Castiel tilted his head an observed Sam like he was a very interesting bug, "You are the one who called for me?"
Sam's mind when to the time he had called for Castiel thinking he was back in his old timeline, "I did. You're the angel, Castiel, are you really real?"
Castiel replied, "I am indeed real. Do you have difficulties telling the differences between what is real and what is not? Is that perhaps why you prayed to me? Why did you pray to me?"
Sam ran a hand through his hair, "Yes, I mean, no, I mean, yes I sometimes I have difficulties, but no I didn't mean to pray to you-I mean, I do need to speak with you, but I don't need anything from you."
Castiel lifted his chin, "You are not afraid, and you truly believe I am an angel of the lord. You are an odd man, Sam Winchester, but I suppose I will humor you. What is it you wished to speak with me about?"
Sam chuckled dryly, "This is going to be pretty hard to believe, but I'm sort of from the future. God's given me a chance to fix what has gone on in the past."
"You are right. I do not believe you. The past cannot be changed."
"I'm not lying. It's the truth and I can prove it to you. You passed on to me memories of our times together, the other you from the future did, and he gave them to me to convince you of what is to come and how we might put a stop to it. Lucifer will rise if we don't stop it. It'll be the end of the world. I know you might not care too much about humans right now, but you will. Just look into my mind. See those memories. I think everything will become clear then. Cas-Castiel of the future told me you would be able to access them. Can you at least try?"
Castiel said, "I can try. You believe you are telling the truth."
Castiel looked past the memories of Sam Winchester and looked towards of a ball of light, hidden deep within Sam's mind.
Castiel always tried to bury his doubts about his role in Heaven, but seeing those memories made him realize it wasn't meant to be.
Saving the soul of Dean Winchester from Hell. The Righteous Man. Rebelling against Heaven. Sam Winchester; the boy with the demon blood. The vessels of Michael and Lucifer. Gabriel. The Apocalypse. Lilith. Lucifer. Making Friends. Family. His fall from grace. A Civil War in heaven against Raphael. Betraying the Winchester brothers. The Leviathan. Castiel proclaiming himself as God. Losing his sanity. Purgatory. Crowley, The King of the Crossroads. Castiel could only stare in horror at his mistakes. Abaddon. Metatron. The Mark of First Blade. Becoming human. Becoming an angel once more. Gadreel. So much suffering. So many wonderful things. Castiel didn't know what to make of it.
"I would give anything not to have you do this."
"I learned my lesson while I was away, Dean. I serve Heaven, I don't serve man. And I certainly don't serve you."
"What is worth saving?! I see nothing but pain here. I see inside you. I see your guilt, your anger, confusion... In Paradise all is forgiven. You'll be at peace. Even with Sam."
"My superiors have decided I've become too close the humans in my charge. You."
"I disobeyed so you wouldn't go to them!"
"Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn't going to mention it."
"We've been through much together you and I.
"We're making it up as we go"
"I killed two angels this week. My brothers. I'm hunted. I rebelled and I did it - all of it - for you. And you failed. You and your brother destroyed the world. And I lost everything - for nothing. So keep your opinions to yourself."
"I thought you said that we were like family. I believe that too."
"I do everything you ask. I always come when you call and I am your friend. Still despite your lack of faith in me and now your threats I just saved you yet again. Has anyone but your closest kin ever done more for you?"
"I have a price on my head. I've been trying to stay one step ahead of them to keep them away from you."
"Thank you, for everything."
"I'm no angel."
"I will never stop being one of you".
"When I was human I died, and that showed me that life is precious and it must be protected at all costs, even a life as pig-headed as a Winchester's."
"The only person who has screwed things up more consistently than you is me."
"Who I was, what I did, that's not who I am."
"I'm no leader, Hannah. I never was. I just want to be an angel."
"I've made deals born of desperation and they always end in blood and tears... Always"
Sam and Dean may be a bit rough around the edges, but they're the best men I've ever known. And they're my friends.
"When Castiel first laid a hand on you in Hell he was lost!"
"Don't ever change."
"Sorry but I'd rather have you cursed or not."
"Don't make me lose you too."
"We were family once I'd have died for you."
"I prayed to you Cas, every night!"
"Let me bottom line it for you. I'm not leaving here without you!"
"You made an exception for me."
"Cas, I know you're in there. I know you can hear me. Cas, it's me. We're family. We need you. I need you."
Castiel searched deeper. He searched until he found the very last memory of the Castiel from the timeline Sam had known before. Against his better judgment, he allowed Sam to watch that memory as well, he had a right to know what had become of his brother. Before the timeline's corrected itself, Dean wrought hell on Earth after the loss of his little brother.
Castiel of that timeline watched diligently over him as he had done for years.
He did not interfere, but he watched over him.
Just as he had promised Sam he would.
In his anger and grief, Dean slaughtered others mercilessly. Demon, angel, human it mattered not who it was, but everyone who got in his path was eliminated.
Castiel watched on in silent acceptance as Dean opened the cage.
Archangels were heaven's most terrifying weapons, and the wrath of the two eldest archangels wasn't to be taken lightly.
Dean opened the cage and Castiel followed loyally after him into it.
Dean had torn apart to the very atoms that made up his being with Castiel not once leaving his side. Castiel died without any doubts, that Sam would change it. He died without any regret that he had followed after Dean. He'd promised after all.
Castiel reached up and touched a drip of water that slid down his cheek.
He investigated the salt water on the tip of his finger, "My vessel is leaking. Sam, there is much I need to think of on my own. I do not doubt anything you have shown me, but I am at a loss of what to make of all of it, and the problem with my vessel will need to be resolved. Sam, I-Sam?"
Castiel didn't know why Sam was shaking, but he guessed it had something to do with the memory he had shown Sam.
Humans were so confusing.
Sam continued shaking with his head bowed. Castiel hadn't a clue how to help him. Sam's breathing became rapid and choppy. Castiel reached out to steady him when he started to sway, but Sam quickly jerked away. Hyperventilating humans wasn't something Castiel had learned to deal with through the memories Sam had showed him. It wasn't until the door to the bunker door opened, that Castiel recognized the grace from before.
Even though Sam had shown him the memories, Castiel had to keep himself from pulling his angel blade on the one who let Lucifer into the Garden.
Sam couldn't breathe. He couldn't keep his thoughts from turning to Dean. He couldn't stop from feeling the pain. Dean and Castiel, the ones he'd known for years, they were gone. Sam dug his nails into his arms in an attempt to steady himself. He tried to concentrate on that feeling rather than everything else. Dean was alive again, and so was Castiel. Castiel was standing right in front of him, and Dean was at home in the bunker. He tried. He really tried, but it hurt too much. The world he knew was gone forever. The Dean he knew as gone forever. Castiel had followed after him, just like he promised.
Sam barely registered Gadreel coming up to him, his eyes not once leaving Castiel, and putting his hands on his. Gadreel leaned in close to him and whispered, "Sam, I know it hurts. I know. You must never forget what happened, but you must move on. Castiel and Dean are here and they are fine. They are alive because you made the choice to go back."
Sam breathed out a shaky breathe, "I could've-I should've stopped them. I could've helped them. I left them alone."
Gadreel wrapped his arms around Sam and held his head against his chest, "You did no such thing. You came back to make things right. There was no way to help him. You can help him now."
Castiel tilted his head, "Sam is in pain, and yet you assist him. Why is that? Why do you care."
Gadreel replied, "Humans never cease to amaze me, Castiel. I loved humanity. I care for Sam Winchester. We've been through much together. God gave me the mission to assist, but this goes beyond my mission. I must help my friend. You will learn this in due time, Castiel, if not through the memories through your own experience."
Castiel nodded, "I believe I will need time to learn, but I will keep this to myself, and I will try."
Gadreel gingerly stroked Sam's hair, "It is all I ask, Brother."
Gadreel turned to the bunker door when it opened. When he turned back to Castiel, he was gone. Dean immediately went to Sam and Gadreel and put his hand on Sam's back, "Sammy, are you okay? Did you have another panic attack? Come on, Sammy."
Sam gently pushed Gadreel away and practically jumped into Dean's opened arms. Dean wrapped his arms around his brother and hugged him tight. Dean hushed him, "Hey, remember, as long as I'm around nothing bad's gonna happen to you. Everything's fine, Sammy. I'm fine, Dad's fine, Bobby's fine. I got you, Little brother."
Sammy sniffled and buried his head into the crook of Dean's neck, "Sorry, I'm sorry."
Dean rubbed Sam's back, "Nothin' to be sorry for."
I'm proud of us.
Sam let the tears fall onto Dean's jacket.
That Dean was gone, and there was no getting him back, but his big brother was still with him.
There ain't no me if there ain't no you.
You're my brother and I'm here to take you home
We don't get to quit in this family. This family is all we've ever had!
We're far from perfect. But we are good.
Sam rubbed his damp eyes and let Dean go, "I'm good, Dean, really."
"No your not."
"Yeah, I'm not, but I will be."
Dean smiled and asked, "Wanna know something funny?"
"I might've had too much to drink because I'm pretty sure I saw a tax accountant before walking out here."
Sam laughed and although he didn't really understand Gadreel laughed along. Dean ran a hand through his hair, "Well, I came out here to tell you Bobby's got a lead on some demonic omens and Dad's thinking we should hit the roadhouse before checking into it."
Sam said, "Let's go."