Just as Dean was about to seal the deal, lips puckered and eyes wide open in alert for foul play, the demon keeled over, black, acrid smoke rushing from of her mouth. Behind her stood a smarmy looking man in a nicely tailored black suit who was wiping his hand off on his suit jacket.

"He's mine," the man said in a thick British accent to the dead body laying between them.

Dean's eyes widened against his will. What the hell had just happened? He took a half-step back, reaching for his gun. It wouldn't do anything, but it would at least make him feel better to have it in his hands.

"Dearest Castiel," the man—who was most likely a demon—said, ignoring Dean by putting his hands together like he was praying. He completed the image by closing his eyes and bowing his head and continuing, "who art in heaven... Et cetera, et cetera. I've done as you asked. Now come get your gift."

Nothing happened. Dean looked around, expecting someone—a god? He'd never heard of a god named Castiel, but, then again, he didn't know every god's name, and he wondered which pantheon it belonged to—to pop up. The demon before him opened an eye to glance around.


Still nothing.

The demon let out a disgusted noise and pulled out his phone. "I swear," he mumbled, punching in numbers on his phone. The air crackled around them as he continued to mutter swears under his breath. "Castiel," he growled into the phone. "You winged buffoon. I have your pet squirrel."

"But I don't have a pet squirrel," a deep voice said behind Dean.

Dean spun around to see a man in a trench coat and dark suit tilting his head in confusion towards the demon. Then his blue eyes shifted to Dean and he seemed to light up in joy.

"Ah." The man—Castiel—tucked his phone away. "Is it May second already?"

"Has been all day," replied the demon.

"Since when do demons and gods work together?"

"Ah," Castiel said again. "I'm not a god. I tried being God once, though. That didn't go too well."

The demon rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes. Do get on with it."

"My apologies." Castiel turned to Dean. "I meant to be here much sooner to prevent Sam's death."

"What the hell is going on here?"

"I am Castiel," the holy tax accountant said with a quirk of his lips. Almost like he was trying to hide his amusement or he knew something Dean didn't. Right now, that was a lot of things. "I am an angel of the Lord."


"That is your problem," Castiel replied, almost sounding bored as he rolled his eyes and turned towards the demon. "You have no faith." To the demon, he said, "Thank you, Crowley. You have fulfilled your end of the bargain. I will keep mine."

The demon—Crowley, apparently—squinted his eyes at Castiel. "Just remember you can't even suggest it."

Castiel flapped his hand. "Yes, yes. I was aware of the parameters when we made the deal."

"Since when do demons and angels work together?" Dean paused, frowning and looking up without moving his head. "Can they?"

Crowley threw a disgusted glare towards Castiel. "I felt disgustingly clean afterwards, but a deal's a deal."

Dean made his own disgusted face. It was one thing for humans to make deals with demons—it was quite another to know that angels could (and would, apparently) do the same.

"Come," said Castiel, moving towards Dean now, since Crowley had disappeared during Dean's musings. "If you want me to resurrect your brother, we need to do so quickly."

"But you just made a deal with a demon."

"And you were about to. What's your point?"

Before Dean could comment, Castiel touched two fingers to his forehead and between one blink and the next they were next to Sam's dead body, still in the dilapidated building on the bed that looked two seconds and a strong wind away from collapsing under his brother. Just the sight of his still, unmoving body made his throat tight and eyes sting.

But then he was moving—his chest rising and falling with breath, limbs twitching. Then—gasping, flailing, jerking upright. Dean rushed forward, gathering his giant, stupid baby brother in his arms. He'd never admit to the wetness in his eyes, and hopefully Sam wouldn't bring it up, either. He clutched at the back of Sam's shirt, trying to ignore the stickiness where he'd been stabbed. It had started to crust as it dried.

"Don't go to Hell," Castiel said behind them in his deep, bored voice. Dean just managed to let Sam go to turn and look at him. "You go to Hell," Castiel continued, "and you'll start the Apocalypse."

Castiel tilted his head, staring at them for a moment. Then, "Again."

And he was gone.

Sam's mouth opened and closed a few times, squinting at the space Castiel had been. "Dude." He cleared his throat. "What the hell?"

"Sammy," Dean replied, clapping his shoulder as he moved away. "I have no idea."