The Curious History of Castiel
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I just borrow.
Summary: When God created Castiel, he must have been feeling a touch of whimsy.
Castiel was different than his brothers and sisters. He had always known that. He understood order; he followed the word of his father, his lord; he was a good, obedient soldier. But when God created Castiel, he must have been feeling a touch of whimsy, or he might have been thinking about a few of his other children - some of his oldest maybe - because Castiel, unlike most of his siblings, had pure, unadulterated, curiosity seated deep within the core of his being.
It didn't make him any less of an angel; it was often missed by his brethren in all honesty. It did, however, leave him open to... feelings. God had been careful in his creation however. When he made Castiel, God made him like the other, but more. He gave Castiel something he hadn't given out since he made Gabriel. Potential. God had seen many, many things, many outcomes, many chances had, missed and taken. He'd seen it all. Castiel was important though. If he'd been made a few millennia earlier, Castiel would have been the last Archangel. God was sure of that.
Castiel himself, was only aware that he was different; that he learned more than his siblings, that his level of perception grew with time. He didn't feel it was wise to be stationed on Earth as he was because he was so worried about how much of the human influence he would take in, though his concerns would be for naught. Not for over 2000 years would Castiel find something so worth his time, worth his efforts, that he would willingly brave hell, lay his hand on a broken soul and pull him from the pit, knowing he would taint his own grace by doing so; not for over 2000 years would Castiel find something other than his father, than his older brothers, to put his faith and belief into.
When Castiel was young, still being taught along with his siblings by the Archangels, his curiosity shone brighter than anything else. He longed to learn about everything. In Michael, he found a teacher who was indulgent, Michael seemed to enjoy the change in monotony, but warned him to curb his wide-eyed need for information. Difference was not tolerated in heaven and to survive, Castiel would have to learn to assimilate. But Michael was kind with his words, and Castiel learned.
With Raphael, Castiel found another like his siblings; cold, indifferent, on point, but passionate about what he believed in, his father. Raphael was like a furnace, devout, strong, and loyal to God. Castiel suspected however, that Raphael was not as loyal to Michael - but Castiel never said a word on that, just as Michael had instructed. So from Raphael, Castiel learned to assimilate.
Gabriel never personally taught Castiel anything; not in any lessons of any structure anyway. After everything went down, Gabriel taught Castiel that even Archangels feel fear, they feel betrayal, and that they can run despite their devotion to their father. Gabriel taught Castiel that sometimes, avoidance is the best policy.
Lucifer is where Castiel learned the most; though what he learned with Lucifer, he rarely used. Castiel admired the Archangel more than he admired any other, but less than his father. Lucifer himself didn't really notice Castiel, not that it bothered Castiel of course. He wasn't learning from Lucifer in order to gain some kind of recognition; he longed for information. Lucifer was ripe with it. Lucifer was also ripe with thought and opinion. Lucifer was the one Castiel enjoyed the most.
Michael had been indulgent, informative and he was a teacher, the best teacher; Raphael was rigid and stable, passionate and efficient; Gabriel, from what Castiel had heard, was judgement, the law, he was freedom and the angels rejoiced whenever he was near. Lucifer was everything, and more. To Castiel, Lucifer was the one being that taught him how to be more than what he was, who taught him that there was more to being an angel, to loving their father, to following the rules and to blind obedience... Lucifer taught him that there was more to being than simply being.
And then Lucifer rebelled. And fell. Their father gave an order of exile and Michael was the one to dole out the punishment. In Castiel's opinion, one that he kept strictly to himself, God made a mistake in the way he handled the banishment of Lucifer, a mistake that would cost him one son, put another on a pedestal, force a third into hiding and turn the fourth into something of a silent green eyed monster full of jealousy, envy and a never ending hunger for power - but a quiet and patient one. Castiel thought their father could have avoided all the anarchy and heartache (though heaven isn't all that big on emotion and affection) by handling Lucifer himself. He wasn't sure what sparked the sudden apathy; perhaps it had been that Lucifer had rebelled in the first place. After all, God had made them all the way they were, wasn't what Lucifer had become a product of God's making?
If so, what caused God's ire to spark so brightly? Was it even ire? Did Michael take an order and blow it out of proportion in a twisted sense of protecting their father and heaven? Castiel was never sure, never brave enough to question, but watching Michael strike down his younger brother was gut wrenching enough; to watch Gabriel shatter was the straw that broke the camel's back and Castiel was forever changed. Michael returned, Gabriel fled, Raphael became an even harder task master, silent and planning, gathering his invisible allies and Lucifer was gone.
The Archangels that remained only surfaced to teach new recruits after that and heaven got that touch colder. But Castiel stayed away from them all. He had his garrison, he had his orders. Socialising wasn't one of them, so he just, stayed away. Thinking. Learning all he could. Watching everything and everyone.
Millennia passed, God had left heaven a long, long time ago; they all felt it, but they all kept their faith. Faith which had been rewarded by the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Castiel and his Garrison had been stationed on Earth when their father had gotten word to Michael - probably through the gardener mouthpiece Joshua - that his son on Earth was growing in the womb of a young woman of virtue and faith. Michael had made the decision then to pay more attention to the humans, so he had appeared to Castiel and his Garrison personally to issue the order.
As the Archangel spoke to the, Castiel obediently watched on and took mental note, but he could not bring himself to forgive Michael for what he had done. Castiel however, was not as brave as Gabriel had been, so he kept his mouth shut. He still did not speak when Michael kept him behind after telling the rest of the garrison to leave. Michael tried to speak to him like they used to speak, almost as friends. Castiel recalled the conversations they had had and he had enjoyed them, but now, Castiel listened, watched Michael's mouth move, even looked into the Archangel's eyes, but he didn't speak. Michael seemed saddened by this and confessed to Castiel that he wished things were different; he wished Lucifer hadn't done what he did. Before he left, he told Castiel, he assured him that he did not blame Castiel for his behaviour. God had made him like this, in the Archangel's visage, with an opinion, and he forgave Castiel for the silent treatment that, in a strange way, Castiel was Michael's punishment for throwing their brother into the cage and locking the door. Castiel had smiled slightly, Michael returned it and left.
On Earth, Castiel could expand his knowledge, he could learn everything. He could follow theories, follow religions, learn history as it happened, watch how the fates' magic flowed and shaped the humans. He was even witness to the birth of several faith based Gods and Gods of the Earth. He saw magic, power, thunder, lightning, Earth shattering moments held in time as he thought it and it was exhilarating. Often, he felt the familiar presence of Michael's gaze and in those moments, he curbed his avid curiosity, though he knew he didn't need to. More often than not, however, he was left alone to observe.
The trigger for the order, God's Earth born son, piqued Castiel's curious streak enough to visit the vessel carrying it. No one had delivered the order for them to stay away from the woman, so Castiel watched from his invisible standpoint. Travelling with the woman and her partner. He found out she had been a virgin before she became pregnant and his interest was teased once more. Searching further, he was listening into a conversation the woman and her partner had one evening, weeks before the baby was due to be born, and what he heard stopped him cold. The woman was a vessel... She had stated that God had taken her body and gave her a son. For Castiel, this meant his father had taken possession of the woman and had indeed, impregnated her with his son. The woman was his father's vessel. The revelation forced Castiel into making the decision to watch over her until she died a natural death some 40 years later.
In his time watching her, and watching her son, the trials he went through as he preached his father's faith, Castiel thought him to be a spoilt, entitled brat if he were being honest. That wasn't his place though, so he kept his opinions to himself, as always. Opinions that were justified, however, when the Angel of Death himself came to reap him upon his execution. The Angel of Death never reaped anyone. Reapers were on Earth for a reason. Castiel assumed someone high up; quite possibly God, must have requested the angel's involvement. The sour look on his face made Castiel smile slightly as he watched from the crowd, standing beside his father's vessel.
Castiel left upon the vessel's death and continued his true orders, to watch the humans, and he did so until one nameless day in the middle ages when the sun was on the horizon in the west, Castiel caught sight of a lower order of Earth God; the Trickster, and his curiosity was piqued. So he watched the God at work, fascinated with how it proceeded to cast judgement on the unjust and dole punishment out in the form of guilty's crimes. The Trickster was a curious creature, he seemed full of life and was forever trying to find better ways to have fun. Castiel, at one point, was almost certain he had caught the being staring directly at him, but as that was clearly impossible, he shook it away, and put it out of his mind until the final day he spent watching the Trickster. The being had been forced out of the village he had been playing with as they had grown suspicious of him - and rightly so - and Castiel was stood by the door of the Trickster's room as he packed his possessions into a bag by hand, though the angel was almost certain the task was unnecessary.
The Trickster finished packing and walked towards the open door, stopping as he was shoulder to shoulder with Castiel and he took a breath to speak. A simple question. Four words. 'How is Michael fairing?' And Castiel smiled, knowing, recognising the familiar Archangel grace in his presence. Three words later - 'He is well', and they both disappeared, heading in opposite directions. Castiel never volunteered to his garrison that he had seen Gabriel and they had no idea.
Castiel continued his journey across the world after leaving Gabriel, The Trickster, he continued his observations, and as the human race grew, their thirst for knowledge grew as well. Castiel watched them build cities, devise new ways to live, ways to travel, ways to make their lives more comfortable. He saw war in his father's name tear settlements, villages, towns and cities to ruin, he saw priests preaching the Lord's word and it took a lot for Castiel to bite his tongue, but he managed it. It wasn't all doom and gloom however, in the darkness, Castiel often saw purity; true happiness. To an angel, the sight of two soulmates meeting one another for the first time was almost like pure creation. The soul is a powerful thing, a matching pair was immense. Even to a thing like an angel. Castiel witnessed in his lifetime the meeting of five paired souls and each time he was overwhelmed by their power of possibility.
It was with some regret that Castiel was to witness the abolishment of the Pagan religions, after all, though he himself was an angel of the Lord and would forever be faithful to only him, Castiel was a fountain of knowledge. He had learned much, and truly had respect for Pagan beliefs; though he admitted that his brothers and sisters had nothing but disdain for it, believing it to be a sub-par culture with bastard Gods and pointless belief systems. Castiel was under the opinion that God made them how they were and this is how they get through life. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Then Castiel bore witness to a member of his garrison influencing a priest of Christianity into plowing through Pagan settlements with his metal laden army.
That happened to be one of the times Michael had taken to watching him, and to by simple geography, Michael caught the other angel. The garrison was called back to heaven; the guilty angel was punished and Michael stood before them again, a tower of repressed anger at the disobedience shown by that one facet. The other angels in the garrison quailed in fear and Castiel put a show on to appear to be doing the same, but he wasn't afraid of Michael. Once again, Michael kept him behind and once again, he attempted to talk to him, attempted to get Castiel to talk back. Then, after some time, the Archangel sighed and wished, out loud, that Gabriel was there, as he knew how to deal with stubborn angels. Castiel had no hope in the entirety of heaven of holding the barely there twitch at the mention of Gabriel, but Michael caught it, and zeroed in on it, asking question after question for what seemed like an age until finally Castiel turned to him and looked him in the eye. He reported that he did not know Gabriel's current location, but that he was alive, and that he obviously was not ready to be found. He also mentioned that Gabriel had asked after him.
Michael thanked him and let him leave.
Castiel found life after the 1500s was, honestly, dull. Science became almost a new religion to some people as the world moved forward and people strived for more. Other angels found the human's weakening faith an abomination, but Castiel thought of it as evolution. People didn't need to believe in God; God was there whether they believed or not; people needed to believe in something and it was becoming increasingly obvious that the thinker's of the world were starting to find legitimate scientific explanations for how the world worked and how it came to be. More often than not, they were right; and more often than not, they reported their findings in spite of religious acclaim. Their God was science, and if science could find an explanation for a phenomenon, it wasn't the work of divine omnipotent being.
The Bible, Castiel thought, had it's place, but it was one view of a process that had countless views over billions of years. Castiel knew that God didn't make the Earth in 7 days. Sure, there was a Garden of Eden, and yes, Adam and Eve were very real people - they had been God's test subjects, as it were. But the Bible preached it like it was fact, and in a world where discovery is on the minds of millions, fact is challenged as often as possible. Scientific minds took a perverse level of pleasure in damming the scriptures and it honestly amused Castiel. His faith was bound to God; he would always have faith, but that was a given. He was an angel after all. These people, the humans, they strived for more and it was a joy to witness.
At some point during the late 1800s, Castiel witnessed the birth of the 'XRay' and was amazed at how far the humans had come. It made him want to share the experience with someone until he realised and remembered that there was no one he could share it with. No one held the same level of enthusiasm for things that he did; and the ones that did were locked away or had run away, and Castiel still wasn't talking to Michael - that one time didn't count.
Over the years, his garrison had reported back to their superiors on the progress of the humans and each time there had been one speaker. Castiel had witnessed his brothers and sisters speak of the humans like they were filth, hairless apes, that they were uncooth, flawed, abominations, pointless in their existence... all without actually saying the blasphemous words. Then, in the mid 1900's, it was Castiel's turn to report. He appeared before Zachariah, Samandriel and, for the first time at one of these meetings, Michael, and he spoke. He was as dispassionate as the others, but he wasn't insulting. He praised the humans and said, with a hint of irony, that it was actually religion that seemed to cause the most problems and corrected Zachariah, quite firmly, when his superior had accused him of blasphemy, that it was free will and the evolution of God's creations that made such problems exist. On the whole however, humans had evolved nicely. In closing, he brought up Lucifer. He said that Lucifer had been right about the humans; they were flawed, tremendously so, but that they knew it, and lived with it. The humans tried and that's what made them better than the angels. They had weaknesses but they strived for more. He said their father had been right about them. They were imperfect beings that strived for perfection at whatever cost. They were the vessels of imagination and imagination had been the mother of invention. He understood that certain angels thought human's were nothing, they were insignificant, and Castiel said, in front of Michael, his Garrison, that he believed the exact opposite, saying God gave the Earth to the humans and they have turned it into a home.
Castiel was surprised that Michael didn't hold him back that time, but he wasn't surprised when his garrison gave him a wide berth after his speech. It actually amused him inwardly.
As the years wore on, the angels started to hear whispers of a plot to bring about the apocalypse; to bring about the end of days... to bring forth Lucifer.
Castiel was watching a demon hunter take a blade to the head of a vampire in Baltimore, Maryland in 1972 when he was overcome all of a sudden, with a sense of excitement that wasn't his own. So he followed the feeling, more to see what could have that effect on an angel than anything else and just as he reached the outskirts of a town called Ilchester, he stopped dead and heard it. Closing his eyes he could see it floating just inside the barriers of his mind. And his breath was taken by the realisation that he could hear Lucifer.
Lucifer, the one he had looked up to so long ago, the one he adored, that he idolised; Lucifer, the one who betrayed everything. He was trying to escape.
An instant audience with Michael put heaven on permanent alert and Castiel went back to Earth; the moment was over, the news was sent. The demon's element of surprise was unknowingly gone. Something was brewing.
When Castiel took an interest in the Winchesters, it was late 2005. He stuck with them, watching as they worked through hunt after hunt, taking out demon after demon, losing their father, making deals with demons and sacrificing themselves for each other. Castiel had witnessed in those few years more about family and the human condition than he had in the last 2000, if one were to be believed. Then it seemed, his charade had come to an end.
Those years of hiding who he was from the other angels after Michael's warnings, all those years of pushing his opinions to the back of his mind... someone had taken note of him because when Zachariah stepped up to him one evening and told him to take his garrison and lay siege to the first of hell, he knew it was punishment. He had been tasked with dragging the Winchester boy from hell. Him.
And the soul had already broken.
However much Castiel wanted to argue, he didn't, he held his tongue. He was a soldier - a warrior of the lord. He would do as the Lord intended.
He went to hell and dragged Dean Winchester from the pit, damning himself to fall from grace.
That year was a whirlwind of activity for Castiel; his entire garrison, gone, slaughtered by one of their own. He was the only one left. Heaven had punished him for his unwavering faith and his only allies appeared to be two broken boys in their Chevvy. And then Lucifer rose.
Castiel was recalled to heaven afterwards by Michael in secret and was sat down. His feelings were questioned, as was his faith. Castiel explained his faith in God was unwavering and he would work with the Winchesters to bring Lucifer down. Michael gave him an amused look and asked if he would spend the next forever not talking to himself for doing so but Castiel didn't smile. Instead, he just left to return to Earth, asking Michael once and once only not to check up on him anymore.
Lucifer trapped Castiel in a ring of holy fire and finally, Castiel was face to face with his once favoured teacher.
Castiel cast his eyes over the demon, Meg, then turned back to Lucifer, the eyebrow of his vessel raised until his brother sent the infant away.
And they spoke. Conversation was stilted, but they truly spoke and at one point during the posturing, Castiel smiled, then was question on it by Lucifer. Castiel just shook his head, still smiling before saying simply that he had almost forgotten what it was like to speak with a brother, like a brother. Lucifer mentioned Michael and Castiel's smile fell when he admitted to refusing to speak to the other Archangel after Lucifer's banishment. 'Heaven is in ruins because our father created someone with a mind and gave him wings,' Castiel said and watched Lucifer's eyes widened as his younger brother went on to say 'Of course, when our father created me, I had the sense to hide who I was in order to avoid a similar fate.' Lucifer seemed to find the statement hilarious and confessed that he wished he had paid more attention when he was teaching Castiel who in turn, admitted that he was half glad he hadn't.
Meg returned at that point and Lucifer left, promising more conversation later. Though that wasn't the case, as Castiel and the Winchester's escaped.
Castiel would be the first to admit that his conduct after the boys returned from heaven left a lot to be desired. He found a liquor store and drank it, just like he reported to the Winchesters. What he hadn't reported however, was who was in the store with him. Gabriel had found him either by chance or he'd been spying on him, Castiel was too drunk to know or care, but when Gabriel stepped in the store and sat down at the small table with him, pouring himself a drink, Castiel didn't care. They didn't speak; just simply sat. That was until, however, Castiel heard Sam Winchester's voice ringing in his head like a bell, grating on his last nerve. A glance at his brother told him he was finding Castiel's predicament amusing. 'Bite me, Gabriel,' Castiel said quietly before disappearing amidst his brother's melodic laughter - laughter that actually made him weep a little inside for a time long since gone and never to return. The world had gone to hell and it was all heaven's fault. Castiel longed for the time where he would sit and learn from his brothers. It was a simple time. An easier life. His family hadn't been ripped to shreds and his allegiances weren't torn in several different directions. He simply was. His brothers simply were. Things were simple.
Their father was there.
Beating Dean Winchester into unconsciousness was almost therapeutic for Castiel. All his work, all his rebellion while still maintaining his core faith, trying to keep the taint on his grace from creeping up on his any further than it already had, it was exhausting. And when Dean decided to say yes to Michael, Castiel snapped, because he had rebelled for Dean. He had killed his brothers for those damn Winchesters. He had been cast out of heaven and was considered public enemy number 2 - after Lucifer - all for Dean Winchester. So yes, taking out his frustrations on the limited human form was therapeutic, if not a little anti-climactic. Human's were so limited physically. And then Castiel sacrificed himself again. For Dean and Sam. Those stupid, stupid children.
When Lucifer killed Gabriel, Castiel was unconscious in a hospital somewhere, his mind was on a plane that went beyond heaven and hell and there everything was quiet. He didn't have to worry about Sam and Dean, or any of his brothers. It was simple. The plane was a place angels tended to use when they were being taught in the beginning; he helps with memory retention. When they have learned all they can, coming back to the plane is pointless, so most stay away. No one had sent their mind there in over three millennia so Castiel was reasonably sure he was alone. Of course, as soon as the thought crossed his mind, someone else appeared.
Lucifer took a seat on the floor in front of him, sitting cross legged as he smiled, saying he knew finding Castiel there was a long shot, but given that he was always a thoughtful little thing, it was more likely than anywhere else. Castiel stared at him, eyebrow raised, silent and Lucifer warned him not to give him the same silent treatment he'd given Michael. That even without his grace, Lucifer could find his vessel and destroy it.
'Maybe it's for the best,' Castiel had responded and Lucifer queried the statement. 'So the stories go, and so my memories tell me, you and Michael were once so close that there was only one thing that could ever come between you... well, two if you count dad.' Castiel saw Lucifer's expression shutter and turn darker. 'And now he's gone too. Our shining light has been snuffed by our Morning Star. It would be poetic if it weren't so tragic.'
Castiel spent the rest of Lucifer's short stay on the plane in silence as Lucifer regaled him with stories born out of sympathy and longing for the brother he'd slaughtered.
Standing in the graveyard with Michael and Lucifer, Castiel knew it was the end and he let one single tear fall. He heard Michael's voice in his head, encouraging him to throw the holy fire at him, give the boys their chance, and Castiel realised that this was Michael's one and only hint of rebellion. It would have made him smile had the situation been less dire. Heaven will fall apart, he thought as he threw the holy oil. Lucifer's fury was focussed on him and Castiel didn't even try and evade his wrath.
Heaven will fall. Michael will fall. Lucifer will fall - again. Raphael will get his wish finally.
You made a mistake, brother. Lucifer's voice echoed in his head as he squared up to him. Michael is mine.
I was following orders. Castiel returned the thought and waited for his end. The boys deserve their five minutes. You've taken their lives already, give them this, brother.
I will end Dean Winchester. Castiel smiled at the words and Lucifer frowned in Sam's body.
I enjoyed my life, Castiel thought suddenly. I enjoyed the freedom of thought and opinion and you were my favourite teacher. You were always my favourite.
You were my favourite curiosity. Lucifer whispered with a small smile and Castiel was gone in a hale of blood, bone and brain matter.
The world shifted.
The cage opened and closed.
Two Archangels and a hunter from Lawrence, Kansas fell.
"Cas, are you God?" Dean was staring at him with so much confusion laden with awe and Castiel smiled.
"It's a nice compliment, but no... although I do believe he brought me back." Though why me I have no idea.
Word Count: 4,966.
The first Supernatural story I've posted, though not the first I've written. I hope you enjoy it :)