"Heeey!" Gabriel's cheery voice flooded the room upon an uninvited entry, "You're back!" Rushing forward he hugged Castiel tightly, grateful to have his friend alive, happy, and in one piece. "Congratulations on the marriage, you deserve it." Gabriel smiled, patting his friend on the back. "But before you get carried away with all that, we've brought someone who you have some things to sort through."
Castiel smiled, his arms around Gabriel's familiar form, "Thanks a lot, Gabe." He leans back and looks for this someone; part of him already knows what it's about.
Balthazar walked into the room, head held much lower than usual. He wasn't sure who in the room already knew, or even how much Castiel himself had figured out with the assistance of angel-killing alternate Winchester brothers. "Hello Castiel," he addressed his friend with the utmost of shamed respect. "I suppose you have some... questions, for me, regarding my behaviour and your unplanned trip to another world –How was that, by the way?"
Cass smiles warmly at his old friend, ignoring the harsh tugging in his chest, not to mention the awful sting left by the blade. "Balthazar, I have a feeling this has something to do with our little... disagreement a while back." He steps closer, not losing eye contact unless the other angel looks away, "The trip was alright; I met Dean and Sam who were pretty cold individuals, I think I managed to warm them a little. I was lonely for the majority of it and at the end I was almost killed by an angel blade. Other than that it was a good time."
His expression is almost unreadable as these thoughts swarm in his head, his gut telling him what Balthazar is about to say yet he refuses to believe it.
"I suppose this is my big confession scene, eh? Where I piece it all together for you guys and it all makes perfect sense? I'm afraid it's not all that easy. When I came down to Earth, after killing the guard at the gate, it was to save Castiel from enslavement and bring him home. When I found Castiel he'd lost many memories of his home and his nature, what his goal was. But as you all know, Castiel is a strong willed man, and no matter who or what he was; he knows what he wants now and for his future.
"Upon finding him, the only thing he wanted was life, freedom, and most importantly: a loving partner. He found his freedom through singing and dancing; he'd party and hit up the bar nightly. Despite his servitude to Michael, the binding was never exercised –it seemed almost theoretical. That is, until you showed up." Balthazar shot a glance toward Dean.
"Castiel found everything he needed in you. All the while, the only thing I truly sought was an opportunity to free him, where he'd want to fight for his own freedom and where I'd have a reason to turn against Michael. When this finally came about, and Castiel was free and reminded of his angelic heritage, he didn't want to leave. I tried on numerous occasions to pry him away from his nest in the human realm and bring him home. I'd promised to keep him safe, and heaven is the best place for him. And there's someone there, waiting for him to come back."
Gabriel's eyebrows rose in curiosity, unaware of this other side of the story. He couldn't look anywhere for answer but to Balthazar himself. Whoever this was, Castiel wouldn't remember, and no one else would know.
Castiel was quiet through most of the explanation; the realization of what Balthazar had done silencing him. He trusted Balthazar, more than most. It was hard for him to hear anything the man was saying but he knew he had to, "What do you mean..." he whispered quietly, trying his hardest to remember what could possibly be waiting for him.
"I'm not buying it," Dean intervened, "If all your intentions were well and good, then how would almost killing him get him to heaven? He's an angel, not a person. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't go back to heaven if you kill him." His words were measured, but his tone was not. As far as Dean was concerned, Balthazar was out to take Cass from him, ruin both their lives, and potentially kill his (now) fiancé.
Balthazar shook his head quickly, "No, Castiel's not an angel –not really."
Dean frowned, "'The hell does that mean?"
"I'm with Dean on that one," Cass' eyes shot up again, anger swirling with the icy blue, "I remembered what I am three years ago, why I left and who you are. Where do you get off saying I'm not an angel?" Castiel refused to believe, once again, that he didn't know something about himself. He paused for a moment and shook his head, he'd been fairly certain he knew what he was last time and he'd been wrong. This time may not be different, though he doubted Balthazar's words he had to admit at least that much, "And... if I'm not, then what am I?"
"My dear boy," Balthazar sighed, emotions mixing in a turmoil the likes of which he'd never experienced, "You are my best guarded secret. You are not entirely an angel, you are a half breed." Balthazar took a glance around the room, taking in the curious expressions, the disbelieving ones, and he was pretty certain that Chuck just didn't understand anything.
Cass' face twisted in confusion, "A ... half breed?" He didn't know what to think, let alone say.
"The technical terminology is 'nephelim.' In the books of the Bible, the missing pages between Genesis and Numbers, there is mention of Nephelim walking the earth, children of angel and man. Angels had taken human wives, and these wives bore them children. When the flood came, the nephelim were wiped out –those that were left on earth. You survived the floor, my dear Castiel, and your human mother's soul resides in heaven. She begged me to watch out for you, and I wanted nothing more than to bring you home."
Castiel stumbled backward again, bumping into Dean, finding his comfort there before speaking again, "My mother? I have a mother?" he shakes his head, trying to remember everything but has more trouble than he wants to admit, "But I..." He didn't know where he was going with this; his mind was too exhausted from the day's events already to really understand what Balthazar was saying.
Gabriel took a moment to digest this revelation, "Whoa, hey now, that makes a lot of sense. That demon, the one that wanted Michael to drain the grace from Castiel? He must've known. You can't actually kill the grace of an angel without killing the angel, but for nephelim it's different. That actually would have worked."
"Exactly," Balthazar agreed, both with Michael's goal and their level of effectiveness should they have come to fruition. "Nephelim come in many different shapes and forms. Some were giants among men, some were deformed; but some took the image of an angel perfectly and could fit in among their ranks." Balthazar looked to Castiel, "That would be you. I have no doubt that you have certain... DNA abnormalities, but there's no way of knowing what those might be."
"Wait!" Dean shouted, "So why kill him?"
"Are you daft? Whoever said I was going to kill him? I'm not the one who injured him; some other angel did that, someone after the other Cass. The spell I cast was supposed to send Castiel to heaven, but apparently it hadn't worked. I thought it worked, so I quit looking for him." And no one present was any the wiser.
"Okay, okay." Castiel raised his hands; he'd had enough of this. "I'm a nephelim or whatever, right? I have a dead mother in heaven waiting for me to come home, or at least hoping I'm safe. I am safe and I'm living a happy life here, she's probably very pleased up there, despite my not remembering her so well. Michael and the demon from three years ago were after my grace but that's long over, it doesn't matter anymore. Balthazar tried to send me home, it failed and now somehow he's smartened up. Everything's good, isn't it?"
Sam lifted his hand to draw some attention his way, "Yeah except Balthazar was almost dead when Anna called Gabriel so I'd like to know how that happened and why."
Everyone who wasn't Gabriel, Sam, and Anna didn't know that part. Cass looked sceptically at Balthazar, this time he flew across the room and pinned the man to the floor, despite his injury Castiel was still pretty strong when pissed off. Cass' eyes stared deep into Balthazar's, practically daring him to lie again. "I know what you did, Balthazar. Whatever I am, whatever reason you had for sending me away and trying to kill me after..." He sighs and lightens the pressure he's putting on the other angel, "I'm hurt that you'd try. Please, just... tell me the truth, tell me you're sorry, and we can go back to how we were; happy." He gazes pleadingly at Balthazar, tears forming at the corners of his eyes again.
"If you would stop being so emotional," Balthazar struggled out under Castiel's slender frame, "You'd know that I wasn't going to kill you. I had my hands on you, and almost every action an angel takes brings some light into it. Your second boyfriend got freaked and tried to kill me."
Dean looked at Cass, "Second boyfriend?" His voice was masked, and whether he was upset or not was impossible to tell. In reality he was relieved: proposing to the wrong Castiel, after telling him he loved him and having sex with him in his own Cass' bed... Dean hadn't a clue how he'd start to explain that, but from what Balthazar had just said, Castiel had done much the same thing with the otherworld Dean –he just hadn't treated him like a mental case in the process.
Cass looked a little sheepish, not only assuming that Balthazar was out to get him but also forgetting about that second detail. He glanced at Dean, entirely unable to figure out what his fiancé was thinking. 'I'll explain later...' he decides, turning his attention back to Balthazar.
"I had said that you lost your goal and lost your way and that I'd force you, so I tried to force you. 'Finish what I started' was get you back to heaven."
"Yeah," Gabriel interjected, "By killing him. You knew that he was half human, and that half of his grace was his soul. If he were dead, you could bring him to heaven without him ever leaving it again."
Balthazar's eyes refused contact with Castiel's with this new addition of information "Well, maybe. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking anymore. It's all quite frustrating."
Cass sighed heavily, standing up he looked down at his finger. "Frustrating is an understatement," he muttered. It seemed no one would be satisfied until Balthazar was punished in some way, Castiel had a similar gut feeling but he didn't want to do anything extreme. Balthazar was an old friend, a good one at that, so after attempted murder was his punishment to be murdered himself? It didn't make sense, it wasn't fair.
Castiel looked down at Balthazar again, "I'm going to punish you for this," he shifts his stance as his voice rumbles in his throat, "And what I say goes, am I clear?" he looks from the angel at his feet to the others in the room.
In one swift movement Castiel punches Balthazar square in the face, throttling him to the floor. Cass exhales slowly then unclenches his hand, sticking it out toward the felled angel, "There, we're even." He smiles, "Now get the hell up! I have planning and celebrating to do!"
Everything looked like it was going to be okay, everyone was forgiving and forgetting except one thing was bothering Chuck. In the commotion of planning, he walked up to Sam gingerly and stood next to him for a moment silence. Finally he spoke up after several minutes, "So uh, Sam?"
Sam glanced at him, "Yeah?"
"How did you get Gabriel all... angeled-up so fast?"
Sam froze his mind almost going blank, or at least he wished it would. Memories of finding Gabriel's grace flooding back.
"Okay we're here... now what?" Sam had asked, leaning over the space in the church Gabriel had stashed his grace.
"Well... You're not gonna like it." Gabriel strode forward, a sucker jammed in his mouth anxiously.
"Just spit it out." Sam grumbled, annoyed.
"What, no way! I like this flavour."
"Not the candy, how do we get it out?" Sam was nervous; he wanted to get back to Dean as quick as possible. There was no way to know when Balthazar would show up.
"Okay the rules change depending on the year, planet alignment, blah blah blah. Point is I ditched my goods at a bad time."
"Of course you did..." Sam groaned, running his hand through his hair.
"All funnies aside, I have to get it on with a man over the spot where I tossed it." Gabriel's eyes shifted to avoid Sam's overly exaggerated expression.
"You have to... what!"
"We," Gabriel pointed at himself then motioned toward Sam, "Have to do it."
"It's why I brought you with-"
"That makes it even more uncomfortable."
"Just... get over here and we can get this over with."
Standing there next to Chuck, Sam shook his head, "I'd rather not talk about it."
During the celebrations...
Sam made his awkward way to Bella's side. His mind raced with things to say, with the possibilities of what she might say, and the things he should have said a long time back. "Bella," His voice sounded distant to him, like it was rebelling against his head and following what his heart was screaming instead. He sounded tired, scared, and most of all apologetic. "Bella I'm so sorry." He pulled her into his arms, not waiting for a response, not waiting for her self-defensive reactions.
Bella tried to pull away, to reel from Sam's touch, but he was too strong to do any of the above. If he didn't want her to move, than she wasn't moving –end of story. "Sam," Bella's tone was warning and uneasy. She wasn't sure what she wanted from him. They'd spent years together, just as Castiel and Dean had. Everything was so perfect –Sam was strong but caring, he understood her grievances and her maladjustments and truly worried for her, and had helped her so much.
But when Cass disappeared, everything came crashing down. Bella had tried to help find the missing angel, just as the others had tried. She understood that Sam's brother was grieving, and he was being supportive... but not for months on end. Not after everyone had given up, after Dean had already left town. There was no good reason for Sam to never call her back, to never have time to see her. And now here he was, apologizing, and Bella couldn't find the anger and hurt to truly push him away.
"Let go," was all she could say, shaking and scared. "I don't even know you anymore, just leave me alone." She wanted him to stay, and all this time all she was waiting for was him to come back, for him to apologize.
"I've been terrible to you and I have no excuse for that," he remembers the promises he made and suddenly feels much worse. "I wanted to help Dean and in the process pushed you away, far away." He backed off a little though still keeping her within reach, "Can you ever forgive me?" Sam knew he'd been an idiot and though he wanted nothing less, he'd understand if she hated him after all of this.
Bella looked up at Sam, deep into those puppy dog eyes. "Sam, I love you more than anything. I just never expected you to... to hurt me like this. I can forgive you, but it will take longer to trust you."
Sam bites his lip and nods sadly, "I love you too," he leans down and kisses her gently, "I promise I'll make it up to you, thank you so much." He hugs her again with that same familiar warmth he'd shown her the first time, one hand around her back and the other holding the back of her head to his chest. He couldn't be happier that she'd let him back in, that she forgave him. Hopefully soon he'd get to the same point that Cass and Dean were at, but that would have to wait.
A spiced up version of 'Here Comes the Bride' plays and echoes throughout the building, Castiel struts down the aisle in a beautiful and impossibly white suit. Icy blue eyes fixated on his husband, dashing and handsome in his contrasting black. Flower petals rained on Castiel from above, a little trick he'd set up with some angelic assistance. The floor beneath his feet was marble, laid out from the entrance to the altar, just for him. The building was custom made for this day, enormous, carved and engraved specially for Castiel and Dean Winchester.
The crowd in the building was immense, Cass wanted to be the center of attention and by inviting his fans he was exactly that. There were rows in the front for special family and friends, cameras on all sides filming and flashing. Today was their day, and as his hardened soled shoes clacked across the beautifully styled floor to his future, Castiel didn't care who else was in the room.
It was him and Dean; the world didn't matter anymore, not today.
Cass reached Dean's side, a light flush of pink on his cheeks. He leaned over to whisper, a smile unable to leave his lips, "After all of this, we're moving and getting a bigger house, just saying." With a wink he leaned back again, looking up at the Justice of the Peace they had to hire to do this officially.
After the wedding day
Castiel smiled at the house he'd erected from scratch, not that he did any real work but it was still nice to see something you imagined come into reality. It was a mansion, too many rooms for Castiel to really consider counting, endless entertainment for a man who gets bored easily, but most of all it was spacious. Castiel made this place for everyone to live; Dean and himself, Sam and Bella, Anna and Balthazar, Gabriel and Jo, and of course Chuck and Adam.
This place had it all and it was only a few miles outside of Lawrence, the small town they were all used to. With the riches that PMA received, no one really needed to have a job but of course that didn't stop them from actually getting one, Cass knows it can be boring living in the same house with nothing to do.
There were several cars in the attached garage, including Dean's beloved Impala. Not everyone was an angel and they all needed to get to town somehow.
Castiel looked at the crew that was ready to move in, "Welcome home."
Alright it's done :D Thank you, everyone! I appreciate the reviews, though I'm really glad you all came back to read part 2! Let's see who reads these author's notes;
Part 3 is being written currently! After I'm sure that everyone's done with this one, all reviews have been made and what not, I'll put up PMA3. To warn you, there will be a bit of AU-ness going on and some other things not everyone likes to read so I'd appreciate it if you read it, though I don't suspect everyone'll be overjoyed with it :) That being said, keep your eyes open for PMA3: With Arms Wide Open (Think the Creed song)
And by the way, I'm sorry that it feels so rushed, we ran out of ideas lol Part 3 will be better, I'm sure!