A cosmic boom made the entire house shake, halting my humming. Bobby and Sam came rushing in and I raced to the window where Gabe was standing. A flock of Angels stood just outside the warding lines. A large black Angel stepped forward.
"Castiel, we demand that you hand over the abomination!" The voice was loud enough to be heard for miles. Cas and Dean huddled together, covering their unborn child protectively.
"We know it is in there. Our scouts have seen it pathetically trying to fly."
I realized that he was talking about me, not Cas's baby. Maybe they didn't even know. Cas's Grace could be shielding it from the angel-radar. No, they were sensing the baby, not me, but they have only seen me. I looked around to everyone in the room.
"If you do not send it out immediately, we will have no choice but to destroy the entire building with everyone inside."
I had no choice. Standing up, I prepared to turn myself in, but I was too late. Gabriel had zapped himself outside.
"Gabriel. Why doesn't it surprise me that you are here?"
The Archangel shrugged. "Wrong place, wrong time. I was just swinging by when you and your band of flying monkeys swooped in. You are here for the wannabe bird? We aren't even sure if she is Nephilim. From what I have been told, her wings and Grace were bound. For all we know she could be a trapped Angel."
He was protecting me. I would slap him later for the "wannabe bird" comment, but I couldn't help but feel relief.
Uriel laughed. "I can feel the abomination's corrupted Grace from here. I doubt that you haven't felt it, bound or not. Now, stop stalling, and send it out or we will wipe this pathetic lot from the face of Father's earth."
I really hated being called an "it". I had a name and I would not watch my friends be killed for my sake. I walked to the door but was stopped. Sam forcibly turned me around.
"You are not going out there!"
"Yes, I'm. You all protected me, now it is my turn to return the favor. And," I lowered my voice to a barely audible whisper, "if they called just me out, then they must not know about Cas. If I go, they will stop sniffing around here. Cas and the baby will be safe for a little while longer until you can figure out how to hide the baby's Grace." I looked at everyone. "I can buy you all some more time. It is something I can do besides knocking over bookcases with my wings and twiddling my thumbs."
I raised my voice to normal levels. "Be safe everyone. I'll send you a postcard." I slapped a smile on my face, doing my best to hid my fear.
Let me out! I can beat these buzzards ba-
“No, it will only put everyone else in danger.”
I opened the door to my grim future. Gabriel looked worse than I probably did. He was looking at me, but he was seeing someone else. I folded my wings to walk through the door. Gabe caught the back of my head and pulled us close so that his mouth was right against my ear.
"We will find you and get you out of whatever pit they put you in, if they don't kill you right away."
The Archangel's last words broke the last barrier that held back my tears. I gripped his arm and let my tears run free.
"I'm know, Shay." He pulled away from me and snapped his fingers. My tears were instantly gone. "Keep your strong face on. Show these flying monkey suits that look you gave me when I called you a flying pig."
"You compared me to a flying pig, not called me one."
"Does it matter? Just walk out there, head held high and show them that the Nephilim are a force to be trifled with."
I nodded. Gabriel walked passed me without another word and took Sam's hand.
I looked over my shoulder one last time at the friends who became family in the past weeks. I swallowed the oncoming tears and rolled my shoulders. Turning to my captors, I unfurled my wings, unknowingly letting the sunlight stream through them, making the sunset colors glow like pure light.
I couldn't see the proud, saddened looks that came from the house. I didn't see Cas bury his face into Dean's shoulder. I didn't see Bobby take off his hat and rub his eyes. Nor did I see Sam and Gabriel clench their fists in unison.
All I could see was the looks of disgust, hatred and the rare look of awe in the flock before me. Lilith pounded, screaming for me to let her save me, but I didn't hear her. The soft lullaby rang in my ears, calming me.
Right inside the warding, I stopped. Close enough to touch, but just out of reach, I met Uriel's gaze.
"I want your word that no one in that house will be harmed when I come with you."
"I do not make promises to abominations."
I couldn't refuse to go. I had no other choice.
I passed over the wards.
A rough hand snared my hair and pulled me upward. Uriel's smirk, more like sneer, filled my sight.
"Bound, just like Gabriel said. Means you can't fight back."
My face met the ground with a force that could have only come from a fist. A yell came from the house. I forced myself to my hands and knees, only to be kicked sharply in the ribs. I rolled a dozen feet or so, landing so that I caught a glimpse of Dean being held back by Gabe, Sam, and Bobby.
The sight made me push myself back up again. My wings dragged along the ground as I tried to get my footing.
My breath was forced from my lungs by a blow to my stomach, and any air that I tried to replace it with was cut off by the large hand crushing my neck. I scrapped and clawed at the hand, but nothing would budge it. Darkness crept into my vision.
I sent up one final prayer to anyone who would listen, asking to keep everyone safe, then I let the darkness have me.
Dean paced the car lot, where he was banished after he punched a hole in Bobby's wall. Uriel had crushed the life out of Shay then let her drop to the ground like a ragdoll. The dick had the nerve to smile at them before flying off with Shay -Shay's body- and the other dickheads who had stood and watched an innocent life be taken in front of them.
Dean yelled and punched the closest car. The pain that came from his bruised and bloody knuckles didn't even register in his mind. Shay had been less than a hundred feet from him and he had stood and done nothing. He was no better than the assholes that had flown off with Uriel.
Dean didn't turn to his Angel. He hit the car again and again envisioning it as Uriel's smug face. After about a dozen hits or so, the angered Hunter heard a crunch. Dean sank to the ground cradling his broken wrist.
Cas slowly approached Dean, like a hunter would a wounded animal. He let his fingers gently brush Dean's forehead, healing the break and cuts, before gently easing himself to the ground.
"There wasn't anything we could have done."
"We could've fought. We could've exploded a holy oil bomb and killed the entire fucking lot of them! That would've given us a chance to regroup and prepare for them-"
"Dean, Uriel and his Angels would have blown this place off of the map, like they almost did that town where that Seal was broken. None of us would have survived, then what would have been the point of Shay's sacrifice? It would have all been in vain.
"She bought us time. We can mourn her properly after we have found a way to protect and hide our child."
Dean turned to remark on Cas's coldness, but bit his tongue when he saw the grief and pain in those deep blue eyes. Out of everyone in the group, Cas was the one who had been closest to Shay. Dean draped an arm over Cas's shoulders and pulled him close. They sat there for a long time, just letting the pain flow from each other.
Cas gripped Dean's shirt. "What was that lullaby that Shay was humming?"
Dean sighed, remembering the tune. "I don't know, but it was beautiful.
Cas nestled closer. “It was.”
That was how Sam found them in the morning, asleep leaning against the dented car. He placed a hand on Dean's shoulder.
Dean groaned and opened his eyes. "What, Sammy?"
"I think I might have a way to hide the baby."
Dean was instantly awake and gently waking Cas. Inside a short time later, Gabriel was leaning against the doorway, Bobby, Cas and Dean sat at the table, and Sam stood with a file folder in his hands.
"So what's your idea, Sam?" Bobby inquired.
Sam clutched the folder. "I think Shay gave us more than time. She gave us a way to hide the baby."
"How?" Dean asked, not sure he was liking where his brother was going.
Sam put the folder on the table and motioned Gabe over. The men gathered around the table and peered at the folders contents.
Dean stood up abruptly and dashed the papers onto the floor. "No!" He roared. "I'm not doing that to my kid!"
"Shay was hidden from the Angel's because of her scars for her entire life. You have to consider the possibility that this might be our only option."
Dean stormed out of the kitchen. Sam turned to Cas, who was thinking. The Angel's face was pale, but the determined set of his jaw showed that he had made up his mind.
"I will talk with Dean."
Cas left the remaining three alone with a tense silence. Bobby glared at Sam.
"You are seriously considering cutting sigils into your infant niece or nephew? Have you been sucking demons' blood behind our backs? Because that is the only reason that you would even consider this!"
Sam took the verbal abuse. "Bobby, we have scoured every book in your arsenal. Anything short of locking it away in the saferoom for its entire life, nothing can ensure that it is always hidden from view."
Gabriel was quiet. He needed to get some air. He sat back on a rock at the top of Pikes Peak. The Archangel knew he would get yelled at for just up and leaving, but he couldn't stand in that room any longer.
The bustling city at his feet moved forward, unaware that one of its own had been killed just hours before. His head fell into his hands. Shay's sacrifice had brought back too many memories long buried.
A hand rested on his shoulder. Gabe sighed. "I don't want to go back yet, Casie. I just need some air from a different state.
It took a second to realize the hand that rested on his shoulder was much too small to be his younger brother's. He turned to see who it was and immediately jumped to his feet, blade in his hand.
"What are you?""It doesn't matter, but you need to listen to me. Your friend's life hangs in the balance."