See? I promised I'd get this final chapter up by New Year's and here it is on New Year's Eve. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Also, I totally forgot to mention it in my last update, but another reason I've been busy is that I'm actually working on final rewrites of my very first original novel. It is going to be a paranormal type thriller so be sure to keep your eyes out for it sometime next year.

For now, here is the final chapter to this story. Hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks for taking this ride with me. I know it's been a long one, but it has been a lot of fun and I truly hope to be able to keep writing more fanfic in 2013. You guys are the best!


Chapter 7

Just as Dean reached for the door handle, he heard the familiar swish of wings. Thinking for one second that Cas had decided to disappear on them, he turned to his friend with a frown and a curse ready on his lips. But the curse never came.

Four angles in dark suits now stood around their dinner table, effectively blocking Sam and Bobby from going anywhere. Before Dean or Cas could reach the door, two of the angels came forward and grabbed them, pulling them towards what had to be their leader. The lead angel was a tall man with dark hair and dark, beady eyes. Dean wondered if the man's vessel had originally been an FBI or CIA agent. He had that clean cut look of military, but the softness of build that told of a man long gone from a battle field.

Cas knew he should feel flattered that Raphael had sent four from the upper echelon to attack him this time. But at the moment all he could do was worry for his friends and curse the fact that he was running at less than full capacity. Perhaps at full strength he could have taken on all four of his brethren in a hand-to-hand fight. In his current condition, and without his blade, that was going to make things extremely difficult.

The angel that grabbed Cas walked him in front of the leader, then went to stand guard next to Bobby, putting a gripping hand on the man's arm to keep him from going anywhere. Dean and Sam were similarly held, leaving Castiel to stand alone in front of the leader of the angel attack team.

"Raphael thought you would be dead by now," the leader began with a sigh. "Imagine his surprise when he suddenly felt your presence again a few hours ago. He is very frustrated with the additional work you have caused, but I assured him that I would handle the problem. I suggested that sending a cherub to do an angel's job would be a mistake, but you know Raphael, he is always convinced that he is right." The lead angel sauntered up to Castiel as he spoke; walking around in a circle and regarding his prey with barely hidden disdain.

"Honestly, I don't see what everyone is talking about," the angel continued. "I have heard many stories about the prowess of the great Castiel, and this is what I find?" He waved his hand derisively in Castiel's general direction, but directed his comments to his followers, who smiled evilly.

Sam, Dean and Bobby shared angry looks. You didn't talk down about their family in front of them and get away with it. Sam felt his body moving forward instinctively, ready to land a punch on the mouth that had dared to speak ill of his friend. A quick shake of Dean's head brought Sam back to his senses and he stood back, waiting with Bobby and Dean until an opportunity presented itself and they could break free.

Castiel did not react to the words of his brother. Standing tall with head raised and eyes trained forward, he hid the weariness he still felt from his illness. Taking a breath, he spoke with some disdain of his own. "If you thought so little of my abilities, why did you bring three others with you? Afraid you couldn't handle three humans and a sickly angel on your own? Or perhaps it was Raphael who thought you couldn't handle me on your own?"

Quicker that a flash, the leader was in front of Cas and had a hand around his throat. "Mind your tongue, boy, or I shall be forced to make your death a slow one."

Cas stared back at his attacker defiantly but said nothing. Finally, the lead angel let go of Castiel and backed away with a small chuckle.

"Well, maybe there is something to the stories after all. This is going to be a lot more fun than I thought. I do have to give you credit for being more clever than I expected." The angel said as he returned to his circling.

"Nice job getting the blood of another vessel, by the way," The leader continued. "I have to admit that little trick caught us off guard. Who knew these simian friends of yours could be so useful?" This time his gesture was towards the Winchesters and Bobby. "Guess we'll just have to try a little harder this time."


At Dean's urgent call, Cas looked up in time to see a blade sailing towards him.


Three minutes earlier….

After Sam had nearly jumped in to defend Cas (and probably gotten himself killed in the process), Dean had been working hard on a plan. With a series of looks and barely noticeable hand signals, he had communicated his idea to Sam and Bobby and soon all three had a scheme that just might work. All they needed was the right moment of distraction. There was no way they could fight four angels themselves, especially with Dean still feeling as weak as he was, but they had a chance if they could arm Castiel with a blade.

Castiel had noticed their hand signals and though he didn't understand all of them, he knew enough to get the gist of what they needed from him. Mouthing off to a brother who was momentarily stronger than he was may not have been not the brightest idea, but it got the Winchesters and Bobby the distraction they needed.

As the three angels giddily watched their leader try to strangle Castiel, Dean had taken the opportunity to slip the angel blade out of his guard's jacket. As soon as he had it, Dean signaled with his eyes to Bobby and Sam. Within seconds, the scene became chaos. Sam, Bobby and Dean simultaneously punched their guards in the gut. Sam and Bobby followed their blows by diving away from the angels, while Dean followed his blow by throwing the angel blade he'd stolen and calling out Castiel's name.

The aim and the throw were true and the blade landed perfectly in Castiel's hand. Before the lead angel had realized what was happening, Cas shoved the knife deep into his chest and kept it there until he flashed out and his wings had burned into the ground.

Then, biting back the weakness that continued to tear at his innards like a rabid dog, Cas advanced on his next victim, his mouth curled back in a snarl of his own now. The other angels had quickly recovered and were going after whoever happened to be near them. One had Sam held up against the wall of the house and Castiel advanced towards them first as they were closest. He reached them in two strides, raising his weapon that now dripped with angel blood.

"Unhand him or die. NOW."

Confused for a moment without his leader, the angel hesitated. Big mistake. In one stroke, Cas had slain him faster than anyone could blink. Another few strides brought him to Dean's side and he slid his blade into the third angel in the time it took to take a breath.

Already on his way to the final angel, who was currently holding Bobby to the ground, Castiel raised his blade. But he was surprised when the creature disappeared with nothing except the sound of his wings to signal his departure; apparently watching two of his brethren get slain in less than 60 seconds had scared him sufficiently to warrant a very speedy escape.

When it was all over, the three men and the angel stayed where they were, each of them trying to recover from the shock of what had just happened. Then, like a battery suddenly running out of charge, the adrenaline that Castiel had been using to keep himself upright and fighting for the past few minutes dropped to zero. First his blade fell from his lax hand and then his body followed it, landing him heavily on his knees in the dirt.

Dean was the first to reach the fallen angel, but with his own body still protesting every move he made, all he could do was place a hand on Cas' shoulder and offer soft words of encouragement. Within seconds, strong arms were lifting both of the invalids back to their feet; Sam guiding Cas and Bobby leading Dean.


Dean walked quietly into the spare bedroom to find Cass adjusting his tie in front of the mirror that stood on top of the old dresser. For the first time in a few days, the angel looked like himself again. Even the stubble on his face was gone. Though Dean couldn't be sure if that meant that Cas had shaved or simply willed his body to make it go away. Angels could apparently do whatever they wanted with their vessels.

"Hey, Cas."

Fully immersed in his own thoughts, Castiel had failed to notice when the other man had walked into the room behind him. Though it would never compare to the full-body spasms that Dean was famous for giving when Cas had snuck up on him, the angel nonetheless did give the slightest twitch when the hunter suddenly showed up next to his shoulder in the mirror.

Dean broke into the biggest grin that had been on his face in who knew how long. "Did I….? Did you just…..jump?" he asked, his eyebrows raised in glee.

Castiel finished adjusting his tie and made a show of double-checking that his blade was tucked into his right sleeve, avoiding eye contact with his friend. "Of course not, don't be ridiculous."

"Ha! Oh, yes you did. Well, now you know what it feels like."

The angel turned to the hunter, but rather than berate him for his behavior, he smiled slightly. "Yes, I suppose I do. I will count that as yet another lesson in what it's like to be human."

"C'mon man," Dean said, putting a hand on Castiel's shoulder. "I know you don't need to eat anymore, but how about sitting down to dinner with us one last time before flitting off to parts unknown?"

"I would like that."

Checking to make sure that the protective sigil was intact on the fridge had become everyone's habit in the two days since the angels had attacked, and Castiel found himself doing it again even as he followed Dean into the kitchen. He and Dean had both slept for nearly a full day after the angels had arrived and then enjoyed a day of relaxation after that. Cas had never spent so much uninterrupted time with the Winchesters and Bobby before, and he'd grown to enjoy their camaraderie quite a bit.

Soon though, dinner had finished and Castiel knew that it was time to leave. Getting up from the table, he bade them farewell and disappeared just as quickly as he had arrived.

The angel didn't go as far as the other men might have assumed though, with a flapping of wings he popped up outside of the house. He stood outside of Bobby's window for a few minutes, watching as the three men inside continued to laugh and joke with each other. More hard times were coming for all of them; no one knew that more than he. But for the moment he was pleased to see them all happy, even if only for a little while. He had nearly died in that house, and yet he knew that he would look back on the past few days as some of the happiest he had had in a very long time.

Knowing the journey he was going to take shortly, Castiel wondered if Dean and the others would understand what he was about to do; what he had already done. He wanted nothing more than to return to this home someday, when it was all over - when his plan had worked and Raphael had been stopped - and be with them once again. In this place he had found something akin to family, which he also hadn't had for a long time. But as much as he hoped he would find it again, he doubted it would happen anytime soon.

Castiel was sure that he could stop his big brother from bringing on the Apocalypse and killing many humans of the world. He just wasn't certain if he'd survive to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He also wasn't sure if the men in that room would ever be able to forgive him for what he was about to do.

With that final thought, Castiel unfurled his wings and took off.

The End