It was with a warm hand on Castiel’s shoulder that Chuck watched his son die for the first time. Watched as the archangel shredded Cas under the weight and pull of angelic power. It was messy. It was callous.
Chuck wiped his blood-covered hands on his jeans, feeling the way the slick met rough—what was left of his son smeared on the denim.
Dean had come and gone and Chuck was left, sitting in the red-painted house, knowing that somewhere, his firstborn son was breaking free. Going to end the world.
Chuck sighed, grabbing a bottle of liquor from the counter and taking a deep swig. He could still see the glow in Castiel’s eyes. Not from grace, but from something perhaps more pure. Like a memory of the light once used to create the earth and all the creatures that inhabited it. The light that Chuck had given his creations straight from his own fingertips.
Cas, you beautiful idiot, he had thought as the room shook and he watched his son hold his ground, his last breaths rooted in a pearl of hope for the Earth. Hope placed in the small hands of two forgettable hunters fighting against the rising powers of hell.
The brave sacrifice of the brown-haired, blue eyed angel who died to save the world would likely never be told, but still, Chuck couldn’t help but think that it was the stuff that stories were made of.
It was quiet now, in the kitchen with the reminder of Cas, the man who’d ripped up the pages of destiny and spat in the face of fate. The man who’d scoured the earth in search for God with nothing but a second-hand pendant and a desire to protect.
Chuck closed his eyes, tightly. A desire to protect, he thought, his mind drifting back to the sense of wonder he’d felt when he’d first created his angels.
He sat down and poured a little drink on the floor in tribute before squeezing the bottle between his knees. And he tried not to remember that he had the power to protect, too. To protect the world from the impending apocalypse. To protect Castiel.
He didn’t. He wouldn’t. It was a promise he’d made a long time ago when, in an effort to “save,” he’d purged the earth with water. What surprised him, however, was how men continued to preach in his name, building philosophies and stamping them with heaven’s seal without care to God’s sanctions.
“Maybe my children make better Gods than me,” Chuck considered, finding himself again drawn to the two young brothers that, even now, were facing Michael and Lucifer when even their own God couldn’t.Dean and Sam were better men than their father, Chuck thought, and Cas was a better man than me.
Chuck stared at the way the room wore bits of Cas and wondered at the feelings of sentiment he felt. True, Chuck knew all of his angels, but he couldn’t find it in himself to understand why he felt the world was smaller now in the space since he’d watched Castiel die. After all, it was simply the natural order of things. He created angels like shooting stars: fiery, fierce and beautiful. And, like the meteoroids plowing through the sky, Cas had come too close to the earth, burning up inside the atmosphere.
Once, Chuck had commanded the angels to love the humans. The angels had become volatile, hardened creatures, made for duty with no one to serve. Statues of rigid perfection.
Chuck looked down at his own hands, letting his mind wander through the intricate designs of the human vessel he’d created for himself. Human flesh was so different than the fierce ether of an angel. He’d created them with the heads of beasts and great spanning wings. They were formidable, truly, they were. And yet, Chuck knew, even then, when he’d first birthed them, that humans were his most beautiful creation. They were breakable, small, and beautifully flawed. And, he’d known then, too, that he’d created mankind to save them all. To save the angels. To save himself.
It was his own last beacon of hope, that perhaps they could all become something more than the patterns of war and violence that had emanated from him and poured into his creations.
Chuck smiled as he looked at the Supernatural books, knowing he had found it. His broken children who had become more than their God, willing to die for the sake of the planet.
They had transcended him. He always knew they would. But, what had surprised him was the angel in the dirty trench coat and blue eyes, falling away from heaven’s glory for one man. One human. An angel that had such faith in and love for humanity that he’d given up everything.
Chuck bowed his head to his chest. He wouldn’t, he couldn’t get involved. And yet, he could still hear Castiel’s prayers in the back of his head—months of the angel’s voice crying for an absent God to step in and save his children.
And Chuck knew what he had to do. Though it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things—a small gesture, really. But significant nonetheless.
Slowly, he leaned down to the floor, touching a spot of red with his finger. He watched as the bits of Cas responded, finding their way back to the whole. It was a fascinating process, to see the parts of Cas’s vessel come together, gathering, binding, creating arms, legs, a face. Until, suddenly, he was staring at the calm features of Cas’s body, laying down with his eyes closed, as if he could be asleep.
Then, with a breath, Chuck pulled light from the skies, infusing grace and soul and power to recreate Castiel’s true form, creating a sacred space inside the simple kitchen of Chuck’s home. It felt wrong, in a way, to bring so much of his God self back to the place where he had gone to leave it all behind. And yet, it also felt right. To put something back together again after such a long time of watching things fall apart.
And, finally, it was done as he gingerly placed Castiel back inside the man laying on the ground. He watched as the vessel’s chest hitched with the first breath of life, and smiled when he looked at the body he’d created just for Cas. For the angel who wanted so badly to love humans. In a way, now he could be one. He thought Cas would like that he’d made him look like Jimmy. That maybe he’d find it easier if he could look in the mirror and see the man whose face had first chosen to be so autonomous and free from heaven.
Cas’s eyes were still closed, and Chuck knew he couldn’t let him wake up here. He couldn’t face his son. Not now. Still, he was surprised to find himself kneeling on the floor of the kitchen, running his hands through the soft parts of Castiel’s hair, his thoughts, surprisingly far away from the ending of the rest of the world. Instead, he placed a kiss on top of Cas’s head, sending him to a beautiful forest, by a stream to wake up.
And then the kitchen was empty again, the clock on the wall ticking loudly, and the stain from the spilled alcohol shining on the floor.
Chuck contemplated what he’d done. Wondered at his own need to break every rule that had bound him for centuries and heal one lowly angel when he’d let hundreds of others die.
But, he thought he already knew the answer. Where Chuck had made humans in a deliberate effort at salvation, one lowly angel had been a surprise. A miracle. And, as Chuck sat back in his chair, he smiled as he admitted it to himself: it turned out that maybe it wasn’t just the humans that were there to save. It turned out that maybe, just maybe, a forgettable, self-sacrificing angel with blue eyes and too much heart could be the one to redeem them all.