A/N: I really don't know where this one came from. The motivations of the Plot Gods are beyond a mere mortal such as I. Sorry if it's a little clunky, too. I'm not sure how I feel about the work as a whole. And good Lord, I apologize for the title. I couldn't help myself. After the last few episodes I've decided that this fic takes place at some unknown point in the future, when Cas has the amulet again. As a side note, I've officially switched this over to a proper crossover now, since there's a possible sequel in the works with more obvious Psych elements. Can't promise how soon that will happen. In the mean time, go read 'Bouncing Around' if you haven't already. It's seriously awesome, and at least partially inspired this fic.
In his wildest dreams, Castiel never imagined this is where he would find his Father. At least, if he dreamed, or even slept, he still wouldn't have dreamed that the Supreme Creator of All Things would be, of all places, in this hole-in-the-wall diner. He'd searched high and low for months, scouring every location he visited with the precision and dedication that only an angel could manage, and yet this was where he found God, when he had essentially given up.
Still, the amulet in burning in his pocket didn't lie. When Sam had handed it back to him, he had been wary to take it, but the younger Winchester said he wanted them to have it around just in case. Castiel couldn't deny him this small, desperate hope, even if his own was all but gone. Now, he was thankful for the hunter's foresight.
"What's wrong with you?" Dean asked, breaking the angel's mile long stare across the room. Cas turned to the Winchester brothers, who stood next to him in the diner's doorway, watching him with curiosity and, on Dean's part, mild annoyance.
"God is here," he stated with all due seriousness. Sam's eyebrows shot up much like Dean's, though the latter's eyes went wide at the same time.
"Here? In this shitty-ass diner?" he asked, voice betraying his incredulity. The angel just nodded, eyes darting back to a patron across the room, who was eating calmly with his back to the trio. "And you're sure it's him? I thought Joshua said he wanted us to go screw ourselves."
"I'm certain. The amulet can't lie," Cas responded. The brothers exchanged apprehensive glances, seemingly speaking volumes in fractions of a second, but had no time to discuss the situation any further because the angel was already striding across the room, laser-focused on his target. The boys had no choice but to hurriedly follow their friend, barely managing to avoid knocking over a waitress in their rush.
By the time they reached the angel, he was at the side of a man who was lazily sipping a glass of opaque yellow liquid. All his doubts forgotten in the presence of the man Himself, Cas immediately dropped to one knee and bowed his head reverently in front of the young man, who couldn't have been much older than Dean.
"Hello, Castiel," He said cheerily, setting His glass on the table before looking to the kneeling man and his two companions. He may have looked young, with perfectly coiffed brown hair, a hint of a five o'clock shadow and a plaid button-down in a cheery shade of sky blue, but something in His eyes, something wise yet playful, immediately made Dean want to kneel, too. Unlike Cas, he resisted the urge.
"Hello, Father," the angel responded, voice heavy with veneration. The man just shook His head in amusement.
"Always with the kneeling," He muttered, and swivelled on His stool to fully face the trio. "Stand up, Cas." The angel did as he was told, obviously thrown off by the command that went against everything he'd ever been taught. Ever the one for the blunt and straightforward approach, Dean met the deity's eyes, a shade of hazel similar to his own.
"Where the hell have you been?" he demanded, voice conveying every bit of ire he could muster while still fighting the impulse to kneel. The Lord only quirked an eyebrow as he carried on. "And what's all this shit about not thinking the Apocalypse is your problem? If you hadn't ditched your kids for the better part of the last century, they wouldn't have been fucking around with us all this time." He leveled a threatening finger at the Beardless One, which would have made any other person flinch, but the Lord just stared down it like it was the barrel of a squirt gun.
"Dean, do you know that your joie de vivre is one of my favorite things about you?" God commented, smiling in such a disarmingly charming way that even Dean, the master of poker faces, felt himself slipping. "What do you say we go get a booth first? Sit down, order some tasty treats, and then talk about this. No sense having you guys standing around, looking awkward and just plain silly." The man stood without receiving any answers because frankly, He was God. He knew what the answers were already. He guided the others to a vacant booth, which they all slid into in relative silence.
Cas and Dean ended up on one side, with Sam next to God on the other, trying his best to remain calm next to the Creator. Anyone sitting this close to the physical embodiment of God should have been nervous, and Sam felt like he had extra reason to feel that way. After all, he had freed Lucifer by doing things that should have damned him, and that didn't help his general unease around all things Heavenly (minus Cas, of course).
God either didn't notice the taller Winchester's discomfort, or didn't care; He just flagged down a kind-looking waitress, who smiled and made her way to their table.
"You moved, sweetheart. Didn't like my service?" she quipped, all good-natured smiles. God just smiled His own charming grin.
"Now, Louise, you know I've got no complaints. Just thought it'd be easier to sit four guys in a booth than on a stool." The woman smiled, a hand drifting to her notepad and pen.
"Usually does work a little better," she replied. "They gonna have anything?" Since she looked to him first, Sam opened his mouth to ask about their salad selection, but didn't get any further than that.
"Sam will have the Caesar salad, dressing on the side, and water. Dean wants the guacamole burger with steak fries and a bottle of El Sol," God stated, giving her a moment to scrawl the first part of the order down. When she looked up again, He continued. "Cas wants the Hawaiian burger–" The angel raised an eyebrow at the Lord without thinking about how against his teachings that went, but the man just nodded slightly. "Believe me, dude, you want this burger. I kid you not, it is a sweet Heaven of Delicious Flavor on a bun." He looked back to Louise. "He'll also have a Pepsi. I'll just have another glass of your pineapple juice and an ambrosial slice of that mango pie, if you don't mind." She jotted down the rest of the order and smiled back up at them.
"You must really know these boys well to order for them," she commented, stowing the pen and paper back in her apron. God just grinned a thousand watts at her.
"Yeah, I know them pretty well. Practically their whole lives, actually."
"Aw, that's great, sweetie. Always nice to have friends like that." The trio smiled back up at her for lack of anything else to say, though Dean got the feeling that God could chat her up for hours if He felt like it. "Anyway, I'll have your orders up as soon as I can."
"Thanks," He said as she walked away, then glanced to Castiel, who was openly staring, and for good reason. Very few angels ever got to speak to the Father Himself, let alone share a meal with Him in a random California diner. Meeting eyes with his Father didn't deter the angel, though; it actually seemed to paralyze him, because his barely relaxed posture immediately went ramrod straight. This, though, just made God raise a disapproving eyebrow. "C'mon, Cas, don't act so starstruck. We're all pals here."
"But, Father, I-I-" the angel stammered, brain apparently functioning about as well as the hardly existent social skills he'd learned from the brothers. The Lord just chuckled at his awkwardness.
"Don't do that. Seriously, man, I know you were always taught due reverence and all that yazz," He stated, pronouncing the 'j' in jazz softly, with a faux Spanish accent, "but I'm not big on all that formal stuff. I didn't make that up."
"Saint Peter a bit of a stickler for the rules and regulations?" Dean replied, half-joking; this earned a grin from God.
"You have no idea." He held up His hands defensively, adding, "Don't get me wrong, he's a good guy, can trust him with anything, but sweet pickled yams does that man love the pomp and circumstance. I mean, all that sitting and standing, hearing this and saying that... It's not my thing, but I guess it floats some boats, so who am I to complain?"
"Uh... God?" Dean replied; Sam had seen this coming and tried to stop his brother, but was too slow. "I think you, of all people, can complain about whatever you want." The younger Winchester winced, and Castiel, despite the reprimand from his Father, just stared at the man next to him, eyes wide. God, though, chuckled.
"Yeah, I guess you're right," He replied, sharing a grin with the eldest hunter before turning His attention to the younger hunter and the angel. "And seriously, guys, enough with the weirdo respect. Just treat me like you each other, howabout that? I've put that whole 'wrathful' thing behind me, so don't make me regress. Saint Christina, who is in fact very astonishing, would not be happy with you guys if I went back to all that, and she is ka-razy." As He spoke, He twirled a finger by His temple for added emphasis, just in case they weren't aware of just how crazy she could be. "I can't account for what she does if that happens." Sam, with eyebrows knitted together, just nodded apprehensively, while Castiel did his best not to stare, or at least boggle a little less, and gave a slight nod. Only Dean seemed to be enjoying the entire situation.
At that moment, the waitress arrived with their drink orders. She expertly passed each drink to its recipient without asking names, despite none of them ordering for themselves. Dean's beer wasn't even opened; she smiled at him when he noticed.
"Figured you're the type of guy who likes to crack open his own beers," she replied, and at the ding of a bell, promptly hightailed it behind the counter to deliver another order. The elder Winchester just stared at her for a moment, wide-eyed, then fished for his pocket knife and pried the cap off.
"That waitress is freaking amazing," he said, vaguely awestruck, and took a long swig of his beer. The other three smiled to varying degrees, sipping at their own drinks.
"Cas, you really should let go of that amulet now," God said after a moment, noticing one of the angel's hands was still clutching something tightly. The angel looked to his hand, which had gone white from how hard he was clenching the necklace, and laid it on the table as soon as he realized how quickly the burns were overtaking his ability to heal. "I know this whole situation is a little weird for you, but you don't exactly have a lot of power to be throwing around just because you forgot to feel third degree burns. Speaking of which..." God leaned over the table, touching two fingers to Castiel's forehead. "And... Whammy!"
A flash of blue-white light emanated from the deity's fingertips, though only Dean and Sam seemed to notice; all the other patrons went about their eating as if a burst of holy power hadn't just illuminated the room. When it faded, the brothers instantly felt what had just gone down: God had restored Castiel's full angelic power, and then some. The power rolling off Cas was like nothing they'd felt before, even when he'd been temporarily supercharged after being resurrected. Staring at his fingers, the angel seemed almost shocked by the return of his power, full force, and met his Father's eyes.
"Thank you," he said, finally dropping the learned aversion and smiling graciously at the man. God just nodded his acceptance like it was no big deal; Sam took this as his cue to jump in and smash the general good feeling with the question weighing on his mind, not to mention the minds of his brother and the angel.
"Why won't you help us?" The seemingly simple words hung in the air for a second, with both Cas and Dean looking toward the brown-haired man expectantly. He just raised His eyebrows at them, taking a leisurely sip of His juice before answering them.
"You guys are really questioning my decision?" He asked seriously, watching as Sam and Castiel's expressions turned from curious, and possibly a little annoyed, to outright horror. Dean, as expected, was just about the opposite: his own eyebrows shot up, an indignant look now adorning his features.
"Yeah, we're questioning you. You're really just gonna sit back and watch as everything in your creation just goes to shit because it's not your fucking problem?" The words were sharp and harsh, but neither God nor Dean backed down from their current staredown, while the other two watched with wide, terrified eyes. "We are down here fighting with everything we have and losing, and you just think you can prance around and let it happen? I don't care how peachy-keen your Heaven is, good people have died because you don't give a flying crap, and more people are going the same way the longer you dick around."
A tense beat passed after he quit talking, with everyone waiting for God's response in anxious silence; even Dean was momentarily worried, though he did his best not to outwardly seem anything but deadly serious. Then, to everyone's relief, the Supreme Being laughed.
"I knew you were going to be a fun one," He chuckled. The elder hunter smiled a thin smile, inwardly glad to not meet his next death by holy lightning. Still, he wanted answers.
"Seriously, though, what's the deal?" he asked. God just smiled and raised an eyebrow.
"You've kinda answered your own question, man." When Dean just gave the Exalted One a curious look, brow furrowed and head tilted ever-so-slightly, for all the world mimicking Cas' usual look of interest or confusion, He elaborated. "You three have been down here fighting the good fight with no hope, no useful weapons, a handful of friends and a horde of angry dickheads hunting you down, and you're still trying to stop the Apocalypse." He grinned, pride so intense that even someone down the street could have told you how He felt. "How many other people could say that about themselves, huh?"
"Idiots could," the elder Winchester muttered under his breath, glancing out the window and grimacing when he realized he'd said that out loud. God just snorted in amusement.
"Dean, don't be a sticky Slim Jim," He replied, though whatever effect He was aiming for, it was lost on the other three. "It takes a lot of cojones to stand up to the will of Heaven and fight the world all the way down, knowing the you can't win without losing everything." When no one seemed as impressed as He was, God raised an eyebrow at them. "Don't you guys get it? It was a test. I was making sure you weren't just fighting because you thought I could end everything, no muss, no fuss. I wanted to know you were really in it no matter what." He smiled broadly at them, but none of them seemed quite as pleased with this development as He was.
"A test?" Dean all but roared. "A freaking test? We've been working our asses off down here and it was all a test? I swear, I-" The beginning of a tirade was quickly shut down when Cas placed a firm hand on his friend's shoulder; the hunter paused to look at the angel, who simply shook his head. Dean blinked, rage dwindling as quickly as it had risen when confronted with those earnest blue eyes.
"So Joshua was lying to us?" Sam asked, jumping in to defuse any leftover tension and move the moment along.
"Not quite," God replied, glancing to the young man next to Him. "He thought it was the truth. Really, I was lying to him." The younger Winchester's eyebrows shot up.
"God lies?" The surprise was thick enough in his voice that the Supreme One couldn't resist grinning.
"Just because one of my kids perfected it, doesn't mean I didn't create it."
"I..." Sam hesitated. "...I can't fault that logic."
"I know," God grinned back, sipping at his pineapple juice. Louise arrived just then with a tray full of their orders, smiling brightly as she passed each plate to its intended recipient. Even as a delectable burger was placed in front of him, Dean eyed the slice of mango pie God received.
"If you're good and eat all your dinner, you can have one of your own later," the Creator replied without even looking at the older Winchester. He instead directed His attention to Louise, who had just given Sam his large salad.
"Everything looks grand," He said, garnering a pleased grin from her.
"I'll be sure to let our line boys know you said that," she replied. "You guys need anything else?" God glanced to the others, who didn't seem to have any other requests, and shook His head.
"Nope, I think we're just dandy." She grinned a patented waitress smile at Him, but this one was more genuine than usual; something about Him was just so enchanting.
"Alright then, you boys enjoy. I'll be back with your check in a little while." He nodded appreciatively at her as she walked away, then turned to the slice of sweetness before Him. Picking up a fork, He dug in, with the other three quickly following suit.
"Will you help us?" Castiel asked, spreading a layer of teriyaki sauce over the slice of pineapple atop the burger itself. God savored a bite of His pie for a minute, mulling over its tangy delectability with eyes shut for full enjoyment; only when He was finished did He look at the angel sitting catty-corner from Him.
"I will," He replied, "but not in the way you'd think. I'm not just gonna clap my hands and stop everything." He took another bite, almost thoughtfully, and held up a hand before the inevitable protests rose from Sam and Dean, the latter of which had a mouthful of beef and guacamole that none of them were in the mood to see. "I won't directly interfere, but I can totally push you in the right direction. Everything's already set up so you can one-two punch Lucy back to the Pit."
"Really?" Sam looked hopefully to the deity next to him, salad resting forgotten on his fork. Despite the nectarous bite of pie on God's own fork, He paused and met the younger Winchester's eyes.
"Yup. All the groundwork's been put down for you, just in case Zachariah decided to be a stinkypants while I was out." He shoveled the piece of pie into His mouth, smiling as it bewitched His taste buds; Dean just questioningly mouthed 'stinkypants' to Sam, who shrugged. God was a little odd, but at least He wasn't an asshat like most of His kids.
"What exactly do you mean?" Cas asked before biting into his own burger; the moment was derailed by his suddenly astounded expression, turning a wide-eyed look to the burger itself. God grinned and nodded approvingly.
"Told you it was good. It's the slice of pineapple. My spiky little slice of sunshine." Cas smiled as well, taking another hasty bite, and the Exalted One went on. "Anyway, all these little things I've lined up, kind of like a cosmic game of Mouse Trap, they've all found their way to you somehow."
"Like what?" Dean inquired after he'd swallowed his first enormous and messy bite. "Like the Colt, Ruby's knife, Cas' angel-sword thing, the holy oil?"
"You've got it," the Father of All replied. "Those and a few other things. Between that stuff and the few friends you've got, you should be able to patch together a strong defense." The trio exchanged wary looks, but the Lord kept on eating His pie as if He didn't already know their reluctance.
"So we don't have to say yes to Michael or Lucifer?" was the next question posed, asked by a very obviously hopeful Sam.
"You betcha. I mean, you can if you want to, it'd definitely be easier, but it'd be easier in the same way resolving who gets the last ice cream sandwich is easier when you blow the other person to smithereens with a nuclear warhead. Easy, but overkill." For the first time in what felt like months, and was likelier years, Sam and Dean relaxed, reassured that the weight of the world didn't have to come down to them destroying everything. They even smiled broad, easy smiles, and dug into their food with added enthusiasm.
The rest of the meal went on with a much lighter air, all four men joking and talking amiably, even usually stoic Cas; something about the vibe God gave off just put them all at ease. The Supreme One talked just like He was any other guy, even when He was cracking wise about creating the Universe or other completely outlandish things that no human could begin to fully comprehend. True to His word, He ordered a slice of mango pie for Dean when he finished his burger, and couldn't resist ordering one for Castiel when He saw the way the angel stared at His piece. Sam turned down the offer of his own in exchange for a yogurt parfait, which was pretty good, too, but no mango pie, at least in the opinions of the rest.
Louise dropped off the check a little while after Cas finished his dessert, which the Lord quickly snatched out of Dean's hand.
"Uh-uh," He said, wagging a finger at the older Winchester. "You guys have enough problems without digging into your Laundromat-slash-gas station-slash-cheap motel funds. This one's on me." The brothers shared a silent moment of deliberation before Dean shrugged.
"If you say so," he ceded, nudging Castiel's leg with his own. "Get up, man, We're outta here." The angel did as he was told, sliding out of the booth as Sam did the same, with the Creator and Dean just behind them. None of them ever saw God pull out any money, but some was already on the table, several dollars more than even the tip demanded; all the explanation they received was an offhand comment about time spent as a waiter in Córdoba.
As they made their way outside, late afternoon sun still bright, all four made their way across the parking lot; the eldest Winchester paused after a moment, turning to look at the Almighty.
"Are you coming with us?" The question was sudden, but not entirely unexpected, and God shrugged.
"Is that a problem?"
"Not really. You'll just have to share the backseat with Cas." The Lord smiled His now familiarly brilliant smile.
"I can handle that." Neither Dean, Sam nor Cas could exactly pinpoint why He was joining them, but at this point, they weren't really going to question it.
"Hey, Cas," God said as the newly minted quartet started to cross the parking lot once again, halting the angel in his tracks.
"Yes, Father?" the angel replied, head tilting to the side. His Father's tone of voice, not to mention the strange glint in His hazel eyes, were entirely foreign to him. The deity sauntered to his side, cupping one hand around the angel's ear like he was a six-year-old telling a secret, and whispered something that neither Dean nor Sam caught. Both God and Castiel's eyes darted to the elder Winchester, who suddenly felt a queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Were they talking about him? What was there to say? Whatever was going on, it made the angel's cheeks flush as his eyes shot wide open, and that only worried Dean more. What the hell was going on here?
God leaned back after a moment, smiling in His enigmatic, if not slightly deranged, way; Cas just glanced to the Lord expectantly, and received only a nod toward the older brother in response. The angel looked back to Dean, eyes meeting with a look that was more than a little unsettling. Sam just glanced curiously at Dean, who shrugged with nothing to explain whatever was going on.
In three long strides, Cas had covered the distance between himself and the Winchesters, placing himself directly in front of Dean. He looked up at the slightly taller man and, placing a hand on each side of the hunter's face, pulled him into a sudden kiss.
For a moment, Dean flailed, eyes wide in surprise, but Castiel wasn't letting go, and his reinstated angel strength made it impossible for the man to escape. His instant reaction to run far away quickly faded, overtaken by a voice resigning to his physical inability to leave and the strange warmth spreading from his lips down through his whole body. A whimpering voice in the back of his mind protested that this could not be happening; Castiel, devout angel of the Lord, could not be kissing him, Dean Winchester, perennial sinner and possible angel condom. Every other instinct in his body quickly shut that train of thought down and relaxed the rest of his body, arms slowly falling away from their spastic motions down to the angel's hips, almost instinctively.
The kiss lasted a few moments longer; Cas, almost experimentally, gently bit Dean's lower lip before breaking away. The older Winchester just stood there for a second after that, eyes closed in what was either shock or dismay–probably both–until his eyes opened slowly, darting between the three people staring at him. Each one wore a markedly different expression.
Sam was literally gaping, jaw wide open. The barest hint of an amazed smile graced his lips, but for the most part he seemed genuinely shocked. Whether it was because his brother had just been kissed by an angel, or because Dean hadn't fought back as hard as he could have, he wasn't really sure. There wasn't a lot of time to ponder that.
God was smiling His widest, happiest smile yet, one that could more than likely light a third world country with little to no effort. A tinge of playful amusement glittered in His eyes.
And Cas... Cas just watched him expectantly, eyes scrutinizing every part of his face in turn.
The hunter suddenly found his cheeks insanely hot, eyes locking onto his brother as he found that his voice still worked.
"You," he began, pointing a finger directly at Sam. "Not a word. I don't want to hear it. Not right now." He adjusted his gaze to God, who just watched the scene unfold further with mirth. "I don't know what you did, or what you're still doing, but..." His conviction wavered as the man raised his eyebrows, almost defiantly. "...but quit it." The Lord just held up His hands in surrender.
"I didn't do anything but give a little nudge. Whatever's there is entirely your fault." He paused, considering the idea with an almost comically arranged thinking look adorning His features. "Well, and maybe Cupid's." He grinned mischievously; Dean just stared for a moment longer before giving up his mental effort to put together a cohesive response and just turned to Cas. The angel looked to him with those crystal blue eyes, just as stoic as they were hopeful, and in that second, Dean truly knew he had lost.
"We," he started, fumbling for words in a very un-Dean way. He prodded the angel in the chest as if it would help him think better, but it actually made things worse; the firm resistence Castiel's chest put up almost sent him down an entirely new avenue of thoughts that he wasn't ready to address quite yet. Finally, he managed to weakly mumble, "We'll talk about this later." He quickly turned and stalked his way to the Impala, Sam finally bursting out into irrepressible laughter. The Supreme One just kept grinning, while Cas mimicked his Father's amused expression in his own vague way.
The Impala's engine roared to life, prompting the three still standing around to scramble to the vehicle, since there was no telling if Dean would up and leave them right now. When everybody was crammed in, God and Cas squeezing in between all the gear and duffel bags in the backseat, the older Winchester pulled away from the diner and headed toward the motel they were shacked up in that week. Silence dominated the car for a few minutes, everyone trying to put the previous moment out of mind for now. Dean contemplated flipping over the Zeppelin cassette already on deck to clear his own mind, at least until he glanced God in the rearview mirror and a thought struck him.
"What have you been doing down here for so long?" he asked, pure curiosity overtaking him. The Lord perked up, glancing to the angel and younger hunter who both looked to Him in interest. It was a valid question, after all; they had no idea what he had been doing on Earth for most of the twentieth century. Whatever it was, they were sure it was important if it had drawn Him away from Heaven for so long.
"Looking for the best pie," He answered simply. Sam and Cas' eyebrows shot up, while Dean just grinned like this was the best revelation he'd ever heard. In his life, there was a good chance it was.
"You were down here for the better part of a century, trying to find really good pie?" he asked incredulously, though not without a layer of strong approval and new respect coating his every word.
"Not just really good pie. The best pie," God corrected with conviction. Sam chuckled disbelievingly, while Castiel shook his head. This only made the older brother smile wider, though.
Now this was a god he could get behind.