A fictional account of Castiel’s journey from heaven, to blend with his host Jimmy Novak, and meet Dean for the first time.
by Merita King
© Merita King – 2013
Castiel closed his eyes and sighed, shaking his head with worry. He knew he must follow orders, and had been listening to the man’s prayers for days now. He felt no connection with the man at all, and had no desire to form one, especially one as complete as the one required of him now. He had questioned the order at first, earned his superior’s displeasure for his insolence, and now sat listening to the prayers reaching his ears, loud, clear and earnest. He was a soldier of heaven and knew no other existence. He knew his work involved caring for the humans on Earth, his father’s greatest creations, and although he exercised his duties without fault, he did so from the comfort and familiarity of his home in heaven. Now he felt as if he were being banished and wondered if he had earned this duty as punishment, but try as he might, he could not think of anything he had done to deserve this. Finally, someone had come and comforted him in his anguish, one of his superiors who assured him that he had been given this task not for punishment, but because he had earned the honour. She assured him that he would feel different once the bond was made, that he would soon feel comfortable in his new role and he smiled, for he trusted her guidance.
One day, as he sat listening to the man’s prayers, Castiel took the first tentative step and answered.
“I am Castiel, and I have heard your prayers.” He was shocked as the man’s emotions hit him like a thunderbolt. Although he knew of emotions, he had never experienced them and the strength of the man’s joy overwhelmed him.
“Castiel?” the man enquired, his voice shaking as tears streamed down his cheeks. “Are you the one? The one I’ve been told about?”
“I am the one,” Castiel replied.
The communication went on for days, and Castiel watched as the experience took its toll on the man’s life. His wife worried for her husband’s sanity and Castiel knew that their marriage would not survive this. He reminded him of this every day but the man was adamant.
“It is an honour to do the Lord’s work,” the man said as he dropped to his knees. “I give myself to you.” He closed his eyes and waited for something to happen.
“You must know,” Castiel said, “that you will be aware of everything that happens whist I am working through you. Some of my work will shock you, frighten you, even shame you, but it is our Father’s work. Remember this always and trust me.”
“I trust you Castiel,” the man replied without hesitation and Castiel sighed. How blissfully unaware this man was at what was to come and how completely he put his trust in him, an unseen force. His faith was strong and Castiel felt humbled as he remembered his own faith faltering more than once.
“You will not be able to enjoy the family life you have now,” Castiel told him. “You may never see your family again and they will grieve for your absence. Take more time to consider this before I bond with you. You owe it to them, for they love you without question and your leaving will hurt them greatly.”
“I’ve thought of nothing else since I first became aware of what is required of me. I am in no doubt that doing the Lord’s work is of greater importance than my personal needs. This is my destiny Castiel; I know that now. I’ve waited and prayed for this my whole life.”
Castiel took one last look around at the only home he had ever known and knew that what he was feeling was akin to fear. He was one of his Father’s strongest soldiers and had gained much respect from his brothers and sisters, but now he was the one afraid, like a child leaving home for the first time. He mentally sent a prayer of his own, and hoped his father received it. Immediately he felt the strength and conviction filter through to him and sighed with relief, knowing his father was giving him his love as he stepped forward on this new journey. He reached for the man with his mind.
“Very well. Open your heart and receive me, Jimmy Novak.”
Castiel let his energy flow towards the man and felt himself rushing, falling from the safety of heaven and down towards the Earth. The smell of sin, anger, fear and ignorance reached him and he almost flinched back, but held himself firm and reached for Jimmy Novak. The man’s energy enveloped Castiel and for a moment, fought for dominance but the Angel’s immense energy and strength, quickly gained control and gently, lovingly, he eased Jimmy’s life force into a safe corner of his mind.
“Thank you Jimmy Novak. For your faith, trust and love. I will not let your sacrifice be in vain, for it is our father’s work that we do and all of heaven is looking to us now.”
Castiel looked down at his new earthly body. He felt constricted in this small body and realised that he had not been able to imagine what physical feelings would be like. It would take some getting used to, after the freedom of his usual, spiritual form. The sky was clear and he looked heavenward, instinct telling him to look up at the stars. He felt a long way from home, abandoned and lonely. With a deep sigh, he turned and took one last look at the house his host, Jimmy Novak shared with his wife and daughter. He felt sorry for the sacrifices Jimmy had made, and would continue to be required to make, but he knew what the bigger picture was. He turned from the house and strode down the street.
Castiel knew he must hurry and find the man, Dean, whom he had raised out of hell just days before. He had hoped that Dean’s mind was sufficiently advanced that he would be able to hear him speak, but when he tried; Dean was racked with pain and the energy of Castiel’s voice caused damage to surrounding structures. It was then that he knew he had no choice but to make the bond with Jimmy Novak and reach Dean on his own level, as a human. He would not be a complete human of course, as an angel of the Lord he would retain all of his powers and abilities, but looking like an ordinary human man might make it easier for Dean to accept him at first.
Castiel remembered the moment he raised Dean from hell. The fight had cost many of his angel brothers and sisters but his father had been insistent that Dean be rescued, and Castiel did not want to question the order. Dean’s screams echoed throughout hell and drew Castiel and his garrison to him. The denizens of the pit had not given him up easily and the fight wore on for many days before Castiel was able to reach for him and draw him to his side. What remained of the garrison of angels flew from the stench of the pit, mourning the loss of their brothers who now remained down there in eternal agony, paying for their angel status at the hands of their captors.
Castiel held Dean close, enfolded him in his energy and rushed him upwards and away from hell. As they flew towards the light, Castiel probed Dean’s mind with his own and registered the fear that was his driving force, his strength. He realised that fear was the thing that defined this man and that if he were to remove it, he would be taking the only thing that enabled him to survive. He wondered whether to remove Dean’s memories of his time in hell, to save him those painful images, but he realised quickly that Dean needed them for the fear they would bring. Without the fear that defined every moment of his life, Dean would be unable to fight any more. Reluctantly, Castiel left the memories within Dean’s mind.
As he probed Dean’s mind further, Castiel recognised other emotions. Love for his family, despair at having lost his parents and above everything else, an all-abiding need for someone to look up to, a mentor to guide him and be proud of him. Castiel realised that Dean never had a proper human childhood; his father’s life as a hunter and the need for constant vigilance meant that Dean learned his way around a gun instead of playing football and all the other usual human childhood games. His unconventional childhood meant that Dean had grown up with a void within himself that only a father figure could fill. Although he was now a man himself, Dean had never had the opportunity to be just a kid and Castiel realised that in forming a bond with him, he would need to understand this need in Dean and give him extra guidance and assurance. As the light streamed towards them, Castiel realised that in holding Dean so close and probing his mind so deeply, he had unwittingly formed the bond and he sighed. Taking a moment to re-bond Dean’s soul with his newly repaired body, Castiel saw the physical evidence of their bond, visible on Dean’s shoulder.
It was this mark, left on Dean’s shoulder as Castiel held him tight in their flight from hell, which was the catalyst for an act that would cause Dean some guilt. Castiel realised that Dean was a stubborn man and once he got something on his mind, he would not let go until he had at least tried to figure it out. This stubborn streak was going to cause Castiel some worry, and he knew Dean would sometimes choose not to obey him blindly. The night was warm as he walked, choosing not to use his powers to travel to Dean’s side instantly. He wanted to take the time to get used to his new physical form.
Dean, consumed by the need to understand who had raised him from hell, and why, convinced his younger brother Sam, and their friend Bobby, that finding out who caused his resurrection would aid them in their fight. Dean had great powers of persuasion and Bobby suggested they consult a woman, Pamela Barnes, a gifted psychic. Castiel had tried hard to convince her not to pursue him but her strength had forced him to reveal his identity. He hoped that by giving her his name, she would end the séance and stop trying to force him to show himself, but her skills were beyond his own powers of persuasion and he had no choice but to obey the rule of heaven and destroy her eyes for looking upon his true form. Castiel had felt no emotion at that moment, as an angel in his true spiritual form, emotions were not part of his being, but now, in the body of Jimmy Novak, the weight of that act bore down upon him and he shed tears of shame.
Despite Pamela having lost her eyes during the séance, Dean remained consumed with the need to find out who had raised him from hell, and convinced Bobby to help him summon Castiel. As he walked, Castiel was aware of the summoning spell pulling him to Dean’s side, but his immense energy resisted it with ease, and he smiled as he looked up at the stars. He knew Dean and his friend Bobby were waiting impatiently for something to happen and he could feel Dean’s fear and the all-abiding need to know, to understand, filtering through to him. As he walked, Castiel felt his bond with Dean strengthening, his newly manifest physical form creating an ever-stronger link that would help him connect with him and be at his side instantly, should circumstances necessitate it.
Castiel thought of the orders he had received from his father and frowned. Dean was not only to be raised from the pit, but he was to be protected at all costs so that he could fulfil his destiny. This protection did not stretch to keeping him from experiencing harm though, and Castiel knew he would have to stand back and allow Dean to suffer and make mistakes. Now that he was in possession of a human host himself, Castiel also realised that he would find such occasions emotionally disturbing. His bond with Dean was not just a spiritual one, but also an emotional one and this was something Castiel had not anticipated. He would have to be at all times, mentor and friend to Dean, whilst retaining an appearance of detachment and it was this last, that he knew he would find burdensome.
Castiel walked for several hours, until he had his thoughts and feelings in some sort of order and understanding, before he allowed the pull of the summoning spell to overtake him.
The barn was secluded and Castiel felt Dean’s energy within, together with the friend, Bobby. The building was old and reacted violently to his energies. With no more than a thought, he commanded the doors to open and entered, overjoyed to be at Dean’s side at last. The fear was so strong Castiel could taste it in the air, but Dean’s need to know was its equal and he stood, gun in hand, defiant as Castiel approached. As one, the two men fired, but the rock salt had no effect upon Castiel, and he walked to meet Dean, resisting the urge to draw him close in an embrace. The knife Dean thrust into Castiel’s heart caused no more than a moment’s pain, before he healed the damage and withdrew the blade, dropping it to the floor. The man, Bobby, approached Castiel from behind and he was forced to subdue him, but he did so without harming him, for he knew Dean relied upon his knowledge and influence, and he would be a good role model when he himself could not be by his side. Castiel felt Dean’s heart pounding as they locked eyes and he allowed himself to be drawn completely into the spiritual and emotional bond that finally cemented itself between them.
“Who are you?” Dean said. He was trying to sound commanding, but his fear was winning the battle with his anger.
“I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition,” Castiel replied, his eyes never leaving Dean’s.