evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: Faithful
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Pairing: Gen
Rating: R (for language)
Word Count: ~ 2700
Warnings: Children being threatened
Summary: Sometimes, the trouble wasn't of the shrunken angels' making.
Notes: So earlier this week, I encountered the Ask SPN BB!verse for the first time. And fell in love. It's adorable and hilarious and highly, highly recommended. (And this coming from someone who doesn't read kidfic and prefers her angels powered-up!) Also, this fic won't make sense if you don't know the basic premise. The blog owner welcomes contributions so I wrote this as a thank you. :)


Faithful


At first, though Dean hadn’t been thrilled at abruptly finding himself and Sam responsible for three miniaturized members of the Heavenly Host, he hadn’t been worried. Kids were kids, right? And Dean had practically raised Sam, he was an old hand at taking care of kids. Most of the time, he even liked children. Though not even in his most fanciful daydreams of Life Beyond Hunting had he ever pictured himself stuck with a feathery brood of baby angels.

Cas was by far the easiest deal with. Dean liked adult Cas so liking baby Cas was a no-brainer. He was surprisingly unchanged as a kid: quiet, intense and prone to staring. A whole lot weepier and clingier than usual, sure, but Dean didn’t mind that so much. Cas was a well-behaved dream compared to his more rambunctious siblings, and indulging the little guy in the occasional bout of cuddling wasn’t that bad. (Though Dean would insist otherwise to Sam, of course.) The hardest thing to accept about the whole thing was the mental whiplash of seeing adult Cas’ Very Serious Look on baby Cas’ chubby little face.

Balthazar was a little trickier. He and Sam hadn’t known the guy that well before he popped in to help Cas and got himself shrunk. He’d seemed pretty decent for an angel, which was to say that he was an arrogant dick but not a murderous arrogant dick. He and Cas had seemed like a mismatched pair to be friends, but what the hell did Dean know? Cas trusted him so that was good enough for Dean. Bobby was a little less sanguine about Balthazar, but that was less about him being an unknown quantity and more about the fact that Bobby couldn’t hide his booze well enough to keep it away from the determined little alcoholic. Dean wouldn’t have thought a such a small kid could have scaled Bobby’s shelves like that, even one with wings.

Granted, their biggest troublemaker was the final member of their terrible trio. Little kid or not, Gabriel was still a disproportionately large pain in the ass. At first, they’d hoped that having been reduced to a toddler with his powers limited to candy summoning would have imposed some kind of restrictions on Gabriel’s ability to wreak havoc. They’d been wrong. If he wasn’t the one stuck cleaning up half the little bastard’s messes, Dean would almost be impressed.

Thank fuck for Disney movies. At least they had some way of keeping the kiddy angels occupied for a few hours here and there to concentrate on research. (Or napping. Or a good, stiff drink.) Unfortunately, this afternoon it looked like they weren’t even going to get that much of a break. Dean found himself roused out of a research coma by the sound of a car pulling up in front of Bobby’s house.

“You expecting anyone?” he checked. Singer Salvage was a pretty well known stop on the hunter network, after all.

Bobby scowled. “No. And sure as hell not anyone that’s got an open invitation.”

Sam was already on his feet, heading for the living room. Dean stuck his head into the room as the kids raised a chorus of protests, subsiding quickly at Sam’s hasty gesture. Say what you would about baby angels, but they caught on damn quick when something was up, Dean thought gratefully. Gabriel and Balthazar allowed Sam to scoop them up without protest as Dean went for Cas, plucking him off the couch and dropping him on Sam’s shoulders. Dean jerked his head in the direction of the stairs and then followed the sound of Bobby’s voice to the front door.

“-- Bob Blake and Mac Lewis, out of Georgia,” the man in the lead was saying. “Rufus says you’re the best source of lore north of Texas.”

Bobby’s snort was eloquently unimpressed. “Rufus ever tell you it’s polite to call first?”

Lewis pulled off his baseball cap and scratched his head. “Got a hot lead on a hunt,” he explained shortly. “Didn’t think you’d mind letting etiquette slip this once if it meant saving a few lives.”

“And just whose lives are you so interested in saving?” Dean asked, not liking the eager smile that spread over the men’s faces when their heads swung around and they caught sight of him.

Somehow, the guns they were suddenly brandishing didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“We’re looking to spare yours, if you cooperate,” Lewis told them.

“Don’t even think about it,” Blake warned Bobby, whose movement towards his own weapon apparently hadn’t gone unnoticed. “I can put a hole in your boy here before you can draw.”

“And who’s going to keep me from shooting you?” came Sam’s voice from somewhere behind Lewis and Blake.

The dismay on their faces was priceless, and Dean didn’t even bother trying to restrain his smirk. Sam had made even better time sneaking out the back than Dean had expected.

“Oh, stop grinning, you idiot,” Bobby grumped. “This is ridiculous.”

It kind of was, Dean had to admit. “All the more reason to smile, Bobby,” he retorted cheerfully.

The levity seemed to remind Blake of his resolve and his aim steadied. “You can’t get us both, Winchester. Not before I put one in your brother.”

These assholes knew who they were? Oh, Dean was not liking this.

“We heard you guys were holed up here with Singer,” Lewis put in, flicking his eyes between them. “Word has it that you got your hands on something big and came running back to him for help. And there are some pretty crazy stories going around about what happened the last time you two were involved in something big.”

Somehow Dean didn’t think that explaining that they’d fixed that little apocalypse mess they’d started would go over well with these two.

“Oh yeah? Who are you getting your information from?” he asked instead. Most of the hunters who were in a position to know what had happened were friends who knew better than to talk about it or dead. “‘Cause if you’ve been listening to the other side, I’ve got to remind you -- demons lie.”

“Funny you should assume we’ve been talking to demons, Winchester,” Blake sneered. “They had some interesting things to say about you and your habit of not staying dead.”

Goddamnit. Dean forced himself to relax and give the guy a skeptical stare. “You miss the part about the lying?”

“Tell you what. You give us what we want and we won’t put it to the test, all right?”

Before Dean could ask what they wanted, there was a loud thump from upstairs.

God fucking damn it.

Blake and Lewis went on high alert, guns raised in active threat.

“All right - you up there! You get down here right now or I start shooting!” Lewis shouted.

Don’t you dare, you little - Cas, if that was you, I hope your brothers are sitting on you! Dean thought, glaring fiercely at Blake instead of staring at the ceiling.

“First bullet’s going into Dean, here!” Lewis threatened.

“Don’t listen to him! You stay where you are!” Dean yelled, sighing explosively at the sound of feet pattering down the stairs towards them. Cas never had known when to stay out of Dean’s messes -- his current toddler status being a prime example.

There was a scowl on that absurdly cute face when Cas peered around the doorway. “Why are these men threatening you?” he demanded.

“Because they’re assholes,” Dean answered with a shrug.

“It’s a kid!” Blake muttered to Lewis. “I never heard anything about Winchester having a kid!”

“Nothing saying it’s his kid. Look at the - holy shit!” Lewis yelped as Cas stepped out into the hallway, dark wings fluttering in agitation.

Blake turned a furious (terrified) look on Dean. “What the hell is going on here, Winchester?” he asked, punctuating the demand with jabs of his gun.

“Oh, how cute,” Balthazar drawled as he wandered into view. “They think we’re from hell.”

Gabriel snickered as he followed his brothers into the room. “Not the sharpest knives in the block, are they?” He spread his wings in illustration, feathers catching the light as he stepped through a conveniently placed sunbeam.

Flashy little bastard, Dean thought in reluctant admiration. Gabriel’s sense of showmanship hadn’t been diminished by the curse in the least.

From the start, Dean had wondered at the difference in their angels’ wings. He’d never managed to get a straight answer on the issue of colour and he’d been unwilling to ask about the variation in sizes. So Gabriel’s wings were larger than his brothers, with a fuller, more impressive span. No big deal -- Dean just put it down to him being an archangel. If the muted gold of his wings seemed to gleam a little more brightly than seemed natural, well. What else about this situation was natural?

There was nothing subtle about the shine of his wings now. They nearly glowed in the sunlight as he stretched them wide before folding them against his back.

“Hell,” he snorted derisively as he dodged past Dean’s reflexive grab and walked right up to Blake and Lewis. “As if.”

As enthralled as the two men might have been at the tiny winged kid staring fearlessly up at them, they were quick to react when Dean moved to take advantage of their distraction.

“Don’t move,” Lewis said automatically.

Dean held up his hands in surrender, swearing a mental blue streak. He could hear floorboards creaking as Sam shifted restlessly on the porch.

“Look, he’s just a kid,” Sam started.

“Just a kid?” Lewis repeated incredulous. “How many kids you know have wings, Winchester?”

“They’re about to have one less,” Blake announced, making a grab for Gabriel’s arm. “You’re coming with us.”

“What? No!” Gabriel protested, hopping backwards.

“I said, you’re coming with us,” Blake said flatly, shifting his aim to the other two angel kids hovering anxiously nearby.

If looks could kill, Blake would be a smoldering heap of ashes at this point, Dean was sure. Even Bobby was glaring death at the man. The only thing keeping Dean in place were the mental calculations that assured him that there was no way he could throw himself in front of the kids before that gun could go off. They knew the angels were still made of sturdy stuff -- Gabriel and Balthazar had scared the hell out of all of them in the first week by picking a fight at the top of the stairs and knocking themselves down the whole flight in a squalling mass of limbs, only to walk away with nothing worse than bruises -- but that didn’t mean Dean was happy to see a gun pointed at Cas.

“I don’t know about this,” Lewis was saying uneasily. “They’re kids...”

“Shut up, you know what they said about these guys.”

Lewis shook his head but apparently conceded the point. “C’mon, kid. Let’s go.”

Gabriel frowned but threw a considering look over his shoulder at Balthazar and Cas before allowing himself to be dragged into range.

“Gabriel! No!” Castiel protested as Lewis wrapped his free arm around Gabriel’s waist and hoisted him right off the ground.

“Put him down!” Balthazar added his voice to Castiel’s alarm.

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” Gabriel said, twisting around in Lewis’ grip to wink at his brothers. “I got this.”

Dean narrowed his eyes as Blake and Lewis backed away from the door. He’d seen that look on Gabriel’s face all too often before -- he was up to something.

Dean managed to nab Castiel as he darted past, a burst of swearing indicating that Bobby had snagged Balthazar en route. Angels secured, Dean led the way to the door, blinking hastily as they walked out into the daylight. Sam nodded tense acknowledgement as they joined him on the porch, eyes firmly on the hunters edging their way back to their car. Gabriel, heretofore suspiciously cooperative, began to squirm fretfully.

“Don’t start acting up now,” Blake warned him, but the gun aimed at the porch didn’t waver.

“I’ve changed my mind!” Gabriel yelled, suddenly the very picture of a kid on the edge of a tantrum. “I don’t want to go with you!”

Lewis tightened his grip, eyes widening in dismay. “Hey, now. Stop that.”

“No!” Gabriel shouted, pushing at Lewis’ shoulder with one hand as he leaned back as far as he could, sucking in a huge gulp of air.

Dean winced, bracing himself for the outraged shriek that was sure to follow.

Gabriel whistled instead.

Dean clapped his hands over his ears, hunching his shoulders in a futile attempt to block the sound tearing its way through his head. He was distantly aware of the Sam and Bobby reacting similarly, could see Blake and Lewis flinching violently at the noise. He couldn’t blame them; The only time he’d ever heard anything like this was the day he’d dug his way out of a shallow grave.

“What the fuck was that?” he heard Blake demanding when his ears finally stopped ringing.

“I told you,” Gabriel answered petulantly. “I don’t want to go with you.”

“Scream like a banshee all you want,” Blake snarled. “I’ll just stuff a --”

A low, furious growl rumbled out from somewhere behind the piles of scrap littering Bobby’s yard. Lewis spun one way and Blake turned the other as two dark, compact shapes prowled into view, sure-footedly navigating a path through the junk.

Behind him, Bobby’s breath caught at the sight of his dogs, gone since the Winchesters had first led Meg to Bobby’s door.

“The car!” Lewis was urging frantically, backpedalling away from the dogs’ aggressive lope. “Get to the car!”

Blake fumbled his weapon as he changed direction, trying to draw a bead and scrabble for the door handle at the same time. Lewis had lost his grip on Gabriel, whose small face had lost all hints of childishness, when the well-placed sweep of a wing had clipped his jaw. He abandoned the kid where he fell, turning his back and diving for the car. Sam and Dean had already bounded down the steps, and they reached the intruders about the same time as the dogs did. Probably a good thing, Dean noted internally, since for all the fierceness of their snapping jaws, the dogs cast no shadow.

The dust had settled by the time that Blake and Lewis had been satisfactorily restrained, so Dean took his time assessing the situation.

The dogs had made their way over to Bobby, who was down on one knee and rubbing a hand over their not-quite-substantial heads. “Good dogs,” he was praising gruffly, and Dean wasn’t going to be the one who pointed out how wet his eyes were.

Balthazar and Cas had hurried over to Gabriel, who was picking himself up off the ground.

“Nicely done,” Balthazar commented approvingly as Cas helped Gabriel dust himself off.

Gabriel lifted a shoulder in a minute shrug. “I like dogs,” he said.

Dean frowned, not liking how thin his voice sounded. “You all right over there?” he called.

Instead of the sarcastic brush-off that Dean had half-expected, Gabriel just wilted.

Alarm spiked through Dean as Gabriel crumpled back to the ground, but he was immediately reassured by the exasperated look that Balthazar and Cas exchanged before they crouched down next to him.

“Always with the dramatics,” Dean sighed as he walked over to collect the kids, carefully not looking at the way Bobby’s empty hand clenched into a fist as the dogs evaporated under his touch.

Gabriel slept for nearly three days solid after his little display. Cas and Balthazar still didn’t seem all that worried, so Dean figured that meant Gabriel was going to be just fine. That trick with Bobby’s dogs had been one hell of an exertion for the little guy, after all. Sure enough, a few days after Blake and Lewis’ visit, Dean woke up in an extra warm bed. Finding himself in the centre of a nesting mass of baby angels almost made up for the discovery of the spray of rainbow candies stuck in his hair.

He huffed a laugh as he stared ruefully at his reflection and decided Gabriel had earned himself a freebie. Christ knew the little bastard would be crawling on his last nerve before long. Let the first prank be a relief, he decided. And if he stopped to give Gabriel’s hair an affectionate scruffle before he got on with removing his new ornaments, and if Gabriel turned his face into the blankets to hide a smile, well. There was no one else awake to see.

Fin
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