Chapter 1: Intro
Opening the door to their latest Motel room, Dean Winchester felt his eyes go wide at the sight of Castiel calmly sitting on the hood of the Impala. He had gotten used to the Angels sudden appearances, but he hadn't been expecting to see him sitting on his baby.
"Hey uh Cas. What are you doing here?"
Castiel looked up, his piercing blue eyes focusing first on Sam then Dean. "My superiors feel that you are not trusting us enough and are being far too disrespectful to our kind. They wish for me to rectify that problem."
"Not trusting you lot," Dean said, voice dripping sarcasm. "Where did you get that idea?" He ignored Sam's warning, "Dean!" pushing his brothers arm away and got up close to the angel. "You lot have just been using us from the start. Both of us!" He exclaimed, gesturing at Sam who was looking apologetically towards Castiel. "Why on earth should we trust you?"
Castiel's face hardened almost imperceptibly and he moved in a blink in between the two brothers.
"Dean. That's enough. You need to stop. Think of all that Castiel's done for you." Castiel nodded amicably to Sam, silently thanking him for his help.
"I saved you Dean," Castiel said quietly. "That should be enough."
Deans anger faded slightly and he looked sheepishly to the ground. Slowly he looked up and said in a more even tone. "So how is heaven going to 'rectify' this problem?" Making quotation marks with his fingers, Dean looked sceptically at Castiel.
Castiel looked between the two brothers, and noticed their sceptical expressions before letting a little smile loose saying, "You'll see," before he raised both hands, touching each boys temples and the world went black for the two Winchesters.
Opening his eyes Dean scrambled out of the strange bed, throwing back the covers and swinging himself to the floor. The forest outside the window was one he had never seen before, the sun just above the horizon.The trees looked ancient, and something out of a fairy tale, nothing he had ever seen before during his exploration of America. Assessing the room around him, he felt his annoyance grow.
"What the hell was that for Castiel?!" He shouted when he spotted the angel sitting calmly in a recliner, something held securely in his arms.
"Do not use such foul language around me, Dean Winchester." The angel spoke softly but with a firmness in his voice. Dean went to put his hands on his hips when he noticed just how much closer he was to the ground than usual. He felt cold in his stomach as he raised his trembling hands, shocked to see how small they were. Dean looked up at Castiel and finally noticed just how much bigger the angel was.
Castiels eyes locked on to his and he knew without a doubt that this was part of heavens plan. Fear welled up in him when he realized he couldn't see his brother anywhere. "Castiel. Where is Sam?" He tried unsuccessfully to deepen his squeaky voice. "Castiel. Where. Is. My. Brother?!?" He was shouting at the end and saw the blanket covered thing move. Castiel looked down and rocked it slightly before looking back up at Dean, a fatherly sternness in his eyes.
"That's enough Dean. Sam is right here." He pulled Dean up onto his lap, despite Deans struggles and let him peer into the blanket. Dean felt his eyes widen as the took in his baby brother; his baby brother who was actually his baby brother. Sam looked about two, his curly brown locks plastered to his head as he fisted his hands into Castiel's trench coat. As Dean watched, Sam's head came to rest on the angels chest and he snuggled closer.
Looking back up at Cas, Dean was surprised to see a small benevolent smile gracing the usually impassive face as he looked at the baby.
"Sorry for yelling Cas," Dean whispered, and Cas nodded; letting him slide to to the ground and walk out the room. Finding the bathroom in this strange house, Dean managed to stretch up and look into the mirror, gasping at his appearance. Gone were his devilish good looks, replaced by chubby cheeks, blond hair and innocent eyes. Hurrying back back into what he supposed was the bedroom, he raced up to Castiel and stuttered out, "How...How..."
"How old are you?" Castiel guessed. "Just turned six Dean and Sam here is barely two." He raised the hand not cradling Sam up to halt his protests. "And before you ask I will explain once your brother has woken up and settled."
Dean nodded glumly, accepting Castiel's decision and headed towards his bed before noticing the shelves. Each shelf was full of different things, from books, to music, to toys, dvds and videos. Every shelf was neatly ordered alphabetically, not a thing out of place.
"Cas?" Dean asked warily.
"Where exactly are we?"
Cas walked over, sidestepping the small crib and playpen as he reached Dean. "We are in a safe house created for this purpose. Until my superiors deem so we, meaning you, Sam and I will be living here." Dean nodded, accepting this in a slight daze before noticing a small electronic toy sitting inconspicuously on the shelf.
"Is that a DS? Way cool!" He jumped onto the bed, his bed his mind supplied and proceeded to start playing. Even adults could have fun with a DS, he thought happily.
Castiel smiled softly before resuming his seat and staring down at the tiny life he held in his hands. A life he knew, that was tinged with sadness and tainted with darkness, not of his own volition. "Maybe you can get a new start on life, Samuel," he whispered. He brushed the bangs from the small forehead, and sent a small amount of peace to the adult mind her knew was locked in there.
"Never forget that God loves you," he paused and breathed the last word. "Sammy." He continued to keep watch over the two Winchesters, alternating between looking at Sam and Dean; feeling kind of like the guardian angels Dean used to compare him to. Feeling a stirring motion in the blanket, he looked down into Sam's hazy eyes, which he was rubbing with a fist.
Chapter 2: Day One
Sam felt warm, comforted and strangely safe. It was an experience he had not felt for many years. Slowly opening his drowsy eyes and rubbing them, having to fight the urge to go back to sleep. Staring upwards he looked straight into Castiel's bright blue eyes, seeing a strange warmth in them that he couldn't place.
"Hello Sam." The angel said softly.
Leaning forwards to sit up, Sam discovered three things, one: he was wrapped in a blanket and not wearing anything else, two: he needed Castiel's strangely large hand on his back to help him up and three, everything looked a lot bigger than he was used to seeing it.
He raised his hands, which were tightly gripping Castiels coat as he whispered, "Wa's go'n on Cas? Way a do?" He found, to his horror that he couldn't articulate past that and when he noticed just how small his hands were, he started breathing faster, panicking.
Immediately he felt himself scooped up, his head being nestled in the crook of Castiel's neck as he soothingly rubbed his back in small circles while murmuring, "Shh. It's all right, little one. Just calm down, everything is fine. Shh." In some corner of his mind Sam reflected that this was not Castiels usual behaviour, but he was so focused on Castiels actions he ignored it.
Finally beginning to calm down, he tried to pull back from the angel but was prevented by Castiels firm, but gentle arm holding him in place.
"Whe's De?" Sam whimpered, hoping to hear his brothers deep soothing voice. Dean would be able to explain what was going on. In response he heard a scampering sound before a childish voice that he knew anywhere answered,
"Right here Sammy." Castiel turned him around and he was confronted with the image of his older brother in his six year old form. Which meant, if Cas had gotten their ages right that he would be about…
"You're two Samuel." Sam felt his breathing speed up as it sunk in, but again he felt Cas' strong hand on his back while Dean was stroking his head worriedly. "Samuel, just relax."
"S'okay Sammy. We're fine." Dean spoke softly, leaning in close and putting their foreheads together like he used to do when they were little. Sam focused on his brothers face and slowly nodded, smiling as Deans face lit up. "Atta boy Sammy!" Dean smirked towards him, "I guess I really can call you my baby brother now."
"De!" Sam went to hit Dean only to have his flailing hand caught.
"Must I remind you both on whose lap you are sitting on?" Castiel asked dryly. The brothers blushed as one and looked down before they heard a slight chuckle. Quickly looking at Castiel in disbelief, they saw he had a smile on his face. "If I had known it would be this easy to get you two to behave, I would have done this a long time ago." Sam and Dean both glared at him before Dean spoke up, authority in his voice.
"Why have you done this Cas? And no cryptic angel answers." Before either Winchester could blink they were lying on the large double bed on the opposite side of the room, next to the crib and Dean's bed.
"As I said to you before at the Impala; my superiors are not happy with the little amount of trust you are putting towards us and our orders. They had a few solutions to rectify this and this one was the least upsetting, believe me." The angel focused on each brother's eyes.
"It is a well known fact that you, Dean respected and valued your father above everything but Sam and that you, Sam; despite your arguments still respected, trusted and loved him. It was decided that I was to take you back to a time when you had no choice but to trust others. A time and age when you couldn't look after yourselves you would have to trust others. And more specifically," he looked into both boys eyes deeply, noting the defiance each held at that last comment on their helplessness. "For you to be able to trust me. Me and my decisions."
It was quiet for a minute while all three thought and Sam found himself cuddling into Castiel's side almost subconsciously, Castiel's arm wrapping soothingly around his body.
"So you mean to say," Dean stopped, still trying out the idea.
"You mean to say that heaven wants you to be a replacement father to us?!"
Castiel sighed at Dean's tone. "In a manner of speaking, yes. And before you throw a tantrum Dean, this wouldn't have had to happen if you two hadn't questioned every single order we gave. But then again it might have happened for other reasons." Castiel stared at Sam, contemplating.
"Whoa! Hold it right there Cas! I seem to recall that both Sam and I are fully grown adults." At Castiel's raised eyebrow he sheepishly said, "On the inside. So this isn't going to work and you have no right to do this in the first place!"
"You forget who you are talking to, Dean." Castiel said, voice going colder, but he started rubbing Sam's back when he shivered in fear. "If you haven't noticed you both may have your adult minds but both of you are reacting to things like children." He nodded down towards Sam and Dean lowered his eyes, understanding what Cas meant.
"Cas?" Sam asked quietly; embarrassed about his need to say this. "You m'd?"
Castiel smiled gently, tapping Sam's nose and hugging him. "No little one. I'm not mad, and certainly not at you."
"I no l'ke thss." Sam whispered unhappily. "No fair."
"I know that it may seem unfair at the moment Sam, but this is just going to be one of the things that you are going to have to trust me with. It's for the best."
Sam considered Castiels words then nodded to the wise being. The three just lay on the bed thinking for a while before Dean's stomach made itself known.
"Are you two hungry?" Castiel asked as he sat up. Sam shook his head, "No," while Dean stormed off, muttering that 'he could do it himself.'
"Samuel," the angel warned. "I don't appreciate you lying to me. That has to stop. So why don't you tell me the truth."
Sam frowned at the angels words. He had become used to going without food for long periods. He just couldn't be bothered eating when Dean was gone and even though he was back Sam couldn't bring himself to eat much. It appeared Castiel was intent on breaking him of that habit.
"Sometime in the next year, Sam." Again Sam reflected somewhat distantly that Castiel was acting differently from what he was used to.
"I a lil hungy but no m'ch." He hoped that if he ate a little it would be enough to satisfy the angel. Castiel picked him up to carry him to the kitchen but he pushed him away. "Cas, I c'n walk." The angel lowered him to the ground at this and stood watching him with his arms by his sides as Sam tottered forwards on his legs; but just when he fell and was about to hit his head Castiel lifted him back up into his arms.
Sam felt helpless and angry at himself. Walking shouldn't have been a problem, he should have been able to do that for himself, at the very least. It must have been the after effects of being turned into a child.
"M'st be woozy."
"Yes Sam," Castiel said patiently, carrying him into the kitchen where he sat him in a high-chair, ignoring Sam's protests and watching as Dean struggled to open a can of spaghetti with his little fingers. "Need any help Dean?" he enquired, already knowing the answer.
"No. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I'm not helpless," Dean spat out the words angrily at the angel and continued with his struggle.
Castiel watched him struggle for several minutes before talking out a smaller can and making a bowel of spaghetti for Sam. "If you need help Dean, just ask." He left the offer hanging as he set the bowel in front of Sam with a spoon, continuing to watch Dean's struggles.
A quite cough prompted him to look at Sam. Most of the little table he was seated at was covered in spaghetti as well as a lot of Sam's face. "C'n you h'lp me. Fing's won't work." Sam spoke quietly glaring at the offending digits and looking down ashamedly but a gentle finger under his chin raised him until he was looking into Castiel's kind eyes.
"You have nothing to be ashamed of, especially not asking for help Sam." Efficiently he picked up the spoon and fed Sam, making sure that Sam ate every bite while not embarrassing the proud Winchester. He scraped the bowel clean before putting it in the sink.
"No problem, little one," Castiel said, quickly cleaning the bowel and putting it away.
"Hey Cas." Deans voice call out form behind him.
"Could you possible help me open the can?" Castiel, nodded, accepting the small victory and helped Dean until he could manage by himself. Turning back to the table, Castiel surveyed the mess that was Sam Winchester.
"You, Sam need a bath." At those words Sam's head shot up and he frantically denied it, trying desperately to get out of the high chair. Castiel sighed heavily. "Sam. Stop it. You are going to have a bath and that's final. I'm just going to get you clean." At those words Sam struggled even worse.
"No way Iz an'one goin to b'th me! I's a adult!"
"Samuel. This is ridiculous. I'm just going to help."
"No ned!" Sam shouted, squirming harder, eyes pleading with Dean to help him. Dean felt like a monster when he spoke.
"Sorry Sammy. Cas is right. You need a bath and Cas needs to help you. You're just too little right now. What if you got hurt? I'd never forgive myself."
As his only help turned against him, Sam sagged in defeat and sullenly let himself be picked up by Castiel who carried him to the bathroom. Castiel set the waters temperature and unwrapped Sam from the blanket. Sam blushed muttering, "So degr'dn."
Castiel laughed and lifted him up; tapping Sam's bare behind in reprimand. "Sam, I was there at your creation. Trust me; there is nothing you have that I haven't seen." He carefully washed Sam, keeping the soap and shampoo out of his eyes. All the warm water was making Sam sleepy and he kept on rubbing his eyes with his fists, which the angel had to continuously pull away from his eyes so he wouldn't get soap in them.
He pulled him out of the bath gently dried the sleepy baby. Walking out into the bedroom, he headed over to the large bed, picking out a set of pj's for Sam.
"I'm taking a shower," Dean announced but was stopped at Castiels,
"Bath Dean. You're too little." Dean huffed and stomped off to take a bath.
Meanwhile, Sam didn't even complain when Castiel put a diaper on him, quietly explaining to him that his body didn't have the control of an adult. Sam merely yawned and snuggled closer to the comforting warmth of the angel as Castiel hopped into the bed, Sam curled up on his chest.
"Sweet dreams, Sam." He murmured as the boy fell into a peaceful slumber. Castiel waited until Dean returned from his bath and got changed and into bed before turning off the light.
"Cas?" Dean whispered, mindful of his brother.
"Yes Dean?" He replied softly.
"Are you going to sleep? I thought angels didn't sleep."
Castiel patiently explained to the curious Winchester. "My host needs to sleep, Dean. And angels can sleep, most just choose not to."
"Oh," Dean said. "Okay. Good night."
"Good night Dean." Castiel gently ran a hand through Sam's fine baby hair and allowed himself to slip into his memories; an angels version of dreaming.
Castiel leaned forward, carefully peering into the seemingly empty room. The beds were empty, as was the cot; no one was playing on the floor. Tilting his head to the side he moved slowly towards the bookcase, seemingly attempting to search for anyone behind it. At this, a quickly stifled giggle filled the room, before the sounds of someone slapping a hand against their mouth.
With his back turned to the rest of the room facing the bookcase, Castiel let out a small smile. He knew this game.
He sighed, very heavily and as though he had been defeated moved towards the large bed closest to the window. Slumping down heavily he forced another sigh through his vessels mouth. But while he may be the textbook picture of a despondent, unlucky angel, his senses were on high alert.
Another giggle escaped the mischievous two and Castiel sighed "Oh Father, where are they?"
Just as a third giggle was quickly stifled, he moved. In one smooth motion, he swooped under the bed, grabbed Dean and Sam and hoisted the two youngsters in the air. Squealing excitedly, Dean and Sam warmed the room with their peals of laughter, warming Castiel's heart. Dropping them down onto the bed with a plot, Castiel let a small smile grace his lips.
"Cas?" Dean asked quietly, after he calmed down from his laughing fit.
"Yes Dean," Castiel answered patiently, reaching over and plopping Sam into his lap.
"I thought you were all roboty and angel like, why are you suddenly able to do fun stuff?" The boy subconsciously played with his shirt, afraid of upsetting the angel. To his eternal surprise, instead he saw a rare gentle smile on the typically expressionless face.
"Do not fret Dean, I am not mad. It is natural for one your age to be curious. I admit that many of your human mannerisms confound me, no matter how many centuries I spent observing your kind. However," here a fond look entered his eyes, and the brothers could not help but be entranced by this previously unseen aspect of Castiel's personality.
"When I was a fledgling, and indeed with all younglings, it was not uncommon for one to play a game of hide and seek with ones caretakers. Even if said caretaker did not know they were playing." Momentarily pulled back into his memories, Castiel missed the shared look the two brothers shared; acknowledging to each other that hiding from Castiel without informing him was not the best idea even if it had positive consequences. This time.
"Cas?" Sam asked, snuggling back into the angel. "We eats nows?"
"Yes Samuel. We shall eat momentarily." Lifting the small boy into his arms, he adjusted him easily until comfortable, letting Sam rest with his head against his chest, listening to his heart. Producing a small brown and white patched stuffed dog, he presented the gift to the little boy, and while Sam was entranced with his new toy, bent down to address Dean who was sitting calmly on the edge of the bed swinging his legs slightly.
"Dean. I assume that I can entrust the safety of your brother with you?" At Dean's serious nod he continued. "Very well. I need to prepare our lunch meal, and am unfamiliar with the process and as such it will take more of my concentration. If you could look after your brother I would be grateful."
Dean grinned. Taking care of Sammy was something he had been doing as long as he could remember; it was easier than breathing to him. And if it meant that he got a little alone time with his brother, who was he to complain. "Sure Cas! Don't worry. I won't let anything happen to Sammy."
Rubbing a hand gently up and down the small warm back, Castiel nodded. "Thank you Dean."
Taking Deans hand, ignoring the scandalized look the boy gave him, he led the two out of the bedroom and to the previously unexplored room directly across from the kitchen. The pale yellow room had a large window, with a heavily cushioned window seat, several bookshelves piled high with books, chest brimming with toys and right in the corner, sitting as unobtrusively as possible, was a playpen.
Dean tensed and looked towards his baby brother. Sam sure was not going to like this. "Cas..." he began, unsure of how to explain the situation to the usually oblivious angel. But Castiel was already ahead of him. Briefly checking to see that Sam was still entranced with the stuff dog in his arms he lowered his voice.
"I know Dean. Sam was dreaming of his childhood last night, and I am sure that he is currently finding this situation harder to cope with that you are at the moment but it is a necessary evil."
"Your funeral Cas." Dean shrugged. If Castiel thought it was necessary, he wasn't exactly in the position to argue with him, but he knew that Sam was going to chuck a fit over the situation. He hated being out of control, and a playpen was not going to improve his mood.
Sam was jolted out of his musing by Castiel putting him down on the ground; Jess had made a dog just like this one while they were in college and it brought back a lot of happy memories, surprisingly for once thinking of her didn't make him upset. Maybe he was finally finding peace with her untimely demise and his hand in it.
Looking up in confusion, his surveyed the new room that they were in, he hadn't been in this area of the house before and it looked like a room he could grow to love easily, what with all the books on the shelves. But then he was brought out of his happy planning when his mind registered the bars around him. Cas wouldn't!
Dean clambered clumsily into the playpen as soon as he saw the disgruntled expression on Sam's face. Hurricane Sam looked like it was about to explode.
"Hiya Sammy!" He chirped as brightly as possible, and the full effect of Sam's puppy dog eyes hit him, almost more potent now that his face was framed by the baby fat. "Wanna do something while Cas cooks dinner?"
Despite his forced cheerfulness, Sam did not look happy, nor look like he was going to change his opinion on the situation anytime soon, so Dean decided to pull out the big guns. Standing up, he peered into the corner before looking into Castiel's eyes pleadingly.
"Hey Cas, do you think you could bring that gold leaf covered book in the corner over here?"
Castiel looked curious at this request but obliged, curiosity tainting his being. Dean accepted it with a muttered thanks and settled himself into a beanbag that was inside the playpen proceeded to open the book. Sam's eye watched his brother curiously. But Dean continued to ignore him, reading the book, until Sam crawled over and into his lap.
"Yes Sammy?" Dean asked calmly, no hint that he knew this was going to happen in his voice.
"Weed to me?" Sam's eyes were pleading and Dean smiled, settling more comfortably into the beanbag and returned the book to the opening page.
"Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carrol." And Dean started reading the well known book to his little brother, making a little shooing motion with his hand to Castiel to get out of there.
Castiel backed quietly out of the room and shut the door softly before heading back into the kitchen. Once he got there he took a moment to sit on the table, shoulders slumped. When he got his orders he didn't think it would be this tiring to look after the Winchester brothers. With a sigh he shook his head and straightened up, he had things to do. Getting out the ingredients for both dinner and dessert he sat there stumped.
How on earth was he going to be able to make an apple pie?
Dean smiled as he looked at his sleeping brother, wrapped securely in his arms. Sam had fallen asleep about forty-five minutes into the books, his small body naturally curling into his older brother.
When he had seen his brothers extremely put out face he knew that the only way to get him to calm down was the one things that still had an unfailing track record. Ever since Dean had learnt to read, even if it was just the little beginner books back when he was four and five he had always taken great pleasure reading them aloud to Sam. And Sam in turn had become enraptured with the sound of Dean's voice. Whenever he was upset, or put out that Dad once again had failed to return on time for the soccer match he had promised to be there for, Dean had sat him down and proceeded to pick up a book and just read. They would read for hours on end, until the sound of Dean's soothing voice, rising and falling with the pace of the words took him away from his upsets and into a better world. As he grew older the contents of the books began to change, but a favourite still was Alice in Wonderland. It was the first challenging book that Dean had read to him and he read it with such passion that it was still Sam's favourite book.
It was Dean who taught Sammy to read and he knew, for Sam had told him when he asked him to proofread an essay for him during high-school that it was because of their tradition that Sam had developed such a love of reading.
With Sam's curly head resting on his shoulder, his small body wrapped securely in his arms Dean drifted off, safe with the knowledge that Castiel would go to the ends of the earth to protect them.
It was to this scene that Castiel returned to, after his adventurous time in the kitchen. Leaning on the doorway a small smile graced his face. This little family that the world itself seemed determined to destroy had managed to survive against all odds and it was because of that, their strength and determination that Castiel had fought so hard to protect his precious charges. Originally the host had decided a much rougher way of teaching to pair obedience, but Castiel had argued and put his on position and life at stake in order to ensure the safety of the troublesome Winchesters. They had, despite his initial behaviour welcomed him into their fold and tried their best to make sure he was happy, and in the process he had learnt how precious and special each individual life was on earth. For that he owed them everything, and was willing to do anything to ensure that they continued to have at least a small amount of happiness in their life. By becoming their father figure, he hoped to inject a little more laughter, love and happiness into their lives.
Deciding to let them sleep a little while longer before dinner, he turned off the light and the room was enveloped in darkness, the peaceful brothers safe against the monsters of the night.
I've currently got a bit of writers block with this story. I haven't given up, I just want you to know the next chapter might be a bit slower in coming.