Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds...Or So They Say

Chapter 4: Convenience Store? Yeah Right...

Disclaimer: Not mine, Supernatural belongs to Eric Kirpke.

Pairings: None really, but squint and you might be able to spot one.

Rating: T obviously, I mean, c'mon Dean's in this.

Convenience Store? Yeah Right...

Of the many terms that have been used to sum up Team Free Will. Elegant, wasn't one of them.

None of them even came close.

Clumsy, dangerous, insane, infelicitous, ridiculous. Hell, the list is too long to even be written down. But elegant was certainly not among any of these words. And for a very good reason.

And Castiel suddenly having wings made of flesh and blood and ebony feathers instead of just Grace, didn't exactly help their case.

During the first few days or so, if an occasional lamp, book or bottle ended up on the floor because of an over-enthusiastic wing twitch, nobody was going to hold the angel to it. Well, they did, just not to his face. The angel was so tightly wound at the moment that shouting at him could possibly level a motel or a small section of city depending on the time of day and how pissy the Seraph was currently feeling. Even with that one occasion a bed ended up being a bit overturned, neither of the Winchesters were going to set off that avalanche of frustration.

However, by the time the group had almost arrived at their ghost hunt in Hugoton, Castiel couldn't keep using the "I'm not used to this" card. Because, in short, he was used to them.

The differences in how his grace was now flowing had begun to feel as natural as it would have done if he had chosen to manifest the wings himself. The movements behind them were now smooth and far more controlled. Though they were still better advertisements of his emotions than the rest of him combined. And now that they were more controlled, the angel had taken to experimenting with his Grace again, not to the extent of teleporting just yet, but he was trying to somehow manipulate his invisibility technique to just his wings.

He was definitely more than bored with being trapped in either the Impala or motel rooms. He was an Angel, and they have wings for a reason, they were not designed to be kept in things. Sam had even begun comparing his expression with a feral cat being shoved into a pet carrier for a vet visit whenever they arrived at a new motel or got back in the Impala.

So maybe it was Karma that had Sam being the first of the Winchesters to feel the negative effects of this...innovation, of Castiel's. Dean had still been asleep in the motel room when Sam returned with breakfast, coffee and Dean's Pie. What the younger Winchester was not expecting though, was Castiel to be practising this new technique in the middle of the room. The wings were totally invisible from the human eye, but not from human touch. As Sam found out when he walked straight into the leading edge of the arm of Castiel's left wing, catching him across the collar bone and his own momentum throwing him off his feet, swearing and cursing all the way down to the floor.

Dean naturally shot up shouting from his bed, sleep still blurring his vision, but Hunter's instincts making him reach for the Colt and leaping upright. This naturally had Dean's head finding the other wing and another cursing Winchester began groaning at the angel.

"...Cas, what the hell?" Sam groaned from the floor as the stunned angel's wings fluttered into sight again.

Castiel tilted his head, wings drooping a little as a show of guilt, "My apologies, I forgot that you couldn't see them. Are you alright, Sam?"

The younger Winchester groaned again, eyeing the mess that was once contained in his three cups now marring the puke coloured carpet, "My coffee..." was his only answer.

By the end of the next day, they had finally arrived in Hugoton, and another motel, this one colourfully named The Flamingo Motel. And after yet another wing-related hit and miss incident with the rickety wooden structure this particular motel passed off as a table, Dean had finally growled out a; "You know, Cas. I'm beginning to think angels are clumsy as fuck with physical wings!"

Castiel had shifted a little, wings twitching in what the Winchesters were beginning to understand as guilt and slight unease. "I am not...the most... graceful angel in my Garrison..." The angel seemed to wince a little at the mention of his Garrison and the irritation in Dean fell away a little. "My wings are, timorous in this form."

Dean gave the angel a sour look and damnit all if Sam didn't get that: Dude, you don't know what that means? Lookon his stupid face.

"Timid, Dean"

"Shut up, Bitch!"

"Jerk!"

Castiel seemed only barely more amused than confused.

The angel wasn't truly all that bad, usually the dark wings were folded neatly at his back, only moving if the angel moved suddenly or as a show of strong emotion. And, since this was Castiel, neither of those occurred all that often.

But there were certainly times when the Angel of The Lord has his moments. And never let it be said that allowing the angel to accompany Dean to a small convenience store with wings, hidden by what some may call, an unpractised technique, was a good idea.

The angel was just grateful to out of the building for longer than the few seconds it took to walk between the Impala and their newest motel room, all the while searching for anyone who may spot the angel's immense wingspan. The new perception filter reflecting the light around his wings to make them seem invisible was working well, though he was grateful that it was dusk in case there was a mishap, the oncoming darkness would aid in camouflaging them should the technique break outside.

Walking beside the Righteous Man down the two or three blocks it took to arrive at the store they had passed on the way into the town, was some of the most peaceful moments of the past few days. Angels were not often prone to stress, the Apocalypse had been a constant source of it sure, but these last two or three days made the Apocalypse seem like a daily 'I misplaced my keys' stress compared to the 'middle-age meltdown' like stress that had been nagging at Castiel.

Dean had been glancing at the angel all the way on the short walk, half expecting the wings to shoot out and smash him in the side as they went along. He certainly wouldn't put it past the famous Winchester luck, but, damn he wasn't going to say anything to Castiel when he had that small, stupid, pathetic smile on his face, growing a little every time the wind blew softly in their direction and ruffled his invisible feathers. The poor creature had been going silently insane in the motels, all the travelling in the Impala not helping.

He wasn't going to hand in his man-card yet though by mentioning that thought out loud. A man has his pride to look out for.

Dean didn't think it was actually being inside the motel or Impala that was problem, but rather, now that the angel knew he couldn't leave, naturally, all he wanted to do was be outside. It was like telling a child "no T.V tonight" before the desire to watch it had passed through the child's mind, now that they couldn't have it, they wanted it even more.

But damnit all if it didn't feel like sitting in front of a ticking time bomb in the Impala at times, those wings were insanely strong, he'd know, he'd been whacked with them enough times. When the angel finally gave in to his frustration, there was no question of "if?" Dean was a little terrified of what the consequences to his Baby would be.

It wasn't a thought he was too keen on following.

Shaking it from his mind, he pushed open the door to the pretty empty looking store, 'Let the poor bastard have his ten minutes of freedom, it can't hurt.'

Ha ha, Winchester. Ha ha.

The place was almost empty except for them, one other shrill looking man scrunched up behind the till, reading some crinkled, greasy magazine. The man's peering grey eyes examined them over the top of his magazine closely for a moment as they entered, narrowing minutely at the odd way the taller man held the door open for the other, not letting go until the brunette was at least three feet in the doorway. The clerk, huffing his distaste at knowing in a few moments he would have to pretend to care they existed, turned back to his reading material.

Castiel had been pretty oblivious to the little man's critical staring, but Dean was already acknowledging his instincts that the cashier was one of those funny little squirrel-like people who would take credit for that one, nervously shy, co-worker's hard work then sneer at them as if daring them to say other wise. Other wise known as; an asshole that Dean wouldn't mind punching in the face if an opportunity arose. Maybe it was a little unfair to judge a man's merits by appearances, but Dean had tortured souls in hell, he recognised the signs of a slimy personality, even if this one hadn't actually done anything inherently bad yet.

Brushing off the waves of contempt flowing from Slimy's direction, Dean quickly began gathering Sam's rabbit food, and his own perfect dietary choices. Castiel trailing him, not caring for anything in the place, and not looking either. The angel couldn't care less about being here, the fact was that he could walk in and out of this place freely again, nothing was keeping him here now that his wings were finally invisible. It was a glorious change, and he could quite happily trail Dean through shops like this for the next week and still be this content.

A small clanging sound drew Dean's eyes to a trembling beer bottle that had miraculously stayed upright after nearly tipping over as something brushed passed it. Green eyes accusingly sought out ocean blue, and the angel tilted a curious glance in the bottles direction. The hunter noticed the angel's shoulders shift, and Dean shrugged it off, now that the angel had had one close call, he gathered he would be more careful.

Slow learner, Winchester.

To be fair to the angel, it was only one thing that he knocked off a shelf, Dean was the one who took out the two shelving units. That didn't make it any less his fault though.

Dean had been reaching for his second pie, the food being comfort for the unbearable stress that had been hovering over them for the past few days. When a solid, undeniably wooden, clank came from behind him. Dean turned, taking a step at the same time, "C'mon, Cas. Careful ma-" His foot landed on something that rolled under his weight, and the Hunter had just enough time to catch the angel's gaze tilt curiously at him, before he fell.

The object under his foot rolled as smoothly as a ball, and Dean had no chance to recover, his back collided with the shelving unit behind him. The cheap construction wavered, all manor of items clattering noisily to the floor, mixing with the angered shriek of the cashier, before the thing gave completely.

The Hunter gave a very manly squeak as the half-second stability that had come from falling onto the thing, began to falter and fall backwards again. The noisy clatter turned into an out right cacophony of noise as the shelving unit landed heavily on it's nearest sibling, causing that one to fall as well.

In less than ten seconds, the shop went from quiet to disaster zone, all manner of day to day objects smeared all over the walls and even on the ceiling, the clerk roaring with hatred. Dean shot the angel a betrayed look as Castiel looked somewhat puzzled over the ruckus in that infuriatingly Cas-like way, before Dean made an executive decision.

Leaping to his feet, Dean booked it past him "Cas! Out! Now!"

Castiel gave his friend a questioning look as the man disappeared from the store, before it occurred to him that he should probably be following him. Stooping to pick something up, the angel fled the scene too. Though for some reason, he didn't feel all that bad for the rather suspicious looking gentleman apparently running the store.

The pair ran all the way back to the Impala outside their motel room, Dean panting breathlessly and Castiel looking all the world like he hadn't taken a step. By the time they stopped, Dean was alternating between growling murderously and chuckling huffily. In the end, he leaned back against the Impala, still struggling to regain his breath and shot Castiel a look that clearly said What the fuck man? Of course, being Castiel, he missed it entirely.

"Dude! What did you do?!"

The angel again tilted his head, wings twitching under their invisible shielding, "I believe one of my feathers caught what I believe was a 'Rolling Pin'."

Dean's eyes widened slightly, "A-A Rolling Pin! Dude, now we have to go find another Store! And my pie was left behind! What the hell does a convenience store sell rolling pins for!"

A nervous shadow of a smile ghosted Castiel's lips as he pulled the box from where his arm was holding it just out of Dean's sight behind his back. "...Pie?" he offered quietly, he could tell Dean was more amused that annoyed, but the way to this man's heart was definitely through his stomach, or so Sam often grouched good naturedly.

Eyes widening at the sight, Dean began laughing too hard that he couldn't even take it, though he did manage to gasp out, "Damn Cas! I'll repeat, D-Don't-ever-change!"

AN - Cas honey, you can't just wreck a man's shop then steal the man's pie.

Does anyone else have any wing!related fiascos they'd like to see?