Title: with heaven's help
Series: "Supernatural"
Disclaimer: Eric Kripke owns, yessir.
Warnings: SPOILERS. Speculation, language. This is set in episode 05x03. This is probably blasphemous, so if that bugs you, turn away~
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Dean, Raphael – mentions of others.
Rating: PG-13/T.
Other: Uh. Continuation of "your halo's slippin' down." Yes, please read it before this, as there are many things you need to know going into this. I think I might make a series out of this! Title is also from "The Noose," by A Perfect Circle.

-

The next person to find out who Dean is was Raphael and this one was intentional.

Long after Dean and Castiel leave the shattered house, the floor still burning and an enraged archangel trapped, Dean returns, expression neutral. He approaches the burning circle on the floor, Raphael glaring at him. "Want out?" He asks quietly, just loud enough to be heard over Raphael's storm and the roar of the enchanted flames.

Raphael stalks towards him, face murderous. "Let me out," he commands, his voice almost a hiss.

"First things first, Raphael. Tell me, where are the other archangels?" Dean asks.

Raphael's face blanks for a moment, before his eyebrows furrow. "Why would I tell you this?" He demands.

Abruptly, Dean smirks. "Be a good soldier and answer your CO's question."

And just like that, Raphael knows. He takes a step away from Dean, from the fire, face going slack in shock. Then, he breathes, "Michael?"

"Only technically," Dean confirms. "Think Anael."

Raphael's mouth falls open and Dean briefly wonders if his vessel is about to have a heart attack. "Fallen?"

"All part of the Grand Design, trust me on this." There is a sardonic lilt to his voice. "Tell me, Raphael, did anyone actually think this through? This plan for Paradise on Earth? Letting Lucifer free?" Dean asks, slowly circling the barrier of fire, Raphael watching warily.

Aware that he is on thin ice, Raphael turns in time with Dean. "I—"

"That'd be a no. See," Dean halts in front of Raphael, "I, that is, Dean, would have never consented to be a vessel for anything. Has anyone in Heaven actually seen me, Michael, since shortly after the Great War?" He shakes his head. "No. This whole plan was riding on Michael possessing Dean and then killing, and/or locking Lucifer back into his prison. Tell me, what was your contingency plan if this didn't happen, since it obviously isn't."

By the expression on Raphael's face, it is clear that no one had thought about this – that someone would not want the honor of being a vessel for the wrath of God, or that Michael would not have appeared once his vessel was ready.

Dean scoffs, shaking his head. "Christ, a guy goes away for for a few thousand years and everything falls apart." He sighs, then meets Raphael's eyes. "Lemme tell you somethin'. Heaven belongs to the angels. Hell belongs to the demons. Earth? Now Earth, that belongs to humans. You, the others, Lucifer, you're all fighting over something that will never belong to you."

It's clear Raphael wants to say something, the way he shifts his weight, so Dean makes a vague motion for 'hurry it up, now.' So he does. "You don't know what it's like!" He explodes, shifting restlessly behind the barrier. "You weren't there when our Father – when he... when he di—"

"Wait, hold on a sec. First off," his voice softens just slightly, "Raphael, God is not dead." Raphael snaps to attention at those words. "Castiel is living proof. You suspect Lucifer of raising him, but there is no angel – not Lucifer, not I – that can bring another angel back to life. You should know this."

Hope begins to fill Raphael's eyes. "But—" He cuts himself off, drawing himself close to the flames. He falls silent, hands moving restlessly at his sides, then, "He's alive?"

Dean smiles, just slightly and shrugs his shoulders. "Well, don't have an actual confirmation, but, hey. Have faith, Raphael." He tries not to blink in surprise, aware that before this whole mess Dean would have never told someone to have faith in God. Everything was still a clusterfuck in his head and it leaves a nasty taste in his mouth.

Raphael shifts his weight, nodding. "Michael, you are still going to fight Lucifer, right?"

It's Dean's turn to shift his weight, even though he is nodding. "Yea. Yea, no worries about that." He chuckles dryly.

"But you're still human, aren't you?" Raphael asks.

Dean nods. "Which brings me to why I came back. Raphael, I need you to look for my Grace, but you need to be quiet about it." Raphael frowns at him and he continues, "I can't... The only people who know who I am are Lucifer and that prophet guy. This can't be public knowledge, not yet. Please, Raphael. We were friends. Do this for me."

They stare at each other for a long time, Raphael eventually nodding. "Yes," he says, nodding more firmly, "yes. Michael, I will do this for you. I'll find your Grace and I'll bring it to you." His shoulders were straight with resolve, pleased beyond measure to finally have a purpose again, if only for a short while.

With a nod, Dean places his foot inside the fire, smearing the oil. The fire, once broken, quickly begins to die. Raphael steps out of the burned circle. Dean smiles. "Now, off you go. Oh, wait." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pen, then grabs Raphael's wrist and writes something down on the skin of his palm; his cell phone number. "Call that when you get a lead. Or something. Oh, and if you don't know how to use it," he smirks, "figure it out – you're a smart guy."

Raphael nods. "Farewell, Michael," he says, and vanishes with a flutter of wing beats.

Dean's mouth twists the instant he leaves, then sighs to himself. "Vaya con dios," he mutters and departs as well, the scent of Heaven high in the air.

-

This feels awkward, but I had to write this because it sets the plot for what I just started writing. I mean, this plot bunny exploded last night when I was trying to sleep. You can consider this a prologue. Hee. Stay tuned for my lovely season five multi-chap that probably won't be out for a while since I'm forcing myself to actually write several chapters BEFORE I post it.