Ninety percent Winchester ten percent angel
Don't own 'em, just love 'em. Wished ta hell I worked for Kripke.
"Why wasn't I ever possessed by a demon?" It was a nagging thought that pursued Dean every time he had a spare moment to think.
And when he drove Dean had a lot of time to think about it.
It wasn't like he couldn't connect the dots, it was just that every time he came close to stacking his ideas up into some rational pattern a breeze of interruption would blow in and the whole almost formed thought would fall down like a stack of cards.
He chewed on the idea now as he sat behind the wheel of his baby. It niggled at him as he watched the yellow line race south beside the Impala as he drove north into the night. 'Hell, before we had the head slapping good idea to get those tats I was just as much exposed to them as Sammy and dad were but I never got tapped.' He shuddered a little at his own metaphor.
'Now I can understand it happenin' to Sammy, he was their designated hitter for team Satan.' Thought Dean as he glanced over to the sleeping form of his ginormous brother curled up to fit his impossibly large frame on the front seat beside him. 'Poor kid,' Dean huffed, 'The cards were really stacked against you, no matter which way we played it, it was always going to be Chicago.'
He sighed deeply.
'And dad, man, they feared you, how many of them did it take to hold you down before one of them was able to try you on?' A small sad smile quirked at the corner of Dean's lips. He'd always admired his dad's strength and determination even if the trade off had cost him, over their years, in the father department.
'But none of 'em ever tried to hijack my meat suit. And with what Heaven planned to use mine for you'd think I'd be public enemy number one. I shoulda been taken outta the game before my fifth birthday! I mean Michael's Sword! Arch angel Michael's freakin' vessel...I just don't get...'
Sam stirred on the front seat and murmured, "W'are we?" and it broke Dean's train of thought.
"Somewheres south of nowhere," Dean answered, then in his low softened growl he added, "You should sleep."
Sam yawned and stretched, uncurling his huge body into a shape more linear, then he peered out the window. The darkness outside was too complete to gage how long he'd been asleep. He stretched again as best he could in the cramped front seat and asked through another yawn, "Ahhhhuhhn...' Time is it?"
"Dean glanced down at his watch, "Nearly four... Hey, how come I've never been possessed?"
"Wwwhat?" said Sam rubbing his eyes. "Is that what you do when you drive? Obsess over what hasn't happened in your life?" He shook his head in disbelief.
Dean frowned at him. "It's the only time I have to think, when we're not dodgin' claws n'teeth and you're passed out sleepin'."
Sam sat up a little straighter and frowned back, "Wait...so you can't think when I'm awake?"
Dean smirked and said, "Naw, you're too needy." And that earned him the patented bitch face. Getting the sought after response made him chuckle and he turned his attention back to the road thinking, 'Sammy you're too easy.'
A few more minutes passed by then he brought it up again. "So seriously..." Dean asked. "Why do you think the demons never tried to..."
Sam couldn't help himself, "Get all up inside you?"
Dean grimaced and his shoulders did an automatic shimmy in disgust. "Really? That's pretty gross especially for you."
Sam barked out a laugh his dimples making their infrequent appearance. "Hey, I learned from the master of gross comebacks." But when he looked back at his brother he saw that Dean wasn't smiling.
"You're really serious about this, huh?" he said.
"Well..yeah." Replied his big brother as he returned his attention back onto the road.
And Sam knew that when his older brother got a question stuck in his head (which Sam figured Dean purposely kept uncluttered, 'for more important things like counting cards or remembering the diners that served the best pie') there was usually a good reason and he would not let it go until he'd uncovered all the levels of truth to it. It was a hunters thing. And Dean was a very good hunter.
"Soooo...how long you been thinking about this?" Sam asked.
Dean kept his eyes on the road and answered, "Pretty much since I found out about the whole Michael's vessel gig."
"Yeah, and I figure that since the demons plans for you had been in the works from the moment mom made her deal to save dad, the angels musta had counter plans set up for me too."
"What matter does it make when it started Dean," Sam said bitterly, "the out come turned out the same."
Dean glared at Sam, "It does matter...to me!" Dean's voice held controled anger as he added, "When you find out that both Heaven and hell are dickin' around with your lives, that the people you love around you are paying the price for a cosmic family dysfunction, it matters to me to understand where it all started..." and then he turned back to face the road and quietly added, "and what part I really had to play."
"You don't think knowing you were supposed to be Michaels vessel is enough?" asked Sam.
"No...I don't." Dean's voice rose, "I mean was I born to be his vessel? Or did I get turned into it somehow along the way? You weren't 'born to be' Lucifer's vessel, you were born an innocent kid who got demon blood fed to him at six months old. That yellow-eyed bastard prepped you and dozens of other kids to become vessels. So does that mean that Michael popped into my bedroom as a kid and prepped me somehow?"
"I never thought of that." Sam looked at him like he was seeing him for the first time. "All this time I thought I was the only one walking around with this foreign stuff inside me, this demon blood, and all along you could have had some foreign angel juice in you too!"
"And what about the demons that you hadn't known were there at key points in you life-huh? Ready to give you a nudge, a push in the direction they wanted you to go in? Think maybe Michael had some cronies following me around, ready to steer me to make choices that would fit their plans too?" Dean asked.
Sam shrugged, "Maybe."
"I just can't help thinking that...if I'da just let you rest in peace... that day back at Cold Oak... the whole apocalypse thing just never woulda happened."
Sam looked away quickly from the pain visible on his brother's face in the dim dashboard light. "So...you regret bringing me back?" he asked softly.
"NO, I...I dunno Sammy, no...but did things really work out so good for you coz I did? I mean you wound up havin' to go downstairs anyway..." Dean sighed. Then he smiled sadly, "Naw, you know I'd always bring you back," And patted his brothers on the knee, "For me, not because it was part of Heaven or hells plan to duke it out, I guess I always woulda done it for me."
"You're just gonna make yourself crazy trying to figure this out you know, " Sam said trying to sooth his brothers restless mind. "Anyway, from what we know of Heaven, if you hadn't brought me back I woulda spent eternity clueless to what life had been like for you...and that wouldn't have been the way I'd want to exist anyway in some fantasy loop of ignorance." Sam said sincerely.
Dean smiled briefly, "You do hate ignorance. Must be that inner Geek-huh?"
Sam shook his head back, "yeah, yeah, maybe I should just go back to sleep now and try to ignore the driver."
Dean huffed. Then added, "It still wasn't right, on either side angels or demons, what they did to us, our family, it wasn't right... I tell you what..." Dean growled, "If anyone can find out it's Cas and as soon as we find a motel I'm callin' him down. I've got some questions for Mr. New Guy In Charge."
"That is if he'll even see us, we've kinda served our purpose." Sam said doubtfully.
"Oh, he'll see us." The older Winchester replied, " 'cause if this went down the way I think, then it wasn't an accident that Michael followed you down into the pit that day."
Sam's eyebrows rose, 'what the hell could Dean be on to?'
As soon as the Winchesters had finished salting the windows and door to their room Dean made the call. Both Sam and Dean heard the rustle of wings even before Dean heard Cas hang up. Dean turned around to face the sound and he was just there.
"Geez!" Dean shouted, "what were you waiting by the phone?"
"I was prepared to hear from you." The angel answered in his familiar monotone.
Then he looked at Sam and said with some surprise, "I wasn't expecting to see you... here... so... soon." And without any warning he took a step forward and grabbed the tall man in a bone crushing hug."
Dean stood aside in stunned shock.
"Ommph!" Sam uttered. Then tried to wheeze out, "Cas...can't breathe..."
The angel released his hold instantly and backed away with a smile on his face, "Sorry, I forget my own strength in times like these. So few of my brothers were counted as unscathed by this war... so seeing you two... alive and well...it...it makes me...happy."
Dean coughed at hearing the angels inclusion of them as his brothers and looked down at the floor then back up to the still smiling angel. He smiled back and reached his hand forward for the angel to shake, "It's good to see you too, man. You doin' ok?"
"If by 'ok' you mean trying to hold what is left of Heaven together until we can find, well, I still belief He's still out there, then yes, I'm doing ok." Cas replied. And he shook Dean's hand in his usual awkward pump.
Dean glanced at Sam then jumped right in with his question,"Look, do you think it was just an accident that Michael followed Lucifer into the pit?"
Cas took on a wary look and both Winchesters noted the change. "I say it again you Winchesters never cease to surprise me." Then he inhaled deeply and said, "There have been some speculations that I am following up on that Michael may have been more heavily involved with his own agenda toward a confrontation with our brother Lucifer."
Dean's face went into a scowl, "Like how involved?"
"This is a matter of Heavenly concern," The angel replied in an icy tone.
Dean tilted his head toward their feathered friend, "No, no, naw, uh uh..." Dean said. "You're not weaseling out on us like that."
"I'm in now way behaving in a rodent-like manner" Cas said with a straight face.
Sam stepped in, "Cas it's ok we just want to know two things. Why didn't any demons ever try to posses my brother and how is it that you were able to find his soul...at all...when you went in to hell to get him back?"
Dean looked curiously at Sam.
Sam frowned and inhaled squaring his shoulders in a stance Dean had seen many times during fights with his dad. And suddenly he appeared a lot larger or the room just got a lot smaller. "Because..," Sam said in a way that demanded truth, "I've been to hell and it's chaos there, darkness and screaming all around you but no way can you see four feet in front of you because there...is...no...light. So how did you find him?"
Cas dropped his eyes to the floor and licked his lips. Lying was just not something he could do.
Then he looked back up to them and said, "One of the rumors going around is that Michael did not accidentally "fall" into the pit, Sam, when you grabbed Adam's arm. If Michael did not want to follow you into hell he would not, the rumor is that it wasn't his choice."
"Not his choice?" Dean asked incredulously.
"Arch angels don't get tugged, slip and fall...as a rule." Cas replied. "I believe that what happened was ordained by our Father as punishment to Michael for his rogue involvement in all this."
Dean shifted his stance and asked, " Want to run that part by me about how involved he was again?"
"Let me do so by first answering your questions Sam," Then he explained, "Dean's inherent repellant quality to demons and my being able to find him in hell may be due to Michael's direct involvement with your mother."
"Our MOTHER?" both Winchesters said together.
Dean's eyes went wide, "Wait a minute, last time Michael was anywhere near all of us was when you zapped us back to the past. "What did he do to our mom after he flashed us back here? Dean yelled at the angel.
Cas never blinked an eye just calmly replied, "He may have imparted a sliver of his grace to you while you were in the womb."
Dean's head jerked back then he rounded on the angel shouting, "So...what ...you're sayin' I'm some angels bastard child?"
"The correct term is 'Nephilim'" The angel said giving Dean an appraising look, "and I would have expected you to be taller if that were the case."
Dean didn't take that well at all. He emitted a slow controled growl, glared at the angel and through gritted teeth snarled, "He didn't...?"
The angel's eyes widened and he put up placating hands, "No he didn't have sex...we don't...not since before Noah!" Then Cas straightened his shoulders and told Dean, "We are not allowed to create life, that is up to our Father, to intentionally do so would break one of his laws and be punishable by death."
"Or a trip to the pit." offered Sam.
"No, Michael is rash at times but he would never break one of Gods laws." Cas countered. Then he sighed, his shoulders slumped and suddenly he seemed decades wearier. "But it would NOT be essentially a break of the law to imbue a small amount of grace simply by a touch."
Dean looked at Sam speechless.
The angel continued, "I believe that is how I was able to find your brother when I sought him in hell." Cas turned to Dean and took a step toward the man he considered a friend. "In all of hell's darkness your brother's soul glowed as bright as angelic light."
Dean's face began to soften and his eyes started to brim recalling that moment. He tried to clear his throat but his voice sounded rough with unshed tears. "So... what yer saying is Michael tagged me with some holy GPS unit so you could come git me?"
"It's what I believed at first." Cas replied, "That he'd marked you for..uh..retrieval. But
there is growing evidence... that... if THAT were the case it would have meant he expected you would need to be retrieved from hell someday." And Cas looked quickly down at the floor, "It was also what allowed you to have the righteous soul that was key to being able open up the first seal."
Dean stopped breathing and stared in disbelief.
Sam's anger flared and he shouted, "What? Did Michael plan this all along? To use my brother to get the showdown he wanted with Lucifer?"
"I don't know if his involvement went that deep." the angel answered. "But the effects of the presence of his grace may have been enough to give Dean resistance to demon possession and... there were other events in his life."
"Such as?" Sam asked angrily.
The angel adjusted his stance and continued his theory, "When Dean killed the whore of Babylon when only a true servant of God could do so and for him to be able to wield an angelic sword. No mere mortal could have done that...with out some divine help."
Dean waved his arms in exasperation, "What the hell Cas?" And he paced as he shouted, "All this time I thought it was me! That it my fault the apocalypse started, that I killed the bitch back at the church coz, I dunno, God LET me. That I wasted that sonofabitch Zachariah because he was...a...a... sonofabitch! And now you tell me that it was because I was touched by an angel?" What the hell?"
"Dean.." Cas reached out to placated the aggravated man before him. "This was a great gift, however ill conceived, for my brother to bestow upon you."
Sam shook his head and snorted in disgust.
Dean glanced away and would not meet the angels eyes. When he finally spoke it was soft, almost a whisper, "So this creep of an arch angel had a piece of him in me from the gitgo? Was I ever really...human?"
That Dean would leap to that thought made the angel blanche, no small feat for an angel.
Cas answered by saying, "Michael was wrong to impart grace to an unknowing host and the facts indicate that he may have done so unbeknownst to your mother while you nurtured inside her."
Dean bit his bottom lip, sighed and raised his eyes Heavenward as if asking for understanding. Then after shaking his head sadly he looked down and closed them. He looked devastated.
Cas knew how important it was to Dean to maintain his humanity in his fight against all the monsters that be. To believe himself to be among the things he hunted by virtue of not being fully human himself would upturn his world. The angel also knew Dean struggled as well with his sense of worth since he was raised to be a soldier but never really knew that he was worthy of love for just being who he was- a good man. Cas looked back and forth between Dean and Sam, these mortals had humbled an angel of the Lord by their bond of friendship to him. and as guardian and friend he vowed, upon that friendship, not to add to the damage his brothers had already brought down upon their lives. Because through everything he'd been through with these men he saw so much of his Fathers better traits displayed in them.
So he prayed to get what he was about to say right, "Only a man possessed of the greatest of love for his brother that he would willingly give up his life for him would be able to have the strength, in his own soul, to carry the mighty power of this grace. And he reached out and touched the same shoulder upon which carried the mark of his handprint. "Dean." he said earnestly, "Wrong as he was, Michael did choose wisely, you could not have borne the ten percent angel that he imparted if it were not for you being ninety percent Winchester."
Then with the rustle of unseen wings he was gone from them.
Sam looked over to Dean, his brother was standing stock still, face unreadable and he was sure that his brother would need time to process this new information about his past. Because he knew it had taken him years to get adjusted to the truth about his own genetic tampering at the hands of demons. Dean was facing the same gut punch about his own identity, and just because the tampering came from the other camp didn't make the acceptance of what it did to him any easier.
Sam eased himself down on the end of his bed and Dean, still staring off into space, slowly sat down on the end of his own.
Finally Dean spoke, "What do ya think Cas meant when he called us his brothers?"
Sam exhaled a breath he didn't know he'd been holding on to and answered, "I dunno, Dean, maybe because you've got a shard of arch angel in you and I've had a brush with arch angel in me..we've sorta..."
"Become distantly related..." Dean replied still looking past anything with that thousand mile stare.
Both men sat silently in the lengthening gloom of the motel room pondering how their world had just gotten a little weirder...even for them.