And here's part 2!

Nick accepted the drink from the man in the wheelchair. He had no idea where he was, or who the two men arguing about whatever had just happened were. The last think he could remember clearly was saying yes, then a bright light. There had been pain, but only for a moment. He could remember jumbled flashes of the outside world, as someone- something- else controlled his body, but most of the time, he'd been cocooned in light. He'd felt safe and protected, cradled by the light.

And then he'd woken up on the floor of a destroyed library, with a vaguely familiar young man helping him up.

He shook his head, refocusing his attention on the other two men. The one not in the wheelchair was scowling at the other man. "I don't think so, John!" he said. "You've got all the tact of a hung over grizzly. I'll do it."

"I'm not that bad," John protested.

"John? You alienated half of the hunters in the world. And if you try anything, I still have that shotgun I promised to use."

John snorted and turned away.

"So, Nick, right?' the man in the wheelchair finally asked.

Nick blinked. "Um… yes," he said. "How…?"

"Lucifer mentioned your name once or twice," the man said.

Nick nodded. "Right," he said. He took a drink of what turned out to be a fairly decent brandy.

"So, uh, where are we? And who are you, anyway?"

The man snorted. "We're in South Dakota," he said. "My place. My name's Bobby. He's John," he said, pointing at the other man.

Nick nodded. "I'm uh, sorry we had to meet this way," he managed. How did one talk to others who knew he'd been possessed by Lucifer, anyway?

"Damn right," Bobby said. "You complete and utter moron, what were you thinking, saying yes to the devil?"

Nick discovered that he could still get angry. He leaned forward. "I was thinking that my wife and our baby girl had been killed by some jackass who broke in when they were at home and I wasn't! The police didn't even have a clue who did it. I just… he promised revenge."

Bobby glared at him.

Nick matched his glare with a level stare.

Bobby turned his chair around and faced the other man, John. "And you, you son of a bitch! What the hell were you thinking, you sorry excuse for a hunter? Why the hell would you let something possess you? Well, John? And…"

"He said my sons were in danger," John cut Bobby off. "He said that if I didn't, Sam would be possessed by the devil, and Dean would die. He showed it happening, I couldn't let it, Bobby."

Bobby deflated. "Idjit," he muttered. "Stupid, stupid idjit."

John looked at his friend. "Bobby, what happened? I mean… how did you end up in a wheelchair? Where are Sam and Dean? What… what have I missed?"

Bobby closed his eyes. "What hasn't happened?" he asked bitterly. "Fine. Don't see how it matters. Got nothing more to do today until those angels get back here. And they better come back or I'm hunting them down," he warned.

"What's the date?" Nick asked, suddenly interested.

"May… something, I lost track," Bobby said. "2010."

Nick nodded. "It's been a year, then," he said. He was surprised that it didn't worry him that much.

John paled. "2010?" he asked.

Bobby nodded. "Don't worry, John. Angels can time travel. You weren't possessed for four years."

John blinked. "So, where am I? I mean, the me from 2010."

Bobby ran his hand over his face. "Just sit down, John, I'll explain everything."

Nick perched on the edge of the counter. It was obvious these two knew each other well.

"Alright," Bobby said. "First of all, John, have you figured out what the demon wanted Sam for yet?"

John frowned. "Some of it," he said. "He needs some sort of leader for a demon army."

"Not quite," Bobby said. "But that's what we thought for a long time. You see, Azazel- you do know that's the demon's name, right?"

John nodded.

"Azazel wanted to free Lucifer," Bobby said, glancing at Nick. Nick settled in to listen to the story.

And it was quite the story. "How did they even survive all that?" Nick asked at the end.

"Weren't you listening? They didn't," Bobby said. "They both died, and they were brought back. And now…" Bobby shook his head. "I don't even know what to think. I know they wouldn't have said yes."

He glowered at nothing. "Alright, that's it," he said. "I'm going to figure this out. And you two yahoos are going to help me. I need to figure out how to exorcise two archangels."

"Don't bother," an unfamiliar voice said from behind Nick.

Nick jumped and spun around. The man standing behind him was wearing a trench coat and looked somber.

"Castiel, where are Sam and Dean?" Bobby asked. He didn't even appear to be startled.

Castiel looked down. "Michael and Sammael are… dealing with issues," he said. "I believe they're currently in hell, though I don't know why. I was ordered to go home, to safety."

Bobby turned around and looked at the other man. "And you come here? Boy, you're going to get in more trouble that way."

"I did as ordered," Castiel said defiantly. "This house is far more my home now then heaven is."

Bobby blinked. "Good to hear that," he said. "Now, what do we do about Michael and Sammael? And you're going to explain that whole thing. I thought Lucifer lost the right to be called Sammael."

Castiel stepped past Nick and stopped in front of Bobby. "I can't explain it," he said. "But Lucifer felt, his grace felt corrupted. Sammael's does not. I don't understand how Michael and Sammael are using Sam and Dean, however. I know they didn't say yes. Sam and Dean would not have said yes."

"Can we exorcise an archangel?" Bobby asked.

Castiel shook his head. "There's no way to exorcise even an ordinary angel, Bobby, much less an archangel."

Bobby slumped down in his chair. "Alright, so we've still got to get Michael and Sammael out of Sam and Dean. Any ideas?"

Castiel shook his head. "I can't think of anything."

John stepped forward. "So this is the angel that's been helping you?" he asked.

Castiel glanced at him. "John Winchester," he nodded. "It's an honor to meet you."

John crossed his arms. "Can't really say the same for you," he said.

Castiel looked away, almost directly at Nick. Nick backed away.

"I already yelled at him," Bobby said. "But feel free."

Instead, Castiel- the angel, God, Nick wasn't sure he was over the fact that the devil was real, not to mention angels- approached Nick, staring at him.

"You were hurt deeply before you consented to Lucifer," he said gravely.

Nick looked away. "My wife and daughter were killed two months ago… no, sorry, two months before I said yes."

Castiel nodded. "It was foolish of you."

Nick glared. "I didn't see anyone else willing to help me," he said.

He was not going to apologize for saying yes.

Castiel looked faintly amused. "You are lucky to still be able to think," he said.

Nick shrugged but didn't say anything.

Castiel nodded to himself before turning to Bobby. "Bobby, you once asked me to do something I could no longer do. Now I've been restored, and I can. Do you still want me to do it?"

Bobby stared up at him. "You mean you can heal me?"

Castiel nodded. "I can. If you want it."

Bobby reached out, and Castiel took his hand. The angel pulled the man up to his feet and steadied him. "I'm sorry I couldn't do this before now," Castiel said.

Bobby smiled at Castiel. "Thank you," he said. He took a step forward. "Thank you!"

"Well done, Castiel," Sammael said from behind John. He smiled at Bobby. "I'm glad you healed him."

Michael appeared right next to Sammael. "When I ordered you to return home, Castiel, this wasn't what I meant," Michael said calmly. He was smiling though.

Castiel glared at Michael. Nick shifted uneasily. He noticed Bobby and John doing the same.

"This is home," Castiel said. "It's more my home then heaven is, where my brothers tried to kill me are."

Michael's gaze softened. "Castiel," he said quietly. "You've suffered much because of this."

Castiel jerked his head. "I did what was right," he accused. "And I never took a vessel without consent."

Michael froze. "Is that what you think we did?"

"I don't know what you did, I know we need consent. But Sam and Dean would never have said yes," Castiel said.

Nick noticed Bobby backing away and pulling John with him. The other two men reached him, and Bobby grabbed Nick's arm. Nick nodded once to show he understood. It looked like there was going to be some sort of fight, and he didn't want to get caught in the middle of a fight between angels.

"I have a panic room in the basement," Bobby whispered. "We should be safe there."

"What about my sons?" John demanded.

"I'm more worried about Castiel," Bobby said.

"Wait," Sammael said. "We won't be fighting."

"If you don't leave Sam and Dean, I will fight you," Castiel growled.

"We are Sam and Dean!" Sammael exclaimed. "We're not possessing them, we are them. Or they're us. It's not possible for us to possess them; Cas, Sam Winchester and Sammael are the same being! Michael and Dean Winchester are the same!"

No one moved.

John stared at the angel that claimed to be his son. "Bullshit," he finally said.

Sammael flinched slightly. "I'm not lying," he said. "Listen… it's… complicated. The human souls that are Sam and Dean Winchester were a part of us. We just…"

"Don't," Castiel growled. "We cannot divide our souls, don't even pretend that we can."

"Archangels can," Michael said. "Castiel, I swear to you, we can and will explain everything. You- all of you here- deserve an explanation."

"You won't harm them?" Castiel asked.

"Never," Sammael said.

"You'll let us talk to Sam and Dean."

Michael closed his eyes. "If that will convince you, yes," he snapped. "Damn stubborn angel," he muttered.

Sammael shifted, and John could only see his son in the movement.

"Let's sit down," Sammael said. He was staring at John, though.

"Yes," Michael said. He didn't seem to want to sit down either.

They both approached John. He had no idea why the archangels were interested in him, but they were focused on him and him alone.

Then Michael reached him and pulled him into a hug. "Dad," he whispered. He was holding on tight to John, and John could do nothing but return the hug.

Michael let go and Sammael pulled him into another hug.

John returned this hug as well.

Sammael didn't say anything, but John felt two drops of water land on his neck. The archangel was crying.

In that moment, he believed them. Archangels or not, these two were his sons.

Sam let go and stepped away reluctantly.

"So, you going to explain?" Bobby asked. His question broke the mood, for which John would have to thank him later. John blinked.

Sam sighed. "Of course," he said. "We said we would." He glanced at Castiel. "You all deserve to hear it."

Castiel studied Sam. "It was a test," Castiel said. "That's all it was. Our Father was testing us."

"That's not all it was," Dean said.

"It was a test, though, Castiel, you're not wrong there," Sam said. "It was a test for humans and angels alike."

"Why?" Bobby asked. "And start at the beginning."

Sam looked amused. "Trust me, you don't want me to start in the beginning. But… I can start close to it, at least."

Dean sat down at the table, and everyone else joined him. John observed that Nick looked almost as curious as Bobby.

Sam took a deep breath and started. "Most angels have never met God in person," he said. "Most of us have to take it on faith that he's there and he cares. The archangels- Gabriel, Raphael, Michael, and myself- have. Castiel has as well, though I'm fairly certain he doesn't remember."

"I have?" Castiel asked, startled.

"Yes," Dean said. "When you were brought back after Raphael killed you."

Castiel sat back, thoughtful. "Is that why I was so sure He's out there?"

"That may be part of it," Sam said. "But I think it's mostly because your faith is so strong." He smiled brilliantly. "Cas, that faith is what makes you one of the best of us. Never lose it."

Castiel nodded slowly.

Sam shook his head. "Our Father created us angels, then the Earth, then us humans," he smiled slightly. "And during that time, the archangels were the only ones who truly saw God. Others, humans mostly, saw parts of him, but our Father knew that living humans couldn't see his true glory and survive, so the archangels were messengers to the other angels and to humans."

He paused for a moment and closed his eyes. "Michael and I were the oldest- though when we were created, time didn't really exist. We just knew that he was older then I, and the other archangels younger then I. Michael and I were closest to Father's heart. Then Father asked me to do something incredibly hard." Sam paused. He looked sad and impossibly weary. John ached to pull Sam into his arms.

"He asked me to leave," Sam said quietly. He bit his lip.

Dean reached out and squeezed Sam's shoulder. "Our Father knew that Sammael was strong enough to do the task. He asked Sammael to rebel- to pretend to hate humanity, and thus disobey our Father."

"Why?" Castiel asked.

"Our Father… He loves all his creations, and He wants us to love Him back," Michael said. "But He knew that it wouldn't be true love if He didn't let us choose."

"So… He wanted me to be the other choice," Sammael said. "Me, the Morningstar, his son. He asked me to do it, He didn't order me, I want to make that clear. But… how could I not do as He wished?"

"So Lucifer came into being," Dean said. "Lucifer was Sammael, lost, corrupted, and hateful. And yet, because he had been Sammael, he was still beautiful and the Lightbringer. Lucifer rebelled, and I was tasked with sealing him away. But I also had to make sure that not all of him was sealed, and the rest could escape some day."

"Some of our brothers and sisters followed me," Sam said quietly. "But, unlike me, their falls were genuine. They hated humanity more then they loved God. And I…" he looked down. "I led them down to Hell, and then I was sealed away. And they turned our prison into…"

"Flame and pain and torture," Dean said, taking over. "Over the eons, some others of our siblings have also fallen, gone to the pit. And then some of humanity also fell."

Sam looked away. "Father wanted people to chose him. And if they didn't choose him, they chose against him. But Hell- I don't think it should have become what it did. The fallen made it that way."

"How did you become Sam and Dean?" Bobby asked. "If that's really what happened," he muttered.

Sam took a deep breath. "That's a little more complicated. Michael and I knew that we would be needed for the end times. When I was sealed away, I made sure that the part of me that was closest to humanity- the part of my soul that had the potential to be human- was torn away. I entrusted that part to Michael."

"And I guarded that part closely," Dean said. "How could I not?"

"Admittedly, I couldn't see much in my prison, but what I did see told me that things were drawing closer and closer to an end. Then Michael visited me in secret. He told me everything that had been happening in Heaven and Earth, and how some of our brothers were trying to bring about the end of humanity. So, Michael pulled that part of his soul that would be human out and sent it to become human. Dean Winchester was born nine months later. Everyone thought he was simply Michael's vessel, not a part of Michael himself."

"Then, four years later, I sent Sammael's human soul to be born, and Sam Winchester came into being, the boy that our brothers thought was Lucifer's true vessel."

"You know the rest of what happened," Sam said. "But I don't think Azazel ever realized just who we actually were. No one did. Not even Sam and Dean Winchester."

"But you two knew," Nick said. "And Lucifer… he didn't need me at all, did he?"

Sam sighed. "I needed you," he said. "I needed your ability to hold my form for as long as possible. I'm sorry I took advantage of your grief, but yours is a powerful bloodline, Nick. I couldn't let you destroy it and yourself."

Nick closed his eyes. "So the images of my baby girl dead in her crib?"

"Your own guilt for not being home when it happened," Sam said. "I… my heart broke, Nick. You were alone, and your soul was crying for help. I'm sorry about how I told you you'd get revenge, but I couldn't let you kill yourself."

"What happened in the library?" Castiel asked. "All I know is that I felt your powers begin to overflow, and I had to protect Bobby."

"The time was right for the charade to be over," Dean said. "Michael knew it. Lucifer knew that he would be able to return to being Sammael. Sammy and I had no freaking clue."

Sam laughed. "So, in the middle of the room, with Michael and Lucifer both touching Dean and Sam, Sammael cast off the mask of Lucifer, and we reunited our souls."

"Then, the demons there…?" Castiel asked.

"Most of them were tricked," Dean said. "Many of them thought they were choosing our Father. So we purified them, and sent their souls to rest."

"And the rest of Hell?" Castiel asked.

"Those tricked, those stolen away, those who did not truly chose against our Father, will be restored and sent to rest," Sam said. "Most already have, but there are a few still to see to. Those who truly have chosen against our Father will remain in Hell. Those who are still choosing against our Father will join them. But none of them will ever leave again."

Dean smiled. "Congratulations, Bobby, we just made your title of demon expert obsolete," he said.

Bobby blinked. John blinked. "You mean to tell me that demons won't… why didn't you do this before now?"

"The time wasn't right," Sam answered John. "No, Dad, don't complain. It was God's timing, not ours. And he's far above any of us. He created us; he can do as he wills to us."

"That's…" Nick began. He shook his head. "How is that good? How could He do that?"

"Nick, have you ever read the Bible?" Sam asked.

"I was never very religious," Nick said. "But I thought you knew that."

Sam nodded. "I did," he said. "But there's a passage there that explains things. We are clay, and he is the potter. 'Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?'"

John scowled. "I still say that you should have done something sooner."

"We couldn't," Dean said.

"Michael is right," Castiel said. "It is in our Father's time, not ours."

Dean shrugged. "I'm not sure how to explain it, mainly because our Father's will is so hard for me to understand myself sometimes."

"I don't like it," Bobby scowled.

"I'm not sure I like it," Dean replied. "Scratch that. I know I don't like it. But…" he shrugged. "He's God. He gave us all free will- yes, even angels- but he also gave us the consequences."

Sam sighed. "I know we left out a lot, but, but is that enough for now?" he asked.

The three men and the lesser angel glanced at each other. Finally, Bobby nodded. "I think so," he said. "But I still have questions."

"We all do," Sam said wryly. "We just have to trust our Father sometimes."

They sat there quietly for a long time. Two archangels, an angel, and three men all lost in thought.

Finally Dean took a deep breath. "We need to get you back where you belong," he said, looking at John.

"What?" John asked. "But I thought…"

"You still have tasks to complete," Dean said. "Dad… I know how hard your road is going to be," he said. "But we need you to walk it. And… you'll be reunited with Mom in the end," he said.

He glanced around. "I'll be right back," he told Sam before stretching out his hand and placing it on John's forehead.

John blinked, and then they were back in the motel room he'd been sleeping in before Michael had taken him. The clock said that barely a minute had passed, and his gear was still scattered across the room.

"Here we are," Dean said. "One last thing to do. Dad, you understand that you can't remember this. I'm sorry."

He put his hand to John's forehead again before John could protest, and John blinked in confusion.

For a moment, he'd thought Dean had been standing there.

He glanced at the clock. Why was he up, anyway?

He went back to bed.

Nick jerked back as John and Michael disappeared. "What?"

"He's returning John to 2006," Sam said. "Michael will veil his memory of today's events, and then return."

Michael reappeared. "It's done," he said quietly. He looked saddened. "John Winchester is back in 2006."

Sammael nodded sadly. "Now then, Bobby and Nick, you two have a choice. If you don't want to, you won't remember the war, what has happened. Do you want to remember everything?"

"I don't want to forget," Bobby said. "Someone has to remember, if only because someone has to know the truth."

Sam leaned back. "Alright, Bobby," he said. "That actually sounds like a good idea."

"Nick?" Dean asked.

Nick studied the angels in front of him. "I want to remember," he said. "I think… I need to remember." He shrugged. "Even if I have no idea what I'm going to do now. I've disappeared for a year, and who knows what happened to my house, and everything."

Sammael smiled. "Wasn't it already yours?" he asked. "It's only been a year, you shouldn't have any problem proving that you're still alive, though I suspect that you'll have a bit of a time getting the utilities back."

Nick smiled wryly. "Good point," he said.

Sammael smiled in return. "Though I don't know what you're going to do for a job," he admitted. "I'm sorry."

Nick shrugged. "I… I'm not sure I could return to a normal job," he said. He glanced at Bobby before looking at Sammael. "There's so much out there that I had no idea even existed. I mean, you said demons are gone, but I got the impression that there's a lot more."

Michael smiled. "You're right, there is. But don't go half-cocked into anything if you decide to learn more. I know Bobby could teach you a lot."

Nick glanced at Bobby again, who stared back. "Well, I could always teach you a few things," Bobby mused. "But you'd need to do what I say. Not that you'd be worse then the Winchester boys, I bet."

"That might be interesting," Nick said quietly. "I… I'd like to know what else you deal with."

Sammael and Michael both grinned. "Now then, we need to return home. And that includes you, Castiel," Michael said. "You're one of the best of us, and quite a few of our siblings need your example. And it's time to let Jimmy return to his family."

Castiel nodded. "Let's go then," he said. He glanced at Bobby. "It was an honor, Robert Singer," he said quietly.

"Same to you, Castiel," Bobby said. He stood up and took the angel's hand. "Good luck."

Bobby turned to look at Sammael and Michael. The smile dropped from his face. "I'll see you again, right?"

"Hopefully, not for a long time," Sammael said. "But yes, you will."

Michael stepped forward and hugged Bobby. "Thank you, Bobby, for everything. Take care of the Impala, alright?"

Bobby snorted. "Of course," he said. "That damn car…"

"Hey, that car's been my home all my life," Sammael objected with a broad grin. He hugged Bobby quickly. "We'll miss you, Bobby. Stay safe." He pulled back and pressed against Bobby's forehead with two fingers. "There. A little protection for you."

Sammael walked over to Nick as Michael embraced Bobby. "Thank you, Nick," Sammael said. He pressed his fingers against Nick's forehead. "If you're going to be hunting, you'll need protection as well."

The archangels stepped back and each of them placed a hand on Castiel's shoulders.

"Close your eyes," Castiel said.

Nick did. He could see the light still, and waited until it faded before opening his eyes.

Sammael and Michael were gone, but Castiel still stood there. No. Nick could see that it wasn't Castiel. Then he had to move fast to catch the man as he collapsed.

The man stirred after barely a second and Nick helped him sit up. "What?" the man asked, dazed.

"It's over, Jimmy," Bobby said, crouching next to them. "It's over."

Jimmy looked over at Bobby. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Bobby Singer," Bobby said. "Good to meet you, Jimmy Novak. The guy helping you is Nick."

"It's over?" Jimmy asked.

Bobby smiled. "It's over. And you get to go home."

Jimmy smiled.

Nick, despite everything, couldn't help but smile as well. They were all going to be fine.

Author's Notes: I do not see this as what will happen in the show. I'm also equally certain that theology is not leading to anything like what I just wrote at all (I do have my own beliefs, they're just not… well… this). This story is just me twisting theology and the show mythology in a similar manner that the show does, and creating something new.

So, disclaimer for the person I know will worry about this when she reads it: I don't believe everything I wrote here!

Anyway, enough of that. This story was basically one that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I had fun writing it, but I literally wrote it in eight days. It's an interesting tale, though not one I think will be canon or anything close to canon.