Heaven Can Wait
It started out as just a nightmare. But it grew to mean so much more.
Jade shuddered violently out of a deep sleep, throwing himself up off the stiff motel bed just outside of his home in Baltimore. His eyes already adjusted to the dark room, he scanned the other bed, finding it still unsettlingly vacant. Dean, the man who'd saved him just a short week ago, was out working on a 'case'. Whatever that meant, Jade thought. In his mind, Dean was just a crazed supernatural fanatic out hunting ghosts.
If only Jade knew what Dean was really after.
Jade didn't know about Dean's brother Sam and everything that had happened to them in the last months. He didn't know about the apocalypse. More importantly, he didn't know about how Sam had sacrificed his own soul to save all of humanity. And he didn't know a lot about the life that Dean lived.
What little Jade did know about the supernatural terrified him. A few months before, his boyfriend Davey had started acting weirdly. Small things at first but it had gotten to the point where Jade had to leave the house for days just to get away. Davey just wasn't himself. He thought it'd just been relationship troubles until Dean had rolled into town asking weird questions and generally creeping out the townies. Jade had sought him out and demanded an explanation. He hadn't realized that only two days later, Dean would be standing in his living room while Davey was tied up to a chair in the middle of a devil's trap, foaming at the mouth as Dean chanted random Latin words Jade had probably learned in high school. A few minutes later, Davey was puking up an odd black smoke and then he was still.
The demon had literally sucked the life out of Jade's boyfriend.
Six days later, and Jade was sitting alone in a craptastic motel while a couple (though it sounded more like a threesome) fucked loudly in the room over. His eyes watered at the realization that the closet person in his life now was Dean. With a chocked whimper, Jade realized he didn't even know Dean's last name.
"God damn it!" Jade shouted, gripping the alarm clock next to the bed and throwing it at the wall with all the force he could muster.
"You shouldn't take the Lord's name in vain."
Jade flipped on the light, startled as he looked around for the voice that had invaded the (almost) silence of the room.
"Who the hell are you?" Jade demanded, grabbing the closest thing to him which was, ironically, a bible.
The man standing at the end of Jade's bed didn't answer immediately. He stared at Jade with his cutting blue eyes, as if he was trying to read Jade's mind. Judging by his messy hair and unshaven face, Jade would have thought the man lived on the street if it weren't for the clean suit he wore under his tan trench coat.
"Who are you?" he asked again.
"My name is Castiel," the man answered in an even monotone. "And I am an angel of the Lord."
"An angel of the Lord? I'm calling the police unless you tell me who the hell you are," Jade threatened, reaching for the phone.
Castiel lifted a finger and the phone went flying across the room.
Jade stared at Castiel, slack jawed. "You're a demon."
"I have already told you who I am," Castiel responded calmly as if he made inanimate objects fly at the wall every day. "Where is Dean?"
Jade visibly relaxed. "You know Dean?"
"I pulled him out of perdition; of course I know him," Castiel answered, eyes scanning the room as if Dean were hiding.
Jade had no idea what Castiel was talking about, but he thought it better not to ask. "He's out hunting. Whatever that means." Jade rolled his eyes. "Hey, how did you get in anyway?"
"You're Jade Puget," Castiel said, completely ignoring the question asked of him.
"How do you know who I am?" Jade asked, his pulse quickening once again in fear. One of the few things Dean had taught him is that demons can take one look at you and know all of your secrets.
"I know of everyone who comes into Dean's life. We share a profound bond."
Again, Jade didn't bother to ask.
As if on command, the door swung open and in limped Dean. He threw the keys to the Impala down on the table by the window and headed for the bathroom to clean up.
"Cas." Dean suddenly noticed the angel in the corner. "What are you doing here?"
"You weren't answering your phone. I didn't know what you were hunting, so I tracked down your human but he wasn't with you," Castiel answered.
"Wait, your 'human'?" Jade asked. "Dean, who the hell is this basket case?"
"Calm down; it's just Cas. He's a friend," reassured Dean.
"Thank you, Dean," Castiel responded. "The man with the woman's name has been verbally assaulting me since I arrived."
Dean smiled at Cas's feeble attempt at earthly humor.
"Excuse me?" Jade interjected. "Will you tell me who the fuck he actually is?" Jade's glare was directed at Dean this time.
"He's an angel."
Jade knew he shouldn't have asked.
X X X
"So there's a heaven and everything, right?" Jade had been shooting off questions since Castiel had arrived an hour ago and didn't show signs of letting up soon.
"Where else would I live?" Castiel asked, no sarcasm in his voice at all as he poured rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball.
Dean choked back a hiss as Cas pressed the cotton ball to one of his cuts.
"Can't you heal him?" Jade asked. He remembered reading somewhere about the healing powers of angels. Or maybe he'd just made that up.
"Dean does not wish me to," Castiel replied. "Though I hate seeing him in this much pain, I respect his wishes."
Dean averted his eyes as Castiel looked at him. He and Jade both noticed the flicker of pain in his cold, blue eyes and if Dean hadn't already expressed his slight homophobia, Jade would have sworn he saw a mutual attraction pulse between them.
"How did you two meet?"
It was Castiel's turn to look away. "You're acting like more of a fangirl than Sam."
Dean snorted, hearing a bit of himself in Cas at that moment. It was amusing and all until Dean realized he'd kept away from the subject of his brother around Jade.
Jade didn't realize what he was asking, but he said it anyway. "Who's Sam?"
"No one," Dean replied sharply and jerked away from Castiel's mothering hands. "Jesus, Cas, I'm fine already."
"How many times do I have to tell you, Dean-"
"Yeah, yeah, sorry; your sacred brother or whatever," Dean moaned and leaned back against the headboard.
"I have a brother, too!" Jade suddenly piped up, the tension between the two friends making him feel even more awkward. "His name's Smith; what about yours?"
Castiel and Dean both looked at Jade with that look.
"Sorry." Jade blushed. "Kind of still getting used to the whole 'angels are real' thing."
"Welcome to my life." Dean sighed.
"Dean, you know he will never be a part of your life-"
Dean put a hand up. "Cas, sarcasm, remember?"
"I am sorry, Dean," Castiel apologized.
"Castiel? Can I ask you a question?" Jade asked timidly and proceeded when Castiel nodded. "Do all people go to heaven?"
"Not all, but quite a lot of them." Castiel answered. A serene look overtook his face as he thought of his home.
"I suppose if God deems them worthy. Although, my Father is not as hateful as you humans make Him out to be."
"Do you think… well, do you know if Dave's there?" Jade cringed after the question left his mouth.
There was a flutter of wings and suddenly, Castiel wasn't in the room anymore. Jade looked around and saw Dean staring at him slack jawed.
"Dude, what did you do?" Dean asked, looking around the room for a blunt object to throw at Jade. Cas hadn't shown his face in over a week so if anyone was going to chase him away and in the midst of things, Dean could really use some familiar company.
"How does he do that?" Jade burst into laughter at the ridiculousness of the situation. Amazing how, only a week before, he'd been sitting in the living room drinking tea with his (demon possessed) boyfriend and watching the six o'clock news. Now angels were real and Dean was a crazy ghost hunter and God- don't even get Jade started about God.
A moment later, Castiel was back in the room.
"That was a quick trip, Cas," Dean noted, propping his head up on the wall with the palm of his hand.
"Being an angel of the Lord has its perks," Castiel replied in a snarky tone, his lips curling into some semblance of a smirk. He turned to Jade and his expressionless face returned. "Your friend has found eternal peace with my father."
"He is in heaven," Castiel clarified.
A whimper crept up Jade's throat and he let a lone tear spill over. For the first time since the exorcism, he felt the warmth return to his body and he smiled knowing Davey had found happiness in the one thing he didn't believe in.
Dean shielded his eyes with his hand and groaned. "No chick flick moments please!"
"There is no need to be, as you say, an asshole." Castiel sent an icy glare in Dean's direction. He didn't understand a lot of human emotions, but grief was one he did get. If he could offer Jade any closure, he would happily do it. After all, God had not sent him to earth without a purpose.
Dean bit back a retort and averted his eyes from Jade. He remembered what it was like those few days after Sam had jumped into the cage. Hell, some days he still felt like just letting himself lie down and die. He didn't want to steal Jade's moment.
"Cas, what are you here for?" Dean turned the conversation to a more pressing issue.
"I just came for a visit," Castiel responded, sitting down on the edge of Dean's bed.
Dean stole a glance at Jade, who was wiping tears from his eyes in the most feminine way he'd ever seen. He'd really taken the whole 'saving people' shtick to a whole new level this time.
"That is okay, I presume," Cas continued, unsure of what to make of Dean's silence.
"The home front must be quiet tonight," Dean said, not knowing how else to respond.
"Quite the contrary, actually. It's usually only in times of serious upheaval when I have enough of a chance to slip out unseen."
"Of course." Dean sighed. He knew the reason Cas hadn't been down in a while was because of all the extra security going on upstairs. Though Sam was really the one to blame, the rest of the angels let the punishment fall on Cas for breaking up the Michael-Lucifer showdown they'd been waiting centuries for.
"Something is troubling you, Dean." Castiel observed.
"Just tired, 'sall." Dean yawned for extra effect.
"If it is about what you were after tonight, would you like to talk about it?"
Dean shot Cas a warning glance, directing his attention to the other bed where Jade sat, trying very hard to look like he wasn't listening to the conversation.
Jade looked up to see both the angel and the hunter staring at him.
"Uh, I think I'll go take a shower," he suggested. Jade didn't know much about Dean's lifestyle, but he could take a hint.
Dean waited until the door was firmly closed and he heard the water running to speak.
"Dean? What was it?"
"Not a demon, that's for sure," Dean answered, letting his gaze fall on the drawn curtain on the window.
"You've been wrong a lot lately; I don't see how this is anything out of the ordinary," Cas reasoned.
Dean glared at Cas for suggesting that his hunting skills weren't up to par anymore. Not that he would disagree; things got a little fucked up when your brother willingly jumped into Hell.
"Do you remember that night we met?" Dean asked.
A smile formed on Castiel's face when he located the memory of that night in the barn. Even though Dean had repeatedly shot and stabbed him, it had been a pleasant experience. Dean Winchester was more charming than anyone in Heaven had said he would be.
"I take that as a yes." Dean smiled, also remembering that night.
"I do, but what does that have to do with whatever you're hunting?"
"This-" Dean withdrew Ruby's knife from its holder on his belt. "Can kill anything, right?"
"Mostly," Cas agreed.
"Except angels, as we both know."
"Dean, you're not saying-"
"That's exactly what I'm saying,"
"Why would an angel be killing people without explicit orders?" Cas asked, trying to unravel the mystery Dean had presented him with.
"You kill people without being ordered to."
"Yes, but I rebelled," he reminded the hunter.
"You're the only angel who's ever thought to rebel?" Dean asked, raising an eyebrow.
Cas sat in silence for a few moments, contemplating the possibility. "If that were the case, I would surely know of it."
"Why would they tell you?" Dean scoffed. "You're just Heaven's bitch."
Castiel's face formed the most menacing glare Dean though he'd ever witnessed. "I am no one's bitch, Dean. And I am most definitely not going to sit here and listen to you insult me and my family."
Before Dean could choke out an apology, Cas was gone.