A/N: This is a oneshot written for a XMas fic exchange over on lj. Obviously, I'm late and I still have 2 more to go (urgh, I suck). The prompter was Patricia de Lioncourt and the prompt is as follows: "The Key was always more than what it had seemed, but Castiel had not been expecting that. (Has to be something other than the fact that the Key is in human form)"
Takes place in S6 for both series.
Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or Supernatural and I'm making no money.
"I don't want to hear it, Dawn," Buffy snapped as she got up to place her empty coffee cup in the sink. She gazed out the window at the old, black car sitting in her driveway and had to suppress the urge to run and hide in a dark corner. This world was so exhausting. "You stole a car this time," she said, forcing herself to stay engaged in this latest drama. "Jewelry is one thing, but a car! You're a carjacker now. That's one step away from gang banging. You do realize that?"
Dawn gritted her teeth in frustration and took a couple of deep breaths. Okay, granted, she hadn't done a lot to gain her sister's trust lately, but she wasn't even giving her a chance to explain. As usual, she was ignoring everything she said. It was like Buffy was barely in the room with her and it so wasn't fair.
"Buffy, I'm not lying," she whined. "I thought you'd be proud that I finally managed to save myself from a kidnapping."
"An 'angel-napping' you mean?" her sister said with an eyeroll. "Seriously Dawn, this is the worst story you've ever come up with. The plot is so full of holes; we could put it on rye and call it swiss cheese." Buffy crossed her arms in front of her and leaned against the kitchen countertop. "Why would an angel even need a car? Didn't he have big, flappy wings?" she asked sarcastically.
"Well… umm… actually, he wore a trench coat," Dawn mumbled half-heartedly. What was the point? Buffy was right. This was a really stupid story, even if it was true. A dramatic 'storm out' was her only option. She whirled, tossed her hair, and announced loudly, "I'll be in my room. You can call me when the cops get here."
Dean suddenly found himself standing in a strange driveway along with Cas and Sam. He hated taking the 'angel express', but at least his beloved Impala was parked in front of him. He immediately started going over her with a fine-toothed comb.
"Well, ain't that just friggin perfect," he grumbled, after checking out the passenger's side. "There's a huge dent in her quarter panel. Dammit, Cas! Why did you let Hannah Montana steal my car? Don't you think you've done enough damage already?"
Castiel frowned as he stood beside a stone-faced Dean. "I will fix it," he said, but when he started to reach out to touch the dent, Dean smacked his hand away.
"No, you won't," Dean growled. "I'll fix it. You're not laying a finger on my baby. I don't want her to end up like Sam."
"I'm Sam," his brother announced with a huge, goofy grin.
Dean slapped his brother between the shoulder blades. "Yeah, you're Sam," he agreed tiredly. At least the poor guy had been pretty happy ever since Cas had broken his 'hell wall'. He had the mental capacity of a five-year-old and he was crazier than a shithouse rat, but he sure did smile a lot. Dean had expected much worse.
"Alright kids," he sighed. "Let's go get the keys and make sure Cas' sacrificial virgin is okay and won't be pressing charges."
"Dean, there are things you don't understand," Castiel began. "This girl is more than –,"
Dean held up a hand. "You know what, Cas? I don't want to hear it. I'm just glad you picked the juvenile delinquent type of sacrificial virgin. If she hadn't defiled my baby, I'd give her a freakin' medal. So, shut your trap and let me do the talking… and do something about him," he added when he noticed his brother was busy picking roses from a bush in the Klepto Kid's front yard. "I give it two seconds before he…"
"OW!" Sam exclaimed as he pouted over his newly pricked finger. "It bit me, Dean. Shoot it."
Dean took a moment to, once again, be grateful that he'd taken his brother's guns away before replying with, "Sorry Sammy. Look but don't touch. You gotta remember the rules buddy."
Buffy groaned when the doorbell rang. It was probably the cops or social services… or maybe both. She really wasn't in the mood for this today. Not that she was ever in the mood for the tedious drama that had become her life. Why couldn't a girl just stay dead? Was that so much to ask?
She took a deep breath to compose herself and smoothed her hair before opening the front door. She was surprised by the sight that greeted her. There were no blue uniforms and the 'friendly neighborhood social worker' was nowhere in sight. Instead, she found herself looking at three guys - three very good-looking guys. If she could bring herself to give a damn, she'd totally flirt with the 'male model' one that was standing at the head of the group.
"Hi," male model guy said as he flashed her the most obvious conman grin she'd ever seen. "I'm Dean. That's my car," he said as he hooked a thumb over his shoulder.
"Oh," she replied as she stared back at him with wide-eyes. Crap. This was one awkward situation.
"Buffy Summers," the man in the trench coat said earnestly. "It is an honor to meet you. You are -."
The man was cutoff when the guy she now knew as 'Dean' not-so-subtly stomped on his foot. Buffy was surprised that he seemed to register no pain, because that Dean guy was wearing some very stompy-looking boots.
"How do you know my name?" Buffy asked suspiciously.
Dean reached out and snatched a handful of letters from the mailbox by the door. "He… uh… looked at your mail," he offered with an apologetic shrug as he shoved the bundle of letters at Buffy.
She accepted them, but made sure not to look at them too closely. She was sure there were probably some 'final notices' in this batch and that was something she'd rather not know about. If she pretended they weren't real, maybe they'd magically go away. That was the working theory anyway.
"And why was he looking at my mail?" she asked sourly.
"I wasn't… " trench coat guy replied, but trailed off when Dean gave him a look that could kill. Then Dean turned his conman smile back on her.
"He's… well, it's kind of embarrassing," he replied with an awkward laugh. "Truth is, he's kinda off his meds right now."
"Oh," Buffy said with dawning understanding as she took in trench coat guy's vacant stare. Then she moved her eyes to the really tall guy behind Dean and noticed the goofy grin he was wearing. When she met his gaze, the grin widened and he waved at her enthusiastically.
"Hi, I'm Sam," he said. "Dean's my big brother."
Buffy smiled back at the guy. He was obviously a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but he seemed friendly and, despite his size, he struck her as harmless. "Hi Sam," she said. "It's very nice to meet you."
The dark-haired stranger spoke up once again, despite the glare Dean was shooting him. "I am Castiel. I am an Angel of the Lord."
The truth of the situation hit Buffy just as Dean buried his face in his hands and began rubbing at his temples (the guy looked like he was about to have a stroke). Her sister's mysterious 'angel in a trench coat' was actually just some poor delusional man and Dawn had apparently stolen his brother and/or caretaker's car. This was one of those truly epic messes that could only happen to Buffy.
"Why don't you guys come in and have a seat?" Buffy asked with a resigned sigh as she stepped back and held the door open. She didn't think they were dangerous and even if they were, she was the Slayer.
Dean looked shocked by her invitation, but stepped across the threshold followed closely by his two charges.
Buffy sat on the couch and tried not to look too uncomfortable while the big guy petted her hair. His brother appeared to have given up after scolding him several times and Buffy decided to just let it be. She could always break his arm if he got too frisky.
"It's soft," Sam said with a happy grin.
"Uhh… thanks?" Buffy replied uncertainly as he continued to pet the top of her head. It was like she was dog or something.
"Hey Buffy, have you ever read Of Mice and Men?" her sister asked as she watched Sam with what looked like a worried frown. "Or maybe you've seen the movie?"
Buffy just gave her sister a blank look. She wasn't sure what some Disney movie about a mouse had to do with anything, besides she was more worried about getting away from her new friend. So, much to his disappointment, she stood up and quickly moved out of his considerable reach.
"I'll just go check on things in the kitchen," she announced a little too enthusiastically. "You guys make yourselves at home. I'll…uh… be right back."
The cute little blond girl had offered to make coffee and Dean had graciously taken her up on the offer. He wanted to talk to Dawn and he didn't want her sister to hear it. It turned out that this 'Buffy' chick was her little sister's legal guardian, despite the fact that she barely looked old enough to buy booze herself. Dean sympathized with that situation and he DID NOT want to drop the whole 'monsters are real' bomb on her. She had enough on her plate already. So, once he was sure Buffy was out of earshot, he turned to her delinquent little sister. However, he couldn't seem to find the words.
Dawn stared back at him with a smug smirk. "Guess you'd like to know how I managed to kill the big bads and steal your car?" she asked.
Dean couldn't believe this kid. She was way too nonchalant about this situation and way too proud of her criminal skills. What was he even supposed to say? "Sure," he finally said. "Why don't you enlighten me?"
"It's very simple, actually," Cas answered for her. "She picked my pocket. Before you arrived, she stole the Seal of Solomon and used it to kill Crowley and Raphael before I could use her blood to open the door to Purgatory."
"That was pretty cool, wasn't it?" Dawn asked with a happy smile.
Dean stared at her in shock for a moment. This conversation just kept getting more and more bizarre, especially since this kid didn't seem too concerned that her blood was going to be used to open a door to Monster Land. Maybe she was off her meds too?
"What the hell's the Seal of Solomon?" he asked reluctantly as he attempted to beat his brother off of him. Now that Buffy was gone, Sam seemed determined to pet Dean's hair and it was annoying as hell. He might have to get dude a cat or something.
"It is a ring that once belonged to the Great King Solomon," Castiel replied. "It is one of the most powerful weapons of heaven." He seemed offended that Dean didn't recognize that fact.
"And you were keeping it in your pocket? And you let a second-grader steal it from you?"
"Hey!" Dawn snapped. "I'm fifteen! And it just so happens that I picked your pocket too, Mister Big Shot. How do you think I got your car keys?"
"She has a good point, Dean," Cas observed.
Dean just shook his head at the angel. He was beginning to find the idea of an alcohol-induced coma more and more attractive, especially now that Crowley and Raphael were out of the picture. Cas no longer had a need to raid Purgatory, so a coma would be a nice vacation. Maybe Sam's brain would even stitch itself back together while he slept.
"You need to tell my sister that I'm telling the truth," Dawn hissed, breaking Dean out of his surprisingly pleasant daydream about alcohol poisoning. "She thinks I'm a carjacker!" she continued in a horribly shrill voice.
"Newsflash sister, you are a carjacker," he spat back at her. "How the hell did you put that dent in her anyway?" He noted that Dawn conveniently ignored that question when she replied.
"I didn't have a lot of choice," she defended. "How was I supposed to know that you weren't some psycho kidnapper too? I did what I had to do… What were those things I killed anyway?"
"The Devil's stunt double and an Archangel," Dean replied flatly. He was pleased that this little bit of info actually seemed to shock her. In fact, she looked horrified.
"I killed an angel?" she gasped. "Oh God… I'm so going to hell."
"Nah," Dean said with a wave of his hand. He'd decided he better let the kid off the hook. She had kind of saved the world, so he technically did owe her one, even if she had injured his baby. "Raphael was a giant dickhead. I wouldn't worry about it," he assured her. "Truth is, you kinda did us all a favor."
"Okaay," Dawn replied uncertainly. "You know what? Maybe it is better if we don't tell my sister the real truth. She does have a lot on her mind these days. Me killing an angel… uh, let's just say it might not sit well with her."
"Sounds like a plan," Dean agreed.
Buffy leaned against the door and breathed a sigh of relief after she'd shown her guests out. She'd dodged a bullet this time. Dean had seemed more than happy to let bygones be bygones and not report her sister for stealing his car. He'd even taken up for Dawn, saying she'd only done it because his eccentric, delusional friend had scared her with his insane rantings about angels. He didn't even mention the fact that Dawn had damaged his car, which was a big bonus, because she had no way of getting it fixed for him.
Buffy only knew about the dent because she'd heard most of the bizarre conversation while she was in the kitchen. It was kind of hard to have a private conversation around someone who had mystically-enhanced hearing. She'd learned that there might be some truth to the insane story Dawn had laid on her earlier, but she decided she didn't want to know anything else, especially since heaven seemed to be involved. She really couldn't afford to think about that subject right now. She had enough on her hands… and apparently so did that Dean guy. It really sucked to be the grownup, but it did make her feel a little less alone to know there was somebody else out there that seemed to be in the same boat.