A/N: This fic was written for moonlettuce on Livejournal for deancastiel's Renegade Angels challenge.
Raphael loves his little brother.
Of course he loves his little brother. Raphael loves all his brothers. But he'll admit to a certain deeper fondness for Castiel. Probably because it's terribly endearing to watch Castiel take the long way around to every single new idea he develops. He's been that way since the Father created him and plopped him down in a field of daisies, wide-eyed and innocent.
He's not so innocent anymore and while Raphael misses the old naive Castiel following him around and asking questions about the world and the Father, he's happy that Castiel's finally found his place by Dean Winchester's side.
Now he's just starting to get fed up with how long it's taking Castiel to get to the point.
Humans are so funny. The Father gives them everything they could possibly need in this life and then they manage to screw it up by refusing to actually take those things. And then they blame God or angels or whoever else is handy. Raphael doesn't mind. If it makes humans feel better to foist off the tragedy of their free will decisions onto angels, well, it's not hurting him.
But this is just annoying. The Father gives Castiel a free pass and his very own human body and what does he do with it? He sits and stares at Dean Winchester like he's the Father's most amazing creation and doesn't take the gift he's been given. Castiel always was rather unassuming. His only purpose in life was to serve their Father. He never asked for or wanted anything for himself. And it looks like he's the same way as a human.
This won't do at all.
And if Castiel's feelings on the matter are obvious, Dean Winchester's are downright transparent. The sad thing is, Dean thinks that no one knows how he feels. Except everyone within a fifty mile radius knows how he feels. Every angel in Heaven and every demon in Hell knows how he feels. Dean Winchester's brother, the demon boy, has been trying his best to knock some sense into Dean's head. Yet every time Sam Winchester brings up the topic, Dean mutters and stammers and refuses to talk about it. Raphael thinks he's just making it worse.
It's time to send in an expert. Because Raphael may not be a human, but he knows exactly how they think.
The only way to make a human realize that they're missing something is to take it for yourself.
This'll be so easy.
Raphael has been watching Castiel long enough to know exactly where he'll find his brother.
In a bar.
This is because Castiel spends every waking moment with Dean Winchester and Dean Winchester likes to hang around in bars. Ostensibly, he is trying to find a human female who will fornicate with him in his motel room. But this purpose is always undercut by Dean's greater desire to teach Castiel how to do things like play pool and drink shots of alcohol. By the time the bar closes, Dean realizes he has spent all his time with Castiel and has lost his chance to find a suitable temporary mate. This realization is always followed by an extremely false display of regret and then an entire night of dreaming about fornicating with Castiel instead.
Raphael finds Dean very amusing.
He gets the idea for his plan when a young woman in one of their bars spends her evening watching Castiel out of the corner of her eye. Her interest is not lost on Dean Winchester. Raphael assumes that the puffed-up territorial behavior that Dean exhibits the entire time is what keeps her from approaching Castiel.
Dean's dreams are particularly aggressive that night.
Raphael has nothing to fear from Dean Winchester and if he's not much mistaken, the chance of Dean acting out his dream desires in reality will greatly increase if someone actually approaches Castiel.
There are three people in the bar that can stand to hold Raphael's grace within their feeble human bodies. Of the three, one is a devoted atheist and unlikely to listen to Raphael's request. The other two are believers and both the type of people who would be pleased to offer their assistance. One is a female with long dark hair and brown eyes. The other is a tall and rather muscular young male with blond hair. Raphael isn't familiar with current human beauty standards, but judging by how many people in the bar are eyeing both potential vessels, they are considered attractive by other humans.
Perfect. But which to choose?
It's probably best to play on Dean's secret fears. He has so many. Raphael zeroes in on Dean's worry that Castiel will find a beautiful young woman and start a family. The fear is buried so deeply that even Raphael has a bit of trouble seeing it. Humans always react most violently when faced with their deepest fears.
The female it is.
Raphael whispers into her ear. A question and a promise to have her home safe and alone by the evening's end. As suspected, she is overjoyed to offer her service to God. There are angels that would feel guilty for using a faithful servant to further the romantic happiness of two humans, but Raphael is not one of them. A job well done is a job well done and the female will be rewarded.
His grace flows into her body with no resistance and once he's fully in control of it, he stands and stretches. Human vessels are so confining. He must be careful or his grace will explode out of the vessel's body and blind everyone in the bar, including his own brother.
Which would be bad on many levels. But mostly because Raphael would feel terrible about ripping away Castiel's ability to actually see Dean Winchester's face when he finally gets a clue.
Once inside her head, Raphael learns that the female's name is Alexa. She is recovering from a hurtful breakup with a man named Sidney and apparently fears that men only want to date her for her body. Raphael is both surprised and delighted that he managed to find such an obvious beauty.
It will drive Dean Winchester crazy.
He waits in his borrowed body until Castiel peels himself from Dean's side and goes to the bar to replenish their drinks. In a blink of an eye, 'Alexa' is sitting next to Castiel and giving him what Raphael knows is called a 'smoldering' look.
"Hey there," he says, running the tip of one long red nail along the bar's shabby wooden surface. "What's your name?"
Since Castiel is now cloaked in mundane human flesh, he can't discern angel from human. Even so, he peers at Raphael for so long that Raphael begins to wonder if he can somehow tell.
Then a polite smile stretches across his face and Raphael knows he's safe.
"I'm Castiel," he answers.
"Oh, what a lovely name," Raphael breathes, painting a pretty smile on Alexa's lips. It's not hard to fake his enthusiasm. Raphael knows more about humans than any of his brothers and his acting skills are legendary. Many a great world leader has been nudged in the right direction by a human holding Raphael's grace.
"Thank you," Castiel says, pleasant and totally uninterested. Raphael reads faint confusion in his heart. Castiel has no idea why Alexa would want to speak with him.
"I'm Alexa," Raphael says and moves closer to him, pressing her soft curves against his sharp angles. "Tell me, Castiel. Did you come here alone?"
Alexa's voice lends itself well to suggestive tones.
"Oh no," Castiel tells her. "I came here with Dean."
Raphael manages not to roll his eyes. Only Castiel would say the name like every human in the world knows the glory of Dean Winchester. Sure, they might someday, but for now, it's pretty much just Castiel.
Speaking of Dean, Raphael catches his first flash of irritation from all the way across the room. What a very loud human Dean Winchester is. Still, there is some work to be done before Dean goes from annoyed to alpha male.
"Dean is my friend," Castiel says with such guileless pride that Raphael's mind returns to that field of flowers when Castiel first took Raphael's hand and proudly stated that the Father had given him the charge of the day 'Thursday.'
Which reminds Raphael that he really should remember to assign the day to another angel.
"Oh, well that's nice," Raphael purrs. Alexa's fingers slide up Castiel's arm onto his shoulder. Raphael is surprised by the warmth of Castiel's human flesh. His brother is no longer hewn from cold fire. He wonders how Castiel is holding up. He'd assumed that Castiel was nothing but pleased to be wearing this new body. Maybe he should drop by sometime after he manages to get Dean and Castiel into the same bed and take Castiel to lunch. Have a little angel talk.
When Alexa's hand comes to rest on Castiel's shoulder and her thumb flicks over the soft delicate skin of his neck, he senses two emotions. One he expected and one he did not.
The expected emotion comes from Castiel. A mixture of distaste for Alexa's touch and worry that Dean will see her touching him.
Dean is the source of the unexpected emotion. Instead of the anger he'd been hoping for, he senses Dean's heart sink. For a moment, Raphael has no idea what it means, but once it hits him, it's all he can do not to turn and glare at the idiotic human. Or lay Alexa's head on the bar and weep.
He's worried about taking away Castiel's one chance at true love.
It's so beyond aggravating and oh so typical of the Chosen One's penchant for throwing himself off cliffs for the sake of his loved ones and other such moronic actions. Raphael could puke. If he weren't an angel, that is.
"As matter of fact, I really should be returning to him," Castiel says politely, shifting out from under Alexa's fingers.
He almost gets away.
"But I was about to ask you to dance," Raphael blurts, seizing on the first thing he can think of that would both delay Castiel's return to Dean and bring their bodies into close contact. He ignores Castiel's awkward spluttering and grabs his brother's hand, tugging him into the small space where other patrons are dancing to an annoying and whiny human voice singing about their car or their dog or something stupid like that. Raphael wraps Castiel's arms around Alexa's waist and presses into him, draping her arms around Castiel's neck.
"I just love this song," he enthuses.
It's like dancing with a marble statue. Castiel's hands remain a respectful distance above Alexa's waist and his feet stay rooted to the floor. So really, it's not so much dancing as Raphael rocking against his kid brother's body.
Which is beyond awkward.
But it's for the greater good, so Raphael throws himself into the dance and shakes Alexa's backside.
Across the room, Dean is silently stewing in a highly uncomfortable mess of sick jealousy and sharp hurt. Raphael almost feels bad for him. But if he weren't so dense, it would be his arms around Castiel. So, really, it's his own fault.
When the song finally ends without a word from Castiel or Dean, Raphael sighs and steps back. Obviously this isn't working. He hadn't taken Dean's self-sacrificing streak into consideration. Silly mistake. The trait is listed right at the top of Dean Winchester's dossier. The second one listed is 'startlingly possessive'. It is that trait which Raphael needs to poke with a sharp stick.
Alexa is not the right stick.
"Well, thanks anyway," Raphael says and just before he leaves, it occurs to him that it might not be a bad idea to leave Dean with a distressing parting visual. He peeks in at Alexa and asks her a quick question. Her voice is amused when she gives Raphael her permission and tells him to 'make it a good one.'
He wraps her hands around Castiel's lapels and tugs him into a passionate kiss.
Just for the record, Raphael is not a fan of human kissing. It's wet and sloppy and tastes bad. Kissing Castiel is even worse than normal humans because he clearly has no idea what in Heaven's name he's doing. His arms flail at his side and his lips slide over Alexa's mouth to her cheek. Raphael hopes Dean knows what he is getting himself into.
Apparently he does because Dean's heart squeezes so hard in his chest that Raphael worries he's actually killed him.
But then Dean's heart restarts and settles somewhere in his stomach.
Raphael pulls out the kiss finally, resisting the urge to wipe Castiel's slimy spit off Alexa's face and grins at him.
"Thanks for the dance!"
Later that night, Raphael peeks at Dean's dreams and is not surprised to see they feature Dean standing off to the side of Castiel's life and watching as Castiel and Alexa get married, have kids, and go on fun family vacations.
Raphael trusts his Father, but sometimes he wonders why His Chosen One is so dumb.
The next night, Dean and Castiel go bowling instead.
Clearly Dean thinks bowling is a much less romantic atmosphere. It certainly smells less romantic, Raphael thinks to himself as he sniffs at the air with his new vessel's nose. It's tall and blond from the night before. In between spying on Dean's various dreams and a bizarre one of Castiel's that featured his brother washing Dean's hair, Raphael thought about where he went wrong. He knows humans well, but even an archangel can make mistakes.
He shouldn't have chosen the girl. The girl can give Castiel things that Dean can't. The man, on the other hand? Raphael thinks maybe Dean won't be so eager to step aside and let another man take Castiel away from him. Or at least he better not because otherwise Raphael won't hesitate to kidnap Dean to the highest mountaintop and have a talk with him he won't enjoy.
Castiel looks ridiculous in mismatched bowling shoes. Raphael watches him walk forward, each step too large as Castiel watches his own feet and laughs to himself. Dean is watching too and his face is soft. A rare honest expression in public. Raphael is impressed. Dean Winchester really does love Castiel.
Raphael joins the lane beside of the two humans. This part is not pretend. Raphael loves to bowl. Sometimes humans invent things that surpass imagination.
"I feel like I'm going to fall down," Castiel says to Dean.
"That's one of the joys of bowling, Cas," Dean answers. "Here, try this ball."
Raphael snorts quietly.
Their conversation turns to game instruction and for a long while Raphael just plays his own game and waits. It's difficult not to draw attention to himself with a perfect game, but he manages it for Castiel's sake. After the first game, Dean's beer drinking catches up with him and he excuses himself to the bathroom.
Raphael saunters towards Castiel, who is fiddling with the electronic device that enters their scores onto the screen overhead. The vessel he inhabits, Erick, is taller than Dean, his muscles thicker. He towers over Castiel as Raphael leans down to peer at the screen.
"Are you having trouble with that?"
Castiel jumps in his seat. Just like the night before, when he meets Raphael's gaze, Raphael senses no interest, only polite confusion.
"I was attempting to clear our scores so that we could start over," Castiel explains.
"Oh I see." Raphael slides into the seat beside his and begins pushing buttons. Castiel tries to lean away from Raphael, but there's not much space for him to go without tumbling into the floor. Which is just perfect as far as Raphael is concerned. He turns fully towards Castiel and puts his arm on the back of their joined chairs. Castiel looks insignificant next to Erick's massive presence.
"I can fix that right up for you...?"
"Castiel," he answers coldly, obviously annoyed by the intrusion.
"Castiel," Raphael repeats with a smile. "I'm Erick."
The moment Dean exits the bathroom is conspicuous. The instant and reckless jealousy that pounds into Raphael's senses is most satisfying. Dean stomps all the way to their chairs from the bathroom like a petulant child, a sour look on his face. When he reaches them, he crosses his arms over his chest and glares at Raphael.
"Can I help you?"
Oh yes, Raphael thinks.
"Who are you?" His voice is as pleasant as can be, just the right tone to crawl under Dean's skin.
"I'm Dean," he says through clenched teeth. "You're sitting in my seat."
"I didn't see your name on it," Raphael says. He wonders how long it'll be before Dean's actually beating his chest. His soul swirls with indignation and a primeval desire to protect his claim. Now if he would just tell Castiel about that claim, then Raphael could release himself from this prison of flesh and enjoy his victory.
"Trust me, it's mine," Dean growls and Raphael thinks he's only half-talking about the chair. For his part, Castiel is quietly watching the two of them fight and trying not to feel guilty over how much he's enjoying Dean defending him from a strange man.
"Well, I wouldn't leave it for too long next time," Raphael advises as he stands, brushing a hand along Castiel's shoulder to emphasize his point. "Someone else might come along and snap it up."
Dean's seething follows Raphael all the way out the door, but even all that anger can't hide the flare of concern over Raphael's words.
He just hopes it enough.
After all, Raphael's a busy angel.
Three hours later, Raphael checks back in with his brother.
He wouldn't have thought Castiel was quite that flexible.
Sex is such a strange activity. It always looks so painful, but judging from the expression of joyful ecstasy on Castiel's face, he doesn't agree. Dean is lying atop Castiel, one hand gripped in Castiel's hair and the other is pulling one of Castiel's legs up further than it's probably meant to go.
Raphael listens in for a moment.
"Cas, oh fuck, yes, Cas," Dean groans as he thrusts inside Castiel's body.
Castiel obviously likes it because he throws one hand over his head and grabs hold of the headboard. His mouth opens and closes. Apparently, he is beyond words. His soul is shining bright with pleasure and love. Dean's glimmers in a similar fashion. Eventually the feelings must grow too much for Dean because he switches from vulgar to loving in the blink of an eye. As Raphael watches with amusement, Dean kisses down the side of Castiel's neck and whispers sentimental drivel against Castiel's hot skin that he would kill himself if anyone else heard.
It's good enough for Raphael. He leaves the room and takes wing, circling back home.
This calls for a celebration.