Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds...Or So They Say
Chapter 1 ...Well Shit, Cas!
Disclaimer: Not mine, Supernatural belongs to Eric Kirpke, though that's probably for the best because I honestly would just have Gabriel, Balthazar and Bobby come back and they would all live happily ever after... And that's not how Supernatural rolls.
Pairings: Can be read as very slight Destiel or a Pre-slash or even just friendship.
Rating: T obviously. I mean, c'mon Dean's in this.
This story is based off of the plot bunny for The Stars Fall Like Feathers, which I've finally freaking finished and am starting to post up. Because this was written first though, there are some continuity errors that I'm going through and re-writing. It's also why this fic hasn't been updated for a while.
The first chapter isn't really a One-shot thing, more of a scene setter for the rest, (It's based off of Chapter 4 of The Stars Fall Like Feathers and is very, very similar). After this, they'll just be random one-shots about Team Free Will dealing with two suddenly very solid wings.
…Well shit, Cas!
To Dean, the idea that Cas has wings is just one of those funny, small details that gets lost in the clutter of whatever the next impending disaster swinging their way happens to be.
He'd seen them in that barn the days following when the angel of The Lord had raised his ass from "Perdition". Well, shadows of them anyway.
Fucking terrified the life out of him too but lets not inflate the angel's pride too much my mentioning that to his face. Or out loud at all for that matter. Dean's got his man card to keep nice and fat and healthy, after all.
Still, as mesmerising as the dark shapes that had appeared beneath that lightening strike were, they had long since been pushed from his mind. What with just escaping hell and Lucifer deciding this was a fine century to take a walk, it can be argued that his mind had been rather preoccupied by more pressing thoughts.
Since then, there have been moments, usually after the angel had either just zapped in (or out) that the notion crept to the forefront of his mind. And if there wasn't something immediately trying to eat him or possess him or other dramas he needed to sort out, then occasionally, he would entertain the image of the Angel of Thursday with his wings. It never lasted more than a few moments, being brushed off as one of those things that didn't really matter. Castiel had said himself that his true form would melt his eyes out of his head, not the angel's exact words granted, but the point still stands. He's even seen it happen to poor Pamela, and yeah, the older Winchester is still kinda pissed at the Seraph for that
So Dean has never bothered to believed he'd ever see the freakin' things, besides those extremely rare, hair-raising moments when the shadows would appear for half a second under intense flashes of light. And that was damn fine to Dean; this was just one other thing that he'd had been told about the winged Dicks in his youth that was a lie. But, Dean was a Winchester, him ever expecting anything else was almost laughable. He'd accepted this wing thing as a shadow deal only and was totally fine with that. It's not as if he has enough time to sit around pondering the metaphysical properties of the wings of a celestial being with all of the personal social charm of a mouldy grape.
Seriously, what the hell do people think he does all day? Fucking Sam spreading dodgy ass rumours again.
So, all things considered. Having a massive, solid, freakin' feathered wall, smash him in the jaw, is a bit of a shock, also, very, very, oh so very painful.
The shock apparently wasn't limited to Dean...
The hunt had been normal enough.
Witch, because they're always delightful, causing some issues to some random folks in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Nothing major. No deaths, no serious injuries, just a few spells drawing enough attention that Team Free Will had decided to check on it as they passed through on their way to absolutely anywhere.
Hell, Castiel wasn't even really supposed to be there. He certainly wasn't needed. But, the Winchesters had grown fond of their tag along angel, and the poor dejected idiot was moping up a storm about whatever new battles had broken out recently. It wasn't that Dean was unsympathetic. It was that he just doesn't really care all that much. He's got his brother, he's got his car. Life is freakin' peachy. He knows Raphael's on the war path, he knows Castiel's fighting like a maniac to keep everything together up top. But right now he needs a break, and a break is what Dean's giving him. If it helps take out a sleazy ass witch obsessed with screwing up her scumbag cheating ex-husband's life, the more the merrier.
They'd traced the witch to an abandoned building that looked as if it might once have been a bar, it was hard to tell with the gutted interior and cobweb covered signs. Darkness had fallen by then and they (mainly Sam, because to Dean all witches are a nightmare) hadn't even decided whether or not they were even going to kill the witch or just threaten it.
Again, it should be noted that the this is the Winchesters. Expecting a good ending is just a waste of good will power. And, if nothing else, monumentally stupid. But, as stated, these are the Winchesters, stupid is often a key part of their manifesto.
The Witch was at least three states away by the time they even arrived at the derelict building, but that doesn't mean it was wholly empty of witchcraft either.
This invariably leads back to Dean's current predicament. Staring through the dim light of the musty old building from his new place on the floor, bruised and all, gaping at the angel.
"...Well shit, Cas!"
The Seraph is standing, just. Half bent over with the sudden, shocking extra weight of the sudden manifestation and he's panting desperately, as if just holding them out is sapping his strength. His blue eyes are huge in complete and unbridled astonishment, an emotional cousin of fear strong in his stunned gaze.
The angel is shaking lightly, and coupled with his shell-shocked countenance, it's the most expression Dean's ever seen on the stoic angel, but any comments that might have come from him about it were being completely toppled by the sheer weight of what he's seeing, eyes tracking the huge limbs attached to the being's back instead.
For one, they're freakin' enormous!
The limbs are splayed unevenly to the sides, half stretching from where they have exploded from his shoulder blades, the tips of the massive flight feathers are being forced to curl and bend awkwardly to fit into the suddenly cage like space, the wings seemingly swallowing up the darkness around them.
It hits Dean in that moment that the wings are black. The darkness of their surroundings makes their size hard to measure, and make out clearly, but there is no mistaking the colour. And okay, yeah, the shadows of them in the barn had been black, but then, shadows generally are. It's another lie in Dean's mind, these wings warring with the memories of old artwork depicting delicate, white, pristine feathers. But fuck if Castiel's wings aren't the most bad-ass things he's ever seen. And suddenly, frail white wings on an angel seems damn ridiculous, Castiel is a warrior, not some delicate, fragile, pansy ass fairy.
But maybe he was a little bias, or just better informed.
The time that Dean's cascading thoughts shoot through his mind only seems to last a second or two and it feels like it's occurring in painfully slow motion. Then suddenly, it's not, time jolting back into real-time so quickly it feels almost violent and the silence, bar Cas' panting, can be broken by a pin dropping.
Castiel takes a staggering step forward with a heavy whine in his throat, the angel's breathing is ragged and heavy and it's pushing Dean's freak-out O'meter off of the God damn scale. The black wings flare as he steps, a natural movement that looks as if it would usually help to balance their pull against Castiel's back, but all the sudden, very solid, shift in the wings' weight does is send Castiel stumbling forwards.
Sam, who had been momentarily forgotten by the older Winchester in the sudden explosion of ebony limbs, had kept his feet and reached the angel first. Dean wobbles to his feet, moving forwards once there to aid his brother, he's getting way to old for this crap.
Castiel's wild eyes lock onto them with such a feral look that Dean's steps falter a little. The action saves him another impromptu flight as Castiel startles all of them, including himself, by jerking backwards away from Sam's reach to his shoulder with a look of pure panic blooming across his features. His wings rush forwards with a gust of wind that easily puts a small hurricane to shame, coming up as a huge, defensive, sweeping wall.
The movement catches Sam across the chest, giving him a free ride across the derelict building on an altogether different form of Angel Airways. Even Dean, who's falter had saved him from a similar flight, didn't have much more than a second to duck, and though he manages to keep his feet under the shockingly strong gust of air, he does get pelted with chunks of debris.
"Ow! Damn it, Cas!" The elder Winchester manages to growl. "What the hell?!" The pain was shocking him out of his surprise and he grappled his mind out of panic mode and into sort this the fuck out mode. Sam gave a resounding groan from the floor several metres away in agreement.
Castiel turned, a rare display of miserable desperation on his face as he moved. "Dean! I-"
Dean coughed from the floor. Well, damn. The angel's wings had turned with him. Bruise number three from angel wings... Check.
"Castiel! Stop!" Sam had scrabbled back to his feet, dust and splinters of wood sprinkled in his now wind swept princess locks that has Because you're worth it: Bar Brawl Edition passing through Dean's head even though now is possibly one of the most inappropriate times on earth. At least the angel has frozen at the barked command.
Castiel moves his wide eyes cautiously to the younger brother, frozen mid turn and wings spread and trembling. "Just...Easy." Sam has his best soothe you voice on full power, his hands up in a placating manner and shuffling towards the winged creature like one would a wild animal trapped in a corner capable of tearing your head off.
Dean gets the impression that Cas would have narrowed his piercing what did you say? stare at his brother at the patronising notion if the comparison wasn't so accurate. As it was, panic was ricocheting through the angel like bullets from the brothers' hand guns. Hell, his wings were vibrating with the angel equivalent of a spiking adrenaline rush because this just shouldn't be happening!
Dean manages to shuffle up, Sam not far at his back, until he's a just over a metre away from the angel. He's trying to keep himself small and non-threatening, because Castiel looks like he's fighting his body's automatic fight or flight response, and honestly, both of those options warn of pain for everyone involved.
Castiel takes a step away, wings and balance flailing unevenly and both brothers jump back a pace.
Dean eventually braves back into the previous distance. "Castiel, chill out, dude." It comes out rougher and slightly shakier than he intends, but Dean's use of his full name seems to be a soft comfort to the angel's fraying nerves, his wings settling gently at the soft vibrations that pass through his Grace at the words. "Can you...I don't know...just, sit down or something until we get a grip on this?"
It would be mildly insulting if Sam wasn't nodding quite so fiercely, eager to avoid another wing smash to the ribs because, Jesus that hurts like a bitch. The panicked angel is obviously freaking out about this, and by the rapid, jerky movements of the new limbs, Sam hedges a guess that Castiel's never used them like this before. That thought in mind, Sam seems to jump on the soothe the angel train. "That witch is long gone, Castiel. Just...calm down yeah?"
The angel shoots both of them a wary look, before hesitantly dropping down to one knee, wings naturally rising and spreading to give balance, though the foreign new weight of them at all off-set this somewhat. It's like watching an animal learning how to walk again after losing a limb, the sudden loss, or gain in this case, of weight is playing havoc with his balance. Painfully slowly, Castiel moves to sit cross-legged on one of the large boards similar to the one Dean had crash landed on. The weight of the wings tugging sharply the angel's shoulders and he leans forwards, the feeling that follows the movement was both gratefully natural and terrifyingly foreign.
Sam and Dean hedge closer, the way the wings tense doesn't escape their notice, each one is enormous, far bigger than even Sam. The dark feathers are reflecting the dim light, the natural oily black gaining a shimmering soft highlight of pastel orange. It's a sharp reminder to the two hunters what exactly their third wheel is.
A fucking angel of the Lord, Black wings and all.
"I find myself sharing your disdain for witches Dean." Castiel rumbles tightly, strain of the situation clear in his gravelly voice.
He sounds damn well petulant and Dean can't help but burst out laughing, because Damn, this isn't funny at all. "Bitches, the lot of them." He agrees whole-heartedly, his tone sympathetic, he doesn't need the angel thinking they're patronising him, this is the most put out Dean's ever seen Castiel, even slowly turning human had never visibly shaken the angel like this. Instead, Dean edges closer, his knees almost touching Castiel's as he glances over the angel's shoulders. The angel's breathing is softer than before, Dean's contiguity is enhancing the angel's control through his panic, and even his wings seem more settled now, and in return, the brothers feel less wary.
Castiel's gaze finds Dean's. Locking for a few minutes, the angel takes comfort in the steadiness of the all too familiar green that he finds there, before he lets out a few purposefully calming breaths. The staring is, thankfully, from Sam's view, broken as Dean can't restrain himself from staring over Castiel's shoulder again, his gaze tracking over the huge appendages now filling a large portion of the abandoned bar.
Dean begins tracing the joints of the left wing with his eyes, taking in every small ridge and groove of each feather that he can see through the gloom, his eyes focusing on the amazing way the dull orange light leaking through the blocked windows seems to set the edges of the wings on fire. The black of the wings isn't wholesome, it's shimmering like a pool of oil resting on water, reaching occasional shades of green and stunning blues that move with every breath that Castiel draws.
The angel himself shifts a little under the entranced gaze of the older Winchester, Sam's expression was mirroring his brother's and there is nothing he can do to avoid it, not without risking hurting one of them. In his true form, Castiel's wings are a part of him, there generally isn't any staring in Heaven because everyone has wings. That would be like humans staring at each other's arms, it wouldn't make any sense. But now, suddenly manifested against his will and a tremendous new strain on Jimmy's body, the staring is embarrassing and, by angel standards at least, a little rude. Humans though, he reasons, have never seen angel wings before, of course they will stare. He just wishes they wouldn't.
It's not making this any more bearable.
Finally, thankfully, something else ensnares Sam's sharp attention, and honestly, it's not like Castiel's wings are all that special by angel standards anyway. Not with the frays from his ventures into Hell and the thousands and thousands of years as a warrior doing the work of God.
Castiel is grateful for Sam's distraction.
Dean's enthrallment is proving to be much more difficult to break.
Dean is still examining the left limb, watching the way one particular feather, hard to see on Castiel's exhale, suddenly gains a fiery outline on his inhale. "Damn, Cas. That's freakin' awesome." The sudden urge to touch, to feel what those stunning things are like, fills Dean to the brink, his hand twitching out without thought. The dark wings twitch away from the suddenly curious fingers, and Sam saves the angel from Dean's questioning gaze by waving a small piece of paper under their noses. Dean hadn't even heard his brother move.
"Dude, the witch left us a damn message about this curse...trap...thing." The younger hunter folded his huge legs beneath him to turn their positions into a weird little triangle, before holding the page under their noses so they could both read it.
I guess you could say your reputation precedes you.
And, I have to say, you're not someone I want on my ass. So, here's the thing, that curse of yours will wear off in a month or three. Here's the catch though, you come after me again, I'll summon every demon I get my hands on and send them your way.
Let's see you boys handle those when your wing man's got...well, you don't need me to finish this joke do you?
Seriously though, I don't want any trouble with you guys, my husband is a cheating dick, but I'm done, leave me alone and your angel will be back to normal in no time.
See ya around Boys
Dean re-reads the note twice, groaning miserably at the suggested time frame, and manages to growl out two words that summed up every ounce of contempt all three were suddenly spewing.
AN – I'm open to prompts guys. :)