The news put a damper on their mood, it was a shocking reminder of how real the danger of Lucifer was. But they still wanted to go to the game. If anything, it made Dean realize he might as well enjoy life while he still could. They all made sure they had Sister Mary Clarisse's number programmed into their phones, and Sam figured out that her new temporary location was going to knock three hours off their drive.
"I know everyone's wondering if this is Lucifer's doing, so am I, but can we put off discussing it until after the game? Please?"
They all agreed, and drove to the store to pick up soda and chairs. Dean really wanted a beer, but it was a high school game, so beer didn't seem appropriate. Castiel insisted on umbrellas as well, just in case the rain started up again.
Feeling like a kid, Dean drove out to the soccer field while Sam gave directions. Up ahead of them was the dark cloud that still had a silver lining glinting on its edges. Sam looked at it thoughtfully for awhile, and then took out a piece of paper from his wallet.
Dean could see Sam reading it in the rear-view mirror, and realized it was Father O'Brian's poem. Sam mulled over it for several minutes as Dean was nearing the soccer field. Once the brilliant emerald green of the park was visible, and Dean was slowing down, Sam started talking.
"O'Brian's poem. It's like a puzzle. When you read this - Where can an eternal light hide, when its very existence eliminates all shadows? It conflicts with the next sentence - If an angel's light is obscured from view, it peeks out from the edges like the silver lining of a cloud. See what I mean? If an angel's light eliminates all shadows, the next sentence makes no sense. How would it get obscured from view, if the light is powerful enough to eliminate shadows?"
"Sam, it's just a priest's poem," Dean said. He felt as if he was chasing away any threat to having his afternoon ruined, Sam's brilliant deductions at the moment included.
"No," Bobby said, and took the paper to look at it himself. "Sam's onto something here. I think it means something. It's a clue. It's reminding me of how Castiel couldn't be affected by Lucifer's spell."
"Yeah," Sam affirmed. "And Cas, didn't you say something to us about an angel's light? That looking at it would be like our eyes would be walking through candlelight, and that it was multi-dimensional? More than three dimensions?"
"Yes, I did, and it's true. I also believe the poem is a puzzle, because it suggests a conundrum. When I first heard the poem, it reminded me of my grace disappearing, but I almost feel this is suggesting something else….I will think on it."
"Good, think on it later, because we're at the field and the game's on!" Dean said as he found a parking spot. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds, and they all had to shield their eyes, unused to bright light lately.
Dean smiled at all the shouting and noise coming from the soccer game. People were cheering on the sidelines and Dean found a place to sit towards the end of the field. They had dragged blankets with them – there was a cool wind. They had only three blankets. Dean said he's share his with Castiel, and made a point of sitting his chair close enough to Castiel that he could spread the largest blanket over their laps. Bobby and Sam sat nearby but situated themselves a couple feet away from Dean and Castiel, to give them a small amount of privacy. The cooler was between the two groups of men, and they all pulled out a favorite soda and then hunkered down to watch the game.
Underneath the blanket, nobody knew what was going on, so Dean took advantage of the situation and grasped Castiel's hand and held it tightly. Castiel looked up at Dean and smiled. He returned the grip, and Dean felt happy that on their first date they were able to hold hands in public. Sort of.
Dean started telling Castiel about the rules of the game – basically that each team was trying to make goals with the ball, and they couldn't touch the ball with their hands. Everything was kicking or in some cases, kneeing. There was a scoreboard lit up on the other side of the field, and Dean pointed out that the home team was ahead – winning the game. Dean got into the spirit of things and shouted and clapped when the home team made a couple more goals.
Dean kept looking for the girl from the article, and the fact that her last name was written on the back of her jersey made his search relatively quick. He stayed focused on her, and felt pleased when she made another goal for the team. He noticed Castiel would squeeze his hand whenever the home team made a goal. He didn't whoop and holler like Dean did, but he was getting a kick out of it all, none the less.
Dean tightened his grip back, if that was even possible. He already felt like he was hanging on for dear life. It felt so good to be touching Cas again, and he knew once the road trip started he'd have to wait again to touch him, for lack of privacy. And then Dean noticed how warm his arm was, the right arm. He was holding Castiel's left hand with his right hand, and his right arm felt like it was in 80 degree weather, while his legs under the blanket still felt chilled to the bone with the wind. The grace! Dean was surprised he'd almost forgotten about it.
Dean leaned in towards Castiel. There was a lot of noise, but he managed to whisper audibly into Castiel's ear "You're making me warm and tingly, Cas. In more ways than one."
Castiel was about to say something, but Dean wasn't ready to trust it would be socially appropriate. So he put a finger to his lips and said – "later." Castiel nodded in understanding.
Finally the game was over with the girl from the article making the final goal. Cheers took over the field for a few moments. Dean became a little concerned that he'd be able to worm his way into getting a few words with her. It looked like teammates were all congregating around her, and people from the sidelines too.
Dean stood there just a little while finishing his soda and caressing Castiel's hand under the blanket. Which got Cas staring over at him with bedroom eyes on. Damn. No wonder Bobby and Sam had been talking about an angel's light leaving no shadows, because right now Castiel's eyes were burning with something that could smolder a building down in two seconds. Or at least make Dean's heart and other significant parts of his anatomy jump, and make his insides melt and pool down straight to his lap. Dean let go of the grip and coughed. "Cas…um…yeah…" Dean was getting so lost in Castiel's eyes and how much he had missed them, that he decided, screw it all, I'm just going to enjoy this while it lasts.
Which was only about another half a minute because Bobby was saying, and not unkindly, "Boys, why don't you save that for tonight. Let's go over and talk to Brittney. The crowd's finally dissipating."
Crap. That pesky thing called reality was back. The game was over. Dean sighed and they stood up, took a few moments to fold up the blankets and chairs. Castiel agreed to watch their stuff while the other three men went to talk to the champ.
As they walked across the field, Dean was trying to decide if they were going to go the reporter angle, the FBI angle, or something else, to convince her to open up, when Sam was already at work with puppy dog eyes once they reached her. He opened his mouth and sap flew out of it like a maple tree suddenly hit with an assault rifle.
Sam was telling her how much her story touched her and how it inspired him to move forward in difficult times, and how he was so saddened by how she lost two family members in France, and how he loved France when he was briefly there as an exchange student. Dean tried hard not to roll his eyes. Dean was thinking either this was a brilliant idea or she was going to see right through his bad acting.
Fortunately, Brittney was touched by Sam's words and thanked him profusely. She looked down sadly, batting away a few tears.
"Your grandma and aunt, were they close?" Sam asked.
"Yes, they were identical twins, and they did everything together. I'd never see a tighter bond than theirs. I'm going to miss them so much. I never saw Grandma without Aunty Silvia too. Both of their husbands were already gone, so they just did everything together." She sighed. "I hate to say it, but part of me is glad they died together. If one was alive now without the other…I think the grief would kill her."
"Not to sound insensitive, and of course, I 'm so very sorry again for your loss. But I thought it was rather…coincidental, that your grandmother and aunt both lived for the same time frame, just ten minutes apart, really."
Brittney shrugged. "They were twins. They lived together, they died together, only a rare few can take claim to that, I would say they were blessed. It's hard for me to express, but it's like they left some kind of a mark on the world. Beyond them being important to me and the rest of the family. I really can't explain it. Other than they were a visible reminder of the glue that keeps people together. Even though they were very close, they never made anyone else feel less important. They were a living, breathing example of bonding, done right." She sobbed a little then, the pain of the reminder they were no longer living or breathing, too much.
Dean, Sam, and Bobby introduced themselves and Dean had to bite his tongue from saying his usual 'call us if you think of anything else'.
Other people wanted Brittney's attention, so they thanked her and waved goodbye as they walked away.
"Did you learn anything new?" Bobby asked.
"Other than the fact that Lucifer has issues with bonding done right, not really," Sam admitted.
"In other words, we didn't learn anything new."
"That's what I just said!"
Dean broke up their little scuffle. "Hey, I had fun guys, did you have fun?" They were joining Castiel now, picking up their items, and everyone admitted to a good time.
"Sam? Sam?" it was Brittney's voice, behind them. They all turned around.
She caught up with them. "I just wanted to say I appreciated the reminder of just how special Grandma and Aunty were. Thank you. And growing up around them, I kind of developed a six sense when it comes to bonds…like I can see them as clear as a picture in front of me. Dean and Sam, I can tell you two grew up together, and are very close…I just wanted to say I hadn't seen a bond as strong as Grandma and Aunty's, until now. And Dean…and….:" Brittney looked at Castiel but hadn't been introduced to him.
"Castiel," Dean told her.
She looked a little confused. Dean thought it was because of the odd name. Once she spoke, he realized it was the fact that she was trying to express her impressions into words.
"Dean and Castiel. Your bond is…important. Like earth-shattering important." She looked down for a moment. "Now I feel stupid for saying it. But honestly, it was the reason I ran over here. I could sense Dean and Sam's bond immediately as a deep sibling bond. However I could also tell Dean was one of the people in an incredibly important bond. I had to see both of you, in the hopes of completing the picture."
"And what do you see now?" Dean asked softly.
"This is going to sound completely nuts….but I see hope for mankind. When I see the two of you."
Everybody froze. Dean eventually realized she felt silly, so he broke the silence. "Actually, this is going to sound weird, but that doesn't sound nuts. It fits."
Looking surprised at that reaction, Brittney asked softly, "Who are you?"
Dean thought for a moment. "Just some people trying to do something really important. It would be hard to explain.
"Can I give you guys my phone number? I'd be willing to listen if you had time."
Sam got out his phone. "Yeah, and if you ever want to talk about what happened to your grandmother and aunt, give us a call." He took her number and provided his.
"What else do you see, when you see me and Cas?" Dean asked. "If you could see the brotherly bond with Sam and I, what do you sense for Cas and I?"
She paused, unable to answer.
"Don't worry, it won't sound weird." Dean assured her.
"Oh trust me, it will."
"A man and his guardian angel, to be honest."
Everyone caught their breath. Other than Castiel, who showed no surprise. Dean stepped forward and whispered, "This is going to sound nuts, but you're spot on. You've got some kind of gift. Heck, it might even become useful to us in our research later. Thanks for coming over and talking with us."
Brittney smiled, pleased she hadn't scared them away, yet still looking uncertain and confused. Dean figured it was probably the fact that she couldn't imagine what was so important for them to do. Someone shouted Brittney's name across the field and she waved goodbye and ran off.
They walked back to the car. Sam leaned over to Castiel and asked, "So, you didn't look surprised when she said that. I'm still surprised. We went to her in the hopes of getting information, a few clues, and instead we run into someone who can see exactly who we are. What's going on here?"
Castiel turned to look at all of them before he spoke. "The Lord is speaking to us through her. It's that simple"