A/N: So, after seeing the preview for the new Once Upon A Time episode, I really wanted to read some Supernatural Wonderland. But I didn't find anything that struck a chord with me, so I decided to write my own. And I decided to follow the SyFy movie Alice, because I love the darker version mixed with romance. What can I say? I'm a sucker for happy endings! So, this spawned. So let me know what you think? And enjoy!
Chapter warning(s): M/m relationships, slight violence.
Disclaimer: I own neither Supernatural nor Alice. Sadly.
Castiel stood in line at the café that was near his home. He preferred to make his own coffee, considering that a cup here cost nearly twice as much. But Balthazar had insisted they meet here; he had said there was something he wanted to talk about.
After ordering two mocha lattes, Castiel made his way over to a booth at the far end of the café. A man with curly blond was already sitting there, a wide smile on his face and light blue eyes shining. As he sat down, he slid one of the drinks to him, "Thanks, Castiel." He said as he wrapped long fingers around the mug before taking a sip.
Castiel merely sat watching, his hands in his lap. "What is it that you wished to talk about, Balthazar?" He implored, voice deep and blue eyes bright.
He was terrible at conversation, always blunt and to the point, except with Sam and his brother. His brother was obvious, as they had grown up together, and Castiel was mostly comfortable around him—Gabriel did like to play pranks often. Sam, he had met a couple years ago when he had just started going to college. They had shared a couple classes and the tall young man had befriended Castiel.
And then his best friend met his brother and the two had hooked up. They were a tight-knit family, and one that Castiel was proud of.
"I'd like to meet your brother," he said, straight to the point. His accent, English, was clear as day. "We've been seeing each other for a while now, and meeting the family is the next step, buddy."
"Is that so?" Castiel tilted his head a bit, glancing into pale blue eyes. He was new to relationships, as he had always been shy and quiet. But Balthazar was his opposite, always pulling him out of his shell and making him do things he'd never thought he would do. Take, for instance, the dance club they had gone to last Saturday. It had turned out disastrously for him; there had been so many people there. But he pretended that it had been a good time. He didn't want to upset Balthazar.
Balthazar grinned, revealing white teeth, but it didn't quite reach him eyes. "Well, Gabriel, Sam and I were planning on having dinner tonight. I suppose it wouldn't be too much trouble if you wished to join us," Castiel said after a moment.
"That's great! I'll see you tonight, then," the confidence in his voice was strong and he leaned over the table, placing a kiss on his lips. Balthazar stood and left after that, leaving a stunned Castiel behind. He didn't even finish the latte. Sometimes he wondered why he was still with him. But then, he already knew the answer to that: who else would love him?
As he finished off his latte, he called Gabriel to let him know that Balthazar would be joining them for dinner.
After class, he swung by the grocery store to pick up a few items that would be needed for dinner. It was only two o'clock and the store was relatively quiet. He picked up some chicken, fresh lettuce, and a few other items before checking out. Sam was a bit of a health nut.
The walk to his shared apartment wasn't far. He and his brother had decided to live in the heart of a college town, as it was easier for Castiel and his ever-changing class schedule. He walked just about everywhere, as he didn't own a car, so their location made sense. Gabriel took a taxi when he needed it, but he worked from home mostly.
When Castiel walked into the apartment, he set the grocery bag on the counter and flipped through the mail. Nothing exciting, just bills. He put the groceries away before moving to the computer to check his email. There were seven new emails since he had checked it last night.
"Any luck?" Gabriel asked from over Castiel's shoulder, munching on a Twix bar. As many times as Castiel had told his brother not to do that, the trickster had only shrugged his shoulders, ignoring his little brother.
"No, they appear to be from other countries. This one is from New Zealand," Castiel murmured, deleting the email.
"Well, if Dad's in New Zealand, maybe I'll start looking for him myself. Could use a vacation," Gabriel chuckled as he wandered into the kitchen. "What's for dinner?"
"Stir-fry, with salad. And a chocolate cake for dessert," Castiel responded grumpily as he closed out of his email.
Their father had been missing for years, and it seemed like Castiel was the only one who cared. He had been just a child when he left. Gabriel had been older, and had taken their father's leaving as a betrayal. But Castiel still held on to some of his childhood naiveté, mostly wanting to know why he would leave his children behind.
"Should I break out the good wine?"
"What for?" Castiel asked as he entered the kitchen to start making dinner.
"Well, obviously this guy is important. Want to show him we're classy, don't we?" Gabriel grinned, opening the wine cabinet.
"I don't know," Castiel responded as he began getting the ingredients for the cake.
"Cassie, this is your first boyfriend, and I want you to lose that V-card you've been carrying around."
Castiel's face turned crimson and he sputtered, "It's not like that!"
"Oh?" Gabriel waggled his eyebrows.
"I just," Castiel sighed and shrugged his shoulders. Gabriel laughed and ruffled his little brother's dark hair, making it look, if possible, even more tussled.
A couple hours later found the dark-haired youth trying to decide between ties. He had pulled on a pair of black slacks and crisp, white button up, with a black suit jacket over that. In his right hand, he held a simple black tie; his left hand held a blue one. "Go with the blue," Sam said from the doorway. "Brings out your eyes."
Castiel nodded, a soft thanks on his lips, as he discarded the black tie. Just as he was finishing the tie, the doorbell rang. "And that would be our guest of honor!" He heard Gabriel sing and from the living room. Sam smiled, shaking his head and exited the bedroom. Castiel followed quickly behind, not wanting to leave Balthazar to Gabriel's devices. His brother could be sneaky at times.
Balthazar was dressed in a pair of charcoal slacks and matching jacket, with a black shirt underneath. "Hello, boys," he said with a wide grin. "You must be Gabriel and Sam."
"That I am," Gabriel said, shaking the man's hand. There was a challenge in the shorter man's amber eyes, one that Balthazar understood quickly. He nodded, expression serious. "We'll let you two be while we check on the food," Gabriel said while dragging the much taller Sam into the kitchen.
Castiel released the breath he had been holding. So far, everything had gone smoothly. "You look great," he said to Balthazar, fairly certain that social etiquette followed these lines.
"Not so bad yourself," Balthazar pulled on his tie, bringing Castiel closer.
"Everything's ready! Come eat," Gabriel called from the kitchen, ruining the moment.
Dinner went smoothly and Gabriel and Sam went to bed, leaving Castiel and Balthazar alone. They sat on the couch, Balthazar sitting with his leg pressed to Castiel's thigh. It was strange, but something was off. He couldn't explain it, despite everything having gone well so far. Just a gut feeling, he supposed.
"Would you like to meet my family?" Balthazar asked, curiously, playing with the shorter man's tie idly.
Castiel shifted so he could see Balthazar's face better. "When?"
"Tonight?" Castiel's blue eyes widened almost comically.
"Yeah, spur of the moment, you know?" Balthazar said, pulling on the tie and bringing Castiel closer.
"But I thought…" His brows furrowed in confusion. Wasn't meeting family something that was planned? Granted, tonight had sort of been a spur of the moment, but they still had the entire day to get things ready.
"Don't worry, Castiel," Balthazar pressed their foreheads together, looking into deep blue eyes. "And we can be back by Monday morning, so you won't miss any of your classes."
Castiel pulled back a little and looked down at his hands. Balthazar was a handsome man, intelligent and outgoing and seemingly rich. But he was just a shy college student that was almost socially inept. "What if they don't approve of me?"
"Everything's fine, they'll love you, especially when they see this," he pulled out an intricate box from his pocket. Releasing the latch, he pulled out a pendant. It was gold, a strange shaped looking thing, on a black cord. "It's been in my family a long time."
Castiel blinked, staring at the necklace. "Are you giving me this?"
"Here," he beckoned the younger man closer so he could drop the pendant around his neck. But Castiel stood, shaking his head.
"Jewelry means something, doesn't it? This is too fast, I," he didn't know what to say, he was out of his element. Jewelry meant serious dating, which led to marriage and family and kids and…
"Okay, I get it. I'm coming on a bit strong. But maybe after you've met my family," Balthazar started but Castiel stopped him.
"No, Balthazar, I can't do this. I... Maybe we should take it easy? I just need some time."
Balthazar stared at him, face almost blank. He was surprisingly calm, considering that Castiel was breaking up with him. "Goodbye, Balthazar." He nodded and hugged him before rising from the couch and leaving the apartment. Castiel remained on the couch, dumbstruck.
"You just kicked him out?" Gabriel asked, almost aghast, not a minute later. Castiel should have known he would be eavesdropping.
Castiel shrugged out of his suit coat, laying it on the back of the couch. "I didn't know what to do, Gabriel. He was giving me a… a family heirloom! That's serious," Castiel defended, loosening his tie. "I'm not ready for something like that."
"Cassie, listen. If you found someone that makes you happy, you should be with them. Just because you've only been seeing each other for a couple weeks, doesn't mean anything. Love doesn't come along every day, you know."
"I," Castiel started, but something was sticking him in the hip. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out the box. "The necklace. He slipped it in my pocket," he said with disbelief. It had only been a few minutes since Balthazar left; he could catch up to him and return the necklace.
He stood and left the apartment, leaving Gabriel behind. "Balthazar!" He called when he got to the street. Someone yelled and he started. It sounded like it came from the alley behind their apartment. Following the sound, he found several men in black suits shoving Balthazar into a van.
"Balthazar!" He ran after the van but it was too fast. Stopping, he watched the taillights disappear.
"I'm afraid he's gone." A man stepped from the shadows. He was tall and spoke in a haughty voice, but what stood out the most were his eyes—they were yellow.
"Who are you?" Castiel demanded, taking a step back in fear.
"Just call me a friend of Balthazar's. I'm here to help him," the man grinned.
Castiel frowned, "But he's been kidnapped, why didn't you help him? Who are they?" He motioned to where the van had disappeared.
The man stepped closer to Castiel and he shifted backwards uncomfortably. "Balthazar took something that didn't belong to him. We need it back."
"What are you talking about?"
"The necklace, Castiel."
Castiel's eyes narrowed, "How do you know my name? Where did you take Balthazar?"
"He is safe, do not worry," those yellow eyes were sending shivers down Castiel's spine and he knew he should get out of there. But he couldn't leave Balthazar like that. He was in trouble, despite what this man said.
Castiel turned his chin up, trying his best to look defiant. "Then bring him back, so he can tell me that herself."
"I'm afraid he's got to come back with me. He's a criminal that has to face the charges. Now, give me the necklace!" Yellow-eyes lunged at Castiel, slamming the younger man against the wall. The box fell from his pocket to the ground and both men turned their gazes to it. Before Castiel could blink, the man tossed him to the ground and retrieved the box.
Castiel stumbled after the man. Obviously there was something strange going on and he had to figure out what it was. "Wait!" He called after the man, and after several turns down different alleys, Castiel was lost. A glimpse of movement to his left caught his attention and the man was turning down another alley.
"Stop!" Castiel cried out, following. But the man kept running into a mirror and Castiel tried to stop but the momentum carried him forward and he was tumbling into the mirror. He expected pain but only the strange sensation of falling greeted him.