Castiel rests his hand on top of Stefan's lolling head. He could do it; he could easily drain the life from the vampire in one fell swoop. But something stops him. Castiel muses it must be Damon; the angel saw desperation in the vampire in spite of the fact that Damon was flippant and rude. Damon reminds Castiel of Dean in that regard – hiding beneath a thick film of sarcasm. No, Castiel will not take Damon's brother away.

The angel closes his eyes, focusing on the turmoil within Stefan, and Castiel sees fire. Fire and shadows and anger. These are all the effects of the bloodlust running rampant in the vampire's long-dead veins. Stefan's lack of control is the very thing that poisons him. If Castiel walls the bloodlust up, it might resurface later with full-force. Walling it up isn't the solution. The vampire must be given control.

Castiel digs his fingertips into Stefan's skull. The pain draws Stefan from his stupor, and he releases an unearthly scream. There is a flash of white, and beams of light escape from Stefan's eye sockets. He begins screaming even louder, if that is possible, and he attempts to rip his chains from the wall. Then, Castiel withdraws his hand and the vampire falls limp. Stefan has been given power over blood – blood will be his servant, not his master.


Damon sits on Elena's front porch. He's had quite enough of the Winchester brothers for one night, thank you very much. Between Dean's food binging and nonstop attempted flirtation with Elena, and Sam's, well, largeness, Damon much prefers the solitude of the night.

"Why are you out here?" a voice growls.

Damon doesn't even have to look up to know who it is, but he does anyway. "Claustrophobic in there. Too much stupid under one roof," Damon tells Castiel. Damon leans back on the palms of his hands. "Finished with Stefan, I take it?"

"Your brother is resting now," Castiel replies. He stands rigidly in front of Damon with his arms pinned to his sides.

"But you didn't come just to tell me that," says Damon, frowning a little.

"I wanted to thank you."

"You already thanked me." Damon rolls his eyes. "Don't get mushy on me, Angel." He shudders. "Gives me the heebie-jeebies."

Castiel is silent for a few moments. He stares off to the right, as if deep in thought. Then, he says, "I feel the need to reiterate my gratitude." Castiel then explains how he cannot physically touch either of the Winchesters without facing Heaven's consequences. "That being said," Castiel continues, "your help is much appreciated. However, there is one thing I feel the need to look into…What do you know about Elena?"

"Elena?" Damon asks, perplexed. "Why? Jealous 'cause your boyfriend's been hitting on her?"

"Dean's extracurricular activities are none of my concerns. Anyway, we are not romantically involved."

"Yet, you somehow knew I was talking about Dean." Damon pretends to be puzzled. "Fascinating." When the angel does not look amused by this, Damon waves it all away. "Take a load off, angel face, and tell me what's up with Elena."

"Thank you," Castiel says, sitting beside Damon on the porch. "When I touched her before, I sensed a supernatural presence about her."

"I guess the angels aren't as in the loop as they think they are," says Damon lightly. He proceeds to explain how Elena's the Doppelganger. However, Damon leaves his past with Katherine out of the conversation. Some things, angels need not know.

Castiel does not respond. He appears to either be thinking very intently about something, or else he's completely zoned out. Damon opens his mouth to say something along the lines of Earth to Castiel? However, the front door opens, and yellow light spills out onto the porch.

"Cas?" an incredulous voice asks.

Damon and Castiel turn their heads as Dean barrels toward them, reaching out a hand to get a hold on Castiel's coat. Damon, reacting quickly, flashes up and grabs Dean by the throat and throws him against the front of the house. Meanwhile, Castiel disappears with the sound of fluttering wings.

"What did he say?" Dean demands, scrambling to his feet. He throws a punch at Damon, but Damon bats the human's hand away as if it were a butterfly.

"Don't see how that's any of your business," Damon finally replies, shrugging. He pushes past Dean to go through the front door. Dean grabs Damon by the back of his jacket to stop him, and Damon instantly spins around and shoves him against the doorframe. "I suggest," says the vampire, "that you keep your hands off me." Damon releases Dean and adds, "You're lucky you have an angel vouching for you, and you're even luckier that your angel was the one who brought me back."

"What did he say?" Dean repeats, massaging the back of his neck. He looks furious.

"Does it matter?" Damon quips. "He doesn't want to see you. Guess the whole human thing got old for him."

Dean follows Damon into the Gilbets' living room. Sam looks up at them from his spot on the couch; he looks annoyed. "Dean," says Sam, "maybe you should stop picking fights with vampires for a couple hours. At least until, you know, the vampire blood is out of our systems."

"When this vamp stops being a prick, maybe I'll consider it," Dean growls. He cuts Damon off from going into the kitchen. "Tell me what he said, or so help me God, I'll put you right back in the ground where you belong. Why is Cas avoiding me?"

"He's on probation," says Damon, nudging Dean aside. Damon would've preferred to keep lying to the human, but now Dean's become so insufferable that Damon just wants to be left alone. "Got his wings clipped, so to speak. Can't touch you or Goliath over there, or else poof." Damon wiggles his fingers. "Gone. Sent back to Heaven. Which is why I stopped you from grabbing him on the porch. Honestly, I don't see how going to Heaven is much of a punishment, but Cassy certainly isn't thrilled about it."

"Don't," says Dean, holding up a hand, "call him Cassy."

"So touchy."

"Don't antagonize him," Sam warns Damon. "Especially when it comes to Cas." Sam holds a hand up to the side of his mouth and adds in whisper, "They have a special bond."

"The hell does that mean?" Dean snaps.

Sam raises his hands in surrender.

Damon points at Sam. "I think I like you, Goliath."

"But not like Dean likes Cas," Sam clarifies before laughing at the look of sheer repugnance on Dean's face.

Damon leaves the kitchen with two bottles of beer. Usually, Damon doesn't drink beer – he's more of a hard liquor kind of guy. However, as the Gilbert residence is suffering from an extreme lack of alcohol – just like the days of Prohibition, and God what an awful time that was – Damon has to settle for some shitty piss water. Seating himself on the couch, Damon hands his extra bottle to Sam. "Bottom's up."


Later that night, after Dean, Sam, and Elena fall asleep in the upstairs bedrooms, Damon settles himself at the dining room table. He puts his feet up on the tabletop and stretches his arms out behind his head, thinking. He remembers how Dean told him he prayed to Castiel during his time spent in the basement with Stefan's torture routine. Praying, Damon muses. I wonder if that works. He decides to find out.

"Dear Castiel," Damon begins, clearing his throat. He looks around. Nothing. He continues, "I humbly request an audience with thee, O wing-ed creature from a realm most heavenly." He makes a show of pressing his hands together in prayer beneath his chin. There's still no response. Damon sighs. This is stupid.

Then, Castiel steps out of the shadows.

"Shit," says Damon, impressed. "Did not think that would work."

"Actually, I've been here for a while," says Castiel. He regards Damon with cool indifference. Then, he says, "That was a selfless thing you did back there."

Damon looks around, thinking Castiel must be talking to someone else. When Damon finds himself to be alone, he asks, "Who, me? Selfless?"

"You knocked Dean over to stop him from touching me. I could have been stuck in Heaven. I would have been permanently out of your life," says Castiel. He adopts an expression of genuine interest. "Why did you do it?"

Damon resists the urge to vomit. "Are you this way with Dean?" he asks. "All sentimental about everything? Because if you are, we might as well call it quits. You brought me back, I helped save the wonder twins for you, you fixed my brother, and I stopped your boyfriend from setting the angel police after you. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. There's no need for this constant thanking me thing. It gets old quick, and when things get old, that's when the Buffy brothers need to hightail it out of here before I rear my ugly head."

"I don't understand that reference," says Castiel.

I give up, Damon thinks.

"However, in regard to your argument," Castiel continues, "what is your opinion on a little more back scratching?"

Damon cocks an eyebrow.

"Metaphorically speaking, of course," Castiel adds. "It is my goal to get in the good graces of my brothers in Heaven. If I can prove myself to them, it is possible that I'll be able to rejoin the Garrison."

"Blah, blah, blah," says Damon, turning his fingers into mocking hand puppets. "Get to the point, Angel."

"I think there may be…something with this Doppelganger girl. I sense that she is the key to something both terrible and great."

"Something like…?"

There is a pregnant pause. Then, Castiel – in a soft, serious voice – says, "The Apocalypse."

Damon snorts.

With hesitation, Castiel says, "My sense of humor isn't, perhaps, as in-tune as those of vampires. Then again, maybe the dilemma is that a threat of an apocalypse doesn't concern your kind. Whatever the case…What is it that you find so amusing?"

"Oh, nothing," says Damon, not bothering to hide his sarcasm. Does Castiel have to be overly dramatic about everything? "But yeah, sure. I'll help you avert the Apocalypse." Damon waves the idea away in his mind. After all, even given everything that's happened, what world-ending catastrophe could possibly happen in Mystic Falls?


Famous last words, right?

I know this is a filler chapter and I haven't been updating frequently, but…forgive me? Oh, and review. I promise to be better at updating.