The time ship shook violently again, managing to knock Dean and Castiel off their feet another time.
Castiel helped a shaking Dean back to his feet and rested him on one of the many empty seats inside the ship, then sat on another close one.
He wasn’t sure if it was normal for the time ship to shake this violently. It was its first time jump, so there was no way of knowing for sure. Tony wasn’t here to tell them if it was normal, because Tony was also gone. They were on their own. In every sense of the word.
They both were still in shock. Dean’s shock was more apparent as his whole body was shaking, while his eyes were wide and unseeing. They couldn’t focus on Castiel anymore.
The angel didn’t blame him. It was good enough that Dean was holding on so far.
They had lost everything. Their family. Their friends. Their home. Their world. All gone.
They had lost. The Winchesters. The Avengers. Finally lost a war.
And that war cost them everything.
They were the last two survivors. Castiel’s worst nightmare came true right before his eyes. He watched as everything got brutally taken away from him, and he was losing Dean too now from how much the grief and loss were weighting on him.
He moved to pull Dean gently into his arms. He fell into Castiel’s arms willingly and they both moved to the floor so they could curl around each other desperately. They were all each other had left. Everything else was just gone.
It was a nightmare, but a one they could never wake up from.
Castiel’s eyes trailed towards the front of the time ship to watch from the thick glass the hundreds of colors that flowed around the ship from everywhere. The Time River that flowed with no end or beginning.
The first word that popped into his mind as he leaned against Dean’s body, pulling him close.
The beginning that led them to this fate. Escaping in a time ship, to try and stop that beginning from ever happening.
The irony was how close that beginning was. Only one week ago, everything was alright. Perfect even. Their family, their world, was still there. Alive and well.
Nothing in the horizon that even hinted of this fate.
Except for the Noise.
The Noise that started it all.
He threw a glance down at Dean, and felt his heart shattering all over again at the silent tears that were flowing down his husband’s face.
He still could hear the Noise in his head as his memories went back.
Back to the beginning. Of their end.
One Week Earlier.
Castiel didn’t know why he woke up with a raging headache on that day.
Technically, he wasn’t supposed to get headaches, but his body was apparently convinced it was human not an angel.
He opened his eyes and just stared at the ceiling, while Dean’s warm, naked body was pressed against his side as he slept peacefully.
It’s been two months since the day they met Charles Xavier and his polar opposite husband Erik Lehnsherr. Two months since they managed to escape the shadow world in one piece. Two months of Dean bringing up what he calls ‘The battle of the toaster’ to everyone over and over again, he even made T-shirts with it written on it, managing to make Tony two seconds away from going full Iron Man on him and blow him up.
It’s been peaceful those past months. Tony removed his cast after six weeks, during which Steve was even more protective than ever and rarely left Tony’s side, much to the genius’ irritation and delight. Sam and Natasha never left their bedroom as they celebrated their engagement over and over again. Bruce and Thor became very open now that everyone knew about their relationship, Castiel had walked on them way too many times so far it was getting annoying. Bucky and Sam Wilson became inseparable, they were constantly around each other, either arguing like an old married couple or going at it like rabbits. Raven and Charlie also gotten really close, now Charlie was spending a lot of time in the mansion, and sometimes Raven was the one who spent her time in the tower or the bunker with Charlie, they were an adorable couple. Clint was still as single as ever and seemed to be way comfortable about it now, he just spent his time annoying the other couples.
They also got very close with the mutant couple. They started spending a lot of time in the mansion with them and in return they come to the tower in their free time. They also went on many triple dates with them, much to Charles’ excitement and Erik’s chagrin. It was hilarious to watch Erik during those dates. Him dealing with both Dean and Tony at the same time and struggling not to kill them both to not anger Charles was fun to watch. Even though Erik now became a very close friend with Dean and Tony from how much similarities in their personalities, it was still dangerous to have the three of them in the same room. The amount of sass, sarcasm and bickering that occurs was enough to destroy countries. Charles was happy about that friendship though, glad that Erik’s world was finally expanding to take more people in that he actually like, and not just tolerates their existence.
Charles also became a very close friend to Castiel. During their visits, he usually spend his time with Castiel and Steve the most. He was a truly good man. Cheerful and optimistic even after everything he dealt with in his life, with a very kind heart. He was so much like Tony in many ways too. They had spent their entire childhood together, so that was predictable.
They eventually met Logan and Hank too. Logan clicked immediately with Dean. The burly mutant was tall and grumpy, but with a kind heart. It was fun watching him and Dean as they made Erik’s life miserable. Logan also got along well with him and Sam. Probably because of the fact that Logan was intimidated by him and he found that fun. Hank was smart and very nice, which of course, meant he was now ‘besties’ with Sam. They usually spend their time talking about nerdy things with happy, excited smiles. Dean found that amusing for some reason. Raven also became everyone’s little sister.
All in all, they were a very nice addition to their family. The family that gotten even bigger and Castiel still found all of that so surreal and amazing.
But also made him scared.
Scared of losing that. Losing this warmth and happiness. He had so much to lose now and that scared him to no end.
He didn’t know what he will do if all of this was taken away from him. Without Dean and his family by him, what’s the point of keep going?
When he failed to go back to sleep, he untangled himself carefully from Dean’s arms without waking the hunter, then got up quietly from the bed.
He put on his discarded sweatpants and shirt and padded out of the room to go the kitchen to make himself some coffee that might help with his headache.
It was still five in the morning. He wasn’t sure what had woke him up, but it was futile to go back to sleep with that headache.
Apparently, he wasn’t the only one awake at this strange hour.
He was surprised to find Tony awake at the kitchen table, hunched over a steaming cup of coffee and seeming to struggle to keep his eyes opened.
“You’re awake this early and Steve is not. Did you kill him and now you are trying to drink away your guilt?” Castiel announced his presence with a raised eyebrow as he made his way to the still hot coffee pot.
Tony looked up at him to roll his eyes. “You know? You have way too much sass for an angel.”
“I am living with people purely made out of sass and sarcasm. What do you expect?” Castiel smirked at him from over his shoulder.
“Don’t try to tell me we corrupted you while you are standing there wearing Dean’s shirt and pants.”
Castiel looked down at himself then. Huh. He didn’t even notice. He just shrugged and drank his first sip from his coffee.
“By the way, isn’t that Steve’s hoody you are wearing?” Castiel smirked from over the rim of his mug.
“Yeah, so? It is very comfortable and spacious.” Tony pouted into his mug. “Besides, he is sleeping so he doesn’t need it right now.”
Castiel looked Tony over before pausing at his chest area, when he noticed something glowing there.
“Did you feel too uncomfortable without the hole in your chest so you decided to thrust the arc reactor right back in?”
Tony blinked at him in confusion for a few seconds. before looking down at his chest and understanding dawned on his face.
“Oh, no. No, that’s Mark 50. My new suit.” Tony smiled proudly as he looked back up at Castiel, he unzipped his hoody to reveal the brand new arc reactor attached to his chest. “It is made by nanotech. I made it into an arc reactor that will always be stuck on my chest. This way, the suit will always be with me. Anytime I need it, it will envelope me in the matter of seconds. Not everyone knew that you removed my reactor, so it won’t be anything unusual for anyone.”
“That’s genius.” Castiel murmured in awe as he stared at the triangle-ish looking reactor. It was amazing. Pure genius. This way, Tony will always be protected and ready to fight.
“Well, thank you.” Tony grinned at him proudly. “I wouldn’t be able to do it if you didn’t remove the reactor in the first place. So, kudos for you too.”
“Well, I am not the one who build the suit, so you are the one that deserves all the praise. I only did what I should have done the day I met you.” He smiled, before something Tony said earlier caught his attention “Wait, Steve is still sleeping? That’s strange.” Castiel frowned at that as he pinched the bridge of his nose with a groan. His headache was getting worse in every passing second.
“Well, not exactly sleeping.” Tony sighed tiredly as he bit his lower lip a little in worry. “He woke up half an hour ago, claiming to have a killer headache. Even the slightest bit of light hurt him. His face was contorted in pain and nothing worked to ease it. He finally managed to drift off again a little with a pained face, so I came here to not disturb him.”
Castiel blinked, startled, as he glanced at Tony in confusion.
“Wait, what?” Castiel straightened a little, already starting to wake up, but the pain still there. “A pain that felt like it was coming from his ears up to his head and down his eyes?”
“Yeah, how did you know that?” Tony tilted his head at him with a frown.
“Because I have the same headache right now.”
Tony blinked and was about to say something, when a shirtless Thor came into the room and holding his head in his hands with a pained grimace.
“Thor?” Tony called out in concern as he watched the demigod. “You alright?”
“No, I have a mighty pain in my head that refuses to go away for the past half hour.” Thor answered with a pained groan as he made his way towards them.
Castiel tensed at that. Something isn’t right.
Tony furrowed his brows and shared a look with Castiel. “Okay, this couldn’t be a coincidence.”
“It is not a coincidence. Something is happening, or about to happen.”
“What are-“ Thor didn’t get to finish his sentence, because in the next second, The Noise happened.
The Noise that started everything.