Nothing sounded better to Dean at the moment than opening up a cold one with his brother and kicking back in a nameless motel that he'd forget all about two weeks later. But Lilith had been killed, thus the final seal had been broken, and Dean was several steps closer to his epic battle with Lucifer. Great. And Zachariah won't tell me jack shit about how I'm supposed to conquer the Lord and Ruler of Hell himself. Since just winging it didn't sound like an effective way to bump off the king of evil, Dean and Sam booked it out of St. Mary's before Lucifer could squash Dean and start making plans to rule the world. Guess Lucifer was going to have to wait a little while and Dean was going to have to wait for that refreshing beer. He wanted to be one step ahead of Lucifer at all times, which means he needed some guidance.
Not that he had any idea what he was doing or what there was to do in a situation like this. Which was why he really needed that guidance. Zachariah only gave a rat's ass about prophecy. His precious little Bible story that mommies and daddies would read to the kiddies two thousand years later. Probably Sam drinking demon blood and Dean nearly losing his brother to said demon blood was just a good dose of angst that made the future of humanity more likely to be good little Bible studiers. What was next? Dean didn't want to find out.
Which was why Dean was impressed when Chuck had said that he and Castiel showing up all the sudden wasn't in the story. So it wasn't meant to happen that Castiel would disobey and follow Dean. On the plus side, maybe there was still hope for humanity. On the other hand, Lucifer still needed to be dealt with. Prophecy or no prophecy, Lucifer was one badass that needed to be stopped, and Dean hoped that in the process he, Sam and Castiel strayed so much from prophecy that they didn't end up Stepford drones in the end.
Castiel. Dean was worried about the angel. Last time he saw him, Cas had an angry archangel to deal with. And since Cas had disobeyed, he would be hunted, and killed – well that is what Castiel had said. Now that Castiel had sided with Dean, Dean and Sam were his only ally, and Dean needed to look out for him. Went the other way too, Dean had disobeyed himself and the only heavenly force he could count on now to help him was Castiel. He needed to get to the angel quick.
"We need to get to Chuck's right away and find out what happened to Cas," Dean said, and hoped they wouldn't be too late. Moments later, Dean heard a familiar voice saying his name from the backseat of the car. Before that, he heard that familiar whoosh of wind that made Dean think Castiel's trench coat was doubling as a cape.
"Cas?" Dean said, glancing up at his rearview mirror to take a look at the angel. "Are you alright?" He didn't see any cuts or scratches on him, but that didn't mean a whole lot since Castiel was capable of healing himself.
"I'm okay for now, Dean, and we need to hide out at the most expensive hotel in town," Castiel said. "Hurry."
"The most expensive hotel in town?" Dean repeated. "Just so you know, I haven't had a whole lot of time to hustle pool lately."
"I can take care of the bill," Castiel said. "Just go there." Castiel named the hotel and gave directions on the way.
"Just out of curiosity," Dean said, "How can an angel run from other angels? Don't they have an omnipresent tracking device up there in heaven?"
Castiel was silent for a few moments. Then he said, "Very carefully."
Their digs for the night was certainly the Ritz. Dean with his worn out leather jacket and scuffed up shoes felt out of place walking on the plush carpet of the lobby which happened to have fountains with statues and pillars and fireplaces – and this lobby itself was much larger than any of the motel rooms Dean and Sam had ever stayed in. Dean watched Castiel hand the night clerk a huge wad of cash to pay for the evening. When she asked for ID, Dean showed one of his Kinko's specialties.
Their room smelled strangely like brand-new carpet and fresh air at the same time. Castiel had asked for a two-bed room, and it was a fancy one – two four poster beds with canopies and an elevated area that was like a small living room with a couch, some chairs, a fireplace. Dean took one look at the arrangement and wondered who would sleep where. He wasn't used to a third party along for the trip. Whenever Bobby joined them, someone was stuck with a stiff chair. At least this time there was a couch.
"You and Sam can use the beds," Castiel said. "I do not need to sleep. Besides, someone needs to be on guard." He then proceeded to stand as stiffly as a statue, although he kept turning his head to keep his eyes on the entire perimeter of the room.
"Um, wait a minute, Cas," Dean said. "We just saw Lucifer start to bust out of the pit. I was hoping you could tell me you have a plan or some kind of guidance as to what we can do next? It might help me sleep a little better."
Castiel caught Dean's gaze and held it. Dean had to blink and shake his head a little because Castiel's eyes could be hypnotizing. "Dean, do you remember what I said at Chuck's house? We are making this up as we go along."
"Yeah, but you are an angel and surely you know something about how Lucifer can be stopped," Dean said.
Castiel looked down. "I'm working on it. It will be a little more difficult to research while I am on the run. But anything helpful I acquire, you will hear about it Dean. I promise. Now get some sleep, the both of you. You need to be well rested for tomorrow."
Dean and Sam slipped into the beds and Castiel stood on the elevated floor, - in the dark he was just a silhouette against the moonlight coming in through the window.
"Cas, what are you, a horse? You can sit on the couch if you want," Dean called out. The beds were rather far from where Castiel was standing, the room was so huge.
"No, I will stay standing. I need to be as alert as possible. And I am like a horse. I do not need to rest my legs."
"Suit yourself," Dean mumbled, and tried to get some sleep. He wondered how many other times Castiel had actually watched over him while he slept. He realized the idea didn't bother him. He thought of his mother telling him that angels would always be watching over him and felt a tiny contentment that she had been right.
It took awhile, but Dean knew he slept some because he had a dream. Castiel was in it, but he was different – in fact he wasn't sure if it was Castiel he had dreamt of or Jimmy, the passed-on soul of the vessel Castiel continued to use. But it felt like Cas –yet he didn't act like Cas at all, he was laughing, getting a twinkle in his eye, was acting – human. And he was wearing real people clothes, something like a white t-shirt with a blue striped shirt unbuttoned over it. And jeans. Not that beige trench coat that was glued to Castiel at all times. If Castiel was an action figure, that outfit would be painted on. No extra dress up sets would be necessary for the kiddies.
Dean woke up as dawn was breaking and thought about his dream a moment before letting Castiel know he was awake. He realized he wasn't sure what exactly Castiel was like inside – he couldn't just assume that Castiel acted and felt like a human because he wasn't human. What was an angel like inside? Dean found himself thinking of temperatures for some reason. Was an angel cold inside? Or warm? Not like Antartica and Tahiti cold and warm, but like the heartless kind or having a heart kind.
Anna had said angels were cold. But despite Castiel's hesitations and robotic tendencies to follow orders, Castiel did seem to have a human side. Dean had noticed that more than once Castiel couldn't handle Dean being mad at him. Cas cared. Cas had even gotten like a pissy bitch that time in Illinois – something a cold angel wouldn't have done. Sure, it was cold hearted, but it showed the angel was capable of emotion.
Dean even felt a little sorry now for calling Cas a spineless, soulless, son-of-a-bitch, now that Cas had taken Dean's side and shown he gave a rat's ass for humanity unlike that dick, Zachariah. But Dean didn't feel bad enough to give Castiel a sappy apology about it. Besides, it had done the trick and sometimes a person – or an angel – needed a strong dose of medicine to get things going in the right direction. He just felt he needed to watch the angel's back for him now, just like Cas was watching out for him.
Dean pulled the covers off his face and noticed the angel stood as diligently in the faint morning light as he had in the moonlight hours ago. His gaze was locked onto Dean – and Dean got this feeling it had been there almost the entire night.