Raven's Choice

Two Weeks Later

Sam and Dean were very restless. They didn’t have much to do, they hadn’t gone on a hunt and trying to pin down the slayers younger sister was easier said than done. “Man, this is killing me Sam. We still don’t know exactly what the girl is, Cas didn’t give us any time to find out anything and we haven’t been on a hunt in a long time”. They were in the library; Sam was trying to study some of the obscure lore on Angels, The Key and anything that might give them trouble in the immediate vicinity. Dean however kept distracting him with his pacing.

“Dean….Dean…..Dean…” Sam yelled trying to get the attention of his very distracted brother.

“What?.”

“You’re distracting me, go somewhere else”.

“And just where am I supposed to go?”

“I don’t know, go somewhere, anywhere, I am trying to do some research here. We have no clue what The Key is other than it can open any spiritual lock, we don’t know why Cas’s relationship is forbidden or how to help him and we don’t know the local lore so we can’t really hunt. Now if you want to help, you could pick up a book.”

Dean looked at Sam, the pile of books around him and sneered ever so slightly, “Nah, you’re the brainiac; I’ll leave it to you kid.” He couldn’t help calling his brother kid; it irked Sam which amused Dean to no end.

“Jerk”

“Bitch” They looked at each other and laughed. Dean felt at that moment another piece of himself slide ever so slightly back into place. They’d been at odds with each other for so long, it felt good to laugh with his brother again.

Just then Anais poked her head in “There you two are. Always in the books aren’t you Sam?” She looked at him smiling.

“Yes ma’am, it’s the only way to understand what it is we are dealing with.”

“You remind me of a young Rupert Giles. He was the same way, and often still is. Head in a book, though he loathes technology and won’t hardly touch a computer.” She laughed looking at the open laptop in the middle of the books. “I was looking for you and wanted to talk to you. I know you boys have been restless. And, Sam here tells me, Dean that you have a particular car that you are quite fond of. If you are going to stay a while I wouldn’t mind bringing it ‘across the pond’, so to speak, for you.”

Dean was very touched. Giles and Anais had gone above and beyond for them, but this was too much, “Ma’am, I can’t let you do that. I appreciate everything you’re doing for us now. I feel like we are just freeloading and this wouldn’t be right to ask you to do.”

Anais walked over to the dark brooding young man, laid a hand on his arm “It would be my pleasure”. Dean looked at her and thanked her for her generosity, “And in the meantime, there are a couple of cars that are not being used that you are welcome to borrow anytime. Also, I think you boys would like some work?”

Dean narrowed his eyes and looked at her suspiciously, “What kind of work?” Sam just sat there and waited to see what her offer was.

“Well, I hear from your brother Dean that you are a genius mechanic. My full-time mechanic quit on us. His daughter is moving to the city and wants her parents to come with her. So they agreed. I have a garage full of cars that need periodic maintenance. We can work out a weekly stipend later.”

Dean couldn’t hold back any longer, “Why are you doing this for us? Not just getting my car, which is awesome by the way, but all of this. Taking us in like this? We’re just a couple of hunters, nothing special”.

“Oh Dean, if you believe that then you haven’t looked deep enough inside yourself”. She looked hard at Dean; her eyes slowly turned a deep solid red and looked inside to the soul of the young man. “You have so much inside you, so much compassion and love, but you hate yourself. You need to see yourself as others see you Dean Winchester”. She pulled back and her eyes slowly went back to normal. Still looking at the now shaken young man, “Plus, anyone that Castiel considers family is family in my book”. She laid a hand on his heart and reached up to place a chaste kiss on Dean’s cheek.

She turned to the younger brother, “Sam, I know you are quite the researcher. I could use someone to help me in my practice. I know you finished your pre-law classes and I checked with the University and most of your credits will most likely transfer. Only a few classes and you could become a paralegal. It could be independent study and your work with me would count as your internship. I know it’s not a full barrister, but you would still be working in law and can have an open schedule. There is not too much different in the language of the law and you will just need to know how British law differs, but I am sure you could quickly come up to speed. What do you say?” Sam stood there gaping at the woman. Here she was helping him achieve at least a part of a lost dream. Something he never thought would, or could happen.

“I…..I honestly don’t know what to say. I can’t possibly pay for any schooling…”

“Sam, your University transcripts are quite impressive. Your LSAT scores were some of the highest I’ve seen and the Dean of Law was quite impressed. He said if you were willing they could offer you a scholarship for tuition and books. The classes would be online and you only have to go see him on campus once-a month for he is quite interested in meeting you”.

Sam lurched forward, pulled her into a fierce hug, “I don’t know how you did all of this, but yes, yes I accept”. Dean was enormously proud of the kid; this was what he’d always truly wanted, a home, and a family and for the first time Dean wanted it too, for however long it may last.

“Anais, really, this is…..this is great. I don’t know how we’re going to pay you back”.

“Sam, Dean, you don’t have to pay me back. The girl needs you and Castiel asked you to care for her. To do that you need a stable place to live and money, so I am offering both. I wouldn’t patronize you boys with charity, though it would be my pleasure, I know you like to make your own. The only other thing we need to work out is your Visa’s, but I have, shall we say, connections? It will be handled quickly and without too much of a fuss”. They both looked at her agape, not wanting to know what the ‘connections’ were, but glad she could help.

“So, Dean, would you like me to show you the garage? I somehow think you will be very pleased. Sam, I think we can safely leave you with your research?”

Sensing Anais wanted to talk to Dean alone he conceded, though he really would have liked to see it himself, he wasn’t totally immune to the allure of a great car.

_______________

“Oh for all that is holy, this place is…..is…..a thing of absolute beauty”. The garage was full of cars from all different eras. There were cars going back to the early 1900’s. American Muscle cars, a limo, a 1945 Bentley, and even the highly sought after 1963 split window Chevrolet Corvette, Dean had only ever seen one of those at a car museum in California.

Anais laughed knowing what cars meant to some people and taking pleasure in watching the young man be in awe of the collection. “These are various cars from my sons, lovers and my last husband. They all were ‘gearheads’ as you Americans say. My Charlie, second husband from just before WWI to when he passed in 1963. He had a particular penchant for the American Muscle car. My sons and daughter drive their own when they are visiting which are housed in the smaller garage to the right. You’ll be expected to take care of those as well, though they don’t visit as often as I would like. All of the ones from 1901 – 1944 are registered classics. The very early ones I have a specialist keep up the maintenance, but the others, from the Bentley on need regular care. I have a feeling you will take very good care of these”.

“Yes, yes ma’am. Where is the maintenance area? I don’t see the tools and other items needed to help take care of these beauties”. She turned to the left side of the garage and beckoned Dean to follow. They moved into a large secondary garage that had every piece of tool and equipment you could think of to keep even the oldest vehicles running. They even had a small petrol station just outside and Anais explained that they got delivery every few weeks. This would also been part of Dean’s job to keep track of the petrol and report it to her on a monthly basis. “It just keeps getting better. This is just too much”.

Dean was silent for a few minutes before he turned to his benefactor. “I don’t mean to be rude, but normally Vampires, I gank them, I’ve cleared out nests and had no qualms about killing every last one of them. There was a group that Sammy convinced me to let go, but for the most part they are mean, nasty and evil sons ‘o’ bitches. But, you and your family have convinced me they are not all alike”. He wasn’t sure how to continue or even sure what more to say. He knew from the moment of his first session with Giles that he was going to stay for a while, even before Cas asked him to. Now, with wheels they could hunt, they have a home base and freakin’ jobs. This was a little overwhelming.

“Dean, you’re welcome and as I said, it’s my pleasure. I love having so many young people around. Keeps me feeling like I’m 100 instead of 500,” Dean laughed at the obvious joke, “Of course I didn’t just bring you out here to talk about cars. I wanted to give you something and I don’t think you would want your brother around for this”. She held up a collar about an inch thick with a chain and a horizontal bar balanced at the end it. Small studs were dotted around the whole band. He slowly took the piece of jewelry, which was surprisingly masculine and held it for a minute. He swallowed hard before meeting her eyes, “This can be used as a signal, that is if you are comfortable wearing it. You don’t have to, like Giles has probably told you; it’s always your choice”.

A part of him didn’t want to take it, but he did anyway. He saw that this woman understood what he was going through. He whispered to her, “I don’t know why I need this, or want it “Anais knew he was not talking about the collar, “It’s like this something other inside me. It’s….”

“Dean,” She said as she laid a hand gently on his arm, “You don’t have to explain to me. It’s not shameful and I suspect that small parts of you are healing. I know how can getting the crap beat out of you be healing? It’s a release, sometimes those who hold onto their feelings the strongest; those who try to control everything need a way to let it all go. Here,” She handed him a piece of paper, “This is a website for people going through what you are going through. It might help you to understand.”

He took the gifts and pulled the woman into a fierce hug. He was grateful for her understanding, and her discretion. “Thank you.” Is all he said, Anais started to leave to let Dean process everything when she turned back and handed him a set of keys, “I almost forgot, here are the keys to the garage doors and the lockbox to the car keys. I am sure you might need a good long drive”.

After she left he looked over the cars and decided to take the 1965 Shelby G.T. 350. As soon as he got behind the wheel, all of his cares, his pain, and his anger were left behind him for a time. And, when he was out on the open English countryside, he felt downright invincible. Finding a classic rock station playing The Who, he turned it up loud and opened up the engine. He felt absolutely at peace for the first time in weeks. Even if it was fleeting, he didn’t think, didn’t feel, he just let the powerful racing engine flow through him. He drove for hours, getting back late. He put the car back after cleaning it and headed up to bed and felt happy.

_________

“Cas, we have to keep going. We can’t stop here, it’s too open, and we’re too exposed.”

“I know. I have a place in mind, but we need to make sure that no one is following.” Cas moved away from the small clearing they’d been standing in to make sure no Angels were there. They hadn’t had too many problems, a skirmish here and there; they tried to keep the killing to a minimum. Cas knew his brothers and sisters were just following orders, but whose orders he didn’t know. Was it their Father? Or one of the Archangels, he wouldn’t put it past Zachariah to come gunning for him, they have always had a, shall we say, rocky relationship. Cas saw no one and went back to Haven.

“I think were safe. We are going to a friend’s place. Actually a friend of Sam and Dean’s, he has almost as much protection as Anais, and he has a protected bunker that we can hide in for a little bit till we can make a better plan”.

Buffy laid a hand on Cas’s cheek, stretched up on her feet and kissed him long and hard. “I trust you Castiel. You never let me down in a battle, and you won’t let me down now.”

Cas looked down at his Haven and felt guilty because he thought he failed her by not being able to find her sooner. “I let you down Haven. I couldn’t find you. I always searched when I could. But, this isn’t the place to discuss this; we need to get to my friend’s.” He took her hand and flashed her into the middle of a junkyard. It was coming up on evening and he wanted to be inside before full dark.

“Wow, Cas, you sure do know how to show a girl a good time”. She looked at him with a puzzled expression on her face.

“Don’t let the junkyard fool you, there is some powerful magic protecting this place. Come on.” They walked up to the house set to the side of the main yard. Cas approached the front door and knocked.

“What in all tarnation do you idjits want now?” Yelled a gruff voice from the, what Buffy assumed was the living room. An even gruffer looking man threw open the door, expecting Sam, Dean, Rufus or one of the other myriad hunters who came by for his advice. He did not expect to see an Angel. “Castiel, what for cryin’ out loud are you doing here? And why are Sam and Dean in…”

“England,” Said Cas holding up his hand cutting off Bobby before the man could ask any more questions, “Bobby this is Haven, also known as Buffy Summers. She is an Angel too. Can we come in? I didn’t know any other safe place to bring us”. Hearing a slight desperation in his voice he let the two in.

“Okay, Castiel, but just why are my boys in England? And why is this girl so important to you?”

“Hey, I’m right here I can talk for myself.”

“Wow, you got an attitude there don’t you young lady? Well, okay talk for yourself”.

Buffy gave the man called Bobby a stern look, “I’m the slayer, I died and went to Heaven, fought beside Castiel for 100 years, we grew…..close, then my friend Willow used a spell to put my soul back in my body, I had to dig out of my own grave, closed a hellmouth with the big bad Evil in it, activated all potential slayers, went to England and Cas found me again”. Mouth agape, Bobby looked at her like she was some crazy woman on crack. Buffy just stared back at him, brows raised, hip cocked, arms crossed at her chest and waited for him to challenge her.

“You wanna run that by me again?” So, both she and Castiel explained their situation much slower this time so Bobby could keep up. “You two idjits came here? Thinking you’re safer? Well, you just might be right”. He sighed trying to wrap his head around one strange thing more in an already strange life. “Just tell me this, are the boys really safe? Some English lady asked for the Impala to be sent over there, does this mean they are going to be there a while?”

“Well, see I sorta kinda…” Bobby looked down at the petite blonde with a hard expression on his face, “Drafted them to take care of my little sister. She’s very important.”

“What kind of important thing would keep my boys in a strange country?”

“Possible end of the world important, Cas,” Buffy turns to Cas and said under her breath, “I’ve told too many people, can he be trusted?”

“Haven, I trust this man completely. He would never betray our trust, would you Bobby?”

“No, Cas, I wouldn’t. You’re too important to Dean and Sam too and you’ve been nothing but good to me. What is so god damn special about this sister of yours?”

“She is The Key,” Buffy waited a moment to see if she had to explain more, “Well now, that would keep the boys there wouldn’t it? Look, I have a secure panic room downstairs. I’ve got Devil’s traps and Angel’s signs all over so nothing will get in. I take it some heavy hitters are after you?”

“Yes Bobby. But if they come here, we will leave; I don’t want to put you in anymore danger than you might already be”. Cas told him giving Bobby an out if he wanted it.

“Don’t be an idjit boy; I’m in danger from any number of these hunter yahoos comin’ here all hours of the day and night. Hell, Rufus alone puts me in danger every coupla days. I’ll be okay.” He led them to the panic room downstairs.

“I’m sorry if the bed is a little uncomfortable this ain’t meant to be no Hilton, but it’s clean and it should get you through the night.” Bobby said goodnight and left them alone.

Buffy stepped up to Cas and put her arms around him. He pulled her into a tight hug, laid his head on hers and kissed the top of her head. “I’m sorry.”

Buffy looked up at him, slightly confused, “What are you talking about? Cas, you have nothing to be sorry for. I love you”. She put her hands on his face, reached up and kissed him slowly letting her tongue explore his mouth, taking the kiss deeper and with a sense of urgency. They took their time with each other. They slowly undressed each other while they touched and tasted everywhere. Their love was shining through as Cas took her slow and soft. He relished each feeling each sigh and moan he was coaxing out of her. He moved in her and with her, he laid his forehead on hers kissed her hard and cherished each moment, each feeling. “Haven, you will always be everything to me”. He started to move more urgently, building up the tension in each other, and felt when Haven let go and came, “Castiel, Cas,” She cried “I love you, I love you,” She said over and over when Castiel finally let go himself and came deep inside her. He fell gently by her side, pulled her closer, fear ran through him that he may lose her in this fight. Neither one of them said anything as they laid there quietly reflecting on their situation. They didn’t sleep, because Angels don’t sleep, but they were able to rest in relative peace.


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