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Cross To Bear

By Zafona

Adventure / Drama

16 Years-Old: Do We Tell Him?

Castiel and Meg walked the woman to her home, it was quite the trek but she made it back safely. Cas then wandered in the early morning light with Meg at his side, their mouths shut for a good portion of it. He'd been walking around all night and though he knew he should get home soon he didn't feel the urgency just yet.

"Hey Cas," Meg's voice broke the silence of the morning and he turned to look at her, his expression saying all that he needed to. "You know you're special, right?"

He wasn't sure he had words for a response, but he mustered something. "I know I'm different, Meg. That doesn't make me special."

"I think it does." She looked away but her tone was still strong, like a commander of some kind. "You can heal people, you glow like an ange-"

"Don't call me an angel." He interrupted her, "It reminds me of something unpleasant."

"Caplan?"

"And a number of other things." He stopped when they reached a bench and dropped down onto it, he thought his feet should be sore but they weren't. "Do you have any answers about this? I mean I know you probably won't tell me but I've never seen you glow, or freak out about what's happening to you or anything. Why are you so relaxed with it?"

"I've made peace with what I am." Meg sat down next to him, her hands folded together in her lap.

Castiel looked at her with a little more seriousness in his face, "And what's that?"

"A very strange girl." She smirked back at him and he could barely stifle a laugh.

"Yeah, I guess so." He looked up at the sky and watched it as the colours shifted so subtly he couldn't tell the difference. "You know, if we're both awake at night anyway we should hang out."

Meg was quiet for a moment and he got the hint, that there was a reason they hadn't before and whatever that reason was it was enough to tell him no now.

"What're you doing out here?" Cas asked softly after another few moments went by.

"What're you doing out here?" She repeated exactly except with a bit more annoyance in her voice.

"I just wanted to be outside tonight, I felt weird at home." He fidgeted with the hem of his sleeves, "I don't know why… my parents are doing something, planning something and it's about me."

"Maybe you're just being narcissistic." She said matter-of-factly.

"No, my mom pretty much told me so. Besides, I can tell these kinds of things, Meg." He knew she was avoiding telling him anything about her reasons, why she was outside and everything else. He'd never met her dad but he could tell the man had to be strict, there was an air around her that almost smelled like it. Since they'd become friends Cas could see her better, of course the things he noticed were granted to him by her, she would let him in one little bit at a time. Sometimes there was a moment he saw more, just a slight break in her concentration maybe or she'd think it was a good idea for two seconds.

Regardless, he'd seen her mind for a short time. Emotionally she wasn't terribly connected to anyone but her family, and maybe Cas. She felt close to him, she understood him and when she wanted to be, she was understood by him. Meg was complicated and strange, she always had been but Cas appreciated her company all the same. Even if he didn't always get an answer when he wanted it.

"You're pretty special too," he added after and enjoyed the scrunched face she made.

"Then you admit that you are?"

"Only if you admit it too." He grinned, knowing she had just as many issues with being 'special' as he did. Different was refreshing to some people, but those people apparently had never been different. It was hard to stray from what was normal and in history it hadn't usually gone too well. Cas knew it was a different century from the witch trials but part of him feared that kind of outcome.

"Alright," Meg laughed and punched him in the shoulder, "We can be special kids together."


Earlier that night

John sat down at the edge of the bed and considered what he was about to say before he spoke. "I'll just start," he stated and she nodded, waiting for a reason for bringing it up at all. "Cas isn't like a normal kid, we know that."

"I think it's pretty obvious," she half laughed at him for saying that, "Sam and Dean can't do what he does."

"Well remember I told you about when I found Cas? Someone had broken into the car and left him there?" She nodded and so did he as he dropped his gaze. John felt insane again but pushed it out despite the doubt, "The man that dropped him off disappeared, he… he flew away, Mary. I know I've gone through that scene in my head at least a thousand times by now, I know it sounds crazy and it is. But he had wings, giant wings that he flew off with." John looked at her again, expecting the exact expression she held as she stared at him. She was in disbelief, probably even wanted to laugh in his face.

"John, you're probably remembering it wrong. We were really tired at that time, what with Dean keeping us up at night."

"I know, I know because that's what I keep telling myself. But if we think of it as maybe being true, that maybe this guy who dropped off a baby that was somehow ours in every legal document, it makes sense."

Mary raised an eyebrow at him but she didn't entirely dismiss him, "What're you saying John? That this winged man gave us a baby? Like an angel or something? Are you trying to tell me Cas is Jesus and I'm some virgin Mary?"

"No, not like that. I mean that Cas is named after an angel; the guy that dropped him off went to a lot of trouble to make sure that Castiel stayed with us. Maybe he really was a blessing, maybe Cas is an angel." John felt crazier the more he spoke but it all made so much sense to him. Maybe it was because he'd thought about it for days and weeks after they got Cas, and throughout the last ten years it came up over and over again. But he had to consider it, just because they weren't particularly religious didn't mean their son couldn't be an angel.

Mary was quiet as she tried to digest the things he'd questioned for years. "We've both seen him do incredible things," she spoke softly and glanced at a photo of her parents on her bedside table, "He's told us amazing stories of what he's seen and done, but that doesn't mean he's an angel. And even if he was, even if he had wings and unbelievable powers, don't you think he'd know?"

"No, he was left as an infant, I don't know how angel babies work but Cas has no idea what's going on with him. He's struggling with normal teenage things but there's an extra weight on him, I think we need to tell him." John explained earnestly, "He should know."

"I don't think now is a good time," Mary whispered, no conscious of the idea that Cas could be listening, "if he's going through all of this already we shouldn't add 'you were adopted' to the pile. Cas needs us; he needs to know that everything around him is a solid foundation no matter what. You and I know that he's our son no matter what but he might not see it that way, you never know how a kid's going to react to hearing those words."

John sighed and rubbed his temples, "Looking back we probably should've told him from the start."

"We decided not to for a reason," Mary smiled sweetly and moved closer to rub her husband's shoulder, "we didn't want him to feel separate from our family, like he wasn't supposed to be here, or that his parents didn't want him. Castiel grew up loved and accepted, when we do tell him he'll understand. But I think it's better we wait."

"Maybe you're right," John put his hand on hers, "I don't know what's happening with him but we need to be his foundation right now."


Cas was a little late getting home, he heard his dad upstairs already when he walked in the door. That meant he had some time but not a lot, Cas hurried into the kitchen to get started on breakfast. It wasn't going to be anything fancy, bacon and eggs would probably be the gist of it. Maybe some orange juice, too.

He wanted to ask about everything, what conversation John had with Mary, what was going to happen or if anything was up at all. But he stopped himself; Cas knew his parents would tell him if it was necessary. Curiosity pushed aside he served his dad breakfast as he always did.

"Here, just a classic this time." He smiled and John returned it.

"Classics are underrated, there's a reason they're still around." He said as he dug in.

Castiel didn't get any information from his dad that morning and his mom was as she'd always been, whatever it was that bothered them before it was gone now. He could feel it, they were somehow stronger and had a firm grasp of themselves. He didn't get his answers right then and there but that was okay by him, his parents were so pleased with themselves and their children he couldn't be bothered to push or question.

At school he felt the usual anxiety, the first few days were always hard on him. Cas exhaled heavily and adjusted his backpack as he stepped off the bus behind Dean.

"C'mon, it's only day two Cas." Dean smiled back at him and mimicked it, though a little sarcastically.

"You know this is a several day process, Dean."

"The fact that you know it is always confused me," his brother commented nonchalantly, "if you know then can't you stop it?"

"Anxiety doesn't work that way." Cas explained strictly, almost scolded Dean with his gaze. "It's not something I can just turn off, I can try different things to ease it but a mental hindrance isn't so easy to shake off."

"Dean being insensitive again?" Jet asked as he leaned into the conversation abruptly, his head right between theirs and nearly touching. Cas had always had a thing with personal space, he never really realized when he was in someone else's, but Jet did it on purpose. It was just something he did, though with people he didn't like it was more of an intimidation tactic than anything else. Cas wasn't too startled by Jet being suddenly right there but Dean almost jumped out of his skin.

"Yeah," Cas smirked, "But what's new?"

"Hey!" Dean protested as he shoved Jet away. "I'm not being insensitive!"

Jet raised an eyebrow as his grin widened, "Sure man, whatever you say."

"Shut up!"

Cas laughed as they bickered. Maybe his day wouldn't be so tough, he thought as he watched them. After all, he would have his best clowns with him.

As he considered this he didn't notice Gordon heading his way, his bully passed him by but not without slamming shoulders with him. Cas was unexpectedly thrown to the ground by the force, his knees hitting concrete and his hands barely capable of stopping the fall. "Watch where you're going, Weirdchester." Kubrick called out instead of Gordon.

Jet and Dean bolted past Cas in seconds and tackled the other boys without hesitation. Cas pushed himself up slowly, they'd just gotten off the bus on day two and he was already in the dirt. Sam hadn't gotten inside yet; Cas heard his feet as the boy rushed to his side.

"Cas, you okay?" Sam shouted as he stumbled to a stop next to him, trying to help Cas stand.

"I'm okay," Castiel replied in a slight strain, "Nothing to worry about Sam, you should go inside."

"And miss the fight?" Sam asked and Cas looked to where Dean had pinned Gordon to the ground with some effort, and Jet was easily throwing Kubrick around like a ragdoll.

"Hey!" He shouted but it wasn't any louder than Miss Barnes.

"You boys quit that right now!" She was new and taught their gym class, Cas liked her. She had a good spirit and was usually pretty funny.

Jet scoffed and let Kubrick go, though the other teen didn't so much as drop to his feet as he did flop to the ground. Dean got off of Gordon after a moment of snarling and a whispered threat Cas hadn't heard. He started to get up and Gordon shoved away from him, his expression scrunched in disgust as he stood.

"You four serious right now? It's the second day."

"Gordon's a dick." Jet explained simply like he'd told them the answer to 2 + 2 and almost made Cas laugh, Dean snorted a little.

"Doesn't matter, you guys are going to the principal's office." She pointed toward the door and three of them groaned – Kubrick was already moaning. Cas went to help him up, he felt bad for what his friend had done 'in his name/defense.'

"I'll help you to the nurse," he explained as he sat Kubrick up, the other teen nodded but Cas almost missed it when that goddamn flash of light caught his eye. 'Oh no.' He thought in a moment of panic but he pretended it hadn't happened and helped his bully stand. No one else had seen it, they were all looking the other way, at Miss Barnes who'd turned toward the school.

Kubrick pulled away from him violently, "What the hell was that?" He whispered, and though it was quiet it was just as intense as if he'd screamed it.

"I don't know," Cas swallowed nervously, "You saw it too?" Maybe feigning ignorance would work, like he wasn't the one it'd come from and Kubrick would buy it.

"Leave it alone," Gordon demanded of his friend and started walking to the office, Kubrick's expression didn't change as he followed, eyes still on Castiel. It was like he'd poked at a sleeping bear or eaten food in front of a starving family, it was unnerving and made him feel a little sick.

"We gotta go to the office," Jet muttered and pat Cas' shoulder as he passed him by.

"You guys deserve it," Cas replied angrily, he wished he could push that feeling away.

"Cas…" Dean caught his arm, "What happened?"

"I… accidentally healed him." Cas shook his head, "I didn't mean to, I didn't know it was going to happen it just did and now he knows. What do I do? What's he gonna say? Dean I'm worried. I felt bad for him because you guys beat them up, and you shouldn't have. You should leave Gordon alone, I know he's mean and-" he was babbling again "-he hits me but you can't just fight people like that! His family isn't like ours, it's cruel and harsh and he feels like a mistake, you shouldn't hit someone like that. He shouldn't be hated he should be pitied! Don't fight for me!"

"CAS!" Dean shouted him down; Cas froze and stared as his heart raced. Dean looked so angry but that wasn't the prime feeling his spirit forced out. Dean was scared for him, he was worried for him, but more than any of that he loved him. "Just because he's got a shit home life doesn't mean he can do this to you! No one has any right to shove you into the dirt and keep walking! I'll never let someone treat you like garbage and get away with it, do you understand me!?"

Cas nodded silently, he covered his mouth as a sob jerked around in his throat. "I'm sorry," he whimpered and closed his eyes. Dean pulled him into a hug and that's where Cas stayed, even when Sam walked over and joined in. Jet stood next to them, Cas could feel him there even though his face was pressed into Dean's shoulder.

"Just because his pain is understandable doesn't mean what he does is acceptable." Jet told him softly, Cas had heard it somewhere before but he wasn't sure where. It didn't really matter, they were right.

Miss Barnes didn't force them but she waited to make sure that Dean and Jet got to the principal's office. Cas sat in the halls with Sam for a little while, they didn't move when the bell rang and the announcements sounded throughout the school. Cas counted down in his head to when the first person would harass him for what he did. Part of him hoped for the best, that people would be excited he could heal once in a while, but the rest of him knew better.


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26. 16 Years-Old: Do We Tell Him?
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