A/N: Here's my attempt at another Supernatural fic... I don't own Supernatural, the CW, or any other known entity. The title for this chapter and the lyrics at the end are from the song "One Small Choice" by Audiovent. Which I also don't own. Finally, this is extremely loosely based around the season 5 spoilers. Castiel has fallen, and not near Sam and Dean. He is human, for all intents and purposes, but Heaven is ambivalent to him... I'll explain it better later. I promise. :) I hope you guys enjoy it, and please review. :)
One Small Choice
Trembles are not something he's used to. After all, it's hard to have the shakes when you can't feel the cold. But he can feel it now, and that thought slightly scares him. That's another thing he can feel now- fear. Emotions. Other people. It's a whole new world he never knew existed, even though he saw it before his own eyes.
Until Castiel had been sent down to Earth, humans had been nothing more than magnificent creatures created by his father that he had loved to watch from afar. When he had been offered the opportunity to go down, rescue Dean, and hopefully stop the Apocalypse before it could start, Castiel had jumped for it. He could finally see these wonderful beings up close.
Now, after a year down here, he understands why Uriel didn't think so highly of them. People can be dicks, too.
For the first time since he fell a few hours ago, Castiel wonders if Anna would be proud of his choice. She hasn't spoken to him in some time, and he knows that's because Heaven forbids it. She's working on getting back into good spirits in Heaven, even though she willingly fell before. Castiel, on the other hand, can't be sure if he fell, or was tossed out.
Either way, he's here now.
He wishes that he could still hear the angels, as surely they would know where Dean was. Castiel, however, does not. And he's finding it's not as easy to locate a human when you actually are one. He wishes that he had paid more attention to Sam and Dean, and the ways they used to communicate with each other.
His chattering teeth give him a bit of a headache as he shivers violently on the dark, dirt road. There's no one else out here, as far as he can see, and he prays that he doesn't run across a demon. Or worse- Lucifer. Castiel continues further down the road, hoping to find some human civilization to burrow in until he can get in touch with the Winchesters.
He passes through a field, finding the remains of a building. Castiel recognizes this place as the prophet Chuck described it. This used to be The Roadhouse. The fallen angel walks closer to the remnants, shivering harder as the wind kicks up. He realizes there is something drastically unsettled about this place, but he can't figure it out now that he's no longer otherworldly. He reasons that maybe there are spirits still here, but as they are not attacking him, he figures they are harmless. Castiel moves away from the building, knowing there is nothing left here to help him find his way, and he must move on.
Headlights appear along the deserted road some time later, and Castiel wonders if he should stay in the road or move to hide. He closes his eyes and thinks he's going to move, but nothing happens beyond the car in front of him trying to screech to a halt. It stops a few inches after hitting Castiel in the leg, and the driver gets out to see if the man he hit is alright.
The man seems oddly familiar, but Castiel keeps his coat turned up, feeling something unpleasant from his leg. He deduces this must be true physical pain, something he has never felt before, and now he can understand why Dean had been… well, the only way to describe him was miserable in the hospital.
Feelings. Sensations. This is really going to be a new world.
"Are you okay?" the man asks, and Castiel recognizes the voice.
"Bobby Singer," the fallen angel says.
"Castiel," Bobby replies, confused. "What the hell are you doing out here?"
Castiel tries to shrug but shudders instead, his body feeling frigid to the core. He's going to have to get used to this temperature thing. Rather than focus on that, he turns back to Bobby and says, "I fell."
"What do you mean, you fell?" The older hunter puts an arm around the mystified angel, and Castiel can feel his warmth, followed by a splash to the face. Castiel, however, has come to understand that this is par for the course with hunters.
"The archangel. I don't know how I survived. But, I'm here."
Castiel can tell the hunter is perplexed, and for once, the angel can share in the sentiment. But that feeling of confusion doesn't stop Bobby from putting a cut from a silver knife in Castiel's arm.
"You fell from Heaven? Like Anna?"
Castiel merely nods as Bobby finally helps him up and ushers him into the car, satisfied that Castiel is who he says he is. He instructs the angel to put pressure on the cut with his coat before checking to make sure that he didn't hurt Castiel that badly with the car. A bruised leg. The angel would be fine.
"Dean mentioned Anna," Bobby explains as he climbs in the driver's side. "That was some time ago, though."
"Yes, that was," Castiel says.
Silence falls over the car as both men have so many questions, but neither are sure how to ask them.
Finally, Bobby asks, "How ya feelin'?"
"I don't quite know," Castiel replies.
"Nothin's broken, just some bruises and cuts. Sorry, by the way. Didn't see ya until it was too late. And, the cut… well, can't be too careful."
"I understand. It kind of hurts, though."
Bobby nods. "Must be a new feelin' for ya."
Castiel manages to nod as well, his body still feeling cold along with the hurt. Suddenly, he can understand why Dean is so irritable sometimes.
"How did you fall?" Bobby asks.
"I'm… not sure," Castiel replies. "I don't remember. I just remember getting up from a ditch down the road."
"Yeah, I saw that crater. How come you fell near The Roadhouse? Sam and Dean aren't anywhere near here."
"I don't know why I fell here. Where are Sam and Dean?"
"Upstate New York. I'm heading up there now."
Castiel nods again, trembling frigidly as he watches Bobby reach into the back seat. The hunter hands the angel a blanket before turning up the heat in the car. "Wrap that around yourself before you freeze to death," Bobby instructs.
Castiel fumbles with the blanket, tucking it around his frame as he feels the car's heater kicking in harder. "Is it always this cold?" he asks, settling back against the seat.
"In some spots of the country at some points in the year, yeah. For here and now, no."
"I don't like the cold."
Bobby chuckles softly, digging through his pocket. "Not many people do."
"What are you doing?" Castiel inquires.
"Grabbing my phone," Bobby says, pulling out the aforementioned object.
"So I can call Dean and have him stop worrying about you being dead like he has been for the past few days."
"Dean is worried?"
"He thinks of you as a friend, Castiel. You've been there for him a lot this past year."
"I grew close to him too," Castiel finds himself confessing. "It got me into trouble."
Bobby seems aware of this, but does not say anything.
"How far is New York from here?" Castiel changes the subject, not wanting to think much more on the previous one.
"Few hours if I keep haulin' ass and don't run over any more fallen angels," Bobby says. "Why don't you get some sleep?"
Castiel finally realizes that heavy feeling eyelids mean his body needs rest, and he nods, closing his eyes at Bobby's request. Castiel is finding that being a human is a lot more difficult than the angels gave credit. After all, angels don't need to sleep or eat.
As Castiel starts to fall asleep, he hears Bobby dialing the phone. After a moment, the hunter say, "Dean? I found something."
As he starts to wake up, Castiel feels safe in his assumption that it would be morning if the sun were able to peek through the clouds. However, it is raining, and while the fallen angel has always been aware of what rain is like, he's never experienced it like this before. For the first time, he can actually feel the cold wetness that's seeping through the cracks of the clunker car's roof on his skin, and he wonders why some humans find this to be a pleasant feeling.
He also notes that he has to stop thinking of humans as a "them," and start referring to them as a "we," since he is now one of them.
Castiel shifts in the seat, awakening fully and looking over at Bobby. The hunter's focus is on the flooded street before them, and Castiel thinks about whether or not he should alert the driver that he is now awake.
"Sleep well?" Bobby asks, and Castiel realizes that Bobby is more perceptive than he thought.
"I guess so," he replies, looking over. "Where are we?"
"Pennsylvania, about five miles south of the New York border."
Castiel nods, not sure what exactly that means.
"We still have about two hours," Bobby explains as he glances over to the puzzled passenger. "You hungry?"
"Maybe?" Castiel replies. "I'm… I'm not sure."
"Your stomach hurt?"
Castiel assesses that for a minute before nodding in confirmation.
"You're probably hungry. Let's get somethin' to eat."
"Okay," Castiel agrees.
Bobby makes a quick detour and a few executive decisions about what the two of them are going to eat before handing over a bag and a cup to Castiel. "You might like this," Bobby says.
Castiel nods, reasoning that Bobby has to be right. The hunter pulls a breakfast wrap out of his own bag before starting the car up again. Castiel watches as Bobby balances eating and driving in torrential rain.
"You should eat before it gets cold," Bobby instructs, his mouth half-full of the bite he just took.
Castiel nods again, opening up the bag and pulling out a breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon, and cheese. He has seen Dean eat something similar in the past, and knows that the elder Winchester always seemed to enjoy it. As he takes a bite of the sandwich, he can finally understand why.
So this is what food tastes like.
Bobby grins to himself as he sees Castiel smile, a reaction that he knew had to be foreign. From all the lore he read and from what Dean told him, angels couldn't feel human emotions. But then again, Castiel wasn't exactly an angel anymore, was he?
Castiel takes a sip from the cup Bobby gave him, swallowing down the liquid that was a strange mix of bitter, sweet, and heavy. "What is this?" he asks Bobby, looking over.
"Coffee," Bobby replies, focusing on the road and his breakfast with expert precision.
"It tastes weird. But good."
Bobby chuckles lightly.
"This must be strange to you," Castiel says.
"What's that?" Bobby replies.
"Watching a grown person eat and drink for the first time."
Bobby half-shrugs. "I'm sure watchin' us for the past year was strange to you."
Castiel contemplates that statement. "I think if I knew what it was like to feel, it would have been."
Castiel keeps eating, staring out the window as the miles blur by in the haze of speed, fog, and rain. After what feels like a second out of his already long life, Bobby announces that they have arrived at their destination.
Castiel can't see much of anything through the pouring rain and fogged windows.
Bobby climbs out of the car as Castiel falls out, still not sure how to handle getting in and out of things. Bobby pretends not to find it funny as the fallen angel picks himself up off the ground before slamming the car door shut. Castiel notices Dean's prized Impala a couple spots over, and smiles slightly.
"Over here," Bobby says, ushering Castiel out of the rain and toward a motel room door. The hunter knocks loudly, and is greeted by the youngest Winchester opening the door.
"Hey Bobby," Sam says dismally as he looks down, and Castiel watches him with unassuming eyes.
"What the hell did you do, ya idjit?" Bobby scolds, pushing past the young man and walking into the motel room.
"I'm sorry, Bobby."
Castiel puts his hand on Sam's shoulder, and the younger Winchester looks up.
"Cas?" Sam asks. "I thought you were dead."
"I called your brother yesterday to tell you he wasn't," Bobby says as Castiel and Sam walk in and close the door. "Where the hell is he anyway?"
"He's in the shower. And, he's not exactly talking to me."
"He will get over it," Castiel remarks, sitting down on a chair in the corner. "He always does."
Sam takes little comfort in this, flopping face down onto his bed.
"Might wanna take your coat off, Castiel," Bobby says. "We're gonna be here a while."
Castiel nods, but keeps his coat on anyway.
Dean walks out of the bathroom in a T-shirt and boxers, and spots Bobby first. "Thought I heard you," the elder Winchester says, hugging Bobby.
"Yeah, and I brought you somethin'," Bobby replies, gesturing at where the fallen angel is trying to figure out what is a comfortable sitting position.
Castiel looks up. "Hello, Dean," he says softly, standing.
"You sound… different."
"You're not going to stab me too, are you?"
"Nah, I trust Bobby." Dean gratefully hugs Castiel, a move that the fallen angel doesn't return, but both are happy to know their friend was still intact. "Chuck said you were dead."
"I have no idea why I'm not."
Dean shrugs, stepping back and finally pulling on a pair of pants.
"Where is Chuck?" Castiel asks.
"Next room over," Dean replies. "Wasn't sure letting you two be in the same room was a good idea. His archangel might come after you."
"I think I would be safe. I'm not a demon."
Dean nods, walking back over to Bobby and starting to talk strategy. Castiel walks over to Sam's bed, sitting down next to the despondent hunter.
"Are you okay?" the fallen angel asks. Sam scoffs.
"I broke the last seal," the younger man replies. "How would you feel?"
Castiel tilts his head slightly. "I don't know."
Sam shrugs, burying his face into the pillow once again.
"May I ask you something?" Castiel begins hesitantly after a moment.
"Sure," Sam replies, his voice muffled by the pillow.
"I'm new at these feelings. What does it mean when there's this full tightness in your-"
"It means you have to use the bathroom," Sam interrupts. "You go in there, take off your pants, and let it out in the toilet."
Castiel blushes slightly as he notices Bobby and Dean have attuned themselves to this conversation. "Right," he says softly. "Thanks."
Sam makes no noise of recognition, and Castiel stands up, walking toward the small room Dean had entered from earlier and following Sam's instructions.
Dean waits until the bathroom door clicks shut before turning to Bobby, slightly amused. "He doesn't know how to piss?" he asks.
"You should see him try to eat or get out of a car," Bobby replies, grinning.
Dean simply chuckles.
Castiel washes his hands, remembering seeing other humans do that after going to the bathroom but having never known why they did that. He leaves the small room and walks back over to the bed holding the youngest Winchester. Dean and Bobby continue to talk about what's going on outside and how exactly they are supposed to stop it.
Is there lore about killing the devil?
Castiel sinks down next to Sam, who remains downhearted but at least has his head out of the pillow now. "Sam," Castiel tries.
"Save it," the younger man spouts, and Castiel remembers that when pushed hard enough, Sam has the same stubbornness and temper as Dean. "I know I screwed up."
"You're damn right you did," Dean adds from the corner, and the look on Sam's face is all Castiel needs to know that these are probably the first words Dean has said to him in a few days. "I told you Ruby was no good for you."
"Fightin' and blamin' each other isn't gonna help," Bobby cuts in. "We need to work together to get rid of Lucifer."
"You're right, okay?" Sam snaps, finally jumping up off the bed. "I messed up. I get that. But can you stop throwing it in my face for five seconds?"
"You brought Hell on Earth!" Dean shoots back. "What were you thinking, Sam?"
"That killing Lilith would prevent the seal from being broken."
"Because you listened to that black-eyed bitch when you should've listened to me two years ago! I told you she was no good! You can't trust a demon!"
"I KNOW!" Sam screams with more anger than any person in the room was aware he possessed. "I messed up. I know that. It's been screwed up for two years, and that's my fault. I didn't want to trust her, but she seemed helpful."
Dean shakes his head and gets ready to launch into some other angry tirade, but Sam jumps up and stops him.
"I can't take this," the younger Winchester says. "I'm going for a walk."
"It's pouring rain, Sam," Bobby tries.
Sam storms out without another word and his jacket, leaving Bobby and Castiel to look at the other Winchester.
"What?" Dean asks.
And what if I had never decided this,
Would I be here or be gone?
And all I ever wanted
Was just to see how it could be
One small choice