Dean had to admit that some of the things he's done is pretty stupid. But he also knows if he doesn't push an issue, he'll never know the limits, his limits, of the situation.
He used the fact that an angel pulled him out of hell to bitch-slap a demon across the face. He used the fact that God may have saved him to intimidate Zachariah. He used the fact that he is Michael's vessel to coerce an arch-angel into doing something foolish.
He also knew if he kept poking the bull with a stick, it will eventually poke back.
The girl standing in front of him looked to be no older than fourteen. She was a short Asian girl, dressed in what looked to be her school uniform. Black skirt, white shirt, black tie, complete with black shoes and high-knee black socks. Nothing about this girl screamed 'intimidating.'
Except Dean knew he and Sam should be very afraid. After all, there was only one person in the world who would make Castiel kneel to.
Clutched in Castiel's hand he held Dean's precious Christmas gift from Sam. The amulet was glowing a fearful red, almost to a brilliant white. As realization dawned upon the Winchesters, their green eyes grew wide with fear and shock.
Castiel was on one knee, his head down, his eyes closed. He was trembling – trembling. Dean couldn't believe it – and it sounded like he was trying to keep his breathing under control.
"Castiel," The girl spoke, making the angel kneeling before her flinch. "Do you know who I am?"
"Metatron," he answered softly.
Sam jerked at the name. Dean frowned, turning to his brother for confirmation. "Wait, that's not God?"
Sam shook his head. "No, but she might as well be. The Metatron is a seraphim, the head honcho of angels. She," he licked his lips anxiously. "She is God's voice."
Dean didn't really understand what that truly meant, but if Castiel and Sam found her to be awe-inspiring, maybe he should sit up and take notice. "She doesn't sound like much," he mumbled under his breath. Sam slapped him on the arm.
The action does not go unnoticed. Metatron's dark eyes rose from Castiel to them. Sam and Dean unconsciously shrunk back in a almost guilty manner, like children being scolded from their parents. "So, these are the humans you turned your back on heaven for," she drawled.
"Yes," Castiel said.
"They're…" he paused. Took a breath and continued, "They're the ones I believe would stop the apocalypse."
"Michael's Sword and Lucifer's vessel."
The girl's eyes lingered on the boys for a few seconds longer before going back down on Castiel's bowed form. She scowled. "You chose humans over your brothers and sisters."
"You've killed your siblings for these humans."
Dean could hear the guilty building in on each "Yes."
"You went against Zachariah's orders."
Dean didn't like this. He didn't like standing there, watching Castiel be chewed out. It reminded him too much of the arguments between his dad and Sammy. No matter the cause, no matter how right Sam was, for John Winchester, it was his way or the highway.
As the questioning continued, Metatron's voice got lower, got deeper, sounding more like a man than a teenage girl. "You hid the Michael Sword from heaven."
"Why, Castiel? Why did you do it?"
"At least he did something, you lazy son of a bitch."
Dean didn't even realize the words had spilt out of his mouth until it was too late. Castiel went deadly still while a very tense silence came over the room.
A rampant string of ohshitohfuckI'mdeadI' ran through Dean's head. He looked over to Sam. He could see the mental groan on his brother's face. Hell, Dean would've bet money that Sam was probably thinking the same thing he was.
We are so fucked.
He turned back to the Metatron who hadn't moved from her spot. She was staring at him and Dean didn't have to be a psychic to sense the power behind her glare. "You wish to say something?" She asked, her voice back to sounding female.
Sam touched Dean's shoulder. "Dean, don't."
That would probably be the smart thing. Just back off. Don't piss off the smiting angel.
Castiel turned his head slightly, to peer over his shoulder back towards Dean. His blue eyes were wide and fearful. Dean knew what was at stake: it wasn't just his life but Sam's and Castiel's.
But, if they were all really and truly fucked, he might as well go down swinging.
Dean shrugged of Sam's hand, crossed his arms and said, "Yeah, I do. Where the hell have you been doing? As far as I know, God has no need for you since he hasn't spoken to anybody this whole damn time."
"Dean-" Sam said warningly.
"What I do for my Father is none of your business," Metatron growled at him.
"You see, that's exactly the point," Dean chuckled. "You've made it your business to allow your fellow angelsto believe their Father is dead. I mean, am I talking to God right now or are you allowing Cas to kneel in front of a lying bastard?"
"God only chooses to speak to the worthy. You are not."
"Worthy? Yeah, I guess I can see that. I mean, we only stopped the apocalypse, sent Lucifer back to hell, and prevented the Croatoan virus from spreading worldwide. You're totally right, we're not worthy."
"You've been touched by Hell's light. He," she spat, her gaze turned to Sam. "is Devil spawn and he," she looked back to Castiel. "has Fallen. Tell me, what part of that is considered redeemable?"
"We stopped the apocalypse."
She might as well have slapped him. Dean's next breath was caught in his throat. His prompt bravery, his confidence, shot down.
So nothing? Nothing they did mattered? The people that died, the sacrifices they made, none of it mattered?
Dean felt his chest tightened painfully.
"You're lying," Dean jerked out of his daze. Sam stepped forward, taking his place next to him. "If stopping the apocalypse means nothing, then why bother taking Dean out of hell? Why bother putting us on that plane? Why bother sending the one angel who was willing to go against Heaven to us?"
Dean almost grinned. Leave it to Sam to keep an eye out on the details. He turned back to Metatron, and said, "Yeah."
"To see if you will make the right decisions," Matatron sneered at him. "Guess what, demon boy, you didn't."
It was a low blow and although it only took a little out of Sam's sails, it was enough. Sam was still angry, still defiant, but like in the presence of their father, he knew arguing didn't matter. She was going to see only what she wanted to see.
"Then this argument is pointless."
Castiel lifted his head. There were tears streaming down his face but his mouth and eyes were set in grim determination. Dean wanted to step forward to tell the angel to stop; he was the only one in the room who had a snowball in hell of a chance of leaving whole-
Castiel stood. It was slow and jerky and it looked as if all he wanted to do was go back down and beg for forgiveness.
Dean had to give it to him. Not that many people were willing to go against Heaven twice.
Castiel backed up away Metatron, towards Sam and Dean. Once he was within their proximity, they placed their hands on his shoulders. If it was to give the angel strength or to derive strength from him, Dean didn't know. It felt like the right thing to do.
"You've made your decision," Castiel said. His voice was stronger now. "And we're done arguing with you. We did what we believed what we had to do. Either kill us or send us to hell because frankly, Metatron, I'm tired of hearing your lame-ass voice."
A bark of laughter erupted from Dean and he fought- lamely- to keep it down. That one night, standing in front of Raphael, Castiel had called the archangel 'his little bitch.' Back then, Castiel had very little experience with human expressions and when he said that, it sounded so damn awkward, Dean ended up laughing for a good twenty minutes afterwards.
It been months since then. Months of Castiel mimicking the way Dean said certain things. So when he said, 'I'm tired of hearing your lame-ass voice,' flawlessly, Dean couldn't help but feel proud.
Metatron said nothing. Her eyes kept roaming between the three of them, her heading tilting to one side. Dean suddenly realized she was listening. Listening to whom?
Like he had to ask.
Metatron jerked her head back up, making them all jump. "So be it."
Her wings spread out. They weren't like Castiel's; his were black, coarse and small. No, hers were pure white, soft, and full. She had what all angels should have. If Dean had seen those wings coming from Castiel's back the first time he met him, then he might've been inclined to believe off the bat Castiel was an angel.
When Metatron spoke, her voice multiplied, giving her her own surround sound. "This is your punishment," she said, the windows of the motel rattling because of it. The whiteness of her wings suddenly became too much and Dean tore his eyes away. Her voice still echoed through, burning deep into him.
And then the light was gone. Metatron and her freaky Asian vessel, gone. Leaving Dean, Sam and Castiel to stand in their motel, speechless.
Dean broke the silence. "Uh…why aren't we dead?"
Sam blinked at him. "Dude," he breathed. "You have a moustache."
"What?" Dean walked over to the bathroom. Flipped on the light and-
Yes, indeed. He did have a moustache.
But not a real one. A drawn one. The kind of moustache kids draw on themselves with a marker, allowing the ends to loop-de-loop. Dean took a piece of toilet paper, wetted the ends and wiped his face. The moustache did not disappear. It didn't even smear. Dean tried again and again, only succeeding in making his skin red and covered in spots of wet paper. "What the hell?"
And it wasn't just Dean. Sam was sporting a full blown Hitler-sharpied moustache while Castiel-
"I do not understand," he said, looking at himself in the mirror. "What does this shape represent?"
The Winchester boys couldn't help but giggle like five year olds. "It's a dick, Cas. You have a dick drawn on your face."
"This is messed up," Dean growled, trying to use soap to wash the offending 'stache off. So far, no avail. "This is our punishment? Freakin' moustaches? I swear, angels have the humor of a five year old."
"What, you wanted something worse?" Sam asked.
"No. I was expecting something worse. I mean, is this it?"
"I don't know," Castiel said from the side. His hand was rubbing his cheek and newfound drawn organ. "It should be worse. All three of us should be dead. But we're not. Not even close." He frowned.
"So… do you know what that means?"
"Thanks for that, Cas. Really."
Sam gave up on trying to rub his Hitler-stache away. He sighed bitterly and sat down on the bed next to Castiel. "This leaves too many questions. If this is really our punishment- don't give me that look, Dean This is best we should hope for. – Then does that mean we've been forgiven?" Sam turned to Castiel. "Cas, can you go home?"
"I don't know," he admitted. "I lost my… 'mojo' before Metatron appeared and she has not restored it. If I have been forgiven, I won't know until I die."
Dean strolled towards the door. "Great, I'll get my gun."
Sam glared at him. "Dude. Not cool."
"I just wanna know how long this is suppose to stay on. I'm not going to be able to meet girls with this thing on my face. Oh, and Cas? Can I have my necklace back?"
Despite his bitching, Dean was more than relieved to think this was it. He could handle a lifetime of humiliation from his stupid moustache if it meant neither Sam nor Castiel was going to be harmed. So he joked and laughed because he felt good. And for the first time, in a long time, the weight of the world wasn't resting on his shoulders.
Castiel stared at the little amulet for a second before silently passing it over to Dean.
Dean took back the necklace and quickly slipped it on. The weight of it made him feel complete. His good mood dampened when he saw the slight devastation on Castiel's face. "Hey, you alright?"
Castiel shook his head. "This… was not what I was expecting."
"God," He said. "I thought…" He trailed off, his lips thin.
"Cas, you should be proud," Sam interjected. "I mean, you literally found God."
"I still have my doubts," The former-angel said. "I didn't see him, I can't feel him. I don't know if he… hates me or…"
"Cas," Dean leaned down, catching his eye. He waited for Castiel to lift his head up. "You have a dick. On your face. Trust me, he doesn't hate you."
"Sam looks like Hitler-"
"-And I look like a villain from a Disney cartoon. Okay, this punishment? It sucks. It sucks hard. I don't know if this is the end or the beginning but you know what? I'm okay with that. Because we saved the world, we stopped Lucifer, we found God, and nobody was deep fried in a ball of angelic light. We have no answers, but has that ever stopped us before?"
"Yes," quipped Sam.
"All the time," said Castiel.
Dean all but groaned. He retrieved his jacket and slipped it on. "Both of you can go screw yourselves. I'm going out to get a beer."
Sam made a face. "Like that?"
"I've been in bars looking worse. See ya Hitler. Penis-face." And with a crackle, Dean closed the hotel door behind him.
It was a beautiful night.
A/N: I dunno where I was going with this one. Just simply because if Kripke DOES plan for Cas to find god, I think the closest we might get is Metatron. Or some other high-ranking angel to speak for Him. R/R, please.