enjoy watching this. He had a vicious smirk on his face as it was now his turn to goad Michael. “Brothers suck, don’t they?”

Michael sneered but managed to be almost civil. “These two are such a disappointment.”

And the four watched as the most feared archangel in the world was taken down by a cop’s manoeuvre. Jegudiel, using the element of surprise, had him cuffed before he could blink. The cuffs blocked Michael’s power but didn’t undo his damage. Jegudiel waved his hand at his bonded and their friends to undo Michael’s misdeeds. 

“What the hell, Michael?” Jegudiel shouted at his older brother. It was disconcerting to feel like the mature one. 

Michael was scrambling on the floor trying to see the voice. It sounded like Jegudiel but he’d disappeared. He couldn’t let go of his attitude, “You think these cuffs can hold me?”

Jegudiel hauled him on to his feet like he was a standard criminal and smirked at seeing the look of shock on Michael’s face. He let Michael know he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “Dad said they would after he gave them to me as a birthday present.”

“You’ve spoken to Dad?” Michael asked, confusion and hurt plain to see on his face.

Gabriel was enjoying this especially after the stunt he just pulled. “Yeah, Jeg is the only one who knows where he is. Jeg hasn’t told Castiel and they’ve fucking bonded.”

Michael was aghast. “How could you bond with the fledgeling?” 

Jegudiel rolled his eyes and dismissed the question. “You know that I don’t give a shit about your opinion.”

Castiel stepped forward. “I went into perdition, I can make my own choices, Michael.”

Dean had to smile at his best friend taking control of his own destiny. He shared a look of pride with Sam as they were a part of it. “So shall we go and let them try the reunion of the century?”

Jegudiel, with Gabriel’s help, hauled him up the stairs.

“Where am I going?”

Dean smirked. “You will see. We have a very nice room set out for you. You just have one roommate.”

Michael groaned. “You cannot be serious.”

Gabriel and Jegudiel had the best answer possible - they shoved him through the door right into the room next to Lucifer.

Sam and Dean watched the pair of archangels start to fight and come to blows. Dean looked at his brother. “And we thought we were bad!”

Sam shook his head. “I’m guessing there is nothing polite being said.”

Jegudiel was listening intently. “You know there are some threats and disbelief. Luci can’t believe that Mikey got caught out by me. Mikey wants to know how we got Death onside.”

“Coz we’re lucky sons of bitches.” Dean offered as the best reasoning possible although Sam’s face suggested otherwise.

Castiel frowned. “Inaccurate but fair for human vernacular.”

Jegudiel snorted and pulled him closer. “Come on, let’s go and rest. We deserve the rest of the night off - Dad will figure out if he wants to drop in soon.”

Castiel offered no resistance - following Jegudiel through the maze of corridors to the room they’d chosen. It was decidedly human but they snuggled on the bed. Only unlike humans, they’d made a nest of wings to hide them from view. Castiel was like a big cat the way he leaned into Jeg’s touch. It was adorable. 

“I’m a soldier.” Castiel reminded him irritably. 

“I know that, Cas, but you are still adorable to me.”

Cas sighed. “Since it is you, I can accept those terms.”

Castiel was listening on the angel-radio and started to giggle. There was no other way to describe it, and Jegudiel was sure he’d never heard it before. “What’s got you so amused?”

“Balthazar has encouraged the seraphs to revolt. Metatron has been locked up in his library awaiting instructions from a power they will recognise.” 

Jegudiel groaned because that meant himself or Gabriel. “Gabriel!”

“Quit cockblocking me!”

Castiel’s eyes widened and offered diplomatically but not completely altruistic. “Shall we go together?”

Jegudiel sighed, knowing how decadent his brother could be. “Yes, that would be wise.”

Heaven was home, for better or worse, and Castiel and Jegudiel may have fought to protect Earth but it was also for Heaven. They understood what some of the others forgot - that without human souls there would be no purpose.

It took a while to smooth over relations in Heaven. Jegudiel was sure that if he had not had Castiel by his side he would have lost his temper. No, he was sure of it. 

~*~

Gabriel and Dean were sitting down, content and relaxed. Jegudiel had to remember that he got the chance to court and bond with Castiel in private. He should not be pissy that he negotiated peace in heaven whilst his brother got some

“You look relaxed, and I don’t hear the noise.”

Castiel, showing how he knew Dean. “You won’t get a response from him until he has finished his coffee.” 

Gabriel was less reticent. “Dad popped in.”

Jegudiel had guessed he would. “What did he say?”

Gabriel snorted. “Oh, nothing to us. He did inform us that he would be taking Lucifer and Michael with him to a pocket dimension. They would be grounded there until they could be civil and, you know, not to want to destroy creation.” 

Jegudiel fell back on a chair. “So that is what you need to avoid the apocalypse -   and a bit of divine intervention?”

Dean was looking so relaxed that the changes were startling - “Your assistance was greatly appreciated.”

Jegudiel chuckled. “Well if apocalypse season is over then Castiel and I are off on vacation. Try not to destroy anything in the meanwhile.”

And the vacation was going so well until a Men of Letters agent decided to unleash Abaddon and have one of their acolytes take on the Mark of Cain.