He was in Heaven, reading a book under twilight skies.
Then a handful of his older brothers snuck up on him, tousled with him, took his book away.
When he fought back, they decided to play a trick on him. One of them took him one hundred and twenty six years into the future, where another brother – part of the same group that snatched his book, but now slightly older – was waiting. He then took them two hundred and seventy-three years into the future, only for the cycle to keep going.
The little angel was getting scared; he wanted to break free but his brothers would not let him go. Soon, he was screaming, but whoever was holding him now merely laughed and said it was just a bit of fun.
His powers were waning from being stretched too far from his original timeline. He did not know when he was anymore; he wondered if it was even remotely possible for him to return.
All of a sudden, he felt himself dipping closer and closer to Earth, caused by his brothers' eventual fatigue.
Suddenly, his older brother's grip slacked and the fledgling helplessly fell to Earth.
And nobody bothered to catch him.
October, 1988 A.D. (11:17 P.M.)
Dean was dutifully going around their tiny motel room, making sure that every entrance and even the smallest crack in the wall was blocked by a thick line of salt. Sam had long since fallen asleep in the bedroom, and since their dad said that he would be gone on a week-long hunt, that left Dean the responsible one, again.
Nonetheless, he did not mind; he liked getting to do stuff, and it was just a quick round. When he reached the windows, he noticed that the rain was hitting the glass hard. He shuddered at the thought of some poor sap being out there in the middle of the night.
Dean nearly rammed his gut into a table upon hearing a distant voice. He peered out the window and after squinting for a while, he managed to pinpoint a small shape in the distance, just barely within motel grounds. It sounded like a little kid, all worked up and he did not seem to be moving and –
No. No, Dean was not going out there where it was almost pitch-dark, freezing-cold and unbelievably wet.
"Please don't leave me here! Brother!" And great, the kid was crying now. Dean sighed; leave it to him to have a soft-spot for kids who needed their brother.
He glanced over his shoulder to make sure that Sam was still asleep before he grabbed a flashlight (and a can of salt and a silver knife just in case) and ventured out.
Dean nearly regretted stepping out in the first place – it was freaking cold outside! But he was here already, so he might as well get on with it. If it was possible, it was even harder to hear anything out here than inside; the rainfall kept mixing with the water gushing out of the large fountain at the front of the motel's entrance. When he passed by the fountain, he shone his flashlight at it and saw that the water had already gone up to about three feet and was seriously overflowing.
Now where was that kid?
"Brother! Anyone, please! I want to go home!"
Dean jogged the last few steps until he was close to the kid's huddled form and shone the flashlight on him.
"Hey, kid! Would you keep it down? People are trying to sleep!" he shouted over the rain. And by 'people,' he meant Sam; the rest of the tenants could stay up until sunrise for all he cared.
The kid quickly whipped around and, in turn, stumbled a little into the mud. His dark hair was a total mess, and if his eyes were not so bloodshot they would have been bright blue. He looked like some of the kids Dean saw (and mocked) who attended Sunday school, although his white shirt was dirty and really torn and his tie seemed hardly able to hold on anymore.
"Y-You can see me?" the kid asked, panicky.
"Duh. Who else is out here to talk to?" retorted Dean.
The kid blinked, then looked around them as if to confirm it. Somehow, his gaze landed on his shirt and his eyes widened as he carefully touched it.
"I'm in a… This isn't right. I'm not allowed to obtain one yet…" The kid's fear upped a few notches for some reason and he was bordering hyperventilation. What was he not allowed? To wear the standard Bible uniform? Whatever was going on, Dean was seriously beginning to get suspicious.
"Alright, kid; just take it easy and we'll – " Lightning-quick, he drew out his knife and dealt a slice on the kid's right hand and threw a handful of salt at his face.
The kid screamed and retreated a few feet, though if it were any monster the result would have been way more chaotic than that; the kid just freaked out like… any normal kid would do when someone sliced them.
"Why are you hurting me?" he half-sobbed, half-screamed. He was really scared now and Dean decided to tuck his hunter-instincts away for a while.
"It's okay, I don't have the knife anymore. Let me help you out." he placated, approaching the kid with his hands held up to show that he was unarmed, aside from the flashlight.
The kid shook his head and struggled to get to his feet. Soon, he stumbled over to the fountain, and when he noticed that Dean was still on his tail, the kid clambered over the edge of the fountain.
"Stay away!" he fearfully yelled.
Dean climbed onto the fountain as well, and all the kid could do was squirm frantically backward.
"Hold still! You're gonna fall in the – !" Dean began, but right on cue, the kid slipped and fell into the fountain.
Holding back a curse, Dean dived in after him.
He was lucky he had a flashlight with him; otherwise, this would be really difficult. After a few seconds, he found the kid thrashing about at the bottom of the fountain, seemingly unable to rise up to the surface. Upon closer inspection, Dean discovered that the kid's collar and tie got caught in one of the cracks on the tiles.
The kid was screaming, which was not good because he was depleting his oxygen supply, and the fact that he was thrashing was not helping either. Dean went up to the surface to grab a good lungful of air for the long work he knew he had to do then went back under.
He understood that the kid was beyond scared right now – he could not blame him – but, damn it, he had to stop all that moving and screaming or he would end up hurting himself.
The kid screamed out something, which was almost certainly the word "Help!" except that it came out in bubbles and water-gibber. Frustrated for both of their sakes, Dean clamped a hand down on the kid's mouth just to stop him from swallowing more water. The kid's eyes widened in terror before scrunching them tightly closed and wriggling as much as he could away from him in an effort to shut him out.
Dean set himself to work, regardless. He tugged at the kid's collar and tie but he soon found out that all that thrashing a while back had jiggled a neighboring tile to close in on the crack and made it narrower and tighter than ever. That meant he had to use his knife, which was risky since the kid was desperately moving around again.
After a quick trip to the surface, Dean tried pinning the kid down so he would not fidget so much. However, the kid must have thought it was another attack and actually doubled his efforts. Dean believed that this was as good as it would go and proceeded to carefully cut the tie first.
The tie was severed after a couple of seconds, but the really hard one was the collar; he needed to cut it very meticulously unless he wanted to accidentally stab the kid's neck. Dean went to the surface again to get some air then hastily returned to the kid…
…who wad totally not moving at all.
He shined the flashlight at the kid's face just in time to see his eyes roll back into his skull and his head lifelessly tip back. Crap, not good, not good.
Dean lunged for the collar and got the kid freed in an instant now that there was not any conflict. Although now, he actually preferred some because at least then he knew that the kid was alive. Dean grabbed the kid under his arms and hoisted them to the surface.
"I gotcha, I gotcha. S'okay now." he said, panting. He adjusted his grip when he noted that his burden was limply slipping back into the water. Dean gave the kid a little shake, though he remained completely unresponsive. He held his hand in front of the kid's nose and mouth and learned that he was not breathing.
That was all it took to get Dean rushing out of the fountain and onto solid ground like a missile. While Dean landed on the mud with a little grace, the boy he just rescued landed with a heavy, sickening splat on the mud. He immediately went over to him and turned him over to his back; he set the flashlight on the ground at an angle before mercilessly pressing his fists on the kid's chest. It sickened Dean, especially now that the kid appeared more fragile and vulnerable than ever, but he knew he had to do it.
And now that he could have a better look at him, it dawned that the kid looked around Sam's age, maybe just slightly older… and Dean was practically punching the living crap out of him.
"Come on; breathe. Breathe! Don't make me go mouth-to-mouth on you." Dean huffed, although if he had to, he will. It was his fault that the kid went to the fountain in the first place; there was no way he was letting him die.
Press down. Press down. Press down. Interval, wait a bit. Press down. Press down. Press down. Interval, wait a bit.
After five minutes – or five hours, he did not know anymore – the kid let out a frail sputter, something that would have gone unnoticed if Dean was not paying close attention. He got out of the way in time before a full-blown coughing fit assaulted the poor kid. His entire body shook alarmingly as he expelled water out of his system; it was a painful sight to see but Dean could not help but sigh a relieved "Finally."
Dean looked to his right where his motel room was waiting, which was like a beacon in the darkness since it was the only one with the lights still on. He was both thankful and disgusted that he was the only one still awake at this hour, or perhaps a more apt term was to chose to walk out into the storm and help someone out and not pretend to be asleep or did not hear anything.
Dean expected the kid to have recovered already, or at least trying to get up by now. However, when he turned around, he saw that the kid was still lying on the ground, arms wrapped tight around himself, eyes shut and trembling violently.
Without a second thought, Dean placed the flashlight into his back pocket and carried the boy as tenderly as if he was holding his brother. The change in position triggered another coughing fit and Dean had to wait for it to die down before he risked moving him. He did not know whether the kid's shaking were convulsions or mere shivers, albeit what was important was to get them indoors where it was warm and dry.
The walk felt like it would last forever, but eventually they crossed the threshold and Dean gingerly seated the kid on the couch. Dean was aware that the kid's complexion was pale even with the limited lighting outside, and even paler after they got out of the fountain… he just did not expect him to be dead-pale once there was a lot of light. His breathing was rapid, shallow and irregular and, without the rain, his teeth could be clearly heard chattering with every strained inhale.
Dean ran to the kitchen to heat up some instant noodles. Once that was taken care of, he went to the bathroom to fetch every towel they had. He placed two around the kid's thin shoulders and used the last one to dry up the kid's head.
He stopped mid-wipe when he heard a low moan emit from underneath the towels. Dean put the third towel on an empty spot on the couch and began gently shaking the boy's arm.
"Kid. Hey, kid. Wake up. Wake up, come on." he prodded
A minute passed when, at last, the kid's eyes blearily flickered half-open, went around the room and found Dean. "Where'm I?" he asked hoarsely.
"Inside our motel room. You fainted like a girl back there." said Dean, trying to lighten up the situation.
His eyes opened a tad more. "What's a motel?"
Dean held back a sigh. The kid must have bumped his head in the fountain and lost a marble or two. He darted into the kitchen to get the noodles and a fork and went back to the living room. He felt a bit of load leave his shoulders upon noting that the boy was not shivering as much anymore.
"Here, eat this, it'll make you feel better." said Dean, placing the container in the kid's hands.
The kid hesitated, eyeing the noodles with suspicion. As seconds ticked by, Dean realized that the expression was not suspicion, but more along the lines of curiosity. After some time, the kid finally dug the fork into the bowl and got one strand of noodle out. He cautiously put it in his mouth, only to yelp, spit it out and nearly drop the fork
"It's hot." he mewled.
"That's 'cuz you're supposed to blow on it first, stupid." said Dean.
He was met with a bewildered head-tilt.
Aggravated, Dean snatched the fork and noodles from the kid's hands. He twisted the fork around the bowl until a good amount of noodles were wrapped around it; he also made sure that a good coating of broth stuck to it (since he mixed the thing with holy water, just to be a little more sure that the kid was harmless).
Other than that, he tried not to think how ridiculous this was. He tried to pretend that he was back to feeding Sam again yet the awkwardness never decreased.
He raised the forkful of noodles near his lips and blew on it for a few seconds. Once satisfied, he let the fork hover in front of the kid's mouth.
And the kid just freaking stared at it like he did not know what was supposed to happen.
Dean was one moment away from jamming the noodles into the kid's mouth when the boy finally caught on and ate it.
He swallowed without twisting and yelling in agony. The kid was officially normal.
Dean kept feeding him until half the container was empty, which was as much as he could endure. The boy was already settling down into the towels and relaxing for the first time when Dean remembered something:
"Oh yeah, give me your hand." he said.
The kid's panicked look snapped back into place and he attempted burying himself under the towels.
"I swear I won't hurt you this time. I'm just gonna put something on it." said Dean, using the most patient, calmest voice he could muster.
For a while, the kid simply stared distrustfully at him before, slowly, a hand emerged from the towels.
"Not that, the other one." said Dean.
Blue eyes widening, it took an even longer time for his other hand – the one with the knife-slice – to come out. Dean grabbed onto it before the kid had second thoughts. He rummaged around the bottom of the coffee table before he fished out a pink band-aid with pictures of unicorns frolicking in flowers. He peeled it off and placed it along the cut.
"There. I picked that 'cuz you're such a baby. But if you're tough, you get the ones with race-cars or dinosaurs, like mine." He raised his leg and pulled his pant-leg up to reveal a race-car band-aid stuck on his knee.
The kid stared at it with eyes full of wonder, like it was a trophy only the best fighters could have. He was really starting to remind him of Sam.
The kid stared at his own band-aid, as if to absorb the importance of the whole band-aid hierarchy. "Thank you." he said quietly.
Dean nodded and rolled his pant back down. "What were you doing out there anyway?" he inquired.
"My brothers dragged and abandoned me. Now I don't know how to return to my home." replied the boy dejectedly.
That struck a chord in Dean's core. Brothers? As in more than one? And they abandoned him in the rain?
"You know where they went?" Dean asked.
"Heaven, most likely." he replied.
Heaven? Was that the Sunday school term for 'dead'?
"How long was that?" pressed on Dean.
"By now, it's already a very long time ago." the kid answered.
"What about your parents? Or any other relative?"
The kid did that weird head-tilt thing again. "I don't have parents." he said without remorse. "And all my siblings are in Heaven."
Now it was Dean's turn to just stare at him. It seemed like this kid had a real tough life; no wonder he was so scared when he met him. He had no one to look out for him.
Just then, the kid let out a yawn. When it was over, his eyes widened and an expression of alarm entered his face again.
"What was that?" he fearfully asked.
"What was what?" said Dean.
Aside from the rain, there was pure silence and stillness in the room, nothing to even be remotely considered as a threat. They waited for a couple of more minutes, and as they were starting to calm down, the boy yawned once more and totally freaked out once it was over.
"That." he squeaked.
Dean passed a hand through his hair in exasperation. "It's a yawn. It means you're tired." he said, squeezing out what patience remained in him. And now that he said it, the kid's eyes had been drooping occasionally.
"Tell you what, we'll pick up the Q and A when there's daylight. You can sleep on the couch." said Dean, getting the noodle container. "I'm Dean Winchester, by the way. What's your – ?"
He looked up to see that the kid was already lying on the couch, fast asleep in his own makeshift nest of towels.
Sighing, Dean went to the kitchen as he muttered, "What a baby."