Cross To Bear

Family Safety

They landed outside of the Winchester home, Cas questioned the intelligence of that move but he couldn't think of anywhere else to go. The demons hadn't followed him; they stayed behind and watched him go. It probably had something to do with him smiting the big one, but he wouldn't let his guard down.

"What's going on?" Sam went to hug him the moment he got the chance, little arms wrapped around his middle. Cas placed a hand on his little brother's shoulder and exhaled heavily, Sam had gone through so much in the last hour alone it broke his heart. Those big eyes that were so full of hope and excitement that morning were terrified and shaken.

"I'm so sorry, Sam." he knelt down and hugged him back, "This is all my fault."

"Don't give him that shit, Cas." Jet snarked from behind him, Cas couldn't hold his temper down.

"This whole thing is because of me!" He'd stood up straight and went nose to nose with Jet, something he'd learned from his friend to begin with. Jet was taller than him but Cas didn't care, his eyes flickered with light as he spoke and that made up for the height difference, "You don't understand what this feels like! You don't understand what I'm going through! All these monsters, demons, and whatever are coming after me, they're coming for me and attack wherever I am. These people died today because I was there. That's it, that's the only reason. You don't understand how hard that is!" He wasn't sure if the tears had ever stopped but they felt like they were falling even harder now. "Children are dead! Kids Sam's age are dead; people that we knew are gone! All because I stayed here! I knew it would happen, I knew people would be hurt because of me but I stayed! I stayed because I'm weak; I couldn't do this on my own and now look! My family needs me to be here but what about the other families!? The parents of all the kids that died today!? What the fuck do I tell them, Jet?! What can I fucking tell them!"

Jet didn't flinch, didn't look away, he just held Cas' gaze and let him vent. Castiel didn't realize how angry he was until he cursed into his friend's face like that, hell he was sounding a little like Jet himself.

"I'm... I'm so sorry." Cas covered his mouth and stepped back, "I'm sorry, I don't know why I did that. I'm just so..." he choked on a sob and turned away as the front door opened.

"Cas?" Mary's voice was shaking and she felt incredibly concerned. He looked up at her, his wings curled in a little closer to him. "Baby, oh my god!" Mary took a few quick steps and pulled her son into her arms, somehow easily finding a way to hug him despite the new addition to his spine. "Cas are you okay?" She mumbled the words as she kissed the top of his head and looked him over for injuries.

"No." He looked down and closed his eyes, tears burning behind his eyelids. "But... but Dean's not..." He couldn't say it. Dean's not here. I lost him. Dean's gone. Dean isn't coming back on his own. He's in purgatory. Dean might be dead.

Dean might be dead.

Castiel's heart pounded heavily and he felt like throwing up all over again. "Oh god..." he covered his mouth and dropped his head against her shoulder. "Mom," he cried, his hands finding a way to hold onto her, cling to her shirt, press against her shoulder blade, whatever fastened him in one place. "Mom he's gone." The words were like poison and the fell out of him by breaking his voice, cracking it like only an emotional breakdown could do. "A demon took him."

Jet groaned and dropped his face into his hands, "If it's not one Winchester it's another."

Sam didn't say anything but he wasn't lacking in emotion. He stared up at Castiel, tears in his eyes from before, maybe they were new Cas didn't know. "Dean's dead?" He whispered and Castiel shook his head.

"No." He said softly but he couldn't push back Sam's expectant gaze. Sam's emotions were pure, uncorrupted and innocent. But most of all they were strong. He watched Cas with a look that asked everything he could have ever spoken aloud. And it was in that second, that moment of a small boy's single gaze that Castiel realized how much trust was placed in him. Sam believed in him, whatever needed to be done Sam believed he could do it. Cas didn't understand it, where that blind faith came from, but it seeped into his soul. If anyone could handle it, if anyone could manage this it was him. His eyes narrowed and he stepped away from his mom and looked at his family carefully.

"I need you to stay safe," he explained seriously, "I have to find someone but you don't need to be part of this."

"Cas-" Jet protested but Castiel raised a hand to silence him.

"No Jet, don't say a word. I know you want me to stay, you want to help but I am the only one that can do this." He insisted, he knew his face was stained with tears and blood and dirt but his eyes were steady. Cas couldn't make Jet understand but he could at least do his best to reassure his friend.

"And what are you going to do then, huh? Who are you looking for? Where's Dean at? What are you going to do when you find out? Cas there are too many questions, you can't just waltz around with those things after you!" Jet wasn't going to just let him go, Cas was glad he'd at least explained a little to Jet about what was happening earlier that day.

"I'm going to find Death, and as for where Dean is… they told me he'd be waiting in Purgatory." Castiel spread his wings and continued to back away from them, "Jet, please explain to them what I told you this morning. Mom, Sam, I love you." His nose pinched up as determination ran through him, "I'm going to get Dean back." And that was it; he flapped his wings and took off to the skies again. He was lucky they were strong enough to get him airborne with one move otherwise he wasn't sure how he'd do it.

"Goddamn it Cas!" He heard Jet screaming at him from below but he didn't stop, "You said you'd stay!" Cas bit his lower lip and continued, he remembered he said he'd try.

Trying wasn't good enough anymore.

Jet stared at the sky where he'd last seen Cas' glow, his limbs stiff and his jaw tense. "Fuck." He swore and looked back at Mary and Sam; she held onto her son tightly and was doing her best not to cry.

"Jet, what's happening?" She asked solemnly, "What did he tell you?"

"I'm sure you noticed the wings?" He laughed irritably as he gestured up and somewhere behind him. She nodded, Mary's eyes held something more than just concern. She looked like she had an idea of what Castiel might be. "He's an angel, he told me that last night Death spoke to him and explained some shit. First off that he's not human, that demons are coming after him and he has to survive because he needs to unseal heaven."

Sam gawked, "No way! I knew Cas was special but that's crazy! Why isn't Death helping?"

"Not his department, I guess." Jet sneered, not at Sam but at the general situation. "So anyway, yeah, that's what's going on."

"How's he supposed to unseal heaven? He's just a baby," Mary covered her mouth and looked up, "Why does he have to do it? What's going on up there?"

"I'm surprised you're not more surprised," Jet raised an eyebrow at her, not sure she completely let the whole thing sink in.

"Oh, after what I saw happen to my father and what I've seen Cas do I'd have to be an awfully silly person to not believe what I'm hearing now." She offered a smile but Jet didn't buy it. "Could you explain it a little more in detail?"

"Sure, but we should get to John first – I don't want to explain it a thousand times." He whipped out his phone and dialed John's work, a number he'd learned to keep in his contacts despite it not being his father.

"John Winchester speaking."

"Hey, it's Jet. I got some news for you and you're not gonna like it. We need you to get home."

John was quiet for a second, but only about a second. He only considered what it meant that Jet was calling, not his wife or kids, for a moment before he replied, "I'll be right there."

"Thanks." Jet glanced back in the direction the school was, the way Cas went. It was a decent ways away from them on the outskirts of town; he could only imagine what it was like further in. "Be careful." He added before hanging up. "So dad's on his way, let's get inside before any of those gremlins see us out here."

They went indoors to do just that, listening for the Impala. Sam went to the window but Jet closed the curtains before he got to it. "Point of going inside, Sam, they'll see you."

"They don't know I'm Cas' brother, do they?"

"I'd rather assume they know than think they don't and get a shitty surprise." Jet smiled and ruffled up Sam's hair, it was soft.

As they set up the house for a bit of a lockdown Mary caught Jet's arm, "You've really taken charge, thank you. But it's okay, you don't have to do this alone."

Jet smiled and hugged her without a second thought, "I know, if I thought for a second I was alone I don't think I'd make it." He mumbled with a laugh, her hand brushed over his head like he was one of hers. "Do you think Cas can do this?"

"I don't know what he all has to do but if anyone can, it's him." She sighed lightly and gave the top of his head a kiss. "Don't worry."

Sam rushed over and climbed into the hug as best he could, though his arms were mostly around Jet. "Thank you," Jet barely heard it but it was there. "You saved me; I didn't get a chance to thank you."

"You're welcome," Jet smiled and hugged him back.

"Thank you," Mary reiterated seriously, her eyes catching Jet's.

"Yeah, you're welcome." He felt a little out of place for a second. He was worried, about Dean, about Cas, about everything happening around them. It dawned on him he should probably give his mom a call, let her know he made it out of the school alive.

While they waited for John, Mary went to turn on the TV. Breaking news had taken over many stations and showed scenes from the high school. Mary covered her mouth at the scene, she couldn't believe that her babies were caught up in that. Jet stood beside the couch, his arms folded over his chest and his leg bouncing up and down anxiously. His eyes were fixed on the screen, seeing what he'd somehow managed to escape from.

Sam sat beside his mom, transfixed like the other two but his expression remained more neutral than theirs. "It's awful." He muttered, Mary put her arm around him and hugged him close. She really could have lost him.

"How on earth did you get out of that?" She asked more rhetorically but Sam obliged an answer.

"Jet jumped on a demon and flew after me, it was pretty cool." He smiled over at Jet who couldn't help but crack a grin.

"When you say it like that I sound ridiculous."

"You kind of are, a little." Sam looked back at the TV, "But I like you that way."

Jet didn't get the chance to acknowledge that comment or the heat in his face, the Impala had torn into the drive way and John rushed inside.

"I was listening to the radio, is everyone okay!?" He didn't bother removing his coat or shoes or anything, he just ran into the living room. "Where are Cas and Dean?"

"Dean's in Purgatory, demons took him. Cas went after them." Jet answered first, knowing full well how crazy it kind of sounded.

John looked at him then to Mary who nodded. "That's what he said, John. Cas dropped these two off, asked Jet to explain for him and… flew away."

"On wings." John clarified though it wasn't a question; Jet had to wonder how John knew.

"Yes…" She looked down guiltily, "I'm sorry for not believing you, John."

"What?" Jet raised an eyebrow, Sam mimicked his expression perfectly.

John sighed and shook his head, "When Castiel was placed in my car as an infant the man flew away, enormous wings. I was pretty sure Cas was an angel. Guess I wasn't wrong."

"No you weren't, Death came and spoke to Cas last night and told him a bunch of shit." Jet couldn't believe the number of secrets in this family. "He told him that Cas is an angel, that heaven and hell are frozen and it's Cas' job to fix it."

"How is he supposed to do that?" John asked with some serious frustration in his voice.

"He didn't tell me." Jet shrugged, wishing he had more information. "But I've got a feeling it's got something to do with going there. When he talked to me he said he had no idea how to get there, so whatever he has to do it's not on Earth."

"And what about the demons?" John continued, "Why are they here if hell's frozen?"

"Your guess is as good as mine. Death told Cas demons would be coming for him, but if he said more Cas hasn't told me."

Sam scrunched up his nose, "Maybe when hell froze over not all the demons were there? Like Cas is still moving but he's an angel."

"Makes about as much sense as the rest of this, why not?" Jet snorted.

John looked thoughtful for a moment and shook his head, "Then why did they take Dean…?"

"To get Cas to follow them. My guess is they want hell open first." Sam answered that time, Jet forgot the kid was smart sometimes.

"Right," John nodded and looked at Mary, "Call the Singer's, we're heading over there."

Mary went right to the phone, much to Jet's confusion. "The Singer's? You mean like Bobby and Karen? Why would we go over there?"

"They've got a bunker for emergencies. If these monsters are going to use Cas' family as leverage then I'm going to get the rest of us out of the way." John went upstairs, "Get your things, Sam."

Jet ran a hand through his hair and looked at his phone, sending a message might do nothing but it was the best he had. He sent a message to his mom, then both Dean and Cas. For his mom he told her he was safe and to call him if she wanted to know where he was. For the other two it went something more like;

Hey, your family's safe in a bunker. Lucky your dad knows such a good Singer.

If their phones wouldn't stay in their hands at least there was a chance they'd know what happened and where everyone was.

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