Castiel clutches the word of Gd close to his chest, clinging to the one last thing he has left to believe in, the last open gate to the blinding madness that shields him from a grim reality. These are his father's words as heard by human ears. As filtered and distorted as they are, they're still a link to his lost family.

What he wouldn't give to be truly naive and oblivious. No longer the fierce warrior or the fearless healer, he's a lost pet dodging traffic and he's fucking terrified.

An older woman on the other side of the bus looks up from her knitting and smiles at him, but for all the warmth he can see in her eyes, Cas would rather see a familiar face. Naomi and her lobotomy drill, Crowley with an angel blade, even Dean looming over him with vengeance in his eyes - Dean, his executioner and his savior - Dean, with his pointed gaze that could rip an angel to shreds more efficiently than any angel blade...

And for all his experience identifying and removing disease, he's helpless now against whatever it is that he's feeling. Intuition guided him before, but now, trapped in a human form and no longer immune to bodily sensations, the cold weight in the pit of his stomach could mean anything.

Hunger. Despair. Cancer. Fear. Appendicitis. Anxiety. The need to vomit. Love. Maybe all of the above. Where was the fucking roadmap, the owner's manual?

To fight off fatigue, Cas opens the book and the text swims in front of his eyes, blurring from English into Enochian until it settles again and he follows the Hebrew with his finger as he reads, right to left.

Parshat Vayigash. (Gen. 45:3) Vayomer Yosef el echav ani Yosef - ha'od avi chai? Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers and asks if his father is still alive, but he gets no response. And in their distress, he consoles them. Despite their betrayal, he knows that it was part of Gd's plan...

And how Castiel needs to believe that this is still part of Gd's plan. The text blurs again - a stroke? A seizure? A tear rolling down his cheek.

The lights are too bright and every gaze looks demonic. His eyes are drawn to the rainbow polka-dot blouse on the back of the witch with kind eyes who's knitting with bloodied needles and as he stares, the spots expand into a Twister board, filling his field of vision. He welcomes the madness, his one familiar friend.

And now he knows he's either found his way back to Heaven or insanity because the doors of the bus open and an angel blows through them in a blaze of light, eyes like emerald torches fixating on him, widening to swallow him up.

The angel slowly approaches. The back of his neck grows hot as he realizes that he's trembling and he cannot control it. He wants to shout at the irreverence of the people around him who don't even look up from their newspapers or phones as this heavenly creature in a strangely familiar plaid shirt slides into the seat beside him.

"It's alright, Cas. I'm taking you home." His heart races at the sound - this must be human death - and he knows that it's blasphemy, that he should be thinking of Heaven, but all he can feel is Dean's arms, and all he can hear is "home" echoing in Dean's voice.

Home. It's blasphemy, but he feels like he's already there.