Dedicated to my mom who went home to be with the angels, May 15, 2011. I have faith we will meet again.
I will never let you fall
I'll stand up with you forever
I'll be there for you through it all
Even if saving you sends me to Heaven
I stand watch over two young brothers. The oldest, arms wrapped tightly around his younger sibling, cries in his sleep. He hasn't spoken since I came but he watches over the smaller one constantly, never letting the baby out of his sight, not even for a minute.
Their father sits by the bedside, eyes rimmed red from lack of sleep and tears of despair. Despair from not knowing the real reason his sons no longer have a mother. He's tried praying but I can see he no longer believes although he knows she did. She believed in angels. She believed in me. But as I stand here, I ask myself the question: What do I believe?
I was sent here to stand watch over the vessel of Heaven: Dean Winchester, chosen by God because of his bloodline, to be the human vessel for Michael when the apocalypse is set into motion, my first assignment since being promoted from the lower ranks of the garrison. Hundreds of years, I served my Lord, never once doubting my orders. Five days in the presence of this human boy has me questioning everything I ever believed.
I have never seen the face of God, only a chosen few have, but I have always been told to be in his presence is the true essence of love. I had my own ideas of what this meant, but until I observed Dean Winchester cradling his brother in his arms, I didn't understand.
I have older brothers. They had taken me under their wing, literally, taught me what was expected and what my station would be. We have affection for one another but when we are on the battlefield, there is no time for brothers, no time to take care of one another. There is only a job to be performed and bodies to be gathered afterwards.
A four year old boy has shown me another way.
Each morning, while their father finally catches an hour or two of sleep, Dean heats a bottle of milk for baby Sam. He stands in a chair so he can reach the control knobs on the stove and on more than one occasion I have held the chair to keep it from tipping over. That is the job I was sent here to do. Watch over the vessel.
After heating the bottle, Dean sits on the bed, clumsily shifting his crying brother into his arms. Sam readily accepts the bottle that is offered to him and while he noisily consumes his liquid breakfast, Dean hums softly. I didn't know the tune at first as I am not familiar with human music but the song was being played on the radio two days ago and before their father ripped the radio from the wall I remember hearing the words, Hey Jude. Strange words to me but most of our songs are praises to God so who am I to judge humans praising someone named Jude.
The boy's father spends a large portion of the day on the phone or paging through books, searching for answers to the questions raging in his mind. His drinking has become heavier just in the days I have been here. I wonder what will become of these two boys if their father continues on the dark path he's beginning to tread.
I watch him now, hand gently rubbing Dean's back as the oldest boy's sobs finally subside. He is torn between taking care of his sons and the violent desire to hunt down whatever is responsible for his pain. He covers his face with his hands, muffling his own sobs as large tears trail down his cheeks.
As if triggered by his father's cries, baby Sam begins to wail. Dean is immediately awake and focused on his brother, then he glances at his father, sees the man's tears and for the first time, I see real fear in his eyes.
And once again, I am left questioning the things I have come to depend on. How could destiny be so cruel? How could my God and Father allow this to happen? Why should this boy have to grow up to slay his own brother…..the brother who is already beginning to look to him for the comfort he needs.
Sam is now crying loud enough to wake anyone who might be in the near vicinity and Dean is looking desperately at his father, needing his reassurance, while trying to silence Sam the best he can. Before I know what I am doing I have placed my hand on Sam's head and his cries immediately cease. The baby is deep in slumber and I am staring into the bright green eyes of his older brother. I realize I have compromised my position and Dean can see my human vessel. His mouth forms a silent "oh" and he crawls across the bed, grabs his father's arm and speaks for the first time since his mother died.
"Daddy! Please don't cry."
His dad looks up, guilt flooding his eyes. Dean presses his small hands against his father's cheeks, his own eyes gleaming with excitement.
"It's okay, Daddy. The angel is watching over us."
"Wha-what did you say?"
"Don't you see him, Daddy? He helped Sammy stop crying."
His father glances at the sleeping baby and then looks to the corner where I am still standing but I have recovered my senses and once again cloaked myself from human eyes.
"He's right there." Dean points in my direction. "Just like Mom always said."
I see fresh pain on the man's face as Dean reminds him of his own failing faith. "Dean….I don't….."
I hear the flutter of wings just to the right of me and I feel Anna's presence before she says my name.
"You know why I'm here?"
"I do." I risk a glance at my commander. "Can you tell me the punishment?"
"Castiel, have you so little faith?"
I am puzzled by Anna's words.
"Then I am not to be punished for revealing myself to the boy?"
"My orders are to bring you back for priority evaluation and a partial mind cleansing. After that you will be relocated to another assignment. Not exactly what I would call punishment."
I glance back at Dean Winchester, who has snuggled down next to his brother but is still staring at me in wide eyed wonder. I finally understand I have made myself visible only to him but I don't understand why. Then Anna's words sink in and the reason is perfectly clear.
I have become emotionally attached to my ward, something we are not allowed to do. The cleansing of an angel's mind is only performed when an angel has shown unprofessional conduct. I have experienced human emotion, affection for the boy and his brother. This could interfere with Heaven's plans for the apocalypse. I will not be allowed to remain at this post.
I regret the indiscretion I have made. I am worried who will replace me as guardian of these boys…..correction, guardian of the vessel. Dean Winchester is the only brother Heaven is concerned with.
I glance back at the boy as Anna takes hold of my arm. Dean waves shyly at me and I feel a smile cross my face, something I've never experienced before in this human shape. I know that very soon I will no longer remember this encounter and possibly neither will the boy but right now, Dean Winchester believes in me and that is enough to carry me through.
I have faith we will meet again.
Thanks for reading! Song lyrics from Your Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.