AN: Okay…So…I know some of you guys already read this, since it was co-written with the lovely Zeppx and she has posted this a long time ago, but I figured instead of having an empty profile the least I could do was to post the stories I've already co-written… :P
So there you go :P
For those of you who haven't read this before, it's part of Zeppx's AU verse and, though you don't have to read it to understand this, it would probably make a lot more sense (and it's totally worth it since her stories are amazing)…
If you don't want to read it, all you have to know is that Gabriel's still alive, Jimmy was brought back and in his own body, Sam is dating Sarah and Sophie's Dean and Cas' adoptive daughter :)
Warnings: This contains scenes of torture…Though nothing to graphic…Read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing…It would be awesome if I did though :D
Oh! And this is dedicated to Zeppx for giving me the writer's bug :D You're awesome sweetie ;)
"Lost 'til you're found, swim 'til you drown
Know that we all fall down
Love 'til you hate, strong 'til you break
Know that we all fall down
If ever your world starts crashing down
Whenever your world starts crashing down
That's where you'll find me."
All Fall Down - OneRepublic
"What do you think Cas? Demon?" Castiel turned from surveying the surrounding area to look at Sam; he nodded and pointed towards a warehouse across the street.
"It's in there."
"I've never been happier to have your radar around Cas; this is much quicker than searching all of the buildings." Castiel nodded his agreement and the two moved towards the door, Sam holding the Colt down by his side while Castiel adjusted the grip on his old sword. It felt different now, not as light and more awkward than anything in his grip, but it still did the job and he still handled it with the ease that only thousands of years of practice could produce.
Sam nodded from his position on the right side of the door, Colt up and ready to fire as Castiel pushed the door open, allowing Sam to enter first before he followed closely behind.
The screaming was the first thing that Castiel became aware of, followed closely by the smell. What little he had left of his angelic senses picked up on the demons presence towards the back of the warehouse, the smell of decay and hellfire was strong and only getting stronger as they got closer to the demon.
Castiel placed a hand on Sam's shoulder, halting their progress, "It knows we're here."
"There goes the element of surprise then."
Castiel shook his head and whispered, "It doesn't know who we are, it just wants to go back to Hell, thinks we're here to exorcise it, not kill it."
"That's good at least."
"Just shoot it Sam, don't bother with talking to it. I'll get the man down." Sam nodded and strode forward while Castiel circled around towards the back where the demon's latest victim would be. The screaming cut off when Sam's voice echoed through the warehouse, pulling the demons attention away. Castiel moved forward, out from behind stacks of boxes to where the demon had strung up his victim, Jacob Matthews, much like the demons had done to the souls on racks in Hell. He'd been strung up-
-by his wings, heavy chains made of metal that couldn't be found on Earth, sigils carved into the surface keep Castiel contained, unable to fight. He was hanging by his wings, sharp hooks piercing them just underneath the arch of bone. He'd learned to stop struggling hours ago, his movements causing the hooks to dig deeper, cause more damage. The pain was immense, unlike anything he's ever felt before-
"Cas! Castiel!" Castiel blinked, tore his gaze away from the chains holding Jacob up by his wrists, Sam was unhooking Jacob, the demon dead on the ground behind him.
"Cas! Get over here and help me get him down!" Castiel nodded and rushed over, accepting the key Sam must have pulled off the demon to unlock the cuffs around the man's ankles. The two of them got Jacob to the car and to the nearest hospital, both of them leaving before they could be questioned by doctors or cops.
The ride back to the hotel was silent, Sam didn't ask what happened with Castiel and Castiel didn't explain anything. He frowned at his reflection in the window, why now of all times would he think about when he'd been dragged back to Heaven? He hadn't thought about his time in Zachariah's 'rehabilitation' for years. Why would he suddenly go back to the time he'd been dragged back to Heaven, which had ended up being months of torture for him while only a few days had passed on Earth?
"Cas…are you okay?" Castiel drew himself back to the present, turned his attention to Sam who was looking at him with worry, forehead creased and brows drawn together. They were at the hotel, must have been for a while now for Sam to be concerned with Castiel's lack of response.
"I'm fine Sam."
"You sure? You've been spaced out for a couple minutes now."
Castiel sighed, shrugged and reached for the door handle, "Just tired I guess." Sam nodded; not looking very convinced but got out of the car as well, letting them into the hotel room where they went their separate ways for a while. Sam disappeared into the shower and Cas turned his phone back on so he could call home and let Dean know everything was okay.
"So, just a demon thinking he'd be sent back to Hell huh?" Castiel sat down on the bed with a sigh, "Yes, he was one of those demons that prefer the torturing of souls rather than causing trouble up here."
"Well at least he didn't cause you guys any trouble, went down without a fight."
"Yes, easy case, we should be home by tomorrow."
"Good, Sophie and Grace are driving me nuts dude. Do-
-you really think you can make a difference Castiel?" Castiel stared up at Zachariah as his superior paced in front of him. Ramiel and Hamael stood on either side of him, Ramiel holding Castiel's sword, which was dripping with Castiel's blood. Zachariah probably found it poetic, torturing Castiel with his own blade.
Castiel watched as Zachariah snapped his fingers at Ramiel who handed Castiel's blade over without comment or question. Castiel didn't know why both Ramiel and Hamael are needed here, his wings are useless now, bones broken and delicate flesh torn. Every small movement of his shoulders and back sends bolts of excruciating pain through damaged nerves.
Hamael looks slightly worried as Zachariah opens a small vial of thick red liquid, Castiel immediately knew what it was, smelled the sulfur from where he's kneeling, he knows what will happen. He gazed up at Hamael, trying to catch his brother's eye, tried to beg and plead without actually speaking. Hamael though, drew his wings tighter against his back and fixed his gaze elsewhere. Ramiel is the same, wings tight to his back, fists clenched and gaze elsewhere.
Castiel tried to get their attention, tried to ask for help, reached out with his grace, pleading for them to say something, to help him. But they continued to ignore-
"Cas!" Castiel blinked rapidly, taking in the fading yellow paint of the wall across from him, the stained brown carpet beneath his shoes, "Damnit Cas, would you answer me!"
"I'm here Dean, I'm sorry I was…distracted." Castiel's hands were shaking, he shoved the one currently not holding the phone to his ear between his thigh and the bedspread, the other clutched his phone so tightly the plastic creaked ominously.
"Must have been a hell of a distraction." Castiel sighed, closed his eyes and whispered, "I'm sorry Dean, I should go. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Cas, wait-" Castiel ended the call before Dean could keep him on the phone, get him talking. This wasn't something Castiel wished to discuss, he doesn't understand it himself so there would be no help from Dean knowing. He doesn't understand why this is happening, doesn't understand what is happening.
Castiel leaned forward until his elbows were resting on his knees, bringing his hands up to rub at his forehead and temples, this is not something Castiel needed happening to him now. He certainly does not need to go and lose his mind because of it either.
"Not getting a migraine are you?" Castiel jumped at Sam's voice coming from behind him, he hadn't heard the bathroom door open or the shower shut off.
"Well, hop in the shower. If we leave in an hour we can hit home by dinner tomorrow night." Castiel nodded, ignoring the worried look Sam was giving him, gathered clean clothes and a towel and locked himself in the bathroom.
By the time Castiel emerged from the bathroom Sam had everything but Castiel's things packed and put away in the car. Castiel dressed and packed quickly, he understood Sam's desire to get home as soon as possible, he too wanted to get back home.
"Hey Cas, sure you're okay?" They'd managed several hours in silence, nothing but the radio playing quietly in the background to break it; Castiel looked over at Sam, saw the concerned look again and looked away from him. He couldn't bear to see Sam looking at him like that right now, didn't want to think about what Sam's thinking about.
"I'm fine Sam."
"You're sure? You've been acting awfully spacey since the warehouse; you didn't get whammied with anything did you? Dean'll kill me if something happens to you." Castiel smiled slightly at his reflection in the window, "Don't worry Sam, I'm fine."
"If you're sure. Why don't you take a nap or something if you're that tired, I'll wake you up for dinner." Castiel nodded, he could go for a nap, and he'd for once gotten up early that morning to go on a run and to finish the research from the night before. Sam's car wasn't as comfortable as the Impala, but Castiel shifted until he was in a comfortable enough position and soon drifted off.
Castiel had been healed more times than he could count, he was strapped down on a table now, arms and legs bound down by his sides, wings spread out across the small room. Zachariah was there, along with Ramiel, Hamael has long since been dismissed, Zachariah had probably sensed the other angel's distress and discomfort about what they had been doing to Castiel.
Castiel couldn't understand Hamael's discomfort, they hadn't been particularly close, were from different garrisons. Ramiel, however, they were close, as close as angels could be to one another. They'd trained together, fought together, spent time on Earth with him along with Uriel, Anael and Balthazar. Ramiel seemed not to remember any of this as he turned to Castiel, Castiel's sword in his hands; the tip had been dipped into the container of blood. Castiel knew what was coming, but no matter how he braced himself, no matter how many times he'd try to bite back his screams he always failed.
The first cut was shallow but ran along the base of his wing, an angel's most sensitive area. The demon's blood spread like wildfire through his body, even the smallest trace was painful, it cut deep down, to his very core, ate away at his grace and left scars that would never heal.
Another cut, at the base of his other wing, deeper this time, much more painful. Castiel tried to hold in his screams, tried not to whimper and cry out. Tried not to beg Ramiel to stop, to just let him go. They were brothers surely brothers didn't do such things to one another; surely this wasn't how it was supposed to be.
"You're thinking too much like a human still Castiel." Zachariah's voice came from behind Castiel, Castiel shifted slightly so he could see Zachariah pacing along the back wall of the small room they were in.
"You need to remember who you truly are Castiel. You're just a foot solider, nothing more, nothing less. You do as you're told and you do it without question. Do you understand?"
"Are you willing to obey your orders now Castiel?"
"No." Zachariah made a disgusted noise from behind Castiel, he nodded at Ramiel and another, much deeper cut went into his side, demons blood setting fire to his grace.
"I don't understand your fascination with this human Castiel. He's nothing, we could crush him without a single thought yet you do as he asks without question, following his orders as swiftly as you should follow mine, yet you don't."
Another cut, followed by another and another and another. Castiel could feel the blood taking hold, could feel his grace working harder to get rid of the infection, much like a humans immune system. His limbs were shaking, his temperature rose as his grace fought, he felt strange, like he was flying even though he wasn't. He blinked a few times but the room continued to dip and curve, Zachariah's voice was far away, echoing strangely in the room.
Distantly Castiel heard the sound of his sword being set down; faintly he felt Ramiel's hands on his right wing, gentle but firm, gently stroking and soothing the ruffled feathers. Castiel knew not to relax as much as he wanted to, but this was something different, the first time Ramiel has touched his wings like this, with something like regret.
The first snap of bone was loud in the quiet room and Castiel-
-bolted upright, his scream caught in his throat. Sam stopped shaking him, his eyes wide with concern, "Jesus, Cas, you were really out." Castiel blinked at him, breath coming out in harsh pants, a phantom ache along his back where his wings used to be.
"Was it a nightmare?" Castiel looked over to Sam, hesitated then nodded. He took a moment to take in where they were, a parking lot in front of a diner; he must have slept clear through to dinner time.
"Wanna talk about it?"
"No. I'm fine Sam; let's just get something to eat." Sam stared hard at him, brows furrowing before he sighed and climbed out of the car grumbling, "Dean is a bad influence on you."
Castiel couldn't find it in himself to argue as he followed Sam into the diner.
Dean frowned at the wall in front of him, Sam's voice coming in quiet and quick over the phone, "I don't know Dean, something is off with Cas."
"Define 'off' Sammy." He heard Sam's sigh, could imagine the bitch face he'd be pulling right now.
"I don't know Dean. He's been spacey since we left the warehouse, and he had a nightmare in the car." Dean felt himself frown again, Cas didn't really do nightmares, didn't do dreams period. Several centuries of not sleeping or dreaming apparently having rubbed off on Cas, leaving his sleep mostly dreamless. There was the occasional happy dream and if something happened to Dean on a hunt an occasional nightmare about Dean dying, nothing beyond that though.
"It was a pretty intense one too, took me forever to wake him up." Dean rubbed a hand over his face, something was off with Cas, he knew this. Cas hadn't been his full self in their earlier phone conversation, including the whole 'distracted' thing. Distracted Dean's ass, he'd heard the harsh breathing, the few stray whimpers, Cas was going through something and he didn't want to tell.
"I'll talk to him when you guys get home Sam. Not much I can do over the phone." Especially if the asshole hung up on him like he had earlier.
"Alright. We'll be there this time tomorrow." Dean nodded even though Sam couldn't see it, hung up, and turned to look into the living room. Sophie was curled up on the couch with Grace who looked extraordinarily displeased with the situation, Cas had wanted to take her with him on the hunt but Sophie had refused, claiming Grace needed to stay behind to help Socks acclimate to his new home.
Sophie looked over at him with a large grin and asked, "Papa gonna be home soon?"
"Yeah, this time tomorrow night." Sophie let out an excited squeal and jumped off the couch and headed for Dean, she slammed into his legs and wrapped herself around him. Grace watched them from the couch, a large sigh escaping from her. The dog could be a bigger drama queen than Sam sometimes.
"Jeez Sophie, he's only been gone for two days."
"Two days is two days too long!" Dean couldn't help himself; he grinned down at her and lifted her into a hug until she squirmed to be let down. She bounced back over to the couch, situating herself around Grace again and turned her attention to the movie on TV. Dean had such a great family.
The next day when Cas came home he could see instantly something was wrong, he was distracted and fidgety, there were dark circles under his eyes which were flicking everywhere instead of focusing in on Dean like a tractor beam. He even jumped when Sam slammed the front door shut behind them, he smiled through when Sophie barreled into him, hugged her tight and close and did the same with Dean.
When everything had calmed down and Sam had left to return to his own family, Dean followed Cas into the kitchen, watching as he opened the fridge and peered in at the contents. Dean leaned against the counter, arms crossed over his chest as Cas began pulling ingredients out for dinner.
"So." Cas' eyes flicked over to Dean then back to the fridge, "So?"
"Going to tell me what's up Cas? Or am I going to have to guess?" He saw Cas' brows furrow, his mouth tightened and those blue eyes flicked over to Dean again, all sure signs he was hiding something.
"There's nothing going on Dean."
"Sam said you had a nightmare."
"Nightmares aren't uncommon."
"They are for you." Cas sighed and headed for the sink to wash his hands. Dean snagged him around the waist as he passed and pulled him back, turning Cas so they were facing each other.
"Sam also said you were acting spacey and not all together."
"He's worried about you."
"There's nothing to be worried about." Dean sighed and pulled Cas closer so their hips and chests were pressed together, "Cas, there's something going on here."
"Dean I'm fine. Sam is just reading too much into a simple situation. There's no need to worry yourselves." Dean stared at Cas who stared right back, Dean knew there was something going on here, could see the exhaustion and weariness in those familiar blue eyes.
"You remember your first migraine Cas?" One of Cas' hands slid around Dean's waist, fingertips pressing into the tense muscles of his lower back, Cas nodded and continued the one handed massage, he was trying to distract Dean, but it wasn't going to work this time. Not yet anyway.
"Well, Gabriel said you could easily have gone insane. So you're not…you know…going crazy?" Cas chuckled and rested his forehead against Dean's shoulder, then he sighed, pulled away from Dean and headed for the sink again.
"No Dean, I'm not losing my mind."
"Are you sure? Maybe we should call Gabriel down to check, crazy people don't think they're the crazy ones you know." Cas rolled his eyes at Dean and returned to his assortment of dinner ingredients spread over the kitchen counter.
"You don't need to bring Gabriel into all of this, there's nothing to worry about." Cas pulled a cutting board from its spot, set an onion on it and reached for one of the knives in the cutting board. Dean opened his mouth to speak but stopped when he noticed Cas had frozen, eyes locked on the knife he'd pulled free, they quickly lost their focus and Dean could tell Cas' mind had gone elsewhere.
"Cas?" No response. Dean frowned and walked over to Cas, rested a hand on his shoulder and shook him a little. Cas' shoulder was rigid under Dean's hand, his eyes were focused on something not in the kitchen and his breaths were coming out in quick, harsh pants.
"Cas!" Nothing. Dean shook him harder, gently slapped a cheek and prodded Cas in his ticklish spot on his side. Nothing got a response, Cas was just…gone. Dean was close to panicking and calling Gabriel or 911, something, when Cas finally snapped out of it, blinking rapidly and staring down at the knife in shock.
"Cas?" Cas blinked over at him, stared back down at the knife he currently had a death grip on and said, "Dean."
"Okay, after seeing that there is no way you're fine Cas."
"I am fine. I guess I'm still tired."
"There's no way that was from exhaustion. It was like you weren't even here anymore! What the hell is going on with you Cas?"
"Cas, damnit-" Cas slammed the knife down onto the counter, glared over at Dean and snapped, "I said I'm fine! Just back off!" Dean watched in shock as Cas turned and stormed out of the kitchen, and stomped up the stairs, a few seconds after that the door to what Dean assumed was the office slammed shut.
Sophie poked her head into the kitchen, a frown on her face as she asked, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing Sophie. How about pizza for dinner tonight?" Sophie nodded, grinned, and disappeared back into the living room. Dean sighed and stared at the knife that Cas had left on the kitchen counter, he would need the big guns for this issue.
Castiel stayed hidden in the office for the rest of the night, he hadn't meant to snap at Dean, hadn't meant to storm away but he'd done it all anyway. He couldn't tell if he was ashamed, embarrassed or still annoyed. He was possibly all three. He just didn't want to face Dean right now, Castiel was tired, he wanted to sleep but then again he didn't because when he slept he dreamt. Castiel had never really remembered his dreams, he knew he had them because every human had dreams, but he just didn't remember them. These though, were more than dreams, they were memories. What was happening to him had dawned on him in the kitchen after the knife had triggered another memory to come up from the depths of his mind.
Memories of being dragged back to Heaven, Zachariah's torture to break him and return Castiel to Heaven's way. Zachariah's way, keep him from warning Dean and Sam the plans that had been laid out for them. Since he'd had his grace to cushion the memories, since he'd always been too busy with the Apocalypse and searching for God the memories had never bothered him. Now they were back, filtering in through his subconscious and reminding him he'd been through something any normal person would have issues with.
What had Sam called it when Dean had relived his memories of Hell? PTSD, something Castiel was now experiencing with his memories of Heaven. Just why now of all things confused him, he'd been human for years now, what had set him off?
Castiel sighed and buried his face into the couch cushions. He'd tried to work earlier but he couldn't focus enough. He just wanted to forget again, move on from this and be happy with his life like he had been.
There was a quiet knock on the office door before it opened and Sophie's head poked through, "Papa?" Castiel sat upright and forced a smile for her.
"Tuck me in?" Castiel glanced at his watch, winced at the time and stood, more than happy for the distraction of tucking her in. Sophie grinned up at him, took his hand and the two headed down the hallway and into her bedroom. Grace was waiting for them on Sophie's bed, her tail thumping against the covers when her eyes landed on Castiel.
Grace hopped off the bed when Sophie crawled into it; Castiel sat down on the edge, pulled the blankets up around her chin and tucked them in around her sides. She giggled up at him and the sound lifted his heavy heart.
"Would you like a story?" Her latest favorite was Where the Wild Things Are; Castiel found himself enjoying the story as well and wouldn't mind reading some more of it to her tonight. Sophie hummed in thought though before shaking her head, "Sing to me instead?"
"Very well." Castiel stood and turned off the overhead light and made sure the small lamp on her desk was turned on. Sophie moved over on her bed, making space for Castiel to sit beside her, when he was settled she turned onto her side, rested her head against Castiel's side and slung her arm over his waist.
Castiel waited until she was settled before he draped his arm over her, lightly stroking her shoulder while he began singing an old Enochian song. It may have been considered a lullaby a long time ago, but now it was simply a song of love and peace, he sang it often to Mary when he was putting her to sleep and Sophie had a love for the song as well.
By the time he was halfway through Sophie was a warm, sleeping weight against his side. Castiel smiled down at her, gently slid out from underneath her and tucked her back in underneath her blankets before slipping out of her room, Grace following behind him.
Castiel spotted Dean standing in the doorway to their bedroom, arms crossed over his chest, his eyes followed Castiel as he left Sophie's room and Castiel felt his cheeks flush with his shame from earlier. He wasn't ready to confront Dean with all of this, didn't want Dean to worry, so Castiel turned and rushed into his office, closing the door after allowing Grace to slip in behind him.
He heard Dean sigh on the other side of the door and heard his footsteps heading downstairs to lock up for the night. Castiel didn't intend to sleep in the office, he would go and crawl into bed with Dean when Dean had fallen asleep, and perhaps he was taking the cowards way about this but he just wasn't ready to face Dean yet. Wasn't ready to face anyone.
Castiel dozed fitfully on the small couch, partially out of fear of falling asleep and dreaming and partially because the couch was small which made it uncomfortable. Grace lay on the floor, head resting on her paws; she was close enough for Castiel to touch whenever he let his hand trail over the side of the couch.
It was around four in the morning when Castiel finally decided Dean would have fallen asleep, he had to get up early to go to work so he wouldn't stay up waiting for Castiel, he was pretty sure of this.
Castiel crept into their room, Grace sticking his side like glue. He changed out of his clothes quickly, opting only for pajama bottoms since it was still warm outside from the spring heat wave they were experiencing. He crawled into bed, wincing when Grace leapt up onto her spot on the bottom of the bed. She rarely slept up on the bed now, preferring her own bed over in the corner instead of being kicked by wayward feet while the two men slept. Dean didn't move though, Castiel knew he was faking his sleep since anything and everything would wake Dean up.
It was several minutes before Dean rolled over, his hand landing on Castiel's bare arm, thumb stroking the soft skin there.
"Cas, you awake?" Castiel remained silent, kept his eyes shut and his breathing slow and even. He could fake just as well as Dean when he wanted to.
Dean sighed and whispered, "I'm sorry okay? I didn't mean to piss you off." Apparently, Dean knew when Castiel was faking just as well as Castiel knew when Dean was faking.
With a sigh, Castiel rolled over, looked at Dean and muttered, "I'm not angry Dean. I was just…"
"Just what?" Castiel hesitated and Dean slid his arm over Castiel's waist, pulling him close.
"Embarrassed I suppose. I didn't mean to shout at you."
"It's okay Cas."
"You should sleep Dean; you have to get up early for work." Dean nodded and kissed Castiel's shoulder, his breathing evened out in sleep shortly after.
Sleep didn't find Castiel at all that night.
Castiel was walking the fine line of sleep and wakefulness when he heard the bedroom door open and shut quietly. Grace shifted down by his feet but didn't raise any kind of alarm so he continued lying where Dean had left him earlier that morning.
Castiel sighed and opened his eyes, Jimmy was peering down at him a look of concern on his face. Apparently, Dean was trying to gang up on Castiel.
"Whatcha still doing in bed?" Castiel shrugged and watched as Jimmy sat on the edge of the bed, his hand coming to rest on Castiel's foot.
"I'm fine Jimmy."
"Dean and Sam seem to think otherwise."
"They're being overbearing." Jimmy smiled and patted Castiel's foot, "Want some time to yourself today? I can take Sophie to the movies; Claire has wanted to see her anyway." Castiel thought about it, as much as he did want to be left alone Sophie was a nice distraction from everything that was going on in his head.
"Sure Jimmy, if you want to."
"Awesome. Why don't you get your lazy ass out of bed and make us some breakfast then before we head out?" Castiel nodded and dragged himself out of bed, pulled on a shirt and followed Jimmy downstairs where Sophie was occupied with watching her morning cartoons. Castiel was slightly disappointed that she hadn't come and crawled into bed with him that morning; Jimmy must have told her not to.
Sophie immediately shot up off the couch when she spotted him; she slammed into his legs, wrapped her arms around him and beamed, "Morning Papa!"
Castiel managed an actual smile, tugged on her hair, "Morning Sophie. Pancakes?"
"Yes!" Nothing out of the ordinary happened during breakfast; Castiel made them all pancakes and bacon, and listened as Jimmy and Sophie made plans for the day. They would be going to the movies and to the zoo, which would leave Castiel alone for most of the day.
Part of him was happy about this, the other not so much.
It was nearing late afternoon when Jimmy, Claire and Sophie came home. Castiel was relieved to hear them, the silence in the house was oppressing and he'd run out of things to do to keep himself occupied. Castiel listened with a small smile as he heard Sophie shout for him, run into the living room and then into the kitchen where he was currently seated.
"Papa!" She plowed into his legs, clambered up onto his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging tight before saying, "I love you Papa."
"I love you too Sophie. Why don't you just ask me what it is you want instead of trying to soften me up?" Sophie giggled, settled herself onto his lap and said, "I want a penguin." Castiel heard Jimmy snort from where he was standing in the kitchen doorway and Castiel felt his eyebrows rise.
"We just got you a cat Sophie, don't you think you should spend some time with Socks first? Before you get a penguin?"
"Socks would understand." Castiel chuckled, patted her back and said, "I'm sure he would, but we can't get a penguin, I'm sorry." Sophie pouted, sighed and slid off his lap.
"Well, I tried, but it seems like neither of us is getting a penguin." Sophie said to Claire before the two disappeared into the living room. Jimmy chuckled, sat next to Castiel at the counter and asked, "How was your day?"
"Fine. I worked." Which, of course was a lie.
"Of course you did." Castiel shrugged, nudged an envelope with his finger while Jimmy just sat there, staring at him.
"Nothin' Cas. I'm gonna go entertain the girls, come join us okay?"
"Sure Jimmy." Jimmy nodded, hopped off the stool and headed into the living room where Claire and Sophie were. Their shrieking and laughter soon followed. Castiel sighed, rearranged the pile of mail on the counter into a neat stack and headed into the living room where Jimmy and Claire were holding Sophie down while Jimmy tickled her.
Sophie spotted him standing in the doorway, "Papa! Help me! Please-
Don't do this brother. Please."
Ramiel stared at Castiel for a long moment before saying, "You know I have to Castiel."
"No! You don't! Ramiel, you don't understand, we've been lied to! Zachariah has-"
"You've dirtied yourself Castiel!" Castiel watched as Ramiel made his way across the room, listened as he moved objects around, Castiel had hoped Ramiel would listen to him, would understand all of them had been tricked and lied to.
"Brother-" Castiel stopped as a familiar smell assaulted his senses. It wasn't the demons blood of earlier, it was cleaner, older.
"I don't have to do this Castiel. All you need to do is place your loyalties where they belong again."
Holy oil, demons blood and an angel's sword were the few things that could actually harm an angel. Castiel had endured the demons blood and the sword; the holy oil terrified him though. He didn't know how he would react to it while it was unlit, knew the fire could kill but if it was just the oil, surely-
Ramiel splashed the oil into the wounds littering Castiel's sides, it burned like nothing Castiel had ever known. While the demons blood had ripped into his grace, had torn at it and devoured it, the holy oil just burned. It slowly worked through his body, leaving everything in its wake burning and aching with such intensity that Castiel thought he was finally dying.
Castiel tried to hold his scream in, tried to not give that pleasure to Ramiel, to know he was finally hurting Castiel. He couldn't though, the pain was too much, Castiel cried out and jerked against his restraints, tried to curl in on himself to ease the burning.
"It can end Cas-
-tiel!" Castiel gasped, felt Jimmy shaking his shoulder, saw Claire and Sophie watching him with wide, worried eyes while Jimmy shook and yelled his name. Castiel shot up off the floor and raced for the bathroom, bile already working its way up his throat.
He bent over the toilet, gagging and retching pathetically while Jimmy told the girls to put a movie in. Shortly after Jimmy was in the bathroom as well, kneeling down by Castiel's side, "What's going on Cas?"
"Nothing Jimmy." Jimmy snorted and watched as Castiel settled himself onto the cool tile of the floor; it still felt as if the holy oil was burning through his system, phantom aches along his sides and back from where he'd been cut. Jimmy placed a gentle hand on Castiel's back and Castiel couldn't help but flinch away from it, he still ached everywhere.
"Cas, c'mon. You're worrying me here."
"I must have eaten something that didn't agree." Jimmy was silent before he scoffed and said, "I'd believe that but I doubt you've eaten anything. What's going on Cas?"
"Cas, don't push me away. Just tell me what's going on. I want to help here, so does Dean. We're worried about you."
"Please just leave it Jimmy." Jimmy sighed before he stood and headed back to the living room where Castiel could hear Sophie asking what was wrong. Castiel stood, cleaned himself up and joined them.
"You okay Papa?"
"I'm fine Sophie; it was just something I ate." Sophie watched him for a few minutes, looked at Claire then Jimmy, then asked turning her attention back to Castiel, "Can I sleep over at Claire's tonight?" Castiel glared at Jimmy over Sophie's head, his brother simply raised an eyebrow in challenge though, silently daring Castiel to say something.
"Sure, why don't you go pack a bag?" Sophie grinned at him, gave him a tight hug before bounding up the stairs with Claire in tow.
"Glare all you want Cas, I'll take Sophie for the night so you and Dean can talk about whatever the hell is going on with you." Castiel sighed and nodded; they waited for the girls to come downstairs again and said their goodbyes.
Once again, Castiel was left alone.
He tried to work but found himself unable to focus on the computer screen or any of the books or papers he had spread over his desk. So he found himself down in the living room on the couch, a random channel on the TV and his sketchpad spread over his lap, Grace curled up on the couch next to him. He wasn't paying too much attention to what he was drawing, just randomly drawing lines and figures.
"Hey bro." Castiel jerked, a dark line cutting through what he'd been drawing and turned to glare up at Gabriel.
"Some serious thinking you're doing there." Gabriel sat himself down on the other side of Grace, rested a hand on her side and smiled over at Castiel. Castiel simply shrugged, put his pencil and sketchpad away and leaned back against the couch, watching Gabriel. His brother usually announced when he was going to drop by for a visit, or come on their weekly visits but those took place on Saturdays, not Sundays.
"What do you want Gabriel?"
"Can't just come and check up on you?"
"You wound me." Castiel sighed, shifted slightly so he could look at Gabriel easier and stroked Grace's head when she placed it on his thigh.
"Just getting sick of Heaven's shit is all, Raphael won't stop his bitching and everyone thinks we've done wrong by averting the apocalypse. I needed a break."
Castiel eyed Gabriel, he suspected Dean had something to do with this; he'd called Jimmy after all so he wouldn't be bothered by calling Gabriel to check up on Castiel.
"So, how's it going bro? You okay?" Castiel rolled his eyes and growled, "I'm getting sick of people asking me that question."
"There a reason they'd be asking that?" Castiel shook his head and turned his attention to the TV, some strange cartoon was playing now, something that Castiel didn't understand. He watched it anyway.
"Well, you know if you ever need to talk about anything I'll come down Cas, all you need to do is ask." Castiel nodded and sighed when Gabriel vanished. He would have to talk to Dean tonight about this; he didn't need his family barging in on his thoughts and into his mind. Especially with the state it was currently in.
"You call my name, I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole.
I've come undone
But you make sense of who I am."
Pieces – Red