Cross To Bear

Report to Authority

Castiel found his recovery was slow and that alone made him want to throw a tantrum befitting a teenage angel. Healing usually came quick to him and he'd expected that within an hour or two he'd have his strength back. That wasn't the case. He was constantly tired but couldn't sleep, he was able to stand but walking was another story, and his mind continuously looped through a mess of 'I want to be with Dean,' 'I want to relax and heal,' and 'I have obligations that won't go away.' He was pretty sure he'd tear his own hair out if he had the strength to do it.

But the worst part, he thought, was when they were given food. Dean was the one who set Cas up and was more than willing to feed him, his arms would get tired quickly as it was and no one wanted him to end up with food all over him. Cas argued it first and insisted he'd feed himself. The first forkful barely made it off the plate but he managed to hover it slowly toward his mouth. Nothing wound up on him but after two or three times he was tiring out. That wasn't the part that he was disappointed with.

Everything tasted weird, like he could tell what each of the tiniest parts of it were. He put his arm down and let the plate sit there, his frown deepening the more he realized what that meant. He didn't need to eat anymore, just like sleeping.

"Do you need help?" Dean leaned over as genuinely concerned as he could possibly be without pissing Cas off.

"No," Cas mumbled and closed his eyes despairingly.

"You really should eat, dear." Karen tried to help but he shook his head at her.

"It isn't that. I just can't eat anymore."

"You're already full?" Mary asked with big eyes, surprised that he'd only managed three mouthfuls.

"No, not that either. I just can't eat." Cas motioned vaguely toward the plate, "It doesn't taste like anything I know, and what it does taste like isn't any good." He looked up at the slightly concerned faces of the people who didn't fully grasp what he meant. Jet, Sam, and Meg all started to nod as if they understood but the others were still pretty confused. "It's like when I stopped sleeping, I no longer need to eat."

"Oh, like that." John bobbed his head in a nod of understanding, Dean and Mary joining him but the Singers and Nikki scrunched their brows a little harder. "Since Cas is an angel he doesn't need to sleep, and now apparently he doesn't need to eat anymore either."

"When did he stop sleeping?" Nikki asked and looked at Jet who shrugged.

"A while ago, it wasn't that big a deal." Jet tried to shrug it off but his mom was clearly unhappy with the fact that he'd kept something from her. "It was Cas' business to tell, I wasn't going to go around blabbing about it."

"Fair enough," she let it go then looked back at Cas, "How can you tell you don't need to eat?"

"The taste… it's not a flavour, I can tell what everything is made of."

"That's weird." Dean reached over and gave Cas' shoulder a pitying squeeze, "I'm so sorry, man."

It was kind of funny the way he'd said it, like it was truly the biggest tragedy of the day and it made Castiel smile. He lifted his hand and placed it on Dean's as he nodded his head, "Thank you, that means a lot."

"Guess you won't be eating that, then." Jet said as he lifted Cas' plate away.

"Go for it," Cas waved it off like he never wanted to see it again.

As the finished off their admittedly less than extravagant meal, captain Uziki approached them. "Sorry to keep everyone waiting," he smiled and Cas noted that he liked it, there wasn't anything hiding behind that smile. "Mind if I sit with you?"

"Please," Bobby offered a seat.

They'd been in a sectioned off area of the small encampment, it was at least a mile away from the main combat area. Or at least that's what they told Cas. He looked up and watched the captain go and sit down, the man removed his helmet and ran a hand through dirty blonde hair. Cas pursed his lips and nodded to himself, he'd expected a brunet.

"So you folks saw what was going on out there, you coping alright?" He tended to ask if everyone was okay, Cas figured he felt bad for nearly blowing them up – or so he'd been told happened.

"It wasn't the first time some of us saw them," John replied with a nod, "We're functioning at least." With those last words he gave Jet a short glance, Cas looked to his friend who had tilted his head in acknowledgement. What happened while he'd been gone?

"Sorry to hear that, but I do need to know if you guys know anything? Anything at all?" Cas could tell the others were still a bit skeptical of what to say, whether or not they should say anything. Jet had detailed it pretty well; it's Cas' business to share. Cas wasn't entirely sure that all of it was his business though, his parents found him and took him in, his entire family knew what he was and he'd even said he was okay with sharing. That being said, no one wanted to be the first one to speak.

"I know most of everything you need to hear," Meg broke the short silence and Cas was immensely grateful for it. Just because he was some new-fangled angel type and the 'one to save Heaven' didn't mean his public speaking skills were all that great.

"We all know a little something, captain." Mary added a little protectively, she couldn't have a young girl being the only one to speak up for her son.

"Please," his smile widened in a genuinely kind way, "call me Shimizu." He made Cas feel better about saying anything. Cas knew there was no reason to hide it but paranoia from watching too many movies could still get to you.

A lot of information was exchanged and it took their new friend a little time to muddle through it all. Shimizu was, by the end of the stories, leaned back in his chair casually, then leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees, and finally sitting slumped with one leg crossed over the other while his hand rested thoughtfully on his cheek. It was a lot to take in and he was more or less quiet throughout each of their recalling of what had happened in the last few days.

Cas for one was glad to hear that it had only been a few days that passed and not months. Hell messed with his internal compass and timer.

"Okay," Shimizu adjusted his position and attempted to look a little more professional. "Let's get this straight, sixteen years ago a baby was left in your car," He pointed at John who gave a shallow dip of his head to confirm, "by a man with wings that flew away. You tried to give him back but all legal paperwork said he was yours, despite you not giving birth to him." He then looked at Mary who gave the same gesture as her husband; their heads had even tilted a little off kilter in the exact same direction. "So you raise him since the world would think you insane and what the hell, you already had one kid why not two. Kid grows up, some weird coincidences you can pretty much shrug off happen, no big deal, so he can come out of concussion without a single bump, so what."

Cas enjoyed the captain's retelling of the story; he was very animated in the way he spoke. It might've been because he'd had a little too much crazy for one day, but it was still fun to see.

"But then one day he stops sleeping. He heals people by touching them, and you realize that your kid isn't normal and that the guy with wings really did have wings. Fast forward a very tiny bit later, our young man here sprouts wings from his back too and manages to set off Hell breaking loose. All on his own, he just crosses a magical border he shouldn't have and boom! Everything we know is burning." Shimizu squinted hesitantly at them all, "Do I have that right?"

"Basically, yeah." Dean nodded, his lips pursed together in an almost 'duck face' way.

"Alright," the captain ran his hand down his face, a habit Cas noticed he had when he was frustrated with his own confusion. It'd taken a long while to get him to that point; he asked a lot of questions when someone just assumed something was obvious. Breaking down the story to its basics was essentially giving Castiel's life story from everyone else's point of view. Obviously Cas and Meg had most of the answers when it came to anything less than normal, but explaining things from an outside perspective really helped. "I'm almost scared to ask this, but what's it gonna take to fix it?"

Castiel curled his lips in and pressed them together as the captain's gaze shifted his way. He knew that he had to open Heaven but he wasn't sure if that was going to fix anything. It couldn't hurt, right? "Well I need to unseal Heaven the way I did Hell." That was as simply as he could put it, and so far Shimizu was with him.

"Okay, and how do we get you there?"

And there it was, the question that had Cas stumped. "I uh… I don't know, I've never been there."

The captain then looked over at Meg who was the other one likely to know. She raised her eyebrows as if surprised the question went her way, "Uh, well I know there's a gate through Hell-"

"It's blocked off, I tried it." Cas shook his head immediately. Not to mention he didn't want to go back there.

"There has to be something else," Mary sounded upset as she looked between Cas and Meg, "He can't go back there." She was on his page; it made him feel better to know they wouldn't let it happen either.

"We're not going to send him back," Dean agreed firmly, "Maybe Death knows something?"

Cas shrugged, "I guess he would, though I don't know if he'll help me now…" he remembered hearing Death's voice, that strong demand telling him to run from the gates in Hell. "It's worth a shot, but I can't go yet, I can barely stand."

"So the plan then is to wait while you heal," the captain contemplated out loud, his chin now resting on his propped up hand.

"Well, that and protection." Meg pointed out, "When his grace is strong enough to sense all the demons will be headed this way to pick him off. If he gets up to Heaven then the other angels can come down and the Hell takeover is pretty much done. They don't want that, you can imagine."

Shimizu nodded slowly as he lifted his head and straightened his posture. "Alright, sounds to me like Castiel is the only shot we have. It also sounds like no one is going to believe me."

"Why are you in charge here, anyway?" John dared to ask and the captain shook his head.

"We weren't as successful as we would've liked to be," he looked at Cas and Cas wasn't sure what exactly was going through the stranger's mind. It could've been a number of things, but the most Cas could read on his face was concern. "I don't know what the decision will be when I relay all of this, but don't worry; you'll get as much protection as I can muster."

"That's comforting, thank you." Mary was really good at that grateful mom voice; Cas knew she could use it whether or not she was even thankful. She was being sincere at that moment but he'd heard it when she was lying too.

When the captain left they all relaxed, he'd been there for quite some time and they all had to relive parts of the past they hadn't expected to that day. Cas looked at them all apologetically, "Sorry you had to go through that…"

"Shut up, Cas. We'd go through worse for you and you know it." Jet smirked at him; it was always a welcomed expression on his friend's face. "We should get some sleep though; it's been a long fucking day."

"Language." Nikki warned him and he shrugged sheepishly at her.

Before Cas knew it he was tucked in close to Dean, Sam on his other side and his parents very nearby. There wasn't a lot prepared and ready to house a bunch of people at the temporary military campsite, so they were all crammed in together like a big family. Cas loved it, really. He and Meg were the two that would remain awake throughout the night but they wouldn't speak much. She smiled at him when he looked her way and he'd do the same. Dean was breathing lightly but his grip on Cas was incredible for a sleeping guy.

It was nice. It reminded him why he wanted to be better; it was all he needed to remember and refuel him. His family loved him, his friends would do anything for him, he'd made strong bonds and the last thing he wanted was to lose them.

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