“We’re on a schedule here,” the first demon hissed, his voice angry and twisted. The second demon doesn’t respond but keeps drawing the seal on the floor. It won’t work because the blood has been changed out when they were gone. Sabrathan felt bad about the chicken, but he did take the rest home so it would be cooked. Sacrifices had to be made in order to hunt.
Father would not have hesitated.
Other father would have not either, but he would have acknowledged it.
Sabrathan believes his other father is the one he resonates with on this matter.
The demons complete their seal and Sabrathan waits for Sam to arrive. Father has been very careful in helping Sam learn his cursed blood powers. They are not very strong, Sabrathan is suspicious there is a way to make them stronger but his father has not told anyone.
In this Sabrathan agrees.
Curse blood should not be encouraged.
When Sam first started to show supernatural abilities father had wanted him to stay away. Sam was family though and other father refused to abandon his brother. So father had to compromise and helped stabilize Sam. Sabrathan can remember the fight his father and other father had the night it was decided. It had scared him, to think that other father would break away from father. Sabrathan very privately thinks that other father is a good influence on father, a good mate. He was glad when they agreed that Sam would stay with them until he could control his powers. Father was strong enough to keep Sam from harming himself or others.
Sabrathan had not been sure at first, Sam would visit sometimes but never lived with them. But Sam was kind and he talked with everyone and brought food. He also told stories and started ‘homeschooling’ the Nephilim. Sabrathan liked having explanations for things, he liked homeschooling and so he liked Sam.
Ophiel was afraid of Sam. Memory echoes would make him tremble, but other father kept him close and father would whisper soothing words. Together they eased the fear away. They were good parents to them. Sabrathan was glad to have them for his brothers and himself.
The driveway rippled with weight and Sabrathan turned to inspect the shadows. They were located deep in the basement, but the shadows outside answered him easily. The weight and sound of footsteps matched Sam and so Sabrathan prowled closer to the demons. He moved objects around the room through shadows, creaking old wood and making a picture frame explode. The demons swore, angry but also afraid. The presentation of it was very important, almost anything could be intimidated if done right.
Other father had taught Sabrathan that. Being silent was useful but being just a little noisy could make the greatest of evil weary.
When Sam arrived the demons tried to activate the seal. When it remained dead Sam reached out to hold them both still as Sabrathan rushed to chant them from their victims.
The humans fell to the floor unconscious as Sabrathan quickly clawed the runes needed to trap the demons into the dirt. Sam had a caged vial and once Sabrathan was carefully out of the way he caught the two demons inside it.
Once they were sealed Sam checked on the humans. Their breathing was even and their body warmth good, they would be fine, but Sam liked to double-check such things.
Other father said it was because Sam worried too much.
Father declared it a human trait, to assure one that they were not mistaken in something they already knew.
Sabrathan had not decided which father was right on this issue. But there were many more undecided issues over decided ones in his life so he did not worry about it. He watched Sam check on two humans and then followed him upstairs. Once Sabrathan had left before Sam had and a monster they had not been hunting attacked him. Sam killed it in the end but without Sabrathan to help, he had been injured.
Sabrathan had felt guilt then.
Father would not have left kin alone, other father certainly would not have left. So Sabrathan never left first anymore. He always lingered and made certain everyone was safe.
Being a hunter was to protect others.
Father said the name itself indicated that it was about chasing down evils, but other father said it was actually about protecting innocents from that evil.
Sabrathan liked other father’s idea.
Father said it was a fanciful notion and that Sabrathan would outgrow it one day but privately he hoped not. He liked the idea of not only being a great warrior but also being a great protector. Father had reacted strangely to that, but he had assured Sabrathan that he approved and thought perhaps a special part of other father had been gifted to Sabrathan in his birth. Sabrathan wasn’t entirely certain, but he thought his father meant this in a good way.
“Sabrathan?” Sam was very good at detecting Nephilim, but he did not have the supernatural power to know they were there at all times. Sabrathan parted from the shadow and stepped into Sam’s line of sight.
“Whoa, that’s new,” Sam’s voice held a pleased note and Sabrathan allowed himself to feel a measure of pride. Other father had told him it was very good, but other father had a tendency to think everything his children accomplished was a great stride. Usually, it was merely one of his brothers saying a word properly.
“Is this, like, a reflection thing?” Sam peered at him and so he turned in a circle, as his other father had demanded when he showed him for the first time.
“In a sense. This is myself. Touch reflection is taking a form of something, I have often done so with other father,” Sabrathan paused, many forgot other father’s designation. “Dean, I mean.”
“This is made up from my father’s forms combined.”
“The human one Castiel made up?”
Sabrathan thought that was obvious but nodded his head. His father had crafted himself a human form years back, a man with dark hair and blue eyes, pale skin that looked as if he truly was a human. He wore it for guests and often used it to allow outsiders to understand that other father was his mate. Usually by the human mating marker of hand holding or resting his palm on other father’s back. There was also rings worn constantly, a common claiming symbol.
Sabrathan had been inspired by his father and as the elder of his siblings he felt the need to improve on what the Nephilim could do. This would allow them to blend and move among humanity as one of them rather than a shadow that no one noticed. Being acknowledged, Sabrathan was learning, was important even on the simplest of aspects. He wanted people to make eye contact with him, to nod their head politely as they walked past him.
“It looks great, you look great. It’s kinda weird, but I can see Dean in you, like your clearly his kid,” Sam said, offering an unsure smile as if the notion would displease Sabrathan. It only gave him a sense of warmth.
“We are close to home, would you like to visit?”
“Yeah, that would be great,” Sam agreed and they made their way from the decrepit house.
“You can send word ahead so Dean knows were coming?”
Sabrathan nodded his head and got into Sam’s truck. It was easy to reach out to the part of him connected to his siblings and find Diniel who was physically closest to other father. He sends the message of their impending arrival and his brother passed it on.
“Slouch a little,” Sam suddenly said ten minutes into the drive and Sabrathan blinked at him. “You’re too stiff, don’t mimic Castiel, rather try to think of how Dean or I move. It’ll look less…noticeable.”
Sabrathan made note that Sam did not think his father moved as a human should. Other father had also made such observations so Sabrathan would have to entertain the notion that it was true.
Carefully he leaned into the backrest and tried to ease himself into a position similar to Sam.
“A little better,” Sam offered with a smile that suggested it really was not. Sabrathan mentally assigned himself to watch people move and learning to mimic them better.
“So, how is home? I haven’t been out there in a month since I was chasing those demons.”
Sabrathan paused to consider the question.
“It is loud and chaotic, the older Nephilim are learning about individuality and also teaching the younger ones their homeschooling.”
“That’s great! Dean said it was pointless but I think you guys should know things, be educated,” Sam’s voice took on a genuinely excited note and Sabrathan did not want to ruin that but the truth was important. He tried to think of a positive way to phrase his next statement.
“You should return and teach when you can. The Nephilim mean well but we are not fit to teach. Father tells us what he deems we need to learn and other father teaches us what we want to know. There is no one to teach in between. The books are not always right and more often than not the elder nephilim…deviate.”
“Gabriel,” Sam sighed and Sabrathan nodded his head.
“Father says he tells untruths too often, other father says he is creatively inclined.”
“Yeah, Dean has a hard time seeing flaws in his babies.”
“It is a signifier of affection.”
“Well yeah, anyone can see Dean loves you all.”
“Nephilim are not trained to know such signifiers. We learn them from other father and eventually come to the realization that we are adored.”
“Pretty much the same as human kids. You guys got a great set of parents, they both care a lot about you.”
Sabrathan considered the statement and found it wasn’t lacking. However, he did know that there were aspects of his parents mating that Sam was not privy too. The most key would be that his father had not had his consent when he first mated other father.
Sabrathan does not like to have to do things he does not want to do.
However, he feels there is something lacking in the comparison. Ophiel had said it was the worst thing in the world, to have someone force something on you. Even if had not been as painful as it was, being held down and forced to stay still had been horrifying Ophiel explained. Sabrathan wants to expand his knowledge, in all fields but in this he is unsure. Part of him wants to understand intellectually, but he is also uncomfortable with experiencing this sensation. Four years later and other father had not completely forgiven father for this trespass. Three and a half years later and
Ophiel is still plagued by an unspoken fear, tremors he cannot always control.
Sabrathan is still unsure of how he feels about the situation. Last year he had come to understand the concept of rape. The fact that his father had raped his other father had deeply upset him. Sabrathan started hunting with Sam then, leaving the house and no longer choosing to accompany his father. It seemed unfair that his other father was never given a true choice and although Sabrathan could not change that he could try to show his discontentment with the situation.
Sam would react more strongly, Sabrathan suspected. Other father had also expressed no interested in ever telling his human family about what he called their ‘rough’ beginning. Sabrathan wanted to respect his other father’s choices. Books on aftermath of physical assault suggested the behavior was bad, but Sabrathan was determined to allow his other father control of this aspect.
The thoughts turned in his head and when they arrived home Sabrathan greeted his other father warmly but found himself stiffer with his father. His parents shared a look at that but then other father ushered them in to eat.
“They’ve been talking about you,” Ophiel greeted, sliding up to Sabrathan while their fathers and uncle prepared the kitchen for a late dinner. They were out of earshot and unless he actively tried, father would not hear them. “Dad is worried you are ‘drifting’ from father. He believes this is bad and must be fixed.”
Sabrathan had never picked up the human name titles like some of his siblings, the term ‘dad’ sounded strange to him even years since it first began. Papa and daddy were other names used often that felt odd.
“I cannot change how I feel about this matter,” Sabrathan replied and felt Ophiel’s curiosity. Sabrathan was the eldest and he remembered the most of their births. Diniel was second born, but he was more naive and had never thought on the matter. Sabrathan remembered however, and he could recall his other father’s fear and struggle. Last year he had asked father outright and he had openly admitted that consent was not given.
Learning such a thing would deeply upset Ophiel. He looked to both of their parents for support and protection more than any of the Nephilim and Sabrathan did not want to take that away.
They were only four years of age, and while they had developed far quicker than a human, many aspects of them were still children. It was part of the reason why Sabrathan had tried to make his human form look like a teenager rather than a man.
“Come eat,” Dean called them and Sabrathan picked his brother up, Ophiel was wearing a smaller feral form and so Sabrathan’s human form could carry him to the dinner table. There were too many Nephilim to share a meal together but those who wanted to appeared. Not many of his siblings liked eating, only the eldest seemed interested. A year into their arrival, their father had started to discourage eating. They did not need to do so and their other father would give all his own food if they wanted. He did need food for sustenance and so their greed was unacceptable.
But other father had never accepted such a thought process. If any of them wanted food he would find them food. He learned to make larger meals and always insisted that someone eat with him, the Nephilim often were torn between following father’s decree and pleasing other father by eating. In the end they took turns, smaller groups ate with other father and the older siblings learned to flinch food from other sources when they wanted it. Other father tried to insist that stealing was morally wrong, but Sabrathan never understood it. Father said that taking what was needed was acceptable however it was important to not take from those who needed it more. Food spoiled quickly and humans produced over abundance, there was always something that was going to be thrown out if one knew where to look. Sabrathan took food that was not fit for humans or in the process of being destroyed. Other father frowned but when Sabrathan explained it, he grudgingly accepted the method.
Sabrathan watched his other father and uncle sit at the table, some of the older siblings taking vaguely human shapes and sitting while younger ones just sat on the table. Fork held in a humanoid paw because Sam insisted on table manners.
“Come sit?” Dean asked, his gaze turning on Sabrathan who stepped back and shook his head in negative. “No thank you,” he told his other father, careful not to look at father who remained in the kitchen as well. But few things ever slipped passed other father and a concerned look touched his eyes.
“Alright, but don’t go too far, I want to talk to you later,” Other father announced before turning his attention away from Sabrathan.
Slipping into the shadows, he went to the far field on the edge of the acreage. Night had fallen and the darkness was comforting for Sabrathan as he walked aimlessly.
Other father would want to talk, but Sabrathan was not ready for the conversation. He did not know how to explain to his other father that father had admitted freely to forcing himself on other father. That the concept upset Sabrathan and left him angry in a way he could not calm or temper.
“Sabrathan,” father called, voice quiet and grounding as the shadows formed his body. He walked without the human shape, an ever-moving shadow.
Sabrathan shifted uneasily but respectfully acknowledged his father with a nod. More than not wanting to talk to other father, Sabrathan wished dearly not to have to speak to his father.
“You are distressing Dean, to act this way.” It was not in their nature to be anything but straightforward, but Sabrathan wanted his other fathers gentle was of easing into words. Looking away from his father Sabrathan studied the fields.
“Does he know why I feel…dismayed with you?”
“He does,” his father replied and Sabrathan felt a measure of surprise. Turning he wearily watched the shadows of his father before asking. “What did he say?”
“He said to let me talk to you about it,” Other father interrupted, hands stuffed in his jean pockets as he walked towards them.
Little shadows jumped about, young Nephilim playing and unaware of the tension in the air.
“You just can’t listen?” Other father chastised father and with a hand gesture he sent the little ones piling on their father, shadows spilling on shadows. “Take them back to the house.”
Sabrathan watched with other father as father obeyed and rounded up the children, ushering them back towards the safety of the house.
“He means well, he just wants to fix everything and always figures he can do it the best,” other father explained, kicking at the ground before turning a look on Sabrathan.
“It’s not easy, to explain the idea of acceptance. It’s not easy to explain forgiveness either.”
“You carry upsetting memories of it, of the beginning,” Sabrathan argued, not understanding how forgiveness could be granted while the haunting remained.
Other father ran a hand through his short hair and gave a deep sigh, looking off over the field for a moment.
“The thing is, you can forgive someone and still carry the trauma of their actions. What Cas did was fucked up, no doubt, but there were factors to it. He wasn’t in control of himself. Not in a shitty excusing kinda way but he’d literally been living in agony for centuries. Did he mentioned that part?”
Sabrathan shook his head, confused why that information had been vetoed when he’s spoken to father on the matter.
“He didn’t try to explain it away, to convince you he wasn’t the bad guy?” Other father pressed, fixing Sabrathan with a look. Once more he shook his head in negative. Father had explained the facts and little more. Sabrathan had not lingered to ask additional questions.
“I’m not absolving him or saying it was ok. But it was a complicated mess. Cas was made to coexist with others like him and he’d been alone for far too long, half mad with it. Magic always fucks things up. Each kid we have helps him, he gain a bit more of himself, of peace I think. It’s still a fucked up way to start though. Real life is like that. But I got you out of it right? You and your brothers?”
“A byproduct does not dismiss the means,” Sabrathan replied, frowning at the dirt as his human body wavered, shadows beginning to replace as he lost his focus. Emotions always undid his focus. “I remember you in pain, I remember wanting to help you and father just watching, not moving, not helping,” he tried to explain, frustration bleeding into his voice. Other father’s hand reached out to rest on his shoulder and Sabrathan let the human form go, shifting into his true form and pressing close to his other father.
“Whoa,” other father stumbled and Sabrathan helped him find his balance. Years old now, he was full-grown and stood a touch taller than his human father. Sabrathan had always favored a feral form and so he was something akin to a large feline.
“I hate that you had to hurt for us, that father made you hurt without asking,” he confessed quietly and pushed his face into his other father’s neck.
“I got you out of it, so in the end it was worth it for me. A few moments of pain and an echo of a dark memory are nothing compared to how much I love you, kid.” Dean reached up and hugged Sabrathan tightly, letting him curl up.
“What’s between me and Cas is a mess, always has been, might always be, even. But there’s a lot more there than just bad stuff. I care about him, a lot. I’m pretty much set to spend out my life with him. A rocky beginning won’t keep that from me. More so when I know he’s changed.”
“Come on kid, do you honestly think your dad would force himself on me today?”
Sabrathan frowned, his father was absolute in all he did but when he did defer or hesitate it was usually because something other father had said or done. They worked together and both conceded to one another.
“But you are just a human,” Sabrathan frowned.
“Hey! I’m not just anything buddy.” Other father poked him. “I’m a hunter and I’ve been killing monsters since long before you showed up. If I wanted to get rid of your dad I could find a way. Might have a few up my sleeve for when he annoys me. But the thing is, I don’t have to rely on anything but telling him to get lost. When I ask he goes. That’s the main thing.”
“Trust, mostly. But maybe a little bit of obedience,” Other father grinned and seemed to find his words amusing so Sabrathan assumed it was humor.
“Anyway. My point is what’s between me and Cas is our thing. What’s between you and him is your thing. I’m happy and right where I wanna be so you don’t need to worry about that. I’m not trying to tell you how to feel or act… just know that life, real life is never perfect. It’s cluttered and difficult and full of exceptions and forgiving people for their mistakes and working through the unforgivable ones.”
Other father gave Sabrathan a pat and one arms hug. “We love you though, and that’s a pretty huge thing, love. So whatever you need to go through just know that.”
Sabrathan nodded and tried not to grumble when his father scratched his ear teasingly.
“All right. Family moment over. Let's go see if they found the ice-cream I hid at the bottom of the freezer,” other father decided, walking back towards the house.
Sabrathan watched him for a moment before following.
The matter was not settled for him yet but he was more certain now, that with time he would deal with this new aspect of his family. Sabrathan would struggle but also be comforted by his family’s support.
It would be enough.