A/N: Okay so this is the final chapter and pre-warning it doesn't end well. (tissues may be required. At least if I've written it right.) But as I've said this isn't the end of the story, just the end of this little piece of it.
Chapter title from Bon Jovi song: We Weren't Born To Follow.
When Saints and Sinners Bleed
Cass was awake and dressed before the sun had even begun to rise, careful not to wake Dean as he slipped into his suit and coat. A heavy painful weight on his chest. He swallowed hard as he glanced over at the bed and his sleeping husband. He didn't want to leave, and he knew Dean would never forgive him for doing so, but there was little choice left. He had to protect his family and that meant agreeing to whatever his father demanded of him. He stepped over to the bed and looked down mournfully at Dean, his fingers hovering over his head. Desperate to touch, but he knew if he did he would wake up and Cass would never be able to leave. But he couldn't just walk away without something. Slowly he bent and pressed a soft kiss to Dean's forehead and held his breath at the hunter moaned and shifted on the bed. Grateful his husband did not wake.
With a last long lingering look he made his way to the door, opening it quietly and stepping through. Pulling it close softly behind him. He took his time on the stairs, his ears straining for any sign that Dean or Sam, or Bobby had woken. He stepped into the study to find Bobby sleeping soundly on the bed, the small travel crib beside him. Swallowing the lump in his throat Cass stepped into the room and bowed over the side of the crib, gently scooping the little girl from her resting place. Carrying her into the adjoining kitchen where he took a seat, cradling her small body to him. He pressed a kiss to her feather-like hair and felt the tears burning in his eyes.
"I…" he choked against he little girls ear. "I don't want to go. I want to stay with you and your father forever. I love you both. But…If I don't, he'll lose your uncle Sam, and maybe even you. I can't let that happen. We sacrifice ourselves for our family. He taught me that. - He'd probably be angry at me. No, I know he will be angry. He'll probably hate me, but…I'm doing this for him. For all of you. Maybe one day he'll understand." Cass sucked in a sharp breath as Jamie curled into his heat, her small hands reaching for his tie, as if she didn't want him to go anymore than he wanted to leave. "I'm sorry." he whispered, pressing a kiss to her head once again. "But I love you too much to have faith that their plan will work. He can't lose Sam."
Burying his face into the little girl's hair and inhaling deeply, he memorized the smell and feel of her. Dean's daughter. Their daughter. With the tears beginning to slide from his eyes Cass slowly got to his feet and carried her back into the room. Back to the crib at Bobby's side. Lowering her back down, he turned to look at the sleeping man. "Look after him." he whispered; before turning and marching determinedly towards the door. Yanking it open he stepped out into the cool pre-dawn air. Looking up at the heavens he closed his eyes. Taking a deep breath he whispered into the wind. "I'm ready. I agree."
Like that the world shifted. When he opened his eyes he was back in the garden. Joshua only a few feet from him. The man's eyes fixed on the younger angel. The sympathy glowing brightly in his dark gaze. The pain in Cass' chest was crippling and he found himself on his knees in the dirt, unable to breath. A heavy hand pressed down on his shoulder and instantly Cass felt the soothing warmth of his grace swamping his body once more. Smoothing the edges. Blanketing him with pure light and dulling his senses. He hadn't noticed it before, now it was like a punishment. He fought to cling to his heightened human emotions but he couldn't fight off his nature. He closed his eyes again, clenching his teeth against the feelings. Scrambling to cling onto the memory of what he and Dean had shared only a few hours ago. Every minute touch and taste, emotions that they'd shared. Holding on to what he could no longer have in his sacrifice to save his family for what was destiny to come.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
Dean woke alone but didn't feel a need to worry. It hadn't been the first time and it wouldn't be the last. Sighing contently he lay in the silent room and turned towards the window, looking out at the bright early morning sunlight. It was hard to believe it was almost over. That if everything went to plan they could put the apocalypse behind them and finally begin to have normal lives. Well as normal as they were capable of without Sam. He ran his hand over the empty place beside him. It was cold meaning Cass had been up for hours. Dean frowned. After what they'd done, after Cass losing his grace, he would have expected the angel - no, ex-angel, to have remained in bed at least until Dean had dragged him out of it. He certainly likes to sleep in after a night of exciting rambunctious sex. But then Cass had always been weird.
Throwing back the covers Dean swung his legs out of the bed and reached for his discarded underwear. Slipping them on, he went in search of his jeans and a fresh t-shirt. He'd shower later, right now he wanted to drink coffee, eat breakfast and kiss his husband and daughter.
He took the stairs with a spring in his step and rounded the study doorway with a wide grin on his face. "Morning!" he announced cheerfully. He was halfway to the stove when he realised Bobby and Sam were staring at him. He turned to look at them and his eyes scanned the small room. "Where's Cass?" he looked between the two men, then to the study where Jamie lay on the floor babbling to her teddy bear. He looked back to his brother and friend. "Guys?" he asked nervously.
Sam looked at Bobby mournfully.
"He left." The older hunter said calmly. His eyes filled with sympathy as he stared up at the younger man. "I…I heard him leave just before dawn."
Dean looked confused. Then angry. "Where did he go? Did you even try to stop him?" Dean yelled; his eyes wide with panic and hurt. His voice startling his daughter, causing her to being to wail.
Sam quickly got to his feet and rushed to see to the baby girl.
"Of course I did, but by the time I got to the door he was gone." Bobby snapped back; his temper getting the better of him.
"Gone? How the fregging hell can he be gone? He can't just flutter away. He's human!"
"Dean, calm down." Sam insisted.
"Calm down? How am I meant to calm down? You just told me my husband's fucking vanished!"
Sam looked sadly at his older brother while jostling his niece in his arms.
Dean turned sharply and snatched Sam's phone of the kitchen table, hitting Cass' number.
"Dean I've already…"
The thing rang and rang, then there was the recorded message that usually made Dean smile but right now made him sick to his stomach. "Cass!" he yelled down the phone. "Where are you? Cass!"
Sam sighed. "Dean I'm…"
"Crowley!" he snapped.
"Crowley must have taken him? - Or maybe Lucifer got him? Lucifer's the more logical culprit. - Or Michael." Dean nodded harshly. "They've taken him to make sure we show up."
"Dean he went voluntarily." Bobby said gently. His back pressed to the counter.
"You don't know that!" Dean snapped viciously. His panic rising higher by the second. "We need to go get him."
"Dean…" Sam sighed. "Maybe he just…"
"Don't!" Dean warned through gritted teeth. His eyes red and burning. "Don't even think it." With that he marched out of the room and headed for the stairs. "You wanted to take the fight to Satan, that's what we're going to do." he yelled back over his shoulder.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
Cass sat beside the clear pool of water, watched the tiger lilies float aimless on its service. Beneath them he could see the world he'd just left. More precisely the family he'd just felt. He ached at the distress Dean was suffering and hated himself for not leaving him a message. A letter explaining what he'd done. Where he'd gone. - Why. A tear dropped into the water and it rippled out, distorting the image of Dean for a few painful seconds.
"Someone has to tell him." Cass choked out.
Joshua was working; preening a bush of bright tropical flowers. "You can't go back, Castiel. You agreed."
"I know." Cass snapped. "I know but…" he sighed; his eyes staring as Dean yelled at his brother for the fifth time in ten minutes. "Send someone else."
Joshua walked over to join him; crouching down beside Cass. "Will it make it any better? Telling him that you return to heaven to protect him?"
Cass shook his head. "No." he whispered. "I should have told him myself but…he'd have never let me go." He stared as Dean and Sam captured a demon. Dean taking out his fear and anger on the creature. Demanding to know where Cass was. Did Lucifer have him? When the demon failed to answer, Dean threw more holy water at him before marching away and yanking on a rope, hosting the demon into the air before storming back to the monster and slicing its throat. Cass' gut twisted at the pure glee that gleamed in Dean's eyes. A look he hadn't seen there since he'd dragged him from hell kicking and screaming.
"Send a reaper." he heard himself say. "The one he knows as Tessa. Have her tell him I'm dead."
"Castiel?" Joshua frowned.
Cass looked at the older man. "If he thinks I'm alive, if he knows I'm in heaven, he'll try to get me back. He'll come for me." the angel shook his head. "He'll die trying. - Send Tessa." he ordered quietly.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
They reached Detroit at sundown and parked the car in an alley by a hotel Sam was sure was Lucifer's lair. Dean stared at the building, his eyes searching for any sign of his husband. The demons they drained knew nothing about the missing angel, or at least said they knew nothing. Dean didn't believe them. Demons lied.
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and hit the call button. He'd been doing it every twenty minutes, just hoping Cass would answer. But like every other time it just rang out and then went to voicemail. Dean cringed at the sharp stab of pain that went through his gut at the sound of the angel's rough deep voice, and pinched at the bridge of his nose to stop the tears burning behind his eyes.
"Lets get this over with." he shoved open the door and turned; marching toward the boot of the Impala and yanking open the hood to stare down at the gallon bottles filled with demon blood, Sam stepping up beside him silently.
"Dean." Sam whispered. "If this doesn't…"
"Don't." Dean glared. "This was your big plan, you make it work." he ordered harshly.
Sam inhaled sharply at the violence in his brother voice and nodded. "I can't do this with you watching me. - Go call Bobby. Check in on Jamie. Just…"
Dean huffed and walked away. Perching himself on the hood of the car and yanking his phone free of his pocket once more. He hit the speed dial and in seconds Bobby's voice was ringing in his ear. The old man had wanted to come with them, but someone had to take care of Jamie and right now, with Cass missing Dean didn't trust anyone but Bobby.
"Dean? Everything okay?"
Dean hesitated. "Fine. Sam's just…doing his thing. How's everything there?"
"Fine."Bobby relied tightly.
Dean swallowed and closed his eyes, visions of his daughter peaceful and oblivious to what was happening. "Bobby…If anything…"
"You don't need to ask, idjits."
"Thanks." he whispered.
"But you're getting your asses back here. All of you. You understand me."
Movement behind him told Dean Sam was finished doing what he had to do and he sighed. This was it. Judgement day. Point of no return. Inhaling slowly he whispered. "See ya later." down the line and then ended the call. Getting to his feet to meet his brother. Hating the sight of the blood in the corner of his mouth.
"Fine. They both are. - You ready."
Sam gave a curt nod and they both straightened their spines and marched off to face the devil.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
"What do you mean you don't have him?! You have to have him!"
Cass flinched at the heart-wrenching desperation in Dean's voice. He watched as his brother taunted his husband. Mocking him for Cass not taking him up on his deal. Cass' fingers curled into a tight fist in the grass by the pool. He hadn't moved from the spot in a day and a half. However it felt longer in heaven.
He watched as Sam looked between Dean and Lucifer, and saw the resignation in his features. Cass' heart raced as he heard Sam give himself over to Lucifer. Held his breath as the plan played out. Knowing deep down it wasn't going to work. Knowing Sam just wasn't strong enough.
He closed his eyes at the horror on Dean face as Sam turned; his face distorted by a malevolent grin. As the realization hit the hunter that they'd failed. When he opened them again, Dean was standing alone in the motel room; his hands clinging to his hair, his eyes over flowing with tears.
He heard movement behind him and glared at Joshua, shoving himself to his feet, marching furiously towards the older angel. "Why isn't it over!" he demanded. "Why hasn't he stopped this? I agreed to save them and now Lucifer has Sam!"
Joshua stood unfazed by Cass' outburst. "Every story must run its course, Castiel."
"Bullshit!" Cass spat. "We had a deal. I thought at least our father would honour it!"
"Be patient Castiel. - And watch your language, you're not on earth any more." he added in a quiet warning.
Cass huffed furiously; marching back to the pool. His eyes burning and his anger bubbling inside him.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
Cass stared in horror as Dean lay prone against the side of the Impala; his brother's body hovering over him; cling to his shirt as Lucifer used the younger Winchester's fist to destroy Dean's face. Turning it into a blood pulp. Cass got to his feet, his whole body buzzing. He wanted to go. Wanted to rush to his husband's side. Safe him. Help him. Protect him. Hating that he'd trusted his father to keep a promise. He spun to leave, damn his oath. If his father couldn't keep a promise then why the hell should he? But his path was blocked by Joshua. "Move aside."
"Where are you going?" Joshua asked as if he didn't already know.
"You know where. To save him."
Joshua shook his head. "You agreed to this Castiel."
"I agreed to stay if Lucifer was stopped. If they were safe."
Joshua met the angel's brilliant blue eyes. "Patience Castiel."
"I have been patient. If I am so any longer Dean with die at the hands of my…"
Joshua nodded to the pool of water and Cass couldn't help but look. He stepped closer, staring down into it. Watching as Sam's arm froze mid-swing. His eyes widening in revelation. Cass' breath caught and he glanced at Joshua, who simply continued to watch the scene play out. Cass turned back and watched Sam, not Lucifer, step back. Reaching into his pocket he tugged free the rings, throwing them onto the ground and murmuring the words to open the cage. The earth falling away mere feet from the Impala. Cass held his breath as Sam looked back to his brother, a share understanding and sorrow passing between them. Then Michael was there. Reaching for Sam, trying to halt him, only to be pulled into the pit along with Sam.
"No!" Cass yelled. His words echoed by Dean. He turned to glare at Joshua. "You promised. We had a deal!" he scream furiously, but the older angel said nothing. His focus remaining locked on the pool. Cass turned back and stared as Dean passed out against the Impala, blood pouring from his lips. "I have to go to him. I have to heal him. He can't die there. Jamie needs him." Cass pleaded. Flinching when Joshua's heavy hand settled on his shoulder, keeping him where he was.
"The story is not done yet, Castiel."
Cass shook off the man's hand and glowered. Before mournfully looking back to the pool. Before his eyes a figure appeared on the grass, not a foot from Dean. Cass' breath caught once more as he realized who it was. "Sam?"
The younger hunter came around slowly; his eyes fluttering open and closed a few times before he finally opened them wide and looked around. Quickly scrambling to his feet and rushing to his brother's side.
"Our father keeps his promises Castiel. - You need to have more faith."
Cass turned to find himself alone. Sighing sadly he lowered himself back to the dirt beside the pool, watching as Sam heaved his brother off the ground and hoisted him into the Impala. Fear painted on the younger hunter's face as he started the car and speed away.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
Dean woke feeling like he'd been run over by a fifty ton truck. His ribs were killing him, his head hurt and his face felt like it wasn't his face. Hissing and groaning he pushed himself upright in the bed, glancing around the hospital room. He had no idea how he'd even gotten there. The last thing he remembered was Sam toppling backwards into a giant hole in the ground.
Dean's chest clenched at the memory and a sick feeling rolled up in his throat, choking him. He reached for the small paper bowl next to the bed but didn't get to use it.
He felt her presence before he saw her and turned sharply to meet Tessa's sad blue gaze. "Shit, am I dead. Again."
Tessa smiled weakly and shook her head. "No. Not this time. - You were lucky though."
"Yeah, I'm feeling it." he grunted. "So…why are you here? If its to pass on your sympathies about Sam, you can stick 'em."
Tessa stepped forward, lowering herself on the bed. "I am here with sympathy Dean, but not about Sam. He's fine. Down the hall getting coffee."
Dean's head snapped around to stare at her. "What? How? - I saw him…"
"I don't know how or why Dean. Its above my pay grade."
Dean swallowed nervously, his fingers tightening around the paper bowl. "So…why are you…here?" he asked cautiously; fearing he already knew the answer.
Tessa pressed a hand to his shoulder. "You already know Dean."
"Cass?" he breathed.
"I'm sorry Dean."
His throat constricted and he was doubling over the paper bowl in an instant. The acid of the vomit scorching his throat as it fought its way free. Tessa rubbed at his back. Just sitting quietly at his side as Dean puked and cried. The sound of footsteps behind them had the woman turning to see Sam, a cup of coffee in his hand and a shocked, fearful look on his face.
"What's going on?"
Tessa got to her feet and made her way towards the younger hunter. Sam backing away from her out of instinct. Tessa sighed; glancing back at Dean, who was sat trembling on the bed. "Cass." she whispered. "He's dead. - I'm sorry."
"Dead?" Sam frowned. Then rocked back on his heels before rushing forward, setting the paper cup on the small table at the end of the bed. "Dean."
Dean shook his head and shoved the paper bowl of puke at his brother before lying back down and curling into himself. The pain too much to bear on top of everything else.
~~~Beware Promises of Always~~~
Cass wiped at his eyes and sighed. Swallowing his own pain he got to his feet and turned away from the pool. A heavy suffocated weigh on his chest. It was for the good of his family. He told himself with each step away from the water and Dean.
"Castiel? Where are you going?"
"Anywhere away from here." Cass sighed before vanishing from the garden.
TO BE CONTINUED
A/N: Now we both know that Dean wouldn't go looking for Cass, not on the show at least. Its his one failing in my eyes. It really pisses me off how easily he gives up on Cass, when we know Cass never gives up on him. But this thankfully is my universe so I can fix that little character flaw. (Though I haven't seen season nine yet so there's still hope of him finally giving a damn.)
Sorry for the sad painful ending, but it needed to happen. Its part of the overall story. Hope you forgive me.
That's it for now; I'll have the next part up as soon as I can. Hopefully. I hope you enjoyed this and I'd like to that all those that have read it and reviewed it, and for all the kudos. It's much appreciated.