daylight_darknight: (Supernatural Family)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
Everything in the following fic will ultimately become untrue after the next episode of Supernatural, but I can still dream, cant' I?

Title: Through New Eyes
Characters: Bobby, Castiel, Sam, Dean
Rating/Warnings: PG for mild swearing
Genre: Angst, Drama, Fluff
Word Count: 2271
Spoilers: Up to and including 7x20
Summary: Bobby and Castiel's reunion brings with it a few surprises and few revelations.

Through New Eyes
By Daylight

Bobby found out about Castiel several weeks after the fact, and even then it was a while before he got the whole story.

Thanks to his massive efforts to knock a simple book off a table, he lost two weeks and missed out on the dramatic reunion.

But it was what he’d needed to do at the time, what he needed to do to help Dean help Sam. Not that he’d known Mackey would lead Dean to Cas. He hadn’t even known for sure Mackey would be any help. He’d just known that if anyone knew any real magic healers, it would be Mackey. The guy had a penchant for looking into any and all possible miracles, mostly so he could personally debunk them. He knew the difference between the flashy charlatans and those who were the real deal.

So when Bobby finally came back from the ether, or wherever he ended up when he wasn’t fully aware, and found Sam not only out of the hospital but with his sanity fully intact for the first time in almost a year, he’d assumed his little trick had paid off. He assumed they’d found some mook with a penchant for hoodoo and he’d done a successful laying on of hands; then gone on his way. There wasn’t any reason to think differently.

That was until Dean started making calls to Meg asking the demon about the current condition of their formerly lost angel.

He wasn’t sure what shocked him more: the fact Castiel was alive or the fact Dean and Sam were suddenly on good terms with that she-demon. He ranted lengthily on the subject to the boys despite the fact neither could hear him. He also spent a lot of time demanding to know what had happened to Cas, but Sam and Dean remained equally deaf to his questions.

Slowly and painfully, Bobby managed to piece together what had happened. He learned what he could from the one sided phone conversations and the few words exchanged between the brothers on the subject, but it wasn’t until he’d gotten his ghost energy boost and was actually able to speak to them again, that he heard the full story of ‘Emmanuel’ and how he’d helped Sam.

Bobby didn’t know what to think on the subject. Their friend was back, but he was in such a deep catatonic state, he might as well be gone. Of course, there wasn’t actually that much time to dwell on it. There were rather more pressing concerns at the time like the Leviathan and Dick.

And then Castiel got better.

When Bobby heard, he wasn’t sure what his first words should be to Cas when he saw him again. He wasn’t sure if he should welcome him back or chastise him for the trouble he’d caused. He wasn’t sure if he should continue to mistrust the angel or just give the poor guy a ghostly hug.

But none of that mattered because the first thing Bobby ended up saying when he finally saw Cas was:

“Holy shit!”

Sam, Dean, and Castiel were standing about in the middle of the cabin they’d currently holed up in as the brothers filled in the angel on what they’d learned so far. At Bobby exclamation, both Sam and Dean’s heads swung around gazing at the ghostly hunter in confusion, but the expression on Cas’ face was one of surprise.

“I’m sorry,” he said hesitantly. “I was unaware Bobby had passed.”

The brothers winced. Apparently, they hadn’t gotten around to informing Cas about the little fact that Bobby was now dead.

The old hunter would have rolled his eyes if he could have broken them away from staring at the angel.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” said Sam sheepishly.

“Why is he…?” Cas asked, eyes flickering from Bobby to the brothers.

“Hanging around here when he should be throwing back an ice cold beer in paradise?” Dean helpfully finished for him. “He dodged his reaper, decided it was best for all of us if he stuck around a bit longer.”

Castiel frowned. “That seems unwise.”

“Try telling him that.”

If he wasn’t so distracted, Bobby would have stood up for himself, but as it was, there were other things occupying his mind.

Sam cleared his throat. “Ah, Bobby?”

Still trying to absorb what he was seeing, Bobby didn’t reply.

The brothers exchanged glances.

“Listen, I know you haven’t exactly seen Cas in a while,” said Dean, “but could you tell us why you’re staring at him like he’s the Lost Ark of the Covenant?”

Castiel gazed back at Bobby curiously seemingly unfazed by his stares, but then he’d never really gotten the social cues about eye contact.

“You know how you learn something new every day?” Bobby said still staring at Cas. “Well apparently, ghosts can see angels.”

Actually, Bobby wasn’t entirely sure what he was seeing, but he was pretty sure the last time he’d seen Cas, he didn’t glow.

It wasn’t a blinding light, just a soft shimmer that seemed to shift and flow beneath Cas’ skin as if it were alive. It leaked out of his blue eyes when he blinked and out of his mouth when he spoke, dissipating into the air. There was also an echo to his words that hadn’t been there before, a high pitch hum. It had an almost musical quality to it.

And then there were the wings.

The wings were definitely hard to ignore. Large and majestic, they were folded neatly behind Castiel’ back, each black feather pulsing with the same shimmering light.

Bobby took a step closer unable to stop himself from reaching out to touch them. He was actually surprised when he found he could. The feathers were real and solid beneath his hand, and amazingly soft.

Castiel flinched slightly and the wings twitched out of his reach.

Suddenly feeling as if he’d done something that might be considered rather inappropriate in angel circles, Bobby blushed. “Sorry,” he said.

The angel looked at him warily but seemed to accept the apology and offered one of his own. “I’m sorry about your death,” he stated matter-of-factly. The light fell from his mouth like smoke and the echo of his words sang a mournful tune.

Bobby shrugged. It had admittedly been Cas’ fault that the Leviathan had gotten free and in the process of trying to make the world their diner, killed Bobby, but he knew none of that had been Cas’ intention. “These things happen in our line of work.”

Castiel nodded but he still looked regretful. His wings drooped slightly.

“Well, if you’re done checking each other out,” interrupted Dean, “could we get back to saving the world?”

Saving the world as usual took precedence, but as the four of them worked together over the following months trying to find that chink in the Leviathan’s armour, Bobby often found his gaze drawn back to the angel. Before, he could almost pretend Cas was human. Now, there was no denying what he was.

Bobby soon got used to the glow and the echo the brothers could never hear, but the wings were something else. They often seemed to move of their own volition as if they were a living creature in their own right, and the wings had a lot to say. They spoke of Castiel’s emotional state much more than his face did, and through careful observation, Bobby soon learned to read them.

Though Cas usually kept his wings tightly folded behind his back, they’d begin to unfurl if he grew angry. The angrier he was the further they’d spread out. And once, when Cas was particularly pissed, he flapped them several times in the air and creating an ice cold breeze through the room.

Cas also unfurled his wings when he was getting ready to attack. Bobby was amazed by the way the wings swung and danced as Castiel fought. He’d have thought they’d be a hindrance. Instead, they seemed to support the angel giving him strength and balance.

Sometimes, it seemed as he was almost about to take flight.

They would twitch if he was startled. They would curl around him if he was feeling bad. When he was tired, or drained, the wings sagged downward, sometimes almost dragging on the ground. There were also times when things Dean and Sam said literally made Cas’ feathers ruffled. Bobby had to stifle back a laugh the first few times he saw that happen.

The wings gave away other things too.

There was a time Cas fought a battle on his own against a group of demons. When he returned, his clothes and vessel were intact, and to the brothers, it must have seemed as if he’d come through unscathed, but Bobby could see how ragged his wings were. Feathers were bent and missing, and covered in something that wasn’t quite blood. The light that always encompassed him had grown dim.

“You all right, Feathers?” Bobby asked, his nickname for the angel never seeming more appropriate.

Castiel gazed at him tiredly. “I’ll be fine.”

Sam and Dean looked from one to the other in confusion, lost as if they’d come in halfway through a conversation.

“You should take a break,” Bobby said. Cas had been going non-stop ever since he’d recovered, trying to make up for what he’d done. Bobby doubted he’d ever taken a moment just for himself.

“But I need to…”

“Sit,” Bobby commanded in his no-nonsense voice.

Castiel’s eyes narrowed as he gazed at him. Feathers ruffling, his wings unfurled slightly, upward and out.

“Don’t give me that attitude. Even angels need to rest once and a while. Now, sit.”

The wings slumped back down. Castiel let out an exasperated sigh, but Bobby thought he caught a look of relief as the angel sank down on to the couch.

There were other times when the wings showed just how much Cas cared.

Castiel was seldom one for touching, but when he was close to the Winchesters, the wings would often start to curl around them, enfolding them almost as if he were trying to give them a hug.

It was more evident when either Sam or Dean were hurt. The wings would hover protectively over the injured brother sometimes wrapping around them entirely. There was no denying what the wings were saying then.

Sometimes when things were really bad, Castiel would enfold both brothers tightly in his wings and the light would leak from his eyes like tears.

Bobby was never quite sure where he fit into Cas’ view of things. There seemed to be only three things important to the angel: Heaven, the state of the world as a whole, and the Winchester brothers. But one day, Bobby was given a pretty big clue.

Invisible to the normal eye, Bobby was keeping watch over the brothers. They were currently squatting in an abandoned home stripped bare of everything but a few dilapidated pieces of furniture. Sam and Dean sat eating another meal of burgers and fires on a table half covered by paper and books as Bobby watched from the other side of the room.

He did this partially because staying visible was exhausting, and partially because this was as close to privacy as he got those days, and partially because truthfully, he enjoyed keeping an eye on them when they weren’t aware of it.

With the sound of fluttering feathers, Castiel appeared beside him. The room grew a little brighter as it always did when the glowing angel turned up.

“Bobby,” he said.

“Hey, Cas.”

Bobby couldn’t say he was surprised that the angel could see him when Sam and Dean could not. As he watched, Sam glanced absentmindedly out the window behind them, and Bobby realized Cas was just as invisible. He opened his mouth to tell Castiel off for spying, after all that was one of the things that had gotten him into trouble in the first place, but then he realized just how much of a hypocrite that would make him, so instead he said, “You do this often?”

“Do what?”

“Keep an eye on the boys without them knowing.”

The wings shifted out and in, a move Bobby knew meant Cas was feeling nervous or uncertain.

“More than I am willing to admit too,” he said. “But not as much as I’d like.”

“Well, if anyone needs a guardian angel, it’s those two.”

As they watched, Dean stole one of Sam’s fries as the younger brother tried to bat his hand a way. Sam made a face. Dean grinned.

“Or maybe a babysitter,” Bobby added.

“I can take you up to heaven if you wish,” the angel said suddenly.

Bobby’s head swung around and he stared at him with wide eyes. “You can really do that?”

“It’s not our normal purpose, but angels can stand in for reapers when necessary.”

Bobby gazed back at the brothers. Sam had gotten revenge on Dean by stealing the cheese out of his burger. Dean look affronted. Sam gave a rare laugh.

“Not yet,” Bobby said. “Maybe one day, but not yet.”

Bobby felt the soft touch of feathers as the right wing spread outward and wrapped around his side.

“I understand,” said Castiel.

Dean threw a fry at his brother. Sam threw a ketchup package.

Bobby smiled. “You know, Feathers. There’s something I should have told you a while back,” he said placing a hand on the angel’s shoulder. “I’m glad you’re still with us.”

Cas didn’t reply, but Bobby felt the wing at his side hold him a little tighter.
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