Dean felt like a train wreck. He sank into the soothing worn leather of the Impala, unable to get the last moments of Sam and Adam diving into the open maw in the ground. He rubbed his eyes again and looked at the clock; which read 1:45am. They were taking a break on the side of the highway.
Bobby headed home, agreeing to take care of Gabriel's mutt. The old hunter seemed compliant to do so; probably because he'd been brought back to life and Castiel explained that Gabriel had plans to rescue Sam if he did indeed succeed in taking Lucifer to Hell. Dean sure wished he'd known about it before, it would have taken a lot of what ifs off his mind.
Nemamiah was curled up in the back seat. Her day was filled with some crying, both happy and sad. Once she understood what was going on she piped down. They'd driven miles down the road, at least until they got to a different town and Dean had time to clear his head with some music.
Dean looked to the passenger seat, where Castiel was half turned towards Dean, arm resting over the backseat. He was watching his daughter sleep; a serene scene painted on his face. After being with a fellow worn down human for so long, sitting next to a full fledged angel gave Dean a surreal feeling; especially since Castiel had exploded like a cherry bomb in a pumpkin; again. Dean wasn't sure how many more times he could deal with his angel exploding.
Dean groaned, sinking in his seat more. "So this is it. Apocalypse averted."
Castiel nodded, his vibrant blue eyes nearly glowing in the dark as they moved to look at Dean. "Hell did not win. Heaven did not win. What did you expect?"
Dean was sure he deserved a medal or something for being Lucifer's punching bag, but he guessed he could do without. "Guess I expected more music," Dean said cheekily and was graced with a small smile on Castiel's face. Dean was glad the angel-stiffness hadn't returned with the powers. "Good to be back in the angel club? And, well, not dead?"
"I'm grateful to be back." Castiel looked back to Nemamiah, who had her arms wrapped around Dean's leather jacket as a temporary security blanket. Castiel looked back to Dean. "It's more of a species than a club." Dean smiled, feeling pretty elated.
"Let's keep it that way." Dean let out a relieved breath, even as Castiel looked mildly confused; but he didn't dwell on it.
"God is still watching over us," Castiel mentioned and Dean scoffed, a wry smile on his face.
"Yeah, really attentive father-figure," Dean said. "Couldn't have brought you back any sooner or anything." Dean's hand was taken in Castiel's, squeezing his fingers warmly.
"I'm lucky to be back at all," Castiel affirmed and Dean nodded, squeezing back.
"I'm glad you're back. Again." Dean looked into Castiel's eyes, feeling oddly content in the moment. Nemamiah let out a large breath in her sleep, snuggling into the jacket. "We should find a motel. Sleep in a real bed." Castiel agreed with a nod and Dean started the engine. The turned on the radio low as he steered Baby towards town again.
A few songs in, an old classic rolled in. It was Rosie and the Originals; a band from the 60's, taking a break from the Beetles, which Dean thought would help Nemamiah sleep through the ride. He hadn't heard the song in years, since his mom and dad were still around anyway. Dean scoffed as he heard it; Angel Baby. He glanced at Castiel, but he seemed pretty oblivious to the song.
Dean pulled the Impala over to the shoulder again, under a street light. Castiel looked confused as he looked over at Dean again. "Dean?"
"Be right back." Dean opened the door and popped the trunk. "Listen to the song." Dean got out and shifted through his duffel bag. He found what he'd put away for a while now and slid back into the driver's seat as the end of the song was rolling in. He remembered in agreement with Sam, about marrying Castiel. And it wasn't just because he'd promised Sam, but the apocalypse was over and he had been mulling it over ever since Castiel first mentioned something formal.
Castiel looked patiently confused and Dean gave him a smile. He had imagined this, pretty much being what Heaven would be like. If he had to choose some of those happy memories to replay again and again into eternity (if he ever made it back to Heaven, that is), then he wanted to make more with Castiel and Nemamiah. And if Gabriel did come back with Sam, it would be even better. Dean held up a ring. It was the one he'd worn for years. It made opening beer bottles a hell of a lot easier on the run; so it was all beat up to Hell and back. It wasn't a horseman's fancy ring, but he thought it matched them pretty well. Castiel's eyes immediately fixated on it, eyes growing a bit wider.
"Marry me, Cas. Be my angel baby," Dean proposed. Castiel was wordless a moment.
"Is that a reference to cherubs and their association with making humans fall in love." Castiel finally found words. It had not been the answer Dean had been looking for; but the small smile and the way Castiel held his hand out expectantly told Dean it was another patch of Castiel's strange version of humor.
"Father, you're supposed to say yes." Nemamiah rubbed her eyes as she stood and leaned over the back seat. Dean chuckled and Castiel tilted her head towards him to let their foreheads touch in an affectionate way.
"Of course, my apologies," Castiel said to her as Nemamiah's mouth opened in a wide yawn. Castiel looked to Dean again. "I will marry you Dean. It would be my honor." Dean grinned, chest tight as he leaned in and kissed Castiel's lips, sealing their future matrimony. Castiel warmed to the kiss immediately, seeming content to let it draw out, but they were interrupted by another yawn.
"I'm hungry," Nemamiah managed after she could speak again and Dean pulled back, slipping the ring onto Castiel's finger.
"It's pretty late, Miah," Dean said. Castiel's hand held his warmly while they were still close.
"You two are up," she argued. "We didn't eat dinner."
"Perhaps a late dinner before we find a motel room," Castiel suggested.
"Yeah, I bet there's something in town." Dean sat back and buckled back up. Hey pulled back onto the empty highway.
"I want something red and sweet."
"You always want something red and sweet, Miah."
"That's my favorite."
Dean just smiled and gripped Castiel's hand in his. The ring caught the shine of the passing streetlights and Nemamiah again fell asleep to the hum of the engine.
The apocalypse was stopped before it was started, and that gave rise to a new beginning for the hunter, the angel, and the nephilim. That didn't mean that there wasn't going to be new complications further along the road. But for the next few days, there would be something akin to peace. A closing of one chapter that one may say is a happy ending, but it was just another road to a new story.
It tis COMPLETED!
I really appreciate everyone's patience. Gah, it's finally done though. I feel pretty accomplished.
There have been plans for a continuation since I began this fic, but I can not really put a date on when I will work on it since I made vow to myself along with a new years resolution that once I finished Angel Baby, I'd be ready to write original work. So that is my goal. I have to put away the fanfic ideas and start writing original work. I do hope to write more fanfiction in my free time (haha, free time while writing a book) but nothing is set in stone.
Thank you for everyone's kind comments. I really do enjoy feedback on my work. And my fanart that it has inspired. :) I hope you enjoyed the journey with me and we can all dream of Dean and Castiel in domestic bliss for a while. And Gabriel can rescue Sam from the cage and take him on a well deserved vacation.
So wish me lots of luck and stuff. I'm off to adventure! If you have any questions you can comment or my tumblr is always open. Thank you all for reading this far.
But wait, there's more.
A snippet for the sequel (long way down the road).
"Sorry I couldn't get all of you out, Sam. Lucy was going to hold onto something, and I'm not strong enough to drag out your chrome dome yet. When I'm back up to snuff, I'll try again. But, until then, you can room in my vessel." Gabriel tapped the pulsing blue light that showed through his skin; casting shadows from his ribs. "I think getting your soul out was the most important bit."