Banner By: Mara
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Bobby paced the living room floor as William sat on the couch, a dusty book on his lap. He sighed and glanced down checking his watch for the third time. Ellen had been up stairs with Ruby for the last hour and a half. He was feeling uneasy and blindsided.
About two hours ago a red haired Angel dropped a bleeding to death, partially naked demon in his home and told them they needed to keep her safe. Apparently she held the information they needed to defeat the coming Armageddon or something.
The Angel, Anna she said her name was, healed Ruby enough that she’d survive, but not enough for a full recovery. And so Ellen was patching her up while attempting to get information about what happened and where she and Sam had been all this time.
He heard a creaking on the stairs and his eyes shifted in time to catch Ellen walking down the stairs wiping her hands on a towel, a tired look on her face. Bobby raised an eyebrow and she shrugged as William looked up at them. “How’s Uncle Sam’s friend?”
They turned to the five year old and Ellen swallowed hard before giving him a tight smile. “She should be okay in a few days.”
William nodded and went back to looking through the pictures in the book, trying to get his mind off the fact that both of his parents were missing. Ellen motioned her head in his direction and Bobby nodded. “Hey Will wanna help me make some dinner for Ruby?”
He grinned. “Sure!”
He tossed the book on the couch and got up following Bobby into the kitchen as Ellen plopped down on to the desk chair, head in hands. All this time they thought Ruby had been the one to lead Sam off the reserve, but she wasn’t.
Apparently she had spent the last three months attempting to get him to call Dean so they could search for Jo together. She hadn’t been able to get the whole story out of her, but from what she had it didn’t look good.
She had been scared and hysterical when she first woke up tears pouring down her cheeks. Hell if Ellen hadn’t seen it with her own eyes she never would have believed a demon could cry. She lifted her head and sighed.
Right as she reached over for one of the books on the desk, there was a rumbling noise before Castiel appeared, Jo en toe. Shock covered Ellen’s face as she glanced at the floor. Jo felt her knees hit the ground as the room in front of her began to take shape.
She sobbed as she reached out to nothing, voice echoing through the room as if continuing from when she was standing right in front of him. “DEAN!”
Castiel bent down lifting her up by her arm as Bobby and William came running in the room at the sound of yelling. Jo turned to Castiel furry on her face as she pushed the Angel with blood covered hands while speaking, tears still coursing down her face. “How could you just leave him there? I don’t care if that bitch was there. Go get him…get him now…go…oh god…”
Her fists stopped hitting him as the wind was knocked from her body. She pressed her hands against her stomach as she bent over slightly to try and catch her breath. Her body was wracked with sobs as the weight of what just happened settled.
All this time she’d put off telling Dean about William. Lying, fighting, hiding and now her fear had come true. Her son wouldn’t know his father and it was her fault. A hesitant voice brought her out of her thoughts “Mommy?”
She turned slowly and William stood there tears in his eyes. She smiled, but it disappeared at the thought that he’d never get to see Dean again and another sob escaped her lips as he ran to her, throwing himself in her arms. She hugged him tight as he spoke a mile a minute.
“Mom…I was so scared…Dad promised he’d bring you back and Uncle Cas believed him, but I wasn’t sure. Everything’s okay now! You’re home.”
He moved out of her arms grin on his face as he bounced on the balls of his feet and glanced around the room. “Where’s Dad?”
Any amount of calm Jo had been able to manage while William was in her arms vanished at his question. Ellen could see the pain on her daughter’s face and she moved forward putting a hand on William’s arm. “Sweetie why don’t you go with Grandpa Bobby and get mom some food. I’m sure she’s starving.”
They still hadn’t answered his question and he was starting to worry. He frowned, glancing between the adults before reluctantly going with Bobby. Ellen bent down in front of Jo and lifted her chin, but Jo wasn’t looking at her. She was looking at her blood stained hands.
Ellen swallowed hard as she took in her daughter’s appearance. There was blood smeared across the front of her shirt that couldn’t possibly all be hers. A sinking feeling started in the pit of her stomach as she addressed her daughter. “Jo…baby are you alright?”
Jo closed her eyes trying to get the picture of Dean’s mangled body out of her mind. She took several deep breaths willing herself to calm down. She needed to be strong for William. She let out a long puff of air before her whispered voice broke the silence. “No Mom, I’m not okay.”
She finally met Ellen’s eyes and she hesitated before asking the next question, but she had to know what happened. “Sweetie where’s Dean? What happened?”
“We were attacked…Sam and some demon. He tried to kill me. Dean jumped in front of me…took the hit. God mom there was so much blood.”
Ellen felt her chest tighten. “Where’s Dean now?”
Jo just shook her head and Ellen looked up at Castiel who met her eyes. His voice was strong and yet it faltered as he spoke. “Dean has made the ultimate sacrifice. He chose to save Joanna’s life by sacrificing his own.”
Ellen opened and closed her mouth. She didn’t know what to say. Dean was dead…she had known it was coming and yet the information still shocker her. She swallowed hard and stood pulling Jo with her.
“Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up. William doesn’t need to see you like this.”
Jo nodded and Castiel watched as Ellen walked the young woman up the stairs. He glanced around the empty room before his body plopped down heavily on the couch. He felt an unfamiliar ache in his chest and he wasn’t sure what it meant, but one thing he was certain of, it was quite unpleasant.
Bobby walked into the living room William by his side holding a plate of food for his mom. He glanced at Castiel’s deflated postured and patted the five year old on his back.
“Your mom’s probably upstairs getting cleaned up kiddo. Why don’t you go bring that on up to her.” He did as he was told and once he disappeared upstairs Bobby made his way into the room and sat down softly next to the Angel. When Castiel didn’t acknowledge his presence he cleared his throat and spoke.
“So, you gonna tell me what happened? Or am I gonna have to yank it outta ya?”
“I left to bring the prophet Chuck somewhere safe and by the time I returned it was too late. Dean saved Joanna’s life and it cost him his own. I do not understand how this happened. I was sent here to protect him. If he was never meant to live then why did they send me? Did I make a mistake?”
When he turned to Bobby, he could see water gathering in the Angel’s eyes and something struck him. Mystical being or not Castiel had spent a great deal of time amongst humans. Dean was his friend. Out of all of them he was probably the person who’d spent the most time with him over the past two years.
He was hurting and confused and Bobby truly felt for him. He wasn’t sure what to say so he patted him on the back. “Dean’s always been a bit brave, an idjiot, but a brave one.”
“That is true, but I cannot help feeling as if I did an inadequate job. Joanna seems very displeased and what will I tell William. I swore to protect his father. I gave my word. Do you understand what that means for someone like me? If I cannot fulfill my duty then why am I here?”
There was a pleading tone in his voice, as he threw question after question at the older man and for the first time Bobby didn’t have an answer for him. He loved Dean like a son and losing him a second time especially when Sam was AWOL just didn’t sit right with him.
How could he comfort Castiel when his own emotions were all over the place? He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything Castiel stood abruptly, shook his head and spoke.
“I am sorry Robert. I know you do not have the answers I seek and it is wrong of me to lay my wavering faith on you during this time of great loss. There are some things I must tend to, but I will be back shortly.”
Bobby stood, frown on his face. “Wait Cas…”
The words were barely out of his mouth when he disappeared. Bobby sighed and ran a hand over his face. He was exhausted. He glanced toward the stairs and pursed his lips together.
He might not have been able to help Castiel, but he’d make sure he was there for Ellen and Jo when they needed to tell William about Dean. He took a deep breath and headed toward the stairs, climbing them slowly.
Castiel materialized on the back porch of Bobby’s house and sat quietly on the steps. The whirlwind of emotions that were swirling around inside of him could not be described. His body felt weakened, his state of mind unstable as he began to question everything they’d been fighting for the past few years.
His head fell into his hands, eyes closed as he tried to commune with the heavens. Anything to ease the weight in his chest. A light breeze blew past him and the smell of lavender tickled his nose. He sat up straight, head jerking to awareness.
Standing directly in front of him was Anna. He frowned at her not moving from his position on the steps. “Why are you here?”
She took in his gloomy demeanor and swallowed hard. The first tinges of doubt beginning to creep inside her. She and Castiel had a history and in all that time she’d never seen him look as lost as he did right now. When she’d cut out her grace all those years ago she’d known he’d felt betrayed.
That he hadn’t understand why she’d done it or how she could disobey their father’s will. But now, with all his time on earth Anna could see the changes within him. She could see his humanity and for the first time in a long time she began to hope for his forgiveness. “Cas…are you alright?”
He glared up at her. “Do not pretend to care about the answer to that question. Why have you come here Anna?”
“Of course I care Castiel. I know you’re hurt…”
“Hurt? I am not hurt Anna. I believe what I am is considered angry. I am angry that once again there are things going on that I know nothing about.”
He stood and advanced on her making her take a step back. His voice was low as he spoke, eyes piercing hers.
“Things that you have been pulling the strings for behind the scenes. I know where the psychic got Chuck’s address Anna. I know how the book of Enoch mysteriously appeared in Robert Singer’s home. I know Joanna Harvelle is not merely human as you have led her to believe, and I know heaven has been abandoned. What I do not know is why.”
Castiel was standing just inches from Anna and when she took a deep breath his scent washed over her. He smelt musky with slight undertones of gun powder. He raised an eyebrow and she hesitated before deciding if she wanted his trust, first she’d have to trust him.
“Cas I know there’s a lot going on right now and I promise you I will explain, but I can’t get into everything right now.”
He went to interrupt her, but she placed a hand on his shoulder and shook her head. “Please trust me. I know after everything it’s asking a lot, but we are on the same side. You’re right. Heaven has been abandoned. It turns out that there are still people attempting to follow in Zachariah’s footsteps and were attempting to steal the book of Enoch and bring it to Azazel.”
Castiel nodded. “I did not think it would be moved from its original resting place unless there was danger.”
“We’re working on finding the traitors amongst us, but it’s been proving more difficult then I would have liked. Because we don’t know who’s on which side we needed to cut communication off between the Angel’s in heaven and the ones on earth.”
Castiel felt the tension leave his shoulders and he stepped back, Anna’s hand dropping from his body. He felt the loss of her warmth, but ignored it as he spoke. “That makes sense. Why would you not just tell me this from the beginning? Why hide it?”
“You have to understand, things need to be done very carefully from here on out. I couldn’t risk anyone finding out what we were up to. Right now we have the advantage. William is safe, we have Jo, the book of Enoch, and Ruby. But that could easily change.”
“What do you wish me to do?”
Anna glanced around the perimeter of the house and gave him a one armed shrug. “At this point I really don’t know. When Lucifer rose, he opened the gateway and as I’m sure you know he didn’t come alone. Azazel’s daughter along with Lilith are both back on earth. I was weary of the effect this would have on Sam and so I’ve been watching him for some time. It wasn’t until tonight that I was sure.”
Castiel frowned in confusion. “Sure of what?”
She took a deep breath before speaking quietly. “That wasn’t Sam tonight Cas. He might be lost enough to go after Jo, but there is no way in hell Sam Winchester would kill his brother without an ounce of remorse. I don’t care who is influencing him, it wouldn’t happen. The bond that Sam and Dean have is too strong.”
Understanding bloomed on Castiel’s face as everything settled into place in his muddled mind. “You believe Azazel has taken over Sam’s body, that he is using him as a vessel?”
“But how? I do not understand. Dean and Sam are equipped with anti-possession tattoos.”
“I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I know it has something to do with the connection between them. The fact that Azazel’s blood runs through Sam veins. Do you understand now why I’ve been so secretive? Why this is so important?”
He hesitated before inclining his head. “Yes, but from now on if you wish for me to help you Anna, no more lies or half truths. We are either in this together or not at all.”
She gave him a small smile. “Understood. Thanks Cas…you know for trusting me.”
He made a strange face and shifted uncomfortably. “It is not as if I have a choice.”
She grinned and there was amusement in her voice as she spoke. “We always have a choice. You know that better than anyone. I should get going. I really only came to check on you. There’s still so much that needs to be done.”
She turned and Castiel called out to her. “Anna wait…what about Dean?”
She twisted around slowly, and he could see the sympathy on her face. “I’m sorry Cas…Dean didn’t make it. I tried, but he was just too badly injured for me to heal.”
“Is that it? His journey on this earth is complete?”
She could hear the slight tremble in his voice and pain throttled inside her chest screaming at her to tell him, to explain further, but she knew she couldn’t. She tried to give him a look that conveyed she understood his pain.
“Have faith in the people around you Castiel. One thing I’ve always envied about you is your unyielding faith in good. Don’t let that leave you now.”
He opened his mouth, but when he blinked she was gone. He stood outside in the middle of the junk yard alone, and yet it was the first time in months Castiel felt the renewal of hope burn inside him.