Title: (Re)Making an Angel: The Angel at the Door (1/?)
Characters: Sam Winchester ♂, Dean Winchester ♂, Castiel ♂, Crowley ♂, Kafziel (OC) ♂
Rating: T" width="32px" /> (L2 N0 S0 V1 D1)
Warnings: Blasphemy, brotherly face-punching, dysfunctional family dynamics, suggestions of future angel smut
Notes: Castiel’s grace was stolen, so he tried stealing some more for himself, but that didn’t work as intended. But, there is a way for him to regain it, even if it’s terribly inadvisable. Another angel, long out of Heaven’s reach, remembers the means, and shows up at the bunker, looking for Cas. Sam is paranoid, Dean’s a dick, and Crowley wants photos.
Extra Notes: My source for angel lore is the 1994 edition of Gustav Davidson’s ‘A Dictionary of Angels Including the Fallen Angels’. While I bent the lore a little hard around Kafziel, that’s a bend I made for another story about fifteen years ago, and I forgot I’d done it, until I was halfway into this, so you’re just going to have to cope with me listing him as a former Angel of Memory. First chapter is heavy exposition. I make no apologies for Dean or Crowley; they can apologise for themselves. They weren’t even supposed to be in this story. Bonus points to anyone who spots the LPD quote that snuck in.
Chapter 1: The Angel at the Door
The man standing at the door of the bunker was Sam’s size. Actually, he was larger than Sam, which was distinctly unsettling, but the younger WInchester kept a firm grip on his much-beloved angel blade and stared back into those gunpowder-grey eyes.
"Who are you, and what are you doing here?" It seemed like a good place to start.
A laugh rumbled out of the man’s chest. "Don’t worry. Your angel-proofing hasn’t failed. I have come seeking my brother. I understand he has …" A hint of a smile lifted the left corner of his lips. "Fallen from grace."
Sam looked completely unamused, as he continued to block the door. "Give me one reason I shouldn’t strike you dead, right here. Your kind haven’t proven particularly trustworthy, lately." Or ever, really.
"Because I’m here to help." The angel turned his palms out and lifted his thick, brown arms a few inches from his sides. "My name is Kafziel. Not to be confused with Qaspiel, of the moon, or Thursday’s Child, Castiel, who I understand you know well. I’ve been here the whole time," he said, as if that explained anything. "I didn’t fall with Heaven."
Sam opened his mouth, but the words died on his lips as Kafziel spread his wings. Even as shadows they appeared intact. This was an angel with his full power at his disposal.
"How can you help him? He’s lost his grace. I don’t think there’s a way to just put that back. He already tried." They’re still standing in the doorway, and Sam’s grip on the knife is firm.
"I can give him a piece of my own, and help him to bond with it, to grow it into himself. It was a skill I learned, while I was leaving heaven.
"Before I walked away, I was one of the angels of rememberance. I heard that passed on to Zadkiel. I also heard Zadkiel didn’t survive the fall. He took on so much for me, when I left, but I couldn’t stay." Regret hangs thickly between them, as Kafziel takes a breath he doesn’t need. "Our father left, so disappointed was he in Lucifer’s rebellion, but I could not choose either side. Both seemed entangled in their own pride — forgive me, father, but you were." The last came out as a sigh.
"That sounds familiar," Sam scoffs, thinking of his own father. "Look, this sounds like a long story. You already know where this place is, and I’m standing here with the door open, so I doubt things are going to get much worse if I invite you in. You’re going to have to walk in front of me, though."
"Thank you. I did not think to ask: Are you Sam or Dean?" Kafziel ducked through the door, peeling off his leather greatcoat and shaking out his long, coffee-coloured hair.
Sam found himself struck with that casual display of trust, but it caught up to him pretty quickly that he’d fought angels before, and at least on the stairs, this one could probably kick his ass. He followed Kafziel down to the main level. "I’m Sam. I guess you’ve heard of us."
"I believe Castiel calls it ‘Angel Radio’, thanks to one of you. I have heard of your adventures. I had followed them like radio dramas, until Metatron took that from us." Kafziel stopped and sniffed the air. "Sulphur?"
"No, it— Well, yes, but— Look, it’s just Dean. He’s not really a demon. Well, kind of. He made some bad decisions involving the jawbone of an ass, and for once I’m not just talking about him opening his mouth." Sam paused to consider that. "Actually, knowing Dean, maybe I am. I still don’t know how he got that damn thing."
Kafziel actually smiled, a tired and pained smile, this time. "Your family sounds like mine. Turn your back, and your brother turns into a demon, although I heard a rumour you did it first."
"Yeah, and then I danced the masochism tango with your demon brother. Not really the best couple of years." Sam gestured toward the kitchen. "Do you want a cup of coffee or something? Beer? Microwave burrito? I’d offer you pie, but Dean made it, so it’s probably a little sulphury around the edges."
"Coffee sounds good. Did Castiel ever tell you he and I were present for the first cup ever brewed? It grew on me. He was … less impressed." The main room was impressive, and the kitchen spoke to the thought that had gone into the design of the building. It was meant to survive the apocalypse, which, to be fair, it had.
"It grew on him, eventually, too. It just took longer." Sam kicked a chair away from the table as he moved toward the coffee maker. "Sit. Just put your coat wherever. It’s not like anything else is getting in."
The angel sat, draping his coat over the back of the chair next to his. In the brighter light inside the bunker, Sam could finally make out the details of his dark-skinned face — high cheeks, strong jaw, broad slightly-bent nose — a memorable vessel.
"So, who was he, before you…?" Sam asked, switching on the coffee maker and getting himself a beer from the fridge. He sat on the edge of the counter, twirling the angel blade on it.
"My vessel? A convert. He called out, and I found him lost in the desert and stole him from the djinn. I never knew his name. He woke up long enough to pull me in, thinking I would save him, but from himself, not the djinn, and then he never woke again. I’ve tried — I go to him in the dreams in his dream — but he’s happy. He’s been happy for centuries. I don’t have the heart to make him see the world he loved is gone." Kafziel shrugged, looking strangely human, before he met Sam’s eyes. "I could force him out of it. You know that. But, with me, he’ll live forever in whatever wishes the djinn granted. He doesn’t want to come back."
"It’s hard to come back from that." Sam’s eyes said there was more to that story, but he didn’t tell the rest. He wasn’t sure he really knew the rest. It wasn’t his to tell, anyway. "But, you were telling me about leaving heaven. You what, just… walked away?"
"In short, yes. I was not the only one. We concealed ourselves, carved runes and traps into our vessels, and we scattered. I don’t know how many of us remain, but we were long assumed dead or fallen, after we stopped responding to heaven’s call. Some may have gone back. Some may have fallen. I did neither."
For a moment, there was no sound but coffee dripping into the pot. Then, from one of the back rooms—
"Moose? Is that coffee I smell? Bring me a cup!"
Restrained displeasure tightened Sam’s face. "Get your own coffee, Crowley! Do I look like a diner waitress to you?"
"Well, if Dean’s impressions are anything to go by—"
"They’re not, which you should know by now! You’ve been sucking his dick long enough!"
"You keep my dick the hell out of this, Sammy!" Dean’s voice echoed down the hall.
The angel’s eyes flicked from Sam to the long hallway and back. "Crowley? As in…?"
"King of Hell." Sam rolled his eyes and sighed. "One of these days, I’m going to shove this knife so far up his—" A frustrated grimace posing as a smile shot across his face. "No, it’s fine. He’s addicted to my blood. Keeps him out of trouble. Actually, it usually keeps him curled up on the couch with a box of tissues and a giant stack of chick flicks. He’s… looking after Dean. Sort of. It’s a long story.
"Sorry about that. You were saying?"
"You are an extremely unusual man, Sam Winchester." For a change, that didn’t sound like a threat. "I was saying that I left everything I knew. Perhaps I was driven by my own pride. Certainly by my disappointment. I had always looked up to Lucifer. He was the favourite son, light and truth, but he and our father got into a fight none of us could come back from, and I walked away from my family. And then I just kept walking."
"I did that a few times. Never got out," Sam muttered, shaking his head, remembering that it was not these fled angels he’d been compared to, but Lucifer, himself.
"Your brother came after you with love. Mine came after me in wrath," Kafziel pointed out. "But, I changed. Get one of your books. Look up my name. I am not forgotten, but I am remembered as who I became, and not how I began. I taught rememberance, where I passed; I brought clarity, but sometimes that came with sorrow. I was Saturday’s Child, one of the Angels of Saturn, the Angel of the Death of Kings, one of the three Angels of Memory. And now I am remembered as the lord of solitude and tears.
"I recall the name and the face of every companion I have outlived, and I have ensured each, to the last, has risen to heaven with memory of all I taught, but no memory of my face or my name. I took that from them, that I might not be found. I arrive as a friend, but I leave as a stranger.
"But, heaven has fallen and I am forgotten. I dare, now, to return to what of my family remains worthy of that name. Castiel has made mistakes. I have watched him make many of them, but he has dared to make them. He has tried to do right, even when it ended badly. I respect many of the choices he has made without our father’s guidance. But…" Here, Kafziel paused. "Tell me, Sam, have you ever struck your brother, for his poor choices?"
"Only about as many times as he’s punched me for mine. Actually, less. It’s not that he’s magically less of an asshole, I just don’t walk up and deck people, like he does." Sam finished his beer and poured Kafziel a cup of coffee.
"Thank you." The angel smelled the coffee and smiled serenely, holding the cup in both hands. "I believe I may punch Castiel, once I have secured his grace."
The silence settled around them, and Sam just stared, frozen, as he sorted through the implications. "If you’re going to start with Cas, can you please do it outside? A lot of what’s in here is … just, please, take it outside."
"I will not bring my annoyance with my brother into the home of his family. You have my word. In your home, I will show him only the gentle face of my love. The ungentle knuckles of my love, we will take elsewhere." Kafziel took a mouthful of the coffee and sighed, contentedly. "This is very good."
Sam nodded uncomfortably, and looked like he might say something, but the angel cut him off.
"You seem concerned. I assure you my intentions are not to cause harm to Castiel. He is my brother, and I love him. I love him like a brother, which I believe you understand well." This ended in a pointed look that left Sam grinning sheepishly.
"Yeah. I do. God, do I." A breath that was almost a laugh slid through Sam’s teeth. "I don’t know if he does, though, you know? I’m not sure that’s the best way to get through to him. He’s a little… weird. Been through a lot of shit, lately."
"I know some of what was done to him. I have seen others who suffered similarly, and my living siblings did not rise to help them. My brothers, the other Angels of Memory, did nothing. May have done worse than nothing, as I fear one or more may have been involved. I know he has been made to forget a great deal, and that he has been made to remember things that were never his. It has harmed him. It has changed him. And it may be part of his struggle to keep his … acquired grace."
"Stolen. Stolen grace."
"And that is the other part of the problem. It was not given willingly." The angel seemed focused on becoming one with the coffee. "I willingly give this piece of myself, that he may be whole again."
"So, how do we get it out of you and into him?" Sam asked, leaning against the counter again. "I remember him drawing Gadreel’s grace out of me with a syringe. Hurt like murder."
"That’s because it was killing you. Your body is not meant to handle —" Kafziel remembered to whom he spoke. "The human body is not meant to handle that sort of strain. You were constructed, bred through centuries of selection, to be a vessel for one of the most powerful of all angels. Consider this may be the only reason you survived this affair."
"I didn’t mean to survive this affair. I goddamn told Dean to let me die. I meant to stay dead." Sam shook his head. "I give up. I can’t stay dead; he can’t stay dead. I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do the day one of us really doesn’t get back up, but that just gets less likely as time goes on."
"One day, you’ll die. Both of you. Few things are built for eternity, and if I should outlive you, I will walk you both upstairs. Every person has their own slice of heaven, but I do not think you will be happy, unless you are together. You’ve done so much with so little. You deserve at least that."
"Thanks. Really. I can’t— That really means something. To us. Thank you for even trying. What have we ever done for you, that you’re offering?"
"You’ve kept my brother as safe as you knew how. You’ve made him your brother, as well. None of your kind have ever accepted one of us quite like that. Not knowing what we are. Unknowing, of course, is different. Some of us can keep up quite a facade. But, you knew, and you still let him in. Not as some creature to be worshipped and pacified, but as a member of your team, and then as your family. You cared for him, when our family betrayed him, and blamed their betrayal on him. You cared for him, even after he betrayed you, which is, actually, why I intend to apply my fist to his noble form, once I have given that back to him. Let me give you this one gift, if I live long enough to deliver it. In these days, it is difficult to make a promise."
"Wow. Just… wow. We put your brother through hell and purgatory, and you want to thank us." Sam shook his head. "Hey, I’ll take it, as long as you’re not involved in making us dead."
"You are remarkably distrustful." Kafziel observed, quietly, hiding an amused smile behind his coffee cup.
"Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after me," Sam shot back. "Anyway, you didn’t answer my question. How are you going to get your grace into him? I mean, I doubt yours or his are meant to handle that thing with the syringe."
"I don’t intend to use a syringe. I intend to have intercourse with him."