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Dean and Sam had gone to the store to buy some food and replenish all of the First Aid supplies they had used on Castiel. They left Castiel in the care of Bobby and Jody. Dean had helped Castiel back downstairs and sat him on the couch to watch some TV before he left on the supply run.

They returned to the house an hour later and found Bobby and Jody sitting on the porch. They informed Dean that Castiel had fallen asleep on the couch and not to wake him up.

Dean entered the house first, his arms full with bags of whatever they bought. His eyes went straight to the couch to see if Castiel was all right. He saw someone standing over and touching the sleeping angel. At first, he thought it was Balthazar because of the blonde hair. Then he saw that the mysterious man wasn’t wearing what Balthazar usually did.

When he realized who the man actually was, he dropped his bags and pulled his gun out of his waistband. He took a few steps toward the couch. He tried to be as quiet as he could, knowing that it wouldn’t actually matter. But it made him feel better to think he was being sneaky and to have a weapon in his hands. When he felt Sam behind him, he took the safety off his gun.

The man lifted his fingers off of Castiel’s forehead when he heard the sound of a gun loading behind him. He spun around and saw Dean and Sam standing behind him. Dean pointed the gun at him while Sam just stared.

“Get away from him, Lucifer!” Dean yelled. His gun followed Lucifer as he stepped around the coffee table and to the opposite side of the living room. “What the hell did you do to him?” He looked at Castiel, searching for any injury or indication that he was in pain.

“He was having a nightmare.”

“Right,” Dean spat. “One that you probably caused.”

“Sam, you know the nightmares that I could cause. Little Castiel here is too calm for one of my tortures.”

“Dean?” Sam asked, shaking himself out of the trance since Lucifer had spoken directly to him. “You’re pointing a gun at him?” He put his hand on his brother’s trying to get him to lower the gun. He stumbled when Dean was able to push him off balance with one hand. “Why are you pointing a gun at him?”

“Because he did something to Cas. Why aren’t you?” Dean asked. He put the safety back on his gun, wondering if everything was an illusion.

“Because he’s not real.”

“Except he is.”

The brothers looked at each other. They knew there was only one way to determine who was in the right state of mind. “Bobby!” they yelled at the same time. Bobby would be able to prove one of them right.

“Sh…” he whispered and put a finger to his lips. “Don’t wake the angel.” He looked down at Castiel sleeping on the couch and smirked. Sam pulled his gun out and pointed it at him. “Put the guns away,” Lucifer said, dropping his hands. “It’ll only be a waste of your ammo if you shoot me.”

“Yeah, well, it’d make me feel better to put a couple of rounds in you anyway,” Dean hissed. He took the safety off the gun again and pointed it straight at Lucifer’s heart. “What are you doing here?”

“How is Castiel?” Lucifer asked, ignoring Dean’s question.

“Why the hell do you care?”

“Because I want to know if my efforts to save him went to waste.”

Lucifer said it so nonchalantly that Dean dropped his gun a few inches. “You saved Cas?”

“I don’t know. Is he still alive?”

“Obviously,” Dean hissed.

“Then, yes, I saved him.”

Dean’s eyes darkened. He raised his gun and pointed it at Lucifer’s heart again. “I don’t believe you.”

Lucifer shrugged. “As well, you shouldn’t. You could ask my brothers. They’re approaching, which means I should leave.” With a nod, Lucifer left the room.

“Wait!” the brothers yelled, but they were too late. They looked at each other, then at the spot Lucifer stood just seconds ago. Five minutes of silence passed.

“That really just happened, right?” Dean asked. He still wasn’t sure.

“I think so,” Sam replied.

“What the hell is going on?” Dean asked. “Where’s Bobby?”

“Bobby!” Sam yelled.

This time, of course, Bobby appeared instantly. “What? Why are you guys yelling?”

Dean sighed and scratched the back of his head. “Doesn’t matter now.” He knew that talking about it would make them sound crazy.

“Was it important?”

“Yeah,” Dean replied. “Michael.”

At the mention of the archangel’s name, the three angels appeared in the living room. Bobby saw that he wasn’t going to be able to provide any information that the angels couldn’t, so he went back outside. Before Michael could ask if something happened to Castiel, Gabriel stepped forward. “You two look bothered,” he said.

“What?” Dean asked.

Michael’s eyes left Castiel sleeping on the couch and went to Dean. He took a few steps to close the distance between them. “Dean?” he asked, noticing how distracted his true vessel was.

Dean blinked and jumped when he realized how close Michael was to him. He put space between the two of them. “Did Lucifer save Cas?” he asked.

Michael froze. “Why would you ask that?”

“Because Lucifer was here asking about how Cas was.”

“Lucifer was here?” Gabriel asked. He didn’t believe it. He would know if Lucifer was back on Earth.

“I think so,” Dean whispered. “I saw him, and Sam saw him. But more importantly, I saw him.”

“What do you think that means?” Balthazar asked Michael.

“I don’t know,” Michael replied. “Why couldn’t I feel it?” If Lucifer was on Earth, he should have been able to feel a shift in the balance. He hadn’t felt a thing.

“Is that what Pale Horse was taking about?” Balthazar asked. It had to be the reason why Death was surprised to see only three of them.

“Maybe. But it would make sense.” Michael wasn’t saying that to anyone in particular. He was just thinking out loud.

“What?” Gabriel asked.

“Why I felt the trace of a fallen angel’s grace when he rescued Castiel.”

“Lucifer was there?” Sam asked.

“No,” Dean replied. He still could not believe that Lucifer was the one to rescue Castiel from the angels and Hellhounds. It didn’t make sense. Lucifer blew Castiel up. He could not have been the same angel to save Castiel.

“What do you mean?” Michael asked.

Dean figured it was a good time to tell Michael what Castiel told days ago. “Cas said their names were Bernie-el and Leila-el or something like that.”

An unpleasant feeling washed over Michael. “What?” he growled.

Dean raised his hands defensively. “I could totally be saying their names wrong,” he said quickly. He saw how Michael’s eyes lowered and darkened and he felt like he said something inappropriate. Or it could have been that he had kept that information from him.

“Bernael and Leliel?” Michael corrected.

“Um…” Dean whispered.

“Dean,” Michael pressed. “Did Castiel say their names were Bernael and Leliel?”

“I guess. I can’t remember. It sounds more angelic than what I was saying.”

“I…” Michael’s voice trailed off. “That can’t be right.”

“What?”

“I need to talk to Lucifer,” Michael replied.

“Can you sense him?” Gabriel asked.

“No,” Michael said, frustrated. He turned to face Dean and Sam. “Are you sure it was Lucifer?”

A flap of the wings and everyone turned to where the sound came from. “Yes, it was me.” He nodded once. “Sorry, I was close by and listening in.” He turned to his oldest brother. “Michael,” Lucifer greeted with a smile.

“Lucifer.”

“I’d say it’s been awhile, but it really hasn’t.”

“How did you get out of your cage?” Michael asked.

“The same way you did.”

“Why would Father do that?” Gabriel asked.

“The same reason He brought all of you back.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Balthazar said. “You have no stake in his life.” Lucifer didn’t know Castiel. Not like he did. And not like Michael did.

Lucifer, don’t lie to me,” Michael growled. “I know there was a fallen near Castiel when he was attacked by the Hellhounds.”

I’m not lying to you, Michael. Father brought me back.” He looked down to Castiel who was still lying on the couch. “I’m the one who saved him from being torn apart by the Hellhounds.”

Why?

Because Father asked me to.”

What can you do to help him that I can’t?

“Hey!” Dean yelled, irritated. “Speak in a language that everyone in the room can understand.” For all he knew, the angels could have been conspiring against them.

Michael’s eyes darted from Lucifer to Dean. He read his vessel’s mind and could see why Dean was so frustrated. He turned back to face Lucifer. “Were you really the one who saved Castiel?”

“Guilty,” Lucifer replied with a shrug.

“Why?” Balthazar asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Lucifer.”

“Maybe Father thinks it’s about time I bond with our youngest. Maybe it’s time for me to teach him things I wasn’t able to teach him when he was younger.”

“What could you have taught him?” Balthazar asked.

“A lot.”

“Bull,” Gabriel and Dean said at the same time. The looked at each other for a second then looked away.

“Why are you here?” Michael asked.

“I don’t know why,” Lucifer sighed. He could have continued to be vague with his answers, but his brothers did not have any patience with him. “Father just said that I would have to help Castiel. He didn’t say how.”

“So, you saved him. What now?” Gabriel glared at Lucifer. He could feel his wings twitching at the sight of his brother. His grace hadn’t forgotten who killed him. “Father puts you back in your cage.”

“I don’t think it’s that simple.” If it was, he wouldn’t still be on Earth.

“What more could you do for him? What can you do that Gabriel and I can’t?” Michael asked. He needed to know what their Father was thinking in trying to make Lucifer work with them.

“Everything you are afraid to do to save him.”

“Afraid? What am I afraid of, Lucifer?”

Lucifer sauntered into his brother’s space. He stood toe to toe with his older brother. Then he smiled. “You are afraid to be me.”

Michael exhaled through his nose then stepped back. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Think about it, Michael. I get results. Which one of the two of us was able to get his vessel?”

“That has nothing to do with this,” Michael growled.

“But it’s proving my point.”

Michael was going to say something else to counter, but he calmed down. He and Lucifer already had this conversation many times in while they were trapped in the cage together. He knew that Lucifer just wanted to rehash it because now they had an audience.

Michael sighed, dejected. He knew what Lucifer was saying was true, though. There were things he wouldn’t be able to do to help Castiel. Not because of lack of ability, but because of lack of connections. But if they were working together to help Castiel, he’d be able to exploit those connections. “Lucifer, bring Belial to me.”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow to his brother. “Why?” It was a random thing for the eldest angel to want from him.

“Because he allowed demons to hurt Castiel.”

“What?” Lucifer shook his head not believing what he was hearing.

Dean and Sam couldn’t ignore how surprised he sounded. Dean wanted to say something, but there was too much tension in the room between the archangels. He’d add in his two cents later.

“Tell me where he is, Lucifer.”

Lucifer looked down at Castiel who was still sleeping peacefully on the couch. He snapped his fingers and the angel disappeared. “Don’t worry, Dean,” he said as soon as he saw the human’s eyes darken. “He’s upstairs. I didn’t want our discussion to wake him up.”

“Does that mean you’ll tell me where Belial is?” Michael asked.

“How do you even know Belial was involved?”

“Because Bernael and Leliel were, and if those two were working together, then, as always, Belial was involved.”

Lucifer sighed. History had won. There was nothing Bernael and Leliel didn’t do together without Belial’s orders. “I can’t help you.”

“Why not?”

“You think I would go against my own brothers?”

“We’re your brothers, Lucifer,” Gabriel argued.

“You stopped being my brothers when you went against me.”

“You stopped being our brother when you went against Father’s will,” Michael yelled back and he was glad that Lucifer thought to get Castiel away from their screaming match.

“Then why did you all turn your backs and abandon little Castiel?”

And Dean watched as Balthazar, Gabriel, and Michael recoil from Lucifer’s words as if he had punched them in the gut. Michael was the first to recover. “How dare you?” he asked, but his words meant nothing after everything he’d done to Castiel up until now.

“How dare I?” Lucifer challenged. “You’re the ones who turned your backs on him. Every single one of you. Torturing him because he wanted to help the humans save each other.”

“We thought he was rebelling,” Balthazar said, even though he didn’t consider himself one of those angels, he didn’t do anything to stop the torture.

“Yet he was the one who respected and cared for Father’s creation enough to do something as bold as open the doors of Purgatory to stop another Apocalypse.”

“You were ready to fight it right along with me,” Michael growled.

“I was bored!” Lucifer’s voice boomed loud enough that it shook the entire house for a few seconds. Lucifer waited for the shaking to stop before he spoke up again. “I was in that cage for so long, and I was finally let out. Why wouldn’t the first thing I do be mess with my brother?”

“Real mature, Lucy,” Gabriel said.

“You all forget. Before I was the devil, I was a little brother.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. You killed me!”

“You were trying to kill me!”

“Holy shit, shut up!” Dean finally yelled. The angels could have their little family reunion or feud thing after they helped Castiel. He didn’t really think his interruption through when he felt four pairs of angel eyes boring into him. He was afraid they’d smite him on the spot. But he needed to stop the fighting before they accidentally destroyed something. “This isn’t helping anyone,” Dean replied.

Michael wanted to carry on the argument, but he knew that Dean was right. The angels had all of eternity to settle their family problems. They needed to concentrate on Castiel. “Fine,” Michael sighed. “Lucifer, tell me where Belial is,” he repeated.

“I don’t know,” Lucifer replied. He opened his grace to sense the entire planet of the other angel’s presence. He found nothing. “I didn’t even know he was on this planet until you just told me.”

“So, three of the four of you are on this planet right now,” Gabriel said.

“Four what?” Sam asked.

The angels continued talking as if Sam hadn’t said anything. “I wouldn’t doubt if the fourth was here too.”

“Lucifer.”

“I don’t know if you realize this, Michael, but I’ve been locked in a cage for most of my recent existence.”

“You’re supposed to be helping me.”

“No, I’m supposed to be helping your youngest. Not you. And since he’s sleeping, I can’t do anything for him. So, goodbye.” He disappeared, taking a fraction of the tension in the room with him.

Michael let out a deep sigh and turned to head into the kitchen where half a dozen books and texts waited for him. If he couldn’t get any information out of Lucifer, at least he’d be able to help the Winchesters. He was stopped when Gabriel grabbed his arm.

“You know something,” Gabriel said.

“Not now, Gabriel.”

“No, right now.” He squeezed his brother’s arm to emphasize the point. He did not want to be kept out of the loop.

Balthazar moved to stand next to Gabriel. “Tell us what you know, Michael. We can’t help Cassy if you keep us in the dark.”

“You won’t like what I’m about to tell you.”

“Michael,” Gabriel said when he knew his eldest brother was stalling.

The demons touched his grace.”

“What?” Balthazar yelled loud enough that sent a pulse through the entire house.

“Balthazar, calm down.”

“No,” he spat. “They… I can’t…” Balthazar disappeared a second later.

“Gabriel, go after him. Make sure he’s all right.”

“Would you object to me bringing all of them back so I can kill them again?”

“I don’t condone it. But I won’t stop you.”

“What are you going to do?” Gabriel asked.

“I’ll try to talk to Lucifer again.” He had a lot of questions to ask his brother. He hoped that since they had talked through most of the tension and frustration, they’d finally be able to have a decent conversation and find a way to be able to work with each other.

“Good luck.” And with a flutter of his wings, he vanished.

Michael followed soon after.

Dean and Sam looked at each other, suddenly exhausted. Their spats didn’t seem like much in comparison to theirs. “What the hell was that?” Dean asked.

“I can’t even begin to try and figure that out,” Sam replied.

“They’re like children.”

“Makes you appreciate Cas a lot more. He’s the normal one in family. Can you believe that one?” Sam asked.

Dean looked up at the ceiling toward his bedroom. “Yeah. I can,” he replied. He headed toward the stairs to make sure Lucifer actually put Castiel where he said.

--------------

“What was he talking about three of the four?” Sam asked when Dean had come down the stairs an hour after disappearing. He had been thinking about it a lot. Those words didn’t sit right with him.

“You think I know?” Dean replied. “Use your college skills to figure it out.”

“Where would I start?” Sam asked.

“No need,” Bobby said, stepping into the living room with a book in hand. He dropped it on the middle cushion between the brothers. “Read,” he said. When he had come back into the house after the angels left, he found Sam sitting alone on the couch with his pensive look on his face. Sam then proceeded to fill Bobby in on everything he missed.

Dean pushed the book to his brother. He could feel Sam glaring at him and when he looked up, he saw his brother bitch-facing in his direction. “What?”

Sam rolled his eyes. He took the book and set it in his lap. “The Four Crowned Princes of Hell?” he said when he read the title on the page. “That’s who we’re dealing with now?”

“We’ve been dealing with one of them for about half a year. The second, bothered us for more than a year more than two years ago.”

“Lucifer is a Prince?” Sam asked.

“Michael, you get your ass down here right now!” Dean yelled at the ceiling.

The three angels appeared a moment later. “Is something wrong with Castiel?” Michael asked. The question was becoming automatic.

“No,” Dean said. “But you dicks have a lot of explaining to do.”

“About?”

There were too many ways Dean could have answered that question. He wanted answers to all of them. Too bad Sam actually had priorities.

Sam asked. “Lucifer is a Crowned Prince of Hell?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Dean said. It sounded like important information.

“Titles don’t mean much when you give them to yourself,” Balthazar replied.

“Well, it’s important because apparently three of them are on this planet right now. And one of them is a fucking Leviathan.”

“It wasn’t important because Lucifer is helping Castiel,” Michael replied. “Lucifer isn’t working with them, so we didn’t have to worry about them as a collective.”

“So, now it’s just a coincidence that three of the four of them are on this planet?” Dean didn’t believe in coincidences.

“So, now that you know about Belial, what does that mean?” Sam asked.

“I don’t know,” Michael, Gabriel, and Balthazar said.

Dean sighed and slapped the empty cushion next to him. “You guys are useless.”

“The Leviathans are the only things you should worry about. The other Princes haven’t done anything to warrant our attention.”

“Until Cas,” Dean corrected.

“Until Castiel,” Michael answered. But that had nothing to do with them as a group, especially since Lucifer was apparently on their side.

“So, what now?” Sam asked.

“Now, we find Belial.”

“And you guys have no idea how to do that, do you?” Sam said.

The angels disappeared before they had to answer the question. If Dean had the ability to fly, he would have done the same thing.

--------------

A couple of hours later, Castiel came downstairs, confused since he remembered falling asleep on the couch. Dean lied and said something about Michael sending him upstairs thinking the couch wasn’t comfortable enough for him to sleep on. Castiel believed him. Or he didn’t have the energy to search for the truth about something that didn’t really cause too much strife.

The angels returned half an hour after Castiel woke up. Dean glared at them wondering when they would tell Castiel about what they learned a couple of hours ago. He wanted to know who was going to be the one to tell him about the new developments regarding the ruler of Hell.

When it became clear that the angels weren’t going to say anything, Dean took matters into his own hands. “Hey, Cas, what do you remember about your rescue?” He could feel the other angels glaring at him and he did his best to ignore them.

“Which one?”

Dean had to wince. He couldn’t imagine being in a situation where he’d have to be rescued so many times from so many dire situations. “The one from the Hellhounds.”

“I don’t remember much.” Castiel had tried his best to block that event from his memory. All the pain that came from it was because of his own foolishness.

“Anything, anything at all,” Dean pressed without making Castiel feel like he had to answer him.

“I don’t know what you want me to say.” He didn’t want to let Dean down, but he there wasn’t anything he could say to answer him. It sounded like they already had the answer and they wanted to confirm it with him.

“It’s okay,” Balthazar said. “Don’t worry about that now.”

Dean groaned loudly. “Are you guys shitting me?”

“Excuse me?” Balthazar said, offended.

“Stop beating around the bush and just ask him.”

“Ask me what?” Castiel asked. He didn’t approve of them talking about him as if he wasn’t in the room.

There was an opportunity to be delicate, but Dean saw that Castiel hated being treated like a child. Besides, Castiel made more progress when they pushed him a little. “Cas, do you remembered who saved you?”

“Saved me?”

“You were badly injured, there was no way that you could have gotten away from those Hellhounds on your own,” Michael said. He had to agree with Dean. If they wanted the truth about Lucifer, they would need to hear about what happened with the Hellhounds from Castiel. “Someone had to help you, do you remember who?”

Castiel didn’t want to remember, but he saw that the answer meant something to his brother. He closed his eyes and tried to think back to that day. He tried to think off everything that happened that day: Vetis, the angels, the Hellhounds, the smells. Then a face came to the forefront of his memory. His eyes snapped open. It couldn’t have been who he thought he saw. “There… it was just… I was seeing things because of the blood loss.” He could feel his heart hammering in his chest. What he just saw couldn’t have been true.

“Cas, who did you see?” Dean asked even though he knew the answer. He could see it in Castiel’s eyes.

Castiel shook his head trying to shake the memory from his head. “It couldn’t have been. He…”

Dean reached out and squeezed Castiel’s arm. “Cas, who did you see?” he repeated, adamant, yet still reassuring. He wanted Castiel to know that he wasn’t crazy.

Castiel was about to answer when the sound of wings echoed through the room. Everyone turned to find which angel had left. Castiel didn’t expect an angel to arrive instead. “Lucifer,” he whispered. “You’re back.”

“Apparently,” Lucifer replied.

“It wasn’t a dream. You were there. I saw you. You saved me from the Hellhounds.”

“Yes, I did.”

“I… thank you, Lucifer.”

“Of course, youngest.” He looked up at Michael and smirked. He enjoyed seeing the look of anger on his brother’s face at him using that nickname.

“What are you doing here, Lucifer?” Gabriel asked.

“I wanted to see my brothers. Especially this one.” He tilted his head in Castiel’s direction. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“Well, you’ve seen us, and him, now you can leave,” Balthazar replied.

“Not yet.” Lucifer sauntered over to Castiel. Everyone in the room wanted to move to protect Castiel, but everyone stood frozen. He sat down on the coffee table in front of Castiel. He stared at the angel’s face. “So, youngest. What did they do to you?”

“Lucifer, stop,” Michael said. He did not want Castiel to have to relive those memories.

“I don’t expect him to answer, Michael.”

“Then you shouldn’t have asked him,” Dean growled. He moved to put some distance between him and Lucifer. As much as he wanted to stay close to Castiel, he couldn’t be so close to Lucifer without wanting to strangle him.

“Simmer down, Dean. It’s just a question.” Lucifer brought a hand up to touch Castiel’s temple, but he stopped an inch from touching skin. “May I?”

“Lucifer, what are you doing?” Michael warned.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” Lucifer continued, not acknowledging his older brother. His voice was oddly gentle. “I just want to see. Will you let me?”

Castiel took in a breath and let it out shakily. He closed his eyes. “Does it matter?”

Lucifer dropped his hand, with a look of disproval on his face. “Castiel,” he said. He waited for Castiel to look at him. “I’m not going to do anything you won’t let me do.”

“What information do you think you’ll gain from my memories?”

“I’ll know when I see it.”

Castiel stared into Lucifer’s eyes for a moment to search for any deception. He found none. Lucifer saved his life. He had no reason to distrust him now. “All right,” he consented.

“No,” Michael yelled loud enough to make all of the lights in the house flicker.

“Michael,” Castiel sighed. He knew his brother was worried about his well-being, but he was well enough to make this decision. “It’s all right.” If it helped, he’d let Lucifer into his memories.

“No.” Michael said, shaking his head. He walked over to Lucifer and Castiel. He stared at his youngest brother and made his decision. He took a seat next to Lucifer on the coffee table. “I’m—”

Castiel was not surprised to hear his brother’s suggestion. “You won’t like what you’ll see.” He stared into this eldest brother’s eyes.

“I don’t care.”

Lucifer chuckled. “I think you mean you care too much. That’s why you’re doing this.” He scooted over so that Castiel was sitting between them.

“Are you ready?” Michael asked.

“I’m waiting for you.” Lucifer reached forward and put a hand on Castiel’s shoulder. “Relax, Castiel,” he said. “Keep your mind open.”

“He knows what he’s doing,” Michael said. He brought up his left hand and Lucifer moved his hand from Castiel’s shoulder. They slowly raised their fingers to Castiel’s temples.

“I’m sorry, Michael,” Castiel whispered just before their fingers touched his head.

[Chapter 5]   [Masterpost]   [Chapter 6 Pt. 2]

Date: 2012-02-26 01:38 am (UTC)
ext_3277: I made this (Cas)
From: [identity profile] laura-trekkie.livejournal.com
Ah ha! So now I know who else was on the beach at the beginning. I wasn't expecting that, but he seems sincere in his desire to help Cas.

Laura.

Date: 2012-02-28 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dauntperplexity.livejournal.com
I'm glad that I was able to surprise you. :)

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August 2012

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