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The Reluctant Matchmaker

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They say angels cannot lie. To lie is a sin and if an angel were to sin, the angel would no longer be holy. If they commit a sin, then like Lucifer, they would be cast out of heaven.

Balthazar found out early on, that wasn't necessarily true. Balthazar had lied. He had also broken several rules of conduct. He still haven't been cast out, but then again maybe his father was letting the sins collect before making a grand gesture and booting his sorry ass out.

The worry was always in the back of his mind, but deep down he believed if he ever got cast out of heaven, it wouldn't be for lying.

Balthazar knew he was not like Michael, the perfect solider who did Father's bidding with no questions asked, but Balthazar was good in his own way.

Maybe God hadn't cast him out because the lies he did tell were to protect the ones he loved, usually humans.

Of course the road to hell was paved with good intentions.

With Castiel, Balthazar had lied and broken a lot of rules, but out of all his charges he had over the millennia, Balthazar loved Castiel the most. Castiel was like his son, brother and best friend all rolled into one.

The first lie he had told Castiel was that he was Chuck's muse. He was never Chuck's muse; he never even had a muse. He was solely there for Castiel. Muses would skip around and would strike inspiration in people, but only a full time muse was assigned to a person whose work would make a significant impact.

The moment that Castiel was conceived, he was there. He witnessed Castiel's parents first Christmas together, unbeknownst to them, there was a soul shimmering around them, waiting to be born.

Later when Balthazar saw a reaper take Castiel's mother, he broke the first rule: Never reveal yourself to your charge.

Castiel was barely a year old when his mother had died. He was a serious child, his perpetually messy dark hair and big confused blue eyes had tugged at Balthazar's heart, hard. He knew the Castiel didn't understand where his mother was and Chuck was too caught up in his grief to remember his quiet child.

While Chuck lay incapacitated on the couch, empty whiskey bottle on the floor, his son started to cry from his nursery, crying for his mother.

Balthazar's heart broke at the cries.

"Hey little man," Balthazar cooed softly to the child. Seeing an unknown person in his room momentarily shocked Castiel into silence as he looked up at the blonde angel, his face flushed and tear stained.

After the initial shock wore off, Castiel's tears started anew.

Balthazar picked the toddler up and started to pace around the nursery, rubbing soothing circles on the child's small back.

Balthazar might be a muse but he was an angel first and foremost. One of the most powerful beings in the universe yet this small child, his little body wracked with sobs made Balthazar feel helpless and insignificant. His entire focus was on Castiel and nothing else mattered at the moment.

After prying Castiel's little fingers from his shirt, he sat him down in his crib.

"Oh Cassie, please don't cry." Balthazar whispered and bit back a laugh when the toddler stopped his wails and gave the angel a stern look.

"Don't like the name Cassie?" Castiel's look became fiercer until he jutted out his quivering lower lip in a pout, ruining the effect. A chubby fist rubbed at his eyes, exhaustion starting to settle over Castiel. Then the child did something that surprised Balthazar.

He raised his arms to the angel to be picked up again. Child and angel contemplated each other for a few moments, as if trying to figure each other out.

Then the serious little human that Balthazar was so valiantly trying not to become attached to, smiled at him.

That's when Balthazar fell in love and there was no going back.

After that, Balthazar showed himself to the child a few more times. Most of the interactions consisted of rocking the boy in his mother's rocker, telling him stories of wars, art, and most importantly…women. Like the time that Balthazar had a ménage à... Damn it, what's French for twelve?

Of course Castiel never understood the stories; he would just stare up at him with those unblinking blue eyes and snuggle into Balthazar's chest.

He was an affectionate little bugger once he warmed up to a person.

He continued his visits until Castiel got to an age where he would start to remember him. That's when he quietly went back to being incognito.

After a couple of years, Balthazar grew more curious about what Castiel's special talent would be. He thought maybe it would be in writing since Chuck had a knack with it, his books providing a modest living for him and his son.

It was to his surprise though at the age of four while Castiel was visiting his Grandmother Anna, that he showed an interest in her piano.

Anna seeing her grandson's curiosity, she sat on the bench with Castiel on her lap and played Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune".

The little boy was enrapt. He watched his grandmother's fingers closely, following the movement, his brow furrowed as he listened to the melody flow around him. After the piece was over, Anna chuckled at Castiel's look of concentration and ruffled his hair affectionately.

The chuckling stopped when Castiel placed his fingers on the keys and started to play the piece, badly, but still well enough that it was recognizable.

Once the last note sounded in the air, Castiel turned around and gave his shocked father and grandmother a bright smile.

Anna turned to her son. "Charles, I expect you to bring Castiel here at four times a week so I can give him proper lessons."

Balthazar finally knew what Castiel's talent was and could start work on his young charge.

The year that Castiel turned sixteen was a rough one. At first, Balthazar found amusement in the boy's ever deepening voice and his constant serious demeanor when it came to school.

Then several things happened that year, the first being Castiel realized he was gay. Balthazar had his suspicions, especially when he would dream snoop and would see that it was more often men that were shown in a romantic light in Castiel's dreams, but it appeared it was taking Castiel longer to fully sort out his sexuality. However, when he finally did, unfortunately, he came to the full realization the hard way.

During his sophomore year, physical education was Castiel's last class for the day. Castiel thought he was the last one in the locker room as he finished getting dressed. He had just buttoned the last button of his shirt when he was shoved up against the lockers and kissed.

By Crowley, a senior and the school bully of all people.

At first Castiel fought back, but Crowley continued his assault, trying to coax a different response out of Castiel. He eventually got it when Castiel kissed him back.

Balthazar was furious because it was Castiel's first kiss and it was stolen. Castiel's first kiss should have been with somebody that cared and respected Castiel, anybody but Crowley. Balthazar could see Crowley's soul and it was dark and twisted. He had no interest in Castiel except for how much pain he could inflict on the younger boy.

As soon as Castiel kissed him back, Crowley pulled away and smirked cruelly.

"I always knew you were a goddamn faggot."

Castiel's eyes grew wide with fear but he straightened up and refused to let Crowley intimidate him. That was until Crowley's friends showed up.

"Sic 'im boys." Crowley's friends were on Castiel at once. Castiel tried to throw what punches he could, but it was five against one. Soon there were two boys grabbing Castiel from behind so he couldn't move as the other boys took turns punching him in the face and midsection. Castiel grunted in pain at each strike, struggling in the two older boys grasps to get away.

Balthazar felt a fury rise in him that he hadn't felt since Old Testament times at the pained noises and the sickening sound of flesh hitting flesh. He felt his power swirl around him, hot and electric as his wings unfurled and stretched behind him.

That comes to the other lie Balthazar told Castiel. He could be seen by other people, whoever he chose. He chose that moment to be now.

Balthazar began to reveal himself but then a strong feminine hand clamped down on his forearm, stopping him.

"Balthazar, you can't." Fate's sorrowful voice broke through Balthazar's rage.

"I can't let this happen! He's my charge! They could kill him!" Balthazar raged, Fate flinched slightly at the angel's glowing eyes.

"He will not die. This must happen. With great suffering will beget great joy. This moment right now will shape him and make him a stronger person. This needs to happen."

"No, I refuse. He's just a kid!" Balthazar's powers started to build-up again until Fate tightened her hand on his arm, momentarily draining his power. Since she was older and much more powerful than him, she could do that.

Balthazar shot her a murderous glare. Fate stared back, her green eyes dimmed with pain.

"You forget Balthazar; I've watched Castiel's soul long before you even knew he existed. I love him too and if it wasn't necessary, I would let you smite those boys for what they have done."

Two sets of otherworldly eyes, one blue filled with helplessness and rage, the other green conveying sadness, turned back to Castiel who was crumpled on the ground in the fetal position as the older boys left the locker room laughing.

Balthazar watched as Castiel slowly and painfully picked himself up; the swelling couldn't hide the defeated look on his face. He let out one choked sob before steeling himself, his face turning into an unemotional mask as he made his way home.

It was the first time in all of Balthazar's existence that he cried.

The year didn't get better for Castiel. That was the year that his grandmother died.

When Anna passed away, it nearly destroyed the kid considering how close he was to her. He wouldn't let any of it show since he had to be Chuck's rock. Balthazar wanted to go to him, but knew it was too risky so he would only come to him when he slept, smoothing his hair and holding his hand as Castiel cried in his sleep.

In her will, Anna left Castiel her piano. That's when the composing began. The boy was a fiend when it came to writing music. When he wasn't studying or taking care of Chuck who never fully recovered from the loss of his wife and now his mother, he would be composing music until the wee hours of the morning.

By the end of his sophomore year, the reoccurring dream began. Balthazar would occasionally drop in on Castiel's dreams, sometimes altering them ever so slightly to give him an extra boost of inspiration. However, that night when he walked into Castiel's dream, if Balthazar was in physical form, he would have doubled over in pain.

Castiel was dreaming of hell. Not the human conception of hell, but the actual hell. Balthazar felt violently sick as he looked around at all the moaning and tortured souls that seemed to surround him.

All of a sudden the voices of his brethren were filling his head as they breached the deepest part of hell. One of the voices caught Balthazar's attention. It was Castiel's.

Balthazar was shocked as he watched the dream unfold. Castiel was an angel, his large black wings spread protectively over the brightest soul Balthazar had ever seen. It took a moment to register that it wasn't a dream, but a memory from another reality bleeding into Castiel's subconscious.

Castiel was the angel that rescued the Righteous Man from hell.

He was in awe as he watched Castiel grip the man tight and raise him from perdition. His Cassie was magnificent.

Everything finally made sense. Balthazar now knew why he felt such a deep connection with Castiel. It was because in another life they were brothers.

After his sophomore year, Castiel's life went a little more smoothly until the end of his senior year. Castiel was all set to go to Oberlin to study music when Chuck's publisher cancelled his contract.

Castiel being the ever dutiful son told his father, much to Chuck's objections, he was going to hold off on school. He dipped into his college fund to help pay the mortgage and got a job as a waiter to help with the rest of the expenses.

However, Balthazar grew concerned when nearly six years went by and Castiel had still not reapplied to Oberlin. That's when he took matters in his own hands and slipped the head of the music department one of Castiel's completed pieces.

He was promptly offered a full ride which Chuck was adamant that he take.

Castiel flourished at Oberlin, but as he entered the master's program, his dreams of the Righteous Man grew more frequent and intense until Castiel felt compelled to compose a piece based on his dream.

When Balthazar first heard it in its entirety, he knew this was the piece that caused Heaven to send the muse to Castiel.

Unfortunately, it was the last time Balthazar was to hear it because a few hours later, Castiel was on his way back home to Pontiac to take care of his ill father. Chuck held out for a couple of years before his body finally gave out.

At the funeral, Castiel's eyes stayed dry and remote as he watched his father's casket being lowered into the ground. He was surrounded by well-meaning friends and distant relatives that were more interested in knowing if Chuck had any money from the sale of his books than the man himself. Castiel was surrounded by people, yet all alone.

Later that night, when everybody left, Castiel finally broke down. Balthazar found Castiel huddled on his couch, clutching his father's robe, deep, raw cries tearing at his throat.

Balthazar immediately saw the toddler again. He didn't hesitate to appear in front of Castiel and as if by some long forgotten memory, Castiel raised his arms to Balthazar again. Balthazar got down on his knees in front of Castiel, held the man tight to him and let him cry.

Too caught up in his grief and loneliness, it didn't register to Castiel that there was a strange man in his living room offering him comfort.

"Don't you think it's a little sleazy to be watching them make out?"

Balthazar yelped, his memories shattering like glass to show the reality of his surroundings. He was so caught up in his thoughts; he didn't even realize that Castiel and Dean were on the couch, making out like teenagers. Despite all the teasing he gave Castiel, he did try to give him as much privacy as possible.

Balthazar glared at Fate. She smiled sweetly back.

He composed his face with one of his familiar caviler smiles. Couldn't have Fate thinking he was reminiscing and getting sentimental.

"You know me, darling. I never miss out on a good show." Balthazar gave her a cocky little bow.

Fate laughed softly, her green eyes twinkling devilishly. "Yes, you do have a fine appreciation for the sexual arts."

Balthazar frowned when he saw Castiel and Dean pull away. Nothing appeared to be wrong, so why did they stop?

As if reading his mind, even though Balthazar had a suspicion that she could, consoled Balthazar. "Dean doesn't want to push Castiel too quickly."

"It's been two bloody months! All they do is kiss and neck, never anything below the waist." Balthazar grumbled.

"You know there's more than sex to a relationship." Fate tsked softly, but never losing her smile.

"The boy needs to release some energy. He's a good looking lad; Dean should be all over that."

"Dean cares a lot for Castiel, that's why he's taking it so slow." Fate then looked at Balthazar speculatively. "How long have you known?"

Balthazar knew exactly what Fate was asking and he felt an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

"Not long after Chuck died. Cassie was having a really bad night. I knew he loved burgers and heard that Tessa's here in Lawrence had the best ones, so I popped in. When I saw Dean, I recognized his soul."

Fate nodded thoughtfully, turning her gaze back to the couple that was now snuggled together on the couch watching Dr. Sexy. "So, you convinced Castiel to move to Lawrence, thought the change would be good for him."

Balthazar shrugged. "I've might have given him the suggestion."

"You play a dangerous game, Balthazar. They were not supposed to meet for another ten years. You realize with your actions come consequences."

Balthazar gulped. Despite her presence as a sweet young woman, she was Fate after all, the most power being after God and Death.

"I just want him to be happy."

Fate sighed. "I know, Balthazar. I know. I feel the same way about him and about Dean. If anybody deserves to be happy, it's those two." she said softly with a wistful expression on her face.

The couple continued to watch television, blissfully unaware that they were being observed by two heavenly beings.