Five Times Castiel Walked in the Snow.

***

It had been only a few weeks since he had asked Jimmy Novak of Pontiac, Illinois to be his vessel. The extremely religious and trusting man had consented with so much faith that Castiel, as an angel of the Lord, realized his choice was a good one. The man had only asked the angel to make sure his family was okay, which Castiel did from time to time without them knowing.

The angel was still trying to get his bearings in this new body. He hadn't taken a human vessel in thousands of years and felt a bit out of practice. His grace, though contained in the human body, felt constrained and uncomfortable. Castiel took much care in focusing on the little things, like walking and drinking cups of coffee, to blend in with humanity. It was strange to walk around and having no one know or care that he was an angel.

Castiel looked down at Jimmy Novak's hands. He then picked up the end of his tie just to see how blue it was. It was interesting that it matched the color of his vessel's eyes. He wondered if the man had chosen it on purpose. As he studied the tie, his eyes grew wide at the sight of a tiny piece of white that fell upon the fabric. He looked up. It had started to snow. Castiel stood in place and marveled at how wonderful the snow looked upon his Father's earth. He silently thanked his Father for the beautiful sight as all around him buildings, trees, and the sidewalk were being covered in white. Castiel knew the next day would be filled with people playing in the snow with sleds, building snowmen, or throwing snowballs at each other. There would be much laughter. Castiel looked forward to seeing that.

One of Jimmy's memories of snow entered his thoughts. It was of him making snow angels with Claire last winter. Claire, all bundled up, ran around the snow-covered yard giggling.

"Daddy! Daddy!" She fell onto her back, moving her arms and legs back and forth, forming a little angel.

Jimmy stood admiring his daughter's work, nodding. "That's just perfect. I have something to make that little angel even better."

"What's that?" Claire asked as she sat up.

Jimmy smiled and fell onto his back. "That little angel needs a daddy angel to keep her company."

When the two came in from the cold, cheeks red and still all smiles, Amelia greeted them with steaming mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows floating in them. The three then sat curled up under blankets and watched television. Jimmy and Amelia kissed over Claire's sleeping form.

Castiel felt Jimmy's warmth and happiness through the memory. Castiel thanked his vessel's consciousness and walked on. Castiel decided right then that he loved the snow.

***

Castiel blinked as he found his vessel's feet surrounded by snow. It was unexpected. He had appeared here to get away and be alone with his own thoughts. There was too much to think about on this night.

"What are you doing out here alone, Castiel? It's Christmas."

Castiel turned around to face Anna. "Yes, I know."

Anna smiled. "You should celebrate it. You love holy days."

"Unlike you."

"I'm a walking, talking blasphemy. I shouldn't enjoy a day like this."

"But I have a feeling you do."

"Of course. It doesn't always have to be about the religious connotations. It can be about Rudolph, Santa, presents, friends…" Anna happily rattled off things she grew up with in her human rebirth and fondly associated with the holiday.

"Then why don't you go find the secular delights and let me be."

"Christmas is also about not being alone and spending time with family, Castiel. I found you."

"I am not alone. I have our Father. And the snow."

"Yeah well, Father isn't around and snow doesn't count."

"Anna…" Castiel looked down. He always felt so inadequate in conversations with Anna. When they were angels, she was his superior, and even now with her fallen, she still knew much more than Castiel. She had things figured out while he was beginning to question everything he knew.

Seeing his discomfort, Anna caught his bright blue eyed focus and said, "I'm sorry." She truly meant it, too. She knew how deeply Castiel took his faith in God. She had no right to belittle it. She put her hand on his shoulder. "Do you know any Christmas carols? We could spread some cheer through song."

Castiel shook his head. "I don't sing."

"Come on, Cas. How about 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'? It's a good song that I'm sure you know."

"Uh—"

"I'll start. Hark the herald angels sing…" Anna sang somewhat melodiously.

"Glory to the newborn king," Castiel finished. He stated it more than sang it.

"See? That wasn't so bad."

Castiel smiled in spite of himself. He had so much doubt swirling in his mind at that moment, so much that his vessel's heart hurt, but being with Anna made him feel a bit better. She was slowly bringing his spirits up.

"You shouldn't spend the night alone. I won't let you." Anna slipped her hand into Castiel's. "Come on, let's get some hot chocolate and reminisce about the old days." Before Castiel could protest, Anna tugged on his hand to get him to go with her.

The two angels walked hand in hand into the night as snow fell around them.

***

Castiel heard his brother's call and appeared at the park bench. He sat down next to him.

"Why our Father invented this stuff, I have no idea. It is cold, wet, and tiresome to trudge through," Uriel said as he flicked snowflakes off his shoulder. Castiel knew his brother was quick to judge. It was in his nature as a specialist. He strictly followed orders to smite, never spending time to even look at his surroundings. Uriel was a doer.

Castiel was different, which was obvious. He received revelation, prayed and thought much on his orders before carrying them out. Castiel was a thinker. "I like snow, Uriel." Castiel held out his hand to catch the snow.

Uriel chuckled. "You think it makes the world shine, don't you? You've always been so sentimental towards God's creations, Castiel."

"Are you just referring to the snow or something else entirely?" Castiel glanced at the other angel.

Uriel crossed his arms. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"I am still focused on the mission. You do not need to worry."

"I do not worry. I want reassurance that you won't be distracted by this world. And its…creatures. Dear brother, I do not want you to fall."

"Uriel—"

"You should not give humanity as much faith as you do. You should not give the Winchesters as much faith as you do. None of them deserve it. They will just disappoint you."

Castiel locked his intense gaze on Uriel. "They are Father's creations, as are we. And I respect them as such. Your opinions are duly noted, Uriel. Just keep them to yourself."

Uriel smiled. "My my, you've picked up some edge. Did you learn that from Dean?"

"Go find somewhere warm. I thought you hated snow," Castiel replied.

"Fine. I'll go and leave you with your precious snow and humans. Don't get buried, brother."

Castiel blew out a breath as Uriel left. He would not get buried.

***

"Cas! Run!" Castiel turned around to see Dean running towards him.

"Dean, what is it?"

"Trouble. Definite trouble. We have to get out of here."

The two of them had gone to a bar, Dean to get drunk and Castiel to make sure Dean got back to Bobby's in one piece. Castiel had nursed a never-ending glass of juice while Dean had gone off to play pool and flirt with a woman.

Then suddenly, it turned ugly. Dean had pissed the woman off and then incurred the wrath of several of her male admirers, who happened to be half-drunk burly bikers. The largest one had tried to throw a punch but was blocked by Castiel's quick hand on his fist. Dean laughed, grabbed the angel, and made a run for it, right into the snow.

"Damn it, the Impala won't start."

"We can walk back to Bobby's house."

"I know, but it sucks. Cold as hell."

"Dean, you know that hell—"

"I know, just an expression, Cas. Seriously. Come on, let's get moving before I freeze."

Dean grumbled under his breath most of the walk. Castiel caught random phrases such as, "stupid bitch", "can't believe this", "I'm walking with an angel of the Lord, walking!" Castiel didn't mind. He enjoyed Dean's company, even though he only understood half of the things he said since they were pop culture references (or so Dean said). The snow fell lightly around the two of them as they walked. Castiel listened to the steady crunching of it underneath their shoes. It was comforting. It seemed peaceful and right.

"Hey, Cas?" Dean rubbed his hands together.

"Yes, Dean?"

"Thanks. You know, for being there at the bar. I would've had a lot to explain to Sam and Bobby if I came back in more than one piece."

"I was not going to let you come to harm."

"I know. And thanks for walking with me when you probably could have mojo-ed away."

"You are welcome." Castiel gave Dean a sidelong glance. "I would not leave you, Dean."

"Yeah, that would have been a dick move. And you're not a dick with wings like your brothers." Dean tugged on Castiel's trenchcoat and pulled him closer. He slipped an arm around the angel's shoulders. "It's a beautiful night but a little too quiet. Do you know any songs we can sing?"

Castiel shook his head. He thanked God for the snow and his good friend.

***

Castiel walked along the road. It was dark and there weren't any important matters to attend to at the moment. Dean and Sam were sleeping in the motel a mile away. Castiel took his cellphone out of his pocket. The battery had "died" as Dean had put it. He was supposed to charge it when the brothers woke up in a few hours. Castiel listened to the crunch of the snow underneath his shoes and avoided the dark ice underneath.

Castiel missed hearing the voices of his heavenly brothers around him and the feeling of warmth his grace would give him when connected. He was cut off. There were no voices. And there was no warmth…his grace felt like a dying fire. Embers flickering here and there, but not much to warm yourself by. Castiel sighed. He was truly alone.