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I Can't Be Who You Want

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When your name was Dean Winchester, you expected to see alot of crazy shit in your life.

He had dealt with many things over the years, so many fucked up and strange things that he was hardly even surprised anymore. Killer clowns, nazi zombies, demons, shape-shifters, leviathans, and falling in love with an actual Angel of the Lord, that was a regular day for Dean. Having your dead parents magically appear in your bunker library while doing research on fairies, now that was different. Even Sam hadn't known what to do, so he hesitantly tossed holy water on the couple, who only stared back at them with the same confusion the two brothers were feeling.

After determining that John and Mary Winchester were the real deal, Sam and Dean had gotten to work catching their parents up to speed on what had happened during their absence. While admitting they had stopped the apocalypse, they omitted that Sammy had ended up with a bit of a demon blood addiction which had started the whole thing in the first place. While admitting that an angel had helped them avert the end of the world, they chose to leave out (with a swift kick from Dean to Sam's shin under the table) that the oldest Winchester brother was also dating said angel, and having wild interspecies erotica sessions every night to the point of Sam having to wear headphones almost 24-7. 

Not that Dean liked having to hide away his angel like that. He had been proudly showing off Cas for months, ignoring when the monsters they hunted teased him about Dean Winchester being in love with an angel, not that everyone hadn't already known about it before Dean even did. But John Winchester had always been a bit of a homophobe, thinking it was unnatural for two men to be together. Not to mention, to him there were only two categories in life when you were a hunter: the humans you save and the monsters you kill. There was no in between for him. Dean supposed that was partly due to John's time as a marine, and partly due to him being a close minded asshole.

None of them knew how John and Mary came to be alive suddenly. Frankly, they were afraid to ask, worrying it was part of some diabolical scheme set forth by some nameless bad guy with a laundry list of issues towards the Winchester brothers. Dean wanted to laugh if it was, because Mr. Nameless would just have to get the fuck in line like everyone else. 

Dean stood now in the doorway of the kitchen, silently watching his parents interact, smiling a little as they leaned close to one another. He remembered how he used to do this when he was a little boy at a time when things weren't so royally fucked. He had often dreamed of a day when he would find his own happy ending (sure maybe he was a little bit of a sap) and find that one person who just understood him. A person who would do anything for him, and always make him smile even when the world was crashing around him. He frowned, thinking of the angel who had been exactly that. He had prayed earlier to Cas to stay away for a little while, but gave no explanation why. Because what could he say, really?

"Gee, Cas, I know you are my boyfriend and all and you only rebelled against Heaven and everything you believed in for me, but my parents are alive suddenly and I don't want my dad to find out I'm banging a dude who just happens to be an angel. You understand, right?" 

Sure, Cas would understand. He would probably smite Dean before the hunter even managed to get through half of that sentence. He felt Sam stand next to him and Dean looked at his brother, who simply smiled at him. "So, when are you gonna tell them?" Sam asked casually.

"Tell them what?" Dean said, feigning ignorance. 

Bitch face #3 appeared on Sam's face. "Really, Dean? You know what I mean."

Dean crossed his arms. "Leave me alone, Sammy."

"You are gonna fuck it up, Dean. And I don't mean with Dad. You are going to push Cas away by being a dick who is too ashamed to tell his dad that he's bisexual and with a man."

"You don't know anything, Sam." Dean turned and walked away towards his room. He wouldn't have to tell them right away. Maybe he wouldn't need to tell them at all, right? Perhaps Mary and John would move out soon and find their own place and Cas would be his little secret.

Little secret, he thought to himself. Right. Because it's not like every son of a bitch in the supernatural world knows about me and Cas or anything. Not to mention, how fucked up would it be to hide Cas like he's some mutant I'm ashamed of?

As he laid in bed that night, alone, staring up at the ceiling, he was surprised to find that he could actually hate himself even more than he already did. Who knew?

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 That afternoon, his perfect little secret almost became unraveled. Cas appeared in his bedroom as Dean was changing his clothes for a hunt they had found. John had elected to go with the brothers, of course, in an attempt to form some sort of fatherly bond that had been lost a long time ago, even before his death. Dean jumped at the sudden woosh of wings, whipping around so fast he almost accidentally punched Cas in the face.

The angel simply stared at him for a moment, his expression unreadable. "Hello, Dean," he finally said.

Dean walked over and quickly closed the door. "Cas, what the hell. I told you to stay away."

"I know what you told me. What you didn't tell me was why."

The hunter faltered for a moment, as he tried to come up with some explanation, some semblance of a story that would satisfy the angel. He swallowed hard and turned away. "Listen, I just...me and Sammy are gonna go on a hunt is all. And I figured you were busy, so I didn't want you to feel obligated to worry about us."

"Obligate me? Do you really believe my presence in your company is pure obligation, Dean?" The angel moved closer, and Dean bristled a little, wanting desperately to feel Cas' lips on his, but his eyes slid to the door, worried someone might come in at any moment. "As I understood it, we are in a romantic relationship, right?"

"Yes."

"Then why would you believe that you are bothering me?" Cas walked forward another step, and put a hand on Dean's shoulder, turning him to face Cas. "I came because I am worried about you. You sounded upset, like somethings happened. What is it?"

Before Dean could respond, the door swung open and John walked inside, Sam trailing him. Dean walked out of Cas' touch and cleared his throat. Cas turned around and stared at the newly alive John Winchester. Sam immediately made a neck chopping motion at Cas, who tilted his head and squinted his eyes.

"Dad. This is Cas, he's a... friend of me and Sam's," Dean said, earning a dirty look from the angel. 

John extended a hand out to Cas, who hesitantly shook it. "Good to meet you. Didn't hear you come in," he said, glancing questioningly at Dean.

"I didn't use the front door," Cas said finally. 

Sam laughed nervously and grabbed John's arm, steering him towards the door. "He's a little awkward, don't mind him. He blurts things out without thinking. Hurry up, Dean, we're ready to go!" They closed the door at their departure, and Cas turned back to Dean, who looked down at his shoes as if they held all of life's answers. He wished they did, because he knew this was all kinds of fucked up right now.

"Why would you keep such a huge thing from me, Dean?" Cas asked, his voice low. "Is this why you told me to stay away?"

"Listen, Cas, I-"

"Are you ashamed of me? You are afraid of what your father will think, you copulating with an angel."

Damn. Cas knew him too well for his own good. Dean wasn't going to be able to bullshit his way out of this one. "I'm not ashamed of you, Cas, I just-"

"You were trying to hide me from him," said the angel. "This...hurts me, Dean."

 "Cas, listen, please. You got to understand my dad is old school and wouldn't understand this..."

The look of betrayal. The flap of wings. Cas was gone. 

Dean guiltily snapped up his jacket and headed out the door. God, he was an asshole. 

  

   

Chapter Text

  The Impala was mostly silent as the three men drove towards their destination. Dean drummed his fingers on the steering wheel to a Guns N Roses song, while Sam tapped on the keys to his laptop. John awkwardly sat in the back, looking as if he wanted to say a million things but not quite knowing how. Dean was almost glad for the silence. Conversation tended to bring up things that couldn't really be explained away. It didn't help that every time he stopped focusing on the music, the broken face of his angel popped into his head. What the hell was he supposed to do?

   "So," John began, and Dean gripped the steering wheel tighter, preparing for what he knew was coming. "Cas, huh? He a hunter?" He was trying hard to sound casual.

   Sam stopped typing on his laptop and looked at Dean, who refused to meet anyone's eyes. "Yep," Sam said, saving the day. Dean would have to thank him later for that. "We've known him for years."

   "Why didn't he come with us then? Could probably use a pair of extra hands on this hunt," John asked, raising a brow.

   "Since when do you like hunting with anyone but yourself?" Dean said, a little too harshly.

   John ignored it, and leaned back against the leather seat. "Well, son. I've been dead for awhile so...some things can change, you know."

   Dean's green eyes slid up to the rear view mirror. "What do you mean?" 

   "I just mean that death can change one's perspective on life. I didn't realize the crap I put you boys through until it was too late. Your mom and I had a lot of hard conversations up in our Heaven." John looked out the window sadly.

   There was more silence as Sam returned to his laptop. Dean half wondered just how much of John had actually changed. Had he stopped seeing the world so black and white? Would it be possible to tell John the truth, and he actually approve and accept it? He wanted so badly to tell him, to shout it to the Heavens, to be able to be himself with Cas the way he had been doing for months without worrying about earning his father's disapproval yet again. If only it were that easy. He couldn't understand why it mattered now, anyway. He had lived his own life for years without him. Yet the nagging feeling had set up camp in his stomach and wouldn't go away.

   "You guys trust this Cas guy?" John asked.

   "What's with the 20 questions?" Dean said, trying to force a laugh. 

   "It's just odd, that's all. You boys have never had any friends, really. Especially for so long."

   "Yeah, because they all die," Dean replied bitterly. 

   Sam reached out and put a hand on his brother's shoulder. Dean tried to shrug it off but Sam ignored him. "Quit blaming yourself already, Dean. You know none of it is your fault."

   Dean glared at him, then reached over, turning the music up on the radio. He would not have a fucking chick flick moment with his recently non-dead father and his oversized brother.

   Sam sighed, removing his hand and closing his eyes. This was going to be a long hunt.

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   Mary sat in the kitchen, drinking tea and reading a magazine around the time her boys were tensely sitting in their car heading towards a hunt. She had forgotten what it felt like to simply relax and not do anything but enjoy the little things in life, like peppermint tea and tabloid dribble. Heaven had lots of tea, but for some reason it never tasted as good as this did. 

   She sighed to herself, wondering if the hunt would go okay. This was the first time she ever had to witness her sons going out to kill monsters, something she had always wished they would never have to do. Happy, normal, monster free lives, thats what she wanted. After hearing their story and the things they had been through, she had realized sadly that they never had, nor would they ever, have normal lives. There's just some things you can't go back from. 

   She heard the woosh of wings and smiled, not looking up from her cup. "Have a seat. And some tea, if you like."

   The man in the tan trench coat sat down opposite her and stared at her for a few moments. "You don't seem surprised to see me."

   "You're an angel, right?"

   The man was surprised. "Yes. How did you know?"

   "I've always believed in angels. I used to tell Sam and Dean that angels were watching over them." She smiled at him. 

   "Ironic then, that most have tried to kill them." There was bitterness in his voice.

   "Why haven't you?" Mary asked, taking a sip of her tea.

   The angel averted his gaze. "Dean and Sam...are different."

   "I am assuming you are Castiel, correct? They told me some of the things you have done."

   "You are very intelligent, Mary Winchester." Cas smiled softly.

   "I have my moments." Her blue eyes met his and she reached out, lightly touching his hand. "Thank you for saving my boys. Over and over again," she added, with a chuckle.

   Cas glanced down at her hand, then nodded. "They have saved me many times, as well. Dean means every-" He stopped suddenly and averted his eyes again. 

   "Dean means what?" Mary grinned knowingly at him.

   "You know, don't you?" Cas said, tilting his head.

   "Of course. The way Sam described things you've done, especially for Dean, well. It's not easy rebelling against your father for the one you love."

   Cas laughed a little. "You sound like you have some experience in this area."

   "Of course. My father hated John." Mary winked at him. "And you didn't deny you loved Dean."

   The angel suddenly looked panicked, like a deer caught in the headlights. "No...I like Dean in a strictly... platonic manner. He is my friend."

   Mary gave him a look that made Cas realize just where Sam got his patented bitch face from. "Really, Cas?"

   The angel lit up. "You used Dean's nickname for me." Then he straightened, realizing what Mary was doing. He cleared his throat, not that he needed to, but he suddenly he was at a loss of what else to do. "Please... Dean doesn't want his father to know that we are together. I think he is worried that his father will disown him. He wouldn't even let me come here for 3 weeks." Cas stared down at the table.

   "I figured as much. Dean seemed twitchy when he left. Listen, just give Dean some time. I may not know him... well, as much as you do, but I do know he is a good man, and always tries to do the right thing. This is all so new to all of us. I still don't know how the hell me and John are alive." Mary patted the angels hand reassuringly. "He will come around."

   Cas nodded and stood. "I hope so, Mary Winchester. With all Dean and I have been through, I would hate to think he would throw it all away like that. For now though, I must be going. Thank you... for listening."

   "You're welcome. And Cas?"

   The angel turned to look at her. 

   "If it means anything at all to you, I approve of you and my son together. An angel who loves my son, watches over him, heals him, and saves him...well I can't think of anyone better I would want to have as my future son in law." She grinned, and Cas actually blushed. 

   With a woosh of wings, the blue eyed angel was gone, and Mary sat back in her chair, chuckling to herself. Angels really were watching over Dean, after all.

   

 

 

Chapter Text

"Demons," Dean said, glancing around the corner at the 5 demons that stood down the hallway. He looked back at his brother, who nodded and slid the angel blade out of his coat. 

John looked curiously at the knife in Sam's hand and gestured to it. "Interesting weaponry you got there. But in case you have forgotten, knives do not kill demons."

Dean grinned and reached into his green military style jacket, pulling out Ruby's knife, and holding it up for John to see. "This isn't your typical cutlery. Mine is a magic knife that kills demons." 

"And mine is an angel blade, kills angels and demons," Sam said, checking the perimeter behind them. "Snagged it off an angel a few years back."

John shook his head and leaned back against the wall. "Angels. Still hard to believe that they're real. And that they're bad guys, too."

"Not all of them are bad," Dean said quickly, with a defensive tone to his voice. "Most are dicks with wings, though."

"So how do you wanna play this?" Sam asked, quickly trying to change the subject. 

"We should split up, each of us going around the side until we got them surrounded-"John began.

"I say, we waltz right up to them and ask them if they wanna party," Dean interrupted with a grin. 

"You can't be serious," John said, eyes wide. "You can't just-"

But Dean had already turned the corner and was swaggering towards the group of demons, Sam right at his back. John sighed and followed them quickly, holding up the shotgun that was filled with salt rounds as he walked. Was this actually happening? Had his boys really gotten this careless in their hunts?

"Winchesters," one of the demons spat out as they walked up.

"In the gorgeously tanned flesh," Dean said with a smirk. "What are you ladies up to tonight?"

None of them were female, and naturally they got angry at the insult. "I'm going to rip out those pretty green eyes of yours," another one said, a guy on the heavyset side with a trucker cap and a plaid shirt. 

"Come on," Dean laughed. "You know I like to be bought dinner before you get into the foreplay. But it looks like you already ate on the way here. Tease."

Behind him, John was gaping at his oldest son, unable to believe what he was hearing. He looked over at Sam unbelievingly but Sam simply shrugged, keeping guard over his brother's back. He was clearly used to it by now. That fact alone terrified John. 

"I bet your angel likes foreplay too," a third demon chimed in, and the group of them laughed as if it was the funniest joke in the world. "Does he like it when you suck his-"

In a flash, Dean rushed forward, stabbing the closest demon with the blade. Sam sprang into action as well, slipping into the group and shoving the blade into whatever body he could. John stood back, firing the gun into the crowd whenever he got a good shot. It was chaos. It was madness. He wondered how the hell his sons had managed to stay alive this long. But then he was shoved roughly onto the ground, a heavy boot on the back of his head, he now understood why all of their friends ended up dead.

"Stand down, or I'm going to kill your Daddy."

Sam and Dean put their hands up and stood, turning slowly towards John's attacker, fear etched on their faces. They recognized the demon as Asema, a new player in town who was currently trying to take Crowley's throne. They had tangled with her too many times to count, with the help of Crowley himself, yet she managed to elude all of them. She stood smugly over John, one stilettoed boot still firmly holding him down. "Let him go," Sam said. "Your fight is with us."

"You Winchesters. Always so willing to sacrifice yourselves for each other. You make it way too easy for us. Well, it doesn't matter this time, because you're all going to die here tonight."

John struggled in her grasp, trying to break free of her hold, but the sharp heel only dug deeper into his flesh. The remaining demons who had survived the attack stood and each of them grabbed Sam and Dean, holding them tightly while they awaited Asema's orders. They looked smug, certain they had won. John wondered if this was how it was going to end. Did he really get brought back to life, only to be offed by some random demons on a hunt? He looked up and saw Sam glance pointedly at Dean, who nodded in resignation and bowed his head. 

   "Cas, I need you..."

   Asema snapped her fingers instantly, knowing what was coming next. "Kill them."

   There was a sudden flap of wings and the demons froze, looking around in terror. Within seconds all of the demons that were holding the brothers were smited into oblivion, their screams filling the room and echoing through the building. The next second, Cas was standing behind Asema, holding her by the throat and lifting her off of John, his blue eyes steely with rage. The brothers quickly ran up and grabbed their father, dragging him away from the demon.

   "You will not kill the Winchesters," Cas said angrily. 

   "Why do you care about these filthy humans?" she choked out, struggling to break free.

   "They're my humans, and now you will pay the price for your mistake." Cas pressed his other hand to her forehead. She screamed, her eyes burning out of her head and white light exploding from within her. He dropped her limp body to the floor, and he stood there for a moment, fists clenched at his sides, surveying the gruesome scene. His blue eyes finally slid to the three Winchesters and he stepped forward, trying not to gaze too long at Dean or make physical contact. "Are you alright?" he asked John gently.

   "You're...an angel?" he asked, fear etched on his rugged features.

   "Yes, he is," Sam said softly. "This is Castiel."

   John stood up, taking a few steps backwards from the angel. Dean looked at him in confusion. "What are you doing?" he asked. 

   "I'm trying to get away from him before he kills us all."

   Dean chuckled. "Cas won't hurt us. He's family."

   "Family?" John said, the word spat out as if it was poison. "You consider this creature to be family? He's an angel, Dean, you saw what he did to that demon with a mere touch! You can't trust him, he's not even human."

   The smile fell off Dean's face as quickly as it appeared. He balled his fists at his sides. "Are you fucking kidding me right now? I have known him for 6 years! He would never hurt us!"

   Cas' face took on that same broken look it had this morning when he asked if Dean was ashamed of him. He vanished without a word, and Dean let out a roar of rage and stalked back to the Impala, kicking over a trash can in his fury. 

   "That was really unfair of you," Sam said, shaking his head, and putting a hand on John's shoulder. "You need to give Cas a chance, then you'll see that he-"

   "You can't trust the supernatural, Sam. Haven't I taught you kids anything?" John said, shrugging off his youngest son's grasp on his arm. "And your brother, marching in there like it's some kind of game to him. No wonder we all almost died!"

   "Cas saved you," Sam said with a raised brow, and John waved him off. 

   "I didn't ask him to. Why did he even get involved? Oh, because Dean prayed to him for some damn reason? Can he not handle his own hunts now, without asking monsters for help?" 

   "What is your problem?" Sam snapped out. "You almost died. An angel saved your life, and instead of being grateful, you are too busy degrading Dean."

   "Maybe because he almost screwed up the mission and got us all killed. I taught you guys how to hunt properly and survive. I taught you how to go in there, focused and ready and not let your egos get in the way. What does Dean do? He antagonizes them and I nearly get my head ripped off. Foolish." John turned on his heel and walked off before Sam could respond. 

   Sam paused for a moment, closing his eyes. "Cas," he prayed, "I'm sorry for all this... My dad is... well he is a douche sometimes. Just give it some time. He will come around. I promise. Thanks though, for saving his life. Even if he isn't grateful, I am." With a sigh, he walked away, dreading what was going to happen next. 

Chapter Text

The bunker was dead silent for the next three days. Everyone had shut themselves in their room as soon as they got back from the nearly failed hunt, Dean slamming the door for extra effect in his haste to get away from John. It reminded the younger Winchester brother of all the times in the past when he and John would constantly be at each other's throats, and Dean was the one who had to be the neutral party, standing awkwardly by only wanting to hunt bad guys and eat pie. Now Dean was pissed and hurt, unable to reveal the real truth of why he had taken it so personally when John became hostile to Cas.

Sam sighed, closing the book he had been unsuccessfully trying to read for the past few hours. He wanted to talk to his mom about all this, but truth was, he didn't really know her. She had died when he was only 6 months old. He didn't know if she would automatically take John's side, or just be Switzerland while two brute forces fought for power. Dean and John were never going to just apologize to each other and move on. John had insulted Dean's angel, and that made him impossible to reason with right now.

He opened the door to his room and strode down the hall, listening to the eerie silence that covered the bunker. He walked into the kitchen where Mary usually was at this time of day. She was a simple person, with a simple tastes, and had seemed quite content to drink tea and read all day. She was there now, drinking chamomile tea and reading a Jane Austin novel. Sam glanced around, looking to see if John was near. 

"He's not here," Mary said, smiling up at him. "But I am, if you need to talk."

Sam hesitated, then slowly slid into the seat next to her. "Jane Austin, huh?" he said, gesturing to the book.

She glanced at the cover and smiled. "Yes, well, I'm a romantic at heart." She put a bookmark into the page she was reading then set the novel down, turning to look at her youngest son. "So, what's on your mind?"

He paused again, not quite knowing where to begin. This had all spun so wildly out of control, and he had no idea how to stop this crazy Winchester ride. "What did Dad tell you about the hunt we just did?" he asked.

She took a sip of tea. "Castiel saved him."

Sam looked surprised. "Really? He seemed pretty annoyed that he did."

"I may not have known John when he was a hunter, but from what I understand, he finds it hard to...understand...that some supernatural creatures can actually be good, and not out to take your head off."

"Cas is different. He has saved us countless times and he's me and Dean's best friend." 

"Sam...I know about Dean and Cas."

Sam's eyes widened as he stared back at his mother. "Their... friendship?"

Mary threw him a look, and he almost burst into laughter. So that's what it felt like to be on the receiving end of a Winchester bitch face. "Cas and I had a talk the other day while you guys were on the hunt."

"Really? He came back here?"

"Yes. I think your brother hurt Castiel's feelings. He looked sad when he got here." She sighed. "Never thought I would see a sad angel before. Doesn't seem right."

Sam tapped his fingers on the table. "Dean's being an idiot. He told Cas to stay away because he's too afraid of what Dad will think when he finds out about them."

Mary nodded. "I didn't tell John about it, it's not my place to say. And right now John won't talk to me about what's going on. I wish I could fix it somehow. You know how stubborn he can be. Death didn't change that about him at all." she laughed a little. She paused, taking a drink of her tea. "So when did Dean realize he liked men?"

Sam leaned back in his chair. "He has always kind of... flirted with them here and there, when he didn't think I'd notice. Really though, I think he is more...cas-sexual than anything else. Cas doesn't really have a gender, being an angel and all." He coughed awkwardly. "Sorry, I'm sure this is a weird conversation for you to have."

Mary giggled. "Cas-sexual. Interesting terminology."

"Do you think Dad will ever accept him?" Sam said, looking seriously at her from across the table. "It's obvious you do, but him?"

 "I don't know, to be honest. From what I remember, John has always thought it was wrong for two men to be together. Unnatural, he said. So I'm not sure how he would react if he found out. I'd hope that he wouldn't disown his own son for it, especially after all we've been through."

"His problem might actually be more the fact that Cas is an angel, and not a human. He made a huge deal about it the other night."

Mary rolled her eyes. "Yeah, well. He will just have to get over it, when Dean feels he is ready to tell John."

Sam grinned and stood up. "You are an amazing person...I'm sorry that I..." He trailed off, thinking of all the lost time. All the years of never getting his crust cut off of sandwiches, or his mom nursing a skinned knee. All those years of never being able to spend Christmas with his whole family, and smell his mom baking gingerbread cookies in the kitchen. All those times when he imagined what it would be like to come home from school and talk to his mom about wanting to become a lawyer someday. Thoughts and dreams he had constantly over the course of his life. He supposed it was why whenever he had a chance to live a normal life, he clung to it like a man drowning in the ocean. 

Mary also stood, and put a hand up to his cheek. "I know, baby. We lost so much. But I don't want us to spend the rest of our lives angry and hateful at each other. We need to all be honest. We need to all stand together as a family. We're Winchesters. I am so proud of you and your brother."

Sam wrapped her up in a tight hug, like his life depended on it. He never expected that he would get this chance. To talk to her, and embrace her. Truth was, he wanted them all to get along and live in the bunker and hunt together. He and Dean, his parents, and of course, Cas. He wondered if it would ever be that easy with them. 

Chapter Text

Cas sat invisibly outside the bunker for about two hours, staring forlornly at the entrance to the "batcave", as Dean called it. He wanted to go in like he normally would. He wanted to walk right in there and kiss his hunter on the mouth without care or worry about consequences, but he knew that he couldn't do that. Not now. Not with John there and obviously uncomfortable with him.

Cas had never felt this way before. The rejection, the hurt, the feeling that Dean Winchester might not love him anymore. It hurt him deeper than any physical wound could. He clasped his hands together, trying to decide what to do. It had been a month now since he had been able to be around Dean. A week since the terrible incident when he had saved John, and the oldest Winchester had recoiled against the angel as if he was some terrible abomination. That had hurt, too, despite not even really knowing John. But he was Dean's father, and thus important to Cas.

He sighed, lifting himself off the wall he sat upon, and closed his eyes, imagining Dean's bedroom. A moment later, he stood in it, the familiar smells of whiskey and leather hitting his nose. Dean's smells. It was comforting, despite the current tense situation. The hunter was laying down on the bed, facing the wall, unmoving but not asleep. Cas could feel the depression rolling off Dean in waves, and he carefully sat down on the edge of the bed.

Dean jumped and turned, then visibly relaxed when he saw the angel. "Cas, what are you doing here?"

"I'm not really certain. It's clear you don't want me around." He faltered for something to say. Even those words made him feel weak and needy, an alien emotion for him.

Dean sighed and turned back to the wall. "I never said I didn't want you around."

"Then why haven't you let me come home?"

He could tell that the words hit Dean hard. Home. A place that neither of them had really had until the past year when they got together and Cas moved into the bunker. Dean swallowed. "It's not that simple, Cas."

"Make it simple. Tell me why."

"You know why. John-"

"Doesn't believe angels can be good," Cas said softly.

"Any supernatural creature. He's not used to there being a gray area. And that fact that you're a... and I'm a..."

"Man?"

"Yes."

Cas looked down at his hands. He had never understood why humans were so concerned with gender when it came to matters of the heart. As long as two people loved and cared about each other, why did it matter if both were female or both were male? "Is it always going to be like this, then?"

"I just need...more time. I will tell him. I just-It's too much right now."

"Your mother approves, you know."

Dean's head whipped around so fast Cas wondered if he would get whiplash. "You talked to my mom?"

"Yes. We had a long chat the other-"

"What the fuck, Cas?!" Dean jumped off the bed, hands balled at his sides. "I told you not to say anything!"

Cas stood up, hurt filling his features. "So it is shame, then. You are ashamed of me because I am not a human woman."

"What? No!"

"And yet I've just told you that your mother approves, and still you yell at me."

Dean stood there for a moment, unable to formulate words as he stared at his angel. Cas stared back, feeling his heart start to hurt. He didn't understand this feeling, as the heart in his vessel really had no use since Jimmy had vacated it years ago. "Cas, why are you doing this?"

Cas had enough. He got up and jammed a finger into the hunter's chest. "Why are you doing this, Dean Winchester? I have known you for years, and saved you, and accepted you and sacrificed everything for you! I have been hunted, and killed and tortured, all for you! And yet you can't even give me the respect to be honest about our relationship to your father, who sees me as some sort of lesser being that he couldn't even bear to touch, even when I had just saved his life! And for what? For your father's approval?"

Dean shoved Cas away, his face full of anger. "You wouldn't understand! Your father isn't here anymore for you to try to impress!" As soon as he said the words, his face went into shock and he froze, realizing too late that he shouldn't have said that. 

The door snapped open, as John barreled in, shotgun in hand, Sam right behind him trying to stop him, having been used to Dean and Cas' occasional arguments which usually ended in shattered glass or angry make up sex. "What the hell is going on in here?" John demanded, glaring at the angel. 

Cas shook his head. "Nothing, not anymore." He glanced back at Dean, who now looked panicked at the angel's words. "Don't worry, Dean. You will not have to hide me away from anyone, or gain your father's approval. You're free."

Dean's face paled. "What? What are you saying, Cas? Please, come on-" He rushed forward trying to grab his angel's trench coated arm. "I love you! Please don't-"

Cas shrugged him off, feeling his resolve start to shatter. "I am saying that we are done, Dean Winchester. I will no longer be around to remind you of your shame for me. Goodbye, Dean. I'm not-" He took a step back, trying to keep the tears that threatened to stream down his face at bay. "I'm not your angel anymore!" With that, he vanished, the last sight he saw being the heartbroken face of the righteous man. He flew to a random motel room and sank to the floor, doing something he had never done before.

He began to sob.

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The room was silent as Dean turned around, trying to locate Cas. But he was gone, and Dean knew it. He had fucked up, majorly. His angel had just broke up with him. He almost laughed bitterly to himself, as he realized that the first time Cas had actually said goodbye to him, was to actually tell him goodbye. He covered his face with his hands, pushing back the tears that started to fall down his cheeks. No, this wasn't happening. Cas had been a part of his life for so damn long...

John still stood there, mouth open in shock as he stared at his oldest son. "What the hell... you are in love with that... creature? What the hell happened to you, Dean?" 

Dean glared at him. "Shut the fuck up. You don't know him."

John stepped forward, getting into Dean's face. Sam immediately pushed himself between his father and brother, trying to stave the inevitable physical altercation. "And you think you do? Because he has come in to save the day a few times? Please. He is an angel who could snuff out your life in seconds. He is dangerous."

"Cas would never hurt me!" Dean yelled, clutching his hands into fists.

"He just did," John said, contempt in his voice. "And you're... gay? That's not how I raised you. I taught you to be a hunter and a man. Tough. Unyielding. You have to be in order to face what's really out there. You can't go around having some fucked up romance with some angel."

"Well that doesn't matter now, does it? You got your wish. He's gone. So enjoy your fucking victory and get the fuck out." Dean shoved John with a roar of rage, and his father fell backwards into the hallway. John attempted to rush back in the room, but Sam grabbed him, pulling him away. Dean slammed the door and crumpled to the floor, feeling his heart break and shatter into a million pieces.

His angel was gone.

Chapter Text

The next few weeks passed, (at least he thought it was weeks) and they were the worst of Sam's life. Torture, being possessed by Satan, the brutal withdrawal from demon blood, that was a cakewalk compared to this. Night after night, he laid helplessly in bed, listening to the muffled sobs of his big brother, his hero. The night terrors came next, when Sam would be startled awake by the sudden shout of "Cas!" coming from Dean's room. The crying would follow, devastating, heartbreaking sobs that made Sam want to rush into where his brother was and just hold him. But he knew Dean didn't want Sam. He didn't want anyone but his angel. So Sam laid in bed, staring at the ceiling and feeling like his heart was being ripped in two.

Sam had kicked John out a couple days after it all started, when John actually had the audacity to start complaining about how his son's crocodile tears over some angel was keeping him up nights. Sam had punched him in the face and told him to get the fuck out or he would make John cry. John left in a rage, slamming the door to the bunker with a huge bang. Mary left soon after, embarrassed and disgusted by John's behavior, leaving Sam alone to deal with the aftermath of yet another one of John's fuck-ups. 

He began binge drinking, getting so drunk he would pass out for days. He was grateful for the lack of sobriety, because it meant not having to have his soul ripped into shreds every night listening to the devastation his brother was enduring, that he could do nothing about. The days began drifting together, and there came a point where he didn't even remember how long it had been since it all started. One night of drinking until a black out led to another day or two. Then he would grab another bottle and start the process all over again. Until one night he woke up to Dean standing over him, dressed and carrying a duffel bag over his shoulder.

"Heya, Sammy."

Sam glanced over at the clock, which read 4 a.m. "Dean, what's going on?"

Dean's eyes trailed over the hundreds of empty alcohol bottles that covered the room, but he said nothing about it. "I'm going hunting Sammy. And I'm doing it alone." His expression was emotionless. "I don't know when I'll be back."

Sam tried to sit up, and a shooting pain stabbed through his head. "Dean-wait... let me come with you."

"No, Sammy. It's better you stay here. I need to do this on my own."

Sam glanced up, and suddenly saw Dean's intentions as he stared into the green eyes that held utter heartbreak. "You... you have no intentions of coming back, do you..."

Dean said nothing. He only averted his eyes.

"Wait, is this a suicide mission for you?" Sam got up, ignoring the ringing in his ears. "Are you going to do something stupid Dean?"

"Goodbye, Sammy. Please go find Mom, I think she needs you right now." He turned on his heel and walked out, shutting the door behind him. Sam attempted to follow him, but got his legs caught up in the blankets of his bed, crashing to the floor. By the time he got out of the room and down the hall, Dean was gone. Sam sat down on the stairs and felt himself finally break, and tears stream down his face. 

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The Impala sped down the highway a few hours later, the sounds of rock and roll blasting from it. Dean sat at the wheel, drumming along to the beat, pretending as if nothing was wrong and his world hadn't spun wildly out of control. He couldn't think about that now. Couldn't think about how that was the last time he would ever see his baby brother again. Couldn't think about how he would never again get to sit with Mary in the bunker kitchen for breakfast, laughing about silly things Sammy had done as a kid. Couldn't think about how losing his angel had made him so dead inside, that actual death, didn't seem like such a bad idea. Nope. Everything was perfectly fine.

He wasn't going to say goodbye to Mary. He'd let Sam handle that one. He had always been better with the touchy feely crap than Dean ever was. There had only one person who ever truly got to see inside Dean's heart, and that person was gone forever. There was nothing he could really say to his mom to make any of this okay. It wasn't her fault after all. She had actually been happy for him, apparently. John's terrible parenting aside, this all was Dean's fault. Had he just listened to his brother and done the right thing by Cas... No. He wouldn't think about that now, because everything was perfectly fine. The world would keep on spinning without Dean Winchester in it. Time wouldn't stop moving forward just because one reckless and stupid hunter had decided to permanently check out. 

He smiled as he kept driving down the highway, not really knowing where he was going. It was beautiful in a way, knowing that soon it would all be over. There was no urgency, no need to rush forward on some desperate mission to save someone, because truth was, there would always be someone else to fix them. Someone else to save the humans who had just found out the hard way that the monsters in the dark were real. Someone else to be the fucking hero, the knight in shining armor. Because Dean Winchester never deserved to be happy. He never deserved the love of an angel.

He turned the radio up louder, blasting it so loud it made the car shake as he continued down the highway.

Everything was perfectly fine.

Chapter Text

"Cas, please, Dean's hurting real bad..."

"Castiel please! We need you!"

"Cas...it's Sam. Look I know you're pissed at Dean, and you have every right to be, but please...come back home and let's talk about this."

The prayers from Sam kept coming, and Cas had to turn off angel radio and all the prayers before he went mad. He didn't know what to do anymore. He had spent the past month in Heaven where he wouldn't be tempted to go back to Dean, and inevitably forgive him. Dean had hurt him, badly. Broken the trust that had taken years to fully form. It made the angel feel like an abomination that meant little more to Dean than one of the monsters he hunted. He had to stand his ground, because apparently Dean didn't love him enough to stand his

The angels in Heaven tried to avoid him as best as they could. He had been a subject of great discussion even before this, the rebel angel who fell in love with the hunter. Some admired him, some were disgusted by him, as most angels still saw humanity as a bunch of mudmonkeys. The world hadn't changed just because one angel grew a heart. Now they laughed at him, mocked him for falling for the human who ended up betraying him and being ashamed of him. He never responded to any of it. He deserved the sneers and the whispers. He thought he could trust Dean Winchester. Oh, how he wished he could stop loving him.

Then, suddenly, he was yanked out of Heaven and forced back on earth, into a small room. The area around him lit up with flames. Holy fire. He looked up angrily to see who had summoned him, and he nearly fell down with shock at what he saw.

Sam Winchester stood there, or what looked like Sam Winchester. The younger hunter looked like he hadn't slept in months. Crude, dark circles were under his eyes, a scruffy beard was growing and had what looked like vomit in it. His bathrobe was tattered, his clothes were dirty and unkempt. The smell of alcohol drifted off him in almost nauseating waves. This was the worst Cas had ever seen him. He instantly felt guilty. In all his stubborn attempts to evade Dean because of a sore ego, he forgot that Sam was still there to take the hits on both sides of it. He had to endure his brother's misery. He had to endure not having his best friend Cas around. He just had to... endure.

"I'm sorry," Sam said, his voice slightly slurred and gravelly. "You wouldn't listen to me, and I was desperate."

Cas nodded. "I understand, Sam. I'm-sorry..."

Sam waved him off. "I don't care about that right now. We have more important-" He paused, looking as if he might throw up, then continued. "It's Dean."

"Sam, I know he's upset. He hurt me and-"

"Shut up, Cas," Sam interrupted. "Dean is right now on a mission to kill himself."

The angel gaped at him and neither said anything for a minute. "What? How do you know?" Cas finally said, his voice breaking. 

"He just left an hour ago. Said goodbye to me. I could tell he had no intentions of coming back alive." Sam ran a hand through his course and dirty hair. "Look, despite whatever issues you two might have right now, I know you love him, Cas. So please... help me find him and stop him before it's too late. Put aside all the bullshit and work things out, so we can get back to normal, whatever normal is for us."

Normal. Cas wanted normal. He wanted to go hunting with his Winchesters again, wanted to be able to hold
Dean in his arms, and kiss his him like nothing had happened. He wanted to come back home to the bunker and be with the two people in the world who meant everything to him. He nodded to Sam, and the hunter broke the holy fire circle. Cas stepped out of it, reaching up two fingers to Sam's temple and healing him of his alcoholism and cleaning him up. The old Sam stood before him once again and grabbed the angel up in a tight embrace. Cas hugged him back. He loved Sam like a brother, and he vowed never to make the younger Winchester deal with anything by himself again.

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Dean found a huge group of demons about an hour from Lawrence, Kansas. He didn't know what prompted him to go back home, but he felt dying there was fitting. He pulled up to the curb outside an abandoned warehouse, cutting the engine and sitting in his car for a moment. He thought of his life up to this point. The good, the bad, the really fucked up. Protecting Sammy all his life, being the tough big brother who always sacrificed so his baby brother never went without. Being the strong one when life around him was shattering into a million pieces just so everyone else would have hope. Hope, ha, what a flimsy notion that was.

He took one last look around at the car that he would never drive again. It had been his home for years, the one constant that he could rely on when the world had given him another raw deal. Then they had found the bunker, and gotten his parents back and he had hoped that it would be home for all of them. But that was all gone now. He patted Baby's dashboard and smiled. 

"Goodbye, girl. We sure had a lot of wild rides, together, huh?" 

He climbed out of the Impala and headed up to the side door. He had no weapons. He didn't need any. He had no intentions of defending himself. He kicked open the door, not even bothering to be stealthy, there was no point to it. Inside a group of 15 demons was standing around, discussing some sort of virgin wine tasting party or some crap. Dean didn't care though. Let someone else deal with it. They were simply a means to an end.

The demons whirled around and stood with their mouths agape, surprised and shocked, as the best hunter in the world strolled right into their den, indifferent to the odds that were stacked against him. One demon stepped forward, a slim red haired female who looked to be the leader of this bunch. She stuck a hand to her hip and smirked at him.

"Dean Winchester. What a pleasure it is to see you."

"The pleasure is all mine, I assure you," he said, his voice flat. 

She snapped her fingers and two demons rushed up to the hunter, grabbing him and checking him for weapons. They shook their heads at the female and held Dean tight.

She raised a brow. "You are unarmed?" She laughed. "Is this some sort of joke?"

"Unfortunately not. I have no interest in fighting you."

There were murmurs in the crowd behind her as the demons heard this. The red haired demon walked forward and placed Dean's chin in her hands. He didn't resist her. She looked deep into his eyes and smiled. "I have a certain gift, Dean. You see, when I was human, I was one of the best damn psychics in the world. That little gift of mine has only grown stronger since I became a demon. So, let's take a little peek inside that brain of yours to see why you're so sad, hmm?" She closed her eyes, reading him for a moment, before she burst into laughter. "Oh, this is too precious!"

"What is it?" someone shouted from the crowd. 

"He wants to die because Castiel broke up with him!"

Laughter spread through the crowd, and Dean hung his head, avoiding their eyes. He didn't really give a damn about their opinions, but he refused to go out with them seeing him cry. 

She continued to read him. "Ah, seems his daddy is a bit of a homophobe, and Dean was so worried about Daddy's approval that he pushed his angel away. Tsk tsk, Dean. That angel gave up everything for you."

"I fucking know that! Can we get on with this please?" Dean snapped. 

One of the demon's holding him threw a punch at his face. Dean let it happen. The fist collided with his jaw and he reeled back, finally feeling something other than utter heartbreak. It was almost euphoric. 

"Ah, now this is exciting. I can see all those months of banging that pretty angel in your bed. All those months of kissing him and loving him and knowing you weren't good enough. All those times when he would look at you with that sheer adoration he had only ever felt for you, and you looking right back into those gorgeous blue eyes and knowing he could do much better than some fucked up hunter with daddy issues and an alcoholism problem. You knew you'd lose him one day, Dean. You knew you would be the one to fuck it up. That's why you're here, isnt it? This is your redemption. To die at the hands of Hell, because Hell is all you deserve."

The words rang true, and he couldn't deny it. He didn't want to, because she was right. It was all there in his head, reading like a masochistic "I hate Dean Winchester" blog that he wrote himself. He listened to the laughter of the demons and almost felt like joining them in their amusement. 

"You know what, Dean?" she said, casually brushing her hair behind her ear. "I'm in such a charitable mood this evening... I am going to grant you your wish."

He looked up, relief filling his heart. "Really?"

"Oh, yes. Eventually." She snapped her fingers again, and the demons swarmed on him. He closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable. 

The demon kept her promise. After hours of sick and twisted punishment that they all eagerly dealt out to the man who had killed so many of their kind over the years, the host of the "Dean Winchester Torture Party" finally reached into Dean's heart and pulled the organ from his body, tossing it on the floor. It seemed fitting really, since that was where all his pain stemmed from. He clenched his eyes shut, feeling the blood spurt from the wound and drip down his naked, scarred and bruised body. So this was how it ended for him. 

He had always believed that one day it would end with him, Sam and Cas fighting some bad guy that they had all grossly underestimated, going down swinging, falling down side by side with the two men he loved the most in the world. Then spending an eternity up in Heaven with them. But Dean Winchester didn't deserve that happy ending. He deserved to be right where he was. Strung up, alone, his body carved up like some macabre jack o'lantern. 

As death finally overtook him, he sent one last prayer.

"Goodbye, Cas. You will always be my angel, even if in the end you didn't want to be..."

 

 

Chapter Text

"I don't even know where to look," Sam said, as he and Cas drove down the road later that night in a blue Mustang they had found in the bunker garage.

Cas glanced at him from the passenger seat. "He didn't give any indication where he was going?"

"Just that he was going hunting, and needed to do it alone." Sam gripped the steering wheel tightly. "Fuck, how did this all happen?"

Cas stared out the window, feeling that familiar guilt well up within him. "It's my fault... I left him when he needed me the most. When he needed my love and support. And I told him..." He paused, emotions he had been hiding swelling in his throat. "I told him I wasn't his angel anymore!"

"No, Cas, look man. Dean was being a dick. Our dad hasn't been around all this time, you have. And our dad should have just accepted you as part of our family, or got the hell out. I don't care if he was mysteriously brought back from the dead. There's just some shit you don't do to your kids."

Cas smiled a little. "Your mother is a lovely woman. We had a long conversation once. She knows-knew...about Dean and I."

"Yes, she told me," Sam said. "She likes you. Thinks you're good for my brother."

"Look what happened, Sam. How can you say that? He's out there right now trying to walk right into danger, and I can't save him."

"That's why you are good for him, Cas."

The angel looked confused. "Because I can't save him?"

"Because you worry about saving him at all. His main job his whole life has been protecting me and saving people from the monsters hiding under their beds. No one but me has been there to return the favor, until you came along." Sam patted Cas' arm. "You're our family, Cas. You're my family. We may not be as close as you and Dean, but don't think for a second that I wouldn't die for you, too."

"I feel the same way, Sam." The angel smiled wide. Maybe this would all work out after all. If they could get to Dean in time, he could beg Dean's forgiveness and try to win him back somehow. Maybe Cas would get him some pie, or burgers as some sort of a peace offering. 

The feeling was short lived when a sharp pain shot through the angel's body and he slumped forward, gripping his chest. Sam swerved and pulled over to the side of the road, turning in his seat to assess the situation. 

"Cas? Cas! What's wrong?"

"Something's wrong with Dean..." Cas breathed out. "He's-"

"Goodbye, Cas. You will always be my angel, even if in the end you didn't want to be..."

The angel recoiled as if he had been slapped when he heard Dean's weakened voice in his head. It sounded like one last desperate prayer. Sam gripped Cas' arm tightly as fear and panic set in. "Cas...what's wrong with Dean?"

Cas knew what this pain was. He had felt it before, when two hunters had shot and killed the Winchesters in their motel room long ago. Even then, he had loved Dean, and the connection was strong. He knew every time the hunter was hurt, every time he felt fear... every time he died... No. It couldn't be. He couldn't be...

The angel opened the car door and tumbled out onto the hard ground. Sam ran around to the passenger side of the car and tried to help Cas up, but he pushed Sam away. Bloody tears streamed down the angel's face now, and he got on his hands and knees and pounded the dirt with his fists. Sam had never seen Cas so devastated in his life. Then, the angel looked up at the sky and yelled, "Dean Winchester is dead!"

For a moment, it was as if the world stopped. Dead silence hung in the air like a storm cloud, threatening to spill over at any second. Sam could only stare in horror at the weeping angel on the ground in front of him, the words ringing over and over in his head like some twisted child's nursery rhyme. Dean Winchester is dead! Dean Winchester is dead! Dean Winchester is dead! After a few minutes, the sobbing stopped, and his head cleared enough to grab the angel by the collar and shake him. "Go save him, Cas! Please! Go save my brother before it's too late!"

But Cas just sat there while the younger Winchester violently shook him, expression vacant, bloody tears drying on his face. "I can't, Sam. He's been warded against angels, remember... It's too late." His voice held no emotion, as if a switch had suddenly been flipped. Cas could no longer feel Dean's soul. The loss of it made him feel an emptiness inside him that he couldn't quite understand. He could tell that the soul wasn't in Heaven, which meant it was in Hell. Cas could no longer go there. Crowley had angel proofed it a long time ago. Dean had went where Cas couldn't follow. 

Sam let go of Cas, and backed away, leaning against the hood of the car for support as the world began to spin. He had felt the trauma of Dean's death before, but he always knew in the back of his mind that he would be saved. That somehow Dean would survive because he had a guardian angel at his back. Dean Winchester always survived, because the world would stop without him in it. But this time, the guardian angel couldn't get to him. Cas was stuck, unable to save his hunter because Dean hadn't told him or Sam where he was going. Dean knew all along how this was going to end tonight. He didn't want to be saved. He had given up.

The realization hit Cas hard, and he slowly slipped out the angel blade from his jacket. He gripped it tightly in his hand, feeling the cold steel against his palm. He glanced up at Sam for a moment, who was still trying to register the full truth of the situation. He felt guilt for what he was about to do, and knew it would devastate the hunter even more. 

"Sam," Cas said, hiding the blade on his side. "You are my best friend, my brother, and a wonderful human being that i am proud to have known. You and your brother taught me how to be human, and how to love, and how to trust. I'm sorry, and I hope one day you will forgive me for this."

Sam looked up, confusion on his tear streaked face. "What do you-" His eyes widened as he saw Cas lift up the angel blade. He tried to rush forward to stop the angel, but with a quick determination, Cas thrust the blade into his heart. Sam tried to grab at it, desperately trying to rip it from the angel's chest, but he was too late. Bright white light shot out from inside Cas, his screams filling the air. Sam hugged Cas to him as he died, crying into the angel's shoulder. He felt the burns spread across his flesh as the angel died, but still held tight, not wanting to let go of his best friend.

Then there was silence again. Sam slowly opened his eyes and saw the scorched wing marks on the ground around them. He carefully laid the angel down, broken sobs shaking from his chest. This was too much. First his brother then their friend. This couldn't be happening. Who did he call? What did he do? He crawled over to the side of the car and leaned back against the door, staring at the body of Cas.

"Don't be dead... " he whispered. 

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The funeral for Cas and Dean was held a few days later. Even though Sam hadn't recovered his brother's body, he still felt he deserved a proper funeral, as did his angel. He called up everyone he could, and soon they all gathered around a single grave in the heavily occupied Winchester family plot, with a headstone that read:

HERE LIES DEAN AND CASTIEL WINCHESTER. BONDED IN LOVE. TOGETHER FOREVER IN DEATH

There were a lot of people who showed up that day to pay their respects. John and Mary, Bobby and Jody, even Dorothy and Charlie. All of them were still shocked that this all had happened, and they kept blinking, as if they hoped this was some terrible nightmare and they would wake up soon with Dean Winchester still in the world. John looked so guilt ridden that it amazed Sam that he had even managed to get out of bed that day. He tried to hide the flask up his sleeve that he was all but gulping down. Mary had to be consoled constantly by Jody, who held her and cried right along with her. Even in Oz, Charlie and Dorothy had heard about the two deaths that had shaken their family to the core. It was all so very surreal.

Sam stood up in front of the group of devastated people, clearing his throat awkwardly and trying not to look at the single casket that now held an angel who once saved him and his brother from Hell and the apocalypse. "Dean and Cas," he said clearing his throat again. "Were my two best friends in the world, and my brothers. They have both always protected me from whatever we faced, even if it meant sometimes protecting me from myself. Dean was always the voice of reason that me and Cas needed. Sometimes we screwed up, like really badly, and Dean would tell us 'don't do that thing'...and me or Cas would do the thing." Sam chuckled softly. "Dean was such a forgiving person, despite how tough he acted. And Cas and Dean...they loved each other so much." He looked over at his parents, where Mary was leaning against Jody still and John was staring at his feet. "They were in love with each other for 6 years before they finally came out and admitted it. I still remember the day it happened. Some angel named Hannah was really into Cas, and Cas was going to give her a chance, because at this point Dean was stubborn and refused to admit his feelings..."

"Even though we all saw what was going on!" Charlie shouted. A small murmur of laughter went through the crowd. 

Sam smiled a little and wiped a tear that was threatening to spill down his cheek. "And Dean saw it, and got all possessive. Threatened to gank her if she didn't back off his angel. His angel. The moment he said it, I knew the time had finally come. They were always saving each other, and had each other's backs, and it was so amazing to see. They also taught each other things, that made them better people in general." He looked back at John, who had raised his head up and was listening intently. "Before he met Dean, Cas was just Heaven's weapon, only there to do God's work and smite who needed to be smited, and it didn't matter who died in the process. Dean taught him that there was another way, Dean taught him love. And Cas, well, he taught Dean faith. He showed Dean that he deserved to be saved over and over, he taught Dean that he is a hero, and has more self worth than Dean himself believed he had. In the end Dean, and Cas... well neither one of them thought they deserved to be saved, because they had lost each other. The profound bond that made an angel fall in love with a human and rebel against Heaven itself had been tainted by petty bigotry." He looked over at the coffin and felt the tears run down his cheeks finally. "Goodbye Cas and Dean. You will always be heroes to me, even if in the end you gave up hope. I forgive you."

There wasn't a dry eye around, as Sam went to sit down. He was sitting next to Mary, who clutched his hand tightly. He had never been so open about his feelings before, especially in front of that many people. He felt naked, vulnerable, as if now the world could see right through him and see the weaknesses of Sam Winchester. The truth was, he was vulnerable right now. He had lost the two most important people in the world to him. He was devastated.

John stood. All eyes turned to him, and Sam went to stop him, but Mary squeezed his hand and he nodded reluctantly. The audience was currently not a fan of John Winchester. They had all heard what happened. They all knew that John's reaction to Dean and Cas was the catalyst to this tragic event. They weren't sympathetic to a father who had just lost his son, they felt contempt for a father who pushed his son into tragedy. He stood at the podium, looking around before his eyes landed on the coffin to the left of him. His breath hitched as he stared at it, the full realization hitting him hard and he gripped the surface tightly as if it would catch him when he fell. 

"I'm uh..I'm Dean's father," he said, as if everyone there had no clue who the asshole standing at the podium was. "I didn't really understand this thing between Castiel and Dean until recently. I let my stupid personal feelings get in the way of something that... that was there before I came into the picture." He looked up, tears filling his eyes. "I never meant for this to happen. I just...I was worried Castiel would hurt Dean and Sam. He was this supernatural being who was dangerous... unpredictable. My sons have gone through all these different things while I was gone, and I didn't realize until it was too late that just as the times and the world have changed, I needed to change too." His eyes slid over to the coffin again and he wiped a hand over his face. "God forgive me, I was so damn stupid. It shouldn't have mattered to me that Dean liked men, or that he was in love with an angel, I should have embraced it because Dean was a good man who saved people and sacrificed himself for his little brother over and over again. I'm sorry Sam. I wish I could say sorry to Dean and Castiel... and tell them that I approve,and just want them to be happy... but it's too late. Too damn late..." He left the podium and walked off, leaving the rest of the funeral party to stare after him. 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Dean." A voice. He recognized the voice... but where-

"Dean, wake up!" The voice was more urgent now, impatient. British.

Before his eyes had even opened, the stench hit him like a brick to the face. A familiar stench that made fear circle his heart. The sulfur that burned your nose right as you inhaled it. The coppery smell of blood that lined the walls like some sort of macabre paint job. The rotted smell of flesh that had been left on the ground for far too long as an intimidation tactic for new arrivals. The screams, the wails, the prayers. He knew all of this far too well. At one time, they had become almost comforting to him, while he was forced to carve into a new body every day. His eyes snapped open. Fuck. He was in Hell. Like that was surprising.

He quickly sat up, realizing that he was sitting on a couch in an office. He recognized it instantly as his green eyes slid to the man at the desk. "Crowley."

The King of Hell and the Winchesters had a love/hate relationship over the years. Sometimes Crowley helped them in their struggles, sometimes he was the cause of it. Dean wondered which character the demon would be playing today.

"Finally awake, Rapunzel?" Crowley smirked.

Dean looked down, noticing his skin was free of the scars that had just been carved into him by that red haired demon, whose name he had learned to be Arisa. Not that it mattered, the familiarity of knowing her name didn't stop her from slicing into him like a Thanksgiving turkey. Not that he wanted her to stop, of course. Despite it, he admired her ability to separate work and her personal life. "So, I'm in hell. Guess what the bible says about suicide being a sin is true."

"Technically, you didn't kill yourself," Crowley said, leaning back in his plush office chair. "My black eyed boys did you a favor. So that little loophole would have gotten you sent upstairs. But unfortunately for you, you betrayed Castiel, and the angels didn't take too kindly to that. So your soul was stopped from entering Heaven, and it got sent here instead."

Dean swallowed hard, his throat feeling like it was stuffed with cotton and rocks. Even in death he was still being punished for being a dumb ass. It made sense, after all. When you die thats when the real judgement is supposed to come, if you believed in that sort of thing. How lucky for Dean, then, that he had broken the heart of an actual angel, which meant God himself was personally offended and pissed. Well, when Dean Winchester decides to do something, it's all about going big or going home with him. He burst into laughter. Manic, ascending laughter that made Crowley stand up and stare at Dean as if he had just grown a second head. 

"Are you mad? What the hell are you laughing about?"

"Nothing. Just, musing on life's little plot twists. So, I guess you're here to have me fitted for a new rack, huh? I'd like something near the water if you please, maybe with some ducks?"

The King looked confused again. "Well, Dean, I'm sure we can set you up with the whole 'Spa Torture Care Package' if you want today, but I just thought I'd offer you a deal instead." 

"You want to make a deal with me?" Dean said. "Why? I've killed tons of your kind before, I would think you'd jump at the chance for a little payback."

"The thing about torture, is that if you do it long enough, eventually everyone becomes masochists and it becomes pointless. No, you are on a mission to punish yourself and I've got just the thing for you."

"You want me to do the torture instead?" Dean stood up slowly. "I can't do that again."

"My, my, you are all about the torture fetish today, aren't you. Enough about that. Do you want to be alive, Dean?"

"No."

Crowley raised a brow. "Wow, you didn't even hesitate."

"You think I walked into that warehouse full of demons because I wanted to live? Come on, Crowley." Dean walked over to the window of the office, where he could see people down below standing in a never ending line. Genius.

"What about a new kind of life. Away from your brother. Away from your ang- away from your friends. Just me and you, doing what we want, when we want."

"I don't deserve happiness."

"Oh, I doubt you'll be happy, because it will be against everything you stand for, and have fought so hard against." Crowley paused and smiled. "How about I turn you into a demon, Dean?" 

Dean whipped around. "What?! Are you serious?"

Crowley walked up and placed a hand on Dean's shoulder. "You want to be punished right? And you becoming a demon and being forced to live like that, well, it's the ultimate punishment in your eyes. The righteous man falling to darkness after all those people relied on you. They trusted you. You failed them, Dean. Don't you think it's a fate you deserve?"

"No, I can't!" Dean snapped, pulling himself away from the demon. "They will hate me enough once they found out what I have done. That I've purposely ended it..."

"Sadly, you underestimate them. They will always forgive you, and maybe that's the problem." The demon snapped his fingers, and suddenly they were standing alongside a road in the middle of the night.

Dean looked around. "What the hell-where are we?"

"I feel like the ghost of Christmas past," Crowley said, chuckling. He pointed behind Dean.

"Dean Winchester is dead!"

Dean turned, and he felt his heart sink as he witnessed Cas on the ground sobbing, while Sam leaned against the hood of the car, face pale and terrified. "Sam! Cas!" he said, starting to rush forward. 

Crowley gripped his arm. "They can't hear you, this has already happened. The day you died. So just watch and see."

Dean watched in horror as Cas lifted up the blade and plunged it into his heart. Dean fell to his knees next to Cas, reaching out his hands desperately to touch his angel but only grabbing air, as white light began to glow within Cas. He watched as Sam attempted to save the angel, but he was too late, and instead gripped him tightly in his massive arms, hugging the blue eyed man to his body, despite the pain etched on his face from the wing scorch marks that were being seared into his flesh. Tears streamed down Dean's face again as he helplessly watched the terrible scene.

"You see, Dean? What your actions have caused? You have caused an angel, a pure and good angel of God, to kill himself because of you. Not only is Castiel dead, but your brother Sam is all alone now, left to pick up the pieces. You ruin lives, Dean, that is your curse." Crowley put another hand on his shoulder. "You know torture is far too good for you at this point. Do the right thing, here."

"Don't be dead... "Sam whispered forlornly.

Dean looked up as the scene played itself out. Sam gripping the dead angel by the shoulders and hauling him into the blue Mustang. Sam gently placing Cas in the front seat, even putting the seat belt on him, as if that mattered now. Then getting into the driver's seat and pulling a U-turn, heading back the way he came. Sam would go home, and have to tell their family and friends that Dean and Cas were dead, and bury the angel's body somewhere, all by himself, because who else could bring themselves to do such a thing? Then he would probably try to locate where Dean's body was too, so that he could give his big brother a proper burial, most likely laying Dean to rest next to his angel, because that's just how Sam was. Two funerals in one week for poor Sammy. And after that, what could his little brother do? Binge drink himself into a coma? Pull a Dean Winchester and walk unarmed into a monster nest? Dean didn't know who was more cursed at this point.

He knew Crowley was right, of course. Torture would be too good for him. Sitting in Hell, cut off from the world, that was too good for Dean Winchester. At least as a demon, he didn't have to feel anything. He could go far away from the family he had destroyed and spend eternity alone, because that was all he deserved. He turned to the demon who stood behind him. "Okay, sign me up."

Crowley grinned and teleported them back to his office. Dean Winchester's new life was about to begin.

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"Hey, Dean and Cas," Sam said, as he sat on the bench next to the graves of his brother and best friend a few days later. He knew his brother wasn't technically there, but he liked to think he was. "Things have gotten-hard here. Mom is going to leave Dad because of what's happened. I don't know what to do. I tried to talk her out of it, but she's hurt, and pissed, and blames him for all this." Sam leaned forward, clasping his hands together. "It's no one's fault really. Or maybe it's everyone's fault. We all get so caught up in worrying about the little things that don't even really matter in the end."

He paused and looked across the cemetery, where he saw a lonely older man kneeling next to a grave and weeping. "Life is too short," Sam said, sighing. "All this time is wasted on stupid crap. Did it really matter that you are an angel, Cas, who happens to be a man? You loved Dean, you sacrificed for Dean. And he did the same for you, because you both had true love." Sam chuckled. "I know Dean would tease me for being so sappy. But it's true. You guys had something special and amazing, and I always wished I had that. That I could meet some nice girl who I could live my life with, someone who knew the truth about the world and what was really in it. Someone I could eventually settle down with when Dean and I got too old to hunt. That was how I always pictured it, you know? You two and I would hunt until we could't even remember what hunting was, then we'd find some house in the country somewhere, or the woods, I don't know. Dean and I would die one day, and Cas would take us up to Heaven, where we would spend all eternity together. That's what I wanted for us, not-" He gestured to the grave in front of him.

"Sam Winchester."

He jumped at the voice and turned, seeing a beautiful blonde haired, purple eyed woman in a suit standing near him. An angel, by the way she was standing and looking at him. He reached into his jacket, pulling out his angel blade. "Who are you?"

Her eyes flicked to the blade, and her expression softened. "I am Kalia. And there is no need for that here. I have no want for violence against you."

He regarded her for a moment, before nodding and slipping the blade back into his jacket. She walked over and sat next to him, looking up at the sky and closing her eyes.

"The day is so beautiful," she murmured.

"Yeah. Pretty. Now what do you want?" Sam felt a little guilty for the way he treated her. She hadn't personally done anything wrong, but the Winchesters and angels didn't always play well together.

Kalia glanced at the tombstone, a flicker of sadness on her face. "I understand your need for caution, Sam. But I assure you, not all angels are against you, or your brother. Most of us still believe in Castiel."

"He's dead," Sam said bitterly. "They both are."

"Yes, we know. That is why I have come today. Well, it's a lot more complicated than that."

Sam turned to look at her. "What? Tell me what you mean."

"Do you know that Castiel was planning on asking Dean to marry him?" Kalia said, with a bright smile.

Sam's eyes opened wide. "What? Really?"

Kalia nodded and stretched out her legs. "Yes. It was going to be a beautiful affair. And he wanted it to be perfect. Which is why he pulled some strings, a lot of strings, to give Dean, and you, the best present he could think of."

"What present?" Sam asked. "And why are you telling me this? Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that Cas loved my brother in that way, but I thought you said it was complicated?"

"This is all part of one big story, Sam. You cannot have a plot without little things happening along the way. So, I suppose you are wondering how, or why, your parents were suddenly back from the dead."  

Then it clicked, and Sam was gaping at her yet again. "Wait, did you guys bring our parents back?"

"Castiel did. He wanted it as a wedding present to Dean. You see, our Father obviously cannot walk Castiel down the aisle, but Dean's father could, if he was alive. He wanted Dean to have his parents there on his big day. Castiel knew how important it would be to Dean. His plan was to bring them back, let you all enjoy some time together, then he was going to ask John for Dean's hand in marriage. He wanted to keep with human traditions, for Dean's sake." She looked sadly at the grave again and sighed. "He didn't anticipate that John would be-so close minded."

Sam ran a hand through his chestnut hair as he absorbed all this. They had been wondering for months just how the hell their parents were alive. They worried it was brought on by some nefarious means, part of a bigger plot to usurp the Winchesters yet again. All along it had been a gift to Dean and Sam, a plot, sure, but one to give them hope again, to have a renewed faith in angels and love, and the possibility of a happy life. And now... now it was pointless. All for nothing. He felt anger boil up within him as he clenched a fist. If John hadn't been such an asshole-

He felt a gentle hand on his and he looked down, seeing Kalia hold it. "It's okay, Sam Winchester. There is a way out of this, but it will take a lot of blood, and sweat, and tears along the way. There are some angels in Heaven who do not believe as I do, and who refused to let Dean's soul enter Heaven. He went to Hell instead. He found out Castiel has died, and out of guilt, accepted Crowley's offer of becoming a demon. You have to save the righteous man, Sam. Bring him home, make your family whole again. Before it's too late."

Sam felt his heart sink as he pulled away from the angel's touch. "Wh-what? Dean was sent to Hell?" He began to pace, staring at the green grass as if it had the solution written on the blades. "A demon? My brother is a... demon?  How am I supposed to- How do I even fix this? I screw up more things than I fix!" He put his head in his hands. "I am all alone."

"Sam, we have watched you for a long time. We know all the things you have done. You look to your brother as a hero, and he is, even now. But so are you. You sacrificed yourself and jumped into the pit in an attempt to save the world from Lucifer. You have saved your brother, and your family, and millions of other lives in all the years you have been doing it. There were times when none of us thought you and Dean would succeed, and yet you exceeded all of our expectations time and time again. You can do this, you will succeed again, just as you always have, because you are the Winchesters, and at the end of the day, you are always the ones who stand tall, while others fall around you." She stood up. "Oh, and one more thing. You are not alone. So never fear." She winked at him and disappeared.

Sam stopped pacing, her words touching his heart. She was right. They had succeeded when even they didn't think they would come out alive. He had to do this, one way or another, because if Dean was turned into a demon, especially out of guilt, he had to save his brother. There was no other option. Because it's what Dean would do for him. He jumped at the sudden hand on his shoulder and turned, looking into bright blue eyes. 

Tears spilled down his cheeks as he stared at the other man, the one he thought was truly gone forever this time. "Cas... "Sam breathed. "You're alive."

Cas smiled and embraced the younger Winchester. "Yes, it would seem so. God told me to get my ass down here and save my idiotic, stubborn boyfriend who decided to turn himself into a demon as penance for what he thinks he did to me. So here I am."

"God said that?" Sam said incredulously. "But Heaven wouldn't let him in when he died."

"In not to many words. But yes." Cas flashed his thousand watt smile. "And it wasn't heaven itself, it was some dick angels who were obviously jealous I was banging Dean Winchester and they weren't."

Sam burst into laughter. "Wow, Cas, I am digging the new you. Where did all this come from?"

Cas shrugged. "Dean's bad influence, mostly. But, I did a lot of thinking in Heaven. We have all been through so much, and I am ready for our happy ending, and yours. I am ready to fix this and move on." He averted his eyes, not looking at Sam. "I-I did what I had to."

"What? What did you do?" Sam asked, raising a brow.

"I had to make a statement, if you will. I had to show God and everyone the severity of the situation. I knew Dean would end up being manipulated into turning into a demon, and I knew that Crowley would have diabolical plans for him. So me doing-what I did- showed them. So when I got to Heaven, the angels who had blocked Dean from entering were cast out, and my father made me an archangel, so that I could cure Dean."

Sam wiped a hand through the scruff of his beard. "So you killed yourself on purpose..."

"I'm sorry. i know it hurt you and I am sorry." Cas looked sad as he gazed at his friend.

Sam waved him off. "No, I get it. I understand, Cas, and I forgive you. And wow, an archangel. They really went all out with the Resurrection Package, huh?"

Cas nodded. "There is no real way to cure a demon, except by the touch of an archangel. I know you and the Men of Letters tried before, and it almost worked on Crowley, but it doesn't ever work fully. The demon is still in there, waiting for a chance to spring forward. This is the only way."

Sam smiled and clapped a hand on Cas' shoulder. "Well, alright then. Are you ready to do this?"

Cas nodded again, and they headed off through the cemetery, faces determined as they began to plot how to find Dean and fix him. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean had been a demon for a week now, but a week when you're immortal, as Crowley pointed out, was a mere blip in time and existence. Dean had found it funny, ironic even, that he had walked into that warehouse to die, and now he was going to live forever. Death is too quick of an ending though. Having an eternity to think about the pain you've caused and the lives you've destroyed, now that's torture. Luckily for Dean, the bonus to now being a demon, meant you didn't feel anything except what you wanted to feel. His self loathing, his guilt, his devastation... it was all gone. All he could feel was the power coursing through his veins like some sort of drug, giving him an ultimate high that he had never felt before. With it, he felt as if he could conquer worlds, destroy cities, but most importantly, he could stop being a fucking hero. 

All those years of self sacrifice and loss, all in the name of saving the world over and over. A world who had no idea just who Dean Winchester was. Anyone who ever saw him just saw a man in his 30s, with a black leather bomber jacket and haunted green eyes that said this was a man who had seen far too much in his life, and lost far too many people. A man who had resigned himself to be what he was, because he had no other choice. They didn't know that when the man was just a little boy he watched his mother get burned alive in the ceiling, and had to carry his baby brother out to safety. They didn't know his childhood had been replaced by a lifetime job as security detail for a man who had once betrayed his big brother for a demon bitch and a blood addiction. They certainly didn't know that this man had never had faith in anything but himself, until he met an angel who caused him to grip his bible tight and pray desperately whenever he felt lost.

No, he supposed no one had ever really known who he was, no one except Cas and Sam. But, even they had both betrayed him when he trusted them the most. Putting faith in people, maybe that was his mistake, why he lost so much. Now, he had forever to live his life his way, and to hell with everyone else. He deserved to stop sacrificing for everyone that didn't give a fuck about him and live. His angel didn't want him? Well, maybe he would just find a new one. 

Dean sat with Crowley at a bar in the nowhere town of Trysk, Indiana. Dean had kept his Impala of course, still driving around the country with it even though he didn't need to. Some things would never change. Dean was in "demon training school", and Crowley was surprisingly patient with his new charge. Dean hadn't quite gotten teleporting down just yet, and accidentally ended up in Antarctica the first time he tried it out. It had been a good thing Dean was a demon because that trip might have been a bit disastrous, considering he landed in the middle of the ocean. Crowley ended up having to come get him and fish him out from under the ice, with a roll of the eyes and a muttered, "Bloody hell, only Dean Winchester could fuck up this much as a demon." Good times.

"Do I get to be a crossroads demon?" Dean asked suddenly, turning to look at the King of Hell.

Crowley raised an eyebrow and stared at him. "Really? You want to do that? It's so...trivial."

Dean grinned, taking a long swig of beer. "Come on, man. I would get to kiss all the hot chicks I can making deals. And don't think my pretty face wouldn't get the deal sold, either."

"Chicks? So you're straight again?" Crowley seemed a little upset at this.

Dean shrugged. "I'm whatever catches my attention for the night. But seriously, crossroad deals, fun right?"

Crowley produced a red flower out of thin air and twirled it in his fingers. "You can do it, if you really wanted. Although..." He glanced sideways at Dean. "We could always rule hell together."

Dean laughed and finished off his beer. "Me and you? Are you flirting with me, Crowley?"

Crowley shrugged. "And if I was?"

Dean stared at him for a moment, before looking away. "I just never thought about you in that way before is all."

"That's because you were so smitten with that angel, you didn't have time to notice anyone else."

Dean glared. "Do not mention him." He tapped his fingers on the counter thoughtfully. "That's not to say-I mean you are a handsome devil. I just never really thought about it before." Him and Crowley? Sure he had often thought the demon was good looking, what with the tailor made suits and intense eyes that seemed to stare right into your soul. Not to mention that accent... God, what was he, some teenage girl with a crush? Get it together, Winchester!

"Now look who's flirting," Crowley said with a wink.

Dean cleared his throat and opened a second beer. "Shut up." He took a long swig as if he was a thirsty man in the desert. He turned in his chair and regarded the King of Hell. "What's in it for you?"

"Well, let's see. Dean Winchester at my side, ruling hell for eternity. Buying souls, mass murder, doing whatever we want, when we want. What's not to like?"

Dean waved a finger in front of Crowley's face. "This wasn't your endgame, was it? Get me all guilt ridden and shameful so I'd accept your deal and become a demon so I could be your bitch forever."

Crowley shoved Dean's hand away. "First off, you wouldn't be my bitch. I guess you would be what you might call a... consort."

"Consort." Dean snorted. "What are you from, the 1600's or something?"

"Actually, yes."

Dean put his hands up. "Alright, alright. Don't get your panties in a twist." 

"Come on, Dean. Think of it." Crowley put a hand on his arm. "For once in your life you could have real power, and control your own destiny. None of this, running around saving people, hunting things crap. You could just be, you. Aren't you tired of being the 'good soldier', and constantly rescuing your brother? Aren't you tired of all these helpless people having to be saved all the damn time?"

Dean leaned back in his chair, and pondered all this. Crowley was right, of course. He had never had his own destiny, one he had made himself, the kind you came up with while sitting on a park bench one sunny day in spring. Everyone else had always determined what Dean Winchester was going to do. His father, his brother, angels, demons, hunters, God. He was tired of being a puppet, a marionette that danced on strings for everyone's amusement. He had tried to be so good for so long, and do what was right, and moral (not that banging an actual angel was moral, it's no wonder he got sent to hell for that one), and in the end, it was him that had nothing. His angel left him, his father didn't approve of him liking dick, his mother was obviously ashamed because she left too and his brother? Well, poor defenseless Sammy could use a lesson in independence and what it means to really be alone.

He turned to Crowley and smirked. "Alright. I'll be your consort or whatever, but I wanna do the crossroad thing on the side, still. I wanna see all those desperate saps that summon me so they can save their true love." He said the last words with contempt, spitting it out as if he just drank a bottle of holy water. True love. It was bullshit. It didn't exist, it was all a myth, hope for the helpless. The belief that you could find that one person who would actually stick by you no matter what? Pathetic. 

Crowley patted his shoulder. "So, you're mine then? Forever?"

"Yep. Now let's get outta here, I wanna do some more training." Dean walked outside towards the Impala, sliding in the front seat, Crowley following closely behind. This was going to be so much fun. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

About the time Dean had decided to be the King of Hell's new boy toy, Cas and Sam were waiting at the bunker for their family and friends to arrive. Cas had spent the past week in the room that he and Dean had shared not so long ago, feeling like the beautiful memories that had happened there were some dream that now felt like it had never happened at all. Capturing Dean and attempting to cure him wasn't going to be easy, especially with Crowley shadowing him. The newly minted archangel knew that he had to succeed even if it meant he'd die trying. but what was one more death, right?

People began to arrive at noon that day. Sam and Cas had been up most of the night, discussing tactics and courses of action. Having a connection of hunters on the lookout for the new demon Dean gave them a wide net in which to catch the wayward Winchester brother. They just had to make sure that only people they trusted knew about his new status, so that Dean didn't end up getting exorcised or killed before they could even attempt to save him. 

Mary arrived first, hugging Sam and Cas tightly, and not seeming to be very surprised to see the angel alive. Cas admired the mother of the two boys he had grown to love. She was strong, open minded, and had one of the purest souls he had ever seen, next to Dean, of course. No one could compare to Dean Winchester. She still had faith, despite the things she and her family had gone through, despite the tragedy they had seen. When Cas and Dean had died, and he was up in Heaven, he heard her praying to him one night, and it had caused tears to form in the angel's eyes.

"Castiel, this is Mary... I'm not sure if you can even hear this since you're- I want you to know that I am not angry at you, and I don't blame you for any of this.The truth is, humans have moments of weakness and let their own biases get in the way of other people's happiness, no matter who it is. They get scared of the unknown, because it means having to trust and have faith in something other than themselves. Remember I told you my father didn't like John when we first got together, and he died before he could really give him a chance? I saw something in John though, a shining light that got burned out when I was killed that night in November so many years ago. When I was in Heaven, I had this dream that by some miracle, we would be given another chance and taken back home to our boys. That we would get to be with them again, and share holidays and birthdays and I would get to see the amazing men they have become. I know you are the one who resurrected us, and I know why you did it. No matter what John may feel right now, I know he has a good heart and he will come around. I approve of you and my son being together, and even if John won't do it, I'll walk with my son down the aisle on the day you both say 'I do'. You are an amazing person, a true beacon of hope that this family so desperately needed, and still does. You are a part of this family Castiel, so never give up that hope, or your faith. Dean has never given up on you, and neither will I."

Cas had heard the prayer and wept that day, not really knowing until then just how much he meant to the Winchester family.  

John showed up soon after Mary, still looking like he hadn't slept in years. Cas supposed overwhelming guilt and regret would do that to a person. He watched as the oldest Winchester's eyes slid over to Mary, an apologetic look spreading over his scruff covered face. At her refusal to even look at him, John turned, suddenly noticing that the angel was standing there. His eyes widened and mouth dropped open in shock and disbelief. "You're-you're alive!" he exclaimed. Clearly he didn't have the same faith that Mary did. 

Cas nodded, trying hard to stow his personal feelings towards the man who had essentially caused this whole debacle. Getting angry and smiting John Winchester in front of his wife and son would do nothing but cause more grief and chaos, and there was plenty of that going around as it was. Not to mention, that this wasn't exactly the time or the place to address such things, so he quickly averted his gaze and turned, getting ready to greet Bobby and Jody, who had just arrived and looked even less surprised to see him than Mary was. Unfortunately, John seemed to feel that this was in fact the right time, and he walked right up to the angel and gripped the arm of his trench coat as he stared at Cas.

"Castiel, please hear me out. I'm sorry, I was a fool and I made some terrible mistakes. I never meant for any of this to happen-"

Don't smite him Don't smite him Don't smite him. Cas repeated it in his head until the noise drowned out John Winchester's attempts at redemption. He felt nothing for John except contempt. Contempt for the father who would shame his own son for liking other men, who would shame his own son for loving someone who was different. No, he wasn't going to grant John forgiveness just yet. The man would have to earn that. And forgiveness for hurting Dean Winchester didn't come easy.

Sam must have seen the look of anger on the angel's face because he quickly walked up and edged his way between them, grabbing John by the arm and pulling him away from the pissed off archangel. Charlie and Dorothy walked by, witnessing the scene, and Charlie grabbed Cas in a tight hug. 

"Glad you're alive, you adorable angel, you," Charlie said, with a playful punch to the arm.

Cas had grown fond of this red haired girl who the Winchesters had adopted as a sister. She brought a certain kind of light and playfulness to Sam and Dean whenever she was around. The angel had sat with the boys and Charlie a few times, watching "Game of Thrones" or "Dexter". Upon them watching "Dexter", Cas had casually remarked how Dean and Sam were basically serial killers just like the man on the T.V, vigilantes of the world preying on the monsters who would prey on others. The brothers had simply looked at each other in slight horror as they realized that they were technically just like Dexter Morgan, minus the supernatural aspects of it. The subject had gotten changed pretty quickly after that. 

Garth came soon after, nervous about being in a room with so many hunters, being a werewolf now and all. But the group all welcomed him with open arms, even though John kept shooting him concerned looks the whole time as if the awkward and lanky man would suddenly wolf out and eat them all. Kevin had finally showed up with Garth, neither of them having found out about Dean and Cas dying until recently, since they had been holed up somewhere trying to finish translating the demon tablet.

The biggest surprise was when Kalia appeared. Sam smiled at the angel who had brought him some semblance of hope. "You came," he said, feeling his heart flutter in his chest.

"I heard your prayer, Sam Winchester," she said, smiling back at him with her unique and beautiful violet eyes shining. "And yes, I will help you. As i told you at the cemetery, we believe in Castiel and the Righteous man. Heaven needs to have more love, and less hate, because hate causes people to start apocalypses." She winked at him then, and he burst into laughter, thinking perhaps she had been around humanity too long.

The library, where they were all congregated, got silent as Sam and Cas stood in front of their small group of trusted allies. Sam cleared his throat, fumbling for words, and Cas put a hand on the younger Winchester's arm, giving him a nod. Sam smiled and faced the group again. 

"Thank you all for coming. You are the only ones we trust with this." Sam raked a hand through his hair, trying to find the right words to say what he had to say. It was so much easier thinking it in your head, where it was safe and those words couldn't be misinterpreted. All Sam had told their family and friends was to come here because Sam had something to tell them. Many sets of eyes had scanned the room, searching for Dean, but no one had asked the question that was on all their minds yet, for fear of what the answer might be. "Dean isn't here..." he said hesitantly. "It seems that his soul was taken to hell instead of Heaven as a punishment for things he had done." There were shocked murmurs in the crowd, but Sam continued. "As a result, Crowley got a hold of him." Gasps now. They all knew where this was heading. "Dean, being the self loathing person he is, was manipulated by Crowley into being turned into a demon. So, Dean is alive but-" he faltered, looking at Cas for help.

"We will save him," Cas said confidently, meeting the eyes of all the people here who cared for Dean. "We can all do this. Together."

"So, we need you all to be on the lookout for Dean," Sam said. "Do not kill him, obviously. Try not to engage him if possible. You just have to trap him and then pray to Cas, and we will come to you. And if you have people out there looking, do not tell anyone that Dean is a demon. Just say he got amnesia or something and we need to find him. Which may or may not be true, I'm not sure how far gone Dean is just yet. If you want no part of this mess, I understand, and I won't judge you if you leave now." He paused, waiting for the inevitable rush of bodies towards the exit. No one moved an inch.

"Ya idjits," Bobby said, laughing. "You boys always manage to find yourselves in the craziest situations. But you 3 are like sons to me. Yes, you too, Cas," the older hunter said, nodding at the angel who had tilted his head in confusion.

John turned and glared at Bobby, who gave him a look that dared him to make a move. John said nothing and looked away.

"You know where Bobby goes, I go," Jody said, grabbing Bobby's hand in hers and leaning against his shoulder.

"Dean Winchester is an honorable man," Dorothy said. "Charlie and I will help how we can."

"He is my son, and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for him," said Mary with determination on her face. 

Garth and Kevin both nodded in agreement. Kalia also nodded, throwing another wink Sam's way. He flushed and cleared his throat. All eyes slid to the last member of their group who had yet to come to a decision, John Winchester, who raised his head up at the sudden scrutiny he was under. He stood and sighed deeply. "Of course I'm with you both. I will do whatever is necessary to save him. I want my family back together, and that..." He looked up at the blue eyed angel who loved his son more than his own life. "That includes you, Castiel."

Cas smiled a little at this. John Winchester had made a lot of bad decisions in his life, especially the past month alone, but perhaps this man could be redeemed. He nodded to the man who he had wanted to smite 20 mins ago. "Then, let's get started, everyone. We have a long road ahead of us, and this won't be easy. It will probably be hard to see Dean in this state. Remember he is a demon now, and will most likely not care about...hurting any of us. So you cannot take it personal, if he says something hurtful." He sighed, thinking how he would have to remember to take his own advice when the time came.

Everyone nodded. They all began to disperse to set to work on the task of finding Dean, and Cas sat back watching them leave, wondering if maybe, just maybe, they would be able to finally have a happy ending. 

Chapter Text

Tyler Wilkins had tried for years to make it in life. He followed the rules that everyone said you were supposed to follow. Don't be an asshole if you can help it, don't step on people on your climb to the top, and never accept an open can of beer from a guy named Gary. In the 43 years he had been alive, he always tried to follow that code. It had all seemed so simple at first. He had planned it all out years ago, a map to his own life that would end in treasure. He would land that plush corner office right out of college, marry a girl he met at a coffee shop, have a couple kids. Maybe even buy a boat. The American Dream. 

Oh, he had managed to do all that. He married Amber Ricklen, the girl he met in a sex shop (close enough) that one summer day between semesters. Her father happened to be a CEO of a leading business group in the greater tristate area, so he got that plush office complete with an aquarium. They had twins together, Sara and Lana. Life was good. Life was fan-fucking-tastic. Until he came home one day on their 17th year anniversary and found the house empty. His dear wife Amber left him for the new Vice President of the company, a man that her father had so generously introduced her to. Thanks, Frank. You're a real pal. 

So now here he was, standing at the crossroads, and not just the metaphorical kind, either. 5 days of alcoholism hanging off his body like an old dirty coat, a beard that hadn't been shaved in god knows when, and a tin box carrying his photo and a few other choice items that had been hard for him to obtain. It had taken him days to talk himself into doing this. There had to be some other way, right? Some other legitimate way to make things right again, to bring back Amber and his children and get his life back whole. But all the praying in the world doesn't grant magic wishes. No, he was done trying to do things the right way, the noble way. It had only gotten him fucked over in the end. 

Before he could talk himself out of it again, he quickly leaned down and buried the box directly in between the crossroads and waited. He had almost turned and hauled ass back to his car when the man suddenly appeared in front of him. He jumped at the sudden presence, grabbing his chest.

"Oh, you scared me," Tyler said, gasping for a breath of air. That's when he took a really good look at the demon.

This man, even Tyler had to admit, was attractive. He looked like he could have been a model with his perfectly symmetrical face and bright green eyes that held something deeper, more wild, within them. His body was toned, and tanned, and the gray shirt that he wore barely covered the muscles that it clung to. If he had been gay, he would have definitely shown this man a good time. 

"Tyler Wilkins," the man said, his voice deep and seductive. "What a pleasure to see you here tonight."

"Y-you know my name?" Tyler said, surprised.

The man took a step forward, his eyes flicking black. "Oh yes. I know everything about you. Shame about your wife though, she is a hot piece of ass, that's for sure." He winked. "I'm Dean."

Tyler felt anger spark inside him and he clenched his fists. "Don't you say that about her!"

Dean gave a smirk that probably made women's panties drop faster than you could say demon. "Relax, man. I'm here to help you, after all."

"So you know what I want then?" Tyler asked cautiously, slowly unclenching his fists. He had to be cool, this might be his only shot at getting Amber back. 

"Ah, yes. True love." Something in the words seemed to irritate the demon as his jaw tightened. "You want to get your wife back even though she left you. Even though she abandoned you for someone else."

When Mr. Model put it like that, it sure seemed like a stupid fucking plan. Still, Tyler had come this far, and there was no going back now, and something about the demon standing in front of Tyler told him that if he tried to back out, he would just end up a pile of bones in the middle of the street. "Yes, that's right. I just want my life back. I want my wife home again, my children back in my arms... Haven't you ever been in love?"

He instantly regretted asking that question, because those dark, soulless eyes stared into his with malice. "Love? Me? What a pathetic and foolish notion. Love doesn't exist, pal. But luckily for you, this isn't about me, this is about you, and since you're so desperate to be reunited with a cheating whore, I'll grant you your deal. It will cost you though."

Despite the demon's harsh words, he felt elated. Was it really going to happen? Was something going to go right for once and he would get to have a happy ending with the love of his life? "Yes! Yes, I'll do anything! Just please, bring them back to me."

The demon grinned and swaggered up to him. Tyler's breath hitched and he took a few steps back. 

"Wh-what are you going?" Tyler asked.

"All deals are sealed with a kiss." The smirk was back on that annoyingly perfect face of his.

A kiss? He couldn't kiss another man! Even one that looked as good as this guy. Years of deep seeded homophobia from his father had cured him of whatever gay tendencies he had when he was younger. He turned away. "Is that-really necessary? Can't I just shake your hand, or something?"

"What's the matter?" There was an edge to the demon's voice now, something darker and more menacing. "You a homophobe, Tyler?"

"Well, I was raised catholic, to be honest. Two men shouldn't... you know... engage in such things."Tyler stammered. "It's a sin. And unnatural." 

Tyler had always liked to think of himself as a smart man. He had been top of his class at Harvard, after all. Academics always came easy to him. He breezed through school like it bore no challenge to him. His people skills, however, now those had always been lacking. Perhaps if he had any at all, he might have noticed that the whole gay thing was a sensitive subject to the demon. But he didn't notice. In fact, he had no idea that the whole reason this now pissed off, raging man in front of him was a demon at all, was because his own homophobic father had caused him to lose the love of his life, an male angel who he had willingly died for. Tyler wished he had known all that before he had said what he did. But it was far too late for him now.

The demon rushed forward with a roar of anger and snapped Tyler's neck. It was quick, and almost painless. Sometimes in life, you really should learn to shut the fuck up before you speak.  

Chapter Text

Sam had lost track of how long he and Cas had drove around the country. He thought it might have been two weeks now, but he couldn't be sure anymore. They kept going from place to place, tracking down leads that never seemed to go anywhere. The rest of their family and friends were on the lookout too, searching for any signs of Dean and Crowley. But the King and his newly made demon were aggravatingly elusive, and no one knew where the hell they were.

They were somewhere around California now, with nothing around them but desert and heat as they headed down the highway. Around dawn, Cas looked over at Sam, with concern written on his face. "Sam, why don't you get some sleep? I'll drive the rest of the way."

Sam chuckled. "You know how to drive, Cas? Since when?"

Cas looked sad for a moment, as he stared at the road. "Dean taught me before... before everything happened. He was going to let me pick a car from the bunker garage too, even though I told him it was impractical since I can just fly wherever I want."

"You know, Dean. He likes to take care of his family, even if it doesn't always make sense." Sam sighed, thinking about all the years that Dean had protected him and kept him safe, even going so far as selling his soul to bring Sam back to life. He supposed that it all turned out okay in the end, despite the 40 years Dean spent in Hell, because it was how he ended up meeting Cas, after all. Silver linings, right?

"We will find him, Sam. It just... "Cas looked down at his hands. "It won't be easy. Especially if we have to fight him in order to restrain him. Knowing Dean Winchester, he will go down swinging."

"Yeah. He is tough, and now as a demon, he will be even harder to contend with." Sam glanced out the window at the passing scenery. 

There was silence for a few minutes. "I have noticed you and Kalia have become friendly with each other," Cas said casually.

Sam slid his eyes back to Cas, feeling his face turn red. "Kalia? Oh, yeah... She's great."

Cas paused for a minute, studying Sam's face, and the hunter shifted in his seat, now knowing how Dean felt when the blue eyed angel with the backwards tie stared at him. "You like her." A statement. An accusation. Sam couldn't really tell which it was.

Sam laughed nervously. "What? No! I mean I like her, but as a friend. She's nice- but I mean I- dammit Cas." He raked a hand through his long chestnut hair.

Cas was smirking. Actually smirking. He really did spend way too much time with Dean. "You know, Sam, it is perfectly fine for you to have feelings for an angel. I am beginning to suspect it is a Winchester family trait."

Sam sighed again, gripping his hands tightly on the steering wheel. "No, Cas, it isn't fine."

Cas seemed to be offended by this, and he quickly averted his eyes. "Oh, I see. My apologizes then."

"No, Cas. I didn't mean it like that. I meant that now is not the time for me to think about romancing an angel. Dean's a... and there is no time for anything else right now."

The angel was silent for a moment. "Tell me something, Sam Winchester. Just when do you think there will be time for it? When monsters stop attacking you and your brother? When angels or demons stop trying to start the apocalypse? When Crowley stops being a dick and decides to come hunt with us? When, Sam?"

"That's my point, Cas. There will never be time."

"Exactly. So why not make the most of what time you do have, and let yourself have a little happiness for once?"

Sam gaped at him. Did Cas just reverse psychology him? "What?"

"You and your brother are the most infuriating humans I have ever met." Cas rolled his eyes. Oh boy, the Dean Winchester was strong with him. Sam stifled a laugh while Cas continued. "You are heroes, and you save the world every day yet you never take time to enjoy living in it, Sam. Honestly I was amazed that Dean allowed himself enough joy to be romantically involved with me."

Sam had been amazed, too, the day that Dean had dragged a very surprised looking Cas into the younger Winchester's bedroom and declared that Cas, cutest angel in the garrison, was now his boyfriend. He had felt happy, of course, that his brother and Cas had finally admitted their obvious feelings for each other, after years of Sam having to be the third wheel to awkward staring sessions. He had also lost a 20 dollar bet with Bobby. 

Cas was tilting his head at Sam now, studying the hunter more. "You are so much like your brother," he said thoughtfully. "You don't think you deserve happiness, either."

"Winchesters don't get happy endings, Cas. We give them to other people and sacrifice our own. It's our destiny," Sam said, staring straight ahead and trying not to let the emotion building inside him pour out.

The angel shook his head. "Destiny. You mean like when you and Dean let Michael and Lucifer possess you both so that they could meet in battle and start the apocalypse and cause the deaths of millions of people? Because you were destined to do it? Oh, my apologies, Sam. That didn't happen actually, because you chose not to." The smirk was back on Cas' face again.

Damn, the angel was pretty perceptive for being so socially inept sometimes. Sam ran a hand through his hair again. "Okay, okay, I get it. We make our own destinies and fate. But you act as if I actually have a chance with an angel. A pure and holy being! As if an angel would just fall in love with some broken self loathing hunter with daddy issues and-" He stopped mid sentence and glanced at Cas, who was suddenly giving him the biggest bitch face that Sam had ever seen before and he couldn't hold back the laughter any longer. He pulled the car over to the shoulder and just let the laughter bubble out, his body shaking with it, while the angel once again tilted his head in confusion. As Sam wiped the tears from his eyes, he realized he hadn't laughed that hard in a long time. It was so nice to temporarily feel something other than pain and devastation.

Once he recovered from his laughing fit, Cas put a hand on Sam's shoulder. "You are a wonderful human being with a pure heart, Sam Winchester, and you are my friend and my brother. You are not at all the abomination people said you were. You deserve the love of an angel just like Dean does."

Abomination. The word that had followed him around all his life. He had tried so hard to be above that word, to be someone that people would love. To be someone that people would respect. Listening to an angel say those words to him brought the emotion right back up to his throat, and he coughed, trying to prevent it from spilling out. Luckily, Cas was apparently done with the chick flick moments, because he removed his hand and faced front again.

"Seriously, though, Sam. I think I should take over driving and let you get some sleep."

Sam finally acquiesced, climbing out slowly, feeling the ache and wear on his bones that reminded him what a hard life he had experienced. With a yawn he slid into the backseat. Cas got into the driver's side, pulling the Mustang back onto the highway. As Sam closed his eyes and began to drift off, he smiled to himself, thinking how silly it was that he was being driven around by an angel of the lord. Dean would have definitely had a chuckle about it, had he been there. 

Chapter Text

None of this was going to plan. This wasn't what Crowley had expected. Not one bit. Though even he had to admit that he was naive to actually believe that any form of Dean Winchester could ever be tamed. Perhaps he had hoped that the more time he and the hunter had spent together, the less out of control he would be, and the more in control Crowley could have him. Sadly, hope is an illusion born of desperate men, and he hadn't been a man for centuries. 

As he stood outside the shabby, run down motel room, watching Dean have sex with 2 random girls he had picked up in an equally seedy bar, Crowley wondered where he went wrong. Had he really believed that things would be different, that he could have the demon on a very tight leash, ready to do his bidding? He felt the jealousy inside him build up, his hands clenching into fists as he watched his consort do things that bordered on blasphemy. He supposed it didn't matter, Dean was a demon now after all, but he was his. Part of him wanted to rush into the room and rip the cheap whores apart to show Dean who was really the boss here. Knowing the hunter as he did now, Dean would just find it amusing, and vanish with a snap of his fingers (a theatrical exit imitated from Crowley), and the King of Hell would be left standing there in a bloodied motel room by himself. 

Crowley half wondered if he should kidnap Sam Winchester in order to keep the new demon in line. Did Sam even matter to Dean anymore? He hadn't mentioned him since he got turned. Kidnapping Castiel wasn't an option, either. Crowley had heard that the angel was back from the dead and all juiced up with power. Chances were though, that Sam was with Cas, as the angel would never let anything happen to his former boyfriend's baby brother. His parents? No, Dean would probably delight in torturing his asshole of a father. Now, Mary on the other hand...

Giggles and moans from the room brought his attention back momentarily, and he grit his teeth together. It wasn't just the older Winchester brother cheating on him that was pissing him off. He hadn't really expected that Dean would be faithful, not when the only real long term relationship he had ever been in had been with that damn angel. Nearly every single crossroads deal that Dean had been tasked with had been fucked up when one of the potential clients said something that sent the demon spinning in a rage and tearing them apart. It was usually when they brought up true love, or a man acting homophobic for having to kiss another man, even if it was a demon who was about to give them a sweet deal. Crowley had to keep going back and getting rid of the bodies that were piling up faster than he could hide them. 

People told him he was stupid for ever turning Dean into a demon. Even though Crowley had promptly flayed their skin whenever he was told that, he knew they were right. All his life Dean had to adhere to a certain code, a certain role, which was to be a bloody hero. Save Sammy, save the world, don't worry about saving yourself. All that tension and need to be free had been pushed further and further into the Righteous Man's soul until he had become so self sacrificing he blindly walked into the fire. Die for Sam? Done. Die for Cas? Of course. What did he really think would happen when Dean had actual free will for once in his life?

Still somehow, no matter what Crowley, or Lucifer, or Azazel or any other so called monster had thrown at Dean, the hunter had persevered with his "give em' hell" attitude and ridiculous survival rate. It had become ridiculous. Somehow a man who died hundreds of times still came back swinging when lesser people would have stopped fighting a long time ago. Crowley had to admit it was a quality about Dean that he both admired and despised. He would never say it out loud of course, and certainly not to Dean himself, but he had to wonder how any one human being could be pulled in every direction and never actually get pulled apart. 

More giggles. More moans. Yeah, yeah. Demon Dean Winchester was a bloody sex God. Shut the fuck up. As he watched Dean vanish into thin air with a snap once he was done with the girls, who now gasped and looked around in shock and surprise, Crowley pulled out his blade and appeared inside the motel room, making the girls scream. Without a second thought, he plunged his knife into one and broke the neck of the other, the stench of sex and alcohol and Dean making him even angrier as the bodies slumped to the floor. He had big plans for Dean, he had to do something before it all blew up in his face.

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It was nearly nighttime, and Cas had been driving all day. Sam was still asleep in the back seat, and the angel almost felt envious of him. He wished he could sleep and visit the land of dreams where nothing was real and everything was wonderful. He only ever got to visit Dean's dreams, back when the hunter and he would share a bed together. Cas never slept, of course, just simply watched as Dean slipped into blissful unconsciousness. Dean used to find it creepy when Cas did that, but once he admitted his feelings for the angel, he started to find it endearing. 

As he drove, he thought back to that day nearly a year and a half ago, when Hannah had come into Cas' life after Metatron attempted to usurp the throne of Heaven. She was loyal to the cause, but very much in love with Cas. He had begun to doubt the profound bond he and Dean had shared, because after becoming a human for a time and finally understanding the feelings he had for the hunter, he realized that Dean Winchester would never love him the same way Cas loved him. Dean had no problem flirting with random girls in bars, or on cases. And that was part of the problem, they had always been girls. Other than Dean's strange obsession with the fictional character Dr. Sexy, he showed no real interest in other men. After 6 years of the hunter never saying anything to Cas about what he might or might not feel for him, the angel realized that he would only ever be Dean's best friend, so he accepted it, and was happy to have the green eyed man in his life at all. 

He had liked Hannah, true enough. She had taken a very pretty vessel, and her true form was quite extraordinary, though even as he looked upon her, he wished her blue eyes were green, and her chocolate colored hair was short and spiky. But he had no other choice but to move on. So, with his decision made, he decided to fly to the Winchester's bunker with her to get their blessing, because if nothing else the brothers were family to him, and their opinion meant a lot. He landed in the middle of their library with her a moment later.

Of course, both the brothers jumped and reached for their guns, then relaxed when they saw him. "Dammit, Cas!" Dean said, grabbing his chest with one hand and putting the gun back down with the other. "A little warning next time before you go all Count Dracula on us!"

"I don't understand that reference," Cas said, tilting his head.

Dean smirked at him, then paused, just now noticing Hannah next to Cas. "Who's this?" 

Cas turned to look at Hannah, who suddenly looked very shy. "This is Hannah. She is one of the angels who helped us defeat Metatron."

Dean nodded politely at her. "Well, thanks for that. If you hadn't helped Cas find the angel tablet who knows what would have happened to me. Dead probably," he said with a laugh.

Cas didn't find it funny, and neither did Sam who immediately glared at his brother from across the table. Cas thought about how utterly devastated he would be had Metatron somehow won, and killed Dean in the process. He would probably go into a deep depression and let himself wither and die.

Dean put his hands up in defense and chuckled. "Alright, alright." He turned his gaze back to the blue eyed angel. "So, what can we help ya with, Cas?"

His breath hitched as those green orbs landed on him. He never could understand this, as he didn't breathe, but somehow Dean Winchester brought out all kinds of human emotions and mannerisms that he had never experienced before. He had consulted Gabriel about this, not knowing what it meant, and the angel had simply laughed at Cas, calling him a lovestruck fool. Cas quickly composed himself and stood straight, ignoring the fluttering butterflies in his stomach. 

"I don't- this isn't a- This is a social call," Cas said, stumbling over his words. Lovestruck, indeed.

Sam raised an eyebrow. "Really, Cas? You don't need our help with something?"

Dean just looked intrigued as he leaned back in his chair, drinking a glass of whiskey. "Nothing wrong with the world not being in peril for once, Sammy. Enjoy it while it lasts." 

"I um-" Why was he stumbling over his words so much? He looked back over at Hannah, who was now looking at him in confusion. "I just wanted your blessing, because you two are... family to me."

Now Dean straightened a bit. "Blessing? For what?"

"I wish to court Hannah. She is interested in me, and I in her, so I would like your blessing."

Sam's eyes immediately slid over to Dean with a slightly panicked look on his face. Dean began to choke on his whiskey, and Cas walked over and clapped a hand on his back. Dean shrugged out of his touch and stood, clearing his throat while he got his breathing back under control. Cas felt a small pang of sadness as he stepped back from Dean's rejected touch. "You don't need our blessing," Dean said, his voice more gruffer than normal. "Do what the hell you want."

The sadness grew as Cas regarded the man who taught him what it was to feel. Was Dean really dismissing him so easily? He could tell the hunter was bothered, but he didn't understand why. He looked over at Sam, who seemed to glare a bit at Hannah, too. What was going on? The younger Winchester raised his eyes to Cas and crossed his arms. 

"Do you love her, Cas?" Sam asked.

Dean looked up, seemingly waiting for a response. 

Cas didn't know how to answer. He knew he didn't love Hannah, not like he loved Dean, but he worried he would hurt her by saying no. Luckily, she answered for him.

"We are not officially together yet," Hannah said, a bit of an edge to her voice. "He wanted to wait to ask for your blessing, which frankly I don't understand why-"

"They're my family," Cas interjected.

"No, Castiel. We are your family. Heaven, angels. Us," Hannah said, turning to look at him.

Cas didn't miss the anger that began to cross Dean's features. He knew that look all too well. Spending 6 years fighting alongside the Winchesters gave him a firsthand perspective of Dean's "I'm going to kick your ass" face. He needed to placate the situation before it got worse. "Hannah, yes, of course that's true," Cas said, placing a hand gently on her arm. "But Dean and Sam have been there for me for a long time, even when Heaven turned its back on me."

Hannah crossed her arms now. "It was because of Dean Winchester that they turned their backs on you, Castiel. You are a good soldier, and you may have thought you were doing the right thing, which is why I have loyally followed you. But it's the only reason why I helped with the angel tablet to save him," she said, gesturing to Dean with a hook of her thumb in his direction. "But he is just a human, and cannot love you the way I can."

Rage now filled the older Winchester's features, and Sam must have seen it too, because he immediately stood and walked over to his brother, placing a hand on his shoulder and looking over at Cas. "Look," Sam said. "You should go. We are uh... happy for you Cas. Really. She seems nice."

Hannah grabbed Cas' hand. "Come on, let's go. This was a waste of your time, Castiel. We have more important things to do in Heaven."

Dean leapt to his feet, so quickly that Sam stumbled back. "Back. Off." The words were nearly snarled as Dean glared at Hannah.

The angel looked back at him and shook her head. "See, Castiel? He is a violent human being. You deserve so much better."

Cas was staring at Dean now, watching various emotions flicker over the hunter's face. "Wait a second... Dean, what's wrong?"

"I swear I will gank you if you don't back the fuck off my angel!" Dean yelled. "He has been my angel for 6 years, and he will always be mine."

Cas' mouth dropped open in shock as he heard the words. Had Dean really just said that? His angel? He felt his heart leap as hope began to fill it. He took a step forward towards Dean, who was now staring at him in desperation, and fear. He was worried. Dean was actually worried that Cas would reject him. Without a second thought, Cas rushed forward and smashed his lips against the hunter's, who only hesitated a moment before grabbing the angel and pulling him closer. Cas almost missed the grin and the wink of Hannah as she vanished, their plan to tame the great Dean Winchester having actually worked. He heard Sam chuckle from somewhere behind him, then the footsteps of him walking away to give them some space.

"I love you, Cas," Dean breathed. "I have always loved you. And no, you don't have my blessing to date fucking Hannah."

The angel laughed and ran a hand through Dean's hair. "I should hope not, otherwise I think this would be quite awkward."

Cas smiled now, as he recollected all this. He knew Dean was worth all the pain, all the sacrifice. He had always been from the start. Maybe, as one angel so eloquently put it, from the moment Cas had laid a hand on him in Hell he had been lost, but in truth, it was Cas who had been found. Dean showed him what true love was, and he would go through a thousand hells to save his hunter every time.

"Castiel."

He was brought out of his reverie by the sound of Hannah's voice next to him. He smiled at her, remembering the part she had played in getting Dean to confess his feelings. But as he saw her expression, the smile faded and he pulled over to the side of the road. "What is it?"

She looked like she didn't want to tell him, whatever it was. She clasped her hands in her lap and stared ahead for a moment, before nodding. "We have been searching for Dean."

"Yes? And? Did you find him?"

Hesitation again. Cas liked this less and less with each passing moment. "Yes." She turned to look at him, her eyes apologetic. "The Righteous man is truly lost, Castiel. He has murdered hundreds of people, and he is now... he and Crowley are together."

"Together?" Cas said slowly. "You mean..."

"He is now the King of Hell's consort. I am truly sorry, Castiel."

Cas barely noticed as every window in the car shattered simultaneously.

Chapter Text

Mary was alone in the small motel room that she had spent the past month in. She paced around it slowly, feeling tension move it's way throughout her body. She wondered how things had turned out so badly for her family. Were the Winchester's really cursed, or was it just bad choices made along the way? She used to think the Campbell's were cursed, back when yellow eyes possessed her father and killed John, then forced her to make a deal which would pave the way for tragedy forever. Tragedy that seemed to follow all of them.

She never wanted any of this. Not just now, but back then, too. Things had been normal once, and she had let herself hope that it would stay that way. She had managed to follow through with her own promise to stay out of the hunting business and just enjoy time spent with John, Sam and Dean. She wanted so desperately to raise her children without them needing to know what lurked in the dark, even though she knew. Even before she got killed that fateful day in November, she would secretly salt all the windows and put hidden warding all over the house in Kansas. She might have been out of the business, but she also wasn't so naive to believe that just because she had quit that the bad guys would, too.

John had been a good man back then, a gentle, kind man who put everyone else before himself. He had been selfless just like Sam and Dean turned out to be. Even though her father Samuel had hated John, Mary knew that he was the only one for her. Granted, at first even John and Mary had hated each other, but sometimes from the passion of hate comes the passion of love, and what an adventure they had.

But John wasn't John anymore. At least not the John she knew. The day she had been killed was the day that gentle man changed forever. The man who had once burst into tears while holding baby Dean for the very first time, was now hateful and self serving. She had been horrified when she found out that he had become a hunter and taken their children all over the country in a quest for revenge. That Dean and Sam had lost their childhood all in the name of John's single minded goal to kill the yellow eyed demon. Dean especially, had suffered through all this. He had been taught that feelings didn't make a man, being a hunter did. Save the world, watch over Sam, never trust anything that's not human, and never, ever, act on your gay impulses. She had actually slapped John right in the face when she found out about that one. 

When did John become so close minded? Was it just losing Mary that sent him into a downward spiral to bitterness and hostility? At what point did the gentle soul who stole her heart become so broken inside that he would push his oldest son to make the choice to walk unarmed into a room full of monsters so that he could die and stop the pain that he could no longer live with? 

She thought them coming back was going to be a blessing, a fresh start that they all needed. So much time had been lost she didn't know if it was even possible, but she had wanted to try, despite the mistakes John told her he had made upon her death. She was angry at him for that, even in Heaven, but when they found themselves suddenly in an unfamiliar library, standing in front of two surprised looking men, she knew she had to put the past aside, because the future was what would be important. Spending time with her sons, getting to know them, seeing the heroes they had become, that was what gave her hope. 

She had no idea that John was a homophobe, until he had stomped into their room in the bunker the day Castiel had broken up with Dean, telling her the whole horrible story. He had, of course, made it seem as if Dean was a great disappointment, some sort of abomination, for being in love with a male angel. When she told him that she already knew, and she saw no problem with it, he had thrown up his hands and stormed out of the room in a rage. That night, the sobbing began, carrying it's way throughout the bunker, and she cried right along with her son, who she could tell was trying desperately to muffle the sobs. John had been annoyed, still not understanding just how terrible of a father he had been to the man who had once saved the world from the Devil. She told him to pick a different room and shut the hell up.

And now, Dean was a demon. The man who all the angels had once praised to be Righteous and holy, had been so consumed by guilt and grief, that he had willingly let himself be ripped from what little humanity he had left. How does a mother even feel about that? She felt like she had been in shock for the past month or so, numb to feelings because she feared letting herself feel. Being apart from John was killing her inside, but being with the man who caused such pain to her son was a far worse pain to bear.

She closed her eyes as tears began to stream down her cheeks. She was lost. So very, very lost. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John sat outside the motel where Mary was, a bottle of half empty whiskey in his hand and a month's worth of stubble on his face. He had been trying for hours to build up the courage to man up and go inside, but not even alcohol could get him brave enough to face the music. He hadn't spoken to her in weeks, after she had told them they were done. Her words had cut him deeply, her face filled with disgust, but not even that had hurt as much as learning his oldest son was dead. He knew he was to blame. He knew he had been the asshole that had pushed Dean to do what he did. Not even John Winchester could deny that truth.

He took a swig from the bottle and sighed, glancing over at the motel room window where the love of his life was staying. Alive. Not burning from a ceiling while their children watched. Not taken away from their 6 month old son before he even had his first family Christmas. That horrific day had haunted him for years, twisting and turning in his nightmares, never letting him rest. Bringing Sam and Dean into the hunter's life was something he had always regretted, especially now. They never had a childhood. They never knew love. Not even from him. They were his little soldiers, and Dean had barely been old enough to hold a shotgun before he was tasked with protecting his little brother. 

Sam had managed to get out of it. John had actually been proud, seeing his son walk away with a scholarship to Stanford and a dream in his heart. But he also felt envious. Sam got a chance to get away from the revenge and the fear. He had a real chance to be happy and not be forced into a life he didn't want. John supposed that's why he had been hostile to Sam, telling him that if he left he was never allowed to come back. Tough love, that's what John convinced himself it was. Maybe he had hoped it would make Sam hate him enough to stay away from John and Dean, because even his oldest son had been too deep in it now to ever turn back. But Sam could leave, he could have a future. Then his girlfriend got killed by the yellow eyed demon, and it brought Sam right back into it. As if Winchesters ever had a choice about their destinies. 

His eyes flicked to the dashboard, where he had a picture of Mary and the boys that he had taken. He remembered taking it a week after he and Mary had been resurrected. That same day his sons had sat down with them and told them everything they had missed. Demons, angels, the Devil, the apocalypse. Dean and Sam both going to Hell, and Purgatory. Ellen and Jo sacrificing themselves to help Dean and Sam fight the Devil and save the world. His sons had done all that. He was both proud and devastated at all they had been through. Suddenly his little demon deal to save Dean seemed like nothing in comparison. His kids were the real heroes, not him. He was only a hunter to get revenge. They were hunters to get redemption. 

And Castiel? What a fool John had been about Castiel. He had never been a religious man, but he had always believed that maybe there was something more than this. If demons were real, why not angels too? Holy celestial beings that represented good, and light, and hope. And one of them had saved both of his sons, had rebelled against Heaven for Dean, had died for Dean over and over... and loved Dean. Yet, John hadn't welcomed the angel into the family with open arms. No, he chose to let his old hang-ups get in the way. Because Castiel was a man. Because he wasn't human. What the fuck did it even matter anyway? The more he had thought of it in the passing weeks, the more he realized how petty it all was, how insignificant. A father wants their child to feel love, real honest to goodness true love. To find someone who treats them right, and accepts them, and makes them find happiness and joy. Castiel did all that for Dean

Was it too late to save Dean? he wondered. Can a demon even be saved? Castiel seemed to think it was possible, and John owed him the benefit of the doubt. It was the least he could do, after all. He closed his eyes.

"I'm not the praying type," John said, taking another drink of liquid courage. "But Castiel, if you are there, and can hear me... I'm sorry. I know you've heard it before but I mean it with all my heart. I was an idiot, a terrible father, and I fucked up. I ruined something beautiful and rare when I should have kept my stupid mouth shut. I know it probably doesn't mean much to you, but I'm not one for apologies either. I didn't realize until it was too late just how much you and Dean mean to each other. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around you being... you know, but I want you to know that I accept you both. I want you to be together, because with all that Dean has been through, he deserves some happiness for once. That boy is a damn hero, and me... I'm just a washed up hunter who poisons everything he touches. I had true love, just like you and Dean did, but I ruined that too. Don't lose your love, Castiel, not ever. Dean is still out there, and demon or not he is alive, and if you believe he can be cured and brought home, then I trust in you to do it. I don't know how i will ever get the forgiveness of an angel, but i promise you that I will try even if it takes the rest of my life. I believe in you, Castiel. Please bring my son home."

He took one last swig of whiskey, then opened the car door, walking up to the motel room with determination. Today was the day he was going to start fixing his own fuck-ups.

 

Chapter Text

In all the years Sam had known Cas, he had never seen the angel this angry. Sure there were times when in a rage Cas would shove Dean forcefully against a wall, but that would always lead to things that made Sam scurry away quicker than a nerd going to Comic Con. Sam was surprised that the world hadn't imploded on itself with the depth of Cas' exasperation. It hadn't been fun for the younger Winchester brother to get woken up by glass shattering all around him, but at least he had managed to stay intact through it.

So Dean was banging Crowley. He had gotten that much out of Hannah while Cas paced a hole in the dirt. He had known his big brother had fallen, but didn't know it was that far. Sam looked sadly over at Cas, whose face kept morphing between rage and devastation. He knew the angel was hurt. Cas had been getting the short end of the stick for the past couple months, ever since Sam and Dean's parents had returned and things became incredibly fucked up. None of this was fair to the angel who had given up everything for Dean. Sam wanted to punch his brother in the face for what he was doing to his best friend. 

Suddenly Cas stopped pacing, and both Hannah and Sam looked over at him, concerned. Then a familiar look crossed the angel's face, and Sam recognized it immediately. It was the same look the angel got when ever he was about to do something incredibly stupid that usually got them all killed, or worse. Sam backed away on instinct, but it was too late. Cas strode quickly up to him and grabbed his shoulder, and suddenly they were in a motel room the next second. The angel disappeared just as suddenly once they landed.

"Cas, what the hell-" Sam started, and then Cas reappeared next to him, kneeling on the floor and drawing a devil's trap on the carpet with his blood. Devil's trap? No... he couldn't be-

A bowl appeared in the angel's hands, full of ready made ingredients, and he placed it down at his feet, muttering an incantation.

"Wait! Who are you trying to summon?" Sam said nervously, reaching out to put a hand on the angel's arm to placate him.

Cas shrugged away from him. "I have to do this Sam. You should go. You may not want to see what will transpire here."

"Are you trying to summon Crowley?" Sam asked, ignoring Cas' suggestion. "That isn't a good idea."

Cas glanced back at him, a dark look in those blue eyes. "No. I am not trying to summon... him."

Sam's eyes widened as he realized the implications of that last word and he reached forward to grab Cas' arm again, but it was too late. The fire was lit in the bowl, and a moment later, the man who had once been known as Righteous, stood in the middle of the trap. Sam froze, his arm stuck in mid air, as he looked upon his brother for the first time since he had walked out of the bunker that horrible day.

Dean didn't look like Dean. Sure, that was to be expected considering he was now a demon. But this, this was not what Sam expected at all. Gone was the military style jacket and the worn out jeans. Now he wore a long, black leather trench coat that hung down to his knees. Black leather pants covered his bowed legs and were so tight, that they showed everything, right down to the generous bulge between his thighs that his brother wished he hadn't noticed. His hair was changed too, all black with flecks of red on the tips that Sam prayed was just hair dye. Amused green eyes stared at him from the confines of the devil's trap, and it took everything in the younger Winchester brother not to rush forward and embrace Dean in a hug despite his dark appearance.

"Heya, Sammy."

The words hung in the air, so familiar, yet so different. Sam glanced quickly over at Cas, who looked caught between wanting to kiss Dean or smite him into oblivion. "Dean..." Cas said slowly.

Dean smiled fondly at the angel. "Cas... it's really you! I've missed you so damn much!"

Hope sprang in Cas' eyes for a moment. "Really?"

"Cas, this isn't him! You gotta remember that!" Sam said quickly.

"It's me, angel. I promise. You know I love you and would never hurt you." Dean reached out a hand and looked tenderly at him. "Come on, babe. Let me out of here and we can talk. There's no need for the trap."

Sam could see Cas' judgement quickly begin to wane, his feelings for Dean overpowering his logic for the situation. Sam knew how he felt, this was his brother, the man he had looked up to his whole life. He wanted to believe just as much as Cas did that Dean was still in there, that the words the demon were saying were true, but he knew better by now. This all had to be some sort of ruse.

Sam stepped forward, blocking the angel from moving any closer. "Dean, I know you are lying. We found out about you and Crowley. How can you do that to Cas? He deserves so much better than that."

The green eyes slid to his hazel ones, guilt covering the older Winchester's handsome features. "Sammy, you gotta understand... I had no choice. He has been pulling my strings this whole time. I'm not with him by choice, he is using me. I'm nothing but his slave. You gotta believe me! I want to come home, but he won't let me!"

Now it was Sam's turn to falter. What if it was true? What if Crowley really was holding Dean captive? Would he be willing to take that chance? He looked back at Cas who just looked scared now. "Dean... you don't love Crowley?" Cas said softly.

Dean shook his head and smiled. "No, Cas. I could never love anyone the way I love you. You are my angel, even if you didn't want to be at the end." He looked down at the floor, a sad expression on his face.

A tear slid down Cas' cheek. The angel had bought it, hook, line and sinker. Sam wouldn't be able to hold him back much longer.

"Dean, you are a demon, how do we know you're not just trying to trick us?" Sam said, bringing them back to the situation at hand. He had to stay focused, and not let this go horribly wrong.

"Because I have managed to keep some of my humanity, Sammy. Crowley doesn't know. I've been playing along this whole time. I've been struggling to keep the darkness away, so I don't turn into some mindless killing machine. I'm trying to stay the brother you looked up to, and the boyfriend that Cas fell for. It hasn't... been easy." Dean sighed and gestured to the symbols on the floor. "I wish it didn't come to this. But I understand your hesitation to trust me."

"I'm so sorry, Dean," Cas whispered. "I should have been there... "

"Shh, babe, it's okay. I was an asshole to you and I deserved you leaving me. And Sam, I'm sorry too. You're my little brother and you counted on me to be there for you, not to run off on some stupid suicide mission. You both deserve so much better." He sighed, and ran a shaky hand through his black hair. "Look, I want to stop all this, even if it means angering Crowley in the process. I'm so tired of being his puppet, and doing such horrible things. I just want to go home... "

Sam wanted this to be true so badly. He wanted to break the trap and take Dean home with them just like he wanted and let Cas cure him, so Dean didn't have to keep the darkness at bay anymore. Sam thought to when he had been possessed by Meg, and Lucifer, how hard it had been to gain control of his body. But this was Dean himself, he wasn't possessed. His soul had been twisted with evil. Could it be possible that he had managed to fight just enough to keep his humanity like he said? The older Winchester had always been stronger than anyone Sam had ever met, and had incredible will power. What's more, he seemed like the old Dean he knew and loved, minus the leather fetish, of course.

A panicked look appeared suddenly on Dean's face and he began to look around, his eyes nervously scanning the area. "Fuck... Crowley's coming! He knows I've been talking to you and trying to escape him! Please you gotta let me out before he comes here and kills us all! Cas, I need you... "

That was all it took. Cas rushed forward, leaning down to break the Devil's trap before Sam could even think to stop him. The second the seal was broken, Dean had one hand around Cas' throat and an angel blade aimed at his heart. 

Time seemed to stop as Sam stared at the demon and the angel in horror. In those few moments of absolute silence, there was absolute clarity. Dean had tricked them... he had been so damn believable that he had fooled an angel of God. Sam almost laughed maniacally as he considered what had just transpired. Had Cas really believed that he could remain objective when he made the choice to summon and trap the love of his life? Had Sam really thought that he could be the rational one and keep this from spinning wildly out of control? Dean was Cas and Sam's weakness, and he knew it. All it took was the pleas for help and the cries for redemption to make them believe. Dean had been the one in the trap, but Sam and Cas were the ones who had been caught in it, not him. How stupid they were, to go against someone who knew them better than anyone. The demon's eyes flicked to black, ghoulish glee slowly forming across his face. Oops.

"So predictable. I knew all it would take was a little cry for help and Castiel would come save me like he always does. Foolish angel."

"Let him go, Dean," Sam said, taking a hesitant step forward. "We let you out, so go, and we will leave you alone."

"You know I can't do that, Sammy," Dean said with a smirk. "You and Cas will just bide your time until I let my guard down."

"We have to save you, Dean. You mean everything to us," Sam said, taking another cautious step towards them. "Besides, don't you want to be free of Crowley?"

"I don't need to be saved. I am running the show, not Crowley."

"Dean, please," Cas said, struggling in his grasp. "We want you back, and I need you too. Don't you want to go back to the way things were?"

The smirk faded from Dean's face. "Back to the way things were? Back to pain and agony? All the hurt you both have caused me. All the fucking torment. I don't feel any of it anymore. Do you know how cathartic that is? To finally stop feeling? I don't have to protect you anymore, or save the world, or do anything except kill people who cross me and fuck whoever I want. No, it was the old Dean who needed to be saved, not me. I need to be worshipped."

"You feel nothing, then?" Cas asked, trying to look back at his captor.

"Nothing."

"So you don't... love me anymore?" Cas whispered. 

The demon threw his head back and laughed. "Love you? Love? Do you have any idea how many people I have killed this week alone that come to me with a crossroads deal for love? It's pathetic." He pressed the blade against Cas' chest, just enough to draw out a tiny bit of the light within the angel. "No, Castiel. I don't love you. I never did. You are a monster, worse than me. You are an angel of god and you fell for a human." He pressed the blade further in and Cas cried out. "Who knows, maybe Sammy will give you a go. I hear he likes angels, too." Dean winked at Sam, and his little brother felt sick. 

Sam couldn't let this happen. Dean may be his brother, but he wasn't the same anymore. He had to at least save Cas until they could figure out a way to get Dean, the right way, without something like this happening again. "Let him go, Dean. I won't ask you again."

Cas looked forlornly at Sam. "Let him kill me," he said quietly. "Let him make the pain go away."

Dean leaned close to the angel's ear, his voice husky and seductive. "You want pain, angel? You don't know what pain is. But you will feel every last stroke of my blade until you do."

"I didn't want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice." Sam cleared his throat. "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus..."

Dean immediately let Cas go and he grabbed his face, his skin beginning to sizzle. "What the- stop it, Sam! Right fucking now!"

"Omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii..." Sam hadn't even known if it would affect Dean, since he was using his own body. He wasn't smoking out of it, but apparently, it still hurt like a bitch.

Dean looked up at him, his black eyes filled with rage. "You are going to regret doing that, Sammy. I am going to kill you and your little weeping angel. Nice and slow, savoring every single scream you make. Maybe I'll even have some fun with that other angel you like first, right in front of you. What was her name, Kalia? Hot little number, that one." He began to stalk forward towards his brother.

Sam felt his hands begin to shake. He had grown quite fond of the purple eyed angel in the past few weeks. He wouldn't let Dean lay a hand on her, even if he was his brother. "Omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica... " he shouted desperately, hoping that Dean would vanish and leave them unharmed.

"Until next time, brother," Dean snarled, and snapped his fingers. He was gone. 

Sam ran over to Cas, who was sitting on the floor, staring at the carpet as if it held all of life's mysteries. "Cas, you okay man?"

For a moment, the angel said nothing, then looked up, his eyes red and puffy. "He's gone, Sam."

"Yeah... I guess he is."

"I believed him. Fell for his trickery... "

"We both did."

"I was foolish. I let my emotions get in the way of all this. I could have fixed him." Cas sighed. "I was a failure as an angel, and a worse one as an archangel."

"You're not a failure, because if you are then I am too. I wanted to believe that maybe, just maybe, some part of him was still in there. Now we know there's not." Sam put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "Now we know that we can't go in this thinking how much we love Dean. We have to go in this knowing that we have to cure him, no matter what it takes."

"Do you really believe we will be enough to save him?" Cas asked.

"I sure as hell hope so. We really have no other choice. Especially now that we have royally pissed him off."

Cas looked down at the small wound in his chest where the blade had gone in. "Do you think- he was really going to kill me?"

Sam paused, not sure whether or not he should be honest. Cas was already broken up over what had just transpired, and to be honest, Sam was too, but one of them had to remain strong and level headed, even though he wanted to find the Impala and smash every window and door with a tire iron. "He was going to kill us both," Sam said finally, standing up and offering the angel a hand.

Cas took it. "We will do it, then. I cannot let this happen again. I was careless. I have to go back to my old ways."

"Like when we first met you?"

"Yes. When I was just a soldier, and focused on the mission. I believe this is the only way we can accomplish this task."

Sam remembered how Cas used to be. Cold, emotionless, only concerned with the mission, even putting the Winchesters in danger to do it. It was a far cry from the angel who stood in front of him now, eyes red rimmed from crying and in love with a demon who had just tried to kill him. He wasn't looking forward to seeing that side of Cas again, but he knew the blue eyed man was right. They both had to be less emotional and more focused. Dean had used their weakness for him against them tonight. Dean was a case they had to solve. That was the only way they could look at it.  

"Okay, Cas. Let's do this," Sam nodded.

"Hello, boys."

They both turned, to see the King of Hell standing there watching them. "What the hell do you want?" Sam demanded. "Come to finish the job your boyfriend started?"

Crowley shook his head. "Actually, I've come to get your help to finish him."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Kalia had been alive so long that she couldn't even remember the day she had been born. Maybe it had been right after her Father had created the dinosaurs, or after He created man. She wasn't sure anymore. In all her years though, it was humanity which fascinated her the most. It amazed her in ways that made the other angels look upon her as broken. She had gotten used to their whispers and stares, their looks of disgust. At first it had bothered her, thinking that maybe something was wrong with her. She had wondered if maybe she should be terminated as they said, or reprogrammed into being the perfect angel. And then Castiel came along, changing destiny, redefining free will, and she realized she was already perfect. God had made her to be the way she was, just as He had made Castiel the way he was, with enough emotion and humanity to fall in love with the Righteous Man.

Dean Winchester is saved. The words that had changed Heaven, earth, and Hell itself. No one knew that things had been flipped upside down at that moment. It was a momentous occasion, and while some reveled in it, others were afraid. Angels were typically one minded, serve God and Heaven, and had no want or desire to do anything else. They had been that way since the dawn of time, and in a span of 6 human years, who knew what was right and wrong anymore? No one had heard from God since then, but somehow, Castiel kept getting resurrected in order to help the Winchesters in their quest. Why? What made the two brothers so special that they required the attention of Heaven itself? No one knew. 

Kalia had joined that quest. Team Free Will. She liked to tell herself that it had nothing to do with the youngest Winchester brother, but she knew it wasn't true. Of all the mortals she had watched over the millennia of her existence, it was him who caught her attention the most. She silently looked upon Sam from the beginning, seeing everything he had been through, the good the bad... the awful. She admired the strength he showed when he was faced with struggles and tragedy, she wept when he fell to darkness, and when he threw himself into the pit to save the world. She had actually tried to go save him when he did that last one, but when she arrived at the cage, Castiel was already pulling Sam Winchester out. He had smiled at her knowingly and told her, "All in due time, sister. Be patient, for the story isn't over yet." 

And it hadn't been over, not even close. Castiel absorbing souls from Purgatory, taking on the role of God, smiting angels, humans, shedding more blood than there were oceans. Falling so far that even Kalia thought it was truly over for the angel she had begun to look up to as a mentor. He had stumbled into that lake, covered in the blood of millions he had killed, and died. And by some miracle, Castiel walked right back out of that lake, alive, but amnesia stricken, and Kalia had actually stared in shock. The blue eyed angel had survived. Again. Was it their Father's will that he live? Was it Castiel's? No, it was something more powerful than that. The love of Dean Winchester seemed to be a strong motivator for the angel to survive, even when the hunter wanted him dead for his horrific actions. 

Kalia hadn't understood it at first, an angel falling in love with a human. Then she met Sam personally in the cemetery that day, and she began to get it. Her vessel's heart began to flip flop in her chest, and she had trouble breathing, even though she had never taken a breath. Being near the youngest Winchester brought her hope and clarity that she never had before, and she found herself wanting to do everything she could to make him happy. It was an unusual feeling to have, since she had only ever wanted to do Heaven's bidding. If she was being true to herself, she would admit that she had rushed to his side the instant she heard his prayer to her, because she needed to see him just as much as he needed her, even if their needs were different. If she was being honest at all, she would admit that she was in love with Sam Winchester.

"Kalia, please come to me..."

Sam. It was him. She felt her heart flutter again, only for a second, before realizing that the man's voice was saddened. She appeared in the motel room a few seconds later, seeing the hunter sitting on the floor in the bathroom. She kneeled next to him, and he looked up, smiling a little as his hazel eyes met hers.

"You came," he whispered.

"Of course, Sam. You needed me?" She tried to remain calm, and not betray her true feelings about him praying to her.

He looked down, his face looking tired and worn. The whole experience with his brother and Castiel had done a toll on the man who had lost everything again and again. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have bothered you."

Kalia smiled and placed a hand on his shoulder. His skin felt warm against her hand and she took a second to enjoy the contact. "I told you, Sam, I am always here if you need me."

"Yeah but... I just needed someone to talk to. You're an angel, I doubt you have time to be my therapist."

"I wasn't doing anything presently." She stood, reaching out a hand to him. "Want to go into the other room and out of here? It can't be comfortable for you."

He shook his head. "Cas is out there. Asleep. Which is weird. Thought angels didn't sleep."

"Some of his grace leaked out when he was injured today," Kalia said sadly. "When our grace is diminished like that it takes a little while to recover, and we fall into a state much like sleep."

Sam nodded. "Makes sense. But that's why I'm in here. Didn't want to bother him."

"Why do you always think you're a bother, Sam?" 

"Because I am. If you knew what I've done..."

"I do." She said the words before she could stop herself. Dammit, if she wasn't careful she could expose more of herself than she wanted. 

"What?" he said, looking up at her in surprise.

She touched his shoulder, and a second later they were in the middle of a bright grassy meadow. It was nearing sunset and the remaining light streamed over the landscape, making it seem like it was glowing. Small animals scurried about, birds sang glorious tunes. She loved this place.

Sam looked around, his eyes full of wonder. "This is so beautiful."

Kalia sat down cross legged on the ground. "It's my favorite place to go when I want to think."

"Where are we?" Sam asked, sitting down on the grass next to her, stretching out his long legs in front of him.

"Ireland." She smiled again. Kalia had never shown anyone else this spot, she felt so exposed and vulnerable next to Sam. Another strange sensation, being that she was an angel and much more powerful than him.

"What did you mean before," Sam said, looking over at her. "You know what I've done?"

"Yes," she said, nodding. "But I do not wish to alarm you."

"My brother is a demon and I have literally been possessed by Satan. Pretty sure there is nothing you could say anymore that would alarm me." Sam managed a chuckle, and she couldn't help but admire him once more. 

She fumbled over her words, feeling silly that the man next to her brought out such human emotions within her body. "I've watched you for a long time... " she began.

The hazel eyes narrowed. "Watching me? That sounds kind of... creepy," he said.

Maybe he could be alarmed after all. She paused, choosing what to say carefully. "I love watching humanity, Sam. They are interesting to me. My Father's creations, the way they move, their actions, their feelings. Angels never had free will, until Castiel came along."

Sam nodded, relaxing slightly. "I understand that. Cas used to be really stoic. Never could tell what he was thinking."

"Yes. He changed the rules, for all of us. I had always felt different from other angels. He was the one who made me realize I wasn't broken. That I was who I was meant to be." Sam laughed, and she tilted her head curiously. "What is it?"

"Castiel made Dean realize he wasn't broken, too. Just reminded me of it, is all." He looked down at the ground and sighed. "I'm sorry, continue."

She placed a hand on his, and felt a spark of electricity go through their skin as they touched. She wondered if Sam felt the same way. "It's fine. You can tell me anything you wish." For a moment their eyes locked, and the world seemed to stop around them. Then Sam yanked his gaze away from hers and cleared his throat. She pulled her hand away quickly.

"So, uh... you were saying about watching me?"

"Yes, well. You were the most fascinating out of all the humans I witnessed, Sam."

"Me? Why?" He raised a brow, genuinely surprised.

"You are resilient. When others have given up, you keep going. You keep fighting. You have saved people even when you couldn't always save yourself. You are a hero, Sam Winchester."

He laughed again and ran a hand through his chestnut locks. "Nah, my brother is the hero, not me. I'm just background noise."

"Background noise?" she asked.

"Yeah, as in I'm there, people know I'm there, but I'm not important. Not like Dean." 

Kalia resisted the urge to put her hand on his again. This was getting harder and harder. "Sam, that's not true. Yes, your brother has accomplished a great many feats, but not enough people recognize just how amazing and wonderful you truly are."

Sam blushed and looked away. "Thanks, but in case you forgot, or hadn't heard.. I was um- addicted to-"

"Demon blood," she finished for him."

"You knew?"

"Yes, of course. I know all about you, Sam."

Emotions surged across his face, so many at once that Kalia couldn't keep track of them all. Had she upset him? Had she ruined everything between them? "How can you call me a hero, when you know all the terrible things I've done in the dark? I will never be clean, Kalia. I am always going to be tainted by evil."

"Do you believe in destiny, Sam?" she asked.

Sam paused for a moment. "Cas and I had a talk about destiny the other day. About how Dean and I were destined to be possessed by Michael and Lucifer and fight it out."

"And did you?"

"No, well, I did, but I-"

"Saved the world. Threw destiny out the window." Kalia said smugly.

Sam smiled a little and shook his head. "Yes. I suppose I did."

"You may have been tainted by evil, but I only see good in you. I can see your soul, Sam Winchester. It shines bright and true. You are not bad, bad things have just been done to you."

Sam's breath caught in his throat at the kind words. "M-My soul? Is bright?"

"Yes." Kalia reached out and touched his chest. "It is remarkable. It makes the beauty of this meadow pale in comparison."

Sam blushed again. Kalia could see her words were making him uncomfortable so she took her hand away again. She felt unsure of herself, having never seduced a human before. Not that she was trying to seduce him, of course. She just didn't want him running away in fear.

"I apologize. I have made you feel uncomfortable," she said. 

He looked back at her. "No, Kalia, it's not that. No one has ever said those things to me before, is all."

"It's a shame then, because it is true. Even if you don't see yourself as a hero, you are one to me." The silence hung between them like a cloud, and she glanced sideways at the younger Winchester who looked like he wanted to say a million things at once but couldn't find the words. "Why did you pray to me, Sam?"

"I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't have-"

"Why did you pray to me, Sam?" she asked again.

He took a deep breath. "Because I felt like we had a connection. I have grown to care for you... I know, its absurd, you're an angel and I'm just a-"

Without thinking she rushed forward and smashed her lips into his. The hunter's eyes widened for a moment, shock filling his features, until his hands grabbed her head and pushed them closer. His kisses were desperate, needy, and she could feel all the tension in his body begin to fade. After a few moments, she pulled away, staring into his hazel eyes, which met hers, adoration shining within their depths. So this was what Castiel felt like, to have a mortal gaze upon him with such intensity. 

"That was... wow," Sam said finally. 

Kalia smiled. "I'm glad it was satisfactory to you, Sam."

He ran a hand through his hair. "So uh... what does this mean? You know, not to sound like a girl or anything. Not to sound offensive," he said quickly, putting his hands up.

Kalia found the human to be quite adorable when he was flustered. She placed a hand on the side of his face. "Why don't you tell me?"

"Well, I like you. A lot." 

"I care deeply for you too, Sam." 

The words seemed to shock Sam again and he gaped at her. "Really?"

"When are you gonna learn," she said, caressing his face. "You are deserving of love. You are deserving of someone who loves you and will be there for you, no matter how bad you might think you are."

Tears formed in the hunter's eyes. "My brother loved me, and I failed him."

"No, Sam, your father failed him. He failed you both, actually. You will make this right, and I will help you. I am your angel, now after all."

Sam turned and tears continue to stream down his face. "My angel... you want to be my angel?"

She placed a kiss on his cheek and nodded. "If you'll have me. I would be proud to be yours."

Sam pressed his forehead to hers and smiled. "Yes. Yes I want you to be. I will try to prove myself worthy to you."

She laughed. "Oh, Sam Winchester. You have already proven yourself worthy. It is me who needs to prove myself."

Night began to settle over the meadow, and the two figures stayed still, holding each other as the moon rose in the sky. Neither of them wanted to be anywhere else.

 

Chapter Text

They had been sitting quietly for about an hour, not saying a word. It seemed like so much longer than that. Mary glared across the room at John, who was standing awkwardly by the window and looking like he wanted to jump right through it. She almost hoped that he would. Mary didn't know why she had even let him in, since a part of her still burned in anger at the mere sight of his face. She loved him still, of course, that would probably never change, but she didn't know if she could ever forgive John for what he had done, and caused. 

"Look, Mary I-"

"John are you just-"

They spoke at the same time, and stopped when they did. Both their faces flushed, memories of doing that over the years making them smile ever so briefly, before Mary composed herself and cleared her throat. 

"Just tell me what you want, John. I don't have all day." Mary took a drink of the coffee that was sitting on the bedside table. She had taken to drinking it instead of tea when she decided to spend long sleepless nights trying to figure out how to save her son. She knew Castiel and Sam were trying to do the same thing, but she wanted to help however she could. The more information, the better. 

John nodded and sat down on the chair next to the t.v. "I've been doing a lot of thinking. Too much thinking, really. To be honest, I can't even remember when I slept last." He chuckled a little, clearly trying to lighten to very somber mood.

"I know the feeling," Mary said, setting the mug down and facing him. "So what did you come up with?"

"I realized I'm an asshole."

"Understatement," Mary muttered under her breath.

John heard it and shook his head. "Yeah. Yeah I know. You have every right to be angry, and hate me, and... leave me."

"I don't hate you, John. But I don't like you right now, either. And yeah I'm angry. You treated our son like he was the scum of the earth, and made him feel like he couldn't tell us that he had found the love of his life."

John leaned forward in the chair, clasping his hands together. "You're right. I guess it was just a shock, learning that Dean was gay, and that he was in love with an angel."

"He's Cas-Sexual."

"What?"

"Nothing, continue."

John raised a brow. "Okay, well. As I said, it was just a surprise. Dean had always been this tough, macho guy, flirting with the ladies, never one to be committed to anything but the hunt. And when he told me what he did... "

"You didn't think that a tough macho guy who hunts monsters and saves the world could also like dick? That it was so far out of the box it was never even a possibility?"

"Mary!" John sputtered.

"Well, it's true John. What does it matter his sexual preference as long as it gets the job done? He still saves people, right? Still protects Sammy, still makes you proud?"

John smiled, his eyes crinkling as he thought of his oldest son, the man he had become, all the good he had done in John's absence. "Yes. Dean has always made me proud. They both have. I guess I just worried people wouldn't take him as seriously if they knew he liked men. That they would treat him badly, and discriminate against him."

"Like you did?"

The words hit John like a slap to the face and he nodded. "Yeah, like me."

"Dean isn't a little boy anymore, John, first of all. I'm sure he can handle a few disgusted looks from close minded homophobes. And second of all, from what I understand, everyone already knows. Monsters run the other way when Sam and Dean Winchester roll through town. We are the only ones who didn't know, and when I figured it out, I was happy for Dean. Do you know how monumental it is for an angel to fall in love with a human? An angel isn't going to fall for someone who is evil, and a monster, and does terrible things. Dean is good, John. And right now that same angel is out there trying to save him."

"Yes, and that is why I am here. I realize how stupid I was, and how badly I treated Dean and Castiel. I want to make this right. I even prayed to Castiel for forgiveness, though I doubt he would forgive me."

"Give him time," Mary said, smiling at John. "if you are sincere about how you feel, he will come around."

"What about you and I?" John said, looking hopefully up at her. 

Mary looked away. "I don't know yet. The things you have said and done, it hurt me badly, John. I never in a million years thought you would treat our children that way. I miss the man I fell in love with."

John stood and knelt next to her, taking her hand in his. "That man is still in here. I've made a lot of bad mistakes in my life, I know that now. I should never have raised our boys to be hunters. I should never have let blind revenge get in the way of their childhoods. That was the most selfish thing I could have ever done. I would give anything to go back in time and change it."

Mary placed her other hand over his. "The past is the past, John. There is a reason we are here, in this time and place. What matters now is getting our son back before it's too late. He is a demon now, and we can't let him stay that way. He would hate himself forever."

"I will do whatever it takes to fix this," John said, leaning down to kiss her hand.

"Do you really mean that?"

The sudden deep, gravelly voice behind them made them jump, and they turned to see Castiel, Sam and Kalia standing there. Mary noticed that Sam and Kalia were holding hands. She smiled and met her son's hazel eyes and nodded in approval. He beamed a smile at her in return.

"Did you mean it?" Cas repeated. His face was blank, devoid of emotion. 

John nodded, getting to his feet. "Yes, did you hear my prayer?"

The angel nodded. "I did. We will discuss that later. In the meantime, we have formed a plan. It is highly dangerous, and risky. You are the only one who can do it."

"Okay, what is it?"

"Dean hates you and wants to kill you," Cas stated, as if he was simply mentioning the sky was blue.

John's eyes widened and he sat down on the chair again. "Um, well... I guess that's to be... expected? After all I did-"

"So we need you to be bait," Cas continued, cutting him off.

"Bait?"

"Yes. You will go to a location, then we will make sure that Dean knows you are there. He will most likely abduct you and take you somewhere with the intention of terminating you," Cas said, still all business. Mary wondered what happened that the warm, awkward angel had turned into this cold, steely persona that was standing before her. Other than losing his hunter, of course.

John looked over at Sam, who nodded. "I know it's risky, and we don't want to have to ask you-" Sam began.

"I am not asking," the angel said, interrupting once more. "This is our only plan to draw him out. He has already tried to kill me once and-"

Now it was Mary's turn to interrupt. "Oh my god, you saw him? He hurt you?"

Cas' blue eyes slid to hers for a moment, and a sadness passed through them. No wonder he was so cold right now. Dean had attempted to murder him. She felt her heart sink. Had it really gotten that bad with her son? "Yes, Mary. He tricked Sam and I. Never again, though. My mistake was letting my love for Dean blind my logic and reason."

"You still love him?" John asked quietly.

"There is nothing in this world or any other that could make me stop loving Dean Winchester. So in my mission to save him, either we will both walk out of this alive and unharmed, or we will both get destroyed. If I die, I am taking him down with me, and none of you are to resurrect us. None of you," he said, looking back at Sam.

Sam opened his mouth to speak but Kalia squeezed his hand. He said nothing.

John stood back up. "Okay, Castiel. I will trust your judgement. Let's do this."

Cas walked over and touched his shoulder and they disappeared.

Sam pulled out his phone and dialed a number. "They will be at Barty's Pub in Danville, Kentucky," he said into the phone, then hung up.

"Is this going to work?" Mary asked, standing up and shrugging into a sweater.

Kalia nodded. "It will work, one way or another. But Castiel wants this to end tonight. The situation with Dean and what transpired between them has pushed him into overdrive. He will not let this go on any further."

"Then, it's time I prepare for my son's welcome home party," Mary said, and walked out the door.

 

Chapter Text

Dean was laying in bed next to some random dude he met in a bar when Crowley showed up. He glanced lazily over at the King of Hell, who just looked so done, and it made him laugh. He loved to make Crowley jealous, because the trail of bodies would always just get bigger and bigger. Dean knew what the demon had really been doing the whole time they had been together. He would follow Dean like a lost puppy, hiding in the shadows like some creeper, cleaning up his messes. For being in charge, it was Crowley who was Dean's bitch, not the other way around. That was how the Winchester liked it. The King's attempt at manipulating him had turned into a power play, and in the end it was Dean who won. Just as he had won when he convinced his brother and that stupid lovesick angel that he was still all good and righteous. Ha. Fucking amateurs. 

"Hey there, sweetheart," Dean said with a wink. He tried to look ashamed as he slid his eyes over to his bed companion.

Crowley was glaring at the other man now. "Things get a little rough, I take it?"

It was true. The man was dead, had been for hours. A little erotic asphyxiation can sometimes turn bad, and unfortunately for Mr. Clint Etkins from Alabama, Dean didn't need to breathe, but he did. "Yeah, well, some people can't handle the kinky shit," Dean said, getting out of bed. He was stark naked, of course, but he didn't care. He could feel Crowley's eyes follow his every move. He admitted he liked the attention he got from the man who had given him this awesome life, stress free and full of all the people he could fuck and kill. He still couldn't believe he had subjected himself to a committed relationship.

"My minions have picked up word on John Winchester's whereabouts. Thought you might want to know, if you weren't too busy," Crowley said, spitting out the last word as if salt was just shoved into his mouth.

Dean whipped around. John. His father. The bastard who had ruined his life time and time again. He felt the rage build up within him and in seconds he had his hand around Crowley's throat. "Where is he?" Dean snarled out.

Crowley didn't struggle. He just stared right back at the demon. "Barty's Pub. Danville, Kentucky. You're welcome, by the way."

Dean hesitated for a moment, before leaning closer and pressing his plump lips to Crowley's, kissing him deeply. He pulled back a moment later, a grin on his face. "Thank you, sweetheart. I owe you one." In seconds he was fully dressed, and then he snapped his fingers, appearing just outside the bar in Kentucky.

It was in the middle of nowhere, seemingly just outside of town, with a few motorcycles parked outside of it. Dean smirked and adjusted his black trench coat, strolling through the front door with confidence. Many sets of curious and amused eyes met him as he entered, knowing he looked out of place here, despite the leather ensemble. He didn't care. He could kill all these assholes with a flick of his wrists. No, he was here for something else entirely. His green eyes scanned the room until he found him. John was sitting in the corner of the room, nursing a beer. All by himself. Perfect.

He strode over to his father and sat down across from him. John looked up, wide eyed as he regarded his oldest son. Dean gave him a minute before he waved the waitress over and asked for a whiskey. 

"Nice place," Dean said sarcastically, taking a long drink.

"Dean, you're-"

His eyes flicked black and he smirked again. "A demon, yeah I know."

"I knew that, I just mean... you look different. Not like a hunter at all."

"That's because I'm not a fucking hunter," Dean retorted. 

John nodded, swallowing a drink of beer. ""Yeah, I suppose you're not."

"Saving people, hunting things, the family business," Dean said, rolling his eyes. "What a waste of my time."

"So what is it you do now, if you aren't hunting?" John asked.

"Oh, I hunt." Dean leaned forward. "Just not the big bads that go bump in the night."

This seemed to make his father nervous, and he got a thrill about that. "Do you... kill people now?"

"Let's just say I've killed so many people that if I weren't already ruling Hell, there would be a cage waiting for me that would make Lucifer's seem like a bed and breakfast."

John's face paled and he leaned back in his chair. "I didn't know you had fallen so far."

"Well, I have you to thank for that, Dad. All your hatred and bigotry, made me the demon I am today." Dean raised his glass. "Cheers!" He swallowed the rest of his whiskey while John just looked sadly at him.

"I'm sorry, Son. There aren't enough apologies in the world to fix this."

Dean's face turned dark. John recoiled in fear as the demon suddenly appeared behind him, hands upon his shoulders. "No, there aren't. But maybe all your screams will make me feel just a little bit better."

The bar disappeared around them, and in it's place was an empty warehouse. The stench of blood and sweat still hung in the air from the night that Dean had been slaughtered here.

In mere moments, John was tied up to the same crude rack that he had been attached to, Dean's blood still staining the steel. "Do you know where this is?" the demon asked, gesturing to the room around them. "This is where I died."

"Dean, I'm so-"

"Don't!" the demon said, getting right in his Dad's face. "Don't fucking say you're sorry again. It means nothing to me. You mean nothing to me."

"If that's true then why am I here?" John asked.

A blade appeared in Dean's hand. He stood mere inches away from John, and slid the blade across the other man's cheek, drawing a thin line of blood. "Because you are more of a monster than me."

John gasped as Dean did this. "Thought you didn't hunt monsters anymore."

"You are a special case." Dean slid the knife across the other cheek, more blood seeping out. "Do you remember when you first taught me how to use a knife?"

"Yes. To defend yourself."

"You taught me how to use a knife in every possible situation. Guns were always my preference, of course, but they are so quick. So final. With a knife you can map out every little detail on a man's skin." As he spoke, he dragged the knife across his dad's flesh, going just a little deeper every time he moved. 

John cried out in pain. It only made Dean slice more into him. He found he enjoyed the whimpers of fear that were coming from John's mouth. Maybe it was a sick, sadistic glee resonating in him that spurred him on. maybe it was revenge. He wasn't sure anymore. He just wanted to keep going.

"You used to be my hero, you know," Dean continued, ripping open John's grey t-shirt. "I looked up to you the way Sammy looks up to me. I wanted to be just like my Dad, the hunter who could take out a whole nest of vamps all by himself."

"That boy who admired me is still in there, Dean," John said softly. 

Dean trailed the knife painfully down John's chest, blood trickling slowly from the wound. "No, that's where you're wrong. That person died when you took away my angel."

John looked up at him. "You still love Castiel?" he breathed out.

The question earned him a painful slice across his stomach, the cut much deeper than the others. Blood surged forth and Dean got in John's face again, rage staring out at him from green eyes that had seen too much tragedy and loss. "I was going to kill him!" he shouted. "I wanted to kill him and destroy the one person who had ever made me truly love. But Sammy, oh baby brother just had to go and be a fucking hero and save his best friend. Pathetic. Love is a weakness, Dad. Didn't you tell me that once?"

John nodded, blood continuing to pour freely from all his open wounds. Sweat dripped down his body as Dean continued to glide the knife expertly across him. "Castiel was the first one you... ever loved," he whispered.

"The first and the last. Good thing about this demon package is I don't ever have to love again. Though Crowley wishes I would love him. Injecting him with Sammy's blood has made him disgustingly human." Dean paused for a moment. "I don't think he really understood what would happen when he turned me into a demon. He thought I would be easily manipulated into his little pet. I showed him. I made him lose so many deals..."

"Do you think human Dean would have wanted this?" John asked, his voice raspy from screaming. 

"Actually, yes. Human me was the one who made the deal." Dean was slicing down John's arm now. The screams kept echoing through the warehouse, reverberating off the walls. He enjoyed this. Blood dripped down his blade onto the floor and he stared at it for a moment. "Human me would kill himself all over again if he knew what he has done."

"Was it worth it, Dean?" John asked, his vision cloudy through the fog of his torment.

"Yes. Losing Cas was the worst pain I have ever experienced. And now I feel nothing. Seeing my own father sitting here, drenched in red, caused by my own hand. I should be remorseful. I should feel shame. I just feel disappointment that it won't last forever." Dean's green eyes flicked to black. "I hate you, John Winchester. You are a selfish mother fucker who should have stayed dead. All you cared about was saving everyone else, but in doing so you lost your sons. We never had a childhood. We never had family Christmases and Thanksgiving dinners. I had to whore myself out to pay for food sometimes, because you didn't give a fuck about us. Not one bit. You made me feel so ashamed of myself for being in love with a man, that I willingly sought death. I hope you burn in hell, you son of a bitch."

He began to carve his father like he was a pumpkin, his angel blade slicing up and down the man's arms, blood trickling down like a waterfall. Even when John slumped over, weakening with the blood loss, he kept going. Dean sliced his face, his stomach, his chest, his legs, nothing was forgotten. Before long the man was painted in red, some macabre work of art, all of Dean's lifelong frustrations painted across John's ripped apart flesh. He lost track of time, his movements a blurry haze as he worked. Memories he had repressed for years flew to the surface, tormenting him all over again as if they had just happened. John beating him when he had found Dean with a boy as a teenager. John locking him in a closet when Sam had gotten a skinned knee. John telling Dean that he was nothing but a worthless failure when Dean had neglected to save a couple in Maine. Eventually the demon stopped, staring at his masterpiece in triumph.

Somehow, the man on the rack managed to lift his head up one last time. "I want you to know... " He said, blood dribbling down his chin. "Even though you have... done this... I am proud of you, Dean... so very proud."

Dean leaned forward, a smirk on his face. "How ironic it is, then, that you waited until it was too late to tell me that."

"Castiel, you can come get him now..."

John's words made Dean recoil in fear, and he shoved the blade right through his father's heart, then attempted to teleport out. He was halted, however, when he was flipped around roughly and turned to look into cold, blue eyes. It had been a trap. He had walked right into it. He realized too late that this had all been far too easy. He should have known that, but his own stupid bravado got in the way of his hunter sense. "No," Dean whispered. "No!"

"Yes," Cas said, gripping him by the collar. "Time for you to pay for your sins, Dean Winchester." With that, they teleported away.

 

Chapter Text

Sam walked into the warehouse a few seconds after Cas left with Dean, having waited outside until Cas told him it was clear. Even from the outside of the building, the horrific stench that was housed within was revolting. Blood, bile, and urine all hit his senses hard, the urge to throw up his breakfast strong as he pushed himself forward towards the rack where his unmoving father was still tied up. The scene that awaited him was something he had never witnessed before, even in all the years of being a hunter and seeing some of the most twisted things one could imagine. 

Thick red blood covered John from head to toe, dripping obscenely onto the floor beneath him, pooling at his feet. There were so many gashes and wounds on his flesh that there was hardly any intact skin left at all. Vomit covered the front of his chest, an angel blade still penetrating his heart. He wore nothing except pants now, and even they were torn and frayed, the only thing between him and Dean's cruel handiwork. He had no idea his brother was capable of such sadism, even in his demonic state, but he knew he shouldn't be surprised. When Sam had no soul, he remembered how it felt to be able to do things and not feel the guilt of consequence. But Dean had his soul, and it was dark and depraved, and letting him do things that his subconscious had only ever dreamed of. 

Hesitantly, Sam reached up to touch his dad's face, knowing that a blade to the heart was fatal, but not letting himself believe that it had ended this way. He shook his father, trying desperately to get his eyes to open. The only movement he got in return was John's head rolling limply to the side. Sam felt tears sting his own eyes, continuing to shake his dad as if it would magically bring him back to life. He thought of all the years he had spent hating this man, all the times when he couldn't wait to get away. Grasping at any slim chance and opportunity to leave all this behind and be his own person, without John breathing down his neck about the family business and responsibility. He thought of how angry he had been with the way John treated Dean about his sexuality and Cas. How many nights he had spent listening to his heartbroken brother cry and wishing that John hadn't been brought back from the dead with Mary. He fell to his knees and sobbed.

Revenge, that was what it had been about for John. He had lost Mary Campbell, the love of his life, to a demon, and picked up and left, taking Sam and Dean on the road with them. His desperation to avenge his wife had taken away any semblance of normalcy that the two brothers could have ever had. Sam spent all that time detesting John and his selfishness, but wasn't that what Sam had done? He left Stanford and everything when Jess got killed by the same demon in order to hunt the thing down to the ends of the earth. Just like John, Sam had managed to save people along the way in his quest, never losing focus of the real mission. And when yellow eyes died, he kept going, because he was in too deep now. So how could he possibly blame John for that?

He looked up at his father, the tears streaming down his face now, feeling guilt for all the time lost, all the time spent hating the man who had loved someone too much to quit. He hadn't deserved this fate. Sam knew at the end John was trying to change, trying to make up for making bad choices and being a bad father. After all, even when yellow eyes was still out there, he gave up the chance to kill him in favor of saving Dean's life. At what point does a person finally get to have their redemption and be forgiven for their sins?

A hand on his shoulder brought him back to the present and he looked up into the bright violet eyes of Kalia. She looked down at him, concern on her face. "Sam, are you alright?"

He shook his head, running his hands through his hair. "No, I'm- he's dead, Kalia. I was too late."

"He died bravely, Sam. A hero."

"He didn't deserve to die this way."

"Do you want him back?" she asked.

Sam looked back up at her. "What? Yes of course!"

"I wasn't sure if you wanted him back, because of his past actions. I would understand if you wished to leave this alone."

"No, please..." Sam grabbed her hand tightly. "Please bring my Dad back."

Kalia smiled at him and walked over to John. She placed two fingers on his forehead and instantly all the wounds were healed. Clean clothes appeared on his body, and his father opened his eyes wide with a huge gasp of air. The angel blade that was once in his chest appeared in Kalia's hand and she handed it to Sam, stepping back and giving them room. 

Sam quickly untied John, who looked surprised as he rubbed his wrists. "Sam? What happened?"

"What do you remember?" Sam asked, tossing the chains aside that had bound John.

"I remember... being tortured," John said quietly. "Then Dean stabbed me with a knife, and then nothing."

"Kalia brought you back to life," Sam said, grinning wide. "You're okay now."

John hesitated, then wrapped his youngest son in a hug. "Sam, I'm so sorry," he said.

"For what?" Sam returned the embrace, closing his eyes, still not quite believing that his father was alive and talking to him.

"Everything. It's not just Dean I have to prove myself to, it's you. And I will do it, you have my word."

"You're here now and that's what matters. Cas has Dean so hopefully this will be over soon," Sam said, letting go of his dad and standing back next to Kalia. 

Kalia tilted her head. "John, may I ask you something?"

He looked over at her. "Yes, of course."

"This didn't go to plan," she said.

John laughed a little, gesturing to the torture rack. "Yeah, I would say not since I was dead."

"No, I mean... Castiel told you to pray to him as soon as Dean took you from the bar, yet you stayed the whole time and let him torture and kill you. Why?"

The same thought had been circling Sam's mind, but he hadn't wanted to know the answer. He was almost too afraid to hear it. He wasn't surprised at John's answer, though.

"Because I deserved it. This was my redemption, and I was perfectly willing to die for it, even at the hands of my son. He is a demon because of me, and now I faced the consequences." John looked crestfallen. "I just hope he will be able to forgive me for it someday."

"Well, Cas has him now, so all we can do is wait," Sam said, grabbing his father's arm. "Let's go back to Mom and wait there."

Kalia put her hands on their shoulders and appeared in the bunker a few moments later, where Mary was waiting eagerly. She jumped up, seeing John and hugged him tightly to her.

"Oh my God, what happened? Are you alright?" She asked, putting his face in her hands and studying him carefully.

John glanced at Sam then smiled, pressing his forehead to Mary's. "I'm fine, Love. Everything went okay. Castiel has Dean now."

"You weren't hurt?" Mary said, trailing her fingers across his scruffy cheek.

Sam opened his mouth to speak, fumbling for an answer that didn't involve his father getting flayed and killed, but Kalia got there first. "The plan went smoothly, Mary Winchester. Your husband was instrumental in the capture of your son, we couldn't have done it without his help."

Mary beamed at him. "I knew you could do it."

"I told you I would do whatever it takes," John replied, placing a kiss on her cheek. "I love you, Mary."

Mary's eyes brimmed with unshed tears. "I love you too, John. Always."

"Dad," Sam said, stepping forward and holding Kalia's hand in his. "I just wanted to tell you that Kalia is my... she and I are-" He rubbed the back of his neck.

John grinned and walked forward, wrapping the surprised angel up in a hug. "Welcome to the family, then Kalia. And thank you for saving my life," he whispered, leaning in close to her ear.

She nodded. "Anything for Sam Winchester."

Sam felt his face flush. His angel. He really had his own angel. He grabbed her hand again and pressed a kiss to the palm. He looked towards his parents, who were embracing and holding each other tightly like they were each other's lifeline. Maybe things would really be okay for all of them, after all.

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean immediately tried to escape when they landed. Cas had anticipated this of course, hence why the building was warded with demon traps and whatever else he could think of to keep the wayward Winchester right where he was. The walls still bore some other symbols that had been painted here 7 years ago, on a very fateful night in September. Cas had no idea that he would be changed forever after that meeting. He had no idea he would learn what love was, and what it meant to just feel. Who knew it would come to this?

After snapping his fingers and trying to unsuccessfully zap out, Dean became furious, banging on the walls, shaking the doors off their hinges, rattling the roof. Cas had expected that too, and waited for the tantrum to subside. It lasted for a good 10 minutes before Dean finally stopped and turned to the angel, who was casually sitting on an overturned box. "Well, well, well. Looks like you managed to get the drop on me, this time."

Cas nodded. "Do you recognize this place?" he said, with a sweep of his arm.

The demon looked around, and a emotion Cas couldn't quite place flickered on his face for a moment. Then, that deviant smirk was back, and Dean crossed his arms. "The barn where we first met. How sentimental. When did you turn into such a sap, Cas?"

"I was only following your example, Dean. Deep down, there's always been a romantic side to you that craved 'chick flick moments' as you say, even though you tried to avoid them."

Dean scoffed. "Yeah right. Sammy's the only one who ever liked to talk about feelings constantly. But bringing me here? Did you really think I'd get all misty eyed and beg to be saved?" He sauntered over to where Cas sat. "Come on, angel. You can do better than that."

Cas stood, invading the demon's personal space. Human Dean always used to remind him of the importance of personal bubbles and staying out of them. Demon Dean seemed to be intrigued by the angel's boldness and made no move to push him away. "No, after you attempted to kill me I knew all the good in you was lost. Your father is dead, by the way. Condolences."

Dean snickered. "Yeah, I killed him. Stupid asshole deserved what he got."

"Did he?" Cas asked. "Torturing and bleeding him out, telling him how much you hated him for all the mistakes he made... did it make you feel better?"

"Yes. I feel like a weight has been lifted." The demon grinned, leaning forward a bit into what little space was left between them. "You are the next thing that needs to be disposed of. You're a constant reminder of how weak and vulnerable I had let myself become."

"Love doesn't make you weak. It gives you strength to surrender to something other than yourself."

Dean laughed. "Did you read that on a Hallmark card or something, Cas? Pathetic."

"No, you taught me that, actually. I was a soldier of Heaven for so long there is no word for it in human terms. I had no idea what it meant to feel love. All I had was devotion to God and the mission. You made me see the world differently. You made me love you."

"Yeah, yeah. That was your first mistake, Cas. Falling for someone as toxic as Dean Winchester. Purity gets corrupted when it touches a broken soul." That alien emotion flickered across the demon's face again.

"It must be a prerequisite of being a Winchester to be self loathing," Cas said thoughtfully.

"Our family is cursed. You'd be self loathing, too," Dean said bitterly. 

"I do hate myself, actually."

Dean tilted his head. "What? Why?"

"Because this is my fault. I should have just waited like you had asked me, given you time to tell your father. Instead I let my emotions get the better of me and left. I should have stayed, I should have supported you more, and maybe this could have all been avoided."

"As if John was going to accept us anyway. I was a dick to you, you should have left a long time ago." Dean paused, seeming to realize his humanity was peeking through as he tried to defend Cas' actions yet again. His face filled with rage and he shoved the angel back. "Get away from me! You're doing something to make me all talkative and compliant!"

"I haven't done anything to you except bring you to a barn. This is all you," Cas said, striding forward again. He shoved the demon backwards in return. "So blame yourself for feeling things other than evil and darkness, not me."

Dean flicked his wrist and the angel sailed backwards, landing roughly against a far wall. "The only thing I feel with you is the need to rip you apart, limb by limb until you are nothing but a mess on the floor. You were never truly my friend, someone I could trust. You betrayed me more times than I can count. And I can count pretty high."

Cas picked himself up off the ground and waved his hand, Dean flying into the wall on the opposite side of the barn. He appeared in front of him the next instant, grabbing the demon by the collar of his black trench coat and and looking into his black eyes. "You keep telling yourself that, Dean Winchester. But I know you better than anyone. You can't help but forgive me. You love me too much. You would die for me."

The demon reached out and punched Cas square in the jaw, the angel letting go and falling to the ground. Dean followed up with 3 more punches to Cas' face, shoving the angel with the heel of his boot. "I hate you, Castiel. You mean nothing to me. I'll make you die for me, alright."

Cas jumped to his feet, spitting blood from his mouth and circling Dean, who had a murderous look in his eye. "It's time I show you a lesson in respect, Dean. I'm an angel of the lord." His fist connected with Dean's face, and the black eyes flicked to green for a second as the demon laughed.

"Time to pray then, angel. Because you are going back to Heaven."

They began to trade blows. Fists flew at each other's faces and stomach's, legs kicked at whatever they could find, bodies thrown into walls time and time again. The barn shook with the force of it all, as they kept going, rage and frustration taking over on both sides. Cas had fought Dean before, but it was always one sided. The time Dean had decided to say "Yes" to Michael, the time Naomi had mind controlled Cas to kill Dean. And the hunter never fought back then, just begged Cas to stop, and told him he needed him. Now Dean was fighting back with a vengeance, the powers of a demon on his side, and it was just utter chaos.

Then came a moment, where Cas had Dean's face shoved into the floor, leaning above him and staring into those green eyes that he loved so much. Dean looked back at him, a mixture of anger and uncertainty on his features. The demon struggled beneath him for a moment before he stopped and sighed. "You got me. Kill me already and be done with it."

Cas felt himself hardening on top of the man he loved more than life itself, despite the dire situation at hand. He cursed his vessel for betraying him at a time like this. Maybe it was the adrenaline, maybe it was the close proximity of the former hunter. The demon seemed to feel the hard erection behind him and grinned, pushing back against the angel who had froze, still holding Dean's face to the ground. 

"Can't help yourself, can you Cas? Even as a demon I still turn you on."

"N-no, that's not it. I'm just-"

"Horny? It has been awhile for you, hasn't it?"

Cas tried to calm himself, not letting his sexual desire for the demon beneath him make him vulnerable. He had to stay on point, the mission was too important. Saving Dean was too-

"Me on the other hand, I've had other people since you. Girls, guys, demons. Even an angel once. Hmm, what was her name... she was pretty hot though."

The rage, jealousy and desire lit up the angel like a flame and he ripped those black leather pants right off the demon, ignoring the indignant "Hey!" it elicited. He reached into his dark blue trousers and pulled out his thick cock that leaked with precum and want, and rubbed his fingers in the sticky liquid, spreading it hastily on the head. Without so much as a warning, he pushed himself deep inside the demon, who let out a yell that made the lights flicker. Over and over he thrust, all the tension he had felt since this all began taking over his body. He felt like he was outside looking in, as he violated the demon again and again. Dean didn't seem to mind one bit though, as moans were ripped out of him.

"Oh, God, Angel! Yes, fuck me! Show me what a monster I have become!"

Cas pulled out with a pop and then thrust right back in, the head of his cock hitting Dean's prostate with every movement. The demon mewled like a desperate slut, pushing back against the angel until he was filled to the brim with the angel's dick. Cas knew this was a bad idea, a fucking terrible idea, that as soon as they were done the demon would most likely turn on him and it would be all over, but he didn't care. He had missed making love to his hunter, and if this was the last thing he ever did, then he would die happy knowing he got to touch him one more time. "You. Are. Mine." Cas breathed out, gripping Dean's hips tightly, his fingers digging into the flesh and drawing blood.

"Hate you... " Dean moaned. "Hate you, Cas."

It was violent, it was blasphemous, it was fucked up in so many ways and they both knew it. The man below him had just tortured and killed his own father not an hour ago. But Cas just kept going, feeling the demon writhe and gasp underneath him, slowly coming undone. The power they both had swirled between them and it made the air fill with some sort of electricity, the overhead lights cracking and sparking like they did the first night they met. Memories of walking into the barn flooded Cas' mind and he shut his eyes as he thrust deep into the demon, remembering how he had seen Dean Winchester for the first time since pulling him from Hell, remembering how Dean had immediately assumed he was there to hurt him, and shoving a knife into his chest. Remembering how Dean didn't think he deserved to be saved, especially by an angel of God.

Finally, he felt the demon tense beneath him and a strangled cry rang out as he came hard, the lights shattering into a million pieces. Feeling Dean clench around his cock, it forced him to surrender to the intense pleasure of it all, and he followed suit, his seed shooting out of him in eager streams into the demon tight hole. He clawed at Dean's hips as he came, his scream breaking whatever lights and windows were even left now. When his cock stopped pulsing and throbbing, he shoved Dean off him and stood up, quickly putting his still leaking cock inside his pants and facing the demon, who had mojo'd himself clean and put his leather pants back on his bowed legs, intact and unharmed. Dean and Cas regarded each other for what felt like hours, green eyes locked on blue, words never being needed when it came to the two of them. Ironic then, that so much needed to be said, but neither knew just how to say it.

"You can't save me," Dean said quietly, his voice strained. 

"I can, and I will," Cas said confidently. "I became an archangel so that I could-"

"You're not getting me," Dean said, running a hand through his black and red spiked hair. "If you save me, you will have truly damned me. How do you think I will be once I learn what I have... everything I have done..." He broke off and looked away, something other than rage filling his eyes.

"For killing your father?" Cas asked, taking a hesitant step forward. He had fallen for this trap before, he didn't want to give the demon a way to foil him again.

"For everything." Dean looked down at the ground. "I have killed hundreds of people, Cas. Thousands maybe. I have taken souls, I have torn apart families, ripped through towns, and I liked it. If I became human again knowing what I've done... I'm afraid I might kill myself all over again and let Crowley shove me into the cage with Lucifer."

Cas knew the former hunter was right. It was something that had plagued him through this whole mission. Saving Dean had always seemed to be more for everyone else's benefit instead of Dean himself. As a demon, he was guilt free and had nothing to lose. As a human he felt every single failed hunt, every single friend who died because of him, every time those closest to him had betrayed him yet again. He also knew that Dean never actually wanted to become a demon, despite Crowley's manipulations to turn him into one. It had been one of the many nightmares Cas had witnessed the hunter having when he would watch over him at night. He knew what he had to do.

He closed the distance between the demon and him, and pressed his lips to Dean's. Hesitantly, Dean returned the kiss. Feeling a tear trickle down his cheek, Cas raised his hand and put his palm to the demon's forehead. "I love you, Dean Winchester. I always will."

The demon tried to push Cas away, panic filling his green eyes but the angel was stronger. Bright light flowed through his hand into the demon, and Dean began to scream in pain. The room erupted with a white glow, exploding everything around them, the walls to the barn collapsing and causing the building to implode. The demon fell to the ground with a thud, and Cas fell to his knees beside him. It was all over.

Chapter Text

John Winchester had heard a lot of crazy plans in his life, especially during his life as a hunter. The plan the angel in front of him had revealed just now was definitely insane, but he knew that it might be the only way to fix all this and to save his son. He trusted Castiel, and knew that if anyone could do this, it would be him. They certainly had the right motivation to accomplish this, because it had spun so wildly out of control that there was no other way to move forward. Sometimes the only way to fix something is to start all over again, and move backwards.

"Are you sure this will work?" John asked, taking a long drink of the whiskey in his shaking hand. 

Cas nodded patiently. "Yes. When you get to the bar, and Dean comes and takes you away, you must pray to me as soon as you arrive, so that I can come and grab him. Then, when I'm able to touch him, I will perform the ritual and turn back time, erasing everything that has happened in the past couple months. Only you and I will remember any of it." He glanced over at John. "I wish you would let me erase your memories of it, too. That seems like an awful burden to have."

John clasped his hands together and leaned forward. "No. This is my penance. All this is my fault, after all. And if that means spending the rest of my life remembering what my bigotry led to, then so be it. It will be an important lesson learned. I just wish you could simply erase Dean's memories and we all pretend this never happened, for his sake."

"This is the only way, because the problem is... it did happen. There would still be piles of bodies out there that Dean is responsible for. He still would have tortured and killed you."

John nodded. "I understand. Everyone would still know what he did."

"Dean harbors far too much guilt in him as it is. He would go mad trying to sort through it all if he ever remembered or found out. He needs to always be known as the righteous man, not feared by those he tries to save. Especially Sam," Cas said, with a small smile.

John straightened in his chair. "What about Sam and Kalia? If you turn back time Dean would have never died, you would have never killed yourself and Sam would have never met Kalia."

"I see you are finally thinking of your sons now," Cas said. At John's hurt look, he put his hands up. "My apologies, I didn't mean it to be offensive, I meant it as a compliment. You have truly changed, John Winchester. Anyway, don't worry about Sam. It will all work out for the best, I promise you."

A grin spread across John's worn features and he breathed a sigh of relief. "Good. Sam deserves to be happy, too." He stood, stretching out his arms. "Okay, Cas. I am ready to do this whenever you are."

Cas stood as well and paused. "John, there is something I must ask you. Granted this might not be the most appropriate time-"

"Spit it out," John said with a chuckle.

"May I have your son's hand in marriage?" the angel asked, looking hopefully up at the older Winchester.

John placed a hand on Cas' shoulder. "Of course you can, Castiel. You have my blessing, and my gratitude, for everything you have done for this family."

Cas smiled. He moved closer, ready to put his fingers to John's temple before he paused again. "You can call me Cas," he said, then teleported John to Barty's Bar, ready to achieve their goal. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The door swung open and John walked inside, Sam trailing him. Dean walked out of Cas' touch and cleared his throat. Cas turned around and stared at the newly alive John Winchester. Sam immediately made a neck chopping motion at Cas, who tilted his head and squinted his eyes.

"Dad. This is Cas, he's a... friend of me and Sam's," Dean said, earning a dirty look from the angel. 

John smiled then, his eyes meeting Cas' for just a brief second, before focusing back on his son. "No, he's not Dean."

Dean's mouth dropped open. "Wh-what?" he stammered. 

"I know he is your boyfriend, and I'm fine with that."

This caused both the Winchester's to stare in shock at their father. "What?" Sam said finally. "You mean that?"

John nodded and walked up to Dean, who looked at him like he had just sprouted a second head. "I know I may not have been here for a long time, son. But I know all the good you have done in the world. I know the things you and your brother have accomplished that I could only ever dream of. If this man makes you happy, then I am happy for you."

"He's an angel," Dean whispered, his eyes brimming with unshed tears.

"Good. That means he can keep you safe when me or your brother can't." John turned to Cas, who was smiling at him. "Welcome to the family, Cas. Hopefully when me and my boys go on this hunt, you will come with us and I can get to know you better."

The angel nodded. "I would like that very much. I am glad to see you are back."

"Me, too," John said, turning to head towards the door. "Now our family can be together again, and I can right some of my wrongs I've made in the past. I don't want to ruin any chance we have at a good future." He glanced back at Dean and Sam. "I'm proud of you boys. I love you." With that, he turned and left. 

Sam followed behind his father, his eyes glazed over and in some sort of daze at what had just transpired. Cas turned to Dean, who had tears rolling down his cheeks now. He tried to look away from the angel, but Cas simply grabbed his chin with his hands and forced their eyes to meet. 

"Dean, you see? Your father accepts us."

"Yeah, I- was not expecting that," Dean said, his green eyes watery. "Wow, I think I'm actually in shock."

"Losing the ones you love can sometimes change you, either for the worse or the better," Cas said, reaching into his trench coat and pulling out a small box. He got on his knees in front of the hunter, who now took a step back and stared down at the angel. "Dean Winchester, I love you more than words can say. You are everything to me, and I can't imagine being without you ever again. Please do me the honor of becoming my husband so that I can show the world that even angels can find true love." He opened the small box, revealing a silver ring with small green and blue gems embedded in a line that wrapped around the center of it. 

Dean's breath hitched for a moment, then he slowly reached into his jeans, laughing and pulling out an equally small box from his pocket. He got on his knees in front of Cas and held it out for him, revealing the silver band with green and blue gems that they seemed to have psychically picked out together. "Cas, you are my best friend, the love of my life, and my angel. I may not always be good with words, but know that you are the only one for me. Please do me the honor of becoming my husband, so I can show the world that even a broken man like Dean Winchester can be saved."

They kissed then, passionate desperate kisses that soulmates share, in a world that had tried time and time to tear them apart. Life was good, life was amazing, and for once, it was going to have a happy ending.

 

 

Chapter Text

"Sammy, I can't do this."

"Dean, calm down. It's all going to be okay."

"What if he decides not to show up?" Dean said, pacing in the small dressing room. "What if he realizes what a mistake this is?"

Sam laughed and clapped his brother on the shoulder. "Dude, the only one who wants this wedding more than you, is him. So shut the hell up and get out there. Mom and Dad are waiting, and they will drag your ass down the aisle if they have to."

Dean shook his head and ran a hand through his spiky brown hair. "Oh, man. Never thought I would be getting married. Never thought Dad of all people would be so accepting."

"Stranger things have happened, like an angel of the lord falling for my dumb ass brother, for instance."

Dean rolled his eyes and punched Sam in the arm. "You're just jealous cuz you don't have your own angel."

"An angel is even less likely to be with me, Dean, than you." Sam reached out to fix his brother's tie again, smoothing a hand over the silvery blue fabric. The wedding colors were blue and green, of course, Charlie's idea, but it seemed to fit Dean and Cas perfectly. They were holding the affair in a church Cas had found one day when he was hunting a demon. The demon had unceremoniously thrown Cas through the stained glass windows and the angel claimed that it was a sign from God that their wedding should be there. Dean had agreed with a laugh and a roll of the eyes.

Dean snapped Sam's hand away. "Now who's nervous?" he chuckled, taking one last glance in the tall mirror.

There was a knock at the door. Sam went to answer it, peering out. A tall blonde haired woman with striking purple eyes met his gaze. By her stature and the intensity in them, he could tell she was an angel. There was something familiar about her that he couldn't quite place, but he shrugged it off and smiled brightly at her. 

"Hey there."

"Hello. I'm Kalia." She extended her hand.

He shook it, and their gazes locked again. "I'm uh- is everything ready?"

She pulled her hand away and nodded. "Yes, it's time for your brother to come out now. I'll see you out there," she said, as she left.

Sam watched her go then mentally shook himself for acting like a teenage boy who just talked to the popular girl. "Okay, it's time, Dean. See you in a few!" He closed the door behind him on his way out.

For a few minutes, Dean just stood there, looking in the mirror at the 36 year old man that gazed back at him. Was this really happening? Was he really dressed in a monkey suit about to get hitched to Castiel, angel of the lord, awkward seraph and great giver of head? Okay, that last one was a little blasphemous being that they were in a church of god, but he smirked a little anyway. If he wasn't going to be smited down right here for what he was about to do, then maybe he was in the clear. Yes, this was really happening.

He took a deep breath then walked through the doors, and stood next to John and Mary, who looked almost as excited as he was. 

"Never seen you in a suit before, Dad," Dean said, hugging his mom tightly. 

John shrugged. "Last time I wore a suit was at me and your mom's wedding. Not quite as nice as this one, of course, but still awesome."

"I was the prettiest one there," Mary said, pressing a kiss to John's cheek.

John laughed, grabbing her hand tightly in his. "Yes, you definitely were. So, son, you ready to do this?" 

Dean felt his cheeks flush as he peeked inside the church where Cas was standing at the end of the aisle. He was there! He hadn't realized that he could do better yet! Score one for Dean. "He showed," Dean mumbled.

"Disappointed?" Mary said.

"No... relieved."

His parents grabbed his arms in theirs and pushed open the door as the music began to play. "No turning back now, Dean," John said with a wink. They ushered the hunter down the aisle, while all eyes turned to him. Tons of familiar faces met his nervous gaze. Charlie and Dorothy, Garth and Kevin, Bobby and Jody. Some hunters he had met along the way, a few friendly supernatural creatures Sam and he had deemed safe enough to let live. And then his eyes met the intense blue ones and the world seemed to stand still.

Dean had never been one for chick flick moments, but as he neared the man dressed in the black suit with green tie, he felt like bursting into tears right then and there. Such love and adoration was on the angel's face that his knees almost buckled and he would have fell down, had his parents not been holding him up. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, he had reached Cas, and the angel took his hands in his, after receiving hugs from John and Mary. They sat down and Dean and Cas walked up to the altar, and Dean did a double take as he saw who was officiating their wedding. 

Gabriel, archangel of sweets and trickery, waved and smiled at the couple from behind the pulpit, a smug look on his face. Dean burst into laughter at this and shook his head. 

"Damn trickster," he muttered. Cas squeezed his hand and smirked next to him.

"Dearly beloved," Gabriel began. "We are gathered here today... oh screw it. We all know why we are here. We came to see Dean and Cas stop dancing around and seal the deal already. So get on with the vows," he said, with a wave of his hand. 

Laughter and murmurs of agreement spread through their audience and nervously Dean reached into his jacket pocket to retrieve the vows he had stayed up until 6 am to write that day. The paper was wrinkled and phrases crossed out and rewritten, none of it seeming good enough to say to a man like Castiel. With a deep breath, he read:

"Castiel, I have known you for over 7 years now. It feels like I have known you forever. Ever since you walked into my life, it hasn't been the same. You became my best friend, my soul mate, the only one besides Sammy who ever understood me, and accepted me, for the screwed up man that I am. You have never asked for anything in return, only for my truth, something which took me nearly all that time to admit, even though everyone seemed to know it before I did. You always believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself, and I owe you for so much that i don't even know where to begin repaying you. But I do know, that I will always love you. I will always try to show you that you didn't fall for nothing, that I am worth what you think I am, because if an angel thinks I'm worth something, then maybe there's some truth to it. The day you saved me from Hell, you saved me from myself, too. I love you, Cas. You are my Heaven."

Actual tears had streamed down the angel's face at this point, and Dean reached across and lightly wiped them away. Cas gripped Dean's hands tightly and looked into his green eyes.

"Dean, I never knew what it meant to feel, until I felt love for you. The day I was tasked to save the Righteous Man from hell, was the day you saved me, too. Things may not have always been easy for us in the time we have been friends, but you always believed in me, just as I believed in you, and trusted in me when you should have cast me aside. You showed me humanity, and love, and forgiveness, and what it meant to have free will and do what I thought was right. I fell for you in every sense of the word, Dean Winchester. I would fall over and over again if it meant I could be with you. I know I may not always understand references, or know what to say, but I do know that I love you, and I will love you for as long as I am alive, and since I am eternal, that means forever. No one could ever replace you and what you mean to me. You aren't just a hero, you are my hero. Thank you for finally letting me love you."

There wasn't a dry eye in the house, even from Gabriel who was trying to subtly dry his eyes with the arm of his priest uniform. They slipped their matching rings on their fingers as everyone choked back more tears. Gabriel raised his arms up dramatically and grinned. "I now pronounce you hunter and angel. You may kiss your man!" he proclaimed.

Cas grabbed Dean tightly and pressed his lips to his. It felt like electricity went through both of them as they held each other tight, the love they shared translating through the kiss. After a few moments Gabriel coughed awkwardly and they pulled away, turning towards their guests.

"May I introduce, Dean and Castiel Winchester!" Gabriel yelled, and suddenly streamers and confetti rained down upon them. Castiel had decided to take Dean's name since he technically didn't have a last name of his own.

"Confetti, it's a parade!" Dean yelled excitedly, tossing some of the rainbow colored ribbon in the air enthusiastically.

Cas gave him a strange look then began to drag him down the aisle, the two of them waving and thanking everyone as they passed. It was chaos, taking them forever to reach the double doors and outside the church. Finally, Dean and Cas got into the black Impala with the JUST MARRIED banner across the trunk and drove away hand in hand.

As his brother left the church to go to the reception area they set up at the bunker, Sam felt a hand touch his and he looked up at the violet eyed angel from earlier. She somehow seemed even more beautiful in this light. Dammit Sam, get it together!

"Hello," she said. "I was just wondering if you wanted to come to the reception with me? I came here all by myself and-"

Sam smiled wide and stood up, placing her hand in the crook of his elbow. "Of course. I'm Sam Winchester, by the way."

She shyly tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I know who you are. I've... heard so much about you."

He paused midstep, worry filling him. "Oh? Well, yeah, I guess that makes sense, being you're an angel and all. You know about my past... addictions..."

"What I know, Sam Winchester, is that you are an amazing hero just like your brother, and you don't give yourself enough credit." She bit her lip. "Sorry, I probably sounded creepy just then."

Sam smiled at her. "No, it's the nicest thing anyones ever said to me. Thank you."

"Well, I would love to get to know you better, if it's okay that is."

He nodded, pushing open the double doors to the church and walking out into the bright sunshine. "I would like that very much, Kalia."