So, an update finally! And I do realise by the end of this chapter they still don't even know his name, but don't worry, after this one they actually start TALKING to him, or at least treating him like a house guest, well, for Mitchell, an unwelcome house guest. I have only wrote a few sentences so far of the next chapter, but at least there is a sort of plan, if I could call it that, because even that isn't vague enough. But there is more of a plan than there was for this one, which is why it took so long, so I'm sorry for that. Don't worry, it's getting better, this was a chapter I just had to do to get on with the rest. Cheers!
By the time Mitchell reached the house with the angel's pendulous body, Cas had reached the floor. He was tired, bleeding and hurt. The alcohol had obviously stopped working, or at least was past the point of actually making him feel numb and a little better about himself.
The monsters of Earth had found him and what could possibly be worse? A lot of things, his brain recalled, but seeing as listening to his head had got him here in the first place and, as adding this footnote to an already endless scrawl of disasters engraved into a part of Cas' mind he never wanted to remember again, he avoided the warning. "A lot of things", when placed in a different context, could become totally harmless and irrelevant, so he decided to blame his conscience for being so vague. He succumbed to the darkness in a matter of seconds, and let reality take a back seat. Well, that was before it started crawling its way to the front to get a grip of the wheel, his body jolting from left to right with the impact as he began swerving in every direction and his vision restarted. Everyone hated back seat drivers, and now Cas could finally understand why.
"Oh my God, is he dead?" Annie asked, trying to get a look at the man without actually being near him at all.
"Well, I don't know. You're the ghost, can't you tell if Mr Casper is about to pop up anywhere?" George whispered sarcastically, prompting Annie to produce the middle finger of her ringed hand.
"No, he's fine," Mitchell brushed off like a piece of dirt on his coat shoulder, as if the idea was completely ludicrous. They had managed to get him out of his trench coat which lay, alone and deserted, on the edge of a seat, like a glove without a hand to warm. Cas looked different, somehow unprotected and unguarded without it. His shirt was now covered in rose blotches that seemed to blur together into a bouquet. Mitchell looked toward the other two, took a deep breath and carried on with the job in hand. He pushed the man from left to right and his eyes began to slowly open. He didn't look happy.
"Do what you want with me, the Earth will soon burn anyway," Cas slurred, his mind already prepared for defeat.
"What the flip is he talking about?" George asked, edgy.
"Hell knows George," Mitchell darted a glance back at him.
"Actually, even hell doesn't know what it's in for in this instance," Cas was still drunk enough to be pleasantly surprised with the irony of what the vampire before him had just said. He smiled to himself. All three of them now seemed puzzled. George shifted from one foot to the other from where he was standing, and Mitchell gave Cas another push against the sofa.
"Look, who are you?" Annie finally asked, breaking the silence that had engulfed the room. Cas was enjoying it very much.
"I am an angel of the lord," Cas replied rhythmically, his mouth feeling as if it had worn these words before.
"Well, a bloody lax one if you were in a bar," Annie scoffed.
"I rebelled," Cas answered after pausing for someone else to come to the same conclusion and say it for him.
"George, there is no such thing as angels," Mitchell snapped.
"You never know."
"I know, I've been around the block a few times," Mitchell continued.
"Look Mitchell, I'm a werewolf, you're a vampire, and Annie's a ghost. And I, for one, believe him if he says he's an angel," George hissed.
"Right, so you're saying if someone came in here and said they were Big Foot you'd welcome him in and give him a beer?" Mitchell asked.
"Yes, actually I..."
"We killed Big Foot nearly 200 hundred years ago. My condolences," Cas mumbled before closing his eyes again, whether it was from the pain, the loss of blood or the lack of interest he wasn't sure. He forced reality into a seatbelt and turned up the stereo. Unfortunately, in his dream, he was in the Impala. His sleep was restless and the sound of rock cluttered his dreams. He compartmentalised and shut the sound in a small box room inside his mind and let Mozart take over, let the music slowly crescendo to fill all the places of his mind that were still asleep, out of service or shouting at him to turn it down, but he resisted.
When he awoke, he looked up to the ceiling. It was the same landscape as before, and as he turned his head a little to look around he felt something near his forehead. It was hot and smelt of some kind of dried leaf boiled in water, but with a hint of milk.
"Drink it, it'll make you feel better," Annie said. Cas obligingly took the mug and held it loosely between his fingers as he carefully and slowly swung himself into an uncomfortable seating position, only to be faced with the vampire, sat quite still and frustrated in the single chair next to his, his eyes unmoving and holding a bare and ravaged expression that Cas somehow knew would never improve with time. The shirt he was wearing was not his own, but had been replaced by a slightly larger one that had some large, ugly pattern printed onto it. George was sat on the far sofa and he would, at intervals that seemed very short in length, look over to it longingly and wonder how, out of all the shirts Annie could have chosen, she had picked his favourite one. He looked to his arm and stared at the small tube protruding from it that was filled with blood. He looked at his wounds to find a white bandage covering them, but he assumed that there were still visible marks beneath there that would persevere for a while longer. At least the sigil had worked, he thought, before then suddenly wondering where the other angels had found themselves. Hopefully another hell similar to this. He looked up at the ghost and grimaced.
"It smells like leaves in hot water, how could that make me feel better?" Cas stated, not noticing the hurt look in Annie's eye, and the way her face suddenly creased and her stance became defensive. Even Mitchell looked surprised, but just a slight change in his expression was soon eaten up and replaced by his rather convincing mask. Cas was way braver than him. She then smiled, but it didn't look too good. Like she was smiling at Cas but actually looking through him into a world where she would quite happily waste a good mug and smash it against his face.
"Why don't you just give it a go?" It may have sounded like a question but somehow it came out as an imperative between her gritted teeth. Cas took the hint. And as soon as the boiled water hit his lips and trickled down his dry throat, all was well in the world. It warmed him from the inside out and was like a lifeguard appearing before you drown, saving your before you had even noticed you had needed help. He realised this had been the thing missing from his life, that this new attachment, with its handle that he suddenly tightened his grip around, would help him through anything. He caressed the mug with his free hand, protecting the soothing liquid within that would make it all go away. He no longer needed alcohol. There was no apocalypse, no fight between Lucifer and Michael, no Dean and Sam Winchester. He looked into the brown pool of liquid before him. Perhaps there was some hope for the monsters of the Earth, especially if they knew a ghost who could make tea.
"What is this, is it some kind of cure or herbal remedy?" Cas asked, confused and dazed.
"Nope," Annie laughed, pleased, "just tea." Cas suddenly thought of Jimmy Novak and wondered whether it was a craving of his before deciding against it. He didn't want to share this with Jimmy, this was all him. And Jimmy couldn't take that from him.