Part 3: Home Coming
Ch5 Home Coming
The gravely tone stilled the nephilim’s hands. Carefully putting down the ancient book, lest he incur the wrath of a certain grizzled old hunter, Jim turned.
Standing in the middle of Bobby’s library stood his father, blue wing settling against his back after a long flight.
The nephilim’s mouth gaped like a fish, before he croaked. “I didn’t think you would be able to find me in the multiverse.”
“I have more experience transversing planes than your sister.” Castiel’s lips twitched upwards as his grace reached out in greeting like an embrace. “What have you been doing in this dimension that has taken up so much of your time?”
Words couldn’t make their way through Jim’s constricted throat, but he hoped his expression and the way he clung to the angel’s untarnished wings conveyed his state of mind.
Father and son eventually settled on the couch in the living room of the empty house, and Jim took a breath to make his report.
After Cab’s assimilation of Gabriel’s grace, he returned to the garden with Jim, where he fitted himself into the sagging corner of creation to hold back the Darkness. The three other archangels were disgusted by his existance, and more so by the lengths Gabriel had gone to free himself from them.
“Why didn’t he say something?” Michael raged, green eyes flaring fire.
“He did,” Raphael said softly.
Lucifer scoffed, cold wings wrapped tightly around himself. “For being the Messenger, he was never good at making himself heard.”
“He wanted to be looked for.” Cab ponderously rolled grace imprinted memories around his shoulders. “He wanted his absence to be enough to bring his family back together.”
“Silence!” Michael snarled. “We should just kill you now, abomination, and let Gabriel’s grace free to maintain creation without you!”
“Oh, shut up, Michael,” Lucifer sighed. One of his clawed hands ghosted over the wavering gold grace in Cab’s wings. “He didn’t ask to be turned into this; he just decided to shoulder the burden.”
“For the greater good,” Raphael said, neutrally.
Jim could practically hear Sam and Dean chorus mockingly, ‘The Greater Good.’ From the constipated expressions on two of the archangels’s faces, so could they.
The eldest angel’s eyes lowered. “Nothing in creation asked to be made.” He ran a hand over his mouth in an adopted gesture of his vessel. “I suppose he can stay in existence, on a trial period.” He rounded on the almagamation of grace. “But if you take so much as one step out of line, I will be there with my blade to stop you. You are not Gabriel, you are simply the fourth archangel.”
Cab nodded demurly. “I understand.”
“Good.” Michael straightened up gruffly. “See that you don’t forget...brother,” he said, before winging away.
Lucifer patted Cab’s dark hair, before following. The two eldest archangels had a lot to talk about.
Raphael lingered long enough to shoot him a hesitant smile. “I have extensive experience being the youngest of the archangels, should you wish for guidance.”
Mostly gold eyes softened. “Than you.”
The heavenly healer inclined his head, and vanished.
Jim waited a moment to ensure that they were gone, before plucking at the end of Cab’s wings. “How long do you think it will take for them to let Sam and Dean go?”
“Knowing those two knuckleheads?” Cab’s lips twitched. “A week, tops.”
Turns out it only took five days, before the archangels abandoned their vessels back on earth. Bobby cursed up a storm when the brothers appeared with no warning in he middle of his junk yard.
Dean rolled his eyes at the old hunter’s antics, before enfolding Jim in a hug. “I saw what you look like while being Mike’s prom dress. Those claws are badass!”
The nephilim patted his back stiffly, not quite sure how to respond.
Currently the brothers and Bobby were hunting some kind of triple haunting, or possibly witches, which was why Jim was alone at the junkyard to man he phones now.
Castiel hummed at the completion of his son’s story. “Gabriel informed us of his perspective of events. It lines up with what you have reported.”
“He revealed himself to the household?”
“Yes. He asked your mother for permission to court your sister.”
“How did she respond?”
“She didn’t. I believe her exact words were ‘let him sweat’.”
Jim pondered over the turn of phrase’s lack of realistic imagery, before deciding that the sentiment was accurate enough. “And the host?”
“Once the archangel left, balance was restored, and our grace replenished itself. Your mother insisted that I find you,” Castiel said, wings brushing affectionately against his son’s shoulders. “She was very worried when you went missing.”
“I apologize for any distress I caused.”
“All is forgiven. You were only rectifying the mistakes wrought by your sister, who I have been informed is grounded until the next apocalypse.”
Jim breathed out, sagging from his stiff posture like a balloon. “I would very much like to go home now.”
Castiel insisted on observing the social nicety of bidding farewell to this dimension’s version of the Winchester clan, it having been beaten into him by his wife over the decades.
The hunters promised to return by the end of the week to see Jim off, so father and son spend a domestic few days reading in Bobby’s library.
Cab appeared some time in the middle of the third day. He and Castiel stared unblinkingly at one another long enough for even Jim to become uncomfortable. Eventually, the seraph inclined his head to the newly instated archangel.
“Your sacrifice will not go unremembered,” he rumbled.
The other’s face was uncharacteristically slack, manic grin tucked away under momentary seriousness. Gold wings sifted together, parsing words. “Are you happy with the choices you’ve made?”
Blue grace swirled like storm clouds, brushing Jim’s shoulders affectionately. “As much as beings like us are capable of, yes. Though I do not think it too late for you to achieve such an end for yourself.”
The archangel tilted his head to the side, sharp teeth beginning to peak through his lips, in a much softer expression than Jim had ever seen on his face.
Cab didn’t leave, but he didn’t overtly interact with the one and a half other celestial beings in the house. Instead he...watched. Castiel didn’t mind, so Jim tried to ignore the sharp prickle of almost green eyes on the back of his neck too.
As it turned out, a week absence was much too long for a worried mother and recovering almost-widow to stand, because the day before Sam and the others were due to return from their hunt, Deanna blustered into the dimension with a contingent of angels on her heels.
“Where have you been?” She scowled, trying her best to press her son back into her heart, with how tightly she was hugging him.
“Hello mom,” the nephilim gasped into the older woman’s shoulder, grateful that he was less in need of oxygen than standard humans.
“We are waiting for Jim’s friends to return, so that we might bid them farewell before leaving,” Castiel said, smoothly accepting his wife as she transferred her embrace to him. Her arms shook minutely, as if remembering how close she was to losing that which she now held.
“I was worried.”
“I know. I apologize for causing you distress.”
Deanna cleared her throat and pulled back, wiping a hand over her lips. “Call or something next time. I was about ready to dig up an army to raid this place, if you guys had gotten stuck or something.”
Behind her several angels, including Sariel and Remiel, waved in casual greeting. Atropos, stoic as ever, merely adjusted her glasses.
The huntress took a steadying breath. “Right. Ok.” She turned to the other dark haired figure in the room. Cab blinked at having the weight of Deanna’s full attention rest upon him. “And this must be parallel-Cas then.”
“...They call me Cab.”
She huffed out half a laugh, and in two short strides had him in an embrace as well. “Whatever, you’re family.”
The archangel floundered with where to put his hands, before finally settling for having them hover just over the woman’s shoulders. “Nice to meet you too?” He tried.
The garrison of angels was returned to their home dimension, and the family of three, plus Cab, settled down to a nice evening of watching movies on Bobby’s tiny old TV.
The next morning, the Impala pulled into the junkyard.
Deanna was standing on the porch, arms crossed over her chest, while the boys got out of the vehicle.
Green eyes met green.
“Woah, woah, woah!” Dean held up a hand, dropping his duffle bag. “In your universe, I’m a chick?”
The huntress raised an eyebrow, arms ponderously crossing over her chest, like a stretching panther. “You got a problem with that?”
He snapped to attention. “No ma’am!”
She smirked. “Good.”
Jim breathed out a small sigh of relief. He rather liked Dean, but wouldn’t put it past his mother to make it so her parallel-self became incapable of reproduction in payment for a misspoken comment.
After that, the group decided to eat one last meal together, before parting ways. Sam alternated between laughing at his brother’s parallel life being married to an angel, and casting ponderously soft eyes at Dean and Cab, who spent most of the evening trading shots with Deanna and Cas (or rather, the humans drank, and the angels kept watch over possible alcohol poisoning).
By night fall, the humans were thoroughly exhausted, and Castiel gathered his family into his arms to fly home.
Sam and Dean saluted them with a couple of beers as they vanished. The younger Winchester yawned, and headed inside to crash in the spare bedroom, but the elder lingered.
He took a sip from his drink.
“So, Cab,” Dean hesitated. “Can I still call you that?”
The angel smiled, barely a quirk of his lips, though his countenance lit more brightly than the sun. “Of course, that is the name I have chosen for myself.”
The hunter smiled too. “So, word on the radio is you’re all that’s keeping the world from collapsing in on itself.”
“It is a team effort, I assure you.”
“Still, that’s pretty awesome. Sounds like a full time job.”
“The hours are flexible.”
“I really need a drink,” the newly-instated archangel said.
Dean grinned. “I has been one of those Thursdays, hasn’t it. Want to see how long it takes for them to kick us out of a bar?”
Cab’s teeth flashed sharply, too wide for comfort, with a just there touch of tenderness keeping the madness back. “Sounds like a plan, Stan!”
For realzies this time.
A/N: Jim is at the very least quite high on the asburger’s scale.
Also, yes, I totally stole the whole “can’t live away from your own world without getting sick” from the Amber Spyglass.
It’s totally my headcannon that Michael and Luci, before the Fall, lifed a Sam and Dean esc life. So, like, God went missing, and the two archangels go off on an adventure following clues, like season one in cannon, then the Mark slowly corrupts Lucifer. Then instead of Sam Killing Lilith, Luci Falls. And Michael can’t forgive him.
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