A/N: This story is in response to a prompt from anon gifter, who wanted a kid!Cas fic. So here it is! Lots of adorableness ahead, and h/c (of course). Hope you guys enjoy. Set in season 6, after "The French Mistake," but there was never any soulless Sam. Huge thank you to 29-pieces-of-me for not only beta reading, but also for drawing that gorgeous piece of cover art! You'll all see in a later chapter that it's straight out of the story. I wish I could display it fully, but sizing issues...*sigh* I'm sure you can find it on her deviantart page. Story will update on Fridays.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural.
The world was a sea of black, browns, and grays, all swirling together in an eddy above Castiel's head. He blinked slowly, his thoughts sluggish, body numb. He was lying on something hard, and a chill had seeped up into his core. Where was he? What was wrong with him?
He tried to move, but every muscle in his body was stiff. Not only that, but there was something cold and metallic clamped around his wrists and ankles. Castiel lifted his head, but the minute effort darkened his vision completely for several long, agonizing moments. When light began to filter in again, he held himself perfectly still in order to ascertain his surroundings.
The grays solidified into concrete walls, the browns into oxidized windows. Castiel roved his gaze to the side; he was on the floor, hands and feet shackled. White lines of Enochican sigils surrounded him. Sigils that bound and weakened his grace. He couldn't even access angel radio.
Panic and confusion elevated his vessel's heart rate, and he tried to push himself upright, but couldn't seem to muster the strength.
"Ah, you're awake."
Castiel wrenched his head back to see who had arrived. An angel whose vessel was dressed in a casual suit, with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, strode forward to leer down at him. There didn't seem to be anyone else around.
"Obadiah, what are you doing?" Castiel asked, dread coiling around his stomach. Memory was trickling through the fog in his mind—he and Obadiah had met to discuss the recent recon mission on Raphael's forces. The report had been discouraging, and Obadiah had proposed using the recovered heavenly weapons to wipe out the lesser angels of Raphael's ranks. Castiel had refused…and he didn't remember anything after that.
Obadiah began to pace around him, skirting the edge of the warding that kept Castiel pinned and prone on the floor. "I need something from you, Castiel. The heavenly weapons will give us a desperately needed advantage over Raphael, and yet you refuse to use them."
"The weapons alone won't defeat Raphael," Castiel argued, tracking Obadiah's movements with his eyes. He hated being trapped like this, vulnerable and helpless. And he didn't understand; Obadiah was an ally, a friend.
"But they will cull his army."
Castiel shook his head, and gritted his teeth against the ensuing wave of dizziness. "Many of our brothers and sisters have been deceived, or are blindly following Raphael because they don't realize they have a choice. I will not engage in a wide-scale, fatal attack without giving them that choice."
"They would not think twice about ripping your wings off, Castiel," Obadiah snapped. The angel slowly lifted one hand to rub his shoulder, gaze going distant for a moment. "Pleas for mercy do not sway them."
Castiel frowned. "Who hurt you, Obadiah?"
The other angel angled his head down and sneered. "You think you are the only one to suffer Raphael's bite? I never agreed with Lucifer's rebellion, but I still loved our brother. I prayed for his redemption. Raphael and his sycophants thought they needed to teach me a lesson for that."
Castiel's heart clenched with grief. Angels torturing other angels, instigating the Apocalypse intentionally…what had they become?
Obadiah resumed his pacing, steepling his fingers as a predatory glint gleamed in his eye. "I cannot touch Raphael, but I can see to it that the others are properly punished."
"If you use the heavenly weapons, you'll risk killing dozens of other angels as well," Castiel pressed, desperation tingeing his voice. If he could just get free…but each effort to move was met with an invisible vice holding him down.
"They should have chosen a different side."
"You cannot punish the masses for the transgressions of a few."
"They are all guilty!" Obadiah snarled. "They support Raphael and his ideology, and I will extinguish them from the face of the universe!" He stomped back around to loom over Castiel. "Now tell me where the weapons are!"
Castiel stared back up defiantly. "How are your methods here different from what they would do? Don't lower yourself to this, Obadiah, please."
Obadiah just shook his head. "This isn't personal, Castiel, and I take no pleasure from it. But I cannot let those monsters poison Heaven any longer, not when I finally have the means to stop them. So I need those weapons, and if you will not tell me, I'll just have to take the information…" He shifted to Castiel's side and knelt down, reaching into his suit coat to pull out a small glass container filled with a dark red, viscous looking liquid.
Castiel squirmed, trying to pull himself up, but the sigils on the ground included his name, making sure he stayed locked down tight. Obadiah uncapped the jar and dipped two fingers into the substance.
"What are you—"
Obadiah touched Castiel's forehead and traced a symbol with the cold unguent. "This will probably be easier on you if you don't resist." His voice dropped an octave as he began to chant in Enochian.
"Brother, please…" Castiel sucked in a sharp breath as static sizzles raced across his skin. The air crackled with electricity. "Don't—"
Obadiah pressed his fingers into the center of Castiel's forehead, and it was like a rod of lightning shooting through his brain. His back arched, muscles seizing. It felt as though Obadiah's hand was literally sinking into Castiel's flesh, burrowing into his mind. Thoughts, memories, and images flashed behind his eyes. Obadiah continued to chant the spell, fueling the power behind his will as he delved deeper, throwing aside those things that were of little use to him, dissecting anything that held promise. He was relentless, and each pursuit felt as though it was physically ripping Castiel apart.
In the space between spasms, he regained the presence of mind to at least attempt to shield himself. But the pain was all-encompassing, and Obadiah pushed back all the more forcefully. Castiel's mind was a whirlwind of chaos, each memory flashing faster and faster. Angel wings, blood, faces…bright light, fire, angel wings…blood, faces, tears.
A scream rent from his throat, and Castiel finally managed to lash out in a blind panic. His arm clobbered the other angel in the face. Obadiah broke physical contact and shot a hand out to catch himself, accidentally knocking over the jar of ichor in the process. The contents splattered across the ground. As soon as the liquid touched the lines of Enochian, it began running of its own accord to trace the same pattern, painting over the white in glowing red. It seeped underneath Castiel, growing hot and bright. Then it felt as though his grace was being pierced by dozens of knives. The pressure in the air increased until he couldn't breathe, and power swelled around him like a cocoon, swallowing Castiel in a supernova of white-hot energy. He could barely form a coherent thought outside the pain and frenzy.
He did notice when the sigiled cuffs around his wrists and ankles suddenly slid off, and on pure, desperate instinct, Castiel spread his wings and fled into the ether.
Flight did not bring relief, however, for the buffeting gales of wind and light beat at Castiel until he was tumbling in an uncontrolled spiral. He couldn't tell up from down, or where he was going…or even where he was trying to go. His wings flapped frantically, and the multi-colored aura filling his vision started to crack like fragile glass.
In the next instant, the ether vanished, and Castiel found himself plummeting through the air and striking the ground in a shower of dirt and broken branches. He landed flat on his back, chest heaving and white spots dancing across his vision. For a long moment, he just laid there admiring the stars that seemed close enough to touch. He even tried grabbing one, but it winked out and his fingers closed around empty air.
Finally, when the roar of pounding blood in his ears faded away and he was left in silence, Castiel turned his attention inward to take stock of himself. Everything…hurt. That was worrisome, though he wasn't sure why. Heavy fabric was weighing his limbs down, and he shrugged out of the top two layers. The rest of his clothes were torn and did not fit comfortably, so he fixed both with an eye blink.
He gazed around the towering redwoods and goldenrod maples, having no idea where he was. He sat in a pile of leaves for a long time, trying to figure it out, but nothing happened. It was peaceful, yet Castiel didn't exactly feel safe. He needed to leave, needed to get…somewhere.
There was a ping in the back of his mind, something that felt familiar. Castiel grasped for that thread, and prepared to leap.
"Son-of-a-bitch," Dean groused as he pushed open the passenger door of the Impala. The damn werewolf had dislocated his shoulder before they'd managed to gank it, and now every movement sent a dull throb through his abused joints.
"You should ice that," Sam said from the driver's seat. He'd popped the shoulder back in, of course, but still insisted on driving them back to the motel.
"Thank you, Dr. Winchester."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Jerk."
"Bitch." Dean bit back a groan as he climbed out and turned around to lean back in. "You'd better bring pie, Sam. I don't care if you have to drive to three different places to find some, I need pie."
Sam let out a long-suffering sigh. "You need an ice pack and some Advil. But I'll bring you pie, princess."
"Have you looked in the mirror? Get a haircut."
Sam arched a single brow. "Really? That's the best you can come up with? You must be in a lot of pain." It was amazing how his younger brother could manage to sound both sympathetic and unapologetically smug.
"Shut up." Dean swung the door closed, wincing as the movement triggered another spasm.
Sam waved before driving off, and once he'd pulled out of the drive, Dean let some of the exhaustion and pain he was feeling drag his shoulders down. He needed a drink, shower, and food. Possibly in that order.
He walked up to the motel room and fished the key from his pocket. He'd just fitted it in the lock when a crash sounded from inside. Dean whipped his gun out, forgetting about his injured shoulder. He swallowed an audible grunt. Crap, maybe he should call Sam to turn around.
Pressing his back to the wall, Dean started reaching for his phone, but noticed that no more sounds were coming from inside the room. A whole host of possibilities ran through his mind: angels, demons, monster, ghost. He glanced at the porch light mounted three feet away and noted it wasn't flickering. That didn't really guarantee anything though.
And shit, why was it so quiet all of a sudden? If someone like a witch was in there planting hex bags, Dean was so not waiting around to bust their ass. Wrenching the door handle, he charged inside, pistol up and aimed at whatever intruder had come after them. But there was no one standing in the room that Dean could see. His gaze flicked around in a quick survey, and narrowed on an overturned chair, broken lamp…and finally settled on a kid sprawled on the floor, palms holding himself up as he blinked dazedly.
The little boy looked up. "Hello."
Dean glanced over his shoulder, but the parking lot outside was empty. A quick check of the windows showed they were sealed. "How did you get in here?"
The kid canted his head to the side. "I flew." He turned a solemn look toward the shattered ceramic pieces and crumpled lamp shade. "I didn't land very well though."
Dean quickly lowered his gun, but didn't put it away. The boy couldn't have been more than four years old, and while he seemed harmless enough, Dean had dealt with monster children before. Although, if the most mischief this one was gonna cause was sneaking into people's rooms to jump on the bed, he wasn't all that threatening. Dean took in the kid's black slacks and white dress shirt, looking as though he'd been on his way to Sunday school and gotten lost. Except for the not wearing any shoes or socks.
"Where are your parents?" Dean asked. This was so not what he wanted to be dealing with at the end of a very long day.
The kid pursed his lips. "Mhm, I've never met Father, but Gabriel used to watch us. He was a lot more fun than Michael." The kid's face fell at that. "Gabriel's gone now."
Dean blinked incredulously. Gabriel? Michael? "Wait, you're an angel?"
The kid nodded, still half-lying on the floor.
If Dean's eyebrows could have risen any higher, he would no longer have any. "What, you couldn't find an adult vessel?"
The little angel tilted his head. "What's a vessel?"
"Uh, the kid you're wearing? And how the hell is he even old enough to give consent to be possessed?"
The boy looked down at himself and picked at his white dress shirt. "These clothes were too big when I woke up, so I made them smaller."
Dean just stared at him. When he woke up? Angels didn't sleep. But then, angels weren't usually this…muddled. If Dean didn't know any better, he'd think the angel inside that little boy was also a child. But he'd never heard of kid angels. Time to pass this one off to Cas.
He hesitated before sending up a prayer though, suspicion darkening his expression. "How did you find me anyway?"
The kid angel finally scampered off the floor and climbed on top of the bed so he was almost eye level with Dean. "You vibrate." He reached out a tiny hand and laid it on Dean's shoulder, where the handprint scar was hidden. Dean startled at the zing that sparked under the touch. The kid must have felt it too, because he smiled. "Dean."
"Uh, okay." This was getting weird.
The kid's expression changed again, turning somber as his voice pitched softer. "I shattered, and I couldn't find all the pieces, but I felt this one."
Sad blue eyes blinked up at Dean, and he felt a familiar jolt of deja vu. No way… He ran his gaze over the clothes and head of dark, tousled hair. Dean swallowed hard. "Uh, what's your name?"
The kid did that telltale head tilt thing, brows knitting together in intense concentration. After a prolonged moment, his face lit up as though he'd just won a teddy bear at the carnival. "Castiel."
Dean reeled back. Oh, hell no.