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Feathers & Gunpowder

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By ‘informing the others’, Castiel had meant informing Balthazar, Ariel, Tessa and Samandriel. Castiel didn’t fully trust his garrison, especially after Hell. It was supposed to be a surprise attack, but someone must have told the demons they were coming.

He landed on the steps outside Balthazar and Ariel’s big, fancy house in Austin, Texas just as the sun had come over the horizon and firmly knocked on the mahogany door.

Normally, Castiel would have ignored the politeness of knocking and teleported into the house, but from experience Castiel knew he should knock when it came to Balthazar and Ariel. He had walked in on them in… compromising positions more than a few times.

The door cracked open and Balthazar stuck his head out. His blonde hair was disheveled and from where Castiel stood he could see that the blonde angel was shirtless.

“Ah, Cassie! Haven’t heard from you since we pulled Winchester out of Hell. What’s up?” The angel asked. He opened the door and Castiel was grateful to see he was wearing a pair of sweatpants.

“Not much. Got a few burnt feathers, but other than that I’m fine.” Castiel entered the house and looked around. Other than two whiskey glasses and a bottle of Johnnie Walker with three-quarters left on the coffee table, it looked the same as it did the last time he was there.

“Ariel’s upstairs, and despite what you might believe, we weren’t doing anything. In fact, we both just woke up.”

That’s surprising.’ Castiel thought and chuckled lightly.

Balthazar walked over to the living room table and poured the whiskey into the glasses, holding out one of them for Castiel to take.

Castiel took the glass from Balthazar’s hand, “Thank you,” and sipped the amber liquid. Lowering the glass, Castiel watched his brother and fellow soldier take a sip from his own glass. “I found Jensen.” The younger angel said softly.

The blonde angel choked on the liquid he was drinking and coughed. He looked up with wide, watering eyes. “What?” He asked.

“I found Jensen. He’s alive and well. Or as well as a person trapped in Hell for 40 years could be.” Castiel stated and watched as horrified understanding filled Balthazar’s eyes.

Balthazar took a shaky breath. “Dean Winchester? Jensen is possessing Dean Winchester?” He asked.

Castiel shook his head. “No, Jensen is Dean Winchester.” Castiel sighed heavily. “Apparently, Michael cut out his grace, which caused Jay to fall from Heaven. With no vessel, he was reborn as human. And on the 22nd of May, Dean Winchester was conceived, the same date Jay fell. He had no memories of us, only regained them when I touched his soul in Hell.” Castiel explained.

For a second, Balthazar didn’t say anything. But with a snivel, the dam broke. Tears, a mix of happiness, exhaustion and relief, seeped from Balthazar’s grey-blue eyes. “How did we not realize- we could have realized. There shouldn't have been any coincidences while we searched. But now, after so long, he’s back.” Balthazar wrapped Castiel in a tight hug. “I can’t imagine how happy you must be, to have the love of your life back.”

Castiel smiled against the older angel’s shoulder. “I am happy. I’m overjoyed. But I’m scared. What if things are different? What if he’s different?” He asked, hoping to being able to confide with his brother with his inner thoughts.

Balthazar pulled Castiel back and held him at arm's length. “Cas, things are obviously going to be different, but if you try hard enough and spend enough time on it, you will grow back together. You still love him, dontcha?” With Castiel’s small but firm nod, he continued. “And Jay is obviously going to be different. He’s spent 30 years as a human, as Dean Winchester. And Dean Winchester is very different from the Jensen we both know and love. But with his memories back, maybe he will become more like Jensen again. A mix of the Righteous Man and the angel of family.”

Castiel smiled and looked down at the floor. He studied the wooden floorboards as he let his brother’s reassurances wash over him.

Soft footsteps padded on the floorboards above them, causing Castiel to look up. They were soft, barely audible. A hunter and soldier’s footsteps. But Castiel could still pick them out easily, having spent most of his existence as a soldier himself.

The steps traveled over to the stairs and Ariel appeared at the top, wearing an expensive sheer black robe, trimmed with pink fur and simple cotton underwear underneath. Over the course of 1 day, she had managed to get hold of Danielle Imagé and also get her to say ‘yes’. Ariel had probably been preparing her for some time before Castiel and Dean met her in the restaurant.

Ariel brushed her brown hair out of her eyes as her deep brown eyes caught Castiel’s blue ones. “Castiel! What a pleasant surprise.” She smiled and went down the steps to kiss his cheek. “What are you boys talkin’ bout?” She asked and put her hands on her hips with a grin.

Balthazar looked at Castiel in question and received a nod in return. Balthazar smiled and looked at his wife. “Jay’s back. He’s alive.” He smiled and released a laugh of disbelief.

Ariel stood still and stared into Castiel’s eyes for a second before she smiled. “That handsome young man you were with in the diner, that’s Jay?” She asked.

Castiel nodded and smiled brightly. “Yeah. Jay had to eat something before he passed out.” Castiel paused for a second before continuing. “But Jay’s human now. Michael cut out his grace, he fell and was reborn as human.”

“As Dean Winchester.” Balthazar supplied.

Castiel nodded. “For the 30 years Dean has been alive, he’s had no memories of his previous life as an archangel, nor did he know his own name. It wasn’t until I touched his soul in Hell that he remembered.”

Ariel looked between Balthazar and Castiel, trying to gauge if either of them were lying or trying to trick her. Seeing nothing but honesty, she took a deep breath she didn’t need. “Wow.” Was all she managed. “Is he okay? With everything?” She asked.

Castiel nodded his head in a so-so way. “He’s happy that he has his memories back, but Hell is still Hell. And it must be very strange for him; living as a human for a few decades and then find out you weren’t who you thought you were and not a human either. So I wouldn’t say he’s good, but I wouldn’t say he’s bad either.”

Castiel gave a them both a second to let the information sink in before he added, “One good thing is that he actually has a plan on how to stop the Apocalypse. A classic, dumbass, Jensen plan.”

“Oh really?” Balthazar questioned, well aware of the archangel’s former plans that quickly got screwed up. His idiotic strategies is why he didn’t become a soldier and instead became Heaven’s master of Enochian spells, sigils and artifacts.

“Yes. His plan is to let all the seals break except the last. We put our time into finding the last seal and then we protect it from any creature who wants to break it.” Castiel recounted the plan.

Ariel shook her head. “As much as I hate the plan, it could work. And I’m happy for any plan as long as it works. And Jensen is an archangel, they do have the right to command us to do anything. So, I’m in.”

“If Ariel’s in, then so am I.” Balthazar beamed.

Castiel smiled at the responses of his friends. His smile dropped when he heard Zachariah call to him over the angel radio, commanding him back to Heaven. “Can you tell Samandriel the news? And Tessa? Zachariah asked me to return to Heaven, so I gotta go.”

“Of course.” Ariel said in a soft tone, taming his hair in a way Zachariah would approve of and watched as the young angel flew off.

When the sound of Castiel’s fluttering wings faded, Balthazar and Ariel looked at each other, a light behind their eyes, hope and happiness, as they hugged each other tight.

Jensen was back.

_______________________

Dean was dying. He was 100% sure he was dying. If he had to read one more Goddamn book, he was going to die. If not from boredom or sleep deprivation, then from the fact that the Apocalypse was going to start while he had his head buried in a book.

Sam, Dean and Bobby had been back from Illinois for 2 days and all they had been doing was reading. With short breaks to the bathroom, to eat and to fill up on coffee and/or booze. Or take a nap. A sweet, relaxing and precious nap.

Usually, Dean didn’t mind reading. Sure, before his memories were back he’d rather be out interrogating witnesses and going to bars than go to the library. But the fact that he’s been reading non-stop for 2 days was driving him insane. And they hadn’t found anything about the seals. Nothing. Nil. Nada.

And Dean’s brain was jumbled, new and old memories mixed together, causing his head to hurt as he read the words in English, the older memories being used to Enochian.

So Dean wasn’t surprised when he quickly stood up from his chair, letting it fall to the floor with a thud as he slammed the book closed.

Bobby and Sam looked up at him, tired but hopeful eyes questioning him.

“I gotta go out. Get some food, go to a bar, pick up someone. Anything! As long as I can get out and escape reading!” Dean exclaimed, eyes probably a little crazy by that point.

Sam rubbed his eyes and frowned up at him. “We have an apocalypse to stop, dude. You don’t have time to go out.” Sam objected.

Ever since Sam found out the Apocalypse was on the line, he had laid all his time into trying to find the seals. Dean and Bobby had to force him to take short breaks to use the bathroom, nap, eat and drink.

“Dean’s actually right. We need a break, Sam.” Bobby said and looked at the hunched over figure of the youngest Winchester. “We could all use some sleep and we also need to stretch our legs.”

Sam groaned. “Fine.” He agreed and got up from his chair and went up the stairs to his bedroom.

Dean glanced after him. “That was easy.” Dean commented to no one in particular. Looking back to Bobby, he grinned and picked up his jacket from the back of the chair and went over to the front door. “Don’t wait up!” He called over his shoulder as he left.

Upstairs in Sam and Dean’s shared room, Sam was frantically texting Ruby for a place to meet. Away from the books and distraction of reading, Sam felt the early symptoms of withdrawal. His hands were trembling sightly, not really noticeable, but still there. Ruby responded with an address and Sam took a quick shower before he sneaked out through the back door.

Outside, Dean pulled on his jacket and started walking towards the city part of Sioux Falls, running his fingers over the Impala’s hood as he passed her. He set his course towards one of the bars in town, Queen’s Tavern, and smiled at the people he passed. Some of the older men and women knew him from the times he stayed in Sioux Falls as a child and he used to run around, eager to please.

After walking for half an hour, Dean arrived at the bar and entered. At 3 in the afternoon, not many people were at the bar, but Dean wasn’t completely alone either. Dean smiled at the familiarity and sat down by the bar. The bartender, a young boy that probably just got old enough to drink, looked up from the magazine he was reading.

“Hi, what can I get ya?” The young bartender asked, eyes sizing him up. In case of a bar fight most people didn’t want to mess with the uncontrolled force that is Dean Winchester.

“A rum and coke, please.” Dean requested with a smile. The young man quickly threw together the cola, rum and ice with a lime and handed the drink to Dean.

Dean took a sip and smiled at the sweet taste mixed in with the bitterness of the rum. He nursed the drink for a minute in silence before he heard someone come up behind him.

“Could’ve sworn you were more of a whiskey kind of guy.” A british voice commented behind him.

Dean turned around in his seat and saw a blonde man with grey-blue eyes, dressed in a grey v-neck shirt, a black blazer and a pair of tight black jeans.

Dean gave the man a half smile, as he looked the man up and down. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?” He asked tentatively.

The man chuckled. “Well, I woulda thought you recognized your favorite brother.” He said with a playful frown.

Dean frowned and looked into the man’s eyes which flashed blue for a second and Dean’s brain came to the realization. “Balthy?!” Dean squeaked.

Balthazar grinned and Dean felt his breath momentarily leave his lungs. Dean wasn’t sure if he should hug him or nor not, and instead sat on the chair and stared at Balthazar dumbly. Instead Balthazar made the first move. He lunged himself into Dean’s arms and squeezed the ex-archangel tightly. Dean’s arms tentatively came up and hugged the blond angel back.

Slender arms wrapped around both Dean and Balthazar, causing Dean to flinch at the unexpected contact. Looking up from the embrace, he saw the waitress, Danielle, from the diner in Illinois, but Dean had a very strong suspicion that it wasn’t just her anymore.

Balthazar broke the hug and took a step back, the woman doing the same. Looking at the two, Dean’s suspicion was confirmed at the sight of the ring of rose gold and diamonds which was covered in sigils wrapped around the woman’s finger.

“Ariel.” Dean smiled and looked her up and down. She dressed simply, in a grey long-sleeved shirt and a pair of tight black jeans, and her shoulder brown hair laid wavy and touched just her shoulders with the tips of it. Her golden brown skin seemed to glow in the tavern’s weak lightning.

“Hey there big brother.” Ariel greeted with a smirk. “It’s been a while.”

Dean gave her a breathy laugh. “Yeah.” He chuckled humorlessly. “Sorry ‘bout that.” He murmured.

“It’s not your fault.” A gravelly voice joined in. Dean smiled before he looked up and saw his fiancé standing behind Ariel and Balthazar, his trench coat folded over his arm. “You really need to stop blaming yourself for something that isn’t your fault.”

‘I’ve been doing it my whole life, Cas, it’s a little bit hard to stop now’ Dean thought to himself. But instead of saying it out loud, Dean just smiled at the dark-haired angel.

The following 8 hours were spent at the bar, catching up on the last 30 years. Balthazar had been stationed in Hell for 5 years to scope out the demons and try to get any intel on any plans they might have, Ariel had taken over the job of fixing and guarding Heaven’s weapons. Castiel had been taking care of his garrison after Anna was sentenced to Heaven’s prison.

“Zachariah has been a pain in the ass.” Ariel commented with a huff, causing Dean to chuckle.

“Samandriel is just as sweet and adorable as he was before you left.” Balthazar beamed, making Dean smile back.

“Anna escaped from prison. No one knows where she is.” Castiel informed him. Dean wasn’t worried. What’s the worst she could do?

A part of Dean felt sad for missing so much and causing them so much pain, another just felt happy that he was back and that he could spend time with them again.

The time passed quickly as the 4 friends drank hard booze and chatted about everything and nothing, tried different drinking games until all of them were more than slightly drunk.

At 11 PM, when Castiel barely could stand straight anymore, Dean decided to get the angel to bed and said goodbye to his two younger siblings.

Taking Castiel, drunk as a skunk, to Bobby’s would probably not have been the best thing. There was a chance Castiel would blurt out the fact of their relationship and of Dean’s true biology. And Dean wasn’t ready to tell them about either. Not because he was ashamed of having a male fiancé, but because he would have to tell them he was an angel and not really their family, which would probably hurt them as much as the betrayal would.

In the end, Dean decided to take the inebriated angel to the closest hotel, a lot more upscale than Sam and Dean’s usual places. With Castiel’s arm around his neck and the angel pressed up tightly next to him, he booked a room with a king sized bed for 2 nights, as Castiel would probably have an epic hangover the next day. Paying would have been tricky if it wasn’t for the fact that Dean had swiped a credit card from some rich college kid, who probably wouldn't tell his parents he lost his credit card.

The room was modern, lots of glass and sharp edges, black and white and grey and silver colors. It was comfortable, and the sheets of the bed were soft and Castiel groaned as he was lowered onto the mattress.

As Dean moved to stand, he was pulled down onto the bed with a yelp as Castiel dragged him down. The angel wrapped his arms around him and pressed kisses into his neck.

“Cas!” Dean laughed and tried to push away from the angel. “Stop it! I need to get back to Bobby’s house!”

Castiel released him enough so that Dean could pulled back and when he did, Castiel glared at him without any real heat behind it. “Don’t you dare mention your surrogate father while we are in bed together.” Castiel scolded.

Dean chuckled and pressed a kiss to Castiel’s lips. “Sorry, little angel.” He murmured against the blue-eyed man’s lips.

Little angel , the nickname Dean had given Castiel shortly after they met in 1483, coming from the fact that Castiel was younger, shorter and had smaller wings than Dean. If Dean still had his wings, that is. He had them cut off by Lucifer a few years before the older archangel was banished to the cage.

When Dean moved to pull away, Castiel chased after him and put their lips back together. “Please stay. It’s been so long, please just… stay with me.” Castiel begged.

Dean smiled sadly and traced Castiel’s face with his fingertips. He leaned down at fitted his lips together with Castiel’s again and let himself relaxed against Castiel’s firm body. *Okay. I’ll stay.* Dean whispered through their bonds in agreement.

Castiel smiled against Dean’s lips as he deepened the kiss. The kiss heated quickly and soon the two were pulling their clothes off.

They quickly became a tangle of limbs and sweat and panting breath as they tangled together and twisted in the sheets. The room filled with moans, gasps and pants of pleasure, all the while their lips were still connected.

They reached their orgasm together with soundless screams, having trained to keep quiet as to not attract unwanted attention. Castiel collapsed on top of Dean, his orgasm and the alcohol creating a comfortable buzz in his body that made him lax and pliable.

Dean smiled up at the angel through the haze of his orgasm, combing his fingers through the sweaty black hair. “I love you.” He whispered and watched as Castiel’s eyes opened. The blue color was truly magical. Like the sky was trapped in his eyes.

Castiel wrapped his arms around the green-eyed man and rolled them over so Dean was straddling his hips and Castiel was laying back on the mattress with his head cushioned on the fluffy pillows.

Castiel placed his forehead on Dean’s, rubbing their noses together in an eskimo kiss. “I love you too, my light.” Castiel murmured sleepily.

My light , referencing Dean’s title as an archangel, who had the brightest grace.

With a heavy sigh, Dean rested his head on Castiel’s chest and closed his eyes. “Night, Cas.” Dean whispered but received no response. Opening his eyes, Dean saw that Castiel was already asleep. With a quiet chuckle, Dean closed his eyes again and felt himself slip into the heavenly cloud of sleep.

Dean and Castiel stayed at the hotel room the entire night and Dean got his first night of sleep without any nightmares since before he got out of Hell. The entire night, Dean laid in the angel’s arms and used his chest as a pillow, while Castiel slept for the third time in his existence.

The next morning, Dean awoke slowly and opened his eyes to see Castiel’s blue ones looking at him with a fond look.

“Morning.” Dean grunted and yawned loudly, feeling his jaw crack as he did.

Castiel places a soft kiss on his forehead as he murmured a ‘morning’ back to the ex-archangel.

Dean groaned and rolled off of Castiel’s body, and by doing so, the bed as well. A louder groan escaped Dean as he laid on the carpet covered floor. “What times s’it?” Dean grumbled as he heaved himself up from the floor with the help of the bed.

Castiel chuckled and received a glare from the hunter. “A little over 2 in the afternoon.” Castiel stated calmly.

“What?!” Dean almost yelled as he fully woke up. He scrambled up onto his feet and started frantically collecting his clothes. He had been gone for over 24 hours and Sam and Bobby was probably worried.

Castiel sat up fully in the bed and looked at Dean with loving eyes. “Shouldn’t you take a shower before you leave? You’re kind of covered in - everything.”

Castiel said and gestured to Dean’s body which was covered in sweat and saliva, and his own release from the night before.

“Can’t you use your mojo and clean me up?” Dean asked as he put on his underwear and jeans. He put on his boots and laced them up efficiently and quickly, and stood to look at Castiel.

The angel rolled his eyes and waved his hand, cleaning Dean’s body with a swipe of grace. “The hickeys, however, are staying.” He smirked and leaned back on his elbows in the bed.

Dean hummed and pulled his t-shirt over his head. “I’m okay with that.” Grabbing his jacket from where it was at the edge of the bed, Dean turned to look at the angel. “I’ll talk to you later. But right now, I’ve gotta find a way to stop the Apocalypse. And don’t forget to check out of the room before you leave.”

With a peck on the lips and a whispered ‘I love you’ , Dean was out of the door. With quick steps, Dean made his way through the streets of Sioux Falls, wishing he had taken Baby the day before so he didn’t have to walk while hungover and freshly awakened.

It took 15 minutes to get from the hotel and back to Bobby’s house, during the time which Dean had at least woken up some and was trying to figure out an excuse as to where he had been for the last 24 hours. The best he could come up with was an one night stand and a breakfast somewhere in town.

The moment Dean entered Bobby’s house, he was not surprised to see Bobby in the study with an untouched book, and Sam pacing the floor in front of him. Both of them looked up when he entered and stared at him. Dean couldn’t help but shift uncomfortably under their stares.

“Uh, hey?” Dean said as he entered.

“Where the Hell have you been?” Bobby growled. “It’s been 24 hours! You didn’t call, you didn’t text, we thought something happened to you.”

Dean put on a reassuring smile. “Relax. I was just at a girl’s house and stopped for some dinner in town. Must have left my phone here. I really didn’t mean to get you worried.” Dean apologized and took off his jacket and immediately felt eyes on his hickey covered neck. As long as they weren't asking, he wouldn't explain.

Sam looked at him with eyes showing an emotion almost like worry. Or was that pity? Dean couldn’t really tell as he shouldered past Sam and collapsed into the chair he had occupied during the last days and picked up one of the books from the pile on the desk.

Sam sat down on the couch and took a couple of books with him while Bobby opened his book and started reading. Three of the best hunters in the world, stuck reading lore books for hours on end.

Dean chuckled quietly to himself at the thought and couldn’t help it when he added; ‘Yo ho! A hunter’s life for me.’

 


I imagine that Ariel and Balthazar's house looks something like this:

(It's actually Jensen's home. I tried to find something original but couldn't find anything so I chose Jensen's house since he has a beautiful, big and expensive house, which is what I imagine Balthazar and Ariel would live in)