Disclaimer: I do not own Sam, Dean, Bobby or Castiel. I own nothing from the Supernatural universe. To those that do own them, thank you for letting me play with your toys. It's really really nice of you.
Knocking On Heaven's Door (aka Five Times Dean Called Castiel and Once That He Didn't Need To)
AN: Ok, ya'll this is my first Supernatural fic. Somehow after the end of 6x22 I really felt the need to see what would happen if Castiel didn't lose his mind and become evil. This is what I came up with. I'm not sure if five and one stories are a universal fanfiction thing, or only a Star Trek thing, but this is what I came up with. Hopefully ya'll enjoy. For my Star Trek fans and update on Through A Mirror is next on my to do list, thanks for being patient.
The first time that the Winchesters saw Castiel after his profess your love unto me or perish ultimatum, Dean wasn't even aware of him being in the room. None of them had realized that Castiel had been monitoring Dean's dreams to keep the horrors of his time in hell from his awareness. Dean might have wondered why his sleep was deeper than it had been previously and dreamless, but it had been such a welcome change that he hadn't dwelt on it.
Looking back Sam wasn't sure when Dean's nightmares of hell had stopped, but the protection that Castiel had extended to him had remained even as he worked with Crowley. It had remained even as they denounced him. Dean's dreams had remained untroubled until Cas had proclaimed himself God. Now however, Dean had been tossing and turning for hours since he'd collapsed exhausted from fighting off the demons that flocked to the location where purgatory had been opened like it was a tourist trap.
He was so deeply asleep that Sam couldn't wake him, and he could only listen as Dean alternately screamed his throat raw, and whimpered piteously. In that moment if Castiel had been present, Sam would have professed anything that he wanted if it meant that Dean wouldn't be haunted like this. Sam's own memories of hell were vague and occluded, because despite all of his faults Castiel had told the truth. After their standoff he had repaired the wall in Sam's mind, an odd gesture considering that he'd told Dean that he'd only do it if they backed down.
Then, Sam supposed that Castiel knew Dean well enough to know that the chance of Dean ever professing love to anyone while Sam was struggling to stand and resisting the urge to fall to the floor in a slobbering mess was pretty damn slim. Especially when the person wanting to hear Dean' admission of love was responsible for his little brother's pain. While Sam was grateful that his memories were muted, he couldn't help but feel discomforted at the depth of Castiel's seeming obsession with Dean.
There was no doubt in his mind that if it had been anyone else who had told Castiel to fuck off that night that they would have been a smoldering puddle of ash. Instead they'd been allowed to leave unharmed, with only the admonishment that they carefully consider their actions. At the time the idea of bowing to Cas had been almost laughable, or would have been if the betrayal of all that they'd tried to do hadn't hurt so badly.
A few weeks later however, Dean was in dire straits and Sam did indeed find himself considering his actions. He wasn't sure if he believed that Castiel would be so vengeful as to send the dreams to torment Dean on purpose, or if he'd simply forgotten to watch over Dean now that he'd taken such a massive step up the managerial ladder. He really, really hoped it was the latter for all of their sakes. Either way every time Dean had fallen asleep since that night his sleep was tormented. Whiskey helped him fall asleep, but didn't keep the dreams at bay. So far nothing did.
After weeks of this, combined with all the stress they had been under for months, and the shock of having his protector and friend threaten to kill him if he didn't get on his knees, Dean was looking worse than Sam had ever seen him. Sam's attention was drawn back to the bed when he heard Dean choke out a pained whisper. "Cas?" It was Sam realized the first time that Dean had uttered the former angel's name since his demands to be worshiped as a god. He gave himself half a second to regret the loss of their friend when he felt the presence enter the room. There stood Castiel in all his holy tax accountant glory, except now he radiated light from every pore.
Sam moved towards a protective stance, only to be held back in the chair with a strong but invisible force. "There is no need for any of that Sam. I've no intention of hurting him, and any attempt you made to stop me would be laughable and futile anyway. So just sit there like a good boy before I remember that you tried to kill me."
Dean turned towards Castiel, seeking out the soothing presence even in the depths of his slumber. Castiel sat on the bed beside of him, and put a hand to his forehead. Dean's face instantly fell into a peaceful slumber, and Castiel gave an almost familiar smile. "His dreams will no longer trouble him." Before Sam could respond the former angel was gone, and the only indication that he'd been there was the faint stench of ozone and the peaceful slumber that Dean was currently enjoying.
The next time that the Winchesters saw Castiel Dean wasn't any more coherent. He lay shuddering on the worn spread of a motel room bed as Sam searched for any way possible to cure the kind of venomous bite that Dean had received while they were hunting. His fever raged and nonsensical ramblings filled the room, as Sam tore through their father's journal, all the info that he'd acquired while with the Campbells and every contact he had in the hunting world. All of them said the same thing, once bitten the victim died a painful death within 72 hours.
Somewhere around hour 48 as Sam bathed Dean's forehead with cool water the ramblings began again. Dean called for their father. He cursed Alastair and Azazel. He screamed and thrashed as remembered hellhounds tore at him. Sam started praying. He prayed knowing that only a higher power, one that was just as likely to screw them over as save them could help Dean now. He prayed for hours, with no response and he felt his despair grow as Dean slipped further and further away from him. It wasn't until Cas' name passed Dean's lips that he felt the telltale presence in the room.
Cas sat at Dean's side, and placed his hands over the bite. He chanted in a language so ancient that Sam swore he could feel it resonate in his bones. As he spoke Dean's wound began to close, and he began to calm. The flushed cheeks and creased brow faded away, and with a further wave of his hand Castiel had cleansed both Dean and the sheets, so that Dean lie comfortably. The eyes that met Sam's over Dean's slumbering form weren't the arrogant eyes of the man who had proclaimed himself God, instead they were sad, grieving the pain of a friend.
"The poison will not kill him. He will wake once I am gone, and have no memory of the past few days." The lack of inflection in this statement belied the emotion that Castiel had shown only a moment before. Sam realized then that Dean may have been right, maybe somewhere under all that extra mojo, their angel was still hiding.
"Castiel?" As Sam called his name Castiel paused and turned back towards him with a raised brow. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." His eyes lingered over Dean's peacefully sleeping form. His eyes met Sam's again, with a slightly chiding look. "You can pray to me when one of you isn't on death's door you know. The demon taint that separated you from our father only separates you from me if you let it."
"I prayed to you for hours." Castiel almost looked surprised. "So you didn't hear me, but the second he calls your name you show up?"
"Your voice blends in among the millions who call upon me. Dean has more of a direct line so to speak." Cas brushed his fingers over Dean's shoulder where the hand print still stood in stark contrasts to the golden hues of Dean's skin.
"That makes a lot of sense actually." Castiel closed his eyes and Sam felt a rash of goose bumps covering his skin.
"Dean is the first soul that I carried. He will always be special, but I will hear you when you call to me now." With that pronouncement and a flutter of wings Castiel was gone, leaving Sam to process the fact that he now had a firm tie to the 'man upstairs'. Sometimes his life was just too weird for words.
Dean felt this heart jump into his throat as he watched the news. A tornado had ripped through the town that he'd lived in with Lisa and Ben, and the death toll was high. He called their numbers, not planning on talking to them, but needing to hear their voice to know they were alright. Sam nudged him as the news story continued, and showed the house that he'd shared with them untouched. This the sole house left untouched on this suburban street, has left the community baffled. By all rights it should be rubble like the others, and the local church communities cite heavenly intervention.
Dean watched for a moment, before the words sank in. Lisa and Ben were safe. The news story continued, with Lisa and Ben actually appearing on screen, and the way that Lisa described the storm left no doubt in Dean's mind. Castiel had spared his family from what would have been a deadly storm. They were safe, and for the first time in a long time Dean's gratitude outweighed his guilt.
Sam, to his credit, didn't balk at the fact that Dean pulled the Impala into the first church that he could find. He sat outside while Dean walked in and sat down on one of the age worn pews. "Cas, you got a minute? I'd really like to talk to you." Less than a moment had passed before he felt the air around him shudder and Castiel was sitting on the pew beside him.
"You wanted to see me?"
Dean looked over, slightly surprised to see that Castiel's outward appearance hadn't changed much since his ascension. "That was fast. I know you're busy, if I'm keeping you from something important I can wait."
Castiel looked at him and smiled softly. "Dean, you are important. The rest of the world can wait for a few moments, now what did you want to say to me?"
"I saw what happened, with Lisa and Ben. That was you wasn't it?" Castiel felt something stirring in him as Dean's eyes filled with something that looked a lot like hope. He remembered that even as Sam and Bobby knew him to be a liar Dean had desperately held onto the belief that he would never deal with a demon, that he would never lie to him so thoroughly. And he remembered how it had pained him to see the faith in him that Dean Winchester held fade as his actions had been revealed.
"Yes, that was me. I know how much they mean to you. After all that you've sacrificed it didn't seem right for you to lose them as well."
Dean looked over at him and smiled. "I don't know how to thank you for that. I don't know what I would have done if I'd have lost them."
"You won't have to worry about that anytime soon. Lisa will die peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her great-grandchildren. Ben will get married, have a family that loves him, and be every bit of the man that you wanted him to be. I have seen it."
Dean closed his eyes and absorbed the fact that his family was safe. Castiel had done many things. But he had never lied. Not outright, not about something like this. "Thank you." Castiel felt warmth rising in him at the appreciation of his actions and found it odd that the affection of a single human could mean so very much to him.
Dean looked over at him, tears in his eyes. "I know that this doesn't change anything, but I am sorry about the way things turned out between us. You know this family's history in working with demons, why the thought of you doing what you did was so terrifying for me. But I was wrong, you've never been more a part of this family than when you were willing to risk your soul to do what needed to be done. For Dad, for me, for Sam and Bobby, dealing with demons has been the sign of horrific things. It led to time in hell and the start of the apocalypse. You have no idea how glad I am that it didn't go that way for you."
"So your rejection of me was because you were worried about me?" Castiel looked at him seemingly puzzled. And Dean only just resisted the urge to roll his eyes at a being that he was pretty sure had become the one and only almighty on the block.
"Yes. Pretty much the biggest gun I've got is family. I only tend to use it when someone is getting ready to make a huge mistake, and you've got to admit swallowing all the souls in purgatory sounds like a pretty big mistake. Turns out that we were pleasantly surprised, but I had no way of knowing that then."
"So if you'd known then what you know now, you'd have stood with me?"
"You mean if I'd known that you weren't going to turn into a super strong evil power hungry thing that I was going to have to kill? Yes, then I would have stood with you."
Castiel smiled at that. "Thank you, Dean. That means a lot to me. Keep in touch." And for once when he left, Dean swore he heard the familiar sound of angel wings.
"Cas, you got a minute? We've got something that we need to tell you." Dean looked around the room nervously. Bobby's panic room wasn't exactly the best place to be having this conversation, as it looked a little too much like they were setting a trap for Cas. But need had won out and it was the only place that they knew of that had sigils strong enough to protect them from angelic eavesdroppers. Just as Dean was about to call again Castiel appeared beside him seemingly unphased by the warding.
"You had something you needed to tell me?" Cas looked amused by the fact that the three hunters meant to tell him something that he didn't already know. "If this is some veiled attempt at an intervention, note that I will be neither pleased nor impressed."
Dean shook his head. "Cas, if we were going to do that we'd have done so way before now." Cas merely shifted his stance slightly and waited expectantly. "Seems that when you purged Raphael's followers you missed a few. We've been approached, each by a different angel, all trying to get us to sign on board a plan to overthrow you. Not that I think we're going to be much help in kicking heavenly ass, but we figured we could at least give you a heads up."
"That is a somewhat surprising change of events."
"Better the god you know than the jackass angel that's trying to kill him. Don't think we've forgotten how your former brothers wanted to turn this planet into a chew toy." Cas smiled over at Bobby, knowing that soon the old hunter would no longer be among the living to grouse at him, modifications made the last time that Castiel had raised him or no. Those had bought him sometime, but nothing human lived forever. And Bobby had a wife waiting for him on the other side. He hated to think what this would do to Dean. Losing his father had been hard enough the first time around, and most men didn't have to do it twice.
"Thank you all for the warning. Do you know the of the names of the angels that approached you?" Each of them gave him a name of one of Raphael's followers who'd sworn their allegiance rather than perish. And later as he looked over heaven into the hearts and minds of the three that they had named, he did find traitorous thoughts, as well as names of others involved. Once the ringleaders had been dealt with, the rest fell into line easily enough. He would have to solve this problem soon. Mortals lived for such a finite amount of time, and he wouldn't have the Winchesters to watch his back forever.
"Cas, can we see you? It's kind of important?" The tears in Dean's voice brought Castiel faster than any shout could have. The 'righteous man' had never cried, not even in hell. No that was never for his own suffering, only the suffering of others or his family seemed to have that effect on him. He arrived and held Dean's pained gaze wordlessly while he tried to speak. "It's Bobby. Doc isn't giving him long. He wanted to see you before he…" Dean trailed off, somehow unable to say the word die in the same sentence with the man who had for all intents and purposes been his father.
"It is his time, Dean. Know that I cannot keep him from his just reward. He has earned the paradise that waits for him, he will be at peace with the woman that he loved, and none of the guilt that he has carried for so long."
Dean seemed to be trying to swallow back tears, as Sam stepped up. "We know, Castiel, it's just that he wanted to see you before he goes. Wanted to talk to you, and he asked us to get in touch with you. Castiel nodded fairly certain what the older hunter would ask of him, and if his wish was what he expected it would be no hardship to grant it.
It did not surprise Castiel when Bobby Singer didn't ask for absolution. Instead he asked only for Castiel to look after 'these idjits' once he was no longer able to. He promised the man that, and all three of them gathered around as his eyes slid closed and he breathed his last breath. A scant heart beat later Cas smiled softly. "He is sitting at his kitchen table with his wife, on a warm spring day, eating a fresh apple pie that she baked him. He is happy, and well cared for. You have my word."
And as Sam and Dean wept, he reached his hand over Dean's burn mark, and sent him a wave of heavenly peace. "It will be alright, Dean. You will see." Castiel transported the three of them, including Bobby's body, no longer dressed in a hospital gown, instead in his favorite flannel shirt, jeans, boots, and his ever present baseball cap. He helped the boys gather wood for the pyre, and kept his hand over Dean's mark as the fire rose and tears streamed down his face.
Dean grimaced at the feel of his old bones creaking as he sat on the worn park bench. He'd lived a lot of years, seen the price of gas rise and nations fall. He'd killed monsters, become one himself, and finally managed to find redemption. Cas had been right, Ben had become a fine man. Dean should know, he'd watched over him and Lisa from a distance. He and Sam had traveled the country, and he'd finally seen the Grand Canyon.
Now he was old, his face leathery and lined. His hair had gone white, his skin thinned and translucent, though his eyes were still as sharp as ever. He'd never thought that it would be old age that killed him after all the things that he'd done. Yet today when he woke, somehow he just knew. Today was the day. He'd bickered over breakfast with Sam, as they often did, and truth be told probably made Sam suspicious when he hugged him and told him that he loved him.
He'd pulled the cover off of his baby, indulging in one last long ride, before pulling into the parking lot of a park where children were playing. He sank heavily onto one of the benches and waited, enjoying the feeling of the warm spring air and the sunshine on his face. He didn't have to wait long, before he was joined on the bench by a familiar form, still dressed in a tattered trench coat, with a tie the hung just a bit off.
Castiel looked over at him and smiled slightly. "It's time for you to come home, Dean. Your reward awaits you. They are safe now, it's time to let someone else shoulder the burden now." He held out his hand to Dean, and smiled when he nodded and placed his hand in Castiel's. The years faded away from him, the aches and pains of years of hard living gone, and suddenly the Dean Winchester who had stopped the world from ending looked as he had when Castiel had first pulled him from the pit.
He gripped the mark that he'd made for a second time, and pulled Dean Winchester up again, this time away from the mortal world and the fragile shell that he'd briefly inhabited. When Sam found Dean sitting on the bench a few hours later, he had a slight smile on his face, and he knew that his brother was gone. Clenched in his hand however was the pendant he'd cast aside so long ago, still glowing.
He looked heavenward, knowing that this was a sign meant explicitly for him. Dean was at peace, and Castiel had come to take him home personally. Tears streamed down his face as the one solid presence in his life disappeared. "Take care of him for me, Cas. Until I get there take care of him for me." And as Sam wept, all of the heavens rejoiced, for the righteous man had returned home at last.
AN: Well there you have it my very first Supernatural story. Please do let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!