Parts: Previous Parts
Authors: ameonna1 and kijikun
Characters/Pairings: Castiel/Dean, eventually Gabriel/Sam
Betas: mulder200 and lucdarling
Word Count: 2900
Warnings: Minor language, Baby fic, no m-preg
Spoilers: Up to 5x10
A/N: While not required to fully understand this fic, the prologue: Foundlings and Empty Nests should be read.
Summary: Gabriel's lesson might be over but Dean's and Castiel's is just beginning
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. ~ Proverbs 20:7
When he promised Castiel his help, Gabriel hadn't said anything about behaving or quitting being a Trickster, so here he is grinning and chewing on a Snickers bar as he stands in the corner of a young man's room. Former young man's room, to be exact.
The young man in question is the star of the football team and most popular boy in school. He also has a nasty habit of spreading rumors about girls that won't fuck him, not to mention what he says about boys that won't fuck him. Normally he wouldn't care about such things, but one of the girls worked at her mother's diner and made the best chocolate pie in the state. Chocolate pie which she hadn't made for the last week because she was so upset.
And while this little punishment Gabriel's decided on isn't completely poetic or ironic in the Alanis Morissette sense, Gabriel is quite pleased with himself. He takes another bite of candy, and watches as the boy looks at himself in the mirror. He makes a high pitched horrified sound as Gabriel laughs.
"What’s the matter, Alex? I thought you liked girls with big chests?" Gabriel asks.
The kid spins around gaping at him. Gabriel snaps his fingers before the boy - now a girl - starts to scream. Alex is moving his mouth but no sound is coming out. Perfect.
"None of that now, Alexandria. Now hurry and get dressed. You don't want to be late for school," Gabriel tells him. He isn't going to leave the kid like this forever. Just for a few days and a few object lessons then poof everything back the way it was, except that Alex would be a little wiser and more empathic than he had been.
The human has that pitiful begging, please have mercy look on his face and Gabriel rolls his eyes. He finishes off the rest of his candy bar, then starts to deliver a final zinger before sitting back and watching the show when he hears Castiel call him.
He registers the panic before he registers Castiel's words. Gabriel, I need you. Something's happened - Dean was on a hunt and... The words are rushed, and Gabriel shoves down the instinctive fear he's felt since the first day Castiel was old enough to truly fight.
Gabriel unfurls his wings and shoots off to where Castiel is without hesitation - no sigils and signs and hex bags in the world could hide his fledgling from him. It's another one of the horrid little motels the Winchesters seem to have a sad addiction to, and Gabriel takes some comfort in that. He isn't landing in the middle of a battle with all parties being varying degrees of alive. Gabriel enters the motel room expecting to find Dean or Sam injured. He expects blood. He even expects it to be bad.
Gabriel, Archangel of the Lord, doesn't expect at all what he finds.
"Gabriel," Castiel says in pure relief. There's still a slight bit of panic in his eyes and voice.
The motel room looks like a tiny tornado has hit it. On the walls and curtains there are splatters on what looks like liquid sliver. Castiel is holding...
Castiel is holding...
"What is that?" Gabriel demands. He knows what it is though. There is only one thing that Castiel could be holding.
The small form in Castiel's arms, clinging, is so familiar it hurts.
Castiel looks torn for a moment before he says, "She's a fledgling," there's a note to his voice, as if challenging Gabriel to deny it or dare say that what he's holding is something else.
"I can see that," clearly Gabriel should have taught Castiel about rhetorical questions.
The fledgling reminds Gabriel of Castiel - shadow, light, and space - but the wings are different. The tiny wings shimmer and move like liquid metal, occasionally losing a drop onto the faded motel carpet. He gets the impression of sleepy eyes, peering at him curiously.
The fledgling squirms in Castiel's arms, and Castiel holds her a little tighter. His hand ghosts over the fledgling, soothing her. He gives Gabriel a wide-eyed look.
Dean is sitting on one of the beds rubbing his eyes. "I still don't know why we need him," he complains.
"The fledgling," Castiel says, slowly, as if he's picking each word carefully and weighing it against others, "when she shifted from human to angel form blinded him. It did not affect me."
"I'm fine," Dean, protests, shaking his head and blinking, "It was just like looking right at the sun for too long. I was more worried I'd drop her, it was like holding static electricity."
Gabriel is fairly certain he's missed something rather important. Or someone here is touched in the head.
"Where did the fledgling come from?" he asks carefully, perhaps a little sharply. He can see Castiel clearly in the child, but there are other bits that he can't quite...
The fledgling's form shimmers brightly, and then Castiel is holding what looks like a normal twelve month old human baby. She whimpers softly, curling small hands into Castiel's coat. Castiel adjusts his hold on her, fingers stroking over skin and fine hair no longer shadows and liquid metal, "It's alright," Castiel whispers to the child as she squirms.
The baby flails her arms towards Dean. "Dean," she whimpers. Castiel looks slightly affronted.
"She's bossy just like you, Cas," Dean laughs, sounding calmer about all this than Gabriel feels. And that just isn't fair and Dean will pay for that somehow.
Castiel frowns in confusion. "She was fine in my arms a moment ago; I do not understand the change."
Dean stands up, still blinking, and crosses the short distance to Cas and the baby. "It's just the way babies are. Sammy was like that," Dean assures Castiel. Dean's hand brushes absently over the back of Castiel's neck before he holds his hands out for the baby. She quickly latches on to Dean, settling comfortable into the elder Winchesters' arms.
"What did you do?" Gabriel demands, eyes fixed on Dean. He'd know Dean had put his sticky little fingers all over Castiel, had lain with him... "What did you do, you stupid human?"
Dean's head rears up. "I didn't do shit!"
"It seems we inadvertently rescued a local fertility goddess in our efforts to drive out a group of demons that were terrorizing this town..." Castiel says quickly. He places a hand on Gabriel's arm, eyes pleading with Gabriel to calm down and listen.
"Fertility goddess?" Gabriel interrupts, well, that explains a whole lot. He lets the anger seep out of him. There were rituals that were best not thought about... and it was far better if this was an outside influence.
"Yeah," Dean says, "Pink hair, kinda bubbly..."
Gabriel grins, "Prudence! I know her. Nice gal, I've partied with her a few times. She can do this thing with her tongues you wouldn’t believe…"
Dean rolls his eyes, shifting the baby in his arms. A small head rests on his shoulder, and blue eyes watch Gabriel. "The point is, for some reason she decided to reward us for our 'great service' to her. And then poof, I'm holding a baby."
Newly made, Gabriel thinks. He frowns, eyes narrowing.
Castiel tenses, "Gabriel... Please..."
Gabriel isn't sure what he's asking but forces a smile, "Let me see her."
Dean narrows his eyes slightly, putting a protective hand on the baby's back. "Why?"
Good boy, Gabriel thinks, I'd have to call you a fool if you trusted me so quickly.
"I'm not going to hurt her," Gabriel tells him.
"Dean," Castiel says softly touching Dean's arm, "It's alright."
Dean's jaw clenches and the baby stirs against his chest slightly, sleepy eyes opening again.
"Don't drop her," Dean warns finally, carefully transferring the baby into Gabriel's arms.
Gabriel rolls his eyes. "I've held babies before, you moron." The baby goes easily, though she makes a sound of complaint. She peers up at him for a moment then settles herself against his shoulder, small fingers playing idly with his collar. She feels like a normal human baby would in his arms, but so had Mary's child.
He runs his fingers carefully over her head and down her back. Gabriel doesn't quite know what he's looking for until he finds it - grace, tiny and new born dwelling under her delicate human skin. He holds an impossibility.
The Nephilim had been more human than they had been angelic. A consequence of their fathers' human forms. There had been a few that had transcended that but they'd been born of love, not lust as most Neplilim had.
Gabriel ought to know, he was the one Father sent to seed war and destruction among them. But none of them were like this child.
But this child… Gabriel lays the flat of his palm on her back. She's soft and warm, fragile. The fledgling's small body rises and falls as she breathes; she's fallen asleep against Gabriel's shoulder.
Dean is whispering harshly to Castiel. "Why do we need him? We can handle this. It's not permanent."
"She shouldn't shift forms in her sleep," Gabriel interrupts. "I'm not sure how to prevent her from shifting completely, and she's too young to control it herself, I'm betting."
Castiel starts to raises his hands for the baby then drops them. He fixes Gabriel with a stare, and Gabriel sighs impatiently. "This is different. This is new," Gabriel tells him. "I need to have a chat with Pru. I can see what she did, but I'm pretty damn curious of the how."
Dean nods, "I can tell you where we saw her last. She might still be hanging around." He grins slightly, "She said something about a party she wished she could invite me to."
Gabriel rolls his eyes and Castiel makes a soft sound. Oh, yeah, Prudence hadn't made any friends with Castiel by flirting with his boyfriend. Gabriel would find all this hysterical if he wasn't holding something that by all his Father's laws should not exist. "You're her type, Deano. She likes them pretty with very little upstairs."
"Haha, cute," Dean mutters.
The sides of Castiel's mouth curve downwards, and his eyes focus sharply on Gabriel, "That is an unfair assessment of Dean," Castiel protests earnestly.
"I should have taught you to have a sense of humor," Gabriel sighs, shaking his head, "Did the kid come with a name?"
Castiel shakes his head, still frowning. But now it’s a slightly guilty looking frown, like he's just realized he's forgotten something important. It's the sort of frown he wore once when he'd misplace his little gold lion or his boat, "No, she did not. We have yet to have a chance to discern one for her."
Dean folds his arms across his chest, "She doesn't need a name."
Gabriel watches Castiel's frown change and deepen. If he were in his true form Gabriel is sure his wings would be ruffled in displeasure. Castiel swings his head around to stare at Dean. "Dean..."
"No," Dean hisses, "You name her and you'll get attached. And there's nothing to prove that..."
Oh, yeah, no, Gabriel does not want front ring seats for this fight. Maybe if he wasn't holding the kid, but he remembers what Castiel's tantrums were like and he's not interrupting this kid's nap for anything. "Where's your brother?"
Dean blinks, "Sammy?"
"No, your other brother, Harvey. Yes, Sammy," Gabriel grouses.
"Store. Sent him for supplies for the kid," Dean tells him as if that makes any sense in relation to Dean not wanting to name her.
Castiel nods, and tilts his head to the side, "Dean said we would need bottles, formula, diapers..."
"Yeah, you don't need to give him the whole list, Cas. Baby stuff. It can't have changed all that too much since Sammy was this little," Dean says with a shrug,
"And don't do the angels don't eat bit. Cas already did that, but I'm not trying to find a place open at two am because missy there is hungry and screaming her head off. Sam's also getting sunglasses."
Gabriel laughs at that then shakes his head. "Take the kid. I'll go have a talk with Pru." He shifts the fledgling into Castiel's arms, and watches them protectively; already adoring way Castiel holds her to his chest. Gabriel swallows hard and places a hand on Castiel's shoulder, then squeezes gently. "We will talk when I return."
It is only once he leaves, and sets down in an empty parking lot near where Dean said he could find good ol' Prudence that he allows himself to really think - oh fuck fuck fuck.
Because this isn't good. That child shouldn't exist and there will be consequences for this, consequences he doesn't want Castiel to have to pay. Castiel is already in love with this... his child. Gabriel almost laughs. Of course he is. Castiel is so stupidly in love with Dean, of course he would love their child.
Gabriel, for the first time, wishes that his Father is truly gone if only for the sake of Castiel's fledgling. He sets his shoulders and goes to find dear Prudence.
He finds her a few miles off in a barn that's thrumming with poor quality techno and full of kids who are too busy getting drunk or high to notice him. Prudence is an easy find with pink hair and an orange sarong, barefoot and curled up in the hayloft with a teenage couple that probably isn’t going to be prepared for the consequences of this night.
"Giggles!" She squeals when she sees him and tackles him into the hay, already putting those beautiful tongues to work.
"Mnf! Pru! Hi! Can we talk?"
"Talk?" She sits up blinking and confused, she's drunk. Pru always was a fan of Bacchus. "Gabriel, you never want to talk."
He gets an arm around her waist and levers them both out of the hay, "I want to talk this time."
Ten minutes later, he's behind the barn and Pru is staggering around giggling and trying to not puke.
"What do you mean I wasn't supposed to do it? They were so sweet and manly! That green-eyed hunter just swooped in and bam!" Pru jumps and claps her hands once, "And the angel was sooo nice once he saw me! All apologetic and those eyes! How could I not make sure those eyes were carried on? There was just so much looove in him!"
She spins a bit before falling in a heap at Gabriel's feet and pointing at him from the ground, "You sir, are a spoilsport!"
There are just sometimes when a facepalm is all you have left, archangel or not, "Pru, how on Earth did you mix a human and an angel?"
"Oh, it's easy!" she laughs, "You just get a bit of both and 'smoosh'! You have to have equal amounts or else it won't work! That'ss the key!"
"No, ah, how did you conjure it? Exactly?"
"Hmmm? Oh well, all the love and admiration floating around, you get enough of it you know and you can transmute it into anything," She rolls over and Gabriel steps back to protect his shoes. He's not sure he likes that look on her face, "It's what I always did for the sodomites. It's how I can tell if they're really deserving."
Gabriel winces but carries on, "Prudence, this child is not supposed to exist."
The goddess frowns and drags herself to her knees, "Oh, don't say such a terrible thing like that! Of course it is! Back in my day, people would pray all the time for children! Little gifts from God..." She staggers to her feet and grins, "Gifts from your father, that's what they called them."
"I doubt my Father would be entirely pleased about this, Pru..."
She laughs again, a bright musical thing, "You silly angel, do you think your father would let me make anything he didn't want?" She turns back to the barn, waving her hand at him, "Silly thing, there's still rules and all to follow. Can't make the little ones without following the rules..."
Gabriel lets her stagger off, back into the barn to find more couples and more drink. If she'd been following the rules then...
Had his Father, wherever he was, wanted this? All Gabriel can recall is the storm pushing Castiel into his arms.
“He will grow. He is an experiment, to raise one of our own. Like a human child. Here.”
"Another experiment, Father?" Gabriel whispers to the air before snapping his fingers.
Chapter Two: Bring it on Home