Brothers, Friends, and Soapy Cars

Summary: This is from Castiel's POV as he contemplates his life with Sam and Dean up to his involvement in 'Not My Sammy' and so forth.

Spoilers/Tags: Not really tagged to anything and no real spoilers but will have various mentions of previous events from the past seasons.

Warnings: There shouldn't any except maybe some language and that probably comes from Bobby or Dean yelling at Cas.

Pairings: Zip, zero, nada.

Castiel's POV:

From the time I went into the bowels of Hell and dragged Dean Winchester out I accepted that perhaps my Father had chosen wrong. Oh, not that it was wrong to save Dean. No, of all the many men I had seen walk the Earth none of the deserved the fate that Dean suffered.

I never doubted it was right to bring him back…even though I had doubts about the reasons he was really brought back but my doubts mainly came from whether or not my Father, or who I had believed was him, had chosen the correct Angel to act as Dean's guardian.

Many of my brothers and sisters up in Heaven, if not all of them, strongly believed that after forty years, Hell time is much different than a mortals time, that Dean would be a broken shell and easy to handle. Or at least that was what Zachariah believed. I…I knew different.

Most mortals when confronted with an Angel of the Lord would be shocked and then humbled. Dean was…well Dean. He was startled, yes but not shocked and certainly not humbled when I first appeared to him… or even the second time I went to him after the Witnesses were defeated.

Perhaps he was more wary after I used one of Michael's techniques. When I warned Dean that he should have more respect for me since I had brought him from Hell and could certainly return him there, I saw the first shade of change in his eyes. Certainly not the respect I had expected but concern and then I would soon learn it wasn't concern for himself but for his brother.

I learned much about Dean and also Sam in those first weeks and months after his return. By following blindly the orders of Heaven I missed how much of Sam's decisions were being influenced by the demon Ruby, just like I ignored how much our influence over Dean affected Sam. I began seeing that after Uriel… no I will accept as much responsibility for that mess, when we forced Dean to return to the role he'd been taught in Hell.

When we forced him to torture and interrogate Alastair for information I saw so much of Dean's remaining light get extinguished. It was when Sam gave in to the powers that Ruby had showed him how to use and he saved Dean's life, as well as my own, from Alastair that I saw how much the Winchester brothers depended on the other but I also saw so much more.

Dean had given his soul to protect the brother he had raised. Sam had given in to so much more as he struggled to survive after losing his brother and yet they were being driven apart in tiny ways so neither they nor I fully understood the scope.

Even after learning about Sam's use of demon blood and his other powers or his time with Ruby, Dean still tried to protect his brother just as Sam tried to use those very things in order to protect Dean who had lost so much of the man he once was while in Hell.

I know that to this day that Dean still hasn't told Sam everything or that he hasn't come close to accepting everything that was done to him there.

I followed orders as I have done for millennia and didn't question until Zachariah began to get too insistent and I learned that it was Uriel killing the other Angels. I suppose if someone as powerful as Uriel could be turned then why not someone as arrogant as Zachariah. I was blind to it or refused to see what was happening or what was being done to Dean and Sam.

If I could have gotten to Dean the night before I was taken back to Heaven then perhaps things wouldn't have gotten so bad. He's never pushed to learn what happened though he's a smart man so I can assume that he guessed. Once one has been a prisoner in Heaven, it's often best to follow orders without questioning again. Perhaps it was Dean's influence even then…Bobby likes to say that I've picked up too many bad Winchester habits and perhaps I did.

Between the constant fights, Zachariah's constant games and what he was led to believe was Sam's betrayals, Dean finally was worn to the point that they all thought he could be controlled. Having Sam try to kill him while under the blood's influence was too much and it was the loss I saw in his eyes while he prowled that room that finally had me doubting again.

I had been given orders. I had finally come to understand what was going to happen. Both Sam and Dean had been influenced but both had been influenced by the same side so to speak. Both Ruby and Zachariah wanted Lucifer free and the boys would be used and then cast aside like…wet shoes…or at least something like that. Another of Dean's phrases.

It was when I learned of Zachariah's influence and the phone message that Sam thinks he heard…I really must broach that with the two of them sometime soon, that made me choose but I acted too late. Dean was too late to stop Sam from killing Lilith and freeing Lucifer.

I'm still not certain how they were placed on that airplane or who brought me back but I'm glad I was able to stop Zachariah from harming them in their father's storage building. I had become an outcast by helping them but Dean had always been honest with me which is more than I could say for my 'family' so I hardly ever doubted my choices.

Yes, I wish many times that Sam and Dean hadn't suffered as they did in those days. Sam, while not as broken emotionally as his brother, was hurting so much more because while it was made to seem like Dean was the chosen one of Heaven by being Michael's vessel and he was chosen for Lucifer, the proverbial Devil, all of his choices made him feel so much worse.

I wish I could have told him that they both had been used and neither choice was a good one but I knew that neither of them would have listened by this point. True, Dean forgave him for much but still that voicemail still hung in Sam's heart and he worked too hard to prove to Dean that he could be trusted because Dean never understood how much Sam was pushed to be against him.

I could have told Dean that the blood Ruby gave Sam poisoned him, influenced him so that when he wanted to go back to Dean, to listen to him he saw and heard other things. Perhaps I still should come clean as it were but that's stones under the bridge as Bobby said once…I think that's what he said.

Of course I wasn't much help to them. In my search for my Father I fear I caused the biggest rift between them. After Zachariah showed them twisted versions of their Heaven, both boys were hurting and after Dean related what Joshua had said I lost much of my faith. By doing that, Dean lost his and he threw away the amulet that Sam had given him as a boy.

For me it was a way to find my Father. For Dean it was something his brother had given him long ago and after all that he'd been made to suffer it was something that reminded him of the brother he felt he had lost. What neither he nor I understood was that for Sam, the amulet was as much a part of the bond they had as brothers as the blood they shared was. By throwing it away, Sam believed that Dean was throwing any last chance between them.

I know now that Zachariah had showed them only things that would hurt each of them in a way to wear Dean down and by casting more doubt on Sam's loyalty it also would weaken Dean. Angels and Demons knew that to hurt one would harm the other. I saw this too late. I saw it when Anna decided to wipe Sam out of existence.

Dean doesn't know that Michael came to me in that era as I recovered my bearings. He doesn't know that he told me that Anna had killed Sam by shoving a pipe into his stomach or that he returned him to health and back to their time after having talked with Dean. He doesn't know that Michael was so sure of his victory over Dean at that point that he bragged to me how easy it would be to get Dean to say yes by just threatening to harm his brother.

I never told Dean this because I knew he was upset enough without learning this. I just stayed more watchful for either of my brothers. When I woke up back in the present feeling like I did the night Dean took me to that den of iniquity and I watched as Dean soothed his brother who struggled with the knowledge that he had met their mother and couldn't do anything to prevent her from dying.

My brothers believed that Dean's weakness was Sam and vice versa. I knew they were wrong. If anything, they made each other stronger. Not that it was always easy to make Dean see that. Sam's lapse after Famine attacked and his need to detox again pushed Dean further into despair and not for the first time did I wish I still had all my 'mojo' as the boys called it.

I stood outside the panic room in Bobby's basement and listened to Sam as he screamed through the pain, fought with images only he could see and the guilt that he's carried for most of his life. I wished for the power to heal him and to help Dean understand the truth that not only was Famine wrong about him being dead inside but that Sam was still the little brother who needed him.

It was too much for Dean after he killed the Whore of Babalyon and though I knew with almost certain that either Zachariah or Michael had a hand in that, it pushed Dean over and he was close to saying yes. Sam and I, haven't always seen face to face on things but on that we did. We could not allow Dean to say yes to Michael and after he got loose from Sam at Bobby's I fully admit that I…might have lost what Dean calls my cool.

I had given up much to help them and here he was giving in so I took him back to his brother…rather worse than he was to begin with but still free…at least until the Angels took their brother Adam who Zachariah had resurrected. I must say I used some Bobby words that day.

Sam made the choice to take Dean with him to save the boy. I only have Sam and Dean's account for what happened next since I don't recall anything but landing on a boat after I took care of the Angel enforcers for them.

After Pestilence, Sam told me that Dean had said yes but then killed Zachariah with the Angel killing blade I had given him. Dean says that he was willing to go through with it to save his brothers since Zachariah was causing Sam to spit up blood but he couldn't let the kid down.

I have gotten to know Dean very well since I pulled him from the pit and I translated that to mean Sam was hurt, afraid and looking at Dean as the big brother he had always known and Dean couldn't let his brother lose that belief or be harmed.

The next days were a blur but I knew that some rifts had been healed between them as Sam decided to trap Lucifer in his body and then jump into the hole that could be opened with the Horsemen's rings. I also never decided to reveal to Dean that I had serious doubts that would work and when Sam couldn't hold Lucifer at bay in Detroit I wasn't surprised.

Bobby and I had both accepted the loss and what would happen next. Lucifer had his vessel and Michael had Adam. The fight would happen. It was over. I was tired and really didn't want to watch these two men that I had come to think of as my brothers in arms, my friends, come to an end like this.

Of course I should have known that Dean wouldn't be able to leave it alone. As Bobby said, that idjit will do himself in rather than see Sam die alone and I also knew this when Dean left us.

Perhaps it was my time with them but I didn't care about my fate when I brought Bobby to that cemetery in Kansas to see Dean facing off with my brothers. He was trying to get through to Sam but I knew at that time that Michael was the bigger threat and so did my last good act for my friend. I blasted Michael's holy roller, I'm not sure what Bobby meant by that, ass out of the area and then was gone in a blast of rage from Lucifer.

Again, I can only assume that my Father saved me because when I returned I was gifted with all my abilities and went straight for Dean. By then it was over. I had seen the outcome in a blink. Sam fought for control and won after Lucifer nearly killed Dean. I heard Sam telling Dean that he had him and it would be alright and then Sam opened the gate and fell, taking Michael's vessel with them.

I healed Dean's physical wounds and Bobby but I knew that a part of Dean could never be healed again. The part of his soul that was still bright was gone with Sam and while I tried to be realistic by reminding him of the promise that Sam had asked him for I knew that eventually Dean would lose himself in the grief and either do something stupid such as harm himself or try to break the Cage.

Dean did go to the woman and her son as I watched from a distance but I could tell it was a struggle daily not to go for Sam.

I had other duties since that day. Dean liked to call it the new Sheriff of Heaven and I suppose it's a close title, not that it's easy since none of the other Angels want to follow rules. They grew used to Zachariah's version and I fought daily to keep Dean safe from those who wanted him to pay for killing an Angel and not following the pre-planed idea of the Apocalypse.

I had been watching Dean salt and burn a rather strange looking garden creature when I felt the change. I knew in my soul that Sam was out of the cage but I had no idea of how…I so really need to find Gabriel once I'm done here.

Sam, upon his return, was lost. I watched from a distance and saw the loss, the pain, the fear he suffered daily without being near his brother. I also saw those that took him in. I didn't need a message from Missouri Mosley or Mary Winchester to tell me that Samuel Campbell was no good for Sam or for Dean now. Call it a gut reaction of an Angel who has spent too much time with Dean and Sam.

However what I wasn't expecting was in one of the moments that I lost track of Sam while dealing with issues in Heaven that he'd be attacked by a shapeshifter and replaced. I had caught the change in his mannerisms but put it off to how he was coping with being out of the Cage since before I lost track of him I had saw glimpses of his mind and knew what he'd been put through both physically and mentally.

I did hear 'Sam' call for me but the edge to the feeling kept me from going to him. I held off until I knew he was with Dean…though I also needed aid in finding the Staff of Solomon so it was a two-fold visit. I felt the difference but couldn't place it.

Not for the first time, I wished I had pushed when I first noticed the change in him. If I had then perhaps the boy wouldn't have suffered like he did for so long as that monster's prisoner.

When I heard Dean calling me this time, it was with a tone I hadn't heard from him before. Desperate fear and barely concealed rage. It was only when I arrived in that building and took in Sam's condition that I understood the tone. Dean had gone back into his protective state that I rarely got to see him in.

Dean's still upset that I didn't tell him about the change I picked up in Sam before and I can't fault him for that anger. I watched him with Sam after I brought them to Bobby's house. He wouldn't let me near his brother and I also understood that. After being trapped with Michael and Lucifer, he wasn't certain how Sam would react to an Angel's touch more than was necessary.

I had seen Dean go through many emotions since I had known him but I had never seen him the way he has been with Sam. He soothed his fears even as Sam fought the fears and memories, he stayed calm in the face of his brother fighting when his fever made him think he was still being held captive and he held him like a child when Sam finally exhausted himself. All of this and the only thing Dean said to either Bobby or myself was not to touch that 'damn shapeshifters body' until he put more rounds into it.

This was the way Dean and Sam should have always been and the way I hope things can stay…of course Dean's more than a little upset with me right now.

Perhaps I should have had Bobby clarify exactly how he wanted me to clean the car since I thought soaking the inside would be a good way to remove the shapeshifters taint. I now know that you should never flood Dean's car with water, especially soapy water because if there is still anything that Dean will fight for it's his brother and this car.

Dean did finally leave Sam's side long enough to check on the damage even though I'm perfectly capable of fixing the car again but it's good to let him vent. He's burying his anger and fear again and that's not good. Sam will need him when Sam is finally ready to accept his own memories.

I've been asked if I know what Sam endured in the Cage and I've been putting him off but Dean knows that and is getting pushy. I do know what Michael did to Sam and I fear that caused my friend more damage than anything even Lucifer could have done because Michael used Dean against him.

Winchester's if I've learned anything are an emotionally tight family. Dean hates to show his and Sam is fighting not to talk about his out of fear of hurting his brother. I know Dean is aware of some things because he's been too grim about it and is keeping Sam on a tight leash rather than see him hurt again but I also know if they don't open up soon someone else may choose to interfere and I know Dean will not be happy if Gabriel descends on him again.

Gabriel freed Sam. The reasons I do not know but I do know that Gabriel likes both of them and will probably do something foolish if only to get a reaction. I really do need to hide any Holy Oil Dean may still have.

Dean's been pacing by the Impala for awhile now but he hasn't exploded like I expected and I can tell by Bobby's scowl that he also thought the younger man would explode. The closest he came was when he thought that little plastic Army soldier might have been lost. Then I received one of his slightly pissed off growls but before I could say too much more his attention was instantly attracted by a sound from inside the house.

A year out of hunting and still his reactions are sharp or perhaps it was more of a big brother instinct since I saw his hand come up in my face as soon as he locked eyes with Sam and then it was get my car dry or else look before he took off for the house and Sam.

"That idjit ain't gonna let that boy out of that room unless I threaten him with a barrel full of buckshot," Bobby grumbled form the porch and I understood his concern.

Dean was staying too close to Sam but from what I could see Sam wasn't complaining about it as I had expected him to be. That worried me but then some lingering fears should be normal considering what he has been put through.

Keeping an eye toward the house in case Dean needed aid, I eye the car as Bobby went back inside for towels. I didn't need towels to dry off the Impala. Upon first really getting to know Dean, I quickly learned there were two things that made him react faster than anything else. Threats to his brother and someone hurting what he lovingly called 'his baby'.

Well, flooding it didn't get the reaction I was expecting. Perhaps drying it would serve a better purpose. Making sure to protect both the Army man in the ashtray and the Legos in the heater, I need to ask about that, I go ahead and 'dry' in the interior of the Impala.

As a whoosh goes up and small flames come from the inside I wince automatically, another Dean Winchester bad habit, as the door slams open and Bobby storms back out.

"Goddamn it, you feather-brained idjit! That ain't how you dry a car out and you damn well better fix that before Dean gets back down here and has a stroke!"

Perhaps I should inform Bobby that getting a reaction such as that from Dean is exactly what I'm looking for? Then again, considering how protective he is toward them that might not be a wise move on my part.

As Bobby shouts for a hose I think back to this man who is like a father to my friends. He accepted me as much as Sam and Dean did and since Angels weren't a good thing for any of them I again make a vow to myself that I will do my best to keep them all safe. Safe from Angels, demons, or any other threat.

"Don't just stand there! Use that mojo to fix that car!" Bobby was snapping as I look up to the bedroom window as a sense drew me and I caught a glimpse of blonde curls and a small smile.

"Bobby, your house is still protected, correct?" I asked even as I was lowering the flames and looking deeper but didn't feel danger. I only felt protection.

Seeing where I was looking, Bobby scowled a bit but headed inside. "Fix this mess and don't, for the love of God, touch that car again!" he yelled back and I knew he's go and check.

Glancing back at the car, I'm pleased with the results and will be intrigued to see Dean's reaction to the blackened interior…must remember to hide the Holy Oil though.

I wait until I know Bobby has had a chance to check on them before appearing in the bedroom, making certain to remain silent.

Dean's finally given in to the exhaustion that has been trailing him for the past week since he only sleeps in patterns or when he knows Sam is sleeping fully.

He rarely leaves this room when Sam's awake and when he sleeps it's usually sitting up next to his brother. Today, it's the same though I see that Sam is still insisting on holding onto Dean's leather jacket. As I watch, they both look at peace and Sam reminds me of the boy he was when Dean got him from Stanford.

Dean has remembered what it's like to be the much needed older brother while Sam once again has the big brother that raised him. I hope it stays like that way for them.

I am starting to leave when I hear his voice, spoken low as to not wake his sleeping brother but there is no mistaking the firm, gruff tone.

"You had damn well better have that car looking like she just rolled off the line by the time Sammy wakes up again or I will Holy Oil your ass back to Heaven the hard way."

Keeping my face turned toward the door and away from him, I'm careful to keep my voice in a normal tone that Dean's used to.

"Whatever you want, Dean. Get some sleep."

I decide to leave through the door and hear him muttering as I close it. "How does he expect me to sleep when I know he's out there torching our home, Sammy?

Home. That was what Dean's been searching for. They both lost their real one in the fire that killed their Mother and have been searching for another since. For Same and Dean, my friends, my brothers-in-arms, their home is that Impala and home is also where the other is.

So as I go downstairs to see Bobby still yelling at me, I just place a hand on his arm in reassurance. "They will be fine soon, Bobby."

Of this I am now certain…if I can keep Gabriel away from them.

The End

A/N: Well, there is Cas's POV. It didn't come out like I originally planned but the problem with first person is once I let the voice take over who knows what will ultimately come out. I hope it's alright because I honestly have no clue to what Cas should act like or sound like.

Thanks for reading and reviews are welcomed…