This idea just hit me like a bolt from the blue, and I cranked the entire thing out in four days. Had no idea it was going to get this big, or this angsty. But don't worry: there's plenty of fluff too, and I promise you a happy ending!


CHAPTER ONE

The angel Castiel fell on October twenty-second, in Campbell, California. Or, more accurately: into Campbell, California. No one noticed his fall from Heaven––and why should they? He was only an extra angel.

Due to a slight mix-up in the Heavenly paperwork, he had gone unregistered. According to the record-keepers, the last angel created would be named Qaphsiel. Someone had absently muttered, Isn't that a variation on Cassiel? And someone else had muttered back, only half paying attention: What? Castiel? I don't think so...

But even the vaguest intentions of Heaven's inhabitants have strong creative force hidden within them, and because of this conversation that was hardly even a conversation, one extra angel had accidentally popped into existence. The officials were busy welcoming Qafsiel (there are often last-minute spelling changes in Heaven––which, incidentally, explains a great deal of the theological confusion that's taken place on Earth over the past couple of thousand years, but we won't get into that now). They didn't notice the other angel, the brand new and quite unintended Castiel, gazing around with surprised blue eyes.

Castiel wasn't sure where he was, but it was lovely. He drifted over a cloud and saw with wonder that there was a beautiful long shining stretch of light before him. Being curious, as any newborn creature has a right to be, he followed it without a second thought. And without a first thought, either, for that matter. He had only just been made, after all; he didn't really need to be thinking yet. And if he had happened to be thinking anything at this point, he might have changed his mind about following the long road of light, and this story might have turned out quite differently.

But he didn't think. He just floated happily downwards and forwards, and in doing so, quite unknowingly fell from Heaven. And as we mentioned before, nobody noticed. Well, that is, nobody in Heaven noticed. And of the six billion, seven hundred and forty-nine million, sixteen thousand two hundred and twenty-five people on Earth at that precise moment, only one of them noticed.


Dean Winchester pulled into his driveway with a heavy sigh. It was 6:19 p.m. and he was just getting home from a long and exhausting day at the garage. He loved his work, and he was proud of it––even though it didn't exactly match up to his little brother's law studies, but there was no jealousy there, he was proud of Sammy too––but sometimes there were just days when everything went wrong. Today had been one of those days. Not big stuff, even; just little things that piled up all day and left him feeling ready to punch a wall by the time he'd revved up his Baby and pulled out of there at six on the dot.

Normally Dean liked to hang out and shoot the shit with Bobby and the guys for a while after his shift was over, but today he'd felt the need to get out of there ASAP. The combination of everything at once––not one, not two, but three perfectionist customers this afternoon; a worryingly malfunctioning hydraulic jack; and a stupid moment of inattentiveness that had left him bent awkwardly over the sink rinsing machine oil out of his eye for a good fifteen minutes––had added up to make today one of the worst days he'd had in a while.

Dean got out of the car, his treasured '67 Impala, shut the door gently (even when he was furious he would never slam his Baby's doors), and stood there for a moment gingerly rubbing his eye. It still stung like a motherfucker. He blinked hard and felt tears well up in the eye again, his body's attempt at cleansing itself. Son of a bitch. He hoped that oil didn't have any nasty poisonous stuff in it that would end up blinding him. A one-eyed mechanic wouldn't be much good. Judging distance was a vital part of his work. A glance at his right hand showed him that there was still a smear of oil on the silver ring he always wore. Great, I've probably wiped even more of the stuff in my eye now.

With a sigh, he trudged up the path and into his house. Yeah, he liked his job okay. The work was fine, not thrilling stuff (he'd rather have his own business restoring classic cars) but he was good at it, and the pay was enough that he'd been able to buy his own little house after following Sam out to California when the kid got accepted to Stanford. He'd been lucky to find this job at Singer Auto in Campbell, just half an hour away from the university. It was far enough that Sam could have his own social life and not feel like his big brother was looming over him, but close enough so that the two of them could get together for a beer whenever they felt like it. Which generally ended up being about once a week.

Speaking of beer, that was all that was on Dean's mind as he got inside, pulled off his work boots, and made a beeline for the refrigerator. It was at that very moment that a tremendous CRASH came from the backyard. It was lucky that Dean hadn't had a bottle in his hand yet, or it would definitely have smashed on the floor when he jumped and cursed reflexively. He froze for a moment, all senses racing as he tried to regain mental balance, and then quickly moved towards the door that led out onto the deck.

Beyond the small deck and the strip of grass that passed for a yard was one of the primary reasons Dean had chosen this house: a big above-ground pool. On top of the pool, since the weather had been rather chilly for the past few weeks, was the winter pool cover, now severely dented in the middle. And sprawled on top of the ruined pool cover was a naked man, face-down and unmoving.